I did not seek it out; it came to me
not born with claws or canines for the fray
that ushers in the prized celebrity.
[I marvel at such fortune to this day.]
Make no mistake: I do not mourn the loss
that cost me some I once believed were friends.
The thing itself? I wouldn’t give a toss!
I took it as a means to certain ends.
And what were they, the reader well might ask?
Unlocking naïve minds to unframed truth!
I set myself a life-affirming task
[Yes, I was quite the gadfly in my youth.]
So draw on love to never draw a blank
For fame’s a witless joke, a hollow prank.
Fond I am of fresia – love the scent
while lilac sends me back to salad days;
lilies seem to make me think of lent
[although their perfume puts me in a daze]
Still if I were forced to chose just one,
then peonies I’d pick – so full and fat!
I love them much because they’re overdone –
[and fragrant where most roses have gone flat]
They dress like fairies dancing in a grove;
colors like chiffon draped on chiffon
especially the palest pink and mauve,
like sunset skies that just go on and on…
full of secrets, these plush peonies –
and what’s more, they even speak Chinese!
Now cite for me the place that it begins –
parse the peas and carrots please; and then
the creepy-crawly things, and things with fins
and when you’re through with that, consider men!
No, really, it’s a joke to will us there,
beyond the borders of all else that breathes
[we’ve long been far less vital than the air]
and flowers growing wild surpass all wreaths;
true nature lives in us and we in her;
we are not separate from the scheme of things;
it’s skin as much goosedown, beaver fur –
your precious stones were precious before rings.
It’s Mother Nature brought about your birth;
we are not foreign bodies here on Earth.
How many are hunting & striving to find their place –
racoons in scrimmage beneath parkway’s overpass
as well as possibly half of the human race…
and would you believe my sweater is in this class ?
Sustains itself on doorknobs and lamps in its search –
travel buff with more than a case of jet lag;
kitchen chair served well for awhile as perch
then, somehow, it wound up on top of the laundry bag !
But if I washed it, I fear it might even crumble;
it’s threadbare now – and, ahem, strategically so!
I know it can’t take a soak much less any tumble;
should have morphed into a dustcloth ages ago –
but I so admire how much it is like myself,
resisting each cupboard and drawer, closet and shelf.
A pillow drenched with tears in solitude
is common among those who have not found
a mate to share or solace every mood
[as if two ever shared such common ground]
Some few choose A and others go for B
most never choose but take what they can get
feel forced to live alone not fancy free
or called to dinner like a household pet.
In secret, many ache to be alone
yet travel as if they were on the Ark,
while others find no one to share their home
or take an evening stroll with ’round the park.
Those ties that bind are not unlike a noose
but most don’t have the spine to just hang loose
All gods are idols, whatever the size or setting
be they of gold or simply the plaster kind
or more important, by concepts – language abetting –
idols that loom in the over-armed monkey’s mind.
When you teach a man to bow low to a dog-headed rock
or treat stone figures as if they could possible feel
or care what befalls the shepherd and all of his flock
then it won’t be long ’til the same man is willing to kneel
and pray to a thing he can’t even see or touch –
buy a pig a poke…or a cat in a shopping bag –
and surely it won’t take all that flaming much
’til he prostrates himself before bankers waving a flag.
You believe in Jesus ? Well I got the word from The Jew –
The Kingdom is closer than that: it’s deep within YOU
THE NOODLE who would tally love in fractions
will find in me slight negative reactions –
I’ll bet he’s yet another standing pisser
[with stubble sproutin’ daily on his kisser]
a heart is not some citrus grown in sections
it’s at a race course one backs up selections
parlays bets and hedges all around
[love gamed like this is better lost than found]
what? save a slice for later in the day?
this isn’t love; it’s just erotic play;
parsimonious types arn’t worth a fig –
where love is freely given, hearts grow big
NEVER give all the heart, for love
Will hardly seem worth thinking of
To passionate women if it seem
Certain, and they never dream
That it fades out from kiss to kiss;
For everything that’s lovely is
But a brief, dreamy. Kind delight.
O never give the heart outright,
For they, for all smooth lips can say,
Have given their hearts up to the play.
And who could play it well enough
If deaf and dumb and blind with love?
He that made this knows all the cost,
For he gave all his heart and lost.
In the wake of our ship, blindin’ white ruffles fly
like some petticoat fiesta in old Vera Cruz.
The horizon’s a gash between ocean and sky
[ Is the mail simply slow ? Has she sent me no news ? ]
I think love’s an anchor – perhaps it’s a boat
Or a shore – or a mast – what the hell do I know ?
Or it could be a fish – maybe bait that can float. . .
Or the pain that just follows wherever I go.
I rummage in the evil words have wrought
in hopes of maybe salvaging the good
but not as master – what a silly thought –
not even William Shakespeare ever could;
this said, I’m not resigned to being slave
and have a deep belief in quips and tickles
and looney letters dancing as they shave
the beard off all the prickly pompous pickles;
let’s cut up daft decrees – make them a game
and rhymes exchange for pious judgements too
let limerick-led shenanigans take aim
at orthodox excess of every hue –
but always more for fun and less for spite
’til words have made us dizzy with delight
My time is running out, of that I’m sure
and with the sentence comes a sense of dread –
no, not of going poof [what can endure?]
but rather that I’ll leave with stuff unsaid.
I never gave a fig for poetry –
wrote flaming diatribes when in my prime
content with prose right up to fifty-three
when – hey, what’s this? – I started spouting rhyme.
I wrote of pointless nonsense – like the sound
of rain on rooftops and of gulls that screech,
the silence of the snow upon the ground
and answers that were always out of reach.
And now I’d like to disembowel all norms
and rewrite rants in measured, metered forms