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Aug 2018 · 3.3k
Royal Blue Unique
Brian Oarr Aug 2018
"Boy were we wrong!  We're the oddball.  We're the freaks." --- Dr. Michio Kaku

We looked at trillions of those stars and knew,
that somewhere out there was another Planet Blue.
Those were not canals we saw on Mars;
optical illusions, lensed figment memoirs.

Stare into trillions, space mind overwhelms.
Rimbaud entrapped in countless ethereal realms.
Not the goal of evolution, merely happenstance,
the search for elsewhere leads a merry dance.

Planets a dime a dozen, yet no Goldilocks Zone
produces signals bearing SETI transient tones.
Birds more subtly impact our lives,
than do the aliens our universe provides.
Jun 2016 · 453
To Be Human
Brian Oarr Jun 2016
Gratitude always falls short of intention,
leaving only a fiction of our meaning,
when silence descends blinking neon emotions
and a void, rather than a hoped for event horizon of joy.

But, it's how you transcend that shimmers humanity,
makes doubt ephemera and avoids conclusion.
No longer a skulker in spiky weeds,
you emerge radiant in a woman's wisdom.

Likely, it comes from a mother's nurture,
but the solitude of silence, these your father's whispers.
So, you've escaped both superficial and awkward,
arisen the womb unscathed --- Proceed to middle age!

Though perception often baffles understanding,
human genomes revel in such challenge.
Brian Oarr Feb 2016
Women who sleep on stones are like
brick houses that squat alone in cornfields.
They look weatherworn, solid, dusty,
torn screens sloughing from the window frames.
But at dusk a second-story light is always burning.

Used to be I liked nothing more
than spreading my blanket on high granite ledges
that collect good water in their hollows.
Stars came close without the trees
staring and rustling like damp underthings.

But doesn't the body foil what it loves best?
Now my hips creak and their blades are tender.
I can't rest on my back for fear of exposing
my gut to night creatures who might come along
and rip it open with a beak or hoof.

And if I sleep on my belly, pinning it down,
my ******* start puling like baby pigs
trapped under their slab of torpid mother.
Dark passes as I shift from side to side
to side, the blood pooling just above the bone.

Women who sleep on stones don't sleep.
They see the stars moving, the sunrise, the gnats
rising like a hairnet lifted from a waitress's head.
The next day they're sore all over and glad
for the ache: that's how stubborn they are.
It goes without saying that Lucia Perillo is my favorite poet.
After reading this 1996 poem from her second collection " The Body Mutinies", I'm certain you'll understand why. ---
Brian Oarr Dec 2015
Durgan
for J.M.

At Durgan waves are black as cypresses,
clear as the water of a wishing well,
caressing the stones with smooth palms, looking
into the pools as enigmatic eyes
peer into mirrors, or music echoes
out of a wood the waking dreams of day,
blind eyelids lifting to a coloured world.

Now with averted head your living ghost
walks in my mind, your shadow leans
over the half-door of dream; your footprint lies
where gulls alight; shade of a shade, you laugh.
But separate, apart, you are alive:
you have not died, therefore I am alone.

Like birds, cottages white and grey
alert on rocks are gathered, or low
under branches, dark but not desolate;
shells move over sand, or seaweed gleams
with their clear yellow, as tides recede.
Serene in storm or eloquent in sunlight
sombre Durgan where no strangers come
awaits us always, but is always lost:
we are separate, sharing no secrets, each alone;
you will listen no more, now, to the sounding sea.
Oct 2015 · 1.0k
As the Days Decay
Brian Oarr Oct 2015
The rotten fruit shall be shaken* --- W. H. Auden

Do they somehow envision sainthood in the homeless
or extol the virtue of the millions toiling for minimum wage;
see themselves as the feudal overlords of trickle-down,
their enormous profits banquet omelets for the common good?

You know the politics whereof I speak,
the Me, Myself and I of anachronistic yesterdays,
the concave years of soup-kitchens supporting high-rise condos
and batshit crazy presidential candidates admiring selfies.  

I wonder if it's all because they can't reach ******;
impotence and pharmaceuticals which fuel our economy?
A nation moans from the exhaustion of despair with
forgotten cityscapes of odorous blacks and blues.
Brian Oarr Oct 2015
Since those long ago days in Latin class,
I have endeavored to speak your echo, Crystal.
How I longed to be amongst your trusted inner circle!
Alas, I had no voice then to speak these things to you.

Mrs. Tinkler must have sensed my blocked emotions;
always coupled we two to do textual translations.
I deferred and let you be the intellectual leader
feeling wholly given over to being your infatuated scribe.

It was always your property to be simpatico;
you were the giver of kindness and smiles,
your latent brilliance subsumed by outward caring.
What forlorn chance did my jejune heart have?

And now, at length, I can finally speak these things,
trusting in the smiles that touching substance brings.
Written for my high school crush.
Sep 2015 · 516
Quantum Effects on Love
Brian Oarr Sep 2015
So, I got to thinking about solid matter;
all things being held together electromagnetically
by photons of light rallying like tennis *****
between racket atoms of opposite electrical charge.
And I said, "Yup, that's how love works!"

