Medley II

Honesty
As a frog squatting
upon the lily pad
he was comfortable when seated
on the truth,
eating falsehood’s flies as they
buzzed about,
the pests unable to escape the long reach
of his honest tongue.

Recluse
Strewn husks among the cellar
ricked up as exoskeleton refuse
beneath the watching dweller—
that skittish, fiddle-backed recluse.

What Is Rhyme?
What is rhyme
but the happy happenstance
of apt language through chance
and Time?

Bottom’s Up
Spare me the corporate mea culpa
and just go ahead and pin the tail
on the donkey, you
jackass,
because I am tired of hearing you
bray your prewritten lines
of plausible deniability
like Bottom high up in
Titania’s bower
while the whole center stage
revolves around you.
You are
looking for a fall-guy,
even if the body’s already cold,
and you pretend, (as you often do),
as if you did not stage this
magnum opus of
magnum onus
upon the rest of us down below
while you handed out scripts and gave
stage directions.
You want us to bend over
and take one for the
production team,
all the while the
tell-tale tail
is pinned where it belongs:
on your fucking forehead.
Yeah,
it sounds like you are
talking out of your ass again,
but it is the same line you always
pull out from that
tandem-team donkey suit
you’re always wearing while your
brown-noser
is bringing up the rear,
even as you lead the farce
ass-backwards.

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.

Assumption

Frogs and toads gather
upon the onyx highway,
squatting in oily rainfall
with their heads raised skyward
and their eyes bulging wide with
unblinking expectation,
like kneeling believers
beseeching their
God
in ardent prayer.
They are a
Heaven’s Gate flock,
a
suicide cult
awaiting the Assumption
to come with
brightening haloes—
amphibious souls
caught between two worlds
and
awaiting the rending
radiance
of swiftly approaching
headlights
from out of unheeding darkness
into unheeding darkness,
an elusive scrawl of
meaninglessness
strewn
messily
along
the
way.

Dreamful Moon

Stillborn fetus
cradled in the aloof orbit
of its birthmother
after its
hit-it-and-quit-it father
flew away
to parts unknown;
moribund infant
scarred by cosmic whim
and barren of life,
engendered as the tombstone
to your own aborted existence;
yet, like true tragedy inspiring
life,
you pull at your mother’s
oceanic emotions,
inciting her defiant fertile frenzy for
offspring
as the tides of her
amniotic seas
ebb and flow with
a yearning increscent
against formless oblivion.
Waxen child,
though denied life
your dreams teem
innumerable upon the earth.

Scraps From A Ruined Tableau

Cottontail clouds,
fluffy,
soft,
numerous in breeding season,
but moving with all the gentleness
of a newborn baby’s sighs
drifting in Summer’s idle aether…

A breathless bluff as abrupt
in its sheer brokenness
as God’s bleak, unfeeling brow
while crowned with a child’s wagon
overturned onto its dented side,
the squeaky wheel spinning
black and white as
death and life
along the dizzying edge of a
sleepy ravine…

Gusts of air
suddenly flustered
by the frenzied feathers
of a flabbergasted flock aloft
and awhirl as if in dismay
of a black figure with outspread wings
trying to ascend to the heavens
with his frantic downfall…

A little blonde girl
tenderizing the sockets of her
blue eyes
with knotted fists,
each knuckle annointed
with futile tears
for the failed fledgling
she must not glimpse
or else her
sibling sympathies
shall compel her wings, too, toward
wispy air
and, likewise,
unflinching stone.

Five Poems

Wicked
Her sins shadowed her
like playful dogs yipping and snipping
at her heels,
and she frequently curtsied
so as to pet them,
letting the men in the village
gaze deeply into her
tumult of cleavage,
her swelling bosom;
and whenever those dogs played
they were as hellhounds among marriage beds,
causing many wives to wake in fright,
losing their heads
and their husbands
to a wandering night.

Humiliation
He stripped her bare
like a tree of its bark,
her body pale and slender and smooth
to the touch
like sapwood,
and just as soon dying of exposure.

Orthodoxymoron
He channeled the holy spirit
through the computer screen,
bathed in information brightly lit
like a halo, harsh yet serene.
He learned how to make a big bomb
and clutched his crucifix to his chin,
repeating to himself “Absalom—
science is a most needful sin.”
He scrolled down the profane webpage
and scoffed at the modern zeitgeist.
“They revel in this secular age,
but they’ll see the blinding light of Christ.”

Earworm
Echo chambers deafen
by mantra, by zealous song,
the reverberating bass of
tribalism
booming as the loudspeaker of each
blowhard pundit
overlaps and amplifies exponentially,
the automatic algorithms
reinforcing and overwhelming
with the deadening stagnation
of propaganda. It is
weaponized audio
to concuss the brain into
malleable mush,
obedient putty
while parasites breed and multiply
from one ear canal to the other,
this self-administered
brainwashing
building unto willful frenzy,
until all contrarian thought is unheard,
anathema, a blasphemy
against the word of a jingoistic God;
a discordant chord
struck to clang against the
hymns of dogma
as if to shake loose the choral worms
writhing between the serenaded ears
so as to open the mind
to worms of a different breeding.
They conduct an orchestra
with which to marionette us,
beating our heads into submission
with the conductor’s baton,
and so our heads become echo chambers,
and the emptier they are
the more room for parasites,
the louder they sing their songs
using our own gawping mouths.
The worms writhe so loudly
in the echo chambers
of our ears,
and we cannot hear ourselves think.
Can we think for ourselves?
Hubris
Arrogance and ignorance
are
Siamese twins
connected head to head,
brow to brow,
so that they peer deeply
into each other’s loving eyes
and neglect seeing all else,
goose-stepping to and fro
blindly
with their backs turned dismissively
toward the humbling world.

Articulation: Three Variations

Haiku:
My thoughts are scattered
like toys from a toybox, spilled
by an angry boy.

Rhyme:
Stumbling, at times, over my own thoughts
like a boy whose toybox has been upended,
scattering about army men, dinosaurs, robots,
all scarcely coherent in a clutter, untended.

Vers Libre:
My words became as
action figures with articulated limbs
interlocked together
in a cramped toybox, difficult to
extract
without pulling up a riot of
entwined bodies, fighting to
select the one desired
and losing my peace to a tantrum,
kicking the toybox over, spilling
its convoluted hoard
and stumbling over the mess,
the thoughts
strewn out
like a battlefield of fallen brothers
unwilling to let go of one another,
even in death,
for the fleeting chance
at animated life.