Tuesday, December 30, 2014

The Drunken Lover

It's okay now, sweetie... Ain't it grand the wind stopped blowing?

The Drunken Lover

I just have to go,
no choices left or my brain
will melt and drain out
both my broken ears.

Your last word's been said to me,
said at me, really,
over and over
and my flesh has been burned off
my shattered sad bones.

I had hoped for change
and you reply with Vodka,
vanilla extract,
and a refusal
to put it all down or make
that last fucking cake.

‎October ‎29, ‎2010 10:58 PM

A recollection of how it was in 1994 though the photo is as allegorical as the poem is not. There were disheveled moments in our house but we never lost the walls. Beneath the photo, the caption is slightly reworded from of the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 82.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

The Pink Shop

Image supplied by Tess for this week's Mag 251 If you click on this link you will arrive at the post which includes the Pink Shop photo and a list of links of the contributors.

The Pink Shop

I turned the corner,
a stray arrival alone.
I found the Pink Shop
with the silent chime.

If you pale or I, stumbling,
do -
on sale for high bids
but not with you, dear -
nor their fat laughing God spots -
those plain old holy

This scar will remain
though I ingest words, your words
and all their grand words

‎December ‎28, ‎2014 12:36 PM

The poem includes all twelve words in Brenda's Sunday Whirl, Wordle 193 If you click on this link you will arrive at the post which includes the Wordle and a link in Mr. Linky green to the list of links of the contributors.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Doing The Wash

The man second in from right is wearing his lungi folded in half to keep it mostly out of the water. I know this is a lungi because that is a typical plaid and three color pattern for lungi cloth. You go to the market and buy the cloth in rectangles and then have someone sow it into a tube. That's all there is to it. I had a lungi of a very similar plaid and coloring when I was in Bangladesh. However, this is India.

Doing The Wash

Right in the middle
of folding my worn out wash,
my ragged old shorts,
I thought of your lines
and started this new poem,
you dozing nearby.
It's about a cat
with her satisfied Cheshire
grin and her supple
tail twitching about,
or it's about time passing
and about the flame
between us, warming
the whole world and this longing
we might choose to hide.

‎October ‎29, ‎2010 12:30 PM

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

The Scolding

A Free Food Station set up outside one of their houses, The Diggers in action. The food was gleaned from a farmer's market.

The Diggers were one of the legendary groups in San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury, one of the world-wide epicenters of the Sixties Counterculture which fundamentally changed American and world culture. Shrouded in a mystique of anonymity, the Diggers took their name from the original English Diggers (1649-50) who had promulgated a vision of society free from private property, and all forms of buying and selling. The San Francisco Diggers evolved out of two Radical traditions that thrived in the SF Bay Area in the mid-1960s: the bohemian/underground art/theater scene, and the New Left/civil rights/peace movement.

The Diggers combined street theater, anarcho-direct action, and art happenings in their social agenda of creating a Free City. Their most famous activities revolved around distributing Free Food every day in the Park, and distributing "surplus energy" at a series of Free Stores (where everything was free for the taking.)

Want to know more? Go here

I stayed in a Diggers crash pad for the rest of a long night in January, 1967. The first part of the night I was at one of the ballrooms dancing on Acid. The next night was on the beach making music all night long, tribal stuff, pounding on logs and all that by the bonfire. We were strangers, I think, not just me but most of us. Then I got to the bus station and with the last of my money got a ticket back to San Jose. In San Jose I was living on the street, eating very little and assisted by my friends who had a little more than me. I had a broke down car and little else. At least the car was parked where it wasn't bothering anyone and it was big enough that I could sleep in the back of it. Mostly I scored warmer places to sleep.

The Scolding

Your suppressed beatnik
spoke up today, told us all
off, told us all where
to go while squinting
in all that pot smoke, that dope
smoke around the place
you made for loving
but I guess we just will not
behave to your full
time satisfaction.

‎October ‎27, ‎2010 8:52 PM

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

I Can't See The Forest Today

I Can't See The Forest Today

Nymphs are still alive
after all this. You told me
how to see them past
the way they disguise
their pale immortality.
You even told me
their true names, not known
today, not to be spoken,
not then, not now. No.

