Monday, November 17, 2014

ESCHER DOCUMENTARY DEEPLY IMPRESSIVE








































METAMORPHOSE: M.C. ESCHER, 1898 – 1972
Directed by Jan Bosdriesz

          
Cutting edge biography of the Dutch graphic artist.
          
Math and art meet in the mind-blowing woodcuts, lithographs and more from Maurits Cornelis Escher. Although he had no formal training in math, his distinctive visual illusions that give the brain a workout are familiar to many as geometry textbook covers.
           
Freely available online, Metamorphose: M.C. Escher, 1898 – 1972 shows how a kid from Haarlem (Netherlands, capitol of the North Holland province) would lay down on the floor in the church and listen to the organ blast Bach, filling the walls, his reflection in the dome above. Good times for young Escher, and he always wanted to find a way to show it.
          
“I hated school,” Escher says, “but the drawing lessons were always a great relief.”
           
This straight-forward documentary shows the woodcuts in jaw-dropping detail, the brilliance of which is offset by the stark lights and darks of piano keys. We learn of Escher’s love for the southern Italian landscape where he lived in his youth and which he idealized throughout his life, and for the woman he married, Jetta.
           
Mediocre student and fortunate son in a well-to-do family, Escher was able to focus on graphically illustrating an idea using as little as possible to be as clear as possible. The film itself is nearly as evocative and minimalist as its subject, gradually revealing the shifts in Escher’s evolving life.
           
When expressing ideas in woodcuts didn’t initially pan out, he turned to wresting from oblivion images of the daily life he saw around him.
           
Initially Escher considered his most enduring work involving Tessellations—regular patterns that divide a plane with no overlapping or gaps—as “an amusing game” inspired by Moorish tiles. What makes Escher’s work so useful to mathematicians is the symmetry of the endless repetition. A balance in keeping with what the ancient Egyptians called Ma-At.
           
Sketched hands that come out of the paper and into life, sketching each other. Stairs bending in impossible ways. Warped perspectives with the self-rendering artist at the center, holding the distortion in the globe.
           
Eventually Escher’s evolving genius was to link interlocking repeating patterns with human, animal, and fanciful imagery—“figures you can never actually see at the same time because one is the background of the other”—graphically illustrating concepts equally artful and mathematical in a picture too big to see.
  

 Stewart Kirby writes for
    

   

Friday, November 7, 2014

LOVE CHILD








I'd been having a great deal of sex with my girlfriend. She's old enough to be my mother, and I ain't no spring chicken. She told me she went through menopause and everything, so the last thing we expected was for her to be expecting.

 
Or so I thought.


She was cute as hell when she broke the news. We stood in the center of this circle she has on her floor, just holding each other. Looking deep into her eyes I told her, "You're gonna be my baby mama. You bear my seed. Even now, it grows in you. Gotta be some kinda record here." She giggled. Together we marveled at the mystery. Then, glowing with an impish grin, my girlfriend revealed that, unknown to me, she had slipped a Ouija board under the mattress. Plus did some other esoteric stuff. She's got that shit all over the place. I never thought there was anything to it.


"You know what it was?" she said, explaining why she had operated in secrecy. "I was afraid you might not want me to have your love child." I told her not to be silly. We held each other, naked in the circle the way she likes, while she came up with names for the product of our union, all of which sounded like weird words in some forbidden tongue.

 
A few days later, my girlfriend was showing. We were so excited. She had me pull down an old high chair from her attic which looked like it was made sometime in the 1800s, and she started wearing black maternity dresses. The sex was incredible. She cut her usual fun-time intake, imbibing-wise, down to nothing like a good girl. I read Rosemary's Baby to her belly. Religiously, we watched every episode of not only "The Twilight Zone" but also "The Addams Family" as well. The former being my call. I'm the hugest Rod Serling fan ever.


This got cloying though, of course. After all that kinda crap nonstop, sometimes we had to resort to ETA Hoffmann and Franz Kafka readings just for a breath of fresh air. Then we'd dive into David Lynch and Craig Jones.


One night about nine weeks later, my girlfriend started screaming. There was a rainstorm pelting outside, and strange, lasting thunder ominously cracked. "Honey," I said through the door to her room, "you okay?" Again with the screams. Well, long story short, my girlfriend gave birth to a weird lump that night, a white-ish thing that looked like a cross between a fist and a brain. It had one eye that blinked. I could never remember whether it was one blink that meant yes or if it was two.

