THROUGH THE EYES OF OTHERS

 

Image result for crowding in to look at the celebrity

If you want to rise,

See the world through others’ eyes.

Love can come from only you,

But love is better when you share the view.

Eager self-love and its enmity,

Strike out at kindness and sympathy,

Even though plain and bland, in vain.

Selfless love is sweet and sane.

Isn’t this all true?

So where did I go wrong with you?

I loved what the crowd loved. But now I see

By this sympathy, I am most unhappy.

Happiest are those

Who love what is entirely hidden by the clothes,

Who don’t need a wife to stand beneath the sun,

And be admired by everyone.

But I took you, admired by every crowd.

Sympathy proved to be too loud.

The public crowded in to see

What I loved. And took you away from me.

 

 

PEOPLE ARE CRAZY SO YOU CAN BE LOVED

Image result for melania trump

This poem is crazy. The best ones are.

They go out as a sun and come back as a star.

I’m trying to fit this poem into a dream.

Here is my poem’s theme:

People are crazy so you can be loved.

Those people you hate because

You hate them? That’s why you’re loved.

Crazy thinking is why you were loved.

Not just mildly crazy. Crazy.

Remember when somebody kissed you?

Remember the mad, mad, love?

When somebody was in love with you?

You were loved. But who the hell are you?

I remember it well.

So please don’t tell

Me about crazy. The best love is crazy.

The best poetry—ask Socrates—is crazy.

People don’t believe in what they don’t want to believe,

And why, for one second, should they believe you?

I remember when you slid into the blue.

I still don’t know what to make of you.

It might be depressing, but it’s really nothing new.

You didn’t figure it out on your own, admit it.

Stop. Don’t broadcast your virtue. Quit it.

I had so much fun with the Trump administration

Because it made you mad.

People will make a teenage dance of the nation.

You teased me because you were hot for Obama,

But 2016 put an end to that drama.

Melania Trump’s looks made you sad.

And because of your abortion, you couldn’t hear

The words, pro-life. That term fills you with fear.

You couldn’t stop talking about “children in cages,”

Because you thought everything you hated

Had to be hated. You twisted, distorted, inflated

Every beautiful act which protected children

From sex-traffickers at the border,

Or professional murderers of the not-yet-born.

You had to calculate every calculating story

To be simple. No matter how complicated the story.

You were completely crazy; it seemed you

Loved me again—remember? when I was crazy, too?

 

 

THE CONSERVATIVE

Image result for the lake district in 19th century painting

When I realized how sad I was—

And how it profited me to say

Exactly how I felt, to everyone around me every day,

Starting with my mother before I was one—

It was that moment when I read

A poem by someone who was dead,

And the poem was so full

Of sorrow, but managed to be beautiful.

Here, I knew sorrow was beautiful.

And it wasn’t that beauty covered up sorrow;

I realized beauty and sorrow were the same;

The beauty, that was the sorrow, protected me from sorrow;

My mother and my father and their arrangement were not to blame;

There was no progress possible;

There was no improving, or getting ahead—

I kissed my mother; I wrote a poem; I lingered in that beautiful sorrow instead.

SORROW IS THE VESSEL

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You’re not going to see happiness

Unless you see sorrow.

You won’t see what your criticism meant

Unless you criticize the president.

You won’t see how the world vainly exists

Unless you feel your own weak wrists.

Sorrow is the vessel we pour our happiness in.

The better our container of sorrow,

The more our nourishment overflows

Into the wet green fields tomorrow.

Every morning the big dog whines for his walk.

About the sickness. You and I really need to talk.

You cannot just receive happiness;

It must pour into your sorrow,

The pleasure must be caught in the jug;

The sad lovers will not lie down on the frayed rug

Unless they are sad.

Sorrow afflicts. Sorrow is always bad.

Do not scorn the tears

Which, to be caught, need the sorrow formed

By the clay of the long sad years.

The whole idea of containers is sad.

I would rather be free, and glad.

I don’t need this metal container, these train cars, these latches,

This heavy misery,

These buildings standing in my poetry,

These solemn village doors, these old, private pathways

Of routine and fatigue in dull nights and days

As we turn over to go back to sleep,

To wake, and travel to work, slowly, and back from work, slowly,

Sweating in the habit of ourselves which is gargantuan.

A little bit of sorrow? It will never win.

We must build a sorrow large

So the happiness knocking will know who is in charge.

Ah, misery. Ah, long shadows of vanity and art.

Always the work to be done. Everybody plays a part.

No one is finished. And when we die

We will think with our small eye

How we need, now, to eat and drink ravenously!

The need now that was banished, and now needs to stay.

But it’s too late.

We didn’t love our sorrow enough.

Our container melted in a medium of hate.

You know what I thought most sadly?

My lover would find happiness, and wouldn’t need me.

She would just stare. Or find a new song.

This would have been a good sorrow, if I had built it.

But I didn’t build it.

We didn’t make our poetry strong.

We were thirsty for so long.

We didn’t have enough sorrow to be happy.

We were not desperate enough

To cry out, and get love.

We didn’t consider our sorrow

Necessary.  You thought, “Tomorrow,

Great happiness will fall down.”

It did. But it wasn’t caught, by your memory, or your gown.

 

 

THE BLUE FAR AWAY

Image result for blue renaissance painting

Painting demands the blue light move from light blue to dark blue

Like the finishing of a day.

When do we call blue, dark blue or lighter blue?

It’s difficult to say.

Painting is what is true;

Painting is reality, too,

If reality lets the painting stay.

Reality took my dreams.

For me, reality is sunbeams,

Or, this is what I like to say.

The white light made my eyes go astray.

I looked too long at the sun,

Gleaming on top of a muted day.

What, then, was I? I couldn’t say.

Not in my wildest dreams did I know

What I was. You and I? The day

Which threw its light on us is gone.

Love is gone. The chase is over. The distant sands

Say nothing, which is all the painting demands.

 

 

 

 

IT’S ALL IN THE WAY IT’S PRESENTED

Image result for passing on a letter in renaissance painting

It’s too late for this poem to be

You, at last, for the first time, seeing me.

It’s all in the way it’s presented, isn’t it?

If I take what I love, and because I love it,

Thrust this poem towards you, then it

Will all have been in vain; it must

Be accidental. The seeing of the poem by you,

The very writing of it, too,

Must be an accident—

So it looks like even I—never knew what it meant.

I thought: if I first let your friend read it,

Then it won’t seem like I need it

Desperately to be read by you—

And through her, by accident, you can see it, too—

But I know you; you would understand

What I did; you would know it was all planned;

How it only mattered that you see

My poem—about you. The poem—by me.

But read this poem, anyway, and pretend

It had nothing to do with me, or you, in the end.

 

 

IF YOU WERE THEM YOU WOULD DO AS THEM.

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If you were them you would do as them.

