Saturday, May 07, 2005

The Kachina's Son

The gravity of the red sun in Navajoland,
impatient in the evening sky, held me down
to sixty-five miles per hour. The darkness came
as the mesas turned to introversion, purple shadows,
to trucks passing trucks passing little beat up Pontiacs
& brights resisting the temptation for head-on collision.
The blue-black raven gasped in the clouds
for a little sweet warm morsel of hope
of fresh road kill & the other fumes of promise.
Children played by the long-straight roadside
while mom & dad & uncle
& Bennie pushed a new Ford
toward the distance of the trading post's
ghostly red gas light glow.
Kayenta stood in a protracted war
against the holy emptiness of the crossroads
to Monument Valley, Dennehotso, Toe En Loc,
against the bog in the hole where the animals fell,
to the perennial stream emerging from a sandstone
quarry, reaching toward Laguna Canyon,
where flows concede themselves at Chinle Valley,
then the San Juan River, which is ecstasy.
Here, on the Redlands, the face gets long
& hollowed out as the stone children
at the roadside rest spot at Baby Rock.

Here, I came into the presence of the Kachina's son.
I could tell, I attest, I swear by the sudden drop
in temperature in the flat-bed truck,
the shadow passing through the back window,
an intuitive kick of fear
& the fall, like a cemetery stone chip,
of a cassette tape to the floor.
It happened where the plains became flat and the sunset,
lost in the hot winds, had long past dropped
into the curvature
of the canyon cut into Skeleton Mesa.
Later, after the Black Mesa coal elevator,
the duende jumped off
to claim its lonely home.
I thought I saw a wolf
in the rearview mirror.

Good Morning Rubicon!

complex chemical components
Give me speed ... Speed!
Important volatiles,
Organic acids, aldehydes,
Ketones, esters, amines,
Mercaptans, el Capitan,
Oh caffeine King
Robust rubiaceae
Everybody is recovering
From something
From sleep, death,
Love's blind dark alleys
Oh come down to me
From the high altitudes
Make me aware, oh agent
First millenia Arabians
Gave the tree to Yemen
Which sent a hot breeze
To Dutch colonists
And French Martinists turned
The Eden of the West Indies
Into the first great coffee
Plantations of Latin America
Oh alkaloid, oh C8H1002N4,
Tamed by H2 oh, oh, oh,

Touch me, taste my
Boiling blood, my mercury rising
Through the celebratory cortex
Into a computer at the FDA
Spitting out murky evidence:
Everybody is recovering From something

Bar Code

Black and white vertical lines,
of varying width: Our worst
subterranean fears attuned
for positivism, licensed, packaged
for material accumulation,
logical logistics for America
the Database, DNA and identity.

Code of conduct, the angel
or devil you know, or, don't know.
Each decision to click you either
adapt or resist, filling in other
black vertical lines...
Better the devil you know,
as the blue light of a encircling globe
emits a scan across this very page,
then recedes, the ebb
and cache of a Tesla coil.

What is now proved was once only imagined.
Urizen's code, Napsterized,
the imaginator subsumed beneath the hierarchical
layers of the Void. Layers of forgetfulness.

The Bar Code girl at the bar,
taking my credit card.
Material law mandates:
One cannot buy or sell without code.
We need not ask why. It is just so.
The blue light scan,
that Eye, again,
expanding the artificial
consciousness of database.
The divine aggregator
crunches the code
and the fittest meaning survives:
... New Rules Game Bar,
... Rules Game New Bar,
... Game Rules New Bar,
... Bar Rules Game New ...
The bee in the hive
never knows why
it makes honey.
Why should I?
The limit of thought
is based on the code,
on the versatility
of each and every sign.

Repurpose thyself ...
free the code ... Merchandise code,
genetic code, moral code
and the code of the one and only law.


Wellington Station

I saw you across
the commuter aisle
twitching and huffing
at Wellington Station.

I, too, am a loser
in the war. I lay
down my sword.
Set my auto alight.
Left it a funereal husk,
just a memory
to the challenges
of sunny October days.

Be still, my brother,
my angel of anxiety.
I see you gasping,
reading the news,
oh so careful
about what you touch,
what we all touch.
We meet in common
places of terror, our
shared communiqu├ęs ...

Oh veteran.
Oh war lord;
I lay down my arms,
I comply, I let go,
I ride smoothly
into the inner-city
bowels of tension
and glittering dreams.

