9/24/2009

Demonstration

Walking the double yellow line down the center of Bigelow Blvd
Surrounded by armored law officers like statues of Chinese warriors
All Plexiglas and hard plastic on one side, and the picture messaging
Throngs college students wearing t-shirts advertising records that

Were 20 years old when they were born 20 years ago. And all
Standing around to be engaged in gawking at 20 world leaders
The 20 people who lead the world, and not one voice is angry with that.
Kent St. taught us well that living under occupation is better

Than not living at all. I can hardly believe my silent eyes: the passé
Passiveness of those set up to fall the furthest! Lord! Where is the fire?
When will sirens rip us all back into the fleeting realization of what it means
To fucking live? Must I be the one to walk, bomb strapped and primed, into

These newly fenced off streets and detonate one million suicide notes all
Over the faces and hands of these present? This is my flesh, unto thee, to
Wake the fuck up from salvation and find the peace that comes along with
The ultimate knowledge of being alive! This is my blood on the psyche of

A weak nation, afraid to face the fact that everywhere else in the world
People aren’t afraid to die for the things they believe! That they’re not
Defending their houses to save their flat screens! Give me the poor, the tired, and
We’ll throw a party to end all suffering! We’ll throw all prejudice into the pitcher

And drink until it’s gone! Then rub ourselves against each and every one else
Until all our children look the same and no one is interesting. Or we can sit and scream
Our differences at one another until we fall, laughing, into one unified voice
Rising above the institutional towers! And in the small harmonious groups that form,

We will move into the remaining woodlands and find deer and rabbits and fish
And corn and wheat that are still natural and we can hunt and gather and eat
And dance and sleep and live freely. We can live as real living things do.

But these high-tech kids, and these ironclad cops, and these marionette dignitaries,
And the everyday shmoes have fallen to believing they too are alive or, worse yet,
Free, in the financially driven whirlpool of this clogged cultural drain.

It is time to start pushing at the disruptive mass, or
We’ll all drown in the diseased sanctuary of this stagnant pool, where
No one can afford both a life raft and medical attention,

A deadly choice, deciding how to live.

Mentally Ill

Is it psychotic to believe that everyone
around me is Elvis Costello, or that
my cat and I could unlock the greatest
expanses of each other’s minds, if it
wasn’t for this damn communication problem?

Is it sick to be unsettled, unsure, left
slightly nauseated every time I leave
a sleep timer on the clearer than real
life rational of reality television, after
all day listening to people talk like its real?

Is it unhealthy to indulge endlessly on
the decadence of every letter found
on the desert menu, only to spew
it all over this lined toilet bowl to
fit into this overpriced, quickly discarded prom dress?

Is it insane to beg the person at the bus
stop, in the other car at the light, in the grocery
store line, to, please, stop being so concerned
about anyone’s peace and quiet and, please,
start screaming anything meaningful about any type of

person or place or happening in this world, so that
I may praise it, or refute it, or pass it on, or not?
Am I crazy? I’ve seen time as it truly is, as well
as in Einstein’s plains, and they are too similar to
compare. Thoughts I’ve always had, always popping

up, brand new, original. Such is the essence of
dawning. As the enraged buck, spurned from
life’s only meaningful endeavor, does not hesitate to
impale the unguarded fawn on his unmighty antler,
so does the squad car’s siren gush across rural inter

state highways after a long night of shots, one each
time the loud mouth is not the father, and two for every time
the quiet, nice feller is. I never knew my parents.
I know them now, I can say, and that is fine. Finer than the
Plexiglas hidden so stealthily inside the filters of cigarettes.

You feel that numbness? That’s how you know its working! Isn’t it
wonderful you can now concentrate at work! I no longer have any thoughts
of suicide, no more dreams of tomorrow, not any hope for today. But I’m ok
with that. I draw blood
with this razor sharpened pen.

Let’s have a seat in this drained, porcelain tub.
Let us just see if we can’t fill this horribly frigid thing to its utter brim
with still warm, human blood. Just to bask in it.
Just to bathe in life at it’s most biologically literal
so we can say that we did, if just once.

