Aaron Blumenthal

Author, musician

41. 
He walks along the silent streets of late
In late night's hour, his ears composing song
Of something half in the air, like fishing bait
To bid his quiet mind to leave its lawn.
The dew there reeks of ecstasy and lace
Stained by the wet of love—those tired, old tears—
And all the thoroughfare of vaporous years
Ring like a shade disbanded in the furnace,
A hissing mist, those fuming years, time's yearn
The condensation made there when the sky
Rises, the compensation laced upon the lawn,
The last hushed sounds of languor low and nigh.
Those streets and dark can only save his mind
So long the dawn and love will stay behind.
7/18/14 I don't like this sonnet at all.
42. 
It's time you woke, you rebel spirit of
The evening hour. What thoughts have you brought to visit
Me today? What broken whiff of love?
What invitation to reflect upon
Past faults, passed in the caught breath
Of youth as folly? I knew my fawn and fawning
Would end—I knew my heart would end, my death
The ceremony of all insurrection.
It's nearly time to sleep, thou brutal chain
Of fear disguised as love about my mind,
About my mind, about my mind. The same
Can be said of thee, and thoughts devout to your kind.
Some time I'll cross with You and ask "What is it?"
And in that hour taste my long reflection.
41. 
He walks along the silent streets of late
In late night's hour, his ears composing song
Of something half in the air, like fishing bait
To bid his quiet mind to leave its lawn.
The dew there reeks of ecstasy and lace
Stained by the wet of love—those tired, old tears—
And all the thoroughfare of vaporous years
Ring like a shade disbanded in the furnace,
A hissing mist, those fuming years, time's yearn
The condensation made there when the sky
Rises, the compensation laced upon the lawn,
The last hushed sounds of languor low and nigh.
Those streets and dark can only save his mind
So long the dawn and love will stay behind.

42. 
It's time you woke, you rebel spirit of
The evening hour. What thoughts have you brought to visit
Me today? What broken whiff of love?
What invitation to reflect upon
Past faults, passed in the caught breath
Of youth as folly? I knew my fawn and fawning
Would end—I knew my heart would end, my death
The ceremony of all insurrection.
It's nearly time to sleep, thou brutal chain
Of fear disguised as love about my mind,
About my mind, about my mind. The same
Can be said of thee, and thoughts devout to your kind.
Some time I'll cross with You and ask "What is it?"
And in that hour taste my long reflection.

43.
I know I don't know you, but when I close my eyes
I tear to see you, your face, your sad, pale face.
I didn't mean to flirt with you—I was shy,
And those times, those few times, I asked you to grace
My meal, my table, it was because I was too
Afraid to speak much to you when we were in class.
Please forgive me for writing to you now;
I think about you all the time and pass
My lonely sorrow and regret for love.
I wish I had been brave enough to speak
To you more than just those times I attempted to bluff
Bravado, nonchalance. I think of all the weeks
I put off speaking to you, past passed by,
And never said, "I love you," nor will, and die.

44.
It must be the caffeine keeping me awake
Because I swore I'd never think of you,
Never adore the paleness of your face,
Because those thoughts entail I love you, too.
My muse must be the woman on my mind
And motivation for the exercise
Of those wearied powers brightest to the blind,
Since seeing you enslaves all truth to eyes.
The lateness weighs at me and I'm too tired
To think about a broken-pavement past
Endowed with all the rubble I'd admired.
To be awake and dreaming long for sleep:
Is this to love a love the past can't keep?

45.
How dost thy lonesome soul now fare, alit
With worried wonder at the passing time?
Have you found love these past few months a bit
Like lists made lists of love before, behind?
Tell me how her hair swirls, ghost against
The black-made canvas of an agèd sky,
Or of the figure to her voice, her breasts,
Sweet lilting fall, like candles fall, to th' eye.
Or is it something else, some other prize
To capture, wading through the waxy pools
Of men admiring all that I despise
To take my comfort quickly like a fool?
Tell me this, or any account of gains,
That I may tally what of me remains.

