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Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Fast Day 342 December 28 2013 Jump, Christmas!

Jump, Christmas!

I am drawing Christmas lights with colored chalks
upon the sidewalk recording hop-scotch dreams:
won't never get to heaven ,
won't never see paradise,
oil, wine, bread, and salt; oil, wine, salt, and bread,
let me jump past Herod, Lord,
and I'll fly my way to Bethlehem,
next to thee to lay my head.

I am spinning Christmas gifts upon my loom,
with the yarn of barberry and holly plants:
will get to heaven soon,
I will sit in paradise,
pass over, red rover, pass over!
let me jump past Pilate, Lord!
I'll serve the Magi three and wise,
their gifts to Thee discover!

Christmas ornaments I sew from a piece of felt,
and sturdy snowmen make for a fine, straight tree!
pines trees grow by heaven!
we climb them up to paradise!
Small limbo, great limbo, and Great Rest!
let me hop-scotch today, Lord!
It is sunny Christmas day... or not!
Carolyn and me... we were best!


picture above:

many of he expressions are mentioned in the old hop-scotch diagrams


Saturday, December 21, 2013

Dast Day 341 December 21 2013 Scent Of Christmas

Scent Of Christmas

Take your dry palates and make merrily moist
with orange and spice and syrup of the pine tree tips;
take cinnamon and allspice, nutmeg and ginger,
to make the Christmas wine -
that ever wet lips,

The Magi brought the golden orange, nailed with clove,
and wrote their words with sprigs of holly's vermilion:
a dogma of aroma, zodiac incensed,
silent, scented doctrine
a perfect love like


Instead of gold, frankincense, and myrrh, we imagine a Magi offering of spices and fruit, thus  creating a faith not built on writ and dogma, but on scent and remembrance of sweet smells.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Fast Day 340 December 14 2013 Oracle and Karma

Oracle And Karma

sit no longer, doomed ones, but fly to the world’s ends;
leave your homes and many malls, multiplexed, suburban;
the brain goes topsy-turvy, and genitals retreat:
the center does not hold.

rebels without cause will drive the chickie run panic;
Buzz, the Studebaker driving, leader of the pack,
comes to tear you all apart, no ammo in your gun;
memory towers: gone.

The shrines of your gods, were they not pitiless also
to Emmett Till? Your arbors bore strange fruit, did they not?
The first Thanksgiving gave way to King Phillip’s war,
asphaltic noose and bomb.


Reworking the first response of the oracle at Delphi to Athens during the Persian War.

stanza 2 ::  refers to Rebel Without A Cause, Buzz is the god of war in his Syrian chariot, or the Studebaker he drove against James Dean in the game of Chicken or "Chickie Run".

composed of my sapphics of 12-12-12-6

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Fast Day 339 December 7 2013 Strategic Irony

Old "Liar!" Wilson

Strategic Irony

the hearts and minds, the minds and hearts
we seek to win most serious,
nation building’s essential parts,
but not to eat: like Syria’s !

we’d love them to death if we could,
save them for a brighter future,
we rarely question if we should,
we just bomb, triage, and suture.

we do not love in Washington,
we have no love fest in D.C.
yet in Kabul and Pakistan
we seek forever amity !


The reference to Syria concerns a Syrian rebel - whom some of our leaders think we should support - who published a video of himself eating the heart of a Syrian government soldier.

The irony is trying to win hearts and minds, as we have stated since the Vietnam War, yet an impoverished friendship within our own political process:  we shut down government, yet we expect foreign peoples to live in an extravagant state of peace and love after we have re-built their nations !

Something is quite wrong-headed about that.


Fast Day 338 November 30 2013 The Yearling

The Yearling

gamhuin ruadh, a yearling deer, we saw;
sitting alone in the back yard,
the neighbors said that they had seen it, too,
alone, with neither buck nor doe.

staring below nuclear warning ears,
warning of the stark orphanage,
pilgrims to the undiscovered country,
awaiting all of parents born.

