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A new poem   
02:23pm 17/02/2017
  A Severe Lack of Spiritual Creativity

I. The Year of the Rooster

Time is a cat scratching at the bedroom door,
Yowling for attention.
If only we could understand what it’s so desperately trying to tell us
But its mews and meows are incomprehensible.
Memories grow distant
Like a purple mountain in the rear view mirror.
Witchcraft is at least novel,
Unlike allegiance to a trinity of abstruse mythoi.
Classical religion is the ultimate in conservative rhetoric,
Ideas that remain unchanged and unchallenged for millennia.
To understand the world through human terms is noble,
But I prefer the esoterica of alternative gospel,
Deaf to every word so you must get my attention
By pointing and gesturing.
The chanticleer crows to usher in the new year
And the sound reverberates through the valley.

II. Emergency Exit

Transparent sleep solves banal emotion.
Dreams are woven into quilts
To cover slumbering children
Whose minds power the world like windmills.
I have blasphemed against the skyline
By growing old and withering
Like a flower petal at summer’s end.
I rehearse every night for death,
The action cutting every once in awhile
For the director to clarify stage directions.
Menial labor provides a slave wage to the workers
Who wear yellow jackets and clear the cruel morning
From the scape of consciousness
So that the day may break above the foothills
And with its sun light up the possibility of a happy future.

III. Sensations

I have been humiliated by memory.
Bibliothecaries crowd the subway
Suitcases full of books in hand,
Delivering sensational speeches to the homeless,
Rallying the support of the disenfranchised masses.
We are guilty of misprision of felony against fairy tales
And oblivion is our sentence, nay, our reward.
These are the red roses, the casualties of life
As what was once iron will is snapped like a paper clip.
The retinas are flooded with light
And the cochleas barraged by sound
And I wish nothing more than to be alone in a dark, silent room,
Where I can contemplate the minutiae
Of a life lived in shadow.
 
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Live at the Howland Cultural Center!   
04:25pm 25/01/2017
  13 January 2017. Beacon, NY. Hosted by Hayden Wayne.

https://vimeo.com/200758755
 
     Read 1 - Post
 
A longer poem   
09:45am 19/01/2017
  Murdered by Chekhov’s Gun

In a dream I have been murdered by Chekhov’s gun.
I awaken with a memory of a memory,
Staring through an upstairs window
At a boy with eyes so far away
Like looking at a past life through his irises.
There is a cancer of the soul distributing psychic pain
Throughout the limbs and blood vessels
And I write you letters because I cannot bear to hear your voice
Or see you in the house of Eastern beauty.
To find a modicum of peace
I employ prime number echolalia
And a cabinet filled with kleptocrats cannot hold me back.
I am freed from bias and delusion
By the illiterate librarian who has scrawled illegible notes
In the margins of books for me to find.
Shall we go on a magic carpet journey
To find the landfill of lost dreams?
Then can we draw blood with a run of the tongue,
Ignoring the noises of engines sparking and igniting
In the next door neighbor’s garage.
To be haunted by the past is to understand it,
To see clearly the metallic awls and spindles
That indistinctly reach for one out the the haze of time.
Simian hands work and simian faces stare
And still the taxi speeds around the hairpin turn
And I am left without a means to get home
At the end of the grey foggy day.
The candle of separation burns down
Until the white and red wax has all vanished,
Until the two silver flutes play in perfect harmony
A dirge for the logs that have burned up through the flue.
The human body cannot possibly survive the labor of life.
In the grand tradition of electricity
The fuse blows and the box is forever locked.
Then the organic refuse of the world returns to the earth
Where it is replaced by verdant splendor
Which will preside over forests and jungles
That can no longer house humanity.
 
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A poem   
05:39pm 06/01/2017
  Rhetorical Chaos

I am forced to sacrifice intellect
For that mysterious ritual of artistic production
For I am no god or saint
Who can truly comprehend the process of thought
And produce an opus to be admired by scholars
Who would discuss it in a symposium or colloquium.
I don’t really know you
But that doesn’t stop me from loving your synthesized noise,
From dancing to your intellect.
The whip cracks down on the horse of buried culture
Forced out of its apartment by a greedy landlord
And submerged in the watery depths.
Your sons, your house, your memories…
If only I could claim them as my own.
There is no hope of originality as words repeat ad infinitum.
My days are absolutely empty without you,
So please abandon your worldly plans
And come dance with me on a Scandinavian rooftop,
Where all the government buildings have burned down,
Where the parks are overridden with vermin,
Where the epics of yore are preserved in graffiti
Upon the walls of the abandoned subway stops.
 
