Sunday, January 31, 2010


I can take the brutality of both silence and
science together; they amount to nothing.
One has no words and the other has too many.
Theorems and postulates never did anything
for me. All that definitive certainty, that
left-brain theorizing of lines and formulations,
left little room for concept and no room for
the free grace of creative re-alignment. So,
you can have it all. I'll take the atom, after
it is gone. I'll conceptualize space without me
in it. Time and situations, all put together,
seem only to amount to songs and ditties
sung by weakened men and women.

Saturday, January 30, 2010


"I state unequivocally - I can skate to
the end of the ice - which is not, definitely,
the end of the pond. It is where I hear people
are talking. The end of the pond, on the other
hand, has a very nice bonfire keeping people
warm on solid ground. What are they saying,
however, at the end of the ice? I wonder,
has someone gone over the edge?"



(to one Doctor Shamek)
You can enter at will, stay as long as you wish,
and leave at your own choosing. I don't care.
Wherever the metallic mountains are, I will remember
the location in time; magma and heavy elements,
all the iron at the core. It's been a long, dismal season,
this time of history and riot. But nothing has happened.
Same-sex couples leaving notes on the door, single boys
looking for more, unwarranted men and prelates of all
stripes pretending to be alert, more for what they are than
what they aren't. In the museum, a few yawns and a dagger;
small moments of great elation. The music man plays yet
his rainbow calliope but - as is apparent - no one listens.
'So,' the analyst said, 'why don't you just sit down
and we'll continue this talk.' I nodded, more in
appreciation of his gall than of anything else.
Certainly not tact. And I had even less.
'You bum-fucked misogynist, you make me puke.'
Well, anyway, that's what I wanted to say, but didn't.


I noticed a great ambiguity running
around my house. In trying to catch
it, to apprehend its fleeting presence,
I found myself catching nothing at
all - though something was present
in my hands, I was never sure what it
was at all. Nonetheless, I kept seeking.
Running 'round and 'round till, tired
and weary, I sat down and simply
let it be, this ambiguity.


A dark crutch of doubt holds nothing up -
the flavored shadings of indecision, well,
they too taste like nothing at all -
acidic bile, biting the tongue.
I am watching fir trees bend in the wind.
They seem to do it so well, plus they
have found the perfect sound by
which to do it - a gentle swoosh
of an almost white noise, a
sound that never wavers,
always sounds the same.
Certain far fields, it seem, never
have a farmer - nothing to sew
so nothing to reap. We go as we
come (a white noise, always the
same) - dense heavy coat, hands
and head protected from the cold,
some scarf around the mouth and
neck, to filter the cold air in.
Candles, like this, go out.

Friday, January 29, 2010


Those aren't hills you see, they're
clobbering infidels of rising meadows.
Things unknown and unseen, collaborators
with the wrong crowd, sketchers of daisies.
Everything's a mess, really and likely and sure.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

714. MADS

Ten little mads,
with contorted faces,
twist and squirm
to run out their races.

713. WAR

Of the soldiers and the semblance
of Death - Yes, I say, Yes.
Of the smoke and 'collateral' damage -
limbs legs moaning fire - Yes, I say, Yes.
Of the burial mounds where they be...
last place been last place seen last thing heard,
Yes - I say - Yes ! Please let it be - Yes!


As it encompasses Popeye
sans serif nay the sharif
in 1945 Marcel Duchamp
had a window at the
Gotham Book Mart - his own
display Frances Stellof gave it away.
Alas gone gone alas enog sala
Mesmerize me memorized dazed em
emulate desire reside in me
It is it is (sit(please)) Rose C'est La Vie
Sore Selavy is sit ting in gin in Gin
of the Frances Stell of scene.

