Thursday, August 31, 2017

Girl on the train



She plops down in the light rail seat
As if she owned it,
Blonde hair drooping over
The back of the seat
As she takes out her compact
To make up her face,
Every male in the train car
Trying desperately not to look at her
When it is clear that’s exactly
What she wants
As she progress to re-stain her lips,
Not red, she’s not that blatant,
A shade of pink that matches
Her fingernail polish
And her mascara thickly painted
On her eye lids,
Men stirred up and reluctant to leave
Even when the train reaches their stop
She waits, as patient as a Buddha
Until her stops arrives,
Popping up the way she’d plopped down
And in her super short supper tight shorts
Makes her way off the train
And down the platform,
A slow, steady, uncomplicated march
Which is witnessed by all,
Especially men, some in hard hats,
Turning completely around
As she and then cross the tracks
In opposite directions,
An awe she is perfectly aware of,
Yet does not acknowledge
A queen bee among the drones
Who feeds not on honey,
But their adoration,
Vanishing finally
Into the doorway of a coffee shop
She has also taken possession of.

Vampire killer


She puts garlic on my gravestone
Just in case the stake she drove
Through my back,
Missed my heart,
The wicked witch of the east
Painting herself as a vampire slayer
Determined to root out
All who refuse to accept her slanted
Version of truth as true,
A Brutus, a Judas,
Not even needing silver coins
As an excuse to drown out
Any voice she does not want to hear,
Any voice that raises questions
About her belief,
While she plots in the corner
Scratching out bits of propaganda
To make her enemies look foolish,
Hiding behind a mask like a bank robber,
Conducting her crusade in whispers
Because she’s too shamed or cowardly
To stand up for what she believes
Or perhaps because what she believes
Doesn’t stand up,
Sly, corrupt, dishonest
The way most true believers end up
Determined to silence my voice
To perhaps silence
The voice of guilt she hears inside
Her own pathetic head,
Placing garlic everywhere
To no affect.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Crucified



She said she had spoken with someone
Who had spoken to me
And I had said something to that someone
I never said,
Someone translated what I did say
Into something she wanted to hear,
And took back this perversion
To this woman, who blamed me
For something I never said,
But like that someone
Needed for me to have said it
So she can crack the whip across my back
And wash her hands
Before fitting my head
A crown of thorns
Before sending me up the hill
Bearing the weight of a cross
I never created,
Forcing me to decide
Which of the three I should be
The good thief, repenting
The bad thief, who won’t,
Or the one in the middle,
Bearing truth, righteousness
And justice
In silence.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Crusader




She tells filthy lies
Behind people’s back
That work-place rat
That
you can't  trust
Whenever she gets scared,
Full of righteous self-righteousness
Accumulated over years of ignorance,
Needing a crowd to hold her up
As she clings to here protest signs
Like her Christian ancestors
Did torches and pitchforks,
A dark knight hidden in spotless armor,
The kind of which Phil Oachs
Used to sing about as being
Someone you don’t want at your back,
Living in a distorted self-created reality
That allows her to hold noble notions
Her experience cannot justify
A slant so self-perpetuating
That even she has come to believe it
As truth,
Imposing labels on anyone she disagrees with,
Her slogans imprinted on her retina
As if tattoos,
Too scared to stand for anything
Unless she has a mob at her side,
A true crusader determined to save the Holy Land
Even as she tears it down,
A vicious streak running side by side
Down her spine along with a yellow one,
Always scurrying for self-survival
The way any rat might
Abandoning any ideology
That is too inconvenient,
Or anything that conflicts
With her ignorant truths,
Gnawing on other people’s bones
In the shadows
When she has nothing else
On which to feed.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Red noses for everybody



Everybody needs to wear a big red nose
So we all can recognize who they are,
And big toed shoes that flop when they walk,
And baggy red, white and blue pants.
Exposing once and for all
The truth about our taking ourselves
Way too seriously, full of outrage
And presumption of morality,
If we all had red noses and big toed shoes
Nobody could possibly take us
Seriously the way they mistakenly do now,
We wearing our true selves on our sleeves
For everybody to see, when we walk
When we walk, when we pretend 
We are something better than we are,
Red nose and wild green wigs,
And a old fashion bicycle horn
We squeeze to make some noise, 
The foolish sound coming out of the horn
Instead of our mouths.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

