Monday, September 1, 2014

Sugar in the Black Soil

We're all gardeners, descended from the first Garden.
Everything has been already named.
We might change around the numbers in the equation,
but sooner or later we come to our first English Composition class.
I don't mean to strike horror into you.
You have to get in before you can get out.
You have to analyze your experience, or the Great Books,
or whatever it is while some teacher blesses you before you actually
compose of your own free will. You discover it as you go.
Look out that window as the world grows into finer focus.
You have the pictures to describe every plant and department
in the whole world. You live in a little house with a table
and a window flung open. All the authors that ever were
are streaming through your window. We remember only a little
of the bird as it flies into the Great Speckled Unknown.

The sensitive poet, at his best, can pull a tractor out of the mud.
He is not offended by the clumps of sugar in the black soil.
He goes out into the unbroken Midwest with a serving spoon.
All directions are feasible. The earth tells him yes,
and the earth tells him no. He accepts both answers.
He scoops manure onto the white grades of untested canvas.
His studio smells like the country. He goes to the feed store,
not the art store, to get his brushes. They are more like brooms
with which he gets his whole body into the action.
Pushing fifty pounds of the dark thoughts across the palette,
he breaks a sweat. He works with his hands,
connecting implement to rig. The furrows he leaves in his wake
are deep enough to disturb the casual reader, expecting a red barn.
The reader's only choice is to give a hand with the wheelbarrow.
By noon, the fat tires start to emerge from the snow.
The white page, next to the sugar bowl, is halfway done.
The sweetness reaches into the bristles of the broom.
The ground is swept with legible handwriting, awaiting the sickle.

We farm at our tables, uncovering helpings of the sky
in our notebooks. If we choose to leave the world,
we still have our writing. This is a wine that flows in even
the most remote places. Take being out in space, for example.
All the literature still makes sense on Mars even if there is no water.
If you deprive yourself of things in order to write,
you are probably a lover. You are satisfied with the Beloved
because she is the perfect editor. She is beyond words but checks
back every once in a while to make sure you are doing O.K.
That gives you a lot of free time. That is why we writers
must be disciplined.

Sometimes we have to leave the fifty thousand word set
and stretch out into the flight of migration back home
where a kitchen is set with all the books one individual will write,
and now it is time to taste a home cooked meal prepared
by the Friend. He has not forgotten about you. He has just
been seeing what you're up to, choosing the ingredients
that make you happy, and on your birthday making such
a special meal that you will be at a loss for words.
That is good. The taste of your birthday dinner
is meant to stay with you for all eternity. We have to travel
light onto Mars or wherever the next place is we end up,
and nothing sticks with you more than a taste of that fruit
we are all striving to grow.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Hungry Prophets

Hungry prophets line up, looking for directions
to luminosity. When they are all in a row
the critics start raving, causing God to get with the program.
Old salt turns into honey. The beehive changes into a dance club.
The yet to be prophets fill their mouths with honey,
brimming with the sweetness, wondering
how to serve with too much of a good thing.
It comes in dribs and drabs and then it pounces on you
like a tiger, eternal in his stripes. So salt, honey, tigers -
all these things don't give God a moment's worry.
The people are asking for the good stuff, and they can't stand
a moment's procrastination on His part. He reads the Daily
Telegraph, wonders what to tell them about life on other planets,
and finally gets around to fatherly allowing Himself to be stung
by a beehive gone wild. He farms out the acceptance
of new hive members to one of the angels and gets back
to reminiscing about what he did when He was a billion years
younger than his current overtaxed self.

Yes, God puts things off, not because He doesn't care about us,
but because He stubbornly refuses to start a boardroom.
He prefers his executive management even though he is usually
too sublime with the galaxies to send back work orders
to planet Earth. But don't get me wrong. It is these details
that give Him great delight. He is just a minimalist painter,
that's all. The canvas stores are going broke because He takes
light years to even pick up a paintbrush, and even the Milky Way
doesn't have that kind of time. So when it comes down to earthly
critics going wild about the hottest post, post-modern artist,
God invokes a bristle in his sable hair paintbrush, and even that
causes earthquakes and hurricanes, so He doesn't do it too often.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

A Carrier Pigeon

Let adventure telling dominate the schools.
If it is yours or something learned in the classics, let it be said.
Look into it, and you will see the treetops are printed much lower
than the standards a good story should have.
Spin the thread around the moment, and tie it off in the ocean.
Homecoming awaits those stuck in line at the surf's edge.
I am a lost soul in the world's library, a camper in the proportions
of life to art. My story is halfway realized, but then art takes over
and stretches it into dimensions unseen.
The world is a grain of sand but which grain of sand
we will never know, and in that searching which will
go on forever until Jesus or Buddha comes back,
you are graced with both fine appreciation and cosmic wonder.
When Joseph answered the question to Pharaoh's dream,
he fulfilled his own life by counseling another.

