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Tuesday, December 25, 2012

The Poetry: Living Words

I have decided to do more writing... about "writing", meaning poetry; or "The Poetry" as I megalomaniacally exclaim it, for it is an art form that stands on its own; it is not the lyrics that accompany a hit song, like shabby groupies waiting for the Music and The Musician.

The poetry is "a doing" or "something a-doing".
Nowadays we prefer to use the Passive Voice, and say "something being done" or "something that was done", but I think we should reject those hyper-logical forms for the old Passival, and say like Jonson that "something is a-doing" or like Austen that "something is doing".
To our way of thinking, this leaves an ambiguity between the active and the passive, but if you try it, you'll see the ambiguity soon disappear.

That is a good thing for the poetry, for it does away with the idea that a poem is a static and unmoving thing.

What good is Homer if no one re-interprets it? What good Shakespeare? What good Beowulf or the Nibelungenlied?
The words may not change, but the voice does, the emphasis mutates, the ambience evolves, the emotions may be changed. The words remain the Polar Star about which the constellations of voice, feeling, and imagery revolve.
As the poetry is "a doing", it is the most ancient of the creations of man: no other behavior is named The Doing.

The poetry is swimming in life's ocean as the billions of facets of the reflecting surfaces of the water  choreograph a simulacrum of eternity; it is an odyssey with one's companions upon a vessel of our own making.
The non-poetic is being moored at the dock... or I should say "mooring at the dock"...

Be verbs! Be action words and phrases! Even in our sleep and dreams, be the ongoing and the everdoing, for we live in a time of suffocation. Run and breathe.

Fast Day 291 December 25 2012: Three Kings Dreaming

Mountains and Rivers

Three Kings Dreaming

The silence of the desert, and its desolation
broken by the automatic  fire of the voice
of a hobbled camel braying in the endless night;
led me to think of the Creation, and its stories:
gold, frankincense, and myrrh are elements,
the elemental bones of the world!
Over the features of the deeply cold
winter solstice moves the spirit of God
and there are stirrings of the beginnings
of desire and the valent bonds of being;
mountains reproduce
stirred by rivers’ touch.
By our three gifts, things will start anew!
By this day we call Nowell,
tidings of good news to tell!

Nowell - old spelling of Noel

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Fast Day 290 December 22 2012: Newtown

Red Breasted Geese


white ladies ballet across the skies,
snow quilts cover up the night;
cold to the tongue, quick to the eyes,
painting the bracken tarlatan and white.

seasonal  kids supernumerary
for Nutcracker Sugarplum -
costumed swarm of little fairie,
oblivious of the next scene to come:

fear under the temblor of firing gun,
tufted marshes once spared from axe;
hand on shoulder, they cry and run:
geese carrying demise upon their backs.


white ladies    -   snowflakes

braken       -     plural of brake - as in canebrake, a thick network of canes.  The singular is brake, and the plural vowel a seems to be modified, and is often spelled "bracken" . When speaking, I use long A for the singular and a short E for the A in the plural.

tarlatan       -    coarse stiff white weave fabric;  the snow actually "paints the tarlatan braken white" but we express it somewhat differently in the poem.

seasonal kids supernumerary -   the local ballet kids who dance in the Christmas presentation of The Nutcracker Suite, usually as sugarplum fairies.

fairie   -   means the realm of the fairies and is not a typo.

The destruction of innocence is compared to the destruction of the habitat of winter geese

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Fast Day 289 December 15 2012 {The Gardener Says}

 Le Vieux Jardinier    par Guillaume Van Strydonck

The Gardener Says

The Gardener says:
The northern wind comes
and interrupts the trees
closely spaced within our garden,
ties and unties the laces
of the branches interweave -
like combing the snarls
from a child's hair -
and tosses the mixed fruits:
cherries and peaches,
from tree to tree
faster than the presto eye
can follow.

The west wind is the metronome,
the east wind brings the storm,
the south wind is an amulet called "azure"
that keeps us safe from harm.


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Fast Day 288 December 9 2012 {The Gardener Passes}

The Gardener Passes

Now the pain blooms with surprising petals,
and the gladiolus of illness
loom large upon the furrows of his despair.
We who dug and cultivated
are harrowed in our time
are we not?

Plow, dig, harrow, spade, and rake;
pinch, pull, trim, slice, and scythe.
Now the surprising petals that form and weld
the chalice of the hibiscus covenant
bend not for us;
what next?

late getting this up
I was at my parents and away from internet.
my father loves his garden, and he shall never see another.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Fast Day 287 December 1 2012 {Weeds Among The Flowers}

Weeds Among The Flowers
Weeds among the flowers!
Eve coped with darnel
mixed within the herbs
in the Garden of Eden,
and our first parents -
who truly lived like monks
within the cloister
and refectory of The Big Bang:
when Creation still
had a new car smell!
in the early days of life:
a billion billion years ago...
-  those two innocents
learned wanton growth and wilding
from the gangster life of weeds!
How sweet
and temulent
the blatant privacy of love!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Fast Day 286 Nov 24 2012 {Seeds in the Wind}

Seeds in the Wind

the fly-away days, the fly-away nights;
when the wind is blowing,
tumbling and rolling;
squandering old-witch grass,
throwing seeds far and wide;
some find way to grow
as they have for a million years,
far, far older and more ancient
than the math of markets -
markets free or otherwise -
miracle logic:  loaves and fishes!

when Jesus played and Peter laughed
with  the water and the wine -
our fates first entwined -
and all float upon the wind
heedless, squandrous seed heads,
wafting, riding
on roller-coaster Creation,
until stopped by some obstacle,
and we pull back and ponder
germination and genesis;
suddenly students of quick and dead.