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A poem with some whimsy   
12:00pm 31/12/2016
  The Pressure of Language

I hide behind my winter whiskers
As I engage in the morning quaff
And coffee stains my moustache.
What luck that they are both brown,
Unlike my white shirt which suffers collateral damage.
In order to be understood we open our mouths
And utter pulmonic egressives,
Shaped by manner and place of articulation.
Then may we have a meaningless discussion
On which cut of oatmeal is the most toothsome.
I close my ears so that these words become muffled,
For their intonations are a hammer to my skull
Which houses a brain of confused breed,
More in tune with the solitary tiger,
Who cannot distinguish between a bilabial fricative
And a dental approximant,
Than the modern man who scurries from appointment to appointment
Garrulously ejecting syllables
Of words that have gradually lost their meaning
Like a weeping willow shedding its leafy tears
As the winter strangles the life out the treeline.
 
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A poem inspired by Joseph Campbell   
11:56am 31/12/2016
  The Pianist with a Thousand Faces

I. Call to Adventure

The world is connected by pianos.
One sits down on the mahogany and leather,
Coattails trailing suit and dangling behind,
And places one’s fingers on the ivory and ebony keys.
The seated figure tentatively draws a rudimentary chord out of the instrument
And at that moment is pulled into the collective unconscious,
Becoming a Pianist,
United with every man, woman and child who has ever sat down at a keyboard,
From the Medici princes of Tuscany
To the neo-Gothic musician fingering an electronic clavier
In a black room of liquor and sweat.
From the ordinary world I exit through a portal into a realm of music,
Fluid and polymorphous,
Where my mentor is revealed.
With the amulet then in hand I cross the threshold:
A golden key to unlock the grand piano in the palace chamber.

II. Road of Trials

Three oracles line the ancient Roman road.
I have miraculously survived ordeal after ordeal
And found the black cat in the dark room.
The arbitrary nature of the sobriquet becomes clear:
I could just as easily not be a Christopher.
The side street is covered in black ice
And the ditches are full of cars
Driven by wretched fools who were not so fortunate.
From the heavens plays a melody from a Chopin étude.
What skill and dexterity the soloist demonstrates!
This virtuosity is the boon that I must bring back to the mortal world.
I will be able to sit at the piano,
Fingers flying madly across the octaves,
Staves unable to contain the notes as they leap off the paper.
The sun is hot on my neck as I wearily walk back to the brink.

III. Magic Flight

Need the mythical adventure come to an end?
Or may it somehow stay alive,
Even as the hero returns via sea vessel,
Evading temptations from sirens and lotophagi,
To find the home that by definition, while peaceful,
Lacks the formative trials and tribulations
That defined his youthful journey out into the world?
Nostalgia rings out of the upright piano
In which hammers strike strings in triad arpeggios,
Playing the mournful tune of nostos.
All of my friends that I met along the way
Are now but a hazy memory,
The camaraderie of the puppeteers in life’s grand marionette show,
Waltzing and politicking the afternoons away.
No longer must I fear death.
The swan warbles the most beautiful song as it perishes,
And I look forward to old age,
When all of my troubles are behind me
And all that remains is the final closing of the eyes
Into eternal peace.
 
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A new poem   
11:48am 23/12/2016
  Constructive Cataclysm

Water encroaches upon my feet
And then recedes into the murky blue ocean,
But how to ascribe to the tide a pattern
When the orbit of the moon is controlled by chance
And it is just as easy to imagine an earth
With six satellites?
Armchair prophets draw question marks in the sky
With condensation trails exiting tailpipes of jets.
Would you deliver the fatal voltage
To the experimental subject
When urged on by infallible authority?
Would you insert the needle
Into the vein of the dastardly criminal
Who has murdered so many innocent?
The world threatens to break into pieces.
Should Armageddon come tomorrow
I would be relieved to have my soul judged,
No matter how fiery the inferno I’d be headed for,
So that I wouldn’t have to worry about tomorrow’s bread.
 
