Alone (Schooltown Downtown)


ALONE (SCHOOLTOWN, DOWNTOWN)
Lying in bed with the sound of rain on a tin rooftop,
space heater churning blue flame and little heat,
the sour smell of night sweats on a paisley bathrobe,
Chopin nocturnes escorting Night into her bedchamber.
Dawn sleepily moves across the landscape, and with this
the day breaks upon the city, day breaks upon the already
melting snows. Blue sky and cardinals, green pines shrugging
the cracked ice off, and bend, bend, bend, creaking,
seems it’s me not the trees creaking, leaning towards
the kitchen and all the ways of waking that are waiting there.
Funny, the way the voice shakes in a hushed stage whisper
as it moves in pitch towards the bellow and shout,
towards the un-muffled, the hallelujah yeah that says
this is the moment: a place I’d like to stay.
Step outside on the warped pine front porch, well, well,
the eyes start to focus through espresso steam
and Camel smoke,
and it seems out here all the roads connect
on a downtown trek that’s ever and always leading somewhere,
and I look and look and look at the streak of wires
suspended and swaying beneath the weight of winter winds,
they too are going and they’re not coming here…
And for this minute the dawn tastes good, it tastes like life.
Yellow sun rests on the wet roofs and lawns, gleaming, awake.
A car door slams, a car shifts gears and slides to a stop,
a car rushes round the curve and hill, sounds a whole lot
like late for work and I’m glad I’m not, then a truck rumbles,
a train howls and grinds, screams through birdsong
and soft morning thought, and reawakens the knowing
that commerce has no home or heart, it just roars,
tears down wall and reconstructs, full throttle, full throated.
These are the sounds when the city wakes up, with sounds
like this, with iron gates crashing. Sleeping,
the beast is beautiful with it’s neon crown,
it’s candent towers, fuzzy halo and steady hum. And then,
the city wakes up with all the subtlety,
vulgarity and calm of Moloch rising after the feast.

Content And Context Breaks Apart, Comes Together


CONTENT AND CONTEXT BREAKS APART, COMES TOGETHER

1 (the journey)
A better song, a deeper majesty, something about a place,
the temperature, a thing unrelinquished…
the open hand waving by the side of the road
where the line between corn and simplicity is really,
really thin, but you take the gesture as it is,
as it is, you wave back and drive on, on road, on stereo,
on still toward the place that’s humming in your throat,
somewhere here to the side of the hill…
somewhere here where it all comes together….

2 (the metaphor)
Falcon struggles and falls into the water, fins splash,
seconds later the water breaks, tiny waves,
the scream, a bit of justice. Watch, wait and cast,
thrashing, coax a rainbow in on a weakened tapered line
with a tied stone fly. Storm comes in off the flats
of Charleston Harbor, boat runs out of gas,
drop a favorite fly rod into the water. Let it go.
Ozone cracks across the bow, phosphorous glows on your
fingertips, gets a little choppy, get a little scared,
pause long enough to smell the mud on the water,
fermented, primordial, the earth blows across the water,
and when you pause long enough…
the breath of God moves across the face of the waters.

3 (storms rise, the past lets go)
Back home, Son House flails away on a National Steel Guitar
about a death letter come this morning to the door.
Do the same: Keep checking, keep checking the road,
do a little mock cross, Hey thanks, mailbox snaps shut,
no magazine, no visitors knock, no telephone ring.
Day dreaming, gazing out the bedroom window:
Cool breezes warm and the leaves turn over,
startled thrashers rise to the sudden thunder,
they know the look of a coming rain storm; and me,
contemplating blue curtains and wilted flowers,
I see the sense of being, but just can’t feel it.
There’s no need to name, the words are all used up,
prose locked in reflections, in the currents of my past,
still trying to break away, and then…yellow sky to green,
and then the world drops away, tornado hits the marshes,
the weather brings me home, and I know right now
that some things must change, yeah,
and there it is, a death letter standing at the door.
And this time around I refuse to answer.

4 (baptism)
She saw constellations. The sky was good.
Pink hearts…Hello moon, and the stars would swirl.
Sheet lightning in the East, bright, bright flash,
then the winds: Gale winds storming over rounded hills
pulling a hot shroud over hunt poised Orion,
and the clouds rolled over on their dark, full sides,
and the rains did fall; and she kneels by the river,
skips a piece of slate across the rippling Oconee…
Alone, she watches and feels, feels the stones flight,
feels the river and the rain, and says good bye,
good bye to all the loss in a night that found itself.
Uuummm May, volatile, seductive, all sparkle and kiss.
Wisteria heavy air clinging to her damp hair,
she shakes it back and sings shower songs, stops,
sings Ave Verum Corpus and knows that tonight
she felt the soul as though all things were beginning.



