A SILENT SCREAM

Waiting is like dying

 Each moment steps away

 Into a tomb

 Never to return

 Even in memory

 Just a facsimile

 If that,

 While we labour on

 In existential uncertainty.

Awareness of this brings on

A silent scream:

 

Am I these exposed nerve endings

Am I this plodding mass

Am I this prisoner of false memories,

Or, actually, none of these?

 

I hope I deserve some sort of something.

Even if I have only fumbled

Lame attempts at this Game

All my long lifetime,

(or, all my lame lifetime this Game fumbled)

 

I have tried.

 

Even a taste,

A whisper in the wind…

APART NOT APART

In the bland wave of a sunny summer afternoon

I found my way,

An opening to happiness.

It amounted to acceptance

That she is a fact

And I am a fact

That we are separate and

That this is not negotiable.

We are true to our own DNA.

We come together in moments

In between the clouds in

A union so solid

That we know our love is real,

Then each go our own way

To face the murky reflections

In our mirrors.

FOUND AND LOST

Angel heart, I start to miss you.

You used to be so light and free.

You walked among trees

and lived on a hill.

You abided by the Law,

the one you discovered

a long time ago in the summer.

There was the girl,                                       

the one with whom you glided along

In the Laurentian air holding hands.

You saw a future in each other’s eyes,

one in which you took the

Path to Enlightenment together.

The world was easy to comprehend:

Famine Disease Misfortune,

there was a reason baked into the horror.

All the while you laughed and made love

and made light of everything.

Playing Jesus,

everyone was a brother.

You walked on air

until the winds shifted

and the snarling face of reality pushed

a hand thru to rip out

the person you had become.

You parted with the girl

with not as much as a kiss goodbye.

And then another you emerged, a darker you,

a heavier you, more cumbersome and questioning.

The world ceased to make sense.

From then it was drinks and drugs and prolonged

loneliness.

There was no going back, it seemed.

Angel heart,

I can’t situate myself to absorb you again,

to bring you back to me,

to see thru your eyes.

Love exists

but innocence is not available.

I am hungry and in pieces

but I remember.

NAUSEA

I felt dizzy today. I never get dizzy, I get nauseous, quite often, in fact. It comes from a place beyond my body, I won’t say my spirit but in that vicinity, and it travels inward and out at the same time. It tells me I might not be living, that part of me, a large part of me, is dead. And I walk around as this semi-corpse as if nothing is wrong and I say all the appropriate things and do all the necessary things even as I feel the need to vomit out disgust, (not despair) closer to rarefied revulsion, on my fellow passengers in our postcard voyage toward doomsday. And then I say why bother, it would just be a waste of fluids. Then I might eat a peach or tickle myself, or get to bed and steel myself against the impending darkness. I don’t have actual nightmares, but instead the dullest dreams imaginable that make me believe hell must be elongated boredom, an eternity of waste, a state of  neither pain nor pleasure nor feelings, and I must in the dream scream to get me out of this place. Of course, nobody hears me, mainly because everyone else is screaming the same thing, all silently in an orchestra of futility. The bars in my dreams are made of paper, yet I can’t leave, for some reason, I cannot relieve my sickness, my nausea. It is as if I were born to it, and I must survive. And always coiled in an anger that I do not discharge. I should have been…I think…I always thought I should have been a killer, maybe for profit, a gangster. a hitman that everyone admired for his smooth delivery. I imagine there must be a sweet cessation of pain at the point of murder for the giver as well as the getter and I could have taken either side enthusiastically. Kill or be killed. I would be comfortable in. Alas, it is too late for that! I am too old to whack anyone. And what follows in this confession? (It is bad form, after all, to inform that one hides a killer’s heart.) Let me add that I could blow away the human race in one breath if incited. I am a human atomic bomb. I should not be trusted with the Nuclear Code. As for this prevailing spiritual desolation, it is apt to inquire into a remedy, no? Is there one? People live with incurable illness all the time and do not resort to violence. It is perhaps a test of machismo that makes me think I can do the same. All manner of disturbance can be regulated to the degree that it is bearable. Most of us inhabit a frontier space between sickness and health. anyway. I might just be entertaining a mild cold as far as spiritual sickness is concerned. I might just get over it, in some future life, perhaps. Suck it up. As they admonish in the military. Am I that weak that I can’t take a spell of spiritual desolation?  Do I have the right to whine as a civilian? Yes, the questions, yes, the recriminations that go on, that never end, that latch onto each other like train cars, with no answers, no solutions, no sense. Until I realize the absurdity, that nothing is answerable, that our lives are made up of only question marks, not even periods, other than death, and the realization makes me laugh and laugh and laugh, and I am still laughing when I have my fatal heart attack.

