You might light out for the Territory someday, you know it's coming, you
toy with perspective, test the distance
and watch how the horizon moves.
Dismal science isn’t economics or accounting, it's mostly dreams that skip fast under the setting sun while birds wait for quiet enough to breach the low horizon, to pass beneath, sinking down to get off free
Definite article of serious wishes a very serious accounting that excites the dismal and hopeless, the depressed kept low, holding up, their mouths set just right they get it hopping crazy in the farmyard three-legged dogs and deformed lambs
Broken halters of horses run amok the sky gets higher, the moon is swelling these old roads will only stand so much before this precious, probable, sundrian will stop the lessening (if you ever could) take the nothing and turn it into light.
The winter evening settles down With smell of steaks in passageways. Six o’clock. The burnt-out ends of smoky days. And now a gusty shower wraps The grimy scraps Of withered leaves about your feet And newspapers from vacant lots; The showers beat On broken blinds and chimney-pots, And at the corner of the street A lonely cab-horse steams and stamps.
And then the lighting of the lamps.
The morning comes to consciousness Of faint stale smells of beer From the sawdust-trampled street With all its muddy feet that press To early coffee-stands. With the other masquerades That time resumes, One thinks of all the hands That are raising dingy shades In a thousand furnished rooms.
You tossed a blanket from the bed, You lay upon your back, and waited; You dozed, and watched the night revealing The thousand sordid images Of which your soul was constituted; They flickered against the ceiling. And when all the world came back And the light crept up between the shutters And you heard the sparrows in the gutters, You had such a vision of the street As the street hardly understands; Sitting along the bed’s edge, where You curled the papers from your hair, Or clasped the yellow soles of feet In the palms of both soiled hands.
His soul stretched tight across the skies That fade behind a city block, Or trampled by insistent feet At four and five and six o’clock; And short square fingers stuffing pipes, And evening newspapers, and eyes Assured of certain certainties, The conscience of a blackened street Impatient to assume the world.
I am moved by fancies that are curled Around these images, and cling: The notion of some infinitely gentle Infinitely suffering thing.
Wipe your hand across your mouth, and laugh; The worlds revolve like ancient women Gathering fuel in vacant lots.
It’s a small thing like the fold Of a dress that suddenly speaks Like a light switch from another world Even after all the harbor lights I play I’m powerless to stop the sorrow
Reaching inside the common faces Way down to where the memory sits Words long since become nonsense Cosmetics too stupid for a smart woman I wonder what the next beauty will wear
Alas there’s no limit to my blockhead And no limit either to her foolish greed We’ll slap hands together and conjure glee Until the sun rises too roughly over our secrets Or till the bed we’re in hears the music wrong.
Don't get around much any more (I might not get around at all) silenced with a middle finger waiting to do nothing more live a life, write, fight, then fuck off (the Silenus kicks over a few chairs and then quickly gallops away) "...reality scarier than science fiction he says pushing against the storm crashing rain, the deck is non-negotiable the din of wind is furious, others below with their smokes and bottles play cards betting both ends against the middle" My first day in the Afterlife I have an horrible hangover, also an idea almost on the verge of memory there was a victory, yes, a plan that worked very few casualties, the flag, the wind etc. but I'm an eagle now and when I fly over all is silent, beautiful, and covered in trees
One streaks past, then another one fast I wonder what they are, what they do so many of them now zipping from yes to no the speed means I need to slow down it's the Afterlife after all, they shout at me pause it, restart, look closely, look again and watch it happening for the first time.
Next to the screen door work boots dry in the sun. Salt lines map the leather and laces droop like the arms of a new-hire waiting to punch out. The shoe hangs open like the sigh of someone too tired to speak a mouth that can almost breathe. A tear in the leather reveals a shiny steel toe a glimpse of the promise of safety the promise of steel and the years to come.
