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.)

=======================

WHY?

 

I just told someone something

I am sure will kill me.

In the end I will be dead,

But not dead enough to regret

What I said.

Yet what is the good of truth

When you come down to it?

It glares, it smashes your head against

Your most tender parts.

Its reverberations last

Well into the next dilemma.

Making enemies of even the kindest people.

 

I beg for release…

From truth.

Being ground down each new day,

Knowing it will end

End badly, probably,l

I am paralyzed and the only thing I can do

Is laugh…

And worst of alI

I have no idea

Why.

Strange sounds are the last things

I hear

And

Yes,

A groaned

“Why?”

Among these.

 

==================

L ‘WREN

L’Wren Scott

la-styliste-l-wren-scott_4858771

When the bird died

I cried

She was so long and lithe

Hung from her French door.

And the world sighed,

‘Why? She had everything.’

 

Everything is not nearly enough,

There is nowhere to go from there

No real air,

Everything marked up with checks

And squares

To convince oneself this is a life.

 

I suppose we convince ourselves,

We must. Otherwise

Hell meets us face first

To declare the worst.

How to survive?

She tried , but she

Is no longer alive.

Mort-de-L-Wren-Scott-devaste-Mick-Jagger-ecrit-Je-ne-comprends-pas_portrait_w674

=======================================================

UNANSWERED

I am waiting for something,

Waiting for something to emerge

Or end,

For the leaf in the wind

to divulge its secret

In this ground-down residue

Of a failed experiment.

 

At the wheel in restlessness

The signs that pass

Say nothing in earnest

The right books might as well

Have been written in Braille,

There is not a shred of evidence.

I cannot dress up in the past

I cannot rest

Until I find out

Whether all of this

Is not just a nuisance

But a test.

 

Still,

I will not have it burned in

That to love is sufficient.

Is the moment of birth equal to the moment of death?

I am inclined toward this thesis

Death is such a long process.

Will I wake up in the end

Or will I be oblivious?

 

In actual fact, this

is a matter of indifference

As long as I am not made to come back.

It is just that

Success has been less

Than the failure I’ve had.

Though I have no regret,

In the final breath

Failure is all we get.

================================

EGO

Prayer is beseeching

Prayer is supplicating

I

do not pray!

I demand

That

I listen

And

I act,

 

Focussing

On a fiery red sun

Somewhere low

Somewhere central

In an oriental mystery.

To sharpen recall

And destiny,

I command that energy.

 

Anyone anywhere,

Beware!

Your death is closer

If you think

To impose your order,

 

You are a mere impostor.

 

Step away,

You  are already invisible!

 

I  am

That higher power,

 

A  sovereign

Of

 

All  who I need

 

More and more

To see me

To adore me

To see me

For who I want to be.

============================

THE PAST PERFECT

It used to be like the first time

I ever saw anything

And now

It’s  not,

A bubbling back, a closed

system

You and I, Just all spinning round

Like in a modern dance

flailing away,

Amputated at the wrists.

Back then, I remember,

It was all there in the autumn

When I was still young and you

Were already a bundle of nerves on the wire

To your mother.

Some things change,

Some things stay the same.

================================

PROGRESS

The intermediary and the subject have fused

Into a person without blood ,

One perceived with eyes tilted down.

This other is me from far away

This other is you on the flat screen

Worn on your arm

To push away the world

To make you believe

You are not alone.

It is a way you have come to deal with terror-

The terror of the Void,

The terror of the foreshadowed.

So you dress up in distraction

To keep it at bay

Pay the Electronic Vampire

To keep you in its magnetic graces,

A blip in the atmosphere in sync

With all the friends you don’t know.

And you get sucked cleanly into this

Semblance of personhood.

What is left of being when

Everything can be denied by

A slight pressure?

Who are you if you can be anyone

And not be anyone real?

We do not need each other today

As long as we can go through

The motions instead, the body

now functioning on remote control in

This realm of the facile, a quicksand

In which we sink muttering banalities.

We have been taken over by a crafty

Master, who makes us think we

Are winning when we are losing

Almost everything.

THE SKY ANNOUNCES (2)

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.

