Habitual The hawk of my heart Is on the hunt— For hunger is my habit. And love once sharp Can soon grow blunt, You silly, sexy rabbit.
Safe to Reason You emerge from a hole, and your parents’ act of sex will remain to be forgotten— or shivered at in shame— if you should happen to consider your dark creation, which is quotidian for every creature, so shudder not at previous passion, in your year zero, of those precedent genes that, twining, sent you on your unchosen way from that moist warm hollow of meeting that offered egress, a chance at light air, so accept the inception while you wander with their doubly helical strands aware until you are drawn back into the recess not for the squeamish.
The Beatnik Cowboy vortices of spiraling memories disperse within the time tunnels of his mind, echoing back to him as if his heart were an empty cavern stretching from hell to eternity more of his life ahead of him than behind He goes amongst the throng of humanity unseen... his youthful face and age make him invisible alone and craving the fuel of cognizant exchange the fire of spirited conversation alone... his mind bleeds with the need of the human touch, youth intoxicatingly dynamic a parade of thorn-winged emotion which plagues it's tortured flight the fusion of inhibitions newly freed with a stream of loveless anonymity perpetually hollow within the wanting ablaze with desires soon flown... Oh proud display this fallen cause!
Update Working in the background like software downloading: You look like a sack tied in the middle, she sneers. Your ass is as big as a barn. Did her mother speak to her this way? She seems to think it’s useful, these relentless corrections. She seems to think it’s her duty, in case you slipped for a minute, caught someone pretty in the mirror. She seems to think it’s funny, because her eyes twinkle, and she smiles, and when your face crumples she chides, I’m just kidding! Gaw! As if it’s your moral failing that you can’t take a joke. As if you don’t understand what it means to be a good mother, as you make the mental note to never do this to yours. She may think it’s ribbing, but you’ve got the antidote. You won’t be cribbing from her notes. Cycle broken. frozen we were barely in our double digits that hot summer visiting our cousins in what my mother derisively called “the sticks,” everywhere dust and parched grass, we kids chained for an icy drink in a perspiring glass, sweat a rivulet between my newly mounded breasts, the adults forget the painful awareness of our teen bodies (“nothing I haven’t seen” declares my dad), or they just don’t care, when they insist we combat the triple digits in the above-ground pool, when of course no one has thought ahead and had us bring our suits, so topless, and all I see is baby fat and nippled hills captured by the callous photographer in stills, embarrassment a different sort of chill
Journey to the Center of the Earth She looked like she thought this was her last journey to the center of the earth That nothing was going to move her once she sat down not even a bomb She hadn't counted on the floor leaping up to catch her when she fell
good things to own a rust bucket flathead Ford and a well-honed block plane a brass slide trombone in a case that smells like the jazz clubs used to smell and four or five acres that don’t carry a mortgage and a “free-to-a-good-home” sway back donkey and a garage sale Stetson they let go for a dime sometimes you know when something fits in your life sometimes you don’t and it slips away before you do like twenty-two months of sobriety like the trench art cannon shell your granddad brought home from WWI or the book of Walt Whitman poems he read and then read again while the tremors of Parkinson’s ravaged his life and then there’s the one thing you will never own but you wish you could the thing Walt Whitman wove into those poems before he sent them into the world the thing your granddad tried to give you, but you turned your back
Or Gram Parsons The quickest way to lose me is to write about a finch, a wren, or a snowy egret. I mean, for fuck’s sake. Don’t write about a sparrow and expect me to be happy. If it has to be about a bird, make it about a penguin or a chicken or David Crosby with his variant spelling. Vultures are sometimes fine, but for the love of God, read the room. The quickest way to wither is to write about flowers, any sort. Clouds, sunshine, dewy grass. Shoot the flowers out of a cannon, maybe. Let them knock a bird right out of the sky. Let a cat be waiting. That’s the show. That’s how it’s done. Bye bye, birdie. That’s when I’ll be back.
Don’t Fall I tell you, “Don’t fall in love with me.” What I mean is – Don’t build me up on a pedestal Imagining everything I am Don’t tell me I’m your goddess Your princess Your muse Yet never get to know me Don’t blame me When the cracks in the pedestal show And you realize I haven’t lived up to The story you wrote If you are going to love me Love me a little at a time For who I really am Someone standing too close to the paintings Because she refuses to wear glasses Someone who gets lost Coming back from the bathroom And talks during movies Drinks coffee at 8 P.M. Only to complain that she can’t sleep Loves the Mets like a religion Without being able to name a single player Who remembers tiny details about you And forgets the huge things Don’t fall in love with me Falling is a quick movement Out of control An accident If there ever comes a time When you love me Let it be Slow Soft Deliberate Don’t fall head over heals Don’t fall at all Just take a step
the joy of cheating death white knuckled down another back road in the sticks as fast as you can, lights off only destiny awaits and as many times as i thought i was going to die there was just as many times that i felt the joy of cheating death but youth is wasted on the young and now my knees won't let me get into one of those fast cars anymore my mother doesn't understand the depression these days i laugh, mention something about naming me after the two biggest assholes she's ever known and then acting surprised at how it all turned out these are the nights of bent spoons and dirty needles i want to be one of the lucky ones and die with the needle still in my arm maybe melt into my bed and rest comfortably for the first time in years the girl i lost my virginity to killed herself a few years later i don't believe in coincidences
The Shape of Things to Come II
It’s 2042 and I’m eighty years old. I was born in 1961. I’ve seen a lot in my eighty years and I’d like to talk about or tell you about how things are different now than they were back then. How things have changed since the seventies, the eighties and nineties, the two thousands up to 2022. August 8, 2022 to be exact. From 1961 to 2042 things changed. I’m here to tell how.
First of all I’m dead. Or, more exactly, we are all dead. Earth humans discovered that in 2031. It’s common knowledge now. As they say in 2042, never failing to remind us, it’s settled science! No argument here, the Earth used to be crowded, up to seven billions! Now, there is space, beautiful, peaceful, gorgeous elbow room. Lebensraum — living room, to do what you please, we finally got it.
As long as you like bugs. Because around 2031, when humans discovered the living were actually dead, the food we’d known for years, mostly natural food, was long gone. We ate the combined chemical and food elements/components of a series of species of bugs. Insects, we ate in some manufactured form, taste, and texture, all day, every day, three hundred sixty five days a year, for life. There were no more animals, large animals. Tame or wild. Like China we killed them all. Ate them. Only rodents remained. Not even birds. No more chirping. Two thousand forty two surely is a “silent spring.”
Babies don’t wail anymore either. Why give birth to death? To a dead baby? Discovering life only begins at death spelled the end of Earth, of humanity. Abortion skyrocketed. There is only death on Earth, studies determined, hammered the notion home. Again, the authorities told us it was settled science. Every scientist worth his or her salt knew the greatest agreement in science determines truth. Truth tells how to decipher reality, making it accessible, knowable. An epistemological concern.
Death is life. It was true. Odd we humans, all the greatest philosophers and thinkers couldn’t figure this out through the eras. Well, I guess the Stoics did, and Nihilists. Celebrate death and mourn birth, the Stoic creed, some always held a most true maxim. And now, in the 2040s, man, how true, how true. Birth is death and death life. Dig it, the greatest truth. The biggest, most encompassing paradigm change…since Earth, or human life on Earth, began.
Imagine, a human-less Earth. Free of pain. John Lennon did. The elites — they all who remain — convinced the people it was in their best interests. To believe. To die, to kill themselves, to let others live. In luxury. Suckers.
Previously published by Mad Swirl