kites can't fly

a diary of march memories










































prologue























march begins in white.
In thirty-one days,
earth will witness a costume change.
   
Today,
  we live in the hope
      new birth allows.
Winter didn't destroy us—
    it merely held us back.
march will bring about . . .
                        only change.
   
We'll both go on running,
                    perhaps away—
                        We have to,
it's the way we've lived.
   
march begins in my belief in you.
I've listened to your dreams
  and heard the doubt in your eyes.
My confidence in you
         breeds confidence in yourself.

I believe in you—
                      I do.
   
I know this march
you will see realization of dreams.
And with the winning,
you see how easy believing becomes.
   
march will make you reach out even farther.
   
I see you starting the revolution,
          curing indolence,
            or even understanding me.
   
I'll chronicle this month
for you—
                   for me.
I'll paint your life
through my eyes.
   
Throughout march
I'll be there for you.
                        So dream,
if we both wish them to come true,
      how can they not?

























march
             









































morning






















march 1

march begins,
          and nickel beads
  serve as a simple present.
Thirty-one days,
and thirty-one days closer
               until you go.

When you go,
take with you march memories
                         and me.

My goal this month—
     spoil you with simple presents,
       define a vocabulary of smells,
  and give you all of me I can.






march 2

As sure as Rome and Marseilles
fills your mind of tomorrow,
today should be saved
       for alabaster and wedding wine.

Keep the simplicity of today intact.
Remember the little runs we made,
      the honesty we fought,
    and the promises
we swore.

Remember?

You promised you'd never see Greece without me.






march 3

Spring brought with it
the end of winter's hope.
I sat watching you,
  huddled in a long black jacket,
praying for the sun.

How I wanted to hold your hand
                    in summertime,
and share an old blanket
    with Sinatra and German wine.
Picnics and sleeveless walks
were only two of our winter wishes.
How large they seem,
                      how important—
when snow stacks on the window sills.

You survived this winter with me,
      and I because of you.
We'll conquer this summer;
winter's hope will become a reality.

Spring is so near,
              stay a while—
      we've come so far.






march 4

We fought a battle with honesty
    and came out unscathed.
A battle we entered
knowing full well
we might not survive.

We sat toe-to-tow,
inches away from aggression,
both fighting a defensive war—
releasing truth,
        then waiting for a reaction.

I cut open my heart,
placed it on the table,
and let you watch me bleed.

You opened up,
as much as you could,
and let me pretend
          that you answered my questions.

I leaned forward,
far enough to see if you would catch me,
but not far enough to actually fall.
Testing you,
                    for me.

I talked for such a long time,
I began to sound silly.

Don't you know what you own
with that smile?
                    —ok, you win.

So ended the war of Brutal Honesty.
I concede surrender.
To the victor go the spoils.
I'm yours,
     with all that I can give—
  just me
      and honesty.






march 5

This thursday,
the red march sunrise
bled on my valley
as I tried to wake up
      without your smile.

Yesterday,
we spoke over gyros and honesty,
and I felt you left
with my heart secured to yours.
Now,
     you can react.

I've lived past the jaded dialogue
        and cryptic innuendoes;
I've tried to read your eyes
      by the width of your smile.
I've fantasized shocking or impressing you,
        or you trying to impress me.

Today,
          I've already planned
    what I'm to say to you.
That's how I spend these march AM's.

I wonder what I would be doing
if I had never heard your laughter,
or been caught in your eyes.

The red sunrise
held me for a moment.
I held your smile.
I'm still wondering
if you know what you own
     with just your stare.

I wonder.






march 6

Spring is not a change of season,
it's the beginning of life—
               A genesis.

I've come to believe the elements
give man one more reason to forget.
     (Not that he needs more.)
In july,
the shade is friendly,
and man forgets how he prayed for sun
                  in january.
Or,
    when in the dark days of winter,
man forgets how he cursed
the sweat from his neck
and how he fanned himself
    with every paper or leaf
he found under the torrid sun.

Man forgets yesterday's comforts
like woman forgets the pain of childbirth.
A blessing and a curse.

So spring doesn't bring back memories,
it creates them.

The march morning we hear a robin,
we feel it's the first bird we've ever heard.
And when the sun strikes out bold enough
to allow man to brave outside sleeveless,
we pretend we've just been emancipated
    and celebrate with smiles and hope.

Man has evolved to one god,
but now worships the seasons.
In spring,
    the sun becomes a saviour.
In fall,
    the first snow is an assassin.

We endure both,
begrudging life,
and forget the comfort of simply living.

Man,
    simple man,
  the victim of his own simple mind.






march 7

Will I survive the many marches of tomorrow?
Will the serenity of simple presents
                      live beyond me?

