Posts Tagged Compassion
strives for meaty
pieces of love, stirring
strangled wails from empty airways
Wandering madness catches me briefly
after I skip exercise, after I stress over
my lack of discipline, and the birds come around,
they mock me, but it’s not personal,
and the pigeons vibrate detestably, so I
send Harry through the sliding glass door, and
while he smiles, he makes a lazy but quick lunge
at the pigeons, causing me to wonder whether they
can take off quickly enough, but they plod like
C-130s and off they go, and I wonder, where do
they go with such sloppy bodies. My enjoyment
of Harry’s antics, his smiles and circling tail, his
wiggly glances, sideways, quizzing my sleepy stare,
my enjoyment chugs uphill, fights my shame,
and I stay right here with Harry,
for a moment.
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.
I hide from my friends.
They circle like airplanes
in the fog of Pearl Harbor
battles and the radar
is fucked, so they’re
sharks, and I’m in
the tower, but they’ve
tossed me in the basement,
or I’ve tossed myself,
and I’m cargo like
rolling off runways
into dense thickets
of barbed wire from
camps where when
we’ve lost our purpose
we’re carted off to die,
and I feel my face,
screaming at the fear,
as I’m chewed up by a
G.E. engine, splatting
and splashing droplets
falling near my scattered
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.
I want to make people bounce up and down.
Who am I to seek such delight? The light gray
cements laugh at me. I told a joke and it didn’t
fly well, so I feel rather sheepish in front of the punks
and the 90%-tattoo-adorned hippy freak, but I feel
justified somehow in my attempt to brighten this
sullen day, as if I have a right to transform people’s
lives, as if I didn’t make up this landfill overwhelming
my brain with a desire to melt into dirty floor tiles,
sticking to the edges, slithering into that sewer
which keeps begging me to write a story that might
transform people’s lives, but after all, none of the
chuckleheads go to the sewer for illumination. There is
a man in suit and tie even though very few of us work
this day, as though it were not long after the apocalypse,
and we are stupid monkeys, and the gods jerk at our strings,
bellowing all the way in triumphant laughter at all of the
dead who never had a chance to transform much less
get loose from the monkey chains. And the silly bitty lady
J-walks, jiggling her tiny bag of popcorn, feeling delicious.
I sent her stuff from my hero,
for the example of the truth
of drunks – it’s more authentic
when coming from real drunks,
and I say, It’s always scary looking
at this side from that side – so many stay
on that side.
The elevator smells like fresh diaper.
My brain surfs the grainy side of the home folks art,
art that I wish I could do, especially the green door
with the three windows
reflecting the honest and scary
world, failingly attempting
to block the bad spirits.
Some lie about it, some are resistant,
but it seems that we all have it, this carcass
of spirit, so why do we struggle so hard,
fighting the unnatural cycles that come
every Sunday? And it’s every fucking
Sunday, regardless of preparation, how
largely we’ve slept, how consumed with glory
we are about our Saturday. Those who love
their jobs, if they’re honest, yes, they
get poisoned also, and if you look inside,
you’ll see the gray fog made of snakes
crawling in muscular choking motions,
and we act as though we’re fine, as though
church is the activity to save us from our
spiritual deserts, and in the afternoon,
we clean and tighten the yard, we stay
slick, but we know that the only valuable time
spent was in maybe the half hour when we collected
dead grass, dead leaves, and celebrated that
idea that somehow, we’ve survived another week
despite our keen awareness of all the death cycles
around us, we fight knowing that our struggle
is against the real forces, we think we’re winning,
but we do nothing to value this gift of life until
we’re dying, not regretting the Sunday services we’re
soon to be missing, having no sorrow over the ugliness
of our yards that we can’t maintain as we disintegrate,
not knowing why our family walks around with holes
where our spirits should be traveling, should be sealing
with bundles of infinity, with terminal, unending organs
filled with love.
Tell Freddy everything about how he fails,
push your chin forward, carry your skull high.
When he doesn’t hear, it’s worse than failing;
low grade interference boiling up,
cement in his eyelids, and he sees you
wondering how he manages to live.
Last night, Freddy’s wife told him he’s gross
and disgusting, which may sound mild,
but she told him that when he was in the only place
where he stands a chance of being safe,
where he stands a chance of living and not loving
the strong Oak limb.
Push your face into that phone and be scummy
while all he wanted to do is to read, to learn.
If you tell Freddy he’s a no-good hack, far too short
in the talent tank, where does he go to live?
