Litany

The thing is…

it depends on how you define environmentalists.

 

If you define them as the recyclers and the “good-doers,”

the vegan eaters who see nature as something outside

of New York City’s walls, then I am with you, my friend—

I am tired of them.

 

Don’t get me wrong,

I nod my head to them—

but I bow my head, low,

to those teaching me

in this moment of climate catastrophe,

as my mom figures that, “Yeah,

my fall flowers may die

in this 90 degree late-September heat

but they look okay, now,”

that this is a fight for justice.

 

Look up the social pyramid

and you will see them:

another man with bottom line on the mind,

another woman standing up for him.

Another man calling out why feminism is

“A scam. We’re all equal here.”

 

It’s in the oil.

It’s in the system

that we were all born into.

It matters how we got here, oh yes.

It matters how we fight so that our children,

our children’s children and their children, stay around.

Can you really see them, Mr. and Mrs. Man, from way up there?

 

The system was rigged long ago,

and we have so much to carry already.

Shame is too heavy.

We need our hands to fight;

We need our voices to scream.

 

We need our eyes to see into the very near future,

into a world where the insects lay dead* and

and the birds in the morning don’t sing like they use to

and the fish in the ocean don’t swim like they used to

and the bread on the table don’t taste like it used to

because we cannot go back.

 

We can only hold those high up fuckers accountable,

rebuild,

and move on.

 

Industry heads, government leaders, blog readers: we are way past deciding whether climate change is something to be “believed.”

A highly recommended read: https://popula.com/2019/08/19/the-case-for-climate-rage/

*and a note: https://e360.yale.edu/features/insect_numbers_declining_why_it_matters

 

September 24, 2019

My Gold

Because how can you read the news, my Jo?

How can that shit be your day job?

The day glaciers melt and

people teach machines to

teach other people

about the same machines and

sitting in my rose garden all alone

can lead to murder and

taking a soda without asking

and running out the door

can lead to murder and

you can meet a love of your life

and realize that everyone

is human, and that no relationship

or person will ever be perfect and

that in spite of all the “good shit”

going your way, you can still feel

lonely and out dated and

so damn curious about the future

that you just don’t want to know anymore.

 

How can anyone guarantee family?

I got so god damn lucky.

 

How can anyone read my lips

and promise neutrality?

Everyone’s always gotta have an opinion.

 

We live on stories, so we might as well

accept the truth and move on.

 

If truth is the end of a rainbow

I am never going to see,

I might as well pray to it

and acknowledge its existence anyway,

know that Spinoza will help me find my way,

that Julia will help me find my way,

and that this god damn one beautiful Earth

that has done nothing but save our sorry souls

one lifetime after another, promising renewal

and never quitting, never disappointing—

it lives in me. In you. In us.

 

After I read the news,

I have to remember:

my first mother may one day be all I have left,

but she is everything…

before I got here, now, and long after

you and I are gone.

 

Thank you for giving me the chance to live on, to see a few stories play out,

and know that while the foreground is temporary, the background holds,

sacred,

secure.

 

August 19, 2019

( love )

What do I want my love to be?

Opening,

free as one can be

and

she

will open her arms to me,

singing,

praying to Earth’s wings to fly again.

How bright, my love,

how warm

your body feels

when your lips meet mine…

how slowly we can meet,

how gentle,

how soothing.

He will be all encompassing,

and yet aware of his smallness.

They will be sitting on a rock,

climbing down a tree,

living life fully,

beautifully,

listening as it all swims by…

I choose birds today—

listen,

listen my love

to this mastery of sound.

One day

we will sit on a beach,

and the wind will play with your hair,

and I will not care

about how long

or how come

or why now

because thank heavens

my heaven is here,

in my arms,

singing home,

bowing low

to Earth’s truth,

offering palms and songs

I have never heard.

Thank you, my love —

truly.

From this park bench

in the heart of Brooklyn

I don’t thank you for finding me;

I thank you for living.

Go on:

live.

 

May 16, 2019

Floating

Loneliness

floating

on an autumn leaf,

winter turns to spring

so please speak softly:

we do not want to scare the buds.

They may hear the truth,

like a riddle

read off the page

and asked to solve for entry:

a one-way ticket over the bridge

from single to taken,

a world where kisses do not betray

and suitors come equipped

with emotional intelligence

and a bow and arrow.

I hear cupid,

underground,

readying himself up—

 

just another risk

the Earth will take.

