Monday, December 29, 2008

Tell Me












Tell Me

Turned away, my lover murmured,

I actually think that others often see us
more clearly than we see ourselves.

Into her neck I agreed.

How can any of us do otherwise?


A story is a re-telling, every word a reflection

of something other. Little good it did Narcissus
to stare and stare. And stare.


My lifetime, I wonder, and have wondered

how it shall end. Holding I am lovely!

to a mirror.


!ylevol ma I

Better that someone else should see this.

And tell me.

© Ciprianowords Inc. 2008

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Here We Are Now


Here We Are Now


How can I sleep, leaving so much unread.
Notice, it’s not a question.
How can I leave here with so much unwritten.
Again, no one asking.

Why should I climb aboard a train I bought no
ticket for, clacking toward a stop I want not.
I like when my chest goes up, from the down.
No desire to leave it there, flat.

Porter, tell someone else this is their stop.
Or another, “Here we are now.”
I’m nowhere near done. In fact, I do not
remember agreeing to a single –

You know what? [first question] I can carry
that, if this is my damn stop. Already
the trees that flew past my window for days
are missed missed missed. I would climb them.

Would. Wood. What I desire. And trees.
I recall a lifetime of such speculation, but
God, these bags are filled with gravity.
And [second question] how far am I to drag them?

There were as many books before you were born.
Yes, but don’t tell me that, not now. And as much
unwritten – oh please, no more questions.
Notice, no one was asking one.

© Ciprianowords Inc. 2008

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Squirrel










Squirrel

Oh, so humiliating, to be reduced
To such – such irreducibility.
To have this one, accentuating feature
so – so – accentuated.

I try to hide it, yet can’t.
It’s there. It’s there, I must admit.
Confounded bushiness,
how I despise thee.

I’d prefer “puff-cheeked,”
“buck-toothed,” or “talon-footed.”
But no. The accursed appendage
shall surely chase me graveward.

Would it help you, dear rodent?
I promise you, I swear.
I shall never once, when referring to you
use the term, “bushy-tailed.”

© Ciprianowords Inc. 2008

Sunday, December 07, 2008

She Listened


She Listened


She listened, while I said things.
None of them [my things] made sense.
Even to me, truth be known [but it wasn’t].
It [my words] made sense, not.

But she was listening, so on I went.
Out the window, beside her left eyebrow
some geese migrated south. I saw them
but she didn’t, because she listened.

A jet landed. I saw the wheels come out,
and the leaves in that tree turned orange.
[Still she listened] and on, like bees
I droned, making honey.

Flipping a page from October to November
she fixed her gaze on my babble. I missed
not a beat, but many points were lost
and the rain barrel filled with cold water.

White flecks of ice frosted the pane,
and with one breath the chill was gone.
It was not my breath, but hers. In back of it
was the word, “What?”

© Ciprianowords Inc. 2008

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Empty Skull of the Poetess


Empty Skull of the Poetess


What of all her musing if it comes to this?
Socket and jaw, lips that shall not kiss
beyond the compass of her time and place.
Recall the sadness of her thoughtful face,
the scratch of quill in candled bliss?

Oh, I do, I do. And few knew her my friend
as we did. ‘Tis so, agreed! To what end
shall we commit this find, will it rest
beside that of her husband, but blessed
above his station? This, I would intend.

Well then, let us carry them to the tomb
where they shall forever reside, in whom
they have believ’ed. None wrote like her,
nor jested as he. But let God himself confer,
Yorick’s wife wrote verse when in the womb.

© Ciprianowords Inc. 2008

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Nomenclature


Nomenclature


We label a thing and think that’s what it is.
Meteor, nitrogen, corpuscles, larynx, God,
follicle. The goal seems to be simplifying,
acknowledging, and quite often, I fear,
dismissing.

An agreement of sorts is what we desire,
or common currency. Therein lies progress.
Admittedly, this is so. But what we name
did quite fine before us, and will do well
when we are no more.

The Earth is not the earth.
Blood is not blood.
Fire is not fire.

