Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Never Realized Movie Plots #2 (Imagined to be written on a grocery story receipt)

It is 1975
A solo dog runs across
Scene

Panning back 
The camera reveals
Wreckage

Two cars have
Collided, 70's
Cars

Big boxy beasts
With lots of plastic
Wood

And chrome, plastic
Chrome for miles and
Miles

Slumped over the
Wheel of one is Lucille
Ball

She was drunk, of course
Having just Tonight
Showed

In the day, because day
Filming and day
Drinking

And you would go to
A doctor and be offered
Scotch

The other driver is
Groucho escaping his
Abuser

70's TV comedy
Ensues with biopic
Pathos


Friday, October 08, 2021

Never Realized Movie Plots #1 (Written on grocery store receipts)

For some reason
Main Character
Has to make a
Sudden escape
In a self-propelled
Parade float

Papier-mâché
Bursting into 
Butterflies of 
Wafting paper
(Replete with 
Accent marks)
Careening this
Way and That

Tissue paper
Streaming like
Toilet paper
Caught on your
Heal

Friday, October 01, 2021

I, Robot

I hover over my new vacuum
Robot, not to monitor their duty
To the job, but out of sheer joy
And

Amazement. Yes, I am that kid
Still who sincerely believed that
A gift of walkie-talkies was the
Absolute best best best and I love
You forever, oh wow oh wow oh
I

The robot comes in a plain brown
Box, like porno mags used to be
Delivered. Uncle Ken had Playboy
Sent to his house and had a TransAm
Aunt Wanda loved him and loved that
TransAm

Now that's where it gets complicated
This salacious appeal to my boyish
Desires that were entirely sexual but
Had nothing to do with sex as anyone
Might define it. Desire. Desire? Is it 
Understandable?

No, so I hover over this robot, watching
How they negotiate this wild mountain
Of rug, this leg of lamp, this chair that
Keeps moving because I keep moving
It

And I am in sheer ecstasy. Such a
Simple and wonderful thing. The 
Code runs through my mind.
Decision trees play out in simple
Desire

Desire to clean, desire to map--desire
To know.  I hover over my little round
Friend because I have to.  That's me
Down there.  Seeking the map.  Seeking
The spots to suck up the detritus of a
Decade

Friday, September 24, 2021

I just realized












That's me in the back there
The baby in his mother's arms
Her wild hair but her recognizable
Face

She is foisting me into the row of
Her children, Larry in front, so much
Like me, or I guess I am so much like
Him, but so not like me and so
Himself

Like me.  He's objecting to something
And Michael the oldest brother so
Assured but so yeah, what do you say
And sweet Annette, there she is
In control, like she always needed to be
Sad

It is. Let's let that go, though let's be 
The hovering infant your mother
Wants to foist in line with the rest
But yeah, it makes me wonder as
I look at the line of my siblings
To see the lines of cousins, like us
Lined

It makes me feel the sad loss of 
Douglas, so big, so young, so him
Striped shirt and ready to become
Dead at 30 of a brain tumor with 
A child

I don't know even half of these
People and the half I do know
I've lost, lost somewhere in the 
Tensions of family. I'd like to
Though. 


Friday, September 17, 2021

Toast

Ive been thinking a lot about life these days

I'm intrigued by how the little things like eating toast
Seems to mean something
(Yeah I'm writing a poem)

But I am thinking a lot about
Life These days 

Losing weight

But I probably live in that Romantic world where things Matter.

I can understand Faust when you hear a song like That. But the best song ever, you know that I think, Isn't.

Saturday, September 04, 2021

Bottle Collecting

 When I was a kid
My brothers and cousins
And other neighborhood
Children

Would wander along the
Roadside between our
Well-spaced farm
Houses

To collect bottles thrown
From passing cars to cover
For a night of sinful
Living

These were liquor bottles
You see, and in my small
Mormon town, drinking was
Forbidden

To most, but by the time
We were done collecting
(When being a teen was a
Thing

And collecting discarded
Booze bottles no longer
Held fascination and petulance
Ruled)

We had hundreds and hundreds
Of bottles lining the walls of
One of my cousin's old farm
Shacks

