31 March, 2012

The Tucson Poems -- Part Deux

Back, and back with more.


Back at the beginning I
sit, silver teeth a-mawed to
beat the prologue to the
punch. But then, here I am, back
amongst the hutted butts and eyes
engorged on fresh meat, lips
elongated slits of suspicion that part
only for the time. But ice
melts fast in the desert; when
all those vulnerable sores crack wide
as dragon scales, and you see beyond
the cavern dungeoning your heart
in everyone else's downward glance,
truths shame cannot permit to aught but
voiceless exclamations, screams that fail to
ruffle the dust, but leave you
stoically enflamed, lost as the rust
amongst your ruins.


You don't want to be
alone. Tables like magnets, drawing
so much iron to the core, little
flakes peeling off in pairs, sometimes,
or a cesspool of foraged seats that
signal -- Occupied. No Vacancy. Can't
sit alone. Can't smoke alone. But those
of us with minds to wander safely within
our own autonomous boundaries, no--
there's nothing wrong. Nothing to
say, no need to shout or
scream my every thought, explode
my heart for your elapsed
dissection. So go -- just
leave me be to free myself from
this tangled, cackle-caw of
meaning severed from speech,
sores that settle in my ears to
bleed me bare, stripped of
senses and seething in a cold and
comfortless solitude. But it is
warmer in here -- in my all and only
un-aloneness -- than in the arms of all
the insincerely yours and mine capable
of repeating such a farce as this:
confusing the joker for the joke; the
destination for the journey; the sky for
the stars; then shouting, "Look up!" when
it is instead the ground that
carries them. The ground
that buries them. Alone with the insects . . . then,
perhaps, they will come to comprehend the
comfort in keeping vigil with oneself.
That, alone, one can be with
the very best of friends.

"A Windy Day"

And the barren gusts
descend, paper birds in
fields of ash with
smiling suns.

Limbs shiver, prickle like
pears beneath sheathes of
slippery cotton and shrink
beneath shelters of off-shore hemisphere.

Metal shrieks in ball bearings
loosened by storms now
thundering their severity across
Asian skies, secreting desert sands
atop tomorrow's desolation.

Clouds crawl above our
heads, hanging low in ominous
billows beckoning colder
climes, combing the air for
our dust-bated breath.

Behind the cover of a
darkened dawn, turbulent
waves make war enough to
wash the world away, yet
it clings, still and stubborn as
the woes we refuse to bury
beneath the sound of
a day in retreat.

So we wait, hands like
caves to cradle the faintest of
flickering flames, formulating days
to dawn across the acreage we've
accumulated, and allow the
empty, anxious air
to come.


The hypnotist but hums, and we
mere mortals rally around the expanse of
a world at her feet. But the
way behind is bordered by
wayward warrior nations, hostile
forces invading the past we glimpse
between blinks, lashes
strumming melodies to melt our
most immobile of emotions.

A stonesthrow from a
fever dream, fighting off the
freedom to flee and
fuck all the rest. Fuck the
world and its Candyland
fantasies; fuck the doctors and their
diagnostic make-believe; fuck you
too if you can't comprehend the
depths at which this mind-blown
beauty--caustic, suffering--exists.

She bends on bones broken by
the belief that rescue is ought but
a rhyme for fairy tales and fat, middle-
aged misers counting comeuppance in their
cracked and crystalline towers, tracking her
through thickets of razor wire to rip
her soul to shreds. But what
she doesn't know, what she cannot yet
see, is the intensity of love she endears. The
devotion she, by virtue of being, so
earnestly desires.

So screw the solemnity. Forget
the carelessness and causes of your
yesterday ghosts parading as the present and
grasp tomorrow as today. You are
the better days you deserve.


My pathways veer with
the velocity of perpendicular intent,
an aftershock, echo of meanings
mouthed unconscious in the dark while
the best of my demons sleep, cross-
wards and gobsmacked and lynched high
amongst the branches of this tree you all call
"life," but you can keep your destinies and hope, your
Higher Power, too, because nothing is higher than
the ride from which you can't escape, strapped in and
teetering atop this whole great fucked up world
before launching into space. And up there . . . up
there in the vast dark empty whose embrace is
time itself, and you wrap yourself in arms without
care or comfort, a bird's eye telescoping on all those
ants miming one another into the infinite, sterile
end of it all, and realize the warmth in carelessness
lacks cruelty, engagement without the snares we
humans insist upon snapping on one another, all
alligator jaws and soft pink tongues lapping at
the last lapse in judgment, as if the stars were
mere innocent bystanders. As if I didn't invite
myself to the brimming cusp of
my own enduring demise.

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