 

 

April 10, 2019

Sun

You are a star in a sky I have not seen,

you are a drop of rain in a hundred deserts

and desserts

because walking in the rain can be fun

with ice cream and an umbrella, no?

Your voice plants bits of light under my skin,

your slender frame and well-styled hair

have me wanting more.

You are some kind of fire that speaks

the same language as my Earth– the one

with floating flowers and talking sponges,

the one where Reggie Rocket gets us in trouble

and girls kiss girls at midnight in brightly lit squares

and everything is alright.

Because I’d want to call you baby.

Because, hell yeah, I’d make love to you and I’d fuck you

but do you seriously think I could do one without the other?

You’ve got me smiling ear to ear, wanting more of your story,

your moments, your rush because I know you’ve felt it, too–

with some lucky woman in another room,

where you lit only candles and talked in only whispers.

I would never be quiet about you, unless you wanted me to.

And I can sing your praises now, my mysterious friend,

but you deserve more than words. They do not do you justice.

To your sexy eyes and smooth skin, your laugh bouncing off

subway cars and driveways and street lamps– I wish I could

dance along with it forever, and I’d be willing to,

if it meant having you.

I put you up on a pedestal because that’s where you belong.

Your style is bad ass and your humbleness is hot and your words

have me wanting more, more…because for all your physicality,

I could listen to you speak, no sight, no vision, for days.

You are a star and a sun

because, of course, there was never any difference.

Expect that there is only one sun,

among many stars,

and how lucky I am to get to soak you in at all.

 

January 29, 2019

Three Parts

I.

Our hearts wide open

on the sofa, in the den,

we glide

past memories and landscapes

of lost wishes and dreams untouched–

but oh, my dear, did you touch them!

How far you ran!

How far we traveled

when home was right next door?

I can only tell you so many times

how much I love you,

mom and dad,

how much I owe to you,

my gods on Earth, my saviors

of moon and light —

of all the in-betweens and all-togethers.

Success? Winning? Acting out?

Do you remember me,

do you know me better than I do?

I am your baby bird…

and I am here, beautiful, flying…

you make money not to chase

your own dreams, but for us…

talk about pressure!

But I suppose each generation

has its shortcomings of identity

and mind that the world threw at them,

so you throw it back up,

say I’m better than you.

 

You made me.

Without your light,

I cannot shine.

 

II.

And you tell me: “What doesn’t kill you

makes you stronger.”

What if I fear I have lost part of me?

But dear…look around,

you are here,

and this is now,

and now is the Earth and time kissing

on two planes, four dimensions

that we know of, hurtling off in space

and yet perfectly safe.

This world may think its won–

they may have knocked me down–

but maybe that was not me to begin with.

You ask why I’m so quiet?

Because I’m readying up to get mad

and spread some joy around to make it better.

You told me you have some secret cure?

Cure for what? A story unfolded?

Afraid of one’s own shadow?

Or the light bouncing off your face?

Is that how trauma works?

Healing is all Earth is,

is all that’s in your blood, your muscles

and tendons and heartbeats and breaths.

I am here to guide you,

parents, elders, child.

You may see me as Father Time,

but I’ve been your mother, all along…

riding sunbeams, glorifying everything

and nothing. I am Earth.

 

III.

It’s cold in my childhood, only-home

for-a-while bedroom

and I wonder what life “should” have been…

Life sees no life without death.

I was there. I played. I fell. I rose.

I survived, god damn it.

My body and mind are still god damn

here, my spirit unbroken.

 

Sleeping, eating, breathing…honey,

you are an animal as we all are.

There are moments you must do nothing

but rest, let the Earth care for you.

You cannot take over for her.

We all know what it’s like to interrupt

the most powerful women in our lives.

This is the mother of all mothers,

life giving grace from the God

that is a woman, that is everyone in between.

You have a scary fucking story in your head,

taking over God’s role?

Hell no!

I have my dad’s wings

and my mom’s heart,

so I can keep gliding,

gliding…

 

January 4, 2019

What do you do

when you’re tired

like the world meant for you to be

and you’re broke

like the world meant for you to be

and you’re lonely

like the world meant for you to be?

 

You get angry

like Earth meant for you to be

you find truth

like Earth meant for to find

you fight back

like Earth meant for you to do

you let go of the world

like Earth meant for you to do, too.

 

You build a new world.

 

February 11, 2018