April 10: Captives, Doorways, Smart Reading, and so on

A charming man, slick blue sedan, could lure

A simple lad—drunken fun had—on tour

Of empty streets—journeys complete—with weed—

He’d get me high—the blues would die—we’d part—

All was spinning—his strange grinning—my heart

Knew far too late, obvious fate, his need…

 

The bottom of stairs, I awoke in need

Of any attention, help I could lure,

But when the door opened, I heard my heart

Gasp—someone new joined me on my cold tour,

This abandoned basement, the hostage part

In some show, but was he some poisoned weed

 

With his forehead painted with letters, “WEED,”

He was labeled as what I’d said I’d need,

And I wondered if we played the same part,

And if he, my age, had bit the same lure,

And if I were his trial on his tour,

So I felt my forehead and stilled my heart.

 

The sticky letters there answered my heart—

Perhaps we were both here to kill, to weed

Each other, to create a grisly tour

For our captor’s sick self-indulgent need

That led him to create a young man’s lure,

Wind us with fear to tear ourselves apart.

 

I resolved then not to play such a part

And offered the new lad my hand and heart,

But I guess he thought it some kind of lure—

He pulled himself back like a kind of weed.

I tried to explain, “Oh no, you don’t need—”

Then in the corner, the end of the tour.

 

I hunt for more, on the floor, for the tour—

Our captor for rapture had placed a part

For each to teach of his own burning need

To survive, stay alive, protect his heart—

The parts were starts, spades to dig up a weed—

One alone could crack bone—that was the lure.

 

I ended the tour. I took up the lure.

I played the part, and I dug up the weed.

Free, I need to hide the truth in my heart.

 

You’ll never get through; you must go around.

This door never opens. It’s firm as ground.

You thought it would give access to living

Life with endless loving and forgiving,

But look at the doorframe—so solid and sound.

 

What do you do with a door that you’ve found

Leads you nowhere, leaving you where you’re bound

To feel you’re stuck, the whole world believing

You’ll never get through?

 

You are in the place where future’s unwound.

For your efforts you will at last be crowned.

Piles of dunce hats you are receiving

As you bought doorways and their deceiving:

You dreamt of fleeing, but your flight was downed.

You’ll never get through.

 

Educated readers wait for what’s good.

They show their breeding with their discernment.

They won’t read ’til someone says what they should.

They need help knowing what a word’s turn meant.

 

I love New York and some tastes that it makes,

But it’s not the end-all of existence.

On its ego some should put on the brakes;

Other cities should show more persistence.

 

Most snobs don’t merit the snot that they sling,

As ideas in their heads all come from outside.

Push them, discover they know not a thing,

And they are likely to slink, run, and hide.

 

Yes, there’s a moral: think for yourself,

Oh yes, and add all my books to your shelf.

 

He and she in marital ecstasy

Went for a swim in water super-clean.

They emerged together wet and smiley.

 

They were a match, souls in complicity

With the stars and all else that can mean,

He and she in marital ecstasy.

 

They crossed the threshold after toast and tea

To do in private things some thought obscene.

They emerged together wet and smiley.

 

A home together was then meant to be

Someplace where their true love could be well-seen.

He and she in marital ecstasy

 

Knew love worked best observationally,

Each took paint color—yellow, blue make green—

They emerged together wet and smiley—

 

Icons for faces, grins for folks to see,

Yellow her, blue him, jealous green between,

He and she in marital ecstasy—

They emerged together wet and smiley.

 

What did you see with eyes opened so wide

You might have let ghosts, eye phantoms, inside?

You took care not to drop your teddy bear,

Which could fend off things in the dark that scare—

Things that saw you and didn’t need to hide.

 

When you first saw it you gasped, and you cried,

But to call for help then your tongue seemed tied.

What is the horror of the whole affair—

What did you see?

 

Looks haunted like yours could not have just lied:

You saw something nasty; it terrified.

Regale us with details; tell it with flair.

Realize this: we must know what was there!

You have no choice, boy, so you’d best confide:

WHAT DID YOU SEE?

 

Crackle and crackle, let them dismiss you:

Bags of bones and glass make no sure demands.

Crackle and crackle, recall soft tissue:

Jags of bones and glass can cut their sweet hands.

 

Be brave to be broken without remorse—

Be labile with labels—no to normal—

Be forward physically first, of course—

Some bites and kicks, a scratch—nothing formal.

 

Insanity’s insight inside a cell:

In as much I’m here, I’m doing quite well.

If in ignominy inheres a hell

In here I smear each name I can still spell.

 

Crackle and crackle, I could just kiss you:

Crackle and crackle, they’ll never miss you.

 

We fell behind fences and feigned real fun.

A roller coaster held us still, in place,

On the wrong side once the war had begun.

 

In queue for hours, we watched machines run

As if each free fall differed, case by case.

We fell behind fences and feigned real fun,

 

As feigning pleasure was how it was done;

If you don’t like it you have to save face.

On the wrong side once the war had begun,

 

We followed the rules, or we lost the sun.

To dislike the coaster would be disgrace!

We fell behind fences and feigned real fun,

 

And that was living life under the gun,

Fenced off from the rest of the human race,

On the wrong side once the war had begun.

 

This ride’s a metaphor, has to be one,

Our deaths repeated, broadcast across space:

We fell behind fences and feigned real fun,

On the wrong side once the war had begun.

 

Anxiety monster Irv is uncouth.

He drills one into oneself, like a bore.

Irv’s anxious taunts play footsies with the truth

And treat the neuter real like a dumb whore.

 

His many fingers include one for trust.

When he presses the spot, it sends out shocks.

The pressure he builds will threaten to bust

Any human bond secured by faith’s locks.

 

Irv’s really best at insecurity.

He burrows down into every weakness,

Encouraging one to hide and to flee

Everyone, everything, the world, bleakness.

 

Irv loses battles and sometimes retreats;

Irv always returns and always repeats.

 

Sonnets versus kittens’ pics—yes, I lost!

But if I’d won, what would have been the cost?

Folks would have lost a moment of sweet pleasure

They needed in a rare spot of leisure—

Think of the horrid line I might have crossed!

 

Wait! There are some to count. All is not lost.

Many would like to see some kittens bossed,

Get those tyrants schooled, measure for measure,

Sonnets versus kittens!

 

Most would still greet dusty sonnets with frost.

Reminders of high school tend to exhaust.

That’s stupid, clearly—we must reassure

Sonnets can catch anything you treasure—

How brightly would you like your name embossed?

Sonnets versus kittens!

 

“Shape upon shape, I see animal, man—

They’re in collusion; I catch what I can

Of their conspiracy, their watching eyes—

These ghostly figures the living despise.

I’m on the verge of learning their foul plan.”

 

“Shapes in the carpet, under the divan,

Supporting chairs, not some new human ban—

I fear our friend sees things, you realize—

Shape upon shape.”

 

“Know they are watching, spread out in a fan,

Know they are heeding you, clocking your span,

They draw conclusions—oh yes, they surmise—

About who you are, who lives, and who dies—

You say I see things? They haunt your whole clan,

Shape upon shape.”

Talking to you is way more interesting than talking to myself. What do you think?