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Poems and Drawings


Ah, que la Vie est quotidienne...
- Jules Laforgue 1

POSTHUMOUS COMMUNICATION

Outside the frosted window I see
....glaciers scraping over Iceland
........in flight between nations and pages

of Patchen’s 2 giddy lamentations for
....”spirit-forsaken and soldiery institutions.”
........This odd airship thrusts into velocity,

my hobbled future and wobbily past
....beside serene Pacific ferocity.
........Posthumous communication

leaves me unthrilled foreseeing
....a dwindling resevoir of readers
........in the to come that shall never be.

The carnivorous teeth of the days
....still masticate the memory of man,
........crunching this scribe’s efforts

to ring eternity’s bell. Tiger fangs break
....the antelope’s femur, reducing to silence
........the playful cloven hoof-beats of Pan.

I did not dream this exile
....this strange divorce from my brethren.
........Au contraire, my friends, I seek

communication with the living
....profound contact with my contemporaries.
........So – for Whom it may concern, I write

35,000 feet over the Rocky Mountains
....over epic dishonesty of Excited States.
........I nail shut sarcophagi of words

with the dead as my contemporaries,
....the living as history filed in oblivion,
........and unborn poet-lovers nothing but

squiggly hypotheses in this ballpoint pen
....ts-kipping as it fatally runs out of ink.

_________________________________
1 Jules Laforgue (1860-1887) ("Ah, life is so daily...")
2 Kenneth Patchen (1911-1972)

BLAME PROMETHEUS

I willed, willed to be wrong!
And helping humans I found trouble for myself.

– Aeschylus, Prometheus Bound

Indeed, many cosmogonies do agree:
....cataclysmic was the error of
........bestowing intelligence to man

who alchemically transformed
....this gold to leaden ignorance.
........Just as well bestow a Stradivarius

to his brother, gorilla, and watch him
....curiously rip off the gut strings,
........snap the bow and crush the delicate

box of laquered wood with equal gusto
....as quantum physicists curiously
........smashing an atom and her crew to pieces.

For this transgression Prometheus
....( who in vain would be our benefactor )
........was harnessed to the crag of his agony.

Yes, he paid a high price for befriending man
....in defiance of Zeus, who is intent on
........our destruction, and, it appears,

he shall have his way. Yet, the crime
....of squandering sacred fire on unworthies
........was committed in compassion and trust.

With compassion and trust I too listened
....as the citied man related his misfortune:
........“Excuse me sir... a moment of your time?

Bit of bad luck on a fishing trip.
....You see, my wallet fell into Big Bear Lake
........and now I can’t get back to Los Angeles.

Six dollars worth of gas will get me there.
....Could you... can you... uhm... please be so kind?
........I’ll send it to you as soon as I’m home.”

Is there a more gullible fool than an artist?
....I told him no, six dollars is a lot to me.
........Again he pleaded – O woe! – what shall he do?

Shall I trust humanity yet again?
....I’ll make it a game – yes, I will gamble
........and bet six dollars on the human race!

My wife, sweet girl, thought me a fool
....as the man gushed “God bless you sir!”
........and bade me write down my address

so he could promptly repay the loan.

CHORUS OF ANXIETIES:
....What’s six dollars bet on wayward humans
........hoodwinking their way to doom,

when Prometheus bet the sacred fire?
....Reproached for respecting too highly
........the race of mortals, his kindness was that

of an older brother to a mentally retarded
....sibling, falsely thinking him capable
........of self–mastery, totally blind to

the harsh degree of his retardation.

CHORUS OF MISGIVINGS:
....And so the rebel Titan sowed in human hearts
........blind hope, inability to foresee death, and

– to these witless children – the sacred fire!
....They now use it to zealously build their
........Atomic Age Tower of Babel, evilly seeding

the millennia ahead with grim forebodings –
....had we millennia left to us, that is.
........The shadows of clouds, the shards of sunlight

are astonished to find nothing undefiled by man.

Yes, reader, you know the story by now,
....how the Titan named Wise–Before–the–Event
........was by Hephaestos bound in bronze fetters

( and was by subtle Shelley later unbound ),
....how the eagle fed on his liver, how his agony
........lasted one thousand years for trusting man,

and how I have waited six years now
....for my lousy six bucks. Like the Titan bound
........I lost my bet and was titanically clowned...

.


2006 edition, 100 pages
$19

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