Like many others on the blogs I follow I have been submitting my writing to publishers. In the push to get some of my work published I’ve come across some of the familiar, old, reliable doubts and fears of mine and a couple of insights that I thought would be cool to share.
Speak what you think today in hard words and tomorrow speak what you think in hard words again, though it contradict everything you said today.Ralph Waldo Emerson, Self-Reliance
Out for a walk and I realize that everything I know to be fact, through careful scientific observation, has been told to me. The things that I assume to be true, through my own experiences and observations, are but a myth.
To be able to write poetry successfully I have to do two things: give in to the experience. And give up assigning value to words; stay true to the story; give in to the music within the word. By giving in to the experience of course I mean the experience that gives rise to poetry, which is, of course, a poem in and of itself. I can write a poem about an experience while I’m living the experience, but I can far better write the poem, later, (or perhaps write a far better poem) if I’ve fully invested in the experience.
He’s a fugitive walking through the neighborhood. Trapped in the town he’s running from. Choruses of frothing loam biting at his ankles.
On those silent nights clouds pass by mob-like and at sunset they are pitchforks and torches. But at night, under moonlight; a weighted down hatchback packed to the brim.
Anticipating the getaway is all he has left. Every secret scratched and peeled by the wind, like the one that goes; maybe the dogs love is the only love I ever knew. Poof. Through the trees.
Casting thoughts of the future like searchlights
this is worship.
The halo of attention sits atop storms of desolate mindscapes
like little bloated O’s floated in bath scum.
Frosted CRISPR Cas13’s deployed
in your morning cereal. Dad says to eat up.
Viruses create havoc— an attempt to take control of the host.
Then ooze blob-like out of the light of attention before turning
into dark smokey shadow to regain the high ground.
With this my daily bread i shall take to infirm the wretched—
part of a complete breakfast!
halos shoot arrows with razor blade precision
germ warfare has been declared. But it’s Dad’s war, and didn’t
he also say not to fight in other people’s wars?
NOW WITH SPECIAL CHOCOLATEY CASING!
Snip the disease of our humanity
until we are no longer human.
Now we started a war
that we can’t win.
Falling and flailing, it seems wildly, but, in fact its what we’re programmed to do when we’re falling. I can feel the jet streams taking me, not unlike a leaf. I was in the clouds, but now I’m falling and the mantra in my head: trust the ground. This happens every time I’m falling like this. And just when it feels like I’ll be falling forever the ground reaches out and takes me from the air. Like getting smacked in the back of the head. I am absorbed into her, I am her, and then filtered through her. This is when the ground becomes the clouds and I’m dangling with my head in my new set of clouds, waiting to fall again.
We went to dinner, which apparently is what everyone else does on an ordinary weekday night. We sat in a booth, my daughter and wife across from me.
Dad look. Dad look,”pointing passed me.
a bald guy!you know, I say, some day I could be bald.
But I don’t want a bald father!
there’s always love available. our job is to find it. when we are stuck looking for where its not we won’t find it. only when we commit ourselves to finding the love that’s available, even in impossible situations, will we be able to find it.
Some trees are already bare, and the leaves that remain, may well remain until next year. When a breeze ripples the giant sequoias, they whisper to each other the lost ancient name of loss and pain
—My love, are you awake?
and the dog down the street sounds the trumpet, and the oboe in the moon soaked starless sky whirs from far to near to far
travelers stand next to 9-5’ers who line the sidewalk, street-side no parking ’til 9 a.m. Music thunders out of the caffè. One couple chats while they wait, everyone else has noses in screens; trying not to be seen; the starlings flutter near the curb. One brave soul, tempted and cautious, hops under the two-person table to steal a crumb. The homeless man, with matted brown ribbons of hair shuffles down the line audaciously looking, or trying to look, the patrons in the eye. From somewhere inside a name is shouted over the music out onto the street, but no one lifts their head. And the homeless man keeps shuffling down the street, empty handed.
Could be a stagnant, sunny day; could be soaked and drizzling. Along a row of dumpsters the crows hang out on the truss-work just above. Behind them, in the broad-leafed maple (leaves white with fungus, and crispy-brown singed edges) dozens of crows fly in and out, back and forth. Of the crows that have taken an interest in the trash, one will fly in, or on, a dumpster and poke around. Usually within a matter of seconds another decides to hop down, then three and four, and soon, the whole bunch of them are scared off as the fifth flies too close to the group for comfort. They all scatter to the chain-link fencing, or the cinder containing wall. Up in the trusses, one brave newcomer, tempted soul that he is, will decide to hop down and try his luck —and the pattern begins all over again. When a seagull takes an interest, he becomes king of the dumpster, and has his way with the trash of his choosing. The crows move around, cautiously, waiting their turn. Some, in a fit of aggression, peck and haw, but it is clearly an attempt to get out their frustration at the seagull, still having his way. It is certainly a feast, but the crows don’t seem to know this. To them it is always in the balance, always on the verge of being taken away. Somewhere— between the margins— there is a poem; O industrious crow, has it always been that we humans make such a heap of waste? Where then would you feast?