Tuesday, April 28, 2015

24 toward the Omer

Heat, trees.
Soft footsteps.
I lift my eyes.
I see.
I look back.
God nods,
The door
I go
to myself.

Monday, April 27, 2015

23 toward the Omer #2

Today is twenty-three. The poem was written half the day ago. What do I do now? I've caught up to the path.

The spaciousness is unfamiliar but created. The spaciousness is not in equilibrium with the spaciousness outside the spaciousness. There is an opening somewhere,

closed by a door, and I know I can open the door and see what's on the other side, but I know already,

the door is transparent, there is song out there but so much else besides, and suddenly I understand my friend's fear of success,

because success is a castle that disappears into a vista where you see what's around and it is nothing you feel protected in

Sunday, April 26, 2015

23 toward the Omer

New York Times photograph caption: More than 25 million years ago, India crashed into Asia. The two land masses are still colliding today.

Roget's International Thesaurus Third Edition colliquative 390.7 collision: contrariety 15.1 counteraction 177.1 clash 282.3 accident 727.2 opposition 788.2 contest 794.3 hostility 927.3 collocate:

15. Contrariety nouns 1. contrariety, oppositeness, opposition, opposure; antithesis, contrast, contraposition, contradiction, contradistinction; antagonism, repugnance, oppugnance, hostility, inimicalness, antipathy, clashing, collision, conflict; polarity.

173. Tendency 174. Liability 175. Implication 176. Concurrence 177. Counteraction nouns 1. counteraction, counterworking; opposition, opposure, contradiction; antagonism, repugnance, oppugnance or oppugnancy, antipathy,

conflict, friction, interference, clashing, collision; resistance, renitency. 178. Space 179. Region 180. Country 181. The Country 182. Town 183. Location 184. Dislocation 185.

Presence 186. Absence 16. Difference 161. Violence 159. Weakness 190. Abode 503. Incredulity 406. Life 407. Death 444. Invisibility nouns 1. invisibility, imperceptibility, unperceivability

2. indistinctness, paleness, dimness, darkness, shadowiness fuzziness haziness mistiness fogginess verbs 3. be invisible, escape notice, lie hid, blush unseen adjs. 4. unbeholdable

insensible sightless out of sight unseen unbeheld unobserved unnoticed unperceived 5. indistinct unclear unplain indefinite undefined ill-defined ill-marked faint dim vague

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22 toward the Omer

Clean faith. Clean faith. Tears, bones, in faith. Chest, throat, in faith. Faith needs to be talked out of suicide at night
when there’s too much to do already. Faith wears all colors except blue, which is reserved for the priesthood. Faith is
candles upon candles, upon candles, upon mirrors, upon mirrors. Faith is the night of water in the night when the moon swings
and the clouds scatter in no wind. Faith is silence. Faith is choking silence. Faith is choking silence in grief. Faith is
choking silence in unknown. Faith is known choking. Faith is known constriction. Clean faith. Clean faith. Clean, pure, luminous, floating, comforting, faith.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

21 toward the Omer

Shlomiya fingers an edge of my beige knit sweater, says that in crochet everything is made of different-sized holes.

Friday, April 24, 2015

20 toward the Omer

Blue flowers grow around growing trees. We stand in my kitchen. What's here say? she says, touching. Okay, I say.

19 toward the Omer

Yesterday I was caffeinated and was talking to my dad on the phone and walked straight past the building
that I thought I was supposed to stop at and so I continued on to the next building thinking
maybe there is some reason I'm supposed go there and I hung up the phone and went inside and asked
three different people if they might be the reason I was supposed to have come there and they said
they didn't know but the last of them was not feeling like being in that building so I said
do you want to walk back to the other building with me? and he said sure and we left
and in front of the first building is a volleyball court and the path went in front of it
and I asked if he wanted to sit outside for a minute because there was still some time left
but the wind started blowing real strong and before he could answer the volleyball court sand was skating over us
and so we took that as a no and let the air and sand move us inside the building
and I knew there something to know and though I've forgotten what it could be enough to know that

18 toward the Omer

At night I put on someone else's pajamas with the smell of the evening's puja in my hair
and in the morning I put on two dresses, the second one black, the first a mystery underneath

17 toward the Omer

If I add day twenty to a start from days ago is it any approximation of seventeen?
Yesterday for once I was the first to get out of bed. God, sometimes I don't know
if you're the one searching or searched for. I used to hide in cabinets in my dreams.
Is that what cleaning for Passover is about? So that one day we will finally come across
you where you tucked yourself away in a moment of loneliness between the allspice and the marjoram?
Will it matter in that moment who found whom or whether we even meant to do so?
Will we be able to hide our look of surprise behind our look of relief or get
over the having forgotten look behind the look of surprise if we see it in the other?
Sometimes it's hard to remember what's here in my kitchen and similarly sometimes you're so far away

Monday, April 20, 2015

16 toward the Omer #2

"The idea of a single point of explanation is fundamental to the religious or mythological style...."
(Fisher, "Wonder and the Steps of Thought," Wonder, The Rainbow, and the Aesthetics of Rare Experiences)

God, what do you know of discernment? Did you create this because there was nothing else
you could think of that would give you more satisfaction? Did you map out the overlap

between your gifts and your needs? Did you send your nostrilbreath through a prism (the second
thing in existence, that which separates) in order to view the results of your possible choices?

