Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Tourist Posture

Russia ascends.
Russia about to be

a bottomless pit
of misery.  African

lives on the up.
Agriculture, industrial

output motherly.
The Amazon is thriving

with life.  It slithers
through dead zones

of epicensure.
China falls to modernity,

treats the world
like fuel, face-

savings in the bank.
Things to worry about

are things to love
and love is something

to worry about.
Billions build

towers of elsewheres,
hungry droves

in groves of children,
orchards bathed

in American
chemical ingenuity

proper calibration

of the sights  
to safeguard peace

on earth, good will
to those whom we ask

for their souls.  See,
the slouching bear

on TV, decidedly
Polar, on a drift

of ice once
a continent of snow

the whole year.
God’s people, thank

God, on the case.
Not for beasts, perhaps

but others
who turn out not to be

too greedy, too needy
for their stay.

Hope is elementary,
and wants to keep it that way. 

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Events Like Me

And then the president
Or someone blew up the buildings.
Then the mongrels took over. 
They made it plain as day,
Heartless tongues awag. 
They cut along the dotted line,
Two little snakes emerged, each
A hissing lullaby for the baby
Bundles out on a limb. 
Then the whole nation wept. 
The whole weeping nation then wept
For revenge.  Patriot nobodies
Built bonfires at the center of the park.
One neighbor has two of everything. 
One likes the challenge of bows
And arrows.  Spark ribbons
Twirl in the black sky.
Fire burns up all the best ideas. 
The fire’s idea rises on its own heat
Like a balloon or a diver
Has to hold it in, yellow flames
Glide by on the fender of a 50
Something outlined in silvery light. 
Smiles recreate the moment,
Mother folding laundry, her back a curve
Of aches and pains like a sea-bitten
Tree.  I taste salt on my lips, as it
Was and should be, of earth
When it comes to me, in my heart that bleeds.
Around the planet the same probe
Takes place, the same pace
Of inquiry, the same
Interrogation. Money talks
Up what money makes
Like we speak lovingly of babies,
Milestones of growing old,
Of apples and pears,
Money is life enough for money
To bear, playing songs
It loves itself to hear.  Can I last
Out those who now rise up
Like their grandfathers
Against enemies of the word,
Enemies of the rolling Rs,
The coughing Gs, the straight
And narrow Ss?  Friends 
Of a god whose martyrdom masquerades 
As a misery party
Of unrequited lovers?
That’s when I think it’s good
To be mortal, when I appreciate
Such an event as me. 
And yet I have my days 
When even that's too much
Nothingness to be.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Portrait of a Horse Heading West on a Road by a Meadow beneath a Blue Sky

Blue blue blue blue blue white white white white blue blue
Blue blue blue blue blue blue white white white white white
White white blue blue blue blue blue blue blue blue blue
White brown blue blue blue blue blue blue blue blue blue
Blue brown brown blue blue blue blue blue blue blue blue
Brown brown brown brown brown brown brown brown green
Brown brown brown brown brown brown brown brown brown
Green green brown brown brown brown brown brown green
Green green brown green brown brown green brown green green
Green green brown green green green green brown green green
Green green brown green green green green brown green green
Green green brown green green green green brown green green
Black black brown black black black black brown black black black

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Rationale’s Pal

On the day the Greater Good showed up, we were just standing around tapping our feet, thinking about what to do next. But it soon grew weary, and demanded action (and an omelet), and it did so in such an inelegant way that spittle rained down on our faces. Some of us resisted, afraid of the coming bloodshed. We wanted to use our heads and hearts. But others began to sharpen their blades. The Greater Good knows all about heads and blades. Some say the Greater Good is nothing but your average vampire. I doubt that, otherwise it would shrivel in daylight.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

The Price Is Wanting It For Free

He writes a poem. It turns out terrible. He’s hateful, you’re loathsome. He writes a good one, it’s a great one, he’s great, and so are you. Poems get between other poems on a shelf at home. It was always like that, on a shelf at home, in a cabinet, a chest, a box with an airtight seal, a bedroom without a window. He squawks like a peacock about the hummingbird’s flight. It was always like that, cloaked in fine feathers. The poet and the poem have words; hey, you’re an okay guy, the poem says. The poet agrees. They walk off, mind in mind, beneath a blue sky with pink clouds. They’re like lovers. We sit on the sidelines, booing, applauding, yawning, as the moment recommends.

Monday, April 3, 2017

American Citizen

One thing I like about being
A citizen of America
Is how everyone you meet
From around the world (except
Citizens of other white countries,
Citizens of poor ones) bows
And curtseys, mouths agape
When I enter the room,
As if I were about to say something
That could fix it in the blink of an eye,
That could raise the average loser
High above the heads of even the greatest
People the world has ever known. 
You can live in a castle, I say,
And you don’t even have to know
How to add or spell—
My importance to the world
Is the stuff of legend, and my methods
Of rule are universally praised
As the most just, most sophisticated
So far during civilization’s great parade
From Plato toward perfection. 
I try my best to be aware,
To remember that others
Occupy the planet too, and we all
Have to get along.  Listen,
Now this is what we’re going to do,
I tell them, and when I say that,
Everyone pulls out a pen
And a notepad and gets ready
For the important info
On how to proceed with running things
And thinking about things, how to make sure
That it all transpires accordingly.
Even though we discuss
The finer details, go over the numbers
And work out all the kinks,
They rely mostly on me,
On my armories,
On my universities.
Feels good to be American.
One day I thought about how horrible it would be
To be from Portugal, a mythical place
That once ruled the seas, explored
The frontiers of the known
For the gold in the earth’s bowels,
That once set the standard
For others in Europe
And half way across the globe,
A land of knights and ladies
Who, today, have donned their aprons
And patrol the restaurant floors,
Man the kitchens,
Check in visitors at the front desk
And clean the pools
They swim in,
And leave home at the first
Opportunity.  (That’s me,
A citizen of equal opportunity!)
What does it feel like, I ask,
To grow up in a country that had its day,
Like Rome or Athens, whose glory
Was 2000 years ago?
What does a Roman feel now?
How does an Athenian feel today?
I’m an American, so I feel
Like everyone is standing up
Just beneath me.