Saturday, October 31, 2009

And Away You Go

He would have inquired
after them
had the ghosts of the house
not spirited
him away.

[originally posted 4/6/2009]
[written circa 1978/1979]

Friday, October 30, 2009

Notes from a Conversation

Hell, he said.

Alone, she said.

Anything, he said.

Wait, she said.

Wish, he said.

No, she said.

[originally posted 4/30/09]

Thursday, October 29, 2009

The Office

amiable, careful
"up to date"
i didn't listen
"pay attention"
completely out of touch
jabbering at me.
"manager," he said.

[originally posted 6/12/09]

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


we were all excited
we would have dodged
fire struck
from her breath
but by the time
we started out
sudden darkness
scapegoats invented

[originally posted 6/18/09]

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Eggs! No!

He had already
decided that
the eggs
had to go.

[originally posted 5/13/09]

Monday, October 26, 2009

November '54

the cold November of 1954
remains in mind
like a shadow-soul caught
between heaven and hell.

[originally posted 5/8/09]
[written circa 1979/1980]

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Dr. Benway Consults

he told his patient that
he had often cured such a mania
but that just in case
he should find
a transistor radio

[for William S. Burroughs]

[originally posted 4/23/09]

Friday, October 23, 2009

A Short Story With No Moral #4

There was once a young woman who was obsessed with obsequiousness. She had heard someone being referred to as obsequious, liked the way it sounded, and resolved to one day become obsequious herself.

Unfortunately, the young woman was not entirely sure of what the word meant. Being of a somewhat proud nature, she was reluctant to ask anyone for a definition. The young woman was convinced, however, that to be obsequious was to be grand and important.

The picture the young woman had in her head was of herself, dressed in the most beautiful gown in the world, descending a marble staircase that ended in a huge ballroom filled with the most elegant of the elegant. As she came into sight, heads would turn in her direction, there would be gasps, and someone would say quietly to her friend, "Isn’t she just too too obsequious?"

On only one occasion did the young woman ever tell anyone about her dreams of obsequiousness. She happened to have been in bed with a young man of whom she was quite fond -- dreams of marriage alternated with dreams of obsequiousness -- and they were exchanging secrets of the heart. The young man had just finished telling the young woman of his longing to be the manager of a Denny’s restaurant when the young woman suddenly blurted out, "I want to be obsequious!"

The young man laughed. It was the most ridiculous thing he had ever heard. The young woman, who on rare occasions might say "please" or "thank you," and who would butt in lines and when asked to pass something at the dinner table would say, "You’ve got arms. Get it yourself," wanted to be obsequious. It was to laugh.

The young woman, however, did not laugh. She was deeply hurt and angry. She thought that the young man was laughing at her for wanting to be grand and important. She thought he was laughing at her dreams. "Get out," she screamed at the young man. "Get out of my bed! Get out of my house! And get out of my life!"

The young man sat in stunned silence for a moment, very quietly said, "O.K.," and wordlessly got dressed, gathered up his things and left the apartment.

That was the last the young woman ever saw of the young man. She would often think of that night and how things had gone wrong. As the years went by, she grew more and more convinced that the young man had meant to hurt her and, thus, she grew to hate him. Eventually, her hate grew too much for just the one young man and she began to hate all men.

One day she received a letter notifying her that her aunt had died leaving her five million dollars. "I’m rich," she thought, "I can quit my job and do anything I want. I can be obsequious now. First, I’ll go out and buy myself the most beautiful gown I can find."

The woman, who by this time as no longer young, made plans to throw a huge party in the most exquisite hotel in Vienna, Austria. She invited everyone who was anyone, and a few who weren’t, and she even invited the man, who was also, of course, no longer young, who had hurt her.

After months of preparations, the day of the party finally arrived. The woman boarded the jet airliner that would carry her to Austria. She was eating caviar and drinking champagne when the airliner went into a nosedive and crashed in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.

News of the disaster reached the party at midnight. At first a hushed silence fell over the crowd. Finally, a Texas millionaire broke the silence. "Well, shucks, as long’s were all here, let’s make this the best goddamn wake Vienna, Austria’s ever seen!"

And so they did.

[written circa 1982/1983]

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Roldo the Fish-Headed Boy

Roldo was a boy
(that is, he was a young human
with a penis
who differed from the rest of his society
in that he had the head of a fish

Roldo was a bright boy
he was good at math
and at reading and writing
and he could ride a bicycle like
but, still, he had the head of a fish

Other boys were often cruel to Roldo
girls, (young humans with vaginas)
were also cruel to him
they (the boys and girls) made up a song

The song was about Roldo
when he would ride by on his bicycle
they would sing:
Roldo the fish-headed boy
he’s so ugly we want to cry
he’s a fish and he should fry
and then they would laugh

The singing and laughing hurt Roldo
but he loved riding his bike too much to

Roldo would often ride blocks
and blocks out of his way to avoid
other children and thus was sometimes
late in arriving at home
where he mother and father would be
anxiously awaiting his return

Mother and Father were worried about Roldo
they felt guilty about inflicting a fish-headed child
on the world and the world
on a fish-headed child
and they were afraid that something would
happen to him and somehow their guilt would be

But, still, they loved Roldo and when he would
return in tears they would hug and kiss him
and tell him that everything would be alright
and though they hadn’t really believed it
as the years passed things did begin to get better

Roldo’s fish-headedness became less and less
Until one day Roldo was just an average
and went out riding his bike
and no one laughed or sang

[written circa 1981/1982]

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

A Purposely Pointless Tale

There once was a young man who was taken with idea of being Spanish. The young man read every book on Spain that he could; he listened to nothing but albums by flamenco guitar players. Every night he dreamed of emigrating to Spain, where he would fall madly in love and be married.

