Confirmation?

my father found god

I didn't know it was lost-
unclasped hands
lifted head,
and outstretched arms.

Feeling around for nails
searching beneath
stones, and these rotted logs

true strength lies within
I Am
my own damn god

America


I. 
How am I ashamed 
yet proud to call you 
my country?

America
You of the fake patriotism
You of the contagious culture
You of the holier than thou stance on everything
You of the blood, white, and blue
You of the half truth histories
You of the billions served
You of the biased media
You of the brainwashed masses
You of the propped up presidents
You of the hired assassins
You of the hardened arteries
You of rights thinly disguised
You of open arms?
the Latin American
Asian American
African American
Indian American
Native American
Dead American

You have
overthrown totalitarian titans
to claim their iron fist as your own.
America! The asleep
America! The apathetic
America! The obese
You of the commercialized holy days
You of the the eternal wars
You of the painted fa├žade
You of the rotten core


II.
America
You of the Revolution
You of the rebellious
You of the resolute
You of the strong backs
You of brave, and disposable youth-
The freedom of expression
The lakes, the beauty, the art, the anger,
the disconnection

Indifference

no man lives without dying
despite the desperation
dragging behind him
acting as if he may make
some legacy that will last

no man fails without trying
at least once to do something
piss poor or great

words never really mattered
in the end they are only
another burden
our shoulders need
bear no more weight

What can we write that will change anything?
What can we do to affect this place?
Does it matter if we do?
Is indifference
my only design in fate?



silent
obscurity

vocables

they move in waves
 incandescent leaps

I bind
 small winged forms

a goddamned swarm
of them in my head

from whence they were
born to crawl across my tongue

never return
to their so-called home

an utterance
or murmur
or slip of
the lungs

No one knows where the ladder goes
Have I mentioned the agony of mortality recently?
The monotonous anticlimactic ending of it all.

The dreams in which my living family die
Sounds of hellhounds pawing at the door
Sniffing the air, pacing in my hall.

How much difference does it make?
Not a single piece can guide us away
Not one word will offer up escape.

The coffee maker pours out the strangest sounds
at four in the morning.
Little hissing puffs,
Was that a deep low growl?

He Said

She she she is
selfishly coldheartedly
leading me away from me

i suffer from a slavish
codependence

Her her her hands
are those of a tormentor
murderer of a man
with golden intentions

he said:
my eyes yes my mind
I would have given
to her to her to her
and and and been her slave,
or her king,
or the dog
slavering at her feet

i i i
i am done
resigned and numb
to wallow in self-pity
and accept my defeat.

Smile-Celebrate-Sing

dress for my funeral
as if it is the first 
day of spring,


the mythical dogwood white,
the fragrant damp earth,
the newborns unfurling in green


come quickly,
or not at all,
I cannot care


shut away the remains,
or burn what's left 
to ash....


Ishtar,
what is a resurrection
without a few laughs?

She Doesn't Speak

As she gazes at
the crows grooming themselves
in the frail limbs

of the few trees
left in her once-
award winning yard.

She can't help but think
they prepare themselves
for her
alone.

They rustle
and caw
an esoteric language.

The lawn hasn't been
mown in months.

She pulls her robe up close,
pulling her hands
under the healing warmth.

Destiny marked her long ago,
and set the scenes, and set the props
so carefully into place.

(the widow with
a purring skeletal
cat in her lap

rocks and waits)


Charles Simic


Eyes Fastened With Pins 

How much death works,
No one knows what a long
Day he puts in. The little
Wife always alone
Ironing death's laundry.
The beautiful daughters
Setting death's supper table.
The neighbors playing
Pinochle in the backyard
Or just sitting on the steps
Drinking beer. Death,
Meanwhile, in a strange
Part of town looking for
Someone with a bad cough,
But the address somehow wrong,
Even death can't figure it out
Among all the locked doors... 
And the rain beginning to fall.
Long windy night ahead.
Death with not even a newspaper
To cover his head, not even
A dime to call the one pining away,
Undressing slowly, sleepily,
And stretching naked
On death's side of the bed.

Rosary_______________________________________________________________________________Altar

I scraped my knees in agony in the rose garden blooming crimson and scarlet at my chest and throat gasping that last rattling gurgle to god in Gethsemane is green and grey eyes searching skyward hands clasped as the spirit is willing,
but the flesh is so weak.
...
Mother come to me
Show me the way 
and the light
that I have only dreamed about

High upon the clouds

searching
questioning aloud
  I beseech thee.

   "Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?"

