POEMS BY JRS XX

 

TREE RINGS

 

Guilt And Genius

Firing Squad

Victor Jara Came Singing In The Night

Victorian Chimes

Hero, Timeless

The Ghost Of A Thousand Slaves

Tree Rings

The Broken Princess

Teddy Bear

Hammer Baby

Manufactured Universe

Bottom Dweller

Human White-out

Jet

Trifle

Redemption

Roller Coaster

Don Juan Became Brother

Lesbians, Now What?

The Tao Of Dating

Plague-Go-Round

Medicine Woman

Green Bandage

A World Beyond Words

Your Wings Are Forever

My Pantheon

The Inner Infinity

Parrot, Parrot

Ledges Of Heaven

On Topic

Mosquito

Undepress Yourself

Fifty

Satisfied

I Could Give It Up For You (Lyrics)

Children Of Hiroshima

Open The Window For Peace

Angels Pray To Men

 

Guilt And Genius

I ate the delicate deer

on the way

to E=MC squared.

I shaped the dead

into a giant brain

 

landed on the moon

with an elkís head

mounted

on the wall

of my heart

 

with bloody fingers

I parted the curtains

of a glowing white idea

 

caught a glimpse

of God

wearing formulas

 

funneled Him

into a highway

above the dark city

 

drove through

my evolution

in a car of light

 

regretted myself

into

a butterfly

 

made a wheel and a lever

in the cavern of my ethics

to move

the stone

of how I got here

 

to a constant brilliant apology

 

an epitaph

of enlightenment

 

over the graves

of my animal-walking

to comprehension

 

I ate you

 

you became the flesh

of

cannibalism abolished

 

the flesh

of my awakening

 

today

when I fly above the muck

ingrained with my footprints

 

when I float on a silver ship

above a valley of

bones

 

you are with me,

in me,

beside me,

above me

 

I ate your heart

 

I used your courage to

free my mind

 

became you

by an urn of tears

 

you wept me to a higher place

 

interposed yourself

between my infancy

and my wings

 

healed me, from the

tip of my spear

 

I know now

what I was

 

leaping from

a howl

to a human

 

you were

my ladder

and my twin

 

this golden world

I paint into being

with the rays of my mind

 

is your world

 

your chains

lifted my head through the clouds

 

Erase my name from the book of gifts

you were the one

who invented the light bulb

 

proud plume of human thought,

it was the galley slave who rowed fire

into the world

 

the one whose tombstone

doesnít say a thing

 

Look at what I have done with your stolen rib,

made a world from crimes

then turned it into wine

 

I confess my sins, without renouncing

the bounty of blood

I needed to ride on shoulders of darkness

to reach the Sun

 

Sheer Hell

of such accomplishment

rife with transgression

were it not for your unwilling blood

flowing through my veins

that I lead

like a horse to water

 

Iíll drink for both of us,

for me above you with a sword

and for you haunting my prodigal leisure

with the next step

 

Iíll open the door

of my past

to you

 

hand in hand

walking with my guilt

 

weíll share this tower

nourished

by the rich earth

of your destruction

 

Should the light

go back into its hole

because it bit the foot of angels

when it was young

 

should the torch forever

remain the serpent

that it was?

 

Is evolution progress

or only running from the crime scene?

 

Yes, Iím a cannibal

itís how I got here

 

how I made this garden

that wonders where you are

 

Can you ever forgive me?

Wonít you come back as my father or

my son

 

as the knife

in my own hand

to stab equality back into history

through my heart

and let the taste of honey in?

 

Wonít you turn paradise green

with your return

 

wonít you let me

carry you across the river

of my selfishness

to the living?

 

Wonít you say something

from my flesh

 

open you eyes

from within me

 

see what we two

have done together

 

wonít you come to live

in the oasis

in the desert

of what I did to you

 

the enlightenment that the

beastís journey

has placed

like a crown

upon my head of guilt?

 

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Firing Squad

 

I gave the angels

the script of history

and asked for a rewrite,

but they let it go:

the man in white

gets shot at dawn.

 

How could the whole world

get it wrong,

stain his strong heart

God protected with only a

white shirt

with the blood of

something so obvious?

 

Throw a baby off a wall

and everybody knows itís a crime,

wrap it up in politics

and suddenly

an army will blossom from it;

a court,

a judge behind the mask of God,

a mob of pallbearers,

a firing squad.

 

Stand the man

in the white shirt

against the wall

 

no flowers shall we tolerate

before the spring.

 

We give him the cigarette

of a coming generation

to smoke

before we hurl ourselves

out of gun barrels

into the graveyard

of empires.

 

His eyes lost their fear

as we took aim

his contempt

like a tight-rope walker, danced above

the impending earth,

we could not fly with him

 

eyes burned stone,

singed the rock of history with a soul.

 

Clay foot branded with a sin.

 

One beautiful man

dying well

breaks the pillars

of a delusion

 

in the subconscious

of the palace

innocent blood runs free

like a lion

among the lambs of bullets

 

sheer power

bends to the will of God

 

acts of

self-sabotage

slipped like

impurities into the iron

 

the sword will break.

 

Nations flagellate themselves

with ambition,

reach for honey

in the wrong tree

because they know justice is there

and they must flow back to it:

water from the mountain

must come down.

 

So decreed the man

in the white shirt,

the end of tyrants,

with his lack of social camouflage,

his exposed altar,

his proud ideas

and his unused knees

 

his wasted beauty

saved by a smile

that melted guns

 

that kept him moving

towards the world

he could already see

on the other side of

the firing squad.

 

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Victor Jara Came Singing In The Night

 

Victor Jara appeared in a dream singing a song to me. I remembered parts of it, and immediately after waking, extended additional lyrics outwards from what I had originally heard in my dream. In my dream Victor sang in Spanish, but also, at times, his voice came out as images which my mind instantly put into words, in English. Victor Jara was a great, socially conscious singer and songwriter, murdered during the Chilean military coup of 1973. For more about his life and work, see Victor: An Unfinished Song by Joan Jara.

 

Misterio

Misterio

encontrado en el dolor

 

Misterio

Misterio

escondido en el amor

 

El mar esta en una gota

El misterio esta en la derrota

 

Tears is another word for angels

But donít despair

 

El misterio

is holding us in its hands.

Itís a hard way to travel

to the promised land,

but weíll get there.

 

Beneath the marching feet,

in defeat

is the hidden throne

of the weak.

Justice will make you

forever strong.

Itís where the earth of tragedy

meets the sky of hope.

Sometimes

you can reach it through a song.

 

Dip your bucket

into a well

and bring back the waters

of the silver bell.

 

Misterio

Misterio

encontrado en el dolor

 

Misterio

Misterio

escondido en el amor

 

El mar esta en una gota

El misterio esta en la derrota

 

Tears is another word for angels

But donít despair

 

El Misterio

is holding us in its hands.

Itís a hard way to travel

to the promised land,

but weíll get there.

 

Donít count on liberty to keep the light

Look into the Misterio for the Sun

One day the catís paw

will reach through the crack;

itís what they do

and have always done.

But we have something

stronger than a gun.

 

El Misterio

 

Our only hope,

forever ours.

Lies are a moment,

the truth is long.

 

El Misterio.

We have not closed the door

with our deeds:

the door of love that leads us

to the place where all men

are free.

 

El Misterio.

 

Mas alla de las vidas rotas

de los pueblos vencidos y las derrotas

 

El Misterio

que siempre nos guarda

 

Storms pass through Heaven but do not stay.

Donít be frightened by the price you pay.

A better world is on the way.

Viene ahora, ya lo se.

 

El Misterio

is holding us.

 

Back to Top

 

 

Victorian Chimes

 

Victorian chimes

 

Church bells are ringing

somewhere above this strange landscape

that fits perfectly

into right now

 

it is the past, in these times

 

itís a city

 

with buildings fine

like cathedrals

of the practical

 

but I can see brotherhood

in their stone souls.

 

a black carriage drawn by horses

goes down a

wide avenue

a driver with a top hat

 

regally servile

 

surveys the journey

for whoeverís inside,

secret and above

 

why donít I hate it,

this city

built upon a broken jewel

across the sea?

 

But thereís a sweetness

in its error

 

an innocence cowering within the

sins to be paid

 

like a child playing ball

who broke a glass window

and ran

 

itís more juvenile than dark,

though the damage is the same

 

I know itís my duty to hate

the elegant form that

the architects have given to the

loot

 

but a part of me rushes towards it

like a little boy

who wants to cling

to his motherís dress

 

in the frightening world

of right and wrong,

thereís whatís familiar

 

and the bells are ringing

in some church tower

that rises above the misused power,

slipping and sliding across history,

past the heart to convenience;

a delusion is blooming,

another flower in history

that judgment will wilt.

 

But for now,

held by the tender forgiveness of the bells,

the city weeps tears of regret

for itself,

 

nostalgic,

celebrating its grand ignorance,

and itís dream, broken by victims

 

and all the coffin lids are opened

and the cityís dead join hands

to dance

what was the pinnacle of history

in their eyes

one more time

 

a beautiful fantasy

that time untied

like a knot

in the truth

 

they did not know what they did

 

but I canít forgive them,

only the stairs they climbed

can say itís all right now

 

Until then, they will not know

 

they flee back into the citadel of

blindness that ruled the world

and mill about, before the gates of Hell,

drawing comfort

from their kind,

multitudes bound together by a single redeeming lie;

they are not sinners in their times.

