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Ben E. King

It doesn't take me long to write songs.

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It Doesn't Take a Rocket Scientist

The duality of false representation,
Eventually shows the origin...
From where it has been created.

Consumed by ego,
Is their downfall!

And it doesn't take a rocket scientist,
To connect the culprits to their deeds.

Consumed by ego,
Is their downfall!

There is a trail of incompetence,
Wherever they go...
With a wish to get acknowledgement,
And undeserving praise.

Consumed by ego,
Is their downfall!

And unfortunate are those,
Committed to follow.

Consumed by ego,
Is their downfall!
And shoulders to cry on,
They seek to weep.

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Take The Long Way Home

I lift you off the earth mundane and glum
Out of solar system where you passed the sun
'Til all the fear in your hart is gone and so on

Walking trough the world with no pressure
Inner peace beyond measure
I was leaving where it came in
When a man said stop
I want to have what you have
and get what you got

I got it sleeping rough on the streets in the rain
I got it learning to share my peoples pain
I got it making flowers grow in hearts of stone
I got it 'cos I always take thee long way home

I've been walking trough the world with no pressure
As fresher full of vigour life becomes my mirror
The further I go the more I know
Oh yeah

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It Will Take A Long, Long Time

Sunny called, I was in the hall
And made a note I have to paint the kitchen walls
An angel smiled across the room
All in all, it was a lazy afternoon
Then I thought about you
I think it was some sweet song that I heard
Got to get goin goin ahead
It will take a long, long time
Got to go ahead and deal with my life
It has taken such a long time this time
Sunny called, I was in the bath
And heard the rain hit the roof and tiles real hard (hit the roof real hard/hit the roof)
Then I ran through my magazines
A few letters poorly hidden in a jar (hidden in a jar/oh what a jar!)
And I thought about you
It must have been some old pictures I found
Got to get goin goin ahead
It will take a long, long time, yea yea
Got to go ahead and deal with my life
It has taken such a long time this time
Inganakee leo yo
Inganakee leo

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Take The Long Way Home

So you think youre a romeo
Playing a part in a picture-show
Take the long way home
Take the long way home
Cos youre the joke of the neighborhood
Why should you care if youre feeling good
Take the long way home
Take the long way home
But there are times that you feel youre part of the scenery
All the greenery is comin down, boy
And then your wife seems to think youre part of the
Furniture oh, its peculiar, she used to be so nice.
When lonely days turn to lonely nights
You take a trip to the city lights
And take the long way home
Take the long way home
You never see what you want to see
Forever playing to the gallery
You take the long way home
Take the long way home
And when youre up on the stage, its so unbelievable,
Unforgettable, how they adore you,
But then your wife seems to think youre losing your sanity,
Oh, calamity, is there no way out?
Does it feel that you lifes become a catastrophe?
Oh, it has to be for you to grow, boy.
When you look through the years and see what you could
Have been oh, what might have been,
If youd had more time.
So, when the day comes to settle down,
Whos to blame if youre not around?
You took the long way home
You took the long way home...........

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Lonely Ladies

Maybe

Lonely ladies

Are like

Lonely princesses.


It doesn't take them long

To realize

That something is amiss.


But it takes them long

To realize

That they could actually be

Lonely.

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The Last Of My Family

I dont have much family left
Most were stolen from me, what a theft

Very few, doesn't take that long
Walk by us and blink, we are all gone

Ibarra a name i call my own
Come on doesn't life give any loan?

Ana, that car loving child of yours Roy
Take good care of him, Ryan too, I promise i'll get them one toy

My brothers are my point in life
The reason i dont pick up that knife

The last of my family are almost done
Im scared, that there be in the end only one

Come on i call the rest of my family
I will giv a hug, happily

So the last of my family come over here
Lets talk, sit down, I got beer?

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Piles Of Half-shells

while watching and we all have
and all will
why do most deny it.
weather it is this or that.
climbing trees untill the
very tops
even if the vines
around it
take you out of your way
you feel it in the tree
right before.
even if the first few climbs
result in
and or catch you off guard.
tree or vine symbiotic
host or hostess
one or the other as the
fingers clutch
at each nook and cranny.
some times forcing an early
retirement.
and then some one, any one
perhaps even myself
seeing
the tightness
right over head we move up
towards it
as it opens and closes, back
and forth up and down.
open at the juncture of the half
shell
one appreciates,
the gravity of technique needed
to split them apart.
where equal and opposite each
contraction
makes gravity work for you
instead of against you.
and generally it doesn't take to long
for a pile of half-shells
to accumulate at the bottom
of each tree.
it is a simple matter of repacking
each parachute
that in their hast to retreat
left no room for discourse
and consequently
left a little pink around the rear.

