27 September 2011

Another poem from me

I get very quiet and rarely speak at all

Do not mistake my silence for a treatment
or an anger that rises like a drum roll
from an orchestra. It is a hold
I use to keep my thoughts on the pavement.

Do not mistake my inaction for surrender,
a throwing up of hands. I only give
up to the trail I walk, to this love
that guides my hands that write each letter.

Do not mistake my life for my breath.
Do not mistake my quiet stare for a swallowed tongue.
I do not eat or breathe the diphthongs
I create. They are rare and precious.

26 September 2011

Origins: The Turning Point

A friend was having a bad day this weekend. She wanted to destroy something so she could feel better, so she could see something as broken as she was feeling, so that she didn't feel so alone in feeling so broken. I found myself calmly telling her something that I'd learned over the past few years about how ineffective that tactic is. How the more we want to destroy something, the more broken and disconnected we become. I told her:

Accept that the world is going to be as beautiful as you allow it to be. Just as it allows you to be as beautiful as you are.

I learned this lesson about three years ago. The hard way. When I was separated from my wife.

I was feeling disconnected and abandoned in my marriage, I felt like not only were we but that I was somehow broken because despite all attempts to be happy in my marriage, I wasn't.

So we separated and it was the hardest thing I've ever done, to try to learn how to connect to the world without her.

During this time, I learned about who I was in relationships. I watched myself from the outside as I investigated where I had gone wrong in my past relationship. I watched myself build a new relationship and was surprised at what I discovered.

I discovered that by breaking my marriage I discovered what had been missing in it: me.

And I connect it back to the coma again. How when I woke up from the coma, I walked around always expecting to wake up again. My life felt like a dream. The coma was like this reset button on my ability to connect with people and I walked around with this invisible wall all around me. No one felt safe because everyone seemed temporary. And even when I thought I might have been connecting, I was merely observing them as through glass in an aquarium.

It didn't help that we moved around so often when I was a child. I never stuck around long enough to make any lasting connections or really learn how to make those connections.

My wife and I reconciled, but decided that marriage counseling would be best for us.

In counseling, I found myself talking a lot about myself and my insecurities and my fears of abandonment and being alone and I realized that I had been trying to destroy the marriage because I didn't feel safe in it and that I had felt abandoned again. My self-defense system was destruction, was dissolution, was burning bridges. It was in allowing the feeling of abandonment to become the reality.

But working through this with April--and April has her own set of issues too--taught me that abandonment doesn't have to be the reality. Disconnection and destruction do not have to be the response and in fact, when people choose this response, it is usually because they need the very thing that is symbolized by the thing they are destroying.

Accept that the world is going to be as beautiful as you allow it to be. Roque Dalton believes the world is beautiful and that poetry like bread is for everyone.

Take your slice, enjoy it, share it, and make more of it for everyone.

23 September 2011

Poem of the Week: 23 September 2011

Shabbat Shalom!

Each week I post a discovered poem for you to read, enjoy, share, and comment on.

This week's poem is a previously unpublished poem from Shel Silverstein in a new post-mortem collection called, "Everything On It." I love Shel Silverstein! As a boy, I found his poems and drawings all at once sweet, humorous, sometimes a little wrong, accessible and well-crafted. "Where the Sidewalk Ends" is probably one of the best modern collections of poetry ever. Poetry seems about as natural to Shel as breathing.

Years From Now

Although I cannot see your face
As you flip these poems awhile
Somewhere from some far-off place
I hear you laughing–and I smile

-Shel Silverstein

21 September 2011

A Sacred Daily Act

I am always hungry now.

Two and a half years ago, I got my insulin pump and has been wonderful. But before I got my insulin pump, I rarely ever felt hungry. I just decided to eat at roughly the beginning, the middle and the end of the day. Now that I'm running normal blood sugars again I have started to feel hungry. But lately, it seems like I'm always hungry.

My stomach aches but I do not appease it. It isn't time, I tell my body. Don't you know anything? We have a schedule: 12:30-1:30 is our lunch break, it has been for the past year and a half, and that's when we eat.

And then around 3:00, I get all hollow again and I'm like Dude, gotta wait. Dinner is at home and home comes at 5:30.

So I push off eating until it is time. Well, those of you who know about eating disorders know what happens next...I gorge at that time. I eat past my fill and I don't often care what it is I'm eating.

