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?

IF YOU WERE MINE

If you were mine

I would advise you

To wear your skin

Like a window

Lightly and transparent

Revealing

A hard flower underneath

Cultivated thru discipline.

You are just nineteen

And you relish all eyes

On your surfaces

A radiance that sings

like the sun.

What glory to behold

For a moment in the day!

But you can I know

Feel the harsh reaches of time

Already clawing from close- by.

Don’t deny

that you can

And if you can’t you will

be shattered.

So be wise

Be wise and be kind

And find

A  centre.

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.

SKELETONS

Capture d’écran, le 2022-04-08 à 10.19.07

Skeletons don’t have problems. I always knew this, so I joined Weight Watchers in order to lose all the weight I needed to in order to become one. It took me 3 years, during which I refused to eat anything heavier than a cracker, and getting so thin my friends and family deserted me, claiming I was less than the person they used to know. But I persisted, and one day I was on my exercise regime jogging along the sidewalk when an enthusiastic gust of wind pushed me up onto a tree branch. Nobody could see me up there at all, and I had to shout at some people to get me down, which caused them to surmise there was a ghost in their midst. Finally I died a pathetic death from a disease I cannot pronounce. I am now a skeleton in the dark with no problems, but with no fun weekends either.

AM I A BAD PERSON OR JUST NOT GOOD?

Capture d’écran, le 2022-03-06 à 13.44.52

Dear Ron,

I am starting to wonder about myself. I feel terrible when I hear anything good that people say about my friends. Am I a bad person or simply not good?

Not Good

Dear Not Good,

I would say you are neither bad nor not good. People need to feel terrible when other people tell them how great their friends are. The fact is you probably know your friends better than the jerks who are telling you how great they are and you know that they are not so great when push comes to shove. In fact, when push does come to shove they, these (double up-finger pinch) good friends, would likely push you off a cliff in flea sweep rather than inconvenience themselves.  Opinions! Opinions! Everyone has them. Everyone’s an expert.  I say haha to that. You know the truth, so stick to your guns. Feel terrible.

I hope this helped.

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.

TELEPATHY IS FOR SHOPPERS

Capture d’écran, le 2022-03-06 à 13.44.52

Dear Ron,
Do you think mental telepathy is for real? Like, for example, you are thinking about somebody and  at that moment they call you. I have had that experience and sometimes wonder if it was just coincidence or if our thoughts are connected.
Wonderer

Dear Wonderer,
This is a question for Dr. Aldous Dimly, the noted thinker and parapsychology maven. I contacted Dr. Dimly at his home in Key West, where he was researching the chicken and the egg question on his private beach, and Dr. Dimly was kind enough to speak on this subject while lotioning himself.
Dr. Dimly suggested to me that thought is indeed in the public domain. A person might think that he is only thinking, but the hard facts are that he is sending telegrams all the time. These may include words, pictures, and even recipes.
All of it is just out there and it is just like browsing at the mall, he says, looking at all the things to buy, and then bingo, a person goes into a store and buys, just out of the blue, buys something. Well, where did the decision to buy that particular object and not another come from? It is Dr. Dimly’s contention that there was nonverbal communication that took place, some thought force out there in the atmosphere which made a case for said object and not any other. Dr Dimly calls this the  X Force. He calls it that because x is Dr. Dimly’s favourite letter.
Now who actually sent that message and why? Well, those are questions that Dr. Dimly intends to spend a lot more time on the beach investigating, but he intimated to me when I pressed him on it that messages comes from the most unlikelyl sources, let us say, just another face in the crowd who at that moment was sending the message, “pressure cooker,” which reached the consumer and caused him to go right into a hardware store and pick up that pressure cooker. Dr. Dimly says price rarely has much to do with consumer spending because price tags are generally too small.
What can we take from this, Wonderer?  I, for one, came away from my telephone call with Dr. Dimly fairly convinced that there may be something to this business of mental telepathy and the sending of thought. I can also say that I came away from our conversation with an intense ear ache as a result of Dr. Dimly’s ferocious vocal chords. I hope we have added to the debate, Wonderer.

