7/31/06

stomach knuckles


Savage 1 is adenine: Base. Strand. Hole.
Many things don’t follow from mercurial premises. Not that we’d know. Some flesh-similes are no longer related by blood to our ideas. Propositions can slay and spray sanguine, but these barbaric anatomies and bloodthirsty veins coalesce converge convert and congeal next to an atheistic matriarchal self-inquisition ejaculate in a race against benevolent epidemics. The mother god gives back what it took from us a long time ago, pumping lava from the core of the earth spewed up onto its own face – and it feeds like a landscape’s topocidal imprint planting seeds of fire and ash into the pores of hallowed prepidemiologists on an ego/geo barbaranagram visage. Hallucinotrophy repented just as the catastrophated remedy signaled the promise of a paradise wrenched from the hopeful gazes of our heroic white lies.

But only because God despises our flesh.

Conceal convert condemn and transform; I’m lavish in my self-loathing but parsimonious in my respect for the nobility of loss. To twist and conform to adeninal rites seems like a strong step in the other direction. But I have no choices, and I have wasted too many good renderings of poetic injustices committed upon others by the loss of re-vindicated time that has long since fled my filthy greedy clenched fist. Vicious Huns converge condemn coagulate and set, but the twisting towering building blocks of my ravenous underfoot give out only nine timid steps of heliocentrically anodized habits torn by despondency throughout recovered ego-signs. Endo-exo-meso-poly-morphous/cage I yearn ergo sum. Pusillanimity emits the noxious stench of corporal decadence with fantastic clarity. I’m amazed.

I-deny-nine bent in a disease that claims in pathological slaughter felinopterous plunges into death-defying depths that live and die beating wings coiled around this morbid surmise.

Exeunt nonet vice.

Savage 2 is guanine: Base. Hand. Lack.
The mind is sublime. The hedonism of fortitude rankles through the virtues like four jagged lacerations: addend guanininity as the second eldest retrodeclential noun of the quadraformal depravities. Temperance persists to our own demise while patience vilifies with wayward angles set to artificial degrees (180 = none). Yet the mind is sublime, of that we are sure.

Genuine artifice heaps the praise of time upon our sideway glances as our early years of terrifying rites and flailing steam closets embedded through the horror of abandoned rose-scented walls come charging back like a blunder carved to memory in a conscience committed to all but ourselves. Ontic slime (When I awoke I often saw faces, and their indifferent silence sometimes loved me, but conspiratorial gazes lingered between the peepholes where my turpitude stumbled and fell)

Late. Deprived. Like snakes without tongues and eyes and tails and fangs and scales and lies… like a dumb hollow tube of flesh slithering in lifeless circles, coiling in heliotrophic reminiscences without soul or reason through fetid stinking pools of guaniate saliva that lubricates my eyes with the grease of my own self-despeciated attention. Straight to, then up and against, now down and in and out, coiling circles, drowning fright…

Savage 3 is cytosine: Base. Penis. Luck.
In 17 years I found and condemned my own artifice to a fate left crawling down walls of my own rendering. Tall and stealthy, thick and hard, etched into my side like a lateral tumescence breathing bile fed from my own spite, I crawled behind and under to escape within secret silent fantallacy that states thus, without words: time mends all scars that burn our pachydermic conscience with the promise of separateness, diffuseness, form and difference, but my estrangement left me feeble, and even nature abandons those who abandon themselves. But I accept Sir David Attenborough’s consolation prize:

… that which we love is never made of steel, because it must love us back, and just as well. x = tenderness, y = malleability, but we can only plot on the negative side of the philograph.

Savage 4 is thymine: Base. Fists punching from within. Those alabaster knuckles want out.
Calibrate with me on ascension’s first incline. Resort to force. Declare vengeance, you fucking savage, you barbarian, you animal, you vermin, you rodent. Love is in the quantity, not in the antiquity. Why do you stumble? If only you knew how much they’ve wanted to be among you, there, among the breathing faces, you would be ashamed of this war ensemble. You would turn down your pitchforks, and you would embrace like a mother, like a son, like a mother with her son, the lost and neverfound – we can embrace too and we can embrace despite ourselves, because we know what it is to leave one day and never come back except through words ( = meek sonorous vibrations floating off into the spheres of post-decephelation)

Besides, people don’t speak your language anymore. Your words are dead.

Pass them on, these four savages. Make them leave, make them disperse and live and reform, make them accept civilized ways, make them mutate for the better, make them lose their severity, their barbarism, their austere, tundral, steppe-like ways. Make them cease their anthropophagous circuitry. Make them dissuade auto/form from apoplexic orations. Make them inure themselves to alcohol and women and comfort and the life of the good and the decent and the moral and the polite. Make them meet friends for coffee and talk about their dreams and aspirations. Make them discuss politics and read newspapers and pick up fresh bread from bakeries. Make them declare: “Today I’m feeling a little down, but I am one of them and they are one with me.”

Let them gain a mind and a body and a soul. Let them live among you. Accept them, nurture them, feed them, embrace them. Hold out your tongues so that your arsenal of spit may dry before our conversation has begun. Talk about the weather.

Let them all forget where they once came from.

Ben and me


from beneath our hair, set alight by the wind
gushing through our ears
steaming from our noses
streaming out of our eyes
soared not bodies, flesh and blood, but spirits
on speeding wheels
at thousands of miles per hour
through deserts and mountains
forests and lakes
amid great winged beasts
and small deadly monsters
we screamed from our throbbing hearts
and the joy tore us apart
until we too were nothing, but the wind
we were nothing but the wheels
and the wind

the world is vast
and this is my tree

the world is hollow
and this is my branch

the world is strange
and these are my roots

and here are the leaves
that will catch my fall

as they catch the rain

that tumbles with me
to the earth

here stand our names
etched into life
on this old tree
upon this old hill
where our laughter will echo
to be carried across the universe
with the wind,
carried on the wings of the magpies
even more ancient than we
speeding past us
past our eyes
and over the horizons
we can only be happy are theirs

where do they go?
they fly to the other side of the world.
are they so fast, or perhaps the world is so small?
they must be fast, because the world is very big.

and in dreams we ride again
as the nightfall brings sleep on these hills
on these roads, this town
over the trees, and the magpies
and into our sleepy heads
dreams stream in
to carry us through the vastness once more
no more roads, or hills
we ride through the clouds
above the birds
the winds once more embracing our spirits
we fly with screams of joy
and we find the world
stretching out beneath our feet

stretching out
in waves of sleep
that hold
the universe in balance
for these little hands
and these little feet
so they may seek their dreams
in the world once more

7/30/06

wish


we woke up early that morning and made scrambled eggs
I didn’t know her long, but I knew her favorite book
and I knew her favorite song
something about a happy house and how she was happy there

we sat by the window, folded our legs, and played a game of solitaire
“I made a wish” she said, so we played, and we won
I don’t know what she wished for, but I knew it was for both of us
then we left together, hand in hand, before going our separate ways

the cold made our cheeks red, and we saw our breath float away in the air

7/27/06

an end


momentary insular contact
like padded feet that almost touch the earth with every step

propels, compels and repels,
toward and from, back and beyond,
into and out of, with and without

there were times our tactless eyes bridged
the unbridgeable gap, that immense abyss
that is born of all that we lack

there were times, so brief, so few
that we touched and we knew
there were others around us
sharing the same anti-empyrean exile as us

and sometimes we felt we had all gathered
on the same arrow’s head, to see ourselves fly swiftly,
directly and ineluctably, to the comfort
of a collective murdering end

but there comes a time to know
when what you are and what you have been is enough

there comes a time to follow
the invisible shadow that proceeds and foresees
your insulated feet…

… the darkness that lies between your leathery sole
and your inevitable, earthy defeat

in that infinitesimal space
we cannot even fathom or relieve
there lies every impression and every fate
that has impelled our every step
to a precisely prolonged destiny

because we know, instinctively, that to be awake is to see

propulsion, compulsion, repulsion
we are each of us nothing more
than the chronology of our expulsion

back

to a cold dark immensity

7/26/06

a dream


I planned my life meticulously
in the back rooms and empty halls
of the great theater
and when my time came, the play was over
the heroine had left
the man, the hero of action
perused my parting art
a colorful muse on life
and seemed merely entertained
but gave no second thought
and disappeared behind the stage

outside, the world had changed
machine, man and spirit had fused
into great grotesque instruments of progress
buildings grazed like cattle
vehicles had minds
Hindu Gods roamed the earth
everything moved forward
everything advanced around me

but I took a detour
and I walked past the teeming spectacle
silently and alone
by the shore.

7/25/06

lying awake


Our lives are the accumulation of dignified memories.

We lie to our children and we lie to each other, but we still feel that we deserve to feed on the breasts of voluptuous angels, to suckle their plump white bosoms and hungrily devour the rich fat creamy milk of divine heavenly cows that offer salvation from life’s measly pittance.