One minute after six



You always remember where you are
And what you’re doing at moments like this,
Like I did for the Kennedy
When I saw him pass on
Main Street, Paterson,
And later in Catholic school
When the crying Mother Superior
Told us over the PA
That he was dead,
Only this is different,
JFK was Catholic
And Irish and white
This man is not catholic
Not Irish and not white
How does someone like me
Think someone like him
As a grandfather
When I look in the mirror
And seen a different colored face
Than his
All the preconceptions
Vanished with that gun fire
On that balcony
One minute after six
When the whole world
Changed for all of us.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Black and white



I roam these streets
In my dreams
Always in black and white,
A smeared snapshot
Of my mad mother
Holding my hand
Down main street
As awesome to me
As Times Square,
Paterson,
The center of my universe,
A world so completely flat
Nothing else existed for me
Other than what I could see
From the overlook
At Garret Mountain,
No nature so raw
As the tumbling polluted water
Of the Passaic River
Over the Great Falls
My footsteps always following
The same crooked path
To where I stand today.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Shoe shine man



Washington Street: Between Ellison and market

His face was a burnished and brown
As the shoes he shined,
That old man in the lobby
Of the office building
Across from City Hall,
Waiting on his three chairs
And the business men
Who came and went,
Hr dressed in suit like them
But never a tie,
Bent before them
With such dignity
I always paused at the door
To watch
After my mother brought me
A hot dog and Orange Julius
As we waited for the Number 3
Bus to go home
A man whose back was bent
From doing the same thing
For so long
He looked like the old tree
Next to my grandfather’s house
Body twisted, but not his mind,
As dedicated to this ritual
As a parish priest,
Serving not the men in the chair
Who took so little notice of him,
But to some ideal
I could sense but never see,
And he when seeing me,
Always smiled, and winked.

Sirens



Market and Straight streets: Paterson

The old men shift sides on this long street
To the movement of the sun,
Sweaty faces glittering with the sharp light
Even in the shadows
Full of tall talk as the police sirens pass
Roaring to some unseen emergency
Too far down Market Street for them to see,
The siren song so frequent
It’s like white noise to them,
Even when they hear it they know
It almost always means death,
They shifting as the sun shift
In an endless almost pointless dance
They perform every day here
Tall talk of good and bad times
Remembered yet can’t get back,
Sipping cold brew to keep the heat off
As the sirens pass

Amiri Baraka remembered






Intelligent responses -- my blog from a decade ago about Amiri Baraka and McGreevey

Intelligent responses


For Amiri Baraka

My son throws a stone at an Israeli tank

Their bulldozers roll in to knock down my house

Settlements rise in its place, full of splashing swimming pools
While my family seeks water to drink,
I buy a knife, a gun, a bomb
Then set out to kill their sons in the market place
I kill their sons, they kill mine
For what? A stone? A house? A drink of water?


Bushwhacked at Waterloo
This article was re-written from the original partly because of new facts learned after its original posting.

Governor Jim McGreevey and the New Jersey Arts elite attacked poet Amiri Baraka for a passage of a poem he read at the Dodge Poetry Festival in September.
McGreevey -- who is hardly a freedom of speech advocate and who earlier in the year tried to clamp down on information journalists might have access to (making New Jersey the most restrictive state for public information in the country) -- demanded Baraka's resignation as New Jersey Poet Laureate.
McGreevey has been deluged by pro-Israel groups to remove Baraka after Baraka questioned whether or not Israel knew of before hand of the attack on the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001 and deliberately ordered its citizens to stay away from the buildings.
Baraka's information came via web sites that had previously been proven to contain misinformation concerning Iraeli communications with New York. Slate Magazine had investigated the accusations and found they were part of a campaign to tie the Israeli government to the attack on the World Trade Center (see link below).
Although Governor has no power to remove Baraka -- and Baraka has refused to leave the post -- McGreevey could eliminate the position for which Baraka receives $10,000 per year.
Baraka's remarks came in the middle of a poem several hundred lines long, part of a questioning process as to who knew what about the attack. He is not the only one. Internet webpages have cropped up over the last several months noting other irregularities about the events of Sept. 11.
McGreevey's spokespeople blasted Baraka with the assumption that the poet knew the information was false when he included in the poem.
Or even if Baraka's had exercised poetic license.
McGreevey's office and officers from the state's art's council accepted an anti-Semitic spin on the lines, although Baraka said he was questioning the Israeli government, not the Jewish people.
His lines run as follows: "who knew the World Trade Center / was gonna get bombed / Who told 4,000 Israeli workers at / the Twin Towers / to stay home that day?
Jewish writers in response a previous version of this article claim that these lines are anti-Jewish despite their lack of mention of Jews.
What makes the lie believable to many people is the history of Israeli relationships with the United States, in which information has been withheld and in fact, an agent of Israeli intelligence has been convicted of spying on the United States.
McGreevey, unfortunately, may be under pressure from numerous New Jersey political figures, who activive support of the Israeli government.
Charles "Shai" Goldstein, of the Anti Defamation League labeled Baraka's remarks "a pernicious anti-Semitic lie."
Baraka offered no apology, claiming that the U.S. Government was well aware of the attack before it happened. Baraka believes the United States and others are seeking to use the attack as an excuse to crack down on unfriendly governments in the Middle East. Similar theories were raised after Pearl Harbor, suggesting that then President Roosevelt had allowed the military base to be attacked so as to win public support for America's entry into World War Two. The big difference here, however, is the anti-Jewish spin that has been used against Baraka.
Jane Braillove Rutkoff, executive director for the New Jersey Council for the Humanities -- a person that should be protecting Baraka's freedom of speech, also came out against him, calling his statements counter to the mission of the council. This, of course, leads us to wonder, what mission the council is on, it not to promote an artist's right to create.
I have taken the position that firing Baraka is considered censorship, because he made a political statement. Numerous others disagree. I have included links to two New York Times stories as well as the definitive Slate article on the web hoax.