We each had a pulse long before
we knew of aorta, artery, or atrium.
May no words choke us, even as the letters
your mother, your father, decided upon --
continue to not be you.

© Ciprianowords Inc. 2008

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Old Bucket


Old Bucket


All my life I’ve carried things.
So many falls so many springs.

Frosty mornings, cooler eves.
Boots below me kicking leaves.

Crooked handle, dented in.
Squeaks against the rusted tin.

Target practice, I’ve been there.
Years in barns with not a care.

Rediscovered, then re-used.
Refilled, hammered, and abused.

From this truth I have rebelled.
I’ve carried nothing. I was held.

© Ciprianowords Inc. 2008

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Consumed


Consumed


My rough hands across the satin of your back
last night.
The raspiness was incongruent. You moaned.

There were infinitesimal hairs before my lips
met your shoulders, that I kissed.
My spirit left –

me.
You have redefined so much.

To leave or to continue.
My mind has never been so devoid of thought,
upon a subject.

© Ciprianowords Inc. 2008

Sunday, November 16, 2008

What It Is


What It Is


Not necessarily the absence of loneliness
but as good a place as any to start. Because
it must include this. The bird without feathers
does not fly, but put a bunch on me!

So it’s more than orgasms, simultaneous
or otherwise. Glances, winks and baubles.
Should contain all of the above, along
with a scent of perfume unsprayed.

Edna told us it was going back and forth
all night on the ferry, with merriness. Or
so I freely interpret. And it is this, it surely
is, boat capsize or safely dock.

But at the top of the staircase is the landing.
Here we stop, and embrace, knowing that
none of these pinpricks of light below us hold
a mutually beneficial friendship, like ours.

© Ciprianowords Inc. 2008

Friday, November 14, 2008

The Rowers












The Rowers

Above the table, a Renoir of flush-faced rowers
Finished rowing, hangs. And he fishes a boiled
Egg from its shell, as she grabs his wrist,
The knife quivering.

Rather than saying, What? Now, at breakfast?
Or, I just had a shower! he sets down the knife.
Takes her face in his hands, and kisses a similar
Ruddy blush. Toast can be re-toasted.

Sweet Lord, you cannot hear the sounds from a
Room down the hall, nor see. For your ears,
Your eyes, are not here. You are there.
Only these two, are here.

© Ciprianowords Inc. 2008

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Initiative


Initiative


I have seen that eyebrow raised just like that before.
If I’m not mistaken, back then it led to good things.

Why is it now I wonder?
Why is it now I hope?

I never wondered or hoped before.
Back then I knew.

Now you have cut silence in half with your eyes.
With a flicker, two letters vanished from impossible.

Come to me.
Let me add to your initiative.

© Ciprianowords Inc. 2008

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Earlier


Earlier


Speak to me like you spoke nuzzling
as the fireworks quit echoing
and the smoke cleared.
Tell me what you said when the ducks
paddled toward the bread we threw.

Whisper what I felt when your soft hand
on mine, squeezed.
Shiver like you did before I wrapped
your own jacket ‘round your frame.
Feel what made you throw it from you
Earlier.

Tell me again, how Hopper speaks to you.
Show me that shadows are what words
want to be. When I take that book
from the shelf, recite to me the first sentence
as you turn to the night
and lift a glass to your lips.

Tell me what I already know
but want to hear now,
and keep hearing, until I am long dead.

© Ciprianowords Inc. 2008

Monday, October 27, 2008

Victoria


Victoria


I will walk you, I will love you.
I will kiss your trees, roots to branch.
I will savor the flavors of Pagliacci’s
with my love. Together we will browse Munro’s
followed by a diet-ending visit to Murchie’s.
A stroll along the harbor, drinks at Charles Dickens
or The Sticky Wicket. Endless are the joys
you bestow, Victoria.
That same night we will tell certain buskers
to get a real job, and throw change to others.
Laughing, let me thank you in advance.
Yes. Yes. I’ll bring an umbrella.
No. No. We will.
We will walk love kiss
savor you,
Victoria.

