NICOTINE MENTALITY (CAUGHT IN THE TROPE)
BY NORMAN CLARK STEWART JR.
below is a version of my book Nicotine Mentality published in the mid eighties. I have since decided to split the sections into separate book titles and add some poems to each on that theme. Acrostic Mirrors, Childhood Poems (A Movement From Rhyme), Reflection Creates Images That Shine On Once Wordless Pages, Yogurt Connectedness , Long Letter To a Lost Love, Some Small Relief, Tachyphrasia, Consumption Sickness, Organic Concrete, Crisis Still, Dropsy Sonnets, One Breath of Hot Air, 1000 Words, Early Poems, Performin’ Norman, Lyrical Lascerations
OH! QUEST‑MAKER, CONTINUE YOUR QUEST.
AH! DO‑GOODER(*), DO YOUR BEST,
AND LOVER OF LIFE, LIVE WITH ZEST
FOR DON QUIXOTE RIDES WITH YOU,
ALL YOU TROUBADOURS‑‑
MAKING POETRY, NOT WITH WORDS
BUT WITH YOUR LIVES.
(*ala Wizard of Oz)
TABLE OF CONTENTS
TABLE OF CONTENTS __________________________2
SONNET II __________________________________7
SONNET III _________________________________8
SONNET IV __________________________________9
SONNET V __________________________________10
SONNET VI _________________________________11
SONNET VII ___________________________________12
SONNET VIII __________________________________13
SONNET IX _____________________________________14
SONNET X ______________________________________15
SONNET XI _____________________________________16
SONNET XII ____________________________________17
CHILDHOOD POEMS (A MOVEMENT FROM RHYME)
A SONG FOR LINDSEY __________________________19
CHILDHOOD TRAINING _________________________20
BLOW ME AWAY _______________________________21
THE ULTIMATE COOL___________________________22
SWEATING IN THE FROSTY ____________________________29
INNOCENT ONES _____________________________________ 30
THE LOVE I LOST ___________________________________ 32
HE’S A MEAN AND EVIL DEMON ______________________33
MAKE IT EASY ON YOURSELF ________________________34
TO BAMA ___________________________________________35
SEDUCTION BY A SAN PAKU LADY IN THE PARKING LOT OF THE
NORWALK MOTOR INN __________________________ 37
TO MY GRANDPARENTS _____________________________38
POEM FROM AN ASSIGNED FIRST LINE _______________39
THE FISHERMEN ALL CAME ALONG __________________40
PAPER WORDS FOR TAPPING FEET ___________________41
REFLECTION CREATES IMAGES THAT SHINE ON ONCE WORDLESS PAGES
YOUR MOODS SHADE MY LIFE _______________________44
MADAKET SUNSET ____________________________________45
PAGAN FURY ON THE DANCE FLOOR ___________________46
NOW IS FOREVER _____________________________________ 47
YOU BOTHER MY BALLS ________________________________ 48
CROSS‑COUNTRY CRUISING _____________________________49
OKAY _______________________________________________ 50
MAYBE YOU WON’T MISS ME __________________________51
THE MORNING FOR LOVE _____________________________52
MALAISE ___________________________________________ 53
YOGURT CONNECTEDNESS I _________________________56
YOGURT CONNECTEDNESS II ___________________________57
YOGURT CONNECTEDNESS III __________________________ 58
LONG LETTER TO A LOST LOVE
TO ROBSALA ________________________________________119
LONG LETTER TO A LOST LOVE (PART ONE)___________121
(PART TWO)______________ 135
(PART THREE)____________ 147
ANOTHER GOOD‑BYE I ___________________________148
ANOTHER GOOD‑BYE II____________________________ 149
ON A LIVING CUSHION ______________________________150
SOME SMALL RELIEF
TACHYPHRASIA I ___________________________________153
TACHYPHRASIA II __________________________________154
ON RENEE’S DA‑DA DITTY ___________________________156
RENEE’S DA‑DA DITTY AFTER SWEATING _____________157
YOU ARE STUV _____________________________________158
DAH _______________________________________________ 159
CONSUMPTION SICKNESS ___________________________161
TWO‑PART INTERLUDE _____________________________162
CONNECTIONS _______________________________________ 163
IF GERTRUDE CAN CAN I ENJOY TOO? _________________164
DADDY’S SUGAR _____________________________________ 165
THIS COULD GO ON FOREVER _________________________166
THE GUTLESS AND THE ONE‑EYED ____________________168
DISBELIEF _________________________________________ 169
A MOONIE _________________________________________170
STIMULATE ME ______________________________________172
THIS IS IT ________________________________________ 173
COMING OUT THE OTHER END _______________________176
I DID IT __________________________________________ 177
A PAGE OF JEALOUSY _______________________________
REFLECTION CREATES IMAGES THAT SHINE ON ONCE WORDLESS PAGES
AND SHADOWS DARKER THAN DEATH
I WAS A SPLINTER _________________________________ 182
SCREAMING TEARS ________________________________183
FROZEN ANSWERS, FLUID QUESTIONS __________________186
CRISIS STILL _____________________________________ 187
PARKING TICKET INSURANCE__________________________189
CRISIS STILL (A MESSAGE TO MICHAEL)_______________ 198
PU CAB HUT HUG ___________________________________ 207
DREAM SONG _______________________________________208
KILLERS COME QUIETLY _____________________________209
BOOMTOWN BOOMERANG _____________________________212
DOWN HERE THE END’S ALWAYS NEAR__________________213
IF YOU CHOOSE ____________________________________ 216
ONE BREATH OF HOT AIR SERIES I. _____________________218
- _____________________ 219
III. ____________________ 220
No matter how you look at things, congruities
Matter but little. It’s how things fit together,
How little Equality (yes, even that) can displease
You. It’s, yes, how things stand, not whether.
Look….How even things are at even parities,
At things that stand, at undefiled Be. Be
Things fit. Can not even be odd even?
Congruities together displease whether parities be even or…
The large cosmos and man‑made lore
Engage in altercation for what we believe in.
We build systems of order that tell us what we see
But, Truth, that fierce trickster, defies clarity.
Things seem to fit when the odds are not even
But beyond our belief there is always something more.
Form and content are not separate but unified
And controlled. To some intellects, form leaves the
Content to psychology. Kind thinkers give in; discrepancies
Are some kind of magical messages. The forms,
Not intellects, thinkers magical, not innocent trees (making
Separate form) give messages. Innocent lives are art
But leaves in the trees are not truly.
Unified, the discrepancies(forms making art) truly expand
And language is not the only source
Of artistic amazement. The mere fact
That there was enough there to listen to,
The sounds of disguised equity as it plodded
Its way along, these and maybe something more
Are hidden beneath the silly surface.
I tried and tried to find a poem for you
But nothing suited my purpose. One was too long
The next too pompous and wordy‑‑ You know how it goes.
I slaved three weeks, came down with the flu.
I’m not in love. I can’t sing a song‑‑
Have to stop all the time and blow my nose.
I’m just a mess, I know‑‑ What can I do,
When the whole world seems rotten and everything’s wrong?
Only a simple man, yes, it shows.
My emotions are tamed, to slide on through.
I’ve never discovered if I’m weak or strong.
In the middle of the road, I struck no highs, no lows
And I’ve stayed quiet until now, but I’d like to say
I do love you. You’re great. Come on! Give me a fuckin= A.
Still suffering from a formal tendency of mind,
Suffering, sometimes, a placement against extrapolations
From a freer mindset) creations question, making placement
A placement /mindset problem (that poetry has nothing
Formal against creations that have nothing worthwhile). All
Of free making, have worthwhile form. All are
Mind/ emotion/ placement/ nothing. ( All poems are nothing
Nothing but poems) They are not imagery
Not questions, not extrapolations, not placement or tendencies,
Considerations of free making, not suffering, nor mindset,
Not problems, Not necessarily worthwhile
But they are sometimes poetry
And pretty good.
A proud and fierce mockery of youthful rebellion
Delays the new wave of criticism.
The message feeds back its disguised equity.
While the media cry of our tawdry past,
The faded fervor of the middle‑aged hellion,
The precious purity of half‑remembered catechism,
The scientific method, the cult of efficiency,
And the wistful whimpering of a world confused at last,
And we sit back in our chrome‑colored thrones,
Listen for psychographic deviations
From the boom‑bah of brain washings,
Trying not to realize the sad condition
Of our times, we invest in change
And are bound by contractual agreements.
Imagine what it must be like to bear the guilt
Of this creation, to embrace a universe of words
And to find only these for truthful expression.
This small earth pebble which floats like silt
Upon a cosmic breeze, the torn innards
Of selfless love, the long and painful digression
Away from childhood have buried me to the hilt
In acquiescence ‑‑ I turn my thought homeward.
Dad dah di dah
Laugh at me, sweet dream child. They laugh
At you too. You fall for made beauty
(Me too) and, failing at fame’s fortunes, become
Sweet you, failing graciously, sunset taking you, (the
Dream fall at sunset is something, somehow) beast/
Child for fame’s taking, something easily ignored because
They made fortunes you somehow ignored, called nothing.
Laugh, beauty, become the beast because nothing matters
When love is lost. When love is lost
There is no fame, no fortune worth having
And the beauty of form is only refuge
From having to remember the dreams you discarded,
In the sunset of youth, when love
Was pain to deepen the pleasure you knew.
And no men left to see the dawn,
No tricksters living out some devious plans, and
Men living imitations of hateful orgasms, daring dusk.
Left out of influence, dreamers left the present
To some hateful dreamers, reigned over consequences to
See devious orgasms left over, to make fashion
The plans daring the consequences, make ugly the
Dawn and dusk, present to fashion the guilt
And become fashion themselves out of dreaming
So that dreaming is for them justified
But if no one sees the dusk and dawn,
If orgasms produce deformity, if my plans
Can be crushed, like my body can be, then
My dreams are worth something more when held.
I look at the ocean’s chores during summer,
Look at my duty and wonder, just how,
At my leisure to form oceans that “better”
The duty, to masterfully create from need, the
Ocean’s, and form. Create greater need? I, doing
Chores wonder, “Oceans from need?”, what need is
During just that need. I need more than
Summer. How better the doing is than boredom,
So I do chores and write down lists
Of more to do, try to improvise
Like the ocean, try to fill the needs
It presents me with , try to be big
And impressive and yet soothing, hypnotic.
At least, I have inspiration larger than me.
Plague, like the old fashioned kind, or some
Like death bug, bags mainly weaklings, they say.
The bug is bad for faltering whinnies and
Old bags, bad for bloodlines, intimations that mean
Fashioned mainly for bloodlines, blowing(evil wind), too
Kind weaklings, faltering intimations(evil plagues), down
Or they, whinnies that wind down, become infected.
Some say, and mean too, already infected, others
Say only pleasure they hope to give,
Say only silly formulations of mental acrobatics,
Say only imitations and are contagious
In their simplicity and art is obtuse
For them because death is so close
And they fall down without screaming.
Same old story when they’re black and white,
Old sunlit lines just sitting dead, those fine
Story lines and existence here entangled like lace
When just existence survives, making webs these concepts,
They’re sitting here making webs, crazy moonlight crammed
Black dead entangled webs, crazy moonlight visions, mourning,
And those like these moonlight visions, dark within
White fine lace concepts, crammed mourning within knowledge,
Within me and I try to tell it all
So that it’s beautiful and funny,
Try to look at life and imitated art,
Try to put something new on the page imbedded
In something timeless and , black and white,
All I have is formic tricks and words.
If you place me where you wish to
You give me something less of a chance,
Place me next to me, course set, with
Me something to be. Is that any good,
Where less me is more like anyone’s fortune?
You, of course, that like the concept, you
Wish a set, any anyone’s concept, leave
To chance, with good fortune, you leave it
Completely to chance and formal law
And everything is like brushing
Your teeth, you do it or not ,
And until something better is found
And if you’re good at it, you’ll do it by habit
And expect me to follow suit the same as you?
CHILDHOOD POEMS (A MOVEMENT FROM RHYME)
A Song For Lindsey
All those self‑made heroes
Trying to find just anyone
To tell their life’s long story,
Tell their tales of glory
Under the sun
And all the legend makers,
Those enormous fakers,
Trying to sell the story
Sell those tales of glory
Don’t worry when the record shows
That what they claim is more than they are,
More than they could ever be
Just like Don Quixote,
Are they wrong for dreaming?
Are they wrong for even scheming?
Their little plots may only be
Truth to children who hopefully
Reach out their hands to touch a star.
So what? Life’s an endless quest
To them, searching for the best.
Who are we to frown and laugh
When they believe in a better way
And try to conceive of a better day
From all the mess we made?
All I can do is toy with words.
My course is set, my game’s been played.
If not for them…what could I write
The sorrowful loss of youth’s shimmering light?
Oh! Quest‑maker, continue your quest.
Ah! Do‑gooder, do your best
And lover of life, live with zest
For Don Quixote rides with you,
All you troubadours,
Making poetry not with words
But with your lives.
I am an artificial man,
My life is a masquerade
And with my false presentment
I lead the mock parade.
My words are measured carefully,
Though they may not be profound.
With my falsehood and my trickery,
I’ll turn your head around.
The me you see is never
The person who I am.
I’m hiding safe from inspection
Behind an endless sham.
Blow Me Away
To live from
Hour to hour,
On the wind
Like pollen too‑-
I may be
But when a flower
Halts my flight,
For a while,
The Ultimate Cool
It was conceived on a Sunday
And he was born on a Monday
And they called him Steven
For no absolute reason.
From nothing came something
That cries, feels, and knows
But most especially something
He was a boy put upon the Earth
But the only reason for his birth
Was a fleeting moment in the night,
The climactic feeling of delight.
His fingers grew longer.
He went to school.
His muscles grew stronger,
But his parents forgot about the ultimate cool.
At only seven years of age
His suffering could fill many a page.
He was juggled and moved and swept out of the way,
Put in a home where orphans stay.
He learned how to read, how to tie his shoe,
The book said, “See Spot run.”
But where , O where, did Spot run to?
Where did he go when he wished to have fun?
His teeth dropped out.
His heart became stout.
His mind grew bigger.
A fact‑finder, deep‑digger,
He learned about things that all people need
And he, because he was nobody’s fool,
Began searching for a more eternal creed,
A thing he called the ultimate cool.
Ten years had passed since he was born
And still no righteous cross had he worn
But a cross he soon would bear,
And soon he would go where but a few dare.
A clearing in the mist, liquid turned to gel
Because a family of his own was not too far;
The stars were sun‑kissed and his pride would soon swell,
With a family to love him; But still he bore a permanent
His foster parents called him Steve
But don’t let the informal mood deceive
You into thinking that he was freed
From searching for a more eternal creed
And that is why he had to go
Back to the place of his birth,
Into a world he didn’t know,
And a time when there was no mirth.
So when he kissed his folks good‑bye
And his foster mother asked him, “Why?”
He just said, “Thanks for all the wonderful years,
I’m going now to conquer my fears.
I must keep moving. I can not rest.
I have no time for learning in school
Until I know I’ve done my best
To find the meaning of the ultimate cool.”
