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Sunday, January 30, 2011

139 of January 30, 2010 temporary posting

temporary posting, original back in january 2010

Fezzan Oasis

She, not She

I smell a flower,
a mallow stem bleeding, perhaps,
then the queen's lace,
and finally lavander and rose,
and I step into Cairo's perfume shop
of eros and imagination
to think of her.

I see the geese,
a group of males in the wetlands,
then wonder where
the females spend intimacies,
so I go into the woods along
the river of woven reed baskets
and remember her.

I feel the virgin palm tree
bend beneath my over-eager grasp,
then wonder why
I am so angry, so perplexed...
so I go mad within the oasis
to drink naked from the spring
of her lips.

I see a mirage of flags
fly from imaginary forts within
the ancient lake:
suddenly my hair whips, running gazelle,
spit flying and panting mouth...
not pennants of war;
her wet dress...drying!

...I arrive at last,
out of breath and dirty as an eland -
where have you been?
she asks, eyeing my drooping fidelity;
Up and down, I gasp, up and down
Afric's paleo-lakes and streams!
they are no more!

she laughs -
like sparks from the Minotaur's flinty hooves -
takes me down a notch! -
phantom symposium of thirsty eyes!
How could the eternal lakes be gone?
And sacrament streams? Or extinct
my hart and hind?

naked gazelle -
go to the window, look about, and tell
me whatever you see!
Forgetting luxuriant nudity,
I strode - a dusty palm tree, a verdant
papyrus - I was numb catastrophe!
I saw the lakes... and then sat down, bare skin
on alabaster.

Her rain was love;
we replenished entire aquifers!
from my dust came clay
mixed with eros' several peculiar sweats;
Will one tumble th'Atlantean towers?
Or intercept and bind our Mother Nile?
No, she said.


the offspring of Minos' Queen Pasiphae and a Bull. Anyway...Minotaur is half human, half bull, lived in the Labyrinth, and Theseus killed him/it.
Daedalus designed the Labyrinth, if you're interested; his son Icarus was the first to die in a flying accident.

Afric's paleo-lakes...
anciently the Sahara was a verdant area, having dried up recently in geological time, destined to be green again in 15,000 years. "paleo" is a Greek prefix for "old".

phantom symposium
she says I have seen illusions, caused by thirst...phantom drinking parties ( in this case, drinking water) caused by thirsty eyes.

Some say that within the paleo-system of lakes and rivers, from the Chott el Jerid in Tunisia - in the North- down to the mega-lake of Chad...and even beyond, when the drainage of the Mighty Congo went eastwards, to the Rift Lakes of Victoria and Tanganyika...there was situated the city of Atlantis...and its destruction came with the Great Drying and plate tectonics within the Rift Valley.

The lady of this poem and I live in the magic time to come - or the time past, when the Sahara is green, and mankind is at peace. We interrelate with the present, and she cannot believe the drought that has overtaken her land in the past, which is our present.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Fast Day 191 January 29 2011 {Sweet Water}

Sweet Water
On Tassili rocks are petroglyphs
drawn by our ancient hands;
paint  a man at the end
of his vision quest here,
through old sahara’s palaeo-lakes:
his head exploding with
feathered sun and
wisdom’s kingly vipers!
Hey! Paint me here!
Show my wife, my clan!
Paint a halo round my head!
Hey! painter! Hey! friends!
I live forever
painted  in our
communal , polished
and granitic halls!

And when the weather began to change,
turn the lakes to sodden
sloughs, and thence to arid
wastes, then to vast empty
amphitheaters of tragedy,
penumbral seeking
populations in transit
from the fire genius:
Hey! Paint us here!
Show our clan’s procession!
Peaceable kingdom exodus.
Hey! Hand-blowers! Friends!
Visions and bison
our entourage
for new oases
we shall farm.

O, our lakes!
O, our lakes!
You are in our hearts!
Faithful water!
Ah, sweet water!

Tassili  = Tassili N’Ajjer mountains in southern Algeria

palaeo-lakes  =  “palaeo-“ from Greek meaning “old”; same as in “palaeology”.  The lakes of the Sahara region now gone.

polished…halls  =  an echo of the Odyssey, wherein Circe’s place has either “polished”, “painted”, or “sculpted”  halls…. ambiguity in the the Greek.

penumbral seeking  =  an exodus of the populace from the dry desert, seeking shade and water
peaceable kingdom exodus  =  humanity and animals escape the desert together under a truce of necessity

hand-blowers  = painters who blow pigmented powder around their hands which are pressing against a stone surface. When they remove their hands from the surface, there is a colored outline.

