Tuesday, December 8, 2015

A Dead Lion with a Beehive in It




First, you gotta know about Samson, judge of Israel in the Old Testament of the Holy Bible, the Christian sacred text.  As a Nazarite, chosen of God, he was expected to remain unshaven, celibate, and righteous, and to avoid alcohol, lust and sin. 
 
He wasn’t very good at it.

But he did have super strength given to him by God, represented by his long hair.

He wasn’t a very good Nazarite because he had a girlfriend, a philistine girlfriend who got him drunk. And he was probably a proud swaggart*, as well. One night he come home to the town where he stayed and the gates were locked against him.  He tore them out, carried them up the road a few miles, and left them standing there.  Once he killed a thousand soldiers with his bare hands and a donkey’s jawbone. In the end, his girlfriend betrayed him, his long hair was cut; he was captured, tortured, blinded, and set to push a millwheel. In the end, he was taken into the public temple, where all the people had come to see him tormented, and he pulled it down on top of them all, including himself. 

Well, one time Samson killed a lion and later saw the carcass with a hive of bees in it.  He made up a riddle, went into a local tavern and bet thirty guys a suit of clothes each that they couldn’t solve the riddle: "Out of the eater, something to eat; out of the strong, something sweet" (Judges 14:14). Delilah, that philistine girl, got him drunk, wheedled out the answer and sold it to the guys in the tavern. When Samson came, they gave him the answer and he had to pay up.  He went outside and killed thirty other guys, and took their clothes, the dead guys, to pay his bet. 

The point is, Samson had seen a dead lion with a beehive in it.

Then you gotta know about Full English.  Full English, a local Austin business, serves coffee and breakfast all day every day, sells Shepherd’s Pie to take home and microwave and serves about fifteen tables in a cafĂ© of bare painted cinderblock walls decorated with unique interpretations of the Union Jack, rainbows and penguins and combinations thereof.  A brief William Blake manifesto decorates a quarter of one wall and paintings, collages, and needlepoint grid the space in a Mondrian of color and form.  Everything looks found; clean, sturdy, functional and delighting, but scrounged, random—found. A nominal Full English comes with a link and a half of sausage, a moderate slab of English bacon (ham), a soft fried egg, two wedges toast, mushrooms and a slice of tomato. With a solid, simple, no-fancy-name coffee that is a regal breakfast, and while not vegan (such options are available), it is especially savory.

Before your order arrives, you are given a small round tin.  In the tin sits a laminated paper heart patched out of a pastel Union Jack with a black block-letter order-number for the wait staff to find your table. The card stands up, weighted by a small plastic clothespin that pulls the heart down into the tin.  The edge of the tin has a flat ring around the inside that is narrower than the card heart which, as a result, rocks in the mouth of the can, its edge balancing on the flat ring’s edge. The tin itself is covered in a paper label, dark green and gold.  The can once contained Lyles Refiner’s Syrup, partially (not 100%?) inverted (so they set the cans on the side? Is it shelved at a thirty-degree angle to allow sediment to settle out over the six to eight months it would take?) refiner’s (do these guys need a special syrup? Does it have some industrial use?) syrup for, and I quote, “sticky puds” (yeah, I know that means puddings, but I know what else it means, too).  And what do the executives at Lyles Refiner’s Syrup Inc. decide is the perfect symbol of their product, the mysteriously canted discrete use sweetener of human buttons, there, on the side of the can, on table after table reproduced in gold with green lines, its feline carcass reclined beneath a cloud of bees?

A dead lion with a beehive in it.

*a swaggering braggart

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

OMG Guess What I Just Learned!

