Aug 272015

Contumelious Carter says: The American Revolution was an unnecessary war.

 Flagrant casuistries

By Gregg Glory
[Gregg G. Brown]

Beware of a spying gaze in the blind wall:
The Word is bound to matter…
Do not set it to profane usage!
--Gerard de Nerval

Crains, dans le mur aveugle, un regard qui t'epie:
A la matiere meme un verbe est attaché!...
Na la fais pas server a quelque usage impie!
--Gerard de Nerval

The Albatross

Last Tuesday, for kicks, the cachinnate sea-crew
Downed an albatross, a vast sea-bird,
The indolent companion of our wake, who lazily traced
Our ship's slippage through bitter breakers.

Once deposed to the common planks,
This king of the wild blue stumbled in shame,
Piteously dragging his white infinite wings
Like chalky oars unmoored beside him.

Winged voyager!  Now dementedly frail!
O royal one!  Now splay and exposed!
One sailor crams His Highness' beak with a burning pipe;
The next limps and mimics this cripple who soared!

The Poet is one with this swift prince of the clouds
Who haunts the tempest and mocks swart archers:
Exiled to earth's low hoots and threats,
His giant wings hobble each inch of his step.

--Charles Baudelaire


Dear Reader:

Let me elaborate (without belaboring) my point in print. Let’s say one questions the status quo: Hey Quo, what’s up with that, yo? The question, by its very nature, throws doubt upon the validity and durance of the status quo, or things as they are. Maybe things should be arranged otherwise, maybe other arrangements or interpretations would be more penetrating and correct, or would open avenues of action that would be grander or more satisfying. Questions, in this respect, are like headlights that can help us sketch out the dimensions and “give” in the fog that surrounds us.

What questions, in and of themselves, cannot do in these circumstances is prove anything about the validity of the status quo one way or another. Because one can formulate a question about the status quo does not, in itself, undermine things as they are in any way. Hey Quo, are you sure that the ground is under my feet? This question does nothing to remove the ground from under your feet–it is simply a question–a question that can start a process of discovery that itself should be questioned and not simply assented to because it undermines current understanding. This is what I meant about “questioning the questions.”

A question is simply the first step on a path that may eventually lead to the heady heights, and vast new perspectives, of disproof of the status quo; but the question is not the map, the donkey, the traveler, the sweat and the path all in one. The ground under your feet is solid until physics comes to eventually prove–through assertions and demonstrations (the sweat and donkey, etc.)–that in fact the ground is mostly made up of empty space between those tiny head-spinners, atoms.

Questions start the discovery, but the doubts are only worth paying attention to when evidence begins to solidify their guesswork with a bridge to a new reality, a new solidity. This goes on forever and ever, and even our views of bridges past begin to be swallowed up in the present fog and our next new journey can be to re-tread the paths of discoveries “past.”

But then, what is Time, really?

Gregg Glory

Political Education

2004 matured me in "one fell swoop"
from deranged nerd to poised politico.
The Public Library lions lean meekly on their paws,
the spirit's menace, but not a doit
against the grinding real-politick of Kerry's crash.
"Let the repugnicans run things from here on in.
The people'll be fed up by 2040 or so."
So much for plots and plans. 
The streets were picked clean
as a district attorney's grin.
Sniggering drunk on cheap gin,
I watch the awkward, waddling, ludicrous,
heart-felt and foible-filled ANSWER's parade
float down 5th avenue, the partisans a pastiche
of president-haters and cranks.


A low, scornful comedy,
Politics forgets man's nobility and grace;
Each actor on the scene is given
A monkey's scornful face.

Politics is misprision,
Goals the only good;
An opposite to ethics' missions
Where the Way is weighted All.

Who knows themselves knows this well,
Nor loves the news' intrigues;
Stark farce and frighted faces,
Dumb noise without a bell.

Lesson Plan

No "Grand Design" marrs my mouthings
with a dictator's mania for perfection.
Let what clues there are assemble themselves
into some workaday conclusionary attitude
or not.  Man's a pattern-recognition device
scanning horizons alert on his hind legs
for threat or profit ever since we left
the high cradle of the trees.  "Rock-a-bye baaay-bee…."
We call on God like a waiter when our intuition sours.
The least we expect is that He'll take away
the mess we've made of our plates;
slashed lobster tails, cold soup, 
napkin blazed in butter or blood.
How many settings must we sully in our time?
Small fry sizzle in the stream, bearing the emptiness of air
to eat gnats;  so we leap and gulp
off-balance, out of our element, full of longing,
blind mouths open with prayer or gossip.
Job managed both, but suffered unduly because
he gave a damn.  I see you there;  my horizon's
a page edge, these words my birder's net.
The best eating never flocks, but steps singly
to the trap.

State of Emergency

I've seen scrawled by the chapel door
"All's fair in love and war."
Now that every heart is fed on hate
The worst hunt down the great
And ambush keeps the score.

Sweet chimes ring the schoolyard home,
No tattle of Chechnyan children comes;
To keep their captive guests at peace
Brave tales are told in a darkened space
Of the rock and the dome.

