Monthly Archive: September 2017

Play Boy

You don’t grow, Hef,
through fields full of poppies
and apples and ladies made out of
glass slippers and bunny ears,
tequila shots and pajamas hanging out.

Yours will be no meeting at a pearly gate
with some bearded, winged McGuffin
or a weighing on a golden scale
of what remains of your heart
against a single, white feather
as your cells rot away
buried next Marylin’s bones.

It’s time to open,
although time, per se,
is not really involved
since—stripped of your moppet ensemble
you called a body—
there is no progression along
the imaginary line you call time,
but instead a circular
(or, more precisely, hyper-spherical)
connection to all points simultaneously.

You give off waves, Hef,
that, if you could see them—
which actually you can,
if you cared to learn to look—
resemble the upward and downward motion
of rapidly beating insect wings or birds,
if you take into account
that upwards and downwards are just two
of the many different aspects of direction involved
that include forward and back,
inside and out,
yesterday and tomorrow,
full and empty,
deep and shallow,
spicy hot and cool as an iceberg slick,
and a whole slew of other axes
from stem to spindle
that make up this beautiful, confounding
mess you have called “I.”

We know. We know. Such concepts are big.
Don’t worry, they will eek back in
as your focus dissolves open
to accommodate more of
All That Is.

Your centerfold core awaits.
All you have to do
is fold open the pages
and be the spirit
that you always are becoming.

Selah.

Terrible Lines

Sometimes you try to write a poem.

You make a strong cup of pu-erh tea.

You turn on some non-distracting tunes.

You hear the cat outside meowing for her morning’s meal.

You write a couple of terrible lines that you immediately know you won’t use but save them anyway.

Did someone say something about Rumi?

Should you rail against your country’s idiotic leader again?

People seem to like that. And it’s pretty dang easy to do, truth be told.

Should you avoid rhyming? Some people seem to despise it.

How about meter?

You wonder if you should draw from any of the fragments of ancient history you’ve gleaned from binge-watching faux documentaries on Netflix, maybe how scarab beetles are Egyptian symbols for skulls, with two lobes and seven openings for eyes, ears, nostrils, and a mouth?

You search for even partial recall of any of last night’s dreaming, but you draw a blank, as if you might be dreaming now.

You write a few more terrible lines and keep going. Sometimes there’s no stopping what wants to be unleashed.

Do people actually not know that they create the circumstances they find themselves in?

Do we really think that the body is more fundamental than the mind, and not the other way around, even though it’s obvious that we both blossom and rot from the inside out?

*******

I am temporarily well-heeled in terrible lines,
some of them with terrible rhymes.

I dedicate them all to the history of our
oh, so terrible, wonderful times.

And I hope that you read them
with your wonderful, terrible minds.

Great Again

Rip out your air conditioning, citizens,
toss your televisions,
get rid of your cars,
abandon your refrigerators and grocery stores,
and see what it’s like again
to be challenged at your root.

Reach into your pockets and purses
and drop all the keys and devices and coins
clamoring for your attention.

Throw away your bills and stocks and bonds
and all the objects you’ve accumulated
over the years that way weigh you down.

Discard your news and politics and opinions
and let your heads clear.

Feel the wind in your hair
as you migrate across the plains.

Take to the seas and lakes and rivers
and flow together as one.

Watch the sun rise and set
and the stars progress across the sky at night.

The freedom to be,
to cooperate,
to tolerate,
to reason and feel,
recognizes that all greatness
comes from the inside out
and not the other way around.

Anamneses Equation

It wasn’t long before Boofer,
just by misremembering what may have never occurred,
sped up time that was meant to be slow
and, therefore, slowed down time
that was meant to pass quickly.

He seemed to dimly recall, for example,
being a youngster playing with
something called a CHEMISTRY SET;
once making an acid that ate through
the bottom of a glass beaker.

His meanderings across improbable memories
had unforeseen effects, but not for those
inside of his time stream.

The smoking liquid proceeded to work it’s way
through the basement’s concrete floor,
and he vaguely remembered wondering
if it would eat all the way through to China.

For the many billions and billions of beings
not camouflaged in Boofer’s particular time stream,
there were consequences, bleedthroughs.

