Posts Tagged ‘poem’

Poem For Zool (Said and Done)

16 May

We speak with the language of war.
We laugh with the language of peace.
Knowing that all life is born of crisis,
punctuated by brief periods of solace,
we also know that after all is said and done,
we shall never cheat infinity, nor shall we
extinguish the mark of a single thought.

We dance with the jubilee of victors.
We mock with the anger of Kleptos.
Mixing politics and art never batting an eye,
energized by duty and dreams from our youth,
we also know that after all is said and done,
we shall never cheat infinity, nor shall we
extinguish the mark of a single thought.

We grace new fables with heavily nuanced figures of speech,
we spring along bouncy digits of man-made digital sound,
agreeing to violins, we love a glass of iced tea,
we matriculated to earn blue terrors in secret,
we also know that after all is said and done,
we shall never cheat infinity, nor shall we
extinguish the mark of a single
blind thought.

We walk past more or less choices each year.
We run with the bulls into summer homes.
Knowing that all life is born of crisis,
punctuated by brief periods of solace,
we also know that after all is said and done,
we shall never cheat infinity, nor shall we
extinguish the mark of a single thought.

We speak with the language of war.
We laugh with the language of peace.
Knowing that all life is born of crisis,
punctuated by brief periods of solace,
we also know that after all is said and done,
we shall never cheat infinity, nor shall we
extinguish the mark of a single thought.

Time Sleeps Close To Earth Now

20 Mar

Time sleeps close to earth
now as we groan without irony,
asking bright future,

where is thy promise? Sinister factors
threaten with extinction the entire global nest
as proud terrors of control
and fickle poisons of chaos
are unleashed

to give us all a taste of the wicked ruins.

ALL nations and ALL peoples
must recognize and name
this ever-pursuing power grab
which separates the wheat
from the chaff in its own
peculiar language.

It is time my friends to acquire the future.

[2000, Washington, DC ]

You've Got Mail From Ravi Of India

14 Mar


Ravi Of India


Date: Sat, 14 Mar 1998 21:06:46

Dear Gabriel,

Finally, I am glad that I got a reply to my endeavour. You are really honest. Good, I like such people. After all, what is a man going to get by hiding, except the title "HYPOCRITE". Although your tone was serious but I love to accept facts. I love to make friends afterall we have one life, ain't it?. I don't have friends out side India. So, I wanted one. And today I got one.

Regarding me, as I told you I am 22years old and the only child of my parents. My father works in a Government factory. I completed my Engineering last year and I am learning JAVA Programming Language now, as there is a huge demand for Software Engineers in India.I don't have access to Internet as you do.I get access to it twice or thrice a week, so my reply may be a little bit delayed. So, please be patient.

I am 5feet 8inches tall and weigh 56Kg.Let me tell you some of my Do's and Dont's.

1) Smocking
2) taking Alcohol
3) watching Movies.
4) tacking Drugs(Oh! it's a very big word to me)

I didn't have sex so far.I want to have it with my wife alone.Hey, don't be in a hurry, I don't have any proposals right now. Marriage after 3 years. Let me tell you one secret. I haven't touched a girl either, with a few exceptions, when I accidentally fell on them when the driver of the bus applied brakes suddenly.

Do you think I am bluffing or not honest? I don't know what you believe in, else I would have sweared by that. But I am telling you the truth. I hate Hypocrites. And I don't want to be such a one. Coming to my Do's
1) I believe in GOD very firmly.
2) I read mostly spiritual Books.
3) I like Cricket(as india is a bit good in Cricket)
4) making friends and adjusting myself to their nature.

I am a Hindu by birth. But, in the year 1993 November, I gave my heart to JESUS and my parents followed me soon. I love this complete man, son of GOD and the only Saviour. My family is the only one who accepted Christianity among my relatives. Although I don't believe in the word "Christianity" still CHRIST is my LORD. After all it's not religion which saves a sinner but CHRIST. I fell in love with HIM and I enjoy it every moment of my day. I read the Old Testament 4 times and the new nearly 10 times.

As the sunday descends, it's a festival to us. We go to the Church in the morning at 10 A.M and return back in the afternoon at 2P.M. We have a youth meeting in the evening for one hour.
You might call me religious. Yes, I am. After all we belong to HIM. Am I boring You? No....isn't it?.

Coming to my city, I live in Hyderabad which is having a population of 6 million. This is a big city, following Bombay,Calcatta,Delhi,Madras and Bangalore. Hyderabad is the capital city of the state Andhra Pradesh adjacent to Madras.

The big problem in India is the over population. As a result, very little value is given to the human life. Even if a man is murdered at a cross road on a busy day, nobody cares about the dead man. They just don't want to trouble themselves.

Corruption is another devil here.If you want to get some work done, you got to give a bribe (they call it inam (gift)). If you have money, that's it. You are a raja (king).

Even though India is a multicultural, multilinguistic still there are many loopholes inside. You know how badly the Britishers treated Indians, still we haven't learned the lessons. We today treat a fellow man as a Britisher does. Even though we got freedom from British rule still we are slaves to selfish motives of the heart.

In India it is hard to say that you are a christian. The society treats them as untouchables. Not just that, they threaten you to leave the faith and might even assault you. But you have to make a decision whether to please men or GOD. Even the Government takes back some of the facilities given to a hindu if he converts. We have religious freedom but at the same time some unseen troubles. I thank GOD that this is slowly changing.

In America you have very good Christians like Billy Graham, Oral Roberts and John Osteen. I consider this to be the reason why America is so prosperous.

I am really happy that you don't have cancer but, at the same time I am pricked in heart to know that you have to undergo a surgery. I assure you of my fervent prayers and wish that everything becomes fine very soon.

Can you send me an American poem on the love of GOD. Please don't say No. Please do write to me some tips, on web designing.

Is the President Bill Clinton safe from the clutches of Monica Levinsky? In India B.J.P is likely to form the government at the center with the help of nearly 10 parties. It may not be too long before we go for another Election.

