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It's In Your Hands!

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posted by James Paul Kneubuhl alias James Kneubuhl on Saturday 29th of January 2011 03:04:14 AM

This is a painting by Henry Utoaluga. (POEM HOLDING TANK) CAMERA This little machine gives the daily Heaviness some levity. Captures Moments so perfectly. Images – Cherish them but beware of them, They’re just one small part of a Much bigger picture, one moment In a much bigger story. Regardless Of whether the overall story is going Hopelessly or otherwise, smile for My lens like it’s going to end happily. FORMING Clouds hide the stars tonight. No rain, Not yet, no wind, just a stillness that Amplifies any calm or disquiet you came Here with. In emptiness like this, the Mind tries to fill in the blanks. So maybe It’s my imagination, but I think there’s Something forming in the void. It won’t Reveal itself, not yet, but I just feel it. Can’t attach good or bad associations To it, just have to wait and see. So will My dread be justified, or will it surprise Me when out pops something good? Could be music trying to define itself from Noise, or meaning seeking to make itself Clear through chaos. Life itself, they say, Formed through particles, through like Minded molecules that just needed time To cluster around a center before they Could figure out how they fit together. If that can happen in a darkness longer And far more uncertain than ours, then We have no reason to fear whatever Might be forming in the void. WHAT THEY WHISPER ABOUT CHOCOLATE The depression I didn’t realize I’d been Carrying around for months suddenly Vanished after one small cup of my Friend’s koko samoa. Maybe the old Family recipe just has a kick to it, but Suddenly my senses remembered their Capacity for optimism . Optimism does Not have to mean being unrealistic, it’s More of an attitude that even if things Don’t go your way, you needn’t feed Your pessimism till you’ve grown fat On despair without even trying. As far As mood improvements go, that was Pretty significant for me. So of course My first thought was to seek an increased Koko dose, but rather than court certain Chocolate addiction, I’d rather adopt a Chocolate philosophy, i.e. remember the Sweet regardless of how sour things get. What’s whispered about the seemingly Innocent chocolate might not be merely Old wives’ tales - cook it up right and it’s Really more like a medicine. MENEHUNE The day shift begins before morning Hoping to make the world right again In time for another day. So goes the Myth of the little men who always put Everything back together so well that We can’t even tell what a horrendous Mess was made during the night. If That reality ever came to light there’d Be laws to lock up everyone under 30 Between dusk and daybreak. Daybreak Is a misnomer – what gets broken each Night? Hearts, wills, confidences, bonds, Promises, plans, marriages, friendships, Partnerships, battleships, faith – you Name it. If someone wasn't repairing as Much of the damage as they can, then There'd be no point in any of us getting Out of bed. Damaging, nasty, careless, Heartless - don't you ever wonder why Our whole world doesn't just stop? It's Little men laboring at their repairs to Make sure we're back together just as Fast as we all fall apart. It's not just for This endless work that each of these Little men truly deserves a medal, it's Also for knowing the truth but never Giving up on us. PROVE I can’t prove clouds don’t have emotions When they drop rain, can’t prove roaches Mean to be rude, can’t prove fish deny the Existence of nets, can’t prove the desert lets Its winds whip its sands from malice. Can’t Prove if barking is ever justified or just an Indulgence, nor whether a breeze means to Be nice on purpose or is just being itself. So Much I can’t prove, no wonder I anticipate Skepticism. There’s really no right or wrong, True or false, or good or bad, is there? It just Depends on the circumstances. There’s only What’s agreed upon or not. If only we could Agree on something, anything, who knows What else might fall into place? But if you Want proof, you’ll have to ask a scientist. As For me, I’d only say, I see it like this, do you? POLAR BEAR Life on the ice isn't as cold when you Don't waste your warmth. I should Know, I'm a Polar Bear. It isn't so Empty if you see a different kind of Fullness. You say it's barren but I'm Not starving. Not to brag but you need To know where to look to sustain Your life on the ice. My only worry is This rumbling that shakes the cold Ground. The volcano has to either Melt its way through or take it's fire Somewhere else. Isn't this earth a Contradiction? So warm deep within, With a surface so cold. Just like some People we know? I don't blame them. After all, you just survive wherever you Find yourself. I should know, because I'm a Polar Bear. WIL – BUR Truth can be like a