but aren't they all random?



A Pocketful of Poesy was a Poem-a-Day(-on-Average) Blog* up until the great derail of 2013. The impossibly-high standard of quality proved impractical to keep up, without a book deal. But don't take my word for it: click RANDOM and judge for yourself! And feel free to offer your critique.
*based on poem rate for calendar years 2009-2012. Also, kidding about the book deal.

Monday, October 17, 2016

the fire-place

The present,
ever burning up,
our eyes beguiled dance
amazed as each of us breathes air
incensed, in apple, pine and ash
we blaze, a sense of crackl'ng residue,
of blacken'd sap and coming fall,
in twisting wires of what we are,
of wood-grained muscle, fired by youth
and wrenching, cracking, spitting fire,
twisting, writhing, splitting off
in ember glowworms, fall and dim
and dull to gray, too soon
to cool, in gloaming dusk
of coals well-spent,
or if not well -

then full.

Friday, October 14, 2016

demon eyes

I never mind being demonized. Accuse
me of the worst, and I'll know which side
- and I'll know you are on it, and I'll know
you'll fight.

The people who refuse to accuse aren't right.
When they know what's wrong: when they hear it
proclaimed, by a person in the room -
and they let it stand. They stand to the side,
saying "who am I to blame? To accuse, to
cry out, to challenge, to name?"

You're the bystander, that's who. Get in the game.
Quit folding your hands as the stakes rise high.
This isn't a table you can walk away from.
We are all all-in by the time we die, so

Take a hand: and call it, when you see foul play.
When everybody sees, and when no one will say,
that's how the damn devil wins the day. And the devil
is us, all day, everyday that we won't stand up.
You have got to accuse, when you see the dirty dealing
that would see us all lose. When you see it proclaimed,
right there in the flesh, right there in the room
you're in - and you let it stand. And you sit. They win.
Meanwhile, if you could only speak out, just for one,
just for you - wouldn't half the people squirming
in the room feel relief? Chime in, throw their hand
in with you, rise to their feet?

You are not the only one there who knows what's true!
And everybody there has the problem you do. You've been
taught to be polite, is the problem with you. Who taught you?
Can you guess, mister politesse? Mister status quo
- or excuse me, is it little miss?

Silence is consent. As the world spins on, and you sit
and you see, and do not speak out: you consent
to wrong. In every single room where you let it stand,
you are the one who throws up your hand.

If you call me a racist, I know two things:
you hate racism, and you've got the gall
to call it where you see it. And that is all.
If you're on the right side, I can take the fall

I don't mind. I get up! Those falls don't hurt.
When a shot goes wide, it does not break skin
so no matter how thin someone's skin can be -
how can you be offended by an on-target shot
at the enemy, when it misses you wide?
When you know you're not the mark? Aren't you on
some side? Don't you know right from wrong?
Big deal. Who cares. Can you TELL
right from wrong?

That's how deals get squared.

And if you stand accused of being the worst,
you know just two things: that person is, first,
someone who hates the worst. Secondly, they are someone
who'll engage with the enemy. Whose side
are you on? If you don't pick one,
you consent and support every wrong
that's done.

So accused, demonized, I don't flinch. Just rise,
spread my hands out wide, with my demon eyes bright,
and greet this cool fool who'll engage with my foes.
Who speaks out, who - so much better than knows! -

who can tell right from wrong. A courageous sight.

Pardon me, can I help you to set me right?

They narrow their eyes, of course. They get suspicious.

Don't worry.

Between two people who can both tell right,
agreement-reaching's easier than doing the dishes.

As long as you never mind being called wrong,
you will find so many people on the side you're on.

