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Thursday, November 26, 2015

Song of 81 Poems - XXXVI

Once we sighed to ourselves . . .
Healed time with wine,
Improved a black-headed silhouette,
   about the need of which sweet dish
   was dazzled.

I understand she hardened,
   All about cunning trouble.
Let's walk, it's better
   we know our morning glory.

Free a society, form observations modeled,
   so we can lick a grand River!
I'm proof, see I'm sane,
Tell your bird why I tripped
     on my other canvas.
It almost makes smoke investigate humidity.

I like representing your calm body as a sculpture
   though, your surface was almost concrete.
So share a new young street.
Run angry beneath empty music.

Are we agreeing that we should know?
a cruising metaphoric opinion
   licked clean of her bearing?

Throw her torpid form through
Clean sex and fast romance
   feels clever.
God rest in peace,
   would it be tearful if I made a man
   take my milky soft and faithful passion.

Unless astonished by my work and power
   your wasted selves appear many though positive.
I've chosen a straight water ritual.

I can't stick around. She erred,
    picked an aggressive act too enormous to enjoy.
Asking if Guilt is abuse.
   she says I'm always fed up.
She sincerely said some thing,
   Its giving away head competition.
For absurd as it sounds,
  we  see in front, the edge of observation.

Enervate the delight.
My sculpture won't mind.
   If so, I'd grip it.

Trust that we'd join in clever strength
   about the yardman
you can hide perfume, glory owes you money.
An ancient babbling sound
Vaporized, a palpable past of infinite idols
   reaching for aesthetic cleanliness.

In all ways she spun a faithful breath instrument.

My happy angel's broken past was the life she formed.
I never said you are dead,
   droll-natured neighbor.
Leave blunt creativity there
    if surreal courage glitters incarnate,
Sucker, celebrate your dirty vulture breath or puke,
    a lying solution's better than money.

Try a good society girl, all drunk.
Don't jealous boy, destroy absurdity.
   I'm Death, I imagine sodden, trotting cuddles.
I manipulate, empower, then delight.

Sculpt Angel under observation,
   play then work.
Let's share a dance - I am a symbol of space,
   make some other calm, united.
   Use emotion on lost energy.

‘Till, I questioned,
I tried to play mellifluously.
My daughter thought, "Write, dazzle, cook . ."

At most I will suffer peace at dusk.

Song of 81 Poems:

  1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35
37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45
46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54
55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63
64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72
73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81

Thursday, November 19, 2015


this piece
was the one lost
on your tour of the galaxies
stolen by that woman
who envied you
you're a bit of jelly in the sea
you glow but have stopped growing
yet you learn
your body will be devoured
or you will be in Orion
before I ring the bell

Will we Progress?

Will we make progress?
Raised by fire
since we were tiny beings,
we relax torn muscles,
then limp into darkness,
to be eaten.
Why won't three lifetimes
as mountain neighbors
call back our youth?
How could foolishness
reincarnate beauty?
Do something!
You'll understand,
and incarcerate everything.
Love is just delivery from time,
Join me there, at least.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Stuart Little

It jabs me, how
the milky swirl of the cosmos
put love where starlight cannot reach.
Believe it all, trust, don't question.

Student, of perfection
immaculate hair,
feather fans, fluttering curls,
Take time your sport,
your car has scented envelopes
with surprises,
Letters you said
that flew from across the stars.

You put on the lightweight suit
and pinstripe blouse.
for the special guest . . .

And I whispered
when you crossed the table
Introduce yourself!

You rained into my eyes
I sat at the edge of my saucer,
and drank tea.

I told you I'd return,
lifted you into my hands.
I lied, carried on.
You pressed a wafer
into creases of my palm.
I left it at your feet
alongside a bag of letters.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Dionysus and the Muse


The Muse hears inspirations mouthed, vocalized, words insisted upon by the Goddess of language. Drama begins as her language, uttered to you.

Language forms this way . . . we listen to masks!

Voices erupt, echoes layered from a chorus. The rituals, payment, prayer, blessing, are uniform, effects close and personal.

Was it mysterious because it was new? Are we to believe Johnson, and subsequently Borges who implies that every word at one time was a metaphor?

From drug-induced congresses with Demeter at Eleusis in Greece, to temple burnings of the Agnicayana, the intrusions of a Coryphaeus in productions by Dionysus, drunken orgies with maenads, all appeals to numinous demiurges, appeals for the boon of genius. He verbalizes what we think. We move and act, he utters a summation.

Character emerges, weather from masses of air.