There’s no free will—but don’t obey

What moves them, and then they

Will see what they are—

Not individual, having no free will;

They are really not very far

From you, covered by clouds, pictures,

Misty doubts, random and wet,

Sinking into the earth. And yet,

Warmed and lighted by the sun,

Resembling God, or at least one

Who loves other gods, and fills

Apostates with love beyond these hills.

 

 

 

 

THINGS ARE REALLY NOT THAT GOOD

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Things are really not that good.

Control is everything, and the good

Is not the goal; control is.

The start and end of us all

Is not love or good, but control.

Everything truly good is merely food.

All that’s law is trampled by the rude.

There’s only two forces: Control

And “I won’t be controlled,”

And neither exists

Without the other, and that’s all there is.

That’s it. If you want to know why

Everyone is proudly crazy, that’s why.

If things aren’t good, this is why.

Control is everything, not the good,

And when you do experience the good,

Shortly after, you’re heartbroken.

You realize control has spoken.

The professional, large, sleek animal

Who purrs, and is beautiful?

They will control you and kill you.

No kindness, no law, will save you.

Despair will once again advise you:

The amateurish and the nice

Is all you’ve got. Or seedy vice.

The good is a mystery

To itself. Sunday, a little sublime poetry.

 

I BETTER WRITE THIS POEM FOR YOU

Image result for dam in painting

I better write this poem for you,

Or you’ll be angry, and then I won’t know what to do.

And then there’s all this water, because I built a dam,

So I better use it, or you won’t know who I am.

Other poets run free, their pebbly streams

Laugh; no, I want you to recognize my dreams;

The serenity and solemnity of my wide lake

Lets out the water languidly and slow,

And that’s how you discern that it’s me, that’s how you know

I am the poet who plays simple chords,

And lines up big thoughts behind small words.

Do you remember that sublime evening?

It was just you and I, lingering by water large and still,

I wanted you to know me;

I wrote you a certain kind of poetry;

Then it was night, and slowly, we walked over the hill.

 

 

THE EXCLUDED

Image result for hustlers in suits and ties

Life is too complex to trust each other. Only nice things last.

We must raise large amounts of money, very very, fast.

Everything that’s virtuous is leaning towards the past.

“All the pretty little horses…”

If you have money, we can help you. We need to raise large amounts of money, and fast.

Just give me the money.  I know what you’re thinking, but now

Is not the time for weeping or poetry, not now.

Just give me the money, before I fade

Into the idea that everything is going to fade.

You’ll understand what I’m talking about when this poem’s done,

When you’ve read it. When you’ve given a copy to everyone.

 

 

 

 

I GIVE

Image result for valentine's day party in painting

I give Valentines to everyone

To hide I am giving a Valentine to one—

Whom I especially approve of—

Though it only resembles, superficially, love.

I wish I could love with real passion;

I only live in the likes and dislikes of fashion,

Cutting out hearts from paper that happens to be bright red,

Making sure I am nicely dressed; my love is dead,

And so my love belongs to sorrow.

I smile today. The mystery is for tomorrow.

 

ETERNAL MOOD, VALENTINE’S DAY

Image result for the kiss in renaissance painting

You cannot think this will be an end to this.

Once something is said

It is never dead.

Protection was not necessary. The kiss

Is all. The rest, the anxiety of dogs.

Do you think this—can be an end, to this?

Things will end. But this will never end,

And to think this, will be an end, to this,

Is the end of all your happiness.

All that went before,

All that was already there for you to adore,

Do you think you can understand it better

With thoughts that follow? With a scrawled letter?

Do you think you can detach yourself and know

What is separate from the flow

That can never go?

This can never go.

Breathe the air circulating between, and inside, the words,

The “Edgar,” the “Allan,” the “Poe,”

The repetitions of musical birds,

Leading finally to speech, and words

Which make it hard to understand again.

Do not think an end to this

Is possible. In this kiss,

You and I supply

Towers for the unusual sky—

Rising mist, as adjective, or noun,

Before it lets itself, gently, back down.

 

THE 13TH OF LOVE

Image result for the rain it rains every day in painting

The 13th of Love was a dark and stormy day.

When we love, most of us love that way.

Humans are monsters

(They wash their hair too much, they smile without their eyes)

And I can barely stand

To say “I like you,” and hold one by the hand.

The enmity between the genders is such

That love doesn’t happen that much.

One gender hates and envies the other;

Hatred gets to purge itself in the lover

By that strange and furtive act:

Naked, hating, with a great deal of tact.

But as soon as the hate is purged away,

Hatred between them resumes the next day.

We were like this, remember?

We forgot our love by September.

Little acts of mistrust and doubt

Gradually pushed the affectionate feelings out.

But there were never affectionate feelings, anyway,

Except for one dark, stormy day.

Envy and hatred looked the other way

As we drank.

And then we ate on St. Valentine’s Day.

 

 

 

 

NO ERROR IS ERROR

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No error is error, because all error

Reflects error, and all reflection is true.

There is no error to forgive.

This would be to confuse error

With how much I give my heart to you.

I love you, and this is not a mistake.

The garden is illusory, the moisture,

The lush grasses, the shapely vines, the snake.

It is all an error, and this is neither good nor bad.

Compared to all the mistakes,

You were the best mistake I ever had.

 

 

I SOLVED MY DREAMS

I solved my dreams. Every one

Of my dreams is solved. What’s done

Lives on as a dream, and what’s to come

Will be a dream; know your dreams,

Because nothing really is. Everything seems.

Nothing makes sense until you make sense of dreams.

Gestalt Therapy Verbatim by Fritz Perls

Was a book hidden beneath the thick curls

Of youth in a New York City, 1960s, hippie, domain

When German philosophy, a warm rain,

Whispered across an empty, devastated, plain.

Yesterday a teenager, with everything to do,

Secretly found the secret: everything in a dream is you.

Describe your dream in the present tense

And say how the spiders are crawling

On you and it’s completely creeping you out.

The spiders are you. The spiders are the part

Of you which you’ve rejected. Touching

Is not something you do with others enough.

Solve your dream, and take in your hand the key

And feel it perfectly into the lock

And live yourself and read your book

And let others read it, and smile.

We haven’t seen you this relaxed in a while.

Now you can better understand me

And the insouciant grandeur

Of my haughty, yet melancholy, style—

Which you first experienced as a kind smile.

Later you found out I had another side

Which you felt was judging you. I blame

Those who blame. Because your dream is you,

Blame is not something you should ever do.

I secretly roll my eyes when people blame.

Dream a word. A word is never a name.

 

 

 

 

POLITICS, AND THE IMPOSSIBILITY OF LOVE

The Democrat wants to bring someone else in to spice up their marriage.

The Democrat wants an abortion to make it easier to bring someone else in to spice up their marriage.

The Democrat wants their spouse to pay for someone else to come in and spice up their marriage.

The Democrat suggests their spouse may be racist for not wanting to pay for someone to come in and spice up their marriage.

The Democrat saw their spouse staring at someone in the street once who looked like the someone the Democrat wants to bring in to spice up their marriage, so the Democrat tells their spouse this is really their idea.

