Archive for 1995

Back In The Seaddle, Home On The Range


27 Dec

basquiat

Basquiat's Year of Clyde's Magazine

samplex

Date: Wed Dec 27, 1995 11:58:05 AM

Space, just got back into DC ourselves after a quick whirl of that peachie keen homestate of Georgia. I was knocked out and loaded after 48 hours of no sleep when I arrived which, of course, immediately led to fights with Sue & my Mother the first hour. Another 12 hours and I was nearly falling down punch drunk (the metaphor, not the liquid) but still staggering around as everybody did the Christmas thing two days early, and all I wanted was a place to crash. Spent some quality time with sister & her family. Her husband's a merchant marine. Oh yeah, you might recall that from my descriptions during last summer's tragedy. Clyde finally has that damned magazine job which lasted three dog nights and nine lives of a cat, and I still don't think it'll ever go to press in its current form because he still thinks he can swashbuckle into a printer and bypass the service bureau niche (of course saving him bucks!) Not a chance, but he has never gained sight of the four-color process and the technology shifts going on in the fieeeeeeld. After I thumbed thru the job with him, we hardly spoke again that trip, although he seemed genuinely thrilled with the layout. Glad that mess is behind me....

Hardworking breadwinner comes home from the office night after night, plops down in front of the television set, and pops open a beer (or pours self a series of wine anesthesizers), and is pretty much dozing cold to any touch or conversation the frustrated homemaker tries to initiate. Years later trouble brews.
Meanwhile, glad to be back home, and web-constructing, ah, my newfound firstlove. Sue and I are walking on eggshells, or rather, she is. I've threatened to leave her if I can't wake her up from her sexual slumber (empty ornery threats). My desires run manifest, but I have sublimated them far too long I say to myself, and figure the time is at hand to force a change. She says she realizes her lack of vitality, and wants to meet me in the garden of bliss, but I can tell this is going to be a long haul. Marriage sucks in this department. Otherwise I'm all for partnerships in rhyme, crime, and drinks with a splash of lime. But the sex broke down for us ages ago. I know I'm no great looker, hardly a provider right now, and nobody worth their salt & saliva will sympathize with me when I try to shift some of that blame onto the beautiful hardworking lady of the house, but isn't there a stereotype that fits in here? Hardworking breadwinner comes home from the office night after night, plops down in front of the television set, and pops open a beer (or pours self a series of wine anesthesizers), and is pretty much dozing cold to any touch or conversation the frustrated homemaker tries to initiate. Years later trouble brews. That's the Sue & Gabriel story, roles reversed, although she's always been a good listener, simply not much of a bed warmer.

His mom and pop married AND divorced each other THREE times, after growing up in the same household as step-brother and sister, my grandpa being ten years the senior of my granny. Eeeek! Just want you to know with whom you've been swapping goofs at baseball games & the Internet, dude.
Oh well, don't mean to whine on your virtual shoulder, but I figured I should clear the air somewhat after those few cryptic remarks I made a couple of weeks ago I guess it's been since we last mailed. Glad you had a pleasant holiday. Mine wasn't all bad. Spent some quality time with another brother in Dalton, just a few miles south of Chattanooga in the Tennessee ridge. He finally seems to have found a hole in the world where he can function more or less obedient to his crazy-eyed whims, a fearless mountainman, hours away from the dark shadows of family competition. The next trial for him will be when he gets his driver's license back. He's already spent over eighteen months in the slammer in two different stints on DUI charges. Chaz is a decent guy, actually very decent, but he's a small guy (5'4" 135 lbs.) wrestling with the dual giants of massive ego and low self-esteem fueled by family resentment and fantasy-driven psychosis. But he seems well-placed right now, and I'm happy for him.

Aside from Clyde (the successful business tycoon) & Laurie Ann (the most well-adjusted sibling among us) however, the rest of us seem to be in a state of perpetual psychological erosion. It's an inherited trait from my mother's side, although one would be hard pressed to deny that my dad's farmbilly background ain't fraught with a special kind of weirdness as well. His mom and pop married AND divorced each other THREE times, after growing up in the same household as step-brother and sister, my grandpa being ten years the senior of my granny. Eeeek! Just want you to know with whom you've been swapping goofs at baseball games & the Internet, dude.

