• Morning’s Chanticleer

    Morning’s Chanticleer

    in a narcoleptic moment of reflection ~ a dirge

    as the sun pushes the grey mists of morning across the sands; currents rush into the houses; down | windows accept an invasion; brisk | thickets and blankets of pillows and light; dream catchers | apparitions bleed into twilight; a shadow lingers past the night

    to touch the grey; I reach | to clasp the mist; I feel | to hear the whisper; I strain| energized by sadness; tears of waking disappear the night | a figure blocked by sunlight; a voice from the stairs, a face in the clouds | wisps of morning obscure the marsh; there! in the sunlight—you vanish

    please don’t shake me from these slumbers; delve in shallow breath | let me rest in my wanting; sleep | for you have beat me long enough; let go | I never asked for this; the tortured memories | my life waits for endless roads

    ::the ocean is a wall that blocks the current; the sun explodes the night; long but the days are shorter | a life deferred is a life lost

    was I your servant or your muse? deadlocked | a flight to the Seahorse Nebula on Orion’s back; a walk on deserts with Don Juan—peyote visions | mescal; delirium tremens | pink elephants; ahor | a flashback to those good ol’ times! taste the cottonmouth spittle washed down with Orange Crush

    ::into the sun; Icarus mourned but not forgotten; burnt—all future flights canceled until further notice damn! I missed that plane; the Jefferson | but gained a button for my panic

    aged men on limestone walls; frescoes | they look with wonder; admonish the lame | war was never meant memorial; eyes ravaged by sight | shadows hide the pain; veneers | tears hide the anguish; cheers! | we drank to the living and smote the dead! of this pain there is no end | repeat: of this pain there is no end | only the vapor of fading lamplight

    prisoners grapple with bars; clutching | “Any day now…” they cling to the words of a vagabond; a child’s cry | a thief robs the house but leaves the night-light; on | a couch stolen; a sleep disturbed | empty pockets haunt the evening; derelict drifters and wanton wolves | wharf rats scuttle the harbor; hungry

    ::Mt Shasta is a cold and lonely bitch in winter; trains spot run | it soars above the tree line; frozen—sun mottled | wake to the sound of the crow; ka-doodle-doo! | or was it you that I heard? hallucinations sneak past the gates

    ::a wise man once shared his dreams; said

    I can’t even think
    to remember
    tho’ I know it
    was something
    quite clear

    did I hear your voice
    on the mountain that day
    or morning’s chanticleer?

    I know how easy
    dreams are broke
    when out of thin air
    they appear

  • The Swallows Have Left Capistrano


    The Swallows Have Left Capistrano

    the orchards are bare; the sun no longer shines | the waters flood the mainland; avocados shrivel from a lingering drought | there’s a sign on the front door that reads: The Bees are Gone for the Season | we’ll pray for rain; and wait for the sun | the swallows have left Capistrano

    a moskvich flies over the radar—oblivious; undetected | brings “Peace!” he swears “Peace!”—not War | he speaks in hyperbole and calls out everyone’s lies except his own | grabs women; scoffs at major offenses | convinced of his anonymity; he is transparent

    ::madmen applaud his motives; “Our man in Havana!” the banana republicans shout; acclaim | seeking platitudes; disclosing hidden motives | enraged by his base; engaged by his errors | spontaneous omissions and nonsense spew from the tiny cavern of his jaws—look out! there’s a curve in the road ahead—swerve, deny, implicate and slander | cut off the head and the snake still lives

    ::without a talisman they wail; with mockingbirds they sing | elegant machines in the AI Wars | a Musk in the ointment predicts chaostrophy; theory | pollutes the China earth with electric heavy metals | compromised by the economics of salvation—a Green Planet or an orange dust bowl—Mars, or mother Russia | take your pick

    the fruit rots on the vine | the skies forebode | the ground is swollen | the trees are falling | bees die from viral toxic infection—buzz the fruit trees; leave the nectar | die on sidewalks; writhe in torment | choke; gasp—“Step on me…please!” | compassion has no recourse | a quick death is their reward | and the pollen gets washed into the stream; and the flowers wither like a bride; barren | weeping in the Motel 6 on her wedding night

    soldiers go to battle | leave behind jobs for their wives; shoes for their widows | guns and ammunition take a holiday in Las Vegas | chariots drive blindly into the Nigerien night; unprotected from IEDs, STDs and shrapnel | nailguns and pressure cookers; hot-pot lunches | Kurds and whey, Souqs and soup spoons | implements of destruction—Mass on Sundays; Church on Friday; baptism by fire and the Balsam of Gilead like butter on French rolls