He looked toward the city with buildings tall.
His heart skipped a beat but he didn’t stall.
So he did the boxcar, hobo thing,
The stowing away the rail jumping
Until there was nothing left to eat
So he pulled out his watch and decided to hock it,
The watch his father, long ago, had won,
And traded fire in his eyes and faith in his pocket,
For faithless eyes and a rusty, old gun.
He didn’t know which way to turn.
He tried to work, tried to learn.
His ribs sticking out, his skin hanging loose,
No need for protection the gun had no use
Until with hunger and thirst raging in his soul
He remembered what he’d heard in school.
Money, someone had said, is what made men whole
And whole men had to have found the ultimate cool.
He finally found himself a job;
Fifty cents an hour but he didn’t sob.
Even though his inexperience, his tender years,
Were hidden by suffering and unannulled fears,
The boss in the city saw through his mask.
He was always sly and not in a daze
But he was too young. What more could he ask?
That question put him through another phase.
All the time he was tending the store
He was thinking of getting some hash next door
And when he left his friends to watch it, not rob
Everything, he got canned for leaving the job.
Where could he go but to them for a place?
“To the good time man, he’ll take care of you.”
They took him to see the man face to face,
The man who fronted a couple, then a few
Sacks of smack, snort horse, white delight.
So he sold them and fought the man’s every fight
And wanted to be just like him
Little bad Steve, like big bad Jim,
Who did every task the boss man bid
And started stepping toward death’s dismal door
He developed the habit and all he did
All day was stealing, buying and mainlining more.
Steve followed a pattern and followed it well
But as he reached the precipice and as he fell
Some unwitting someone, was there and caught him.
She worked at a hospital where she brought him,
Gave him attention and personal care,
Talked and touched him and soothed his fear
With beads of love and flowers from her hair.
His heart was filled as his head became clear,
Filled for a plain‑jane girl who,
With corn silk hair, blimp nose too,
With lips like snails,
Black iris and bloodshot pales,
Became, for him, Juliet of ancient fame.
He would let roots grow, have ends meet,
As she kindled in him an ancient flame.
She made him want to plant his feet.
He fell in love, that soothing pain,
And married her, and did not complain
And life was so awfully wonderful then.
His dreams came true but he didn’t know when
And then there was war and he took his part
Forgot about turning the other cheek,
Left the woman who’d read his chart
And told him that courage was not for the meek.
Well, drafted was he
And as quick as could be
He was one in ten million, a government issue
With tears unwiped and no toilet tissue.
With all the comforts of life taken away
He was a killing machine trained at war.
His friends died beside him with no time to say
Good‑bye and no one to tell them what for;
And, searching again through all the pain
Of life and love lost, he remembered his main
Purpose, the goal of his life,
The reason he’d put up with all the strife.
So he, being a man of the nature he was,
Ran to a neutral territory,
To fight against war and killing because
The ultimate cool was to be his story.
He loved his country, fruity meat and pit,
But far from his home he became a hermit.
Living off the land without a dime
He wished for his wife and dreamed of the time
When war would end and love would start.
The beautiful letter that he wrote to his wife
Was never sent but still it was art,
Filled with the emptiness of his life.
Reading the life he’d written down,
The fulfillment that he’d never found,
Tortured by what people had to say
About how he was dirt for running away,
He grew to love. He grew to hate.
He grew with every bruise and cut.
He grew in spite of his chosen fate
Because his eyes would not be shut
To the possibility of something better.
He forgave the world, forgot the letter.
He headed home to see his wife
Take his punishment and get on with his life.
Then the war ended and when the war ended
He was already home in a jail cell
But he wasn’t alone. Freedom defended,
The ones that lived tried to make him well
But his mind was gone and freedom lost,
At least freedom for free, because freedom’s cost
To Steven was his frame of mind
And the ultimate cool got left behind,
As age began to steal his parts,
Separate him from a joy for life.
The only cool then was two entwined hearts
And the beauty that was his loving wife.
She noticed the age, the difference in him.
He babbled after he lost a limb
And pain got old as pain sometimes does.
There was something missing but what it was
Was lost in muddled thought and remembrance.
Folks stopped stopping by, such a flighty host
Was he, and everything was in the past tense
And eating in the evening was milk and toast.
Too soon there was nothing for him to do.
His bones grew dry, his skin did too.
He only could watch his favorite sport
His lost arm limp, his breath was short.
He’d grown too old to participate
And could feel himself aging every day.
He was conscious of the time and date
Because so many had slipped away.
Growth steps are different except the first and last;
Death came too fast
But in death there was the promise of something new.
He waited for death for something to do
And if I ever reach that point,
The waiting for death, plodding toward death’s door,
I don’t want my life’s ambition to anoint
Me with jewels and oil. I want more.
I hope that I will be able to say
That I grew a little every day
And, like Steven, lose my childhood fear.
So the meaning of life became clear
To him. Like a clearing in the mist,
Liquid turned to gel.
The stars were sun‑kissed
With no secrets to tell
And the letter that was lost and put away
Was a love song found from an empty day
And those artsy words reminded the aging Steve
That there was something more. He was ready to receive
The grace of spirit from helping others,
The truth of death and a renewal
Of connection to all his human brothers
And now he lights the sky like a jewel
With billions of souls that found the ultimate cool.
A new life began the day he died;
It was autumn at the time.
I see the coffin in my dreams
And hear the church bells chime
Harmony with uncaring spades
That slowly fill his grave.
With all the wonders of modern man,
There was one man they couldn’t save.
Now flowers bloom and buds on trees,
New‑born birds and honey bees,
Sing a song of enormous rebirth
In the ground and nest and hive.
Why, then, can not the one I love
Be back again, alive?
Sweating in the Frosty
Sweating in the frosty
Chill of a winter’s day.
My skis and poles and boots
Are still safely tucked away.
The cold winter weather
Reached a record high.
A dark and windy forecast
And not a cloud in the sky.
It’s much too warm to catch a cold
So with telescopes folks go,
In bathing suits and sunglasses,
To search the sky for snow.
Innocent ones: you, the one that died
And you, (left behind) who cried
In life after the death of a friend:
In death or in life the friendship won’t end,
For death means a reunion with the one
Who was your earth and moon and sun
And though, innocent one who lives no longer,
Your pain was great, you were so much stronger
Than the one that was left behind to suffer.
Thoughts of you, the dead, have managed to hand‑cuff her,
The living, into immobility
Withstanding greater pains in nobility
But ever bending under the weight
Of life’s limitations and of burdens too great
To be borne by one innocent one alone.
That is why I, to whom innocence has been denied,
Have been sent around to grieve by the side
Of this innocent one, so all alone.
You must be shown
That love and care need not end
With the sorrowful death of a loving friend.
Left behind on this tangled earth,
You must live your life sharing the endless mirth
Of your friend who now can feel no pain.
Sing a happy song of love and its sweet refrain
Will lovingly sing back at you again and again.
You’re the one, the one who suffers now
And if you try you may learn how
To live with the death that set your friend free
To sail high above the clouds so endlessly–
Endlessly watching everything you do.
Oh! Innocent one it’s up to you
To live her life as well as your own
And one day you may be flown
To that the eternal meeting place
To, once again, meet her face to face
But for now let her death share in your life.
Let her strength share in all your strife
And in life you may share some of the joy
That she had to die for. You are the Amessenger-boy
Of the happiness you know she has found.
So, to keep her alive, spread her mirth around
And she will be happier at your contentment
As long as, in your heart, you hold no resentment
For the fact that she left us way before you.
She left to you love and something to do:
To live your life, one life, as two.
The Love I Lost
Under this bush, under that one,
In the back seat where we sat once,
Along the path to lover’s leap,
(Remember? The drop was much too steep)
Around each and every bend we took,
Is where I desperately look and look
For a simple sign, for the smallest clue
To where the love went when I gave it to you,
Where it landed when you threw it away.
I search hour to hour, day to day
For a smile or a wink or another sign
Of the love that once was mine, all mine.
When I finally find the love I lost,
When my emotions are no longer tossed,
Like drifting wood, by waves, ashore,
I won’t have to search for love anymore,
Won’t need to be blind to the friendship all around,
When the love I lost is finally found.
He’s a Mean and Evil Demon
He’s a mean and evil demon with eyes of fiery red.
The devil makes him thirsty and the devil keeps him fed.
You, pretty little innocent, had better keep your head.
If he says go backward, go forward instead.
He’s a mean and evil demon and he has his eyes on you.
If you look too deeply, there’ll be nothing you can do.
He’ll take you in his power and the things he’ll put through
Will rot your soul and turn your blood a darker shade of
He’s a mean and evil demon who’ll rape your mind and steal
And when he has no use for it, he’ll tear your soul apart.
Stop him, stop his evil deeds, stop them before they start,
Before he has a chance to use his lascivious form of art.
He’s a mean and evil demon who’ll blind you with the truth.
He’ll close your eyes saying evil things and he’ll claim he’s
He’ll entwine your head in weedy vines and gin and dry
He’ll take your womanhood away from you while he quietly
steals your youth.
He’s a mean and evil demon so you’d better keep alert.
He’ll have your heart for dinner, your pure soul for dessert.
Then he’ll say that he must leave and it will really hurt,
Even though he tortured you and made you feel like dirt.
He’s a mean and evil demon.
Make It Easy On Yourself
Make it easy on yourself.
Put your sloth upon a shelf
And save it for a better day.
It’s hard to use it anyway,
For level heads and steady hands
Tame the seas and rule the lands
With forward forces driving ever,
Here to stay, stop striving never,
You’ll find your work is a bottomless well,
A source of joy and stories to tell.
Forces refined remain strong and true
And practice makes them a part of you
And level heads and steady hands
To tame the seas and rule the lands
Will be your justice, your well‑earned reward
As your work and life bring you toward
A time when work is leisure to you,
When you’re only at rest with something to do.
So get yourself to work today.
Put your worries and fears away.
Make it easy on yourself.
To Bama The Village Poet
Bama, village poet, man of black,
You stand tall and defiant
Uncompromising and enraged.
If you need to, you’ve agreed to go back
But only if you can do it black.
Stand firm and proud at your conviction
And bend to no man’s jurisdiction.
Unlike those blinded by the fingers of fate,
Blinded by systematized claws of hate,
You have maintained your sight and you can see
A dawn in the darkness, what it would be
If only we were truly free.
You are a black man, nigger no more,
Never to go back to what came before
And, though you can not forgive and forget me,
I will call you brother if you will just let me.
Black man, I stand by your side
And though I can not share your pride,
I share your dream– What a world it would be–
If every man were truly free.
So call me honkie and say that I’ve lied
And I’ll call your bluff and stand by your side
And though a brother in blackness I could never be,
In the ghettos of my mind I have never been free.
Maybe that’s what makes us brothers.
Significant change has never been made
By the passing of a moment
And though it may seem hopeless
You can’t trade your lifelong ambition
For a moment’s success, if the passing
Of a moment can only bring
A fading happiness.
A monument in stone will stand alone
But artistry in flesh and blood
Can change the sweep of a powerful tide.
If just one person can understand,
Victory is a little closer at hand
But final victory is only yours
When everyone declares an end to the wars.
Your screaming has a wasteful, wanton feel
When change can be made in a tick and a tock
But acceptance slows down the wheel.
Seduction by a San‑Paku Lady
In the Parking Lot of
The Norwalk Motor Inn
How can you so quickly say
That this is an escaping?
I am untouched for many days
But once was a starlet’s daughter;
You can see it in my eyes.
I go zoom, back and forth,
To chance meetings with
Obscure knowledge faded,
I am a genius, once I was a queen
But now I prefer to be fed
And clothed and carefully coddled;
Riches to rags, riches to rags.
There is no use in going on
To live a life half‑sane.
So come with me behind the walls
Where what you will is true;
Your sickness is as great as mine
And will be long in mending.
To My Grandparents
Remember the days when Earth was large,
When a man’s ways were oft his own?
We grasp so little that is known
But we understand
It’s complexity and too much that make the ugly
Seem more grotesque.
Infinity either way, you save or you spend
But how can infinity and imaginary numbers
In sets and subsets
Free the shackled mind?
Has everything been changed in this foreign land
Or do we just look differently
At things we took for granted then?
It goes in circles, it all was planned;
On this we depend
But how, why, and all that matters can change
When things, once flat, get spherical.
Poem from an Assigned First Line
The mind is a city (overpopulated).
We clean it up now and then
When meaningful people visit,
Display famous landmarks,
Propagate an ideal.
After the mood is justified,
If ornaments and trappings
Are not considered, it’s
Mostly buildings growing
Haphazardly toward the sky.
We don’t know how far to extend,
When to stop or become polluted.
Nature, lost, is not soon forgotten
So we create our own to compensate;
Plant trees along the avenues,
Paint the concrete artfully.
The Fishermen All Came Along
Cradled in a boat with a pole and a beer, all the sunny day,
I see Granny at the stove but there’s nothing for the pan;
The fishermen all came along and fished the fish away.
My home’s a mess, my business down, my life is slow decay
But my belly’s stretched out and I’m glad to know that I’m
doing all I can,
Cradled in a boat with a pole and a beer, all the sunny day.
When the kids get home, when the wife gets mad, I never know
what to say
To explain why all I have to claim today is a gut and a darker tan;
The fishermen all came along and fished the fish away.
The neighbors moved, but I got stuck, so I guess I’m here to
Not much to do but the work’s not hard; some say I’m a
Cradled in a boat with a pole and a beer all the sunny day.
I never was one to sit and moan and watch myself get gray
So I’ve been smiling since the day this began;
The fishermen all came along and fished the fish away.
Three years ago, there were no more fish. The sportsmen were
glad to pay
For a pond and some tanks and some tiny fish eggs. Last year
went according to plan;
Cradled in a boat with a pole and a beer, all the sunny day,
The fishermen all came along and fished the fish away.
Paper Words for Tapping Feet
The shadows, quivering red and black,
Excite the dance floor. You thrive on contrast,
Don’t you? You turn the thrill around
Until the flow is blushing at your wild, teasing wiggles.
Isn’t it wonderful how lust can deceive?
I make my youthful move toward you and you
Doubt my intentions, make my heart pound,
Inches away. I grope at your beauty
In my clumsy attempt to carve myself into your memory
But you will not give me a tainted love.
It’s your habit to expose yourself, briefly.
You play with the cut of your dress between
Us and show the boy behind my charade.
You smile as your lover reclaims you
And as I walk into the night, with arms crossed
And salty tears, I remember your rhythm and rhyme. +
reflection creates images that shine on once wordless pages
Your Moods Shade My Life
How could you allow me
To make you feel so ashamed?
My reign ends at your touch
And we barely rule ourselves.
It’s so very hard to know
That everything is just the way
It always had to be.
Our barefoot froth‑walk disturbs the flow
Of waves that will not stay;
The wind must die or flee.
Like the plans we lovingly laid,
In rolling tide, the stranded shells
Adorn the oily beach.
I can’t explain why we were made
So captured by sights and sounds and smells
And love beyond our reach.
Pagan Fury on the Dance Floor
With little resistance, I bend my head
to the side.