Anywaze, lemme go. Gotta brush my teeth or something.

Fats,

"...free from the Clyde-induced depression of Ninety-five! But swiftly working on a mutated variety, to date unnamed."

Hangovers, Toothaches, Passwords, And The Professionals Who Own Them


08 Dec

space-fats

Measuring the Space In Fats

samplex

Date: Fri Dec 8, 1995 5:18:57 PM America/New_York

Space, so I went to the dentist Monday to have two cavities filled with the sweetness of all that girly magic floating around Dr. Mainstream's office. As you might recall I was having work done last summer until I got sidetracked with death in the family I handled hard, and everything else in this modern age of ghetto living that requires more than three fingers of coping. Experiencing no pain before the drilling & filling, now I've got an infection complete with metallic taste and persistant ache in one of the two he worked on. Guess that's why they call dentistry and doctoring a practice...

Sue just walked in and we both swore to cut out this badass drunkenness routine for good before it rots us beyond redemption. But, of course I've been swearing this after every drunk for years now, and while I'm doing better, my calculations fail me, as next time always seems to be just around the corner with some friend's face attached to it. Fact is I'm just a social mess. Can't go out without drinking. Don't wanna go out when I'm not drinking, but can't stay cooped up ALL the time, whatta mess!
Sue & I buzzed off to a metalcore show last night. If my pictures turn out, it was worth it. If the camera work was drab, I hated it. The music of the headlining band, the Genitorturers, is not bad for the genre but in honesty is simply a front for the group's leather bondage & piercing fetishes. Last night's show paled in comparison to last year's go, except last year I didn't have my camera. This hangover sucks a strawful. The two Genitorturers shows plus another of some local friends are the only rock shows we've been to in about eighteen months, and frankly I don't miss that lifestyle at all. Been eating my weight back lately, though, as the hangovers keep me stuffing my face all day long trying to feel something other than complete misery. Too old & too tired for this rabble rousing routine.

How's the office rumor machine treating you these days? Mental health, they should know better. Last Sunday, I indeed was planning on calling you, but I didn't focus on it until nearly three o'clock my time, and you were long gone to the game I reckon. Maybe I'll catch you this Sunday. That web site thing doesn't seem to be happening. None of the five sites I staked out have provided any password data, yet the names and directory codes show up. The icons show that the addresses have indeed been secured but there is no way to begin construction of the interface until I (we) get passwords. This completely baffles me. I had no problem getting my other five sites locked in, and now have three of them partially, or perhaps I should say, primitively composed and viewable with any Net browser on a good day when bandwidth (wireload) is available. I don't mean to be talking over your head but I'm just venting I guess, puzzled by this anomaly. Since I am virtually stealing these free sites with fake E-mail addresses (not my own, in duplicity) I am powerless to deal with the Geopages people on this issue. Nuff said until I can chat orally with you.

Meanwhile the whole right side of my mouth hurts and my belly's bulging beyond gluttony's fair pace, and oh man, can't measure the nasty aches and jumping pains stirring me crazy, rattling all my muscles & bones. Sue just walked in and we both swore to cut out this badass drunkenness routine for good before it rots us beyond redemption. But, of course I've been swearing this after every drunk for years now, and while I'm doing better, my calculations fail me, as next time always seems to be just around the corner with some friend's face attached to it. Fact is I'm just a social mess. Can't go out without drinking. Don't wanna go out when I'm not drinking, but can't stay cooped up ALL the time, whatta mess! Trust that you feel better after knowing I feel better than it surely reads, surely. Until later...

Hangovers, toothaches, passwords, and the professionals who own them,

Fats

Actually That Was Hangover Harry At The Door


07 Dec

exactly

Exactly, right.

samplex

Originally published on December 7, 1995

Figgered there was something lonesome Gabriel must do for Tom Howellnymns when I saw the length of that last note. Yep that's the ONLY time that rascal ever shows his face OR his furnace around here. Funny thing about that music quip you made. My rocker pals chide me because EVERY time they come over Dylan's on the box, and EVERY time old hippie Tom has a mumble to make, there's punk or hardcore on the drive. Powerful dichotomy, my music. Tom still occasionally remarks on how stunned he was to learn I had several Donovan Leitch albums since he knows me only from the punk stage. Sho nuff, there's no pleasin' the w-o-r-l-d, say I, in the ninth chapter of Isaiah.

