Almost Cut My Hair for release 01-01-07
I'm an optimistic person. I look for the best in people. But why don't I feel a sense of optimism about the new year--2007?
Maybe it's because everywhere I look there is death. Three thousand of our young men and women have left their blood in Iraq for nothing. The Godfather of Soul has said 'I feel good' for the last time. Jerry Ford lies cold in the Capitol Rotunda. Saddam Hussein has achieved broke-necked martyrdom on You Tube. Happy New Year.
When I was young and stupider, I had a string of parties on New Year's. You are nobody if not invited. Then there were all the years when I played music for other people's parties
and at bars and nightclubs slipping in the patron's vomit. It was a living.
Now, New Year's is the night that I don't dare go out. I've grown better sense. I'll just watch the ball drop on TV. Safer that way. I want to see the new year.
So, I watched the Times Square New Year's "Party." It was so orderly it made me sick. How can you have a million person party with no booze? It's a sign of the times, but it just made me sad. Plus, Dick Clark, the ageless host for our New Year's parties, didn't look or sound so ageless after suffering a stroke this year. Bless his trooper heart, but he could barely talk. Just too symbolic. Let's welcome the new year with a palsied slur.
There are positive notes. The internet is still alive and being policed by thieves and poets. Global warming hasn't progressed from the cozy to the infernal yet. Who needs polar bears? We still live in a land where an idea can make someone a billion bucks. There's always the lottery.
I'm ambulatory. I still have things to look forward to. Wait! I feel my native optimism boiling up like the Kundalini snake from my root chakra. I can't suppress it. Maybe '07 will be a four and a three or a six and an ace or a five and a two, a smooth pass at the crap table. Why am I still seeing snake-eyes and boxcars?
Perhaps it's because I'm a poet and a baby boomer, so naturally I would be thinking of death or at least health insurance as we move into the new year.
The Poet's Eye doesn't know what it will see in the coming year, but let's look together. Happy New Year!
Must be because I had the flu' for Christmas And I'm not feeling up to par It increases my paranoia Like looking at my mirror and seeing a police car But I'm not giving in an inch to fear Cause I missed myself this year I feel like I owe it to someone ---Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young
The Poet's Eye sees that the hardest thing about being a poet is that you can't blink or look away from the truth. If what you write doesn't contain truth, then it is just a pile of scrambled words. No matter how craftily they are arranged, if they don't tell you something about the world or your heart that is true, then they don't constitute a poem.
Ok, what about this one:
`Twas brillig, and the slithy toves Did gyre and gimble in the wabe: All mimsy were the borogoves, And the mome raths outgrabe.
Jabberwocky is a poem, not because it makes sense, but because it indicates a truth to the reader, that truth being: Some things are simply absurd.
As Williiam Carlos Williams reminds us, ""It's hard to get the news from poems, but men die miserably every day for lack of what is found there." What is found there is truth.
My poetic license has been suspended several times. Oh yes, I've been arrested by the poetry cops for DWI (doggerel while intoxicated.) But my excuse was that it was late at night and I was under duress, my wife was about to pop a pimple and I had to get her to the hospital or the church, I forget which, and that's why I was speeding, occifer.
No, the hardest thing about being a poet is that nobody thinks you have a real job. They don't classify Watching, Listening, Comparison, Analysis, Grokking, Reflection and Writing as work. They only see you thinking and drinking and smoking cigarettes.
But there are benefits to being a poet. We always leave the party with the plumpest women over our shoulders. We can be vague and obtuse and corny and dramatic and self-indulgent. Also, god takes care of his poets. This is what the Nazz had to say about it:
And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin-- Matt 6:28
And according to Whitman, these are some of the perks of being a poet:
All enjoyments and properties and money, and whatever money will buy, The best farms, others toiling and planting and he unavoidably reaps, The noblest and costliest cities, others grading and building and he domiciles there, Nothing for any one but what is for him, near and far are for him,
All that a poet is asked in return for these bounties is that he tell the truth. Aye, and there's the rub. The Poet's Eye can never blink nor flinch nor look away. He must observe the ugly truth and then describe it in a painless way. That's his job. It's like having Job's job. The insurance is great but the working conditions are strenuous.
'He going with me goes often with spare diet, poverty, angry enemies, desertions." Whitman
I've long thought that if ever I wanted to be a coherent human being instead of a poet, that I would want to be like Jubal Harshaw in Heinlein's Stranger in a Strange land. He didn't have to worry about being a poet. He just hired one. In the novel, Jubal is a writer that lives on a sumptuous and isolated estate and has three secretaries (think Charlie's Angels) who run around naked and take dictation from him. Every writer's fantasy.
