On the eve of the 4th of July, when families gather for fireworks displays, when piles of flavoured shaved ice become snowcones, where am I?
Standing in line for a sugar high in front of a community college math, science and CIS building, waiting for the US Space & Rocket Center to host a fireworks celebration of a new nation’s independence.
On a planet, what is national independence?
Don’t we breathe the same air?
In a world of humour — working with, hanging out with younger people — I want my jokes within blog posts and my likes within social media to prevent them from repeating what I’ve done if they can learn it faster some other way.
[Instead of telling them what to do or preaching to them…]
My nephew’s accomplishments are a prime example — figuring out international relations without working in business for 25 years — excerpt below:
“This was my first time to visit the UN. Actually, my first time in New York City. Working with the United Nations has been a dream of mine since I was a young boy.
. . .
“Now I understand people, not documents, protect human rights. International governance works when purveyor of rights–people–are vigilant and unrelenting in the protection of their dignity. For those who may not have the opportunity to self-advocate, such as persons with disabilities, we must not put words in their mouths or patronizingly speak for them. They can speak for themselves. We, the able-bodied population, must offer our louder megaphones to them to ensure their voices find expression. The UN works when we, the global community, work with institutions of all levels–local, regional, national, and international–to ensure “no one is left behind” in the pursuit of a world enshrining human dignity and respect. The UN is indeed an ideal but people have the real power. Realistic idealism, in this regard, may be the optimal method to promote and protect human rights. We, the people, owe it to all members of society to remain vigilant, purposeful, and passionate in our advocacy. The tireless self-advocacy of persons with disabilities at the 10th anniversary of the CRPD is a poignant reminder that apathy and indifference has no home in even the most marginalized populations. As a student of human rights and a global citizen at large, this experience changed me for the better.”
“Certain subjects begin to repeat themselves: dogs chase the Google Street View car in Peru and Russia, while a dog in Chile just stares as the car goes by; workers by the side of the road wear bright orange uniforms in one country, bright orange ones in another.” [ from the New Yorker, An Agoraphobic Photographer’s Virtual Travels, on Google Street View, by Andrea Denhoed]
We don’t talk to each other but your words reach me all the same.
I understand your concern about humanity’s future.
The solar system doesn’t care, it will go on even if civilisation collapses in this millennia-long expansion of our species’ boom/bust cycle.
We may not be the civilisation that expands into the galaxy.
I hope we are but it’s not a requirement, only a possibility.
We may just send probes that float out past the solar system.
It’s not enough, you and I want more human space exploration, but our species wants more, too — refrigerated/processed food, quick(er)/automated transportation devices and holidays away from home.
Who’s going to sacrifice their beachfront megaresort moneymaker (and high social/economic/environmental infrastructure cost) for a Martian R&D outpost?
Which offshore cash-rich corporation will volunteer to pay more taxes to fund space exploration rather than reward stockholders?
Who’s going to tell little Johnny that he’s not going to get his own all-terrain vehicle because it burns polluting fossil fuel and tears up land where a rare flower grows?
That, Stephen, is the dilemma we face when the commoners are bombarded with mimd-numbing political/sports/entertainment news from birth.
I love science and engineering but it’s never an easy sell, especially when Chicken Little is crying, “The sky is falling! The sky is falling!”
Let’s show the people how space colonisation is an integral positive part of the entertainment network and they’ll play along without batting an eye.
Whether sitting in an ivory tower or the Eiffel Tower, one understands that the meditative stance is the trance one achieved long ago.
Detaching human names from accomplishments, ideas and pronouncements, one observes the local phenomena of fractal spinoffs in a single solar system and nods in agreement with oneself that all is as it should be.
In one’s life, briefer than a wooden match burns to light a candle, one learns that being busy is not the same as goal-oriented activity.
One’s goals include lighting a candle for every human one knows and two for every human one does not know.
Do lumens illuminate?
What are names?
Only labels or symbols?
If an infant is assigned the name 345#%9*0hoj4;ls’, what is the effect on that person’s life?
Is your name a password? To open/access what?
What is language?
The Sun speaks to the balls of rock and gas circling it in a language of its own star class within the larger class of celestial bodies in motion.
