Friday, August 17, 2018

Becoming Slightly Unhinged In The Bank Waiting For My Priority Number To Come Up During Another Record-Breaking Heat Wave


Mine’s sixty-eight—I’ve been 
“Cooling my heels” over an hour 
And the priority slip I’m now using 
As a bookmark says my waiting 
Time should’ve been around nine 
Minutes; in the meantime, I’ve been 
Making do in the overworked air- 
Conditioned inner sanctum 
Of the nightmare 

Institution which looks after 
My rapidly dwindling bantam 
Nest egg with all the care 
Of a crazed mother hen, 

And reading a slender volume 
Of poems called Sleepwalker’s Songs,
All the while thinking of what I could do 
If my nest egg were fatter, watching 
Customer after customer go up 
To the teller and walk out again 

Onto a dazzling, searing asphalt so hot it could fry 
Enough dinosaur eggs to feed an onslaught 
Of famished, day-dreaming somnambulists 
Armed to the teeth with nothing 
But a slew of cool blank checks— 
I wonder what 69’s thinking of. 

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

A Few Words For Richard Hugo


He never liked whitewashing phantoms. 
Gray haunted his poetry. He used it 
To wash all shades of grayness away. 

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Ham Method Actor In Deep Shit


Here’s your cue, Horatio:

You’ll never find your true voice 
If you don’t plumb the depths 
Of the shallowness surrounding you—

Cast us a line when you do. 




Friday, August 10, 2018

Wet Behind The Ears


That old Greek he knew you 
Can’t step into the same 
River twice, for even 
If you could, you’d still find 
Yourself high and dry 
On the banks of certain 
Uncharted shit creek 
With nothing better 
To do save wait 
To pay a certain smart-ass 
Ferryman to paddle 
Your dumb ass across. 


Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Here's Your Daily Dose Of Blue Mornings' Treacle


Each day you get up you know 
The sun must be 
Somewhere out there, too— 

You just have to rise 
A little higher, only 
Earthbound creatures find it

Hard to do. 

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Futility Is Alive And Well In Aetos, Messenias, Greece


Out there 

Under a thick canopy 
Of centenarian 
Plane trees with her 

Tried and true 
Black walking 
Stick, that feisty 

Old woman jabbing 
The ground, dead set 
On keeping 

The pathway 
To her home clear 
Of any intruding 

Dead leaves 
Set on squatting 
There permanently.


Thursday, August 2, 2018

Catharsis On The Threshold


Straightaway as you 
Open wide the narrow blue 
Window shutters 
Of the old stone house 
By the sea, wave 
Upon wave of small white- 
Capped memories begin 
Spilling in, slowly 
Washing the grit 
That clings to the grey 
Walls clean— 

Welcome back, pilgrim, 
Again and again. 


Saturday, July 28, 2018

Following The Muse To The Ends Of The Earth


To get there, you have to 
Imagine the ends are 

There only insofar as 
Your mind can reach that far— 

In the meantime how-
Ever the means always 

Remain elsewhere. 


Wednesday, July 11, 2018

'Murican Oxymoron


We all wanted to be 
Proud we were 

Free—it’s the slave 
In us kept us 

Bound to be. 





Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Skirting The Mortality Issue


How 

Does one wait 
For a flower 

To die? I don’t 
Know but I 

Don’t want to be 
There when it does.




Thursday, June 28, 2018

Endgame: Gotcha There, Didn't I?


All through 

Your topsy-turvy 
Life, more than once 
You thought 
You’d always be 
Basking in the 'eternal 

Sunshine of the spotless 
Mind' but where 
The longest day of the year 
Always turned out blotted
By the shortest 

Night. 

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Demise Of The Overweening Demiurge


You kept twittering I am 
What I am, God’s gift to you 
I am so blusterously 

Brooding I think 

Said morose twits made 
Of you a blundering 
Twitching dodo, too.


