that the guy who made
up the Library of Congress
system of cataloging
had no sense of humor?
BS is the classification
under which the Bible
published in For the Love of Death, the early years, 2nd ed., S.I.N., 1993.
first published on the internet at BlogSpot.com, 8/21/2015
I tried to explain about the strange man
in the phone booth,
but nobody would listen.
He nattered about weird stuff:
Pity, now the universe is down
to 699 wonders,
in a Mad Hatter sort of way.
Twenty-five years and
they still look at me queer.
When I was a kid; it was comics.
Alternate universe, alternate issues going
forward in time and back in time.
Now it’s Dr. Who.
Talk about social suicide,
talk about Doc at a cocktail party,
you’re standing alone in a corner
with an empty glass.
If they don’t like the Doctor,
strange isn’t in their blood.
And if strange isn’t;
Under all that conformity?
published in For the Love of Death, the early years, 2nd ed., S.I.N., 1993.
first internet publication on BlogSpot.com, 8/22/2015
I once saw a man at a pretzel stand
with a giant pretzel on top of it.
You couldn’t help but know that it was
fake: nobody makes pretzels that big.
He just had to touch it, though, creep!
It should have fallen on him.
It must be the same thing with snow;
they always walk on the clean stuff.
Monkeys will sleep in their own shit
even if you show them how not to.
Even a dog won’t do that.
Let them not breed in great numbers
or else they will slime over the world.
The filthy fools remind me of
apes in crimson capes pretending to
be their human masters. It must
be and oral fixation of the skin and
the thoughts have all atrophied. It’s
possible they have forgotten to feel with
their minds. Don’t get me wrong,
I enjoy a good tussle in the hay
as much as the next person but
this sort of thing isn’t lasciviousness.
Opening windows and closing doors
most of the time they don’t know what
for. I think they forgot. It must be
that they spent too much time with their
hands in their pants or up their skirts
or whatever. Self-gratification gets
that way after awhile. Nobody thinks of
the next person who walks across the snow.
Pretzels should learn to fight back.
first published in Wind Row, fall 1984.
1st internet publication BlogSpot.com, 2/23/2014.
Is there a one rayed Star?
A one rayed star would be a point.
A two rayed star would be a line.
A three rayed star would be a fractured piece
of broken crystal, diamond or quartz, sapphire or topaz.
A four rayed star would it be a square,
or a cube?
In front burns the pentagram,
behind the effulgent six rayed star,
look up in the night sky,
every one is seven and beyond.
Each star shines in Indra’s web
woven in dark and light,
an infinite tapestry of points
from nothing to something:
a picture of points,
a photo of dots.
Yes, there is a one rayed star,
and yes it has a point.
taken from Some Notes on 21st Century Sorcery.
I had seen more dancing bears before I ever saw my first golf-course. I mean real golf-courses, not miniature golf. And I mean real dancing bears, not something off of a Grateful Dead bumper sticker.
In the market in Lahore there was a Pashtun wearing dirty perahan wa tunban with a long grey vest and lungee, on his feet Pathan sandals, by his side marched a muzzled sun-bear with chain collar and long chain dangling from his master’s hand, arms entwined behind his back. Very cavalier for a man with a bear. For a few rupees he would make the bear twirl on his hide legs, paws in the air.
The Russian circus came to town before I had even learned to drag a camera about. Their bears where brown, large and un-muzzled. I remember the red vests the trainers wore, very striking.
It was not too many years later that I discovered my first golf-course in the middle of the night. But I never learned to play. I did learn that high school children liked to drink beer there, smoke dope, and hook up. I imagine that college age people did to, probably for nostalgia sake. You could find the empty green bottles, empty baggies, and occasional condom. By then I had learned about grizzly bears, and black bears, Kodiak bears, and the extinct golden bears of California, and the great bear of Russia.
There is a wicker basket in the corner of where I live. It used to be used for laundry; it is now used for balls. All those nights and days wandering around avoiding the bears, the cougars, the skunks, walking by tennis courts, golf-courses, picking up lost balls. My father played golf, but I do not remember him doing so. There was a golf bag in his effects. I took home the bucket of balls for the basket, my brother took home the clubs. I learned to juggle.
This was all B.C., before Caddyshack. Those were good years, B.C. I was younger and it was fun to find empty ground without people. It was even more fun after Caddyshack. “Biggest wastes of real estate, golf-courses and cemeteries” spouts the developer played by Rodney Dangerfield. I took it to heart and was happy. Cemeteries and golf-courses were keeping the world a little nicer because they were keeping the ground out of the hands of real estate developers. I could watch the edges of towns blur the country, but the cemeteries and golf-courses were still safe at night. I could wander around avoiding the cougars, skunks, and bears.