Aren't lovers arrayed in possible simultaneous states
until acted upon by some outside infatuation?
Attraction a moment to moment subatomic entanglement?
There's your spooky action at a distance!
Perhaps, the universe really does play dice with human hearts.

     Random fluctuation palpitations in a quantum space,
     probabilities of possibility tending toward embrace.
Jul 2015 · 745
Modern Drama 101
Brian Oarr Jul 2015
"In Modern Drama we turn a critical eye
   into the conditions of real life and morality." --- Arlen Rambush


           Modern Drama 101

Her life had become an Ibsen scenario,
cloaked, as it was, in furtive AOL chat rooms,
seeking the romance no longer orbed in marriage,
rather to be panned from the internet wellspring.

It wasn't so much inconstancy, as it was whimsy;
more a channeling of Deneuve, than profiling Gabler.
And she found they flocked to her,
pigeons to be shooed away, should they get too close.

Soul of the house, everything to husband and family,
yet, it was in cyber tryst where she flourished,
that informed the powerful intellect at intervals
with mother and a carte blanche ingénue.

It's possible she sought to reform them,
tear them down --- or no --- it was conquest.
It was not she that needed men,
it was she that absorbed them in hedonistic pleasure.
Brian Oarr May 2015
One slept soundly in those Adirondack nights,
blanketed in youthful exuberance from
acidic rain pollution heralding the Crack of Doom.

The fish we caught still fit for human consumption,
the marble statues not yet melting in city parks,
nor green pastures distributed with a browning blot.

No, time was far from reconciled with nature,
the child in us still curled up at the center,
our songs still clarion beneath a complicated sky.

You might say our mountains had a low grade fever,
that there were generous shadows sunning across our chest,
but, Midwest chimneys bilged us with their discharge.

I can't go back, reality too painful a guardian,
every mountain bivouac of boyhood long diseased.
Acid rain has killed the over 1000 lakes of upstate New York and with them my heart.
Brian Oarr Mar 2015
that I ran into my friend Vic was a good thing
because we leaned on the shadowy cars and he gave me
some new words:  Faith,  Reconciliation,  Continuance.
But driving home, they began to fill me up with grief
so I tossed them out the window like a finished cigarette.

And I went down to talk to the creek, who was filled with a grief
of her own, a grief of too much water having fallen
in too few days.  And she had me dash my empty beer bottles
against her tortured stones that night, had me make
the shrill cry of a hawk as I let each one fly.
And with each crash she gave me back my former words,
my old & tarnished words, the fs and ts
honed sharp enough to really hurt somebody bad.   And sharp
enough to hack a trench into my chest, so the water could roll in
like freshened blood, roaring the way it roars against
the creekstones:  girl you're alive, alive, alive . . .

I call the creek a woman because she had a woman's wisdom,
a woman's bitter tears, even had the housewife's old cliché
about how all love ends in either death, or separation
from those we love.  And the creek made me remember
how they want you to believe the only way off the meathook
is by dying first.
She said: *whatever you do, whatever you do
don't let yourself be the one who dies first.
Taken from Lucia Perillo's first collection of poems, "Dangerous Life"

Northeastern University Press --- copywright 1989
Brian Oarr Jan 2015
She caught on to algebraic notation, as if,
she'd been born in the 64 square matrix,
whose precise logic spoke her mother tongue

They discussed, at length, the fianchetto formation ...
... how the defensive fortress of the castled King
was akin to the monarch's personal Masada

... how the power of the doubled Rooks and Queen
in the latent lance of Alekhine's Engine
gored the other position in thermodynamic dissipation

When he pointed out the cloaked irony of
Queen being strongest, but King paramount,
she shrugged, as if it were to be expected

Shaking hands, agreeing to the draw,
she smiled, joy precipitating from her face,
knowing there could be a world without losers
Jessica and Grandpa play chess
Oct 2014 · 618
“Beyond the Last Lamp"
Brian Oarr Oct 2014
“Beyond the Last Lamp”
                            (Near Tooting Common)


By Thomas Hardy

                                 I

While rain, with eve in partnership,
Descended darkly, drip, drip, drip,
Beyond the last lone lamp I passed
                 Walking slowly, whispering sadly,
                 Two linked loiterers, wan, downcast:
Some heavy thought constrained each face,
And blinded them to time and place.


                                II


The pair seemed lovers, yet absorbed
In mental scenes no longer orbed
By love’s young rays. Each countenance
                 As it slowly, as it sadly
                 Caught the lamplight’s yellow glance,
Held in suspense a misery
At things which had been or might be.


                                III


When I retrod that watery way
Some hours beyond the droop of day,
Still I found pacing there the twain
                 Just as slowly, just as sadly,
                 Heedless of the night and rain.
One could but wonder who they were
And what wild woe detained them there.