Random Acts of Living

The man we assumed was a US Marshal got
off at the stop right after we got on. Leaving
us alone with three could be deranged mannequins
on the straight shot to the marvelous security
of our locked doors, where ignorance is pumped, unfiltered,
through the rusty, crumbling faucet. Shards ripping
just enough of our throats to keep us choking, with just
enough atrophied lock jaw.

A young, Jewish couple board and sit in two seats
between two of the plastic people. He holds tight to her
bag strapped shoulder. She doesn’t seem to mind
the added protection. He does most of the talking. She smiles
at him in a way that makes her beautiful. He shuffles his hand
placement from her synthetic cotton bag to the warm,
subtleties of her honest to god skin. All this and the dripping
of the drains in the homes doubles the soleful tapping
on the jumbled grate floor. A rhythmic stench floating from
the burning stillness of the lights over the stepped up
back end as through each stoned eye the scene plays out.

The vexed usurper stops next to the two,
leaning in over an unphased body,
pummels the glassed boyfriend into a bloody mess,
all soft gushing and sharp edges, escorts the lady,
no less gently than her previous companion,
off the bus at the next stop and ravages her
right there on the corner. The cinematic red light
holds the moment from beat to heart beat, measured in the new,
nearly echoing drip of the moaning human spigot in the second seat back.

As no one else moves, the driver cuts the lights and drives
straight into each and every living room, with rambling
ratings conscious commentary, “A great tragedy
in the city today.” Each present hallow, humane shell
interviewed, asked, “Why did you not help
this poor couple?” Every blank, unblinking eye, as
well conditioned citizens, saying, “I was too afraid.
I could not help my inaction,” plopping down in
to the mouths and minds of every civic, well informed citizen.

All this is a lie. Only two people there were afraid. Every other
breathing organism on that florescent city bus was over come
by the intense jealousy of witnessing life, at its fullest, most brutal reality.

9/15/2009

What A Wonderful Time

What a wonderul time to be growing
up in the promised land! What an opprotune
time to be young and concious, self aware!
The beauty of inheriting this recessed land, run
ragged by our father’s fathers to this very day.
A land of three active generations still
run by the decayed ideals of a dead century.
If so many are without healthcare,
how is it the rulers of this fertile land can grow so old
and hold back progress for so long? Those who never fought
still sitting on top of the pile, shitting and pissing
rheteric through the gaps in the bodies. The american ideal,
the voice of disentioin, the founding nature of this
country, the dream of this great land, now labeled as unamerican
by their propagandized puppetry. Their voices exploiting those who have
a small amount of money to be sure to keep the status quo for fear
of loss. They have
our fathers fighting a fight they fought against at one point in their lives.
Those with no money fighting to hold on to what they have,
while the money holders look down and say, “If they wanted it,
they’d work for it. If they had it, they’d squander it anyway.” They don’t
realize how much work it takes to scrape by. So who to believe?
The faces on the television screens or the hands behind the newsprint?
All of them singing for tallies on the nation’s chalkboard vote.

Realizing Once Again

Wringed out, relevant, ridiculous
ridicule resounds, running

Run, Running River, wrought
with regret, return, ragged, to a residence
Remember the park with the fountain

and the nice benches
and the fireflies buzzing
at our mouths

Youth drifting like smoke
over the city
into the past

He let out a disgusted grunt as he waved
his hands around, trying to clean some
air to breathe. “You gotta be kiddin’ me
with that shit.” He wasn’t as angry as he was
disappointed. But that’s what there is.
Go ahead and check the carbon receipt.

That day, that place.
Now this right here.
Its like a blink, or a flash,
that’s flared for five years.
Wow. Wonder if Baltimore
was a better city,
where would I be sittin’?

The City

The concrete decays and drips down
from the steel like dead muscle.
I’m watching this and I can feel my blood
drying, cementing. I’m standing, but I don’t know what for.
I’d love to sit down, but I’m too rigid. I can’t have this.

Each breath filled day is another chance to hit it
big. Strike it rich. Find that cache lost
in this head and dump it right through
my pocket’s sieve back into this city’s draining heart.
I think for a moment it’s fire falling from the dark

clouds, but it’s only blood, thinned
from the lack of oxygen in the air. Dripping, plip
plop, on the top of my still hatted head.
I want to look up. I want to see this in all of its glory,
but my veins are solid, and my muscles rock.

