June Web 2012

Last Day of June update

*

A mind enclosed in language is in prison.

-Simone Weil

*

Summer

2/6/1996 – 6/30/2011

This sentence began

14 years ago on a bitter February night.

One snowy fringed bastard.

I was remained here from a factory floor

To the County facilities Sally-Port door.

Interned to teach.

Myself a lesson

and I never been in jail before.

 

Now as this stolen Summer

mocks me as the calendars bars swing in release

my period of incarceration comes to an end.

 

Time served.

 

Debt paid

In full……on the way out

with a white hot iron spade

 

 

I have endured incarceration

for my crimes of the heart.

 

Today I will walk

for the last time

down the sterile corridors

of the Ministry of Truth.

The Ministry of Love.

As the surveillance cameras

Overhead

Record every step in my exit.

 

I have been taught the lessons

of Room 101

and it was the worst thing in world.

 

Where of course

I confessed to everything.

Implicated everyone.

Betrayed one and all.

Including this

As she said,

“I did what I had to do”

 

So I told them,

 

“To do it to you too.”

 

That was expected.

That was the provisional condition

for contemplation of charges

not being dropped

but instead

burned into my flesh indelibility .

 

In return

The shackles are coming off today.

I will clean out my cell.

My classroom

and box my few possessions.

Surrender my keys to the proper authorities,.

Take off my identification badge.

Leaving my fellow inmates

Their GEDs

a modest decent library

and silence to better

To contemplate

The weight of

their own crimes.

 

The bars will split open today

and I will emerge for the last time

from the basement classroom

to the elevator that takes forever

to go up or down

But spends most its’ time in here

Going….. somehow

Sideways in recidivism.

 

Time now to plea bargain

the three lock down gates

and out into the parking lot of

blinding light and smoldering asphalt

sizzling in dizzying heat

of this Summer stolen.

 

Still guilty

Not forgiven anything

but still being watched.

No rehabilitation

Remorse in only

all the those years coming this.

 

Time served

in this sentence with you.

 

Released contingent on this condition

I would be

remanded to remember

everything.

 

The time surrendered in here

ending with one last final mark of stigmata justice.

 

I was to be branded with a scalding cattle iron

that was embossed into my flesh

and left an pronounced abrasion

into the shape of the letter D

as indelible as my birthmarks

to define the flesh they call me.

 

And I will only shed these scarlet scars

upon discarding all my letters into eternity.

 

But.

For now

That sentence.

This sentence.

My sentence

is over.

 

6-30-2011

Pearls and Roses

*

Jupiter’s wife

Juno visited me

again last Saturday

night after I had

watched my youngest

flower maiden daughter

dance on her season’s stage

parting curtains of light

and music shattering me

with the graceful beauty

of her youth and

emerging womanhood.

And I was saddened beyond words.

Every evening in June

burns like a single stick

match struck against

the balance left in the hours

box

calendar

clock.

So when Juno showed

up around Midnight and

asked me if I wanted to

follow her and dance

in a voice composed

of pearls and roses

Of course I followed her

out of the darkened bedroom

toward the descending

stair

only she bid me to

step up off

into the air

and for Juno blinding my eyes with moonlight

and for Juno singing pearls and roses into my ears

I can never refuse.

I dream walked

on an invisible plank

into the June night

and fell as hard and sure

as any man can and still

get back up

and write about it.

And it’s been this way

between her and I

my entire life

and this last time ?

for the record ?

I took such an ass kicking

that it took me a full month

to recover.

She calls my name

every year in June

and I have to follow.

Even if I fall to

brake my heart

brake my neck.

Braking everything

but my fall.

I don’t care.

The only thing I would ask Juno

is don’t ever leave me.

Please keep visiting me

blinding my eyes with moonlight

singing pearls and roses into my ears

and on that next June night

in this our month

When you call my name

could you catch me in your arms

the next time I leap

towards you

and gather my body in your embrace

and take me away with you.

*

 From The Terrible Now       6/08

*

Sister in Gemini

(for June Webb)

 I remember seeing her out in the front yard in the June sunshine

When we were both quite small

Out on a blue chaise lounge recovering from her latest operation

Her blonde hair and massive white bandages and cast seemed to glow

The doctors where trying to repair her deformed limbs

She and I had been born hours apart

I was told that June might never walk again and would probably

Have to struggle with this handicap for the rest of her life

Yet it was me who was indelibly marked with harmless

port wine stains  on my face and neck….