Dionysus, a Spartan born of heroic Greece, and wine-god on Olympus, populated millenniums of myth. He was hunted by Spartan patriarchs, his sin: teaching viticulture to women. Some say he was captured and torn to pieces, others say escaped to India. Beheaded perhaps, Dionysus lives on a herm, on a column, or a dramatic mask. His terror, humorous or violent, is ever present.

He interfaced with the Goddess, his wild thiasus of maenads, a procession of crazed women and satyrs with erect penises maintain him as the drug-induced bad-dream rock star we all know. Outside his vehicle he is a purveyor of horror, grotesque acts, crimes, and confusion.

Dionysus is Charles Manson, Puck, also Charlie Rose. Agreeing with everyone but himself, disagreeing with everyone including himself. He or she, for Dionysus is also Kali and female, the Wicked Witch of the West, and Baba Yaga, the evil demoness of the forests.

One imagines the subcontinent prior to acculturation by modern Hinduism. No wonder Kali followers count highest in geographic regions destroyed by floods or earthquake. We're speaking of Gods playing the role of destroyer on the stage of existence.

The Muse was acknowledged by Homer as the creator of the Gods themselves. She was their mother, and was said also to have raised 9 daughters. Human arts, history and culture were divided between them. When Apollo's priesthood took over the Oracle at Delphi, the feminine tradition remained firmly rooted in the tradition of the Muse. The sole difference after the takeover by Apollo? The fees collected were sent to Athens.

So male dominance spread throughout all the Mediterranean oracular sites. That ancient debate, culture, the history, intellect, and language of all forms was ceded along with all treasures, to the female side of the psyche.

Since that male/female division of territory, communication with the Goddess became a complicated ritual for navigating densities of masculine myth. It involves drunken mediums like Dionysus, accompanied by troubling or unreliable liaisons with Hermes as guide. Meetings with Delphic oracles opine on subconscious riddles, layers of inquiry are crafted by the chorus and speakers on the Greek stage. One might trace elements from these theatrical rituals into the heart of Catholic mass, or to the cult of psychics who aid modern police in locating criminals.

Metaphor always returns its calls.

The sullen God of wine resented the Muse's carping presence - he is happier with woman who are nonsensical, screaming or mute. One wonders whether antics by Dionysus pleased or insulted the Goddesses of poetry and history. Dionysus is a foil for talent, Pancho Sanza, Robert Frost's neighbor, Shakespeare's Puck, Coleridge's wedding guest joins the meeting where finer things are made. He's the life of the party, also the one who goes too far and breaks it up.

Might we engineer a metaphor, similar to the way a doctor provokes an involuntary response with his hammer, and dispense with all this ritual? Mightn't words disturb patterns of the collective and produce statements from its center, poems structured about a narrative live with a heavy burden? If the thread appears organized, the Muse scrambles that semblance. Dionysus performs what fragments survive, makes sure no shreds escapes without destruction. The vanity of wholeness is abandoned to the complication of storytelling.

This thought leads a poet to temptation, the one offered by modernism. Perhaps no greater experiment was ever conducted as the abandonment of story, Mystery was incorporated into the metaphor itself which lived naked and alone, man-made not God-made, and in so doing, stripped numinous content from any larger meaning.

Joyce, Klee, American abstract expressionists, Wallace Stevens, all produced works unburdened by the requirements of ritual and narrative.  Tired myth flows past us, blossoms on the water that must have been tossed in upstream. The numinous mystery is lost. A rose was no longer needed. Neither were creatures in the wild.

So we wander a corpus, rotting, but of human creation. Are we writers also in the degenerate stages of language, when poems arise from composting earlier poets?. Is there no new metaphor to come from the source?

We seek stories from the other side, but behind the curtain the question always floats forward, what story is ours? What tales come home?


Glossy Black

The mad engineer steps aside,
He baits a hook with one of her pearls.
Take note, a photonic illusion
perfect as a lake in fog.

Missives from dark water
fishes, serpents, eels
dance across the floor of our house,
pivot and twist when they are cut.
Each deserves the right, somewhat, to decide its own death.

At some point much will be divulged.
All will be shown.
Only what has been shared
may be saved.

Miriam Dactyls met Sondre Destre,
I read her a rich psalm, thrice to remove
every troll and trill.

If Logos has gone, then Madness shall write its own record.
"The Liberty of Fools."

I doubt we'll see it,
September came and passed and then made time
for the beginning of a new reign. So be it.
Tigers are in the bush,
So are cobras, glossy black.

A Call to the Numinous


Down the dark arm of a lake in the Adirondacks, I listened in rapture as my father yodeled into the shadowy hulk of a mountain. The forest and still water of the lake rang with his notes. Birds, owls, coyotes took up the call. For me it was magical, I did not reason it was my father's voice I heard.

