Friday, July 31, 2009


Why is it some people get away with murder,
hell, some people get away with mass murder,
and others go to jail for just
opening their mouths?
That is what they’re doing in Pakistan,
and Afghanistan, mass murder. Guy in an office
10,000 miles away in Langley pulls the trigger
and a dozen people die in a Hellfire missile attack;
DA, judge, jury, and executioner.
And then there was the guy who was the head of
the central bank in New York. He got caught not
paying his taxes for five years. Know what they did?
They promoted him. Now he runs the money department
for the whole country. And his loan shark pals are busy
knee-capping people into the streets for being late
on their mortgages. And then there was the woman
who was arrested for just wearing a T-shirt;
the shirt just had the number of US soldiers who died
in Iraq written on it. And they arrested her because they
didn’t want people thinking about that.

There was a children’s book one time called Animal Farm,
where they said “all animals are created equal”.
The pigs stayed up all night rearranging that to say
“but some are more equal than others.”

Saturday, July 25, 2009

“Life’s nonsense pierces us with strange relation”

Side by side, on the shelf,
a children’s book of Hindu deities,
and a book about Browns’ tailgating.
What randomness assorts itself
in our lives,
and how. ‘Deity’ reminds
me of telling Mary,
just yesterday, that ‘Jupiter’ is a slurring
of Zeus Pater (as in deus
ex machina.). Two tremendous
-ly foreign words melding
into another we both know,
and don’t: obvious
and obscure. How the planets
have given their names to our days,
and the gods their names to the planets:
Saturn’s-day, Wotan’s-day, Thor’s-day.
How just this morning I’ve been teaching
the planets to Jackson.
“Life’s nonsense pierces us with
strange relation.” How, at the tailgate
of a hearse, I was reminded of
Browns’ Sundays. It was the funeral
of the book’s author’s mother.

(The title is a line from Wallace Stevens’ poem, “Notes Toward a Supreme Fiction”.)

Friday, July 17, 2009

New Zealand Ice Cream at Bondi

Austral ice cream sweats
with melt and lick. Fingertips
cradling fresh waffle cones
in the January scorch,
as the flesh of tongues
experiments, probing
the gelid slick. Everywhere
the hands. Hands
and arching necks
lapping attention: she is there, she is there, she is
there as afternoon becoming morning, jumpcuts
farandnear, abovebelow, upfrontbehind,
latticed shadows, knuckles crumpling
the silky universe between index and thumb,
taste and lip. White as the rush hour of
promiscuous gulls in their swirling commutes,
the esplanade laden with the identical song
from ten thousand different radios,
they are all her hands. The pendance
of her breasts as she bends to invade
the five gallon tubs
with her benevolent scoops,
the belt high eyes craving
sugar-dairy goodness
through the refrigerated glass,
this bucket brigade of redemptive affection
where heroism comes in chocolate.

I see from within the heads of ten thousand
total strangers, her hands are my eyes
and my eyes are her breasts, and we are
all of us, licking
at the same sweetness.
I wear the far side of the Pacific on my skin,
as close to far away as I can ever get,
where north and east and south and west,
where even down points closer to home.
Her hands are fresh aloe
for the sunburn.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

“The fewer the hits, the truer the statement.” (July 7, 2009)

“Property is theft”. 50,900.
“Intellectual property is theft.” 3,650.
“Property is murder.” 170.
“Intellectual property is murder.”
“Theft is the intellectual property of the Wall Street Banksters.”
“Government is a conspiracy to commit theft.”
“Government is conspiracy to commit property.”
“The fewer the hits, the truer the statement.”
“The truer the statement, the fewer the hits.”

Friday, July 03, 2009


“We shall not cease from exploration,
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.”

--- T. S. Eliot, Little Gidding


Eat enough poison, build up to it
slowly enough, and you too
can become poisonous. At least
if you’re a snake-eating newt.
Call it a business lunch, concerning the
hostile takeover of the snake’s
toxic assets. If it can be inherited,
self defense may itself be
an incitement to meal-icide, each end,
by nature,
a new beginning.

Each gate,
as Janus and the newt make clear, a place
for both arrival
and departure.


With the tailgate open I couldn’t help but notice
the roller-wheels (they reminded me of the
supermarket merchandise conveyor tracks
of my childhood) in the bed of the hearse,
the way they eased the slide of her casket
into the bar-grabbing hands of her pall’s
bearers. “Someone has done this before,”
I thought to myself. “Many times.”
And with the news of GM’s impending
bankruptcy dominating the headlines,
I mused whether or not we’d be able to die any more,
without Cadillac. Talk about
brand loyalty.

And I thought of the sky burials
of Parsis in India: the way they leave their dead on towers
for the vultures to eat, the way they are
re-in-carn-ated (consider here the term ‘carnivore’),
how quickly, as vulture-meat, they are borne
to the sky. How, like Cadillac,
the vultures have been going extinct.
How it’s been traced to the remnants of
pain killers in the carcasses of beasts
of burden (they work longer in the fields
when they’re given pain relief.)

An even bet whether the vultures,
or Cadillac, will dance
on the other’s grave.


Ever since I took that Aeroflot flight to
Bombay I’ve been captivated by how
interhemispheric telephone calls can’t take place
at the same time. Come to think of it,
time can’t even take place
at the same time. It is all hours
of the day and night, always.
And they say when someone asked Yogi Berra
what time it was he asked,
“you mean now?”

Sometimes pain killers are just killers.
And sometimes poison keeps you safe, and sometimes
poison gets you swallowed, and sometimes,
at the tailgate of a bankrupt hearse,
it is all of those times
at once.