46.
The break of day conspires breathy dusk?
Like eyelids falling, softly lit below?
A languid candle’s flame which flays the husk?
Of sky from sky, the black of night to show.?
Time time and time again relives dark gain?
Of endings till that star-grained sky relieves?
The wearied Atlas, loosed of his spirit’s pain,?
While Phoebe forever waits dead Dawn’s receive.?
What brooding pall in finite plaits to make?
Our chains and rail us to the pen of hours,?
While rail us with the pen of ours our sake?
So long so long we pick o’ th’ sky such flowers??
How are you this fine, day, so easy to shatter,?
And what of the pieces, precious time, thereafter?

To S___'s Scarf
A poppy soaked with water, bloody silk
Streaming like solid wind from its folds.
Wet, almost rubber, buoyant with the click
Of water dripping from the paper bowl.
A warble of greens and grays and blues and gold
In sudden streaks to slap the rising crests.
You put the flower back; you're leaning over
The lake so careful—two fingers—I try not to look.
So I look at the trees, their hands full of shadows and leaves,
And I look at the sky with its pillow stuffing falling 
Out and spreading thick like a virgin tea.
My hands are cold from the wind—you get a call,
No, a text, that consumes your face with a glow
That through the breath of the lake looks like a skull.

48.
What has the sonnet ever done for me
Which speaking to you wouldn't have done better?
You're beautiful when you dress a certain way
And wear red lipstick charred like coal in fire,
Or when the sallowed sun caves in your cheeks,
And hides there with the lie of blush and oil.
When I think of you lain my nights when solace seek
I find but thoughts of hair and rhythms toil
Towards that wreck of wasted words you'll never
See, or here kiss th' cloth of pillowcase 
I've made out to be your cold and cotton face,
Heated by the tired breath best used to groan
The loss of things I've not yet lost, nor own.
What has the sonnet, ever-done for me,
Which better done you wouldn't have to speak?

49.
I hope it doesn't snow today, the sky
A murky river of clouds impressed on blue
Unmoving in the grayness of the wind.
Those loops of fleshy color, water-hued
Betray the habit harbored in the veil
That nothing falls save that which rises first.
The flight of dew, the cold of noon prevailed,
That little bulbs grow stiff and trembling burst.
What travel takes the sweat of morning's brow
To find how housed the corpse of river's booth
And angeled drizzle spirit in the sow
And stitch of the high-banked vault of heaven's ruth.
The coy, cold wind imposed the chided child
Foretells the toll of winter's sordid while.

50.
When in your turns in turn you turn to find
The tattered pattern of the pattered course
Of coursing time a river of the kind
That kind to start starts startling in the force
Of feeling weighed one way like reason, wait,
And in the course of wading through still mind
Still mind the grass now paved of dated date
Like date with seeds of date and bitter rind.
A round around the finger's never cold
But when its ghosted gold of half-dead goal
Whose grave the dying mines to gravely toll
What's mine, what's yours, what's taken, what you stole.
Embrace against the current current, brace
Again lest later lost all love erased!

Dear Poet Keats
Dear Poet Keats, dear John, it was not fair
The way the world was, to you, your family.
Whenever I see two words together, there
I hear your trace, the loving pulse and breeze
Of vowel to vowel and shadow's leafy elope,
That broaches well as dark elide dull fear.
Your verse were ever perfect, wild with hope
And hope's sad huntress, incensed to brimful tear;
Melancholy, pale to blinding and cold
To kiss, her rueful lips alive with the blood
Of black ablution, midnight-clear and bold
Accoutered of mortal time, fresh youth, young brood.
(This one doesn't have a final couplet)
--
53.
It'll happen you know. Eventually. Just ignore that
I'm going to die, you're going to die, we're all
Gonna need to figure out this life thing before
We die. Let's go look at things that aren't alive
But just living, like plants and a lake and some grass on a hill,
And pretend that because it's bright out we're somehow more
Alive, attuned to nature, more properly
Appreciating the time we have that, lord
Knows seems like forever, but that doesn't matter since
It's all gonna end and there's gonna be that time
At the end when you're lying there, scared as shit
Because you know at that point that it's gonna end finally,
And what are you supposed to do then?
How are you supposed to prepare for that?

