On this day in history…

On This Day

On this day in history
absolutely nothing of consequence
happened, to anyone, anywhere;
no ships sailed, no princes born,
discoveries in science, medicine
just didn’t happen on this day,
yesterday and tomorrow are
filled with life-changing people,
events, battles that turned great
wars into peace, even the subtle
alterations to the fabric of everyday
life made by once anonymous people
which reverberated into time and
made history; remarkable things,
great consequences, overwhelming
tragedies and brave exploits
all happened on other days, just
not today; of course some were born
on this day, babies loved, wanted,
even prepared for, but they remain
nameless to all but their mothers,
unknown to school books and
will never fill-in-the-blank’s of
literacy exams for they just were
and are no more; and the closest thing
to notoriety they’ll enjoy is that on
this day in history they’ve been
written about, sort of.

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Grocery shopping alone…

old-ladyA Lady
An apple, carefully chosen,
two small bananas
picked from others’ bunches,
one ripe and ready to eat,
maybe half of it will be cut-up over
bran cereal in the morning,
the other is green – at least
two days from ripeness; no bread
because the loaves are too big,
too wasteful, but one Kaiser roll
will do, and then
to the meat counter for two
chicken breasts, individually wrapped,
a lot of time in the freezer section
for just a small bag of green peas
good for two meals at least,
a pint of skim milk, and a single vanilla
yogurt that will be dessert,
all in a cart pushed by a woman
who is alone; her fingers
have rings on them,
gifts from someone, her nails are done,
she wears make-up and
her hair has been set
because she still cares, out of pride
or it was how she was raised, or
it was the way he liked it,
and now she’s in front of me in line
and it’s sad because she seems so,
or at least her groceries do.

Life’s a hoot…

Who…

In the Night
Why is it always and only in quiet,
owl-guarded, and ungodly hours
that meaning and providence shape
everything of consequence and
marvels and mysteries float by
as we sleep an uncomfortable night
unawakened by the what’s real,
meaningful, and the stuff of poetry?

 

 

Living forever and all that…

fingers crossedIt could happen! (That’s my only hope… if I live long enough that is….)

Dumb Luck
If you live long enough you won’t die
because they’ll come up with something,
but it probably won’t happen because
they’re trying – it’s more likely through
dumb luck; like the two greatest
discoveries of this lifetime, or any
for that matter: Super Glue
made for battlefield wounds
and now it sticks anything together
especially fingers, and Viagra for
blood pressure and now we all know
what it does, plus it introduced the word
priapism into our vocabulary
and its effect is truly unbending;
all it takes is time and luck and someone
in a lab somewhere will be trying
to discover a way to make cat litter
smell like chocolate or looking for a way
to stop ingrown toenails and, poof,
just like that, we’ll be living
for hundreds of years, healthy and erect;
and it won’t be much longer,
if we can just live long enough.

The guy who brings in the grocery carts…

grocery cartsYou know him… sort of… probably not by name… but sort of… the guy who is sent out into the parking lot to bring in all the grocery carts because there aren’t enough carts for the new shoppers (except, maybe, the carts with bad wheels or the two carts stuck together). Yeah, that guy… you know him… sort of…

Edward and Charlie
The bright orange vest is florescent
and carries a nametag, ‘Edward’ in bold
block letters drawn with permanent
marker but he answers to Charlie with
a blank, silent gaze and simply, slowly
begins the task requested by a manager’s
learned gentleness of kindly caution
not shared with others; there’s a story
to Charlie’s life, maybe even a family
of Mom or a sister and probably some
disappointment or settling for what
came their way and fighting with this
strange, foreign thing called gratitude;
his anti-social shyness earns him an
odd reaction from most because he’s
almost seven feet tall with an uneven
haircut and only parts of his face carry
a beard of Pollock-like design that’s
mesmerizing, they stare up at Charlie
who gathers their emptied carts strewn
about the lot on a frigid, wintery day,
over and over again as shoppers justifiably
leave them wherever inconvenience
demands in haste and frustration, and
Charlie is, again, in the far corner
as he’s paged from inside the warm store
to no avail because he’s already set to the
task and because they’re calling for
someone named ‘Edward.’

Words are good enough for me…

words2Words are good enough for me…

Living this way is more than a creed – it’s like air to the lungs… like air to my lungs. But bad words – the bad use of words – seems pure evil to me, and I can’t get beyond it (that’s my burden to live with, or die with).

Words are good enough for me, so I play with them.

