JUNIOR STRANGELOVE

History repeats and the future stays the same

We’ll change the way we handle things, the children all proclaim

But children grow and freedom dies, an order takes its place

and grown-ups leave their children praying for a home in space

 

There will be no lottery

Those who can will pay the fee

Those who can’t, with science keen,

will pad reserves of Soylent Green

 

Every number carries over

This is not an Earth reset

There will be enough for class

when fees accrue, recruiting debt

 

The living, they’ll go on with death envy,

and the nervous habit of a guilt trip

ensures a future going on living,

giving, and receiving back a mere tip

 

Today the window is about open

wide enough for playing not to win, no

We’re playing not to lose, the lone trophy

coming for participation in the rat flow

 

Our iconism mocks a cult market

dropping microphones on all the tongue-told

extensions in a war to end facets

of a better past at home in heads of those old

 

Do you believe in a prolonged ending?

Some exotic Revelation ransack?

Or are you of the school insistent

on a Big Bang in reverse?  No fade?  A click to black?

 

Every number carries over

But the soul is dear enough

for a world without end

to heat the hopes of Earth’s rebuff

 

Servitude pervades it all

We’re all living on a ball

Do we bounce or crack?  The last

frontier is awareness passed

 

History repeats and the future stays the same

We’ll change the way we handle things, the children all proclaim

But children grow and freedom dies, an order takes its place

and grown-ups leave their children praying for a home in space

 

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MATTERS OF WHAT MATTERS

Intro

I used to mock this sort of song
with lonely sarcasm afire
On a pedestal I put
the pin-up stars who towered higher
than the stratosphere above
my loner’s cellar of the blues
from where the papered walls shot me
with grim projections of the myth of you

It never seemed that feasible or true
but in my inner movies you were lonely too

Somehow there was a loophole in our grown-up paradox
The abrasions of that boyish pop now cling to me like satin socks
For once I looked intrigued at someone and for once intrigue looked back
Balance spoke when your experience spoke to my lips and innocence was hacked

So here is the most innocent account
of my heart’s statement I can offer, told already
in a time-recycled sort of way
The cheekiness on cue (it’s true) doesn’t warrant a build-up to this degree
but I’m leaning on that innocence so well-dispersed by pin-up stars
I hope you’re set to hear me out with drum machines and not guitars

Song

It’s your identity I huddle in when mine’s in crisis
Your virtue is the rehab to my mind’s imprisoned vices
When the power’s out your sympathy is like my generator
proving to me how material possessions are negators

when it comes to matters of what matters

Here is my most innocent account
of needs accounted for when time allows
Sometimes it felt like wasted time
A pilgrimage into a labyrinth of walled emotions until your plows
of rampaging eye contact demolished my acerbic barricades
and ever since you’ve been a trampoline of outdoor breath on what were purpose-flattened promenades

It’s your identity I huddle in when mine’s in crisis
Your virtue is the rehab to my mind’s imprisoned vices
When the power’s out your sympathy is like my generator
proving to me how material possessions are negators

when it comes to matters of what matters

And yet I carry on with feelings mixed
in this embarrassment of luck and dreams fulfilled
I know it doesn’t end with me
The land will always groan in time
with dragging feet of those alone and feeling quasi-killed

It’s hard to know how to console when you’ve long been the one consoled to
I feel like some preacher to just suggest
I’m reaching out to them but I know and remember
how it feels and I will plead with you if need be
to be stronger than the crass impatience
Maybe it will end tomorrow, maybe she will see you in September

And when it does

It’s her identity you’ll huddle in with yours in crisis
Her virtue will be rehab to your mind’s imprisoned vices
When the power’s out her sympathy will be your generator
and she’ll prove to you material possessions are negators

when it comes to matters of what matters

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THEN FALL, CAESAR

THEN FALL, CAESAR

My cronies were adept
at running on repentant swords

I preferred my infamy
in run-on sentences
of third-person propaganda
Even in the wet-backed wheeze
of my final breath
I retained the discipline
to do my kin proud
and turn around to
say goodbye to myself

I required no muse
to compose an immortality
assuring elegy
yet I cannot shirk a nod of gratitude
for how you dangled the phonetic
mastery of this identity
over noble Brutus

