Saturday, November 24, 2018

Cigarbox Manuscript

Cigar-box Manuscript
Deep purple elliptical clouds
over the railroad
Instinct leads me to the water
the west aglow
a highway of gulls
they fly up to the cranes
Then over the estuary
to the Alameda side
spellbound stood I
Watching the conflicting currents
in chiaroscuro
turn to look south
There it is
the pink pink
pink moon
By a strange pre-ordained
chain of events
 dropped the joint
in a glass of water
Not for so long a time
I can even remember ever
a mighty holiday joint
Dried out it developed
an odd aftertaste
It still pulled
the figurative rabbit out
out of the silk top hat
Civilization runs out
empty calendar grid
pipe lines unfinished
spewing a tidal wave
of regression
tar pits
to primordial ooze
skin tannery
tattoo beauty parlor
Robotic empty bus goes by
obscure canned foods
left on street corners
the unreal real
appears where it wasn't
no newspapers to stain
the men in uniform
The earliest poem
was by a cave man
when his cave felt sad
Vote for Me
I have proven that
I'm protuberant
time and time again
I have demonstrated
that I will reach
into negative numbers
To stoop lower than my opponent
I have excavated the ground
below the bottom of the barrel
Gently on my eyes
move the black coots in a cove
some people talking
I must go back
 to my former levels
I would think about them
strangely creeping in
to fill a room
Put up screens
in avoidance
of a situation I let settle in
an imaginary 

Lumber from the environs
branches and boards all burn
neighbors noted
the wood smoke
in white winter
A panic due when the paper boy
come around collecting
the herald news added inserts
to  deliver with no extra pay
found down the sewer
Reported my brother
lost his paper route
strange cooking in sepia rooms
radio Sally Go Round the Roses
while they counted out coins
Side street soda pop distributor
metal signs for Nehi RC Cola
the jukebox jobber sold
used 45s for a quarter
Walking in the Rain
On a fence behind
a Protestant church I slipped
impaled on chain link
got stuck and got free of it
makes you stronger
Next route closer to home
a bar room where a guy yelled
 get a haircut you look like a girl
at my Beatle bangs
every day
Strange agrarian yards
a culinary rabbitry
exotic hot dog place
Across a schoolyard
to another house
Two papers an old lady
on the second floor
I'd passed her once before
This day on the concrete steps
 holding a pan of table scraps
she seemed to lose her ability
to stand and melted down
on the concrete stairs
her head hit the walk
she was bloodied

I leapt down to help her
she was mumbling
didn't sound like English
 I saw her head
 lowered her again
Leapt back to a door
on the first floor
Upset lady took over
and bid me on my way

At the collection day
the middle-aged lady
told me not to leave a paper
on the second floor any more
the old lady died

They don't give second chances
and they don't give you a clue
all you get is the time
assigned to you

Crow at the top of the forest
Crow at the top of the tree
Look at the world before us
Crow at the top of the tree

Ghost Ship Anniversary

Flag at half mast
over the courthouse
for the young artists
that burned
they never saw it coming
never seem to have learned

I must go back
to my former floors
I would think about
them strangely creeping in
to fill the room
put up screens in avoidance
a situation I let settle in
wood stove of my imagination
lumber from the environs
branches or boards all burn up
 Gently on my eyes
the black coots move down the cove
some people talking

trains at midnight
sentimental to notice
empty time passing

jettisoned refuge
rubbish satellites
of the repression belt
exceed the plasma membrane
you're on your way
to the stars
dream along with me
rupture the rapture
initiate escape plan
airlock the exits
if exits exist

I refused to shut up
he brought down the broadsword
on the center of my head
before I finished talking
my tongue spoke
on both sides of the issue

The Soul cannot thrive
in the absence of a garden

--Thomas More

 In Greenland
 a colorless cigar-shaped shark
moves 500 years through icy seas
worm-like parasites
on luminous eyes
those about to die