Quietude

as the sky lightened
every answer came 


there is no such thing as silence
It was society I was trying to escape


every tree seemed to sway and wave
pointing me in a different direction


lavender leaned against a light post
I breathed in the predawn


I was an island
I was a ghost


there is no such thing 
as silence


every answer whispered 
as the sky lightened




Poverty

Fuel for the fire
A leaden anchor
I am drowning
Burning alive
Holding my face
Just above the surface
Nothing helping
My eternally
Aching head
Bloodshot eyes
Final notice
Gasping for air
Society's foot
On my face
Pushing
      down
         Ever
                So
                     Slowly.
Desperation
Is all we know
At the moment


“Dripping water hollows out stone, not through force but through persistence.”
― Ovid

A new idea is delicate. It can be killed by a sneer or a yawn; it can be stabbed to death by a quip and worried to death by a frown on the right man's brow.”
― Ovid

Pablo Neruda


Death Alone

There are lone cemeteries,
tombs full of soundless bones,
the heart threading a tunnel,
a dark, dark tunnel :
like a wreck we die to the very core,
as if drowning at the heart
or collapsing inwards from skin to soul.

There are corpses,
clammy slabs for feet,
there is death in the bones,
like a pure sound,
a bark without its dog,
out of certain bells, certain tombs
swelling in this humidity like lament or rain.

I see, when alone at times,
coffins under sail
setting out with the pale dead, women in their dead braids,
bakers as white as angels,
thoughtful girls married to notaries,
coffins ascending the vertical river of the dead,
the wine-dark river to its source,
with their sails swollen with the sound of death,
filled with the silent noise of death.

Death is drawn to sound
like a slipper without a foot, a suit without its wearer,
comes to knock with a ring, stoneless and fingerless,
comes to shout without a mouth, a tongue, without a throat.
Nevertheless its footsteps sound
and its clothes echo, hushed like a tree.

I do not know, I am ignorant, I hardly see
but it seems to me that its song has the colour of wet violets,
violets well used to the earth,
since the face of death is green,
and the gaze of death green
with the etched moisture of a violet's leaf
and its grave colour of exasperated winter.

But death goes about the earth also, riding a broom
lapping the ground in search of the dead -
death is in the broom,
it is the tongue of death looking for the dead,
the needle of death looking for the thread.

Death lies in our beds :
in the lazy mattresses, the black blankets,
lives a full stretch and then suddenly blows,
blows sound unknown filling out the sheets
and there are beds sailing into a harbour
where death is waiting, dressed as an admiral. 
Pablo Neruda


moth

Am I a moth caught beneath a lampshade,
beating gray and white wings,

flailing for a way out,
is there an escape?

This is what I thought I wanted
drawn so naturally to the light

In the heat of the bare white bulb
the dust becomes embers
exhausting
what little 

life 
was left.

Lucidity Asleep

I soared out
of body out
stretched hands
I spin to hold
tightly to this world I could hold
In the palms of my hands
In ova
I awaken
To the realization
That I am sleeping
In the passenger seat
Even as I write this
I test my reality
I am resting my sanity
Only temporarily
Temporally suspended
Upended imagery
Look twice at your watch
Watch the weather change
Fluidity
fluorescence
Ghouls and tulips
A child's rhyme
In
My
Ears
It would seem that
Life is but a dream.

Kingdom Of Our Youth

Her silent stone children still
stand in dead rows along the coast-
     Remnants of majesty & truth.

As Hendrix played Purple Haze
with feedback shriek
carefully controlled,

A slowly swelling rage
was born within us.

The campfire
turned the burn of bourbon
into so much more
than it had ever been before,

Nothing will ever be the same.
Nothing will ever be as pure.

We ruled with small iron fists
in control of nothing & everything,
All at once,

Magnets were miracles
of our omniscient maker's
imagination,

The moon followed us
on the ride home
as if it had nothing
more to do,

We built it all from the ground up
But the world has left it in ruins,

Only those lonely
distant monoliths
remain.



JABBERWOCKY

Lewis Carroll

(from Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There, 1872)

`Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
  Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
  And the mome raths outgrabe.

"Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
  The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun 
  The frumious Bandersnatch!"
He took his vorpal sword in hand:
  Long time the manxome foe he sought --
So rested he by the Tumtum tree,
  And stood awhile in thought.
And, as in uffish thought he stood,
  The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
  And burbled as it came!
One, two! One, two! And through and through
  The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
  He went galumphing back.
"And, has thou slain the Jabberwock?
  Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!'
  He chortled in his joy.


`Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
  Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
  And the mome raths outgrabe.

