I TRY

I try so hard

I try so hard

I try so hard to love you

 

I try so hard to live with you

I try so hard to know you

 

I do not know you

I cannot rule you

 

Fact

 

I am blue not gray

I am just made that way

I will just fade that way

 

Now

 

The lamp’s down low

How low will it go

 

Into the dark

Our natural space

Our silly place

 

I try so hard

To win the race

To end the race

 

I try so hard

To find my place

NIGHT

The fat brain can’t get up today

The slow familiar dead end crawl

Nothing appears at the gate

The clock doesn’t move at all

Faces come stop and stare

Through the very vast night

Birds have gone to sleep for good

The wise limp instead of fight

Within this dreamless ancient place

 Music sour grates on everyone

Behind the door something waits

To  make a move and overcome

The children don’t exist at all

They shoulder guns and strangle dolls

They have never known another place

Where monsters don’t make the calls

While phony women shallow men

Pretend to dance a pantomime

They kiss the air and then themselves

They make a dash on a dime

The anesthetic must soon wear off

On all these wild-eyed toothless men

Who carry around a human form

And hand you a poison pen

The future must appear some day

Even in this airless room

When people will scurry out to see

The lost ambiguous forgotten moon

NOVEMBER’S CHILDREN

The way November falls on you like a bleak vision,

The way November rolls over you like a bone crushing incident

The way November empties you like a vampiric spirit.

November dances toward the precipice with gloom.

I love all her dead children blowing away in the wind,

such loveliness waving goodbye, opening the door

to the frozen heart of winter.

Blanket me in white.

Let me sleep a thousand years in your vault.

MY PINK IN RECLINE

I am the sexy beast,

a sad clown

facing

the constant wall

of repetitive repetition.

I’m a house in Missoula Montana

broken inside

my pink in recline.

My mailbox is clogged,

My friends are nowhere to be found.

What to wear to my tragedy?

The young girl’s cheek is hot,

I can’t even find her jacket in my closet,

I thought the worst, that I would forget it.

Skull folks always fear public perception,

I donate earplugs, the virginal haircut to them.

Horizontal hunters number their disappointments,

Under the lamp, a matchbook coffin.

THE SKY ANNOUNCES

The pain caves his brain

Like fast anxious fire

As

Outside,

The afternoon sun shines .

Nothing particularly untoward

reported . Only

A sense of the already been ,

The old islands of thought

Punctuated by angry siren swells,

stick figures and

Sweating somersaults of gloom…

But

There is a place and

There is a way that is

Better than possibility, the far-away sky announces

To this wreck it addresses

Whose head’s in the closet

In search for a bonnet

And  a perfect drink.

The light moves fractionally  (his head now out for a peek)

Yes, movement opens to a room in his parched

Brain, the pain subsides fractionally, and he hides for a beat

In  a synapse of reprieve  between his words.

‘Reshape this worldview ,’  the sky announces:

‘All is empty argument,’

Blinks the blue cool eye.

AUTUMNAL BLUES

And, yes

Around us everywhere

The golden note

Autumnal glory, as you please,

Messaging the possibility

That ease may arrive

All dressed up as Sunday.

I lay in wait for Godot

With the same stumbling quality

With no ideology

No compass, no certainty,

All the spiderwebs that lead me here

That left me here bereft

The question marks looming

The leaves used up

The casual way they spread.

Perhaps I am dead

Like them

I had a home once

Where I belonged,

Now on my own I beg

Something miraculous must come

Yes, like the glory around us suggests

We are something other than

Appearance dictates

And presses so hard against

The thin film to

Evanescence and escape

Only motion and peace

And no suffering in the end

There is so much time to contend

And I am so tired of calling for

Something

Something

I don’t even know

What anymore.

BECOMING

Sleepy in the afternoon,

sunshine bleeds thru my high windows.

Thank you for the transfusion this morning,

the digital dots that you connected,

as I sat by baffled by your sharp eye.

I felt like a statue (if statues could feel)

next to you and I was somewhat comfortable

with it. What is it about me? Have I become

totally redundant with age? Girls look at me now

with smiles that feel like charity, and I am

grateful for it. I thank everyone of them profusely.

Was it the aged Peter O’Toole who in a film begged

a girl for permission to sniff behind her ear?

I laughed then, but now I don’t! On the way out

modesty becomes us. It’s really all we have.

CRACKS

Between the cracks I live

In a world between worlds

In the space between words

Like a twilight dance

A summer romance

A part-time dude

Someone who knew

The secret clue

That slipped away

Between the cracks

In memory in fact

It is what it is

It was it will be

An encompassing view

Both eyes well lit

On the party prize

That says we never die

Don’t try don’t stress

It’s here in nothingness

Between the cracks

Between the acts

Below the world

In flesh and blood

In skylight swoop

Beyond despair

Here and there

And everywhere

HOW IT HAPPENED

We sit in opposition

Like cars gearing up for a

Game of chicken.

