POETRY VERSUS SHIT

Image result for tanker in the strait of hormuz

“Upon the velvet sinking, linking fancy unto fancy”  —The Raven

Poetry has no impact, we think, at least Romantic poems

Which slow down breathing. Reading the internet on Iran,

They are mocking Trump for spelling “Strait of Hormuz”

“Straight,” contesting his Chinese oil figures. What have I done?

A great theme for a great poem presented itself to my mind

And I wasted my entire time following a throng

Of imbeciles debating—a mood opposite to my contemplated song.

But sometimes the appreciation

Of ours requires we visit a different nation.

Now I understand poetry, and its space

A little better: first I need peace,

And with peace inside that peace, grace,

In eastern clothes, whispering tales of the east.

It helps to know Iran—what I see:

Not ignorance, but weaponized ignorance,

All the sides holding forth ignorantly,

While the (left wing? right wing?) oligarch gets away.

Khomeini was murdering Iranian prime ministers

Long before 1979. No one talks about these murders.

I turn to my poem at last; its theme

As fresh as ever; a poem does not decay,

And neither does its dream. It

Thrives in the poem, and today

I take my theme out, and give it a look

(To look at it means I write it)

Standing by the bay. Poetry versus shit.

I thought I wasn’t in the mood

For a poem. A theme keeps. Even the rude

Semblance of it is the strongest token

Of what will be said. It will never be broken.

The oil will be flying through the strait.

I don’t care if I miss the debate.

Accept it. No one cares what you say—

Or that I turn away.

 

 

 

WHAT DOES IT MEAN

What does it mean, that you and I are happy

And the world despises us?

We know how these stories always end,

The loveless world wins again.

In love, I cared about one—

Until she left me for a million

Political asylum refugees

Lying under the shade of PhDs.

I wanted a small nest

With the one I loved the best.

She wanted to go to work

For charity, and twerk.

She envied the success of the Jews.

I wanted love. She wanted the news.

But since our two houses united,

The world is not politically excited.

We linger in the shadows, staying

In the shadows, writing poetry, playing.

 

 

 

 

THIS WANTS TO SAY GOODBYE

Image result for debussy in nature

This wants to say goodbye.

The momentum of goodbye

Helps the poem falling towards dying.

First, the trumpets (muted) and oboes start crying,

Like birds, calling, and flying,

As if they were almost far away.

They are—in the deep, dark valley, I’m afraid.

Slower winds now dart into the shade.

The flutes by the edge of the lake wait for the somber day

To whiten and end before they play.

This wants to say goodbye

But not like a poem, after a few words.

For dozens of minutes, there must be a slow crescendo.

But first, in the distant valley, you must hear birds

As if the evening couldn’t appear dimly without them,

As if a multitude of murmuring had to happen,

Without caring, without being aware of the plan:

To flutter down into the warmer air to say goodbye—

One cherub, who smiles, waving to another, with a tendency to cry,

In a manner you can’t put into a poem,

For fear of being too sentimental. The guitar

Must be translated just so,

A strange tuning, before the slow

Trace of the emerging race dresses for its dance

Before it has to go.

Down on stage—see the ladders, there,

Among the leaves? That’s where they arrive from.

Some bright tomorrow will be there for them.

How did you manage that?  The soft material

In dark flower patterns wrapped around their heads?

This poem has no idea what is happening next, except

That the dance must start, and the crimson heart

Must remain the unspoken theme

When the music begins, like a dream.

This wants to say goodbye.

The momentum of the goodbye is in its favor.

This momentum is all we love, and all we savor,

In drinks, and vacations, and drugs, and all goodbyes.

If you want to know the truth, this poem wants to be a song.

But the instruments are all wrong.

I told you about the lake, and made some remarks, under my breath,

On oboes and flutes. Quietly as death.

But nothing plays that quietly,

Though I can tell you, simply. I can rely on your piety

And understanding. To see what I must do

In this poem; of course it isn’t always true,

But won’t you be sympathetic, when the leaves awake,

Slowly—to music I made—from the shining lake?

The mixture of plants, and the water where they like to reside

Is a metaphor for music, where notes harmoniously hide

Inside each other: all it needs is simple math

To augment the plants which enjoy themselves in the weary bath;

So many layers of leaves surround the water in the dusk,

Eyes can barely distinguish the true theme of the music,

Though it doesn’t matter, because we know the dream

Is putting off goodbye as we say goodbye. That’s the theme.

WORDLESS

Image result for adam and eve took their solitary way

How complex the world is!

How many words would it take

For a worldly man

To say how complex? Start with: This

Is more complex than that. I can

Be ironic now, by being wordless.

I will call my poem “Wordless.” If a man

Wishes to be a poet, this

Will always dog him: Love is wordless.

Learning is wordless. She smiled—

And then—only then—were we reconciled.

Words did not make me love poetry.

When I had nothing more to say,

The poem took my hand. And found a way.

 

SLEEPY

Image result for adam and eve took their solitary way

Coming out of, or going into, sleep

Is paradise. Dreams from sleep are the dreams I keep.

Sleep’s dreams are not the only benefits of sleep.

When I approach my rest, the descent is steep,

Reminding me I am looking down at the sun—

When I see the sun at the top of the sky.

My position is reversed. I don’t know why.

In my sleep, I will see the one, the only one,

I love. Sleep’s dreams strip me of the sun.

Sleep’s dreams strip me completely

Of life: all that crowd clowned randomly

In the vast downward gulf of my eye,

But deep in the sinews of flying poetry

Bold sleep gathers. Wasting no time

Before the broad door,

I slept as if I were not going to sleep anymore.

Reasons, whether she knew them, or not,

Why she stopped loving me, who cares?

Reasons are for fools. Love belongs to the one who dares.

She runs away in life because she loves me.

So rare: the steady and the beautiful:

The twinkling star:

Always there, and gently moving.

It’s like a dream. Sleeping in sleep’s soft car,

Traveling through the universe very fast,

Without finally getting there, at last.

Coming out of sleep, don’t wake me yet.

I fell asleep during the sunset.

The roof of the house is warm and wet.

Fading softly out of slumber: this way, too, is steep.

I cannot remember why I had to rise.

I want to sleep during the sunrise.

More dreams. More sleep.

Awake, I weep.

 

 

MOZART, THE EARLY PIANO CONCERTI

Image result for mozart the hunt

He was not always on top of his summer reports.

He regularly ran in the fields.

There were forests, but the only spots

He felt safe had man and beer

Or the concert hall where princesses

Gathered themselves for music.

The musical flow was hidden by reflections.

