The Hours


Should my colors catch your eye
Please, don't love me sullen
If I fall
And float in arcs
Like a pendulum before you
Let me fly

But if I catch the sun
And take a season to the end
You can take me down
Some day
When I am left alone

(June 2012)

India at the half week point

It's funny how traveling with someone else can change the way you look at things. I've seen Qutb Minar and Humayun's Tomb before, but kept peering over to see "is she enjoying this?" and wondering if they are as impressive to everyone as they are to me

All around us, people (reception desk at the hotel, the driver we hired) were telling us "everything" was closed our first day in Delhi, because it was a Monday (equiv to our Sunday). And by "everything" they mean The Red Fort and a couple museums. Qutb Minar, Humayun's Tomb, India Gate ... they had us going for a while. But I remembered touring Delhi with my father a few years ago and seeing plenty on a Monday. Humayun's Tomb is still the highlight, for me


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We took off for Agra and Jaipur. Most people take a group tour or take the train to Agra. We hired a car to keep ourselves flexible and to stay in charge of our itinerary (unlike the group tour). Little did we realize that the driver and guides would be in charge of our itinerary and that they would remove all our flexibility by making us beg and argue if we wanted to see something they didn't want to take us to. We went 1-1 in our arguments. I wanted to see Fatehpur Sikhri, which they said was impossible because it was 3:30, it would take 90 minutes to get there and the ticket window closes at 4:45. After lots of insisting that Fatehpur Sikhri or not, we were *not* going to go with them to the textile shop (probably owned by a friend or family member) they said okay,we'll go to Fatehpur Sikrhi. It ook 60 minutes and the ticket window was open til 5:00.

Requisite Standard Taj Shot

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Inside the Taj

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The imposing Victory Arch at Fatehpur Sikhri

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The next day it was the monkey temple at Jaipur. That was *the* highlight for Maura. We said let's do that first. The guide said for traffic reasons, do it on the way out. That makes the most sense. We did everything but the monkey temple and parted from the guide, who said he had nothing more to tell us. We got in the car and the driver flat out refused to go. He said the traffic was horrible, it would take and hour to get there and from Jaipur to Delhi is 6 hours as it is; from the monkey temple it would be 7. I almost turned to Maura to say, in Spanish, "he says 6 hours; I bet it takes 4.5". It took 4.5. I think he made up 6 to make his no monkey temple argument make more sense.

We did get to see the Jantar Mantar, which was very cool.
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But we're back in Delhi, and soon will be in the protective custody of family, so all should be well.

Rave On


Rave on
I've got the light contained,
Don't worry. I have hidden
All the fireworks away
So you can rave on.

Tomorrow will come searching
Like a temptress in the night, but
I won't concede the hours
That I fought so hard to keep
For you to rave on.

Rave on

I'll try to read this slowly
But the fire burns too bright
So maybe rave on.

(Feb, 2011)

O'er West Gate Skies


O'er west gate skies I had a dream
Of confidence and comfort told
In tense and tender gazes thrown,
And under streams of broken sun,
Of hours lost in minutes spent.

O'er the haze and held aloft    
On gossamer suspended lifts
Forgot the night had broken foul
And tripped along a misted trail

Under lights I sat alone
And dreamt aloud of when I'd wake,
A brand new world to see tonight,
A brand new history to write.

(Dec, 2010)


Sketch


That was the sound of a winded ambition,
Catching a breath before curling around.
These are the shapes of impractical visions
Which break on the apex and then run aground.
The lines that we march on and plan on and govern
That soar, parabolic, while axes are shifting.
We promise, our penchant to rise and recover,
To fix with a straightness where arches are drifting.

(Nov, 2010)


Wanderlust


There's a restlessness inside me that I cannot yet explain,
The hunger for a taste; a ramble of the senses.
In a meeting, for a minute, I feel the need to rise,
Inopportune, unguided, in search of ...
If I knew.

My fingers drum the table, trying to find it in a rhythm.
I scribble full a notebook trying to find it in a word.
If I could catch it in a picture or a passage or a moment
I could lay my pencil down and hold the real thing for a night.