Cool that Russell Braen has an unabridged archive of those Jewish texts on his server. Have I shown you the wierd CD-ROM biblical exegesis Sue bought me for my 40th trek around the sun? And listen here Senator, no more cheaper than cheek moving services. Gabriel's a desperate artfag now, and has scaled back his back graces, having finally given up that ghost of petty pushover you've taken for granted for oh so long. You, like thousands around me, are always whittling away at my goodwill, but shuffle brilliantly silent when I ask direct questions, or a favor for myself. Do not fear me, a lowly human, albeit more inspired & more aromatic than angels' dung, but fear G.O.D...

That said, I SHALL respect your request for new letterhead the next time you show up around here, but I press with this question once again. Have you put forth that Photoshop LE & Hypercard 2.2 deal (both for $130) on the table for Robert Cole to address, OR NOT? Frankly I've grown beyond sick of getting caught inside everyone else's voice loop, an impeccable void where I hear the same references over and over, but little which directly benefits the one I serve. You fill in the pronoun, Hangover Harry.

If this sounds bitter, perhaps it is, but it is written with a BZT smile on my forehead. Perhaps I am near death. I feel terribly ill begotten, but ripe on the vine. Cocky only in daring to become cockless, the fatty delicious juices of the battered ram oozing down my chin as I wonder when you might want to pawn that rented RCA camcorder back to its previous host for a devils' bargain, since what little friendship we have is always numbed by the dead works of your silence as you make your way into the Hall of Skewed Genius Dr. Bracken has erected for you.

Until we meet again.

Dunaway Ka

Mopping Up The Money Shot


05 Dec

gtsketch

Sketch & Fetch

samplex

Originally composed on December 5, 1995

So lutely! Great shakes! Cringe past losses. Mix the matcher air with maels minutely charmed. I repented I'd recognize the fare, pull my socks up to my knees together & organize the counting crusader's crude anatomically correct fair, take spat with the common, adopt a sudden stare, blanket all receding wing and split water wares chosen to imitate, now squealing beside themselves, yes to codify the cruxifictionaries, no to ban the bottomless pits, maybe withstand the bottomless bums, accept the irresolute and the unacceptable, bargain the scrap table and the tank blossoms, the sliding spectacle boss and his jolly umpires in the sun, and the quiet rose from the dead characters copywritten by fools not knowing or knotting the snot-nosed difference BE tween fingers and the spare tools time imagines we never corrupt but take for granted as we stagger both feet first to the thin lined edges of this year's lovely bodacious PX.

There were times when eyes wrote the words.

Thinking chains link to something.

Trying this more than that.

Possibly 5.

Icongot.

NX.

$$$

MONEY

$$$

CENTS

$$$

NULL

$$$

By the way, on the way to the mesmerizing dust bins of history does it upset the crumb to bee the remainder beyond the sum of the best western civilization ever ranked not counting a half dozen star-spangled pin-striped Yankees?

To spell the name of GOD I had to accept the limitations of a glass of water.
To break those laws into twos I had to divide by the examples of U & O.
Slurfish I awoke dry between the quips thinking of a taylor maid.
She shined my buckles tho I claimed no boots infallibly struck.
Punctuation a false idolicular beamed the mad yeast coy.
Besides the oh river yesterday swam lewd as a vine.
Asking rather questions like fame or rich I fled.
Spooked in zero the twelve remembered.
Fast idea idiots often cheat degrees.
Placer beckons discontinental nix.
Favors quickened glances set.
If riders studied road aims.
Fish duties knowing.
Marry Ots irons.
Staking fund mentals.
Allotted only so much sheetwise.
Pregnant she thought Oi.
Defiance sailed with.
Tweaking imaginary.
Numbers felt up.
Not friend oh mine.
Savor seconds as much if.
Thirds became her basement.
Personality quotas drilled a scissor.
Expecting noise routinely for harried.
Isles nor ailes he scoffed seasonally.
Never snit much qualify marched.
Mess ages fail to intrigue conned.
Con stages bewhipped battered.
Better buttered clip-ons scale.
But even legs give lessons.
Tired beyond complaint.
Textures corpus fully grasped.
Addition ally spiked without irony.
Failure to communicate points rung up.
B4 seven measures of implementation charged.
Samantha combed back tresses nooooooo window could sail.
Without obedience even floods forget purposes exist but for Aunt Sue coins.
Commons needs inspired common diseases furled beyond evidential true serum therapy.
Every node west of the north pole and west of the south intracted sake begotten ID.
Orthographic dispensers the grape shrew goddess unveiled to wails of admiring me.

