Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Poetry’s the Only Thing to Do

Poetry’s the only thing to do (yes, my dear,
we are addressing you) when all life’s less-
than-palatable tinctures and extractions,
viscous fluids, semi-solid substances

and stubborn rocky indigestibilities bloop
through – and when those bum-de-bums
alchemically therefrom become a craft
that you can steer with some precision

toward at least a simulacrum of the shore
of the delicious mess of felt experience –
where we extract the meanings of what
melts into the prurience biology demands

of mind – to find what happens at the edge
of death, or sex, or rue (turn around again,
my dear, we aren’t through). Poetry’s
the only thing to do besides say toodle-oo.


Sunday, January 14, 2018

A Danger of My Enterprise

Hobbles in, all meek, forlorn
and weakly drawn,

face tainted with a faint pastel.
But I can make it well.

By the time I’m done with it,
it’s taken me to hell.


Tuesday, January 9, 2018

I Shall Try to Think of It in This New Way

The following florid prelude written in a style meant to do affectionate (if given the impossibility of reproducing it, inevitably ironic) homage to the late manner of Henry James — with which you may understandably not decide to put up for long — and in which I usually employ a liberal use (although not here, it’s only used once at the end) of the distanced and distancing pronoun "one" and the occasional interspersed gratuitous phrase française, all to throw up a wall of steam (the pretense of subtlety, nonetheless subtle) over a topic which in fact I find intrinsically threatening in some way I can’t explain -- introduces a visual tutorial I believe will make self-evident what I have only this moment found I must claim as certainty: that it is impossible to photograph close-ups of packed shiny black plastic garbage bags day or night, rain or shine, and not have each reveal itself as mesmerizingly inimitably beautiful. Their sculpted surfaces and implied landscapes (mountainous ravines, many of them!) may even edge out Sycamore trees as Existence’s most dependable source of beauty. 

How many other categories of potential esthetic wonder are ignored because we find their function too ubiquitously common (ergo boring) and/or uninspiring/distasteful to think of as anything but ‘there’? Look at these glories - qu’il me semble mes frères, mes semblables! - and consider the question.
I’m thinking of investigating asphalt up-close next, bringing to bear on the phenomenon of its startling diamond-cut black-jeweled tiny edged surfaces Quentin Crisp’s near dictum of implied suggestion which may profitably govern our approach to the experience of any aversion or reflex dismissal based on what amounts to bias: ‘I shall try to think of it in this new way.’ If you learn of my demise through the news that I’ve been run over by a New Jersey-plated car on a Manhattan street, this will probably be why. (Which I should count as a fine way to die.)
With regard to which (not my demise, but Quentin Crisp’s implied invitation “to think of it in this new way”): of the gratifying number of viewers who have kindly indicated their approval on Facebook (via the ever-serviceable LIKE & even a few red heart LOVEs) of another category of esthetic wonder I have recently not infrequently mined for what seem to me to be among the more striking kaleidograms Instagram’s layout function creates by robotic accident --

-- I’m curious what these kind viewers individually believe constitute the myriad small kaleidogrammed components they are looking at. I’ve inserted a quartet of these symmetrical baroque arrangements of pale gold translucence just above – samples of which you'll already have seen hovering over the beginning of this text, in geometric concert with the garbage bags’ dramatically shadowed shiny black beauties, and I invite you to guess the pale gold translucent components’ identity. 
One shan’t reveal if your surmise is right or wrong, however.
Oh, and I looked down into the texture of the asphalt surface of First Avenue as I walked upon it just now and was drawn to photograph a little square of it wet from crushed slush which I then kaleidogrammed thrice. Here are the parent (upper left quadrant) and its three children affixed to one another in a quartet. 

There’s no pretense in these subtleties.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Purgatory’s Fiat

Whatever common parlance
may have been about the thing,

if common parlance
there had ever been,

I’d opine the best way
to warm up and to react

to Purgatory’s fiat to renew
the soul from ho-hum sin

would be to learn to do
what Judy Garland did to sing.


Friday, January 5, 2018

What Green Appears to Think

The Soul of Green prevails in Winter –
twining up in elegance: unseen by most,
perhaps, except in dreams, but still the soul
of everything. Spring is just as strong a thing
as Fall: Winter is to Summer what a bat is
to a ball: a sporting business all in all.

So why does Green seem sad today?
Intransigently frozen January can’t be what
disturbs it. January is its sibling: so are all
the other incremental phases of their seamless
cosmic unity. But Green appears to think
that it no longer can sustain it with impunity.

Something won’t go well this time around.
Something vital will be swept away, some
unsound illness will be found too virulent
for Green to bear. What could have the power
to destroy it? What force will have deployed it?
Green seems to think we can’t avoid it.


Thursday, January 4, 2018


Why do I insist on the inimitability of perception?
That the blue I see is not the blue you view?
Am I comforted by the illimitability of deception
proving nothing can be proven to be true?
I’ve just come back from walking through the snow.
I’d watched it coming down in what the wind blew
cinematically in squalls and drifts across my window:
persuasive evidence that what I saw was there. Few
moments can persuade like this: wherein I barely
think to ask if what I’m seeing has occurred.
In fact, belief in it grew absolute – how rarely
trust to that degree has breached my world! Word
no longer was a symbol: it was indistinguishable
from a palpable Reality: this “snow” was snow.
And so I walked into it in an un-extinguishable
light, both real and in my sight, to undergo
what I was sure would be the actual.
That I wouldn’t do what now I only do: refuse.
That to find what I had thought I sought, the factual,
would not have led to dissolution, or killed my muse.
When things are real
they tear apart
the heart. They steal
your art.



Wednesday, January 3, 2018

A Somehow Apt Thought for the Second Day in January (YouTubed)

Another bubbalobby that turned out to be very tasty in the mouth,
which is pretty much my only reason for ever wanting to read 
one of these aloud.
A Somehow Apt Thought for the Second Day in January
If the irreducible component, the sole begetting element from
which existence can proceed is consciousness without intention,
a sort of weather system sentient for no other reason than it can’t
not be aware (albeit with no Center to report to), I wonder if the most
persuasive evidence for this is in the human infant’s vacant-seeming
stare. There seems in newborn eyes a numbing, numbed surprise
at seeing so much form, where once had only been a dream of it,
an underlying scheme for it, the essential governing condition
called Potential, which is perfect only when it doesn’t come to be.
But it came to be the infant you and me and when it did I wonder if it
rid itself of beauties our incarnate eyes would cry to see: indeed,
that what we think is beautiful are after all Platonic shadows of what
had to be abandoned for existence to occur. We die as soon as
we are born and, prey to rude discoveries like “cold” and “warm,”
we find we’re at the mercy of the prison which becomes the price
to pay for incarnation, and marks the death of the divine, the rocky
continent to which we are remanded till the punishment of limits
ceases storming at us and we’re finally released from Form.