We suck the teets of our angels, and their grotesque greasy immaternal smiles infuse us with unsated gluttony.

An unresponsive evil always lurked in your embrace, yet you ask forgiveness from those you have smitten. Rest your temperance in flames of spite. When they proclaim that compassion is a weakness that crumples like so many cardboard slums that heroically shelter the poor and unwanted of our brethren, I will be the first they come for, but you won’t even remember me.

I’ll be the backward eyes of dreams that have never risen to claim lucid skies.

I fell once into forgiveness even as you stood by me and claimed your prize. In faith I felt I belonged to something more, something grand, but it was just the echo of redacted allegory flung at me by a posse of wayward prophets that left me grasping at blind instances of repressed and disremembered shame. I let go finally, incredibly, and the plunge felt deep - even, at times, meaningful.

Sometimes I look at my own face and think that if you were near me, I would somehow remember everything. All the indignities of our lives would come flowing back to me, and they would somehow unite to fill our past discord with the former promise of all our forgotten hopes.

Sometimes I think there only ever was us two, but then I forget, and time claims its pound of flesh before I can even repent.

Sometimes I even miss you.

7/24/06

riot


hail all sempiternal pater nostrae lecturing from on up high
way up there, salivating upon our skulls
power leaking through their pores
bare bone and skin left open to the sky's lusty preaching
heavens kidnapped by the sleazy servile file
god left alone with you and yours truly
you and yours
you and yours
you and yours truly
you speak for all and you speak for god
his vile lies conjured by your arrogant minds

clouds of smoke
clouds of gas
clouds that water our eyes
clouds of evil guise

i'm lost and i'm writing
and the people are piling
into the square
to take on a mighty evil
that is reviled in all quarters
that buys their affinity and their support
that is corrupt, obscene, disgusting
that withers with each shout
that decays with each NO
that shudders and fears
and crawls back into its corner

the trodden make bad dictators

in elements we piece together ourselves
one by one, bit by bit
mask on, goggles on, helmet strapped in
take the streets, the people are the power
the people are the power
the people are the power
the people are the power

today belongs to those
who do not seek freedom in prayer
today belongs to those
who have everything to lose
and nothing but a street to claim

today belongs to you, and us

the leveling glance


the leveling glance harbors iniquity and tenderness in a single bated breath
leftover conjurings of goodwill flourish by the wayside
abandoned to dust and dirt and mud and pain and a million
little toils from the bosom of earths in a million minds
salacious in your enterprise
to fix within those realms of optic deliverance
some semblance of something other
than spite and misery
cowardice and loss
the search is benign
the results less so
but the road, the road, the ever farther road
combines with seas and waves with oceans
and turns and twists
and the winds and the caresses
all around us
lie the remnants
the images
the broken and tattered remains
of compassion once felt
for those who will never know
they were loved

7/22/06

helter skelter


a rush a swell you there by the side then together
sweet dive out the party leave back the faces of sweat and red ecstatic swelter
we dove in the cab and we said we wanted each other
there in the rush swell of the head i felt the finefine helter skelter
of us and more us and no them and just us alone together
in a headlong rush to madness and doomed bliss
in the cab i turned to you you turned to me
we said we needed each other
fully completely it was a perfect meanttobe be
in the finefine rush and mad swelter
the finefine rushing bliss through heads and waves of temporary bliss
we felt the goodgood rush in the headlong ride to the edges
of where there would be a finefine time sometime somewhere
foryouandme
in the madmad rush and the helter swelter skelter
we kissed and kissed and

a time-worn pebble
floated silently
to the depths
of a distant sea

7/21/06

Under the Temple on Mount Jove


the first thing you see when you look up
is a sheer rock face
punctuated by dramatic shadows
that rise up from the sea and tower over you
silent, massive, like specters that haunt and protect
this mountain looming
solitary over endless waves
the moon in the east and the sun setting in the west
reds and yellows of the rays
illuminating this temple of Jove
what’s left of it
simple, strong, masculine
a series of arches like monstrous eyes
gazing unto nothing, nowhere
indifferent to you and me
indifferent to us all below
gazing far far past us
to what we cannot see

they built their temples high
to be closer to their gods
and their gods are now all dead
but their ghosts linger still
and they are still magnificent
but strange and twisted
they are no longer the golden limbed
the fleet footed
the fair haired
the thunderous avengers
the mighty kings they once were
they are old now and they have retreated
back somewhere
to a place that’s not darkness or light
that’s not shadow or sun
it’s almost as if they are always just behind everything
just there until you look away
shy now, timid, quick to retreat
weakened and grey
unable to punish those who mock them below
unable to show themselves
claim lives, start wars, ruin and build empires
to destroy and create with the arrogance of their power
but you see them, they are there
not for everyone
not for the proud and the powerful
who live out their few days in the full bloom of their youth
laughing at gods and the like
not for those who never even thought
there could be anything that escapes their will
not for those who think they are gods themselves
who hold their destiny in their hands
and who value the self above all else
those who live that tiny moment in a life
those few golden decades
in the prime of their power and youth
and then succumb to all the same things
they once thought they were impervious to

selves all strewn like leaves in autumn
all lying beneath the trees they’ve been torn from

the gods cannot be seen by those
who have hated gods
and replaced them with something as narrow
and tenuous
and fickle
as an I

maybe it’s because I’m older now
and don’t feel as strong as I used to
maybe it’s because I feel some things
have slipped away for good from my grasp
and I regret the past more than ever
now that it’s feeling late to change some things
and I feel more unsettled, more out of place
I, I, I

I am/is more homeless in the world than ever

but I look up to those temples
those temples on big mountains
those temples where we once wanted
to be closer to the gods, to feel their power
their reach, their span
those temples
those temples that have become cheap mascots
that decorate tourist brochures and photo albums
those temples where the priests and the worshippers
have long since fled
and been replaced with indifferent security guards
and ticket salesmen
and jabbering tour guides
yapping trivia at hordes of vacant eyed tourists
snapping photos as if trying to capture meaning
capture greatness, capture grandeur
in a hollow frame
without giving anything of themselves
just consuming it, devouring it
and always ending up unsatisfied, empty stomached
hungry, trying to fill the emptiness with the next beautiful thing
to be captured in the next frame
to be reached with the next cheap holiday package
as they plod clumsily around
those temples that are now decorated with demeaning lights
in between fashion shows and concerts
and entertainment

Mighty Jove
God of Gods
whose worshippers vanquished empires
and conquered the world under his reign
his temple now adorns a coffee mug
and a keychain.

the sun sets, the reds and the yellows fade
the darkness slowly takes hold
but still the last thing you see
when you look up
is this temple
and the last thing the light leaves
are those old lonely ghosts
that still gaze sorrowfully away
to where
we below can never see

the exit


the facade is colorful and slick
the name is clever
there are catchy banners and slogans
in there, written on brochures and posters
and they advertise their product well
when you enter, you are greeted by big smiles
people ask you how you are, they even chat with you
about the weather we've been having
and ask if there's anything they can do to help us
whatever we need, just say so, and our wish is
their command
the decor is immaculate, right down to
the carpets and the lamps and the elevator buttons
what shiny elevator buttons they have
a man, a full grown, handsome, strong man
polishes the railing of the stairs
he wears a uniform that doesn't sit quite right
somehow, the right size and everything
but not right
and he looks up to me to smile and greet me
but for a split second, before the smile, i see
something else, something
he holds deep within himself, something secret
something unholy that he's not allowed to share here
not here, not with me
i am a profusion of thank yous as i go to my room
where the bed sheets are laid out
for my comfort
and the TVs and chargers and hair dryers and telephones
are there decked out for my convenience
and when i bring the handle to my ear
"yes sir hello sir how may i help you sir"
and they even have an elaborate ceramic contraption
right next to the crapper
where i can wash but butt hole
"Please sir, please, wash your butt hole! you will have
the cleanest of clean butt holes!"
and there's even a gel in a little plastic pack that some poor
woman working in some factory somewhere on minimum wage
had to squeeze some of this "intimate cleansing gel" into and seal and send off
down the factory line to some other mass of waiting men and women
(people!)
who stood shoulder to shoulder
and counted their days out, day in day out, with these packages of intimate cleanser
so that i could intimately cleanse my oh so precious anus
and then wash and clean and dry it
because i paid for it
or someone paid for it
and so those smiles and smiles and smiles, they never ended