Writing is like that too. I push it off until it's convenient and then when it's time I write too much and it all just kinda sits there in loose bundles of thought like one sorts laundry. This is all the ideas I have on my father (dry clean only), this is everything I'm working on regarding me and April (delicates), and this is the coma (whites). There is also a fiction and verse pile, and of course, these are the colors.

...I think I'd like to go wash my clothing in the Ganges one day.

But I think I need to learn how to eat and write in smaller pieces. Snack all day, not really have three big meals. You know, haiku it up a bit over three or four sittings versus a spewing of prose over an hour. Maybe do my laundry in pieces too. Instead of putting off the chore, make it a sacred, daily act.

20 September 2011

Dante Quixotic and the Rainbow-Colored Crap Sandwich

This is the first time that I am not really enthusiastic about writing something.

But I have to. I promised to myself I would write daily because, poetry, like bread, is made fresh daily.

I originally wanted to write about Dante and Don Quixote, about how of all the classical literary figures in history, none stick out more as my guiding figures than Dante, the pilgrim who travels through the afterlife for love, and Don Quixote, the knight errant/wandering fool who is mocked for romanticizing everything in his life but somehow manages to turn out to be a hero.

And I have been thinking about how I follow a vision, a romanticized version of my life that has an imaginative element and I've been looking for ways to bring realistic value to that imaginary element.

But no, it isn't happening. Maybe my blood sugar is out of whack, maybe I'm not feeling confident or stimulated. Maybe I'm just in a funk. But there's a point though where the bright side grows dim and you realize you're just not getting your share of the happy.

There's a giant crap sandwich that I'm eating and the power of imagination is not turning it into rainbow sherbert.

I mean this figuratively, of course. No faecophilia going on here.

Dante was less of a romantic then Don Quixote was. I mean Dante came face to face with the suffering in hell. He never said "it could be worse." In fact, Inferno and Purgatory are both gut-wrenchingly horrible when it comes to images of human suffering. Purgatory, I find far more moving because the humans there WANT to purge their ability to sin, they choose their suffering in hopes that it will end. The humans in Hell really just choose to suffer because they know no other way of existing.

Dante manages to keep his hope and faith despite all the pain he observes. And yes, it is filled with Roman Catholic dogma and doctrine espousing the sovereignty of Jesus Christ, something I'm none too sure about as someone is Jew-ish.

But still, he keeps the only thing that we can truly take with us, even after witnessing all that suffering. And that is why I read Dante.

Maybe the crap sandwich will always be a crap sandwich. But maybe, one day, it'll really turn into rainbow sherbert.

19 September 2011

The silence, it is deep.

There is a lot to be said for the music in poetry. I mean most of all poetry is some kind of lyric, guided by the cadences and rhythms of verse, the rhyme scheme, and the play on words and sounds.

Take the Shakespearean line:

Borne on the bier with white and bristly beard

It takes its musical cues from Old English prosody, a system that placed a heavy emphasis on alliteration and balanced lines.

Borne / on the bier / with white / and brist/ -ly beard

Bolded letters alliterate, underlined syllables are accented. By the way, the line refers to someone old being carried away in a coffin.

And the line's ability to control the sound through prosody, alliteration, rhyme and other sound techniques is all in service of the one soudn that the poem leads up to.

The ending silence. The silence you reach at the end that allows the poem to resonate back through your mind. Though the poem has ended, you still hear the voice of the reader echoing the last few lines.


As if you were in a cavern.

This is the pay off, this is where we sense the depth of a poem in that resonant, deep cavern when the speech goes silent, but it starts to echo back.

At first, you don't recognize that the poem has ended, that the speaker has stopped speaking. But when you do, you're hit with both the silence and the echo. The poem turns into a ghost and it haunts you and then it settles in a moment and is at peace.

It is not unlike the silence instead a coma. Only in a coma, the settling doesn't happen in a moment. The settling doesn't happen at all. You sleep in it, and you wake in it. And it and the dark penetrates you. It is like being in an unnatural cavern where there is no echo, there is only silence.

And it is deep and menacing because you become the tree that falls in the forest that doesn't make a sound because no one is there. Not even you.

The coma erased me, erased the first draft of me. And it becomes clear to me why I've been writing so much about the coma.

I want the first draft back. I want it to be returned to me so I can exist again. So I don't feel like my second draft self has been abandoned here on this planet, in this body that will one day be "borne on the bier with white and bristly beard."

