apparently there's a massive avocado
problem in australia,
flat like belgium,
sea cold as the north sea,
a massive jet-lag the only attraction,
stop-over where the chinese talk
in renminbi, cigarettes cheap (~£10
a carton), you hear the account
but never want to see the pictures,
just the words,
so a massive avocado problem, one avocado
costs $5 australian, a bottle of wine costs under
$3, odd, isn't it? a packet of cigarettes
costs ~$20... and you'd sooner see a koala pouch
and a wallaby... than an aboriginal man...
i guess it's like the story of the american indians...
a zoological curiosity, kept in a zoo that isn't a "zoo",
in some nature reserve dying from alcoholism,
what a pretty ivory face everywhere you turn,
what a pretty ivory face everywhere you turn
in belgian melbourne, a colonial city
with very little attractions except conformity
to the health service... sooner a bonsai kangaroo
(wallaby), or a koala, than an aboriginal man...
ah god's gift to the world, western european
what a zoological curiosity to place a koala pouch
above an aboriginal man...
and how debased the once famous teuton women
by roman account of warfare turned from
noble women ready to commit suicide rather than
be raped... raping their image so often as to
provide the profession of porn actresses...
i'm loving it... i think i'll toast with the aboriginal men
a clear thought and boomerang the koala dead
for supper... or that's one interpretation
of a tourist's experience.
the inbetweeners only went there for butlins
water slides... i wouldn't even go there go there
for the weather... i'd go there to kickbox a kangaroo
and dance with the tasmanian whirlwind:
but all the shamans of the aboriginal folk are long gone,
and all the aboriginal drunks don't do what ivory
european drunks do: gamble and buy up whores...
they just sit on porches... with telepathic powers
igniting the aquaholic eucalyptus trees who from drinking
too much water... leave the sucklings of grass barren
as bush green... which is hue of stagnating green
into brown or yellow;
but the avocados are expensive... no avocado on toast
as the greenwich girl would like it to be...
too posh for baked beans on toast:
she says farting makes her hubby less of a hard-on;
i find that statement completely agreeable;
the biggest cultural shift though?
sushi... 1 piece of sushi oscillating at ~$3...
sushi and dolphins... match-up...
aussie aussie.... ahoy ahoy fuckjoy!
Manhattan by line,
by subway track purr,
by foot in a midwinter
fresh, gale force air.
The dying battery in
Times Square's wristwatch,
halts hands in mid air,
each hailing the second taxi
that comes to them
every next minute;
definitely in the next ten.
Buried benches in thigh high
snow look lost, with
only their branching tops
on display for the tourist's show,
this January snow.
past the Chipotle store,
where diners stand and eat,
stand and greet,
stand with napkins to appear neat,
stand near the radiator to warm their feet,
He was with another woman, kissing her cheek.
Manhattan is a horizon of horizontal lines,
drawn by pencil lead, led up a page
to create this fascinating portrait
that a point-and-click-camera
let alone negotiate.
We can go unnoticed there, like
most others in this gale force air,
but billboard boys-
the ones that braid virgin building hair,
and balcony balustrade-
are the famous ones
of Broadway, with nothing more
than their commercial stare.
Touring all the unresolves
of the heart,
the muted self goes brimming.
Mannequin expressions of day
have possessed the insipid bed knob at night.
The woodgrain globe
exhibits some strange phase of the moon
from borrowed streetlight.
I remember when your face first appeared-
an icon on the plucked wing
of a grand monarch,
like a saint in a church window.
Glowing holy on a seasoned-turned leaf,
the wind thumbed you 'round and 'round
as if to read you like a page again and again.
And then you planted
on a crack in the city wall.
My head is no home fit for you!
You once walked this place
with the strain of a tourist's neck,
and now its inhabitants all wear your face!
A gray masquerade of ghosts,
a haunted gift shop.
I choked on my own
the night I trusted you.
The night blood drummed
in your arrhythmic heart,
But you left...
you wanted an engineer eh?