711. 100 LADDERS

(Forethought and Malice)
Foster kids' group growing up.
Seeded apple fields with rows of
fenceposts and the footings for 100
ladders. The splash of such large
undertakings is yet here and about.
'One time we gave the kids a choice,
and it only turned to baseball - my
God, a five-hour game with little to
show. But they had fun.'
'Could you once bring me something
from another clime?' Chance words
encountered sideways between
two walls. Duffel bags filled
with old equipment.
I'm watching the girls with cameras;
they're trying to take pictures of something.
I don't see much. The room seems too dark,
and the one in the green shirt is standing
on a chair. Forethought and Malice, I name them.
No, nothing like that really - and hangings
sell better postcards anyway.
I have often, far too much, paraded
down the street with witless gendarmes,
rulers of doctrine and the keepers of
philosophy's key. I know my scene has
changed. The entire world altered.
Ballet Russe, some Diaghilev fusion.
'Perfect ballet, you know, can only be
created by the fusion of three elements -
dancing, painting and music.'
Those baseball kids should know that.
Yet now - and standing alone between two
forces - I can only witness : from someplace
between late Wittgenstein and early Pynchon.
A Siege of Malta and the hard, logical Must,
so recently discredited and now left, largely
forgotten and abandoned.
100 ladders in the rain and snow.
100 ladders in the apple trees.
They died for being rather than
professing to be. Forethought
and Malice seemed their
names to me.


Walking this hard can kill.
Dreaming, like a sword without a
scabbard, cuts as well - nothing
between the two makes any sense.
I have destroyed my life. I am entered now
in a great unreality - a place where nothing
exists. Callous disregard of the essential
essences would cause anyone to blanch.
You can ask me anything,
because nothing is. When
Wittgenstein said 'the World is
all that is' he may have (for a moment)
known what he meant to say. But it didn't
last, and the repudiation was sweet.
Now he says nothing, and people
are still agreeing. How strange is
all that? I have no range, nor reach.
I am alone, without arms and legs,
without anything so reasonable
as reason.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

709. VASE

The moment is porcelain.
Lines run through it, a pale
streak of darker color, a tint,
a mistake, a flaw. It costs so
many dollars, just thinking
of buying it gives me a
headache. Bird-like,
a spot on the right
draws my eye.
The artist's
of a


She might be Chinese, I can't tell.
The way she holds the hammer is awesome.
The manner by which she makes her points,
the words and the gestures, seem the same -
though perhaps vaguely a bit too European.
Nothing much to be gained from asking,
so I'll just let it go. Enjoyment, nonetheless.
I ask the King, and he says he knows.
'Put her hands on her hips,' he said,
and see how she moves.' Whatever that
was meant to impart, it didn't follow through.
Leave it to some mixed-ass King to not speak
precisely, let's say, clearly. But then, that's
what 'King' is all about. Someone gets your
water and someone gives you the fork -
so what practical knowledge can you get?
I'd never criticize like that directly.
His options include, of course,
chopping my head, or the dungeon.
Place of slaves. The dung-heap of a
life-in-prison. I'll leave it to Him to
ask this lady where she's from.
On balance, he can have her forever,
whereas I'd probably never see her again.


Shimmering substance and good morning
Sigourney. We have now moved to the light.
Those April afternoons, (perhaps you remember),
when the pale yellow wash of new sunlight played
over the sandy dunes. The gulls from the east
whipped and played above the surf, beguiling
then both the mind and the eye. A windblown sky,
though severe, seemed settled into its steady and
strange verticality, while somewhere off to the
right, along a waterfront porch, a nautical bell
went singing. For two moments we beseeched
each other to listen.
In the ramshackle shack of the fisherman
'Wallace', his own lamplight sketched a
scene, and two cars rotted in his
sandy lot. Across the way,
the surf was running.

Monday, January 25, 2010


(Nascent Fray/Secret Vice)
Fort Lee, NJ
On Madelaine Lane the ply the barriers freely -
a line of Asian people waiting for tea and coffee.
Rows and rows of little books for sale. On the
western back lots of where the film industry
used to be - a nascent fray, a secret vice -
they're still building the fake houses of
movie-set fantasy. Chandeliers and third floor
landings, great stairways where dancers
can wait to enter. On the blistered horizon,
a great, white smoke lays low the trebled land.
Rain falls in buckets, as is said, with but
nowhere to go but down, down, down.
In the foyer, in the step-up room, along
the very ground's hallway, everything
leads to descent. They are yet building
the enormous, vast rooms.