Razor-like skin teeth
hallucinogenic meat
stagger around shark drunk
in a crevasse of dirty snow
up to our shoulders
in a treeless plain
midnight sunlight jigsaw fiords
moody stretches of sea
weather battered islands
barnacles on the shark skin coast

a system of whirlpools
formed in the bad dreams
 the sailors of Norway
afloat in a rubber boat
the world's full of mirrors
the sea turns inky
and without rest

Dana octopus squid
each branch is lit
flashing in attack
millions of sharks each year
killed as dangerous predators
who lose less than twenty
to the sharks of the world
on dying oceans
the abysmal set out
into an imaginary abyss


Recent Paradox

Recent Paradox

The threshold of dreams
has been changed
I'm someone from long ago
Early one morning
at the St James Infirmary
that was me a while back
Gone the certitude
of the storybook ending
The windows are shut
and stoppered
Processions go past
In hazard masks
smoky sunlight
bends incredulity
Some sylvan paradise
old couples unable
to open the garage door
Their cremains on the wind
particulates that want in
to begin again
When all the smoke clears
vast chasms of water well
from the center of the earth
Our civilization
our relation to all that lives
passing glance in geological time
When I notice I'm still awake still thinking
I turn on my side facing North
and burrow into the pillows to fall asleep
I commence an adventure story
that takes place in the Great White North
I call this going to Canada
I was the last passenger
no way to make an approach
The put me off in the midst
of nowhere Canada
I started down
an old Indian road
There was a calliope
abandoned in the woods
I seemed to know how to play it
once upon a time and I tried now
It percolated right away
into an old robin jingle
before long I taught myself
an old organ fugue by Sweelinck
A small green leaf branch
fell on the keys and I fled
walking along a fairy folk berm
sort of a old ha ha
I heard rhythmic hooves
on a heavy aqueduct
Momentarily startled
I looked into the green green
From there emerged
a saddled horse
he walked along with me
until at last I stroked
his velvet mourning coat
The under the watchful
in-flowing horses eyes
I mounted him and rode on
October-November 2018

Friday, November 2, 2018

Poems of the Fall

The moon makes lunatics of us all
A great ripping sound
the fabric of reality
Blue Angel goes by
Bats aflight tonight
seems they know it's October
gulls have gone elsewhere
A scatter of crows
between the lake and the moon
the first chill of Fall
What makes a man a recluse?
a car radio
booming a talk show
otherwise peace
bees and ground squirrels
come this far
then it's just gulls
the fish of the sea
all the faraway places
sails on the Bay
fifty people standing on deck
followed by a raft
an empty Hornblower
gentle clouds sweep from the north
like chanterelles
like encephlapods
I've come to be alone
with my thoughts
unmediated image capture
white boat approaches
like an unknown dog
throws stuffed bags over the side
a field of gulls rest up the shore
sails far out from Sausalito
morning on the wide Bay
bird-like over Angel island
a plane turns to san Francisco
swoops in the soaring distance
Tamalpais has a stationary cloud
 a floating model mountain ridge
fragmenting in the noon
inexorably the plane comes here
turning broad wings
 gone again toward Treasure island
circling the Bay ominously
over Golden gate again
the thrill of martial law
                                                                           Berkeley Marina

Rumors of a rectangular ice shelf elsewhere
Lobby cards promise a cinema of the ideal
If you scratch the surface
you are apt to find
where the skeletons are hidden
buried alive in shallow graves
Crown Beach
Kites plunge perpendicular
Mount Tam a skull cap
on the white capped fog
Twin peaks a tuning fork
Stuck in story book mountains
of blue and white illusions
The family from the next tent
now seem distant on the Bay
Droopy girls in clingy jersey
tattoos and comic book colored hair
dip a toe then sit down again
lazy snacks a bulbous recline
the other is more chubby
yet the first one says, I'm fat
Florescent pedestrian icon
one hundred yards away
catches my eye catches the sun
and communicates it to me
yellow green stains the sky
The sky crystalized
inevitably refracts
my prismatic mind

