Friday, October 31, 2008

Mirage Rising out of Death Valley, California

A translucent shallow blue
Lake, a high white wall

Of mountains ringing it,
Hard driving rain

Making cool looking red
Beads of sweat

Fringing the foreheads
Of pale faces

Up to their necks in it.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

The Logic Behind Using Rhetoric When Writing Poetry


"The [Poetry] archive....aims to insure current leading
English-speaking poets are recorded reading
their work for future generations."
--BBC News, November 30, 2006

Rave is
To rant

As

Cant is
To drivel

Or is it

Rant is
To rave

As

Drivel is
To cant.

Maybe it is

Rant is
To rave

As

Cant is
To drivel.

Or perhaps

Rave is
To rant

As

Drivel is
To cant.

Can't drivel?
Can't rant?

What the hell,

Just go through
The motions--

Some critic's bound
To save your ars.



Biodegradable Detergents, or The End of The Age of Innocence


Take a powder?

Let me tell you, slugger--
When these gents

Go on and on about how
They wanna clean our little corner

Of the planet of filth and go on
To say they're clean themselves,

You really wanna
Throw in the towel?

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Imaginary Narrow Escape, 1950













i.m.
Christos (Chris) Zambaras, 1938-2000


In this picture,


You can see where
The battered front

Wheel of my trusty tri-
Cycle looks like

A gun-shot barrel rim,
Having just banged

Off a lamppost before homing in
On my older brother's sarcastic grin--

You should have seen
The look on his face

When it came
Within inches of him.

(From the unpublished ms. The Intricate Evasions of As.)

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Dark Bedtime Story

Them flashing white
Bones down

In the dark stream bed,
They done

Bed down for the night--
Y'all don't fright now--

Sweet dreams,
Good night.

In God We Trust, or Fiefdom in America

The times were vile,
the villagers spent,

torn to pieces
by The Good Lord's rent.

Camouflage

Wallowing deep

Down in the excess
Of its own

Dark juice, the octopus is clearly
Rejoicing; surely such

Indulgence is no great sin, now
That imminent danger's over.

.

Still, as it waits motionless
On the bottom of the ocean,

Turning purple under the sand,
There's a lesson to be learnt here,

Fisherman, catch it if you can.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Million Dollar Baby

No more whistling Dixie,
Trixie, the buck stops here--

No more tinsel,
No more razzmatazz,
No more Wall Street
Whizz-kids, no more jazz--

When Eastwood kicks the bucket,
No escape from Alcatraz.

Slaking Our Thirst for Fame

--for John Levy

For the sake of disambiguation,

However we
Lick the flames

Of the fire
Of our vanity,

Red Bull remains
The name of the game.

Rash Crash Diet

Poor plump dead cat-mangled
Mouse down in my orchard, you

Sure fell hard for sweet fallen apples--
Should have been mousse instead.

Thursday, October 23, 2008


RECENTLY RECEIVED: Ron Silliman and yours truly both received a copy of John Levy's remarkable new book of poetry, Oblivion, Tyrants, Crumbs just out from First Intensity Books. John's been a friend for over thirty-five years (!) and has been writing finely-honed poetry even longer. He also wrote a book about the two years he spent in Meligalas with his fiancee (now wife, mother of two, and a painter) Leslie Buchanan, titled We Don't Kill Snakes Where We Come From: Two Years in a Greek Village published by Querencia Books in 1994. He's also our son's godfather, so I'm gonna make you an offer you can't refuse--buy da books!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Mind Field in America

Clearly, a song
Of dead

Reckoning.

*

Mind you

These dudes were done for
Before they knew what hit them.

*

Like that sheen under

Mining the surface
Of superficial things?

*

Better let duds determine
What land minds mean

I mean

*

They figure

No prosthetic devices
To carry

Their numbers over.

*

In addition to body
And fender

Men, we see ambulances dance,
Romance languages languish

In agony, white Anglo-Saxon
Whores ply spare

Automotive body parts.

Genetically Modified Root Cellar

Ma, Pa,
You ain't been listening--

This is what's in
Store for us

And plenty darn more
Where that jolly

Ho, ho, ho's
Coming from

I done told you before--
That
humungous green

Horny transmogrified hermaphrodite
Bean sprout's sprouting corn balls again,

Stalking our cellar floor!


Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Monday, October 20, 2008

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Close to Home

The falling palm-
Like leaves

Of the wild
Fig tree

Coming to rest
Near the abandoned

Shed

In which sparrows
Are flittering

To find shelter
For winter,

Turn slowly
Yellow-gold

As the autumn
Sun that dips

Lower each day
Over the earth

Under the eaves
That decline

Enough to admit them.


