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Apr 2016 · 841
One Day
CH Gorrie Apr 2016
One day you are born. You don't know anything. You adapt and adjust to the world and learn more and more. Your parents are, more likely than not, ******. They don't exactly know why they gave birth to you, but they know they're supposed to love you now. Your childhood years are formidable and promising. You show talent in sports, music, and mathematics. You go to junior high and get pimples and a ****** drive. You kiss a girl at a Violent Femmes concert at the Del Mar race track when you're thirteen. She's kinda fat and slutty, but oh well. You try really hard to not be included in anything at your high school. You do a lot of drugs. Anything will do, xanax, *******, ****, ******, ecstasy, morphine, ******, beer, it's all the same to you. You get arrested for some dumb ****, your parents help you. You stop doing drugs. You get really into music again. You start a band. You start writing a lot. Your writing is cliche and dry at first. This discourages you. You can't stop for some reason though. After writing hundreds of pages of *******, you write a line that is utterly magnificent. You go to work at a job that barely pays you, you come home. You dream. The money goes round. Your aspirations swivel about in a drunken stupor behind your frontal lobe. You dream. You wake. You eat, ****, and sleep. The money goes round. You eat, you wish you had someone to ****, then you sleep again. You keep writing and playing music though. You get really, really good. But the lash goes on.
Jun 2015 · 791
A Note on Self-Delusion
CH Gorrie Jun 2015
"Were it not for imagination, Sir, a man would be as happy in the arms of a Chambermaid as of a Duchess." -- Dr. Johnson*

And what of angels, that dream?
The young face reflected on the stream,
More reflection than its living flesh?
From what field does inwadness thresh
Acceptance and vision enough
To know the desolateness of love?
Jun 2015 · 1.0k
Beyond Recall
CH Gorrie Jun 2015
The summer is static. Over
A drying lawn the slur
Of heat descends. Quiet
The garden flowers. This mind's diet?
Shaded hills and solitude.
Slow recession of the crude
Tracings of my origins,
The silhouettes of sins
And murmurs, blurs into
The sophomoric hue
Of my brain. Can I
Extricate myself? This lie,
Though it elude my thought
Into what action I know not,
Seems to legitimate my being
And foretell the fate of my self-fleeing.
Jun 2015 · 576
Keats is Singing
CH Gorrie Jun 2015
It's raining outside.
Buses grind the streets.
Troubling to decide
If a product meets
My needs, because Keats

Is singing again
In my head, singing.
I know where I've been
And what I'm bringing,
But what's the meaning

If no poem comes
Of it? And what use
Is the sound of drums
Without words? Abuse?
I'm offered no clues.

I need these products,
But isn't life worse
If wanting conducts
No cash from my purse?
Keats' song is no curse!
CH Gorrie May 2015
for Robert-François Damiens the Regicide*

1.
"I" once ate pizza. It tasted of smudged sarcasm. "I" scarred my innards with its blazing oils. Now "I" remember it every time "I" nibble a tasty morsel, the pangs of a deadened sacrosanctity robbing my heart of its pulse.

2.
Pepperoni is vital for the one greased with illusion.
Cheese is necessary for the one who knows the word "soul" to be viable.
Tomato sauce is warrant for ritualistic exaltation.
Unleavened bread is the commandant of the fed world.
Sillyness gone serious
May 2015 · 1.2k
Reborn in Ignorance
CH Gorrie May 2015
for Kenneth LaRosh*

"All are clear, I alone am clouded." -- Lao Tzu

Those definite days, when I still fooled
Myself into unnatural mind-states,
When I knew myself, but tricked
Others obliviously--
Those days be ******.
Now, my thoughts racked
With an equivocal polarity,
My heart uncertain to its very core,
I walk,
Reborn in ignorance,
Clouded, yet not unclear.
May 2015 · 495
His Past
CH Gorrie May 2015
It was all tufts,
He said, like dandelion heads,
And spread likewise—
Ruderals scattered
Over barren tracts.
Apr 2015 · 1.1k
If only love came easy.
CH Gorrie Apr 2015
for Oscar Wilde

