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I can stop myself, I am under no pressure
to conform,
to be sure, I seem naturally alone,
I think more clearly with the magic pen,

it is all magic is, easy to use, once the knack.
Letter use. That's the knack,

take these blocks, did you never use blocks,
the very best way, blocks and songs,
and friends,
maybe,
not to help you build, but to see you build.
Sound held in letters,
let loose from the mouth saying sing it now
sing it
with me, next time.

No time, no functional conjunction with the main
thread, we maybe stuck in a dendritic split end.

I should stop and regroup, I will signal dead-end
at the next turn.

--- Switching tracks, find the hand that works,
use it, as if it knows where each letter lives, and pulls
it full formed in type.
And should any older love for kerning and leading,
linger as if ought had gone from the life in the letters,

when every thing became Times or Helvetica,
for all the difference it made, in the words themselves.

Meaning set, surroundings, ganz environs, toto re
ality as all in real already,

read it again, the signs in gut, relegate, read anew,
the old ties to knowers and showers of knowns,

fire is easy to display, Zarathustra held it in his palm,
any school boy can do it, on a dare,
and the one who knows the trick, need not say.

I know, I know.
Acknowledge truth, in all thy ways,
and watch your steps be guided, as each step
moves you past now, and then, to next step

perennial holy days, set aside for recollections,
who did we tell our children is actually in charge,
?
and our culture sold all its offspring to be shaped
into citizens useful, as required,
teach them to learn,
then let them learn to make a life, or live the one given.
meandering downstream
 Apr 15 charlieboy
Khoi
Dit is verganklik
om te **** jou neus is plat
onder die, masker,


It is ludicrous
to view our noses as flat
face masks for false fronts.
Translation
Afrikaans to English

When pharmaceutical companies a$tounded
and the world are dumbfounded
they treat us with ignorance as if we were blind.
In the brooding light, you were formed.
You were born in clouds and dust, and you grew up in the luminous sky.
You were scattered throughout the different parts of the galaxy.
You are trillions of miles away,
yet still visible to the naked eye.

As the star gradually evolves and forms
into different entities,
it is either a planet, an asteroid, or a nebula —
or even just a speck of dust and never formed.

It is also the start of your
long, deep slumber.
While in the intergalactic space in your eyes,
gravity pulls back the gas and forms another one. And the galaxy is bathed in gas.

While you were out of breath, I talked to you.
So you can hear your friend in the dark.
Your death is also the birth of another celestial space.
Between the illustrious energy and gravity's back-and-forth,
recycling gases and turning them into a new form of galaxy,
it is like the way you breathe in and out —
while your eyes are closed.

Did you wear an evening gown?
While the patients here wear something ridiculous, you can't stand it.
So you wore a red dress in your deep, restless sleep.

Tonight, I looked over the moon and remembered you.
They called upon the universe and they gave you space.
You were there, starlike.
I gave you one last message before I turned my back.

I will always put my faith in the phenomenon of celestial space.

Then you held my hand, so slow and weak.

You told me, and I smiled, "In the chaos of everything, I heard you."

And another star exploded, but you lived.
Letting go of old things. I’m back :)
The sky is an artistic graveyard.

Many a hero and many a fool have come to their fate in its wave-driven clutches.

The number of syllables required to storybook danger is as dense as ozone.

The orange layer—a warning sign, posted by the forebears of fun, who were categorically undone by the very forces they worshipped.

Birds no better than to fly at such temperamental altitudes.

But the dream will die if we don't try.

And so we hoist our ambition like a kite, hoping to stay aloft long enough to discover something more about ourselves.
Two nights ago, Sophy and I were studying for our chemistry class in a library 24/7 room. Those feature large open areas with couches, tables with computers and some other, small desks behind cubicle walls. We were seated in the cubicle area. It was after 11pm, a time when the library rooms are usually deserted.

