Saturday, January 16, 2021

Vers

What says poem more than an earthworm?
In the darkness it holds such dominion,
As it breaks every fiber of being down
Without a sound, turns soil black for growing. 

Yet in the light, away from the dirt,
It is too lithe, too uncertain,
Sending itself out like a shoot to oblivion,
In a blind probe for more ambrosial waste.

What we don’t need and can’t use collects
By the side of the stove. We scrape it away
By moonlight before we go to sleep
In the backyard heap, where there’s always room

To churn into earth what we cannot consume,
The shells we’ve broken, the strained grounds
And overripe fruits, the life gave that we turned
Away, that soon won't seem to have existed at all.

Friday, January 15, 2021

Beach Day in January

The mind of the ondine 
      sends sprouting 
            mountains of surf
      onto the low tide glass

Where thereoms collide
                            and play,
      lines of argument 
             intersect
                  and form shapes
      in response to sea facts.

Oh but we're beckoned in
               to the play,
                              to go in it
         with breakers
                              and spray,

To know we are known
                   and that our
         seemingly random
                        offerings 
              to nowhere
     are part of the tide,

And to sense their pride 
              that we know
      they are there
              needing, like any 
                                  heart,
                      to be known.

The shore is a still pool 
                      now
       from here, pulling in
                 the emptiness
                                of sky.

What needed to be
               conveyed
                                was,
               nothing is left
               to be said.

Thursday, January 14, 2021

The Operating System

As the lights go off 
     in the masonry
            cracks
     of the dreamtime 
            war machine
     
And the geometric logos —
                          banks,
                pharmacies —
                    go dark
     to those who see

A collective finger to the lips
     goes over the land
To those who no longer
            can sleep
                     or keep
      their minds closed

As the structures 
            above the landscape
      have buckled
                      and folded
            into chaos
      without a noise.

Birds fly out of
            empty buildings 
      as flies escape 
                       from skulls.

The darkness has come
      and you are free;
Total control of your life
                        is not even
            whispering.

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Pat's Atonement

I sat below an overhang in the wash,
     perfection of cholla
.    went uninterrupted 
               through the whisper grass 
As I tried to figure
               what the rocks had to say.

     It gave me a reason
     to exist
The needs of people 
           didn't.

She came quietly, with a smile
      took my hands
And told me of her alcoholic father,
      who could not stop
      for the family sprouting up
                 around his glass,

How she wanted to fix him,
      tried to fix me instead.

Six years on one side, six years
      on the other,
I never came closer 
      to an apology.

Yet all I could think about
      was the way the roots held
                the stones in place,
How happy I was that she
      had come all this way
                to share it.

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Passage of the Heralds

The terns were agitated 
All afternoon, trying to be heard
With incomprehensible, eternal words
As the clouds turned ominous, then bruised.

But now that the war is spread across the sky,
The sun has been crushed into embers,
The cotillion is quiet in blue sand
Then veers away as one.

Monday, January 11, 2021

On a Raft in Assam

"The philosophy of Plotinus has always exerted a peculiar fascination upon those whose discontent with things as they are has led them to seek the realities behind what they took to be merely the appearances of the senses." -- Joseph Katz

The Hedonists did not believe in sex.
Philosophers would only trust in moonlight.
What could one do? You weren't the first
Brahman to discover the Buddha.

Benjamin Apthorp Gould Fuller,
Of Augusta, the Brookline Comedy Club,
Peddling rationality like a cure,

Was there no tabula rasa for you,
No marriage of dualities? 
You stayed decadent and oriental
Under Ficino's crooked capello.

What child, old professor, have you now become?

Sunday, January 10, 2021

Minutes from the Secretary of Nature

What the eucalyptus says
                                              Is up to me
                    The stones 
                                         That I once was
                                                                       Rely on poetry
     Of the light codes vibratory 
                                                       Through afternoon trees

The patterns of the leaves 
                                              Become a rhythm 
                                                                              In my hand
                        That twirls the bones
                                                                          Automatically 
     Something sacred in the silence
                                                                To fill with voice

Like a sluice fills
                               Inexplicably
                                                      With water
                          And going dry
                                                      Deposits leaves
                                In the well
                                                      With something to say

                                                                          That isn't said
               Except by their suggestion 
We try
                  But human emotion is so
                                                                 Small beside
                                    Its rouge 
                                                     And bristle 

Even the dirt is multidimensional 
                                                              It turns around
                                    The earth's curvature
                                                                           And then beyond
                A veritable blanket for stars 
                                    For string                                   universes
     Octahedral planes

Who's to say what the archangels 
                                                              Galactic councils
                                     Spread with the butter of light
     But we can say
                                 The red berries
              Of the pepper tree
                                                Include it all

Their task is to absorb
               Ours to comprehend 
                                                     And let comprehension go
                    As the lamps go on
             And the night is strung
                                                        With desire 

Saturday, January 9, 2021

Darkness Before the Finale

His kind must never rise again,
Said the vanquisher to those
Bent on revenge.

The king, whipped bloody and chained,
Gagged, is on display, called a tyrant
For ending the wars, helping the poor,
Giving tithes back to his subjects,
As if their example will cow us,

But the martyr will always make us rise
Into ourselves
To find the power of outrage
In our backed corners,
For what we see, at last, is us,
Turning on that spit, without the benefit
Of mercy or of law.

We know that being free
Does not give us the right to speak.
It simply means we’re permitted to know
Where knowledge ends
And deception begins.

And we see how the words are grafted
From the guilt of his accusers
And pinned on him,
But with no release, no glee,
Instead a mortal terror
That they’ve been caught
Serving evil.

It is this, their clutch at fear,
Where we can see their plea
For forgiveness, that we recognize
Not being free, even with that seems
Unlimited power. All is hopeless,
Others.

The war frequencies of web, radio, TV
Have gone from signal to noise.
The daily entertrainment
Has stopped at an unmarked station.
And every sleeper now must choose.

Will they wake to the world where the heroes
Are dead, the plotlines aren’t actual,
And the evil done in their names, with their approval,
Must be absolved? And will they know
They cannot save the others,
For they are too far down the river now
To return to where the streams diverged?

Or will they choose the cruel familiar tropes,
To hold to what they think is real, what they feel
Makes them real? And is the urge too strong
To get along, not be alone, feel secure
They'll throw themselves, their very souls,
Into the void, to sacrifice their lives
To prove the world was meaningless?

Friday, January 8, 2021

Damnatio memoriae

Today on Twitter...

