Friday, April 9, 2010

unWholy ePisodes

I posed

A hundred years while playing
Misfortune’s bitch

At the Bay House Theatre a lightning bolt hit us
Knocking out Time’s teeth
On a baby grand piano

I sat like a rat
Trapped in the limelight

I paused
To put on yr funny funny face
Before weeping like a man in a little girl-mask

I vomited doom
& danced like a harlequin

As I brought down the house
I dreamed I heard a sensible tale

I stole every line
& staged it at midnight

Off beat
In a manner of speaking

A fire caught fire in one little chair

My bed room got soaked
By the flood of your tears

I ate the heart of a live grenade
& all I remember is

How sensitive were the calla lilies


With my razor hand
I crumpled up a Budweiser beer can

The dregs at the bottom
Predicted a fracture
Of half-drunken images

I foresaw myself as an ember
A loose fiery speck turning to soot

Caught in the crook of a small distant branch

& all of us corpses dipping our heads
In submission
Almost religiously
Walked in & out of a bath of odd yellow light

Blinking: Caution! Caution! Caution!

A single crow mocking us: caw caw caw
Getting half the word out


The Thames appeared grey
Precipitously neutral
Faint & fading against a patter of commerce

Raunchy as the dead & dying tribes of shrill & screeching prep school girls
Marching down Fleet Street


Dear Miracle on Fleet Street,

I am taking your place
Yr leaden sentiment kills

My heart is a poem & a place
Beyond what is named

What is felt is all wrong

You must justify your version
You must walk without hesitating

Nothing is measured
I must always persuade you

To listen

Are you mad as a Hatter?
Are you normal as normal can be?

The whole world it seems
Is shattered / destroyed

A door opened only
At the mezzanine level

Of the great San Francisco fire
& earthquake of 1906


I am leaving
You alone

I no longer feel
Any empathy

For the tumult of the 20th Century

I am beginning
A new plot

Chock full
Of new twists

Better than
All my previous attempts

At gore
& redemption

The circles
Are plumper

More savory


Like hens
Force fed on

Growth hormones
& Iowa corn


A moment alone
Looking at

A long silent parrot fish
A feeling if you must

These are a new American subconsciousness

The cravings of a half life
& underground

The last thing anyone needs
Is a vibration
That’s only mostly human


As the last of the land came rising up

I latched

Any tempo
Around me


This seemed
Like a paradise
At first—purely Calvinist & the Chipmunks
Were delicious

So we stopped
& got civilized—

A man named Sherman married a woman named Sarah

He opened a dry cleaning business

He died the next day

He was one who looked out

He was buried in winter

The very next day his dog ate a raven

He had such a year

He felt he could breathe

He died of a blood clot stuck in his brain

He could’ve been saved had he not eaten fat

Which he ate every day

A pearl
Was his handle

A prairie

He got up
& he line danced

He loved
Terra Haute

In a huff
He gave way

He sorted
His feelings

His tears
Were like snow flakes

Like ice flows
That spiraled

They were

That was

& his poems
Were like persons

All laughter
Some bitter


My little pet crab cake
Got yanked off its leash

& ran off the road

Its words were so beautiful
It stood in a film

On aisle 9
It seemed a dangerous balloon

A gift for now
A pittance for later

Fat as a Fatty Arbuckle

Hazy & abstract as
Rothko’s post-war abstractions

Fat flat horizontal

A shimmer of color
For sale at the end


In the absence of the wiener cart man
I zip up my fly in the amber museum

Our jazz piano pointless as a village
With one mouth
Between ‘em

& dreaming of fire
& hollow as a hollow man
A strange wild horse still snorts like a fiend
In make-believe stables

In the nightmare of horse stalls
It kicks out at phantoms

& spits
Wanting out

Of this cockeyed world

Some of us are cherubim
Some of us are demons

Our bodies flung against
Rake of the railroad tracks

Like piano keys
One ivory
One ebony
Set adrift in a copse of slowly dying elms

Our eyes look up
& there on the bulletin board—the haggard but heavenly face
Of warlord LBJ

A face can be art
Or as sad as a cloud
But never a warped wooden frame


& this is how we live now—

Conniving with doubt
A curse on or lips

The clock we’ve become has been disassembled
Deconstructed by angels of pure undulation

The future applies itself

On a face without skin
We sit in our skeletons
Shivering & winsome
Aching in our kitchens

Why don’t we cry?
Why do we wail?

