and the papers reported a tragedy at the high-rise.

Fri 2008.02.01
by brian hefele
drunk on the thin,
high air,
i touched you
but a minute before we died;
we were delirious,
so content and saying
‘i can’t go
and as we tossed small
last-minute words around
we heard a serviceman yell
a rapid-fire mangle of
requests for sanity and
he probably dialed nine-one-one,
but anyhow
we leapt.
a minute before we died,
drunk on the
thin, high air,
i kissed you
and we stared down
at the dizzy street,
at the cars, the kiosks
with striped canvas roofs
that we maybe bought
two hot dogs from
on our very first night out.
and i reminded you that
men and women
do… not… fly.
but softly you smiled
and you went first.
immediately i followed
and from then on
we spent our nights
cozy together
in shrouds.
i have made at least three people cry reading this. i know this is a hard poem, and i have tried to brush this fact off by introducing it with a very plathlike understatement of, ‘this one is just a little love poem,’ at readings. but in honesty, this is really difficult, it’s essentially romanticizing suicide. and that’s not an acceptable idea, though we see it in literature throughout history. pyramus and thisbe each kill themselves by the same sword out of love for one another. but i’m missing context here, and that is because i hate context. i like slices, slivers, moments in time. the reader will establish their own context, their own backstory, or else they won’t and they’ll just think i’m some insane asshole. anyway the whole idea fascinates me, a love so strong that the absolute most important thing is to die together, whatever the surrounding situation may be. this one is still a bit hard even for me to read, but it’s certainly my favorite of my older works.

following a picnic, late march.

Mon 2006.05.01
by brian hefele
inkblot clouds
act out a play in old english
that we watch together, alone
in the center of this infinite field
surrounded only by
occasional spring sneezes
the thick grasses
bite at my bare feet,
a sharp sensation that makes me long
for your satin-soft touch
tickling my body
your flesh, a sensual sarong
that slowly slips around and off me,
reveals my subtle side, and
suggests that you show yours
to sate some curious fantasy,
some eager yen
but the inevitable cacophony
of a sky now filled with
cawing crows
quickly kicks me back to this reality
of sharp grasses and inkblot clouds
and an invitingly infinite
with you.
sexy time! this one still works pretty well for me. it is, of course, a bit sexual, and it is, of course, disgustingly romantic on top of that. i think i took good control over my words here, the overall sound and rhythm of this still pleases me years after. the title is successful as an establishing element, though it is also unfortunately a direct reference to a (now-)former anniversary.


Sat 2006.04.01
by brian hefele
why is it that you jitter
when i touch you?
and i can feel you
radiate warmth
a feeling like curled up by a fire
but we are not, no
we are just two nude statues
toppled together.
i touch you,
you jitter,
and you crumble apart.
your trembling heart
bleeds to the ground
and spatters like a rorschach
that i stare at, frozen
for endless hours,
trying to make meaning of you
and all of your details,
so complex, like a mandelbrot.
you smile and stare at
me… staring back at you
and for just a moment i stop
decoding, analyzing, understanding
who and what you are.
and in this moment i reach out
to pet your marble-smooth lips
and with your sweet-kitten giggle,
you ever so slightly
one of my more sexual pieces from the past, laced with unrealistic romanticism. i simply cannot help but love love, such is my lot in life, i’m afraid. this one relies on some weird imagery, and i guess that’s okay, because it’s surrounded by very accessible and much more poignant imagery. if you get the references, fine, but if you don’t i think it still holds up. i’m not sure how much i like that approach, some of my pieces rely fairly heavily on jargon, simply because i am very strict about the precision of my words. and my attitude has always been, well if it doesn’t make sense, look it up. and if it does, i think there’s a deeper connection between writer and audience. but when it’s watered down like this, i don’t know. anyway i still like this pretty well. though i don’t know much about kittens giggling.