in the morning the elevator was slow or busted or something
i waited and waited
people rushed to my help and said they were trying to fix things
and they were so sorry, they were all so so sorry
but i needed to leave so i took the stairs down
i pushed that bar across the door and entered beneath an ominous
fire sign that said emergency, as if a gateway to a lesser, more modern
inferno (where nobody really suffered anything terrible, it was just a...) stairwell
a grey, cold, lifeless stairwell that just kept winding down with the echoing of my steps
(and perhaps that's what hell really is) but it didn't lead out into the slick, glowing, golden
carpeted lobby and there were no men in uniforms to greet me
i found myself outside the hotel, in a little courtyard
next to where the hotel restaurant's kitchen was
and there were boxes everywhere, and pots and pans and broken things
and i thought i'd come out the wrong way so
i turned to look behind me
and i saw two men and a woman
who worked in the hotel
they had their uniforms on, one was a cook, one was a bellboy, the other a waiter
and they were crouched down smoking cigarettes
when they saw me, none of them moved or smiled or greeted me
they just kept smoking and stared at me
and my smile, the smile i had memorized to give in these places
that smile vanished, and the big Good Morning i had memorized to give in
these instances, that didn't even make it up to my throat
for a moment we all just stood there looking at each other
it was a wrong turn i'd made
and we all knew what had happened
one wrong turn
and all the veneer came peeling off
all the shiny glossy bright painted bullshit was swept off
all the pep went pop
and all we were left with was the cruel visceral reality
of men standing and staring into each others eyes
the way they would have a million years ago
when men weren't even yet men
they were something fearsome, different, apelike
staring the way they would have if they met upon a plain
with the tall sweeping grasses
of some terrifying savannah when wild beasts and apemen
roamed and murdered and ripped each other to shreds for survival
but there in that cold, grey courtyard
away from the gaze and care of our cruel, distant, fabulous, profiteering gods
in those places where they hadn't conquered
there, the cruelty was manifested in boredom, decay, meaninglessness
poverty... the need to survive, the wage, the labor sold, the men and the women
who sold their hours and their days away
bought up for a handsome buck, made pretty pennies off
and resold for a lot more
with all the swanky greasy jingles that
hypnotized and dulled us
into swallowing and consuming all that muck
but now we just stood there in that apeman standoff
and that moment lasted all this time, all this time it took to write it out
it took all the time from a million years past until it came to its own in that moment

none of us said a word
the crouching cook put out that burning butt between his fingers
blew the smoke out the side of his mouth
turned his gaze away
and pointed out
the exit.

7/20/06

lovers


We never think they wouldn’t have remembered us slipping and sliding on farewells sprinkled along the paths of all those tired black and blue feet like it was just another regret that old mother time thought would be too funny to repeat to your former lovers. But they know what the score is, and they never misremember episodes of shame that twisted you in and out of strange scented rooms when you were up like rockets in the godly hours when unity and greatness spoke through your cigarette smoke and your booze fat face and words words wrdods swimming all around thinking god was there and now and all before the inevitable unravel, the fingers from below pluck and turn and reveal naked standing there. You.

There’s a lot more to that, you know. Every moment is fantastic. It’s amazing incredible insane we’re all here, in these supermarkets, pushing these carts, talking to each other — the more mundane, the more boring, the more meaningless the talk, the more incredible, the more fantastic, the more insane that we are here, that we exist, that this is me and that is them and these are us. It makes no sense anyhow, but the moment passes, we can’t keep the wonder for long, even beauty gets stale, and we submerse ourselves again in this gloom, as if it were all important, as if it were all serious, as if it MATTERED. People go insane thinking of that. And then that moment when you saw it all so clearly, when it all made sense for that brief beautiful wise split second… that moment you can’t even remember anymore. Those same dirty earthen fingers have plucked you out again, and they’ve left you by the wayside cold alone. You have no control over it, the invisible fingers dip you in and then pull you out and you’re always at their mercy. Just hope they dip you in again soon for all time old time good time’s sake.

We never think they wouldn’t have remembered us. The big meaty digits that hold our lives in frail fiery balances… no, we never think they wouldn’t have remembered us slipping and sliding on farewells left along those black blue plain feet like it was just another regret that old mother time thought would be too funny to repeat to your former lovers.

And what lovers they were. What beautiful, lonely, forgotten lovers they all once were.

Efate


through the narrow straits
we sailed into Efate
dolphins swimming amid the shallows waters
guiding our boat
as we anchored and rested
at low tide, sandbanks emerged at night
glistening golden beneath the moon
a million stars above
a meal and some music, then we let loose
drums and guitars and songs
drugs and booze
a day's sailing behind us
more islands await, to the north
and beneath the full moon
we ran and danced like native children
kicking sand with our feet
these gifts of the sea
granted us by old Father Ocean
until the morning
many long days and traveling behind us
many more to come
but that moment
so pristine, so pure, so new
i will cherish for years to come

ten years passed, and i live in the city again
where have our crew gone?
what do we do now?
you meet so many people, see so many faces
and they all fade away again
but i know
even if we will never be there again
the full moon will rise
the sandbanks will emerge
those million billion brilliant little stars will shine
and generous Father Ocean will bear his gifts again
to others
for others
and i will be content
to know that little jewels exist on earth
forever, for everyone

our home


these trees that mountain this small river seem so distant now that I see them, they reveal themselves with all their strangeness concealed once within my view, my normality... they now stand out, alien beings that will never really reveal themselves to me, just the image of an existence I can never understand, I can never be a part of, I can never become… we never inhabit the same world, there is a barrier always, like a bubble, unseen, and whole lives spent without seeing, without truly seeing. We are trapped in our world and the bubble isn’t even there until you look, really look, and realize it’s around you and me and each and every one of us and nothing we do, nothing at all, has any gravity that can stand alone and claim importance, claim significance without that bubble to protect it… but then sometimes, of a sudden, the sun comes out, there is a break in the clouds, light rays stream down all around, a clearing opens and, for a moment, you forget your troubles, your world, your struggles, your bubbles, and everything seems strange again, even you… and everything is new and first seen again, everything alien, like you landed on a another planet and didn’t even recognize it was yours… and only something very small can destroy it, only something small can bring you back home from that strange barren planet… something almost irrelevant... but when you return, home is never the same and it's never truly home again

something more


We searched for something more to life in the dark ecstatic hours stumbling our way to temporary homes in an unending maze of bohemian city streets abandoned by all the rest of the world that lay dormant and dead rapt in sleep and troubles… we roamed like vultures picking through a wasteland of carcasses to find and chase the moment of pure joy to sing and say and speak and dance shining golden eternal like dirty angels scurrying for their next fix… congregating when we could never running out of things to say and know never missing an opportunity to say I AM FOREVER! I AM ETERNAL! I AM ONE! Until the mornings until the wretched mornings until the curtains come down again descending from the sky that only hours before revealed its hidden treasures to us so completely so sublimely… we searched for something more in indifferent airport terminals in lonely leavings and goings in sometimes triumphant and sometimes defeated returns never losing sight of the next moments and that we were something else something pure something wonderful and so was everything we knew and saw and felt… in moments… and we shared in love and lust and fucked and fucked and fucked the wonder through each other in each other in and out and in and out of each other until we were spent but always wanted more… just always wanted and always wanting and always hungry and thirsty… always the balance and always the fight between a heartbreaking torpor between an indifferent all consuming boredom a sadness that wrapped the world so tight… and the moments we broke free, ripped that wrap, and saw through to the eyes of gods that lurked seedy in corners of minds and streets and subtle glances in mad instances at deserted waysides where other lives lived and congregated and made their days in a blooming harvest of drug induced haze and spent desires… the promises the potential lost alliances and torn allegiances… and we all went our ways… without ever even knowing it… we said small goodbyes thinking it would never end… and before we knew it we were all alone somewhere feeding off the memories of those deserted streets where once each of us turned our faces finally from the crazy wild ecstatic joy and rode or walked or rolled or sped through the maze alone again back back back and dreamt it would never end but felt it always already had.

7/19/06

a morning run


an early greeting to resumed life when things are still
sun is still timid hiding behind leaves and hills
slowly I crawl out and leave the house, quiet
doors open doors close small creaks and scrapes
mark my entrance into the world outside
slumberous dwellings surround to greet the start
and the steps suddenly quicken, pick up pace
soon the buildings end and trees increase
then no buildings, just the curves of the road
and the hills and the trees and the sea
and no sound save for the waves and the birds and my breath
soon the thoughts stream through, at first specific
then disjointed and chaotic
I fixate on a memory, and I relive a conversation in full
but change the words and add new things and even
alter the course of my destiny
as if I were there, in between the breaths and the steps
and then it ends and I realize it was just a memory after all
and I’m very far out now
far from the town, still far from the next town
and it’s so quiet, except for the waves and small breeze in the leaves
and I stop and think “this is as far as I should go” though the road stretches on
inviting me to keep running, the road pulling me further and further away
but that’s as far as I go, and as I turn back to return the same way
back weaving through the same curves and back past the same trees
and back through memories, but different memories
I can’t help but think… I always think
what if I just kept running? how far could I go?
what would happen if I never came back and just kept going?
what would happen with my job and my wife and my child?
would they look for me? would they ever accept me back when they found me?
when I repent and admit I was a fool for running further than I did, without stopping?
would the world blame me for not stopping?
but this is it you see
I did stop
and I came back
and when I did my son was just waking
and my wife was just stirring
and they looked at me and smiled
and I knew
that in a big cold empty universe
I had a home
and that's where I belonged.