When you open a book you should look at the cover
and ask yourself did the author carefully print his or her name
on this envelope which contains no bills or any of that nonsense.
Remember you always have a soul mate maybe on your left,
maybe on your right. People say they have not found their soul mate,
but that is not true. The Friend is simply the master of another name,
a little shorter or a little more important sounding than the one
you carry around. A carrier pigeon flies without the river,
over a busy city. So what if all those people are not reading.
They may be being written about. That is the job of the writer who
lives on the outskirts of town, going in for supplies
when the ocean demands. His work may never be read,
but at least it will be thrown into the sea.
There are passions in the ocean that are so true,
they may swallow the world's books like a canyon
that has not been explored. So fear not the unknown.
A book may have gotten there ahead of you.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Flow Currency

A thousand grains of gold are scattered in the mind
never meeting one another as a nugget.
A thimble full of this medicine would detain
any computer set on taking over the world.
Normally, I stop at this point and take the band-aid
off the monster. He is so well behaved though that
we'll let him sit at the grown ups' table. His conversation
may make no sense now, but in a couple years
he will smile with the rest of us.
It's all good whether you're anticipating paradise
or are a few quarters short of that final curtain call.
Suddenly, it disappears as fast as the boxcar comes into view.
I slow down and took a look at the train following me.

A hundred cars would not get ahead of me until I glance
at my wheels so few. You think you're moving forward,
but you're really blocking the whole street
with your flow currency.
What you haven't said is driving the whole city sideways.
It's hard to be a moving city when the shops
are filled with broke religions.
You need water whether you're out in space
or farming oranges in the sunbelt, and now we have
too much of it. The sun has too much fire,
and my mind has too much air.
It is so empty here without the pages fluttering
into the next life that my shaky prayer book
finds its sea legs again.    

Monday, August 4, 2014

Entities Like Boats

At this point, I was going to say throw the hull and prow
back into the shipyard. Our bodies and the way they cut
through time and space are dear to us, almost as dear
as the conversation in the cabin, or perhaps more dear.
The wake we leave with our boats is experienced in words
once the captain opens his log. Our heart, or cabin,
exists in tandem with the hull, our bodies made for both
motion and rest. We reflect on the language that comes
of moving through the day as entities like boats which
are self contained but amplify each other as conversation trails near.

When we come to a rest, the wake remains for a time
as we grow back into the ocean. That could occupy us for hours
if we are in no hurry to continue the force that puts bodies in motion.
All this is much more real than an image that projects surface
with no tension, a vision that appears not wet, not interacting
the way liquids do when disturbed by bodies in motion.
So we need both the boat and the cabin, and if we are together,
a captain who understands the moment and its reflection.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Gross National Product of My Bicycle

I have a bicycle that uses many spokes. A few of them are lost
every time it turns. I have solved many problems with only
a dozen spokes. The fact that as I was working on the problem,
spokes were used that are not anymore in existence is proof
that progress need not be tied to the manufacture of an increasing
amount of goods. The gross national product of my bicycle
is set except for the hubs which are many. I have many bicycles.
They are not all complete. It is not necessary that they be finished.
The only thing that counts is physics, the demonstration that
riders are meaningless. You think you are steering, but you're
really not. You think you're pedaling, but you're really not.
The evolution happened when you had gone so far that you ceased
being aware of the problem. You ceased working, in your trail
were many spokes doing nothing alone, but nonetheless measuring.