Oh I must tell you
how my chest bubbles open
and my breath fails, falls
across sand mirrors
of too bright color, hand thrown
on the marble floor.

I do not know if
I will find you again, try
with all my screaming
shirt splitting tipped black
waves of bad bad intentions
or my last good ones.
One flowering tree,
one special name I will call
and tear us all down.

‎December ‎23, ‎2014 10:34 AM

Monday, December 22, 2014

Markus Tullius Cicero Is Dying

Wiki says:
Marcus Tullius Cicero; 3 January 106 BC – 7 December 43 BC, victim of political murder; was a Roman philosopher, politician, lawyer, orator, political theorist, consul and constitutionalist. He came from a wealthy municipal family of the Roman equestrian order, and is widely considered one of Rome's greatest orators and prose stylists.

His influence on the Latin language was so immense that the subsequent history of prose in not only Latin but European languages up to the 19th century was said to be either a reaction against or a return to his style. According to Michael Grant, "the influence of Cicero upon the history of European literature and ideas greatly exceeds that of any other prose writer in any language". Cicero introduced the Romans to the chief schools of Greek philosophy and created a Latin philosophical vocabulary (with neologisms such as humanitas, qualitas, quantitas, and essentia) distinguishing himself as a linguist, translator, and philosopher.
Cicero held strong for the institutions of the Republic during the time when Rome was moving into its Imperial incarnation. He stood in the way of Imperial powers and was murdered for it.

Markus Tullius Cicero Is Dying

There's smoke in the wind
and the women grieve out loud -
Oh! Wise Minerva!
Oh! You Cicero,
sliced by the hot knives of Rome!

The Consul had words
for us, they say, love
for us, they say, and they weep.

I must clear my throat,
wrap my pallium
tighter and squeeze my face shut
against a savage
cry that rises in
the deep of me at the thought
of my helplessness.

But should I cry out
they will find me and fillet
me, nail my skin flat
while I still bleed out.
Just what's the good in that You
would ask me even
as the eagle soars
and You embrace my best dreams
Oh! I am undone!

‎December ‎22, ‎2014 9:13 AM

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Stage Fright - Sunday Whirl Wordle 192

Stevie Nicks early in 2014, I think.

Stage Fright

Stevie Nicks and me
backstage - your eyes snag the burn
in my panic sweat -
oh, I am so high,
I cannot perfom tonight -
five thousand stars shine
in ten thousand eyes.
Always my gal, my good heart,
my sweet talk and choice.
I cannot go on,
not before this crowd who loves
you, does not know me,
even with the help
you spill onto my dry face.
Ms. Nicks, be my lace.

‎December ‎21, ‎2014 11:55 AM

Had one of Stevie's albums playing. She is one of the best ones.
This poem utilizes all twelve words in Brenda's Wordle 192.
Click on the green link to go to the contributor page.
There, click on any link you like.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Sucking My Spiritual Thumb

Sucking My Spiritual Thumb

My inner gravel
creates shoals in time fading
down the moody slope
of my own stillness.

It's the tobacco smoking
in the far corner
that yellows the day.

Am I sacred or just scared,
that is the question
behind all attempts
I make at the mandala
getting shallowness
instead of that depth
we all know is still required
should we try to fly.

‎December ‎18, ‎2014 10:46 AM

This poem utilizes all nine words in the wordle offered by Irene on the Red Wolf Poems site.

Red Wolf

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Irish Dreams - Three Word Wednesday

On Wednesdays Thom posts his blog as a creative prompt for writers of any short piece that may suit including the three words he chooses to offer. This week the words are: Alive, Glaring, and Misty.

Go to Three Word Wednesday to see the collection of writers and their creative offerings by following any item on the Mr. Linky list posted there you like.

Irish Dreams

Don't get all misty
on me with your sweet blonde curls
and your shining eyes
blue beyond all blue.
I remember you glaring
just the other day
because my dreamtime
is rich and alive with song
and words and red head
step dance in shiny
black shoes that actually
fit my gnarly feet.