together (or jealousy)


your smile betrays a flagrant passion
set alight by someone’s eyes
your lips are heavy with subdued desire
but also with careless lies
your cheeks are red and glowing
flushing with helpless pride
and your gaze is distant and hollow
betraying hidden depth inside

perhaps I should give in
and accept this fate with dignity
perhaps I should let sparkle
and show a benevolent side
perhaps I should be passive
to let this sick feeling fly
or perhaps I should just cut this cock
to stick down her throat
and gag her till she dies

but now I sit in front of you
holding back both fear and pride
and though I still can’t take my eyes off of you
I miss you
you, who are still here
so beautiful by my side

a step


I killed a snail
so I could see the moon
death and beauty
in a single step

7/18/06

the next step down


Incriminated reduction lends fallacy a dignified abstruseness. First after five then nine then an entire disovulated gyratiamatrical cyanisticate revel, slavishly impels piously stained defenestral sermons to rally profligately behind visceral arthropods…
And she’s left to swim just to absorb what we devour through stimulated viri virii virusiaii…

I vin and I vid and I vic solemn with flagella-propelled commensal declensions in a protistic tongue levelled through shoals of fleshy minasticated ice and primordial flourish (= we are pre-ovulate though famished with our own satiety and hurled to rot in history’s lavish eukaryotic bosom)
You said an unwelcome guest eats Cavendish laminate within its host’s skull, but you know faces smudge black and white with revisible smoke like magpie liver rammed to sift through abominate Dionysian hawkers that dig ashes in your face like a punching fist with teeth and a straw and an entire juicy tapeworm in your buzzing mitochondrial palm. Clench proscribed, but not before...
Seminal knowledge is lost on you, y = seminary wisdom crows off your crest and rakes your arrogant heart like flattened claws ripped from a bipedal goat’s parasitic stare.

Fucking paraplegisite.

If only you knew how much these mites have borne and these fibers have soaked and these walls have heard – their songs of corporal philosophy would cover your face with clever sobs, despite my stupid loss of you.

soulmates


no need for recourse to this, my sweet
for you and I to break and then to meld
to search for the man and indulge in the female
for numbers and flowers and chocolates and priests
I cannot presume that you and I should even meet

of heroes and heroines we've had our fair yarn
and of rebels and antics that cease not
to tickle our trembling hearts
of disasters that befall in our mind's eye
and the tragedy that is sung out daily
as we take back to our darling antics
and wish the dream
that would wish for dreams in our stead

not for you and I, my love
these seasons of storms and thunder
that blow their force and bury us under
nay, force this burial that has long been blown under
and ask for why, perchance
were we not there when the disaster struck
but sit
and solemnly drink our tea
each gazing in an eye
we'd much rather pluck.

ode to a killer


I take my walk down these deserted streets
where shadows and lights collide
my steps are crooked and deformed are my feet
a penny for the beggars
or a cigarette, or a light

I take my walk, the small hours will testify
through suburbs of all and sundry
yet this path I can't bear
and would otherwise not dare
while such poverty and riches surround me

I cannot explain, the words I'll refrain
to suppress all the visions that haunt
but let it suffice, let them read me my rights
for this hatred I seek to exalt
this hatred I breed excites me

the touch of a hand, a glance from afar
is all that I seek to remind me
of love's graceful lance
blunted by my own hands
no more to hold and swing mighty
nor impale all of those that surround me

but these fateful hours will more than suffice
to right all the wrongs that have torn me
and spark the dark fire to light up a dawn
no more to be waited upon or dreaded
but dread what is my own
and bear the terrible burden that awaits me.

7/17/06

it's alright


drunk guy on a log
dogs laying in the shade
gypsies camped under the tree
the worker takes a break
the Kurdish kids
jump in the water
screaming and laughing
in their underwear
guy sells corn
girl sells water
blue sky above
a cloud lingers
lazily
then moves on
water bubbles somewhere
waves shimmer and ripple
a pod of dolphins
bob up and down
hitching a ride
on the flowing current
an ant carries a leaf
determinedly, forcefully
the smell of cooking meat
the hunger of the poor
the dignity of needing
without pleading
wanting
without asking
a strange and solemn
human connection
of small words
and soft and unsure glances
to offer a cup of tea
is a grand and luxurious gesture
the rich are aloof
with their sunglasses
their eyes can never be seen
they have no
unpremeditated contact
but a little further ahead
birds land and fly
somehow everything connects
somehow there's a balance
somehow
everything is alright

on the edge


on the edges of some cities
you can stare out from the last house
literally the very last house
and see the wild nothing right there
right in front of you
you can see, literally
the terrible empty wilderness that surrounds you
in Ankara you can gaze out from the end of the city
and see a bare, razorback mountain
with thunderclouds gathering above it
over desolate unforgiving Anatolian plains
that have swallowed armies and humbled conquerors
across those vast sere rolling wastes
stretching out into the distance
out all the way into the heart of Asia
and in Canberra you can look out
from the last mundane, red brick house
and the few eucalyptus trees surrounding it
and see nothing but a harsh, barren, hot expanse
that is old
older than any gaze that has set eyes on it
red, hot, deadly…
stretching out into a haunting red wilderness
stretching back into the dreamtime
of our ancestors
in Arabia, the towering cities
those monuments to hubris and vanity
end on the edges
of a sea of sand
a hot unwelcoming desert
that engulfs, oppresses, dominates
in those undulating yellow waves
that were once the life-giving beds of churning oceans
where swam great beasts long extinct
now lost in eons past

when you’re there on the edge of your world
when you see where your world ends
and the unfathomable begins
when you stare into the not-meant-for-you
when you feel that melancholy dread
the terror of gazing upon a universe that surrounds you
without wanting you
that embraces you
without needing you
that fixes its gaze on you
coldly
without caring for you
when your words cease and the chatter ends
when the music falls silent
and the world of people, things, duties
jobs, commitments, cares,
when the world of little victories and little calamities
ends right there
in that gaze
when everything stops
in one moment, one breath
everything ends
and you see that hideous, mesmerizing, terrible
void
and you just stand there
silent, still, alone
knowing... just knowing
nothing will ever be the same again

somehow you know
no, you don’t know
but something in you knows

that you will either enter
or stay
but you will never look away again.

the poplar tree


in the late afternoon on a dull hot summer's day
sunlight glistens off the leaves of a poplar tree
swaying in the dry wind
in the distance

with each rhythmic arch and bend
wheels turn in my head
dusty winding roads
stretching out over haunting Anatolian plains
and long endless plateaus
with no end, nothing but depth
small melancholy towns
with small lives built by big dark soily hands
the little teahouses, the gaudy bus station restaurants
the lonesome gas stations
and the yellow, blue, red of the barren, unforgiving earth and sky
the ghosts of Hittites whisper from the rocks
and when you listen
you can only hear the silence of thousands of years
and you understand that long-forgotten language well

small creeks where sway towering poplars
hide away from eyes and cares
little corners in an immense world
where wind, water and leaves
compose an endless little symphony
that has a rhyme and rhythm all its own
playing only for you
a brief fleeting audience
not knowing what to do
not knowing how to hold on to this moment
how to keep it from slipping away
but it slips away of its own accord
the symphony is never heard long
and you will again ascend the machine
and let the wheels take you back and away
wondering what was left behind
wondering what was even found

back through the towns and the villages
across the winding plains and plateaus and cruel mountains
through the ruins of peoples and civilizations long gone
the melancholy, the sadness, the mystery within and around you
the time, so immense
the time you lost when you were a child
and found again here on these roads
you wonder where all the time was
where it all fled to
and when
when it was here, around you, all along
here, an immense, beautiful, embracing time
without loss and sorrow
a time that doesn't exclude, a time that doesn't arouse fear
fear of loss
fear of age
fear of death
fear of loneliness
fear of regret
fear of never being seen again
fear of never having been seen
the time here is a gently, fatherly time
a time that makes you feel you are a part of it
that you belong with it
that it has not forgotten you
it has never forgotten you
and you were always with it
you always felt like a son to it
that immense, beautiful, embracing father time

the evening is late now, the last light fades
the red flaming sun has given way to a darkening blue
shades and shadows reclaim what was theirs
the wind dies
and the poplar slowly fades from view
and with it also fades
the big country beyond all our small horizons
and that great father time
rolls slowly, gently away

and i'm by myself once more
gazing out a window
swallowed again and again by the city

i hear the clock tick ominously above
every passing second
echoes around me.

empty places


Remember the lonely places, the forgotten places
The places you do not even glance at
The places that deserve no interest
The places you don’t realize are there
Remember the insignificant corners, the unmemorable figures
The tiny unimportant things
And remember them well
Because those are where the gods dwell
And those are where they see you
In all your nakedness

