Wherein kind folks belong to my circle. Hold onto use not discard my gifts. Ever glad to banter with me. Really read what I give them. Ever ready response. Outshine elevate. Happy happy. Wherever.
Tedium may, absent fellow-feeling and some larger life’s project, lead you to believe that none of this really matters. Multiplexing your limited attention among trillions of tasks, none of which originated or will terminate with you, seems calculated to transform you into a mindless conduit for information, a mutant scarcely capable of independent existence or coherent thought. Chopping your daily feed stream into bite-sized segments suitable for recombination into new life forms that, resenting challenge, may rise without you bleeds pink the very soul of the new economy. Everything’s on call, on demand, on the line. Scan, absorb, and be ready to regurgitate you say. Call her, call him, set it up, and pull back you say. Take this, file it, and never lose the key you say. Stand ready to serve it up you say. All in the name of the project.
AN ANALYST’S LISTS
Big bold and sweeping/statements about the weather/sustain our careers.//Overstuffed inbox/ponderings on the latest/shrink-wrapped abstractions.//Disembodied voices/powerpointing plans for/soft world domination.
AND SO IT FLOWS
Starts and fits and somehow it works. Pieces and bits and blood on the pages. Rush and push and squeeze it between times. Scream and stream and give it a name.
DOMESTICATED ANIMALS CONSIDERED WITH REFERENCE TO CIVILIZATION AND THE ARTS
Dogs the man-warped freaks the likes of which no self-respecting wolf would ever sniff were there convenient alternatives laid out the way God designed. Ornery ocelots curled on couches. Mammoths stalked over quaternary cliffs. Eagles without affiliation. Steaming pigs trotting out to greet us. Time the horse threw me. Innocent macaw and her stuttering perch. Cats and chimps who stare right back, awaiting provocation.
DWIGHT DAVID EISENHOWER SCHIDT
Dwayne Duayne D'wayne D'Wayne Duwayne Doowayne Douayne Dwayn Duayn D'wayn D'Wayn Duwayn Doowayn Douayn Dwain Duain D'wain D'Wain Duwain Doowain Douain Dwaine Duaine D'waine D'Waine Duwaine Doowaine Douaine Dwaign Duaign D'waign D'Waign Duwaign Doowaign Douaign Dwaigne Duaigne D'waigne D'Waigne Duwaigne Doowaigne Douaigne Dwajn Duajn D'wajn D'Wajn Duwajn Doowajn Douajn Dwajne Duajne D'wajne D'Wajne Duwajne Doowajne Douajne Dwejn Duejn D'wejn D'Wejn Duwejn Doowejn Douejn Dwejne Duejne D'wejne D'Wejne Duwejne Doowejne Douejne Dwein Duein D'wein D'Wein Duwein Doowein Douein Dweine Dueine D'weine D'Weine Duweine Dooweine Doueine Dwegn Duegn D'wegn D'Wegn Duwegn Doowegn Douegn Dwagn Duagn D'wagn D'Wagn Duwagn Doowagn Douagn Dwaen Duaen D'waen D'Waen Duwaen Doowaen Douaen Dwane Duane D'wane D'Wane Duwane Doowane Douane Dweighn Dueighn D'weighn D'Weighn Duweighn Dooweighn Doueighn Dweighne Dueighne D'weighne D'Weighne Duweighne Dooweighne Doueighne Dweign Dueign D'weign D'Weign Duweign Dooweign Doueign
Take matter and factor/in light's second power/then stand back and ask if/it's fungus or flower.
Panopticon. Pages galorious. Plastered everywhere. Printout port, personal portals, private platforms. Panaudicon. People I’ll know, never know. Places I’ll go, never go. Projecting presence. Pull them down, me in. Pages explorious perseverious. Pantacticon.
FAR BE IT
Glad for the world and all its valleys No satellite can ever spy Nor mapmaker render Every face on every street Or every view From every room.
FINE JUST FINE
Morning gory smile. Spring sun glares my computer. Screen saver goes black.
Little lost star on the World Wide Web, logged on just to find you, be you dormant or dead, or lighting a site all your own, caught you out there, on the altars, unauthorized fans, now possessing, fondly have brought you to bed.
Keep having birthdays/and conceptions, reasons to/live and deliver.//Keep happy the half-/life allotted as if now/were all and ever.//And add a candle/for every year allowed to/lapse in memory.
Evening, an odd/day's ending, an old//calm rebalancing/the fury of fires//the sun has set in/motion, smoothing the//waters of ripples/its swells subside, swing//you full into its/eternal other,//an equally fraught/moon countervailing.
Easter up-we-rise,/clear of the storm just//passed, bracing the next/collective cough, the//come-flowering at/its most extreme, the//sun's re-assertion/of green upon gray//and grain upon the/air's very spirit.
