Sahara Blues

Lonely little lion,
endlessly waiting for what is due.
In the glittering blackness,
your face glows pale blue.
You light up the way,
to make room for new memories.
But no matter what you do,
nothing will ever be as you please.

You know they wouldn’t be dreams
if they ever came true,
so accept the experience of waking life
as an inspirational cue.
At least now you are able to see,
what is truly required to be –
completely independent and eternally free.

To circumnavigate loneliness,
is an impossible task.
You cannot thrive behind the protection of a mask.
Patience is a virtue,
until its silence burns you.1
Though they differ only in verbs,
to make the path – not walk the path -
pose two radically opposite words.

Little lion, lonely lion,
now do you see?
How truly blessed you are to have retained your memories?
Alas, allow your consciousness to unfold,
down the pathways that you so choose to mold.
Calm nerves will help to keep you afloat
pending the pernicious Mr. Hyde doesn’t sabotage the boat.
Why, you ask, would he ever do that?
Believe you me –
if I knew the answer,
I’d stop looking back.

Yet ever so slowly,
time trickles along.
Though you loathe her existence,
without her, fail we would to float on.
At least she taught you,
what it means to be contrite.
Unfortunately, you lost the standoff,
and suffered self-indulgence’s grimmest bite.

People bitch and moan;
they say, “Romance is dead!”
“All that remains is a commercialization of something once read.”
Naysayers, to thee,
I say, “Pipe down!
Romance will live on with the lion around.”

Intransigent little lion,
lost far away from home.
Bleeding paws and blind eyes,
cursed to pensively roam.
“This is the life,” the lion thinks out loud.
“With four paws on the ground and my head in the clouds.
No sir, I won’t be so stoned surprised,
when we wake up in the stars with the skies in our eyes."2

The opportunity arises,
and I am ready to talk.
For out I have crawled,
from beneath the aegis de la rock.
Fear not, though crafty,
this lion will not deceive you.
Behold the master plan!
Designed to let in a select few.
In ink and hastily scribbled black lines,
the lion unleashes something inwardly divine.
Silence your scoffs,
and read beyond this petty script.
For this play on words is a piece of my soul depict.

Oh, Jim Bean and the American Dream.
The lion desperately seeks to escape the scene.
Upon a solitary fork, arise two prongs:

One - leading to seclusion.
One - poised devout in righting wrongs.

On endless escapes,
the solemn lion goes.
In which direction?
No one knows.

[1] TV on the Radio. "Love Dog." Dear Science. Interscope, 2008. MP3.

[2] Violent Femmes. "Lies." 3. Slash, 1989. MP3.


The Illusory Punchbowl

"Upon this point, a page of history is worth a volume of logic."
-- Oliver Wendall Holmes

Can you trust the hand that penned the history you read? As usual, you are left to subjectively discern, for yourself, the agenda subliminally etched in bleeding black ink. A perpetual system of selective presentation. Omittance kindles disorientation. Aimlessly wandering around the concentric circles, Meno's timeless paradox. Headline acquaintance proves no longer sufficient, our liberty is at stake!

Qui si convien lasciare ogni sospetto;
ogni viltà convien che qui sia morta.1

Conscious investigation releases inchoate suspicions. Descending to the pits, wading cross Cocytus, down to the den housing basement stacks. Books on top of books of irrefutable transcription, buried alive beneath a miasma of frozen dust. Here lie depository items you can trust. Chiseling away in a dark, dismal hole, bears a brutal burden upon your soul. A time and a place for ruthless criticism unfolds, when eons of hidden secrets have remain untold. Inherently your country, a component of your very being, so intrinsically imbedded prevented you from seeing. Jaw locked in flesh, tongue tied at best, nausea sinks in. Putrid and wildly unkempt. America! America! Who are we? Enslaved citizens since the start of history. Socialism, communism - the devil's work indeed! Kennedy was catholic but still too liberal for the media! Recession every decade, a broken economy? Oh, what the F-E-D would have us believe! While we sip from the punchbowl mindlessly. An incipient Jonestown Massacre, here we are dumfounded in dismay, when finally they say, "Enough is enough" and yank it away. The supreme, greedy reign over us all, driven by that cheeky suit and tie gall.

Now with freshly open eyes our true friends appear.

"Amicus Plato amicus Aristoteles magis amica veritas."2



[1] Alighieri, Dante. The Inferno. New York: Signet Classic, 2001. Print.

[2] Newton, Issac. "Sir Isaac Newton’s Note-book, 1661–1665." Ed. A. Rupert Hall. The Cambridge Historical Journal, 9 (1948). 239–50. Print.


Nausea

Breathe in
Breathe out

You fooled yourself
You hold no clout
Trifling circumstances
Now vision’s revoked
Irony present in that cloud of smoke
Suddenly you begin to choke

Breathe in
Breathe out

Freeze and sit down
But please do not shout
Hopeful expiation
Lost in constant reverie
Meditation inculcates to an endless degree
Glory waits behind the luscious sage bush
Lavender beaming the scent with a gentle push

Breathe in
Breathe out

But not out than in
Cause over function
Restart again1
Force it down
Dress it up
Check yourself in the mirror
You’re a sitting duck

Blink once
Blink twice

The blurriness subsides
Do you really think
That you’ve been deprived?
A haze remains
Coyly vexing the pain
Don’t be a fool
Release your hold on the rules
Fly free with no restraint
It’s your picture to paint

[1] Dance Gavin Dance. "Tree Village." Happiness. Rise, 2009. MP3.