We make headway in social changes using our own unwritten languages, forging agreements in thin air, in brightly-lit spaces and dark, dank rooms.
Two ideas in opposition meld when mutual benefit is found in the right bullet points.
Violence is not inherent in the system, simply a carryover of our barbarian, animalistic behaviours when civilisation was still in its infancy — it will be part of our civilisation for many, many more generations to come, no doubt, coded in our genetic traits such as “fight or flight”.
Changing the topic, the subject, the object of inequality is a choice we make, deciding where the imbalance of the flow of natural resources is, finding its weighted center and shifting it first in our thoughts and then in our physical actions.
Working with those whom we perceive are pushing the inequality on us is not always the first choice in our tendency to see violence and resistance as part of the natural order.
We can choose to be Sisyphus or the boulder. We can take the boulder away from Sisyphus and replace it with an idea whose weight is determined by its impact on others, giving Sisyphus a new meaning while performing the same task.
The best way to address inequality: change the rules of the game, change the playing field or choosing not to play?
What if the word inequality itself is a misnomer?
What if one side falls into the trap of believing it’s supposed to play the role of victim or victor?
In the competition and cooperation for the use of natural resources — locally limited, nearly universally unlimited — one makes choices, one has opportunity costs, sunk costs and hidden costs.
Avoid doublespeak in one’s thoughts to directly address the concept of inequality.
Use one’s language to understand the core issues, listening to the description of the core issues in the languages of others to see where the language barrier is the strongest and sometimes only core issue.
Inequality is a concept.
Equality is a work in progress, the daily interaction that requires nothing more than understanding we who use this language are humans sharing the same genetic code.
The Emperor Ming: Klytus, I’m bored. What plaything can you offer me today?
Could Bigelow turn the space station into a budget hotel for the super rich?
While these words are placed here, the one who is writing the words in sequence is part of the words so should “I” step out from behind them and write a personal blog entry or a third-person story?
I step out today as I slowly awaken from a months-long slumber, stirred awake by my dear friend Jenn a month or so ago.
When I stood over the kitchen sink looking into the backyard a little while ago, I wondered how I could thank Jenn for getting my attention.
Should I sing her praises? After all, she is a person worth writing lyrics and melodies instead of short stories and poems.
Or should I celebrate our friendship by writing what I used to write before I fell asleep, knowing as I do that my six months of snoozing directly correlated to the moment when I stood outside a Hammersmith community center in London, waiting on my wife to finish a Ceroc dance when a white male in his 30s/40s approached me (he had eyed me a few times during the evening and I had simply nodded at him in what I thought was the typical heterosexual male recognition manner) and offered to perform a sex act with my in the loo?
I had maybe 5 or 10 seconds to consider telling my wife that I had to go to the bathroom and she wouldn’t have questioned anything.
Running through my thoughts was the tube schedule and how much time we had to get to the nearest subway station to catch a ride back back to South Kensington.
Plus my natural reticence, the slight paranoia that the guy’s offer could be a setup. Or maybe he had an STD that he would fail to mention and I would get infected.
The look of anticipation on his face told me he feared my saying no so I chose to believe that his offer was truly genuine.
In the last second when I was deciding whether to commit to “what goes on during London holiday, stays in London,” my wife stepped up beside me and interrupted the nervous gaze I was sharing with the guy.
Therefore, I thanked him for the offer and told him I wasn’t interested, upon which he literally ran off.
If I hadn’t told my wife, she wouldn’t have known what just transpired.
But I’ve told myself all this in a blog already.
What I failed to mention was the connection of this event to my failure to move out into a house rental on my own when I thought my wife might be dying of heart failure just before our London trip.
Failure, failure, failure.
Most importantly, I lumped all of this together with my love for Jenn. And not just Jenn, but the part of me that is unashamedly polyamorous, and how many times I’ve failed to show, as opposed to tell, Jenn how much I love her.
By admitting I love Jenn, I admit I love many more, such as the only woman whose body has no personal space between her and me — Michele.
