Albertus Astrophel

Posted on August 11, 2016 in Poems

This strange, ecstatic man
ponders the journey of the stars,
mathematically minding
the debris of the Universe
that crashes coughing into the planets
and mars the stripes of Jupiter.
He contemplates comets
with the intensity of a cat
lapping up gravy.

Tragedy on Thebes Street

Posted on August 5, 2016 in Myths & Mysticism Poems

Oedipus stood on a street corner
waiting for a bus
whose driver had his nose.
He dreamed of the older woman
whose chin and dark eyes
resembled his, then as the coach arrived
pulled out his gun, broke the driver’s skull
twice with two bullets
because of a stare
that made him hate
the shape of his cheekbones.

*Revised 8/15/2016*

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A Quick Update

Posted on August 5, 2016 in Bipolar Disorder Body Language Daily Life

square934Though I have had shingles, a gastrointestinal virus of some kind, pulled muscles, a fatty liver, and a basal cell carcinoma — a minor form of skin cancer –, I have not had an episode. My blood sugar was too high — in the two to three hundred range — and I had some visual hallucinations because of it, but these shadows in the corner of my eyes have vanished as my numbers came down. So I am well and caring for myself.

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Floating like a Butterfly, Stinging like a Bee

Posted on June 5, 2016 in Silicon Valley

square933Back in 1992, I visited Serbia and had an audience with the local leader of the Serbian Nationalist Party. I brought up the subject of conscientious objectors. The chief smirked and said in a knife twist of ad hominem tu quoque “I am a great admirer of Muhammad Ali.” I think he expected me to go all Sonny Liston on him, but I looked him in the eye with the steel gaze of The Greatest and said “So do i. And wherever my brothers in conscience shall be, I am there in spirit with them. I am with them here in Serbia and everywhere. ” it was a knockout punch. The party apparachnik changed the subject in a hurry. He was Sonny Liston, not me. I know Ali would have smiled

.

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The Stingray’s Song

Posted on June 5, 2016 in Poems

Pain has no voice

anymore than a stingray
swimming silently inside my chest,
strangling my esophagus,
dragging its barb
along the outer muscles of my ribs
can sing.

Pain is my companion,
fading lesions the marks
of the language of its cause.

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Shingles

Posted on May 12, 2016 in Poems

Red sores
a belt stretching
from nipple to spine.
A road of pain, ooze, scabs, and scars.
Shingles.

I have little else on my mind than the pain.

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Who mourns for the Dodo?

Posted on April 29, 2016 in Poems

I am alone
beneath a low, gilded sky
festooned with angels,
pretenders to flight.
More humans in colorful, flat plumage
surround me, separated from me
by a curious hedge.

Who mourns for the Dodo?

I have escaped the fate of my kin
whose blood soaks the coffee-colored
soil of my birthplace. They say
my name means “stupid”
because my kind came when
famished brutes called,
monsters who shattered us for their larder.

Who mourns for the Dodo?

I am a seer.
Defined by an absence,
my animation vanishes.
The pastel nobles return to their follies,
the cherubs bless new curiosities.
My flesh, feathers and bones
are attached to an armature until weevils
devour the puffy remnants.

Who mourns for the Dodo?

No more is the gross ground dove
who looked to the gulls
soaring above his forest.
A head, some bones, and rude lithographs
define my earthly cenotaph.

Who mourns for the Dodo?

After centuries more,
they talk of resurrection.

Holy is the Dodo!

What will they do with my test tube scions?
Chefs debate what sauces
should drench the corpses.
What spices are suitable to rub
on the pimpled, defeathered skin?
What side dishes enhance the meal?
What wine goes best?

Tasty is the Dodo!

Eyes, glazing eyes, wend
past the glass tomb of my brown-boned brother,
so many clattering neck vertebrae
curving around the exhibits.
One with gray chin plumage stops, asks
“What gods secured your soul
when the bough broke your neck?”

I am beyond annihilation.

Nobody mourns the Dodo.

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Neurology

Posted on April 27, 2016 in Poems

In this strange, grim cave
buttressed by bone,
I am boatman
upon a phosphorescent lake.

An invisibility of touch
overlays the imaginative vision
where a thousand songs
cannot describe
the ridges and convolutions of
that wet, pink flesh.

All that is me
is centered on this parasite
suckling from the teats of a hollow bone.

I am not sure about this one. Another rewrite might be in order, but it does have some powerful images. Thoughts?

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Anthracite Hour

Posted on April 20, 2016 in Poems

In that anthracite hour
when Tuesday’s early blood
freshens the smear left by Monday,
I stand in my kitchen
eating a waxen chocolate.
The cat paces behind me;
her questioning tail twitches my calf.
Upstairs, the dog mounds
upon my snoring wife.

I spin about the tiles and wooden floor
wondering what nightgaunts perch in ambush
in the nocturnal surge of silence.

I ride Night, the serpent
who has eaten the Sun.

I dread Dream
as I munch my Hershey’s bar,
because it speaks from solitude
filled with Escherean rooms
inhabited by
the bullies of wakings past.

What architect of bone and brain
fashions this realm for me?

My bed is an awaiting ocean;
Its sheets surf that drowns me
in uncertain dreads and certain purposes.

I pop a Xanax,
restraining the ghouls
who worry me with vexed thought.

During my forced sleep,
the Sun catches Night with a forked stick,
flinging it to the far horizon.

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Cthulhu: A Found Poem

Posted on April 19, 2016 in Poems

foundthing

A found poem is created when you take a piece of literature — in this case Lovecraft’s “Call of Cthulhu” — and find your poem by linking nearly words.

To get the line spacing right, I had to do a screen capture.

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Ray Bradbury and the Future

Posted on April 14, 2016 in Poems

You are not the future, Ray Bradbury told me, because you are not a scientist.
I was 19 years old, a liberal arts freshman at a small California college hidden on lists of the best colleges in the nation.

Which by definition made him not part either.
He wrote about the future with few clues about math or chemistry or physics
Just dreams about dinosaurs, spaceships, and Martian canals.

But the joke’s on you, Ray.
I am the future that was.
I’ve outlasted you.
And I don’t see time machines or rockets harvesting fusion material from the Sun.
The Martian canals proved to be capillaries in Percival Lowell’s eyes.
I am what became of the world that I helped make.
Too bad you aren’t here to see it.

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Fragments and Short Poems

Posted on April 12, 2016 in Poems

I

The iceberg
rams a Titanic of flame.
This is not the expected story.

II

The snowball
bends until it meets itself.
The center holds.
Frozen thought is loosed upon the mind.
Behold the blankness and the blindspot.

III

I am where two walls come together,
the light and the dark;
the line that fears
a crack that confuses the two.

IV

Skunk

The black and white
regimentation of its tail
following its vacuuming snout.

V

The mackerel swims
suspended in a wave
above the low troughs of the bay.

VI

A hard year began
when the orange rain fell

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