 

Baptized by their shallowness,

prayed for by their hope,

they will be gently held, forever,

by the sweet sound

of Victorian chimes.

 

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Hero, Timeless

 

Hero, timeless,

multiplied by the coefficient

of your times,

what will

the outcome be?

And whose eyes are opened

long enough

to see?

 

Hero, timeless,

the power that brought us

from the first frightening night to now:

to what color of the spectrum will you bow?

To what perception will you be harnessed:

what earthly field

will you plow?

 

Hero, timeless,

standing naked, pure and brave;

shining like a star.

In the clothes of what politics

will you be garbed?

What idea, glorious or depraved,

will own your eye

and use your heart?

 

Hero, timeless,

every handful of mud

from the human river

turns up something great.

You are the lantern of our hope.

What hand wields you?

What future will you illuminate?

 

Hero, timeless,

you are the best of what we have:

the angel of our unity

who bears the flag of our division.

In what direction

will we point your goodness;

what lions shall we feed you to -

what philosophy, what vision?

 

Hero, timeless,

you are the morning star;

if only we would free you to redeem us

instead of chaining you to

who we are.

If only you would not listen to us;

if only you would drive

our ideals

from your heart.

 

Hero, timeless,

unhitch the wagon of our sins;

run free with God beyond us.

You are too beautiful to be our sword.

You are not of the family

of our transgression.

Give up the mortal form

that binds you to us;

return to being sun and wind.

 

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Ghost of a Thousand Slaves

 

I am the ghost of a thousand slaves

which means I must now be free.

Once upon a time I bowed down to you,

now you must bow down to me.

Not in servitude but in reverence.

I will not do to you what you did to me.

 

I am the ghost of a thousand slaves

delivered by the hands of freedom's clock;

donít look for me in the mines or fields

or on the auction block;

but above the flood of history,

standing on Godís rock.

 

I am the ghost of a thousand slaves,

your words donít own my eyes.

The echoes of what was done back then

will forever haunt me, and make me wise.

Just as the whip marks still on my back

will protect me from your lies.

 

I am the ghost of a thousand slaves,

for you Iíll never kneel.

The precious things I guard within me,

no gun or myth will steal.

Do not expect to rule with fantasies

people for whom chains were real.

 

I am the ghost of a thousand slaves

I saw my shadow standing by the open door;

though I live in the world he died to give

he came to me asking more:

that I carry his broken soul to daylight

and row his shipwrecked children to the shore.

 

I am the ghost of a thousand slaves.

I wonít come to life

until the dead come from me like rivers.

 

Theyíll make the earth's plain green

with a million Niles,

there'll be no repetitions

and no denials;

history will sing new centuries

in their voice.

 

Back To Top

 

 

Tree Rings

 

Tree rings,

how will I grow today,

what will I leave behind to

record

the green moment?

 

Words of today

becoming yesterday,

my footprints

bound in bark,

a walking

mournful,

rarely joyous soul,

but something like a

mountain peak

rises above the satiated

with truth

growing

towards

a new day,

a new experience,

 

who or what

will become imbedded

in my woody flesh,

be written by green leaves

turned towards the sun

into a poem,

become a ring

enclosed in my upward climb,

words dancing

like nature lovers

around

the blinking eyelash of time

 

or else deep silence,

a ring of utter quiet

built around

humility

in reverence to the Now,

a year of me,

wordless and bowing

in some inner Mecca;

or even happiness

knocking the wind out of

sorrowís verbal

tapestry,

or longing answered

with cries

of passion

in the place of

turquoise tears.

My artistry

diving beneath the sea of loving her,

no ripple of words

left on the surface.

 

Tree rings.

Scars

and lipstick stains

inside my

limping

bark

reach up

towards Heaven;

prancing in the chains of my roots,

shaking my mane of leaves

at God.

The secret of my height

is all the things I can never reach.

 

Tree rings.

There is no

stealth

in the way

I feel life,

cut me open

and read

my story

 

tree rings

tell it all

 

things I had to say

or die

 

secrets I couldnít bear alone

 

illusions

sad and grand in my heart

knots of fruitless

 

pilgrimages

gnarled

inside

my vulnerabilities

 

places where I lost branches

in storms

 

or in ecstasies of despair,

when I cut myself

without

self-perception

in loyalty

to

loggers

and their philosophies,

 

tiny sores

of insect homes

 

neuroses

that needed a host

 

prophets that needed

a disciple

 

and scratch marks

of the wild cat

who turned me

into his border

 

the wood

of words hides nothing,

my journey on a page.

Because solitude

needs a traitor,

I wrote.

 

Tree rings

 

my sweet

discarded past

 

which I picked out of the garbage can

after everyone had left the room

and put back inside me

hiding it

behind dried tears;

 

and where I am now, also,

exuding

reflections

and mourning,

 

praying by the lake

and tearing at my hair,

 

waiting on a sunny day,

because you are rain

 

and where I will be tomorrow

and what I will grow around.

 

Tree rings.

My compromise

with discretion,

shameless intimacy

locked into

the inviolable

form of art

 

a world within the bark,

 

my life,

invisible

and blatant,

 

whispering

its precious

itinerary

to the distant

sympathetic ears

of night.

 

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The Broken Princess

 

The broken princess

babbles,

by her throne:

wounds

the second world

came to heal.

She wears a crown of her own blood

and points her scepter

towards her tears;

drives away

the suitors

with their

horses and their

camels and their

wagons

overflowing with

sapphires,

pearls,

rubies, emeralds,

and gold;

her finger

wonít wear the ring

of true love,

sheís in love

with the shadow king her loneliness

invented

to

protect

the virginity

of her

imagination.

 

She dreams

dreams

untainted by

reality

 

still believes

she can

touch the moon

 

fly away

with the geese

across the gray sky

to a cradle

somewhere

beyond the snow

 

still believes

she can bring him back.

 

She sends her army

to conquer a city

on the water,

which her pining, gullible hand

drew upon the map

 

waits for

bounties

set like sharpened

thorns

around the roses

of the possible.

 

How far her eyes can see,

past whatís in reach,

to her unhappiness

wearing gold,

 

she lives, as if with

a telescope in her hand,

saves herself from nearby joy

by always peering into a

distant land.

 

The roses protest

with weeping petals

that cry perfume,

like horses

leaving clouds of dust

behind

as they retreat

from summer,

and leave her

only with

what is in her mind.

The secret of

deep love

and the strong arms of souls

embracing

emptiness,

withdraw

before the power

of her idealism,

which hoards her like a miser

for the winter.

 

Sheís doomed

by her dreams

to live and die alone;

to kill

a hundred kings

and write "Where is he?"

upon a hundred stones.

 

Beautiful book

of fairy tales

in her bed,

sweet child

who rode the

woman

off the earth.

No manís left to bow

in the desert,

the flowers all went back to God,

and God is dead!

 

Nothingís left

but broken princess

babbling wounds

in a palace

that has become

her tomb.

 

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Teddy Bear

 

Teddy Bear

by an open window

with a star-filled night;

box is there

to pack you up to nowhere.

Babyís gone.

 

Cleaning up the room of life,

Mom and Dad can only wipe their eyes.

Who made the rules?

Who can read

the Higher Plan,

and who could write it,

what kind of hand?

 

Laughterís gone,

and babyís dream;

memories fill the room

like broken glass,

got to sweep it clean.

Parents sounded

the bugle of grief

and gave the order for

the toysí retreat;

till only one spot in the box

was left.

And itís just as you would expect:

Teddy Bear was the

last to leave.

 

Loyal, faithful Teddy Bear,

who stood guard for many a night;

who drove away sweet babyís fears

and was stained by babyís tears.

Loyal, faithful Teddy Bear

is finally moving on.

Going to look for Baby

in the Beyond.

 

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Hammer Baby

 

Hammer baby,

raised by hammers

 

Tarzan

swings on vines

 

Hammer baby

beats your ass

 

both live under

the permanent billboard

of where they

come from

 

take it or leave it

 

Hammer baby,

raised by hammers

 

Carpenter says

build a house

 

Hammer baby says

I just want to hit you,

why should something useful

come out of it?

 

Carpenter says

drive these nails into the wall

 

Hammer baby says

I want to drive them

into your hands

 

Carpenter says

turn around,

take the nails

out of the wall

 

Hammer baby says

does that mean

I get to hit them again?

 

Hammer baby,

raised by hammers

 

What do you expect,

living with Hammer baby?

 

Doesnít want to build a house

Wants to beat your ass.

Even more than wants to beat your ass,

has to beat your ass.

 

Hammer baby,

raised by hammers

 

Thereís no other way

and nothing you can say

 

Thatís how Hammer baby plays;

 

kiss your fingers

till they break;

itís not love

if youíre not black and blue.

 

Hammer baby,

raised by hammers.

