Back and forth From south to north, Up and down The cluttered town "For Sale" signs hang stale; Yet, all aroun' Dirt-lots of brown And ripped up soil Scar and spoil What once was green So some obscene Plywood estate Can be built to wait With a sign that says "For Sale". ~
The hollow eyes, the empty eyes, Like marbles made of lead: No recognition, no replies: Neither alive nor dead. They blend into the city blocks Like mantises in the leaves, The owners of the eyes of rocks All lost within their griefs. The staring eyes, eyes cast upon Some private pain or dread: The eyes of those both here and gone: The eyes of the alive and dead. ~
I've heard some birdsongs sung by chatty birds That were not songs at all but spoken words: Sentences, phrases,——punctuated one Or two word hollers,——greetings, goodbyes, swears,—— Conversational tones between two pairs Neighboring side by side in nests home-spun. I've often found (it isn't hard to find) That many creatures have a thoughtful mind And seem to speak a speech, from verb to noun. It makes me think that with a primate's hands Some other animal in the desert sands Could well have built a pyramid or town. And every time that I sit down to eat A dinner heavy with another's meat, I choose then to forget that when it walked—— Or freely flew——or swam the open sea—— This creature, not too differently from me, Among its friends and fellows may have talked. ~
*I don’t speak German, but I love German classical music (classical music in general, actually), and this German word (sprechgesang) refers to a technique in which the performer recites a poem in time, observing notated pitches; hence the term (and title) “sprechgesang” which means “spoken singing”. Schoenberg’s Pierrot Lunaire http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=veUJxETj7-c is my favorite example of this technique.
Prelude Would that I could create for you some work, Some sprawling masterpiece of grand design,—— A fire borne of inspiration's spark, Burning inferno-like and yet divine. I cannot do it. Yet, let me say, lest you In error doubt your powers as a muse: To write my poems for you I learnt (it's true) All that I know of verse, from Donne to Seuss. And when you find some artist born to create You'll draw from him or her their greatest art: The waterer of flow'rs that bloom elate, You are in what you inspire the greatest part. But 'til that time please use your breathy flute To sing these little airs for voice and lute: I. Love, read to me some old haiku, Love, whisper it in my ear; Lean in so close so close are you I feel the breath I hear. II. Love, underneath the greenwood tree, Love, lie down there and lie with me Until the night should turn to day And sunshine light us where we lay. Love, underneath the redwood tree, Love, lie down there and lie with me Until the day should sink to night, The moon and stars returnèd bright. Love, underneath the willow tree, Love, lie down there and lie with me. Until the sun and moon collide, Please lie with me astride, beside. ~
Don't like? Don't smoke it. I like it. I toke it. It hurts me? That's fine. All vices Have prices: Your vices and mine. ~
If you're in Pawtucket, That scuzzy scum bucket, It's one sorry state that you're in. It's best to say "Fuck it.." Accepting the yuck: It Is better than living in Lynn. ~ This poem is an example of killing three birds with one stone. You know the best way of killing three birds with one stone? Smashing three small birds with one big stone. I learned that from Peter Griffin. I've seen him in Pawtucket many many times.
