Monday, November 11, 2019

In The Dark No More


Your eyes are getting very heavy— 
Soon the lids will shut tight 

And you will enter a space full 
Of light unlike the one you were in for 

So long before—that one had a door, 
This one has one too but 

It’s never been opened before. 


Saturday, November 9, 2019

Herakleitos On Solid Upright Citizens Of The World


Who says even sleeping 
Men are doing the world’s 
Business and helping it 
On its way though he also adroitly 
Avoids mentioning they should not be 
As sleepwalkers perambulating out there 
In broad daylight trying to show us 
The right and true way. 


Thursday, November 7, 2019

Where We Hope To Be Some Future Fall

A burnished bronze jasmine 
Leaf twirling on the end 
Of a spider’s thin silver thread, 

In the slanting sunny late afternoon 
Air, soon to join its brothers and sisters 
In the perennial pied carpet of death 

And rejuvenation,
Our good mother 
Earth always there. 


Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Pot Of Gold


Before it all evaporates, let us take in 
Our good fortune, this morning’s 

Double rainbow in which two 
Wild doves perch 

On a telephone line, cooing 
Of the long-awaited approaching 

Change of weather. 


Sunday, November 3, 2019

Say It In Greek Or Else

“The Logos is eternal.” 
--Heraclitus 

"I hope for nothing. I fear nothing. I am free."  
--epitaph on the grave of Nikos Kazantzakis 


In other words, approaching 
The logos means one must 
Let the spirit breathe 

Free, other- 
Wise, you are just 
That much closer 

To being 
Part of the living 
But still 

Quite dead. 


Friday, November 1, 2019

Complacency's Whetstone

That deadening
Silence which hones it-

Self against the ears
Of the complicit, how

Deafening it is indeed
To those who cannot

But hear it.





Wednesday, October 30, 2019

The Ultimate Last Poem?


Oh, what joy! 
Surely that must be it

Over there, waiting in line 
With bated breath, like so

Many others before it 
For the last stop, no 

More questions asked, 
Period. 


Monday, October 28, 2019

Watermark Writ In Marble

So you think you are carving
Out a name for yourself—well,

Keats knew better than that,
And he wasn't a stonemason.




Saturday, October 26, 2019

After Wittgenstein: Bellwether Logical Propositions


It may snow tomorrow 
Or it may not 

Happens to be at once both
An empty form and also
Absolutely accurate,
But does not tell us
Anything about what
The weather will be like
Tomorrow, that remains

The job of poets.



Thursday, October 24, 2019

Anonymous: Lyric Mermaid On Lesbos*


Oh, how distant Aphrodite’s 
Lush, full-bodied labials are, 

While I, by loneliness wretched, 
Half-crazed and wasted, am fated 

To lie here—how long?—bemoaning 
My lot on this solitary, desolate shore. 




*from The Erotic Aegean: An Anthology Of Greek Love Poetry, Eressos, Mytilene, 1969, (trans. Saffilis Zaengmac).



Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Welcome To Bonehead Logic 096 At Ye Olde School Of Hard Knocks


where 
ante- 

diluvian 
hard 
core 
faculty’s 
faulty 

neo 
syllo- 
gisms 

be
come 
soft 

in 
the 
head 

mean 
old 
vulgar 
mind 
fucks 


Sunday, October 20, 2019

You Asked For It So You Better Believe It


Sport, I told you straight out 
You were light years out 

Of your league when you insisted 
Your poetry had more polish 

And pizzaz than me and boy 
Have you ever got a whopper 

Of a shiner to show for it now, 
You see? 


Friday, October 18, 2019

Follow The Money


Moonlighting 

Moonlit snail spills 
Shining track of silver 

Trail behind it. 


Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Whatever, Whenever


Why is it when 

You arrogantly think you know 
Everything, the poem— 

Knowing you better—always 
Comes out 

Sounding ignorant as ever.







Monday, October 14, 2019

So Long, It's Been Good To Know You


As long as you were fodder, 
They were one with you all the way, 
Till you passed them before

The end of the journey—now 
They’re drowning in the wake 
Of your passing, no longer able 

To pass on the good times your way. 