The Great Barrier Reef is the size of Italy or Japan our nearest star closer than the nearest human heart stretched from you to me from the cosmos to the sea
I once tied a life around my neck with the tensile strength of spider silk after meditation upon the aggregates and form was returning to nothingness I rested my case, I drew the curtains the world was bad I said, let me sleep
Dreams rattle the door before the fall when the nothing spins a web of matter for the bangles of the ten-thousand arms when your cell dreams become your alarm back to the greed and jealousy and envy so tough shit, the world is bad, let me sleep
Reading Levine’s poem about the kids of factory fodder in a hell of a town somewhere the people we could love, we must imagine hope but a good poem it is, that draws the curtains against knowing more than a bit about the future the world was bad, it's starting to rain, let me sleep.
I walk among the rows of bowed heads-- the children are sleeping through fourth grade so as to be ready for what is ahead, the monumental boredom of junior high and the rush forward tearing their wings loose and turning their eyes forever inward. These are the children of Flint, their fathers work at the spark plug factory or truck bottled water in 5 gallon sea-blue jugs to the widows of the suburbs. You can see already how their backs have thickened, how their small hands, soiled by pig iron, leap and stutter even in dreams. I would like to sit down among them and read slowly from The Book of Job until the windows pale and the teacher rises out of a milky sea of industrial scum, her gowns streaming with light, her foolish words transformed into song, I would like to arm each one with a quiver of arrows so that they might rush like wind there where no battle rages shouting among the trumpets, Hal Ha! How dear the gift of laughter in the face of the 8 hour day, the cold winter mornings without coffee and oranges, the long lines of mothers in old coats waiting silently where the gates have closed. Ten years ago I went among these same children, just born, in the bright ward of the Sacred Heart and leaned down to hear their breaths delivered that day, burning with joy. There was such wonder in their sleep, such purpose in their eyes dosed against autumn, in their damp heads blurred with the hair of ponds, and not one turned against me or the light, not one said, I am sick, I am tired, I will go home, not one complained or drifted alone, unloved, on the hardest day of their lives. Eleven years from now they will become the men and women of Flint or Paradise, the majors of a minor town, and I will be gone into smoke or memory, so I bow to them here and whisper all I know, all I will never know.
Today the date palms were pruned, the branches taken before the fruit ripened, before sweetness littered the sidewalks. The man who sawed them worked alone, a crane lifting him to the yellowed fronds. Beside his truck, he stood tall, American, a pensive pioneer. The top of each palm looked like the back of a man's head after a close-crop haircut, the neck cooled to a stubbly remembrance of hair, or was like a cat after being spayed, startled by a strange newness, pacing familiar rooms, darting, confused, and you (had you wished to console) are greeted with a barren gaze. The rubble of bark and fronds reminded me of Iraq, not the ruined bridges, or the surrendering soldiers' hands begging food, but the 16 million date palms, one per capita, lining the seams of the Tigris and Euphrates, a reminder of my own Libya and its 10 million date palms and the years of easy wealth that brought them neglect except in Huun, a magical city where they stuffed dates with almonds and sent them as far as Tanta and Oum Dourman. From Huun this story: a boy stands by a palm imploring his uncle to toss him a fistful of dates. Flustered by the boy's monotonous cries the uncle loses his feet, and as he falls to his death, cries down "Here nephew, I'm coming down with the dates!" So that's what we got from Huun, almond stuffed wonders and proverbial last words. There was another reminder, a tale of the prophet Muhammad living for months on water and coarse wheat bread, his wives protesting the austere measures of his faith. Muhammad, who praised honey and had a professed love for cantaloupes, and who once declared "the best meat is that which lines the bones," found in dates the solution he required. To his Arab followers, and to his wives, the fruit was "three skies above luxury," and as indispensable as water and air. I once had this dream of Whitman:
