A Cargo of Green Hearts
In a tent a thunderstorm is
proof of all the world's roofs
and the invention of prayer.
all night long the wind, an insane
giant smashing shit
I fear for the morning
all the spread-eagled things:
squirrels in their shredded crepe-
nests of leaves and twigs;
on a thin branch tiny kinglets
shivering in rows like dominos
the homeless and their cardboard ribs.
someday Shiva, when you step
straight down on my chest
even here in a safe, dry home
I hope your foot finds a fat
heart, juicy as a watermelon
softened in the season
of mad wind.
having come down from the scraped sky once
again the ten-thousandth trip or more, probably
more, my ligature hardened to it, not many
like me, hamstrings so cabled even years
of chiropractics can't loosen. unlost by attunement
as a bell or spiderweb to a breeze
in-the-know of the knoll-curved and
cutbank-curved, stone-hipped or breast-wooded
or thorned nose sigils, whether bent or re-bent;
whether unspoken or spoken satanically
echoed, echoed back, here hill-shoulder, there
finger-point of ledge and the tattle scents
not unlike from the hollow beneath the arm of a
lover, these things and more so that it will
take a thing as terrible as Death to confound me
before I ever become lost. having made such journeys
over forty years repeated I am devolved nearly
to half-bear and still the bears flee me seeing I am
half-man, stranger to all worlds, lonely, and not
unlike Cain. I stopped wearing shoes fifteen years ago.
I could turn sideways and vanish like a folded shadow
and you would not believe I ever was. and now, again
I return though am less sure to what, similar perhaps
how Lucifer returned to Heaven again, over, over
to speak of the wonders of the dark to a God who never
witnessed: sometimes trees fall not by wind or sag of age
but of the cause of silence, too heavy. in those moments
a single breath will fill the entire forest and all the
trees inhale to catch it on their tongues green
and legion. in the spring the springtails, tiniest of legged
beings migrate in billions, for what no one knows
to where no one knows, an urge miniature but dense
as an atom. press a hand to the ground and they will
sooten it to a living glove. I have seen mossy beds fit for
lovemaking and branches sprung ready for the hanging
of saints. in winter storm the sky striving to mimic the
earth so painted perfect that only the hollow sound
of bones shattering would announce that you’d
trod on air away from ground. I know to stand when
the clouds prepare to part and to bow before they
slam like bookends around my head.
in the end all this wisdom will make sense
and then I will die of it.
the land has character, waits dormant for action
to be spoken of, to be told stories of or lied of lovingly.
and yet I’ve returned. would it matter if I told you I was
raised crazy in a land where everyone bashed their
skulls together. where elephants run cripple for the
want of wastebaskets. where all the bees have convulsed
and died for the Aryan cruciform of pure lawns.
I’ve long since stopped being ashamed of my ignorance
of pop culture, of the patches on my shirts, or the way
that I replace words I’ve forgotten with grunts and whistles.
the wind knows how to fill all the mind's holes and I am an
apt pupil. only the obsessed run to the mountains and
do what they’re told, following the whims of dead
pipe-smoking white men from Boston. they’ve taken
their crazy with them in redundancy, in ambition, in
derivative circles. mine—let the
coyotes have it, pluck it out like the offending eye
spoken of in Matthew, let it be strewn for linear miles
like the guts of a slain fawn.
and yet I’ve returned. say it is for a kiss, or else the common
taste of something unholy. perhaps I’ve come back to speak
with you, something of owls, of the lateness of crickets
of the shortness of time.
you used to smash plates when angry.
I was eighteen. I wanted
to smother myself in you the way
the moon rolls around in dark
bedsheets. I recall the day I left:
wasn’t less hungry or lunatic
just tired of all the splintered things
in my bed, it was like sleeping with nails.
day before, you’d broken the car window
said you’d do the sun if you could--
crush its smiling orange face.
and so while you were at work
I left nothing, erasing even my
shadow. near the end of the two
hour drive I could feel your hand
squeeze my heart
and although it did not break
like everything else, it held more
blood than I ever imagined.
If there is a soul,
soul you are a boat
if the heart is quartered
like a compass
heart, the boat waits
mind, you know too
much of this planet
of scorching things
and clever words.
my shopping cart is
full of shit and deserves
I have no mind.
hands have held
dust and stuffed it in
this mouth. hands
what do you have to
say for yourselves?
feet, are you tired of
eyes, point the way
please. you know
the truth about heavy
water. yes the sea
is needed to set things
right. surrender, feet.
head, any hat will do.
face, I'd have a word with you
to your face.
Durga, I'm so confused
by all these parts you
gave me, too many,
most no good
for crossing the sea.
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