In the double house where nothing is;
in the double house where everything is.
Walls asunder, beckoning back and
all things moving, in a roundness, return
to their start. The cupboard, though bare,
is seemingly rich - loaded as it is with
imaginative things and imagined richness.

Sunday, January 24, 2010


It wouldn't matter the hem and the haw,
if only the fenceline ran off to the horizon.
For 24 years, it seems, we've watched at
night with rifles in hand for anything suspect
to come out of the woods. At first it was 'Martians'
and 'aliens' - all those silly things of youth and
fantasy, but of late it's become neighbors, 'guests'
from the other side of the woods, or agents and
collectors of the Government which claims this land.
They're the easiest; we'd blast them dead.
I'd rather rot in their fetid pens than live like
what they call a 'Freeman'. Reconstituted
servitude, I call it. Causes for this and causes
for that, communal monies thrown into a
military pit. Fake answers, lies and distortions
too. The fiftieth anniversary, I assure you, of
nothing at all. So raise high the flag, you
carpenters; reach the roof with your
sickening pride. The land you're so
proud of is dying. The principles
that made it have died.

703. ALECK

Here's what I maintain:
'that there are more stars in the
Heavens than yachts on your pier;
that men who come and go with
riches eventually die as naked as
they came; that the false rubble they
leave behind them withers and melts
away as easily as do infractions on the
tongue of a judge; that floral bouquets
do not a woman make; that icing of
such sweetness is not always on a cake.
That friendship and affection between
two men is not always a bad thing,
even when 3000 miles apart. Why
then do you fight me, like a mule
digesting a lemon? Both,
we shall soon enough,
be dead.



My mind went white as a ghost.
Why are they playing this crap
at the site of revolutionary deeds?
Carpenter's Hall, the old Second Bank.
Where men involved in passage actually
died for the things they'd planned. All
gone now, of course, like the virgin's skin
on the morning after - bloodied, forgotten,
useless and stupid. Yet, freshly entered as
a once-Paradise of new ideas. Now the
endless fat kids with their wrappers of corn,
go waddling by, as loudly raucous as they
choose. Two nitwits are somehow playing
their sidewalk-mounted sound-wand, loud.
Sickening for me to hear (but I am of another
age, and have come here from afar to witness):
This is what they're playing, witless...
'I saw her today at the reception,
a glass of wine in her hand...'

Saturday, January 23, 2010


Philadelphia, 2010
There was no cold in the lining :
the three Quakers nearby, having just
left their Meeting House, were nibbling
on some cracker-like crumbs. Atop the
adjacent spire, not theirs but belonging
to some other congregation entire, the old
bell was pealing. Christ Church, or near;
right by where Ben Franklin is buried. I
walked over there, slowly, and with intent.
People, even today, throw pennies on the
grave site like confetti. A big marble slab,
intriguingly, it lies flat on the old, hard soil.
No one knows anything really, of that I
remain aware; yet they throw something,
anything, pennies and dimes, as fans do
to show they revere. Whatever it is, some
mysterious, tribal thing we do within us
so as to accommodate the space in which we
live. Two girls, I swear, from Oklahoma,
were somehow singing aloud 'Mine Eyes
Have Seen the Glory of the Coming of
the Lord.' Their little car, with OK plates,
was parked along the curb.