horse that Will take you places you could Never imagine going. Provided, Of course, that you don’t find Yourself flat on your ass every Time it throws you for a loop. ESSENCE Eternal – not subject to our changing Human moods, nor the evolution of Our flesh. Has always been there and Always will be. Temorary – our roles And our hour upon the stage. In the Midst of grand illusions, you might Catch a glimpse of the truth. In the End it’s all just so much drama, but The essence of the story lasts long After lights have dimmed. We may Change over and over, looking for a Foothold in this soap opera life, but The essence never changes, never Needs to, and any time you like, you Can return to it. Be true to the Essence and it will be true to you LOVE AND WAR Heart is both weapon and defense when You enter this fray. Know your weapon Well, use it wisely. The only thing worse Than receiving the wound that’s hardest To heal is knowing you’ve given it. At least Those wounded in war still long to fight Another day, but woe to those wounded In love who no longer care whether they Continue or simply cease. FORMULAS Would you love me if I was always on TV? Would you love me if I played rugby? Would You love me if I had the money to buy you An elephant? Would you love me if I had Big muscles? A King Dong like King Kong? Would you love me if I needed love to get Off drugs? Would you live me if everyone Else did? If no one else did? Would you Love me if I spanked your bare butt with a Belt for being bad, like your daddy did? If I Punished you for being bad? If I forgave You for being bad? How ‘bout if I was the Baddest badass in the history of badness? How ‘bout if I said you were sacred to me? Is it fair I have to figure through so many Formulas for yours when all you have to Do is be yourself? PAPER Papers rule my life, my whole being Is just a series of papers. Thank you Trees for turning into paper, Term Paper, rolling paper, news paper, wall Paper, paper plates, certificates of birth, Death and divorce. Diplomas. Pages And pages of unfinished poems. Hey My blank page dear, it sure looked good On paper. Paper tiger. Someone cut me Out of the paper and said now you're Printed material made flesh. When I die Please wrap me in paper and offer me On special at KS with the frozen fish. Maybe the one I love will fry me for her Sunday feast and finally our flesh will Become one until she flushes me out After wiping away my last traces with Paper. NOTES You can never force a true harmony, Only sing what you’d sing anyway, Let someone else sing what they’d Sing with or without you, and the Notes either blend naturally or not. Same old song since Adam and Eve, But our notes make it new and the Harmony makes it ours. WATER Water, fall from the sky. Life, Rooted or otherwise, needs What you bring. Water, go Underground. Cool the Earth And she’ll hide you away from The jealous sun wanting to Take you back no sooner than You’re given. Water, make me Clean. Get beneath the dirt, Flow. Nothing is dirty by nature, Only by design or neglect, and Even the purest water joins as A river to find the sea together.. CONVENTIONAL If conventional would make you Comfortable, then curse anything Original in me. Out, unconventional, Halu! Fee, fi, fo, fidual, I smell the Blood of an individual. I stopped Paying attention to convention long Ago, much to my own detriment, But now I want to repent. Please Lord let me be average again. I want To be normal. I want to be boring, to Blend in, to not be noticed, except By you. Let me be so well adjusted And healthy in mind, body and Haircut it’s sickening. Being myself For better or worse has been bad for My social standing, so Convention, Please lock me in the cage of your Protective embrace. Convention, Take me to your ample breasts so Like a typical faceless citizen I can Suck to my heart’s content. MONSTER Last time I checked there wasn’t A trail of dead bodies in my wake, Nor broken hearts like bread crumbs Leading back to a hidden lair in the Forest of doomed love. So I’m at a Loss as to what kind monster you Think I am, and why. But all that Frankenstein had to do to scare Someone was just be himself. BREAKFAST BIRDS Birds in the morning flock to steal my dogs’ Breakfast, cause my canines are so occupied Eating they don't notice the thievery. Eating Is contagious - when one feeds, others want in On the act. Like when love gives off its warm Glow that others can’t help but find attractive Too. When two feed, twice as many want in On the act. Usually we see sharing as positive, And want to let our friends in on our good thing. But just because birds are remarkably consistent In contributing their saxophone impressions and Little hip hop moves every morning, is this from Friendship or just a free breakfast? PAINTER Long before entering politics, Hitler Wanted to be a painter. It’s true! I Looked it up. As a very young man, Hitler loved art, music, architecture, And his country’s history. For awhile He tried making a living by selling his Watercolors on the streets of Vienna. He wasn’t very successful, but one of His watercolors has survived and you Can see it online. That watercolor, to Me, looks skillful enough, but twice the University of Vienna rejected Hitler, said His work lacked sufficient evidence of Ability, crushing is aspiration to paint Seriously. Instead he enlisted in the Amy and the rest is history. 