Telos

Warm, white sands
I dream of you by day
Curl my toes
Escape death throes
No more the need to pray

Way far out
There lies a faint blue strip
Do I see?
It cannot be
My mind is not equipped

What I fear
As the dark clouds draw near
Will surely knock me on my back
The beach morphs to
A white wall over all
Now in my room
Wait –
In my room?
You knew your mind was small

Out of it
Maimed eyes blockade the view
Lucid light
A ghastly sprite
Slight, he drifts, through the pews
Chastise me
Baptize me
Free my soul
An answer, he has, for it all
Why is it a fake face fits so well?
It shapes me
It forsakes me
It provokes me to rebel

Too much thought
That’s my curse
All the time, it squeals and grinds
Sharp hiss
Loud trill
Lips pursed

If in the end
My face I know not
I’ll flay my skin and let it rot
Let by-gones be by-gones,
So they say
Yet we know they flee
When filled with dismay

Flabbergasted by the badger’s gall,
I drown myself in alcohol
The unbearable burn,
Am I clean?
I wish this was just

One
Bad
Dream

Dark, velvet red
The curtains close
Left in an empty room.
All you have is what you know
Do not mistake me
For some lame lamb
For five words sound 'round
I think therefore I am


Droop Little Leaf

The long, lost love in a flower vase1
dropping leaf after leaf,
further building my case.
Turbid memories stir the need for immediate fumigation.
In order to deter early-onset petrification.
Trial and error,
please try again.
Desire slowly decimating all perceived protection.
Quick, take hold, if you wish to reach ascension.
Down by the sea, in wooden ships we plea.
I tremble at the thought of my imposed decree.
A swollen surf carries the cardinal winds off the coast,
in turn making me fear myself the most.
Who is to be that sweet apple of my eye?
Knowing rhetorical questions come with no reply,
still I try...
still I try...
still I try...

[1] Ghostland Observatory. "Sad Sad City." Paparazzi Lightning. Trashy Moped Recordings, 2006. MP3.


The Guilt Machine

The guilt machine fueled mighty by Mingus.
Coffee strong, coffee black, it's a 1:15.
I rest my feet, and slip away into a dream.

Awake, my eyes meet two blood-red walls.
Boots below congenially contrast the eggshell tile.
An ethereal reminder I have been absent quite awhile.

A plaque above the door reads: ‘The Room of Times Long Past’.
Spectral beings remain trapped,
but their presence evokes no fear.

Long ago transported here, placed carefully under lock and key.
Blast the Haitian fight song while I reminisce and stroll around.
Its cadence fills the room with a familiar sound.

Snapping lightly, prancing toward one case.
In a cagey manner, though, not with haste.

Who shall be entertained today?
In the unlocked box, lay the passions of a man.
Whose wry confessions prove painfully sullen and bland.

Upon a chair he manifests.
Then the guilt creeps in ever so predictably.
A product of dejected eyes poorly cloaking hard-knock fury.

Experience plays ball, easing all concern.
Poor pity swoops in, grabbing hold of the reigns.
For you have been down this road and you have played all his games.

He takes advantage every chance he gets.
Sometimes I cave and regretfully let him in.
Only to watch in horror, history repeat itself again.

Shaking my head in a perfected lowly manner.
Yearning to express my disdain with every last bit of candor.

The damage done retains some potential to be fixed.
Why, oh why, does he not bother to try?
The answer, to which, will probably die at his side.

Six years have come and gone, with time the distance grows.
When chance by mirror springs reflection back,
My claims are justified, and I can no longer cut him slack.

Even now in a learned and gentle state,
one fate be not exempt from unearthing newfound limits.
A weary heart will wither when windblown by endless gimmicks.

Futile flings to save face merit no credence at all.
Inherently demonstrating the small mind of a man,
whose common sense fled when he forsake his wedding band.

Though crude judgment withheld.
It’s true - people fall out of love.
Still I was spoiled by a luxury then left abruptly bereft of.

Sure, betrayal’s bitter taste lingers like a pellicle on my tongue.
But seriously, come on, do you think nothing can be done?

Even though to see him has become a rarity.
When I do he pokes and prods, then dumps his pain on me.

An unfathomable petulance is brooding just within.
To see it from a bird’s eye view would send the needle for a spin.

Always expecting me to bow in submission,
But he never earned my respect, thus I choose not to listen.

To be fair, there once was a time when he treated me well.
But I refuse to let memory cast upon me her spells.

Perhaps a day will come when his eyes open to see,
that he has been given damn near every opportunity.
If he’d only put forth a little genuine effort,
things between us might be a helluvah a lot better.


