Saturday, December 13, 2014

What It Is Not

What It Is Not

For so many nights we stayed up past bedtime discussing
Discussing… discussing, and I was wowed by your cussing
about the idea of what love is. But there was that one night.

We decided to focus on what it was not. And had a revelation.
Sometimes you can get to know a thing better simply by
tag-team cussing about what you do not think it is!

We decided, unanimously, that it cannot be coerced.
That is, it is perhaps the opposite of force. Whatever love is.
Love to us became when two people say Finally… I am free.

I poured another merlot. A sliver of moon shimmer in the glass.
You asked a question that ended in the word remorse.
There and then, we consigned that word also to the depths.


-- © Ciprianowords, Inc. 2014 --

Friday, December 12, 2014

The Sad Part Is That I Lived

The Sad Part Is That I Lived

Slitting my wrists would be a bit drastic, perhaps.
But pulling my hair out definitely presented itself.
The foyer of my mind a battlefield of malapropisms.

Just this once I wanted to say the right thing to you.
Houdini could not have engineered a better set-up.
The elevator doors closing in. No viable escape.

Two armies in disarray falling all over their comrades
I pulled the grenade pin -- You smell so soap-scented.
10 -- 9 -- 8… It's merely lime hand lotion, you said.

Fumbled in your purse for something you do not need.
Gave a smile. The doors opened, you were gone again.
Leaving me in no man's land. Between eager and dead.


-- © Ciprianowords, Inc. 2014 --

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Sonnet 116

Sonnet 116

Let me not to the divorce of failed love
apportion blame. Loss is less loss
when future dreams, today undreamed of
can be fashioned from the former dross.
O no; do not fixate on right and wrong
for each will be each in the great span of time.
A singer stops singing in the middle of the song
yet the melody survives. The verses still rhyme.
Love's not about forever, its time frame is now.
A passing to be grieved, and thus, to be passed.
Thriving best amid promise, it withers in vow
-- arriving bejewelled, in garments made to last.
If this be in error, and upon me charged,
May my heart become shrunken, my prostate enlarged.


© Ciprianowords, Inc. 2014

Saturday, August 09, 2014

Sweet Dreams

Sweet Dreams

Nightmares aside, the worst evils are devised
in full awareness, with spectacles on.
Watch them leaning over the war charts.
Strategizing next moves. No one is snoring.

A sleeping lion means a grazing antelope.
Even arguments require cognizance.
Every psychopath will tell you --
"This thing is going to involve actual movement."

Woman in a coma shoots three neighbours.
There's a headline I want to know more about!
Unconscious man bludgeons four at bus stop.
No. Sadly, all these things take place -- vertically.

Admitted, there are sweet dreams and bad ones.
But this morning, waking from the former type
I wondered -- What keeps me from its realization?
What, indeed, except [hit snooze] wakefulness.


-- © Ciprianowords, Inc. 2014 --

Glass

Glass

For some people the glass is half full. Others, it's empty.
And some will argue there never was a glass to fill.
When it comes to delusion, full glasses can't be beat.

Perfection is not a reasonable ideal.
For one thing, it is 8 minutes and 20 seconds in arrears.
The Egyptians had it best, my friend.

The sun is what we should bury ourselves around.
Without it, glass -- empty, half full, or overflowing
-- There would be no glass. Much less, contents.


-- © Ciprianowords, Inc. 2014 --

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Stones

Stones

It has been my experience that mystery often declares itself in the most mundane of things. For instance, stones. You bend down and pick up a stone, or walk by and kick one. Skim a flat one on the rivertop. Hike a trail, tripping on a massive rock, semi-submerged.
But never in any of those moments do you stop to consider how it is that this particular thing got to be in the shape it is in. What forces made it small, somewhat rounded and smooth. Others jagged. This one is too heavy to lift. Another is in your pocket.
Some are re-fashioned to signify lifelong commitment to another person.
Is all sand a broken-up, bigger stone? If so, there is really nothing on earth as fascinating as that.
And yet we, who strut about for seventy or so years, invent so many stories about who we are. Who we were before this. Who we will be afterwards.
Stones, the ones we treasure, pick up, skip, and kick -- smiling, if they could. 

