Posts tagged Character
Dominique Larntz * December 11, 2012
Even I fall
into the spire spiral
of seeking status.
From my solitude
there waits an imagined
audience, anxious for words.
I’m less prolific than I could be.
Shamed for writing too slowly, my pen nestles
as a needle against my thumb.
The drumbeat of my blood presses
me to create a clever lyric to hush
that great fool wanderer of a muse.
She laughs at my manufactured timeline
and its coated companion, stress. She trades
this suggested piercing for sunshine.
Her compositions blossom into me
off-demand when I am not ruminating
about my breathless audience.
When I am pouring a glass of tea,
liquid in the complete pleasure of being
myself within a wave of language.
Dominique Larntz * November 21, 2012
As I peer through the cattails
of the competition
to see another situation
where I was left holding
a saddle I crafted
heavy enough to fit the buffalo
that I watched turn into a monarch butterfly,
here is how I cared for myself.
I reminded myself of the seeds inside me
that grow wild when watered,
that take over plots of my soul
like spilled ink takes over
a poem on a page.
Perhaps one day I will be able
to compete skillfully but for now
I can retreat from society’s
mechanisms of disappointment
and appointment—oh keep me away
from winning, too—those of us who
lose attachingly win with the same animal.
I will put these seeds back
into the rock tumbler of my journey.
I’ll wait for the smooth reflection to form.
When I am ready, those seeds will not be
quivers I can use in some Olympic feat
but worry stones in my pockets.
Dominique Larntz * September 2, 2012
A New Habit
I think I did it first:
he asked me if I liked the shelf he finished
And in my mind I said,
are you kidding, it’s fantastic!
In my heart, I sang of the way a shelf
we carve into our lives to set a book upon
was made from a tree that reached as deeply into the dirt
as its branches stretched toward the sun.
He asked me again, a little perturbed this time.
“Do you like the new shelf?”
I shook myself and said aloud, “Yes, yes. I love it.”
I noticed this new habit we have—
assuming we have heard the other respond.
When we were younger and first in love,
we spoke together fast and secretly—so fast
that we would finish the others’ sentence
before listening and laughing in the joy of it.
Now our love life is ecstatic with age
and I can report back in time
that there is nothing more beautiful
than love well lived.
The love well lived requires both sides
to mature, both sides sometimes to be wrong,
a song of sacrifice lived behind the curtain
of deep desires to do something different than
is being done—requires abandoning the place of want
and its unending possibilities—those are ceded
with wonder and awe for the roots and depth
where we have best blossomed instead,
like two bookends slid securely into place
holding up stories on a shelf that will last for a while.
For twenty years, we have said and not said
so many wonderful things to each other; it seems
like sunshine to be around him.
Our relationship sustains this living landscape
and our daily lives are finally slow enough to feel it.
The other day, I asked him a question—
I can’t even remember what it was—
and he didn’t answer,
so I answered yes for him.
When you ask your next question,
only to wait and wait for its answer,
perhaps your spouse or child
or aging parent or God
is so ecstatic with you
they have this sense
you have already heard.
Dominique Larntz * August 13, 2012
Awake now, I crawl out
and open the top drawer
to pull out my underclothes
of helplessness and guilt
and I consider pulling them
over my tender skin.
I can smell what is cooking
delicious and certainly I
should cover up first.
Get dressed, then take
my plate to a quiet place
where no one can see
the depth of this
Dominique Larntz * July 8, 2012
Every child walks a mile as my child
and they make a trail of sacred steps
back to you, beautiful son.
I see to the needs of those around me
as if the mended ghosts of their wounds
will sing in the electricity around you.
I bathe the concave wombs I can save,
fill them with loving soup and soil,
set them out in the sunlight, let them go.
Dominique Larntz * July 2, 2012
Her body cradles the sorrow
in a canyon so deep
you can’t hear a quarter drop
when you let it go over the edge.
She’s been saying it’s fine
for you spin words of delusion
that swaddle her up to her throat
like a spider’s web.
Her body can’t heal any more
unless she follows the path
of rest and peace and joy,
taking every nap she desires.
Her nerves need a bath of love
and the culture is a river polluted
by overstimulation, by addicts
rushing to destruction.
Her cells weep in blood, the only
language they have, calling for life
to be lived, enjoyed, cherished,
preserved, flowed, balanced, loved.