Fables of Bella Luna

Midnight moonlight,
look up to see,
the law of reciprocity.
Thinking about the better days
when I didn't think as much.
August brings a late blue moon,
and with it tows my disillusion.
Lost and innocent world of today;
Indicative of the way we all behave.
Reactors call upon the ardor for change.
Though weak and ineffective
for our bodies be lame.
Denting the metal,
breaking the glass,
plastic coating the paper played by copper and brass.
The beat picks up,
lithely carried through the hub,
in the music an experience of existential love.
How could I know?
How could I ever imagine?
The sound in waves,
the pure taste of blancmange.
The space in between the notes
provides room to transcend daily tropes.
Taking leave aboard the GG train,
hung on the hook,
lungs suffer elongation.
Shimmering silver falls to the Earth.
Shedded from its source,
slowly disappearing due to dearth.
Periwinkle glows off the water down yonder.
And you are losing your precious mind.
Oh yes, you're losing your mind.
I said you're losing your mind.
RX fusion - the only conclusion.
Do I dare say I'll struggle in a billion dollar market?
They have a pill for ever trouble
and an ad for every target.
A time when we feared not having medicine to take -
to a time when we fear the medicine they make.
So give it to me straight,
I'm sure I'll feel alright.
Stifling howls to bask
in the midnight moonlight.


Lickskillet

I'm getting so tired of waiting on you.
Everything in my head punishes me
Everything in my head ravishes me.
There is nothing I can do.

I'm getting so tired of waiting on you.
At the break of dawn you're in my head
I crave to have you in my bed.
In hopeless agony, I know I'll lose.

I'm getting so tired of waiting on you.
South of me going arrogantly along.
Thinking you've done nothing wrong.
Filling me with fear that I'm unable to subdue.

I'm getting so tired of waiting on you.
Doth my name spring about like a cool, refreshing breeze?
Or rather as a pestering ring you wish would leave?
Oh, the sharpening sting you imbue.

I'm getting so tired of waiting on you.
Naivety shan't be your claim.
Cause I'm just as good at playing games.
Me and you, the autodidacts of the few.

I'm getting so tired of waiting on you.
Over shoulder, darkening in a charcoal smear.
Stuck wishing you wouldn't have left me here.
Too long I took while you started life anew.

I'm getting so tired of waiting on you.
Blame lay still in a wicker frame.
Ignited by self-conscious flame.
But I promise, I promise, my love is true.


Crossroad Blues

Down at the crossroads I gambled with fate.
As the clock struck twelve, Maximón appeared.
For love I begged, but my soul he did take.

A deal was then made that I could not break.
Ruled by loneliness, the mistress of fear.
Down at the crossroads I gambled with fate.

Snapping his fingers, no more to debate.
He flashed a wry smile, a sadistic sneer.
For love I begged, but my soul he did take.

Day after day left to endlessly wait.
But love never came to dry up my tears.
Down at the crossroads I gambled with fate.

A manifest curse I could not abate.
A demon stares back at me in the mirror.
For love I begged, but my soul he did take.

Darkness reigns king in my self-loathing state.
Dreams provide solace, a figment of cheer.
Down at the crossroads I gambled with fate.
For love I begged, but my soul he did take.


Pavement Freedom

So small I feel on all four wheels.
The smell of cotton evokes thoughts long forgotten.
Seared barrels of hay lay frozen in the fray.
Five bets to one, your bet to my five
You and I will go together good this time.
Dust kicks up and envelopes my view,
A vast expanse bearing a relative rue.
Where does this world stop?
When, if another, will it begin?
On a bridge leading to nowhere...
Irony calls to strike down reason.
Catch me talking out the side of my mouth,
Mute my petulance and cast me out.
Beckon my sense bade me steadfast return.
Freedom and understanding -
For what else would I yearn?
The majesty of morning falls victim to parlay,
Forced to abdicate her throne to the pale light of day.
The swill reverses and rotates around.
Meanwhile the speakers reverberate the sound.
Duty teases me like a dirty whore.
Her echo booming through the canyon walls.
The incessant need stirs about again.
Watch my eyes while I regress in sin.
Though shielded by twin mirrors,
The view shines oh so clear.
When you're dead and it's hot
You know the end has drawn near.
Take notice when you're happy.
Be careful about who you pretend to be.
Audios-Mother-Fucker,
The soreheaded occupant has taken to leave.
Alas, good sense is finally retrieved.
The dawn of a new horizon slowly trickles in,
Maybe now I can begin again.


Entombed by the Tempest

7AM
Perched atop a wooden stoop
Looking down upon Lawrence
Chance has brought me here to recoup
Some days to my humble surprise
I pray there’s a god up there in the sky
To grant my wish and sprout me wings
Off this creaky stoop I’d fly
To a world more fit for trespassing
Hardly noticing the whole expanse,
Stained by the natural, home grown land
The mice perusing in their cage
Think they are so smart –
Name this!
Conquer that!
200,000 years spent learning
Yet still no wisdom we’ve beget
A bucket of grey engulfs the city top to bottom
What will stifle the aching of the children?
Then somewhere buried deep inside
The water bubbles and starts to rise
Into drops swelling all too freely
They have come to ease the bitch of misery

Apollo – I beg thee
Hear my cries and cast your light unto me
Cleanse me of the agony, the pain, and the suffering
I know
I know
Everything will eventually fall into place
But on what day,
At what time,
Will my goddamn sorrows drift away?
Never let fear herself decide your fate
Gathering dust on a shelf is not how to operate
It is looming up ahead,
Exhausting through and through
The question has always been:

Why do you let her get to you like you do?
Is it something in her eyes?
Is it something in her touch?
Or could it be you know that you’ll never be enough?