We beg our brothers for money
For food

We beg them for mercy
For our children

Expecting none
For ourselves

But receive only a promise
A face that is twisted & carbuncled

We are laughed at
& ridiculed by the neighborhood urchins

Who turn off their scorn
And battle each other

Like the children they are
Over maps they have found

One word to settle disputes
The oldest of which is Meaning

& by this it is meant
A boy bringing chocolates
& daffodils to school on St Valentine’s Day

Useless in a sense
But prevalent

Nearer art & poetry
Than a thousand confiscated canvases
Than all the contraband volumes of verse
Locked away in the dark
Or burned on the square

In the gleam
Of an eye
We catch sight of the censor

& we are the censor


In the phone book
Is the answer to most


This was Kafka’s

paternal contention


The remains of

Miles Davis
Though trumpets cut flowers in the 21st Century

Not faces

Are hawked by his trumpet
Make silence a downer

One is the Bronx
Where the hiss of a radiator
Is sending my love

A lobster
From clairvoyant Chicago

Circa the Jazz Age

& foolish with blood stains
Are love’s petty radio waves

A blue cow
Said someone in church

(Mistaking The Fauves

For the animal
De bruk)

A new music box
Enters an old social era


As though the west progressed

One belittling at a time
Of need

A single word
Begets a second

& writing
Is a crow

A Bishop’s miter becomes a tale
That is hidden

Marginal for its skepticism

It falls
To one side
With contagion

Forward march, said the one story pre-fab
& up the driveway we stormed

But holding our tongues

We shaved off
Our beards

Our beards of water

Our beards of nourishing peanut butter

A knife at our throats
At a low point of Lent
The ashes ran through us


Skunks slink among the seat cushions
Of the divans of our Greek inheritance

They lurch and they poke
Looking for coins

Rank crumbs bristle against skunk smiles
Their feasts are bits of stale potato chips
& Oreo crumbs

The birthing of the postmodern
Cinema / abattoir
Summons them to street corners

The nexus of whirling
Is the intersection of a boulevard
& a man with amnesia

As father is
A gutter
Is a beautiful skunk
But lacking speech
His eyes dim
& glitter
With animus
Impossible skunk
A deep sadness
Derides him

He writes out in long hand some difficult passage

A miniscule lyric
To be critiqued

& passed on


Our traffic school is French today

A psychological dream
Of a flute & French horn

It plays itself
As if by an If

Maybe a gull
Killed dead in mid-air

Still flaps
Its wings

Enter Monsieur Voyeur
At l’ecole despair

Where do all our little wrongs go?


I just gotta say…

Aloha, Hugh Hefner
Hello, Adolf Hitler

I started Prilosec today

I am young & featureless

& stuffed like a teddy bear

A haggard man
Handles the wheel

I have eaten my share of cranberry soap

Simon says…

What have you heard until now?

The history of the suffering of the foolish computer

Whose startling biography
Is no match for a human’s

The myth of the broken down dreamer
The deep-sleeping fat one
Whose deep-seated angst is a line dancing bear

His raptors’ repast is the song of a cricket
Whose soul is a suicide

I drift in & out of
The satisfying lines

& ghoulish notes
Of statistics

If this is all a mental Christmas experiment in love
I have only imagined I exist
As a colorful Chagall

In a void
Of skewed

& skewing



The Magician’s boxy black girl friend
Is blocking access

To his view of the future

The old man can’t find
His prize possession

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