If only love came easy.
Once exposed to its removal, its terror, the heart grows queasy.
How hard it can be
To know loving's unlovely
Side: The caught breath once the curtain falls,
Deadened sanctity when recent calls
Turn against self-esteem.
"Was it just a dream?";
"Was it a rue,
Temporary?"; "Was it true?"
Questions amount to nothing.
Answers only seem like bluffing.
I want to love you,
But I know the drill: Two,
Then one. One's pain *is
expectation,
One's guilt is association.
"Life is short—let them care";
I wait...I dream...I stare...
Poem for day 7 of National Poetry Month.
Apr 2015 · 638
What is what it seems?
CH Gorrie Apr 2015
What is what it seems?
("What?" is) My thoughts? The wind? Anti-aging creams?
All things, like onions, can be peeled.
To inner essences my being's kneeled.
Poem for day 6 of National Poetry Month.
Apr 2015 · 2.3k
Alligator Pear
CH Gorrie Apr 2015
On this tan cutting board
You earn your corrupted name:
“Alligator pear.”

The serrated blade
Punctures your hide—a balloon
Under a pin’s pressure,

Shades of green furling out.
I’m sure you’d prefer
Vegetable status if you developed

Self-awareness; or maybe
You’d withdraw from knowledge
Of the human type.

I trust my cooking songs—
Slowdive and Chaka Khan—
Can’t hurt you anymore

Than your predestined obliteration;
Mastication via your domesticators:
It all ends in fertilizer.

(Where you began!)

O, avocado, phantom “fruit”
Born of the self-same Life Source,
Schopenhauer’s Will,

My transient enjoyment of you
Within this vegetable salad—
An Achaean enclosed by Trojan blades—

Suffices for a life of sanctity.
Poem for day 5 of National Poetry Month.
Apr 2015 · 735
Departure
CH Gorrie Apr 2015
Where did I come from?
A country of what?
Big hearts?

That's what the guestbook said,
And the amnesia makes anything else suspect.
Still...

A chipped Greek frieze;
Shade inching over insalata Caprese;
Piazza Cavour from a smudged helicopter window at noon;
Faces in a crowd at LOVE park, rapid fire;
Dusk in an Irish cemetery;
Lakeside heather.

This departure is like rewriting
A book from memory.
How much of me—if any—is there?
Poem for day 4 of National Poetry Month.
Apr 2015 · 956
The Invisible Child
CH Gorrie Apr 2015
for Wallace Stevens*

1.
Just as my fingers on these keys
Make data, so the self-same sounds
Of a CEO’s fingers make me a data, too.

Thus it is the spirit that feels,
Here in this cubicle, desiring—through
Excel spreadsheets, email, a deadline—

Itself.

2.
In the pale glow of a Xerox machine
The body stood.
It sought
The hum of Nature,
But, finding only synthetics,
Sighed with demur,
So barren grew its mood.

3.
They wondered why the invisible child wept
In a security without which Death’s adept;
It could not say,
So convinced were they,
Safety was the dream of a Happiness that slept.
Poem for day 3 of National Poetry Month.
Apr 2015 · 2.2k
Secrets
CH Gorrie Apr 2015
There are situations in which one is cut off from the opportunity to do one's work or enjoy one's life; but what can never be ruled out is the unavoidability of suffering. In accepting this challenge to suffer bravely, life has a meaning up to the last moment, and it retains this meaning literally to the end. — Viktor Frankl

[T]here is no coming to consciousness without pain. — Carl Jung

Should the conflagration climb
Run till all the sages know — William Butler Yeats

Heart-injured in North London, he became
The Latin scholar of his generation. — W. H. Auden

It's urgent,
Imminent,
Fiercely non-communicable.
(Carry a firestorm in your veins.)

Secrets, secrets are no fun
Secrets, secrets hurt someone


The secret, untranslatable, hurts the secret-holder:
Frustration disguises isolation.
Distilled isolation is pain.
Purified pain is meaning.
(Carry a firestorm in your veins.)

Secrets, secrets are no fun?
Secrets, secrets hurt someone?


