Wednesday, June 29, 2022


I watched another sunrise, with
my eyes closed  -  a tedious and
terrible task. Sitting back in an
old, cranky, chair, with my face
being washed by the damp morning
air. It seemed as cold as ice, though 
it was actually very nice. A few
million morning birds made their
usual chatter, so it seemed.
Nothing was the matter.
Then I remembered the place and
the task, and the problems, at last.
Once again I awoke to the matters:
tedious and terrible things. Leaving
too much, as it were, in tatters.


Somehow, within the reaches of a
fabulatory dreamtime, that was me
hitting the ground. Why? I do not
know. How, neither. If it was a jump,
how could I jump from a place as
low as this? Certainly no precipice.

Tuesday, June 28, 2022


Well and whatever. Martin Luther 
was the King of Diamonds, and 
Melachthnon was his heir apparent.
Or so I was told, I think. Information
like that doesn't much stick; far too
technical and unsatisfying to me.
I stood in a classroom ten feet tall.
The chairs were made of 'vermiculite.'
I never knew what that was either.
Like Diatomaceous Earth, a glandular
mystery forever to me.


See that this happens, happenstance;
I stand by the window just watching.
The lights are bright, as well they
might be : cars, travelers, vacationers,
and vacillators. Too. Everyone aligns
themselves with the starry bright.
Hey! I haven't worn a coat in two
months, and that's a real switch. It's
June, and I'm still wearing my boots?
The fireman waltzes by, and he wears
what I never have : that tan-heavy
fireman's coat, and boots, the sort of
outfit they fight fires with. Actually
against. But you get the gist.

Monday, June 27, 2022


And I can't speak a word, nor understand
the qualifications of whatever definition
of what the words are supposed to have.
I'm lost in a forest fire, fleeing flames
fleeter than me.
If I knew what to say, maybe I'd say it;
composing definitions and phrases that 
click, wondrous sub-clauses with dashes
and parentheses too. As it goes, alas, along
its way my own stupid tongue is tied and 
silent. I can't move a thing, nor lift a finger 
to rearrange the situation.
If there's a fire on the moon, I'll take 
it. Boasting of flames in a place where 
there's no oxygen at all.

Sunday, June 26, 2022


I don't know where any of this has come 
from. My aim has been pretty good, and I
always thought my shots killed the enemy. 
Now, the avenger arises. I'm sunk.
Here's the medallion that lets me in. You
can have it; I'm tired of all that stuff. My
mind now is lethal, I'm up to no good, I'm
savage and aimless and acting not good.
I'm joining Montrazet, and Carazou too.
Outlaw criminals - that's all that they do.

Saturday, June 25, 2022

14,382. OLD MAN

Circumstance and want and age
regroup around us and about, to
stage the odd rekindling of our
hearts - and make our minds
subservient. (The master is the
slave, the slave the master).
So turns the matter  -  we are
in our domain, or that domain
is in us. No one knows the
answer, yet we renege.
Circumstance and want and 
age distort; our memory into 
an instant visage freezes. We 
retell a liar's tale expanded or 
determined by its ending and 
how it will be told. Knowledge
know no end, and truth is gold.
Our age, then, gold! We cannot
bother over guilt or guile or
innocence either. The old man
gathers string and, talking to
himself, relives his war or
wedding day or fling : Main
actions ruled by him who was so
vast, back in his day. Whatever
that year, let it stay what it may.
Circumstance and want and age
revenge upon us  -  babbling like
an idiot until silent as a corpse.
We bleed our lives, blood empty,
and disperse out little force upon
the sheets. And then, alas, like 
a Winter of dread ramming a
Summer of joy, it is over.
Neither Lenten lists nor our
abstentions can redeem us ,
(wood and trunk and anvil and
gruel). Native, be no villain,
neither be no fool.
Age and age and age detract.
Our powdered head disperses 
into flakes. Our age and age 
and age pulls thin, gets taut,
then breaks. The old man? He
gathers string, and mutters on.