© Ciprianowords Inc. 2008

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Like Clove












Like Clove

Around one I hoped you would be the last to leave.

I had never talked to anyone like this, like we did,
and you were still there at two. I watched as you

quickly gathered your things, girlfriends tugging.

Longing in your eyes as we shook hands?

A feeling of not wanting to open mine ever again.


When I finally did, there was your scarf left behind,

and me wanting to hang myself with it. Fearfully,

the myth of you mingled with this scent of clove.
Thread and fiber I shall keep, one day wrapping

the back of your neck and drawing to my lips

yours. Giving to you what is not mine anymore.

© Ciprianowords Inc. 2008

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Dripping


Dripping


Cheapest frame in the world.
Hanging that new Renoir print gave me a sliver.
How something so small can hurt so bad I’ll never –
never mind, I need the tweezers.

There’s you singing, singing something, splashing
and me fumbling in the cabinet.
Where in the hell are those damn –
never mind, I found something else.

I found myself arrested, seeing you
not seeing me, watch. You cavorting with innocent
devilry, behind that frosted door --
never mind, I quickly forgot my pain.

You slid it open and groped for the very towel,
my numb self handed over. You dripped
from your hair drops I would drink, and did –
never mind. This was all a century ago.

© Ciprianowords Inc. 2008

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Hum And Thrum


Hum and Thrum


I first heard the phrase in Sandburg, who
claimed that a singing copper wire, in a gerundive
fashion, used these words to summarize its purpose.

Love, war, money, fighting, tears, toil, desire,
death and laughter, all crowded the passageways
and left in their wake, this electric noise.

Since first reading his Under A Telephone Pole
I cannot tell the times I have stood, hand on chest,
marveling that all of these pass through me daily --

“In the rain and the wet dripping, in the dawn
and the wet drying,” while no one, myself included,
from Galesburg to Chicago, hears a thing.

© Ciprianowords Inc. 2008

Sunday, October 12, 2008

When I Kissed You


When I Kissed You


I thought I knew soft.
Knew what it was. How my cereal
Gets when milk stays too long. How
Earth becomes mud. Or decisions
Falter. How the stock market collapses.

Things we thought solid, evaporate.

But then --
No. Before that.
Your eyes.

There is no calamity your gaze
Does not correct.
Your intention, harden.

As I lean towards you, do not move away.
This is meant to put a platform under me.

When I kissed you on the lips
Several newspapers stopped their clatter.

© Ciprianowords Inc. 2008

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Blackness


Blackness


Black’s got to be the most serious color.
Is it a color?
And I don’t mean skin.
I mean existence.

Existence, whatever the hell it is,
Is black.
Take away the planets. Stars.
Suns.

What’s left?
Whiteness?
Are you retarded?
BLACKNESS!

Existence is either a giant eyelid
Or [what is more likely, and what I
Suspect is closer to the truth] B
L a c k n e s s.

© Ciprianowords Inc. 2008

Wallpaper












Wallpaper


The wallpaper saved us.
I suppose we have never argued, like tonight.
There were times when you may have had a point,
But mostly no. Or, I cut you off mid-yap.
But my God you were a grizzly with threatened cubs.
My fingers, tapping the table, were all I had.

You stormed off, as you should have.
At that moment there was not much more to growl,
And the windows were fogging up. That slamming
Of the bedroom door made me writhe in my skin
Till I faced the wall. And my proof-reading mind
Found the out of sync fleur-de-lys.

Or whatever they are called. The paisley things.
They do not match.
And I remembered not only the laughter,
But how the whole sheet fell on us as we placed it.
Back then when Love usurped the tornado warnings
And we lost our patio furniture to the vortex.

When your breath was lilac and wonder of wonders,
Mine, too. When we both thought us attractive.
When our square words fit the round holes, and I am
Walking toward that door you slammed, minutes ago.
I am going to love you tonight. Some things
Do not line up, but goddamn it, they stick!

© Ciprianowords Inc. 2008

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Inscription


Inscription


Who was more startled, the old cat or myself?
We both awoke as the door chimes let me in.
I am escaping rain. The cat, jaw on paws
Too tired to yawn, glared.