If march would last the whole year,
I'd fill it up
    with fresh larkups and jelly-beans;
I'd capture a cardinal
        just to watch you set it free;
I'd even steal the brisingamen
and sprinkle your neck with myrrh
              to see you smile.

Everything I want,
      I want for you.

Kites and conches,
earrings and pencil poetry—
accept simple presents as love.

In some future march,
if you are lonely or lost,
pull from the lunch-letter file
        a simple present.
It proves that you were loved absolute.
And that is important.






march 8

Hidden deep in Oquirrh cedars,
I began this long journey to today.
I've watched you grow
with the wide-eyed optimism of a child,
and I was happy to let you watch me grow.

Back then,
I live smile-to-smile.
I was awed,
        open mouthed,
          just watching you.
Your walk itself is a dance.
You flow in movement.
I catch myself,
lost in your eyes,
forgetting that you can look back.

That timed pause as scenes change
      and screen fades to black.
The laughter you encouraged
without throwing comedy;
          You are pathos in conscience.

I smile watching you.

                   Back then, 
I lived smile-to-smile.
                              Now,
I live on just one smile.

One smile,
so far away
from Oquirrh cedars.






march 9

How hard you press to grow,
leaning on so many other's yesterdays,
not satisfied with the you
god and fate has molded.
I've sat beside you
happy to be nowhere else,
watching you wish you were everywhere else.

While those around you spend minimum wage
                      on fashion,
you search out cloth from decades past—
     and look like Bergman, Garbo, or Taylor
  prayed to look.

While others turn up Sting,
        you search through my records
  for Otis Redding or Billie Holliday.

Then,
          when others play age games,
you sit back
and dream of the ages you'll conquer.

You are so above the rest of the world,
            and you know it.

Me?
Certainly,
I am not easily impressed.
But you impress me,
    even as I watch you grow.

I'm beginning to wonder
if you are above me.

I mean,
    my god . . .
  you've even been to Union Square.






march 10

Me?
I've already told you
that I am not easily impressed.
I have trouble applauding.

I may be a cynic—
        life's taught me that;
    love's proved it true.
I run because
I simply know no other way.
     I've lived head down,
leaning into the wind—
      whichever way it blows.

I'm not easy to know,
but you know that.

I'm used to living
  entertaining myself,
collecting stories,
    and gathering little sorrows.

I can't believe sharing is so easy.
Are you better than me?
                    No,
  but I'm better with you.






march 11

Selfishly,
               I reach out . . .

I want you for me,
  not just in smiles,
          or in the spring sun,
    or silly lunch letters.

I want to hold you when you cry,
and stroke your hair in silence,
    or brush your cheek in doubt,

I want to break the quiet
with I love you,
  and see a smile in response.

I want to explore
the child in us,
the one we both
    (through destiny or design)
                lived past.

I want you so selfishly,
I'd even give up tomorrow
              for one touch
    in this sunrise to sunset.

Selfishly,
I'd even hear
the song of the swan
just to hear you laugh.

Selfishly,
I reach out . . .

            Sadly,
                        I wait.






march 12

As if march brought a que,
you spread your wings
      and tried to fly.
As if I were impressed by flight,
I kept a vigil on you
as you lifted yourself off the earth.
As if you needed an audience,
you turned down to smile at me.
You caught me
hiding the line
I had secured to you
in an effort to keep you safe . . .
        and tethered to me.

I was scared.

You see,
      I had forgotten
that you were safe.
You've been in flight
    all of your life.






march 13

Captured in black and white,
and at five years of age,
you sat with a smile
you can never achieve again.

Frozen,
  big toothed and little hands,
        you completely fill that time
with absolutely no knowledge
of what the next decade will bring.

How easy it is for a five year old to smile—
          how easy indeed.

I was caught holding your image
Open-mouthed and awed.
Because even then,
  a dozen or so years before you knew my name,
        your eyes owned me completely.






march 14

Because you don't lean on me,
I can't feel if you're tired.
But watching your eyes,
        and half smile,
  and the tiny labour in your walk,
I can see you need a rest.
            (or respite as I say)

Maybe the southern sun
would have been the spark you needed
to attack these last three months.
Maybe the browning of your flesh
    and laughing in arid air
would have been the much deserved indulgence
                    you craved.

Still,
          you turned it in for adulthood.
You being responsible—
    I am impressed.

So as a simple present,
accept cashews as solace
for that aborted summer weekend in mid-march.





























afternoon






















march 15

A march moon
would occasionally peek out
of high late winter clouds
to see if I had surrendered yet.
I hadn't.
I was just too stupid to retreat.
I had seen too many old movies.
There, the hero always won . . .
                      didn't he?