I found him under one of the palms on Sherman Way gazing admiring. Though he had seen palms by the Gulf of Mexico, he had never tasted a date. So we drove to a supermarket, and he who had been thoughtful, even dignified, until then, began to sign and moan at the taste of "Araby's sugared dust clouds." When we walked the aisles he insisted on pushing the cart. The frozen foods did not surprise him since his Granny buried potatoes in the cold dirt of her homestead. Still I had to explain tofu, plastic, tacos, and the foods labeled free. He ran his hands caressing the waxed floor; "Smooth as a girl's wrist," he exclaimed. The bright fluorescent lights reminded him of the opera, and Walt sang a gravelly tune. The children sitting in carts reached for him, their hands were Lorca's butterflies on his beard. At the cashier he filled pockets with candy, and was shocked by the headlines of our news. Honda, Toyota, Saturn, Oldsmobile— in the parking lot the names waltzed on his tongue. At the fast food stand he ate heartily, the burger's slipperiness amused him, and at his clumsiness we both had a laugh. Then the talk grew quiet, the table stretching like the expanse of time dividing us; I felt he no longer wanted company, having begun to understand our world. Despite his old resentment of Blacks, and now my neighbors, the foreign-born Hispanics and their engines roaring through Balboa and Saticoy, and the Koreans' karoake— the baseline's muffled thuds, voices doused in Canadian Mist, and the off-key pleadings to the lover who never comes—, America remained to him luminous-industrial-fuming- sublime, and as he wished, beyond others' adjectives, beyond what anyone could have conceived. Mumbling a farewell, Whitman stood to leave. And with this my dream ended, Whitman wishing to depart and I holding on to his wrists. All day I wanted to hold his wide wrists. If you drive west of Alexandria
your path will run through Alamain, Barani, and Matrouh. Then Egypt will end with a town on a steep hill called Sallum. If you go through the two checkpoints, Libya will unfold its dry pastures for you. On the Sallum hill there is a hotel where people stay to await relatives crossing the border or to hear word if it is safe to return. Across the road a tired bluegreen tea house sits like a bruise permanently on the verge of fading from the prairies' skin. You will also see the money changers— all teenage boys. With their right hands they will wave thick wads of money at your windshield, and with their left they will jostle to give you the best rate. The last time I stayed in Sallum few cars came from either direction, and among the boys fights flared with curses and stones hurled at brows. When the boys' rabble grew loud a man lazily stepped out of the tea house to call them bastards and sons of whores. This went on for hours until the sun settled in the middle of the sky, the boys taking shelter under a torn canvas shed, and the man to the tea house's dusty cool. Then just when all movement and noise seemed to surrender to the September wind and heat, four of the boys broke for a run racing—money still clutched in their hands— to a young date palm in the distance. Pressing shoulders and backs against it, they shook the palm until the season's first fruit began to rain. The other boys joined them, and soon the tea house emptied of the men slouching inside. Those were my brothers who cowered beneath the date palm to gather handfuls of fruit, rubbing each date clean on their sleeves, chewing softly to savor the taste as though it were a good omen, and rising to resume their lives, on their faces the smiles of those who once were blessed.
I wonder whether every sip takes and gives away something that’s never coming back. The illusionist so expert at indirecting the familiar from other matters nods wisely then pours another one. Hardly knowing why. We barely know enough to quit. Though it’s true that visions will read the first chapters of the mind. But wear and tear affects the world. Snake laughs and gives my skin to a pretty Muse who sits with her long legs spread apart on the barstool sipping a wet martini. Her blouse is open. She gazes. She grins. Pokes out her tongue. Wants me to sit down. She buys the drinks. Keeps smiling. Not sure about this summation or whether it’s much of a guide to being normal.
I too believe that beetles speak from longing loved by a God that never speaks to them that after looking around for somebody else to do the work finally it's up to us the beetle people the beetle poets to examine the records very closely and listen for the scratches near the heart for the ones that work closest to the outer bark skrilling and carving writing a message no one hears except you and me and that small child over there also loved by a God that can't clean up his mess this commonality is but one encouragement we give as we see the souls gathering in their places under the sky by the trees standing in the wind
when the apple sapling was blown almost out of the ground. No telling how, with all the other trees around, it alone was struck. It must have been luck, he thought for years, so close to the house it grew. It must have been night. Change is a thing one sleeps through when young, and he was young. If there was a weakness in the earth, a give he went down on his knees to find and feel the limits of, there is no longer. If there was one random blow from above the way he's come to know from years in this place, the roots were stronger. Whatever the case, he has watched this tree survive wind ripping at his roof for nights on end, heats and blights that left little else alive. No remembering now... A day's changes mean all to him and all days come down to one clear pane through which he sees among all the other trees this leaning, clenched, unyielding one that seems cast in the form of a blast that would have killed it, as if something at the heart of things, and with the heart of things, had willed it.