Break Up Monday

Well I know you're not happy with me
and I have to accept any blame
it's too easy to see how it is
or to say it won't be the same
I remember us flying so high
now it's like we've embraced for a crash
but we've been wading so deep
through this hell of a week
we shouldn't do anything rash

We can break up Monday
and not ruin the weekend
we could be together
we could be ourselves again

Well we could both walk out the door right now
but we'd have to come back for our stuff
and it's hard to adjust to the thought
of the two of us not in love
we'd be miserable being alone
even more than we've been in the past
and I know that these may
not be reasons to stay, but hey
don't be a pain in the ass

We can break up Monday
and not ruin the weekend
we can be together
we can be ourselves again
if we break up Monday
I could be your good friend
we could break up Monday
or we could change our minds again

Well I know I'm not happy with you
but I've never been happy with me
and I don't want to break up with myself
as dysfunctional as it seems
and as hard as your life has become
do you think that the reason is us?
we can say we weren't right
for the rest of our lives
I don't see a reason to rush

Well, we can break up Monday
not ruin the weekend
we can be together
we can be ourselves again
if we break up Monday
we can still be good friends
if we break up Monday
we can change our minds again

Thursday, October 13, 2016

le cinema

I never walk out on a movie
I don't care how bad it is
I put down my fucking money
and I want to see how it ends.
I want to watch the credits roll,
and I want to know who's responsible,
and maybe it's not so bad after all.
Or take my life, for instance
could use a more interesting plot
could use some more believable characters
or any discernible theme, but
maybe it's just post-modernist
maybe it's fucking art-house flick
the dialogue's not so well-written,
but maybe it's just naturalistic.
Maybe it's for an effect.
Hence the unsympathetic hero,
whose exploits just bore you to tears
hence the lack of compelling situations,
and the badly faked accents - maybe
it's for an effect.
I still want to see how it ends.
Even if maybe it sucks.

I still want to see how it ends.
And I want to watch the credits roll,
and I want to know who's responsible,
and maybe it's not so bad after all
but I'm not walking out.

I just hope they don't pull
that one stunt I can't stand,
that bull shit wizard of oz move
- where at the end, the lead character wakes
to discover it was all just a dream.
What a waste of time it makes
the whole thing seem.

fork

We should amuse
ourselves with the universes
that could have been if we'd
chosen otherwise, but we should immerse
ourselves in this: because it is.
And we were wise.

Friday, October 07, 2016

rhymes with

The regional origins of the orange
are largely indifferent
to the linguistic picture, when
the stresses and pronunciations
of the original syllables are considered
as merely constituent elements
of essentially separate phenomic constructs
that have since spread everywhere, and there
undergone their own regionally-distinct
evolutions. Nevertheless, and without
unnecessary convolutions I would be willing to say:

May I have
an orange,
please?

I ask you

how could there be confusion?

Wednesday, October 05, 2016

further along

Further along, as the world
rolls round - I will never
catch up to you, somehow
but I keep catching notes
that you throw in the air.
They encourage me
to keep hanging on,
somewhere

signs of who is toxic and should simply therefore be given up on

Some people are not reliable.
Some people are procrastinators.
Some are known to lie. Often, certain
indicators, certain triggers are there,
such as "didn't want to hurt the person's
feelings!" So they lie, and some people
don't care.
Some people have a temper.
Some people are closed. They won't talk
about what's going on inside and share woes.
Some people share huge, deep - and need you too,
to.
Some people need a whole lot of sex.
Do you? Some people don't want sex
at all, or hardly any.
Some people close down, when they blame you
for pain. Some people bear a grudge.
Some people get too jealous, act wild
and insane. And some
don't get jealous enough - don't they care?
Some people act sometimes as if you're
not even there. And some will hang all over you,
empty with need.

These are signs of potential toxicity.

Some people get too bothered by something, some get
not bothered enough, for the other person's liking.
Some people are fantastic with conflict, so
they think - direct and disarming, with charm
and a wink. While others shun conflict entirely, or
- they approach it indirectly. Some people hate that.
Call you "passive-aggressive." Accuse you of sneak.

The are signs that a person could be toxic and weak.

When you break out in hives, hyperventilate, rage
swims through your eyes, widening in sunrise hues
You see red, feel yellow and it dawns on you: no matter
what you do, try, say or change, this person is
poison to you.

It seems strange, since so many other people don't seem
to see. They get along fine. They seem to enjoy.
They interact well, and associate free: well,
they must just be fooled by their act. "Not me!"

It is never not you.

If no matter what you do, it will not work out;
if the interaction's sick, and it's time for a shot
- but you know it won't get well: well, we must operate.
Cut the limb off at the hip. Walk away, feel great
- it was poisoning you, and you don't need it.

