Friday, June 1, 2007

Craig Kirchner

Full from the Grave

The limo – large,
black, gray leather seats,
typical soft ride – was driving itself.
A mellow, still feeling of
finality and freedom at about 50 per,
willing without manipulating,
the driver really was barely
touching the wheel.
Occasionally rubbing the small tin
in my right pant pocket,
I ponder Coppola,s Count
crossing the ocean
with his boxes of native soil,
the ship on auto-pilot sailing
itself to the new land,
the next red light.
An Altoid tin. What’s that,
three tbsp.s maybe?
Only an hour old and it has become the charm,
the luck piece, the jewelry I never wear,
the collection I never had,
the never handed-off inheritance.
I dated a girl once that kept clipped nails
in a similar tin,
but she kept it in her room
not with her
and though frequently contributed to -
its major characteristic was dead,
cut from life.
My tin speaks in familiar tones,
never feels quite the same,
evolves against my leg,
and subtly intimates it will eventually
grow something if given a chance.

Dream Doctor

Silence between the bed-clothes on
a quiet afternoon has a rose reverence,
a calming pace, a new purpose defined as space.
The bed is sturdy, four legs solid on the floor,
mega-stones set just so by Ancients,
pushed under the window with a view of the lake.
The geese like June Taylor dancers all turn at once,
choreographed in V’s and me pondering
nefarious formations to a deep lazy sleep.
Grasping pointlessly at reeds and mud
as the lake drains through an hourglass funnel
falling to dust, dirt and deep dimensions below the bed
where worker ants are sticking to the plan,
stacking symmetrically, motivated to give time space
and space time in a prime meridian castle for their Queen.
The Dream Interpreter arrives with a clipboard
measuring latitude and longitude, describing taste as color,
intuition as liquid and pain in geometric shapes
as red eyes dot anew tunnels of archeology and Druids,
geese and Jurassic antennae stay busy for his monthly visit
through circles of pink quilt, mounds, sneezes and Stonehenge.


They walk down small empty streets
with ruined houses.
The clock in the square has no hands.
Rats at the end of the alleys
eat their dead,
the grind of their teeth in the flesh
the only interruption
of the humid afternoon
silence of retreat.
No more drive-by,
not the carts full of plague
long gone to shallow graves
and cried over,
not the car bombings, no Jihad,
only crippled insurgents
left with limbless occupiers
only gray lines of brutal aging
slow lifeless exit,
and in the undisturbed
brick and limestone
everything quietly waiting
for the nocturnal,
the gutters to run clear
and shadows begin to crawl
as innocence tries again
to sneak in, to root,
to find an infant footing


The geese-traversed frozen lake
like a black and white Jackson Pollack,
arbitrary crisp prints on ice,
thawing to smudged lines,
early spring dissolving winter art
to water supply,
reminds me that the nutritive capacity
to replenish all cells, mine included,
buoys these geese all summer,
touches all things local,
is seasoned by all it touches,
all that dies in its’ bed come fall.
The geese become me,
and all things are full of the lake god.
Can we dispute the natural philosophy
that water is the originating principle,
that in benefiting All Things as it does
its’ value is close to the Tao.
Can we ignore the mist and the wetness
that allows the words to ascend the trite,
the mundane. Peter quoting Old Testament Joel
about speaking in tongues.
“God will pour his spirit upon all flesh
and all the stream beds shall flow with water
and a fountain shall come forth
from the House of the Lord.”
Can we pretend however,
be so self-centered,
as to believe that our version is the one,
the lubricant of the universe,
the Zen-like moisture of all.
Millions of stars and billions of miles
between them create infinite possibilities
of both similarity and variety.
What of the planet covered with
grape-juice like oceans,
their plumbing pumping purple staple
and lilac skinned thinkers smelling
of fichus and eucalyptus
sit and ponder the mauve wet as the maker,
perhaps they are even Pre-Socratic,
possibly one is a Thales.

Morning encounters

The metaphor of mirror
on the medicine cabinet door –
twins - he of the new language,
me twisting and shaving the other,
grounded barefoot on the cool white tile,
the one that grew the 3 day stubble.
It’s cold out there, he says,
redefining with the black comb the part,
now sitting on the right.
I tilt his screen 90 degrees
to face the wind and sleet
beating against the upstairs window.
He – no longer there to see –
is replaced with the appropriately
frigid answer to his question;
replaced also, as it were,
with the prescriptions, remedies,
ointments and mouthwash,
neatly arranged new metaphors,
categorized carefully on 3 shelves
quietly not caring about
the view or the weather,
the vanities of me
and one dimensional musings

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