Friday, April 28, 2017

9454. YES, THAT WILL BE FINE, I AM QUITE SURE

YES, THAT WILL BE 
FINE, I AM QUITE SURE
Oh do I have a thing about these late-night
reveries. I stand up, too late, and far. My
mind goes away. What stays is merely me.
All good things to the fore, the world is
changed. I harbor no doubts or anguish.
-
Someday, I tell myself, I want to write a
thousand new pages in one of these sittings -
where the moon peeks in, and where all those
daylight birds outside my window are now 
somewhere else in their dark.
-
There's a sound the night makes which speaks
only to my soul. Un-toiled and easy, I stay
awake thinking : family ties and not, stories
and lies, the lot. Every human parcel of what
I've ever been comes back to take a solace
in my being. Sense is grace in these terms.
-
No haste, no rushing, there is nothing.
That will be fine, I am quite sure.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

9453. SAFE TO SAY

SAFE TO SAY
That noose was not hanging
on the tree limb yesterday.
How did it get there now?
My best intentions were to
keep that away. Have I failed?
Cheerios and caterwauls, high-fives
and good-luck kisses. All those
people who are my pains in the
asses, here they come again.
-
I've shined the belly-crap out of
this silver-plate, and I swear it's
brighter now than ever. Amen to
that and let's read a book together.
Someday, baby, it's just you and me.
-
Over the ledge, someone has thrown
a bundle. I can only wonder what it is.

9452. THE MENDICANT

THE MENDICANT
The private penance of taking 
from you, much like a beggar in these 
medieval streets. Flagellants and moaners, 
all those ex-king's-horsemen bewailing 
their fates. The moated walls and the
old solid bricks are all gone. We have
garments now thicker than that. 
And that is all that's left.
-
Such, such, how even language has
grown downward : we speak for
moments of message but have lost
the verbal elixir of paramount love.
Enforcement, and the sharing of
presence. I find this globe too lonely.
Find for me again, the ancient oak.

9451. PASS THE HAT

PAST THE HAT
Beneath that tree, the angel.
There was a magic gift brought
forth, as I tried being gentle  -  and
the voice said to me, 'You need do 
nothing, just wait, and it will be
coming to you.' Treasured words,
if only they were true. I believed 
nothing of it at all; but if you won't
believe an angel, who will you believe?

9450. BUSONI SCORE

BUSONI SCORE
Streetscape city-slogger, that's the one. 
Me. And so, from that, I've met Goethe,
and Aladdin too. It's just like this in the
nether world I live. Music, being the
food of life, I starve. Or something.
-
People walk away, shuddering  -  too
hard to read and too strange to understand, 
thatman with the three left hands and the
St. Micahel smile. Oh Lord, why me?
-
My radio plays 1962. And I cannot get out.

9449. FOR THE LIFE OF ME

FOR THE LIFE OF ME
(soldiers)
I guess, it is, the fact, reveals :
for the life of me I've settled for
too little. 'Guns and butter,' as
they used to say in the Johnson
years. It was a type of 'either-or,'
but they never knew it. Money for
murder in Vietnam, or money at
home for things on the table.
-
I just went on. Walked away with my
head held high  - some screwed-up
High-Noon showdown with the metal
men in their military towers. I couldn't
even believe these guys went home
at night, and talked to their children
and made love to their wives.
-
Nothing made sense. Whitehall Induction
Center, and then Broad Street, Newark.
They had me locked up in chains, like
Charlie Manson and me were friends, 
or at least the Boston Strangler and me
hung out. The guy driving never spoke
at all. The two others guys, in their
military lapels, all they did was smoke.
Their pinched-lip, greasy-faced logic
spewed forth in a Stalinesque version
of alternate reality I didn't understand.
-
'Our country needs defending but not 
from the likes of you. You will be showed 
the way or showed the door...' Yeah, yeah,
that was the point  -  I'd already chosen the
door but they didn't get it. The horror for
me became the fact that they didn't even
realize where the damn door was. In that
vein, fifty-eight thousand others died.