5.5 million Killed. It would be unfair to blame the University of Vienna (how could they Have known), but still it's tempting to Speculate on how differently history Could have turned out had Hitler Been able to stick to his painting. RIFLE I can see it clearly and I don’t Like it, but clarity is the kind of Dangerous gift you just have to Learn how to handle. It’s like When you’re given a rifle, you Can use it to terrorize or to put Food on the table. CUT First just a tiny one to remind me I’m Not afraid of pain. Growing numb Terrifies me more. Look, my body is Liquid, it flows. Color small crimson Hearts on m arm – your Valentine’s Card. Cut deeper, somewhere no one Will see the scars, my tattoos of your Gain at my loss. Cut your name into My skin – I’m your billboard dripping Red. Cut open a window so this bird Of prey eating me inside can fly into The night. BREAKFAST Cereal and milk welcome the day With a dip together. Toast opens Itself to richness from butter, then Feels a little tart from jam. Omelet Anticipates a special sauce bringing Out hidden nuances in its warm mix Of flavors. Coffee takes in its two Favorites, sugar for sweetness and Cream to mellow its edge. I finish Them all off. We’ll do it again Tomorrow, promise. MARAE Everyone deserves a place of safety for their Relationship to the eternal. Somewhere the Spirits of that which you cherish most deeply Are protected and can live and breathe. Here I stand outside your marae. I call in greeting. No answer comes from within. Without your Welcome, I cannot enter. If you judge me as Unworthy of your sacred ground or displeasing To your spirits, I will call no more. I leave as I Came, quietly, with respect. Inside, your spirits Can hear me, and know my heart and mind. Is It they who say deny me, or am I one you wish To hide from them? THE JUSTICE SYSTEM When you return to the scene of the Crime, is it to see if anything’s changed? No, nothing’s changed – what’s good will Always be good, and what’s bad is still Bad. All that changes is our ability to Tell one from the other. TALIBAN What they want is not genuine creativity Or self expression. What they want is Politically correct lies. We fight the Taliban in Afghanistan? Too late! We Already have them in our back yard. MANNERS AND MORALS I wish I could just make you feel good. Many moons ago, when this all started, That was sort of the point. Everything Said and done since then may tend to Obscure a related point, which is how Ridiculously easily you could make me Feel good if you wanted to. I was busy Calling your manners and morals into Question, so it may have slipped my Mind to mention it. But yeah, in those Few moments where it seemed like There was something to be optimistic About, nothing before or since has Ever felt better. How could I get so Preoccupied with manners and morals? Maybe thinking my own had to adhere To some high standard, but funny how Little they matter now. In spite of the Worst possible thoughts I could have About you, if I thought you could still Feel good about me then all I’d do is Try and make you feel good. PRICELESS Like a diamond in a shop window I stop And stare at, something personal makes This more than just another glittering rock. It feels like everything meant for me, Everything I was meant for, so naturally I start conjuring what the future should Be, will be, already is. Fatally forgetting This is not mine yet, as much as I firmly Believe no one else will ever love it more. How obscene to see something precious As this subject to an exchange rate, to be Lost or gained through trade. This could Turn me criminal - stick ‘em up mister And watch me walk away with what you Only thought was yours. Is any price too High for what’s priceless? What a tragedy To see it fall into the hands of one who Would treat it as worthless, just another Glittering rock. NAVIGATING The word friendship evokes kind winds And calm seas. It’s friend, someone you Can be close to, plus ship, something That travels great distances, certainly Further than one could swim or paddle A canoe. Sounds like you and a friend Can make the voyage together. Sad, Then, how so many friendships and Fledgling loves lie shipwrecked on the Rocky shores of mistrust and betrayal. Sailing can be dangerous. It’s not clear Who’s captain and neither of us have The map, only a compass of the heart. Stars might guides us or storms could Throw us off course. Pirates try for a Piece of us, sirens entice