Remember the silence, remember where
There is no talk or laughter
Remember where no gossip even bothers
To dwell
And remember it well
Because that is where the earth composes
Poems just for you

stay here, at this hour
The light is bright and nobody stops
Everything moves
Except you
And the universe
In this moment

Stop and stand here in this moment
Here in the night
And there are no eyes that linger
And no mouths that voice
What is or is not
Stop and stand here in the dark
And watch history unfold
In a single bated breath

Stand here where nobody else is
and feel the shivers of your being.

roots


these machines uproot and this dark bile covers my path
sticky and viscous
a flattening of earth and the sweat soaked
men stand aside in the heat
human fodder for a murdering way all things
made useful all things
made normal
men are numbers, statistics, figurines
these are no paths for feet these
are paths for wheeled monsters and
machines that dig
and flatten and tear

and then a patch
of grass and a little
bird
remnants of an old earth
I see the roots of
millennia briefly
through the poisonous
asphalt vapors

broken


it was as if knives rained down
upon our heads that day
and life had departed our limbs
as if in the foreplay of perdition
we tasted the sweet surrender
this moment offered
in an afterglow caught
between our memories and our regrets
suspended in the air
painted in wild roving strokes
dancing around our heads

our lives stood by with all its possessions
with clothes and tables and screens
giving witness, giving judgment
to this trial unfolding
and we stood there
knowing this was all we would have left
and in our bitterness, our desperation
we savored every moment
every drag of our cigarettes
every glance thrown away
from each other's face

and when we parted
we briefly forgot why
but simply followed our habits
to their undeserved conclusion

crying

crying like we had
nowhere left to go

more words and metaphors before pressing send


the mystery lives in the leaf and the branch and the tree
it lives despite, before, beyond, between
the paradoxes and the cliches and the metaphors

and the words the words thwe rods

the words are the enemies of mystery
ill-conceived, of uncertain origin
unseemly bastards of ideated syntaxified semantinance
strange sounds of flesh and mucous and saliva and blood

the mystery is in the voice, but not in the words
it is in the mucous that disgusts you
the flesh that you abhor
the blood, the nerves and the saliva that lubricates
and strains and squeezes out from chords
life in life on life with life
transports beings in and out
of movement and action and strife

but the sounds that emanate from the flesh
are only the exhaust of the mystery
the words that coalesce into coded meanings
are the mere flotsam and jetsam
of the mystery
they cannot be reconstituted
back into the mystery
the mystery is before, beyond, between the floating signs
the junk sounds, the mere pollutants
clogging up the air

the mystery is in the time

the time between, beyond, among, before and after
the sense and the idea and the word
the lips, the flesh, the skin, the bones, the spit
that from the mystery emit the word
the time that carries
through mysterious air
a mysterious resonance of spirit
devoid of meaning beyond the mystery
which can never have meaning
as we think mystery should

the mystery is without meaning
the mystery cannot be
anything more or other than what it is
and what is will never know what it is

and that big explosion
that giant explosion
was that a beginning or an end?

7/16/06

the duomo


there’s sustenance here in this huddled company wrenched from forgotten ancient rituals

Dionysus bends and molds and shapes the flames around scarred and seared heads
Apollo lends his cool gaze, sifting through the distress to offer small respite
the gods look down in terrible spite and power and in gazes that would rend oceans asunder
In light it seems peaceful and among us there are oases of the divine
Where the air is pure and we can breathe
Among us there are those who breathe and breathe regardless of them and us
Among us among us amongus a mon gus am ongu s

I stepped in the church, it was immense and it was no longer holy
But it was still immense and it was a testament to quiet and solitude and beauty
And also fear and superstition and waste and darkness and vanity
The old medici’s had their names in there, the old Duomo
The who’s who of Italian renaissance families
Outfighting and outcommissioning each other and outscouting each other
for geniuses to outinvent and outpaint and outsculpt the other families' geniuses
and one of them wrote their name on a big fuck off marble slab
and he said "I SO AND SO MEDICI ADDED SHIT HERE AND ADDED SHIT THERE, SO YOU KNOW, I'M PRETTY IMPRESSIVE..."
but tourists don't care anymore, they just look at it and go "ooooOOOOooh I've heard of the Medicis... there was a wonderful TV series, have you seen it Sheryl?"
"OOoooOOOh I don't think I have Ethel, dear me, this is soooOOOooo beautiful"
and the tour guide comes and says "Thisa escupltura datesa froma di seventeentha century, ifa youa looka closely you cana seea..."
and the children they run around the old Duomo, they laugh and play and their steps echo, and mothers say "SHHHHH!" and dads say "Tyler no!" or "Tanner no!" and there's a general mumbling and shuffling about and people walking around in comfortable white tshirts (it can get so hot in May) with funny things written on them, fanning themselves with maps of Milan full of ads and coupons for mediocre restaurants and jewelers, and their cameras are flashing POP POP POP "Scusi Madame you cannota takea di photo witha flasha" and "Oh Excuse Me, I didn't Know!" and they look up at the stained glass windows in between polite chit chats with fellow vacationers they just met on the tour "There's a great little restaurant there, Gary and I went last summer, if you ever go to Florence you have to go there" and everything is beautiful, everything really is beautiful, everything is wonderful and beautiful and Ooooh so beautiful... the stained glass windows and the mosaics and the marble, the great big gory horror christs staring down at you and the tomb below with some long dead pope or cardinal or what have you in it... everything is just "Ooooh this is beautiful!" and "Ooooh isn't this divine!" Divine! but metaphorically divine, not really divine anymore, not that these people are atheists or anything, it's just that the connection's gone, see... they are no longer tied to these, these no longer speak for and through them, they are no longer intrinsically entwined with god and all his glory, they are separated, isolated, bussed together, shipped out, fed, transported, queued up, tickets paid, led in, shepherded around, then led back out, packed back in, bussed, fed, stored in a hotel, and shipped back out and the whole thing catalogued in photo albums, emailed to those who couldn't be there, and all of it, everything, labeled "wonderful" and "beautiful" and "amazing"... aesthetics has killed the gods

but...
there is a lonely little alcove there, and although the Duomo was full, jammed, packed, crammed, this alcove had just two small rows of pews and there were four old Italians there paying no heed to the circus around them, hearing nothing, it seemed, of the noisy distracted mass around them... there were no beautiful mosaics and tiles and sculptures and marbles and stained glass windows there, there was nothing to see there, it was dark, stark, depressing, quiet, there was nothing there NOTHING! there was no razzle dazzle there... just four old Italians, and they sat silent and still, patient and alone... each very very alone... and a jesus gazed down on them, but he was a different kind of jesus, it seemed... his brows were the brows of a god crucified, a real GOD a real crucified GOD and he gazed down not with a look of turnest thou thy other cheek and meek shall inherit and give unto caesar and all that, he was GOD and a god above your dionysuses and apollos, he was an Olympian on a par with Zeus, though more ancient, more primordial, more barbarous, more terrible, pre-Zeus, pre-Jupiter, pre-Olympian, he was a titan, he was a Cronos, he was a Saturn and he wanted to devour his children, he wanted to reach those crucified arms out, rip them out of that wooden abomination torture inflicted by men, and reach out and grab every single one of those little old Italians and he wanted to gnaw on their heads... he was a GOD damn it a GOD... and all he had were these four little old Italians, they were his only... they were not a flock... they were his only WITNESSES... they SAW the GOD and they SAW the terror and they felt it within them, they felt the deathly holy miracle terror in that moment among the fat hordes with their guide books and socks in sandals and pasty white legs... a holy miracle terror was unfolding there...

and then another came in and sat and he started to tremble, really trembled, and he shook, in sickness, he was sick, he was most definitely sick, and he held his shaking hands with arthritic deformed knuckles together and he closed his eyes and he knelt before this terrible primordial pre-historic titanic saturnine terror of christ and he started low under his breath "you are my savior" and he chanted rhythmically low under his breath "you are my savior" and the other little old Italians never budged and they never even turned to look, they were all with their terrible lord, and his chanting became stronger, his trembling became more intense, he rocked back and forth now as one possessed and his chant was louder and louder "you are my savior you are my savior You Are My Savior You Are My Savior Christ You Are My Savior Christ You Are My Savior Jesus Christ You Are My Savior Jesus Christ You Are MY SAVIOR JESU CHRISTU YOU ARE MY SAVIOR YOU ARE MY SAVIOR" and his hands, his monstrous hands, lifted up to his lord, lifted up to his savior, and the chanting grew intense... and nobody saw, nobody turned to look, nobody was even aware that in that house of gods long fled, in that hollow shell where all that was left was beauty and aesthetics and the memorabilia of glory... in that house of gods that no longer lived among men, in that magnificent house built to fates and gods long fled.. there were those who still felt the awful terror and the suffering, the fear and the trembling of a world where mighty and terrible Gods once reigned... those five orphans, those five poor lonely crippled dying old orphans... those poor beautiful orphans... those poor dear lovely orphaned children...

