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.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

an ant.

killing ants is a task I have appointed myself
to,
and I don't mind doing it. For
as long as they last

Friday, August 30, 2013

beware the feeder

The copier ate my originals. And
they had ink signatures
on them.

Oh, man. I got them out the other end
- they were stuck, I pulled them loose
as carefully as I can, and then - just
look! Macerated, torn
crumpled, all but digested, but
oh okay.

I guess
this is recoverable. This
will not mar the accord. I will
be able to smooth, flatten out, scan,
then clean up the digital rips, all
without altering a jot of language - who
is to know the difference?

And nothing at all shady about this. But

somewhere, in the back of my mind,
in my cabinet of ink originals, this thing
is going to sit.

This contract
is going to look so dumb
if they ever ask to see it
again

It will look - what? Deliberate
-ly demolished! Smooshed, half
torn in half

and a big corner off, floating
separate in the clear cellophane
envelope we use

to keep it together. It will look
like we're the kind of outfit who is like

"got one signed! A sacred agreement,

HERE'S HOW WE TREAT THESE!!" Man, I hate

what this piece of paper,
looking like this,
says about me.

balance


I have half the necessary time
involved, and double the don't
gives a shit.

in the early stage

By the way,
those dopamine peaks
in that early stage -
just build those as high as you can! Just play,
Because they stick in your mind
And long down the line, they remain
as a place you can go
and stay

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Authorship Revisited

You're writing a book
in the library, you found one
whose bindings and faded but sturdy
fabric cover you liked, the once-
golden letters of the spine now
tiny bits clinging, flakes
barely filling in edges
of the letters that originally
had been stamped in. Title, author
you have pretty much scraped
these off. Identifying marks,
rendered nondescript. Then,
surreptitiously you smuggled it out,
bleached and dried the insides, every page,
both sides almost clean slate white
- a faint palimpsest at best of the old book's
letters in a near light gray off white
- providing the guide.

You make new, straight lines
writing in bold, neat hand
your novel, the story of
your life. Every day,
you return early, and pull it
from the shelf to write. You go through
your elaborate routine, first - card
catalog, twenty minutes making notes,
pull five to seven other books as well,
all from different sections, huddle
yourself in a carrel with books open
in front of you, and a notebook, as if
researching diverse questions but
- really, all you do is to camouflage
what you are here to do: to write
in this book, that you have made
your own.

Today's part done, back it goes
to a shelf in the very wrong
section.

One day it will disappear,
you hope. You could start
another. Or else, one day
you will be found out! Discovered! Local
author; mysterious, reclusive, unusual and
his book, too. Seeks female librarian, but
not that one. Every day you write the book,
a story of your life. But you begin
to feel the white in your knuckles
as your writing right hand grips the pen -
you are almost to the part where the going
gets hard. You are chapters away,
at most,
from the place where the star
central character, antihero unconventional
omniscient protagonist - decides

to write a book.

universal truths, oh no

No universal truths? Certainly none
that we need worry about! Universal truths
aren't even useful. What could you do
with one of those?

Observable reality, now
there's a hook

- to catch your eye,
skin, ear, nose and throat with,
all near misses
'til it gets your heart,
by pulling it out
your nose
through your brain hey
that smarts

"No Online Poet Is Tougher On Crime"

I like to skulk along cheery suburban lanes, lull
and lure gullible, vulnerable underage children,
get them into my van with candy and beat them bloody
with a rubber police truncheon. What the fuck! Who the hell
would say things like these, what possible - can we, is it
allowed, what remedy? This is beyond what we can tolerate!
Some - who, what does he call himself, call it - poetry? Fuck
that! As a society, you know - we know this is not "art," it's
"I know it when I see it!" Art like this
ought to be punishable by, fine, what
- imprisonment? Not remotely! Not enough,
what about - lynch mob justice? You bet it is,
this motherfucker will be tracked down, bum
rushed and strung up - then set on
FIRE
for such verse, such words - it doesn't even qualify!
It's not "art" why you,
You
you "shock" "artist" - what's so shocking about a SCUMBAG?

We're sick enough of this already, sick of you, this so-
called "art" of yours is not "edgy,"
"transgressive," it is just the same USUAL SICK SHIT
we need to come together on as a collective and agree to see
"Hey, this needs stamping out," - Let's see how "performance
art" your twitches and sizzles on the electric chair are! PATRIOT
ACT, MOTHERFUCKER! We're pretty sure we got you covered
there! Next time check the fine print before saying some shit
like that about the kids, it's a hate crime - it's terrorism
it is! To try to say that shit, something outrageous just to
whatever, make people think you're a rebel outcast artist

trying to distance our comfortable comfort zones away from how
we'd like it to be, and right smack down into that sick gutter
of how it "really is" - oh, what - so THAT'S your defense?
Is that your excuse? "I wasn't really - it was just - ! I was being
edgy and transgressive," well you fucked up there, hoss. Didn't
you? Not the reception you hoped to get, all gala luncheon and laurels
for spreading your filth as manure culture? Yeaaaaaahhhhhh TWAT!
Twat on you, you little pissminnow! You screwed it
on this one, pal. You shat the tux, there will be
no gala luncheon. Let's see how "edgy" and "transgressive"

WE can get, now - it's our turn to shock! Oh, we can be very
creative, too - ever heard of Performance Justice? We hereby
verdict you:
Indefensible!
Inexcusable! And yeah,
we already knew
the world is shit by the way, and people are
scum, you worm. You have added no new
information to our lives,
with your vile little "poetic"

(so-called)

disclosures that do nothing but illuminate the slimy
yellow contours of your own SICK BRAIN. You will not be in receipt

of the Nobel Prize.

Instead, guess what you get? Acclaim? No! You get
the full service treatment. Investigate! Arrest!
Charge! Try! Convict! Let's sentence you
to something so cruel, we'll have to make it usual
in order for it to stand up on appeal! Therefore,
CONSISTENTLY, for ALL people like you, the penalty
will hencefore, uniformly, USUALLY be: put you in a room,
immobilized by straps, and with, an automatic robot dildo
set to "slow, deep and punitive" - going RIGHT UP WHERE
you so (probably-lying) tell us you DON'T want it.

Sicko!

