The war-weary waters the portrait sheds
at least add a touch of salt to dinner,
which happens to be fish known by cold sea
creatures that labor far from the tropics,
rough in speech indeed they can be;
but none at the table know
about the cold sea creatures for the cold
sea creatures have managed to forever
evade scientific detection;
they have deep contempt for zoologists
no matter the species one may
happen to specialize in; now it is
true no zoologists composed the group
digging in the plates; but that the portrait
dripped as it did on their experience
persuaded most to pass on the pudding.
So the old mushy sensation
has not died but only slept.
Months, months, on and on, the silence
went, to the extent of the grimmest
pronouncement. But like the scent
on a night a woodsy cottage crackles
at the edge of a leafless but white wood,
that underlies and actually shapes
or gives context to the simmering stew,
that which felt lost massages my hard heart.
I was another when we created island
paintings on an ocean of ivory
which in turn composed a ready-made gallery,
at least until the day of the washing machine.
How in the hell I let us get suckered rightward
makes absolutely no rational sense, unless
something seismic sent us sliding over a cliff;
or we saw it as survival where we landed.
Or maybe both are true and maybe more is true.
And who’s to say that in a universe
kitty-corner to this that is most mountainous
we are not decked in beads
and peace-sign necklaces
and turquoise bracelets; chilling on a real isle
where the air bestows perpetual pearly balm.
Who’s to say there is no such thing as fictional?
All this dross draws from losing sea access.
In those days a sensuality, raw,
shapely like a vase for a chosen rose
seeped through each moment; whether the tulips
from the gypsy vendors by the pavement
for a celebratory day
of dedication to all the women
of the world; or drizzly gray mayhem morn
when all the crosswalk lights suddenly ceased
(and this verse is leagues from that blessed sea);
the point checking the time and tapping toes
at last gets to say that priorities
have a way of automatically
entering a reshuffle mode
due to little more than an overwhelm,
whether in leggy lithe form or mountains,
the former then and the latter these days,
knowing then if nothing else dysfunctions
spoken in hushes could never begin
to establish a hint of a beachhead
from that sexy foreign city abode
to the sandy sunny topless tan scenes
unable to paste a label of bad
upon a single kilometer there,
and when poetry oozed from my fingers.
granted the internet invites wackos
(and a wacko need not pose a danger
just for being wacko, as all of us
participate in relativity)
but meeting them at the grocery store
would not likely trip the wacko wire;
probably carry on while pricing wine
except some of them view wine in horror,
because of its lubrication powers
in opening doors to cunnilingus,
fellatio, onania (and worse);
probably wouldn’t meet by the wine racks.
Had fewer of God’s people bulldozed my nature
I’d surely fled their clutches much earlier.
Maybe it’s a hazy ace, but just to save face,
fantastic tales and poetic delivery
with otherworldly imagery
can make for an alluring package deal
that offers one of the few acceptable doors
of escape from a world that turned crappy quickly.
Of course it is much easier to be
a warrior child for Christ before
puberty enters the scene and why
it is crucial the propaganda
is dressed as dessert and served with a song;
sooner or later along will come
a soldier extra avid about righteousness
and can be counted on to verily edit
what was believed to be really good news,
in the form of sternly worded revelation
that the omniscient being who with a mere word
brought into existence every speck
of stardust floating in this wondrous universe
can and does watch what a young fellow does
whether a blanket does or does not try to act
like a cover – in other words this creator
of the entire wondrous universe
becomes really upset when a young man
dares to assess his handy treasure of pleasure.
Of course in that kind of situation
ability in rational thought clarity
so the obvious can be obvious
has been hamstrung since the elementary age.
Only in recent times can a solitary
kind of meditative therapy offer
an avenue to a modicum
of the restoration of one’s genuine self
and go on a retroactive tour
wherein scenes, people, places, are revisited,
and ask: who the fuck are you
and how the fuck do you know?
What a waste those years of youth.
Huddled around crackling flames,
a collection of castaway nouns
passed around a worn glaring gaze
as though not knowing which ought to say
whatever word and in futility
one noun could possibly say, like,
“why the hell were we summoned here?”
and another would cuttingly reply,
“for the ninety-ninth time, none of us nouns
know why we are here – why we were called.
All of us are suckers, that’s for sure.
Hungry for a novella appearance.
I’ll admit it. And don’t none of you nouns
try to deny a sense of desperation
played a hand in the plight we share.”