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Selected Poems of Steven Curtis Lance

Displaying Poems 1401 thru 1425 of 2859 Poems

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May 16, 2009, 8:11 pm

Three Snapshots from Studio Lance


For those who might not get it yet should know
The reason I stay here so stubbornly
Is simply: This is Where I Am (you see?)
And being here see no reason to leave

This is an act of faith and I believe
May God help the damned fool who tells me go


Washing my clothes the hard way then hanging them on the line
Enlightened by marijuana then emboldened by wine

The most energy-efficient dryer these spring washdays
Is the sun: something which makes me believe that something stays


I am not only an "old soul"
I am one of the ancient few
One of The Ancient Ones: a role
Model mirroring old-soul you



(I am so glad to see you when I do)

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMIX

May 14, 2009, 7:08 pm

We Understand Us

for Leah

Enormous eyes uplifted spoke to me
As if with voices and faces their own
Like all the reflections in my mirror
And like all my daydreams of destiny
Sudden surprising when I was alone
And now one voice one face becomes clearer
As the lotus unfolds inside of you

I look at you and for the first time see
You bud into bloom as brightest and best
Your heart is strong and simply seeks to be

I believe in you that your heart is true
Living in darkness has sharpened my sight
Blindfolded but not blind I spy to see
Your spark in the dark through this lonely night
As coming to me inevitably
And only natural and only right
So I unbind my blindfold to see free

You make my heart strong and seek to be too
Enormous eyes uplifted speak to me
With voices our own when we are alone

You understand me and I am impressed
You saw me from across the great divide
And saw we are the same beneath the skin
Hearts bud into bloom as arms open wide
And lives are uplifted as joys begin

Enormous eyes found what nothing could hide:
We understand us (never mind the rest)

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMIX

May 11, 2009, 1:14 pm

A Letter to Leah

Dear Leah:

I want to let happiness happen to me
And yet I get in the way of its process
Though happiness happens mine happens to be
Always round the corner along with success
The problem I guess is I worry too much
From the constant attack of anxiety

The gift of empathy gives as given me
As selflessly as not for the self as such
Through me as to me as others feel its touch
Since I am not some self-healing physician
Merely some poet-musician-magician
More like the sorcerer's apprentice really

My friend since enemy of my enemy
Of all needful things what I have most need of
Is first to accept and then return the love
Of one willing to attack anxiety

Anxiety is anxious as anything
Confronted with love by harmony and peace
As our coming together wins our release
And this is what they mean when they say "meaning"
They say it means everything actually
I want to let happiness happen to me

As happiness happens you happen to be
One who makes me happy to be and to do
Like the way it feels when I feel me love you
Youth is not beneath me nor age above you
And here now somehow despite what might have been
What meaning means for me is that you love me

Time slipped away from me as I from it
I was always anxious trying to get
The pieces of these hours and days to fit
And I have never been able to yet

Somehow I feel like you know what I mean

Being an existentialist means to
Live in a state of arousal as you
As if existing through sheer persistence
Keep on insisting on your existence

It helps me be and do to be with you

I want to let happiness happen to me
And yet I get in the way of its process
Though happiness happens it happens to be
Always round the corner along with success



A Private Postscript: Nobo

The hobos are a little bit too needy
A little aggressive as I start to think
Their problem is really that vodka they drink
Their begging gets a little bit too greedy

If I gave them good wine they might be just fine
Though I can hardly afford to share it now
And I hate to give them ganja anyhow
Since I need it at least as much as they do

I think drinking vodka skews hobos askew
Notice I carefully avoid saying "know"
But if they get pushy and they bother you
I will push back if they push as if I knew

Because I think a thing or two even so
Notice me carefully practice saying "no"

Love again,


+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMIX

May 2, 2009, 10:16 pm

The Beating Breathing Present

They were uncomfortable with silence
They heard time pass and in the passage death
Which they had seen in all its violence
Reminded with each heartbeat every breath
Agonies soon to be realities
Were coming to conquer their common sense
And comfortable commonalities

The ache at the end of life grows intense
Does not go away but makes us obey
Toward the disappointed appointed day
When the ache may make us better or worse

I saw them struggle with their certainty
They ached for order in their universe
Had sacrificed themselves from hope to faith
They heard time pass and in the passage death
Slow and silent and slouching up the stair
Would soon bear them up there or else down where
They worried about throughout haunted lives

Now I am comfortable with silence
I hear time pass and in the passage death
Which I have seen in all its violence
Reminds me how each heartbeat every breath
Presents a present of sufficiency
Now comes to conquer with uncommon sense
To make nonsense of commonalities

