April 14: Draining Color, A Writing Machine, Killer Eyes, More

The brightest colors are fading from view.

Let light diminish, the traitor, the creep.

I know what’s coming and know what to do.

 

Roses aren’t red, and violets aren’t blue;

Feel the lack trickle down into the deep.

The brightest colors are fading from view.

 

Now we have dreams we would vanish into,

Dreams where detail is a symbolic leap.

I know what’s coming and know what to do,

 

Restore my vision and restore my hue—

But I need solutions that I can keep.

The brightest colors are fading from view,

 

And there’s a part of me panicking, too.

When the path is clear, the cost can be steep.

I know what’s coming and know what to do.

 

Some blindness is permanent—this we knew.

True loss of color renders my life cheap.

The brightest colors are fading from view.

I know what’s coming and know what to do.

 

The word machine is dusty and broken,

Beneath your notice in times such as these,

Tapping out rhymes never to be spoken,

Writing in verse too old-fashioned to please.

 

Times such as these, there is one thing to do.

A sentimentalist might stop, object.

Discard old machines to buy something new!

Sentiment falls in line when we reflect.

 

I never wanted to write for the void,

But the void for me had another plan.

I produce tripe that cannot be enjoyed

And seems to fit with no present human.

 

The word machine’s junk and will disappear,

A discard far off where no one will hear.

 

I don’t know whether you’re aware or care,

But, you see, I’m not altogether there,

And whenever you think you see my face

You gaze bright-eyed into wide empty space

So deep and dark, it’s guaranteed to scare.

 

Get yourself ensnared in my blank-eyed stare

Because I’ve got one hundred more to share.

I’ll transform you, invisible, no trace—

I don’t know whether you’re aware.

 

Some of our kind announce our work with flair,

But exposure seems like a true nightmare.

I will be nobody’s number one case!

Morbid kids won’t write of my cold embrace.

I’m a blank-eyed drowner, not at all rare.

I don’t know whether you’re aware.

 

My cat’s in my business—she’s in control.

She conducts dealings—for leverage, cat soul.

She commands empires and buys red states whole;

I’m not sure how she votes—think she’s a mole?

 

She is quite pretty, and she’s awfully white—

Yes, getting older, but an awesome sight,

Most presidential when showing her might—

She’s not a metaphor—say that, she’ll bite.

 

She’s sweet and loving and curls in my lap;

No rank politician could do that crap.

Battling evil for her is a snap,

And she’ll get to it right after a nap.

 

She has rough edges, but she is loyal;

This cat is too indisputably royal.

 

Sometimes inspiration slows to a drip,

For the world’s garbage and gruesome to grip,

Like a slimy, refuse-filled, sunken ship

Under oceans that deny thirst a sip.

 

Who could create beauty when horror rules?

Barbers are fine, but beauticians are fools.

Frosting on shit won’t grow tasty in schools—

Beauty’s a puppet for when passion cools.

 

Leave off the frosting, and what have you got?

Another piece of unsaleable rot.

I could turn it ’round, but I’d rather not:

I’m not a happy-ending-brand robot.

 

Oops, I was wrong, or now I’m on the blink!

Everything’s wonderful! That’s what I think!

 

Give it up, folks. You love’em. You know’em.

It’s time for another flower poem.

In my case it’s because I’ve got photos

From gardens people who own my house rose,

But think of old Burns—that’s why folks grow’em!

 

Poems turned flowers to ways to show’em

You’d like to, you know, um, maybe blow’em—

Say it with flowers—no one feels like hos!

Give it up, folks!

 

If you’ve got seeds, you may want to sow’em,

But without romance, you might just stow’em.

You won’t seduce your love with your elbows;

Gladiolas need places that enclose;

Words are your colors; go out and throw’em!

Give it up, folks!

 

I’ve drawn so near the edge of breaking down,

I think this edge might be my kind of town,

Or maybe I’ve been a wreck already,

And I don’t remember being steady,

And I’m some joke, a dancing broken clown.

 

Can you think—ponder “losing” as a noun?

Like the maniac who has lost his crown:

It was his losing, but that is heady—

I’ve drawn so near.

 

A certain episode might gain renown,

But the edge I see involves straps of brown,

Huddled in a corner with a teddy,

Reduced to rubble, always pill-ready—

Now doesn’t that cliff make you broadly frown?

I’ve drawn so near.

