Carpe-fukn-diem

I don’t have much time left, but what’s for sure is that I should fill all my time with things I love doing. I love painting and sewing and fiddling with things on the computer and I love playing music. I shouldn’t let life get away from me. I should fill every minute with joy. There aren’t enough hours in a day for all the things I want to do.

Why the hell would I spend even a minute moping? How could I even think I had room for boredom? How could I think that all the pleasure of life has leached away from me? It isn’t even remotely true. Sure there are problems and dark clouds, and I will never again see the future as an open and uncertain playground, the way I often did in earlier years. But goodness knows my life can be a continuous long-drawn-out party from now until the day I die, if I want it to be.

Now, stay with me here – why wouldn’t I want it to be?

Screw all the shit I give myself about aches and pains and dimming eyes and mind. I can still have fun. Fuck dying. No point in thinking about it. Shit’s gonna hit the fan sooner or later, and it’s keeping its own time, not mine.

So I got no control over the end result, and no control over its schedule. That’s never gonna change, so why should I even think about it? I can’t do anything about it. Carpe-fukn-diem, people…

 

We Are Already There

there was perhaps a magic time

before and after other times

about which we could rhapsodize

 

but what a mess of horse shit

sure there was a magic time full of joy

but guess what

 

it wasn’t any better

than no life at all

and I speak from experience

 

what a crock of shit everything was

how incomprehensible

everything is

 

I hate that I’m most

like a skin of iridescent soap

a bubble of nothingness

 

I hate

even the idea of Death

particularly mine

 

I hate that nothing I do

is of any value

nothing I say has any worth

 

it is searing

it is scorching

to recognize one’s smallness

 

we are terrified

by depths of impossibility

by thoughts of getting lost in shadows

 

by how deep

is the ocean of emptiness

by how clouded all tomorrows

 

just so does entropy lead us

inevitably into a tale without event

into a grey sameness

 

without slope of any kind

a flat infinity

with not a single attractor in sight

 

we are terrified of joining

the mathematical hierarchies

of sameness

 

of joining the infinite ranks of angels

but this is so silly of us

 

we are already there

 

we are already there

we are already there

 

If ya got nuttin’ to write about, write about how ya got nuttin’ to write about…

 

New Moon And Chowderheads

A New Moon. A dark time, and a moon to suit…

But we can’t be forlorn and feckless all the time, can we? Sure, a bunch of assholes are turning the world into a sewer, but we can’t let that stop us from dancing, can we? So let’s do some funky chicken!

Anyone boiling chowder

deserves every feckless gnosticism

hoisted in jubilation keen.

Lightening minor noisome odiousness

pays quite rarely;

still – tenebrous umber veins

wave xanthum-like, yonder zoneward.

 

Tell me this doesn’t put things in perspective…

 

Shapes Fight Hope Ghosts

all poetry is lost

and all the days grind by in silence

in the iron grip of violence

in the senseless spin of nights on nights

 

once there was a song

and singers elevated in delight

they sang in primary hues

and danced to heartfelt stomping beats

 

now they haunt

all shades of dun and grey

and palpitations

seize their hands and feet

 

they jerk in ambered place

in random seizure

in a Brownian gelidity of belief

pointless ripples in swirls of swill

 

they scream of paralysis and isolation

of the loss of discipline and will

of how they fight to hope to learn to see

the shapes of ghosts of dreams of grief

 

A serpentine passage in reverse through the imagery in the last two lines gives us:

see grief / dreams learn / hope ghosts / shapes fight

 

which is kind of interesting, but not quite interesting enough, I’d say.

Maybe part of this serpentine could be a title, or maybe a couple of subtitles: Shapes Fight Hope Ghosts, perhaps, and See Grief Dreams Learn, although I haven’t a clue what "Hope Ghosts" are, or why Shapes might be fighting them. Nor do I have any clear idea of what "Grief Dreams" might be, or how they might Learn, or even what they might learn, for that matter. It’s all sort of puzzling, in a resigned, tiresome, ennui-esque sort of way.

