A WINTER MIND

In frozen light there is nowhere to go. You have stopped and everything around you is static and distant. In this glacial landscape, you have been severed from all rivers of possibility,  from blood communion with the living, from breath itself, and there is the overriding sense that it has always been this way and probably always will be. It may be that you are already dead and that you possess only the critical awareness to monitor your state. You obviously cannot change anything about it. Your body still functions as always: you eat, sleep, defecate.  You speak, listen, and move from place to place, or rather you watch yourself doing these actions as if you were watching an actor on a screen , that the agent is someone else, someone you  hardly recognize. You feel nothing, except for the occasional stab of disgust, which is not even unpleasant because it fortifies you against any emotions. If there is desire, it is for oblivion. If there is a will, it is untouchable. There is nothing out there that beckons . And there is no inside. What becomes of a surviving corpse, you may wonder. This will one day be determined.

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UNEMPLOYMENT

Powder sky framing softly exploding bursts of whiteness and the cinnamon brickwork and the murmuring, grumbling city machinery and the empty stomachs and heart that cannot be sated and pains that have become housebroken and the boredom factor at high- grade fuel and the ever-present hunger for work, the peace that work may bring.      

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DREAM DENTIST

I had a broken tooth

And we were talking

About age

And you were so bashful of yours.

You always come back to me

When my face is covered.

The tinkle of ice cubes into the tall glass.

I felt my tooth recoil in back

And hide like a mouse.

But it never touched nerve.

Why do you always talk of silly things

In the midst of my chaos?

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STAIN

You were so colorless before the event, so perfect that you passed through our field of vision unnoticed. You would always be there, though left unappreciated for the many functions and movements you performed in the world. Then the fire, then the blemish as an aftermath that put you on the map. You are now marked, dignified in your ugliness. You have acquired history, a sense of having lived and suffered, which we will exploit as an added feather in our cap.

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SOLITARY CONFINEMENT

The package wears a bow-tie. He smiles at the clock. He can’t go anywhere or do anything because packages don’t move on their own and there is nothing that moves him. Being self-aware, He observes himself as weight. Gravity is the rule that owns him. Repetition is the game that plays him in a slow, evenly paced drip that marks time. More accurately, it is the clock that changes position, and the smile indicates nothing because it has been pasted on, it signifies no particular emotion. It remains perhaps because it relaxes his face and has become a habit and habit is what keeps him. He notices his chest, a block heaving, and sometimes gets lost in its momentum. In moments like this he goes away and then returns . He returns to the same place, to his body, to the repetition, to the arena of pain. Everything is old, solid, unchanged. He listens to his body, to the noises that wash over it in a functional , predictable sequence- the passages, the objections, the causes and effects, the tedium. He tries to listen for something different and then concludes that it has all been done just the same as it always has, in eternal, concentric stasis . He remembers, he still can remember, the sun, the moon, their dance in light and darkness. The clock moves once again and the past spins out as well with all the unreality of soap bubbles. It could be another mind that invented it. The mind means nothing, can’t be trusted to produce anything reliable. He is his body: Limited. Immobile. Circumscribed, as if spirit has been extricated leaving a corpse that is watching itself. A stone watching a stone, watching the clock move over frozen time.

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UNINVITED

Time moves subterranean.

Why did you appear last night in a dream

from so long ago?

With no invitation,

as usual,

you lay as you always did

resigned and useless

in order to unbalance my life.

Obviously, you are alive in me,

a sorry memory

that I still can’t manage to swallow.

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NOT A LECTURE

The human mind is relentless

at what it wants to get.

When there is a pay-off, don’t worry,

It will be there in one way or another

To turn over the earth for its desired worm.

Your call will be returned.

You’ll be called “sir”

There will be bells and smiles at your command.

The whole world will tickle your fancy

Till the worm is there in the hand.

Then it will be farewell and good luck

And see you soon, maybe,

Until the next worm is wished for.

Self- interest is a funny thing

Because it makes people into things.

It makes us a hinge on the door

To someone else’s gain.

I’d rather be called something else,

Like friend.

Let’s spend some time together.

Let’s have mutual pleasure.

What’s -in it- for- me

is a nowhere strategy

That subtracts from our humanity.

Let’s be

Animals that care for each other.

Your gain is mine

Mine is ours,

A communism of the heart

In a time when the heart has become

nearly dysfunctional.

It’s possible

To transcend the fear of losing,

Being less

Because you have given.

There are just rewards before heaven.

A life of me and mine

Is less than satisfactory.

So find your generosity.

(This is not a plea from

An ad agency.)

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