Well maybe you truly don't, don't want it there. Here
it comes! - this is only the first
of ten to twenty years' worth
of weekly sessions, without
the possibility of.

Here it comes, thoroughly
and deep all the way in, stimulating
your so-called "prostate" PLEASURABLY
- the LAST thing you want! - hey, is that
an ERECTION? Are we MAKING YOU GAY? Are you getting
off on this? Titillated by it you sick perverted
sick fuck?! Take it! Take it, what you deserve! This
sick shit is EXACTLY what

you are going to get!

For what it's worth, I sure do
get a sublime and entirely unerotic
satisfaction, from seeing justice done
so creatively, and so well. And oh well, so
should the world. That's right,

for what you shouldn't have said,
and as a dire warning to others, THIS
little sentence is going out live
on the internet. Patriot Act once again!
Lest we forget, and like I just said: utter
abrogation of rights, in the interest of
the kids?

IT'S IN THERE.

Oh, it's in there. NOW
how do you like your so-called
disgusting, degenerate "ART"
mister "poet"?! How's THAT for the "power" of "art"
to "shock"!

Another scumbag off the streets. Courtesy of free verse
vengeance.

Folks, if only it could really work this way - or could it?

Please,
write your congressman,
find out for me,

for you,

for all of us and especially -

For the kids I mean.

Please.

I am taking all calls

I have decided, to give up all
pretense of knowing what
I am here for. I am taking all calls,
it isn't openness anymore, it is
emptiness. What am I for? You
tell me? No,
you can't - can you? You
have no authority, there
any more than I used to. I used to
be
the authority.
But as of now, I can't
be. So I say: you can

Ask. And I won't lie to you
on the answer

On Drawing You A Picture

I will totally do it.
There is value to doing it
- I am not afraid of stirring worm's nests, I think
there is always value to clarity!

I do need a check, though, sometimes. Sometimes
my version of exploring clarity
lays bare more the avenues of my own stupid mind
than it does actual clarity.

However, in pictoral form, when I can express it,
I've found this is not so!
In pictorial form,
I can be entirely clear. Given a check.
You all are mine. My check. Pictorially -
look, there's a reason I was a fine
arts painting major
not an English major. It wasn't
like the fucking Lit Prof team
didn't try to convert me
- but I am better at art.

Natively.

Seriously.

All of you, just by how bad
I make my meaning felt via English
can probably, possibly
attest to THAT
shit already.
Already.
Can't you?
Seriously!

I bet you can.

My pictures are pithy!

Get ready
for a stick-figure
diagram.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

full calendar

The fullness of days.
Crashing in on us in waves,
then receding like a tide
tied unpredictably
to a moon whose orbit
does not lend itself
to making calendars.
- first full, next night
a waxing crescent, then
suddenly new, empty
of light. Out of sight.
Then, inexplicably
waning gibbous
all out-of-sequence,
but we don't mind.

We're mischievous.

We can mount impromptu
festivals for every face
it happens to show.
We will run out,
to wherever the waves crash
and dive,
be borne back in on whatever tide
it brings.
Who knows when our days will again be this full?
Of so many things

Oh, we know from personal,
painful, recent experience
that sometimes a racing fullness
is a fullness of incoherence.
Still - a fullness is better than an emptiness, isn't it?
It will be,
if we make use of it
- to see, to use, to allow us
to select and pick and choose
which things rushing through
we should seize, focus on,
and develop. Which things are true,
and which things are ours.
Eventually, keeping more to these,
letting the coarser or worser
or less precious delicious things
rush away, run away past us,
wash away - the things we have kept,
plucked from the fullness of days
to tend and to keep and to hold
within us as ours, regardless of future tides -
These will tend us, and keep us,
and hold us. These will be cause
to rejoice.

but, if
all we do is let
the fullness rush in,
rush past us and keep us
dizzy and busy through days,
probably it will begin
to pall at some point, and become
empty noise.

Fair Warning to All, Pt.1

Fair warning to all, even though
you may already know, may already
have noticed, even though it makes me feel
dirty to admit this, again and again, every year
I must.

We are once again at crisis. And I will almost
certainly be

"ripping off"

some or all of the stuff
I write, to anyone, for any other purpose,
and I will repurpose it as needs be,
raw material for new poems. I have to.
Expect to see snippets of rendered-unrecognizable
work memos developed into epic indictments against
the unfairness of vague things railed against,
expect to see chunks of what looks like
philosophy, love letters, abstruse theological
triangles with the points cut off, friendly
remonstrance, boo hoo anecdotes, policy
and procedure is: take what I can find in all
of these as the random edges of cliffs
to leap off from, and plummet someplace,
to some depth, to some purpose that the original left
entirely un-plumbed. I have to

write 365 poems this year. And it's not going to happen
if I don't get cracking. I am in a bind, and I'm way
way behind.

But don't you fear, don't worry! I'll be
entirely within my rights. Nothing shady about
it! If I write something
after all, no matter
what it's primary purpose
may have been -
it has served that purpose, fully and entirely!
and that purpose is satisfied, and done.
And when a possible new, secondary purpose arises -
still those well
used words remain,
cut to a certain shape
and available for any further
purpose, use in derivative works
secondary to the original. Whoever,
whatever, wherever those words originally went
that original will always be the original
and first. No secondary use can diminish that fully
realized, entirely fulfilled, discharged
purpose.

That works. And it is needless to say - I won't
"rip off" your words! How could I? You wrote them,
for any purpose you chose. Those
are yours to mind. Whatever you say
is sacrosanct,
as far as I'm concerned
I can't use it! I'd have to credit you,
for one thing. Fuck that.

I only self-
plagiarize.

Now I wonder
if I can go back through all that,
and make it at least near-
rhyme.

No. No? No.

"free verse!"

a hot bath

if I were a hot bath,
and you had
finally cleared from your schedule
the distractions and pressing engagements
a whole evening with nothing on,
and were getting ready
for me
with some music in from the other room,
and a book handy, just in case
a cheap, thick paperback
you don't mind getting wet and warped
just the thought of you,
filling me almost
full, just to the point
where you
getting in
will push me to the top
filling the whole room
and all its mirrors
with steam, a candle lit, and you
naked
and getting ready to lower yourself
I'm afraid I'm going to scald you
scald your pale skin pink
and red
wait, hold on
hold yourself back
beautiful
you'd better let me cool off
first,
just a tiny bit

for the two of us

I seem to have overestimated the passage of time,
or what it can do
for me and mine
as you and yours fade into distance away
this world isn't big enough, so they say

Monday, August 26, 2013

even

We used to sit in the corner and argue
and I hated it. But it was the only time
I'd get to talk to you

and you loved it.

