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Poetry

Charisma I   Charisma II   Charisma III Day Break

   


 ALPHABET POEM

Anchors answers in the Andes

Blesses and banks the Bible books

Catches and commands the captains and the choirs

Corrals the cantankerous cow

Deadens the dubious desire

Designs and divines the dancers’ destinies

Evens the evil that veers toward Egypt

Finishes first

Greets and garners the grasshopper’s glory

Grows as great as Gilgamesh's grief

Heartens the has-been

Helps and heals the hurting

Humbles the haughty

Ignites the inner icicle

Jazzes the jukebox jabber

Kisses the king’s kids

Lassoes the lions’ liar

Licks the leaven of loaves

Marries the mad and the mighty

Moves Moses to mountains

Navigates the naked news

Owns the ordinary oatmeal

Proclaims the power of the Prince of Peace

Queries the quirks of quotas

Races the rain in Rome

Razors the azure desire

Scoops scatterbrains from scolding skies

Shivers and shakes Fascists to shambles

Travels through time to teach T-Rex

Unearths undulations in the undersoil

Vacuums the virgin’s vase

Wipes and whisks wild wings and whiskers

Warms and woos the wildcat woman

Whirls through weeds and waterfalls

Yields to young yeast

Zaps the zany zones

–Day 11/04

***


CANTO III

Owls’ eyes were burnt umber

by the red barn door

where the white horse whinnied,

frogs jumped through wet grass to a water lily pond

and crickets chirped

Grandma and Grandpa sat on lawn chairs

by the white house with white picket fence . . .

Peace that transcends understanding

Never shall the night enfold her arms around me

never shall I submit to Haiti light bulb ululations

Maybe he is a normal guy,

not some van Gogh swirling paint, suicidal genius,

Maybe a genius can be sane and sober

(Don’t tell the National Enquirer)

He'll shoot the white stag

Or he will live quietly working with his hands,

his life a footnote to a footnote in an ancient tome,

"The History of the 21st Century"

when the twin towers fell,

fell on the rescuers,

and Hades leased more chasms

to accommodate the damned

generated by James Baker’s circuitry, warped

like rattlesnakes tangled in cacti

Simper, simple girl, you showed me your curves

you have flaunted, and I am undaunted

My lust is bridled

like Dante on his virgilian trek

like Shakespeare shaping sharp lines for Global ears

like the young American who knocked

that a Blunt should open

You gave some help to Jimmy Joyce

Found your own classic voice,

Your generosity more Christian than the Christians,

like Gandhi, most Christian of the century.

East Taylor Street his Wasteland

Propositions and rejections

Suppositions and injections

Give and take, recluse and public man,

Separated by tacit consent,

He went to Oregon and spent

Ten hours daily disking from a D-4 Cat seat

Not Thurber’s catbird seat by any means,

Marilyn’s cello played the Badlands,

Strange harmony in ‘76,

Pukwana South Dakota's turkey race--

He and she took the long and windaway road to Bethel,

House of God, Tommy, Timmy, Stacey,

Middle America, where he would have liked to belong.

Too many brain cells survived the drugs and drink,

Trouble is, you get in trouble when you think,

Cogito ergo sum Descartes

(derived from Saint Augustine)

Chicago philosophy class taught by a Jesuit priest,

Young Jewish virgin woman held his hand,

Walked the South Side with him,

Honored was he to have her company a season:

The Frenchman held the ball of wax,

The Jesuit stretched him,

If he can doubt his existence, he must exist:

Bathroom graffiti summed it up:

to be is to do

to do is to be

do be do be do, Sinatra

unto glass-eyed Sartre being nothing,

meaning is what you make it

kill a man when the sun feels right

and finger’s on the trigger

(Camus, suicide by car, another soul with no exit)

Indeed we are strangers in a strange land

as Abraham and Paul explained,

the strange land strangled Camus,

who stopped too soon:

Hamlet’s question is near but not the center;

the central question is: Who's Jesus Christ?

Liar, lunatic, or Lord?

No woman enough to sacrifice his

Salvation for

(let the troubadours and Dylan sing romantic refrains)

like Esau trading his inheritance

for a porridge bowl

Levitation is sorcery, black art,

Not for the pilgrims who progress in light,

Better to memorize the Psalms by heart

Than let the demons carry you in flight.

We become what we hate,

Become what we behold

(Ken Heyman and Margaret Mead),

Heyman’s huge hands held his prints,

Gave him hope when New York

Had pinned him down and made him cry uncle

No not the Man from U.N.C.LE.,

Cold War action, now crime scenes and terrorists

keep the tele-hypnotized masses

pliable as barbed wire with pliers

"keep you doped with religion and sex and tv"

You are responsible for what you see

The gifts you have, use for God’s glory

In heaven you’ll have more potent stories

Dive through holes in Henry Moore’s stones

And count the corals on a Caribbean reef

While Blackbeard digs for treasure hidden

Beneath a condo tower that overlooks the beach

The City on a Hill becomes a slum in a swamp

Murmur of maternal lamentation

Cometh not near White House ears

Years blur, words are vapor,

blood stains soils,

corporate coffers grow and swell

like organs of frat boys who view Maxim,

widows weep,

generals earn stars,

journalists take Pulitzers,

tanks rumble past ruins,

depleted uranium defiles the air;

more graves are dug,

dry bones, broken nails, soiled hands, devouring bugs.

Blackbeard wears tailored suits and Macy’s ties

lifts weights at the health club

waxes his Hummer on Sundays,

The tears of rage do pirouettes on stage

for television cameras, unblinking eyes,

The coffins and the graves

grip the unknown soldier’s feet

In a younger age

Jack and Bobby gave hope, sweet

lift up the red white and blue

red for foreign blood

white for skin color you defend

blue for color of your blood

Caesar’s conquests continue unabated

everywhere he’s hated

Brittania used to rule the seas

Before Lennon sang the song

and disappeared beneath the waves,

then took four bullets one hard night by Central Park–

One less voice for peace and sanity.

Put the dark skins on their knees,

O Imperial Conqueror,

your monuments will crumble,

thy days are numbered,

all flesh is grass,

Victor and vanquished together will kneel at the throne

How to answer Him? How to atone?

–Day 9/04

 


 

 

09/10/2008

 

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