Today's poem is by David Trinidad

Evening Twilight

Of sea and wind, and through the deepening gloom
These days are short, brittle; there is only one night.
Waxing and waning in the fog of the room,
You look like a lovely ship taking to flight

O'er the land. He considered his honeydew
As softly as falling-stars come to their ends
Against the church walls across the street. Two
Goes out drinking with four male college

I remember "Howdy Doody" and "Queen for a Day."
Because it just happened a few minutes ago.
What I wanted to do was to find a way
Along the same lines as before. Old ice,

A handsome young man, dressed all in white, carries
Future findings, silver, in the cranial cockpit,
Screens blank as postcards from cemeteries,
In a language troublesome and private.

Driving home in my blue Mustang, I threw up
On less crudely painted pictures of familiar
Things we think of will be there. He, says sand, she, a large cup
To razor-cross the cobra's kiss, to drink its venom. Her slender

Avocados, plums, the more delicate grapefruit.
One is the song which fiends and angels sing:
"Keep it up," he joked, "I'll ditch you for the cute
Pink flowers borne on the naked twigs in early spring,

And the sticky sweetness of provincial tears
Like untrained torch singers under a temporary moon"
The grave and that eternity to which the grave adheres—
Hands in your pockets, whistling the same old tune?

This poem is for Robert, remember Bob? He told me my lover's name
And he does not forget. Danny's voice on
The stitching-frame, weaving his fire and fame,
So when you wake up and find everything gone,

I'll have to wear dark glasses and carry the cane.
The skill comes in knowing when to close your eyes.
Heard far away in the distance: "Looks like rain."
He shudders his coat as if to throw off flies.

Inside, the rare bone of my hand and that harp
From some recess in the depths of my soul.
Waving a cup of grape, smart kid, his nose is sharp,
The objects of its scrutiny: trees, blue plums in a bowl,

Lincoln Continental, ocean waves, lunar eclipse
(Which caused disorder). Something on a pedestal
In the water of each other's mouths. Lips, those lips
Shake when a shovel strikes an amber bottle

At the sound of a man's command. These macho boys
On their bicycles, in the woods, are set upon by fur
Into such a sudden zest of summertime joys
I went back in the alley and I opened up my door. All her

Hushed oars dipping and squeaking. And the five sat all the time
So nicely, the cane too, on the red marble. No
I never smiled much here. Farewell, colleagues of the sublime!
Timmy's coming back to you from Orlando—

Florida, Vermont, Alabama, Mississippi! I guess
It is all my Midwestern parents talk about any more
In this sodden world. Nobody understood my distress:
I now commenced my search in earnest, but still, as before,

I would say the writing of poems is like dancing on ice
In the crisp dark night that has no stars. And
Women's voices, hurt, weeping. Intrusive electronic noises. Mice
Polish over old boards where he and she stand

During the commercials and plan their future—
Fearful and corpse-like fishes hooked and being played
To "Parables from Nature," I894—a picture
Like your mind! I love you faded, old, exiled and afraid

Of my origin. I seemed to be reaching the heights of at
Whereof Life held content the useless key;
No one may see this put-away museum-piece, this country cart
Going "bye-bye" for a while. My friend and companion informs me

There's a moth flying in circles about an inch above
All that oriental splendor of bamboo and hotel palms and stale
Talk of a wife. Now that I know about the fear of love
You who live cannot know what else the seeds must be. Hail

Poets who mistake that gesture for a style.
Stay awake, keep the film going, ignore the body count, it's just
Family photographs, and this is a man, look at his smile,
A movement there! As if the towers had thrust

Through the window beams from a wandering car
And he grinds his teeth gently because the world pays for
A flag discolored by the rains. In my head drums are
Surface things. Intentions matter not at all. God does not read your

Penny horoscope, letters never mailed. The door may
Melt where the guideless cloud melts—Oh! favored by
Bodies shining in their feathers. A half moon at midday,
I have seen it come these eight years, and these ten years, and I

Grow indifferent to dog howls, to the nestling's last peep:
What would I give for words, if only words would
Emerge; but you sleep somewhere, who in my waking never sleep.
You like a golden laugh. Idol of tacky teenage-hood,

I tell you the past is a bucket of ashes, I tell you
We put the urn aboard ship with this inscription: This
Transparent body casting long dark shadows through
The sky, in blue for elms, planted its lightest kiss

In the middle of Florence. Florence in flames. Like
The hour glass marking the passing of more wasted time.
I knew: the last of the coke, the dope, me and Mike
On the land spit. The sea wears a bell in its navel. And I'm

Anxious, exhausted, holding a luger. Grey as
A rosary of rock crystal. Wisteria blossoms. Plum
Clouds float and sheep graze. A lot of dust has
A crack at love in the warm months to come.

The quick red fox jumped over the lazy brown dog.
But note this moon. Recall how the night nurse
Can sometimes see it still in the shimmering smog
Of knowing?—I stand and hold up this universe

In the hush of space, in rooms of leaves. A high round
Snowman holding up the North Pole. Incredible! we'd say
Conversations. In the morning, I hear the sound
In the warm wind, delta reeds vibrating, a-sway,

The last flick of the wolf's tail as it disappears in
Something you smoke, or a telephone number. Late:
29 minutes past 3 a.m. Without flipping into a spin,
Candles on the lawn go out. You make a path across the slate

To escape utterly from others' anchors and holds!
The gifts do not desert us, fountains do not dry
Before the spectacle of our lives with joined hands. The storm unfolds
Instead of eyes. A slow gray feather floated down the sky.

Copyright © 2011 David Trinidad All rights reserved
from Dear Prudence — New and Selected Poems
Turtle Point Press
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

Support Verse Daily
Sponsor Verse Daily!

Home    Archives   Web Weekly Features    About Verse Daily   FAQs  Submit to Verse Daily   Follow Verse Daily on Twitter

Copyright © 2002-2011 Verse Daily All Rights Reserved