You sat,
    stoic to the end,
            watching me bleed.
I was confused,
            hurt,
  and not in character.
Imagine picking this time to tell you
                  that I love you.
It was just the wrong scene.
I was waiting for the director to call,
                          'cut'.

Your silence was torture.

I had rehearsed
    and was flawless in script.
The march moon was a painted backdrop.

Opening night;
                I was rived by honesty.
Please, someone, call,
                        'cut.'
I've lost my lines.

You spoke of times away
and non-intentionally chided me.
Clenched-jawed,
I turned away.

Damn it, call, 'cut.'
This is wrong . . .
                    so wrong.

I turned back
just as the march moon
bounced off the millpond,
creating frightening shades on your face.

You became Narcissus
right before my eyes,
even more selfish
than I could atone for.
So gentle in darkness—
so vicious in moonlight.

I felt victim,
defensively spewing out emotion.

'Cut,' someone, please call, 'cut.'

I felt that all the sacrifices
I had sent down
were never really realized
                      or appreciated.
And all the steps forward for love's sake,
were taken as an unbalanced stance.
And all the simple presents
were only just that.
I've spent the last few months
loving you at an absolute—
      didn't you see that?

I reasoned aloud,
trying to escape with some semblance
                              of honor.
Ad-lib in discourse,
sounding silly on purpose,
      pausing only in prayer,
hoping to hear someone yell, 'cut.'

Imagine me in that scene.

The march moon
crawled across the northern sky
thankfully the only audience.
I felt kicked,
        and close to the end.
All the sad scenes
in all the sad movies
seemed campy at that moment.

Reality of my own making.
How honest,
          how brutally honest.

Now,
          past status quo—
  tomorrow,
I'll survive.

All these years of lonely
and I pick tonight
to finally swallow the courage
to say I love you.

Wrong night,
  wrong scene,
   
All so wrong.

Cut!
     please,
            cut!






march 16

I woke up bitter.
Even the pink sunrise went unnoticed,
                          as I,
          clenched-jawed,
recalled the evening before.

Honesty betrayed me.
Imagine,
a student of truth,
cut by his own questions.

Snow fell wet and heavy that day.
My heart was pressed even lower.
I hated everyone and everything.
               I hated him—
  and I hated you.

I found out
my silence is the only thing
            I can trust.

Today I dedicate to bitterness.

Don't you know
you're supposed to feel
the way I want you to?






march 17

A ST. PATRICK'S DAY LIMERICK

The fiction of fred
Through no lack of fact
An idiot's play
always on the wrong track
A pathetic old man
This fool fred duran
thought he could love
      then be loved back






march 18

Standing in the window,
with Kitaro inventing behind me,
I stand,
    stare,
      watch,
          and wait.

I don't know what seems longer—
waiting for you,
or waiting for you to come back.






march 19

I wear guilt like a wet overcoat—
              it's a burden.
But overcoats are made to hang heavy.
I can't believe
I feel this guilty
for just loving you.

Outside, the world buzzes by.
The sun hangs in mid-sky,
and I honestly feel
the lone cloud
is my fault.

Children play in fenced schoolyards,
  blue-suited salesmen invade the streets,
  and I am afraid to leave this shelter alone.
If it were raining,
perhaps I'd venture out.
Maybe then,
no one would notice me
lumbering in my overcoat,
hung low
      with the quilt
of loving you.






march 20

These days of loving you
have brought with it
this endless array of hope.
You give,
        and give,
                  and give—
                and I want,
        and want.
and want.

In the end,
I confuse want for need.

I need you.






march 21

A COMPROMISE (circa 1983)    

You call me a victim.
Do you mean that?
Or are you still trying to injure me?
Haven't you seen by now,
I don't cry.
Or if I do—
you'll never see.
I'm not proud of being a loner.
      and at times,
I'm not happy being alone.
I've brought myself to accept that.
Now,
      I accept only that.






march 22

A COMPROMISE (revisited '87)

I've bled quite a bit in four years,
          and I'm still bleeding.
I've run by and over so many bellies,
my running away
has been confused as a phallic strut.

How odd to qualify myself to you,
how refreshing to share guilt.
I could open up and gush shame
and you would smile at me minutes later.

I'm so different from that victim of yesterday.
I've grown since then—
                        and lost.
A million little sorrows
have past my ears
and a half dozen dreams
            have been half chased.
I'm different now because of you.
I trust you.
Now,
    if I cry
I know I can cry in front of you.






march 23

Me?
I've already told you
that I'm not easily impressed.
I'm frightened more with life than death.
I wish on a more simpler time.
I carry the world's guilt on my back,
    and cry with little sorrows.
Stupidity frustrates me—
but frustration feeds me.
I laugh at clout,
and shrug material.
I'm mostly confused,
              wary,
and easily hurt.

