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Be more than your smile,

he said to me.

My butterfly earrings,

catching the sunshine,

light off my own reflection.

I am in love with an illusion,

my friend said.

It’s about the ego,

she said.

That wispy ball of candied fluff,

crescendoing us ever up and up~

Thanks for opening these doors for us,

my baby said.

Oh, you haven’t seen our new place?

There are new walls to decorate, furniture to buy, rooms to fill…

until the project’s finished,

and then?

The instructions say to rinse/repeat.

But wait, let’s:

Breathe in the sharp air.

The one that smells of burning wood, your past.


let the cringey memories rise up,

bobbing there alongside the more becoming ones.

Fragments of life,

collaged together—

discovery in the juxtaposition.

What do you need, my dear?

When you have a community,

you have a foundation to express yourself,

Eric Mosley said.

That’s it. The foundation is shaking.

Left instead to root within,

without that mossy sponge to cushion my feet.

A chapter’s closing.

Do you feel it?

Spring was exceptionally rainy and cold,

like palms

ripening with beads of bittersweet.


she comes and goes in starts and fits.

And here I am,

back down,

subsumed by the minutiae of it.

Forgetting is a luxury of our time,

Dario Robleto said.

And yet, like a child dreaming of Marzipan,

Lyn Lifshin said,

we whet ourselves again and again.

What do you need, my child?

Whisper it softly like soundless tears,

let them barrel down.

I’ll be here to hold you,

hold you here in your own creation.

Be more than your smile.

That’s what he said.

And, where’s that smile now?

I’m reaching back round to the beginning,

— arms stretched - fingertips extending —

to that one I’m more than now,

now that it’s all there’s left to be.

I catch the scent of tobacco coming in from the balcony

It’s the scent of my first boyfriend, of a recent lover

of my past

I drown my hands in the suds

and scrub the dishes clean before me

Letting the emptiness fill me,

carry me like the air carries the bubbles

that escape from the water in their attempts for freedom

When the house is empty, and I feel far away from everyone and everything,

I think of what was lost and what is still to come

I search for that stillness that I’m told is within

I find films to watch, projects to do, books to read

to enlighten myself

to sharpen that dull mind of mine

to keep busy

To distance myself from the animal me

that craves for simpler things,

reacts to the raw information of feeling and emotions





Those raw morphing elements that constitute our dispositions,

that distract and belabor

entrance and transfigure

bind and release

That point us somewhere, vaguely,

in the direction of home.

I was born by a river

in a little tent

Words singing over time and space

somehow lodged in my heart,

though never intended for me.

It’s a melody that simmers inside me,

plucking at some new kind of wavelength

or maybe reverberating through what’s already there?

Stories of places I’ve visited, perhaps still rich somewhere in the stores of my memory, but reduced now with every telling.

A tired pattern I watch myself elucidate, again and again, time after time.

I was born by a river,

in a little tent.

If we take it metaphorically (as was the intention one can suppose), weren’t we all?

The flow of life rushing by: us huddled up under paper thin nylon, pretending as if our makeshift shelters can shield us from the reckoning.

I said I was booorn by that riverr

and it’s been running ever since..

Can we catch up?

Or is it a train we are destined to keep on missing?

Henry Miller says:

“To sing you must first open your mouth. You must have a pair of lungs, and a little knowledge of music. It is not necessary to have an accordion, or a guitar. The essential thing is to want to sing. This then is a song. I am singing.”

It’s been a loooong time coming

he said

but a change is gonna come

Oh yes it will.

I let the notes die in the quiet between refrains

I watch the water rush past

I let it all exist

And tell you so now

for reasons unknown,

reasons that rise like that river, like the song.

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