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Quackademia   
10:28pm 06/12/2016
  un titled

in poetry today if you open the
new yorker or any other

respectable literary publication you
will find poems about washing the
dishes with every single line starting

with a lowercase letter of course
and new stanzas will begin
like the new day beginning
through the dishtowel curtains

in your bedroom. and it’s
off limits to talk about anything
existential, anything of interest

to camus
or sartre
or kierkegaard

because it’s clearly more clever
to write about washing the dishes
so long as the lines begin and end in

the middle of sentences so that
it is difficult to follow a thought
but maybe that’s the point
 
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Sorry, Christians.   
11:11pm 05/12/2016
  Hymnal of the Damned

The church alley leads to a dead end,
Stone slabs set into the ground and walls
And the divinity of mystery is never clearer.
Every myth and legend has its basis in reality
But I can’t relate to the Christians, to the pious,
And most of all I can’t relate to the happy people,
Those whose souls have been saved by Jesus.
I hum a quiet tune, hands in overcoat pockets,
Walking back home from the cathedral.
Perhaps I can put words to this melody
And construct a song to depict my damnation.
Yes, this atheist hymn will be the the first in the codex
Of the new liturgy in which I fancy myself a cardinal.
We will gather in makeshift tabernacles
And chant these overtures to the empty sky.
That will be an amusing diversion
As we wait ever longer to be consumed by the fires of Hell.
 
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A prose poem   
10:07am 16/11/2016
  Physical Magic

O fallow coccyx, O distended femurs... thy anatomical charlatanism depresses me. In this world beneath language I shut off thought like a faucet. I hunger for prey, thirst for the water of a rambling stream, dream sweet dreams of running a barbed tongue along your neck in lieu of kissing. Cars speed across the overpass far above, engineered by men with minds operating in realms far beyond what I can comprehend, orders doled out in words that sound just like noise to my feral ears. Senses are magnified in this forest that the gods wish to destroy, leaving me with no habitat. I awaken thrice from the dream: first in pantomime, second into consciousness, and third in future days, once you have read my letter and rejected its plea. This anatomy: this curse. This love: this tragedy. This hope: as a poetic mendicant I beg for the realization of my fantasies. Then have I not to rely on fleeting dreams, and may I bear the fardel of being with a little more grace. Love of mine, may I someday find you in a dream from which I shall never awake. Animality, meditation, love. May I become a being who possesses the physical magic of happiness. Meditation, love, animality. May I prowl the woods as king once more. Love, animality, meditation. May the profound quietude impress peace upon my mind. May all these things come to pass.
 
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Yup.   
12:03pm 15/11/2016
  Cart Boy

The doomed sun traces a parabola through the sky.
I am an eximious carriage attendant
Although I prefer to be called “cart boy.”
I wrangle those rogue bastards
That wish to dent cars and provide insurance paydays
For irritated customers who simply wanted a gallon of milk.
The mischievous wind is complicit in this plot,
Respiring across continents to reach the parking lot
Of the neighborhood supermarket.
I am a streak of one,
Solitary and brooding
And wondering why I couldn't have gotten a job
At a café somewhere.
I desperately wish to have a superpower
So I lie supine in my bed
Meditating on a zoological garden.
The moon rises on the shopping center
And I clock out,
Just as I clock out of consciousness
When the calendar flips to the new day.
 
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A poem   
08:54am 06/11/2016
  The New Media

The last great book came out now decades ago,
Telegraphs from Western Union reaching publishers
Regarding sales totals and critical reviews
To be discreetly hidden in top hats along beaches.
Matrilineal volunteerism makes its way to TV
From the ashes of Machu Picchu
In green lumber headquarters.
The gaze of a young guitarist through a window
Pure as the children whose eyes he catches
Tells me that art cannot die;
No, it will rise like the phoenix.
Babies with technology babble in primal syllables
As their parents chatter on the telephone.
The record is skipping now on the hippie phonograph
As long hair is cut and suspicious vocation given up.
It’s the new children who will carry on the narrative
Taken by their ankles and thrust into a world
Where they can send out information through antennae
That project from the heads of the new ants
Who crawl subserviently through tunnels.
Finally we will learn who burned down the gardens
And what happened to the wooden table there.
I will send my soul to you on a fax line.
Then you may do with it what you wish
As I tuck the covers in on my life.
The night comes and the city can be seen from satellite,
Apartment buildings lit up with electricity,
Mysterious citizens carrying out strange nocturnal errands.
 
