Tuesday, December 11, 2007

The First Time


The First Time


What would you say to my
I love you?
For the first time.
We once wondered.

Tell me to take it back?
Rewind the tape? Or
Say it again? Louder?
As I recall, there was indeed
An echo, but never louder.
Not once did you hear it
Louder, than the first time.

When the rock goes in
The splash comes.
After that, the ripples, silently
Move outward, trying.
Failing, as they thin and flatten,
To make sense of the intrusion.
They never do.
And ever, the rock sinks.
The commotion settles.

With indrawn curtains as witness
We know that something
Something that never said
A word, spoke three.
That best time.
The first time, when, flung
From me, they came to rest.
Drowned, on your bed.

© Ciprianowords Inc. 2007

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Trill


Trill


Never…. Ten lifetimes from now
Will I forget the smoke trailing
To my eyes. When I could not
Move, nor take the cigarette
Away as you played on, and
There was a moment. You
Hit a trill and it was not
The notes, as much as
The way your fingers
Moved that I hung
On to the edge
Of the earth
Spinning
Away
And I
Knew
It, I
Kn
ew
it,
I
f
u
c
k
i
n

k
n
e
w
i
t
.

© Ciprianowords Inc. 2007

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Blackwing










Blackwing


Poison lies in wait, not about

To fill three trumpets with spit

While someone beats a drum. Not

Quite. It knows to tread softly up

The stone stairs.


And fear as a signal fails the wary

At a point where trust meets what

Love should be. Would be.

Easier to run from a killer than from

One who meant for you to end

Yourself.


There is no rhyme in this tale, yet

You look. Dammit, do not look.

It is not here in what happened
Nor in the poem of it.
No rhythm. No meter.


You know you survived.

Let that be enough for now.
Enough, even as you yet pant.

Hiding your face in your hands,

I urge you to part two fingers.
Friend, the stone steps are silent.


Remember. In the ascension,

You knew it to be an angel.


© Ciprianowords Inc. 2007

Saturday, October 20, 2007

The Hermit


The Hermit


There was a troglodyte. A hermit.
Deliberately ignorant of all things going
On outside his dripping cave and brown
Beard. Craggy, shaggy, each.

Not knowing Tuesday from Friday
He ventured out to gather seaweed
Or clams. Whatever lay stranded, left
Behind. On the mild, wild beach.

Near a boulder, between driftwood
Ducking and alert, he stooped. Never,
Not ever, squinting, had he ever seen
This, before. Dove, love, needing.

It cannot be. Forgotten, every longing
Now awakened, stood to claim him.

In a white dress, the sand held golden
Tresses. Flying, sighing, reading.

She flipped a page. He leaned, as though
Her hand could move his soul. And
Tears like drops of cave-dew sent a ripple
Through his heart. Drop, plop, but...

Turning, the hermit stumbled headlong
Up the crags to what he knew. Two sticks
Will give me heat while I sleep hungry, and
The stone will keep me. Sleep me. Shut.

© Ciprianowords Inc. 2007

Monday, September 24, 2007

Exit 39










Exit 39


You knocked coffee onto my crotch
And made me swerve.
“Panda bears! Panda bears!
Panda bears!
Pan. Da.
Bears.”
Now there are three hands on the wheel.
And the fourth is pointing.
“I see it! I see it! I see it!”
Leaning against centrifugal forces, and
Steering right, I believed in you.
I closed my eyes
When we kissed. And I threw this day
To what I thought was best.

I wonder if I have ever done anything
That intelligent.
Have any two people in the world, ever
Been further from where they should have been?
And yet closer to where they were?
Than
we were?
Feeding ice cream to bears?


© Ciprianowords Inc. 2007

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

With


With


I have lived without you,
And with.
I want with.

I have been alone,
And not.
It is you that makes me… no.

Remember when we watched
Someone pull from their moorings
And steer out to sea?

And we said we would have one of those?
One day?
Knowing we would not?

I love that you knew that.
That we would not.
Be on a yacht.

But that concrete.
Your shoes and the miles we walked.
I would bend now and kiss.

I have lived without you.
And with.
I want with.

© Ciprianowords Inc. 2007

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

This Bliss


This Bliss


What is the swirling snow?
I laugh.
I have nowhere to be, nowhere to go.
She will hand me the sloeberry wine.
We will talk.
And nestle, together.
Our pooch, his name is Found, sneezes, yonder.
She gets up to let him out, he wants out.
I watch her.
What did I do, to deserve her, and this?
This bliss.
"Go. Scoot. Second thoughts?"
He looks back at me.
"I think you want the outdoors, Found," I say.
He leaves.
She returns.
And I have never been,
More indoors.
This bliss.