Saying, as an old man mortars the last one into his fireplace hearth: 
If you only knew what I am.

-- © Ciprianowords, Inc. 2014 --

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Taking Nicholas

Taking Nicholas

Had no idea where I was going in a wintry 1993, much less arriving.
Bit of a rise from the west, where the unknown city comes into view.
That Oldsmobile was groaning with the weight of all I needed, then.
Pushing through, an intrepid whitewater rafter seeking new rapids.
The biggest place I would ever live in twinkled, sparkled -- beckoned.

Little did I know that every sidewalk crack was waiting for my shoe.
Canal trails, wondering when the prairie boy would get on the scene.
My new hometown. Four gargoyles on that Center Tower winked:
This, friend, is England without the bad teeth that goes along with it.
And miracle of it all -- I landed a penthouse suite within sight of them.

Two decades on I have no regrets. Sometimes the past needs to fade.
You can never know what will be until you get in the Cutlass and drive.
Every time I come home nowadays, I hit the signal on a certain exit --
Take that one turn, named for a saint shoving things down a chimney.
And realize anew that where I live is the best gift I've ever been given. 


-- © Ciprianowords, Inc. 2014 --

Saturday, June 14, 2014

The Day I Realized She Was Not For Me

The Day I Realized She Was Not For Me

Four hours in an amusement park naturally lends itself
to a certain level of exhaustion.  -------------------- So
we spent our recuperative moments at an oyster bar.
The food I hate most, after olives, slidng into my gullet.
Then I broached the subject:
Asked her if she liked the works of Ian McEwan.
She said he was good as Gandalf, in Lord of the Rings.
But she does know her perfumes. Offset the oyster stench.

I then mentioned The Chronicles of Narnia.
Is C.S. Lewis too theologically-biased in his fiction?
She told me she preferred his Alice in Wonderland.
And then asked me what he had written most recently.
[It was at this moment that my goal changed to finding out
what the hell perfume she wore, so I could buy two jars
and spray it all over a certain homely girl I'd seen recently,
bent intently over Dostoevsky at the local library…
]


-- © Ciprianowords, Inc. 2014 --

The Raised Voice

The Raised Voice

As long as all the rancour is directed elsewhere
I find myself encouraging it. Kill the common enemy.
Over tea you will steam it out, and I can not agree more.
On a rampage, the nostrils-flared beauty is all over you.
The only disagreement is about specific punishment.
You tend to favour hanging -- and I call for beheading.

Tonight though, I am a sudden advocate of clemency.
Benefit of the doubt. Pardon of the accused, even.
Those beloved eyes that have narrowed so often
upon the disembowelling of anyone offending one of us
are focused for the first time on me, and my raised voice.
I stare at your cup. The shock is lightning. Forgive me.


-- © Ciprianowords, Inc. 2014 --

Saturday, June 07, 2014

Re-painting It

Re-painting It

Getting that loan in the first place. Our first big trial.
Then again, trust us to drive straight to Shylock & Sons!
Remember spending the first portion on vintage claret?
If three angels had descended that evening, both of us
would have told them to go -- heal someone of cancer.

Building a new world can definitely become this local.
It was a fixer-upper, and I let you choose a future color.
Unloading the van, the only thing wider than your smile
was my eyes. What the hell? Do we live in Bermuda?
Pastels are in, you said. I promptly prepared the rollers.

Twenty years on, the best of my life is in the past tense.
The very thing we once mocked angels with, took you.
And I notice how right you were, the way the far ocean
meets the lilacs. Our paradise in the middle of it all.
An afternoon in the hardware store, wet-eyed, asking

What do you, what do you have, in more of a lavender?