Influenza

Influenza, commonly referred to as the flu, is an infectious disease caused by RNA viruses of the family Orthomyxoviridae (the influenza viruses), that affects birds and mammals. The most common symptoms of the disease are chillsfeversore throatmuscle pains, severe headachecoughing, weakness/fatigue and general discomfort. Although it is often confused with other influenza-like illnesses, especially the common cold, influenza is a more severe disease than the common cold and is caused by a different type of virus. Influenza may produce nausea and vomiting, particularly in children, but these symptoms are more common in the unrelated gastroenteritis, which is sometimes, inaccurately, referred to as "stomach flu."
     ...and unfortunately I have had all of the symptoms mentioned above which has made it extremely difficult to write the most recent posts.

The Hollow Men

Mistah Kurtz-he dead
            A penny for the Old Guy



                       I

    We are the hollow men
    We are the stuffed men
    Leaning together
    Headpiece filled with straw. Alas!
    Our dried voices, when
    We whisper together
    Are quiet and meaningless
    As wind in dry grass
    Or rats' feet over broken glass
    In our dry cellar
    
    Shape without form, shade without colour,
    Paralysed force, gesture without motion;
    
    Those who have crossed
    With direct eyes, to death's other Kingdom
    Remember us-if at all-not as lost
    Violent souls, but only
    As the hollow men
    The stuffed men.

    
                              II

    Eyes I dare not meet in dreams
    In death's dream kingdom
    These do not appear:
    There, the eyes are
    Sunlight on a broken column
    There, is a tree swinging
    And voices are
    In the wind's singing
    More distant and more solemn
    Than a fading star.
    
    Let me be no nearer
    In death's dream kingdom
    Let me also wear
    Such deliberate disguises
    Rat's coat, crowskin, crossed staves
    In a field
    Behaving as the wind behaves
    No nearer-
    
    Not that final meeting
    In the twilight kingdom

    
                   III

    This is the dead land
    This is cactus land
    Here the stone images
    Are raised, here they receive
    The supplication of a dead man's hand
    Under the twinkle of a fading star.
    
    Is it like this
    In death's other kingdom
    Waking alone
    At the hour when we are
    Trembling with tenderness
    Lips that would kiss
    Form prayers to broken stone.

    
                     IV

    The eyes are not here
    There are no eyes here
    In this valley of dying stars
    In this hollow valley
    This broken jaw of our lost kingdoms
    
    In this last of meeting places
    We grope together
    And avoid speech
    Gathered on this beach of the tumid river
    
    Sightless, unless
    The eyes reappear
    As the perpetual star
    Multifoliate rose
    Of death's twilight kingdom
    The hope only
    Of empty men.

    
                           V

    Here we go round the prickly pear
    Prickly pear prickly pear
    Here we go round the prickly pear
    At five o'clock in the morning.

    
    Between the idea
    And the reality
    Between the motion
    And the act
    Falls the Shadow
                                   For Thine is the Kingdom
    
    Between the conception
    And the creation
    Between the emotion
    And the response
    Falls the Shadow
                                   Life is very long
    
    Between the desire
    And the spasm
    Between the potency
    And the existence
    Between the essence
    And the descent
    Falls the Shadow
                                   For Thine is the Kingdom
    
    For Thine is
    Life is
    For Thine is the
    
    This is the way the world ends
    This is the way the world ends
    This is the way the world ends
    Not with a bang but a whimper.



T.S. Eliot

Hypomania


     Hypomania is generally a mild to moderate level of mania, characterized by optimism, pressure of speech and activity, and decreased need for sleep. Generally, hypomania does not inhibit functioning like mania. Many people with hypomania are actually in fact more productive than usual, while manic individuals have difficulty completing tasks due to a shortened attention span. Some people have increased creativity while others demonstrate poor judgment and irritability. Many people experience hypersexuality. These persons generally have increased energy and tend to become more active than usual. They do not, however, have delusions or hallucinations. Hypomania can be difficult to diagnose because it may masquerade as mere happiness, though it carries the same risks as mania.
     Hypomania may feel good to the person who experiences it. Thus, even when family and friends learn to recognize the mood swings, the individual often will deny that anything is wrong. Also, the individual may not be able to recall the events that took place while they were experiencing hypomania. What might be called a "hypomanic event", if not accompanied by complementary depressive episodes ("downs", etc.), is not typically deemed as problematic: The "problem" arises when mood changes are uncontrollable and, more importantly, volatile or "mercurial". If unaccompanied by depressive counterpart episodes or otherwise general irritability, this behavior is typically called hyperthymia, or happiness which is, of course, perfectly normal. The most elementary definition of bipolar disorder is an often "violent" or "jarring" state of essentially uncontrollable oscillation between hyperthymia and dysthymia
     
     If left untreated, an episode of hypomania can last anywhere from a few days to several years. Most commonly, symptoms continue for a few weeks to a few months.