Michele and I are happy dogs in heat when we’re together, including when my wife is there. Being bisexual, too, Michele loves my wife. Michele is the only woman I’ve ever loved with whom we can be in full embrace and talk about our spouses at the same time. Zero jealousy in either one of us.
So, when I didn’t take the free opportunity to demonstrate to myself and myself alone that I was truly bisexual with a stranger in London, I thought my life was over and if my life was over, there was no more Jenn, Michele or others in my life and all I was left with was the monastic life that I could have led had I chosen to give up sexual relations with another person at any point before I got married 30 years ago.
I returned home and focused on the life of an asexual aesthete, telling everyone about the moments in my London trip where I had felt the greatest epiphanies, in Newgrange and Westminster Abbey.
I also started masturbating a lot more and quit writing.
I won’t say that I hated myself but simply that I felt it was no longer necessary to care about the future, every moment felt the same as the previous moment which would be the same as the next moment, ad infinitum.
Not a bad thing, really.
In fact, for most of us that’s the daily truth, the FEELING that everything is the same when it truly isn’t.
It was in the tiny realisation that no two moments are exactly the same that I lived the last six months.
My hearing loss increased and the sense of smell decreased, worrisome signs of either depression, dementia, or both.
I wasn’t dead yet.
Meanwhile, the winds of society shifted ever so slightly, something I smelled when we were on our Rhine River cruise in December 2015 and reinforced during our Ireland/England trip in August 2016 (nothing like going out-of-country to get a clearer view of your national subculture, especially as globally loud as an American one).
When I stood face-to-face with the guy in Hammersmith I was ever so slightly aware that our encounter could be recorded and used against me in an overbearing ultraconservative government intent on making examples of citizens it deemed unworthy or who would not buckle under blackmail to get in line.
For you see, as a writer I think I am my own god and as my own god I believe I have an influence on others that outweighs evidence to the contrary.
The little pebbles I throw into the pond of life are not causing typhoons in the South China Sea.
Or are they?
What if I believed that words I had written months or years ago were part of the zeitgeist which understood our species was only going to establish permanent offworld colonies by depriving the peasant class of essential raw materials needed to build laboratories where the next great living things were going to be created from scratch, beings specifically created to live in space and on other celestial spheres?
And that despite my reservations about his sanity, the current U.S. President and his administration understood the same thing?
Would I be willing to sacrifice my personal desires to declare a permanent presence on Mars of Earth-based lifeforms fully successful by 6th May 2050?
Can I have both?
Jenn gives me the hope that I can.
I don’t know how. I’ve already tried and failed once.
“If at first you don’t succeed…”
My smartwatch reminds me I’ve been sitting for an hour and not exercising.
My future is alive again and I feel fine. Time to stop writing/talking and dance!
No longer must we depend on our forebears to provide us our origin stories. From social media comes the creation myths and legends now.
I created my own through personal poems, short stories and novels, because I had to.
I had to know how to create myself.
The adults in my life were insufficient storytellers to keep me from disbelieving what they were saying.
I accept that the outlines of my social behaviour training were sourced from generally acceptable religious tracts and secularly-derived material sharpened through the years by our strongest hierarchical networks.
But is that so anymore?
For me, being childless and close to my retirement years — those long stretches of decades where I can consume and no longer have to produce — it doesn’t matter as much as it used to.
My origin myths are here amongst symbols we call words such as these, my personalised holy text:
With no particular plan
With no particular words
I take you by the hand
We look like two lovebirds.
We seem to have a view
We seem to have a thought
Our love, I know, is true
Our bodies daily rot.
We see our daily loves
Some people die with knives
You call me by my name.
– 2 October 1985
= == === ==== === == =
Bonds That Stay
I. The Question
My dad said it,
I agree —
Why do we have to
Live so far apart?
I suppose (and I’m not the first)
Our friendship is strengthened by it.
We are being tested by
The great Administrator in the sky
(Or wherever he lives).
Somehow, I’m not really sure,
I feel committed to you,
Yet we are committed not to each other, but
Rather for each other.
You see, I don’t
Lose my relationship with you.
We are not “going together”
But if (like wow)
I went out with another girl,
I would feel…well, like,
Like I was cheating you (and me) of something.