                                IV


Though thirty years of blur and blot
Have slid since I beheld that spot,
And saw in curious converse there
                 Moving slowly, moving sadly
                 That mysterious tragic pair,
Its olden look may linger on—
All but the couple; they have gone.


                V


Whither? Who knows, indeed. ... And yet
To me, when nights are weird and wet,
Without those comrades there at tryst
                 Creeping slowly, creeping sadly,
                 That lone lane does not exist.
There they seem brooding on their pain,
And will, while such a lane remain.
Were you to ask me, "What is your favorite poem?", it would be this one. This poem haunts me, as it once haunted Hardy.
Sep 2014 · 371
Coincidental Drift
Brian Oarr Sep 2014
Through the airport window pane
isolated, I watched the jet
traverse the field in silent shimmering motion.
My vagrant gaze remained
fixed upon the infinite horizon
long after the shadowy
plane had passed from view.
This seemed to me to parallel
my motionless furtive feelings,
as after one I've loved
has migrated in another season.

It was not long after this
that she re-entered the room,
bathed in the murmur of
alluring fragrance which
quickly drew my mind from
the solitude of thought to
a sensual appreciation of her perfume.
How easily she drew my mind astray
from pleasant thought of you and yesterday.
I recalled how earlier this morning,
as she lay neither asleep, nor awake,
but somewhere in between,
I had tried to touch her outstretched hand,
yet, uncannily she had withdrawn it.
The smoke that wafted above our bed then
was the only pervading reality and
not the Mona Lisa smile on her face,
nor the emptiness of my longing hand.

She's said, She's ready ---
--- that her bags are packed ---
and shouldn't we be going?
Yes, Yes I suppose it's time.

And a wind howling in my brain recalled,
I'd either been here once before or
seen it etched upon an empty sky.
Brian Oarr Sep 2014
You would not come with me
through constellations of Jack-in-the-Pulpit,
your reasons shrouded in obscurity.
I went there once to pray ---
Did I tell you? ---
I spied a grey squirrel
gnawing a cherished butternut
in a fury of drunken hunger;
forgot at once my prayers.

You went instead, alone
to the Kingdom of the Mushroom.
I sealed my mouth
afraid to enter there.
You saw violent phosphorous rivers and
vivid galloping colors,
that were of mystical internal origin.

We might have eaten
vine-ripe strawberries and
drunk cold mountain water,
that gushed from the mouth of
the cave under the cliff.

Perhaps, like me you were afraid,
terrified by florid fields and familiar female.
How sad ---
Sometimes I am so dense ---
I should have told you,
*I went there in the distance
as a girl.
Aug 2014 · 1.5k
Their Hour Is Their Eternity
Brian Oarr Aug 2014
Beware the **** woman who thirsts for admiration;
She's apt to take up the violin with zeal,
Or keep a parrot as a sign of independence.
Her envious heart makes treacherous her words
To pretty women with their petty self-idolatry.

Did Marie Currie suffer meekly the debutante?
Was "Little Women" a Louisa May ambiguity?
The **** woman burns monopoly on praise,
Like coals shimmering in a furnace,
A night without neon unthinkable.
Aug 2014 · 563
Burghers of Calais
Brian Oarr Aug 2014
Heroic in the face of fate,
nooses cinched about the nape,
ransomed at the city's gate,
sackcloth their adorning drape.

Bearing keys to England's King,
the six against a town compared.
Bad omens that their death may bring,
thus the burghers' lives were spared.
Aug 2014 · 632
Nutured Futility
Brian Oarr Aug 2014
Time alone is the ultimate conqueror.
It wears down great men and empires alike.
So too it withers the wildflower;
all break before Aggressor-Time.

The hot sun burns into my turned back.
I thought I'd taste the asphalt for a while.
A begging thumb moves faster than a running fool,
but the sun has baked the asphalt to my feet.

Every northern town worn down by Aggressor-Time
awaits the final blown of urban renewal;
and pop-art will decorate the city streets,
where Aggressor-Time has chosen to leave a slum.

Still, the taste of asphalt and the smell of gasoline
carry me beyond these thoughts
and I run from Time, that sadist,
a shimmering mirage just down the highway.

Resting at night, there's always a bar
and a girl upon a stool, who'll listen for a drink.
Kiss her, love her, then run with the dawning sun.
Beware!  For Time creeps up on you at night.

Broad expanses are diminished by the asphalt,
so too your memories lurking in the forests.
But that which you left behind awaits you,
Time, like the rings of Saturn, has no end.

Savor your victory Aggressor-Time!
Your pestle has ground down mind and body,
only calcified bone left in the mortar,
that futilely defied your crushing weight.
Brian Oarr Aug 2014
Seafood stew
A basil, saffron brew
Sea Robin, Congre, Scorpion Fish

Pernod provides a hint of flavor licorice
Vegetables and shellfish help complete the dish

For authentic travel to Marseille
Ambrosia's put in play
Bouillabaisse
Aug 2014 · 744
Breaking the Fourth Wall
Brian Oarr Aug 2014
My first sense of the aversion raised by Frost,
Walls swelled under, yet, I could not exhaust
The barriers confronted on life's twisted path.
Too enervating loosing one's sole ****** wrath,
I pierce the wall that poets have not crossed
And speak to you, my audience, in verse,
Trusting the directed words that I asperse
Will convey the meaning hoped to impart,
Even more, some verbal beauty from my art,
Into which, fair reader, you elatedly immerse.
Gratified, I, the poet, have but you to thank,
The wall of separation loses one more plank,
Between us communication is not lost,
Better that understanding be dispersed.

