People think a soul mate is your perfect fit

People think a soul mate is your perfect fit, and that's what everyone wants. But a true soul mate is a mirror, the person who shows you everything that is holding you back, the person who brings you to your own attention so you can change your life.

A true soul mate is probably the most important person you'll ever meet, because they tear down your walls and smack you awake. But to live with a soul mate forever? Nah. Too painful. Soul mates, they come into your life just to reveal another layer of yourself to you, and then leave.

A soul mates purpose is to shake you up, tear apart your ego a little bit, show you your obstacles and addictions, break your heart open so new light can get in, make you so desperate and out of control that you have to transform your life, then introduce you to your spiritual master...
[ ... ]

You know you're in love when... Dr Seuss

“You know you're in love when you can't fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams.”
[ ... ]

Watermelons

Green Buddhas

On the fruit stand.

We eat the smile

And spit out the teeth.
[ ... ]

White

A New Version: 1980



What is that little black thing I see there

in the white?

Walt Whitman





One



Out of poverty

To begin again:



With the color of the bride

And that of blindness,



Touch what I can

Of the quick,



Speak and then wait,

As if this light



Will continue to linger

On the threshold.







All that is near,

I no longer give it a name.



Once a stone hard of hearing,

Once sharpened into a knife...



Now only a chill

Slipping through.



Enough glow to kneel by and ask

To be tied to its tail



When it goes marrying

Its cousins, the stars.







Is it a cloud?

If it's a cloud it will move on.



The true shape of this thought,

Migrant, waning.



Something seeks someone,

It bears him a gift



Of himself, a bit

Of snow to taste,



Glimpse of his own nakedness

By which to imagine the face.







On a late afternoon of snow

In a dim badly-aired grocery,



Where a door has just rung

With a short, shrill echo,



A little boy hands the old,

Hard-faced woman



Bending low over the counter,

A shiny nickel for a cupcake.



Now only that shine, now

Only that lull abides.







That your gaze

Be merciful,



Sister, bride

Of my first hopeless insomnia.



Kind nurse, show me

The place of salves.



Teach me the song

That makes a man rise



His glass at dusk

Until a star dances in it.







Who are you? Are you anybody

A moonrock would recognize?



There are words I need.

They are not near men.



I went searching.

Is this a deathmarch?



You bend me, bend me,

Oh toward what flower!



Little-known vowel,

Noose big for us all.







As strange as a shepherd

In the Arctic Circle.



Someone like Bo-peep.

All his sheep are white



And he can't get any sleep

Over lost sheep.



And he's got a flute

Which says Bo-peep,



Which says Poor boy,

Take care of your snow-sheep.



to A.S. Hamilton







Then all's well and white,

And no more than white.



Illinois snowbound.

Indiana with one bare tree.



Michigan a storm-cloud.

Wisconsin empty of men.



There's a trap on the ice

Laid there centuries ago.



The bait is still fresh.

The metal glitters as the night descends.







Woe, woe, it sings from the bough.

Our Lady, etc...



You had me hoodwinked.

I see your brand new claws.



Praying, what do I betray

By desiring your purity?



There are old men and women,

All bandaged up, waiting



At the spiked, wrought-iron gate

Of the Great Eye and Ear Infirmery.







We haven't gone far...

Fear lives there too.



Five ears of my fingertips

Against the white page.



What do you hear?

We hear holy nothing



Blindfolding itself.

It touched you once, twice,



And tore like a stitch

Out of a new wound.







Two



What are you up to son of a gun?

I roast on my heart's dark side.



What do you use as a skewer sweetheart?

I use my own crooked backbone.



What do you salt yourself with loverboy?

I grind the words out of my spittle.



And how will you know when you're done chump?

When the half-moons on my fingernails set.



With what knife will you carve yourself smartass?

The one I hide in my tongue's black boot.







Well, you can't call me a wrestler

If my own dead weight has me pinned down.



Well, you can't call me a cook

If the pot's got me under its cover.



Well, you can't call me a king

if the flies hang their hats in my mouth.



Well, you can't call me smart,

When the rain's falling my cup's in the cupboard.



Nor can you call me a saint,

If I didn't err, there wouldn't be these smudges.







One has to manage as best as one can.

The poppies ate the sunset for supper.



One has to manage as best as one can.

Who stole my blue thread, the one



I tied around my pinky to remember?

One has to manage as best as one can.



The flea I was standing on, jumped.

One has to manage as best as one can.



I think my head went out for a walk.

One has to manage as best as one can.







This is breath, only breath,

Think it over midnight!



A fly weighs twice as much.

The struck match nods as it passes,



But when I shout,

Its true name sticks in my throat.



It has to be cold

So the breath turns white,



And then mother, who's fast enough

To write his life on it?







A song in prison

And for prisoners,



Made of what the condemned

Have hidden from the jailers.



White--let me step aside

So that the future may see you,



For when this sheet is blown away,

What else is left



But to set the food on the table,

To cut oneself a slice of bread?







