Sunday, August 19, 2018

Perhaps the Longest Sentence E'er Writ.
What we see here is something for which a reasonable claim can be made that a sufficient massing of graffiti which began as what was then regarded vandalism has over years amassed such a density of interesting effects that it becomes not only pleasing as decoration but gratifying in the way art gratifies – by conveying through its massed implications something of the poetic suggestion whereby we identify art, a condition with which this very sentence has striven over this moment of "now" you are watching it unfold, to pack and unpack its contents with what its writer hopes is the same tumbling grace that seems randomly to have helped transmute the graffiti into its current exalted aesthetic state, thereby to demonstrate and reveal, as if reenacting the stages of it before our very eyes, an evolving identity, kindred to the transformation of graffiti in these images, which find their corollary in this sentence which celebrates them, which may be showing itself to be submitting to not dissimilar vagaries of unlooked-for influence, effectively dismantling the fences barring its way to the condition of art by slowly amassing its own inimitable density of effect; and indeed on the strength of which it shall henceforth now, it thinks not without having made a persuasive case for it, claim that same exalted aesthetic status for itself – ever knowing it will be readily identified as such by any acutely observant critic who has watched it form into lyric flow while at the same time evince a strict adherence to the bone-laws of grammar, syntax and diction, to produce this last confession of purpose and method and hope (venturing to call itself certainty) with which it now ends its discourse to await the award in the form of what it imagines will have to be at least the equivalent of a pretty little gold medal featuring the holy word itself – to lie bare on its verbally hirsute chest:          ART.


Friday, August 17, 2018

Ginger Brigade

The day would be made when, like three musketeers,
the trio comprising the Ginger Brigade would amass
the good will of their kinsmen and peers: hear the cheers
their parade to their run down on Plum Street in Blundon
evinced from the crowd – where they’d trundle and glide
every Whitsuntide, Monday and Sunday and Mrs. Dunn’s
Bun Day, begun by the mum of each one of the three in
the run, her sons Dunstan and Runnel and Gunnar. Ginger-
haired well-behaved boys, they never made very much noise:
no clatter or din would arise from their quietly pattering feet
on the pavement; the crowd would grow still, and that quiet
would one day be why they would all be undone in a spill
and a splat. One Monday a semi careened round and hit them
head on and kaboshed them to mud. Their flattened remains
and the swamp of their blood were bright ginger. Red hair
has been banned ever since in the land of glum Blundun.
Mrs. Dunn stopped at once baking buns. Like everything else
God has done, slow or fast, the Ginger Brigade didn’t last.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018


Somewhere between a chicken and an angel,
genetically she’d never been in sync –
had she dropped into this being via eggshell –
or from some celestial eye in a blink?
The odd celestial eye, that is, afflicted with a stye.
She doesn’t know. No record of her birth.
She sports innumerable wings. None help her fly.
Her feathers keep her warm. But life on Earth,
she’s learned, is not particularly more ridiculous
for creatures without evidence of purpose
than it is for more presumably felicitous
inhabitants like us who polish up our surface
thinking that’s how to proclaim what we’re about.
AngelChicken has accepted she’s a blip,
no more impossible than we, she has no doubt.
Like Plato made of play-dough. Or a pancake flip.

Monday, August 13, 2018

Mum's the Word

First thought when he wakes in his bed.
He recalls his whole family is dead.
He rummages ‘round in his head to think
what he might think up instead to give
some kind of mass to the zero that dead is.
What is the aim of the scheme?
Here’s what the dream is he wakes from.
It’s eternally raining in August. He thinks
it is morning but grayness could be
any of time of the day not yet night.
He walks his two canine but human-faced
pets who entangle themselves in his limbs
every time they go out and get wet:
he never wears more than his underwear.
He can feel his face scowl but he can’t
feel what it might be scowling about.
This isn’t what life is like, of course. This is
what life really is. He eschews metaphor
but enjoys using simile: likes “neat as a pin”
most of all. He savors its subversiveness:  
that such a small sleek straight sharp point
should be able so neatly to puncture the flesh,
spill the blood, even kill – more deadly than
such a small thing ought to be – and that
this should wrest out the essence of “neat” –
surely no other words bore such replete
simulacra of actual thing. “Neat as a pin”
was as close as four words could become,
even bring you, to what to believe. Yet
like the words death, father, son, mum
and brother, at last they deceive and they
numb. Mum’s the word. Every word’s mum.

Friday, August 10, 2018

BirdCat and the Psychoanalyst

Red of face and blue of hair,
with his pet BirdCat always there,
both patently identifiably themselves,
diving down at me like flying elves,
Psychoanalyst Juan Van der Wiesen
will not otherwise supply a reason
for returning than to say “it’s me!” –
stating something I can plainly see.
He then scrutinizes me for evidence
I had not realized (or not disguised)
that I am still alarmingly unwell.
That is generally when I hear the bell
on BirdCat’s yellow neck ring twice:
two shakes of it warn “Now, be nice!”
because he knows if I am not,
poor BirdCat will be in a spot:
Juan Van Der Wiesen will not leave
until he sees I ardently believe
in his prodigious diagnostic power.
If instead, as has occurred, I glower
at him for his rank ineptitude,
BirdCat will start to cry for food
which he will not be fed
until I have vociferously led
the analyst to understand I think
he’s diagnosed the missing link
to why I am a rank ungodly mess.
BirdCat can’t eat till I confess.
But that’s not what I did today.
Right through their fraudulent display,
I said I saw: “I know you don’t exist!”
I whisked them out of sight like mist –
a whoosh! – and that was that.
But I admit I miss BirdCat.
I cried before I went to bed:
I’m why he never did get fed.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Figured It Out

They sniggered at doubt
and figured it out.
Or rather the one who
began it all did.
The one who first
realized nothing was hid.
You mean you discovered
the one who began it?
Oh, not just the one
who began it but ran it.
The one who had figured
out everything everywhere
all had been made
of the same exact thing.
Once you knew that,
you could render yourself
into continents, taffy
or rhinestony bling.
Or bring forth a family
and pet from your thigh
on a string. He walks

around now congregating
new pow-pows he summons
from somewhere where
nobody ever learned
take doesn’t also
mean bring.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

When This Poem Began
Consummation – 
devoutly to be wished – 
this slippery evasion: 
to let the yearning be 
its own reward – 
less grasping-after 
than a moving-toward! –
No, that's not what 
it wanted to be.
When this poem began
like Pinocchio
to turn from an 'it' to a 'he',
I was tempted to trade it
for something more 
neatly aligned with
my own kind of poetry.
But then it reminded me:
"I am a pilgrim! And I tread
my own road to joy."
It's a good little boy.
If you see he’s paraded
down roads on my dare
which he took 
that he’d get to that joy,
let me know if he made it.