December 17, 2014 10:19 AM

What To Do Next

Jesus in the Middle East is reported to have said the whole of the Law is summed up in whole hearted love for God and for all people in specific one on one. I understand this to not mean some form of overarching love for mankind but instead for each woman as lover/mother/sister/daughter/friend and each man as lover/father/brother/son/friend. This is no less than a demand, love of God because He commands it, and of men and women because they are in some way each by each perfect images of God and so deserve it.

In Asia Buddhism became the dominant cross cultural spirituality. In Buddhism it is claimed that it is possible to become truly free of illusion and distress, only that at some point along the Way Out one reaches a viewpoint that may stop one from going the rest of the way because if we all don't go to freedom then the few who go are incomplete anyway. So some stop and turn back as Bodhisattvas to assist the rest, first to alleviate suffering so far as is possible and second to help leverage the whole world beyond suffering, which can only be done one by one just the same as Jesus would have us love one another, one by one.

To put a finer point on it, not all Buddhists agree that this is the path but all Buddhist do agree that it can be the path. Theravada adherents say that this whole process can't really be affected that much so it is better to just tend your own garden. Mahayana Buddhists believe that it gives one merit to yearn for the Bodhisattva path or to support it in some way. These Buddhists are far in the majority. Mahayana translates as the Greater Way.

So the Christians devote to loving and embracing each by each and the Buddhists hold the world each by each in a compassionate embrace. That's the start of it. There is much more in both the paths. And both paths require a radical form of discipline in the purest manifestations of this starting point.

In both cases the person who does the loving is no longer an ordinary person but is instead transformed by disciplines of love or compassion. The early Christians referred to each other by the term "Saint" referring to just this change of state. They believed (and most Christians still believe at least by church creed) that this change of state is not possible without the assistance of the Christ. And as already mentioned, the Buddhist version is the Bodhisattva. Otherwise this task of loving completely is not possible. The process by which such a transformation can occur can be called "Opening".

What To Do Next

You don't have to be
good or kind or anything
nor have to be saved
unless you want to.
You do have to breathe and bathe
and reach true accord
with all that it is
and then open - permit me
us Him Her Them in.
The good kind other
things help us open, just that,
tools for opening.

October 25, 2010 12:48 PM

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

It's All Practice

It's All Practice

The clock clamps me down
in all those small ways I hate
and it's like I must
            do the dishes again
today just the same. Brother,
me too - just like you,
I sometimes place work
of second rank, then I find
            you all praise this stuff
to my confusion,
so it's very good to know
it doesn't belong
to me but to my
            open hand.

October 25, 2010 4:31 AM

Monday, December 15, 2014

The Tramp

The Tramp

If I lived naked
on the planet with only
an old tarp tied up
and I found you there
in your store, all those stories
for sale and all that
free fruit (I believe
you about all the free fruit)
I would sit and talk
but maybe not much
and maybe not of the pain
that brought me this far.

October 24, 2010 2:59 PM

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Space Opera 191 - Sunday Whirl

Wordle 191 offered by Brenda for this weeks Sunday Whirl. Go to the green Mr. Linky at the bottom to click through to the contributor list.

Space Opera 191

Your spacecraft killed all
thirteen angels God assigned
to hold the Moon's track.
That's why we renamed
it the Spinning Lunatic.
It was a tangle
at first, a loser
named the Flaming Endeavor
like it would dive down
past the photosphere
and there say a kind of Grace
which would spread the word
forever on ice
and all the rock beneath it,
stony cold planets.
Of course we all know
now that will never hold tread,
nor work no matter
what. That Moon's gonna
hit the Earth in three more days.
Kiss your ass goodbye!

‎December ‎14, ‎2014 10:59 AM

Just Politics - A Magpie Tale

Le baiser de l'hôtel de ville by Robert Doisneau, 1950. The setting is the square in front of the City Hotel, which is Paris' City Hall, seen in the background. Le baiser means the kiss. Sold to Life Magazine, this photo became an internationally recognised symbol of young love in Paris. The identity of the couple remained a mystery until 1992.

Photo chosen by Tess as a writing prompt for this week's The Mag You can click on the numbered links found there to see how other people responded.

