Posts Tagged Idealism
If the music gets loud enough, I feel
the escape of despair, and I scream
with dizziness, though I never say it
as well as the musicians, and I’m left
wondering why I’m pale and so muted.
Freedom, let’s catch the bus as it leaves
the station, jumping up and down on the tin
roof, grabbing the crumbling cement,
passing under structures meant to bury
us, swallow us, throw us away.
Superman and I rage against the wind
as we jump from rooftop to polluted roof-
top, scrambling to locate our missing
hearts, rumbling through city forests,
making pancakes out of cement trucks.
Screaming in my twisting intestines,
coughing, blowing out clogs, who is it
who shut me out from my art, who has
splayed me, sucked out my screams,
removed my hums, left me breathing?
This is my late submission for PAD Day 3. My dog ate the first one and that is why this is so late. The prompt for this day was to write a poem on something tentative.
Lightly, Not Trespassing
Her ego, too large, but perhaps not,
might it be a sensitive soul,
needing defense, causing compassion,
and I’ve fallen in, or have I?
She talks of her fans. They love
her, cause her to be reticent in shar-
ing, about how close they get to her,
and I want to be one, a fan, close to her.
More of her takes me into deep, warm
areas, and I must hold back, not tell
her any truth about my desires, so I
watch her, shiver, downed by longing.
Here today, things started to change dramatically.
Do you know, when I just said that, I knew it was false,
but it’s hope, so fuck ‘em. So for a few minutes, I thought,
I might be a writer. To me, that meant I might be a decent
human being. I have this blind sense that humans need to
have a central purpose, a reason for going on despite all
the facts that seem to recommend action to the contrary, but
it is blind because I don’t know other humans well enough
to know that they need a purpose. In fact, often, I wonder
how these integrated, bloated masses of people get along
without purpose because they simply trudge through, yes,
contented, but vacuous, contented with eating three meals,
with chips and snacks and pops, and weekend trips to the
lake ( THE fucking lake), and working on these schedules
that are preposterous, barely having time to hug the dog,
rarely awaking without an alarm designed to send humans
into blind destitute, where they don’t know how empty all of the
facades are, and I sit here, wanting to spit on my new pants,
wanting to throw the cafeteria tray across the room, blowing
out the perfectly-clean window which teases me with a Zen
garden that is never used for true purpose, not for lack of need,
but because the minds are entrapped in this buzzing hum
of doing what responsible adults and other gurus have told us
we are meant to do, despite our god-given sense that we waste
this gift of life every day, each day with these millions of
moments that spin down clockwise through snake-cleaned
drains made of the detritus of all of the gold we mined in the
good days when living in a tent and eating smoked rabbit
was a good thing. Here I am praying for a revolution that will
turn me into a writer and allow me to live out my days,
comfortable in some sense of purpose, praying that there
are people who might read and might be changed in the
slightest, because if I can touch a few people with writing and
eat a bit of rabbit, what would be wrong with me, but I’m scared
in the end, remembering those nightmares of walking out of
my tent and hanging myself with heavy rope on the sturdy,
horizontal limb of the old oak tree, ending what seems to be a
useless quest, a useless longing to rid myself of this vast,
empty purposelessness. And here I am wondering what kind
of stupid fuck would write about writing, and I stop. I’m due
back in my cubicle.
me find joy, life, wading
through thick machines, littered, soulless,
Brahms, Revisited without Tears for Today
Brahms has the twitchy fuse,
lighting me in acidic
flames and the arguments inherited
from old elephants, between piano and orchestra,
are trudging – me, I verses the world,
and I’m losing
but I’m pounding the keyboard
until I get a break, a breath, a sigh,
and I show this grace
that is un-Brahms
Brahms at his greatest,
and when the horns arrive
in red army coats, you know
victory is grasped with dirty,
dry, crisp finger nails, but it
never happens, never consummates.
I am finished, a heaping
pile of slippery dung
when Brahms is done.
And as a practicing drunk, the tears
would wilt tarnished cheeks and create heat
emanating around thorny eye sockets,
but these days are desert dry, pain layered
and hidden and only Brahms, only the
master knows, knows the truth, and now,
at least I rest, I stop, I pray, lost.
p.s. – Embedded below is the referenced piece, performed by my favorite conductor and one of my favorite pianists. The exposition of the first movement lasts 3:45, so patience is needed in waiting for the arguments between piano and orchestra. The climax/recapitulation of the first movement at about 13:20 is one of the most intense sections of music I know along with the ending of the first movement. It is immense music. The third movement is a kick ass jam if you make it that far…
After the meeting, I shrink to the screamer.