I’d like to find shelter, but the crosswalk light wont
let me, even if I could move. So I’m standing, as the city
liquefies around me, and I don’t know why. I used
to stand for love, then letting go. Stuck like this now,
it seems I’m standing for giving in. For being hard. For

standing’s sake. Someday, after this, maybe I’ll have vines
growing up and around my arms and legs, and some nice animal
can make a nest in my chest. Maybe,
someday. As of right now, I weight 10,000 pounds and can’t
lift my head to stop staring at the blood line

starting up my still cotton pants.
If only I could shut my eyes,
maybe this wouldn’t be so bad.

Cooking Dinner

It’s a piddy!

Someone shut that dog up down there! It’s
boiling in my hair and behind my ears, bubbling,
beating, the tick of my father with a trick or two
tucked up my sleeve, hidden in my hat, lost under
my brain cap, squeezed out and left in cracked concrete.
Shut the door.
Close the window.

Silence.

Someone should shut that guy up down there. Damn
kids. Those fucking screaming girls. Listen. Listen
to what they call ‘fun.’ Listen.

Listless Lists
Left unresolved, Listen,
Loitering too Long in Long ago
Letters scribbled Listlessly
into Lists on Lost Loose-Leaf
Left behind but not forgotten

Forgone conclusions of the fungal
infected mind. It’s openness a blessing
sung by the cursed ones. Time bomb’s
tick
Talk
lodged in lacerations on an ever dissolving map
matted over an undiscovered Picasso, which we call
“Our Time.” It’s a pity, really.

A Few of My Favorite Things

The smoke signal of breezed curtains
starts up, as I sit and expand my mind.
I’m reading about John Hoffman,
and listening to Tom Waits. It’s a pleasant
spring day in the grey city.

It’s a soft breeze, and bird chirps,
and a down the stairs xylophone
of 1950’s television.
It’s walking into the corner bar
and realizing it’s a spaghetti western
saloon. Odd, you think, until
you notice the best lookin’ gal
is sittin’ next to
the baddest hombre in the place.
You know what’s gotta be done.

Then it’s getting tossed out
onto Brooklyn concrete
at midnight.

Small Statues

A hardened heart takes a youthful ideal, whose
familiar curves, and sounds, and scents revive
longings for displaced voices, and eyes, and truths,

squeezes on a loaded gun, and complains at length
about the blood dripping on the walls, and staining
the bed sheets, and about the shedding of fickle masks,

called faces. Although, both are left naked, bathing,
baking in the outgrown games and ageless lust
cast over the scene by static light of the television,

working from common habit, they appear synchronized,
moment by breath filled moment, striving, sinking
into the simplest kind of lying, lacking words.

-scape

Streetlights reflect this way and that
off of mirrored storefront windows,
switchblades, and authoritative gun
barrels.
Someone screams stop but
only sighs arrive over lightning quick
communications, radio waves and
telephone cables.
Someone reflects on
the way such a bad day goes, when
the sink and the floor shiver with such
cold porcelain glances.
Eyes widen to the light.
No one notices the payphone ringing
in the background
or the dirty child who
answers it

Progress

When the walls came down, it didn’t matter. All the people were lost, somewhere in their floating world. In every room, there was nothing but void shells, silent and unnoticing. The battle had been over long before the invasion, the absolute victory. No battle cries, no tears, no retaliation, no war. Just a blip in the invisible room where everyone was only the people they wished they were. Not even realizing their loss.

Cliche

The devil sat in a room
darker than his soul
and took charcoal to an empty canvas.
He sweated for days in his workshop
ignoring both heaven and hell.
At the end of the seventh day
(he had not been aware
of the time)
the devil emerged from his blind sanctuary
and unveiled the most
beautiful drawing ever seen.