These are the signs of a toxic fit.

People have you in their life
because they want you there.
If that's not true, you should feel
a little sick about that.
If they didn't want you,
they do not need alibi, or excuse
or diagnosis to prove or justify
that they can cut you out.

In your life, when you have
someone you can't take, can't enjoy,
all your interactions clash, and go wrong
- that person is not "toxic."

It is you who doesn't thrive
in their interaction style, personality
- they raise hives on you. Other people
seem fine. They aren't "fooled." They just don't
have the sensitivities. You do.
This doesn't make them strong, or tough.
Some of them would probably keel over
from a nut.

So what?

Peanuts aren't toxic. Interacting with them
is not useless. Some people do wonderful things,
make delicious dishes, it is healthy and fit.

People are not toxic. It is fits that can be. And you
are just allergic

to a person or two.

"Not me!"

Tuesday, October 04, 2016

"Recovery is a hell of a drug"

substances, foreign and domestic
disease, mental and physical
habits like these tend to make
us forget how livable life
can be, even lacking that
edge, that needle, that
knife, that mirror,
that smoke, that trail
of dust.
That thing
that we live for
just out of habit
and need that grows
in leaps, because
we've decided to
rule it in bounds,
for keeps.

your roving critic

This person
just sitting silently, there
in blind-guy shades
regarding you,
making all these sorts of
"shrewd" assessments - but of course,
not saying anything

or is he awake?
if not, what are his dreams? if so,
do his shades tint everything?

does he factor that in?

we all tend
to keep up a bit of commentary
in our heads
don't we? I do. I bet God
thinks we're creepy as heck!
No wait - probably not, because God
does the same damn thing, I suspect.
Except God gets to gauge it all
against all, the full spectrum of humanity's
deepest, sometimes awful inner thoughts. Some of which
- well, let's just say we're better off,
not being able to inspect.

We probably come off fine.

In a play-by-play
of the all the sorts and kinds
of thoughts about others we distract
ourselves with when we're stuck, sitting
in a train for an interminable time,
we make up little narratives
or assessments, guesses, etc. Life stories
of those passing through. I guess
we all do? No wait - maybe not.
It could be just me, I suppose,
just my runaway vignettes, in throwaway
prose, never to be collected or reviewed
or interpreted askance. Which is good,
because those

are some hideous pants

notice.

Unfortunately, it's policy. Policy
is that which must be unfair
in this case, in order to be fair
to all the others who have previously
received the brunt
of its unfairness. Life

has so much of this, so much
mass in motion, swinging downward
that realistically, it could crush
any of us from directions unforeseen,
without notice.

However, it's always been this way. All
our lives it's been this way, to say
nothing of all previous peoples' lives. Why
do people need the illusion of control?

Most people are not summarily crushed.
Even if they do spend their lives living
within the zone of their illusion of control.
Whenever that illusion shorts out, typically
temporarily, it's suddenly panic city
for some reason!

Realization that a person lives almost
completely at the mercy of uncontrolled
events ought not to be cause for panic.

I prefer the illusion of insignificance,
myself. A bit of proportion. Having not
control, still I am one of seven billion
moving targets - all of whom are pretty
well engineered to not only survive
but thrive in an environment
we don't and mostly can't control.

Statistically speaking, almost all
of us are going to keep surging
forward for a good, long time (by
our reckoning). My life

isn't in greater danger
just because it's more important to me,
is it?
Anyhow.

I'm not sure
what all of that's in aid of. Just thoughts.
The seeming random nature of the incident,
the uncontrollable nature of events it touched off,
the seeming security of the position just prior
- it's one of those weird wake-up calls,
I guess,

that people get

Friday, September 30, 2016

theme with variations

chiming empty aches
gaps filling to space
spaces fit between notes
unstrung, -sung, -wrote
never planned to be heard
gathering unconceived
tumbling uncomposed
out of pieces of peace
fit to dissonant chords
come to rest, ungrieved

As if one orchestra
could read music in leaves,
lives, loves, and escapes
and play everything through
Let us listen for now
Later on, we will hear -
and consider, and do.

Ringing out, coming in
at the end, it fills up
in your head you can make
every part of it clear,
any piece of it new.