He had to put memory on them.

New information is impossible—

It is always partial and inaccurate

So our recourse is the alternative:

Synthetic pleasant memories.

Here’s where you intervene

And love, or the memory of it,

Hijacks sense, and my poem once again

Is a love poem—in the category made by that catalog.

If I may step out of my creation for a moment—

That always has to happen; every small change

Has to happen to the whole, until the whole,

Not just a part, is changing.

This is the terrible part of changing,

And why we want memories to stay.

I was walking along a sunny boulevard,

An intersection of many—far too many—things,

When I saw, at the outdoor café seating,

A pleasant female face, vaguely Mediterranean,

A face, too large, I noticed, for her body.

If I had first seen her face, close up, in a selfie,

I would admire the face I, in that moment, found unsatisfactory.

The impossibility of new information, always coming at us piecemeal,

To be accurately what it is—I don’t know who that jogger is—

Requires that memory, hidden in our minds, is our only comfortable

Accurate, whole, information, meant for adoration.

And so, knowing this, Mozart doesn’t make for us

Anything as vulgar as new “music,” but clumsy memories

Which greet us like dogs, or perfumes, or you,

And I was thinking of you—did you know it—anyway.

 

 

 

 

 

 

YOU DON’T KNOW HOW IMPORTANT THIS IS

Image result for reading in renaissance painting

You don’t know how important this is.

And I guess I don’t know either.

I began this in the morning.

How did the morning become covered in night?

How does a speech transcend its occasion?

A love must be long and carry itself, in depth, to each.

What can I say in a one-sided speech?

How important can I make a poem be?

How important is it that you get out of the way

And let her read this? Well. She hates me.

She doesn’t care what I say.

But that doesn’t mean this isn’t important.

I think you can sense it in my tone.

You might as well read it.

I’m sorry I asked you to move.

You could even read it, over her shoulder,

If she were here!

I want you to have sympathy for my love!

It’s important you read this—but that’s all.

Let her be the critic. To her belongs my terrible fall.

SHOULD THE UNITED STATES BOMB IRAN?

Image result for winston churchill and iran

The Shah, his second wife, and Churchill. Is it World War III yet?

“One injustice may hide another—one colonial may hide another” Kenneth Koch, One Train May Hide Another

On Trump’s recent visit to England, he was greeted by a large projection on the Tower of London: UK approval ratings—72% for Obama and 21% for Trump.

The reason for these numbers—if they are true—is simple.

Like most intellectuals, Obama doesn’t tend to brag about the United States of America.

Trump is not an intellectual. He does tend to brag about the U.S.

Trump has spoken out against the Iraq invasion; he doesn’t agree with everything America has done—nor does Obama condemn everything American.  But these things tend to be either/or.  You are an “intellectual”—you read books.  Or you do not.  1 in 5 people don’t read books—and at the same time don’t care if people know it.  This is what the 72/21 “Trump Visits London” poll means.  Obama is vaguely identified with intellectuals who read books, and Trump, who disparages the New York Times, is not.

Iran, the 40 year old fortress of reactionary pain, is supported by Obama and Kerry, and London, which is becoming a Muslim city, seems to as well. But Trump is not happy with it.

Since Jimmy Carter, false friend to the Shah, let Iran go to the Ayatollah Khomeini, the Islamic Republic has been a burning heart of reactionary Leftism—which has finally found its true enemy in Trumpism.

When it comes down to Christopher Steele versus Donald Trump, who needs to read books?

The political Left self-identifies as intellectual—if they fill out a survey, they will always check “Reads A Lot.”

But in the rarefied world of intellectualism, it’s impossible to tell what sorts of books people really understand, or who is wise in other ways. Who is really getting things done?  Who is just kissing ass, and trying to look smart?  True worth will not be seen in self-perceptions captured by polls.

In Cairo, in 2009, Obama, gave a “New American President speaks to the Muslims of the World” speech. It was neither sublime, nor informative, nor beautiful. It sounded like what a bright fifteen or sixteen year old student might write.

If this is what intellectualism is, then congratulations, you are probably an intellectual.

Politics is a pragmatic matter—if politicians are boring, and Obama is boring, it is because they are saying what lots of different people want to hear, and can understand easily. They are boring on purpose. And to speak to Muslims without offending them, you have to be either a poet, or deeply religious, and if you’re not, you’re just going to have to be really, really boring.  Which is what Obama was in Cairo in 2009.

Pundits on the Left argued that Obama wasn’t apologizing for America; he was just “being diplomatic,” making nice speeches as a new president. And the Left wing pundits, as far as that goes, were probably correct.

Ironically, if Obama was apologizing at all,  he was apologizing for Bush. Which is a nice thing about democracy; you can be a nasty country, you elect the new, and then you can “apologize” to the world, and go right on being a bully—destabilizing the Middle East, for instance.

A non-democratic country can “elect” presidents.

Iran does this.

Whenever there is a new Iranian president, he repairs the latest quarrel between the UK and Iran. Diplomatic ties between the United States and Iran have not been in place since 1979, but London and Tehran are still schmoozing—thanks to Iranian presidents. A Iranian Supreme Leader fatwa against an author and his publishers (1989)? The new Iranian president will smooth things over. Your embassy is stormed (2011)? Here comes a newly elected Iranian president to make things right!

One thing intellectuals like argue to about in think tanks and learned foreign policy journals is whether ideology (religion) or strategy (chess) is more important in world affairs.

Trita Parsi, author, founder of the National Iranian American Council, and a professor at Georgetown University, who received a Ph.D. under the guidance of Francis Fukuyama (End of History) and Zbig Brzezinski (National Security Advisor when Khomeini took Iran) can talk for hours about Iran without once mentioning Islam. With Parsi, everything is dry, logical, and strategic.

Kasra Aarabi, former parliamentary researcher for UK Foreign Secretary Jack Straw and currently an analyst focusing on Iran at the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change, makes a far different case.

Arabi cannot speak a single sentence without mentioning Shia, sharia, velayat-e faqih, and the Supreme Leader’s plan (in the Iran Constitution itself) to spread Islam throughout the world. End of history? Not in the minds of the mullahs.

But there’s a third factor, besides ideology and strategy: face saving diplomacy. Obsessed with democracy and power, political pundits often overlook niceties born from spy work.

Spies are associated with assassinations and coups. But the most important work of intelligence agencies cements alliances.  Spies are just as much about love as they are about war.

Why, for instance, does the UK forgive Iran, and even more surprisingly, why does Iran forgive the UK?

There is no logical answer. Or, at least, none the public knows.