Suddenly, these five brolics come noisily into the open area. As soon as we heard them, Sophy and I exchanged a look where we asked each other, “Should we leave?” But we decided to wait and see if they’d settle down or stay.

There’s a native kind of white, frat **** I’ve encountered once or twice in my year at Yale. These men, usually upperclassmen, are big, rude, entitled and combative ***** who are positive they rule the universe. We derisively call them “scions”.

One time Leong and I were in line to buy snacks. Leong had just stepped up to the register and this scion walked up - cutting the line - to buy a drink. He reached out with his card almost hitting Leong in the face - like she wasn’t there, like the line wasn’t there. I'm sure the checkout lady just quickly processed his card to avoid a scene.

Now there were 5 of those jerks in one room - their inherent chaos introducing them. They were loud and bunxious (hello, can you say library QUIET?). One, in particular, had a very deep, grinding and irritating voice. He started truthing to his audience, crowing about a recent, violent, ******* encounter he’d had. Sophy and I looked at each other in shock, like “***??”

At the end of his explicit narration, he kept repeating “Bang’n it.. Bangin’ it.. Bangin’ it.. Bangin’ it..” slowly, rhythmically, grindingly over and over - he must have said it 80 times with various nasty inflections. While he was playing that out, the others were laughing and yelling encouragement and raunchy feedback over his “Bang’n it” mantra.

I’m sure they didn’t know we were there. But I turned a little and drew my feet up onto my chair, my knees becoming a small wall, in case the barbarians rounded the corner. I’ll admit that ******-guys like that scare me a little and there’s something in the tone of their voices that makes my skin crawl.

This seemed more than those “guy’s locker room talks” we’ve all heard about. The scene seemed oddly private and primitive, like a band of excited apes celebrating a ****. Perhaps something one was more likely to overhear in a dark fraternity basement than in a college library.

I guess I experienced a moment of gendered fear. Sophy and I both scrunched down in our seats a bit, exchanging “chagrinned, what now” looks. There just didn’t seem an opportune moment to reveal ourselves by leaving. Sophy showed me her phone - the app that summons a security escort if a student needs one was up - but I shook my head “no,” to mean “not yet,” and we decided to wait.

After about 15 minutes one of them said, “Let's get a drink” and they left. Thank God. I wonder what would have happened if we stood up and left. Hopefully nothing, but even now I shudder at the memory of that guy's voice. Those guys were way, way more than creepy.
BLT word of the day challenge: Opportune: "suitable or appropriate time."


slang:
brolic = tough, hostile, steroid-aggressive, and possibly crazed
truthing = telling his story
bunxious = obnoxious, loud, rambunctious, disorderly
COVID

I am thrown pieces of virus's
scalding puke that took me
down into the warehouse
of lost memory.

My head shakes for the tears
which pour from hollowed eyes
the lack of simple names,
numbers and the wrinkled
lists of my failures.

I am overthrown by my own
mystery.  My long list of
minutiae trips me.  I am
unconscious.  Nothing
that is me is the cling on
that is all I have or am.

Covid rakes my mind taking
with with it the night in the
hospital.   The nurse who,
I am told, joined me when
her tasks allowed.

It is too much  To be so
erased until you have to call
the bank and plead for your
self in the numbers behind
the buttons which charge
our lives with permissions.

I sent my self on a journey
to sound the deeps of my
sorry mind.  I cannot know
the contents I do not know.

I am forced into redundancy.
I repeat names
of people and things I cannot
hold. There is no place at the
table where I presided before
the colorless spread of sickness
took up residence in the days
of my 75 years.

I am wiped on the arm of
illness.  I sneeze at the
passwords that are lost into
the soup of confusion.  You don't
know the shapes of the
sick citizens of my aching
head. The red blood cells
which lined up only to
fall.  

I cannot remember you. I
try to fill in the narrative
of the several weeks
weaknesses.

I am pulled ahead by
you who have loved
me.  I take the minutes
of this experience with
you my listener into
a frail future.


