To be like that little wood duck in the center of the large lake, floating on lambent waves—such luck to have freedom with which to make a peaceful day of Summer’s calm away from this dust-dreary room, the water and sunshine a balm to soothe the stubborn shades of gloom; to paddle my feet without care in limpid waters all one’s own, not confined to this stagnant air as I rest and mend broken bone…
Losing my head and laughing it off, not really dead, though you may scoff. Come seek me hence a year has passed and try your sense, honored outcast. You may well kiss my lovely wife, but be remiss and lose your life. Gifts I will give of Nature’s troves and you may live beyond my groves.
A bulbous throat of thunder, cannibal maw of the bog, living half its life under the duckweed with eyes agog, squirming out from clustered eggs with tail to race, feed, and grow, hopping on humanoid legs to hunt and breed and bellow.
Most human thought is
best left unseen, like a closed
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.
Rinse and condense—
no space on the
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
People throughout history have loved such
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
Once upon a time
some people thought life would be
if they had to think less—
Except that last part is fiction
because this story has never ended.
renounce Babylon everyday,
but should it truly displease you
take up hermitage in the
comforted by the holy works
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;
he banished himself, outcast
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
For when in
you are a Babylonian
even as you preach against its temples,
for you are a holier-than-thou
You have a
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
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
go steeled in your faith.
We are begotten
its temptations thus befall us
and become us,
so let us shackle a lowly beast
unconfessed of sins
with the weighted words of our evils
and cast it out to Alini, to the
wanton wastelands of
arid responsibility, thus
providing us our innocence
so desperately craved
and thereby proving us
the lowly beast we would each other scapegoat. In make
and in meaning
we are what we would
in our steads
forfeit to condemnation. For we
were made in the image of our Maker
and likewise must divest ourselves
of our multitudinous sins,
hanging their blood-blackened thorns
upon the crown of the Goat,
of Lucifer, Satan, Azazel,
for he is the beast of burden that chews the
roughage of our hearts’ sins.
Hoofed and horned and
black-lipped with iniquity’s cud, whispering
in our ears, he is
the Goat, the Scapegoat,
consumed by the same duty that
Yes, imbue him, encumber him, and
cast him out,
for he carries in him
that which we begot upon the earth:
blackest desires—let him eat the roughage
until only the human heart remains,
more bestial and lowly than any
truebred goat grazing
in the fallow vastness of
Come! Cast out the overladen sacrifice
as did the Lord his firstborn son,
glutting within his angel’s heart
the sins of His making.
For He so loved Heaven
that He hurled forth His first son
to expunge the impurities therefrom;
the impurities of His own Creation
as we do our own.
Cast it out
as the Maker did us
from the Garden of Eden, our species
a great congregation of
scapegoats, too, and scapegoats that
cast out scapegoats, as we
cast out the Maker, in turn, God being
the scapegoat of our sins as well.
Lucifer, Eve, Adam, Christ, Man, God—
scapegoats unto scapegoats, a whole herd
of overburdened exiles, our unhappy Exodus
as natural as sin itself
in this flawed skein of flesh.
Come, partake in this ancient Pharmakon, for
from sins arise as a black plague
our communal heart, so drink fast the
and relish the
relieving by stony pills
the therapy without equal,
the ritual without rites,
the original opiate,
of the shameless masses
exiled by the sinfulness
of Nature’s perverse innocence.
May we eat well
of blame abloom
in this hoof-trammeled wilderness.
I am the rain,
teardrops on the window pane,
swelling the river with rushing water
to drown the farmer’s little daughter.
I blind the commuting father of three
so he hydroplanes into a tree,
and I dampen the California hills
until the mudslide slips and and drips and spills,
smashing the house while the children sleep
and burying them down in the damp and the deep.
I flood the sewage in the swirling storm drains
until refuse rises along the lanes
and everyone sickens from drinking
the bad water, foul and stinking.
I drown the prospering fields
and all of their harvest yields.
I breathe fog up from the grass
until you cannot see where you pass
so you stumble down the ravine
opening up beneath you, hitherto unseen.
I am the rain
helping to grow the grain
and tapping on the tin roof
like fairy feet, small and aloof.
I renew lakes, creeks, and rivers,
being among the most selfless givers,
letting you drink me to quench your thirst
and being, perhaps, the one to baptize you first,
kissing your brow, your nose, your chin, your cheeks
with many plops and pecks and trickling streaks,
and hushing you with my pitter-patter
while speaking with a gentle smatter
as you lay yourself down to sleep—
much better counting me than sheep.
I cool your brow on hot Summer days
and refract the sun’s shining rays
to festoon the earth with a spectral bow
as if ribbons were made from their glow.
I shower the Spring with its due
so it may blossom to a lovely view.
I am the rain,
feeling no regret or disdain
nor sadness or madness or reason;
I am indifferent in every season.
I fall where I fall,
over some, over none,
over one and over all,
laying still, or on the run,
my work is never done.