Graffiti

Night life’s high price as true as sport
Caught inside
Hope has my baby silly
Chester Thrower see you in court

Nite life’s high price as true as sport
Caught inside lifeless living
Hope has my baby silly
Chester Thrower see you in court

God, holding out with living
hope, has my baby, silly
Chester Thower, see you in court

Crawling toward the horizontal

Sleeping dreaming the true

Staring at a piece

God’s looking past his children

God’s forgotten his children

Life too soon, so small

God’s forgotten about the living

God’s forgotten living children

Don’t you worry about my hurt
My life, just barely living
Hope has my baby, silly
Chester Thower, see you in court

From P. 194 of Issues In Aging by Mark Novak

Disadvantage of distance
in reservations and support.
Rely on life expectancies. Older
competence still measures
discrimination.
Demonstrate teen
mortality and
model pregnancies.
Elders divorce language
but social health
supports industrial life, which
weakens family ties.
A higher perspective,
compared to the american
community, supports competence in the
population, families, and people.

Dumb Animals

I hate idea behind the phrase ‘very intelligent animal.’

It’s quite absurdist really.

It implies there are very unintelligent animals

From the stand point of human/animal separation, that is not true.

Animals do what they have to, within their means, to stay alive.

A chicken doesn’t eat rocks because it is unintelligent.

It knows it needs to do that to maintain its biological mechanics.

The bear that jimmies open the latch on the dumpster doesn’t appreciate its simplicity.

It just wants the easy meal.

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Humans, on the other hand, through the majesty of our advancements,

have the distinct honor and pleasure to assess mental function

on a scale greater than alive or dead.

How It Goes #1

Yea, he said, tryin’a keep
a mind right in the city
Its sumthin’ huh?
I agreed with one long,

amorphous, slipping syllable
as, from across the bus way, rushed
a trio of terrifically enthusiastic
Goddammits! that drilled the dread

deep into me. He glanced behind
him, in that direction, good thing
those train tracks ran through.
I coughed a ha exhaling and tried

to let the shouts that followed mingle
with the crickets’ serenade.

The city is not the character
The city is not the story
The city is the audience
The city beholds the tale

And, you see, right now
I am the city
And, you see, here, friend
You are the city
And we are the city
Sitting and watching
Yes, we are the city
All of us here

As the individuals
Pictured and named
Are cited in incidents
On the evening news

Removed from the city
to be recognized as
beloved role models
or those to be avoided.

The subversive advertising for
Or blacklisting of
Faces on the street
Selling us interactions

Eliminating any opportunity for fair
minded personal judgments
Branding good or bad
never simply human

Selling us our social structure.

Now, you see, as with all things
structured, there are always those that fail.
To expect otherwise is ignorance. A bridge’s

structure is most important.
Then, sadly, a business’. Poor financial
structure digs graves.

Body structure comes next, living on the razor’s
edge of nature and superficiality. It is said
children need structure most of all.

The structure needs the children
structured as to not fail itself.
But where does it come from?

It lies within the unending simplicity
of the universe. What seems to have happened is
human beings have mistaken for intellect
an inherent hypersensitivity to natural structure.

It is almost frightening that the more we
discover, how every thing seems to be the same.
Neutrons, protons, electrons swirl around
each other until they become something new

Chromosomes and proteins splash together and
settle into something warm

Particles, dust, and debris fall towards something
we don’t quite understand to make light in
the unseen membranes of our outer most spaces

These questions, this quest, is the stopping
point for human beings, for if we were
to ascertain cerebral ability beyond this structural
fascination, we will have stepped out of our human

body and into, what I can only speculate, is true
soul enlightenment heaven It is our ambition
yet it is beyond our current capabilities. Well…

I must apologize for my sudden arrogance,
another short coming of the human being.
This propensity toward habit is hardly felt
by humans alone. My cat loves her structure
far more than I do. She wants to be fed

at the same time everyday. She wants outside
at the same time everyday. She wants petted
at the same time everyday. Who am I

to say she’s not searching for relief as well?
And who can be certain the earth is not pleading
for peace? Or the galaxy isn’t looking for answers?

Perhaps, then, it’s true, as I remember my father
saying when I was a boy, “We are here because
the universe needs to look at itself.” Just like us.
Poor bastards.