The Roman tiles were not just scrubbed of blood,
But of people too. Herostratus was erased,
Every trace of him removed, as if he never lived,
To save the Greatness of Rome from shame.

The mere use of Emperor Geta’s coin
Was a capital crime. Many names were effaced,
Faces chipped away. No one knows how many
Simply ceased — like extinguished stars — to exist.

Even the memory palaces, where the poets paced
Amid the lofty furnishings of their once-great patrons
To recall their lines — curtains, mosaics, urns —
Were cleansed of mnemonic devices.

Some memories are too awful. Today, for example,
The thought of free speech is still too raw,
The recollection of laws to protect one’s vote,
Of being permitted to leave one’s home …

Even the ones who remember must be punished.
The virus must be purged before it infects the future.
Truth has become such a revolutionary act
No form of execution is too cruel.

Thursday, January 7, 2021

Foam Poem

Peachy cream
     Continues to roll in
     Despite the endings
           Humans place
           On their games.

It doesn't have to be
     Anything but foam
     But yet it can
           Be something
           So much more.

Whatever it can be
     Is there for us
     For we do 
            More than
            Absorb.

This spit of sand opens 
     To what may be
     The entire ocean
             The totality
             Of sky.

We choose a hue to identify:
      Saffron, turquoise, mauve ...
      Pulled to the individual 
             In the whole
             At every moment.

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

January 6, 2021

It is in the end that it makes sense,
Like the dead make sense, suddenly,
When the drama has been purged
And there is nothing left in it for us.

The ancient evil turns out to have served,
The common good turns out triumphant,
And all the hordes in between, discordant 
In their realities, find accommodation.

But there is, when you are in it, no comfort.
Every day hope is stoked and every day it is withheld.
The goal is always postponed, something taken
Every day, with nothing left in its place.

We march with a hunger for justice
And the enemy has burned all our crops,
And our countrymen give us their backs
As the voices of fear divide.

It is here, when your last friend drops away,
In the night, without illusions, without faith,
You can finally see the sky is made of stars,
That the only thing the light needs is dark.

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Ephod for an Ephebe

"Il cenno d'una / vita strozzata per te sorta, e il vento / la porta con la cenere degli astri." - Eugenio Montale*

The earth is full of things you can't fix.
But those closer to home require more focused inattention.
The screams are for help, not only for glee.
The turning of each cheek needs a steady regime of slaps.

If you touch the spark, you are gone. 
The thing glows on, impervious 
As it watches how you react, judges your every move.
Your truth always flashes a little further off.

And what you break is never what you'd dreamed.
It is only something broken.
The angel with the golden harp
Floats through the air as before.

For what you tried to teach wasn't flesh 
But a vagrant spirit, a part of yours,
And though there are a thousand reasons why you're not like her 
There's nothing she will do you haven't done.

And yet she spins so far away,
Her music terrifies.
She dances on your very last nerve,
As if you'll take her hand.

* "this is the call / of some strangled life that emerged on your behalf, / and the wind whirls it away with the ashes of the stars." (trans. William Arrowsmith)

Monday, January 4, 2021

Aria for Depop

Vintage clothing is a young one’s game. For us, there’s too much loss. At least we can, on that, agree, without broaching the subject of forgiveness.

I’ll do you if you do me. Forgiveness is what's left when trust is gone.

Don’t do it for you, they say, do it for me! But of course, I do it for you, because I still don’t want you to be forever uncorrected.

But no amount of truth can correct you. Why not use the excuse I provided too few clues?

When even the smallest soft disclosure was too much, to you, a drive-by shooting.

I knew, they said, what I was getting into. It takes two. It takes two.

But there is only ever one.

And a black chasm where a mouth used to be.

And yet there’s all these words. They fetch themselves at the wisp of suggestion, and wait at my door for years, until it’s safe I think to check for the milk.

But there’s no implied self behind your philosophy collects. No word from the sky that gravity doesn't bury.

It was always only me. That you visit like a ghost.

Who I say nothing to. Who seems to hear every long-suppressed objection with a maddening equanimity, a querulous silence.

It’s atonement with the void. Transcendence to the lessons learned. Without the pit stop of the way I learned them.

Without any return to the circle at all.

As the flies go buzzing, warm and familiar. As the same way is in others, mannered, discreet, asking only that I see them as unique.

There still are some shirts in my closet I wore in your presence.  

I still can’t resist the urge to compare the threadbare with the living cotton.

It’s a shadow I want to let go to the light. The darkness of how I let myself be sold for the putative sense I was not alone.

And now I am, as if to show me. 

No scent, no feel, no evidence that it was ever more than a dream. Except that there’s this hole.

And a hole is something to savor, cultivate like strychnine, put on like cabana clothes some 50 years too late.

What’s it going to take to stop circling this drain?

The past is not some symphony that trembles and resolves. It’s an ever-changing story, where the hero always has new obstacles to surmount.

The time you did this … the time you said that … the dead called back to the present, to say they never left, and won’t be swept away.

As the soul of love, hidden in the filthiest of mildews, beckons in every attic.

It is not to be taken. It was never mine to take. It stays ‘til no one’s left to care, and it’s ready to dissolve.

A slip like Jaclyn Smith’s – for sale – at the place nostalgic threadz.

Sunday, January 3, 2021

Trail with Variations

I.
Nothing impresses this tree
Although it listens most greedily
To all the wind has to say —

It’s easy to think
In its swerve and tremble
That it hasn’t heard
All that before —

But it’s not really new,
It’s just that creation
Requires continual
Nourishment to make
Creation perpetual.

II.
In the forest of the sticks,
Where shells litter the path,
The words swirl endless,
Not yet caught by nettle,
Egret or snail —

Gray moss hangs
Across the cactus,
White stars feather
Off the branch.

III.
Bamboo holds below,
Where a green rug silts
The river,
Nevertheless it flows
From under —

The shimmer
Of January sun.

IV.
The seeds in nebular hulls
Set themselves free
Somehow —

But cattails are not
Inclined to share
Or play within
Borders.

V.
Deep upriver
The ducks hide,
Clucking under
Wasteland scrub —

The water comes
To a stop,
A golden kind
Of beauty,
The illusory end —

A dead tree
A foot beyond the shore.

VI.
The sunset
Enhancement,
A few tall stalks
Still engorged in sun —

The reeds glow
Universal.

VII.
A brown field
Dotted with white little trees,
A scene of winter healing —

The urge to grow
Barely dormant
Like it can create itself
At any moment,
In any slot of sun
That grants it permission
To deceive.