I've lived with myself
for far too long now;
I need a new smile to spark mine.
I'll give you the task,
if you promise not to hurt me.






march 24

A blue post card of Francis Albert,
          and a Costello poem—
it was easy pretending
you spent the whole of the day
thinking of me.

Tomorrow,
we'll take this show outside.
The late winter sun will comply.

These four walls
have had enough of us this winter.
It's time we test new wings—
    no matter how frightening it may be.

I'm not afraid you'll fly,
I'm afraid you'll fly away.






march 25

We entered this march afternoon
                    sleeveless.
Blue of sky,
    like none we've seen since early fall,
            begged us outside.
I saw your smile in sunlight,
and the hues of blue absorb your green eyes.
I saw your bare thigh,
  as you kicked the white cotton skirt
                            with your walk,
                      untanned and rough.

So much time has passed
since we last claimed the sun—
  so many early dusks,
  so many frost coloured dawns.

Since we last claimed summer,
we watched the first snow fall,
celebrated the winter solstice,
            bowed to Orion,
and I fell in love with you.

Summer is about to come around again,
and there are so many things we yet to do.
So many winter wishes
we have to act on.
So many smiles
I have to give to you,
                  and you to me.

I thank my god
for sending you along this winter,
and for bringing summer around
                just in time.

We have so many summer dreams to share.

We'll worship the sun,
and in return,
            it will tan your thighs.






march 26

Today begins the last quarter of your youth.
Seven more weeks, and the end of innocence.
Pity you lost the facade so long ago.
How you could have used it these last few months.
You threw it away
              —or traded it in—
      on a red badge of maturity.

Instead of the confusion of a child,
    you gained the wisdom of age.
When boys played with tonight,
  you slept dreaming of tomorrow.
In place of ignorant excuses,
      you took full blame with no regrets.

Before full-term
you cauterized the umbilical cord
and with it the security adolescence affords.
I met you as a child begging to be a woman.

Now you stand in front of me as that woman
                    who has given up childhood
        in exchange for early maturity.
Tell me,
                was it worth it?





march 27

A MARCH HAIKU

tell me
will enough love
pass through your heart
to touch me?
I need to know

























dusk






















march 28

Not even this late march snow flurry
can dampen my spirits.
In hours,
the sun will awaken from it's nap,
and slap the snow into gutters and puddles.
Tomorrow it will be spring again,
          and I will have beaten winter.

Soon,
        butterflies
  and powerlines drooping with sparrows,
will fill my day.
Soon,
I'll have a noticeable tan line,
                and more importantly,
            notice yours.

It's tomorrow that pushes me through
these last march snow flurries.
I've been around enough season changes,
that no matter how negative I become,
I know winter always ends.






march 29

I've decided your silent rejection
                is poison.
A contagion I've begged for
and open-armed accepted.
I've hung on your voice,
even in polite refute,
    begging for one more syllable.
Not a Siren,
but more like Hero—
    as I Leander,
brave the Hellesport.

Everyday,
I smash into the rocks
and die a martyr's death,
only to be resurrected the next moment
            begging for your poison.

Feed me,
      I beg you,
                feed me.






march 30

Southern winds take the corner
        and whip this valley.
The warmth of the tropics seem confused
blowing through bare trees,
and brushing the snow on the ground.
Isn't it the sun's job
                  to melt snow?

We walk in the light
                 face up.
We smile at the sun,
forgetting it was there all winter.
We even ignore the last valiant patches of snow
stubbornly hiding in the sanctuary of shade,
                or the northern side of buildings.

Who thinks to thank the wind for spring?






march 31

march ends 
in blue,
and a box still full of simple presents.

You injured me in honesty at mid-point,
as if you knew the plot needed a turn.

Thirty-one days
since I began march memories—
     a half dozen snow falls,
    and a dozen-dozen sorrows.

march left with your smile,
    just as it had begun,
and I have a million memories.

I set three goals then.
    You ended my simple presents,
      everything smells like you,
        and I should have said,
  I'll give you all of me you want

I did.





























five sundays






















sunday one


Sunday one,
and for three hours,
I talk without using english.
I've found out
that I stutter in other languages,
and not surprisingly,
I found out that the word love,
    in any tongue,
is a difficult word for me to say.

I'll spend the rest of the day
                  recording McKuen,
and staining poster board with pastel chalk.
I hope I'm successful,
I need accomplishment this sunday one.

This march,
my god has given me five sundays,
and since I can't spend them all with you,
I'll spend them thinking of you.

Sundays are important to me.
They are a reward
for surviving the other six days.






sunday two


Eight days into march memories,
and I spend the whole of the sunday two
      sharing your memory with McKuen.
Winter still holds this valley captive,
and I sit writing pencil poetry
with stocking feet
pressed to the baseboard heater.