One sentence: so, here i am in the middle of trying to rehang one of my artworks, a story about a Hindu horse, when, as ADHD demands, i am digging through my toolbox looking for my tools, whisper-cursing my short term memory because i cannot find the piece of chain that was in my hands thirty seconds ago, returning a straight clawed hammer into the nether of the toolbox and replacing the tray, of the toolbox, back into the toolbox shell, when i suddenly realize that, like the tool box in the Adobe Photoshop program, in which i often find me whisper-cursing myself because i must continually 'put down' a 'tool' and then 'pick up' the next in a manner that parallels what i should be doing in my analog toolbox in the garage 1.0, where i keep my tools, mainly that in the program i must move the cursor to click a specific tool, then use the cursor to place and execute the purpose of the tool, then move the cursor back into a new tool to drop the previous tool; i can't leave these tools out, and if i will do the same in the garage, i needn't whisper-curse myself as a foolish forgetful old man.*


*reading infinite jest1

1 if you know, you know you know; if you don't know, you don't know you don't know.

Monday, September 28, 2015

I Know My Cat has Secrets!

You know what I mean! 

Jack Segundus Bakery Mauser, tuxedo and lout.  Friendly enough when it's quiet, but keeps to himself most the time.  I feed this cat everyday and I carry out his poop and every time I open the garage door he freaks out like he's guilty and runs.

I never find anything wrong.

It's like he has a secret agenda that, God Forbid! I should know about. I'm just taking out the laundry and I open the door--no, not even open--begin to become conscious of the desire to take hold of the door handle and he senses it.  By the time I have come into contact with the door handle and actually begun to rotate the handle he is diving through the cat door and colliding with me and the pantry. If I do get it open before he notices, he turns himself inside out trying to get by me without getting close to me.  I just stand their and watch his imitation of satanic possession until physics takes back over, his feet grab the floor and he disappears in a cloud of shed hair.

I don't know what he wants to hide, what secret mystery informs his soul with purpose or why that purpose seems so fraught with peril. Jack ain't talking.

Jokes on him though; I don't really care.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Beg the Question

So, the Goldilocks zone is just right for human life.  If we were a little closer to the sun, or a little farther, we wouldn't be here.  The earth is in the exact right place for a species like us to exist. Or, how can you look at a tree and not believe in God? Funny how both scientists and religious believers both make an apparent assumption that existence is here to produce us. I think this is a very egocentric idea, and we come by it honestly, as we can never not be in ourselves.  But what if the Universe is unaware of us, of humanity and its consciousness.

The universe is not perfect for us.  We are what happens when a universe like this one exists! The conditions were here before we were.  We are a result, not an aim. This is why we have to create meaning in our lives; it is why we seek answers with religions, philosophy and science.  So, how do we decide how we should treat one another? If there is no right or wrong except in the imagination of human consciousness, no God to set us up here, no Universe that has a plan?

Treat others the way you wish to be treated. If you want your life to be your own, then others lives should be their own as well.  Now, lying, cheating, stealing, killing, are wrong not because some immutable quality of the Universe requires it, but because it is what I want for myself.  All I have to do is recognize that my intrinsic value is not greater than any others; that like me, others are as trapped inside of themselves as I am in me.

If we intend to evolve, we must realize that others do exist, just as I do. None are evil, bad, good, righteous, in and of themselves, they only perform evil, bad, good or righteous acts. So, we have to decide what are positive and negative actions.  I submit that the degree to which actions ensure the rights of others to do as they choose, and the degree to which they do not infringe on the rights of others is the measure of "good."

Live accordingly.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

So, I am an Athiest

I am an athiest.
I do not worship Satan.
I do not  worship God, a god, or gods.
I do not worship.

I do strive, everyday, to create happiness for myself and others, to live responsibly to my fellow humans, and to enrich the opportunities of others to express their freedom as human beings.
I believe that human society should be a contract between all humanity ensuring the natural rights of every man, universal rights generating from the right to live, to be free, and to pursue happiness.  I use as my model, the Constitution of the United States, Universal Bill of Rights, and Natural Law as defined by Locke, like "we all heard in school."

I have been called Christian. At least three close friends, who claim personal experience with Jesus Christ, insist that I am Christian because we share values. I refuse the title since I have no personal relationship with Christ, other than having lived long after him and respecting whoever he was to have inspired the evolutionary leap to altruism from selfish survival.  I do not lie, cheat, steal or kill.  I help the poor, the sick and the needy. I do not proselytize but try to live a happy and productive life as an example. I believe in mercy rather than vengeance, kindness over brutality, etc.  These are not just Christian values, they are Human values.  

