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death and burial

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Thursday, August 23, 2012

Wendell Went Whilking With



not a whole lot; he was forced to
rely on his instincts. Wherever he went

they just let him be, and he developed
a discriminating theory; this was it,

simply put: man was food for the moon.

I put myself to severe and stress-
ful tests on every continent

to avoid that bitter end; every
bush tramp, every pole climb, writ

bold cursive sweeps denying it. I think,
at some point, I shit in my hat.

Besides that, I was badly beaten;
I didn’t speak the language.


Oh Joy, A Master In The Mustard



prepare not for pitiful squeals, nor a turning
from where dark's being born; enter in. this is

your house. asylum to your abused, disowned
below decks, repository of all you’ve been

insulted, cheated, and shamed. don't be
drawn off; the vim steaming 'round the hole

is just memory, wavering; plunge in with
hand outstretched. draw them forth.

the pitiful hides of your cast-off lie deep in
forgotten cells only you can turnkey.


I Determined To Write


a poem of some significance, one whose
politics would be clear, and unforgiving;

its event would foretend a millennial dawn
of uplift to our spirits, a certain sanguinity

to lubricate our joints; high time and
no more than we deserve.

It Gives Me Shivers To Contemplate



just where I’ve been. I’ve been down
the sluice hole this time, looking back

is a hell of a view, a ribbon of ghostly
holograms, stretching back where

the man is like unto a god. And as dim,
you can see that plain by the edge in his eye,

by the way the jiggering’s got its fist
around him; look, when folks drift away,

it’s like smoke, they’re gone.


A Room With Bay Window



overlooking… a bay, why not, it could happen.
The man thought some perspective might let
a little air into his life, a metaphor rolling in off

that bay, let’s say, where every morning before dawn,
you could see him, out there in the dark, doing his tai chi,
slipping his slippered feet along the grafitti-smacked

retaining wall that supposedly held the dunes in place
from advancing into and over the parking lot
of the yogurt shop, where my girlfriend worked.

But, at dawn, likely as not,  she would be out there,
seated in the sand, transfixed, so to say, rapt, among
the beer cans and the twisted cigarette packs, each

of which held, supposedly, the sum of all the past lives
of any one of an extended and spirited panoply of
distinguished beach personages that at some point had

favored the town. These fondly recalled gentlemen
were not watermen, and far from it, what is celebrated
so fervently about each of them by their acolytes,

is the selfsame glue that held them together;
it’s also the one thing that they all held in common,
and it’s nearly a lost art now, just can’t be done:

they knew how to survive in a beach town, they knew
how you have to prioritize staying warm from the first
moment of waking, to accomplish it on the cheap.

Underneath the scoreboard, the summer split
the sky with lightning, skipping fingernails across
the jumping tight, white drums of our stomachs;

steady met ready; and the night burned it into our brains.
I can still see its phosphor fog spilling over the
exposed roots of the elms; the moon-shocked

shadows inked the night from mid-thigh. Once we’d
cleared away the piles of shed bark before the opening,
we quickened at our work: you could feel it; it was warm.


Commitment To A Cause


in the face of all that defiles it;
sticking. when it’s easy to run.

these are learned painfully,
by shortfall. harder still,
is giving in, in the right time.

bricked into his skull was
the secret to surviving,
which died with him.

Flotilla,


his wife, strictly
speaking, was not
even a Hun; but
she definitely
wore the pants
in that family.

Irene


prostrate, insensate, from
the very ditch of
our despond,
doth God emerge
draped in wildflower.

Ancient Isolations



have the power, still,
to undermine all I aspire to

join in my bonding of
roughage to silk; of

skin to anatomical specialties
whose strictly clinical

names seem derived from
another language entirely;

one of clicks and hushed
vowel extensions, and

hisses that can
barely be heard.


Any Time At All



just call. I'll be there.

Well, the night was just about gone, hope
of sleep, far from fond, was digging
screws into my neck;

over the dogged uneven
churn of the air conditioner
came the penetrating oscillation

of the landline; the surprise of it
sending a shriek through my guts;
I was helpless. but when I said

 hello, I know I sounded
exactly normal. You said:

What's wrong with you?


Perpetua



is the font to use, surely, if you’re never
going away; if the one thing that can be counted upon,
above all others, is you’ll do what you say you will.

I’ve failed that responsibility recently,
and voluntarily, yet not yet faced up to
the consequence. Perhaps changing

my font to one seeming less durable,
one a bit less dependably concrete, might
ease my queasy escape of what’s expected

into the vague outlines of an undefined ephemera.
The consequent reassessment and likely downgrade
of permissions, I can handle on my own, but

the near-certain pejorative retitlement ensuing,
might just as well be assisted by an active association
with a expressive personal font, one whose

name is suggestive of something to approximate
the exhaustive compendium of virtue assembled by
a working diagnostic synthesis of the very qualities

I have proven I lack; but, in any case, its name
shouldn’t seem as if descriptive of valuations of
character, or indicative of traits whose

deficits could seem attributable to me, or that, unjustifiably,
I might be expected to exhibit: Blackadder ITC, say,
on the one hand, while yet, admittedly, with

Wingdings all over the other.