© Ciprianowords Inc. 2007

Friday, August 24, 2007

Marooned


Marooned


Having thoroughly rejected society
I assure you, I’ll be fine. But
I’ll need my PowerBook G4.

Fly over me in a plane now and then.
Drop down fresh novels. And
My Harpers.
A microwave would be nice. And
A generator, I guess. Satellite phone.
Batteries. Salt.
Coffee [Turkish-ground], honey, pickles.
Binoculars, a skillet, a pot. And
Matches by the carton.
Deodorant, mayonnaise… My God!
Beer!
An axe, three blankets and a gun.
A flashlight.
Cayenne pepper and Tylenol. Pizza?

I assure you. I’ll be fine.
Wait, one more thing. You know
Those little sausage deals?
Wrapped in dough?

© Ciprianowords Inc. 2007

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Things We Say


Things We Say


No two snowflakes are the same.
But how do we test for this?
Imagine how many there have been.
Has someone caught them all?

Perhaps one, clinging to the window
Melts, just as its soulmate arrives.
Or another, landing on fall’s last leaf
Shivers beside its twin, unseen.

Who knows? Yet we do say it.
No two have ever fallen,
Alike. Unique, we are told.
And so we repeat, and trust.

No two snowflakes are the same.
I am in love with you.

© Ciprianowords Inc. 2007

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Letting Go


Letting Go


With one eye she watches... her hands in the water;
Just who is this boy? Is he good for my daughter?
She grabs for the towel, these dishes can wait;
She's got to find out now, before it's too late.

They get up to leave as she enters the room
And she begs them to stay just a moment or two;
She's asking "intentions", he's missing a movie
And a young woman's eyes say "Mom, don't do this to me..."

Am I caring or jealous? Am I holding too tight?
Just two of the questions she'd wonder all night...
And would it be easier if he was still here?
(For her husband had left her in June of last year).

With one eye she steals a last glimpse through the curtain...
Just who is this boy? A mom never is certain;
And as they pull away, there's just two things to know...
She's alone again tonight, and it's hard to let go.

© Ciprianowords Inc. 2007

Saturday, August 18, 2007

To The Reader


To The Reader


I haven’t a clue
Who I’m speaking to
Nor concern
Where these verses are leading.
But it’s worthy to mention
And draw your attention
To the fact
That you seem to keep reading.

Though we’ve never met
Nor spoken as yet
I believe
You will soon get the gist;
That whether you know it
Or not, I’m a poet
And literal
Ventriloquist.

From my fingertips
Without moving my lips
I convey
What I want you to hear;
As they say “It’s your dime”
And I’m spending your time
Just to brag
On myself in your ear.

You’ve really no choice
For I’ve taken your voice;
To read on
Is to listen to me…
There’s power in the poet
Like a hand in your throat
That swallows
The words that you see.

Does it leave you offended?
Your pride’s been upended;
We’ll never
Sip tea and be chummy…
But, with me that’s all good,
Drinking ruins the wood;
And I’ll need you again
…as the dummy.

© Ciprianowords Inc. 2007

Saturday, August 04, 2007

All We, Like Actors...

All We, Like Actors...

God,
honoring our freedom to ignore Him
slips quietly backstage,
and while the play goes on
marvels at how often the actors
flub their lines…
chuckles… even applauds
the surprising ad-libs, but
by curtainfall is disappointed
to have overheard how badly
(how unprofessionally and needlessly)
so many things in the script
had been
re-written.

© Ciprianowords Inc. 2007

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Flame













Flame

I look at a flame.

A flame tells me a few things.

How to flicker

How to be hot.


I look at a flame.

A flame tells me something.

How to burn

Where to reach.


The flame eats itself.

I look at a flame

And it tells me how to be on fire.


© Ciprianowords Inc. 2007

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Trembling

Trembling

Forgive me, for only tonight I realize it.
The fool I have been.
Now, I want to listen, and so deeply
That with your every breath
Words are noise.
Let me listen.
I want you to lean into me, not saying anything,
But trembling, feel me tremble.

Whisper. Tell me what moves you.
I want to know what moves you.
More than ever opening my eyes
Again, I want to know.
What moves you.

I said these things to you
As the night itself turned us inside out.

We looked at the river in the moonlight.
And a log went by, floating.
On it, a duck stood.

It was when we fell back on the grass
Laughing, I knew. You would never
Never be gone, were a cyclone to take you
From me.
Nor I, from you.