us towards The rocks for spite and Moby Dick Rams our ship for sport. The reward For all the risks is arriving somewhere We’d never reach alone, provided we Survive navigating each other’s waters. BOP TEMPLATE Jazz rose up from the streets, coming From somewhere I couldn’t see. This City’s warm even in the middle of the Night. So many working at night, in Reverse of the natural order like bats Or owls. Ask them if they’d take the Day shift and they say that’s crazy. The day is just so much play acting. You can’t fake it at night, you know. Night is the truth, where we came From, where we’re going. Why do You think a coyote needs moonlight To sing the blues? Night is the truth, Man. I nod and follow the streetlights, Wondering if all those dreams of Normal people don’t just float in the Air this time of night, or if some find Their way into the horns of a jazz Band during the late set and get Breathed back out as music . BULLSHIT GLASSES In the back of my mind there’s a Voice saying, “You’re wasting your Time. Trying to cast your pearls Before a swine.” That brings out The part of me that’s stubborn As a mule (and maybe as stupid) That says, “No! If she could just Take off her Bullshit Glasses then She would see it too. I know it!” But of course the other side of That coin is maybe I’m the one Who can’t take off his own. STRING THEORY For better or worse, my poetry comes Out most naturally when I’m in a highly- Strung emotional state. This doesn’t Mean I’m not a fairly reasonable human Being the rest of the time. Still, I don’t Recommend a highly-strung emotional State no matter what it does for your Poetry. For one thing, it won't work Wonders on your general affability or Outlook on life. For another, you have To check constantly to ensure your Highly-strung strings haven’t gone out Of tune, and take caution not to strum Them so passionately that one of them Goes pwack and snaps. (Note: The closest approximation to the sound of a snapping guitar string is "pwack", although you won't find it in most dictionaries.) BAD HISTORY MONTH Do you think a deception Is any less of a deception Just because it involves a Computer? It still becomes Part of a bad history, one More nail in the coffin of Honesty and trust. DISPOSABLE Sacrificed again on the altar of your pride, Only I don’t feel such a holy object. More like A surrogate for your interests in an offshore Account. Trying to petition the Gods offering Breadcrumbs in hope of gold? He who receives Your sacrifice, on high or down low as you Decide, knows the difference between what’s Truly valuable to you and what’s decidedly Disposable. You’ll be rewarded accordingly With blessings of the disposable variety. BOXES Sometimes people deserve the boxes We put them in. Other times the boxes We choose for them say more about us. Careful not to mislabel. Nothing worse Than putting a right thing in a wrong box And shelving it somewhere you’d rather Forget. Put me in a rubbish box and you May find one day you’re searching the Dump in vain for what you threw away. POEMS Poems are… Individual flowers from the Mind’s garden, plus an occasional weed… Escaping pus from a wound inside that Won’t heal… Shards of debris from an Emotional explosion equal to the creation Of the universe… An SOS from a ghost ship… Little eruptions of volcanoes undersea Dreaming of being islands… Notes posted For God on what you hope and pray is his Refrigerator… Flying the flag of your true Self to see who salutes… Something you Sleepily clean up in the morning from Your soul’s front porch… Proof positive So-called sanity, when accepted without Question, would happily render a death Sentence on a deeper reality… Usually Permanence’s enemy, change’s friend… (Unless it’s the kind of open permanence That provides poets sanctuary…) Written In tears, sweat, blood, and other juices we Can use to make poems in private... All this, Plus. On and on, on and on, on and on. JESTER In medieval times, even a jester toasted by The court could find himself separated from His head for saying the wrong thing at the Wrong moment. Nothing uplifts and nothing Wounds as surely as humor. The jester’s lot Was bringing merriment yet stopping short Of heresy, which must have taken incredible Insight and skill. He walked a tightrope: be Funny or starve, but calculate the laughter Carefully or be stabbed. Can you imagine What stress the poor jester would come Under, having to make light of even the Darkest circumstances? And when a King Or Queen revealed themselves as the true Fool, it fell to the jester to save royal face by Appearing an even bigger clown. I have no Doubt more than a few monarchs treasured Their jesters for this very reason. I’ve felt Making someone else smile was a matter Of life or death, worried terribly over my Wording, sensed imminent doom when it Seemed I’d gotten it wrong. A jester needs A keen eye for tragedy, given how easily he Could become one. No