The Democrat, no matter what they do, is still loved by their spouse, who was taught by their religion to work hard, resist temptation, and always forgive.

The Democrat wants more people to come in to spice up the marriage, wants more abortions, and accuses their spouse of racism even more, and demands they pay up even more, as their spouse keeps loving and forgiving them.

Finally, the Democrat’s spouse, unable to take it anymore, also becomes a Democrat.

At that same instant, overwhelmed by guilt, the Democrat becomes a Republican.

 

YOU’RE REALLY NOT THAT SMART

Image result for lisa simpson, genius

The learned should not—and cannot—be popular.

Virtuous, but not learned, is the pathway to the happiness religion brings—the poetry of religion and the religion of poetry, which transcends understanding, is a gift to those who don’t have time or circumstances to really study things (valley, cliffs, gorges) and understand.

It is against this backdrop that we make the bold suggestion: be wary of any learning which is popular—if it is, we have every right to question its sagacity.

Any so-called expert, any policy or philosophy, which prevails upon the public, and does so by claiming expertise, should be highly suspect, especially when it calls upon that same public to make sacrifices based on the learning which the advertised expertise professes.

The consciousness of a people is its final protection, and this consciousness must remain transparent and neutral, never giving in to the temptation which flatters it as more than what it is, in its floating but vital role as neutral perceiver. Infected with the pride of popularized knowledge (an oxymoron), mass consciousness, as much as any individual, will stumble into self-importance and delusion.

The learning which attended the polio vaccine, for instance, was not privy to the general public; a lone scientist, after much study, cracked a difficult, magnificent, and even outlandish secret. The idea of a polio vaccine did not become popular—the public was simply required to follow a scientific edict, and they did, for their own general protection and gain.

Contrast this with socialism. The knowledge which defines socialism, the future benefits assigned to it, is completely understood and grasped by a public enthusiastic for it, and which fully believes it understands its precepts. In this example of socialism, as opposed to the polio vaccine, learning itself is popular, and in this instance, dangerous. The public is not trusting to science arrived at by long study; the public is trusting itself to be learned and full of understanding, and this is precisely where neutrality of judgment is lost, and chaos and crisis are constantly close at hand.

The late sir Roger Scruton said capitalism and socialism are not opposites, any more than feminism and journalism are. You can have a feminist journalist; and, as he joked once, you can have “a capitalist socialist, which means they keep what they earn, but also look smart.”

Socialism is an “-ism” which tells the public it is smart. It makes us look smart, and also, empathetic, too, and it makes us seem so, right now, with a great deal of people all around us, all aware of how smart and virtuous we seem to be to each other—even if no one really knows anything, or does anything, about governing, but protests a lot in the street.

Governing came about, in actuality, a long time ago, by a few scientific, philosophical types thinking long and hard, perhaps when they were very much alone. The U.S. Constitution is science, not an “-ism,” which merely gives the flattering appearance of learning. It has nothing to do with you and your friends being smart and prescient and virtuous now. The Constitution was put together a long time ago. Even the Bill of Rights, a series of important amendments everyone talks about, were written a long time ago, finalized back in the 18th century, before Karl Marx, and his really smart facial hair, even existed.

There’s only one way to be smart. And like Lisa Simpson, standing in front of a blackboard which says, “Paying taxes to the government will not change the climate,” there’s only one way to be calm.

 

 

 

 

ADULTERY AND POETRY, OR A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE MUSE

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After adultery

I wrote better poetry.

When I was true,

I couldn’t think of a thing to do.

Whenever I was dumped, I thought,

She has sold what she has bought,

And now that she is free,

All she loves is owed to me.

But this did not help my poetry.

You cannot live life bitterly,

And be good, or write good poetry.

Now I have a different take,

And love only for her sake,

Whether she loves me, or no.

Love is beyond any arrangement,

Love is mine. Love cannot go.

Many times love went,

But that was my fault;  now I see

The truth of love’s philosophy.

The one who dumps has no love,

The one who loves, and is dumped, does.

Love is in the individual;

All arrangements are merely practical

And not for love. Love

Enters arrangement by the blessing of individual love,

Which is the only love.

The dumped has love, the one who dumps does not,

For love lives in the individual who loves

And loves alone. I keep loving her,

And therefore I have love.

She dumped, because she lacks love.

But despite the great poetry,

I wish there had been no adultery.

I wish my wife were kissing me

Back in our little flat

And I were kissing her. And that was that.

But things will never be that way.

Our son is broke. And his hair is gray.

 

THE NEO-CON CON

British warships in the Far East, 1920s 

A sensitive and historical piece appeared in the Federalist, recently: Are Neocons Really Back In The Trump Administration? 

A delicate piece indeed, even going so far as not to offend the neo-cons themselves, calling their globalist war dreams egalitarian.

The globalist warmongers (Bush and Clinton) may be rooted in 1930s Trotskyism, as this article says, but their roots are deeper. Neo-cons, like liberals, trace their political philosophy back to the British Empire, which fought and befriended-only-to-betray the great American Experiment which came into existence as a counter to the empire’s globalism, taxes, and slavery. The American patriots, underdogs in 1776, have always been underdogs, but miracles keep occuring; one of the biggest was oil, which transformed the world economy in the early 20th century. It’s said often, but oil really did enable the USA, blessed with deposits of black gold beneath places like Texas and Pennsylvania, to materially usurp the British Empire.

In the 19th century, Britain practically did rule the world. This is not a conspiracy theory. They did. And it wasn’t all that long ago. Five or six generations ago. That’s not a long time ago. It’s not ancient history. Ralph Waldo Emerson, who was feted by London, and lectured throughout England and America leading up to the Civil War from his work, “English Traits,” on the glory of the British Empire from a racist perpective—yes, this is true—inspired T.S. Eliot, in 1949, whose grandfather knew Emerson, to scorn and attack the pre-Civil War patriot, Edgar Poe, who died in 1849. History teaches anyone who courts her that spans of years are actually very short. And we bring up Emerson/Poe/Eliot as just one cultural, historical example of how deep and entangled the relationship between the British Empire and America is.

In 1860, the America of Washington, Hamilton, and Franklin really was on the ropes, with their old ally France occupying Mexico, and the snake, the Cofederacy, supported tacitly by Britain. Lord Russell was Britain’s prime minister then, grandfather to the great philosopher Bertrand Russell, the great, free thinking, philosopher, who, in his old age, was obsessed with World Government as the way to save the world. Kind of funny, innit?

A few years later, in the Bush era, the ruling political principle of Tony Blair and Bush was to plunge the USA into reckless, destabilizing wars. It’s what Neo-cons love to do, on behalf of the New World Order—the new British Empire.

The CIA, formed shortly after WW II, got too close to MI6, a love affair started, and American intelligence helped the USA fight on as the sophisticated, ivy league, version of the British Empire. The oil of Iran contributed to the glory of Britain until the oil deal ran out in 1979, and Tehran got a fanatical new leader to hate America and roil the middle east. To this day, American politics can be measured by how much one despises the post-1979 regime in Iran. Deplorables hate the regime. John Kerry kind of likes it.

