Wednesday, March 9, 2016


Making a poem

            for Chris

Consider a crafter
& a necklace she imagines

each bead or stone
a line, beautiful

ungainly, tiny, outsized
awkwardly or elegantly shaped

a line, strong
in strand &

how they bump shine
compliment or insult

each other &
the beholder

& after all that
having the wits

about her still
to do it.
Dirt Farmer

And here I am
by the ineffable protocols

of all these systems
replying to my

own message.
I only have

one message.
Listen to

the new
Levon Helm

recording, Dirt Farmer.
It is extraordinary.

Three from the past

Her Highness

The fact
that she
is moving is
not always

apparent. Certain of
her motions,
that from circle
to smile to

nothing, for
example . . . But
you understand
that is no motion, it

is reflection.
You win, this time, wise guy,
but when she grins
you ought not

mess with her
or hers. She moves
oceans, and they
are no small things.

(ca 1983)

Concerning the Recent Laramie Crime Wave

Who goes there? hankering, gross, mystical, nude?
It’s the abominable snowman smoking a joint.
A seed pops coals to his breast, he burns and exudes
a hairy muskrat smell. His beard points
down Grand Avenue to the liquor store,
where two cowboys watch him and don’t scare.
“A man’s a man for all that,” says one toward
the other who just says, “Yep.” They stare
through the window. The trembling salesgirl
sells him a quart of gin, he drinks it
& she faints. He rifles the cash drawer,
has another quart of gin and splits.
In the morning the Boomerang reports
“Stoned, Naked Hippy Holds Up Snorts’.”

(ca 1974)

Verbal Assassination, a quibble

Lacking the guts for “real” battle
the sentient being strikes with words.
The urge to kill and the point-
lessness of “real” death are both admitted;
that death may form release, if not reward.

     The death of mind and spirit
     are another matter.
     The undead appear
     to govern and make us
     like themselves. How now,

     Old Zombie? What has been made
     the schedule for this gunpowder day?
     How many words to process?
     How many tanks to be filled?
     How many coyotes shall we poison?

It is easy to want none of it, these 80s in this America
but a program proves hard to come by.
Verbal Assassination may not work
on the undead much as sense cannot
be made where none exists to begin with.

(ca 1980)

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