II. I’ll Explain Myself
You are my oldest female friend,
You know that, don’t you?
There’s this woman,
I think she’s beautiful,
Who, if I lived within
Or even twenty-five,
Of her house,
I’d ask her to go with me.
I’m afraid to tell her
Because I don’t want to turn her
I know you’ve known her
For over nineteen years,
So please don’t tell her.
Just talk to her
And see what she thinks of me.
You can tell me later, if you wish.
III. Why I Won’t Tell Her
I won’t ask her, not yet anyway,
Because I can understand
That she might want to
Go out with
Is it possible to do both?
I, too, might have the inclination
To ask out another girl, on occasion.
IV. What She Means to Me
Have I ever told you about her?
I’ve known her as long as
I’ve known you.
Coincidence, huh? Perhaps (dirty laugh!).
This girl, she’s wonderful.
She means so much to me.
How much? How much
Water does it take to fill
The Atlantic Ocean? You see?
V. Why I Can’t Tell Her
I met this girl one time in band,
In eleventh grade.
I thought she was wonderful.
I opened up to her
More than I had ever,
We were real close, she and I.
She dropped me so fast
I didn’t even know it at first.
I was lucky.
It only took me six months
to recover (Connie has me beat).
I promised I’d never again
Make that mistake.
(Promises, promises, promises;
Me and my idle threats)
So, after two and a half years
I’ve broken that promise.
I don’t feel bad at all;
In fact, I feel great!
It wasn’t a promise,
It was a wall,
A barrier, a door with a…
A guard to my inner feelings.
That girl who dumped me,
She said I don’t show my emotions anymore.
Part of that wall’s still there.
I believe I show my emotions,
At least, somewhat, anyway.
This beautiful girl
(You know she’s you),
There have been a hundred times
I wanted to kiss her.
To some, a kiss is a greeting
To me, a kiss is sacred.
To kiss a girl means she’s
Not just a warm body
Or a listening ear.
The girl I kiss has to be
Only four girls in my life
Have earned that specialness.
You’re more than special, though.
I mean, we’ve grown up together.
We were buddies, then companions,
Then friends, and now…well,
I’ve never had a relationship like this.
I wish we didn’t live apart (so far).
I don’t know why I won’t open up to you.
I have, but not completely.
What if I did? Am I afraid?
Janeil, I want you in my arms
Right now! I miss you!
You’re so understanding
That I can’t stand not to tell you
All my feelings!
Something holds me back.
WHAT IS IT?
VII. Please Understand
I’m going bananas,
I mean I’m a fruitcake.
I hope you don’t mind,
I really want your permission (I’m serious!),
There’s this girl
Who I’ve wanted to take out for
Over a year now.
She finally said yes.
I know this sounds silly but
Do you mind?
I’d really worry if you did.
The date’s not that important, but
You’re important enough to me
That if you say no
I won’t go out with her.
“No sooner said than done,” as they say.
Believe me, I’m serious.
You mean a lot to me.
This other girl’s not worth
Sacrificing what we have together.
I’m being more open than I planned.
You’re influencing me in spirit.
I take you with me wherever I go
(except the bathroom — I’m not that open).
I hope you understand what I’ve said.
You say you do. Please do.
We have a strong relationship —
Ours is a bond that stays.
= == === ==== === == =
I’ve been thinking
(I don’t know everything),
Since we love each other,
As far as I know,
We’re not seeing anyone else
(I never did call that girl),
Why don’t we…
Why don’t we become…
Why don’t we become
(You won’t believe this
But two of my fellow employees,
They read this much. Anyway…)
Boyfriend and girlfriend?
I love you enough myself
To not have eyes for anyone else.
I believe you love me as much;
At least your touch tells me that
(And your eyes and voice and…).
What do you say?
= == === ==== === == =
Crash! Another dish —
Patty’ll kill me.
She’s not so bad, really,
But sometimes she can be a pain.
Life is like that,
Some of us aren’t perfect,
Most of us aren’t,
But it’s nice to think we are.
Denny says the three C’s
Will get us closer to perfect.
We’re better than Chicago,
I know that,
‘Cause we’re all good.
Washing dishes, making pizzas,
It’s a rough life, you know.
