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Monday, November 29, 2010

ONCE GOLDEN





















Poor little phone book
lying unclaimed in the road
tossed from a moving truck
in the general direction of that mailbox
someone was supposed to pick you up
but they said it's just more clutter
and closed the shutter

You were assembled with care
and you had a PURPOSE
in the beginning...
didn't we all

Now
what's left to behold
but the remnants of a wasted life
a tree
needlessly sacrificed
Your pages
once golden
now covered with dust
prematurely yellowed
with age
subjected to the elements
and whipping in the wind
those of us with similar tire tracks
across our backs
can identify

Lying spread-eagled
like a fallen woman
displaying
(ironically)
the section
for escort services
most of us
wanton as we may be
would not prefer to advertise
in such a blatant manner

And I guess it's one thing
to be yellow
from the outset
(or should that be offset?)
but the insult to injury
must surely be
that my dog
has peed on you
numerous times

All of us created with
the best of intentions
and sometimes
the worst of fates

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

SAY THE WORDS







All life is suffering...
the Buddhists say.

Now THERE'S a rosy forecast for ya.
Imagine your TV weatherman saying:
Partly cloudy tonight with a 10% chance of showers--
and the extended outlook:
MISERY THROUGHOUT ETERNITY!

All life is suffering...

And you say to yourself well surely that can't be--
and you try to think back to a time when you were truly happy,
lips fastened to your mother's breast,
until one day, quite by chance, you discover that dad
has been granted the same privileges.
And that is your first taste...
of betrayal.

Time passes...

And it's like a slap in the face the first time you realize
you're not the be all and end all of anybody's universe--
and that girl, that wonderful girl you think about every waking moment
of your day--wondering whether she's thinking of you--
while all the time she's ecstatic because she's planning
a two week trip to Mexico with some of her friends,
that she intends to tell you about the day before she leaves...
and you KNOW that someday she will give you an emotional kick
in the cojones--and you KNOW that it's coming,
and still you stand there with that stupid grin on your face.

All life is suffering...

And you find yourself a woman--a beautiful woman-
and she takes you to her bed and says:
Touch me here,
and ooh, touch me here,
and oh baby, touch me HERE!

And you are beaming in the afterglow
and you say, OH, please SHOW me who you are...
and she says: Don't touch me...THERE.

Time passes...

You trust no one, you believe in nothing,
and life becomes a nasty cycle of dump or be dumped--
and you begin to wonder just when it was that you became numb--
and still you have the unmitigated BALLS
to hope for a happy ending!

All life is suffering...

And soon you've forgotten why you get up in the morning--
you do it by rote, as if you'd be letting the world down if you weren't one
of the masses of asses sitting at the stoplight
trying to find something worthwhile on the radio--
a favorite song---anything to medicate the pain...

Medicate, masturbate, hibernate...

And you get up in the morning and go into work day after day
like a good dog, where the boss treats you like another piece of the furniture
and he almost sits on you and crushes you with his fat ass.

All life is suffering...

And you're convinced that the best thing to be in life
is a masochist--but that doesn't work either because
masochists must surely suffer when they're not in pain.

And if all life is suffering then the question is:
How then must we live?
How then must we live?

And until we find the answer,
this thing that we do--
this spilling of one's guts onto the page,
this POETRY,
becomes your only salvation...
and mine.

For I can take the pain--
work it, shape it, and transform it into a gift
that you will willingly accept
because you know that it's been there all along
like the refrain from a song
that you've heard a thousand times before
but somehow
it's different now...
and all I need to do is say the words.




Saturday, November 20, 2010

FLASH FICTION (Tasty morsels of profundity!)



Women's Intuition

She said: "Who's that man with the whore?"

He said: "That's no whore...that's my wife!"

She said: "Then, who's that man with your wife?"

He said: "Why... that little whore!"


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

2010 ALL SOULS PROCESSION--TUCSON, AZ







The 21st annual All Souls Procession was held in Tucson on Sunday evening, November 7th. Inspired by Mexico's Dia De Los Muertos holiday, All Souls is a bit of Mardi Gras, New Orleans style jazz funeral, and Burning Man celebration rolled into one. It's a time of remembrance for departed loved ones, and a simultaneous celebration of life.
(I'm still learning the fine points of resizing my videos to meet Blogger's requirements, so double click on the the videos below for easier viewing.)

video video videoAt the spectacular finale, members of the Tucson based troupe Flam Chen are lifted high into the air by a giant crane, performing their amazing aerobatics and derring-do without a net. Just below them, a giant urn filled with the names of departed loved ones is set afire. (The young woman twisting and twirling at the end of the silk in this video is a friend of mine!)


