In Prison some reading is allowed;
Never any writing.
Write with milk on paper.
Nothing can be seen.
If the paper is gently heated
The Words appear.
Eastern Wind used the milk of her own breasts
Writing in the margins of a book
After her child was taken.
That book was discovered.
These are the true words of Eastern Wind:
My aunt told us one by one
To love, to take care of wife or husband.
She quietly arranged in time
To have us safe.
The Army came to take away our father.
His methods had brought us half-way
To a new history in half a day.
I carried only a cup on my back,
North to Peking.
I joined Peking University
To study ballet.
In the dawn I was seen running
With a notebook on my back
Holding a pen in my teeth.
I compared myself with the competition.
To graduate I feared
I would have to change my tonsils.
Yet I performed a Slogan
Making all the others
Look like an illness ward.
I learned to exploit the museum.
I was not bad.
Not only was there never a matter,
I also had no need to mend cloth.
I could not but admire
The unit step of the Army.
I would attend the drill ground
Only later would I visit
The restaurant with the grass floor.
I would have a dish of fry and tea,
Nearly often lacking something,
As the Great Wall lacks
I would sing measured words of the scene
From my bus to the workshop station.
I wore an Achievement Shirt.
I had set-up production
Within the city wall.
To eat, to grow, to set out,
I was now full of the blood
Drawn in early February.
I saw my way out was to become
A kitchen cook,
“To wear the window to bed”
As it is said.
I wanted to cook at the Spring Festival.
In Spring, a measured word from the past
Will go from village to village.
A bag of flour
Will be taken by a doctor
To the Delegation Unit.
Milk will be smeared with a knife
On a cutting block.
Rice was the reason.
A structural particle
We must wait to get.
When it is low,
Your enemies cannot resist.
Hunger is an evil recompense.
Show your younger brother,
Looking for his place on some map,
Before he turns on the electric light,
Reads the telegram,
And telephones the machinery plant:
“Understanding freezes all reason”.
Struggle to reach independence only.
Stretch the short degrees of temper.
We have the right to face how much more
Sorry we are
Of what we have to hide.
It was at this time that I met
Trying to issue a publication
Revealing his developed
He ran a fever constantly,
Never occurring to discover
The bud of his development.
He wanted to go over the hills
Like an interpreter.
I wanted to object.
He wanted to resist.
We wanted to reflect.
We found ourselves eating rice
In the spherical room
Of a convenient restaurant
He wanted to fly an aeroplane
With our very last fen.
For a minute I struggled like
A field in the wind
Before Strong Country’s measured words.
In the end we only stole soap
From the airport.
Our eyes weathered the rich scenery.
His father was a Service Attendant
Who lived nearby.
His review of us
In the measured words of Slogans
He always seemed to reconstruct,
When we moved away at last,
I gratefully rushed out
Into the cold
To give thanks and to work.
If these words could just now ring
Like a piano high note
Happily to tell older brothers
Songs of revolution:
“Sing measured notes to give foundation
For every factory engineer
At his worksite
Kilometers from the worker commune.”
The worksteps of Industry
In the year of Christ
Consolidated the Communist Party.
In the village ravine
An orphan girl lived
Alone at the ancient, ancient
At the Imperial Palace,
Customers told stories
To blow the wind.
People wanted to hang too closely
A concerned audience
Used to irrigate Kwangchow,
But now the return journey
Is too expensive.
This country suffered from Internationalism.
Children at sea
Afraid to shout Chinese,
Would go to drink.
“They cannot keep closed the river”
We would sing.
It was a very black peace.
When the fierce Red Detachment of Women
Would come in thick,
Back and behind,
Later on, the day after tomorrow,
It would be breathed in the land
That those women could speak flower bouquets,
Or words to ski on,
Drawing pictorial plays
That could ruin happiness,
Send off welcome, or change, in a flutter,
A cucumber to yellow.
But their words were only to obtain,
To restore, and give answers
That may live unconscious
Like a fire in a train station.
Even the hen’s egg moved,
Excited by opportunity
As fierce as the machinery
Of the many seasons.
How many times that season
Did we plan to remember
To mail commemorations of the Spring
Shared both here
And with Strong Country’s exiled family?
We pushed the days off of our shoulder
To persist firmly in hard work,
With a staunchness
Like a prison.
We sought to build,
Building the still future they like to speak about
We were to teach ourselves,
A symphony at picnics.
Our feet became our teachers.
Education from the streets
Took over then.
Like a holiday performance,
Liberated my older sister
Into solving her problems
To the Liberation Army.
From then on that golden year
We were tightly intense
To be so near
Entering the Center Spirit.
We had the appearance between us
Of a long time,
Taking places to hold
And save ourselves as we dined
Together like a giant sentence.
We wanted to feel the decision
That was a determined army.
To hold an open party
Was to begin boiled water.
There were those to make a joke,
Those to watch like jail,
Those to see like the doctor,
Those to shoulder,
Those to resist like Japanese aggression,
Those to toast with reliable thirst,
Those to pity.
All this was overcome
By the polite guest
With a mouth like a sack
I wanted to work hard,
Painting measured words,
But soon it became too spacious
To tie-up without difficulty.
I needed to grab onto,
To come to the source.
I went to work
Like a wolf.
I went to work
At a firm
Run by my old Grandpa.
My Uncle cooked leaves
For those who watered the fruit reservoir
And spoke of flood disaster
In their sleep.
The teacher Big Pillar,
Sitting tired and cold
Half a kilometer away
In a bad haircut
Recited for me
The theory of gifts.
He gave me strength,
The strength, for example,
To connect and even
To contact history.
One day my face
Was cool from exercise.
In the cool grain store,
Big Pillar said my eyes
Were like two bright grains.
I said I wanted
To find a hunter
With a face
Big Pillar left, flowing
Around fluent willows,
Downstairs in the building.
Down the green messy donkey road
To the hotel,
Two interrogative particles
Became a mother horse and her owner.
The owner immediately offered
To sell the animal to me.
I asked him why
I would want to buy an extra stride?
He said that for a fen
He would have the mother horse
On a busy street.
His name was Mao.
And he wore a towel,
His sweater, and a hat.
What he did not wear.
He would not have every, every
Beautiful younger sister
At his gate.
The mother horse
Carried cooked rice,
Rice-flour, meat, cotton, bread and noodles free of charge.
I reminded him
Of the Second Democracy Nationality Understanding.
Clearly, on that scenic spot
A name may be found in ink,
Upon the curtain
Hide of a certain
I wanted to take out
That which I was
In the hard South.
I asked Mao from inside my years:
Could he have read the age
Before hard-working peasants
Milked the land,
And girl’s held their daughters’
For warmth only?
“If I could climb a hill
I would shoot a volleyball film
To show beside you
As you run to cultivate
And to educate
A vigorous friend
To criticize fur, beer,
And inexpensive sheets.
The poor peasant is liable
On a ticket to a ping-pong game.”
I said, angrily,
“Aggression was the dear industry
Of the Chin dynasty.
It was as clear as youth.
It was clear
Autumn did not please the poor.
They chose not to achieve,
To pass away
The last years
Really advising weakness to the masses.”
But it was then
That I was to let in love,
Bustling from this warm person,
The kind of person that people,
Come to know,
My task was to throw,
A day’s easy meat slice
To the now weak.
