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.

Hanged Man (3rd version based on “King and” or “Arms of Mammon”


[note: Read slowly, forceful, accent on consonants]

Hanged Man

Vanity towers bury bonds
Calls friendship an illusion
A way to shelter for self grandeur
These ash washed grave robbers
Worship sincerity in gray mirrors
The reflection is a liar god
Do not breath same air as they
Who live as one cluster
Defy the shallow knave of swords
False heart, vision cannibal
Moments, like some earth of the dead.
Sell what cannot be sold?
You are true, of heart and soul, Run!
Rise up and remove from those who beguile
There is no ruler only those who are ruled.

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

Breathe To This Now, Just to Breathe to Be


Breathe. To breathe.
. As the hours and night passed filled in thought and dressed with lucid dreams, I woke up and the first word, first thought was “Breathe”. I opened the page and was about to comment on ‘be here now and be love now’ which I do believe is my being now, but then I remembered my Zen teacher from long ago who kept telling me to breathe, to take all the shit In my mind, exhale-inhale and move into the now. This applies as well to my Kundalini thing where the first movements and sounds are of breath doing it’s lung thing and refreshing all that is “I” until the cosmic connection takes place and words disappear into the thing here, this thing now, this that is Breath that is to Breathe and be here now not be here now then breath but to breath move this life in and out of me. So yes, ‘breathe’, I wish I had written that one word just as my Zen Master taught and said he does not care if Gautama taps me on the shoulder that in the moment of exhale nothing must take away from what it is to be which is “Breathe” then be love now. Sometimes I wish to remember be here now which is to Breathe, simply breathe….

 

 

I wish I had the money to be ad free on my site because the ads ruin my words

 

Rilke Poems in French, here it is Poem #53


Je ne peux pas m’engager ‘a accepter ses idées frivoles. Jamais, jamais, je ne l’obéissance pas un meneur, cela ne mène a rien.
Rereading Rilke’s poems in French. It was a masterful exercise in testing his knowledge of the poem and if he could communicate th senses of things felt in French as well as in his native German. The same stands for us, the readers. We must allow that Rilke was just wanting right simply of things felt. But the desire to analyze is always there so it does take an effort not to fall for the pretentious inclination to work a hermeneutic on them, but he tell us not to waste our time, just let the poem be.
This is about the poem itself. Forget any worldly relations because that will muddy the clarity Rilke was looking to place into his writings, not about Alma Mahler or the pre Raphaelites, this is the poem, the 59 poems, then the prose poems in French. No outside world. No gossip of who and what as this is Rilke seeking refuge in his last writings, near last writings. The Duino and Orpheus works drained him, and the publicity wore him out. Works in French is refuge.
I think he went beyond, beyond into an even more mystical and touched by the Heavenly Host as he sought God throughout the ways of language, in how we think and compose, how we think in a second or third language.
The beauty and spirituality is at times wavering between worlds of 2, 3 and 4th dimension.
Exhausted after the peak of excellence which pretty much drained him in Sonnets to Orpheus (my favorite of his collections) and the Duino Elegies (really neck and neck with Sonnets to Orpheus, but man, to write with such elevation and cloud touching as he did with his German sonnets he needed to do something in small ways of experience and things felt, so he used the French language to write of small things of the senses and almost by accident, of the mystical. 53, for me is one of those which begins as a lovely experience among rose bushes, which I relate to in many ways as I have always planted several different roses and Lillies around and in the path to the stairway entrance to my home. At one time I had 14 different kinds of rose and it was an ongoing marvel wonder and precious thanks to the Lord for such small beauties and inspirations.
Roses and lilies engage me physically and spiritually. So, I guess it is natural in terms of how I relate to a poem that I chose 53 to challenge our balance of being pretentious and being in awe. I am both. I seek to be held in awe of Gods gift of this earth which we so readily seek to destroy, and then for some we offer up our roses to the angels to decide. Yes, the wisdom of experience in things felt as sensory and No mind do elevate the soul.
If one is confused by the questions then no answer will ever offer consolation and the other will continue to live in a fantasy of made up imagery and conflicted slander and gossip rather than just looking upon the question and finding this is where stands the soul of the “I” or of the “other”.
It is so hard to be held transfixed by the most elemental of things. Now, the use of the “I” in my description of this pleasure in the text and in the relative meaning is not limited to me, but to all pronouns: I, me, you, yours, ours, theirs, they, them, us, he, she, You, They, Us, Me, Mine, I. All may be used and the meaning of the question and beauty of the answer reveals that it is in the question we find the true self. “but when will we find ways to be equal to the rose?”
The Greek poet Sappho asked a similar question in one of the fragments found of her poetry and it began:
“after so much giving I am exhausted.
where, my love, where are the roses for me?”
We, the reader, find so often that the poet, the writing, the poem itself asks where is there something in return for all I have given, and the poet must accept that what is of the poetic heart is not as it is for regular people except in time of reflection brought on by tragic or heroic events. For the Artist this question simply is a part of the lamented life where we wish the isolated life of the Arts were at times giving us a more social life just to be able to talk with others, to love others and to be free to enjoy conversations without boundaries. Yeah, the critical examination almost removes the delicacy of the poems intention in the first place:
“…
mais comment arriverait-on
a egaler une rose?”
“But when will we find ways to be equal to the rose?” and if we keep up this pretension of roses and tenderness will we then corrupt the angelic touch upon this moment? Right. There are those things written which just are as they exist in the poem, a moment felt and the fear of its being divided up and crushed under the pressure of cynics pen and paper.
Rilke poem Francais, #53
“On arrange et on compose
les mots de tant de focus,
mais comment arriverait-on
a egaler une rose?
Si on supporte l’étrange
prétention de ce jeu,
c’est que, parfois, un ange
le derange un peu.”
In English:
“We arrange and we compose
words in so many ways,
but when will we find ways
to be equal to the rose?
If we keep up the strange
pretension of this game,
it’s because at times an angel
deranges it a little.”