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Tuesday, June 23, 2015

INVISIBLE MAN








It was getting harder to detect my image
in the mirror 
as anything recognizably human.
I wasn't disappearing, 
exactly. 
It had been years since the last attack.
Making matters worse, 
I came back here to write this--
and forced him to drive 
to whereabouts unknown.


Do you remember the car wreck scene?
I went kind of nuts
and took a baseball bat
to every mailbox on that road.


I still do not have a clue as to what my mission is.


But it was a good thing
I wore what I did.
He thinks I'm the bad guy. 
But I am merely part of the process.


To wit: 
We were sitting around one evening after tea
cutting the air with farts and exotic bird calls
when suddenly it hit me
that each of us is going to get his nut
in his own way
no matter should aunt Gertie disapprove--
right, my little droogies?  


The next day I waylaid myself over the head 
with a hammer.
How do you think it happened?
I spend a lot of time online...
do the math, dipshit.


One of the nurses banged
on the door. 
They ran about a million tests. 
You don't want to know. 
And then, people started falling,
And then...nothing.


You're fine. 
Drink some water.
I transported myself back to that summer.
I'd stood against the back, 
right by the exit.
I'm putting an end to this, I said.
I smelled the smoke. 
I thought it was romantic
in a demented sort of way.


You know how The Game is played. 
Catch me if you can... 
but be advised
I've still got that hammer, man. 

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

POETRY LIVES !




Imaginary Garden With Real Toads





They said that poetry was dead
because most of its superstars
were similarly indisposed.
But they never figured on you
and they never figured on me
to breathe some life back
into that exquisite corpse.
So fix me a salad, Caesar,
for I come to praise poetry--
not to bury it.

Poetry works for the way we live today.
It's bite-sized and makes for
a handy snack, when even the
Cliff Notes version of War and Peace
is bound to give us indigestion.

Prose stands on the corner
and waits for the bus.
Poetry glides by in a pink Cadillac convertible.
Prose beats around the bush
for chapter upon endless chapter.
Poetry says get to the point, SUCKAH,
I haven't got all day!
(If you hold your breath waiting
for the epiphany in prose,
you WILL turn purple.)

A poem has weight--
either heavy or light--
and a poem has depth,
having welled up from somewhere
deep inside you.
You can tell by the way
a poem sits upon the page
whether it's something you
want to sit with.

Poetry is highly individualistic--
no two snowflakes, and no two poems
about snowflakes are exactly alike.
Failed poetry, at the very least,
assists in perfecting one's
trash basket set shot.

Here is a sure-fire formula
for making a poem...
On a sheet of white paper
place several black dots
at random and varying
lengths from one another.

The dots are now your periods.

Connect the dots with words
and you have a poem.

Many of the world's most treasured
works were created in just this manner!

It is incumbent upon the poet
to tell the truth--even when
his truth never really happened--
and even bad poetry is good
when compared with a political speech.

As Gregory Corso said,
"Poetry is the opposite of hypocrisy."

And that's the truth.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

STUPID ME



While strolling about the county fair
that fading American tradition
more reminiscent of bygone days when
folks still believed the games weren't rigged
and the outcome not a foregone conclusion
amidst
the wafting odors from myriad booths
hawking fast and greasy food,
the blaring of a country song that goes
"Jack Daniels kicked my ass last night"
the undulating belly dancers onstage
 being viewed by scattered patrons
resting weary legs on foldout metal chairs,
I spotted a sign that read
ARE YOU GOING TO HEAVEN?
FIND OUT FREE (by answering two brief quiz questions)
and I stood there slack-jawed gazing at
a line of people who were willing to bite on it,
and then moved on, figuring smugly
I knew pretty much what that was going to be about,
but then got to thinking
if all the poets and philosophers
down through the ages
who had ruminated on that very question
could be here now...I mean, who knew
that two crusty-lookin' dudes in cowboy hats
in a booth at the county fair would hold the key--
the definitive answer for every soul
in attendance on a personal basis...
(The Lord works in mysterious ways)
it boggles the mind,
it truly does,
and stupid me,
I walked away without finding out.