Please send me Your postal address in the reply if you don't mind.

Your's in Love,

G.Ravi Kumar
[address withheld]

For GOD so loved the world that HE gave HIS only begotten SON that Who so ever believes in HIM shall not perish but have everlasting LIFE.(Roman 10:9). He, that said I know HIM and keep not HIS commands, is a liar and the truth is not in HIM.(1john2:4).
Sir Gabriel, do you know HIM personally? If not please accept HIM. For LORD said "Taste me and know that I am good". Please taste HIM.

Charles Bukowski Where It Counts

26 Sep


The poet Charles Bukowski


Date: Thu Sep 26, 1996 6:48:50 PM America/New_York

To the Editors of The L.A. Free Press,
November 15, 1974

Hello editors:

Regarding the Lynne Bronstein letter of Nov. 15 about my story of Nov. one:

1. The story was about pretentiousness in art. The fact that the pretender had female organs had nothing to do with the story in total. That any female made to look unfavorable in a story must be construed as a denunciation of the female as female is just so much guava. The right of the creator to depict characters any way he must remains inviolate—whether those characters are female, black, brown, Indian, Chicano, white, male, Communist, homosexual, Republican, peg-legged, mongolian and/or ?

2. The story was a take-off on an interview with an established female poet in a recent issue of Poetry Now. Since I have been interviewed for a future issue of the same journal and for future editions of Creem and Rolling Stone, my detractors will get their chance to see how I hold or fail under similar conditions.

3. When the narrator lets us know that he has Janice Altrice's legs in mind might infer more that he is bored with the poetry game, and also might infer that he could have a poolhall, dirty joke mind, at times. That the narrator might be attacking himself instead of trying to relegate the lady back to a "sex object" evidently is beyond the belief of some so-called Liberated women. Whether we like it or not, sex and thoughts of sex do occur to many of us (male and female) at odd and unlikely times. I rather like it.

4. That "she is indeed speaking for Bukowski himself, who has expressed a similar contempt for unknown poets who give each other support." The lady spoke for herself. Her "contempt" was toward poets not academically trained. My dislike is toward all bad poetry and toward all bad poets who write it badly—which is most of them. I have always been disgusted with the falsity and dreariness not only of contemporary poetry but of the poetry of the centuries—and this feeling was with me before I got published, while I was attempting to get published, and it remains with me now even as I pay the rent with poesy. What kept me writing was not that I was so good but that that whole damned gang was so bad--when they had to be compared to the vitality and originality that was occurring in the other art forms. As to those who must gather together to give port, I am one with Ibsen: "the strongest me alone."

5. "Now that he's well-known and the only California poet published by Black Sparrow Press, he thinks that nobody else is entitled to be a poet—especially women, My dear lady: you are entitled to be whatever you can be; if you can leap twenty feet straight up into the air or sweep a 9 race card at Western harness meet, please go ahead and do so.

6. "A lot of us think there's more to write poetry about than beer, drunks, hemorrhoids, and how rotten the world is." I also think there's more to write poetry about than that and I do so.

7. "Female artists, on the other hand, try to be optimistic." The function of the artist is not to create optimism but to create art—which sometimes may be optimistic and sometimes can't be. The female is bred to be more optimistic than the male because of a function she has not entirely escaped as yet, the bearing of the child. After passing through pregancy and childbirth, to call life a lie is much more difficult.

8. "Could it be that the male is 'washed-up' as an artist, that he has no more to say except in his jealousy, to spit on the young idealists and the newly freed voices of women?" Are these the thought concepts you come up with in your "ego-boosting" sessions? Perhaps you'd better take a night off.

9. "Poetry is an art form. Like all art it is subjective and it does not have sex organs." I don't know about your poems, Lynne, but mine have cock and balls, eat chili peppers and walnuts, sing in the bathtub, cuss, fart, scream, stink, smell good, hate mosquitoes, ride taxicabs, have nightmares and love affairs, all that.

10. "... without being negative ..." I thought they'd ridden this horse to death; it's the oldest of the oldest hats. I first heard it around the English departments of LA highschool in 1937. The inference, when you call somebody "negative" is that you completely remove them from the sphere because he or she has no basic understanding of life forces and meanings. I wouldn't be caught using that term while drunk on a bus to Shreveport.

11. I don't care for Longfellow or McKuen either, although they both possess (possessed) male organs. One of the best writers I knew of was Carson McCullers and she had a female name. If my girlfriend's dog could write a good poem or a decent novel I'd be the first to congratulate the beast. That's LIBERATED!

12. Shit, I ought to get paid for this.

Charles Bukowski ©1974

I was 28 years old however before I ever uttered my first curse words aloud, so ingrained was my early parental training and youthful leanings. I moved to DC, donned a leather jacket, infiltrated its punk rock scene, made some drunken guitar friends, consciously worked to fit in so diligently that I apparently overdid it by all accounts but my own, and soon my mouth became the crowded gutter my poor southern heart apparently was meant to reveal.
A swashbuckler, that CB was, no doubt. He was always concerned about getting paid, but then I know I am too, and only Sue pays me a whiff, so I must admit I feel terribly obligated to succeed on some level or the other in due time although I would simply love to "create art and suppress it" as Len Bracken preaches from the idealogical remnants of his own hero Debord, while privately scavenging for fame and fortune with an high energy drink clenched in both fists like none other in my own flattened circle, but I digress.

I think this was some pretty cheeky thinking, although the political correctness crowd had hardly stormed the gates at this point, merely the first and second waves of feminism, and the first stirrings of the gay assault on the closet. Bukoswki hit the mark as far as I am concerned, although I am certainly no great fan of his so-called poetry, and have never bought a book of his poems. His minimalist-styled novels are decent enough as a reflection of a down and out substrata of humanity, but I hardly call his work great writing. But his theory abides mine. This ain't no touchy feely world we live in and report from. Life is cruel even among the most civilized and friendly of friendlies. And while I question rock and rap and even these action adventure flicks on the grounds of perpetuating a sad influence upon impressionable minds (and whom dares brag of having an unimpressionable mind), I certainly am no adherant of the Disneyfied approach to artistic expression. The Jean-Jacques Rousseau idea of keeping young minds pure until they reach the age of eighteen, characterized in his novel Émile has had a good run in the West. It seemingly has failed.

