LOVE THE INSANE

Love the insane

They sleep in a garden of fire

Their dreams are as alive as gold

They speak in foreign tongues

And drink the music of the spheres

 

Love the insane

As they pass you in the street

And touch you with a killer’s glance

Their rags represent perfect pictures of what

You are in fact

 

Bless the insane

They carry your pain on their backs

They know things that you only suspect

Their wisdom is as old as the earth itself

 

Your food does not sustain them

Your jobs do not pay them well

They house an army of men in their bones

Shattered glass is their home

 

When you look into their eyes hold their gaze

Let the child in you escape

And touch a place

That may not even exist

 

Don’t put on your face

You are a dream to them

A body and a hand

Gracefully let it all expand

 

Love the insane

Let your cold heart fill with a furnace of blood

And

Be grateful

Be still

THE MAN WITH NO VOICE

What can we say to the man with no voice? We hear you still, your nagging, coughing ways, your hunchback array of fineries. Your wild eyes and ambition crippled in the bud. You sound beyond the hypnotic mass of mediocrities. You reach the crux of our half yearnings. You investigate the caverns of out sheltered hearts. You are the voiceless voice that captures us in our sleepy wanderings. Hail to the underground pulse!

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…

BLACK – an homage to Beaudelaire

I turn my back on black

I exclude her from my home

She has been trouble from the start

She has ruined a good man’s heart

 

She came to me long ago

Who she was I did not know

What she promised me was nice

 Then led me on a trail of vice

 

That took me to a land of woe

I gave up everything to her

Desires dark and terrible

Caused decency to crumble

 

I turned on love’s sweet side

It never had a chance

Hatred was a constant whip

Black held in her grip

 

I crawled over broken glass to her

To the jungle where she lived

I transformed into a predator

I killed and maimed for her

 

Every prize I sacrificed

Took me further from myself

I had a wife who waited for me

What I was I could not be

 

Was this man a monster

It seemed so in the mirror

Despicable and deformed

Into black’s visible creature

 

That turmoil within me

 Finally broke me to the bone

Armies of confusion

 Against ultimate reason

 

Then one day I woke from this dream

That black had sent to me

She knows my mailing address

Will I ever be free

AN UNSEEN FRIEND

An itch you cannot bear

An itch you can’t repair

It tortures you at night

The day is just not right

 

Where did my spirit fly

Did my spirit die

I know no reason why

I never told her a lie

 

Please come back in some form

I am so forlorn

I’ll make it up to you

I’ll be your pawnshop Jew

 

The Quest is so obscure

There really is no cure

For the shadow flaw

For the animal in the raw

 

You’ve been an unseen friend

I will love you to the end

Of my voyage on this earth

For whatever it is worth

 

In a moment before dawn

I will find your finger on

A word that must be said

Whether black or red

 

The future is so certain

I stand behind this curtain

With no definite views

I pick up nobody’s cues

 

Am I right or wrong

Am I playing the wrong song

Did I fall into a well

Will I ever get out of hell

 

I have no time to spare

For what I cannot bear

My days are getting few

My voice is ringing true

 

I’m so happy I am old

I never do what I am told

I never eat the common dish

Whether salad meat or fish

 

I don’t believe in anyone

I just believe in One

A jewel before my eye

I see you and I cry

 

You play the utmost Melody

From your branch in the tree

One two and three

Into the heart of me

 

My Muse come back to stay

I can’t bear another day

To be apart from You

When I never know what’s true

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.

A SORT OF MARRIED COUPLE

I try to picture us on beds,

you on a bed of roses

me on a bed of nails.

Still, we are here together as before and

before that,

a sort of married couple

who live at separate addresses

and meet for dinner and snacks.

I drink liquor and you plan my heart attack.

I have problems and you have nerve attacks.

What a pair, what a team

we present!

Even if we live in different worlds

until we have to pay a bill.

I feel good knowing you’re well,

You feel good when you give me hell.