Saturday, October 12, 2019

Sounding Your Self Out


sounds 

like 

some 

where 

out 

there 

you 

are 


where 

every 

step 

you 

take 

takes 

you 

forever 


to 

get 

there





Thursday, October 10, 2019

Great Galactic Enterprise


All we’ve ever given of ourselves has never been 
Quite enough to complement the longing 

For nebulous stardom 
That still lies within. 


Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Epitaph For A Self-Proclaimed Self-Made Man


For one who 

Never tired of saying I got this 
Far with nothing but hard work, 

You must be dead 
Tired by now. 


Sunday, October 6, 2019

Higher Love


One comes to love the impossible because 
One does not want to find himself 
Feeling low loving just anything. 






Friday, October 4, 2019

Now You Think You See It, Know You Don't


Do not kid yourself 
Do not waste your time 
Do not write 

Poetry if you think 
Poetry’s a cheap trick 
And you a sleight of hand 

Man fobbing your audience 
In wonderland with a rabbit pulled up- 
Side down from a top hat—there’s more 

To poetry than that, so stop 
Your monkey business, get back 
To catching tigers in red weather, 

And leave it at that. 


Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Now Or Never: The Next Life


The next time you feel that dark 
Urge to curse the incorrigible 
Adamantine white page lying so 

Smugly before you, cast your sights 
On to when you imagine 
It will pay you back 

Tenfold with nothing 
Save hard, brilliant flashes 
Of blinding light— 

But (and this is all it asks of you)— 
Only if you serve it right 
Here, never in that other life. 


Monday, September 30, 2019

Brief Elegy For A Lyric Poetess, Passing At 58


In your short, bittersweet stroll through 
Life’s unavoidable highs and lows, 

You were as full of life as your poems were 
Touchingly sorrowful. 


Saturday, September 28, 2019

Sailing The Dream (Spindthrift)


air                     rows 


sea                    waves


bow                   quivers 


 


Thursday, September 26, 2019

Too Much, Too Soon


You know you’ve been trying 
Too hard to find your voice 

When you find out too late 
You’ve lost it. 





Monday, September 23, 2019

Saturday, September 21, 2019

Closure For Beginners Up Against A Wall


The next time you feel 
A desire to execute 

The poem 

Of your life, make sure 
You wind it up with a blank 

Sheet of paper. 


Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Suddenly, Phlegm

What on Earth were you 
Expecting, poet? The expected almost 
Never comes when expected— 

If and when it does decide 
To make its entrance, 
More often than not

It acts as if it were 
An indifferent ephemeron 
Setting down miniscule droppings

On the tip of your dumbstricken tongue, 
While all you can do is expectorate, 
Expectorate profusely till kingdom come. 


Monday, September 16, 2019

Being An Irreverent, Albeit Clean Defence Of Nihilism


As long as the blank 
Page insists on

Staying immaculate 
White, what appears

Out of nothing 
In the end 

Must be predicated 
On how well

Our maker conceived 
The abject absurdness

Of his maculate plight. 


Saturday, September 14, 2019

In Passing, Dear Heavenly Demiurge


Though it has nothing whatsoever 
To do with language 

Right or wrong, just fondle 
Sweet basil once ever so 

Lightly and its scent stays full 
Of innocent angels years after 

You’re long gone. 

Monday, September 9, 2019

Saturday, September 7, 2019

What We, As Law-Abiding, Solid Citizens Of A Great Nation, Are Discouraged From Acknowledging


Hear, hear— 

That auspicious 
Gritty feeling that keeps 
Gnawing fitfully 

Against the gristly hollow 
Of our most nauseously fitting 
Specious inner ear. 