But on a side note: personal liberty and more specifically, the abolition of slavery and the notion of equal rights is uniquely a western male idea as Dinesh D'Sousa, of East Indian descent, points out very poignantly in his own book. No other culture in the history of humanity can touch what Jefferson and his cronies idealized in the late eighteenth century. But here I go again, venturing out of the CB parameter.

"...and while talking to him I learned something: Larry Flynt (publisher of the Hustler skinflynt) ain't just kidding about his religious stance. The copy editor told me that my story had several "god damns" in it and Larry wouldn't allow God to be used like that in his mag so my people instead of saying "god damn" would have to end up saying "damn"..."

Now that's bizarre. Seems I recall plenty of filthy religious cartoons and shit, but Flynt (as any wacko eccentric we know is prone) is weird about combining this word and that word... Seems Jehovah and even Jesus were quite adept at damning this and that whenever the mood was ripe for a curse or two, but this fear of uttering God and DAMN in the same breath is really astonishing. I was 28 years old however before I ever uttered my first curse words aloud, so ingrained was my early parental training and youthful leanings. I moved to DC, donned a leather jacket, infiltrated its punk rock scene, made some drunken guitar friends, consciously worked to fit in so diligently that I apparently overdid it by all accounts but my own, and soon my mouth became the crowded gutter my poor southern heart apparently was meant to reveal.


Deviant Cubes

06 Sep


Francine Faure & Albert Camus


1. If Albert Camus Had Taken a Train
Dead on arrival. The announcement shook the cold audience from their lethargic gaze spearing the heart of everything they did. Still hiccupping for comic effect he returned to the dark alley behind the headlines to cover his tracks with stiff kisses. Snow blown hesitation is often poor evidence in this part of the city by order of law, but the additional opportunity for melting those hearts often led a certain type of man and many women to a life of disorder. Dirge slander prevailed over the rising costs of average blueberry sympathies, as food court prices were scalloping, less similar to the mollusks than the verses we used to sing in Presbyterian school to the potatoes all rotten Francine Faure liked to fix two meals a day, thrice on the Lord's Day (after deciding to violate the Sabbath). Violin music had ceased to amaze the child in these misguided hipsters filtering in and out of our house she groaned, mostly still claiming to be interested in the same pasty French things as the sober English they were. Petty interests in common house pets came first in the squandered lives of these new inaccurate aristocrats. Misplaced affections frequenting bookstalls was his; absurd vowels and missing pronouns in hers. Francine was beautiful like Ricki Lee, eyes like skylarks in the theatre. (Negating the five-fingered discount on daylight savings time American readers would assume, giving shaded responses to analytically buffed sophistication. Trains produced mass upheaval across the globe but would center these writers more or less prepared to correct the sanitation problems facing them much more than an appearance on the Jeopardy Show during Tournament of Champions week could provide. A select few of them joined the local Guestlist Gestapo, went undercover into the nightclub life where one's own promised land of little return on one's investment broke into happiness. Too much information, said one pacifist. No need for violence, snickered another. But it was all a joke somebody else said. Nobody really smiled outside the strike zone anymore. Yes, they would win points and prizes as sillies and defenders of the amorally elite, alas, becoming the worst opportunistic sort of chivalrous cheesetaster, but Albert bolted, hired a stranger, and left the fluids to fend off the fleas themselves. Even a vacation to the heartbeat of Rebellion Nation proved a miserable failure. Francine could only wince. As a final splash of artistic flimflam lancing her vigorous distaste for symmetry in any creed, her Betty Rules blouse was ripped just below her left breast, some say for show, of course, while others chalked it up to sheer coincidence and a matter deferred to the weekly Me Too meeting. Symmetry claimed cumulative error. No clue from the proofs, admitted Camus on the train. Some literary cowtow from the other side of lunacy had lingered there in the rip for three weeks straight, but she smiled as only she could, without ironing boards. The bottom line inspector sent her straight to Sisyphus, always the intimate familiar to her man.


Man Ray

2. Man Ray Eats A Sandwich Without Mayo
Looking for law and above average lawns in all their punative stages cannot and should not be compared to reading Dostoevsky on a summer's day hoping to learn something useful enough to turn a dollar. Fortunately for our heroes in transition (before a picture could be taken), juxtaposition was not only its own reward, it paid dividends at certain times in history. The lips galore movement cast an inverse salute to Assassins Anonymous and the work they have done in turban areas south of Detroit, now a thriving ruin thanks to a package from Céline. Only Sophie Glass and her boyfriend Jackfred Wilson dare stir slightly the limbs agile photographers keep. (Enter past tense with gusto.) Every aisle thick with scores of rag gossipers on high horses broke rank regardless of the lack of ventilation in the swirling tunnels. Finally in a call to arms, Sophie thought she alone heard a loud shriek as if a message from the B side. "The mix & match word's already been given, and you're not getting it again!" shouted the ghost of Lee. Anticipation slurred the speech of all those who broke bread with the old Fleetwood hearse fishmongers on strike. The bluff was not taken. Anticipation dropped off the edge like Columbus should have, said Sophie cracking a nickel smile, forgetting that her glass ceiling changes into diamond hooks anywhere near where Man Ray tries to shake a leg with Lee. Concluding their mutual witness of such emissions, Sophie and Jackfred shattered the dark silence with a rapid succession of sleazy infrared shots. Again the audience gasped in harmony with the pitter patter of visual demands made on each one of them as justice prevailed in the form of New Legislation made into Flesh and the two ventriloquy snappers hacked through the vines of cozy confession, no questions asked. Remarks of this type and talent would surely redeem them from the tight provocations their own spouses would dutifully employ as a mechanism for financial equality, thought Sophie in a more serious mood. Certainly at the very minimum, for household maneuvers. Sounds good? Wrong! A twig snapped and she then remembered her own husband's fixating words on the blur just before she shot him completely flooded, accessible, all four and a sixteenth inches in paw straddled over a picture of Sophie Glass as a young child. Betraying her professional cool she would use these words against him posthumously in a court of tooth and claw. "Kafka my darling, I need to use you, confuse you in every way, so please don't stop chortling and etching me in your own chosen obscene way, "No, please don't lock me out, you cocky bastard!" They buried him in a small justified plot without fanfare, although a high ranking member of a new society more partial to Les Paul. To crown her history, Lee Miller built a feast of killer Egyptian skills when the gallery failed. Sophie was satisfied Jackfred approved.