I say, “Excuse me.” They snarl,
And on my merry way I go.
I become a monster to please;
Wish to suffer and not be guilty.
Luxury is sin when man dies hungry
And I’m starving for me;
Don’t you see?
It’s a kind of revenge,
But when I smile to myself
It’s because I know
All about good jobs and lousy lives.
So, with a little resistance,
And slam into passersby.
Now Is Forever
It’s hard for me to understand
Why a woman needs a man.
You need a man that you can hold?
Confusion and uncertainty get so old,
So fast? But nothing lasts.
The established way doesn’t work today;
We exist and fumble about.
The cities fall down; smell the decay;
Everyone’s moving out.
Moving out to where? Do we dare ask? Go north? Go south?
All I travel on is word of mouth;
I can’t afford to move around.
So if all words fail me from this time forward,
If my speech just babbles from sound to sound
And no meaning be ever known,
Whose fault would it be: whose fault if not my own?
It all has been already said and done‑‑
I can not be your only one
And though I seem as calm as can be
I don’t believe what you’re asking of me.
You need to make love to something more
And take it further than you’ve been before?
You need to find a love that can grow
In a lover you can always know?
We’re stranded here; This sad situation
Leaves us lost with no relation
To anything at all. Were so, so small.
Sibling systems fight battles of atoms, ions and light
And we just die. So, I can’t begin to fathom why
A woman like you claims she needs this man.
I have no strength left to understand.
you bother my balls
make honey make haste
complain and connive, say
“i don’t love you, i love you so much,
why don’t you work for IBM?”
well, i be a man not M for money
and if i sold out it was to you
because i loved you
and if this is poetry, i’m sorry
because i think it’s ugly
to hurt so much for love.
cross-country Cruising (Does it Matter That it Was in a Plymouth Fury?)
Let me dye your wagging tongue
So that we might be equal.
I’ll dye it purple;
In purple there is unity.
White and black converge upon it
But it purifies the standard.
Metaphysical mirrors of what I am,
Soggy molds of some perfect image,
Hold no art– just a facade,
Like some bodiless extremity.
Your sorrow is a many‑faceted creation
And your eyes hold the truth in separation.
So, don’t give me watered down versions
Of what you think I should hear.
I picked you up on the side of the road
And give you a ride toward your destiny.
Can’t you share your journey with me?
The night’s too long for imitation,
For words repeated. I could talk to myself
If my own sorrow was enough to make the miles
Move. The tormenting shadows, bathed in
The morning mist, disappear. You sleep.
Yes, the pleasures of the darkened road
Exemplify the nakedness of reality.
A fly dies on my windshield,
But the sunrise is still beautiful.
I’ll tell you the truth.
What really hurts me
Is how far away
You drift when
The world doesn’t do
What you think it should.
You seem to think
That nothing touches me
The way the pain touches you
And that just puts me, me, me, me (like echo)
Farther from you when passion
Suffers its most trying test,
When love has to be at its strongest
Because it is least felt.
MAYBE YOU WON’T MISS ME
My mother, strong and sweet,
My father, quietly tense,
My grandmother, with arthritic smile,
My grandfather, enlarged liver and all,
My other grandmother, tall like poplar,
My sister, who just fell in love,
My Grandfather, who I never knew
I’ll bet someone you know
Maybe someone you didn’t know
I miss them all, completely, already, but…
THE MORNING FOR LOVE
I open my eyes to your questioning gaze
And lay in the light of a fiery blaze
That looks down upon me and my love
With warmth from even so far above.
What sweet surprise the morning holds!
Emotions warm as the day unfolds
But now is the time for me to know you,
For love to awaken and for me to show you
Truth without deceit.
Is a yawn,
In the mourning for love.
Like mayonnaise is transparent
When it sits out a while
And something tasty turns rancid,
Hideous, see us
Making a mountain out of tuna fish.
What’s wrong with that?
You want me to bear the guilt of deceiving you
So that you can be a new sort of
Delicacy, your anger
A calling into the priesthood
Of the human heart?
I hear your prayers,
The sizzling circuitry,
The cries for beauty;
Too much, too little,
It’s all too something.
I’ll admit it’s too nice
To tie up the world
In a Christmas‑colored package
With a pretty brown bow,
Maybe we can stuff an elephant
Into a bread box and blend
That grey with a wrinkled sky
But those infinite ties,
The language of sound,
The mold and melancholia
Make hasty reverence
To the obvious,
One facet in the diamond
Life of verbal philosophy.
An Appia image in veiled nakedness,
The stolen forest of gossamer
Symbolism can hint at immortality
(And solitary moments
Become traffic jams)
But men still stick their noses
Where they don’t belong
And women pedal along
On their menstrual cycles
And all those Cambodian children
Grow up or die
And poets tie up poems
Into little Christmas packages
And offer their naked bodies
To a science of analysis
Or hide the hemp‑scarred wrists
Of realization that nothing
Is ever quite enough because….
It’s all all right.
I could say I hate it:
Such a torch,
The anger, the discontent, the scumbled emotion.
In this world of hard‑core immediacy,
It’s all all right,
All messy and beautiful,
Elephants and dappled sky alike
And sounds of mold growing
On the milk bones the dogs are eating
Because we like white teeth and sweet breath.
What I usually do
Is spend a little time,
Talk and mingle and mess about
Before I slap your face
With the look of my life.
Can you blame me for being frightened?
When you move the air you touch me.
What you do is
You take your yogurt
and its brother,
Another batch from the same culture,
Same yogurt culture.
Enclose them both in lead:
Lead boxes or something.
Separate them —
As much as you can.
Hook your EEG machines to them both
And feed one of them some milk.
The needle jumps on both batches
Both batches — yogurt brothers that they are–
The needle jumps on both batches,
Like they’re both being fed.
Yogurt Connectedness II
There’s this stuff in my mouth that hurts me
When I don’t feed it sugar. It lives there
Because I was lazy enough to let it grow wild.
It would have grown wild anyway but not on me,
In me; and now it is a part
Of what I am, which is caught.
I always was but didn’t know it. There’s this stuff
That I am for some short time that keeps me human
And aware of my place, my connected nature.
All my vast deviations, all my play, all my toil
Is stippled with pores of worldly existence and so
Much more than I will ever be able to know or feel.
I always loved milk. I’d drink gallons every week
But never was yogurt because of what I thought I was,
Because of what I wished to be. Yes, I’m connected to me,
But that’s not to say
That I’m only connected to me.
I’m a construct from contradictions,
A made thing in a world of made connections.
Yogurt Connectedness III
I don’t dare touch my lovers–
Let the air between us carry
My thoughts alone;
Make my move westward
To keep them from touching me
When I’m not looking.
There’s still so much between us
And still no way to melt skin
Into one human blob.
What’s a single soul,
Like me, doing
When freedom’s ideal
Is a wealth of solitude
In this a poverty of aloneness?
Feed my lover and you
Touch my lover and you
Feed my lover and you.
Touch my lover and you.
Touch me. Feed me.
So much darkness reflected in so many people’s eyes
That I sit and wonder if reflections are made by mirrors
Tackyphrasia 5 or 6
Less time in the city
To do the burned bacon bit,
We fry our eggs and watch
The rubber edges brown and bubble
But simmer down? Never.
Less time in the city
To warm things, grow green,
And sometimes let colors melt
Into landscapes of memory:
Less time but not no time.
But beauty makes me forget the pain
Be careful what you set your
Hard‑on for. It will
Surely be yours.
If man must make the same mistakes
Over and over again,
If blindness is only an eyeful of nothing
And colors are only meant to be seen,
Then you and I must be resigned
To the has been and will be unchanged
And must forget the could have been
Dreams of human glory that linger,
Too long formless, from age to age.
The ratty clothing
Smelled old smells,
Was for and of another
Time, lived today
Determined, not dust,
Not food for clothing
Parasites, but dampened
Thread getting on again.
All in between.
I love the righteous,
Hate the wrong‑doer
But all the beauty
That is me is me.
Into darkness silently I go
To bed and to sleep so
That I might waken on the morrow
With a new state of mind
And forever leave my sorrow
Far, far behind.
we darken each other with refusals
no! we will not comply to being i!
royal mediation and flattered flatulence
and all that stuff coming out‑interferometry
rainbow rhapsody, methane, PCBs, we chug chug along
or sing of sadness or youth or joy
Good Night in the Morning
The light filters through my eyelids as morning is and in my
And dawned on my sleepy mind is the distant thought that it
must be seven
(Time to rise). My arms are lead and my legs won’t move and
as my head
Is slowly lifted by magical strings, I push it back to my
Pillow. A twenty ton tank slowly rolls across my ear and
parks on my
(I sneak a few more minutes in the land of dreams)
My wake‑up watch sounds like an air raid siren and as I jump
to turn it off, my bloodshot eyes freeze upon the luminous
The letters on its face.
I tumble back into my bed.
(What heavenly ecstasy!)
What kind of changes did you expect?
The Temptations of Valor
The temptations of velour
Now older I get so tired.
pa pah ta‑pa
TO LIVE TO FIND ONESELF
TO LIVE TO FIND THE TRUTH
TO LIVE TO FIND THE TRUTH
TO LIVE TO FIND ONESELF
Who’s that walking along the street
It’s a pretty young girl I would like to meet.
My love is so far away
That I need some love today
And that little blond tomato
Stews my brain.
I’m going insane
‘Cus that little blond tomato
Stews my brain.
17 TO 25
used to be, the crazy ones
were 17 to 25. they’d play with power
test their tempestuous temptation
like thermometers of coital causality
There’s no such thing as a “somebody done me wrong song”
A lock cannot be opened without a key
If you search your soul you will see
That you were not deceived by a charming smile
Or the pleasant while
That you spent together
Sometimes I feel sometimes I think
I sometimes think of feelings
Sometimes I feel like thinking
But now I think I feel like sleeping
Because sleep makes me feel no longer like thinking
But like sleeping forever and feeling forever
The sweet thoughtlessness of sleep
As you’re looking toward the future
To the time when you’ll be free
Think not only of what you have been
But what you’re going to be
Song for a Salt Marsh
I am the Northern Diamond‑Backed Terrapin
And Mr. Ryan knows the shape I’m in
But he doesn’t care because my eviction
Brings him no grief, brings him no conviction.
What does he care if the world just dies?
He owns the buildings that scrape the skies.
What does he care if we die from the crud?
He’ll eat his money and drink our blood.
The English language is predominantly pentameter?
All the beauty I ever knew
Is all that is inside of you.
All the terror, the furor, the fear,
The yin, the yang, is you, my dear
And all I have to do to stay
Is tell you I’ll never go away?
Loneliness is my domain
So I can not always, always remain
And all the beauty I ever knew
Is all that I can leave for you.
The world will go on
On its predetermined course
And all the prophesies of those wise men
Who wish to change the passing of the universe
Will be like the wings of enlightenment
Carrying our souls ever upward
And every deed of those who work
Toward a betterment of any kind
Will be like the turtle’s heavy step
On the road toward eternity
Ever so slowly carrying us forward
But never changing the way it will be.
AOh, Yeah? So, why write poetry?
So poetry is music, is art, is love, is ecstasy, is
innocence, is courage and fear, is life, is death, is
reality, is forever, is salvation, is discord, is melody, is
harmony, is not, is religion, is God somehow, is God seen, is
unseen things, is jealousy, is loneliness, is unity, is aged
and ageless, is faithlessness and faith, is lack of wisdom
and lack of anything explainable, is an absent man ever
expected, is always around, is all those things and many more
rolled up in one tight package?
nylons and chocolate
in World War Two the girls that would
for nylons and chocolate?
Much Too Much
Too many soggy words
And trite conceptions,
And overused themes;
Too many bad jokes
And worn out phrases,
Meanings ripped apart
And infinitives split;
Too many precursors
And images spent,
Too many messages
And too much to say;
Much too much
For me to remember,
Pen in hand,
Trying to write.
Nurtured in your grief
By the milk of her kindness,
She, the only thing that can
See through man’s blindness,
Is in the hotel beds
And lying on the dune
Beneath the beaming moon.
Reflected in the water
Where no one sought her,
She’s the mother of the universe.
I am the beer in the cold glass
That sits in anticipation of the lifting.
Bubbles float to the top of my head
But when Im gone will I be dead?
Kiss your ass —
People bear their own blame‑‑
I’m just the beer in the glass
That was once full of… me?
They could all be just
So many empty words.
Who would know but you
Beautiful and vibrant,
They float ornately
Upon the heavy mist of evening.
These devices are,
But until we learn
To look into eyes,
Words are all we have.
There can not be
A snare strong enough
To entangle me.
I have felt the supple strands
Of the spider’s web.
Even they could not tear
The flesh of my virginity.
My soul is bent and twisted
But it has survived,
It has survived.
It has survived.
Filet mignon and coke and smoke
Could never be enough‑‑
They will not make me live forever.
I have tasted the finest
And was not satisfied.
How can I now accept the half‑good,
When dreams would simply not come true
And perfection hid itself from me?
It was not mine and would not make me immortal.
Puppets are People
Puppets are people
Who do what they’re told.
Puppets are people
Who can be controlled.
Puppets are mindless.
They come from a mold.
Puppets are bought
And they can be sold.
Puppets can’t cry out.
Puppets are mute.
They do what you say
And they don’t give a hoot.
People are puppets………
“Puppets?” you say,
“Incredible! Untrue! ”
Just think for a while.
Whose puppet are you?
Well, this is finally moppet me,
No falsely deep voice,
No elusive lines,
No ploys, no noisy self‑expression.
Say smile–I’ll moppet smile.
Say cry– I’ll make big tears
But don’t, please don’t ask me to leave
You now. My life and love are so involved
That I wouldn’t have a thing to do
If I wasn’t playing with you.
I need you now and give you control,
Will be yours until you cut my strings.
Hello, my love.
What else do you want?
How much I would like to worry about little things
Like how do you do and did you miss me
And how long before you let yourself kiss me,
How much I would like to dream little dreams
And try to imagine what it would be like
To have a girl of my own,
How much I would like to blush at words
I don’t quite understand, play little games
And not care about their meanings or consequences,
How much I would like to be happy for no reason at all,
Retain my younger self for a little while longer,
How much I would like to wish if wishes came true.
(But they do! )
The Definitive It
Someone else wrote this poem.
I was not involved,
Not included, not there.
He wrote it for you;
It was your beauty,
Yours and his and you
Have the gall
To give it to me
And call it Aours ?
But You’re Not Blind‑I CAN’T COPY THIS ONE!!!
Will Have Been Seeing
By the time you decide
That our love is real
I will have been seeing
Too many others to devote
A lasting love to you.
AWell, is that fucking sweet,
Used To It
You always said yes– you got used to it.
You never said no– I got used to it.
We were such a mess– we got used to it
So we had no place to go but we got used to it.
Now we have a future that will never be a past
And dreams that will always last‑‑
They’ll never be fulfilled.
Our fields will never be planted in clover.
Our cup, our cups will never run over
And not a drop of life will be spilled.