Nor love nor war are at our door
But assassins at the window sash;
A knife that flits in the flesh
Troubles the unhealed gash

Pomp and Present Circumstance

Bad poets write the cowardly words.
Bolshevik importunings crowd the square:
"Hitler, fascisti, retrograde!"
            Crow the opiated opinion-makers,
Loudly lulling "the masses."

Children doodle decapitated presidents
Under the mildly smiling instructress
             Stitched drip by drip
             To the federal nipple.
Witticisms stripped to shitticisms.

"The world is not as once it was!"
Cry the fanged bunglers
Sullenly sipping tomato puree
Where once the blood had come
             fast and rich and fauceted.
Fighting a ragtag rearguard action for culture,
No fine-spun sensibilities appear
              Delicate as Charlotte's web,
As human as rumor

That clotted democracy yet,
Matted and mottled with muds, might yet,
               Yet might be, might still be
               "Some Pig."

The Niggard Heralds

The inverted bodies hang themselves,
   Interpenetrated, peeled
For us to write riven songs upon their skins!

Sullied sufferers hang themselves from a glass cross
   200 floors toward heaven.
   Bitter Christs!
Loudly you fly from flames to the asphalt,
Absent-minded of your mission:
Your religion has not yet arisen.

We may yet decide to be extinguished.
The gossipy mendacity of the Left
   Aligning with bin Ladens
   To win the miniaturized
Bickerfest with the neighbor;  neighbor
Same as them, hung from the cross the same.

   Orange flares
Line the flyway to infinity
       Or incineration.

Here's a brave man, indifferent to kicks,
Somber under DC's browning ferns,
Ready to kill the willful killers
And treat his countrymen, confused
        As the winter-wind infused weathervane
Like a drunken beloved.

Black Champagne

Alertly lifts the martyr's rifle--

Agonized prayer
divinity's hit.

God never talks to the dogs,
the dogs never stop barking.

"I remember her blue burka;
Rough cotton; wife.

The trigger invites me....
And I see you, mad and scrambling,
in your freedoms.

When God God God
            crushes you
                      I shall rise."


The sails unsettle in the wind
Finding their invisible origins--

Small fear goes out along the lines
Tremulous to the masthead,

The masthead bound with iron
And set into the leaning keel

Translates each impulse into action:
To one action, always the same: forward!

Dead Odalisques

Snaffled cuffs link our hearts in chorus--
On baffled dream-seraglio of houris--
Oh never to awake from this bout of sleep
Though shadows squander themselves and sunlight creeps.

These eves are deep that shelter lonely eyes
Turned inward, bitter till self-horrified--
The odalisque tamed by dusky charms
Untongues the timid with her beckoning arms.

Daniel J. Weeks and Gregg Glory

Fake Eagles

The Smithsonian's dusty trumped-up American Bald
Glares glass-eyed from its cement stem
Flightless adherent to its typeset caption
"This specimen typifies..."

White-cloth greatness fitted to a character-trait--
Gestures grand enough for "something"
Parodied into "plausibility."
                                        Daring airs
Are glass-encased, and grounded goes the mobile soul
Once limber and viscous as a spiky rose.

				        All's choral,
Collegial lean-togethers, mediocre ochers
Detailing a dulling sunset--
Not the hazardous edge of new dawn,
Clouds, clouds "by the skyful,"
The wee eye a-glitter, an observatory dome
              open to the cosmos
And more.

The great green agate door of Oz
Stands pried wide, stoppered open.
Shall we fall into the verdant velvets,
Eat the wheats sizzling in their millions?
Come, here's my hand,
		        toad-wet, willing--

Here's the heart-mouth pledge--
	and the plunge, the plunge
	that mimes the promise mum.

	Down we float
		careening reagents
	ripped to splinters
		and sailing anyhow onwards.

Congress sick with second guessing Jessies

Congress sick with second guessing Jessies
No firm hand on the tiller
No mettle in the men left at home
Only an orgy of angst
Belittlement of betters
Twist turn and angling for advantage
Small speech of exiting
No largesse of existing
No reasoning among the sissies
Just the vile knifefight for the voter.

The troubled insincerity of these actors in the round,
The corpulent self-indulgence of the American Left.

"The president proposes, the congress disposes."
Say the vivid idiots
          believing themselves
Meaty deities in monkeysuits.

Dime-Store Mores

Carloads of laughing fatsoes
Follow Rockerfellers to the rallying grounds
Laughing falsetto
Apropos of nothing.

Contumelious Carter, crass gasbag,
Pats the padded DNC box-seat for Lordly Moore
Smarming his way to fame
                         On lies and mallomars.


Saddam's boys, fed lion's hearts
And bad philosophy, were sent into the rape room
Under P.S. 106, Baghdad,
Same ground that saw a Ninevah arise
Same wide-eyed folks that made
A few of civilization's unending things,
Set golden bird upon a ruby bough to sing.

"Not in my name"
	shall we set, we
The people of Hamilton and Adams
Not for such names, nor for our own,
Forgotten since our civics' texts
Have gone to rot as assuredly as Rome's poems
Burned by Visigoths to watch
"Vandal Idols" on a commandeered TV
in the fumbled coliseum.