We speak and therefore are, Descartes,
Worth much more than gold or any cost.
Aug 2014 · 533
Turning Revolt into Style
Brian Oarr Aug 2014
Flickering in the wind, like a pale candle
left on the windowsill quite by accident,
she lights our world in words
that stutter and stammer,
but never fail to show her uncertain path.
She thrives in ****** exaggeration,
and yet, through our misunderstanding,
the prescience of her thought becomes clear.
There are many, who need
never answer to the title of poet;
you will not find the name Lane amongst them,
for there is much in her madness to draw us in.
Brian Oarr Aug 2014
I peer behind
a tattered paperback
in hopes to glimpse
her satin lingerie,
praying my laundry's
spin cycle runs
on molasses,
rather than quarters.
Phantom of the Laundromat,
got to get a life!
Mar 2014 · 1.0k
A Man Out of Time
Brian Oarr Mar 2014
" I was not looking for a cage
       In which to mope in my old age." --- W H Auden

Turning sixty-five is not without its pleasures,
though the parameters of youth are rendered void.
You discover illusions are become a virtual reality,
a chimera you never outlived whose core is unmalleable.

So, one finds solace in their granddaughter,
who is unshackled by your paradoxes,
who presupposes only links to the obtainable.
And yet, she loves her "silly grandpa".

Old age is unexpected and doubt arises in the doctrine of wisdom,
a daily glass of prune juice becoming regiment.
Yet, granddaughters can connect the dots,
and, just maybe, afford us that second chance.
Brian Oarr Feb 2014
Reconnoitering each day from Zuccotti Park toward Wall Street,
they are the ensemble of the jobless, the homeless, the leaderless.
Twisted Brothers singing, "We're Not Gon'na Take It Anymore!",
the Nameless faces of democracy overcoming inertial rest,
demanding that equity of fortune be restored and the unjust be tried,
the living corpus of defiant non-cake eaters,
as naturally disordered as blowing leaves or drifting sands.

From lofts above the privileged sip flutes of champagne and jeer,
mocking the throngs beneath like Roman overlords,
while a daily pall of silence entombs Washington,
as if the watchman of the world has gone on holiday.

Do not shirk in your efforts, Brothers of the Street,
your numbers grow each day nurtured by your poverty.
You have subsumed the high ground and conscience of our nation.
Dec 2013 · 694
Standing in the Shadow
Brian Oarr Dec 2013
Brethren skulking from the daylight shadows,
we watched other guys **** up to chicks,
offering to trade their Beatles bubble gum cards;
lying about how much they dug "Love Me Do".
***** Stones fans, we snickered every time
the sycophants lauded Ringo over Pete Best;
stared in disbelief at enraptured female fainting
on Ed Sullivan's really-big Sunday show.

Displaying our leathers, we were anything but Fab;
Brian Epstein would have deemed us scrofulous,
a given that nobody's daughter would marry us.
Back then, chicks were rated by putting-out,
not how many texts backed up on their cell phone.
No one really gave a thought to "the British Invasion",
nor if our lot in life would "Not Fade Away".
Dec 2013 · 757
Where the Sidewalk Ends
Brian Oarr Dec 2013
We have become a nation of Tennessee fainting goats,
muscles freezing in the panic of social discord,
poised on the cusp of dread, eyeing a mass grave.

In the end no one really dies, the only dilemma being unpardonable
poverty, needless hunger and children born with drug addiction,
pawns in a chess game of life lacking raison d'etre.

And shall I live my span leaving no mark upon history?
What occlusion obstructs human decency in this land of riches,
barricades the impassable gulf, as if echoing a distant waterfall?

I have walked this sidewalk to where it ends and seen the destitute.
How the poet in me shudders and like the fainting goat,
collapses in the sadness of our mutual story, our personal holocaust!
Sep 2013 · 1.4k
Flight from Gilboa Mountain
Brian Oarr Sep 2013
Two souls once stood against the night,
upon a mountain in a distant valley.
And there in anguished shrieks on loud,
screamed most primitive betrothal vows.

Now many winds have swept the mountain's face
and time has run its endless jagged course,
while the souls like frightened deer have run
to where the frozen brook of fear was sprung.

The great stag drank and was refreshed,
though heart and soul were nearly drown.
The white doe running on to catch a dream,
fearing turbid waters of the foreboding stream.

I cannot save the beauty of a snowflake,
for the warmth of my love will melt it.
And severed will those souls remain,
divorced by nature for its wanton selfish gain.