Life can suddenly become serious, and we face birth and mortality at Thanksgiving time.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Fast Day 285 November 17 2012 {Where's That Jazz?}

Fats Waller

Where's That Jazz?

what is the jazz of the written word?
the poetry
the confabulation
the corrugated language roller-coaster
in the areas of my brain
where is the jazz?

where is the tongue of jazz?
the taste
the silver spit
of my pavlovian laboratory dog desire
in the areas of my mouth.
where is that jazz?

where's the genius of jazz
of the genital?
the intemperate,
the ancient yet modern lingua franca
of the orient seaports...
where's that savvy horn?

where's the fermentation of desire...
the wine of jazz?
the intoxicating
drink of that undiscovered seashore
with messages in bottles...
where's that jazz?

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Fast Day 284 November 10 2012 {Cheers for November 6}

Cheers for November 6

Ya don' know what yer doin'
ya don' know what yer missin'
yer standing in hall
while Mama's in the kitchen;
she is fixin' eggs,
she is fixin' ham,
she is fixin' toast
with honey and with jam;
fer once in yer life
shut up and lissen:
close the front door,
slide across the floor;
don't ya go out
wildin' anymore!

Ya don't love Pedro,
ya don't love his kin;
yer drinkin' rum 'n' coke
when yer Daddy rushes in;
he gives you a look,
he gives you a blast;
ya know he is pissed
and he will whup yer ass!
the head bitch in charge
you ain't never been!
you're in a slump,
ya look like a chump;
don't ya feel that
yer life is snap trump!

Yer Aunt is in the bathtub,
yer aunt is in the hall,
yer aunt is gettin' dressed
and she's goin' to the Mall;
she don't have no hairpiece,
she doesn't have a weave,
and she's cool LaVern
we don't disbelieve;
she don't go by taxi-
she think it's too banal;
don't go by train,
don't sail by sea,
she be the Lady
invented prophecy!


snap trump  -   big and mean after effect of a "trump", which as yet is an undefined after-product of nastiness.

LaVern  - beautiful lady.

DC   -  a DC plane, an airplane made by Douglas Aircraft, such as DC-10

This deals with the election and with my experiences with people over the past 4 years. It is meant to imply and hint and feel spirited and happy, like cheerleaders leading the crowd at a football game.

I suppose I could explicate this a little more.
First, it could be a cheer for a high school game, and just leave it like that.
Second, we could see it as:
(1) the "Mama" in the first stanza is Life... or Mother Earth... or Gaia... or the Blessed Mother... or any nurturing (fixin' eggs, etc.) thing.Mess with her at your own peril;
(2) stanza two is introduced by a Latino and someone disrespects him and his kin. Mr. Obama's juggernaut comes in and those who thought they could disrespect must look at their own misery;
(3) I see the Aunt as Mrs. Obama, mainly because she is naturally beautiful without artifice ("hairpiece"). I was forced to endure friends who sang the praises of the miniscule Nancy Reagan while making fun of the more athletic Mrs. Obama;
We mix in prophecy and polls because.... well, why not? It ain't an essay! "LaVern" refers to LaVern Baker with whom I fell in love in 1956.

Poetry is like that: everything blends into everything else.
We do not write poetry like we do an essay: essays go on to the end of the page, then go down a line. Poetry tries to engage the emotions and body as well as the understanding, so we have to separate things to embody the feeling, the rhyme, the tempo, the beat, the meaning, and even things like voice modulations and body movements; certainly this poem recited as basketball game cheers should have movements.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Fast Day 283 November 3 2012 {Ode to Hermes/Mercury}


Ode to Hermes/Mercury

Once, deuce,
repeat and three-peat;
Hermes high I.Q.,
Mercury quick-good
at tough ciphering:
counter, toller, dancer
to the rhythm of the maths
of the celestial spheres!
Gossiper and snitch of holy
secrets and home-boy
to us all!

Small I, frail -
no great understanding:
more a hunger and thirst,
feeling a tumescence
for smarts and wisdom
at the posterns of reason
of my SATs.
Give me the word,
the thunderbird
of brainiac faust!

My ode to Hermes/Mercury, three times great (three-peat), for cool and easy wits and understanding... to be smart without a sweat.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Fast Day 282 October 27 2012 {Gardens and Deer}

Gardens and Deer

Exile songs of Deer in Babylon,
it is so sad;
they come around and eat the flowers that we
try to grow;
those they ignore are cut
by mowing madness soon…
The deer eat the hosta down to the stem,
leaving a nest of wispy pre-raphaelite quills
like precocious
and flippant rosetti…
like Ophelia pennants – thin
and hazarding the wind.