I'm waiting for the day that a shiver chills my spine,
The sensation that will fill me, like a warmth that burns within
From temptation of release or euphoria, or sighs
In contentment or the memory of where the spirit lies

(Nov, 2010)


The Colors We Come In


In the stillness of everything, love,
Held between moments, and now
As lights and the sound of the city
Draw closed the day

If I catch a glimpse of you coming,
The first to trade on that line,
Like yesterday walked through the door
And drew forth a smile 

Hold out a hand for me, love,
And show me the colors you come in.
Don't mind the crowds that we gather;
We all take our turns.

(October, 2010)


Common Comfort


You’ll bring them down
The critics and clowns
And all their observers.
Ask them to speak
The wisdom is weak,
Quiet and nervous.

You’ll the pay price
Of fire and ice,
And bad understanding.
But stand where you are.
You’re taller by far,
Then all their commanding.

You've done your deed,
Now softly recede.
Prepare for the leaving.
And dream of the day
We all come your way
Forget all the grieving.

(Sometime in 1997)


While The Night Is Hidden


While the night is hidden underneath a cozy veil
While the only light we see comes through in tender pulses
While the sounds of silk and cotton keep us till the morning
While our arms lie intertwined across your rising breast

Until we fall asleep, our lips too tired for dreaming
Until we reach perfection in the timing of our sighs
Until we're satisfied with the depth of our contentment
Until the space around us opens out into the world   

As long as I can feel all the warmth of every heartbeat
As long as touch and silence can communicate intent
As long as I can trace your curling pattern with my fingers
As long as you can lie awake and smile away the hours

While the darkness holds us to each other like a tune
Until the sunlight forces us to rise and say goodbye
As long as nothing matters but the dwindling space between us
As long as I can speak to you, I'll lay your figure down.      


(Sep, 2010)

Bittersweet


Where was it, we stood,
When you told me what you told me,
Assured me that my silence wasn't wasted.
A promise that we'd have another day.

I used to pass that corner by and by
And find in small coincidence
Excuses to indulge a mood that long since lifted.
Nostalgia for the things you used to say.

I wrote a single line once
The best I've ever written
An isolated thought, but I could never tie it down.

Do you recall the moment,
Oh, that meloncholy memory,
When I strung out on a line to make you smile?
And distance even lifts that smile away.

(June 2010)


Brightling Flash 


Like a brightling flash across the sky
A candle flicker in my eye
The quiet dark and jumping light
That fight within
And wander straight

Thundrous loud and echoing
That lies there like a twisted spring
The listeless and unmoving fright
Comes stumbling in
And lingers late

(August 2007)


Three Ladies


I drew on Salvador Dali,
Apologized, up and down
for my transgression,
then, quietly, I tested out a smile.

Perhaps in hell or heaven he’s unfurling
That great mustache, and spitting on my grave.
Or maybe he is sitting up and laughing.
Or maybe he is gone and does not care.

(August, 1998)


My Best Excuse


When I refuse to sing
It’s not the song that I abhore.
It’s my voice that I distrust,
A rumbling drone I can’t ignore.

When I refuse to run
It’s not to say that I can wait
Or that the destination bores.
I only fear my stumbling gait.

Don’t be mad when I don’t speak.
When I find the words, I will.
I will shout my thanks and praise
When I find I have the skill.

(November 1998)

Stunned


If words assault, and I stand still
Emitting streams of useless thoughts,
Crossed out once and writ again,
Surrounded soft by lines and dots -
No form, no shape, or shift or size,
No prize to guess or theme or twine -
Untangled plot or savored sounds,
Compared to paradise unkind -
Would you then, in tempered hew,
Break on with incautious speed?
And what's the cost or lessons lost
Of simple time, too meek to heed?

(December 1995)

Before I Leave


If only for a moment
I held a foreign object of temptation
in my fingers
round the neck
And shudd'ring at the consequence
of a touch gone wrong,
let slip a slender tendency
that ever serves me ill.

I succumbed, on leaving
To unjustified emotions. 
Not sadness shook me, wisdom, or regret
But the unfocused tears of a sober man, dull and sober
Who cannot reach to grasp to feel and only knows the weeping and the absence
The tendril fog of jealousy 
The yearning for a thing he should have held

And fell into that mental disrepair
That calls a man unfortunate for what he cannot bring himself to do.

