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Poems from My Youth
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Below is a selection of poems I made between circa 1986 and 1993. It is very difficult now to imagine the imagination I once had and the great care I put into the crafting of these little songs or prayers or whatever they may be called, but I am not ashamed of them and do believe that they are worth sharing. Some of them, I believe, are masterpieces, but that is not for me to determine.
 
Over a period of maybe a decade, I wrote several hundred poems. In the decade since, I have written maybe three or four. The death of my poetic faculty came suddenly and, as I recall, unexpectedly. But in the time of my activity, I did have a voice. The poems on this page and the next are the best of my invention.

WHY I'M FELT-TIP MAD
 
I am much
Too clean to lie.
I love it when we all collide!
I love it cleaner than my eye: I
Decide and I deride.
 
If ever I decide to lie,
Don't deride and don't collide---
 
"I swear it on my eyes," I cried.
 
I've decided I'm a lie.
 
                             (1990)
 
 
A METASTAPSYCHOTIC EPISODE
 
A moment's understanding ---dub---
Clinging scarlet string ---a stake---
That fibrilate a science ---blood---
And flows the torments endlessly.
 
We won't our bodies now depart---
Across them out ---an error stays---
Dislodging lies like swinging arms
Into a mass of nests and stings.
 
 
A BOY CRUISING WITH HIS GIRL
 
The mangled possum begets no spirit---
Nor do we, my sweet machine.
Let us laugh and never fear it,
Although sleepers we have been.
 
                                               (1990)
 
 
MICHELANGELINE
 
Our Father in the sky is mad:
He thinks himself a kind of man---
And bears the aspect of his seed---
By which he springs throughout the land.
 
His children, underneath, are ruled---
And better there to be fulfilled---
Are holes ---of endless magnitude---
Where spirals what he is ---to build.
 
Who cast for that anthropic dream?
What spawned that logic ---so obscene---
To speak apart and be without?
It makes as false ---the true machine;
 
Imagines reasons that collide;
Projects upon a chance ---design---
To keep our spirits well-consoled---
With pictures Michelangeline.
 
(I tell you with my artless mouth---
And even with my rattled breath---
Our Mother bears our Father not,
Nor martyrs to unnatural death.)
 
 
SOUND OFF THE BODIES
 
Because there is sound off the bodies
 
Ripe plastic captains who clung to their masts---
Assiduous servants who swallowed their fears
 
Muttered to manatees ---further below.
 
ALL SMILES
 
A crystalline shock
And scatter the peace of my midnight walk
But why? I was no enemy---
No meddler in your master's scene
 
Well, you may bark, but you shall whimper
Through your brains ---the cage of teeth---
 
And with the fur of your twitching flank
Will we ---all smiles---
Wipe my truncheon clean.
 
 
CURATOR
 
Herr Spengler grumbled, "I am dead."
For I love life that's under glass.
The world ---fixed--- inside my head
Is greater now that it is passed.
 
 
 
ONE PART LAURA, THREE PARTS LICENSE
 
I cringe, remembering
How I misread her.
The cryptic queen allows
No other sense
On her to dwell.
 
Now shakes this bloated jester---
Cracked and full of tears---
Leaning into the asymmetrical sky,
 
It must be made even---
Just--- as I tear apart
The linger and the dissipate,
Desire and the joy of hate---
Because I know it's much too late---
To spare my rotten heart.
 
                                    (1990)
 
NARCOEULOGY
 
Cut it ---it will fester dreams---
Razor blade the bloated hide---
Cultivate what drips and clots---
The poppymagination.
 
And even through your filthy mouth
And pools where gapes the head
 
 
RHESUS SARDONICUS
 
Asphyxiate and then you grin---
Monkeys make a lot of men---
Winded ---singing "Rock of Ages"---
Soulless sentries in their cages---
 
I remember being there---
A picture of that bloodless stare---
Ice-encrusted flesh and bone---
A face that fathomed death alone---
 
He must have seen the virgin's eyes---
He must have understood the lies---
He would have smiled in his rage---
To know who turned his final page:
 
A cross-eyed crazy lost to pain
Who simpers, godward, through the rain.
 