5 (encounter and awakening)
Wind slows down and an immaculate moment
now romances…everything. Hey, it’s the first of May,
wash my face in dew, here’s the cat-like light begging
to be scratched, and here I am with sunset eyes,
she and I in a mass of shadows just falling away.
Through a Baudelarian gothic hour into this night
I cross the hearts knife and open to this I, this she.

She blows kisses to the past and then to me.
River road stands warm, water gurgles “Summertime.”
And I forget the flatted third, chromatic slide chords,
I forget what it was that drug me down before.
OK, so I obsess on the past…Let it go. She is here.
Her midnight hair glows. I let go the broken loves. Try.
Now….it’s not just this, wish it was, wish it wasn’t…
Now…she glows…wish it wasn’t so Romantic….so more than her…
so hard to go on, but I do: Easy. Yeah? It’s not.
Silence and the blues are smooth, so is she, and we touch…Now.

Every Now and Then a Silence Is Just Too Much A Thing As Is


Every Now and Then a Silence Is Just Too Much A Thing As Is
A blank space,
peels of parsnip and carrot skin
in pretty curls on stainless steel,
all it takes is to breeze on by in col de sac winds,
preferring nothing spoken over
death grip of hateful masses,
smell not to rage but to taste,
so take it all out
on vegetables and dried tofu,
tamarind powder
and buckwheat ramen noodles
sprayed with walnut and wasabi oil,
a touch of sweet orange water,
and the mediation table waits,
Oh! and Dr. Seuss shaped bowls,
black chopsticks to pull it all in
to celebrate the rains of Spring,
enjoy the cool nights until light,
and be glad for what’s to come
maybe big vision, perhaps events?
of pampered lives no way!
not dead
but I have ridden Death’s coach
to neighborhoods end and woods beginning,
talked across the prairie
to be again with wonder
watching and breathing the mighty Pacific,
and turn around,
turn back into the Mississippi River,
hold my breath border to border
across Alabama till I smell pecan groves
and rich fields of land
live oaks brimming with Spanish moss
and curious, hungry fat raccoons,
bordering the Okeefenokee
and pouring out the highway
here to Buford, Georgia
where a neighbors rooster wakes
me throughout the day
and this circle of street becomes
a gift of light, of green meadow
and hardwood groves, hardwood forest,
where by the barb wire
I sit and watch the tall grass bend
and whisper in gossipy low tones
that to pause and meditate, ‘
to give in and consider
this moment is more
than a passage of clocks fascinated
by how things change;
here the grumble and croak
of cicadas and low flying planes.
Pass me the Sencha tea
whose leaves so electric bright green
seems unnatural in its naturalness
or pass on by, really, just
pass on by singing Isaac Hays
and pretending
to believe in having never known
the scenes idolized
are those best by being felt as best.
As being as the best I can.
Be.

TOUCH 2020


TOUCH REVISITED

Highlights in the high room,
a foyer by some, but just tall by me.
Single tracks stream through
silken dust galaxies;
they swirl into these rains,
new rains beyond, but just enough
out upon this new green meadow,
this into, this-as, this being there,
it is the spirit of Love, Beloved,
here leaving new dark corridors,
seamless tunnel rising, driving,
a long passage without sides
which we may reach into, yes,
yet feeling slow warmth,
only air.
it’s only air.

Confessions Of The Unenlightened I (giving a personality to each affliction while looking back upon the cancer years, the spinal table years, Lyme’s, and something else, all trying to kill me and I said: No)