The answer lies there in the palm of one hand
But that sly girl’s delay only strengthens her brand

What is your ploy?
I implore you – acquaint thee!
Your elusive mirages merely drive me fucking crazy
If it’s unforeseen trickery,
How disappointed I’ll be
For even I know
Turning the screw is a paltry little faculty
Deep down I know,
The aforementioned be not the case
Cause I desperately hope that you seek my embrace
But if you choose not to tell me,
How will I ever know –
Should I stay or should I go?

Middlemist,
You ginger up every last of my desires
What must I do
To relate to you
That you are all that I require?

I’m sorry
(Trust me)
I hate to admit
That I’m fresh out of my usual quips
I know that I said that I didn’t before
But I do need an answer-
Yes or no?

The insatiable uncertainty
Depletes me of all power
The epitome of you and I
Locked in a withering flower
The saddest sad end
To the summer of lust
Left alone to cope with another self-imposed monster
Why do I do this to myself?

Here we go again
The mutterings of a wounded dove
Here we go again –
I know nothing of love

Lying alone,
Sprawled out on the floor
My hopeful puppy eyes pinned to the door

So tell me Middlemist,
Which side are you on?
Because I yearn for you,
Nay,
I PINE FOR YOU.

Babe for you,
I will always long.


Sky Victims

We make the bulbs and send the power
to illuminate the darkest hours.
What then is not man made?
We beg the question every day.
To each their own,
deduced from Ockham's Razor.
What then is to be said of our irrational behavior?
That kills.
That cheats.
That lies.
That steals.
What then in the end if not Christ's redemption revealed?
A bolt of lightning sends a shiver down my spine.
Tears shake loose convoluting my mind.
Twas it he who shot the spark into me?
If so it seems fate be not without a sense of irony.1
But we flock by the numbers,
a mild understatement.
How can his hand devise every arrangement?
What then of the pain felt by those in his absence?
Disorder
Chaos
Turmoil
Stripping the world of her goodness.
What if a snap set the wheel in motion?
The lotus flower preserved as a symbol of rebirth.
To think of our beliefs,
how we fight to prove them true.
If that was his intention,
why follow his rules?

[1] The Matrix. Dir. Lilly and Lana Wachowski. Warner Home Video, 2007. DVD.


March of the Meaningless

One day in the woods,
alone in my head.
Helter-skelter lurks in the trees.
Dark, fierce, and unfed.
The brittle branches belay their fall,
unabashed by their appearance,
coax my junky memories to dissolve.
Gently, candid weeping willow,
dream sweet dreams upon your pillow.
The breath of life,
seeps from your limbs,
but the life you breed
leaves you alone in the end.
Why do you always feel so blue?
Have you fallen victim to Mother Nature's cruel ruse?
Despair pervades,
and provokes woeful worry.
One day in the woods,
left my vision blurry.


Chapter 11

Do we stand here today upon a new frontier?

Five years in passing that dreadful crash and burn. The view of the east river has remained faithfully unchanged. Wall Street - a metonym for that unethical open-air casino. A mammoth in the Big Apple; a lampoon indeed. A placement perhaps better befit for Reno. Nothing is too big to fail, I castrate with a vicious leer. Repeated panic in 1884, 1907, and 2008. No need to further bullet despite the small selection I've chosen to enumerate. It worsens as the gap widens. The greatest in a hundred years, so I’m told. For the bourgeois consortium has strengthened ten-fold. Parading around, cloaked in highfalutin suits. Achieving spit-shine grandiloquence, they stand utterly aloof. Dare upbraid them, deprecate, or even deplore; and they will rip the roots up from beneath you. Reduced to wailing cinders, a lament of utmost radical rupture. Aureate coins in place of once beady eyes, shine to alter our perceptions through a well-crafted guise. Individual property is only a mirage today. ‘Tis but a mere luxury controlled and loaned out by the long-hallowed Fannie Mae. Annuities cleverly disguised as humble abodes. Perpetually accruing interest as you sleep soundly in bed.

How else do you think those avaricious mouths get fed?

True, a fundamental asset, which we all need. But, I hardly think the necessity for a roof over our heads truly constitutes excessive greed. Be that as it may, let us not turn a blind eye to our condition. Lest we continue to play the pauper in this twenty-first century rendition. The burdens have always been, and will always be, cast unto us. Regardless of how badly those knickerbockers run our economy amok. However, we can go one of two ways:

  1. Find the value in suffering

                 OR

  2. Shrink in dismay

When will we stand together and denounce this capitalistic swindle?
All rise. Un-holster, aim steady, and fire the needle gun.
Protected by the thumb cap of a well-adjusted thimble.


