Sunday, October 3, 2010


This is an epic style poem I wrote many years ago as a way to deal with a rough childhood:


The beginning, we had the pictures,
the images that told a story
--only part of the story
in a prevaricating way.
A pretension...A laughter,
perhaps a sparkling eye.
The sunlight shining
on the side of a round little face
like a waning moon
forever floating in the space of time...
But a stunned people stand
beneath the singing skies.
Telling each other lies
that dance like truths
that were once believed.

The city gleamed over the darkened world
like a hovering collection of lanterns
It spewed forth
its light effortlessly
as if a million dams
were holding forth
                            the energy
to make a world run
and yet
the darkness puddled
as hardened as molasses
outside the boundaries of
                the golden towers
The city masqueraded as a
gold and silver fairytale castle,
calling out with its magic fingers
to come, come into its
its arms, its delightful fantasies
to take away the evil monsters
of the night
                                It beckoned me
and time stopped
as I was drawn,  
Compelled to enter its           
hiding light                           
 its glory, my demons pushing
me, my fear propelling me
    as ordered and mechanical
                    as a driven machine
                  and yet time flowed soothingly.....
The tall buildings reach up around
me with stiff, cradling arms
and the gritty floor with its
millions of freckles of eons of
pancaked gum---forever indelible,
moves its way beneath my feet
                        Up on the hills
                                of the city. . .shine
                the suns
                             of the high tides
                            riding the waves
                                        of the petrified rollers;
                              down on the town.
A river                   
and silky,                 
quenching the thirst of
far away,
slips by beneath its golden mantle,
sparkling, singing
sending back whatever it takes.
    he is a road. . .
he is a road.

Time slides by me.
                        The morning pounds
far away frightening
the night creatures
on a distant planet
Where children cry and hunger - -
                                                                            the sun bears down on their thirst.
Time flows by
The bridge rustles
beneath ancient sighs.
A span of ages
over the ruffling
                    water where
fire slides                       
                    and glides
and streaks,
beneath a trough,
a disappearing
a song
wrenched from an anguish too deep
to be real
or to heal;
         becomes a light,
                           an eternal life that flutters
         and lives forever
                                      like butterflies in summer mornings
Long ago                                   
Time sighs by. . .
                                                                                                The paper whispers, its clarity
marred by dirt and sanding it
receives in its flight over the
floor of the city.  The wind
lifts its corners, peering under,
the wheezing, giggles at the
illegible markings, marching
like ants across a sterile background.

Time creeps by. . .
                            The sound of creaking
             reaches my
                         over straining ears.
Streetlights flipping in the wind
Electricity sizzling
Through old neon signs - signs
that say:
                                                    "buy, buy, we're the best
                                            we sing the loudest
                                           we make you laugh
                            buy, buy,
                                            The meaning of life
                                 here, here."
Some one's humming
in the breeze.
in the distance
the sound bounces
against the corners
of the buildings
in the city
which rip
                and tear
                                        at the edges
                                          of the song --
it reaches me
in tatters
torn and weary - -
lonely soul,
Song at night
in the bright city.

Time wandered by. . .
                                    I had drunk a pot of coffee
and my eyes were plastered open,
feeling like refrigerated marbles
they stared out over the glossy
taffy coated river and I stand
alone at the edge of the peak
of the bridge, alone, beneath
the shadow of its web I peer
out over the city, its heavy solid
mass gleams back at me; only
my eyes capture the light of its unrepentant being.
Alone, I stand not lonely, contemplating on my last days
without sorrow and I hesitate without fear. I reach
for the life within me,
and not of me
Sympathetic enough
that its heart
beats my rhythm
and that of the city:
                        the song coming,
                      drifting my way
I see in the far reaches

     a wind-up toy
     a brightly broken walking child
     stepping delicately
     over debris
     she comes to me
     bubbling a song in her
     clear belly voice
     She peels away my shadows
     with her lustrous eyes
     She sees me
     As if I were a spider
     in its web
     She was so small
     a fragile, porcelain
     mantel art
     She flew like the breeze 
     when she saw me
     looming over her
     like the monsters
     out of her time . . . .
     her hell
     her hideous space in time
     that wrenching
     bone cracking
     lump of time
     The agony of fire
     and the drowning
     in the well
     that time
     that time of hatred
     the oar shaped hand
     that ripped
     her flesh
     with its tools
     of evil genius
     that mouth
     those teeth
     that wrenched
     away her very soul
     That body
     that battered hers
     against the wall
     and created 
     where there
     were none
     And pain
     which was
     burning in the pits
                          the core
          of her existence
Time dragging by . . . . . . . .