"Not in my name"
	shall these be set free.
Not by us, the people of Lincoln and Paine,
Not with our bullets of inalienable rights,
Nor our hatred of tyrants,
Not by our strength, our success,
Not by our sure hand in a selfish world,
Not by our open palm
	shall these be set free.

These same who crouched in a shit pit
Or were shot for sheer sport.
Power plus a few roaring lies
And arabist France is your firm friend,
Scoring oil off of marsh arabs' misery,
Breathing grievance and flattering tyrants
	alone in their ego-lovely
	palaces of misapplied plaster,
	walls caulked with exquisite fear,
	real memories of friends, father
	or sister suddenly dragged out at 1 AM
	and shoved into the State's Mercedes
	and returned in ribbons,
	eyeless, legless, earless, hymenless,
	or not at all….
The fear of faces too used to fear,
Same faces Stalin made in Russian clay
Holding his neighbors' feet to the fire
Or cinching raw hands in unforgiving wire.
"Not in my name"
	shall these be made free.

Same Saddam, god-damn,
Who put a hit out on a retired president
And called Kuwait his "13th Province,"
Shattering desert quietude with lies,
Living detached as a NYT op-ed writer
From the eternal verities.

Same Saddam, god-damn,
Who paid suicide bombers' families to live on quince
And retire to palm-shaded villas
After sending Sonny on to see Allah;
Same suiciders who put a two-fer hole
In New York's presumptuous skyline:
Front teeth fell out square with 3,000 lives
As jerks in Jersey City cheered
And Palestinians rah-rahed in parade,
Making Gaza glamorous once again,
	full of light, full of hope, full of song,
As know-nothing Americans knew, just knew
It was all our fault anyway;
Not even giving gashed Jihadis
	credit for their kill, not really.

Same Saddam, god-damn,
…. I can't go on without respite, without tonic,
A cool cloth for my lips, hot cotton
Laid on my ears, much abused,
Carbon darkness for my eyes, my eyes
That see in seemless verity
One nation, under God,
Riddled with raconteurs of the Apocalypse
Who never missed a payment on their Saab.

Allah, Allah, Allah,
Forgive these few, these free,
These blind men holding diamonds
Who think they're weighted with bricks;
Forgive these few their compassionate disaster
Who see sorrow in a tyrant's swat,
How sad his up-bringing must have been;
Forgive these few their huddled asses
Who buy the pap and propaganda 
of the feckless press.

Allah, Allah, Allah,
Sear me with second-sight enough to see
What comes of free people with no will to be free;
Who shrinky-dink and containerize the globe
After pacifying panzered fascists,
Who set the Technicolor sights of Hollywood 
in every human eye
And take air-conditioned flights
To the winds' four corners
And hear half-good English spoken there
From some kid wearing Adidas
And yet do not believe
	Fallujah's on their subway stop
	or Kabul is come to Washington.

Forgive these few, O Allah.

Allah, Allah, Allah,
Walla walla walla

Red State Prayer

Dear Lord, help the heathens to keep their federal mandates off of my state. Please, Lord, let them become aware that just because the federal penny flows from the blue states to the red states that that does not give them the power to make us join their progressive coalition of the bribed and the coerced. Please, Lord, let them blue staters realize that before that federal penny flows from the blue states to the red states via Washington D.C. that penny first flows from our backs to their banks. Please, Lord, I am tired of doing the bidding of Lyndon Baines Johnson, and Hillary Clinton, and Ted Kennedy, and unelected judges who pick up the legislative pen that able but lazy legislators have cast aside in favor of windsurfing. Let not the least accountable branch of government hold sway over the most accountable. Oh, please, Lord, I beseech ye.

How God Hates a Freeman

How God hates a freeman.
How suffering is his every rainbow
--Even when we poor ants
Find some infinitesimal way of being free
He sends a scourge, an insanity amongst us
            --Sudsy heads in turbans
            hard hands anxious to cruxify
            ready hammers and shiny nails
            suicide bombers in clean veils
            no dirt under their fingernails
            ready to make love to God

The God who, ironically enough,
Is killing us in black batches,
By blood-mouthfuls, killing
And shaming us with his sharp scourge
--so clean, so new--

To the Red Gates

A bold bolt of rose lightning
Bids me sizzling its chosen bowman be,
    A filial Philoctetes
    Despite of our history.

So few know the maiming game
Half so well as swollen love can tell;

Knotted lots of condemned confederates
Go rolling down the slay-yard line,
Conveyered to red hell and devastation,
           What redeems the fugitive from his red pen?
(Funny, nes pas?)  How escape the mirrored Mall
    to slow roast in the hopeless Wilderness 

Monet's mash of fabulous figments
hand-ground to red renown....
Cezanne's carnival of pink icebergs
sailing house-high intra-Ardennes....
Beethoven's beaten TAA-DUMP,
or Baudelaire's lurid la-lahrrr....

All are the agony of gangsters
Throttled or thrilled by moment's one consciousness,
Exhorted from the dumpy swamp
That beats and retreats in the fetid chest--

O soully broken brothers!
Taken in angina and angst, past mists
To see pantsless God Our Father
And never again live well as worms.

His love has hoovered your harrowed bowels, 
His meaning's memes flay mincemeat from your lives, 
Embattled brethren of the happy pit, 
Giggling piglets skinned in velvets
Wanton wannabes
Voltaged with vim,
Summed nothings who see
The glory of Him.