wonder even today So many comics are also alcoholics. JAGGER AT 70 a/k/a BLUNTLY ON YOUR BIRTHDAY Yours will remain a most unlikely, most Amazing tale – two teens (you and Keith) Inspired to play the devil’s music and Ending up feted as gods. Was your own Mephistophelian trade 20 untouchable Years followed by 30 in exile on main Street? Did all your satanic majesty Culminate in artistic bankruptcy amidst More dough than Robert Johnson would Have dared to dream of? Sorry I’m so Blunt on your birthday, but being studied (Not just a stud) comes with your cultural Role, and your truest believers still can’t Figure what happened after Tattoo You. So what, Sir Mick, if you won’t likely be Mentioned in history with the same awe As Picasso or even Muddy? It’s only rock And roll. Like our own Prometheus, You’re still rolling - we find something Oddly comforting in that, even if with Each push your peaks just grow further Distant. Meanwhile, naïve believers Unwisely await miracles, like one more Stones album worthy of your past to Silence every told-you-so, to prove it’s Never too late if you’re not too lazy. (Note: Jagger and I share the same birth month - July - but I'm on the 9th and he's on the 26th so I'm a Cancer and he's a Leo.) SUBJECT TO CHANGE WITHOUT NOTICE An obvious mystery, one’s person’s gold, Another’s garbage. One man’s madonna, Another’s whore. One woman’s devotion, Another’s indifference. All personal, and If you’re not careful, all subject to change Without notice. ALL IN TRADE Our passions, hopes, time, attention Exceptions, investments, generosity, Resilience, forgiveness, willingness to Risk, all in trade for that one thing we Haven’t found yet. Your space, special Places, faithfulness, kisses, intimacy, Tendency to see the diamond but not The blood behind it, all in trade for that One thing you haven’t found yet. The Devotion I’ve reserved for someone Deserving, openness when I’m not Inclined to close up, a skill I learned of Nurturing, songs I learned from Loneliness and joy, all in trade for that That one thing I haven’t found yet, the One perfect exchange that makes Everything right, makes sense of the Mysteries, makes the contradictions Finally reveal the truths they hide. DIFFERENCE Despite all you disbelieve about yourself, You could still make a difference if you Wanted to. In case no one’s told you, Your whole pose is one of indifference. By all appearances, you don’t care, and That impression will remain unless you Try somehow to change it. Neither one Can win when playing by two different Sets of rules. Someday when all your Shit has hit the fan, you’ll understand How you can’t fight for someone while You’re also fighting with them. Even if The effort ends up seeming to not even Make much difference, the truth will Always be that you tried, not that you Simply settled for the hand-outs of fate. AD INFINITUM You can find a new friend… And another… And another… And another ad infinitum, Till you eventually realize these aren’t Really friends at all, only bargain hunters Out to get what they want as easily and As cheaply as they can. But maybe that’s All you’re shopping for too. Careful how You advertise – your brand name already Has a reputation on the market, thanks To all the free samples you’ve given. If You think these friends of yours are truly Friends, try putting them all in the same Room together and see how friendly They are face to face, among those who They have something in common with. Or better yet, invite them all to your Wedding if you ever have one – I’m Sure you’ll be proud to introduce them All to your spouse. MY WORLD My thoughts have gotten so disjointed, Like a planet coming apart. My center Of gravity can’t hold it together. And so My world goes flying off in a million Different pieces. I was always trying to Go in more than one direction at once, But not like this. I feel the explosion, tear, Rip, crack in my time-space continuum, Violence of involuntary end. How there’s Still a voice to say these words, I don’t Know. I could already be a ghost. Feels Like I’ve been away, and I have to admit The familiar feels more comforting when You know it won’t last forever, just for A long time. SUSPICIONS Suspicions can be creative. Take information, Make a story, then feel betrayed by your own Imagination. My suspicions could fill novels, Television shows, dramas that leave audiences Traumatized by the tension. My suspicions Always seem plausible enough to unnerve me, So why not the public too? When all is said And done, I really know nothing, so suspicions Fill that void, channeling passions like a lost, Warlike tribe wreaking havoc in anger at being Denied their homeland, or so they believe. This is how destruction, emotional or physical, So easily follows when suspicions inform Initiative and explode. PROTECT Protect your ego by justifying what you’ve Done as right from your point of view. If Someone has a different