16 September 2011

Poem of the Week: 16 September 2010

Each week I post a discovered poem for you to read, enjoy, and comment upon. I encourage you to discover your own poems and share tehm with me.

I don't remember when I discovered this poem or how I discovered it. I only know that somehow it came to me and it had such an impact on me that I don't remember a time when this poem wasn't with me. Even though I know I must have read it sometime in college, it seemed to reverberate back into my history and set up camp there and flash like a lighthouse in the dark.

This poem is called "Like This" and it is by Rumi Jelalludin, a Persian Sufi mystic who met a wandering dervish named Shams Tabrizi who would teach him to experience the divine by living life like a poem.

Shams was with him only a short time, but Rumi began writing poetry after his departure.

Before I met my wife April, I had my own Shams. His name was Roody. He taught me to appreciate myself and find joy in being myself and to live as if I were a poem. He would have wanted him to be thought of as a Jack Kerouac kind of guy. But, no, I believe he was more of a Shams kinda guy. After I met April, he disappeared, in much the same way that Shams did. But he left a lasting impression.

Like This

If anyone asks you
how the perfect satisfaction
of all our sexual wanting
will look, lift your face
and say,

Like this.

When someone mentions the gracefulness
of the nightsky, climb up on the roof
and dance and say,

Like this.

If anyone wants to know what "spirit" is,
or what "God’s fragrance" means,
lean your head toward him or her.
Keep your face there close.

Like this.

When someone quotes the old poetic image
about clouds gradually uncovering the moon,
slowly loosen knot by knot the strings
of your robe.

Like this.

If anyone wonders how Jesus raised the dead,
don’t try to explain the miracle.
Kiss me on the lips.

Like this. Like this.

When someone asks what it means
to "die for love," point


If someone asks how tall I am, frown
and measure with your fingers the space
between the creases on your forehead.

This tall.

The soul sometimes leaves the body, then returns.
When someone doesn’t believe that,
walk back into my house.

Like this.

When lovers moan,
they’re telling our story.

Like this.

I am a sky where spirits live.
Stare into this deepening blue,
while the breeze says a secret.

Like this.

When someone asks what there is to do,
light the candle in his hand.

Like this.

How did Joseph’s scent come to Jacob?


How did Jacob’s sight return?


A little wind cleans the eyes.

Like this.

When Shams comes back from Tabriz,
he’ll put just his head around the edge
of the door to surprise us

Like this.


14 September 2011

Thought I'd share one of my poems today...

A little over a year ago, some friends of ours moved to Okinawa, Japan. They were not the first of dear friends to move away and I'm sure they won't be the last. It just seemed like they went the farthest away.

All my life, I've said goodbye to dear friends after only knowing them for  a short time. Anchorage is a city that many people only come to briefly, to leave their mark and then quietly escape.

It's frustrating and after a while, even the most understanding frame of mind gives way to a deluge of insecurity and an outcry of abandonment. I wanted to change that feeling that I was having when the Magids left. So I stretched apart the heartstrings and dug down to the familiar glistering speck of hope that they would return that is at the core of my sorrow. And this is the poem that emerged.

An Outbreak of Joy
-for the Magids-

Farewells are a function of love and goodbyes, dreams
of the past. My farewell has not been the poised, deliberate sever.
It is the perpetual lump in my throat, the sick dread that rips
the veil from the illusion, the whispered wordless chant.

Your goodbyes will haunt me: the last time
we share a laugh, a song, a handshake or hug: they will never
forget themselves. They will enrich my days and I will stitch
them into the fabric of my days until we meet again, whenever we meet again—at which point,

I will ask you to unravel it madly, in an outbreak of joy.

13 September 2011

Origins, Part 3, or; The Greatest Thing You Will Ever Learn...

My wife and I had an argument last night.

Which is to say, I was trying to say something that is very difficult to say and she took it personal and got defensive and then I got defensive.

Which is to say, we don't know how to accomplish an equitable resolution when we have a conflict.

Which is mind blowing because in my day job, I teach people how to build healthy relationships with the individuals they are working with. Part of that is conflict resolution. Part of that is conflict resolution with a person who has experienced a significant trauma.

Oh yes, my wife experienced a significant trauma as a child.

Studies show that when a child experiences a significant trauma it leads to neurological misdevelopment, which leads to social, emotional ,and cognitive skill development gaps, which leads to the inability to cope with difficult things which shouldn't be difficult, which leads to developing coping mechanisms that may not be healthy--i.e. alcoholism, drug abuse, self harm, suicide, harm to others, etc.