Sick Bird Of Brinkmanship


01 Dec

Throat Visitors

Throat Visitors

samplex

Date: Fri Dec 1, 1995 11:20:15 AM

What are you doing? Are you asking for people to create their own web pages? If so I wouldn't mind trying if it costs no money. I don't understsnd this password stuff. We'll have to discuss this in person one of these weekday evenings/weekends...BLUM

Date: Wed Jan 18, 1996 10:25:25 PM

Hey Bob, still haven't seen your birds, but then you never liked mine. Did you know that you can move your GeoCities URL to a location you might prefer over the one I snagged for you. There is a MOVE utility to be accessed from the GeoPages Homepage, if'n you are inner rested. Sorry to hear about that earache. Sue thought she was getting one the other day, but she hasn't complained since. Must have been strong psychic associations, sympathy pains or something along those lines. Anywaze, get well dude. No biggie on the walk.

Date: Wed Jan 25, 1996 1:10:13 PM America/New_York

Well Bob, must have been that half hour hanging out with you and Mortis last week but I've been sick some four days now, sick and more sick. Do you have GIF reading capabilities at the office? Like I wrote you prior to your finally setting up your page, I composed a couple of graphics (Rigormortis inclined) you may or may not find compatible with the urges of the day, but I would like for you to at the very least look at them, and mumble something about why you can't use them. You know, that's the crux of our relationship, so let's not fall down on the job. If you DO have a GIF viewer, then I will try to round up an IBM floppy and download them to that so you can do what you will with them. Meanwhile, keep the shit a flying, or at least, bag it.

Date: Sun Feb 5, 1996 10:30:10 AM America/New_York

Thanks Bob for the antibiotics. I'm feeling much better. Sue is sicker, having lost most of her voice, and is now on the stuff.

GT

"I've always been known to take chances/ My left hand pulls back while my right hand advances. I see pieces of men marching / Trying to take heaven by force..."
—Bob Dylan

Numbers Said Bob Make Mention Of Me


01 Dec

Bob Said

Bob Said

samplex

Date: Fri Dec 1, 1995 15:10:12 AM

Well, yes, Bob. This would be your very own FREE web page. You were among the "HTML sophisticated ones" I included in that batch. Several others across the country are either newcomers to the online world, or simply stuck in the past with old slow modems, or whatever, having never surfed at all. I have recently created three pages you might find if not interesting, then perhaps best described as friendly fire. Steve Taylor has compelled me into authoring HTML, and low & behold I'm just frantic with anticipation for others to join the ride. After all, this Geopages crowd out in Beverly Hills, CA is offering this opportunity to any and all takers as long as you have a valid E-mail address. They have their very own HTML emulator that you can use to create your page right there in a forms format. Just enter pertinent info in the fields, and presto! you've just created a home page. I did one that way, but soon learned enough used HTML to create them FTP the appropriate files over to the server.

One page took 24 hours to spring up, and the other only took an hour or so to pop up for general access. Just imagine. I only opened a PPP account a couple of weeks ago, and now I'm shadowboxing in the HTML badlands! Go figure!

Just checked out your HP, and as usual your comments ring a deafening bell tone in the bell curve of my own desires to be and not to be, to flee and not to flee, or simply, in the words of Piss Factory, to pee or not to pee. As little as self-indulgence seems to mean in your neck of the woods, and rotten poetry the futile clearing of your storm, art clichés are more a commodity for the heavily flavored than a sustaining power for the weakly favored, and frankly, I wish you would cut it out!