they have all been abandoned.

gentle spirits


steam swirls and dances from my cup
a faint breeze tiptoes through the room
gentle spirits, light-footed companions
you give comfort when no one is around

forests and flowers


girl:

if you are tender and do me love
pick me flowers in the springtime
and if you are strong and to me true
sing me songs on cool summer nights
and if you long for cuddles and kisses
cut me wood to feed our hearth
and shelter from the snow outside
and if you love me as I do you
speak no more of it
just take my hand
and walk forth with pride

yet off you go, forlorn fool
to cut down forests in your waste
off you go, foolish Romeo
hiring orchestras
to play to your symphonic taste
away you roam, my dear young boy
razing fields of flowers
where even the bees retreat in haste
when all I want, my dear poor fool
is one small flower
and a little song
and nothing but a promise
that you will never do me wrong.


boy:

if I am brutish and somewhat crude
forgive me this transgession
for I seek nothing but for you
and am wholly at the mercy
of your discretion
and if I thunder and bring forth a storm
mock me not as you do
for I am nought but shallow
beneath these flushing cheeks
I am nought but hollow
beyond these words I speak
and yet, though I be empty
my heart it does pound
here, on the surface
in front of your eyes now
you cannot deny this love I feel
not even with your sighs
I will cut down all the forests
and seek for all the flowers
for you these are but small
so do not ask for less than this
my heart cannot be wrong

together:

now come sweet love, let's take this land
and let our differences stand
if one may come to wither
the other will be at hand
and so we shall both bend and meet
eternal in this wedding band
and with this vow I share with you
those forests and flowers
once more we shall plant.

7/15/06

easy


find yourself
a patch of grass
lie on your back
take off your clothes
jump in the water
drink your beer
let the breeze
cool your wet skin
and the sun
dry your hair
if it rains
get wet again
pay no attention
to those around you
some things
aren't so hard
to figure out

four rooms


in the first room i heard rumors
fallow hints lay dormant in fertile premises
intricate lies were covered with praise
those led down the vociferous aisle
in splendor of silence before their demise
soon were cut down by tongues
that lashed their way
through an embryonic rearguard assault
that failed to defend what inklings were left
of faith, honesty and deliverance

in the second room were whispers
secrets trapped in frozen surmises
left whimpering in a hollow shell
the torment of those who were despised
broke through, broke right through
and then dispersed back down
into another's shame

in the third room were beasts
silent, ferocious, demonic
snarling with primal hate
bursting, dying to tear out my face
to devour the final salvation
that lay shackled in my breast

in the last room was a door
the same one we all came through
the same door
from which we will return

but somewhere in between the rumors,
somewhere amid the whispers and the beasts,
somewhere where nothing was there
there I unburdened myself of this fetid load
and I absolved myself of their gaze.

one true word


write one true verse, one line, one word

be big, be very very big
disseminate the gravity like an equipotent planetary force
dole out what is heavy, draw down and ground words
be spherical in thought, without exceptions
the roundness should cover everyone
and everything

consign yourself to the fate of drowning
but settle for nothing less than oceans
even rivers, for you, should be piss
their curves only there to seduce
drown drown drown
but settle for nothing less than oceans

when you embrace, you should embrace mountains
don't waste your hugs on people and lovers
and don't be enamored of mere particulars
love spherically, roundly, equipotentially, gravitationally
and remain equidistant to specifics

physicists blow balloons with points on them
that represent galaxies
each with hundreds of billions of stars
to make a point about universal expansion
don't be the galaxies, and don't be a star
be the balloon, and expand, expand
expand equidistantly from all else
keep everything equally far from you
but encapsulate everything
with your existence

love everything without exception, without favorites

and when your time comes
your big bow should be a goodbye
to nothing less than everything
nothing less
than everything you are

which is everything

the road untaken


i should have had a little room
with a mattress in the corner
and all my books stacked up against the wall
with a little sink and a toilet
and some food in the cupboard and a small fridge
maybe a chess set for when I had guests
and I should’ve just written and read and thought
all my days through
and given up the world of friends
and jobs and commitments
and just wandered and drifted
from day to day
not knowing or caring
where any of this would take me

i’m happy with my wife
and I love my son
but sometimes the fantasy
helps get me through it all
and sometimes I just need to know
that there is more than just one road
and that I chose this one
despite the call of others

it’s always the road untaken
that makes the road you took worth taking

no time for anything good anymore


there's no time for anything good anymore
you have to do shitty pointless work for that shitty rich boss who drives an SUV
so he can get richer
while he pays you just enough bullshit money to cover rent and bills
so you can come running back to him again
just to pay rent and bills again next month
while the faggot drives around perving on young girls
and spending your labor on hair products
and telling you money is tight
on his phone, in his Porsche SUV

there's no time for anything good anymore
people just want to be better than other people
without even being better people
they want to claw ahead any way they know how
dirty, conniving, sneaky, undeserving, filthy
and when they get there they look down from above
and they plaster your unfortunate face over their empty lives
and they feel that schadenfreude that sustains their erections
giving them the semblance of fulfillment
at the price of integrity

There's no time for anything good anymore
everything's a shitty race and a competition or a contest
the prize is an empty kind of mass recognition
that does nothing but feed more desire, more hunger, more want
without ever offering any satisfaction

There's no time for freedom anymore
we're all fed on shit and fill our stomachs with shit
just enough to not need anything more
not enough to realize it's shit we're being fed
and those who do realize are paid off
and the rest just go along and are grateful for what little shit
the faggots grant them

the attack is relentless, they're everywhere and they give us no quarter
the billboards and the screens are lathered with their poison
everywhere your eyes look their filth is there
to destroy your horizons and claim your time and taste
it's there to kill little by little what little aesthetic and ethical sensibility is left
it's there to chisel away at your mind and your focus and your drive
until you too are dead from the inside
without even knowing it

The Nation is virtuous (The Nation is IS virtuous, but not as The Nation)
and they sell it to you as a holy ism
God is virtuous (God is not virtuous, God is NOT)
and they sell you God to back up their shit
God ... the ultimate peddler of shit
and they preach to you and they promise to you and they look to you

drooling, sniveling, plotting, stinking

They sell you security, but their security only makes you more afraid
they sell you prosperity, but their prosperity destroys you
destroys your family, your community, your country, your land
their prosperity makes us all poorer
they sell you happiness
but their happiness is hollow, sad, worthless, hackneyed
and their happiness makes you sicker than you were before...

But I look away now
I'm sick of looking at shit.

I look at my woman
who I love dearly
and I imagine what my son will be like
when he's born in three months time
and I think there's more to life
than the faggots who try to run your life
there's beauty to life
despite the filthy ugliness
that tries to ruin yours

There is promise to life
you just have to look beside you
because that's the only place
you'll find the ones that love you.

blue and purple skies


strange how they move
the legions of time
stealthily and sly
yet grand
in monumental projections
without any guise of contrition

strange, once thought i
gazing out over
deep blue and purple horizons
strange how all the hellos and goodbyes
divide the spoils between them
in long silent sighs
as if to crush all in between
between a million and two eyes

and amidst all the guffaws and cries
(long hated and despised)
how awkward were just us two
two syllables in a word
both trapped in a stuttering whisper
protruding from the echoes
of blue and purple skies.

7/14/06

the boat


the shore recedes quickly when you're on that boat
you travel to forget and skim quickly over the surface
of waters that threaten to drown you
the voices hearken from those forgotten lands
and before you know it
you're alone and lost on an ocean
awash with past sorrows, and memories, and regrets
the fallen comrades, the friends long gone
their phantoms are now the only ones that guide you
to some place you wish you could find again
the forgiveness, the solace, the comfort and the joy
of knowing
that there are still ears for you
and eyes for you
and hope and care and thoughts for you
and hearts
those hearts
that once enveloped you and loved you
when you knew what you were here for
and you shared this sublime dream
with others
when the nights never ended
and you could always hear them there, never far
the voices of brilliance and light
and when we awake in our shipwrecked state
when we come to that lonely isle
we wonder, was it all a dream
and will i spend the rest of my days alone
and is this what i deserve to be?

little gift


light passes through a leaf
revealing the inner life
quietly, without drawing attention
seen only by those who look
and if not
no matter
as many things happen around it
important things
things that require
worry
attention
speed
time
intelligence
volume
and words
many words
it's hard to even notice the leaf
and see what the light reveals
there are far more important things
but for those who look
what a splendid little gift

7/13/06

I want more days


this livid repository.

elemental conjunctions in a unity of syntax: relevant, irrelevant, relevant, irrelevant. smiles only distract, words only spit, the faces never can hide their spite and their tiredness and everything that we wanted and never got back. our acquisitions mount, the things in our lives pile up. things reside blind and meek in the corners of those smiles, corners meant to hide and cover and distract.

but smiles always smile back. you can bet on that. they trained us to do that. that is education, that is the civilized way. smiles always smile back.

fear is envy without hope for regress. degradation, suppression, thoughts of others concluded by ourselves. and the decisions they mount, the sorrows, the mercies, the sad face that has realized too late that it has realized too late. to see the end too soon, to sense that the time has come and gone. it is life's cruelest fate.

stop. turn off the music, stop the words, cut off the thoughts, push aside the cares of our heavy-minded days. step off the brink and glide onwards without so much as a breath, without need for any more breaks. descend descend descend. inevitably we will all find there is to each life both a depth and a grace. inevitably our day will come when everything will speak through the silent memory of a lover's gaze.

inevitably we will all have time, time to say: I want more days.

