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.

APHORISMS

FOXROCK, IRELAND

                                                       FOXROCK, IRELAND

IF…

If people could ever feel the full immensity of the horror of life at once it would make them explode.

If misery loves company it must be very happy.

If too many people like me, I think I must be doing something wrong.

If you are not crazy in this life there is something wrong with you.

If you can’t help yourself, you should try to help somebody else.

If life is a becoming, then death cannot be an end.

If only the dead could hear what we say of their home.

If human beings are naturally cut off and isolated it is because we have a body.

If you’re not pushed or pulled you aren’t going anywhere.

BEING YOUNG… GETTING OLD

When you’re young you don’t see things clearly; when you’re old you don’t want to see things clearly.

The only advantage in being young is that you look better.

The young always have to have their own reality and it has to be superior to yours.

One good thing about getting old is that you come to realize that most things don’t matter.

Aging means becoming less and less until there is eventually no more left.

As life proceeds people often become less alive.

In the early 21st century heroes no longer exist for many young people.  This suggests a disturbing lack of  ignorance on their part. A hero is a hero only when we don’t know all about him.

WOMEN

 

A big advantage women have over men is that they don’t think about sex as often.

Why are there so few female philosophers?  Maybe women don’t like to waste their time.

Beautiful women get tired of being thought beautiful. They must also distrust beauty in others.

Women are superficial when it comes to themselves and profound when it comes to the opposite sex.

It is true than men hate and fear women. Who wouldn’t hate someone who used to be their childhood jailer and dictator?

Ugly women must carry lots of rage.

I often think that women think men are idiots they have to tolerate just long enough to get pregnant.

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.

MONEY

Money is a bandage on a wound that never heals.

Money is the most popular girl at the dance, but once she is spent she turns into an old lady.

The profit motive is at the bottom of all action.

The only time money is important is when you don’t have enough of it.

The fastest way to get somebody to like you is to give them money.

Money and death are two sides of the same coin. Most people choose to look at one side rather than the other.

The chief advantage of being rich is knowing how little value money really has. The poor can live under a comfortable illusion.

I would like a percentage from anyone who casts me in their fantasy.

Shouldn’t there be a tax on using up oxygen? You should have to give back some sort of something, say, a good deed.

Capitalism is the expression of our natural greed; socialism is supposed to be the expression of our natural benevolence. Let’s wonder which is stronger.

Wasting time is called time spent doing something that will not bring you gain, as if gain is the only thing worth striving for.

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)

ME, ME, ME

After work I like to go right home and have a couple of stiff ones. Then I usually have a drink.

Nobody knows you when you’re down and out. Nobody knew me when I was” up” and” in” either.

I don’t think I would have minded being a knight during the Middle-Ages. It must have been fun  to have sex with all that armour on.

When I look at myself in the mirror I still see a sexy guy. Maybe I should go fuck myself.

I have a love/hate relationship with the mirror, but I always hate myself.

I am between a rock, a hard place and a harder rock.

I always tend to misquote myself.

Life is hell, but I wish I were immortal.

Sometimes I get to the end of my rope and I have to go out and get more rope.

Am I getting paranoid, or is my skin really following me?

Death is a good thing. If I didn’t know I was going to die, I would hang myself.

I went up to a girl on the street once and I said to her, “You never heard of me but you will soon.”  That’s when I got hit by a snowplough.

I really liked this girl. I told her once poetically, “I feel like a candle on fire for you.”  She blew me off.

I was having psychological problems and finding a girlfriend was not easy, I finally met a girl. She tried to help me with my problems. She said to me once, “ Don’t waste time hating yourself. There are lots of other people already doing that.”

I wasn’t the coolest kid in high school. I didn’t have the shiniest bike or the latest clothes. But I had my dignity. I would not ask the same girl for her phone number more than five times.

Nobody liked me at school. At the cafeteria at lunch I would go up to a group of kids and ask can I sit with you? And a kid would say,” What do you mean by sit?”

Girls. I always liked them but I didn’t have much luck. I just loved their long silky hair and pretty fingernails, especially when these were attached to their bodies.

People can be cruel. I told a girl once. “You are the light of my life. ”She said, “Well, I think it’s time you discovered sunshine.”

I have come to the point where I have been disappointed so many times with so many things that I expect to be disappointed, which makes it a disappointment when it doesn’t happen.

Believing in something is important. But I’ve been disillusioned so often. I used to believe in God. God let me down. I used to believe in people. People let me down . Now I believe in animals. I’m an Animal Rights guy. I joined the club. I only hope I don’t get disillusioned with them as well. Where could I go from here?  Take up a vegetable cause?

DEDICATED POEMS (for Anne Sexton)

                                         

Your ambition bird will fly on for eternity.

TOMORROW’S PROMISES (for Anne Sexton)

What beckoned,
What called
must have been stronger than
blood,
overriding
Stale argument.
I imagine
a black rose

Pungent
Irresistible,
A circus barker
Promising
marriage
and
Peace,
A stepping down.

LADY ANNE LEADS  (for Anne Sexton)

Anne Gray Harvey
You touch me plenty,
I’m stalking your ghost.
You,
of the Greta Garbo mold
Sold me on the dark plunge.
You make it look so easy.

I love your words,
though
“Love” is too mild:
They eat at the core of my
Obsessions.

Even if we are family
I would steal your gift
In a heartbeat if I could.
Your casual utterances
And kitchen talk
Make me weep,
Your bullets that go down
in Technicolor.

Why did you get with A.?
Was it for the Sexton?
One day,
lost in a cigarette haze
you couldn’t help yourself.
You queer witch,
You know you always
Needed it.

We were born apart.
Time made us strangers,
You and I.
You’re gone somewhere else now,
The much desired place
While I’m still here
Dying to find out
What you already know.
Is it fun and games?
Is it still hell?
Anne,
I do hope you’re well.

 

AMANDA TODD

Amanda Todd

There is a part missing

We will never understand

The space inside and the space

beyond

The way the signs collide

If there are any signs at all.

She was her mother’s favourite

A child as fresh as a meadow’s breath

With aspirations and infatuations

that made her death

 

One of those the Fates intended

To fall into strangers’ hands

To be marked for her simple manner

The way she loved and the way

She danced.

 

The vile reaches of a vacuous public

The product of a bankrupt estate

Ripped at this flower on a constant basis

Until not much was left to chance.

 

She withstood their brutal plundering

In the shadows of the human touch

A martyr for what is decent

In an age of much mistrust,

 

She trusted

 

The lies hurled by rabid children

Against her reputation and grace

wounded her once too often

Touched her in a tender place

 

And caused a commotion of feelings

To rise up from her core.

She eventually succumbed to the bleakness

She could no longer endure

 

Yet not until she had relayed her story

In a most public domain

Did anyone go out of their way

To try to understand the pain

Of the ages

 

The plight of the young

The mysteries of a hatred

That is with us so strong.