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Another new poem   
11:21am 31/10/2016
  Into November

What mountebank has deceived the late October trees
Through atmospheric misdirection?
Who has dared to holler from the canyon ledge
A mantra to echo through monastic cliffs?
What mirror deigns to reflect the brook
That drowns all creatures with the reflexes of watery power?
The first victim of the pandemic has perished,
Leaving behind a slab of concrete for flowers.
The mosaic gradually comes into focus.
Fragments of fear fraught farces
Play out in the oneiric theater
In which the velvet curtain is perpetually half drawn.
The author of life is prolific
And poems scroll down the screen
In a paranoid future that could not have been predicted
Even by Kierkegaard.
I have forgotten the next line in the saga that I try to recite from memory
So I must ramble ad libitum
And hope that no one notices.
Your songs speak like an orator from a stage
Attempting to rally the apathetic crowd
And convince them to vote yes on the ballot measure
That would return the fossils to the Pleistocene.
This passion sinks slowly into winter snow.
O Winter… please be honest and true
And do not conceal fibs beneath snowflakes.
If you do this for me I will yet produce words
For all the epic stories we still must live.
 
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Two poems   
01:44pm 29/10/2016
  Superposition

(for Bierke)

In my four door station wagon I have run over the pothole of time.
The suspension now vibrates as axles and wheels
Madly rearrange themselves as matter and antimatter,
Shifting between universes with a sickening jolt.
Quanta of quarks combine to create the cosmos.
My associative frequency finds yours on the plane of space-time
And we deftly evade the black holes that would suck us up
As we sashay past galaxies and nebulae.
I could not bear to live another day without seeing you
And so I will risk vehicular collapse to drive to your door
And kiss you on the cheek.
Centuries apart we reunite
And so simultaneously our hearts are both still and beating
As we at last share an embrace
While the car drives off the cliff
Giving in to the impossible pressure of the bumps in the road
That no one has bothered to patch.

Instinct

There is an instinct that cannot be tamed,
There is an animal mauling the zookeeper
Who has grown complacent and carelessly left a lock open.
The hoax of identity leaves one wondering
About the honesty or fraudulence of identification,
Of testimony in the grand court of all species.
I must rely on poetry to reveal what lies on the other side of the leaf,
What craters exist on the dark side of the moon,
For ordinary cognition comes up short
When complex words dissolve into simple sugars
In the gut of God.
Yes, language is hopelessly complex,
Just like the statues and freeways it has built.
How I would prefer to have no knowledge of engineering!
Examine my soul with a magnifying glass.
If your instruments insist that I am human,
Then current life must foreshadow future avatars,
Just as the past surely hinted at this one.
My breed has been poached into extinction:
How sad to admit that instinct has been tamed after all.
 
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A short poem   
07:50pm 20/10/2016
  Ailuroplegia

It is easier to imagine the hourglass empty
Than to suspect that it does not exist.
Qi fills up throughout the day
From the tombstone of the bedchamber
To the altar of the sundial.
With my cat in my lap I cannot move
So instead I manifest his aura
Until I can feel my own claws retract
And experience the keenest olfactory sensations.
There are worse ways to be incapacitated.
 
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A poem   
09:12am 19/10/2016
  Indian Summer

The autumn sunshine falls down to earth
Doing its best impression of the dead summer,
Like a disgraced angel searching for the comfort of Hades,
Like tire tread gripping the pavement
As the contorted societal car
Speeds around the curves and contours of the universe
With maximum horsepower.
The music doctors brew potions out of sound waves
To cure terminal disease in the lungs and kidneys
Of cats who chase mice around the house,
Symphonies and sonatas for alien instruments
That resemble gourds or crucifers.
Optimistic crickets chirp in vain
But the one note that they constantly produce
Must bend through time,
Following wormholes through the fourth dimension
Until it reappears in summer.
Nobody can predict where we will be then.
Perhaps we will be walking down city streets with suitcases,
Or maybe wandering a light-speckled forest.
Winter and spring represent the death and rebirth of the world
And it is summer for which it is reborn,
The final spiritual destination for crickets and men.
 