One of Jubal's secretaries is what is called a Fair Witness. This is a tricked-up sci-fi, quasi-religious version of a notary public. She has been trained by a special order of nuns to be able to remember anything she hears or sees. She is a human tape recorder. But, in a sense, this is also the function of a poet--to be one of those irritating people who testifies to the truth.
The words of the true poems give you more than poems, They give you to form for yourself poems, religions, politics, war, peace, behavior, histories, essays, daily life, and every thing else, ---Whitman, Song of the Answerer
The recent New York Times survey showing that more than half of American women (51%) are now living in a state of singleness without benefit of wedlock, verifies a theory that I have long held--that women are infinitely superior to men in every way. They don't need us. At least no more than they would need a pet or a houseplant--for amusement.
The modern male has become a totally superfluous species. There are enough sperm from Nobel Prize winners stored in nitrogen tanks to last for centuries. Sperm banks have robbed the male of his only flimsy claim to power, the seed. Face it dudes, they don't need us anymore.
Of course we still need them. They own the portal of birth. They control the milk. Without them, we wouldn't be around to exhibit or fulfill our potential for uselessness. We would have to get our own beer from the refrigerator.
Make no mistake gentlemen, we are pets. We can be trained to do simple tricks like getting a job and mowing the grass, fetching the paper or mail, catching the occasional cricket in the bathtub, signing checks, you know, that kind of stuff. But all males are essentially non-essential.
Does the thought of a future warrior race of career girl amazons make you a little queasy? Are Sex in the City and Desperate Housewives going to become the new social paradigm? Will The View claim as much authority as the Supreme Court? Will the anchor-babes on CNN gain more credibility than Walter Cronkite? It's enough to make you go limp.
Before they harass us into extinction, they will probably make prostitutes out of us. I'm hoping so. There's nothing like a steady paycheck. Have you ever wondered why prostitutes are almost always women (or young boys)? It's because of supply and demand. Men just want it more than women. Urban myth has it that men think of sex on average once every twenty minutes. (My personal research puts it closer to every twenty seconds) And women think of it on average every twenty-eight days or whenever the payment on their Porche is due.
But it looks like the situation could be shifting. With 51 percent of women living single, maybe we'll soon see hunks in storefront windows in Red Light Amsterdam. Websites will spring up selling an evening with Fabio. My friends, there may be careers opening up for you in the service industry. A good stud horse can service up to six mares a day and with modern performance enhancing drugs, there is no telling how many customers could be served in the course of a four hour erection.
The only honest way to get sex is to buy it. That way it's a straightforward transaction, no hidden costs. That should appeal to the new, independent, practical minded woman who is living alone.
I hear someone say, "Lightning Rod, you usually write about politics, why are you writing about sex?"
I say, "There is nothing as political as sex. After all, isn't politics the science of who fucks whom and who gets paid for it?"
The Poet's Eye sees a whole new vista of economic activity. A Free Trade Agreement between the sexes. Do you hear that giant sucking noise?
Just a gigolo everywhere I go people know the part I'm playing
Paid for every dance selling each romance every night some heart betraying
There will come a day youth will pass away then what will they say about me
When the end comes I know they'll say just a gigolo as life goes on without me --David Lee Roth
A Greater Struggle for release 01-29-07
"Now understand me well, it is provided in the essence of things, that from any fruition of success no matter what, shall come forth something to make a greater struggle necessary."--Walt Whitman
I was thinking of these lines when I saw George Bush declaring victory in Iraq almost four years ago. The modest fruition of success that Bush enjoyed while strutting under the Mission Accomplished banner on his aircraft carrier has certainly been followed by a greater struggle.
I don't believe that George Bush is an evil man or even a calculating one. It's obvious that he didn't do his calculations before launching us into this war that has been such a tragedy for both Iraq and America. I'm sure that he had noble intentions, but you don't go to war for noble causes, you go to war because it's necessary.
And this war wasn't necessary. It was entirely capricious. We could have removed Saddam with a couple of good marksmen. There were no weapons of mass destruction, and if we didn't know that after overflying the country daily for a decade and having satellites trained on them twenty-four hours a day, the concept of 'intelligence' becomes oxymoronic. Any amateur historian or military game player could have predicted what was going to happen in Iraq. I predicted it before we invaded. Are these people stupid or just intoxicated by power and greed?
No, this is starting to look more and more like Dick Cheney's war. The only sensible motive for such ham-handed tactics on the world stage is money. For certain sectors of our economy this war (and its associated mythological one, the 'war on terra') is a bonanza. Halliburton can reap billions on non-competitive contracts. Security companies and other mercenaries can get rich and kick some ass at the same time. The defense contractors just love it every time our soldiers launch a hundred thousand dollar piece of ordnance. The oil companies are tickled with the prospect of harvesting the bounty of conquered lands. War is high cotton for some people. But not for the grunts on the ground who come home without a leg or an arm. Oh yes, a greater struggle was necessary.