Friday, January 22, 2010


'I walked through doors for the first third
of my life - passing through both wood
and glass as if nothing. No miracle was involved,
mind you, just an attendant grace of G-d within me.
Having need to pause, a genuflection always hard
to do, I bent at the waist to the morning Lords of
light and air and Nature. Since time immemorial
Jahweh Himself had been a volcanic God - a
steaming hiss of fire and flame pouring down
from a mountain. We begged Him to speak,
He spit back at us with fire and rocks and torment.
As we really meant nothing to Him - just beggar bastards
meant for His hands - it little mattered what we did.
Incredible, stinking meat sacrifices. Bloody
throat-slittings of screaming livestock. Even
the sacrifices of each other - daughters and
sons on despicable stone slabs. Screaming of
death and the smokes of sacrificial fires!
What the Hell was it all for? He, above us,
did nothing - complained of our stench,
grew bored with our clamor. Rivers of
blood running through platforms of
dead bodies. And finally, this G-d, this
cursed, bastardized Numen of our
own creation, paced us off, left
His garden, cut us loose, and
simply disappeared, leaving
somehow no trace behind.'


A glass-harp harmonica elicits response
by a form of echo - the nonce and the
noun of the moment. Turn away! Okay!
But re-engage at your peril. Those really
are shadows loose upon the lawn.
When I was twelve, I was determined not
to be a nothing forever. My days, they
were mapped with elan. But that was
before the farm and the fodder -
in simpler days to be sure.
Having (instead) become a marksman
by accident, I still determine new targets
each day - that bear upon the nearby
parkland, that bison on the hill.
You may not understand, but -
believe me - I see these things
because they really do exist.


He never chokes I bet.
He grabs a wand, spinning and
wandering like a dog chasing wind and
and flowers, or a frantic kitten freely jumping.
Any twisting sentinel watching this daily
scene would be wasting time in warning.
There's too much light in his day,
not much weight in his morning.
Hulkingly rich, his two children
settle for nothing less.

Thursday, January 21, 2010


No one has muffled the sound of that
worldwide explosion being put
forth by dragons of logical lore :
candy-store fat ladies standing
around, cigarette-sucking sharpies
in dinner jackets and lapels.
The fag with the Pentel in his
front pocket, proclaiming
gladly how lustful he gets.
I want to wear their collar.
I want to eschew their
corollary conversions.
I wish to take part
in their (always

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


I have somehow superimposed time
over speed - a sensation over a blur.
Moving along in blackness, I sense
the trees around me. A Winter's morn
as this - hoar frost, a trace on every
window glass - brings with it a
feeling of all things being stopped.
I would not have learned the ceasing
but by the going, the doing but by
the not doing, the life but by the
death. This mad farmer, Time,
harrows on. I glimpse his world
through this icicular globe.


Vacuous tenacity, of the sort which
travels through cities - the men off the
streetcar, swept aside from some
antediluvial fall of a rank proportion;
the girl singing her simple pop song,
walking along, knowing each word in
the spin of her lucky web - encasing
her in a simple tune of glitter. Its own
dead-end beckons. Neither her own tune
nor her own words does she recite. Only
those of someone else, with nothing
authentic left. Well than, if that's the case,
what does anything else matter?


Awake like the dead from the suffering ground;
encased in their ages, soiled in their winding
cloths. Break down the barriers of which
you've been heard talking and speaking.
Belittle the mourners.
Roll back the stone.
Before real light is ever to
appear, the Magic Juggler
first needs to take
the stage.
His home is an oasis of fragments,
a distant place of martyrs and bones.
Some cloth of faith - it is to be
supposed - would be covering
his face until that very
final moment.

Monday, January 18, 2010


Unfold the illumination,
rotate the view. Watch as
it all flutters above. It is true,
and quiet, here in Almaville.
The two boys, below the bridge,
are comparing their catch - a few
wriggling fish, already near death.
Life is pretty miserable, no matter what
else may be said. The master mechanic
from the old garage across the alley -
his hands are blackened with grease,
and his coveralls look pretty much the
same. He wants to light a cigarette, he
says, but can't even reach into his 'good'
pants pocket to get them. 'Life is full of
shit,' he says, 'one damn thing after another.'

Sunday, January 17, 2010


Two doorways into the sky -
one swinging open, the other loosed.
Beautiful blue sequential illumination:
shimmering and floating, darting, in fact,
across the open grassy lawn. No
part of Heaven's spray has ever
landed, wet, like this, before.


