Archive for 1980

Died In My Mouth

08 Nov

A silent tongue unravels the strangling noose,
Its path, unheralded by truce.
Odd scratched and scribbled graffitti,
Peacemaking my splintered head,
Ballets in dizzy nymph

Arousing the needy.
A parlor hunger, birds unfed.

My mind, a blank page.
My head leaps as a small frog,
There is no comfort.

The nothingness crowd is quoted no more,
Altared but undevoted they pay by nod.
My mind, a cluttered page.
My head sleeps as a burnt ephemeral log,
There is no comfort.
(Yet told around gracious Sin Avenue
camp fires spotting downtown Machinery Row
to the lilies laughing over a fine glass
of the best Napolean brandy
noonday dollars never doubt
where sheer distance is divided by
voteless cog, the mist of democracy
is seen reflecting upon our names
an appointed fog grazing upon
the tracks of method....)

And the saint thus
Spoke scantily to the prophet:
"He who demoralizes another
"Can claim no morality for himself."
To this the prophet said nothing, but
He knew in part the saint
For a shanty fool.

(And the unfed,
Left to perish among
The unwelcome, left to ravish
The beauty of beast, and the beast
Of beauty, established
Many fine logics.)

I fell blank at such a formula—
Asses built on caged numbers observed,
Deserved and dirty word reserved
For quaint molecules and family,
Where my occupation is a gift to anyone
Stroking along fishy fables,
Mentality tables, cradled
Images, daisies, nightsies,

I am the yellow sheep
I can't earn my keep
Proving the fallibility of this text
World without maps
World without worldliness

My mind, an accurate page.
My head keeps to its own symbol,
There is no comfort.

I wonder what proof died in my mouth.

[1980, Corpus Christi, TX ]

The Wednesday Perfume

02 Aug

I. High Brows
Relative gentle accessory
This band of lines seeks harmony
When frigid time dwarfs memory
And as we watch trees grow.
For woman's draft always inspires
The melting art caressing fire
Deep into where mere words aspire
To cross the hammer's blow.
And though the hot daze honors shade
And smiling costumes salute parades
And naked children's hatreds fade
How dare we never mourn to know,
If one and one and one make three
If worthiness licks poverty
If hollow noises seductively
Lay waste pure reason's embryo.

Give us this day of all days
Oh sacred songs still solemn,
To whet our attentions, to dry our tears.
We live on occasion and going away presents.
We recognized the poet and his different drumming,
And laughter and irony and the nude girl in white.

"Most profound in this sublet phoenix world
Is the naked sense of truth and the crowbar."
Croons a wild-eyed autonomy named Ply,
Off just now in the critical woods bored busy,
Briars, poison ivy, sleeping serpents and spiders blind
Mandating crude obediences to projectiled security
Unshaded amongst all roving sensualities.
Seen by only his own kind in spite of fair rhetoric—
Loss is the naked sense of truth,
Spinning our very natures into a mourning fog.
So let us merge as continents merge
And practice the art and its gripping trance...
Slash open our blackened hearts with a 12-inch butcher,
To spare us the throwaway guilt of a wicked second glance
Into our honey-tongued spitoons
Mocking the life of no return.

II. Inventory Sculpture
Clutching the past far prevailing reprise,
My bashful lips have remained mundane in librarian's mum,
Afflicted and baffled by the fragrance I catch dazzling
Even the hair brushing distractions from my eyes.
I am barely here, lost in a theme park called eternity.
Never ends. I am nicknamed Fat Logos. I am
From nowhere. I am a television commercial. Yet
You cry in silence, offering no foliage
To shape the shapeless gray breath
A swimming a swimming...
A swimming a brewing death!
Crashed out upon the brawling acres,
The die is cast and no longer God answereth!

Reach in, Copernicus, to touch my age.
This time I won't turn you away
To embezzle the ironies marking your flesh in pain.
Glory the season is soon faded away,
Passing as a morning's rain.
Words come not dancing in raving
Insidious intent, nor do they come
Easy to me,
So please don't mock my language
When elegance is not my only game
But clarity, the difference between purple and blue.
Good evening fine gatherers and hunters. Yes, evening to all.
Perfume, empty pockets, memorial lasers on the wall.

