[My transplanted yank is just crazy ’bout haricots verts]

My transplanted yank is just crazy ’bout haricots verts  –
            he mastered lingusitic transition from string bean with ease  
 [as soon as he’d swallowed the Franch names for luscious blue cheese]
                     but green beans require a labour I’m not keen to bear;

            such work is as deadening to wits as is washing the dishes  
                  I’m spoiled – I admit it – although I am nothing near wealthy
            I haven’t a car; my apartment is small – but I’m healthy
             so,  when they’re sold ready to steam, I give in to his wishes…

                                                          * * *
                  In point of fact I couldn’t resist, expensive as they were
          perfectly lined up  pencil thin leaves of grass
                     swathed in cellophane – I felt rich just buying them !

           But then, removing the wrapping  I began to think
                                            of where they’d come from –
                       somewhere in South America…

                              How exquisitely they were packaged –
                  how regal they looked in their shallow black styrofoam tub –
         made me want to take special care how I laid them in the steamer …

      and then, as I was gently tossing them, still warm, in their vinaigrette
                        I had a vision of some starvling
                                    across the ocean
                                                  earning three cents a day –
                   the planters, the pickers, the packers ? Poor devils!

                                                        * * *      
           I know that one shouldn’t buy produce that’s shipped on a plane
                and I know that the reasons for that have to do with pollution
        [so eating stuff locally grown is the simple sollution]  
                  when it comes to ethics, however, grave questions remain –

        If the person who streamlined my beans had received fair return
   then the price they’d command would be plainly beyond my small means
          which is true for tomatoes and salads and much more than beans –
       which are sold where the overstuffed priviledged have money to burn.

            Is this divine order ? Please tell me what bastard arranged it?
     I just can’t help thinking since lunch that fair’s fair and right’s right
   Should the world be my oyster – my green bean – because I’m  born white?
             Whatever – whoever  – it’s incumbent upon us to change it.  
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Monkey Business – A Warning

when the lioness appeared
the monkey shinnied
up a trunk
held on for dear life
and lived to tell the tale.

when the tidal wave appeared
he did the same thing…
but didn’t.

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of logos and compassion

Whenever we’re alone he asks me questions,
says the nicest things – like that I really listen –
and I swell with pride at the idea
that I’ve inspired him to do the same

But the questions get tougher and I am not his mother,
not even blood kin, and when he looks up,
and I see he’s shed the grin, and he almost laments
but that doesn’t make sense, I dig my nails in.

Not yet into his teens and almost lost
to genuine analysis – numbed by the usual means
by counterfeit, by anthropocentric blindspot,
and I sigh at the idea that the all-engulfing they
will likely have its way.

He believes there is a logic to everything,
cannot imagine things that don’t have reasons.
Most likely he’ll never see that logic and language
are more than related – in fact the same word
in the culture that shaped us; on closest inspection
there is no rational inflection, no premise
for the premise
that the universe is rational.

I want so to hug him and explain this –
that we think the way we think because,
but I settle for a pause, not ready
to bite the bullet even for his sake
and I lie to myself. Maybe next year. . .
if he’s still awake

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Modern Times

Left for dead
in a garbage can
beside empty
bottles and boxes –
junk mail on her head
but she didn’t [die] she
became a tycoon instead
Staten Island’s
Recycle Queen

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Ghost Dog

Weep, Cayuga brother
alone on a roof in Jersey –
pigeons shot by assholes
tar now stained with blood –
Stupid fuckin’ white man

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New Testament Hogwash

Luke says Heli was Joseph’s father
Jacob’s the one that Matthew names –
beats me still why either’d bother
with any  paternal  geneological games
        unless they were trying to make the case
        for an earthly king – a political race –
        that’s what messiah means in Hebrew shorthand
        a Jewish king… for a tormented occupied land…

and that is probably what the first century bible authors were after.

Matthew can count back to David
in 26 go-rounds – It takes Luke 41 begats
to cover the exact same ground.
One gospel takes him back to  Nathan
the other via Solomon’s son
but nowhere even  a minor ovation
for the Jewish Miriam’s annointed son.
That a man is a Jew by his mother
doesn’t seem to have occurred to either.
Any who could find such gospels infallible
are, by my lights, more than just gullible.

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Be Not Fooled

Who sings me songs of candied afterlives
demands I now lie low in expectation –
bow down, await rewards, endure the gyves
shut up, mark time, be meek for the duration –
feel sin and guilt, fear God And All His Might –
some super spook who no one’s seen at all
unless quite daft or higher than a kite
or steeped in myths of Eve and Adam’s Fall.
A Book that offers just itself for proof
is like a dog that chases his own tail.
Religion from religion stands aloof,
leaves little room for justice to prevail.
     Those Fathers Up Above are worse than crooks
      No Source of All is bound in any books

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My Idea of Heaven

in dreams alone I might traverse
some perfect potlatch universe
where none would give their heart in vain
and all that’s parched be gorged with rain –
love enabling – exchanged in turn –
beneath a sun to warm, not burn.

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morning, flight, burial

a penance
of songless birds
grip bare branches
in a breathless sky –
wind or rain would only
confirm the sentence

         ii
the only things flying
are the unmarked planes
that play pale hopscotch
and piss unnamed
disease in the clouds

           iii
would there were
lesser woods
to waste on burial –
if these idiots allowed
I would erupt in scarlet
underwater fireworks
for a few young sharks

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  :,