Except for death as sure as death is one of these
But after agonies it leaves as it arrives
The beating breathing present for the future from the past
A moment lived as though it were because it was the last

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMIX

May 1, 2009, 10:14 pm

The It to Get

for one who gets it as for all

You either get it or you don't
You will forget me or you won't
And we know right away because
Is only is: was only was

You either get it or you don't
When you get me and see then I get you
When we respect each other's truth as true
We function as something like family
Then (without the dysfunctionality
We have come to expect and to reject)
But will we forget? No we won't

The it to get is nothing less than all
Winter spring summer and most of all fall
Nor dare it be further explained than this
Suffice it to say: it feels like a kiss...

I love it that you understand
The likes of me and like my company

We are connected heart to hand
I feel my heart in yours and yours in mine
Human hands to hold the divine

As I am you so you are me
Remembered now as though from long ago

I understand and I want you to know
That the fact you are makes me want to be
As your existence coexists with mine

We sense and we are sensitive to it
Because we both get it and we do it

I love it that you understand!

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMIX

Apr 27, 2009, 7:14 am


spero ergo sum

Because I hope I feel that I exist
Because I feel I love so I persist
Because I am thankful to think I think
That I am fortunate simply to be
Even though the being is only me

I could say spero ergo sum* and list
A lot of reasons why I hope despite
The feeling my life is lived at midnight
I hope I love I think and thoughts are free
Und (hofft die Liebe) es ist was es ist**

And I exist if existentially

As April is the cruelest month so
Sunday is the cruelest day I know
But this is since these are brightest and best
Like stars to light and lift me through the rest
To get to forget to get to a place
Where forgetfulness remembered as grace
Makes Aprils and Sundays the kindest then

Perhaps I could be and be happy when
I lose myself in being utterly
Perhaps I could be happy not to know
And be simply fortunate even so
Even though the being is only me

+Steven Curtis Lance

*I hope therefore I am

**And (hopes love) it is what it is

Copyright MMIX

Apr 24, 2009, 9:12 pm

Man Down: Death in the Breadline

among the homeless of the Plaza in Old Towne Orange California

What I heard was he died in the breadline
At St. John's there on Saturday morning
Where I stood once when he without warning
Fell on his face there yet got up just fine

I was relieved then so disbelieved when
At first I heard the worst by word one day
Of his homeless homeboy who hurt to say
Though in life our friend posed toughest of all
Once dead seemed just a broken victim then

We find it surprising when tough guys fall
When they turn out fragile like us instead
Then sometimes they never get up again

I told him what he knew that none is tough
Especially an exposed hairless beast
Who once rough and ready became just rough
The police said they were pleased he was dead
Falling filthy at the foot of the feast

Dressed like the rest in hollowed hallowed ground
Recatholicized hands pose as to pray
Putrefying in a more perfect way
His cause of death is really that he drowned

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMIX

Apr 23, 2009, 2:42 am

Gleaning Meaning

promises to keep in an uncertain hour

We stumble by our billions through this stammering
Stupefied by stupid sages into sadness
Leaving us left only yawning to yammering
No wonder the timid are tempted to madness

A paint horse run free from the carousel awhile
I feel no longer timid but crazily brave
And other carousel horses alongside smile

As I tempt and attempt to escape from this grave
I know nothing prevents me except perhaps fear
Pursuing my pursuit of immortality

I have written in my blood I must remain here
By simply defying a form of gravity
Hardly more feared thus more easily transcended

Escaping gravity in graying gravitas
My stammering and yammering days have ended
Going down without up is not what it once was

Before I knew better I went down for meaning
So far so long the wheel has turned me up again
If only here to the humble work of gleaning
The meaning of this pain for those who must remain

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMIX

Apr 19, 2009, 4:38 pm

At Least of Love

for each alone of everyone who knows my name as nothing less than Papa

Not a chain of bondage but of being
The uttermost we are and nothing less
Nothing to see but some way of seeing
As we are perfected by nothingness
We insist to be if imperfectly

If blood can curse then blood may also bless
This is my blood but this is your blood too

Unusual I know but family
Resemblances never kept from showing
I know I know nothing is what I say
(As all of you can tell from what I do)

Yet I gather that in a family way
Gathering becomes a way of knowing
Pregnant with the possibilities of
If not of faith nor hope at least of love

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMIX

Apr 17, 2009, 9:52 am


I could not make nor would I want to take
You to the point of understanding how
Disappointed I guess it feels to be
Held to be a heretic just in case
You have not suffered this indignity