A ladder is propped up high toward a garret window,
and lost in thought, you find yourself painting a picture with steps
and a nude or some sort of creation. You could not have made
that climb with a bicycle. However, there is a fruit tree at the top
of a mountain. You pedal your bicycle, let the switchbacks
and cliff walls fall into your evolution, all the while carrying a ladder
with your outstretched hands. You reach the tree, climb down
from your bicycle, that is if you're still riding, and set the ladder
underneath the lowest branches. The fruit tastes like
mountain candy. Suddenly, you realize the ladder is gone,
a few spokes are falling out of the leaves, but more spokes
are radiating from the center of your being.  That is spirit arms.
Although, we cannot trace these new spokes to the hub
which is most certainly in your heart, we may say it exists
and does not need to be seen.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

A Thin Area

When we describe a larger worldview with an even smaller law,
we are raising the stakes. When we get into matters of the universe,
we assume a secret love, not yet unlocked on earth, will keep things
orderly in places we've never been in person to inspect their
ruthlessness or complacency. If society is satisfied with how it is,
it fits into either acknowledgement of its torn fabric or the will
to bring it to shreds, hoping a tipping point will be reached.
This is good practice for a pair of shorts, wearing them until
they start to fray. Satisfaction with garments in the here and now
puts less stress on the sweatshops and might even increase
the quality we expect of our first love. An old pair of clothes may
become more dear to us, seeing how layer gives way to layer,
and we move more gently so as not to stress any thin area.
This is a fact. Parts of the world are thin. We are called to send
them direct aid or at least spend great amounts of time thinking
about their plight and who are the players. Then we can say
isn't it a shame that so and so has to be in power now.
I have thought it through, and it is his fault. If it was up to me,
I'd do things differently. However, the accused may see things
completely differently, pointing his finger at you for even trying
to understand his internal situation. Yes, places of the world
are thin. When we get to the threads holding together a pocket
or a belt loop, who can say which tug will cause the whole thing
to unravel? So we say it's bubbling up or they've always been
this way since nobody can agree on unilateral tightness
or letting things alone. The world is not a pressure cooker though.
There is great distance between each one of us.
Even brothers at each other's throat, if they stopped
calculating weaknesses, would find unexpected strength.
Our problem is that we're always looking for the next fashion,
not concerned with getting the best wear out of what we
currently have, not being aware of history and the unrest
that brought us to the point of actually buying our own clothes.
If we were concerned with the laws of behavior that went into
either making or trading for one pair of shorts, that would be
a law on a limited scale. It may have no bearing on sector
number three and a half and how to get to four in the agency.
We will have slowed down though.

Eventually our hyper-awareness of what is going on bureaucracies
away will erode, mirroring the fraying of our own garment.
If each leader came to a show and tell with an object that he/she
had worn until the thin spots could be seen, would these be rifles
or hand grenades? The person with a well-worn rifle might never
have shot anyone. The person with a well-worn hand grenade
might never have thrown it in a city of two million. Yes, he came
to work every day, put in his time, but we never knew he carried
in his vest pocket the tools to destroy his enemies. These are the thin
spots we might acquire. Spots that only come of birth because
of quality and gentle movement. Yes, anyone can go to a football
game and get a savage rip in their garment, hence giving it
the appearance of wear. It takes a careful love to secure the strong
spots so the weak ones may feel the air of day. That is an air
that is not busy tugging on this thread or that, trying to see how
the whole thing can be understood. It is an air that knows nothing
short of complete uniformity will ever be a fair breeze for our
brothers and sisters. Other than that, the thin spots will appear
and will last if they begun with quality like the gentle movement
of a grenade carrying person in a bustling city that bustles
with the distance that is unimaginable to us, unless we have
that responsibility.  

Saturday, July 12, 2014


It is not necessary to live at the bottom of the sea
in order to discover Atlantis.
Consciousness is a very random thing,
but it has rules at a very deep level.
In order to create an ocean kingdom,
one must work with flow.
The ocean is overwhelming and has very few rules,
but our little piece of paradise is a complicated schematic.

Friday, July 11, 2014

The Control Tower Beeps Closer

We both landed at the same airport.
We talked about things on the flight
that bear great importance to the world
as it was yesterday and today. There was a moment
when all clouds ceased to be distant, and you
opened up your heart to me. I can still hear it ticking
as the control tower beeps closer. Your radiance
caused me to close the shutters left of my window seat.
So here I am with the blinds drawn -
I forgot how I got here - looking at some pretty letters.
My letters flap around for the sake of being alive.

