Thursday, December 30, 2010

Happy Sad Crazy Wonder*

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Some are lost in the incoherence of laughter
some are bad stories of
immigrants foretold
some are memories bellowed
melodies- strains disguised as
guilty rags
trying to suffer
but, this is all poor grappling
infants with torn noses
brought to some trouble of the world
where sacrifice is doled out
in tiny bits
let the hallucination begin.


I take the native to my chest
where breathing is doubt and
time is only an accessory
slowly, the guilt of the native
makes its way, injured, into
the bashful game
our carnal offense
is one of extraction
in this fight we wish for defeat
we find ourselves shipwrecked
in this irresponsible land
content with the laughing of stones

* Norma Tanega - From "Walkin My Cat Named Dog"- 1966

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Things Not Ready, Yet, To Be Born

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How do we look down on this unfortunate year
without the suggestion of a situation
of a one last chance at redemption?
there were changes
and rearrangement of places
and rumpled parts
and pilfered gods to be complained of.
there were stations of accusation
and crooks who took your part
but ended fencing your prayers
and leaving owing slipshod mementos
of the laying-on of hands


What we wanted from the rain;
a feeling of order
a careful age
a glimpse of a distracted bosom,
a vision interfered and a surprise ending.
The guilty return
and retrieve their
they stand in court and make a statement
their speech the speech of sheep
then taken into the evening
to reclaim their innocence they
place themselves in a place
beyond safety
just to hear the siren singing.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

A Winter Prophet

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the miles we stride are suspicion
our teeth are prized alike by jerks and lords
we are born into incoherent prompting
receiving love and giving none in return
perfect passage
now creased now pressed now blazing
I take exception to this profession
of meekness and masquerade
and find my meaning
beneath the hands of departure.


all the angels are overdrawn
and will no longer fit through the arches
I have designed for them.
they roam about, these, my agents
and mix in the conspiracy of society
like bad art they
witness this, this awful beast
while we, we presume excessively
and wipe our ass
on these flags of dawn

Friday, December 24, 2010

A Misunderstanding of the Wind

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When I was younger I was wrongly introduced
to a shitty woman who
not worshipful enough
wrote my name on the tale of a dog
ashamed of the light, she, drunkenly stepped back, then,
into misery and its brother
later condemned for fratricide
I appeared to be in love
but my heart was being turned to glass
and used to tune the keys
of this goddamned century
and, yet, here, the sobbing self, himself
face of mistaken identity
face of lost name
drummed into thy brother's name
you know, the one who's long gone, now.


your profession might be battle
but in this country
the finest worlds are extinguished
quiet feeling is occupation
gallant defense is hardly ever mentioned
our comrade earth
becomes a color, a helper fighter
a scapegoat jury
all we do becomes a nest of understanding
a watching absentminded king
staunch breast and finest winning
first following then explaining to
the daughter of distinguished feeling

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Everybody Sees You're Blown Apart

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sinister carnivores poke along
for now, the circus is enough
this noble pain
a liontamer trained by a lion
a matter for the belly and the eye
which one holds sway
and possesses this frosty twilight
where everyone falls silent
falls from on high
falls, tumbling into that maneater, kindness
and I, i, I am an educated gentleman
with lash and cruelty and diamond-shaped revolver -
-it spits fire it
spins out its cylinder of years spinning out
burned and broken dreaming
harnessed to life
harnessed to the spinning wheel.


heartbroken forgotten
a million Waterloos a salute
allow your redness to seep through
like an old joke
in the legion of the moment
the water is rising
the flowers are hastily offered
the gallant tide has turned
and we, enraged, in turn
turn to waiting to
offer some false rose
our hat.
Sometimes these things are nameless.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Don't Listen To Those Voices

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For Captain Beefheart


Wild birds still stop here
free to cover any distance
they, too, stagger and drop
from the swollen sky
or collide with their monstrous cousins
the manmade damage done,
shot through the night
a slow shockwave rattles a window
as engine and wheel, lacking air
they, too, passed through the steel organs
what would they give
to relive these minutes?


listening to the nearby gulls
calling for the rain
our bones murmur with the cold
as we unroll our easy brutes
and let them trace the movement of our spines
our hands full of silence
and uncertainty
they are caught in the act
of doing good to others
all the while growing smaller
and filling with wasted regret.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

