Friday, June 30, 2017

A Pirouette

What were once
bad habits have turned good
and I will always have
pleasure. No matter how
grim the world gets,
little riches and
quiet pursuits will
find their way
into my private
waking dreams until
my life and my
dreams come to merge.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

The Moving Cabal

When he comes
the cabal forms with him.
And she becomes
the joint enemy. Comfort
and companionship
wins. Nobody is lonely.
When she comes
the cabal forms with her
and he becomes the joint
enemy. It is comforting
to have a companion in critique.
And me. Even when I'm with you,
the cabal forms along the lines
of you and others. It's
a form of friendship
to make me a stranger.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Being and Nothingness

I stand just outside the crowd watching them speaking in nouns about what everybody recognizes and knows, things everybody can agree on. That's what makes them whole, what wakes them up in the morning. That's what the day is and what the night is not. They face each other every morning and talk about agreed things—interspersing the nouns with words of motion and action so that the words make things happen to each other in their brains.

And if a new thing, gathers space, and squeezes itself into birth for them. It may take time, but there will eventually be a new noun which everyone will append to their conversation—in the meantime exchewing some old nouns. And civilization chugs along like an amazing ameboid, alternatively adding and shedding, extending forward and shrinking behind.

They all have exquisite models in their brains, populated by the things the nouns represent and made dynamic by the verbs. In fact they don't need the words, they lose them sometimes and can't reach out to the things that everybody has in their brains, everybody understands. But they can always get some help. These things are real. They always stand and sit around making sounds corresponding to the names of things everybody recognizes, although not everybody has personally experienced. Reality doesn't have to have activated the senses to be real. The senses, in a futuristic or fictional form, or in the form of suspended doubt and trust are welded into the words and into the brain models that form the currency the word are the tokens for.

I watch this. Beware! They are map makers and chart makers. They are formulators of elements. They push each piece, articulated, needed, useful into the asymmetrical matrix of their lives and stamp reality on each piece by bringing it forth to the mass. They view spaces that their eyes stretch open and they know spaces spread out by the movement of time. They make things out of empty spaces and gatherings of elements. All these are rounded and hardened by their tokens and sharing into inflections of the gasseous cloud around them.

There are no colors here. Light burns harder here and less hard there and the particles slam into the stone at different rates. What they think they see is just their joint illusion. The air is vacant except for the wind. With mouths they make these tiny disturbances. They are lucky they can do that. What a bleak skeleton is the Earth, yet they rejoice in delusion. They see themselves in every crook and twist of the molecules. They see their faces where there is no intelligence and no life, in the barrens.

He turned from the ice cold table where the specimen was pinned out legs and arms akimbo and abdomen exposed. The blood stained welts were visible on the flanks and inner thighs. He turned away from the humiliating, uncaring death and stalked out of the lab. There was no getting sympathetic with them, he thought. Research needs distance. We can learn about ourselves only by studying an alien subject, else our viewing and our feelings will change what we observe. He knew that universal principle. And it was also a matter of power. To observe and to cut off sympathy made him feel so good. He could render them helpless and open them, violate them. He couldn't avoid the sense fo triumph.

The feelings were like fluid gasses rolling over the trees, making the colors, drawing them to the colors. The community never believed in colorlessness. The Earth lived in colors, the insects, the birds, the monkeys, we all hated the rocks. Color was the subject of God. Color was what God breathed on us. It was inside us. A translation into the language of our bodies and the bodies of the creatures around us. The people smelled the life of the soil in the air. The world spoke together in the alphabet of maps.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Another Planet in the Same Old Universe

(YouTube Video version at

It's Earth day 14 of the Mars mission. We wake in the middle of the Martian night. It doesn't matter. When we started this we knew everything would be relative and everything would be switched around and changed. We were not people, none of us were, who loved our lives on Earth so much that we couldn't just dump it. None of us had cherished routines or even special food likes. None of us were comforted that easily, that's how we were selected. The discomfort test is one of the most valid psychological tests ever formulated. Bless the Harvard professors who wrote it.