I don't recall ever once thinking
How strange it was that we had
So many, even in our small dry
Town

And we certainly never thought
Of drinking any of the few sips
Left sloshing against the thick
Glass

Occasionally, though, we unscrewed
The caps and sniffed the sweetness
Liquor wafted through the small
Shack


Wednesday, September 01, 2021

Last Temptation of Christ

 I've been reading Kazantzakis's The Last Temptation of Christ and was struck right from the start how well it could be adapted into a one season television series (unless, of course, the producers would want to carry on with the second coming in season two--which might be a hoot.)  Each chapter could be a complete episode, and would rely on the iconographic feel that the imagery in the book has.  I mean Greek iconography--the icons that the iconoclast worked so hard to destroy (but in the long run failed to.)  The visual design of the piece would be magnificently surreal, like those icons. I can see lots of flat lines of disciplines lined up in rows, warmed in golden light. Perhaps the irony would be that they would be dressed as "ragamuffins" as the translator so gleefully used the word, rather than all kitted up like Byzantine aristocracy.  Jesus's baptism strikes one as a perfect set piece from the book, with its Roshomonesque quality of no one quite certain what actually happened (nor hearing what the bird said).  I can see it playing out in several different versions on screen--one magnificent and trascendant--one gritty and realist--and one, perhaps, surreal.  No doubt it is a book that probably shouldn't be made into any thing else but the book it is, though.

Friday, August 27, 2021

Polyester

 When I was a kid the only clothes I
 Recall my mother wearing were made of
 Polyester

(Polyester fabric is concocted
From the tears of dinosaurs, oil rich
And strong with fibrous fear learned hard in the
swamps)

"These pants would survive a nuclear war,"
She declared as she pulled them fast and
Taught over her hips, pulling the elastic wide
And letting go of the band with a pleasing
Snap

And nuclear war was a possible thing back then,
You see.  While we may not have dived under 
Desks at the first sound of a siren, we all knew
That the possibility was there that we could wake
Up dead, or worse, and that there would be no more
Saturdays

We watched it on the jittery rolling lines of TV
Saw the flash saw the bones saw the flesh melt
Away because of a disagreement about how the
Economy was supposed to run and how poor people
Were supposed to be poor in each, which rules 
They were to obey and which leaders they should
Adhere

(Karl Marx, by the way, dreamed of living in a
Hut, where, when approached, he would dole
Out life advice to the poor sots who were just
Looking for directions to the nearest Chevron
But he'd go on, and on, and the visitors kept
Inching further back from his threshold in
Silence

Only to run--finally escape and end up at Charles
Darwin's hut, replete with desiccated samples of 
This and that bug, and this and that plant and this
And that life. Darwin had nothing to say, other 
Than "Live with it." And inching back inching
Away, Darwin takes and interest and thrust a bug
In her face

"That's it!" the visitor declares, shoving her hands
Deep into non-existent polyester pockets to find
Nothing but fibrous rage. Turning sharp, she next
Finds the hut of Adam Smith, who is too busy counting
Gold to even answer the rasping knock of flesh on
Palm fronds

"Get to work," is the only thing he says)


But I digress


Friday, August 13, 2021

Raking

 When my grandfather visited
    (a rare occasion since he lived
     so far away across mountains
     of crumbling red sandstone and
     vast valleys of sea green sage)
He would be up at dawn
Every morning to rake the yard
Of sticks and leaves and paper
Blown in by the wind
He grasped the rake firmly with
His one good hand, using his
Frozen arm to counterbalance

Later, not long after he passed
While looking at books on
Japanese dry gardens,  I made
The connection.  Who am I to 
Know whether or not he had
Made it too while the rake
Scratched pattern and form,
Order and purpose on the clay
Back and forth. Back and forth
Taking away that which doesn't
Belong






Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Listening to all your iTunes Library Reverse Alphabetical Order

I have no idea how many 
                                    Songs
Are on this old iMac 
    (a fine machine that runs

Fine)

But in reverse
            Alpha
                        beti
                                cal

Order

They start with numbers

Starting with 9999 (Ways to Hate Us)
    by
        the

Clutters

Your are soon rolling through the decades

        2002  (a lost love letter to a lost) 