-- © Ciprianowords, Inc. 2014 --

Sunday, May 18, 2014

As If You Never Fished

As If You Never Fished

My initial fascination may have had to do with the fact that you were fishing.
And alone. I was not even sure that any female ever fished, unaccompanied.
Crouching in the honeysuckle two minutes without breath, you caught one.
It flapped on the bank. And you, seemingly horrified with this, I emerged.

In retrospect, I wish I had arrived on the scene while you were yet casting.
As it was, I came forth to offer my services in the matter of hook removal.
Your eyes told me that before snagging a lip, you did not envision success.
No idea that every fish fried and eaten, is also one removed from it's safety.

Amazing how, before we knew each other's names, you stripped me naked.
Me, equally violent. The gasping gills at our side, nearing the river's edge.
No words spoken. Fishlike. Captured. Perhaps -- we would never eat again.
Quarry flapping twice, toward the water. Re-entering. As if you never fished. 


-- © Ciprianowords, Inc. 2014 --

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Talk

Talk

Prairie-born, I admit that an ocean has the better horizon.
A world where everything is lower than the surface.
Theory says we crawled out from there, and [I extrapolate]
felt the need to talk.
Any audiologist worth his ear buds will tell you.
Sound travels better through air than water.
This is why we got out in the first place -- naked, shivering.

Thing is, things got regional real fast. Legs meant boundaries.
Same species, face-to-face in an airport now, unable to chat.
Wars erupt over it. The differences. Oh, the talk. The rhetoric.
The irony.
The very thing that spells our best advances, killing us outright.
A new theory afloat -- that the wisest among us are silent
-- still swimming.


© Ciprianowords, Inc. 2014

Saturday, May 03, 2014

The Word Hello

The Word Hello

The first instance of it interests me a bit, a lot.
Surely the advent of the telephone augmented its use.
You can't see the person, and have to say something.
Rewind the tape -- Is there a need for this greeting?
My answer is yes, in whatever form it is manifested.

The rubbing of tricep upon tricep. Some sort of grunt.
A mutual shin kick when the beast is downed by a duo.
Prior to all language, an acknowledging - two are better.
Communication turning on the happenstance of vision.
Only in seeing others did we become individuals.

We, the humans. Some animals do have better sight.
But none have an appropriate response, phone ringing.
Interesting that we now say it most often to the invisible.
Even as I have relayed these thoughts to you, unseen.
The word hello -- evolved to a present state of incognito. 


-- © Ciprianowords, Inc. 2014 --

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Ingenuity

Ingenuity

Someone decided that most guitars should have five strings.
Prior to hydraulics, who would have visioned oil in a cylinder
raising the heft of a ship in the locks, except the rogue mind?

Fit to an evolved slot of existence, brains differ in imagination.
Some know the boundaries, and others defy them in abandon.
Eyes are intended to see, but the mind is prior to all of this.

Beethoven wrote symphonies, hearing none of the applause.
Helen Keller came to know more than most will ever perceive.
What is it that tells the mole to burrow? Potatoes to be buried.

We read our own astrological chart in the morning newspaper
without a thought to the assured movement of orbiting planets.
Someone decided that poetry should have a consistent meter.
 

Then someone else added that last line, signifying everything. 

-- © Ciprianowords, Inc. 2014 --

Thursday, April 17, 2014

The World According To Carp

The World According To Carp

Twin fins waving below the surface said hello to no one.
He was First Fish. Friend Before Friends.
Elofin, to the Hebrew lung-beings spawned later, from

Wife.
Oh, praise the Serendiptous Waters wherein these met.
Rarer still, the temperature, that in seeming compliance
let them rub against each other for warmth. For it is said, 

Dripping icicles on land were all that fed the rivers then.

And we, as a result, were the first ever to exist, apart.
Cradled upon happenstance, we found ourselves to be
creatures.
Our ancestry thus, we modeled the imprint. Just as cold,
repeating the example given. 
Denying as the branches widened, our definite
incestuous beginnings. [Migration does wonders]!
Now we have varied, roamed to such an extent -- well,
gone are the days when we worried about such affinities.