Then I will take on the attire
of Napoleon's three-pointed hat.
I will curtsy, bend, that is,
into the sweet reflection
of what a peaceful city
wants to be.

The war news is hard,
ubiquitous as pearls and steel
and mobile phones.

My train runs silently,
beneath the stars and stripes
of all conquering heroes.

The Bunker Hill spire
is muted through glass
running by in the opposite,
direction. I descend
down the catwalk
of morbid hell. Silence
encloses me in a lightless
pipe of dread.

I am a monster.
I confess it all.
Just this, please,
after this night,
on the battlefield
of Boston,
will you let me
safely caress
my love, my sweet
daughter's face, or,
anything else I can keep
perfect or sane
for a whole rail yard
of days.

Let me retreat
with my bag of games,
my pen, my spear,
my telefrantic machines.
Let me walk, just one more time
into the target valley
of technology.

And though I will breathe
the very microbes of hell,
through pile drives, tunnels,
lost wheels and poisoned wells,
the endless botched catacomb
of the world you made:
Oh Wellington, allow my return
to Corsica, even Elbe, I will allow.

Where I can be at peace.
With who? Myself, at least,
as I wait for the night
to fall upon your victory.
If Napoleon could stoop
this far into the refrigerator,

he would have become a suburban monk like me.
The Trouble With Laundry
The trouble with laundry
Is that I let you see my soil
And you told me I never
Learned to fold.
Now I fold in my own way

On a windy Sunday morning
After a short drive to see wave caps break,
I got home, turned off the car, and sighed,
Im free. No more technology.
Then I went down to my dank cold cellar,
Hauled a blue laundry bag over my shoulder
And pulled taught its string. I skipped a peace
Down the hill to the mat, remembering.

It isnt easy being clean, this much I need to see.
Cant even tie my own shoelaces. Its a motherless thing.
But more than that, this ongoing entropy
Is a shudder in the halt of who I will ever be.
I have to practice the art of cycling slow.
Around me now even the tossed churchgoer,
The hurried newspaper I never completely read,
Forgets to know.

And somewhere back
In the long gone dung of my brain
I recall a bum who called himself Change.
He told me about what it takes to survive
with a laundry list better than at least three
commandments. The first was sleep,

A good nights sleep, and a place to bathe,
A post office box, and you can always
Stay warm in the library (which is why
Many destitute men are so well read).
But more than anything else,
A place to shower the baptismal self,
And a laundry, now boy, thats the key.

I enter the rows of circles and machines
And carefully pry my prickly dirty things apart.
This takes so much care, Oh God, the anguish;
My shoes are untied again. My mother gone,
My father isolated in a city of noisome dream.
Of all things I failed to learn, Im really learning
Laundry now. I crawl a pace, buying
A little orange box of sandy blue and white soap.
My dirt is the cause of a loss of no small fortune.

Then I remember to take out the change
From my pockets, Im richer than I think.
Small wrappers and pocket tumbled follies
Spill into my hand. Im just a beat up shirt
and wreckage in the wrinkled laundry land.

What else, theres this: The little shortcuts
I learn from making mistakes. Not my mistakes,
So much, but the machines.
Not so much the machines mistake,
But a failure to meet the tumble dry
needs of man. Redemption goes on a spin
and returns again as you fumble for buttons
at the bottom of the pan.

Then I wait. Then I wait some more.
Then I walk down the street, smoke,
Buy a fifty cent piano for my daughters
doll house. The wind up part still plays,
Memories of the Way We Were.
I wince at the mat, but I do not weep.
My laundry is my dirt to keep.