Monday, May 4, 2015

TO THE TEXAS GUNMEN




By now you have discovered
much to your chagrin
that there are no virgins--
only Joan Rivers 
(far from what you had imagined)
and you are trapped with her
inside this little room
where she is telling you
every rude and biting one-liner
she ever came up with
on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on 
throughout eternity
if need be 
until one day
a light will switch on
inside your head
and you will grin from ear to ear
at long long long long long long long long long long long long 
last
as you are finally beginning to grasp
The Cosmic Joke

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

BALTIMORE BURNING

  1. Imaginary Garden With Real Toads



Unfortunately
meaningful social change
has always been accompanied
by great upheaval
and unrest

because

Unfortunately
polite entreaty
doesn't seem to effectively
 gain the attention of those
 entrenched in the
 arrogance of power

and

Unfortunately
from Bunker Hill
to Selma
to Kent State
to Watts
to Ferguson
to Baltimore
the pattern has always been the same

and

Unfortunately
when voices
(the voice of the people)
fall upon deaf ears
the decibel level must be increased
to a level that may cause sharp pain
in the eardrum
to a level that will make them turn
grimace
and glare at you
like an angry parent
and say at long last

ALRIGHT THEN...
WHAT THE FUCK IS IT YOU WANT?





Saturday, April 25, 2015

WAVING AT THE WIND


WAVING AT THE WIND
Now you may think me daffy
and ripe for the loony bin
but I see women
walking through walls
and waving at the wind

On the other side
I asked her
if she might be inclined
to show me how she does it
before I lose my mind

She said uh uh
you can't do it
I hate to spoil your fun
but my head is harder than yours
and that's just how it's done

sometimes I sit up late at night
and o'er her words I mull
'bout the vagaries of the sexes
and the thickness of one's skull

my life's the same
I'd have to say
'cept for downing a spot of gin
when I see those women
walking through walls
and waving at the wind 





Saturday, April 18, 2015

THE PLOT THICKENS



It has come to my attention
as it does from time to time
that I'm much fonder of plot driven
narrative than characterization that goes
on and on and on and on and on and on
and in the end what are you left with
but the same pathetic slob you met in the beginning
in the same place in his life
only he's had some slight epiphany
or not
like all of the postmodern gunk
I used to wade through
hoping against hope
that SOMETHING would happen
anything
but in the end it just ends
and you're left feeling cheated
the way you feel
at the end of a love affair
cuz in the end that's just how it ends

up in the air

so why do we always want more than
what's possible
riding off into the sunset
everything neat and tidy
just give me something messy
The Big Bang will do fine
and I'll keep myself busy
picking up the pieces

Anyway here's what I made away with from my most
recent excursion to the public library's used book sale:

THE PARIS REVIEW BOOK OF HEARTBREAK,
MADNESS, SEX, LOVE, BETRAYAL, OUTSIDERS,
INTOXICATION, WAR, WHIMSY, HORRORS, 
GOD, DEATH, DINNER, BASEBALL, TRAVELS
THE ART OF WRITING, AND EVERYTHING ELSE
IN THE WORLD SINCE 1953 (and that is the title)

750 pages for a damn buck
cheap thrills
goddamn cheap
and there's Updike
Nabokov
Capote
William Burroughs
Ezra Pound
Ginsberg
Mailer
Hemingway
Henry Miller
and Stanley Elkin
whom I've always liked
just to name a few
and did you know that John Updike has a poem called
"Two Cunts In Paris"
oh
and I also picked up Leslie Marmon Silko's Almanac Of The Dead
Stephen King's The Long Walk (lotta dead folks in there too)
and Ian McEwan's Saturday (which I finished on a Monday)
and God I swear that plot is so incidental to McEwan
(HE SPENT SEVENTEEN PAGES DESCRIBING A GAME OF SQUASH!)
but I waded through it anyway
I stuck with it cuz that's one of my flaws
giving the benefit of the doubt to
most anyone
till they prove me stupid

which most eventually do...

And I know I'm relinquishing
all claim to literary snobbishness
by telling you this
but I'll guarantee ya Scheherazade
kept things lively and moving
and just like that Persian king
I'm still here
after all this time
starry-eyed and hanging
on every word
with childlike wonder
(or naivete)
waiting to find out what comes next