VIII.
So much change with
Continuity,
The slowness of the gnats
As they weave
Fresh geometries —

The gold of the cones
Waiting for their moment,
Yellow leaves in position
To drop —

As if that sense of action
Gives the landscape meaning.

IX.
Pink roses, white daisies
Are missing,
The sides of the hill
Are umber, not green —

But still bristling,
Still urgent,
Resisting the poignancy
Of evening descending
Over the valley.

X.
The brown trees
That grow in the bluffs
Turn red
Beneath the sun's wings —

The birch tree branches
Purple.

XI.
Miniature motor cars
Trailing dust
Hop like fleas
As the sun falls
Behind the blue cloud —

Times are crazy like these.

XII.
The ridgeline is white,
A batwing cloud
Hangs black and pink above —

The violet spreads east
Across the horizon,
The cloud now plays
The part of a mountain —

The holes in the ground are for breathing.

Saturday, January 2, 2021

The Mnemosyne Museum

As memory is not in the brain
It's not the poem that is retained
But the experience born of writing it
That matters, to any source
That matters.
                           The poem is a brain,
A kind of television, dumb receiver.
The poet is the mind, a drop of water 
In the mind.

Friday, January 1, 2021

2021 in the Sand

The mist has turned electric blue,
The ocean newly pewter,
No shoes upon the dunes
Just blue shells, late afternoon.

Boards slide and couples splash
As the new year comes in like the tide,
Still rhythmic as the ticking clock.
Gulls are motionless in air.

This war won't disturb the curlew
As they chase back the lowest, bluest ebb.
The boys can't see the spiral spray 
Of clouds, something veiled in the sky.

The joggers move their shadows across the shore,
Ignoring the still armada in the distance
That blockades container ships from Long Beach,
Almost invisible, guns glistening in the sun.

It's like they only need to appear once, 
Like Hailey's Comet, to show how real
The dynamic of time and stars can be,
The impossible worlds below our nose.

The green tips of waves bring another kind 
Of life to shore, clearer, warmer, of the earth
That lets the dramas go,
To be present in expression, always.

Sunday, December 27, 2020

Writers

For Kate and Toby

Curiosity may have killed
     Many a cat 
          But never a turtle.
With their big red eyes
     They don't even know
          They are untouchable.
They pretend they have no shell
     And can stay underwater 
           Indefinitely 
To mingle with the existential fish,
     Nibble at the nastiest shit,
           Will it to gold.

Only other turtles hear them,
     Their sales pitch is too logical,
          So one would never think,
Swimming there, that they knew 
      Such secrets, of the algae,
           The lizard, the seal,
For they are not, in the water,
      Really secrets, until they dry
           On the bank
With the salt on their lips
      To become more, and less,
           In the air than they were.

They see such profundity 
      In merely floating
            On the stream,
Such wisdom
      As they lay
            In charging sun,
And anxiety as they vie
      With different sizes
            To be seen as a friend,
Yet every time they splash back in
       It's the first time, something 
             No one's ever done before.

Saturday, December 26, 2020

M’sieu Millaire at Big Sur

Henry Miller born on this date in 1891.

The land across the sea
Didn't start at nothing,
It carefully built its carapace 
And slowly locked its doors.

And even the foam
Was once a part of him,
With every hustler's pleading,
Like a hummingbird is piece of a child.

Now it moves, another mind, 
Gracious to keep its gems as glitters
In the distance, inauthentic to the hole
That is the singular soul

Who can find itself now 
In the dark undercloud, the black gull, 
By ripping them out of the unyielding
Fabric, as captives of the void.

But the tipped wings, the mussel shells
In shadow, how can they express
All is one, all is nothing
When there isn't anything that can?

And something clings, in the black
Single feather, to become his, 
In the breach, the scree of bird voice 
Filling with his commands.

Friday, December 25, 2020

Blessings of the Dark

We may not remember 
But at least we can forget
Or, if not that, forgive,
And even when we can't
At least we've strung some lights
That look a lot like stars.

Thursday, December 24, 2020

Absence of Hanna

In the world of duality 
          there is no truth
                    only stories
Without which where 
                    would we be?
     It's the night of the story
                            and we
                    storytellers!

The hush is a willing 
     suspension 
                    of disbelief.
We call it "peace on earth"
      (implied, not realized)
As if there's any
                    accountability
          (such a small word).

It's within the story 
                     each one weaves.
Facts fall out and muster
          at the force of belief.
The tales that are shared 
                     across the table 
                              believed
     because the teller believes.

Why is that
     so very difficult for me,
          to have compassion
                      for the story
Instead of
               the false identity
On this rainiest of 
                     Christmas Eves?

Where the salts 
                 are finally
                               scattered
Across our bedroom floor
     along with all our crystals,
           that had been laid out
                      in bagwan purity
                           (more stories!)

There are too many 
                          reasons why,
                                       none
                  that satisfy.
Unconditional doesn't quite 
                                       cover
       the kind of compassion
                          required.

I should have left the story
                  uncorrected,
For there is no knowledge,
                          only terror
At the inkling they are caught
                          in the web
                               of their own
                                     bad faith.

Meds don't work,
                     shock recoils,
        talk expends itself
                in the scarcity of air,
The teachable moments become
                never extinguished
                      excuses for
                                 recriminations

Along with self-loathing, of course,
     for no amount of burning 
                                can quench
Desire for the bridge
                  to be open
                                and serving.

Violence is always the test
                          of whether love
                  can be trusted.
O the songs
                  that come in
                                its wake.

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Rexroth at 20

In honor of his 115th

I typeset at some Wobblie press
In Bughouse Square by day
Like a desolate guerrilla as
My comrades chanted psalms
To Kronstadt.

By night I practiced scalds
At a clip joint called
The Green Mask
Where I once again was Cros
Recitative at the bal-musette

And there my words created … freedom
To pity the fugitives of some just doom,
Andromeda chained to her rock,
The three generations of infants stuffed
Down the maw of Moloch

But it was too much, even then,
The future had already passed,
The bird of Rhiannon was dead.
The war to end all wars 
Had ended

And a new one needed but our resistance
To begin. China had sat in grief 
At our neglect long enough. The artists 
Had sat in grief at our neglect 
Long enough. 

Jazz itself had fallen
To the lowest common 
Carnal frustration,
Another ancient angel thrown
Into the cacodaemon.