The wind blusters in your

Eyes, your piano voice comes

In crystals. I feel the years

Between us that have

Fallen off, revealing a hard

Skeleton  of love in place.

But

How  we try each

Other for fault! Your vanity,

my hands cut off at

The wrist. I have no

Stomach to pick through

These remains again or retrace

Plot points on the map

To here. I see it as a

Happy accident that

We have survived

Together at all,

Certainly not any of my

Doing.  Was it the god

Of inertia who intervened,

limited horizons pressing

Against motion?

Were we not brave enough,

and if so,

Has it not taken us down

A step?

Or

Was it something else entirely,

A flame of recognition

That held a mutual gaze

And burned everything else

Away?

SYLVIA (for Sylvia Plath)

SYLVIA PLATH

Sylvia,

You sat in the centre of an iron ring

distilling

 glass houses and jewelled windows

As clean as porcelain.

Your German brain made everything

An equation.

You heard children’s cries in the wires of

Your womanhood

And pictured horses tearing you

Limb from limb.

Why the auto-destruction?

Was Daddy calling out to you

From another region?

Did you have

A little girl’s need to sit at the feet

Of a killer?

Did you want star-power,

Your books sold on a scale unimaginable?

You always loved the feel of a winner.

Sylvia,

You are there

You have fallen into legend,

Biographies abound

Pale college girls sing their lipsticked praises

To your heartbreaks and your gilded monuments,

To Ariel, the Woman God in the Bible.

The yellowed pages of your poems

Still startle,

The intricate designs so finely wrought,

Miniature kaleidoscopes of thought,

Arctic inventions.

Mathematical  mirrored light.

You were a worker bee, alright.

Sylvia,

Your name rolls off the tongue

You were so young

Blonde bombshell,

Marilyn Monroe with an abstract eye,

You won’t ever die.

THE HORIZONTALIST

Lies flat or lays flat

Not a living thing on his mind.

Up or down like a pancake.

Down is better,

Down –

A tunnel into disappearance,

Space under the floor of the pillow,

Unlinked widespread

Carpets of form.

 

Practice sleep,

The one consolation.

Deep.

Neither hot nor cold

The neutral state

No body no taste.

Soundless music.

 

Up is different.

The sky’s the limit

A network of pinpoints,

Thought smudges

And crossed out plans,

Inhalations and breathed out

Despair.

Was she there?

Who was she?

Then spirals occur

And

Her face again becomes a blur.

Everything connected,

Everything infected with her.

Your head sits on a rock

And you’re tired.

 

You’re tired

But you don’t turn over.

THE ANGELS OF MAY

The angels of May make the seven

gray steps down and enter the clean sunlight.

Along the sidewalk, they move in pairs or in clusters

In solidarity on their way away from the severe

dark building where they learn to be good citizens.

 

In the ripple of Spring, in their plaid wraparound

skirts, sharply pleated, worn (their choice) up enough

to reveal burgeoning limbs caught between hem and

long socks, there are glimpses of the quality of

destination explorers have gladly died for: These are

perfectly in bloom art flowers!

 

Now, at lunchtime, they wave and frolic, dash and

dive, giving up squeals of  glee and bursts of temper

in gamely fashion under the city branches, some on swings

kick at the sky with outstretched legs, as if they wanted to

leave the world;  some sit in groups on the grass in bonding

arrangements, making sisterly gestures, at ease in their abstractions,

and on this oasis,  what secrets shared,  what plans hatched,

what crushes formed in their eager young hearts!

 

And when a silent bell sounds it is time to put down the recreations and

return to the cold building where instruction is bought for future advantage

when they will  be harnessed to their adult woes, although for the time being,

 they float automatically in procession, resigned to the remainder of their day

 like angels in the afternoon.

MY LOBOTOMY

Between the words there is rest.

Between the blizzard and the trunk full

Of rats

I pause.

 Before a crown of stars,

The afternoon glorifications.

 

Yesterday my brain was successfully removed

 Under fluorescent duress

 Inside the white room

By busy gowned chaperones

Whistling as they worked.

 Ten thousand glasses of water I ingested

At particular intervals between

 bouts of spittoon mouth and

Terrible outcries:

For revenge.

For mercy.

 

All of the procedures they followed

Scrupulously

No doubt.

My head now feels as slippery

As an olive.

So please,

Thank the team for me.

NO EXIT

Bitterness,

I have come to know you well.

I drink you every morning

as my coffee,

which is such a soothing mix

of warmth and sweetness tinged

With acid.

It asks:

What is it like to kill,

What would it be like?

Would it assuage the pain,

the nagging discontent

I carry as an invalid on my back?

Whom to bestow it on?

No one special,

only the act,

lancing the pimple, so to speak,

and the spray of white goo

on the mirror would suffice,

like my mother demolishing

my teenage acne,

with her scent nearby.

Is that a recipe for relief,

for the bitterness

that lives in my gums,

 jaws clenched and ready?

You may see it in the lips

Downturned, sullen,

a picture of contained rage

as a memory passes,

a regret perhaps.

