Sunday, April 30, 2006

Thank you kindly!

To say the least, I was delighted
when I found out that I was invited
to participate
and try to create
a poem that wasn’t too blighted.

Thank you to all of you present.
I’ve found all of your weblogs quite pleasant!
And as you can catch
limericks often I hatch.
Though I’m rather quite short on content.

So here I am under this tree
devising a poem for thee.
My mind wants to go one way,
my pen just wants to betray.
And the thoughts in my head disagree!

‘Course it doesn’t help that I have ants
all roaming around in my pants.
Seems a mystery trick
just trying to picnic
under trees and around all these plants.

So I’ll go on back home now and pout.
A poet in me there will sprout
with constant T.V.
and plenty of A.C.
Otherwise my mind might just drought!

Always!
Jas…

EMOTIONAL WEATHER REPORT

this lil' ditty by Mr. Waits has been on my mind a lot this week. I've even dedicated a whole blog cake to the issue...
I’d like to pull on your coat about something
lil’ news I’d like to throw your direction…
I’d like to swivel a kinda’ lil’ emotional weather report for you this evening…
when the thunderstorms start increasing over the south east and south central portions of my apartment
I get upset.
and a line of thunderstorms was developing in the early morning hours at the front of a slow-moving cold front

cold blood
with tornado watches issued shortly before noon Sunday for the areas including
the western region of my mental health
and the northern portion of my ability to deal rationally with my disconcerted, precarious emotional situation.
it’s cold out there!
colder than the ticket taker’s smile at the Ivar theatre on Saturday night

flash flood watches cover the southern portion of my disposition
there was no severe weather well into the afternoon except for a kind of low, gusty wind in the bedroom.

high pressure zone
covering the eastern portion of a small suburban community
with a 1034 millibar pressure zone
and a weak pressure ridge extending from my eyes to my cheeks

since you left me baby
put the vice grips on my mental health
well
the extended outlook for an indefinites period of time ‘till you come back to me baby
is high tonight, low tomorrow.
precipitation is expected.

Friday, April 28, 2006

And me without my slicker...

It sucks being caught in the middle
of a pissing contest
with no umbrella.

"POSTCARD" and other Brautigan poems

it seems somehow appropriate for this Friday (the end of a REALLY crappy week) to end with a lil' more Brautigan. These will likely be the last of his poems that I post for awhile...



POSTCARD
I wonder if eighty-four-year-old Colonel Sanders
ever gets tired of traveling all around America
talking about fried chicken




RIGHT BESIDE THE MORNING COFFEE

If I write this down now, I
will have it in the morning.
The question is: Do I want
to start the day off with
this?




THE AMELIA EARHART PANCAKE

I have been unable to find a poem
For this title. I’ve spent years
Looking for one and now I’m giving
Up.
November 3, 1970




ATTILA AT THE GATES
OF THE TELEPHONE COMPANY

They said that
My telephone
Would be fixed
By 6.
They guaranteed
It.




THE LAST SURPRISE

The last surprise is when you come
Gradually to realize that nothing
Surpises you any more.




DEATH LIKE A NEEDLE

Death like a needle
Made from a drunken clown’s breath
Where the shadow of a [I can’t make
The next two words out. I first
Wrote this poem in longhand] to your
Shadow.




VICKEY SLEEPS WITH DEAD PEOPLE

Part 8

Vickey sleeps out in the woods
With dead people but she always
Combs her hair in the morning.
Her parents don’t understand her.
And she doesn’t understand them.
They try. She tries.. The dead
People try. They will all work
It out someday.




MOLLY

Part 13

Molly is afraid to go into the attic.
She’s afraid if she went up there
And saw the box of clothes that she
Used to wear twenty years ago,
She would start crying.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

I Love Old Men

I love old men with old lady faces,
With curly gray hair and
Courteous good graces.

I love their good spirit and jaunty hellos
Their breezy ways and
Their front lawns just so.