Oil, which still makes America a colossus, is hated by the anti-fossil fuels movement, another political, fault-line, flash-point, if there ever was one.

Bernie, the commie, hates fossil fuels. The left must hate fossil fuels. This has nothing to do with science. (The left falsely believes CO2 is a pollutant. CO2 is necessary for life.)

One would suppose the Greens would hate Trump more than anyone, and they do.

Trump’s “basket of deplorables” is American patriotism pure and simple, hated equally by the two heads of the old divide-and-rule British Empire, called by various names: the Deep State, the New World Order, the DNC plus RINOs, the neo-cons, liberalism. And they rule chiefly with the help of three things: masses who want free stuff, China and Iran.

In this picture we are painting, it is telling how quickly, in 2016, the Left went full-blown McCarthyite. Another indication that behind the scenes the neo-con right and the liberal left were always the same.

Russia is especially hated by the Bertrand Russell/Winston Churchill/BBC faction of the UK.

Mother Russia was America’s ally in the mid-19th century, freeing her serfs when we freed our slaves.

Russia was our friend when the Britain of Lord Russell, and her new ally, France (of Napoleon III, not Lafayette—there’s a reason why Lafayette is named after so many places in America) almost ruled the world in 1860. So it makes sense in this context that Russia is hated (more so than when they were the Soviet Union!) and vociferously called out—on NBC and in the New York Times and in the Washington Post—as being Trump’s friend, and puppet master, by both liberals and neo-cons.

1930s international Trotskyism as the origin of the neo-cons? Perhaps. But we should take an even wider view. The true root of the neo-cons (and their liberal abetters) is 1860s British Empire/Imperial France/Free Trade/Opium Wars globalism.

After all, no one made international mischief like the globalists of London—who, when they could no longer steal oil from Iran, turned it over to the mullahs, to ensure that country would hate the United States. Think of one of the great liberals, Jimmy Carter, and the recent declassified documents showing Jimmy’s State Dept and Jimmy Carter himself, talking with the killer himself, Khomeini, to get him over from Paris and into Tehran where great mischief could be made. Jimmy and his ilk hates Trump. Khamenei hates Trump. Prince Charles hates Trump. Jussie Smolett hates Trump. Meryl Streep hates Trump. And even you, dear reader, in order not to be called a rube by an ivy league, white collar, snot, would be out of your mind, not to hate Trump. He’s crude, and his wife is prettier than your girlfriend.

But let’s keep our fingers crossed. Trade deals. Peace. True democracy. Calm before the doom and gloom on the left, right, and middle. (CBS is almost as scary as Alex Jones.)  A growing economy. And love, too, right? Love. Can’t we also have that?

TO WRITE A POEM

Image result for misty landscape in renaissance painting

To write a poem, one needs to understand

That not for one moment can the reader misunderstand

Anything. Obscure is fine, as long as it doesn’t involve misunderstanding.

The mist can cover.

Hint at anything. Love. A lover.

But let the reader know

That they don’t need to know

The whole story.

Obscurity in poetry can be your whole glory.

Do you think you’re going to run

Things perfectly seen under the sun?

And never write of sunny days. Try

This and the poem will fail

Even if you don’t know why,

And all you love are sunny days.

Writing a poem involves a certain diffident, rueful, essence;

Even poets who are merely average get this;

Sure, you can laugh leading up to a kiss,

But kissing can’t be done at length while laughing;

The same with the poem; be uproarious for any length of time,

And you may have an epic,

Where wholesale slaughter turns the reader on,

As in Homer; but this isn’t the mood for the true poem.

If it’s bold, it must come out of sadness,

Or failure. Avoid the idiot optimism

Which I fell into once, when writing of you,

When we had kissed. And more kisses were due.

 

WHY ISN’T THERE A LOVE WE ALL CAN LOVE

Image result for famous signatures

Why isn’t there a love we all can love?

Too bad there isn’t a contract we can sign

Before we occupy a mortal mind

Which says that love must always love

As long as bodies live.

Unfortunately

All we get is poetry,

And when it comes to love, poetry isn’t much to give.

We think of clever things to say,

And sometimes we say them,

But it’s never what we really meant to say.

We don’t know each other’s thoughts.

And so we are suspicious of the body,

Which is what we love and want.

I want to hold you, but I can’t.

A poem? Where is that contract I can sign

To cancel the room of my mortal mind,

Where all I do is look out at all I can’t have?

Your precious body will occupy a grave.

And won’t there be something I should have said

When I realize you—take my hand—are dead?

Not really. I blame the vast and boring mortal mind.

I want to cancel this. Yes, I’m the poet. Where do I sign?

 

 

 

 

J. ALFRED PRUFROCK AND THE RAVEN

Related image

I wish I had a loud voice,

Then people would have no choice

But to listen to me. In a restaurant,

Around friends, I would get what I want.

My friends, and even those who run the restaurant

Would have no doubt.

I would be heard. And later, with her, alone,

I could reveal the truth: “I only shout

And boast to be heard. I chose

That voice for gain,” I could whisper.

And then she would take off her clothes…

But I don’t have a voice based on a plan.

I have the voice any man

Could listen to, or not.

I’m a working stiff who commutes.

I’m careful. There isn’t any plot!

A warning: this sad poem will quietly fade away.

Is that okay?

I’m not the man people need to see.

There’s nothing about me

Which rises above something marvelous

I might say in my poetry.

I even hold still in an emergency.

I’m the softest voice you ever heard,

As quiet as that solemn bird.

 

 

NO VICES

I have no vices.

I have no habits involving spices.

The salt which the villagers lick

Was mined in the blue Ran Da.

I stroll by the blue Sun River. Wines

Could be imbibed by those who go into the mines,

I don’t know. I make it a rule not to know.

I don’t like to stand in lines.

Coffee is out because it makes me shake.

Now a short conversation is a pleasant break

From my long ruminations. I like

To ask people what they don’t like.

But I don’t need to ask them what they don’t like.

They tell me what they don’t like.

I listen carefully to what they don’t like.

It helps not to be an expert on spices.

I protect myself with memory devices.

I perceive a life without fevers.

I never bother with insinuating lovers.

I breathe a walk by insouciant rivers,

The marshland where things go slow.

To be free of vice, I seek not to know,

But take pride, nonetheless, in knowing

Where the slow miners are going,

Knowing miners, in a fog, could go down,

Could trip, by a single vice, which can easily drown

Trillions. No vice is allowed, not one!

I have my marshland under the sun,

Or the mountains where I run.

Perhaps I have a vice, maybe one;

There is one habit where everything I think and do

Is to be calm; is this a vice?

Is this how I take my revenge against you?

 

I REFUSE TO LOVE

“You can’t do that” —John Lennon

When I refuse to love,

I am happy. Why should I love you

When you refuse to love?

With great pride, I refuse to love,

Because so many say they love,

But do not love; I protest

All over the world, refusing to love.