'You lose a lot of people being civil;
all those ones that should be gone,
the ones who pester others with the
ceaseless whining and cavorting.
We should just take the time to do
some sorting. Others may speak
of the brutal means, the cleansing
and the separating, but I would
say, instead, look at the good
we'd be creating.'

Saturday, January 16, 2010


No one (it seems) listens.
I'm tired of being alone.
This is the meandering corpse
of an old sailor, at sea on the waste
of a dock - all that's left is the motive
without reason. He sits. Tired tears glisten.
'I, I want to tell you this -
there's no money for mankind
in a wasted land.' Whatever he meant,
I (merely) pretended to understand.
His shoes it would seem had prevailed
in this scene to help him by not walking
away. Trousers three sizes too big, secured
with a rope, were fluffed upon his legs. He
looked bedraggled, and as stupid as one
could look. But, having asked for nothing,
I figured he'd keep what he took and ask
questions only later.
I walked away, wondering to myself
how anyone like this could survive. Go on.
Why, in any case, do we let them exist?
A world gone away is a world over.
We ought just forget the old language,
unlearn the words and emotions,
and get on with our newer day.
I thought for sure he'd understand.
(But I was afraid to say).

Friday, January 15, 2010

689. HABITAT (all activity is forced activity)

(all activity is forced activity)
Once they moved the fences,
we realized there would be no more.
The fields were hungry, and even what
the birds dropped for them was never
enough. The 'muppets-to-brains' (or however
it was put) ran wild across the grass - like those
kindergarten kids from the old German school
in Merloch. One custodian - the one holding
the keychain and lock - seemed to be yelling wildly.
Seen without ending, in the guise of a surly dog,
he was shouting something at someone in the group -
perhaps, even, at a thing.
It is never expected, watching a star explode,
that the great fiery scene above was once
shining, placidly lit, within a midnight sky.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

688. 1910

..('I don't care what the Bible says')..
I may have wanted you to be Sergeant
Major Monohead Delinquent Vespasian
and every part of all the rest. Milk-white
sky. Raven diving, skimming new lands.
I shook the canister the old man was
holding. It was filled with coins from
nineteen hundred and ten.


Plymouth Rock befouled the
mind of everyone - think future
thoughts from the vantage of a
past. So much vintage labor, a
camouflage of good intentions,
brought all that water to the keel,
all the slapping of waves on wood;
kelp-stream, fields of seaweed, and
a few broken barrels of ale to drink.
Shipboard cowards, always drunk,
went sailing around the world.
Before that, an ancient man in a
garb-less hat, wearing not much
of anything but ideals and intentions,
talked the years backward from his
primitive parapet. The sky was loosed,
the stars rang down, and the favored
wanderings of all those ancient tribes
came, screechingly, to a slow yet
sudden halt. In their own faltering
way, they too heard the 'future' calling,
but could not yet recognize the sound.
Perhaps Pliny the Elder brought
them around (to a better
way of thought)...


There was a broad army, once, which inhabited
these gray lands. Frozen to a beam, the
torn leggings and the broken leathers of
their shoes exposed frozen toes to the
elements. So rude was that. Men died
for lack. The chiseled features now
of three men on a monument seem
as disgruntled as a wayfarer being
dunned for taxes, or a miller learning
he's lost his permit to mill. Say what
you will, but the land that we've
built (on the backs of these brutes)
has its own fair shortcomings still.



Didn't really but so what.
You never stop talking.
That phone is a device
now within your plastered
head. Like the rest, you too
should be buried sideways -
wired to the Heavens (no need
to really be there), a virtual dish
of spinal dead-flesh. You'd be
a real attraction wherever you
go. Hell would love your news -
hearing all that constant jabber
about where you've just been and
what you've done.