 

Welcome to the family.

 

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The Manufactured Universe

 

The manufactured universe

like a house constructed

from your wounds.

You built partitions

between the facts

to make a living room.

 

And carved a hole in solid rock

where your suspicions would not fit

to make space for your paranoia

so you could keep on believing all that  sh*t.

 

And in the center of it all

thereís a statue of the man who loved you true,

sculpted into a monster

by the terror thatís inside of you.

 

So now when you look out

from behind your troubled eyes

the world matches your nightmare

and seems to prove your lie.

 

If only I could have reached you

before the sculptor who first cut into your stone

and shaped your hands to shape the world

so you would always be alone.

 

The manufactured universe

congealed from your blood,

has no gateway for the angels,

and no window to see love.

 

The manufactured universe

our love died there beside your doubt.

You turned me into the north wind

and built a wall to keep me out.

 

The manufactured universe

you molded reality with your brain

to see things the way you needed to

so you could forever keep your pain.

 

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Bottom Dweller

 

Little fish

on the surface

feeds on plankton,

which feeds on

the sun.

Big fish

feeds on

little fish,

bigger fish

feeds

on big fish.

Bottom dweller

feeds

on

the dead

raining down

as sorrow,

tragic

dandruff

cascading

from the

oceanís hair

into the waiting mouth

of the black night.

Down there,

at the end of it all,

whatís left alive

distorts itself

like dark

balloons

twisted at a party,

grows

monster heads

and breaks out with sores

of glowing light,

little purple shadows

playing sun:

hated yellow ball

imbedded

in a pathetic echo

hanging in the

sky of a body

thatís afraid

to come up.

Bottom dweller

forsook

the light of the ocean

to become

the courtesan

of the

dead.

Feeding

on

the inevitable

crime

of

tiny injustices,

they feel justified

to respond

with non-existence,

to shut themselves down in revenge,

to withdraw

into the

unreachable

depths

to the strange world

of their phantom

bodies.

There, they measure

every imperfect

thing

until the

end of time,

drift alone

gobbling up

fantasies of

persecution

falling over their heart

like black snow.

 

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Human White-Out

 

Human white-out

 

Thatís what I need,

someone with a kiss to

give me back the empty page:

I canít write over you

 

I need the naked on naked, again,

the Alzheimerís of love

 

to make you fall

through the

trapdoor

of my mind,

 

let it all be shadows,

shadows and sweat,

I wonít know what I had,

Iíll just wander through the dark

loving whatís in reach

 

Iíll be happy again

 

If I can just

stretch this

orgasm

out

for the rest of my life

 

Human white-out

 

Spill her

on the page of you

start again

 

crawl over the

hard white spot

where I buried you

with a pen

that canít stop writing

love

 

You were the one

but you

filled the page

with irresistible

abstention

 

forced me to be self-loving

like a hermaphrodite,

a man

and a transvestite

riding a hand

into the thick of the

loneliness

 

your face

and my pitiful

approximation

 

turning my white corpse

into your

tan body

wrapped around

myself

 

strangling

the windpipe

of my groin

 

till adultery

came, capitulation to an adventure

 

adulterous

because you

were my inside-wife

though you

didnít show up

for the wedding

in your

vagina

 

left me

spinning a

bridal gown

of words

which you undid

each night

with

wounds of your own

 

until

my wrist gave up at last

 

called in the reinforcements

of a warm body

 

and filled the emptiness

with your orgasm

in someone elseís ecstasy

 

Human white-out

 

I loved you

so much

I couldnít

live another day

without

writing

someone

in your

place.

 

Broken by you,

I lay these flowers

at your feet

 

someone else

will love me

in your name.

 

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Jet

 

Flying my jet

Godís jet

over the

land

of options,

looking down

looking down

at the green hills go by

looking for your face

looking for your bed

but

my compass

is

pointing

towards

the vow

of the

sperm cell,

dadís d**k

did Godís work,

he cried out

in pleasure

with my sad soulís search,

my plane

came from his thoughtlessness

to fly a thousand miles

over you

without finding you

 

but now

itís time to stop piloting his orgasm

and follow

the flight plan

that came through him

 

the divine tick

that came home

buried in his skin

after he rolled

in Godís grass

 

the map

he wrote

with his wet white joy

burrowing

into a warm place

for himself

 

itís time to lift up the wing

after this long delay

and fly away

 

I donít see you

 

You wonít let me be him

 

wonít let me throw another

bewildered being

into the universe

to escape

from myself

 

wonít hold me back

 

the tear-stained circles

around and around

the place I thought you lived

suddenly shook me awake

 

the sacred fuel is running low

 

you did not answer

my wasted life

with a flare,

with your green dress

coming off

in the night

 

itís time to pull away,

to tilt my wing

towards God

 

thereís an angel in me

that tried to be a man

but you wouldnít be

one half of the puzzle

of forgetfulness

 

one half of the intimate puzzle

of leaving God

on the back burner

 

You wouldnít dive screaming

into

my fascination,

or let me hang myself

between your legs,

you wouldnít heal yourself

with my irresponsibility

 

so only the sky was left

 

so much speed

laid in circles

above you

at your feet

 

but now

 

itís going back to God

 

and suddenly

the whole earth seems

to be running away

 

because Iím flying straight back

to myself

 

hurling myself

into the sky

without a condom

 

looking for myself

not you.

 

Now Iíll be alone

 

forever alone

 

Iíll stop trying

 

only jets

will keep me company now

 

sisters in the air

going to the same place

 

swords like me

fighting the same battle.

 

Nothing will slow me down.

 

Iíll only

hold hands

with someone

running as fast as me

 

someone flying

 

weíll kiss each other

on the cheek

of who weíre becoming.

 

Back To Top

 

 

Trifle

 

Over, over:

sometimes a trifle

becomes the symbol that sinks a ship.

Like a bullet in the leg

thatís not supposed to kill you,

something slight

that goes wrong

hits an artery

and all the blood

of what youíve been clinging to

spurts out,

your trying dies.

 

The flag falls, the army runs.

 

The old man

doesnít come to the parade:

the revolution

begins.

 

Small things

that

crack the pillars

of the sky.

 

She says sheíll come

and you sit there

by the lovers

by the fountain

until the clock hands

make the sign for "fool"

over an empty hour.

 

You get up

and sink into the quicksand

of the summer

without her,

jealous of all the couples

that didnít capsize

in their neurosis,

or turn their fear

into some reason for waiting in the wrong place.

 

People in love

make other kinds of mistakes.

 

Solitude

in the midst of

the foreplay

of the whole world

makes you furious with yourself.

On the edge of the universal kiss,

tigers tear

their sucker souls

to shreds,

they tune their love

to the pitch of their fierce bodies,

trim their longing

to match their graceful gait

 

no more stuttering legs

 

the great cats donít have palsy

 

they donít let themselves

fuse with lives

that throw them off stride.

 

Things must be given up

to get the walk back.

 

The hands with which

dignity holds onto the

disinterested

are weak

 

pride makes them lose their grip.

 

Let her go!

 

Let her go!

 

Pain is a form of will.

Sometimes weakness

is the soundest advice

of all.

 

In summer,

more things are lost

than in the autumn.

 

Nothing speaks louder

than a

bare tree

in the middle of a

green forest.

 

Only a trifle.

A little revelation that shakes the earth.

Through the tiny crack in the door

you see

the ogre

of loneliness

getting ready to eat you;

you know you have to run.

 

It canít be fixed.

 

It canít be fixed.

 

I heard the pin-drop of your indifference

falling on the temple floor.

I know Iíve come to the wrong place to pray.

 

Only a trifle.

A trifle, you say.

A trifle

thatís a symbol

of this wretched spinning wheel

of me loving you

without being loved,

of me loving you

without being loved,

of me loving you

without being loved:

the broken record

thatís at the center

of my life.

Of me waiting by the house

you donít live in,

for a light to appear.

 

Itís over.

Over.

 

A little error that finally

whispered everything

in my ear;

the sound of the surf

that says the oceanís near.

The distant thunder that says

the rain will soon

be here.

 

A trifle.

A symbol.

 

Me, alone,

in the citadel of the summer,

without you.

 

The flag of everything we arenít

waving in the breeze

of everybody elseís love.

 

I finally got it.

 

Today, a trifle,

like a flood,

swept me away

from you.

 

Back to Top

 

 

Redemption

 

A horrible day,

a miserable day.

My illusion ran away.

 

A horrible,

miserable,

absurd,

wretched,

pitiful day,

that pushed my head down

into the toilet bowl

of where things really stand between us .

 

But on the way

to the catastrophe

of waking up,

I saw a little girl crying,

with a piece of paper

in her hand.

Sheíd lost her pen.

So I gave mine

to her mama.

 

I wrote a little line of love

in her life

so she could draw

a butterfly.

 

I put a tiny bouquet of roses

in her hand

as I was falling.

 

When I died,

later that day,

and the movie of the charred earth

played before my eyes,

I saw a

little smile,

on the side of everything,

that sent me

straight

to God.

 

Back to Top

 

 

Roller Coaster

 

Get on the roller coaster ride,

loveís ups and downs

in only five minutes.