Thursday, September 5, 2019

75-Year-Old Pedestrian Versifier Temporarily Stopped In His Tracks By 7th Century BC Fragments Of Archilochos


[ ] [ ] 

[ ] [ ] damn it all 

[ ] [ ] Startled that [we?] are 

[ ] [ ] only now 

Starting [where?] 
To realize just how 

[ ] [ ] 

Moving this all is, [isn’t] it 
Too bad we can’t 

[ ] [ ] [ ] [ ] 

Put it in reverse 


Monday, September 2, 2019

Balcony With Ionian Seaview


Matutinal sea 
Of jasmine spilling 

Over corroded wrought 
Iron railing against white 

Washed wall splashed 
With streaks of light, 

Overwhelming pale 
Blue pastel light. 



Friday, August 30, 2019

Calling All Tone-Deaf Wannabe Poets


Oh, my goodness— 
D'ya hear her, 
Ignoramuses? 

If so, belt it out loud 
And clear, where 
‘Where’ sans the 'w' is out 

Of dumb necessity 'here', 
And not where you are 
By a long shot, dear. 


Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Right From The Word "Go"

--for John Levy, who’s always on the mark 

Let us take solace in the knowledge 
There are still poets out there who 
Take their reading slow and serious, 
And show us just how badass 
Some poems are and where 

They’re going when quizzical 
Others don’t know what 
To make of them— 

Those misguided ones who 
Think that if they leave them 
Alone, they’ll come back atoned 

For their transgressions, yet still sheepishly 
Dragging what's left of their farfetched tales 
Where else but behind them. 





Sunday, August 25, 2019

The Getaway


Someone writes 
And shows you how 
To say what you’ve been 
Wanting in in every way; 
Try though you may, you will 
Never find the words 
To thank him—it’s as if 
He’s your other self now 
Lost in packing up those words 
That always want to get away. 


Friday, August 23, 2019

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

To A Boxer Recently Passed


You were by definition
Like most of us who 
Spar in the shadows, there 

Where there are few, 
Too few clearly definable 
Inanimate objects to pummel 

To death, too. 


Sunday, August 18, 2019

After Yeats


Ah yes, that old pilgrim 
Soul in you you once thought 
Would never come to rest, now 
By whose bequest and urgency 
Has it given up its quest? 


Friday, August 16, 2019

Getting Under The Surface Of Things


You can bet 
Your bottom dollar 

Wherever there’s immaculate 
Crisp underwear flapping in 

Blinding sun- 
Light, pure naked 

Poetry’s in the air! 

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Besotted Seaman's Chambers


What say we drink, lads 

To the clink precious 
Glassy pebbles make as they 
Make their way under- 
Water near fabled shores— 

Next bring up 
That drunken image 
Of a nautilus flush 
With pearls 

Of wisdom scuttled 
On the bottom 
Of some blind poet’s wine- 
Dark sea floor, 

Then drink, drink till 
There’s no more rhyme
Or reason to remain 
Afloat any more. 

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Perseverence First Of All


To even think of being 

A poet, right off 
One must remember not 

To try so hard as to forget 
You were not born one. 






Wednesday, August 7, 2019

The Poet As Panderer


Words come easily 
When you play hard to get— 

When you go soft, they’re just 
Someone else’s bitches. 



Monday, August 5, 2019

Poem Surreptitiously Called "The Susurrus Of Curtains"


Born to be ambiguous, 
Whatever he meant 
By titling it thus, 
One thing’s clear— 

In without his knowing 
It, he would have to 
Talk his way out of it 
Or else— 





Saturday, August 3, 2019

Huuklyeand Cinquor On Going In Circles

Someone’s forever
Telling me 

Somewhere round 
Here is a square peg. 



Moderator’s comments: The apotheosis of the absurd in only eleven words; however, what remains of my frazzled logic impels me to peg the odds at 99-1 that prior to writing this “exercise in futility,” Cinquor envisaged the specter of the great Archimedes (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Archimedes) uttering his famous last words “Do not disturb my circles” just before an enraged, mathematically ignorant Roman soldier “put him in a pine box” for what he thought was insubordination when, in reality, all the good mathematician had in mind was to continue his line of thought undisturbed, outside the box!

 

Thursday, August 1, 2019

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Stay Of Execution


Living on borrowed 
Time, the words were 

Anxious to say what 
They wanted but without 

Sounding too grasping—they knew 
All too well the absurdity 

Of a sentence truncated 
In midair 

Without pausing as long 
As humanly possible there. 