O, only momently!
Heart-injury transfigured is salvation.
(Carry a firestorm in your veins.)
Poem for day 2 of National Poetry Month.
Apr 2015 · 654
Resistance
CH Gorrie Apr 2015
"...if a way to the Better there be, it lies in taking a full look at the Worst." — Thomas Hardy

Union desires the ideal.
The ideal, being untenable, victimizes the real.
The real as victim is melancholia.
Melancholia, then, is the loss of the ideal.
The ideal, never being real, is the phantom,
The phantom that confers melancholia.
Lay the phantom? O, Buddhahood
In The Land of Ubiquitous Technology and Reason,
You yourself are now the phantom —
Laying the phantom becomes the phantom.
Poem for day one of National Poetry Month.
CH Gorrie Feb 2015
All hail Strunk and White, supreme law on Word.
If I don't act in accordance with them
I'll be casted as the fool on a whim:
Idiosyncrasies stamped out by a herd.
CH Gorrie Jan 2015
My summations are wholly gnomic.
Some call these articulations "weakness,"
Others, being driven, lettered, undress
Them imperceptibly. I'm Homeric
Without grandeur of high-flown rhetoric.
Epics I pen dissolve the world's heart
And suffer abandonment in K-Mart,
Pulp-paged and forgettable. Ironic?

Yes, but such sentiment is commonplace.
Jan 2015 · 671
Sub Specie Aeternitatis
CH Gorrie Jan 2015
"When the pious Cabbalist Rabbi Simon ben Jochai came to die, his friends said that he was celebrating his wedding." — C. G. Jung

I loved away my youth,
Mistook passion for a truth
By which one's will is lead.
The journey of the "dead"
Replaced my singular life,
And Death became my wife.
"Sub specie aeternitatis" is Latin for "under the aspect of eternity"; hence, from Spinoza onwards, an honorific expression describing what is universally and eternally true, without any reference to or dependence upon the merely temporal portions of reality.

-- from the Philosophical Dictionary (http://www.philosophypages.com/)
CH Gorrie Dec 2014
Through silver maple and winding hedgerow wind-songs sough April’s hearsay. In stoic silence, spring’s axes—shuttered trunks—goad their fruit’s swelling. Clouds tumble in like sea foam, blue splinters flashing out: incorporeal troposphere, a halo entrapped by math.
Oct 2014 · 791
Memories on a Shoreline
CH Gorrie Oct 2014
1.
It's odd Time never came
To wonder under these beaches' loam,

To walk forty steps to a tide
Where sea-green foam flashes full its blade.

     2.
     Trammeled like a nun, the girl
     Swept by me thoughtless. A root's gnarl

     Could symbolize slim pain
     Beneath the scleras: two jackals' den.

     3.
     Hurt inwardly, like darkened stars,
     So bursting silence is all one hears.


4.
The monotony of this shoreline is a throwback.
What phantoms come: an electric shock.

Why ten years ago is all I know
Is not half as important as who or how.

5.
The autumnal tremor, the rainless moonlight...
Memories of little weight....
Oct 2014 · 1.1k
Lemons 2
CH Gorrie Oct 2014
Lemons fall into the grass
In late December.
Seeing them outside my window, I instinctually remember
Sensual spring and how it gives one tunnel-vision,
How it turns each fleeting thought to an unchangeable decision.
*But Time repeatedly brings what seems gargantuan to pass.
CH Gorrie Oct 2014
"Where literature is concerned,
I will not cooperate at all":
A mind resolutely turned
From the social crusades of fall.

Seventy-eight years later
I agree with the "dilettante";
Twenty-five years cater
To reclusion in a shanty,

"Writing frightening verse
To a straight-toothed dude
In New York." Curse
My reckless solitude!
Aug 2014 · 2.0k
My brother left (Revisited)
CH Gorrie Aug 2014
1.
Before I knew he had.
His flight trailed off into a Utah
Sunrise. He left behind a little strand
Of thought, and, in a cramped, amber room that saw
Long talks of topics that soon thinned grey,
A set of dog-eared books has been put down.
Books that brought nearer to my thought his own,
While Interstate-5 grated the ground.

2.
He must have, as the plane touched the runway,
Felt the dawn’s shudder fracture his young bones,
His thoughts turning to those dog-eared days;
The seemingly endless months full of groans,
As they should have been, being spent alone;
And that set of books, at least it would seem,
Ignited the wick on which our passions gleam.