The Shah, the one toppled by the Ayatollah Khomeini in 1979, was British-made.

Looking back hundreds of years, Iran has always lived under a British boot, not a US one.

The British boot pressed even harder on the throat of Iran when oil became the world’s most important commodity in the early 20th century. Unlike the US, oil rich with Texas and Pennsylvania, the UK had no oil of its own. It could be said that the dumb, friendly, easy-going, US eclipsed the savvy British Empire in the 20th century for this one reason: the US had more oil.

The British were quite touchy, in fact, about their Middle East oil, even towards their “ally,” the US.

In the first half of the 20th century, when Britain was still an empire, Iranian oil was Britain’s top overseas asset.

In 1924, Robert Imbrie, American Vice-consul in Tehran, was murdered.  Defying their British masters, Iranians had invited Standard Oil into their country; the American oil company was all set to loan 10 million to the Iranians, when Imbrie was murdered—and the Americans got cold feet. According to the Encyclopaedia Iranica, “the circumstances leading to Imbrie’s death are still controversial; several groups, including the British chiefs of APOC, have been accused of plotting the murder in order to prevent American oil company activities in Iran.” (added italics)

British Petroleum (BP) began as the Anglo-Persian Oil Company. A Mr. William Knox D’arcy, from a village in SW England, found oil in Iran in 1908 after making an agreement in 1901—before oil was considered gold: 84% profits, 60 years, and a drilling area containing nearly the whole of Iran.

The steady pressure—from the early days of oil extraction from Iran’s Abadan refinery during the First World War for British warships, right up until the Islamic revolution of 1979—was always on Britain to give oil ownership back to Iran.  The US was not the villain in this drama. We’ve already seen that the Iranians invited the U.S. in as a buffer against the Brits as far back as the 1920s—when there was still geological doubt about how much oil was in the earth, and doubt about how valuable oil would become.

Iranians viewed the US as a savior. There were solid reasons: the US didn’t like the Soviets, who had long dominated Iran in the north, just as the Brits ran things in the south. Right after WW II, the US kicked Stalin out of northern Iran. The Americans proved themselves as important allies in that action, alone. The US had tons of oil—US oil fueled both of Europe’s world wars—and so it was obvious to Iran that the US could be far friendlier and more objective towards their country than the UK—who was heavily invested in Iran’s oil.

Iran and the UK maintain official diplomatic relations today.  The US hasn’t had an embassy in Tehran since 1979.  The US, not Britain, is “The Great Satan.”  What happened?

Did MI6 outfox the CIA?

Pretty much, yes.

Anyone who assumes Britain is America’s true ally needs to look at what happened in Iran.

The trouble began with Mosaddegh, a complicated character who was part possible Soviet agent, part nationalist hero, part media star, and completely anti-American.

The prime minister Mosaddegh was finally a patsy, more MI6 than Soviet. His premiership was beaten up (warship blockade, sanctions, boycott, world court appeals, Churchill begging for US help) by the British. Mosaddegh was also allied with, and then rejected by, an important Islamic priest, Kashani—one generation older than Khomeini—and these two things led to his demise, but with Mosaddegh’s media star status (Time magazine’s Man of the Year) and fake credentials as the “democratically elected leader of Iran” defying the “monarchy” of the Shah, those who controlled this secular, socialist prime minister were able, as he fell, to point to the CIA—who, as a part of the anti-American operation, were all too happy to revel in their “role” in the “coup.”  Iranian law gave the Shah the authority to dismiss Mosaddegh—if there was a CIA operation it was one to make it look like the CIA had a major role in the dismissal of Mosaddegh. Frame the United States. Make the United States, who had just defeated the Nazis, appear as the world’s bully against poor, defenseless nations. Give credibility to Leftist, anti-American propaganda all around the world. It looks like it was a sucker operation.

Trita Parsi is just one of many pundits who calls the 1953 coup a US backed “regime change”—and one can hear Parsi use the words “regime change” in a podcast interview with the pleasantly agreeable Mark Hannah of the Eurasia Group Foundation.

In this one controlled event, America—with such potential to help Iran and stabilize not only Iran but the entire region—replaced Britain overnight as Iran’s villain, and the Shah, too, earned the reputation as an anti-democratic tyrant, with the US and the Shah wrapped up together as the “enemy of the people,” the “people” in this case, the combustible mixture of communism and Islam. Khomeini was active in Iran at this time, and he was learning the magic formula which would lead to his success: terror, socialism, Islam, and fighting the U.S.  With the Shah now identified as a pro-U.S. reactionary, the events of the early 1950s set up 1979.

The importance of 1979 cannot be underestimated.  Khomeini was the first true “Marxist Pope,” and the stunning success of his Islamic Revolution was a terrible thing, simply because this new tyranny of Marxist Papacy won in a very large, very strategically located, and consolidated manner.

A recent piece in the Spectator is typical of how the mainstream media discusses Iran. “Should we bomb Iran?” is the question, and John Bolton, who has “had it in for Iran for decades” is the villain, compared to the Iranian leaders who are benignly described as seasoned survivors. And the answer to “Should we bomb Iran” is no—mostly because the price of crude would increase. This is how the press talks about Iran today.

Or, we might see a piece in places like the NY Times or the Washington Post, cheery and anecdotal: how the Iranian people are finding ways to drink and party, in spite of the regime. Don’t worry about Iran, these articles say; the rulers are a bit harsh (they kill women and gays) but the people are delightful, endearing and resourceful!

The recent Hollywood treatment of Iran, Argo, focused on a minor, feel-good sideshow of the hostage crisis—the rescue of a few hostages. It didn’t explore the tragedy of Iran at all.

How many now remember that shortly after the hostages were taken, the Ayatollah Khomeini released blacks and women, saying he did this because America oppressed blacks and women?  This is a glimpse into how insultingly clever this murderous, anti-US Islamic priest, Khomeini, really was.

In the wake of the 1979 betrayal, the press continues to avert its eyes when it comes to Iran.

The world-historical tragedy of Iran 1979 needs a new, hard look.

In an eerie prelude to 1979, the Shah briefly fled Iran in 1953—not because he feared Mosaddegh or the Iranian people’s success; Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi feared the communists, who supported Mosaddegh, as well as the assassinating priesthood, the clerical entity known as Fada’iyan-e Islam. Both gained strength in the power vacuum triggered by the morale-crushing destabilization of Iran—thanks to Britain’s world boycott in response to Mosaddegh’s fruitless oil crusade in the early 50s. The Shah did not oppose Iran having control of its own oil. But the Shah also got it: the British would, and could, destroy Iran first.