Like a Technicolor Achilles

and was told to consider myself lucky

I saw her years later in the marketplace still limping with

Her signature smile and familiar lope

I kissed her and wished us a happy birthday

And she smiled and remarked…why you haven’t aged at all

I replied with a shrug….you ought to see me on the inside

They knew just where to aim the arrows.

 Uncollected   6/2012

*

The Yellow Sting Ray

*

 When I turned 12

I pestered the living crap

Out of my folks for this

really expensive Schwinn

Yellow Sting Ray Bicycle

With high set handle sissy bars,

Gear shift and sparkly plastic banana seat

That I saw in the widow of Terry’s Bike shop

In town.

 

The old man said how ugly it was

and was just way too much GD money

at 89 dollars for such stupid dangerous thing

But it was my birthday

And I think my Nana kicked

In some dough.

 

So that evening my mom pulls

Into the driveway with it sticking out

Of the rear of the gray station wagon

And I took off on it like a bat out of hell

Not getting more than twenty feet away

And attempted to POP a wheelie like I had

Seen them do on TV.

 

And of course I immediately dumped the thing

Going air borne and ending up

In a crashing concussion

bouncing hard into the road surface

Raking myself up into one bloody mess

Of road rash from head to foot in

Shredded clothes and  blue stones

And tar stuck into my abrasions.

 

Not only that I bent the frame,

handle bars, front wheel

that yellow banana sparkly seat

came off as well.

 

And some 45 years later

I’m still doing pretty much

The same kind of bullshit

to anything

I can get my hands on.

 

Just still trying to learn

How to ride the GD thing

Without going down in flames

and tearing my ass to shreds

going down hard into the gutter

*

Uncollected           6/2012

*

In Sonic Embrace

 

June splits open

cleanly down the middle

of herself in the bedroom

just after the grayest

faint whisper that

Dawn could muster

into the folds of

curtains setting sail.

Windows wide open

to allow the night out

and perhaps the morning in.

I stirred from my dream

just enough to perceive

the bedroom awash

in a sonic embrace.

 Pinpoints of color

Cartwheel in motion

to swaying trees tops

rocking in the yard below.

The respirator of late Spring

laboring in a rush

of the moisture

laden air awash

hissing in soft exhale.

 Then there’s the sound

of a passing freight train.

There’s always that sound

somewhere around this

middle time of June.

In the sonic embrace

bleeding all over your face

pouring into your ears.

fans twirl in slow

languid circle overhead

Fans much more busy

buzzing at the foot of the bed.

 June escapes me

as you do here.

My half-dream wakes

me in this first light.

The sonic embrace of false

Dawn.

Between the two of you

Between the two of you

I just don’t know

what I will ever do.

June splits open

cleanly down the middle

of herself in the bedroom

just after the grayest

faint whisper that

Dawn could muster

into the folds of

curtains setting sail.

From Greetings From Gridville -2006

*

Your Trashy Novel (2.0)

*

So I guess I really did end up

being your trashy novel after all….

with the racy cover you slip into a plain jacket

to hide the tormented embrace

because you’re too embarrassed for

anybody else in the house

to see what the image suggests

and know what you are reading about.

 

And maybe thinking about.

 

I want a place on the nightstand

just next to bed

I’d like the idea of being taken out

and held after your shower

with a glass of wine

and while you recline

freshly powdered

on a bunch of soft pillows

and cool peeled back sheets.

 

Getting a little guilty pleasure.

 

I want to be the good part on page

where you have the corner turned down.

Shameless in candlelight

Hopeless in the morning light.

 

The impossible situation.

A Mistress with a difficult choice

between Raul the impulsive day laborer

with the six pack stomach and black pony tail

and Mr. Wainscott, the “older, experienced man”

with a salt and pepper mustache, plenty of dough

and a private jet waiting to fly you to the South Sea Islands.

 

Of Course, Erika

is not going to like this.

She’s got the dirt on your past.

Plenty of it.

Knows where the bodies are buried.

Your secret past in New Haven.

If you make the wrong choice here,

She’s going to spill her guts

and everything will ruined.

 

Here you put down the book for a second

Placing it upside down on your thigh

Take a sip of your wine

And fiddle with the strap of your peach camisole.

Thinking, “Wonder what I’d do ?”