At a time when God and I decide to drive west,
the blinds will open, and you won't even be in the room.
Your chamber becomes furiously light.
You have made it to the river. You have been paid to
describe the rise and fall of the waves, the currents
that eddy into tide pools where the deepest ideas
become shallow. Where Christ is beckoning, finally
released from your heart into the world, you sing
sunshine to the one still in the press, worried about luggage.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

My Little, Leaping Lords

I was sitting in art class, no make that fine art class,
and the other Philistines were making a city street
out of perspective. Instead, I held a dab of glue in one hand
and a crumpled up bit of colored tissue paper in the other hand. 
I was making Popeye by a process sort of like latch hook.
If Popeye played baseball, he would be a second baseman like me
and the peace loving man sitting next to me. This second baseman
talked about the game as if it was only to be shared, not won.
I got a glimpse of the losses he suffered on the diamond
that did not harden his heart, only made his hands softer.
It is a fine graphite that can grow from flames,
covering the whole paper parlor until you don't know
where the fireplace is. The treasure, like newspapers
in all their orientations of being read, somehow stands
the heat and curls slightly with age. If you picked up
a pair of scissors in this room, they would be the new poker,
a pencil for circling the help wanted to keep Christmas
in everybody's heart.

My next project was replicating, in identical
cards, the original twelve days of Christmas.
I became an automaton to do this job. It was only
upon installation of the pear tree on the simple motor
parade that I fell in love with the girl sitting next to me
whom I had not noticed until then.
My second ceramics instructor made a pear out of
two halves of clay that fit together seamlessly.
Meanwhile, Neptune's clay chair was being considered
for senior thesis quality, much more barnacles
than I have ever encountered at an university.
That was once upon a time when the dust bowl,
through meditation, turned into the sky bowl, and my little,
leaping lords took to the sky.  

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

A Decade Report

You asked me to do a decade report.
I handed it in a century too late.
The homeroom teacher let us meditate on grammar
or the more pressing need to copy math homework.
I listened to the Colonel who was our coach.
My homerun sent me around the world,
camping out at third base, walking it home the next morning.
I have become enlightened but for some reason
still know how to read. That skill got caught
in a food processor the day I didn't care about walking
in two minutes late.

It is easier to break dance than to strike out
so we break down the cardboard box that the microwave
arrives in, and we spin like whirling dervishes.
That video you will find in my video store
a walk up the street from the pool where we are playing
water polo at a graduation ceremony.
I wrestle in the tenth grade but only pin one opponent
whom I meet much later at a garage sale.
The band is setting up while my friend builds a go-cart
that takes us to his confirmation.
Most of the time you will find me tethered to the Maypole
because the one time I get off the hook,
the volleyball rolls to the corner of the snack area
while everybody else goes back to swim.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Guardian Angel

Half of my life is determined.
My guardian angel holds the other half in her gloved hands.
She wears white gloves. She holds the hand of the marvel child.
He makes the city shine like a baptism.
Our mission is to march into the undetermined half of my life.
The weeds of the city poke their head above the lullaby
of my existence.
They are like me asking my guardian angel for some truth.
The city is so clean that angels speak in the classrooms
when I walk the streets.
A plastic bag caught in the wind is a moving film.
I want only enough necessities to leave room for my spirit.

This clean city of driftwood is asking for some beach junk.
I know it's not the nicest name to call the soul,
but I am a man who needs to wash up on a strange
and unfamiliar shore.
The tidal pull of the moon finds me in love
with the little that has been given me.
I walk away from the throne with a fingerprint. Only you,
guardian spirit, reach down your gloved hand and identify me.
You hold my fate in your pure hands.

You are closer to the center when you enter the labyrinth
than at any other point inside the maze.
Plato said we choose our parents. Providence is adjusted.
We arrest our parents in the wake of their lives.
We greet each other with many teachers and few reservations.
A broken heart is our only proof that quality exists.

Our guardian angel has been with us since the beginning.
She lines up our destiny in times of doubt.
She sounds out our names so we can wear them more easily.
Character pastures down into our service
so we may experience all seasons of humanity.

