Monday, December 31, 2007
with conviction ,
his body trembling in terror and
"You will see
the Whore and the Beast and the Seals and the Horsemen and the battle and the death and the fiery lake and the legions of the dead and the terrible judge and the vengeance and the horror and the cup of wrath and the Lamb and the starry headed woman and the victory and the eternal damnation
and you don't have much time left!! You have to get ready now now now now now now now!!"
I looked up from my book
Sunday, December 30, 2007
as alarming sounds pulled her anxiously,
now toward the forest, now toward the field.
An impatient stomach forced her eyes downward.
the noise to her right was a bird call,
and a hyena cringed upon hearing a terrible
and the world spoke to her.
Saturday, December 29, 2007
at a misty time,
in a hidden place.
It will arrive on a Tuesday or Friday
in June or November
at 9:21 a.m. or 1:32 p.m. or 7:15 (either one)
in a year with a real number on it
in a place that exists right now.
And I realized when Here Comes the Sun
became part of the Ganges,
that it would not make an exception
Friday, December 28, 2007
"We have had enough of eyeless children hiding in
of young wives turned to abstract art,
of mud-colored ratboys digging eagerly through
of lifetimes of work reduced to exquisite falling ash,
of shredded limbs falling away
from disbelieving witnesses,
of shrieking, electric nightmare worlds of suffering,
and hopeless prayers for death.
All that has to happen
is for everyone to embrace our gods,
and give our people the first fruits,
and submit their trembling women to us,
and open their vaults,
and lie face down,
and eradicate all
of that which is not us.
Once that has been done,
I will extend my love and compassion to all,
and healing hands can be laid upon the world.
The choice is all up to them."
He then turned his contented eyes toward
the iron-grey horizon.
Thursday, December 27, 2007
and from its unspeakable cauldron there emerged
all that was
and all that acted on it.
It created direction
and filled all of them
like Amen-Re saying,
"When I came into being, being itself came into being."
Its offspring obeyed all the rules
and brought about the founding
I fall silent
in contemplation of it.
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
through the overcast sky,
his uniform shredded
where the ravening metal had
He crashed as deadweight into the sea
and the first ripple flayed the skin off the gentle hearted woman,
crow barred the man's skull into bloody splinters,
and filled the boy with agonized hatred that burned him mercilessly
for seven decades.
The second ripple jackhammered concussions into the foreheads of
all those who had lifted
a glass with him and shared raucous laughter,
and leering jokes about good lays,
The third ripple gave the back of its hand
across the face
of his entire office, silencing it and
putting some years on a few of the unarmored ones.
The fourth ripple spat in the eye of all who had greeted him on rainy
mornings and who had chatted amiably about
They simply nodded sadly and tipped their hats or said a
quiet prayer, secretly glad that it had been him
and not the one who was hanging by a thread
above their own heads.
Tuesday, December 25, 2007
the Sun as its multibillion-fold hydrogen bombs
tear down the walls of violence itself,
or to walk at the bottom of the
Marianas Trench and gawk at its
bioluminescent denizens as they undulate in
blind, prehistoric rhythms,
or to fly stark naked
under my own power
to the dark side of the moon
and laugh in the indifferent void,
than it would be for me
and finally let go
of the one possession
I cling to
like a dead man whose hands
are frozen around his own
Monday, December 24, 2007
and day-dreamingly maudlin,
and not useful at all, but
it keeps embedding itself more firmly
this ludicrous notion
that if all those brought into this world
and 3,000 yesterdays ago
could only know what it's like to go to bed
and not be afraid
or wracked with tears,
and to know the gentle touch
of a love that surpasses all
from those who have never forgotten what it was like
to be one of them,
then I could finally go to bed
and not be afraid or be in despair
So why do I sense that when I am in the last half-perceived
of my consciousness
that it will still be calling out to me
and it will still be right?
Sunday, December 23, 2007
and Bob was no longer needed to help make
the instruments of death.
They were gathered for a picture in the
gray walled living room
of the small house.
They were celebrating the first birthday
of the shy one year old hiding in Daddy's arms
and they all beamed,
all of them gathered in innocence
for just about the last
Forty-five years later,
as the Birthday Boy was cleaning out the old house
in that final week of Grace Mary's life,
their ghosts were still standing there.
It was all he could do
to not stare at them
and be drowned.
Saturday, December 22, 2007
because you have chosen to never strip down
and mount another consenting adult in
You think that the spirit behind that special look
that comes across a human's face
just before the coming together of sensitive, excited skin,
is obscene and vulgar,
and that the act of being united together
in the embrace of Eros
is "coarse" and "low" and "disgusting" and you ask,
"Why did He choose such a degrading method to create new lives?"
You want others to be as ashamed, as crippled, and as apologetic about their own
sacred animal natures
as you are.
