14 November 2k18
Greetings, Dear Reader. ‘Tis an entry full of frayed ends, of uneven odds.
Low cards again. Guess I just call ’em as I see ’em…
What could I possibly say this time? Should I speak of my father?
Well, seems I already have. But I left out one of his critical lessons: The Gambler’s Fallacy
Much has been said of it, and you’re welcome to draw your own conclusions.
But, while watching a herd of sheep all running one stupid way,
Pops said to me of the Fallacy, “Never fall for it, kid.”
He pointed at one old goat doing his own thing,
“See. Mind your own cards. You must learn to trust Instinct.”
Oi! Go ahead, flip a Fair Coin,
a full score of times—and you tell me, nu?
Did’ya fall for it?
Against Lady Luck, did’ya Count Coup?
:such is the tale of my Coup Stick.
One wing dipped in blood.
Hard to explain
what has not killed me served only to teach
my yet fragile soul how to survive.
I can’t put it down to Junkiedom, USA;
for of the score, Ah! So many…we were
blood enemies at first sight.
Now, my father was a consummate Gambler.
An archetype of the Old School.
A man for whom defunct notions like: honor, trust, respect
meant that line so thin twixt
And taught me in his own methods: the Way of the Gambler
He said, “Never welsh. Rake the table—
take what you will and pay for it.”
It took all of my cards : nearly a lifetime
to understand that a jackpot can reap a heavy loss
that so often winning is turned on its gilded head
that what is lost is never a loss. If you learn the lesson.
Count Coup upon your foes come away bloodied
and you learn Living is the gamble: even odds
Pops said, “Draw low cards and you play ’em
Play ’em like they’re royal.”
I have learned believe me…
Counting Coup against a Devil
it is best
on a river.
10 November 2k18
Greetings, Dear Reader. It has been kinda heavy ’round here lately, eh?
What with all the Painful Poetry…
Blitzes. Voting. Retreats. Returns.
Hard to keep track of all the Ethical ins & outs…lotta connect-the-dots pandering goin’ on; backroom good ‘ol boy circle-yorking;
all while shrewdly calculating, on the fly, just exactly who is still hangin’ on the POTUS junk?
Who is stabbing whom in the back? Who left the knife stuck there?
Who’s on First?
I hear Marble Hill politicos are gnawing on the skulls of the fallen and defeated this day.
Welcome, Cohorts, to the Ramshackle Day Parade! (Thanx, Joe)
Meanwhile, we’re all straining—stuck sittin’ & spinnin’ on the U.S.A. Inc. Moral merry-go-round v9.2;
judging from the forlorn squeal the thing is making, it needs some WD40…seriously.
During this time of year it can be damn hard to find a good laugh;
‘course bad laughs go for less than a dimebag, and are just as endemic.
The streets are littered with ’em, snuggled right up next to abandoned American Dreams, ubiquitous plastic flutter-bags,
old kicks sneering down from every wire, Faith disenfranchised,
and dumpster fires fueled with legislation of obfuscation,
plus pallet loads of overstocked, mangy, Presidential toupees.
And then there’s all this blog mucking about:
Comforting the Disturbed
Disturbing the Comfortable
The Empathy Hustle. Ah, merde! It can be that way, sometimes.
So it goes.
Today I thought we’d tap the brakes. Oi! Not that hard…easy. Easy!
Why spin out, unless you really wanna run amok, too?
B’sides, around here I’m 24/7, y’all. I’m just not always doin’ business, dig?
Yet, a Poet simply cannot live on words and smoke alone.
No…no, as well there must be Coffee
What happens before Coffee
I told a diffident cup
to get fucked this morning.
It fell on the floor.
I was seeking to set fire
in my black, lil heart.
So…I just loomed there in those long, long minutes
vehemently cussing out its timid, inanimate spirit.
I know ya think I’m a fruitcake, baby.
Hey, that’s just how I roll.
Guess you’d better know now—
In those minutes before Coffee
don’t dare hand me a match
’cause I’ll spark the big fuse
every every every time. Natch.
In those minutes
I stalk amidst twilight
in the Savannah of Kitchen
looking for trouble—surveying thus:
Lions kneel before a State of the Art, blood-rusty King.
Jackals, daunted, hide their wicked eyes.
Hyenas shut their cackling yaps in surprise.
Vultures, envious, take their young under wing.
