Thursday, June 11, 2015

Blanketed Potato

Sometimes I’ll be watching
A movie or a commercial’s gauzy
Scene, with a daughter in tears
Re-connecting with her long lost
Father who was captured or dis-
Oriented or developed amnesia
And couldn’t find his way back
To his loved ones, to his world
The one he knew like the green
Eyes of his daughter now happier
Than ever as if looking at a god—
Incomprehensibly, as if there was
No telephone package involved,
No deal to make, I’ll start weeping
Bawling my eyes out like a little
Boy who lost his truck and then
Even harder in shame at coming
Under the spell of today’s masters
Cooking up my eye, ear, heart as
I sit there, a blanketed potato.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Bedtime for Diogenes

Sleep sleep you cute little murdering undisturbed sleeper
Sleep like a pampered prince you parasitic paranoid
You dimwitted bombdropping cloak and dagger Frankenstien
You diabolical human piece of heartless earthworm scum

You violent unredeemable piece of miserable fleshfat
Like a cute little prince little runway-swishing coke-snorting
Yacht-sailing meat-packing piece of slave-driving hightalking fool
Sleep my sleepy cute little rapacious dollhouse schmuck

You cataclysmic genetic abomination you evolutionary teardrop
You rotten mismanaged uneducated foul-aimed dunce
Sleep my poor little misunderstood pillager my marauder my holy
Little unashamed prince in bed with the innocents sleep sleep my baby

So we can starve them in the morning and bomb in the afternoon
So we can poison their wells so mama's milk kills him slowly
Makes sure he dies a painful death so sleep little prince little
Self-righteous auto-icon sap-souled sweetie of the world

Try to get some sleep we have a big day tomorrow 

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

The Chair

Hurry up, go, bring the chair. 
If we don’t sit this very minute
Who knows what will happen to us, what
Will happen next, what things we’ll do
To regret.  I go get the cabinet ASAP.
I rip apart its four sides for a good one to sit on.
I take a limb from the birch we felled to save the rest
And saw it in half.  I notice the original
Well-pin, hand-hewn with the care of someone
Who draws water from the earth, absurdly
Abandoned in the weeds.  I go get it,
And on the way I pick up a steel rod that sat
Upstairs a hundred years under the brick smokehouse.
I mount the new legs on the new seat with old nails,
Rope, and a welded anchor bolt. 
I remove my sweater unraveling at the cuff,
Torn at the hem, the one my grandmother knitted,
And ball it up for a cushion. Here, it’s all yours,
The way poems get made and are meant to be sat upon
To put off a little what happens next. 

We Christians

Ever since Constantine
We've been as sweet as Jesus
And killing with the passion
Of pagans.  At some point

In the life of an alcoholic
He has to make a choice:
Your story, or your life. 
Words go on as smoothly

As the plaster plasterers
Use to fill in the cracks
Or the artisan uses
To shape the acts of a saint

On the fa├žade of a church
Built to repel an attack.
The heart is like a monk
Buried in the library

Looking for proof
It doesn’t need any.

Foot, Tongue, Boot

Twenty-six
bones, thirty-
three joints,
one hundred
muscles
and tendons,
ligaments,
tongues
of thousands
of miles;
who could forget
that dish
of hard candy,
ten lollipops
to worship—red,
green, peachy
as the day
God made them.
What foot lives
without a tongue
to soothe it? 
The boot warms
the confusion
my mind is—
I pick it up, sniff
you out when
elsewhere
rules the hour,
has you all
to itself, like
a bloodhound
on a leash,
drooling
for the fugitive
to return to the scene
of the crime. 

Monday, June 8, 2015

Deathbed Poets

Will hold your hand. Wipe your ass.
Tell tall tales about the coming glories,
Fetch your slippers, fluff the pillow.
Deathbed poets agree with all you say
And will echo it back with genuine pride
In their voices; but otherly, with a lofty
Flair. If weeping threatens to breach
The walls built against such onslaught,
It’s unlikely to bear surprises. Reborn
So often—who would ever want to be
Deathbed poets for them?—they wither
On vines, in bed with the roses. But this
Isn’t about their martyrdom, it’s about yours
And the magnificence that awaits you. 
Take my hand, and start at the beginning.
Tell me what things were like when you
Were little, or have you always been
This old, confined to this deathbed? 
In that case, you might be a poet, too! 
Take my hand; let’s make the thorns
And perfume sing till the nurse returns!