9448. COME FORTH

COME FORTH
Come forth from the King of the Past the
man said  -  he nodded as he talked. I'd
seen others who spoke like that, and never
liked it at all. Pedantic nitwits and the
know-it-all sorts. Up front of the room,
everyone was watching him, but no one
cared. If Lucifer had a pale brother,
it could have been him.
-
So I listened as I boned up on his math.
Not the kind of thing I liked to do; the watching
of his dumb chalk-dust fly, noticing his nerves
of steel, the pointed attitude he kept towards
all things 'beneath' him. I was willing to
bet he'd not had sex until he was 26.
-
That's the sort of white trash we get left with
now  - the right and most proper ones, who
call it all down. Ring around the rosy, a
pocketful of posies; ashes, ashes, we
all wear a frown.

9447. EARL OF ORANGE

EARL OF ORANGE
At five in the morning I don't want 
to know much. The slide-show of a
new sun coming up, and the daylight
slowly blossoms, as I realize it's only
already another six weeks before it
all starts sliding backwards again.
Boy, am I a pessimist.
-
All that glass half-empty or glass
half-full stuff, oh that burns me up;
wise-guys pretending it's so very
important how you answer one way
or the other : I always figure, after
thinking it through, no matter HOW
you answer, either way you look at
it that glass is twice as big as it
needs to be.

9446. TOO MANY JOKES OUTSDE

TOO MANY JOKES OUTSIDE
It's here, the cold has gone away and the
new sky tries breaking; flowers and the
rest all lined up and ready to go. I
guess that's how it's done. Who's
running a restaurant with a garden 
outdoors? Not me. They want to
bring in a  -  what they call  -  
'Luthier.' For some medieval
and mystical musical touch. At
first, I thought thy meant some guy
to start reading from a self-translated
Bible. Could be fun, Luther and all.
'In the beginning was the worried'.
Like that....and God said, 'let that be,
right?' All sorts of funny stuff.
-
Just over there, ruining the entire
God-damned scene (another joke), is
the asphalt truck the town keeps bringing
by. Paving the Dickens out of some new
garden to make it look 'au naturel.' As
soon as the bulbous town worker said
that, I knew it was wrong and he too had
screwed up. Unless he was paving in
the nude. But then again, how did Adam
and Eve get those fig leaves to stick?
And why? I figure they already knew 
what was there. 'Stand back, Eve, I
don't know how big this thing gets.'
First night fun in the Hotel Eden.
-
A priest, a minister, and a rabbi are 
playing golf. The rabbi excels, the 
other two stink. 'How'd you get so 
good?' they ask. He answers, 'You
have to convert, and go to temple
school. They do so, and a year later,
playing again, they still stink.
-
The rabbi says, 'Where'd you go?'
They say, 'Temple Beth Orr.' H
scoffs  -  'No, no, you have to go
to Morath Shira. Beth Orr is
for tennis.'

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

9445. HOBO NOMENCLATURE

HOBO NOMENCLATURE
The first to claim will be the first to get.
Harry's his name, and he ain't dead yet.
-
Darned if you do yet damned if you
don't. He told me that's what they
mentioned as they handed him food.
I said, 'Well, they will, or thy won't.'
-
I figured the Constable was from
Constantinople and that was where
the misunderstandings stemmed.
-
The law can't be one thing here and 
another thing there -  or maybe it can?
It seems that's always how those fool
guys get themselves in trouble.
-
Not enough to be playful; maybe only
with dogs or cats. These three men were
doing number puzzles under the sheeted
remains of the place they had slept.
Making fun of names. Soduku? Kendo?
I think that's what I heard.
-
The first to claim will be the first to get.
Harry's his name, and he ain't dead yet.

9444. HADES COUNTY, GEORGIA

HADES COUNTY, GEORGIA
Went there once with a ringer from
home : two derelict Jersey kids on
a trolling exposition. Feeding on
snakes and dolphins and fire water
too. Got tangled up in something 
ugly as it all went down. If Georgia
has its Iliad, if Georgia has its 
Odyssey, I'm in them both.
-
I don't have a gentle poker hand.
I slap and growl and throw 'em down.
They eat at pretzels who try to stay
calm. The lights go out where the
Devil went down.