3. If the Shoe Fits


Gertrude Pickelsimmer

Tables and tables of tables and tables of tables of tables tend to forget to properly identify the birthmark of their creator. This oversight will be rectified in the next edition by the egg plagiarist fat with knowledge only a spin actress requires. Please remit this coupon, he adds, with full payment. "Get it right the very first time," prunes a sassy Gertrude Picklesimmer, an old friend and a recovering gene along the lines of Epidrome the Fanatic. Ethiopian cuisine draws her in for a late night haranguing, her favorite activity, antique clothing optional, high tech teeth required. In another chapter, curtsy Jane Getz, the Amway doll with unimpaired bust from East Anchorage realizes in a fit of mid-range seriousness that the thoughtcrime she'd committed during her afterdinner phase taken in L'hotel Egmont was simply not curable by enforced comparitive thinking classes, if she was to remain an American Doll (unrelated to the Picklesimmer neurosis.) Quickly, she fell to the dixie grass, pulled off her panty-hose in two swift movements and tossed them to the young Republican standing by in a selfless gesture, solely for party unity. Jane like Gertrude gave out a loud sigh, and with her far left exploding right hand she smeared her lipstick across Bruno's pretty face, her pushy left hand tugging at the rope she had obediently placed around her thin orange neck. (Oh forgive me father for what I am about to forget. The drink! The drink!) Then, withdrawn, she joined the stereo people, who took her life savings and doubled it on the troubled market, bridging the gap between the moderate liberals and the far-right wing tapdancers of the Reagan years still crying out for a fresh look into the morals of those less crowded by the ennuendos of the straight & narrow electorate. All that's needed, dictates the Leader-at-Arms, is a simple majority of those who have the right to vote and swear that you'll vote with your pot bellies this time, Kid Scissors, and yes, you, George, may sit at my right hand, and you Bruno, let's hear your story. Bruno's position in Cologne was little short of royal. Indeed, his brother Otto bestowed upon Bruno a number of royal privileges—the right to build fortifications and set up markets, to strike coins, collect and keep such taxes as the special ones on Jews in return for royal protection, and tolls from traffic along the Rhine. Bruno perished on October 11, 965 AD at the age of forty. Gertrude, we are told, for sake of provenance, kept her Dutch Masters in a Larry Rivers cigar box the flamboyant young Hamlet could never advance.


The History of Man

4. Persuasion Is No Longer Possible
Dead on arrival! Thunk. The Plague Syndrome. Fear. Ugliness. Filth. Sterility. It seems we wait for crocodiles to defile us, suck us into the Mississippi while both Twain and Truman sprout buffalo wings in hopes of a superior, more incestuous vision to supply our air fragile economies with invincible Whitmanesque nurses, naughty but anxious to uncoil our turmoils and further relate them to the Final Quest—getting laid in a grave six feet over or under, multiplying the fast game of infinity by zero and dust over idea. Rationality gives no suck to thirsty camels. Neither beckons them homeward. Should we survive them, a brittle postulate hardly seems a hardy substitute for love in a two-way window. Here entered the earnest Beatniks with not a single plan to boil except speed. Then the Hippies, home of the shaggy truth, cocked for revolution. The Discognitos where sweat said it all. Then the Punks where boredom and displacement swapped places at the table with the rest of our problems, unmasked but redundant. Then the Preppies (always primping close by whilst all the others storm in uninvited) proud to be rich and beautiful and well-spoken for, taking few prisoners. Then the skinhead pioneer revival where hatred and gentrification meet its makers. Then rush in the angriest of the angry, the Rappers, civil unrest the Messiah. Then the Ravers wiggled about nothing, nothing at all but nothing. Hark, a parade of horribles clutters my role, tracing these high profile movements of hair and guitar. Here they roared in thunderous herds, laying blame at my feet, and I welcomed them in variation of my soul. Contrapunctus night steals the hit playlist, and swelling, rhetorical voices all suggest the same fluctuating plot, the same arguments of straw woven into myth and mirth similarly disposed, seamless and useless to us now except as fashion quirk projectory flying loose in the machinery of the next breath and acceptable on that basic gut level in private until watching the Eternal Clock, the staid gentlemen of the silver-tongued coif, just laugh into a gold box guaranteed to mock us concerning this sanity of despair—the generational enemy.