In this late evening hour,
I run between imagining you in Nice,
    and the two of us sharing Athens.

As god has given me five sundays this month,
surely he'll give me Mediterranean memories
                    to give to you.
We've come so far
in so little time,
and yet . . .
            we have so far to go.

Close your eyes
this second sunday,
                imagine
                        it will last forever.






center sunday


The mid point,
a center sunday.
We shared James Dean,
    Cherry Coke,
      and scales on the first three frets.
The day seemed oh-so-perfect.
This is what sunday means—
  the rejuvenation of a lazy day.

We talked of forever
over red meat and a violin;
we met a familiar stranger
who knew us differently at the same time;
and we watched the last seconds
               of a CYO championship.
I told you the story of the friendly spirit,
                        and you smiled.
We sat on the hood of the big red one,
    and watched the silent city.
I felt like I would never be lonely again.
Truly,
      this is what sunday means.

All this,
                  then you destroyed my soul.






sunday four


I gave the fourth sunday
to an old friend.
I called in a few favors,
opened a few doors,
brushed off some old dust,
and said hello again to Harry Chapin.
Eleven discs and perfectly preserved memories.
All those stories,
all those faces,
all those memories—
it proved that I lived before this march.

If you ever need to find a reason for me,
you'd have to run past Harry Chapin.
I learned to feel from Harry;
I learned to gather stories,
And I learned to share other's sorrows.
Most of what I have become,
    I owe to him.

I had to prove a past this sunday four,
        and without physical evidence,
Harry was the only proof.

Harry and me
on this fourth sunday
reliving my youth.
Twenty-six sides,
                  and me.

It just so happened that one sunday ago,
you took away my presents
                        and present.
I need to feel my past today.


On July 18,1982, I wrote:
          If god wanted him so badly
          why did he take him so violently?
          why couldn't he have closed his eyes
                                and died,
          leaving us to wonder why?


Thank you, my friend.
Thank you for this fourth sunday.






the last sunday


As I endure the last sunday,
I lock the universe out of my little world.
All it took was the turning of a dead bold,
    and the unplugging of a modular plug.
This is not the first sunday I ruled a recluse,
but today especially I keep for myself.
This is the last sunday of five
god has fashioned for me to wear this march.
And the first four have sailed by without victory.

This last sunday,
I press rhyme and verse
with jazz chords
and reward myself with an extra large avocado
            and two bagels.
I try to spoil myself,
though all I live with,
is your rejection of two sundays ago.

In this last sunday's bid for solitude,
my music just isn't loud enough,
my rhyme comes out stilled,
and the extra bagel made me sick.

So goes another solace sunday.





























obituary






















O-BITCH-YOU-ARY

Death shades life a rosy colour.
The mortician's paint fills in cracks,
                  and whitens teeth—
even pant cuffs are straight in the coffin.

He died and smiled at his wake
knowing he took advantage of simple minds.
The headlines played out his final joke:
               ARTIST DIES
One last laugh.

Art comes from giving part of one's self to others,
               the sacrifice is holy.
This man lived on self-indulgence.
He created art in his own image
and said that it was good.
Born out of a confused decade,
the world played emperor,
            as he played clothes-maker.

Do you suppose Monet
would have played guest VJ on MTV?
Or Rembrandt be forced to weld soup cans
                          to make the rent?

He once said,
    (out of text),
Everyone will be in the spotlight
for at least fifteen minutes.
For twenty-five years,
the spotlight was his,
and everyone else had to share the shadows.

I want to meet he man who called 'SLEEP' art.
Even Truman Capote left us sketches.

Shame on the man
who selfishly uses art as fuel
for his own indulgences.

I wasn't fooled.

His epitaph should read:
     Here lies a man
     who shit in front of fools
     and begged them to beg him


Art will not see another like him—
                  Hopefully.





for ddk

Smile,
it's your gift to the world.
So many have leaned on it
for so many years,
it's difficult to remember
you had sorrows also.

Some sundays ago,
you were the only charge I had
to arm me for monday.

Some sundays,
you were all I needed.

You taught me how to raise a smile
just by walking by.
Or how to laugh at my mistakes
in front of eyes who need
a crooked bull-legged tramp
to reassure them
that the Hollywood dream is not only for
  straight-toothed, blond, hard bodies
    who only breath.

I'll take your sunday inspiration
into all I become.
And see the sun
as a clown
who's only crime
is the need to hear the sound
of other's laughter.

I'll try to enter
each new endeavor
with the spirit of you in,
      ta-pok-it-a, ta-pok-it-a, ta-pok-it-a.