With snow capped peak bending like a finger,
Gilboa Mountain beckons me to come.
Yet, I fear my hopeless mind must be depraved,
for it offers me a home, I'd sooner call a grave.
Written when I was a very young and foolish man.
Aug 2013 · 1.1k
Sexagenarian Ebb Tide
Brian Oarr Aug 2013
In the harbor of my sixty five years,
The tide is going out beneath the dock.
Ragged barnacles **** up my piers;
Gulls circle my bald pate in a flock.
Feb 2013 · 1.6k
The Devil of the Stairs
Brian Oarr Feb 2013
There was much in her madness to draw us in.
Poetry was payback, electroshock for readers,
collusion between self and the culture oppressing women.
Rebelling against the limitations of a woman's sphere,
seeking refuge in career, a feminist before it was chic,
writing poems as a poultice against death
lurking in the shadows of a conflicted mind.

Sylvia, what was the dialogue you had with Death?
He deceived you in the mirror,
made you tremble at the foot of the stairs,
hissed from the potatoes in the kitchen,
till you sought solace in the oven's jets.
You were an artist out of time.
It's safe to come in from the depression now.
The title of this piece was once intended for Sylvia Plath's collection which became "Colossus" ... It seems appropriate that it be given life.
Brian Oarr Feb 2013
He sits atop the fence,
a transient from the endless circus,
eyeing a prickly pear cactus flower.

Meditating its ephemeral beauty,
he asks the eternal question:
Fleeting flower of yellow and pink,
is the will to charm still there?

My son, how could I not
be charmed by your
exquisite roar, followed by
the delicate blooming of your innocence?

Then remember me that I
may remember our predicament!
Jan 2013 · 1.1k
Redrock Ghazal
Brian Oarr Jan 2013
Lingering above this desert the first rains of winter,
streets greasy with oil/water/rubber cocktail.

Vegas spruces for the tourist onslaught,
bettors eager to lay their Superbowl favorite.

For a weekend the nation marches to a singular drum,
hotels swelling with the faithful to this Neon City.

The Champion stealthily concealed behind the mirror
through which no tout, nor soothsayer may perceive.

The press have lain out every faceted interview,
now only the true believers need worry beads.

This poet shrugs: for him the game has little meaning,
he looks instead to the clouds overhanging the valley.

Bring on the sacks of Sunday, the pass of ******* objects,
there will be snow upon the Redrocks to chill that morn.
Brian Oarr Jan 2013
To ghosts which walk about our imagination,
we have surrendered counsel, yielded consolation.
They are the souls of the might-have-been,
kindred brethren yoked to our liquid center,
who've never endured the pain of intelligence,
never walked the bed-of-coals of perception,
yet, they have wisdom nestled on ethereal neurons.  

To semaphores which count a poet's unused resources,
written in the higher code of life's metaphor,
iteratively substituting words to distill a truth,
a single universal life experience upon which to dwell,
all taken from myriad axioms of cerebral ecstasy.
This is writing, confrere, and you have tasted it, as well.
We are craftsmen in the medium of language,
poets following the involuntary way.
Written for a talented poet unsure of her footing.

"One whose name was writ in water" is the epitaph that John Keats requested be placed upon his gravestone.
Jan 2013 · 1.5k
A Nomad Needs for Nothing
Brian Oarr Jan 2013
In those days all thinking took place in his heart.
It had no favorite suburb, no shelter that was home,
immersed, as he was, in the Mojave of humanity,
memories of only former places through which he'd drifted.

Yes, there were women, storms of passion, brevity in bed.
Today, they only took him back in time,
reconstructing scenarios more of actions never taken.
Bedposts served as bivouacs for the nomad.

Here in this desert water assumes a circumstance,
the nomad becoming as fond of it as ambition.
Here silence need not be kept at bay, rather welcomed in,
though it looks down upon him in uncertainty.

Out there on the horizon he hears a sigh,
a mother tongue corresponding to his own.
Dec 2012 · 738
The Secret Life
Brian Oarr Dec 2012
Her chamoisy cape
announced her artistry
fashioning stares
from men
who ought
to have known better.

Her Mona Lisa smile
spoke in tongues
with insouciant disregard
for men
who were
merely amusing playthings.

Her Eva Hathaway affair
plunged her
flailing into arms
of the one man
who pushed
buttons from oblivion.
Dec 2012 · 1.9k
We All Die Unhealed
Brian Oarr Dec 2012
As a teenage boy I used to fall asleep at night
listening to the graveled voice of Ernie Harwell
fashion for me word-images of the exploits
by a band of superheroes called the Detroit Tigers.
In those semi-lucid moments before slumber,
I could see the shimmering outline of my destiny:
you see all American boys are meant to be Tigers.
So imagine my confusion, when I fractured
the right talus bone my Junior year of high school,
even putting on weight around the middle,
where no athlete worth his pin stripes would gain.
My karma had begun to take on mass.

