the story went as though
she'd always known the sea
and trusted in its depth
to mellow any ill, caress her
open lovingkind as in a dream.
and dream she would upon the waves,
having settled into floating reverie.
she'd close her eyes and inhale being
there among herself caressing only
ocean, only breath, all sunlit space
to draw her earthly trials gently out.
softened beachside noise would fade
and let alone her ears to hear
the water oneness dipping clear
and deeper in the troughs, for distance
from the stranded holidays,
the beachy noise of seaside frills
and bear her boyancy to rest
in lilting motion, peaceful cresting sleep
atop an intercontinental,
earthsize water bed.
her trust profoundly spanned
the trans-atlantic rift
and any rift to set apart her undulating
ancient ocean mastery. moon
and sun were kneading vastly where
her snores were lost in starfish whispers balancing
the tidal volume set
to always fill and keep afloat,
or otherwise to wake in
sputters and a salty throat.
her body settles into swinging comfort
napping over waves so deep the shore recedes...
... what bright, kind, clarity cascaded in your dreams?
what heart you had, embracing open quiddity,
never sinking nowness breath alert in lucid sleep
and water surface mystic skyward shallow course?
to merfolk gazing up in wonderment
you limply crossed their bouncing sky,
just another flight of fancy in a world of mystery?
did you dream you were a whalesong
sphering out to carry sadness sonorously? did you
school the many impulse-thoughts to clump and flee
the jaws of time? did you bask in light
and find a shining womb of self
to nurture once again and labor out anew?
did gravity make sense to you?
i float sometimes and live that question true.
sleeping far you drifted out and out and in and out of view
and whistles drowned in gathered drama fear
'my grandma! my grandma!'
screamed my cousin at the lifeguard
sweating bloody hell and leaping over stroke to spash
into your side a breathless shouting mess for you to calm
and ask 'what's wrong?' and angle slowly back to shore
in fits of giggles, bubble laughter at commotion's reach.
they blink in crowds, standing herdlike on the beach.
and now you swim your last,
another summer day.
like any other i awoke
and fed you eggs, so soft
(at first it wrinkled my nose),
but taste is strange, and slimy works
just fine sometimes,
like in the absence of teeth.
she never liked her dentures,
(she said she couldn't taste her food)
and gummed her frozen dinner meals with a smile,
like it was the greatest thing in the world.
(in fact she'd often say, 'that was the best meal i had ever had',
and with a force that made me happy to suspend my doubt)
and who am i, judging
that which you select? your pills,
your diapers and your vote,
your shows, your nursery rhymes,
your crown manipulation,
i use abjection well,
as something not unlike a whetstone for denial.
performing daily rituals i abhor
i retrain and edit, revising social eyes:
dilapidated fictions, safer norms
and mores tailored to a loan
with interest from the self.
she didn't call herself a 'nudist,'
though she lived beyond the fence
living nude for decades saying
'i'll never leave, i love my home.'
we played dominoes 'til noon
'another kind of indoor game, one on a side'
her interpretation of my being there
changed soon, like my aversion
for the liquid yoke she buttered with a spoon.
our neighbors loved her and i,
and to meander down our path,
lay their towels and sit
like all there was to do was visit.
she hobbles from her plants back to the sink,
and filling the cat dish, stands
century-old arms akimbo
in the doorway, with a sigh to wake the sun.
being of caretaking was never so fun.
holding hands i help her over roots,
around the rocky sections, through
the easy path and level now
she hobbles sure, the cane a decoration
for her pride at being old and young
at heart and quick at stories overtold
in grooves to satisfy the sense of time.
greetings shower us with beaming smiles,
inching to the sandy edge. denuding,
joining everyone, we stand engulfed
in air. modern digambar to don
a vaster cloth of letting be.
skinny dipping grandma, and me.
the water slips around
her fraglile skin, human driftwood
knotted with a smile.
a grand mother slipping through akashic cracks
to undiscover friends their seeing core.
they wonder at the shore
of hoary plight
and wonder on, once we're gone.
Why am I doing this?
Is it to somehow appeal?