 
Our love child being a large one-eyed knotted lump, none of the antique baby clothes fit. I didn't want to say anything or be rude. It did seem a tad askew. I guess my girlfriend sensed what I was thinking, because she produced the Ouija board with a doleful look. The board was all bent out of shape and warped.

 
"I wouldn't have been so rigorous if I'd known it was there," I said. She laughed sardonically at that and called me a liar. When I asked whether our love child was a boy or a girl, she said probably.

 
"You realize," I said upon retrieving from her attic an ancient dusty stroller, "we're going to get some looks when we walk around town."

 
"Who cares?" my girlfriend said, wrapping our blinking love child in wax paper. Bits of lint and cat hair were forever sticking to the raw, brain-like skin. When her black cat, Baggy, short for Bagheera, tried to spray our love child, I was reminded of Baloo and came up with Balloon as a nickname.


"Balloon," my girlfriend said, shaking her head and chuckling.


With a finger to my lips I cautioned silence, and we gently snuggled closer keen to observe Balloon interacting with Baggy. The roughly kidney-shaped mass of meat, moist as Spam and just as pinkish, spasmodically inched across the floor emitting thickly muffled grunts of what we took for joy.


"They seem to really like each other," she observed.


I was actually a little bit worried for Balloon because Baggy's a regular terror, and when he's had enough of somebody, he lets that be known. Sure enough, Balloon inched across Baggy's tail, and faster than you can snap your fingers Baggy whipped around to scratch. But he never once did. He stopped immediately because Balloon had suddenly loomed, that one lone eye eerily protruding, like one of those caterpillars with the big fake orb on its raised rear end for defense. Baggy backed away. Very quietly.


"Wow, check out the love child stickin' up for the rights."


"I guess they had to work it out," she said.








































 
Strolling around Madrani with Balloon, we went inside the Redwood Palace and showed off our miracle. The owners are really cool and congratulated us. My girlfriend thanked them. "I never thought at my age I could even have a kid."


"We do have a lot of sex," I said. "Say, do you carry Spam? I have an old Mr. Potato Head eye I'd like to jam into a lump of Spam as a toy here for the kid."


Grunting joyfully in the stroller, our love child excitedly blinked. Unfortunately, the Redwood Palace was all out of Spam. And this made our love child act like a total turd. You never saw such a meltdown. We were absolutely embarrassed with this outrageous behavior. My sugar dumpling looked at me like it was the responsibility solely of moi to calm down the bobbing ball sack spazzing out in the ancient carriage. Something in her eyes told me if I didn't get this familial public dysfunction under control, pronto, I wouldn't get any of this, that or the other.


"All right, that's it," I manfully declared, laying down the law. "You calm down right now, I mean it." I looked over at my girlfriend like I'd just jumped a dozen buses on my motorcycle. But when I turned back and looked into Balloon's protruding eye now angrily upraised, something happened. Something that gave me a sense of what scared off Baggy.


"There's a prince inside our love child," I told my girlfriend squeaking along outside the Redwood Palace.


"Is there?" she said. "That's great!You know, I knew there was something special about that kid."


"It gets dizzy when he does that," I confessed under my breath, passing the Avenue Cafe. On the other side of the street, I remembered, there used to be a gas station. The owner was my Little League baseball coach. I still have the trophy from our 1979 championship. And over next to that was where the Post Office used to be a long, long time ago, just like yesterday.


"It gets dizzy when he does that," my girlfriend repeated, shaking her head and chuckling.


I felt rather heroic as I ignored her. It did occur to me, strolling past the Burl Barn and the high school, checking out the sunlight streaking bright red up under the great big sexy blanket of clouds, she might have told me that inside our love child there could stand an antique royal fellow clad in tights and cape with a short sword and long-feathered cap.


"Why didn't you bother to tell me?" I asked heading down the hill out of town toward the grove.


My girlfriend took my arm. "Welcome to the real world," she said.








      

Monday, November 3, 2014

INVASION OF THE ALIEN DOCUMENTARY


















DAN AYKROYD UNPLUGGED ON UFOs
Starring Dan Aykroyd,
David Sereda,
Gordon Cooper,
Paul Hellyer,
John Hutchison,
Ken Storch
Directed by David Sereda
Running time 81 mins.