The point of understanding is a place
Like always everywhere but here and now
Where in the garden some might see the snake
I am but Adam and that not by choice

Yet since I am and since I have these eyes
To see the way I do and have this voice
To speak informed by these I realize
That someone has to say something somehow

And though few think but many think they know
Like them I know nothing and tell them so
That underneath it all we are the same
As victims of our own mortality
But I am not as they are not to blame

Each of us has a dream as I have mine
Live and let live and let the rainbow shine

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMIX

Apr 14, 2009, 9:20 pm

Delicious Danger

a spring love song for all the pretty girls

It is as if when I see you
I forget what I thought I knew
Everything happens as the first
Time anything has ever been

As always never best and worst
Felt as though for the first time seen
Through rainbowed bubbles not yet burst
By meaninglessnesses between

Therefore I am afraid of girls like you
Though this is a compliment you realize
To the grace by which you do what you do
That delicious danger I see in your eyes

A thrill of fear can be pleasant you know
If thrill should kill then what a way to go

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMIX

Apr 13, 2009, 9:27 pm

Sonnet for my Namesake Son

My friend is sick and cannot hear me now
And I despair that she may never hear
But she is strong and should come back somehow
To be as far as ever she was near

Yet there is something longer wrong with me
And I know what we chase must run away
But I tried to catch immortality!

Now I sort things toward the end of my stay

I feel the inevitability
Of the end of temporariness when
This man we know will simply cease to be
Which is why I love now instead of then

When I become burnt offering my dust
Becomes part of your backyard as it must

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMIX

Apr 12, 2009, 8:33 pm

Economy of Emotion

The salient feature of the family
I grew up in was something like resentment

There was much to be resented heaven knows

And I have always feared the presentiment
Of getting to be like them ultimately
Since even in a vacuum resentment grows
Along with everything else as we expand

In spite of this blood curse I resent nothing

My supply is only equal to demand
I cannot afford to resent anything

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMIX

Apr 11, 2009, 7:28 am

Spring Swing

Meeting and mating as Melville might say
Making it all up along the hard way
Gambling the evening to win back the day
Living and giving then taking it back
By getting each other into the sack
Getting depressed on the merry go round
Dancing with death into the underground

I know a place of peace
I have sanctuary
But my own defamer
Whose head is extra small arms extra long
Is waiting and baiting
By way of disclaimer

Yet he will never stop me in my song
Not while your affirmation defends me
And like a mayfly cease
To be tomorrow as the very
Manifestation of what is wrong
But today his defamation offends me
Or rather bores me actually

I heard he met with an accident though

I get depressed where one and one stay two
I want to swing and go crazy with you

A dried strip of human jerky
Shrewdly seeing me as lost
Tried to carve me like a turkey
Never mind what it might cost
Me since she could neither care nor see
But I would not let her
Daresay I know better

I further daresay she will miss me

And in the end does anything mean something
Or does nothing mean anything after all?

The world is too big or else I am too small
Yet in fitting nothing I get everything
The world does not flatter
And size does not matter
I fit and I get what I can out of it

So there is where I would leave it today
But for the prestidigitation
Of what they call reality
The manual manipulation
Of how as what it means to be
Yet what it means I cannot say nor know

Therefore I need not leave it anyway
Accepting one and one will still stay two
In spring the thing I want to do is play
I want to swing and go crazy with you
Meeting and mating as Melville might say

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMIX

Apr 8, 2009, 7:03 pm

A Night Like This

for Leah and Jessie

The planes paint pink stripes on the sky
At sunset with their contrail tails
The moon remains when they pass by
The moon remains when all else fails

As all else fails I realize
The failure might be my
Myopia my dying eyes
My tears too fresh to dry

Only a failure to see
The mortality of me

The moon remains and makes
Me laugh at myself when I cry
The moon has what it takes

To lift my eyes for each a kiss
Both nurturing and cold

To bathe me in a silver bliss
The sun once gave when it was gold
To get me through a night like this

Not to laugh last nor yet laugh best but just
Take my place in peace at last in the dust
Whence I came so thence I am bound to go

I do not blame nor do I know
Anybody nor anything
I was just looking for meaning

And I have never found it

There seems no way around it
The moon remains when I pass by
The moon remains when all else fails

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMIX

Apr 6, 2009, 5:45 am

No Limit

A star sounds like a silver bell to me
Clean socks can be a form of ecstasy
As anything is if you notice it
And if you notice there is no limit
There is no limit at all anywhere
Unless you make one up and put it there

Pursuing wisdom while following fools
We put up too long with their made up rules