Alpha and Omega, faith precedes
Phantom efficiencies of famine and feast, 
Trust in the somethings our nothings provide, 
Vomiting vacuums for lebensraums, 
Aching for spaces no spaceman divines,
Only    oh   aum   ah   oh   our   holy   um
Can freight the frigate
We sail to red gates
That frame the lonely bowman
Asleep in zero's nonman's land

 triggerfinger itched by lightning

Blind Homer

Blind Homer
           in his handicapped parking plot,
Driving eye-dog at the steel wheel,
Steel will in the passenger's seat--
           Homer who haunted the agora
           Shilling for shekels
                      his white whale tale.

Superman in his icy citadel
Pacing the slatted blanks
           that mirrored, then hid
His moroser meditations.

Soulful foreign exchange student
Putting on parsed phrases of a play:
           hanging a mirror-frame in
Audience made the mercury backing 
To a soul in self-discovery.

The Joy of Bastard’s Desiring

     for Ken Bastard

An artist, 
	that vast patchwork of fictive facts
	made irremediably human
Lies swacked to the black mat 
Lies swacked by bilious bastards--
	Hearing only the thin singing
		of virile virtuosos.

Crucified, rechristened,
He takes blamelessly the name "Bastard,"
Owing no allegiance to parents, prophets, persons,
		or miserly precedent.

Alone as only
	in that thinnest singing
He rears and raves
	Swinging pennants of pigments
	Fashioning each fitful color with fidgets
To one indelible enamel
	Alive in our mammalian minds.
	Rip of fittest tethers in tattered weather
	and off--oof!--go hallooing balloons
	by blistered brain's lightest excitements 
	shaped-- sheer veerings and vanishments
	into empty Empyrean blues....

Brushwork unbowed and bronzed,
Blast after melodious blast
Blessing bastardly the seeming serene
	Until all the thumping nothing
Is singing--singing unremittingly
	the "Joy of Bastard's Desiring."

A Supposery

A suppose is a suppose is a...
Limber lasso of Tea Leonis, looping and limpid.

Here I float ... forgotten and talentless
Among numb unknowns of words, spermy words
Fishing for finishes....

Each word a weight to sink the bait
Wriggling its links of heartbeats.
No knowing comes to caustically swallow
The proffered oblations of ignorance
               --Stiff wicks awaiting enlightenment.
Ignorant divots flay my driving field,
Each divot devoutly a prayer
               To drive true
               To some teleological terminus.
O Tea Leoni
Know my unknowingness,
Parse my pickled presumptions
And inscribe a prescription under each eyelid,
Some fluff of a fluttering antidote.
Stop these filaments of questionmarks
Swelling my throat like a feather boa,
Fashioning incertain alternatives
               In my make-believe brain,
Aggrieved and giveless.

O salvé salvé
Moisten and close, clock and lock, 
The click-if-click of my soiled supposery
Churning mud-dumb propellers
In bayous gone by
                     O salvé!

Picasso’s Crooked Eye

Picasso's crooked eye,
David's damned obscurities,
Sartre the industrious communist bee,
Bug-eyed with his private hoard
	of existential agonistes,
Riviera's raucous mural, florid
With steel trains and a lemon Lenin 
as glossy as a saint,
The same a rigid Rockerfeller
Ripped down and paid for. . . .

Each artist riffed rich in angst and happiness,
Loving their foamy social dream
Where each man's crowned a kinky king
And none are ugly laborers for greed
Or any vice but the "people's need."

If in their Hilterianly lonely, limpid dream
All others would but see as they had come to see,
	each in his private dignity
Grinding his eyes to the one measure,
Then all the world's woes might be
	frozen fragrantly
In one sole mosaic triumphantly.

But none submitted their prim, their vetted
Vision to the communal tribunal,
None tum to the others' ta-ta
Despite the goal's profound, golden nobility,
Despite the day-laborer ferrying gigantic acres of canvas,
His kid sick in the back of the hurried truck,
Despite the crazy fees for "inspiration"
That denied the doorman his cataract surgery,
Despite the weak, the infirm, the shirtless and shoeless
Who would never enter this centrally air-conditioned 
Palace of art to peruse this exact masterpiece of "solidarity."
Never would the mooing millions, unwooed wards
Of "the true light that puts Italy's afternoons to shame,"
See this feted aesthete's tribute to their "viral virility,"
	Despite, despite, despite,
Despite the pie-eyed ache for Paradise
	that moved the pointillist-precise camel-hair brush
	over the worker's sable-shiny
	eyebrow in the union pantheon.

Slaves of Glory

The very astonishing hour has come. 
The very astonishing hour indeed! 
Green Heinekins, jade brain and rose-coral vodkas  
---Exhausted! In one final, fantastic evening. 
Hosannahs invade the empty windows,
spurs of blacks, mysterious 
As the tender invitation of the body. 

Bright, alcoholic after-haloes sift 
               Timid ash upon stale, upraised lips.

