Back Pocket Book Entry 19


Maybe he’s a listener

but probably

not to these words.

 

Perhaps he can see

the thousands

of fingers

pinched

around many

writing implements

to defend, destroy, defy

his very name.

 

But for no longer standing,

he’s a better dam

now than ever before.

 

Holding in all those dreams

to not fall

on barren land

but only

irrigate the crops

worth saving

and sometimes

that’s the whole plain

and sometimes

a single

dandelion.

 

There is no waste.

 

And in leisure

play in the pool

And in school

take the swimming lesson

 

And in old age

wade out a few feet

for memories’

sake.

 

The specter above and below

and certainly before

knows,

guides and forgives

with wit

and a phrase

turned just such a way

for all folk

because sometimes

there’s a certain accent

that sells

a joke better

and pulls tears

down

to the wells

of the cheeks.

 

(For Langston Hughes)

Back Pocket Book Entry 18


The snake and sepia-tone

reduced by use and age.

 

A smolder or restoration –stoked

and blown upon,

retouched to no avail.

 

The eyes find no warmth

anymore.

 

Only the history of heat remains

the hands

have been lowered

from where the flames leapt.

 

Still, askance the view

after all these years

all the familiarity

was of no comfort

Even after the color faded.

In Progress


Don’t lose the sun.

The trains depart

in a blink.

 

The compass can reverse-

needs recalibration,

clocks stopping

means nothing

to the wheels

and the rail

and the conductor

which understands

 

every hill

is a dial

tuned into

time

 

And shadow

is petal come off the bloom.

 

Run-off

and blazing, its

tail

shows the path

it went

before resting

here-

for hydration,

for a breath-

 

to allow the scenery

to be

under it,

 

smothered and suffocated

 

for the purity

of

entering into evidence

its guilt solely for the passion

of being free.

 

The light drives this slave

to drapetomania,

to hide

to go unseen-

until momentarily,

it shows arms

and renegades

out of bound

in tow.

 

First the butterflies

will die

as it sets

up home

behind the mall,

Then the grass,

the ponds

won’t fight back,

 

And only the cars

will go

and stay

under bulbs

insufficient for battle.

 

Then the line is pushed

as expansion comes,

 

the trees

fall

and more the dark

overtakes day.

Cool respite from the summer

cigarettes are lit.

 

To stop squinting,

the black

is found

and also for screens

to be read.

 

Then stories of photosynthesis

fade away

where the beams

are most bright,

 

And the block is applied to skin.

 

One Of My Favorite Pieces


And all will pass

into the indivisible love

Andre Breton

Remember that -oh so long

ago when we were

ships whose sails

were not made

that day hour by

hour

And ‘oh these things happen’

But now, the winged

octopus will no longer

guide this —!

For life is not always a cabaret

Sometimes it’s just pitching

coffee cups at the trash

after consuming endless days

of creamy middles

and no wafers

in sight.

* *

Or incognito

as the signs

we’re waiting

to receive

while the unspoken words

are put out to sea

And what a shanty they’ll make

And the scurvy they’ll cure

And the doldrums they’ll surpass

And oh the cargo hulls

they’ll begin to fill

So soon they’ll

throw unnecessary passengers

overboard.