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Pisser

Lost all my friends pulling down my
Pants just to say hi and I'm still
Alive without a tan, Trippin, naked man,
Through the forest who like me
Has fallen right into a kind of grace
Drinking from a river of fine wine just
To ease my mind, then fell through
The hole I've made looking for a centre
In my life and just why I am
I woke iin the grass fascinated with
Moving water and the smell of my breath
Rampaging ants carry me to death or a last
Chance and a swing for the fence, instead I
Hit the bottom hard and wide looking for
Escape from the daylight and the passing time
Digging just to find someone like me
gets in the right line for the right ride
At just the right time, hoping it doesn't take
Too long to find a way
And I hope there's a sign
I hope that it leads me well
On the way
I hope there's a sign
And I hope I can read it right
I'm running on, over and lower
It's slow going half the time
I hope there's a sign
And I hope I can read it right
It seems I've had a lifelong headcold full
Of Negative, mindwarps and eclipsing suns
like hot air through my underwear while
Sitting in my chocolate chair at home...
It thrills me, turn the lights out and leave
Me alone

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7 Things-Miley Cyrus

Vs.1 I probably shouldn't say this,
But at times I get so scared,
When I think about the previous
Relationship we've shared.
It was awesome, but we lost it,
It's not possible for me not to care.
And now we're standing in the rain,
But nothing's ever gonna change until you hear, my dear,

The 7 things I hate about you.

[Chorus]
The 7 things I hate about you, (oh you) .
You're vain, your games, you're insecure,
You love me, you like her,
You make me laugh, you make me cry.
I don't know which side to buy.
Your friends, they're jerks,
And when you act like them, just know it hurts.
I wanna be with the one I know,
And the seventh thing I hate the most that you do,
You make me love you.

Vs.2 It's awkward and silent,
As I wait for you to say.
But what I need to hear now
Is your sincere apology.
And when you mean it, I'll believe it,
If you text it, I'll delet it.
Let's be clear,
Oh, I'm not coming back,
You're taking 7 steps here.
[Chorus]

Vs.3 And compared to all the great things
That would take too long to write,
I probably should mention
The seven that I like.

The 7 things I like about you.
Your hair, your eyes, your old Levi's,
And when we kiss, I'm hypnotized,
You make me laugh, you make me cry.
But I guess that's both I'll have to buy.
Your hand in mine,
When we're intertwined, everything's alright.
I want to be with the one I know.
And the seventh thing I like the most that you do,
You make me love you.
You do. (oh) .

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Destiny's child

write my name before history
I am destiny's child
the world is waiting for me
I have the fate no one's dare to take
I should not fail, I'm living legend
there's future I must create
good and bad depends on me
doesn't matter my heart actually is
they don't tell me why
they don't care I sweat and cry
I was born to fulfill prophecy
a warning to many plea
I'm here, I'm here now
I don't hope you know me struggle
We'll swept all cracking part
to make your dreams come true
till you finally pleased with my heroic story
an epic of miracle and hope
it will take a long time
before you leave me alone
forgotten in the dust of paper

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To A Friend Who Says That She Does Not Know How To Write A Poem Anymore

it is sad, when you think that you do not know
how to write a poem anymore
a simple poem as simple as you
what does it take for humanity to write one poem?
does it take that much from those who claim they know the way?
shall blood be shed to drive another point?

do not lose hope in the power of our ordinary words,
for as long as we quiver, poems are written
for as long as we lose the consciousness about our beings
the metaphors always come and build upon themselves their own meanings

take your time, breathe the air of poetry, and let the molecules
enter your lungs that long to see the light of the sun,
just be patient, keep on waiting, savor the silence, shower yourself
with the light of the moon, on another lonely night,
sleep soundly, and listen to the sound of your snores,
in your dreams, the poems write themselves.

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Creepy-The Sitting Duck!

So much has been exposed ALREADY-
So many players have been named...! ! !
And your publicity-even though bad-has spotlighted you...! ! !
Into the possible perp of 'Criminal Fame';

To say that you and yours are the number 1 suspects...
On a list near a full page long...
Would be an understatement...
But you continue-to write about doing wrong;

With your oft' hidden intimidating threats...
That are so easily caught...! ! !
It doesn't take a Criminal Profiler...
To see what you are STILL all about! ;

But in your little cruel life...! ! !
You prpbably say-what the hey...
My wife left and had an abortion to boot...
So i might as well spread the misery 'round this day! ! ! ;

And in your green pea brain...
You think any kind of publicity is okay...
Even if it is: 'criminally horrific'
You truly make: 'THE WATCHERS' day;


Dedicated to: Andy Shew
And S. P. and R.

*** The ASCPA***
*** THSOA***

May 6,2010

If anyone on this site is wondering- a lot of my poetry is about
our family being victimized. All of this when i am
Suffering from heart disease and a very serious chronic illness
That could take my life any time.

***I would like to thank my very kind friends who have helped me
With this and continue to moniter this whole situation.
Without you i would not know even half what i know.***
Also, i owe a great big thank you to My God!

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Lines For The Fortune Cookies

I think you're wonderful and so does everyone else.

Just as Jackie Kennedy has a baby boy, so will you--even bigger.

You will meet a tall beautiful blonde stranger, and you will not say hello.

You will take a long trip and you will be very happy, though alone.

You will marry the first person who tells you your eyes are like scrambled eggs.

In the beginning there was YOU--there will always be YOU, I guess.

You will write a great play and it will run for three performances.

Please phone The Village Voice immediately: they want to interview you.

Roger L. Stevens and Kermit Bloomgarden have their eyes on you.

Relax a little; one of your most celebrated nervous tics will be your undoing.

Your first volume of poetry will be published as soon as you finish it.

You may be a hit uptown, but downtown you're legendary!

Your walk has a musical quality which will bring you fame and fortune.

You will eat cake.

Who do you think you are, anyway? Jo Van Fleet?

You think your life is like Pirandello, but it's really like O'Neill.

A few dance lessons with James Waring and who knows? Maybe something will happen.

