TWO EARLY POEMS
You lie bent up in embryo sleep
below the painting of the blue fisherman
without a pillow.
The checkered cover kicked and tangled on the floor
the old house creaking now
a car going by
a fire engine up the hill.
Iíve disentangled myself from you
groping in the dark for cigarettes,
and now three cigarettes later
I sit across the room watching you -
the light from the street lamp
coming through the shutters
hysterical patterns flash on the wall sometimes
when a car goes by
otherwise there is no change.
Not in the way you lie curled up.
Not in the sounds that never come from you.
Not in the discontent I feel.
Youíve filled completely
this first November day
with Sausalito and sign language
canoe and coffee
ice cream and your wide eyes.
And now unable to sleep
because the day is finally going home
because your sleep has locked me out
I watch you and wonder at you.
I know your face by touch when itís dark
I know the profile of your sleeping face
the sound of you sleeping.
Sometimes I think you were all sound
kicking free of covers
and adjusting shutters
moving about in the bathroom
taking twenty minutes of our precious time.
I know the hills
and gullies of your body
I have total recall of you
and Stanyan Street
because I know it will be important later.
Itís quiet now.
Only the clock,
moving toward rejection tomorrow
breaks the stillness.
- from "Stanyan Street & Other Sorrows", 1965, 1966
If we are lucky
even the lilacs
will last the weekend.
We'll last too.
And the leave taking will come
Each of us will carry for a while
a secret hurt
but a pride at being just right for the other.
Then - one day - one will forget
later on - the other.
In time no one will know or remember
a weekend in early April shared by two
old enough to know not to expect too much
not to want this time for more than what it is,
the final weekend.
When everything is almost right
and both of us are old enough
to know and to be thankful
for the little time that we have left.
-from the book & album "Listen to the Warm", 1966, 1967