Archive for December, 1994

Dictation:

Posted: December 22, 1994 in Poetry
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thoughts like knives
— no blunt smile —
grinding to sharpen
against the stone of today.
my low self-esteem
smarts when it’s smart,
because nobody hurts me like me.

Evolution Drives the Bus

Posted: December 21, 1994 in Poetry
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I
rebirth is the sign
I have seen in neon karma,
judging by my scenery.
II
not some paranormal awakening,
nor a Zen-like inner peace:
I am far from stopping.
III
evolution drives the bus;
I’m afraid to lose
what I don’t already have.
IV
potential energy = power,
a force to select the future
that the past dictates I want now.
V
molt like the mad spider
Mordenkainen;
commit yourself to the House of Bedlam.
VI
slough the skin
before it roughens into
the wrinkles you wear forever.
VII
youthfulness is vitality,
the vitality to withstand
change.
VIII
this death must be dyed
to match the colorful shirt
I wish to wear tomorrow to work.

The Me in Medium

Posted: December 20, 1994 in Poetry
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Lost like your keys:
I don’t know how I got here,
Or if I told you
How I got here,
Would you believe?
Looking for my suitable pocket,
Reading the classified ads:
“Secret Garden going bad —
Must have proper key to lock it”.

Once Upon a Sky

Posted: December 20, 1994 in Poetry
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Once upon a sky,
I saw, imprinted: smoke
from the pretty bonfire
of each lie, lie, lie.
I saw this thread from afar,
black and hanging from God’s suit:
my hair stood on end from the heat;
it’s burning bright like a star.
The twin scratches at my insides,
carving words in my skin,
inciting organ against organ,
organizing rebellions within.

Sleep Dustballs

Posted: December 19, 1994 in Poetry
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Home to yawns and
pillow-yarn;
sleep dustballs
and quiet
are my poems;
they’re end-of-the-day quirks,
beaten up by
living them through
in my lifetime:
each poem a seperate jewel,
a seperate study
in something.

Sailing to Byzantium

Posted: December 19, 1994 in Poetry
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I perch upon a basalt wall,
12 feet high; it surrounds the port
Separating the rough-hewn blocks
Of the well-travelled docks
From the slopes of the mountains lost
To the predations of much-prized rationality.
Many a sailor I watch disembark
From cutter or barge or sailing-ship;
They wind their way from wharf to within
The city whose walls I’ve scaled.
Young and old who, unfamiliar
With the burnished minarets and golden spires,
Wander lost amidst the buccaneers
Who have been here many a dream-time,
Stride winking to their carts and kingdoms.

coming calling

Posted: December 13, 1994 in Poetry
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The snow has touched the mountaintops
And the leaves drift on the ground.
My breath is grey before my face
As I’m walking into town.

I left my car parked in the drive;
I wished to go on foot.
A whim the moon brought to my thoughts
When I laced my father’s boots.

When I come calling at your house
I’ll check to see that your light shows.
If it’s off, I’ll admire the frost
A moment, then I’ll go.

Sometimes I won’t see one car pass
Going either way.
The wind spins papers through the dancing trees;
They keep my footsteps gay.

The silent night and the Christmas lights,
The pine-bough’s fresh perfume;
The ribbons and wreaths and lost Autumn leaves —
They all point my way to you.

When I come calling at your house,
I’ll check to see that your light’s on.
If it is out, I’ll leave without
Telling you that I have gone.

The walk back home is always long,
But the beauty still remains.
I imagine a sleigh, two horses; some hay,
And my hands upon the reins.

The moon is calm in the darkened sky
It silvers the windowsills.
I climb into bed with you in my head;
Stuff for these poems I build.

When I come calling at your house,
I’ll check to see if you’ve lit your light,
For if it’s not, then I guess you forgot,
And I can’t come and say goodnight.

Target

Posted: December 9, 1994 in Poetry
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Look around you
at the wrecked shelves,
the damaged or opened merchandise,
the floors littered with tags,
sale shelves half-empty
with slower-selling items or
taped up single boxes
priced as marked.
See the hanging advertisements,
the red and yellow eye-catchers,
the signs leading to popular departments:
Toys, Electronics, Sports;
Christmas Trees in our Garden Section!
Follow the heavy traffic lanes
by the shopping cart wheel skids,
the grease marks from boot heels,
the ravaged end-of-the-aisle shelves.
This place is empty now —
the midnight wind whistles outside
the blinking store front
on Christmas Day.