I mean we could be digging ditches
Or sitting in an office all day.
Instead, we become friends —
We laugh, joke, help each other
To be friends, you must be there
To keep one another going.
Today, we prep,
Tomorrow, who knows,
We may be rolling dough.
Remember, it’s the customers who count,
They’re always right.
Even if they’re bitches and bastards,
They pay our bills.
So what if the tips are small tonight,
Didn’t you lose a few of those unwanted pounds?
= == === ==== === == =
I have been thinking, as always,
About what I could do for you,
To show how much I care.
I almost bought a dozen roses;
We almost went to Clingman’s Dome;
All these things are big gestures,
To be sure.
I thought, “I could do that for any girl,”
But I want to do something more.
I want to show you my world —
Trees, flowers, birds, bees —
I want to be with you to watch the sun set.
You should know by now,
You’re worth to me more than anything
Money can buy; no roses or long trips,
No fancy restaurants or classy bars
Can replace what you mean to me more than this:
The precious moments we have together that
no one can take away.
I can feel you with me right now.
I see your smile, your green eyes,
Your nice body.
Your arms are around me.
Your perfume is everywhere.
We look at each other and can’t help but smile.
My arms are around your waist,
I whisper something to you
[Look! We have an audience].
You laugh and we kiss again.
Damn it! It’s not fair!
I want to be with you all the time.
We can’t have everything.
All I want is you.
Tell me, God, is that too much to ask for?
– 17 July 1981
= == === ==== === == =
We sat there,
(At each other)
At the mountains,
And marveled about the world.
We rolled in the grass,
Thoughts and feelings,
And wondered how lucky we are.
Nighttime brought another view;
Those objects who question love.
We don’t, though;
We know what we feel.
We have our happiness,
Yet we’re still independent.
If you left me,
I could not complain,
I could cry,
But I know we’re stuck together.
Isn’t it awful?
– 31 July 1981
= == === ==== === == =
Each time we meet,
We give up something.
It’s not lost;
We give it to the other.
It’s just a little phrase,
“I love you”;
A little gesture,
And yes (I know),
To you, too,
These “little” gestures are not little.
These steps we take
Mean too much to be little.
Great things come in small packages.
(You’re great! Ha! Ha!)
[Well, you are]
The more I write,
The worse it gets.
Frankly, my dear,
I love you!
– 31 July 1981
= == === ==== === == =
Now that I think about it;
I don’t know what bothers me.
I’ll tell you the whole story.
(Here comes a novel!)
I find this hard to believe,
And hard to say, too.
We’ve each mentioned it before:
I love you, you know;
If I knew I could be supportive,
I would ask you a certain question
About spending our lives together.
I’ll wait to ask,
for several reasons —
I have no way to support you;
We’re young and can afford to wait;
I love to torture myself.
I’ve thought of the possibilities.
I could work until you finish school;
Then I could “finish” my school work, too;
Perhaps we can wait until we both finish college,
When we have steady jobs
(If we can wait that long).
This all depends on me asking you,
And on your saying yes.
We can wait a while,
Search each other out,
And if we find there can be no other,
I’ll ask you.
I may get down on my knee,
I’ll definitely have a dozen roses,
And a ring,
That’s my proposition:
I haven’t asked yet
So you don’t have to say yes.
– 13 August 1981
= == === ==== === == =
I Love You So Much
I love you so much.
How much is so
Much is many
Is a lot.
If so is sew,
Then Diana’s dress
My love doth it express.
So it may be
Sewn a forest with one tree.
You I love,
Baa! Not even ewe.
I love you,
With my eye I prove,
Aye, from you I want not move.
Love has no equal,
Just like the one I love;
Our love will never have,
Like movies, an other sequel.
We keep on going,
Better with than without
The other; always slowing,
Never thought a single doubt.
So (Ho! Ho! Ho! So! Sew! Sow!)
What does all this say?
Did I stop to just say “hey”?
No, I’ve just been thinking,
Thinking about things (names, places, and…)
About cute sounds (Janeil Ann Hill)…
Just thinking to myself:
Where I’m heading,
What I’m doing,
Who I’m seeing;
When I’ll be old,
Will all this matter?