You deny that you hate it, and you even,
counsel them about it,
but you demand that they never indulge themselves
except to make more humble followers for you to scar
with your ignorance and fear and superstition, and that they do it
with the lights out,
without joy or pleasure, and feeling
slightly unclean afterward.
Choose to do what you will for yourself,
cut yourself off from that fevered, intimate world, because it is your right,
but understand that I look on you with the same pity
that I usually reserve
and that I look on all your talk about
self-denial and discipline and rising above and ascending to a higher plane
with a contempt that would render you
if you ever felt it the way
Friday, December 21, 2007
the one labeled in my mother's clear printing,
to be hauled out every year
and displayed on whatever space
is unimportant enough to hold them.
They are the remnants of forgotten trips
to the dime store,
cheap little figures of cloth, plastic, and pipe cleaners,
the season they celebrated meaning nothing
to the tired women
who painted them
in some small Osaka factory.
They speak of a time,
when that poignant morning meant so much to me,
and so much had yet to be learned.
After I die,
they will be thrown away.
But not before.
of Cold Grey Flatland and the annual
forced migration indoors to face
the Season of Darkness
and the regime of dreary incarceration
amidst the sleeping, barren trees.
We know honest sweat,
and Gauguin skies,
and the joyous feel of dirt in our hands
And as we turn our faces toward a brazen sun
and land that has never known anything except inexorable
we realize that if our long-ago births
gave us nothing more than the chance
to plant flowers
in this gently smiling place
on the first day of "winter",
then we are thankful for them
for that alone.
Thursday, December 20, 2007
and swirl or float in ever changing shapes,
like moving sketches,
their edges ill-defined,
their players transparent and lost in grainy,
dimly perceived light,
snatches of music or dialogue sifting through them.
or spontaneously brought to life
by the smell of new crayons
or the sound of a distant love song
or a sudden, unbidden glance
or reasons more obscure
than the remotest depths of spacetime,
they insinuate themselves like ashen street people,
or gate crash with vulgar, callous disregard,
and then fade to black,
that smash in the solar plexus,
resurrect the dead,
stir the embers of ancient passions
played out in fumbling ecstasy,
reduce proud arrogance to
or show mysteries in the true light of understanding
for the first time.
How startling and fearful
are the days
they have unleashed.
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
after the last word is done resonating in the dying air,
and every garish nightmare has been known,
and every gentle act of love has had its absurd triumph,
and every great, terrible, noble, obscene, and mundane task
has been brought to a shuddering finish,
and the red giant is devouring the last of us,
it had all been brought about
because chains of A's and G's and C's and T's
were lousy at making copies of themselves
and searched mindlessly,
for any way possible
to keep doing it?
It really would be too damned
in that humid, verdant hell,
he had his M-16 on full automatic
and when his enemy surprised him
reflex and recoil took over
and he cut the black pajamed man in half
and one part fell forward,
and the other fell backward.
And when I heard this, at age 18,
as in a Zen story,
I was enlightened.
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
(or most of us)
(or what I suspect most of us are like)
(or at least were in the furnace of our youth).
If they could know
the extraordinary power of the Reptile
and how easily the sight of unanticipated legs
or breasts displayed in subtle provocation
or naked arms against the shortest sleeves
or even the barest hint of invitation
can bring it savagely to the fore
and make Dog brain and Ape brain
take a back seat for a while.
If only they knew what it was like
to feel the muscles swelling
and to know the primal delight of sheer, dirty, x-rated, hard-edged, blood pulsing
then maybe they would understand why we are so often
so helplessly amusing
and so repellent
and so bizarre
and so often willing to sacrifice unspeakably huge things
to give the Reptile his way and to
shut him up for awhile
until the next smiling face
drags us down into his wordless realm.
Monday, December 17, 2007
and car key locations will begin
and then my own home will become alien and terrifying
and then, ultimately, I won't recognize any of them,
not even her,
I hope I will have the courage
while I still have enough clarity
while I still have the strength
and while I can still know the reason that I'm crying,
before she is trapped into caring for me
as I recede back into uncomprehending infancy.
I will leave
on my own terms.
I will not crawl across the finish line
because I choose dignity
and my last act of love
will be to liberate her from
while there is still life enough in her
to tend to the garden.
Sunday, December 16, 2007
Saturday, December 15, 2007
filled with granite
and founded on the fiery core of the earth itself and yet
with just the beginning of tears rising to
his eyes, the depth of his own assurance
making him solid and yet dissolving him
at the same time.
I look at his fervent affirmation and I feel
just the beginning of my own welling up
(but never more than that)
and then I'm afraid of him again.
