the secret lives of the saints


every time we made love
i would take off my life like a coat
fold it neatly over a chair
like I expected to return to it in the morning.

and that is no way to make love.

every time you would kneel before me
and scrabble me out
of the folds of my cloth, i would absorb
every nuance of your face and gesture of your hands.

when my eyes should have been closed in prayer.

every time you shook and gasped
i would lift your ass in to the air
and dig my nails into its soft expanses
and die a little. A little at a time.

die slow. be pretty. rehearse your sainthood nightly.
the lies we told each other
endure more now, than these truths.

This entry was published on 01/25/2013 at 3:34 am and is filed under Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

54 thoughts on “the secret lives of the saints

  1. Pingback: Straightforward Poems for Straightforward People « tarnation and eudemonia

  2. Truths are the ephemera we trample over with great ease…. beautiful poem. I can totally connect with it.

    • I think, sometimes, truth is relative to where the blood is rushing to.

      • Yes, I think truth is a trick of the mind and I try not to think too deeply about ‘right’ / ‘wrong’ / ‘truth’ and ‘untruth’….if it works, for that moment, and it is not in complete opposition to facts on the ground… I’m ok. Mind over matter…?

  3. Very very relateable and well written.
    I’m new to your page and I will need to dig deeper today.
    Pardon the potential stalking.

  4. every damn line, Seb.

  5. This is what it’s all about. I’ll say it again. This is what it’s all about.Well done man!

  6. There’s no secrets anymore.

  7. JackieP on said:

    I do love your way with words Seb, truly I do.

    • I reckon words are about the least important things in poems. Got lotsa words, a whole dictionary full. I guess the way with them maybe is what counts, in the end πŸ™‚

      • JackieP on said:

        Well of course the WAY with words is much more important then just using them. Hell, I could string a whole bunch of words together but it sure wouldn’t (and doesn’t) sound like your words. So see, I said it right. I do love your way with words Seb. πŸ™‚

      • When I was writing that reply, I was listening to a guy called Charley Patton. If you don’t know, Charley was just about the first of the acoustic blues singers (he was dead by 1934). And I was struck by the way that he managed to encompass so much in his blues without having to resort to any sort of artifice – just that link between voice and message and the message being wider than the words themselves. How do we do that in a poem? How do we move time, how do we position the sun and get the color of dust just right the way ol’ Charley Patton did? Poems should be like the way Charley Patton sang, or the way Miles Davis played the horn – cut out the chords, just the thin,single pulse of notes. Guys like them let me know I ain’t doing it right and maybe I never will.

      • I don’t know who Charley Patton was, but that’s just the most astoundingly honest and humble and prescient commentary on the magic of poetry I have ever read. That’s a blog in itself.

      • i agree…the magic is to use the most ordinary words and make the most extraordinary poetry…bukowski was a master in doing this… love the poem

      • @Claudia – what I’m thinking about these days is that there’s got to be some way I can build a language for poems, something outside of the conventions or expectations of the language we speak to one another in, that crosses a lot of the redundancies we impose on our conversations and plugs “the idea” back into the current of some kind of greater American folk language – taking everything we have got a tossing into some kind of verbal blender and brining out some massive and contrary juxtaposition of conventions and idioms – almost like a dialectic exercise, reconciling the ancient and the contemporary into a single thesis. Or i’m just dicking around…. maybe…. πŸ™‚

  8. It’s what you expect us to imagine here that does the damage. I would love to see your eyes as you died a little, but i imagine that would be hard to do with my ass in the air.

  9. Ahhhh…… sounds like the dance of fear. To close your eyes is a sign of trust ~ such that falling would be the most amazing thing ~ full and deep and empty. Otherwise, the lie is to say it nothing really matters (beyond the little dying). Unfortuntely just because you keep something a secret doesn’t mean it never happened (no matter how much you want that to be true). The sweetest bliss is far beyond 3D. πŸ™‚ As always, Seb, I absolutely LOVE your words for always, they inspire me to think. ~ Love ever, Bobbie

    • I wouldn’t say fear, darlin’. We were both big grown-ups and we knew what we were getting into. And the lie was that the moment was bigger than the whole. Show me any couple that doesn’t seed that lie at some point in time. Some people get over it and see the big picture but it looks like we never did. I hadn’t, in fact, by the time it ended, but I have now and I feel pretty good about that. And the poem just had to wait until I felt that way.

