Illuminations

A scooped pot of
light
here and there blooming among the porch,
revealing a wicker rocking chair
entwined tenebrously
and a tendril-laced swing
beneath which sits a pail of
gardening tools, their blades caked with
yesterday’s work
while the rest of the house is
subsumed by somnolent shadow
and the sharp metal edges gleam white.

Lightning flashing crookedly among the
lurking lupine clouds,
dividing with its electric hot-wire fence
the Black Angus hills from the
wolfish heavens.

Headlights sketching the peripheries
of stark, monochrome fields,
parting night with frenzied white strokes of
chalky luminosity,
flitting insects like scattering dust
as it falls off the powdery phosphorescence
with the white-knuckled pressure
of hastened renditions.

Overbearing brights
invading from behind,
exploding in the cab as a
supernova
of blinding light;
a photon-bomb
both passive-aggressive
and impatient
as they tailgate too closely
along this isolated back-country road.

And now the
bioluminescent gibbous,
the lunar larva
hung high within the
black bower of night,
feeding on light
from within its
fractured crystal-chrysalis
so it may one day crack full and
transform
with newfound radiance.

Sokushinbutsu

20190822_033652-1

Try reason instead of
resin;
try moving from your position of
embalmed stubbornness
and grow rather than
mummify
within this mountaintop shrine of
isolated ideology.
You are not a disciple of
Enlightenment,
but a squatter huddling around the sutra
of your own willful
Ignorance.
Changing your mind will not
kill you,
but to cease all intake
except your obstinate beliefs
will make you a lasting
monument
to undecayed
foolishness.
Repeat your mantra of
denial
over and over again
until you assume the silence of perfected
oneness
with your antiquated ideology
while the world moves on
without you.
You could step through the
torii gate
to see a new plane of awareness
but your eyes have been petrified
shut.
The way outward
has been closed
by the way inward.

20190822_032719-1

Upright Or Twisted

This vast field beneath the glorious Sun
is brimming with honey-sweet light
that glitters with soft fingertips on the tall, golden grass
that billows its head in a loving wind
like a Mass come to pray.
Few trees are scattered about this field’s face,
but these few trees are strong of branch, straight of trunk
and spread wide with canopies proudly dressed in summer leaves.
These few trees are courteous to one another
and do not war with distant neighbors;
not only because they cannot touch each other,
but because they do not have to.

There is a dark hollow beyond the field
which moans deep between a rolling hillock
and the swelling rise of an umbral knob.
The trees within its mouth are gnarled of branch,
twisted of trunk,
crowded for space,
and reach crookedly around each other with covetous intent
to steal the weak slivers of light offered by the negligent Sun.
They war with serpentine branches not because they want to kill,
but because they are naturally inclined to try to survive,
for not every tree is sprouted in golden fields,
nor is it to blame for where its seeds are planted.

Regrets

Oftentimes I wear my regrets like an
Iron Maiden
to drive home the many points
in my life
when I did as I ought not to have,
or did nought at all,
so the regrets can pierce to the
heart
of many matters,
reminding me with penetrating
insight
to do things differently next time,
and, so, this fanged clamp of
memory
can galvanize as well as
immobilize,
rendering me bloodless, but also
fearless,
for if I regret enough
my threshold of pain broadens
until I no longer fear to roll into the
thorn bushes
of new situations,
whereas if I were to flinch away
from the bloodletting possibilities
I might simply fling myself into
the lurking thorns unseen on the
peripheries,
anemic as a blue-blooded
prince
in regicidal Denmark,
weighted down with his callow
indecision.
And so I crawl through the
deadfall
of my yesteryears
knowing that sometimes the only
closure
we can have for our regrets
is the many scabs
sealing over the wound,
ready to break open
and bleed anew.
You’ve made your bed
of nails,
now lie in it.
Yes,
the bite stings strongly with the
familiar fangs
of my own bear-traps.
I have honed them myself
through a lifetime of brooding
with whetstone relentlessness.
For what are regrets
if not
hunting traps
we set so intentionally
for ourselves?