Horse

Posted: December 9, 1994 in Poetry
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There seems to be a certain point
where a great deal of intelligence
becomes a stallion too strong,
or wild to train, to ride.
Madmen have become so smart
that their brains have snapped:
the reins have cracked,
and they cannot let go, or get off.
Simple people are said to be happy —
their mounts aren’t unruly
and serve them well.
Those with the powerful steeds
that are still under control
are successful and productive:
the plows they pull are deep,
the furrows they plant are wide.
Yet as we pity the farmer
with a lame or weak horse,
pity the land-worker with
an unbroken or wild beast.
For we admire the size
and the strong shiny flanks
from over the split-rail fence,
yet the owner’s field is criss-crossed
with uneven and crooked berms,
or stand fertile and untilled
next to the brown-eyes
and restless
horse.

St. Michael and I

Posted: December 8, 1994 in Poetry
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Scales and a sword and a pair of wings
Is not what I have —
I look at St. Michael,
My namesake Angel,
And I want to hug a bear in fear
Of being capable of such judgement:
Fair and exacting deeds.
I find I’m wrong or mistaken
Many times a day:
My own carelessness
Or oversight, usually.
St. Michael has no forethough to him,
Just perfect scales,
The means to weigh is science of judgement,
And a flaming sword to enforce the verdict.
Keeping the Garden of Eden
And throwing Lucifer from the vaults of Heaven:
St. Michael — it is he “who is like God”;
my tenuous relationship:
a shared name,
a Zodiac sign,
and a fascination with blades.

Introducing the Muse

Posted: December 7, 1994 in Poetry
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I wonder, as the Poet,
if you care what I say here;
these words may only be
patterns or statistics to you.
The appreciation is when organs move
— some passing of spirit
through your flesh,
a Magick spell which,
uttered, or even read,
evokes a thump on the heart-drum or
a tangle of the air in your lungs.
When the eyes are slightly moistened
beyond necessity or that which can be played off,
when the lips subconsciously part or move with the sound
as if to kiss the flowering thoughts,
to sip from the cup of each syllable
— then the letters become words,
translated back into ideas,
reconstructed in a different mind,
personalized to a different environment
— accurately speculated back to
the willpower of imagination that birthed the poem.
My Muse:
she is a bashful widow who hangs her veils thick,
like laundry on a street with no electricity.
A glimpse of the rare beauty,
your eyes to her holiness,
always too quick for detail, yet
that soul-string hums
with some instinctual empathy.
I tend to stutter during introductions
because I never get it just right.

Ah, this bright light —
I was a closet Vampyre,
dancing on cardboard tombstones
with flexible skeletons
who beat chopsticks on
overturned Folger’s coffee cans
— it shrivels the flesh
and weakens the bones.
I’ve heard of the process of aging before,
from people older than I
(that was all that mattered back then),
but I opened the door
just by living this long;
it was a voluntary process
to keep myself “sane”.
My closet life still lives —
the dust and cobwebs are real,
cardboard and coffee cans lay around
— it’s a mess just like I left it.
I have little time to clean up,
much less to dust them off and play;
something I swore I’d never say.
I wished to conquer this aging
in this age.
I watched the best voices of
previous generations
wither and fade,
mature and become jaded
as either adults or escapists —
I wanted to outdo them all
by keeping busy
preserving those things
that people forgot to remember:
those things that go bump in the night
and lurk shiny red-eyed in the closet.
This bright light
— reality for those who think it so —
is the bread and butter of adulthood,
and it cannot be avoided
through ignorance or rebellion:
they just won’t go away.
This revelation comes with
the exposure to aging;
the fact that changed my whole game plan.
Closets, shadows, mysteries and skeletons
beating Folger’s coffee cans with chopsticks
are for children and lunatics:
people who aren’t grown up enough
to withstand the scrutiny
of this bright light.
I hold to my original wish —
I have remembered so far
you must bend like the willow
young grasshopper —
Seuss did it,
King does it;
to each his or her own closet.
Oil your hinges,
dust your skeletons,
tune your Folger’s coffee cans:
Magick is the marrow
that runs in those bones,
and still fires the eyes shiny red.