Here’s a news story from 1949—before Mosaddegh’s brief rise to power—which might shed some light on the Shah’s position:

“Shah Mohammed Riza Pahlevi was shot and wounded today in an unsuccessful assassination attempt”

“The reporter-photographer, pretending to take the Shah’s picture, fired at point blank range, when the Shah got out of his car on the steps of Tehran University.”

“One bullet entered his body and another his mouth. The other three went through his hat.”

“The assassination attempt came one day after 2,000 students marched around the Majlis (Parliament) building and demanded cancellation of the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company’s concession to take oil out of Iran”

—The New York Times, Feb 5, 1949

Becoming oil independent—for a puppet nation like Iran—was not as easy as it looked. Britain had a signed deal with Iran—during a previous dynasty of shahs. Britain owned the equipment to take oil out of the ground and deliver it to market. Britain had experienced oil workers on the ground in Iran, who worked the equipment and ran the show. Britain had warships to back up this claim. The Anglo/Iranian Oil company was a “British restaurant” in Iran. The owners were British. A few Iranians washed the dishes. Mosaddegh as prime minister thought: we’ll hire other foreign workers to get the oil out of the ground for us. Every European nation—save Italy—said no. And when Britain saw an Italian tanker in the Gulf, they chased it away.

The Shah’s father, Reza Shah, secular and modernizing, like his son, was deposed by the British in 1941. A better oil deal with Britain was tried by the father in the 1933. It failed. Britain stood in the way—in 1933 and in 1953, and every year in between. And in every year afterwards. Britain stood in the way—until 1979, the year of the Islamic revolution, when the new deal (which involved other countries but still favored Britain) made in 1954, was set to expire.

The Shah presided over what was a wealthy, western-friendly, secular, modernizing nation in the 1970s, riding the giant oil wave created by OPEC—formed in 1960—making the 1953 days of British warships, and a few CIA operatives in Tehran taking orders from MI6, seem rather quaint.

In the 1970s, the Shah’s public battles with the Ayatollah Khomeini—the number one sharia priest (and terrorist,) fighting with all his cleric might for the soul of the Iranian people against the Shah, and the Shah’s push for woman’s rights in the early 1960s, during the Shah’s White Revolution (white for bloodless) also seemed a distant dream—Khomeini was licking his wounds as an exile in Iraq, hoping one day to get back into Iran with western help.

The Shah doubted any westerner—even the most wild-eyed MI6 agent, or even the most radical, leftist, French philosopher—would agree to allow Khomeini, a murderer of moderate prime ministers, back into his country.

Especially not the friendly United States.

The Shah was wrong.

Also in the 1970s, the Shah—recalling how much western intellectuals admired Mosaddegh for his oil nationalizing crusade—stated publicly—starting in 1973—that he intended (for real this time) to make Iranian oil fully Iranian in 1979, when the 1954 agreement was due to expire. The Shah must have thought it strange, then, when, instead of being treated like a hero in the western press, as Mosaddegh had been, as the 70s went on, the Shah was portrayed as a murderous tyrant. SAVAK, run by MI6, was brutal, but only because the Khomeini’s assassinating priesthood was brutal. SAVAK has since morphed into something much larger and far more terrible under the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Since the 1953 “coup” has been given so much importance by those who blame America for Khomeini, a new examination is needed.

Let’s look at Obama’s exact words during his “apology tour” in Cairo, in 2009 (the year Obama deliberately failed to help democratic protests against the Iranian regime):

“In the middle of the Cold War, the United States played a role in the overthrow of a democratically-elected Iranian government. Since the Islamic revolution, Iran has played a role in acts of hostage-taking and violence against U.S. soldiers and civilians.”

The “apology” charge (coined by Karl Rove in a Wall Street Journal in April of 2009, and weakly pursued by Romney and other Republicans) was countered by outlets like the Washington Post, who said Obama consistently balanced his “apology” with rebuke, and one can see that Obama blames America for “a role in the overthrow of a democratically-elected Iranian government,” but then says Iran played “a role in acts of hostage-taking and violence against U.S. soldiers and civilians.”

The problem with this “balance,” however, is that the United States never stole Iran’s oil, the US helped Iran to grow rich and stable, and this assertion: “the United States played a role in the overthrow of a democratically-elected Iranian government” is patently and cravenly false.

The “overthrown” issue:

Mosaddegh was not “overthrown.” He was dismissed under the Iranian constitution by the Shah. Period.  Mosaddegh refused to step down, because he thought communist and Islamist thugs would protect him.  And these were thugs: this is why the Shah decided to flee the country, legitimately fearing for his life. This incident is known as the “first coup attempt.”

The second “coup attempt” was simply when Iranian forces, the military, mostly, who supported the Shah, took steps to arrest Mosaddegh for refusing to give up power. The CIA, despite what agent Roosevelt has written in his book Countercoup, had nothing to do with Mosaddegh’s actual fall. Yes, America was known to be in favor, along with Britain, of Mosaddegh’s departure.  And so were the majority of Iranians. Maybe a couple of CIA agents (doing the bidding of MI6) believed they had something to do with it—the CIA was a new, untested agency; they wanted glory. At best, the CIA on the ground may have given the Shah moral support—the Shah was terrified of being killed. The U.S. did not “play a role” in the sense that they had any actual role in Mosaddegh’s dismissal—a simple, legal action by the Shah. The US was a drop in the waterfall. The troubles in Iran were due to British boycotting, an assassinating priesthood inspired by Khomeini, communist stirrings, and the fight between Iran and Britain over Iranian oil. The US, who had the mantle of the great villain handed to them, in one of the great role reversals of all time, were mere witnesses at this point.

The “democratically-elected” issue:

The “democratically-elected Iranian government” is even more of a myth.

Under Iran’s constitutional monarchy, the Iranian people voted for members of parliament, and the parliament, not the people, voted to nominate a prime minister, with the final appointment approved by the Shah.  Mosaddegh, the 35th prime minister of Iran, was no different.

But here’s where it gets even more interesting. Before Mosaddegh became prime minister on April 28th 1951, prime minister Haji Ali Razmara was murdered on March 7th, 1951, by Fadayan-e Islam, the group founded in 1946, a sharia, nationalist, terror organization, one of the world’s first Islamic terrorist groups, and associated with a younger Ayatollah Khomeini—yes, that one.

The Fadayan-e Islam were good at killing major officials in Iran.

And now it gets even better. The parliament, during the premiership of Mosaddegh, used its “democratic” parliamentary powers to pardon and free the assassin of prime minister Razamara, calling the assassin a “soldier of Islam.”