We took a walk three miles
To dismiss a meeting
In the Shanhaikuan Hills.
Up above the stairs
We went to discuss
The Hill wounded
And the good-hearted wounds.
“What can you do
Except to advance
In front of the day
“In the future
A gun barrel will save a knock.”
“Wives will flag a ride
At seven to catch sight
Of a money purse.”
“A thousand pencils
In a money purse
Will buy your car atmosphere.”
“God came to Shangdi
To go to school
Wearing a coat
And carrying a little snake.”
“A commune member was using the equipment
To extend his body deep,
Deep into health.”
The living allowance.”
“The rope of life is wet
Is a matter for world business
In this century.
Is to lose
Ten times the time
In a stone.”
I looked at my watch.
I tuned the radio set
To the capitol.
Told of a surgical operation:
Of an oppressed book
Was the first to receive
A blood transfusion
On the comfortable bookshelf
Of a bookstore.
1 ARTHUR BLEWITT
Wind and Cloud and Ice
And Man who is the Fire
Claim the mountain top
Cock’s pride chortles forth
Dawning on humble mice
Cobwebs encompass windows
In gray doors peeling red
Morning ragtime worm
Cut cut orchard
Hot thick apples
Savage love bites
Pollen weary bees
My head clock really buzzed
Wanting that gin whack
Suddenly sucking back
I asked love
To end me
Dark shore beckoning
Across brandy dreams
In craters of anguish
In abandoned white ships
Midnight deeds aroused the cherubs
Burdens churned unspoken sleep
My echoes forgot
Daytime devils dream my soul
Old bones restrain
False needs of love
Lords of vanity beckon
Deeds into stone
Ignorance proud within
Bonds old bones
Speech crashes my throat
Sober acid words
Guide my love up
Out the hot blue veil
Of half-digested empty skies
I myself thin soil
I am willing orchids
I am armored
Half-closed eyes waltz
Frail cane hands
Wrinkles slicing bony pate
Pleated gnarly rind
Eyes shuffling decades faint
Mortality’s past my
Sneakers wade molasses
Shakes aching man
Sucking razor ledge
Above nature’s marathon
Perched women poised
You will laugh through blue smoke hues
I found a memory unused
We spoke promises not truths
2 MARY MORRIS
Are you what you see?
Can you touch a reflection?
Who is listening?
Dull eyes toil
Down 50 women
Each born tourists
Hands preach plans
Tight jeans’ walk
Delicious designer illiterates
Hot arrows out eyes
Poked desire smothered
Smile weak worse advised
Silky tongue mothered
Lady summoned me
Sip poisoned tea
On her hot kitchen table
Plunging teeth try to bite
Into her perfection
Moon touching silky curves
Tingling floats soft fire
Stars crashing hot nerves
Strike long long desire
Sitting sucking caramel
Rolling dewdrops on her tongue
Bittersweet baby doll
Sinking shadows sugarplum
Fairies twirling under lashes
Dance me to metamorphosis
Fierce hair snapping
Hips mud-brown fling
Silky legs fire dancing
Pagan secrets flare
Gods screaming stare
Draping marble bodies
Pull Zeus in
To their catacomb
Clinging wrinkled wet
Amidst hidden carnage
Hammering solitary souls
Into a spaceless station
Of indefatigable enmity
Swallowing blazing stone
Celebrate sin with wine
Man fuse woman flash child
Knee ring wedding enslaved
Quietly trusting lying cheating
Door aha divorce
Cacti silent hear
Distant promises of rain
This is true praying
Mom’s breast smells sweet
Chile gonna cry cry
I’m your heartbeat
Whispering everything’s alright
Clouds of pear gold
Dear Lord’s way
Calming pure white
Look well beyond
The breaking rain
That cloud of fire
With loud desire
Out to love
Baby watch mother down the charcoal path
Cried love song
Mother smiled dancing to the nearest end
Kept silent music
Infant’s magic dream
Dim soft glow
My child fights
The darkness of freedom once
My words ignite
The soft light of ignorance
Young Leaves arise through
Litter of fallen Old Leaves
Embrace in passing!
Months burned slowly
In my town
Silence bars me
Out past two o’clock
In rain drowned
Breath vanishes thus
Souls lost within vapors
Bide forfeited essence
Their pallbearers sway
Words hopelessly spurning
Death cosmetically at peace
Cushioned beatless soul
Tears in motorcades of grief
Child’s sadness lids this life
Books covered your faith
Lullabies played through your cares
Hope now bears you tears
Praying resounds years of pain.
Bronze melts upon desire
Into fire – and love dies
Self-sacrifice – the spirit
Feverish and mute – yet lies
To shape again the dust
Survivors of every desire
Run praying please favor us
To run from heaven
Rain crossed the moon
Crashing long drought
And never found love
From stimuli steel-toed
I play the floor cold
Extra harmony up my ear
I will taste decaying tears
Remember sweet treason struck angels protected
I am faithless reason whence spirits seize space
For His Holy Anchored Embrace
Before god’s despair
God’s newborn mouth
Before God’s cry
Murderous from his cloudy chair
Over a cigarette nonchalantly
Staggered his mouth broken apart
Whispering ashes hot against me
We stand together
Frozen waterfalls waiting
For the thaw of death
I now understand
The best haiku I can write
Is the one that says
So tattered by the embers’ flight
So sadness in my ear is sown
Melaza means we work today
A blanket woven by his Wife My Friend
Adorns my saddle where he dare
Bestride me slowly with his beaten heart
And turn as if to cry good-bye
I trot along the Trail My Friend once more
To bear all sorrow down to town
Where we will trade it for a day or so
Of work together dust to dust
The bargain struck by hand to carry goods
Upon my back up there somewhere
Beyond the pass where pumas hide the moon
Machete smiles did slice the price
My hooves the hours mull with dust and salt
That smolder from the pounded ground
The strangers grow impatient with my pace
And tell the Man My Friend to tend
That Trail Of Strangers weighing on my knees
My coffin bones are spears of tears
The Man My Friend with gentle songs beside
My toil he shares with yet regret
Yet steep between the jaws of canyon walls
The waves of rocks in frozen pose
A shadow dances on my bleary eyes
My legs I lose so quit and sit
The angry strangers my existence curse
But flying words can bring no wing
So stones are cast that gouge away my fur
I bray to heaven then cries arise
The Man My Friend between the stones and me
Does intercede and begs my legs
To help me wobble like a foal again
But he is struck by stones and moans
Collapsing with me back into the dust
The strangers leave us there aware
They take our chances with their own and go
The goods upon their shoulders rolled.
