Old poems

Looked through an old box looking for my 1988 emotional diagram to include in the Hedonic Map. Didn’t find it, did find a lot of old letters and reminders.

1) I have walked away from a lot of people I love. But those relationships were either hard or impossible.

2) I’ve been writing and thinking about the same things my whole life. I’m including one poem from Kansas City, and one from Santa Fe. Why share bad old poems? Awkward self-acceptance, I guess, for all the leaving.


from 1990?

Aluminum-winged deviant

Seeing the biplane reflection
in the lined hatch-back glass of the car in front of her
made moral lines disappear.
The sky supported clouds and that plane.

Tall buildings provoke her thieving a peek over the edge:
not afraid of falling
but of the vertigo calling her down.
She can fly, can’t she?

She asked around to those who might know
of furtive chances
or how-to’s.

They recommend the flapping method
and tell stories of dented and messy car hoods
but the cool aluminum wings that are strapped to her do not bend
and will only allow her
a jump and glide off some high place.


from 1995?

A wrist’s curve and gesture
tosses like a ball
and undaunted longing.

Gestures glance off, do not hold, do not quite reach.
The most graceful arm does not stay suspended in air.
A certain turn of head will not repeat itself,
and a chance of eye lasts only a moment.

But I remember an embrace
that felt as an elongated dark blue with light edges.
It seems that we remained for hours,
standing still, together.

I remember every part of grabbing his wrist in play;
how I thought it would be solid and strong,
but it was thin and had no weight at all.
I did not know him until then.

I held her jaw with my hand to keep her head from sinking,
wondering if my hand was made to fit there.
The bone that made her chin pressed between my thumb and hand
and our numbness ended there.

I ache for the tangible bond of touch,
to know another is really present, engaged.
Wondering and questioning are not always the best activities;
a friendship is something that wants to be known.

This cannot be faked or invented, can it?
It would be a dangerous person
who could masquerade that strong connection of knowing someone,
a frightful person, indeed.

Bur risk and ache and hunger make me alive;
longing means that it is worth working for.
I should want to remind myself
that living is not to get by unscathed.