Sunday, April 30, 2017

Your Batch of Loves

Taking stock, you want to make a rhyme of it –
as if to beat some lilting time to it
would give it sense: perhaps it does:
for when you contemplate your batch of loves

and set them side by side before they wriggle off
to lose themselves in an embarrassed cough –
too fragile, too complex, and probably too small
to matter, really, very much at all –

the fact that you can make the first appear to swing
in assonance with who you were in Spring –
and you can make the second dance to devil’s trills –
invoke a potent whiff of his dark thrills –

and you can draw a slow dirge from the third –
to let your aching loneliness be heard –
and you can render beats like punches to the head
to that drug-addled fourth love, and instead

of splaying out your chaos, find the pith
of how you managed to go on, and plead the fifth
was really just a wrestling mat for sex,
and be-bop smartly through the vexing rest –

may now allow a chiming meter to amend
and bend the heart more softly, thus to lend
a tender meaning and remembrance to the voices

you now sound to comprehend your choices.


Saturday, April 29, 2017

Prescient Dot

Mostly in the visible colors
of light, somewhat
in the infrared, oracles remit
fragmented news.

X-rays, gamma-rays,
radio waves, shreds
of postcards from
the looming ante-room:

the pantry wherein
Time created Past.
Do the math. Detect
the sentient squall, whose

radiating hues besiege
the parabolic surfaces of all.
Peer through telescopes,
rotate domes, rise above

the ozone and pursue
a spatial resolution
of the prescient dot.
No, not that dot! The one

behind the moon, just
to the left of me. Calculate
the tenth-of-one-percent of it
that is your destiny.


Friday, April 28, 2017

Your Part

Split phrases – frightful tricks –
that wield delusions of an inner sight:

speciously oblique. Reconfigure all your
arbitrary blasted bits (enjambments

meant to make them look uniquely “deep”)
back to all the prosy paragraphs they

clearly came from: ha! – as if you could let
meaning seep into the thing through

dazed manipulation, lazy laissez-faire:
inertia in the guise of daring: lasered from

some underground you found by merely
typing ‘til your fingers hurt. Your zingers?

Scraps: concatenated dust and easy dirt.
Sins and egoisms in the name of “art.”

There: you did your part.
You stung the heart. 


Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Amass, Amass!

I used to be Display – but now
I am a Crucible where every day
I melt my Being till it’s irreducible.

All I had before was bling. I wore
a regal ring designed to show I was
the king of what I was the king of.

I could play and fight and write
and sing: I wore diplomas for my
shirts and diapers: lashes wiped

my window eyes, sweeping clean
each surface of each pupil to regard
my shiny world in duple. But now

I've lost my every scruple – that is
to say, I can't recall whatever way
I thought I had to navigate the day.

Now my selves take turns relaxing
on their shelves and leave
whatever’s left of me to be and do.

What does it do? Sits on its ass
and dreams of what it next can
effortlessly count on to amass.


Tuesday, April 25, 2017

That Most Extraordinary Miracle

They haven’t come out yet when I’ve known why.
I know my task: absently to coax them into being.
This appears to be enough to get them fleeing
from my hand into some other land whose business
they seem instantly to understand more than I do.
My task is not to ask or to pursue. And so I watch
their panoply without a single particle of certainty
and finally it’s fine. I long ago not only learned
to know that nothing, least of all these creatures,

could remotely be construed as mine – now I love
the utter irresponsibility of having absolutely nothing
more to do than to inveigle them into their birth.
Let them conquer their own Earth. But sometimes,
something like a warm relation climbs into my heart
when two are born and meet and are enthralled.
I don’t believe this has to do with having midwifed
them into some more successful “art,” at least on
my part, than would normally befall them. But when

an indeterminately gendered bearded humanoid
made an encounter with a long-limbed short-necked
bird cartoon – when I watched them look into each 
other’s eyes, saw both soon realize they didn't have 
to be alone – that they had seen (and somehow not 
been thrown by seeing) that extraordinary miracle:
an Other – and when I understood that they were
there not least because I was – perhaps I got
a glimmer of what it may be to be a mother.