It is said that we are flesh and
blood, and I suppose then we 
are. But, to my mind, spirit 
comes first and predominates.
We are nothing but that.
Contemplate the farthest reaches
of where you may have gone: 
How thoughts and miraculous 
moments are manifested  - where
ideas go, how objects are changed.
Even the settings of our mental
hearts are not fixed settings.
I sit at a table, here, playing with
matches. As of old, when there
used to be an ashtray on every
table. The cafe thoughts carry
the onus, but the present day
always wins out in the end.


I was born in the rain, fully clothed.
My mother said I was quite a surprise,
and not only to her alone. Now that
part's over. I return sprinkling red
pepper on my face. Mostly I'm too
tired to care if it burns.
There's no chemistry in the chemistry
lab, and they no longer put joy in the
Almond Joys. Seems as if the whole
world'S somehow shifted. I meddle
with anything I can, but still wake
up freezing. Or maybe that's better
said as screaming. Yes! I still wake
up screaming.

Friday, June 24, 2022


The ravishment of a moment is 
a simple call, and we can never
go home with that which we came.
An empty heart is an empty mind.
Let us take it all, and keep what we
find, before the moment runs out.

Thursday, June 23, 2022

14,378. OF LATE

Of late my life's been turned
upside down, and it ain't over
yet. The backyard school of 
the Yeti's is still throwing me
lessons to learn. They're already
dirgeful and I want no more.
Death is a Kingship over a 
lousy kingdom : The paths 
are all wanton and there's
no reach in site. Nothing
leads anywhere except
Heavenward, one hopes,
and I'm losing my fight.

Tuesday, June 21, 2022

14,377. TURNED-IN

As an opposite, with no
disregard for motive but plenty
of motive to disregard, I enter
the realm of felicity. Sometimes
living is no living at all.
I can notice - or want to - when
the workmen come, and the 
painters and the bakers and the 
clerks. They each enter these 
buildings for work.
Some with hands held high 
in greetings, they seem mostly 
to all know each other. Repeated 
undertakings and daily meetings;
ships passing in the daylight hours. 
Any hurry seems to hurt, as they 
enter, steady, and in concert  - not
as one but as many between them.
Tedium along the concourse,
but with a rumble and a din.

Monday, June 20, 2022


Wait here while I disappear,
I'm sorry for ever having lived.
Wayward reasoning got me nil.
The end is always near.
So many things have managed
to happen, in the time its takes
for nothing at all. How do we
survive all that? Read this like
a catalogue of remnants from
a store that never opened.

Sunday, June 19, 2022


A birdseed wiseguy listens to
a birdseed lullaby. And it's all
a revisionist lie. Oh me, oh my!
The most simple revisionism can 
be the worst, and the most very
effective as well  -  since it works
by feeing on the brains of the low.
Once even The Beach Boys were
used as a working tool : Thirty
years ago they were presented
as a beleaguered group of boys
tormented by a driven dad intent 
on forcing them into their musical
stardom. Now that's all forgotten.
That Father is long gone now, and
the revised version has genius son
Brian Wilson, winging it, slightly
crazed, past all that Smiley Smile
bullcrap and into Good Vibrations.
Which is probably about a dildo,
we'll be told in another ten years.
The story's been changed three times
over, and all to make the point. The
point, however is of pointlessness
itself. That all bring our ends anyway.
How well we revise what we first
learn to say.
A birdseed wiseguy listens to
a birdseed lullaby. And it's all
a revisionist lie. Oh me, oh my!


So then, the aim of a gun is to
shoot straight? But do guns really
have aims, or just handlers? I'd
think I'd want to know  -  if I
really cared; but I don't.
I'm tired of it, all. I'm tired
of the twist everything is given:
swirl on a stick, new ice-cream
with a drip. I'm tired of trans-gender,
and large people, screeching their
new mentality, usurping a country
now already long gone.
In all indefensible to me, even if
you come forth to defend it and
show I'm wrong. I'm not wrong, 
I'm just tired  -  of having to bend 
to the sleaze that I see. That ain't 
me. I'm tired of all that I see.
Put up a fence at all borders, yes.
Put up a fence at the Mississippi
too, and the Rio Grand and the
Hudson and the Yazoo. Fence
them all in, not out. That'll do.