684. CARDIO-VASCULAR - (Broadcast 21)

The monkey-man shines in his armor
all sparkling with new-found sweat.
Through his famous exertion, his
skin glistens and the strain of his
face, contorting, is shown for all.
Lighthouse, billboard blinking sign.
Burma-Shave this old oaken bucket
broadcasts tension within a world
at war with itself. If we ever leave
things alone, will we - finally - be left
alone ourselves? Mankind makes
bridges which bridge nothing
but muscular space in a
tautology of blind rage.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


(a Harvard In a Hat)
Amen! Romana! Are not
cars not art?! Take heart!
Though we (may) finish -
these are the means by which
we make : salamander figurines
lining the wall. (Even) the cat
snaps back - by an intrusive,
instinctual nerve.
Like running a dream in the
opposite direction from dreaming,
all that it could be was left
behind and already forgotten.
So fiercely nervous, in a
simple teacup of time.

Saturday, January 9, 2010


'Once we incarcerate the contaminated gene
we'll all feel better for a spell.' The audience went
crazy with that one. Maybe 1956, I really can't
recall. Some boffo boxers duking it out on
a tiny TV in black and white. Antenna atop
the wooden set. The laughter sounded real.
Not long after that, as I remember, some
Sputnik spooking put a grand hesitancy into
looking skyward. Dark night of the soul, an
American two-step backwards into a new welter
of despair and bad tidings. Out on our lawn,
my father, smoking, looking up, said 'just watch
for the blinking light as it's moving by, son.'
I had no idea what he meant by that.
Back indoors, another raft of laughter
peppered the living room sky. More like
a bad sea of crummy water, I thought to myself.
No blinking lights, nothing moving along the
ceiling. Just Imogene Coca, or someone,
and those reams of laughter pealing.


Whatever your name determines to be, let it be known that
I can see these following things (gladly): Ice, as it
patterns on old window glass, and the water as it turns
back to melting; Mud in seamless array underfoot, first
frozen then thawed and stepped through and then
frozen again with all the marks of those steps; The
small men from the tropics, as they crouch in the
wintry woods, baffled by both trees and the patterns
and vagaries of cold weather; Women, how they smile
towards each other in the presence of another's man;
The noise and reports of gunfire, with the little tuft of
smoke it leaves floating in the air; The ice age, as it returns
to us anew - frozen thighbones in high, rocky places.


(the jazz loft project, 1966)
Every disease in the book thrown
face-forward down to the ground :
a worming boring come-uppance digging its way downward
towards a vital truth. We all know nothing. Bones of long ago.
The forest's own wood, all unchanging and serving the purpose.
Swaddled in ice and chill. Black Forest density with the
buckling intentions of enigma and feint. We each know
nothing. Balsa, pine, maple, cherry - everything
the forest can make. Like arms and the man.
Unsettled. Weeds on the edge of the swamp.
(I need to tell you a story. My mind is so
confused it cannot speak). The air is
adrift with distant vistas. Someone
is walking a dog, asleep.
Blow, daddy blow.

Thursday, January 7, 2010



[Like busloads of Crimeans writhing – the horrid fat horrid
rushing of the street - like horses suddenly aroused.
I see ropes, containment, impatience, need.
The world, being this magical place, needs
something new for definition. 'It was actually
very enjoyable,' the round one with the hand-etched
glasses says. There are literally hundreds of them
crowding the street after the plays’ matinees – distant
people, from close or near, wondering what to do next.
Bewildered, they look about. Having just tasted the
theater, perhaps they are still stunned by something
newly recognized about themselves. Or, perhaps, just
looking for their stupid bus. Or, perhaps, it is NOW
that their own waste astounds them, into action.
Outstretched hands manage an applause:
‘Spare any change?’ the accolade.
Just a short ounce of whiskers, all it was.
That in weight and circumference, volume,
area, load. Everything that you’d want in a
simple mathematics of both place and time.
Oh indeterminate! Oh imprecise! Oh unknown!
I have managed to pound you to death with uncertainty,
while watching your mass absorb all the light and
the essence any strange astronomy could bring. Like
the distant orb above us – it is something which is
talked about but still severely unknown.
Broderick Kimmel, at the lodestone of goodness, is also
at the point of man’s departure from this world – that
long kitchen of all his preparation, where, yes, the ideas
are boiling but the conclusions seem overdone.
And he turns once about, and asks:
‘Skipper, skipper
What of the sea, and to
where are we going now?’]