So I waited up for them one night,
gun in hand,
to stop their eating of the flowers that we
try to grow;
and I shall cut them down
by rifle and the moon…
beyond midnight they came, all three of them,
we unflinching stood staring each other... they spoke:
mystery gard’ner!
bone-cave keeper!
bounteous god, let us see
your garden immortality!

needless to say, I let them eat the rest of the gardens.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Fast Day 281 October 21 2012 {VelocityDC Dance}

VelocityDC Dance

juiced anatomy
of infinite dance
disclose nimble offices
of supple body -
quick and presto
prayers like incense smoke
from sweating bodies rise
and promise unending pleasure! -
ah, titanic in their lies!

seminal movement,
steam powered and punk,
length and stroke unite!
my feet on fire!
moment locomotive…
the store of love unties…
diluvian torrent affection,
enwrapp’d the muse’s thighs!

diluvian  -  an adjective for "flood" usually used in "ante-diluvian" meaning "before (Noah's) flood", hence of great antiquity and pertaining to the pre-Noachian covenant, and anything else.

enwrapp'd  -  since the "en-" has the meaning on "in", I left out the extra "in" and the line means "enwrapp'd in the muse's thighs."

Written after attending the VelocityDC Dance Festival at Sidney Harman Hall in Washington D.C. on October 20, 2012.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Fast Day 280 October 14 2012 {Beekeepers}


scarlet clover
sowed in October
in the orchard twice;
try and keep the hens out,
they pick every green leaf

and totally ignore
barley by the hellebore,
which grows now quite tall -
but what will the bees? eh?
when all the clover's gone?

comb honey
brings no money...
sez the Michigan Farmer;
but comb sales have been brisk...
all's left is candled junk...
and common sense for fools.


Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Fast Day 279 October 6 2012 {The Times, The Morals}

The Times, The Morals

Climax in a spasm
thrusting uncontrolled and
irritated beyond endurance…

women, they say, may experience
multiples – a shattering one right after
another,  shameless…

But I just screw up my face
and expostulate! just one!
but what an explosive design!

and like everyone jumps like
they wuz sleeping on erotic firecrackers!
three people going down in an elevator...

Gesundheit!…  says a old lady nearby;
God bless you!...  sez newspaper holding guy;
searching for tissue, Thanks, sez I.


Someone asked me, so I had better say that it was a sneeze... in an elevator... with three people in it, one of which was I.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Fast Day 278 September 29 2012 {Ancient Hymn to Pan}

Ancient Hymn to Pan

 O, Pan of the forest!
Protector of the herds:
helper of working men!
Tillage and harvest and herding,
how many times have you ignored
frail mortals!

Now I come before thee
with oil and honey and wheat bread,
praying for strength and fulfillment
of my human longing, and with purpose
to keep thy great worship
mahoganney, pure, dark...

Archbishop of the woodlands,
large crozier with a stag’s head,
well-pearled with antlers!
Piper of the moonbeams
who hymns us our equal God!...
Arcadian dreams!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Fast Day 277 September 22 2012 {My Daughter From Eurasia}

My Daughter From Eurasia

So high I am on acid, so drunk and falling down: O, Eurasia!
Intoxicating cider from faithful Alma Ata -
grandfather and grandmother apple of the Kazakhstan!
O, fair one! The orchards of your soul!
Maid of Inis-Avalon!
The spray of your hair and the plumule of your sleeping eyes!

Intermixing of elixirs of the sov’reign fruits, liquor
smoke, and tablets of wandering religions, where
Buddhists from Cathay rejoiced with wand’ring Christianity!
Peaceful science, cultivars resplendent!
The Blessed Isles!
Learned, curious, romantic!
Astronomy of your beauty and music of your voice!

My attempt to out-Coleridge Coleridge.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Fast Day 276 September 15 2012 {Ramses of Egypt Entreats His Coy Lover: Long Version}

Ramses of Egypt Entreats His Coy Lover:  Long Version

I sensed your presence before I ever
saw you standing: fine aroma, chestnut
eyes, the modest tread of your feet coming
across the parquet floor through labyrinths
mosaic of lapis lazuli tiles;
Ah, long ago… long ago… so much changed!
Where is the king before whom a thousand
nations bent the sweaty and dusted knee?
My body dead so long that I cannot
tell the difference between this limestone
and divine wind of ibis taking wing!
Nor the mute sphinx and all my vibrant dreams!
O, God is great!... filled with Mercy… and Love:

When I first took your pearled heart in my hand
to breach the kernel of the nut of fire
that lay within that ruby pyramid;
to melt the ice from your pure, snowy breasts!
to plunder the delta of Avaris!
love no longer subdued to the haughty
shepherd kings of your remote horizon brow…
my back cut by long nails… our wounds, not deep… a few…
exhausted we lay… scorpions and asps…
breathing hard… memorious pains of love… !

