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

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?

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.

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.

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

I SEE ME YOU SEE ME

I am this to me. I am that to you. This is the real me because I know myself better than you know me. I have spent longer with myself than you have spent with me and I know me at a deeper level than you know me. This this is me, this I is not. This I is merely an observer, just as you are an observer of that. When you tell I that this is that, I don’t understand you because I never see that when I am looking at me. I only see this. It is not that I don’t want to see that. It is not that my mirror is broken, it is only that I don’t see it. Don’t you see this? How can you show me that that is me? You define that and then expect I to see it but you see me thru eyes that are not innocent. Your eyes want to see me like that, they need  that. You see me with eyes that are less than honest, at least less honest than my eyes because I don’t need to see me like this. I don’t have a problem with it. At least I don’t have as much of a problem with it as you do. I could easily see me as that if I could see it. But you could not see me as this even if you could see it. Why I say that is because you have more to lose by seeing me like this than I have to lose by seeing me like that. I may have something to lose as well but I don’t mind losing as much as you do. It wouldn’t bother me to lose if I could see it your way. But I can’t so I won’t. What I want is for you to see me like I see me. That would make I happy. Then I would feel good about me and about you. Understand me. See me correctly. Don’t lie. Be honest. I don’t want you to see it my way just to please I. It would please I only if you could really see me this way.

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.