This is the same “democratic” parliament which lends the sobriquet “democratic” to Mosaddegh—somehow, according to the political pundits, and in the words of Barack Obama, Mosaddegh, by virtue of this Iranian parliament, was somehow between 1951 and 1953 the leader of a “democratically-elected Iranian government.”

If this doesn’t make you laugh it ought to make you cry.

Interestingly, the Fadayan-e Islam assassin of prime minister Razmara was executed in 1955—after Mosaddegh was deposed.

As time went on, the Shah, relying on younger and more forward-looking officials, began to put the thugs in their place, and things got better for Iran.

In the early 60s, Khomeini reacted badly to the Shah’s White Revolution, and went public and confronted the Shah over women’s rights. The Shah won. Khomeini was exiled. In 1963 Lesley Gore released “You Don’t Own Me.” But Khomeini won in 1979. By then, it was a different world. Pol Pot had happened. The Wings had replaced the Beatles. And in 1979, with Carter in the White House, Khomeini came to power—complete power.

The Shah of Iran—for almost 40 years as a brave and savvy puppet ruler, playing communists, Islam fanatics, Britain, the U.S. and the Soviets against each other whenever he could—made his country western, modern, rich, and free. But the Shah finally lost out to terror, religion, and mobs.  A persistent, dignified killer in a cloak stalked cold Tehran. In the end, a bikini on the Caspian Sea never had a chance.

A priesthood which kills is the greatest political weapon. The sanctimonious, who are simultaneously savage, win converts. Lots of them. We now know this.

Sanctimony, to be respected, evolves in the following manner to preserve itself: it becomes more sanctimonious, perpetuating moral shame and prohibitions across the board, so that the soul, the world, and the future blend into one act of obedience. This obedience joins devotee and priest in a fanatical bond, where pleasures are diverted into worship of the the very bond which prohibits the pleasures, and members rejoice in a membership that replaces the formerly lone and vulnerable individuality—which once defined the devotee against the world. The final validating fact of this sanctimony is uncompromising violence which defends the bond. Insult me, the Muslim, and you insult us, the Muslims, and you die. Sanctimony which kills is especially equipped to rule. Khomeini knew this.

To promise heaven to the pliant, and threaten death to your enemy, especially in corrupt times, is a political win-win. The toothless priest, who is sanctimonious only, becomes an object of ridicule, and chases converts away. God is only God with a sword.

The most popular, secular work of literature in Iran over the last 50 years is a comic novel, My Uncle Napoleon.

From the preface of the book’s English translation: “The book was obsessed with “the widespread Iranian belief that foreigners (particularly the British) are responsible for events that occur in Iran. First published in Iran in the early 1970s, the novel became an all-time best seller. In 1976 it was turned into a television series and immediately captured the imagination of the whole nation.”

A strange fact. In 1978, the Shah publicly accused Khomeini, through a pro-Shah newspaper, of being a British agent—and this incident triggered pro-Islamic, anti-Shah mobs, as the Islamic revolution truly began in earnest.

It seems the real life “British show” had to be shut down and hidden—so Islam could be in charge, with the United States as the “Great Satan.”

This is now the an even more popular and horrible “TV show” we all watch.

The UK, as its prominent empire dwindled, and its military was saying goodbye to the Middle East, played the Muslim card.

Great Britain, in the crucial window of time after WW II, was Iago to the US Othello. Iran and Iraq now sell most of their oil to China, America’s enemy. The UK pretends to be a US ally, but only to make use of the US. Britain was neutral towards the US Confederacy, which encouraged Lee to start a bloodbath in 1862 to be “recognized.” The Civil War almost destroyed the US.  But since then, as the US got stronger, the UK finally decided, “if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.” But this was done cynically.  India was a colony, perhaps America would be one again, too. The UK never wanted the US to get too strong and promote modernizing stable nations all over the world—such as Iran under the Shah in the 70s.  MI6/CIA ran SAVAK to protect the Shah—but also to make the Shah look ruthless. The Shah, after nearly losing to the priesthood in the 1950s became too successful. When it was time for a switch, Khomeini made SAVAK look like boy scouts. Keeping Iran western and friendly? That’s not how the globalist, deep state “British Empire” does things. It plays the Muslim card, the Socialism card, it divides and conquers, and uses other countries and groups as proxies. Just as Iran is doing now. The US turned away from what made it “great” and got Iago-ed by the UK sometime between 1945 and 1952.

Shirin Ebadi, former Iran lawyer and judge, winner of the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize, in a recent interview with Aljazeera, reminded everyone how Iran today functions.

All policy is decided by “one Supreme Leader,” appointed for life.

The president, the defense minister, and every official in Iran, is a “puppet” to the Supreme Leader.

A single, Islamic, Sharia Judge says how the entire nation eats, dresses, treats women, educates itself, the amusements and information they can have, the work they can do, where they can go, who will be their enemies, and who will be their friends.

As we know, the Supreme Leader tells his people, in no uncertain terms, that the United States of America is “Satan.”

This is not a Star Wars movie. This is not a piece of science fiction. This is real. This is Iran.

The rise of Iran’s priesthood followed when the Persian Empire lost battles and great amounts of territory to the Russian Empire throughout the 19th century—the humiliation of Iran culminating in the December 1891 fatwa by Grand Ayatollah Mirza Hassan Shirazi against tobacco. Even the shah couldn’t smoke. His wives said no.

Iran’s diplomatic existence with the West is about 500 years old, and for centuries the Persian Empire was reasonably successful as a balancing act between itself, the Ottoman Empire (enemy), Russia (meddling friend/enemy) and Britain (meddling friend/enemy).

By the beginning of the 20th century, however, in the wake of the tobacco fatwa, Iran was weak, beaten, and depressed. To state it irreligiously, by 1900, Iran had no balls.

The Muslim priests, who would eventually rule Iran, never stopped bragging about their tobacco fatwa triumph.

Religious clerics always gain strength when they successfully prohibit things.

Somehow it is no surprise, when we read, in the Guardian a few years ago: “US had extensive contact with Ayatollah Khomeini before Iran revolution. Documents seen by BBC suggest Carter administration paved way for Khomeini to return to Iran by holding the army back from launching a military coup.” —June 10, 2016

Jimmy Carter, unwilling to defend U.S. interests, the world’s interests, or the people of Iran, allowed an airplane to fly in from radicalized France, with Peter Jennings and other western journalists on board, containing the head of the assassinating priesthood: the Ayatollah Khomeini. Recently declassified documents do reveal (denied, of course, by the Iran regime) that the Carter Administration was secretly contacting Khomeini in discussions about his return to Iran—Khomeini had been exiled from Iran since 1965.