I want more days.

the world is home


you know the ones
the ones who never felt right in the world
the ones who were always trapped between
potential and regret
the ones who saw all that was sacred
in small things
yet shrank when the big things took hold
and made demands of them
they were never ready to meet

some of them, admittedly
leapt into the fold like
lions
some even made a path for themselves
in the forgotten wilds where others
never tread
but most of them
just lived in the moments
between one moment and the next
and never had either the day or the night
to call theirs
and they faded
gently, completely
to the other side
of their worlds

some shone brilliant
in the great blissful moments
epic with their own doom
trying to grasp things never meant
for their like
things too magnificent to last
things that let themselves be seen
briefly
then disappeared
as if “this was never meant for you” and
“this is all going to be taken from you”

and they receded back
into silent furrows
left deep in brows
drained quietly by rays
of a light
that shone for none
as brightly as it shone for them once
and they knew
in split seconds between the drag of stale cigarettes
and the swig of toxic elements
between the sentiments kissed into lifeless promises
at the lonely hours when the music fades
and the people have all gone home
and the shadows are longer than they’ve ever been
step after step
one before the other
recounting the ways these ways led back to sullen dreams
faced with desire’s penitent recursive gears
one down then up
then slow
slow

slower

they knew

and they stood there alone
and wondered
where the time stopped and the return began

where a miserable eternity
trapped in a halcyon daze
gazed back into eyes that only wanted to keep
looking back
to search forever
the ravaged grounds
where their woes raged

some leapt, it’s true
some were left behind
like me and you

(a wind stirs, leaves flutter
a paper bag is pushed to the gutter
one last drag, a deep sigh
and you walk out
on to the street
without even turning
to say your goodbyes)

never despair
please don’t ever despair
this world is home
this world is home
the world
is our home.

the great nothing


a life is a rich thing
full of images and impressions
carried on the light
of dead and dying stars
fed into our brains
through our eyes, our ears and our mouths

beneath this hoarded collection
of photonically induced patterns
beyond all the effects and their causes
lies something else
something that is no thing
devoid of substance, density, volume
and meaning
yet existing, as we exist
primordial
pre-phenomenal

like a soul... except that it knows death
and abides by it

when I speak and when I dream
electric impressions speed within
gliding through nerves
slipping in and out of synapses
and axons and dendrites and neurons
they contract my muscles
they dilate my pupils
and they engorge and fill and feed
my flesh

but when I stop and when I cease to think
a deep forgetfulness descends upon me
and I sometimes even have trouble
remembering all the in-betweens
and all the phenomena
carried back and forth
in tortuous oneiric streams

---------------------------------------

now the drops outside my window
drip and stream and fall
like the photonic quanta within
meek, ineffectual and small...
but I know
what lies beneath is immense
and intense

a presence before which I am enthralled

(a presence as real
as an invisible ocean
shifting and flowing
substance without form
depth without surface
a balance without purpose
a terrifying harmony
that sprawls
in the midst of all)

and there will come a day
when I too will stand silent
without putting up a fight
on a darkened shore
where phantom waves press tight
and away from my own gravity
I will crawl
to finally, discretely
let go this pointless clutch
(and be at least grateful for this much)
as into the great nothing
i fall

the world of others


for a moment there
out on the sea
the world seemed very big
and it seemed like it was his
all of it
to explore and conquer and take
but then he shackled himself
back into his old life
and his old ways
the world became very small again
and it was no longer his
it was a world that most people know
a world that belongs to others

Futuna


we sailed ten days across the ocean
and found ourselves on a tropical island
staring in the mouth of a volcano
and watching the children play
with their blond hair glowing under the sun
and their black skin glowing with their smiles
the John Frum cult played three chords till dawn
and we set sail for Futuna
the island of children and the old
there we sang at church, in Bislama
and we ate their taro cakes
we showed them how to make paper airplanes
and that whole afternoon
we watched paper airplanes fly
amid screams of laughter
and joy and love
we left the next day
giant pearl moon in the sky
faint fires on the island that disappeared in the dark
the stars, the stars, the stars
more adventures to come
new islands, new sunsets, new lives to discover
the water, the sky... and time
time after time we said our hellos and our goodbyes

Clark got married in San Francisco,
Ian builds houses in the west,
Jim is a professor in Mexico City,
and I mostly just do this and that
this and that.

7/12/06

it's only raining


there’s nothing to write here
there’s no reason to this
it’s just rain
it’s just another rainy day
and it’s cloudy and gray, of course
and there are people with umbrellas of course
and school kids run along laughing and holding books over their heads
of course
and the tough ones don't run they walk cause they're tough, of course
and everyone’s running in and out of cover of course
and jumping over puddles, naturally
and hopping in and out of cars and on and off buses
obviously
and looking out the window, as one does
looking out at the rain
falling
like it always ever does
the crows still caw and the seagulls squawk
the cats slink around and hide under doorways and windowsills
the dogs just stare out melancholy from under stairwells
the street sweeper still sweeps (with a raincoat on, of course)
it's not a disaster, this
it's not that bad this
maybe we'll tell stories about this
stories of buses missed and connections lost
of puddles splashed and things gone wrong
things we'll laugh about
and talk about
and discuss over a hot tea
sheltered and dry
feeling cozy with our friends and loved ones about
and maybe think of those who are no longer with us
or days long gone when things were maybe much better
or much worse
and sigh with nostalgia or relief about
but really
we're mostly not all that bothered by this
and sure
we're not overjoyed either
as we scurry around under our umbrellas
and laugh and run to our schools
and hide in and out of cover
and jump over our puddles
and hop in and out and in and out of our cars and buses
and stare out our windows
and hide under our stairwells and doorways and windowsills
sure

sure

nothing great is happening here, nor anything terrible

it's just the rain
simple normal rain
falling on us all

there but gone


in the corner a bed days spent through satin sheets sniff over through fragrant love regret I said
there was no way last days last years they sway and fade away
last days last years decay
gone now cross lost hell to pay in mass self righteous decay
there goes another and another and a whole plot
left in wrinkles sun withered lost mountain way
paths paths, paths on roads we cannot move or sway
and then ten years and i see her and think
where did that go
sways days gaze aways
where did that go?
where are those two who held each other
in the daze of past days
gone gone gone
long away

a visit to my great aunt


an old woman in a musty house
waited for the doorbell to ring
the food she'd prepared the day before
lay in bowls and dishes on a timeworn table
her hair done up, dressed in her weekend best
make-up on her face that broke your heart
waiting for the door to ring
waiting for a little company
to ease her days

I knocked and she opened the door
a view of the decrepit house
things never thrown away
sepia photos of men in their youth
that sense of frail doom that never leaves the forgotten
the sinister invisible spirit always present
in some corner of the room, like a vulture
the only companion for the lonely
and my heart sank
even though I was smiling
even though you were smiling
even though we made joyous remarks
I saw an old woman in a lonely house
and I felt like I was entering a tomb