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


Now and again a moment happens which
(seems to) change(s) the world. A deck of
cards with an obscure hole in the middle.
Two men, walking the Brooklyn Bridge, singing
Irish songs across the sky and traffic - while
below them a few large boats float by.
Those craft are powered by a Diesel fuel so
rich that one can smell the odor as it wafts
past those two, quite drunk and happy, men.
In noodles and doodles both, like children, we
let these things happen. Objects seem to float,
yet actually have a massive power and pull of
their own. In the course of our days, it is
our responsibility to find those things out:
those things which float, and those
things which need an outside power.
(Find the slipstream, and ride it through).


I am writing a letter to Harold, who has just
died. Something like the Sixth of January, some
year or another. Twelfth Night. Epiphany, near
to anything of that sort. Faint holidays in which
those who revel find means to revel while others
abstain. Care less. Couldn't. I know that he won't
read it. I know that he won't respond. His body is,
in fact, probably still warm, or would be had they
let it. Nothing like that occurs these days.
Parsifal. Oasis. Morgan Le Fey.
Into a great dudgeon some people fly.
There are things on their counter-tops and
bookshelves which cannot stay still. Haverford lamps.
Waterford crystal. Pingree-dot paintings. Postcards
from Brasilia. In an orb-like standing, the great gash
of the world soils the globe. The tattered photo of a
half-naked woman on the wall of an old garage.
We are meant to be, in our way, only what we are.
Or were. We are meant to be what we were
meant to be. I am writing a letter to Harold.
Who has just died.

Monday, January 4, 2010


('a broken English')
We wheedled a large dishevelled mess
out of the garage store nursemaid as she
was standing by eating candy corn beneath
the eaves. It was all too weird, how the half-light
refracted in spite of itself into a rainbow'd distraction.
No dilemma, there. She turned about, and said:
'From Istanbul I told you this was coming. You tried
to ignore my plight, but I wouldn't let you off. Remember?'
I certainly did, and let her know. She was the little sister
of Orhan Pamuk, and I'd known her before I knew him,
yet I'm older than both. 'Go to figure at that out' - as they
would say in their stupid broken-English. Before Istanbul,
it had been Bombay, and before that, Beirut. Funny too,
how now they're all places which no longer exist by those
names or have been splintered to smithereens in some form
of modern, political death. Not to matter. Eagles still soar.
Politicians still puke, and even the lowly guys and girls from
the United Nations, in their lovely blue jumpsuits, can live
and laugh and love and die just like any of all the rest.


That gun shown in the first act, yes, must
be fired by the third. Not necessary that
someone dies. The scrim behind the secondary
emoter, it should reflect a clouded sky running
over with a certain form of the moral mirth of
small-town virtue - even in the darkest of
existential scenes. Shadows lining a wall must
not move; rather, remain in place despite
any action. The mis en scene will set the scene.
The doctor should always be sentimental. The
parson naive. The local businessman - rapacious
to a fault and filled with longing for his mother
and reflective of nothing so much as an outlandish
youth filled with parental conflict and a sense of loss.
Compensate for this with energetic, over-the-top
obsessiveness and a business acumen and drive.
Always, an ingenue should appear waifish and
sexually acute though naive. This can be done by
body language and dress - or by personal characteristics
bespeaking a loneliness of dreamy desire. Make it work.
By the close, a complete summation of each of these
theatrical characteristics must have occurred cast-wise.
Leave nothing hanging. Tidy up loose ends.