All Else Is Glue

5. Turn That Goddamned Television Off
The wars in Africa have passed into the streets of our nation's capitol right up my doorstep. Riots are eating up all the quality time spent with our children, our flowers, our bitterness, our race to the top. The age of reason traded far too many future draft picks and company loyalty of the free for contract certainty. Ringing in my ears! Reclusive, guzzling beer, awaiting my own murder, humming the hymns of great speckled confusion. Yes, I'm sick and I'm tired. Proof is the existence of having to defend the fact that I'm not brown, beautiful, or divine, nor white, rich, and guaranteed at job at the firm of my choice, nor yellow, well connected, and ground into powder for a better shot, nor blue, better off, and belly up on futures, fame, and flava, nor green, cuter still, and built for the frontier just ahead, nor purple, well-hung, and a literary gimme, nor pale, a whiz kid keeper, and a gift to my generation but a sword, nor any other multiple choice identification rite I can't inhale because I'm just a poor lost freckle from a single malt river town far away from when red-winged blackbirds reigned upon the bloody marshes of a dull gray past. Dead on arrival! Ringing in my ears! This icon, this city of Washington tucked away like a puckered nipple between two states is the center of my attention span, the bloodshed of hacks with a knack for sacking, and I shall fear no evil, though I walk through the valley of inconvenience and misunderstanding a glass darkly. Astonished I lie down in unqualified pastures to anointeth my role, to scour the enigma off my soul. I choke on my resistence. And jump head first into deep waters to pluck out a thumbless axiom. There is no comfort. To survive I must so choose, and I would then call my publisher if I had one, to scrub myself raw, to loosen myself from sterile explanations. Soon comes the resurrection, the comic moaned to a thousand laughs per showdown. I will just kiss my nation gently on her historically lightweight wrists. And pray that America wakes up from her synthetic nightmare in time to realize that street violence belongs in the mind, not on someone else's pillow case. (You must be able to enjoy the phallic to overcome the nausea.) "Mobility is not a luxury. You should be able to sense the experience in taking aim at the top of the line, but you can't put a price on walking the walking, so don't bank all the credit until you've paid your big boy dues," my grandfather always told me. Born into a family of achievers, the ancient blood had dried to a trickle, fickling fates for each of us as these 1950s parents flogged the joke with the best they had to share, and for us there was no money back guarantee. There was one thing I knew like the back of my hand. Poverty. So I write about poverty, failure. judgement and blame. The point is this: My talents may be real but more than likely they may be worthless. In poverty we trust. Anything else is glue.


Thinking Is Plural

6. Help Wanted
Thinking is plural. We often do when our mirrors fog. Scores ago, in the quaint southern town where we first roamed the wild plains of youth, stripped to the bone of any cobalt innocense, a young Auntie Charlemagne scolded us, pinching our bohemian cheeks, for an expression of heroism we'd just muttered without zip code or return address. In quiet preparation for what we'd later state more boldly and naturally, a masquerade of moods if not something sweeter flourished among us. This was not to be an ordinary namedropping event. Even smart cameras were too inexpensive to matter much anymore. Data dumps became irrelevant. "Life is imagination, and imagination is life," the twins gave us. "Honest reflection never took a dive on my watch," said three of the still highly impressionable boys. Beauty ever brief is the point of pushing forward what's right, even if the trout ain't jumping. We'll not be played for a sucker. That would be fatalistic. We'll not be pinned down. And we'll have no part of that all-star team, either. Here, take this thorn of careless roses. They originate with Our Lady of the Flowers, and should last you all the way to the end of the match. Charlemagne was eight years younger than our mother, her sister, and less a threat to our limited ambitions as kids in Keds® and exciting new candy apple fire in the hole crotch rockets to bang the victory march clearly, but this isn't news to graceful runners of rubber and cotton, silk and leather, stainless steel and yellow cake in a century that broke all the rules it bent. We admitted to preferring the light sting of paint when pressed for another shot in the arm; we learned to desire the violent scrawl of plastic numbers and just plain nonsense when left alone, the cueing of love, the always amazing zing of intimacy, yet drawing more and more detached, warped into shapes and thrusts of uncertainty principles in redoubting the early cloaked fodder of protective joy. Sure we each saw the world differently, who doesn't? Have you ever play politics with your marbles? Proven consistency would hold sway in every English-speaking country for not more than another thirty-nine years while the nation slept and sold itself pennies on the dollar to the wrecking crew. I'd gone back to a familiar block to study the ruins without regard to further negotiations. With arms in the sky, childhood friendship was never as dangerous to my faultline as the weather that surprised evn way back then. Sprawling ice sculptures cling from an outdoor spigot. We froze and we melted in impossible tasks of finding an enchanting angular, gripped and primed, ripe for the plunge into theory and advance, figurehead of respect, who, inspired by exemplary control, feels no hounding shame in dominating by accessible tool unavailable to our struggling leather saint and his epistomologic quest back to the founder of his words, lives from hour to hour without submitting exactly what she wanted to us to reach. This was indeed news we corrected.


I Am I

7. Out To Lunch Naked
I recanted publically. But this repentence tasted of kerosene and five unidentifiable culprits laughing behind grotesque clay statues of stool pigeons in drag, still poked at my sores with three icy fingers their dormant appearance to contrive had not melted down into ingot and pure coke oven ore, which would come later after I graduated high school. About forty seconds earlier, which seemed like forty looks, this scarlet smile had asked me to unhook the strap prize of her feminine apparrel. I complied without question except those few which lingered like injured love tigers curled silently against my tattooed chest. My graceless blurtations spinned calculus webs glory spat back into the wind no wedding bells could seduce, but by golly intriguing enough during that honest infidel period of my own due process to cast a spell of orthography against the cholesterol I had coming, no thanks to Frank Sinatra, my way. I intuited precious unspoken dignity when a single scrapbook underwent neanderthalic blazing which emphasized a year, like sun time, like gestation, like plantation gods in heat, I'd never forget. No underexposed image would ever be too painful, ever too explicit, as we sank our two front teeth into learning choices could never be too exacting or too curved. In this accelerated culture it is uncouth hurray to deny our vulturous past or that its predicated smell of shame was that of fire not of wood or maybe, but, odorless, tasteless, tactless, raging in colors of gymnastic marbles, vast unmentionable hues of pit, pull, and passion. Only my credentials can whisper its own name's burnt cosmos, an encryption that the stars and fumes of gravity prepare for the next great thing in sudden gestures an average life stores away as the best it ever got to making lemonade. Such was the first girl in the last year of eventual market-share quibble. Her vexing fruit boxed, this maximum torque of nature secured its own pitch and yaw with hashtags of shuttle diplomacy furnishing a snapshot; a calling dress of bulb-white linen descending to its gifted position upon her kindling fuss, a flesh frothing with evidence of crude conviction, of unpublished zest, and lasting pleat. It was Ava, Ava, the mockingbird sister in this sister visit stronghold, standing still as sharp as Lizzy's jawbone, as crooked as Freddy's dial tone, and twice as snarky and bold on the beach. Then I moved ever slightly over to Eva, my Eva, my very own flaxen haired Eva, staging me young, hung, penned down in Indiana. Shy, standard issue, and tender, shared a bucket of saliva in underaged wire-rimmed suspension on a bender. But mismanagement began long before with red flux, well-read Juanita, just as the applesauce left the branch, the worry worm, the wink, the pinch to the boy-tight buttocks, the cheeks, behind. The cosmos too, configuring us with the math, the wrath, and the aftermath of two sisters and what was left of Hamlet's mother, leaving us all to ask, what could possibly go wrong with three virgins and half a nod? And we'll leave out Leah. Nothing battleworthy ever swept this clutter of sublime victories into the sea but the nailed down kisses of periwinkle imagination never left those shores.