Having a deep desire to,
Be exposed and living,
With many bland and empty arrogances,
Somehow it’ll be different with me,
Then when all is out there,
Did it make a difference,
Constant grief for the,
Great Thought that got away,
Why do I do this chant,
It all comes out as static,
What for are those,
Playing accursedly with loud dentures,
Getting points across,
Glancing back at what’s just gone,
Then, by will, carry one.
Feel the dream coming through,
Let it please be true,
Silently granules fall,
Between myself and the hall,
Let the bubbling not come afloat,
Burst and that’s the last thing I wrote.
That's it I've had it
Tired of being ignored with a wink on the side
I'm tired of being told what old men should do
Going to start taking life on the flea..or is that the fly
I'm going to hit the streets of the city
And be known as that cool guy that raps
After I add a tad bit more Poligrip
So my dentures can get down with that
I'll get me a ball cap and turn it sideways
My pants already hang down past my crack
I'll even learn the latest catch phrase
Like, Hey dude..what's up wit dat?!
Think I'll even rhinestone my walker
For that little extra bling, bling
They'll say check out that crazy rapper daddy-o
Man that cat can really swing
I'll keep the lyrics clean like I do my diaper
That's why I bring my nursie with me
After all she's a wonderful wiper
Don't worry I pay the extra wiping fee
I'll also get her to hold up the cue cards
Since my memory over the years has waned
No longer to be known as that old white cracker
Beating JZ at his own game
I'll get jiggy with it every chance I get
As I fizizzile my way to the top
I'll be bigger than that guy with the candy name
That young whipper snapper will melt in the hands of this rapping GrandPop
As I look up at the sun and burn my eyes
I realize the world looks more beautiful when it’s dark
Looks like waves of light against the black
Like a music screen saver on a computer
As I hold the rose she gave me
I realize it is far less beautiful without its thorns
Looks naked and defenseless
Like rusty bear trap dentures
Grandmother always smelled like
The green part of the garden
And bit like the bitter bark she fed me
When she didn’t want to waste soap
On my dirty mouth
She said even my feet were too large
For the garden she tended
So I could not smell the roses
Or pick the tomatoes
Or rub my fingers against the thyme
I could not climb the trees
Or pluck worms from the earth
Early in the morning
Before the sun warmed the soil
So I stood
like a sunflower
Praying to grow tall one day
And stared at the sun
The world is just as pretty when it is dark
Lisa looks like she’s stood a little too close
To Dante’s Fireplace
A rum soaked ham left in the dirt
Small crust spots where the skin broke
She’s stopped wearing her dentures
Looks like her face is sinking inside of itself
I was napping
Dreaming about a rock on a hill
That overlooks my city
Was dreaming about what the gun said to the mouth
About how the bullet wanted a kiss
Found her lying in a window
Like a fish whose bowl has just shattered
A bowl that has been dirty for too long
It’s a mixed blessing
The glass bubble burst
I keep my window shut
The smell of the rum I dumped into the earth
Juicy apple pie smoke fingertips calling
They don’t understand the anger
Don’t feel the neglect until it’s too late
I patch up her face
As she begs
Just don’t call the police
Don’t call anybody
She passes out
On a dirty couch
The kids crowd their mattresses
So they can sleep near her
I think about something I read once
About a company called LifeGem
And how for a small fee
They can turn your ashes into diamonds
Enough for a necklace
Or two bracelets
Several sets of earrings
Even when you’re worthless
You’re worth something
I buy dinner before work
Something fatty and saltier than their tears
She would always say things like
You only live once
And then have a drink
Or hang up on a police officer
Or shut a door
You only die once too
I know how I want to be remembered
"How about some long beautiful hair" the Santa says
The little girl rubs her head bald and veiny
She looks like a baseball
"No. It doesn't get in my eyes anymore when I play basketball" she says
The bunch of us
Sunken eyed and balding
In wheelchairs and on crutches
Some of us holding our I.V. stands for support
I can only imagine how the Santa feels
The tiniest zombies
All waiting for a turn
I have silver caps on my top front teeth
Look like an old Cadillac
Insides all rust and rumble
We all want to know if we were good this year
Cut to the bunch of us
Watching the Blue Angels air show
All getting pictures with a man dressed as Shamu
He is supposed to write something on the backs of all the pictures
I try to imagine
What you could possibly write
To a group of kids that looked like us
In shaky black ink
Because whales aren’t prehensile
I love you
When the circus came to the hospital
We all gathered on a balcony
The news was there
Clowns painted our faces
I asked if they had room for me
Told them I could be like that guy
From the 007 movies
With the silver teeth that could bite really big stuff
They said I might miss my folks
I told them I wouldn’t
Then took off my gown
To show them my scars
They weren’t impressed
Ever since I’ve wanted to join the circus
Despite our qualifications
We could not join the circus
But that is okay
All we wanted really
Was to know if we were good
And that somebody loved us
And somebody did
if you meet
a snake with fangs
as large as sore thumbs
don’t put your hand out and say:
'How do you do?'