That's not a run in your stocking, it's a hand on your leg.

I realize you've lived in France, but that doesn't mean you know EVERYTHING!

You should wear white more often--it becomes you.

The next person to speak to you will have a very intriquing proposal to make.

A lot of people in this room wish they were you.

Have you been to Mike Goldberg's show? Al Leslie's? Lee Krasner's?

At times, your disinterestedness may seem insincere, to strangers.

Now that the election's over, what are you going to do with yourself?

You are a prisoner in a croissant factory and you love it.

You eat meat. Why do you eat meat?

Beyond the horizon there is a vale of gloom.

You too could be Premier of France, if only ... if only...

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Patrick White

Enlightenment Isn't Lumpy

Enlightenment isn't lumpy
even if sometimes you've got your heart
stuck in your throat
like a bird in a chimney
warming up like a phoenix
to go the way of the sumac leaves
and the ghosts of smoke
on the pyres of the sky burials
of the Canada geese.
Just because November
can't feel its pulse
and the garden snakes are nesting
like a sloppy knot of wavelengths
deep in the cold heartwood
of a rootless tree that can feel
the brutal chill of serpent fire
running up its spine like a lightning rod
doesn't mean enlightenment's a placebo
you have to keep away from the kids.
It's real enough to be unattainable
without disrespecting the integrity
of the picture plane.
It hides out in the open
where no one ever thinks to look.
The simpler it gets
the bigger the book you need to write
in order to conclude ambiguously
you do and you don't not understand it.
Say not two
and all is well.
And mean it deeper than you can say it
so that pain doesn't adulterate the child
that's trying to transcend it
by hanging on to the lifelines
of his fire-proof constellations
like the kites of distant stars burning in the wind.
Enlightenment doesn't care
if you've lost your integrity.
Your absence of self-respect
for someone who isn't there
is a rare opportunity
to uphold the dignity
of stars and rivers and trees.
Enlightenment's just the blossom.
It's not the fruit
of what there is yet to be.
The smell of autumn
in a windfall of apples
cradled like small planets in your arms.
Enlightenment isn't salvation from pain.
It's an invitation to forsake yourself
in the name of nothing you can explain.
The blossom let's go to make room for the fruit.
The perfumes of the spring give way
to the aromas of decay.
But they're both sweet
because there's nothing about either of them
that's everlasting.
It may be an old root.
But it blossoms in the spring.
It may be a dead branch
but the nightbird stops to sing.
And the full moon shines
like a skull full of signs
above its dark abundance.
Enlightenment isn't out of the reach of anyone
because it's got infinitely long arms
and puts the stars at your fingertips
and says play what you want
as long as it's something
we all can dance to
on our way to the grave
like fireflies in the wake of a thunderstorm.
Enlightenment doesn't take life too seriously
even when it makes a tantrum
of its elemental innocence
and goes supernova.
Deep in the nuclear core of its heart
it's creatively playful on a cosmic scale.
The darkest inspiration
of its genius for making
an art of its existence
is life.
Simple and beautiful
as the laughter of children
collecting sea shells on the moon.
Even when you're severely lost
enlightenment doesn't hand you a flashlight
and say go look for your mind
like the holy grail in a sacred wood.
It deepens your solitude.
It blows the candle out
until you emerge like a star
from the profusion of your own darkness
and stand in the doorway
of your own shining
amazed by what you can see
when enlightenment isn't blinding.

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It Wont Take Long

They said some men would be warriors
Some men would be kings
Some men would be owners of land
And other man-made things
False love as the eternal flame
Would move some to think in rings
And gold would be our power
And other foolish things
And you who dream of liberty
Must not yourselves be fooled
Before you get to plea for freedom
Youve agreed to being ruled
If the body stays a shackle
Then the mind remains a chain
And that will link you to your destiny
Where by other souls are slain
It wont take long
It wont take too long at all
Three men in a desert wandering
One is knowing and two are scared
They say time is in the river
Oh but the river is not there
Dry in spirit
Dry in body
Two will lend themselves to death
And in grief one weeps into his hands
And drinks his bitter tears
cause it dont take long
It dont take too long at all
No it dont take long
You may say
I dont know what youre talking about
And I say
You mean to tell me thats all
And I stand before you now
I am hopeful in my rage
You know love has finally called for me
I will not wilt upon its stage
But you know still smaller than my nightmare
Now do I print upon the page
And do we have to live inside its walls
To identify the cage
cause it takes so long
Why does it take so long
And it takes so long
You may say
I dont really care what youre talking about
Im gonna ask you
You trying to tell me you dont belong
I am my mothers daughter
But I have seen myself in you
Its this blessing that I follow now
And so I must speak true
I dreamed of thousands dying
It was you and you and you
And while the city sleeps so quietly
There is something we must do
And it wont take long
It wont take too long at all
It wont take long
May say
I dont know if I wanna know what youre getting at
It makes me wanna say
So long
Grief shall come in measures
Only grief alone will know
And youll see it on your family
And on your own face it will grow
Then theyll try to keep you hungry
And theyll tell you to eat snow
You know pride can be a moving thing
If we learn the strength of no
And it wont take long
It wont take too long at all
No it wont take long
You may say
I dont think this has anything to do with me
Did you ever think you could be wrong
At noon on one day coming
Human strength will fill the streets
Of every city on our planet
Hear the sound of angry feet
With business freezed up in the harbour
The kings will pull upon their hair
And the banks will shudder to a halt
And the artists will be there
cause it wont take long
It wont take too long at all
No it wont take long
And you may say
I dont think I can be a part of that
And it makes me want to say
Dont you want to see yourself that strong
Division between the peoples
Will disappear that honoured day
And though oceans lie between us
Lifted candles light the way
Half will join their hands by moonlight
The rest under the rising sun
As underneath the sun and moon
A ritualed wailing has begun
And it wont take long
It wont take too long at all
And it wont take long
And you may say
I dont know how to be a part of what youre talking about
And it makes me want to say
Come on
Come on
Oh beware you sagging diplomats
For you will not hear one gun
And though our homes be torn and ransacked
We will not be undone
For as we let ourselves be bought
Were gonna let ourselves be free
And if you think we stand alone
Take a look around and you will see
We are children in the rafters
We are babies in the park
We are lovers at the movies
We are candles in the dark
We are changes in the weather
We are snowflakes in july
We are women grown together
We are men who easily cry
We are words no quickly spoken
Were the deeper side of try
We are dreamers in the making
We are not afraid of why