Bringing It All Back Home

8. Bring Us Another Round Of Abelard
Then there was this other game turtle. Her name was written in stone, but I never learned how to pronounce what I read on her driver's license. She, in her early eyes dark with nuance, stretched like a vanquished dancer among gargantuan fates making breeze her garland through mahogany-silk hair and other dazzling inspectables from Istanbul. She offered with a wink that I could call her Sam, since I had trouble with the stone. It was here American name, she said. I pulled at the arbitrating cloth, brilliantly keen in brave foul textures of the sexual armistice. The fair. The frantic. I said she could call me Gabriel, although I also had other names I went by in other places. She said she was ready for another hit. I immediately compared these symptoms to those I'd experienced with quick lather, ammo, and ecclesiastical bubbles when dared I remember how fear touched herself there among the whirlybird sweaties. Tightly I drew at her skirt until the static pressure flushed both of us, gazing into her aura, the moon, and the arc of her swoon, unphotographed wormholes of beauty crushed into shapes and color escapes, clutching with a long-fingered paw my prepared identity, my meager knowledge, my Himalayan heart where monks have stormed. Again she paused for another drag of cigarette proving that she did smoke like a Turk, just as she had told me she did before we'd undressed each other on her quite American beige couch. I hated the smell and the taste of tobacco, so I took another swig from the bottle of strange mixture she had offered. Kissing me about the pointless cheeks, she grabbed my hair, then my unproven mouth, each probing tongue wet like childbrain songs long since dormant. Finally I exhaled, and reached for her dark marshmallow clowns with one numbing touch. I had to go for the reckoning, some chainthinking, some internal molecule linking, had to press for that unknown limitation, neither expecting to give nor receive any sweeping social advantage, only impulse. "Enough!" she sharply directed, and I quickened to a freeze, embarrassed by her familiarity of the rite. Her anger tasted of its own 120 proof. I slackened my shoulders, dismayed, distraught, disdained, and maybe diseased, as I shuffled from the now chilly room, never to return until I had come of age.

[1996, Washington, DC ]

A Toast To An Equality Bum

30 Apr


"Don't expect me to shut you up..."


Originally published on April 30, 1996

Yo Steve, your gnat is gnawing at my forehead. Was too depressed, especially after re-reading your clutch notes yesterday to respond with anything worth a van Gogh ear. Did get back to Tom Howell, however. He's a practicing HTML author now, quite proud in his jest, and sent his brag to "Gabriel" just like family. He always manages to bring a smile and leave with sarcastic froth in his mouth.

Your job as literary mariner, erudite barrister of science, and master of the elements of conventional style, often paint you as a strange man on a high horse. Both creatures of signature bombast—delight in sporting the absolute finest in men's Italian shoes and scarves, dark shades and French lids—but the only one of you whom I love dearly is however, combining three parts incredulity and two parts wrecklessness a fifth at a time in taking its existential toll on me. A small justifiable toll, I grant, so is one I recognize and simply weather, like you do the gale storms I sail your way just to show you I know we're both bobbleheading in the same pernicious seas. That's just the price we pay for playing ourselves in real life. I'd sweat doughnuts to have your job in some office working on the best Mac in the land laying out a century-old nationally-subscribed monthly magazine. So there's to gravy, now to the grease.

Wish I could help you in your continuing status search, but one quick glance into the mirror in the age of the button down suit and cleavage bearing white blouse or comfortable sweater is solid evidence I have failed to measure up in the corporate fashion department. Just color me uncomfortable in my own clothes, skin, and genetic slingshot. You are well-groomed, great teeth and jawline, always have a domestic parachute with two active parents of immediate and sustainable pedigree, and are riding a career path with options in both the here and now and then whatever else opens up down the pike worth pursuing, but you slum like a rogue, fester in cubicle culture disputes and self-imagined feuds in the corporate world you actually own in character and candlepower, so as a result it is your fate to have stumbled all the way down to us. Gabriel the post-engineer stay at home white cracker punk rock pin-up stooge from a crumpled past, and then there's Tim, the drug-infested slum child, roll your own bicycle hop, pick 'em up, put 'em down, broken collar bone shipwreck reeling from such a farce of family unity that we, Tim and I, stand front and center as those two imaginary sticks of dynamite you keep in your saddlebag for blowing yourself out of this job and into another because you imagine the game is all in jest, a jovial antediluvian joust, a sealed with a handshake junket to the top rungs of the corporate ladder in a few hops or less. Been there, done that, mister. Only the entertainment savant can come out of nowhere. Everyone else waits in line because there are far more people chasing your job than there are struggling for a record contract, as queer as that sounds.