If I Could Be Allowed


a suggestion:
1) Consign nuance to his story; and them, to the dustbin.
2) with alacrity, assuredly, but mercy not, in all cases, it says:
this is the instruction, and it appears to be emphasized:
diminish the bold; that’s all it says.
Is there a footnote?
3) WHAT: The following is advised
WHO: for personnel associated with regulation and general suppression.
WHY: It is advised: prior mandates are by this notice dissolved.
MORE: Further, each collection of objects surveilled MUST be
thoroughly skimmed for every possible sort of spike, and those flagged,
ejected with prejudice, measure taken, urine assayed.
4) Results are transmitted by a cooperative patch of private resources fed
into the common trunk where the steadily maintained negative valence
generated by the ion vacuum reverses the worst effects of the thing run amok.
We can’t provide a cure, only keep it alive by packing its
principal anal orifice with mega-ton quick-release
euro-credit platinum members-only natural lambskin relaxed-fit
suppositories of ever-increasing value; we punch the numbers,
each hour, on the hour, every day.

I've Gone Long



selling short, and come near, earning no cigar,
nor noteworthy distinction so far. I’m hanging on
while Earth reconnoiters its priorities; I expect to
be riding the ascendant. The coming thing,
the emergent zeitgeist bears my name,
and will issue in unlimited edition. Thus
will my will extrude concrete product from
bare proof, in outline; all else will
hereforward be cloned. It’s a neat trick,
generally reliable; when it works, it works
like a dog. My alleged to be notable deficit
of charm will be experienced strictly
in the short term, and confined exclusively to
those within reach; an exactingly calculated
compensation for their sacrifice is intended
to be forthcoming, distributed by eventual funerary award
of my literary and artistic estate, apportioned
to each according to a ratio obtained
by placing the greater, from between
what suffering attends me, generally, and
what’s been attributed, heretofore, as pursuant
to maintaining a particular relation – ours,
for example – over, that which, certifiably,
I’ve brought to it, that is, what I’ve administered,
personally, to you. If the comparative value obtained
expresses a number less than one, then, surely,
your trials on my behalf have been legion,
and you will be compensated sufficiently
to countermand the persistence of memory.
If, on the other hand, the ratio expresses
a number greater than one, then you were
obviously pre-selected for special treatment, and
you owe me for my forbearance.


Restored To My Former Glory



but in wax, I stood there day beyond day. Finally,
a visitor to the Shrine of the Compounded Dole
approached me about serving an internship to

My Sublime Vacancy, a title, which
acknowledges right there
an aptitude for the position.

We got on well, and formed a little village out of
the backs of the chairs of any heads of state
that pushed their way into the troughs;

We elected officials and raised taxes
as they crouched there. If they’d been keen,
at some point, it passed.

Overhead


their wings beat
a familiar tattoo; saying,
wake up, arise, be unto all;

no time but the present;
the gift to each is given;
who will seize its tether;

who will bring us home?

It's Not A fact


I admit to. It’s not a lie
I can claim. Less than was
intended, we may be sure,
amounted, nor was
even envisioned.

Generally, he laid
like a lord among
his credits, stillborn;
a-flutter to their
knowing touch.

It Has Been Suggested


what I should do with it; where my
wild esprit ought best be stuck:
in darkness, and with conspicuous
emphasis, it’s decided.

Streaming one’s name out and entirely
beyond one’s boot toes, or nearly,
onto a first days’ snow, is a neat trick
native only

to the sapiens of genus homo
(the more bucolic specie just let it
drag in the dirt); and I don’t doubt,
is restricted

further among those folks, by gender
(to the male). But, benighted, suchwise,
bedazzled, bemused: lazily rounding
a vowel curve

to contemplate the void, or shimming
a consonant’s corner with a cubit hewn
of the central-most realm of
the densely packed,

one tremors the joy right up out
of the earth (technically, it’s a tuber,
I think). Say it loud; say it proud;
say, Oi!

Dreadnought: Rip Coil With


perforation while assisting a uniformly maintained
lateral extension along the proscribed, subtended axis;
this tension will be deployed, “out over,” and with
“respect to” and “conjunct with” the charged vector-field;

and will be expressed in terms of the accumulating tau-syncopation,
which data will be found bristling among the various tremoring
avioli that have so far been indentified as endemic to, and
exemplifying succinctly, our particularly impenetrable,

and shapely armada; beloved cork-tight tub bounding
over the main:

These wide banks of 12-inch thick forged black plate where
the cilia of our member sets’ are “scaled,” so to speak, of
their influential tympani, prior to a scathing pre-registration
as pre-application for temporary license to submit to

this committee such exemption of penetrating
survey as might be seen and shown as: fit to apply, and
further, a certain pertinence may be evidenced to attend
this view, as if manifest of a distinct élan, such even might

veer hereward, toward expedient.