 

 

Tiny holes

Entrance, exit

Abundant little ways

Dots for some artist

Come make art with my

Tiny holes

Big business

Traffic

Bottleneck

Toll

Tiny holes

In and out

Breathing through my pores

Awash in sweaty sunburned skin

They sting

Tiny holes

Breathing for some artist

Awash in big business

Come make art in and out

Traffic toll

Abundant sting

April 13: Mountains of Pills, A Tiny Lime, Summoning Dead Kids, etc.

Mountains of madness could not combat this:

Piles of pills pumped with much better wills,

Enough to trigger massive psychosis

Or to make sure an amped pill-taker chills.

 

Orange-ish brown bottles define my fate now,

Picked up with groceries, even by mail—

Clueless pharmacists pause to tell me how

To drink some water or simply inhale.

 

Pills like the rain make me sing in my dreams,

Not that they make the dreams any better—

They come down in torrents to muffle screams,

But they’ll not make me a pill regretter.

 

Collected mountains, crafted for the mind.

What have you got? Next I’m trying this kind!

 

Secret small lime, what’s on your agenda?

You hang out with flowers, stretched in sunlight.

Low-cal drinks might muddle you with Splenda,

But you’re in the shadows, planning a fight.

 

One thing is certain, you’re handsome and green,

Hanging there, innocent, clandestine juice:

You are the cutest lime I’ve ever seen;

I would use you for a full facial sluice.

 

I think you fight evil, blossoms and all;

Whatever else would a tiny lime do?

You will save the world from climatic fall

And spritz gin and tonic to get us through.

 

Lime on a lime tree, now, in early spring:

Round, ripe, and green, you can mean everything.

 

The lawn party faced frightful conditions.

Attendees all knew the details went wrong.

I erred to observe ghostly traditions.

 

Few of us came; we had bad positions,

Awkward conversation to get along.

The lawn party faced frightful conditions,

 

More so because of my strange ambitions,

Summon a spirit by playing a song—

I erred to observe ghostly traditions—

 

But if she would lose death’s inhibitions,

Come out to play like she might still belong…

The lawn party faced frightful conditions.

 

A dead child inspires prohibitions

At least with those whom I partied among:

I erred to observe ghostly traditions.

 

The guests were sacrificed—old religions—

My child returned to me, a demon throng.

The lawn party faced frightful conditions;

I erred to observe ghostly traditions.

 

People tend to get all wonky and freeze

When leaders mention WMDs.

They don’t seem to think of television

As the paramount tool of division.

They focus on whichever hell they please.

 

Chemicals, bio-agents—on the breeze—

Airwaves invisible—infinite sleaze—

Not all TV is worth our derision

(People tend to get all wonky).

 

We all fear the great mass-killing disease.

Perhaps like Black Death, it’s carried by fleas.

Each of us has to make a decision

About which weapon has most precision:

The one in your house or one overseas.

People tend to get all wonky!

 

Climbing up the wall: my trip I’ll complete!

There’s no way I fall, not with my webbed feet.

I’m escaping all, to a reserved seat—

Yes, I got a call, the big monster meet.

 

It’s a meet and greet, on the ripped flip-side;

The company’s neat, come from far and wide.

With hors d’oeuvres to eat, without human hide—

What types of good meat I need to elide.

 

I left; people cried; I did not believe.

Those who here abide offer no reprieve.

When a monster sighed, they gave much to grieve,

So now I’ve good-byed, too ready to leave.

 

Climbing up the wall: I will reach the top.

I say fuck you all, a force you can’t stop.

 

Tell me have you ever fallen askew?

It’s not a terrible tumble to do.

Shapes rearrange, flip, jump, and go awry:

You couldn’t tame them, and you shouldn’t try.

Shapes will avenge and come calling for you.

 

What kind of nonsense is this that I spew?

To endorse illness, to flee from who’s who?

Who wouldn’t see straight? There’s no reason why!

Tell me have you…?

 

Excess of straightness is boredom to rue.

Hold narrow vision until you turn blue.

Everyone wants to be a normal guy

Except most people, so that’s a damned lie.

Folks without boundaries are folks who flew.

Tell me have you?

 

Reading’s a villain, or so say the red—

Paper or pixels, wouldn’t be caught dead

Perusing opinion or worse—a fact—

A guy I like could be caught in the act—

So much unpleasantness could fill my head!

