Posts Tagged ‘Fireworks’

why can’t I
just be another guy?
but I’m a person
with a snake-sharp tongue
and I’m a ripped flannel…
I shoot my mouth like a shotgun.
riddles and rhyming and rhythm,
not taken seriously enough to stay honest
just another number in the GTE phone list.
I lie and I lie and I lie
to convince you all
that the poet is just another human being;
that I am just another guy.

I thresh through these lines
like a dog wrapped in seaweed,
thrown with stones in the ocean:
I can’t breathe –
there’s all the smoke from the fires I’m lightning,
I’m telling the sheriff that I’m struck by lightning.
when does it all stop echoing ‘round in circles?
I think it’s just another dream.
I’m on a porch with a candle and a carpet;
there’s crickets all around
and I feel wonderful without the world dragging me down.
look, I see you don’t understand with a frown.

I can’t even repeat what I’ve said.
I can’t think of a poem I’ve written,
then read,
and thought that this is it, this is perfect!
I’ve even given up trying to rework it.
I don’t want to write for a living anymore
I feel like the homework that’s always lost to the dog
and I don’t remember whatever
I expected from myself anymore.
these fireworks of joy that I wished to paint the skies with
are nothing more than explosions
of white-winged moths from a log
that I’ve kicked walking alone in the woods.

Las Vegas

Posted: May 18, 1993 in Poetry
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one
all these slot machines are screaming at me,
hurling forth these awful noises
like upright pinball machines amplified
and winking with infernally fueled lights,
glowering metal goblins hunkered in military rows.
zombies run them, magnetized to the pull-bars.
coin after coin after coin fed like morsels
to squat and greedy quadripalegics
to be digested in square stomachs,
vomited occasionally into aluminum bins designed
to deluge the immediate area with tinny sound.
the only chairs in Vegas are the stools in front of slots,
the seats around the tables and the high chairs at the bars.
there they go – horrible shrieks and sirens,
running dark-suited security guards
and the beaming house manager congratulating, congratulating
someone lucky enough to give a slot the shits.
night and day rows of rolling eyes and gaping mouths,
so many tiki idols to pray to with offerings of silver.
miracles, healings, wishes granted often enough to other people
to make you believe. over your shoulder,
someone with a wheelbarrow of quarters
is smiling smugly before she’s taxed,
so you turn to your personalized priest
and confess, confess, confess;
give your money to the Church of Las Vegas.

two
you are nothing without neon stripes
surrounded with millions of scarecrow lightbulbs.
it’s a neighborhood gone gaga with Christmas lights;
the competition is too apparent, so flashy –
each hotel, forty floors of cement and steel supermodel,
the strip a catwalk for these gaudy flamingos
belching forth the illusions of winners,
fireworking electrical energy through millions of neon lacerations,
igniting the sky with an unnatural aurora.
each casino like a sick-to-its-stomach smiling Buddha,
pulling people in through its gilded belly-button
to explore the convolutions of intestines packed
with other gaping gamblers praying and dazed,
being digested in the bowels of Las Vegas.
the streets are the most wholesome places of normalcy;
there the garbage isn’t hidden, or snatched up
by a look-quickly-both-ways costumed employee
with a silver handled scooper and a platinum broom,
a golden smile tacked on like a nametag –
part of the uniform – in the streets
the honking of cars is sanity;
the people who live from their shopping carts are sane
because they have no money to spend.
these streets are thronged every night,
poverty illuminated by the neon lights.

Painted Cave Creekbed

Posted: May 13, 1993 in Poetry
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with all those spring rains
the Painted Cave creekbed
is full of raw boulders being softened
by green children with
still, poised fingers like
ricocheting fireworks.

I poke my head under huge stones
into spaces like lion’s jaws
to the screeching of irritated scrub jays.