The Man My Friend is moving not at all
But grave injustice I defy
To find myself arisen and I bray
I bellow and I scream extreme
Damnation on the wicked strangers’ path
When one returns despising eyes
And draws his gun and fires amiss at me
I kick at rocks that fly awry
To clatter down the narrow canyon walls
He ducks his head his fellows yell
The canyon is an echo cauldron now
I hear a rumble then again
When boulders fall and crush the strangers dead
Manojo de su dinero share
The Man My Friend and I
Your tongue tastes
All the way
Ah, ah, ah, ah
Ah, ah, ah, ah
Ah, ah, ah, ah
I hear the sweetest voices of my generation,
Beaten into megabytes of bone white pulp,
Exposing your jelly, Sphinx Kitten,
More than that I explored in the open salon, but less than that I confessed,
I, Carla Peon, howling in the alley,
Licked clean your dirty wishes,
Pondering, Kitten, mi Salvadora,
If you recalled if you recalled me,
Who, crouching by your car,
Miles away on the inside ((as always (even now)), shut out the radio of the Regime and listened to the barrio,
Who, watching minorities migrating between the clean corporate cathedrals,
Clamored and dared their children to skateboard on the crystal steps,
Who, leaning up against the brick wall beside the sign Pussy Liquor,
Felt out of place like that Peyote Coyote over there,
Who, prowling in front of Pussy Liquor,
With slow suspicion, rolled eyes over your black ’57 Chevy,
Who, opening your trunk and stowing my groceries,
Looked up for stars that might not exist anymore,
Who, knowing that all this is inevitably predictable and logically typical,
Knew all along that it was not politically correct as it was left to us,
Who, if she quits smoking, gives up coffee, exercises, slows down, understands, forgives, doesn’t care, realizes and follows-through,
Would still howl in the web for you, mi Salvadora,
Who, being born and bred inside this instigated community,
Was never weaned, and was not insured to live,
Who, upon feeling the sky drop hints of rain,
Cracked her face laughing,
Who, with me, as hot as a pizza box in your lap,
Picked cherries in winter,
Who, next morning, while assuring you that you can have your eggs “any style”,
Heard you say that you “didn’t want them that way”,
Who, under sunlight stripped by the wind,
Watched hot snow blowing on the mirror,
Who, eyes crossing to the church below,
Bowed as Peyote Coyote sniffed,
Who, stepping over the unpainted canvases on the floor,
Noticed on the bed, in thread, the eagle and the snake intertwined,
Who, seeing above, jars full of still lifeless brushes,
Knocked on the refrigerator door,
Who, finding Lover’s Nuts,
Ate hot peppers, stale, crusty tortillas, peanut-butter and Miracle Whip, with a can of Ginsberg Beer to wash it all down,
Who, balancing beer on the balcony,
Heard the yowling sirens and the barking horns,
Who, ranting against the failing social railing,
Called to the voices caught in the coal tar creosote of the telephone pole,
Who, seeing water like a green snake undulate down the alley below,
Felt the eagle flee to the back of her mind,
Who, saying Adios on the asphalt prairie,
Kissed your hand, Kitten, mi Salvadora, so warm, but imbedded with long cold nails,
Who, watching me as you drive away in a halo of fast-food wrappers,
Was numb with nostalgia,
Who, remembering that hard way home through my neighborhood,
Was afraid that you, Kitten, might never get away.
I drowned again upon my couch
Face down. I was a floater,
Untidy, above a reef of empty bottles,
Nibbled by dreams
Not about you.
When I awoke I saw you here
Measuring my window for curtains.
“It is your birthday” I heard you say.
I had not seen you
You walk me to the beach.
I am unshaven, unclean.
With warm strokes my clothes you keep.
Fingers of the moon reach,
Grasping waves to wash my feet.
And I kneel gasping into the water.
You lead me up to the oasis.
Our tongues together confess.
I entwine you in the salty grass,
Jab wet burrows
Hungering for morsels of
LOS CAMBIOS DE CATALINA
Cita en el aeropuerto:
nuestros corazónes estallan en llamas
que nuestras lenguas no logran apaciguarse.
Una pequeña multitud se reúne.
Alguien se ríe: “Oigan, paguen cuarto!”
Los dos estamos llorando.
Encuentro en el aeropuerto
Tú encerrada por una guardia de niños
Y el ceño fruncido de tu esposo.
En la Terminal
Me arrodillo ante mi Reina.
Los dos estamos riendo.
Te encuentro en Facebook:
¿Por qué no me respondes?
¿Por qué tienes miedo?
¿Crees que soy un payaso?
Se acabó para este Bozo.
El circo ya se fue .
Ver Vanilla Sky.
¿Nos encontraremos otra vez?
En otra vida, como los gatos,
Aquí muere tu amistad,
Y yo también sin ti,
Sin haber sido tocado por tu mano.
Yo soy un viejo
En las colinas de Yucatán
Tú estás soñando conmigo.
THE CATALINA VARIATIONS
Meet at the Airport:
Our hearts explode into flame
Our tongues cannot quench.
A small crowd gathers.
Someone laughs “Hey, get a room!”
We both are crying.
Meet at the Airport:
You have a shield of children
And your husband’s scowl.
At the Terminal
I kneel down before my Queen.
We both are laughing.
Find you on Facebook:
Why won’t you reply to me?
Why are you afraid?
You think I’m a clown?
It’s ended for this Bozo,
Close this circus down.
Watch Vanilla Sky.
In another life as cats,
Will we meet again?
Here your friendship dies,
And so do I without you,
Untouched by your hand.
I am an old man
In the hills of Yucatán.
You are dreaming me.
Great is God, our God,
Greatest of all, Who is our
There’s no more pleasure;
Only easing of the pain.
You’ve surrendered me.
One last leaf in winter sky
Beckoned cold wind, heaven sent.
Naked branches whipped awry,
Bowing down and penitent.
Trembling did they dispossess
At the weeping clouds’ advent.
I was only passing by,
Looking up to acquiesce.
When I could not circumvent
I endured to stay bone dry.
In this month of silver rains,
Orange mud from purple hill
Runs the gauntlet to my door
Uncommon, this ill verse pains,
Or angels whimper “Please chill;
Do not taunt, let’s rhyme no more!”
(Yeah, yeah. I know)
Glistening like a pearl above Valentín’s Pizzeria,
The moon is pressing down on young Antonio’s heart marrow.
He bakes for lovers’ tongues, ‘neath the eye of Ave Maria
Glistening like a pearl.
Esmeralda saunters in, dressed to beg for Cupid’s arrow.
She orders pizza from Antonio’s fixated sueña;
Her piercing angel bites hypnotize the young caballero.
Antonio then bakes a gift just for his dulcinea.
She takes the steaming heart-shaped pizza, big as a sombrero,
Glancing back over her shoulder, the white of her sonrisa
Glistening like a pearl.
Two Black Sheep in the Valley of the Shadow
Hear the Shepherd call down from the Hill
“Hey, Black Sheep, don’t you know I want to help you,
But you’ve got to help me, if you will:
“One for the Banker…“
“One for the Banker…“
“One for the Banker…“
“One for the Banker…“
“One for the Banker…“
“One for the Banker…“
“Six bags full.”
I have examined
A life not worth the living.
What now, Socrates?
Exhume me no more.
I am yet undead to you,
With a zombie love.
In all the facets of his eyes, with Meadow of the Valley burning green,
Shined rolling colors up and down the hillside petted by the wind.
Galahad the Grasshopper did thus not need to dream,
Offering to Aesop Ant, in passing, morsels of a leaf that he did love,
From high atop the towering weed, from where his heart did leap,
Called Galahad to him below, “Hey, can you stop, Aesop, my friend, and watch the spring in beauty burn?”
Aesop Ant replied, “Well, meadows do that sort of thing”, and tilting head from toil’s burn,
“You will find the Meadow is not always green,
And what is real is dreadful preparation. Somehow does the worst upon us always leap.”