Sometimes, she

wraps fish up in the newspaper

that says

"Man Lands On The Moon",

I spend my night

praying to St. Jude

not to choke on a fish bone,

while history sneaks by.

She uses icons

to hang her clothes to dry;

she makes me

want to cry.

Other times,

she hypnotizes the stars

to crawl

into a constellation,

I see us

making love

in the sky.

Itís the shape

of her lying by my side.

 

In my mind,

a roller coaster

climbs and plunges

 

I pass my days

watching the wind in her hair.

 

I never know

where our love will go,

 

I love her inside a swarm of words,

she loves me thinking that she doesnít.

My poetry has hurt everyone who believes they understand,

but the world that I write of wasnít.

 

This roller coasterís

never going to "happily ever after."

 

Looks like itís also not going to good-bye.

 

What a hole Iíve left in the world,

from whatís only in my mind.

Can you see the craters of my fantasies?

Iíve turned reality into the moon.

Oh, but though sheís innocent,

how willingly she collaborated in my doom.

 

My pen and her prideÖ

Some emptiness that I fill inside,

that keeps her from pushing me

to the sideÖ

 

Itís over,

wait!

No, I lied!

 

Roller coaster lovers:

what a ride!

 

Back to Top

 

 

Don Juan Became Brother 

 

Don Juan became brother

changed Love Channel 1

to Love Channel 2.

Though it was so obvious,

it took him years to do.

 

Helen of Troy became sister.

She said, "Donít ask the ostrich to fly,

get used to living on the ground.

I wonít lie down in your bed,

but I wonít burn your city down."

 

Don Juan and Helen reversed puberty,

one to go back before the sin;

one to salvage something from his need.

 

She wonít lie her white self down

like a carpet at his feet.

He wonít drag her by the hand

to ecstasy.

 

Don Juan became brother.

 

Helen beat his lust back

into love, saved it and stunted it.

Because the strong wronged her,

her friendship is only for the meek.

So now his ambition is just to

kiss her on the cheek.

 

Don Juan became brother.

To other fields must he look

for the wild open flower.

Her beauty turned her helplessness

into power.

 

But the angel he is with her

must fall somewhere,

a strange devil must escape to

construct his purity.

The corollary of denial

is to live out another fantasy,

as shallow as she is deep.

 

To restrain himself with her,

he must crucify himself on the cross of liberty;

another woman must pay the price of

being touched by him in the dark,

never knowing there is a

stowaway in his heart.

Poor sacrifice of banished love!

After she falls asleep,

he goes out to look at the stars above.

 

Don Juan became brother;

her fire burned his biology into

the ashes

we call chivalry.

 

His genitals became a rose.

 

To everyone else, they look like lovers,

but their bodies know.

Her wound is bleeding in

Don Juanís soul.

 

Don Juan became brother

and the world changed.

She released him: picked the lock,

and sawed off the chains.

For a year he just stood there

bound by the ghost shackles

in her eyes.

Only with his hormones pounding him

like a hammer

did he finally realize.

He was free to leave.

It was like he was walking on the moon;

every step was a leap

and every small regret

was grief.

When he reached for someone else,

she became a goddess.

 

Wild horses running in the dark,

no stone of love unturned;

his way of becoming brother was to

be dragged behind his imagination in the night,

until all his lust was gone by day.

Who cares what people say?

They will forget Don Juan no longer loves;

they will only remember he came this way.

 

Back to Top

 

 

Lesbians, Now What?

 

Lesbians, now what?

 

You kissed.

Father will kill you

if he catches you.

 

You broke his chandeliers,

you smashed his hall of mirrors

with your bodies.

Donít you care?

Helpless candles

burned up all the air.

Soon your ecstasy will be despair.

 

Wrong image in a cracked mirror.

So hot, so alone:

dying flower on

a heart of stone.

Lost one love for another.

Which is stronger?

Sometimes a fake wall is higher.

Who will keep the world out

when your lips unlock?

 

Lesbians, now what?

 

So white, like horses in the snow.

When itís over, where are

you going to go?

Once you have to get back inside

your clothes?

Once the wall of fire crumbles

and the world knows?

 

Two white swans with broken wings

floating towards the waterfall.

Lovers always think they got it all

till ecstasy evaporates,

and leaves them standing on the thin ice

of someoneís hate.

 

Lesbians, now what?

 

Sappho never got past this,

her only answer was a cliff

by the sea,

by the deep purple sea.

"Did you jump in

to get away from me?

Was it because one kiss

couldnít set you free?

Or because thereís salvation

in conformity?"

So get down on your hands and knees

and crawl over the broken glass

of who you tried to be.

Come back to Daddy and kiss the belt

in his hand.

God said: "Woman was made for Man."

 

Comb the wild hair the wind has blown into disarray,

the price of being youís too high to pay.

You come to Paradise to steal,

not to stay.

 

Lesbians, now what?

Bare your throat for the sacrifice,

itís not up to you how to live your life.

 

And it didnít make you angels,

and it didnít make you ten feet tall.

Tomorrow theyíll haul you out of your embrace

and place you by the stoning wall.

And youíll curse the mountain peak

your bodies brought you to.

Sheíll look into your eyes and say,

"Iím going through this for you?"

 

Lesbians, now what?

Society lined you up to die,

to feed you to the lions of their grudge,

until a bleeding witness of your love

limped with a broken dream of spring

before the black-robed judge.

A crazy man showed up in court

with a poem

for friends whose love for each other

condemned him to live alone.

But he bowed down to their love,

and offered his reverent disappointment

as a plea:

he bowed down to their love

by the sea, by the purple sea,

by the waves that held each other.

He bowed down to their love.

Where Sappho drowned,

he set them free.

With the grace of his irrelevance,

he set them free.

 

Back To Top

 

 

The Tao Of Dating

 

Einstein doesnít love Theadora,

Cleopatra doesnít love Mahatma Gandhi,

Queen Boudicca doesnít love Michelangelo,

Praxiteles doesnít love Lady Murasaki.

 

The Tao of Dating.

Itís not who you are,

itís how you fit.

 

My house without a roof

needs a cover.

 

Your house without a window

needs a hole.

 

What can I do for you

if you donít want my body

or need my soul?

 

Itís not how well we dance,

or how many candles we have lit.

The only thing we need to know is whether

the slipper fits.

 

The Tao of Dating.

The choice isnít ours, itís Fateís.

Love was never meant to be a path

to self-hate.

 

The Tao of Dating.

Archimedes jumped naked out of his bathtub,

screaming new knowledge

into the world;

it didnít impress Cleopatra,

she was born to couple with

the sword and vine.

And scrawny little Gandhi

with his hidden lionís heart

wasnít ready to lose his time.

 

The Tao of Dating.

All three turned the heads of time,

and yet they were turned away.

That is, in fact, how they were saved;

they were splendidly rejected

onto their rightful pedestals.

 

Likewise, Caesarís brilliant surgery

of history

did little to melt

beautiful Frida in a brace,

obsessed with the angles of her wounds

that bled righteous multitudes

amidst the flowers of her private cries.

Who could say the one

was not worthy of the other?

But their paths

spoke different tongues.

 

Itís not about No,

itís about not falling off the road.

 

The Tao of Dating.

I donít need a parrot on my shoulder,

pirateís down the block.

You donít need me to tell the time,

youíve already got a clock.

 

The Tao of Dating.

Itís not you or me;

itís where our hearts

were placed on the board of love

by the higher hand

of Destiny.

 

The Sun and Moon donít hold hands,

but they both shine.

Donít cry your light away,

night will come to love

whatís not right for the day.

 

Crow wants somebody to caw,

horse wants somebody to neigh,

soldier wants somebody to fight,

child wants somebody to play.

 

The Tao of Dating.

Winding staircase

of niches

spiraling upwards

towards a match,

a tower of beautiful people

looking for the

right room.

Youíre all angels,

donít play dress up

to woo

the wrong life.

God loves you

whether you sleep alone

or with someone at your side.

Take your time.

 

The Tao of Dating.

Can I walk with you?

Can you walk with me?

Itís simply chemistry.

H2 needs an O,

not the wisdom of King Solomon,

or the Queen of Shebaís gold.

 

My choice is not the balance

that measures your worth,

and your No

canít turn me into dirt.

 

The Tao of Dating.

No need to sweat in doubt and fear,

go out and look,

and let the cards fall where they may;

who wants to spend a lifetime

holding onto a captive

who wants to run away?

Donít load the dice

when youíre dating.

Play fair with the mismatches.

Donít try so hard to win

that you drag a square peg to a round hole,

and block the open door

your true love needs to get in.

And for Godís sakes,

donít be a wine-taster

of the insecure, donít mix your play

with someone elseís love;

donít make whatís pure

a sin.

 

Try but not too hard.

Show off, if you must, but keep

the real you in sight.

Donít play Apollo,

and donít play Venus,

youíll look so small

in the morning.

 

Best thing is to be respectful,

and always true.

And never be a moving target;

stand still while she takes aim.

If youíre going to be shot,

the first night

hurts the least.