To a fish, we do tend to stay within our species. Usually.
Occasionally there is a mishap, but producing no offspring.

Care is taken to tell only the right story to our progeny.
And that story is that the carp were the first on the scene.
Really, the unanswerable question comes from minnows.

Parents. Those first ones. From whom were they born?

-- © Ciprianowords, Inc. 2014 --

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Momentum

Momentum

There is a piece of it right there, I went on.
You kicked it a second time, A piece of what?
Sedimentary layers. [Cliffs stared in silence]

Remember when we were speaking, earlier?
The tan layers pre-date the pink. This sandstone

[I bent down] was here when dinosaurs roamed.

Stopping, turning to face me, I heard these words:
I can only correct you on one point [a gull circling]
It was only you speaking, I was but listening --

-- Is there ever a time when you cease to think?

The horizon shrank to your brow. Planets shifted.
Waves quieted, a thousand books snapping shut.

In the ultimate breach of decorum, you kissed me.
Oh, Every Deity invented since knuckles dragged.
I knew that you were more than anything learned.


- © Ciprianowords, Inc. 2014 --

Saturday, April 05, 2014

David Asliver

David Asliver

I've never entertained the changing of my surname.
It would disrespect my father, and his, before him.
I would not do it. But if I had to, for some reason --
a hammock. The Pacific Ocean would come to mind.

Barefoot you swept the dew'ed grass with your toes.
Swayed to and fro as the waves rolled white on sand.
Naming constellations that were to me, a mystery.
Then, as your being focused upon it -- the moon.

You whispered, It is like a sliver in the hand of God.
...My first name means beloved, in Hebrew.
No need to change that, with your fiery gaze upon me.

The crescent of reflected sun in your wide open eyes.

But yes, any magistrate present, handing me a pen
in that moment would find me willfully taking it up.
Signing my new full name on any document --
David Asliver.


-- © Ciprianowords, Inc. 2014 --

The Checkup

The Checkup

My issue is with the last part of that word. Up.
No one goes to a doctor because they're feeling
too much healthy.
You want to know what is not how it should be.
He taps your knee, fondles you all over.

There is always that moment, cold stethoscope
on the chest --
when you're sure the next words spoken will be,
Get your will in order.
See, there is nothing at all "up" about that!

But I guess we do the same with our cars.
We take them in for a tune-up.
Thing is, now my complaint involves the first part.
Never once have I heard a nice song playing
as I reach for my credit card.


-- © Ciprianowords, Inc. 2014 --

Saturday, March 29, 2014

For Lack of a Keyhole

For Lack of a Keyhole

Surely, to be suffocated any place on Earth, in water,
or in one's own bed, lungs failing, would be catastrophic.
Medical science will tell you that no matter how you die,
lack of oxygen will always be the cause.

Heart attack. Aneurysm. Stroke. Alzheimer's. Car crash.
Crushed with a wall of concrete. All of it. Lack of oxygen.
Oxygen, of which normal air is only 21%. - Atmosphere
the equivalent of a swipe of varnish on a basketball.

Thanksgiving dinner. Too much turkey in the windpipe
when Uncle Louis tells the best joke you've ever heard.
Now he's doing your eulogy. I think of the astronaut.
Recently severed from the mother ship, and floating.

Here is someone wishing a shark would end it sooner.
He looks at his supply data. Four minutes to eternity.
The world receding at a clip. In those moments he recalls
a professor going on about Luther and his 95 Theses.

The Wittenberg door. How vitally important that was.
Right about now, the Wittenberg keyhole would be nice.
One nostril at a time. In that keyhole. Two minutes now.
He thinks of his wife. His two sons. The Earth is so blue.

… and then no one thinks for him. Only of him.


-- © Ciprianowords, Inc. 2014 --

Spoon River

Spoon River

Our equivalent of a clock, we agreed
When the wick of this candle is done
we will head out.

Sputtering in a pool of wax, we watched
Waited. Breath-baited.
Then… poof.