A divided state of being

Although poets jokingly called the Dodge Festival "Wordstock" to convey the feelings and magnitude the event had for them, this year's festival actually managed to live up to the level of myth-making. For the grand finale, the best of the best in American poetry took to the podium. While I am still not completely clear on the criteria for becoming a New Jersey or United State poet laureate, I do realize that talent plays an immense part. 

In New Jersey, of course, the selection process involves a clique of self-important purveyors of poetic powers, mostly academics -- who have hooked onto the government's coat tails, taking charge of issuing grants and such to particular groups of worthy people throughout the state. These funds often as not go to poets whose output would rarely be agreeable to the taxpayers forced to foot the bill -- the way taxpayers were forced to pay for what they considered offensive art on display at the Brooklyn Museum a few years ago.

At the awarding of her annual Ginsberg Poetry prizes, Maria Gillan, director of the Paterson Poetry Center in Passaic Community College, defended this pick-pocketing of taxpayers in order to provide poets with revenues -- failing to admit the awards often go to select groups around the state not to the most needy artists. Partly because of the unfairness in distribution of grants, I am opposed to governmental support of the arts. The Baraka censorship situation that emerged immediately after the Dodge is another reason. What the government gives, it can take away -- especially when the artist says something the government finds distasteful or distasteful to powerful lobbyists.

It is remarkable that this clutch of self-appointed dictators of culture managed to elect two of the state's better poets to serve as New Jersey Poet Laureates -- Gerald Stern and Amiri Baraka. And the performances of these two poets during the final afternoon of the Dodge pointed to the sharp division in the state's artist community as well as presented a significant contrast in poetic styles and politics.


In some ways, Stern and Baraka helped form the boundaries of the conflict that would transpire after the Dodge, when several reactionary Jewish groups attempted to have Baraka removed as the state's poet laureate for his allegedly anti-Semitic six lines of poetry.

Stern and Baraka seem to represent the divided nature of New Jersey, one shaped around urban and suburban themes. Stern represented the Jewish migration out of the cities and into the suburbs, his poetry recalling the vague memory of what life was in the city before that migration -- hardly representative of the turmoil and despair Baraka and the black community faced each day.

Stern's vision was often sentimental; a remembrance of survival that had lost its edge with the transition to new locations into wealthier, more luxurious life styles urban blacks could only envy. For Stern, places like Newark still thrived with street corner traditions, the candy store, the cleaners and the old people living in the backs of each. His poetry did not contemplate the vast wasteland that many cities like Paterson, Newark and Camden had become. His poems still saw buildings and people in spaces that had long since burned, and occupants evacuated.

Stern's verse danced with gentleness, a kind of study in that slow pace small towns used to imbibe. His poems were thick with dogs and personal experience, as if he saw the world while in a rocking chair on a house's front porch circa 1935. If he challenged authority, it came in the form of chastising, but always in that slow careful meter.

Baraka attacked.

He still lived in Newark, still saw the scars of the 1967 riots and felt the shards of racism behind the massive white flight from urban areas. His poetry portrayed the inner city as one large prison around which wealthy whites had put up walls. Those who survived the streets did so through their wits. He criticized every one of every other and every race, blasting all those he believed helped maintain unfair, unjust system of privilege -- especially those parties responsible for the building of this urban prison system, which refused to help those stuck inside it.