                                Love

And suddenly you are walking 2000 miles,

            Pretending,

Remembering the snow falling down

    And maybe missing

                But not missing and no children

Singing

And then you are in the heart of 1999 and all the regrets

                                                Riff you

                            Though when you first hear that song

            It was long before anything burst

       Anything popped

Anything slumped

    Long before                    

                        Any hint of that loss

(of all all time)

And then 1979 and you feel young and it is summer and it is

        1995 and you are in 

                                        Love

Thursday, July 22, 2021

Wisdom

When you are seven
It is to be expected
But at fifty-six it is
Concerning

But these days most
Have wisdom removed
While young

I always had a big
Mouth and even the
Dentist was amazed
That they had come in
Early

So strong, at the back
Waiting to have a full
Life 

When your are young
You expect it but now
Now? Tooth loosening
And then it is in your
Hand

Fingertips edging the
Points, wondering how
The curved legs fit
In the sudden, hole
Unbleeding

And you remember
When you were seven
And your brothers
Had the brilliant idea
To yank your bicuspid
Out with a string
As a sudden surprise

You are surprised

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Heart of the Continent

 So many centers
So many lights


                                        Where do you think you are?

Where do you think you should be?

We used to unfold maps
                                            Crease by crease
And there we were
At the heart
                        Of the Continent

Folding them back 
                                Was impossible

Never right

                    Always crumpled and scrunched

The Heart of the Continent

                            Never back where it should be

Where you should be

Where you think you should be

So many centers so many lights

So many dots

So so many lines

Heart of the Continent

Thursday, October 08, 2020

What if I Prefer to Sell My Property

 There are a lot of different options being considered

No, that doesn't have 

I will stand my ground no matter what

I am more hopeful than worried

There are solutions that we don't even know they exist


Maxine Kumin died

She of the plane with her mother holding a package

Died

Dies

Died

Simple letter

She dies and it is still this year

It is still this shit

It is still this same


A package, you hold as the plane dives

And suddenly 

            Suddenly

Survies

Tuesday, May 05, 2020

Cremate this

For over forty years
We have been simply
Updating our
Files

Why aren't you dead
Yet?  Why can't we
Simply burn you
Yet

We don't use wood
Oh no no oH
That's not ergonomically
Environmental

Simply simply simply
As we go on some light
Fantastic

Toe

But burn, we do.  Burn
And you'll just be scritchy
Puff bone and a lot of
Blow

We're just updating our
Files

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Year 55

I was born in the eleventh hour
Fifty minutes and some odd seconds
My mother took the gas
Why wouldn't you, she would say
Later

I was born in the eleventh hour
Umbilical cord wrapped around my
Neck, jaundiced, kept in the hospital
Birthmarked

I was supposed to be dead
Choked by that which was
Supposed to sustain me

Well I'm alive.

I was born in the eleventh hour
Of some Aquarian dream

I used to like to keep fish
Until my twin Angel fish
Barbara

Died

That's what I got
Born in the eleventh hour
One January

My birthmark is hardly
Visible

(These Days)

I got other marks more visible
More diseases that puss up
On a regular basis

I was born in the eleventh hour

Monday, April 30, 2018

Day 30: I write stuff

I write seeds into germination
I write blowhards into consternation
I write the crush of modern flight
I write the drink that does bite
I write the music that swells
I write the glove that compels

I write the city I love
I write memory dreamed of
I write words into trees
I write snow up to your knees
I write the life of a man
I write wandering with a plan

I write my sister's strife
I write a slow cumbria of life
I write dawn's mandate
I write violence and hate
I write watching confusion
I write gooselike delusion

I write drowning in fright
I write darkness into light
I write how sense transcends
I write how much depends
I write familial reality
I write she who made me

I write five and twenty
I write love lost aplenty
I write the universe outright
I write a small boy's blight
I write phrases and fluff
I write stuff


Sunday, April 29, 2018

Day 29: phrases heard from three television announcers while watching the final three minutes of a basketball game

