Friday, March 26, 2010

Cycladic Architecture Refuting the Premises of Abstract Expressionism and the Greenbergian Critique of Illusionism

(A little more than a decade ago, I traveled in Greece. Among other things, I got to go to Asclepius' temple in Epidaurus. I had a wonderful time ferrying among the Cyclades, impossible to capture literally. My itinerary was, to some extent, influenced by Henry Miller's inspired "The Colossus of Maroussi")

I have become a
blue shutter on a Cycladic
window that has melted into the spiraling streets
of an endless

The city has disappeared
into a mountain
of shaving foam cloud
suspended in the sky
of my heart, land-legged
in a yawing sea.
Chalk white mosquito the size of a
hockey rink, humped
by a blue elephant. I am a Matisse
beneath whitewash, invisible symphony
dancing to a Charybdis of lava,
imprisoned by walls of nothingness
unimaginably thick. A whirlwind paper-clipped
to a turn-the-world. Place has
collapsed to a rectangular center,
a cubeless Picasso of Miles-horn and
Bernaise sauce, wildflower fireworks in a green sky,
a Memphis of marble tessera,
ironic gravity,
levitating geraniums
envased in shamrock,
an Acropolis wall-papered with postcards,
battalions of hemlock-Pepsi,
maieutic suntan,
heuristic dialectic.
Egyptian L'Ascaux.
A cock for Aesclepius,
a rock for Prometheus,
an orphanage for Rousseau,
a spider of Damocles
for a gigolo Odysseus.
X-rays with planetary half-value-layers
compress a rib in Tribeca
on a Roman fresco:
a song in St. Louis
on a skin of Drambuie.
Satellite to an eardrum,
laser to guitar strum,
megastar to drunken bum,
asphault of innuendo
tarnish on a monster of Loch Ness.
The shutter incandesces like the water on the sun
and I am all the Kodachrome in all the world,
tears that wed, bury, baptize,
birth. For-profit sex acts, numberless
once-in-a-lifetimes ubiquitous,
a flutter of milliseconds in
automated darkness,
eternity throttled with endless
loneliness -- borrowed memory.

Everywhere, the gods are at play;
in the afternoon,
in a shuttered room,
we sleep in love as if we
pray, shadows of a ferry's fumes
that dance while fast they blow

Friday, March 19, 2010



What we don't understand can't hurt us,
except that what we do understand can't hurt us either, and we don't understand this,
and so we don't understand
that we don't understand what we don't understand, and it hurts even to think about it
--- understand?

Not so much the understanding as the hurting;
how can you hurt what can't be worse? How can you
hurt what must of its own accord
die, which amounts to nothing
more than the sod it
in sleep so much
resembles. If,
as Socrates said, death is a positive
boon, if so there be no harm to it; a murderer
sheds our blood with favor, and we ought
savor the throes from whence it's bred.
Such palaver as spills kips of blood
on pricks of pins but empties butts
of senseless sin. Immune
to harm as a storm to invective,
alike to gain, we
disdain nothing more than the
encroachment of that,
inevitable as gravity,
which in our hour of direst
need, befriends us.
No oath knows the like certainty.
No vow the like trust.
Despite the fustian casuistry of
centuries of syllogizing sophists, the victimless
dockets of doubly-blinded justices
stuffed with guilty innocents
--- the outlandish yarns fool none
but the wise,
and these too have born their foolishness gladly.


We return to that we cannot escape,
escape to that cannot return:
the diurnal frenzy of a cipher calculus,
a dispaltried paltriness,
of urgencies soon crucially
What harm then this in mis-
or under-
standing when so near attending
our truest friend,
spurned yet peaceful waits our certain

Friday, March 05, 2010

As a Cat to Lap

(This is the first poem I ever read at an open reading.)


There's no use crying over spilled milk.
There's no use crying over spilled milk.
There's no use crying over spilled milk.
There's no use crying over spilled milk.
What's done is done.
No use crying over spilled milk.
Time is time for moving on.
No use crying over spilled milk.
Here today tomorrow gone.
No use crying over spilled milk.
A present lost, a future won.

There's no use crying.
Tears are bootless, facts are blind.
There's no use crying.
Sadness cannot change fate's mind.
There's no use crying.
Sorrow loses, cheer will find.
There's no use crying.
Be practical, leave tears behind.

There is no use.
This fret and strut achieves the grave.
There is no use.
All is lost, nothing's saved.
There is no use.
The free man's just a shallow slave.
There is no use.
These shadows never leave the cave.

There is.
Not here.
There is.
Not near.
There is,
But cannot be.
There is.
But is not me.

Here, but that which not.
Other in which what.
Now again before ahead.
Another, than from fled.

There's no use crying over spilled milk.
But what if milk should turn to blood?
There's no use crying over spilled milk.
And war's tears rain in dead flesh flood.
There's no use crying over spilled milk.
This mother's milk in corpse coughed mud.
There's no use crying over spilled milk.
This saline spite of shrapnel's God.

Milk of kindness, milk of death.
Spilled milk spitting Gatling breath.
Milk of useless, milk of use.
Milk of every profit's truth.

Those are ghosts that were his eyes,
and at his mother's milk-spilled cries,
war's rich banker trembles.
A use without a usurer's prize,
which tyrant heads of state despise,
from which too common truth