REQUIEM FOR THOSE WE SHELTER

~

I. Entrance
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.

~

II. 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.

~

IV. Sequence
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.

~

V. 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?

~

VI. 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.

~

VII. Remember
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.

~

IX. Crying
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.

~

X. Offerings
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.

~

XI. 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?

~

XIII. Communion
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?

.

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#
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~~~~~~~~~~~~^~~~~~~~~~

 

Dr. Seuss and Dos Equis

~

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
Of decadence?”

With lip-lashing, sweat-smashing gladness
We part and merge in madness.
A siren sounds! Clutching our clothes,
We steal away, to limp repose.

.

.
#
.
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~~~~~~~~~~~~^~~~~~~~~~

 

中華民國 EVERY REVOLUTIONARY KNOWS 東風, 东风強國, 强国

中華民國 EVERY REVOLUTIONARY KNOWS 東風, 东风強國, 强国

~

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

Every dawn.

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

Factory buildings.

~

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.

Rice.

A structural particle

We must wait to get.

When it is low,

Your enemies cannot resist.

Rice.

~

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

Strong Country

Trying to issue a publication

Revealing his developed

Electric generator.

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

Holiday House.

~

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

Complicated us.

He always seemed to reconstruct,

To clean,

To catch-up.

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

Historical site.

At the Imperial Palace,

Customers told stories

To blow the wind.

People wanted to hang too closely

Concerned.

A concerned audience

Used to irrigate Kwangchow,

But now the return journey

Is too expensive.

This country suffered from Internationalism.

~

Still, we,

Children at sea

Afraid to shout Chinese,

Utterly selfless,

Fine, good-looking,

Alright, laughable,

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,

Arduous struggle,

With a staunchness

Like a prison.

~

We sought to build,

Building the still future they like to speak about

In suburbs.

~

We were to teach ourselves,

Talking together

A symphony at picnics.

Our feet became our teachers.

Education from the streets

Took over then.

~

The result,

Like a holiday performance,

Liberated my older sister

Into solving her problems

Unbuttoning herself

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

Crying bitterness.

~

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

Like Lenin.

~

Big Pillar left, flowing

Like blood

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

Slowly steamrolled

On a busy street.

His name was Mao.

And he wore a towel,

His sweater, and a hat.

Never mind

What he did not wear.

~

He would not have every, every

Beautiful younger sister

Suffocate perplexed

At his gate.

~

The mother horse

Carried cooked rice,

Rice-flour, meat, cotton, bread and noodles free of charge.

Mao said

I reminded him

Of the Second Democracy Nationality Understanding.

~

Clearly, on that scenic spot

Someday tomorrow

A name may be found in ink,

Upon the curtain

Hide of a certain

Mother horse.

~

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?

~

Mao replied,

“If I could climb a hill

Without fear,

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

To pounce

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,

Deeply, warmly,

Bustling from this warm person,

The kind of person that people,

The People,

Come to know,

To regard.

~

My task was to throw,

Conscientiously,

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

After yesterday?”

~

“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

On Saturday

To go to school

Wearing a coat

And carrying a little snake.”

~

“A commune member was using the equipment

Of Socialism

To extend his body deep,

Deep into health.”

~

“Angel production

Was life,

The living allowance.”

~

“The rope of life is wet

With victory.”

~

“The cause

Is a matter for world business

In this century.

To fail

Is to lose

Ten times the time

In a stone.”

~

I looked at my watch.

I tuned the radio set

To the capitol.

The news

Told of a surgical operation:

A salesperson

Of an oppressed book

Was the first to receive

A blood transfusion

On the comfortable bookshelf

Of a bookstore.

.

.
#
.
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~~~~~~~~~~~~^~~~~~~~~~

ODE TO A CIGARETTE

ODE TO A CIGARETTE

~

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.

.

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#
.
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~~~~~~~~~~~~^~~~~~~~~~

LIVING IT DOWN


.

 

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.

Our alliance

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

Egg McMuffins

That we eat in just three bites. Then we eddy

To the bathrooms. Fumbling with the water

Rubbing soap onto my beard, starting slaughter,

Hands unsteady

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.

Holy horseshit!

Toilet paper! Don’t forget that again, please.

You can stuff it into your purse for later.

I am not an underwear cultivator.

Facing stories

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

Double-dealing

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.

Recall replays:

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.”

.

.
#
.
.
~~~~~~~~~~~~^~~~~~~~~~

OLLA PODRIDA

.

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.

.

.
#
.
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~~~~~~~~~~~~^~~~~~~~~~

KENNY IN THE CROSSWINDS

.

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.”

.

.
#
.
.
~~~~~~~~~~~~^~~~~~~~~~

WHERE THE HOURS CLANGED AND FELL


.

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.

.

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#
.
.
~~~~~~~~~~~~^~~~~~~~~~

 

GABRIELLA

GABRIELLA

.

I’m on the midnight bus

To Los Angeles,

Gabriella,

I wrote a bad check

For my ticket, but what the heck?

Gabriella,

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.

.

Gabriella,

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.

.

Gabriella,

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.

.

Gabriella,

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?

.

Gabriella,

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.

“Gabriella!”

I cry.

.

.
#
.
.
~~~~~~~~~~~~^~~~~~~~~~