It got too late. For anything great.
And time was running out. There
was a man telling me that the
messages are coming through, 
but if I stopped grabbing them 
and using what was sent they'd 
be sure to cease. I did not want 
that. I stood up to better hear? 
I'd just found out that another 
friend had died. In Parkersburg, 
West Virginia. And I was sad. 
She was from a long time back, 
and far younger than me. It's 
everywhere now, this dread, and
maybe I can't go on. Maybe I shan't.
The stain of living just seems to keep
spreading. Nothing to do to stop it; all
the barriers in the world do no good.
The stars are high atop me, but they're 
also far below me. This cosmic sky I
walk through is high and low, together.
Above and beyond. Here and there.
Lost and found. Everything wrapped
together, and now Susan Sheppard
knows that too!

Saturday, June 18, 2022


I've learned to be mis-aligned,
and can get along quite well.
This limp you keep seeing?
It's just a manner of pain, my
hurt, something that pings un
the inner reaches of a soul I
long ago probably lost.


The supposition is that we go
deep  -  too deep to see, too deep
to navigate through the darkness
before us. Like some old Tittenhurst
Mansion on a London backstreet,
we get huddled in fog and density.
The old coal of a thousand airs is
stretched out before us but close
by darkness too. Our conclusions
within this cauldron take us to 
nowhere at all. 

Friday, June 17, 2022

14,371. RUDIMENTS, pt. 1,279

RUDIMENTS, pt. 1,279
(the babe with the bleeding heart)
The wife was telling her husband,
'You're always pushing me around
and talking behind my back.' It
sounded like trouble, but they
were just out of sight, around 
the corridor, so I didn't know.
Then I heard the husband say,
in reply, 'What do you expect,
you're in a wheelchair.' That
solved that, and it was funny.
I have always had two sides to
myself - one, embittered, and
the other always ready for a
quick quip or pun or laughter.
I've been told it's psychological,
one of the deep quandaries by
which people defensively enclose
themselves, seeking safety from
the rush-on of others. That's
probably true, or I can feel 
that in any case. I don't like
interpersonal. I'd rather it was
all remote; like a hermit in a
cabin, or a kid, hiding in a
washing machine box.
Another overheard quote? Is
that what I heard you say you
wanted? Here's one: 'You're
still using your eyes to see the
world, instead of adopting the
proper skewed perspective of
an egomaniac.'
I guess my very best years were
those years of stretching out my
time; fleeing, as it were, my
slipshod being and hometown.
Avenel, NJ, for me, never had
represented anything; not even
as a parentheses within which
something 'better' was to have
been put. It was negative space,
a complete nullity. The only 
ways I could shake myself 
from it, were  -  first  -  taking
myself off to Blackwood and
my seminary years, where at 
the least I received an education
worth something better than
the paltry snapdragon-throwdown
of the Woodbridge Board of
Education, as presented like
dogbones to the students it made
moves to claim. Then, the real
liberation, for me, was a further
and smart immersion into the
dicier side of 1940's being; the
noir version of life as presented
by NYC from 1967 on. That's
where I expanded and  -  at the
least  -  hit my paydirt and my
stride. My make-up is to turn
most things into misery, so I
guess payback really is a bitch.
I felt like leaving the world often
enough. You know how, in cheesy
movies or bad TV scenes,  the
male and female criminals always
embrace and get weepy right before
their crime of doubtful outcome
is about to get started? They sense
it's to be a failure and probably do
them harm, but they go about it in
any case, doomed from the start.
Their weepy embraces seal the
bad deal for them. That's much
how I felt about life.
In the Bible, life in Paradise, oddly
enough, is 'defined by negation.'
That's a really strange concept, how
it's put in negatives like that: 'They
were both naked... and they were
not ashamed.' The negation  -  no
clothing/no shame  -  then makes
their 'realization' of that shame to
be somewhat advantageous by its
recognition. They made coverings
of fig leaf aprons, marking the birth
of creativity, resourcefulness, wit, 
craft, scientific invention, and
self-ornamentation. After all, from
where would they have learned
these things, these tasks, if not
from an initial self-discovery?
Things of this nature always
baffled me and showed me that
I really grasped little of human
understanding  -  about conditions,
being, fate, and a 'place' on Earth.
I knew so little, yet all around me
were people already claiming to
know it all. Cliches abounded: the
taxi-driver who was also a stand-in
philosopher; the local priest or
parson who acted with the bucolic
country-wisdom, somehow, within
all of the decrepit urban mix; the
wunderkind genius of the parable
streets, parlaying one sentence
read into a five page street sermon;
the babe with  a bleeding heart.
I read once where 'some things
become firmer and thus more
properly themselves, when
they are preserved, so that they
are improved only insofar as
they are preserved.' Within
Christian doctrine, that's called
'felix culpa' (happy fall), and is
used to bolster an idea that our
salvation in Christ is more 
fortunate and more blessed,
thus happier in both senses, 
than the continuation of
unfallen existence would have 
been' To me, that's always
been  -  as a working concept  -  
one step too far over the line,
and an almost twisted and
unacceptable constriction of
the human condition, made
to force everyone, in the same
sense as blackmail or coercion 
would, into the inane world
or religion and religious