    ::el cabello rides el caballo into the sunset | his 45 spits at shadows; cactus dreams | psychedelic delirium; psilocybin Panavision and a 70mm screen | the real stuff | somewhere in middle America a television glows; blue light filters through the shutters; fades into moonlight | a granny stares at images of angry students; police in riot gear—crowds kettled into tear gas cordons; rubber bullets | “Whose streets? Our streets!”; resist the resistance; demonstrate against the demonstrator; a new meaning to the words riot protest—subversives

    ::Sorry, We’re Closed signs adorn City Halls | Homestead has been rebuilt; New Orleans—not yet; Brighton Beach—not yet; Staten Island, the Jersey Shore—still not yet; Houston? we have a problem | as money cascades from the larders through tax credit loop holes; dysfunction fills the IRS; a hemorrhage of money; a life draining tax bill; last-ditch efforts at saving an insolvent institution | but the IMF was never our friend | it is our master | the greenback was well oiled; but renewable energy raised its serpent head | the Fall of Eden; the fruit of the Tree of the Good and the Bad—and Solar energy; hybrids and Uber-Lyft rides on the cheap; Utopian masters of the carbon footprint

    a clock’s revolution; a turn of the hand | a paradigm shift racing toward an event horizon; the Singularity threatens neural networks with artificial constructs; a perfect Anthropocene storm | butterflies in the belfry | bats in the gut; sucking the blood of our ancestry | Hamlet; exit stage left without a throne | poisoned by irony; dies | the curtain drops

    ::you must remember this—we send our boys to war; but bring home men in caskets | sweethearts wave as trains leave the station; the swallows have left Capistrano

  • A Fixation on the Politics of the ‘Here and Now’



    A Fixation on the Politics of the Here and Now

    portraits hang on dusty walls | the ticktock of a clock marks time | a generation consumed in quarter notes; the rhythm of coffee cups and saucers; spoons and trays | parlors where they speak of the dead;  empty of hope—full of sorrow; lamenting the passing of a cycle | spirits journey down the river Styx; pay tribute to Charon | “You May Pass—” into the abyss

    clouds fade across the sky | flames rise on hearths; embers glow; pop | leave smoke and residue on stone mantels | still the family portraits smile  ::music from ancestral accordions dispatch breath; send circles of blackbirds perched on staffs; time beats the drum | a bass slaps back

    an outraged client sends word through ticker tapes and a news conference | plaintive cries heard over the din of emotion | radio waves echo the shattered glass of Cristal moments; forced kisses  ::ribbon cutting ceremonies portend confinement; a bobble-head doll’s spring; broken | chocolate liquor and heart-shaped confections; fortune cookie wisdom written in red ink; busted | waves break in confusion over a privileged lot; the love shorn | destitute billionaires cast their ballots on Wall Street | desperate for cash

    a view from the top—of an Empire below the sea | a warning; global deluge | listless guardsmen on course to oblivion; sail boats to an angry horizon | empty sockets in electric mayhem—ordered by stooges; make a captain’s mess | the crew works the night-shift to find the morning dew flooding the pantry; stealing all the food | leaving behind crumbs; oaths sworn in a paradise called Borikén | keel-hauled

    you walked out the door in a midnight rage; the house still staggering from the slam of the door | crazy and still dreaming of fortunes nested behind walls ; hidden | a last testament to one child left behind—a mill in Minnesota; a factory in Duluth; a farm in Massachusetts | a brick in a New York high rise worth it’s weight in gold; sand salt and a copper sea  ::but dreams are for wakeful reminisce; as the Empire crumbles with the dust from falling towers | debris has become my currency as I scrape the dog shit from my shoes | scratch and sniff