9443. NOW IN THE SUMMER SUN

NOW IN THE 
SUMMER SUN
The light is blinding and my
heart, it soars. I left the ground
so long ago. This new green
oasis, so rich  -  I want to
call it home.

9442. TOUCH MY SHOES

TOUCH MY SHOES
Break them, oink them, grease them
and polish them too. I don't care what
you do. We can put them on a clothesline
as art if you'd like. My shoes have paid
dues. They have a right to be anywhere.
What I'm talking about is the blue-sky
path to my new harem. There, you have
to take your shoes off. Go ahead. Break
them, oink them, grease them and polish.
I don't care what you do. We can put them 
on a clothesline, if you'd like, as art. My
shoes have paid dues. They have a right
to be anywhere. What I'm talking about
is the blue-sky path to my new harem.
There, you have to take your shoes off.
Go ahead. Break them, oink them....
Well, you get the gist, and you can do
this all day; ad infinitum, as they say.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

9441. ARMIES OF FIVE

ARMIES OF FIVE
Like a bitch, my teeth hurt, my
tongue rots, and I can't swallow 
things. It's five past whatever it
was five past yesterday at this 
time.  And. I. No. Longer. Care.
Bring me those breach-birth
forceps here, and let my put
two dents into your new kid's
skull. 'Gripper-holes' we can
call them  -  starting something
new. Like. A. Trend. A tattoo
under my tongue that reads,
'under my thumb.' Yes, it's a
mistake, but we knew it was 
wrong and no one would see
it here. O. U. C. H.
-
I want to marvel at the 
Marvelettes, and wonder at 
the Stevie Wonders in your
mind. C'mon, baby, let's go
downtown; we can watch
the hot dogs on the grill.

9440. MY UNCLE SAID

MY UNCLE SAID
My uncle said to me, 'You are full of
pain.' We were driving in his Chevrolet,
a new, company-supplied Impala, about
1966. I didn't say anything back, yet
I knew he was probably right.
-
I suppose it was a good intention 
that made him say that; even though 
he was usually pretty angry and harsh. 
But, if it brought to him some satisfaction,
I guessed I didn't mind, and I'd survive. 
I just didn't know why it always had
to be me who was born the martyr.
-
I could have turned on him, grabbed
the wheel and crashed us into a tree or
a guardrail, after smashing his foot 
down on the gas for a high-speed crash.
What could he do about it? In reality,
he was just as much my captive too.
-
There were ten or so years, back then, 
I didn't care to go living on; just wasn't
man enough to do it to myself. Yeah, you
get like that around the magic lights of
singular space and time  -  when you're
that different that the whole world mauls
you, twists and ruins everything up.
-
It's a certain form of speechlessness that
takes over - just nothing worth saying or
talking about, everything is dead or dying
or Death itself already. Who wants to live
in a swamp like that, especially being 16
or so and full of life in so many other 
ways. Destiny and fate together; they
conspire, and they really suck.
-
I wanted to just walk off, after calling him
a jerk. But I couldn't  -  there's always a
certain level of respect that stays in place,
even though he wasn't blood or anything to
me; just a guy who married in by marrying
one of my crazy, ridiculous aunts. Nothing
to do; the type of thing you stay with.
-
I've always wanted to just stop things, and
sit people down and really talk  -  not just 
talk, but level with them. Past all niceties
and manners  -  about the meanings of life 
and time and matter and being. Yes, I know
all that stuff. I come from another place, 
and those answers are built right in, all
'hardwired' as you guys now would say.

9439. FREE UP THE TATTERSALL

FREE UP THE TATTERSALL 
The broken man wears his fabric out :
a shirttail shirt gleaming in the light,
an Irish rover who can never grow dim.
I dip to groan. I imbibe the jive. I
hip to hop. The next tongue I see,
I swear, it gets chopped.
-
There's no origin like an old origin,
all made up and filled with crap. I 
once lived here, and I did all that.