          It’s not new, it’s just interesting. In fact, it’s been with us for years. And it’s freely available on YouTube.
          In the 2005 documentary Dan Aykroyd Unplugged on UFOs, UFO enthusiast David Sereda sits down with Dan Aykroyd and has an amazing conversation.
          For those familiar with Aykroyd from “Saturday Night Live,” and the Conehead alien which he played, the idea that Dan could have something serious to say on the subject might just seem too far out.
          “It was like Einstein was hiding inside of a comic genius,” says Sereda. “Dan Aykroyd speaks about UFOs as if he was a full professor on the subject.”
          Striking UFO footage over many years from many varied sources around the world interspersed with Aykroyd’s cogent commentary compels.
          Astronaut Gordon Cooper, President Ronald Reagan, and sundry members of the military attest in the documentary at various times to the validity of the subject. Paul Hellyer, a former Canadian Defense Minister, is the highest-ranking member of the G8 to state unequivocally that UFOs and alien beings are not the stuff of science fiction, but actual fact.
          According to Hellyer, there are many different species of alien living with us now, and among them some that look just like us.
          In considering the rapid progression from the Wright Brothers to the Space Age, Aykroyd points out, “In a hundred years since fabric and wood we’ve come to advanced metallurgy, fuel use, and propulsion.” Try therefore to conceive of a species with a million years of technological advancement over us.
          One of the great things about YouTube is the related material that appears with a search. Among the names one finds associated with this subject is former Lockheed Senior Scientist Boyd Bushman. “Boyd Bushman on Antigravity Propulsion Devices” is another of David Sereda’s conversations worth investigating.
          One experiment Bushman conducted with magnets inside of a rock showed him that altering the rock’s magnetic field affected its gravity. In both the Bushman and Aykroyd conversations, the fascinating antigravity experiments of John Hutchison also arise.
          Another related search, ponderously titled “Robert Lazar – Ex-worker of Area 51 Tells All About Flying Saucers and Aliens – Secret Space Program,” offers insider insight into reverse-engineering a UFO.
          Lazar recounts how as a scientist working for the military he studied a craft which he came to realize was not of earthly origin. He describes the interior of the craft as ominous. “It feels as if you shouldn’t be there.”
          Among the array of interesting things Lazar has to say, UFOs such as the one he studied create their own gravitational field. Inside the craft--the walls of which one can see out of--matter and antimatter are combined into pure energy. Turns out, violating the first Law of Thermodynamics is crucial in artificially creating intense gravity in order to modify time and space.
          Boldly go and check it out.



 Stewart Kirby writes for
           






Tune in this Thursday to KMUD 91.1 FM Garberville for the second episode of LOST COASTER


https://soundcloud.com/stewart-kirby/lost-coaster-on-kmud



Friday, October 17, 2014

SONG OF A SHADE WITH A RED WINE THIRST








SLEEPPEELS

When heads spin
whispers begin--

whirlpools pull--
fist fits sift--

funneling thunder lifts--




LIMBSTURDY GROVESTRIDER

Inspired rootburst jovilluminating
Skyeyes summerrun voluptium fantasculate
Bremendus Brahminform aleap
Crowclamor, crowclamor
Mockasins slipslap rustduff



CIRCUS MAXIMUS

One hundred forty-four elephants
and seventeen gold chariots
led each by eleven lions
outsize sound in stampede.

Drunkards' blood-lust cries goad
as the heads of assassinated criminals

bouncing, wince

and tens of thousands of open mouths howl.
Vendors' spices burned lessen stenches;
played sausage link entrails
ignited

explode

in screaming conflagrations;
slaves running in rolling iron cages
jab at large exotic animals
amid the bellows of the butchering
and the butchered,
the continual metal clang,
the rabble's urges for murder.

Tittering intelligentsia tip raping headsmen.
Mock sea battles
waged with the Coliseum bathed
in morning shadow
last till dusk, when

severed hippo heads

like lifeboats
bear dead men.



CARNIVAL OF THE SATYRDAY

A little blood-red fellow
too old to be a cherub precisely
but certainly smiling like one
and with fine young horns on his head
appropriate for a kid
spoke in a high-pitched sneering voice,
"I know where we can get some whores."

And great rejoice. Party favors flicked.
Oversize head dancers in the figures of

Chaplin
and
Hitler

performed a sort of leap-frog.
"I don't care to set foot outdoors."
One of Van Gogh presented a huge ear,
cordially intoning, "Take this object."
Red carpet party favors flew.

"I don't care to pay."

A waterwheel float churned dirty bones.

"These whores pay you!"

Party favors blared.
"Are you ready now to see the whores?"

"I don't care to yet."