I saw him once again before we left,
all alone by the neighbor fence,
only the daemon in the root cellar
to protect him now that we have gone.


gamhuin ruadh  ::  pronounce as   gahv-ween  roo-ah    "a yearling deer"

nuclear warning  ::  a deer's alert head reminds me of a nuclear warning sign

daemon  ::  the daemon in the abandoned root cellar, which was covered by the tornado of 1984, is sort of the "genius" of the place.

I suppose this marks the end of the year in which my father passed away. I perhaps shared orphanage in a sense ( a state of being without parent) with the deer.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Fast Day 337 November 23 2013 King Of Yue Garrison Mountain

King Of Yue Garrison Mountain

The King of Yue Garrison Mountain
is traversed by a highway, all eight lanes.

The King of Yue looks at Xiang Lake,
and thinks rippled waters are his army;

he thinks the rarified mists of the dawn
are the great spirits of his ancestors;

he thinks the strong stems of the water plants
are staunch swords held by his noble soldiers;

Wind, water; wind, water, feng, shui; feng, shui;
what are the rights of the natural world?

Do they waves have heart, and the lake a soul?
Or compulsive winds seek revenge?

Xiang Lake is no warrior terra-cotta,
and will not sleep-guard the King of Yue!


Fast Day 336 November 16 2013 Aleppo

View of the Castle and City of Aleppo, Syria


An hour four minutes by horseback,
an hour four minutes to town;
on rural and pagan dirt roadways,
and then on the streets paved with stone.

Broad moat turned into a garden,
an old wall not little decayed,
in atrium bordered by cypress,
a cloister in which ages pray:

There lived the Star of Aleppo,
and she bloomed though seasons did change:
there was narcissus in winter,
and there grew the war that estranged.

I no longer go to Aleppo,
love flown from the bed it once stayed,
the root of my passion is buried
yet while the leaves are decayed.


Sunday, November 17, 2013

Fast Day 335 November 9 2013 The Cooling Pond

The Cooling Pond

perfect Pripyat marshes, oh, 
the setting for a horror film;
college students spend the night,
came across the river,
in a dishwasher boat,
and on the other shore
there was the Chernobyl cooling pond...
and the dog did not bark…
so strange to see a cyclist,
and not to hear the dog bark,
and the students shiver.

a lot of bold mosquito,
whose bloody noses
spread the zombie parasite;
there dwells nearby a watchman
who charges forty rubles to tell you
that the mosquitoes are too thick,
and feed the dog a sausage
which could be your arm
when you wake up and hear
the dog barking
upon the river Pripyat

they invisible bark,
the childrens' silent cry,
the road of rock ruin

spread pandemic's news
in Russia we died in '98
and now we are immune



a student horror film based in Chernobyl.
some students spend the night by the cooling pond at Chernobyl

it is the anti-Yevtushenko

Monday, November 11, 2013

Fast Day 334 November 2 2013 Closing The Cottage

Closing The Cottage

pale sienna, umber brown held in place
by the reddened shaft-like earth toned bunting
of old Anabella hydrangea -
bonneted ash-grey and spotted blackcaps;

I cut them down, dropping them on the clay,
and hear the distant boom of duck hunting,
pluck down an old nest of Philomela,
while the cost of winter fuel I reckon.



I am late with this, as I have been closing the cottage while doing things at my mother's home, as well as my place.

This is an experiment

Anabella is a type of hydrangea, the dead remains of its blooms are the ash grey bonnets, etc.
There is constant far-off gun noise as this is duck season.
Philomela is the nightingale.

lines 1 and 5   share the same long vowel in the final syllable, but not a rhyme.
lines 2 and 6   are obvious, as are lines 3 and 7

in lines 4 and 8  we have what I call a "long consonant" contained in the last two syllables, a "blackcaps" and a "reckon" which, by all accounts, should be a "k" sound that is a bit longer than the usual single "k"... twice as long just about.
The "ck" in "black" is one tempo, not two, so the addition of the "c" in "caps" gives the long consonant, sort of like
"black [pause] caps".

At this point, the "reckon" might be considered one beat, so we read it as two with emphasis on both syllables, reading it as  reck' - kon' 

I have been working on my poetry, also.