I have touched upon this theme many times recently. I think I see Climate as a vast spirit environment: the fire in which we burn.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Welcome January 27 2011

I have two new friends to welcome, Greeneyes-16 and Stioxomata.
I wish I had something interesting and witty to say. I just got back from the bank and stopped by my auto mechanics to say hello and see if he wanted to go get a "finjan qahwa" (cup of java) at Mrs. Kaplan's Jewish-Palestinian coffee shop. It is a nice place. It is Hallal and Kosher, so everything is very good and fresh. Of course, it is limping along during these times, so we try to stop by and gorge ourselves into doing a good deed.

The Kaplan is a poet, too. I have read her poetry. Puts mine to shame. Instills a desire to write better. I am going to take more time writing. After a while, you begin to notice how you repeat yourself. It takes time to get to the real important stuff of poetry. Sometimes I feel as if my poetry is white socks with black shoes.

High School Confidential

white athletic socks
and black tennies
and my  blue, blue heart
aches for 24 seconds
in the red paint
of sweet, sweet love!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Fast Day 190 January 22 2011 {Planet Seeds}

Planet Seeds

I packed alphabet and seeds in my carry-on bag.
I think it will get past security; living letters,
breathing smooth scaled animal:
made up of 26 thoraces, gossiping
panting tough little bugs
I am taking with me, escaping
to an M-class exo-polanet.
I look up at the moon and it
beckons like a kid taking cuts
in the NASA waiting line.

I shall free them upon the slopes of Olympus Mons
then scatter wide the living seeds
I brought with me from earth:
germination and pollination
no longer blind like Gaza camels
colliding at one water hole.
Like pirates, we'll lust for Quito gold...
and set sail to Jupiter's maelstrom-
Living a life of rumor on islands
adrift in methane atmosphere!

I am disappointed that this ended. I shall go back to it frequently now. The idea is terra-forming new "worlds" within our lives.

Olympus Mons  is "Mount Olympus" and the largest volcano on Mars, or in the solar system as far as we know.
Jupiter's maelstrom is The Great Red Spot.

Escape, Rebirth, Joy of Childhood Revisited.......

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Fast Day 189 January 12 2011 {My Grandparents}

Mount Olivet Cemetery, north of the Detroit City Airport

My Great-grandparents, Augustus and Franceska

My mother’s tale, as she told me,
her grandpa came from Germany,
a toy maker -so stories go -
but no childhood toys could she show
to make connection: him and me.

“They came o’er late last century” ,
I but a child when she told me;
but now Olivet rest bestow!
my mother’s tale.

I found a cousin from the sea -
Szczecin it was – he told to me
Augustus lived around Debno,
within the sight of Oder’s flow,
a heavy-laden drayman he!
...My mother’s tale!


My maternal great grandparents, my mother's grandparents, are buried in Mt. Olivet, Detroit. My mother and her mother had a different story about this genealogy, and my cousins seemed to be a bit more precise.
I do not know how or why my mother got to the point of believing her grandfather was a toymaker from Hamburg, Germany, instead of a dray man ( he became a moving man in the US ) from a shtetl in German Poland, but so it was... or, rather, still is. She does has no memory of her grandmother and mother speaking Polish at their home on Outer Drive, as does her older sister - who will be 100 this year. My mother can not deny that her grandma made pierogi, but she considers it a "universal" food,  much like pizza or waffles.

The German name for Szczecin was Stettin, and for Debno was Neumark, and they may be more familiar in that form. 

This take the form of a Rondeau.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Fast Day 188 January 8 2010 {Old Man Meets American Century}

 Lee and Grant Chromo on a Cigar Box

Old Man Meets the American Century

Winter’s army comes on with bluster and with brass
advancing now as it did when I was young like you,
fighting with broad lath swords and beating drums of tin;
following on the harvest parliament of wheat fields:
where hand-picked and hand-raked barley-bearded quorum
of serious representatives  - who do not
hold with mythic summer’s hoop snake, gold bear, and snipe -
meet to palaver about seeding times to come…
usurped by winter’s coasting time, a sledding time
down long slopes, past stands of pine, and over rivers
frozen as they were when struck by the crystal spear!
We used to play and then go in to warm up by
the stove beneath two chromos of Grant and Sherman.

