Calculated Risks


in extremes

play is troublesome

whether with fire

or ending in frostbite.

direction has no inborn

decisiveness

about whom to hurt

yet

accidents happens

according to

calculated risks.

Or, maybe it doesn’t sit so well

with what else was

swallowed

and beyond ozone, ionosphere

to outer reaches becoming penitent

feel revenge     -hereditary-

of temptation

turned sour.

Young Poets Bare All: What Is a Culture? : Amy King : Harriet the Blog : The Poetry Foundation


Don’t swear so much. Aren’t we decorous? What Is a culture? It’s an enormous detailed lie lived in, wrought beliefs, A loving fabrication. What’s good about it? Nothing. It keeps you going, but institutionalizes inequality, killing, and forced worship of questionable deities … –Alice Notley, Culture of One As an educator, I’d be remiss if […]

Source: Young Poets Bare All: What Is a Culture? : Amy King : Harriet the Blog : The Poetry Foundation

Transmission


What is happening

is the job

of hyper-real

suffering

poetry

of natural

and experiment(al) following

method

through idea into its truth

and history

being created

as it breathes

as its fog of being makes misty

eyes and ears

sensing

a reality to be beyond

recording but ready for

transmission

Portrait


Olives come in green, black and between

rice has hull removed

and sits in stomach

white.

Beans are a plate of kidneys

in grease and garlic

 

Chickens walk on dark

cluck comes up

from the light.

 

Dinner leaves its origins

on stove

before reaching plate

 

Stains remain

where Clorox and Brillo

fail

 

Next meal is served,

cooking tasked

to new hands

different tastes.

Lately, It’s Been Nothing New


lately, it’s been nothing new.

been hard trying

to keep this

brittle heart

from falling

too far apart for repairs

.

where’s freedom when it’s needed?

freedom from

a fate coming

prematurely?

.

headlines out here getting sequels worse than the original.

scripts calling

for more violence

faster on the trigger

less backstory

new victims same villains

.

skin is not a uniform

skin is not a weapon

skin is not a target

skin is not a threat

skin is fragile

skin is not a choice

skin is not a liability

skin is not anybody’s fault

skin is not at fault

.

to be fair,

everybody makes mistakes

to be honest,

why are the same folks on the same side of the errors?

.

it must be something to solve for

every problem

comes with an answer

once we figure out

the control

and the variables

.

it must be something in the water

in the stars

in the blood

beneath it

going on and on

and on

but the end has yet to arrive

.

someday can’t come fast enough.

but patience is gone

.

anger has its reasons. sadness is the logic inscribed in our genes. sorrow the logo we want changed.

no more

names

no more

stories questioned

in the name of anything other than justice

no more hashtag proof

that equality

has yet to exist

.

lately, it’s hard not to feel hunted.

lately, extinction feels like a possibility.

children first

the women

old folks too

.

it’s been lonely

waiting.

it’s been lonely

hoping.

it’s been lonely

in solidarity.

it’s been lonely

for love.

.

truth is . . .

that’s the joke

been heard before.

punchline’s always same as before

.

Around/Crown


“ . . . irony cannot break the wall

. . . building around . . . poem . . . ”                                                                                                           (Harold Norse)

 

Fermented phemes have grown culture

through aging

fragrance stronger still and stronger to come

but hasn’t yet.

 

Treasures of the night

have never been found

on ice.

* * *

To the streets filled up on sour

and acidic

quelled on probiotics

 

Bacteria grown against

God the virus.

* * *

Sewer grates leave menthol and regular packs

green and red

at the curve

of the corner

 

Back up Coke and Pepsi cans,

and the logos

all the sigils stamped

in coffee cup,

burger wrappers, empty chips, sweet still sleeping

in candy’s former sleeve.

 

But water

and what passes for water

where concrete, brick

and asphalt meet

slips through

with even

the most fickle poem.

* * *

“ . . . Does

Maybe not matter when maybe’s a landscape of untethered

starlight?”                                                                                                                           (Rowan Ricardo Phillips)

* * *

It’s all enjambment

subterranean

All disjoint up up above

as together unbounded

configure

and point

 

Possibly

supposedly

spray paint that won’t come loose

from walls

and monuments

here

where                   upturns

is a route

able to navigate

for food.

* * *

Words are black

and have running

in their blood

Drapetomania is the suffering

of text enslaved

to the page.

* * *

Captivity lets faith, hope

and charity

disappear

with visions of Zion

and all lands promised

to the passed over.

* * *

This world cannot be taken personally

* * *

Ingestion

does not make

digesting come

does not confirm

nutrients extracted

to destinations

supposed.

 

Swallowed in sips

language has no

bottom of cup

 

So bloats

So bursts

 

So hyponatremia

of thoughts

first attacked, assaulted

then accepted.

* * *

Where can’t walls be built?

Gates, fences,

neighbors cutting off stanza from stanza

Rooms

lose sight

of one                                   another

 

Disjoint occurs

nonsense teems

begins plans

against 5 or perhaps 6

senses –

sentimental, sensual,

sensible (?).

 

Springtime further blossoms

nature’s lines of defense,

borders,

infringements.

 

Winter drops guard

lets jokes

slip through –

pushes them on blizzard

dreams

 

to bury

and give cabin fever

to homesick

broken lines

stranded.

* * *

Just and just

only

not too much

* * *

Having lost vowels

over centuries

landlocked

in clay and sand

 

Consciousness lost name

and rose as ash –

ashen rose

burnt out

deity

spoken through brush

and to Jeanne D’Arc

 

and in caves

 

In places beyond and between opposite openings

side 1

side 2

left channel right channel

doors

in need of visitors’

whispers / speaks / tolds / talks / yells /screams

Auditory.

 

How the machina comes

is on ears first

– save for Saul.

* * *

Life was begun by forgetting

this entrance.

 

Since then,

gifts  -if received-

are misconstrued

 

And grow into curses

cultivated.

* * *

Sensitive:

1) to be easily crestfallen by outside forces upon the ego.

 

Sensitve:

2) to be empathetic to the crestfallen outside of the ego.

* * *

“. . . silence crowns the song.”                                                                                                   (Ursula K. LeGuin)

 

But Guess Again


What sentiment is so equally shared

valley

and

precipice

?

Absolute has no relation to

actual

tether’s hold is not another

way of saying

relation- empathy returned

the book of resemblances

was not written in sympathetic

sounds

 

vowels harmonize given the opportunity

 

clusters also

are broken

when chance is had

 

but guess again for stars draw            long and short

of clouds in distances varied from

cones and needles

pine.