Well, I don’t know.
I love this girl,
Can’t live without her,
Have to go to school,
And when I get a chance,
I’ll let her know just
How much is “so much.”
– 4 September 1981
Nothing New Here
For as long as the feeling lasts (forever),
People have told each other, “I love you” —
Three word which united kingdoms,
And broke dynasties.
Why do these words do so much?
“|” and “you” are just personal pronouns;
Love is just a four-letter word.
Remember, though, words
Are symbols for people, places things
Love is an idea,
Not concrete but abstract,
And my idea is this:
When I say, “I love you,”
I feel warm inside
When you smile.
I want to share my warmth with you,
I want to share my life with you,
Let you know my feelings
(Want to hear about yours),
And listen to your problems.
Love bonds people together;
Their minds and bodies are paired,
Perhaps by God,
And because no two people are exactly alike
They constantly find something new,
Exciting, or wonderful,
About the other.
Because nobody’s perfect,
They may quarrel,
But love is forgiving.
Love does not always
Perfect love, though, adapts
To these people (and for them),
For perfect love, or true love,
Brings these people together
Like pieces of a puzzle —
The picture may change
But the basic shape remains.
Our love “evolved.”
And as we grew,
So did our love.
Like a rose,
First came the stem;
(There were some thorns)
Then, during spring break,
The bud appeared.
We knew we were more than friends,
For our letters warmed each other,
Made us smile,
With summer came our usual invitations
But the meetings were not.
We enjoyed each other’s company,
Didn’t want to be apart,
And like that rose,
Our love grew (and still does);
Unlike that rose,
It won’t die.
I love you.
– 9 September 1981
What shall we do,
You and I?
The weather’s getting colder,
We are farther apart,
And we can do nothing
To make each other feel warm.
(We could exchange heaters?)
Seeing each other twice a month
Makes us lie in wait,
Which way is
Today was clear and sunshiny
But like being without you,
I had to work inside,
Under artificial lights,
Listening to a repeating tape;
Monotony, monotony, was all it said.
The days get shorter
But the time is longer.
There’s a long winter ahead.
– 28 September 1981
We’re Always Together
I couldn’t sleep last night because of you,
And when I woke up, my side felt warm,
As if you had been lying beside me,
With me — wishful thinking…
(Then I saw the cat walking away from the bed).
You made the morning beautiful —
What green leaves were left on the trees
Reminded me of your eyes,
The earth was the color of your hair,
The snow, yes, the color of your skin;
Like a fairy princess I chanced
To see in the woods one day,
You shine with some inner source
Of energy —
Be it the love of your life
Or your love of life —
You have the magic to be what you want,
To be with whom you like.
I’m your King of the Forest,
Let’s rule the world.
– 22 October 1981
We say that we’ll wait —
Marriage would ruin our future(s).
We love each other,
So much so that we could
Run away together
(I’ll keep trying).
Your relatives have already tied the knot;
They seem to approve of me
And, therefore (I guess), of us.
We are left with few alternatives;
I don’t believe we could be good friends again
(Though your mother would be happy, it seems),
We really shouldn’t get married yet,
So what shall we do?
(I don’t know.)
Neither do I.
I keep asking myself,
Is there anything that would stop me from
We’re young and have time, let’s wait.
– 27 November 1981
Who Knows Best?
Perhaps we are too serious —
I mean, we do talk about marriage.
(Is it your father?)
Sometimes, I come close to
Forcing us into making love.
(Is it us?)
I’ll tell you right now,
I’m going to “pop the question” soon,
It may be a month, or six months,
Or two days,
But it won’t be more than a year,
‘Cause I know you’re the one!
(Does anyone know what’s best for us?)
We may not get married for a while,
We may be forced to,
But we are going to,
That much I know.
– 30 December 1981
Mental Distress Due to Concern
When you hear ‘em talk of another,
Do you worry?
Do you think,
“What has she got I ain’t got?
Ain’t I enough for him?”
Does he love you?
Then why do you worry?
Honey, ain’t you never seen a man
Test your love fo’ him?
Them men, they needs to be sho’.