3.
These six years past since they took him away
Held minutes like a needle in plied dust.
There’s something in the spring that brings decay:
The outward beauty of the world just
Clouds the mind’s loss within the spinning gust
That all the blooming flowers usher in.
Then the rain comes...

4.
As the 5’s scratch cracks up the drying earth,
I recall Nietzsche, Guevara, Burgess:
Men who’d not anticipated births
Inside my brother and I like cypress
Trees, evergreen and coniferous, we
Drop seeds year-round. The setting Utah sun,
Barely audible, gasps in the copse.
He’s with me now. What’s done is done.
Jul 2014 · 1.6k
The Cruelest Month
CH Gorrie Jul 2014
1.
Late-spring's dilemma
Is unabridged and sweet;
Beardtongues and fuchsias peer through grass blades:
Blotches on the bristly canvas.

Camellias? Still in April.

2.
Slices of rye shift on my plate;
Miramar’s war machines whip overhead;
My mouth opens into the Gulf of Kuwait;

The toast becomes
Moldering lips of Pendleton.

3.
There’s a single-story house on a hill
That to helicopters
Looks like an easel.

Great canyons open
To the south and west; the street clings to time—

A pianist’s metronome
Waltzes crosswise on an eardrum.

4.
The eucalyptus bends the deafening breeze.

Are you still dredging Coronado's cradle?
(The tide
Disintegrates the illimitable skyline.)

5.
An unlit Anza-Borrego beats about my ears,
Stars piggybacking the horizon.

The cacti shrivel:
Glitter in a hurricane.

6.
End-of-spring guesses
Prey upon a betrayer’s conscience.
Stilted, they flash ephemerally.
CH Gorrie Jul 2014
All of us, when young, gaze onto this field
Anxiously. At twenty-four-years old
We stand here feeling unbearably cold,
Unsure of everything, not quite steeled.
No man knows whence this vision descends;
Still, it shepherds us mysteriously
Toward glum perplexion. Now the one tree
That's always here presumably bends;

And with that, it's gone. Then begins our work:
Featherbrained nonsense we wish to shirk;
Then our duties: obligatory crap
Surveilling like a wiretap.
Then it's back, and it's sharp— almost a knife!— 
And it's familiar...it's...it's life.
CH Gorrie Jul 2014
Those fish that lie gasping on the strand,
Beyond nets and lost lust for waters far from land,
Are neither Shakespearean nor Romantic, but bland.
"Three Movements" by W.B. Yeats

  Shakespearean fish swam the sea, far away from land;
  Romantic fish swam in nets coming to the hand;
  What are all those fish that lie gasping on the strand?
CH Gorrie Jul 2014
Say there’s a boy who has two dreams,
One concerns business, one fishing in streams;
But which is the more real my friend?

A wolf licked an Eskimo’s blood-covered knife,
Licked it till it cut-up and bled out its life;
But are wolves’ impulses wrong my friend?

I saw a terrible play with a terrible end
And horrid lines no writer could mend;
But do you think I missed the point my friend?

Someone opened a door and let a dog in,
Unaware of where most strays have been;
But what is real kindness my friend?

One hundred slaves wept at their fortune,
United, killed the tyrant—ultimately won ;
But don’t they still work for their livings my friend?

I found a pocket watch in a patch of tall grass,
Hoped selfishly, watched centuries pass;
But weren't we told time heals wounds my friend?
This poem was inspired by W.H. Auden's "Refugee Blues":

Say this city has ten million souls,
Some are living in mansions, some are living in holes:
Yet there's no place for us, my dear, yet there's no place for us.

Once we had a country and we thought it fair,
Look in the atlas and you'll find it there:
We cannot go there now, my dear, we cannot go there now.

In the village churchyard there grows an old yew,
Every spring it blossoms anew;
Old passports can't do that, my dear, old passports can't do that.

The consul banged the table and said:
'If you've got no passport, you're officially dead';
But we are still alive, my dear, but we are still alive.

Went to a committee; they offered me a chair;
Asked me politely to return next year:
But where shall we go today, my dear, but where shall we go today?

Came to a public meeting; the speaker got up and said:
'If we let them in, they will steal our daily bread';
He was talking of you and me, my dear, he was talking of you and me.