We had already undressed the skirts
On our return, to find they,
Naked, wanted us to examine
Instead
Their minds

And even they had already
Moved on
To posting semi-nude publicity stills
Of themselves
As the truest true of their being.

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Art City Wordscape

The cliffs are ice plants and cactus red with child.
A woman peels fresh oranges inside a cave.

Sunbathers on the first day of winter
Go not unlike the tide from sand into water.

Kids in bare feet walk volcanic shoals
To get to deep blue pools of anemones.

The paddleboarders stand heroically
As if prepared to drift away to sea.

The only thoughts worth having
Are the loping curls of surf.

There are no teachers left
Except this moment:

The long paddles that slowly stroke the water,
The couple who stare at the surface light glitter.

Still, one can hear the wheels of the roller coaster
In the distance, the screams.

Monday, December 21, 2020

After Kata Tjuta

The sounds of the day
— Hammers, planes, expressway —
Are the breath through a didgeridoo,

And the way the palm fronds sway,
How the lemon tree leaves sparkle,
Is just dancing in the spiral of that breath.

We know it as listening, what we do,
And seeing figures move with the music.
The yard is on fire with reply.

Sunday, December 20, 2020

Some Words from the River

The waterfall won't stop talking
In excitement of where it's been
And joy at where it's going, driven
By the universal urge to share its source.

Its tongue slips down the grooves 
Of the ridge, disrupting the mirror, 
To give still forms fluidity, that projects 
Against the trees, as vapor through air.

Its exuberance sends a force of bubbles
Freed for coupling and exploding
Their ordinance on the sheet upstream
Where underneath moss and clover sleep.

Even in the middle of the night it speaks,
Sounding out syllables in patterns,
The pleasure of needing to enunciate
And of making breath auditory,

And in this voicing it finds peace,
Untroubled by the resistance 
In its entanglements
To its essence, as it flows.

The gurgling doubles around the bend,
In a call and response echo, a duet
On all the ways love becomes beauty,
Never ending, each murmur a variation.

It plods its road, fills the space 
With its reply, sounds the stones 
And their crystalline overtones,
Never ceasing, like a heart, to be known,

No matter how far below the willow ash,
The gray veined brush that, overgrown,
Hides what is alive 
And what is merely dormant.

It pours itself out, in endless replenishment,
To some chalice down the ravine
That also can't hold the energies
Of light and water, and what they mean.

It is enough to feel it in the flowing,
To nurse it along the serpentine path 
With a gardeners ear on the ground
To borrow the mind of what is tended.

Thus is ubiquity filtered through
The smallest slip, to be realized
Again and again, in the moments
Barely aware of the poem they're there to form.

Saturday, December 19, 2020

A Little Noted Change

History is a yellow sun:
     The golden sky of Rome,
     The smiling Raison Bran
              with Ray-Bans on,
     How the yellow paint is used
              in kindergarten 

But now the sun is white;
     As the tide, as the snow,
     Our collective diamond
               to go with blue azure

I don't know what it means 
     Or where it goes
But we owe it to ourselves 
               to speak the truth

So Poets! Arise! Raise the rafters!
     Sing of the white, the pure,
               the light, the sun!

Friday, December 18, 2020

Light Code Storm

And so Alcyone
     Aligns with the sun
And rises above Uluru's
     Scar of birth
Before the Christed star
     Bearing water comes

For Gaia must rise
     Like a poverty bush
And we must reclaim 
     Our immortality
To be freed with the dreamtime
     In humility

And recognize it was Her
     The whole time
Giving all we received
     Overseeing ...
In this Great Bifurcation 
     Some will remember

How they chopped the wood
     Drew the water
Gathered and crushed the herbs
     Roots and flowers
In the bag that dangles by a thread
     From a tag

Thursday, December 17, 2020

Before Sunrise at the Surgical Center

All your lived experience
Becomes hypothetical
As death becomes real
When your heart is on
A monitor 
And how you feel 
Is controlled
Intravenously.

There are drugs that turn
Life off and then on;
All an anesthesiologist 
Who would be God 
Needs
Is faith
In the pharmaceutical 
Solution.

There is no point 
In telling her
The truth,
For the only way 
To step up
To the higher world that needs you
Is to step away
From the one right here

Where the pineal gland
Is lasered 
To enter every day,
This sanitary space
Of healing,
Where one can even hear
A dissenter say, "Bill Gates 
Isn't really a doctor."

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

As the Fishes Swim Away

Maybe the surfers can give him answers.
In the distance they look like the three wise men.
But the language they speak is a mystery,
And he knows only that they want to be
One with the waves, that they are specialists 
An inconsolable distance away.
What's inside their wetsuit hoods he cannot say
As they can’t know his specialism of one.

Low tide is long blue sheet, a mirror,
And across it, from a distance, walk black 
Figures on top of the sky, but to him
Come only hellos and stingy offerings
Of praise for what is painfully gorgeous.
He wants to be loved, yes, by them, but there
Is always so much more to be acquired,
And he is always more than he is treated.

The seagulls stand like priests against the tide,
Contemplating, as he does, food, but maybe
Also something more ephemeral,
Ethereal. In groups, they are alone 
Except for one disconsolate crowing.
They too blacken as the sunlight moves on
And fly to no observable island.
Maybe they'll disappear. Perhaps they're not real.

The sky is scratched, but not beyond repair.
The dragon wing trails that ride the horizon
Are temporary. The clouds so ominous
A moment before turn a fragile pink.
The dark water folds to the golden sand.
It's with utter kindness the door is closed.
The answer he sought was always in the dark.
The only light it needed was his own.

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Laguna Blue

The lie is not for others,
     It is for you,
As a part of the truth,
     Indisoluble,
As when the unearthly pearl 
     At days end
Extends from the shore to the sun,
     One can see
Its blue in the windows watching 
     Across the cliffs.

Which is true, which is false
     Can be known
But only by discerning, letting
     The expression
Play out in pantomime,
     The opposing
Is all adoration 
     As it tricks 
Itself out as the truth,
     With a blue
Worthy of our admiring,
     But we never do,
Eyes fixed at the shore
     Facing an end.

Monday, December 14, 2020

Teeth Elvis Naked at Last

The billionaire who re-built this town
Lived in a metal crate on Fremont,
Drove a ten-speed bicycle, died
Among the mole people, 
Who live in the 500 miles of tunnels 
Underground, with mayors, furniture 
And families, a place they say is
For those who’ve slipped across
But does anyone know for sure?
This city was built on smoke and mirrors;
What it says always means something else.