perspective, it’s Just their problem. They don’t have to Walk in your shoes. If you walk roughshod Over someone else’s feelings, it’s just Their problem. Maybe next time they’ll Know better than to get in your path. Fine, You protect your ego and I’ll protect mine. ALMOST VEGETARIAN They say Americans spend more on porn Than they put into their pensions. Ok, so Much for technology and progress, but if We’re such sex experts why can’t we get Our pigs to breed as fast as we eat them? One more Sunday, no pig on the table at Louise. Too expensive, I’m told. We have A pork shortage, something must be done. Encourage your pigs to be more romantic, Get them drunk, read them the works of Anne Rice, play them Marvin Gaye non- Stop, tell them it’s Valentine’s Day, offer Honeymoon specials, open more motels, Tell them the Sexual Revolution happened In the ‘70s and they’re behind the times. Guilt trip them into getting it on, whatever It takes, our plates are lonely. Meanwhile, The pigs are thinking, why should we breed Just to be eaten? We won’t contribute to Your Butthead Buffet. We refuse. What if The tables were turned and we consumed All the unwanted fruit of your porn addictions? The pigs have always wanted to say that, They just had to find the language. FREE ASSOCIATION IS ALIVE AND WELL Fork tongue Nike, window spy whiskey, Hooligan stadium, rabbit transit, card Socket, pie face casino night, sliding scale, Fall through the ice, trash dress muddy, Front view frog, hard drug drive-thru, milk Cowboy, shoulder tattoo map, treasure in Every pack of Cracker Jacks, heron robs National treasury, Hal open the pod bay Doors, run away from home and join the Circus, civil wars and domestic violence, Homeland insecurity, Merrill Lynch Mob, Liz Pharisee, every purchase with us a Guaranteed betrayal of your faith, buy Now cry later, crocodiles in Manhattan Sewers, here pussy, bluebird paintbrush, Able-bodied volunteers needed for Beaver company, Frankenstein pop singer Rejuvenates alternative music, cream shirt, Scream soda, intravenous and Mars, let’s Go out to the bald game, we interrupt this Program just because we can, you got a Problem with that? WAR STORY Caught in the crossfire of your Good and bad selves, I’m just a Casualty of battle. If Heaven’s Own angels rebelled, small Wonder we can’t resist the bad Side of ourselves. A door more Easily opened than closed. Like Money changers in a holy temple, What you first invited you must Eventually fight or else surrender To completely. In the end, good Usually wins, but bad can make A memorable stand. Entering The crossfire means being shot By both sides, since bullets don’t Know friend from foe, and in self Defense you’re advised to just Keep firing and ask questions Later. The best I can say is I Survived, though I wish it all Had meant more than just A good war story. SILVER The Moon doesn’t hold anger or sadness In spite of all it’s seen. Know why I shine? Asks the Moon. Everyone’s troubles have Rubbed against me since the dawn of time. In appearance I’m not as constant as my Cousin the Sun, but he burns like never Ending passion while I rise, fall, and rise Again in endless reflection. As I reflect all I’ve seen, I use the troubles for fuel to Provide you a light in the darkness. I’m a Symbol. My cycle is renewal, while Mr. Sun Might burn out one day if he’s not careful. COUP Do you envision a golden future where Everyone’s forgotten the truth about You? Most dictators do, but soon their Own conscience makes them unable to Settle comfortably into their newfound Security. Subtly, they feel threatened Not by what anyone’s done but by what Everyone knows, not by what anyone’s Said but by what they suspect you must Be thinking. There’s no bigger threat to A liar than those they can rely on to tell The truth. No bigger threat to a cheater Than those who play fair. No bigger Threat to someone drunk on power (Or just alcohol) than the sober. No Bigger threat to the guilty than the Innocent. Everyone must buy in or Be edited out. NEW AMUSEMENTS Hey you Pharisees, if you show up At my sacred mountain, be sure to Take off your shoes. With faith you Can walk on hot coals, but with Attitude all you’ll find is your fancy Footwear melted. Be respectful or You'll regret it. Lightning will fry you If you run amok at night. Try an orgy In the forest, as if it's some disco With trees, and you’ll fall into rivers Hidden underground full of hungry Fish who’ll love you. This ain’t no Disneyland, and it did quite well Without you before you walked In acting like you own the place. STOLEN BY THE SKY Legend has it craters are the lovers and Wives of mountains stolen by the sky. Sheltering them from unsympathetic Eyes, the moon hides craters within his Glow. No stranger to separation’s pain, The moon spends half his time shining With undeniable brilliance and the other Half hidden in cold darkness hoping his Wounds heal in time for his next