Such a wild-eyed beast I am forsaken. In those minutes:
do not glance at Trumpery at dread news, whilst Coffee brews
for every time I do: sirens howl. Fire engines growl
something will go snap will crackle, will go PoP!
something will be throttled will be scalped raw
something will run for dear life will flee. Running red lights
something will get bruised something will lose
I give No Quarter
to my prey—
not to Hate, not to Seizures, nor to Pain
before sacred Coffee eases
my shattered-cup brain.
6 November 2k18
“Suicides have a special language.
Like carpenters they want to know which tools.
They never ask why build.” ~Anne Sexton
“You want it Darker. We kill the flame.” ~Leonard Cohen
Greetings, Dear Reader. There is nothing easy about this post. The last one was simple.
Rage always is; ’tis Empathy that requires work. Venting is easy. Living is difficult.
And while I freely admit to some cathartic venting in my last post, nevertheless—it needed to be said: Screamed.
However, I have recently learned that a Human I care deeply for made that Choice.
There is such profound suffering in this Life that some flounder beneath towering waves.
Please remember, swimming so far from land, that You. Are. Never. Alone.
L’amour soit avec toi, mon ami.
I have been asked, enough times to lace cracks in my heart,
“How do you survive!? How? With all of this…how is it that you survive?”
I could never answer.
I never knew how. Still don’t…not really.
It is just what I do.
I think that I am not special, in this regard.
There is no adversity I have endured
that you too cannot survive.
You must remind your battered Self
—It is not over…I am not Done.
Heels to haunch
in the mental whiteout
of a breakdown blizzard.
I cradle a flare gun
unsure whether to fire.
For every blind S.O.S.
carries a heavy measure
It is said that freezing to death
is like going to sleep.
It is not.
There is more icicle
in the reality of such a slumber.
Passing this skin-searing
metal chunk of grip
from cold hand to clumsy hand:
despite any resolve to soar away
there is no freedom
in a transition to fleshberg.
—rather they will find a broken bird
lying on pitiless tundra.
are ruthless when wrathful;
cruelty matched only
by sheer indifference.
A whore-frost gargoyle, Winter
skulking on your back.
Ah, the treacherous
all that you
know of you.
Wishing to die, you wane;
a winter scarecrow of fallow field,
shriveled remnant of the Self—
facing emptiness, you perilously
resort to stuffing in fistfuls
of moldering bracken, sour grass
wrenched by the roots
out of abject fear.
Being a Scarecrow,
the Ravens will help you
what you are made of.
Yanked apart at the seams
by rending talons, by bitter beak
to find what is good in you.
Raising the flare gun’s weight
up to an opaque vault of sky,
vexed by snow-borne wind into a fury:
fingers ice-gnawed into claws
I fumble in the maelstrom
—slip but for a moment
and pull the trigger.
Just between us
||who tread that bone-strewn path
as only the Suicidal can.
Among the ten thousand
useless ways to die
there is always a choice
to die well.
you do not see it coming.
4 November 2k18
“Standing on the gallows with my head in a noose.
Any minute now I’m expecting all Hell to break loose…” ~ Bob Dylan
What can I say, Dear Reader? The man has brought it upon himself.
I can stand no more of this utter, fascist Trumpery.
Please understand, I know there are those who will be vexed by this post:
whether you can believe it or no, I do have empathy. Yet, I also have a mandate:
Respect Existence or Expect Resistance
Trump and his ilk have gleefully sown the wind.
Now comes the Gale.
The Excoriation of Donald J. Trump
Here is the way of my Curse for you, Donald:
Doom of the craven
and the swindler be upon you—
who makes feast on the blight of poverty
who gorges on the blood of earth, rock, and sea.
You shall have all you blindly desire,
but naught of what you truly need.
You shall find no water in the desert
nor shelter from the burning sun of Judgment.
You have delivered the Earth
into the hands of despoilers.
You shall find no rest therein.
Your carcass shall be rejected.
Even your ashes shall be as salt
upon the ground, and none shall suffer to tread there.
Your black shade shall find no admittance to the Garden
but shall submit tenfold
to the woe and misery your works have wrought.
With left hand you bear the Scepter of Tyranny
while within your withered right
are clenched the thirty pieces of silver for which
you bartered your Soul.
Vultures gather at your feet
and verily they shall name you
Lord of Carrion.
A crown of bone and gore shall be
fashioned for you, and upon it branded
the Sigil of Gluttony.
Tyrant of Twitter, I dub thee.
Highwayman of the Hill, Maestro of Misogyny
Yes, yes…and moreover,
I name thee: Despot of Demagoguery
Brigand of the Beltway and Rustler of the Republic.
