Monday, April 30, 2012

False Modesty

"Of all the constraints imposed on us that restrict our freedom—constraints of morality and decorum, constraints of class and finance—one of the earliest that is forced upon us is the constraint of a language that we are forced to learn so that others can talk to us and tell us things we do not wish to know." —Charles Rosen

half a moon a sparsely blossoming dogwood
beeps dings children who can't pay attention
percentages don't tell stories I can understand

brightness all we have to offer listening and
thinking about everything we hear look first
then leap the fall is all there you go enjoy it

easy to say if you have it easy can afford to
take it easy unearned income meeting need
miraculous destiny plays with generations

and that isn't all if I could think I would tell
I can and do false modesty a limiting habit
arrogance worse try be intelligent together

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Deer Life

ready to get pregnant again the doe
decides that the fawn is old enough
to learn to take care of itself lightly
leaps the fence leaving the fawn on
the horses' side throwing itself at the
fence in terror the mare (Chinita)
furious with a savage scream kicks
the fawn breaking its back leg then
picks it up in her teeth and shakes it
goes on screaming raging as Carol
lassos the fawn and drags it away
ties it to the old walnut tree calls a
friend ends its misery with a bullet

Passing In

do no more for the moment
passes the moment no more

snare the door for a person
knocks the moment passing

be within the moment door
will be opened passing in

Friday, April 27, 2012

Tiny Chair

the shadow that is to come
still remembers yesterday's
crisply prepared for flight
hysterically dreamt again

sitting in the tiny chair I
tentatively raised my hand
to pull the bell you came
barely in time to save me

I know what the situation
calls for impossible action
in a livelier medium who
said anything was wrong

Thursday, April 26, 2012

No Question

the room decides you do
what it asks no question
if a function repeats un-
altered by some context
that content an accident
substituting for another

the original hand clasps
its other as if drowning
were too bad to imagine
burning up or fading out
remain calm anticipated
action already occurred

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Happy Animals

the happy animals are happy
others are prone to anxieties

the chickens are happy peck
roost lay eggs come to meet

Tom is happy rubbing legs
calling to us haunting doors

bright Phebe fears me jumps
Carol's back in the garden

paranoid Ginger slinks off
submits to forced petting

horses have complex minds
moods stubborn ailments

jumpy Guinever worries
where is everyone what now

Annie gladly does her thing
expects to be treated right

Chinita lame doesn't know
she's scheduled to be bred

the steer in the far pasture
just happy not to be inside

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Say Yes

my vote would count more if I wanted
to object instead say yes to everything
they propose I'd let them spend wildly
but they don't every item strictly based
on the year before the year before that
creeping up within maximized means
someone thanked them with a heartfelt
gift makes Sunday hours possible new
trees a little comfort on a hard chair

Monday, April 23, 2012

Hard to Read

pain in the other room
makes it hard to read
I stagger as I walk to

the car ready for anything
needed to comfort as much
distress as yields to love

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Style Itself

if I wanted to tell secrets they would
have to be more serious I know nothing
but how to read and write and play piano

Mozart ripples off my fingers words
pour in and out as if devoid of meaning
style itself the secret I cannot now reveal

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Virtual Money

something heroic in the way the stock market keeps trying to climb
I root for it watching my virtual money shrink and partly swell again
puzzled that though the average goes higher than ever my part is less
it all works out in the end of course probably badly but possibly well

Friday, April 20, 2012

These Walls

what animal what truck how little we know
even of what little we see not that I can see
very clearly anymore where are they going
in such a hurry and why what initimacies
behind these walls eyes windows all we see
is what they do in public legal moves like
marriage children death police business is
that the real story hardly anything is known

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Blunt Lingo

if you don't do or say no one will know
who you are or were and even if you do
they are more interested in themselves
until you get famous in national media
then you can't get them to let you alone

how blunt the lingo we have to employ
in such cases reality feeds itself on talk
originals heroic compulsive obsessively
following their own however odd ideas
undisappearing may change everything

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

No Surprise

consistent compartments same thing
same time regular habits steady progress
meanwhile the larger situation gradually
and suddenly declines surprise no surprise

what else to do less than secret woe
might spring at any variation needed to
stay alive be actually here me doing
what it takes keep learning producing art

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Far Distant

about steer care I know nothing
wild beast bulls barrow roughly
breaks door knocks down wall I
watch and go away lunch ready

I read and write practice peace
play tai chi swim swiftly some
mornings pleasantest evenings
long fading slowly vivid colors

what happens is far distant now
I know because the email dings
someone thinking of me and I
of chickens in the great tradition

Monday, April 16, 2012

Fix It

what is required is not intelligible
I don't half understand money or
how machines I depend on work

this breaking down system holds
us up don't break it fix it learn how
to do something other people need

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Simply Wrong

who doesn't know whether this
or the other isn't that all of us
we go along with our friends
or shut up about it I do anyway
or what we wish our friends
wanted if they are our friends