Sunday, November 3, 2013

Fast Day 333 October 26 2013 The Death Of The Television Age

Peter Finch in Network

The Death Of The Television Age

the clepsydra of Alexandria
was television in its ancient day,
when Ptolemy was still a gen’ral,
and Phillip’s son surveyed the Bengal Bay;

when Caesar seduced his Cleopatra
while boozing on the eastern Jersey Shore:

even then it screeched and screamed the evening
news that the Rubicon River had been breached,
Marc Antony had shipped to Actium,
or Pompey the field of Pharsalus reached.

We were born together,
and we shall surely fade,
as the Past carnivals to Future,
the world passing in gaudy atomic parade;

and we shall watch the future,
and the kings of the Lunar race,
reigning from Ganges to Yamuna
in a milky river way of space!

 The Social Network


Friday, October 25, 2013

Fast Day 332 October 19 2013 On Viewing Paintings By Jacques Villon

Nature Morte Aux Fleurs Jaunes

On Viewing Paintings By Jacques Villon

awful falafel needs pepper repair;
roll 'em over, gasping!
bang! the gun spoke words
like "Dada."

O, the bulbosity!  O, tool and die!
the bumpity ovoid
of dancing cam shaft's
teasing touch.

terra's on trial like lariat's calf:
cylinder fajita wraps;
scratching on blackboards;
teeth on edge.

wrap aroma and roman prawns asleep;
Van Gogh's repititions,
obsessive looks within
a golden eye.

I had this done last week while in D.C., then I lost it.
It was on a trip to the Phillips collections, where a show called Van Gogh's Repetitions was, consisting of Van Gogh's various renderings of the same subject, and a detailed discussion of how art curators and experts analyze them.

It was terribly obsessive, and I doubt Art can survive art experts and their technology.

Jacques Villon was the brother of Marcel Duchamp and Raymond Duchamp-Villon.

"Dada" refers to Dada... or the Dadaist Movement, if you are obsessive about Art terminology and history.
It's all Dada.
I wished the words to resemble the objects in Villon's paintings; I wished that they would extend linearly and I wished they would bend cylindrically...


Saturday, October 12, 2013

Fast Day 331 October 12 2013 The Father Of The Bride

The Father Of The Bride

The father gave a toast ending with a Shakespeare
quote,  appropriate to this time and to this place
and it moved me greatly how it formed a cincture
binding us, play actors, within this special space;

Proud as Tybalt’s uncle, pater familias,
like the prudent, firm, convivial Capulet;
his world is the cypress and his house the garden
where tender grew the blossom: this sweet Juliet!

my god-daughter was married yesterday.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Fast Day 330 October 5 2013 The Painted Man

The Painted Man

I cannot sleep within my bed
I must pace the hours of lead
cold recollect of new fall snow

Christmas carousel candle
force my foot in ice sandal
frowning morning once again:
Washington news:
painted men...

the painted man’s a symbol
standing behind the demon door
kissing discord’s pomegrant
more hallowe’en

the businessman's uniform,
and deadly nightshade apron
seek to deeply sink their claws!
makes us rebels
without cause



pomegrant  =   "pomegranate" as often pronounced as 3 syllables; the pomegranate is seen as the fruit of Persephone.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Fast Day 329 September 28 2013 The Detroit Symphony: Looking At People Before The Concert Starts

Lang Lang Played In Detroit On September 28, 2013

The Detroit Symphony: Looking At People Before The Concert Starts

passionate seating of a hall;
waiting for the symphony;
ticket shuffling and mixing among
bright ladies from Bloomfield,
and a staff of young brothers
support the Botticelli luxury
of their sister, rising from the sea
of Detroit Symphony!

all the jewels of Baudelaire
have become painted statues:
iPhones held by kouroi and kourai,
deep in meditation,
davening over the screens
which glow like alchemical alembics
of  Doctor Pretorius degree:
the totems of their technology!


kouroi   -  Greek young men
kourai   -  Greek young ladies
davening  -  to pray and gently rock back and forth
Doctor Pretorius  -  A type of Faustian doctor, a character in The Bride of Frankenstein, portrayed by Ernst Thesiger . He delivers a toast, "To a new world of gods and monsters."

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Fast Day 328 September 21 2013 Noontime Demon In Detroit

Noontime Demon In Detroit

As if I did not know,
as if I did not know;
the swarm of birds and the bad thing:
the boy and scorpio.