I saw her home
her place of refuge
the streets
glowing goldly godlike
with cement
all around
like a cave
a well lit cave
and a sewer that runs
like clear running
where people die
when they dive off bridges
     but live
when they chase
          the child
          that runs
     like clear running
          down the face
          of a stranger

Time runs, running like a river . . .
     In that space of time
     slipped sideways.
The lights dimmed,
a shadow swept across my brow
a gentle tap
it was gone.
          I flew after the child, stumbling,
I swing around the street sign pole
on the corner, a fat, cold, gritty
pole holding proudly a tiny green
sign to name the way.
     I flew up the avenue, a
bed for children, for wandering
slugs, for nightmares that
stumbled and reeked of failed
existences, for people with no hope
no home, for fragile invisibilities
and singing preachers looking for
eye contact - - no hope on the
streets of the city -- no down
comforters, no bedtime prayers,
no tucking in, no teddy bears.

But the alternative, god forbid
the alternative which is the evil
spell that defines the boundaries
of pain which is infinite,
          The streets
          with voiceless reminders
          of daily crowds
          it was loud
          it boomed
          it roared
          it bellowed
          my signal sound as I ran.
I slowed -- I stopped
          to look
          for the child
          Who was gone
          -- hidden
          in the bright places
                                      of the city
          where she had given
                            away her soul
          where it was taken
                    from her by force
          where she lost it
          and watched in pain
                    that somehow
          it was a dream
          hidden away
          in the darkness
                      of madness.

Time hides away . . .

     Walking slowly now, turning, I 
gaze into the face of the 
nameless, pointless buildings,
brightly lit. My breathing
is gasping, burning fire as
I quelled the cells within my
universe with oxygen and 
hopefulness . . 
     Time stilled . . . 
     My eyes saw a car, half on
the sidewalk, like a crab
scuttling sideways over large
pebbles. A bubble of space,
metallic and defiant --
     a scar on the ecosphere,
But there were faces
     round faces
     small faces
     very still faces
     looking up at me
     from beneath
     the mechanical creatures
          They told no story
          no expression
          no emotion
          Just still
          as if they were
          little bubbles of glue
          binding together
          the shattered
          the light
          off the membrane
          of their structures
One by one
they stood and stepped
                            before me
          poised for flight
          their wings outstretched
          their heartbeats wild
They glowed there, in that
gleaming night city
They had their own source of energy;
     yet stolen if given freely;
     yet taken if hidden away
it was their own light
in their own space
of time.
Like planets, or galaxies
they circled
around me
reaching with their eyes
their ancient eyes
their predator, weary
wise and wary
          eyes in the night
          reflecting sorrows
          and untold stories
          and watching
          for nonexistent
          to reach
          the stars
          where all is glory
          in the story
          and the pain
          is unnamed
          and never more
     They never believe
     in happily evermore.

Very young faces
sunken cheeks
like gnomes
the edge of hunger
          never spent
Their arching eyebrows
told tales of horror
shock and fear
no knowledge learned
          at chalkboards
          or mama's knees
          encircled by loving arms
          graham crackers
          afternoon snacks
          in dusty sunbeams
          lazy laughter
          a warm bath
Story Time
no time goes by . . . 
stories of horror
of dreams gone flat

No tale told

too much fear for that
committed to darkness
                   to death
                   too little
Only paper thin faces
No tales . . .

This poem was written many years ago when I was at one of my lowest points of life and much of it is true . . . 

This poem was never finished . . .

Autumn is turning away from the light
and walking into the darkness . . .
when you are alone . . . there is no love . . .
what are the memories but the chance rubbing of electrons against one another . . . 

what is the music but occasional waves of air crashing against the firmament . . .
when there is order there is music, there is vision . ..
a disturbance in the atmosphere . . .
so ephemeral as to drift into and out of its spaces
and then the brightest darkness
and the crashing silence. . .
what is real ?
Nothing . . ..

The music, dark and broody . . . came through, crashed into my soul and disturbed my existence . . . like death, and then it arose and left . . . left behind this one hungry for one more listen
once more drifting into the light . . . and once more into the sound . . .
and then once more . . . nothing . . .




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