poetry

for Allen Ginsberg on his death day
April 6, 2010

We were children of the reconnaissance. Narrow focused and wide eyed, axes aimed officiously at the heavens, we guested with the Solomony and trickled toward the needless. It wasn’t a difficult task. To be allowed to keep our heads and proceed as wont with business. But the straights whited their shrill foam and gargled buoyantly. No monsters, only solemnity. And those of us left outside the easy stones were readily swallowed:
Prayerful is not
a matter of lifting nettles
toward the fires stoked
in Unrest.
Damn it! Bay the remedial
with alll awkward limbs
until the light
catches genuine tender.
These days render solitude moot.
STand back and heaVE
a gut wrenching
UP
to Jesus. Slap thigh, and bellow
back again. NOTEWORTHY!pivot
handfuls of sand,angst
for the mirabilary!pocking
creased feet
and back again.
Praise to scarlet robes inavoidable regardless the guts that animate their folds. Come up against a Bedouin or Gutter Punk with the mettle to throw bold color on the world. ‘Cause sense does not vacate or let be.

Kentucky Highway
March 16, 2010

Coming over the hill
into the greenbright lateral rays
pouring out of dawn lifting
fog from the roadway,
I glanced the whiteline &
joyfully mocked with heavy sounds
hunking metal awkwardly upward
as if in kinship
to the unstoried roamings
of our ghost clan huffing
toward the promised lands
so settled, as to be already static
except for we imaginative
workers in the fog
of present tense.

this dead forum gets a nod
January 22, 2010
Hejira. It was a cold ride
Home, being some stranger’s place
I haven’t seen much of, too
Tiring, to commit to any intimacy
Our reflections drawn across
The rainy streets sputtered dark, gleaming
I see you incomprehension
Already waking & remembering
That descent in mountain’s evening
Will mean a morning climb.

going difficult
October 7, 2009

Give me someplace else to be. Christ never had it so easy. Tell me credit is Caesar’s folly. Jesus, it isn’t easy to accept impermanence—to deny my heavenly stores and listen to my neighbors’ fucking without judging. But I believe, earnestly, that this is what I must do. And somehow when I sleep less, it’s not so hard to love everyone.
Explain this to me. I am self-destructive and lean on quarrels. I strain for a steady, perceptive approach to the problems of common human divinity, but I see so few saints. I’m guessing I’ve indulged too much, in ease, in flesh, in philosophy. I’m guessing I’ve lost touch with people who don’t bicycle long hills to cathedrals as an expression of anything other than penance.
Jesus. Your name means more to me than maybe I’d like to admit. But I don’t know you—not as Son of God, or even Man. It’s unimportant to me. I can’t believe in any moment but my own, and I don’t think you’d condone easy answers. I put on armor against you—or not you, but you in ease—you as a dead thing. And I feel innocent of death, and yours included.
Lay me down in oratory. I am a baby. Send words of warning, deny recompense. This is reification made good by communion. Needed—to appraise our collective distance.

for Hank on his birthday
September 17, 2009

It’s a synthesis. A retelling. Empathy on a stick, rhythmically waved by a patriot of the human condition. There’s a story to be told–plucked from hubris, excuses, and good intentions. The falling voice verifies, nasally. It reaches not through the ears, but the throat. Ironically. Honestly. Maybe an Alabama hagiography could only enter that way, like a locust or a cricket. By the ear it might be poison, as Hamlet already had it, but American betrayal emerged, not mad or murderous, but hearty and dolorous. Transubstantiated into heartache crystalline, stretched into song.
God bless Hank Williams. Crying all the time, in pain or transiently sated, industriously wringing his songs into MCA’s tin-tone slop bucket. Spreading fertile tidings by a fortunate and well-placed hole.
God bless Hank Williams. His cursed spine and his morphine, God given. He died in the miserable American night, car-bound, alone. The chauffeur found him, cold and going rigid, a song scrawled, unrepentant.
God bless Hank Williams. He had nothing to fear.

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