I protest against the vanity and hypocrisy

Of millions who refuse to love—

But say they do.

I even told the one I love, “screw you.”

It soothes me; it frees me from so many obligations;

The strongest and the happiest nations

Refuse to love.

The one who is really loved, cannot love:

There is mathematical proof.

Look at it calmly and rationally:

Worthy to be loved,

Is worthy to be loved by millions,

And how will one return

Love to millions? You burn

For me, sad and lonely,

And want my poetry to be only for you.

Love is defeated by the small and the large number.

Here’s the secret. Do you want to be happy and true?

Refuse to love.

 

 

CONFUSION IS NECESSARY

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The sheep want to go back,

To when Walter Cronkite was the only news.

And sure, we want Cronkite to love us,

Every smiling dictator knows;

And if a dictator frown,

Sheep don’t mind it when they put them down.

The sheep have always been the problem.

Always. We know this. The wolves

Have an elan we all secretly respect,

Even as we are being devoured.

But we hate the sheep, we really do.

If only we could kill them all!

The stupid sheep! Isn’t this true?

Wherever there is a problem,

Whenever you can’t sleep,

Because you are hungry. Blame the sheep.

If you are shopping and can’t find

What you want, only a wolf will blow your mind.

The sheep don’t like many voices;

The sheep don’t say very much;

Their wool is itchy to touch.

The sheep think confusion is bad.

They want one view of Washington D.C.

And one opinion of Baghdad.

 

EVERY POEM HAS BEEN FOR ME

Image result for giving a letter in renaissance painting

Every poem has been for me,

No matter what I say, or do.

I was in a crowd, and announced,

“This poem is for Rosalinda!”

It wasn’t true.

It’s not easy to escape one’s poems.

As children to their mother, they cling to me.

Every poem a squishy mark of vanity.

The understanding is: I wrote this.

Yes, Rosalinda was meant for each kiss,

But each kiss was delivered for my sake:

I trembled and quaked.

A poor drawing of Rosalinda’s eye

Is nothing to Rosalinda. That was my

Folly—I deserve my fate

To strive long hours, to make poems for Rosalinda

That are neither interesting or new.

When love’s aim is love, it always ends in hate,

For in love, nothing aimed is true.

A good rendering of Rosalinda’s face

Only means, “look at me! I’m good!”

Bad or good still equal her disgrace.

Good, or bad, is still false, and forever.

My poems can never be for her.

Unless dear Rosalinda read

In my poem’s desire her poem’s need.

 

 

 

PROSE

I have read prose with haunting ideas, with every semi-colon in the right place:

Poetry, with a prose face.

I’ve read stanzas which made me laugh

As they sank into the paragraph;

Sentences, in prose, which crept along

As if they wanted to be in song.

I have seen plain writing,

Hinting, like a poem, at the exciting.

I’ve seen a poem, attempting to thrill;

But like its poet, it was dull.

I’ve heard Muslims dying in desert sands

Cry out for the greener lands

Of their God, with such elation,

Only poetry would be taught in their future nation.

Poetry is taught everywhere in your cry,

Rosalinda, that in your mouth I thought to die.

The prose writers are telling the joke

The poet in somber numbers spoke

Which at the time didn’t seem funny.

But now that joke is making money.

I feel a poem traveling near me in the shadow

Of a drafty mansion. An essay on sorrow

Attempted to convince me the most beautiful rose

Was black; but this could never be explained in prose.

I CANNOT NOW REMEMBER

Image result for perspective from a train in painting

I cannot now remember what

It looked like, or what you said.

Sometimes memory is as fresh as spring

And sometimes it falls dead.

My great desire for you is only because

I am bad at remembering.

When someone is really beautiful,

Memory doesn’t work on them.

We have to constantly look at them.

This is why bad memory is crazy

And those with good memory are lazy

When it comes to desire and love.

Who could remember you?

We can’t remember the beautiful.

The beautiful is beautiful now.

A train ride is a feast for the eyes,

The three dimensional landscape

Perfect as it goes past.

A moment ago I had an idea for a poem.

But it didn’t last.

 

WHEN I ATTEMPTED TO SPEAK

Image result for sunset in renaissance painting

When I attempted to speak

On my idea that everything’s a conspiracy

I was drowned out by the clique.

They insisted that my idea that no idea matters

Was conspiratorial and mad;

Agreeing with each other, they were only too glad

To echo each other, to shout me down.

I said we think it is a trick of light

To see the waning moon, or the sun going down,

Since the moon’s gradual decrease

In size and light, or the day’s cease,

Is not a real goodbye;

The moon is just as solid as she was before,

The sun just as brave and shining;

Nothing changes but ourselves,

And really, it is a trick of light

Only to our animal senses; the trick

Is only one of perspective, not light;

Nor is the change due to ourselves,

Nor does anything happen to ourselves;

This great display of changing light,

This great display of change itself,

Is a lie; everything is as it was before;

You—not as you—and it—not as it—

Makes it seem there’s less light than before,

Makes it seem somehow something is dying,

And none of you will love me anymore.

 

 

LOVE IS BROUGHT ON BY ITS OPPOSITE

Image result for venus and mars in renaissance painting

When I was in a rage, specifically against you,

Because you insulted the very thing about myself I most admired,

And then in the same breath, praised him, for the same quality,

I found at that pinnacle of blinding hate, love.

And this made perfect sense, in a way.

Love is alchemy. I couldn’t think of anything else that day.

Dreading lack of love, love sits there with its opposite

And mockery draws a picture of it

In renaissance colors and sighs.

No one else had ever insulted me so keenly,

And yet now I wanted to kiss you.

Love, in myth, falls in love with War.

I need to be insulted, I need it more

Than praise; in a rage, I fell in love with you.

The strangest thing in life: we find that myths are true.

 

LOVE HAS NOTHING TO SAY

Image result for silent landscape in renaissance painting

She desired; I happened to be in her way.

She kissed me—looking back, Rosalinda, I’m not sure why.

A dog will lick its master, because the dog has nothing to say.

The best “last word” is not to say anything at all.

It was mild. But the sun was low; it was late fall,

We were walking to the train; she said

If the winter was cold this year, she might prefer to die.

She was moody. Suddenly, she would hint our love was dead,

And, since I always doubted her love, I would try

To lighten her mood with words,

And I remember she said strongly, “I don’t trust words.”

I realized, then, and looking back, every day,

Now that our love did finally die, she was right.

I converted. I’m silent towards her. Love has nothing to say.

Nothing you can say to love, or about love, is true;

Love sees everything. They are wrong: love isn’t blind.

Love can be defined this way:

Love is a human bond—when that bond has nothing to say.

 

 

 

 

I’M SCIENTIFIC

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I’m scientific, through and through—

I don’t go to church;

I love Jeopardy just as much as you.

But you are surprised at my patriotic stance towards God.

Since I’m elitist and secular, my conservative views strike you as odd.