Friday, June 22, 2018

Getting Comfortable With Trying To Write Like Someone Whose Poetry You Really Like

--for J.L., master locksmith


Say he’s called 
Jim (though that’s not his 
Real name) and you want 
To sound a lot like him, 

So after reading reams 
And reams of almost 
Everything he’s written, 
You try your hardest 

To unlock the mystery 
Of his poetic mastery, even 
Using many of his words 
In the same order he does, 

Though you’re extra 
Careful not to be too exact, 
Because in all fairness 
To the poem 

And to your suffering 
Self, what comes out 
Has to be yours and clearly 
Not someone else’s—how 

Else could you live with it?

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Votive


After eighty harsh 
Years of living 
Off the inscrutable 
Face of the Earth, 
When it came time 

For him to leave, 
My father took 
The chiseled wrinkles 
Of the centenarian 
Olive with him. 

Monday, June 18, 2018

Will The Real Hayseed Please Stand Up?


Listen up, 
You know-it-all 
City-bred dandy 
Wordsmith—the poem 
You’re writing should end up 
Down-to-earth discriminating, 
Say a finely winnowed product 
Triggered by wave upon wave 
Of gulls lifting off 
From the nearest 
Harbor some thirty 
Miles away only 
To land here 
In the boondocks 
With the first light 
Of day, foraging 
For sustenance 
Amongst bales and bales 
Of—you got it—freshly cut 
Seedy hay.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Irrelevant And Immaterial Spectra

Nothing 

Resembling flesh 
And bones here— 

Just an occasional 

Revenant taking us up 
And back to where

We thought 
We’d always be 

Relevant. 

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Tinker, Tailor, Do It Over


My life had all 
The trappings 

Of a tailor-made poem, 
Till I discovered

I had to alter it. 


Friday, June 8, 2018

Ways And Means For Existential Dummies

--“Time passes. Will you?” 


And still it does not 
Dawn on you, literally

That which ends at the end 
Of each of your days, ends in itself 
And means absolutely

Nothing in the end. 


Monday, June 4, 2018

74-Year-Old Strange Bird Approaching Twilight Landing Zone


I'm so 
Old I remember when I was 
A twelve-something Mister 
Cool thinking someone 
Fortyish was a stumbling fossil, 
And an octogenarian was 
A dodo on its last legs 
Attempting an emergency 
Landing with no landing gear. 


Friday, June 1, 2018

Heads I Win, Tails You Lose


You poor 
Suckers, 

What we need 
And what 

We get are two 
Sides of the same 

One-sided argument— 
If you’re not 

With us, 
You’re fucked. 


Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Dumbstricken By A Line From Malebranche*


Playing our latest “smart” 
Game with my six-year-old 
Granddaughter to sharpen 
Our powers of observation, 
We watch patiently 

The dense overhanging jasmine vine 
Above and in front of us 
As it jettisons 
Its white, five-petaled 
Flowers one-by-one, 

Anxious to see who’s going 
To be the first to shout 
There it goes! as each star falls 
Dumbly to the oh so equally
Dumb and patient ground. 


*Attention is the natural prayer of the soul.

Monday, May 28, 2018

Red Herrings Made In America


On top of so much 
Devastating news 

Concerning the Earth 
(about which too few 

Of us are concerned 
And even fewer willing 

To digest), lately 
From the hinterland 

Comes disturbing talk 
Of giant invasive hammer- 

Headed earthworms over- 
Taking the homeland 

By the millions, 
Swallowing 

Our much smaller 
Native fry 

For breakfast, lunch, 
Dinner AND midnight 

Munchies—I don’t know 
About you but for those 

Concerned, I think 
It’s time to come to 

Our senses and hope 
It isn’t just 

Idle table talk.


Saturday, May 26, 2018

Read Your Fortune, Sir?


Murky—like the poem you were so 
Intent on finishing you missed

Seeing that fly buzz by only to end 
Up a black dot flailing 

The dregs of your coffee cup.



Thursday, May 24, 2018

Tangerine


“The commune of Poetry becomes so real that [the poet] sounds each
particle in relation to parts of a great story he knows will never be completed.” 
--Robert Duncan, Bending the Bow 

The dynasty 

Of Song, tangible as 
The word sounds— 

In this instance 
Joyous, a small 

Round, reddish-orange 
Object plucked 

From a mandarin’s 
Bough. 

