Paris!

You magical line of lambency!
Sparkled Champs,
Eiffel glow,
Musée d’Orsay.
San Chapelle rose.

Where have you cradled all of your people tonight?

My God, big city,
What have you done with the poor?
We don’t see them too much in Le Bon Marché.

Yum, tum, rum d’rum,
We love your seats,
Love, love your treats,
Love the repeats!

Your fine baguettes,
And thinest crepes.
The chocolatier?
Sip some liqueur?
Get an éclaire?

I don’t know where the man we saw begging for Euros on Rue Renne is sleeping tonight.

Avenue Montaigne?
Seine-Saint-Denis?
Svelte or slummed?
Head off or free?

Is it zinc or is it pink?
Or is it tin-bin-din-twin thin?

They tell me Paris is dangerous and I believe them.
I’ve seen the men with their fingers near the triggers of their automatic weapons.
They have bullet proof vests and watchful eyes.

They tell me Paris is safe, and I believe them.
I gave Euros to the woman begging on Rue Renne.
She was grateful and stayed on the ground.
No one grabbed my iPhone at Sacré-Cœur.

Money making
Career breaking.
Heart aching.
Muckraking.
Decor staking.

Royal shattered,
Revolution battered,
Art-splattered.

And yet still visited.
Still occupied.

Life-waker.
Vacation Maker
Reputation staker.

You are a floral print dress crossing the street.
The cool zippered leather jacket at the cafe.

Fashion rocket,
Pick-pocket,
Sight socket,
Destination docket.

Train-tracked,
People-packed,
Wine-racked
History-smacked.
Money-backed
Terrorist-cracked —

And yet …

Still ours …

Still the big bright-light-site for the whole world.

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I am shell-shocked by the sheer hit and hellish hack of human hurt.

Our poor fragile bodies —

These gorgonized, agonized and amplified mélanges of terrified imperfection.

They break, they ache, they bake.

And yet …

To even have a body.

To even move through space and time.

To think and feel, to be alive,

To eat and laugh and love, to lose and gain again.

This, just this,

This contextualized semi-fixity of bodily permanence.

This gorgeous dire-defended-dangling sentience.

This good-sick, savory-bland, sensuous-torturous, bright-dark vivacity.

This brief, brilliant, barreling, biting dash through the thin air of our spinning, sun-smacked, rain-dashed, poxed and rashed blue planet,

This living this of this and this and this.

Ahhhhh, I love this gift of zing and zap and zest.

To lean and tilt and rise and soar.

To breathe, to see, to weigh, to choose.

To be completely and severally existable within the grace-filled, love-packed, picked and wrapped resistible.

Ah and ah and ah,

I love this life paced out within the imperfect-wonderful, immediate-possible of the material miracle.

All that love does is from because.

Because of love, because, because.

Because we met in the library.
Because I secretly fell in love with your stunningly gorgeous mind.
Because I am never sure what you are going to say next.

Because it is always honest.

Because you were my first confidant.

Because you love Shakespeare almost as much as I do.
Because I told you I loved you that afternoon in the park.
Because you told me you were honored by that.

Because we kissed in the motor home.
Because we got married at the church.
Because we lost the baby, and had the little girls.

Because you love the girls.

Because I love the girls.

Because we lived through brain damage, learning disability, heartbreak, surgery, the loss of friends, the loss of jobs, the recession and then … the divine provision.

Because we will always have that, and because you are strong, I will always love you.
Because we lived through that and didn’t quit and traveled the world together anyway.
Because our love grew old, and safe and calm.

Because we still sleep with our arms around each other.

Because you take my hand.

Because you kiss my lips.

Because you still tell me I am wrong when I am wrong.

Because you love me.

Love, love, love.

Because, because, because.

Because of love.

We love because.

Gliding, gliding — centered sure
The new mother draws her baby near.
Things hold together; the center cannot shift.

A new revelation is at hand!

Finger tips touch finger ends,
Foreheads to kisses bend.

Holy water sifting down
Glasses clinking to the sound.

The best exult!

The worst slouch hellishly toward bedlam!