Sobriety has entered us
As mourners enter a white church.
Enough of this pathetic quietness! 
This simpering, dog-like wish for 'temperament' 
The madness of faces full of 'sound judgement.' 
I forgive all disasters, all accomplishments, 
Every disguise that announces 'I am finished!' 
Choking its inhabitant as a mirror chokes beauty. 
Songs of sporadic intensity, wicked verses, 
The poem of flayed skin, blind eyesight 
Mutes imagining laughter, I forgive you! 
          Pathetic quiet!
Bring tympans, wild sibilants, 
           Drunken elephants of sound, mists,
the harsh clangour of brass.
New eyes, new hearts, new senses! 
Bring a speech of bloods, the invention of Angels!  
Why was one ever afraid of waking? 
Eh! a little daydream I had in the haypile. 
But now the new era has arrived --this moment!  
Let us revenge the sky for an hour! 
Let us run out muds of new births upon us, 
And seize in hands of ice the very flowing waters-- 
--Dreams of incorporeal perfection! 
Dawn leaves splinter in my eye  
Enacting the death of Satan. 
Vertiginousness in the closet! 
Very astonishing! 

Shouts of Blankness

When nothing is left but divinity
And each man shouts to the next: "Look!
We are become the human angels!"
Wings made fabulous-- disasters surpassing 

Abominable, the bricks of this image.
All will be re-constructed, in Paradise.

                 At the discretion of no God
                 Do I spin and unfurl;

What is the hypothesis of passion?
The inextricable answer in the diamond.

"I am the unnamable silver,
                             past continuation,
I march beyond continent and clime.
I sing without vocable glitter."

               A death that was reasonable shimmers
                Shining ignored in a dirty  jade pool.

 Men will that day become?
 Men will that day become?
 Tales and fables melt to insignificance;
 Palaces disappear in a maze of flames.
 Men will that day become what?

               I woke up in an ecstatic ditch;
               I don't know very much about it.

 The disingenuous suffer overmuch.

 The rhetoric of Democracies!

 Very commendable!

              And after the Sousas and  oompahs....
              And after the senses to  emphasize
                                                what  blankness?

Against the West Long Branch Redistribution

Golden houses gather at the sea's demesne,
Crowded to dare the weather and the wave,
To raise childish laughter in the rocky spray
Despite what moneyed worldlings crave:
Sunrise caught in the gilt of nouvaux riche fences,
Exiled faces shut from the sea that shaped their clay.

These sea-battered, sea-stung houses, strong,
Rooted long years on a battened coast,
Creak, and crack, in the wind's stir shaken, broken
Till hurricane pane and slatted roof rise in song,
Hurling hung cries above the developer's boast:
"God grants great strength to the hand that takes."

Clytemnestra’s Ghost

"The rat I wrangled from my womb has wronged me!
Bit me! Bled me!  Hear a mother's cry to kill her kid!
Choke the sopping monster who goes glued to Fate
By my very blood!  Sucked from my very teat,
	milk and blood both-- bitter, bitter!
O Aegiesthus' ghost-- where are you? 
	Hold my breasts and fuck me!
These same breasts that came with my pubescent blood,
Oresetes nuzzled-- his skull-top as soft as his pea of a nose.
Unfinished he flooded into a turgid world,
Torn by troubling dreams;  I built him from boy to man, I
And I alone touched him wonderingly, wantingly:
That this star should fall from my fuckhole….
Damn him!  Damn him!  What is it to be a mom
If men may treat their mothers thus?  Curse him!
My identity's stripped to ifs without him;  without him
Numbered and known as my son, my son.
Hard the travail, hard the happiness, and now
	hard the death-time
Of mothers and their motherhood.
Sleepless across the groined earth I groan,
Loneliness airless and endless.  Not mother, but murderer
My son--that damned man--proclaims me to finally be.
His insistence on Justice is a sinkhole of sorrows
Burying his Mommy for God.  Ah, God--
No;  no refuge there;  no clouds, no angels, no respite
For a woman torn and scorned.  I'm jammed into my gender:
First, pollution of the menstrual punch, then sex
Wished-for in waiting, not sought in warm arousal
But closeted and kept close, moldy with hoping--
Thin mystery of the singing clit mixed with sorrow-oh!
Known then as Agamemnon's woman, addendum to majesty,
That which cleaves and is cloven--flickeringly split in loving--
His arms the margins of my seacoast--no more, no less.
And no woman knows another; slakers and takers of the defining phallus--
Competitive finessers of the clamping circumstance.
Came Helen, and away went our hairy thousands,
All the wood echoing like a troubled drum.
Men marching into the sea!  Seaborne, sea-torn,
So many with no fluff on their chins, little wrigglers.
War-widow I was then, alone as a lion,
Stalking the beaches at dawn, clubbed and stunned
By the night menaces;  the sins of the dreamless hours,
My mind a shifty shuttle on no holy loom.
What was I in this absence of passions?  Unkicked, unlicked.
No nobility rolled, lucid and lovely, from my hurt hollows.
I was uncoiled and void;  knowingless, dirty, and numb."