There weren't any things

There weren't any things left at all. Not to do,
not to say, not to regret, even - which was spectacularly
extraordinary for this sort of situation! Normally,
when two people find themselves with nothing left
to say, or do, there are a tremendous number of things
to regret. But in our case,
for the first time in the world, maybe - there were
none. None to regret, none to remind us of what the good
was, and the bad. There weren't any things at all, and
that's when we realized, we had just met. "Hey,"

the whole town tried

the whole town tried to stop the flood
the great flood, the one they still talk
about. but
they went about it the wrong way, some
with sandbags, others with buckets
or pumps, others tried reason

others tried reason

if you can believe it. OK
it's a lie

only I tried reason

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Dudley McDeadly

Dudley McDeadly was heavily armed
with most tastefully-chosen arrays
of light-armament, firearms,
bludgeons and blades, and a bomb
he was saving for later. He turned
with aplomb towards the future
where you, invincibly charmed
by his tall dark and handsomeness,
twirling mustache, and his striking,
unfashionable stovepipelike hat,
had consented to being tied down
on the tracks.

There was some small to-do, as you
quibbled a bit at the tightness of knot
binding ankle or wrist, and indeed
over whether it's fitting or fit
to lie trussed on your stomach,
and not on your back. But that Dudley
McDeadly has his own ideas, and hasn't
a lack. He makes his own plans, and
he plays his own hand. Which you, for
some reason, decided to take. As you say,
you're a fool for an ol'
-fashioned man.

Perspective in motion, proportion in relation to approaching mountains

Make a little thing big
only by walking straight at it;

crush it underfoot on the way over.

propaganda from inside the hive mind

Decisions are not conditioned
upon process, here,
but are free and unconstrained as the very bees
themselves.
Our collective flit,
buzz, bustle and (nectar) suck
is the only thing creating the bee-mind
that shapes our hive or stirs us up,
sends us out a-swarming.
Beyond each of us,
individually,
following our own sorts
of impromptu cues, prompts and warnings,
all wildflowers, wallflowers
and other assorted mums and posies must simply bloom
according to their own natural rule
of "do what thou wilt."
Or, they can choose wilt.

That too's allowed,
naturally.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

agreeing, at least

agreeing, at least
to disagree

is what you're after. What you've asked - can we?
Certainly.

When I was born,
or when I realized I had been, at least
(and all that that entailed), I agreed
to disagree with the universe.

Or anyway I agreed with myself
that I disagree with the universe.

So we're already there!
On every point. Let's start from there!
Start from disagreement, nothing
acrimonious mind you just an acknowledgment
that we came from widely separated places,
along broadly divergent paths past
widely different views

to get here.

Why should we assume agreement
at the outset? We probably don't agree,
and this is fine. The difference between
persons should be a source of fresh wonder, daily!
- not chagrin. So let us assume we disagree!
From the outset, and then - come to agreement
wherever we happen to, happily, every chance
we get to do it truly.

No one ever needs a new,
fresh agreement with me,
to disagree.

That's a given when you walk in. And welcome!
It's a welcome place, isn't it? This one?
The universe, I mean. Well I think so anyway.
I wasn't expecting agreement on it!

I think not expecting agreement
from the universe is the one single key
to feeling welcome within it. A natural
part of it.

Of course,
anyone is 100% welcome and free to agree
with me as well - on any point!

They don't need my agreement for that, either.
They don't need my permission.

It would simply be a fact
of their agreement with a point that I
also hold. Agreement with me is not the issue.
They happen to agree with that point.

Hell.

If any point is true, it wasn't because I held it.

Friday, August 23, 2013

One.

There ain't no Moon god,
there ain't no Sun god,
and he don't Dress like that

I'm pretty sure

Ma'am?

Probability Analysis.

It is entirely possible!
To be partially self-sufficient.
Or is it?

i am.

Lord,

If I could get one wish, I want to

be

your will for me, on Earth. Lord,
if I could get one more,

I want to be
the best man here,

for her.

I am,

I am
presumptuous,
perfunctory,
I don't know what

You

want from me,
but

I Am, too.

How about it?

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Also I wish to point out

Also, I wish to point out that I am one
of the finest critics of written English
ever conceived.

And also, the finest living! - None
of the others were even born. Miscarriages,
sad to say. Was it on express written orders
prayed to my guardian angels, who swooped in
amongst the wombs, and did their dirty business
to insure my eventual towering prominence?

No. No! No, it was not. That's sick.
I would never ask an angel to do that shit,
even assuming I had the pull. Which I do,

but it's on my

um

my

um

ahem.

Apologies. Now!

For my next trick,

Run, Runner

best!
foot
plot!
course
on!
track
straight ahead is the way back
home!
sweet
not!
much
there!
but
ever so humble, it's all we got
soul's dark night gone darkest again
and the clouds are comin down and the rain is bent, but
it's gonna get warm and sunny again, and then -
and then we're gonna run!
run,
runner!
runner,
run, runner, run! runner,
when you gotta go, you gotta run!
run,
runner!
runner!
run, runner! run, runner -
straight ahead is the way home
you know
it's
not
far
one
foot
a head on your shoulders it shouldn't be hard
just
clear
no
mind
no
self
only up ahead burning into behind, well
how many pieces has this world had
if they all fit together the picture is bad
but it's gonna get warm and sunny again, and then -
and then we're gonna run!
run,
runner!
runner,
run, runner, run! runner,
when you gotta go, you gotta run!
run,
runner!
runner!
run, runner! run, runner -
straight ahead is the way home,
you know

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

if this burden

I haven't got
a thing to prove,
a theory to predict
what I'm trying to prove,
or a shred of evidence
to suggest that the burden of proof
is as great

as you'd expect,
as they say it is.
It's featherweight,

but it's not on me.

A breeze took it.