Sunday, June 7, 2015

DRONE ENVY

Missiles out of the blue
Is a string of pretty sounds,
A whistling in the woods,
In the dark, the park
Preferable to wasting
Alone in a room
On wards designed for it. 
Thus, I envy the ones
We bug-splat,
We liberate
From pain’s old age,
And its foot-tapping goodbye. 
Lucky bullseye bastards
Is the way I see them.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Judgement Day Was Every Day

I hope God, when the famous day
Of reckoning arrives, so-called
Judgement Day, which had always
Scared the living shit out of me,

Can relate to my bucketlist.
I hope he takes into consideration
The things I've seen and the places
I've travelled (hardly ever in luxury)

And that if I did sin, I had no clue
There was a rule against it.  It was
Accidental, all of it.  The only plan

I ever had came damaged in a dream
After a long bout of insomnia
Counting my options on my fingers.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Wanted For Immediate Employment

Position:  Fearless Philosopher-King
Length of Contract:  Number of Heartbeats.
Compensation: Our Gratitude and Love.
Duties: Don’t starve the people,
Don't rob them, don't lie and tell them
You’ll fix what can't be fixed,
Don’t attack foreign poor people,
Almost everyone’s grandmother
Was once poor, and foreign,
Don’t ship away our jobs as if
We had outgrown them while selling
What we outgrew making.  Feel free
To gut the wealthy as you see fit,
But you can’t stash the stash
In Swissland for your kids’ sake
Or set up Foundations to end
Poverty and let the chips
Fall where they may.  We pray
For as little violence as possible. 
If you think you have what it takes,
Write for an appointment.
The job begins immediately, after
The coup and an interview with the historian
You feel best captures the future.

All the Lame Our Glory Provides

It’s impossible to get to me.  I’m surrounded
By the best of the nest. And still, orphans show up,
The blind, the old, women too, many whose limbs
Were torn from their bodies, their stumps like erasers
At the chewed ends of pencils broken beyond use.

Hundreds of thousands have limped past, dragging
Themselves through their I-tragedies like monsters,
Learning how to live without an arm or leg, learning
To eat without faces, to chew without jawbones,
How to swallow without heaving it back on the plate,

Teaching patience to their loved ones.  I see them riding
Punishment’s conveyor belt, top billing in the drama
When I lift the curtain of my eyes, driving or dreaming
About my place in their suffering. And that’s when
I imagine myself as one of them, over the guardrail

With a carload of guilt, exploding in a ball of flame,
Like a more cinematic Jesus, dusted for the world’s sins
And souls bound for hell. That’s when I grip the wheel
A little tighter, and clear my eyes. That’s when I think
To pat the backs of all the creative-destroyer types,

Because, otherwise, chaos would be the only author.

Monday, May 25, 2015

The Beginning of the End

It all started with Enlightenment scholars
When they tried to fix stupid, and it will end
With unfixed stupid wielding the mirrors
Of the Enlightenment.  Once Professor 

Einstein called civilization an axe
In the hands of a psychopath.  That guy
Was an Einstein about more than the shape
Of time, he knew the Adam in the atom.

Now people get so excited about technology
When it comes in the form of spaceships
And devices to unlock the secrets

Of our souls, that when wars start, they
Run to see how lethal being smart can be.
The original target thus gets enlightened!

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Archilochus Makes a Striking Confession, or The First Lyric Poet Loves to Slay Love

1

I won't be doing Sally Mary or Sue
(That's not the me I'd call the true)

With bunghole so close to twat
Only a fool would lick that spot

Rather pals with poo-tipped rods
Than a hairy hole clotted with clods

Give me a youthful warrior’s bum
To plunge my woody until I cum

Not a fur-scented lady's bullseye
Cooking lives just to see them all die

2

The shield’s feathers form a wing.
Whenever a boat approaches the beach
I seem to gravitate there. I pray to be made
A bush, a rock, a wisp of smoke

On a hill. Ares is that kind of lover
Whose weapons appear to be one's own hands--
You smack and clang and crash and thrust,
You defecate, cough; ooze the beast

Of life, the caged animal altogether
An animal kept inside its cage
In the mind inside another cage
Where the gods gather for friendly games

Of poker.  I love the sunbaked islands. 
Love’s my best trait. True, it can be
Wounded, and doesn’t belong
On the battlefield, though feels at home

In the trenches. Let Ares’ wife growl
And bark, patrol the fence like a brave man  
Before sending boys on ships in all directions.
I love the islands, and love is something

To kill for. Love’s my best trait.
Let’s try to keep it that way: your shield
And mine, two wings on an angel for whom
The gods, too dreamy for war, allow

Peace to make space for a sweeter song.
That’s all we ask, to belong to a song.
And if not, to become a bush, rock, tree
On sunbaked islands facing the open sea.

3

My shield is the real deal. I call it love.
The others? Who knows how they roll.
My father had a shield, also real-deal
Quality, but he lost it in Vegas
When his ship plowed a pedestrian
Riding a zebra in the middle of town.
The wine-reeking troubles he brought to us!
The world's debts he left on the tables.
The hungry mouths they couldn’t imagine
When they went off to show others
Their shields and wares, when they set
Sail for eyes that had yet to see such glory,
Such glorious beauties as these men be—
O legacies they proudly re-bequeath
Like litter on a beach that needs to be
Tidied up before the party can begin.
My shield is love. I wonder, does it
Float, will it rust if I bury it? Will it sink
To the bottom or sparkle like a mirror
Broken in the desert? Who knows?
The ones who might have told are gone
And there’s nothing left of them
But the eloquence of their rationales,
Its paraphernalia washing ashore
Like random thoughts pile up in the mind
With no better than to welcome them.