They never do grumble
when children may wander
'Cross their gardens so neat
When their ball comes o'er yonder

Their eyes are so glinty
Their nerve very flinty
But you'd never know
the trouble they've seen;
To leave it behind,
They are very keen

Because life is short
And joy is so spare
They'd rather have torte
Than argue warfare.

They've seen it all
They know what they like:
Babies, children, pretty girls and ladies
Good deals and good food
Good laughs and good friends
Good beer and good cheer
All by the hearth
With everyone near.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

THE OYSTER ABORTION -- AND OTHER BIVALVE MUSINGS.

I like to eat an uncooked oyster
Nothing’s slicker, nothing’s moister.
Nothing’s easier on your gorge
Or when the time comes to dis-chorge.

But not too long to let an oyster rest
Within your mouth is always best—
For if your mind dwells on an oyster
Nothing’s slicker, nothing’s moister.
I prefer to have my oysters fried
Then I’m sure my oyster’s died.

---Roy Blount Jr.
A Prairie Home Companion, circa 1998



“If they’re properly opened,
by disabling the ligament that keeps the shell closed,
raw oysters go down our gullets
with a working brain, stomach, liver, intestines
and beating heart.”

--Mark Kurlansky

Monday, April 24, 2006

THREE LITTLE MERMAIDS

three little mermaids
came to frolic
where the sea meets the land

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Poor Man's Telepathy

My four year old daughter came up with this little diddy on our travels today:

Bologna and cheese
Bologna and cheese
I can't believe
I ate...
Bologna and cheese

Friday, April 21, 2006

IN PRAISE OF QUIET MORNING CHORES

with my son gone to school
my wife gone to have the van repaired
my daughter quietly examining falling water in the tub
my students watched over by machines of loving grace
my day freed from the tyranny of work
I have time to sort laundry

I pick empty hangers off the rack
like strange fruit from a horizontal tree
and lay my harvest on the bed with the clean laundry
introducing them two-by-two
like polite-but-shy guests at a social

a breeze (perhaps from the ocean) blows down the hallway
and brings with it the scent of warm towels in the dryer
(the niceties of large appliances not hid in dank basements)

I hear a small voice from outside the window and downstairs call “ma-ma!”
and off far away somewhere a car door close

my head is full of dryer-tumbling thoughts as I begin
we’re out of shampoo
we need more life insurance
I’ve got to grade that math test
our cell minutes are running really low

but blow away on the breeze and out over the Coda Pool
(wind from water to water)

it slowly dawns on me
like a seal breaking the surface in the moonlight
that I could turn this to a poem

though to do that I’d have to stop restocking the strange fruit
in the closet and seek out a pencil

maybe one of those blue-leaded ones that mom used to use to grade papers with
the ones without erasers she’d hold in her right hand
hovering over student work
on quiet school evenings

I know I’ve got one around here somewhere
touchstone that it is

maybe I’ll write it later

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

BABYPROOFED (in the spirit of Brautigan)

the stove has no knobs
the doorknobs are covered
the silverware drawer is locked
the dishwasher is latched
as is the freezer
& the refrigerator

the microwave now has no glass turntable
it lies in crystalline diamond-sparkly shards
(a teeny bit is now inside my foot)
because it had no latch
and was closer to the edge of the counter
than we had thought

Monday, April 17, 2006

A Poem of Love

A Poem of Love

Beneath a planters moon,
My love and I do abide.

The stars of the Heavens stare down unblinkingly,
They cannot look away.

We are joined by a gentle breeze,
That has come to caress us and to celebrate the oldest dance of man.

The morning doves nestle in the pines above us,
And sing of a union immortal and wondrous.

The grass rises up to hold us tenderly,
As We draw together in this leafy bower.

All of Nature holds its collective breath,
As two mortals prepare to collide,

With a power greater than holds,
The planets in their eternal coil.