Riddle Root

greenmanink

What an upstart little sapling you seemed to be
with riddles running wild in its riotous roots,
growing on hopes and pride into a tall tree
as you splayed your spread-fingered shoots.

How fast you grew toward the fanciful sky,
holding your ambitions like a glorious crown
stuck in the clouds— ever so deliriously high
that your spindly trunk snapped and fell down.

What a stark collapse that shook the earth!
And you, yourself, too, splintered all apart
so that you looked down at the upturned turf
and saw therein your dry-rotted heart.

You trifled with riddles and poems and wit,
thinking yourself wiser than the way of things,
but then you came aground, bit by broken bit,
and found but kindling in your recording rings.

The Green Man could not save you, oh no, no, no,
nor the rains of plenitude that always came,
and, so imbalanced, you were doomed to go
and now no one knows your secret name.

crisscrosstangle

Warhol’s Soup Kitschen

Paint, copy, print:
the secret formula makes it easy to create
labels
for Campbell’s soup cans
and to cover the rust belt of your
creativity,
the tepid broth
in each bland bowl
handed out with stale
Catholic wafers
so we may all partake in a kitschy
Communion
alongside mediocrity,
the trend set by you, a
bellwether
so utterly cliche
that the trend is dead
before the sheep are
let out of the gate.
You were the first
Social Media Influencer
and have somehow stretched
15 minutes
to over 50 years
of fame.
You got a lot of mileage out of your
high heels,
but if they lack distinguishing depth
should they not be called
flats?
Yet, there is one thing for which
I am grateful to you:
you showed just how eager
those snobby, hobnobbing
knobgobbers really are in the
Artsy-Fartsy world
to guzzle down a generically
commodified can of
mass-manufactured soup
even though a gourmand’s stew of
talent
was being served in every other direction.
Your soulless, assembly line soup
(modified with a dash of garish color
here and there)
was a taste of things to come
because the soup
kitschen
you served in
fed everyone equally
except for the starving artists
you inspired into the jaded world.
For you were starved for nothing
in your life
except even a spoonful of
talent,
and it still somehow fed your legacy
overfull.

Prison Valentines

Frankie sat alone in his dim prison cell
thinking about how he always hated Valentines,
and digging through a heap of perfumed mail,
skimming through the romantic bullshit lines.

Here was a long letter from New York City,
while this letter came from down South, near Savannah;
this letter’s ink was smeared with tears of pity
and was lipstick-kissed by a girl named “Hannah”.

This letter was full of details that were quite lewd
whereas this one promised to see him very soon;
here was a photo of a girl, spreadeagled in the nude,
and here was a poem written about him as the moon.

Frankie laughed mirthlessly as he read through the letters,
remembering when he was just a hapless teenage guy—
back then women overlooked him for his many betters
and he never went on any dates as the years went by.

He had read online about Incels and Men’s Rights,
about bone shapes and Chad and Stacy and such—
his brain became awash with “beta males” and “overbites”,
convincing him he’d never feel a woman’s loving touch.

Next was the Illuminati and the Powers That Be,
the Racial Wars that Manson said would soon come;
he read so much that he lost all perspective to see
humans as humans, feeling reptilian, cold, and numb.

Finally, he had had enough and purchased a gun
and went on a shopping spree through the mall,
buying lives with bullets on his helter-skelter run
while people screamed and fled down the hall.

He surrendered to police without putting up a fight
and was taken to trial, thereafter sentenced to die—
it was then that he realized, in the paparazzi limelight,
that he had finally caught Cupid’s crazy eye.

“Cupid is a blind sniper in a tower,” he said aloud,
“and he is as deaf as a mute bat without ears.”
Despite the mail, Frankie felt neither loved nor proud,
and wondered how he had become so lost through the years.

Suddenly smiling, he thought of all of these sad women
who wanted to be the tragic Bonnie to his Clyde,
and he wondered if they got off while thinking of his sin,
loving a man that was not Dr. Jekyll—only Mr Hyde.