Children

Every child is naturally.    Cy Twombly.
But we destroy this.    Destroy their nerve.
By telling them.      “This is the beginning.”

They will obey.    Like sailors in Homer.
They have no idea.    How hellish.
How long it will be.     To get back to the beginning.

Should they ever be so brave.     So Homeric.

in the sunflowers, with their little flame skirts of God

I remember that summer
playing ping pong with you
in a clean madhouse

in which you were confined
and wondering,
“Do I have to let him win?”

It was back in the days
when they dressed you
in funny bathrobes,

and insist you make
collages of your feelings,
hang them near the ceilings.

There were always
cheap Van Gogh repros
from K-Mart on the walls

up and down the halls,
but never the good ones
like the bloodied ear

or the times where
V.’s face turned into stars
as he screamed blue spirals.

It was always the sunflowers (or like that).
But you said you weren’t fooled.
You knew that’s what he fell under

when the bullet went in
and failed to do its job
so miserably.

That had something to do
with the reason
you were there.

You always said
his last painting
should have been under them,

looking up
to show how easily
they turned their faces

up, up and away

towards the fire

that drives the day.

Skyline

“If I were a century younger
maybe I would understand,”
one building downtown says
to another building, its neighbor,
flirting shamelessly with every pedestrian
on the pavement below. They caress
its walls with their hands in passing.
There are things we squeeze out
of other beings just by being ourselves.
Those people must be like tubes of paint.
My favorite is the tube of ultramarine.
Because it has such dumbfounding coverage.
There’s no such thing as a mistake
if you are truly ultramarine. You just smear
more of you all over everything and no worries.
There is this meta-trope that life is a composition.
But you have to buy into that idea of linear time.
I don’t. Who lives that way, really? You do?
Seriously? You don’t go back to the beginning
and play it all over again as you will with a song?
You don’t mix all the times together at once
or fall in love with your life backwards
as Capricorns do? Then I pity you.
The ocean opts to live with no skyline.
“I respect your ultramarine decision,”
I tell the ocean every time I go past
it blue front door open on my own weird sense of time.