In an unknown year

Of an algebraic century,



An obscure widow

Wrapped in the colors of widowhood,



Met a true-blue orphan

On an indeterminate street-corner.



She offered him

A tiny sugar cube



In the hand so wizened

All the lines said: fate.







Do you take this line

Stretching to infinity?



I take this chipped tooth

On which to cut it in half.



Do you take this circle

Bounded by a single curved line?



I take this breath

That it cannot capture.



Then you may kiss the spot

Where her bridal train last rustled.







Winter can come now,

The earth narrow to a ditch--



And the sky with its castles and stone lions

Above the empty plains.



The snow can fall...

What other perennials would you plant,



My prodigals, my explorers

Tossing and turning in the dark



For those remote, finely honed bees,

The December stars?







Had to get through me elsewhere.

Woe to bone



That stood in their way.

Woe to each morsel of flesh.



White ants

In a white anthill.



The rustle of their many feet

Scurrying--tiptoing too.



Gravedigger ants.

Village-idiot ants.







This is the last summoning.

Solitude--as in the beginning.



A zero burped by a bigger zero--

It's an awful licking I got.



And fear--that dead letter office.

And doubt--that Chinese shadow play.



Does anyone still say a prayer

Before going to bed?



White sleeplessness.

No one knows its weight.







What The White Had To Say



For how could anything white be distinct

from or divided from whiteness?

Meister Eckhart





Because I am the bullet

That has gone through everyone already,

I thought of you long before you thought of me.

Each one of you still keeps a blood-stained handkerchief

In which to swaddle me, but it stays empty

And even the wind won't remain in it long.

Cleverly you've invented name after name for me,

Mixed the riddles, garbled the proverbs,

Shook you loaded dice in a tin cup,

But I do not answer back even to your curses,

For I am nearer to you than your breath.

One sun shines on us both through a crack in the roof.

A spoon brings me through the window at dawn.

A plate shows me off to the four walls

While with my tail I swing at the flies.

But there's no tail and the flies are your thoughts.

Steadily, patiently I life your arms.

I arrange them in the posture of someone drowning,

And yet the sea in which you are sinking,

And even this night above it, is myself.







Because I am the bullet

That has baptized each one of your senses,

Poems are made of our lusty wedding nights...

The joy of words as they are written.

The ear that got up at four in the morning

To hear the grass grow inside a word.

Still, the most beautiful riddle has no answer.

I am the emptiness that tucks you in like a

mockingbird's nest,

The fingernail that scratched on your sleep's

blackboard.

Take a letter: From cloud to onion.

Say: There was never any real choice.

One gaunt shadowy mother wiped our asses,

The same old orphanage taught us loneliness.

Street-organ full of blue notes,

I am the monkey dancing to your grinding--

And still you are afraid-and so,

It's as if we had not budged from the beginning.

Time slopes. We are falling head over heels

At the speed of night. That milk tooth

You left under the pillow, it's grinning.



1970-1980







This currently out-of-print edition:

Copyright ©1980 Logbridge-Rhodes, Inc.



An earlier version of White was first published

by New Rivers Press in 1972.
[ ... ]

The Errand

I've been going right on, page by page,

since we last kissed, two long dolls in a cage,

two hunger-mongers throwing a myth in and out,

double-crossing out lives with doubt,

leaving us separate now, fogy with rage.



But then I've told my readers what I think

and scrubbed out the remainder with my shrink,

have placed my bones in a jar as if possessed,

have pasted a black wing over my left breast,

have washed the white out of the moon at my sink,



have eaten The Cross, have digested its lore,

indeed, have loved that eggless man once more,

have placed my own head in the kettle because

in the end death won't settle for my hypochondrias,

because this errand we're on goes to one store.



That shopkeeper may put up barricades,

and he may advertise cognac and razor blades,

he may let you dally at Nice or the Tuileries,

he may let the state of our bowels have ascendancy,

he may let such as we flaunt our escapades,



swallow down our portion of whisky and dex,

salvage the day with some soup or some sex,

juggle our teabags as we inch down the hall,

let the blood out of our fires with phenobarbital,

lick the headlines for Starkweathers and Specks,



let us be folk of the literary set,

let us deceive with words the critics regret,

let us dog down the streets for each invitation,

typing out our lives like a Singer sewing sublimation,

letting our delicate bottoms settle and yet



they were spanked alive by some doctor of folly,

given a horn or a dish to get by with, by golly,

exploding with blood in this errand called life,

dumb with snow and elbows, rubber man, a mother wife,

tongues to waggle out of the words, mistletoe and holly,



tables to place our stones on, decades of disguises,

wntil the shopkeeper plants his boot in our eyes,

and unties our bone and is finished with the case,

and turns to the next customer, forgetting our face

or how we knelt at the yellow bulb with sighs

like moth wings for a short while in a small place.
[ ... ]

The Expatriates

My dear, it was a moment

to clutch for a moment

so that you may believe in it

and believing is the act of love, I think,

even in the telling, wherever it went.



In the false New England forest

where the misplanted Norwegian trees

refused to root, their thick synthetic

roots barging out of the dirt to work on the air,

we held hands and walked on our knees.