So for some reason, I am unable to practice what I preach and I feel pretty much like a failure every time we have an argument.

So I try to avoid having arguments.

Which in turn makes it excruciatingly painful when a conflict does arise.

The thing is: conflict is an essential part of life, it is the driving force in many things, including a person's development.

So how do I turn things around?

"The greatest thing you'll ever learn is to love and be loved in return."

That last bit is so much more important... and it should be so easy.

Why isn't it easy?

12 September 2011

My Father's Rifles

The first thing I remember when I pick up my old rifle was its kick.
And then I remember its smell, a mixture of my father’s gun oil and the gun powder used in the bullets and the old leather from the sling. Even though there shouldn’t be a distinction, there is. My gun smells different than other rifles.
Even though I’m in front of my computer now, my right shoulder feels the ghost of its butt and I can still smell it.
When I picked up my father’s rifles I could tell they hadn’t been shot, not in at least 5 years. Once he got sick, he must’ve just stopped shooting right then and there. Not on purpose, of course, but he stopped to get better, but the healing was slow and as weeks rolled out into months, he’d forgotten about that aspect of his life. Something else became his life: staying alive. It was something he needed to do.
So this weekend I took some of them to a gun shop to make sure they were safe to shoot. I thought maybe if I could shoot his rifles, I’d get a little piece of him back. If I could fire my gun again, it’d echo just like it used to all over the mountains of Utah and Idaho and it’d be like I was shouting out to dad again. I’d put his memory back into his rifles.
The inside of the barrel of my .243 Winchester was all rusted out. The guy said it would literally blow up if I fired it.
Figuratively, it did.
When I stopped writing, I stopped so I could focus on falling in love, on learning who I was in a relationship, on solidifying my marriage. And it was something I needed to do. Some things become more important in our lives.
And now that I’m returning to the page, I find I too am rusty and the writer I used to be is not the writer I need to be now.
I must keep my tools clean and well-oiled. I must take better care of them.
As for my rifle, I can sell it for parts and I can't do that on my own. I also don't know if I can do that. This rifle has sentimental value.
I think my dad would want me to get rid of it though. I think he would want me to get my own rifle, one that I can shoot.

09 September 2011

Poem of the Week: 9 September 2011

Shabbat Shalom!

Each week I post a discovered poem for you to read, enjoy, and comment on.

This week's poem is not a recently discovered poem, but a poem I like to rediscover over and over again. It's also a poem about discovery and written by one of America's best poets, Adrienne Rich. I first read this as a freshman in college; I had to write a paper explicating its meaning. I don't remember what I wrote but I remember thinking at the time this was a poem I could read over and over again and read something new each time. It is like the scuba dive that it uses for its central metaphor. You can only descend for a certain time and discover only so much, but you will continue to descend to the same place each time for a new discovery. Enjoy!

Diving Into The Wreck

First having read the book of myths,
and loaded the camera,
and checked the edge of the knife-blade,
I put on
the body-armor of black rubber
the absurd flippers
the grave and awkward mask.
I am having to do this
not like Cousteau with his
assiduous team
aboard the sun-flooded schooner
but here alone.

There is a ladder.
The ladder is always there
hanging innocently
close to the side of the schooner.
We know what it is for,
we who have used it.
it is a piece of maritime floss
some sundry equipment.

I go down.
Rung after rung and still
the oxygen immerses me
the blue light
the clear atoms
of our human air.
I go down.
My flippers cripple me,
I crawl like an insect down the ladder
and there is no one
to tell me when the ocean
will begin.

First the air is blue and then
it is bluer and then green and then
black I am blacking out and yet
my mask is powerful
it pumps my blood with power
the sea is another story
the sea is not a question of power
I have to learn alone
to turn my body without force
in the deep element.

And now: it is easy to forget
what I came for
among so many who have always
lived here
swaying their crenellated fans
between the reefs
and besides
you breathe differently down here.

I came to explore the wreck.
The words are purposes.
The words are maps.
I came to see the damage that was done
and the treasures that prevail.
I stroke the beam of my lamp
slowly along the flank
of something more permanent
than fish or weed

the thing I came for:
the wreck and not the story of the wreck
the thing itself and not the myth
the drowned face always staring
toward the sun
the evidence of damage
worn by salt and away into this threadbare beauty
the ribs of the disaster
curving their assertion
among the tentative haunters.