To us it is given, and what
is not given is taken. She
carries nothing in her 
handbag but her soul?
Old baseball lore. The
stories of elders, about
the fights they saw  - at
ringside, those men with
their bloodied gait.
Sports is a metaphor for
sports? Is that all you can
say at this betting window?


First impressions make me droop;
anyone can be anybody, first time
around. I once knew a guy who said
what he was, and who  -  but it was
mostly all made up and he turned
out an ass. Another fellow, well-met
but shallow, couldn't tell a truth if
it was under his butt and jabbing 
him. Those two guys are both dead
now, and that's the truth anyway.
Forrestal matrons and corduroy
kings? The story goes, about 
corduroy, that it was once only
a regal's fabric, to be worn only
by nobles in the King's court. By
that did it take its rightful name : 
'Cord du Roi.' So the story goes.
Maybe that too was made-up, to
fit some pattern of thought as a
trimmed fabric of recognition. It
was Lillian Hellman, a writer, who,
during the Blacklisting of the 1950's,
said 'I will NOT trim my fabric to
fit today's fashion!' I always thought
THAT was pretty noble. She got the
bum's rush, and was blacklisted.

Thursday, June 16, 2022

14,368. RUDIMENTS, pt. 1,278

RUDIMENTS, pt. 1,278
(I felt the same way)
I am witness these days to 
many of Nature's occurrences  -
the seasonal and the constant.
It's different here. It's raw and
it's unfiltered. The sounds go
on all night, all dark night. The
stars and the silence too. (How
come I feel I'm jinxing myself)?
Moon phases, planets, wildlife
and greenery. I have to admit,
too, that not too much of this
actually interests me. I consider
Nature to be on 'Automatic,' 
and the less Humanity has to
do with it, the better off Nature
is. That 'peaceable kingdom'
that Nature is supposed to be
runs pretty well on its own,
notwithstanding  -  or maybe
even in spite of  -  earthquakes,
volcanoes, tsunamis and floods.
It certainly doesn't need me, nor
any other dumb human, interfering.
The last thing I'd ever want to do
is kill, which is mostly a human's
wont  -  fishing, shooting, trapping,
and the rest. For what authentic
end-result I'll never understand,
no matter what rationalization
is given. 
It's been 50 years this week - since
we're on the subject of 'Nature' - 
that a fierce storm named 'Hurricane
Agnes' swept through the Elmira NY,
area,where we were living. It swamped
the entire area  -  the Susquehanna
River, the Chemung River, Columbia
Crossroads, Towanda, Sayre, PA, and
many other places. The rivers were
raging for days, progressively in an
acceleration even after the storm had
passed  -  because the accumulating
of upriver waters just added more and
more flow and swirl and depth to the
already out-of-control rivers, long
past bursting their banks. The raging
Chemung River  -  right through the
center of town  -  swept away the
'Southside'. The poor people lived
on the Southside  -  it was lowlands
and basin areas where, with great
ease the newly-raging waters
threaded and gouged their ways to.
Homes, shacks, and buildings were
uplifted, off their foundations; toppled
or simply broken apart and splintered.
The factories and scrap-yards and the
rest, of that area, met the same fates
but survived and, by 5 years later, had
revived and been resuscitated. By any
chance of logic that had to be considered
good, for it at least gave back the options
of local jobs, and for the locals. For
myself, the place I worked was shut
down for near a year, and it was
quite some time before I got the call
for returning. Too unworldly to seek
some sort of unemployment or flood
and lost job assistance, I simply took
on other jobs in the interim  -  as
farm-assistant, milking, haying, 
running tractors, tending livestock,
and driving a school-bus route
through some of the craziest
rural roads you'd ever see. I
learned a lot, and money