And I'll share your smile
with everyone I touch,
because it was your gift
              to this world.






for fools

Of all the million sorrows this march,
your deaths caused only a curious ripple.
Youth thrashed is sad,
innocence lost is a crime,
life erased is a tragedy;
you took it upon yourself
to cause all three.

I'm sure you all had sad stories,
(everyone has a sad story)
    but you took more than you gave.

Is that fair?
Tell me,
could you have helped mankind one day?
Could you have made use of the life
the gods worked so hard to create?

Three dollars of gasoline,
and an old camaro—
  suicide is so fucking selfish.

In that house
you secured
in your conspiracy
              for a lugar de' muerte,
you left behind a dog and two cats,
who died scratching at a door
waiting for you to come in rescue.

Did they sign
your little suicide pact?





for rp

I woke up in River City, Iowa
                        one morning
and never really left.

Though the rest of the world
will always see you
dressed in a red jacket,
I saw you much differently.

To me,
you were a . . .
          lumberjack
          cowboy
          oil man
          doctor
          baritone
          space warrior
          soldier
          rancher
          quiet hero
          despondent salesman
    and an old queen with a head cold—
                    and as me.

I never told anyone,
but I saw myself as you.
Whenever I thought of something witty,
I'd always deliver it with your smirk.
And when I was charming,
it was with your smile.
I'd walk with your saunter,
and brush people away
      with the wave of your hand.

I'll always life in
The Dark At The Top Of The Stairs,
      vulnerable,
        and always running uphill.
I saw myself as you,
defeated enough to sleep on the sofa,
but arrogant enough to answer back.

I'll always use your lines,
      and pretend I'm you.

I've already said
I'm not easily impressed.
But you,
          you were my inspiration.

  ". . .how hard it is pretending to be a man."
What a mouthful indeed.

As long as I live,
you'll remain alive,
because in little special ways,
                  I'll always be you.






untitled

A half dozen years ago,
you turned your head,
      and I smiled.
Then,
turning again,
you let me into your life
          for two hours or so.

Midnight and whiskey sours
closed your eyes as you opened up.
I sat crossed-legged,
absorbing little sorrows
              and your tears.

How close to the end
you said you were.
How close to the rope.

You left glad to be you,
leaving me glad to be me.
I said,
     "If ever you feel close to the end,
      call me first.
      Goodbye."

Hello,
six months later.

You were crying.

We hung up laughing
on how I saved your life—
how I saved the rope.

Another three weeks,
and the phone rings.
The battle close to over,
you call your only ally.

I listen . . .
              you cry.
You cry . . .
                I listen.

Again,
we beat the rope.

Today,
I heard the rope won.
Five years
and a thousand miles
detach me from your last laughter.

Now,
your smile is only a memory.

That thursday night,
I was out playing,
swallowing self-pity,
and chasing my own heart.
I was selfishly in love.

I wonder,
if back home,
the phone just rang
                        and rang.

























the last sonnet























march, that time of year for a new spring
carries hope, prayers and a graceful plea
a silence beseeched by silent dreams   
an affliction shared by all who breath 
your eyes and mine caught up in this toil
victims of faith and ignorant to candor 
claiming ourselves victor eating the spoils
deaf to the tocsin, ignoring the banter   
the arrogant youth capricely wrong
so selfish in doubt, benevolently
open minds closed, reason but gone
effortlessly young as it will always be
     you who at times
     so full of being you
     age and hurt will bring about
     sight that's true




























can kites fly?






















one

. . .Back before too cold picnics,
back before the water gun hit on Raoul,
even back before the absent weeks,
                    I gave.

Remember the dress
I stay up all night sewing?
In twenty-four hours,
we went from dream to inception.

That black crumpled thick pullover—
              it rode you well.
I was twice proud that night.
Were you proud of me?
You never told me.
In fact,
your self-imposed exile seemed the reward.

That dress—
it was my sweat on your back.
How I loved doing that for you.
How I loved thinking of you.

I made you a dress.
Who else would do that for you?






two

I end this day
swimming in ecstasy.
My smile is genuine.
    It's a gift from you,
a simple present of sorts.

Not only did you share my midday,
you left behind a token of memberence.

I consumed the whole of the day
lost in your smile.
I educe from the simple present
        that you were thinking of me.
Had you planned it or not,
      you left me all the green jelly beans.






three

Like the player I am,
I enter your dreams in character.
In my unsteadiness,
        I run constant.
I am always just me,
              in love,
        hate,
or both.
Any other way,
and it wouldn't be me.
I mean,
there you were,
naked atop an all glass building,
running from a mind controlling enemy,
stricken by amnesia,
inside a pink ladies powder room,
                    eating dinner,
  dodging your Uzi totting mother.
And me?
I make my entrance in a black suit jacket,
        skinny black tie,
    and cheap sunglasses.
Any other way,
        it just wouldn't be believable.






four

I should have placed heed in the barb.
I should have listened.
Yes,
      I should have been prepared.
Beware the Ides Of march.
I should have paid attention.

