shepard fairey








gustav dore

our boys

death and burial


Thursday, March 18, 2010

The Crypt

was laid out fine. I could spend some time,
I reckon, here. From such vantage, possibly,
had I been given the vast vision of
our bodily saints, and, too, the courage
we cut from their hearts, then, possibly,
I, too, could contemplate the ages, as
did these our own risen brethren,
better men than I . . . and like them,
choose to stick it here, choose to
forgo fertile valleys tilled by fancy,
and take it cold. Come on, give me
six, the hard way.

Some Days You Just Have To Grab

yourself tight. How good can it get?
It seems there’s no effective ceiling.
Doing the work, minding the store,
remembering to be kind, if
you’re the sort that needs reminding
of such. Be omnivorously
creative, multi-genre, if possible; but,
above all, do the time, the time,
long time, do it on purpose.
Seriously, where’s it going?
Must I, ever, come down,
get dark again, cruel
to loved ones, thrash again.
If I must, still,
I will always return, always
look to light. I will
be good. I will be true.
I will return, if
I must crawl.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Napolean’s Notable Lack of Stature

possibly played a role in his diminishing.
I don’t know what might do it for me.
Nothing so far is up to the task of
undoing my works. My progeny
cling like burdocks to the curving
surface of the world; my feet coming
loose, I cling by my nails;
my knees could only wobble away.
I lay down, a memory of beginning
in a story I can’t remember
the stance I once had, where
I stood is gone and
not left a mark.

Somewhere In The Swill

of lies and manipulations is a heart of
pure love for her mission: standing up
for fun, where found, a nose for it,
close to the ground, always

leading away. She disappears into what
draws her away from what was, away
into some kind of glory, the way of her
life leads away from me;

I lay the table for her return.

Bury Me Standing

too. My pants and knees are both worn;
sideways comes the bird of paradise

bearing fruit for the queen. Ensconced
in her bed like that she looks at least

approachable. Should I assume too much?
I don’t know; too little comes too late.

That horse she rode in on scares me.
His eye is baleful and gleams in dark.

Last night I held her against the coming
light. You could see right through

into her designs. Her unmentionables
gathered at her feet, saying little;

as I understand is best.

Old Friends Die Hard

and ugly. Sometimes the flag
dips below the surface. Sometimes

you can’t recognize their mark.
Sometimes you don’t know

what to think. Is this where I came in?
Is this where I get off? Get off. Don’t push us;

if we’re hot we’ll arrange a taxi
to the funerary, make our way

on our own. It’s a long way
to Bethel, a long way alone.

So, I'm reading this piece of fiction in The New Yorker,

it's got a great period photo of perfectly-clad punk. Which is right because it's about a young crew of wannabes who have a band, and it's written by Jennifer Egan who's got four novels, so it's a real surprise when almost every throwaway cultural reference is off--hasn't happened yet by that point or just isn't right--not to mention the voice sounds exactly like someone channeling Junie B. Jones at thirteen. So anyway, all this is getting so annoying I'm about to put it down and I look at the cartoon on that page and it's a couple riding along on the back of a dinosaur, and the woman says (no shit): "Can you stop complaining about the historical inaccuracy and try to enjoy yourself for one minute?" And OMG, this is a true twilight zone moment, and really, The New Yorker ought to hear about it, but I can't be bothered--I just wanted you to know.

Wine And Roses

hold the wine; its allure gone,
excepting those priors, no fault

like the present. Chasms I can’t look
into, so deep did they run;

splintery forms, still locked onto
sheer concretized walls, clipped

rebar running rust; here and there,
inexplicably unbound, a tie-wire

rocks on any pickup of the wind,
barely breathed, and silent,

the thruway no longer closed.

Deep In The Mind

of the witchaway resided
an appallingly specific attraction

to the hellmaid: of the order
the strain most difficult

of all on which to impose
even preservative ordinance,

much less the least regulation,
a condition, nonetheless,

to be striven for; in hope’s
pure absence, are dreams born,

after all, escaping?

That Leopards Do Not

in fact, change their spots, is
perhaps true; I‘ve no way to know.

I do know you can’t roller skate
in a buffalo herd—or, should say,

rather, I have it on good authority.
Of this much, however, I’m certain:

each of us will crop the same horse
to the grave as we’ve flogged

getting here. Such nag
might suffice some to glory;

I expect not, but those silks,
be they tailored of pig’s squeal,

or ear, will flap the breeze with
recognizable distinction.

Baudelaire Didn’t Care

when my youth went. Not even where,
nor with whom, when the lone goose of what
little seemed to remain of his memory
first flew into its thicket of cloud. No,
falling through night and recounting
that tale falls to me; he won’t speak. Or
can’t string the words now, slipped wings
muffling his honks at my breast.