As the TV starts the ten O’clock news

You hit the mute button

And tell yourself

Maybe I’ll save this next part for tomorrow.

 

And with a sleepy shrug

snuggle your shoulders

a little deeper into the pillows

closing your eyes

to drift here

just for a second

thinking of pink pearls bouncing off Plantation Clay bedroom walls.

As you drift off into a dream.

 

Where you are sitting in a bathtub

filled with a million perfumed bubbles

and candles all over the place

and there is this mysterious stranger

sitting in the shadows

just off in the corner

Sitting on the can

(don’t worry the lids down)

 

Actually listening to you talk about your day.

Knowing exactly how you feel

For once.

 

But it’s not Raul.

Or Mister Wainscott,

 

And Erika

(that bitch)

doesn’t have any “speaking lines”

in this scene to worry about.

But how they all will be lining up

to read what she wrote about it.

 

Go ahead…tell me again….

About how all I ended up being….

….was your trashy novel.

*

 From Greetings From Gridville -2006

*

 The Poet’s Mistress

*

There has always been a poet’s mistress

if you’re lucky or good

and somehow you find a thread here to pull

somewhere.

 

So go ahead.

 

Tell me again how all this is not poetry

Tell me the litany of my shortcomings.

Resolve. Resources. Talent. Guts.

 

They tell me again.

Why you feel the need

to have to tell me all this.

 

Again.

 

You left your eyes on my doorstep

a long time ago,

Rang the bell.

and ran away.

 

You heard footsteps

I heard chimes.

 

And all what we really recall

is that we both heard the same thing

in the end.

 

The sound of an empty door.

 

And that speaks for itself.

 

All entrances and exits

are exchanged in faceless places.

Where only our unwritten expressions

fail to provide or support the platform

to dive off of into

all that rented space in

each others eyes.

 

See you there.

 

See it there.

 

I saw you there.

 

And you know it.

 

There has always been the poet’s mistress.

 

Your face changes over the years

The sound of your voice blends always to hers.

 

She left.

and returned

So many times I could

never claim that lost track

or kept count…

 

On anything other than you

being in a different shape

every time.

 

Better poets than me

have more fame.

More money

Better looking,

Younger,

Smarter,

better agents,

maybe are

recognized

by sight

or name.

 

Sound good ?

You bet it does.

 

For some maybe.

But

I see and have all

I ever once dreamed for

right here.

 

When I know you will

one day read this.

 

The Poet’s mistress finishes these lines

and puts the book aside in the

shape of a arc on the

burgundy bedspread.

 

And sighs,

 

“Why won’t that son a of bitch

stop writing about me.”

 

From Greetings From Gridville- 2006

*

     (Re)Discovering Garbage 2.0


So was it the garbage in me

That became the garbage reflected

back into you ?

Was it back in that winter

that I actually overheard

myself to enthusiastically remark,

“Lately I’ve been listening to Garbage

and find it highly entertaining.”

 

This startling revelation resounded like a soundtrack

for an especially cacophonous week of professional Garbage.

The Ice day.

The Electrical day.

The missing pay check day.

The administration treats you

like shit day.

Compelling me to remark-

Let’s just keep all this garbage

between us

as impersonal as possible

 

Since then I’ve discovered such magnificent Garbage

I’ve been singing along to Garbage.

Hell, I’ve been dancing to Garbage.

I’ll confess.

I used to mock Garbage. Berate Garbage.

Laugh at Garbage.

I thought I was too good for Garbage.

Outgrown Garbage. Superior to Garbage.

Upon personal reflection

and blinding epiphany

I have finally admitted

it really has been a

lifetime of taking Garbage in general.

 

But this very special private Garbage

has re-educated me to the value of Garbage.

And now that I fully understand and appreciate

Garbage….I find that I’m able to:

Talk Garbage

Think Garbage

Teach Garbage

Deconstruct Garbage

Forgive Garbage

Understand Garbage

See that Garbage in your eyes.

See my Garbage in the mirror

Buy Garbage

Peddle Garbage

Work with Garbage

Swallow Garbage without guilt

Recognize Garbage

and accept the sonic day to day pure power in Garbage.

 

At last now

publicly I want

to thank Garbage.

For

I find myself renewed

and quite ready

at this point in time

to deal with you

And the garbage

you left me with.

From Attitude House               2/2000

 

 

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