Not everyone who calls my name knows why,
And now my suburbs ache.
I patrol my bones through a watery isthmus,
Exploring a carnal linkage of attitudes expanding, unexamined.
Like a camel without his desert, I felt betrayed. And then,
In vain attempt at the strait jacket of mental righteousness
I betrayed every color known to intelligent man, betrayed
All manner of species, the savant and the dunce,
The psychotic and the safeling. My leaps
Across nature came across not as my own cross
To bear but only a stiff anger to share.

I betrayed parrot-trust
And far, far worse than a case of the sniffles,
I fell mute like a genesis idiot into a muddy blank puddle
And deserted my own trust, I soured my own fruits,
Became my own bust as well as well
Becomes us.

And so this black pulp handherchief,
Modifier, predicate, subjunctive—I dedicate
To those infants troubled for communication.
I've sold what I had to
To regain those conclusions lost in the flood
Like footprints and genitals and sunrise deliverances
And intangibles explaining the indecent, the misunderstood.
Oft deluded, we've eased
Into Thursday without scale warning
Sitting on a park bench hoping
To sanctify the next bus out together loitering
Separately in myalgic coffins reserved for
The dead by ignorance joking
On the course of someone else's weather.
And Friday is on its way.

Too many pauses, too many unanswered syllables.
And how are we, the ceaselessly tired,
To get rid of forever
This relationship of too many clauses? Do you forbid,
Great Spyder Solomon Center of the Unknowable Universe,
This beggard merchant of weak expression,
Passage on wave, oh mouth
Sea chanter of foam? Come!
Come swiftly let us seek to bring simple meaning
To the borrowed transcript that's intimately
Our own.

III. Tasteless, Odorless, Colorless

A winless victor,
Carousing, gives way to blunt splashes of young footsteps
Splashing in salvaged blank puddles.
Or when old odysseys
Just aren't qualified to teach us
Any more—
They become brain twisters,
Storms of personality
Falling on both the good and the evil.
Inning after inning no score.
They can't reach us.
Home base an inoperable store
Closed by faith floods and wind damage.
Kinetic roar.

But who said it first?
Abandoning our griefs together, understanding
What's never been spoken, and speaking
To decide more frankly
The mere fragments
Fading full into fair equity,
We're just waiting to wax profound.
Then we'll call out a new perfume.

Our needs are as complex
As the birth of a mystical child,
Regardless of race, creed, or divisibility by zero.
(The latter—a mathematical expense of extinction.)
For the intellect must caress
The one understanding
Issues done especially for us.
Still vaguely dressed
By words the serpent stings.
Pssst.... Wednesday perfume!

Comfort alone when forced to strip
As citizens of impatience rip
Strays with devices a burning lip
Still running overcrowded numbers.
While war sucks weather and doghouse blues
Into camp offers we must refuse
Walking through detour signs of booze
Explaining a flash diet of fresh cucumbers.
And where cane swamp visionary wares
Remind us there of social stares
Behind dark windows lipless pairs
Reward refined pet slumbers,
Gloving twisted riddles rhymed in time
Studied park benches zoning mad crime
Babies bought on bar room lime
Whose scents surveyed skirt lumbers.

Some half-fucked figure.
A boy of atmosphere. Nothing much, probably.
But who among us is safe in a drawer
Of subliminals?

[1980, Lofton Creek, FL ]


23 May

Yesterday's gone to sleep
waiting for her husband to return from the plant
where soot finds its way into his very dignity
clothing his shame in layers of insult too twisted to recant.

Yesterday's alone with child
sitting in the backroom of the artist's studio
where he will pay her to reveal her very dignity
painting her memoirs in colors her husband wouldn't know.

Yesterday's grown to hate
all men and women who killed her husband and child
with cathedral bells buying and selling her very dignity
knowing nothing could ever be reconciled.

(Many years later)
Yesterday's shown no favor
declaring the artist serves no one from inside a jail
where neither mind nor beauty can save its very dignity
blaspheming birth as eternal blackmail.


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