Monday, April 24, 2017

Peter Pan and Tinker Bell in Hell

“And so, one must soon understand to take, if not
on faith,” says Peter Pan the Grown-Up Man,” then
on innumerable instances of qualitative evidence, that
there are realms of what, through other more subjectively,
sophisticatedly attuned and therefore profitably sensitive
recalibration, do turn out to be discernments which amount
to practicable crucial information on ephemera which with
a subtle but important weight bear down upon what to dislike
or like – data, if you’d rather – which emphatically will drive

the killing spike into the heart of that great blight of fake
vampiric smarts within whose scope assessments of more
esoterically aesthetic testaments and objects, casts of mind,
dimensional approaches among other traits, effects
and contributions (à la carte) which broach those questions
only recognized inside the wide and deep precincts of what
one calls ‘the arts’ – dreamed-of or materially realized –
whose sizes, sighs and cries not only can’t be registered
or understood but sensed at all in their entirety or parts.”

(A scent like tiny coalescing farts
balloons into the room,
as light as Tinker Bell once was,
but with a nasty buzz.)

“What’s that smell?”
asks Tinker Bell

(who, now heavy with the weight
of twenty-seven faerie ladies,
hadn’t yet divined they
were in Hades):

“Smells like Hell.”


Saturday, April 22, 2017

A Solitary Family of Happiness

Happy is the child of hap – a hapless happenstance
engendered in the lap of luck. Fluctuating weather
of the soul that spins the thing of you and keeps
it in the bowl. Your luck is always good.
You’ve never not been happy.

Always good? you bray – stupefied too many ways,
you say, remotely to convey the full array of fact
that proves I’m full of crap. Never not been
happy? Always in a state of bliss?
Kiss my abyss.

To me it’s merely this. I imagine I’ve a choice: a voice
in granting all irregularities to coexist – peculiarities
to feed and interbreed. Which of course they
always and already do. I permit the fiction
to get underway that I have agency

in the maneuvering of me – soon to see to my abject
delight I don’t. And oh, the gorgeous fleet release
in knowing that I can’t and won’t be able
to direct a thing. Since things don’t
need direction or a pep-talk-

patting-on-the-back (nor penises instruction in erection,
come to that), inevitably awkwardly assembled
as they are by what the cosmic dice begat,
I’ve never not exactly been what I will
always be: a this and that.

Which hap’ly I acknowledge as the child I have fathered/
mothered/sired/suckled into hapless happenstance.
Randomly a wild desperado, mild model
of finesse and sappy mess. I am
a solitary family of happiness.


Thursday, April 20, 2017

He’d Named His Hairdo Ruth

Few dare to praise his hair.
It isn’t that he doesn’t care.
He cares, it can be said,

more than a little that nobody
gives a jot or tittle for the effort
and the art it took him

to construct the sneaky part
he’s combed into the back –
to raise a certain curtain

on a metaphor for splitting hairs
in service of – alas, alack!
perverse misreadings of

the Cosmic Law. His hair
is a defense against this heresy:
a headlong vault into awakening

whatever passersby might be
induced to notice its implied
assault on immorality:

on the gestalt the current
zeitgeist thinks is truth.
He’d named his hairdo Ruth.


Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Being Him

Wants to wreck things.
Rip pictures off the wall.
Kick out the windows. 
Run screaming down the hall
that everyone’s an asshole

and should fuck himself
and die. He’s not sure why.
Psychologically he knows
you want to decimate externals
when what’s kicking butt

are the infernally internal
prisons of the mind. Vision
dims to darkness: everything’s
not fine. Today he’s filled up
to the brim with being him.


Tuesday, April 18, 2017

New York Moment

For Franck Danican

The moment you step into this city
you belong to it. You transubstantiate
from body into moment.
You are a New York Moment.

Franck arrived five years ago from Paris,
though only lately saw my creatures
in the Facebook Forest
and decided he felt one with them. Franck

knows Art the way they do: they are it.
They’ve walked the plank
and fallen into it and have become it.
Franck said he’d like to be my model:

maybe hold my violin and strum it.
I said I never work from models
but okay. And so he spent a good part of the day
bestowing what he is, while wryly undergoing

being looked at by an awkward cuss.
I made such a fuss.
I forgot how pencils worked.
I forgot what drawing was.