Only suicide allowed
a reinstatement of nobility
to the one who introduced himself
with a Brute syllable

I was justified to distrust
the one who thought too much
Such men devour the entrails of
the noble herd made content by
swallowing the spirits of assumed
good intentions

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DISEMBODIMENT BY SIGHT

Island

The hem of oceanic horizon
its sole neighbor

Shrouded in hermetic shawl of landslides
old stone friends stand
up to the necks in ancestry
like departed patriarchs
in a wake’s array of
semi-open caskets

Funeral and cemetery
overlap in the gulping isolation

Even nonpartisan nature has appeared
to decelerate its steady vegetative march
in the name of photogenic preservation

A body-based curiosity
seems to have been stared down
by the stoicism chiseled into
every adamant avatar of lineage
on the eve of enigmatic promenade
to beacon destiny
where the head becomes the thing
to catch the conscience

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Sestina I: THE KEEPERS OF DENIAL

Was it just another save?

Another imprint on the end of the defence?

Silence in the anti-spectrum of the shot?

Pink and purple tattooed the open-ended face

proudly substituted for the first mask,

blotting out the condescension of a goal.

 

Not that we ever pondered on a goal,

for we condescended just as much with a save.

Not that you would have seen the eyes in the flesh of mask;

I reckon our own defence –

those privy to their partners’ open-ended face –

would be hard-pressed to see the squint behind a black-eye-candy-coated shot.

 

Broken cheek? A battle scar for which we thanked a shot.

Still you wouldn’t know a save for a goal

on whatever canvass wrapped our face.

No elation notified the cheap seats of a save

and no beauty greeted the defeated defence,

beat and bailed out by the cheek bone of a mask.

 

Our chins and jaws were like nuts saved to cash in for a nutcracker. See, the mask

embodied many parts securing an inevitable parting shot.

The most poetic constitution couldn’t author a defence

against the crime of a back-breaking goal.

No spine remained to sport on any subsequent save;

by then, a saved puck didn’t save face.

 

Circumstantial artistry defined the degrees to which we chose to face

the so-called facts.  Some have said a mask

wasn’t donned to save

our senses from a spiteful shot

but to make generic the reaction to a goal.

Some wondered, are we nursing team or psychological defence?

 

Colour any black and white system of defence

you tend to lean to after going face-to-face

with the physical salvation of a goal

and the alternative.  How many would decline a mask

when the alternative is the despondent draft from a shot

snuffing out the stoic glory of what’s never just another save?

 

Maybe my retirement will render the dimensions of defence relative behind the mask.

But retirement will not quell the need to bear my face in the presence of another shot:

frozen rubber set aflame by the friction of a goal against a save.

(Cover art: In The Crease by Ken Danby)

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(Newly-discovered scrap from 2017)

The doorway to the known is open
now that history is back
Probe the book for what was spoken
to implore the seal to crack

Some fool revived a maverick chapter
Gave it breath on backward tongues
Now the ladder of progression
hunches hurt with broken rungs

Already history is preening
Rockin’ round the doomsday clock
Rhetoric the plague apparent
sickens when the wrong men talk

In evolution bathed tomorrow
with the soap of driven youth
Principles of hope unseated
platitudes as hubs of truth

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HAMLET

Anthropomorphic
easily (and oddly
coherently) enraptures
the taste buds
with phonetic evocations
of cashmere
in the amphitheaters of
magnetic teeth

Melodic syllables
chaperone the exclusivity
of God and Darwin’s
Dueling Duo Century Club

And how rational
the rubber dolphin enthrallment
becomes there

Riding them
and the rubber
in the jubilee
of wet summers
and in cartoons absurding
the premise of a carnal
cleanliness and freshly trimmed
private parts

A human struggles to attune
to animal affiliations
in reprieve from the green
supervisions of Disney and Orwell

Humans have hearts
where and when
all the other animals have clocks

Only one exception
watered down to a manageable
caricature

Sometimes it is easier
and more rational
more coherent even
to annul the vows of poison
for the virgin ivy’s labial embrace

Maybe something else talks
Maybe then the human grows

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