Costly turnover there
Don't tell me you want to win, show me
Willing to get his jersey dirty
Straight and true at the free throw line
I see what you did there
That rattles home
Fought tooth and nail all series long
If they are fortunate enough to succeed
If you want to move on, you're going to have to be better
Rejected!
This is how you say 'put me in coach'
Its a difference-maker
There was a lot of contact all over the place
They're coming alive here in the second half
Strong side cover, weak side cover: it doesn't matter
There goes that man
We have to have discussion
I just don't think they are that good
Matching up against an iconic player
Forget about it coach, I was healthy and read and you didn't play me
But he steped up
And its on to the second round
The kind of respect you expect from this hard fought
Series

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Day 28: Reverence

When my mother made me go to church
They called sitting still "being reverent."
"Be reverent!" snapped the lady with big
Hair big glasses and big pattern on her shiny
Dress

"Be reverent, children!" she said again,
Adding children to the command as if
We didn't know we were children and
She was the adult who was allowed to
Glare

"Be reverent!" and the children around
Me folded their arms across their chest
Wiggling their hips in their all too tiny
Seats. But I didn't, since I didn't know
Reverence

"What do we do when we show reverence,
Children?" big lady asked glaring at me
"We fold our arms and sit still!" children
Yelled their response, all turning to look at
Me

Now that the eyes of God or Jesus or
Just the entire Primary class were glaring
at me, I folded my arms and bowed my
Head, not realizing that is what you do to
Pray

Friday, April 27, 2018

Day 27: April 27

On this day in four thousand, nine hundred and seventy seven
The universe was, according to astronomer Johannes Kepler,
Created. Kepler, considered one of the founders of modern
Science, is well-known for his theories of planetary motion
Which he built intricate models for: nesting planet after planet
In wood-framed paper orbital shells, only to have the whole
Thing collapse in front of him when the observational data
Did not correlate with the math. It was then that he willingly
Abandoned the model of perfect spherical orbits, nested one
Within another, and realized the imperfect orbital ellipse
Where celestial bodies no longer moved in perfection, but
Wobbled their imperfect courses through the black ether
It is, perhaps, to the consternation of modern scientists
That he never gave up his theory of when the universe was
Created, but does whether it is five thousand or thirteen
Billion really make that much of a difference on sunny April
Morning?

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Day 26: Desert Driving

She'd driven that road more than a hundred times
But each time she drove it, there were always subtle
Differences in how the light played over the bastion
Cliffs, banded white then black then rust red then
Mottled tan.  The cliffs stood in a line--one--two--
Three, like soldiers on parade, the canyons between
Their buttes, the slight divide between the soliders'
Hands

She'd driven that road more than a hundred times
But each time she noticed something different
In the blur of sage and yucca and peyote that
Her car rushed by in a hissing roar. In early 
Spring the cactus would bloom, followed by 
The yellow sage, and then finally late in summer
The rubber rabbit bush would boldly thrust their
Yellow fronds into the hot afternoon air, swaying
Gently

She'd driven that road more than a hundred times
But each time she felt the same, empty longing
Of always coming and then going, of visiting
And then leaving, of loving, and fearing, and 
Wondering. But that was the nature of their life
Together:  not together. It was always left leaving
That longing, that loathing, that loving that desert
Driving

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Day 25: Twenty-five

What an odd number, twenty-five
Is it one word like fifteen
Or is it conjoined with a
Hyphen?  Does it have nothing but
Blank space?

Is twenty-five some sort of
Double baker's dozen, or do you
Have to double every single donut--
Every cookie--and that would hand you
Twenty-six?

Twenty-five is one more hour
Than a day. It is the time when
Witches creep out of the dark
Corners to conjure fiends from
Hellfire

A shave and a haircut used
To cost twenty-five cents or
Two bits.  You could not buy
A shave for Just a single bit,
However

And of course, twenty-five is held
Sacred by greedy children who
Lay awake all night, waiting for
The time when parents let them
Arise

Twenty-five is when you
First really feel old. It is the age
When you are should be done:
Baked and frosted and put on
Display

Cast your spells in twenty-five words
And you will summon the spirit of a
Sweet confection glazed and worthy
Of both childhood and adulthood
Fantasy

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Day 24: Mom

Now that I think about it, I've never written about you
Directly. I've written about you indirectly; you in the
Background of the words, out of focus and blurred
Like an extra in a crowd scene. The cameraman never
Pulls focus on your face, although your presence is
Undeniable