As it ends, dots connect
in your heart and awake,
trace hearts, beaks, wings,
taking off, fly anew
with whatever it takes,
into all of the infinite
things it could do.

Improvised and true -
and so musically so,
of such beautiful make.
If only some one
could intend
what you know

"we're like:"

we're like:
2 peas in a pod
two thieves in a plot
two hands in a basket
on the way to red-hot
two nuts in a shell
nestled up like birds
on a perch, cooing love
in so many words

Thursday, September 29, 2016

perfectchord

Ringing in the background chiming low
it doesn't make a sound but I hear it, though
a symphony defined by its missing note
it doesn't have a shape, but it leaves a hole

I live my life, listening
walking around, to the beat
of something in the background,
missing

- one note short of a perfect chord

And I can almost hear it,
the piece it all resolves around

One note short of a perfect chord
One note short of a perfect chord
One note short of a perfect chord

a perfect chord

a perfect chord

Ringing in the background, full
and beautiful, and true.
The empty part that aches
just makes it mean the more to you
You fill the missing piece in
with your wish, and hope, and mind
You know that life is beautiful, if only
You could find

You live your life, listening
walking around to the beat
of something in the background,
missing

- one note short of a perfect chord

And you can almost hold it,
the point it all dissolves around

one note short of a perfect chord
one note short of a perfect chord
one note short of a perfect chord

a perfect chord

a perfect chord

We live our lives, listening
walking around to the beat
of something in the background,
missing

- one note short of a perfect chord
We can almost hum it,
the key that makes it all work out

One note short of a perfect chord
one note short of a perfect chord
one note short of a perfect chord

a perfect chord

a perfect chord

"Unrealistic"

For all your life you try,
and try,
and try and fail,
and run, and hide
a penny saved, a penny lost,
a lesson learned,
at any cost
we've all been bitten
much more than twice
- we'll shy away,
away from life
we'll finish our work
at the end of the night, and
we'll go home to life
in a shambles

yeah

For all the lies
we swallowed whole
let's just metabolize them all
we'll burn them up,
a burst of speed
flush out those empty calories
we've all bought into the wrong idea
let's sell our shares, get out of here
we'll finish our work
at the end of the year,
and we'll go out all night,
and get scrambled

but let's be unrealistic for once
let's be unrealistic for once
let's be unrealistic for once
you don't know you won't get what you want

For all the risks we took for free
to compensate, we'll charge a fee
to all the ones who laughed us down
when they come 'round to see us now
we've all got something
to tell ourselves - we'll go to jail,
we'll go to hell
we'll go to lengths,
and heights and depths,
and we'll be unrealistic - Just say yes!

Oh, yes be unrealistic for once
let's be unrealistic for once
let's be unrealistic for once
you don't know you won't get what you want

you don't know
you don't know

For all you know,
it's all you get. But don't
get all distracted yet
- we're all in love,
in life, in pain,
for all you know
it's in your brain
we've all got something to hope for, hey?
For all you know, it's all in vain.
We'll finish our work
at the end of the day, and we'll go out
bang

just like candles

Friday, September 23, 2016

to the drink

To whatever
's been poured, as we
raise up this glass: may I
lift you back up
if you fall on your ass. Let us
drink what they pour,
til we go, dumb or
blind -
from the lip of the rim,
to whatever's behind, let us
clink. And then drink,
to what's here
in this cup.
And when
every drop's drained,
let us raise it up.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Nowhere With You

Well we've got it in our heads that we're not ordinary,
but we haven't figured out what makes us special yet.
except, of course, for what's unique in each of us.
but it's not really clear how that makes me stand out

it's my singular ambition - for a better life
and my piercing indecision, on what makes life get better
it's my having no idea how to find my way,
and my implacable need to have my way,
which has gotten me where I am today

which is nowhere
I am nowhere, with you
this is nowhere
I'm in nowhere, with you

Well I'm usually okay, but lately I've been thinking
and that's usually a sign there's something going wrong
so I opened up a random page in the dictionary
and I put my finger down on a word I can't pronounce

I considered it an omen
tried to take some stock
then I counted every moment
it did not add up

Now you're making me believe there's nothing wrong
with nothing - and maybe there is
for all I know, but it's getting me where
I have to go, which is nowhere