Away from the bustle of the crowd
We live where a whisper is considered too loud,
Where words are not spoken for lack of a need
And laws are not broken because our creed
Is love to you and love to me,
Love to anyone who wants to be
A part of what we are and have.
No one does but we’re used to it.
Dragon cosmos, roaring rotund
With a wastrel warrior
And a plump misled monkey
Crush a windy gull.
( Favorite word game )
Wow! Other people have been here too.
What did they do?
(Dot,dot,dot)…but beauty makes me forget the pain.
SOMETHING SAD ABOUT SERENDIPITY
A SPORT OF OW
THE PLATFORM (AN ACID BASE)
ENTERING THE TROPE
THE PRECIOUSNESS OF DEATH?????????
IMAGES LIKE POETRY CLASSES
BECAUSE YOU CAN’T BE SURE
THE BE CAUSE
THE LOST I LOVE
hellish year in Harlem?
what a smile. two thousand dollars
crisis still ‑‑FALLING OFF THE FAST LANE
Stanley Plumly says sex is funny?
Of course sex, not love
…And What You Do To Friends
….And what you do to friends is shatter the illusion.
PESSIMISM MAKES ME MAD
because you live on the losing of what you had
when you wallow in your worries
and you tell sad stories
and you die every day, just a little bit more
‘cus you’re dying if there’s no joy, no hope, nothing in the
future to be living for
dying if there’s nothing that you’re living for
I’ll tell you the truth.
What really hurts me
Is how far away
You drift when
The world doesn’t do
What you think it should.
You seem to think
That nothing touches me
The way pain touches you.
And that just puts me
Farther from you when love
Suffers its most trying test.
Why is it that love has to be strongest
When it is least felt?
Ooh I’m so angry & jealous
Oh I want her so much
Ah she’s coming soon
Hum I wonder where she is
Huh who’s she with
Ha ha here she is
Boy, her hair sure is messed up
Yo how you doing?
Phew, she’s not mad
All the beauty I ever knew
Is all that is inside of you
And all the terror, the furor, the fear
The yin, the yang is you, my dear.
The love and hate I couldn’t know
Took everything you had to show me.
And loneliness now is my domain,
The obscure and plain to see.
If not for you and what your love does
I’d only be what once was me.
People Eat Poetry
Pain, pain, pain
What are you
That after you
Eat, you can’t
For a Pretty Young Girl Whose Name Ive Forgotten
With your half‑closed eyes and your
Indisposable assets to carry you along,
Do you find my affection to be
An unwanted intrusion on your daily routine?
Your smile ignores me but, still you smile for this nigger
So your day will be whiter? I feel guilty, somehow,
For allowing you to be the way you wish to be,
Living happy on the edge of the grey matter,
Holding on to my adoring eyes, smiling half‑smiles.
Do you find my affection to be
Just a meager maladjustment in your daily routine?
Your smile ignores me but still you smile for a nigger
So your day will be whiter? I feel guilty somehow…
One For Shange
Are you getting married?
I F F W
T S I C U T H
S H O G S A N I H E
N O I U U T E N N S E N
E M S S T R C O R E O R
W E O I O V L T E
? T M N M E S H
Y H S E G P E I T
H O I E E F N F O
A U N C N E O G I
F V G R S M R L
U I E A P T L
N N T T T N H
G S E Y I E
? N G
Rhyming verse is the curse of the universe?+
Long Letter to a Lost Love
You beautiful mutant. The methodical man
Of set form and societal structure
May soon banish you from warmth and succor.
There has been nothing in this world like you
But perfection must be disavowed
When it’s already been defined,
When people on rungs, up or down,
Scramble to the image of that false myth.
You say you’re of a downtrodden race.
Circumstantial sorrow, cruel disgrace
Made childhood long and hard?
Isolation left you scared?
You have eternal glory, your race and you,
While I carve a lonely wake through
Useless time; waste some with me‑‑
We’ll get exactly nowhere, scarred and ugly.
Pretty colors bend us as we
Make love to more rambunctious rhythms.
Ignorance thrives for the pleasure of victory.
We still create demons to amuse ourselves
But folk tales are made glory and more complex.
Nobility skunks religion, science smells itself,
So we create to compensate, paint the concrete artfully,
Spread succulent juices all over everything.
Helpless love sneaks me back to your arms.
So sorry; I can’t resist your charms.
You float from one warmth to another,
Every man your incestuous brother.
You want too much, not from me,
And cry when you are lonely.
Please let me be your comfort, your secret alibi.
The past’s no reason not to try.
Come on….take a moment of violet life,
Melt with me into purple places.
We never had anything to sell anyway.
Life’s a bitch, a beautiful bitch,
Great big rusty nails and lots of irony.
Hypnosis has us crisp and crusty
But in the mirror we’re something else;
We move with love sometimes.
Like some apparition, in and our of my life,
You make mockery of marriage, sometimes wife,
Claw me in spiteful revenge, symbolic retribution
For centuries of grief. I’m substitution,
Have two decades practice, gobble guilt like
An emotional scapegoat. I run down the pike
When my ring finger aches for one magic day,
When I need to bleed in my messy way.
False exaggerations prostitute tears….
I could cry and scream and stamp forever.
Long Letter to a Lost Love (part one)
I’ll start out slowly,
Try not to skip and jump
Too much. I’m on a plane,
Three hours out of town.
Funny, how time spreads
Sorrow thinner. I look into
The darkness with half‑closed eyes
And let the night hold me.
I imagine your smile.
Maybe we ignored the signs
And strayed too far from
Our needs and greeds so, sadly,
I soar away from loving you.
Though other measures lead me astray,
My life still revolves around you
And the only ecstasy I ever found
In this plastic world of artificial euphoria.
False exaggerations prostitute tears, I know.
I could cry and scream and stamp forever.
You never wanted me, just sensuality.
We’d pass our hatred back and forth,
Gentle persuasions would hide our fears,
They’d echo through tunnels of emptiness.
But still you were no self‑sacrifice to a selfish boy‑‑
Just couldn’t find a reason to try love’s pleasure.
I’m nobody’s fool but my own fool,
I make my own mistakes.
You looked at me psychologically
But that’s not what it takes to hold me.
Two different spaces and races and traces
Of misunderstanding, we’re souls cast
In molds of our fates and hatred
Is all we know. To you, love is futile,
A frivolous showing of emotional weakness.
We lie to each other, sleep by the buying
Of joy, girl and boy, we lie and try to love.
We cannot connect, but it’s not our problem
It’s their malignant lie…that we be less
Last night someone took me home.
I don’t remember who‑‑but I was
There, alone, waiting just for you.
You always had to be so much,
Comprehensible but complex
So what you were to my loving touch
Was shared with strangers while I sat
Waiting for you to call. We tried to live
Together. We couldn’t live apart.
We were milk and grapefruit, Gibran and Sartre.
Affection, denied me, tore my loving soul,
My pride was substitution to hide the truth
Which chanted monotonous, “Die, bitch, die.”
Nothing could have crushed my bones,
But your disease blushed at my wonder.
As a sacrifice to a box of broken dreams,
You shaved my locks, Delilah, were paid
Your demon’s ransom. O, that I were aloof
And handsome, less proud, strong enough
To choke you and destroy my taste
For a lover untrue and a love gone to waste.
For now I’ll just sit and examine the gloom
You say you don’t need me?…Well, that’s good.
I’m busy enough without you. You say you don’t love me?
Well, that’s fine, but why do you still call me?
“I miss you” you say, “in this house all alone.”
What about the times you wouldn’t let me come home?
You’ve had enough of my misfit ways?
You haven’t thought of me for many days?
Well, that’s just fine. I’m going back
To my women and wine. You’ve locked the windows
And bolted the door? I don’t believe you anymore,
Don’t believe that you could be so cold‑‑
I thought we’d raise some kids and grow old.
I don’t believe that our love could really die
But I will not give it another try.
How could you care for what you saw in me
If all I could give you was more and more
Solitude and shameful regret? Was your life
So empty, your emotion so free, to be consumed
By any me that happened by? ‑‑Die, bitch, die.
….Playful and soft, you transfused
Me with your youth. Blinded by your
Magnificence, I could not make you believe
That I loved you. I should, after all this time,
But something about you terrifies the softer side
Of me. Something tells me that something went wrong
And sometime along the way, you’d have slipped a blade
Through my heart just for fun. Something was boiling
Inside of you. It infected me, that bubbling germ,
So what could I do? The future was calling me,
Begging me to crawl away from love. It will blame me
If I fail, once again, to secure some goodness for myself.
It will blame me for a love born of shame,
A devilish concoction of our whorish hearts.
I was barren and empty, backwards and befuddled
By my youthful lust for what seemed like adult life.
In a crowded world of wall to wall faces, there was no
Inspiration– I couldn’t trust what I felt inside,
Couldn’t believe the subtle deception, back and forth,
Between emotion and mind, couldn’t disguise the absence
I felt, wakened by a different woman every day;
A different face but the same old allure‑‑
“Don’t bend to torture, be broken in love
and lust for me. Play me, soothe me, hold me tightly
And have no shame. It’s all your choice pleasure or pain.
Being alone here is what makes us the same. Our love is
Only trickery to keep us from not playing the game, but
There is no creation, no communication, no relation to
anything at all.”
With lowered eyes, I fought the battle of conflicting
Could my sorrow be but food for thought?
So when we met….
Your smiles were water sprinkled over thirsty soil.
You made riddles of my life, made the spinning of my head
Seem only natural. As we ran with the evening breezes,
Built castles in the sand of our lives, I got all warm and
Waiting for time to wrinkle and warp my youthful exuberance.
I tried to not skip and jump too much, there on the portal to
my life of love.
You were the pillars of the house of my compassion,
The giver of joy, my angel of love, and sadly, the sweet
Messenger of my inevitable doom. You made me think.
Like some lumbering river, the murky waters of my emotion
Fed an ocean’s need. It was such a wonderful burden
To listen to your complaints as you lay naked
But waiting for you to contact me, my rage turned
To tired passivity and silence was no longer deep enough
To hide the truth from me…You tried to put me in my place,
Make me a member of another race and when I was just what I
You ran for another warmth in which to hide your fear.
In the end it was so easy. There was finally a reason
For all the torn moments. The hours toy with my memory;
What did I leave behind? You kept me separate and to the
Out of your wandering way. You winked too much, not at me
And cried when you were lonely. Tell me, is love always
To make you cry and smile? You loved me hardly at all, (or
So you once said) would slide into yourself to forget my
You looked into my love to judge me. Could you really
measure its depth?
Little girl, grow up fast. Leave your breasts to themselves
And me. Get dressed for the world– We’ll dance life away.
Honey baby, sweet little child, I always did like little
The best but be a woman for me, kill me with the insecurity
I help to relieve. I don’t care, I don’t care, You look
into my love
To judge me, tear me trying to measure its depth. You’re
Of my secrets? Scared of my secrets? If you search your
You will see that you were not deceived by a charming smile
Or the pleasant while we spent together. Mutual deception
Is not happiness to me, but this is love. Spread it thinner,
Bend some more. It will stand the strain and embrace our
You said love is hard, to make you cry and smile. I’ll try
to be harder,
Slide into your depths with the brutal force you crave,
Tear at the crust that surrounds you, tenderize and soften
It’s up to you that I strive. Shaky in the night
Until you need love, I would have waited for your need.
But indication of grief that it is, all bloody and wonderful,
I decided that love couldn’t die, it’s a remembrance of
So off I fly, into the new night sky, and you, perfection
here and now,
Must suffer another malcontent, which seems so similar
To all the other loves, and, shaky yourself, how sad you must
I didn’t get bored of the unique and odd but I couldn’t play
Couldn’t let you pretend to worship me. You escape into the
Search for a newer world of thought, love with no painful
You are a queen when you exist free from frowning judgment.
You know infinity without me…And I am just shaky and
Circumstantial sorrow scars me. You talk of repression,
Fingers pointed, “She’s different” but “he’d Ugly,
Some joke God sent.” So I ride the midnight wind,
Live a scattered existence, raise my glass when I get sick to
“To glory! A toast to man and his long, long story.”
All that ever mattered was that you be true to you
And learn about love at twenty
But that chocolate man, that false sort of danger,
Was waiting in darkness to take a pale stranger.
So you, Florence Nightingale of dreamy delight,`
Fulfilled his fantasy, creamy and white,
And slept by the buying of forbidden joy,
A self‑sacrifice and a lonely boy.
Driven by the desire to destroy a lie,
You found your reason not to cry.
And then you brought him home to meet me….
The silence is not deep enough for comfort.
Abuse was never a gentleman’s sport.
I found warmth in you, the best and worst,
But superlative exaggerations prostitute tears.
I could cry and scream and stamp forever.
You never wanted me, just sensuality
And I just happened to be there at the time.
You got what you wanted didn’t you? You always do.
Strangers and squeaking beds make you happy?
They all stop by to scrape for love.
Your lovers seem somewhat abashed, you say?
But you’re still everybody’s baby,
Running from warmth to warmth,
Slaving the tortuous depths of many men’s souls?
Screw you! What else can we do when you remain
Remote and unattached? Nothing’s free.
You light your cigarette and smile;
You’ll enjoy the squeaking bed and get to a certain
Point. It’s been almost an hour and now you’re happy?
Your molten mentality may question the flame,
Aren’t we all the same, dirty and human?
You light a cigarette and cry as life,
Searing life, lives it’s gravity toward doom.
And something smells like fruits in the sun.
Funny round robin world goes round and round
And how I love to see you smile. Spread it thinner,
Bend some more.
Sometimes, when there’s only night to hold you,
You think of me for company
But this raspy voice screams continuous,
“I love you, I love you.” Still captured in awe,
I soar away from loving you.
My senses are dumbfounded by your art
And the love which was once a prison
Vibrates across the long space between us.
Are you still everybody’s baby, proclaiming the wonders
Of variety? Even selfish love seems love somehow,
So hide the darkness with my incandescence
But don’t try to tell me what I have to do. People tried
And I’ve always, always preferred to be free to die in my own
My hatred would not be grateful enough if all I could give
was my life and love.
But enough is enough and I say enough, enough you and me.
Will not be deep enough to change the way it will be,
Though it pull my thoughts a thousand miles.
Even though you did your best to drain my emotion,
Tire me with love, rebuke me with hatred, left to me
Maybe I’d decide to stay– Is that the problem?
If you believe there’s victory in showing me
How cold you can be, if you find pleasure
In thinking it hard to convince a person you love them,
Then be victorious, be pleased; It is all I ever wished for.
You look into my love to measure it’s depth, tear me trying
To create something mystical, trying to make it hard to love.
Why did you teach that love to me, only to send me back
With fangs dulled, much less proud for the lesson,
Lonelier than I’ve ever felt, ashamed for proclaiming former
Your lying eyes would smile at me,
Then you’d hide them in hopes that I wouldn’t see.
You’d smell of so many colognes, bait me and run to another
You must think a lot of me to believe I was so easily
Alone I remained on a drifting dream,
Begging for some truth somewhere.
My guilt and I leave you now
And hope that heaven is somewhat closer
In our absence. If I knew how
To bring you comfort, I’d be by your side.