9438. THERE IS NOTHING LEFT

THERE IS NOTHING LEFT
In my land there is nothing left. The
martyrs have all been taken out, and
only a few Spring birds are singing. This
land is lit by the TV light and a million
empty faces staring down. At the end
of every street, there is a trench.
-
Magicians once used to gather; talking
softly among themselves over ways of
making things disappear. Come back.
Disappear again. Almost at will, they
too are now dispersed to shadows.
-
There's a balloon man who comes 
around my block  -  he wanders empty, 
with nothing in his sack. Were he Santa 
Claus, he'd get away with that, but as it 
is  -  and as he is not  -  he too is now a 
wanted man. Shame, and fie on that.
-
In Frenchtown once I went into the 
decoy store. Nice old guy, gay as a
stick, running the place by telephone.
Duck decoys, carved and painted,
everywhere. Thousands of dollars
each, not at all and nothing cheap to
be thought about. His planned deals
were all upon the telephone; the store
was just a place, for browsers and the
'Frenchtown types' who come around.
-
I stayed an hour as he kept on talking.
I'd seen his type before  -  like any old
Greenwich Village flamer, ready to bond
forever with the latest guy he'd seen. I get
a kick out of those types, and can never
get enough. it's all a memory now, yet
I know he's still there now. Talk is
the show, and the show is all talk.
-
Anyway, back to the rest : there is nothing
left. we've run out of spices and gold;
we've exhausted the mortars and pestles,
and the claviers and harpsichords, 
they too have now disappeared.

9437. THE MAN WHO ATE NAILS

THE MAN WHO ATE NAILS
For lunch, maybe, but not much else.
Breakfast as a feast of red jelly. Dinner
with a cracker and eels. Here's where
he sat, three times a day, tapping
drum-rolls on a fast-food table.
-
He's gone now. Livid, angry, and 
wild.  Stormed out like a joker 
in a deck-full of queens.

Monday, April 24, 2017

9436. THE GREAT INDUSTRIAL MARKER

THE GREAT 
INDUSTRIAL MARKER
They've found the way now to make
paper from steel  -  for hard-hearted 
letters and bad-news notes. Right
here, at this bleak table where we
sit ordering wine, the menu is made
out of cork. It gets difficult to read,
but after a few uses is cheap enough
to throw away and replace. But there
are shadows on these forms that time
cannot erase : missives of philosophy,
and notes of dread and anguish.
-
When I was a young boy, thinking only
of being a clown, no one ever told me
about sadness and sorrow. I had to learn
them on my own. Now here I sit, to
order a red wine that's as deep-colored
as blood and caustic as the lye that
will eat through this cork.
-
I lean over and mention how I
love respectable failures : how only
the ones who have reached out and
tried can count as victory their failure
seen as loss  -  and by others discarded,
by others tossed. There is the site, I
mention, of the very best Pyrrhic victory,
to be.  Like the phoenix on this label, 
who rises from the embers of flame
and fury, only to rise again and be.

9435. THE SUPERMARKET OF THE SEVEN DEADLY SINS

THE SUPERMARKET OF THE 
SEVEN DEADLY SINS
I went shopping therein. In the supermarket
of the seven deadly sins. I found avarice
and greed, easily enough, alongside pride 
and envy. The clerk in the next aisle told
me to stop handling the lust. 'It only leads
to another form of gluttony,' he said, quite
matter-of-factly, as if he knew. One row,
over, despair and wrath lurked. I told the 
girl there I was seeking vainglory. She said,
smiling,' I think it's over there, by sloth.'

9434. LIFE IS NOT LITERAL : LIFE IS A METAPHOR

LIFE IS NOT LITERAL:
LIFE IS A METAPHOR
And that's the truth. So don't
get stuck encumbered. Wear 
your cravat and that tumble-down
coat with your patent-leather
shoes to the rock and mineral
show whenever you choose.
-
There's no shadow where the
diligent crawl. Lines and light
are on the walls of the cave, and
everything means something else.

