6/14/2020

No mother asks to birth a martyr,
no father wants to know his son
will stain the hands of wicked men
only to prove a point.
No country ought to need more martyrs,
perhaps paradise is nothing but
a place nobody needs to die for;
but how deep are the bones it is built on?

Heroes

Nations are built on the bones of their heroes,
who rage as they’re pushed to the grave;
with shrieking,
and striking,
and choking on earth
all before the foundation is laid.

Said the man at the fore of the black-banded crowd,
“I imagine it’s lovely to die as a hero,
draped by a star-spangled shroud.”

Time Capsule

Place in here your frowns, your worries,
your rotten teeth and sour ideals;
Place in here your fledgling rhymes,
your thoughts of the world,
your idea of ‘unique’,
your expectations, your goals;
Place in here the ones you love, now,
and the stupid lusts you’re mistaking for love;
Place in here your friends of convenience,
your favorites-by-default,
Place in here all these things and more.

When you open the capsule,
many years from now,
you will surely smile.

blue, yellow, green, red

the calendar is marked with dots and slashes –
blue, yellow, green –
for good days, for pills taken and
exercises, experiments and
scribbled-in a delicate hand-
the titles of novels by dead men.

and the calendar is cursed with crimson cruciform –
red, red, red, red,
thickly splashing through the walls, a
low tide that strands all ships. Red for the bottle,
red for the pipe, red for thoughts that repeat and
repeat and repeat to their nightmare logic;

the months are splashed with red, yes,
but blue, yellow, and green make their homes in these days
as well. Perhaps not today.
But perhaps tomorrow.

loudmen

They chitter and chatter on high stages
like drunken fathers in drunken rages,
they throw their philosophies like cheap lamps,
cramming fistfuls of  words into enemy camps;
They are not wise, they are only loud.

They tell you what life means, they tell you the whys,
embroidered with jargon, with cunning,  with lies,
Thus seals their fortune, and therefore their fame,
and hundreds of others will say just the same;
they are not wise, they are only loud.

They claim their convictions as self-evidently true
as applies to them, so must apply to you,
and Living, and Truth, are simple to do,
and if you disagree, you are left, right, or proud;
they are not wise, they are only loud.

Verse in Dust

Elegance in verse requires high subjects,
the coursers sweeping across the plains and
Atlas hefting his burdensome rocks;
no,
I seek the verse written in dust,
the tactless and true,
the scrawlings of madmen and the
recollections of poverty, of cold nights when
the firewood is too soaked to light,
when the rats nibble on plump toes and
the workers become alchemists converting hours to gin.
Tell me of  hopeless men,
no ideals or qualms, tell me
of men who use women,
of women who use men
for no reason other than lust,
than greed,
a search for meaning unbound from meaning.
I seek the verse written in dust,
by crooked fingers, by
the dying alive,
for surely an addict knows as much about life
as me, as you, for surely
some of us destroy ourselves in more subtle ways
and subtlety and beauty are taken in the same harvest.

Lusts

Lust is a thing to be chased out of camp
with torches and the hurling of stones,
Lust is a thing that bubbles up from the earth
and swallows up your home.
There are fifteen miles between me and you and
the weight of careless moments shared and
maybe love is just a pattern
of saying things you don’t mean and meaning it.

I Crave The Stars

I see the stars I
want a bite I
set my teeth upon the night I
love the glitter gleaming sparks
and dream of gooey shine-sweet hearts
I stretch my neck and
tilt my head, open my
brain up from bed and reach to skies
beyond the skies where stars in blackened
bedsheets writhe;
but now, with fangs so close to necks I
feel the heat burn free my flesh I
shudder, shake, I drool, I quake,
with pangs and pains sublime and meek I
crave all things beyond
my
reach

The Old-New Masters

I will read the Old-New Masters
at night, in the scraps of hours,
until my thoughts coalesce, thus:

a withering widow bows before black coffins-
black as the wood sheathing Japanese swords-
and distant, twinkling, somewhere,
carnival bells, ringing                    and
jack and james come out to play with
a bottle of liquor that tastes like mint and
find a monster in a car, moldskinned and grinning
thin and wicked teeth, pinpricks dotting his arms like
the tracks of Satan or worse and he-
and he-
break,
break it all,
break the old masters and the new and
burn their bones
until the smoke steals the stars away.

In the morning,  their ashes are as good a paint as any.