Wednesday, July 27, 2005

When the Evenings are Silent

Watching the moon
over the lip of a wine glass,
feeling the grass
below my feet, sleeping
at the feet of a giant dune,
the evenings are silent.

When I can't sleep
I listen to cars passing
on the avenue, there is silence
in their tread
and passangers
stare at buildings passing by
each with an untold story.

On the fourth of July
we watch fireworks
where silence takes off
its clothes between our oohs.

Mornings where a husband
makes coffee, a wife
finishes the crossword puzzle.

At work, in the closure
of a long meeting, people
chat regarding summer plans
or weekend yachting trips
up to the "old club."

In sanctuaries across
the world, people mourn the living
people celebrate the dead, confessing
in silence, the many sins of many

Somewhere in the plains
wipers sweep the drizzle
off the windshield, like
waving goodbye to the fields
of crops practicing a gospel
of silence.

A man slips a paper
into a file, soon
forgotten due to an account
we now call silent.

Looking across the restaurant
I eavesdrop on the couples,
but in one corner, there is no
conversation. Years from now,
with moments of regret and
nostagia for something misplaced
between lovers, they'll probably
pass this restaurant and remember
savoring the flavors, the passions,
and finally the lack of dialogue, which
resulted in the loudest conversations
a pair of unmoving lips
ever experienced, broken
only by a kiss, and one of them
turning out the light
before sleep.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

The Stone Dream by Stephen Saul

i dreamed
i was a wooden horse
a gift to trojans
and then
a broken pale
on a wooden step

i dreamed
i was a poem shredded
scattered like waste
in abandoned rail yards

i dreamed
i was a whore a saint
a drag queen a wild thing
lost found confused enlightened

i dreamed
the stone dream
where a bad wind rages
our city streets
leaving our young men
to howl in ruins of stone
and to scream obscenities
in the flesh and blood
of birth and hard-on
only to weep
the tears of mothers
and of madmen
against mausoleum walls
in shadows of bronzed glory

once again the beast wanted nothing
but the death of everything we love

i dreamed
the dream of wise men
long suffering
who sit like death on their balconies
at twilight
and vouchsafe the eternal flame of silence

and i dreamed
the dream of wild horses
that rage hill and valley
where rings of pale fire
ignite the starless night

i dreamed
the waking dream
god in the darkness
impenetrable silence
fucking myriad of names
words of blasphemy
spilled like water from my trembling lips
i have worhipped in all YOUR temples
now come die in mine

and i dreamed
the night dream
old men rising
from the neon shadows
to stand lonely sentinels
at deserted gates

i dreamed
the dreams
of starry-eyed dreamers
on the subways
and the sidewalks
and the ferries
from brooklyn to the golden gate
where the steam rises
and the waters swell
and the sweaty masses press
only to weep
in the end
with the young men
and the old men
the mothers
and their daughters
all quiet
all hands interlaced
in candlelit fields of night

Friday, July 22, 2005

DPS Event: August 28

Jackie Bartley and Jack Ridl are reading at The Fenn Valley Winery on Sunday August 28 between 2-4pm. It's very casual, come and go as you please, fill your glass, settle in under the vine covered patio. We hope we get to see you there.

Jackie and Jack and the gang at The Fenn Valley Winery
I'll offer to drive from Holland. DPSers, let's hang out!

Saturday, July 09, 2005

I dream of wine and vineyards

When Sophie Returns Home

Moving the barrels will require
her support, and bottling
syrah will change my life with her
and in the evenings
we'll sit with two
glasses on the stone table I made
in the rear orchard,
under the trees we planted
in our youth. Our parents
will be spirits by then
and returning from college
in California, Sophie might
feel them in the trees,
the vines and hear their
breathe on the wind. She'll
notice the leaves talk
to one another and occassionally
to us, and the ivy
growing on the fence
recalls the evenings
they sat here on the south
facing slopes
looking for nothing
in the green of the earth
and the blue of the water.

Maybe she'll hear the stories
passing through the rustle,
but by then I'll have forgotten
how to listen and when I pass
all the land becomes hers.
She might realize that the land
never blonged to us, that really,
we belonged to the land.
I've really missed poetry workshops, and tried to form a reading group back when more of us still lived in Holland. I would still love to form something like this if enough of us would be willing to commit--but, our numbers are dwindling. So short of that, I was wondering what any of you thought of an active, long-distance "workshop." I know we have this site, but I know I don't always post really rough, or personal, poems here because let's face it, it's public. It's not the dungeon. It's not looking at all of you across those tables and knowing we're in a safe space. So I was thinking we could either electronically swap, or even (my ideal format) we could mail a few poems at a time to whoever's interested and committed.

Maybe it'd be too much work. But I've missed the active sharing and supporting and such. The DPS blog is a great way to keep a collective journal and share, but I guess I really do want marks on paper, stacks of poetry. I like actual comments written on actual pages, and I personally respond better that way. And a year until grad school workshops is a long time to wait.