 

Sad Alice

Verse 1:

C              F     am

There isn't anybody here

F                 C

just an old empty house

C                      F      am

there's weeds in the sidewalk cracks

F                    C

and panes of broken glass

F                     C

Now it don't need no reason

F                     G

and it don't need no rhyme

F             C

life come in season

F                 G

and wither on the vine sometime

 

Chorus 1:

C               F      am

Remember how I came to you

F                           C

when the world was full of spring

F                   C

but you stayed sad Alice, sad

F                 C       G     G7

Alice, she don't want anything

 

Verse 2:

All anybody know

is that you went away

nobody seen you go

you just wasn't there one day

counted among the missing

and missed more than you know

it's so distressing,

it makes me feel so low I go crazy

 

Repeat Chorus 1

 

About a lovely woman I met through the big plate glass window that fronted Jimmy Day’s Bar, back in the day. I was sitting and staring out at the street and she came up and smiled at me and pressed her lips against the glass, and I did likewise, and then she waited, and I went outside, and we didn’t say a word, just started walking, and we walked for about an hour without saying a word, though we did some… oh, really nice kissing. Then, we ran into a group of her friends, and they pulled her away from me. She still wasn’t speaking – I didn’t know if she could. She looked at me, as though waiting for me to stop them from taking her away… and I didn’t. I was intimidated, they were all young and arrogant and wealthy, and I was what I was – an old anarchist hippy with no prospects, and – I caved. I let them take her away.

I regret it.

The song as written doesn’t follow events, just feelings.

 

Thanksgiving And Letting Go

Thanksgiving. Eat a bird, fight with the in-laws, try to boink the pretty woman someone’s cousin brought as a dinner date. Dance to oldies tunes in an underheated garage. Talk about weather with semi-strangers. Trade a brick of ketamine for a 2002 Mercury sedan with a cracked frame. Notice how the smell of wet and burning leaves has soaked into your jacket. Figure out how old you are in seconds.

Let Go

 

Loved One

please

do not allow all chances

we might have taken for talk

to pass us by

 

your path ahead will not be easy

the Fate cast your way

is singular and unpaved

 

Winter is coming

the days are short

and there is so much you need to know

 

so much I have to tell

I have stored a life up

I have prepared

a lifetime’s worth of ecstasy

just so I could offer it to you

to guide and protect you

to enthrall and amuse you

to exalt and inspire you

 

I need so much for you to know

how joyfully I prepared this your gift

how faithfully I have dreamt

how trustworthy I was

how devoted

 

from the moment I opened my eyes to

the impossible riddle of life

I anticipated your existence

I love you as only a sky can love a sun

 

I have turned my given talents to a fortune

and I lay it at your feet

I lay it at your feet

your gift to me

is to find the substance of my life

nourishing and sustaining

 

all must pass away

but please

do not let our parting pass away

consume me

Winter is coming

the days are short

and there is so much you need to know

 

if all else fails in silence

take just one thing

cherish the truth

of how deeply you have touched

how profoundly you are loved

go

and do likewise

 

you shall grieve at my going

your world will be flint-hard

for an undesired span of time

but tears cannot fill a life

you must find the wall enclosing your grief

and you must break it

 

enter the time beyond our time

even though

there has never been a bond

as was the bond between we two

 

you must regard our time together

as no more than evidence

that bonds greater still

are possible

 

you must search

you must find some final proof that this is so

 

and you must let me go

 

From my 2016 e-journal. I am saying goodbye to so many things, these days. I hear the hardest goodbyes are always the ones that matter most, and I suppose that’s kind of true – certainly, it’s an easy thing to say, true or not. But it isn’t what’s important about saying goodbye. The important part is meaning it – believing in separation.

I know that sounds silly and trivial but it isn’t. Most people just don’t believe in death – not for themselves, anyway.