There is still some confusion in my box whether she knew her spanky new luggage was due at the house yesterday. It came, but was delivered across the street to house no. 110. Don’t even know those people, but I do know the neighborhood and let’s just say we were lucky to get our package. Insert racist remark here.
So here I am. A captive of my own mind at ease. Took a rusted out old cargo boat straight to the bottom of the sea that will never be. Trust you'll grip the bow tighter for a better aim than I did. Be careful in whom you hustle with your wrinkles and your rhymes, your jokes and your throwaway shines. And once you leave the game, you can never get back in at a level you think you deserve. Not from these chambers. That sort of hopscotch is reserved for those who have already beat the game once and earned that immunity, that pass, and never really left their circle but just took a sidebar. But's let's not kid ourselves, once you've embraced the deadbeat, the deadbeat will never embrace you.

Friendly messianic impulses recoil as we try to separate the body from the mind, or the mind from its redeemer, commander, or jolly hat sized mimic, accompanied by the same long checklist of equivocating characteristics we've known about ourselves from the earliest memories of our own precocious lives, characteristics and traits we name just so we can slap them about the therapy room, traits we probably called by different names then, but as we begin to learn that words have consequences only when backed by power structure assets that reject language as important, do we embrace the paradox of greater understanding. It is then that conservative idea must come to pass in out lives again. This is the genetic or scientific approach we sense as the true path, or else we stumble across it like hobos, remember hobos, crossing over the rails for a better view of the same thousand feet of track, and figure we don't have a white man's chance in Harlem to actually re-invent ourselves to suit the new opportunities we find writing code in flipping mash upon our former world in word and picture, skin and tragedy, speed and oblivion, frick and frack. We clutch for hope that our highest aspiration remains our surest fallback position as we dally with a strengthening opposition. Yes, just like that rolling stone you admire, no contribution known...

My own most glorious excitement of the day was Sue allowing, even offering to keep the whole house cool today with air conditioning. She never sets rules, never makes demands, or bemoans her fate with me, and I mean never, never chooses what meal to cook or restaurant to choose (God, I hate that she is so inert), so I was a bit tickled yesterday when she told me with an unfamiliar authority that it was too early to turn on the AC. There is still some confusion in my box whether she knew her spanky new luggage was due at the house yesterday. It came, but was delivered across the street to house no. 110. Don't even know those people, but I do know the neighborhood and let's just say we were lucky to get our package. Insert alleged racist remark here.

Do we ever avenge past failures? Acquiescence to this chain in life, however fragile an acquiescence, is to accept one's bland experimental kinetic placement in this whistling dixie of a world. Doing due diligence in all matters is the only path I can recommend from one moment to the next until breaking away and deliverance is within grasp. Acquiescence. It's a role. A puzzle. An almighty gig just as big as anything we played in the game thus far.
Thus, baking in the raw configurations of cause and effect seeking motives & derivations of man, and god, and country I had to face the repeated crisis of being home yet again, just upstairs with only a small fan compensating for repeated delivery failures posting an argument against me. My half-deafness may also contribute. More than likely the air was blasting at that point. I turned it on around 1:30 yesterday in the computer room, and around eight last night as I nodded out with QUE's Netscape 2.0 in the sofa shortly before Sue bounced into the room and removed my glasses. I slept another few hours there in the royal chair before sliding myself into bed just after midnight. A long & heavy dream sequence followed me after I pounced up slightly dazed at seven oh nine. Still depressed. Alienated by having to growl in sweat past the courier's light knocking on my door, yet once more again.

Missing a delivery irks me enough. Knowing that I didn't even know to expect a package that day had me twisted in knotnumbing speeches to myself. She surprisingly got on the phone and gave that piece of mind that almighty customers are supposed to inspire. But knowing a delivery was coming hasn't kept me from missing eight to a dozen deliveries over the past few years. Ah, but what is missing from this picture? Sue must have known it was coming but she neglected to tell me, or remind me because this transaction was initiated on her order. Yes, she surprised me by harrassing UPS (it turns out; I mistakenly thought it was a JC Penney's direct delivery with a glance at the delivery paper. UPS is not mentioned anywhere, but Sue obviously called with knowledge.) Anyway, I've let go of that issue until it pops up again. Her luggage is sassy, and bless baby with baboon oils, it's obvious her Carribbean cruise is shaping and tidying up in her mind as the calendar drills onward.

That brings us full circle back to you. I can't respond to your unSETled or UNsetLING loops except by running it back onto you. I figure you figure Tim, Sue, and I are your set. But while each of us chagrin in general challenges to what appears to be each of our individual, and better or worse for it, our collective fate, we surf day to day realizing each wave and splash will take care of itself one way or the other just as you do. So you seem stung by the most grievous tentacle in the sea, as you wing it touting credentials of full blown vanity.

Would Colin Powell really think he would be any different a man whether he is president of the United States or simply a retired soldier, a self-confessed Republican, a busy and influential party member at that, good husband and father, and distinguished symbol for an amazingly broad spectrum of people?
All we are saying is not give peace a chance (although that too), but just face up to the fact that "life" ain't gonna like us if we don't like it. So now let's figure to solve in the equation: Life=x, where x is whatever ONE can achieve. A second equation: (Good)Life=(Good)x may first appear redundant, and needs to be reduced to its simplest form, the linguist feeling unserved by pure mathematics would insist words are self-modifiers, and not to its own finite standards decipherable like numbers in a numbers racket. Seeing goods in stores one once lusted after but which now seem plastic and faraway does not change the relative value of the goods, or does it?

Has x changed, or has the quality quotient changed? What caused us to change?

This is a mystery I suggest the philosophers, the mathmeticians, the psychologists, the theologians, the aarTvarks, the united we piss paragons, and the warbugles get together to solve, but then again, the word fails us also. Until the word can mend as well as it melts the flesh as mind, we cannot rest as advocates of full knowledge, and replicated consciousness in those who would be anybody's avengers. Do we ever avenge past failures? Acquiescence to this chain in life, however fragile an acquiescence, is to accept one's bland experimental kinetic placement in this whistling dixie of a world. Doing due diligence in all matters is the only path I can recommend from one moment to the next until breaking away and deliverance is within grasp. Acquiescence. It's a role. A puzzle. An almighty gig just as big as anything we played in the game thus far.