Were you not the firmament of the sky?
And did you, O, star!, not condemn me to
endless pilgrimage through the Sinai’s wastes?
Exiled from love, where does one find to run?
Love is not a trifle that grows and ebbs
like the Father Nile before and after Sirius
has run his speedy course through the posterns
of the city in the sky of darkest night:
Love desires a mansion for it’s soul’s rest!
The eternity  in mankind is love,
and love itself for all of mankind
shamelessly does lust and like a river
overflows and it cannot be constrained,
and once love has passed us by, it will then
be lost at sea, or evaporated
in the desert, or sink through pervious
stone to the unseen world of aquifers;
then shall our mortal eyes shine like weeping
scarabs no longer affine to the sun…
all our days obtuse angles of winter..
I wait a thousand, thousand years for Spring!
In obscurity of sand and stone where
everything seems dull pain and slow passage-
creeping metronome of nature’s cruelty!
Yet, we shall be reborn, my love, my love!
And we shall sweep away the wasteland sand
and hidden fountains will cleanse the portals
and I shall bring again golden bracelets
to clothe you once again within their bands:
silks and hair, silver tongue, agates and eyes!


the capital of the Hyksos on the eastern part of the Nile delta

Shepherd Kings      
ancient translation of the name Hyksos

the pains are filled with memory, not that they are memorable

the star by whose movement the annual Nile flood was reckoned

Friday, September 7, 2012

Fast Day 275 September 7 2012 {Labor Day 2012}

Labor Day  2012

The rain will descend,
then comes the drought;
we’ll take up our canoe and carry it
to the garage where it will winter,
but spring follows the snow
and we shall put it into the water again
so we may come and go by the river
and visit the islands,
and all the places
where the wild things are
awaiting us…

The sun bakes the ground,
then come the rain;
we’ll harrow and scythe the gardens again
and leave them to hibernate;
the hibiscus will bloom again
and the deer will eat the hasta down to stems;
we may not return to the river
this time… this future
the sun rising in new horizon,
and you and I have defeated
the alien gods…

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Fast Day 274 September 1 2012 {The Film "Hugo"and a Political Convention}

The Film "Hugo" and a Political Convention

The very failures to which they lead,
through causes unforeseen,
are as beautiful as stunning success,
when shown upon the screen.

The arcana of the cinema,
applied by chemistry,
through deeply laid principles and appliance
resolve our inquiry.

Roman rotations upon the clock,
white arms of odalisque,
and Hero's pipes join clepsydra -
around the temple whisk.

The automaton convention claps
in synchronized adulation,
and smiles break on well-oiled lips
to mislead a nation.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Fast Day 273 August 25 2012 {The Years of Toxic Sleep}}

The Years of Toxic Sleep

Naiads of the river nymphs of the bureaucracy,
dryads of the city-county and manticore of our lives,
sweet medicine of mandragora and poppy of Cyprus:
O, the sleep of Reason!

Religions of wahhabi bulldozers, running on
delusional diesel of 'Uzza, Lat, and Manat, spreading
toxic water and damming aquifers, torturing aqueducts:
O, the sleep of Faith!

Feet quick to spill blood, feet slow to pilgrimage:
ferriers and blacksmiths who deform the holy word
between hammer of their soul and anvil of their own desires.
O, let the mu'ezzin cry:
O, believers! 
Sleep is better than this Freedom!

written as intolerant hard-liners attack Sufi mosques and shrines in Libya.
again, they are urged on by our "friends", the Saudis.

muezzin  - the caller to prayer    a Turkish form.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Fast Day 272 August 18 2012 {Sickness in Goray}

Sickness in Goray

Sickness, a sense of morbid,
came over me unaware;
it drained the light from day
and illuminated the night
with an eerie glowing sense
of the House of Usher!

What shall I cry?
and where shall I flee?
as the grass withers in
the drought and the flower fades,
- lilies of the field! -
under the breath of Adonai!


on being sick
Goray is Isaac Singer's town of Goray.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Fast Day 271 August 11 2012 {Languish Out Loud}

Caligula's Ships on Lake Nemi

Languish Out Loud

I feel dissuaded from elegance
of style, mind, and manner;
I speak a quick, garbled texting
of harsh primitive
brutish, naked words
too cute
to be

Like Caligula's Nemian ships
built for candy and childish steps of
myst'ries of th'Egyptian goddess;
sunk by old age or
Claudius' decree:
dark moon
for the


What appears to be elegant disappears into the fog, just as Caligula immense pleasure ships built for worship of Isis sank into the Lake of Nemi, and others were sunk by Claudius' decree.

I use this to describe a conflicted sense of language - the educated versus the texting brief chop-chop rebus type of approach. I am not talking about slang or hip-hop or anything like that, for I consider urban slang to be very sweet.
I sense a diminution of my being - of anyone's being - into a smallness when language is so circumscribed... even if one has hundreds of Facebook friends. All of us are classical Romans and poets potentially, and all of us are dumb as driftwood if we do not constantly strive to "diversify" our language environment.

should we write the last 3 sentences:

2 cute
2 B
4 gotten

(we do mention "texting" earlier.)