I disagree with everything it
isn't that simple but simply
wrong to be wrong and pretend
you think it's right or there's
nothing you can do or say if
anyone really wanted to know

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Real People

any word hence thought can replace
any other best meaning malleable
still things happen might have been
different but weren't you have to say
principles of harmony apply in art
not life which mainly imitates itself

these words inspired by two festival
poets who transcend polite banality
reveal their ways of being selves
real people seizing responsibility
creative on top of all the usual stuff
nonsense taking form as wisdom

Friday, April 13, 2012

Small Thoughts

say less let the poet speak
small thoughts well put a
quick conjunction when I
wanted a story sit still if
not bad friends are better
than any invisible guests
returned to criticize again

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Anything Else

otherwise nothing
doing anything else
besides cha-cha-cha

discover something
unexpectedly meet
surprising people

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

One Me

heightened receptivity is the new
normal no wonder I don't want to
stop eating everything is delicious

a few bites not gorge insofar as
taste defines persons less usually
more or less enough for one me

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Farm Folk

nearest neighbors couldn't be nicer
we take their mail in when they go
away no thanks needed they bring
pies real farm folk they know how
to do almost anything generously
share tools skills advice weather
gentle people make living better

Monday, April 09, 2012

Two Halves

the mind works in opposites
because of the two halves this
not the other that although the
opposite may also be the case
unity is worse there can be no
alternative give me multiples
gods conditions possibilities
in fact that's how it really is

Sunday, April 08, 2012

Special Status

aces come forth do you rule
or are you lowest lower than
two not royal family for sure

all are equal but not in power
to win tricks or confrontation
higher beats lower as in life

aces' rank depends on game
high-low makes it go around
what if you are born a seven

or three or nine ten has some
special status top commoner
lords it over inferior numbers

smug the royals live in fear
an ace can humiliate a king
a trump reduce them to zip

wouldn't you rather be a five
or eight two would be easy
no expectations little stake

Saturday, April 07, 2012

Not Midnight

what prevents writing prevents me
further driving preventive music I
subscribe unwillingly modernized

O.K. it's convenient I'm home not
midnight running through the pack
wishing words thoughts imagining

Friday, April 06, 2012

Nowhere Else

what's happening anywhere is anyone
making the right decision personally yes
but no in the larger scheme of things
like war (peace) health care (sickness)
energy economy equality fairness no one
even talks about making things better

almost anything is possible government
needs to counterbalance ownership greed
but shouldn't stand in the way of progress
arresting Occupiers at vast (wasteful) cost
picking on pot smokers letting business
go on exploiting people ruining place

there is nowhere else to go no other orb
to live on no other air or water than this
no time but now and to come if we can
love one another enjoy full moon night
we can see clearly how small we are
against stars how large for each other

Thursday, April 05, 2012

False Words

understandable acceptance whisks me past
screen clears all is adorably threatening to
unveil what might be secretly achieved is
this obscurity sufficient for the sweep is it
foolish to be so observed so disobedient I
do my work write edit trim the plum tree

part two follows naturally rhythm holding
still flowing as if knowing the answer all
told what else discovered the code name
tricks the voting public shame not enough
to stop wrong decisions being carried out
harm done inappropriate false words said

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Nasty Smoke

our neighbor is on a roll
he cut down the double row of bushes
that flowered pink so prettily every spring
I didn't need to plant them because he had
tore down the last original house on the block
(he lives in a manufactured home in back)
clouds of mold-dust blew down our way
rented a steam shovel dug a huge pit
bulldozed the wreckage in lit it with a blowtorch
it burned for two days nasty smoke
he leveled the lot and spread gravel
built a huge metal garage right on the road
for his trucks and mechanical toys
it's his land he can do whatever he wants
cut off the arbor vitae hedge along the street halfway up
tried to buy the widow's field evicted the sheep
drove a truck across it leaving muddy ruts
hacked down the middle third of the row of poplars
we'd watched growing so feathery and lovely
in the afternoon light now jagged stumps ten feet tall

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Easily Pushed

new eyes may see more
mine conditioned fill in
experience's other edge

trust yourself but listen
to what other people say
they are probably right

let them help you think
your own blurred ideas
reflected reach beyond

something else will be
better cling first easily
pushed can do it again

Monday, April 02, 2012

Stolen Children

if the idea suffice the fact deplore
the time complete adjective follow
me we are going to the other side

I would say the subject blurringly
misbeholden unto verb trafficks
stolen children who slowly grow

nothing worse except in number
blame what genotype or system
excuse no noun without a root

these are the parts of speech I
learned in school before I knew
what else I have to talk about

Sunday, April 01, 2012

Necessary Change

if I don't somehow convert it into writing
it still happened but might as well not have
not to me not to not know it might not be
comme ça for everyone I speak for myself

how else ferret out its meaning if it has any
register the necessary change be affected
as I certainly am a bowl of soup a hundred
dollars worth of music a going and return

projects continue to be being done a little
every day adds up possibly to something
worth effort practice certain movements
believe the words carry part of the magic