Confessions Of The Unenlightened I

Better to walk alone
Breath
Be alive
Anything other than the lies and deceit
So take it
here I am have fun
Brown needle earth
and the sway of white pines
a slope and a glade
gift spot of life breathing
where construction and noise
overpopulation and suburban
greed grasps at philosophy
of
this is mine
go away
snout noses and leaf blowers
poisoned lawns suspicion
of the living, a smile, hello,
then inspection of where
my dog walked and why am I friendly
telling me I do not belong
this is not healthy
this horrid, meaningless need
to judge
and claim possession
of what is not theirs to own
but the hate bleeds down stares
leaving trails of rotting muskmelons
proud in clamors of deception
brought in golden chariots
spiked wheels and nuclear waste
for water, in the soil, in the air,
and here I am walking here
missing lands where every walk
was a conversation or two
and if I wanted to talk about
WH Auden, Jim Harrison, Thomas Merton,
Nikayas of the Buddha
and why the Sermon on the Mount
and the Agony in the Garden
hold so much significance
to the living minds
to the soul not given
into armies of Mara
or whispers of the great deceiver
try to find a conversation
try
Hello Pines and Tulip Maple
Hello Sweet Daisy
Ringing bowl tones and stretched muscles
I speak and listen
odd how with nature I find companionship
while in trying to find words among social “humans”
it is more and more of the same
over and over
and I know who they are hiding
inside petty words and significant actions
I hate it here
soul consumed rejected and sent away
It is
OK
I know I do not belong among them
no matter how hard I tried I am me
remembering conversations
unity and the happiness of being among friends
those I trust adore and learn more from them
than any books or contemplations
and for those I trust I miss you I do
to just talk judgement free
to simply be
to laugh and feel one another
in the hearts of one another
but that is all gone
so much ends with “-ed”
and let me say that the fight to overcome
complications of isolation
born of cancer, lyme’s and nerve damage,
drawing back the curtains of death and saying NO
to find the beautiful Yes if only for a while
and for a while I stopped dodging the arrows
and befriended the bowman and the huntress
it was wonderful it was life
finding Art so easy in conversation and encounters
finding it gone as all must live and do their thing
things change
oh yes
things do change
an dI wish I did not remember beauty so well
loneliness is not depression
walking through the gates of Hell
and escaping alive soul and love intact
hope still thrives
but being pushed away caged denied
even the slightest set of friendships
and trust is hard to bear
damned for saying what must not be said
such as miss you friends are treasures
and the wish for exchange of ideas
and to flush the harsh reality of mean people
away
cut the past over and over again and again
missing loved ones is not a weakness
it is the garden of essence
a clutch of seeds waiting to grow again
a look upon the politic and knowing
madness oozes from the diseased head
on down to the rest we call society
choosing to be alone
rating lies and deceit by the number
not by weight
even publishers who once called for me
now curse my name
how dare me go through the isolation
of fighting to live and akin to rebirth
I made it out alive when every doctor
said I probably will not
so why did I live on and why the saints with me
when cultural associations banned me damned me
for having risen so high and then fallen so hard
and came back trying to express the yes of Godhead
and visions suddenly brought to life
ha! still the mind
ha! give up love of friendships
acceptance is standing among nature
and feeling the divine
remembering all the love and life
the pains and rejections
the success and wonder
hardships are always present for all of us
the difference is if lived among the living
or cursed to be turned away
written and composed languages and music
better than ever and yet not a soul
to share one word or one note
without being ripped off or marginalized
at least I get to spend $150 for office visits
to spine clinic, neurologist and ent,
all to be told the same about white blood cells raging
tinnitus never ending back and spine my Mt McKinley
as tiny cells are pinched in nerve endings
never ending and so I agree to teas and rice
epidurals injections cutting and removing
and thinking I am tired of this struggle
but I must go on
there is more to write than Dear Diary
or bleak puberty sighs and revelations
I remember happiness
it was great
come back to me or I come to you
washed clean of proportional distractions
open to whatever is next or is
but fuck the death eaters and shovels on my grave
I ain’t dead yet
but I have seen what it is is
and I have heard the words GO AWAY
when my heart and intentions were pure and holy
lied to over and over all the time
but giving each time the chance to change
Rise from the cave
Speak the words spoken to
Express the visions
accept hate for what it is
I am tired of empty phrases
I can tell where I am unwanted
so here take it all back I will give no more
even decided to stop publishing
being mocked by editors when I was still bleeding
from wounds of attempted murder
contracts ripped and broken
well the escape clause was there to take
all your work and not pay stupid man
and the thing is I want not of the damned
they can keep their Mammon rides and tunnels
take my music and give me nothing
take my words and turn them into yours
I see the poems with whole passages
lifted from my works and given no thanks
asking for music, words and inspiration
but do not give me a thing not even a thanks
and still I live to create and to serve
and I give up caring who steals from me
or who tries to kill me
or who slanders and gossips until
I cannot even recognize me in the slime words
tainted and corrupted by deceit and deception
take it all there is nothing of value left
but my soul is not mine it is as it always was
property of God
for one cannot sell what is not ones to sell
but for sake of the Saints stop stealing from me
hold back the hate I have been hated enough
judged enough and medically tortured enough

Sing Jetsun Milarepa, St. Francis, Walt Whitman

Yeah, this all comes from a wounded man
A purge of the deceptions and cancers
A need to say I have had enough of lies and theft
yes intellectual and artistic theft
I have had enough of the suburbs
I have had enough of irrational judgments and prejudice
I come to terms with silence, poverty and time
being forced to choose between medical treatments
and slow starvation this is what few foresee but it is reality
my lawyer said I am too nice I must cease trust
OK
A man really can be an island

But I do not want to

be an island

Red Sky Autumn (Wave in two movements)


Red Sky Autumn: Wave Winds Into Thin Leaf Pines Collapsing Now[

audio m4a=”https://hlamart.files.wordpress.com/2018/11/wave-winds-10_16_18-7-08-pm.m4a”%5D%5B/audio%5Daudio m4a=”https://hlamart.files.wordpress.com/2018/11/thin-leaf-pines-collapsing-now-10_16_18-8-44-am.m4a”%5D%5B/audio%5D

 

What Is This Land?