Tails Side Up

Posted: December 5, 1994 in Poetry
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I wish on every
lucky penny
that I find (tails side up)
for you
for me
for us and wherever we’re going
in all this fog.

I want that my glasses
were halogen knives
to draw and quarter the mist of the
near future:
is it money?
is it marriage?
is it me?
that has you so distant
when I’m right here
holding your hand?

Maybe I’m a chain of flower petals
— all the “loves-me-not” daisies
of the last few decades;
all the dangling lies of the eternal carrot,
a pinata for
the materialism
of our parents’ generation
leaking into my soil.

But all I ever wanted from money
were my lucky
(tails side up)
pennies.

So the track’s float-flowin’ like the brew from the tap,
street-lethal cracka comin’ straight steppin’ attack.
I’m through messin’ with the system, gonna go my own route,
off-road past the Sphinx, Pyramids and I’m out.
There’s nothin’ but sand dunes as far as I can see;
no water or camel, the crazy diamond’s with me.
The sun’s droppin’ like a stone but still hotter than hell but
[here’s a little story that I’ve gots to tell] -Beastie Boys.
Three days ago, a cantina in Cairo —
I smoked my last hash and I’m runnin’ out of dough,
a man got shot, and he fell in my lap.
Bleedin’ on my jacket, he slipped me a sack.
Three thugs with scimitars come in through the gate.
Dyin’ guy starts firin’ so I made my escape,
so I find myself lost in the alleys and streets;
a turban cold creeps, so I put out his teeth.
Grabbed a tire iron from the back of a truck;
I took a look in the bag: a gem as big as a rock.
Glowing from inside, some ethereal quality —
I closed up my loot because I hear someone follow me.
Spent the night wide awake in the flat of this hooker,
paranoid in the john when the Thugee mistook her
for me in those sheets; she was kind, I was saddened
but I was out of the window to the awning like Aladdin.
They left one chump and the keys in the jeep
so I broke his head open then I sped up the street.
Over my shoulder I saw them Thugee come out,
waving wicked knives and they’re rather put out.
I wrecked the jeep into a fruit cart…
hoodlums on my heels but I’ve got a head start.
Slip throught the marketplace to a sidewalk cafe,
pasta sea swarthy faces, I made my way
to the rear of the joint, looking for the back door.
If I owned a Fedora, I’d feel like Harrison FOrd.
Indiana Jones and the Diamond of Despair.
I’ve got about ten minutes to find a new lair
where I can wait for the heat to die down…
dusk is a must to get out of town.
Two chairs and a table in the darkest corner,
the Gelato Vera of Cairo, all I need is a mocha.
Sweat pouring from my brow as I watch the front
for any sign, any signal or warning of chumps
and then I pause…I feel a knife in my ribs.
“Hand over the parcel and you might just live.
Reach slow — real slow — or in hell you’ll be fryin’”
so I reached in my jack for the sack with the diamond.
I put it out on the table; he stepped from the shade,
sat down in the other chair and polished his blade.
This is straight from the movies is what I thought,
He’s too damn pleased that I went and got caught.
Fat boy opens his mouth like he’s going to speak;
he looks over my shoulder and his knees go weak.
I don’t think, I grab the sack and I’m hittin’ the deck;
a hail of bullets breaks out and hits Homes in the neck.
Cafe screaming, blood’s spilling as the splinters are flying;
I’m crawling for the door — there’s no farm that I’m buying.
I get up and start running with the scared folk,
but there’s a shirtless Thugee waitin’ and the mo-fo is yoked.
I grab a pan in my hand to the side of his skull —
he blinks twice and shook his head — it didn’t faze him at all.
He reached for my arms so I went through his legs man.
I’m smooth, just like the Eggman.
Tall brick alleys with nowhere to go,
but I’ve got the crazy diamond and my life, though.
(to be continued…)