To actually have done this over here ain't much different from having done that over there. To achieve anything without factoring in this finer evidence stoolpigeoned up against our biases and our prides is to fool ourselves of our misplaced recognitions. It's not about value or unvalue. It's about both, and there is no separation of state and status. Would Colin Powell really think he would be any different a man whether he is president of the United States or simply a retired soldier, a self-confessed Republican, a busy and influential party member at that, good husband and father, and distinguished symbol for an amazingly broad spectrum of people?


And communication boils, hot springs
we flock against in hordes still wet behind the ears
from our last visit to the sources of good

riddance and circumstance
lockjaws rifled by the word
timed riddles still waters

flooding our echoes
flames filled and felled
as the woods the would nots

and the teachers resort to tears
comic fears basic hogwash
mister to clean our stripping

canons of doubt
figures in between the couch
the clue and the closet

salvaged for memories
lost pretension
segregated ifs

or something else entirely.


Mopping Up The Money Shot

05 Dec


Sketch & Fetch


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.










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.

Power Return

11 Aug

Rimbaud has received me,
and I rock his drunken boat. A fever
frothing both his mouth and mine,
each glitter phosphorous, sublime
kamikaze believer.
His archipelagos
in the stars
now wet with perspiration of dry
summer sucking stones,
open woes.

He welcomes me in my madness,
assures me I am nothing but
sheer speechless vision,
pale flier of raw bone.

                            The poet
makes himself seer by a long
prodigious and rational disordering
of the senses. Every form of love,
of suffering, of madness, he searches
himself, he consumes all the poisons
within him, keeping only
their quintessences...

I nod gently on this wine,
chewing on the tettered ends
his long-snapped kept bargeline
reveals, aged like finer cheese,
mankind's more

[ 1984, Washington, DC ]

Wipe Those Feet

18 Apr

Each American city evaporating
into the clean cool dusk
experience sends tapping nervous patients
on suspicious knees, devoid of grassy knolls,
brokering unabridged entropy, fixated
on last hope expense checks electronically mailed,
and yet without fair warning.

We laugh out of sheer geometry,
absorbed in a crackling worth, our capacity
for sweet shock stilled for camera shots
and misfitted shoes of fortune gaping a t the naked
grizzled flesh, shoving it across in public
bodies of water and wine and mud...

We drop our coin
into each inverting slot,
pulling a bag behind the bushes,
a bag actively malevolent, still cruising
our crusted minds like a decade
we forgot to peel.


01 May

I am in disgrace, imposed
Strictly between the lines hunger drew,
Composed of
I had it! I had it!
But a poor speaker gone near-public
With a whetted conscience of mayonnaise
And economic morality gone sour,
I jerk off into another memory, sifting
My self-rising hour, shifting on my feet
Like an entrepreneur trading promises,
Looking to the burning bush for better days.

I've been swallowed by that whale,
Caught in the drift of a dedicated urge.
I had it, I'll borrow to
Replace it in one revolution or two.
Yes indeed! I had it to give it
Its proper massage at face value,
To grease the palm tree with coconuts
Or oil spilt during an afternoon's taboo.

If'n you are polite, say
You are void of impulse, and
Let it go at that, say no thanks
But I have to go. (Periodically
Perjury is a motive known
To the best of legends.)
I had it, almost.

Language, your honor,
Is mere alphabet dirt. Abandonment is energy
Too sharp to touch without furor,
But say, haul it in,
Taste beyond contentment
The release
Doing its own work,
And other mad values captioned in crime.

Strapped to thyself against the deck, say
Blow, say blow bay blow, say
Grab up cane and tame the vicious dog.
Know that fear's elect echoes no chorus
But somehow somewhere sometimes forgets
To clothe itself with dignity befitting
Its call, say howl Allen Ginsberg
If you chance meeting him
In occupied territory
Where gods wrestle and speak, say
Speak to us in whale. And to the last word
Nymphomaniacs and their guessing captors,
Legging margins across the dispassionate land, say
Hey button those blouses open to angry remarks
Ruthless enough to Naomi, say
Juggle yesterday's summer
Until parenthetical dawn, say
Nothing to Walt Whitman,
Ezra say Pound, the captain of swans,
Willie Mays say hey Neil Young, say
My, my, say, nothing
To the brash Elvis, research impulsive,
Or Johnny Rotten in the heat
Of awkward citizenship.

And Mother Alibi, say the key to happiness
Won't open the door
Where implication and silence
Are only as good
As each word implies,
Say, how is it every time I pray
I feel like deodorized vomit, say
Souls grow on bones but die beneath
Banker's hours, say
Tell us your name whale, and
We'll make you a star, casting
Matches like chorus lines
Between government issues, say
Where do we hang our hammock, say
Hope a man will cut his hair
Simply to punctuate a sentence, or
Fix his neighbor a cheese sandwich, say
To Delilah Mae Jones,
Samson is dead. Say, but
There has come another greater than he, say
Welcome y'all, say crab canons are delicious
Ways of life, say whales of America
Are a sign to insurance agents.

If'n you are angrily plundered, say
Do not be tricked by men, say
But let them trick you, sampling
Their techniques
So that you are never sent to the orchards
To gather unbias pickles, say
Pairs of excuses are unexplainable
To a whale who is strictly vegetarian
For reasons only the father knows, say
Midnight cravings innocently coded
In hollow rhetoric
Are useless to the slayers of
Civil disobedience, say
Navel oranges tapered to grip expense
Sit down, roll around, gnaw bones, shape knees,
And remind us that chaos is culture, say
Practice what you preach, say
Silence. I am in disgrace, almost.

[ 1982, Atlanta, GA ]


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