Awright, before you plunge forward into this, I have something to say. Poetry has that tipping point. You know what I am talking about. What is sincere and real and raw can quickly slide into pretension. This is one of those. I always liked reading this at spoken word gigs. There was something about it that I always liked, maybe it was the concluding lines. Maybe the title (I struggle a lot with titles). There are times when I go back to this and I am quite pleased. Other times, it is uppity rubbish. Regardless, I am posting the damn thing.
The purpose of life
Forever sought for
The sacrifice of the old ones
On the altars of their convictions
To their theories
Which exist as gods
Their worship – their search
Their prayers – their documents
Their ritual – their research
At all times
Seek the meaning
And where it is going
We are the living ghosts
The wandering Jews
Whose individual sins
Force us to meander
Never to put our feet on the ground
Even if we did
They would be as mud
Giving to our weight
But slowing our explorations
In all art
In all approaches
The subconscious foundation
Is the reaching out
By the insane
That our saviors
Would not rise above us
But straightjackets instead
Dubious to all
In the end
All biological function
Is what seems automatic
A part of the anonymous program
That runs it all
What is the construction of
The forced leases
The silent laws
That we follow
The monitors that observe
The omnipotent voyeurs
Document our peril
Our unique despairs
There are no sympathies
There are no judgments
That which creates pain
Is a molecule in the movement
Too basic for ethics
And less than dust to god
So is our breath
As is our lives
Minute to the immortal
And crucial to the insects.
Feeling like an anthropologist, I dug deep through my scrawlings and discovered this little number. Years ago I was quite the spoken word beast. I am pretty sure I jotted this one down while watching my performance partner screaming into a microphone. Turned out to be pure prophecy, as I have not heard from him in years.
As I watch you
Yelling and screaming
Your brow twisted
Your manic frustration
Putting your eyes in focus
And your brandished teeth
And fist clenched (typically)
Around an old microphone
I wonder what will become of you
Where the future goes
These questions and others
I often ask myself
You, my mirror
Fate or precise plans
Cannot be counted on
Where do the souls go?
These old souls who have
Marched in line
Lead and fell
I recognized your soul, sir
Although from where
I do not know
I cannot shake its familiarity
And so old souls go
To find each other
A necessary direction
That brings a brief passing
And momentary comfort
In this world of strangers
Hey all you cats and kittens…some good news here. I recently took Second Place in the Lit-Mag writing contest, hosted by The Write Place at the Write Time. This is a solid Lit site, with some great writers, editors, and content. Well worth a visit, not just to read me (but I HIGHLY SUGGEST) that you should start there.
The challenge for the contest was to address the whole Mayan 2012 End-of-the-World thing, using key words and doing it all in under 500 words. There’s more to it than just that but you can read my amazing piece and the other winners as well here:
Ok, I want you to do something for me. I want you to do it right now. Don’t give me any static.
Take a good look at the sign on the wall over there. You see it?
The sign reads: “THE RULES.”
Got yer tired eyes looking at the thing? Good. Here’s the deal, and it’s non-negotiable.
If you join the club, you gotta follow the rules. Otherwise, don’t join the club.
I know what you are going to do. You’re one of the smart ones, or so you think. You’re the kind of Jagermeister swilling hip-to-be-square types, too cool for school. Think the rules don’t apply to you. Yeah, I get it.
I want you to do something for me. I want you to do it right now.
Brush that trend ‘do back and read the rules carefully. I am telling you right now that if you join my club, you will have to follow the rules.
Hey, the first one is “No spitting.” That should be easy enough.
I have seen your type a million times. I have rejected your friend request and I have sent your uploads spooling endlessly. I can spot your M.O. in my peripheral vision. I’m that good.
You don’t think you have to follow the rules. Don’t deny it, you know that it is true. Your whole life you have defined yourself as someone not like everyone else. Not a joiner, that’s for fail punks and mainstream douchebags. You ain’t drinking the Kool-aid.
Fair enough. I bow to your coolness. In fact, I admire it.
But rules are rules, and don’t even think about joining the club if you aren’t going to follow them.
So you say, “No worries, daddy-o. I can follow those rules.” That’s because you know I got the good cookies, and there is something awesome going on backstage. You want that pass, I see it in your eyes.
I want to believe you, but I know you can’t go long without making a contrary statement, pressing the vanity button. Still….there’s something there though, some kind of potential, that makes me want to say yes.
I love your enthusiasm. I love your willingness. I love that fact that you are willing to put down those wrinkled, rollback beliefs and join a winning team. Happy to have you on board with these initiatives. Welcome aboard!
I don’t think a special someone like you would want to sign up for this if everyone was doing it. You’re an early adapter, I get that. I know that if this gets too, oh popular, you’ll start trolling forums and stir up the pot. Not only do I get that, but I am counting on it.
‘Cause, you can’t make an omelet if you don’t break some eggs. Trite yes, but damn true. We’re talking about creative destruction. Let’s break it, smash it down, and build it from scratch. Let’s fuck with it and see what comes out of it.