Fabulous used bookstore. Truly serendipitous.
Look at how this Daniel Deronda yields itself.
Falling open, and staying there. Inviting.
Taking nothing, it shared.

That frontispiece, oh sacred title page.
I read, To Christine, Merry Christmas, 1983.
I know at once, a non-smoker, not Jewish.
Perhaps twenty when I was.

I buy the book, this talisman. What do I know?
Tired of George Eliot. Rhymes with “pristine.”
The rain has stopped, so I leave with her.
A green eye winks, jaw on paws.

© Ciprianowords Inc. 2008

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

The Up-Arrow


The Up-Arrow


It was the click of your heels on the
marble
foyer
floor
and the whole open-concept ocean breeze
wafting through that first
threw me off my mark and
then I pressed that button that lit up.

I spread wide the curtains to the night.
Open
the balcony
door
you said, and we watched a cruise-ship dock
while laughter floated up from
our very chairs below, still warm.

Turning, I realized one should be at least
alive
or
dead
because in the few seconds it took you to
throw your blouse on that chair, I knew my
ghost was not going to survive.

Later, in your arms, I turned your face to mine
and
just
then
felt for the first time in my life that from the clicking
to the pressing and the spreading and the
dying, that all of this –
All of it, was why I first breathed.

© Ciprianowords Inc. 2008

Friday, October 03, 2008

Pointing


Pointing


Suns and moons weaker getting always.
Once faster than me ran. Then my
walking I look back to her. Three suns
she fall not moving and wait. Small one,
no white water and wait. We wait.

Three moons now I know and draw.
When not move ride on this. Flapping.
I see and now draw. And I know.
After hunt, when fire move and heat
and moon I bring here and will point.

© Ciprianowords Inc. 2008

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Carvings


Carvings


Here is the rain-eaten picnic table where
we carved our names. You carved yours
and I, mine. While I cut, you told me
that forever, as long as gravity rained
drops on wood, for that long your true
love would continue, eroding things
that were neither you nor I. Seasons
would cease to divide years before
the half of your love would trace a
circuit of a quarter of the heavens.
One-tenth of what either of us felt
would cease to matter at all were
we to remember but this minute.
But I have remembered. And I
am rubbing my hands across
your promise, which clouds
have eaten so thoughtless.
Your name lingers, mine
is less carved now, and
chipped. I sit here and
wonder. Where are you
today? And how did
we believe that time
so favored us that
we’d be exempt
from what all
lovers’ tables
have known
since knives
were held
in lovers’
hands?

© Ciprianowords Inc. 2008

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Hooks


Hooks


Darkness had not finished with the air.
Cool, it filled our excited lungs as we ran
to the dam. The hum of pent-up power.

Before the floodgates open, all is laid bare.
What was covered, snagged. Revealed.
Hurry, someone woke earlier. See?

Like gulls, we ignore last night’s shoreline
and skip to the treasures. Everywhere.
Each rock seeming to yield shiny tackle.

Laughing, we know that we will catch fish
with these. Look at this new one, David.
The guy probably cast it only once or twice.

Only Jesus could have walked here last night
as the mosquitoes ate us. And we reeled.
With a divine ease now, we free the hooks.

© Ciprianowords Inc. 2008

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Dog


Dog


Look at a dog.
A dog is thinking. Unlike
A cat, say. A cat is sleeping.
And dreaming of more sleep.

But look at a dog.
His tail is a separate entity.
Unlike a horse.
Horsetail is pragmatic.

Check out this dog.
Not that one, the other --
With the dripping tongue.
There is nothing as salivic.

I knew one named Bogey.
I’ve met no man, smarter.
Even his owner. → Dumb,
Compared.

Ever hear one in October
Barking far away? Yeah.
It chills a part of you you
Knew not was there until.

Look at a dog.
They say a chimp is closest
To who we are. Look at a dog
And say Bullshit with me.

© Ciprianowords Inc. 2008

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Mars On Vacation


Mars On Vacation


Why do we call it sleeping together
When hibernation is the last thing on either mind?
I slept not a wink.
But I think you did. Or maybe I am mistaken.