The great TFF and the great Bad Plus both saying "Welcome to your life/There's no turning back". It might not make Patti Smith very happy, but the song reminds me a little of her Babelogue: "I haven't fucked much with the past/But I've fucked plenty with the future." Let us try to be punctual. Enjoy.
Try to praise the mutilated world. Remember June's long days, and wild strawberries, drops of rosé wine. The nettles that methodically overgrow the abandoned homesteads of exiles. You must praise the mutilated world. You watched the stylish yachts and ships; one of them had a long trip ahead of it, while salty oblivion awaited others. You've seen the refugees going nowhere, you've heard the executioners sing joyfully. You should praise the mutilated world. Remember the moments when we were together in a white room and the curtain fluttered. Return in thought to the concert where music flared. You gathered acorns in the park in autumn and leaves eddied over the earth's scars. Praise the mutilated world and the gray feather a thrush lost, and the gentle light that strays and vanishes and returns.
We grapple with violence we look down we don’t look up beyond the dust beyond the harvest the clothes are just a trickery one smell of invidious wanting or not wanting little night scuffles with big darkness the rats fight under the promenade in the cinema she watches a movie skittish proud curious boys up for murder mid-autumn moon-cakes made of ice cream none of it as real as the dog she keeps as pet ah rattus dreams rattus love me from it cover up my heart and my stomach take away the nearest mouth.
There are few monks left in these remote shrines, And in the wilderness the narrow paths are high. The musk-deer sleep among the stones and bamboo, The cockatoos peck at the golden peaches. Streams trickle down among the paths; Across the overhanging cliff the cells are ranged, Their tiered chambers reaching to the very peak; And for a 100 li one can make out the smallest thing.
I've never been to Maijishan
Purple red sandstone in one cave at the Maijishan Grottoes observes the original male form of Guanyin not Mother Mary and not Madonna not Lady Gaga or your grandma either but a fellow much like us who exudes Exudes? The man is dripping with it! sweetness tempered with no-nonsense obviously our man's a former dissident at Wheatstack Mountain it’s understood when Buddha turned into Bodhisattvas the lout still packs one hell of a wallop stand here your head will be changed Changed? Are you a complete idiot! when on the other side you see knives guns on the floor the stun grenades soldiers in tanks the frightened students sharp objects is all the memory has left
you might understand there is nothing soft about kindness or about compassion, there There? Come here, I'll give you compassion!
In no special order, except for when the artists listed above recorded these songs. Listen to four short years a hundred years ago. You're a certain age, it feels good to say that pop music sucked in the 80s. But I still like these songs very much. A guilty pleasure? Hardly. I'll speed up again soon. I promise. Any day now. Really.
(Don't know which side you come down on in the matter of Robert Palmer...me, I come down on the right side.) Recorded in 1974. The Meters, Lowell George. But wait...you still calling this "white boy junk funk"?
Be There In A Minute Love, I see you over there In the writer’s standard pose (I could be there in a minute) Write, pause, think, and erase Gaze off into the inner distance Wonder why it was all born so daft You go back to the pretty good idea That was causing you so much trouble Though of course I'm presuming alot You might not be writing a poem at all.
She said she sang very close to the mike to change the space. And I changed the space by striding down the Boulevard Raspail at dusk in tight jeans until an Algerian engineer plucked the pen from my back pocket. As if you're inside my head and you're hearing the song from in there. He came from the desert, I came from green suburbs. We understood nothing of one another over glasses of metallic red wine. I was playing Girl. He played Man. Several plots were afoot, all misfiring. One had to do with my skimpy black shirt and light hair, his broad shoulders and hunger after months on an oil rig. Another was untranslatable. Apollinaire burned his fingers on June's smoldering lyre but I had lost my pen. The engineer read only construction manuals. His room was dim and narrow and no, the story didn't slide that way though there are many ways to throw oneself away. One singer did it by living by a broken wall until she shredded her voice but still she offered each song, she said, like an Appalachian artifact. Like trash along the riverbank chafing at the quay plastic bottles a torn shirt fractured dolls through which the current chortles an intimate tune.