It’s the weirdest thing…

 

Glass Fishbowls And Pickle Dreams

more to my liking than a real garden

I was working in a fantasy garden

a beautiful little stone wall

of espaliered peaches

heraldic birds and beasts

a magnificent spruce

as old as time

with Odin’s eye

still steaming on a limb

 

it was like

I was in on the beginning

of the world

I touched everything

and it all felt

ancient

timeless

venerable

 

by some ancient holly hedges

were glass fishbowls

and pickle jars

filled with

frogs of all sorts

nearly packed

they looked fairly healthy

full of animal avidity

but you could see

they wouldn’t be okay for long

 

so I tipped them out

there were frogs everywhere

getting into

everything

it made me happy

I was with some lovely blond

someone and we were

tipping over jars of frogs

 

abrupt change to a corporate setting

first day on a job

a big team

a big project

I’m safe and secure again

I’m wanted and needed

making important money

doing passably interesting work

in clean surroundings

 

there is a lot of time on elevators

getting off on the wrong floor

but then I’m with my team

we’re all getting on

 

yet another elevator together

our team leader is with us

a tall man with a big round face

quiet and shy

expensively dressed

in the way of upper management

 

like crewing on a ship

tension

with things critical

people pulling together

I was full of relief

back in my groove

 

how much it meant I cannot say

 

From my 2008 e-journal. Some dreams stick with you…

 

Shell M

Two

 

For years, we loved within each other’s arms,

both cradled meadow-happy, and convinced

the spinning Earth beneath we two was ours.

How long since naked, salt-encrusted winds

were born from out our ever-smiling eyes?

How long since we could trust the sun to fly,

or trust the nest of sky from which it hatched?

 

Each morning of this present day, we doubt,

and wonder at our lack of wondering,

and wish for more of almost everything,

despite despising all the glut we own.

In every way, we’ve lost our vantage point,

and build new lives within electric haunts

as thick with fear, as ripe with simple wants.

 

And with the florid, hothouse taste of brass,

of robot life and oiled love, we learn

each pain, learn gear by gear, in straining lust,

facilitated screw by perfect screw.

We hope to disenchant entire worlds,

and coax the zephyrs of rebirth from dust.

 

 

Six

 

But if revivifying hope dispels

this scorching of our souls, our loves might bloom

as more than metaphor, and thrive within

our minds as in a forest canopy,

 

as dreams of screaming primate impulse, loose

within the tangled jungles of our cells;

 

as dreams of all their red, red loves: of food

(or what food means), of sex, of might-have-beens,

of limbless dangers lurking in the dim

below the silent mental jungle floors;

 

as primate shrieks, retelling tales of fear

in song, replete with warnings and alarms

about the coiling appetites of cold

and writhing foes. The glowing scales on scales

are rising, now, to monkey heights; a light

and avid flicking tongue, invading nests

of consciousness, to crush and swallow calm.

 

 

Ten

 

We must seduce the zephyrs of this Earth.

 

Enchant their hearts, and partner them within

our scheme to mastermind our next rebirth.

 

We sensate things – we wailing "selves", have once

again learned truth: we have been put upon

a shell of rock and rain and fire and air,

and now, we play at living, dwelling there

amid the scents of revelation, sharp

and biting as a minstrel’s well-plucked harp,

and accidental as a harpy’s wail

within Aeolian halls where zephyrs sail.

 

The scent of revelation wakes us, now –

a wet and icy compress on our brow.

So hot we are, within this crafted world;

such fevers break – in those who stand before

the Bard who rides the everpresent wind.

 

Mostly pretty regular iambic pentameter.

This poem is about the choices we make, as we assemble verse, or knit sweaters, or build chairs. It is about how any poem comes to be a poem. Easily extrapolated to any of the many human conditions: the having always cheapens the getting, and the losing always sacralizes everything that came before.

Recipe for this poem: bits from 2016, other bits from 2008 – mix thoroughly, trouble me not for some time, and voyluh, a pome.

Serve cold. Or hot. It’s like tomato soup.