Be kind, but also

be wary of the beast

that lurks at the bottom of the beautiful effort.

Never be anyoneís prey.

Donít let loneliness lead you to hell.

 

Time cushions foul intentions.

Sort lovers by their patience.

Never be in a rush to give a new face to someoneís

masturbation.

You are too beautiful to be a quick fix

for all the worldís frustration.

For some, a woman and a man

are living history, a universe, a miracle;

for others they are merely erotic aspirin.

Put yourself out of reach,

on the other side of their headache.

 

And be sure itís you whoís being sought.

Not warm blood for a ghost;

donít be a living flower

on someone elseís grave.

 

And donít let someoneís vulnerability

kidnap you.

You canít rescue someone

by destroying yourself;

not in love.

Dating isnít suicide.

Saying yes isnít an act of mercy;

if you donít want to be with him or her,

say so, let them cry,

then gently sweep their broken heart

back towards

the Tao.

Their future will be spared

by the pain of now.

 

The Tao of Dating.

Instinct rules,

if you have it.

Clear your mind

and let it replace desperation.

Take a deep breath

and bow down to

the beautiful you.

You donít need proof of your beauty tonight.

You need eyes that see.

You donít need to find, you

need to seek.

No need to tighten up like a rope;

the stars come out every night,

beautiful, and shine,

and in the morning go home

without a piece of the earth.

Theyíre not defeated,

they are the luminous voice

of the sky of life.

 

The Tao of Dating.

Someone beautiful is out there,

waiting for you.

Until you return to the world,

they will be in mourning.

 

The Tao of Dating.

Be yourself, and find your match.

Be ready to recognize the first,

but to wait, if need be, for the last.

Most of all,

never leave your path.

 

The Tao of Dating.

Be yourself

and see who comes.

Only through the Tao

can you find

the one.

 

Back To Top

 

 

Plague-Go-Round

 

Riding on the

plague-go-round

someone pukes

and someone shits

and suddenly

when you think youíre over it

someone coughs

and someone sneezes

Pray to Mary

Pray to Jesus

 

germs on door knobs

germs in the air

germs in handshakes

germs everywhere

 

hygiene breakdown

lick the dirt

Did you ever hear

of Louis Pasteur?

 

here they love to sit

on toilet bowls

to crap and barf

and weep and groan

 

they break lifeís

complicated fetters

simplify it

to just getting better

 

bury your head

in the sand

if youíre always sick

you donít need a plan

 

you just island-hop

between microbes

recovery

is your only goal

 

You can never fight

yet always win

leave victory to

your immune system

 

Sickness, sickness,

pass it on

misery

will be our bond

 

Compress the vast pain

of lifeís mystery

into something wrong

with your body

 

Plague-go-round

took another day from you

but if you werenít sick

what would you do?

 

Back to Top

 

 

Medicine Woman

 

Lying in the healing pit,

after she

covered me with branches and leaves

and lit a stick of incense

by my heart,

burned my sadness

slowly towards Heaven.

 

Sheís caressing me,

the woman with no substance,

with hands of my thoughts

but her will,

she broke away from my dream

to become herself,

picked herself like a flower

from my bush of longing

and handed herself

to my need.

 

Smoke in the room,

smoke of losing every reason to live,

but her love

is a sacred herb,

somewhere in the dark

someone who cares is shaking a rattle

 

itís got the whole earth inside it

 

it talks life.

 

Iím not going to die from this broken heart.

 

Tears running down my face

because of her singing -

is it the wind blowing through the last place

I knew happiness? -

no, itís her singing,

her voice wet against my cheeks;

the one she was a part of

who is beyond her

has come to

keep me,

 

put a black feather over my faltering heart.

 

A rainbow

will come out of hard things.

 

Be mud today,

mud without a single protruding wish,

sink into mud, be mud,

 

fall back into my arms,

 

want nothing

and the sun will come back.

 

You havenít lost a thing

 

sacred singing,

 

a rattle,

 

good red hands touching me like yesterday

 

proving Iím who I am:

 

she only comes to her own.

 

I belong

 

I still belong to life.

 

I used to live by your green thread,

dangling from whatever you would give me;

your anger could kill me,

and your love restrained me.

I could not protect myself

from the weapons

you did not see.

 

Sickness knows when the door is open.

He came grinning, to take the place of you.

 

But now sheís come, singing,

to take his place, in turn;

wearing the white dress of fever,

her light is shining

in the middle of my forehead.

The dancer of sickness

always flees before the dancer of hope.

I am not alone,

a nation of friends

has come to visit me.

I can live.

 

The sickness of depending

on your handouts is over;

the world is bigger

than your heart.

I wonít starve,

her presence in my delirious encounter

with the things that matter,

is feeding me.

 

I belong.

 

I belong again.

 

The arms of sickness

that tried to pull me down

were wrong.

 

I belong.

 

That is the meaning of her song.

 

I am going to continue.

 

It does not matter what you think of me,

or what you think Iíve done.

 

Medicine Woman knows me better than you do.

I dwell inside her infinite heart.

 

I am Medicine Womanís

son.

 

Back to Top

 

 

Green Bandage

 

Green bandage

Green bandage of light

Green bandage of thought

and hope

Green bandage of

living oneís life

Green bandage

wrapped around

the danger

of you

not being you

 

Ride in Godís pouch

like a baby kangaroo

through the wasteland

of your mistakes

Ride to doing what you were going to do

ride to being renewed

 

Ten years

or a minute

under the green bandage,

itís the same

 

What matters is the meaning

in your gait

 

two steps as the man you love

is better

than a hundred miles

as the man you hate

 

Green bandage

over the lost time

 

I have to smelt a willing body

in the furnace of a distant mind

 

Fragile bones

know the way home

 

Keep the compass

and stall the catastrophe

until you

can fly

 

Every dying thing should fly

not crawl

 

Long ago, God wrote my name

on a barren wall

 

I want to go there

like a pilgrim to my end

with His true intentions

built up like a city

in my heart

 

I donít want to die in shame

 

Green bandage

on my arm,

make me beautiful

underneath

your mystical

caress

 

I tried to be more than God,

please make me less

 

Heal me back down into His plan

with a worthwhile second chance

or a worthwhile death

 

Dear Lord,

I beg for You

to write something beautiful

with me

 

in the ink of health

 

or the ink of disease

 

I want vigor,

and the illusion of eternity to gallop through,

like a messengerís horse

knowing that the sun is falling

 

Not yet a compressed hour

to make a summary of who I wasnít

 

not yet a compressed hour

to look for a young life

to beat

into the shape

of what I left undone

 

not yet the hour

to take a captive

and turn him into my

ideaís son

 

I would bear the torch

another mile

and let others

be themselves

 

I would not slip

on the dark slope

of not listening to You

 

I would be frightened

into being me

before I would be

taken from the board

by Destiny

 

Dear Lord

 

I would be raised

from the dead

underneath the green bandage

of your love

 

Send an eagle

to terrify the hare,

send him running into the

empty thicket:

You need him there

 

With terror

you cultivate fields of wisdom

and grace

 

Children dancing in the wheat

have multitudes to feed

and truths to meet

 

My playing had darkness in it

 

Let my Crusade be like a game

Let joy entertain the risk

 

Let me be the hardest warrior

tenderness has ever known

 

Sweetness is not the grave

of the compassionate

it is the soil

where compassionís grown

 

Dear Lord

 

Wrap my cowardice up

in your great green bandage

 

In my body there is a Lazarus

crying for resurrection:

the man I was

before my flesh

was torn asunder by a

wrong direction

 

Send your angels in healing regiments

of love

to the battleground of my affliction,

recover my eyes

from my talent

which deceived me

when forever kissed me on the cheek:

when, with meandering delusions of invulnerability,

I abused your generosity.

Now I know;

the river wakes up

when it tastes the sea

 

Salt in my young journey,

bring me back to me

 

Dear Great God

 

please be kind to me,

or give me a proud horse

on which to ride the last mile

let me lead the final charge

you ordered

 

Let me multiply the loaves

of a starving thought,

walk once across the water

to a dying world;

let there be mountains and oceans

in the end

Not this flat gray land of me

clinging to life

 

Let me live

a little more,

let me clothe an orphan

and love a whore,

translate trees,

and open doors,

give life a diamond ring

and divorce war

 

Let me live like a reckless vagabond

in the alley of enlightenment

 

break open

like the back of a cicada

that is now

only what it has been,

to fly as something new among the branches

singing raucous praises

to what it is,

because time has landed in its heart

 

Life wouldnít be so beautiful

if it wasnít short.

Eternity flattens mountains

and turns love into a habit,

it dismantles courage

into effortless parts;

falling leaves free

the treasure thatís in sacrilege

by awakening the holy

 

In the evening the sacred doors are

unlocked

 

the seventy-two virgins

live inside

a ticking clock

 

You need to die to see the colors in the painting

while youíre still alive

 

Heaven is the

love child

of desperation.

