Sunday, May 13, 2018

That Day

Walking last night past a city bodega around about nine
I was dazed at the sight of a long, cheerful customer line
wrapped around its street corner. Couldn’t fathom or gauge
what these sweet friendly people of every persuasion and age
were all waiting to buy. What were the lures, the engagements?
"What's up?" I asked. "Oh God! The flower arrangements!"
A Mexican florist had managed to spew this miraculous rout
of inventively beautiful blooms. Why? (Oh Guy.) I figured it out -
and needlessly shouted to all in the queue: "Aha! Mothers' Day!"
They did not cry "Yay!" in reply, but sparkled on cue at the way
I at last had come to. (My mom, her two boys and her spouse
had convened for five decades endowing the Kettelhack house
with their versions of how most Americans choose to take part
in the requisite holidays. But Mother's Day: that day had heart.)

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Reading Belles Lettres in Front of Infinity

Okay, let’s opine for the sake of opining
we each have an incontrovertible soul.
Why do we picture it soulless, refining
itself into purity, like a divine crystal bowl
from which no mortal lips will have sipped,
much less guzzled until they were drunk from
what life was created to slip them: get ripped
by the cracks of the whips and the funk from
the actual – not strain to contain the invisible
putative Essence of our raison-d’être, 
as if that were factual? Where has our risible
Regent vamoosed to? Reading belles lettres
in front of Infinity, hoping at last for response?
Surrounded by all of his glazed-over ghosts
(what happened to cool, where was the Fonz?)
to which He, She, They, It were the hosts?
I’d rather eat stuffing
from chairs made of rat hair
than spend an Eternity bluffing
I hadn’t a place in my mind for despair.
My brokennesses make me whole.
Can’t think of one I would want to perfect.
If mysteriously I encounter A Soul
I shall counsel it seriously to defect.

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Sinister Mulligan Stew

“Man suffers only because he takes seriously
what the gods made for fun.” – Alan Watts.
“Time spent with cats is never wasted.”
– Sigmund Freud
Why do we love to administer into each others purview
what we claim to be incontrovertible evidence
we have amassed from our deepest most intimately
undergone undertakings that prove every motive,
including those mean silent buggers about whose existence
we hadn’t a clue (that is, Dr. Freud, until we met you)
inventively steaming up toxically harrowing mixes
of Sinister Mulligan Stew we’re force-fed from the outset,
against which we have no defense, so fastidiously
and insidiously is it hell-bent on vengeance, replenishing
all of the menaced and menacing slew of effects
that have passed both in public and private as “you.”
I’ll tell you why: it’s fun.
Fun is what we can’t not have.
Preferably lots.
(“Doctor Freud? Mr. Watts.”)
What’s the best way to take on a conundrum? Divinities
flare when you dare to come up with new methods
to scare that they wouldn’t dare, or when you aren’t scared
when They traumatize. But you learn their trick, how
to catalyze anyone near – ignite what incites their worst fear
(and in private excites them) – whatever thing threatens
what you call “the best of me”: that thing you learn is a joke,
not a destiny. Sob becomes laugh. No other parts in the heart
of the Spirit’s Anatomy get this job done, not by half.
Alan Watts measured and weighed up the sum of what
Makes this Methuselah run: having a shit load of fun.
How many of you knew that too?
Seven bazillion and one?
You saw it coming: None.
Come, overjoyed! - to the void!
(“Alan Watts? Sigmund Freud.”).


Wednesday, May 2, 2018

The Terrible Artist

It seemed to me noble: one ought to impart
to the terrible artist he’d no taste for art.
I’d come to believe I could do him a service
as sure as I was that, of course, he’d be nervous
observing me tear down the walls of the fortress
he’d hidden behind, falsely thinking his portraits
were trenchantly sensitive, witty and fine,
and which proved him an elegant master of line
who avoided the pretty in favor of factual,
scraping off surfaces, finding the actual.
One faintly admired an offhand facility,
but how could one bear the clichés his ability
lazily dropped like a rabbit drops pellets:
relying on mindless reflexes that zealots
whose brains had abstained from all thinking
adduced to be grand. His dreck left you sinking.
I cleverly knew the best way to begin
to unravel him out of the terrible sin
of his patent refusal remotely to see
how he’d failed, was to have him draw me.
He was done in an hour. The thing horrifies.
It’s entirely made of unspeakable lies.
No trace of my face. But I doubt I’ll survive it.
Look how it dies. Not a thing can revive it.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Poem Problem

The problem with a poem
which the Universe finds queer
is that it thinks it has to end.
There’s no end here.
But poems have to end, you say.
Or else they’d have you
by the throat both night and day!
But come to think of it,
you think, they do that anyway.