And we trembled in the grass together,
Until we shivered.
Knowing it.

© Ciprianowords Inc. 2007

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Who Stays?


Who Stays?


Most think they are here to see me.
The gluttons, how little they know.
I have been awake for centuries, patient.
Hooks in my back.
Watching for the admirer among them.
For heels to stop echoing. To find love.

They peer, hand on elbow for twenty seconds.
Lean forward, with a nibble at the temple tips.
A squint, a tilt of the head, and as quickly, walk.
Others glance and jot, consulting the programme
Or wristwatch. At this cog in the afternoon wheel
They nod or shrug, smile or frown,
But seldom stay.

Who stays?
Most are content to not break stride.
Who lingers, to see themself?
Only these latter give me rest.

© Ciprianowords Inc. 2007

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Rent


Rent


I dare you to find among things winged or hooved
A more nutty idea, a thing so far removed
From basic common sense. You can’t do it!
Even oxen would would throw off their yoke and eschew it.

Ask the busiest of lads, [I refer to the beaver]
That steady, stick-carrying, over-achiever.
He does what he does for one reason. To own!
When’s he’s done the damn dam the damn dam is his home!

And the chickens and bees, daily robbed of their labors
Know it’s only because they’ve got humans for neighbors.
So it’s not from compliance they continue their striving
But in faith and in hope they keep laying and hiving.

And the horse, does he willingly hitch to the carriage?
To be told who to woo, who be given in mare-age?
No. There’s only one reason he bends to the plow.
It’s the bit in his mouth puts the sweat on his brow.

Surely man’s the dumb beast, and for instance, take me.
Month by month giving money that I’ll never see,
To a landlord unseen. And he makes his own home
With the fortune I’ve traded for what I’ll not own.

© Ciprianowords Inc. 2007

Chimes

[above photo courtesy of Catharina at This Window]

Chimes


I made some chimes.

It’s what I do. I try. I hope.
I put them up where they will catch the sun.
If they tinkle in the breeze, all the better.
That will add to the combined effect.

My intentions, if nothing else,

Will let me know that I am not alone.


I made some chimes.

And hoped that the inner walls

Of where I live, would live.

One ray would do it,

Travel the millions,

Oh, the miles. To stop here.

And tell me that I have never been

Alone.


I made some chimes.

But clouds, the most honest and wet, rolled in.

And looking out, never had my chimes
Showed themselves

As wonderful,

As then.

Who places chimes
Is never alone.
Who places chimes is in perfect company

With all who have never caught the sun.


© Ciprianowords Inc. 2007

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Bulb

Bulb

There is that chalky, abrasive, granular sound
As you scrape it in. Those old ceramic sockets
Say it best.
If hanging, you dare not let go too soon
But twist into the thread. Pause and hold.
Wiggle, palm ready to catch.

If upright, the tentative factor yet remains.
How can you be sure? So, fingers a canopy
If the first turn misses, you are there.
Bless God, you are there for the bulb.
And not the other way around, until
Twist
Turn
Tighten
Click. Death.
It lives for you, on fire.

And for all of that, you look away
To see only other things, clearer.

© Ciprianowords Inc. 2007

Just Listening

Just Listening

For hours now, you’ve told me how
your life has been so rough…
And it’s been draining, and maintaining
silence has been tough.

I want to get involved and get it solved
and see you freed…
But I sense my advice, though nice
is not quite what you need.

No, I believe that sharing is repairing
you in a way…
That my words merely, though sincerely
chosen, fail to say.

For sometimes listening is the glistening
thread we can extend…
There love is known, and hurt is sewn
and friend is bound to friend.

© Ciprianowords Inc. 2007

Shakespeare & Jesus

Shakespeare And Jesus
(A Summary Of Perspective)

Shakespeare said our last scene would be
A type of “second childishness,” senility
Or Futility personified... And to oblivion
“sans everything”
we’d go.

“Not so,”

Said another Man (more distinguished than he)
Who spoke of a “second birth,” immortality
Or Purpose glorified... And of a kingdom
where everything
was so.

Said one, the world’s a stage
On which we slowly die...
And One, the world’s a cage
From which we soon... fly.

© Ciprianowords Inc. 2007

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Epiphany

Epiphany

You can look at your sister’s shoe and have an epiphany.
Especially if you do not know what the word means.
I know.
I did. And did not.
I looked at the tread of her shoe.
It happened when I tripped her just as she was entering her classroom.
I thought it would be funny.
Trip.
Fall.
The whole process quite simple.
I am a year older than her.
But it was not! Funny.