In a crucial contest of ideas in 1963-1965, the modernizing Shah, with his White Revolution, advocating democratic, economic growth and worldly freedoms, soundly defeated “Islam & Iran First” Khomeini.

This was not a fatwa against tobacco; this was embarrassing, backwards rhetoric by Iran’s top priest.

But Khomeini was not just reactionary.  He was murderous.  Why didn’t the west seem to know this in 1979? As Peter Jennings and other journalists rode with Khomeini back to Iran on Air France, did they know this?

When Jennings asked Khomeini on the plane how he was feeling about his triumph, the Ayatollah replied, “Nothing.”

Some have interpreted this as a mystical, priestly response.

It was probably simply the response of a stone cold killer.

The Shah’s 41 year old prime minister, Hasan Ali Mansur, a progressive, White Revolution intellectual, met with Khomeini in the spring of 1965, asking the ayatollah to apologize for his hysterical, anti-government antics. He made the mistake, apparently, in a fit of anger, of slapping Khomeini across the face. Two months later Hasan Ali Mansur was murdered—by the same group, the Fayadan-e Islam, who murdered Prime Minister Razmara in 1951.  After the 1979 revolution, Mansur’s grave was desecrated.  The Shah’s last prime minister, Shapour Bakhtiar, who weakly surrendered to Khomeini’s demands in 1979, was murdered in exile in Paris, by the regime, in 1991, with kitchen knives.

Iran continued to do well in the wake of the White Revolution, but as the Shah grew older and weaker (by 1978 he was quite ill, and died shortly after the 1979 Revolution), the future of the dynasty was in jeopardy. The head of the snake, having moved to France in 1978, and poised to return, was publicly supported, not as the assassinating priest which he was, but as a “nationalist” who would help the Iranian people.

In Cairo, in 2019, Trump’s Secretary of State Pompeo attacked Obama’s “willful blindness” on Iran, and said, “When America retreats, chaos often follows. The age of self-inflicted American shame is over.” During the 2016 campaign, Trump made it clear to the American people he was furious with the “Iran deal.”

Let’s not bomb Iran—but if we must, let’s bomb Iran with leaflets—telling the truth of 1953, correcting the story peddled by Obama and Parsi and the Iran regime. To fix 1979, we first must tell the truth of 1953. And while we’re at it, let’s bomb London with leaflets, too.

****

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BOTH OF US LIE

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Both of us lie,

You, somewhere outside of this poem,

Me, inside here, writing it.

I love you. Why are you fighting it?

We know we are both fake.

But are we lying for each other’s sake?

Both of us lie.

Over our separate graves,

Two trees are being sly,

Uniting their branches.

You and I were always in cahoots.

God knows what’s going on in the roots.

Both of us lie—

Our differences are such

That even in hate, we’re forced to touch.

No one changes; obstinately

We planned different styles of poetry

And refused to be reconciled.

We hated. But we smiled.

Both of us lie.

We have made two worlds—

One where God, loved, tells all;

Another, confused, but not ready to fall.

We live happily, separately, in each one,

As if the sun obeyed the moon

And the moon obeyed the sun.

But they don’t.

It is my burden to know we shouldn’t be two.

Look at all I love. Look at all you do.

 

 

 

SUPERIORITY

Man Ray, 1920-21, Portrait of Marcel Duchamp, gelatin silver print, Yale University Art Gallery.jpg

Superiority does not acknowledge you.

Everything else does. It gets inside you.

It makes you itch. It satisfies your thirst.

Not superiority. Superiority is the worst.

It doesn’t look at you, and if it does,

You are not sure if it is.

You know it is better. It is better because

It is beautiful without any moving parts,

Without any uncanny belonging to the darker arts.

The superior is sunny and plain in a way that disorients

All learning. You stare and hope it looks

At you. Not even in the ancient books

Of lengthy poems depicting the deeds

Of gods and mortals in their clamorous needs

Have you seen, or imagined, or felt

Anything like this. Once, a slender goddess knelt

Before an unskilled god. You were reading

Myths, as a child, on the floor.

The anger that was leading to war!

But now, a tortured person,

You look at this person on the train…

What are they doing? Writing a poem?

How old are they? In that casual, sexual domain,

You see the placid lake of all poetry!

This is superior, you think, because

The great doesn’t look at you. But it does.

 

 

WHEN I PUT IT ALL TOGETHER

Image result for two maidens and a man in 19th century painting

Because I have seen so much

I find myself doubting it all, all, very much.

I do not hear two chiming sounds together

But I blame it on the obvious weather.

There is only one love, one.

This universe on my heavy heart weighs a ton.

When I put it all together, I found

Myself falling in love without a sound.

My poems don’t know it, so we

Are still thinking of you. But she

Is seducing my cloudy future

With a sweet face and languid looks.

You belong to my past—its books

Have words and pictures of you,

As if you were a writer, but you were

Not a writer. I didn’t know what you were.

My heartbreak—which writes poems fast

To you and only to you—is not aware of her,

This siren on the edge of my past.

Will someone write me a pretty good poem at last?

A big ocean she sings across.

I watch the small gray waves toss.

Is it possible she will overtake you?

What else is she going to do?

 

THIS POEM IS NOT AFRAID OF CRITICISM

Image result for green abstract painting

This poem is not afraid of criticism.

This poem is criticism. There is bad

In the world and this has made me sad.

There is sadness we don’t see

But it leans into sweetness critically.

Happy must be built. Criticism is

Criticized. This is what criticism is.

Slowly, sweetness drips down.

The sad, if sweet, will never frown.

I don’t hate criticism. I embrace

Criticism; every time I kiss your face,

It was because not kissing your face

Was bad; then a kiss not enough, I embrace

You, and kiss parts which are not your face.

Kiss me. Don’t ignore me; criticize

Everything. And I will, too. I have eyes.

 

 

WINNING HURTS THE SORTING

Winning hurts the sorting.

My reclusive bored nirvana wins.

We know in our loneliness sorting must be done.

During the high school graduation party lots of couples were on the verge of breaking up.

Only what strikes you from without sins.

All inspiration, all that’s worthwhile comes from within,

That’s how we are lonely and how we win.

We don’t know anything but what’s in here.

Nothing can scare us or induce a tear,

Or make us slip up and fall in love

Except what’s out there. The outside is wrong.

What got in, came in slowly, and didn’t change us.