I am nowhere, with you
this is nowhere
I'm in nowhere, with you

To determine your location
- in the darkest dark
First you turn and face your partner
- and then there you are
Now you're making scary faces with the flashlight on,
in defiance of all that space and time
at the speed of light, you can see that I'm

going nowhere
I am nowhere, with you
this is nowhere
I'm in nowhere, with you

I am nowhere, with you
this is nowhere
I'm in nowhere, with you

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Promise

This
is going to be one of those
non-rhymed
poems,
with maybe a few
accidental

or off
-rhymes, and
in the
middle of it, I'm going

to
try to say something
truly

offensive.

"cartesian wells"

I think
a stone, a
coin, a drop,
a bucket slip
squeak-pulley
rope, and
plash - how deep?
Does this thing go
I think therefore
I do not know.

grace before

So many blessings are laid before,
but we walk right past with our eyes intent
on some glorious goal. Let us not pass by
this greatest gift you have ever sent.

Monday, September 19, 2016

"Couldn't Anyway"

It just slips out, how fucking cool -
how I see you - I see the bad, but
all that good is so much more
remarkable. And so I do!
I always have.
And it's all true,

but not too cool, huh?
Not too fair. Not too good.
As if I could -
As if I care,

As if I had
a thing to give.
I ought to shut my stupid lid, when

I can't have you anyway, and I
can't have you anyway. I couldn't
have you any way that I can see
my way clear to. And I can't
have you anyway, and I can't have
you anyway - and if I could, it's
just like me and just my luck,
and just like you - I couldn't
have you anyway. I'm pretty sure

I'm pretty sure I really need
to stop asking about these things
that have no place in space or time,
and nothing now to do with us,
or do for us - a waste of trust
a waste of patience, tried and tried
to waste imagination on
what we can't make-believe of life
and probably only one of us
would even want to make of it.

As if you wished - as if I knew,
As if I had a thing to give. When

I can't have you anyway,
et cetera, set, repeat refrain
and I can't have you anyway.
I can't fit us in any frame, I couldn't
have you anyway. And anyway, you wouldn't
want - at least, I think - that's
probably. I shouldn't speak,
for anyone

You're really something else, though huh?
Though maybe I do make too much,
it doesn't feel I've oversold.
To me, I cut back quite a lot
of all the things that come to mind.
The kind I'll say: You've said enough
already, now! It's obvious, and nothing
to be done about. And maybe you could shut
your mouth?
As if I can,
as if I could,
As if we ever had a doubt.
As if I had a thing to give
As if this was one life to life,
well

I can't have you anyway, that's
probably. I'm pretty sure.
And I can't have you anyway.
I shouldn't want you anymore,
I couldn't have you anyway.
I couldn't want you any more.
And I can't have you anyway. That's
probably, I'm pretty sure

Interpretive Coincidence Artist

Finite symbols, signs and forms,
finite numbers, dates recur.
Reach your hands out into them,
pulling out what strikes a nerve,
sets you off, makes you jump.
Teasing out connections, with
a never-ending search - commit
to drawing pattern, making fit.

Future ages will look back on this,
and call it modern Art.
Interpretive coincidence: you
spot the links, you play the parts
and draw a sum much greater than
the helplessness you feel when faced
by uncontrollable events. Reach out
into the details - place
your emphasis, and draw your lines:

There is a pattern of control.
The pattern we can see here, shows
that something is behind it all.

Albeit: something sinister.
Still, we reassure ourselves.
By being in the know,
possessing hidden knowledge, we can tell
ourselves: we are not at the mercy
of events uncaused. We are
wised up, we know the score.
It all unfolds by unseen laws.

While all the sheep read digest news,
believing what they're sold into
- that uncontrollable events
weren't planned - we know,
we sift, we reach our hands
into the finite forms and signs
and dates and numbers that recur.
We spot and pick and pull design,
to find control. It's sinister

'rainbow shades'

Rainbows cast a shadow
when the sun shines
behind them.
Those shadows
are so beautiful, but
so hard to find them.