I need foolish comfort; I’m Socratic, and full of doubt,

My scientific nature pushes all certainty out;

Everyone’s mean and crazy, the sun is setting;

All that’s possible are intelligent guesses

As we confront psychotic no’s and Pollyanna yes’s.

I have no idea, so I’m betting:

I’m guessing science is a lender, not a thief,

That faith is about behavior, not belief;

God is nowhere; yet, why shouldn’t I choose

The door hiding God? As a poet, I see

All life is dead, but expressed poetically—

Just as I am—but am not—my muse.

I smile, and when I do, my muse grins.

Is mathematics still mathematics when it sins?

I have to believe calculating odds is smart.

It verifies the art inside the art.

The blank, which might be God, still imagines

There is God. And comfort, which belief in God brings,

Is one of those scientific things

Science—conscious of its limits—should embrace,

Traveling through cold, dark, vast, space,

Guessing it will see another looking face.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

APOLLO SPEAKS

I’m boring, I know. But I have to be

Like others, for you to understand my poetry.

I stand among white petals that fall and die.

In one hand I hold the sun, and in the other, a slightly smaller eye.

In the center of the red sidewalk

I hold a red piece of chalk.

I have to be like them; they are the air

I was born to breathe. You stare

With amazement, because I seem

Beautiful and different; but this is an empty dream;

In the end, no matter what I say—

“Sun! Red! Love!”—you’ll find the same clay

Went in to making me

As that artist in the shadows there—

No, don’t stare—

Keep your eye on my poetry.

Did you think I was going to give you something?

Lady, this is robbery.

LOVE IS THE APPEARANCE OF LOVE

Love is the appearance of love.

None of us are meant to love.

Did you think you were going to go on Dick Cavett

And explain yourself? OK, where, then?

Privately, you would contemplate your jealousy?

None of us were meant to love.

It looked to me like George Harrison,

Post-Beatles, wanted to punch Dick Cavett in the face.

But even George was not willing to go that far to illustrate

The cunning misery of the human race.

The world is how the world looks.

Did you think you were privileged to know more?

If I told you, you had as much free will

As a ball rolling towards the edge of a table,

A table moderately lifted, and your motion

Is all you know of life and free will,

Would you start asking me about the table

And what it means? Is God a table, then?

No, you wouldn’t. You’d get what I meant, and that’s all.

So why do want to know the ultimate meaning?

It’s not for you to know, even if there is one.

Know the answer? You are simply not able.

None of us are meant to love.

You’re jealous. Do the math.

There is a table.

MY MUSE DISAPPEARS BEHIND THE DARKENING HILLS

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My muse disappears behind the darkening hills.

I no longer love you.

My muse disappears behind the darkening hills.

 

 

THE JOKE THAT’S TRUE

Image result for challenger explosion

The best lyric poetry

Begins with the proper sadness.

If ape or astronaut die before they are born,

I hope, for a little while at least, you will mourn.

Ricky Gervais told a joke that’s true:

Liberals are not liberal. Some

Will never get that joke.

They will make a face, their stomach

Will churn. Your face and stomach

Will stop any joke from being funny.

The world is unwell. We can no longer

Say what we are anymore. Christians

Are not Christians. Muslims are not

Muslims—even if all the joking stops.

I cannot say anything about anything anymore;

I need to be a divine comic.

I cannot say what I’m saying. And you cannot

Say what you are saying in response—unless we laugh.

The only joke you tell that’s true

Is yours, making fun of you.

 

POETRY IS LAZY

Image result for anna akhmatova"

Poetry is lazy and wants the lazy life to stay,

And with imagination, returns to yesterday.

Poets are lazy, and they lie against the wall,

Their feet on the bed, immeasurably tall.

I go back to Riverside Drive in my mind.

Anna Akhmatova. My childhood was anything but blind.

Poetry is lazy; the best of it is lazy, with a dying fall.

A lazy poet wants to tell you he’s here—

But not in this young, busy atmosphere.

You have no idea how lazy the gods are,

Those titans of the past, who hardly move,

Standing around like that steady star:

The visible point of your lost love—

And everything you are.

Poetry is lazy. It spends time on the face,

Before it kisses the body of the poem.

Look, it’s right here. This is the poem:

Take my disgrace.

 

WHY CAN’T THIS

Image result for a man in anguish in renaissance painting"

Why can’t this poem please right away?

Why must this poem be read?

Why do poems need to be collected,

To live in books when the poet is dead?

How does someone survive all the hours of a day

Without imagination?

Why do I need to write you a love poem?

Immediately love can be expressed;

But instead we enter the long poem’s waste;

It was a waste to translate my love into loveless words—

So you might deign to see my design in them,

Travel backwards in them, to what is nothing

But my desire, which looks to be satisfied immediately,

Prior to all this useless poetry.

And no poem could cause my desire to go, or stay.

Why can’t love be love?

Why can’t a poem please right away?

 

 

 

HONESTY IS UNCERTAIN

Honesty is uncertain. There’s too much to know,

Which makes the world honest, uncertain

Because of all the things to know. This is why

Dishonesty, appearing to know, and winning

Over shy uncertainty with its bold act,

Runs things, trampling on honesty and tact.

But if there were not so many things to know,

If there were not so much uncertainty and honesty,

The world would not be fraught

With so much swift dishonesty. Because I was fooled

By your certainty, I was ruled

By your certainty; and you, by my certainty;

Uncertain pilots—but somehow we flew.

We loved completely and dishonestly,

You betraying me, and me betraying you.

This was how we loved. And this was all we knew.

 

HOW SHALL WE CHANGE (A RADICAL TREATISE)

How shall we change the hard-working elders’ definition of sin—

And further, what exactly shall we wrap our late 19th century evil in,

So that we can do anything? OK first, let’s say

Why we want complete freedom. Today,

As long as it is today, is free.

Tomorrow features regrets and graves,

But today will always be sex and poetry.

So that’s our first good reason. Today

Forgets, doing what it wants now,

And tomorrow will just become today, anyhow.

So let’s do whatever we want for that clever, immediate reason.

And there’s a second reason: we’re lonely;

Evil, as you know, will always be lonely; evil is afraid—

We fear there’s nothing to sex and poetry,

And all that’s bright is destined for the shade.

So we want groups of people, our group

Made of groups, to prevent loneliness. A wild, full company

Of mobs thronging. The one mad troop,

Trooping self-consciously as a troop; we,

As the mob, the mob which knows itself as a mob,

The all, which knows itself as all,

Groups together for this reason alone,

An army for one purpose: standing tall

Against the one real enemy:

Loneliness. We feel this, naturally, because we fear

Darkness growing against our poetry.

What can we say otherwise,

Unless we are many, many eyes?

So this is what we wrap our evil in,

This is how we redefine our elders’ definition of sin:

Something must be done now.

It will be done, for tomorrow becomes today, anyhow,

And it will all be done

By all of us who doubt—which is, everyone—

We, who parade in long troops into the darkening hills, just because we fear

Our poetry and love ends right here.