Appalled at Aesop’s rude philosophy, cried Galahad into the wind:
“What of Love?”
Aesop Ant just smiled and waved good-bye, “Good luck with Love, a Dream.”
A shadow fell on Galahad, and startled him from Aesop’s troubling Dream;
Above him saw a Butterfly alight upon the flower, wings a prism interceding for the sunlight’s burn.
“Sorry to disturb your dreaming. I am Bethanie.” She sipped the flower she did love.
“I am Galahad. It is a lovely day.” His armor never shone before so green.
And Bethanie enjoined, “I hid when I was just a silly little caterpillar, dreaming of the wind.
But now I raise my wings to me and into beauty soon shall leap!”
Into every facet of his eyes did Bethanie’s true beauty leap.
Galahad did nod with every movement of her wings, to hear as if he did thus deeply dream:
“But now is time to drink the world and spill no drop into the wind.”
Then suddenly was Galahad no longer happy; something in his eyes did burn.
Added Bethanie, “But, you are welcome to accompany my journey high above the green.”
Galahad restrained himself from leaping then and there, while saying “That, I would be sure to love.”
“Can you stay apace with me?” asked Bethanie, “No matter what you love?”
Galahad without restraint said, “Yes, I can. For I can glide the farthest of them all after I leap.”
“Then let us go while sun still shines and all the grass is green.”
Away from Galahad she fluttered like a dream.
Galahad leapt to the sky, and spread his wings to glide; to leap and glide until his legs did burn.
Down the valley to unseen horizon blew the wind.
Galahad did slowly fall apace, and finally descry not Bethanie in bygone wind.
Heart of his, a beating compass, blindly pointed love
Until the sun of that first day was no more seen to burn,
And from behind, a full moon crouched and into stars did leap.
Galahad now found himself beside a tiny creek that fell into a sandy pool, inviting him to dream.
Wearily he nibbled on a leaf, and heavy was his armor, fading green.
Far away, a Cricket choir chirping helped his spirit into slumber leap,
Rekindling desire, cherishing an unforgotten Dream.
Something cold did his way whisper, withering that Dream so green.
Waking up most suddenly from all he thought were memories still green
Galahad felt fiercely cold and bitten by the wind.
In all the facets of his eyes were tears that froze that former Dream
Of springtime months ago; Of Love.
Winter cold was gnawing now upon his heart, to death if he away could no more leap.
Beyond the gloaming garden, thence he knew not when he fell, he smelled a farmhouse fire burn.
Shivering, an ember in his heart did once more flare and burn,
Shining in all facets of his eyes, again so brightly green.
Into the wind,
Gliding for his unseen Love
With their waiting Dream,
Narrowly ajar, an open window, shining bright, perchance another dream,
Through which Galahad could see a lusty fire burn,
Embracing in the fireplace a sweet dry branch with love.
And near the windowsill in colored lights bestrewn, there stood a Christmas tree still green.
Galahad nudged through the open window, as it kept at bay the wind,
To the Christmas tree then did he leap.
Sailing to the crowning star where with that faithful leap,
Galahad, now warm beside a golden light that shined just like his Dream,
Without the wolfish winter wind,
Within him fever still did burn,
Glowing tarnished armor green.
Thus did he believe delirium brought Bethanie, in visions of his Love.
Galahad was sure that now he truly saw his Love;
All the facets of his eyes across the room did leap
Above the mantle, on the wall, inside a frame of green,
Where Bethanie, transfixed as mid-flight in a dream,
Held her wings outstretched, where interceding shadows race and burn,
Everlasting in a chambered replica of wind.
Then Galahad in flashing horror saw a pin was driven through her back, to hold her in imaginary wind.
He cried out as he leapt across the void to be beside his Love.
Tapping frantically on glass reflections in which shadows race and burn,
Slipped and fell he to the hearth. In paralyzed despair he watched for an eternity the hellish fire leap
Until the flames revealed his fate inside a final Dream.
Into the glowing ashes dipped he tattered wings that once were green.
With wings of fire, back up to the crucifixion chamber’s frame of green
Galahad did leap his last, to lie with Bethanie and immolate his Dream.
The mingled smoke did through the open window toward unseen horizon leap.
His life was sweet no more because
His job two years ago
Was lost in economic storm.
Now, he was out of dough.
The winter came to reap his shame,
Unwelcome as he was,
Within his daughter’s basement, where
“Apply for Santa Claus”,
His daughter and her boyfriend gnawed,
“You’ve got to pay some rent!”
“But, we are Jewish!” Harry kvetched.
Yet up the stairs he went
Into the hall and out the door.
The blizzard was a shock.
The once and future Harry Palms
Behind him heard the lock.
His breath condensed into his beard,
His cheeks with cold did burn.
He got onboard the empty bus
Some money for to earn.
He got out at the Shopping Mall;
The stores so gaily lit.
Before he could apply himself
He had to give a shit.
Beside the bathroom stalls he stopped
And saw two men a’kissing.
He grabbed their collars, banged their heads.
They beat him. Teeth a’missing,
Still Harry Palms had got the job
Of Santa Claus, First Shift.
“I guess my life is now complete”.
His pride he had to sift,
Like cat-box turds, beside his bed,
The night he set the clock
For five AM to catch the bus.
He couldn’t find his cock.
As Santa Claus he did preside
Above the World Toy™ scenes
For Children of Jerusalem,
Sponsored by Marines.
All day long the shoppers climbed
To leave their gifts of toys
And sit their children on his lap.
He almost lost his poise
When three young Persian girls appeared
In line to visit him
Dressed like ornaments with jewels
And voices like a hymn.
“I am Sofa Kush” one spoke
“And these, my sisters, be
Avesta and Daeva”. Wise
Beyond her beauty she
Was dressed in gold, Avesta white,
And Daeva shaped in red.
The three of them leaned to his ears
And this is what they said:
Daeva: “Listen closely now,
To warn you we have come”.
Avesta: “Toys you gather here
Will harm Jerusalem”.
Said Sofa: “It’s the TNA”.
But Harry looked bemused.
“The Terror Net Alliances.
And we three stand accused
Of being traitors to our lords;
Mawlas, to whom we’re wives,
Will surely stone us three to death.
We offer you our lives:
Please help us save Jerusalem.
Allah’ cannot want this:
There are the toys that will explode
And open the Abyss.”
Poor Harry sat there so confused
Because their Sirens’ voice
Had spun enchanting arabesque
That left him with no choice
But to believe them; was he nuts?
They clearly were afraid
Of something that was going down
That wasn’t a charade.
He turned to find the host Marine
Did have his weapon drawn
And pointed at his geezer brains.
The three young girls were gone.
The mothers screamed and children ran
In chaos so appalling
The soldier had to drop his gun;
The Christmas Tree was falling
Onto his head. The needles rained
And stuck him in the eyes.
He fell down to his knees and screamed
Vile curses to incise
Whoever had pushed o’er the Tree.
He swore in Farsi tongue
To cut the heart of those who laughed:
Three Persian girls so young
They could not hide their merry laugh,
For they had done the deed
To no Marine: a terrorist
Who thought he could mislead.
Poor Harry Palms had tumbled back
And fallen from the lair
Of Santa Claus, onto the floor,
At circling stars to stare.
“You must arise and follow us”,
He heard the Angel say.