You looked so at peace.
And that’s another odd phrase. We say it
As though it is the profoundest mystery,
When the furthest thing from anyone’s mind is war.

I looked upon your eyes and your lips
As you lay in our bed of comfort, with me.
Bed of comfort.
Heaven’s anklet.
Whiskers disturbed from purring.
Mist on Avalon.
Juno satiated.
Jupiter undone.
Mars on vacation.

© Ciprianowords Inc. 2008

Monday, September 08, 2008

Camille


Camille


I thought I had a favorite song until
eyes half shut and vodka in flight
a lifetime of longing beckoned me
from the neck up, to the stage.

I turned to see you as oblivious to
my terror as a deer in the branches
pulls leaves before hearing fear.
As though no one’s life was over –

You went on, chorus and verse.
And a piano tried to add a little
something to the perfection of
my demise, my neck-down defeat.

Forgetting you is not the problem.
I have since learned that I must.
But tell me, Camille, how will I
ever remember anything else?

© Ciprianowords Inc. 2008

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Unconcerned


Unconcerned


Thirty kilometres a second around the Sun
We fly all of us do. White Black Yellow Red
And Unconcerned.
The Sun nearly ten times as quickly cruises
The Milky Way. Exploding Hot Yellow Bright
And Unconcerned.

Our galaxy two and a half times as fast rips
To the Virgo cluster. Swirling White Dancing
And Unconcerned.
Where anything larger than the Milky Way
Flies we can only guess. Milky Itchy Horny
And Unconcerned.

© Ciprianowords Inc. 2008

Friday, September 05, 2008

A Name In The Sand











 

A Name In The Sand

Your hand once held my own, your
Name, the sweetest note
In a song unfinished --
The reason for my joy. Now,
Sand -- laid out in its infinity
Reminds me of the countless times

My thoughts have held you, while my

Heart was so lonely

That I fell to my knees.


I bend down and write,
Still thinking about you -- sometimes

Love is a hidden message

You find in the first word of each line.


© Ciprianowords Inc. 2008

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Signals


Signals


What if the lovers were subjected to signals?
No speech. No lips. Armless. What if
Tied up, only the eyes were allowed travel?

Tell me how, across this distance, they would
Convey the most elementary intent?
Tell me how the most elementary --

Stop. I see it now. She tells him with an eyebrow
Lowering, that the fight is over. She is sending
Herself over to him.

The ropes loosen, no one knows how,
Or cares. How. She is untying them.
And this is all that matters.

© Ciprianowords Inc. 2008

Monday, September 01, 2008

Old and Wise.


Old and Wise


We link these words together as though
they appear in the dictionary on the same page.
It is impossible to be old and stupid?

I do not believe that years are a constant,
no more than rings on a severed tree
tell anything of height.

Old and stupid is a reality.
As is youth and wisdom.
The difference being how we think,
no matter the current hemisphere
of life.

© Ciprianowords Inc. 2008

Saturday, August 30, 2008

22nd Anniversary


22nd Anniversary


You claimed they ate carrots
And I said no the word impossible
In my mind big as a saddle.

City met country as I followed
You from the garden your hands
Orange and green to the wet corral.

Some you gave to me and the fence
Creaked as the warm lips threatened
To pull me to the muddy earth.

I was twelve and you ten that summer
Darling you are the best thing about me
For as many years combined now.

© Ciprianowords Inc. 2008

Watching A Boat


Watching A Boat

Upon this pier
the boat becomes
a mirror of emotion.
You are the breeze
trapped in its sails
I, the windless ocean.

And like this vessel
tethered here
yet longing to be driven,
You long to be released
and freed
I long to be forgiven.

Look, these thoughts
lie heaped upon
a heart’s undying embers.
You are forever
Unforgotten
I, one who remembers.

© Ciprianowords Inc. 2008

Monday, August 04, 2008

Reindeer
















Reindeer


It is appropriate that the name is unchanged
whether singular or plural.
For tonight I saw one,
seeming to bow for all things living
toward the grass.