Dead man naked they shall be one With the man in the wind and the west moon; When their bones are picked clean and the clean bones gone, They shall have stars at elbow and foot; Though they go mad they shall be sane, Though they sink through the sea they shall rise again; Though lovers be lost love shall not; And death shall have no dominion.
And death shall have no dominion. Under the windings of the sea They lying long shall not die windily; Twisting on racks when sinews give way, Strapped to a wheel, yet they shall not break; Faith in their hands shall snap in two, And the unicorn evils run them through; Split all ends up they shan't crack; And death shall have no dominion.
And death shall have no dominion. No more may gulls cry at their ears Or waves break loud on the seashores; Where blew a flower may a flower no more Lift its head to the blows of the rain; Though they be mad and dead as nails, Heads of the characters hammer through daisies; Break in the sun till the sun breaks down, And death shall have no dominion.
Nothing is real that wasn’t before but sets all a bite of tailspin lies like a horsehead in a drum of fire smoke floats on this and on that I’ll never remember you enough a hundred steps above the grotto a hundred chances to get higher I walk to the edges to be thrilled It wants me killed fifty times till finally my other better eyes spy a piece of green glass honey I take it, then dive into the green Fifty people seated on their shelves those old white walls so shining clear deep water just below love love says splash doesn’t matter.
Then welcome the ghost who brought the mystery installed in the easiest chair supplied with food & water Put on some Shostakovich show her some recent poems refrain from asking questions let it be for at least an hour I've always felt it is that right? Do you mean we should be awed? Write the answers in invisible ink ask her if she wants a shower watch her from the other room then go about your business.
"The Force That Through the Green Fuse Drives the Flower" The force that through the green fuse drives the flower Drives my green age; that blasts the roots of trees Is my destroyer. And I am dumb to tell the crooked rose My youth is bent by the same wintry fever.
The force that drives the water through the rocks Drives my red blood; that dries the mouthing streams Turns mine to wax. And I am dumb to mouth unto my veins How at the mountain spring the same mouth sucks.
The hand that whirls the water in the pool Stirs the quicksand; that ropes the blowing wind Hauls my shroud sail. And I am dumb to tell the hanging man How of my clay is made the hangman’s lime.
The lips of time leech to the fountain head; Love drips and gathers, but the fallen blood Shall calm her sores. And I am dumb to tell a weather’s wind How time has ticked a heaven round the stars.
And I am dumb to tell the lover’s tomb How at my sheet goes the same crooked worm.
A sentence with "dappled shadow" in it. Something not sayable spurting from the morning silence, secret as a thrush.
The other man, the officer, who brought onions and wine and sacks of flour, the major with the swollen knee, wanted intelligent conversation afterward. Having no choice, she provided that, too.
Potsdamer Platz, May 1945.
When the first one was through he pried her mouth open. Basho told Rensetsu to avoid sensational materials. If the horror of the world were the truth of the world, he said, there would be no one to say it and no one to say it to. I think he recommended describing the slightly frenzied swarming of insects near a waterfall.
Pried her mouth open and spit in it. We pass these things on, probably, because we are what we can imagine.
Something not sayable in the morning silence. The mind hungering after likenesses. "Tender sky," etc., curves the swallows trace in air.
Touched by Athena. Her beautifully intelligent gaze. Who knows so well the shape of the universe. Maryam Mirzakhani is the first woman to win the Fields Medal, the greatest prize in mathematics. But that's a realm I can barely imagine -- since I seem to have trouble adding up my own years, don't understand why some months can move faster than others, or how so many days will collect in a troubled week.
