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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.