Just Politics

Don't you look at me
with my book bag, my cardboard
case covered in false
leathery binding.
Wearing my beret, leaving
City Hall, I have
this effrontery,
this kiss in my face. Maybe
it takes the highlight
off me though, and soon
Paris' City Hall explodes
with our special gift.
My nine million francs
will get me by for a while
still. What has he got
I don't, the bastard?

‎December ‎14, ‎2014 8:40 AM

Friday, December 12, 2014

A Terrible Fate

Michael Douglas, eldest son of Kirk Douglas, has suffered from a form of cancer he described as throat cancer but was more accurately a cancer that attacked the back of his tongue, apparently. He underwent agressive treatment and has been pronounced clear for now. This is something remarkable because his cancer had such a high mortality rate. Many throat cancers have a high mortality. In 2013 Douglas remarked in an interview that some cancers like his develop from the human papilloma virus (HPV) found in vaginal secretions.

I just learned all this when I Googled "suffering throat cancer" looking for an image to accompany the poem. I did not know that Michael suffered throat cancer when I wrote this poem.

I have the opinion that most illness of any kind is sourced in issues of relationship or its lack. That may no longer be quite true in old age where physical malfunction is inevitable eventually. And yet. It may even in old age be true that what malfunctions and how much malfunctions may be sourced in one's relationship history. Throat cancer seems to relate to communication.

Heart disease is a no brainer connected to relationships. Hmmm. I have two kinds of heart disease - coronary artery disease and arrhythmia. Two kinds of relationship difficulties. Perhaps.

Coronary Artery disease = My heart is choked.
Arrhythmia = I am not a steady lover.

Equally likely - my lovers are choked off and not steady after a time.

A Terrible Fate

My love has sickened,
                     has become a throat cancer
which (choking my words
when I try to tell
you how much I cherish you)
                      stops my swallowing
motions, refusing
me essential sustenance.
It will perish, then
                      I will so I shall
                      wander off in my need of
another life soon.

October 24, 2010 6:40 AM

Thursday, December 11, 2014

By The Standing Stone-A Red Wolf Poem

By The Standing Stone

Behind me, you sit
so still I forget how it
starts and accept flocks
of crows as normal
for this time and conquered place
as the slatted chair
fades to the nothing
it must on this windy slope.
I stand bare footed
toes gripping the peat
as the wind takes small loose things
away from the front
past me, past my sight.
I think I see her below
but I am not sure.
I feel an absence
that may go on forever,
how it feels, like dust
or an occupied
land buried in black armies
and endless red tape.

(Note from the report of subject 1013:
mesmerized 11Dec1904)

‎December ‎11, ‎2014 11:14 AM

Written For Red Wolf Poems on this week's theme of going into trance. Click on the link to get instructions, read the comments and find links to other takes on the assignment. You will have to scroll down a ways to get the comments.

Red Wolf

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Mid-week Blues - Three Word Wednesday

This dog is caught head mid-shake which is sort of like mid-week. But at least if you are head shaking like that rotating your neck around from side to side you are not thinking much, not at that moment. You can test this. It's sort of like sneezing. Pretty much everything else comes to a stop.

Mid-week Blues

Been quite a morning
what with all the nostalgia
flooding the entire
basement to my knees.

Wrote down history and broke
into tears at least

I'm not all blunt
not these days - nor am I drunk.
I admit to this:
I am lethargic
and I can't keep up with you
as you dart about.

December 10, 2014 10:33 AM

Written for Thom's Three Word Wednesday. Click on the link to reach the blog site and the contributors' links.
This week's words:
Blunt; Drunk; Lethargic.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

I Cannot Name It

A post apocalyptic poem but possibly it is a metaphor. It is after all a poem and poems are often metaphorical. And me. I often write metaphorically. So I suppose I can leave it to you. Is this a bad marriage or some other issue or is it really taking place as a poetic survival in a ruined world?

The trouble here is, while I like metaphor and write tons of poetry, I also am a lifelong reader and science fiction of all types has been in my bookshelves. If I would have kept all my books from lifelong, a significant portion, more than 30% I think, would comprise science fiction section. I have culled my shelves several times and at a couple points the SF disappeared.