My brain withers against a firm spiritual
admonition. “Who are you to claim
you know,” I choreograph psychotically and
I grip tightly and label this a reverse form
of pride, a pride where I buffer myself
in a pocket of air, claiming my knowledge
as being on a higher mountain top, knowing
I’ve never been to the mountain top, knowing
I’m inadequate to the test, knowing that I have
no clue, acting as if I give the clues, but
the screamer is the ass, and I must work
on not hating, knowing that the unknowing
are fine because I’m with them. My pride
must shrink and I must mix like water
allowing the silt of the meeting to settle,
vowing to be compassionate for all
regardless of the their states of knowing,
not hating myself for my comprehensive
lack of knowing, my fear of hell.
Odd the things we channel our minds on
when preparing for the day in the water closet
(I’m not British, but the term is nicer than bathroom).
My mind will be a rocket ship on roller skates
in the middle of an infinitely-wide, seemingly so,
hockey rink, with all of the best from the hated
Sharks team, skating at me, not the goal, and they
all have pucks and more pucks so they do not feel
compelled to fear running out of ammo, and these
guys shoot hard, and I never have any pads, but
glory-be, instead of making slight attempts at
stopping the pucks, I’m pelted over and over as my
mind considers all the fabulous things I’ll do today,
sometimes projecting conversations in which
I feel as if I’m Winston Churchill, perfectly
undefeated in my oratory skirmishes, and this, after
all, is how I fuel my pride, how I feel sufficiently
armed to go out into the human world where every
glance is likely to melt me into the painted ice with
the molten black and rubbery smell of the pucks.
But today, Time, she came by.
Actually, just outside the window, which was closed
to the prickling chips of winter, but she looked
positively on fire, and you know what Time does,
she scolds you, and she was here this morning to tan
my hide, “Hey pig, piggy-pig, pig, pig, pig, pig.”
She said, Carl, you fool, your life is all gone.
Why do you fret and fritter about getting ready this
morning for a world that is all gone, that is not for you?
A three-week streak, unthinkable, but it
was here. Imagine a perfect future through
to death without the slightest hiccup, and that
was my streak. Pride blew my insides out so I might
be a turtle without shell or feet, and I told my
father, for the first time in more than four
years, Dad, it has lifted. I think I’m okay. It’s
better, and I want to live during moments,
fat turquoise moments during ripe days, and
can you imagine the inflation of that pride, as I
dreamed of my father imagining that he might die
in peace now that he knows. Forever, his son will
be well forevermore. I woke up this morning and the
big, black, woolly, wet, cold blankets were strangling, poisoning
my spirit, and I said fuck you. Fuck you. Go away.
My blankets don’t leave on command so I remember
instructions: be with the pain: dig the pain: it is what
you are: be in the moment: don’t fight it. I rest
crooked in my chair and I cry for many long
minutes, and I’m afraid to call my father. I’m
defective again. Be with the pain. Three weeks
had seemed as if forever, but I was an egotistical,
overconfident prick to think I beat nature at her game,
much less to imagine beating God by countering his vehemence.
Compelled by absence
from my pen
the poison of a slated trap
of an iPad keyboard,
Shitty one word thoughts,
I read, I stop reading,
I read, I tell others
I want to learn, become real,
but the grease of a refinery
broken down by deadly fog
has stilled my mind
so I am fearful of the empty notebook.
I order myself to write
an essay on the deleterious
squeeze of a persistent depression,
but I cave to a fear of narcissistic
rage, so how can I help? I hold
out my hand and I should cure
the mud from millions of horses
in a wet November Ohio valley.
I should sweep away the bags
of compost from the surface
of my almost-human construction,
and after all, I need to go read,
to go learn
before I ever write again,
and pray that death will
not stop my project, that
someday I might write.
It’s a brand new day, a new job.
The waterfall is brilliant, but the chatters
are annoying the hell into me,
testing my patience with humanity,
but I’ve coached myself
to be compassionate,
so I let the voices commingle
with the tumbling water.
My brain starts to hurt.