Daniel J. Danielson

An old-time, small-town hardcore "con"
polite enough to jigger mint juleps in tinking silver cups
rubbed smooth by lips ribbed smooth
with talking.  Politics, aesthetics, jeremiads,
history's candid tangle of catastrophes
--any subject that nights ripen and split
enough to show the sense of meaning 
at the snapping seams;  thought stretched taut
until articulation sang.  O the million nights
chattered ruefully through to human truth!
Rhythm's doubled thrubs send the heart-beacon out
beneath the boards, like your troubled and beloved Poe
moaning lonely for his Annabelle Lee, lovely
ideal resurrected from the dead real.

Your life-plot's coiled as Rosencrantz',
a labyrinthine mind of steel and twine
following each God-doled bread-crumb clue
to God's appointed apotheosis;
intent as a atheist pimping out a principle.
You loiter with stories forever unfinished,
once started, not knowing "how way leads on to way."
Each enunciated principle's broadened
with tributary amendments, altering
precursor and course upon reconsideration;
Rabelaisian babble nipped and tucked tidy
by a laser-guided philosophy.

Long ago in your yeoman youth you started
dreaming past the dragon's hiss, the dragon's tooth,
to inner virtue's unvarying, vibrant truth.
Now an earnest father gone haggard at the world's lies--
you sit a spastic Little Hamnu down to talk--
and finish grinning and whistling in the dark,
stuck, like Coleridge with his quaint Constancy,
or an aim-awry Orion facing West,
stark as a marker in the stars' fixed rigging.

Restless Quester

Neither remembers the stark start
when heart first advised the eyes
to see a friend a foe.

Meals at the table turned scattershot, casual....
Face leaned to books, lipping the small print,
you gazed aglow at your torn, beloved
golden "Dragon" magazine:
chatty advice about how to kill with stealth
or sail the astral plane on a budget.

Every confab folded
at a call from your Philly hottie, Maria;
seminal points left forever unpinned
among the live haywires of hasty love.

Once you grumped home
straight to your pigsty
content to yodel D & D cusses
at a screen filled with terror and fidgety limbs;
midnight found you miserably hunched,
a vulture clawing a mouse.

You click your friends together with a lassoed gesture,
circles of a single color under each pair of feet;
you hunt the haunted woods together,
crouch bunched at each blind sound
and die in the fine faith
of the necromancer's talent for resurrection.

There you were
hunched under the overhead lamp,
slaying evil to exhaustion
but unwilling to do the simple, sullied
work that keeps us good.

The sounds of all the world came crashing down,
pounded from the tinny PC speakers,
an aria of Orc-growls
that crescendoed in a hash of static.

Were you Ulysses,
a grey bureaucrat lost at sea
and anxious to survive into the profit zone
of his misfortunes. 
Every crashing zag
ends in an ascending zig.

Unhappy over your sogged bowl
of Cheerios, you wept to make the minutes glisten,
praying that the twin tracks of amnesia
would cure your ruin. 
O the world
herself was bleak as ashes

that day.  That day
you had swallowed the plot
that plumed with your departure
a blue peacock's outburst fan
waving and waving.

It was months before I knew
you'd said goodbye.


No more can I turn aside with sunny face
When the shocks of life upbraid me;
No longer can I see in the casual stranger's face
Opportunities new unknown for causal love.
Whatever has brought me to this pass
Must heave me onward!  Nothing without
Bears my trust as had our friendship bourne
--How easily!--as on a giant's back lighlty rides
A sparrow!  heedless strength to carry all
And to tar all things with easy hope.
Far into the night with weariless footpad
We had pressed, uncaring where the journey led
So long as sojourn had no ending.
Suggestive shadows of rock and claustric wood
Held no terrors for we two;  we two
Who knew our honest talk could shrink
Dark's impostures down to shadow's sham.
Gone are those trusts, that happiness.
Now rock and dark (ay, and rust and rot)
Penetrate my nimble being like a pin
Whose first sharpness opens slowly into wound
Raw and unmendable, flinching if an ash
Although cold as the bearing wind
Should light upon its open redness.

Now every face in my kind circle 
Comes to nothingness or less;
For ain't it worse than all the loss
Of miser-miserable death to lose
What has no reason to be lost,
Imposed division, needless cost?
Who'll now give heart to my restless quest,
Remain for dinner and depart a guest
As closely allied in the heart
As one who never did, or would, depart.

Cain’s Abel

"Brother, I've a shiv for your spotless side.
Authority's glory. You glow in God's eyes,
The only free thing who's immediately obedient.
Unpausing panegyric to the Creator's cabal!
Only the brainless, the recklessly loyal,
Fly fired in ire or sit titivating introiblios
At the unheard word of the Lord Our God--
Out-thrust from grace you go--a holy turd."

Abel's Cain
"Co-created creature inhabiting God's grace,
How like two ears of grain we thrive from a single stalk,
Listening to the mystery that lights, at dawn,
At dusk, in sourceless fog or stippled night,
Our heavenly way.                          
               . . .Oh, Cain, our cable's snapped
That had our frailer lights attached, and now
Into God's welcoming grace we each must go
By nether paths neither tended nor knows."

No Intercessor Angel

No intercessor angel tends
On steps no other did commend;
No vagrant God adjourns
Heaven for what makes us mourn.

No pebble, despite eons going by,
Disincarnates a sigh;
Ocean humps in its gelid sack
Only forth and over, there and back.

