Easy Truth Plain Visibility


If it’s like what we think it’s just too easy
and the problem is plain over-generosity.

We look but fail to fathom our seeing
cheese in milk that is no longer milk
the firewood burns but does not cook
what sharpens a knife is not sharp
what sharpens our cognition is broad
and fine and crosses the red line over
the river into unforgivable detail.

Where there is gold lining in a blue sky
there is the most playful human eye.

Some of us allow that low is low
that high is high and only the elite
know the true taste of accomplishment
most go along with the overly repeated
dictum that it’s the few who deserve
to be revered or even served by
the many who must remain unnamed.

When glances are taken and not returned
the distance between has no time to agree.

All that by yourself on the self side
the B side of the ABC proud and free
as a kangaroo in a zoo d’ya hear me
some flip side of the done before and
the head of the tail of the will do again
lights low lights up and saying so
like too many of us banging a plan.

Oh a restless beginning is how beautiful
gathering up all its belongings and running
hard with abandon but no direction
how a ponderous and pointed finish
arrives in a long black car unidentified
by numbers, letters, logos or signs
except a license plate saying, NOW.

Where pink invades morning lightlessness
credit that color with all visibility.

If and when the sun goes down purple
nothing in your pocket but the awful truth.


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Ain’t Travel Funny

Long tin can packed full of people
ain’t travel funny
anywhere somewhere laugh don’t weep.

A woman wears her pink neck pillow
into the tiny bathroom
comes out shaking her nailed hands.

Short employee with eyes made up
to look like mushrooms
actually like cartoon mushrooms.

Windows so low only short people can
see out and headroom
for tall people to bump heads on.

Tall man in front of you with a rug
on his head. That’s okay
except that he keeps scratching at it.

In your ears white as clouds so much
noise you thank
goodness you can’t hear the snoring.

Baby cries surprised and I wake up
out of faux sleep
some glare but a couple consoles Mom.

Children having a childhood adventure
are hushed by grown-ups
watching cartoons on tiny screens.

All-aged passengers wobble down aisles
When there’s a bump
they grab seats with great turbulence.

Folks race to get bags down
only to stand in line
for their turn to hurry off somewhere.


started September 2017
finished 2 February 2018
This poem/song was begun on an airplane
then generalized and finished on a train.





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Don’t Waste Your Time


Orchards are picked, over is steady
harvest replenishing the bins, the cellars,
the silos, the peace of the dead with their
furiously spent appetites. Blazing hell
will have its way for a while then nothing.

When your love gets all mixed up
and gets caught in its first awkward lie
there is a future to see if you can see
it ain’t gonna look like more of the same
so don’t waste your time on petty past.

When the director of the movie says
“I’ve got nothing to say so I’m gonna jack
the audience around with tricks,” it is over ladies
and gentlemen, actors and viewers, so
don’t waste your time on middle and end.

When the doctor says you might
but then again you might not
have a problem that requires some solution
throw at it your astute discretion
before you waste precious time on it.

I’ve been in train stations before from
Sacramento’s chandeliered mural about
an invented groundbreaking for the transcontinental
railroad to the smoothly haphazard mHatta
at Cairo going to Luxor for not long enough.

At every one voices reverberate
off ceilings too high and rounded
off bodies and baggage, off windows to the world
the voices give garbled information to those
who suppose they are cogitating on a message

but really are reduced to stones in a stream
overconfidently begging the kitchen mistress
for soup and extra bread for a clean plate
for a level playing field and a box seat
but don’t waste your rosy time.

People like to talk about what they know
and love to talk about what they don’t.
This I know beyond the fragrance of doubt –
if someone says they know I won’t
waste time on the unknowing of it.

Most looking around falls into
this wishful category. Even objective
observation obviates factuality.
So would you sweetheart shackle
yourself with me to our ideal?


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Africa and Back Again


Out of nobody’s Africa
and back again
the unconscious tap of the foot
clap of the hand
the root of the root
where we began.

Out of our common Africa
and back again
employing a noisy backbone
to dig up a sound
to capture the picture
to focus the mind.

Out of darkest Africa
and back again
men stop their leave-it-alone loitering
and take a stand
if they didn’t the enemy
would be tempted.

Out of outrageous Africa
in dusty concert
contemplation works hard
digs a well
draws out rhythm
harmony and melody.

Out of luminous Africa
and back again
the unapologetic desert stops
growing its sand
keeping out the sea
and lets in the future.

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Drumming of Beasts


You can’t get the blessing
of going to heaven
without the knowledge
protected by nobody
everywhere but rare
so costly but free.

It was given a safe place
in the nose of the sphinx
now shot off or perhaps
in false beard long gone
to dust and re-used stone
for walls of new temples.

You can’t overcome
the drumming of the beasts
fanged and angry
blocking the winding ways
under the castle without
knowing their names.

One deity or eight
one dozen or forty two
guardians of the labyrinthian
underworld growling
like boars or crocodiles
like hound-headed men.

Seeps through pockets
driven out of town
distributed like sap like light
through every branch and leaf
of the tree of life.

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All the Way Down the Wall


He went back
to where he came from
nothing there but
regret and insomnia.
Sometimes almost
all the time
it’s blue all
the way down the wall.

He got fat
in winter but then
leaned up in the heat
of labor and ease.
Sometimes almost
all the time
it vacillates all
the way down the wall.

How he met his
father after decades
was while volunteering
at the homeless shelter.
Sometimes almost
all the time
it’s lonely all
the way down the wall.

Security had
no hold on him
lost in youth
hardly missed.
Sometimes almost
all the time
it’s cloudy all
the way down the wall.

When he met his
wife his weakness
was her independence
they drifted like snow.
Sometimes now
the most sublime
tint of belonging
colors his wall.


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The start of it cannot be turned
by chisel into a statue to be
put on display in a museum.
The end of it sits on no shelf
collects neither dust nor past.
The soup kitchen of my mind
is full of episodes, recipes,

When you kept to yourself
and my self withdrew
the two selves withered
edges brown and crinkled
like after a spring frost
unseasonably losing its way
had impoverished May’s

I left seeking true cold
extreme heat and fantasy
of independence. On the other
side of the courthouse clock
from normality I was ancient
for a while like I’d never been
in my history but too boyish
to blossom.

On any day in any weather
it was in the air plain and open
to buffeting to voluminous
views downward to water
upward to carelessness I’d
emptily sit positing negatively
the descent of my barefoot

Your long hair on those short
days blew cool in disturbing
my opinions. The half of
intimacy that is familiarity
spoke to the half of passion
that knows better than to
argue and together forbade
my vain and rootless

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