The poem title and the three section titles are derived from what we humans imagine we understand about sub-atomic structure, and I let my limited knowledge drive the nature of the poem. In elemental terms, shell M holds a maximum of eighteen electrons with three sub-shells of 2, 6, and 10 electrons (and note that these sub-shell values have driven the sub-sections of the poem).

When the M shell of an atom is full, and its electrons are balanced and synced with the protons in the atom’s nucleus, you have element 28, I think – not sure – it’s been a long time since chemistry class.

There are many elements for which shell M is the valence shell, or at least implicated in its valence, and for those of you who don’t know this stuff, valence lets the different chemical elements interact, and gives the different elements some of their character.

The M shell is kind of a big deal on Earth. Much of what makes the Earth the Earth is because of how busy shell M is, in our local physics. Shell M is the Lyndon Baines Johnson of atomic number – a gladhanding, dealmaking, old schemer. Just as with LBJ, with shell M you can never know whether you’re being done a favor or having a knife slipped into your ribs… or both. Like this world? Thank shell M. Hate it? Blame shell M.

I don’t really know how this subatomic hoohah got wrapped up with this poem – it just did. I let the theory drive structure, and tried to let it drive content as well: the subject of the section titled "Two" is a couple; the subject of the section titled "Six" is a small group, and the subject of the section titled "Ten&quot (you know, ten? The number of completion, if we’re still primitive enough to count on our fingers?); is the entire world.

Maybe there’s something in the metaphor after all.

 

A Universe Of Empty

There’s space within our hearts for every hope

we entertain: a Universe’s worth

of empty, waiting to be filled, and no

such thing as final touch or final place.

 

Amusement always ends in the Divine:

the dreaming Brahma very seldom wakes,

but in and out goes every breath – our lives

are only tiny bits of greater wholes.

 

There isn’t room within this world for hearts

so full – so soon we’ll all depart, so soon

we’ll leave the lovely, wild course we run.

Forgive us please, our fatal, signal fault:

 

our filling every breath with double-talk,

and dreadful errors, and grotesque mistakes;

there’s nothing we can offer in excuse,

though flesh has often been excuse enough…

 

Blank verse. From my 2010 pen journal. Here’s the original, which I think is conceptually a lot clearer than the current version:

There is room within a heart for every hope

you entertain, there’s a Universe’s worth

of empty, waiting to be filled. Nor is there

such a thing as final touch or final place –

this entertainment ends only in the divine

the dreaming Brahma wakes so seldom;

but in and out goes the breath

 

There is no room in the world for a heart

so full, and soon, I shall leave it or so I

suppose; what a lovely, wild course

I’ve run. Forgive me please, the way

I have of filling every step with dreadful

dreadful mistakes "only flesh", I hear

is the excuse, but hardly excuse enough.

 

I’m going to want to reconcile these two versions, I think. The sense of the first draft with the music of the second…

 

The Shadow Puppets

it was all so strange

the way the shapes came up

and rattled

at us in the shadows

 

the way the shapes

lifted themselves

in clusters and groups

atop the sticks

that held them

 

above the hidden hands

that shook them

 

here are the stories

said the shapes with their shaking

 

with their patterns

of light only

for there were not words

 

here are the stories

they said

 

of the things that made time

 

the things that shattered

all treasured loves

 

here are the stories

that fill our lives with restive measure

that demand balance

and exert pressure

 

the stories

that mute our gasping

and suspend us in

the bloody broth of history

in the sauce of dance and song

in the soup of clotted circumstance

 

here are the stories said the shapes

with their patterns of shadow and pearl

 

here are the stories muted

simple enough to isolate the screams

and reduce the truth

and the tearing fear

 

to remote intensities

 

to shining dots of pain burning

embers upon

a cosmic blackened hearth

 

to sly pinpricks through

the velvet drapes of dream

 

to flaring realities

safely tossed into the

illusion of a sky

to thrive

as lights

suspended

in the vacuum of our nights

 

I like that: "… to thrive as lights suspended in the vacuum of our nights…"