The carnival resumed the march.

  

CONVERSATION WITH ETERNITY

For the writer there is only
the blank paper page,
the empty screen and blinking cursor,
the conversation with eternity.

When the words work well,
no high can top,
everything clears,
nothing is ugly,

bolts leap,
all times merge,
hairy early ancestors
fall to their knees

and skyward howl.





INSANITY SEAS

Set this sail to insanity seas
we'll row large rage to the larger age
where that manslaughter is this man's laughter
and you'll fathom what we're after there.

Leave the monkey with its money
weave away from uniformed uninformed
we've a ways upon the waves to ride
reach each new view with swift lift.

Let these letters unlock fetters
sound ground awaits unweighted
there's a vortex in the vertex
savor the flavor and favor the saver.

See the clever lever within
seethe no more inside your skin
then you and I will be quite glad
though when we leave they'll say, They're mad.



SLY WINK

Some of me best times
'ave been 'ad
wenchin' an' 'orin',
as it were sir, aye,
wenchin' an' 'orin'.

Aye an' ye might say I was
"reelin' from the rum"
ev'ry blessed time
as it were sir,
ev'ry blessed time.
Things get worser when I'm aware.

Why, ye should've seen me last night
bloated with the sweet rum--
a big, belchy tick I was says I,
bloated with the blood like,
such is the pretty picture I must've cut.

So, says I again,
some of me best times
'ave been 'ad
wenchin' an' 'orin'.



HOW TO HONOR THE DEAD

Once after I stopped my car in the street,
walked back to the one behind,
and without a word
inserted my fist in the driver's puss

I got back in,
parked in the lot
and walked across campus
to the room where I sat
waiting for students to drop in
for writing help.

I remember thinking,
Here's one for the cosmic camera.
It's easy for people to talk about restraint
when they don't have a choice.

Even now, electric Celtic warriors
on foot and horseback roar behind me overhead,
flanked by two calm Druids.
It's true what you hear.
Sometimes your best friends
are the dead and the unborn.





WILDSONG

This poem is a quest:
it seeks clarity, adventure,
both journey and result
it records finds,
boosts the next leap,
helps me see my hand
in the great world dream,
that wisdom is the only wealth,
the only power
power of self,
when I see a monkey in a suit
I see the co-assistant night manager of
nothing,
a child with a paper badge.
The purpose of the group
is protection of weakness
through illusion,
all groups overlap,
sidetrack,
delay,
every day a hunt for wisdom,
new contentment hunt.
Civilizations neither rise nor fall,
only individuals are real.

This poem bristles like fire:
red hot,
white hot,
stiff, jagged,
drunk with battle joy it struts,
a poem of fire,
wildfire,
scorching the sky with
wildsong.
It thirsts for the blood of the city,
it hungers for the blood of Rome,
whose soft scented senators
receive its piss
on headless bodies,
this poem lines
these skulls with gold.



LIMESTONE-LACTATING STALACTITES

drip echoey, magnified drops...
P    o    o    l    s    l    o    o    P
the world dragon sleeps...
George sings
While My Guitar Gently Weeps...




SPELEOGENESIS

With more neurons in our minds
than stars in this galaxy,
firing synapses connect
like divine fingers,
lightning and leder,
stalactite to stalagmite,
Revel leveR...

The jutting speleothem
seeps minerals,
lengthening itself,
leaving minute
calcite deposits
where water drops...

If the creation meets
the source,
a column is formed...

The greater the fall,
the mightier the column.



THE HEROISM OF HEDONISM

conjures wolfish doggerels
in sacred games and festivals of atonement.
The plow of evil pushed
tills exhausted land
and the tallow taken underground
lights cities beneath Vesuvius.

A hero shall emerge:
as a blade baptized in a bed of fire
in ceremony shaped and sharpened,
a severer of shackles,
he is the bane of formulaic observance.

Pity the conqueror or praise
but stand not in his way
lest panthers' claws
and chariot wheels' grind
pin mockful notes on dying ears
frozen in the ash of agony.

