What is This Our Land Becomes
What is this where I have tumbled
What is this where I have been denied
What is this my life and labor
This thing that was my heart and love
What is this where waters flowed
And now rubber tubes clog and litter
What is this I looked upon and adored
Only to find it eaten and destroyed
What is this my work left behind me
So undone unfinished desired and waiting
What is this I tried so hard and found
Dead in the leaves of the gutters above
What is this knowledge denied and rotting
That for thousands of years was designed for now
I held my hand to feel the rough edges
Gone now are my knife calluses soft
And cumbersome where once they raged
What is this when I walk alone unafraid
And still in search for a challenge
Who are you in my garden today
You who would rise up to snatch my life away
What is this I believed for so long
My love of faith spat upon by of course the faithful
Where are you when I speak of my love
Who am I when desire and the sexual
Are fed to the dogs waiting outside the door
And so I know what this is when life rests
And says no more so I accept who I am
See this flesh wilting from my bones
There is little else to smell but rose and jasmine tea
The smell of cigarettes makes me want to vomit
I cannot stand the stench of tobacco and addiction
Long freed from needs of drunkenness and the wild
I was still looked upon as if sparks would
Fly from my fingers and all around bursts in flame
What is this I have called my family who scowls
When I know just how they see me
Wishing I was no longer a man better dust
And a marker with just my name
A thing to be forgotten left lame and rotting

Poem: Material Essence


 

 

 

 

 

MATERIAL ESSENCE

A Pot left sitting in the grass
On the roadside
A four lane intersection
Lights and roars,
Talks and shrieks,
All things being what they are
The Pot sat silent
Till one day it grew
Two legs
Stood and walked away
To another place
Being a pot it needed to be used
So it found a home
All filled with dirt and tomato seeds
It became itself
Finally
The absence of being long gone
And far away

SONG ABOVE THE CAVE OF MILAREPA (2nd draft line changes)