I need to feel the grit of existence on a country road.
I still need to be handled gently, but I need some music
with a grungy beat.
I am checking onto a flight with grubby clothes
and unwashed cheeks.
I am landing in an over stimulated city unwashed in its character.
I am kneeling before a cow in the public space.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The Inner Frontier

The treasure is stored up in what the world sees.
Now, doesn't that forecast something not so rosy
going on in the inside.
Let us look at the outward appearance as a handsome picture.
It is our only means to get at the heart. I travel a footstep
into the inner frontier by making a copy of the pleasant exterior.
This demands some painstaking observation.
I complete a fairly accurate rendition of the rosy exterior,
but I am still far from the heart. So I set myself up again to make
a copy of a copy.
I have heard of Walter Benjamin, but I'm striking out on
a new theory. A copy of a copy is movement from the exterior
going inward. In the latter half of this poem (or prose piece)
I talk about a movement in the opposite direction, from the essence
to the outer hallways of character.   
I hope to eventually lay the image you see me for onto the wall
of my inner chamber.
The copies deteriorate as I get closer to the heart.
They fade away from observation before even reaching the sanctuary.
This is what comes of painting the best work on the exterior.
We are busy grooming the appearance. I would otherwise
be a low-functioning self, much less adept than the character
who deals with reality. Now what if I begin at the other extreme?
Take no pride in appearance.
Reach out into the frontier without the necessity
of making one fake after another.
My bravery is rewarded. I do not need the copied pictures on the wall
to guide me into the center of the house.
I walk empty handed into the inner chamber. Much to my surprise,
a beautiful original hangs above the fireplace. It is the essence
I have so long tried to put into words. The fire crackles,
and finally I feel at home. I feel at peace in a huge building
as an imageless function. My image, which I know to be true,
is ever so slowly emitting light. It bathes the immediate exterior
with a soft illumination. Now that glow takes on a life of its own.
It advances through the characterless hallways, giving them color.
It is a hue with origins from a picture that was complete,
even while I was in search of it. Now that I have verified its existence,
it exerts its life on the museum that unfolds as I sit
before the crackling fireplace.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Unfinished Bridge

I decide to relentlessly examine the voices which hold me back.
A powerful thaw is released in the clueless winter.
My depression is a simple ditty that has been played many times.
My consciousness is a groove that sticks to Nothingness.
My voice recalls the anger but this time with authority.
The unbearable afternoon sparkles between a raindrop and a candle.
Belongings, from fingernail to bicycle pedal, are given up.

I'm trying to sell this gingerbread house
to the man locked inside the gingerbread man's head.
He runs so far only to cross a river that is not on the map.
He is shaped by a cutter that is not in the alphabet.
He has sworn an oath that this will be the last time,
but he cannot get used to something old and something new.

I calm my mind, broken and shattered, somewhere on the desolate,
new freeway road where I stretch out and forgive myself.
Far off in the distance, I see the unfinished bridge.
My drink is balanced on a train descending into Nothingness.
Soon I will be free of these voices with little left save my dining car
and a conductor.
He punches the tickets as the train climbs out again into Being.
The canyon is flashing by outside my dining car.
Soon I will walk back to my old seat if time permits,
if time is even a passenger in this new drink.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Outside Bells

The truth is still simmering so let's not speak about it.
We will get a taste of it when we lose our posture
and are formed by outside bells. They ring even now
as we blunder our way through the Scriptures.
The preacher is weaving in and out some story
about a car and its mechanic. Cars were created
on the fifth day just before the weekend.
We are meant to use cars lightly in the exploration
of the great desert.

There is a silence in the desert strengthening
the resolve to break stones in half.
A little water is hidden in the rock.
I am carving out hollow places in my soul
for the exhaust of the two great teachings.
I let the car steer where it wills to go.
I find a historian to sit in the passenger seat.
The two of us drive all over the galaxy,
riding the highways presented to us.

As a game, we both write down the mileage and the dates.
Our notes differ, and in the difference the historian
finds the missing link between prayer and vibration.
His model of the universe is one centering on a great debate.
How much is asked for and how much is given?
The car is actually a stone broken in half.
The drivers are honesty and passion.
The broth is the exhaust of their travels.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Between the Words

A nubile nothingness laps at my shores.
The writer exposes himself past the limits of logic
onto the slippery footing and experiences of perception.
Perhaps something between the words is responsible.
     Happiness is not in words but their echo.
Voice is a wise and pervasive calling.
Voices is the treatment once you have lost your footing
on the edge of the cliff.
A wizened tree clings to the rock's edge.
All good things, health, momentum, and busyness,
lead to illusion. Another word, subjective,
I push off the edge of my stopping place making a loud splash
in the lake that may be at the bottom of my soul.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Darting Mind

Each darting mind, falcon or bald eagle,
waits, watches, working with time.
We are patient and more patient protectors
waiting for our sight to heal.
The injured wildlife perches on a new kind of psychoanalysis.
Our places, our enclosures, are not cages.
They are homes where our backs have stopped being turned.
Even the couch has knotholes.
Recovery becomes mutual in the heat of association.
The partners face each other.
It is a hot day. 
Carl Jung wipes the sweat from his brow with a cloth.
He is farming potatoes dirty with the grubs of freedom.
"Stop," he hollers to you.
"I found these five potatoes in your unconscious."
He hands the cloth to you.
You wipe memories into the wings of your need.
You turn back toward the garden.
He hands you a burlap bag.