9433. HANDED FROM WILBERSON

HANDED FROM WILBERSON
Mystery of all mysteries, I sit in
this fabled chair, Again. Alone.
Like a tyrant or a fabled tiger
from Asia. Paper. Tiger. My
motto is, 'Let them do it alone.'
As the tattoo on Lanny's forearm
says. It's in a form of pidgin
English. Looks. More. Like
Gibberish. Or Dilligaf, which
was big in the biker world 50
years ago. Boy, I could never
get that one. 'Does It Look Like
I Give A Fuck.' Yeah, that's what
it meant but you were supposed
to know that and not ask. I
guess now the new kids use
LMFAO. Same thing?
-
Well, I gotta say, what do I care?
I dislike the world  -  was going to
say 'hate,' instead of dislike, but
why commit so wholeheartedly?
Especially if I'm not supposed
to care. Either way, six will get
you ten. Like the billboards used
to say, 'Things go better with Coke.'
Or, as they say it now, TGBWC.
-
What whacko shit is everywhere. 
No one knows me like I know 
myself, and I can't get anyone going
anyways. All today's kids want to 
do is meet their peers and disappear.
Me? I'd like to stay around : got gas
in the car, a bunch of stuff to read,
food to eat, and some people around
who love me, enough anyway to let
me be. And that's the main condition.
As. I. It. See.
-
I want to start a movement, begin a
revolution, preach insurrection to the
crowds. But I can't even get a nod
from an abbot; a freaking monk won't
notice me. Nobody reads what I write.
It dies like some bad fruit on a limb,
still hanging there by late November.
No one sends me cards or letters. The
real kind I mean, on paper and a stamp.
It's no secret where I live, I think I've
made that clear. Now, this late hour
beckons. Every Night. All. Over.
Again. I ought to do something
about it.  Get a new address,
I guess.
-
There's a bag of Kingsford Charcoal
on my neighbor's porch. They left
it there the other day, when the
delivery guys brought the new
Weber in. I could steal it, the
charcoal; but what would I do?
I've got nothing to burn and I don't
don't eat meat  -  that's the stuff
you grill, I suppose.
-
There are certain dichotomies I'm
always trying to divest myself of.
The bearer of life is the same
as the bearer of death. Two sides of
the whole. That's. Us. I. Figure.
Duality like that can pin-prick a
bubble and make it go out.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

9432. SPIRITUAL TANGENT

SPIRITUAL TANGENT
Duke Ellington wrote 'Black, Brown, and
Beige' in 1937, maybe '39. I'm not too
clear. It had its break-through points
for sure. One time, singing the melody
to an older composer, Will Marion Cook, 
he was told to 'Reverse your figures.' It
was a mix-up; Cook didn't get it  -  using
old Brahmsian principles of variation and
development, while Ellington was doing 
the breakout, to leave all that behind.
Cook was inversion and retrograde,
while Ellington was new fire and
steam. Blazing right along. 
Real 'A-train' stuff.

9431. I AM THE WARBLER

I AM THE WARBLER
There's is no compromise intended:
I will stay and sing. This is a new
half-dark, here, beneath the eaves
as the sun declines. I've not gathered
any rays, but I know that old warmth
stays within me. Sit here too.

9430. NEW PICTURES FROM THE OLD CARNIVAL

NEW PICTURES FROM 
THE OLD CARNIVAL
We built this rocket so crookedly askew,
so built of nails, it can't possibly fly. Or
soar. Or rise to any heights. Let us call 
it the 'Crash Land' as our allegorical
relief. Sent aloft at Cape Carnival, 
here.
-
Nope, they won't build monuments to 
this one when it's over. That crash-land 
will be on some mountain grand : bits
and pieces of everything everywhere.
Piloted by Shady O'Grady, but who 
elected him?

9429. LANCEMAN CUMMINGS

LANCEMAN CUMMINGS 
That's what we're gonna' do and
that's how it's gonna' be : you just
take the knife and cut. Once it's out,
you recoup; no use in tolerating
it now. On the parallel oasis, you
will note, they've already severed 
those distended vines.
-
There is no waiting for petulance 
like this to come again : the idea 
of politics is man represented by 
the State. That's an evil disclosure 
and it must be stopped. Do you
want me to tell you what you have?
Cancer, a stain on your conscience.
-
Nor is he march of time is the March
of Dimes : so then, collecting dimes 
and pennies won't suffice. The spirit
needs to grab the tendrils, the heart
and soul must run together.