War Requiem1

Oh, the humanity!
Over time our resilience depleting.
Feigning perseverance,
     calamity eradicates all meaning.
Stark soldiers of an everlasting-war
     turned taciturn bowed by the horrors of death throes.
Fumbling with the toils of reason,
     futility fumes abreast charcoaled heathens.
Manifest Destiny - just a fancy word for murder.2
Pacifism implores we fight no further.
Korea, China, Guatemala, Vietnam,
Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan.
The list drags on and on.
Bombs away!
All for the sake of peace and democracy.
Rather despondency imposed by fascist world police.
Chivalric bracken saturated in Payne’s grey.
God must have been away on leave that day.
Guns cocked to instigate the future’s demise.
Impregnated wives muted in the wake of “rebel” cries.
Mutilation hinges on the scene,
     no words can emulate the decadence of dying screams.
Innocence lain to waste in the name of liberty.
God bless America, home of the free.
Is it coincidence that timeless question -
     ‘what are we fighting for’ - austerely arises?
After careful consideration
     it’s driven by a boastful impetus, one realizes.
America, home of the brave?
Moreso the land of the ignorant and depraved.
Please excuse my acerbic assertations,
     for the only tactic at my disposal is brazen illumination.
It is truly trying on my soul
     to think tragedies of massacre have yet to unfold.
We all know the buck won’t stop here.
Unborn generations shackled by fear.
Molded into weapons of mass destruction,
     illusions of freedom pit the drones against “terrorism.”
But, oh no!
We unduly preach world peace; our holy proclamation.
We march high and mighty
     casting our enemies into fires of eternal damnation.
Ridding of all evil, our provocation knows no bounds.
From sea to shining sea
     ‘Merica’s strong-armed aggression proves world-renowned.
How great we are!
     the newspapers surmise.
With our eyelids peeled back,
     blinded by inky black lies.
Journalism reduced to juridical slander.
What will shake us free
     from the myopic solutions proposed by propaganda?
All dressed up in a fabricated jaundice
     a constant call-to-arms subliminally consumes us.
Though, I suppose, I’m no better than the rest.
My terse jive is hypocritical at best.
In hindsight I am able to see,
     but I must admit,
regret holds no power over me.
Picassos painting of pervasive indignation has aroused in me thoughts forlorn,
     for I know now, Owen was right:
All a poet can do today is warn.3

[1] Britten, Benjamin. War Requiem. Decca Records, 1963. MP3.

[2] Cage the Elephant. "Lotus." Cage the Elephant. RCA/Jive Label Group, 2009. MP3.

[3] "Preface," by Owen, Wilfred (May 1918). The British Library/The Wilfred Owen Literary Estate via First World War Poetry Digital Archive, accesed 5 July 2016.


North Beach Blues

Well –
There ain’t no more land
Is this the end
It never ends
Dumb
Dead
Confused
Take a drink
Take another
Tap twice to ash
Now what
Don’t ask

I know what
We will talk and
Move
Through the streets
Whose lucent lights
Labor through the night
Expecting nothing
No thanks
A glance they get
From me
That’s it
‘Cause I’m off
Off again
‘Cause I’m sick
In the head
It never ends

I lose control
I lose myself
I lose the taste
Of desire
Closing the book
It read like
A dwindling flame of curiosity –
Yet complexity burns within me
Chained, no
Bound
To internal posts
Wooden and splintered
Weather worn and torn
To tiny
Flaking
Pieces
Loosening the rope
Freeing my thoughts
Primordial soup of
Intrinsic eccentricity

Frisco, warm and cold
All the same
Destination’s centrality
Dissipating
And losing
Fuel
The journey
The trip
The path
That –
Is what I live for


Totem

Hear the crow as he cries out.
Echoing through the harsh mist.
An assailant of all doubt,
thy piercing yowls twist my wrists.
Perched just outside my window,
beady eyes locked onto me.
There is nothing that I know.
Still he stares atop a tree.

Formidable is the sky,
slate and dreary, coats the dome.
The curse of the storm draws nigh.
Cloudy creatures dressed in chrome.
Whimpering fear, darkened view.
Elusive insights tows with.
The wind blows my mind askew.
Sanity is but a myth.

Creeping out onto a branch,
he cocks his head abruptly.
Terrified, my face is blanched.
Still he stares atop a tree.
Chance defines my anima.
Hanging on the fork of choice.
In keeping with stamina,
guided by the strength of voice.

“The first thought is the best thought,”
the crow whispered in my ear.
“Surely you have not forgot,
there is nothing here to fear.”

Circling ‘round inside my mind.
He shook his head, rolled his eyes.
The center, I could not find.
On cue, rain poured from the sky.

One last glance atop a tree,
while welded to my axis.
Off he flew away from me.
Am I truly that spineless
The bereavement of all hope,
satiated with sickness.
How am I supposed to cope?
There is no way to fix it.


