Three Rolling Hill Tanka

I
granite domes
bubble from the flat lands,
earthly zit, or
beauty marks written
in topography

 

II
the foothills
spread from the mountains
like ripples,
echoing from
the cordillera

 

III
four horses,
standing on the hilltop,
as if meeting,
but with no common
vision or purpose

POEM: Information Inflation

What is overproduced & under-desired is cheapened.

We live in a world that does not want for information.

Perhaps, if we had to carve our words into stone —
or press them into clay tablets —
and had to carry said tablets around,
we’d be more careful what we said,
and people would be more eager to read it.

POEM: Poetic License

Poetic License…

a permit to say strange things in strange ways.

It’s not quite Bond’s License to Kill,
but, sometimes — merely by using words —
one can deceive people into thinking
that conveying meaning is one’s principal goal.

It’s not a Double-Oh License to Kill,
but it does let one write in secret ciphers,
with each reader providing their own key.

What mayhem might be unleashed by one operating under such a license?

POEM: Ideas, Old & New

Ideas are like keys, unlocking new
versions of you. It needn’t be a new thought.

It might take twenty-three exposures to
an idea before it slips and twists
to pop the lock — unleashing a new you.

Why not the first time you read a concept?

Who knows? Maybe, the last time all pins weren’t
aligned. Your mind wasn’t in a receptive
state, or you were missing a vanguard thought.

I only know that spring-loaded mind “pop”
has always come with a sharp exhale, and
the feeling that I’m forever transformed.

POEM: The Reader

I tore up your world, remaking
it in a style that was my own.

I wiped the crown from your King’s head,
and painted myself on the throne.

Your cast kept me good company
when I felt like being alone.

Your story became the sum of
my knowledge, both known and unknown.

For these sins and so many more,
I refuse to ever atone.

POEM: Insomniac City

Cities pretend to sleep.
They fool us.
Eyes close.
Darkness settles.
In the deep of the night,
a city is like a kindergartener during nap time —
fidgety and mischievous.

When Tokyo’s trains shut down at midnight,
far from hibernating in suspended animation,
the city traps people in a dimension
that most people never see —
a headachy, eye-rubbing,
fuzzy-minded
land of waking dreams.

Limerick of the United States

There was an old man from America,
an expert in weather esoterica,
“If you look out your window,
and you see a tornado,
there’s a great chance that you’re in America.”


*At 1,200 tornadoes per year, the United States is the undisputed champion of this weather phenomena. The #2 country — the adjacent nation of Canada — has more than an order of magnitude fewer tornadoes. (And most other countries with significant numbers of tornadoes are in the tens.)

POEM: An Exercise in Everyday Absurdity [Prose Poem]

At an optician’s office, I was being sold a scratch-proof coating for my new eyeglasses. I usually summarily reject last-minute add-ons designed to squeeze additional profit out of the consumer, assuming they are all like rust-proofing, extended warranties, and muffler-nut re-torqueing plans — which is to say, needlessly complicated ways to toss away money.

But this guy was compelling. Well, in part he was compelling, and in part I tend to drop things [phones, glasses, remote-controls, toaster pastries, etc.] with great regularity. So, when I was offered this space-age scratch-proof coating, a coating that I was promised could survive being tumbled around in a cement mixer, I was sold.

Then, as this salesman was packing up my glasses, he said, “Here is your special cleaning cloth. Make sure you use this cloth — and ONLY this cloth — when cleaning your glasses.”

To which I replied, “Uh, why…, exactly?”

“Because you’ll scratch the coating,” he said patronizingly, as one might to a child or an adult one suspected a court of law had deemed mentally incompetent to dress himself.

“So this ‘scratch-proof’ coating, the one that’s supposed to survive a five-story fall and sidewalk bounce, the one that nearly doubles the cost of the glasses, that coating can’t survive whatever grit might remain lodged in a freshly-laundered cotton T-shirt?”

“Exactly! Now you’re getting it. So, just make sure you only use the special cloth, okay?” he said in a manner that I feared would end in the tousling of my hair.

Do you know why I believe this salesman was so good at his job? Most people would get severe cognitive dissonance-induced headaches from trying to maintain this matrix of logically-inconsistent information in one brain. This individual was unplagued by such difficulties. That allowed him to not only maintain a straight face while being challenged on the issue, but to truly believe that it is those who have trouble reconciling these conflicting pieces of information that are defective.

This might sound like a rant, but it’s not. I’m convinced that it is people such as he who will inherit the earth, and I’m in awe of their special gift.