    no one brings salvation like a mad monk from the Palestine | but the sun beats down on the infidel; rocket ships send conspiracies to the moon | light-years get measured in dollars; astronauts circle the hemispheres; take snapshots of hurricanes; typhoons | women arch a  collective pelvis and piss on ivy-covered walls—a new cultural awareness; exercised on principle | we never gave a damn

    shop for bomb making tools; afternoon siestas in Madrid | complicit merchants hunker down in basements; SWAT teams break locks—piece together evidence planted by detectives; “Shoot to kill—” | buses transfer the homeless from NY cities to the DC swamp | lighthouses shine the way to nirvana—for equality means more than freedom; it’s a fixation on the politics; the here and now | Alan Watts

    loan sharks send French postcards; threaten exposure in time-lapse; photography—black and white images tell colorful stories | a name remembered is like a fine vintage; the Champagne of wines | the Citroen of the automobile | the Dauphine of the dolphin  ::could the Place de la Concorde exist without a revolution? wheels turn without emission? Marseilles exist without its port? or a face be remembered without a name; would an explanation be given without an embarrassing moment? ::an old song plays on the radio behind each scene | the answer? there never really was an answer | Selah

  • Corpses on the River Ganges

    Corpses on the River Ganges

    streams coalesce; levitate corpses | tunnels navigate conscious channels | bloated fetus floats in mercurial silica reflections | clean the Ganges with antiseptic; kill all the fish | and there you were bathing; drinking it all in

    maternal patriarchs ride the caboose | lime and stone calcified gruel hedging bets on survival | fishing lines and clothespins hung out to dry; when all the money’s gone | and we’re too strung out for a ransom

    in the courthouses of jurisprudence limousines chauffeur millionaires on drinking binges | President’s Port and Hennessy | inebriation in the aisles of Justice | hung up on red tape and graphite—get to go free

    in soup kitchens and meth labs | on road trips to Reno | we heard the last of the errant mater pater entrepreneurs | too far above the summit to be concerned with the articles of faith | the doers of good works and the lame | the second act of the Apostles | written and sold to the bookmakers at the House of Poggio

    lucre’s nickel-plated dimes spin on platforms | gendarmes just off the train from the Palais de la Cité | handcuffed and shackled irons and leggings; yoga pants and stirrups | lambs to the slaughter in woolen balaclava | dragged across Portland tiles and mop water; to the juggernaut | the High Priest of the Righteous—and the Law

    suspect prescriptions go uncontested by local authorities in Trial of the Century | a pharmacist arrested while performing due diligence | in other headlines: the druggist prescribed the coke; parents plant bad seeds in children | medical cannabis drives dementia patients wild

    seductions awaken in the night | ensnare the naïve in hospital beds; sent home prematurely | to cold water flats in Soho—uptown to Harlem—before the sonic boom of gentrification | eyes closed and pregnant | nostrils intoxicated by the smell of grease in hallways | just this side of Purgatory | fabricated crime scenes; doorways to the morgue | a doctor’s declaration precedes birth—Cause of Death: Poverty | corpses on the River Ganges | mission aborted

  • This Is Not the Time to Talk About It

    The five stages of grief:

    • denial
    • anger
    • bargaining
    • depression
    • acceptance

    When a tragedy like the Las Vegas shooting happens our immediate gut feeling is “How could this have happened?” This is Denial. We become Angry: “We should have prevented this!” We start bargaining: “Let’s outlaw guns!” We get depressed when we realize nothing is going to change. And we accept the unacceptable.

    When people say “This is not the time to talk about gun control,” they are twisting the grieving process to avoid the fact that immediately after a tragedy is the time to talk about it, while we are in denial of the event and while we are angry. This is when things need to get done.

    To say “This is not the time to talk about it,” is a disingenuous lie. The best thoughts and prayers we can share with family and victims is to insure this will never happen again.

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