The Land of God & Cannon

With nothing but a compass in Concord
I landed at the Milldam cobblestone street square,
head aching, ancien' General Gage on my tail,
too much God & cannon coming up the road,
I scribbled a few now-forgotten notes
and moved into the spoiled woods of fabled Walden.
I made a roommate Of Henry David Thoreau.
We were in love at Thanksgiving ...
Now Plymouth Rock leads to
a bloodline of highways with no horizon,
A string of tree-lined tunnels, dirty snow,
beer cans and cigarette butts
sans a sniff of smoke for a soul.
You, the cool clear impossible place of my desire
became my jumbled and jumpy New Jerusalem
of steel and stone. The pond was surveyed and sold.
Henry David, he became a bit of a bore,
What's worse, he snored. Now he's a new shoe style,
Sturdy and rubbery and oh so dysfunctional,
all sold over the electronic Web of Life
via a mass major national megastore
From sea to shining shore.
Came and went as an angel of light.
So I moved West, following a tattered map:
Where the Tasty Freeze is going to be,
next to soon-to-be the Banco de Post-Democratica,
next to the next nouveau salon of old Saint Lou,
next to the yet-to-be named municipal zoo.
Still I trudged, and entered a golden Anasazi ruin,
sun-baked brick and clay, a chimney for a tomb,
a below-ground tunnel temple to the last great escape
for threadbare me, impossible though rational you.
Somebody, some angel, fell right off the map,
and left me here to consider both an arc of light
& the fly-shit tempest of a teapot domed scandal.
They left no other marker, but a megalith of rubble.
My compass spun wildly, and the wind swirled up a scare.
And now we pass through a narrow port.
From Concord to discord ... eventually ...
Ah, I know this much: There's no such thing.
There's a long-running song on an ever-running string.
All ripples, soft or made of jade, will eventually still.
I moved further up the hill, following a wire.
The wire led to a hook, and the hook led
to a phone. But the line was dead.
Finally, I thought: Paradise, silence.
This last great emptiness is my consolation,
This last dime I spend, a mere dollar in a donated nation.
It borrows on lands south, over the range, down the road past
Ralph Lauren's ranch, the sandblasted expanse,
the holy lands ... Arizona looms ...
a dime in a dollar nation.
Hear the rumble of cattle trucks at 3 a.m.,
the tumult of Ohioans fleeing tornados,
bankruptcies, divorces, economic forces,
see nickel-made cowboys on false horses.
In Chicago they read magazines about Sedona roads
and they run there, trampling the Navajo, the Apache, the Hopi,
who are holding back the end of the world.
Feel the hot winds smooth the sandstone,
the cold river California drinks.
In another time, they'd be a happy, redoubtable people.
Count the three million men, women, children,
dogs, llamas, circus elephants ...
When the army came to imprison the Apache
they left experimental camels
to wander from here to Harqua Halla.
Get a good price for a skull
in Skull Valley. See the hollow nostrils,
blood fright, little white lies
about real estate & the fourth estate.
Touch the bomb trigger that killed Don Bolles.
Feel the dying pulse of Goldwater Republicans,
the furnace of God that makes churches and cannon
Glimpse the ancien' regime, the descending gyre
of infused Northlanders from New York, Minneapolis,
Acropolis, too (two).
See that man is a city
& the city is a man.
Kiss the fine girl there
with a Greek name, buttery desires.
Read her awkward green eyes
on the way to her dead-end job
in the half-filled office complex.
Analyze her weakening resolve
at the touch of my hand
on her smooth brown knee
-- her shudder engendered there.
Then see her drift away,
seeking younger men,
who keep coming, coming
from California,
which is pushing east now,
which is pushing pestilence
like a salesman,
carbon monoxide in winter,
the angel's breath in spring.

California Zephyr

Take the train. The mystery whistle
gives warning as a service
to each and hovel and burgh along the line.
Take the train. Shape your body
At a bad angle, to sleep with
One eye open,
a hand on your backpack:
Walk the aisle of the peaceful.
Tiptoe through the dead.
Take the train, but do not envy
The conductors in beautiful
blue caps, who tell tall tales
of DEA rousts, great rivers
frozen over,
whole cities rolling
alive into possibility.
Take the train, leave the attendant
regrets of lost love behind
with the voice of reason
that rules the iron-fisted
tracks of time, faith
and paper-thin legal fantasies
concerning the state
of our nation.
Take the train. Avoid the bad energy
of airports. Smoke in the smoking car.
Listen to long and endless movement
and look toward the Northern Lights.
Take the train, but just know
Charlie Vaughn, he's just
a shape changer
in a checkered shirt.
The roust was real.
Take the train,
and he'll confirm
The sun behind the sun.
Take the train, note the brown burned
empty water tank on its side,
feel the mystery rail move forward
again. The observation deck is a churchy
made-for-tv movie ... a transition space
of carpet and glass, frozen stiff,
the great white world,
grafting all tracks
within the context
of our mutual lost
and lonely selves.
Take. The. Train. The late
lifeline and link from Boston
to San Francisco, monk's tea,
fuel-stained air, electricity humming
up ozone
from East to West.
Take the train,
But send it all back down the hill,
The anger, the fear, laments that fall
upon thine eyes.
Take the train, drilling through
a one-tracked meditation
on your soul's cruelest capabilities.
Take the train, step off,
greasy, forbidden
and a little too real.