Friday, August 3, 2012

Fast Day 270 August 4 2012 {Pilot-Bread}


Herring and pilot-bread for dinner!
Steamboat travelers on rough Michigan sea!
Not loaf bread nor bran
no water crackers, too,
attested by Graham.

Pilot-bread cut and pilot-bread fried,
easier eating, mixed with butter or lard,
or in boiling foam
of the fat of deep pork dipped,
yet a banquet
for those distressed
far from their home.
memoirs of me sailing days upon the Great Inland Seas!

Graham -   of Graham cracker fame; he speaks on the evils of gluten and wheat breads.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Fast Say 269 July 28 2012 {The Wanderer}

The Wanderer

I will sing of him -
maybe -
I will sing a song of him,
Maybe no one will care -
maybe it will not matter
to the world at large,
but it shall matter to me!
Grande Grenouille
the Big French Frog
sits now with his mouth silent
looking out at the transient garage
through summer and through fall:
he wishes to speak...
words fail.

It is not important -
maybe -
to sing songs with painted words,
painted on retaining walls:
words nakedly in passion
hidden in the trees -
words I alone can sing-song!
Grenouille, bon ami,
a Frenchy from Poitou,
parents québecois et russe,
sets the scene and yells "action!" in his dream,
through winter and through spring
he wishes to love...
tears fail.

Perhaps - well,
it may not matter!
Perhaps - well,
I will merely sing of him,
Chikuhikun - The Axe,
who sat fearful now, his mouth closed,
in the madding crowd
and far, far away from man -
in solitude.

grenouille  - a frog

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Fast Day 268 July 21 2012 {Big Heart River}

Aerial View of the River's Mouth

Big Heart River

Hearts like fast canoes,
we portage where we haul the boats out
and move along the muddy trail,
until we come to the place where
the fish was caught that summer day.

Arms like cottowoods,
we unlade the fast canoes
into the small waters here, a mere
capful among the bull rushes;
we push them over white clay.

After many miles,
our breasts are covered in sweat
and our skin gleams in the setting
sun; we let our paddles run
to the place where houses are!


Around and about Empire, Michigan

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Fast Day 267 July 14 2012 {Be Still, My Heart}

A Saphiret Ring

Be Still, My Heart!

Oh, be still, my beating heart!
My love has gone away.
She said she's found another;
no longer can she stay!
I pawned my father's watch,
sold my mother's saphiret;
I gave her all my money...
be still, my beating heart!

May her memory disappear now,
and the odor of her hair!
my heart's endangered species,
a thousand miles of solitaire;
I suffered through my panic,
I endure the painful day,
I  walk the lonely nights;
Demon memory go away!

If we ever noonday meet,
if we stop to chat,
she's wears my old t-shirt now
and a yellow baseball cap;
I recall her clothes as lettuce leaves
tossed with my jeans on a chair,
in a salad of our passion,
mixed with gall and vinegar.

11/12/2012 changed stanza 3 ll 5-6:
I recall them them (sic) as lettuce leaves
mixed with my clothes on a chair

and l 3:
 she's wears her shirt and jeans now,

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Fast Day 266 July 5 2012 {I Did Not Forget...}

 Summer Holidays and Birthdays and Special Places

I Did Not Forget...

I did not forget your birthday, for I chose
to miss the feast of Punctuality,
an experiment in time to see
if anything would change -
but nothing did:
the world’s unchanging rumble, bouncing
off the subway tiles within my ears…
tedious eternity…

Dances and songs are born,
dances and songs die away;
Beauty will not last forever -
come along and see the stars!
Hey! Come along and dance!

Come here, my mother! Come here, my mother!
We are walking here; we are running here;
my younger brother and sister,
my younger brother and sister,
are crying now:
they think that they have lost their way:
sing them your intoxicating song,
a jewel from your Cretan crown!

This is the Father! This is the Father!
He comes in his nonchalant, ambling way,
looking very much preoccupied
by job reports and economic
he will disguise his smile from us
until the very last minute, when
he scatters us with laughter!

Dances and songs are born,
dances and songs die away;
Beauty will not last forever -
come along and see the stars!
Hey! Come along and dance!

Older Brother and Sister coming along,
lightly bearing their wounds from casinos
of Afghanistan and of Iraq,
they keep their own private counsels
of their pain;
yet they come for the holiday;
they will dance, and they will sing
and will become nightingales!

Great-great-grandparents all across the street,
waiting for the infinite light to change,
straining to see their progeny:
is that my great-great-grandson there?!
Waving to us like a great sea;
discarding death like a used Dixie cup,
they come to our birthday dance!

Dances and songs are born,
dances and songs die away;
Beauty will not last forever -
come along and see the stars!
Hey! Come along and dance!


Thursday, July 5, 2012

Fast Day 265 July 1 2012 {Far Away}

Train From Far Away

Far Away

I come from Far Away,
where we drink the wine
even before the vines were created
in your Garden of Eden walmarts...
we do not wait for Creation!