Being able to say

Look. Being able to say
"I know a thing"
has no practical use!
No value at all - and
I don't mind if it is
unprovable. I don't ever
get to the point where I'd need
to do it. To make such a
useless declaration as to say
"I know a thing,"

let alone "prove it."

I would only need to say
(to myself, no quotes now,
not out loud) I know
I want to do this thing,
and I know how to do this
thing, and now's a good time
for me, and do it. Is there,
here, at any point,
a burden of proof?

If it's something I know
I can do, it's nothing
I need to prove - just
decide. Do or do not, there is
no try,

said Yoda - but I do.
I don't mind telling you
I don't mind. I don't mind
trying. Even when I don't know why
I try, even if I'm not one
hundred per cent sure I know how
to go about it, sometimes
I decide, and I look, and look!
I see an angle in! - and I just
try, and you'd be surprised
how well it works. So anyway,

I've got nothing to prove.

Burden of proof's on the universe.

full moon insomnia

full moon,
insomnia
the window shades and curtains
all drawn back
to let the light soak in
I wasn't sleeping anyway,
okay night
you win.
At least
each surface of my house
not positively bathed in black
- in shadow - glows,
like spilled milk
on dark wood floors,
gleams
and

pours

in
so much silver,
this one month's moon
in one or two night's work
is paying back,
at our dream's expense,

every last debt the sun owes

favorite themes

Anyone who's ever heard me begin this sentence knows
I have no idea why kids today have to wear these kinds
of clothes, or why the language has to look like that
- or what it's all coming too, spending time staring
at screens of all sizes from tiny to doublewide, finding
something worth wasting all that time on, on the other side

at least, I hope so. And everyone dating and marrying
strangers off the internet, well, traditional love
dies hard I guess. I can't see it yet, but everyone
who's ever heard me start this sentence knows
what's coming next. I've got a bet on the books,
and the odds are pretty strange that tomorrow,
whether you like it or not, is here - and
from now on in, that's never going to change.

I guess it's just my comfort level
that keeps me bringing up these same
things, in the same words, in the same
bled weary uncomprehending tone of voice,
but anyone who's ever been near me knows
that it's never going to change I have
no choice.

taut

The idea of you slacking,
though, is beyond funny
to begin with, and could only
ever be jest.

There is in you,
and in the effect of you,
nothing slack, Miss Mack. Even if
you weren't a regular and comforting,
steadying presence around here, the force
and velocity of your passage
as you come through -

each time your curved trajectory
crossed our tranquil waters would leave
a taut line arcing behind, raising waves
stretching out forever as the shear you make
tears through, girdling the earth like Jörmungandr
and we all writhe, shout, thrash, and catch air -

surfing for weeks in the breaks of your wake. Eh?

loved and lost

I had a dream I met
the girl I was going to spend
the rest of my life with.

After a period of more than a year
where I hadn't met anyone
I wanted to give so much
as the time of day
to.

And she felt the same,
"synchronicity of thought,
ease of being,
mutual respect,
and joy in each other's company,"

We had it! And then I
woke up.

It must have been
me. I assume it was I,
who woke up. It was my
dream, wasn't

it?

Responds To The Critics

Breathtaking, dude.

At first
I thought you were just taking an enjoyable stab
at this! Taking a whack at criticism, at trying to
criticize how I am trying to do
this. And that's what I was wanting!
- or expecting, really. A stab, a crack,
a whack at a lark, a shot whistling by
in the dark - possibly wide. And in fact,
I guess that is probably what you did do. Or try to,

Because it does read - quite enjoyably!
- as effortless as the day I was born. For me,
anyway.

Yet goodness. So far from expectation
- the result dwarfs whatever it was
I was expecting! A reading
that feels perfectly serious,
and is internally-consistent,
soberly-observed, and entirely-supported from
within the text. What's more, you break it down
so clearly and with such telling detail and effect
that it feels not merely persuasive, but authoritative.

You have effortlessly (?) broken down
and drawn out a bell-like reading
from a poem I myself was having trouble with,
a poem I pretty much wrote in one go, in
a fugue state, oh it wasn't meaningless! The poem

It wasn't some nonsense tossed-off, it was
a definite emotional response to a moment
and a strong feeling, and I meant
the poem quite strongly!

But I couldn't put into words what I meant, or
what what I meant meant,
except by means of the poem's words.

Which is usually how it is, if you know what it's like.

I couldn't put the meaning into additional words. And so
I sort of just left it behind, "ta-da! a poem! Nothing
more to see here" - but when you
liked it,
I started to wonder

if what I had put in there was in there?
And maybe, what else was in there. What, precisely,
was in there? I began reading it myself
different ways, wondering whether it was
a blank screen with some well-placed
furniture and imagery upon which
all sorts of valid interpretations
and feelings could play, flit into
existence, projected into solidity
through the magic of simply seeing it?

Or was it something as specific
and visceral as the hot taste of iron from a tongue bitten
twice in the same place, hard?

Either would have been fine, to be honest. But
I had kind of lost my own way out of the poem.
So hearing that you had an angle in, I wanted
to hear what your angle was. Thank you,

for the serious response.

sanity from the inside

being inside your own body
and skull, particularly,
and knowing what you know,
and that you'll never truly know
what another "gets" or knows, of you
from your heart or
at your mind - and worse!
- the understanding that you can not find
any way to truly show them, either,
in like kind

- and you want to
you need so much to,
but you will always be cut off.
So much, from the ones you love. So much
for the ones who love you most. Or
at least that's how it feels to me,
And it's not just how I feel.
because the clues and proofs
of how "off" you are
aren't only in your head,
and how little you know even those
who love you enough, those you love enough
to want to convince yourself how close,
you know

- these proofs
constantly rain in
from them. Proofs of disconnection,
at a primal level.

It's OK though,
it gets okay, because you know it's not just you.
They don't know you any better, either. And the closer
you do get - can be pretty close! And so,

Become confident: not in some oneness
with each other that is dumb in the first place,
unachievable, unable to get, unrealistic
to want or to expect - No. At some point
you become confident enough in the true
and actual close-enoughness
that is proven every day by its effect.
It's where we don't quite fit
that makes you reach for it.
And what you get
is close enough to me.