This initiative isn’t for the weak and palsy. Hell no, you gotta be tough to play my game, you gotta have wits, you gotta have creativity.
And it’s clear to me that you have all that.
We’re about to embark on a New and Improved World Order, we are going to make changes yes we are. When we get done, you’re not even going to recognize the place.
Still with me? Like I ever had a doubt.
Now this is going to have some sacrifice involved. You may have to cut those ties, be ready to walk away in an instant. People are going to get hurt. And there probably won’t be much of a warning.
I want you to do something for me. I want you to do it right now.
Repeat after me:
“Life can change in an instant.”
Very good. Now say:
Excellent. Now one more:
“Better to be pissed off then pissed on.”
I am going to be honest with you, and the fact that I am being honest with you should be yet another affirmation that you have made an excellent choice joining me going forward. It’s always good to have a back up plan. So if you don’t have one, I need you to get with it. Map out that plan B, and maybe a Plan C.
I would love to give you a guarantee that everything will work out to the last lettered detail, but I am only responsible for the effort, not the result. No matter how it goes, it will go.
So do whatever prep you need to do and get back real quick. We are about to position our shields and lower our spears to throat level. We are going to stick some pigs, you and I. They got it coming, and we are just the people to do it.
Just remember that sign on the wall when you signed up.
If you join the club, you gotta play by the rules son.
A poem written to my mother as a gift, Mother’s Day 1996. Yep, it’s autobiographical.
Beatle beats, young and pretty, blonde hair
reflecting golden sunny glow coming down from jewel-blue skies.
“Can you feel it when it passes through you?”
Skinny, Rock & Roll. Oh he’s so dangerous. Rebel rebel on the street,
friends keep asking you why he’s not a normal American guy.
Warmer days and cooler nights, school concluding, future plans ideas
at best. Why do you like this bad little boy, fringe leather long hair and
Fair skin, gentle smile, Berkley girl
Who could hang for a while
Cool kids in a fragile moment
It’s not so bad in this shrinking spring 69
It’s cool and that’s all
anybody needs in the treasure of youth. He’s a perfect pirate at best.
But for a sliver a bit it had all been a returning smile a gentle wink and a
walk around town.
Detroit and its almost summer. All right. 69. Xtra life in your belly.
Sweet mode, the summer of love upon you and its greatest sum is your
Maybe now it’s not a rebel you seek, but there he is.
You feel fine. All the love of the world grows inside you.
Who was that young glowing mother whose sandaled feet strolled under
that warm season sun. Fresh and full of life, scared but hopeful, optimistic
but cautious, courageous and poetic.
Suddenly it’s not so simple, but beautiful none the less.
Music comes out of convertible cars rolling slowly down Woodward
in proud De-troit style. How life’s course changes in an instant. People who
might have been a night away from can affect the events of decades to
Slowly turning tires on flashy cars, music, the beat–the heartbeat of
the street. Young girl, the mess of love, now with belly swelling dire. A
range of emotions like light through a prism.
Late August humid nights. Young boy and young girl in the face of
life. A knuckle down in the sacrifice
for the upcoming
and now the price.
Random like the leaves off the trees. No one can plan their fall.
Design beyond our reach. We can only sweep thereafter.
It’s colder and bolder in the heart of the city. Big world has come, ready or
not, it is quickly becoming time for the big game. He’s staying for the game.
Darker skies and November chills your boy(?) is almost upon you.
How the days have passed, I can only fictionalize. Summer of loved passed
to fall nights, Berkley taillights. What nerves danced behind your doe eyes?
Were you dying or lying or crying behind them or did you laugh and smile
and await your child?
It’s coming up in just a while.
It’s crisp and cold. It’s a Michigan winter. Loose long cotton sheets give
way to thick dark wool and pile on the duck feathers. The wool scratches of
young love are contrasted with down comforter sympathies.
Oh will it be alright? Will it be good? she asked herself.
Young pretty mother soon had watched other mother’s daughters
engage in ritual in local parks and hilltops. Happiness rained down on these
hills moments away.
Slide down and away on billowy coated snowcaps.
Whisping, swirling snow. Soft and flaky, gentle bed. Young will-be-mother lays down in it.
Starts making snow angels. Sometime after Christmas (she smiles)
In my crazy postmodern apocalyptic world, there exists the Dodge Tribe. More on them to follow. They have a few poets that lurk in their ranks. I have managed to wrestle this short piece the grimy paws of one of their reluctant bards.
A sinister flash of teeth caused an agreement
to happen without cautious second glances
Now, a fortuitous hero wills his rise from rusted ranks
and former idol worshipers now condemn last minute strokes of genius
Yes, genius or brilliance in simplicity
Could lasting actions build tradition or shore up ethical balloons
in a corral to prevent exposure to toxic elements
Elements – periodic in definition, organized in hardened flesh of sheer disaster
Former chiefs can create new obedience in tired fists
Blasting caps fuel memory armed in apology
Could forgers pose as the holy in retribution of the convicted
Tattoo change on the base of the necks of the leashed