Saturday, February 14, 2009

2 poems for Valentine's Day

I Like the Hat

The articles of faith
are written in
an ink
that looks
like B movie blood,
but this isn't
a movie,
'though 'tis a script
in rehearsed real lives
whose lines
come trippingly
from the slightest of clues.

"Do you like my hat?”
you asked, feigning vanity,
high beam eyes
looking at me
like I were an alley,
a short cut home,
"Do you think this outfit
is myself external.
or was it just
the sales pitch
I was attracted to?"

I was shaving
a mustache that
to mature

and I was grimacing
at the feel
of the snipers' tug
of the blade
caroming over my skin
when you popped your head
in the bathroom door
and asked the

I dropped
the blade
into the sink
and ran the hot water
the mirrors steamed.

"I like the hat" I said,
towel in hand, face in towel,
"I love the hat,
I love the dress,
I even like you,
and I find your
whole attire
is you
under floodlights
of moon and stars,
full and courtly,

at the beach
on the end
of a long pier
where short walks
took us
where we lost ourselves
in chatter
and my hand found your nylons
while waves beat the pylons
and your hat
went soaring

over and into the water
as your feet
dangled in the breeze
in a whole other direction,

it wasn't the sales pitch your fell for,
it was the sales man
falling for you

and forced
to speak the truth of beauty as it was presented,
he wanted to dress you in hats
and gowns and long white gloves
and imagine lives
in alternative universes
taking the clothes
off you
at the close of days
at the end of piers,

"I love you
with or without the hat
and threads,
that much
I know by heart."

This isn't a movie,
but I can't think
of anything
else to do.
I dropped the towel
and looked
at you
as you dropped
the hat
and some more
and we stood there half undressed,
taking in views
embracing the ivory of enamel,
your legs pointing to the door,
taking me in.


From the top of your head

From the top of your head
flowers grow that I've never seen
in the nature of my asking
the meaning of this thing, so beautiful, the wind.

The wind in all uses highlights
the shift of your hips
leaning against rocks, the meaning of this,
the earth, the mother of the deals
that have us eating out
of the hands that pick the roots of your hair
that goes on growing like flowers on hills
with all the houses we 've never lived in.

A clap of thunder is applause enough for pausing
to smell the turpentine that revives the hem and haw
of the wood under our shoes,
rainy nights are ovations and the trance
of still looking into your eyes
where I've always seen them,
on pyramids, in circles,
thirsty yearning.

From my hands comes ruined meaning
about hammers and nails and the holes that made them,
I've stared at your face on the ceiling all night,
water flows where there is no resistance,
insistence makes me forget and remember your names,
every center has a heart
and every heart is broken.
Into your face t
all roads split down the middle,
the wind is a whisper
and a rustle of notes
coyotes cry
in the wake
of our progress,
so beautiful, the wind,
and water rolling
in circles, in circles, in peace.


  1. I like your poetry Ted. Do you own your own bookstore in San Diego. I wish I could get in for the Comic Con down there this year.


  2. Thanks for commenting. Sadly, I've never had my own store, but I have worked in bookstores for the last twenty seven years or so, in various capacities. It seemed like a good trade to go into with my literature degree. I hope you're able to make it to one our ComicCons; I went last summer and it was a blast.

  3. Anonymous10:47 AM PST

    I remember this first poem. I read it over and over, because I liked it very much, and wanted to be able to comment on the why of that.

    Reading it yesterday and today, I think it's the intimacy. The way two people can talk to each other in that code only intimacy allows.

    Too many folks confuse sex with intimacy, and I'm sad for them. I'm tempted to be happy for them that they've so far avoided the pain of it, but there is something too equisite about the touch of someone's fingers on your own heart...that's gotta be worth the pain, yeah?


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