It is no mystery as to why Governor Jim McGreevey -- the former mayor of a mostly white middle class town -- should seek to silence Baraka.

Baraka attacked the roots of a system of justice into which McGreevey had put so much faith, and from which McGreevey has garnered much of his political power -- a system filled with well-meaning liberals who wish to help urban blacks, but also profit off their misery. Where as harsher Republicans would do away with the Welfare state, liberal Democrats have always relied upon it as a source of patronage, supplying their followers with jobs and funds funneled down from the federal government.

Yet liberal Democrats and conservative Republicans tend to send their own children to the same higher quality schools, leaving the decaying institutions of the ghetto to those unable to escape: blacks, Latinos and other ethnic groups.

Baraka's poetry must seem to this liberal artistic establishment like a stab in the back -- especially to the predominance of Jewish intellectuals who make up the heart of the state's art bureaucracy -- who must feel the truth and sting behind most of Baraka's claims.



Future perfect


Organizers of the Dodge, named the Saturday night ending ceremonies "Imagining a future: an evening of readings, reflection and music." The self-important craving of poets to sound like poets drives me crazy. They seek to envelop us in a bubble of effervescent bullshit the poetry must eventually struggle to live up to. In truth, poetry hardly conforms to themes. When it does it ceases being poetry and becomes propaganda.

Yet these hardworking master of craft gave it their best shot, conforming to rules set down about keeping their choices short and reading two poems -- one of which was not their own. Time for such created characters is always a challenge since they lacked the bureaucratic talents required in such events as these. These poets would do much worse on Sunday when confronting time constraints without theme or poem number limitations.

At no place did my vast ignorance of the poetry's range so reveal itself than during the Saturday evening festivities. Poets -- confronted with the single most important event in the poetic world -- strutted their stuff across this brief coil, brandishing their years of study as if clashing sabers. They did not just display their talents as poets, but also as translator and lovers of translations. I was adrift in a sea of names I could not pronounce, spell or attribute a nationality. In such cases I cling to a personal philosophy of poetry, I stick to the text.

Listening rather than reading the verse, I allowed the music to flow over my, my mind grasping at images the way a drowning sailor might drift wood in a particularly busy surf. As with listening to Pinsky's 9/11 poem the next day, it was impossible to squeeze meaning out of the recited language -- a curse to our culture that has traded away that capacity in exchange for sound bites and superficial repetition.  Virgil ruined us for Homer, providing us with an easy excuse to not pay proper attention by shaping poems to the page rather than the person.

In selecting their theme, organizers of the Dodge allowed poets the platform for a much more political presentation. Although lacking Baraka's talent for propaganda, they eased into the subject, selecting materials that painted a picture of the culture our national leaders seemed bent on destroying. With the war in Iraq so inevitable, these poets struggled to show the people and their feelings, not the video game-like images the military constructed for us. Some poets boldly issued antic war statements, but with the exception of Baraka, they did so outside the boundaries of their poems, asides that shaped the backdrop against which their poetry would play.

There was passion in their pleas for reason, and pain in their realizing that they preached to crowds already converted to their cause -- a crowd whose attention would soon become diverted by allegedly anti-Jewish lines in one of Baraka's poems. This division of the left has always been its curse, and has always been exploited  by a government which did not wish to have these voices or their opinions heard. Rather than having national newspapers printing lines from poems depicting the great wonders of the Middle East, the world would get six erroneous lines from Baraka's poem, hardly a fair representation of the Dodge's explosive word-power, or the great respect and love of human lives and cultural dignity these poets had for the people soon to become victims of our government's bombs.


The reality of art

After the long ride from Secaucus -- where we had breakfast  (and I had too many cups of coffee), I was more interested in peeing than in poetry when we arrived, leaving Sharon off at the Concert Tent to catch Robert Pinsky (her hero) lecture on putting his book, "Jersey Rain" to music.


We had arrived too late to catch most of what he said, and after my slow stroll back from the public toilet, I caught a pitance of Pinsky's talk, although Sharon glowed saying: "even listen to as little as that, I got something out of it."


More than once I had encouraged Sharon to take up literary courses at the local college, rather than poetry workshops in New York. The first -- if the professor was any good -- exposed you to the best of writers. The second exposed you to a select group's opinion of what is good, which might or might not be reliable.


While I distrusted colleges as a supportive institution for artists -- believing those who relied too heavily on degrees in arts and literature often looked upon creation as an academic exercise -- I believed people needed some exposure, the way they might to certain bacteria, in order to build up an immunity. John Gardner called institutionally depended writers affected. I agreed with him.