Acacia and mesquite,
The shag upon the palms.

The only people on the street anymore
Were the meth heads, forced to keep on moving,
And it’s hard times still for panhandlers,
Those who cop a squat have grown excrementally,
And there’s hit men walking up and down the strip
As the gangs shoot the shit from each other.
There’s only a smattering of tourists now
(Except of course at the Welcome to Las Vegas sign
Where the line is as long as at the Grand Canyon).
The girls in costume make you delete
Any pictures of them. A 90-year-old man
With pierced nipples and diapers
Stands as alone as the one gondolier watching
The Christmas show. Santa Claus
Goes ho ho ho on a Harley.

Purple peaks behind pure dirt,
Red weeds grown out the cracks.

A man stands asleep at the crosswalk in full cape, 
Then saunters along Las Vegas boulevard
Gazing at the 3D from his different sphere.
It is not a place for the sane, but what is?
The Elvis artists still have a place in this world,
And there's 99 cent shrimp cocktail like its the 70s,
And the ghosts from game shows past have stayed:
Rich Little, David Copperfield, Ru Paul.
And cars still drive on Sammy Davis Jr. Parkway, 
Frank Sinatra Drive, Mel Torme Way.
It’s Cabal-central, but what place isn’t? 
“Seek the World,” says the billboard at the Grand Canal,
Where every manner of mirage beckons over the shoppes
And the billboards for debauchery must, above all, be tasteful
Enough to fill Beef and Broads, Pin-up Pizza,  
Hugo’s Cellar, The Original Doughnut Bar, 
Menopause the Musical on a pink taxicab.

There are birds of course,
For only the small survive such a place.

At the Chapel of the Flowers, a masked wedding,
And everywhere, a lucky 7 feet social distancing,
“No Masks. No Dice.” 
“Cover your mouth” is written in the sky.
You can carry a gun, sample actual prostitution,
Chase a yard of Hurricane with a douche flute of baby bhang
As long as you submit to this maskerade,
The last bastion of “anything goes,” “here it stays” 
Exposed as a total sham.

Low blue clouds, a strip of sunset red,
The parking lot dust flies.

But the weirdness goes too deep at Binions and the D,
Psychedelic liquid running along the ceiling,
Filling up the market floor with phosphor,
Champagne bubble footballs. By El Portal
Theatre, through a sweatshop storefront 
Window, a wall of monkey handbags
Turns the handle on to the 5D reality:
The glitter of material to build out any dream,
Ideas rolling like dice on a roulette wheel,
Lights freed from any context
To recombine in new promises,
Bells ringing at seemingly random times.

Sunday, December 13, 2020

The Vegas Nuns

You cannot be too kind.
Ask anyone in shyster-town.

The gold leaves fall
Colder than the wind outside Harrah's

Where one wipes the empty chairs and slot machines
Like delivering ablution to the world.

Another mops the marble floor
Like all manner of celebrity has left their aura there.

Another lovingly looks at the cards.
Another lovingly touches the chips.

And it doesn't make any kind of sense,
Until you see the faces at the tables, feel the pain.

Saturday, December 12, 2020

Family Trip with History

In Lytle Creek, where the trouble was,
The mountain is not quite hidden in fog,
The pain is not yet obscured, the cause
Of the blaze still not determined.

The sun chooses wisely which points to highlight,
What gaping holes to fill with shadow,
What distant range to overhang with blue,
How much white to bestow on Barstow's angora.

And one knows where the access roads go,
And how long it takes to get there, and how
It moves from blinding sun to darkness in 
The one vast horizontal sweep of air,

Where the broken dragon on the ground
Is matched by the one in the clouds
That asks "what r u gonna do?"
For the little one bereft, but impossible to touch.

But there's too many colors in the sage to identify
One that should be nurtured, one that could be saved.
On the outskirts of Yermo, there are enough
Broken windows on Ghost Town Road 

For the teenagers to make a friend of the wind,
And enough abandoned frames to spray with color.
But for some there is never enough
Fuel to feed the fire, continual in belch and roar.

When the sun gets low enough, the mountains
Turn so red, it's like I can feel her anger,
That sense that, despite it all, she's been blamed
For something that she couldn't do, 

And she only knows how to flail
In resistant confusion, like the bristles
Of the Joshua Tree, jostling madly.
But sometimes they are so still, the sun becomes 

So kind, the blue sky seems forever,
It is hard not to forget, impossible not to forgive.
The sky turns pink, the mountains purple.
There's such terror at the thought of a new day.

Friday, December 11, 2020

The Afternoon after the Vein is Shown

There is no one here
             but me
     To be a monster
                       for love

I can't undo
             or justify
     What it made
                      me do.

They say it's blind,
             always right,
     Beyond forgiveness, 
                      conditions ...

Yet here we are;
             to love is human. 
     To make love is to make
                      mistakes

In how you treat 
             another person—
     That mirror never worked
                      and never will.

Still I persist in my insanity,
              my pretending 
     That insanity
                      is wrong.

Thursday, December 10, 2020

Jack's Song

He tubed himself to death
Like a Bodhisattva 
Freed.
There is poverty, and there is greed.

One cigarette too many,
One question left unasked
Like untouchable turkey.
There is greed, and there is poverty.

And there's never enough, yet a taste's
Too much. The void begats a galaxy
Of longing, a spiral arm of endless need
When there is poverty, when there is greed.

From towers they coordinate their stories,
Breaking truth away from frozen sheets.
There's no way down except as casualty
When there is greed, when there is poverty.

The noise begun as celebration
Ends as threat, warplanes overhead
At the sound of drums that knead
Because of poverty, because of greed.

The lay of the lawns, the perfect
Holier frames than thou, on gardens,
Lemon trees, kept within the inch of propriety
Because of greed, because of poverty.

But all the people see, in terrified pity,
Is the desolate house, caretakers gone,
The one lost to seed, left to weed
In fear of poverty, fear of greed.

They congregate in restaurants, quaffing 
Blood-filled goblets, to talk about the Lord
Of excess, the ghost-like Son of penury
In fear of greed, fear of poverty.

They look out on the sea, endless in
The dark, green of nearby piers
Snags them like a spark upon their need,
To kill the poverty, kill the greed.

No matter all the jokes they tell
They want the world to open its mouth
And fill the air with every novelty 
To kill the greed, kill the poverty.

Too many words, too much idea
When there's never near enough of both.
The black upon the white will always feed
To catch the poverty, catch the greed.