A Verse for Paine

Against the guards of fate
And in due time
Stars realign
To return the peace to state
And by thine eye
The battle cry
Unleashed from honest men
Steer fears,
unhinged,
for their liberties infringed upon -
The greatest sin.
For what can keep
All of the sheep
Silent in their pens
when nature calls
for acceptance of all
the intrinsic rights of men


The Groves of Academe

O, Academe
I give my life unto thee!
Your guidance
Your wisdom
Your structured intuition
I am not worthy to be a part of thee!

A young brute amongst many,
        what a fool I once was.

Until enlisted, for a pretty penny,
        gained knowledge to rise above.

Instill, upon me, the ways of the world,
        for nowhere else on this Earth can the answers be heard.

Sitting still perks my ears, to the words of the wise,
        as you lead forth the war to half-cocked theory’s demise.

Only you know what’s best.
Only you can proclaim it.
Only you with your wit and vast years of learning,
        can pursue all the mysteries of Humanity’s yearning.

No opinion put forth is truly profound,
        lest it airs from the walls of your structural bounds.

        and is only refined through your equitable quest.

Higher education distributes the good water’s worth,
        four years perseverance culminates in rebirth.

The autodidact’s ignorance poisons your well,
        enchanting the world with falsifiable spells.

Academe, sweet dame, you nurtured my thirst;
        your graciousness fostering all of my worth.

If any I have, for in great men’s shadows I hide,
        those in dirt-ridden boxes and those still alive.

I am no match for any such men;
        to be honest I’m surprised you even let me in.

Academe! Academe!
I love thee all the more,
        for prospectively opening and closing your doors.

To him – a yes.
To her – a no.
Talent, at first glance, the application doth show.
Oh, how my presence proves apparent to me,
        that I am forever indebted to thee!

O, Academe
I praise thee still! I praise thee still!
On knee, with bowed head, forever at your will.


Reversal Blues

I.

Sent that letter
Way back in June
August now
I pace the room
Bite the nails straight to the bit
Bit by bit
&
Bit by bit
'Why?'
I wail
I wail, I wail
Sickly body, weak & frail
The closet door
Beats like a djembe
What can I say?
Nothing to say
In the deep recesses of my mind
Miserably endless
Absent of time
"Yes" she says
I gleam
"No" she says
I cry agony
Plunging toward the edge -
Orbit in slow, derailing doom
The inevitable crash
Onto the dark floor of the room

II.

Oh pity!
Oh pity!
Oh poor ol me
The little girl's a'stumbling
Embrace the evil you call your own
Spread the seeds you sought to sow
The void
The nothingness
What a joke
The chicken's egg was stardust filled yolk
It cracked
It spewed
It fried on site
1032k, a helluvah sight
Planck time too tiny to fathom with tiny mind
Big bang
Now present time
We have just arrived
Rock solid, pretty Earth,
The gang's all here
Self-indulgence,
Served as frothy beer
Impostors of humanity
Our ways of life all sicken me
What do we know? What do we say?
How much money can we make today?
Down that beer to quench our thirst
Which one of us holds more worth?

III.

It's like a puppy that paws desperately,
Upon the cap of its master's knee
    'Love me, love me'
It whines impatiently
No love for the puppy
No love for me

IV.

My living room
The scene
One night in mid-September
A raspy voice
I turned my head
Oh, I still remember
There you were
A sweet, soft red -
Tempting apple hanging from the limb.
An apple on the tree
That quickly grew before me
Grounding its roots into my skin
Writhing & shaking in utter pain
I watched the venom course through my veins
"Why," I asked, "You had my trust."
And in a hiss, ever so soft,
The spoken words -
"You knew I was a snake when you picked me up."

V.

Crusty eyes befall a wooden frame
Another day yet all the same
Maneuver with one hundred legs
Like a centipede of God's green Earth
Which one of us holds more worth?
The more you learn the less you know
So rip it off on three
Let's go
Like a two-day, three-day, week-old scab
Come on now
See -
Not so bad
Indulge the pain
Wince in delight
Feel the darkness
Darkness of night

VI.

On what basis does reality hold true?
From the tree of life
Stems déjà vu
Every edge a bridge
With no redundancy
Every path merely a choice
Though we know not where it leads
But as time passes
It begins to deviate
No longer linear
Redundancy replicates
Circuits form from edges
Building strings of alternate paths
Then suddenly you look at it
And see life reduced to math


Miss Minnie Says

Now, now, now
There ain’t no use in tryin’
to hold back all them tears.
But to keep your heart from cryin’
taper down those sorrows dear.
Don’t tell me you can’t help yourself,
lockin’ your door, to hide from all the unrest.
Won’t do you no good hunkerin’ down
coverin’ your ears to mute out the sound.
Won’t do you no good shuttin’ out the world
cooped up inside, taking comfort in the lord.
Look at where that’s got you now,
pickin’ the blues, singin’ soo cow soo.
Your tricks sure ain’t workin’ no more.
It’s just like you’ve been told before.
Boozin’ with the beast won’t solve none of your problems.
Howlin’ woe-is-me just got you further down some.
Times are hard, you know,
but it always comes on time.
Do just like the blind man
and forget the rising sun.
Stare into the darkness,
shaka your pinky and your thumb.
Things ain’t always gonna go your way,
but don’t fall to mistreatin’ as a liar and a cheater.
All that stuff is of the sorriest kind.
You gotta ship up your shape and clear out your mind.