I’m sorry to tell you that I’m yours forever
Because nothing gives nothing so freely,
And forever is lost like you are to me
But today will hold its own secret dreams
And I will be content if I must be.
I’m just a child who wants his rattle.
I’m here and you’re way over there.
You were my wife, at least in my mind,
You’d tickle me and make me feel alive
But I’ve died twice for every time you touched me.
So much depends on how you look at things so
My dunce cap fits, but loosely.
Maybe I can jostle it off
If I wiggle and jump about.
My love was becalmed near the knowledge of sin.
I was capsized for your eyes.
Yes, it’s a different world through the eyes of pain,
But sight was not enough to move me.
I thought confusion was death’s antithesis
And live now with both in mind.
I could have given up long ago,
Crucified you for your indiscretions
But my sins have their own infection
And any revenge makes us both to blame.
Hey, sassy little lady, are you still a whore
Who buys and sells your love? I’m still broke.
I look back on it now, my cockroach’s squeeze
Which separated me from a whole life with you.
I put in three lifetimes of effort,
Spent every electron‑volt of my energy
And attention in our fantastic game of chicken.
We careened headlong at super‑sonic speed,
Crashing, scattered about between dependence and worth.
You were a wonderful exception to all the rules.
If only I could have ignored you, we might still be together.
As I write these words, the sun rises and sets,
Days go by uncounted and months as well.
Locked doors and curtained windows
Hide me from the world.
No one dares intrude on my sadness.
Selfishly, I laugh and cry, always alone.
I hope that no one can hear me.
My life is ironic tension, strung upon
The bowed distance between us.
So, don’t you dare get off on some notions
About loving me too much or too little,
That’s never really what mattered.
So what, if you were just playing with me,
Checking out your femininity?
I’m still in shock, can not yet determine
The damage done. Like an electrical
Short‑circuit, we came together.
Our lines were crossed and fused.
How much skin did you lose, tearing yourself away?
But I forget– You set me up,
Hated me before we even met,
Loved me on the rebound in some
Deluded attempt to trade scar for scar,
To regain a sense of yourself as worthwhile.
What did you expect me to do,
Swell with pompous pride?
I forced myself to be a reflection,
Tried so hard to make love, make you love.
The me you never allowed yourself to see
Just may be all the things you were looking for.
That’s why I held on, held on to you,
But all you could do was practice for your
Inevitable sorrow. Inevitable sorrow? It’s only life!!
Such strange twisting you’d contrive to make today
A different dream of movement and magnificence.
Yes, today is our wonder, today our domain
But it’s still only life and funny at that.
Don’t you remember that you said we all were just pretty
Are you still frightened by peace and do you resort,
Still, to petty hatred to soothe your emotional upheavals,
Perpetuate your solid ideals? It’s an everything world
And solidity is still but a small, small part of your
You vary the hierarchy to suit you,
Have to be either cute or sorry.
You waste so much time, precious, precious, time
Trying to impress distant men with impossible propositions.
You are a knot‑hole in the wooden wall of love.
I cringe, shake and shiver to think
That a baby like you had so much to teach me.
Come here, get away, come here, get away,
Was that all you could say? You always kept
A dual reality, for your protection you said.
I prayed the finer side would be the victor
But was not strong enough to wait for the decision
That loving was simple and love could be soft.
You may never know the torture I felt waiting.
Were you waiting too? Your blood still stains me
Where I stabbed you on the floor, I guess I was guilty
For letting my feelings go. I was opiated by love,
Didn’t know what I was doing.
I guess I was guilty for believing your words
Instead of my own eyes. I caught you too many times
Taking comfort with other men, at least you could have
Afterward. I ran into darkness to escape from you
But the night was filled with questions
And I still yearn to see you.+
Long Letter to a Lost Love (part two)
Where is this all going?
I love you but what am I supposed to do?
I want your friendship but crave, yes crave, your love.
I wish to see you, yet grimace at your spoiled
Fruit rotting in the sun.
Why don’t you answer my calls?
I know you’re there in that same dreary place,
Waiting for love to call. I’m calling.
Yes, I wanted some small reprieve
From your spoiled silly ways
But memories sweeten as I roll them over in my head.
The ragged edges smoothen and become polished glossy.
“She’s not a selfish grabber,” they tell me, “just the center
Of your universe and a secure little fetus.” I stabbed at
The future to see myself reborn but you couldn’t
Bring yourself to have my baby,
Were frightened that you’d think it ugly,
Born from a shameful love.
My new lady waits for morning light
To look at me and love,
Says, “Enough you and me.” I think
But dare not end it.
I will not subside.
We must fight to be free.
We must be free, we must be‑‑
We‑‑ I must be somewhat happy
In a lonely place while the new
Holds me tightly and has no shame.
You winked too much, not at me
And cried when you were lonely
And when I’d touch you sometimes
You’d smile in your strange way.
All night long you wouldn’t come home‑‑
Such a mess but we got used to it.
Away from the bustle of the crowd,
In the never‑land of always,
You did your best to tire me with emotion,
Drain my love. If it was left to me,
Maybe I’d decide to stay but
Mania society, brain rot, skipping record, scratch,
Claw, pussy, willowing, tough meat, do put
Discord in the songs we sing. We sit
Straight but stagnate and our edges get
Mushy when we think about how
Popular opinion makes us something else.
I made you a queen, don’t you understand?
I was a tripper but for you I was a man
And you worry about being used?
Use, use, use, that awful word use pops up
And we all misconstrue its meaning.
If all words fail me from this time forward
And their meaning be never known,
Tell me, whose fault would it be:
Whose if not my own?
If all the sleepy metaphors
Fail in their fight for life
The blame’s the same…
So your love is wasted.
You cry and laugh but my soul is spent,
Hidden. Guilt is on my shoulders because
It wouldn’t be if not for you.
Love is gentle but when other measures lead me astray
My life still revolves around you.
Be silent, my love. Listen. Your heart beats
Its rhythm into my soul. Does my pounding reach your
Ears, across the many miles? When my head hits the wall,
Do you hear the thump? Little girl grow up fast,
To live a life of alabaster and onyx‑‑ I’m no jacks
Of diamonds and don’t know the pose of the Jack of Hearts
But I am a card. Go ahead and play me.
Eventually, you will give more in taking than ever
In mistaking me for a selfless man, an altruist, a lover,
True, a self‑sacrifice or a lonely boy.
Somehow, I feel there’s nothing more to say
And if there was, it wouldn’t matter anyway.
It’s just pretty words that fit well sometimes.
Why work? Why try? Why why? We’re all going to die.
I don’t even care about me. Why should I care about you?
Is that something like what you said to me?
You have at your disposal a few good years.
Use them well, don’t waste them on me.
I have no soul, my funk is lacking,
My lady is too, was stolen before I met her,
Dying inside me and mine.
Inside you was warmth. I thought it was love
Am lonely now and miss you.
You were so young for love and compromise;
Me control growth? Cover my eyes? I tried to think I tried.
I wish this was all a joke,
That we would crumble in laughter.
Alone, I remain on a drifting dream,
Thought love would come true, be true. Torn moments,
Shredded hours and I try to remember a dream
Of happiness. Don’t be afraid, my love,
But don’t trust me naively.
I love you, of course, it’s my love, though.
You bend some more to give me hope
And I hope it’s really love, am lonely and miss you.
I’m on the brink but the abyss is not empty space.
I throw myself into the fullness of my self.
I dig at the snow for the frozen ground underneath
But all that comes is memories.
I thought no one could hurt me, that love would diminish
My pain. Your joy taught me ecstasy, your sadness
Was sapped in my cause and there was sometimes a quiet
Bliss in your eyes and when it rains I remember
And when the sun shines I try to forget…but don’t.
What great metaphors could I contrive
For the pleasure of embarrassment,
The embarrassment of pleasure in Central Park,
The first hint of fire in your eyes,
The long nights together and your gaze
In the morning when I’d open my eyes,
That blue and green petick dress
You made one summer and nothing else on,
Your arm wrapped in mine on ice,
The stranger quivering in your belly,
The times you cooed and oohed,
Our bodies and souls wrapped and tangled,
After that first night of terror, the morning
For love after mourning for love, the tension
Gone from our eyes and your face,
Just inches away from mine, so young and loving.
You caressed him with your voice and made
Me guilty for feeling jealous.
I’d fight the nausea at things you’ve done
But would gag at the stranger on your breath.
I look at faces now, compare them to yours,
See your swollen nipples, puffy in the sinlight,
See that sand, still patterned on sticky places,
See you running to town after hiding me away,
Hear your talk about my pretty pockmarked face,
As beauty with scars. You laughed lovingly
That summer but I preferred that you hate me
With respect. I miss your feathered touch,
Your deep brown and blue eyes, your disease,
Your youth, the wrinkling of your nose,
Your probings into passion. Did you really
Think you needed another love, a substitute
Superego to balance yourself with? You filled
My life with questions, gave me a future and a past,
Made me go back to the dark side and stick my nose
In the cracks of the plaster that molded my being
And your whispers still carry me back a thousand miles.
My parents told me the world was good.
Did we prove them wrong? If we did
Should and shouldn’t , bad and good
Take on a new air. We make excuses
For our excuses and try to judge
Everything separately. I could cry
and scream and stamp forever
But if you believe there’s victory
In showing me how cold you can be,
If you find pleasure in thinking it hard
To convince a man you love him
Then be victorious, be pleased.
It is all I ever wished for.
What’s in the mirror but an image
And what is painted glass?
You look into my love to judge me
Or look at the way I walk.
Now that you’ve promised yourself
To me– a friend forever– what else is there?
What needs saying, when emotional slop
Causes grimaces and sly grins? Sentimentality is not the
But was I born too late to say it? I love you.
All right. So you don’t love me, so I do live a half‑life
Dream. All right, don’t love me and now I’m supposed
To….do what? I had the choice, chose to play
Naked warrior on a bed of lost love, fought a losing battle
But why did you teach me love
Only to send me back with fangs dulled,
Much less proud for the lesson, lonelier than ever,
Ashamed for proclaiming former losses?
Empty glasses and, as the time passes, I sit and dream,
I sit and seem to listen, to hear. What about Lisa?
Where did she go when my troubled mind left her virgin love
Far, far behind for you? She would have been true
But I was in love.
I no longer ponder the worth of loving you
From afar. We shared what we knew, guilt and pain,
But the worst is over, the darkness came first.
While you remain remote, I let a new love grow
While I try to be true to you
But if you can’t even hide your hatred from me
You’re already lost. Don’t you see?
I see warmth in you, witch, warmth inside you.
You wanted power to love and be loved,
Had it but, blinded by intricacy,
Mistook, maybe mistake emotions for other
Emotions, confuse yourself and lose yourself.
If I might be relieved of this tale, this emotional
Torture and warn others who begin to fall
Under the same sort of spells that made me old,
I might make some good come out of a love like ours.
Love is always hard, a burden of sorts, to make us
Cry and smile and in an easy way slide into ourselves,
In and out of life.
I loved you hardly at all, played with a love so fine
But made love while you took your time. Torn and tattered,
All that ever mattered was that you be true to you
And learn about love at twenty; time does spread sorrow
So what, if you needed something more, needed to do
All you never did before– that’s right, so what?
Your bones grow dry , your breath grows short,
So play, play it out, while you still can have fun
Even if I’m the only one that will love you forever.
You tried to put me in my place, make me a member
Of a different race and love ceased for you because
Time left its mark– somehow you changed, changed me
And, like one more anchor line to cut, you cut me
And did what you must have done or had to do.
Lover of old, my old little love,
Put yourself behind me.
I don’t know you anymore.
I’ll open the door and let you
Out of my life and thought.
No I won’t but I ought to, sometimes wish I could.
You kept saying that I hadn’t told you
My secrets. Maybe I didn’t have enough to tell.
Maybe you were frightened for what I kept
Like my love, for me. It was my love, not yours.
Don’t you see? You thought you could touch it
To measure its worth, smiled falsely when I smiled
Sometimes, but mutual deception is not happiness
To me. It was love, so bend some more.
Spread the lies thinner, hide my insanity:
Keeps me safe‑‑ you too, of course.
Happiness is just a thought away‑‑
Is it worthless to suffer?
Will those addicted to their shallow sorrows
Look at ours and know depth? I doubt it.
Until the world is safe for joy
I’ll keep my hope and love alive. Will you?
You don’t need to martyr yourself.
One Jesus did the job
As well as can be done,
And I imagine he smiled some of the time;
Some of the time.
Mutual deception is not happiness to me.
No matter how it feels
It punishes quietly
And silence is never deep enough
To hide the whole truth from me or you.
Some bitch has been with someone tonight,
Her eyes smile lies as she
Hides them in the hope that
Someone really loves her.
She smells of many colognes,
Baits love to run to bearded lovers,
Loves facial hair and a worm demeanor.
Singing a muscular overture, she truly is
The Florence Nightingale of sex,
Slaving the tortuous depths of many men’s souls.
She gets screwed– what else can they do?
We perceive what we can,
Spies in the house of love,
Wilder than even we knew.
I love you.
Believe me– What does it matter if I’m wrong?
Answers can be but yours or mine.
Arguing only passes the time.
Gentle persuasions awaken with me.
A new day shines in the eyes of a stranger
And I remember something about love
Not conquering all the blindness
Of love or not conquering all,
Or the blindness of love.
We’re two different races
And traces of misunderstanding
Put harmony and discord
Into the songs we sing.
We deal in human flesh and our power
Is crafted of flawed substance
So smile with me and hope or die,
Slowly from the inside out.
The last time I said that to you
You smiled in that strange way you really smiled.
We’re all the same.
Dirty and human,
Each other’s comfort
And secret alibi.
Someone said I was the jack of diamonds
Posing as the jack of hearts
That that was at least half wrong.
Remember the rustling of our skin rubbing?
Then, afterward, you would sneak away? Sneak away?!?
It’s a black widow race,
Winner take all?
So many men fall,
Give nylons and chocolate;
Sexy and sickly you accept them
And sweet and sticky they play
Until they get entranced, entangled, enmeshed
In your gory, glory game.
You catch them; They catch you; It’s a cyclical dance
The ceremony’s the same
And everyone gets eaten alive.
Go ahead, look away.
Your eyes magnify the evil in me– look away, look away-evil in me
Feathered and painted, you wish yourself free.
“I’m free”, you scream but you’re still stuck,
Just the same, in the molten metal of your mentality.
Burn, baby, sizzle and sputter, go ahead and be free.
It’s the world we imagined and the way it should be.
Dangle, lifeless arms.
This disgusting orgasm
Ate at the defenses
Consumed the fear
That troubled us so.
Mutual deception is not
Happiness to me.
It feels so good
But punishes quietly.
If I see beauty as intricate
A different clone maybe,
A marred mutant,
A cog that slips,
Should I expound
My love for that beauty?
Should I tell you
What you wish to hear,
Some simple phrases,
Some obtuse metaphors?
I am here now.
All the world tried to keep me from coming,
From tasting the witch in you,
Finding the angel too.