I did not stop to talk,
I did not stop to chat;
the Motor City Casino,
shiny dime girl and brat.

Great grandpa’s a doctor,
great gramma, she could sing;
he treated all the young ladies
for strychnine poisoning.

Big C gives you coughing,
Hep C gives you pain;
the bad things that come in the air
are tumors on the brain.

I do not drink no booze,
I do not smoke no sticks;
I am a Saint Leviathan
who beat upon the bricks.

As if you do not feel,
as if you do not see;
I will mechanically "combine"
you for the spider’s fee.

I dwell beneath the streets,
I dwell beneath the schools;
my graffiti sun is going down
as the summer cools.

Scorpion Street mem’ry,
I give you stone for bread;
and I shall give you sullen rock,
on which to lay your head.


Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Fast Day 327 September 14 2013 Alice Bombay

Israeli director, Alma Har'el (right) with Benny Parrish on Bombay Beach

Alice Bombay

dogs, cats, and cigarettes;
dead soldier beer bottles
and floating booze;
dogs, cats, and cigarettes,
and cheroots soaked in water
burst open like a deathly flower.

the yacht club is a Stonehenge
with sun and shadow portals
and happy hour;
investment in the future,
can't-miss, dead fish capital
at the end of world war two.

Everybody on Bombay
Beach, well, they love everybody,
‘cept the nasty,
prejudice white guy here;
I will not change who I am;
I will not ever change my color!

The white guys are tilapia,
and they get too much sun,
too much by far,
ninety-four – a million died…
just fill up my ice and beer,
and I never gonna miss him, no.

Social Services will come
take the birds and fishes
and the wetlands;
dogs, cats, and cigarettes...
play my one-string mandolin,
my golden, golden thong.

late again.

Alma Har'el did a documentary on Bombay Beach on the Salton Sea, and that it the antipodes of the USA of Washington, Vegas, and Wall Street.

The voice in the poem is not hers, nor that of any one person in particular. I think it was supposed to change and mutate.

The voice changes as it becomes voices from the various documentaries I have seen on the Salton Sea and Bombay Beach and the neighboring communities. Everyone is talking in this poem, everyone.

The million dead are the tilapia fish, dead in 1994 "ninety-four"


Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Fast Day 326 September 7 2013 Autumn Birthdays

Christina's Autumn World

Autumn Birthdays

Sweet scarlet and golden tanager;
blush of the peach,
red of the apple;
lover of little birds.

You who make the daylight appear,
of golden dawn,
of red sunset,
beautiful day walker!

phragmite islands,
glist’ning paddles,
beautiful morn sailor!

Sweet breeze of the on-shore wind;
hair of cumulus,
breath of cirrus,
veil of our protection!


Saturday, September 7, 2013

Fast Day 325 September 1 2013 Compass Points

Compass Points

on the road to Empire
west of Traverse bay
after you have climbed the ridge
of the farm with twin silos
with a fine transverse
conveyor at their very tops,

there is a bend in the road-
quickly discover
a piece of land trianglular -
wedge of a field
with a loom-like weave,
and shag tapestry of hops.

Romeo’s festival
of peaches ended
Sunday, and blueberries are scarce,
corn’s getting’ starchy…
swedes and white turnips
are the end of season crops.

Halloween coming,
followed by All Saints,
(it's Pumpkin Preservation Day!)
then thanks-feast of roots and gourds,
until Christmas time,
where annual full compass stops.


Late getting this up; was at my mother's over Labor Day until Thursday... and no internet.

"swedes"  -  yellow turnips, rutabaga
"Empire"  - Empire, Michigan
"Traverse Bay"  - Grand Traverse Bay by Traverse City, Michigan

I forget which highway runs to Empire... I think it's 27 or 29 or something like that. There is a farm stand across the street from the farm with two silos and a cover connecting them, which I assume is a conveyor that can be switched from one silo to the other, as needed.

There is a hops farm. They have nets raised between posts, upon which the hops grow like vines.