You can't classify it as anything else but an American Tragedy. A cabal of greedy and power-crazed ideologues has hijacked our government and propelled our country into a war that has cost us respect and treasure and lives, more lives than we lost on 9/11. And ten times that number of Iraqis died just last year. It's a World Tragedy.
You can always fool some of the people all of the time, then there are some people who are just fools so you don't have to fool them and I can't remember if it was Bob Dylan or Abraham Lincoln who said that, but I know that you can fool the American people for awhile but you can't fool them forever. I think I said that.
This weekend's demonstrations in the Capitol and on the West Coast indicate that Awhile is almost over. A greater struggle has become necessary. It's the struggle for peace and a relief from this insanity.
Have the past struggles succeeded? What has succeeded? yourself? your nation? nature? Now understand me wellâ€”It is provided in the essence of things, that from any fruition of success, no matter what, shall come forth something to make a greater struggle necessary. My call is the call of battleâ€”I nourish active rebellion; He going with me must go well armâ€™d; He going with me goes often with spare diet, poverty, angry enemies, desertions. --Walt Whitman, Song of the Open Road
Where Do You Draw the Line? for release 01-31-07
As many of you know, my pet cause as a poet is the issue of Body Sovereignty. This subject touches many more subjects--reproductive rights, abortion, drugs and substances, urine and DNA testing, stem cell research, organ donation (or sale), right to die, healthcare, imprisonment, military service etc. Body Sovereignty is also concerned with rape. I don't know if rape is the most egregious example of assault on Body Sovereignty, but I know that it is a symbolic and significant one.
Most rapes don't happen when some wild-eyed, sex-crazed maniac jumps out of the bushes in a ski mask and puts a knife to the throat of his victim. No, most rapes are much more intimate affairs. Most rapes are committed by acquaintances of the victim. In nearly seventy percent of rapes the victim knew the rapist. Nearly a third of victims are raped by their husbands or boyfriends.
Where does mutual attraction become seduction? When does seduction become persuasion? When does persuasion become coercion? When does coercion become brute force? When does yes become maybe and maybe become NO? There are some very blurry lines here. Rape has many meanings. That's why it's so hard to litigate rape cases. What's the difference between force and implied force or threatened force? Does size matter?
The two recent examples that come to mind are the Kobe Bryant and the Duke University Lacrosse Team rape cases. Both were glamorous because they involved bimbos and athletes whose testosterone level is well advertised. I wasn't at either event, so I don't know the absolute facts, but from the copious news coverage of both cases, these are my observations. In both the Bryant and the Duke cases, young women, seeking monetary gain, consented to place their bodies in a situation where it looked like they were inviting sex. I don't know if sex occurred in either case, that's a matter of conjecture. I don't know who was pinned down at the critical moment or who was too trashed to resist or even remember what happened. The definition of rape is a subtle affair.
I've been raped several times. Luckily it's never been by a man. Yes, rape can work both ways. What does rape mean? It means that you are being made to perform sex against your will. That's why you can't rape the willing. Usually when a woman rapes a man, the coercion or the brute force is of a more intricate nature than when a man rapes a woman. A woman can exert brute force on a man without lifting a finger. In fact, she can exert more brute force when she DOESN'T lift a finger. She just lets her lawyers do it.
Rape is all around us. Every time you drive by the gas pump you get raped, every time you swipe that credit card you get raped. The sales tax and the lottery are raping you every time you wear fishnet hose and go to the Seven-Eleven. Every time you buy an article of clothing or a household device at Walmart, you are raping some young Chinese girl. She works in a factory. This is what is called statutory rape, sex with someone under the age of consent. But there is no age of consent in China. In China (or in America where The Decider is deciding) you are never old enough to decide for yourself. Yes, rape is a tricky subject. Very political.
The Poet's Eye sees that nobody who subscribes to the principles of Body Sovereignty could ever be a rapist. Not in good conscience anyway.
An Announcement and a Confession for release 02-07-07 Washington DC
I would like to use this issue of The Poet's Eye to make two important announcements, well let's call it a confession and an announcement. First the confession.
I am the actual biological father of Anna Nicole Smith's child. I'll never forget that night. I was impetuous I know, maybe you could even call me promiscuous but she was just so damned beautiful. I don't know why she was in West Virginia in the Fall of '05 and I don't know what brought her in to the Topsy Curvy Club on the outskirts of Charlestown, maybe she felt nostalgic for her old profession and wanted to see what the state of the art was these days for sleazy titty bars. She had come to the right place. The Topsy was the smelliest armpit in a state with a lot of armpits. That's why I was there.