You wear a plastic name
and speed about in steel,
dripping aluminium cobwebs
under the cowl of brilliant howling
immense and ponderous...

We eat the alien bread
baked in tholos shaped ovens
even before wheat was grown in fields,
but was only stars and rains of fire
that were our ersatz tears.


Late getting this up; I was in terra incognita of the 1940s again.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Fast Day 264 June 24 2012 {Jim Dandy Morning}

Jim Dandy Morning

When I woke up this morning,
was unlike any other day...
when I opened my eyes,
I felt the blue go away;
and this was Monday morning
when the landscapers come
with the yell of lawn mowers
barely heard above
the cacophony,
the symphony,
the consternation,
of the leaf blowers.

Noon-day demon far away,
leaving on a jet airplane,
slipped past the TSA
with my sorrows in a bottle
in his carry-on bag:
in a little toiletry bag,
with tooth brush and shampoo
and all the meds:
grey lady zoloft,
blue niagara,
and sacramental
vicodin there, too.

Why the jet plane? Why the bags?
Traveling in his submarine,
Noon-day don't need no suit...
he's hip...
ready to boot!

When I come home, his brother's there
come from the TV,
come from the air!
yelling the business,
yelling the news!
yelling the weather,
selling smokes and booze!
using fear that maims...
selling disability claims!
using fears of health...
selling schemes of wealth!

Weak morning shine,
oh, weak daylight!
tepid water'd-down sun...
weak tequila sun...
like some star was drunk last night,
did something really stupid,
and cannot will the paparazzi day...
cannot will the day... away.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Fast Day 263 June 17 2012 {On The Road Again}

The Early Path

On The Road Again

When the brothers and the sisters, having
heard that Paul was back, back, back in town
they ran down the road to the Three Taverns
which was the venue for the camp meeting,
where I was a roadie and got scale:

United in a bond of common faith
we lived in peace and love and harmony:
no distinctions of power or fortune,
in the days of heavy metal martyrdom;
and I set up the amplifiers.

I drive the bus… I’ve been the head roadie
since the band split up and the elder James
stayed in Jerusalem the Memorious;
Paul now plays reggae in Illyricium,
and breeds Friday eve confusion.

No canned heat and  no coke to wash away
this growing season of tombs and monuments,
that disturb our dreams and forget the great
times – like Ovid in his sorry exile:
back when all had wicked chops!


Saint Paul is the focus

Ovid  - the poet who was sent into exile somewhere on the Black Sea coast

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Fast Day 262 June 10 2012 {A Friend To Thee}

Pearl Millet

A Friend To Thee

I'll be a friend to Thee,
unlike the wheat I'll never be;
on level land,
on high plateau...
where wanders my emmer soul.

I'll be a lover to thee,
unlike the rice I'll never be;
slowly swimming
Afric, Asian...
ancient grasses of the plain.

I'm the modern age to Thee,
rustic millet, no longer free!
orphan cereal,
homeless smile...
where old graveyards feed the stile.

emmer - a form of spelt
homeless smile  -  there are gaps in it: discontinuous and uncomfortable
stile - a turning entryway to an area; the feeding of it implies a good deal of use.

It is paradoxical to me, as I am good and bad to Thee, and our relationship is complex.

Late getting this up, because I was in the 1940's.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Fast Day 261 June 2 2012 {God Speed The Plow}

God Speed The Plow

I am the Buddha, Buddha  of Bamiyan
and I am fully cooked,
in marinade Afghanistan…
being re-incarnated
fast ‘s any man…
into Kabul Smokey Joe
who kick the gong…
stepped on a land mine:
Smokey Joe is legless now,
Cokey Joe is fine…
legless in Bamiyan.

I am the Buddha, Buddha of Bamiyan
and I was much destroying
by the Taliban…
but that don’t stop me,
I just go downtown
get me an old .44
from young dead Man;
Smokey Joe is legless
but I got my head
got it together… in Bamiyan!

Now you see me! Now I not there!
Bamiyan boddhi sleeper
vanish into air!
like a hermit praying
back in his lair;
get me my pick-em-up truck
search high and low
Buddha Joe is legless now-
ain’t that always so?
legless in Bamiyan!

The Plow is a metaphor for the Crutch.

Bamiyan - site of the great statues of the Lord Buddha destroyed by the Taliban 

There are references to the Opium in Afghanistan and its effects.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Fast Day 260 May 27 2012 {Memorial Day In Goshen}

Memorial Day In Goshen

Holidays are thick with ghosts enough
within the barbecue of spirits:
dripping fats and smokey flavor pork
and collard greens and sweet cornbread,
with broken husks like china plates.

And in this festival sat Pharoah, tail-gating,
feasting on the porcine anatomy
and giving gifts of smells and smoke
to the spirits of his ancestrals.

Pharoah ruled in the Fayum of Bombay Beach,
by the ancient spirit lake of Cahuilla,
by the Temple of “The Luck O’ The Irish”
where liquor went for sapphires
on the shore of the Salton Sea.