Anyway, if it's any consolation,
if isolation is a prison,
it's a big one and everyone's in. To each their own
cell, no guard except God if there is one,
no visitors allowed inside, no fellow prisoners
for company - only a couple of windows
and these companionable walls,
through and over which you can stretch
your neck, strain your mind, sneak
a peek out. You can still catch a glimpse
of familiar space, in the dawning light
on a stranger's face. Well,

if anything's sacred, that must be it. If the piece
that you're holding won't ever fit, what if
somebody, somewhere, out in the cold has
a jigsaw gap, just the shape you hold...?
You can't fucking get it to them, though.
All you can do is describe it. And then they
can pretend they know
what it is to hold.

Ick.
Today's topic is
"Have you ever felt utterly alone?"
Yes, most always. Although
I am not the only one.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

incremental



incremental.
Keep the pressure on,
keep the message strong,
shine the brightest light on the real true ugliness
stake the strongest possible claim on the human rights
and what's wrong with the rights of the individual? - which
apply to ALL, and give
people as much truth on the topic
as you can, give
people as much information
as you can confront ignorance
with, wherever it rears its blissful head, put out
education - PSAs, viral videos, racism
resource websites, whatever options
there are should be used,

not just schools. There are plenty
of died-in-the-wool ignorant
racists. And maybe
you can't reach those.

But there are also many
still questioning, still formative,
still leaning and learning which ways it goes?
in their community and in their orbit,
there are many who are suffocated by
bigoted attitudes, and are reaching
for more answers they can use to oppose.
Maybe some racists are unreachable, sure!
But most people who ask a question
will respond to truth, and most people
will recoil from the ugliness they see,
if shown. We've got to knock opportunity up,
keep the focus steady, undeniable on the problem,
because there is one.

Racism
has lost so much ground in this country,
because with more and more light on the truth
of the problem, it gets harder
and harder
for a real racist, devoted,
to reach someone and spread their sick message.
You can't sell that bill of goods
to someone who already knows better.
And more and more people do.

Sometimes a racist can't even keep their kids
indoctrinated - plenty of people with racist parents
have rejected that. Embarrassed of mom and dad: and they
should be.

Racism now

thrives in the dark corners, reduced to a sticky fringe,
spread mostly among and by malcontents. People who can't
fucking hack it in this world, always looking for some Other
to blame. Oh,

There's still an awful lot of racism
in the game. Honestly, I'd be delighted
to be proved wrong about this, but -
I don't consider it a finally soluble problem. Racism.
I fear people
will always seize
on difference as a means

to divide and exploit.

But we can root out most of it
from the mainstream. Of course, we can
we can force it to exist in the shadows
of a world that in general is well-lit,
a world where in general, racism
is acknowledged as a continuing problem
and almost universally, people will not tolerate it.

Intolerance towards contempt for humanity is no sin.

And that's my goal, and I'd like everybody in
- but we're not there yet, by any means. For now
it's our daily duty to combat ignorance and bigotry -
joyfully, where we can! - to end it is a beautiful
dream, but dig in with both hands, support those
trying to free themselves from its tendrils,
laugh if you have to, if you can
so you don't have to scream, and, well

Keep it up, people. Incremental

We got this: every bit according to plan

(unfortunately, the only one we've found) - it's working

as slow
and as sure
as it seems.

musical spheres

I seem to be tapped in
to the music of the spheres, a bit. Hanging
on to the edge of the glass
by my moistened fingertip, swinging
in a rapid helicopter circle
sending out a shining, ringing tone
sending out a round sound in all directions,
piercing, but not lout - clear,
like the rounded ring of glass it sings from -
and at everyinstant threatening (oh
not seriously!) to slip off
and go flinging me
out, into and through
the drywall
walls.

Well I suspect there is no
real such risk as that.
These metaphors have a way of rapidly spinning out
of control into crises, before, falling
flat, perspective is restored
and one goes, "oh, sweet,
I was just typing"
mind, wandered -

no danger

all clear.

we now resume
you,
our regularly-scheduled
programming

Ominous Movements

The branches of your backyard's one tree
- which you never found time to identify,
or to identify with - spread menacingly,
making room. And you looked up
to see

The crows came,
again. Or else - the ravens
have come.

You can tell by the shape
of the tail, but you don't care.
You know it is an omen.

But it is an auspicious one.
It augers, well, pretty good.

That's your story, all packed up
and ready to sell

Dreamlance IV: The Quakening (An Interlude)

In a land outside of time outside of mind,
out of sight and therefore soon forgot, we
- she and I, my bride! - sighed luxuriously.
We were out of our minds with happiness
and we knew there was no cure, and time
to find one. Everything would be just fine,
It would all end well, It would all end
well, It would all end. That much
was not pretend. We could tell.

Dreamlance III: The Quakening

That was when a demon materialized,
spiritually, with a flourish that seemed
part oily simper, and part haughty airs
and grandeur, as if bred-to-the-manner
manor-born, he whimpered a bit of obsequious
slander, muttered a few vows for our behalf
(brandishing signed copies of our respective
powers-of-attorney), pronounced us wife +1,
then drew a huge butcher knife and, gathering
my beloved bride up in one great striding lunge,
twisted her by the waist in a graceful dance
that left her wrapped up in his embrace,
with her throat trickling ruby beads
from a paper-fine cut
from an edge that barely glanced,
barely whispered skin tickling across her
neck, then rested - now pressed

- "STOP!" I thundered,

"I'LL DO ANYTHING!"

"It's for the insurance money," he smoothly
countered, producing as if from his left hand
the inappropriate document, all tallied up
and accounted for - displaying a disreputably
respectable amount. "All you have to do
is testify falsely against her and her neighbor,
and her neighbor's wife and her neighbor's goods
will be yours to covet!"

"I love it!" she interjected - ever
the irrepressible scamp! The rogue,
oh I love you so pale girl of mine,
sweet bride of my soon-to-be future
salad days of roses and wine, whatever
you're made of, whatever the heart
discloses, in my mind I am going to
find a way to get you out of this
fix. I suppose!

But how? As we stood on the edge
of this canyon cliff, I waited
for my chance to hang on his every
measured word and I glared at this demon,
all-but-double-dog-daring him to speak
his next impudence! "Give me any chance,
any opening to pounce," my eyes signaled!
glistening with resistance or perhaps, defiance
would be more appropriate, in
a situation like this.