They’s got to know if that gut feelin’
Ain’t just their sex pistol shootin’ off…
Know what I’s gettin’ at?
When he loves you,
He tells you so.
He says you’re “beyootiful”;
He opens yo’ door;
He treats you like a lady.
Ain’t that enough?
– 27 January 1982
Smile, Sad Eyes!
I respect your silence;
Yet, as little as we see and hear each other,
Can’t you find it in yourself
To tell me why and how you feel?
We don’t know everything
About each other —
I can only find out about you
By what you do and say.
If you don’t say anything,
You’ll always be a mystery to me.
Is that what you want?
If you’re depressed and want to be cheered
And don’t tell me,
How can I make you smile?
– 27 January 1982
Some ask for it by name,
Others wait for it to come.
What will I do when,
No one gives me attention?
I ask not but for some attention,
Common experiences to relate
And trade ideas.
The teacher is a pupil,
The law requires it.
If I need attention,
I must give it.
Who wants my attention?
A bird? A cat?
The next-door neighbor?
My friends, my countrymen,
Lend me your attention
For I will return it tenfold.
What more could you ask?
Questions, I know,
But who wants answers?
Good old, sweet attention.
— 13 April 1982
Down the shore with no horizon
Don Quixote searched in vain;
Desperado never learned his name;
Many a noble soul had a noble cause
And lost — who can take the blame?
Because they searched, because they sought,
They deserve a moment, a fleeting thought.
Little were they detracted in their quest —
They looked for the dream that never ends,
They left the home so full of love
To find the love that can’t be bought.
The love I found cannot be measured
In pounds or ounces, in pints or cups,
In dollars or pennies, sixpence or marks —
The love I found I found in you,
In you I found the dream, the hope, the desire,
The will that makes a king aspire
To seek his King in ever hour.
For you, my love, I will embark
To kill the rogue, to love my enemy;
Just say the word for I am yours,
We trust in Him whose thoughts are pure.
The quiet, cool morning when no one yet awakens,
The stars still in their glory,
A jet passes through the sky leaving a faint white trail.
A girl behind the cash register,
The white light streaming through the store-front window of
A twenty-four hour store;
Truckers stop for coffee,
Shift workers buy a meal.
Starshine in my right eye,
Storeshine in my left,
Shall I turn to look at women
Or let the skies turn me bereft?
With wings I hunt to find you,
Somewhere there on Earth —
The clouds are my companions,
The wind, my guiding path,
Yet on the ground I’ll find you,
Waiting, searching for the best.
You know you’re with me always
(I cannot shake you off)
So let me fly asunder,
Find the wind that blows the strongest,
Open my wings and
Feel the beauty before my eyes.
The morning turns to noontime,
The birds and people reappear,
I wake and ache at your absence,
My life is empty with you,
That’s why I call you “Dear.”
— December 1984
The Ignorance In Knowledge
The wonders of the universe are mine,
And yet, I wonder what I want with these —
Without my thoughts, your love is true divine,
His Love, your warmth, does not ease life nor please
The seascapes, patterns, that eradicate
Or even place our love up with the gods.
I open eyes at daily double’s fate
To see the watchdogs eat the blinded clods;
The rituals, life-supportive (so they claim),
Brings hunters and the hunted to the fight —
The educated aid the hopeless lame
And both shall watch the forceful lose their might.
We lost the sight with schoolbooks held in hand,
The sight that sees the hungry feed the land.
— February 1985
Good Mack Café
The banana peel.
A metaphor for falling,
Not watching our step.
I hold the banana peel in my hand,
The freshly eaten, soft interior
Losing its identity in my stomach.
A limp thing, yellow and green and brown
Nutritious protection for future worlds,
A jungle or tropical garden,
The veins no longer flow with fluidy substances,
The seeds are lost in rotting dumpsters
Filling sewers, freshly flowing,
Floating jetsam, flotsam pressing
Forward toward my nose,
The smell offending softly spoken,
Perfumed bodies like myself.
My fingers loosen, the peel drops (Plop!).
Rising from my chair, I step to
Reach down to the floor, taking hold of
My future, discarding it as I leave the room.