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Patrick White

The Night's A Black Hole Of A Begging Bowl

The night's a black hole of a begging bowl
that doesn't know what to ask for anymore.
Shall I throw the new moon of another beginning in
like good coin of the realm, in passing,
or bite the bullet of a counterfeit eclipse
in the silver silo of the dark abundance
I'm trying to trigger into stars again
like apocalyptic insights going off in my brain?
The heavens roll like an old thirty-eight
I raise to my temple for old times' sake.
But the gate I used to close behind me
in the high starfields to keep nothing in
is hanging on like a lapwing by one rusty hinge
to the wing and the prayer it's dragging on the ground.

It's getting a little late for suicide. The timing's
overtaken the importance of the content.
And this close to the end, it would be a shame
not to see yourself out like friend in the doorway
saying farewell to yourself as you say in return
I'm glad you came to the stranger whose threshold
you crossed like a star in transit at zenith.
My pulse is still hammering swords of light out
on the anvil of my heart for me to fall upon,
but lately I've been bending them like horseshoes
to put them out of use and return them in tribute
to the water sylphs in the sacred pools of my mindstream.

Inspiration ages into crazy wisdom that still
doesn't take its own advice but never fails to sing
in a voice worthy of a wolf or hermit thrush at moonrise.
I've been firewalking my way through this
long, dark, strange, radiant dream since I first
opened my eyes and the stars began to shine
but I've never lived the same thing twice.
Though the morning star falls like Lucifer
in the false dawn of enlightenment, the abyss
cannot be bridged by anyone's trajectories
however high we ascend, how ever deep we plunge,
until we're burning like maple leaves and shooting stars
in the second innocence of our return journey back to earth.

Fletched arrowheads of the sky, even the birds
falling short of the unattainable miss the mark
and return to the green boughs of their beginnings
just like the flight of these words in the sunset
as the night overwhelms us all unspeakably
with the proto-nostratic of the stars
like a mother-tongue of light that leaves nothing unsaid
in the autumn darkness fragrant with the decaying dream grammars
of the dead slipping their shadows like secret messages
under the door of the book we're writing between us,
the beginningless prelude of the endless epilogue
of the memoir of the love life we had with Venus in Virgo
when the new moon was in the claws of sensuous Scorpio.
Big, red-hearted, archaic Antares
threshing the green wheat of Spica
as if the harvest had been achieved before the seed was planted.

Just because we die doesn't mean that life
is finished with us like the draft of a manuscript
we threw into the bonfires of the maple trees
to inspire our ashes to rise out of the open urns of our firepits
like the feathers of a dragon enflamed by the wind
so our spirits could ride their own legends a breath
higher and closer to the stars every time we open our wings
to re-read the lyrics it took a lifetime to write in scars
like thorns in defence of the mystery of the black rose
we were happy to bleed for as if our blood had no other use
than the ink in the pens of these leafless woods
dreaming of new foliage in the spring returning
like the plumage of eagles to the lonely flight feathers
of their skeletal quills. Fossil constellations
in the darkness that whisper between the lines
of the alpha and omega of the life themes that once ran
like purple passages of the mindstream
that can still shed light on our afterlives in a book of shale
long before we had eyes to read what we were writing
like loveletters to ourselves on intimate terms
with the inconceivable solitude of this distant future
we're all living now in celebration of yesterdays yet to come.