Meanwhile,
gigantic in the distance, a Giant sat
with his huge ass perched out over the canyon's edge
and shat and shat a chain of gigantic loose-linked stools
piling up at the bottom of the canyon
like a train wreck.

Dreamlance II: The Quakening

The pale girl danced far ahead of me, like
a fire dances in a fir tree. I
followed hard and fast through the sweet
-scented burning incense she trailed behind her,
like a fir tree on fire. "Stop," I cried!

"Stop crying," she returned,
all bon mot and repartee jangling
like a clanging overhead rack
of brand-new saucepans, hanging
arrayed in order by size
during a comparatively mild
earthquake.

Then she stopped.

My feet steadying under me, I moved
forward again against a wind that had
sprang out of nowhere like a cat,
howling. I scowled, but I couldn't resist
a secret chuckle as I saw her arm twist back,
unbuckling her bustle. "This thing,"
she confided, "was slowing me down," as she let it
drop and settle towards the ground
with a rustle.

But

as she walked forward away from it
and on towards me, to my surprise
I saw it rise behind her in the wind,
picked up like a bubble, and drifting,
lifted. Then I couldn't see anything
because she had her head in my way,
her frizzled flaxen hair towering out in all directions
from the wind; her strong embrace nestled me in
as cords stood out on my neck from the force
of her kiss. Hot damn!

A minute later,
Suddenly,
I realized she was terrible danger,
and I realized I was in terrible danger.

Closing our eyes, we both made the same wish.
...and I said,
"I don't care if I am,"

a dream, Or, A DREAM , Or! DREAMLANCE I: THE QUAKENING

A far-off horn sounded, bright and brassy as a copper-zinc alloy, but with a tinny tone to it - shrilly it sang forth like a klaxon announcing the coming of dragons, and you could almost see the pennant hung trembling from it, a heraldric ewe rampant upon it, vibrating on its field of green, signifying nothing - the dream began.

I drew my brilliant lance of adamant gold, potentially infinite in keen extent, from its cut and colored glass studded carrying case - which I wore about my waist, and which was significantly longer on the inside than out to accomodate the dimensions of the lance (only several of which were visible to the naked eye). Naked, I held the lance out straight at arms length and beheld the point, potentially infinitely distant, yet unwavering as a fixed star. The lance was symbolic of my faculty of Reason, which was defective but still under Warranty. I had to bring it in.

As I resheathed my lance, as my lance slid home in its wonted haunt, a pale girl drew in breath and drew in, bearing a tray with a brass ewer on it, and wearing an ochre dress. "Hower yewer doing," she asked, like an impudent strumpet? So I took out my lyre, set fire to it and strummed it. She melted like butter - what a disgusting mess.

We ran to the castle, distant in the distance, shimmering and shrinking every minute we drew closer in to it; by the time we had drawn within an acre's length, either we or it had disappeared into the scale of things no longer worth considering, like aphids and ants. She shivered as a chill ran up her stiffening spine, and straightened it. Her too, too infirm flesh had by this time thickened, resolving itself into a to-do list and she listed off on her own to pursue this. I started, started after her, and I haven't stopped since.

rain check

wishes.

if someone offers you a wish, can you really
do that? Can you turn it down? Surely a human,
luminous and unevenly split, physically earthy
and earthly, with muscular leverage, fit
and forearmed with things like know-how, wisdom,
possibly, and cleverness - this is an entity

with more to grant thee
than some minor piece of crap space rock

screeching through the blackened heavens at four
thousand degrees to evaporate into more or less,
a sneeze?

My records indicate I offered you 2 free wishes. (Out
of a possible 3 and you -
turned me down!

Parentheses, belatedly closed.

Well so be it, if so.
Good luck with your bad
attitude, miss! Good luck with
your bad attitude. That's like, remiss
on your part, cosmic-karmically, it strikes me
as "off" in some key respects,
some spiritualmagnetic principle,
it's as if you weren't aware that people like me
and you got pull

- and you must be aware, because
it takes one to know one milawsy!
It's ok, you can totally call me
milawd. We can employ broad
Southern accents, and free our inner gawds
and dawgs, to run around barking
up the tree of human misery, which is
assuredly the wrong one.

Odd -

so many human beings go through earth
and the universe with their mental mechanism
all blocked up with untucked, un-kissed goodnight,
unloved and unfucked but tragically
resented dreams.

But not we,

No.

Our channel is open
to the abundance of the universe,
all clear to the cosmos. our account stands
at forty pesos and a bullet, and rising
fast and faster, for better or worse
either way -

Our intent holds behind it great force.
The universe changes in its charges and its
courses daily, and though we do not command it
we direct the ship's charts steering by our own stars
dip the oars set the sails at an angle dipped diagonal
towards galactic north, and we tear our roaring wake
through spacetime, its green-line-grid surface-waves
foaming to pixels at our prow, or else settling down
now, to a calm smooth pleasure cruise
depending on whether we hold back or hold forth, and how far out
we lean as we pull taught the rigging.

For if reality is rigged, it is we who hold the rigging.

Look. I'm not saying I can drop a mountain
on a plain, turn club soda into champagne
or spin wheatgrass into emeralds, but I can
damn sure make a tree stand on its roots and
hold me close. I can kiss the wind and it will blush
for miles as it brushes by others, distracted

- I am a Bard of the Olde Kinde, I mean
Original Flavor Advanced Dungeons & Dragons
Character Class, and I will see that respected! I am happy
to drop odes upon the unsuspecting
as I pluck beats and rhymes for nautical miles
from my electrum-strung lyre, singing plain
and plaintive truths. Not for nothing,
not for naught! Not in vain,
and with a smile -

That's the kind of dude I am.
And believe you me, there are quite significant things
within my gift. Changes I could ring, lions I could tame
into mice and rats, if the exchange rate's right
for that. Although perhaps,

What is within my gift may stand less
in your estimable calculation than what
matters and mass you yourself can quite capably,
competently shift. And so, perhaps

your rejection of a wish (or
two) was less of a rejection
and more a politic decline,
a gift in itself, a generous
inclination of your head
and heart as if to say sir, you
have greater need of the full
employment of your powers than I
- do you mind?

Well not at all, when you put it that way.