Something in the way her notebooks fell forward.
Splayed.
It just was not right.
Something about the nakedness of the look she gave me, as she collected herself.
And no words.
Would have been more OK if there were words, but there were not any.
So it was not OK.
She just looked at me, collected her stuff, and that was enough for me to see God.

© Ciprianowords Inc. 2007

Lilacs

Lilacs

Our neighbor, Dr. Daniels, ran. But I was nimble.
Over my wee shoulder I see it, the flashing rake
Waved like the vanquished telling surrender,
Yet longing to kill. Oh, I lived to see him so.
Such a mischief was I. Such.
As the sparks fly upwards, so did I vanish.
Peering between slats at the fool. The Fool!
Panting. This way and that. Sprouting three hairs grayer.
Defeated. Foiled, once again.
My own chest rollicking, silent.
Wait. He will tire first, again.

Wait. He…

He is long dead. And I, more alive
Than ever, walk along a street. Sussex, by name.
Thousands of miles away, near a half-century hence.
I am accosted by the scent. Literally frozen, and warmly so.
For here it is. My own chest… filled with everything
That ever I was, and have ever known. Been.
He had these. Over the fence. He did.
And we spent ourselves, running from each other.
Neither knowing that we were each as young, once.
Never once stopping to grasp. To breathe the message.
Every act of wanton menace carries within it the scent
Of lilacs, pleading innocence.

© Ciprianowords Inc. 2007

Saturday, April 14, 2007

They Played The Part So Well









They Played The Part So Well


‘Farewell’ said she, and I felt sure… my heart about to tear
In two… thank God ‘tis only one part of the tale I share…

Our fated lot, the leading parts in one of Willy’s plays
(A fairer acting partner I’d not met in all my days).
And I the more enthused as we together read the script…
Kisses here and there ‘I’ll take it’; she remained tight-lipped.
The morning she consented was a day I’ll not forget…
The day I claimed the part of Romeo… she, Juliet.

Reviewers touted our first night ‘a stunning great debut!’
‘They played the part so well,’ and oh, the half they never knew.
For who were we to alter script that called for lips contacting?
And who were we to tell the Guild that we, no longer acting
Would linger in those moments, and begin to know for certain
Our tendrilled hearts would beat the same, no matter where the curtain!

Act 3, Scene 5, ‘Farewell, Farewell! One kiss and I’ll descend.’
And she’d reply ‘Art thou gone so, love-lord, ay husband-friend?’
The more she called me ‘husband’ ah, the more I wished I were…
And with each ‘Farewell’ I said, the more I dreaded missing her.
For now by Shakespeare’s hand my role would be to Mantua banished;
Knowing that when next we meet my Juliet will have vanished.

And one night, in the final scene I touched her lifeless eyes…
‘Good Lord’ I thought, and listened… watching for her chest to rise.
She lay so still, so spiritless, I felt my ghost take flight…
I gladly gave my soul to her, so loved her I that night.
‘Thus with a kiss I die’ I fell… and laying there I knew
Tomorrow I would ask her to become a Montague.

The next night with the curtain I too fell on bended knee
And with a rose I breathed it ‘Juliet, wilt thou marry me?’
Blood pounding in my heart and ears drowned out the crowd’s ovation.
We stood, we kissed, I waited for her word in rapt elation.
And then with trembling lips ‘Oh sudden love… I cannot tell…’
She turned and ran off with the rose and left me with ‘Farewell!’

So cold that icy word had dropped… so cruel and firmly placed.
‘Did not her heart beat fast as mine each time that we embraced?’
She left the play, the town, my world… and vanished as though dead.
Alas, with broken heart I played the part again that said…
Act 2, Scene 2, ‘Love goes toward love as schoolboys from their books;’
(And here was I) ‘But love from love, toward school with heavy looks.’

I have no way of knowing just how long I wandered thus,
Bleary-eyed and lovesick, wishing her and I were ‘us’.
Till one night at a Masquerade I spied her ‘mongst the crowd.
I knew her eyes through her disguise, and called her name aloud…
‘Where dwells the rose I gave thee when we in the last scene kissed?’
Said she, ‘Tis in my heart and lives in amaranthine mist.’

We married then in haste (I’ll say, almost not quick enough)!
And folks agreed, we looked the part of fairy-tale stuff.
The lesson here? Do not lose heart if first you have been spurned;
In asking women for their hand, here’s something I have learned…
These fickle creatures who can tell, no more than predict fate?
But when love’s dagger sinks, true love is always worth the wait!

‘Tis here the tale ends my friend, the rest too good to tell.
I hear my Juliet calling now… to you I say, ‘Farewell!’