54.
The black sheen of leather, sleek and taut
Upon small feet, kicking, kicking the air
In gentle boredom. Ah, the rush and rot
Of love, that flit of the hearty thought, that there
A future breeds and growing feeds upon
Beat time, belated time, abated time.
But that you sit beside me, cross-legged fawn,
Is but the spray of chance, the fuming brine
Of beauty. But, what beauty? Black-lined eyes,
Black lines of hair, black, cold, soft, unfelt clothes,
Cruelty of the felt undone, denied?
(This one's also missing a final couplet)
--
55.
My dear love C___, so far away in dist
And memory, and only growing farther,
Please by the power of spirit's longing list
To the sad rhymes and iambs of fretful bother,
Restless bother let not mine you you mine
To mind do you will my sad prose to
You mine to my mind, do you mind, but would you mind,
Restless bother, let it not bother you,
My sad prose, repeated, blurred, translated, unheard
Again, a gain unheard though I unherred. 
Why keep collecting shouts, the soft scars hard
To find, though kingdom be the prize, the hurt?
C___, a thousand C___s more I'll call till all
The jade turn gray and with the silence fall.

56. 
A bleak ablution, slight as mist composed,
That ghost of time's desire moored at bay,
At bay assured of sense, that mirthless host,
Now washes over city-streets to flay
The tired genius, gagging spittled lore
At the hornpiece of a bronze and bloated age.
A light breathes fear across the molted shore,
See here the water writ and nothing waged,
The coffee mug's ceramic stain and stage,
That ring which, wrought of night never allayed,
See now its mouth conspire Brutus' rage
To fall to gruesome conscience, glory's prey.
Sweet Sinew sewed by sleight of hand now sings
Of halcyon days and doings love here brings.

57.
It hurts. Language; she's gone now, gone forever,
Gone just like she for whom I loved in middle school
And disavowed for another seven years later.
Well, she's gone, too. And with her went the me
In me, always wanting beauty. But beauty's,
Goddam it, beauty's gone, too, gone, gone, fucking 
Gone, and god if I'm going to rhyme anymore,
That past erebeic like the fucking iridescent wind,
Pristine and dazzling in its irradiant inscrutability 
Like a fresh-pumped cunt, and hell if I'm 
Gonna line my words up like those little cherry
Tomatoes for you to take in your fingers and taste,
And all the juice comes out and nothing left
But a body, empty, hurt, and torn, of love bereft.
--
Housing Day
On the high tides of the morning are people sorted;
Loud swells of red, green, gold proud shout against
The wind, which even stirs at chills, living whorls
In chortle, bowered by the sea-blown banner. Prince 
Long rallies volleys forth, flying like sand
Made fog in the brittle atmosphere of battle.
"Cast off," comes the sweet, anxious call; to band
The muddled droplets snap, of hush the rattle,
Of grain the fell wave. Let it not be that our quiet
Spirits rein the mettle of our intent,
Nor the fresh dawn expose our hidden fright,
That the bleak ecstasies of war be never spent;
For all's to be's to be: fate plays no part
But to be the standard waving in the harbor.

59.
I once thought I loved a girl I didn't know,
And everything about her was beautiful, 
And my art was beautiful, too, but oh,
My sadness to see her! And yet I longed to see her.
Then she was replaced by another, a prettier girl,
To make the past one seem in all ways worse.
This new love broke itself, breaking the first,
And my past went to war with passion with paltry course.
Now a milder girl, less pretty than those two,
Has elected my attention with hers; that vote
Which once would not have been considered new
Gives voice to live desire's unchanged rote:
Love, thou fool who dwell'st of the mind's fair shade!
Settle; to know is to know beauty's longing dead.

60.
I feel out of myself. Fuck love, fuck it all,
Dark parted hair blinking in the half-dimmed lamp
My bed beside, that luckless sentinel
Who must needs watch mine exploits inspire the dawn.
Come pray by the brick road which leads to the steeple
Fog-edged to infinite thickness to tap the moon;
She's waiting for me inside, and here I am bleeding
Beside myself, with the pain close literal longing.
Sure up the steps clicks the honey pick
To renew the old assiduous debt to pleasure.
Look not to the inner image; rather fix
Thine vision to the gentler alchemy of measure
To measure, breath to the basin of the soul
Which, pray, this time to me you can recall.