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Patrick White

I Stand Where The Listening Begins

I stand where the listening begins
as if my voice were just another one of the echoes
and my tongue were the tip of an edgy precipice
that doesn't dare make a move
over an immeasurable abyss of eyes
that nobody belongs to.
This is a seeing that's older than the stars
that were born of it
like a mirror is born of the shining.
Like a body is born of the mind
and takes on the shape of a universe
as an expressionist gesture of classical reserve.
In the great ocean of being before it turned into everyone
our eyes weren't beaded like two drops of water
strung through our nose
like a statement we were trying to make.
They were waves.
Waves of water.
Waves of light.
Waves of thought and feeling.
They were waterbirds that came and went
without leaving.
They were meteorological events
in the emotional life of the sea
when it played alone with itself like weather.
We didn't evolve hands to prove we had a grip on things.
We didn't evolve brains to prove we were intelligent.
We're not nuggets of insight
panned from the mindstream
that runs down the world mountain
in a rush of gold.
I stand where I can hear the night
breathing like a shadow in its own darkness
and whatever I am not
is as real as whatever I am.
And my sorrows dropp away
like the black fruit of ruined bells
and my joys know a freedom
no holy war ever deserved.
Here my death answers to my life
and not the other way around.
My beginnings are not justified by my ends
and my solitude is so wholly itself
it embraces everything
as if it were space
and time were its only friend.
This is a poetic state.
A dynamic mode of creative annihilation.
This is a phoenix blooming in its own fire.
This is life.
This is the universe full of bright ideas
that come to it like stars in the darkness.
This is the white mare of the full moon in the high field
with the gates open
like wings growing out of her shoulders.
This is a space that is so spontaneously immediate
that you receive the reply
long before you've even asked the question.
It doesn't take thousands of thoughtyears
for the light to get here.
A flower blooms.
A star comes out.
It's as simple as that.
You lift one veil of the mystery like an eyelid.
Nothing has a history.
The old man remembers nothing.
The old woman forgets her name.
Once they were seabeds of meaning.
Now they're just water.
And everything is ok with that.
People go grey
and turn into clouds in the mountains
just to catch the last of the light
and give their lives some colour.
And then it's night again
and the dancing chandeliers of the stars
that are burning like legends
to make a name and a myth for themselves
fall like constellations to earth
and shatter like the rainbows of youth.
Every dawn has a taste of the sunset in it.
What's the end of anything
if not the dark side of its beginnings?
I am the fool of a freedom
that lets things be whatever they want to be
deep within the heavy fruit of a compassionate heart
that ripens in its own lucidity.
There are worms.
There are birds.
There's a green star in the apple core.
My skin is the chameleon of the sun going down.
I know how to swim through stone and water.
There are fish in my treetops
and birds in my roots
and when I drown
it's the sun in the sea
and nothing ever really goes out.
Everytime I open my mouth to sing
this is where the muse
puts a finger to her lips
to teach me what I'm talking about.
I'm a star when I write.
First I let go of the light.
And then the children point fingers at me
and say in mutual recognition
of the stories they make up on the go
there you are
just as we foretold.
It's the same way with water
when it's lost in a desert of sand and stars.
Sometimes it takes a mirage to find your way home.
Death gapes like the jawbone of a mummy
and writes like a pyramid
as if it wanted to make all things last forever.
But when life picks up the pen
around the fires of the stars
to whisper into its own ear
things that only solitude
can suggest to the night
its poems are always tents on the move.
The moon sailing paper lifeboats down a river
like waterlilies
blooming in the pale flames
of their lunar immolations
as if each were a white phoenix
rising above its own ashes and smoke
like someone dreaming of swans.

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My Repetitious Future....[LONG; My Life/Personal; Math]

What do I have to look forward to the rest of my fine life?
It depends, to some degree at least, on my dear wife.
If she stays alive and somehow keeps on putting up with me,
I may live twenty more years (ten more than I 'should') . We'll see.

To make the math simple let's say my years left are ten.
So how many times might I repeat things between this day and then?
I mean some of the daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly things I do.
Some are necessary and some I enjoy, but some I don't look forward to.

Sleep: Let's say 10x365x10=36,500 hours, give or take.
That's about two-fifths as many hours as I'll be awake!
How many movie DVDs watched at night from our couch?
That's 5x52x10=2600 movies we'll see. Ouch.

At only two real meals a day, that's still 7300 sittings to dine,
but with an equal number of snacks I think that I'll be fine.
And while Aki slaves to prepare about 3400 dinners
I'll be reading to us aloud from 130 novels of murder, losers, and winners.

If my body cooperates I'll take 2600 walks, give or take.
Some will be near Bay, but most will be near home that I'll make.
And walking my town's streets I'll take down 300 outdated signs,
and trim 200 overhanging branches as long as no one whines.

I'll practice Happy Birthday on piano 3000 times, most times while standing,
and do perhaps 200 little home projects, which may include some sanding.
I'll fill bird feeders 120 times or more, depending on the birds,
and 2000 times add water to bird dishes, removing first their turds.

I'll romance my wife 520 times; that figure may be high.
I'll shave my face a thousand times unless I give beard, again, a try.
Trim toenails 60 times and fingernails about one-o-five.
3650 showers I'll take as long as wife's alive.

I'll have an untold number of bowel movements. Wait and see.
And ‘bout eighteen thousand times, usually without flushing, I'll pee.
I'll have 10 to 100 doctor appointments. Who really knows?
I'll go to dental office twice yearly, though their current business staff blows.

I'll brush my teeth six or seven thousand times, but with no flossing.
I'll punch a time clock no more times; except for from my wife, I'll have no bossing.

Ten or twenty shirts I'll wear out completely, while getting countless others dirty.
I'll call my siblings about 400 times, especially my sister Birdie.
I'll call friends about 2500 times, plus emails, but few letters.
I might wear an outdoor jacket 400 times, but I'll rarely wear a sweater.

I'll take 3600 doses of aspirin, and twice-that of flaxseed oil,
and 500 bottles of red wine to, hopefully, bad health foil.
I'll open our mailbox over 3000 times unless Saturday delivery stops.
And perhaps 70 times, as a good citizen, I'll call the local cops.