I draw my Lover closer and feel the beating of her heart,
The warmth of Her kiss; the gentle touch of Her hand.

I try to tell my Love of the feelings that overwhelm me,
She silences me with the soft touch of Her finger to my lips.

“More Rock, Less Talk, stupid!”



Thank you for this small indulgence, Dear and Gentle Reader. I have tried to commit to this site nothing but “serious” poetry, and try as I might, I just can’t do it. It ain’t in me. I have tried to take a worthy subject to reason and rhyme and it always turns into a joke. I start with a dirty limerick and try to veer away to the noble and sublime and my poetic compass spins like a dervish and I find myself meandering back to Boy’s Room graffiti. So very, very sorry, Dear and Gentle Reader. Perhaps I will muster something more for my next entry……….but don’t count on it.

Doc.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

"GOOD LUCK, CAPTAIN MARTIN"

The following poems are excerpted from Richard Brautigan's book of poems, "Loading Mercury with a Pitchfork." I loved the interconnectedness of them all and, 'cuz the book is out of print, wanted to share 'em here:


GOOD LUCK, CAPTAIN MARTIN

Part 1

We all waved as his boat
sailed away. The old people
cried. The children were
restless.



PEOPLE ARE CONSTANTLY
MAKING ENTRANCES


Part 2

People are constantly making entrances
into entrances by entering themselves
through houses, bowling alleys and planetariums,
restaurants, movie theaters, office, factories,
mountains and Laundromats, etc., entrances
into entrances, etc., accompanied by themselves.

Captain Martin watches
the waves go by.

That’s his entrance
into himself.



THE BOTTLE

Part 3

A child stands motionless.
he holds a bottle in his hands.
There’s a ship in the bottle.
He stares at it with eyes
that do not blink.
He wonders where a tiny ship
can sail to if it is held
prisoner in a bottle.
Fifty years from now you will
find out, Captain Martin,
for the sea (large as it is)
is only another bottle.



SMALL CRAFT WARNINGS

Part 4

Small craft warnings mean nothing to Captain Martin
…nothing…
Like somebody deliberately choosing not to look
out the window, so the window remains empty.



FAMOUS PEOPLE AND THEIR FRIENDS


Part 5

Famous people and their friends
get to go to places where you
can only imagine what they are doing.

I was at a party two nights ago*
and a famous person was there.

When he left five or six people left
with him.

There was a great deal of excitement
at their departure as there always is
the room was filled with the breathing
of searchlights and chocolate ice cream
cones and private jet airplanes.

Everybody wanted to go with them
to mysterious places like film studio
palaces in Atlantis and dance halls
on the dark side of undiscovered moons
where everything happens and you are
a very important part of it
and you are there.


*where is Captin Martin?



CAROL THE WAITRESS
REMEMBERS STILL


Part 6

Yes, that’s the table where Captain Martin
sat. Yes, that one. By the window.
He would sit there alone for hours at
a time, staring out at the sea. He always
had one plain doughnut and a cup of coffee.
I don’t know what he was looking at.



PUT THE COFFEE ON, BUBBLES,
I’M COMING HOME

Part 7

Everybody’s coming home
except Captain Martin.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

THE GRAYS ARE ON THE MOVE

The Grays are on the move!
They’re creeping forth today
The Grays are on the move!
While asleep I lay

The Grays are on the move!
3 more scout out the way
The Grays are on the move!
They will not go away

The Grays are on the move!
They’re as pale as cold clay
The Grays are on the move!
5 more have joined the fray

The Grays are on the move!
They have no time to play
The Grays are on the move!
I hear them laughing all the way

The Grays are on the move!
Closing in day by day
The Grays are on the move!
My nerves are beginning to fray

The Grays are on the move!
This is definitely not OK
The Grays are on the move!
Gadzooks!! I found MORE gray hair today!!

