Sonnets

I write sonnets to hold myself together.

Tag: beauty

Cellular infusions of brilliance

Context — When the sun breaks through days of gloom these images flash through my mind.

 

Perpetuality of spring, invade
the gloomy nooks my body’s caverns house,
mosaically leave viscera inlaid
to multiply the beams sun’s sheen endows.
Create in me a parquet floor of jewels
as intricate as Moorish alcazar,
mathematically refracting, drying pools
that are black thoughts’ ink-tinted reservoirs.
Construct me from resuscitated stones
whose flesh was forged from starry mass like yours,
shine holiness to unembalm my bones,
transmute biotic body’s walls to doors.
So bellow biochemicals to glow!
Grant confidence to conquer earthen woe.

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Tailored shirts covering fools’ hearts

Context — The difficulty of saying is that one cannot un-say.

 

The finest shirt, French cuffed and cotton, pressed,
portrays sophistication none denounce.
Yet when the shirt of thread is dispossessed,
its sole unraveling takes ounce by ounce
aesthetics first, then function, cancer that
a scissor snip can slow, but never stop.
I worry that in world aristocrat
rogue thread is unintended malaprop:
to fly ideas fancifully as if
they came in passing, unconsidered, may
if seen as overstepping, cause a rift
in fabric, as in trust that’s cast away.
The yarn you pull to weave could wreck what’s on
the cloth: beware the heart-fueled lexicon.

For _____, unsent

Context — I apologized to a girl once. December 28, a while ago.

 

To Palo Alto air blew south from north,
from late September through the holidays,
in nightly cycles round my lungs brought forth
your memory, which pierced my stolid ways.
You’ve eyes that fix me blushing in my place,
a confidence that steadies others’ hope,
a wit to dispatch hangers-on with haste,
are striking to the point it’s hard to cope.
My shame no longer reasoned an excuse,
my mind reframed our pleasant past undone,
I’d drive to find you, hoping that the bruise
would heal when I admit to love of one.
Reduced by your Canadian vignette,
the boy, mistaken, voiced his first regret.

Rediscover the Wild West

Context — I love the southwest and wrote this to invite classmates on a December road trip with me through northern Arizona and southern Utah. Sonnet 28, 11/22/09

 

A land of browns was painted scarlet where
thick dust and rock were worn by water’s course,
six thousand feet of strata shining, bare
the gorgeous gorge from Colorado’s force.
Beside the Canyon flood and sandstone fought
beneath the hooves of hunted Antelope
to shield themselves from surface sun onslaught,
a slotted labyrinth of orange and taupe.
Escaping nature, they carved home from cliff:
the Anasazi “House Under the Rock”
had just one thousand years of life, what if
more words were left to pick history’s lock?
December tenth through seventeenth, succumb
to desert solitaire. You ought to come.

Gilded homes of impracticality

Context — I’ve long had a ritual of sitting alone in the late evening and looking up at the sky or stars to unwind just before going to bed. While sitting on my roof this evening, surveying Haight Ashbury’s houses, I had a think.

 

With ground-lit darkness hiding all the proof
of stars, I pondered, why the gable roof?
It stood beside its replicas, as bouffe
would make of Painted Ladies, locals’ spoof.
It snows not where we are, so why align
the angles such that topmost floor’s confined?
Metropolis could use a more benign
and spacious warehouse structural design.
Yet all the places seen in neighborhood
use paneling, trim, girder, roof of wood
as if it through both fire and earthquake stood,
like local history’s misunderstood.
And yet, despite curmudgeon’s rationale,
the Haight’s quixotic pledge boosts my morale.

Your rapturous fiction

Context – this is about that halo of beautiful, flattering stories you weave about an intriguing stranger when you see him or her at a coffee shop with the light falling on the face just right.

 

You sit, assailing Schopenhauer. Smoke
twists tender tendril blurred behind tableau
embalming foreground porcelain. Evoke
reaction, tip the scene, speak! She’ll bestow
approval that I’d never known to need:
a smile, tiny rivets round the lips,
a giggle, cheekbone wiggle, hardly greed
against the brutish masculine’s wish: hips.
So small a sign, gargantuan a thought
disheveled pale perfection gifted, by
her very ignorance of how mind’s wrought
in gnarl and knot each place she drifted. Sigh.
To live in love, pretend beauties of youth
equate to godliness. Seek shallow truth.

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