No One Will Interact With Me


so I have to hunt them down on
the street and start some shit just
to have a little human connection.
Possibly, that is; it’s a theory. I have
seen myself, in retrospect, do worse.
It’s cutting the duration of that obfuscate
failure-to-correctly-surmise, as and until
it becomes retrospect, there’s the rub.
Periods of stupidity, defined as I am
not aware of what I do and/or why, of
diminishing duration then are lauded
as insight, or rather, coming to
a sudden sensibility of any sort at all,
seems wonderfully perceptive, with its
lightning flash of full-mind understanding;
no slow dawning, this, no, just dumb straight
through till the truth finally rattles all the way down,
and into the cup, with its little knock, and I get it,
full as much and as did Newton or Archimedes,
but all I’ve done is: stop, temporarily, being stupid.
It must seem odd to polish one’s shingle
by giving the lie to one’s own alleged intelligence.
But I’m not polishing my shingle, just cleaning
the worst of the gunk away to peer through.
And this way, it’s better this way, now it’s out there,
I won’t ever be unmasked as a fraud.
I’m ratting myself out, before that happens.
I’m demonstrating also that I thought of this,
of all people, first, that while it’s true that
I’ve been stupid and I’ve just woken up to it,
at least I did wake up to it; I didn’t need
someone like me to come along to shake me
awake. At least I was that smart. I mean,
least stupid, I mean, like, the awakened one.
Plus, and including, also, as well, the fact that:
honesty’s a virtue, too; especially the self-
abnegating kind, you know, like mine.

Black Elk Speaks


Inserting yourself
deep inside your
own rectum,

meditate on this
until you are
certainly

free.

I Am Immortal


might as well admit it. Nobody
gets out of here without the

rest of us. Which means
we’re looking at a long

fucking haul. This train
goes so slow it got caught

by the century. The new
millennium is a fresh start.

If you believe that, then
you’re dumber than you

look. I know I am.

By Request


you’ve got to honor those.
If you can’t sing for your supper,
better just keep it zipped.

If, on the other hand,
the neglected hand, even
the most important thing

feels like a dead man’s finger,
just let it go.

Shiva



destroyer, eater of souls, ma’am, it’s me, Margaret, I’m seeking a pass.
Come by me with that big ass again. I think I missed its meaning.

When yet again he ministered an escape from custody, there was
blood on the barbs on the wire on the fence that surrounded the

house that crime built, brick-by-brick from quarried stone doomed
before freighting, and carrying its stench before it, befelling

all who came near. The strong cried for their mothers, the weak
just passed into oblivion, then to clay and rough bits that just

won’t mill down, fouling our plans for flour from bone. O' well.
Our bread comes from China. We stand on the workers’ backs

to glimpse home. It’s out there somewhere, possibly, a plan
of some sort, a feel for where this is going. I asked the eight-ball

Sport, give me some juice, he said I can’t say at this time.
Beyond that the neighbors have been troublesome,

starting fires beneath mother’s begonias and lounging about
in various states of undress and general filth;

God save the union.


A Willingness To Be Shaken


is required of adventurers, lest their minds
be lost: caught riveted betwixt channels,

transfixed by the waxy, clattering progress
of the blade, its dark rubric limning

just the soundless edge.

And each of us in it up to our elbows and knees;
shame hot against our faces, we grasp at

the somehow still warm tatters of a self
no one could want, least of all

anyone of this crew, which
I can tell has standards.

I’m walking away from that cheap suit
like class always does,

with ceremony.


Monday, March 5, 2012

I Rode With Mosby

before it was fashionable,

stealing and burning; raising

General Hell from the stupor

he falls into if we let him. I left

a woman in Birmingham and

three dogs in Mobile; we’ll see

what shakes out in Memphis.

At Graceland, I hear, there’s

a butler answers the door

in his sweet time, in a dialect

native to Macedonia. It causes

a row among the boys, who

are hopeless with languages and

just want to go home, but won’t

without severance or a health plan

that includes dialysis. I’m

not even going to tell you that

the pool is kidney-shaped.

I can tell you this much:

in the swamp before a raid,

you couldn’t settle your mount;

they’d be twitching and snorting,

blowing the pitch of our high

out their muzzles in twin plumes

of steam, each a whistle marking

midnight, and every man horsed,

irreplaceable, and all too excitable.

one day at a time, we’d go;

time to roll out and get some,

then, before dawn

we'd get more.