Poems by Timothy Lavenz
from One Trick Pony


Hoards of vineyards pulse inside
my brain. The angle to retrieve
the grapes escapes me. Shall I never
train my heads alone again?

His wine — it pushes me to genuflect
all my shoots into his sun
until the eschaton is every cluster
I live. Who will hear
the cry the roots emit?

I am flinging my old skins
from bottle to bottle; almost
I’ve managed to repent of every feat.
The next one slips from my hands
into a black fog. Memory
ceases to pick
and its hair is tangled
among thorns.

Endless thorns…
they are revealed.

Endless thorns…
behold his majesty.

My next breath is the last
and only promise. He will not let me lose
the graft. The drink
it’s not the mirror
wherein I dissolve; it’s his face
the very lattice of the real.

My scream? — It’s gone.
And my meaning? Just the last
bad branch
his love has yet to burn off;
the last cardinality of my nothingness
created equal.

It’s the spit from his mouth
I’m becoming and—Hallelujah!—
he spits me out.

After St. Elizabeth of the Trinity

There is a formula for happiness
everyone knows it

dance as not dancing
weep as not weeping
rejoice as not rejoicing

Stand a sacred centimeter back 
so inside what’s happening
it turns inside out         Reveal the working artery of God
who (alone with you) indelibly lives

Listen, it’s not so difficult
don’t be bitter

The candlestick stays (perfectly) quiet about the flame 
never complains about the hot drip
loads of wax molasses of the past 
it (she is the soul) forgets the whole encrustation
gone or coming
she dwells on nothing
so the candle can stand aright, the Lamb extend
Light across all time and space

Forget the great quest
the dramatic self-cancellation
the leveling-up of the human brain—
it is not in your hands.

Trust He lives inside you (that’s it) and
remember: the rest
will see to


our heart breaks
and our heart fills whole:
full of breakages
and of the divine heart
broken open

because the human heart
breaks imagination
     breaks intelligence
whereof all the gods
bled out of a namelessness
so that even the Unnamed
failed to be God

whereupon both hearts
scream for a nearness
this very concurrence betrays
in vain symbols
     in altarless sacrifices
pleading why’s of a false rage

for a joy so rended of solace
only the bloody light
opening remains


Every past season careens into the Nest
called from before all ages eternal.
We do not see its offer
with eyes that worry, seeing only changes.

We dare not believe
we need not worry — yet still every season
careens from the spacious Chest
nature’s invested with glories past naming.

We shiver, bewildered, in icy winds —
why this intention for
such cold? — legs frozen, no dry socks,
we campers lost with no place to rest on earth.

— Because cold is holy partner to time’s
genius fading, when it folds
together both arms of past and future
revealing what’s become when all becoming’s finished.

Seasons change, but what we hope for unseen
remains — love of the eternal Nest
pounding from our eager Chest — where our wings
already — already! — how they spread!


Silent drips of Alpha blast
martyr all Omegas past — anticipation
running away with live breath
readied to die.

Nothing outbraves the salutation
garnered in that wound
of golden stripes. Its womb
lifts dust petals
from the eternal wheel. A fingerprint
chime victory
steals its only brilliance
from the fawn.

The lesson admits of no other
than the hallowed knee — hooves
to chalk inner facsimiles
of the Rock.

We bend down into that
frigid febrile core
where all the halcyon etchings
in time’s casing
                         cohere —
                                         the Flesh
knell-romanced to home
the ark of supernature; and you
God’s helper
who waves it through.

Isaiah 53:5

The savings are easily secreted
but in moments unpicked. This is not your priestly
grandiloquence, but a gluey glamour
of subterranean blood —
a bloodless excitement already buried
in death’s moment to come, when the appeal
of jazzed insight
will wane;
I can guarantee this because
I have witnessed the power perfected
in weakness; that we are upheld
despite our devices
failing, our faculties
derailing, and so on. You’ll remember
just one decision — and it was much slipperier
than any moment, more wildly serene
than any pleasure of thinking thoughts —
was the Entrustment
you lacked any grasp upon;
an aqueduct of thorns that overpoured you
without time for space
or space for time. So do not
think about the passage,
the drying of designs upon the grave. Destiny
in God is the only ceremony
worth its salt
and you cannot fix this.
A frozen art of singing and stumbling
hymns to the supervenient thaw
pricks up hope in the world to come,
one knows not how. Remember: the inbreaking
taste of a love that suffers
is all that’s left on earth of
perfect love.


Wide-angled saintlings of sayings
vista lenses
homed into the breath
settle down (visibly) inside my woe
now playfully
exorcising the heaviness logged
at the instem of my blind eyes in stitches
(the rigged painting
thus healed) where the whole world got lost
in disbelief-machineries
in token explanations for the wilted bane
I could only remedy by regenerating
the image
in its origin strained
(invisibly) inside my love – unless, in reality,
I only counted out the lines
rejoicing the days
until this word (all Yours) be reabsorbed
into one of the many versatile
sponges of Heaven
where they all (be damned my words!)
revert their sour plaint
repentant before all self-benighted story
so that the words can gather (silent
fawning) upon the sill
that is God’s lip
beckoning to the inwardly dust
to know what time has always tended to become
by the foaming of matter’s unbound
motion for divinest health:
the fervency of Lord
in human strokes and flicked-on bulbs
the genetic moment of every art
injected (recombinant) into mineless hours
whose feelings stay still, distilled
past screams, past tedium
into the occasioning of an oratorio
whose final dip (glorious snare!) is the Voice
its rhythm by all being shared
the never-ending root of its music’s
rumination and dare:
to sing what is inside the There
calm to the touch
and so naked