This is the place.
And I am here, the mermaid whose dark hair
streams black, the merman in his armored body.
We circle silently
about the wreck
we dive into the hold.
I am she: I am he

whose drowned face sleeps with open eyes
whose breasts still bear the stress
whose silver, copper, vermeil cargo lies
obscurely inside barrels
half-wedged and left to rot
we are the half-destroyed instruments
that once held to a course
the water-eaten log
the fouled compass

We are, I am, you are
by cowardice or courage
the one who find our way
back to this scene
carrying a knife, a camera
a book of myths
in which
our names do not appear.

--Adrienne Rich

08 September 2011

The Blank Page

Classical writing techniques suggest that the writer begin "in medias res"--in the middle of the action. Lewis Carrol would say to start at the beginning and when you get to the end, stop. Quentin Tarantino might say to start with the end and then jump to the beginning.

But the blank page can be a frightening prospect and many would be writers worry themselves about how to begin because great beginnings are remembered.

But it's not like the complete idea exists in its entirety in the air at the time you begin writing. It is not just waiting for you to place it neatly on the page. But the page is not an Asian rock garden.

Maybe the page is more like a wild jungle and the idea, carefully hidden, is waiting to be sprung like a booby trap with just the right sequence of moves. And although syntax is often the difference between verse and poem, between a good working draft and a moving final product, this ides still suggests that the idea is completely there waiting to be discovered.

Ideas are formed and matured on the page. Before their life on the page, they gestate in our minds like a fetus, but they are only a fetus, unable to exist outside of ourselves. At least, not yet.

Is the page a no-man's land where words fling themselves over the top in the littlest hope of advancing an idea a few feet? If this were true, writing wouldn't be much fun. There's probably not one person around anymore who experienced first hand the war that changed the face of war. WWI is nearly a hundred years old by now.

I think the page is a factory floor that you can fit the whole universe into. (Yes, I intend to evoke images from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy here.) The word is galoshes and I have to make it a poignant idea, instead of word that's fun to say.
Drafting is by far the funnest part of writing for me. You play with all the possibilities and then you choose one to go with.

For the past few years, I chose the no-mans land, the hopeless shooting match. But as of a few weeks ago, I'm choosing the factory floor.

By the way...

Ambulance Tanka

After the accident,
the street was cleared and water
poured into the rain
gutters and also into
his empty galoshes.

07 September 2011

Origins, Part 2

...So I was a very good reader. The voice I heard on the inside when I read was commanding and in control of his words. That voice was experienced. Of everything I forgot in the coma, I never forgot my reading abilities, never forgot a single story I’d read.

I was reading by the age of 2, able to sound out words that were in front of me and with each new word, I’m told, I was curious about its meaning. By age 6, I was as fluent as someone twice my age. By 12, I had been reading my father’s medical textbooks for several years.

Something about sticking my face in a book made the world seem smaller, more controllable. I wasn’t an asthmatic when I was narrating the story, I wasn’t having trouble making friends because the characters in the book were my friends. After all, they were sharing their intimate thoughts and important events with me.

Even non-fiction read like a story to me. Some all-knowing storyteller sharing information about the world around me and I imagine it unfolding before me and it made sense.

And poetry became like a musical story to me. It sounded like song, it sounded like the emotions I was feeling as I read the story.

The thing is reading isn’t something you do with words. It’s something you do with your eyes. The saying goes, “you can read him like a book,” and that is a skill, I think writers develop: the ability to read people like they were books, to open them up and see something intimate about them that other people just don’t see on first or second account:
You shall no longer take things at second or third hand.... nor look through the eyes of the dead.... nor feed on the spectres in books,
You shall not look through my eyes either, nor take things from me,
You shall listen to all sides and filter them from yourself…. (Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass)

And that’s what reading is; it is a filter through which you gain experience.
I remember a while back there was all this to-do about James Frey’s A Million Little Pieces, not being 100% auto-biographical. And to an extent, I agreed with the controversy around it at the time, though I never read it. After all, it seemed logical to be authentic. It seemed like if you’re going to sell something as autobiographical, it should be autobiographical. You don’t get to make up parts of your life for the sake of selling a book.

But I’ve recently been writing a lot about the fictional characters who were my friends, the fictions I told myself as a child to get me through the tough times, the times when I learned so much by playing pretend.