DIONYSUS IN THE UNDERWORLD

The god of the vine
rolled down to the palace of Hades
in Charon's borrowed boat

Dry mouths received wine
as a chorus exultant crossed a river of fire

Then the river of the oath

Then the river of forgetfulness

And giants joined

Jealous Hera had Titans tear
the horned child reborn

Reconstituted by Grandmother Rhea

Honey-fed

Tended by nymphs in a cave
the god of inspiration invented wine

A lion

A bull

A serpent

The god of madness took forms

Establishing worship in warship

Centaurs and naiads bore beer on the banks

Nymphs and Maenads writhed heated behind

Fawn-skinned fanned as flame
scattering flower petals upon the water

Across wide wastes
they danced about the underworld

The revelers with pipe and drum
spilling wine in song

And ivy ran where Dionysus passed

Black poplars in stone
marked the gates of
the palace of Hades

And Dionysus ascended steps
as Cerberus slept

Then the god of wine
stood before the lord of the underworld

Grim Hades on his stone throne
bade not Dionysus welcome
but coldly asked to what he owed
the honor of the visit
and a sleepy sweeping gesture
toward the din was the god's reply

To the gloomy god of the underworld
the joy of the revelers was intolerable

Yet well Hades knew
no restraint could bind Dionysus

With him all fetters fell

Turned to flower and ivy

Nor did the living dead
cease their joy
for they were under the protection
of the god of libation

Whose name is Liber
Whose name means freedom

In anger Hades sent Cerberus
to destroy Dionysus

Yet the three-headed dog
found a three-headed

Lion

Bull

Serpent

And the dog could not subdue

Therefore flew Hades unto Olympus
to protest his brother's son

Whose name is Bromios

And thenceforth the Maenads
worship in no temple
but run wild in the underworld

Nymph and Satyr frenzy still

And Dionysus

Immoral immortal

Changeling lizard king

With smoke and wine
reclines in ivy
and in shadow
bathing in a stone garden
in a petrified forest

Furious

Delirious

A lover of the wild

Luxury

Debauchery

The god of wine is free











































ODE TO VLAD

Seated at a table in a field
forested with shower-makers,
he hears his dancing guests
sing like morning's poultry torn.
Streaming, the sun slides
higher in the sky.
Land moist as biscuits
sops honey.
From spear-shot spigots
shoots his cup's red tap.






BE AT LESSON, BEATLES SON

Down here
in the ark in the dark,
the cell of steel celestial,
mausoleum ad nauseam,
I'm paler and I'm Vlad.
This is where it all comes up,
this is where it all goes down.
I travel canals,
change channels,
through ventricles pass landmarks-
upper level,
lower level--
aqueducts to cells--
in this hemisphere,
hemp is here.
Across the mind,
lid-lightning flashes--
in illumination's wake,
blood rains,
brain floods,
accelerates this vessel,
pounds this temple.
Hear all creation make a point--
enabled ennobled
by woofer and tweeter,
no measured step is out of joint--
I hear a siren
and I want to metre.
From injured to inured,
with the taking of a j.
Through Vishnu vision
and Osiris iris,
illusion's confusions
clearly eyed
scatter dried.
The vision is the quest,
the form is the content.
No destination exceeds being.



WOTAN

Wotan
for wisdom
sacrificed an eye.
Wotan the One-Eyed God
reigns supreme.
God of fury.
God of trances.
God of poets.
God of warriors.
The One-Eyed God
is the Phallic God.
His ravens
Thought
and
Memory
traverse the world,
return to Wotan
ruling on His High Seat,
whisper All Knowledge,
while wolves wait
at his feet.
First Earth,
Inhabited Earth,
Untamed Earth,
these three women
are Wotan's wives.
On an eight-legged steed
the Sly One rides
through air,
over ocean,
on ground.
The Reaver's rage
knows no bounds.
Wearing a wide-brimmed hat
the Bearded One waits,
waits until the Final Battle--
Ragnarok--
gathering the greatest warriors.
Wednesday is Wotan's Day--
Odin, variously known--
steadfast on the icy peaks,
hard, grim, wild--
All-Father Odin,
Inventor of Runes,
shaman of shamans--
madmen invoke his name!









OPPENHEIMER QUOTING THE BHAGAVAD GITA

A big white black-eyed goat
sprang from the center of the circle--
the power of stillness pervaded--
the rearing goat hung,
swelling self-lit
in devastating silence--
we did not know what we had done--
then the cloven hooves
crashed upon the rock:
"Now I am become Death,
the destroyer of worlds."



SONG OF A SHADE WITH A RED WINE THIRST

I was working at a factory
having Napoleon-like crowned myself Educated,
assembling bike racks full-time temporary,
knowing my girlfriend and I would be gone in six months
and that the factory was heading for Mexico soon.

