The tired American

I rephrase broken sentences,
sentences gluing time –
from once we came
our sisters’ cry was heard
and then benign that tumor born
was cast aside.

These days incumbent overlord –
returns with smile – beguiles.
The facade that ceased to trick
while infusing bloody venom –
it streams downward mighty thinking –
Germinal revised.

The worm is eating the rested rind –
careworn mother resigns her life
to nothing tempered nothing saved –
it breaks the heart,
it bends the spine,
sublimity denied.

Hand to mouth is how we live
and mouth to hand refrain,
no need for explanation is
how the homeless range.
Poverty excised – that moral war,
we lost it long ago.

5/2017

Language and games

Language and games

 

‘War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.’ George Orwell

 

Over time these words of ours

lose their meaning.

Something bad is good

while an entitlement isn’t earned.

 

It is avarice that seeps like a leech,

bleeding each letter –

their corpses are dry.

Lifeless and useless they become

as a mockingbird

taunts while flying by.

 

All below the bird is still.

These meanings play

games and on more than

one occasion –

this language of man

turns lifeless

In the barren land –

money soaked, it is heartless.

 

Fewer words, more or less –

the founders framed us,

refining to suit

a game of concert.

If we don’t remember

how it is done in meter –

then we can pick up embers

and die from

the wit of it.

 

Alas these alternative facts

embolden the brainless;

that droopy and dying flower –

emblem of this age of endless lies.

 

4/2017

My country lies in the cradle rocking

My country lies in the cradle rocking,
knocking at my door you come-
with a bat that is ready to swing
you bring this inning home.

Integrity lies on the willow waiting,
baiting at my line to bring
a fisher’s hook my eye to catch-
watch it bleed and sing.

The lonely rendered jack a boot,
hooting owl, a nightly ghost-
swoops the sparrow from his nest
and all the rest is quickly toast.

My country lies in the cradle rocking,
knocking at my door you came-
jingoist called me honey-
the sparrow’s impending doom.

4/2017

i once wrote yellow

i once wrote yellow
a spring of
daffodils and roses
swam towards me
a garden of childhood delights

only blue spills out of this pen
now
winter is closing in on these
once red lips
i live off charcoal and whale fat
i keep my veins sour,
unapparent
i don’t want them to burst

11/21/1980

The rules of life

‘When a rich man chases after dames he’s a man about town, he’s a man about town.
When a poor man chases after dames he’s a bounder he’s a rounder he’s a rotter and a lot of dirty names.’ – ‘When the idle poor become the idle rich’ [song from Finnegan’s Rainbow]

They depend upon your birth,
these arbitrary signs
tweeting elements that are
designed to give advantage
to the pointed cap –
resign yourself to it.

Money fat does this to the bees,
bring on the DDT-like lie
of how and where nourishment
enters each atom of our being –
every organ, whether rat or flea.

A punishment driven society
uses money as might –
it wields like the hammer hitting,
driving nails through flesh on a cross
message sent and received –
oh me oh me oh me.

Taunt the people as they die
with what you have that will
never be theirs-
not morsel of fruit, nor
option to extended life
brought by science-
yet deny it.

The trillion-aire at last!
Our future king of the hill,
perches over wasteland
brought on by

the way we live.
This is how the people perish
into never ending
silence – alas
we release generations future
from greed.

4/2017

I know a lady

I know a lady
who speaks with her eyes
and moves with her arms,
a mother bearing her child.

She’s the devil some say
who will haunt your dreams
and steal away with your youth,
leaving naught but a skeleton
behind.

She’s a muse in winter,
the red of her cheeks
soaked against pale skin,
like the blood spilled from a doe’s heart
so a human can feast.

She is only a child
who follows her whims,
like a vulture circling a carcass
up in the sky, the screeches
bid her eat.

I know a lady
who resembles stone,
cool and closed and hard
some say,
but like stone she’s been hacked
and molded and shaped
by a sculptor’s heartless hand.

11/20/1981

dreams

i dreamt last night
in a cloud
of mildew bed sheets
wrapped warm
as baked apples
with cinnamon seeping
and sticking like glue
to my skin

i dreamt last night
in a seine
of inspirations
stretching towards
heavenly ascent
i dreamt words

not answers

just sheets of papers
streaming from my ears

i woke
this morning
to nightmares

7/14/80

Words

How does one live in
a world of loathsome words?

“Punch him in the face.”
We can’t disagree with grace?

“She has blood coming out of her whatever.”
Grandmothers eyes roll what? Never!

“I moved on her like a bitch.”
Behavior of the rich?

“Grab them by the pussy.”
So kitty cats aren’t fussy?

“Islam is a cancer.”
Medical disaster?

“Gay rights have made us dumber,
time to get back in the closet.”
Oscar Wilde and Alan Turing –
Intelligence – do you doubt it?

“HBCUs as pioneers for school choice.”
And is cotton picking a stroke of luck?

“The slave as immigrant“
well glory be!
Oh, that middle passage –
surrounded by salt and sea!

“Civilization can’t be restored
with someone else’s babies.”
Seems some folks are itching
for Jim Crow to return from Hades.

There is no poetry here.
The poet has been bleached dry
eczema flakes drift into the wind-
breeze into gutters and drains.

Spiders don’t fly –
I find they traipse,
they crawl.
They act sanctimonious,
they bite they bleed they kill.
The relentless ego sees
only himself.
Oh wastrel, oh wastrel,
what hell on earth you weave!

So I ask again
how to live with loathsome words –

Have a dream.
Be a Berliner.
Dedicate yourself to equality.
And after great pain
perhaps that formal feeling will come.

Money may swear
and cruelty is a human lot.
But words that matter live
and all the rest is naught.

3/2017 [with a nod to Whitman, Shakespeare, King, Kennedy, Lincoln, Dickinson, Dylan and Blake]