But it doesn’t. As I pointed out

Today keeps arising, the deferral of our doubt

Is eternal. Our today

Loves eternally. You buy my poem forever,

No matter what it is. This is the way,

No matter who I am, my beliefs, what hills these are, or the weather.

 

 

 

 

 

 

NEW YEAR’S POEM FOR ____

Love always catches us loving superficial things;

Love is the mad, impetuous rush to embrace breasts, dresses, eye color, rings.

Here comes 2020, and we make a big deal of a date.

Can we save our love which died in 2013? No, the decade’s over. Too late.

All lovers suffer this paradox. Everything felt deeply

Was based on the trivial—

The most dramatic love, singing with poetry,

Was the one based on a raindrop whim.

The love which was dramatically full

Was the one which immediately became empty!

You asked me to give up the “good life,”

As your creeping heteropessimism

And woke disgust with “old boy”capitalism

Filled your heart, the more you saw me as someone who desired you as a wife.

I wasn’t reading the same woke signs

You were reading. I just thought you were being involuntarily cryptic, sad, unkind.

And you were. Love is never about the world at large;

Love is inane, private, trivial things.

Cleopatra gliding on her perfumed barge

Is not love. And when Frank Sinatra sings,

That’s not love, either. Nor Bruno Mars. Love isn’t Queer Theory

Or marriage, or socialism, or the “good life,” or years.

Love is you, confused by me, confused by you, crying small, small tears.

 

 

 

 

TOO POLITE

Everyone is being polite,

And that’s the problem with the poetry tonight.

Everyone praises, so I cannot tell

Whether I am doing well.

Publish me in your magazine;

OK. Now it’s impolite to say what else you mean.

Look at all these modern, busy bees:

Poetry’s unspoken absurdities.

The truth, which is both common and dear,

Enforces its reality then, and now,

But so coyly, I never know when, or how

Truth is calling, or not calling my name:

“Here I am!” But truth, and the search for truth are not the same.

Tonight we wanted to discuss the MFA:

Legitimate, or not? We were too polite to say;

Those who had one, taught in one,

Earned their living from an MFA,

Were too vulnerable. There was nothing we could say.

Polite is best when driving—traffic laws have one object:

Agree. To get home, I will let

You go first. No poetry here. The stop

Sign works best when it’s obeyed.

“G’nite Mrs. Richards, g’nite Sal!”

Delay here—so later you won’t get delayed;

Accommodate the motions

Of all; but why do we have such odd notions

Of poets and poetry? Poetry isn’t traffic.

The point of poetry is not for everyone to get along

By stopping and conceding and delaying.

Poetry is the immediacy of song;

Poetry runs the stop sign of all saying,

No poet can tell poetry what to say.

Poetry is not like truth, in that truth

And the search for truth are not the same.

Poetry is not polite, ordered by route and name.

Poetry is honest. Poetry seeks blame.

Poetry seeks revenge. Poetry knows evil.

Poetry loves crooked and level.

Poetry spills the beans.

Poetry peels off everyone’s jeans

And laughs. Poetry will not be dropped

For something else; song can’t be stopped.

Poetry, and what I’m saying

About you, are the same. Delaying

Is impossible. What I’m saying

On the poetry is the poetry,

Was the poetry, and will always be the poetry.

Poetry and truth are the same.

Jonathan! Do you see how hypocrisy dies in my flame?

 

 

 

 

 

 

I LOVE WAR

I love war, since the fight over beauty

Fights to preserve the most beautiful beauty—

The flower allowing every bee a taste—

So that beauty is never a waste,

And beauty at last is wise and witty;

And beauties will knock down every door—

You know the old story: nature wants more.

And beauty? Beauty is both check and urge

On the cloudy bank backing the pinkish, war-like, surge—

And the most beautiful ones amass,

So that no one on beauty may pass.

Cain is self-evidently ugly and jealous,

History, the cleaning up of the murdering mess.

I feel great when love is avenged,

Even after years; across the centuries, love’s vigilance is ranged.

Weeds need peace to march along

Without one beautiful song.

Love is the lazy sublimity

Of my war’s competitive poetry.

Yes, with a sigh, I compete;

My verse for all that, still selfless and sweet.

You don’t believe it? Look:

I am not my poem. Even when it cries about you and me in this book.

Love became blood, when I, the aggressor

Contradicted the grim professor

On her behalf—

The silk, abstract, giraffe,

The lovely, panting, gazelle—

Who I knew so well;

Also, that professor,

Whose views on beauty insulted her,

The most beautiful, who embarrassed

Him—and his footnoted events of the past;

The sad women covered by plain cloth wrapped,

In the proper strapping of the strapped,

Not to mention the historic anomalies.

Now Beauty with beauty agrees,

And all those not beautiful are in dispute;

Unfortunately, the Committee of the Non-Beautiful agrees

To wage war against her, and her beauties.

Even though I love them, I don’t have the time

For them, all these beauties who rhyme,

Their poems which let me worship them,

Clothes on the flower, perfume on the stem,

The root crowned by a sigh and a diadem.

Established by our rank, we,

May not be in the rank of beauty;

For these, Plato said,

Are either soldier, artisan, or the philosophical godhead,

Not these wine goblets of flowers

Which furnish us our forgetfulness in our amber and austere hours.

Am I forgetting someone?

War acting like love, but with an empty gun?

Nature plotting increase with increase, the whole plot;

Artificial shortage, the only thing, finally, the wealthy villain has got.

Whip on these horses onto the easily invaded plain,

Go for the table settings.

I, the humble lover, remain,

Enabled by Abel, and watched by Cain.

HOW IS THIS PRISON

How is this prison, if I’m imprisoned with you?

There are no fresh breezes here, no new

Sights to see, no intelligent, winding ways,

No green paths for any of these days.

But to me, confinement is true

When confinement is me

In confinement with you.

When it’s me who discovers

You—as all other lovers,

With places to go,

Fade—and by this prison I slow;

I look: the only fact

Is this prison, and by this prison I know

Facts, prisons, prisoners. To act

Like there is more would be the source of all my woe.

I leave hope, and all the cunning

Optimism I know—

Look, the rats are running—I go

Slowly into the prison where you

Are my face, and you are everything I do.

You have put yourself there.

Why do I need fresh air

When your breath holds my care—

When your arms, which have waited for me,

Hold me dearly against your poetry,

And your fate which drew me in

Is the only lesson with which I begin?

It is this poem—announcing prison—

Which is the limit, not of this prison,

But of this world—one I believed

Was real, and one I grieved.

A world I believed was everything. But no;

Your way; you; prison, and you—

All my prison, all I know,

Imprisoned in, imprisoned with you;

You looking in my eye, looking in yours,

You allowing me, now, to stay,

As I can, and will,

All prisoners, all poets, lying this still.

 

 

ANTI-WAR POEM

This poet is not only beautiful, she will write

On whether days are better for writing,

Or whether it’s better to write poems at night.

I bet you didn’t know this was important to know.