Grunge (the way i remember it)

the shotgun blast sounded from Seattle to Alabama
the Lyrics were like gravity to me then

Their downward spiral(s) happened on camera
burned on vinyl (the baby chasing the dollar bill)

i can't really remember 
when i first heard 

His broken voice 
over an open chord

i think it may have been mid winter
i was a teenager awkward & anxious

this music was the only thing that mattered 
(along with a handful of books)

what was it? (the only thing of importance)
Cobain, Eddie Vedder & J.D. Salinger...

some of these Artists were martyrs
or so i believed at the time

i saw Their stripes 
Their nylon straps

Their tortured eyes 
above flannel covered tracks

i could listen to Them confide
They would speak through my speakers

i slept with my guitar on my lap
This meant something

i still may not
quite grasp what....

Father And Child

I am what you were,
I didn't see the struggle,



I didn't know what it was to make ends meet,
I didn't know how it felt to have mouths to feed,


Little eyes looking at me,
Little ears listening,



Impressionable minds
to be molded,



Forgive me Father,
once I knew not,
though I thought I knew it all.



  * * *


Child,
Be not so scared,
Be not so frail,
Be not so silent,
Be not so pale.



Watch,
Listen,
Laugh,
Be more than I,
and my father 

before me.
Repressed in her
           held  back
buried deep
            never confessed
from her.


An elegant wedding dress
grace embodied
gliding across the grass


nothing but betrayal now
will bridge this division


yet nothing will ever
sever the connection.




Epiphany(?)

If ever i have one i will climb to the rooftop and cry out, 
look at this milkwhite sky roiling beneath an angry sun


amused at these alleys tucked down between the brick legs 
of the building opening windows like mouths accepting anyone 


Gardens growing unkempt on the roof
where we drank gin and listened to jazz,


i had never heard Miles before
i never knew that words could get her 


drunk and slurring.  
She said she just had an epiphany,


it only took a gallon teasing her to articulate explanation 
her voice was an experience like pulling teeth,


a little loss of blood,
and some friendly persuasion.   

Dreams Of Doubt


I doubt everything,
I ache for faith,
but I doubt everything.


I dreamed of the Sistene ceiling
and I stretched my hands out 
without any real effort 
to touch (what? The divine?)

Holy dust poured from my hands,
A priest approaches,
He anoints my brow 
while chanting:


"Hail Mary, full of grace,
the Lord is with thee; 

blessed art thou amongst women, 
and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. 
Holy Mary, Mother of God, 
pray for us sinners, 
now and at the hour of our death."

The priest is a blur of black and white, 
He tells me to repeat the prayer
I cannot will my mouth to move,

He traces the shape of a cross 
in the air before my eyes


"May the words
be in your heart
on your lips
and in your mind"
The priest expects me to speak,
still I cannot will my mouth to move.

I gaze up maybe 
the words will come 
if I am inspired by 
the work above,

But I see a massive mirror
where there was 
once an ornate fresco,

I see only 
my own reflection
No god, and no Michelangelo.

Craving

Bowing before 
the new blue 
second sun 
with tail in hand,


tapping away 
on the altar 
with my fingertips,


restraining myself 
from snaring 
another pill


instead of
the psychostimulants
I am chewing
lip & nail


until the grinding 
begins again 
again 
again


the mesolimbic
reward pathway


positioned midbrain
releases the glory


nonsense flows forth
synapses firing


This is another's voice
not mine
needing
screaming
...just 1 more
just 1 more please...
I defy it
I deny it


I will stand 
all of those feelings
in a line & execute them
one at a time.

C I R C L E S

A circle can be defined 
as the curve 
traced out 
by a point 
that moves 


so that its distance 
from a given point 
is constant,


 known since 
before the beginning 
of recorded history


the wheel, which, with related inventions 
such as gears, circles still, 
makes much of modern 
civilization a possibility,


inspiring the development 
of geometry, 
calculus, 
and astronomy, 


which of us 
would exist?


how much of what we do 
could be possible 
without circles?