Scheduled appearance. And when has The moon ever kept us waiting? Some Mothers soothe children to sleep telling Stories of the craters on the moon. See How some craters have already made Room for mountains they still await. Remember how others, long ago, Embraced mountains so closely as to Become one with them, until a black Hole with a jealous heart, a cosmic Storm, a hungry magnetic asteroid or Heaven for reasons unknown reached Down to snatch the mountains away. See how easily these craters could catch All manner of moon and star material to Fill them again, but curiously, how most Choose instead to remain empty. CHILD The older I get, the more I intuit That it’s children, not adults, who Have the right idea. Everything’s Open, everything’s new, it’s all One big possibility. Whoever came Up with the bright idea that we Have to carve ourselves in stone When we hit 18 needs a lobotomy From Dr. Ramone to re-connect With their inner child. Is insight That just closes us off really Insight at all? INDEX I never figured clarity of expression Could come across as so dramatic, But if I stopped clocks the way I Stop conversations, the digital age Would be in for some major shit. If I like you, I'll say look at it this Way: no matter how different you Are, you're still walking on the same Flowers and stones and breathing The same air as everyone else. We're all an index of each other's Possibilities.This is bad. This is Good. UP AGAINST THE WALL STREET IN YOU The fates have granted me the grace of Keeping the catastrophe quiet. Declaring Bankruptcy’s a private matter, even if the Currency’s only emotions. Feelings subject To foreclosure. Liquidate these dreams, They have amusement value. See the Easily amused nod their approval. They Can relate to being left holding the bag. It’s nice they sympathize, and avert their Eyes as I face an exile of uncertain length. In exile, one at least has small freedoms. Returning is not one of them. I can’t see Anything bringing me back, once I’ve been Tagged as unmanageable, too risky an Investment, certain only to compromise Your profits. In exile, one at least has small Comforts, like appearing free while serving A sentence of indefinite confinement inside. Fools the easily amused, at least. But it’s all Show, far from sweet, with the bitter taste Of the incomplete. SHAKESPEARE SHOE FITS Strange name, Shakespeare. Evokes images Of primitives trying to scare off progress, or To pursue spear as a euphemism, civilized Males reading Playboy. Seriously, it’s kind Of comic, the name Shakespeare. A name Like Deathspeare would be sexier, or Bloodspeare more macho. But try picture The enemy quaking in fear hearing Shakespeare. Doesn’t quite fly. Sounds like Braveheart shaking his sword, Robin Hood Shaking his bow, Sir Lancelot shaking his Lance a lot, the Three Musketeers shaking Their rapiers or Bonnie and Clyde shaking Their machine guns. Weapons must be Scary, not shaken like a martini or a Maraca. So with the name Shakespeare, What would you do to be taken seriously? We don’t know what really drove him, but Wouldn’t he be having the last laugh if his True reason for writing so relentlessly was He was mad at being laughed at? So next Time you’re angry, channel that negative Energy into something creative. They might Still hear your echo 400 years later. DEFINITION I’ve always been grateful for my place In the world, but I never bothered to Define it, for a statement as to what I am would be a comparison to what I am not, and my knowledge of what I am not is at best surface level, so Who am I to talk? Thank you for Telling me who I am. I know you’re Trying to be helpful, but why do I Suspect you’re the one who really Needs help? What makes you such An authority? I want to be one too. Does it take a degree? A badge? A Gun? A certain tattoo? Or do you Just pick a definition of yourself that You like, wear it like wrapping paper Around a gift to the world, and hope This colorful sight inspires someone Or other to sing happy birthday to You because you appear to fit their Definition of cake-deserving? BRICKS These poems are just so many bricks In a fragile wall a cold stare could Crumble or a warm smile could melt. I wish I could change many things, But the truth is I haven't a clue how To change anything. Arguably I have A clue how to write a poem, though I can hear critics my disagreeing. At The risk of sounding even more Egotistical than usual, if this is what I can do with their cynicism ringing In my ears, think what I could do if I could hear you singing my praises! On a cold day in hell, you might scoff, But who knows. If sincerity only gets Me in trouble, then maybe it’s the Utterly ridiculous that might make You see things differently. If we Can’t share a reality, we can always Share an idea, as innocently as the Public shares germs. Imagination: Change in the dark, germinating. I Just keep laying bricks, sometimes High like a wall, other