Siri, play, “Like a Rolling Stone, How does it feel, No direction home, the times

They are a Changing,” then let me sleep.

Give me a poem and I won’t make a peep.

How I realized I’m exactly the same

As that which hates me and wants to change my name.

And the destroyer is going to change

Me for the good. That’s why love isn’t strange

But comforting. It reverses the world and me,

Killing my bored nirvana with friendly company.

Even the most popular must decide, must narrow it down.

Empty cars, and surprisingly warm downtown.

Now I’m going to start over, twenty five years on.

Fall in love, again. By this tree. On this lawn.

 

 

ALL ART

Image result for john clare the poet

“O for a draught of vintage…”

All art is either parody or homage,

And the best, a mixture.

You cannot expect me to put the paint on that way,

Although that style has become a fixture.

You can’t expect me to go down this hall,

Saying hello to every hat upon the wall.

There’s Wordsworth’s; his frequent use of enjambment

Was mocked by John Clare—no, that wasn’t the younger poet’s intent;

Rivals of the same era will sometimes seem

Completely alike; in time, the same dream

Descends on both; he praised her,

But by doing so, his verse steered towards the small

And trivial. If only you had read it to the end!

You would have seen your own sleeve repaired. You lend

Me a part of myself—but I always take

It as mine forever. Well, that’s how it works, for God’s sake.

The economy can tax and buy and re-sell

To the poor, and this is why they never do well.

Everything is made for the sake

Of the advantaged. The rest is hidden in the lake.

There’s nothing original. We re-combine

The letters, the hues, the ideas. Look at this line:

This line (not that one, this one) is going to tell

A heavenly tale, using blotches found in hell.

Or Hull. When Lake Poets took a long hike

Along German hills, exquisite poetry was found.

Clare mocking Wordsworth is almost like

Larkin, who replenished with a certain sound

An irritated Englishness, too quick

To cry for most, but bitching certainly did the trick.

You can see him, right there, and think

Anything you want about him. Go have a drink.

 

LOVERS MAKE THEMSELVES LARGER CAGES

 

Image result for boston streets at night

Lovers make themselves larger cages.

We, for instance,

Followed quiet roads, to kiss,

To find a place to hide our homeless love

From eyes across the way, or tall windows above.

We took paths we hadn’t taken before,

But found every inch accounted for,

Private or public. The nowhere we sought,

In perfect anonymity, did not exist.

Then we would have really kissed.

But we shouldn’t have been doing this.

Afraid we would get caught:

Anonymity could not be bought.

Visibility and knowledge get inside your head.

We sometimes felt that we were dead.

Today I passed a little side route view

I once took secretly with you.

It didn’t lead to anything new.

Just more civilization. Us, looking around,

Thinking our paradise would never be found.

We were working slaves, stuck in the city.

Profound, the love, but our busy environs were too witty,

Too full of others: a tourist pondering behind a gravestone—

We thought the beautiful old cemetery would find us alone.

A small road would look promising and quiet,

But soon would end up in a riot.

The one thing urban planning misses—

Fortresses for forbidden kisses.

From a parking lot, or the latest rural fair,

We’d look at the moon, and wish we were there—

Though on the moon you can’t breathe.

One quick kiss, and then we’d leave.

Once, under a tree, by a fallen log,

At night, someone came walking their dog.

Once, in a building where no one should have been,

A janitor came to clean.

We wanted to kiss each other so bad.

The non-kissing world drove us mad.

Every fence, path, and stumbling walk

Contained private or public folk,

Who belonged to the world more than we.

They didn’t know you wanted to kiss me,

And after a while, you didn’t. Now I see

Only public places that exist in those places.

And I never see yours—just other faces.

Today I saw the flowers in bloom.

Last night, walking, I saw a television on in a room.

Lovers make themselves larger cages.

Then return home, to death, to boredom, just like lovers from other ages.

 

 

 

 

THE FAT ASS SOCIETY

Image result for red communist posters

The Fat Ass Society held rallies

All across the continent. Meanwhile

Johnny and Betty worked on posters

For the Persistent Pimple Front long

Into the night. Bright red. Foreign support

Made it possible. Rival governments

In the far east sided with the pro-democracy

Protests until religious counter-protests

Brought several prime ministers to the table.

The president studied Islam as a boy

And realized completely crazy had political potential.

Disguised as smooth and buoyant, he knew

The truth was interlocking, never standing alone.

The ayatollah who was a commie was gold.

This could really work. The negotiations

Were best done out of sight. The public,

Left out, nevertheless had their opinions.

The Fat Ass Society assembled at dawn

And ran their riots as if they really meant it.

Pieces of automobiles were thrown.

Automobile sales increased, and last I checked,

Betty had left Johnny, even though Johnny

Had become leader of the Persistent Pimple Front,

Realizing she was a woman at last.

I had enjoyed being her son, growing up

Fishing in my own country but those

Verities were soon to be a thing of the past.

I DON’T LOVE WHAT I LOVE

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I don’t love what I love,

I become what I love.

I cannot become my beloved;

I don’t think copying the flesh

Is the highest form of love,

Unless an Elvis impersonator

Who loves Elvis is real love.

But I don’t think it is.

But I can write

In the style, pre-Raphaelite.

I can be sad

In her style, Ligiea’s style, and be just as mad.

I think about faces,

How almost everyone

Has pretty eyes. Pretty eyes

Are common—a pair of beautiful eyes

Can live in an ugly face.

The architecture of the face:

The shape and size of the forehead,

The architecture of jaw, chin,

The position of the ears, the brows:

These determine the beauty of a face.

Jaw and forehead make up the hardware—

Eyes, nose, and mouth, the software

Of the face. A perfect nose can adorn

An ugly face, and beautiful lips, too.

I fell in love with a strong jaw, once.

It was large and unique. It was like a god’s,

Noble and strong; and the rest

Of her features, in the plan of the face,

Were gently-proportioned and modest;

A nose not large, nor too small—

A perfect shape, the same with eyes and lips;

And the forehead was smooth and regular,

Leaving her classically noble chin,

With the heft of ancient statuary,

Proud, not receding—the exaggerated

Opposite—to be her face’s character.

Had any other features been large

Too, this would have tipped the whole face

Into freakishness. The chin alone

Stood out; not one in a million

Has a chin this strong, a solid feature

Expected more in a man—but, on her,

Startlingly unique and handsome,

A wonderful compliment to the lips.