The Northern Lights and the stars
were together less majestic than the single breath
huffed, as the branch beneath my foot
sent all things living, echoing
over the ridge.

© Ciprianowords Inc. 2008

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Conjunction


Conjunction


She was the “sun and the stars” to me.
What does that mean, exactly?
I’ve heard it said, now and then.

She was my heat and my light?
Her nearness was far, yet closer than it might have been?
When she shone, I felt warm?

Too bright at noon?
Just right at night?

Astronomically speaking, one thing is sure.
The person who says it
Has no idea that the sun is a star!

My guess is that, since the whole phrase
Is housed in the past tense,
The speaker would rather she had twinkled,
Than burned.

© Ciprianowords Inc. 2008

Friday, July 18, 2008

Balder Every Morning










Balder Every Morning


Like he does not have enough of his own.

He’s covered, from ear to claw with it.

And wants mine.


I cannot tell you how many nights

I’ve awakened to this chewing, gnawing
Saliva-filled, purring feline in nirvana.


My cat is eating my hair.

Nocturnally. And it feels good, to me.

I would not tell that to everyone.

It’s all I can do to make him stop.

I say, “Jack! NO!”

But I mean, “Yes!”

And I think he knows it.
Something so therapeutic about it.

He was born at night, but not last night!


I cuddle him close, so our noses touch.
And tell him to behave.

And fall asleep again, hoping he forgets.


© Ciprianowords Inc. 2008

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Dvorak


Dvorak


How can someone dead six decades before my life
Move me so? How can his decaying tympanis
Cause my heart to quell its perturbations
With a conductor’s descending baton?
Tell me that no genius burned
Within the flags and dots of
Each five-staffed page.
And I will mention,
You do not know
My composer.
My Dvorak!

© Ciprianowords Inc. 2008

We Know We Love


We Know We Love


We know we love, when, if the coin was ours to toss
We would have it land in our disfavor
Rather than someone else’s.

We know we love, when, drinking what is absorbed
By our beloved, we ask,
Is there more?

Tonight, on the way back to the car
I turned toward the misty walls of the hospital
And closed my eyes.

We know we love, when the coin is caught
While ascending. And the question is answered
By something other than gravity.

© Ciprianowords Inc. 2008

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Wildflower











Wildflower


Nowadays, no walking is needed.

Plastic numbers will send tame ones

Around the globe at a click. Try it.

Think of someone in need, first.


Potted, wrapped, still dripping of dew.

Carded and be-ribboned, only idiots

And madmen sidestep such efficiency

Or walk somewhere.


I thought all of this before yesterday,

When… on a hillside I knelt as though

The world were a cathedral. And knew

That I can only enjoy this, by staying.


© Ciprianowords Inc. 2008

Sunday, June 22, 2008

We Didn't Start The Fire













We Didn’t Start The Fire

We would all meet at Tony Jaro’s and someone would start it.
The talking, the topic, the joke, and never a dull moment,
Elapsed. The time I most remember is one I cannot forget.

We were sitting there and as I reached across three shoulders
To grab a fresh Samuel Adams from Gordie it seemed as though
Even that wretched Billy Joel song clamped itself shut and...

It was always burning since the world's been turning.
We didn't start the fire
No
We didn't light it but we tried to fight it.

And David said, “You know, nothing has been the same since
We learned to talk,” and instantly I was dizzy with a feeling
Neanderthal and prophetic. And I recalled how goddamn...

1953 Joseph Stalin, Malenkov, Nasser and Prokofiev
Rockefeller, Campanella, Communist Bloc. 1954 Roy Cohn
Juan Peron, Toscanini, Dacron…

How goddamn difficult, how difficult it was to tie this tie
Around my neck tonight, before I came here. Before. Long
Before I met with my friends.

