Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Space of Time

When the metronome is ticking and I have
to pause between two beats to wait for
the next note those two pauses are a lifetime
of anxious
Timing is everything
and I don't even own a watch

In those pauses I confuse want
with need
Waiting for anger to pass
Love's purgatory
If God wanted us to remember pain
he would let women love only
only one man
and have one child
Time heals all wounds
unless you hold the knife in your hand
and open them again
and again
and again

Nothing passes in the blink of an eye
string them together and your life passes
one foot on the skateboard another
on the grave
slip slip slipping
into Hobbes brutish world
of pain or ignorance
both hell one with a little less shame

Let's fly to Vegas you pick the game
roll the dice happy for awhile
girls with big feathers in their hair
will kick our your worries
until the next blue monday rolls around
it's only the days you can't go swimming
that you really want to break the water
and be a mermaid
underwater you can only hear muffled sounds
so I can't hear you say
the things you need to say

A moment's hesitation can change the world
if we hadn't dropped a bomb
if we had waited a tiny second before the
thing we knew would hurt
would fly from our mouth and
land as a dagger
If if if you don't love me anymore.

"If you could only speak to me in words with four letters"
she said to her lover
"what would you say to me?"
The Staccato phrases would follow
of course
Love, need, miss, want that's easy
She won't hear fire, hope, stay, fly, go
those words are saved for desperate moments
or brave days
After awhile you wouldn't even miss the big words
Understanding left for sure
Passion for want
and sadness for need

And when it's sure
when you are sure of someone
of something
and you can let the pauses
whether they are a few moments eating grapes
or a few days flying
or a few weeks waiting
when they pass with ease when your stomach
isn't in knots when its comfortable
the pausing
I can exhale and get on with the other things waiting
the metronome ticking and my mind isn't racing
to the next thought
the next note

I watch patience struggle with the open spaces today
and I want time to speed along
as I always want time to speed along
It's raining and the air smells like chemicals
and I am wondering about tomorrow
I play twinkle twinkle little star four hundred thousand times
racing one moment and then slow the next
to learn timing is everything
and I don't even know where to find a watch

Hey Mr. Do you have the time?
whisper it in my ear
and tell me the temperature in Keys
one more time
just in time to book a flight
through hurricane season
and when the pine trees are touching the ground
I will lean in and ask you quietly
without a sign of panic
"was this your idea?"
and in those few pauses
I will know everything is OK that this too will pass

Can you sit there and let me just look at you for awhile
until I am sure?
In the silence can you let me gather close
and just sit there
and let me watch the line from your neck
to your shoulder
let me look at the way you watch children play
let me take notes while you are in line
a long line
Do you shake your head
do you lean from one foot to the next
do you hold your hand behind your back
with the other like a soldier on a ship
waiting to land
in those pauses I will be unlocking the gate
whispering you in
and you will say
"what's the password?"

Is the world moving too fast for you or too slowly? Are you feeling anxious about the arrival or the departure of something? Are you sad and wonder if it will take another 67 days to pass and what fuel you need to find to feed the fire to burn the air for it to pass? Then be assured you are not alone in the world. You can find me at or my work at


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