Caroline Shank
4.14.22
Shame on you, says who,
I ask me?
I know, me, eh, watchman,

what of the night, one day comin'
not like the rest, the other days,
I mean,
says he, who watches
sunsets and refuses to count planets
as stars, see.
position your watcher to see the expanse,
as a vast dome,
set above us, to mark up, when first we learn
from  down, up look, learn to stand
reach for those, we think as
crawlers we all was, mewling crawlers we was,
beggars as near as history can sort out,
then come war and
we was elevated, first rank, lowest, but in
the fight for the oath of allegiance,
as yet unclear what that is, but
discipline is how a killer is formed from sod.

All the busters. and buddies, and cowpokes
learned to march and listen for that certain sound
- the certain call to fall back, listen, listen

run away and live to fight another day,
or stand and die, for king and country,
God is watching,
what you choose,
- boys of my sort were fed Imperial War movies,
- I cried in Gunga Dinh and
- for the coward in three white feathers
- Saturday Matinee as a class, we all cheered
- when the bugle announced the cavalry,
- the men on horses, to whom all boys look up.

enemies surround you, Jesus winks, and you choose,
forgive my debts as I forgive my debtors,
love my enemy as my self

oops. Imagine the madness in self hate,
eek out a living untangling the knots that bind your
estimation of the cost to form you,
from the dust, believe the scientist, you are star
dust, powers less but to spark a thought

and fit it to a what if… just now

imagine you hold such truth as self evidence,
you accepted the way life is true,
and lived after then to now.
In you, living reading you.
Silent spring or no, who can say
time tells on mortals who promise proof.

Happy Spring, says the sign in the post office,
and I think, yes,
that is the whole idea, life goes on lying about hell.

After ignoring the referee's call to reboot, perplexity
sweeping for all the lies you know you told,
- once those cease to reflect back on me
then the ones you learned as true, are easier to see,
the lies you learned as true, are dull at night…

playing hide and seek with nameless cousins
who used a sigking's x.

Think the child's thought. Am I lying, we all die.
No king's x in war, kid.

Magic steals attention, and returns it as surpassing
in children's laughter,
- it was all a video game, Slime Rancher
my house. 2022… background noise
laughing chilren
the actio-teleo go rhythm in wonder we lose
wanna bet, nobody has a hell for *** smokers,
not really

--- casino virgins, too holy,
but for the buffet,
some may take the free play, say
take the devil's money and pay back

-- what our fathers took, but
we never stole, we took as given, for being born
as 'merican takers, useless eaters,
lest we plow,
and plant
as given, granted
by the same authorities who
used our sons as Maxim fodder, over there,
over there, we all sing,
the yanks are coming, rah rah buy bonds,

bitter, hell no, sweet, remembering
those red buddy poppies,
a man with no legs
gave one to me,
once around 1951, when I was as tall as he,
he was sitting, like his legs was out in front,
but there was a basket with those poppies,
no legs, so no feet, no shoes.
I think it was an old Easter basket,
filled with red paper poppies with green paper
wrapped around a wire stem,

he was old as my uncle Malcom, who also
went to France, and also remembers
those red paper poppies, I suppose.
The idea beneath the hopes some claim. I suppose.
 Apr 15 charlieboy
acacia
feels good like a new person string of paint curves around the perimeter like a halo selenite, aurea soleil hunting for the light in the moon to peak into my room through the crevices in my window with bravado crescendo into my ears burning the drums into my soul, through my soul and deflating my ego body rotating and turning in and aligning riding waves on a black monsoon to swallow my ankles forcing me down its throat and I let go my grip air of cut morphing and gripping the tufts of fur and grass toes curling smiles multiplying on a face deep breaths and expansive ribs shutting lids gasping as harps play in my ear flowing out of my ears onto my tongue
~
With all too
familiar moorings,

holding fast the chain
of sons and daughters,

this hiding place
isn't watertight,

life trickles in everywhere,
hopeful to the bitter end.

~
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