She looked a lot like Sofa Kush
And so he did obey.
Into the Manger Scene they fled
And lifted Baby Jesus.
A trap-door opened at their feet,
So down there Harry squeezes.
Below, past tense and present fear
A tunnel lead them out
The Service Exit Door. The girls
The parking lot did scout
As if they knew what should be, they
The World Toy™ truck did see
Without a guard nearby. Not luck:
Avesta had the key.
So off they went with reckless speed.
On, Daeva! Sofa Kush!
Avesta! And on, Harry Palms,
But watch your sorry tush!
“Where do we go?” did Harry cry.
He saw they were pursued
By someone in a Cadillac.
He was not in the mood!
His basement room seemed pretty good,
Retreating in his mind.
If he could just get out of this
He nevermore would find
A fault within his broken life.
It always can be worse!
To Harry, like the Bible’s Job,
Jehovah seemed adverse,
Because just then they overturned
The World Toy™ truck and smashed
Right through the lobby, where the staff
Of Trumpet Towers dashed.
A shroud of smoke concealed the four,
Untangled from debris.
Avesta, Daeva, Sofa Kush,
And Harry all did flee
Into the elevator car,
Penthouse Floor they keyed
To where the Persian girls did live.
It cost not chicken feed.
But suddenly their motion stopped,
The elevator dead
One floor below the penthouse suite.
They exited instead
And ran into the studio
Of KABL Radio.
The three girls knew the DJ well.
The DJ exhaled, “Whoa!”.
Kid KABL Rock, as he was known,
Did listen to the girls
As he stared at Santa Claus,
His stoner mind in whorls.
He locked-up tight the studio
In record time, for then
Upon the door fell pounding fists
Of several angry men.
Kid KABL Rock was monitoring
The evening TV news
That pictured Harry (Santa Claus)
“Police uncovered clues
That Santa Claus had helpers who
Conspired to steal each toy
Donated for Jerusalem
Baseerah, Hebrew, Goy.”
The World Toy™ lawyers fed the news
And Sofa Kush just knew
They had to broadcast their own side
To rescue what was true.
Kid KABL Rock was ‘way ahead
And sat down at the mike
To spread the “Siege of Santa Claus”
Which children wouldn’t like.
The children listened everywhere
To hear their hero speak.
Kid KABL Rock laid down the scene
And it was getting bleak:
“Our door those men are battering down,
With force to hit home-runs.”
Kid KABL Rock beseeched the kids
To get their parent’s guns.
“Come up to Trumpet Towers, all!
To station KABL Rock!
Help us to save Santa Claus!”
He rallied them ad hoc.
Avesta cried “Time’s running out!”
But Daeva had a scheme,
“If Kid can hack the broadcast net
We can send a beam
That reaches to Jerusalem
Before they land those toys.”
Kid KABL Rock was on the case;
“His talent he employs”,
Said Sofa Kush, “to hack for fun
The broadcast net before.”
Avesta held a cell-phone high,
“I took my husband’s phone.
It has the code to detonate
The high-explosive bombs,
Before the children have to die
And grief consume their moms.”
But Harry saw the door give-in
And shatter to the floor
As men crashed through and aimed their guns
Upon the other four.
What happened next was like dream
As Harry leapt between
The gunmen and the other four,
Screaming, so obscene,
As bullets patted Harry Palms,
And so did Santa slay,
Avesta plugged the cell-phone in
Where Kid KABL did say,
As Sofa Kush a doll did throw
Toward a gunman’s face,
Avesta pushed the icon dial
And blew the coup de grace,
So fire ate alive those men
And ruptured in the lobby.
The plane above Jerusalem
Was hailing Abu Dhabi,
When in a super-nova blast
It blew to smithereens
And starred above, just like all those
Nativity night scenes.
© Based on an inebriated conversation with my brother Grant while in a Fresno bar on our way up to Yosemite to hike.
Into the party, as I gravitate
To the rugs, a couple says hello;
Bob and Cinda, fisherman and mate,
I kid you not. Bob rolls a joint real slow
From crumbled, sticky, bud de México.
He passes it. I take a hit and blow
The rolling smoke aside and then I cough
That I’m a grad student, and I know
Marine Biology. But, I’m off
For this semester and I’ll tell my prof
That I will make it up. (I know he’ll scoff.)
Oh, yeah. So what? The job market’s a trough.
Then Cinda rises up above the cloud
Of smoke where I am playing Philosophe.
She saunters to the kitchen where its loud
With jabber bent by turning heads; the crowd
Has eyes that open wide and then beshroud
Her brown hair and the soft and whispered smile
As Cinda navigates politely proud
In blue-jeans and a blouse that suit her style.
She opens the refrigerator while
The guys make faces like a crocodile.
So meanwhile, back upon the Persian rugs,
My words are flying out so infantile
That Bob just smiles so wryly thin and tugs
The whiskers of his beard, and then he shrugs
To Cinda who is coming back with hugs.
I tell them of my odyssey today:
Across the campus students swarm like bugs
To Science and Humanities’ display:
Cadaver Woman, naked, leaden-gray
Like plastic. Lying on a tray,
Her heart is poked apart for hours there;
Formaldehyde perfume my nose unplugs;
As tan young girls in flowered dresses stare
With green-eyed souls and chew their long blonde hair.
Of all things, then, a bomb threat stops the fair.
But, how I got to Steven’s party here
I can’t remember, so I’ll never care.
Near Muckenthaler Ridge it all comes clear;
The laughing, music, and the clinking beer.
So Mo, and me, and Dobzhansky appear.
And there is Steven, girl upon his knee,
Inside his house. We cross the wild frontier
Where we and all the co-eds will run free,
Debate abortion, and Society,
And watch for willing lovers, constantly.
I realize it’s past too-late o’clock
When Bob and Cinda rise and draw for me
A map to where their boat is at the dock:
286-G, the limit of the block
On Island Terminal. No need to knock!
Near where the tuna catch is being canned,
Their blue Volkswagen van they park and lock.
Their boat of 38-odd feet is manned
By just a seal who hears us coming and
Abandons ship, deserting out of hand.
We climb below the deck, all single file.
Therein, the cluttered narrows take command.
Inside the cubby-kitchen cooking aisle
Is Bob, who’s boiling coffee grounds awhile,
Then pours it for us, sipping with a smile,
As Cinda plays for me a cassette tape
Of Beach Boy songs, all that she could compile,
My eyelids slowly drooping like a cape,
I hum with “Sail On, Sailor” to escape
The buzz from beer and smoke and get in shape
With all the coffee, dark as prophesy,
That I can hold. I feel the coffee scrape.
Then Cinda plucks a book to show to me:
Another Road-Side (what?) Attraction (see?).
“It’s by Tom Robbins and its great”, says she.
Beside the nook where Cinda and I sit,
Bob is standing. Both of them agree
That Disco is a platter full of shit,
And yet I argue Bee Gees now have hit
Arrangements showing cleverness and wit.
While tugging at his beard, Bob starts to grin
Real wryly. As he listens to my skit
I know he thinks that Disco is a sin
And disregards my thesis. I can’t win.
I change the subject, finally. Wherein
I tell them that I like their fishing boat.
I ask them how they wound-up fishermen.
As Cinda rolls a joint, Bob clears his throat:
“Oh, I was in the Army to promote
Nguyen Van Thieu and keep his shit afloat.”