The familiar song plays on, perpetual,
But everyone is still behind its beat
And waits some notes ahead of its ennui,
To catch the greed, catch the poverty.

Wednesday, December 9, 2020

The Comforts of Failure

"This is the endless doom, without remedy, of poetry.
This is also the joy everlasting ..." - Delmore Schwartz

Past the words 
     No one reads,
Words not heard,
     Never written,
          Even uttered,

There are figures
     Of our feelings
That are dying
     From the lack
          As if stuck 

At the bottom
     Of a well
And there only 
     Is a bucket,
          No rope
          
And a poet 
     To throw it
In the drink
     As the people
          Crowd the brink
          
Unable to see,
     Unable to think,
And wait for 
     The inevitable 
          Plop

As if the sound
     Blanks the slate,
Like a branch
     Will scratch
          A pane

And make us forget 
     We are cold.

Tuesday, December 8, 2020

My Day

"Now I see you, 
     So un-usual,
The thought of it
     Makes me smile..."

It's my day, so they say
     Before they tell
Everything they may
     About themselves.

I am suddenly King!
     So many subjects
Come from my subjects!
     I have to wait

To make it about me.
     "You can do that
Anytime," they say,
     "'Cos it's your day!"

There are rules,
     You see,
People can be
     So jealous.

Monday, December 7, 2020

This Fire, after Abū-Sa'īd Abul-Khayr

There's a point when all the truth burns up
But still the fire rages.
The darkness of the days
Just makes its glow reach higher.
Doesn't seem to even matter
What fuel is thrown its way,
For it is truth, this fire, truth only.

Sunday, December 6, 2020

The Distanced

They have no mouths.
     They run away.
It has always
     Been this way.

But now we know how
     Other people
Are dangerous,
     Unpredictable.

My closest prior brush
     Was at the turnstiles 
To the cagetop of the Empire State,
     A line that stretched for miles;

Those faces were identical
     To the teenage girls 
I watched past midnight on my street
     Practice twirls

As if they were alone
     With no one to see them,
Each dancer adrift and alien,
     In perfect synchronization.

Saturday, December 5, 2020

The Daily Transmutation

The park has shifted timelines—
Red trees and berries, grandiose reeds.
The duck pond is no more, the willows are
As if they never were. Remembered flowers
Are a blur on fields of grey debris and dirt.

Oscar the crow is gone. The gnomes have left
For living rooms warmed by home decor.
The last brown leaves hang in the sky 
On an oak that leans like a dancer,
Strings of balls like earrings dangling down.

The light is different every day
And each singular nuance of sun
Reveals something of the trees and hillside,
This place on the earth, this time of the day,
This region of year, December, changing color.

The particular pattern on the birch
Moves in the sun like an animal,
The specific shade and shape of brown
Becomes clear enough to be recognized 
As real, in the light where it's finally seen.

Friday, December 4, 2020

Sunset Shot

The royal terns fly
     from the low tide
As the blue
     slowly fades
Surfers glide
     through burning water
White shells resolute
     against the night

Thursday, December 3, 2020

For Cheryl

Death Valley? This weekend?
For those rainbow mountains
One can't see from the ground?
She asks with that eye,
That one can't identify as
Photographer per se,
More the eye of the one,
With all passion intact
And ready to be delivered
In packets of capture,
The eye developed, into love,
That would turn the world to flowers.

There is nothing she won't do
To share her heart,
As large as what she sees.

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Curse of the Pink Screwdriver

What does a child know about karma?
Always allowed 
To reach, like a bird
For what is nearby, needed.
But the moment
Is for teaching
It is not theirs without a cost,
What is called a consequence,
A boundary.
It's another way of saying
One must learn how to be free.

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Thoreau

There's a river of tears for The-roo somewhere,
Not here, the red rocks marauding their wisdom,
While a spark of white man's fire hides
In half-life, strung along the straight lines
Of loose wires joining tracts of dust together,
Quite unlike the Haystack Mesa mines
That brought the old uranium from Grants,
Whose fallout built shelter, now Indian schools,
The bicycles blue and improvised,
For children to live in the fantasies,
Whatever hopelessness provides.

To think I stopped here to follow an owl,
To know the wings of cloud as thinking air,
The sound of wind through space pontifications
From the higher realm of heads in a tableau
That unfurls its drama far across the broken land
Where colors are alive, emptiness a friend,
Silence is the nearest thing to God.
Ah but even the children are resentful here,
Too old for explanations, not old enough to drink
The endless fire. The stone has no pity
For them, or me. One might say we are ignored.

What led me here? The wind might say, more kind
Than Diné strangers. I'm a refugee I swear
From what I never cared to know, for it never
Understood me. And I travel on alone because I can,
For as long as I hold out, for what waits
Will solidify like these rocks assuming faces,
And they'll lord from in the sky, without a word.
Some girl will offer comfort, as they even seem to here,
A warm inquiring eye so brusquely mistaken
For an ancient invitation, the curl 
That makes the wind seem almost friendly.

Monday, November 30, 2020

Thanksgiving

She’s a nurse in Thousand Oaks, but it's three
To six hours she drives to Poway each weekend
To this mission-style mansion in the hills
Where there’s never enough room to escape 
From the others in order to talk to my daughter
About the problem she’s having with her mother,
Which, it turns out, is exactly the same problem
I’m having with my mother, two stubbornly
Refusing to pull politics out of the way of love.

I try the terrazzo below the infinity pool.
The chairs are comfortable and warm in the sun,
But my step-daughter comes bopping along,
Ecstatic at all the calories she’d burned
Instead of the usual long look into the void
Where we are all thankful she hasn’t yet decided
To move.

                   I go to the fruit trees, yellow limes
And wrinkled oranges, but my brother-in-law
Hands me some gloves so I can pick them,
Which I attempt to do with one hand while the other 
Holds the tears of my baby as they slip out into the valley.
This will never do.

                                     So I locate a pacing spot
Around the trash bins, at the far end of the lot,
But no, here comes Miles, vape smoke rising from 
His nose, happy to be drinking his third Scottish ale,
As his family is happy he’s not suicidal today.

I go over to the driveway, in front of the most
Spectacular view this side of Abruzzo, one that
Makes life as I know it seem more than vaguely
Disquieting, like finding out all the good things
Are only on TV. My daughter tells me it's too raw
To talk to my son either, for he had too much shame
To take it well when she offered to pay for a tow
As long as she didn’t send him the money directly. 
He came from a long line of men who never knew
When to be children, born taking care of things
Then letting everything go. 