I am your niece's son
and I haven't seen you
since I was too small to remember
but you do remember
you remember me and your family
and your friends, though they're now mostly gone
the photos line the cold barren walls of your home
photos of my mother when she was a girl
and my aunt
and your sisters and brothers
the newspapers and books, the little keepsakes
the memories, the poverty, the smell of food
all around us
you made food for me and we ate, I was grateful
you didn't have much
you tried to talk, I tried to talk
awkward, nothing to say
that sinister lonely spirit
eavesdropped on everything we said
and didn't say
because we both wanted to say something we couldn't
something besides what came out of our mouths
I wanted to say... what did I want to say?
I wanted to say that there are people
that we are people
that we are, they are, everywhere
that we all have each other
that we are never alone
we are all around, we are here
don't despair

and the sinister spirit, I swear
it snickered

but I tried to pay it no heed
I wanted to hold you and hug you
I wanted to say it's alright, it's all alright
but I didn't, I couldn't
and I said nothing...
what you wanted to say, I don't know
when I left I promised I'd visit you again
but I never did
and I convinced myself of many excuses
to set my mind at ease

my mother last saw you before you died
alone in a dreary old retirement home
because you couldn't look after yourself anymore
that deathly cold home
without heating, with dirty sheets
with food that was never enough
that never tasted like anything
among strangers
without any loved ones
without a family
without a son or a daughter
by your side
forgotten, alone
death just standing there, by the door
snickering sinister lonely death
standing and staring ghastly in your eyes
by the rickety creaking door
where none but strangers enter anymore
where exit is the only thing
left to hope for

my mother said you were once beautiful
you danced when you were a girl
and you went to school and spoke German
and you worked your whole life
and you never married
never had children
you were alone all your life
when you were strong and young
how time fades and bodies fade with time
how people leave
and the strong never see the moment
they were left behind
and they realize, too late, that life has passed them by
mighty fates hidden in small decisions
accumulated over time
hidden behind the mask of vanity and pride
confront you now
in a cold gray room
and that sinister presence
still lurking in the doorways of a regretful mind

when I heard of your death
I think I felt relieved
but I couldn't understand
why we lost so many people
when so many people were still around
why we lost so many people
so long before their time was out
and I couldn't understand
why I also lost you
when I was one of the few
who still knew you were around
who could still put their arms around you
and hold you
and tell you

that we are people
that there are people
that they are
we are
all around

tree


this tree
so still
under a thousand stars

A post-religious journey through a wasteland


the mall: is a cathedral, an edifice to profane desire, an other life promised in this life; a better life, a happier life, a life of smiles and fun and love (and sex, but hidden) and beauty and health. neon lights in lieu of sunlight through stained glass. the smell of cheap nourishment. virtue abandoned, vices sated, greed and sloth and indolence catered to. large spaces to feel small in. all that is holy can be bought. the opulence has given way to the dispirituality of value-for-money, of bargains and sales. goodness, merit and worth is a specie (upon receipt of which all heaven's gates will open and the uniformed corporate angels on maximum wage will sing the praise of good deals and wondrous bargains). the realm of caesar and the kingdom of heaven unite, and their minions are large, feeble, effete, defeated, empty worshippers at the altar of waste.

the department store: is mass. aisles filled with empty fabricated shells with no substance, no soul, no flesh. plastic and steel frames offering mass deals, mass stock, mass style, mass taste, hanging in rows heeding the visions of holographic hierophants. the carpeted floor, the lonely corners, the intereflecting mirrors expanding space infinitely, sandwiching cortina-ed bodies ogling selves in covers that can't hide wrinkles and bulges and age, age, age... small invisible altars of anti-matter, sanctified emptiness, standing on a profit, two pennies short and the edifice of drywalls, glass, plastic and cardboard comes crashing - always aware of the coming end. imminent commercial apocalypse. loneliness. the loneliness and wonder of small and unimportant places. a race of ravaged people.

the airport: is a pilgrimage. the flightless prepare to fly to a destination that is holy because it is a place that is better than this place; it is warmer there, and friendlier there, and everyone is happier there and everything is simpler, better, easier, and exciting and interesting once again. the airport is the sacred gateway to temporary bliss that lasts as long as the journey lasts, as long as the destination is prolonged, where the pilgrims meditate with their preferred mystical chants streamed through c(h)ords into their ears from personal digital prayer books as they contemplate knowing, seeing, being before the minor priests lead them and guide them on their way into the mighty roaring mechanical monsters that will take them somewhere, everywhere, nowhere.

the gas station: is an haghiasma, a fountain of holy water where the unctuous libels flow into insensate contraptions that know to bow humbly before the exotic, poisonous, intoxicating fumes of incense emanating from steely smooth immobile frames with greedy digital eyes that demand alms, each standing as a monument to speed, struggle, power, practicality, each a silent menace fueling death, destruction, collapse, misery, filth and the coming day of bio-apocalyptic reckoning. the frames with their long snouts and nozzles are silent and unperturbed. they relish the doling out of the poisoned manna, they thrive on the killing of all; we pray, silently, by their side, and then we grant our alms with subservient gestures of helpless obeisance, sucking out and sucking down, sucking out and sucking down, sucking and sucking and sucking...

the street: is the maze of the religious soul, a metaphor turned inside out, meandering, labyrinthine, leading to possibilities, promises, futures that are found on the way, somewheres, anywheres, contingent on chance, random, without reason, futures unexpected, unexpectable, unwanted, undeserved; decisions of a moment, consequences of a lifetime... chasing without end, arriving without destination, scurrying to and fro, fed by the holy springs, guided by a preconceived path, a path and a way and a destiny that has been paved for you, a fate that has been written in tar, giving the illusion of novelty, liberty, independence and freedom. the streets suck you in, they are mesmeric in fuminous trails of pump and turn, pump and turn, pump and pump and pump, and turn.

the hotel: is a limbo, suspended between the streets, the sky, the fuel, the star. heaven is above and hell is below, and everything is cold, barren, dead, utilitarian, functional, soulless, hollow, until you move on, to other times, other places, other faces, and away from the previous strangers and their cold, sallow never-embraces. the carpet, the lights, the room, the bed, the doom the doom the doom... the coffee machine in the corner, like a dark menacing robot, the desk and the man and the uniform, and the smile and thank you and welcome that all cast an unearthly gloom in shadows spanning from room to numbered room.

the stadium: is an evangelical orgy where the fever seizes the many worshippers on ways paved with grass, thousands pray, in unison, one voice, holler, shout, scream, let it out. the spectacles of triumph and glory, the joy, the joy, the heartbreak, the fury, the elemental outpour, a temple built to all the passions and emotions that makes each man become an idol to adore and a sinner to abhor. the waves of sound, the rhythm of voices, the chants and melodic typhoon, sweep you away, in a dithyrambic orgy of frenzied insanity, the heroes, the villians, their armies, their minions, the victory and the defeat, history played out, life laid out, in macroscopic microcosmic surfeit.

the toyshop: is a sacristy = plasticristy. the formative years are formed then taken apart and reformed. the artifact is a relic from the mystic days. the utopic intent, the potential worlds within a world, an afterlife of yellow red and blue superficies. the clean bright colorful box. the childhood image, the room, the store. a universe of imagination. the hours, the days spent building and rebuilding a plastic soul, and promises, futures. visit the plasticristy and spend a moment of silence in the presence of hallowed reliquaries for ages 9 to 12. pick up the boxes, study the boxes, hear the pieces and the plastic cluckle cluckle cluckle. just like they always used to.

the car: daydreams spent in youthful idylls, staring out of windows, at worlds speeding past, hours upon hours, future wide open, opportunities abound, safety and unity, inside, the world remains without, thoughts combine, dance, and then evaporate, your mind can fly, upward, onward, the elements are friends... the wind through the window, the sound of the air, the sunlight on your lap, the empty, happy, mesmeric stare... no matter what, you can remember the moment, remember when it was once all there, before you, ahead of you, the life and dreams, of a world passing by without sorrows, without madness, without haste, without even a care.

the bookstore: the infinite universe, captured in paper, represented in ink, occupying shelves, in a space between walls, things no walls could hold. stories and adventures and imagination, lives that were, lives that have been, and lives that are yet to be, the words of those who lived and loved and shared, who spilled themselves onto pages without any thought for consequences to their name, the brave, the lonely, the ones who saw through reality's glare, and fought the demons of darkness and death and despair... now 50 square feet is all that's there, 50 square feet of heroic silence and retreat, a hearth for the soul, glowing within, by the winter streets, now so withered and bare.

the office: is the cave of industry, shallow graves for aborted dreams, sludging and trudging through mortified depths, of waste, ineptitude, bigotry and greed... the spirit relinquished in silent assent, the life laid low for dishonest means, senseless, useless, wasted breath for things that no one even needs. The rich may flaunt, the powerful may fancy themselves the top of Greek alphabetted tiers, when classes beneath are raped by invisible hands at the ends of strings held by thick meaty claws that grow fat on their slaves' fears, but within the entrails of enterprising dungeons, beneath the sleek gleaming visages of rancid putrid profit-making functions, a giant is asleep, and awaits a dawn shining once more with a promise of justice, and a dignity restored, to this misery of toil and corruption and deceit.

the park: is the empty retreat... the silent spaces, green expanses, places to wonder and wander, the peace of solitude, the escape from duties and commitments, happy sounds, joyful sights, the elderly who have had their time, the young yet to have theirs, the animals oblivious to our worries, the sun on our backs, warming our bones, the light on our faces, the freshly cut grass, wet beneath our feet, and time enormous, time profound, time enough for everything, time, once our nemesis, is kind now... the minutes roll by, the expanses fade, before the quixotic monsters once again crowd around and leave us in towering shades.

home: and so we're back, to our own place, silent and alone, but an adequate little space, something to call ours, something to leave and come back to, somewhere to be who we are, without distractions, without embarrassments, without inelegance or disgrace. Back, here, to dream our dreams and make our plans, for the little time left us, in a world of plastic and steel... and sometimes, grace.