Colorless

Falling from the startled sky,
a ping pong ball hits a hardwood
floor. Earthy groundlings look up
as they plant their vacillating
ports of thirsts and wolves plow
through woven bursts of hunger.
It goes like this:
Last night I realized
this tussle is bigger
than all of us, this war,
and everyone else, too.

The world does not need
saving. We need to save
each other.

In our place of power
the humidity cave contracts,
pushing me out. My wall,
porous and impossible,
quakes into birth
in a bottomed-out boat
on awkward waters.

The world does not need
saving. We need to save
each other.

Penetrate me and you will fell
the timid tree of earthen polarity.
Open yourself and I will pour out
an endless river of myth
and information. I will become
that blank, vacant stone face
of the autocratic cowboy,
plugging the pipeline
with blood and tufts
of wool, terror and wonder.

We are the air between the clouds,
the unembellished force between you,
me, silent pulse in cell phone static,
tongues that lick, pendulous TV.
If I smoke, I will be like smoke,
and of smoke I will be ... Myth
and Turks, tongue and TV. Our vapor,
my steam, colorless and apt, cools
the firestorm of the big mistake.

But all politics aside, this thing
is bigger than you, bigger than me.
We are sick and sad and shuddering
tense toward all roads leading
to darkness within darkness.
This dark place, colorless and free.
This congenial mix of ebony leaf,
taurine, fear, cell phones and TV.
The world does not need
saving. We need to save
each other. Lies and myth,
steel and money, cell phones
and tongues, Taurine and TV.


Piggy Taking Inventory

Thou earth mother
whose art made a heaven,
hollow is thy name,
hollow as a donut hole
downed by Dunkies sugar suckers
Across this dirty BVD
they come in, saltless and mean,
sucking dry for purple and orange
styroafoam cup containers,
cattle car crates of donut holes,
great salty sea-vats of caffeine,
akiline and molten H20;
See their blood boil
Tremble at the knowledge:
To know is to burn
High blood-sugar zonks
the dust of freedom
moldered in solo donut hole
clusters. They cram their gassy
gutter rollers up to the bar,
slamming their BMW brakes,
coming to a halt, dead-walking
out of the morning light into
the Orange Coated Cluster Pill,
pulling Dunky air in behind them
in gentle whorls of ache ...
Piggy needs to take inventory, Piggy needs to take.
Not so lean and snaking mean, she sucks down
a donut hole as her last breath
and testament to the desert ...

II.

I dreamt of your skull & crossbones
and it read me like an X-ray machine
as you lay there, the master,
in our silence and slumber:
I skulked about the place
Lightning last night;
It licked the world mean
and Piggy called six times,
six! Just as we had discussed
the ghost dancers' return,
the rent of the buffalo,
the assassination
of Sitting Bull
Just as plasma fields, unified,
rippled in the chemtrail orange sky
as it tumbled up and angry roll
of pressure and purity
friction and dread.
Piggy called six times, six!

III.

You said the desert sheds
us of our vanity
as the wind blew a scare
up the trees.
You awoke in a stir
of anger and vengeance
raving about "The Law Of 3s."
You awoke in a stir
and everyday I wonder,
why Gaia? Why? So nurturing,
so pure. Why so angry? Why!
Tremble to know the angel
of vengeance: To know is to burn ...
You said something about the dark,
but light was everywhere
in a system of pretty pearly stars

IV.

Piggy crossed the desert in a Humvee
moving eastward fast, loaded down
with software and stolen sacred relics,
as her brother Jacob threw beer cans
along the long, twisty road, northeasterly ...
Piggy crossed the desert
and the mirage followed her:
A man made of metal, in a mod
fright wig, shreeking laugh,
a blast of gunmetal, modal fire,
schist, plaster, a blast of rock.
O man, you left a mess,
tore it all up out of spite,
what a waste, this scorched earth,
bedding tossed like a body
into the garbage pail pile

V.

Knocked to my knees
but bleeding clean,
Man rises and thunders!
Three a.m., O son of Sam!
She didn't consider
that castle re-enter
When all is dark.
The message:
Clear. Clear out!
Gaia scooped me out,
sucking the cold, even,
out of the refrigerator!

VI.