                                                  And this, too,
Is interrupted, by the in-laws from Las Vegas
At the barbecue gazebo, who, it turns out,
Aren’t speaking to their daughter either,
Even though she had recently, miraculously,
Gotten pregnant. There was an altercation
Between the loud two of them and a loud
BLM woman, and the video had gone viral,
And her shame of having white parents
Got in the family way.

                                         This did not provide
The psychological insight I needed as I tried
To wheel the conversation to why my daughter
Did not want to talk to me on account of my
Political beliefs. There was noise everywhere,
The noise of nothing being said about what
Was going on in the world, or in the family.
All the dark secrets were redirected to the 
Appropriate amount of gravy and whether
That jigsaw puzzle would ever be solved.

I went out to the front, where beautiful blue
Flowers seemed a suitable backdrop
To digging deeper into the pain
Of what families cannot say, and what they can,
But the lady of the house puttered by
Like the entrance of a distracted sitcom neighbor.
She seemed a million miles away, in fact,
And everyone knew but wouldn’t say
It was because her precious first-born son
Decided not to come home this year
For some dim and unbelievable stated reason,
But everyone knew he could not stand
The anger he felt in political debate
At the dinner table.

                                    I ended up
In my brother-in-law’s office, or at least
That was where they said he worked, though
The only indication of an office was a glass
Table with photographs and a poker book.
There were photographs everywhere. They
Were going to sell the house, but she couldn’t
Stand not having her photographs on the wall
Of her family. 

                            So I’m back here, trying to have
A phone call with my daughter, but I can’t hear her
Thanks to the marble and museum-high ceilings 
And the voices calling for me from the kitchen
With the kind of good-natured sweetness
That can only mean they want to take my money
In a card game.

                            And whatever I was talking about
Drifted away to some irremediable past.
The present – whatever it was – called
And I wondered how long I could last.

Monday, November 23, 2020

Film Review: The Social Dilemma

Ten or so years into the mass zombification of humanity through smart phones, someone in the upper suite of the control matrix has decided to release a bunch of lapsed true-believer engineers in the great experiment to confess to the black Netflix screen, like disillusioned priests at the unspeakable corruption in their blessed vehicle, the alienation this attempt to connect humanity has wrought. This staged confession has in turn given the gazillions of people who have watched the documentary permission to face the obvious: They have been imprisoned by the very devices that were supposed to free them. 

OK maybe that’s a stretch. They are given permission to wring their hands about the suicide rate of Gen Z girls, the collapsing consensus between what is real and fake, the reality that the reality presented by their device (including Netflix) is unique to them and their buying preferences, and, oh yeah, that violent white supremacists have been given free reign to terrorize America because of the unrestrained profit motive powering Big Tech. 

Hold up. What was that last point? Yes, it seems the end results of all this social media excess are unrestrained gangs of racist brown shirts, as shown in the film’s interspersed dramatization, where a hapless teen’s need for peer approval inevitably leads to him joining a mob seemingly intent on putting black people on crosses and lynching them. They bring home this grisly reality with images from my home town of Huntington Beach as an example of this social-media inspired violence breaking out between right and left. 

The only problem is that the two images they choose to make this point – as I am well aware since I witnessed them happen – show nothing of the sort. One is of 5-time World Wresting Federation Champion (and now Huntington Beach City Councilman) Tito Ortiz blocking the way of a bunch of paid Antifa ruffians, who were trying to invade one of a series of peaceful protests against the state’s lockdown policies with a vow to “burn the city down.” It was a citizen trying to prevent a crime – not violent at all. The police were right there, many on horses, standing by. The protests included all sides, all of whom – mask-wearing and flag-bearing – respected each other and their right to speak. There were skateboards, soft serve, drum circles. It was a festive day at the beach. Why would a film intent on showing how deceptive social media can be take such a risk to blatantly misrepresent what actually happened? 

The second shot from my home town offers a clue. It was of a woman planting an American flag on the beach before being accosted by police. The film again made it look like a violent clash when it was actually a beautiful and iconic cry for liberty, someone bravely reminding us of our constitutional rights before she was physically removed because Governor Newsom decided on a whim that no one was allowed to go on the beach. In reality, the shot changed things, beaches opened, people’s eyes opened to the reality of a totalitarian state that they said could never happen here. 

What in heaven’s name is going on? How could a movie that started so promisingly, full of cool diagnostic terms like “snapchat dysmorphia,” “positive intermittent reinforcement,” “growth hacking,” “psychometric dopplegangers,” and “the attention extraction model” go so dismally wrong? Why reinforce the interpersonal void that anyone parenting a Gen Z child grieves every day –  a generation that has the unusual habit of turning their phone around to film anyone who confronts them in an unpleasant way – only to turn its psychic energy into railing against Russians hacking elections, flat earthers, anti-vaxxers, “pizzagate” believers and the aforementioned white supremacists? 

The short answer – and it pervades every frame of the movie – is that they know they’ve lost the war. 

The film reminded me of a similar doom-laden documentary from about a decade ago called The Corporation. One left that happy flick with the idea that Monsanto was on the verge of poisoning the world’s food supply and we are collectively powerless to stop it. It didn’t quite turn out that way, for similar reasons that technology won’t take away the last vestige of our collective will. One indication of this is that FCC Section 230, which protects the internet giants from libel laws on the condition they make no editorial decisions, was not even mentioned once in the entire documentary, even when they were waxing poetic about rule changes, regulations and taxes to rein in Big Tech. 

It’s no great secret anymore that the giant social media companies routinely game their algorithms to highlight approved and bury non-approved content, they shadow ban so that the poster doesn’t see that no one else can see their post, they “fact-check” and label “false” anything that veers from their official approved narrative, and they even demonetize and delete independent thinking accounts that have done nothing wrong, with no warning and for no stated or discernible reason except that they’ve attracted a large audience. With these knowing violations of the terms of their FCC charter, indefensible under any standard of free speech I’ve ever been taught, they have put not only their legal freedom but their very existence at risk, going so perversely against their so-called profit motive that all they can do now is double down with other conspirators to censor anything that will keep their autocratic control in place, even if they have to, say, brazenly support the current massive electoral fraud that will turn out to be the biggest crime in US history.  

Could it be someone is letting this all happen, waiting for big tech and big media to overreach, to the point where people rise up and demand a change? On the ground, it looks like we are rapidly reaching that point. The film's over-the-top propaganda, and Big Tech's panicked actions suggest they are in a lot more trouble than the public at large realizes. 

