"...to enclose the present moment; to make it stay; to fill it fuller and fuller, with the past, the present and the future, until it shone, whole, bright, deep with understanding."

Virgina Woolf, The Years


Not exactly forbidden

I am always hungry
& wanting to have
sex. This is a fact.
If you get right
down to it the new
unprocessed peanut
butter is no damn
good & you should
buy it in a jar as
always in the
largest supermarket
you know. And
I am an enemy
of change, as
you know. All
the things I
embrace as new
are in
fact old things,
re-released: swimming,
the sensation of
being dirty in
body and mind
summer as a
time to do
nothing and make
no money. Prayer
as a last re-
sort. Pleasure
as a means,
and then a
means again
with no ends
in sight. I am
absolutely in opposition
to all kinds of
goals. I have
no desire to know           
where this, anything
is getting me.
When the water
boils I get
a cup of tea.
Accidentally I
read all the
works of Proust.
It was summer
I was there
so was he. I
write because
I would like
to be used for
years after
my death. Not
only my body
will be compost
but the thoughts
I left during
my life. During
my life I was
a woman with
hazel eyes. Out
the window
is a crooked
silo. Parts
of you
I think
of as stripes
which I am
learning to
love along. We
swim naked
in ponds &
I write be-
hind your
back. My thoughts
about you are
not exactly
forbidden, but
exalted because
they are useless,
not intended
to get you
you love
me. It’s more
like a playground
where I play
with my reflection
of you until
you come back
and into the
real you I
get to sink
my teeth. With
you I don't know 
how to relax &
so I write
behind your
back. Which
is hard.
is out of control
you tell me &
that’s what’s so
ill about
it. I’m immoderately
in love with you,
knocked out by
your one
white hair
why should
I had never
known be the
very best there
is. I love
you from my
starting back
there when
one day stopped
being just like the
rest, sudden 
bond and
longing, constant
love, a light-
ning in the
middle of
the day,
a halted step
in the vastly
path of
the Sun. I
squint. I
wink. I
before I
take the
Retailored version of Eileen Myles' “Peanut Butter”


Poem written during you-me

A photograph
on the back of a hand mirror 

resembles someone you knew 
who sang themselves utterly away. 
It cannot touch you
or the sound of the rapids.
Leave it, and walk farther 

crawling up my leg
to find me all smiles
attached to nothing.
You and I can stay
in the morning dew.
My little telephone
in the mulberry fields
going unanswered
on that blade of grass.

Poem written with Basho, by Matthew Rohrer


Ever new songs

If our heart be not meant for love
Then why at dawn do you fill the skies
With ever new songs, ever new songs
If our heart be not meant for love?

Why this garland of fainting stars
Why those brilliant beds of flowers
Why does the breeze from the southern seas
Whisper secret words from ear to ear
If our heart be not meant for love?

Why, with longing so intense,
Does the sky gaze into my eyes
If our heart be not meant for love?

Why does my heart ever, ever restless wander in its madness
Launching its bark on the great ocean
Of which no one knows the other shore?

Jodi Prem Dile Na Prane, Rabindra Sangeet sung by Lopamudra Mitra



Gods demand (O Skin, be strong)

Gods demand we waltz
the teeming hedge
soldiers spread
but can’t quell
what wells

worthwhile’s a made shape
wafting about
in the night so green
all bright ornament
and creamy delay

I take off my hat
I get off and walk

O skin be strong
expand rewardable range
build steady wealth
of shared play
don’t end at lending
nouns to property

consult the ear
consult the air

claim common right
to lick up excess
as a lock’s for frisking
a gale’s gaping gate

they say the submarine
which waves no flag
is a violator vessel

how soft its coax
how smooth its thick white head

adorned and anointed
the bodies of my loves
the fear grins
of great apes

Alli Warren's There's always some bird dog, again, with one minor, significant change.

Source: Poetry (September 2014).