Sunday, April 09, 2006

WHEN CAME SUMMER'S FIRST RAIN

when came summer’s first rain
I went about turning off lights
and unscrewing bulbs to make the house dim
(would that I could light the house by lantern)
for light detracts from the sound of the rain
hitting pavement and roof and pool

I stand by the window
writing this poem by the light
of moon through cloud
and flash lightning

my children
sleep weary
arose from their floor places
cars and toy abandoned
to stand by the porch door

they look and listen & cry to be let out
to dance between the raindrops
and must be bribed with a bath
which they take in payment instead
water being water to them

my son, normally a splash otter in the tub
sits as a turtle tonight
within his shell, contemplating the water’s surface
and the sound of the sky’s water falling outside

if there is a way to ring in the changes
and shake hands with spring
then this is it
and it is good

Thursday, April 06, 2006

How Did I Get Here?

It is odd sometimes how things come to me. It is always from some source that, at face value, has no connection whatsoever.

An unfamiliar face in a crowd will have me asking myself, “Do I have enough life insurance? ”.

Or I will glance at the weather forecast that calls for rain, and it will cross my mind that perhaps I should wear the gray underwear tomorrow.

Or I will smell the earthy smell of freshly overturned, moist dirt and it reminds me of the first time I ever saw a woman naked.

Mind you, these are all very poor examples, but somehow, my brain makes these connections. I cannot explain it. It is as if my mind has been wired with silly-string, through a maze of cracked mirrors by some drunken, misbehaving Mad Hatter, and he is giggling to himself all the way.

I quit trying to understand this a LONG time ago.

With all this being said, Dear and Gentle Reader, I would like to say that this poem was inspired by an article that I read on Thomas Jefferson.

(P.S., this has nothing to do with Thomas Jefferson.)

Untitled

You are always looking, always seeking,
Yet never finding.

Questing, shrieking, twirling,
In a way that would make a Dervish dizzy.

You brush my cheek with the gentle touch of a new lover,
Then rip the roof off my house.

I have watched you play with your toys,
Leaves water and trash.

You have seen all there is to see,
No corner of the Earth have you not passed over.

Yet You keep moving on,
Looking for the next new thing, the next horizon.

I find it comforting to lean into You as we walk together,
Until you file Your teeth to points and bite me in the ass when it turns cold.
Fickle, fickle wind,
Do You treat all of Your admirers this way?

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

From the Bottom of My Heart

This is a ballad by Jacob Dylan and the Wallflowers. I wish I could write songs like this...

Fire on the porch on a summer's night
All of my things are there inside
Black smoke rise up, burn on burn higher
I smell leaves and burning tires
Dogs in the meadows barking wild
Blackbird rise up, tell me what have you done

I'm not drunk and I'm not sad
There's nothing inside that I want back
Let me touch your lips, let me see where you're at
Do you wonder how I am tonight
Then don't lose time looking in my eyes
Not every tear means you're gonna cry

From the bottom of my heart
Comes a cold dark feeling
There is nothing but dust
In the layers I'm peeling

From the bottom of my heart
Beats a rattling drum
Marching back up the steps
Into the rays of the sun

Under crushing skies of grays
Paralyzed with phantom pains
Before this room became just a place
Where I just sleep through endless days
Spinning webs and carving names
Where thoughts break up, exploding in space

But I once crossed a quarter mile
Through black pools of razor wire
And cut through the steel
with the edge of a file
While singing rhaphsodies in stride
Hellbent and dignified
Now my time has come
Who you fooling and why?