During the last few decades, but especially in the last four years or so, arcane and unspeakable secrets held back for thousands of years have come out into the open, as millions and millions of people realize that the world we live in is largely a controlled illusion that we are free to transcend at any time. It’s called the Great Awakening, and it is a truly special time in history, one that I and countless others feel truly blessed to live in. We want to go shouting from the rafters the good news about the unimagined possibilities that are in our not-too-distant future.

The challenge we have is that the media – social and traditional – is absolutely at war with this awakening, because they can’t control it. They seek to subvert, censor, ridicule and squash non-approved thought by ANY means necessary, because their biggest fear is an awakened populace. 

This civil war, an information war for the minds of the populace, is ongoing and has been for years. There are two distinct sides, secretive though they both are, and they each have distinct strategies. Let’s just call these sides the Alliance and the Hive. The Hive has long held power, by controlling governments, banks, churches, foundations, academia, media etc. in an elaborate system of reward and punishment – power and money on the one hand, blackmail for compelled unspeakable crimes to enforce loyalty on the other. The Alliance has been consistently outmaneuvered for decades – maybe even centuries – but it came into possession of the blackmail files (electronically of course), has infiltrated Hive communications, and found enough support within the Hive-controlled institutions to put one of their own into a dominant position of power. 

This was the first genuine threat to Hive control as far as anyone can remember, and it triggered an aggressive strategy to remove this usurper from power by any means at their disposal. The Alliance, having the “black position” in chess, responded by setting traps using their ability to know the enemy’s moves, and allowing them to walk in the front door only to be ambushed. Classic guerrilla tactics, in other words. While this strategy bought them time, they used their blackmail files to either free, take out or control key players across all Hive-controlled institutions, enough at this point to shift the levers of power definitively in their direction. 

The key to the ongoing Alliance plan is their strength in numbers. The Hive, despite its vast size, is rigidly hierarchical and controlled by very few people, and its processes are developed to project its power through largely illusory means. If this illusion can be broken, the people informed that they have been deceived, the Alliance can release the technology and money that has been withheld in the name of power for a long time. This is all going on behind the scenes, but some of us can see the shadow patterns on the cave wall, mostly because the Alliance has started communicating with us directly. This is very difficult, since all areas of media are controlled by the Hive, but the strategy has resulted in the already-awakened people to bond together and help others awaken. At each point of awakening though, lies the Hive, with its communication engines and control over the population’s minds through a dizzying array of propaganda techniques and mind-controlling technologies. Thus those aligned with the Alliance are acutely aware of the war. Most of the human population is not, because they are under the mind-enslavement of the Hive. But day by day, as the pillars of Hive support collapse, the Alliance gains ground.

And that’s why it’s all going to come crashing down on the Big Tech octopuses as it is coming down on the earlier, unassailable Monsanto. They could not figure out a solution to the genie they let out of the bottle, an informed populace who think for themselves and share information with others in an open forum. They really thought they could target, geotag, shadow ban and censor the fringe of free thinkers, but every day more people are waking up to the fact that they have lied to and gaslit for a very long time, and they are determined to never let it happen again. 

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Vignette from the Civil War

I have to leave her a crumb
     Sez Thunder Tongue
But censorious birds
     Won't take my words
So why am I still
     So polite?

Civility means more,
     They say, in a war,
To allow me to bow 
     While you rationalize
The impossibility of democracy, 
     Forfeit the present to history.

Each person makes a choice
     With their voice
To stand with the beautiful 
     And true 
Or let certainty salve
     Their confusion.

The war is inside
     Each one of us
Although it seems
     In moments
To encroach
     Upon the lawn.

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Afternoon on Misery

The concrete never lies. There were once hotels
And people here, caught up in these vines.
The tell-tale posts for summer docks
Are not disguised enough by seaweed
To free themselves from the past.
                                                              Yet we know
Only that these people had the same presumed
Hungers and proclivities we have too,
Albeit with woolier bathing suits
And more ridiculous hats. It was the style
To claim this isle for God and society
But few now take an interest in dredging
Through stones for some shards of ceramic
Softened by rain into something different.

The seagulls give birth here, and spread their bones
In far less prudish display than our ghosts.
They say there were storms, kitchens lost to flames,
But those were merely stories we’d required
To justify the ruins, bereft of myth
And usable history, some crags,
Some grass, a dreary beach, some sumac trees …
The ladies pose in dinghies for eternity,
The men still drink gin rickeys to this day,
In a flash of thunder, buckets of rain.
If only I could join them, at least in
A dream, but there’s so little left of them
— No laughter, no ribbons, no ties — ah but
There’s less of me, so it’s somehow enough!

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

The Superior Hills

Serendipity
     Fog is on the way 
An emaciated gray 
     Across Balboa Bay

All the notions
     Are put on ice 
As the light divides
     From vision

The maritime frames
     Somehow illusion
Boats turning
     A galaxy away 

Monday, November 16, 2020

Agreement About Others

It's the season of suicidal truth-seeking,
Evenings as black as the crows, and the orange flame
Too far away to convince anyone there is
A consequence. Who can look at the line of moon
Amid the distortions of blue? There is no room
To say the stars are true, when so many eyes 
Don't see them as important enough to include.
It contradicts what others know, what they have heard.
There is no point in telling them what to do, for
No one trusts another's eye, or believes what's been learned.
It is what each wants to be right on their islands
That registers, for the trees there are real at least, 
And the hegemon of belief holds them down like
Gulliver under needles, for something once made 
Belief and their being one and the same, a kindness 
Of seeing into them, eyes silent yet fixed in
An authoritative stare, saying "no" so many times
It seems that "yes" must not exist, even as the roots
Break through the soil, and the birds sing themselves closer.
It is only the earth that cares, and some stray 
Solitary souls, for whom what is right matters.
For everyone else, it is a weakness to be
Exploited, by the sneers of the fearful, that can
Overcome even the most permanent of stone.

Sunday, November 15, 2020

The Silence of Sunday Night

The scribe makes a sound of crying
— Something left for the ages
No matter what the ink reveals
Over time on the pages.

It hangs in the air
Like the myth of Lemuria 
Or an incident from decades ago
Stuck in the permanent now.

And maybe this sound
Just resembles a cry
In its soft whirring flight
Of ballpoint black ...

And yet it must be;
How else could the words
Be carried away,
Carved right out of life?