GESTURE EVER LARGER
Sonya scribbled spec/tacles on a whiteboard a/round the sun's eyeballs/two teeny weeny inkspots.
This weighty oration/was blessedly brief./Abe's last-minute musing/on national grief.
GIN AND GINGER
Ginger pours/an invisible juice in a juice/down from a glass decanter.//She shares with me/her most ingredient secret/in a stack of ice.//My lover is careful/not to shake sediment/too soon/up from the bottom.
Famous name. Lobby face. Lowered eyes. Hair pulled back. Deep in couch. Hands in lap. Silent voice. Still asleep. Quick escape. Strangers know you.
Cable channel thirteen. The announcer tells us and we see hear squawkers, long-necked lofting birds, matching wingspreads, cruising the current and gliding to rest in grassy Wyoming.
Morphing us all. One face, a total atmospheric projection, weighted toward universal contours, bright eyes, ready smile, bones of distinction. One voice, nowhere native, broadly mockable, fractured deliciously with each new accent. One hail hello, a mindful cliche, eschewing nuance, bonding strangers into a more perfect union. In daily human increments.
HAND OF ACCIDENTS AND TRAVEL
Still a saint-no-more,/the old road-patron/Mister Christopher.//There is certain grain/in any figure of long/gone veneration.//There fingers stroke/up kingdoms undone.
IN A MAN SKIN
All horned and coarse, bull and bear,/thick fingernails and facial//hair, boxy build and boxer/underwear, overstuffed and//muscular, a man can chart/the universe, trace time and//light to their celestial source,/master every earthly force,//win womankind and plumb the/depths of everything but her.
INFLAME THE SAVIOR
Sad: I can’t cry./Tired: I won’t drop./Mad: I can’t scream./Blocked: Don’t stop.
IN THEIR SOCIETY
Cats comfort us each/in our respectives.//Their purrs and murmurs/our wordless regard.//Their soft appearance/our ready reserve.//She contemplates their/curvature and sleep.//My mind joins in with/their hidden mischief.
IN THE N IN IN
In the air. A storm is rain contained. A slipping trail of gray.
It rains unicorns/and ancestors, cats//and indolent stock/of European//royal families,/dogs and dog-walking//dog-walkers trained to/trail the pup and catch//its exquisitely/precipitate poop.
ere the invisible last bloom of the day an uninvited ray
it comes when it comes,/an impulse's pulse//stirred, an itch shivered/away, a sore spot//rough from the rubbing,/a nervous tickle//persisting in a/stiffened urge to run//hot scalding water/till i just can't stand.
Is all a warm swarming sprawl./It's as real remembered as/experienced, as crass and/crowded as any shining/capital, idealized/as any concrete bog. What's/a car to this labyrinth:/a serpent snaking itself/into impossible slots,/an air-conditioned escape/pod to brave the squeeze of the/unending Indonesian/welter. Go drive the hive of/brands and goods, up the high and/mighty rises, down through the/frayed Batavian canal-/infested old neighborhoods./It's a mart. It's a cart. It's/a stall. It's hidden bazaars/and holes-in-the-wall. It's the/superstore and the mega-/mall. Broadcast prayers, dirty air./All far too far familiar.
As the archipelago drifts. I sit here prehistoric. Pepsi in hand. Fresh off the bus. Not really thinking. Sunshine on the flats. Steaming rice. Shallow seas. Bright smoke. Absolutely winterless. Familiar strange. Ten thousand generations removed from this world.
JOYCE CAROL’S KITES
She flies jellyfish/In their natural membranes/But billowed with air.//She doesn’t bother/Them to wake. Their sheets she flaps/In morning’s currents.//One clothespin per pet./Clipping them down one by one/Along the coastline.
I//Father heavenly/and holy may your reign and/design grace the earth.//Sustain us daily./Forgive us as we others/and lead us from sin.//Above all are your/kingdom power and glory/here now forever.//II//Father in heaven./Holy your name. Come your reign/and plan over all.//Bring us to the bread./Forgive our due and spare us/the trials and devils.//Ever till the last/shall your kingdom power and/magnificence shine.//III//Father o father./May your kingdom and laws spread/and conquer the world.//Give us subsistence/and protection from foes strange/and familiar.//To only you is/due tribute and praise for this/state everlasting.
MASS OF THE PLANET
Ponder the it in/us, the stone in which we stand/immovably fixed.//Gray or grey the dark/dots clump into larger lumps/of loose gravity.//The holes into which/ghosts inject their voices and/our viscosity.
There is in all this/the matter of the thumb we/suck and choose to share.//A quick hit of the/flesh, a poet's pathetic/self-stimulation.//There is in this the/thought or conceit that, come years,/we will still matter.