They Melted The Mountains For Us

I

They melted the mountains for us, dear

It was for us that they poisoned our planet

They drove all those species to the brink of extinction

and beyond

for our comfort, our safety, and our pleasure

II

I strangled myself in service to the monsters I made

I called to Death, “take me,”

then I hid from the first sign of his cloak

III

I negotiated my salary using imaginary numbers

and wiped the slate clean with alcohol

Now I wait for the sun to tell me lies

but so far

it just tortures me with the cruelties of truth

 

sun

A Hunger Like No Other

A man who is hungry will do anything to feed. 

And love is a hunger like no other. 

If a man goes without love for a while

he regurgitates his memories 

and sifts through them for any flavors he missed. 

As a man ages, 

and his tastes develop, 

even bitterness becomes palatable.

 

monte.JPG

The Place Where It Started

I went to the place where it started for me and spent time with half the people I’d known there. It wasn’t the way it used to be: it’s harder now to find some words and too easy for others. There are holes in places that used to be solid. There are flowers where there used to be trees. There is death where there used to be laughter, and knowledge where there used to be dreams.

The dark room showed violence, but not too much, and it also showed patience and grace. The room by the water showed the shockwaves of nature and the art that is hidden in food. The room meant for living was filled with opinions – ideas and voices and anger and hope. The room meant for sleeping grabbed me and swallowed, and groaned before hiding away. The room that keeps moving carried a box of silence across state lines where it was opened ceremoniously and out popped another fresh life.

chair

The Light

We see ourselves through the eyes of those we love. 
We are bound to like some of the things we see and dislike others. 
We see our character flaws in their eyes as clearly as we see our physical ones in a mirror. 

Did you ever notice how much better people look in direct sunlight? 
There is a warmth in that light that draws out our best. 
Love does the same thing. 
Even our flaws can be endearing in the light of love.

The Light – by Regina Spektor

The light was shining in my eyes before I closed them
And all the dreams I had the night before came back
The faces that I’d seen looked so familiar
But they’re just strangers, I haven’t met them yet


I know the morning is wiser than the evening
I know that wrong and right can sometimes look the same
So many things I know, but they don’t help me
Each day I open up my eyes and start again


The light comes shining in my eyes
The light comes shining in my eyes
The light comes shining in my eyes
The light comes shining in my eyes


So many stories I want to tell you
I wish that I could show you the many things I’ve seen
You and your daddy, you both look like poets
Your eyes are open wide while you are in a dream


I know the morning is wiser than the nighttime
I know there’s nothing wrong, I shouldn’t feel so down
So many things I know, but they don’t help me
Each day I open up my eyes to look around


The sun comes shining in my eyes
The sun comes shining in my eyes
The sun comes shining in my eyes
The sun comes shining in my eyes


Are closed now
Count the stars inside your mind
Count the breaths, count heartbeats
Count the sounds of life


The light was shining in my eyes before I closed them
And all the dreams I had the night before were gone
The faces that I’d seen looked so familiar
But I forgot them all when I saw the sun

I know the morning is wiser than the evening
I know that all of life just happens in between
So many things I know, but they don’t help me
Each day I open up my eyes and it begins


The light comes shining in my eyes
The light comes shining in my eyes
The light comes shining in my eyes
The light comes shining in my eyes

The light, the light, the light, the light
The light, the light

Two of Them


One of them used to do it
The other never did
The important thing is: neither do it now
One I know better than I’ve ever known anyone
The other I barely know
Or I’m unaware of how well I know her
It depends how close she comes to my dream
One tells me things I don’t want to hear
The other says nothing at all
So I bounce back and forth
Between anger and silence, combustible, cold
They both showed me something usually hidden
I showed both of them something too
I can only hope what I showed them had value
What I saw opened more than my eyes

The Slog

Do you know the feeling you get when you’re hiking and your legs are burning and you want to rest, or turn back, but you don’t? You tell yourself: just a little more, just a little farther, and it won’t be long before I reach my destination. 
The view from the mountaintop, a view that can only be seen after the struggle, will be worth the effort. 
I have that feeling now. 
I don’t mind the slog as long as I can believe there is something worth seeing at the end of it.

Spraying Hope

Walking up Park Avenue the other day I made a right turn on 55th Street and headed east. There was a young couple walking in the other direction, holding hands, engaged in a serious conversation. 
As we got close to each other I saw him let go of her hand with an attitude of disgust and turn away. It was hard to gauge the degree of anger from such brief exposure but I gave them a wide berth.

It feels like anger is everywhere these days and growing more dangerous all the time. A garbage truck leaking brown water from its trough came between me and the sun.
When I got to the corner I turned and looked back to see the couple smiling and hugging and spraying hope like a busted fire hydrant.

Alexander Solzhenitsyn stopped by to see you…

Alexander Solzhenitsyn stopped by to see you today while you were out. We talked for a while about Russian soldiers and all the women they raped in the waning days of the second world war and thereafter. Estimates run into the millions. Girls and women younger than eight and older than eighty, gang-raped, some until they were dead. The Americans did it too, as did the French and English, but none of them on the scale of the Russians. They raped Polish and even Russian women who happened to be trapped there, prisoners of the Germans themselves. They got it coming and going. One of their victims was 12 year old Johanna Renner who would later go on to marry the German chancellor Helmut Kohl, and even later to kill herself.
Solzhenitsyn said that Russia is a patriarchal society but that women are considered the spoils of war everywhere. It’s one of the reasons men go to war, he said. He also wanted to talk to you about the American reporter who was killed this week by the Saudis in their consulate in Turkey. He said the Saudis tortured the reporter before killing him and dismembering him with a bone saw. He wondered why the American government hadn’t criticized the Saudis but figured it was because Trump, like Putin, doesn’t have a problem with killing troublesome reporters. They don’t mind rape either: it keeps women in their place.
Solzhenitsyn said to tell you that he was sorry he missed you but that he was unable to wait around, he was due elsewhere. What could I do to stop him? He’s been dead for ten years.

Specificity

It was the specificity of the dream that disturbed me most. Dreams, after all, are supposed to be wispy things, easily attributed to vague impressions and hungers of one sort or another. This one was different.
We were dancing, which was odd, as we were never much for dancing. Maybe the dancing symbolized something else. You know how dreams are. 

Your hair was bouncing in my face and I could smell it. I can smell it still: heavy with the warmth of your blood. 

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