4

What day is it today
Whose birthday
What matter became love
What scatter hate
What patter negate
All that came before
That took hold of all that was
At the waist and dropped
To sniff the motion
To whiff the vibrations
To sail the scent
Bent sea end to end
To plunge and ride
To roll and abide
The monstrous breath
Life uses from here
To there to bear here
To there to fare
A fallen angel’s wares
Fashioning gears
To profit from tears
That be or not be
By the plus they see
What day is the best day
To have a birthday
A day when a new self
Taken from a shelf
Undoes the old
And then itself
And then the old mold
Once gold has to go
So says the new
Become now
The only then worth being
Since then became now
Anyhow wow see
How easy it is
To sail off
Scoffing at naught
In the night and day
Of now
That’s how
Big bangs bag themselves
For future dusted
Lives crusted
Busted by a lack of love
Like winter gloves
Left to freeze
Without fingers
Without a singer
Calling in the night
Bright with white
Moon in tune
With song
With high-pitched
Pleased to belong
Gone on a trip
A flip-flopped slip
Of the tongue
As it explores
The mouth
South behind doors
Whose locks
Mock the clock
In the race
Unwinnable so
Sinnable a trace
Of the hare
That took a nap
While the clock counted
The mounted world
By the second
Round and round
Over the same
Ground the same
Pound of flesh
Fresh from the sea
We how sweet
It be to free
The me
Inside the Oh gee
Sorry so sorry
Mr.  Man
With a plan
A canned plan
A can of faith
Faith in having
Faith in faith
To quake
A new surface
A new topside
Tide to ride
What a treat
A treaty
Of a treat
To beat the age
Of the sage
And let the flags
Fall like rags
On their poles
Extoll
A new scroll
If we’re to go
Going on

5

The elephant raised by tigers
Regrets not having stripes
Jumping straight up in fear
When he looks in the lake
So high that his brothers and sisters
Run and hide in the bamboo
Where the wind plays percussion
In a band known by very few

The elephant raised by tigers
Has some serious issues
With his self-image
He can’t imagine killing anything
Without first being threatened
And he has no taste for blood
Just salad and nothing but
No matter they laugh and growl

The elephant raised by tigers
Hates the color gray
Hates the size of his nose
His ears and treetrunk legs
You’d think he did nothing
But drink water all day
But you’d be wrong to think
He’d ever get used to that

The elephant raised by tigers
Finds himself hiding a lot
As much as possible
Not from fear but it feels right
Out in the open he’s too big
Out in the open too much
Of an elephant too himself
Not to be in danger

The elephant raised by tigers
Knows all the tiger stories
The tiger songs by heart
That help a cub grow up
To be fierce and lethal
And fearless no matter what
When sent into a world
Of stripes and reeds

The elephant raised by a tiger
Loves his mother with all his heart
Big enough to kill
The brood’s hunger yet he
Understands not a word she says
As she sharpens her claws
On his tusks polished 
Like the well-fingered keys of a piano



6

(to his soul)

Don’t let them break you!
Don’t give an inch, even if they
Outmatch you. Face them shield
To shield—in defeat you’ll rise

Illustrious, taller than you ever were.
Stand your ground and you’ll never fall.
And even if you do, so what? Get over it!
It’s not the all of the all! Enjoy good times,

And live with your sorrows—
Look past hope and fear and learn to see the dance
That leaves its trace across the years.
Then: be happy like a tree.

7

All according to the will of the gods
Who pick people up when they fall
And set them on their feet

Then strike down others with a streak
Of bad luck they end up wandering
Off thinking the craziest things

All according to the will of the fathers
Who sit in air-conditioned offices
Riverside and decide when where how

What but not why not why that’s mine
To provide a good enough why
All according to the will of the fathers

According to the gods I’m no thing
A thing like dust in a pile waiting
To cross the living room in long

Slow-motions to fetch the broom
And dustpan and whisk up the sand
Of a birthday in ‘65 on the Cape

All according to the will of the gods
I am matter and matter loves 
And lives on a planet the size of a marble

In the pocket of the gods of gods
Before whom the story matters how
Loving and living accords with the gods

According to the stories a wheel
Spins and the blood rushes out
Attempts to get away feels it going

As if someone were closing the eyes
Of another’s panic and comforted
By all the others residing there
According to the will of the gods

8

The universe is mind seeking form.
Birds talk with birds about foxes.

Birch branches bend out of shape
To avoid the maple’s hand-size leaves.

The bumblebee taps on the window
As if to check that it’s true, as if 

It can’t trust its own eyes. Someone
Penned a list of pressing responsibilities

Though I’m not sure it’s for me or them.
Someone wants his life to be mine.

Do nothing, and it’s amazing how much
Gets done around you. I’d refuse to

Walk two feet for a fight. Come, if it’s
Important to slay the dragon, even if

It’s got no fire and teeth in its head.
Come visit, and we’ll slay it together.

The mind of the universe is as itself
When it rains, and the planets change

Position in the sky. Everything thinks
It's way around here. It's natural.