Thursday, January 15, 2009


About a year ago I completed a long sequence of poems about women called "Frissons". Eventually, I might post the whole thing in sequence, but here's a taste for now.

Emerald Island


The smile neither kind nor happy, like fog

In branches pierced by sunlight shadows,

The brow pale and seamless snow.


She has not lost her beauty and her eyes

Are almost complete with intelligence.

Where is that sultry bitch of twenty-one


Who would not let love precede what came

Between her thighs? Why did her children

End up hating her for no reason at all?


She sits now on a blanket on the snow,

Smiling an exhausted smile at the camera.

A photo I won’t see for another year.


Don’t be sad, old friend, we were never

Lovers and we never hurt each other

More than children do making faces.


Your face, as beautiful as light, grinned

With a secret knowledge not of me

But of inner questions you never spoke,


That even today keep you as far from me

As the consciousness of space is space

And the knowledge of the past is past.


Your sorrow kept you small in your own

Eyes, and kept apart all meaningful contact

Even when my hand was beneath your shirt.


Your fingers, taking a cigarette from my hand,

Slid across vast stretches of my skin

To make evident your fear of the cold.


No, that’s over told.  You simply meant

To turn on the young man you asked

For a ride home from the dance, your date


Having abandoned you for no reason.

Remember, you laughed with wonder

When I said I loved your summer dresses.


The great wonder is how such a wonder

As you could believe herself beneath

Every man she thought that she could love.


I got over you forever if not completely

And today I mourn your sorrow and ask

What new fog shadows your loveliness?

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