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 whose 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: 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