 

What about smart things our great leader said?

That’s what TV’s for, what Fox reported!

What? You saw Fox once, and you nearly yacked?

Reading’s a villain?

 

Reading got popular; bad dreams got fed;

Peasants and such became discontented.

The wronged had bloody vengeance to exact—

But some others left a peerage intact.

Either way, reading’s bad for the well-bred.

Reading’s a villain!

 

A space that will be, in futurity,

Dazzling, drinking—but delicately:

It can’t become too brash or too noisy;

Better, indeed, to maintain at empty.

 

Silent and soft, let it fill up with ghosts,

Whose manners pass expectations of hosts

And who spread cheer when they raise merry toasts

To those not dining, of whom they make boasts.

 

In such company we enter the past—

Though it was the future one moment last—

Now we’re together where nothing is fast,

Shimmering slowly with some Jazz Age cast.

 

As space that will be, as it was—in use;

Made to imbibe and unbalance, seduce.

April 12: Green Creatures, A Mad Seer, Orange, Other Stuff

I dwell on planets where

Green living creatures there

Thrive along paths beaten bare

And bipeds use hands to care

Avoiding the rough verbal snare

That makes Earth a nightmare

Dreamt while I was unaware

And under a cold moon’s stare

Reminder of eyes everywhere

Except on my planets fair

Where I have made a lair

Safe from Earth’s rampant despair

I dwell with green living creatures

That contrast with Earth’s features

And here all of the bipeds share

Feelings only dreamers can compare

But somehow I still dreamt of Earth

And a rotten monstrous birth

For moonlight leaves nothing green

And outside my lair some worlds are mean—

 

What I have done to end up what I am,

Where I have been, and what races I ran;

Truths taught and learned on not giving a damn;

Sharing with believers what hope I can;

 

Conquered and quiet and tamed in a room,

I know and they know I’m not leaving soon.

I behaved badly and charted my doom,

In league with the moon I became a loon.

 

With prescient ramblings and fortunes for some,

Mad sage and seer with work never done,

I attract flocks begging for just a crumb,

Something to astound them, futures that stun.

 

I’m a mad monster—what I say and see

Is best confined as a mind’s mystery.

 

To defend orange, the color’s maligned!

Just because someone’s head is a behind,

We should not taint a color entire—

Not such a hue related to fire!

If you hate orange, you’re out of your mind.

 

For some there’s pain for pigment to remind

Of politics turned a carrot unkind,

Thus the color is merely a mire.

To defend orange!

 

Think of flowers: lilies, roses you’ll find!

Please don’t choose to be selectively blind!

Maybe bad orange will trip a wire

That flushes color from each bad liar,

But until then I am strongly resigned

To defend orange!

 

Too cool for school, well, it fits, we suppose:

You try on an image and then it grows.

Every now and then a passerby hoots.

(We’ve no idea we’re like male prostitutes.)

We’re down with the chicks, man, and it sure shows.

 

You’d guess we’re cold with small nipples like those,

But that’s just how we look without our clothes.

We might consider wearing cowboy boots.

Too cool for school.

 

Shirtless with jeans, on steps to strike a pose—

We’re large, in charge, slick, hip, cutting edge bros.

With every sex god we are in cahoots;

We’re with each rebel who from the hip shoots.

We get attention from lots of homos…

Too cool for school.

 

Well, I surmise I’m down in a puddle,

Where life seems shallow but drowns all the same,

Where the world and my brain’s in a muddle,

And I’m tired of the rules of the game.

 

Here in the wet I know just what I’ll get,

And I’ll feel like it is all somehow right.

The puddle flushes me like the toilet,

Swirling me with filth in puddled delight.

 

Depression waves at you—“Hi!” from the sea,

But it has choice to obliterate me—

It can seem as shallow as it can be

And still swallow the whole world completely.

 

Did you know you can drown in a teaspoon?

I know some puddles that might try spoons soon.

 

The sun also watches and holds its heat

From anyone who won’t march the sun-beat.

To praise the darkness is too indiscreet:

The sun also watches, vengeful Ifrit.

 

The sun sees us wanting, peers through the trees,

It knows deprivation, knows it can please

Sun-dripping sadism, which likes to tease—

The sun sees us wanting, dries up the seas.

 

The sun looks alluring, burning so bright.

It was the first god, judging what was right,

Taking sacrifices, choosing true sight:

The sun looks alluring, go with the light.