stayed scarce.
Hurricane Agnes was nature unhinged.
People had died, been swept away, or
had their accumulated heart attacks and
panics do them in. The great waters had
ripped open graves and the local flood
commemoration books and brochures,
(yes, they abounded, quickly enough, 
and for 1972, in black and white), each
managed to always have 2 or 3 photos
of swirling caskets or flood-opened 
graves. The flood was a true devastation.
That peaceable kingdom run amuck.
Driving in that storm, the windshield
wipers on my 1967 Ford Cortina were
lifted right off the windshield (while in
motion) and torn from the car, just 
washed off. Unbelievably, I had to
drive some 30 miles without them  -
peering through a massive sheet of
rain/windshield through which not 
much of anything real could be seen.
Elmira, being closed up, was unreachable
that night, and we wound up staying
in a Red Cross shelter station that had
been pitched in a mucked-up mess of
a field somewhere between, Towanda,
Route 17, Waverly, and Elmira. Free
coffee, and cookies too! Kids on 
benches. mothers bewailing their own
fates and situations, and a number of
the usual, local, Chemung County sorts
of indigents staring listlessly. How did
we get here? What was all that? (And
you know what? I felt the same way).
Eventually making it home (the next
morning's daylight answered the
question of what, if anything, had
happened to my parked-in-the-mud
amidst pouring rain and in the
middle of a grassy field, car. The
answer, most happily was
'nothing!'). Those next 30 miles,
through untold devastation and
muddied ruins, answered all our
questions about the storm. Driving
local roads became an eye-opener
wreckage, sadness, and caution  -
each roadway was clammed up with
something : downed trees or tree
limbs, twisted buildings intruding
on roads, backage up sewer-drains,
automobiles everywhere akimbo,
washed up on lawns, floated by waters
into building walls, embankments, or
other cars. The scenes were unearthly,
and with surly National Guardsmen,
police, and even Park Rangers onhand,
orders and direction were barked,
not spoken. It didn't even look
like the same place we'd known.
We finally made it to Columbia
Crossroads. Our home still stood and
was undamaged, though the grasses 
and trees around it had taken a
beating, and mud and silt were
everywhere  -  roads and farmpaths
all showed the power of rain, wind,
and the storm itself; though we
were quite fortunate.


He showed me long before what
he intended to do. The Hell's Gate
trestle, or whatever they call that,
where the trains by Riverdale run
the river. (Dale, I just didn't believe
you'd do it). Now, he's gone.
A head, splattered like silk, on the
river-rocks below. All crumpled
from the last meander.

14,366. FLOWERS

(tempting all limits)
This vase holds flowers
that I made by hand. Safe
to say, by the hand of Man.

14,365. ANYONE

Anyone who wants to can always
go home again That gate with the
flower-pot and the numbers on it
has good hinges : an Indiana to an
Alburquerque, some messaged
place of the most open mind.
Let's weave our Mothers' stories
back into the 'real.' We can live
our lives in so many assorted
ways. Mama was a homegirl,
while Daddy rambled on.
There's a large assortment of
choices to be choosing from:
the gnarled trees and covered
bridges, or the factories and
rock-ribbed ridges. This
once-America was sweet
like that.
Now there are only the morose
caves where you can find fresh
condiments and absorbent panties
for the old and infirm. Everyone
leaks, you know. Two centuries
of solid philosophy have taught
us that. America! To you I
tip my hat!


Troubadours arise, your lives
are on the table. Bedbugs in
the butter, and sugar in the
cream  -  this life's a mixed-up
designation while we only try
to say what it is we mean.
Forty caravans past the deadlock
and they all just still keep coming.