Words are good enough for me, so I let them play with me.

Words are good enough for me…

Workman by Day
A nobody to professors, a workman by day
this subtlety ordinary man said we write
(if we do) for others and not ourselves;
a simple diversion for the wordy perversion
making things fit snug like a girdle once did,
hiding things curvy, restraining and deceiving
the favors like adverbs for our great, untidied
neighbors, their reading a passion for our
weakened fashion of night’s haunts which
scare us awake and forced to contemplate
the nightmares of failures and adult scares
which only verse hides what sunlight chides.

Thoughts and Thoughts
A thought that can be thought
without something thoughtful to be done
is no thought at all, but a mere pretender;
thoughts which generate no ideas
and make the weak weep, the simple
comfortable, and the frail cringe at whims
like wishes so all beggars ride. Puzzled and
rancorous ideas are harmless excuses of
unexamined life, a sermon looking for life
in the service of paranoid, naval-gazing
called spirituality, pharmacology without
diagnosis, life without death,
desire without lust, and obedience without
ignorance. Ruined lives litter the path of
thoughts, bitter disciples
are casualties of this pedagogy,
angry tears are learners’ lovers, hemlock
cocktails mixed by the bartender of the many.

And I Quote
What is a quote to be quoted
and to whom does it belong?
those marks somehow borrow
what I wish was my song;
what I want as my own
but someone found before,
almost perfect way of words
I must have, and I adore;
sometimes because of who
but I prefer what is said,
the world is but objects,
not facts’ means instead;
picture what is or is not,
but what is written is read
stop asking what it means
or you’ll always be misled;
while I will quote as I wish
call me a plagiarist as well
all’s words and other words
not things we jsut misspell.

 

An ode to taxonomies galore…

taxonomytakˈsänəmē – the process or system of describing the way in which different living things are related by putting them in groups.

In other words, playing God.

 

Taxonomy
It’s called something majestic
I think, but, of course,
I’m not at all certain what it
has been named by some
stuffy old Brit who
taxonomized each and
everything he encountered
along the way of conquering
the world for the glory of
the Empire without its
setting sun; species,
genus and domain, class and,
of course, kingdom
capturing a great philosophical
divide of nomenclature
about the metaphysics of
taxa reflected in international
codes of phylogenetic
clades fighting over whether
this majestic thing remains
the same as it matures
from infancy through instinct
or environment to eating
and defecating, remembering
and fearing and forgetting
or forgetting to forget
to trust shapes and shades,
as monocled beards in
tweed debate whether
amnesia hollows identity,
voids inheritance and
biology, or the loss of a
limb or transgendered and
therefore asexual (yes, the English
have such dialogues) requires
a corresponding alteration
of similarities or differences
in classes for without
breeding this beautiful,
majestic thing is a nothing
at all, simply an exception
proving the rule by
which it is ignored in a
footnote; but I refuse for
it is stunning as it
refuses a proper name
in my ignorance – a sanctuary
of sorts as it plays with
ancestry and biology
and my only fear is the fear of
ignoring its performance.

Going too fast to go faster…

CP9PMK_2332698bHindsight is such a funny word (you can quote me on that).

A Good Fit
In a fit of frenzy
(is there any other kind?)
I gave thanks without pausing
without ceremony, without stopping
to smell roses, coffee or spring’s perfume,
because unlike the behaviorally manipulative
life is my sacrament and no priest slows me down.

Permission or Forgiveness
If only, if, if, “If I knew then
what I know now” I know I’m not
smart (or good) enough to do
anything differently; I know that I
don’t know how to know
differently, I know that even
with 20/20, clear as day,
sharply focused and contrasted
lines diagraming right and wrong,
touch and don’t touch, walk
and don’t walk, buy and sell,
I would still act stupidly
and need forgiveness
instead of permission;
because it’s only later and
not at the time that I know
what I should have known,
and I’m fine with that because
I’m enjoying forgiveness.

 

A wordy perversion of diversion…

scrabbleWords hide what can only be said.

Workman by Day
A nobody to professors, a workman by day
this subtly ordinary man said we write
(if we do) for others and not ourselves;
a simple diversion for the wordy perversion
making things fit snug like a girdle once did,
hiding things curvy, restraining and deceiving
the favors like adverbs for our great, untidied
neighbors, their reading a passion for our
weakened fashion of night’s haunts which
scare us awake and forced one to contemplate
the nightmares of failures and adult scares
which only verse hides what sunlight chides.