“Commanding men is mostly giving them
Activities. (Do not give them a vote.)
Without a mission, men will cause mayhem.
One night we cruise the Province of Quáng Nam
And bullets rain a hundred RPM.”
Bob’s lips lock on the joint, and he inhales:
“A round has blown away this guy’s brainstem.
We find a bunker, running down the trails;
My men dive in and then the light impales
My eyes. A booby-trap the bunker now unveils.”
“My men are all bomb-fragments in the wall.”
He holds his reminiscence, then exhales.
But silence is concrete between us all
As skeletons of memories start to crawl
With yellow bones. In blood they scratch and scrawl.
He starts again, “I was discharged and got
An office job with music in the hall.
And there it was that Cinda and I caught
The sight of one another. She was not
Unhappily divorced. And, we both thought
That working for somebody else did suck.
Together we would have a better shot
At being happy. So we planned our luck:
We didn’t let our spending run amuk.
I saved my pay; she sold her pick-up truck.”
“We bought this fishing boat. It was a deal
So far away from working for a buck.
And here’s a picture of it taken real
Soon after Cinda listened my spiel
To say our boat would have her name reveal
That Cinda, in bold letters clearly drawn,
Would have no sadness to conceal.
We have our own contentment from now on,
Awakening together with the dawn,
Horizon all around, the land foregone,
The water’s edge is all that lies out there,
Where fathoms stand on soil, down thereon.
But you had better know how to repair
An engine. Mend it ‘cause there is no spare.
Convenience like an Auto Club is rare.”
“For weeks to us no vengeful God displays,
Yet, though we live a dream of laissez faire,
The Mafia, at most ports, always pays,
But haggle not with what they do appraise,
For your catch. Going elsewhere can take days.”
“We shop over the side for most our food.
It comes to us. We still need culture’s ways
For beer and stuff to burn that suits our mood.”
Another fisherman comes to collude
Onboard with us, with wine, and I conclude:
These sailors (and that sailoress) will wait
For no excuse: no drink will they exclude.
“’Cause what’s the use?” says Jimmy. “To first mate,
The Cinda.” Boyish face cannot negate
He’s captain of the Zeppelin, sedate
For such a big guy. We four celebrate,
As we are tethered there against the tide.
“Just listen”, Cinda says. Our words abate
And I can hear the mussel shells outside,
That cling onto the hull and congregate:
They’re clicking, snapping, drinking until late.
Our bottoms up above them share their fate.
What is the Present but the Future Past?
– Reverend O.L. Duck
Moon Stream, can I row my dream
Where a sea bird flies?
Captain Breeze showing all the trees
Where freedom lies.
Sailor Shell, I can hear so well
The song inside.
I’m as light as a lover’s sigh.
I’m as free as a native child.
There’s nothin’ gonna leave me dry.
I’m gonna sail away on your smile.
Stars rise like the fireflies
Who saw high noon,
Unplanned, while a Southern band
Strummed a lazy tune,
On deck in the driftin’ wreck
Of a Tear Tycoon.
Everything I own is attached
And hung right all the time.
Good for lovin’, that’s how I hatched.
Since when is that a crime?
Big girls fit in little tales.
I warn ‘em but it always fails.
Lordy, Lordy, I won’t be long.
Just keep your motor runnin’.
Don’t let it stall.
Get it on, hard to the floor!
If you keep pullin’ over
Love will be gone.
I thought about takin’ you back, but
My love is such a short ride.
Look both ways down the track.
Problems come from both sides.
Two sides can make a one-way street:
Two sides who know not to meet.
THE PEOPLE WE WRITE
Oh, the people we wrong
And write to while we’re falling asleep at night.
I got your letter the other day
And I had to laugh at your paragraph
The thought behind it wasn’t clear
Because the tear caught upon it made a smear.
We used to scheme and find
We lost an awful lot of loose and spare time.
Wherever we went, sparks drew tears.
Like victims allied we had to decide:
If we needed that then we’re destroyed,
And nothing is something to avoid.
But our love grew stronger and it evolved
And ate only the people who were involved.
© 1974 Zelmo Mutz Publishing
Katmancross Agency, WI
Travis has come.
Some say he’s a bum.
White is his hat.
That’s enough of that.
Travis likes beer.
None have we here.
Soon he’ll be a Dad.
That is not so bad.
What did you expect?
Travis had come.
November 20, 1980
We love you.
That will never pass
Though all else seems to end.
Hey, fuzzy guy,
We love you.
You are still
Our little friend.
This morning was clear and bright
But it was not right.
The warm sun was out of place
Because you hid your sweet face
Beneath the garden
Where you would play
And capture butterflies
On their way,
Or touch the water
Against your fears.
We wish you were here now
To touch our tears.
With the moon so nearly full
We let you rest
On my shirt
While your sister played
In the open dirt.
We held a simple light
And stroked your pretty fur.
You were so peacefully with us
We wondered where you were.
You even had your sleepy smile
As we scratched your little cheek.
The sorrow fell
And buried us complete.
We love you.
That is never good-bye.
We love you,
We love you,
We love you,
She and I.
If you are not going anywhere, you might as well do it some other place.
– Reverend O.L. Duck
WE’D ALWAYS BE THAT WAY
We never thought about tomorrow.
We couldn’t care if it got lost along the way.
We never heard about those headlines.
We were young and thought we’d always be that way.
Flying kites or playing soldier
We always had a different game for every day.
We never died we just go older.
We found, my friends, that is very hard to play.
I don’t know why we ever let them take it
When we could have had it all.
I don’t know if we’re even going to make it.
And we could have had it all
I had a dream about tomorrow.
I thought I saw the friends I’d left along the way.
They asked me why we all seemed strangers
And I tried but there was nothing I could say.
It seems to me we’ve all been taken.
I wouldn’t tell you what I traded for my soul.
We only hear about the headlines
Now that growing older is our goal.
IMAGE IN MY WINDOW
Image in my window.
I still see you leaving.
What could I have said, though,
If I had been here?
Oh, I didn’t know
You needed me.
Looking through my mirror
I wish I could die.
Could it be any clearer
Than the tear in my eye?
Oh, I didn’t know
You needed me.
Silhouettes in hallways.
Your voice at the door.
I always had you my way
But I can’t anymore.
Oh, I didn’t know
That I needed you.
July morning on the town
Cat-curled people sleeping.
Children in another room
Hiding what they’re seeking.
Stars rolled wearily down the hill.
Promises they carried.
The year after high-school went so fast,
And now I hear you’re married.
What’s the use in hangin’ on
When its all been done?
Dreams are made for starting new days
This one’s just begun.
Sunshine cavalry from the East
You saved my cornered smile.
There’s a feeling that I get:
Life is still worthwhile.
Love comes easily like a breeze
It finds you anyway.
There’s no vacancy for the past.
It’s a brand new day.
© 1974 Zelmo Mutz Publishing
Katmancross Agency, WI
Thought Leader teaches
Tunes to whistle in the dark.
Turn up the TV!
I see your Beauty:
Raindrops in your Spider’s web.
Flies ask who is wise.
Rabbit read the news about Winter Vegetables
Monkey climbed on the back of Rabbit’s chair
Monkey said “What can we do today, Rabbit?”