  10. Oh good – you are writing about fucking!! I love it when you write about fucking.

  11. There’s a real sense of self-examination in this which you don’t really encounter in guys these days. Very stark honesty.

  12. You build this beautifully – this is real craftsmanship on display.

  13. Felt sad to read….beautifully done

  14. You mystify me. You are capable and proud to put out such tawdry trash as your last effort and yet you can redeem yourself with the true grace of poetry in this. What game are you playing? Do you not respect your muse?

  15. I can’t think of a poem which has more awakened me to the male sexual experience. This is too sad to be erotica, it’s, well, it’s real life.

  16. Re-blogged on H E double hockey sticks. Hope you don’t mind!

  17. darkeyesblueveil on said:

    Oh my. If i ever had to have my heart broken by a man, this is the way I would rather it be done.

  18. Mouse on said:

    I know I haven’t commented on your blog before (though I did respond to your comment on one of my posts), and I don’t know if you like this sort of thing, but I have nominated you for the Gargie Award.

    • Hey Darlin’. That’s real kind of y’all, thanks so much. To tell the truth, I’m kinda leery about “awards” and stuff because they tend to be a little too much about the writer and not the writing and, a long time ago now, I got into a place where I tended to think it was about the writer and not the writing and I woke up one day to find myself saying things for the sake of saying them and posting garbage all over my blog. That wasn’t representing for the things I really wanted represented so I had to make myself a promise never to get distracted like that again or to give up blogging.

      That said, let me reply here with one blog, just one, which will lead new readers to a cornucopia of great poetry and bright and wonderful people –

      this is the Small Circle of Friends, a group formed for emigre` MySpace writers who were looking for a new start here on WordPress. There are many many poets there far better and more committed than I and the casual reader to this blog would be well advised to spend some time checking out these good, good people.

      Thanks again and i do hope to see you round these parts again, soon. πŸ™‚

  19. You’ve always been such an inspiration, Seb. Not just the words,t he discipline behind them that I have learned from you. One day i will get your ability to remain in the light and not be seen yourself.

  20. Wow… I can’t, I just can’t. So beautiful and sad. This gets at me as much or more than my music. I have so much I want to say, and if I had your talent, I would ha. Once again, thanks for sharing your talent and well done.

  21. This was beautiful.

  22. I find poetry hard to read, I am very critical of it (my own included)… sometimes it’s too wordy or the thoughts are put together to push a rhyme, but this I really enjoyed. It was painful (which I think most of the best poetry is), it makes you think, and remember dying for love and the things we hide from ourselves to maintain that love. Thank you for sharing this, it can be difficult to put yourself out there raw and exposed (as I believe poetry does).

    • Hey, nice to see y’all stop by.

      I think you’ve hit (at least my) essential problem right there – how you reduce the wordy and forced and still keep the blood in the poem?

      I tend think good poems can be happy poems, or vice versa. I’m just learning that lately, though. Ol’ Hank Williams once said “Happy songs sell records, sad songs just sell beer”. Lot of wisdom in that!

      • True, very true… but really sad songs can last through and through. It makes sense that happy songs would sell better, because unless it is a GREAT, moving, really sad song more than half the population won’t want to hear it over and over again. Who wants to be sad all the time? I have a playlist on my iPod specifically for breakups and I haven’t listened to it in years because I am not sad, wishing things were different, waiting for the world to change. Happy songs are the best way to go.

        I think you nailed it with this one; it’s not wordy at all. πŸ™‚

  23. And sainthood never appealed to me before reading this…!

    (By the way – re. Dubstep – you’re not missing anything)

  24. wow, wow, wow!
    but what a great poem, Seb! One of my favorites, I love the imagery of taking off life as a cloth to make love… and specially the end.. excelent job!

  25. Oh this is some pleasurable reading, Seb. I love the way you sling your words out there.

  26. so real and honest i can feel every word.
    your style is inspiring, Seb.

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