Cur, you hustle cowardly
with insolent thugs and greedy pimps.
Scourge of Empathy,
the fire of your abominate words
has lit a conflagration of fear
through the heart of a divided Land.
Never shall the blood of these Innocents
be washed from your brow.
1 November 2k18
“That is not how to Love me.” ~ Fever Ray [Karin Dreijer]
By now that statement is enough to inform you that I have been sexually assaulted, harassed, violated…You know this from those two words due to the immense courage of women from every walk of life. Women, nay Humans, who have stood and added their voices to the clarion chorus of Survivors. Humans who are calling for an end to the grotesque culture of abuse and rape in our society.
Though it matters not, my gender is male (mostly). I am the 1 in 20.
Male Survivors, I beg you, join your Sisters. Raise your voices against the Monsters.
We accept atrocities.
They have become so ingrained, so prevalent, that as a society we add it to the statistics of annual horrors in apparent apathy.
Statistics that are tracked and charted: they grab, they grope, they nestle next to the unspeakable as if we cannot change.
Yet, we can.
WE can change this sick paradigm.
We can drag it into the light. We can watch it burn.
Individuals know how to change. Often, we just collectively don’t know how to stoke an ember into a conflagration.
Me Too is a collective social outcry.
It is the thunder that incites lightning.
I pray it cracks the world.
Feast for a Monster
Oh, how you must feast.
Gorging on a memory banquet—
my child hands on your flesh: unwilling.
Suck marrow from husks of vile memory
the way you sucked your lips then:
all venom and petulance.
Torpid. Sprawled on a ratty couch.
Warning me, “Don’t you dare throw up.”
—just as I see you in nightmares:
Massive and fearful
the way only a child
Lick hoarded reminiscence
from your fingers,
Let it drip down your elbows:
wring, throttle, squeeze
those final drops
out of the places
you ripped open
inside of me.
Scars grow upon scars.
Such wounds never heal clean.
You shall never know that
has served to make me formidable.
Yet, you own nothing of my survival.
For that emerged from within,
where your maggot fingers
could not dig deep to reach.
Whilst you grow evermore frail
I banish you to the Past.
A predator become vulnerable:
choke now on your last sustenance
of corpse-liquor remembrance.
how will you possibly
crave anything wholesome again
when you have supped at such a table?
31 October 2k18
Good Hallows’ Eve, Dear Reader. This day the Veil is thin.
Go to the Crossroads, tear the Veil away:
The first step is the hardest of all.
31 July 2016
UPDATE: This poem was selected for publication! Please see the details below…
11 July 2k15
Greetings, Dear Reader. It seems my earlier optimism regarding signal reacquisition was…a bit hasty. Nevertheless, I am still writing; still nurturing that sacred ember of creative flame which came so perilously close to dying in a cruel wind. And with that thought, I offer you a new poem. This one I dedicate to everyone…for each of us deals with our own measure of misery. And comparing them does a disservice to us all.
It is in the empathy we bring to the suffering of other living beings which is the true measure of our own humanity.
Little mottled lizard in the yard
has become permanently entangled
in a gnarled chunk of six-pack plastic;
and like a tree grown around a nail
it is now an inherent part of him.
His left hind leg has become hobbled,
but he frenetically scoots around still,
flicking his tongue past a rotten knot
of the stuff that has grown monstrous
into the right side of his throat, and down to stomach.
Clearly, he has bitten off more than he can chew.
Leaving little doubt the little lizard’s days are numbered too.
For at bugs, he is too slow to catch more than a few,
Of the lady lizard, he will certainly never woo.
I want to catch him and pickpeel the plastic,
so like a tumorous growth, from his invaded body.
My fingers itch to tweeze the brittle, no-morsel of it from his throat.
However, he is still much faster than the fumbling likes of me.
surprising itchy pain, then instant fresh-skin relief
as a child. When a doctor once scrape-pulled
a knuckle of brownish, lumpy wax
right out of my ear, like a magician’s trick.
Of course, I did not even know it was there;
but once the awful waxy scab had gone,
that liberated patch of skin was all I could feel.
For days, that tactile memory
of its dislodging stayed with me,
at once delicious
yet shudderingly abhorrent.
And that Yard Lizard, scratch skittering
his burden across the savanna of grass,
he haunts my dreams.
…I can never catch him,
nor fix what has gone so badly astray.
Please go to:
Cirque: A Literary Journal of Alaska and the Pacific Northwest to find this poem in full glory.