Even you did your best
To drain my emotion,
Tire me with love,
Rebuke me with hatred.
I love you but live
This continuing saga
Of pain and pleasure because they are only
One simple way to know
The selves that we are
And love as an inward acceptance of the world.
Long Letter to a Lost Love (part three)
I know I made a spectacle of it‑‑
Love, a looking glass
Through which people could see me.
You asked, “Is my friendship not enough?”
Not when I was stabbing at the future
To see myself reborn,
See a baby born of love.
These years away from you to destroy
The devilish desires that made life
Alone a living hell,
The outward appearance of strength
And control, tricked my thoughts
Into self‑sufficiency, exorcised
The emotion that tormented me
But my soul hid its inner secrets
From even me, winked at the waning of hope,
The watering down of my emotional intoxication
And this is its eulogy,
The death cry of sentimentalism, sentimentality
Because painted pigs mean nothing to me
Their trim bodies and pork‑chop loins
Can not distract me.
I sever the connection‑‑
Do you feel its last throes of life
Across the many miles between us?
Alabaster and onyx,
You feel the man who loves you now,
The one you bend for,
The chocolate man, that false sort of danger,
Who waits in darkness to take his pale stranger.
Aloof and enlightened, you forge a new race,
Caress him with your voice to keep him
Tame– yes, I know your game was played
Like a chess board– manipulated
Was your naked warrior on a checkerboard bed
Of marriage plans, as moves ahead, I cut
The flesh you tasted in a sort of respite
To be relieved of this tail/tale,
This emotion and torture,
The spell of guilty love like fox’s for foul.
My wrist, scared of your wishes,
Aches to bleed life away,
Escape the promise of love.
As you twist the hemp tighter,
My wrists tingle, swell and blue.
You smile reassured.
(Bloated beauty’s a secret stash
So you stop the flow, for security)
Certain that I’ll come running back,
You look away as I open the door
And walk into the cold outside.
A shudder of loneliness makes me uncertain;
I wait and wait but, through the window,
I see that a book has hold of your interest.
I scratch the frost for my fingers’ sake,
“Hello, in there. I’m really leaving.”
In the freezing cold, I wait for an answer,
(I wait for the strength to say good‑bye.)
Another Good‑Bye II
Why be frank?
Why not be earnest
I sneer a lot
Call you on the phone
Call you sweet and young,
My precioussss darling dimplesssss,
You want me to crawl through Mordor
For you? Nay! Back to my darkness.
Not elf, nor goblin,
You won’t believe
But I call you precioussss
So alight my shoulder
And perch, goblin imitation,
Nibble on my ears,
You pixie disguised! Face
Gollum in the moonlit murk.
Come, woman, be! Then, be gone.
PROSE POEM‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑ On A Living Cushion (a sort of an elegy to a feeling)
Afterward, it was afterwards, after words had been worn out
and all that was left was later and all now was was
afterwards and that was all, all that was left afterwards,
until afterwards, and even then it always, somehow, was
afterwards, after she left, after I left, after all that was
left left out of my life and breezed away. So tomorrow is
something less new but when it gets down on paper, somehow,
afterwards seems at least refreshed and therefor removed
again and again for every way I try to relive it or rework it
or revamp it but that’s just a piece of the life I live, less
new but still new, left but holding on right here and nothing
was ever like this and maybe nothing was always like this but
it doesn’t feel like nothing to me so I make it all I have
when it’s really all I have and when there’s more, more today
than ever before and more yesterday than ever before and when
the something that it feels like, the something that keeps
nothing away fills me with hope I get all filled with hope
and it doesn’t matter that there’s nothing to hope for, no
reason to hope, nothing but hope to give me hope, doesn’t
matter that there are so few hopeful smiles, doesn’t matter
that I still find it, hard to find, find inspiration hard to
find, believe it will find me if I hope enough for it and
watch for it with hopeful eyes but they’re not what they used
to be, don’t sparkle the way eyes should when you’re this
friggin’ old and are still alive and so young too and so,
young too. Yes, death must be the ultimate ager, aging
babies, even aging the live ones and maybe sex is rebirth and
the hard part is the afterbirth unless it’s a nice berth, a
friggin living cushion for babies to live on like perpetual
milk flow, a cushion with plenty of room for company or at
least enough so that when the milk runs dry there’s still
something to cushion the blows from the many memories of
some small relief
I am water running from the mouth‑‑
I am a brain run dry‑‑
I am fire, biting and cold‑‑
I am wordless phrases‑‑
I am light, fragmented‑‑
I am matter destroyed
And energy in a rock‑‑
I am everything except speechless.
Tachyphrasia II. (A Saturday Walk through the Sixties)
Proper men in tuxedoes and bow ties
Soaking their feet in the water
Of the fountain as I boogie along
To the musical squeak of my thigh‑
High sandals. Going downtown,
(Going’s slower uphill) wearing
My electric suit of orange and purple
And green. It’s hungry out, so women
Of wealth vend grapefruits from rooftops.
There’s a blind man standing on his head
With a German Shepherd lying close at hand,
Grinding an organ. Teachers rush to class
To learn about life. Unwed mothers wander
The shadows in fear of their children.
Lovers walk back to back to back to back.
Monocle‑bedecked garbage man waves good‑bye
To lifelong strangers. Construction workers
In five‑inch heels are tearing up the main street
So they can repair it, pocket‑books at their sides.
Soldiers’ sons running to battle while their fathers
Shudder in fear in Canada. Doctors living in garbage
Dumps, playing guitar for a living. Shoppers brushing their
Teeth in the plate‑glass windows while their
Children take advantage.
When the inerudite visions of tortured glory
And things more damaging by far
Make ten equal 9 and then thirteen
And all form fails
And fine words are pompous
And ideas must be hidden
Within some transluctant image,
When art is moneyed down
And yech(!) expresses more
Than slavish attention to verbal detail,
Then money yech(!) becomes the intent of art
And so many words are used to express it
And images fail to create but feeling
And philosophy is misunderstood
And children harm themselves.
On ReneJ=s DaDa Ditty
Dada di dit.
Renee di dit do.
Put all the points
Upon a line and then
Pull the line out?
That’s like killing
Someone by mistake.
That’s like hoping
For a reprieve.
Can’t you figure out
Must you raise your hand
Like the player who
Committed a foul?
Dada di‑dit; can‑can along,
Pout for freedom, be
The Be Cause, just because.
It’s a Renee sensibility
To charge the stars
In too‑tight tights,
To ring the bells of the nuclear
Age, like clashing swords,
In a sweeter song of less pale glory
But you could even get a suntan
On a winter’s day. So melt me
To a telephone pole and I will
Sing no more. Melt me to a telephone
Pole and I will sing no more.
Dada didn’t do it.
Daddy didn’t do it,
You didn’t do it yet.
Renee tried and died
So melt me… so much
Is so steeped in silliness
That no one cares about Renee’s sense.
Renee’s Dada Ditty After Sweating
Notice? Notice. Notice!
Notice how, how, how
I show you, you my
Joy– it. I think
I, um, um, want
To, to go, oh, oh
I, um, could have, huh, been
Faking my, um, pleasure
For your– for yours.
But, but, I was, huh,
Was, huh, was not.
Why, um, won’t you
Say anything? Say
Stop! Stop. Stahahp
For a, ah, ah, um
While, while I, hum,
I can’t …keep going.
I, ugh, need a
Breather. I don’t
But, hey, don’t leave
You Are STUV
Hey, hey, mama said the way you move.
Ha ha, baby, bah ba di bo di bee.
Skit scat the cat’s too cool,
Making money but not shebop
It’s a weee, it’s a woah,
It’s away we go.
It’s a confused psycho‑sillyhood
But not yeeha
And not a tear
Except a rehearsed one
And shat they do
Or did or done; they
Are S T U V
Because now is then,
Its something done and, pressed
In vines, magnetized, it’s real
And what is real is real
And shebop diddily do.
AH SEP‑PAH‑TAH SWEE
TO‑LAH SAH MAN‑A‑SHEE
SHEE MAH SCHAWAH ALL ALL
EE ANA PUA‑PUEE. PUA? PUEE?
ELAH ELOH IPS SAH‑MAH‑LAH‑FAH
ZAH LOO EMA‑LANA TOO‑LAH.
MICH ALA SHAN LAH FOO‑WEE
MI LAH WANA HEEAH HAH HOHAH.
MAMA MOMMA MIAH MAMA MOH.+
Smell the platter.
Extra gravy soaks
And surrounds red
Meat, dripping juice
Where the fork stabbed.
Are you clean or
Or boy, or what?
Hunger tempts my curiosity.
(Odds good against
Sick bulls.) Heifer,
All day long, plays
A bleating tune,
“I don’t love life.”
I don’t love you
But I eat you.
She grit her teeth
And would not smile.
Her eyes mostly closed,
She bore, as always,
Her pain in silence.
Her wrists were bare
And I, nearby, saw
Her contemplate them.
Later, she lay silent
And still; shyly she smiled
Knowing that she
Had achieved her end.
She lied beside me
And we did not touch.
It was too late for tenderness.
Love was a myth forgotten.
The mistake, hidden
In our frozen depths,
Like blindness to
The blind man, came
From hoping that the
Beauty was within us.
I shiver now and still
Know not what coldness is
But if death doesn’t take me
Tonight, tomorrow I might.
Inward; Circle’s extending‑‑
Being good– no where.
(Being bad the same.)
Grope outward, too far,
Miss the bus, run faster;
I’m chasing you,
Making time mine,
I live with a half‑smile,
Nursing my ulcerous intentions,
Will have primary effect
Like it or not.
I’ll have fun on the way,
Like my likes,
And be deceived
By what does not exist.
Tempts the worst
Of us as well
As the well
Off and on top.
This garbage regrets
Itself. It will
Consume all of us.
If Gertrude Can Can I Enjoy Too?
Kids scream like seagulls.
There’s no fun in Heaven so
Take time off the wall;
I enjoy the thorn.
I enjoy the stem.
But roses are the whole
Thing; roses. Enjoy the
Rose; enjoy, enjoy
Enjoy the rose rose;
The rose rose rose
To enjoy the garden.
Roses rose; rose roses
Rose. Rows upon rows
Of rose roses rose.
And I still enjoy them.
You’ve been on the auction block before;
The man banged his gavel; you were sold.
Gentle souls, like me, can not afford
To buy or sell the slave monger’s goods.
My very nature makes you worth less
To me than to those greedy buyers
Who trade for pleasure not for love.
Woman, tell me, when you had the choice
To be free or to be tied in silk,
What could possibly have made you think
That life would be sweeter in bondage
And love true between master and slave?
This Could Go On Forever
Maybe microscopic me
Will be a part
Of the final grief,
Or blown to the heavens
Upon a wail.
There’s no marvelous
Way to make a living‑‑
Life would be free
If there was.
Grandma told me
It was all right
To shovel scat,
Taught me how
To love the smell‑‑
Purple curtains, golden fields
Forty feet high, over my head:
And potato fights,
“This is our field,
Our fortress, our mascot.”
I ran away, my belongings
Tied in a kerchief,
On a stick, over my shoulder,
And lived on sugar beets.
The money from selling
My toys bought beer
For me and all the boys
When we found a village
On the way.
Only five, I reached the bar,
“Bitte, fur alles ein bier.”
The castle was ours
For the day,
So I manned the parapet,
Watched the Rhine,
“No French men in sight,
No Indians– Manitou!
Where are You?!?
I’m an American!
I’m just a little American boy‑
Who was Hitler?
When I was six,
Dad brought home
That was after Kennedy
Was shot– everyone cried,
“‘e vas zo bretty.”‑‑
But all they’d air
Was old westerns,
Opera, and pictures of
Relatives in the East.
Wolfgang was killed
Trying to rescue his mother.
They called me Hitler
When I got back
From the Fatterland‑‑
They never tasted cheesecake.
I cried when my head
Hit the pavement; Remembered
Purple curtains and wild boar,
Across the auto bahn in a forest
As dark as Baden‑Baden,
Beside the no‑speed‑limit sign.
Mercedes were giants
Compared to three‑wheel eggs
And sewing machine engines.
Easter in Rome.
The ruins were small.
Blocked the view
Of black, marble statues.
The fountains were pissed in
So I couldn’t swim.
The barbed wire is always filmed
So if someone dies
The world will see.
“We still are free”,
The microphone crackles.
My suit really fits
The fork’s separate styles.
The Gutless and the One-Eyed
The message tunneled around the outer edges
Of his tired old head. (All part of
And extravagant plan of escape,
The bullet cut it’s bloody way home.)
“The one eye that can see has no choice.”
The man quivered, the Gutless crawled out
Of hiding, the pistol dropped, and one eye
Popped out of it’s socket as sacrifice
To pay for lack of power– And what is left
Lacks any courage to finally find out
Where truth and reality lie. Gutless and One‑eyed
Lives to carry on an economic metaphor,
Lives together with separate fears
Of cost versus value obtained.
Shred me, tear me apart,
I love it like shit.
You think you’re fancy
‘Cause you talk so nice
But I’ve been to Paris
Twice and have gambled
With better merchandise.
I speak softly.
Are you relieved?
I scrape and bow,
And whisper, just whisper,
“When hatred is gentle,
The trickster’s deceived.”
When hatred is gentle,
The trickster is deceived.
Is a blinded dreamer who listens in his sleep
For prayers in tongues, lives personal experience
Through communal life and tries to see
Moon’s universal light, a reflection of truth
Or gets satisfaction from flowers sold
Or new members to work for Christ.
Is there any reason for him to believe
That the Second Coming has not yet arrived?
He turns to accounts of Biblical beggars,
Is a disciple of shame in the procession
Of progress, lives in houses that were bought
With flowers, pays taxes to the moon
By liquefying his assets, lobstering in Gloucester,
Ignoring his parents, inviting strangers
For philosophy and tea and memorized passages
From an abridged Bible‑”Have you been saved?”
He’ll ask, his eyes will sparkle with love
Well‑taught, must be always a friend to
Any lonely soul; even the woman who cries
While watching a Moon parade for unification,
“That’s how Hitler started.” She cries with
A thick German accent but, answer prepared,
He does his dedication in duty for love
And at ten o’clock sharp, locks the front door
And no more beds get warm from strange breath‑
“Come back tomorrow.” he yells from the upstairs
Window. He doesn’t worry what Moon was once,
Just listens to the rules except when he calls
His mother on the phone for a milkshake
Telegram and some underwear without stains.
No long hairs allowed, no drugs, no cigs
So he finds happiness in friendship and love,
Prowls college campuses and back alleys
To make a difference in someone’s life,
To clean up after the anti‑war mess
As ministers of the Holy Word,
To give children attention their parents
Are too involved to even understand they need,
To set the framework for a lovely world
In dismissing argument with rote, written
Answers that are pulled out of context
With Eastern spice and rumors of reincarnation,
Hints that the Devil’s rule may soon be over,
That, a thousand years past, three VI’s took
Hold of an unholy ruler, he gets lost in dreams
Of unification and hopes for so many brothers.