How heavy the dew
on my neighboring rooftop
has it been raining?
Due more to serendipity
than due to propinquity
I moved ten feet back from
the edge of the precipice
just before it stove in
scattering seals far below
where it mattered
I could see Tule elk
the crest of an ultimate hill
look up in interest
while the cattle chewed
dully on their cud
Swilling fabulous pabulum
to his base base
Do you prefer homo sapiens
or human being?
Geese fall into chevrons
even for short hops
heavy yellow and black
bumble bee bends the flowers
squirrel looks in every direction
before hiding its morsel
beneath a garden shrub
October morning
blow all my nightmares away
cool breeze open window
Have you flown in the sky?
It's easy to try
First you must find
the right broom
Old Scratch buys your soul
Then you dance 'til your old
under a blood red
Have you ever gone
Outside the norm
and changes to a cat
or raccoon?
Have you kept a strange form
from dusk until dawn
and chanted all night
'neath the moon?
Have you conjured a hex
on either sex
enough to make someone
Have you marked with an X
the head that was vexed
to make him another
child of the moon?
Dreams hidden
in the leaves of the trees
all come down in the Fall
Some prophecy of the sea
came back to haunt me
Wreck after wreck
demanding respect
Cane after cane
tempest and flood
The sea took back the islands
and then the shore
In oscillating shoals
the flying fish flew past
The abandoned birdbath
like an empty laugh
Lands washed out to sea
all the barnyard animals
Followed on
from old Macdonald's farm
Brides left to their devices
mountain flowers the windward side
Flames lick the leeward
wind overturns an adirondack chair
All  Souls Day
Remember your loved ones
forgive those you didn't love
October 2018

Friday, September 14, 2018

Short poems on a page

An ephemeral world
from a slow window
Tamalpais glimpsed afar
there a spilt second
clouds down lonely fourth
statin magenta hourglass
could it be enough
Notes of Woe
Old Oakland so quiet
tonight it hosts a riot
unlocked and loaded
parlous hip hop hiccup
full volume of alcohol
curvy broads in the parking lot
hipster let an oldster
pass in peace
Gone in the Morning
a tree fell on my bed
I slept on instead
now rain collects
in the dent it left
right side of my head
to extract blood from a stone
survive on perception alone
no one can save you
 from yourself
you just go on
and hope for the best
rather a farrago  than a drudge
those are all the wrong precepts
the right ones grow on trees
no one is there to meet you
when you arrive
at the end of the line
On BART train
to San Francisco
I have to hold on now
the girl in front of me
swept my hand with her hair
testing camel hair
 paintbrush #9
(slim tall attractive young
third generation Asian)
residual unconscious response
Hazy Forecast
particulate matter
past participles dangle
in the unswept sky
End of Summer
Vigil on the lawn
two hours too early
for the library at noon
 morning smoke out
as time passes
 and their reflections
fly through the estuary
in perfect calm
the bifurcation
a breeze picks up
contrast patterns
appear on the surface
wide wingspan
one high-glider
turns slow circles
I see the atomic
level of perception
surround him in the sky
visible invisible
optical template
don't see him
when he disappears

 September 2018

refracted reality

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Intermezzo: A Word from le Flaneur

Wonderful life goes on with me and not without me
Here to document the rupture in the culture
and find beauty in places mistaken for unsightly
The surrealism of every day life
I had to take a time out to recover
 from cyber-surgery
smart cables ran up my main arteries
 to rewire my golden heart
a miracle of technology one cannot deny
Since I have been going slow on the resumption
of my own cyber-activity
But as ever le Flaneur
still is seen everywhere
and eternally returns
Stay tuned for more sight and insights

Into the mystery
and back again
The vandals stole the Japan peace plaque

September 2018


Saturday, August 11, 2018

Miscellaneous Scenes of Summer

RAY's stoned vacation

The roof of 
the Morcam Rose garden

 Black tea and lime juice

Here comes my ride

On the Oakland Ferry

New sports facility
on UC campus
empty while I go by


The Fitzgerald

Ancient Oakland café
now a hipster bar

White peach perfection
with O% Greek yoghurt
and honey

Summer 2018

Friday, August 10, 2018

KoKo Nuggz (mail art)

KoKo Nuggz

Silence the Distraction