I wish you had said so the first time

buzz buzz buzz

systemic, oppression, institutionalized,
dialogue, I actually dig
a lot of those words you know, but I try
to use them in a way to enhance
or advance the dialectic, break
the enchantment and befuddlement that come
from taking markers of meaning
and flattening them to mere tokens of seeming -
I like to seize upon buzzwords and platitudes,
pull them away if I can from the way they've been overused
and underutilized, and recall them to their originally
underlying truths and attitudes,
which have still their full weight,
gravity and altitude, and hang poised.

All words and terms that held truths originally
retain them still - those truths, full strength

Even if misuse has shellacked it under glazed layers
for the dazed purveyors of so-say-all-of-us, truth,
under all, is not bent.

Trust in truth still. after all

Its power may lie dormant,
but only from being unexamined

Truths remain ever a threat to burst free
wild and angry
like a swarm of hornets, and wreck
havoc's flailing attempts to dismantle sanity
- truth sits patiently waiting to go mad,
get angry, open up a can
of epiphany upon calamity,
oppose wanton chaos in its mean,
grubby bid to break down what reason
we've been able to ordain in the universe,
for ourselves. With good reason, to good purpose
and for good cause,
we talk.

Some of us skip stones across a wet surface
of water, get
as many slaps and splashes in
like points scored, before the words
we fling sink, worthless
to depths we don't care to plumb.
It's okay. Some of us congratulate
each other in code, "no more need be said
- password accepted and verified;
we are On The Same Side," without
even understanding what for. It's O.K.
Some of us explode. Some of us yawn, bored.
Some of us implore, plead, wrangle and
exhort, barely doing anything besides.

It's ok.
It's going
to be ok.

I try to understand,
but I don't. I can.
I believe I can. I hope.

I don't believe words have power, anyway
but meaning does.
Words are just envelope. We push it til' it breaks
sometimes, get papercuts and ruin the message
with traces of blood, "no more can I discuss
this painful topic!" Too bad.

You must.

"For it does not matter if there is a solution. Dialogue
must keep the channels active and open, a circuit of current
instances, examples, implications, a handful of recent
developments lie waiting, alongside the permanent ideals
and resolutions, alongside the belated a priori dismissal
of facts, old and embarrassed like elephants,
they never forget or go away but we can pretend,
can't we? Let's. Let us play

a game of strict association: I'll say,"

And you'll say back.

Buzz buzz buzz

"to beginnings without an end"

on this occasion

propose a toast, I guess
to you,
and yours,
to happiness -
I've been there, oh
a time myself. And it's
the hardest on your health.
And it's the richest, and
the best, and you will be
blessed,
in memory even, if you must.
But somehow you don't
think it ever will come
to only that. So,

Trust.

And lift up a glass,

and too carefully clink,
and drink,

and laugh

completely without filter or restraint

You know I'm not
completely without filter or restraint
You know I'm not
for instance I almost never
comment on your appearance by saying, approvingly
"hubba hubba"
- even though by any sane measure,
such praise would be pure understatement.

And then I became distracted.
I was about to say some ridiculously elaborate
remarks about your being -
you know,

a very attractive person.

And then I was like: hey man, #1 you told her
that before, right?
Or words to that effect,
surely.
Either she knows already,
or she doesn't trust
your opinion, and don't call me
Shirley - #2, I realized
that what I specifically almost said
was woeful understatement, yet
I couldn't quite figure out

how to adjust it to accurate.

Without
it being pretty rudely inappropriate.

It's a fine line,
even as the line you cut through this world is fine.
Anyway, the point is, you know

You know. I am not completely without
filter, or restraint.

You know I'm not.

Friday, August 16, 2013

"Flirting," to me,

"Flirting," to me,
carries no connotation
of not meaning it.

I flirt with death,
for instance,
and it's clear to me that fucker wants it.
Wants me.

At some point.

Am I just a tease?

Fuck no, I'm going to put out,
and we both know it. Death's
from the old school
where consensuality's concerned.

Which is a shame. Because I'm from the new school.

No means no, death,
fuck off

I've changed my mind

Monday, August 12, 2013

All good people

And all good people, in-between
the worst of what we all believe
about the people who don't think
the same as we, on this one thing
whichever thing to us means most.
It's half the country, more or less
it generally is. And all good people

in-between, we do our best.

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

too long a note

I wrote
too long a note to you.

I'm never certain afterwards,
just how that's going to be received.
Even though - generally - you always
take it all, and me, in just the spirit
I intend.

You even tend to rave a bit, sometimes
you make it seem deserved. You'll gush
over a part or two that I might easily have caught,
and thought a little wrong, or bent, and cut,
had I considered it - the final draft - as rough,
re-read, gone over once or twice to polish up,
to pull, and stretch and knife and stitch.

I do that, every now and then.

But usually, I just hit send.
You seem to get I mean each word,
you seem not one bit too concerned
that I have meant too much, or you
have meant too much. Although, you do!
- it doesn't seem to worry you.
You seem to trust me, for that part.

A good call on your part! For sure.

But as of now, uncomfortably
I find myself re-reading more
than I realized I'd written.

Oh, there isn't anything I'd be ashamed
to have you read, or know, but some of it
just seems a bit too much, perhaps
- you know? Although,
although,

you know me.

You know me, and you always have
somehow known how
to take my word.

I guess
I'll sit here,
worrying, as usual
- a nervous bird
whose song is overlong,
perhaps. Some times, a note
or two too much - but
generally well-received
for all of that!

It's worth a touch
of suspense.

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

I'm leaning towards a setup where

author omniscient
just dresses the scene,
then each individual character arcs
and develops in space - simultaneously, each
is the reader, interpreting
all of the parts.

source material

I know you aren't trying
to write songs. But what
you wrote
just there
has the makings of a monster chorus!
I don't mean some damn singalong, I mean
like somebody increasingly tearing
their heart out through their
fuckin THROAT as the song
progresses,

God, what good
are all these second-guesses? Like life
should be looked at again, once lived
and turned into source material - how
does it ever do good, being a songwriter

if all you do is feed on your worst doubts,
fears,
panics and catastrophes, some
that haven't happened yet, what good
is being a songwriter if
it makes you just envision
the worst
and then say "hey,
I could hum to that"
it's like...some evil asshole
demon on your shoulder, wanting you
to feel the worst pain that you ever felt,
the worst pain that it could ever turn into
something catchy!