© Ciprianowords Inc. 2008

Sunday, June 15, 2008

we grow up


we grow up


when I was a kid it would rain and earthworms
would come from somewhere and be everywhere.
by the thousands at the drains, my sister and I
would run as the rainbow came out to the curbs
and gather them, worms for the helpless taking.

in our hands, a living spaghetti of fun would coil
and fret, as we laughed, kneeling. no conquering
knight proud of plunder ever rejoiced as we did
after a thunder. and I wonder, I will tell you what
it is I wonder. I ask where have the worms gone.

tonight I walked home in a downpour and I felt
my entire childhood a farce, a false history. there
are no worms in the curbs, drifting anywhere and
no one running. sadder still, if worms in squiggly
mountains squirmed, even I would keep walking.

© Ciprianowords Inc. 2008

Aging


Aging


White at the sides, above the ears
I noticed them today. Whispy hair
Like snow fresh fallen appears
To have rested, unmelting there.

Should I fight it or become forlorn
Will neither matter, bye and bye.
I shall not fret nor have it shorn;
Shall calmly age, and never dye.

© Ciprianowords Inc. 2008

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Lanolin


Lanolin


For eighty feet or so we are together, mere seconds.
She hobbles in, cute as a sheep, and I smile.
Her gnarled finger illuminates the “L” on the panel.
Our eyes meet, and “venerable” unbidden springs.
I sip at my coffee, glancing at her silver slippers.
…From here to the moon those feet have walked.

The door opens and a clink of keys breaks my reverie.
Ahh! She is going to check her mail, a wink as we part.
In that final descent to the parking garage, I move to
Where she stood, and breathe in six distinct thoughts
Of my own grandmother. Scenes, words, stories.
As I walk to my car, several more arrive… memories.

And three questions, as I drive to work bug me.
What is that smell?
What is that the smell of?
What is that smell called?

© Ciprianowords Inc. 2008

Sunday, June 01, 2008

The Shape I Gave You


The Shape I Gave You


Water looks like what it’s in.
Else it’s flat, and spread too thin.
The shape of you is much the same.
It needs a cup, a house, a frame.

It wasn’t long before I knew
The very curve and slope of you
Belonged in me, to never part
My ever loving, beating heart.

© Ciprianowords Inc. 2008

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Familiarity


Familiarity


Imagine, if you will, a man and a woman, asleep.
Snoring, dreaming, resting, they awaken
To find another next to them.
Not the one they fell asleep with.

A man, given the right conditions, will, at times,
Find this most agreeable.
A woman, never.
There are no such conditions.

And this, my friends, is the great incongruity.
The very reason the world itself is
Tilted on its axis.

Cyclones, seasons, hurricanes.
All are caused by this.

© Ciprianowords Inc. 2008

Looking Behind


Looking Behind


I

Especially on quiet, satiated evenings it will happen.
Walking down the street I will suddenly stop
And turn toward a sense of myself approaching me.
Not of being followed or stalked, but quite the opposite.
The impossibility of pursuit. As though I alone exist
And my steady apparition.

II

Some say this is evidence of a deep disconnect.
Others, of over-connection. Various studies conclude
I exhibit the first sign of lunacy. Bollocks to them all!
Researchers will never understand until they do it.
The looking behind thing.
But they won’t.

III

For the record, my premonition has never proven false.
Believe me, I am quite wary of acquiring
An obsession with emptiness.
Just know that if you laugh I may join you,
Smiling. For I am never looking behind
Seeing nothing.

© Ciprianowords Inc. 2008

Monday, May 26, 2008

Snipping


Snipping


Me and Jim Conley in biology class far
More stoned than the frog spread before us
Would peer with the gravity of surgeons
During a bypass and one of us would nod
Absolving the scissor-holder of all malpractice
So that snip snip snip we’d collectively sever
Long tubes and squiggly things quietly laughing
As our teacher droned on and closer to the heart
With a terminal cut we’d stop it and stare
Just like God would or worse yet two gods
Before filing out to our next assignment
As bells rang and nothing had ever happened.

© Ciprianowords Inc. 2008

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Upon Graduating










Upon Graduating


I hope for you a considered life
In increasing measure.
I hope for you joy in vocation. Calling.

Love.

I hope for you, perhaps above all things,
Love.