Moses said when they first came here,
there was nothing but gang-banging and drugs
and shootings in the cities, in El Centro,
but now it was time to go…

If Pharoah did not agree, plagues would afflict
the land:  the waters would not engender life;
the waves would conceal firearms and guns,
overflow the banks and encroach your ground,
killing first-born, male and female.

Eight million fish died in one day alone
in the piscicidal divine rage on Bombay
Beach:  Death’s tilapia silver carpet
rolling gleam like undulant beer can empties!

Well, in Chicago alone  ten people
died of forty-three that were shooting:
holiday barbecues
zombies in Miami
we’re gonna miss these days sometime…
when Pharoah change his mind...


Goshen - the area in Egypt where the Israelites lived

Bombay Beach - a vestigial city on the south eastern shore of the Salton Sea
Fayum - an area of lower elevation in Egypt where Lake Fayum is located.  As it is a depression, there is a parallel to the Salton Sink - where is the Salton Sea - in California.

Cahuilla - the Salton Sink anciently was the lakebed of Lake Cahuilla

Luck O' The Irish - a quondam bar and watering hole in the heyday of the Salton Sea

piscicidal  -  pronounced pis-ki-side-al , meaning the killing of fish. The Salton Sea began to experience massive fish die-offs in the late 1970's due to a number of factors.

This Memorial Day past, 43 were shot and 10 died in Chicago, and there was a real zombie attack in Miami, and I feel very much 'Resident Evil-frame of mind'.

The battle to save the Salton Sea in ongoing. The California Supreme Court most recently hammered another nail into its coffin, however, and water will not be diverted to maintain it. The Salton Sea is in a low depression called the Salton Sink. It has been filled with varying amounts of water over hundreds of years, anciently being an extension northward of the Gulf of California.
It's most recent incarnation was caused by a break in 1905 in the irrigation system supplying water from the Colorado River to the Imperial Valley in California.

It's all about death society and holidays! 

This poem marks the accomplishment of 6 years of this blog. I finally got home from my parents' place  - who are in their 90's and have no internet access - and got this up. 
I have another due for this Saturday, the 2nd of June.

I realize that a lot of this poem requires some familiarity with thje Salton Sea and Bombay Beach, but they are metaphors for the large nation, and there is info on Google and Wikipedia.

Thursday, May 24, 2012


I shall be a little late getting #260 up on the blog. I shall be at my parents who do not believe in new-fangled computer things.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Fast Day 259 May 13 2012 {Mothers' Day 2012}

 Nobori Battle Flags

Mothers' Day 2012

from beyond the moon, or the Milky Way,
the robins come each spring in robin time -
which lasts until the goldfinch nesting comes -
Susan scrubs winter from the balcony,
and plants the first pansies, as colorful
as Japanese nobori battle flags!

this drama recurs with movement calm as sleep:
the magic of the robin’s nest, as we
give up that porch of sweet spring and winter
divide, giving them the place for four weeks
while balcony flower boxes are stacked
everywhere that sun is available!

we await young robins, we unemployed
warriors recruited by Shimada
of the Seven Samurai, battling
the nest-thieving doves’ mindless banditry:
driving them off with well-placed blows and shouts,
which are the fruits of their insolence and crimes!
when we end our vigil in June,  we smile -
having drunk a tonic of the wilderness !

The nest in 2012


I am putting this up early, since it is Mothers' Day today. I had this poem and the one about the engaged couple, which was a papal commission... well, not a papal commission, but a commission, so I had a superfluity of the lyrical this week.
This is for week 5/13 through 5/19, so number 260 will be in week 5/21 through 5/27, which would mark 6 years.

This poem compares pansies to the Japanese battle flags called nobori, and presupposes a little familiarity with the film masterpiece The Seven SamuraiThe Magnificent Seven just will not suffice.
In the Seven Samurai, the samurai warrior Shimada Kanbei gets together a band of seven unemployed samurai to defend a peasant village against bandits.
Doves are paralleled to bandits, because doves are dirty and cannot even build nests.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Fast Day 258 May 11 2012 {An Engaged Couple Viewing Constable's 'The White Horse'}

An Engaged Couple Viewing Constable’s 'The White Horse'

The Melancholy of a summer day,
governing sky unsure of its mandate
to rain or not; certainty gives way:
to lighten, dark, to storm or to abate?

Bride and groom: vibrant morning star and sun;
they cast their spell upon the River Stour,
and  amaze the clay-pipe smoking boatman,
and throw his horse into a mild uproar!

Her gown a messenger of evening clouds,
wearing the cirrus of the bright sunrise,
punctuating the humdrum of the crowds
with bold calligraphy before our eyes!

Two people alike in love’s advocacy,
Uncommon in mutual fidelity!


Written for two people, who are soon to be married much earlier than they had originally planned. I was writing about a photo I had of them at an exhibition, but cannot go into detail, in order to protect their privacy. She was wearing a beautiful red gown as they stood before Constable's painting, hence the emphasis on red.

