In the gaze of the other

"My mistress' eyes are nothing…"


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Sleep, Lover Lies


You sleep with your mind awake.

I see you twitch and worry as I 

Lie inside your watching, along.

 

Your body tells your story, the 

One about anxious defenses, and

Hilly motoric reflex, fortress wall.

 

A rage induced, childhood fascists,

A jealous brother usurping control,

Lorded over a boyhood’s landscape.

 

And the son who became the man, 

Who took fury to the world, coated

Like enamel, wolfish covetousness.

 

Stuff it all, beers and candy, yearn

To a carefree kid, the promised life

Of firstborn fortune, fiefs forever.

 

Lost, love, in stifled cries un-yelled

Swallow in dragon-ful dreamscapes 

Yawn fire through loins and islands.

 

Bleed worlds inside a wall-safe, keep

Cupped palm close a vampire’d lust.

Despise the rest as marauding cheats.

 

Still I watch, tender-horrified aghast,

Thumb to forefinger circle poked hate

Necessity, wrench-tightens hope-bolt.

 

Awaken yet, chestnut eye transcribes

Silence to story and mawkish, stolen

Laments death, sleep and secrets bare.

 

Sleeping with the enemy, I gaze, boring 

Holes in the skull’s soft, vulnerable hind

Sight, believe too in my own enemy-love.

 

Lovers-valentine-lying: pixabay


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On the Heath: Poem 13

Alone on the Heath, a purple flower
where there once was dry reedy sand,
you, friend, rode the train to dusty plains
with me–and slept through shifting tides
along California beaches, we two, strangers
to this land, and no less to each other.

I watched your sleeping breast rise and settle,
like the rhythm of our first freedom days, lazed
into adulthood, we seekers of flame, depths
of our soulful hearts, walking poetry, youth
alluring to each other–comrades–and evil too.

I saw you leave that day, through cloudy eyes,
music, sand and weed drifting us alongside
our own nature, me, cautious and calculating,
ready to loosen within my comfortable shoes, and
you, riddle’s answer to: What is freer than free?

Air.

Who has stolen your breath, my flower?

Sleep.

Your forever frozen face stills time in its place.

 


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Sleep Per Chance: a Tuesday Thought

 
 
Watching you sleep, I see defenselessness, frozen worry pocketed momentarily, far from the muscles in your face that folds into the linen encased pillow. Your eyes roam the darkness inside you. When you awaken, you’ll reach for me, close me into your warmth, your body heat rising as you battle weariness in slumber’s imaginarium fraught with curiosity and care.
 
Easy. Sleep devours some while teases others, a little here and there, never on command. Always an uneasy relationship with sleep, I could write a book on the cruelty and charity of insomnia. After all, some mysteries solve under the light of the moon where the sun smashes them to smithereens, overexposed and heated.
 
“Mommy, what happens when you sleep?” The same kind of question like “How does your eye work?” that left me stumbling when my daughter, then 6, asked me. I did not know what the question meant or how to answer something so ordinary, so taken for granted and so available in the age of the internet. But how to explain it so she would understand was the mystifying assault on my usual ready to inform mode.
 
What happens to anyone in sleep–that great world divider between hope and despair? Death. Death to the waking world, the one we make sense of daily, and birth to the enigmatic world of weirdness and worry. Dream-works piqued wonder to others way before Freud. Prophecies preistesses told by dreams as hypnotic spells. And sleep, so much more than eye rolls, rapid eye movement and rest, reveals time’s illusion. Though the clock handles spin unceasingly while we play dead for so many hours, we have no recollection of its passage and do not experience it as we do awake time. The numbers do not lie, only our consciousness creates bent experiential time.
 
We travel in sleep, we fly, we problem solve and hit all kinds of brain receptors ranging from the pleasurable to the terrifying. As if the horrors of daily grinds, near missed vital truths and fatal accidents, deep abiding love attained and lost, rational solutions and indecipherable chaos, cannot affirm living human sufficiently. We need another look, another more creative, spatial-emotive glance at life’s curious condition to assure ourselves that it is better to live than die: God’s inserted micro chip in each of us. Otherwise, who would be there to entertain IT so thoroughly? Not all the others swaddled in space, far more advanced yet far less amusing than we.
 
credit: flickr.com


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Still Life Flash of Pre-Sleep

Evan lies next to me, his pillowed head in the shadow of mine. I am reading, elbow-propped, turned away.
We are prone, bare, having just settled into bed for the night. Humid heat of a New England summer makes flannel impossible and silk torturously sticky. We sleep this way most nights four seasons long.
His body is serpent shape mirror of mine with inches of space between us, creating the comfort of a cooling air canal. We are art in symmetry.
His hand, open palmed, smooths across the contours of my hip, waist and shoulder, smearing heat like oil upon the line of curvy seas in the imagination of his hand–port to starboard to port again. The slow rhythm of his caress lulls my lids to half mast as the warmth and tingling skin sensors combine, dance me to lullaby languor. These are the moments.
I stop reading to softly lower my head to the pillow, ever so slowly, avoiding the slightest ripple in the water of his soliloquy wave. I hold my breath the whole way down.
Releasing, exhaling in measured silent wisps of warm air through my teeth and the pebble O my lips make, anchor hits bottom, the sync of his hypnotic oar undisturbed; it continues to brush the still of my anatomy’s ebb and flow.
I breathe just enough air to live, causing not so much as a flutter-by in the sheets. If I fill my lungs too deeply, selfishly, I will signal sleep’s onslaught, killer of this powerfully peaceful moment of breath, body and hand. No dream could be better than this. I own it–to the coral depths of fibrous memory.

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credit: http://mystery756.files.wordpress.com/2013/02/hands-on-body-loving.jpg