Tuesday, June 14, 2022


My alliance with the sky is
broken; there is something
now in the way  -  no longer 
a clear channel to carry my
notes. A new twosome has
entered my realm -  a fear
and a dread. They remain 
nameless, but I can read
all the clues. My alliance 
with the sky is demanding
new dues.

14,362. ALL THIS IS

Handholding with this dream,
and as long as the rain stays 
away all is good. The distance 
is not really distant anyway, 
and things far-off are never 
what they seem.
My thesis is a carryover, like
a torch perhaps, from Hell but
transplanted to grow light up
a Heaven. This man has a
catamaran for a brain.
The flood comes, worlds go
down and trees go under; 
the mud bank breaks, and 
the bedrock shakes.

14,361. RUDIMENTS, pt. 1,277

 RUDIMENTS, pt. 1,277
(faithful to the tee), pt. two
Sometimes I just wonder 
what it took to get ahead
and how I missed that curve.
When I see ads now targeted
to children, proclaiming the
affirmatives and that 'you can
be all you dream to be,' stuff,
I know it already to be a huge
malignant fester on the huge
societal body-politic of the
lame world we've built. It's
almost Hasidic in its rigor.
Misplaced directions, and 
the power to mis-direct, all 
rolled into one. It's a world 
that makes me ill. I wonder
how we got to all that.
In the previous chapter, I
made mention of how people
appeared pretty clearly as
aliens to me. I can watch 
their acts and gestures and
facial movements and see
it all. Liquid. Pliable. Made
from other seed. With only the
bullfrog chorus of midnight
here to speak to, I am told I can
get away with most anything.
So I do. I go outside to scan
the stars and hear the noises 
of night. Whatever I end up
hearing, whatever it may be,
I know that it is right. At a
self-checkout today, I was
buying some spray-paint and
the machine wouldn't allow me
to do so without age-approval
from a nearby clerk. Spray
paint? She laughed, and I said,
"So then, does this machine change 
my  age? Or just allow me to buy 
the paint? She didn't get it at all,
but had the most telling alien
face on her. I knew I had, at
some level, made the cosmic
connection between two vast
systems so far apart.
It got me to thinking some
about how weirdly this world
changed and how I want nothing
of it any longer. I wield no hammer
in today's forging of whatever it
is that passes for the normative and
functional operation of the day to 
day. Everything now is connected
to something else. That too is like
a Talmudic strain of the densest
over-study and concentration on
ridiculous interconnectedness, in
a world that is, in all other respects,
completely random and without
cause or reason. At the natural
level, the world is perfect  -  the
oak never becomes the maple, and
a robin will never mate with a
sparrow or a jay. Water takes
its varied stages, working at
every moment in its movement 
from gas/vapor to liquid to solid,
and back. We pretend at not-knowing.
The mistakes we make are endless.
We call gasoline gas, when it is
in its liquid form? And endless
weave of misinformation and 
bad-rumor drives us forward. The
world is a madhouse.
The only still center of everything
is within us, each, where we share
that alien substance that has brought
us forth and placed us here; albeit
temporarily and 'imaginatively' too,
as we impute rhymes and meanings
to a human-made drifting of snow,
which the stupidest among us then
takes up arms and destruction to
prove their errant side is more
correct than the other's errant side.
People die over this, and we then
applaud the killers, and we call
them victors if their carnage outlasts
that of the other. I repeat the world
is a madhouse. An alien spaceship
bubble afloat on an immaterial sea
of supposed matter. Once we agree
on that, the scientists then tell us
that nothing really exists, that solids
only appear to be solid, made up of
countless atoms and spaces, waves
of motion in transit, and that the
world that is explained and taught
to us does not exist at all, rather
being instead conclusions and
theories adopted by and enforced
by those who can gain from it.
Jewish cavalcade? African misnomer?
'Papal Bull'shit. Euro-conclusions of
nation states and concentration camps.
Fields of the dead, from Ypres to
Flanders, and blood-soaked soil
flavoring the grapes and wines of
the Beaujolais? If, on the other
hand, nothing actually does exist,
then what in the world am I
getting all worked-up about?
I have to ask myself.