This rarity in a face is more valuable

Than all the art in the world; her singular

Physical uniqueness made it hard

Not to love her, once I fell. Everything else

Was secondary: she was bad-tempered,

Sneeringly sarcastic, plain in thought,

Pessimistic, depressed, married. Yet all these

Were eclipsed by the classical chin—

Once pondered, it was difficult to forget.

See this rare sketch in this old, crumbling volume of sin?

A god teaches the mortal how the mortal should be.

A god, she was, in part, gliding, askance of me—

Hers, the countenance, demure, pre-Raphaelite—

Lending a structure to the clothes and the poetry.

HOW TO WANT WHAT NEVER WAS

Image result for ligeia

How to want what never was.

You must write down affections here.

You must see in her mind the face

Slightly smiling, and dear,

Not cloudy and wrong from memory,

But the face when it is near.

The face of thought on the train.

A sweet memory, without strain.

You must converse, and have that kind of happiness.

You must cling to her in the best fragments,

Forgetting the plot.

She misses you a lot.

Yes, she misses you,

And the suffering is bad—

But trying not to miss you because she is angry at you

Makes her even more sad.

How to want what never was.

You escaped all of this. Be glad.

 

 

 

 

 

REVENGE YOURSELF

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You are good without thinking,

And this is the best way to be good.

The moment I begin to explain?

The simplest things will be misunderstood.

Revenge yourself against these married blondes.

They may be happy, but they are dumb.

We can discuss the Ayatollah Khomeini,

Sports and jazz, as we drink rum.

You can be the best at improvising,

With your dark hair on your kettle drum.

We’ll indulge in imbecilic quantification—

Woman and man, why not two men?

Until the moon and the evening come.

I’ll slaughter all your preconceptions.

And, later, I’ll write poetry—

When you wake up one night, frightened,

And revenge yourself on me.

 

 

THE CRITIC

Image result for beautiful old dusty books

He could have been a wonderful novelist,

But his sentences were too long.

The first thing Dr. Anthony X. Jones noticed

On this particularly grey Sunday

Was the rope and the sofa were the same color.

The gap between professional

And amateur is greater in some activities than others.

In poetry, for instance, since everyone uses words—

There is hardly any difference at all.

Often, in fact, the amateur is better;

The end of the poem seems better

Than the beginning, the chief criterion.

On the other hand, professional porn

Is far better than porn by amateurs.

When we make love, the place is not important—

But we find love is never enough.

We need to avert the eyes. A body

Truly beautiful is rare, as is love.

And the presentation of the work

Is important. Especially when the poet is a jerk.

Is the critic’s job an honorary one?

No. Ineptitude is seen; then I note it, just for fun.

 

 

THIS IS ART BECAUSE I SAY IT IS

Image result for the assassination of caesar in painting

This is art because I say it is.

I go around with a frame—

And where I stop, art and life are the same.

You’re in my poem!

You’re in my film!

Reality and me. We both control you the same.

The minute this little bell chimes,

I want you to accept technology,

I want you to read the New York Times.

If my photo of you happens to be you,

It’s the same as if I took a photograph of a shoe.

I recommend you fight back.

Don’t let me do this. Even if you need to stab me in the back.

This is religion because I say it is.

Authority itself—my decision—

Is all.  Who needs beauty or precision?

I say it is so—so it is so.

Freedom—to not know, or not go—

Confounds us. Authority itself relieves us of so much,

Authority, itself, becomes bliss.

This poetry is poetry because I say it is.

Soon it is not just the saying it. It is.

I stop in front of you, and hold up my frame.

You can no longer enjoy your breathing—

Since the meditation master gave it a name.

 

 

 

 

 

ARE YOU AFRAID OF HELL?

Image result for blue sky in painting

Are you afraid of hell?

Who fears it more? The American child who imagines the flames?

Or sophisticated grownups along the Thames,

Too sophisticated to believe

In what the metaphor is saying—

And therefore they grieve?

Religion is misinterpreted by sophisticate and child alike.

Science is what I know I don’t know,

But religion is what I know and like:

If you hurt me, wrong will come to you,

Or it already has—and that’s why

You hurt me. Look at the sky:

Science explains how it’s blue,

But beyond that and that and that is you

And after that, well,

There might be hell

If you didn’t treat me well—

Especially if you are not a child,

But still acted wild.

 

 

PUNISH ME DIRECTLY

Image result for butterflies in renaissance painting

Seeing how beautiful you were,

I studied to be beautiful, too,

Making myself beautiful with poems I gave to you.

There are two types of humans:

Butterfly and fly: Either beautiful—and aloof,

Or ugly—and they come right at you: these two the only truth.

Punish me directly, and tell me that I

Am the germy, roaring, fly.

I am that horrible fly, and here is proof:

This is the terrible thing about beauty

And love—only one can be the butterfly,

If both are beautiful. Two can’t be aloof:

Of the two lovers, one has to be the fly:

Too much aloofness—and love will die;

And there is even more aloofness when

Both expect the other to say, “Alright then,

I will be the fly!

Maybe you are slightly more beautiful than I.”

Beauty is aloof: watch a butterfly flit away

With fragile, colorful, wings. A fly wants to stay.

Punish me directly. Say

Exactly why you said you could not see me today.

In the name of my poetry. Please tell me why.

Oh cruelty! She will not speak—butterfly to butterfly.

WHEN YOU CANNOT THINK

When you cannot think, you feel.

And then only the beautiful is real.

In the 19th century, dark rain was perceived

As painting, and the same thing with the sun,

And poetry remained indoors with those who grieved.

Infant mortality affected everyone.

The 15 year old landlord’s daughter who married

The tax collector Henri Rousseau?

Only one of her six children survived. I know

The paintings of Henri Rousseau. We doubt fame.

Everyone doubts fame. But what else do we know?

They were painting over his canvases. Pablo Picasso

Saw a canvas being sold as a canvas on the street:

It was an unknown Henri Rousseau.

If we don’t know the famous, then what do we know?

The tiger in the jungle in the rain.

It is so lovely. I go back to the 19th century again and again.

Then with improvements of the next century, we started to think.

I was born in the 20th century. I love technicolor films

But there is more feeling in 19th century ink

Than in technicolor kisses, today.

If a birth is going to be too much trouble,

We make it go away.

 

 

 

FLEEING

Does it turn you on to run away?

When I move towards you for a kiss,

It is not the journey I love; I miss

You, so I move towards you; what could be simpler than this?

If you are more complicated,

And it excites you to run away,

Shall I run? Then you wouldn’t stay.

I have waited five years for the sun

To show me your face below.

Where has the sun gone? Do you know?

Has it rained this long?

Do you think I was wrong

To complain love was slow?

 

 

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