I began to acquire knowledge, as the only perceived defense
against some parallel universe impinging upon reality.
Oh, I had everyone convinced, even my keenest teachers
believed I was destined to make my mark in scholarly pursuits.
But no one saw the crying ego of one meant to be a Tiger,
nor how that bottled up the emergence of the Man.
Never reconciled, the Man curled up in fetal dormancy.
Lifespan became synonymous with interstellar drift.
And every encountered star of knowlege was dwarfed,
having long ago collapsed of its own gravity.
Still the heavens of knowledge are auspicious,
so I looked outward, when all the answers lay concealed within.

Only as my life left the outskirts of occluded reality
did I then begin to inherit from my instinctual id,
begin to listen to disconsolate internal voices,
who had known me all along, perhaps better than myself.
The thing is ... the stage has long been set on middle-age,
what props lie about are encrusted with patina,
laden with a dust impossible to gauge or preempt,
made worse by the lack of cast, save one.
Neither Beckett, nor Pinter, could have absurded this.
So, when my acts strike you as quixotic,
when I cut with a penknife through propriety,
it's because I finally remember what it meant to be a Tiger.
"Matter is just energy waiting for something to happen."
          --- Dr. Walter Bishop, Fringe Division
Oct 2012 · 2.5k
Ontology for a Nameless Tao
Brian Oarr Oct 2012
It was my best friend who asked me
what I'd choose to be in my next incarnation.
Honestly, she caught me completely off guard,
intellectually dumbfounded by a prospect
I'd never considered, nor felt I deserved.
That night I wracked my brain searching for
a suitable chakra from which to derive an answer.
I know she believes everything is renewed,
so, deferring to her convictions,
I chose a jaguar, as suitable for my solitary way.

She's always had a knack for surprising my existence,
deflecting the metaphysical, steering for spiritual shores.
I recognize this power she exudes, though she dismisses me.
The jaguar I'm evolving divinely subsumes her virtues,
is cognizant of the heroine from Mumbai ashrams.
I'd like to tell you I hear rumblings in the sky,
that there's a certain path beneath my feet,
but my destiny eludes all outward signs,
striving for that inner love that has no name.
Brian Oarr Oct 2012
Toss away sheltering umbrella,
Seek to samba triumphant in the rain.
Edit dramatic doldrums from the novella,
Relate an easy tongue of the urbane.

Call a friend as helpful lifeline,
Castle Queenside for defense,
Debate the speed of light with Einstein,
Let love be your sixth sense.

Swim out through the breakers,
Surf the hurricane back home,
Reject the quackery of fakers,
Let rain cloud be your geodesic dome.

Vilify politics of standstill,
Wink the lowlands of the moon.
Pitch an idea to the gristmill,
Sing impromptu to typhoon.
Oct 2012 · 1.7k
Ghazal Ephemra
Brian Oarr Oct 2012
Meteor streaks an onyx sky,
thoughts vaporize without a tail

Words have seized the winds,
usurped control from ideas

Page absorbs a mutant slang,
lines malinger with an attitude

Inspiration silhouettes reason,
unblemished by banality

Grant language mellifluence or
condemn the poet to monologue

Lost are themes, jewels of a lifetime
separated by melancholy vicissitudes
Oct 2012 · 2.8k
Quarter for The Fleet
Brian Oarr Oct 2012
It had been one of those enervating days,
when officialdom and red tape paperwork
had ****** the yolk and marrow leaving only
a dullness that yawed the ghost ship of her frame.

She decided not to cook, as much as
payback for her ordeal by proper channels.
And so to the "Toilet Bar", cafe of choice
for malicious villagers, though rarely women.

The men folk hardly stared upon her entrance,
by now they knew those leopard skin boots,
that packed a wallop they grudgingly took
stock of, then returned to their cheese and wine.

This was her quarter of salt cod with cream,
prepared by owner Paula and daughter Carolina,
the only other women tolerated amongst the chairs,
that smelled of tar and testosterone.

Lacking collars three tumbled to the stony street,
drunken mechanic, one armed plumber, peg-legged sailor,
the kerfuffle amusing her, their wicked aunt.
Another Lagoan night that shimmered out to sea.
Inspired by the bravest woman in Lagoa, Portugal
Oct 2012 · 2.1k
Mohawk River Ghazal
Brian Oarr Oct 2012
I would like this life of endless
Greyhound time schedules to cease.

What self-inflicted alien abduction
tore me from the valley of my birth,

leaving me to wander empty streets,
each the branch of a coppiced maze?

I grow weary of quotidian fastfood buffets
downed with the aid of espresso baristas.

My legs have lost the muscle-memory
that strode the river cliffs with no regard.

Time to end the sleepwalk of forty years;
rejoin the forward guard of Iroquois.
Sep 2012 · 826
Color Possesses Me Still
Brian Oarr Sep 2012
It's a feminine eye that first detects
absurdity as a condition of existence.
In the deepest resources of my unconscious,
in that place where ego slept in the ****,
I knew she saw through me like
Roentgen X-rays of my soul.
Ultimately, it was my pride that
caused us to fly in different ways;
burning love had poured
from the lamps of our bodies,
shrouded in mystery,
like the day of a king or
more adroitly the nights of a queen.
We had found identity, yet
all signs of subtlety,
any shred of relationship,
were forfeit to the pale mackerel sky.
Brian Oarr Jul 2012
.                                I.