I'll vote for U.S. president three times I guess, no fewer,
and more times to reelect lesser-officials or to elect some people-newer.
I'll send 200 checks to those less-fortunate or to help environment.
And, with my wife,10 times we'll file tax returns, an annual requirement.

I'll wear a necktie no more times; that I can just about swear.
My wife may trim my hair now and then, but no barber will cut my hair.
I'll have eyes examined 8 or 10 times, and buy perhaps 4 pairs of glasses.
A few times, when wife's not looking, I'll look at pretty lasses.

I may attend 3 or 4 weddings, and funerals perhaps one or two.
I plan to attend one or two high school reunions; I'll see what I can do.
My wife will probably take me on 3 to 5 trips beyond the U.S. borders,
and each year 2 or 3 more-local trips; from her I take my orders.

I plan no more colonoscopies, though I don't mind them at all.
I may have a few 'suspicious' moles removed. Doc and wife will make the call.
There should be 1 more census form to fill out for our government,
and 120 credit card statements to check to see what we have spent.

I expect to become a grandpa two or three times. That's ok.
And for 20 migration seasons I may welcome duck travelers to the Bay.
I'll write perhaps 500 poems if I get inspired,
and check blood pressure a thousand times to see how high I'm wired.

I'll say 2500 time to my dear wife, 'I love you'. I do.
And a thousand times 'I'm sorry', though sometimes it's not true.

I'll die one time. One time is all. I hope no one I'll sadden.
[If I croak in less than 10 years, perhaps some folks I'll gladden.]
But, believe me, if I last more than ten years, I hope no one I'll madden.


(2012?)

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Patrick White

Yellow Wildflowers Under A Grey Sky

Yellow wildflowers under a grey sky,
visionary smog on the dirty windows,
a genie in a crack pipe that ungrants
whatever wishes you came with
thinking six rocks might be enough
to make a whole new planet
everybody gets to rule
for an hour and a half
like fresh strawberries
and a brand new start. Fat chance.

The spring dawn has run out of preludes
and it's using spider webs
and dreamcatchers for substitutes.
Could be a lifeboat, could be a shipwreck,
could be this cataract of ash
in my third eye, could be the distant cinder
of a depressed seagull on my bent event horizon.

High calibre thoughts
as dizzy as bullets and marbles
in a game of Russian roulette
that's in it for the vertigo
and suggestive stage effects.

Addicted to the mystery
I'm always more intrigued
by what I don't know
about what I mean
than I am by what I do.
It's good to see wisdom
still holding hands with ignorance
after all these partially eclipsed,
partially enlightened spaced-out light-years
that went by in the flash of firefly
through the temple of a prophetic skull
that thought it was playing with lightning
when, in fact, it was only
third man on the match.

How could I possibly regret
what I still don't understand about life,
or celebrate what I delude myself
into giving the benefit of the doubt
when I open my mouth like a dove cage
and all the words fly out,
every mourning dove and longing nightbird
with a message that might be true
from me to God knows who?

And I know I've been staring dragons
in the eye too long
waiting for the moon to blink first,
as if I had something to prove
about the indefensible dignity of a human
when one isn't there to defend itself.
The true human isn't truly human.
I think it was Hakuin who said that.

And besides, my humanity when I am one
talks with the tongue of a scuffed boot
that's been down one too many roads,
stepped once too often over the edge,
or on a landmine buried in snow,
crossed too many thresholds,
too many burning bridges
with the broken heart of a bell in my mouth
and my new freedom shrieking
like a banshee at the door
to care much about what thing
comes thus anymore. Could be a curse,
could be a blessing, could be par for the course,
or worse, the sonic boom of experience
breaking down the sound barrier
of another sacred syllable for the record books.

Days I feel like a white tiger on the moon
with the fang of my first crescent
broken off, doomed to starvation
like fire stalking meteors for their oxygen
as once I used to drink blood like the nectar
of freshly-killed ruby-throated humming birds
that tasted like small aperitifs
of delirious picture-music
at the trough of the hollyhocks to me at the time.

Yesterday if you were to ask me what self is
I'd have said the sum of all you tried to rise above
but didn't. Today it's not even worth
considering the question longer than it takes
to dismiss the ensuing silence
as just another kind of curious theory.

O to be as useful and down to earth
as a wheelbarrow in the world,
a vehicle for building materials one way
and a death cart for the dead and unwanted
getting the excess baggage out of the way
of the garden I've wanted to be from the very start
sitting with Hafiz and Shabastari
like fountainmouths in the shadowwater
of the black walnut trees gibbering
with irritated sparrows and circus squirrels,
shooting the lyrical breeze just for the hell of it.

What could be sadder or lonelier than a muse
that no one's listening to, if it isn't a poet
who doesn't write back in tears to cool her eyes
with a song he made up on the sly
to slip under her door like a mailbox at midnight?

The wind rustles in the crowns of the trees
like the transient themes of pollen and dust,
and at night, gusts of stars, we all are.
And there are fires that give us sanctuary from the cold
we can sit around like planets for a whole lifetime
trying to squeeze a constellation out of smoke
and chimney sparks, and never manage
anything more than a firefly shy of a flashlight
trying to read a star chart in the dark
like a nightwatchman peering through windows
looking to see if anything's out of place,
untoward, missing, or lost in a space of its own
like a stay-at-home atmosphere trying to find a planet
that doesn't take it for granted like ozone on the moon.