it’d might take a bite
and it’d say:
'How do you do?'
if you meet
in the streets
'Hey, what you’re
doing in my territory?'
he’d might just zap
you with his laser gun and say:
'Oh, I just dropped in to say:
Earthling, buzz off!'
if you meet God in the streets
just don’t say:
'Who do you think you are?'
for the most certain answer
from that loony would be:
if you meet the Devil in the streets –
well, you just shouldn’t be
meeting anyone like that;
if you meet a ghost
in the shadows
of your garden
for that matter)
'How does it feel there?'
because it may just jump in
'Hey, it feels good to be in you.'
if you find
on the floor
when you wake
in the middle of the night
just don’t say:
'What you doing on the floor?'
just grab it
tuck it under your head and say:
'Just stay there!'
if you find Old Jenny grandma’s dentures
in a glass beside your bed
when you wake up in the middle of the night
'Old Grandma – what are your dentures doing here?'
It’s yours, remember? – you are Old Jenny Grandma!
if you meet a bird in the streets
resting on a lamp post
whatever you do
just don’t stand below the light
for you never know what might land on you
if you meet me
in the streets
just don’t stretch out your hand
and don’t say:
'How do you do?'
because I’ll have to you give you the boot –
Cos, hey, I’m Bigfoot!
I think you’ll see
life’s getting scary
there’s someone out there
who knows everything about me
See, everywhere in my emails
there’s some tortoise-shell reading
of my inner desires, needs and personality
Today for example
I’ve got several magic readings
several secret readings
Let's start with the first:
Meet sexy women in your neighbourhood -
Oh my God, how did they know
I was thinking of my neighbour’s wife?
Make $4000 per week - work at home!
Oh my Dear Stars! How did they know?
Though with this of course I can combine
my need to meet all the sexy women in my neighbourhood
while I’m making $4000 online
O it’s all so easy, see -
And it gets scarier with these mystics reading
my needs and wants
Grow an extra inch!
Oh! Oh! How do they know? How do they know?
Erectile problems? We’ve got the pills!
OK , listen guys - my wife has been talking
Best Buy Viagra Generic Online - Viagra 100mgX60 Pills $125
OK...my wife has certainly been talking! That precision exposes her!
And comes more:
Stop Snoring Tonight - Guaranteed!
Party on all night with our wonder pills...
Dental plans - Oh God! Defend me from these mind-readers!
They even know I’m losing my teeth and need dentures!
Is nothing sacred any more?
And there’s another one
and now it gets even scarier
cos they tell me things I didn’t know about myself:
Put on this bra and see your man rise to the occasion!
But Oh ye Aliens who observe all things human -
I always thought I was the man!
But maybe I never knew I am a woman actually?
for they keep coming:
Bras of all styles, types and sizes just for your body!
Dear God! Heavens!
Why have you done this to me?
Why do you create me as man, run a male program for over 5 decades
and then bring in these soothsayers
to break the harsh truth in a gentle way:
I am a woman - and needing more bras!
And one more:
Ladies, look 20 years younger with LifeCell!
I’m finished! I’m zilch!
I'm a woman and I'm getting old!
The magic weavers have found me out
the truth even I had not known...
Do you suffer from depression?
Yes! Yes! Oh - not before, but now yes! Yes!
The Scientific Breakthrough is here!
Oh, the devils know me! The devils are out to get me!
and so gentle reader
be you aware
the demons are out there
and lest you laugh at me
they may already have started work on you
they know every thought and wish and desire in your heart;
and if you don’t believe me - just check your emails - if you dare...
for I think you’ll agree
life’s getting scary
there’s someone out there
who knows innermost secrets
everything about you and me