I went to meet the American Century
as it came downstream on January third, for
it carried coal to the Edison plant and was
not a metaphor for the future anymore,
not Manifest Destiny, but a working boat
that needed customs work done which I would do-
January as well as June, cold or hot nights
under the umbrella of Homeland Security.
The Great Lakes freighters stoked the arsenals
of democracy in the world war; the mate
was John and he said that it had been a slow year
this year, but not as bad as oh-nine and then laughed
‘cause everyone knew oh-nine was the year without…
just without… like it never was, and then we laughed
and drove at four o’clock in the morning to the
Customs at the Bridge, where we had our pick of
agents, for there was no truck traffic on the third…
We talked on the way back down through all the little
towns: he had been married once before while I 
was looking at forty years, and he asked if I was now
planning something special. I said if I were not
then forty-one would never see the light of day!
John invited me aboard, but security
was much tighter now than when I was a boy
and clearance had to be issued ahead of time…

One more trip up to Two Harbors before they lay
her up for the winter season. It was time;
ice hung like arctic bunting up and down the bow
from the trip down from Duluth. She used to be the
Star, the Columbia Star, until a couple
years ago when Columbia went out and sold
the boats, and American Steam bought her and
she was the Century! My grandpa, he did see
the Columbian Exposition in Chi-town
and the Pan-American in Buffalo, New York…
I was born in the American Century...
the twentieth, after we took the Philippines...
and I stood right close enough to spit that night,
but I had no clearance, and I thought of when
Joe Nutt used to take me right up to the stack base
at the Edison and the wind blew me dizzy
and I saw so far that I believed that I
could see the curvature of the globe beneath me!

American Century as the Columbia Star


Meeting the freighter American Century at 4 in the morning just seemed like going to meet a metaphor "The American Century" in my dreams. It is a very quiet time of day.
The monumental has lost no bulk, but it has lost its grandeur. 

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Fast Day 187 New Year's Day 2011 January 1 2011 {Pater Noster New Year}

 Pater Noster New Year's!

It's New Year's eve midnighting
and I think the world's gonna end;
I dont have my baby and dont have my friend;
the cognac-and-coke limousine's waiting
to take me back home again.
We drink to forget
the body's bitter anisette:
let us, Father, forgo our debts
as you forgive our neglects!

Absinthe of our axilla
makes us feel that we cannot die;
we don't ask for reasons, don't ask for why;
transvestites dance in their Grey Goose favela
weeping clicquot as they cry!
We drink to forget
the body's bitter anisette:
let us, Father, forgo our debts
as you forgive our neglects!

Three o'clock now is popping,
and there's nothin' we cannot do!
funky medina murra, jägermeister zoo!
cognac-and-coke hearse aint stopping;
we look for more people to screw!
We drink to forget
the body's bitter anisette:
let us, Father, forgo our debts
as you forgive our neglects!


Pater Noster ::  literally, Our Father; the prayer title in Latin.
anisette ::  a liqueuer with spicy anise. Anise is the only thing that makes liquorice tolerable.
absinthe ::   super booze with wormwood, emblem of animal craving(musk) and death(wormwood)

axilla ::  armpits
Grey Goose ::   vodka brand that costs a lot due to marketing, not necessarily quality.

favela ::   Brazilian slum
clicquot ::   Veuve Clicquot - the Widow Clicquot - is a good champagne. Here they weep tears of champagne.

jägermeister ::  a bitter liqueur which I have never tasted.
medina murra ::  literally,  a bitter city.   It is ambiguous, referring to urban areas or Tone Loc's funky medina drink. It also hints at myrrh, one of the Three King's gifts, as myrrh was known for bitterness - in nature and in use: it was used in embalming - and its root is also " m-r-r ".
(It could also be used as a reference to a cemetery, such as the City of the Dead in Cairo, where a large populace lives, inhabiting aged mausolea.)

cognac-and-coke  ::   favorite drink of young urban boys that commit suicide.

forgo our debts :: the original Greek can be read "debts" or trespasses. I always got the idea that the trespass involved was one that involved a fine to be paid, hence, a debt to pay. The use of the word "debt" led to misunderstandings among the debtor classes and, therefore, was abolished  by an obliging church hierarchy.