Monday, October 31, 2016

A Dream That You’re Not In

Is it possible to dream a dream that you’re not in?
You think you did, last night: you lacked the slightest
sense not only that you were but that you knew its two
participants: a yellowish small naked fellow who appeared

a touch Neanderthal leaned lightly back against a large
blue short-haired woman who, although she’d gently
placed her hands upon the man’s round shoulders, didn’t
seem involved with him, or anything. What is one to bring

to dreams like that? Freud thought them fat and full of wile.
There were no voids for Freud in dreams: their purpose
was to mean. They were his elements of style, the brick 
and mortar of his truths. But this one was a snooze.


You Get the Drift (in Three 13-line Stanzas)

“Let’s have a quick one,” said my catalyst,
whom you may know as Guy. Which (frankly)
sounded like so many of his sexual shenanigans
upon which his art-critter progeny have long
been known to spy, but who am I to talk?
You’d squawk if you knew what we
proto-drawings do when you’re not looking.
Which is always. But anyway, the ways
and means to joy to which this agency
of hoop-de-doo whom we in private often
call The Who (whom you may know, and
so on) had as his seductive ploy the half-
considered premise that he ought to do

for Halloween what blizzards used to do
(before the globe warmed up) when all
their snow had fallen: that is, to gloss the surface
with a sparkling drift, as if the whole thing had
been for those magical thin waves and shifts
of tiny diamond snowflakes tossed, like
a pour-boire upon the leavings of the icy
masses of the sixteen course catastrophe
the blizzard just had been. “A little sin of drift!
a drift – a little drift!,” The Who (whom you may
know, et cetera) just very nearly lisped into
the not-drawn sector of what (had he been
organized at all) he would have sketched

into an ear: a snowfall of the delicate variety:
“Swift” he cooed, “yes, swift! The swiftest
drift!,” resorting as you surely know he usually
does to overeasy rhyme. I tried to clock the start-
to-finish time that my arrival took to cook: I reckoned
fifty-seven seconds. “My drift, my swift delicious
piffling riffling little drift!” he (all but) lisped
at what had just devolved into swift shifty me.
Swift Shifty Me of course knew just exactly what
this tee-hee of The Who’s most recent gift
to his posterity turned out to be. Giving
(in quick unconsidered drips of the equivalent
of Catalytic Artist piss) poor Halloween short shrift.


Saturday, October 29, 2016

What You’re Leaving

What you’re leaving
had so much color!
Where you’re going
seems so much duller.

Maybe there’s nuance
and depth in the gray:
subtlety worth what
you’re throwing away.

Maybe there’s not.
Comme d’habitude,
as they say en fran├žais,
you’ll have what you’ve got.


Friday, October 28, 2016

His Problem with Protective Coloring

They thought he’d missed the point –
although his lapse had been deliberate.
He couldn’t get his synapses around the inconsiderate
suggestion that he needed camouflage when he went out

into the woods. As if to venture into Nature fully flowering
were not sufficient to anoint him with the Cosmos’
blessing – ergo, to keep him safe.
The very notion that you had to hide to save your life

had chafed him to the quick. What he’d partake of
was what he forever had partaken of: the grace
of an addressing essence: the opposite of “not” –
the breath of “yes!”: its rainbow-bright embrace!

No one knew why wolves and bears here had become so
suddenly irrationally ravenous the moment they saw brilliant
color, he’d been told: emboldened to attack with an alacrity
unknown before; this goading stimulus of bright inciting hues

meant color was bad news. He didn’t give a flip.
We watched him rip into the woods
in shining full array: devoid of ‘should’s’ –
enjoying every breeze of that sweet sunlit day.

We haven’t seen him lately.
His friends think they know why.
They’re prepared to miss him greatly.
We all but hear their long collective sigh.

We haven’t seen him lately.
His friends think they know why.
They’re prepared to miss him greatly.
We all but hear their long collective sigh.


Thursday, October 27, 2016

Without Me They are Nothing (Without Them I’d be, Too)

More of my creatures now insist they want four feet.
They say that while I manage well enough at sketching
heads, I'm not convincing at evincing the acceptable

proportions that should properly inform the limbs of bipeds.
Some decree they won’t agree to be unless I turn them into
quadrupeds. They say I'm tolerably good at drawing those.