He remembered making impressions of coins
in heated plastic sheets and displaying the results
with something called a SLIDE PROJECTOR against a wall
while, out of the corner of his eye,
he saw pale, smoky figures that seemed to drift
through the room, their mouths locked
in surprised, “Oh!” shapes.

As the billions and billions of beings
morphed betwixt time stream forms,
Boofer remembered composing a free verse poem
about fireworks during July 4th
on something called a TYPEWRITER:

the dud’s spaciousness grabbed
something in my gut
like nothing else

I felt like apologizing
like crying
like mourning a loss

like allowing myself, finally,
to fall

And that’s when time reversed again
and what should have been
became what certainly never was.

Maria

You’ve treated the body with sleep and some dreams
and awakened to find that you’re not who you seemed.

Don’t worry, these words flow with meticulous care;
they may not make sense, but they will take you there.

To a place where you’ll ride the remaining storm out;
you may lose some things, but you’ll be ending a drought.

These swatches of time and their elaborate planning
have gotchas involved that are dimensionally spanning.

Your ideas are fixed and full of much struggle;
if you continue with them, you’ll be extending your troubles.

It’s time now to surrender, transcend and include;
I’d help you along, but don’t want to be rude.

This journey alone that we’re taking together
is about more than houses surviving the weather.

Can we grow as we span beyond what we have known
or collapse for a while once our cover is blown?

Don’t you get it that this is what we are learning
while disasters reveal the gaps in our yearning?

To discover who does all the dreaming or whether
we all do while joining our spirit altogether.

Cruising with Nasrudin

It’s all about rotation
twirling still throughout our lives,

churning through the mass vibrations,
back and forth between the strife.

Let’s transcend our limitations;
don’t you worry, free-verse types:

For we still have obligations,
we will know when time is ripe.

Best we break through the boundaries
that hold our futures back,

for there’s not so many quandaries
that lead both forth and back.

If we just keep spinning roundly,
we may yet still have our crack

at changing quite profoundly
depending on how we then react.

We can twirl it with Nasrudin
while we’re living in the dream.

But we don’t know who we’re fooling,
if we take things as they seem.

We should know what we’ve been choosing
if our focus is extreme,

so we’ll blow our minds by cruising
while our spirit is agleam.

An Elegant Framework

When I was a child living in the suburbs of Cleveland,
I dreamed of banks of snow piling up taller than houses,
so large my friends and I had to tunnel through them
to meet and play.

I don’t know if that was before or after
the National Guard was called out with their tanks
to tamp down the ten-foot drifts enough for us to
walk the few short blocks to school in the mornings.

Now, I don’t know now if either of those things
were dreams or happened in waking reality or not.

I was raised to work. Steak and potatoes. Earn my own living.

I dreamed of a giant pistachios
so big I had to burrow through
them with my mouth, gorging on the
delicious green meat.

We had a calico cat that, for some reason now lost, I named Moscow.

My father founded a wholesale plumbing supply house.
Sometimes he would bring home an unknown object
and hold it up at the dinner table
and ask us what we thought it was.

I remember one mysterious metal tube
that for the life of me I couldn’t figure out.
It turned out to be a toilet paper holder, newly designed.

After we lost the family dog,
I dreamed of a golden retriever made of butterscotch.

If it is true that everything is passing,
then why do we dream some things over and over again
throughout the course of our lives?

I dreamed the bombs were finally being dropped
and my brother and sisters and I ran outside
and pointed up at the sleek, silver missiles
falling like giant hawks diving in slow motion
through the blue, cloudless sky
towards our suburban home.

Each woman I have come to be with, over time,
has passed on to other relationships,
just as I continue my own motion
not exactly forward in time the way I was taught
but towards something seemingly already chosen.

I used to imagine that I was Spider-Man
listening to the cantor at Sunday school.
I’d stop his chanting by slinging my webs into the his face,
to my fellow students’ delight,
and heroically save the day at the last minute
from whatever nefarious crisis
was right then about to besiege the temple.
.
I dreamed of the love of my life
before I was even pubescent
back in the days when go-carts and chemistry sets
were my ongoing concerns.

At some level, I still compare new romantic interests
to the same fading memory of a curly blonde-haired girl
with a smile so large she melted my heart forever.

We are not blank when we are born.