                                                          (1991)
 
 
HE WHO PANICS HAS NO SOUL
 
Every time you think you'll die
You have ---the rest is heaven.
Every being is becoming
What it wasn't and you wonder:
 
"When's the end?"
 
And then you get it:
 
There's no blame and
There's no credit.
 
Faster, faster:
Get to sleep
 
(For Nothing
is the peace you'll keep.)
 
PALE CABBALA
 
I strummed quiet
Cabbala strings---
Strung my foreign-tongued lyre,
Reclined before clandestine rings
To wax the cryptic song of Luna
And resonate her choir.
 
I struck goatskins---
Stretched and muted---
Appalling in their soundless dirge---
Unnerving as a truth disputed---
Awoken from its tomb of law
And cacophonies,
Now purged.
 
I blew silent
Doldrum gales---
Fingered lithely awful phrases,
Culled beyond the farthest pales
And echoed in the cast of mantles
Blessed with stealthy phases.
 
                                           (1990)
 
 
CURSE RECURRENT
 
The struggle's on and every one
Who's got a shovel or a gun---
In just the time it takes to break---
Is gonna get some when it comes...
 
Is gonna get it 'tween the eyes
Where's struck the bone that dammed the lies---
"Professor, rise and claim your stake---"
He makes his holes to realize
 
How crucial is the revolution,
How perfect are the true solutions:
And even though he's most awake,
Beneath, it's ancient apparitions.
 
 
HIS MAJESTY'S KITCHEN
 
His majesty's kitchen,
Having fed the maggot hordes,
Returned to scrimshaw madness
In its icebox-minded glow.
 
My cold chalk chatter touches
Every fork and spoon and knife---
Carved out of bone and bleached of chrome---
Arranged in racks for life.
 
"No food touched these," I whispered whitely---
My cobweb laughter rained like cole slaw
Into the endless void where I saw
Shelves of glass Icelandic cod.
 
                                            (1989)
 
 
ARCHAEOLOGIST'S EVE
 
I forgot to tell you in my song
About the holy night that is---
The one that lives ---an organism---
The one that has no sense of wrong---
 
Nor right ---and will it keep its word
About the holy night it is?
Or will it bear me ---cataclysms---
Drained away ---in time--- too strong?
 
And, so, recall, that you were all
About the holy night that lives---
Preserve your love ---indeed, your chasms---
For the early morning digs.
 
 
 
BEING DEPRESSED WITH A FEVER
 
Sirens in a caustic night:
I turn to fragments in their wake;
There are no innovations left,
Except the ones I think I make.
 
Patina-faced in many pieces---
I sense no ease in any thing---
There is no shaking the solid volume
Or the pretense as I sing.
 
Trembling in the angels' presence,
I can't believe I'm not in motion...
 
Well, there is nothing left to me
As I go deeper
In deep oceans.
 
                      (1989) 
 
 
COPYRIGHT
 
There were villains in the pie---
Eat your piece and throw a stone.
There were windows on the sky---
Now as fractured as the bones
Of the hands that smudged and ate;
Of the arms that cradled hate;
Of the head that heard too late
That there's nothing left to own---
But the copyright to die.
 
                                  (1990)
 
DAGUERREOTYPES OF YOU
 
Will we ever
Meet again?
Being young
And rootless,
I suspect not.
 
But I will persevere,
And drag
The whole romance thing
About it until it drops---
Because I'm sure
I love you.
 
Oh, where went
Your sentimental heart?
Don't you know
What abusive language
And peace bonds
Can do to a budding flower
Like ours?
 
So I will sit
For a portrait to give you,
Painted with quite an exquisite view
 
Behind me.
 