Thought I heard the thunder rumbling in the sky;
It was ****** over Europe, saying: 'They must die';
We were in his mind, my dear, we were in his mind.

Saw a poodle in a jacket fastened with a pin,
Saw a door opened and a cat let in:
But they weren't German Jews, my dear, but they weren't German Jews.

Went down the harbour and stood upon the quay,
Saw the fish swimming as if they were free:
Only ten feet away, my dear, only ten feet away.

Walked through a wood, saw the birds in the trees;
They had no politicians and sang at their ease:
They weren't the human race, my dear, they weren't the human race.

Dreamed I saw a building with a thousand floors,
A thousand windows and a thousand doors;
Not one of them was ours, my dear, not one of them was ours.

Stood on a great plain in the falling snow;
Ten thousand soldiers marched to and fro:
Looking for you and me, my dear, looking for you and me.
Jul 2014 · 818
She (Revisited)
CH Gorrie Jul 2014
Was an aperitif to an aphorism,
An architect of aphrodisia,
An apiary of my ever-buzzing thought.

She slipped into me streamline: Maraschinos
Into a Manhattan. Oh strike of sugar,
Stain the bitterest days a red no chemical dispels.

She was a cryptic gallipot
Shelved in an apothecary
At the Caelian's base.

Her shape was incense wisps, her touch
A song sung in 1940s noir, her locking gaze
Eros himself.

Alliteration ran thick through the blood.
The paintings? Like Debussy composed.
Nothing in the universe could’ve imposed

Anything on her!— Quit it, you idiot...
The admiration, the visions that adorn her:
Subjectively supernatural—

Maybe she’s just a girl, the way that you're a boy
No air of denigration.
She was intricate, but altogether simple.

I encountered her in stifled confessions.

It was not the beauty of her face, the body
That held her mind and laughter, not the dazed sting
In my hand as it cupped in hers—

It was her autotelism and her hope.

And now her imaginings hang,
Framed in my house; little landscapes of the heart she left;
Retreats that prove I’ve loved and been loved.
CH Gorrie Jun 2014
for Malani*

1.
The blinds drawn, she vacated her life.
Through grieving lips she survives our futures,
Being kept half-alive in an unconscious tongue

That allows a paragon of hope to thrive:
She was whole.
No—

Blotched out and blurred,
She became a lacuna,
A Platonic anamnesis.

"She is now in the company of angels":
The faithful mourners' conviction
And her integrity's fragmentation.

2.
Haunt of our occasions—
My musings' apparition!—
Brown eyes never shone so bright.
This poem follows up another poem I wrote titled "The Memory of Malani Sathyadev, Preserved on an Answering Machine."

She vanished in the shadows
of a mid-March Sunday’s moon.
When I first heard the news
an orange leapt from its bough.
There were bees in the flowerbed.
Grass shattered under my feet;
the smell of soot and ash
clung lightly to the breeze;
her smile fell
from a Hong Kong orchid
off Market Street.

The news first came
dead-ended and one-way.
Eight years’ reflection on that day
have hoped it was a turn in life:
the harrowing left onto Texas
from Mulberry Drive –
the high-branch’s snap
in the old, ragged pine –
when I was lost
in an Irish poet’s mind.

Hearing her voice, years since passed,
among this phone’s old messages,
I hear myself the day I heard the news –
Christianity’s eternity
became eternally confused.

Her long, black-curtain-hair,
the books piled at her feet,
the way philosophy
rolled off of her physique…

All I hear now when I think of that day
is the frail rattle of

a noose’s sway: pebbles beneath the midnight train.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

*Anamnesis* In philosophy, anamnesis is a concept in Plato's epistemological and psychological theory that he develops in his dialogues Meno and Phaedo, and alludes to in his Phaedrus.

It is the idea that humans possess knowledge from past incarnations and that learning consists of rediscovering that knowledge within us.
CH Gorrie Jun 2014
for C.S.R.*

One morning I find my f(r)iends’ eyes are lead;
  That evening I pace in gullible love;
Night falls, I find wished-on stars have fled.

With intravenous need their hearts drop dead
  (The inward death boyhood knew nothing of).
At daybreak I find my f(r)iends’ eyes are lead.