Not even something beautiful.

That demon just wants to bob its
head and grin and be entertained
by the awful source material you bring,
to feed to it, to feed it, like
some demented rumplestiltskin imp,
it takes all the sun-burnt, dried-out straw
your life has harvested into barns, and it begins
spinning it to gold, but oh
at what price.

Not your first-born only, no -
but every born you could have had in this life,
every innocent being you could have brought,
every innocent feeling you could have wrought,
every joy or pain that could have simply been:
a moment,
an experience,
here today, then memory: the demon spins,
the demon spins.

And you have a another
song.

blackberry-picker

I was walking along
the road and I passed

a blackberry bramble.
I stopped a while,
and walked on with two big handfuls

which I consumed in three huge mouthfuls.
So sweet, so ripe! Except for the tart and sour,
about one berry per mouthful:
perfect! In-balance, I picked
just the ones.

I showed up
just a little bit late,
sticky and stained, but

fun!
Does that poem have a title?

Not that every poem needs
to have a title. But if
you don't title it,
they title it for you:
the first line.

In my experience,
a poet can generally do better than that
; step outside the text, the verse, and slap
some pert little label on it. Summed up! Neat,
and neatly.

But some poets (rightly, in their case,)
disdain all such Marketing enterprise.

And if so,

what?

We are left by default, with the title
they chose by default, at the crack
of their first line break. Which
is sufficient as fuck, one supposes
but for the sake of form,
for goodness sake
I had to ask:

"does it have a title?"

Monday, August 05, 2013

the Sick

you feel the sick a long way off
you both have swallowed something bad
you eye each other easily, uneasily
both seeing in the other's eyes
the doubt and panic you have had
for too long, now.

Both wishing you could skip ahead,
skip past the worst, inevitable

It was delicious going down
The sweetest truths, you swallowed whole
they looked so good - just what you want!
you told each other wonderful,
amazing things. You each said what
you want to hear, and got in turn -
well, everything. To quell the fear -

Oh, this will sting, and this will burn,
and this will hurt.

And can't we just skip past this part?
Or can't this feeling go away?
And leave us back again, the way
that we both felt - for such a lovely while,
at least, it sat so well.

The sweetest truths, you swallowed whole -
but now you feel it rising up
oh, this will not be pleasant, no
you felt the sick a long way off

And soon will come inevitable
for too long now you've felt unwell
to stand it much if any more

you know how bad it's going to feel
you wish you could skip past this part
you've both felt this, been here before
and isn't this the very worst?

you both lie still, try not to move
and keep your breathing deep and calm,
and keep your heart from beating hard,
and keep the sick from rising up,
and keep the sweat from breaking warm,
and keep your mouth

shut. Oh

God

Friday, August 02, 2013

the Buddha said, "Hey

It is said that
the Buddha said, "Hey,
a lot of you people are suffering
for no reason but check it out,

you don't have to be a fucking orgiastic sex
predator glutton hedonist
disregarding all beings and things
except your own pleasure

in order to take in each moment,
what this life has to offer,
participate fully in it, and enjoy
it. And

you also don't need to be a total
renunciant, sitting unbathed in a cave
eating dust grubs
and stinking up the place
in your one soiled cloth
that you wear just in case
anyone stops by to ask
for whatever wisdom you have
handy,

just to avoid becoming ensnared
in needless and painful attachment.

You don't need to lose yourself, in one
or the other extreme, holmes. There's
a middle way, check it out it's called

The Middle Way.

Grow up you fucking pansy. Quit
seeing everything so extreme,
it's just a long flow of ever-shifting
nuance, in a stream that runs through all
up in this which you call existence,
and which I call - a dream."

An Apology Too Far

It was fucked up of me to love you so much.

I'm sorry.

I'm sorry. I know that now. Too late but
now I know, I can see what I did and
what it did to us was fucked up. Me,
loving you that much, it would buckle
any one trying to love under the strain,
I don't blame you for giving up, pushing
away, living your life and deciding
what you need in a relationship
purely in terms of what you see fit, it's
fucked up how much more I loved you. And
it ruined our chance together. I can see it
now: I can see what I did

wrong.

Damn, girl if I could only have that chance
back, I
would love you like

half as much, see if that makes
a difference
I bet it would! I was just

so fucked up

by how much I loved you. Oh baby,
how could not I love you
so much and be so blind, not to see
how I fucked up -

Can you forgive me?
I mean yeah, you know, be friends
and shit.

I won't love you nearly
as much, friends - maybe you could
try it, and I will try too? Baby,
I will try harder than any other friend
you ever had in the universe tried,

just to be your friend!
How fucked up is that
after all we've been through?

Yeah.

I'll probably be sorry about that,
too, next.

You tell me, baby

you call the shots. It's all for you
isn't it baby? All for you

How much love do you want?
How hard do you want me to try?
It's all for you, you
tell me. I don't have to

push it all the way
to "fucked up," my scale
does have a dial
on it, you know.

I myself tend to prefer the limit,
but now, knowing how fucked up
that was for you, how fucked up
you found it to be, of course
I can more than modulate that shit!

Just let me know huh? Okay baby?

It's a little fucked up, how much
I want to make this work
baby. Oh yeah,
as friends I mean
you know I do.
best friends

maybe someday

best friends

how about you? Baby,
did you fuck up too?

Thursday, August 01, 2013

faithfulness

There's no shame in the stain my secretions leave
on my once-bright whites as the years accrete
in the sweat tinging yellow each armpit's crease
though I bleach, and I bleach and I bleach and bleach
Since the fabric is strong, I will wear it out.
Or at least, wear it in, and around the house
- it would be such a sin to discard these clothes
who have been such sturdy and staunch fellows!
Who are ready to serve years more, used hard!
They are proud, they are clean, though it's true they're scarred -
Who's to see all the stains left from passing years
by my sweat, blood, other stuff, snot and tears?
on my undershirts, socks, briefs and other drawers
- sure, I'll wear my nice mine, if I think I'll see yours
otherwise, who cares? As my sock-heels rust
from the boots I grind under them into dust,
I will put on and push on 'til cotton wears through -
for as long as they hold out,
I will hold on, too.