any city you enter after dark
will not reveal itself until the morn
you’ll see it like a scrawny sheep unshorn
vague blankness punctuated by landmarks
you’ll see nothing in the darkness of parks
not junkies sprawled out in clothes, rank and torn
though you see neon twenty-four hour porn
you’ll know not the dogs by their noisy barks
light makes it more pretty and more ugly
you’ll see it pick itself up and brush off
like shame walkers concoct a makeshift coif
turning focus from the bloody and stubbly
to see a city at its worst and best
catch it when it’s wearing last night’s dress.
I thought I knew the brick-and-mortar world,
the thrill of smashing things one knew were real.
But all that smashed was an electric feel
projected in a subject, fetal curled.
We loved the anthems sung and flags unfurled,
and plays of spear-tips raised and flashing steel,
and when throughout the town a bell would peal,
inviting us to dream our afterworld.
Feeling oneself at gates adorned in pearls,
as we got measured against an ideal,
and blood was drawn to test for ardent zeal.
My name in Santa’s lists of boys and girls?
There are worlds that feel more real than others,
and those I’d choose, if I had my druthers.
Oh, I can feel the force of your allure.
It tugs my chest, and I am leaning fore.
Have you bent space and time to your contour?
For I fall into you, not down to the floor.
But feet, they fail, anchored in place by nerves,
so I cannot escape toward your force.
Tumbling to a place past knowledge can’t serve,
and time, it fails to flow or rejects course.
Drifting in this dark and humorless void.
Can I salvage this perilous tumble?
Or cruise space like an aimless asteroid
by lack of grace being ever humbled?
As I regain footing and state of mind,
I find that we’ve become somehow entwined.
The traveler grasps nothing he can’t hold
against buffeting gales or changing fates.
He favors not the heat above the cold,
and eats one night on leaf, the next on plates.
The tribesman signals, calling to his own.
Travelers left that luxury behind.
Clubs aren’t fairer from this than that one’s bone.
One’s universe isn’t so tightly aligned.
Socrates knew the danger of the tribe.
Just as Emerson preached against the sect.
Clan primacy and justice cannot jibe,
and thinking and joining are mates suspect.
If you can’t see yourself tied to one land,
best thin those creeds on which you take a stand.
in the space of a blossom’s drift to earth
i feel the gravity give way below
i’ve all the time for terror, shock, and mirth
as tics and tocks go viscous in their flow
each emotion will be given its due
stretched out as if by hands that squeeze and pull
and i can feel, better than see the view
as the planet hangs in a peculiar lull
by the time i start to see the humor
i’m bouncing off the pavement on my back
has my mind been rewired by a tumor?
or has my train of mind slipped its track?
then a blaring horn fills the silent void
and return the kindly and the annoyed
one can’t get to that sacred place direct
one must pass through a station called CRAZY
your mind and that wild line don’t intersect
and the path between is dim and hazy
you’ll find there is no you, you can detect
as you flicker in and out, mind-phasing
til on the far side emerges perfect
a mind that fires bright and remains blazing
beware he who values his sanity
above the wisdom of this space-less place
flashing sane is just a passing vanity
but madness brings a timeless kind of grace
It’s venturing through the dark that steals will,
but venturing through the dark steels the will
That stubble, once a forest full of trees,
now rides the hills down to the turd brown sea.
I’d heard the drumming coming from the banks.
An army of axe men formed into ranks.
Firing up engines of desolation,
scarring the earth in ragged ablation.
And down the river, those drums went silent.
Modern man wondered where the tribes all went.
In ancient temples they’d preached mysteries.
Lost to the burning of the histories,
by purists who’d gathered in mankind’s flanks
to massacre all of the mainstream cranks.
And they sang their songs of faith and nation
to the tune of engines of desolation.
And in my dream I saw a vast expanse.
To the horizon tawny hills did roll.
Stood nothing but a tower in stout stance,
to burden the barrenness of this knoll.
Such an anomaly must draw one near.
So I began to march with all my might.
Hours down, feet sore, with vanishing good cheer,
as the tower retreated from my sight.
What devil played these tricks inside my mind,
and thieved that wonder under the blue dome
that suggests the existence of mankind
in this slumber simulacrum of home.
When I awoke the world seemed right again,
a world where all resides beyond my ken.