I hope for you, prosperity.

The kind that does not trust in money.

I hope for you peace.
The kind that does not depend upon anything

Outside your body. What they call “inner”.

I wish you affluence, based on influence.
I hope for you a life of self-actualization.

I hope that you learn truth as a process.

Your knowledge tentative, capable of displacement.

May regret be the last “r” word in your vocabulary.

I wish you to never harm anyone else.
I wish you recovery, from harm that comes to you.

Joy from a kiss.
Joy from pushing a child on a swing, or throwing

Water balloons.
I wish you a rumpled collar, from time to time.

Bleary, teary eyes, and work.
I hope you no laziness.
A kitten in hand, kissed.
I wish you bills that are paid in full.
And a funeral well-attended.

Aspen leaves, whispering.
And you, hearing.
A life well-done.
A considered one.

Life considered, I hope for you.


© Ciprianowords Inc. 2008

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Fran's


Fran’s


For the hundredth time over the years
I turn, and say “John.” My friend looks.
We are crossing College, on Yonge.
The name is all that needs to be said for us both
To breathe in a new appreciation for air and afternoon.
Aimless walking and air, in the afternoon.

A favorite place for John, in Toronto,
Was this place.
Or is.
Whichever.
Perhaps he still goes there for breakfast.

Both of us wonder the same, and walk.
Not talking. But farther on,
Or even before the nether curb
We again look at each other.

He is not in there today.

John is not at Fran’s. He is a decade dead.
And there are some chairs that he may have sat in
Still sitting there, as they did,
When he did.

To neither of us, does it seem right
That a chair, or a bench, should be around
And John not.
While we keep walking.
All kinds of other things to think about today.

© Ciprianowords Inc. 2008

John, if you’re out there, click HERE.

Monday, May 12, 2008

The Extra Ones












The Extra Ones


We are told that he chose five smooth stones.
Young, and ruddy faced, in 1 Samuel 17:40.
I would have imagined jagged ones to cause
greater cranial damage, but who am I?
This sling was not even the type you draw back on.
It was the kind you whirl about your head.
I know, because there was an artist’s rendition
in the book my mother read, as my eyes fell shut.

So an army cowers, as the boy runs forward,
taunting this oaf! This day the Lord will hand you
over to me. He kicks the dirt and spits, And I’ll
strike you down and cut off your head. Shaking,
he shouts at a helmet that weighs more than him,
The birds shall eat you, placing a stone in the pouch.
Philistine laughter shakes the very rainclouds
loose over the heads of Israel, as the air sings.

And what I love most is not the part where he cuts
off the head. Nor even the part where Saul asks,
Whose son are you, young man?
I love the fact that David took four extra stones.
Ones he did not know he did not need.
The scene that is not illustrated in any bedtime book,
and the sound, ping-ping-ping-ping, denting helmets,
as the Philistines run for the hills.

© Ciprianowords Inc. 2008

Friday, May 09, 2008

A Rare Thing


A Rare Thing


On a park bench it happened.
And telling you now seems an injustice.
Yet I must tell it.
Please, it is not at all you, or me, but words
That fail us both.

I was so down, so down.
You know when your eyes are so closed
That you forget your own name?
And then realize that no one is asking
For it?

Feeling a presence, I opened one.
And there it was, a sparrow.
This is not yet the rare thing.

The bird stayed.
Walked to and fro, and chirped once.
To offer my silly hand would be foolish
But I did.

None of this is yet the rare thing, but
Into it, my hand, the sparrow hopped.
And as I encircled its life, closing my fist
It stayed. It…

As I watched, closed its eyes.
It is the one thing birds do not do.
And in shame, I closed mine again.

I knew then that my sorrow had vanished.
Taken wing. But for confirmation,
I raised that sparrow up to my ear.

Will I tell you that it spoke to me?
No, for it did not. But even if the bird had
Counseled me, that would not have been as
Rare as what happened next.

I opened my hand, and it stayed there,
Soon hopping back to its little perch.
Refusing to leave,
Until I did.

© Ciprianowords Inc. 2008