Did you make everything you ever imagined because that felt like a way not to decide?
Did you create the stars just to consult them? If so, God, I have to say

you can trust yourself, the answers you seek have always been right there inside of you

16 toward the Omer

There is a dark bug on the pavement and I am the only one looking down
and I hope for the best but don't say anything and the moment of truth comes

15 toward the Omer

Biddeford Coastline

To stay balanced while moving keep two parts of your body in touch with rock
at all times. This thready fanning purple clinging weed has a name but I don't
know it. Look! I say pointing and she turns around and says something that is
mildly positive but turns back around and I'm left back with it and it says
I don't need your attention even if you need me to need it I didn't
need you to come here even if you needed to come I did not ask
to be noticed even if you needed to notice me I don't need this poem

14 toward the Omer

In the afterlife everyone has forgotten what fallout shelters used to be for because
the fallout shelters there are shelters instead for everything that has ever fallen out:

for keys fallen out of pockets, styles out of fashion, birds out of trees,
toddlers and windowscreens and Anton, almost four years ago today, out of windows,

soldiers and children out of line, seminarians out of faith, lovers out of love—
all of these and more shelter at the fallout shelters, which are strung through

and through with hammocks, beds, swings, bags, nests, trampolines, tubs of warm buoyant water,
humans and angels and other beings trained in the arts of cradled arms and cupped hands

who murmur continuously You are loved here, you are held here, you are safe

Sunday, April 19, 2015

13 toward the Omer

Exitspin n. The walk or date two people go on after breaking up
but before parting ways, for example, “Let me take you on an exitspin
around the block.” “Would you be up for an exitspin?” "I didn't mean
for the exitspin to happen....I'm not sure how I feel about it."
Exitspinning trans. v. Putting doubts, confusion, or other barriers before a person who
is trying to leave a violent or otherwise dangerous situation. Exitspinning intrans. v.
1) Staying in a revolving door for multiple full rotations; a common pastime
of teenagers wanting to go some places fast and others not at all.
2) Trying to leave a person, place, thought, habit, or thing over, and
over, and over again, just to find yourself right back where you started.

12 toward the Omer

hod shebigvurah--humility within discipline

All the twine is up in front of the apartment building to
which we had walked last Friday before I had noticed that this
was one of my eruv-checking stops and my friends had asked

what was in or out but all I knew was the line

Friday, April 17, 2015

11 toward the Omer

What is done? Done is knowing that there is stillness there,
a bit of universe finally in final form, at least until
a time of undone, which itself can be done or undone

What is doing? Doing is knowing that there is movement here,
it's not the thing but the act that has some composure,
some rest, some stillness, like settling into tracing the same line

over and over again, like combing her hair with my fingers

Thursday, April 16, 2015

10 toward the Omer

Yesterday I took the Porter stairs two at a time
and it felt good to collapse with lungs searing having
made it in time to my next mode of transportation

Waking up at 11am after going to bed at 3am
is a step forward because it's listening to my body
even if it's listening to my body too late

There might not be accomplishment in a world of now
but there might not be failure either, and that thought
might be the healing needed on a day like today

What does it mean to be going forward and also
to be exactly where I am? Can I stay in this
moment where it's not too late or too early, where

it's just this, where it just is, where it's just?

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

9 toward the Omer

In loving memory of my grandmother Sylvia Greenfield Moses,
may her memory always be for and of blessing

Sometimes I put on my coat just to feel

held by something. Sometimes a line full of people

is here for the same reason you are. Sometimes

all you need to stay is permission to leave.

I could never tell her I loved her enough.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

8 toward the Omer

chesed shebigvurah

I know the kindest thing I could do
is have the discipline to let go of

what it is that I want second most

7 toward the Omer

The baby chews upon my hastily assembled
necklace of orange string and silver keys.
Only two of them are actually functional,
I say, though what I really mean

is that I have forgotten which doors
the others were ever intended to open

6 toward the Omer

We approach the smooth tan stone
of the circular labyrinth. Mom walks

from middle to finish and exits
and enters again from the start.

Dad steps straight to the center
and turns around to share a grin

with whomever happens to be watching.
Matt performs one cartwheel after another

trying at first to maintain perpendicularity
but soon losing and finding himself

instead in foot and then hand
and then hand and then foot

Monday, April 13, 2015

5 toward the Omer

On the way there today
I notice the song and
find the tree and then
the bird singing and I
do not know what any
of us is called although
I'm starting to learn how,
or that, or that maybe
it's rather that we're calling

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

4 toward the Omer

Last night lying quiet
on the beige concrete

before my black shoes
two branched maple twigs

like the veins of
the leaves that they

would have born arced
outward in opposite directions.

Walking that same path
today I find that

they are gone, pushed
onward once more by

the winds of Nissan--
or maybe they've become

the crimson-blooded wings
of some newborn angel--

Monday, April 6, 2015

3 toward the Omer

tiferet shebchesed

Praying on my
dark way home

from the library
past new snowbells

I feel safe
enough to go

back three steps,
pause a slow

breath of now,
walk forward more

2 toward the Omer

gevurah shebchesed

When walking
the other
direction earlier
today I'd
told the
man selling
papers whom
I'd befriended
last Shabbat

that I
would return
but then
he'd asked
me and
my friend
if we'd
mind some
kisses giving

as his
reason that
he was
French and
we had
declined in
no uncertain
terms and
I hadn't

meant to
avoid him
coming back
but I'm
walking down
the sidewalk
across the
street from
where he's

still standing,
and I
call to
him but
he doesn't
hear me
so now
I have
to decide

whether or
not to
cross over
and there's
the question
and the
cars between
the two
of us--

1 toward the Omer

chesed shebchesed

  Charlie                Card