Then I go into action mode,

I have a new knife, you know.

All is settled in a minute, though.

And we come together as lovers should.

We kiss and cuddle on the rug,                                         

And you plan tomorrow,

I just shrug.

But we are more alike than different, you know.

We were brother and sister in another life.

We toiled the ground and lived on a farm.

We made friends with lots of breeds.

In Italy, everyone has peculiar needs.

But back to now in 2021.

Our love is strong and tough.

We are old, but we give enough.

You are still lovely.

A mask of the sun,

your light is strong.

I wear dark glasses and hope I’m not wrong.

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.

THINKING ON BUKOWSKI

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Bukowski

I’m not as bad as I think I am, and

I’m not as good as I want to be.

I don’t think you’re that good either,

Actually,

Though people love you

 Even as you scorn them,

Revere your sickness

And you secretly don’t believe

They do.

And I keep coming back

To your poetry

Wondering what all the fuss is about,

Wanting to appreciate the magic

I think I’m missing,

And see sleight of hand instead.

Shaking my head, I put the book down

And I say to myself that

A drunk 10 year- old could have written that,

And I feel jealous of this 10 year-old.

Your words don’t touch me, old man.

I can appreciate your naked cynicism,

I’m a cynic too,

But I get hate for being one and

You get accolades for it.

I’ll keep going my own way

Hoping maybe something will turn over.

And I guess, if I’m being honest, believe

We will meet in a bad dream one night

And have it out.

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?

TO ANTHONY BOURDAIN

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anthony_Bourdain

He made us laugh

He drew us in

He left his imprint

On our screen

And then he was gone

One day

By his own hand

One early summer day

In a French hotel

Anthony Tony

Chef and seeker

Bringing love

And food

From disparate

Locations

Into our lives

We miss those CNN

Evenings

Those recipes

For brotherhood

With cultures

Around the globe

Those sparkling dishes

And easy conversations

You had a rare talent

For empathy that

Broadcast to viewers

What tragedy

That you end this way

Who might have

 Seen it coming

We hope you are in

A better place Anthony

Rest in peace

Friend

THE TRUTH ABOUT AGE

This is a sign of old age:

It is a sense that you have

Seen it all before. There is

Nothing new under the sun.

The repetition freezes you.

But, of course, this is all bullshit.

You know this to be true. Yet

You may cling to that false message.

What you need is adventure,

Which may be had even sitting

In one place. Each moment is actually

Brand new and there is no such thing

As age.

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.

WHAT HAPPENS AT NIGHT

What comes up from the depths Is not invited.

The cold hard facts from the ocean’s floor arrive

as a host of information

like gate crashers at a  wedding

to remind the bride and groom

that sores fester beneath their fine clothes,

 

and secrets linger in dusty hallways,

bones  decomposed  in some forgotten room

undisturbed by sunlight.

 

This pale hand of guilt operates to tweak the

functioning machinery of day

so that

We are laid bare and picked apart,

 subjected to voices speaking in bewildering tongues.

 

The faces of night reflect in mirrors manipulated by

an insane projectionist, a sort of god of randomness

 

And

If there once was a whole man he has been  splintered into shards

swirling in flux under our lids.

We have slipped from brave front to the helplessness

of the dead.

 

The night examines  wounds,

 packages of grief  pulled from corners and dragged to centre stage

 that may set hearts thudding and terror to spring.

 

There is no armour strong enough to protect us

from ourselves .

THE FIRST DRINK OF THE EVENING

Margarita,

Your 4 syllables thrill, they chill me.

You are a celebration,

 a marching band down my throat.

Your lips, satisfyingly salty,

Then comes the squash of lime

Joined by a sweet liqueur.

They dance deliciously

To the overall

Tune of the agave,

Oh, agave!

Blue agave

Desert notes that brace.

I can finally breathe.

Margarita,

You are always fidele,

I am never put off.

You settle me

I need more, more of your cold love,

My dear.

I must trick out fresh cubes.

Second rounds, please.