This poem is a double helix

of fear and revelation

 

Dear Lord

Teach me,

but leave me time

to live in the land

of what Iíve learned

 

I plead,

yet stand tall,

with what you have decided

 

My great green healing bandage

is me

diving into

Your will

 

Wrapped around my

flinching body

waking up to its age,

itís healing me

towards a temporary space

in which to heal

for a redeeming moment

 

The darkness is all around,

itís not about driving it away,

itís about

being able to give it

an answer

 

Iíll rise out of bed

like a corn stalk in a field

surrounded by kneeling, hungry homes

 

While Iím here

they wonít be alone

 

Great green healing bandage,

I pray

beneath you

to become worthy of

my final years

or final days

 

Dear God

May I be wrong,

or strong

May this be nothing more than

a mirage to bring me back

to the broken temple

of my confidence

where wisdom

has waited for exhaustion

to deliver it

 

When I was young

I could not tell Jesus Christ from

Judas Iscariot

My days of singing were

filled with Pharaohís chariots

 

To you I sang my bondage

 

To the world I sang self-absorption

 

You answered me with Time

 

Beneath the great green bandage

may it all be a lie

or if itís my time to die,

may it heal my soul

and cover a broken body

with an awakened mind

 

I want to love You

and Your will

and myself,

dear God,

in so many ways

 

Though fear is mixed in with my praise,

mortality has finally found the hiding place

of sincerity

 

I am not a hypocrite

 

I am a convert

who just discovered

the well of you in me,

wherein lies

the water of me

which is not for me only

 

If itís true

may it be weak

and may I be strong,

with You in me beside it

 

May I be plucked

from the river of my

most abominable creation,

written like brakes

into my flesh,

and saved

 

Who knows, in the end,

what path is planned for me by Fate Ė

a miracle, or medicine,

a dispelled mirage,

a cut or herb,

an ordeal

or a calamity?

 

Whatever happens,

for however long,

I want a heart that feels

and eyes that see

 

I want to glide like a condor

above misery

and see the

joy in the canyon

 

I want my wings

to borrow snow from the

mountain peaks

 

I want to converse with the sky

and have clouds dress my wounds

 

I want to become a giant

underneath the green bandage

around my heartís arm

 

I want to open my eyes

when you take it off

and see

that I have not wasted

myself

 

Back to Top

 

 

A World Beyond Words

 

Words are my art

Words are my body

 

but the world is beyond words

 

in silent ecstasy

and somber majesty

it dances like

a Balinese princess

 

beyond my lips

 

a mystery

 

a sound my mouth and tongue

cannot repeat

 

inutterable palace

of my eyes

and heart

 

soon

 

I will stop writing poems

and just sit by the sea

 

listen to the eloquence

of seagullsí loneliness

 

and the wavesí satire of eternity

 

bend my ear to the whisper

of the all-powerful pantomime

 

smell the cleansing of the world

in my nostrils

used to bribes

 

I will do nothing

be nothing

 

stop writing myself

into a hole away

from the sky

 

there is no inner earth

 

there is only a note

on the universal instrument

of a billion strings

 

I want to hear it playing something besides me

where Iíll find myself

 

sacred harp of nothing turning into everything,

it does not bow down

to the contorted mouth

stealing air

to make something

that is incomplete

 

I want to know it,

I donít have to bring it back to you

 

I want to escape the jaws of words

like a slippery fish,

I want to stay in the water

of being held,

I donít want feet,

I donít need to come onto

your land

 

In silent

speechless reverence

I want thoughts that say nothing

to bombard me

 

I donít want to break the connection

by interpreting

 

I want to hide

from my talent

 

from my verbal inventions

 

from the

steam-power of linguistics

that drives

a thousand machines

of not feeling

 

I want to be quiet

for once

 

to stop twitching

with art

 

to stop talking to myself

just because you might love me

if you overheard

 

this is serious

 

this is between the Universe and me

 

I want to listen

 

to become as silent as a predator

waiting by the water hole

I donít want the deer not to come

because theyíve heard my pen

 

I donít want to be writing

yesterdayís treasure

when todayís oyster

yawns

with one second of a pearl

 

I want to be there

to take Holy Communion

in the mouth

 

to let God in

past my theft of fire

 

In the end

Iíll become invisible

 

perhaps youíll think

Iíve stopped thinking, feeling, believing,

living

 

Iíll be like the

sunken archipelago

that forgotten love-making

brought me across


I wonít say anything

wonít leave the graffiti

of my mind

on tomorrowís house,

my mind is His mind

and will always be here

 

No, Iíll walk in whispers

across burning fields of enlightenment

 

quiver in ecstasies

that seem to be failure

 

Iíll be a needle in the haystack of mediocrity

 

I wonít cry to posterity for help

from a book

 

I wonít dig through time

with my bare hands

to reach

someoneís understanding

 

wonít pulverize

butterflies into monuments,

 

Iíll watch them load the tiny donkeys

inside their delicacy

with weightless tons of nectar,

I wonít break their wings

to make jewelry

for the world

 

Iíll come and go

across the synapses

of God

heíll smile

and Iíll be gone

while youíre asleep

 

You wonít see me

you wonít know I ever was

but it wonít matter,

Iíll be in God

 

Iíll be the mightiest of nothings,

 

everything my poems covered over

will be the sky

 

Iíll disappear

and dance behind your back,

forever

 

Iíll be in God

 

If you want to meet me

go to God,

you wonít need my poems

 

Back To Top

 

 

Your Wings Are Forever

 

Angel, angel

bet his wings

the earth goes around

the moon.

God laughed

and said

I need you to fly,

you ainít losing those wings

anytime soon.

 

"I swear

the treeís roots

are in the sky;

if I am wrong, God,

please let me die."

 

Angel upped the ante.

God laughed

and said

I ainít no vigilante.

You can masturbate

with fate

but no matter

how you tarry,

you wonít be late;

and if you come early

youíll have to wait.

 

Thou shalt not tempt the Lord.

Shouldnít you answer with a lightning bolt?

God says: Angel, I donít

bury my gold.

Who kills their baby

just because he shits

in his diaper?

You shall safely live with lions

and play with vipers.

 

Mohammad ran! Mohammad ran!

Mohammad ran from the

pen in his hand,

from the voice in his head,

he ran towards the cliff to end his life,

he ran till Gabriel said

You are not greater

than the Koran.

 

Gabriel sat Mohammad down

in a corner of Godís sacred space

and did not let the prophetís genius

go to waste.

 

You canít run from some things

no matter how you try.

The hand of self-destruction

is paralyzed

by Godís love.

He needs you as much as

myths need

the stars above,

to shape mere dreams

into eternal scriptures of

light.

 

Foolish angel,

everything you do

leads back to God.

The river of your madness

flows straight into His sea.

When you cut yourself

the world bleeds.

 

God wouldnít shoot the world

to get at you.

He watches you with patience,

He didnít get it wrong.

He stands by His Creation.

 

Your wings are forever, Angel.

 

Though you try to break them,

your wings are forever.

 

Back To Top

 

 

My Pantheon

 

No,

Iím not weak

 

Iím the loyal soldier:

the unknown soldier

in his tomb

 

No,

Iím not weak

 

Iím the Virgin Mary

carrying Jesus in my womb

 

Donít look at my closet life

with scorn

I didnít go bungee-jumping with you

because he wasnít born

 

No,

Iím not weak

 

If I ran fast

youíd see

you are a cripple

 

I hobbled

because I loved you

When I crawled

I made you think you flew

 

No,

Iím not weak

 

I painted masterpieces

in the dark,

but I never showed the world

because they broke your heart

 

I smashed my crown

for your pride

 

I hurled myself

in front of your

childhood

 

I sheltered you

by being despised

 

No,

Iím not weak

 

I am St. George

with a shining lance in hand

 

I killed the dragon of who I am,

I destroyed the god in me,

because youíd never understand

 

No,

Iím not weak

 

Iím great

 

I silenced myself

with great virtues,

in your hands

 

Only a hero

can restrain his greatness

by being weak

 

Only a lion

could ever be so meek

 

But Godís reprimand

is calling me home

 

Forgive me

if I spend my last days

on my feet

 

Back to Top

 

 

The Inner Infinity

 

Nobodyís who you think they are.

The priest dances in the nude

with girls who have horns,

the tooth fairyís a bitch;

the warrior wears panties

and the dolphinís not a fish.

 

The prophet found God in a bottle;

Cupid has poison arrows in his quiver.

While the angels play strip poker,

the village drunk pulls babies from the river.

 

Each soul, enclosed by a definition, preserves inside

the full range of creation: a spectrum

a million miles wide.

You want the safety of knowing

everything all the time,

to chain every man and woman to a pigeonhole

and give them an oar;

and lash them to row the world

to your peace of mind.

But it doesnít work that way.

Godís enormity,

which leaked into Man,

interferes,

kills cartoons

with gigantic closets built into stereotypes,

false-bottom suitcases of souls

in which the immensity of our lives

tries to sneak past guard dogs made of glass

to secret fields of life.

Whatís deceptive?

The truth

doesnít want to fight with a waterless riverbed,

it doesnít want a head-on collision

with blindness.

A world in handcuffs arrests the free,

exiles the magnitude that itís cramped within itself.

"I donít want to be outflanked by your vastness;

gather all your angels onto a pinhead.