I’ve thought of threatening to morph them into hunchback
trilobite-cum-ptarmigans sans feathers, dead-eyed
and grotesquely fat. (No idle threat. I’ve drawn a few

like that.) But collectively they’d thumb their nose. I’ll never
carry out the plan. Try to & they'll slip back into their abyss
as quickly as they can – insuring that I’ll never draw another

woman, trilobite or man. Still I'm tempted to inform the one
who yearns to be a quadrupedal Queen of Sheba: sure,
I gladly will oblige, and then with molto chiaroscuro

make her an amoeba. But without me they are nothing
and without them, I’d be too. So chances are they’ll suffer
through whatever feet they get. And I’ll put up with their regret.

But nothing’s carved in stone: no circumscribing law, whose
spirit, if there were, we’d pay more homage than its letter.
And hey, you never know. One day I might draw better.


Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Better Question

What if you’re the unreality? – hearsay or a rumor,
ephemeral idea, breathy supposition, substanceless
hypothesis, word that cannot ever be made flesh?

What if the alien you are imagining is sitting on
your lap is fact? – the actuality, the proof that proves
the Is of Is-ness? – the thing that’s really here? Or,

better question: would that make Being clearer?


Tuesday, October 25, 2016


Today you were a quadruped.
Your curiosity had prodded you
to undertake investigation of what
beasts on a quartet of feet go through.

You liked the planted sturdiness a lot –
yet you were careful to decide on it
on the condition that you get a lumpy
back so nobody would want to ride on it.

Got the back. Day went well. But hell!
Can’t recollect the trick! You’re vexed.
Forgot that quick shape-shifting spell!
You’d hoped to be a Rockette next.


Monday, October 24, 2016

Inimitably We

You’re the nth
degree exemplar
of yourself,
my little elf,

and I’m the final
stop on any tour
of me. We’re
thus self-evidently

singular, and surely
not an us – and yet
together, quite
inimitably we.


Sunday, October 23, 2016

When Dreams Are Done With Them

Creatures aren’t happy when they have to leave a dream.
They’re rarely asked to come back even when they play
its vividly embodied  theme, or are the presence

that the dreamer has the dream to undergo –
which may have kept them purposefully in the center
of its flow. It’s far from guaranteed new dreams will bring

them that again – that they’ll mean enough to be recalled,
or will in any form again be seen. Their substancelessness
may be sprinkled into minor roles: crumbling mortar in a wall, 

cold spray off a waterfall, or a grayish fog that terrifies –
derives its ripe dank wet from some faint anguished
memory of gym class sweat. But memorable roles are rare.

Dreams here and there may care or dare to call them up
again if they were the afflicting sharp specifics of horrific
rape, or the abusive horrors in a childhood trauma.

Mostly, though, when dreams are done with them,
the odds against a future starring role are great.
Mostly they are shown the gate to their oblivion.


The Bond Entre Nous

My queen confides in me
and I always tell her my secrets.
Sometimes we simply take peeks at
the view through the window to see

what the street's panoply of sweet trees
is in business that day to appease
in their gods and themselves and in us.
Nobody prods. There's never a fuss.

The bond entre nous
is as calm and as true
as it's fond.
Every dawn, from Beyond,

some anima magica wafting a wand
softly sifts down to touch us -- procure
what will keep this nonesuch of us pure --
and enable the flow of our status quo.


Saturday, October 22, 2016

Drizella, Vindicated!

Stepsisters! Nasty, grotesque Anastasia, Drizella! That poor
Cinderella’s impediments – led by her witch of a stepmother
Lady Tremaine – all of them sinister, greedy and vain! Disney,
at least, made this plain. But Lady Tremaine was in fact standard
issue for seventeenth century wannabe rich: her itch to succeed

in society was as ho-hum and as common as pine tar and pitch.
It’s true that the elder stepsis’ Anastasia was not at all pretty,
but she wasn’t nasty: she hadn’t the wit to be mean. She could
daily be found leaning over her lap in a daydream, nearsighted,
attempting to knit. However, Drizella, though less nicely named,

was a beauty. Moreover she liked Cinderella (whom she would
call Cindy) and thought it her duty to offer her friendship: she’d
sneak from her bed in the night and go down to the down-pillowed
nook where she gently would wake Cinderella to lend her a book –
Montaigne had published one lately Drizella was sure would regale