© Ciprianowords Inc. 2007

Sunday, April 08, 2007

The Road









The Road


Do you remember when we walked the road, Latangi?

I do.

The two shikras in the tree, ‘cross the ditch?

We heard them. And looked. We saw

‘Cross the road they sang, and were as soon

Them both take wing. They left us.

Gone?

I remember.

Soon, farther on, I took your face
Like it was yesterday, I remember.
Into my hands, and kissed your cheek.

I am weeping.

And I asked you to not leave me?

You asked, yes…

And you promised?

Yes, like yesterday I remember.

Did you lie to me, Latangi?

No
.

Did you?
No.
Did you lie to me? I am eating this dust?

Look to your left.
I am squinting. I am crying, Latangi!

To the tree.

Where?

Higher. Higher.


© Ciprianowords Inc. 2007


Saturday, April 07, 2007

I Am An Orchid








I Am An Orchid


A girl told me, so it must be true

And I told her she was a peach

I said, “When I look at you

I think of how a man will preach

until he is black and blue
and never know the half of who
God is”, and she said, “Teach

me the way that I may eschew

all others, and preferring you

above them…” just then I reach

her lips with mine, and two

and two is one and each is each

and we, no longer on the beach

with juice and petals slipping through

our hair and hands, are lost to view.


© Ciprianowords Inc. 2007

Lines

Lines

Do not like ruled paper.
Give me the blank white page.
Do not want lines.
Much moreso do open spaces
Appeal to the thinker in me.
Would sooner write through them
Than on. The lines I mean.
Whiteness. So if I veer, I veer.
Untracked snow for highway.
It is cold to explore. To write
Is to make my own lines.

© Ciprianowords Inc. 2007

Monday, March 19, 2007

Levels









Levels


I wonder if it is hotter
On the fourth floor of hell
Than the third. Or second.
No doubt the first is warm enough,
Housing, as it does, the inferno.

But the second, or higher?
Think about it.
Heat rises, as a rule.
The full wrath of a flame is in the tip.

One thing is certain,
To do it right you need tiers.
Elevation. It stands to reason.
Controlled, long-term roasting means levels.

© Ciprianowords Inc. 2007

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Phantasm


Phantasm


I walked across a field last night
And though you were not there…
The scented, memory-laden
Mists of you were in the air.

And these were scattered by a breeze
Whose message was the same…
For distantly were whisp’ring
Aspen leaves that knew your name.

And even when the gathering winds
Surrounded like a fire…
The gusty tongues could only carry
Thoughts of you still higher.

Where up above, and far apart
Two lonely stars were gleaming…
They followed me across the field
Last night as I lay dreaming.

© Ciprianowords Inc. 2007

Friday, February 23, 2007

Iceberg


Iceberg


Sinking, I say it.
I love the five-sixths under water
As much as that above.
Her nose on mine, she shudders
No, it’s not there. She sees no smile
But feels it, loving
That I won’t drink of her whispered lie.
Her tongue is proof on my lips.

There is no land here, no footing.
No world.
Just her kiss, a punch through iron
And a wound one wishes for.
This ship is going down.
Hold on. Hold to the iceberg
White, and warm.

© Ciprianowords Inc. 2007

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Hallowed


Hallowed


In an instant every place
You were is hallowed.
The signboard and its menu.
The window you peered into,
Rejecting the d├ęcor.
The chair you draped your black
Scarf over. Hallowed.

You turned your face aside
Laughing, when I misjudged
The power of wasabi.
We waltzed to no music
And later, in an instant, the paper
Cups we tossed became holy.

A taxi took you.
And I walked those damp,
Fresh, haunted streets.
The grey bookstore-cat
Looked up at me,
Wondering

How can I be here?
And you,
Not.

© Ciprianowords Inc. 2007

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Superior


Superior

The regular get-together rolls around.
Michigan, Huron, Erie, Ontario.
The Big Guy is invited, but he never shows.

Too busy… too many boats on his back, says Erie.
Too deep, murky, heavy for his own good, says another.
(Nodding all around, considerable turbulence.)
Unfriendly is what! Strutting his own endless shoreline
like he’s the King of Freshwater.


Then Michigan, silent until now, clears his long narrow throat:
Calm down lads. He is the King, but remember…
He’s only above us if we’re looking at a map!


Have you ever heard four lakes laugh?
I mean all at once?
It shook birds out of their trees in Buffalo,
And sent several quick waves to smack that Pier
jutting out into the Chicago harbor.

© Ciprianowords Inc. 2007

*********