Now was fooled by then but not anymore
Now is what is and is what was was for
Then was against but now is all for it
As it is now when then would ignore it
Now knows but asks we find ourselves anew
First we must be to be able to do

There is no limit at all anywhere
Unless we make one up and put it there

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMIX

Apr 4, 2009, 11:48 am


tayata om gate gate paragate parasamgate bodhi soha

The starting point is the vanishing point
The place where you disappear
Whether out on the street or in the joint
You are now and you are here:
Thoughts are free!
And thank you for coming to be with me

Here in this place where I do what I please
Where I think you might as well do it too
The cure for what ails you is the disease
I share where here is everywhere with you

Madness is neither sadness nor gladness
But both of these and in between as well
Like purgatory with a hint of hell
And a little leavening of heaven

Or if places like that do not exist
Then madness is the rainbow in the sky
A message too meaningful to resist
As if anybody should ever try

Here I exist
So why resist?

Here there is no prose
This is one of those

And I never chose it to be this way
Because it is just this way anyway:
The outer extremes of inner spaces

Welcome to my poetry

The starting point is the vanishing point
The place where we disappear
Whether out on the street or in the joint
We are now and we are here:
Thoughts are free!
And thank you for coming to be with me

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMIX

Apr 3, 2009, 12:02 am

Blessed are the Mad

Blessed are the mad is what I maintain
Those to whom one does not need to explain
Because they are mad they already know
If you are not mad I think you should go

We cannot help but look but look away
Forgetting to remember what to say
But that would be as if anyone knew
And anyway what could anyone do?
They said what it was was kill or be killed
Looking away as if looks could kill me
As the will of God nor did they bill me
For what when I look back was to thrill me
And the lucky little bastard remains
To feel empathy for their labor pains
By which the blood is shaken if not spilled

If looks could kill me looking to thrill me
No one was billed since both of us needed
This primal therapy which succeeded
In lifting us up from the commonday
Which we found out was nothing but today
Left down on the ground it refused to stay
But rose anyway if only to see
What it might be like if it were to be
Noncommonday noncommonality
Comfortable in nonconformity
Fashionably formed in deformity

Diminutive within enormity

Formed in my fashion they tell me by God
Walking the catwalk but meowed at as odd
Which seems odd if I were designed by God
Since God would be a lot odder than me

Blessed are the mad is what I maintain
Those to whom one does not need to explain
Because they are mad they already know
If you are not mad I think you should go

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMIX

Mar 28, 2009, 11:26 pm

Mantra of the Moment

for Bernard Betts

Behold I will do a new thing
Be bold in the song I will sing
The lotus unfolds my specificity

Everyone has their story
And this unexpected pleasure to exist
Now is here and now is there none to resist

Everyone has their glory
If only they should care to see
If only they would dare to be

So here I am now here is one volunteer
To be right now right here
The only time and place
There is in time and space
And when and where is not means none to fear

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMIX

Mar 27, 2009, 4:55 am


I have never yet always yet never yet
Always and ever and only met


O lotus blooming deep inside of me
Though the clouds hide you I know you love me

Do you know I love you? Believe it as true
As the only truth I dare to know
Though I know nothing and even so

The evolution of the real
The revolution of the wheel

As inescapable as a rolling stone
Some fall from the wheel and as many are thrown
But I want to ride it dizzily with you

The revolution of the wheel


The evolution of the real


Though the clouds hide you I know you love me
Do you know I love you? Believe it as true


O lotus blooming deep inside of me

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMIX

Mar 20, 2009, 6:53 am

Night and Day


Night: Lonely Town

I sought now I see my society
As conventional as a thing can be
Some simulacrum of reality
Imagined by those who are not too smart
To be bullies and to get what they can
While they can within the foreshortened span
Of this tragic comedy known as man

Custodians of conventional taste
They see no tripe need ever go to waste
Feeding us stomachs at least if not brains
Then throw the odd bone for our labor pains
And yet they never remember the heart
We felt once beat the most important thing
The cause we sang and the crusade we sing
Even now (who knows how?): the heart sings on
Until all the going becomes the gone

When we have learned desire is suffering
The hard way whether giving or getting
When the regretting turns to forgetting
Then there is nothing at all anymore
Except when to wonder what it was for
Just as I wondered all the hard way down
Lonely Street as I wandered Lonely Town

Soon it will be over and no one cares
As it is ending for wheres nor for theres
But are mostly relieved by the ending
Embracing death and even befriending
Nothingness if but relief from the pain
Of the world devolving on us again
Resolving the riddle of revolving
As whatever sends seems to be sending
A belated greeting to Lonely Town