'since you'

My brain and my balls
are full of pus, And
whatever I conceive
will be sick
of us

Friday, September 16, 2016

lost in a cage

My love for you
is like a roaring cage
made out of the universe, with
you and me in it.
"You and me" by the way
- not "You and I" -
is correct. Objective case.
Objectively, it's true
we can't see the bars.
The bars don't keep us
apart. The bars didn't keep us
together, either. They were
(or are) too far away, or too
widely-spaced, maybe. But
still we both know
about the cage.
Because it roars.

Shades and Shines

To shade through, like deeper chalks
and oil crayons, pulling out dark
tones into waking light. Shading
through, like a person's soul.
What's left after death -
according to Greeks
- is not you, but

a shadow in your shape,
that moves on in your old
habits and ways.

It no longer
is you. It no longer is

moved,
as it always was,
by the dance of light
and spirit you gave it. That you
give it. That makes it you. It can
never change, not even its mind - it
hasn't one. Just a memory of. So it goes,
on through all the old steps,
shuffling off into shadow,
infinitely stage left.
It's just
whatever impression you've left.

Just so you know:
it is you now dancing,
shining, who creates and shapes
what you leave behind. You
who you are, are your life.
Your memory cast, in everyone's
love, and eyes, and mind, is
but a shade.

And that image you make
while you live every day, it grows
long and goes on, and they stand
in your shade. Already,
day by day, you you pass,
as if into shadow. But you make
of it a shadow play. Because you're
still here to play it again,
to make it last, for as long
as you stay.

Each impression you leave
with each passing of yours,
through any mind, any pair of eyes
- As long as you live to cut the light,
and step however you wish into it,
your deft decision, your grace and might
bring every shadow of you
to life.

And in some ways, maybe
you could say that shade
is a realer somehow, than you
yourself. Considered in terms
of sheer multiplicity? You
are only ever in that one place
you shine, but you leave such array
of reflection behind. Everywhere
behind.

While you live, you do everything
your shade ever can't. You cut
and drape and arrange all shapes,
and color all shades of you, as you go.
You can even stop. Look back, judge
the effect, perhaps have a moment
of self-criticism? Anguish? Some do! And then
twist, leap outward with a cry,
or after a cry,
in some new,

or at least

strange-to-you way, path, plot,
dash, stab, lash, twirl, pirouette?
Something never seen before
in your silhouette. They may not
cry encore. You may say "Hm.
That's not really me, though" but this
is the point: You're the one
who has made and keeps making that call.
You are the one who tries who tries
you on for size and fit, and flings self
into it. Any time you wish, you can throw
new shapes, let old contours go,
bled away in light. An afterimage,
fading soon to past all recall.

You are the light designer
of the show you put on in others lives.
It's you, always, and after all,
who shines.

- but the shape, tone, depth you've laid down
as you go by always shades through. The cumulative you,
in another's view: an aftereffect. And as you play
(at being you) it is that backdrop you play against.
Careful or careless of it, you choose now
always now: mark! Don't look down, step up
hit it on feel, how to get through this scene, this
act: whether word, or dance step and turn, or emphasis
on this or that matter of fact - and what on earth
do you mean by that? That meaning is what you leave
behind, but it isn't you. You have meant far more.

Very little of that has to do with
Greeks, I confess.
They didn't carry their shades out from Hades
into all the images of sense and memory
that one makes in others while living. A shade
was strictly for afters, for them. But
it seems to me, it's the same thing really.
What I thought was kind of wild is that
they knew: your shade was not, and is not
you. Just the shadow your life has cast
off.

It's true.

Friday, September 09, 2016

Angle

All I need is a metal hook.
And a bit of flesh to push
it through, and I will catch
one bigger fish than you.

Thursday, September 08, 2016

Shades and Shines (retired draft, since revised)

To shade through, like the deeper
chalks and oil crayons, pulling out
dark tones into waking light, woken
to notice. Shading through,
like a person's soul.

What's left after death
- according to Greeks
- is not you,

but

a shadow in your shape
that moves on, in your old
habits and ways. It no longer
is you. It no longer is

moved, as it always was
by the dance of light and spirit
you give it. That you gave it. That
made it you. That gave it
life.