I'm a writer after all. Writers love to visit places on the underbelly of life, we love the seamy and the picaresque. When she walked into the place with 'her people' (she never travels without 'her people') her perfume overcame the stink of sweat and beer and horny men and ancient cigarettes. The light seemed to change as well, she was a shimmering thing who caught the neon glow from the beer signs and turned it into something sublime.
Few women succeed at this, I mean succeed in being totally self-invented creatures, complete artifice, not of this world. We think of Mae West, Jean Harlow, Jayne Mansfield, Marilyn, Blondie, Princess Di, Madonna. And Anna Nicole Smith. It usually starts with the impossibly blonde hair. Only a goddess could have hair like that. This mystique is enhanced by the bewitching paradox of sexual confidence and emotional vulnerability. I don't know if it was Zeus or a good plastic surgeon who gave Anna Nicole that rack, and I don't care.
I've never met a truly beautiful woman who was not lonely. They are isolated by their beauty which can become a signal of unapproachability. Then there is something I call the 'fried chicken syndrome.' At some point a beautiful woman will feel like she is a plate of fried chicken at a truck-driver's picnic--getting grabbed at from every direction. This makes them shy and suspicious. And lonely.
Anna Nicole must have been in a lonely mood that night. I was sitting alone and probably looked like a pensive writer (or at least I was trying to.) She sent one of her people over to buy me a drink and invite me to her table. How could I refuse?
She was witty and effusive and I was my typical charming self. After her third drink, she began to talk more somberly and I began to listen. I think this is what endeared me to Anna Nicole, I listened. I listened like a reporter. Goddesses love it when you listen. She rewarded me that night for listening, and not just for listening, but listening To Her.
So, this week I am going to have my people file a Writ of Abracadabra to obtain custody of my daughter and her billion dollar inheritance. The money will come in handy. Especially because of
Today Lightning Rod is setting up an exploratory committee to examine the possibility of a run for President of the United States. I've already set up an exploratory committee to find out just what the hell an exploratory committee is supposed to do, but I figure that I need one because all the other candidates seem to have them.
I know that in the last election Ralph Nader and I were accused of giving George Bush the victory. If this is true then it fits with my agenda. I figured it would take another four years for the American people to figure out just how stupid they have been. But the times they are a changin'---The Dixie Chicks won five Grammy's. It's a symbol. Americans are finally tumbling to the fact that they have been used and deceived. And they are not ready to make nice.
Barak, "The Bomb" Obama for release 02-27-07 Washington DC
Barak "The Bomb" Obama is probably the most exciting politician since John Kennedy. Just like JFK, The Bomb has it all--charm, charisma, ethnic cachet, good looks, vulnerability and he's swashbucklingly articulate (don't start me talkin', I'm not going to say 'clean')
And you can't discount the fact that Oprah likes him. Everybody loves a virgin, especially Oprah.
And I think that is what Joe Biden meant when he called Obama "clean." I don't think it was a racist or a disparaging remark. It didn't refer to how often he bathes. Biden meant that The Bomb is a virgin to politics, he has no extensive record of votes and positions that he will have to apologize for in the future. He's Clean Eugene. He wasn't even around when Congress authorized the war in Iraq. This is a strength.
Fresh ideas are good, and fresh attitudes. The Bomb is running on his strengths. It shows his cunning if not his wisdom. We need a smart man as our president. We've seen the results of the alternative.
Obama presents the same hope and vitality and excitement that John Kennedy did. The theme of his campaign is that we need a change, we need to pass the torch to a new generation. That was also JFK's message. What these men have in common is that they challenged the American people rather than pandered to opinion polls as is the current fashion.
Hillary Clinton is a massive disappointment. When, as First Lady she attempted an initiative to improve healthcare in this country, she displayed the courage of a leader, but she has become a symbol of the old order. She has become a politician instead of a potential leader. She looks angry. (maybe the anger of a woman scorned?) She has too much money. She is owned by the same interests as all the rest. She keeps trying to play it safe. But there is no safety in leadership. Leadership means taking risks.
Here is the glaring difference between The Bomb and all the other candidates from either party who have cast their hats into the ring: All the others are running on fear and he is running on hope. If I wasn't running against him, I would vote for him. (if I could vote)
In the 1960 election, the Teamsters endorsed John Kennedy. In the 2008 election Oprah has endorsed Obama. I think that these endorsements carry about the same weight if you adjust for time and circumstance. Oprah has a vast constituency, and she gives cars away. I smell votes. Let's call it the Oprah/Obama Phenomena.
When Will Rogers remarked that he was not a member of any organized political party, he was a Democrat, he coined the legacy for that party. If the Democrats were an organized political party they would do the obvious and pair the frontrunners to make a winning ticket rather than suffer the bloodbath that the next year of primary campaigning will bring. Clinton and Obama would make a good ticket. She would bring experience (she did clean the White House for eight years) and Obama would bring hope a promise. There is always 2016.