At the same time, the big shots were a little disappointed with the mission because things were not different or variable enough. This was hardly a challenge that tested any of us. There was solid sand at our well-covered and masked feet. We never flew when we jumped, even though we could jump pretty far. In the distance there were things we still called mountains and hills. The same old sun rose in the martian morning, even though it was so pale and small it made most of us laugh, an emasculated sun god. Ha ha!

Were we going home? I think so. That's what they told us. Soon. I could live with the fear. I like fear. It has a pleasant jiggle on my heart. Anyway what could happen? We could just continue our journey and travel to a lot stranger places.

We rise. We check everything to verify that nothing really happened. We nutrify; we expel; like the our microscopic fellow citizens we so carefully pasteurized out of our lives, ignoring what the gods of bugs wanted us to do--currying their disfavor. We believed our god was bigger than theirs and our god would defend us. But we ended up defending our god instead.

It is cold on Mars. We conserve heat and generate it slowly.

Why does this section of existence feel like home? We have never been here, yet we feel familiar--as if it were another room in a great house. It's subject to familiar rules--the rules we have followed since we popped--were carried and expelled into this territory around Old Sol.

On the 18th day of the Mars Mission, our cynical crew learned that the Archetype was coming. We were told that the being looked very strange, but was very mild, and that, somehow we all knew him, we had seen this being before. This being was the core of the neighborhood.

The great orb of the Archetype rose in the west of the martian sky, just as the sun was making its thin, frail appearance in the east. In spite of the vacuum of space we could hear the song, as if it were sung by a million voices. It had at least a million eyes, surprisingly human-like with round pupils, Blinking in waves around the face. Kindness suffused the moist surfaces of the eyes, the sadness of eyes that could comprehend the limits. And somehow, we all remembered that face. We had all seen it in the past, while we were travelling from the space before.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Humphrey (You Tube Reading)


Old Humphrey at 80 stood at the edge of The Grand Canyon and he knew. He knew there was this world and it was very big and full of visions, some of which could be touched and some only distant. Then there was the gateway and a backward—gear-broken cheaply made time machine. And there was the gateway to things that didn't exist at all, except elements did, pasted together with wishes. All this kept him continuously young and hopeful. So he stood, bandy-legged, in his old man touristy shorts showing his crusty, bumpy stomach to a disinterested crowd of young tourists from The University of Northern Arizona.

Standing amidst the forest of memories that clouded his eyes and made him keep shaking his head, the vision of one twelve-year-old girl, when he was sitting on the root of a tree back in Maryland, when she asked, “are you a man or a boy?” Aside from blushing, he didn't know how to respond at fourteen.

Electronics made a lot of things possible that couldn't have happened before. Humphrey knew that there were lots of other worlds with larger canyons even than this. He knew that they were all the same once you landed on them though. You always fell downward and had the familiar difficulty with your bandy knees, walking. The sky was some boring color. And they always felt like what they were, worlds, places. You coped with them.

“Another planet,” he chanted, “another planet, small steps.”

When it's morning and I emerge from the first circle where there is only me dripping with ectoplasmic yolk. The sunlight is low, reminding me loudly through the window. I come out of it slowly and meet with you, people of the symbol, halfway out of dreams. Slowly my sources of pain, fragrance, touch come back to me.
Then, the voice of a young woman broke through the milk of his Humphrey's mind.
“Dad! Dad!” the female voice was saying. He turned slowly, absently. Who was this girl? He was rising from a coma. “We have to go,” she was saying.
Then he said something that scared her. “You don't need this world of feet, Wendy. There is enough in you. You can live forever in a world of whispers and dreams.”
It occurred to him—the heat and the reverie were doing odd things to his brain. Now now I'm back to earth, boring and real, real and boring, when there is so much out there, unbelievable adventure. Humphrey looked at his daughter whom he began to recognize again.

“Yes, I'm coming.”



Saturday, June 03, 2017

Good Morning Spring

When I rise
in the morning
I say hello
to the roses
slowly expiring
in my vase, still
loaded with mystery. They
wave their petals at me.
Still alive I see.
And I smile.
She dries them
to save a vestige of their tint
eternal in rose afterlife,
they do not wave back.