ORDINARY GERMANS

Why ordinary Germans became killers

During the Holocaust is something

I have thought about.

There are books on the subject.

There are a number of reasons.

There are probably as many reasons

 as there were killers.

What is certain is it takes a certain mindset

To be capable of murdering indiscriminately

Humans you don’t know, have never seen,

Have nothing personal against.

Yes, there was a process of brainwashing,

But one does not brainwash an adult quite

That easily.

One does not excise the emotions and conscience

Of adults to this degree in such a short time.

Everyone knows one must demonize

The victims,

It happens in all wars, always has.

Except that the ordinary German killers managed to murder

Large numbers of humans up close, often face to face, often

mothers and fathers holding their infants, any of whom were

Never a threat to them personally.

That requires a true lapse of empathy.

What could they have been thinking, feeling, seeing

When they looked later at their own children?

It has been shown that empathy is inborn, those who

Lose it become aliens, sociopaths.

Are we to believe that ordinary Germans were either of these?

Are we to believe they were robots?

Are we to believe that we would not be capable of these same acts?

HATE CRIMES

Hate is

Love is

Many hate hate

Many love to hate

Many more love

Is hate an absence?

Perhaps it is a force

Equal to love,

Or greater.

It elevates those who hate,

It consolidates them.

Their muscular spirits

Laser in over a target

And act.

It matters not who or what

But that it be destroyed,

And to no end

Other than the act,

The one.

And what results

Is cried over

But not understood.

Do we hate the hater?

We do,

Which causes more hate.

Hate is as old as the earth

Itself. It is survival,

Dominace,

No one will destroy it

No one will change it.

It is

Everything man stands for.

HUNGER INDICATES LACK

Hunger indicates lack.

Hunger for anything, really,

Tells us we are incomplete,

 

 Our anxiety requires some state

 In order to be at ease.

 

This constant

Unease is the root of invention,

The cause of civilization.

 

 But humans hunger

 For what result?

 

Temporary satisfaction

And then on to the next

Quest.

 

And so it goes in constant

momentary aspiration-frustration.

 

Religion assuages some

Love can too.

Yet the heart of this matter

Is even more mysterious:

 

We hunger to cast off

Our human form,

To become

Someone else, something else.

 

Transformation is the end game.

We are sick of being human,

We have exhausted our possibilities.

THEN WHAT?

The grim spring of my old age

April May is a time to be born and

I sit there like a plant expecting the sun to shine

in the rain..

Where to find comfort in this world? My mother

died long ago. I should dig her up. I should

hold her close. I remember the comfort I

felt on her lap driving down the street, cars splashing us.

 Maybe if I still smoked cigarettes. The first drag

and I was a baby again. Just thinking about

it made me start to cough.

 

Maybe comfort is too much to ask.

You would have to be on a permanent drug-high

for that.  Then what? I should become religious

and put it into Jesus’s  hand. Let Him do the

heavy lifting.

What I need is a job where I can help people. Help

them what? Be as dissatisfied as I am? I am hardly

a model for others. I resign.

 

 I am looking outward, which always

causes glare.  I am going to have to look inward.

 

There is no home inside. All the rooms are vacant, dusty,

the smell of old paint, the wind thru broken windows

blowing newspapers around, hinges creaking.

It is like listening to a baby crying without stop for something.

Just need blaring away like a siren. And there is no answer.

Nobody is home. Nobody gives a shit.

The baby will eventually stop crying.

Then what?

 

At my age (72 and a half), there isn’t much room for the future.

Whoever thought I would get to half that number?  

I should be grateful for a full and pain-filled life.

But here I am complaining. I do that well.

I can complain about anything at any hour.

I highly recommend it. It is rather cleansing.

