Here' s a poem I've entitled Night Spreads. It's not one that I recently found in my notebooks, but one I had typed out. I don't know when I wrote it; vague memories tell me it might've been in the middle 1990s.
Night spreads and forwards before us
over the rooftops of this city
like the wings of a large, dark bird
flying on its hunt. and as night goes forward,
it does not think of us
as it comes to replace the day.
Soon, under night's protective wings,
men act as they would not
during the harsh, exacting light
of the pitiless day, its gods, and its priests.
Murders, lusts, thefts, lies, and secrets flourish
under the protection of night
which gives the promise
of anonymousness --
the crazy ones
do those things in the daytime,
anyway. that's why they're considered
You and I lay on a rooftop
watching the night spread as we left our room,
too hot for tolerance. As we watched
the night spread, the lights came up,
breezes came down, and we felt cooler.
But the heat came up as we made love
and we covered each other as the city
whirled and spirled around
beside us on the roofs, beneath us on the streets.
It sweat, we sweat, all sweat -- a good sweat.
The poisons left our bodies.
We drank some water, and a little bit
of red wine, cooled by ice,
as we rested while the night
covered us like a sheet.
and we wondered if the heat
would curdle the loves and hopes
of the city's residents
into hates and cynicisms.
If the poem above is like a kite, these tail end pieces are like the tail attached to it.
I want to be inside
the mind of a bird
to understand the
in the blindest
darkness of the
We talked of the differences between people who say maybe and the people who say perhaps.
We talked of people who are nice and good for the sake of being nice and good and the people who are nice and good so others won't be nasty or bad toward them.
I'm trying to imagine an oyster that's producing a pearl.
I wonder what it feels like.
Is it like a woman, pregnant?
Is is irritating at first, then do oysters get use to it?
She told me of a young man's face, smooth and blank, like that of a comic strip character. His eyes and dark pupils didn't help him make look more human.
I once sat, like a hen on a chickless egg, trying to hatch something that wasn't there.
Sterility, emptiness, passiveness -- nothing alive in the shell.
Incantations and drugs didn't help.
Patience is running out or getting smaller.
There's less of it inside me to use.
in the center
of a circle --
I feel now.
It's hard to love
just anybody, but
it's easy to love
And by loving
a woman, I enter
the world outside
We left the house
where there was
no rest for
no sleep for
Lord Lord ... how mortal these fools be!
I saw the bohemian
who comes from the world
that considers a tie as
a hangman's noose for
and a suit as a walking
"She may talk too much," said A to B. "But it's like the hum or a refrigerator. It's a sign that she's here and all's well with her. If I didn't hear it, I'd be worried."
"In the old days," said B to A, "people would've said that sound was like that of a teakettle brewing."
for the woman
is the equivalent
of the penis
for the man.
Think about it.
The rot of a dying gentility hung in one room. No air freshener or hardblowing breeze could remove it, for it had soak into the walls and floors. Only by tearing down the house could it be removed from the scene.
There's a world outside there that I must bump against at all times.
How much must I bump against it?
How much will it bump into me and against me -- either from indifference or malice?
I felt the adrenalin
of fight-flight fear.
We could plan a murder, or start a religion.