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Existentialist Angst Is No Laughing Matter


With the world
Exploding

In bloody stitches, you keep 
Laughing at yourself because 

You think laughing is good 
For you, you must be 

Joking. 

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Late Deep Sleeper

lux in tenebris lucet

 
What’s with you, trouper? 
On stage

You made many a move 
To draw the curtains,

But the sun’s still 
Waiting in the wings. 


Thursday, May 17, 2018

Trickle-down Economics Broken Down By One Of The Haves


It’s this way you see 
His ledger rife with minuses, 
Two plus two never making four, 
This good-for-nothing no-account 
Too poor to know the score he 
Put a double-barrel up his sinuses, 
Nothing made sense anymore. 


Monday, May 14, 2018

Reverie


           “The Jasmine” 

Whether it gets dark 
or light 
the jasmine stays 
always white.
  —George Seferis 


remember

wherever 


jasmine

flowers 


absent

mind


makes

sense


all day,

all night.




Friday, May 11, 2018

"In The Beginning Was The Word"

—for my A and Ω, Eleni—who knows me better than I do myself 

Why is it when I at last 
Give in and grudgingly promise 
To translate a few of my more 
"Knotty” avant-garde poems 
For you, my not-so-comfy with English 
Better half, half-way into them I get 
That nagging sense you think 
They were all Greek to me too, 
From their promising beginnings 
To nowhere in particular 
In the end. 


Wednesday, May 9, 2018

"There's A Sucker Born Every Minute"

—attributed to P. T. Barnum, American showman 


Believe it or not, 

I read somewhere that 
Some land snails can 

Lift ten times their weight 
Up a vertical surface; 

So if you were as strong as that 
And sucked just as well 

And weighed in 
At one hundred-fifty pounds, 

Hauling one thousand five hundred 
Pounds of suckers would more than likely 

Drive you straight up a wall. 

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Bereft


Oh, wanting 
Apostrophe, the comma’s 

Always somewhere 

Here to make you, 
Pause to think about it.




Sunday, May 6, 2018

Invasion Of The Slug People


No need to fret beforehand— 
You earthlings will know when 

We’ve taken over everything 
When you no longer have enough 

Time to shovel the slime 
You’ve left behind. 


Friday, May 4, 2018

Huuklyeand Cinquor On Purveyors Of Genetically Modified Crapolla


You sod busting deviant turds you 

Keep on grinding out this bull 
Husking horseshit and before you 
Know it y’all be corn 

Holed by an ear-to-ear 
Grinning sodomite 
Grim Reaper, got it? 

Good. 


Moderator’s comments: Huuk demonstrating his fiery didacticism once more; too bad he had to stoop so low this time—linguistically speaking—to get his rapier-wielding point across. 

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Here Today, Gone Tomorrow


Been there 
Before been through all that 
With the required modicum 
Of grace they told me 
I’d find everything as it was, 
Save the whereabouts 
Of my face. 


Tuesday, May 1, 2018

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 

furrows of the mind gone 
plowing somewhere off 

in the lowermost reaches 
of ground zero.

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Spaced-out Flat Earther Overstepping The Bounds Of Gravity


Seriously now plastic man, 
If you’ll just please 

Step back and do 
A double take, you’ll see 

You’ve gone over 
The end and surely 

By golly not 
By any stretch 

Of imagination 
By mistake. 


Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Pulp Friction


curioCity kills Bloody Marys 
maraschino cherries Pop guns 
gang bangs poontang rat snitches 
and Edsel squeals 

cathouse beldams melt hams down 
dog days nightmares ride hunchbacks 
warning lights stop critters peeling 
rubber dead in their tracks 

cornered but ornery 
disembodied vulvas bare back 
their teeth like 

the Cheshire cat.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Touché


You’re only in touch 
With the world insomuch 

As you remain open 
Enough to touch. 

