Rebel Reject Rock


Terrified of the fearfulness of staying put
figuring out the power of being strapped down
bare back against the back of the bare earth
shuddering like aspens cut back to marigolds.

A stubborn fuse on a volatile
flagpole just waiting to be violated
wirelessly channeling the intonations
of the tremendous beyond apprehension.

Lit, the cacophony of cousins
dark, the previous lives of raisins
the shape of tints forgotten within
the seedy hearts of persimmons.

Ropes are lessons tightening
tied across the chest from
what you lived through
throughout your youth.

Salesmen preach
and pontiffs sell
the over-simplification
rightly belonging
to the drop-out.

Happy to remain
in one breath
on the reefs
no peeking
at the surface.

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Communal Cognition


Did you hear that?
What he had come to
finally arrived at
what had become clear
to the human after
studying crickets
and scientific kin in
myriad thin slices
of behavior sexual
and evolutionary
over twenty crisp years
of dim specialization
drilling down to
super definition
of critical issues
cared about by none
not wife and kids
or even the crickets who
seemed only concerned
with honing their skills.

It was all about how
as they say in so many
fields it all depends
on the tit and tat
the click and chatter
between active specimens
in contexts of contiguous
contact and communication
seeking effective facility
for generating synchronicity
it was all about how
as he liked to say in meetings
the needy could pull needs
out of the black top hat
of clarified commonality
where you show somebody
who is in the same boat
that you are in the same boat
and therefore want
what you know they want.

Having duly recorded and
analyzed and catalogued
a million tiny significant
events of rasp and chirp
of birdlike flutter and
of squirrelish bluster
of territorial piss
of competitive vinegar
of desire to mate
of refusal to separate
of falling short of suffering
from utter loneliness
the researcher reached
a prime and primal
non-empirical miracle.

What he had come to
and clearly arrived at
was to say to himself,
Did you hear that?
No, not that. That.
He rubbed his legs together
and felt good about himself
having truly epiphanized
what sort of borderless
effort toward liason
might arise or be forged
between beings as discordant
as grillidae with antennae
and homo with empathy.
His head picked up perked
with the desire to share
the experience with a companion
but he had none
and so directed
his intense attention
back to his insects
wondering if one could
recognize his recognition
of a communal cognition.


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Real and Useful


Everything from electrons
to solar systems and horseheads
fashioned by convention in stardust
is grouped by type.

Friends, lovers, salts, metals
are raw materials for the similarity machine
brought to the mill for prep and processing
within our parameters.

Dawn does not budge for hours
hardly a line, the horizon escapes
any heavy-handed expectation that
it will not dance around.

No telling what dangles above
in the shade of the maple do not look up
there is nothing for your intrusive eyes
in the top boughs.

The split-tail circling flit-birds
start before the rest of us and work late
black on the back but bellies gray as mice
I have never seen one land.

Is the real useful
or we might ask contrarily is the useful
real? Have I made of my sweetheart seven
sisters with a story?

Indeed even my words
tug and pound at each other’s functions
ostracizing the ill-fitting and orphans
of other consciousnesses.

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Right There Right Here

Even in the middle of the mountains
the mountains seem far away.
Truth is like that.

A look into the hazel iris reveals
ocean, coral, equator.
Welcome to beauty.

Grinding rough not even sharp
edges cycle into smooth
and carves a point.

A man’s calf a woman’s voice
are parallel like steel and silk
on the beach wanting

more music than what either has
alone wondering where the other is

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Down my rocky coast she ranges
in a nightly migration to the fringes.

She vacations my currents from
protected bay to open ocean.

Gaze encompasses a sure-thing
dramaturgical destination.

Her affection touches upon
endless drinking wing-wise.

What flavor and power of music
is she? In flight not flighty.

Instantly I become bizarre
unconvinced of the obvious.

Over vineyards and apple orchards
unleaving, light and non-stop.

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I forget
what I bought
so I bought it again
and again I guess
I bought it until
it filled up
my existence.

I kept my eye on
phone and clock
the two conspired
behind my back
to rob me blind
of independent

I am what is
mostly popular
I’m the friend of a trend
I embrace the data
that makes me

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Back Forth and Otherwise

I needed coffee. I got in the car,
drove a block to the drive-thru.
In the window a young woman
with a sweatshirt from my hometown.
Springville comes into view –
sandlot baseball in the afternoon.

Her name was Alex, her father Ken
was my age so I must have known him.
The first and last names rang a bell.
He’d lived one block north of me.
Although I didn’t know him well
we both went to Lincoln Elementary.

Those were the days of Eisenhower,
the Russian threat and Elvis Presley.
We’d ride our bikes hour after hour.
Our best friends were cats and dogs.
We’d kick balls in the street and play Monopoly
with no idea how big the world was.

How long ago and how far away
there was no future, just day by day
repetition of the simplest lessons.
God is good and speaks in riddles.
Do not challenge and do not stray.
Humility will win all battles.

I grew up there at least a little
then I left for California.
Ken stayed there his whole life
met his wife and raised his family
while I went off to Chicago and Cairo
to study languages and history –
to fail, succeed and follow chaos.

Since uncounted and open time
for as long as we crawled out of slime
men have come from little boys
getting larger and carrying on
what they learned from Dad and Mom
traveling the world or staying at home
becoming one of the future ancestors.

One man two men heads in blazes
every hometown is full of possible
friends, strangers, nightmares and memories.
I have my life and he has his
daughter serving me my red-eye.
We are all local and in a daze turning
phrases back, forth, and otherwise.


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