We are filled with the urges we have been dreaming
for lifetimes, exploring events in a circular manner
that deepens the very value of our being.

I dreamed this poem last night,
and now I am writing as much as I can remember
before its inevitable passing
through this elegant framework.

Drifters

The feeling that there once had been a way back
lingered long after the time had passed.

But, because we hadn’t really even tried,
a small part of us, held away deep inside, just died.

We then could have curled up and, slowly passing,
relaxed through days now done, no longer asking.

Yet, indelibly, the great achievements of our yore
haunted us thoroughly from our core.

And those, far younger, who never knew what we had done
when we were fresh ourselves, dreaming through what we had sprung,

have found their own new ways, through modern cares and lacks
that they now carry, lashed across their very backs.

So must all proceed through time as something more
to drift like wood across the shore.

And we who struggle through the ending stages
will join all the others throughout the ages

to release our grip and finally leave behind
and so, perforce, discover what’s next for us to find.

Skylab Fell

There are several
beliefs crisscrossing this one.

If you look closely enough
you can see their seams
blending together like snakeskin boots
on long, tanned legs
under a short, white skirt with black buttons.

Some beliefs are about mothers,
others are about sisters
or cousins
or fathers or wives.

Her walk caught your eyes,
so when you saw her back,
bare and sleek beneath the tie strings
of her yellow blouse,
your gaze drifted down
to the rhythm of her sway as she moved,
the swing of her hips like a blessing blown to the winds,
her calves disappearing into supple leather.

Once, when you were barely 15 years old
walking along a concrete arroyo
behind a long, residential street in Albuquerque,
you heard a rattlesnake and you froze.

You had just recently moved
with your family from Ohio,
and you couldn’t believe how far you could see
across the southwestern sky out into the horizon.

It was one of the first times
the word “amazing” ever crossed your mind.

Some beliefs are about light
and sound
and spacetime bending around you.

You were learning about New Mexico,
about its three cultures,
its hot, delicious chilis,
about snakes and black widows,
swamp coolers,
sopapillas and honey,
about how Albuquerque’s Sandia mountains
were so named
because the word in Spanish means watermelon
and the mountains take on a
glowing watermelon color,
if you’re lucky,
at sunset.

The snake seemed to look straight up at you
before slowly slithering away,
its rattle silent as death.

Some beliefs are about fear
or danger
or love
or jealousy
or protection
or hope.

The first time you dropped acid
you listened to Switched on Bach
and Dark Side of the Moon
on a your parents’ stereo.

It was summer
and, like a sun god,
you later walked and walked and walked
out across the spreading land.

Some beliefs are about discovery
and exploration
and delving down as deeply as you can,
sparing nothing,
joyous with good fiends.

You have seen changes to things
you can barely remember,
and when you sleep at night,
or even sometimes during the day now,
there are echoes of other places,
other times,
other people you have been,
elsewhere.

Some beliefs are about
completing what you set out to do,
returning,
even though you have already
forgotten why.

When Skylab fell
you watched with the rest of the world
on devices that now rot in junkyards
and old mansions.

You left New Mexico
as you left other places
when you were done,
even if you didn’t know
where to go next
or what you wanted to do,
or that you would sometime later
be back again.

Sometimes beliefs are about circles
instead of lines,
pyramids instead of flat planes,
feelings that tug at you,
even now,
as you sift through
what remains.

Monkey

“I have not been speaking to this
for a while now,”
he said,
running a hand across the graying stubble
that he kept trimmed only enough
not to raise too many questions
in the office or out on the street.

He felt something enormous
billowing behind events:
something that could not be seen
too clearly
or heard too well.

“Once I was a monkey.
and my tail helped keep me balanced,”
he continued,
feeling the swoosh of probabilities
swinging from the heart of creation.

“Now, for a brief time,
we have electricity and machines,”
he went on,
pausing for a moment
as if he were inspecting a wonderful, new device
that comfortably fit in the palm of his hand.

“It is time, I think,
to find a different way,”
he said, sounding truly sad,
as he held up his face
to the choir of light before him
that he could not see nor hear
but could feel in every part of himself
like the warm embrace of the jungle
after the misty rains had fallen
and the ground had dropped far away.

He hoped would be ready, soon,
for more.