Actually, there was no one there.



For fourty years this experimental

woodland grew, shaft by shaft in perfect rows

where its stub branches held and its spokes fell.

It was a place of parallel trees, their lives

filed out in exile where we walked too alien to know

our sameness and how our sameness survives.



Outside of us the village cars followed

the white line we had carefully walked

two nights before toward our single beds.

We lay halfway up an ugly hill and if we fell

it was here in the woods where the woods were caught

in their dying and you held me well.



And now I must dream the forest whole

and your sweet hands, not once as frozen

as those stopped trees, nor ruled, nor pale,

nor leaving mine. Today in my house, I see

our house, its pillars a dim basement of men

holding up their foreign ground for you and me.



My dear, it was a time,

butchered from time

that we must tell of quickly

before we lose the sound of our own

mouths calling mine, mine, mine.
[ ... ]

The Fury Of Earth

The day of fire is coming, the thrush,

will fly ablaze like a little sky rocket,

the beetle will sink like a giant bulldozer,

and at the breaking of the morning the houses

will turn into oil and will in their tides

of fire be a becoming and an ending, a red fan.

What then, man in your easy chair,

of the anointment of the sick,

of the New Jerusalem?

You will have to polish up the stars

with Bab-o and find a new God

as the earth empties out

into the gnarled hands of the old redeemer.
[ ... ]

The Stand-Ins

In the dream

the swastika is neon

and flashes like a strobe light

into my eyes, all colors,

all vibrations

and I see the killer in him

and he turns on an oven,

an oven, an oven, an oven,

and on a pie plate he sticks

in my Yellow Star

and then

then when it is ready for serving—

this dream goes off into the wings

and on stage The Cross appears,

with Jesus sticking to it

and He is breathing

and breathing

and He is breathing

and breathing

and then He speaks,

a kind of whisper,

and says . . .

This is the start.

This is the end.

This is a light.

This is a start.

I woke.

I did not know the hour,

an hour of night like thick scum

but I considered the dreams,

the two: Swastika, Crucifix,

and said: Oh well,

it does't belong to me,

if a cigar can be a cigar

then a dream can be a dream.

Right?

Right?

And went back to sleep

and another start.
[ ... ]

The Fury Of Cooks

Herbs, garlic,

cheese, please let me in!

Souffles, salad,

Parker House rolls,

please let me in!

Cook Helen,

why are you so cross,

why is your kitchen verboten?

Couldn't you just teach me

to bake a potato,

to bake a potato,

that charm,

that young prince?

No! No!

This is my county!

You shout silently.

Couldn't you just show me

the gravy. How you drill it out

of the stomach of that bird?

Helen, Helen,

let me in,

let me feel the flour,

is it blinding and frightening,

this stuff that makes cakes?

Helen, Helen,

the kitchen is your dog

and you pat it

and love it

and keep it clean.

But all these things,

all these dishes of things

come through the swinging door

and I don't know from where?

Give me some tomato aspic, Helen!

I don't want to be alone.
[ ... ]

The Fury Of God's Good-bye

One day He

tipped His top hat

and walked

out of the room,

ending the arguement.

He stomped off

saying:

I don't give guarentees.

I was left

quite alone

using up the darkenss.

I rolled up

my sweater,

up into a ball,

and took it

to bed with me,

a kind of stand-in

for God,

what washerwoman

who walks out

when you're clean

but not ironed.

When I woke up

the sweater

had turned to

bricks of gold.

I'd won the world

but like a

forsaken explorer,

I'd lost

my map.
[ ... ]

At Great Pond

At Great Pond
the sun, rising,
scrapes his orange breast
on the thick pines,
and down tumble
a few orange feathers into
the dark water.
On the far shore
a white bird is standing
like a white candle ---
or a man, in the distance,
in the clasp of some meditation ---
while all around me the lilies
are breaking open again
from the black cave
of the night.
Later, I will consider
what I have seen ---
what it could signify ---
what words of adoration I might
make of it, and to do this
I will go indoors to my desk ---
I will sit in my chair ---
I will look back
into the lost morning
in which I am moving, now,
like a swimmer,
so smoothly,
so peacefully,
I am almost the lily ---
almost the bird vanishing over the water
on its sleeves of night.
[ ... ]

Black Oaks

Okay, not one can write a symphony, or a dictionary,

or even a letter to an old friend, full of remembrance
and comfort.

Not one can manage a single sound though the blue jays
carp and whistle all day in the branches, without
the push of the wind.

But to tell the truth after a while I'm pale with longing
for their thick bodies ruckled with lichen

and you can't keep me from the woods, from the tonnage

of their shoulders, and their shining green hair.

Today is a day like any other: twenty-four hours, a
little sunshine, a little rain.

Listen, says ambition, nervously shifting her weight from
one boot to another -- why don't you get going?

For there I am, in the mossy shadows, under the trees.

And to tell the truth I don't want to let go of the wrists
of idleness, I don't want to sell my life for money,

I don't even want to come in out of the rain.
[ ... ]
 

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