With such a father figure and suckling from
A motherly church, he’s resigned to existence,
So caring, so kind‑he practices smiling,
Lets someone else do the driving or is good
Enough to convert a house or a town
So there will be donations in exchange
For friendship, smiling and salvation.
He used to do drugs but is high on Jesus,
Haunts the highways late into the night
In search of souls to add to his cause
Because money from work done by lost young
Children just might mean respect from
The money‑mongers and wasted souls
So fill the jar for Jesus, for peace, for unity
For anything that you hold dear‑
He talks so smooth with a steady voice that
Invokes trust until, his insides all given,
He is but a shell, cloaked by guiltless good,
Somewhat useless in comparison to what
He could have been.
Open me, silly siphon,
It makes me giggle and smile;
Sometimes I fall in love.
Sometimes I just watch.
Pretty colors bend me,
I taste the air around me‑‑
It tingles with promise.
Tickle me, more, more;
It takes more, always more
To make me happy. So give me
More. Satisfy me or I may be broken.
My head falls groundward.
I could scream but I won’t‑‑
Bad publicity. Incarceration
Twice because of my hormones;
The women regret me when I’m funny.
I need to be loved, need stimulation.
Stallions are rare and should be prized.
Make me a stallion.
This Is It
This is it. This pile of shit
Regrets itself. I leave
To chew long stalks
Of yellowing grass.
People scream insanity
Over the subway noise
And spit on sidewalks
And me; I sit back.
Caring is harmful
And confusion gets drab
After too, too long.
Give me a drunkard
A brother anyway‑‑
Not blinded but
In need of numbness.
Too fast we’ve gone
To both good
What does it matter?
Killed my father
And maybe me too.
The eppervessent water comes sparkling forth,
Agitates the bowl.
Aaaah! What a way to spend a moment.
All I do, all I buy, everything me,
Is reflected in the porcelain
And knowledge grows
But knowing? Who Knows?
Coming Out the Other End
The whole world
Wire and glass.
I come slipping
Out the ass end
I did it
I did it I did it
That I was something
And you know something?
not worth anything
All it was
And the way they are
If they think
That I’m worth
That they’re not
So I keep
To make them think
The only one
And you know
A PAGE OF JEALOUSY
Reflection creates images that shine on, once wordless, pages
And shadows darker than death.
I Was a Splinter
In your ass
I tried to be‑
Don’t like baby sitters
screaming tears that stay stuck
that’s not worth anything;
the salivation, the mild discomfort
prod you when things go too smoothly
but what’s the image? an organic pink?
an orange pain?
a single drop of your drool
tells more about you
but words‑the mathematics of imagery
make themselves plain enough
if not inspired if not overdone
they fall from the tongue
like germ warfare and tickle
an image that will not laugh.
what’s not worth anything?
(what do you want, answers? you want to talk about it?)
Frozen Answers, Fluid Questions
What a strange way
To find truth:
What we cannot dispute
Of what we’ve already proven,
False as it may be
Because we may have started
At the wrong place all together
And, even if we really don’t,
We act like we believe
What we’re proving
So that some semblance
Is maintained, frozen
Until a whole new system
Can be arranged,
So that we can jump
Into another answer pact
That remakes truth again.
In my solitude
There is a beautiful anger,
A calling into the priesthood
Of the hard human heart.
I hear the prayers,
The mumbled mania of realization‑
The meaning of that being,
Making real in the mind‑
The electric heartbeat on the radio,
The sentimental sounds of human indignation,
The reaction to sizzling circuitry,
The mind of the matter
That was once flesh
But is now seen as something else,
These prayers I hear. They
Are not to me, not from me,
I wouldn’t want them to be
But wish that maybe a word,
Not a hello, good‑bye or howdy do word
But a word like artistic expression,
A making real of the things felt inside,
The untouchable pace of a single word,
The matter of the heart, which is cut and replaced
But still means something more than
Boom‑bah‑boom, more than blubbering cholesterol counts
And strokes of the oar of silly metaphor,
Would send heaven down to touch us, touch me
With easy company.
You feeling white tonight?
Or just a little bit uptight?
Well, it’s all right.
It’s mostly fictional fright,
Just life choking life;
And you’re a mutant primate,
A tourist on a trip,
A rusty keepsake.
It seems so senseless if all this is chance,
But seeming is a textile womb when
the soul has such divergent passions.
Childhood’s gone but fetus‑me is still
Coming down from insanity,
Coming into me,
I ebb and flow.
Where can I go?
Sibling systems fight battles of atoms, ions,
Trying to understand it all makes me feel so…small.
Captured by the prophets’ dreams,
We sit on top of the world,
Dancing funny dances,
Having strange romances.
Coming into me again,
I have the same problems as other men;
Have so little power to make a change
And know not what to rearrange.
I’m so profoundly confused.
Playfully, the irony
Deludes objective humanity.
The truth remains hidden.
Coming down from insanity, into the world of men
Coming down from bliss….
Parking Ticket Insurance
The fantasy broker is coming
To melt our icy delight,
To turn our wings to
Sculptures in wax, lain aside
And to replace the sport of things
With impossible imaginings.
It is beyond us how much
Has become rearranged.
Pieces are lost, some are distorted.
The stars are not hazy, yet so very far away.
Filet mignon and coke and smoke could never give enough ‑‑‑‑‑
To the immortal. Rows upon rows of roses, secret rows of
Testify that one’s self is the mystery– If there’s fun in
heaven, enjoy, enjoy!
Enjoy the petal, enjoy the thorn, enjoy, enjoy. Perfumed
perspiration thrills me
And pounding emotion, almost forgotten, so renews me that
I’m intimidated by the prospect of a different darker truth.
Struggling not to grasp some sorry delusion, I’m consoled by
That instincts unused are soon forgotten, that hormonal
disruption will fade
And, conversely, wonder if affectation may not be the human
I’m so confused by minimal realizations. Does metal bend
when freedom calls?
Is life a meager maladjustment for this cement speckled
If humanity made us what we are, why does man disgust
Searing and biting, life’s mostly balls and chains by whose
desire but our own?
We mirror the image in each other’s eyes, are the best and
worst we know how to be,
Seek the most direct path between here and heaven: veiled in
We’re an alphabetical entourage of yet infant numbers,
symbols of greatness.
With no relation to anything at all, we must sit to the side,
Watch the planets move in a dance of vaster glory. We dig a
Enough of subterranean spaces. Not captured by a blockage
in my brain,
Intuition knows that all is not lost. We can make the world
safe and strong,
Can find harmony in our own little song and continue to
On layered blocks upon
Layered blocks, we sit
In representative peace,
A piece; a piece, a peace.
Perfumed perspiration thrills me
But when I watch the planets move
In a dance of vaster glory,
The room gets small and space suddenly changes.
In the silver glow of the desolate city,
Alone in the gloomy, speckled darkness,
Keeping watch over another man’s land,
I recall the last, long year.
Sold my furniture to get a car,
To get a job, to pay for the car
That got towed away
Because it was parked
On another man’s land.
When I lost the car,
Which was where I stayed,
A guy gave me a deal
(The guy that had the car towed)
Which had me fixing up, taking care of
His country house for a place to stay.
The work broke my spirit and made me so tired
That I fell asleep with a cigarette lit
And the house burned down
So I bought a house
To pay for the house
That I burned down.
In thirty years…
I just don’t know what.
And the notary republic,
And the notary public says
“Such commitment you have, young man,
There must be a paper to fill out here.
We fought for them, we deserve them,
Papers to fill out for every occasion, more
Jobs that way but even I have succumbed to my addictions.
I’ve hoarded them for years.
There has to be a paper to fill out somewhere.
So you want to get something started?
Didn’t daddy tell you it was too late?”
What are you trying to say?
Somehow, my feet stuck
In the rabbit‑joy plot of a farm,
And you wish you could come play in the mud?
I stay stuck. With no where to go but up,
The make‑up gets polished and new in the morning.
The chard is vaporized, fashion is a change of state.
I’ve been taught
To put up a bold front saying “Of course
I can do it.” and to work out the problems later.
I sit here knowing I am worth nothing.
I’m where no inspiration
Can reach me,
No pleasurable thing,
Not little or large,
Human or foreign,
Alien or ethereal.
Nature is shackled and cultured.
Insanity is too much work.
Beauty is…Huh?…Where is beauty?
In the poet’s eyes?
I am alive with tiredness,
Would jostle the germination
If I meddled, like Pifi,
With the plants, so the little stray,
Pifi, and I walk the lawn together
Waiting for the first signs of desired growth,
Waiting for summer’s verdict,
Waiting for a reward to be harvested
And somewhere there’s this guy going out with
A pretty girl and he’s just smiling.
Just one small expression,
Just any old expression
For me to show myself,
Just one memory captured,
One moment, one lifetime,
Is it for this or humanity I slave,
Waiting for the crops to grow?
The seeds are in,
The rabbit joy and nitrogen set down,
Defoliant on surrounding honeysuckle,
Honeysuckle squeezing the plot.
It smells and spells death
And the weeds are not pulled.
I bolster my sequestered resolve.
Is it possible to “invoke” God?
Isn’t He everywhere, always?
Heat without sunlight, the gas burns low.
Eating lamb is macho.
I’ve run out of poetry.
The brown innards of the rabbit that
I cook for dogs too lazy to eat them raw,
The pissed‑on innards of a house
I was supposed to protect and nothing else,
No furniture anymore, no warm grandma smells,
Because I don’t believe in Schismism.
The fog is a mountain
I’m tunneling through.
A tow truck watches the streets,
Prowling the night like some strange
A rock show of lights from a passing
Ambulance‑‑ That could be me.
I ride running
From the channel changing, that certain airwave flavor,
From the endless work, from the big down beat.
Surrounded by fog,
I’m not alone somehow.
The fog excites me.
Can’t find the city lights
Through the blackness.
Late‑night police escort
A house on a truck.
Still no city lights
Anywhere to be seen.
Maybe there’s a blackout.
No! There they are, just a little late.
Can radar see me now?
I slow down to sixty‑five.
Falling off the fast lane,
I was forced to slow down and take my time.
I was told to look normal and fit into the line,
The waiting line, the waiting line, the waiting line,
So I did for a while, for a while longer
And then they said,
“Hey, you weren’t supposed to wait.
We just wanted to see you do what you were told.
And you did, my dear boy, and we now are men,
And now we are men.
I walk back and forth, pacing miles across the house,
Like I’m walking across the continent
Or around the world a couple of times, all kinds of
Things can happen and the only new thing
Is greatness remade. We don’t have endless myriads anymore!
There’s no time to wallow in emotion, so I get the condensed
Edition of the world by walking the carpet,
Walking on a foundation of lies.
What wake will follow me when I can’t move particles,
What planets will be swept away under pressure from my
Help me, Mother Earth.
I call on your powers to secure the goodness
But only hear these incandescent platitudes.
Man will do anything for manifestation,
And metal bends with interaction.
In a house full of gambling things,
We’re the Spartans of the modern world
And the Athenians too and we don’t
Even have to be what we look like.
We find ourselves in a watery world,
We learn to swim and realize we’re alive,
So what if it’s an uphill struggle downhill.
That I will never
Give you a poem
About how much your love means to me.
I won’t even touch the subject anymore
If you’ll do one little thing.
Cut and squeeze some blood
And with this kerchief
Tie our wounds and be my childhood dream
Of tying an Indian to me.
They were wrong when they frowned at you,
Indicating their displeasure
At your cholesterol count.
Your bakery‑good body
Helped me see beauty like none other
And then I could see no other.
I’m a sensitive man.
I’m a sensual man.
I’m a caring man
Let me be
Let me be my fantasy.
Will you finally hate me?
To make you yours
Will you really hate me?
I know the beautiful curves
Of the bosom,
The shape of the feminine
Isn’t that justification?
What do you want from me?
“You” you say, “Just you”
What treachery to mean so much
With so few little words.
So, now you sit with me.
We swill our imbibement
And say silly things about
What it is to feel alive.
Crisis Still (A Message to Michael)
I haven’t felt a good thing in too long a time‑‑
Been hiding from most of my life. Baby‑me just couldn’t develop
A suitable taste for disgust. I opened my eyes to a spank on the butt,
Have been fighting pain with diminishing wonder ever since then.
The terrible smells: the Brussels sprouts, the creamed onions and peppers,
The sex, the lakes I watched turning to sludge, the New Jersey air
At night when no one was supposed to notice, all these things and more
Forced me to search for filters, sensitive me, like tobacco and brain death,
Perfumed love on those teenage afternoons, and evenings of mathematics.
I lost a hundred lovers, maybe more, loved and lost
A wife, had more jobs and chances than one man deserves, but,
Morbid menace to my sanity, I knew they all were the dirty way down.
I tore my flesh, broke my heart, suffered to pay for my delight
At the prospect of heaven, somewhere out there, waiting for me.
So, what prelude is this? Yes, we both sought the most direct path
Between here and heaven, wished to learn as much as we could on the way.
We are apart at our own discretion, so volatile were our lives together,
But was it really wrong to live so free in the presence of evil?
I feel the cancer eating away, smell something like dead dog
Wafting in on the summer air, look out my window to watch
My pets lying in the shell dust road, waiting as they wait
For the occasional car, with nothing to do but become a shaded memory.
It’s not quite the same for me, not while there’s still one righteous man
Or one who tries to be. I’m torn between answers.
Conquer fear with fear? I clasp my hands. What can I do?
What prelude is this? What offspring’s offered? Is destruction or relief
Foreshadowed? A planned worse, by comparison, or the best way things can
With suicide smoldering undrenched within me, I still am ferocious and free.
Was I lucky to be a storybook child? Musty, humid, closed‑in
Living and burglar bars on every window make me wonder.
Is all human dignity finally lost? With California wine
To pass the time, I dream of green‑eyed, black‑haired lady lovers
Who, still undaunted by their own beauty, refuse to treat me like a cur.
I growl at the filet mignon and drink myself silly, no past silly.
I know the resignation that comes from chains too strong
But Macdonald doesn’t rule my world. Metal wobbles when freedom
Calls but it does not bend by my strength alone– there’s the
Crux. I’m still alone. Regretful hindsight is a deceptive delusion,
So I look ahead. What prelude is this? If there is still a chance
For change, if immutability has not clamped shut the iron vices
Of certainty, if we’re still human, we defy definition. No one knows
What makes us go. There still is mystery and in misunderstanding there’s
Struggling to not grasp this situation, I am intimidated
By the prospect of a different truth as my hormonal disruption fades.
I was a ravenous stranger, rolling strangers, made fast female friends
The objects of my desire, forced them to be alien and detached entities.
In an alphabetical entourage of infant members, I took my place
So that girls becoming women could falsely determine what evil lurks
In the mythical minds of the mythical men that we so desperately tried
To be. They wave their mythology at me now and try to drown me
In an ocean of false form and structure– And I’m the one they blame
When things like love turn dank and dark and dreams begin to fail them.
The shades are shut so it’s safe to smile. I smile at my discretions.
What, after all, is purity of the masses but a blindness of the few; a brain
Blockage, a brain blockade to keep the ocean safe? I believed
In man’s good nature. I still do. What about you?