Cain: The First, And The Last

     The Stranger gave the earth her first taste of human blood. 
     He will be here when the last drop trickles out, becomes mud, and springs forth fresh green shoots. He understands the cycles with which the earth was molded. 
    When the sky expires, and the seas burn he will watch unable to act. He will walk along ancient broken streets and gaze up at high rise homes strangled by plant life. He will watch elk graze across the street from the stadium. He will watch as wolves stalk the plains that once were parking lots.
    He will never meet the King of stars and stone. He will never know what it means to be human.  He will never know what it is to be accepted.
    His eyes emit a phosphorescent glow, inhuman and unnatural. Prowling through the sable; he peers through windows. Waiting, watching. 
    He is a shadow cursed to wander in search of something that eludes him. He is worthless. He is cursed to die, and be reborn perpetually.
    He climbs an oak with practiced grace, slips silently across a rooftop, and quickly, quietly slides the window up just enough to permit him into a peppermint-scented room. When he is inside he slithers across the floor to the head of the small bed.     
    Innocent dreams become visible to him. The summer sun is smearing golden day across the pastel bedroom walls. The sight almost overwhelms him with excitement. 
    Something intercedes and he feels the familiar emptiness that is his home.
    On his knees with withered hands outstretched. He touches her forehead, and gasps.
    He blasphemes, and curses the earth as he passes into the only realm where he is allowed to forget what he is. Nod. The waste of Nod is a place where he can believe what he sees. The suffocating midnight of that dream plane is as close to peace he will ever come. 
    He slips between eyelids, counting minds in this vulnerable and unconscious state. He caresses innocent minds in which Nod exists. He can breathe a bit longer. He lounges in the sunlight of false days that last forever.  
      He feeds on this. He drinks it in through every pore.
      The scar on his palm aches as a warning. He has been here too long. There is a deep audible sucking sound as he wrenches his mind free and collapses on the floor, panting, hurting, and sobbing. It always aches to drag himself out of Nod.
     The girl raises her head, and shakes her blonde curls as if to shake something out of there. Maybe he left some stains behind like fingerprints on her psyche. She bawls. She lets loose a throat ripping scream.
     The Stranger struggles to get to the open window. 
     The curtains gently dance to the tune of a breeze.     
    The bedroom door slams open. A man shouts a hoarse question. A gunshot explodes through the night, shredding air, and flesh. His shoulder blooms a red flower of blood and bone fragments.
     The shadows sob for their broken brother.   
    He dies yet never lived. He bleeds out, and disappears on a fourteen year old girl's floor.                       
     The family will later seek extensive counseling. Sleep studies will be done. They will slowly come back to rationality.
      The naked stranger slick with some plasma awakens in a rubbish littered alley of a small town in a southern state. The wind howls. The breath of decadence wisps from the adjoining street. The perfume of dreams.
      Immediately, a woman walking down the sidewalk sees him. She shudders, and cries out. Her frightened eyes reflect his desperate light. He cannot speak.
     He swiftly hides behind a green dumpster. She runs. He follows from a distance.
     He is invisible in her car. He presses his cheek to the back of her cool grey seat, giggling, drooling, and fingering the scar while she drives to her safe home.
    The groceries are in the trunk in brown sacks, so is the Stranger. She carries him in with them in her arms. He crawls upstairs to wait. He listens as she enters the room, undresses in the dark, and slides silently between her sheets. He cringes and sulks as she says a prayer.
     He licks the scar on his palm as sleep welcomes the lady with open arms. He hears her dreaming as he eventually approaches, fingers splayed out, twitching in nervous joy. This is the only moment he feels anything. The approach sends him into frenzy. The anticipation of entering Nod fills him.
    They tease and mingle. Their energies fluctuate. They merge before he actually touches her. Then he does. Smooth gray skin stretches across, over and under him, an onslaught of thousands of years of pale visions and dark deeds. His memories are ghosts passing through him. 
    The pain starts to subside slightly. The eternal melancholy he can never escape. 
    Hopelessly he chases the silhouette of a widow he once loved across desolate plains of a mind he once knew. He leaps from a translucent dream window in an attempt to touch her. He rushes through darkness and plunges to the hard, cold ground in a broken heap.
     He awakens stiff and bruised to find his clothes bloodied and filthy. 
    He lives. He dies. He lives. In perpetuity.
     He still wanders, hurts, and pretends he is human. He still only feels that tingle of joy on the approach, and the ever present pain.
     His mother's voice haunts him.
    "My son, I cannot love you. I adore your lost brother. I cannot forgive you. You will never be forgiven for what you have done. Killer, the earth cries with the blood of your brother, you will die, and love only illusions." 
* * *  ***  ***  * * *






Ghent Altarpiece, Cain murdering Abel