Medley

Viewing
Most human thought is
best left unseen, like a closed
casket funeral.

Prayers
Never had he once prayed for rain
to strengthen the crops in any field;
but to mock the tears of the slain
and drown the graves of the men he had killed.

The Sailor’s Curse
“Cranky Christ on a crook’d cross
wi’ a crotch full o’ itchin’ crab!”
he said after tasting her special fish sauce.
She punched him in his belly flab,
at which he was at a complete loss.
She said to him, “Watch ‘er goddamn gab!”

The Biggest Predator
The twin seastacks rose from the salivating surf,
pale, jagged sandstone towering above the earth,
and through the frothy ocean, like a tongue between,
the ghost of the world that was could be seen
in the backwash waves that thrashed up and fell away,
terrible creatures swarmed within the spittle spray—
they tore at one another within a bloody tide,
bickered and bit, fought and fed and died,
all dissolving within those tumultuous waves,
even the largest among them but simple slaves,
for they were the feast and the furor of Mother Nature
who devours all creatures, despite her nomenclature.

Simple-Minded Stories
Rinse and condense—
no space on the
bumper sticker
for nuance or context;
black and white bullet points should proliferate
but reiterate only one thing:
we good, they bad.
Let me tell you a farfetched fairytale
easy enough for a child to follow:
Once upon a time
in a faraway kingdom
we good,
they bad.
The end.
People throughout history have loved such
tribalistic myths,
but I fail to follow the bandwagon.
The stakes are so high,
yet the plot so thin
and the characters dehumanized
beyond any personality.
I cannot suspend disbelief
as the contrivances compound
in the lazy storytelling.
Here’s a truer story
with more substance to it
than the cliche plot
that has been told again and again
throughout history:
Once upon a time
some people thought life would be
easier
if they had to think less—
the end.
Except that last part is fiction
because this story has never ended.

Bible Babble
You
renounce Babylon everyday,
but should it truly displease you
take up hermitage in the
Appalachian Mountains,
comforted by the holy works
you cherish
and never bludgeon the brains
of others with your cherished Book;
do not banish the vices or voices
as if misremembering that
Jesus overthrew Caesar;
no,
rather,
he banished himself, outcast
in ascendance.
So, run to the hills
and in your sacred pilgrimage
keep a vow of silence,
otherwise you profane the Word
with that which you would
condemn Babylon.
For when in
Babylon
you are a Babylonian
even as you preach against its temples,
but worse,
for you are a holier-than-thou
hypocrite.
You have a
stained-glass heart,
and how easily shattered
the panes are—
as easily as any glass house
David might live in
as he readies his stones.
Stop cowering in the skirts of
the Great Whore
and venture out into the
Wilderness
should you be in earnest—
do not return.
Do not preach, at one moment,
against the sins of your Mistress
and at the next moment
sleep in a Babylonian bed.
Become the martyr to your purported
puritanism.
Go now:
go steeled in your faith.

The Red Queen

Running in place just to stay ahead
along with countless creatures in this race—
even when winning you will be dead
for there is no trophy for second place.

What can she say? She gives all the fucks
in this game of love and lust and need
abreast the lions, bulls, and bucks;
not all win or lose when they breed.

The race! The race! What a frantic pace
to keep astride the world as it spins—
to stumble is to thereby erase
the progress of countless winning non-wins.

No trophies, she demands, nor ribbons
for those who keep up at the starting line;
whether dolphins, ants, deer or gibbons,
we jockey for place— do not fall behind.

War And Love, Love And War

The ancient Greeks knew,
and the Romans did recognize,
that the two Hellenic gods who
mattered most were not the most wise,
for their union was a great affair
of Love and War, and a War of Love,
and Love of War, the illicit pair
raising hell below and above.
Ares and Aphrodite,
Mars and Venus,
how they beset the mighty
to unite, or come between us.
It was no secret why their son
praised and feared as Eros and Cupid
shot arrows to pierce hearts to run
and bleed, lovers raving and stupid
as within the lift of a war rally
that raised one’s passions to a fire,
whether by kiss or by sally
for that marriage and funeral pyre.
Nor were Greeks or Romans alone
in the wisdom of this human folly,
for the dichotomous dynamic was sown
in the minds of Saxon, Mongol, and Bengali.
Hindus knew what was true
for they worshiped Kali, the beautiful,
and dreaded her, too, for she slew
and loved, being so mutable
with her dark side, and her light,
a creature of duality who inspired
worshipers with joy and fright
so they would not be mired
in samsara, so as to ascend
the lower realms with their weights,
spurring them to make amends
until moksha liberates.
And Inanna-Ishtar was, as one,
War and Love together
in the mind of many a Sumerian,
praised from Babylon to Assur to Ur,
and rejected by Gilgamesh, which cost
him his friend, Enkidu, Love and War
together waging battle with him, star-crossed
as she was in all of her lovers’ lore.
The Nords had Freya, an ice giantess
at war with Odin, and yet bound to him
by love, and marriage, a pliant tress
entwined always— root and stem—
with her husband, with whom
she shared the spoils of war,
half and half, beloved in scarlet bloom
if sprung from battle’s Valkyrian score.
How she loved those born anew
with thrusting spear and swinging sword,
spilling their love of her like crimson dew
for the Njord goddess they adored!
Nor is Life, stripped of myths,
denuded of such insights
when we see its iterative tiffs,
changing the world with lovers’ fights.
What is Evolution’s constant battle
of environment, myriad creatures,
and sexual selection, but love’s spat till
we change in habits and in features?
To fight for territory is to fight for mates,
this being the modus operandi
of all animals whose quotas in fertility rates
are met when wars are won and victors are randy.
Myth and Science thus agree
that Love and War conjoin
in a congress of Fate, a destiny
like two sides of the proverbial coin.
And all is fair in Love and War,
nor anything worthier for the strife—
what else is there, what is there more
than what begins, and ends, a life?