Ain’t nobody gonna save you.
Ain’t nobody gonna set you free.
Ain’t nobody gonna ease your soul.
You’ve got to follow your own decree.

So pick yourself up off that grimy dirt floor.
Wipe the snot from your nose and get your ass out the door.
‘Cause you ain’t gonna find the answers in here,
at the bottom of a bottle wallowin’ in your fears.


Wells Overlook

A sliver of golden light slices the horizon in two,
an awakening eye from which the morning beams through.
An ineffable thought vanishes in the wind
and the mystery of the call stirs the heart again.
Slightly altered perception brings the world into view.
Removing the mask of a dark, hovering hue.
The bulb vibrates and hums, on the brink soon to burst.
The answers clawing their way through the clouds to emerge.
Rage, rage in the fiery sunlight,
persisting in the delusion of the tense, twisting night.
Nostalgia brews pain, the sweet resistance to change,
a curious question of delight in the game.
Never the same – yet not another.
The nerve-endings of Earth remain eternally cluttered.
Down in the valley, pinned with bare, fickle trees,
the naked season is here exposed for all eyes to see.
Ragged bark, speckled white, the raw flesh of dried wood,
standing stark in December, for all of time they have stood.
Hark the herald the cold winter winds.
Her softly stinging wisps with discontinuous ends.
The impassive pulsation of an arid tongue,
beats its way down the throat after a year on the run.
The rhythmic dance of the fog withdraws an oceanic feeling,
and an indissoluble bond restrains the mind from reeling.
Olfactory phantoms drift through the air,
igniting the senses long kept unaware.
One year on the fringe, reaching out for the truth.
One year on the hunt, scavenging for the proof.
Deceived from inside, for at the end of the path,
the starting line emerges emitting lighthearted laugh.
Pure ecstasy in the wake of harmony,
the destination was there, all the while, just beneath.
Beautiful nothingness drapes over the world end to end.
A turn of the tide, tearing the masochistic fiend limb from limb.
Hovering in the void, bubbling up to the brim,
the universe evokes itself from within.


Leaf Peeping

Auburn is the day.
Autumn shines so bright.
With the turn of the seasons,
great beauty you requite.
A breeze blows the leaves
from the limbs of the trees.
Bare branches hang free
for all eyes to see.
The exuberant colors!
What a magnificent sight!
With chlorophyll gone in the absence of light.
As the temperature cools, the cork pinches the vein.
Blocking the passage so nourishment wanes.
Who thought death could be such a wondrous thing?
Challenging the essence of life brought by spring.
The maples
The oaks
Sourwood and Sweet Gum.
The Dogwoods
The Cherry Trees
and Persimmons.
Sweet apple red, in daylight savings time,
through coevolution you’ve become more refined.
W.D. heard the signal pronounced by the leaves,
a warning to all variety of species.

“Stay away! Stay away!
I will do you disservice.
My parasitic load will lower your fitness!”

To the birds
To the birds
They croon a different tune.
“Take my uneaten seeds or else I’ll be doomed!”

Attracting attention and mesmerizing all,
oh the beauty that blooms in the Fall.


No More Children of the Corn

Welcome hunters
to the open country
Feeling empty all around me
Dry, barren wastelands of Council Bluffs
billboards cuff the shoulders
All saying nothing
Row, row, row
through lines of corn fields
Tractor
Silo
Tractor
Barn
Every mile another farm
What a way to make a living
What a way to spend you life
Bleak and lonely on the open plains
from day to day
from month to month
from year to year
No change
Free steak dinner off Exit 10
that's the best this state's got to give
I-29 not much to see
fellow travelers few and far between
Traffic headed south
Shit - who's to blame them?
No one goes to Nebraska without good reason
The cities here ain't much for show
Lincoln isn't thriving anymore
Boarded up the factories
the population dwindling
It was bound to happen sooner or later
the inevitable flight of the geese
Metropolis is calling for the kids to hit road
far from the maze of crusty, corn rows
With a little investment anything could happen
unfortunately the land ain't worth the trouble
Crossing paths with a tumbleweed
auspicious visions flee and escape me -
You can't, you can't, rewrite history


Whistle Woes

Denizens of the city know the sound of that whistle. A century of reliability - piercing the air to signal transition. I can hear it from my house. A muffled blow through the atmosphere. Stretching out to kiss the edge of town, then reverberating inward. It always arrives on time, yet still it sometimes startles me when in close proximity. One cannot ignore the deafening ring of reality. Big Tooter, the extant reminder of responsibility. 