Bonus footage!
video

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

THE PARADE NEVER WAITS













Shelter along the cove
palm fronds fretting in the wind
sun beats down
eyes flutter behind darkened lenses
no secrets revealed

Dancing in the courtyard
summer smoke and gin blossoms
arms akimbo for kabuki
no tangos
or wild gang-bangos
for the faint of heart

Along the beach lovers entwine
like snakes that strangle their prey
love me a little
love me a little more
I'm not a lollipop
I'm an all day sucker

We take no prisoners
nor photographs of these encounters
for pride is like a ride
on a lizard's eyelid
the shutter clicks
when you forget to smile

Beyond the fire coyote waits
eyes burning like binary stars
in the morning he will escape
with a piece of your soul

Fair wind and a calypso beat
requiem for the summer's heat
magic spells and voodoo dolls
and dead men smell no tails

Crumpled napkins with lipstick traces
pedal to the metal
heading for open spaces

The parade never waits

Waves pounding the shore
echo the emptiness
phone abandoned in its cradle
like a waif on your doorstep

Staring into your breakfast bowl of Wheat Chex
you are reminded that you are back to square one
standing pat while the river of dreams drifts along in your eyes

Mata Hari
Harry Caray
Howdy Doody

Peewee Herman
Ethel Merman
Punch and Judy

It takes a village
to conduct a really good orgy

Will you stand vigil here
or will you run with the pack
into the black heart of the night?

Already you see the men are restless
and the horses nervous with laughter

The time is ripe
and you are no civilian
in this war

Assemble your brigade
we strike at dawn



Friday, November 5, 2010

FLASH FICTION (tasty morsels of profundity)



















The Ninety-Nine Cent Store was
doing a brisk business... until the
Ninety-Eight Cent Store moved
in across the street. The owner
hung his head and wept. "Why
didn't WE think of that?" he sobbed.


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

LIFE IN THE CITY




















The last eligible Big Shot
quaffs his drink
and strolls from the piano bar
into the incandescent night.

Large folks
who are livin' large
linger at the all-you-can-eat buffet.

A brash lightweight boxer
jitterbugs with his girlfriend
who resembles Olive Oyl
and feels he is in a Popeye cartoon.

The last of the early evening joggers puffs by,
making sedentary bystanders feel like slackers.
She takes a break at the park
where young boys are laughing
and urinating in front of her.
She has lingering questions
about the human gene pool.

Not far away, burning the midnight oil in his office,
the devoted clerk dutifully cooks the books for the boss.

In a modest house in a middle-class neighborhood,
mom cooks macaroni and cheese again tonight,
cutting corners, though the family's income
is close to the median figure for the area.

 Next house over,
upstairs in her bed,
Janie dreams of her teenage lover
and draws pentagrams in her school notebook,
ignoring the history assignment for tomorrow.

The big shot, ensconced in his cozy pad,
calls his almost-ready-to-leave-him girlfriend
and makes an offer she cant refuse.
Tickets to an off-Broadway show
and a spacious hotel suite.
Though his hopes of buying her love for a lifetime are illusory, 
he is thick-skinned, and will play his hand.

Outside a convenience store
two clerks on break trade jokes.
Cigarette smoke hangs in the air
like an unanswered question.
They speculate about global warming and toxic sludge.
A customer approaches, intent on drawing himself a Slurpee.

Movie goers spill from the lobbies,
the soles of their shoes gummy with unknown substances,
the boxer and his beanpole among them.
Embellishing his record, he regales her
with tales of pugilistic prowess.

In a huge tent at the edge of town,
a "Man of God" spits stormy, incendiary words,
dogmatizing the meaning of life--
working his congregation into a frenzy
custom designed for those who would consign their minds.
Then, the laying on of hands,
with special attention awarded to teenage girls.

A gentle breeze passes
and the night settles 
into a respectful silence.

Alone in her apartment,
the jogger snacks on a rice cake.
Her biological clock is ticking,
and she feels 
that she is running
out of time.

The large folks who are livin' large
have torn themselves away
from the all-you-can-eat buffet,
driving away
in their Hummers and SUVs--
muttering about the price of gas.

The city encroaches daily
on all that grandpa held dear.
And somewhere in a ravine,
the last wolverine
dismembers the unsuspecting
plumbers helper,
while the man in the moon
looks down...
and smiles.