Note the date. That was a Saturday. I wrote this all right but I have no idea what was going on at that time and whether this poem is pure story or instead somehow related to my life. One piece of it is for sure, I had no partner in 2010. I was living alone. I was, however, still working. I have since retired. Frequently poems like this first appeared in comments on other people's blogs. I don't keep track.

So metaphor or mini-story... Here it is, written over four years ago but first featured on this blog today...

I Cannot Name It

There is no shame in
the struggle to live even
in this last trash pit
dug to accept time
and its dribbling idiot
space filled with desire.

The dissembly began
in the last steep razored lines
we held to defend
any hermitage
we could find in those last days.

She said, medicine.
I said, truth telling.
God said nothing directly.
We just must go on.

October 23, 2010 7:39 AM

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Opus 190

Image provided by Tess for her Magpie Tales creative writing site, The Mag. There you will see the list of this week's contributors.

Wordle 190 from the Sunday Whirl, Brenda Warren's creative writing site. Click on the green "You're Next" to access the list of contributors.

Protogeneia (literally, Firstborn) was married to Locrus but Zeus kidnapped her and took her off to Arcadia, to Mount Maenalus where he got her with three or four children, one of whom was Opus.

Opus = Work as in "A Work of music or poetry." Opus, a male, is related etymologically to the feminine words opera and operate. Remarkably, then, a medical operation is related etymologically to a musical opus, an opera or a poem so named.

These days, as Wiki says: "In musical composition, the Opus number is the "work number" that is assigned to a composition, or to a set of compositions, to indicate the chronological order of the composer's production. Historically, although composers have inconsistently applied the opus number to their works, besides numeric cataloging, opus numbers are used to distinguish among compositions with similar titles."

Opus 190
(in which Zeus complains to Protogeneia)

Fried filet of trust
spread a green heat to degrease
your cast iron pan
on my deranged stove.
It left an ash crust I must

It will enflame
the rest of my days
like a red lined cape that's draped
on blood washed chains hung
from nails in my back.

Shall I exchange your dark browed
severity for
my own cleverness?

Or must I feign a journey
as I traipse along
the west boundary
of our soot streaked cave front home?

A haze lifts lazy
off the tonal strain
of this last composition
as I press sustain
with my cramped right foot,
crash the ebony clad keys
with both my bruised hands.

‎December 7, ‎2014 6:28 AM

Saturday, December 6, 2014

My Little Secret

My Little Secret
(I would never tell you)

I am not that brave
unless there is in me some
stranger ignorance
that does not permit
me to see the grit in me.

Long ago I fell
beneath my own harsh
view and told myself to hide
the truth of my fear
but to become fey
and so choose danger to serve
as my freaking foil.

October 21, 2010 12:47 PM

I bet I'm not the only one...

Friday, December 5, 2014

Bitter Powders

If you saw a similar display of my counter there would be mostly tablets.

Bitter Powders

Recently I lose
myself in the dozing mists
brought on by the pills
they make me take to
thin my coagulations.
I have too many
thicknesses, they say.
Sometimes I fight hard staying
awake at the edge
of my thickened life,
buried in bitter powders,
swimming in their grit.

October 20, 2010 1:10 PM

This poem comes from my real life. I take ten different drugs daily. I had a blocked artery that feeds my heart muscle. While it was not so blocked as to seriously damage my heart I did receive the angioplasty to clear the blockage and the stent to keep it clear. Ever since then, I have taken first three and now two blood pressure pills to keep my blood from clotting. I also take a dangerous anti-coagulant. Even though my cholesterol was always in the safe range, still I've been directed to take an anti-cholesterol pill, one of the dreaded statins. Because I have diabetes at a low level, I take metformin. And I suffer from BPH which gives me two more daily pills to help my plumbing out. I am grateful that pharmacy is there. I have no doubt the pills do the necessary things for me. I am not one who thinks I am over medicated. However, there are consequences. A certain amount of my energy has been lost to accomodating the foreign chemistry in my body.

You see, I had a different kind of heart event too, and now I live with irregular heart beats as well as veins which want to clog up even when my cholesterol is low. Both of these problems are sources of stroke.