My heart, my fart, whichever you prefer. If these be the flames of betrayal and the aims of messianic denial, I'd say we are just about even. Meanwhile as both our neuroticisms and superiority complexes merge into one foul mood, I wish to comment on your prediction of the next wave of child prophets (rockers) being that of the clean cut Mormon rank. I agree, and I would also suggest the END is near for it is written that this generation of clean sheets following in the wake of the Devil's wordslayers will be the last, of course until the path of righteousness begins all over again in heated argument over the meaning of some ivy-spined love surrogate's last scream. Feast or famine? Lean years, fat years? Is there much difference beyond a few zeroes and maybe a decimel point or two? Thinking is a lie. Art is nothing but a glimmer of hope, and an economy few will ever afford without loss of the quenched thirst. One geek's self-indulgence is another geek's training ground for sainthood in a spreading pool of blood-soaked antics. There is nothing left for puppy dogs and perverts of inner circle design but paradox weaned, lion and lamb divined, fashion and fraud skewed, better halved than quartered alone. That sir, we cannot change, but since you asked in muted prayer, I'll change my ways for you, if you'll change yours for me because bad poetry is the ONLY art save THOU ART. Look around you. Even Milton was a liar. Stupidity and rigidity reign. The beautiful live forever. The ugly perish until they finally learn to absorb the laughter of the jackals.

And by suffering them you must also suffer me...

Just a refresher on those arguments you made here in the Dollhouse one afternoon I think not long ago. Of prospects and promises, uh, which one do you prefer, Bob? No, I saw it first. No, I did dammit...the hole in the ground was the whole of it, said Gabriel, in the old days before the advent of Styx and the completion of the proper post-punk cycle, suggested the leper who said thank you, the kid who scissored you to make a point in twelves, or slightly more, but not more and more and more and more until it all made the entire Joan Jett crew vomit, probably still stuffed on the hog heaven carpetbagger's special sea of beads they gobbled before the Bayou show full of suburban derby queens and BCR mullets. Scanning the packed crowd my own sharp black & orange mohawk posh caught her dangerous eye several times, but the hour the music died, without fanfare, we shuffled back to the SAMPLEX cave with Bennett & Lauren to stir the kettle twice the card. I'd be so shook up with chaos and blame, trick numbers in an off-alphabet game, knowing both Little Miss Jett and Monster Jeep ad sworn off the other like plague blankets in an earthquake, that I'd lamely end up settling for half-measure 3.5 inch head flat on my back, Lauren systematically snarking the red rag excuse, plainly playing for boa feathers instead of the usual black hearts flush of dick tag. VR snip? Bennett and Sue, sitting on opposing sides of us kept to themselves, not to each other. Their beautiful and knew it foo-foo Samoyed, Max, and our "hump anything this side of the Mississippi algorithm" Lab-shepherd mix, named Nickel Dog were caught and duped apart during the act of slapping, smacking and fellating each other, accounting for more drippy innuendo than any of the four tepid punk rockers in this stack managed that night. It'd be another six or seven years before I would gaze at Lauren naked again.

Wanna borrow the weed whacker, just show up at the door. You know you are the only person in the city I can say that to during these friendship wars. Well, maybe Len Bracken.

I dreamed I saw Saint Augustine,
alive as you or me...

GT

aka Fats, Kidscissor...

No Other Turf Grab Surges In The Name Of Friendship


01 Dec

cybernaut-thwarted

Cyberbaut Thwarted

samplex

Date: Fri Dec 1, 1995 9:17:23 AM America/New_York

To all friends whom I rousted out of their slumber with grand offers of a free webpage secured by YOURS TRULY, uh, uhm, I don't know what to say. Here it is, early AM, nearly 12 hours after I posted my requests, and received verification (all except for final verification which will come to YOUR E-mail account, which by the way, for those of you who were to depend on me to html author OUR MUTUAL page, can forward me with a click), there are whacky results. Two of the five sites I claimed yesterday have been "homesteaded" by other microgeeks (Don't ask me which ones they are. I was too steamed and forgot to write them down). The other three have not changed in status. When a claim is made, the icons change from a "darkened house vacancy" icon to a "bright key" icon in addition to the member name and directory updates. Perhaps Geopages is just being slow. Empirical past evidence shows this can sometimes be the case. However, this does not explain the two addresses which have been given unto others. And THIS is not supposed to happen, since Geopages fires up its search engines to scan & report on duplications in any and all of the original fields, and finding duplicity, will request that you make another choice in the incriminating field. Maybe it's just an IP detection bust, which would indicate that my land grab is frowned upon by the Geo.

