Portofino, 3AM

The rubber bullets of night have ceased their thrumming against the window

Dreams that wanted to run riot, dispersed to the outskirts of the city

Christ of the Abyss underwater in the Genoese harbor, but not you, not in Orlando

The two cities turning on the axis of old and new prayers

Where you write in skeins of rust, eyes heavy as iron poor blood

All that the Guardia and mall cops have have left to you for the Night Watch

The passwords dissolving in ink and wine

 

 

For Charley

Quadrille 60

I sing you “Alouette”
je te plumerai les yeux, bec, tête
plucked eyes, beak, head
happily stripped to gooseflesh
killing you with my beautiful French
our feathers like songs
we don’t understand
itching under our skin once we’re
hungry enough for love

 

For dVerse Quadrille

Blind Sight

“It is life’s work to recognize the mystery of the obvious”
– Jim Harrison

 

Your laugh a blurry yawn –
I’m so nearsighted you are always

your beautiful best each morning
as you push me out of bed

Yet my eyes have the gift of
near sight –

Husbandry the myopia
of close study and closer calls

That look, too close
for comfort

Such when I roll back towards you
within a whisper of your lips

A semiquaver of your eyes’
plainsong light

I see how love and the world
collapse

 

 
Day 28, 28 Days of Unreason

Haibun – 白夜 (“Midnight Sun”)

“At four in the morning my body bumped against the ceiling”
– Jim Harrison

 

Svenn taught me how to get coffee ready for when we were pulling on our boots to go milk the cows. First, start water boiling in the kettle, then tear open a bag of grounds and dump them in the rolling water. Wait a bit and pour, grounds and all, into a cup. “Kokekaffe” or cooked coffee is what he called it, as best as I could make out. We’d drink it hot and black along with a thick slice of bread spread with butter and salmon roe.

On the islands of Lofoton Norway, like anywhere above the Arctic circle, light is a season, not a daily thump and bump of day into night into day again. The summer sun rolls around the horizon like an infinitely slow roulette marble. Or the electron of a halo, shutter stopped.

At first, I thought I was forever done with night, that darkness was something I could shed and never regret. But after a bit, the constant light started making the cows and the dogs and even the humans a bit crazy. I had to tie a rag around my eyes to try and sleep, since light leaked in through the window blinds despite my best efforts. Eventually, even just knowing it was light outside was enough to keep me awake, sanity slowly leaching out the corners of my eyes. In the end, the only handhold to full blackout was to drink more and more of the Everclear we made in a still behind the barn. Svenn taught me how to do that too.

Who knew how much we crave darkness? How necessary for our shadows to lengthen, dissolve, and fill the sky.

Calls for light season
Hints of crazy spices gin –
Distilled summer sun

 

 

Day 27, 28 Days of Unreason
dVerse Poets Pub, Haibun Monday