Saturday, April 21, 2018

I Scream, You Scream. . . .


Paisano I tell you this 
Life is a one helluva big ice cream cone 
That’s a melting lickety-split so 

You don’t wanna stand there 
With your little finger jammed 
Up your ass doing nothin’— 

You gotta lick it, capisce? 


Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Missing Crux Oxymoron


In lieu of a haiku: 

Of course you do not know 
You’re lacking in something— 
Something is stopping you. 

Monday, April 16, 2018

Poetry: The Last Frontier


Situated in some nebulous distance, 
I do what I do so that the universal balance 
Of which I am a part may remain a balance. 
--Antonio Porchia, “Voices” 

In the blooming Judas tree above 
My head, the spaced-out

Enterprising bees go 
Deliriously about

Their going concern business 
Doing exactly you-know-what— 

In a nebulous universe, so am I 
Doing clearly God knows what. 

Friday, April 13, 2018

It's A Dog's Life Until You Lose It


Beats me but coming 
After a hard day’s scrounging 
For scraps, I’d wager 

Those two dead- 
Tired, bedraggled 
Strays that spend 

Their nights curled 
Up on threadbare welcome 
Mats on opposite sides 

Of the main drag—one 
In front of the bakery 
And the other 

In front of the laundry— 
Most likely imagine that 
As long as they can 

Sleep and dream 
Of warm doghouses 
And doggy food galore, 

There will always be 
The prospect of waking 
Up one fine morning still

Very much alive, yet for some 
Strange reason always 
Wanting more. 



Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Huuklyeand Cinquor On Finding One's Way To The Domicile Of The Perfect Poem


Poets, I dare say 
Enough is enough, please 
Gather all your senses together— 

You just passed 
The sign 
That said No 
Trespassing— 

The next one says 
No Exit. 

Moderator’s comments: Hopeless perfectionist par excellence that Huuk is, 
no wonder it took him so long to check back in here. 

Monday, April 9, 2018

Douma, Syria: No Barrel Of Laughs


Yes, indeed 
That ghastly 
Still of a man 

Wearing a gas- 
Mask does look some- 
What grotesque as he 

Holds the body 
Of a gassed child, 
But hold on—just what 

Did you expect 
To see—a bunch 
Of debased home- 

Grown couch potatoes 
Foaming at the mouth 
At the prospect 

Of strange riffraff suffocating 
In faraway basements? 
Change channels.

 

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Die-hard Hippie Listening To Jefferson Airplane High Over Greece

—for Tom (Diz) Carroll, music teacher/musician par excellence 
and frequent visitor to these parts 

The light-headed 
Mind can take in only so 
Much at a time 
Before it has to stop 

To ponder if 
The baggage it’s been 
Hauling over the years 
Might not be too fright- 

Fully overweight and better 
Off jettisoned, preferably high 
Over a luminous landscape 
Filled with nothing 

But diaphanous light.

Friday, March 30, 2018

Marching For Their Lives


Enough of this 
And that, my fellow 
Citizens—we all 

Know we get 
Enough of that 
From people who 

Don’t know where 
They’re going 
Or where they’re at— 

Not like these kids 
Who know exactly 
What they’re aiming at. 


Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Aphasic Synesthesia


Don’t forget 
If you can’t 

Speak because you 
Have nothing to say, 

Just remember when 
The time came for you 

To listen, you were lost 
In thought, looking 

The other way. 


Saturday, March 24, 2018

Down In The Dumps, Period


Pollyanna, 
When I feel like shit, 
The last thing I want is you 
Telling me to forget everything 
And be happy—I was there once 
And look where I am now, 
Feeling twice as shitty. 

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Selfish Myopic's Blundering Doppelgänger


Too busy looking out 
For yourself, you didn’t 
See the other going 

Over the deep end with you, 
And from the looks of it, 
Neither did he—soon 

The world will be 
A much better place, 
If only you could see. 


Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Urgent Message From Where Scott Pruitt Sits*


Environ
Mentally 

Cracked pots spied 
Crashing 

Through imagined hole 
In ozone layer—run 

Helter-skelter 
To the nearest 

Shelter for ancient 
Crock repairers! 