Of course we'll have to soften Hillary up a bit, maybe a little botox around the eyes and perhaps a cute Monica Lewinski beret. If she really wants the female vote, she needs to be more girly. She already has a black eye with her natural constituency, women, because many women perceive her as weak for tolerating her husband's peccadillo with Ms. Lewinski.
Personally, I don't see this as a weakness, but a strength. It represents forgiveness which is a foundation of Christian thought. And, after all, I'm a man like Bill and I know how hard it is to refuse a blow-job.
The Poet's Eye sees a heckuva race coming up in 2008. It will be better than Nascar and The World Mud Wrestling Federation combined. Get yourself a lazy-boy and a bowl of guacamole and kick back. My money is on The Bomb.
There was a boy A very strange enchanted boy They say he wandered very far, very far Over land and sea A little shy and sad of eye But very wise was he
And then one day A magic day he passed my way And while we spoke of many things Fools and kings This he said to me "The greatest thing you'll ever learn Is just to love and be loved in return" --Eden Ahbez
the note is a fabulous thing
it's noble, it's round and it rings
If I was coltrane I would play my favorite things
but for want of a note, a note, just one note.
the perfect note, the one that makes you come
inside your left ventricle before the aortal orgasm
leaves you breathless yet longing and satisfied
it's only a note like a shaft in your abdomen
and it smells like semen in harmony, a baldheaded penetration
I think a trumpet says it best
but I am condemned to the flute
it's merely a spiral of air
contained in a tube
you must imagine the sound
it's not really there
it's ephemeral as wind
wind which is only known
by how it turns a leaf
how many times in my life
have I found myself living with a crazy woman? Several times.
so, I have to ask myself the question:
"am I just attracted to women who are crazy in the first place? or do I drive them there?"
This is a question almost too scary to ponder
I'm damned by either answer
if the mind is neither here nor yonder
what matter if she's a singer or a dancer?
madness is a sexy trait
the ups and downs, the love, the hate
the rampant pupils like hot tubs in the moon
the ebullience, the ready tears, the swoons
it takes good sense to be crazy, they say
oh yes, give me a crazy woman any day
(note on the LRodian Sonnet: the form bears no rhythmic or metric resemblance to the Spencerian or the Shakespearian or the Petrarchian sonnets.)
I've tried to rid myself of Lust
I didn't want to but was told I must
What really made the issue thorny was
that when I meditated upon my Lust,
I got horny.
I've tried to curb my Gluttony
for all the beefies and the muttonies
taken pills to kill my appetites
the ones that keep you up all night
then I became a glutton for the pills.
I've tried to restrain my Anger
I count to ten, then do it again
I've punched a bag, smoked a fag
done Transcendental Meditation
and every other passing fad
but when I tried to tame my wrath
all it did was make me MAD.
I've tried to subdue my Greed
to soothe the beast, the need, the need
I've tried to not be such a whore, for more, for more, for more, for more
I would start a religion called Greed Anonymous
if I thought there was any money in it.
I tried to conquer my Sloth
I tried so hard that I couldn't get anything else done
people started calling me lazy
I said, "I'm not lazy, can't you see that I'm fighting my Sloth?"
The war on Sloth is a hard war and a long war
First I need a nap.
I tried to suppress my Envy
I tried not to envy Einstein for his brain. Narcissus for his beauty.
Gates for his money, JLo for her booty
I tried not to covet perfection
if I possessed all that I envied, I would be jealous of myself.
I've tried, I've tried
to wean myself of Pride
I've tried, I've tried everything I could
but it's not working out for me
Why? Because I'm just so damned good.
Tell Me No Lies for release 09-28-07
The Poet's Eye has spent numerous hours this week examining the performances of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in the US of A. In his whirlwind tour of the American media world, he was on Sixty Minutes, appeared at Columbia University and the United Nations and was interviewed by Charlie Rose and almost everybody else on TV but Ellen DeGeneres. I expected to see him on The View. Whoopie would probably have worn a veil for the occasion.
Ahmadinejad's visit pointed up several things about our country and our culture. The first thing it indicated was our hypocrisy. The fact that there were grumblings in the press and demonstrations in the street about the president of Iran having the right to speak before an audience of students at a major US university troubles me. Freedom of speech is the most fundamental American value. That's why it's in the very first amendment to our Constitution. Let the man make a fool of himself, as he amply did with his claims that Iran was a homo-free zone. But don't invite him to the land of the free and then protest that he shouldn't have the right to speak.
The second thing that The Poet's eye noticed was the fact that both our Western culture and religion and politics and the culture and politics and religion of the Middle East are incomprehensibly intertwined.