The sun slanting through the dormers
multiplies the stairs as I climb and carry the potatoes
back to the attic.
The root of sleep is in these five potatoes.
Fifty eyes flash below in the basement of my reserve.
Our talk, like the falcon, dives two hundred feet at a time.
I fight the feeling of living on an island.
The house, left open, exposes a mind.
The dirt on the floor is interpreted in different ways.
The redundancy of spring cleaning
grows powerful in the land of make believe.
It is humorous downstream from the shock of recognition.

Memory is best arranged in a house,
maybe a city, always a diamond.
I am obedient to the pressure of punctuation.
History begins to give me only a slight headache.
I wonder when you too
will notice the gravel in the margins.
I rake the gravel into families of roads.
Their reunion is the sweetest thing in Zen.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Darkness of Noon

There is an unfortunate room by the seaside
where I read Crime and Punishment.
This is my analysis.
The room has barely space for a couch, yet it has dignity.
It is a college where I meet the best men and women
of my generation.
The atmosphere is thick with the heat of discussion.
The disease, unchecked, hurries to expose a wound
that needs time.
The robins are policing the neighborhood again.
The purposeful spontaneity of my crime is thrilling.
The love of my sister stops them
from taking my theories seriously.
The water of this new novel will be in my weeping.
I meet my bride in the break between heaven and hell.
She is never far from my solitude.
Angels appear in my leg chains.
     A speech in a prisoner's mouth is perfect.
     A letter in a lover's hand is good.
     A drop of water in my cup is best.

This is my vision of the Brothers Karamazov at Calvary.
Christ is silent while Mitya
takes the thorns from his crown.
Alyosha invites the soldiers to a tax collector's house.
Pilate stands on the deck of a frontier.
     The darkness of noon drives Peter to the sea.
In the distance the abstract expressionists are motioning
the sheep into congregations.
The two ships are countries in Sarah's mind.
Rachel has taught her how to navigate
the stormy waters of Israel's soul.
Wonder Woman sits on the Statue of Liberty.
Her wrists are slit in a thousand places,
but she has never killed herself.
She is the saint of the American dream.

I walk through the narrow gate
and unfold in the shepherd's pasture.
I make an appointment with Him,
but He is always available.
He bubbles up in my thoughts
and surfaces in my speech.
We hang a child's drawing that reminds us
more of our answers than the stroke of a master.
Your characters are grazing
beyond your kitchen window.
Guide them through the harness of their invention.
Let them seduce you with the flexibility of their hearts.
I am finally ankle deep in prosperity.
The bread breaks on the beach
in waves of concentration.

Friday, February 28, 2014

A Measured Room

The waters of the epic well up in my imagination.
Last year's lake is higher than this year's tears.
Now I address some modern art canvases.
Sanity depends upon an iota in Jackson Pollack's painting.
I am a formulated self who still has the need
to see something exceptional in print.
Stopped from drifting through the day,
I am made stranger to the ambitious one
of a few minutes ago. I will have to learn all over again
his coordination and his defenses.
Layer upon layer has been added to the original flesh
I was born with. I move between bodies
like a measured room in a Henry Matisse painting.
     My fitness has been earned like a bundle of firewood.
Younger modernism strengthens our newly acquired bodies.

What hasn't been done, all the yesterdays,
all the tomorrows,
I share this hammer with the world.
     Hand me the visor that shades us from fate.
I pry loose the nails to expose the decade of our trust.
The Transcendentalists are walking Emerson's intuitive dog.
The creature is on the leash of a great eyeball.
The faithful hound is busy perceiving all sorts
of unconditioned smells. My memory is great enough
to sense the bear on the mountain.