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Don't worry, this poem's in English.   
11:56am 12/10/2016
  Abhandlung über den Steppentiger

A tiger without his whiskers and fur
Is like a tree without its leaves
Naked with wind whistling through its branches,
Wondering if he will always be a shell
Or if one day springtime of the soul will come.
Steadfast autumn presides over a cruel transformation,
Committing grand larceny of happiness.
Snow does its best to conceal the carnage
But we all know what murdered earth lies beneath.
This life is rather jagged, igneous and upending
Despite the attempts of the academics
To neatly pack it up into iambs and trochees.
Phantom tail wagging and gesticulating
And teeth that lack in sharpness,
The tiger longs to break out of his body.
Overturned decisions from the court supernal
Regarding the legitimacy of contemporaneous emotion
Dictate the lifestyle that we may live.
We must both dance all night and bawl our eyes out
While we are still young,
And while words are still tools to describe feelings
Rather than empty vessels
Floating wandering beneath bridges.
 
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A poem   
12:27pm 04/10/2016
  The Secret Handshake and the Spyglass of Madness

The secret handshake of confused humans
Consists of logical posturing,
Of et ceteras and ergos.
Delusions are what keep life meaningful, after all,
No matter how voluminous the brains
That would calculate their falsity,
No matter how expansive the minds
That would detect their disingenuity,
No matter how deep the souls
That would fathom their convenience
At the betrayal of veriloquy.
Mythos has a way of surviving every flood,
Paper going unburnt even through the most vicious fire.
To cast doubt upon the crystal mirror
Is one of the many cruel tricks of of the moon
As it slowly sets behind the escarpments
Leaving only the wicked sun to bathe the valley
In deceitful light.
The repetition of the bell tolling to announce the new hour
Strikes my skull like a drumbeat
For some mad waltz or tango,
Human and animal forms not so much dancing as wrestling
In a grand tussle that can only be seen
Through the spyglass of madness.
What use is sanity when it denies its beholder
The only true form he has ever known?
To hell with the foolish moon.
I stare into the mirror of my own making,
For to trust in its reflection is my only option.
 
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A poem based on something my friend Robert said   
08:29pm 26/09/2016
  Spiritual Vivisection

“God is not Dr. Moreau, for pity’s sake!” -Robert Milby

One must learn to embrace silence rather than fear it,
A deep breath taken to clear the lungs
And closed eyes tracing the vague tan murmurings
On the back of the eyelids.
The darkness will then settle like dust upon the antique bureau
In the office of the insane doctor
Who has been in charge of reincarnation
Through all the epochs of the human island.
He created wights to populate his realm,
Monsters that are half beast and half man.
Are you one of them?
Is your soul dressed in orange and black tiger stripes
Or does your spirit don a gray wolf hide at midnight?
Solitary but social, charismatic megafauna,
We slip in and out of civility.
Someday the wounds will heal and the stitches will dissolve
But for now we possess most freakish quintessences
Not sure whether we belong in the city plazas
Or deep in a jungle under the canvas of leaves
Where we can truly exist as the beasts we are.
 
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Two related poems   
11:07pm 20/09/2016
  Alias

Oh, to be a son of Gaia!
Letters combine to spell out secret appellations
On official paper in a bank vault,
Words that are more apropos to imaginary courtrooms and prisons
Than to coffee shops and bookstores.
I exercise my veto on the bill on my desk
That has painted me as a human,
For the meaning of humanity
Seems as vague as a sunset seen through stained glass
In the cathedral of history.
Life energy has to come from somewhere
But its origins supersede my android ancestors,
Pooling its power from animalia
And ghostly presences.
I will live in connection with the various stages of the world’s play
That host thespian therianthropy.
Then may I become a son of Gaia after all.

Misplaced Souls

Words drift in and out of languages
Interpreted extempore by wild beasts.
What a shame that human strivings must take place during the day
For the night is full of mysteries dark and beautiful.
Heroes and villains with guns and stirrups
Duke it out on horses on movie screens
But when the reel runs out
The fog rises over the swamp
And carries with it every hope and dream that has floated through time
Notching years and decades and centuries
As it tries to find a home in some creature’s soul.
Where has Nature put these souls?
Does She know what kind of container is suitable?
Might She be distracted by the subliminal telepathy of the faeries
As She goes about this placement?
Somehow I have ended up bipedal with these twenty digits.
This soul, this soul that has lived a thousand lives…
Only now does it dare to peek out from under the feral blanket.
Someday it will belong on this plane, but not for now.
At this very moment I shift back and forth between realms.
Peace is hiding in a nook beneath the staircase.
Some days if I squint hard enough I can find it.
 
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