Friday, October 30, 2009

Poem of Love: Without You

Below is my most popular love poem, based on the number of people who have contacted me about it. It was written for my lovely and gifted wife, and appeared in an excellent journal, Poems Niederngasse, which is now silent.

I never learned what happened to PNG, despite some feeble attempts. Part of my curiosity stems from a bittersweet happiness: I had a second poem accepted and scheduled to appear. Alas, it wasn’t meant to be.

The editor, Pasquale Capocaso, seemed an extraordinary editor whose life revolved around shared passion. PNG existed from 1996 to 2008, a long and marvelous run. Such an impressive and virtuous accomplishment needs not only to be remembered but revered.

It’s a shame how great accomplishments languish under the sands of days, as we self-absorbed consumerists fret on little preoccupations.

I salute Poems Niederngasse and Pasquale Capocaso, and always will. Two of the greatest gifts the modern poetry world has ever received.


Without You

if my heart shatters
like twists of angels
tumbled into dice,
gin dissolving
the last of their wings,
you are gone from the
metropolis of my blood,
the achy fountains,
the soft esplanades,
the bridges heaving
over storms.

without you, the stars
waddle like geese on ebony grass,
dumb white-patched heads
drifting where you once thrilled
the linger of summer.

the weepy flesh of guitars
does not shudder like you—
you are the sound music craves
but will never be.

i am jagged without you,
stairs lacking rhythm, sine waves
flung off cliffs into petunias of foam,
into silent black bellies,
fish that clutch lightning and drown—
far from slender candles
seen though wineglasses,
their incautious pulse.

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