 

UNTITLED

He sings like a demon on fire

He moves like a wildcat in heat

When he stands still he can even make the women weep

So give reign to your pain and your anger

Get up and throw off your blues

Get a monkey to befriend you

You’re right to say you’ve paid your dues

I don’t remember the man I used to be

Now I’m tired but I’m nearly free

I never look in the mirror

I don’t even want to see

Something coming up around the corner

Get a jump on me

Yes I can feel it in my ears

All I can say is I don’t want it to be

Something more than a tragedy

To all my friends in a tree

Singing your songs for me

You give me heart you bring me ecstasy

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

I WANT TO BE

I want to be inspired

But inspiration hides under a pile of soiled clothes.

I want to be in demand

But I’m not the man I used to be.

I want to be completely me

But I don’t know where I permanently stand on anything.

I want to do what I’ve forgotten to do

But I can’t remember what that is.

I want to be on a tropical twist with A.

But she has her obligations.

I want to get back all the wasted time

But it’s time I stopped trying to do that.

I want to be free

But from what and for what?

I want to be able to love unconditionally

Everyone everything even myself.

I want to want something,

I mean really want like I’m on fire for it.

 

Despite these wishes, I’m a reasonably happy person,

Which I don’t ascribe to all the drinks and dope.

FATAL ATTRACTION

The wide blanket that covers it all,

I have a heart for you.

The dream has always been

to ride the skin that is your game,

The sad markings thrown away.

In any climate I make a vow:

I will not change my quest for you,

Your lullabies that bring on sleep.

I leave my gift at your doorstep.

I have no more appetite for loss.

This pales before your promises,

The great defeat of unhappiness

That trails along a cool white sheet

With whispers down an avenue.

Between your pear-like breasts

I lay my head

I lay aside my childish scorn

In you I will be torn

Outside of time and flesh,

An exquisite Nothingness.

You are always there

In the glare and in the dream.

From your constant womb of white

The perfect crown of a perfect life

You beckon to watery steps

With an air of indifference,

Or down into the arms of earth

Where we relinquish our flimsy truths

Of the noises that were us

The stances and the spasms spent

on happenstance.

You open your legs to this.

It is your fragrance that overcomes

my weariness.

In the dream I have seen

Your lipstick is reminiscent:

The smile.

I am afraid.

Outside of myself I watch myself

In my drugged state

Tethered to another life,

A weaker life,

I shudder.

You fade, removed page by page.

Over oceans of time,

You disappear.

I am clear

And alone.

It is another day:

I watch the sun rise.

SURVIVAL AND SOME

He huffs and he puffs and he blows
The house down
He sings for his supper
He’s a rare clown

He has a girlfriend who hates him
She has good reason to
She calls him a transparent fake

And a certified Jew

Not a juggler or philosopher
He ever was
Not a lover of the lofty life
That was just buzz

He always salts his beans
and peppers his hair
He comes on time
And pretends to care

But he doesn’t really want
To save the world
That’s just a line
If the truth were told

He has a crush on Satan
Not a thing for Christ
He calls himself an agnostic
Unless it’s a bad night

He’s been a con-man forever
Never held down any job
He’s done time for nearly everything
And has no connection with the mob

Though you’d never suspect it
He has a tender side as well
He blows kisses to the moon
From his apartment in hell

His childhood was rather lazy
Though it’s gotten sort of hazy
His family was middle-rung
His mother was slightly crazy

His father was a barber
Who liked his steaks rare
His mother was a janitor
With a big pile of hair

As a boy he always played
On the wrong side of the track
As a girl he always played
With the leader of the pack

Then came the crash
In his late teenaged years
The suicidal mission
The solitude and fears

That landed him in the middle
Of a psychological ward
With old people who slobbered
While they played cards

This was just the place for him
To chill out and think
This was just the place for him
To get fat and pink

The doctors had the cure
For the illness in his head
Stringy food and pills
Yellow green and red

Which cheered him so much
He slowly exploded
Into the next century
All arsenic coated

He eventually straightened out
His curves and his kink
Went straight for the bottle
And started to drink

The years have not always been kind
to this boy
The poisons that he swallowed
The means he had to employ

To keep right on going
The measures he took
Were not easily come by
Were not found in a book

If it all works out in the end
It’s too soon to tell
He’s not dead yet
And he’s close to being well

What is true for certain is
That he’s paid his dues and some
What is less sure is why
He didn’t turn around and run

There isn’t much to gain
By beating a dead horse
There isn’t much left
Besides dying of course

Whoever may want to take a lesson
From this saga and this man
Might just as well forget about it
As fast as they can