(First published in Poetry Salzburg Review #11, Spring 2007.)


Note: Speaking of fig trees,
William Michaelian has a gem of a poem (Time Piece) ticking away at his blog.




Friday, October 17, 2008

Regimen against Ennui

I know this sounds trite but

Before you call it just
Another day,

Leave two galvanized
Pails full of water

Under the stars,
Then hit the hay.

*

Get up

At the crack of dawn,
Go straightaway out

And

As you watch the stars
Being washed away,

Empty the pails in turn over
Your still numb stark-naked body.

You are now clearly
And fully ready

To greet a brand-new day.




Thanks to William Michaelian for linking to my blog, for his never-failing daily posts which help to make my day, and for his helping me with html tags.

Aurally

Never--

Hardly had he said it
When the wind said it

Again.


(First published in Poetry Salzburg Review #11,Spring 2007

Variations on a Theme by Williams

"There are lots of things we have to go and find out.
We have to go and find out, what red, what wheel
and barrow are, at some level." -- Paul Muldoon
 

perhaps this is why

so much depends
upon

the glazed over rimed
blue

eyes of the stricken
farmer in the muck

beside the dazed 

white chickens,

the frozen up-
ended

wheel of the red
barrow, the fouled


mind gone plowing

somewhere down

in the lowermost reaches
of ground zero.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Form Is Nothing More Than an Extension of Content


Of the mind,

Of the spineless forms
That wend their way through

The spiny needles
Of the mind.

.

Of the pine,

And the mindless
Wind that penetrates

The spine.


Crepuscular

It sounds like that
Repulsive, creepy-crawly

Feeling's overtaken you again--
A caterpillar's treading, flexing

Its luminous pulsating muscles
On the curve of your wrist--

Your pulse is being taken
By twilight again.


(First published in Poetry Salzburg Review #11, Spring 2007)



Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Monday, October 13, 2008

The Last Post-Avant Lemming

This one's going
To be impossible
To follow--

Avanti!

Six Words in Search of Consummation

seed pods bur sting
in cemeteries




(First published in The Southeastern Review: A Quarterly Journal of the Humanities in the Southeastern Mediterranean, V.1, N.1, 1990.)

Sunday, October 12, 2008

The Unredeemed

And yea, it shall come to pass,
And ye shall see them bereft

Wavering

Over the abyss of legal tender,
And the unredeemable

Waiting minions
Waving millions

Left in the wake
Of their waiting,

Empty hands.






Lodestar

losing over
bearing light

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Depression in Ft. Atkinson, Wisconsin

Remember our pale, blue
picket fence, Dad?

We painted it,
as good as new.

You stepped on the gas
instead of braking,

shot the Chevy thru.


(First published in
Poetry Salzburg Review No. 2, Winter 2001/02)

Friday, October 10, 2008

Carpe Diem

1.

You know they say

Time is of the essence, precious,
Get it while you can

Before you waste away.

2.

Never knowing

What else to say,
They say it time

And time again, till
They grind it into dirt,

And throw the precious
Waste away.



Thursday, October 9, 2008

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Jim Crack Crow Bar

Now

Let's me and you
Just talk, boy--

All this is is a heavy
Line of black

Iron forged into a wedge
At one end

Fitted with a crow-
Like claw that's proved

Well worth its mettle,
Darn useful for prying

And pulling out stubborn
Nails, too.


Garbage Cant Dance

GARBAGEGARBAGEGAR
garbagecantgarbagecant
garbagecantgarbagecant
garbagecantgarbagecant
garbagecantgarbagecant

garbagecantgarbagecant
garbagecantgarbagecant
garbagecantgarbagecant
garbagecantgarbagecant

garbagecantgarbagecant
garbagecantgarbagecant

garbagecantgarbagecant
garbagecantgarbagecant
CANTCANCANTCANCANT


Monday, October 6, 2008













Aurora
im. Robert Lax (1915-2000)

mystical

morning
donning

mystical
light,

mystical

ritual
unfolding

calling

mystic
mythical

flight.




Sunday, October 5, 2008

The Fey Man in the Moon

With the cow mooing hey
Diddle-diddle,

He cradled his face to see the cat
Moon the fiddle,

While his dish ran away
With the spoon.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Efiniki and Eleni, Summer 1981










Efiniki
b. 3-27-81

her

breath's
in-

escapable
in

credible
evidence


(First published in The Southeastern Review: A Quarterly Journal of the Humanities in the Southeastern Mediterranean, V. 1, No. 2, 1990)

Thursday, October 2, 2008

V as in Vestiges

Not that

The world's full
Of mystery,

But that its presence is
Inexplicable

Victory.
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