From the bottom of my heart
Comes a cold dark feeling
There is eminent death
to the promise I'm keeping

From the bottom of my heart
Comes an army of one
Marching back up the steps
Into the rays of the sun

Pale-faces and hollowed eyes
Buried under ruptured skies
Not every smile
means I'm laughing inside
Two-faced and compromised
I've enraptured you with lies
Everything means nothing
and tonight everything is mine

From the bottom of my heart
Comes a cold dark feeling
I have buried so much
In the layers I'm peeling

From the bottom of my heart
A battle will come
Marching back up the steps
Into the rays of the sun

From the bottom of my heart
Comes a cold dark feeling
Wrapped around tight
With no sign of leaving

From the bottom of my heart
A ballad is sung
Through a whisper she comes
Into the rays of the sun

In the Spirit of Brautigan

I've been a good sport and swallowed a lot of tension
for the sake of harmony and professionalism.
Continue to yank my chain at your peril and
Consider yourself warned.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

I'M TRYING TO WRITE LIKE BRAUTIGAN

I'm trying to write like Brautigan
I want my poems to be self-contained,
like oysters
and say big things about small events in justafewwords

I've been reading his poems
from the year when I was only about 6
and had you asked me then I might have been able
to write you a poem closer to his than I can now
perhaps because my head is too cluttered

perhaps I'm trying too hard
and my hands asterisk things for footnotes
and tangents that are not of this second*
and I stretch to far for pith
like fried potatoes

When the house was calm I sat on the shitter
reading his poetry because I like it
and because we were out of toilet paper.
It seemed a Richardish thing to do and perhaps
I could turn that into a poem I thought
but prolly not as well as he could

I'm trying to write like Brautigan
and damn, but I've used too many words


*like how Brautigan's name appears in Hearts in Atlantis
and Ted is from the world of the Tower
was King intentional?

Sunday, April 02, 2006

LOADING MERCURY WITH A PITCHFORK

The late Richard Brautigan has been called, among other things, "the last of the Beats." I don't know if this is entirely true, as Brautigan died in the 70's and Beat was more a product of the 50's, but I can easily see how he truely might have been. In any event, Brautigan is my favorite poet and one of my favorite authors. The following poems are taken from his book, "Loading Mercury with a Pitchfork", which is now out-of-print. Whatcha thunk of 'em??

POSTCARD

I wonder if eighty-four-year-old Colonel Sanders
ever gets tired of traveling all around America
talking about fried chicken



LOADING MERCURY WITH A PITCHFORK

Loading mercury with a pitchfork
your truck is almost full. The neighbors
take a certain pride in you. They
stand around watching.



IT’S TIME TO TRAIN YOURSELF

It’s time to train yourself
to sleep alone again
and it’s so fucking hard.



INFORMATION

Any thought that I have right now
isn’t worth a shit because I’m totally
fucked up.



AUTOBIOGRAPHY (POLISH IT
LIKE A PIECE OF SILVER

I am standing in the cemetery at Byrds, Texas.
What did Judy say? “God-forsaken is beautiful, too.”
A very old man, who has cancer on his face and takes
care of the cemetery, is raking a grave in such a
manner as to almost (polish it like a piece of silver.
What am I doing out here in west Texas, standing in
a cemetery? The old man wonders about that, too.
My presence has become a part of his raking. I know
that he is also polishing me.


RIGHT BESIDE THE MORNING COFFEE

If I write this down now, I
will have it in the morning.
The question is: Do I want
to start the day off with
this?



FOR FEAR YOU WILL BE ALONE

For fear you will be alone
you do so many things
that aren’t you at all.



“GOOD WORK,” HE SAID, AND

“Good work,” he said, and
went out the door. What
work? We never saw him
before. There was no door.



I’LL AFFECT YOU SLOWLY

I’ll affect you slowly
as if you were having
a picnic in a dream.
There will be no ants.
It won’t rain.



UMBRELLAING HERSELF LIKE A
POORLY-DESIGNED ANGEL

Umbrellaing herself like a poorly-designed angel
she falls in love again: destined to a broken heart
which is the way it always is for her. I’m glad
she’s not falling in love with me.



WE WERE THE ELEVEN O’CLOCK NEWS

We were the eleven o’clock news
because while the rest of the world
was going to hell we made love.



FUCK ME LIKE FRIED POTATOES

Fuck me like fried potatoes
On the most beautifully hungry
Day of my God-damned life.