Meditation Song Above the Cave of Milarepa
A darkness upon your soul rises.
There are many paths
A darkness upon your soul rises.
There are many paths
A darkness upon your soul rises. There are many paths
A darkness upon your soul rises. There are many paths.
I meditate where the Lord places me and all evils return 
to laugh at my trials.
I meditate where the Lord places me and all evils return
to laugh at my trials.
I meditate where the Lord places me and all evils return
to laugh at my trials.
I meditate where the Lord places me and all evils return
to laugh at my trials.
The first with rotted scalp and beautiful face says his
prayers and meditations
are folly.
The first with rotted mind and fallen face says his prayers
are all wasted
and drawn from lies.
The first with love for the Great Deceiver tells me my prayers
could be turned to ways of disordered mind and deceit.
I say no.
Leave me or listen. You have the choice. 
Listen. 
Demon flesh is not sexuality.
It is destruction of self.
God gives us compassion I say. I can only wish they find
the 
path that leads to God and frees them from this demon flesh.
God gives us compassion I say. I can only wish the find the
path that leads to God and frees them from this demon flesh.
God gives me compassion I say. I can only wish you find
the 
path that leads to God and frees you from this demon flesh.
Love, I say.
When is it not enough? We must Love. 
God does not waste his love, he maintains
and holds strong for 
any who come to him, who contemplate upon
the Sacrifice.
God does not waste his love, he maintains
and holds strong for
any who come to him, who contemplate upon the Sacrifice.
God does not waste his love, he maintains and holds strong for 
any who come
to him, who contemplate upon the Sacrifice.
 God does not waste his love,
he maintains and holds strong for 
any who come to him, who contemplate upon
the Sacrifice.
Choice. We are given Love. But evil rules our land.
Evil dances across the land and the fallen worship hatred, 
here stand the enemy
and the will to love is yet even stronger…
Evil dances across the land and the fallen worship hatred,
here stand the enemy and the will to love is yet even stronger.
Evil dances across the land and the fallen worship hatred,
here stand the enemy
and the will to love is yet even stronger.
  Evil fucking evil dances across the land and the fallen worship hatred,
here stand the enemy and the will to love is yet even stronger.
I know who lies.
I know who lies. What names you choose is up to you.
I know who lies. Our dharma is our choice we build upon….
I know who lies.
All that is solid melts. I pray my eternal soul 
melts and flows endlessly flowing
in and out of Life’s plan.
I know who lies.
They dream on in phantasms of a dirt soul and only of ends,
never the continuation of action and reaction.
They dream on in phantasms of a dirt soil, only of ends…
never the continuation
of action and reaction.
They dream on in phantasms of a dirt soul, only of ends,
never the continuation of action and reaction.
In all our oceans
and the streams that feed them life changes
and adapts, many die, as will we
.
In all ahr’ oceans and the streams that feed them life changes
and adapts,
many die, as will we.
In all our oceans and the streams that feed them life changes 
and adapts, many die, as will we.
I see the finite and hear their shallow heartbeats, thinking sin
and salvation does not apply to them.
I see the finite and hear their shallow heartbeats, thinking sin
and salvation does not apply to       them.
I see the finite and hear their shallow heartbeats, thinking sin
and salvation does not apply to them.
It does.
It does matter.
It does matter for all we do is wrapped in cause and effect.
It does matter for all we do is wrapped in cause and effect.
It does matter for all we do is wrapped in cause and effect…
It does matter
for all we do is wrapped in cause and effect.
You worship deception and a larceny of faith.
You worship deception and a larceny of faith
.
You worship deception and a larceny of faith.
You worship deception and a larceny of faith.
Thinking it a win to deceive those who offer trust, all you do
is dig deeper
into coal mountains, death your lover.
Thinking it a win to deceive those who offer trust, all you do 
is dig deeper into coal mountains, death your lover.
Thinking it a win to deceive those who offer trust, all you do 
is dig deeper into coal mountains, death your lover…
I know. I must repeat. I must chant.
I know it is easy to say anything at all and not believe a word.
I know, I, it is easy to say anything at all and not believe a word.
I know it is easy to say anything at all and not believe a word…
I know you.
I repeat because I see you. 
I was you. I destroyed that “I”.
Even as I pray and meditate you think new ways of harm.
Even as I pray and meditate you think new ways of harm.
Even as I pray and meditate you think new ways of harm…
I know your lies.
They are known. Leave me dark spirits.
Many paths. One God.
Shut up you gossips and fools!
Giving over to the home of Siddhartha, hammered singing bowls
Of seven holy metals that ring then vibrate me in to sleep and Awake!
I sleep upon the floor where I console and sing, feeling your
song vibrate through me, I love you my friends, I love God who 
makes it possible to love my friends and family.
I sleep upon the floor where I console and sing, feeling your
song vibrate through me, I love you my friends, I love God who
makes it possible to love my friends and family.
I sleep on the floor where I console and sing, feeling your
song vibrate through        me,
I love you my friends, to love God who 
makes it possible we love friends and family…
Holiness shimmers through each ringing bowl as I stretch
my aging flesh across these thick, slow barley and bamboo mats.
Holiness shimmers through each ringing bowl as I stretch my
 aging flesh across these thick, slow barley and bamboo mats.
Holiness shimmers through each ringing bowl as I stretch my 
aging flesh across these thick, slow barley and bamboo mats…
I see the growing thunderheads,
heat lightening…..strikes.
Oh, I stretch because I see so much beauty, so to love,
 so to thwart the minds
who think to fight for life is sadness,
 but that is to have it wrong, so terribly wrong,
we live to live,
 to strike back demon Mara’s devils and those gone to fight Ezekiel,
for beauty is daily and daily reward we live as grace as eternal.
 To strike back Mara’s grinning evil and risen dark angels, do it!
New paths for beauty and skies seen like ocean tides as wind.
Each path begins from suffering and evil, and each path ends
 when skies are sky
and beauty becomes us; not as struggle town
but as gift, each path begins where Life has suffered, yet pure
heart and pure intention is not enough to paint sunsets orange.
Never stop, always never ever stop, for if we do then it has ended,
and with ends come dreams of was, when what we need are times
of is
and then
the works of yet to be. I could say, to the glory of God
I cannot help it,
this compassion I love. I beg, in your own wisdom
to understand we must scare the demons away as Milarepa sang,
to enchant the devils as Ezekiel fought that they die this very day . . .
And yeah, that’s it . . . yeah, that’s it.
(and this crew for conversations with my beloved friends,  the table I dream of as last meal and conversation because you all inspire me. My dream of life. They each wish to be unknown but here no links condemn them to me for my wanderers life.)