But doing this means
I want no more humor---
But a true
And kissable photograph:
 
No more
Daguerreotypes of you
In your great-great-grandmother's
Sunday dresses,
 
You mercurial cat,
You.
 
      (1988) 
 
 
 
SHEOL
 
Now I breathe too much ----the dust---
Though we always shared that trust:
You, in silence, would assume
The least, but really all, of me.
 
I've been thinking precious little,
Which is white-washed walls ---a riddle.
Must it always come to this?
A lapse in physiology.
 
So, here to lie ---desensitized---
And faced with nothing ---realized---
I smile ---many years ago---
Upon your think geology.
 
                                   (1991)
 
HATRED
 
Fetch Hatred from his princely stall
And saddle him: tonight, we ride.
I long to travel and be at peace
And avenge this wounded pride.
 
'Tis certain on the craggéd way
We will, amongst our victims, see
Some faultless fellows shattered there
And villains left to be.
 
But would you wonder who's the master
And which one cleared the darkness faster?
 
He rests in laurels in the dawn;
Put out to pasture
Just a pawn.
 
 
SILENTLY MIGHT HE DRUM
 
Did I die or do I dream?
Brought my body to a brook---
Have they dug another grave?
Black on heels sprang their sad looks.
 
Slumbered through these Sabbaths past
 
Breathing opocked my lungs ---my breast---
 
My sticks have quite become my bones---
The perihelion of my madness
Now is met:
 
And I am more like Death than the darkness
Dumb.
 
 
OVERNIGHT TO MONA
 
Dumb white boy in poor black face
 
He writes great tracts by your pallid glow.
 
IN PERILOUS UNION
 
Not knowing what the matter was
 
THE EAVESDROPPER
 
Misplace a word ---disturb the flow---
This constant need to turn a god
Is racket ---full of woe.
 
 
CHIVALROUS FILM NOIR FUCK
 
You thumb a ride and I'll tail a cab.
Be back here tomorrow
When it all gets so anonymous:
You and me, baby---
Splintering the red neon.
 
 
GENTLE ANTONY
 
If I hide ---a zealot--- in my heart---
A suspect in the Earth's revisions---
A certain master from the deep divisions---
Would it matter ---where we part---
If there's no deed of that decision?
 
I mean, there's nothing of a fist
Or bricks or bats or longest knives---
Or any means to the end of lives---
That could be taken from my list
And put amongst those who survive.
 
But, if it happens that there is,
I do deny duplicity---
Admit of no profanity---
And simply tell you that it's his---

My just and gentle Antony.

 
                                             (1992)
 
 
ASCENSIONS
 
Stood like man endured in carbon,
Breathed black air in slammed-steel chambers,
Wrote, with a smile cut from bone,
"I'm dying..."
And he turned to me.
 
Bent like Atlas bound in shadows
Of a world consumed in darkness,
Spake, with silence forged in bells,
"I'm dying..."
And wailing knells.
 
Lied like Zeus ensnared in questions,
Dreamed, through echoes, every dream,
And thought, with nothing left before him,
"I'm dying..."
And he turned to me.
 
                             (1989)
 
 
RESISTOR
 
Confascinated by the sound,
Which is a thought---
Are turning words---
Thus, into flesh,
As we are bound,
Casts conscious life
Like metals wrought:
 
I sing
My soul's an element,
And charted as it's found
For freedoms in extraction I
Am drawing from the ground---
 
Which is to say
That I resist
The figures of decay
 
(Like those who bid goodnight too well,
Or too much greet the day).
 
 
 
CENTER TO BE SEEN
 
I long to set the world in motion---
And, no, it isn't ---by degrees---
But only orbits ---the odd devotion---
The center to be seen.
 
I scripted every part in silence
And made from them a singing whole---
As sibyls of a smoke charade
Deliberated
On my soul.
 
I long to put it on your tongue;
Absorb oblation in my day---
But now devolves on me the songs
A saint ---a'spinning--- prays.

                                          (1991)

 

 

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