What goes up (so it was true!) must come down


Day: Reminder to the Future

When I walk downtown small children smile at me

Escaping their minders for a moment they
Wave at me furtively as if they know I
Am able to make white rose petals appear
As if out of nowhere I can make them fly
By wonders so small their minders may not see
But their minders have been charmed now anyway
By a spell which only small children may hear
And not with their ears but with their hearts is how

I take what they call reality and make
It stretch with my special elasticity
By which it may change its form and yet not break
Reality is obedient to me
Since I know it is not real but is a fake
A false front agreed to by society

Or you could think of it like a pie crust which
Worries that its filling might be too thrilling
As well as providing a protective form
To keep the secrets of childhood from spilling
Where the present is hidden under the norm
The form of which originates in the past
We will eat this pie but save the crust for last
As reminder to the future of the now


Chorus Mysticus

Like death going mad is like being born
It means I am outside of all of this
If God would be (at least to me) then I
Would then have the rose along with the thorn
As I know the curse I would know the kiss
At least not be as lonely as I die
And now I am mad I may say: he is

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMIX

Mar 17, 2009, 1:27 am

Take It

That terrifying plausibility
Of imminent human propinquity
Seems an overwhelming idea when I
Lost in a mirror I cannot deny
Wonder if this moment happens to be
That moment in which this happens to me

I think I want it but then I fear it
But then I never really came near it
Except maybe now which scares me somehow
More than I thought I would ever allow
Myself to admit to myself alone
Let alone letting anyone hear it

Is this some sort of existential test
If I exist and if there are such things
Meant to muddle my mind or to clear it
Troubling my waters through troublesome springs
Which are after all more lonely than fall?
Would that it could appeal more than appall

If the opportunity arises
That moment in which this happens to me
To take life along with its surprises
To whatever outcome happens to be
Scripted for me or else is randomly
As I am in a random universe

I will take it then: for better or worse

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMIX

Mar 15, 2009, 4:29 am


He was a father who could not
Care for those sociological
Cares of fatherhood so forgot
Things like marriage and family
Or recalled them illogical

Tasting then tiring of such stuff
Satiety required no more
But found divorce was not enough
Both spouse and son would have to go
Out his G. I. Bill tract house door

So out both went and as we went
He sought then bought abandonment
Of such responsibility
As his law could make go away
Rejecting and ruining me
Through the best lawyer he could pay

But there was biological
Anomaly and this was me
Cut adrift then to sink today
Responsible to nobody
I suppose

Yet the only reason you know
He was at all is I say so
(This strikes me funny some odd way)!

And if he is he is in hell
Else nowhere
Or possibly purgatory
Proving there
Far as ever away from me

While my revenge is living well
When that seems something I could do
Trying to forget this story
Heaven knows
But I tell you since you know too
How it goes

I clung to his leg and he kicked me aside
Bored with his blue baby and his broken bride
Then went out to kill
And I love him: still

(Satiety requires no more)

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMIX

Mar 14, 2009, 10:35 pm

Where Man and God are One

Why does Man create God in the first place
Then make him so meanly grudging in grace?
Though Man may create whatever he wants
It is this problem of God which most haunts
As if of some need of authority
Though I find quite enough of that for me
In Man's Godriddenly shared history
To last two lifetimes of feeling absurd

We try to find some meaning in timespace
And say "in the beginning was the word"
Liking to read and liking to order
Others about for fear of disorder
We end up being more disorderly
Denying our place in the family
We hold ourselves aloof because we think
At the waterhole where other apes drink

I would rather not be an ape at all
Would like there to be a God when I fall
But I just hope he is kinder than we
Are and as much misunderstood as me
To see by these same eyes by which I see
That we two are only one and the same
The self which I call by another name
But the self which is myself after all

When questions are begun
Then the other comes in
There the answers begin
Where Man and God are one

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMIX

Mar 8, 2009, 11:31 pm

Spring (After All)

Some say God is love even as they despise me
I say love is God made real to realize me

Whatever God is might be a surprise to you
To me and to those who say God is love yet hate

But some might not like to be surprised like you do
Or they might realize to their surprise too late
That love is all that really mattered after all

I thank the God of love for not despising me
I thank the love of God for realizing me

My spring before the winter but after the fall
The knife of life the ledge on edge the rate of fate

On this one breath by this one heartbeat how and when
What never happens happens every now and then
When love is all that really matters after all

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMIX


Displaying Poems 1401 thru 1425 of 2859 Poems

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