Fire Drill

The News predicted days for rain with heat;
supposedly the driest time of year.
Outside, my shirt would snatch and to stick to it—
my skin—but they had called us out for fear
against some future fire. I calmly trudged
down long flights of stairs—as ground grew near
I grew excited!—the workday now I judged
disposable; a welcome break in time,
a pinprick point, a final force that nudged
me out from many months that groped like grime—
I birthed myself into a brilliant light.
My eyes finally adjusted—it was sublime
euphoria for a long moment; bright
day announced itself, as trees I’d forgotten
were there, now basked with me in loss of night.
“They had captured my spirit” as something rotten
crept away from thought—I was again
as neighbor with the earth and others beholden.
Something stirred the elements, then the rain
fell gently on our assembly. Lesser sports
evading this dashed back into their pain
avoiding confrontation, back to forts
that they imagined kept them cold and safe.
While those of us who stayed, became dangerous sorts
that forgot to return, despite the comfort of reports.


The Road

The road seemed wide, but many cars
had shamed the pavement; streaming stars on asphalt
Standing still, waiting their fault,
Conspiring the night into a halt; then something
New, considerable, began to sing
Blaming loud at all who bring away
The peace into that dark deserted way;
I had not choice at all, I played my part
Pretending all sufficed in art
While Truth behind me spoke ‘Go now, start the day
That they cannot ever repay
What’s lost, pleases not display with stars’


The Universal Grammar of Death Merchants

Basic inorganic chemistry helps a lot when
[16 ounce bottle H2O2, 15 dollars each]
there, one (with two wives in the desert
with children still waiting for scraps)
is picking shrapnel off near-corpses
noisy with dust and clinks of pans.

There were only a few, but the land leviathans
[60 tons, 4.3 million dollars each]
decided to jump the barrier on the way to the airport
pancaking sedans. It was called
a triumph then. They are still there
maintaining order, (odd phrases those.)

The delta mudflats with light automatic fire
[5.66mm, 586 dollars each]
while they smoked weed, listened to Jimi
and were the first combatants live
on prime time TV. We knew it up close then
(but now the videogram owners are in league.)

A century ago an oddly classical reference
[344 feet, 5,780 tons, only one built]
steamed into the bay ending the second to the last
empire on earth (for good.) It was winter in Paris,
Cuba Libre! but all the other islands were sold
(20 million dollars was worth more then.)

Those who wish to understand the final syntax
[three trillion dollars for this 2nd one]
of death-merchants should avoid tears,
because paying for it is their business
(between silly-over who got science on their side)
really, it’s who owns the numbers, not who’s right.


All of it all of it all of it all

You know how it feels.
Everything wears away, all of it
falling off, tearing off, wearing off,
All of it all of it all of it all.
Each strand snakes a place and grabs
you brushing along the way,
it stabs you where you do not know
until nothing is left,
nothing is left at all.
All of it all of it all of it all.
Look for salvation that isn’t there;
waiting for someone who might care?
But there isn’t anything there
there isn’t anything there at all.
All of it all of it all of it all.
All is unraveling, all of it
unwrapping of it still
falling off, tearing off, wearing off, until
there isn’t anything left
there isn’t anything left at all.
All of it all of it all of it all.
But how does it feel?
Looking for salvation that isn’t there
waiting for someone you thought might care
waking up one cold morning, waking for
what isn’t what you thought
what isn’t what you thought at all.
All of it all of it all of it all.
Taking it around and around
off that corpus mundi with no sound
no sound to make it known
so it’s not what you thought
it is not what you thought at all.
All of it all of it all of it all.
I don’t know how it feels.
It’s not the clarity of strong coffee, yet
I taste it bitterly in my mouth, but get
something unexpected,
regret, what is not it
what is not it at all
All of it all of it all of it all.
It’s not the green edge of that pond
With the cattleya tenuous on the palm
in that dirt along the wall
that is not it
that is not it at all
All of it all of it all of it all.
To know how it feels
knowing what tomorrow is like
to know how it feels
making new things grow despite
to know how it feels
taking memory of my sight
and sleep with tomorrow
and sleep with salvation.
That is all there is
That is all there is at all
All of it all of it all of it all.


Now, new days

Now, new days—
not nights that end-of
nor nights might-have

Now, new days—
days buttered evenly
days the orchids like the sun
days of a glad rain
days in a room full of cats
days and days and days
—and new things


La Bella Luna

Ay! La Bella Luna, Bella Luna!
Tell me why you stop me, now halfway
Along this road to where we all end up
Without a firm reply to–who was that?

Ay! La Bella Luna, Bella Luna!
When it’s been dragged from me and dragged too often
Without a note, not even one that said
With pride–hey look at him and what he did!

Ay! La Bella Luna, Bella Luna!
I thought to fool them, all the multitudes,
And had a mind enough to think me grand
But not enough to know they thought me stupid.

Ay! La Bella Luna, Bella Luna!
Remember now that dream I told you of
When I was naked in the streets and stared-at
By those multitudes–and then I hid.

Ay! La Bella Luna, Bella Luna!
I hid from them with shame in case they knew
Of all those lies that somehow made it past
The scrutiny I held myself towards.

Ay! La Bella Luna, Bella Luna!
All those cruel Aprils past I’d known
How just before each crucifixion, I knew
Each nail and how it would be struck.

Ay! La Bella Luna, Bella Luna!
So there! I’ve told you now, my Artemis,
While you baleful me with silver light,
Of all that guilt I knew but now I don’t.

Ay! La Bella Luna, Bella Luna!
I’d sooner know you as Athena naked
To think, and just as well your breasts are full
From succoring that child we soon will have.

Ay! Ay! Ay! Bella Luna!
You care for me I know, and how I know?
You see me more than any mother could
For you’d not leave without at least a kiss.


No No We

no
do
not
think

no
we must not allow
our brains to dictate
that what we perceive
is neither more nor less
than what is apparent.

we
know the world for what it is
there is no insanity
we repair ourselves.