This inevitably leads to the question of what Art is all about.


I have an extreme dislike of art about art. I do not enjoy films about film-makers, plays about playwrights, poems about poets or creating poems, fiction about writing fiction.


Many people -- particularly those bound to an institution -- have informed me that all writing is about writing really.  I believe it should serve a more noble purpose. To me, art of any sort needs a subject based in the real world. In this, I am a throw back to the 19th century in believing I can change the world with my art.


Art must be about something real: a person, place or idea. For an artist to lock him or herself up in an ivory tower voids any chance of touching reality, depriving the artist of that vital connection to the real world.


Unlike many writers, I view writing as a means of communication with the artist seeking to convey something to an audience -- the more people a work is capable of reaching, the better.


For the most part, college campus writers seem to lack that human touch allowing them to reach out to "real" people, and to me such writers seem little better than a flock of bored housewives stuck around a kitchen table spreading in-group gossip to which no one from the outside is privy -- not the milk person, not the mail person, not even the gas and election reader.






The plot Baraka missed


I realized later after New Jersey Gov. Jim McGreevey called for Amiri Baraka to resign as the state's poet laureate that we had not heard the version of the poem that had incited so many Jewish groups to hate Baraka.

After being booed by poets whose distant relations once saw the Nazi burning books (as well as people), Baraka cut those six lines of apparently mistaken history surrounding the attack on the World Trade Center on Sept. 11 in later readings at the Dodge Festival.
This act was later interpreted by the Jewish rights groups as Baraka's admission of guilt.
In retrospect, I believe Baraka may have stumbled on some fundamental truth. There was indeed a Jewish conspiracy, one much more insidious than the wanton destruction of the twin towers. Jews didn't merely want to bring down our economy, but they wanted an even greater prize. They wanted to take over New Jersey's poetry scene.
Didn't Baraka notice all the Jewish names associated with the Dodge Foundation, people of great poetic power who hungered for even more poetic power -- determined to grab hold of it my any means possible? Did they not control the ticket counter and force us pathetic gentiles onto the longer lines, hoping that after our two or more hour ride to get there, we might give up if we had to wait ten extra minutes for entrance? The evil Jews even controlled the sign up sheets for the open readings. 
Is it true that 4,000 Jewish poets got placed higher in the reading list? And why did no Jewish poets even seem to take an interest in spending countless hours suffering through these diatribes?
Did Baraka fail to see all those Jewish-looking teachers peering intently at poets reading in the various tents, each bent upon stealing these poetic secrets to as to carry them back to Israel for that countries planned literary offensive on the world?
Why weren't the rest of us warned about all the bad poetry we would encounter at the Dodge, allowing us to avoid those horrendous pitfalls such as "Spoken poems and silent reading" (of which Baraka was apart)?
How dare the Jews play such a prominent role in preserving our books and cultures, taking on such money-grubbing professions as librarians and book sellers -- through which they could horde all the words of the world and issue these out to us Gentiles by requiring us to show a card?
Why didn't Baraka tell us? Was he blind?


additional links




Adversaries no more


Art for Art's sake



Saturday, August 19, 2017

They love me; they love me not


Good people don’t tear
Pedals from flowers for fun
This deep need to read
Our fortunes off the pain of others
Always puzzles me
This potency of poems
To evoke rage
When ordinary words don’t,
The power we breathe
Into what we create
Life out of nothing
We like gods
Shaping existence
Never before seen
As thunderous as a hurricane
Or as gentle as a leaf
We torturing all to squeeze
Life out of the lifeless
To make real out of unreal.
Good people do not do bad things
Without becoming bad,
Though sometimes bad people
Do good
In this insane existence
We must tread between
Conception and cremation
Each step filled with dread
We might cease to be the former
And fall into the latter,
This faulty concept of misconception,
Believing we are good
When we do bad,
Like Christian crusaders
Evoking Christ
In a crusade to seize trade
With the wealthy Far East,
We misconceive,
Get lost,
Misstep
Along this trail to nowhere
Turning back
To retrace our steps
Without the bread crumbs
To lead us to where
We once were,
To that place where
We first erred,
This our desperate attempt
To become good again
When the best we can ever manage
Is to do good despite being bad.


Friday, August 18, 2017

I breathe water





I breathe water and drown
Because I cannot stop myself
From breathing,
Even down this deep
Where only the blind fish swim,
Eyesight is not a virtue
Nor is standing
Since there is no solid ground,
We float in this sordid limbo
Arms stretched wide
Living not with hope of salvation,
Just survival,
One polluted breath at a time,
Wary of the abyss
And those things we cannot see,
Touching each sticky thing
Expecting to be stung,
I breathe water because

It is better than not breathing at all.