Compress the equator so I can

circumnavigate the earth

by walking around the block."

 

So now weíve all learned to play a part,

to pour ourselves

into the mold of an image,

and face the world

with the tip of the iceberg

of who we really are.

 

Iím afraid of heights,

I donít want to look over the edge of you!

 

Only the ocean is acceptable,

morals of the ocean.

Swim deep in what we want from you,

you are covered by

the promise you made to our eyes.

Ocean, water everywhere,

but though he swims so well

like an angel made of lightning in the sea,

the dolphin must come up for air.

He broke the pact he signed by hiding,

because he had to breathe.

I called him a liar

because I did not want to be overwhelmed

by me.

 

Fools, with your nets of prying,

dragging every opaque bubble in the transparency

to the yardstick of surrender!

 

You call the liberty of complex, uncropped things

hypocrisy.

But I will never condemn,

nor break, a loyalist

of the inner infinity.

 

You want me to be one,

but I want to be the multitude.

You want me

to fit in your pocket;

but I am here to expand you.

 

Donít break into my secrets

unless you want to kill me,

or become a world.

 

Back To Top

 

 

Parrot, Parrot

 

Parrot, parrot, parrot,

Guruís parrot

A whole jungle of

guruís parrots

Polly wants a Buddha

 

Jimmy Enlightenment

and I donít care

my masterís gone away

 

Cherub Idiot

comes to God

and tells Him

His headache

is a physical symptom of His

negativity,

"Visualize the world you want

to live in

and it will

be there."

God looks

at Cherub Idiotís

quiver of pathetic

wisdom arrows

and pukes a few more centuries

into time,

"been there, done that, smart ass."

Cherub Idiot,

youíve got a photographic memory

for whatís irrelevant.

Rosy red cheeks

with a shitty diaperís

going to

heal Godís

mind

with the only crumb

he understood,

give it back

to God

like it was

gold.

 

Fools still cling

to pearls

cast to swine,

perform miracles

by believing waterís

wine.

 

Mama bird ate nothing,

regurgitated

her fast

to hungry

baby chick,

 

Cheer the repeater,

the blind man

groping for a fruit

who thinks heís

the tree,

swaggering

with stolen words

through labyrinths

his simplicity

made straight,

he just wants to get

from point A to point B,

heíll do without the glory

of everything

thatís in between.

 

Poor, poor fool,

there is no Rosetta Stone

for a mind like that,

not the sea

or the sky

or a lover

or a mother who just died.

 

Running with his eyes shut,

he thinks he flies.

 

He comes to help you

only to bring himself

to orgasm,

he stuffs phony silver

down the throat

of mankindís sorrows,

spits

into the deepest wounds

with his repulsive certainty.

 

His shallowness dances

over the graves

of prophets,

he loses everything in the translation;

when he copies manna

the people starve.

 

He is a pest,

a nuisance to the wise;

but he kills the weak

by becoming

their sunrise.

 

Parrot, parrot,

born in Hell;

peeping through Heavenís keyhole

he overheard

an angel stubbing his toe,

and turned it

into a religion.

 

Parrot, parrot,

guruís parrot.

Man will not be saved

by imitation.

 

Back To Top

 

 

Ledges Of Heaven

 

Ledges of Heaven

 

where the wingless angels stand

in the deadly dawn

of their

birth.

 

The fool is safer

than the

saint

who has one foot

in

the

revelation.

 

There is always a moment

between leaving ignorance

and gaining wisdom

where the

great soul

stands helpless

and alone.

 

Like a newborn

turtle

crawling towards

the sea

 

he cannot protect himself

from the

obvious.

 

The hungry diving birds

of mammon

will guard the jewels

he is not seeking

to the death,

fight to keep him

from reaching

the deep sea.

 

His eye

unfolding like a flower

to the unseen universe

is wide open

in the dust storm.

 

To catch the falling baby

he must drop his shield.

 

How many whip strokes

across the back

to be a wise man?

How many miles

over the burning rocks

before a place in the shade?

And you wonder why the world

is still the same?

 

Back To Top

 

 

On Topic

 

Staying on topicís a sin

 

peripheral vision

turns you into a butterfly,

you follow flowers,

not lines

 

Sometimes the answer

defies discipline

 

you desert the harnessed thought

and get lost

in the wild woods

of the truth.

You take off the mental girdle

and let your mind

show its belly

 

hourglass ideas

donít always

come back

with the fish

 

sometimes a daydream

takes the

river by surprise

 

treasures abound in

accidents

 

free feet

trip over

diamonds

on the sidelines

 

anarchy

unleashes

a swarm

of possibilities

 

donít put up traffic lights

by your synapses

 

let the chaos

sort itself out,

horns and curses may be

unfolding into a rose

 

Hang up Xímas lights

around doing nothing

 

sit under the

apple tree

all day

and let gravity

come to you.

 

Yes, thereís a time

to wear the shackles

of determination,

a time to

marry

one direction

 

but todayís a day

as loose

as the summer breeze

with the sun shining

on every nook and cranny

of the earth.

 

Back To Top

 

 

Mosquito

 

They say Romeo

was reborn as a

mosquito,

Juliet came back

as herself.

All night long

as he tried to kiss her,

she brushed him away,

cursed the buzz

of eternal love

in her ear,

till at last

she drew up the sheets

above her head.

Where art thou, Romeo?

she wept,

denying him her

introspective flesh,

her white

fantasies

in the darkness

before her eyes.

 

Where art thou, Romeo?

 

Beside you, dear.

 

Why donít you come?

 

I have, Iím here!

 

But she could not

understand the tiny needle

that could feed him

from her softness,

to her it was

an outrage against tranquility,

and he, a thief

too small

for her enormous purity.

 

She made him old

and could not see past

the white wave caps

roaring

across his head,

nor past the cane

she gave him

to protect the dead.

 

Where art thou, Romeo?

 

Hungry, on

the wall

above your bed.

 

Lonely above the desert

of your

sheets.

 

I died for you

and came back for you;

and you,

loving who I used to be,

searching for the face

and not the soul,

have made me

die again.

You have

killed me

with your

unseeing love.

 

Where art thou, Romeo?

she cries again.

 

Fallen,

beside your loneliness,

defending your destiny

from you.

But free will

has won.

 

Adieu! Adieu!

 

Youíll spend

the rest of time

looking for something old

and never find it

because

itís new.

 

Poor mosquito

wanting only a

drop of blood,

singing love songs

she treats as an attack,

as she waits for the return

of Romeo,

whoís already back.

 

Where art thou, Romeo?

again, she asks.

 

Here,

and forever gone.

 

And so, finally, he lets her sleep.

Longing is shallow,

and love is deep.

Juliet, good night.

To appearance goes victory,

to truth defeat.

 

I am here, beside you,

and forever gone.

 

Back To Top

 

 

Undepress Yourself

 

Undepress yourself.

Yeah, you heard me.

 

Hamster running around

the wheel of therapy,

princess and the pills,

poet boy and the worldís ear

clogged with the earwax

of their success.

Drooping tear artist

romantically

slashing your wrists

with

your third eye,

splattering brightness

against the dark

on a canvas

you wonít

let back inside.

Fragile change-the-world man,

riding up

the golden elevator

of an

unsustainable high,

itís your

mode of travel

to Hell,

your way of

building up the velocity

of your

dive.

You only use angels

to crash.

 

Wounded, weeping,

paper-tissue gods,

magnolias in the storm,

every inner whisper

pokes you in the eye,

every collared lizard

faking his size

sends you running back inside,

you piss

on gold,

betray your soul

with the hangmanís noose

thatís swinging in your mind,

youíve made a life out

of bowing down

to the pinhole

in the balloon.

 

God damn you!

You need a Patton-slap

right across the face

of your

black magic.

 

Snap out of it!

Snap out of it!

 

Helpless

cobra

swaying back and forth

to the flute

of your inner scratches.

 

Indulgently

bleeding

by the

lightís plea.

 

You need a Patton-slap

right across the face.

 

Snap out of it!

Snap out of it!

 

Forget compassion.

 

Stop trying to reason

with

the monkey wrench.

 

Stop spitting darkness

into the face of

hope.

 

Stop lighting black candles

behind black curtains,

stop making a religion

of your misery,

run,

run out into the sun.

 

"Itís not so easy."

Do it!

 

"Youíre insensitive."

Slap!

 

Undepress yourself.

I want to be more than an appendage

of your morbidity!

 

Undepress yourself.

Youíve denied your breast

to the infant you turned me into

for long enough!

 

Undepress yourself.

The worldís breaking

from your withheld gifts.

 

Undepress yourself.

I want to see

the sun laughing

from the inside

I want to see it

like a child

splashing in a pool

of his own light.

 

Undepress yourself.

To hell with sympathy!

This isnít a suggestion,

this is a command.

Today, I will be your god.

Undepress yourself!

 

This is a command.

 

Back To Top

 

 

Fifty

 

Low black scroungy ship going by

filled with

red and blue cargo containers.

In the past, I would have found

it ugly, like an oil slick spreading across the sea,

but now Iím fifty,

and I think itís beautiful.