So it goes, through old steps,
shuffling off into shadow, stage left. Just so

you know: it is you,
dancing, shining, who creates
and shapes what you leave behind
today. You who you are, are life.
Your memory in everyone's love
and eyes and mind, is but a shade.

The image in mind - that you have made,
that you make now while you live,
every day, and long before you die -
is your shade. Already, you pass, as if
into shadow

but you make of it a shadow play.

Each impression you leave
with each passing of yours, through
any mind, any pair of eyes - As long
as you live to cut the light, and step
however you wish into it, your deft
decision, your grace and might
bring every shadow of you to life.

In some ways, you could say
that's a great deal realer
than you -
considered in terms
of sheer multiplicity? For you
are only ever in
that one place you shine,
as you leave such array
of your shade, behind.
Everywhere behind.

Yet you yourself are greater,
clearly. You
are the dancer in light, whose life
is what cuts, drapes and arranges
all those shapes, those shades of you,
for others - you do
everything your shade ever can't. Even
stop. Look back, judge the effect, perhaps,
have a moment of self-anguish and criticism?
Some do! And then twist, leap outward with
a cry, or after a cry,
in some new,

new, or at least
strange-to-you way, path, dash, stab,
lash, twirl, pirouette? Not seen
before, in any play of your silhouette
well, they may not cry encore, and you may
say "Hm. That's not really me," but this
is the point: You are the one who tries
you on. At any time, you
can throw new shapes, let old contours
go, bled away in light. An afterimage,
soon to be past all recall. You
are the light designer
of the show you put on
in others lives. It's you,
always, and after all,
who shines

- but the shape, and tone, of all you've laid down
and thrown as you go by, shades through. And as you play
at being you, you play against that backdrop. Careful
or careless of it, you choose now, always now: mark,
plot, feel, how to get through this scene, you
choose now: act, and word, and step, and turn, and emphasis, and
what on earth do you mean?

Very little of that has to do with
Greeks, I confess.
They didn't carry their shades out from Hades
into the images, of sense and memory,
that one makes in others while living. A shade
was strictly for afters, for them. But
seems to me, it's the same thing really.
What I thought was kind of wild is that
they knew: your shade was not, and is not
you. Just the shadow your life cast behind
it.

It's true.

Monday, September 05, 2016

personals

I love rain
after drought, and love
after loss, and hunger
where the food's on its way.
I love beer
after beer. I love
a kiss that actually does make it all
better.
I love to talk
about things others love
to talk about. I love an old
-fashioned, red, kite-shaped kite
against the sky - bright
red diamond with elongated
bottom point, trailing
a tail, with a ribbon
or two.

I love a deck of cards. I love an excuse
to wear a jacket. I love feasting
and making merry. I love a long, slow lie
in a hammock, preferably strung between two
big trees. I love
the difference between puppies
and kittens, and the moment
before just before you taste something
you've never had. I love loud thunder

: CRACK! BOOOOOM,

and rumbling roll. I love
people on foot who you pass
in the street. I love finding out
somebody you always assumed
was just being nice
was actually flirting with you the whole time.

I love songs. Not love songs,
necessarily, but sometimes
those, too.

I love towering clouds.
I love the weird majesty of stars.
I love beach sand, your feet
in it, damp, hiding from sun
and your eyes
in the shade of your hand.

Friday, September 02, 2016

Antiphon

Precision is
how I give in, to you.
Decision is
where you give in, to it.
It goes on and on,
if we intuit.
Concision
is how you constrict its wit,
conditioned on content, style
and form.
Depending who blinks,
we could be succinct.
We could easily rest,
take pause, go on.
We could even critique,
just to make us think.
We could even conclude,
for the sake of taste. But
before we desert
to such wastes of time,
let us first

say: grace.

And let us begin.
And let us dig in: For we
define.

Garden of Even

She's got a fundament
that you could rest a firmament in.
And I would rain every star
down upon her sin, to cool
the volcanic grace
she lets go. We create
and recreate every
day we know.

Birds on Fire

The birds set on fire
fly out through the night.
Tradition, and ritual make it
right. This is the way,
our mothers used

To crack open the door

But we have squeezed through. So
do we need cruelty, anymore?