The moon complied, clouds clearing.
Clang of the screen door as we ran
undressing.

I flung myself from the pier, looking back.
You hung everything on the notch of a tree
diving in.

So many things in life are disconnected.
Some never seem to come together.
I swept my arms underwater --

Just as they met my thighs, I reached yours
in the shallows of Spoon River.
Kissed them, laced under the shining stars.


-- © Ciprianowords, Inc. 2014 --

Saturday, March 08, 2014

The Very Hereafter

The Very Hereafter

What if we selected a solemn tree, un-forested.
As unseen and untouched as possible.
Walked around the trunk a minimum of four times.
Fell to the ground and spoke our secretest words
into the ear of last year's leaves, palms down.
Traced the hinting of roots, sunken deep, hidden.
Sensing meanwhile, cloudbursts soaking bark
the moment we were born, thirsty for the sun.
A ring within capturing the urgency of our parents.

Believing! - as we circled this tree, that we beheld
the very hereafter.

Would we be dishonouring religion that preceded us?
Or the tree itself, which will outlive us, likewise.


-- © Ciprianowords, Inc. 2014 --

I Think My Cat Thinks













I Think My Cat Thinks

He is fully sleeping. REM. Everything.
I mean, zonked. Back turned to me.
I will look in his direction. An ear twitches.

No keys rattling. After a day's absence
I unlock the door to his urgent tenancy.

The plaintive mows [silent "e"] greet me.

We speak of geysers, and their faithfulness.
The one in Yellowstone has not met Kennedy.
It would turn into unheated porridge.

In his presence, I feel myself belov'ed.
And if animals, as some think, have no souls
I wonder if we, who presumably do, do.


-- © Ciprianowords, Inc. 2014 --

Saturday, March 01, 2014

Bars

Bars

There is that horror of being imprisoned.
And then there is you.
There is that fear of impossible regret.
A decision that cannot easily be reversed.

Bars: a word of such potential ambiguity.
Could refer to chocolate. A drinking spot.
A place where the ocean meets the sand.
An academic world, where lawyers study.

There is that horror of being imprisoned.
And then there is you.
The beauty. The bars of your arms.
Around me. The very opposite of capture.


-- © Ciprianowords, Inc. 2014 --

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Anthill

Anthill

On a school field trip to Cypress Hills I veered off from the group and did my own thing for a bit.
There was an anthill.
The activity around it, and one would assume, within, seemed quite in order.
So I kicked it.
Immediately, a frantic re-organization was apace. Much more carefully orchestrated than the activity of my own dawdling elementary-school friends, traipsing off to gather polliwogs or whatever was next on the agenda, the leader mumbling instructions --
Here at boot-level was a three-alarm disaster.
Very… localized.

Without even believing in anything, I felt like Satan, and bent low.
To examine my creation.
What could I even do about it? Jesus Christ.
There's going to be some needed re-building here.

A lot of decades have passed from then until now. Half an earthly lifetime.
But I cannot help but wonder… what if the believers are right?
What if everything started out pretty good, until some idiot came by, and all hell broke loose.


-- © Ciprianowords, Inc. 2014 --

Who Is Darker?

Who Is Darker?

Bright would have no meaning without sun.
Twist the blinds though -- slants appear.
Playing on the floor.
Shadow.
With no light overhead? -- impossible.
Everything is about angle. Emphasis.

So -- I do not discount our brightness.
It was all it should be, if not solar --
Definitely moonlike.
Tide-causing and wonderful.
The very stuff of poetry.

Guilty. I employed a friend of yours to ask it.
And from behind a wall, I listened.
With eyes closed -- the piercing truth, blinding.
This was noonday for me, darling.

You may quote Shakespeare's Et tu, Brute?
But I will be Guiderias:
Feare no more the heat o' th' Sun.

And before you squint again, or convulse --
Ask yourself, which of us -- who?

What is the answer, atop these words?


-- © Ciprianowords, Inc. 2014 --