One guy had been there ten years. He was thirty-seven, always wore two t-shirts,
never bathed, stank like a stockyard and didn't like the Beatles because they weren't American.
There were a lot of Lao workers. Most were nimble, quick, good at ping-pong and
hot for break-time hacky sack. They spoke Lao among each other, laughing, the older women acting snotty.

When I got there at seven the smokers lightly stamped their feet outside,
and the dark early cool mornings passed with coffee still buzzy from the night's smoke and drink,
but clear and aware, energetic and enjoyed. I stood on a wood block to hit my calves with toe raises
on the assembly line, thinking about the night's writing, talking shit with the boys, laughing, until it was first break, donuts and more coffee, no longer buzzy, actually enjoying the lowly old workday mostly alone.

I didn't like feeling sorry for the people I saw who let themselves die by the hour.
There was a fellow who talked a lot about how he'd be a cop,
a prim little guy of forty sporting a tight white crewcut, accusatory eyes, and a sneering hateful whine who
picked up the trash.

There was a fat blob of crap who sat on his ass all day
in crisp plaid and a clean Cat cap sporting a phony bark
that sounded like bad Edward G. Robinson, see.
How he got that job I don't think I want to know, see.
He sure as hell didn't earn it by working.
There would come a time when I would say,

"How about some of that bare knuckle boxing you've never done in your life right now, liar,
I'll be your sparring partner, liar, let's go out in the parking lot and try some of that
bare knuckle boxing right now, let's go."

And he would not face me, but scurry to his car, scurry home to his mommy, in whose house he lived.
After lunch I was let go. Not fired, he said, sounding like
a very meek Edward G. Robinson.
I had been provoked by his abuse of office title.
I enjoyed humiliating fat boy and his sycophants in a great big scene
the doomed workers no doubt quietly relished,
and I enjoyed those mornings,
the coffee and the cold,
the stories and the banter and the bullshit,
the hefting and the musing,
getting paid to gear up for the night's fun--
for the song of a shade with a red wine thirst.




REDWOOD BURL TABLE

Wild with roots, a Gorgon head:
my young eyes cogwheeled at
the tangled waist-high mass riverbar trucked
and my squat mallet sent thick flakes like
flack off my checkerboarded chest,
hints of burl beneath the busted rock
stuck in the dirty redwood,
till the giant's clubbed wart clean of stone
gave a milled slab set rickety
on two paint-thick sawhorses,
wobbling in the pull of the screaming grinder's
wire bristles spitting back the loose punk wood.
Renegade spiders ran, nooks invaded by the violent metal wand
and brushed sawdust left the surface clear
for belt sanding before subjection to the stages of the orbital.
When the meaty red cross-section doused gleamed
and the scrubbed rings' fluctuating bands rippled,
torched edges blackened shone silver
where the blue acetylene tip had spread,
and set on the knotted legs of a less charred base
the finished tabletop
took center stage in the showroom
for your more and less impressed tourists,
whilst in the side yard my grimed thumb
spun a bowl.





VISHNU

Slumbering delighted
the world-dreamer drifts alone
partially submerged
partially afloat
upon a lake of lotus without limit
above and below a pillared heaven

The sun grows
the whole world withers
wind spins into cyclone
and cyclone into fire

The spider respools its web









IF LIFE EAT DEATH

Hieing to the wombed hill
Mid yip and yirr of Baalists beery
We woozy skirmishers
Wambled past the whippoorwill
And gave a girn to gimcrack,
Bedaubed in wizardry and woodcraft,
Riled rimers, with pyretic vim,
Barmy each pant and peck,
We salivating songsters,
Scragging victuals along the junket,
Raw wood thrush and songsparrow
Our stark beefsteak.
Rooty wolfberry
Sopped the Bacchic balladry,
Blackish the scape,
Our mockery beneath Varuna,
Till to indigenous ziggurats
We did sorn the shadow lords,
A measly chiliad of bubbling keeves
Ripe for us to batten.




















WEIR EXAM

Floating in the wetsuit nets of light cross my mask:
refracted through the choppy surface they waver on the rock
as the hollow rhythmic hiss of my mouth’s breath
pushes through the tube–strange stone shapes
pass steady in a narrow view–arms forward
I fly streamlined toward the sandbagged pickets
where the scouring current tears away the riverbed.
Over a developing hole wedged rock taps the lonely aluminum,
raised dust glints fool’s gold, dead grass collects
twigs between the bars and undulates decaying in the cage.
I work my way along the trap. No salmon are inside.
Bloated faces pushed forth by my imagination
watch me slice my way upstream like a gill man in the Amazon.