A Primary Precondition

Awareness

   of

     perception

from an optimal vantage point
A window to the surly-world's fused joints
I heard a story once
about a man caught in a gutter
Trapped down there too long
now unable to relate to the other
Once freed, he turned a vagabond
roaming through the city
Everyone looked down on him
Their eyes shown only pity
Seeing what he saw
the man took foot to the tallest point in town
and finally understood their pity
with sullen eyes cast down


Event Horizon

Wasting time, when will I know?
Perhaps when sorrow overflows
A note, a rhyme, to pass the time
Your response nowhere to find
Aching to grasp some peace of mind
Am I, to you, even a thought?
While I’d ensky you ‘til my heart stops
Honesty was what I gave but
      your silence threw it back in my face
What am I supposed to do, but
      play the sorry, quivering fool?
Five hundred miles away from me
      a mere figment of reality
Distance, a piss-poor excuse
      for true love’s power proves profuse
What frame of mind can merit no response?
Where is the you that I knew once?
Perception framed from memory film
      holds the image of past still
The reel rolls on repeatedly
      and you are all that I can see
The light is trapped - it can’t escape
In your black hole, always you take


Wild, Wild Weather

Look closely for the owls are not what they seem1
Darkness falls when the great horned Kachina sings
The raiders glide in a dance of smoke
Punishing the clown for his long-winded jokes
The part of creation which purifies life
‘Tis a strain to embrace it despite moxie and might
Beyond the ambit of my self control
Portent of a tale soon to unfold
In the name of security
Anything we’ll do
To the pulse of tedium
Never to begin anew
Wait a little while
Let the simmer settle in the seether
Hot water down the gullet won’t make you a believer
Trying to do it all at once won’t get nothing done at all

The Gilded Age returns to haunt us again
Hidden behind a gold gilding ever so thin
Twain, old sport
A soothsayer in your prime -
Or perhaps our problems have merely stood the test of time
Though I won’t follow suit
And naively misattribute
Warren’s quote as Clemens's –
“Everybody complains about the weather but does nothing about it.”
To the feeble mind
A remark taken often out of context
While the stalwart learner be privy to its esoteric depth
Gold dust
The capitalistic mephitis hell-bent on our destruction
Any bureaucracy that functions in secrecy
Inevitably lends itself to corruption2

Our economy's been perforated by slash and burn partisanship
Preventing people the chance to pursue their own true measure happiness
The frenetic complications of a society up to its neck in material possessions
In tramping alone, one moves in a far less cluttered fashion
While resting by the clock and marching by the whistle
Prove pertinent when en-route to battle
I heard the war was long over
Why are we still strapped in the saddle?
I also heard someone once say
“Justice is a luxury, peace a necessity.”
Await the day (I will)
When Congress grips a hold of Chekhov’s gun
Discontinuing the perpetual fantasy
Eight months deep into its century long run
Upbeat melancholy machines
Unaware that bleakness has seeped into their dreams

A subtle warning awoke me from my torpor
(The little life that I was leading)
To see that everything that happens to us is truly an ingredient
Poised motionless in the shadow of liberty
Can’t combat Wall Street with grit and obloquy
Affray looms clandestine on our horizon
Bellwether arise and redefine our position
Bootstrap wound
We aim to shed a few pounds on the Eastbound and down
But in the end, what’s the point?
We’re buried too deeply underground
Eternity may be closer than once thought
For although are laws provide structure
We follow them not
Initially infused to guide us through perilous times
Submitting to higher purpose and procedure proves all but benign

The callow frailties we inhabit now
Immortalize America’s morass of libel
Will my generation blossom like an Arab Spring?
Sagaciously waiting for the bell of opportunity to ring?
Come a little closer, look on as the next wave draws near
To a place where the birds sing a pretty song and there is always music in the air.3
Pave the way one stone at a time
Pay attention to detail
There is no rewind
Does it matter how long it could possibly take?
Silence the short sighted Sally
Slow and steady wins the race
With an economic model not fit to serve the young
The revolutionary minds quietly bite their tongues
Around our mouths, cruor creates a crusty home
We are refried zombies disguised as 21st century vagabonds

Fear of playing the wrong game
Bolsters mass stagnation
Accompanied by the pain of constant indignation
But pressure from the central power
Fails to sway us to and fro
For we’ve found that feeling righteous makes us even more so
It’s time to say
Fuck the status quo
Let not this be, the dawn of the can’t and the never
So come all
Let’s join hands and stifle social anxiety together
So come all
Let’s finally face the dreaded Warner weather
For worse
Or more preferably
For the long awaited better

[1] "Episode #2.1" Twin Peaks - Season 2. Writ. Mark Frost and David Lynch. Dir. David Lynch. Paramount, 2007. DVD.

[2] "Episode #2.9" Twin Peaks - Season 2. Writ. Mark Frost and David Lynch. Dir. Tim Hunter. Republic, 2001. DVD.

[3] "Episode #1.3" Twin Peaks - Season 1. Writ. Mark Frost and David Lynch. Dir. David Lynch. Republic, 2001. DVD.


Black Lodge

Now is the winter of our great discontent
A dark, rubble path
Frozen beneath a cold, crystalline captor
Halcyon days saunter past me
Silently disappearing into the brisk winter eve
Though twilight inevitably returns
Persistently irking, none-the-less
The image tortures
Forever anchored, never fleeting
The regret decimates
Sweeping me six feet under
Upon the white horse I ride
To the eternal apotic depths