the Politics of the ‘Here and Now’


the Politics of the ‘Here and Now’


portraits hang on walls; dusty | the ticktock of a clock in syncopation marks time | generations consumed in quarter notes; atonal rhythms 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 on their journey down the river Styx; pay tribute to Charon | “You May Pass—” into the abyss

cumulonimbus stratospheric perambulations fade across the sky | flames rise on hearths; embers of extinction glow; pop | leave smoke and residue on mantelpieces; sad | still the family portraits smile | music from ancestral accordions dispatch circles of blackbirds perched on musical staffs; time beats the drum | a slapping bass

exasperation 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 chandeliers and forced kisses  ::ribbon cutting ceremonies portend confinement; a bobble-head doll’s spring; broken | chocolate liqueur and heart-shaped confections with fortune cookie wisdom written in red ink; busted | waves break in confusion over the lot of a privileged class; love horns | destitute billionaires cast their lots on Wall Street | desperate for cash

a view from the top of an Empire below the sea | a heart warming global refuge | listless guardsmen on course to oblivion sail boats to a maddened horizon | empty sockets in electric mayhem ordered by stooges make a captain’s mess | the crew works the night-shift only to find the morning dew flooding the pantry; eating all the food | leaving behind dumb obscenities in a paradise they once called Borikén | keel-hauled

you walked out the door in a midnight drunken rage; the house still staggering from the slam of the door | crazy and still dreaming of fortunes that nest behind faux walls | a last testament to the abandoned child—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 waking—reminisce; as the Empire crumbles with the dust from falling towers | debris has become my currency as I scrape dogs 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 and rocket ships send conspiracies to the moon | light-years get measured in dollars; astronauts circle the hemispheres and take snapshots of hurricanes; weather balloons | women stand against lamp posts and urinate on ivy-covered walls; a new cultural awareness abandoned on principle | we never gave a damn

shop for explosive devices during afternoon siestas in Madrid | empty-handed merchants hunker down in basements where SWAT teams break locks; piece together evidence; planted by detectives; “Shoot to kill—”  | buses transfer the homeless from the boroughs to the New Jersey swamps | lighthouses shine the way to nirvana; for equality is more than just freedom; it’s a fixation on the politics of the here and now | Selah

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


Corpses on the River Ganges


Corpses on the River Ganges

streams coalesce; levitate corpses | tunnels navigate conscious channels
bloated fetuses float 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 spit 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

The Order of Law

The Order of Law

the rule of law is
breached; the current resident
mocks the course of justice with impunity
begs to know the difference between
Right, and White and Wrong

leaves no rock obscured
in the court of diplomatic confusion; obtuse
to the suffering of the victims of fact
regards the bottom line with
simplicity; eloquent of
inarticulate tact

the dishonored fight
his legitimacy rescind; masses
bamboozled by this hoax of incapacity
who laugh and cheer while chumped and Arpaioed
like whales to a Las Vegas complimentary buffet

we live in a new society
laws don’t matter; fight the good fight

Jackboots in Summer


Jackboots in Summer


jackboots came to Charlottesville this summer
storm troopers in tribute to the KKK
polo shirts, khakis and red hats
worn like golfers at Mar-a-Lago
marking the OK in tribute to their small hands

we Americans pay homage to our enemies
in this land of sovereignty
let’s put up statues
to Hirohito
to fit nicely in our historic town squares

and set model Kamikaze planes
on display in Pearl Harbor to the memory
of the steel-nerved men
who gave their lives
in devotion to
an Emporer

those who fought brother against brother
for the sake of owning human chattel honor?
while Germany fights to erase its history
we revel in ours?

Jews exterminated; Blacks
taken captive: is this racial divide or genocide?
you pick your side

Huracán – Hurricane Summer




¡Mira! mi Tierra
¡Mira! que te han hecho
¡Mira! que lagrimas de rabia lloran

de tus ojos negros

Look! at my Earth!
Look! at what they’ve done to you!
Look! at the enraged tears that cry
from your blackened eyes

The rage of Planet Earth; look at how they’ve hurt you.

The Love Bomb of J. Prufrock

vapors wander
under the door sill
smoke drifting insolently
from Magdalene’s cigarettes
in the hallway like a teenager at school
lacking Self-Awareness

the Terracotta Princess holds her head
in her hands and complains of migraines
in Winter stuck indoors and camphor smell
of wooden chests from Indonesia carved
with birds elephants tropical palms
hold our memories

we read our thumbnails like tea leaves
across the picture window wall of the sitting room
desperately brushing at the webs
that encapsulate sterile
lives once breathed
now only suffocate
in stillness scrolling
the Ether mesmerized
by the Ether swallowed
by the Ether

lost in addresses unknown
our unexplored paths rerouted to
numerical errors multiplied in chaos
as we count our digits and laugh at the irony

the Dominion knocks at the door
and lets himself in shivering from the cold
outside and shakes his wet raincoat on the living
room rug with the abandon of an overzealous Dane

circles the dining room table
weary from journeys taken unsolicited
but lucrative just the same if you’re a lost
soul and he’s certainly a lost soul lacking

come in
make yourself at home
I ready a cup of fresh ground
Moka from the stainless steel pot
and sweeten it to taste and offer it along with
the finest French creme pastry you can buy
wrapped in cellophane

it isn’t much and may not
go well with the Sumatran
but it’s all we’ve got our
last pennies gone
to the offering

god is pleased
but we are not
—the Terracotta
Princess rolls her eyes
and I in my uncertainty query
the Oracle to make sure Shakespeare
agrees and the script is canon

for I am,
what I am, Or
am I?

Beneath an August Moon – Andrew Mellon High


Andrew Mellon High




my junior year
I’d walk the ten blocks down sycamore lined streets
past Zeppo the Taylor’s and the pizza parlor
across to the old brick schoolhouse

where I met the bubbly Junior
who made it her call to round up every new kid in school
and introduce them to her Lonely Hearts Club

“Hi!” she smiled as I stood
detached from the mythic dance
of the crowded schoolyard
“My name’s Kitty”

I suspected a come on—but this skinny gal
looked harmless enough

“I’m getting everyone who looks new in school
together at table six; would you like to come sit with us?”
“Yeah, why not?” and over to the cafeteria
where I met two more single Simons:

a toothy pimple-faced Sal Mineo

her greeting was aggressive
maybe she was nervous—“Good ta know ya!” she snarled
friendly enough—in a hard Brooklyn accent

I laughed nervously looking
to Kitty for help

then one day she wore a dress
and not her usual bell-bottom jeans
as she finished up her homework
(for a part time job after school)
her legs crossed angelic under
the lunchroom table
I saw the woman
—not the child

or maybe it was when we stood together in the lunch line
when I saw across the top of her midnight blue hair
each strand so vivid beneath
the fluorescent lights

by that summer we were in my room
listening to music and
making love

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