I once imagined strings of sentiments in tempos varied
To play as moment passed to moment, closing
When horizons drawn of pleated silk held back the morning breeze 'til I was ready.

I once envisioned photographs that jumped and jittered in between
With volume raised, kinetic, 
Because as if my presence and the mad uncertain rhythm of my heart could grow infectious.

I dreamt only of melodies and travels and of poems

Rose

And spent the day in ceaseless chasing

As the night drew closed, it brought me in possession
With a hand laid loosely soft around the neck of foreign beauty

Let go
Let slip the melody

Let slide.

(May 2010)


August Found Me Reeling


August found me reeling
September found me reeled
A blackness drawn upon my skin
Where hurt had been revealed
A pattern drawn upon me
A stain of silk and steel
In shapes that kept on shifting
As the shapes began to peel.

Out on the open grasslands
And sprawled across the field
Away from darkened hallways
And the corridors of steel
I laid myself uncovered
Naked as a wheel
Where a sentence fell upon me
And it brought me to a kneel

I waited out the season
Time went by unreal
Pride casts a moving shadow
Where your sorrow is concealed
I never moved a moment
I didn't want to feel
But I heard the hangman whisper
You must fall down low to heal

(May 2010)


Grace


This is the very last moment
With the sun in your eyes
The world, as it seems to recede,
Just grows brighter and fades

As the last of the tokens
Slips from your hand
Unspent, unrewarded
Saved for the one perfect day that never drew by

You can rage at the settling quiet,
Raise a fist to the skies
But the wind shutters on, unaffected
By your riots and trades

Still there are two horizons
And one always rising
Turn your best face toward it
Say your grace to the morning and smile with a sigh

(April 2010)

Wrong Side of the Line


I fell out on the wrong side,
On the wrong side of the line
Where the painted markers indicate
What's yours and what is mine
I never thought to think about
A meaning to define
Until I lost my memory
On the wrong side of the line

I never watched my footsteps
Too carefully to see
The river underneath my feet
Was winding out to sea
Just enjoyed the walking
When you're walking there with me
Til I came out on the wrong side
From where I meant to be.

Now I look across the landscape
And the landscape looks divine
Where you're sitting with a good friend
Whom I used to think was mine
Basket full of baked goods
And a bottle full of wine
Cause I fell out on the wrong side,
On the wrong side of the line.

(April, 2010)


Pictures from Argentina


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Pictures from my recent trip to Argentina


Last Thoughts


I was warned (by travel guides and websites) that no one in Buenos Aires takes 100 peso notes. This is largely true. Big stores and restaurants will, but taxis, cafes, small shops ... no chance. So the advice on the websites was to draw out money in amounts like 290 pesos, to make sure to get some 10s and 20s. Stupid websites. You can just walk into a bank and hand them your hundreds and say "I'd like 10s and 20s". I would have saved myself a lot of ATM fees if I had done that (and the ATM fees for using by Chase card were huge, 15 pesos each time = $4).

Practical issues aside, I probably didn't do Buenos Aires justice. I was here on a Tuesday, then after a week, the Wednesday through Friday leading up to Easter. This isn't Buenos Aires at it's hoppingest. Took some time to find out that Palermo is the place to eat, but the last two dinners have been excellent (I highly recommend Bio and Artemesia, both vegetarian restaurants, should you ever find yourself here).

My hotel in the Microcentro (the one I posted pictures of) was fantastic and a great place to sit and relax or talk, but the Microcentro is sort of dead. Not much to see, not much to do. Recoleta and Palermo are much more interesting to walk around, have more interesting plazas and museums and better food. Live and learn.

Night life here seems to start later than NYC. Bars are just getting crowded at 1 am or later and at 3:30, when people like me can't really hold on much longer, the party is in full swing (and keeps on going straight into breakfast).

As I leave, bottom line ... the variety of landscapes in Argentina is wonderful. The National Parks were beautiful and offered all kinds of hiking and other activities. Quite a bit like the western United States, I guess. I came thinking I wasn't going to have enough time in Buenos Aires and maybe I should cut back on the traveling, but I think we got it right. 3+ days in Buenos Aires is enough, and I can't think of anything on the tour of Argentina that I would have wanted to lose.