For the most part Ahmadinejad sounded like a statesman, no he sounded like an uber-statesman evangelist complete with gravitas and humor--a Gandhi or a Mandela. I was very impressed with him. He seemed to have a good grasp of history and spiritualism. He had a pacific and welcoming style. He had me in the palm of his hand actually.... UNTIL he delivered the Iranian version of 'don't ask, don't tell.' I thought that DeNile ran through Egypt. Who knew it was in Iran? I guess if you can deny that the holocaust existed you can deny that there are gay bars in Tehran.
The third thing that Ahmadinejad's visit illustrated was that all governments run on lies. It's just a question of who is the bigger and the better liar.
There is a rule in the world of con men. It says this: "If you are trying to tell the big lie, then you can't tell small lies." It ruins your credibility.
Maybe something was lost in the translation. Maybe Ahmadinejad was joking about Iran having no queers. He seemed otherwise intelligent. I could hardly believe that he was uttering such a banal lie in front of a mixed audience.
I haven't been to Iran. I don't know what the conditions on the ground there are. I don't know if the people there consider themselves to be free or in bondage to an Islamic tyranny. I don't know if they are enriching uranium for peaceful or hostile purposes. But I do know that there are fairies in Iran. There are fairies everywhere. Don't try to tell me small lies.
I know what the American media and government tell me. Now I know what the president of Iran tells me. And they don't match up. These are all small lies, yet somehow I feel like I'm being told the big lie.
This is how it always starts, especially in media-politics. First the politician is caught in the small lie and then the big lies become apparent. It happened with Nixon, it happened with Bush. If you tell lies, even small ones, you have no authority even when you speak the truth. It's been described as crying wolf.
Oh ... I got one thing to tell ya', then you make up your mind. It's what I been tryin' to tell ya', for a long, long time. We need each other, to live in peace and harmony. Don't need a whole lot to give, 'cause love is for free.
I ... I got one thing to tell ya', I ... oooo, I ain't tryin' to sell ya', No lies.--Grand Funk Railroad
the key to my disguise is the bandanna
it changes colors, you see
and sizes and shapes
it has even been observed as an umbrella
Oh, yes I could wear it across my Jesse James face
or hang it from my back pocket and posture for my posse
or dance like Salome and the bandanna becomes seven veils
I forgot to tell you that the bandanna is also a time machine
when I wrap it around my head I become a Saracen or a pirate
or a goddam cool rapper with cold hard attitude
When I wear it around my neck, I can be mistaken
for Errol Flynn or Bogey in Treasure of the Sierra Madre
then my bandanna becomes a silken sheet
and when I drape it over my lovely assistant
she disappears sawed in half and the magic of my lust
makes her reappear on the tiger's back.
It's a simple bandanna of indeterminate color
I can be a Blood or a Crip at the blink of an eye
that's why I call my bandanna Chameleon.
Don't look for me at the party
I'll drink the booze and clean out the dips
and you'll never even know I was there
and don't blow your nose on my bandanna
She was a crack-head for love
just something about the rush
the newness, the fascination with bright objects
one puff of infatuation
and the brain has automatic transmission
changes gears, has no reason or fears
straight as glass, just one puff
and you're hooked for a minute
hooked until the next puff of love
about dawn she starts peeking between the blinds
it's not paranoia, there is really someone out there
then she looks for lost particles of your love in the carpet
searches in vain for little slices of death or sleep
searches again and again
she doesn't want to talk about the comedown
when morning sets in and the paper hits the driveway
the print is too small and the news is boring anyway
not as exciting as last night when the crack was boiling
with illusions of youth and freedom and invincibility
when love was new as a fresh-scored rock
When I was seventeen it was a very good year (small town girls etc) but I also got my first job and read my first beatnik poetry which encouraged me to nurse my foibles and vow to never punch another man's clock.
I have succeeded for fifty-five years working for myself.
Sure, there have been odd jobs and enterprises but since I was seventeen, I've never Sold My Hours For A Handful of Dimes.
The computers at Social Security will draw a blank stare if payments are submitted under my number. Who is he?
I've lived by the seat of my pants for so long that they are shiny with imrov manifestos and starvation smoking snipes soupcans and hotplates, nigger rigged pensions the road is paved with the best intentions but leads to hell and employment.
That's why I write blank verse on my application it's for my own enjoyment and inches of penetration not for sale. I could regale you with my antics of cunning and luck but what the hell and what the fuck do you care about my credentials it's down to brass tacks, the short hairs, the essentials
If I was going to jump when the boss said "frog" I would have signed up for a heart attack long ago My job is a cardiac tattoo, an emblem, the logo of my dreams Don't ask me for a urine test. And furthermore let me stress that my body costs more than the finest whore and more than my methods confess I'm rich and I'm poor because I won't sell my thoughts or my time.
I would like to be a billionaire for just one day. I know it would interfere with my vows of poverty, but for just one day I would like to be a billionaire.