Is not the poet this?
for that which
cannot be said
addresses the equation
of life, syllable by syllable,
constructing the inner-universe
for himself and others.
Every night I interrogate
the stars with prayers!
And every word funnels off
into those silver-lined wormholes
and is never heard from again.
I am quick to try
the thick mesh of night
with clawing hands
that tear vulture-like
at the blackness,
bit by bit.
But fail to do so.
You are dawn to the insomniac.
Rude luminary of the tumored valley,
I have chosen the worst day to forget you!
As if to forget the vaulted shades of blue
that arch above me
after a heavy downpour.
O these ill-fated shoes!
I stare deep into them,
yet they lead me to a sepia sky
lying dead in a mud puddle.
I am again betrayed
and lead to a film-gray sky
lying dead in a street puddle.
our film winks silver
spooling on a ferris wheel
and a rusted Eucharist tray.
strapped the apparatus to my head
and plunged towards the ocean depths
The dreaming eye is a sweeping submarine light
examining the blue mutations of memory.
And where it marries creation
the heartache, and the unknown,
you will find insanity
pumping out poem
No love lost when the matter is through,
for I'd prefer my own lunacy to you.
Last week we bought a bottle of epilepsy to share
at a party made to crash on dinner plates
rolling down uphill battles.
The clustering warm anticipation set to pounce falls short
with talks of who is late and who can't make it
because someone in the family disapproves.
Who cares about the bitter salt cakes in the dust of fossilized crustaceans?
The polar bears march to beautiful, pointless noise beating off the living receptacles.
The locals are scars in the conclusions deep in the visiting sounds—almost forgot but still murmuring.
The first citizens of noise.
I am wilting flowers on the living room
table that you just can’t throw away.
I am laughter held far too long and
the lake you wish to swim but not drown in.
I am in the background of every tourist’s photos
and in the foreground of nobody’s thoughts.
I am the bird that forgot to migrate and
will freeze to death without ever knowing why.
I am pants that never fit quite right.
I am tearful 2 am apologies and stepped on toes
while learning to dance.
I am the alarm that never wakes you from nightmares.
You are a warm bed on a cold winter morning,
the first to be chosen and the last to be forgotten.
You are the chocolate placed on a hotel bed’s pillow,
stolen kisses in the dark and hand holding in the light.
You are Colorado sunrises and Pennsylvania sunsets.
You are hit radio singles and dusty vinyl records,
premium cigars, silk bowties and overflowing picnic baskets.
You are Disney movies and handwritten letters,
and you are the city lights peeking over the horizon.
Truth is, you are mine to keep and I am yours to bear.
Taking two sloping steps at a time
I hurried toward the gray peak
As if propelled by some Pied Piper’s rhyme
Between the battering of the wave’s break
On the smooth gray stones
Laid out as some colossal creatures bones
Near the top there lay
An ancient castle of pride and age
Shining under a single sun’s ray
Copied out of a fairytale page
Around it, the grass waved
Like sports fans after some fantastic goal was saved.
Nestled against the castle’s topmost crook
A fiddler sat upright and played
His music notes traveled and shook
Through the crowded masquerade
Of tourist’s gasps, native rough accents
Dominating the soundsphere without any assistance
They waltzed around in the air
Only to be carried away by a vicious banshee wind
Leaving me momentarily bare
A noiseless kind of blind
As I stared out in the distance
Watching the cliff be beaten out of existence
my eyes are filled with wonders,
my heart is filled with spirit
like coffee for the soul
gelato for the brain,
travel makes me sing,
zambia, mallorca and spain.
mother and my friend,
tightening the over stretched
ropes that bind
a mother and
under a tourist's sun,
upon white sand beaches
luxury at my beck and call,
i will recover from this
to be conflicted, engages,
happy and bitter-sweetend,
all of this and more, i
am acutely eager to live through.
come on, june 1. you can run to me faster than this.