Yet I do not know why

I carry such poisons. I know

all things are born to suffer,

to decay and die.

Does a flower know bitterness?

I am not above a flower,

only another evanescent thing

I encounter in the mirror.

But the rancour is static,

metallic, situated at the

bottom, a constant irritant,

the bullet that does not fire,

that has no focus, no target.

I have no real enemies, nobody

I harbour hatred for. I rarely hate people,

only myself on an occasional basis.

And why? I find no answer, I rather

appreciate me. Origins? I know this: I felt

it as a child when I knew nothing

about the past. Perhaps I inhaled

a generic truth somewhere along the line

that there is no Justice. Anywhere for anything,

and so we are stuck (I am not the only one)

in a perpetual state of futility, a swamp of impotence

that grates and itches and cannot really be relieved.

HAPPINESS (inspired by Donovan)

DONOVAN https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donovan

 

Happiness runs

Happiness runs on a magical ocean

Happiness runs on a mystical beach

Happiness runs thru you

And it runs thru me

It is freedom from

It is freedom to

All you’ve ever wanted

You have for free

See the balloons leaving now

The sky’s in place

With no specific destination

No reason for haste

We become suspended

In a private garden of space

 

Time has gone now

Gloom has disappeared

It is a world of appearances

As light as air

MANSON’S MUSIC

I live in this cell 23 hours a day,

One hour out for a shower.

 I walk the walk

I talk the talk

I watch time crawl

 all over me.

 

My brain,

 

 It’s plastic

Like the toys you sell.

I make it into little figurines

And give it to orphans,

Scorpions for Christmas

And Easter creepers.

 

Where am I from, you ask.

 

I was born in the toilet.

My mother fucked niggers.

I grew up eating buttons

For Sunday dinner.

 

Then I hit the street,

Slinked  down alley ways

After  stray cats.

Some people flagged me

And  I did a stretch at a boys’ school.

 When I tried to bust out

They stopped me and

Shot me in the hole.

 

From there it went

Home to home

I didn’t see the sun in years.

 

So,

 

Am I Jesus,you ask.

I suppose I am.

I grew into it.

I have died so many times

For  your sins.

Fact is

There is little else to do

In here.

 

And

 

I am also famous  for starting

World War Three.

With

My swastika heart

And Charlie Chaplin soft shoe

 

I became The Great Dictator.

 

Of course,

 

After all these years

You still find me quaint.

You send me notes.

You reinvent me

On MTV,

Where

Bug – eyed I smile

Through your bars

And dance for you

With knives in my eyes

Like a trained seal

For your applause.

 

But I have never lived in your

World.

Not really.

Nor cared to.

I live outside your laws.

I stayed honest.

 

And

 

My pride is hard.

You will never break it.

It is the only thing keeping me.

 

Otherwise

I might have flown away long ago

To windswept desert reaches

And places only the Spirit is

Privy to.

 

Because

 

actually

I am Indian

at heart.

Savage

 in nature.

You can see that In my clothes

And in my style.

And

If I have ever committed crimes

It was only to the unwise,

The upholders of all

Thin arguments.

 

I am

The Great Satan, you say.

 No, not that way.

Just your ugly face in the mirror.

You

keep me alive.

You

 keep me from you.

You made me immortal.

Beyond doubt

That

 Is

 true.

 

 

HATE THE SIN

You killed a little girl.

You slit her throat with a steak knife

And now you wonder how it all came about.

 

You were a thief

You loved Princess Di for her heart

You had never had any thought about killing anyone,

Especially a child.

 

Until that day

At that time

Under those circumstances,

 

It came over you like a blanket

Covered you in darkness,

The you of the kernel

 

The you you knew.

 

You became an unknown to yourself,

Whom you hated

Whom you loved

For a brief instant.

 

It made the killing easy

Until it kicked in

And it was too late.

 

The black dog of vile

Won the fight

 

The white dog of radiance

Fell asleep.

 

I don’t know who I became

But he has left me.

THE LION AND THE STRIPED CHILD

From my ball of stupor a glint at the edge

of my eye puts my limbs on notice. Stretch out,

neck swivels, sniff the air, nothing unusual here,

shadows, hardly a sound, nothing to fear or

get excited for, just par- my tired woolly life

in here. Go back down. Rest some more. But no!

There, in the distance, a little parcel, a striped little thing. Yes,

I remember, the way we were, a thousand years before,

the green world, the savannahs and skies, red and

bloody suns. We ran, my family and I, the ground flashing

under us, our blood pounding inside us. For the kill.

Everything tied to the kill. Things mattered then. I will. 

Shamble down, not to scare the little thing. Here. Such a sweet  marvel.

Plaything. Dear friend, as yet unaware. Mine, I swear. I reach

to touch the skin. It’s not there. I hurt myself instead. I’ll try again.

Same thing. Am I imagining this? I’m in a bad dream.

 I gnash my teeth, I want to break the screen.  I want to smash

 this dream. I want out. I want out of here.