Tomorrow, where will today be
when you look back on it like yesterday
if not at the same seance you summoned it to just now
to try on the death masks of the ancestral mediums,
eyebrow to eyebrow, on both sides of their eyes,
as if you were choosing the best language
to speak to yourself in when you're an alien among the stars
and everything is too immense, too radiantly hot and cold,
and time crowds eternity out of its imagination
and the void is so colour-blind it couldn't find its way home
if you were to line the streets with lighthouses,
and to be a human is to be exalted and humbled
in the same moment, like a moonrise without any frills
like vapour trails in a sunset, or ghosts
before the break of dawn anxious
to get back to their graves on time, and you can tell
by the way she carries her prophetic skull with dignity,
she's trying to do what we're all trying to do
each after our own fashion, given we're made of starmud.
Ingather and shine, ingather and shine, any way you have to.

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Patrick White

Blue Fire

Blue fire in your eyes, for years
I've watched you smiling everywhere
against the odds
of the secret you carry within you,
the pain you carry within you
like a broken mirror
waiting for the moon to rise
as if you were a thousand lakes, each
waiting for the pearl
that would answer their darkness from within.
I was always afraid of your edges,
the way you pretended
to mistake my face for a mask,
as if I was always up to something,
as if you could hear the whisper
of the assassin behind the door
before anyone else could,
as if your pain had taught you
to be quick and clever,
to double-back like a choir of tigers,
the ghost of a supple cougar,
and ambush the hurt
you were certain would follow
any overture of flowers,
the waterlilies rigged to go off
like dismembering mines,
and the globes of the cherries
that hung like streetlights and chandeliers,
like tears long held back,
covert bruises, and kisses long denied,
small, black, radioactive planets
charred by the wary shadows of Eve.
And I never thought
you could see more in me
than a passing newspaper
hurled at your door
like another bone of the world,
another slug-line, another playbill
sporting the plague-mark
of another macabre extinction.
And you almost convinced me I was,
you were so curt in your convictions,
so ready to diffract the light of the stars,
to bend their shining
into their emission and absorption spectra,
to show under the lens of your polished glass sky
the subtle skeletons of death
that proved their wings were ladders.
It would be obvious
to compare you to a field of burning wheat,
to point to the fish
that rudder like eclipses through your blood
from a safe bridge above your flowing;
and you were right
when you said it would take a long time
before I could write a poem about you:
it's taken eleven years
of being suddenly startled by your beauty
as you showed up randomly
in the wrack and ruin of here and there
like a wild sunflower
that strangely survived its own innocence
in the ashes of a sacred grove.
I have never not been
shocked to see you
like a window coming around the corner,
like a loaf of gold in a hungry nation,
a star cluster out of the reach
of my autumnal fingertips,
a sky too far for touching,
and the light of the life
that animated your beauty
something clear and vital and lyrical
that exceeded even you,
something that shone out of you
as if the lantern couldn't see
the shadows that danced in its fire,
what measure of darkness
was stunned by its poppy.
I know beauty well enough
to fear the black fire of its unattainability,
the terrible preludes of possession
that arrive like temporary reprieves
and suicidal postcards,
the brutal bedside confessions
that wire the heart to an electric throne
that dims the lightbulbs with a shudder of night.
And I have preferred my palace of ashes
to the diamond hovels
of impoverished beginnings,
remembering how my scars
turned into an untranslatable alphabet,
every letter the cartouche or coffin
of forgotten royalty
embalmed in the dirty rags of time,
the tars and feathers of farcical birds
trying to hatch pyramids
that crystallized like salt in a desert
after the lifting of veils and rivers and tears.
I have stood like a ghost at the gate
of a house I was born in
and admired the beauty of roses
that went on blooming long after
I had planted them and disappeared
to let them flourish in the rain and the sun.
And I have felt the thorn of moonlight
press into my flesh like a slow fang
charged with a fatal elixir,
cold infernoes of ferocious transformations
and endured my own afterlife
like a road and a wounded wheel
threshold after threshold of black ice
as my heart tried to crawl back to the tide
like an iron crab.
I have cultivated exotic solitudes
that couldn't say my name
without laughing,
and heard the wind lament
my most cherished intensities.
I am no stranger to death
or the eerie emptiness
of laying myself down on the table
like the only joker in a full house
to ever make a guest appearance.
But I am too stubborn for regrets
or I haven't been convinced
of their necessity yet,
and why should I belittle
so much joy and excruciation
as the mistakes a river made in its running
as if it could correct its way back to the sea?
Think of it.
All these stars
and not one in the wrong place.
But I grew sick of the useless pain
and the misery and the grief,
the cosmic effort to open a simple seed,
boundary stones hurled at the heart
and the hard bread of broken smiles
and the ghost food of the ego-feasts
that mistake mystic vision for a lighthouse
and run themselves up on the rocks
to be cherished among the wreckage
like emotional salvage;
and I had nothing more to give,
I had nothing more to say or celebrate,
my shadow confessed to an eclipse
it was a loser,
my blood bleached itself white
and packed itself like a fire hose
under a switch and a small glass window that read
in case of emergency, surrender,
and I learned to apologize
for all the wars I'd won,
and finance monuments to my defeat,
depict myself as less than what
I never had a chance to know I was
just to keep the rose