A meditation on farming and the year past, started by remembering the hops being grown along the road to Empire, Michigan. As summer passes, we have blueberries this year on July 16, then the corn came in, then the peaches in Romeo, Michigan and the festival was September 1.
Then we go through the harvest time to the later feasts and stop end of year.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Fast Day 324 August 24 2013 Christina's Anniversary

Christina's Anniversary

all prospect of green pastures
are not withdrawn and hid from view,
for verily will we be led,
and certainly we shall be fed,
and the lilies of the field be
arrayed as beautiful as you.

we shall gather at the home
that grows beyond  the unused gate,
beyond the stream of waters still,
our friends, standing by the window sill,
trying to get Christina’s eye,
who lay upon the grass, sedate.

the late summer seed are white caps
of prairie grass’s fetch and wave;
she lay prone like a goldfinch child,
lost her way in windy wild;
good shepherd launch his rescue craft...
from world’s corruption he shall save.


Sunday, August 18, 2013

Fast Day 323 August 17 2013 Nightmare Gardens

edited 8-20-2013

Nightmare Gardens

A grumpy demon of the forest haunted
the old root cellar that was beyond the bell vine,
near the old out-house made of wood
to which paint could not stick,
and fell in flayed strips in summer;

where the flowers swooned and paled,
and mildew spread its suffocating powder carpet,
below the bloat of bully and sullen bees
and yellow-jackets, both prisoners
of their poverty and religion :

being hard shell Anabaptists and missionaries,
whose uppermost apparel, coarse saffron striped,
no silk, satin, chamblet, nor taffeta in their gowns…
tired doublets and jerkins of their faith,
their stingers of certain disorders villainous -
evil and malicious against man’s presence;

embittered snakes that crawl along the garden,
see me and interrogate:  God save you, noble sir!
What are the secret whisperings? The grumblings
of the voles and slanders of the mice…
Is the old man gone?

I shouted:
Hieroglyphic animal!
Viper of old times!
Embosomed while envenomed in His very garden!
Serpent author of the books…
divided into four parts…
first, bees and wasps, and those that part the thorax;
then corn, wheat, barley, and ploughing;
Osiris’ tail-bone the third book,
and viticulture the last!
Begone! I cried, as I threw my staff at them.
And I sat down and wept,
weeping long for the past,
when demons hid grey among the ruins,
unseen in their weeds,
where the great marquees of vines
support the dark and sunless day,
creating baleful shadows in the deep recesses!


"unseen in their weeds"  - the old expression "weeds" meaning "clothes"

This may be my father's garden, little attended since his demise, or it may be Eden after the Fall. I have always thought a demon inhabited the root cellar, and grew thin and taut until it could feast on blood or some near-blood items.
It used to frighten me, until I realized how much a prisoner it was, and how obsessed with a paltry existence it was.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Fast Day 322 August 11 2013 Back To Detroit

Heidelberg Street Art, Detroit

Back To Detroit

like virgins and doves
they tumble and turn,
dirigibles over the railroad tracks!

when mankind renews
begin life again,
built from the marvelous bones of our backs!

lessons from the weeds
at Ford Highland Park,
Studebaker sermons from sidewalk cracks!

we dwell in City Possibility,
between the future and the past,
and go to the end of the Greyhound line,
with Eden’s driver -  everlast!



"backs"  -   refers to     جْبُ الذَّنَب and this is the "'ajab adh dhanab", or the miraculous bone of the back ("luz" in Jewish lore and probably the hieroglyph for Osiris)from which the body is renewed on the Day of Resurrection.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Fast Day 321 August 3 2013 Watch and Chain

Watch and Chain

As we closed up the cottage
he sat alone outside,
upon the old and mildewed bench,
just gazing at the sky;
I wondered if he would return
to look upon the cove;
I wondered then if he would see
another summer’s rose.

Don’t sell my daddy’s wedding ring,
don’t sell his watch and his chain;
don’t sit in the chair that he sat in;
it will only cause us pain.

Fishing lines he no longer knots,
leaving them apart,
he means to clean the tackle box,
but he does not even start;
the ensign and the helmsman
on the gangway of his mind;
he’s walking to the Navy yard:
all memories behind.

Don’t sell my daddy’s wedding ring,
don’t sell his watch and his chain;
don’t sit in the chair that he sat in;
it will only cause us pain.