Organization, you win again.
I'd like to read your Hemmingway.
Jack Kerouac sits fifty paces from the porch in a birdhouse.
All the combinations of getting lost are calculated
in your beatnik eyes.
Take that little walk with me that quiets the mind.
The Moderns are finally finding their way into my life.
I believe they have finished little of what they had to say.
The canvases stretch out between here
and the unseen cheek. 
     I will not be reticent this time.
     My mask has slipped.
     The shroud has been found.

Encounter this place beyond attitude, before eye contact.
Hear the noise that precedes meaning.
In time one of us will remember
the two things that are important.
     The lamb abounds in the present.
     The objects behind the mist are known only to me.
Their presence within stone walls is the beginning
of all sanctuary.
     The tent in the desert is portable.

I am here in this human wingspan.
The drapery of the sky is soft against the difference.
There is a material that wants to wind our perception
as if it was a watch.
Formerly, I was a dude who believed in nearly
presently a babe who calms you with nerves of steel.  
The flame of Pentecost divides the languages into one.
Let's fathom one another for a while, yeah, for a while.
I stay restless in the hours of my flowering tragedy.

The Moderns evoke a substance that absorbs
the qualities close to it.
The catch of their canvas floats
around an upstart religion.
I am a stone's throw away in the renaissance.
The addition of myself to my aesthetics
is perhaps an accomplishment.
     Roads cross on a map like laces on a shoe.
     Contemplation is currency in a strange land.
I am a shy soldier who reads the rules.
I exchange rose petals for a uniform.
The uniform of rebirth is buttoned like a frock coat.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Two Steps Behind the Covenant

The primitive moves unseen in the wake of too much culture.
The Ancients would understand a Mark Rothko.
The Ancients have the mental and physical coordination
of human beings, yet they have no history, only evolution.
They can laugh, tell stories, and find shelter.

I am sorely devout although the day is longer than my praise.
I paint a little, and then the layering begins again.
My child is two steps behind the covenant
with evening measuring the field.
Her heartbeat is transcendental in the first few rows.
Her drawings are done in the service before the kiss of peace.

I can picture him in my studio, scraping the last extra
into the unknown.
I like the idea of sitting in a director's chair,
looking at the layers of paint inch forward.
I was right in letting you enter the room first
but wrong in letting go of the chapel.
I have tracked this bird through the rains that patter
on St. Peter's dome.
The king is caught in the paint, and I have to somehow
get him out of this room.
He gets as far as the collar of my favorite, red flannel.
I contemplate a god who paces in the edges.
The collective crush of compass points is also red.

The camels who carry our load have the best view.
The highway once belonged to us too,
but then the writers took over.
The story of John the Baptist changes on the evening news.
The wild men crouch in the desert of my escaping thought.
They fall short of my heart by a yard or so.
The scarecrows are now anchored.
The script hovers over the waters for the cameras to see.
     The readers are struggling on the staircase.

The copy editors are advancing in the age of newspaper museums.
The Trinity has been mixed into the columns.
The saying you are about to hear has been in the news
since design left culture standing in the dust.
Originally, there was one material and a matchmaker.
Corinthian guards plead with the merchants for more cloth.
Each object belongs either to thought
or a piece of the revolution.
They had forgotten his face so they did not know him.
The wheel of tribes progresses through the nations.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Unified Existence

Modern art is the body of an increasing awareness of who we are.
We are fields of energy. When we gather near these canvases
we begin to feel the polarity of a unified existence.
The Ancients knew it, but it was still in their laughter
and a landscape that was not wild,
only throbbing to speak through their stories.

It takes a movement to the essence of things
to see what they are composed of is not what they are.
There is an emergence of gifts that the Ancients knew
would together define their Odyssey.
They are still sailing in the ever changing ways
we construct the entrance to our homes.
We embrace a forest or a radio wave and long to cover
the ground that brings them into a single room.
     A leaf is swept across the floor.

All other objects become dependent on its captivity.
We stand in the evidence and become like Moderns
in touch with the objects flowing through our homes.
Others greet us, and eventually a painting is hung on the wall.
The non-objectified paint on canvas makes the Ancients smile
at the accidental collectivity of ourselves and our surroundings.

