Flotsam

No person ever wrote a single phrase
‘tho opiated in some weightless haze
not hoping that his sea of words be read
to salvage – or annul – a thing that’s dead.

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{Death drives life like a muledriver drives a mule]

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Closing the Door

…and in the instant Summum Light had broken – shattered –
myriad gold and silver elements poured down
and clear it was – to all who saw – that nothing mattered
save the glow that fell like snow on countryside and town;
so by the woodland stream that slaloms ‘cross the dale
we paused and waited – silent by their strange oak door;
we stayed and stayed and prayed – we knocked to no avail –
The Little Ones had gone, I fear, forevermore.

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Recapitulation

You weren’t driving fast
but it’s a foggy morning
and you bumped some bird swirving on a bycycle

Not having a cell phone to call an ambulance
        you should first
a) reprimand yourself for not having your brights on
b) say a silent prayer of repentance and hope Jesus will forgive you
c) get your agenda out of the glove compartment
      and make a date to see that friendly mechanic about those brakes –
      you know, the guy who once offerred you a can of Heineken during a power outage
d) rush out of your car to see about that woman who might still be breathing
e) leave the car and head on foot back down the road
       where you think you just passed a farm house  

Right words in the right order constitutes
a) a plea for help
b) a peppermint lifesaver
c) a poem

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Erasure

I wish The Authorities
would stop tarring over
the miracles of chance
and the passage of time –
I love my kintsugi streets
and wabi-sabi thoroughfares

Damn the sidewalk macadam –
and all for what?
so that man might gain speed
going from one dull mall
to its equally dull twin?

The world was prettier
and kinder
when we were only two billion…

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Progress

I remember a meadow – it’s now litter and tins –
Oh what has become of my beautiful land?
A polluting eight-laner – punctuated with dustbins –
where lovers on Sundays once strolled hand in hand.
Someone sits in a doorway – or right on the curb!
deshevelled, distraught and ever-so thin.
What has happened that this doesn’t even disturb?
How to explain this? Who knows where to begin!
    We witness such horror without even blinking!
    Is it me or –  truly – is empathy shrinking?

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Since When

since when was ugly
more real than beautiful
rinds and mold in an unwashed plate
more worthy of interest
than a the red, green and gold
in the brimming fruit bowl
since when was effort shame
and sloppiness virtue
ignorance the gold standard
education a slight embarrassment
since when was puke in the sink
derserving of so muck ink

we rot before our hours
have dwindled to minutes

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Misreading Matthew

Those people
who want only
to make more money
will burn your house down –
with you in it –
if you stand in their way.

Surely, they too
take no thought for the morrow
not for their progeny
nor for the planet.
They know one tune only –
these benighted bedevilled birds –
and they sing it constantly.

Tune? More a note –
the stressed tone
of the all-alone.

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Flammable Inflammables

            U

WHEN TO SAY
to bolt to lock
to bolt to flee
unbolt my heart
or be the shining
death of me

          UU

HOW TO SAY
maybe if i put one letter
inside another
made the rest blue
said thank god,
up yours, fuck you
– say what?

        UUU

WHERE TO SAY
stars of Mary
stars of Europe
can a boy see
the same stars
from Mars?

      UUUU

WHO’S TO SAY
anyone –
as long as they
believe in parthenogenesis
and know how to center-align

         IOU

WHAT TO SAY
when friends drop in –
but first – be sure their wings
are not broken

(on looking at Matisse’s Fall of Icarus)

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Self-evident

what you know you know
but forget you forget
is that they are dying all the time
is really we are dying all the time
we
are all dying
all the time –
husbands, mothers, children, lovers
the homeless – the filthy rich
every son-of-a-bitch
in the game;
since I started this sentence
a hundred thousand people
simply swallowed their name.

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