from putting its eyes out
on its own thorns.
And I did a good job of it;
I learned to love unconditionally,
I learned to love without love,
I learned to love without me.
I forgave and understood everything;
I shuddered in pain and understood,
saw how we all die eventually,
how the candles of beauty and truth
in this terminal vastness
are so rare and precious,
even unjustly they should be cherished,
not allowed to go out in the heart
even if death and betrayal took all,
even if every breath of a desolate lover
turned into a knife on the wind, an arrow of spite,
not to let the rage to be done forever with caring,
with hurting, with radioactive solitudes
that tainted the heartwells with vicious reason,
forsake the slightest victory of tenderness,
forgo the least memory
of human intimacy in such an implacable night.
But the darkness forgives no one
and the light is a vicious testament
to how many wounded there are in the world,
how many injured and broken,
torn down like doorways
at the end of a hall no one walks down anymore,
destroyed from within by a dream
that could barely say its name
to anyone who asked why it wept.
So many injured, hurt, condemned
by the silence of forgotten smiles
that have dispersed their seed
in the dusk of a vernal ephemerality
that no more acknowledged their passage
than a broom the destiny of dust.
And there's a part of me that cares yet,
however many lashes of the mind
assault the heart like an island
with the salt of reason
and a tide of serpents, even now
my eyes crack in the heat
of so much suffering,
so much transformative fire,
the butterfly in the furnace of the dragon's mouth.
But I had to grow tougher than space to survive,
to teach fire how to walk
on the dead seas of a vast moonscape
pocked with the astronomical impacts
of a childhood I lost like a leaky atmosphere,
I had to convince the world
I was at least as real and irrelevant as it,
that I could breathe in the randomness
the cold drafts of a faceless abyss.
I was a fraud out to prove his own sincerity,
and there are saints that would wince,
ferocious hermits in glass deserts,
hallucinatory purities of nothingness
that would tremble to undergo
the talons of the furies that afflicted me
like barbed stars on a chain
that refused to indulge itself with any key,
any liberation that smacked of peace.
And this is not a confession,
not an accusation or retrospective opprobrium;
nor does the withered branch
cling to the wraith of a blossom
any longer than it takes the frost of an early winter
to melt like an orchard.
I applaud the intensity of my mistakes,
the depths of my madness,
the unsustainable enlightenment of my rage;
how every victory was shadowed
by my own insistent mortality,
the doggish constancy of my own fallibility.
And there were perversities within me,
the dark haloes of my occlusive sanctity
that wanted to lead the night like a willing virgin
through the intimate stations
of the far fields beyond the blazing billboards
that urged a delusional frenzy
to seed her like a blind fish
in the gutted depths of an eyeless normalcy.
I wanted to dare my own horror into submission,
risk without counting
the sugar-coating on the placebo
of my inherited humanity
in the impersonality of the void
that never paid any heed
to the furious courage of my expansive folly.
What nonsense it all seems like now;
the renewable virginity of a junkie
that bled like a candle to shoot the moon
under the tongue of a pointless habit.
Who did I think I was, fool
that I was to believe
all these brutal masks of frost
were only waiting for the sun,
that the collective ashes of the ancient urn-burial
that calls itself society
would rise to the blue phoenix
that woke up drunk in the recovery room
eating its own heart
just to prove it didn't need one
to remain true to its own transgressions?
In a fever of creation
I enhanced the quality
of human idiocy. An oracle, I revealed
the shallow roots of the sacred fires
and lit my cigarette and warmed my hands
over the eternal flames
that snapped shut
like the eyelids of windproof zippoes.
Like wardens the sun and moon
walked the ramparts above, high-powered rifles,
the heretical compasses of misdirection,
and I saw how even the stars,
the cool rush of the established constellations
were nothing more than the subtle tracks
of a long-term addiction
that could afford its own vice,
random derangement in the name of nothing;
the whole of creation
nothing but a black rock
cooked in a spoon,
the severed filament
of a wingless embryo of night
enthroned in the tomb of a shattered lightbulb.
Ecstasy became the ghoul of a horrid withdrawal
steeled to my isolation
and I reveled in the severities of my spirit,
the hospital furnace of a raging heart
that disposed of my gangrenous body parts,
the febrile infection of the disgusting dream
that cooed like a madame
in the brothel of a ruined magnolia
where I finally lay down with my spirit,
enshrined in the blood and mud and lust
of an incubator in hell
where I was delivered prematurely to the night,
the immaculate conception
of an inspired whore
that didn't try to reform
the fire in the mirror that burned like a face.
Now no one can recognize me,
and no one can account
for the injudicious happiness
of a condemned soul
that can scatter its ashes
like stars across the sky
for the wind to dance,
a road of ghosts to nowhere.
And the days and the nights
rain and shine, rise and fall,
and blood, and time,
and the curse and the blessing of their carrying forth
into a carrying forth
like the eye of a waterclock,
occur as they occur
without blame or salvation
in a freedom that doesn't know I'm here
to witness the improbability of their existence,
the improbability of you and I
sitting down on the concrete stair
of the bookstore where you work,
like two thorns removed from our own hearts,
free of the shadowless viper and the black rose
that taught us to bite and swallow
and I swear,
the spontaneous irony of your laughter
was sweeter than water lapping
the startled shores
of two islands on the moon,
both of us joyously distinguished
in a confusion of doves and crows
by what we had denied.

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