Piggy needs to take inventory,
Piggy needs to take.
She leaves Ulysses on the shelf
a misquote from Sir Thomas More ...
flower petals on the white tile floor.
Then you hear that sucking sound
Then your hear
that sucking sound
Coming down the highway, Whoof!
The missing inventory includes
but is not limited to:
Three red maple leaves from Walden,
one copy of the Grapes of Rats,
one moonbeam, one bolt of light,
lots of lights ..
"I am the light taker of the world!
There shall be no
interior lighting
without me!"
Lightbulbs missing. More than just three.

VII.

Ozo sam
Urizen Man!
Christian saint,
O, house full of pain
Twisted rock
upon the oak
the river bends,
it bleeds and dries
See them, over the expanse,
the hot rubbered wheels,
the Holy lands: The Bull is rising,
O, Don't mess with Tex!
Of e-mail shouts,
the doctor is out
Piggy has left the bulding
crossing state lines,
crisscrossing America
O house full of pain!
Urizen man!
O Christian Saint!
A road made of sand!


Portrait
of a Suburban Legend
as a Young Man

Street skates ply the highway
leading to the lost children
They line up in court
after scarring their arms
with bursts of blue blood
and butane
Skateboard dude. Holy ranger.
Stiff shouldered, with close-cropped hair,
lanky as a sorrowful willow,
standing at attention,
sulking in regret, hand-bound,
the silent rebuke.
Stiff shouldered, snearing wise,
the great white defendant,
in nasal tremors, flares,
stares, surrenders the deed,
the vice, the miscue.
The lawyer shouts, in xenophobic
redoubt: Tall soliders, unite!
Vivi livi o muertes!
O, Lost children of sight!
But the judge hands over their
car keys, then, pleases them
with their rights.
What is truth, O judge
What is truth? They challenged
him, this Romeo, this stalker
with a guitar, strumming
on the sidewalk, who slept
in the desperation of this city's
plastic grace, this suburban
meatlocker of convenvience
and shame, where they
pop cold pills like candy,
then get suckerpunched
by gun-toting dads
in their SUVs, and O yes,
the cops, old Cyclops,
watching these streets,
the machine eye
loading this motherlode
of video games and hormones
and fear onto the conveyer belt
of justice, O yes, your justice, sure.
They hand over their rights,
compliant souls, one by one
They hand over their rights.
Compliant souls. One by one.
They take the deal
then spin roller wheels
down the photo radar lane
lusting and loitering,
lingering, in love.

In the Beginning
There Was a Word
from Our Sponsors

Welcome, O welcome
the many winged archetypes,
supple and black,
enfolded in milky white,
milky way white,
hanging in midair,
peering through
the portal, the slinky tube
of the time traveling
Dream Catcher wheel.

Help is on the way ...
Hooray. Hooray.
Help is on the way ?
Hooray. Hooray.

For whom?
I cannot say.
They exist in the imperfect
Shapeless spaces unifying
Our oppositional own imperfect
Spaces. They resonate in
The ripples of the swimming
Pool light at moonlight,
And intimate choices
Made by man and volcano
Long ago.

Help is on the way ?
Hooray. Hooray.
Help is on the way ..

As they wave, pleading,
Begging for business deals,
Moving closer to our dreams,
Tumbling through timeless
Synchronistic switches
That speak our name.
They twitch in the fierce
Firestorm of the Eve-bitten
Apple, and dance,
frightened and purple
Help is on the way,
They hope and pray:
Hooray. Hooray.
Their master, like ours,
Has up and gone away.

Milton Morning Song

Celestial heavenly lights blinking
At dawn over Camelback Mountain.
The rose is left in view, rosy
And true. The sky is a blue frame
For madness or his nameless name.

Milton wrote, he choked and smoked:
The mind is its own place,
and in itself,
Can make heaven a hell,
A hell of heaven.

But if this the Void,
it`s a Void of truth.
The stirs of green cirrus streaks
In the cloud, the chair-back
Alignment of Venus and Mars,
The waning dusty moon;
All simple proof there`s no real
Distance between me
And unknowable you.

Silhouette of a Praying Monk,
I smolder and move
to get a better view,
lay my shitty pocket things
into a fire pit and sit
on a merry temporary throne.

Light up. Listen to
a raven`s haunting call,
The trickling of cool waters running
Beneath the surface of the desert:
O Milton, poor bastard, you only
Had it half right. Man, his heart;
The only Void in view.

I climb this tree, O Bard,
And sing a sad song for thee:
Thy sun,
thy surface,
thy furnace.

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