I didn’t know about these narrow streets of advice.

Advice runs through every town. In Kosovo

Her boyfriend was a menace door to door

And later was beat up by VA police

When he sought mental health counseling

Denied by the agency, out of reach

Since he tested positive after the weekend at Myrtle Beach.

You cannot have simple views of veterans

And wars. Free money breeds corruption.

And war? Get in uniform. Take the tour.

Work at filing in a mononotous job. War.

You’ll see how it all gets started, when

You can’t take it anymore. When the yen

Rises or falls against the dollar, when

You get home from work drenched in sweat.

When your job depends on suspicious people you’ve never met.

We know how the madness starts; if you only

Had some kind of skill to keep

You out of trouble. Why did you go

After short term pleasure? I know, I know,

You were sick of advice, sick of being taught.

You figured out too late how everything—everything—is sold. You bought

What was waved in front of your face,

Graphically. You trusted your eyes.

Beauty is a business. Yes, I like her poetry, too.

Veteran’s Day? What exactly does it mean to you?

The Great War’s Armistice. You know what they say:

What it really was: Screw the Germans Day.

She’s beautiful. She’s a poet. She’s also nice.

It isn’t the poetry. It’s the advice.

 

 

 

 

HOLIDAY

Image result for train at night in the station in painting"

Yesterday was your birthday,

And now I realize it was a holy day for me.

I didn’t do anything. I worked. I bought

Breakfast and lunch. I calmly thought,

With highest, secret pleasure, about you;

How strange to think that’s what I do:

To think all day, every day, about you.

But yesterday was your birthday,

And I believe it is a holy day—

Because I noted the day in my head,

And for no other reason. Your existence

Gives existence to mine. “Our love is dead,”

As they say, when two lovers break up; sure,

That happened. We don’t speak anymore.

In fact, I’m not allowed to speak to you.

And that makes it sweeter. I’m free.

To love without speaking, in secret poetry,

In sweet (or bitter) thoughts, I trace

All that happened: your beautiful face

Kissing mine. What else happened? I don’t know.

I was happy yesterday. My lunch was good. The train was a little slow.

 

 

 

WHY SHOULDN’T I TELL YOU ONLY

Why shouldn’t I tell you only about myself?

This is all I know. I have not been

Conditioned to think I know the key to something else;

I will not lie, like all the rest.

Talking away from yourself

Is the best way to lie, but if I talk of me

Talking of me; if I cannot escape myself,

No lie is possible. This is truth and poetry.

They may say it’s selfish, or mad,

To be like this, to be self-obsessed;

But myself is not just what I know the best,

It is the only thing I know;

And if you are honest,

You know it, too.

You pretend and lie about everything else,

Don’t you?

Here is what we’ll do:

I will talk of me and you will talk of you,

Defending ourselves, not lying,

Exposing ourselves, laughing, crying,

Entering a heaven of intimacy

Defended by increasing self-examination and honesty;

If I pick up a guitar,

I will not teach; I will say here’s what I know I cannot do until you know it; we are

Receptacles ourselves of all knowledge.

We will examine ourselves in the world

Until we are geniuses in our honesty.

Your eye will be my eye.

And by ourselves there will be more expressed

Than all the science and all the manners pronounced by all the rest.

I’ll listen to you, and you’ll listen to me,

And in our irreverent originality,

With unbounded faith in ourselves,

No lie will mar our life and poetry.

And we will be like scientists, too;

Through pure honesty, I will be a scientist,

Who, until the end—oh God will there be an end?—loves you.

 

 

 

OH DARLING

Image result for the song oh darling"

There is only yearning, and when I sing,

What will it be, but “oh darling?”

This is all I know, and the rest

Is a mystery; I love; I know that’s the best;

But what this means is, also, I don’t know,

Because love is never about what you know.

Love is only about when you sing

Those two words, “oh darling!”

The “oh” is the simple groan

Of passion, felt, expressed, but unknown,

In how it whispers or yells, inarticulate,

Passion the big expression inside the little bit.

There is nothing to understand, or know,

About that “oh!”

As far as the word, “darling,”

Here lies everything we might ever sing

In fondness, desperation, or praise.

There’s a recording; and it forever stays.

But most of the time we’re embarrassed; did you ever sing

To someone, “oh darling?”

I once loved curves and whims.

Now I love her thin limbs.

Tomorrow I’m going to sing,

“Oh darling!”

She will be surprised.

I’m going to discover a few things in her eyes.

 

 

 

 

 

DON’T LOOK

Don’t look. Don’t read that book.

It is always better not to look.

The genius sees little, but what he sees

Invades his poetry with ease.

There is no exception; the world is full

Of horrible protesters protesting the horrible.

If you see too much

You will lose genius and its soft touch.

Superior knowledge will equal anxiety

And too many things inhibiting poetry.

The genius lets attractive illusion do

What sad knowledge is doing, too—

But sad knowledge

Thinks, and pays, and goes to college,

And is forced, in every instance, to acknowledge

The parts separated from the whole,

The parts which strive, in difficulty, for the soul of knowledge,

Studied and learned as parts in college,

Heaping up misunderstandings of the soul.

Being is majority, of which majority is the whole

Majority which, as the majority of the whole,

Represents the being of whatever lives as that

Whole thing which the parts are separated from,

And all the parts, to be real, become

Separated, the flaking off of sad parts

From the whole, and these hearts

Protest endlessly in pain

Like rain falling down on rain.

The protest is in vain.

I found my will

By saying nothing and standing still.

These parts, in cold, lonely, orbit

Would join the mass—but the movement runs them out of it.

The majority is all there is.

But wait. There is a quiz.

You have to figure out what the majority is.

There is only one sunshine in your eye.

The universe has no choice but to be one.

Amazed and sad, you see that I,

Happy poet, who wrote this one thing, am already done.

 

 

 

 

WHEN THE POET RAPS

Image result for kanye loves god"

With that bragging confidence which drips cool,

Rap makes money, which allows you to be a fool.

But without money, your colorful attitude is annoying,

Hip hop a nerd mall cop when the money’s not pouring.

Simple beats and frank sexuality

May not be good poetry,

But visual brag,

Professional videos of modern classical music in drag,

Sampled thievery and party scenes,

Means the rapper doesn’t need to explain what he means.

The grunt is enough, the shuffling thug life

Cool to cuck, intriguing to wife.

But don’t ask me; rap songs all seem the same,

Like cigarettes, like bias, like anybody’s name.

What, you think I’m a racist because I don’t like Obama?

Do you think I hate my mother cause I don’t like your mama?

Shit.

Here’s my chorus: Oh Shit.

Rap makes you confident; no person wants to be afraid,

And then some producer says hey you get paid.

I tried rap, and I’m still nice.

I know it’s just an act. But this is not an act: I’m your only vice.

You suffer, sorry.  This poem doesn’t give advice.

I saw your charity. So I knew you still loved me. That was nice.

Oh Shit.

Do you think you are good now? Is that it?

 

 

 

 

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