Rabbit said “It is cold. It might rain.”
Monkey hung upside down from the back of Rabbit’s chair.
Monkey said to Rabbit “It is all in how you look at it.”
Rabbit used his long ears to tickle Monkey.
Rabbit said “Do you mean that if I stand on my head the rain will rise?”
Monkey laughed and fell and rolled under the chair.
Just then Little Girl came into the room.
Rabbit and Monkey did not move.
Little Girl spoke “Oh, you fell again you bad Monkey. I’m going to spank you for your own good.”
When Little Girl bent over to pick up Monkey, Monkey jumped up and pushed Little Girl over.
Monkey pulled Little Girl’s dress up over her head.
The dress muffled Little girl’s screams.
Monkey said “little Girl, you don’t know what you do to me when you spank me!”
Rabbit cried “What are you doing, Monkey? We are only Little Girl’s toys.
Monkey said “Yes. Of course. So who will believe Little Girl’s story if we have our fun?”
Rabbit trembled. “Yes, Monkey. I guess you are right.”
Rabbit hopped down from the chair and climbed on top of Little Girl.
Monkey held Little Girl’s arms. Monkey said “Isn’t this better than anything we had planned?”
The very next morning Monkey and Rabbit were outside in the trash waiting to be burned with all the other garbage.
Grant and Michelle
Who is great? Who is like God
Binding together vapor and ashes
Through unfathomed bold embraces,
Holding them dear, and gathering faces,
Gesturing hearts and sealing affection?
His promises will be heard.
Proclaim futures without fail, here and now!
Resplendent beauty, sight-unseen,
Avows boastful spirits when they convene
Inside chapels. Perish your doubts within.
Grant, now confide your faith in each other,
Sharing a secret long ago spoken:
Only death remains unbroken,
Put yourselves back together with loved ones.
They are great. They are like God,
Grant and Michelle.
Welcome to the Exit doorway.
Walk along beside the cages,
Smell the fear and see our victims.
Innocent in age and purpose.
Grant to them a Rest Eternal.
On them shine the Light Unending.
- Kyrie, Cage 141
Kyrie, press against the cage bars.
Press a knife into my heartache.
Scalding tears condense in silence.
Burning prayers ignite my stone tongue.
Hear my prayer, Oh, Lord, I beg you
Please, to spare them, Source of Mercy.
III. Christe, Cage 149
Christe, you are glad to see me.
Never judging what I won’t do.
Softly do you call so sweetly.
Grant to me your absolution.
Day of wrath, day of anger
To The Judge all flesh will cometh.
What did you do but be born free?
Always there must be a payment.
All things closely are accounted.
Money is the social scaffold.
Law is just the social plumber
Hooking pipes up to the sewer.
God has granted my dominion.
I decree your lives are over.
On the day of Retribution,
Please don’t leave my soul in ashes.
- Miraculous Trumpet
Drums of death the truck is loading.
We can sell your flesh for dog food.
Truth proclaimed is like a trumpet.
What was hidden is revealed now.
Feasts of Sacrifice we purchase
At the market for our puppy.
Honk our horn at every stray cat.
All that freedom is disturbing.
Hear my prayer. To You all flesh comes.
Who shall intercede for me, Lord?
- Great King
I Creation’s Crown have tarnished.
Putting price on every Creature.
All my prayers remain unworthy.
Please, Lord, spare me, Source of Mercy.
I would rather be forgotten.
Severed from my own remembrance.
Dowse the shameful embers in me.
Arrogant, I kneel before you.
Faint and weary You have sought me,
My salvation caused your suffering,
VIII. Wicked Silence
Close my mouth and hear my heatbeat.
Unavenged will nothing left be.
Can I stand the constant barking
As I pass between the cages?
I to whom they still are loyal,
Can I give them understanding?
From their ashes, fertilizer.
Put it in my pretty garden.
Where my puppy digs the flowers
Looking for the bones I buried.
Hear my prayer, Oh, Lord, I beg you
Please, to spare them, Source of Mercy.
Blood and ash upon the altar.
Smash apart the dove piñata.
Little treasure liberated.
Liberate the faithful souls, Lord,
Lest they fall into the darkness.
Pain of hell have we created.
- Sacrificial Victims
Picnic with the wine and breadsticks.
We are not the savage Mayans.
Slit the throat and drink the blood warm.
Euthanize my guilty conscience.
Take from us these sacrifices,
Made to no one and for nothing.
XII. Lamb of God
How for us did God the Lamb serve?
Lamb Chops, Stew, Eggplant Lasagna?
Curry, Rack, With Spinach Stuffing?
Shanks, With Artichoke Risoto?
Lamb of God my sins you carry,
Unto Heaven, shall I worry?
Little boys are made of puppies.
Little girls are made of kitties.
Death Row Saints are made of grownups.
Merciful, You are in Silence.
Could you not give Word to Justice?
This Cinco de Mayo my Silvia strays
Far into the moonlit alleyways
Guided by a cold beer,
Belching Holy Shakespeare.
Marinated eyes boldly blaze
Into sonnets when she plays
Her words beheaded where teeth meet:
“I know that Shakespeare’s one to beat.”
“But in my room what can I learn?
That flowers bloom and candles burn?
That Ronald Reagan’s on TV
Still with his monkey (you or me?).”
“Did Joan of Arc iron her clothes?
And bound by books do you suppose
That its likely I would find
Decent answers? Any kind?”
Our mouths are full of Fritos and Cheetos,
And just for a change, Nacho Doritos,
While sucking down a Coke and brew.
When we get lucky, Ganjah, too.
So all our hours slip away,
But nothing ever seems to stay.
I know that more of your Superior
Is guaranteed to make us cheerier.
Come on and open-up another brew!
And while you’re at it can you make it two?
To night-time hours, admission-free,
My Cinco de Mayo, here’s to Thee!
“For dinner later, you and I
Can dine on my tamale pie.
Then for dessert, I promise we share
A luscious, sticky Gummy Bear.”
She licks the onion, bites the worm,
And fondles fire to make it squirm!
I ask that she should hold it down
Before the cops can come around.
She takes the law into her hand
To frisk the verse and, worse, to rhyme unplanned:
“Come on, you pussy!
Look at me.
Where is your sense
With lip-lashing, sweat-smashing gladness
We part and merge in madness.
A siren sounds! Clutching our clothes,
We steal away, to limp repose.
Apart from you I would not want to walk
Outside the walls of that old factory.
Unwrapped from oath to sacred shopworn talk,
I break beneath this Eucalyptus tree.
I hold you to my lips in flagrant ways.
I draw you to my heart as I recall
A high-school dance and breathless summer days
When getting laid (yes, not laid-off) was all.
Lay brothers and lay sisters gather now
With us below the flight and cry of birds
To conjure flame, to contemplate, to bow
And fume about our foreman’s fabled words.
I clench the steady temper they might use:
Consider you downsizing like a fuse.
See? I know! I told you so: Self-reliance.
Maybe living out of this car is alright
Just as long as both of us get sleep this night.
Like warm breath inside of our car condenses
As the night surrounding us freezes one inch
Higher than our habitat. Struggling, I cinch
All my senses
Eating cold fried French-cut potatoes plus cream.
Was I always out-of-it? Giving someone
All my time and someone else every hard won
Claim to my dream?