Unfortunately, the young man was very poor; he wasn't even able to purchase he beloved Spanish books and records; he had had to check them out from a library. Also, the young man was not terribly bright. He had just barely managed to graduate from high school.

One day he was struck with an inspiration. "I know how I'll get to Spain," the young man thought, "I'll pretend I'm a Spanish orphan who has been abandoned in America." To this end, the young man set about learning as much Spanish as he could (which, as it turned out, wasn't much).

After he had learned twenty or so words, the young man felt he was ready. "From now on, I'll speak only Spanish. And then they'll have to send me to Spain."
The young man went to a bus stop near his home. An elderly woman was waiting for a bus to take her home. The young man walked up to the woman and said, "La use en llama alta ni sobre mornillas electricas expuestas." The woman reacted by walking away.

The young man was puzzled but not discouraged. "I need," he thought, "to go somewhere I can talk to a lot of people. I'll go to a supermarket and stand by the entrance." And so, the young man went to a big Whole Foods not too far from his home.

"Hervir hasta que seque ni calientar," he would say to everyone going into the store. "La cafeteria vacia," he would say to everyone leaving the store. Despite these efforts, no one offered to send the young man to Spain but several people did give him their loose change. One old, old, man gave the young man a ten-dollar bill. "La use si esta rajada o arnda," the young man said to the old, old man.

The young man spent five hours at the Whole Foods store speaking Spanish to everyone who went through the doors. By the time he was ready to go home, the young man had collected seventy-five dollars and fifty-five cents. The young man gave a small boy, who had been trying to sell chocolate bars by the exit doors thirty-two cents in pennies, and started to walk dejectedly home. The young man had really hoped that someone would have offered to send him back to Spain.

The young man wasn't aware of it, but two sullen and surly youths had been watching him as he collected money. The sullen and surly youths followed the young man on his way home. When he reached a secluded area, the sullen and surly youths jumped on him and began beating him. The young man broke free. He darted into the street. The youths followed. A bus, speeding down the street, swerved to miss the young man but hit the sullen and surly youths, killing them instantly.

When dealing with the police and the driver of the bus, the young man thought it was best to forget about speaking only Spanish. Besides, he had come up with another plan.

The next day, the young man, this time holding a box in which to collect money, was back at Whole Foods speaking Spanish to the customers as they went in and out of the doors. "La himpe con materiales que rascan," he would say. That day he filled his box with eighty-seven dollars and twenty-three cents. Four months of speaking Spanish provided the young man with enough money to finance his dream trip to Spain.

[written circa 1981/1982 with minor changes 2009]

Monday, October 19, 2009

The Thing Tangible.

Triage ceremony. Current slaves are free; it was this image of empty lives that made a man die. Dust of the packed flesh and not flesh is spirit. Dust of the softball games. Examine the same five activities of the smelling flesh, doing something of a new mind in an age of gods.

Unmask down thyself. This image made a man die. Dressed in this garment of those pleasures -- alcohol, drugs, sexual skylarking -- marvelous rage is suffering. Being happy is whether from taste or travel the image; it is the true escape. Notice this: God said it is the garment of pleasure to eat it. Make no mist, woman! Joy turns to make the image of the sexual skylark; turns, commanding, to talking persons made of none of their order. Truly love the sexual eternity.

The lust of the thing tangible. The image -- fulfillment and law -- she obeyed only in the true escape from restraint. Power. The answer is satisfactory: Keep it holy. Be surprised if that issue is not comprehensible without the content from a grand crusade. Satellites and mania. Unity in neutrality. Two weeks of a common heritage, clearly stung. For all the given doctrine, the U plan may be in the evil empire.

To love the image is what he called the Dramatic Backwardness Union. No political leader knows how to deal with such an influence. Divide that new generation: the U plan may be the division. This image of lust made a man die. The thing tangible worked hard to believe a final, earthly, Spirit. Others seek casinos, or rich food, or sexual skylarking. Examine their role in the master plan: risking activities beats the boredom.

[written circa 1984/1985]

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

In The Here And Now

we live like the hatters
who continued to make hats
long after the fashion
of men wearing hats had passed

the fashion assassinated by
john fitzgerald kennedy
who cheekily took his oath of office
hatless, yes, but with a
full head of hair

other men were no less bald
as they put away their hats
than in the time before when they
covered their heads with fedoras
bowlers, boaters, and beaver-felt
top hats processed with mercury
that left the hatters mad

but we are still wearing our baseball caps
little-leaguers trying not to lose
that pop-fly in the sun

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Spider's Web

from peach tree green leaves hangs
spider's web glistening with dew
the morning sun shining through

Friday, October 2, 2009

On the Horizon

So to speak and so to find
He became like a thundercloud
Untouched by time
Pushing his way directly
Out and up and through
They were with and, then, without
Conclusively coming to terms with
Almost certainty.

Thursday, October 1, 2009


Asleep I have never
been able to dream.

Three months ago
Sleeping on my left side
A crash, very loud in the forest
Woke us and we knelt holding
Each other and with a secure grip
I pulled her to me and
Soon she was riding on top.

Asleep I have never
been able to dream.