The sand is perfect ripples undulating to the bay,
as the 6:00 A.M sun flashes open a sulfur-eye,
yawns and apologizes for its January warmth.
She emerges her tent, much as she has entered the world,
naked, but filled with wonder and an attitude.
The glassy water winks her an invitation,
morning's blank canvas beach
etched only by random footprints of seabirds.
Taking advantage of the serenity,
haltingly slipping between the waves,
her skin bristles, subsumes cool ocean freshness,
surfboard bobs obediently at her side.

                            II.

On this planet we have friends, who
pose no questions and pass no criticisms,
who the more they trust, the less
we can afford to make a mistake.

                            III.

Like a pat of butter skimming a hot pan,
she lolls blissfully on the board, soaking up scenery,
heedless to the approach from the rear,
yet, sensing she is being watched.
Dorsal fins break the water's surrounding skin,
as a pod of bottlenoses dance and play,
pretend to be oblivious, as she floats within their sights.
Their presence startles, still, she quietly observes their folly,
willing them to come ever closer ...
Her outstretched hand beckons them to
circle with puppy-like curiosity.

                            IV.

Arguably, the perfect couple is a mother and child;
babies do more to females than make them mothers,
they bond them in a sisterhood of knowing recognition,
to which others need not apply.

                          V.

Coriolis swirl of scarred dolphin bodies evades inquiring fingertips,
eye of the alpha-female fixed intently on the floating visitor,
who in turn looks back in shared wonder ---
between two mothers of the Earth, a psychic trust is formed.
The bottlenose rolls a streamlined fusiform body,
revealing  a smaller version of her own,
tucked safely against her white underbelly.
The sun was racing Apollo's arc, as they silently
slipped beneath the plane and were gone.
She knows they've been fending off shark attack,
wishes for a way to fend off trawlers with gill nets.
A singled tear rolls down her cheek,
trickles off the board to merge with salty blue beneath,
reaching compassionately for her sister in the sea.
This is the true life story of the talented Australian poet Rachel McManis.  I was honored to assist her in writing this piece.
Jul 2012 · 2.2k
Divine Service
Brian Oarr Jul 2012
Concinnity of rapid motion in balance and proportion,
round the ballroom, like the synchronized frequency
of vibration in a crystal quartz. Whirling contortion
of bodies embraced in movement's revealing intimacy.

They are partners. They are dancers. They are lovers
wantonly stoking libido's hot glowing embers;
promenade affirming keen awareness to the vigors
of the steps, footfalls and technique of its pretenders.

Gown and tux attired, passionate accessories to the cult;
merengue, fox-trot, rhumba, abandonment's fertility rites
to gods and goddesses, danced with such elegant result,
they are immortalized in time --- divine service to the night.
Jul 2012 · 1.6k
They All Run in Packs
Brian Oarr Jul 2012
The hiker cannot dwell there long,
concealed on a high gull-lined cliff,
overlooking the grey of the Sound.
Framed in a solemn March day,
two curiously juxtaposed species hold her gaze.
Silent as a fawn she watches
a black wolf beneath her arboreal outpost,
hunched in the fashion of Asian street vendors,
observing the other creatures.

Great humpbacks frolic in icy waters ---
spouting volcano plumes of spray
that catch the freshened wind ---
riding white-capped waves,
till entropy dissolves their mist to atomized brine.
Whale-song, too distant for the hiker's gentle ears,
comes rolling in tsunami-like
to the aurally attuned wolf,
which ***** its head and nods
in musical agreement with the odes.

Then little lupine brother
rears back his head and howls,
so sorrowful a moan, as she has ever heard ---
answering his water-brethren,
hunters of krill upon the seas.
Giggling at the incongruity of this lone celebrant
singing pack-songs to leviathans,
she hurries on her way,
lone wolf herself returning to the pack.
Jul 2012 · 1.1k
Poets
Brian Oarr Jul 2012
Sisyphus compelled to roll his boulder,
the poet who attempts to reconcile
what he knows with what he feels,
sensing even in compulsion
his stony effort no match for gravity.
Knowledge transmuted into feeling,
feelings obverted to some new knowledge,
a seismic process that rolls in waves,
peaks of insight, troughs of mental block,
all to foist a new perception upon the world,
squeeze perspective from the driest fruits.