It’s Difficult To Take Death Seriously

a good death, I mean. smooth
passage; mind a sieve
leaking everything away;

heralds announcing the dawn,
if you got ‘em.

That's all fine,

just not the heaving fight
of lung collapsing in
on a mind clawed naked.

Dutchman’s dice;

agony’s rim,

Had There Been Even One Way Out

I would never have become gigolo
to the Queen. She was well-known to be
quite cruel and overbearing to those
pledged to her service, and in any case,
she wasn’t my type. Give me the
back-stabbing brunette, the
cold-blooded blonde, better yet, once
before they claim me for sod,
a redhead; preferably catholic.

I Danced With Baudelaire

beneath a lemon sky, in
a muslin shift and boots.
He was no hoofer, that was certain,
but he was game. As was I in
those halcyon days before
they came to drag him away.
Scribes from the future, fire
belching from their hands,
these men with no mouths to sing
took him, and held him
at their home away in the sky,
until he ceased to speak
to them at all.

My Advice

to those who die is:
pack a fucking lunch.
And I think this next
might be important:
don’t be expecting nothing.
No double downs no call,
I know, for naught, nor for
not foregoing that last;
but, one might think,
likely, there’ll be in store,
not neither no kind of fast,
but rather, some sure but
slow sort of reckoning,
some dealing out of
just what’s fair, what’s earned;
what’s not, left in the ground.
Or, scattered, as some do
to sea; not me, though
leaving any body’s just
a call to lunch for some,
I reckon.

Three Cards Played Badly

One might not expect
in one’s early twenties
major relationships
in their beginnings
with the mad sex and
various movings in
and out then back
extending perhaps
beyond a year.
Nor should one expect
forgiveness for thinking
a baby might
shore things up

Ordinarily, I Eschew

public demonstrations, but just this once
I’m going to let it fly: a startled bird of vast dimension
hewn straight from me to you. Dear reader, look to
thy cloaking, don’t let me find you, cups turned up.

Must there be more, why not? This darkened time
deserves it well; my sword with wrath is whet,
and grown in truth most hungry. May we a
volunteer, some civilian evil its edge to mettle ?

For soon we go a-sporting, don’t wait till then;
don’t be caught haunched back and shy. Better,
give it up, abjure your nasty ways. What would
Jesus do? I’m not sure. I know the Old Man’s

really pissed. Ah, what have I done? A motive, shit, oh my,
I’ve expressed an agenda. This ain’t poetry, people;
this is politics. And I, for one, have had a gutfull.
It’s now. It has to be. The time has come today.

Ellspeth Niner One Four-O

I couldn’t get through, or reach into her
sack for something mightn’t save me.
Stuff me quick, I lust implored, but

her recedin’ ‘cross der narrows.
I, left anon-digo, and little sign: a fading
bloody ragging, next to nothing;

'fore her share was cut,
I’d be seen some ‘counting up,

some mangled geld, or coin, no less; less
artful now. Give it heart, me frere, or don’t,
fair bonney. Same’s all reckoned true.

Later, boys and girls turned in, wicks snuffed
all ‘round, and native wind just rising, curling
to the miserlou; all benkers wasted, good and

gone or going.

Epic QH Dream

early this morning: I had been gone for some extended period for some reason, and in the meantime, the entire area bordered by Wm.s and Irv’s, the dinosaur rocks, Becky’s, the pentagon, and down to Phyllis’s cabin had been built up into this vast connected warren of ramshackle 60s-type addition structures. Claire was there, one of the herd, a really tiny toddler, but an amazingly fast runner; she knew every little corner and space and enclosure that she could fit in, in that sprawling cast-off plywood and weyerhauser blow-sheet megopolis, and was tearing from one little hideout to the next, showing off to me her QH toddler chops. It was wearing me out, and I remember wondering when, hoping, please, soon, someone would be coming to be on with her.

Blue Moon

I saw you only
through my window;
its frame never moved, you did

turn your face to me, brightening
dawn’s passing; a new day's beginning,
now near burned through, too,

by the endless combustion
that sourced you; was it then,
you split away?

you keep your distance now,
aging surely--perhaps, it’s that,
nothing more;

yet, you balance the night,
then tuck it tightly away,
somewhere, beneath; where

vast vaults of sky
shelter the horizons
you’ll range, but I can’t

know your face, please,
don’t turn away. if it’s bright
now, too bright, yet still, I see

your mystery, finally, I admit,
I can’t reach it; perhaps
I can't hold you

against darkness, again,
this brilliance has me blind;
I'm asking, then,

did you slip away?