The farthest star is moving flowers strangely disappear dans les champs de l'observation le hasard ne favorise que les esprits préparés it's well that we work the fields we've looked closely at small things a little dog with its tongue out the beggar with her hand out a sick man with his dick out no prize for guessing wrong risk sleeps upon the plains
Stop-Time Frank McCabe bought on credit at my father’s liquor store, they had gone to school together. Finally my father said, teach my son to play drums and we’re even, for now.
Late afternoon lessons in his cellar, first the basics rapped out on rubber pads, then rolls, drags, flams, paradiddles and ratamacues. Moving on to a real kit and the flair of fills, underbelly routines of the bass and flights between cymbals, crash and sizzle. While I practiced, he scribbled on charts for his quintet --
Thursdays at the Knotty Pine and weddings on weekends. No lessons for most of the summer after his heart attack. Autumn rain, water seeping up through linoleum tiles,
staining the peeling baseboards. Mold and mildew, back beat and double time. Smoker’s cough and drinker’s nose. Soon he set up his kit next to mine, laying out the opening bars of “From This Moment On” and I’d play inside him. That’s how he put it, stay inside me and listen with your wrists. When Mrs. McCabe came down to say they caught the man
who killed the president, he dropped the needle on “Opus One” and said play. We listened to Krupa’s “Rockin’ Chair” and Buddy Rich’s big band doing “Time Check.” Lying on their sides, quarts of bourbon behind cans
of dried paint. You make the high-hat bark, a sixteenth-note. You don’t keep time, you make time. The standards, renowned yet open to reinvention, thus eternal. But I lived inside a body, Mrs. McCabe returned from the hospital with no breasts, a week later she was playing piano upstairs while Frank critiqued me – Don’t play with your whole arm, it looks cool
but it isn’t. He lit a Winston. Don’t be like a bass player, use deodorant. Never let a wimp carry your gear. Listen carefully to the songs you hate the most. Verse and chorus, shuffle, bridge, fill, drag, fill, stop-time,
ghost-note. Rumble of the sagging boiler, steam knocking the pipes. Soon you won’t have to remember, you’ll just make the sound.
(published in The Plume Anthology of Poetry, 2014)
What a reckless brand of trust Yes they once loved each other well They pledged allegiance to their winning Now he watches the guy stuff her car Breach running away with promise He sighs and does 100 push-ups His day is getting considerably worse He can barely move the singing lark Think Stance, Spin, Dig, and Release The hammer thrown into the cage (Always dangerous doing that) When he decided it was finally over The morning she decided to leave.
How shall a generation know its story If it will know no other? When, among The scoffers at the Institute, Pasteur Heard one deny the cause of child-birth fever, Indignantly he drew upon the blackboard, For all to see, the Streptococcus chain. His mind was like Odysseus and Plato Exploring a new cosmos in the old As if he wrote a poem—his enemy Suffering, disease, and death, the battleground His introspection. “Science and peace,” he said, “Will win out over ignorance and war,” But then, the virus mutant in his vein, “Death to the Prussian!” and “revenge, revenge!”
How shall my generation tell its story? Their fathers jobless, boys for the CCC And NYA, the future like a stairwell To floors without a window or a door, And then the army: bayonet drill and foxhole; Bombing to rubble cities with textbook names Later to bulldoze streets for; their green bodies Drowned in the greener surfs of rumored France. My childhood friend, George Humphreys, whom I still see Still ten years old, his uncombed hair and grin Moment by moment in the Hürtgen dark Until the one step full in the sniper’s sight, His pastor father emptied by the grief. Clark Harrison, at nineteen a survivor, Never to walk or have a child or be A senator or governor. Herr Wegner, Who led his little troop, their standards high And sabers drawn, against a panzer corps, Emerging from among the shades at Dachau Stacked like firewood for someone else to burn; And Gerd Radomski, listening to broadcasts Of names, a yearlong babel of the missing, To find his wife and children. Then they came home, Near middle age at twenty-two, to find A new reunion of the church and state, Cynical Constantines who need no name, Domestic tranquility beaten to a sword, Sons wasted by another lie in Asia, Or Strangeloves they had feared that August day; And they like runners, stung, behind a flag, Running within a circle, bereft of joy.