Sins commissioned ere our time
Get writ as History, not as crime;
No insistless salve is spread
To comfort calumnies of the dead.

Ancient bitterness and vibrant strife
Impose no twinge on man and wife;
Remorseless immortals looking down
Neither laugh nor frown.

By Another Name

First the clouds were in a heap
Till even sheep could not sleep;
Then the palace of platinum bullion
Lost a shingle and was down a million;
St Peter loitering at the gate
Had no new angels to berate;
Gabriel tossed his trumpet aside,
Sad it tootled unamplified;
An angel's anger at a broken harp
Is more melancholy than sharp;
Sunshine seemed insult above the rain;
The gowns, though clean, were plainly plain;
The heavenly host and lordly train
Were just a parade by another name.

Vivid Division

Vivid division of night and day's erased.
If only light were a little less wanted,
The pang that brings us to our knees,
Praying and palavering among stone pews....

We murmur rumors of ill-lit hope
In illegible littleness,

Have easy breathing in a blunted cove,
Voluptuous sighs swiftly wrapped
In midnight velvets
And cool contentment at the core.

Our disdainful backs
Turned to the emergent sun
In reticulated whispers
Vibrant and magnificent.

Fervid Superfluities of the Sun

What's done? What's done?
Day advances day under the clock's gun. . . .
So little's left to do but die and rot,
Whistling operatic lieder
on my solitary cot.

Romans knew the days but trooped to zero
Teaching kindergarteners mortuary rhymes,
Heroes paused at their redeeming crimes
Defined by something, something
against erasing Time.

We aim at one overweening abstract: Truth:
A volcano that we forge to raise the roof,
And miss the little deity Pity
Saucering stale milk to a crippled kitty.

When once we've sighed ourselves asleep: "‘Tis done,
‘Tis done," there'll be no dream that needs "Te Deum."

When I was well

When I was well the world did seem
Alive with myriad tempting mysteries--
Wireless winds that moved each trembling tree
Moved what spirit moved in me;
The light that lifted flowers from the seed
Bade me bloom and brighten in my new need.

But when I was ill the world did grow
Older and dimmer each diminishing hour;
Weaker, darklier waned the woodland powers
And crumpled came even the softest flower
To this cheek that felt it not,
This tear-dead eye that saw all ill
            become one sizeless blot.

Now recovered and alienate in my taut boat,
I measure the world from within my moat,
A magic circle of moveless seas
Unfrozen and supple, but leadenly still;
Wind and light move, but move not me;
For I, I am well, but the world is ill.


Reading Rilke red-eyed, hoping
some one knows something about the afterlife,
the invisible, invincible gods
who hobble us to here.

There's no solace in Rilke's
self-swallowing fountain,
sword and gorge become one
unprintable fuck-fest.

Not even the old Caesars had a clue.
Righteousness the economic health
of the expanding Empire--
all else sighed and died.

What final detail sums us up
the way a bow expresses the ribbon's thinness,
its graceful twist manifest supremely
in darling, daring

anti-utilitarian curls?

Parting at Mid-Height

Far from meaningless at the seams
A good poetic conceit
Sounds off each tailored inch of its dapper dreams,
The too-neat neatness of its pinched pleats.

Here, at the folded edge, a possible prow,
Self-reflexive style and raw wave hiss,
Touching without changing their inner hows
In extended chemic kiss.

Part and part with sigh depart
To unpoliced provinces of woe and wait;
Crawling dawn defines two solitary hearts
Alone as egos, as isolate.

Their bawdy bodies switch embarrassments
Ere noon has come to pin their shadows
Under them; each witched wight
Sauces lunch "to-go" with appetite.

Numbers, Up

Solemnly luminous, digital sticks on a "dial"
(I don't know what else to call a clock's face)
keep pipping the milliseconds… serenely…
no, it's too quick for serenity, too assured for doubt.
Is resolution any part of Time's onslaught?
Precise as the quills on a hawk or a lark:
millisec, millisec, millisec.

--Too trim for a lugubrious drumbeat,
the boom of doom or closed coffin tapping: trapped!
The numbers change, adding up exhaustions,
half-fulfilled love-affairs, the spark and shock
of conflict.  In there, quartz heart tribulates,
never a blur of murders or smear of defeats,
always a consequent, nice accounting:
millisec, millisec, millisec.


Disengage the Sapphic eye,
Unhand the hoary, knuckled clasp

Of sensate effect upon the spine;
Be stripped of skin, and of mere sense

Be shriven, till no feeling falls from flesh
At all--and in this zero zone

When bare and bathed in naked light alone,
Let some jolt of jibeless spirit pique

And have its flash in nothingness;
Let shape arise from faith for once

And remake these mere mirrorings
That offend the everything eternal in a man

As a bilge of dung become a monument
Makes the nose weep for grief

That it had ever lived to smell a rose.
Instead stand deaf, stand blind,

And in inner dark but grope toward wonderment,
And when again some flood of folly

Rolls along the living skin, some ache
Or burn of fullness at the lips, as a kiss

Aches and burns at once,
Let some new, green skeleton

Underpin and resist. 
Let darkness dazzle.