I have not seen her in years, and him I have never met, so I had to study Constable and his paintings to be able to say anything at all. The painting may be viewed at:

Constable's skies were revolutionary, and he considered the sky to be the "primary organ of sentiment" in a painting.
In this poem, we go from a sky partially cloudy: the weather could improve or deteriorate; this is the source of the "melancholy". We progress to true love, however, and all is well!

In addition, to those who make apologies for their poetry, I think this poem to be a good example of that which can be expressed in no other way. Poetry speaks up to the limit of the ineffable!
Poetry is the Large Hadron Collider of Intelligible Reality.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Welcome May 8, 2012 : The Nature of Poetry

Welcome to
kartika angga dwi pratiwi,
lamp and light,
sundara raman,
and JohnnyDiamondSF.

If I have missed anyone, let me know and I'll be totally befuddled.

I posted a piece about Poetry on my other site this A.M., but it was intended for this site and actually for this welcome.


Why Poetry?

A lot of people have odd opinions about poetry, but it seems that a lot of people have odd opinions about a lot of things these days, so that indicates nothing  except the prevalence of odd notions.
People tend to look down on poetry. I do not have the luxury of being able to do that.
Some people feel they must apologize for their poetry, but I think this is an extension of our society's normal marginalization process, which instills a sense of inferiority and "otherness" into vast numbers of our fellow beings, keeping them at bay.

After two weeks thinking about poetry, I have come this far:
(Note: when I say "intelligence" below, I mean the entire network of intelligence and cognition in a human being, not just "smarts"; I mean the entire neural network and what is implies over time.)

(1) Writing Creatively is a sharing of Intelligent Experience based on the assumption of Communality.

Oratory, Essays, Sermons, and Science papers go to extreme lengths to spell things out and ensure that the audience understands and - hopefully - may at times be persuaded.

Not so Fiction. Fiction ignores the business of building proofs and assumes we are companions already: we eat at the same table of intelligence. Scientists may read the papers of their scientific opponents, but it is rare that people read the fiction appraised highly by people they perceive as being decidedly different from themselves, for readers of fiction assume a communal intelligent experience of the world, not a confrontation with alien views: there is no long-lasting logic to meld alien ideas into an intelligence that has reached a certain level of complexity.

(2) Writing Creatively is an effort to recreate and re-invoke Intelligent Experience

Words are not used merely as enumerators and signs, as they were in early scripts, but are the things of the rhapsodist who recites the works of Homer, and conveys the audience into an altered reality: the reality of Troy recreated and re-invoked, and thus transforms the community of intelligence - the audience - into altered states.

(3) Poetry is Writing Creatively Confined to a Small Space

Poetry needs not meter nor rhyme; poetry only requires a crystalline growth, a certain structure - not necessarily unchanging. Meter was an ancient mnemonic; The Iliad was prose constructed to be remembered and recited, and used meter to aid the process.
Sappho and Simonides were poetry, lyric poetry.
Whereas fiction may ramble and become amorphous (Joyce's Finnegan's Wake comes to mind), not so poetry. As intelligent fellow beings experience Life, Poetry seeks to recreate the Shock of the New, whereas prose seeks to recreate histories and annals of what was once New.

Now this is a good example of what happens when we put our minds to something. Of the three points above, only number three was apprehended by me before 2 weeks ago. The idea that epic poetry was actually prose never occurred to me before, for I allowed the notion that poetry requires meter rule my mind.

We each take life like a deck of cards, we shuffle it, then pass it on to someone else who does the same thing, only each time we touch the cards, we add kings and queens in medieval panoply and symbols from the Levant: gold, silver, attar of roses;  all resplendent against the busy-ness of the four suits from ace to ten:
we hold all cards in communality, but the face cards, kings, queens, and jacks, in all their static ferocity are our poems!
And as we share them, we extend this game of life we play.


Monday, May 7, 2012

Fast Day 257 May 6 2012 {Islands In The Ocean} (1)

Islands In The Ocean

Trees swimming in the midst of distant sights:
wooded stepping blocks within a vast sea,
dropped by a Bauhaus regularity;
when seen afar: an artificial atoll
well stocked with architectural delights.

As we draw near, this order we impeach:
these small appendices to aesthetic
become Edenic kingdoms in turmoil:
Island Galaxies light-years in the Stream!
... or, at least, off some distance from this beach...


Islands, Architecture, Gardens

impeach  - to change an earlier impression

small appendices to aesthetic -  Hegel considered gardens to be small and unimportant parts of aesthetics, the theory of beauty. Gardens were like an appendix to architecture.

(From a distance, the islands looked very regular, and drawing near they took on a jungle of detail, and I thought of the change from hazy nebula to vast Island Galaxies, from regular to complex, and felt small in the universe!..., but, they were still just islands a ways away from the sandy beach. Whether Art or Nature, it was still beyond my grasp, and I sort of give up my galactic viewpoint and become ironical in tone, changing from galaxies to standing on a beach... probably in a bathing suit and looking pale... possibly flabby.)