But I thought they were in April.
I swear I did.






five

Watching you eat a plum
with the incessance of dialogue,
I see there is poetry in almost anything.

In my time,
I've seen trains rush gulls off cold tracks,
and sat for hours on a cool bedrock
  watching a May spring churn underfoot.
I've touched pink sunsets,
and seen puppies open their eyes
  for the first time.
I've heard the song of a dying swan,
and watched children awed pulling a kite.
I've looked down at the silent patchwork
of the midwest at 32,000 feet,
  and watched birth minutes after watching death.
I've touched the hand of Harry Chapin,
and kept eyes on young lovers
  smiling just being in love.
I've run breathless into an autumn colour-burst,
and stood stilled in the deafening quiet
  of a January mountain snowstorm.

Of all god's little graces,
to me the most poetic is you . . .
                    simply in motion.






six

Now that winter has beaten us back,
we relax in the calm
surrender has afforded.
We dream of a time when shade is an ally,
          and cold a refresher.
Days when we're allowed to bare our thighs,
(revealing yet one more of my infirmities)
and the hair on the back of your neck
              is uncomfortable.

We enter march
full of winter's frustrations.
We've spent the last four months
cursing the winter,
    feeding cabin fever,
      and planning for the sun.
Though winter walks away victor,
we remain alive,
but only because of surrender.
march has come to set us free.

I remember how brashly you planned escape,
  and how you set scenes for being away.
I knew how you felt,
    I was planning too.

Winter's held me prisoner as well;
so I need your stories,
  and I need you to hear mine.
I knew one day you'd be gone.
I also knew it was winter that kept you
                        by my side.
I looked forward to warm reluctantly.

This is march,
just being a good guy
didn't stop spring.
I'm forced to enter warm
loaded with winter's frustrations.

Listen,
I'll carry the burden of winter's wishes
                    for the both of us.
Just stay with me.
It's finally the warm we prayed for.
And I believe in happiness
                      and you.
It's getting harder,
but I believe.
        Do you believe in me?






seven

Childlike, you sit across the room,
avoiding eye contact,
figuring silence is understood;
knowing I know what you meant.

Childlike, I sit facing you,
hoping you turn to me in whispers,
and say all those little lies
I've pretended you say.

Childlike, I ignore the truth.
Fantasy rules us now.
You've won, as winter has.
I wouldn't even hurt you for my sake.
I remain alive, but beaten.
A child believes kites actually fly
            magically by themselves.
The string is only tied to keep them close.

Childlike,
I pray you look at me long enough
so I can ask you,
    do kites really fly?






eight

The agony of an electric guitar
      bleeds at 100 watts,
  the 4/4 poetry of a gravel voice
atop a bed of a garbage-can-snare,
      and shouting in rhyme.
This night goes on
with wine coolers and untamed rock and roll.
What a generation I live in,
with rock stars as prophets.
Twenty-five years ago,
and back to the beginning of time,
antihero wasn't even a word.
I once told you,
     your poets think they have vision,
     mine only prayed for sight.
After the center sunday,
I was lost in angry lyrics.
I had a need to forget.
With volume up to ten,
and eyes closed, I forgot.
I used your poets and it worked.
          Angry antiheroes?
    What have we learned?
I mean,
  they've even found new words
                      to rhyme with love.






nine

In conversation,
you brush my hand in eye-play.
Unconsciously,
you enter mental intercourse in control.
The one touch broke my concentration
as I suck in your perfumed air.
You once told me
that I even speak in poetry.

I tried to compare your touch
          to some earthly sensation;
all I could come up with was this:
     your touch is like
     on that hot august night
     as you lay awake
     battling fatigue with insomnia,
     the most settling feeling you get
     is when you find
     the cool side of the pillow.


Not very poetic,
huh?






ten

One day,
the midday sun will catch me napping
      with a smile on my face,
dreaming of some early autumn picnic,
                  or august sunset.

One day,
      I'll wake up,
and catch myself laughing out loud,
      or smiling at strangers again.

It will happen,
of that I am sure.
One day, I'll be happy again,
    and I'll swallow the day without effort.

Until then,
I'll keep it as my little secret.

Today is having too much fun
bringing me down;
            so silently . . .
  I look toward one day.






eleven

Memory can be kind,
    and in time it can gentle.
But keeping chronicle on march memories,
I hope I preserve the hurt I felt
                    at your hands.

I want to remember
reading your poetry,
impressed by your awkward,
    but perfectly cadenced and metered rhyme.
Then, realizing it was for someone else.
I want to remember
spending the rest of the month
hating everyone with hazel eyes.