THE CHILD DEPRIVED

The child sees the back of her moving away from him across the room, for no reason to him, the door opens and she disappears. She is no more. But he remains on his hands and knees handling the glittering objects on the floor, which lay scattered about and draw him in; but soon somewhat less so, and the space around him turns white. A knot inside of him tightens, and a groan explodes at his chest, lengthening upward and eventually escaping his throat. It is a burst of yearning that is immediately relieved with tears, which spill until he tires. Worlds pass, and nothing. There once was a giantess that loomed and encompassed him with her soft folds. Everything was absorbed into her. She danced and the movement pleased him. He was not alone. He is alone now. This realization sends a swarm of black-winged creatures fluttering through him that bend his vision outward. The outside smiles crookedly back at him. Nowhere is safe. The child will continue. He may survive, though most likely, only part of him.

THE OUTSIDE

The bleeding words of our fathers intersect the exigencies of the moment, as we keep tripping over ourselves in the seasickness world of every day. The great going forward into the outside, the dust of light, chimera and the arid spaces, the distant mirages, meetings and misunderstandings, missteps and footprints, reverberations and regrets, glancing against our will into rear-view mirrors, the images fading though not quite disappearing completely. Everything is outside, separate, set against us, a cause for mastery or evasion, the clock ticking constantly in our sleep, while what arises unbidden from the seabed is no more than random explosions, the ramblings of a lunatic machine. Questions? We do not even know what to ask anymore. All of the wrong questions have been answered wrongly, all of the right questions have never been answered. And nobody wants to be the last person standing. There is no inner world anymore, nowhere to get lost, to hide, only surfaces on screens that blip endlessly, idiotically, providing false information and dangerous messages. We may well all end up, just go out muttering inanities to our pretend friends. All this is played out against the canvas of the new normal, just another day in a fresh century, which is billed as for the best and guaranteed to please. Of course, the past still has its sway. The primitive appetites and ferocious outcries, DNA that rings sharply from its origins. The ape and the robot have been caught in an embrace. We can all live this, grotesquely replacing defective organs, staying young and void separately. This is the dream. This is the end game in the nightmare that won’t end. The truth is nobody really thinks it will come to this. It is too much for the brain to fathom. Thus it is denied as we fall deeper into darkness. In fact, it is only in the darkness where it can be tolerated at all. Nobody wants to spotlight the monstrosity, the gigantic elephant in the room, who may one day remember who he is. When one does not recognize inner space, all things become a commodity and all beings become possessions, alien to one another. It is not important to even try to understand. And if this leaves a vacuum, it is filled with pieces of death, so that we are stiffened in frozen blood and indigestible ideologies. To conquer death we must first die inside. In order to survive the prevalent mindscape, we must first turn ourselves into mobile corpses in lockstep toward the vague horizon.

VIAGRA SOUNDS BUTCH TO ME

RON’S WISDOM SALON: 

A fictional advice column

Dear Ron,
What do you think about Viagra and Cialis? I don’t mean the effects, I am talking about the names. “Viagra” sounds butch to me, while “Cialis” has a wimpy, shrivelling, effeminate ring to it. Don’t you think the admen for this pill could have come up with a better signature?
Bumsy

Dear Bumsy,

I think you are correct. When I hear” Viagra” the word vigor comes  to mind. I feel I could just tear the shirt from my thickly curled chest hair, tighten my colostomy bag, and lay with the nearest  pretty milk maid . On the other hand,  when “Cialis” is pronounced I hear water dribbling down the drain in my head.  One is steak the other pudding, if you will.
These ad people! I can just imagine them huddled in some dank basement spewing out names only to settle on this loser. Then you and I have to sit through endless TV commercials that make us want to let go of supper.
I feel sorry for those men that need to buy Viagra and Cialis in order to bolster their equipment and I feel fortunate not to be among them, mainly because I no longer have sex.  I would much rather spend my time these days gobbling up a plate of spaghetti and meatballs with a side shaker of cheese. The sex act is much overrated in my opinion.
I mean why would any man want to spend time inserting his where –he- goes- to- the- bathroom into a woman’s where-she—goes to the bathroom?  It would do him much more good to aim it at the pee pot.  At least that would amount to a bit of relief before shaking off the socks and calling it a night. I hope this answered your question and I wish you few holes on your own bed of nails.

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