Which, by the way, I'm applying to MFA programs. It's official. I have to really get my butt in gear, but I'm incredibly excited and realizing more and more that this is necessary and wonderful and welcome.

Friday, July 08, 2005

high hopes, false starts

A first draft (what had to be expressed, you know how it goes). Feel free to point out what's not clear. I've noticed my poetry has become more...expository? Though it's always had a bit of that bend. I don't want to lose images, but then, these moments needed telling more than they needed illustrating for now. I feel like there's either a section missing, or that this is two poems. I don't want to kill the darlings just yet.

I'm not sorry there's nothing to save.

Perhaps there is still redemption.
Tonight, you fall asleep in another
time zone, and I remain in your future.

There are fears I can’t name. I want to tell you
I need you by my side, but I have only
just learned your last name. We kissed

under the stars on the shore of Lake Michigan,
but a kiss is no mere indulgence these days.
My mother asked if you were a believer.

I told her I believe
I want to bring you home,
because your sins

are only the same as I've hidden
from her all these years.
I spoke to you in Spanish, pressed up

against the edges of our borders.
Your response, quick and fluent,
surprised us both. Before, you claimed

discomfort with our parents’ tongue.
I am waiting on this precipice for your holy
fire to anoint me, and I will speak again in tongues.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Happy Fourth!!!

Hey Hey Drinkers...
Happy 4th! For those of you who don't understnd this wonderful holiday, it's a chance to be thankful for all wonderful things American, such as hot dogs, brats, beer, potato salad, fireworks (via China), beer, swimming, picnics, family, friends, and all that other wonderful stuff. I hope you all enjoyed the day, and I hope you take the time to reflect on your civic duty to the country at some point...remember, there will be another chance to vote soon, only four short months away there will be voting all over the country...PAY ATTENTION AND VOTE! If you don't think these local elections are important, you are stupid as fuck. The fact is, these elecions have a profound impact on how things like education and transportation and much much more work in your state and your city/town. Beyond that, many of those running for public office now, will be attempting to run for public office on the national stage in the future, if you think Clinton started his political career as the leader of the free are just dead wrong. So pay attention now, and you wont be caught off gaurd then. Let's go generation Y...get off your fat asses and vote for once. No more of this 14% bullshit. Hoorah!!! USA!!!

Inaugural Post...

Drunk Poets' Society:
Thank you very much for your kind invitation. Thank you also to Karen for such a fine introduction. Although, I now have something to live up to! I welcome anyone's comments, criticism, or suggestions. I also have a xanga site that I periodically post poems, pictures, or opinions if you are interested. The adress is:

Here are a couple poems that I have written:

Fasten Seatbelts For Descent

I'm going back to meet myself
So he can tell me how it felt,
To be the one without wings.
Yelling into the depths of the gravel pit,
Voices echoing, echo, again.
Reflecting off the granular memories
Piled high in the depths of his mind.
Circumstancial consequence, irreversible.
Fading into an air of normality, take a breath
Not enough to trigger the alarm to
Whisper its plea, smoke, no smoking please.
It calls out to the foolish,
But I fly with Icarus, transcontinental.
Take a picture for the memories, but as for now,
"Attention passengers, this is your pilot speaking, we will be flying at 37,000 feet."

Here is a poem I wrote that I was featured in the Holland Sentinel for reading at the Herrick District Library.

As the Sun Shone Down He Professed, "Scrabble King I am"

Shadows long, fingers bent
Prodding, asking, growing still.
Hopes of summer erased as the
Temperature retreats unarmed,
Back to the way things were before.
Things that wishing can't erase,
But too many of them leave to me
Pencil lacking the
Eraser, my saving grace.
Grin and bear no more
Re-do's or mulligan’s.
Look it up in the dictionary, a word with y and z
Scrabble King I am.
Live my life like the game
Formulate, calculate, rearrange
Until I find the perfect words
The simplest, but score so low
With only an:
I love you
And then, the winning words revealed
I know you see the shadows too
And feel the chill upon your cheek
The wind chime sounds, the grass is already
Greener than before, summer hopes restored
Stay, smile, Scrabble King I am
And I love you.


Saturday, July 02, 2005


Adam Fox: the newest member of our DPS blogging community.

Adam was one of my stellar creative writing students at Hamilton High last fall. Since then he has graduated and become a friend, fellow writer, and an inspiration to me.

What you'll first notice about Adam is that he sees the world as an artist and never gives up searching for the little things that make life meaningful. He has a poignant sense of word play, an appreciation for shift in perspective, a skillful grasp on irony, and a genuine artistic spirit. Adam is always thinking and always viewing the world through the lenses of photography and writing.

On top of that, his personality is delightful and fun. Enjoy his work and everything he will add to the DPS blog. :)