The mind, encased in a dark, narrow shed,
  Blindly estranges the sunlight above.
The unlit night resembles my dread.

From the pulse of my trusting veins they’re bled.
  Fitting like a vinegary glove,
The needle transmogrifies their eyes to lead.

Unforeseen fallout from the needle's head—
  Drug-sickness, self-contempt, flesh grown mauve—
Imprisons them. (The stars are dead.)

Maybe if I’d not trailed their pitch-black tread
  My Pyrrhic sobriety would be enough...
One morning I found my f(r)iends' eyes were lead
And all the stars I'd wished on fled.
Jun 2014 · 1.6k
I tip my hat to Kierkegaard
CH Gorrie Jun 2014
I tip my hat to Kierkegaard
Who was there when things were hard,
To Mr. Hofstadter
Loading my cannon with fodder,
To Willie Yeats
Who showed me my poetic cognates,
To the Buddha
Who, mentally being a barracuda,
Illuminated what patience really means,
To Graham Greene's
"Brighton Rock"'s influence on Morrissey,
Which made me smile at the sea
And recognize "in my own life
What Robert Browning meant
By an old hunter talking with Gods;
But I am not content."
May 2014 · 1.0k
Scars
CH Gorrie May 2014
I have two scars on my face; neither one's very visible anymore. One I received at age three (late 1992), falling face-first into a dry riverbed on my first camping trip. I landed hard, my forehead colliding with a crescent-shaped rock. I remember my father turning me over, my vision going red, the blood flowing into my scleras and pupils. The rock missed my right eye by millimeters.  When J.K. Rowling published Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone in 1997 my peers began calling me "Harry." Dark-haired, bespectacled, similar scar -- whole package. My comeback: "They should call Harry Potter 'Chris Gorrie', I had the scar first." Not until ten years later, when The Deathly Hallows was released, did I realize Harry was "born" in 1980.
Since Harry was never really born other than as a character in Rowling's mind, I guess that, technically, I still had the scar first.
Apr 2014 · 522
April 29, 2014 at 1:30am
CH Gorrie Apr 2014
The unmitigated silence of night:
solitary confinement. A freezing
dog barks at homeless veterans' wheezing.
Overhead clouds obscure the moon from sight.
Feb 2014 · 930
The Whiskey Tasting
CH Gorrie Feb 2014
I have no tongue for whiskey.
In turn, the whisky tasting
was a waste.
I got drunk
unenjoyably.
Maybe whisky's best use is as an
emergency antiseptic.
Someone asked, "How was that one?"
"The physical manifestation of 'NO'."
Walking home,
I fear this will be the taste
I taste while dying.
Feb 2014 · 420
Foregret
CH Gorrie Feb 2014
Coughing up tar on an Irish roadside,
I think of you.

Stranger things have triggered such recall.

Always, for some reason,
your reflection
is in every
black pool.
CH Gorrie Feb 2014
Hot tar and a thirty-year-old nickle's scent
broke the evergreen air as the bleak moonlight bent
shadows into the semblance of a grated vent.

On my cell phone I repeated what I meant
to a man behind three to four months on rent.
"Three or four thousand, come on Kent,

I'll let it slide for even two. I've lent
and lent and there's a considerable dent
in my wallet." He said the check would be sent

by the next week and remarked, "Time went
out the window. It disappeared in the events
of yesterday and was spent."

A week later a check was present
in my mail. It was crisp and unbent
but was written for "172,800 minutes and no cents."

I called up Kent, that incredulous tenant,
and said, "What is this check? It's content
is silly and makes no sense." "Relent,

relent, it's for four months of pent-
up time that was spent." "Time? The rent
can't be paid with a check to augment

lost minutes!" "You agreed to it before, on my word, as a gent."
Feb 2014 · 650
Illusory; or, K.K.'s Song
CH Gorrie Feb 2014
1.
The trembling of a maple tree:
Autumn buries spring.
Not everything
Hoped for came to be.

2.
The future happened and was not a sum
Of my earlier projections;
Newer directions
Proved I took stock in the obscurely dumb.