Dominique Larntz * June 18, 2012
We might use cars like shopping carts,
picking one up a block away,
returning it after one use,
using it only when needed,
needing it only when hauling
Dominique Larntz * May 25, 2012
It’s questionable to go through my kid’s stuff
but Twitter and Facebook matured
right along with him
and when I found his pixelated picture
on the Internet after 16 years
of indirect mothering,
my heart started walking into rooms,
forgetting what it walked into them for.
I found out I kept trying to make him proud
through things like salary leaps
and being kind to complete strangers
because I didn’t cradle him
against my chest with the permanence
to reassure us both that life longs for us
to spend our days peacefully,
in deep union with one another
and in a spirit of compassion
for ourselves and others
and any space between.
Dominique Larntz * May 20, 2012
No different than many, it was a morning
when I ran into each red light on San Mateo–
but the guy at the garden center said,
“Ma’am may I take your cart back for you?”
after I silently heaved huge bags of
the potting soil I bought in bulk
to save money from cart to car.
Wow, that is so nice.”
He was just the guy
from the van next to me,
not an employee,
joining my returning cart
with his wife.
A gesture like that is simple
but so profound
in a complicated life.
For a long time I feel
I have been paving
an easier road for others
while driving my own gravel
and glass-strewn path nervously,
wishing sometimes for someone
to supply a smooth surface.
Giving and receiving arrive the same
in the brain’s chemical composition,
and mindless expectation
is a young person’s mirage.
But the relief of the moment
when the wheel turns and
I can allow myself to open
to the traffic flow of grace
from strangers as they freely offer
what they are able–
feels so good,
it is almost a secret.
Dominique Larntz * April 12, 2012
On this birthday, death exhales his musings
into my carotid pattern and I wonder
if it is as stable as ever. I am in the middle–
this precipice point where I have let go
of the potentials of birth and I have begun
to embrace the vague details of death.
I care less and less about celebrating
the day of my entrance into this body,
but the fact remains that it is still marked.
I know the date, the time, the year
and the desert place in which my small fist
leaked out into this mortal blossom.
The date of my demise is unclear.
I might celebrate it in some sort of heaven,
dancing between layers of golden scarves
in a semblance of whatever my spirit
will know to be naked abandon in the afterlife.
There may be appreciation
for this sort of visceral joy.
We may gasp ourselves
into death with a breath
we do not yet know.
We might work ourselves to death
because we are in some sort of
reaching to grow into something spectacular
so that death is another birth.
In the womb of death’s wooing of me,
I am comfortable with the outlines of my mortality today,
stretching into the sky with fingers
that are large to my pupil but tiny to the moon’s eye;
exploring with legs that are huge
compared to the models of my culture
but small compared to the waves of an ocean;
kicking with hips that rotate open
to uncover a chakra base
tunneled into an earth
to sustain me for a long curious life
that for the sun is only the time span
it takes to glance around at its planets
and assure itself they are still there.
Today, I am thinking about people I care for,
primarily the people in my blood family.
I can feel them in the pulse at my neck as I breath.
They are as close to me as my carotid artery
and as far from me as the nearest stars.
I have been writing them secret love letters,
knowing I may leave first.
I hope they arrive.
Dominique Larntz * January 13, 2012 * “Love Letters To My Body”
Does Nothing; Everything Is Done
I thought I was too late,
and it was a blight on our home,
and I kept apologizing to everyone
but instead it was effortless.
Nature had pushed everything back
this year–from the Spring gusts
to the late blooming tomatoes
that gave us their last fruits
in early December.
I only cleared out a little of the garden
before the freeze and a month
of heavy snows pulled a crisp sheet
overtop the vines and trellises
outside our door.
So my clearing task waited.
Now the desert has returned
to its bright dryness
and when I went to shear the plants,
they did not need to be cut.
They simply fell apart in my hands
like solid dust, and I knew that this
was the perfect time
to clean up the garden.
I piled the branches into bags
and they reminded me of the
passageways in my brain,
and I could see how some of the
energy of my youth had been spent on
fruitless seeds of hatred, eager and petty and
destined to turn as gray and brittle as these annuals.
Planted in the imbalanced nutrient bath
of our warring culture, these resentments
were inconsolable in my youth,
which was always mysterious to me
because I was reaching for reconciliation
as truly as any annual will reach
to find balance somewhere in its soil.
But with the dormant season,
nature offers transformation
in the roots and stems of ourselves,
leaving the perennial parts strong and vibrant.
I find the things I can release
surprisingly woody and weak,
in my relationships and in my life,
and it is at this time,
that I can quietly and easily pluck parts of
my character that have always vexed me–
alongside the annuals–
on a gorgeous wintery, solitary afternoon.