Hearing of the disaster at Sedan And the retreat worse than the one from Moscow, Their son among the missing or the dead, Pasteur and his wife Mary hired a carriage And, traveling to the east where he might try His way to Paris, stopping to ask each youth And comfort every orphan of the state’s Irascibility, found him at last And, unsurprised, embraced and took him in. Two wars later, the Prussian, once again The son of Mars, in Paris, Joseph Meister— The first boy cured of rabies, now the keeper Of Pasteur’s mausoleum—when commanded To open it for them, though over seventy, Lest he betray the master, took his life.
I like to think of Pasteur in Elysium Beneath the sunny pine of ripe Provence Tenderly raising black sheep, butterflies, Silkworms, and a new culture, for delight, Teaching his daughter to use a microscope And musing through a wonder—sacred passion, Practice and metaphysic all the same. And, each year, honor three births: Valéry, Humbling his pride by trying to write well, Mozart, who lives still, keeping my attention Repeatedly outside the reach of pride, And him whose mark I witness as a trust. Others he saves but could not save himself— Socrates, Galen, Hippocrates—the spirit Fastened by love upon the human cross.
I don't want to get into the whole Spector thing right now. It's late and I didn't have my potatoes. But Paul's voice here is stellar. The strings sing out. The choir goes up. Phil Spector did just fine. Anyway, the road winds around forever and there's no going back. (But sure, you already knew that.)
On The Road First-quarter moon behind the clouds tonight emerging, disappearing reminds me of a story a guy told me once that living is poisonous all of us are born to die and this Bardo world means to teach us how to forget the moon & the clouds which is maya and maya they will put you on your ass I said thank you this is my turn-off we both laughed you said forget this
Ghost images before my owlish eye these are hard shapes upon the mountainside The fungus inverted with sharp & careful blade I take my bearings from the ugly tree 30 meters high (I want to change my mind) A stove a pan some herbs these steps I’ve taken after a short gestation the food the looks your hand Each new word I choose hears the cicadas saying Pay attention! Be here now!
The wonder where beauty lies and whether it lies to them if they'd been blind for years clubbed in the head so much and now just rely on touch and memory to help them see a pretty subject or an ugly one the purple flowers float down a wall of ghostly photograph slice up time any way you want whether it joins its power to mine or the other way round, it can't smell the wind or feel the fragrance but every other moment is perfect knowing I waited for too long.
We used to like talking about grief. Our journals and letters were packed with losses, complaints, and sorrows. Even if there was no grief we wouldn’t stop lamenting as though longing for the charm of a distressed face.
Then we couldn’t help expressing grief. So many things descended without warning: labor wasted, loves lost, houses gone, marriages broken, friends estranged, ambitions worn away by immediate needs. Words lined up in our throats for a good whining. Grief seemed like an endless river— the only immortal flow of life.
After losing a land and then giving up a tongue, we stopped talking of grief. Smiles began to brighten our faces. We laugh a lot, at our own mess. Things become beautiful, even hailstones in the strawberry fields.
The last war in Disneyland started when Mary Poppins let off a few angry rounds Mickey dives for cover, Minnie grabs an M-16 The tourists head for Goofy (lost it completely) They then circle back around to Yosemite Sam Let's send these varmints to tarnation! Elmer Fudd quickly hands out his rifle collection Daffy (in his element) looks for better defilade Beep-beep says Roadrunner this one's for you asshole! Heckle and Jeckle conduct a little aerial recon Unca Donald's ducks-in-diapers guerrillasmove out (Popeye and Olive Oyl are looking after the kids) Then Tweetie Pie and Sylvester, uneasily engaged Suspend their misery, they get détente, they get cracking
Put down an RPG on the enemy flank (for once exposed) Scrooge McDuck is furious at his helicopter throttle The tourists rally forces and overcome the rebels Bugs Bunny emerges from his position singing.
riding you like wind rides a rose when the moment permits a prayer A parent or a child sitting on the footpath bawling because they lost the one I just keep travelling on treading barefoot on fallen acorns in the dream they are only megaphones shouting public things that aren’t in prayers