Monday, December 22, 2014

You Look in the Mirror and See Ulysses S. Grant


Take Grant’s Union Army, for example,
lumbering south through Virginia
trampling everything good and decent
chasing Robert E. Lee’s
magnificent killing machine

Graceless monster with an alcoholic head
discarding dead and wounded in its wake
like waste after a rock concert
scars that grow over, young trees coming
grass fed with bloody nutrients
rain and wind massage the damaged ground

Like Grant’s murdering army, we
leave char from supper fires
bottle caps, strips of fabric,
lies and mysteries, loved pets
temporary governments and brothers
spontaneous in battle.

Detritus spilled like milk,
some lost in battle, some in excess
rusted and dirtied, even some pure,
all fall behind us as from a leaky truck
with an insane agenda for what’s discarded
sloppy and hurt by inadequate consideration

Archeologists learn nothing from examining
the dross of our passing stages, 
dross once gold, dross once on fire
You look at it
like the vast universes of useless DNA
unable to decipher the lost language
of so singular a life as yours.

As each of us treks southward
driven by passion, commitment 
or the absence of something else to do
the debris trail of wasted condoms
diplomas, truth, beliefs, power,
lives and deaths partly digested,
books and movies, lost hours,
people loved and injured, our
autobiography dying with us,
as each of us moves along,
with or without grace,
we lose so much
we lose so many
Fresh ideas murder resistance
We can thank evolution,
personal and un-private
for our hopelessly messy 
unintentional diaries, written

in parallax from where
we expected to go

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Time Passes




Saturday morning
the aging veteran of romance
smokes alone, still in bed
his coffee almost needing a refill
thinking about it
There is sun in the window
neighborhood sounds coming up

He has just taken up a new career
having begun to seduce
thin Jewish girls
who belong to other men

Here she comes now
She is leaving the bathroom
Her long legs are bare
Her beautiful hair brushstrokes
the curved upper rim of her ass

He thinks this could become the perfect profession
provided, of course, her husband never finds out


Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Tuning Fork



It’s not world peace
not even the end of hunger
It isn’t fairness, respect
or inspiration

A search for words
futile as perfect love, 
a tune heard early
then lost among songs

It isn’t even brotherhood

Tuning fork you are
the search for perfect pitch
harmonies lifting
within a symphony
more dense than Turangalîla

In the careful curve of time
something wants to bend
just so, to curl
around the note
and lift the endless music

slightly


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