But now it is A.D., after Donald. I try not to go near golf-courses. They have become bad places, not preserving the ground from developers. They are the playground of developers. They are the place you go to look at the kleptocrats, to emulate the kleptocrats. They are pretty like the gold souq of Dubai, or the frankencastles on the hills with well-manicured lawns and gardens. I do not go there at night anymore, because I am afraid of the great bear. He is no longer tied to Polaris.
That leaves me the graveyards at night. I pass them in the daytime; they are getting busier, new holes, new mourners. Night is the only time they seem at rest.
Emily Dickinson, 1830-1886
Poem #260 from her catalog of works . . .
I’m Nobody! Who are you?
Are you – Nobody – too?
Then there’s a pair of us!
Don’t tell! they’d advertise – you know!
How dreary – to be – Somebody!
How public – like a Frog –
To tell one’s name – the livelong June –
To an admiring Bog!
Once upon a time I had a teacher in a poetry class named Ruth Slonim. She was fond of quoting Emily Dickinson and every once in a while snippets of these poems pop into my head. Some I have even burned into my brain years later. But this is an example of someone who effected my life in such a way that I didn’t even realize it fully at the time. The old song goes “you never know what you got until it is gone.” She died in 2005.
I later learned that during her life, she was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize in poetry. Just to be nominated means she effected a lot more people than just me. She had, and still has relevance in this world. She is still effecting in her own quiet way.
The last time I remember meeting her was on a side-walk maybe 20 years after she taught me in class. She remembered me from that class, and said she had been hearing good things about my work. I mostly feel I have dwelled in hiding all my life, so when these little bumps come along, they make me reevaluate what I really am, what I think I have and have not done with my life. And things like “How dreary to be somebody . . . ” pop into my head.
The frog tune that was posted on this blog a little time back in reference to the Donald Trump horror, must come from this poem, and Ruth Slonim. “An admiring Bog” is a danger that Donald Trump never had a teacher burn into his brain as a warning. It is really a shame that the humanities of a well-rounded education never sank in for Mr. Trump. It is people like Ruth Slonim that I have to thank for adding this little angel on my shoulder, or is it a demon? Whatever it is, it is one of those lessons that never really gets over.
The bastard breeds as well as the Son;
remember the Father never married.
Not two wrongs but a trillion . . .
Against the will of woman, we have
been raped and the children suffer.
So breed the blasphemies.
published in Wind Row, Spring, 1983.
Photo: Old Moscow, probably in Washington Territories (USA)
Dark night, cool and crisp,
softened dreams and settling mists.
Golden leaves fall so swift,
floating shadows with green well mixed.
Torrents of sounds from the drainage pipe,
thick rich earth after natures strike.
A scoured sky a joyful sight,
countless specks of twinkling light.
Endless green in the form of pine,
blackening shadows at this time.
Rising up from the cold damp leaves,
living the seasons as they please.
Growing warmth from within small homes,
people together, not alone.
Actually tearful is the night,
her soft light heart is far from sight.
published in Major Poets, Fall, 1974.
Let’s face it, I am not a major poet. So this is another “Vanity Press” publication. It was written as a literary conceit, I hadn’t been “in love” in over a year. I managed to get this published without knowing what it was being published in. I really don’t consider it a good poem. Cute maybe, but not great. Sitting on a shelf gathering dust and long forgotten. I actually stumbled upon it by accident.
“We the People” should stop working for these dicks. They would be helpless! Do you think that Donald Trump can cook? Do his laundry? Make the scotch tape for his tie? Clean his toilet? Mop his floor? Cut the grass? Paint the fence? Hell, build a wall? He sure as Hell does not know how to build and fire a tomahawk missile. And he is too cowardly to walk up the Khyber pass with a rifle. Most of the rich are very much the same.
These bastions of those that come and go, each person to
their own choice of direction, could appear as castles.
Buildings stand to their appointed corners, lattice works
of red brick and mortar, like a crown of thorns upon a brow
that hangs its head in weary pain and abuse.
Bartizans at each corner made of carefully fitted stone,
towers of the guard to watch over the voyager who rests within.
At some crossroads there have been planted trees, perhaps in
winter covered with snow and not easily seen. Their roots run
beneath the road and the traveler’s feet. The roots lie beneath
each branch of the junction giving them support, giving them life.
published in Our Twentieth Century’s Greatest Poems, April, 1982.
Just a quick comment of “Vanity Presses”. I imagine this does sort of count as a publication, it is in my portfolio towards the back. I do not think of it as a particularly good poem, but it is gathering dust on some library shelf someplace and will never see the light of day again. The company that published it, World of Poetry, out of Sacramento, CA expects to make money off of people buying this volume to give to friends and relatives, that sort of thing. I doubt that anybody else in the academic or literary community has ever seen it. This is not a publication that is going to get a writer any exposure.