Friday, December 14, 2007
Our consciousness's complexity and intricacy are the sources of much our ideology, major components of our psychology, our faiths (perhaps), and much (though not all) of our behavior. Since humans do not fully grasp their own minds, they are less in control of events than they believe they are. I contend that people do not completely understand their own motives. I further contend that this poorly understood and inadequately controlled mental reality accounts for the bizarre, tortuous way in which human society has developed. The unbelievable complexity of the human world and the daunting problems we face are exactly what we might have expected from a species that is more at the mercy of randomness than it would like to admit, a species that is inherently incapable of grasping the wholeness of its own reality, and a species driven by internal thoughts and instincts that it cannot fully understand.
Therefore, I see history as the story of how the genus Homo has grappled with the reality of consciousness. We have tended (in general) to assume that we know what we're doing and where we're going.
Thursday, December 13, 2007
had brought about the entire reality
and was playing out a huge cosmic drama
with the tribe
that would all be revealed
ultimately and that I should understand that Oswiecim
can be explained.
The second one who approached me said that the Ultimate
took many forms but was all really One
and that we were born over and over until we were
and that the ones who were condemned to spending their lives
cleaning the toilets
deserved to be.
The third one told me that I could be enlightened
if I wanted to be
and that there was no Sky Being per se
and that I could reach a place
that he could not describe
but was confident existed.
The fourth one told me about the divineman
who was sent to make a
hideous sacrifice because
the first two who had lived
and after divineman had submitted to agony and succumbed
he had come alive again
which meant that I didn't have to die if I didn't
and that divineman would be right back
and would be here soon
and it didn't matter that it was now
20 centuries later and his followers were still
holding the door open.
The fifth one told me that the last messenger
had been the amanuensis
for the Terrible Judge
and that the messenger had ridden to the Other Realm
on a beautiful horse and that I had to submit myself
to the only true book or be
alternately boiled and frozen
And I glanced at Olympus
and looked for Osiris
and contemplated Ahuramazda
and pondered the Mesopotamians sitting in their dark houses
wearing their wings
with a face that betrayed no emotion
as I looked for signs
in the distance.
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
framed by the baby nose that Grandpa is trying to teach her to find
and eyes more darling than those of a kitten
gently touching the cheek of a sleeping human.
And if only you could know how her flower petal ear feels
and touch the skin beside which silk would be like sandpaper,
and see her playing with the ball that's almost as big as she is, and her
delight in being the first person
in the history of the world
to hear a dove breaking the morning silence
or being the first person to ever see
a red tropical flower scalding the air, or if you could hold her uncertain hand
as we make the epic, Alexandrine journey
up to the very top of the driveway to see the neighbors' frantically welcoming dogs,
then you would understand why I want to put her in a huge velvet-lined box
with the interior painted in sunshine and occupied only by her teddy bears, her fenced in
friends, the nice neighbors, the seven of us, and friends that I trust.
And you would see why on the outside of the box I would place
and razor wire
and hair-triggered machine guns
and flamethrowers ready to bellow out Inferno
so that Tamerlane himself
would cringe with fear.
are you indulging in from the time you turn out the light
to the time that the dark waves imperceptibly wash over you?
Who is ravishing you
or being smashed into oblivion
or hurting the ones you love the most?
Are they images
that you would never
speak of with anyone
even unto death,
the innermost sanctum of your temple,
the Holy of Holies?
Are they reflections of your true self
or do you even know that any more?
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Because if he really was one of us
if he really was a man
then there were nights that he couldn't get to sleep
because he was thinking of her
and he wanted her
and he burned for her
and there was the time
when the two of them held each other
in fierce embrace
and came to know every contour
of each other
and slumped in golden exhaustion afterward.
Because that's part of what a man is
and I want him to be a man
so he can really be someone
I can finally understand.
[Note: revised from the original. I changed the last line.]
it really feels sometimes as if I'm standing in front of an infinity of mirrors
and I can't look away.
Monday, December 10, 2007
to the size of a single atom in relation to the Earth, where we are virtually nothing in the inexplicable
and terrifying emptiness
the four women and the two girls and
the baker downtown who sells those great sweet rolls
and that old lady who walks up the highway every day
and the artist getting the paint in his eyes from that damned chapel ceiling
and that woman being devoured in the firestorm
and the really great sex those two just had
and the frosted climber standing at the top of Nepal
and that guy trudging home from a hard day a hundred thousand years ago
and the girl who just jumped into the ocean for the first time
and the people who will see the shore of a world not yet known
won't matter at all
and it will make no difference what anyone has ever done to anyone else
or ever shared with anyone
and it will not matter whether we loved or tormented each other
and all of THIS-beyond-my-words-to-express will be laughable and contemptibly small
and I suppose there are some people who can live with that view
and even take comfort in it
but I guess I'm not one of them.