The ether of the church lets us feel comfortable
as a random collection of atoms.
Matchsticks are struck together in unison,
flickering for the same brief instant,
measured until it dwindles to a pinch,
and then held in permanent.
There are other ways we could be put together,
but we already have these gifts so why not use them?
There have to be museums, places where the fine mist
of silence can take on ages gone by.
The Ancients are speaking at the top of their lungs,
but we can barely hear them.
They are saying that's what I would have painted naturally.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Hollow of the Knees

For all my slowness, you will find a lake.
For all my mood, you will find an anchor.
Coming down from the cross,
I journey into the next quadrant of the day.
The pieces of stained glass tell the story
of my work in the garden.
I'm leaving the stones in the sand.
We search heartache with a comb
and purchase the hollow of the knees.
The reaches of the day cross us like a mantel
for the fire slowly dying.
I am shaped by rain now or the love of a summer day.
I have thought as coral and thus in a small way
felt happiness.

Riches, come to me, I am done with this room.
Are there any lost poets out there?
Trudging the street with gospels.

Your metaphors are filling the hotels with guests.
The banks are building interest in your name.
You are pleasing the majority with your tone.
Your sincerity turns the wheel of our mind.
The poets stand on the corner melting
into lost automobiles.

Divine desperation fills the scorecard of the gods.
I strike the weak sister into the dance fought
with religious lilies.
She points out colors hours away from the center.
I am an index fighting to take shape.

The bricks of the schoolhouse pass through me
on the way to the library.
The real world is hidden in the point of a horse race.
One eyelid is like the slide of a microscope.
Reality is struck in the being serene to slowness.
The complete word is always the ladle.

The unquiet measures of my soul give helplessness a form.
I am struck on the shoulder by a force acting
with the shadows that turn off ordinary objects.
I am powerless with my powerful ideas
about unheralded rescue before great works of art.
Painters, unfurl our eyelids
only because they are treasures.
Restless timepiece, I am what you are.
     We are outlets in a restless world.
     We are opponents of central imagination.
     The art world overtakes the real world.

The wick of the moderns is postulated with paint.
I ignite the genesis of our thought.
The anchor of the ancients drops like a falling star.
I'm melting photographs like they are gothic silver.
The years I try to take photographs slip
through my hands like early Rene Magritte.

The black, Guardian painting seizes me by the temples.
I travel to a museum in a town that doesn't exist.
The Ancients had no name for park.
The glow of the stars was the applause of the first stage.
The first, gentle playwrights, close to the particulars
of creation, provoked happiness in the crowd.
Sadness is a recent development.
Look over yonder the deck of the ageless.
Lost sailors in a gardener's mind look for better waves
in waters uncharted, fiery resistance in the stars.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

An Incoherent Response

I accompany your robust models
down streets into a past when they wait
     ugly by doorways. 
I stumble upon them, asking their help,
listening to their incoherent response
in the light of a street lamp.

Look at your models weeping,
and you call it radiance.
If your hurried throng presses any closer,
I might gain literacy in its chaos.
Industrious masses, compare my company
to the approach of sleep.

I cry out to meet the architect of this forest.
I will wear his headdress and his footwear.
I respond with a ferocity of finite adaptations.
My ears return as birds of prey.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Doctrine of Our Times

The entrance way to the city is through the harbor,
never upward toward the skyscrapers.
The windows dance with the doctrine of our times.
The post-modern animal is closing in on infinity.
He feints translation in a spacious room.
He is stealing time from its cradle.
Dance with the post-modern animal.
     Name his decorative objects.
     Go to a feverish meeting. Bake bread.
     Drink his brand of fruit juice.
I see you trip on the dismount.
You need not omit emotion.
I am only a parking meter attendant. Ask the oracle.
I sift through the ambiguous shapes I have become
to travel here.
This is the center. The tail has been in place for centuries.
The skyscraper also has a tail.
Someone has to interpret their multiple sides,
their connected towers that catch the sun.   
     New gods flash in the pan.
     A superhero is born at the side of the road.
My alter ego leans against a puff of smoke which is this age.
There are no solutions to melancholy, only permutations.
A comic mask that chuckles less than twice is discarded
as a thing out of fashion.

The relentless copy cat only begins
to scratch the surface of things.
He eyes the letters on the chart
and glances at the water in the glass.
The departure board blinks
with the awful availability of destinations.
My hometown is a somatic stop
on the superhighway of information.
My elbows are out by the car.
Listen to its faint beating in the next heartland.
Have a guiding light that fades forever each time you close your eyes.
Keep your dreams running in the sunshine.