neutron bomb

i’d go there if i could
leave this bleeding behind
i’d hide away
darken my body
from sunlight
but since i am not a house
grief would have me burn
to cinders

11/12/1981

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wide open

wide open
this skeletal frame
indecently bare
no smog
just rain
no sheets
you see this migraine
naked skin
skull-
temples throbbing

10/20/80

Don’t talk when not spoken to

A rocket is lifted off the ground,
gazing faces astounded
at the booming sound
which roars and roars and roars.

Pounding, pounding from the start
the beat comes through as part
of that deadbeat cart
rolling on and on and on.

You should do this – you should do that
do not wander near a lone black cat
leave the mouse and rat
alone because they aren’t real.

Whatever you do best follow me
straight up the money tree
away from bad things and you’ll see
I am always and forever right.

Buying this and buying that,
the top ten off the album list,
hot commodities never miss
not comfort but conformity.

To do and be the latest thing,
head off on a super binge,
it’s time I start questioning
the idea that I belong here.

 

1980s

Nostalgia

The words that my parents
never used
from the house of white
they come –
I hear them on the news.

A behavior so childish
they would never approve,
yet the highest in the land
they sink –
decency forsooth.

Alas I miss those days
when civility was rule,
that kingdom of my parent’s
house –
politeness such a jewel!

1/2018

they tell me

they tell me
my mother has
a lovely smile
when words turn
to mush and
the past departs
when schoolyard bullies
tweet nuclear taunts
my broken soul
remembers just how
lovely it is –
my mother’s smile

1/4/2018

Stealing metaphors

Beware the use of adjectives,
the holiest of gowns.
They turn your nouns chameleon,
when Barnum comes to town.

The noun is self-sufficient
when it tells you lie from truth.
The conjurer will mix them
with gold and silver, ruth-

less in redefining the
language to fit his needs.
Entitlement becomes the
unearned benefit and leads

us to the welfare queen-
we’ve cursed her long enough.
We know, we know our taxes go
to pay for the warrior’s stuff.

Take the language back I say
and let the tokens sour.
One truth is all it takes
and the metaphor is ours.

12/2017

Chronicling the abyss

Dante anteceded Don Quixote
when he probed the depths of hell.
Each circle brought him deeper
through the deadly sins of yore.

Sweet wife of George, not Beatrice,
centers the life I lead,
and while she slept profligacy
managed to reemerge.

America’s sad tale
of take and take
from the labor of the
hoi polloi whose
every bead of
Prometheus’ brow betrays
the never-ending toil.

The slave of history echoes now
And the woman weep over
children’s graves, beseeching and begging
when the new deal is not saved.

You break the broken people,
And shatter them with
your trophy elephant tusk.
You wear a libertarian crown in
this land of the hypocrite
and home of the troll.
Your greatness is gilded
with poverty’s stain.

America, America,
you preen upon the hill
with undue pride and vanity.
The troubled heart –
when deafness roars,
sweet charity
we know no more.

12/2017

Canvases are flying

Into the wind they sail
like paper airplanes,
afloat on the molecules of moisture,
and then they come soaring down
into puddles of mud
and stained with grass.

They doted on the child
who was born with golden hair,
eyes of innocence,
red apples at lunch and a banquet –
a table set for dinner-
he was dressed, the fitting image
of his father and mother
betraying the ways of kings.
He was learned in words, within words
quoted in memorandums stored within
the vastness of his brain cells.

From the wind they return
like boomerangs,
darting across the atoms of life
they come soaring down
in front of my feet.

1970s

While you were sleeping

My mother sits beside me,
I warm her hands with mine,
her eyelids close in sleep –
her memory is lost
in better times.

The 1930’s were dark –
but from this darkness came
a deal for the ages.
The farmhouse of her youth
was reached by the REA*.

The mother of my youth,
knows nothing of this
awful year. Her memory
is lost –
in the times I sorely miss.

Money breeds contempt of
all who move and breathe.
And bureaucrats abet,
King Midas’ slack.
The people doomed – cry out:
Give it back! Give it back!

My mother sleeps so soundly,
with a whistle –
barely audible.
I rest my hand upon her head,
and let this sigh
float by.

My paycheck FICA is
misconstrued,
a benefit it now is claimed.
Honest words made evil,
the conman’s constant game.

Oh mother Mary, mother mine
I miss your humor, your wisdom,
I want to weep upon your breast.
This introverted daughter of yours
has learned to rabble rouse.
When King Midas roams the land
there is no time to pause.

There are predators in nature,
they keep the balance,
they eat with need.
But the predator of
office – shop
he has no qualms –
the creep he is.

Oh mother Mary, mother mine,
I want to sleep as you do,
I am weary and despairing,
when the humble and the poor
become humbler, and even crumbs
are denied them, oh,

when all that’s good
seems forsaken
and I sink forever more,
Mother Mary whispers
sweet Anne behold the shore!

Behold the shore my daughter
introverted and rebellious –
I dream her speaking!
I know she’s with me!
Whisper, whisper –
sweet Anne behold the shore!

11-12/2017

* The Rural Electrification Administration was a New Deal agency that brought electricity to rural communities in the 1930s that lacked electricity.

Mind fog

There is a tickle
brushing cells downstream; gist
of a fickle throat.

Chide me not it is
not vanity; my words,
my words let me hide.

Shady is the song of
mime; silence warbles at
a fate no longer sure.

Songs that need no words,
refuge of inner ear,
not the world of kings.

Must be mighty fine
when sycophants echo
all the lines you speak.

The mark of Cain is
using private sorrow;
all public gain sold.

Wanton one the tears
you cry of blight and gone-
I have sighed your sigh.

Dying not yet dead,
living not yet alive,
refinement subsides.

Alas,

The superficial that I know
rivals Newton’s ghost
while expertise is under siege.

Ski schuss, ski schuss, ski schuss.
And breathe, breathe, breathe.

11/2017