 

If day has an eye looking down, it burns,

As do followers—to know all it learns.

 

The old scary house where Psycho-Bird dwells

Lures in victims with lies that it sells

By seeming cheery and harmless enough—

To fear an old birdhouse is kind of tough—

But Psycho-Bird knows of one thousand hells!

 

How big is this bird of which legend tells?

Does it crush buildings, and does it quaff wells?

His house in a bread box fits with more stuff,

The old scary house where Psycho-Bird dwells.

 

You know his house by the ample corpse smells;

The house has a notch for each fool he fells.

You should know by now, Psycho-Bird plays rough:

Approach his house, expect him to be gruff—

Some Psycho-Birdhouses don’t have doorbells.

The old scary house where Psycho-Bird dwells!

 

Sometimes at night, the Russians invade me–

I maintain I hope Putin’s not involved!

Lime, ginger beer, and vodka persuade me

International strife might be resolved.

 

The Moscow Mule might enable spy tech:

When I drink, microchips slip in my brain.

If that’s true, it’s too late, so what the heck:

I’ve got a few more copper mugs to drain!

 

Who said it’s Muscovite to drink some lime?

I get my limes fresh from the U.S. of A.,

And I’d drink vodka, well, just anytime,

And think of the import tariff they pay!

 

I’m a patriot with a Moscow Mule.

Aren’t we all now with this president fool?

 

Gobs of palm trees, and yes, some more lights please.

It’s unreal: it will have you on your knees.

We can be off-center—oh well, why not?

We get together, redefine what’s hot.

Welcome to new life within the Valleys!

 

Watch the satellite towns in our rallies

Where unknowns sometimes find success with ease—

What some say of LA County is rot—

Gobs of palm trees!

 

Snobs downtown look at us, turn heads, and sneeze,

But we revel in our warm mountain breeze.

The rent here also costs a handsome lot,

And for our LA values we’ve all fought—

We only differ by a few degrees—

Gobs of palm trees!

April 11: Morning Risers, Fashionable Ladies, Sky Eyes, More

Barry lost friends with his grating warning:

“There’s no reason to rise in the morning.”

Nobody listened except for the sun,

Which packed its bags and declared itself done—

“I’ve spent my last day bound up in scorning.”

 

Barry brought darkness, resentment churning,

Predators hunting with no sun burning.

He counted each battle the sunless won.

Barry lost friends.

 

In blackest space the world kept on turning,

And to survive, people were not learning,

So Barry said one more thing that would stun:

“I give myself if there’s light for someone.”

None gave him love for the sun returning:

Barry lost friends.

 

I know a trend that gauche trendy folk buck,

Which won’t surprise as gauche trendy folk suck;

If you like ladies, well, hon, you’re in luck,

For true ladies fashioned don’t give a fuck.

 

You try to vex them—you grab; they parry.

You won’t perplex them, subtle as a truck.

Fall at their feet and beg them to marry,

But true ladies fashioned don’t give a fuck.

 

You want to trick them, to subdue their minds,

To show the world you are more than a cuck.

A man such as you in short order finds

That true ladies fashioned don’t give a fuck.

 

In wowing costume or in mere plain dress,

High-fashioned ladies show weak men their mess.

 

The eyes in the sky, they’ll be you and I:

Satellites, satellites, circling high,

Mouths in clouds beneath them, breathing in air—

No, you can’t see them—feel that they are there,

Waiting to lick, lap folks up like a fly.

 

What don’t they see, opened so wide to pry

In lives below, where they struggle and try

To make fools care—they could be anywhere—

The eyes in the sky?

 

Under their gaze you’ve got no alibi,

Only excuses resigned with a sigh.

The eyes above you all know what is fair,

And their angry beams are enough to scare

Everyone, everywhere until they die.

The eyes in the sky!

 

Highway Pile-Up

 

Reflections on the asphalt burn

White car white car white car

Rearranged

The curl of the hood

The point of the trunk

The ground glass firmament

Road layer car layer fire layer smoke layer

Black white orange black

Firm broken feeding free

The curl of the smoke

The point of the flame

Bends of metal twist firm

Broken glass on the ground

Reflecting black firmament

Emptied windows frame fire

Black layers framed fire framed layers black

White cars bends of metal

Carcasses ground firmament

The curl the point

Rearranged to burn

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.”