Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Exiles


The man had been posted, for the usual obscure reasons,

to a small fishing village in the remote south. The prefect,
stepping out of a closet full of women's shoes, greeted him
with the customary formalities. We are all in this together,
the prefect said, as he removed the man's
genitals and
tossed them gently to the others who had gathered below
in the square, and were howling.

(First published in Sentences, 1976, this overtly "political" piece was written during the brutal seven-year reign of the Greek junta (1967-1974). It was 1973 and I was in the tiny fishing village of Kotronas in the Mani, that once so inaccessible and desolate region made famous by Sir Patrick Leigh-Fermor's book of the same name, asking myself why I had returned to Greece after twenty-five years of living in the US.)

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Gone


disappeared—


the derelict walked right on up
the wind-

swept street round
the corner down

to where (he remembered)

the old man’s shoe-
shine stand

ran down.



Monday, September 28, 2009

Goldfinch

caught
red-

handed
branching

yellow
bird-

like
twig

light's
song.

(First published in an untitled slightly different version in Shearsman #1, 1981.)

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Guesthouse


After the sun's checked out,
Go into the empty room

At twilight watch the light
That's left drain out

The windows open
To the sea before you

Sink into the darkness
When the cicadas have

Wound down completely,
Do not look back.




Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Salamander

The "Milk and Honey House" in Meligalas has about five salamanders that can usually be seen popping their beady-eyed heads out of the stonework around early evening or so; they spend most of their nocturnal time motionless, glued to the ceiling waiting for moths or flies to come within range of their lightning-smart tongues and bam! no more stupidity till the next one's struck dumb. Somewhat like me when I found out some little red Salamander had one of my poems stuck on its tongue; thank you, anonymous little critter, and may you catch many more before the dawn comes.



How to Win Friends and Influence People in PoBiz


The Golden Rule:

Pity the poor, precious
Ordinary reader, poet--

Easy on the effluent;
Don't suck him in.



Sunday, September 20, 2009

Déjà vu


My god every time

He reached for the sky

To be saved, he was plumb
Gone over the edge before

He knew what hit him.


Saturday, September 19, 2009

Reaper

Hell, we all know you

Cut a mean, wide swath but
Before you get carried away

With all that useless fodder,
Don't tell anybody anything

That can be used against you
Till your dying day.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Poet as Archaeologist


This man smiles at the coming of autumn,
The silence of cicadas makes him laugh;
even the wind-scatter of leaves pleases him.

Tired of digging in, he is digging out
from under the ruins of his measured words,
while his ancestors, having escaped him,

turn round and smile at the distance between.

(from Sentences, 1976)


Tuesday, September 15, 2009

D=O=G=G=E=R=E=L

bending

meaning over
backwards

mongrels vow
to screw

the purebred language
bitches

bow

a posteriori

wow.

(from The Intricate Evasions of As)


Friday, September 11, 2009

Hieroglyphic

[stone]
=======
[ ] [ ] [ ]
[ ] [ ] [ ]
[ ] [ ] [ ]
[ ] [ ] [ ]
[ ] [ ] [ ]
[ ] [ ] [ ]
[ ] [ ] [ ]
[ ] [ ] [ ]
[ ] [ ] [ ]
[ ] [ ] [ ]
=======
[deaf]

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Unrequited


Yours for the asking,
But don't

Ask me how that is.


Definitely Not Lemmings #14

My thanks to Samantha Rose for following this blog; she has a blog with a catchy name here and likes words and Magritte, among other things. Check it out.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Spellbound


Light's here to capture,
And therein's the bind:

Delight is to enrapture,
As spell is to blind.

God on How to Get Rid of Warts and Other Disgusting Stigmata


Toady one, do not prattle--

Go wash your hands clean
In this, my blessed hollow

Oak tree trunk filled with holy
Heavenly piddle and pray you

Do not return to tattle.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Irksome

Lonesome old cow I hap-

Hazardly tethered loosely
To this tree, twisting

The rope taut all night in-
To a noose instead of snoozing

Contentedly like Elsie,
How could you

Be the death of me.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Early Morning, Elderly Biker Hits Trail

Descending river

Bank road, brushing
Scent of dew-

Moistened wild fennel
Flowering before

Sun ascends.


Friday, September 4, 2009

Friday, DNL the 13th

No, it's definitely not Friday the 13th but it is Definitely Not Lemmings #13; thank you Mairi.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

It Figures

So before you
Become just another

Statistic,

Carry your self over
To the next column

Waiting

To be tallied,
Mark off the cipher

No longer there.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Luck of the Draw, Boot Camp, Ft. Leonard Wood, Missouri, 1965


You never knew Jean Genet had a twin brother, did you? Well, here he is, wearing horn-rimmed glasses and a genuine Madras shirt underneath a handmade Milk and Honey sweater knitted in 1964. I forget what brand of cigarettes he was smoking at that time (Luckies?) but I do remember reading somewhere in Genet's memoirs how cool his brother said his head felt. That was before Vietnam toasted a lot of his buddies, while he was lucky enough to sweat out most of his two-year hitch playing the role of Kool Kompany Klerk in Sandia Base, Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The Intricate Evasions of As

Momentarily, as

In the absence
Of something, say

It was just one

Of those things
That appeared simply

To fill the silence,
Then went on

Its way.