At this time I plan no other turf grab surges in the name of friendship. For those of you who know your way around the cyberblock. Now that I've alerted you to the process I would expect you to followup on your own if you are indeed interested. I of course will continue to monitor the status of these accounts, but yesterday's initial rush of excitement has turned sour in my mouth. However, please forward any possible correspondence Geopages may emit. Sorry for the confusion. My previous five stakes were charted flawlessly.

Gabriel

Bright Flesh, Quickening Fingers & Stark Art Foolishness


20 Nov

Fox & Hound Survivors

Fox & Hound Survivors

samplex

Date: Mon Nov 20, 1995 11:49:15 AM

This is a test of the internet clark spacial relationship. If you open this file I should be getting a receipt back...BLUM

Everything is working, Bob. Did you get your plunks? Last night I had six messages. Today I had four. Sue called last night. She bought a Performa 6400. Her old hometown chum wrote out the cheque, and Sue will pay her back in monthly installments. It's not a Power Mac, but I reckon I'll survive the letdown, and the shock of adding another terminal to the BZT rig. Soon you will have no choice but to come over more often and ride the wave to a neater, sweeter, meatier, middle class, middle aged, life's work.

Steve Taylor wrote: You were a bit loud at the F&H (Fox & Hound). However, I did pay for all of us before I left. I had one of those "Steve" must get home now moments. Don't sweat the bar thing—we had a great time. And I knew there was a reason I was avoiding my workplace—on Friday, I discovered that 15+ employees were layed off and there will be no raises coming up (including COLAs).

So, our interactive magazine running off Gregor's server will happen within two weeks. Any title ideas? BTW—what is his e-mail address? Now is the [a] time when we can put many of our ideas into effect in real time—the distribution can be left up to the discretion of the x million web users who just might stop by. Let's do it free now. We can charge or get ads later. Let me know what you think. —Steve

I wrote back telling him of the 5 Mbs I have at ClarkNet. So here we are, moving to the next level of art foolishness, the virtual eye of the beast, the angel transformed into abundant light. Since there's nothing less to live for, a flaming riot over the sparkling glazed wires should be just about where I belong.

In other latent news, I left, therefore I lost my motorcycle gloves at the Fox & Hound. Serves me right for guzzling and gabbing too damn loud, even for a polyploisboian. And you don't need a flipping government stud to admit that talking too loudly in a loud booze joint is just as bad a bummer as sleeping too loudly in the same, but I am often told I do each, and all too frequently I am accused of both at the same time. Methinks many people just do it to tweak my growth industry muscles, but I apologize nevertheless.

Thanks for the drinks, mate. I wouldn't even know.

Gabriel

Zenith


09 Oct
(For George Rounthwaite)

I fly the bottom line like a spicy old gnat
woozy from post-Germanic stagefright
unmounting your governing body with the same flair
along the decided ridges of a glimpsed scarlet swimsuit
as I might if I were to straighten my hair with curlers
or roll up a newspaper to swat the dog
who just pissed on my appetite,
as I do this outside of habit,
suffering like a fixed whisper through hooking
wind tunnels of time, bouncing off
corrosive walls of unknown fragrances
imagining myself trapped in a microwave oven
forging deep contours into my handwriting
living in a jar of unforgivable battleships
floating hard cocks and polite whistles
among the wet, zenith waning.

I’m afraid I’ve procrastinated
teaching myself happiness without just cause.

Having started this swipe at all things accelerated
first with a bang then that accomplished whimper of mine,
I have stopped, started again overcautiously, stopped again,
scorched the soldiers of my fingertips, sculpted tiny industrial
elephants with toothaches storming my ear wax,
and lived to laugh about it while gaining weight
unlike coy women who disrobe for Christmas dollars,
fretted each word as if I were counting beads of the rosary,
even though I have never done that sort of thing
not being catholic or ridiculous while I write maggots
into the sky’s distorted huge and spongy apostolic succession,
re-filtrating every grounds of mutual respect with acrimony,
the world with me, here, not at its swirling epicenter
but along the frays of its weatherbeaten dust jacket,
deliberately unpersuaded as to what to put in
and what to leave out of this reforging
a retooling of friendship once quite
the vocabulary of need.