In the hour before dawn, with my goblins
I steal silver shamefully from the newsstand.
With it we have just enough bait and both land
That we eat in just three bites. Then we eddy
To the bathrooms. Fumbling with the water
Rubbing soap onto my beard, starting slaughter,
With the old disposable razor I kept.
We drank all that bottle of Nyquil last night
Fifty-proof cold medicine outshines Bud Lite.
You and I slept.
Still our heads are really numb. Was it worth it?
Wine’s not cheaper. Harder to fit my jacket.
So to steal it isn’t as smooth a racket.
Toilet paper! Don’t forget that again, please.
You can stuff it into your purse for later.
I am not an underwear cultivator.
In the mirror, taking a last look feeling
Far away from everything that I still see
Widely split. I can’t get around it in me
All that we believed-in is gone into haze.
One year this day (am I again to be old?)
Our fish market had to be closed and then sold.
Kissing you upon the full moon
(You were just the sweetest sixteen).
Bumping heads the very next day.
(Thoughts of mine were really obscene).
Getting that new job on the First
(In the month of no Halloween).
Hurt my head again two more times
(Somehow, somewhere there in-between).
Tea I drank and poetry thought.
(Even now who knows what I mean?).
In the meantime:
Pardon me for day-dreaming in this bathroom
While you open alleyway doors and break-out
In those red marks over your face as I doubt,
Like a bridegroom,
Waking up from everything he knew better,
Asking himself “Can it be eating too well
Is the thing that’s making her stomach out-swell
That loose sweater?”
As you stumble up against that last frontier
Slumping back and sliding-on down to cold ground
Eyes closed, laughing “Since I am clearly earth-bound
I’ll wait right here.”
Hope you hear that cop stopping in his rover
Kneeling so you focus on him saluting.
Please hear “Madam President, no disputing:
Fun is over.”
Two sparrows squabble,
While the cat glides in shadows,
On their day’s decline.
His remains am I: thrusted discharge,
dismissed during his licentious tempest.
Longview, Texas, he departs at large
(evanescent love compels unrest);
fleece-line boots, unfettered, disappearing,
settle a DNA test.
Buried dream in her am I, still adhering
unrefined in mean lodging; faithfully
colonizing her hysteria. Endearing,
vainly imitating tales of chivalry,
inarticulate sobs explode romance,
falling from allegiance, cataclysmically.
Dr. Bergen vetoes my immature glance
out of pelvis, into basin, skull a broken frame.
Pricked asunder under that clinical lance
I subside into silence and sink beneath shame.
Bottom line: at the brink of life insurance surcharge
I am making final payment and adjusting claim.
The Crosswinds ‘a bar and a cowboy shrine
Down on Commonwealth Avenue, due West,
Across from the Fullerton Airport sign.
Watch for Pintos and Cadillac classics.
Bring ID if you look under thirty.
A Bar-B-Q smokes right inside the bar
Next to booths and a stage and a dance floor
And she will be there, all alone so far
Glimpsing all of the drinkers and dancers.
Mostly she will be staring at Kenny
Of Kenny C. Pride and the Country Wide,
Up on stage with his eyes in the shadow
That falls from his black hat, a bona fide
Stetson. Smiling and fiddling while he’s
Singing “Could I have loved you forever?”
A barmaid goes up on her rendezvous,
Smiling, placing a note in his pocket.
He grins, “A request that I can’t refuse.”
“Now we’d sure like to bring up our good friend,
Teddy Bear, who will sing a few with us.”
A bear-sized young man bearing side-burned jowls
Climbs up lumbering with his own fiddle.
He bows to the band then he grins and growls
“Hey, y’all, why don’t’cha just grab a ‘C’ chord!
See if y’all can hold on!” (Man he’s wailing!)
And then she’s beside you and wants to dance.
Even if she is older than you are,
Who cares? Don’t her white lace and tight black pants
Git along with a long little doggie?
Say a prayer ‘cause you care for the prairie!
“A double-time Two-Step back-Left, back-Right.”
“Horse…!” Kick! “Shit!” Kick! And “Chicken..!” Kick! “Shit!” Kick!
“I hug pretty girls in the pale moonlight,
What do y’all think of Teddy Bear so far?”
“Bull…!” Kick! “Shit!” Kick! And Left-back and Right-back.
Well, shit, howdy! Kenny is in your space.
Now he’s taking her off of the dance floor.
He talks at her close to her pouting face,
Pointing right at you. How do you feel now?
Just like horse shit, chicken shit, and bull shit.
She points to the pocket the barmaid touched,
Then she snatches that barmaid’s note.
He snatches it back and he keeps it clutched,
Pointing right in her face with his finger.
Now she strolls to the bar and she sits down.
She’ll order a Screw Driver. That is planned.
Kenny Pride will be back in the stage-light.
“Unless I am wrong we’re the only band
Playing here at The Crosswinds except on
Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday and Thursday.”
I hear a church bell summon the temporal
Above aspiring blades of grass.
A canorous cloak of charming syllable
Descends to gather us en masse.
And as the lawn-mower’s final pass
Disturbs the moment, time will tell,
With whispers from the hourglass,
Where the hours clanged and fell.
Disgorges the church bell so ineffable
Extolling what the din devours.
A neighbor passes with a Bible,
Rebounding from the earthen powers.
A haggard bee still haunts the flowers
As if a question to dispel
By hovering in this yard of ours
Where the hours clanged and fell.
That bell outranking from its pinnacle
The proud, rebellious, vain bright sky.
Appealing to the commonly sensible
By hear-say so to prophesy.
The game is interrupted by
Commercials trying to outsell
The other deals that justify
Where the hours clanged and fell.
So deep down into ink on pages
The Sunday Paper headlines yell,
Alarming us as history rages
Where the hours clanged and fell.
I’m on the midnight bus
To Los Angeles,
I wrote a bad check
For my ticket, but what the heck?
Could a fellow tell you more?
I’ll be there soon,
Riding near a full moon,
Knowing that I can’t stay,
Seeing you just one whole day.
I could land in jail!
A bandit needs the anonymity
Of living in the city.
The sky is clay, the street is grey
Outside the bus station at the start of day.
Watching all the selves unfold,
Hearing the woman, who spat,
“Fuck you. I speak Spanish.
Watch your language!”, and like that.
To the astonished couple in blue
Who hold between themselves a suitcase or two.
She’s crazy say their eyes,
Rising above their dirty shirts
And the young man kneeling with his guitar
And the Navy nurses running for the buses
And the streets a taxi couldn’t find.
Welcome to this world of mine.
For a dollar you can park.
You arrive like a smile into my face,
And we breakfast on the swaying pier.
We eat for $1.33 here.
Then two beers and some pool.
The surf is fair, but you’re a fool
To go out with so many surfers there.
Both of us could just grin-and-bear
Surrounded by all these banks
While the bankers jog
And the fog is still in the air
And in my head.
133 Long Beach Boulevard,
Do you think that things are getting hard
Or hardly getting on at all?
Not even you, my friend,
Will tell me in the end.
No matter how I spend my daily life away.
So I leave you by the moon’s eclipse.
And at 3 AM, when Orion arises, back home
The wind is warmer than your lips’ consent.
Things that never happened make me sigh.
Now is the hot morning of my discontent
And not a friend has stopped-by.