Behold a butterfly, wings banter with the
Stuck to a milkweed and off to Adam’s
Voracious caterpillar to bring her back to
Chrysalis, humbly, our hope that bliss will
Spontaneously written in one sitting on June 30. I had been reciting Yeats a lot to myself, mainly “Sailing to Byzantium” and “The Second Coming.” The reader may note a slight poetic license with line 14.
As bad as it is
For me, it’s only
Too much for you
& so I keep my mouth
Shut really, about all that
& stay mostly to myself
Not to spread it. One or
Two friends is enough,
With antibodies. It only
Depresses me in others
Who may lack my resources
Of people they love,
A mutation against suicide,
The genius IQ, truly
I am blessed to reconstruct
The contexts of its horrors
Over & over
And somewhat keep control:
An expedient murder here & there…
A concentration camp at the right time…
That leaves me normal
In solitudes of pain
Or is that “cliff-ku”? I have several of these oddities scattered around my archive and will post them here as I find them. Sometimes they lead to longer poems. You can check out the Vermont-based Poemshape for some of the finest examples of haiku in English.
By a thorny path, lifetime to a pasture
The sun in me, winter shadows soul
Mow that lawn, scalp those weeds to grass
From ten-year-old hunter to ten-year-old Savonarola. Another sporadic Poem of the Id—revenge in this case–paradoxically in response to perceived agencies of systemic civil and instinctual disorder. Pot/kettle?
When I was ten so many people were begging for survival
I nipped it in the bud and let imagination work instead
I fed the Warren Court through a wood chipper, as if,
By dream, the red cartilaginous spray would save us.
But really not, and for 30 years I studied where its minds
Came from and ours, in Yale’s best Constitution classes and so forth
And so forth. For 30 years I did, with these brainy termites’ brains
Take up, the slather on and clutter up, in theory’s wiles but
Still in vain to find a wisdom to excel
The simple perspicacity of ten.
The fire lane sedge
Divides the woods
A bending branch unites:
He’s tramped all day
In hunting gear
For something live to take
When a squirrel jumps to,
And crosses there and
Pauses in his sight
And ponders what this
Other is, with shotgun
A boy of 10 is what he is
His Christmas gift embraced
A trigger click from proving
True a killer among men.
But alone so long he shoos it on
As if himself in fate or
The incarnation of a life
Somewhere else a friend.
I’m 65 years old and got the first
Piece of pussy in my life tonight.
Visual but effective, for both of us.
She said her best ever. I said
The feeling is mutual. There was a “slight”
Generational divide, to be polite,
But God said:
“I understand. All the lost time
And she was when your mind was right,”
Adding, uber Educator that He is,
“The visual praxis can only help you
See My face more clearly— ‘Transfer of Learning’—
To think ‘God’ and see God green in glory.
Spring! In the dead of winter. Or in old age.
Good for you!”
And God was right—I do see Him, and Spring,
Even readers in the room this morning
And two are quite amused but—horrifically–
One is raising a very vivid knife! Why?
I see that too. And soon impending death.
Your answer, God, to terror?
“Simple,” He replies. “Tomorrow night get
Yet another piece while in the shower
And see her scratch marks on your back.
See! See! See!
You’ll get used to it in time.
You’re that good.”
there is a place where we all agree example:
i agree with almost everyone at the mill pond
and they agree with me. they will share bait with me,
warn me about a sunbathing moccasin, and save me drowning. of course
i look like i belong at a mill pond—with my scraggly beard, cane pole
and chaw—and one simple pleasure is both the beginning and end of our content and our common cause. as the noon sun thaws our winter blood we are hardly cynical about motives. what does “cynical” mean? what are “motives”?
it goes without saying the new york times
and washington post are not for sale here.
but if they were another narrative might prevail our place and relation
our “consciousness” as it were
i’d look more suspicious no doubt—
a white supremacist, a misogynist,
my joy in the catfish they catch
patronizing and paternalistic. and i
have my suspicions when I graze
a hornets nest and my swirling dervish
sends some riotous with guffaws.
“dance, cracker! dance!”
until! the wall street journal is for sale here
and we are all global losers again
which we are, taking a break from the soros plantation
and our last stop to oblivion.
I had a choice to be prolific
A life of living in my thoughts
Versus hearing people talk
And training tact in my response.
Redneck with a cosmo brain:
Too much risk I’d temporize
If daily, daily death’s your song
A chancy hole to dig I’d say,
The expectation of a cult
To muse yourself to early grave
Into a hole and no way out
Into the ranks of Keats and Plath.
So why not mix it up a bit,
Add some practicality, bullshit
At the corner store, work two
Jobs to pay the rent, take
Opie on a fishing trip? Is not
One poem sufficient bow
To honor death Her Majesty?
I wrote her one she asked for
Ten, I wrote her ten she asked for
Life. Opie called, “The trout are in!”
“Oh.” I said, my tone aloof,
“Her Majesty has other plans.”
“Then,” said Opie, in a huff,
“Tell that bitch to kiss your ass.”
“Anyway, Opie, you should know
There’s always Barney, Goober, Floyd…”
“Opie. Opie. Pardon me.
Her Majesty is at the door.
Her Majesty has other plans.”
This is the place of the dark limb
Inside the dead winter.
Nothing lights its blear eyes
But gin and gin’s deliria—
A spring pond, a cypress for shade
A perch pulled from water
Like a new brain.
The girls would razz “You never smile”
Though warmth was in his eyes
Alright. And when they sought
To peg his type they dubbed him “Bubble Boy”
For kicks. “What isolates you,
Bubble Boy,” they’d laugh.
Is it love?—we have a little cure for that
To bring you back to planet us
And kissed him on the lips and cheek.
“Oh,” said Bubble Boy with stolid face
And not a trace of smile.
“Well, we give up,” the girls said, flustered.
“Time to pass you to the boys.”
The boys piled on with whip and fists
“Bubble Boy! You cut that preacher act!
Though later in the hallway, sheepish,
One approached him guilty faced.
“Bubble Boy,” he said, with pain,
“I didn’t mean to hit you hard.
Maybe it would help to know
If you are gay, so am I.”
“Thank you, “Bubble Boy replied.
“But at the moment unprofound.”
Everyone was flustered now—
The girls, the boys, the teachers too
“Bubble Boy, your stuck-up prude!
By what right this holy perch!”
But Bubble Boy stayed cool to it:
“Death is not a hula hoop. Some
Toys take longer to outgrow.
The time will come when only I
Feel your life or love you more,”