9/01/2009

Loyalty

I don’t like the look of the american
Winter Olympic team. I don’t

like their smooth, high def faces.
I would like to meet them, see

if they look so iconic in person. I don’t think
it’s right they’re telling me they need
me

to be rooting for them. Especially while
I’m watching reruns of the Pens.

The Albatross pt. 2

One in March, after his birthday, straight
into the air, just to see where it landed, and
yes, that one in what, June or July, when he
thought Diane was a burglar. Then, two just
now at that winged terror weighting the branch
down and watching them sleep, which leaves
one. I’m not going down to the cabinet to refill
this thing, he told her, not realizing she kept her own count.

are you?

Where are you? was all the voices said.
Did they come from the PA, the telephone,
or were they the voices of your head?
The past are the voices of the dead
or the eternal sleep of living, dusting
from the pages you read.
Always seeking more to feed, from
the cracked and sideways spread beyond
the cover story of the ever present dread.

Where are you? the last words he remembered
hearing before everything went black. The echo
like hiking trips he had taken as a child. He
tried to answer, but quite simply could not.
Was it water or air or trauma or sand holding
his cognoscence back, he couldn’t tell, all
he could see was black, almost like rubbing
his eyes, but the pressure was not his.

Where are you? Where do you think?
Get here. Time is fadin’ like the night.
This night. Here. Time tested, tired
tradition, or lost mission? Dismissing
this condition for excuses of just
pissing away days. Here this place
goes, fillin’ up, now that the town’s full.
Brand new righteousness abound.

Wait. Where are you? she sent again
but he never texted back. It was time
she went to sleep anyway. She had to
work in the morning, and could not
stand to wait up for him again. So she closed her
eyes, mind racing, trying to remember
what she considered better times. She knew
it was always the same. Always the
mangled excuse wrapped up in some
lame claim, that would not survive any kind of
scrutiny, Funday to Dunday.

Television Drama

Other people’s emotions
are what push her away
from the oldest part of the world

I don’t care about other people’s emotions.

A horrible phrase
Fodder for the news media’s concern
for lack of context[1]

Don’t care about other people’s emotions, fine.
Care about the boiled down formula of america’s
ideal for each generation.
It’s simply entertaining!

From the Beave to the Brady’s,
the Bunker’s to Ms. Bahr,
they’re breaking off of true lives
bringing us closer to believing
‘That’s how a family is supposed to be.’
Bizarre

But, why challenge the quo? Leave
us some status for being versed
in Ginsberg, immersed by Ginsberg
Because who doesn’t love nipples?
Stark visions of unapologetic love
Burnt as hot as possible in that lamp
Post fire on acrylic blanketed park
Bench beds?

Emotions?
No, sir.

Look closely at that staged screen.
She’s right about what she says.
She’s not lying, that is.

It’s drama.

Television is us
We are a Baby Crawling Toward the Deathchamber
Mashing the remote buttons with unlearned palms

Something’s gotta be on.
Better than sitting here, not saying anything
to you.

Not for emotion’s sake,
Not to soothe, or teach or guide,
for drama.
Because silence leading to emotional healing
is boring.

So, let’s us see if we can’t start
something burning. Let’s see
if those scabs are ready to come off.
So what if they’re not?

I don’t care about other people’s emotions.

What?

What?

I’m just sitting
reading quietly

OK


Why are you looking at me
like that?

This show is stupid

You’re stupid.

It’s simplistic
and clichéd

Well, I like it.
Reminds me of
growing up.

You shoulda’ watched
less TV

Not the show.
The situation.

Ah, how unique

Bam! You’re sucked into it.
And there’s no pullin’ yourself out,
At least not till the end of the episode
except there is continuity
between our nightly fade to black
and the early morning curtain call

Conflicts aren’t so easily forgotten.
The resolutions from heart2hearts
rarely inspire awe.
And we wonder
why we never think
we’re happy.

Except when LF, or J Gil, or
those guys, sit down with me
suddenly there seems to be more
than this tiny letterboxed world
Like possibility moves beyond
the pictures in my mind
KP’s nonsensical nature
is the expression of love
and hate and fear and trust
all at once! But

that’s work. I want to be entertained. Besides
I don’t care about other people’s emotions.

[1] See ln. 39