The Line

I barely had one foot in this world when they handed me a face and a name and a number and said, “get in that line over there.” So I did. I don’t know much else. I don’t know where the line goes. The lady ahead of me doesn’t know either, or the guy behind—you’d think someone would know. And don’t think I haven’t asked around. Everyone has. Around here it’s like talking about the weather. Anybody find out where the line goes? Nah. Think it will rain tomorrow? Maybe. Continue reading “The Line”

Existendencies

I’m accused of believing in deities
like an irrational dummy, while
the material world in every direction
teases our intellects into a
puzzle-solving mania, clamoring
for the victories of knowing
and having known.

Happily, these elaborate conceptions
serve as a handy basis for making
offerings to the deities.

And they do supply the
handholds we’ll need, if we’re
determined to get a grip.

Beyond that, I don’t much bother
with ‘that is’ or ‘this isn’t’
unless I have to.

Every conclusion is a
leaf on the winds of inquiry.

Ephemeral as a raspy little fart.

Heat

We shrink from July’s
sizzling face-lick, as August
stokes the coals and prepares
its glowing branding iron.

Biosphere’s down with a fever
fighting the infection that’s
razing her trees, fouling her rivers
smoking her skies.

She’s picking bits
of plastic from her teeth
with all the patience
she can muster.

Conveyor

thank you for the telling
all these things I didn’t know
how like the wind it ever is
to blow and blow and blow

the mind, so like a cup, is filled
with things to know and do
the brim of it is never reached
the murky depths, so too

so on we go, we never quite
see how this knowing queue
takes up the flow of intellect
exchanging old for new

that knowledge is impermanent
is one more thing to know
it really is no problem, friend
—relax and let it go

Swingers

the way doors swing
things hinge upon things
the piano lid of the world is
like a canopy for our unhinged lives
swinging in the trees below
hangers-on learning the grips

I held you once, like that
like a hinge bearing the two halves of us
and the pins of it released
the sweetest, breathless refrain
like a sprung garden gate
whispering open, then close
swaying in the greens

Belly Dance

we brought an umbilical cord
to this knife fight, this
unrehearsable rumble

cut and sutured, blood mopped
cuddled and reassured, little man
welcome, everything’s cool

all the lifetimes sprout like this
like buds on the branches, their seeds
fall, and rise

make way for pleasure
and pain, good for the getting
and the giving too

find a groove, call it purpose
grow some thick skin
call it ambition

signals compete, it all plays out
knuckles whiten, the hair grays
the teeth yellow

and that belly button pocks us
like the record of a stray bullet
we never saw coming

Whale Song

The oceans evaporate

—and mingle with the air, sky being lung to water. Days of thirst, nights of deluge, mountains of liquid, mist like evacuating angels. Wisdom stands somehow mute while we change the dressing on a festering misconception, and the atmosphere convulses in another round of violent coughing. During the storm, shutters slap in a heaving, belligerent wind, the effect somewhat muted by the plaster walls of our carpeted room.

There is a flexibility

—to the way the minutes pass and the storm outside has lifted the building from its basement. Foundation bricks peel off in jagged wordless paragraphs. Lightening reveals dark forms in the clouds through the rattling panes of window glass. They look like dinosaurs, like great dirigibles hanging in the sky, tethered by giant tubes, wires, bundled and twisted, disappearing into the tumult of vapor and thunder below.

We will settle

—for nothing less than the full account. Our shack must land on the wicked witch. Appease the gods, pay off the sorcerers. What have we forgotten? Have the Enterprise beam those whales back up. The sea is not ready for them. Our abridgment comes at high tide, as the water crests that city on a hill. Now convenience stands on its head. How inconvenient.