========================================================================

THE SKY ANNOUNCES

Pain cave collapses brain

 Like fast anxious fire

As

Outside,

The afternoon sun shines steady,

Nothing particularly untoward reported

 in actuality-

A sense of already been –

Pain remembrances , the light

The islands of thought

Punctuated by angry siren swells

And  stick figures and already been

Sweating somersaults of gloom…

But

There is a place

There is a way

Better than possibility, the far-away sky announces

To the wreck it addresses

His head in the closet

In  hopes for a bonnet

And a perfect drink.

The light moves fractionally  (his head 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.

TODAY

Today  I am out of the loop

Out of the play
Out to lunch.
Today I am shiny
And No one knows it.
Today all the apples
Fall from the tree
And lay there.
No one
Not even the gardener
Picks them up.
The sky is blue
Thru my window.
The coast is clear.
Noises accost me
Outside me!
(I am not mad)
Today
I don’t need anybody
To tell me I am beautiful,
That my beard
Is just the right length.
Today I am private.
It is crazy the way people
Wear the” Do Not Disturb” sign
On their eyes.
Oh well…
Today
All the arrows point up
Despite the old miseries
And the new miseries.
What did we say in Scotland?
‘Keep on walking,
Don’t stop, don’t stop!’
Yet I need.
Today I need…
What?
I need…
Maybe just to forget.
No!
Not that.
I forgot

I forget too much already .
I need…
It is vague
Today
All about me is bright
And I need…
Oh well,
Maybe an end,
Maybe just an end.

RESPITE

The architecture of summer comes
in the form of the  perfect temperature
for your clothes
and the ideal lighting from
the window which is totally open .
So, you can light a cigar
smoke it in a dream
and  hear the swish of far away traffic
play on your pleasure zones.
Pain is on hold
Momentarily
And there is nothing to do
Except write about it.

GROWING DOWN

The belief of childhood is that
Clarity is attainable with age, that we
Will know it  eventually, so that we
Can bask in its glow, and braced with certitude,
Wear a banner of  unwavering attestation
On our sleeve. Be grown up. A god. That it’s good.
 
Who knew  the tedious, aching
Places grownups live. The sharp uncertainties
To which they are subject, the moans they
Are prodded often to voice?
If I had a choice, it would be to stay far away,
live well  in my unknowing ,  and  breathe  in
my garden of silliness.

EPHEMERA

What do any of us leave when
we leave this world except a
blemish, that is, a smear on the face
of Time that may appear further along
in the sphere of  someone else who recalls
its authenticity in the form of say a word, an
image, a remark, a posture of body that enters
likely by Chance thru a corridor of Memory in
association with other factors  or none
and then passes on again without us really
having had anything to do with it at all? We live on
despite ourselves in pieces and our fame,
justified or not,  prevails.

MEMO TO BILL (for William S. Burroughs)

( William S. Burroughs 1914-1997) 


William Burroughs

Voice

Of the afflicted

And the stoned,

I met you

one summer dawn

In a back alley on rue Ste. Catherine

Where a blonde Danish boy read passages

From  Naked Lunch to me

As I was easing my way down

From a tab of Blue Cheer LSD

Circa 1968.

We sat on black iron –grated tenement steps.

In the new light

A cat moved about

Below us.

I recall your prose clearly

Crackling in my brain,

The images searing into it

What otherworldliness this was!

Stranger still than the voyage

I was returning from.

The impression has remained for forty years.

I saw videos of you today

on You Tube

Sad and eternal

In typical proper suit and

Tie

And fedora.

“El Hombre Invisible?”

Not!

You cut quite a figure,

William.

You outshine the other boys.

I have tried to read all your books.

They tax the mind.

Today,

Of course,

We’re tired.

We like Harry Potter.

I know your appeal to me.

Beyond the brilliant prose,

It’s –

The thick-tongued St Louis delivery.

The silver cynicism,

The gangster authority.

You waited

Four months after brother Allen

Crumbled into Buddhist dust

Before leaving  us,

Too.

I hope

you are good now

In your dry bones,

Stoned still,

and

Free

Of

The  Ugly  Spirit

Past.

(July , 2008)