Of course all of this thinking and thinking about thinking
led ultimately to overpostulating the whole of what
memories and what urges I keep in pockets
lined with the rash and rescind
toward you, my friend.

Far astray the garden of youth, I am
faced with rallying back like a long distance
echo still stammering a single quote
from Kierkegaard under which
the flag of my soul
flickers gently—

“…the poet who wants to transcend himself
but gets only as far as religious longing,
not piety as such…”

Thus is, and always has been
his unchecked swarm of needs
buzzing around inside my gut
and my head, and to obey
that nature I first laugh & flirt

I have no choice but to spring forth
like a foul-toothed mantis
spew everything I know of us
within parameters of earnest friendship. Perhaps
you will not be forced to concur with early 20th century
German critic who once summed up his side of the argument
with the crushing dictum that still tastes like chicken...

“Geist auf Brod geschmiert ist Schmalz”
(Mind smeared on bread is lard).

Letter not meant to reintroduce
hardshelled polemics
into our man to boy tongue,
for that leads only to eventual ruin,
but I think for clarity, honesty, and foundation,
an assault of the past not only necessary but rational,
still unclear of extent your stroke has debilitated,
sorry for estrangement to wife and boys
no wish to aggravate your recovery,
thick patches of irritating weeds,
spurs and dandelions
wherever you find them in this glib landscape
of a remembered past whose nostalgic tone
may get lost in translation under brittle
cover of stale paragraphs
bibliophilia my escape...

War Orphans


23 Sep

In Greece range many goats and peasants, old ruins
slide seductively up next to you, your tour bus seat
wet with the perspiration of tourism's ego,
and they whistle down your neck, inviting
you in for a closer view, a bottle of brew
and a native look into your purse-string
mentality. You remember not
the peasants of your own dry, arrid backwash,
as you sneak past Ptolemy's submarine intelligence
and sail the high Mediterranean cheekbones
of a beauty which will never be yours
to sell or inspire. You claim powers
separate but indivisible. You caress
a sweet lamb's woolen sky
a moment at a time, you tell yourself—
and then off into the next war you race
a long way to go for economy's sake.

Rome is a lion's den of passion, and there is none
whose impeccable beauty matches it body for body,
where genius and vassal alike marched headfirst into the eye
of her borrowed king's major sun. Bartering for a love
you had read about in the film industry trades,
no choice was yours but to puff up your sex toys
mouthing lewd colors, and fall into
the same paragraph Mussolini
wrote Ezra Pound in a fit of angel tenure
stalking slow explanation with nine hungry prisoners
to feed—Copernicus and Galileo and their crippled sister,
people carrying people to the rope of regret.

To fly to fair London where in spots English is still spoken,
you spare your very finest silk underwear odes. The clock
reminds us there of social stares where poets play
guitar and the children can't weep. Iced tea
and words like export, involvement,
and the king's divorce, provide the stranger
the wide gulf most manic voyages through instinct
bled back through ages Blake, Wordsworth, Auden
forgot. Cool safety is a damp trial in the pit
of drizzling pomposity, ambitiously full of
fresh opinion armies where Johnny Rotten
would spit the fat sickness, repayed
by urban privacies and a charming public laity,
fiscal socialist agonies the sulphur of St. George.

Tradition is bought pennies on the dollar, witnesses
gathering on the White House Lawn wet their pants
in Murder Row relief, outlining your latest hit list
no longer the sounds of Roberta Flack or Marvin Gaye,
but of takers of the routine shortcut driving the herd
deeper into the jungle, brain waves and assault weapons
spraying powdered milk, shoving shy rain mosquitoes
into the grave not even George Washington could defend.
Measuring sick thespian vacancy with the same
motley precision a syringe injects its fistful of spitfire,
some other dead prophet Martin Luther King rolls over
squashing the maggots he fed in trenches of glory, privacy
oh privacy and the black nothinghood gangs littering
our scared and scarred streets, denying reality's heavy lip
thus clings like a sea-dried ghost over the forefather's city
washing in the blood of not the lamb but the wolf
where statistical impulses anxiously numb

rob the same paragraph these interrogatories rib.

[ 1995, Washington, DC ]

S A M P L E X

"Ignorance and virtue suck on the same straw. Souls grow on bones, but die beneath bankers' hours.""


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