— March 1985
Words, Only Words
Beneath the surface of your face,
Beyond the limits your brain implies,
The love I want remains in place
Becomes the spark that lights your eyes;
Yet love, one word, does not explain
The love we share and cannot hide.
Vocabulary words bring pain
To those of us who’ve searched, we’ve tried
In vain, regardless of the thought
The other hopeless folks may say,
“All lives are meant for sale, then bought,”
Their voices listless, dull, blasé —
The timeless “love” they call a word,
The love we feel cannot be heard.
— March 1985
I float on an imaginary sea
I float on an imaginary sea —
Waves of motionless, substanceless, nonbeing —
rocking me to the tune of vertigo-go.
A straight line does not exist.
I’m always going home;
It is a matter of expressing myself, isn’t it?
– 22 September 1985
I am not the wind
I am not the wind
yet I am of the wind
I am a wing of the wind
I am winding down slowly
No longer wing
Formations of the form of motion
Seas frothing at the mouth
Reality — only seven letters
– 3 October 1985
My religion is based on a form
My religion is based on a form,
neither simple nor complex,
Known nor unknown,
A form that can never be perfected.
The form is based on the shape of a wave,
A wave that completes a revolution,
That revolves around an unfixed position.
The wave does not exist
But its form is imitated by physical phenomena.
My religion is based on a few short words —
Everything goes in a circle.
– 3 October 1985
23 October 1985
I search my brain and find naught
But six terrible nightmares leftover
From a feast of sleep.
I open my eyes and find naught
But what I want to see.
The dreams of a thousand years
Locked in a brain with no hope of escape;
Where do I go from here?
Anticipating your reluctant smile
And knowing that we sometimes fail to see
Our love (that drive to satisfy), and while
You wiped away the tears, recalling Lee,
I hugged you tighter. Had they told the truth?
I mean, your brother fell. You know the bridge
Was slippery. You know they cannot prove
He killed himself. Just take your privilege
To put these thoughts aside and sleep tonight.
In time, you’ll have perspective and the strength
To put your brother’s death back in the light,
To recall the times he went to any length
To pull you out of your self-pity. Now
Is not the time for asking “Why?” or “How?”
— 29 October 1985
The Artist In Me
The artist in me cannot resist this momentary desire
To put on paper words that burn, words that die, like fire.
The artist in me cannot deny this denial of the work ethic.
What is the work ethic?
What is reality?
I hear people speak of inner worlds and outer worlds,
How one is real, the other false.
I hear myself laugh and laughing.
“We see through the filter of our experience,” one says.
“We do not see the lens through which we look,” says the other.
The one I heard that said the most:
“Reality is only seven letters.”
— 26 September 1985
Sounds In The Night
Ola, mifrind, ola
Amarki ti nipur
Nipusi ti amour
– 7 October 1985
I’ve had the gift for flowery words
I’ve had the gift for flowery words
So I need not escape on grandiose schemes
Just put words upon this page
Without lofty themes
Tell you how I feel and leave
Let you see my love
Let you feel my need.
– 7 October 1985
The world, in circle, flow —
The mind, enlightened, glows —
The civilized enclose —
The seed, on wind, grows —
The Classic and the Beautiful.
Forever setting forth
The future in the past
The past in the future
Setting a new course;
Careless and fancy-free.
Never you or us, just me.
– 7 October 1985
“All I need is the air that I breathe
And to love you” —
Words sung by the master love-song serenader
(Of this age),
Words have taken on an acrid taste,
Become an irritant that burns the eyes,
Resounded in the ear explosively,
Shocked the touch of a gentle hand,
But words still smell good.
These symbols that I give you
Never can replace the hugs or the kisses;
These splotches of ink that you see
Take the place of my electrochemical longing,
To hold you in my arms
And block their reality away from our world.
Each of us has an obsession,
A satisfaction of a basic/primal desire —
Cigarettes, alcohol, automobiles, guitars —
And if we’re lucky,
Our obsessions are part of our daily lives
(Hopefully, socially accepted).
So you see, not only do I love you
And wish I didn’t have to write these words to be with you,
I’m obsessed with you, baby,
And I want to be lucky.
– 10 October 1985