*Environmental Protection Agency 

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Oval Mirror, Oval Mirror on the Wall, Who's the Fairest One of All?


Well, since you 
Asked, it looks like 
You’re well 

Past your prime, hunky- 
Bunch—don’t you 
Think it’s time 

You took up another 
Pastime? Like spitting 
In what passes

As your face.








Thursday, March 15, 2018

Camouflage


Wallowing deep 
Down in its own 
Dark juice, the octopus is 
Clearly rejoicing; surely now 
That danger’s over, some long 
Overdue indulgence is 
No great sin. 


You of the spineless 
Backbone wielding 
Wishy-washy hands, 
On the murky bottom 
Of a milieu turning inky 
In the sand, there’s a lesson 
To be learnt here— 


Catch it if you can. 

 

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Old Old World Emigrant's Longing


His high mountain village 
So remote but still so near 
To his heart now 
Beating in the new 
World, he fancied he 
Heard the homing wind 
Clearly in the cypresses 
Ringing the cemetery, 
Shaping out of thin air 
Every breathless breath 
He took in. 




Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Just Sayin' I Think I Am Here For The Stinking Duration


Well, friends
That’s why life- 
Supporting loving 
Words need to be well 
Grounded in grit 
To keep them 
From being cast 
Away like so 
Many tons of swell 
Headed well- 
Meaning shit. 

Saturday, March 3, 2018

KO'd By The Muse


Just between 
You and me, 
I think 
I don’t look at all 
Like a poet but I do 

Thank you so 
Much you think 
I do—would you 
Like me to 
Slam a poem 

About how 
It feels to be so 
Punch drunk you 
Can’t tell the difference 
Between what you want 

To see and what 
You’ve come to? 

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Acid Reign


Crow on, old 
Indestructible 
Grackle on tip 
Of blighted cypress, 
Biting acid tongue. 

Monday, February 26, 2018

Growing Up


My father was old enough 
To be my grandfather, 
And I too young 
To know the difference, 
Till I too became 
A man old enough to know
It made no difference.

 




Friday, February 23, 2018

How To Compose A Politically (In)Correct, (Un)American Arse Poetica Coeval With These Disturbing Times


OK, class— 
Put in 

The right word 
(Fuck) 

In the right place 
(Trump) 

At the right time 
(Now), 

I think 
That’s just 

Fine. 

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Sucker Bait


Throw out any line at will 
If you will but always hope 
Something more

Than the one that got away
Surfaces when the poem happens
To reel you in again.





Thursday, February 15, 2018

Once Is More Than Enough, Thank You


Approaching the twilight 
Years, finally 

Waking up early 
Enough one morning to see 

Day break, then going 
Right back to bed 

Too dead tired even 
To sleep on it again. 


Monday, February 12, 2018

Niggardly And Dutiful At All Costs


Precious the memories, so 
Dear in fact he keeps them 

Hoarded in a satchel given 
To him by a doting mother 

Who shilled him 
Into guarding it 

With his life till 
He’ll remember how 

Much he wasted of it. 


Saturday, February 10, 2018

You Know Something's Not Right In Our Heads: The Syria Syndrome


When Uma Thurman’s Kill 
Bill’s car stunt crash that might 
Have decapitated her in 2003 
Gets more live coverage 
Than the twisted 

Lifeless 
Truncated 
Bodies 

Of kids blasted 
To pieces before 
Unbelieving eyes 

Every 
Living 
Day. 

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Mean Times Iconoclastic


“What’s to be done or said in the meanwhile I don’t know, 
and what is the use of poets in a mean-spirited time?” 
Friedrich Hölderlin, from “Bread and Wine” 


At such times, the true 
Believer’s mind believes

The eye can 
Take in only so much, 

And wonders if what 
It cannot see 

Otherwise is likewise as 
Unbelievably shattering, 

To say the least. 