Killing off elections (from Confessions of a Racist, a satire)




For once in their long history
Democrats have come up with a good idea
For saving tax payers money;
If you don’t like someone in office
To hell with an election,
Just kill them,
Burials or better cremations
Save a lot of cash
Wasted on campaigns,
And save candidates from the needless
Task of representing all the people
All of the time,
The only problem with all this
Is who do we kill first?

Save the statues for the pigeons (from Confessions of a Racist, a satire)



Where is PETA when we need it most?
Why aren’t they protesting the removal?
Of Rebel statues from our parks?
Where are the pigeons going to roost?
Or better shit, when they don’t have
Jefferson Davis’s face to shit on?
Do the pigeons not have a right to shit?
On General Lee?
Or do they have to hold in it,
Waiting to find a statue of Lincoln
Or Grant or Sherman to shit on?

Turning ghettos into Gettysburg (from Confessions of a Racist, a satire)



They shot another kid
In the hood today
While good people
With lynch ropes
Lynched another statue
In the park
Getting even with that
Dirty Johnny Reb
For what he did
So long ago
Because they are
Too hapless or hopeless
To halt the mass murders
They allow to go on
Day in and day out
Under their noses today
Good people with good hearts
Turning every ghetto
Into Gettysburg,
Only it’s really hard to tell
Just whose side they are on
As kids’ bodies piled up
And the statutes fall
Leaving them to take full
Credit for both.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Proud and Gray (from Confessions of a Racist, a satire)



They take down our statues
Because they don’t like
The president we voted for,
Needing to punish us for being bad,
These know-it-alls Lincoln called
The Know-Nothings,
Whose grand schemes we spoiled
When we voted against them,
They pretending they are offended
By statues that have stood
For more than a hundred and fifty years,
Their feelings hurt suddenly
After all that time,
Spoiled brats kicking down
Other kids’ sand castles
Because they are too lazy,
Or stupid or selfish to build their own
Hating us because we still revere
Long dead heroes who could
Still hold up their heads
Even in defeat,
These brats throwing ropes
Over their necks
Because they can’t bear the idea
Of losing just one election
When we still stand defiant
After having lost everything
Proud and gray.


Wednesday, August 16, 2017

The real racists (from Confessions of a Racist, a satire)



Don’t talk too loudly,
You must be a racist
The only people brave enough
To speak their minds
These days are racists,
Because they don’t care
What people call them,
The deluded do not
Know they are deluded
But always think
They are right
And so keep still
Or you might be called
A racist
Even when you’re not,
Preachers and politicians
Who ought to know better
Keep silent
Too fearful they might
Get scarred with a scarlet letter,
Not so obvious as the Nazi numbers
Yet indelible,
Once a racist always a racist
Or so the saying goes
With us or against us
There is no in-between,
No room for mild voices
Lost in the rail of radical rhetoric
In this civil war
That was not our civil war
But we get dragged down anyway
Like old soldiers’ statues
Because we refuse to stay silent
And speak out against racism
Nobody sees  as racism,
So those who would call it what it is
Stay silent, intimidated
By radicals that have no shame
Mirroring the Nazis they blame
Attacking anyone who would
Call them what they really are.

All the news that’s fit to print (from Confessions of a Racist)



They bleed us like pigs,
Ink dripping from their fingers
As they skew us with words
No poison letters,
Just vicious headlines
Corrupted over time,
And like zombies
They feed off our brains
Until we can’t think without them,
Inky fingers pulling strings
To make us react,
To inspire artificial outrage,
They are the perfect puppet master,
Proving how easily then can control us,
Ruling the world without obvious symbols,
They need no swastikas
To show us they are the master race,
Nor soviet sickle to slice away our history,
And yet, like an iron rod inside a silk sleeve
They violate us,
Stirring up the froth they have created
Inside our brains,
Telling us they give us all the news
That is fit to print,
And like the robots we have become
We believe them.