Saturday, July 27, 2019

Haiku: Cause And Effect


Where the words entered 
A rush of canebrake rustled—

The wind stopped to breathe. 


Thursday, July 25, 2019

Love Poem Scuttled By Inclement Weather

Once upon a time. . . . 


On Cloud Nine, 
I wanted to write one 
But the ink blotted 
Out the sun and you, 

You scudded so artfully 
Behind the nimbuses 
Of my mind and I just 
Sat there and dawdled, 

Dawdled my life away, one 
Time-worn teardrop at a time. 




Tuesday, July 23, 2019

LOL: A Singular Poetic Justice Indeed


How I do dislike it when 
A FB post provokes me bare- 
Facedly with the likes of 

“I bet none of my friends 
Will share this poem of mine,” 

And indeed I must concede 
How shamelessly I love it 
When I accede 

To the sender’s wishes 
And don’t. 


Sunday, July 21, 2019

Why I Get Up Before Dawn


Why 
In such a world 
Of self- 

Inflicted pain, 
To anticipate 
The morning 

Breaking, and how 
That makes one wholly 
One again, that is 

The why and how of it, 
My still sleeping friend.


Friday, July 19, 2019

You Asked For It, So You Better Believe It


I’m telling it like it is 
When I say he was out 

Of his league when he kept 
Insisting his poetry had more 

Punch than a dullard’s eye could see, 
And boy has he ever got a whopper 

Of a shiner to show for it now, 
You see? 


Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Reaper's Got The Last Word


You sure you ain’t jiving us, 
You’re really on to something 
Big you’re dying to say? 

Don’t 

Let me stop you—get it 
Over with before you drop 
Dead in your tracts 

On the way. 




Sunday, July 14, 2019

Poetic Wanderlust Partly Explained


Breathless 

You of the over- 
Worked beautiful 

Voice never faltering, mind that 
Wanders, wonder not. 


Friday, July 12, 2019

Bottom Line Disconsolate Consolation Prize


Terrible and most dishonorable 
Things too dreadful to mention
Are taking place

Now all over a world rapidly
Becoming lost forever and you— 
All you want is for your poetry

To find itself winning, 
If nothing else in the end, 
Just Honorable Mention.








 



 

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Know Thyself, Brother


Knowing silence waits 

For the busy man to drop everything
And join it, 

But the busy man has other things 
On his mind and does not 

Know it. 


Monday, July 8, 2019

Machiavellian Drawing A Blank At Eighty-five


Said subject in question being 
In his lifetime a village president
Many times over, machinating

Political animal and owner
Of a coffeehouse having 
The only phone in town, thus 

Suspected police whistleblower, 
Spent his last days lying
In bed staring at the wall, 

And never once spoke, 
Not even to the wall. 


Saturday, July 6, 2019

Growing Up On The Wrong Side Of The Tracks: Raymond, Washington, Circa 1953


A double set 

Of rails ran right by 
Our house and how 

I never tired of walking on them 
As far as I could, trying 

My best not to fall, pretending 
All the while they were 

Heading nowhere 
In particular save 

To carry each new balancing 
Act a little farther 

Out of there. 


Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Without Peer


Insistent song 
Bird I know 
This song’s no 
Match for yours, 
Nor will it ever be 
Around as long, 

And yet there’s some 
Thing dumb in me keeps 
On wanting to match 
Your matchless song, so 
Knock it off, can’t you 
See, I’m almost done.





Sunday, June 30, 2019

Moonlighter


Following the money 
Moonlit snail leaves 

Winding silver tracks 
Trail behind it.






Friday, June 28, 2019

What The Eye Fails To Take In, The Heart Will

—for Ans and Peter, inveterate birders par excellence 


Not the green limb trembling 
In the still air but the departed 

Beating of wings 
The branch was home to 

No longer there. 


Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Sunday, June 23, 2019

In God We Trust


Trust me— 

When you said you would 
Try harder the next time, 

Nobody believed you, not 
Even your best friend, 

Your lying self 
To the bitter end. 


Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Epitaph For A Spaced-Out Astronomer


Love, don’t you be like me 
When the stars got in my eyes, 

I looked for the nearest 
Black hole. 



Monday, June 17, 2019

Ambivalence


Suffering’s well hidden, 
Festering in Everyman’s heart, 

And everyone wants it 
Ripped out 

Without hurting the heart. 


Saturday, June 15, 2019

Shall We Or Shall We Not?


Uproot the poem which dares 
Rear its head out of season 

Lest that bizarre beauty develop 
A mind of its own 

And bewitch us. 


Thursday, June 13, 2019

How Poets End Up Getting The Reader's Goat


Remember leading that nag 
To water to no avail? Well, 
Your exasperating poetic

Manner reminds me of a nanny
Goat that gives us a milk can 
Full to the brim, then 

Straightaway kicks it 
Over before we can fully 
Take all that wholesomeness in. 






Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Friday, June 7, 2019

No Trespassing--This Means You!


This abandoned derelict has nothing left to say 
Of what went on inside it, years of pent-up anger 
Keep it shut away. 



Tuesday, June 4, 2019

A Poem Should Be (17)


Finely spun as a spider’s 
Web poised deceptively 
In the morning sun, 

And you an ephemeral 
Struggling captive soon 
To be undone. 


Sunday, June 2, 2019

Rub A Dub Tub


More than likely,
The perfect poem is never 
Going to be there when
You need it, even if
 
You’ve just cut your veins 
And are waiting patiently 
For divine inspiration to save you 
From a fate worse than death. 





Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Stuck-Up On The Way To The Top Of The World


Spellbound to be so high 
You may rightly be but 
Don’t you dare condescend 

To look down on all 
Those flying dizzily past you 
Going the opposite way. 






Sunday, May 26, 2019

Facing Down A False Dawn: Song To Make America Great Again


Against the dark dumbing 
Deadening blues now 

Nesting in us, a future 
Brood of sonorous gold- 

Finches soon breaking full- 
Blown out of their pale 

White shells into the glorious, 
Quivering light. 


Friday, May 24, 2019

Huuklyeand Cinquor On How To Commit Poetic Suicide And Live To Tell About It


The next time you sit down to write 
Something mind-blowing right 

Off the top of your head, 
Take what’s left 

Of your brains with you. 



Moderator’s comments: What a relief! Our resident gadfly had been out of sight and out of mind so long that I was ready to abandon all hope of ever hearing from him again, so you can understand how elated I was when I received another one of his delicious little gems. With this one in particular, without his resorting to overblown poetic hyperbole, we can see how Huuk has hit the proverbial nail on the head once more and demonstrated how futile it is to have your artistic cake and eat it too—unless the poet in question has enough smarts left over to return to his senses before he suffers irreversible damage to his powerful albeit very misguided “inspirational” ego by overshooting it.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Windfall Provision


wind 

swept 


pine 

needles 


bedding 

down 


under 

cloud 


less 

full 


moon 

light 



Monday, May 20, 2019

Muted Village Wishing Well

“the fingers on the rim, as the poet put it.” 
—George Seferis, Mythistorema #2* 

The wild fig tree that has put down roots 
Deep in its depths and taken over 
The well’s mouth tells us no more 
Wishing here—the ropes have broken 
And the grooves on its lip serve 

To remind us those lines of maidens 
Who pulled up pail after pail of water 
Year after year have long since departed, 
And where once there was nubile skittery, 
Domesticated stony silence is all we hear. 



*The “poet” referred to is Dionysios Solomos, and the phrase cited is from his prose work, The Woman of Zakynthos, Chap.I.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Wages Of War: Bringing Home The Bacon


“the Aegean flower with corpses” 
—Aeschylus, Agamemnon, 659. 

Soul monger, I’d have wagered
If you had any heart at all 
For this business, you’d have sold 
Your stake in it piecemeal 

To the highest bidder instead 
Of hoarding it whole-hog 
For your blooming, 
Bloody self--

From this vantage point
However, I must concede
You're doing a bang-up job
As both butcher and packer. 


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