Tuesday, February 6, 2018

One Scrambled Alter Ego Sandwich To Go


Y’know, dude, 
You don’t have to 
Put yourself out, 
Always asking 
What it is I want— 
It’s plain as the egg 
On your face— 
I want you to be 
A hard-boiled customer 
Who knows exactly what 
He wants—that’s your order— 
Try sinking your teeth into that.




Saturday, February 3, 2018

King of the Mountain's Fantastic Leaps and Bounds


Trudging to grade 
School heads down, his two 
Older sisters well ahead 
Of him, the boy spies 
The small beckoning 
Hardened mound of sand 
At the abandoned building 
Site the girls have chosen 
To ignore, and which after 
Dashing at the speed of light 
For all of twenty yards 
Yelling his head off, 
He now leaps from base 
Camp to the summit 
In one superhuman bound— 
Demonstrating once again, 
Esteemed ladies and gentlemen 
Of the Faculty of Cognitive 
Sciences, that learning by rote 
Was, is, and shall forever be 
Solely for the pedestrian 

Earthbound. 

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Bliss


To fall 
Asleep next 
To your snoring 

Five-year-old grand- 
Daughter on 
Your right 

And your wife 
Sawing wood 
Next to her, 

Goodnight.

 

Monday, January 29, 2018

Art of the Deal


You keep telling me 
Having money’s hard 
Work and to make 
Do with what I’ve got, 
Which must be a lot 
Easier if one’s not 
A have-not—so what 
Say you slip me that 
Ace up your sleeve 
When I’m not looking 
And make believe 
I’m hard up as your lot. 

Thursday, January 25, 2018

#Me Too


1. 

After lopping off 
A limping male 

Poetic limb or two, 
The liberated 

Muse’s shark-like mouth 
Cannot be said to be 

Sardonic, nor her smile ironic, 
Though some macho moronic 

Poets have gone so far 
As to call it romantically 

Emasculating— a void, 
A fathomless, yawning abyss. 

2. 

With all due respect 
To the free- 

Loving unfaithful 
Beastly romantic 

Percy, if Mary were 
Here, I’d surmise 

She’d find nothing grotesque
Or amiss with this fantastic script— 

After all she was 
Nobody’s monster, just 

Frankenstein’s perfect 
Ms. 

Monday, January 22, 2018

A Poem Should Be (14)


Resourceful— 

Like that home 
Less mutt taking 
In the winter sun 

Shine on 
The leeward side 
Of a derelict’s hovel. 

Saturday, January 20, 2018

America Emaciated, Land of The Free Depraved


Eat your hearts out, you well- 
Heeled so-called emancipated 

Masses yearning to be free 
Of guilt by association, for you 

Too can now starve and torture 
Your selves with plenty 

Of generous home-school 
Helpings of stark impunity. 




Wednesday, January 17, 2018

(De)crypt(ed)


Who will calculate for us the cost of our decision to forget? 
--George Seferis 

No bones about 
It—of those departed 
And of their deeds 

Most memorable, 
Most haunting 
Naught shall 

Always remain 
Unforgettably 
Undeciphered, 

For when all’s said 
And done, who’s to say 
And yet? 



 

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Reaching Poetic Inspiration In Four Easy Steps


1. 

Wait long enough 
For something to grab 
Your fancy. 

2. 

Get ready 
For nothing to pass 
You by. 

3. 

Don’t ever 
Blink in the wink 
Of an eye. 

4. 

If nothing materializes, repeat 
All steps above piously incanting 
Ghost Riders in the Sky.

 

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Nipped In The Bud


If only 
Your resolve to turn over 
A new leaf was just 
As deep-rooted as that 

Desire to bury what is most 
Shallow in you, you just 
Might stumble your way 
To Fall, too. 

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Please To Google “K'ung Futzu Gobbledegook Twitter Troller" For Important New Year Message!


Kong the Master Baiter say: 

Year of Dog this year and you 
Still surprised I speak 
Your language? Do not be— 

You see again 
And again nothing 
But claptrap come 

Naturally to pussy 
Grabbing prick 
Like me. 


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