Lindsey died because she knew the truth about you and I.
We killed her long before the needle kissed her;
She had no choice but to exist or not. Pulse‑first she ran
To death and, ravenous for delusion, we’re pacified by her hunger.
But we may indeed be the new dying breed. We see the signs of our faltering
Importance. The past is gone. The destroyer, the darkness, the iniquity
We lived man’s history in scraps of books and pieces of poetry
And it’s a new world already. In this paranoia city you gotta
Get a gun or get dead. With blade in boot, I practice martial art.
Chances are that very soon the gears won’t turn, metal will corrode,
And knives, well‑honed, will stick into the burly beast that feeds on fear.
We carry tears of sulfuric acid beside the front seat of our Cadilacs,
Cry when someone tries to hurt us. Honor’s some sort of secret affair
To you, silly hero, so you sigh, “It was an affair to remember.”
But my intuition knows your deeper secrets. I listen to your changing
Rhythms. As you shut your mouth most of the time, you go quietly
Insane– “What was she lacking, so close to my side?” Computers
Keep us classified. So I flash a defiant gesture skyward and speak
In a subdued fashion. A free floating fish is swept ashore
And we, a part of that same burly beast, consume and reinvent her.
With our half‑closed eyes and apathy we remember– she was brave and free.
Her breathless test was our proof, her rotting bones our legacy.
So we scratch at the air and nothing else, smile half‑smiles,
Live on the edge of the grey matter, and become less benevolent
With age but believe otherwise. Our idols left us masterless and we
Consume their memories with fever‑fervor; Our taste-buds teach us disgust.
As rekindled love carries us along, we spread the nausea thinner,
Find solace in a terrible world of short‑circuit sickness and dreams.
A Harvard man flew a Phantom over a jungle playground, dropping bombs
On peasants for super‑sonic fun: He creates demons to amuse himself,
Collects trinkets to buy his way out of the monster’s path. Old women
Burned like embers in the night– so what if the world didn’t feel the fire.
It’s all just a meager maladjustment in this cement‑speckled wilderness.
Dawn has almost covered this land of cultured greenery, but
An opiated enemy a tropical night died in a charging pile, a rehearsal
For instant replay. I was drinking screwdrivers then. Now I’m a martini
What did you do tonight? Give away your love? The lusty advances of
Foul‑smelling souls, acting out obscenity over the subway noise, drove me
From civilized madness, from trying to capture company, from this land
of concrete and cultured green, to the silence of my country home,
To fake and flounder, fool around and flop about, steal away
With my sweeter memories and find some pretty words.
Lindsey died along the way. She forgot it’s all in how you play.
It was a wicked dose that killed her; the rat that got the rat that got
The rat. You play the odds. You win, you lose– So how could I care?
I really don’t know. In with a slap on the butt and out with a boot in the
I have no knack for apathy or closed‑eyed sneers. I know that regretful
Is but a deceptive delusion to make the sunrise magnificent and red
But the Phantom man teaches silence now. A new game keeps him thrilled.
What, I wonder, could be more secret and sacred than murder for fun?
What did he hear above the engine’s hum? A dog howling from chains too
In this crazy world of master and slave I forget what art is, am crisp
And crusty in the mirror. But still I can’t get over the madness. I’m
Here, still in the mirror, with nothing but accounts to recall, in the dying
Embers of the night, I still don’t know what to do. Do you? We’re grown,
At least by all legal reckoning, but I can’t bring myself to do what I must.
What was it that transpired when we were young? What was going on?
Was Lindsey right to die so soon? Is the Phantom man,
In his high position of power, more correct because of being there?
Are we just dogs chained to the same sad foundation, allowed,
Sometimes, to lay in the middle of the road waiting for a car to crush us?
Was the spattering blood of televised martyrdom worth
A thirty second spot? Were the outlandish styles of our youth
So timely and persuasive that even we got lost in them?
The perforated edges of our saran‑wrapped lives give great meaning
To no one but me, and hope and intimations of true love so I
Can toy with what could be clarity if I wished for a further deception,
An easier way to justify my journey toward an ending.
What prelude is this? I’m still alive here but fear we’re dying
At different speeds, Michael; I can’t imagine a world without you.
Gah‑tah back up
Pu cab hut‑hug
Gotta back up
Pu cab hut‑hug
Gotta back up
Farther, farther, farther, farther
Rruth‑raf, ruth‑raf, ruth‑raf, ruth‑raf
Pu cab hut tug
Gotta back up farther
Than the bomb
Mob uhth nath
Ruth‑raf pu cab hut tug
Gotta back up farther than the bomb
To remember that courage
Juh‑a‑rook tath rrrb mem ear oot
Mob uhth nath ruth‑raf pu cab hut‑tug
Gotta back up farther than the bomb
To remember that courage
Juh‑a‑rook tath rrrb mem ear oot
Mob uhth nath ruth‑raf pu cab hut tug
Gotta back up farther than the bomb
To remember that courage
Was always a blast of fear
Reef fa tsahlb huh sayw law zowuh
Juh‑a‑rook tath rrrb mem ear oot
Mob uhth nath ruth aaaahf pu cab hut tug
Gotta back up farther than the bomb
To remember that courage
Was always a blast of fear
My purpose still hidden,
I watch the coming apocalypse in awe.
Insanity tempts me but
Hallucinations rot with age.
A prisoner of my search,
I want a chance at Heaven
But grow weary waiting
For the pain to end.
My whorish heart knows
That forever is lost
But I can not believe the jargon
Of these times which denies me
Are we not all living
Artistry in wrinkles and scars?
The brain‑washed believers make me
Unsure. Foul‑smelling souls
Rape my innocence but a pixie queen,
Some madrigal mother, sings
A soothing song to me,
“Hold on sweet child,
The end is near.”
Killers Come Quietly
Strange noises surround me.
I pace back and forth,
Learn every shadow,
Duck behind the bed
To jot down a line;
Maybe just for you.
Rape the house, will you?
And fill it with your ammonia
Smells. I’ve got a gun now,
A pump shotgun with no plug.
I pace back and forth
The whole length of the house,
Learn every shadow.
The pantry light flickers
Off and on in tactile warning‑‑
Better get down some last words.
All this empty space where once
There was a sort of wealth;
It was not mine but my lady’s.
She sleeps soundly, feeling safe.
Check for the car (her Daddy’s car)
Still sitting, brave, outside
Where the one that got stolen
Friday– right out of my hands!‑‑
Used to sit. More strange noises
And now all the dogs are barking.
I think I’ve found
The safest place to write.
Silence outside, silence.
My pant legs squeak too loudly,
My heartbeat pops up
In various places on my anatomy‑‑
Gotta watch that window‑‑
Still too much silence.
You killed three of the dogs
Over the last long week.
(The three brave ones)
Hope the rest are all right out there.
Noise outside the front door,
The thin veneer between in and out.
Silence until the water drips tritely.
You have the keys,
On the same chain as the car keys,
But broke in anyway, you bloody vandals.
Misshapen landscape through shattered glass;
Wish I had some way to fix it.
Mosquitoes buzzing in and out,
Encephalitic something or others.
(I’m too frightened to be metaphoric)
Watch the window. Listen
For the tumbling at either door.
More sounds outside but
No dog sounds– something big
Moving out there.– How many are you?‑‑
And miles of boonie brush between
Here and the nearest phone.
A helicopter arms the airwaves.
Come on, spotlight, shine down here!
what is poetry,
the brown innards of the rabbits that
i cook for dogs too lazy to eat them raw,
the pissed upon innards of a house
i was supposed to protect and nothing else,
no furniture anymore, no warm grandma smells,
the years of loss?
A bad taste in the proud mouth of progress,
This flatland flourishes with gumbo soil
Okra in summer and reports of oil. The spikes
From eye to eye, “You oil patch trash,
Or just white?” I’m just here for wild western
Times, I live on the edge of this nightmare,
And watch the progressive haunting of a town.
The cops are going crazy with border boredom.
The wages of economic war go down. The ten dollar
Hour is Mexican sausage time, Pico de Gaillo,
Giddy‑up, get out. There’s always the rodeo
And a gulf full of fish…and shrimp. The lines
Get shorter, the showroom’s filled,
The money is maybe.
Boom‑tacked, the wind made salesmen duck,
Swinging the other way. In the ruins
Of frantic growth we settle down or continue
On a transient travesty of trickle‑down theories.
“My daddy’s in Crisco. Let’s get slippery.”
The city lights twinkle brighter than humans.
Uncle Ben tries to rice us out. And the farm
And land are less like Faulkner in winter.
“Maybe we’ll see you in Denver.” But we know
Better. Like street cleaners after the carnival,
We watched the clowns take off their noses
And wave as they pulled away.
I spit out the brown haze of breathing
And return to the edge of the night life.
DOWN HERE, THE END’S ALWAYS NEAR
Cheek against the marble, my lungs wheeze for life.
The air’s almost gone. The long night watches,
Electric fingers probe the residue;
Vibrations to shake the world.
Turn it up, amplify the white noise,
Jam the grey‑beard. Life tries to escape me. Can’t you feel
The children crying?
Leave innocence alone!
Sub‑sonic super glue, a spiral staircase: My cheeks feel the
Between cold white and black. The checkerboard marble remains
Alone where a fine house stood,
A fine house that fell when the earth shook, leaving me on
Between earth, air and water. I feel the frozen rock,
Conjure images out of the past. The whole night long, I
pluck my cranium
But whorish time will rot me with age. Mama Sue Planet
A trembling reflector, reflected IN THE RIFT OF DAY AND NIGHT
they tore the softer tissue
YOUR FERVOR DELIGHTS ME life tries(its best)to escape me.
AGAINST THE MARBLE , I BARELY SURVIVE THE MENTAL BARRAGE, i sit
shaking on the border FLASH A DEFIANT GESTURE SKYWARD
BUT SPEAK IN A SUBDUED FASHION.
“RULE ME WELL”.
I FEEL THE FROZEN ROCK.
YOU MAY RULE THE WORLD, ELECTRICITY
BUT DO YOU KNOW WHY?
AGAIN AND AGAIN I ASKED
DO YOU KNOW WHY
DO YOU KNOW WHY?
YOU LIVE YOUR LIFE(TIME IN DAYS[OR]) IN MINUTES.
OR SECONDS . OR LESS.
I WHEEZE AND WATCH
THE SEASONS CHANGE THEIR COLORS.
WHO WOULD HAVE GUESSED
HOPE WAS (SO STRONG)
TO PLAGUE YOU IN THE RIFT BETWEEN DAY AND NIGHT?
THROUGH THE LONG NIGHT
BUZZING PAST SOUND (AND LIGHT?)
A WASTREL WARRIOR IS RIDING ETERNITY,
CONSUMING THE DARKNESS OF SPACE
HE CHARGES THE STARS TO PIONEER
A NEW AGE OF MAN AND THE UNIVERSE
DOWN NEAR SUMMER, THE AIR IS HOT
THE DISHES RATTLE IN THE SLIP‑STREAM
OF A LANDING JET. I SEE SIGNS
OF MY FALTERING IMPORTANCE,
CONJURE IMAGES OUT OF THE PAST.
A PIXIE QUEEN, SOME MADRIGAL MOTHER
SINGS A SOOTHING SONG TO ME,
“HOLD ON SWEET CHILD, THE END IS NEAR.”
HOW I WISH THIS WAS ALL A JOKE,
THAT WE’D CRUMBLE IN LAUGHTER
INTO OUR GRAVES [TO,WITH] HONOR,TO DUST,
COITUS WITH SHARP METAL? A PIERCING GLANCE?
IT’S STILL THE SAME WORLD,
MAN AGAINST MAN, FIGHTING FOR TRUTH.
DOWN HERE THE END IS ALWAYS NEAR.
depleted of imagery
i am a cockroach
i am a monster
i am a smoking machine
but am i my brother’s keeper?
(don’t have a brother anyway)
if i can be anything i want then what’s the point?
love is funny when sex is involved and childish when it isn’t?
oh! that bigger human love is fine if you don’t express
it in such a way as to make it less, if you don’t express it plainly
SO SOMETHING NEW IS DELICATE,
IT IS MIND BOGGLING AND STILL QUITE
LUCID. SO SOME FOLKS SAY THAT
AMBIGUITY IS ART AND SOME FOLKS
SAY IT IS NOT BUT THAT (what?) IS THE POET’S PLIGHT.
THEY SAY POETRY IS DEAD
IF YOU AND I ARE EXISTENTIAL.
IF YOU CHOOSE
there are no conscriptions, no ways to be sane.
if you choose to do it right you wrong yourself
imprison a vital life force, tune it to servitude
so that you might be leader, you learn the law,
try to find justice, and all the while become tainted with compromise
(justice) becomes more rare than love
looked for and justice gets generalized and law
is a block of experience but not a building block.
if you chose to do it right and heal the humble
you spend years watching beauty turn to age,
watch bodies getting weaker, watch death and pain
and pain is symptomatic and bodies are generalized
and what can you do,(?) talk, ease the pain, cure
the infection by killing the antibody with the bug,
research the cause, cut out the bad, juggle medicine;
you get paid for unwanted knowledge of human indignity.
if you choose to do it right, and police the bad guys
you see people making out above the law, you see the scoffing,
you hear the complaints, the taunting kills you,
the bullets are insults and insults invite your death license to be extended
a little to include the bad mouthed mugger who will not sit down. and you
can stand if you want to get catlike when mousy men are clamoring chained
about how stupid they are to be in your clutches.
And if you choose to do it wrong you still have to do it right
One Breath of Hot Air
(meant to be read aloud in one breath)
One Breath of Hot Air I.
Indifference slowly melts
Floods of teardrops flow
THROUGH THE WILDERNESS OF THE WORLD
Salty sons of rude reality
On crowded streets the women strut
I LET MY LOVE RUN FREE
And sometimes stop curbside
To waste and wither
ONLY DREAMS CAME TO ME
Sidewalk sights of
Hands and faces
I HAD TO STAY OR GO AND NOW
Fingers and cheeks
Wiggling and waddling
THE INFERNO OF MY SEARCH
By and by more
Of them by and by
WILL BE FLICKERING FLAMES
Hands and faces
Fingers and cheeks
WARMING ME ON A DREARY
One Breath of Hot Air II.
Grasping Mothers Cry Out
Make them busy
In this prison
In this prison
Are not metal
And the captives
But keep them
To their sad
In this glass shell
Keep them at any cost.
Content…at any cost.
One Breath of Hot Air III.
As I understand it,
A match is a match
And a rose is a rose
But they could be anything
If they would just decompose.
If death be the feature
And death be the father
And death be the friendly foe,
Then what will I do
When my life is all through
With no place to go?
Will I ride on the breeze?
Will I finally be free?
Or will I really be
Eaten by the worms
Eaten by the worms
Eaten by the worms. If
Time’s a dimension
Eaten by the worms
Eaten by the worms
Eaten by the worms, (etc.) etc.
One Breath of Hot Air IV.
Vibration, gyration, syncopation,
Liberation, elation, jubilation,
Continuation, no relation,
I added this page because I wanted the book to have 222 pages.