The poem is the key, the yodel into the blackness of night. It brings back with it a chorus of the unexpected.

To the pre-classical ancients, poetry and metaphor were one, married by a dramatic ritual.

The approach to metaphor was dangerous, propitiously made with offerings. The Muse is capricious, gifted, but treacherous. Dionysus the otherworldly assistant to dramatic performances in a modern world, recruited the sane into his callings and made them mad like him.

Religion institutionalizes the ways and means of madness, integrates a bit of healthy madness for all of us, with our dreams, with what we can't understand.

Approaches to the Gods are fraught with danger, summoning Kali or visiting Baba Yaga in the forest, potentially deadly.  Dionysus's maenads tore the living apart in orgiastic frenzies of horror. Baba Yaga and Kali both drank blood. Vampires all, just as authors are vampires of language.

A writer allows himself to be eaten, but drinks the blood of poetic ancestors. For sound, like light, is vibration and in vibration exists the passage of all that passes from one place to another.

Borrow the ritual from someone else? How long did the source of the Nile evade Western explorers?

A murky understanding may be felt more than understood. It doesn't razor past our pupils in bright light. Darkness covets. The abyss holds secrets.

Sometimes meanings seem clear. For instance with Farsi court poetry, there is so much, too much even. All is there, all readable, all logical. Why do some poems, not others, stir the imagination memory, awaken old DNA? Have Heraclitus and the I Ching become poetry?

I'm not really conscious of what forces me to finish my project on the vampire. At best he may be a metaphor, male logos that has stripped language of numinous content. The vampire has lived rather long don't you think? He's a tired trope. He drains language of meaning. I know things will have to change. Yes, my vampire must die but it hasn't happened yet. Perhaps his death is a shift in subject, perhaps the poem is no longer about him at all.

When speaking of metaphor, think source, as in the sources of rivers. Every salmon in the sea knows where that is. It may be easy to grasp, or nigh impossible. But it is sensed. It may be a riddle, has never solved, but left to confound readers with mystery for centuries to come.


Thursday, November 5, 2015


Some quantity got exceeded,
that mathematicians make sense of.

After a long time passed.
We took much to ease our fears,
rattling within us,
when we sailed to that foreign land.

Some illness took root,
in a group of us
now so powerful.
So they will make the mistakes
that bring a new demise.

Walt Whitman did you cry?
I'm lost now.
Thomas Jefferson wrote
by light of oil from heads of whales
yet a slave brought him tea.
That which is self-evident, may outlast tyranny
yes, even if those that see it are dead.

No warriors, only terror
the new world, then as now
belongs to a few.

All those papers?
Dust in a mausoleum.

Our peace was illusory,
our monster worse than George
who had a head, two hands, two feet
and a wooden navy.

This black slug
mimics a branch.
A tiny head of bright red
makes you reach for it.
It watches everything you do
and makes you a slave.

Fall will come,
maybe not this life, maybe not the next.
Such orders falter more quickly than most.
they lash out, vulnerable.
Peaceful kingdoms have no history.
no architecture
marble palaces or concrete bunkers

The peaceful heart beats
in a home of mud and sticks.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015


In your many names I see . . .
frank sense . . . demure . . . poetry
where did you go,
I miss your dreams.
 . . . to heaven sent . . .
our grapes . . . our tea . . . our sacrament.

My voice is hoarse . . . feathers black . . .
In my coffin . . . on my back . . . I'm spent.

Come open up, let me out . . .
Release me from this awful drought.

You met me with fields of waving grain . . .
Yet fed me dreaming again
for your brother and lover,
Osiris who came
is it possible . . .
To put him together again.
 . . . You will find each other. . .
 . . . You're his sister, wife and mother.

I saw your dance today two ears of corn . . .
 . . . Isis instead of a microphone . . .
I saw your dance . . .  heard your voice . . .
Felt your trance . . . amidst glances
 . . . of a dozen admiring boys.

I wanted to talk to you . . .
Of wishes and dreams. .
to meditate upon your clues
And compose your light in beams.

Two rivers . . . fresh and blue . . .
joined . . . and talked . . . a mournful tune.
The river road floated north,
No need to drive . . . or walk . . . this you know . . .

Dark? . . . this isn't true. .
light inside . . . the rest just isn't you . . .
You light my back . . .
to prove . . .
take any dimension . . .
 . . . up to you.
Alas you would . . .
come through resurrection . . .
And once risen . . .
would see me differently.

the hurt heart . . .
wanting . . .
the world do its part
If there were no fear else . . .
Fear rolls the wheel
 . . . of Kali's cart.
a body has no time to heal
 . . . spirited away in sixteen parts.

I await again . . .
 . . . where it is dark . . .

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