Dirty useful rotten boat,

itís

like a Christmas tree with lights

moving across the bay,

 

like Jesus walking on water.

 

Iím past the age of despising

the wheels of the world,

that did not stop for

the dreams of yesterday.

I donít need

the Himalayas

to feel

like a cloud.

Iíve got corners

and holes

to fill

with the drops

of love

I didnít squander;

holy grails

in front of my wheelchair.

The emptiness in me

has room

for everything,

even the world as it is:

the paradise I stepped over

on my way to

something

that wasnít there.

 

Back To Top

 

 

Satisfied

 

Satisfied,

Satisfied,

I think Iím satisfied

cause itís who I am.

The fast vine

I could have been

growing up someone elseís tree

became the

off-balance stretch

towards God.

Iím the angel

of the no-manís land,

the last-place wine

in the cellar.

In the twilight,

I feel honored to be

beyond my own

comprehension,

to be stranded between

mirrors

of someone elseís face.

Iím a hybrid beast

put together

from pieces of divine garbage,

a chimera

of alien velocities and

internal returns,

my head crammed full of someone else,

with leaks in the loyal receptacle

emptying me back into me.

 

Thereís a spinning cat

in my underachievement

trying to right itself

 

and somehow I know

in the middle of this strange world,

six stories below my apartment window,

that Iíve landed on my feet.

 

Itís who I am

here

now

 

Iím satisfied

 

Satisfied

to be an impossible mix

 

an unwieldy hodgepodge

of indoctrination and vomiting,

of intentions and crashlandings

 

Satisfied

to feel tension

in every pretense

of transcendence

 

Satisfied

not to believe

Iím on the mountaintop

 

Satisfied

to feel deluded

by the skin Iím touching

 

Satisfied to run

from angels

because their wings

are too big,

towards

the pen

that delays me

 

Satisfied not to know who I am

 

not to know whose voice

is telling me

to stay

 

Satisfied to doubt

the food in my mouth

 

to be trapped

at the bottom

of the pit

of a question

 

Satisfied to be my own lover

to put out my fire by your door, with my

narcissism

to spare you the bumpy ride

of my quarrel

with certainty

 

Satisfied to be

introspective

above the red button

of deciding

who I am

 

Satisfied to be

playing

hide-and-seek

with God

 

to still be a virgin,

with tightly-closed legs,

by the priests

of comforting

miscalculations

 

Satisfied

to be confused and open,

to be many things at once,

to be a contradiction

obstinately withholding

my neck from the

chopping block

of a resolution

 

Satisfied

to be a fish with feathers

 

to fly as high as an eagle

while Iím flopping helplessly on the beach,

gasping for air

 

Satisfied to be white and black

and red and yellow and brown,

a light

that has a home

in every race

 

or else the murder-victim

of an incredible

fantasy,

a prophet and a daydreamer

who sleeps in a vivid bed

between God and Paul Bunyan

 

Iím satisfied to

listen to the sacred bell

ringing in a tower

that is not there

 

to obey

the bloodstains

of thoughts

that cannot

explain themselves,

splattered

all over

the walls

of who I was

 

Satisfied to wander naked

in paradise

even though it makes my mentors

sick.

 

Once upon a time

a bullet was fired from a gun;

it grew wings

and flew towards the sun.

 

A man was spared,

a destiny was broken.

 

Iím satisfied

not to be who I was going to be

 

Iím satisfied to be lost

 

Iím satisfied to be here

 

How else would I know this place,

this sacred beach

by Godís great sea,

strewn with the

beautiful sincere wreckage

of an escape

that failed?

 

Iím satisfied to be here,

right now.

 

Iím satisfied to be me.

 

Back to Top

 

 

I Could Give It Up For You (Lyrics)

 

The dark wine I love to drink

the broken glass I love to be

 

I could give it up for you

 

The tangled knot I tied into my life

so it could never be unwound

 

the map of paradise I burned

so no island in my sea of sorrow could be found

 

the ladder whose rungs I broke

so the world wouldnít blame me for being down

 

I could give it up for you

I could sacrifice my pain

I could open my umbrella in the rain

I could be myself again

I could give it up for you

 

Do you want me to comb my hair?

Do you want me to breathe the air?

When you need someone whoís not a wreck,

do you want me to be there?

 

I could give it up for you

 

My failures

My hiding

The broken horse

Iím riding

 

I could give it up for you

 

My purgatory

My Hell

My life

inside a shell

 

I could give it up for you

 

My regrets

and my revenge

it could go on forever

or it could end

 

I could give it up for you

 

For your soul

that wants to lift its head

thatís had enough

of the man who loves you

playing dead

 

I could give it up for you

Yes, I could give it up for you

 

I could erase the egotism of my failure and win

I could rescue success from sin

Whoís looking for me on these broken streets?

I donít have to cling to my defeat.

 

I could give it up for you

Yes, I could give it up for you

 

I could sacrifice my pain

I could open my umbrella in the rain

I could be myself again

I could give it up for you

 

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Children Of Hiroshima

 

All the children of Hiroshima

rushed behind the flag

of one thousand cranes

into the sky,

they charged the bomb

to warn humanity

that God

has finally given man

the miracle of peace,

sent it

in a burning cloud

to end all war

 

changed the stone ax

into a monster

that could only become

a dove

 

Brave, brave children!

 

They charged

into Heaven,

with the last bullet

in their hearts,

laid down their flower lives

by the grave

of all

who will not mourn.

 

God is ready to blow out

the light of the world

with our

stupidity

 

it is time to

come out of our cocoons

 

or die

trapped in

faltering

religions

 

Behind them, the hero children

scattered melted watches

and pieces of their homes

all the way to paradise.

 

Did you open the

mushroom cloud,

and read

Godís letter

to you?

 

The heroes have given you

one last day to change;

one last day

to fold a thousand paper cranes.

 

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Open The Window For Peace

 

Open the window

a little for peace

or the dove will die

and the hawk will soar

 

If you lock out the gentle soul

animals will come

smashing through

your door

 

When you wonít bend your head

to listen to a whisper

the world opens its jaws

and roars

 

Ask the proud:

ditches filled with blood

are the answer

 

Ask the weak:

theyíre bound in chains

at someoneís feet

 

Ask the loving:

Paradise is the

middle ground between two hearts

of hate:

the place where your angel

and the angel of your enemy

is the same

 

The ones you stoned for denying you

the furious joy

pulled your children

out of the sea

Why did you throw them back in?

So you could win?

No oneís going anyplace,

youíre tied by anger

to the same eternal spot,

waiting for history to clot

 

But it wonít

because youíve twisted compassion

into rage,

let the lion out

and locked the lamb

inside a cage

 

Youíre trapped by crimson:

minds that canít add up two plus two

will never find their way out

 

Hearts that have no wisdom

always seem to shout

 

The soft green grass between the warring sides

is trampled underfoot:

the answerís crushed by vigor

 

The martyr dies for his own sake,

for empty tears,

the holy man struggles with lethal complexities

and perseveres

 

Let him have a little air,

let the precarious candles

sputter towards the light

 

Let the worms

under the stones

of the crusaders speak

 

Let a million pillaged wombs

that lost their sons to folly

overcome the night,

let their sorrow into your balls;

let it lead you to another way to fight

 

Open the window

a little for peace

or the dove will die

and the hawk will soar.

 

Listen carefully and youíll hear

peace calling to you

from inside the war

 

Like Jonah from the fish

 

Swallowed by glory,

is a motherís wish

 

Open the window

a little for peace

or the dove will die;

 

because in ten thousand years

of history

there is still no cause

more beautiful

than a human life

 

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Angels Pray To Men

 

Angels pray to men

to stop the wars they have,

they kneel in a church

to worship human beings

by the altar

of the light

we do not see.

 

They light candles

by angry hearts

and place wreaths

by haughty minds,

they chant beside ambition

and sing hymns

by the inventions

that damn souls.

They beg Mankind,

which is their God,

to save

the earth.

 

They plead with men

to show mercy to men.

 

They march through history

on pilgrimages through the dark

bearing torches

of what God put into our hearts,

you can see them winding through the hills

with their plea:

"Dear Man,

please spare us the agony

of your self-destruction."

 

Angels, deluded angels,

they sprinkled rose water

over Auschwitz and Treblinka,

Sarajevo and Beirut,

they tried to save the dying leaves

of the Tree of Life

by praying to the root.

"Dear Man, why inflict such pain on us?

What sin is ours, but to have these wings,

what did we say or do?"

But the knife wounds

of our folly

keep stabbing them

where they stand in Heaven,

trapped by love.

 

We pray to angels,

who pray to us.

 

Through the prism of the divine

our intensely lost energy

is shattered into a rainbow

of possibilities.

 

The angels have showed us how to walk,

but we must take the steps.

They offered us the gift of peace,

then listened for centuries,

hoping weíd say Yes.

But we only sharpened our swords

while, in our churches, their silent faces wept.

 

Angels, poor, kind angels

whose love is not enough.

They built a bridge of faith

across our inner chasm,

but we have yet to trust.

 

Poor, lost world

full of churches!

 

We pray to angels,

who pray to us.

 

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