I can't imagine risking the removal of the cholesterol pill because there is at least one site in my body that wants to build cholesterol clogs. The same with the anticoagulant which is by far the worst pill I take for side effects. I have turbulent blood flow that stagnates too because the atrial fibrillation does exactly that. I have had a bed side effect, losing sight in my left eye to a subretinal hemmhorage. But if I stop the anticoagulant I risk stroke which I am probably going to die of anyway but later rather than sooner if I take the anti-coagulant. Hobson's choice. One kind of stroke comes from blockage. Another kind from bleed.

My mother died of a massive bleed after a major blockage in her brain blood supply. I figure I am most likely to have that happen since I have followed my mother in so many ways.

The two prostate meds are absolutes in my life. If you have suffered blocked bladders as I have a few times you too will do most anything to avoid that issue. I have never had a urinary catheter I haven't hated after the first few moments, never had one that even worked that well.

The drs so far have made the heart meds essential because they know what happens without them. When they were driving my blood pressure down to its amazingly low present level which they think is fine it took three different types to do that. After a couple years I asked if I needed all three and they took one away. That worked but it obviously took all three to get it down.

Oh yes. I am forgetting the worst ones. The diuretics. Because my heart doesn't pump that well I get fluid backup in various locations. My lower legs and feet are the most noticeable and are uncomfortable but the worst is in the lung tissue and around the heart. I say the legs aren't so bad, but that is only if I don't get a wound. Any wound heals very slowly and may require hospitalization for infection. So daily I need to drain myself, forcing fluid out of me. This means organizing my life around bathrooms and cleanliness beyond anything I remember in my childhood and adult life.

Believe me, this is minor compared to the other ways elder life plays out for other people. I am rarely in severe pain and while no longer agile, I can still think and be creative. Best of all my fingers and hands still work fine. I get to keep my music and my poetry. So what if nighttime sleep is only a few hours and I depend on my daily naps. So what if I don't have much money. I don't need that much and the remaining stash is mainly for paying insurance and covering other catastrophic medical bills that may occur. I have animals in my life to fill out my emotional life and there are people in this house who matter to me and care about me.

I recommend getting at least a dozen years of living expenses for end of life. These days with extended life paths, more is better. If your life includes travel and stuff like that, even more than more is much better. Running out of money is not fun.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

The Dog Still Likes Me

This poem is spun off of Irene's Eugenia Sings A Song. Go there to see the original rough copy.

The Dog Still Likes Me

Things don’t go my way
at least not very often.

You move much too fast
for me at this point
in my raggedy andy
days. I’ve lost buttons
over this sloppy
old mess of mossy
blue stones and white slobbering
mouths and lolling tongues.

The dog swipes my face
no matter what’s next on tap
and it’s quite drunk out.

December 4, 2014 11:32 PM

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

The Junker - Three Word Wednesday

The Junker

Just how neglected
did you think I was, shambling
or how jubilant
could I ever be
driving your ancient blown out
piece of compact junk?

Piles of weird gritty
crumbles and flakes of what once
were colors get up
my nose with results
dripping in one expected
moment and stinging
in its aftermath.

You shame my former posture
of flash and contrast.
You keep me wrapped up
in your basement of worry,
your spidery web.

December 3, 2014 9:47 AM

Written this day for Thom's Three Word Wednesday, Week No. 404

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

At The Mirror

At The Mirror

I like my profile,
my three quarters, and my eyes
but full on is tough
to take and makes me
shiver at the sight of me.
I think it can't be
me, this slum, this fat
moon round yearning greedy soul
staring at my life.

October 18, 2010 12:51 PM

Monday, December 1, 2014

The Wave

Paul-Jacques-Aimé Baudry (November 7, 1828, La Roche-sur-Yon (Vendée) – January 17, 1886, Paris) was a French painter. Throughout his early period Baudry commonly selected mythological or fanciful subjects, one of the most noteworthy being The Pearl and the Wave (1862).

The Wave

I watched from the edge
as the sea took you from me
as if I had known
this would happen on this day,
this coiled day ready
to strike me, taking
me by striking you with ways
I don't understand,
and now I'll return
as if you had never been
mine no matter what
I might have thought while
loving you, while you touched me
and sent me flying.

October 18, 2010 12:29 PM

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