My love is in the apple trees: It's all the heavy fruit Reciting to the zephyr-breeze Old Herrick's quaint "Hesperides" When all the night is mute. My love is in the orchard green Where boughs are laden thick: Each apple in the lorn demesne With wormy skin and flesh of spleen And core of arsenic. ~
I. Free-range I wouldn't eat an animal (Not even just to try it) That fed on food that wasn't food—— That ate a junk food diet. If ever Martian carnivores Come to this earth to eat They'll find me lean yet savory—— A clean and healthy meat. II. To Your Health Don't be an udder fool: Drink milk! ~
When I doo see a monkies pigmie face, And marke therein the thought which it doth owne, And reade a wits awarenesse in its gaze, Ne doo I doubt we are from one roote growne; For there is much in mine owne image showne Such as I witnesse in the beast-lyke man; And it doth neede one glauncing looke alone To see such features common of a clan. It doth indeede require no lengthy scan To knowe the rabbit cousin to the hare, And he that looketh on the monkies plan Should thus perceive an hairie man is there. And he that this unquestion'd truth denies Is blinde of sight or sees with shutted eies. ~
Live to Tell I have with volume spoken my affection, And sung in verses seeking you to move, And vainly sought to gain, by your election, Those several charms which you do daily prove. I have with little skill writ imitations Showing both want of wit and want of school: They cast a light upon my limitations, And show myself to be a jest'ring fool. Yet all these doings would I do again If Time tripped backward and did them repeal; For, gazing on your fair, I can't refrain From thus declaring all my love with zeal. 'Tis worse to stand in silence as you pass Than stand before the world a braying ass. Thanksgiving So oft I muse upon that circumstance Wherein I loathe that which did craft dear you—— The awful God or act of random chance Which out of naught did make the spheres anew—— Whilst yet sincerest thanks I give the same That such an one as you doth herein dwell: At once I offer praise and cast forth blame For that mine angel liveth here in Hell. ~
The surest path to happiness Is to want what you can get; So, if it's raining cats and dogs, Then want to get soaking wet. I once was in great misery: I'd never felt so crappy; So I decided to want the pain, And it made me just so happy! ~
If you desire some stimulation I'll brew you a cup of tea; And if you desire some relaxation I'll make it caffeine-free. But spiked or not,——black, green, or Grey,—— No matter how it's took,—— Tea's best enjoyed on a rainy day In a threesome with a book. ~
It is my greatest fear, I think, That my pen should run out of ink. ~
If you could go back and see me in school, You'd see I was a nerd before it was cool. ~
She lacks your splendor, her that's made of glass And looks you each new morning in the face. Though lovelier, by far, for all she has Than all the others of her 2D race, She possesses naught but shapely, pretty grace, And suffers greatly by too close compare; For though, like you, she has the perfect place For her every perfect feature——every hair—— The beauty of your spirit isn't there: Your greatest beauty's the one that can't be lent. But still, I want her (like I want you) bare; And (please don't take offense) it makes me pant, And finds me bashf'lly blushing up in red, To think of us all sharing in one bed. ~
Our story began not all that long ago, And yet I've given it decades' worth of thought: Day after day, around, above, below, Over the lot of chapters long since wrought I've given my twisted, haggard mind;——but not Tomorrow. Here today I close the book And store it safely in its bookcase spot To wait some years to give it another look. But trust me, I'll remove it from its nook Someday, and find a little privacy, And read it through again——each word that shook And rattled, bruised and stung and lifted me—— Revisiting the hero of the story: The one who turned E.A. into Bud Glory. ~
Hazy and lazy…slow of registry…
Yawning and looking round me in a fog…
All the day long a traffic jam-like clog
Of thoughts congealed and thick and movement-free:
Were you not there each dawn to liven me—
To perk my senses, set my mind a-jog,
To give my sluggishness the whip and flog—
This jello-minded zombie would I be!
And afternoons I’d feel a lethargy:
I’d faintly flag, and laggardly I’d slog
And trudge and drudge and grope through sludge and grog
Were you not there to fill me with esprit.
You turn me on and leave me all agog.
You are my princess. Kiss me! I’m your frog!
Delight’s the honey, amber and perfumed,
That stores the sunlight in its golden cells,
And holds the flower’s fragrance in its bloomed
Bouquet of single drops—its jarred-up rills.
Pleasure’s the maple nectar thickly sweet,
The concentrated dark and ruddy brown
Most tasteful on the tongue in drippings neat,
The complex sweet that wears a woody crown.
I have no love for some corn-syrup wench,
Who wears a faux-sweet, manufactured stench,
And in her stickiness does bland sweetness keep.
I’ll have the schwag, though it deserves no praise,
And when I crave the sweet I crave the hayze.
Care-charmer, Sleep, tonight thou hast no power To rescue me unto oblivion, T'unshackle me from ticks that count the hour, And succour me as thine Endymion; For Care, himself to thee a worthy foe, Hath been conjoined with Grief in fast alliance, And Grief with him hath brought his sibling, Woe. They mock us with triumvirate defiance: Pacted, these fiends shout insults through the night, The fort where we in silence once did sit; And though thou hast a strength, a threefold might Of allied cruelty o'erpowers it. They cruelly stole the day I shared with Glee; And now they sack the night I've shared with thee. ~