What devilish irony to be admired,
for verse most often misunderstood,
philosopher and virtuoso to a tone-deaf audience.
Camus concluded Sisyphus
was happy with his lot in life,
but a poet continues to paint strange landscapes,
never content with color schemes,
ever niggling for that undiscovered pastel.
"The only teachers who instruct mankind,
From just a shadow on a charnel-wall."
--- Elizabeth Barrett Browning -- Aurora Leigh, bk 1 (1857)
Jul 2012 · 1.8k
wind river mountains
Brian Oarr Jul 2012
her fantasy fulfilled
she guides him by pack-horse
up the craggy mountain trail
restrained by his inexperience
their destination above
her beloved secret valley
river far below, a faded blue memory

spying snow-coned peaks beyond
she fights the urge, for his sake,
to gee her horse the last few feet
almost there, past the jagged rocks
gap's a beckoning finger now
welcoming her home
so many years of separation

the valley bursts upon them
a composite of wondrous sights
compelling her to bring him
quickly through to hallowed ground
how many times she had returned
alone
she turns to him, a stranger here
only he deserves her secret place

watching his face
seeing elation and her radiance
mirrored simultaneously in his eyes
an expanse of horizon
mountain, aspen, florid fields, and water
nature's precious jewels adorn the vista
dressed with utmost care
to steal the unsuspecting heart

she leads him into the meadow
overlooking the turquoise cirque
cool waters in which she bathed
naked and contented
when last she'd journeyed here
meadow flowers cloak
the blanket she spreads for him

her fantasy fulfilled
his body framed against the sky
-limitless as their love- and
boundless beauty in this valley
One of my earliest poems, so please excuse the jejeune nature of the write.
Brian Oarr Jul 2012
The artist chose concrete to sculpt The Kiss.
Playfully made the woman taller than the man,
his gaze uplifted, filled with total captivation ---
lemur eyes, mustached smile, desire unmistakable.
Her arm about the nape of neck, hand caressing cheek,
certainly she cherishes him, intentionally stokes his passion.
Concrete the perfect medium for immortality.

This image implanted firmly, as I take my morning walk,
when it hits me, somewhere between Key Bank,
7-11 across the street, and John Deere lawn equipment,
why it is, women place such importance upon relationships,
why they love us, despite flaws numerous as wharf rats.
They have an unremitting need for romance.
That's what the sculptor knew and finally I do too.
See the statue here --->>>  http://olympiawa.gov/community/parks/public-art/the-kiss
Brian Oarr Jul 2012
Put on the old LPs tonight, Alex,
from a time long before you were born.
Top of the queue was Petula Clark
belting out Don't Give Up,
defiant as an alley cat in a street fight.

Remembered how in her heyday,
she'd been forced to conceal
the fact that she was married ---
all performers being mysteriously
virginal in those days.

Thoughts segue several years
to my time in the service and
a female lieutenant who was my OIC.
Served a 20 year career,
but never knew a finer officer.

She realized leadership was saying
the things that made you want to follow.
Just after making captain,
due to pregnancy, she was forced
to terminate her service career.

Today, women routinely travel in space,
perform extreme surgeries,
design skyscrappers;
one just might become president.

And somewhere in the tenements of NYC
a young poet spins metaphor
straight from the streets and the cosmos,
constructing a world in lines
we'd all wish to enter.
Written for a talented 18/yo internet poet
Jul 2012 · 873
Who Counts a Woman's Tears
Brian Oarr Jul 2012
The abscission of  inner voice comes,
storm from a vein of clouds,
cut that bleeds a profusion of thoughts.
She trails a finger through confusion,
seeks coagulation, anything that solidifies.

Free but lonely --- an epitaph signed
by empty arms from lip to heart,
extended to a faithless world.
Something more than silence ---
tears form a haptic prayer.
Jul 2012 · 1.3k
Satin on The Low Strings
Brian Oarr Jul 2012
In the beginning were the chords
Seven days of rataplan;
The kind of week that John Lee ******
Dreamed in blue and 4/4 time,

Newport on a 60's binge.
Palinodes on saxophone lips
Refusing to look back on Memphis,
Chilling out to Tupelo time.

Spin him a lyric Lady Music,
Camber a tone to smoky heights.
Walk the blues round Jim Beam shores
And drown them in N'awlins nights.

Riff the waves to inner ear
Like satin on the low strings:
From frets on legacies
Feel the descant fade away.
I first heard John Lee ****** live at the Newport Jazz Festival in the late 1960's. I've been a huge fan ever since.
Brian Oarr Jul 2012
"And then taking from his wallet
an old schedule of trains, he'll say
I told you when I came I was a stranger
I told you when I came I was a stranger."
                                        --- Leonard Cohen

I'm the most surprised person on the planet.
Your coming to see me off at the airport
has my mind scratching glass seeking words.
Why is it that in this relationship,
you seem to have gotten all the speaking parts?
You're well aware that I have loved you
for the better part of two years,
bottling that emotion, afraid to pop the cork.
Your eyes implore mine, rotating like
a searchlight over Baghdad seeking
the stealth laying carnage to your heart.
Twice in the last week you've made it evident,
the Grail was mine, but for the drinking ---
That and finding a shorthand for adultry.
I'm guilty courting the love of a married woman,
made worse, you're here at my departure
telling me we aren't free to choose who we love.
I know my desire must die of thirst,
so I turn, boarding pass in hand,
the last words I ever hear from you,
Write me! --- Thirty-five years later I have.
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