The Great Beyond

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We are spattered with coincidence
armless limbless
portered into broad daylight by comic circumstances
we wrestle with the air
and measure the size of hell.
you asked me if
I waited, lucky, walking.
no one wags, trying, but passes, singing
archways, doors and
falling dogs.


below an empty window
this bottled light
you, you, you in heavy shadow
I knew you when
you went far
you asked for a winter coat
and to haggle with the great beyond

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Spirit of Grief, Spirit of Destruction*

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Circe 440

fade to yes
salt and tale
a broken heart
this afternoon some tea
I thought it funny in a pissed off way
waiting for a sign but then,
A wagged cock at passing daughters
an armless moses, looking on and
spattered with jealousy
drives past hell
on his way to daylight


even the windows are respectable, here.
the Whores?
the streetlights
the shouting army boys, all
in the middle now, a private joke
a bulge that asks to be haggled with
what half earth,
battered and brazen
brags from afar
and hangs in the balance?

*from "My Life In the Bush Of Ghosts" Eno and Byrne- 1981

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Everyone Must Sing For Their Supper

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Circe 438

he cannot fly
He must come to grips with his own life
his changes have cloaked him in a pall of surrender
he floats by, muttering,
"all you meant, nothing left, I can never forgive."
carefully the splinters are slowly worked into
the waiting fingers
a kiss in the moonlight
and soon after
the jeering begins
his heart is executed in absentia
and tallied on the nearest hour.

(for JM)

Circe 439

My head is a litebrite
my skull is crossed with waiting
fortunately, there are pills
we open our meat
and complete the act
with a snack of pig and lemon
and kippered herrings
into a hole full of lime
we lurch, rattling and find
a good place to place
our remaining gravy
painless hate, you
present me with a gift of feet
with which I stand
and wait.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

A Mistake Of Age

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Circe 436

for a different sake you leaped as
someone had the brute bone the
mixed fraction of a mask
with a tusk and hands and
the woe of money and
and a pale embrace
lasting a mere second or
a servant minute in a corner of matter
twanging a smile.
Shall we see how little
difference our truest selves make?

Circe 437

Oh! Holy Night!
how comic you are!
You were always a favorite present.
Hiding behind a badge of love
I confess my ability to fly
and you go into hiding.
I send you a gift-a prism to divide the light
and you recall all the days of glory.
I recount the names of the killed
and you enter your watery home
in a dinner jacket and
rubbed all over with blindness.
I give you a valentine and
you arrange curiosity until it becomes
a pearl in your dead hand.

Monday, December 6, 2010


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Circe 434

oh little heart
that touched darkness
with glee see yourself
weak and booted
distant laughter as if in the eye of a bird
flying shining through the rainy gap
plain, trembling, bloodied
a mess
the pampered world awaits this wolf
draws from hate
and sees no good
no one never even
follows humming bristles
pigeons ogling boots flapping running
bawdy, touched dead-drunk and shrieking
a mind, a father a dark street glittering
we plunge, headlong
into nothing.

Circe 435

When pleasure's season had certain ears
it was a better haunt of cheats and leaving
when instant dreaming saw its name
it fell with pockets open
smiling, splendid as if with certain eyes
in freezing heat it aged with weather
coatless, bucked and overcome
strapped and walking, false and gleaming
wide, wide secrets
black and loud and newly fallen

Saturday, December 4, 2010

The Shape The Forest Takes At Dawn

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Circe 433

the world closes early
then it's all decided
moving, passing, life is change
change in the wide face of the sun
it's all decided in the poor capitals
in the bright pocketless water
where the sky moves slowly
and by recipe
and appears to give notice
of brightened eyes
arises to give notice
of a clean and polished earth
diffusing the light
and doing business with the east.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Breugelish Dreamers

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Circe 432

an uplifting tree in a curved mirage, perhaps a
cold jeweled desire gleaming in yellow air
a dark face, free and waiting there to be
as a slender ladder into water waiting offering
we look up
gulping fierce hope and covering
in shirt of hair without
this humbling we would still be
clowns blinking waiting around our virgin mistress
wearing the slashes of fate like
angry silk
like an excuse for being poor
like a great wide sky
that droops, clumsy, spellbound.