The pedal is fat, fat, fat, but I want the tall one. Give me fuel. I lean hard on my right butt cheek. I go hammer-down on the tall pedal.
“Please, please, let us go, just stop, let us go, please, please…”
The lady in the smooth, maroon dress with black stockings and incredibly classy shoes seems to be ready to have a breakdown. She sits just over my right shoulder in the sideways seat just behind the door.
“Please; you won’t get far. Just stop now, please, please.”
* * *
Finally, the meds had started to work, creating an awakening, eyes not seeing straight but seeing honest colors – grays, browns fuzzy with the darkening psychosis of city life, sharp lines of malignant architecture gripping my lungs, browns of trees which had been blown out by the ruthless summer drought, but with tiny sprinkles of green, dancing with the subtlety of Stravinsky and the stillness of my favorite oak trees, humiliated in frozen spaces to assure continuing life in this bleak stratosphere. My freedom and my purpose had arrived.
With my pompous boss treating me like a ten-cent clerk, the bleak meaninglessness of my job came into blasphemous clarity, with the meds finally displaying the truth of the millions of American lines drawn as my prison. I told that fucker, my boss, to take my job and shove it, which was the reserved version of the one designed by my daydreams, having imaginatively told him hundreds of times that my job belonged up his ass.
My self-pity had grown in strength, allowing me to identify with the poor baby sitting in her stroller in front of me, mostly-stranded, perhaps deserted in the building lobby.
As I stood, melting in a compressed hopelessness, I saw that boy in the horrid, knit, rainbow hat. He couldn’t carry himself. He stumbled all the way down our long city block. I thought about heroin. I thought about the terrible fate all of us are suffering at our own hands.
With a push on the door that sucked out the finality of my intentions, I exited my building, pulling the baby’s stroller rather than pushing, glancing to find stumbling hat boy, not seeing him but seeing 30, maybe 40 faces moving different directions, suffering from terrible inner despair but not sensing it, thus moving like broken robots.
I stole the bus. I’ve watched these monsters for years from my third floor office window. They have massive numbers on their tops for the pigs in the copters, but no copters today. Jinxed I was, having picked the double-zero-three.
* * *
“What will you do with her?”
Bitch won’t shut up, but I can’t let her out now, can’t shoot her now.
“Slow down, please, please, what will you do? What can you do? You can’t do this.”
I stole a baby. I need to focus on the next right step. I stole the bus because I stole the baby – stealing the bus was not a great idea. The screaming, the fried air, I just wanted the damned bus to take me and the baby to freedom. My mission runs in a smooth flow within the tornadic emotions of my riders, even the baby going full panic in sympathy to the others, with the rocket blasts in my head and icy clarity charging up through my cordovans sparked by the vibrations of the hybrid engine.
Nobody misses the stolen bus except the driver, and I’m sure dispatch thinks he’s had a fifth of whiskey rather than believing him that his bus was stolen. I want to drive the double-zero-three, hanging high in flames, diving into the big river, but I drive North instead. My captives start to look questioningly at me. Double-zero-three is a smooth ride. I like the suspension, creating a feel like a boat over tiny inundations of waves.
The lady in maroon calms as I show her my face of compassion which is after all composed from the very center of the core of a beautiful diamond in truth.
My disturbing, chemical malfunctions simmering in my brain are growing, steaming from the stress. I am far more worried about the stolen baby now and how I might continue to save her from the fate of living in a house where the meth lab blew up five years ago and melted the baby’s mother’s face, even after which she continues to this day to cook and consume with glorious ferocity, watching her face that looks more like a squid out of water made of plastic, from the fate of being beaten and smashed by a father who is always drunk, whose last date with his wife ended as they sat inside their car beside the shore of a lake that was strewn with rocks, he promising to leave her blood on every piece of rock on that “beach,” she so high on heroin that she walked home which took over four days and nearly caused death by starvation.
My mind continues with these crusted, nightmare visions and memories, and they continue to rattle my senses, seemingly, glaringly, to support my actions, stealing the baby and then, in furious stupidity, stealing the bus.
My life is over, but I’ve done at least one good thing. The short light poles with antique lanterns, in charcoal gray move by quickly and steadily, and it strikes me dead-frozen that the only people who really get to enjoy these poles are all of the suicides who jump into the dirty Missouri River. The water under the sharp white bridge with the beautiful, short, gray light poles was always calm, even when someone dove in, and suicides don’t enter smoothly.