This autumn morning with the birds waking up
and the leaves changing is Election Day. I meet
Jane Trichter on the downtown subway and discuss
Henry's upset. Her skin is soft especially her cheeks
and she is intelligent and sensitive. The subway riders
do not recognize their representative.
All day, at the office. I accomplish nothing substantive
but I keep the aides and interns working
and cheerful. On Tuesdays there is always a wave
of constituent complaints, by telephone. One woman's
Volkswagon is towed and the police break in
to get it out of gear. Do they have that right,
can they tow even though no sign said Tow Away Zone?
It is an interesting question but I try to avoid
answering it. The woman persists and succeeds
in committing me.
The people at the office want to bomb Iran. A few Americans
held hostage and therefore many innocent women and children
pay the postage. It may be good classical logic to hold
the whole society for the acts of a few, however, then
I must begin to expect the bomb and the white cloud that
Apocalyptic visions are popular again
but we are more likely to thrash the earth to within an inch of
than scorch it to charred rock.
Corner of Church and Chambers,
German tourist's language, accent repels me
although I wasn't alive 45 years ago
and many sweet, great Germans opposed the crazy Nazis
but lately I've read Primo Levi's If Not Now, When?,
seen William Holden in "The Counterfeit Traitor",
have followed the argument started by revisionists
who say the Nazi atrocities never happened.
War brought many shopkeepers, bookkeepers close to
weather, seasons, death.
I see daily life as low-intensity warfare
as my father, the World War II vet, did.
Off to work we go. What is war?
Population control, mother of invention, diversion
from the work of making life permanent.
Today is Election Day and because it's a day off
for most municipal employees, the City Hall area
has been quiet and easy to work in. Henry and Jane
hold a press conference on teenage alcoholism.
Leslie, the other aide, who I'd like to draw
the stockings and clothes off of and feel her whole body
with mine, goes home with her mother, leaving me
standing by my desk with my briefcase at the end
of Election Day.
The green leaves
The turning autumn leaves
The branches barren from leaves
The strong dark bark
Initials and hearts with promises
carved into its thick skin.
The perfect curve of the branch,
bending but never breaking.
Taking our weight as we climb, sit, and bounce
Constantly testing its strength.
The passing cars
oblivious to the tree
hidden by rocks and neighboring branches.
Safeguarded by the promise of a tourist’s ignorant and focused eye.
The quiet rustle of a hunting coyote
The sweet melody of a Spring Robin
and the answer of a nesting squirrel.
The worn and weathered marble table.
The rusted water fountain that fails with each attempt.
I wonder who ever drank
from its bronze spout
in the woods.
the crisp, fresh air
and scent of miles of blooming apple trees.
Trusted family and friends
discovering a place
old and dear to me.
The old fishing boat shiny, worn yet proud
Had many an old fish bone scraped across its deck
Heard stories that would make your hair curl
and had seen weather at its worst but what the heck.
Had seen all the fish available from all the seas
nothing would surprise this old girl anymore.
Had the strength to carry on whatever the gale
Grin and bear it or go as you have gone before.
Its engine, had seen some time in its old life
struggling through seas as high as waves could get
Through ice as thick as an island so as to speak
and the new fishing boats wince if they get wet.
They would not last five seconds in conditions
like my fishermen have served thought the boat
Well if it could think that is what it would think
They look delicate and I dare say they would float.
But now the old fishing boat was being admired
stroked lovingly by tourists with cameras and tales.
Ice cream accidentally smeared on the deck
With its worn polished look and ragged sails.
But it was proud, and so it should be
For the fish it has fed folk, fishermen it had sailed
But now it had a place in tourist's heart, the town
It was admired, photographed and now emailed.
A buyer with plenty of money and hope in his heart
had bargained and won his bid. It was now his dream
to sail the boat with children on board and parents
sightseeing on board complete with a holiday team
Dressed in navy and white striped with straw hat
No fishing lines, nets, poles just an orange float.
With a sign that indicated the price of the trip
A retirement, a nice little trip for the fishing boat.