συμπόσιον

June 25, 2010

the lady at the opposite subway seat
has finished off her nondescript repast
something she angled daintily piece by piece
from a brown bag chasing it down with carrot
juice and the final tranche is now dispatched
into her eager gullet the carrot juice
was clearly labeled as such but on the other
hand what it was she ate while in plain view
is mystery something i’ll never know and
what happens next is anybody’s guess

what happens is of course a traveling band
hailing from some mesoamerican
republic bursts into the car at roosevelt
with a sad but powerful song of which the lyrics
are greek to me because it is in spanish
followed by an amazing trick or two
performed by a self-taught magician who
insists that i must hold a piece of twine
which i obediently grasp attempting not
to move my eyes away from my sony reader
and never see what the twine was about

there’s more before we ever cross the east river
a roving man of cloth with a tumultuous
voice treats us to a homily
turns out we all should give away our worldly
possessions and abstain from storing treasures
on earth but rather store them up in heaven
along the preacher’s arm a verdict runs
tattooed in a fossil script which reads not guilty

i look around who are you my coerced
playmates sad lot unhappy multitudes
why are you thrown into this moveable feast
squeezed like sardines into the planet’s bowels
i may consult the sony reader which
is my sole current source of wisdom but
i doubt it will enlighten me as to
what it was she consumed from her brown bag
as to the carrot juice the doubts are groundless


craigslist

May 3, 2010

still looking for a lady to discharge
such various duties as or which include
but aren’t exhausted by nor limited to
wasting her sweet time in small talk wherever
it pleases her or reading proust in bed
on weekdays staining freely her pajamas
or any other sleepwear of her choice
with coffee messing it with cookie crumbs
watching wisteria bloom in rapt attention
or finding other ways to employ her sloth
such is the approximate menu of her chores

if found the applicant is best advised
to remain as she was since her alleged
employer is completely out of funds
nor feels he’s welcome to intrude upon
such a perfect mode of being if attained
content to be aware of it this remaining
the only valid point of the contract bid

now for the small print the submitting side
of this disjointed drivel henceforth called
the party of the first part and ignored
holds no responsibility whether legal
or moral for the state of things which makes
it lose its wits and brashly raise the stakes
going for broke behaving like an ass
seeing the world but darkly through the glass


sound signs

May 3, 2010

there the entire damned alphabet is wrong
their frigging r’s all face the opposite way
supposedly you must ingest your voice
while uttering it and choke articulating
imagine hatяed served under such guise

small details but sometimes they change a lot
what if vole were the opposite of love
but then it cannot be such a cute critter
so inoffensive-looking should contain
at least one r to sound sufficiently nasty

but how it is with them is hard to guess
granted with the japanese does not apply
still they have лов and вол but these mislead
or have i suddenly switched the frame of reference
hatred is at its best when unrequited

should be an answer to a simple question
like yes or no no matter how you spell
and no one cares which way their r’s are facing
vole is a manner of existence love
its sole imperative and yes of course


the loop theorem (iii)

May 3, 2010

the wind comes down disheveling the lake
the outward edge of the loop whose western shore
i forced myself to suspect but was unsure of
while dwelling closer to the opposite sky
facing the east with its haunted horizon

the loop which is the loom weaves up a storm
of tortured steel within whose distant mind
we coexist as hazard brings together
loose strands of disparate time which sometimes are
spliced by the el-train when it hits a stitch
sparks showering down and the west i force
myself to face is where they keep the wind
when not in use the head is where the brain
billows and flaps a platypus tree in bloom

the lady of the lake is gone her mirror
sporting a crack is now the sky itself
from where the miniature parachutes keep flowing
with a tiny platypus attached to each
like some toy mascot of an alien airline


the loop theorem (i)

May 3, 2010

sense hangs together sentenced and enphrased
and prefixed soundly with its a’s and the’s
but carries not what one would take as meaning
sense is quite separate from what’s said inside
though one may try and flip out while transmitting
sense is sent forth but meaning stays behind

and yet one feels that in the meaning lost
one senses scars of the past efforts to
impart the obstinate truth whose relevance fades
for the receiving party as it grows
for the sad imparter launching aimless missiles
towards the hollow aluminum sky of march

in spring when all our senses act acute
all meanings turn unutterable but still
nature says its own rosary whose beads
are elms squirrels brooks chipmunks birds did i
say birds someone sure did the magic jackdaw
says never then takes pause and asks for more


the destination

October 11, 2008

i
you arrive in a town where you will spend
the remainder of your life the lawns are browned
by frostbites and leaves on sycamores shrivel
the view from the church parking-lot presents
a hydrangea hedge still in bloom and teeming
with chipmunks the soundtrack hijacked
by blue jays the stained glass of the lancet windows
shimmers with a hymn intoned by the throng inside
the sky they beseech is watery and low
and the lake is within a stone throw from wherever

ii
you have picked it at random simply by counting
seven exits from the last stop unwilling to tell
one hicksville from another you were looking
for a place to lay down your burden and this one
happens to have a red courthouse tower seen from afar
with a clock whose frozen hands
almost touch midnight without specifying
a day or a year must be the late seventies
judging by a decaying steel mill the very
fish skeleton of the existence as such

iii
speaking of which remember hitting a fishmarket
some sixty miles ago where in front of your eyes
the deft piscator gilling a black bass produced
a brass ring from within the creature’s bowels
never having thrown it in the lake you could not
have been the addressee or perhaps the fisherman
was a classics dropout armed with an aged joke
he may be using it as a shibboleth to sort out
the locals from the commuters with a harvard diploma
to better avail himself of their monetary situation

iv
come to think of it none of those locals seems
to be in a hurry to greet the new settler
except for the presumed jarrers of the stained glass
the locals are paramount to the entire scenario
you will secretly award each one with a name
of somebody once loved or simply met elsewhere
it has been seven exits but the true one is found
as to the doctor the matter can wait
one will turn up eventually but the verdict
is immutable still the life was a burst of joy

v
here under the unresponsive sky
on their soil saturated with rust you will settle
in a rented hovel with a porch facing the lake
not necessarily placid it owes you nothing
like the sky let it be simply a space of water
and the clock on the tower at the edge of time
will mutely chime while the natives shuttle
to and fro their secret names unknown to any
smiling you will sit on the porch with a dead laptop
and type blindly lifewasaburstofjoylifewas


snowed up by stars

September 21, 2008

a wayfarer perhaps in wyoming
with the night approaching is wheeling away
when presto his car gets struck by a meteorite
the tiny bugger pierces the hood right through
now he is stuck on an empty highway
cursing his windfall of sinister luck
and the stars just keep falling around

the month being august the odds are higher
though not by much and he could have
used the chance at the indian casino
of which he fell short only a few miles
fate is a chain of wasted improbabilities
and the night is a storm cloud sowing stars
on the luckless and lucky alike

he is sullenly certain of making it into
the county sheet or becoming a butt
of jibes at the water cooler
come to think of it cooler it certainly gets
the star storm thickens he is ringing harder
against the sky excised by the waning summer
what a rare and preposterous way out
it is wyoming if you know what i mean

does it make a difference in the end lightning
or lottery to the chosen and the blessed
whom the gods apprehended awakened for once
from their eternal inanity
stars flowing like snow up to his icy knees
perhaps not even in wyoming anymore