Shadows of the Moon

To survey the contested scene
Serene from heights Olympian
And know you had ascended there
Not by what you did or dared
But by snipping short the wings
Of one, among eagles, king
Drives home a blinding nail
Through the landscape you surveil.

The sumptuous fete, the feast
Attended by man and beast
To celebrate your sip
From Nike's very lips
Augurs a sudden hunger
When your dear competitor
His cup to his winning host
Lifts up in noble toast.

How empty are such high scenes
To one whose victory's a dream
Granted only by slight and slant--
A gardener who but supplants
And cannot raise from seed the grace
That blossoms in the face--
One who never shall know noon
Unshadowed by the moon.

“Flowers in the Dustbin”

The old trollop comes ga-lal-lopp-ing along

Loves unfiltered // varnish the knotted heart;
Loves laved with gravesores;
Loves by the score: love-love;
Love unadorned.

Shall the body bear its burning beacon
               Into another darkness
               Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow

The body on fire
And the mind gone on holiday
Mind mindless mind
Flopped on a rocketing toboggan
                in windy Switzerland

The old trollop comes ga-lal-opping along

Why, in such a desert, this simmering wetness?
Why this, why this?
               Paradise by the inch.
Click and sigh
        of fricatives, force and odor
        of opening a stawberry door

         into endless fields

All the skyline's a thin guise of fire,
My face a gauze over echoes.
A farther fierceness cinches my mystery ribbon.
Tireless vine binds my inches,
A glug of bloods cured to fine rawhide:
From tip of finger to tip of toe,
Cocktip to nosetip, cinching the inches
Finer and tighter, cinched in and in--
Raw zones and moldy wounds.
A zero surgeon could not configure it.
A tightest kite fit for any breeze.

And I am aloft--
Coughless and visionless, seeing all.
No need to imagine your spectacular sighs,
Your ruinous cues, your fucked dugs.
Twin cinders for eyes and a stovepipe hat,
Body pure body, longing and troubled--
But starchest snow for all that,
Breast and belly pure cold, pure pure.
Thighs stark as icicles
                   pinning my insistence.

Two old trollops disordering the I.V.s,
Tripping past the bedpans, two toiling turnips
Unable to ever verily bloom
Save as tumors.

"Flowers in the dustbin"
                  ... and all that ...

One-Way Waltz

A one-way waltz is all we've got, and-a
One-way waltz is not love enough to live;
For friendship leads and friendship follows,
But always whatevers with our fellows.
A memory marks its time upon a shelf,
A dwindled nothing, a stationary elf,
Frosted with dust, in dust diminished,
Until the affection that placed it there is finished.
If hand reach out to hand in timely dance,
In all the whirled hazard of our circumstance,
And palm meets no palm but passes touchless,
Such hand's unfit but to carry torches.
Then let torches burn what they cannot find,
And find parade-rest for the whirring mind.

Final Edit

"Supposing Roses" is finally done--
each blossom hacked and thorn shellacked.
What had grown lovely in my release from loneliness
is now packed back into perfected sonnets
--raw squares that define and defile.
Artifice filled out the feeling a kiss first insisted.
I gussied up the ghost with dresses,
rhetoric's high fashions, and, after,
stripped the pickings at my sex's insistence.
Naked and dated she lay there like a final draft.
None of her winsome tussle was left in her.
Inert and silent, she awaits a reader,
the dazzling sequins of approbation,
the instructor's star or apt remark,
tender repeat of touch and tongue.
Her backside's bare and brazen as an existentialist.
What words she uses are more music than meaning.
I lay beside her loosely--mute, inutile.

The Bitter Tonics

Milk scalds and hisses in the brisk pan--
Bread, spiced with vomit, rises as a gorge,
Hurling health out of heated darks;
Down the whole loaf, don't nibble!
It's the slack shape of a corrupted heart,
Clouded to black rye by my bituminous bloods!
Tear each end off like an ear!
Eat the sour words my soul has abandoned
And kicked into the scabrous vat!
Ringed with wormy eyes like a stowed potato,
Each eye splendid with pins as a voodoo doll.
What I was is cooked in this object,
What I am has sifted to the gutter;
So eat it, eat it! 
Bite and claw with damaged nails--
Swallow a tooth as you swallow my soul.
Choke on it, fuck, and rub the crumbs into your pants--
Drool a glum stain on your silken shirt;
Something icky and indelible
                            should be my memorial.

Post-Nausea Notions

Here my pieces make their spluttering way
To infamy, not fame;  perspectiveless, yet not Picasso.
What the heart tells itself cannot be trusted.
"There's too much juice in this goose to be flavorless--
Even the flamboyant great paced out their days
In mendicant obscurity. . ."  Lies lacquered on lies
Blurring the clarity of the true grain.  And yet,
What we tell ourselves becomes what we are,
Dissing the chance disasters that really happened.
I sought a balance and sought for it in vain,
Finding my stride in a downhill whirl at windmills. . . .
Whatever favors fools favors me;
My Panama hat made motley by sweat,
Waking frozen by nightmare and bathed with regrets.
I check myself in the flatness of a passing glass:
One enlarged eye, the other dull, bald,
In flat retreat like a touched tentacle,
The fluted mouth aghast for air as it almost surfaces.

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