Making us racist (from Confessions of a Racist)



I do not feel the whip in my hand
Or the rub of rope
I never even imagined either,
Yet they tell me I must pay
For crimes I didn’t commit
On people I never met
Because those people
Have the same color skin as me,
They like me ache to make
Our own decisions,
Make our own mistakes
Good or bad; rich or poor,
Though most who died in that fight
Never owned a whip
Let alone a black back to use it on,
Fighting blue coats not to keep slavery
But to keep some arrogant know it all
From telling them how to live their lives
Telling them what is right and wrong
When they need to
Decide that for themselves,
Knowing that rich are the same
North or south, only the north rich
Learned to hide the whip better
And let other people swing the rope,
Or pay for some poor immigrant
To die in a war that was never meant
To free slaves but to make rich richer,
And now, all these years later
Some new know it all,
Deluded by some new rich guy
Tells us we have to pay the bill
Calling us racist for clinging
To those few shreds dignity
Carpet baggers didn’t get,
Pushing people into becoming racists
The way those know it alls
Pushed people into a war
Nobody wanted to wage,
Hating us then and now
For refusing to kowtow,
To feel shame,
To pine our lives away
For something we never did,
And most of our ancestors never did either,
Painting us into a corner
So that the only way to fight back
The only way to survive with dignity
Is to become what they say we are,
Which is probably what they wanted

All along.

Black lives don’t matter (from Confessions of a Racist)



Black lives don’t matter
No lives do
In this age where everything
Is disposable
Like diapers or razors
Mass produced education
Regurgitated through the hypocrisy
Of abortion clinics called health centers
Or the starvation of welfare checks
Capitalism democrats use to keep people poor,
Race set against race
By a rotten rich until we riot
And still point fingers at each other
As the filthy rich hide
Soros just another Koch Brother
Wearing batman wings as disguised
Just another wizard of oz
Hiding behind a curtain
As he manipulates the levers
That keep us all apart,
Keep us all deceived,
Telling us black lives matter
When only the voting booth does,
Selling us snake oil philosophies
About love which is really hate
About fairness that is unfair,
When all we are doing
Is pumping up their power,
Getting nothing for our investment
Except grief and pain,
Souls sold to his party of that
When they are all the same,
Walking over our backs
Like Egyptian pharaohs did,
All of us, still slaves
White or black or green or orange
Betraying ourselves
With unreal ideologies
that infect us with foolish notions
of justice
even they do not believe
telling us black lives matter
when no lives do,
once they are done with us.


Pickett's Charge (from Confessions of a Racist, a satire)



If you force me to pick a side
It won’t be your side I pick,
I won’t be part of any rat pack
Of bigots in black face
Deluded into waging a war
They have already won,
Tearing down every bit of history
The way Stalin did
Simply because it offends them
And in doing so, shape themselves
Into the very monsters  they
Perceive the rest of us to be
A mindless mob filled with questionable degrees
From institutions that teach them
How to hate; not think,
A mob that mistakenly deludes itself
Into thinking it has moral high ground
The way the Union Army did at Gettysburg,
Leaving the rest of us to pick a side
And live – as Faulkner claimed –
On the very edge of Pickett’s charge,
Knowing we can’t win against such rage,
Yet knowing we have to try.


Friday, August 11, 2017

Sea of love



Friday, August 11, 2017


We sway,
Sailing an invisible sea
Rocking each other
To keep from falling overboard,
Yet aching to drown,
To breathe this which is not water
Or air,
Sea brine I fill you up with
So we might both survive,
Potent as a witch’s brew,
An intoxicating broth
We shake up, and feel rise
Rushing into us
As we rock on this sea
That is not a sea
Living like sailors
Stranded in each other’s arms
Hip to hip
Lip to live
Drinking in each other
As we drift on this
Sea of love



Not too sweet



Friday, August 11, 2017


I taste honey
With each lingering tip of tongue
Sweet yet not too sweet
I ever lost my taste for it,
Always wanting more,
Needing to press the tip
Deep to collect it all,
A busy bee buzzing
delving to the core,
With you the perfect flower
Whose petals part
So I can reach the heart
Collecting nectar sweetest in the deeps
All of it flowing out of you
And into me,
I am forever drunk with it,
With you,
With the feel of you
All around me as I delve,
And a taste I know
I can get nowhere else,
A lingering sweetness
That is not too sweet.



The burning rope



Friday, August 11, 2017


The rope burns
Where you bind it,
Making me bristle and moan,
Your fingers tighten each knot
That tightens the knot inside me,
A ruthless mistress
Whose demands I must obey,
Each fiber of rope connecting
To some nerve in me,
Sparking fire,
Your fingers burning me
With even the least touch,
You securing me so I cannot move
Until I am bound up inside,
A prisoner of a will that is not my own,
My lungs gasping for breath
I can barely take
As I struggle against the burning rope
Constricting me inside.




Would you let me do you?