Sunday, January 3, 2010


I'd always wondered why that African guy
refused to settle - always holding out for
Deliverance and his Messianic rage. They
leveled acres, cut of hands and arms, raped
women and pillaged villages - all in the name
of some unsettled God whose cauldron somehow
even in this modern day was still bubbling with
a boiling fury. Never understood by Mankind
anyway, it left instead upon our doorsteps
ten-thousands of street-side merchants selling
scarves and watches and doilies and hats. This
itinerant babble gathers - along the 20th Street lofts
gathering their goods and jewelry and watches. Suitcases
filled with stuff to sell, wrapped in blankets and sheets,
tables on wheels, banter and chatter balanced with
an ancient form of African silence. Deemed to think
to themselves, 'we are what you have never been', they
nonetheless step right in and take our commerce and
contraband together, making the change and the
small-talk of a livid curbside conversations. Handbags.
Watches. Woolens. Glasses. He will come again!
He is coming once more, to take us back!
That Lion of Judah, fear not, will roar!


I level with you like new marks in
old concrete - which means not at all.
Shouldering heavy burdens all your life, I
hoisted heavy matter up, for you. That was
me, understand, shouldering those heavy burdens.
At the risk of sounding stupid I rose to your defense
more times than you could imagine. I took that punch
for you - more than once. I spoke like a committed
fool. Why? To be sure to remain in your graces, as if
I'd had something to gain. You were stone, you were
granite. An idol, worth nothing at all. Now the smart ones
come walking around - they talk of indecent things and
ask questions of what we've done. Impervious imposters,
idiotic imps, workers for the State Police. Book burners
for God and country...or something like that anyway.
Cat o'nine tails, the whip which should cut,
every means of causing injury; that is
really all you're worth.

Friday, January 1, 2010


I have somehow connected to the pledge
of the ages to not rile the world with unbalanced
appraisals. All that may be - how you say -
'prim and proper,' but not for me. The world
is a pot-black patter-face posted in darkness.
I've seen its people - inhabitants all - in their
nice crinkly faces absconding with things :
the fugues of busy fingers stealing, ideas
and memories and intentions and doubts.
There's no over-riding reason why. It's
just done. Like sea-lions riding the
crest of a wave, or lounging alone
on some pier for a day, nothing is
mattered and nothing is meant.
It's unrealistic to really
expect anything more.


His stream of consciousness
has become a muddy swamp.
I noticed it first at the Sundance Dance.
He stood there limp, dragging on some
big girl's shoulder. She took it all in,
but he never shut up, calling her
names, lovely things, declaiming
her breasts as 'the things Heaven
brings.' It went on like that
all night. From that point on,
I decided his degeneration
had reached a point of
segregation. I walked
him away, popped him
on the head, and sat him
down on the new
purple couch.
He smiled, looking upward
at me. 'If you could only see
the things I see,' he said;
to no one else but me.



I remember well the the white fence
which used to stretch from yard to yard.
Roger to Richard to Henry and Leonard
and back. Like a frontier line of the suburban
slime - tract house past tract house, auto and
driveway, the gate drew the lawn to a close.
Nothing substantial, mind you - a make-believe
kingdom in the veteran's mind. These 1948 soldiers,
now returned fattened and ready, from their recent war,
having learned both their sex and their lines, all
following orders, all sleeping still with their kill,
sat back for their repast - a fated, broad meal -
a life of new richness, this freshly built home,
this lawn, this yard, that white-fence, delineating
their new country, hard. It ran from measly hillock
to humble hill, that swell in the lawn, that
musical trill - a bird's trait, some nature
yet existent. Even then, this world
was a dying place, broken
on the rack of time.


That speckled spot on the owl's
scalp, that's the ear hole they use to
hear - usually covered by feathers and down,
pointed in some species as a little quick crown.
You know those people who sleep 'till ten?
Like them, the long-suffering owl waits,
stays late, warily eyeing the ground and
the landscape before it : barn owl frequenter
of the night who stays too late into the day.
Swoops in despicable arcs to gain its prey.
Having in hand (so to speak) the grub of
its claw, the mouthed morsel with its
tearing beak, it gorges the moment, effusive,
with blood and bone, until that of-late
field mouse is digested home. Once more,
soon splattered like greasy paint
upon the Earth's long
suffering surface.