I want to also remember
the silence you grew on that center sunday,
and how selfish you sounded out loud.

I want to keep the ache
of your absence alive,
so in time,
    I can hold alone in prospective.






twelve

     thursday march 13
Today,
the world celebrates
            the anniversary of a birth.
I had other plans.
A diet coke devoured
with a sesame bagel
and cream cheese with an avocado.
It was reverie.
But how could the day end
without a tribute to your friend steve?

Don't get me wrong,
I like steve.
I just don't have a need
            for his friendship right now.

So with sincere respect, I write:
     the trouble with being a rebel
     is that you can never truly see reality
     because the moment you do
     you have to resign as rebel
     and enroll as cynic.


Happy Birthday, Steve.






thirteen

. . .Back before James the Rebel,
back before the glasses we shared with Steinbeck,
even back before march memories,
                      I loved you.

This month of emotion
has truly been a roller coaster ride.
Your smile was the apex,
  and your rejection
                became the anti-nadir.
I learned so much this march.
I learned that there are no true boundaries
                        for love.
You taught me that.
We made up little scenarios,
      then acted them out,
playing both roles in chillingly true character.
I learned that even acting
      can be reality.

I truly learned much this march.
I flew higher and fell harder
    than I knew possible.
But I wouldn't trade even one march memory,
      because I shared them all with you.






















epilogue























I'm sure I could have ended this suite
with something like—
     march complete,
     and I gave love absolute.
     Here on paper,
     between smiles and tears,
     is a month of memories.
     So ends march,
     and I stand alone again,
     sure that tomorrow
     will find me
     an April fool


That would have been easy,
but you should know by now,
            I'm not that easy.

I lived march on paper,
putting down elation
                    and
                      devastation
      as record,
where in my past,
  they lived in my mind alone.

You gave me the strength
to blueprint my soul.
I thank you for that.

march and you
taught me a great many things.
I learned how far I can reach for love,
    and how far the lonely walk back is.
I learned it's not always love that wins.
I learned that a smile can cut both ways.
I learned that sometimes honesty can injure.

I remember touching the sky,
    flying with your smile.
I remember feeling so pretty,
    as I caught you staring at me.
I remember how proud I was
    when you proved adulthood.
I remember time actually standing still
    as we walked together
            in dark or day.

march could have lasted forever,
if it meant
                  that we would.

Now,
      march gone,
  and you so close to being so.
Tomorrow,
all that I will have
are these march memories.
In the years that follow,
they will conjure up emotions
I buried twenty-odd years before.
The highs, and not-so-highs
    will be remembered—
as will your green eyes in the sun,
and your hair,
always in your face,
until that gentle push by you gentle hand.
Your walk will freeze for me in time,
as will your walk away.
I'll remember the sound of the wooden stairs,
holding you up underneath tapped heels,
and the smile you threw as you walked
                            into my castle.

I'll look back on you in silence.

Thank you
for whetting my writing.
I don't remember being so prolific.
Love songs are so easy to write now.
All those verses before,
when I had to take my heart out,
            and pretend to love,
  are now real.

Thank you for growing with me.
I took hold of the past
for you,
  and realized it was also for me.
I learned jazz guitar in three months,
and took your thoughts,
then transposed them into chords.
That impressed me—
          and I did it for you.

Thank you for reading my stories,
that's why I wrote them.

I'll look back on you in silence.

In march,
we said goodbye.
I heard forever.

Goodbye,
I'll miss you.
God I already do.

I wish I were more of what you wanted,
maybe then you'd stay.
No,
  that's only fantasy,
                    pure fantasy.
You are the one
who is supposed to be the idealist.
        I'm the realist,
                          remember?
I see the true colour of the sun.
And I know it's the wind
that pulls a kite in flight.
I can't pretend it's magic.
          No matter how hard I try,
                I know kites can't fly.

Tomorrow
        and tomorrow,
look back at me with smiles.
I tried so hard not to hurt you,
and even though you did,
I know you didn't mean to hurt me.

Now,
I'll look back on you in silence.

One day I'll own Greece.
    I know that now.
I know that all my dreams will come true.
I have the knowledge of hope.
You gave that to me.
I owe you.

I was the one who loved you
  in these years of your life.
And I probably always will.
I'm yours forever,
and I'll look back on you in silence.

Now,
        I need the strength to let you go.
I need a new reason
to face the day.
I know soon you'll be gone,
        leaving me with march memories
                          and myself.

If I see another winter,
and consequently another spring,
I'll look back in you in silence.

Through all the uncertainty of the future,
what I do know for sure is . . .
    your memory will survive,
          I'll see summer alone,
and march will be back again
each
      and
          every
                  year.