3.
If a pathway to another life
Could be fashioned immediately
I'd have no need to be
Treading the edge of a knife.

4.
The crooked palms, the bleached concrete—
All mine. My eyes have usurped them,
Just as the hacked phlegm
Of a *** supplants the street.
Jan 2014 · 522
I Was Not
CH Gorrie Jan 2014
I was not
knee-deep in a bog
swinging a blunt cutlass.

I was not
naked and kneeling
before a jungle trellis.

I was not
youthful when young
(never felt summer).

I was not
alive when I lived,
being entombed

between antitheses.
I was not
happy, though this

was happenstance.
I was not
not awaiting a soundless fury

to consume my essence,
when that essence was what
I was not.
Jan 2014 · 413
The Natural Mind
CH Gorrie Jan 2014
Like the sound of a stream --
archaic and ruthless --
her voice flowed, and I dream
all voices were once like this.
Jan 2014 · 521
If I could clip away
CH Gorrie Jan 2014
If I could clip away
the blossom that we see,
I'd throw it in the sun
and burn it happily.

To watch a petal's ash
evaporate for good,
to stand at a dug hole
where its flower once stood,

is to acknowledge death.
CH Gorrie Jan 2014
Buddha's and Christ's paths were equally right.
Imitating them obscures one's own path;
inward vision frees one from fear of death;
ego-consciousness curtails the light.
CH Gorrie Jan 2014
When people kneel before the Roman cross
as before something sacred, I'm at a loss:
they're revering an ancient torture device.
Still, they claim "it's about his sacrifice."
CH Gorrie Jan 2014
I've never seen any rose the same way;
a forgotten Dionysian frenzy changed
that love-symbol into something "deranged",
at least in moralistic terms today.
Dec 2013 · 623
Silent-
CH Gorrie Dec 2013
Silent-
ly, at midnight,
the man, mugged and alone,
recalls boyish thoughts of wisdom
and weeps.
CH Gorrie Dec 2013
Beauty does dematerialize
like the effect of a childhood kiss;
your images anesthetize
thoughts that lead to this.
Nov 2013 · 818
Her Novels
CH Gorrie Nov 2013
Her novels were full of everything you:
passive hopes; a burned Matryoshka doll
(Gorbachev); two fist-holes in a wall --
here's an epilogue: indelible, true.
Nov 2013 · 649
To William Butler Yeats
CH Gorrie Nov 2013
(After reading "At Algeciras - A Meditation Upon Death")

Did you know that you were writing to me
beside the Spanish straits?
(Pensive misery.)
Those words, given up to Death,
reappear now in my breath.
Oct 2013 · 1.5k
Koan
CH Gorrie Oct 2013
"Impulse is master",
said the learned man.
"It brings disaster
to a pondered plan."

But what about choice?
That's what I've been taught.

Trying speech, no voice
came, instead forethought

echoed through my head:
speak, and you'll be trapped!
I sat, mute as lead;
the man, smiling, clapped.
CH Gorrie Oct 2013
for the students lost in World War II*

1.
Kids.
Could they have understood this "sacrifice"?

2.
Kids,
on the edge of living,
about to dip into life.

3.
Kids:
epitaphs, Sunday daydreams,
skeletons wrapped in flags.

4.
Kids
whose lives are packed into one plaque
near Hardy Tower, tucked
behind bushes by the biology labs.

5.
Kids
stop every so often,
linger a moment over the names,
mouthing one or two
before scooting off to class.
CH Gorrie Oct 2013
The only noise is a departing train
when I wake to daylight at eight o'clock.
The slow white edges darkness back in vain,
groping the averageness of the city block.
I know for certain, yet feel half-unsure,
life will always go on --
what about after I'm dead and gone?
Unfounded conviction beginning to blur,
I step outside to steady rain
Confronting an inarticulate pain:

most go unescorted to the grave.

All day long I try pushing back the thought,
try focusing on my tedious work,
but truest fear -- what was and now is not --
deepens like a glacial cirque.
Certainty's fickleness falls far away
as momentary happiness
from nowhere, more or less,
solidifies into one more day.
Oct 2013 · 640
Birthday Poem
CH Gorrie Oct 2013
The world of dew
Is a world of dew, and yet,
And yet...*
     - Kobayashi Issa

Two dozen dew drops dazzling:
twenty four worlds; one more year?
An expectation, and yet
Issa's words are clear.
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