times low, Down to earth, imagining a road. THE UNDEAD I know you don’t want it so I’m Trying to destroy it but it won’t Die. It just gets uglier each time It crawls from the grave and says, I come from you - send me six Feet under, but isn’t it really a Part of you you’re trying to bury? I reply, you got that right – part Of me I don’t want to see walking Around, looking over my shoulder In the mirror, in pictures, in stories. A constant reminder of cursed love, Of failure, and the other partner in Your creation doesn’t want you Either. Living things with limited Insight are so challenged grasping The concept of inconvenience. SORTING ITSELF Heavy rain, stay inside. Stay inside, look Inside. Just as turbulent, even more so. The storm outside is nothing. Nature is Sorting itself, throwing air, water and Light into a fray while the earth tries To remember dryness and warmth, Knows they’ll come again, but wishes They’d put on some speed. I try to see My troubles as my life sorting itself. Hoping that, as with nature, in the end A balance will be restored. As the storm Clearly shows, a lot of conflict goes into The making of a sunny day. SYMBOLIC Hey Sky, who you crying for all day And all night? Freud said water Symbolizes emotion. Sky wants to Grow fat on emotion, hold it all in, Gain substance like Earth, hoping Earth might look up from its typical Lazy passivity and actually take Notice for a change. But alas, Sky Can’t keep the weight on. Gets to A certain size and it all comes flying Off from gravity. Most Americans Would be envious. And predictably, Earth just callously says thanks for The drink, call me sometime, ok? Stevie Ray Vaughn sang “The Sky Is Crying” with a lot of emotion, as is Only fitting for this tale of yearning Frustrated every time, no matter How sincere or how determined. WERE I SANTA CLAUS The joy’s in the giving of gifts as much As the receiving. And were I Santa Claus, You wouldn’t have to wait till Christmas. Were I the master gift builder, I’d make Myself into one you’d want to unwrap, A present you’d enjoy again and again, Something you’d accept without the Slightest hesitation, indulge in with no Second thoughts, omit mentioning to Your friends to avoid them becoming Covetous, something you’d sighed for Each time you saw it in the shop window. In other words, I wish I were chocolate. EXPERTS I'm such an expert - I know Exactly what you mean and Exactly what you're thinking Even before you do. You're Such an expert - you know Exactly what I mean and Exactly what I'm thinking Even before I do. Things Can get complex, unclear. Lucky we’re such experts. OUR BEST Maybe Las Vegas can make you rich Beyond your wildest dreams, but how Often does that happen? Please don't Use our best as a gambling chip. DESERVE Bad guys in movies get What they deserve. Why Not nice guys in real life? ROCKS People ‘round here throw rocks so Often you’d think they’d never sinned. I wish Cupid could aim arrows on my Behalf as accurately as my neighbors Aim rocks at transgressing dogs, cats Advertising a heat, birds soiling the Clothesline, pigs digging up the roses, And sometimes one another. SPYING IN PERSPECTIVE Our nation, born of rebellion, founded on the Ideal of liberty or death. If leaders take the Liberty of spying on their citizens, it must be For our own good. Traitors walk among us, Trying to establish a new dark ages. Humans Are fallen by nature and foolish in notion, so Thank the Lord we have so many laws for our Own protection. Laws fill books that fill rooms Which fill buildings. No wonder you can break A law without even knowing. Laws, it seems, Come and go these days like Vegas paychecks. Do they still need probable cause to probe into Our private business? Just some little bird that Whispers nasty things? Words on my t-shirt They don’t like seeing? A blip on their radar Screen they think is me flying on a broom? It changes so fast, I don’t bother keeping Track. All I know is, in today’s USA, if you’re A conservative wage slave you’re ok (for now), But any deviation could place you under Suspicion. Part of the standardization plan For our own good. We’re a democracy, an Equal partnership between people and our Leaders . We should be as honest with them As they are with us. REMEMBER? Remember when I tried reaching out to You? At first you seemed pleased, but Then you treated me like you wished I Would just go away. So I did. Why do You still wear that hurt look? Even When I’ve done what you want, you’re Not happy? Doesn’t seem likely. Must Be it’s just someone else now who’s Making you sad. PEARLS When our pearls have fallen in the Pig sty, who will pull them out? All The crap in the world can’t tarnish Their true worth, only obscure it. But who’ll be left with dirty hands? Is saving something precious worth Sorting through something ugly? CONTINUED NEXT PHOTO OVER ("CYCLONE SCENE")

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