That line seems a little more vague for me, a little less well-defined. What if the fictions in my life were as much a part of my self as the autobiographical events? What if the filter through which I read everything was equally part of my character? What if the reader is really an undervalued character in each story? A quiet character who only traditionally gets his say at the end, only gets to say whether or not it was a good read.
But that’s not how it is. Fictional accounts and stories, not just in books, but also in movies and television and theater, change us. They affect us and make us part of who we are.

The line between fiction and non-fiction isn’t like the line between reality and delusion; it is more like the line between psychology and neurology. Our personalities, our self-images are certainly effected by the electrical impulses that fire in our brain, the memories that reside within, and the genetic code that guides the placement of every molecule.
But the definition of who we are is also effected by our imaginations and our perceptions and those are developed through the things and people we read, the filters we build with a cross-hatching of fiction and non-fiction.

The poet, as far as I know, constructs that filter better than anyone. Their realm is both the non-fiction and the fiction, the real and the imagined. They accomplish in language what others can not.

06 September 2011


I think the traditional view of the poet being a love-stricken, yet eccentric romantic still permeates most peoples' imagination as to what a poet looks like.

And it's obvious that in our collective imagination, we got that image from poets like John Keats and Percy Shelley, Jim Morrison and John Lennon.

Half rebellious rock star, half tortured soul and all they want is to be loved... Right?

The fact is that out of the real poets I know, none are like that. Contemporary poets writing today are butchers, bookstore owners, human resource administrators, etc. They are married and instead of pining for a lost love, they flesh out the human story in so many other ways.

The contemporary poet has love, he has a support network. What the contemporary poet wants really is to be heard. The contemporary poet has a gift with words, has the ability to tell stories, to create dialogue, to, in the words of my mentor, “say the unsayable” and they want to share that because something within that is relevant to modern living.

Sure there are still some ivory tower poets, poets who are good with language, but great with relating to editors, publishers, and critics. These are poets who make their living as poets, who are fortunate enough to be able to talk poetry whenever they want and get paid well for doing so.

But they are so far removed from the working poet, the poet who spends 8 hours a day cutting meat or trying to entice readers to choose spine and pages and brick and mortar to wifi and digital. The working poet shoves papers in one direction and dreams about what he will write about when he gets home.

These working poets that I have particularly in mind are also currently working on non-poetry related projects. One is a playwright who has seen recent success in New York and one has been doing some delightful mixed media visual art.

Even I am working on a larger piece of prose.

So perhaps the profession of poet means adapting traditional pencil and paper, sentiment-based, verse composition methods of the past to the digital, entertainment-focused, prose-preferring world.

The Gutenberg press makes way for YouTube…

And even though everyone has a forum, everyone can write a blog, everyone posts on Facebook, poets still need to be heard.

I think less and less that poetry has to do with language today and more and more about communication.

And when I think about the real modes of communication I practice, it isn’t in the email reminders of who needs CPR trainings.

It isn’t in the notes I take during a meeting or the notes I make when I’m putting together a training or a lecture.

It isn’t even in Facebook posts about people I am missing nor is it really in this blog.

It’s in the consistent messages I send out with every other action I take that tells me and others what I need.

It’s in the promise that I make to myself that I will write daily, if for no other reason to say:

"I am here. I will be heard. You will remember this."

02 September 2011

Poem of the Week: 2 September 2011

Shabbat Shalom everyone!

Each week I will post a discovered poem here for you to read, enjoy and comment on.

This week's poem is by David Meltzer. I don't know much about him, but I discovered his poem in the siddur at the synagogue I attend. It says things that have been truly my daily emotional experience for a long time. Tell me what you think of the poem or pose questions. Also, if you have a poem you've discovered, email it to me at poetrylikebread1999@yahoo.com with a brief description of how you discovered it and how it effects you.

Tell them I'm struggling to sing with the angels

Tell them I'm struggling to sing with the angels
who hint at it in black words printed on old paper gold-edged by time.
Tell them I wrestle the mirror every morning.
Tell them I sit here invisible in space;
nose running, coffee cold & bitter.
Tell them I tell them everything
& everything is never enough.
Tell them I'm davening & voices rise up from within to startle children.
Tell them I walk off into the woods to sing.
Tell them I sing loudest next to waterfalls.
Tell them the books get fewer, words go deeper
some take months to get thru.
Tell them there are moments when it's all perfect;
above & below, it's perfect
even in moments in between where sparks in space
(terrible, beautiful sparks in space)
are merely metaphors for the void between
one pore & another.

--David Meltzer