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       maXwell


maXwell

1/28/2007 8:44:16 PM

Over and over

Over and over that black old knife
Chopped the herbs to add some spice

Over and over that black old knife
Parted hair to crush the lice

Over and over that black old knife
Nicked the coin to verify

Over and over that black old knife
Peeled the skin to circumcise

Over and over that black old knife
Carved toys by the fireside

Over and over that black old knife
Gouged in chunks the block of ice

Over and over that black old knife
Left on the counter licked by mice

Over and over that black old knife
Hotwired cars for joyrides

Over and over that black old knife
Regained its edge against the file

Over and over that black old knife
Sharpened the pencil point to write


maXwell

11/17/2006 8:38:55 PM

The Story of the Burning Man

I was young
when I saw the burning man
walking in the park
his face behind flames
his hair in blue smoke.
He burned and walked.
Children stopped games
to look
turning an instant to mothers
or nannies.
The grass remained green.

Sometimes now
talking around the coffee table
one will turn
toward the window to a sudden sound
and I see
for an instant
singed hair perhaps a trace of blue smoke
before fingers comb hair back to hair.
I know I've seen
after a swallow of coffee on a cold day
before the sentence is resumed
a spark gap the lips.
I love them more for this.

Around a late night fire
I've told children
the story of the burning man:
"I know he was a man
though he looked
almost like an upright log
walking in the park
enveloped in flame."
As I speak
I see the burning man
walking in the wide eyes
in silence
in flames.

And I fear.
I fear my fear.
It crackles at my temple
stings my eyes.

I fear to walk
and not burn.

 

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