My film goes nowhere without you, even though you
Were cut from the production almost twenty years ago
But you are like some unfocused Shakepearean ghost
Always showing up when you least need a ghost,
But seemingly always at the right time to move the plot
Along



Monday, April 23, 2018

Day 23: Family

Gazing across the ocean, my third great grandfather
Accounted for his time on board the great ship
Reckoning the life and land passing away from him in
Days and nights, nights and days, storm and calm
Never to see the cold land that so mistreated him
Ever again. Leaving it all behind in a foggy haze of
Remorse

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Day 22: After WCW

So much depends upon
Those damn white chickens
Stupidly running around in the
Rain

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Day 21: sitting under a tree

tge blind okd mn sits
imder the buddimg willoe
contemolatomg birds

(typed with left hand, eyes closed)

Friday, April 20, 2018

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Day 19: Swimming

I was always embarrassed that I
Can not swim. I have always
Been embarrassed that I cannot
Swim. I will always be embarrassed
That I cannot swim.  Even
Now when I admit this on
Paper here, with watery blue
Ink, I am embarrassed that I cannot
Swim

It is not, of course, that
I have not tried to swim.
It is not, of course, that
I was not forced to swim.
It is not, of course, that I
Will still keep trying to swim.
I will continue to try
Like I did while at pool's edge,
Waiting to take my lap in
Gym, diving in, feeling water
Split under me, feeling
Myself sinking, dropping,
Falling out of the Air
Drowning

I did not hear Coach
Jump in after me, but
I know it is him when
I feel his arm cricle
Around my chest pulling
Me up and then across the
Pool to the edge where
The water laps.  I grab
Tight onto the trough
Between the edge and
The deep

"Why didn't you say you
Couldn't swim?" he asks
Panting.  I, feeling chlorine
Sting my eyes, look down
At the shimmering water,
Shifting my weight, and say
Nothing

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Day 18: The Goose

The bird brain works differently than
Other animals, that is for certain
I once watched a flock of geese fascinated
By shiny tin foil carelessly thrown by
The wayside. They pecked and poked,
Poked and pecked, until nothing of it
Remained

I wanted to grab them by the neck and
Ask why they would eat tinfoil; why
It so transfixed their bird immagination
To wish to obliterate its existence but
The bird brain works differently than
Ours, and if I did try to grab one by
Its sinuous neck, it would hiss and slap
Me hard with its beclawed wing, until
It could break loose and then attack
My ass with its sharp, betoothed
Beak

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Day 17: The Philosopher

Aristotle said
"One cannot say
 of something that it is
 and that it is not
 in the same respect
 and at the same time."
Or he said
"It is impossible that
 the same thing belong
 and not belong
 to the same thing
 at the same time
 and in the same respect."
Or he said
 "No one can believe
 that the same thing
 can (at the same time)
 be and not be."
Or he said
 "The most certain
 of all basic principles
 is that contradictory
propositions are not
true simultaneously."
Or he said
Those birds just spring
Out of the mud, their
Vegetative soul
Intact

While these in and of
Themselves are not
Contradictory
Against the speaking
Of which you forbid &
Forfend yourself, they
Hold three truths, or
Three falsehoods, de-
Pendant on the hanging
Of the fruit from the
Tree just before it drops
to the ground and you
Will never see it float
Up

It cannot float up since
It cannot go against
The internal love the
Apple has for the ground
Which loves it more
Than a feather which
Floats slower to the
Earth, because air loves
It more

Metaphysics is physics
To the Philosopher
Every action has & does
Not have an opposite
Reaction

Monday, April 16, 2018

Day 16: Capital Crimes

Missing the bus
And asking for help
When your are lost
Are capital crimes
For young black
Boys

Playing with a toy
Gun in a park is
A capital crime
For young black 
Boys

Walking in your 
Neighborhood at 
Night is a capital
Crime for young black
Boys

Flirting with a 
White woman is
A capital crime
For young black
Boys

Brennan Walker (2004- ), fourteen
Tamir Rice (2002-2014), twelve
Trayvon Martin (1995-2012), seventeen
Emmett Till (1941-1955), fourteen