A Fine Thing

FINE. Like treasures. Like
fine things. Like spun gold,
regardless of straw. Like gems,
regardless of facets
struck from them. I,
am fine.
What more
do we want, from
Men?
Let us give it to them,
then!

Fine.

I was the Dragon

If I was The dragon, what
would I do? First,
I would present-tense that shit.
I would BELCH, no ROAR!
I'd give into it.

For nature demands: no counterfeit.

No camouflage, no feint, no dodge.
Even a dragon must
pledge that lodge.
But I'll tend bar, and
I'll crack eggs. My body
is sinuous with legs.

Thursday, September 01, 2016

new moon fever

The new moon is
the closest black hole, we know,
it recurs like the tide to draw us
rushing back in up the shores of hope,
just past the shoals, and be
either beached or wrecked,
washed up upon them.

"Small, Secret Smile"

I have a small, secret smile
that no one can see.
I wear it on my face.
Don't look at me.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Last in Heaven?

"Last on earth, first in heaven." Hold on, for me
that doesn't work. I am first:

a servant. Seems to me the venue shouldn't make
such a difference. Can't I wear the same
or equivalent livery up there, assuming
I secure the situation, that is? I mean,

There's no guarantee. But I'd rather be last
in both places. I'd feel
kind of awkward, pomping around cloudtown
in shining raiment and a halo of laurels,
talking about some
"How ya like me now?" No.

I want to serve, first last and
always. Assuming there is
such a thing as always.
Can't I just wear my sackcloth
to the afterparty and see
what needs touching up?
Probably very little! But then,
that's what we lastcomers like
to see. We're just there in case,
in the event
of eventuality. Because we love,
first: to serve. Last, too. Why not?
Wherever we are,
we like to be.

Hair shirts, okay -
those don't suit me, but
you should see me rock a sackcloth.
I want to be last in, last out

- my usual mode. Show up on time,
not fashionably but 'umbly attired -
spiritually natty, okay perhaps. But
nothing ostentatious. Stay late
to clean up - thankless, but
task me with whatever's thankless
and guess what? You will see who
is really welcome. You are!

If someone's really welcome,
do they have to thank you? They can,
and welcome to it, but they needn't
thank me. Who needs all these
preliminaries? You can thank me

by taking advantage of the service.

If it's any advantage to you,
to do so, I mean.
So be it.
So let it be.

This is why the meek, I guess
get stuck with the earth.

Don't want to be first up there.
Awkward. Plus,

they've tasted last of every cup,
and found it sweet enough already

So last here, and wishing to be last
there, they get stuck here. In theory,
at least.

They are blessed with it, in theory
for their meekness. It is called
an inheritance. And perhaps it is true
that meekness is
genetic.

I subscribe to the nurture vs. nature
theory, on that issue. Reportedly,
according to God's Will
as reported and recorded
in the most recent edition
of the Testament thereof, I get:

The earth.

Sweet!

But the inheritance tax on that
is assessed perpetually.
On a quarterly basis.
Payable in pennies, so

You know.

I plan to keep busy.

come lie with me down

Come lie with me down
a road we can't tell
anyone else about.

It will end just as well
as deserts should expect,
after so rich a fare.

We have paid dear for this
and we don't even care
for the change that will
come,
We do not even check
any impulse at all.

Still at least 'til we've done
what we needs must do -

or we once must have

- if we didn't, we're
through. We could
not be so bad But once,

we could.

In the sun, come lie
with me down.
We would not be so good. Would
you lie?

Or have I? Come,
down. And the grass
won't complain.

We were made,
here to lie
in the course of each way
we have lain,
until now.

Showboat

I love beating people
at my Own Damn Game.
And they can't even tell! Well,
hey, what's its name? I can't say,
but there are a few rules
you shouldn't know.
It would ruin your enjoyment
how you win so slow.

Originality what a concept

If you can't find a new way to Hell, sometimes
the old ways are best, my friend.
Forget about what you didn't expect.
Expect what you wouldn't intend.

And then on the day,
they will stretch back amazed
on a way none of them thought to use.
And you'll open the tolls,
and surpass all known goals.
They will name that road after you

Retiring, yawning, eyes all aglow,
laurels ablaze on an untroubled brow -
At last you're a trailblazer now, good sir.
For once, you're original now.