Just having money makes you a star these days. Look at Donald Trump or Oprah or Mark Cuban or Ross Perot.
And check out the stars in the presidential sweepstakes. We don't rate them by what they stand for. We rate them by how much money they can raise.
What would you do if you had a billion dollars? Run for president? Race cars? Decorate your house with priceless artwork? Buy every whore in Amsterdam or a basketball team? Produce your own reality TV show or just go on Dancing with the Stars? Would you start libraries or charities?
If I was a billionaire for just one day, I would try to spend it ALL. I would get a bailing machine and litter the poor sections of town with bricks of hundred dollar bills. I would give a hundred million or so to Bill Gates. He deserves it. And then I would fund foundations. I would start lots of foundations. A poetry foundation. A comedy foundation. A free hemp foundation. And think tanks, oh yes, think tanks. I would start some of those. Maybe one of them would give me a fellowship when my day of being a billionaire was done and I could spend my old age doing what I love to do most--thinking. But I think I would rather have a 'think porch' or a 'think living room' than a 'think Tank.' I would rather think from home, not have to go to an office to do it.
Damn, my billion is almost gone, my day is almost done and I haven't bought myself a car or a house or a boss wardrobe. I'm a failure in the consumer department. Truth is, I don't want to own anything except my life. Ownership is a burden. Every time I hear George Bush talk about an 'ownership society,' I get the chills.
If I had a billion dollars, I would do just what I'm doing today. What would you do?
here's a wetback manifestation of con-man logic
something grown in a closet, tiny buds
with a green frequency laden with resin
a hydro-sheen skunk calculus
most aliens land in the spring
so we're safe for now
still traces of snow on my walk
and more expected
the thing about aliens
is they don't like to shovel snow
they land in South America this time of year
where it is summer
My blender is a forty-five Smith & Wesson
I can kill you with a smoothie
and I can mix the lexicon
with 'lectricity limbered
fingers, can press buttons
or poke out eyes
oh yes, the fingers
Trane was an alien
or at least they said he was
he played tenor Smith & Wesson
made your skeleton shake
when rock n roll was just a gleam
in Chuck Berry's eye
I play a Smith & Wesson guitar
it fits in a secret holster, you can barely see it
but when I crank it up
lika stevie vaughn stetson improv
going haywire into a
three ton Marshall amp
my guitar weeps
but not gently
into that bad bad night
when a guitar bleeds it turns white
you might think it would be blue
lika blue steel Smith & Wesson
but it's white as the highlight
on the cheekbone of a painting in wire
Dvorjackoff and pagannini pops his strings
one by one for the crowd
donno yoyo ma from yo mama
thought gershwin was a bicycle
and Showpenhower was a scientist
The Fiddler on the griddle dances
merry as hot grease and water
I'm going Bach to my Smith & Wesson
Oil on my Smith & Wesson
rain on my wet Stetson
I'm snortin' Stravinski
lika pie on a melody ride
take it down to the street for awhile
walk the dog
cop a bag
cap a cop or
do a dance on the corner
Get that Dillinger look in your eye.
When I leave my Smith & Wesson at home
I always take my Thompson. 'Specially
when I go to the movies
Chaplin on the screen, Chopin in the piano
The balcony is full of FBI's, I know it
it's only a matter of time
and the statutory rape of limitations
Shakespeare would have never guessed it
I always found the reduction reaction to be more
useful than the mere reflux. All you need is to lose
that oxygen atom and you're in the money.
Communists don't understand this.
Even less do monarchists and stenographers
a pirate is your only hope
the jolly roger is the one thing a real
If I mess with your Mercedes
or if flint is my suspicion
and I am chronic as the alphabet
a wiggy hirsute psychologist
a Wesson oil piano man
grumpy from a nap without medication
no sex in my jazz teaspoon
a collection of rancid ancestors
with names like Smith and Jones
rampant champions of the Medium
limp simpletons on Advil and 7-11
rock band nazis dripping semen
like lilacs and aftershave mania
the armadillos in texas have ray guns
and they chatter in dactyls and
seven layered nocturnal iambs
but at night there is always the campfire
I have a Trotsky headache
contemplating my own assassination
over a little dispute with Rasputin
my communism ain't true Republican
I died one time but soon got over it.
Where was your Smith & Wesson, Leon?
