Friday, October 22, 2021

NUTS AND BOLTS

There are lots 
and lots of 
pretty things out there,

but true beauty 
is rare; 

like a blank spot 
which does not cry out 
to be filled in,

the kind of quiet 
which does not announce

"I am keeping quiet" 
in a stage whisper.

We have seen it seldom, 
as we are far too poor 
to afford ourselves 

to notice:
how fortuneless, 
how willing we are

to sacrifice experience 
to the god 
of Having Been There

when really, it was everywhere
(that's why the instruments 
couldn't measure it).

All along, the allure
was attention itself,

not the purported locality 
of its center;
it was the laughing, 

not the laughter; 
the actual fact 
of being seated here together,

not the table 
or the chairs.


Thursday, October 21, 2021

HALF

The experts are quite clear 
about talking in absolutes. 
They say 

the matter we encounter 
and the energy feel

is just half 
of a conversation 

we were not meant 
to overhear.

*

Let's face it. Relationships 
have always been a gamble. 

And what is a gambler—
if not a little unstable? 

Like a blip
in a machine, he thinks 
he is special; 

he thinks 
he alone can read 
the clutter of chips on the table.

Just the same way, 
we seem to think 
that luck 

can be stacked;
we recall

how we happened to win
the jackpot once, 

and we honestly believe 
that the past 
makes comebacks.


For eons,  the pious moon
has only been showing us one
of its faces. 

What on earth are we 
supposed to take 
from that? 

It must not be safe yet
to be ourselves.



Wednesday, October 20, 2021

EDEN

That moment 
when you see a 
snake's tail 

rammed so incautiously 
down it's own throat—

what comes to mind? 
For me, it's:

even the rocks 
are rented; 

even the air 
is tied in knots.

*

Over time, my passwords 
have grown longer, and so much 
less intelligible,

and I am responsible 
for fewer and fewer of them—

it's how I know, 
not only that entropy 
must be increasing, 

but that I am complicit 
in this clusterfuck of justice, 

this snarl of radiation,
which is, even now, 
both splintering 

to bits and evening 
things out.


As if 
|the absolute value 
of the wave function| squared 

were as equal 
to The Real

as your little pliant groan 
of an exhale on the pillow

as you drift on a ship 
toward an islanded dream 

which you invented, 
then discovered—and which 

I am forever forbidden 
to visit.


Tuesday, October 19, 2021

WAFFLE

Opportunity knocks,
but it's complexity 
who enters,

inertia who pins you 
when ambition 
overleaps.

In Yeats's day, 
things fell apart—

now, they just 
hang around 
mercilessly, 

dilating over time 
and merging 
with technology—installing 

automatic updates 
while you sleep 

with all the 
feigned ignorance 
of Judas's kiss. 

*

Personally, I think it's 
a bit of a 
no brainer; 

I don't dare 
disturb the universe 

because the future 
is determined.

But isn't it probable—
that what the world needs now 

isn't more love, 
but more 
built-in excuses,

a secret trap door 
in a metaphysical
floor, 

a little more room 
just to jitter 
and wobble?


Monday, October 18, 2021

CONTENTS UNDER PRESSURE

I exert my own kind 
of pressure 
over time; 

I pass it absent-
mindedly, or else 

forget it exists entirely. 
Like a chooser 

who chooses, with his infinite
freedom, to beg,

I sprun the past, 
with its plain face 

and bad manners—
forever waiting, jungle cat-
eyed

for just the right 
future to appear.

*

Are we dying 
to express ourselves more 
or less precisely?

To fill the tank with self-love 
or empty it 
of self-pity? 

We've been pressured to believe
all these opposites 
arose separately, 

and then synchronized 
by chance. (What are the chances 
of that?)

Who knows what sorts of errors 
have been magnified 
in the process 

of enhancement—
or how many of life's other 
magnificent annihilations 

we find ourselves out here 
wannabe-dying 
to practice.

*

All told, a life 
is a road;

there's one obvious direction, 
but many gaps 
and fissures.

And every savage experience 
is a manhole.

And the language we use 
is its scabrous 
cover.


Friday, October 15, 2021

HARBINGER

Landing all 
in a terrible rush, 
as if forcibly 

pushed by the host 
out of heaven,
the gaunt crow overtakes

the gilded autumn field
whose resplendent view I'd 
been admiring while walking.

Go ahead! Go ahead!
Make the most of this 
false show of pigment—

his coal eye
and flinty beak twitch 
to suggest—

for we both know 
when those everlasting sea-
bottom-black nights 

are due back—and you, 
ever so much bleaker
than I am on the inside,

will likely need all 
of the gold 
you can get.


Thursday, October 14, 2021

LATE IN OCTOBER

A month ago, 
the same sky that now threatens 
to bulge down from heaven 
and flatten the fallow land 

was glistening blue 
as packed 
Park District pools.

Now, the birds have whisked 
the sweet summer air southward 
on their beating wings,

and flower beds 
are burial mounds 
which even the fastidious 
bees have abandoned.

What use is it
regarding what's left of the harvest, 
gathering wool and 
clever remarks

with our bodies now hiding 
the same aging machinery 
of departure

and our voices 
drifting wild through the cold 
soundless universe?