But then I handed him my violin and watched him
win by doing what does to play his part.
He turned that into art.
And then he turned me into art as well.

For the New York Moments
we perforce will always be,
this, of course,
was swell.


Monday, April 17, 2017

How Are You?

You mean: how have I come to be? –
to manifest this momentary me?
What a brilliant suggestion implied
in the question! – to proffer a ‘how’ to
an ‘are’ and a ‘you’ – conjugate a ‘to be’

into that which would seek to illuminate ‘me’
not through ‘why,’ ‘what’ or ‘where’ –
but in surely that most efficacious, pragmatic
of queries: the one with the best chance
of meeting and then superseding one’s

most existentially troublesome worries,
and truly arriving at now: a ‘how!’ Best word
in the world! My spirit ingests it and spins:
having swirled, it and I ache to offer
a whole lovely wow of an answer to you.

But we haven’t a clue.


Sunday, April 16, 2017

Attempt Another Tack

Your friend and you
ran out of words again.
Said all the what and when
and where and who.
Attempt another tack.
Wind it down to slow.
Spotify a soft adagio.
Rub his back.


Unforeseen Abilities of Easter Eggs

Owing, one was forced to have presumed,
to some odd fluke in quantum probabilities,
four Easter eggs watched

as their constitutional proclivities
gave way to unforeseen abilities
they’d seemed to have acquired

to effect a transmutation from the ovoid
to the anthropoidal: from painted shells
around egg whites and yolks,

they’d now become four highly
colored folks. They had a human being
party! – sat around and told each other

egg jokes. But egg jokes soon get old.
Easter night turned flat and cold.
What happened after that, we weren’t told.


Saturday, April 15, 2017

O Mister Eptitude, Where Hast Thou Gone?

Ungainly yellow edgy indecisive Mister Linearity,
his awkward too-long arms in an inept embrace
around, as if attempting to protect, the blunt
amorphous softy Mister Tenderness in front of him,
makes at least a show of wielding both as tenable
together: symbolically contrasting soft pink feeling
with the steely forward clear decision-making mind.

Although from his position as thick cushion guarding
nervous Mr. Linearity’s exposed bare chest,
we find that the inert and blunted Mister Tenderness
seems less protected by his putative protector
than he’s shielding his protector with himself.
Senseless tenderness mixed with confused abstraction
won’t stay long upon Sir Logical Intention’s shelf.

So the blobby business each of us proceeds to pry
and cobble into usability by conjuring new archetypes
and fable-arts to lineate our Motives and their sharp
Component Parts – as characters in allegories saddled
with cute honorifics such as Sir and Mister - tries now
to provide a guide as helpful as John Bunyan’s tale, listing
animatedly what we should do effectively and morally

to bring about agreeable results. But no Pilgrim’s
Progress here. No single thing exults as clear solution;
no outcome doesn’t throw its complicated shadow.
We’re left with bad old Sirs and Misters, listing in
the sense of losing balance when they take the barest
step. We don’t find only Mister Linearity’s embrace
of Mister Tenderness inept. Nothing left is ept.


Thursday, April 13, 2017

On Living Solo (a terza rima sonnet)

I wonder why I rarely feel alone.
My mind seems able to regale itself
Beyond connecting on the telephone

Or Internet; I rarely raid a shelf
For books to keep me occupied. TV
Can buffer, but for sustenance my Self

Depends upon its own resources to be
Happy in its now. Others tell me they
Require love and contact: liberty

To speak with others on demand. My way
May seem like isolation next to this –
But so far living solo lets me play

The games I need to play. What do I miss?
Perhaps one day I’ll know. But now it’s bliss.


Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Mickey, Judy and Guy

So when the amalgam of a Mickey Rooney/Andy Hardy tries 
to start a life he goes where anybody would – Manhattan – to which
the amalgam Judy Garland/Betsy Booth (who boldly and alarmingly
insists in 1941 on getting older) also goes, as always slated to be
the Mick’s gold-plated Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer conscience, even though
the girl was popping uppers to get through the ballyhoo of switching
yet again into another humble siren of a moralistic fable. Rooney
was no Gable, but as Andy Hardy he could fake a nascent little man –

and Judy Garland, well, was Judy Garland ever aching for a musical:
the most accomplished art the grandest movie studio imparted
to the country’s early 1940s heart belonged to her – but everybody,
Mickey Rooney, Judy Garland, Andy Hardy, Betsy Booth were cutting
their and our collective tooth on the amalgam loves of youth, writ
large on silver screens – purported pork-and-beans of mental health: 
the wealth I took to New York City when I came to start a life myself: 
handsomer than I could dare to understand – simply due to being

just another average twenty-four year-old gay man – I drew to my
intrepid chest the first of many self-defining tests – the best for last,
which is the vast enchantment and investment of my full if dimly
recollected past, which waltzes with me like the meteorologically misty
cast of every Judy-Mickey movie: proving, it would seem, that what
it takes to love a human being can’t be learned from anyone at all.
Yet here we are withal – Mickey, Judy and Guy (oh my!):
amalgam love of loves, always and forever in each other’s thrall.


Talk About Spicy Meatballs

I occasionally highlight the more startling progeny of this de facto Kaleidogram Project to which as many of you know I seem to end up subjecting quite a number of photos and drawings. None have been more startling to me than these, proceeding from "Indra on the Lam".  Talk about Spicy Meatballs. These juicies got sting. They've put my palette and palate in a state of holy fucko.
"Kaleidogram" (Kaleidoscope + Instagram) is my friend Reed Woodhouse's perfect word for what comes out when I run a pic through the Instagram Layout function app, which I employ to divide a single image into various mirror image permutations, with strange new symmetries the outcome. Lately the drawings of my creatures have been doing more than usually disarming and alarming turns on this dance floor: never more than with these 9 kids parthenogenetically conceived by my "Indra on the Lam" progenitor parent. Visuals: (above) that progenitor parent "Indra on the Lam" followed by the amassed nonet of its kaleidogram kids; and (below) solo turns taken by each of those kids.

The strange relation this creates between the putative 'artist' who catalyzes these unforeseeable peculiarities into being (that would be me) -- and the utter untrammeled dissociative freedom from their supposed 'creator' of the aliens who spew out of the deal -- brings me to all kinds of pause. Like, did I do this? Or did a fancy visual pixel-cutting deli counter slicer do it? As it is, I have a hard time claiming anything I draw or take a pic of as "my" work: I only ever feel I'm at that deli counter, weighing and arranging and dispensing something that comes somewhere other than me. (Not exactly that I'm a 'channel' - it's stranger than that.) But applying "my" to this work has never felt more tenuous a business than now, as I see these babies travel out through the unfathomable ozone to say hi. I'm not complaining: in a manner I suppose I'm exulting in it, although even that makes it sound like I had more to do with it than it feels like I did. But then I can exult in the sky or a thigh or a sigh and I didn't make any of those, did I? I hear Alan Watts laughing. "Actually, Mr. Kettelhack, yes, in a manner, you did."

In a manner.

Solo Turns:

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Indra on the Lam

Some say we are the Net of Indra –
diamonds linked in strands – all infinite
reflections of each other; or we are
a hologram – illusory projections
of the Super-real (in every atom of

the micro find the macro): or we’re both.
One of my favorite lunches when
I was a kid was Spam my mother slid
out from its can and sliced and fried
and put on toast – all salty, bland,

transmogrified: it glistened like an Indra’s
net of meat, a hologram of ham. Today
we zap spam to a cyber purgatory where,
perhaps, it waits to be imagined as
an Internet of jewels to serve to fool

the eye by mirroring a sourceless light.
I bet if you transmogri-fried me up
a portion of the Indra-netted night,
it wouldn’t taste unlike a hologram
of my mom’s Spam. Or Indra on the lam.