Mortaljive: The Rest is Silence

There is no still point in all the Universe, and that is the rock upon which I stand

Saturday, April 07, 2018

Poetry in the Time of a Dictator


the thing is observed

the thing being
a moment
a view
a tree
a pier
an island
ocean
wave

the one thing
the many things
the one thing, again

now, an artist might be grinning
or grimacing or drunk
a poet might be lost or losing
a friend might be alone
a pain might subside

a moment
a view
a tree
a pier
an island
ocean
wave

the picture is a vacation

***

Monday, March 19, 2018

This Just In


No more news

***

Sunday, March 04, 2018

Ghastly, Beastly Guests


you said they were coming here at five
"that was before the jive"
you said they'd bring the laughter and wine
"they turned it into turpentine"
you said the air would soon warm up
"they bled into the loving cup"
you said that we were of the chosen
"the words then fell as if were frozen"

***

Saturday, February 24, 2018

she spoke of this


just a few months ago
she spoke of loss
of stumbling and falling

nature doesn't call 911
it just dies for you
you can pick up the pieces
or leave them in place
to nurture the soil

she said to me
"just you wait, it's coming"
 i'm old enough to believe her
it comes again and again

and then the star bursts
and the fingers of the trees are candles
burning in frozen white fire

i remember a few months ago
she spoke of this

***




Wednesday, January 31, 2018

You must have already left


she was at the grotto, hollow and so pure
her i would sure follow
and then i'd take the cure
but children aren't so wonderful
that they can never die
i don't need god for everything
lord knows i care not why

she held all the numbers, she held them so close
she held the secret to the hideout somewhere on the coast
we followed her to denver
we'd follow her to spain
we thought she had the answer
to our daughter's pain

it's not for me, dear lady
but i need you all the same
she never gave an answer
she just vanished in the rain
and i stood upon the waters
i stood upon the deck
where are all the daughters
i stood upon the deck

the party starts at midnight
you park just down the street
make your way inside, dear friend
and tell me what you seek
two shots of old agave
two robbers at the grave
the lights are all afire
and i am all the rage
just get on stage
just get on stage

she held all the numbers, she held them so close
she held the secret to the hideout somewhere on the coast
we followed her to denver
we'd follow her to spain
we thought she had the answer
to our daughter's pain

when you fall into the earth
you taste the mud and rot
all the little creatures
that give as good as they did got
when you fall inside the grave
your mystery is revealed
you were never ever really here
except for things you feel
you were never ever really here
except for things you feel

***







Sunday, January 07, 2018

Fertile Crescent Blues

the priest went mad, as mad as hell
he turned a crimson tide
fingers arched and teeth revealed
he would not let us hide

the pastor took to trembling
and spitting on the floor
he locked the church against the dark
and many oaths were sworn

the rabbi and the shaman
the body of the lamb
the minister said there was no cure
for god, or for goddamn

what happened? well, it's good you ask
you have a right to know
how monsters reign in the terrain
above and down below

This: every cell that multiplies
divides itself to do
the exponential numbering
making many from a few

each birth is like a miracle
each twin an instant ghost
what's left behind is lost in time
in search of one more host

but ghosts cannot occupy
the form without the function
they jingle/jangle artlessly
and pass up every junction

what is left for all of those
who presume a truer plot?
who shout of deeper insights
of what is right and what is not?

the perch of heaven oh, so close
your faith is just the trick
to make you see the carrots
that hang down from all the sticks

but time will take you by the hand
illusion, yes, but strong
the smile that helps you face the world
will one day just be gone

and when the stage is empty
after prophets all depart
they sweep up all the dusty bits
and proclaim a fallen art

from this dust the minister
the rabbi and the priest
blame the moon for rising
when the sun shines not the least

***












Saturday, December 16, 2017

A Meditation for Trolls



A Meditation for Internet Trolls

Late at night, when the silence holds no promise, the troll faces the darkness just like everybody must at some point. He is danger itself! He is the arbiter at the door unto the void, and will wreak heartless tragedy upon those who despise him!

He waits beneath the bridge, to derail some passing family late in traveling, vulnerable, far from home. He is bitter acid in the clouds, razors in the jaw, broken glass and twisted metal. A vehicle approaches the crossing: inside the car sits father and mother in front, while in the back seat are children sleeping, huddled like small bears.

The air is chill outside. Father rubs his eyes, mother taps her fingernails against the glass of her window as they pass empty fields laying barren in winter. They approach the bridge in silence. The troll will destroy all who dares to pass, and seeks to strike but no, beneath the bridge he cannot join them, cannot reach them, cannot be them, is roughly torn apart in the despair of banishment. Is there something deep and abiding in that car, something dull and average, something profound.

The nameless family passes over the bridge and is gone--the troll cries "wait, wait" but it is of no use, the father and mother and children cannot hear the horrible moaning from beneath the asphalt road. Bitterness is the passing of love beyond our reach.

The troll turns away, and seeks the darkness for his shroud.



Amen.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

What do you call it?


please pull me up
and drag me across the road
please lay me down
on the sand by the sea

i turn to dust
and you will be wise to know
i am everywhere
like light in the day
what's left to do
when the clock strikes two
battleships
ready for dawn

so, yes i was
i didn't set out to be
it was clear, at least
it was clear to me
i poured gasoline
and then struck a match
down i went to Turcs
right down the hatch
right down the hatch

***

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

WTF?


we were born inside the shadow, born inside the night
we are also said to be in the silver shafts of light
someone else was certain
we arrived upon a train
the tracks of which have vanished in the mists that follow rain

does it really matter
the how and when and where?
is this really so profound
we ask it everywhere?
or is it just perfuctory
a place to mark a check
and what we're really asking
is what the hell and what the heck?



Monday, November 06, 2017

Sutherland


take a bullet in that cheek of yours
take another in your eyes
lasers made of lead and children's laughter
you can hear them in their cries

don't know what anyone can do
we have tried to stop the fires
men are coming at the break of dawn
dropping shrapnel on the choir

and I
blame you and I blame me
and I
drink deliverance from a jar
i cannot divine
i won't take the time
i won't deliver 
not a star

you're not very funny at the moment
your jokes are falling like rocks
all the bodies are limp in the pews
no applause to save the flocks

tell me, preacher, tell me
who is right and who is wrong?
the preacher's daughter in a pool of blood
i sit in darkness with a song

and I
blame you and I blame me
and I
drink deliverance from a jar
i cannot divine
i won't take the time
i won't deliver 
not a star