INTERVIEW WITH A TRIBAL LEADER

Saved from a blue clay mudslide by a Horse Mountain potstop
we rescheduled, and when later came, there he was, looking just like on TV
where I’d seen him talking on Bigfoot and so looked him up in the phone book.

My buddy Eric couldn’t make the drive a second time
but my other buddy Tom could and he was there with a Camcorder catching
Jimmy in his chair and the back of my already balding head.

It’s weird to see yourself in a tight Humboldt T-shirt interviewing Jimmy
after all that hassle when in the first five minutes you realize
the show sort of lied and Bigfoot is a subject where maybe

you know more than he does. Great tribal leader, full of all kinds of stories,
only he hadn’t seen anything and wasn’t really sure. Probably TV
just wanted an Indian. If he pulled off his head and showed a

Bigfoot inside I would not have been surprised, but on the outside
he was eighty-four years old and told us of the time when he was a kid
talking Hupa in a cherry tree eating cherries and some George Washington

of a teacher jabbed him with a nail on the end of a stick to make him talk American.
He told us how to leech acorns and showed us pictures of the Deer Dance.
I told him the interview was only for me, and Tom, it was just something we wanted to do.

Back on his deck before we left, looking at the river, he said his mother told him
one time she saw four of them come out of the forest to swim,
a male, a female and two young ones, and they swam till they saw her and left.





WHEN THE KILLIN'-TIME'S COME

I may not seem partial to the things which ye so desperately clings
but one thing's fer sartin,
I'm...
gonna...
kill ye...
gonna ram m' blade clean through to the hilt
good, solid an' strong in ye--again an' again--
an' again an' again an' again--
I'm gonna cut yer bleedin' gut wide open--
stick yer neck--cut, here--here here here here here--
slash yer skull, an' rip out yer 'eart, an' yer liver--
gonna drive m' big shiny knife wamwam quick like so in yer sockets
an' slop up an' down amid yer mushy gore
aye, an' stomp ye to the pave--

when the killin'-time's come.


































SAIL AN ALIAS

When I feel Doom mooD
That is when I Word roW
There I go in Deep speeD
Rabid in my Wolf floW
I shed the Animal laminA
I shed the GoddammaddoG
To release the Droll lorD
I turn the Revel leveR
I like to Moor a rooM
I like to Fool alooF
There I drink my Regal lageR
Then how Me leer 'n reel 'eM
I see No evil live oN
Though I Lived a deviL
Where the Pools looP
Without the Flesh selF
In Sleep peelS
Reviled I deliveR

Resume, museR














SARGE

He'd wheeze across the street
with his one remaining lung
crazy-eyed, hollow-eyed

Me maintaining post
like a piece of peanut butter
a seller of liquor

I'd regard porno
tend tender
pop a brewskie in the cooler

shoot the shit with the geezer
wheezing each aching
humpbacked breath

Sometimes Sarge would get a coughing fit
then it was back
to the subject of war

battles he'd been in
World War Two
Korea, Nam

a career Marine
that's why they called him
Sarge

Sarge said
he won a pushup contest back
when, a thousand reps or something

and a situp con-
test too,
said his wife

left him
because he was
a killer

she said that he
enjoyed it
and no doubt he did

he was that kind of guy
you know
lovable

Sarge
and his
one lung

agent orange
by country
betrayed

Southern Humboldt
friends
gave him

weed to ease
his cancer
pain

and Sarge would put together little baggies he
distributed to his buddies who listened to him and
he wouldn't let you give it back

nor would he take
any money
Sarge was that kind of guy

all day long
you could shoot the shit
and never get bored

After I left
that job
he died

I wish I'd said goodbye
Sarge in his room
alone

Cancer got Sarge
the lovable
murderer.





MILKING THE BACK

Thick vat glass added fresh back size
bobbing in brine like swollen legions of buffalo tongue
and the clerk would hook the one Grandpa let me pick.

At home we’d unwrap the massy package,
I with my fork, ready to poke.
Grandpa’s deft prong freed embedded gravel bits

whose frugal removal fueled our maracas.
Then he’d heft the back to sheets of wax paper
where for half a day it dried before it was applied.

I’d watch the pungent juices ooze as if alive,
seeping the way a beached whale weeps.
When it was time, Grandpa lifted the back

like a butcher with a side of beef,
squeezing loose the yellow milk
into a foil pan at his feet.