Surely something new is at hand!
Surely a second, third or even fourth coming is at hand.
But even before I am on the roof,
An epiphany!
I am barely up
When a familiar rushing wind
Buries the slow churning thighs in the bottom of the next cradle.
Pitiless lens, mechanical bird, dark-dropped-death smacked flat.
What holy child is this, it’s magic hour come round at last,
Who strides confidently toward Bethlehem.

The politicians up for election, how they clobber, club and crucify each other — the back room hacking, the in-your-face attacking, the under-the-table cracking, the character fracking and reputation hijacking.

Campaigns are pretty much a public brawl, in a skirt or a tie, on a hill, in a hall.

I long for something else — a quiet friend, who isn’t running for office, who isn’t telling other people off, who isn’t hiding smutty history, who has no record of groping or doping or wheeling or dealing, the wall or the hall or the floor or the ceiling.

I long for something unselfish, undivided, unbiased — something not frantic, forced, frothing, fierce.

I think of my father, now in his final years, bending over my mother in the bath, gently splashing water on her shriveled, shrunken, surgery-scared skin — softly, soapy sloshing what she can’t clean herself.

I think of my brother, at the City of Hope, wrist band 86, time-wasting wait again, the needle in the arm, the unexpected end  — of work and wish and want. He will be going back to work in a few hours to make sure people are taken care of, to make sure things will be okay when he doesn’t get to go to the office anymore.

I think of my friend who lost her husband two years ago. Thirty years then gone. There she is in the therapy room after the group meeting, waiting until everyone is gone so that she can secretly pay for her disabled friend’s care, even though her own financial future isn’t certain.

Such pauses from ourselves, such thoughts of someone else, such quiet, unseen, brave campaigns — they rise up to the top and rule when all else is lost.

Such kindness as these are of great note.

Such kindnesses as these all have my vote.

Speak up more, not less, using your own ideo-vocalized mess.

Soliloquy  — in front of yourself and everyone else-a-melse.

Monologue, dog!

You and I can flip-flop nonstop lolly pop but that gets trite fast and then we just so need to speak our favor-ite verbo-bite.

Bebop, hiphop, tipitity-top, slop-a-pop.

Ski-ba-bop-ba-bop-voc; do that thang nonstop.

Be-cause …

We have been flattened by the road-grade blade of the prepaid lexicographers.

We have been run over by the top-botched, pop-a-voc.

We have suffered weak-a-squeak.

We have sold out for safety and we have shut up way too much because we thought we were stuck-a-muck with duck and cluck.

Nope! Fess; you’ve got that vocable mess!

Unperson; you’ll worsen, but word-dive and jivity jive and you’ll revive.

See!

Be inventy.

Sync with your blink.

Que with your you and do-ba-de-do!

I sit with my latte, and my shredded wheat, my clover honey and my almond milk and discuss the hoped-for future with my bathrobed, hair-tousled, coffee-sipping wonder-wife.

We musify in the morning.

We do the back-and-forthification — which is fun — but reality keeps getting tossed into the mix, and it doesn’t always cooperate — thus there is precarity in the plans.

It is stirred into the plenty.

The sun comes up, we go to work, the day gears up, the stock market goes up, our hopes rise, fueled by interest rates and dark, rich caffeine, and then the turn, as we weary through the late morning, early afternoon, the long commute home.

The sun slants, time slumps, life leaks and floats back to the floor like a post-party balloon — precarity. Thus and so, we are temporaria  — even the wise ones, even the prescient. As the scripture says, we live move and have our being within the precariat.

Did you think it said something else?

Hatreds, hopes, happenstances; genetics, genies, jerks; accidents, illnesses, taxes — all these and more, the various and sundry vagaries and variances of any given era — these insure membership in the precariat.

Oh, life!

And yet, and yet — the persistent goodness.

I am struck always by the presistant plenty, the living-loveliness of life amidst the persistently pandemic poverties. The ghastly demons of not shirk and faint at the edges of exuberant gardens, lined with white roses.

Last week we put up an beautiful, rod iron, arched trellis at the church. And below it, we planted a passion vine.

Thus there is hope, for vine, flowers, butterflies, tendrils, the reach upward, the stunning beauty, all-passion, the inspired community.

I am shock-smitten by such improvements, everyday, constantly, the preciosities of nature — love, babies, brains, branches of community, friends, finials, finitude, infinity.

The precosities — they just keep gobbling up the precarities.