Me and Smith & Wesson
were in Deep Ellum one night
just south of Club Dada
and above the Lizard Lounge
all the cops wear blue suede
and Blind Lemon laughs when
the wind blows down
Commerce and Main
but you hear it most on Elm
Smith said to Wesson one day,
"Let's make an instrument to keep the peace
it will be a force for freedom and liberty."
blue steel for democracy
she let the lettuce out
lettuce being a relative of the poppy
iceberg lettuce with a head
big as a bowling ball
oh yes, the head had a mind of it's own
complex as an artichoke with fringes
she asked the head about its religion
and when it answered
she drew her Smith & Wesson
the gun bled with sin
Smith & Wesson sitting in
like a nuance cry
a saxophone slide
the moment is dry
the dream schism renegade
not noxious forbearing
I'm glaring down the rabbit wholeness
a hopeless proximity of love and admiration
daft in love and wondering like a dream
the prescription is too weak
my longing for you can't speak
I love you like a worker bee loves her queen
who knows the limits of doreen?
a hive of circumstance willing
and trying and trying
marking the mission of love
the snow has begun
they say no stop till Monday
I sat a case of beer outside my door
to cool, let god handle my 'lectric bill
did I hear someone say Billectric?
let god handle him too
The S & W is a good gun
but it won't fire across the State line
not in the snow
White is the color you cannot see
even doves have black eyes
the muzzle flash from a Smith & Wesson
is white as the doorbell to eternity
White is the color you cannot see.
You never hear the shot that kills you
so the dead say and they should know
with bullet chambered, my fate encumbered
I'll take death by snow
The sheets are white
they render my rude instrument
pull the trigger
my love for you
is a pristine weapon under snow
out there where the huskies go
there is visible respiration
even though it is the white yoga
of dog breath and effort just to live
they ain't no mo eskimos
living in houses of ice
they have double wides
and the blubber comes in cans
Automatics don't work above
the Art-ic Circle
You need a revolver there
A Smith & Wesson
there's cream in the cemetery
Cecil B. DeMill and Jean Harlow
in those vaults like marble condos
my S&W cracks and echoes
in the halls of the mausoleum
any eskimo knows that igloo ice
is warmer than polar breath
but the tomb is even colder
All genes should be Harlow's
the mother bee of blondness
and blue-eyed rose lips
eyes as blue as the steel
on the barrel of a .45
Gene and Emmet Kelly
had common jeans and baggy pants
and when I watch them dance
or try to sweep the spotlight
it's clear as a shot from a gun
or a perfect rhyme
comedy trumps poetry every time
now the snow like projectile nerf bullets
from the barrel of heavens Smith & Wesson
tons of white yearning moisture
frozen as a lilly tormented by cold
snow bleaches the land
lika SmithinWesson in drag
a lethal bride portrayed
the sky is earnest and gray
and the flakes move
like cartridges of ice
a fatal, frigid flow
a gun from heaven
is shooting angel flakes
white as a virgin on canvass
the naked trees sketch
fractal designs on the
my alibis are ballistic
more like hard taps
than the old soft excuse
time has come the walrus bled
and arctic talk on raw fishes
makes me know
that you have to feed the bi-polar bears
or they will eat you
they'll get you for harboring
a renegade heart geronimo sane
one of dicken's curmudgeons
part of fagin's gang of urchins
and thieves and pickpockets with
hands as light as ghosts on bosoms
beyond the spectrum of visable light
are vibrations short and long some
like licks from a frantic tongue some
long and luxuriant like whale noises
and love waves are longest
do you feel them?
spare eyed rubrics on the inconsequential
was jazz neccessary of course snot its rare
for creative energy to be caught and sold
like an exotic import the very nature of art
is uselessness my love for you has no purpose.
what vibrates if not love?
and a vibration is a one time affair
waves are lonely and move in rows
Remember how the saying goes?
What don't kill you
Will make you wish you were dead
The beat is useless if you keep it in your head
Sky and the stock market predict the weather
got an email strike a match at nine oclock
will save the world from chain letters and
telemarketers not licenced by the state to
have access to your pocketbook, blood count
and pin numbers, buying habits, movie choices
and how you like it in bed. That's why jazz can
have no possible purpose nor my love for you.
The beat is useless unless you keep it in your head
No possible purpose to jazz or poetry or love
cept maybe the continuation of the species but
ramrod quixote cock operas are waiting to be
tattooed on brittney's perfect belly and inna few
years it'll be hard to read cuz tits sag like all flesh
jazz and love don't sag but presto allegro till the
beat is solid in your head so you forget about it
is useless unless you keep it in your head
we call this the Golden Rule:
Do Unto Others As You Would Have Them Do Unto You
A maxim of philosophy and physics
This is not a rule really or a dictum or a command
it is the solution to a problem
The problem is that you get treated by the world exactly as you treat the world.
It's a principle of physics
some call it karma
or reap what you sow
If I sow a seed of inspiration, I will be inspired.
If I am angry at the world, I can choose any reason to be angry.
If I am bitter, I will taste bitterness.
If I am ignored, it's because I ignore.
If I fight the world, it fights back.
If I work with the world, it works with me.
But Jesus and Newton said all of this
call it truth or revelation or simple observation