Political Miscourse

The Man’s been calling
Says he wants my vote
I got down to stalling
I wanted his throat

The Man says the solutions are simple
Raise, cut, redefine, redistribute
I suggested problems and a couple of wrinkles
Class warfare and war warfare & crony tributes

I wanted him gone but it got me to thinking
How far apart we were but how we’re both sinking
How we both thought we needed some major tinkering
And how the state of the world could drive a man to drinking Continue reading

The Long Walk

What a long walk.My legs are tired, but still moving, lungs are aching, but breathing still.

I’ve passed many things…fruit trees and truck stops and pig farms and housing blocks and drug corners. Can hardly tell a difference anymore.  Not because they look the same, but because perception slows to a crawl, like a happy aimless baby.

All we’re left with are snippets, the briefest of recollections, immediate to the smell or touch or ear though they may be. For example, I heard this song, and although it reminded me of you I don’t think we’ve ever met.

Maybe I passed you on some lush tropical footpath, or under the dullest of concrete overpass monstrosities.  A dream? An imaginative thought? Do you remember?

I get tired of walking, and my simpler instincts say ‘stop.’ So what is it forcing the machine forward, sparking reactions and setting the rusty begrudging mechanics to motion? It’s hard to believe it’s just the snippets, the fleeting recollections that are there then gone, like dreams forgotten before the dreamer ever sensed their presence.

I wish you luck, all you wayward travelers. I’d like to say your destination is assured or that it’s the journey that matters. But that’d make me just another borrower, just one more thumb thrown up in the dark, shocked by the awesome blasts of air and the dark arts physics of oblivious passing semi trailers hauling god knows what. Lord knows it doesn’t matter. Continue reading

Am I Just Tired?

Am I just tired, tired of being, or tired of being me?
Is there desire? Desire for being, or desire to be set free?
And if freedom means dying, don’t think I’m not trying
Life is like that, you’re on your way
And if it’s truly over, look back but go forward
You can have it all, your dying day
Is there a fire, when danger is a given?
Isn’t it stranger to hold it at bay?
Can we find safety, or is safety just illusion
Does it matter if we last the day?
Kick it around, and what will be found
Depends on a point of view
But is there a point, and is there a view?
And what binds or makes the two?
More questions than answers, but perhaps that’s the fun
Certainty is compelling, but tends toward the one
One is a paradox–that one, a one, anyone, someone
No need to explain
To make it plain
It’s plain to see
We’re straight up trapped, until we’re free
Is it better to know your time is up, or is time prone to slice you up
It’s up to us though we may never know
Nor do we have much choice
But to choose on imperfect information
For bittersweet and eternal vacations
But no one really knows, or been back from the brink
Some say they’ve been, some say they think
There must be something more, or simply what’s the point?
They insist they know, they self anoint
And that’s just fine for me
‘Cause it’s out of my purview
But if you’d ask, I’d guess, there are no special cues
When we leave this life its final, and finally we shall know
Where it is we’ve come from, and where it is we’ll go
As for me I think it’s nowhere, though nowhere is still a place
Reality and nothingness are sure to share a space
With what we know, the unknowable
With what we think, the unthinkable
With who we are, the un-be-able
There has to be middle, if muddled, ground
Transience and permanence
A yin, a yang
A face, a dead serious proposition
A lie, a guess, an earnest admission
In the end it’s clearly unclear, why we try, why we’re here
Why we sing, why we shed these sorry tears
Does life owe us a debt?
Could a cost even be set?
Would we ask for payment in insights, joys, or years?

Idaho Poem #1

This short poem was written while traveling with my sister through northern Idaho, en route to Spokane, Washington.  The area is known to be a hotbed for bigotry, and it was this profane spirit that provided “inspiration.”

This land
Our land?
There is no music in its joy
But sorrows, they echo
Crucified upon telephone poles
Bloodied on endless highways
God’s country is by invitation only
Scattering carelessly bad seeds are spread
They’re rancid, ruined
Burning sage and singing bittersweet spirituals
Attending rodeos and climbing misty mountains
There is no music
Only endless highways, and audible but senseless random notes

The Tortured Artist, the Tortured We

They say about the tortured artist that there is a link between the art and the mania, the art and depression.  A toxic fuel coarsening through veins exhilarated but eroding quick.

Would they trade it in if they had the chance?  Burn clean and long, not dark and fast?  Would some steal back from the brink, push violently against their demons and sacrifice what could be their only chance at greatness?  Trash it for some safe, sterilized version of happiness?

And if genius entails depression, requires it of the otherwise meek and average, and if we find ourselves depressed, could the converse be true, could it entail genius? Or is there a middle ground, a godforsaken hell of a place where one can recognize the great, catch its fleeting glimpse, feel for just a moment the thrill of life’s defining, dangerous edges, but where we also know inside we can never retreat and fully leave the normal world behind, nor can we keep the faith required to let loose and really live, whether it means living or dying? Continue reading

New York: Part 1

Part 1 in a 3 part series of short poems written during my two years in the rotten apple…

New York—

When my baby left you
So did your glow go
You lost your shine
I could long again to see you through the stoned, surprised eyes of a fresh-out-of-Palookaville tourist
But never again through those of a jaded wannabe or ain’t-never-been-never-gonna-be Brooklynite
I can be in New York, but not a New Yorker
I love your mythology, but not your reality
You can be a part of me, but never all of me
All because my baby left you.

American Haiku

My lips are freezing
In chilly North Chicago
My heart is too warm

My ankles have burned
On sand as hot as Texas
Beached within the South

Somewhere lost between them
A child walks far too slow
Gone to all who knew her

‘member the children
Our flesh will wither too soon
The future’s gift they’ll be

Are they forgotten?
Or just part of us?
Held in heart, hostage?

Lost there is nothing
A country is merely land
People are shadows

If I found her
I’d color her lips with warmth
Protect her from Chicago

I would give her faith
In southern Texas sand
Wrap her feet with care

There is America
Land that won’t swallow her young
Devoted to their finding

In my dream
My flesh withered too soon
But children are safe and warm