Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Con Pluma en Mano

Con pluma en mano

The Muse wants your meat
she wants you heart and soul on a platter
over and again every day
she cares not if you're driving or working or trying to sleep
she strikes on her own time in her own moments

she often sends little trinkets
shiny junk for journals to collect
and if you don't, if you refuse these gifts
she takes away your meat
takes the big thoughts little by little
striking indifferent matches to
ideas before they become words

summoning her only makes her grin
but she'll pounce when least expected
insisting words, sounds and silences
creating the compulsion of pen on paper
or fingers on keys striking mercilessly
till her tide abates and she's appeased

she has favorite places
spots to sit that tend to host her visits
she likes the outdoors
and while she can't be commanded into presence
she takes kindly to those
who make special arrangements for her
who honor her with simple ritual
and wait, patiently open
with pen in hand

Friday, May 20, 2011

What to Call You

A poem I wrote last winter.  Maybe more to come.

Thinking of your name and how it can feel
surprisingly strange in my mouth like
not what it's meant to mean and how
we so seldom used those words
to each other but I see your name
a lot of authors named that, you know
and I work in a library
(hi, nice to meet you)
and I see your – that word – I see that word
and if I let it, it brings me your eyes
it brings a little reluctant smile
a warm softening born in an old moment
it can bring your touch, so much gentle comfort
and a giggle, in how it's never quite fit

I'd have to leave this language
to try and put some sounds to you
maybe en EspaƱol, mi compaƱero
but I think even there it will become a poem
there's no one word in any single language
if Time could talk, we'd work something out
and Light waves describe how they inform experience
through the twice upside-downed eyes
and Scent explain how my nose knows
what you've touched and not touched
and my Skin explain what comes through
so that when we touch you go straight to my bones
and if Memory could collaborate to collect the colors
of all the pieces of time we've shared
and if Energy were given voice and the inclination to testify
to how it's gathered between our bodies

if Atoms had voices
or the Universe could sing
maybe I could find a way
but for now I'll just call you
hey, how've you been?

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Stopping By

I really had every intention of sharing poetry last month and when I looked at what I'd written over the winter, there wasn't much I wanted to share.  I also want to commit to blogging regularly again but for now I'll have to settle for stopping by once in a while. 

I hate to come here to complain but I'm having one of those micro/macro-cosmic angst kind of days.  I tend to let stress build up and then experience it all at once.  It's always mostly money.  I have to wonder what I'm doing working a full day every week just to pay for gas to get to and from work for the week.  Then I wonder why billions of people are starving while America is full of dumpster pizza.  The prevailing injustice of this world makes my mind swim.  I truly can't grasp it, I can't believe it's this way.  My inner idealist is sure it doesn't have to be so. 

This is probably a "syndrome" and there's probably a pill I could take.  I'll call it WTFS, What The Fuck Syndrome.  In honor of my new neurosis and in the hopes of spreading it, I'm sharing a poem I haven't posted on this blog.  I wrote it last year and it's one of my favorite. 

Good Evening Ladies and Gentlemen and
Welcome to the Church of What the Fuck is Going On?

There are so many directions to place blame
Patriarchy. Corporate Greed. The MEDIA. Technology. Bad Government. Complacent Society.

we didn't know any better
there were so many flashing lights
and signs and voices
“Look right this way!”
and so many moving parts
and satellite beams
and digital ate analog like the way
video tried to kill the radio star
multinational multimedia channel channel channel shop! on line on T.V. by phone
for non stick hi-tech hi-def plastic remote control motion sensor
sensor sensory
sensory input
in put
what are we putting in?
is this stuff filling you up?

I'm stuffed!
I can't take any more of this
junk-food for the brain
high-fructose information
this saccharine distraction
layer after sticky layer
in conveniently disposable packaging
or beamed straight into your brain
only 49.95 a month

it's every new sensation
competing with so many 15 minutes
crammed between increasingly inane human antics
followed by what they call the “news”
this veil they hang meant to convince me
that this is all there is, or ever could be
constant daily rhythm of
get up go to work go home eat zone out go to bed repeat
no wonder we're numb

they're pick-pocketing our freedoms
insisting it's for our own good
rewriting history to take away truth
back room deals and
out-right theft
tarnished elections and
toxic incorporated
paparazzi exposing personal privacies
while government corruption goes untold

It's all such a spectacle, disparate but sparkly
disorienting reminding me of the Land of Oz
and we could all use a little more heart,
a lot more courage, a clear mind to think,
and the knowledge that our homes are our homes
but without those we keep moving,
perpetuating the system we seem to be stuck in
keeping heads down, arms and legs inside the vehicle
with lemming-like devotion
to our own degradation

And when we walk out of step,
when we stop and look around
when we start to think on our own
we're labeled disloyal, unpatriotic, crazy
If we start to raise some eyebrows,
that voice always comes along
to remind us The Show must go on
and to take our seats and please,
pay no mind to that man behind the curtain.