Cinderella – its scandalous wanton abandon was certain to tickle
them both: and tickle it did. But the pickle they say Cinderella was
in was a crock. In fact the sole female who couldn’t attend the block-
buster ball of the Prince was Drizella. That week she’d a hell of a flu.
Cindy, it’s true, was the belle of the palace: her stepmother

wasn’t delighted. But neither was she full of malice. Anastasia,
weak-sighted sweet dope, couldn’t win: Cinderella was Lady
Tremaine’s only hope (damn the flu). No fairy godmother, no lost
glass shoe. The prince had his eye on the girl, and that moment
decided to marry her: that was the end. Well, not quite the end.

When Drizella recovered enough to be summoned to meet Cindy’s
husband-to-be – Cindy (aghast!) watched the Prince fall in love
at the sight of her! But the light of her wasn’t to last. Drizella fell
back into flu. The royal man cried as she died. We hear that
they all made the best of it. But that’s all we know of the rest of it.


Friday, October 21, 2016


I think I'll scrape the rougher encrustations off my day
today and stay somewhere beyond the ego’s pale: catch up
with Hill and Dale – leap over Hill, make love to Dale. Or play
the enigmatic Melville whale and be whatever that entails –

cut living into tender meat and eat it, flow as unencumbered
by bewilderment as I can choose to be; let all neurosis be
unthinkable and sadness, news to me. Doesn't mean I'll opt
for gladness: merely skim the waters with a slick bare skin,

be fodder for each cosmic whim (is there another way
to swim?). I cannot buy into the aims I see around me
anymore. I don't adore one thing I notice others do.
And so today, and possibly for longer: toodle-oo.


Thursday, October 20, 2016


It's surely not that we can't spot some reason
for a thing: most casts of mind exist to find
a rationale for their proclivities: enough at least

to scratch provisionally some small itch
of worrying about why one has done whatever
one has done: but with infinity inhabiting eternity,

all bets are off: the lie is put to causes and effects,
and one suspects one's energy is better angled
toward the votive than to sussing out a motive:

to laud, exalt, exult in the impossibility of being
clear on being here. And yet proscriptions make
me petulant: I sigh. I still intend to find out why.


Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Mrs. Jaypher Composites (Sometimes You Just Can't Stop Yo'self)

Mrs. Jaypher


Mrs Jaypher said it's safer

If you've lemons in your head
First to eat a pound of meat
And then to go at once to bed.

Edward Lear


It’s this time, now, that seems to her a vacancy –
this biologically indeterminate vague state
which she can’t placate through the prospects

of the usual availing means: when life appears
to want to feed on something far beyond its
generally tractable desires and needs: no form

of sex or sleep or plate of saffron rice or playing dice
or any of that strange fastidious decorum which
sometimes proceeds from heeding Schubert

or Vermeer or Bach or Edward Lear sufficiently entice:
no human agency at all can pay the price of stalling
this dark spiral into – well, she can’t quite say

abyss, but rather that enduring kiss of existential
dusk which neither wakes her up nor makes her
comatose. Is there a drug for this? She wants a dose.

Is there a soul equivalent – a shamanistic magic
cure that might perform the right transforming
trick? She wants one or the other: quick.


Tuesday, October 18, 2016

The Blue Gel Stage of Soul Development

It’s in the blue gel stage of soul development
we think the trouble starts. Still malleably soft enough
to prompt the hope in its assessors they can coax it
not to double back into the pleasant entropy from which
it came but rather yearn to learn the arts of aiming
at a goal in a direction which will pass inspection
in the next stage, when it’s green and thick and palpable,

the Soul is on the brink of a decision which will link it
to what it must do: the thrust, the whole of Soul’s sole
trust: how will it care for human life? Will it act
as loving father, mother, husband, lover, wife?
Or profit more by causing strife?  One’s as much
an avenue to real illumination as the other. Did your Soul
take the road to Love or War? Or did it take another?