Lots of Haikus

I craved sheet music 

Dragged my nails along the earth

Until Italy. 

I burned the temple 

In pursuit of the priestess 

And found salvation. 

I breathed in the smell 

Of fine wines and sweet sea salts

Of olives and rose.

I discovered there 

Among the gnarled green trees

An ancient story. 

A sleeping mythos 

Come alive in the autumn 

The old ritual;

The old old country
With its romance languages

Its zupa and prawn 

Its olive oil 

Pressed thick as maple syrup 

Bottled for dinner.

I walked through the square 

And saw with tears in my eyes 

Brunelleschi’s Dome.

I strolled the Arno

In search of focaccia and wine 

Found only myself. 

A wanderer

A pebble floating downstream 

Toward wine dark seas. 

A stranger alight 

In the land of Medici 

Clutching my passport;

Clinging far too long 

To some lost notion of love

The relics of death;

The spoils of war,

A war no one could but win

Though both met defeat.

An old memory 

Playing on a projector 

Dancing on the screen,

But would not dissolve 

Into that pregnant ether 

Nor would dissipate

Into the endless sea 

The True Mother of Human

The bearer of life;

Nor the winking moon

The torch blazing in the dark 

The big hunk of cheese; 

Nor the deep valley 

Carved from fossilized rivers

Moving down mountain;

An old memory 

Playing ad infinitum

Here inside my head;

Deciding my fate,

Rendering my art ugly 

And yet beautiful.

I went off searching 

For mystics with seashell eyes 

Who knew the secrets;

Objectivity 
A reality I could not touch 

A meaning yet found.

And when I arrived, 

On Dante’s doorstep 

With my old question, 

Banging in my mind 

Expecting to listen 

To the sound of inferno 

Burning in his soul, 

I found the front door 

Paint chipping into nothing

Swinging wide open,

The living room dark, 

Smelling of dead company 

And swarms of fruit flies
Swirling the altar 

Where mangos lay smashed 

Into froth and pulp.

I found the bedroom 

Draped in yellow skeletons,

And sad melody;

A quartet playing 

In the shadows by the bed 

Without sheet music; 

Without instruments 

Without drum or conductor

Without care at all. 

I found them laughing 

Their eyes filled with some big joke,

Some cosmic joke.

And what could I do, 

But cackle right alongside

While they played me 

The last sonata

Their pal Jesus ever wrote,

An opus of life 

A real tear jerker

A meaningless spell of notes 

A manifesto. 

They played til they cried 

And when they cried, the sound rose 

Above the white noise,

The empty answers,

The stupid bullshit 

That once filled every blank space 

In my throbbing thoughts;

Every wondering

A wandering, every fall 

A chance to get up

Every last question

I could ever think to pose

Finally withdrawn.

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