Friday, August 11, 2017

If I ask nice,
Would you let me do
All I imagine doing with you,
This heat I feel
With each scalding thought,
We in some fantasy landscape
Where anything goes,
Anything can happed
If you would only let me dream it
For both of us,
Each curve, each whisper
Each sweet breath sighed,
The heavy churn of breathing
As we press so close
We no longer know
Where one of us ends and other starts
And do not wish to know,
You letting me do all I want
Need to, free I must,
In and outside
All around,
If you want
I will.


That kiss I could not get



Friday, August 11, 2017


I sit in the window seat
And see your face reflected
In the glass next to mine,
Though you are not there,
Just a memory of a moment
When I could feel as well as see you,
The soft touch that lingers against me
Like the finger prints I leave on the glass,
Where my fingers went, and lip
Where my mind went,
Pushing through all imagined obstacles
To touch you in places
I cannot otherwise reach,
You, now, a reflection,
A feeling of touch on flesh
A kiss I want, but could not get,
Lingering over the thought of it
Aw we take this ride together,
Me and your reflection
Mile after precious mile


Slow motion explosion



Friday, August 11, 2017


If I touch you there
Will you explode,
Overfilled,
Waiting for my fingers
To bring you release,
Something exploding in me, too
My touch pulling a trigger
That sets us both off,
Leaving us shrouded in smoke
And shaded by the afterglow
The impact of it inside us
And outside,
Both of us gripping each other
To keep from being knocked down,
Pressing against and into each other
So we can feel every inch of it
Each subtle vibration
Of a slow motion explosion,
When I touch you there.


Leap into the deep



Friday, August 11, 2017



I dive into the deepest part of you,
Knowing I can’t swim,
Unable to hold my breath for long,
Needing to rise to the surface
Before I drown,
But can’t so that either,
Breathing in only you,
Filling my lungs and head
With all that is inside of you,
A desperate plunge from which
I already know there is no escape,
Know I do not want to escape,
Filling myself up to capacity
So I can do nothing in the end but explode,
Inside and outside,
Deep in the deepest part
Never willing or able

To come up for air

A taste



Friday, August 11, 2017


I take your fingers into my mouth
Go taste where you’ve been
And what you’ve touched,
The flavor of it lingering
Like a finger print,
On the tip of my tongue
Then swallowed whole
Digested and stirred up into my blood,
A drug, an elixir,
As intoxicating as wine
This taste, a tease,
For what I would want to do,
What I would like to taste next
What else I can take into my mouth
That will bring more of you into me,
My blood stream burning with its need,
once tasted
I am never the same



Stirring


Friday, August 11, 2017


I can’t help it
When it stirs inside of me
This movement, this rush of blood,
This light-headed loss of thought
Drunk when I’ve sipped no wine,
The air you breathe into me
The second you leaving lingering behind,
Me, unable to stop this shiver inside of me
This rush of blood,
This stirring of something I feel but can’t see,
Set free by you when you leave,
We coming all so very close, churned up
You gone before it can be complete,
A touch, a kiss, of words I miss,
This ache I feel,
Stirring


A gush of love



Friday, August 11, 2017


We see it in each other’s eyes
Close up, like a snap shot of the soul
We might miss at a distance,
Needing to rub on it the way we might a bottle
Hoping for the genie to pop out
And grant us three wishes,
When we already know,
one wish will do,
close up, rubbing it raw,
until the top pops and gushes
we surprised at the outcome,
at the feel of it
as we gaze, face to face,
magic, a free wish
a gush of love
never ending



Sipping our fill



Friday, August 11, 2017

We all ache for rain
after so many days of draught,
We needing to drink from a well
we already know has run dry,
To sip and taste something sweet
after so much bitterness,
Seeing the flow of it in each other’s eyes,
The drip, drip, drip of need
We do not see until we see it in the reflections
Close up, lip to lip, hip to hip,
Road rage roaring inside us
we cannot cure without
Engaging gears,
Needing for the rain to pour over us,
Drip off lips and hips
Until we have finally
Sipped out fill



Holy and hot



Friday, August 11, 2017


Hot sun, sweat rolls down my brow,
This movement we make,
Touches we give and take,
Lips kissed and kissed again,
In a fist we never meant to happen,
Yet like magic does,
Despite our claiming
We can stop it when it starts,
And skid out of control when we try,
Breathing deep as we delve
Into those deepest of places
We ache for, too scared to go
In the outdoor, out the in,
Around back and then again,
Each move making it easier t touch
Holy and hot,
Sun making us drip
As we sip the nectar of life