Now I am an old man.
You can’t find fresh back anymore.
I have no idea why we did all that.











SIX-SHOOTER PETE

There was a man with an unusual hand:
For every digit, instead a penis.
Ten testes dangled from the man’s odd palm.
His deformity he hid in a satchel
Snugly attached nearly always.
Each painful lonely morn shone the
Veritable rosy fingers of dawn
Yet the flower of his manifold manhood
Lacked a whore to culture.
As he was orphaned at birth,
His dear Aunt Gladys,
Who firmly forbade amputation,
Took him in and brought him up
And indeed the reverse,
Dubbing him Six-Shooter Pete
On account he was such a handful.
Six-Shooter Pete’s uncommon energies
Precluded normal life.
His entire arm stiffened like a Gatling
Without provocation, causing a
Semi-perpetual salute
And frequent dishonorable discharge.
This left Six-Shooter Pete
Scrubbing night and day in vein
Privately lamenting
It weren’t just soap in the lather
So he gave up washing and stuck to his guns.
Thus, a lucrative business was born
When Six-Shooter Pete discovered
That carefully peeling the resultant gunk off his nuts
Produced handsome, rubbery doilies!
Despite his modest rise in the local business world
Six-Shooter Pete remained a mystery,
Handicapped in the eyes of the public.
Then came a day undreamed.
A Mary Kay girl with private aspirations sought to ply her trade.
Six-Shooter Pete entertained the makeup-hawker to the best of his
Awkward ability, feigning interest in cosmetics
As she in turn pretended not to notice
His wrist-deep limb in the satchel
And the meat bees’ buzz about the folds.
The Mary Kay girl’s creamy complexion,
Indeed her very name
Evoked a holy aura
Wholly in Six-Shooter Pete’s mind
Causing intense perspiration as he stood stiff-armed
Against the wall, hoping to appear casually urbane,
And it was only when the Mary Kay girl revealed her ambition
To become a saucier
That the bag burst
Exploding the entire contents of the morning
Like hot suet.
To see the object of his dreams
Soundlessly scream
Through the quivering cream
Was more than Six-Shooter Pete could bear.
The Mary Kay girl’s horror in turn
Reached unspeakable heights at the sight of the
Momentarily limp appendage,
Appearing for all the world like
An octopus dripping watery cottage cheese,
And when pulpily it pulsated, she ran,
No longer screaming soundlessly.
Then and there Six-Shooter Pete
Chopped off his troubles at the wrist with a meat cleaver.
He cauterized the wound himself,
And changed his name to Stumpy.
Today, Stumpy works as a CPA in Pittsburgh.





CREATION TO CREMATION

From creation to cremation
like the sun we run

Drawn at dawn
born we burn

we sin
we sing
we sink

Mourning gravity
we knight depravity
the less at dusk
our dust to stink.




MAWKISH POLYGLOTS

When the mawkish polyglots shellac bleak canvas, courtly and ferocious neon maulers, squalid squads in kestrel tumult set brass wind killjoys free. Midwinter milksops nuzzle in myrtle, logy stampede of galactic seedlings to electrify jilted easels, each cloying dogma twinge a gangling trenchant gaff. Brazen canker, apex chomps of ashen choirs that slam suggestive sun lamps on the sand.






AUGUSTINE ALOYSIUS

In sebbenedy madmadical mudscape and katchup slashanripping sham habiliments hove greezy fingering, strident strains of pipe a citron conch, tartan tattoo of relic drums hyperhammering madcap sighcallohgee. A greepser soulution. Excrabull kissfleets, silverjinny noos of the lummering luniverse rechoired flipperguppy undecent litterasea, dairyairy roaminsircuss preseption clamporing crehated perpbetraytors eyedentical whiteplastink anon anon anon






IN THE ULTIMATE POEM FIRST AND FINAL

letters combine to align in arrangement which reads
not just across left to right or right to left but forth and up and down and back

all making sense
no space omitted
it all interacts
inside-out
diagonal

form and content match
and the letters take shapes which in turn comment
missing nothing
texture
color
senses over senses

and the poem is thought

and the thought is matter

and we walk in the poem

and we breathe in the poem

and our hearts beat the poem

and beyond all language

the poem ex  p  l    O              o
                   l    O          O
                                  O      o           O               O
          O     o         o                  o              o

    o     o                  o                    o          o              o                o

  o       .    o  .                d               o             .       .              o                .          .

.          .                     .                                e      .
.     .          .                              .          .                                   s