Many Christians credit their God for their morality, for the righteousness of humanity.  I don't need a god to make me behave the way I do, though I appreciate the model.  I appreciate the prayers and thoughts of those Christians for my soul as well.  

God or no God, Christian or Atheist, it is our responsibility to be happy and to raise others to what happiness we may.

Friday, August 7, 2015

The Freedom Paradox

I claim freedom of choice based on my respect of others to freedom of choice as well; the Golden Rule. One's freedom ends where it infringes on the freedoms of others, but there are levels.

Smokers have a responsibility to protect my freedom from the risks of tobacco.  I support non-smoking areas, particularly enclosed facilities like stadiums and restaurants.  I expect smokers to stand upwind out of doors. But, I don't just glibly expect smokers to stay fifteen feet from doors and busstops.  This seems to border on infringement of their rights.I expect my government and society to tell me the truth about the risks of smoking so that I can make an informed decision.  I expect smokers to put their finished buts in a garbagecan or wastebasket, but I fully support their right to risk their own health and resources if they so choose.

My society has a responsibility to manage the community and create laws to facilitate the mutual pursuit of choice.These laws should be determined through analysis of risk, balancing benefit and restriction, enforced fairly and consistently thus freeing me to choose my behaviors knowing of possible consequences.  If I drive 40 mph in a 35 zone, I should expect to be stopped and ticketed by police. I should be able to have confidence that these laws are enacted to protect me while avoiding restriction on my freedom.

Others have a responsibility to protect and respect my right to be alive or not. I choose to live or not live unless taken by disease or accident.  I want the right to choose my own life, I must respect the right of others to choose their own lives.  When my pursuit of happiness involves taking the right to live of another into my own will, I am wrong.

Freedom self regulates.  My freedom ends where yours begins, and it goes both ways.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

So That Happened....

If you get stung by a bee on the face, your face will swell up.  This has nothing to do with any allergy, but with being, apparently, a human.

Last Wednesday afternoon, around six oclock, i filled the water pail outside to water the plants in my yard that get beat up by the sun.  This spring, a hive of bees began living in the red ghost on my lawn. In the late afternoons they are distressed by the heat. Occassionally i will mist or spray outside the hive to draw out a little heat. On Wednesday, i tipped the can over the top of the ghost to cool it as i walked out to water my lantana.  An angry bee flew up, bounced around my face and landed and the little bastard stung me. About an inch right of my right eye.

7:12 July 29
I reached up and scratched out the stinger after about three or four seconds of shocked disbelief. It felt about the same as a sting anywhere, but alarming so close to my eye.  And it kept burning after the initial sting.  It continued to hurt for a few minutes before i decided i better go check it out in the mirror.  My face, my hands, and my lap were soon itching beyond belief.  My fingers were puffy and stiff with prickly heat itching.  My eye and cheek were swelling like i took a good punch. Shawn was alarmed, and Hunter, my nephew, but i knew i wasn't allergic.  i agreed to send Shawn for Benadryl and lay on the bed assessing. 
9:42 July 29

My right eye and the top of the right cheek, across the tip of my nose to my far brow and back across to the sting was swollen and itched terribly.  A minor stiffness in my neck and throat made me aware of more swelling, but it never became intense enough to make me worry for my breathing. 

9:10 am July 30
I lay down for about an hour and waited for the sensation to subside.  The pain and itching faded to a localized itch around the sting, and itchy allergy eyes. I slept on my face and woke with general swelling in the area of my face that had itched so terribly.  As the next day progressed, my eye swole increasingly fat and glossy, but there was no pain, only the continual awareness of my puffy eyelids touching my glasses and restricting my line of sight.

11:41 am July 30
By evening the swelling had begun to dissipate and by the next morning was only apparent as a not at the sting site.

Leave the bees alone.

Monday, August 3, 2015

What Do You Believe?

As a youth in the Assemblies of God and its program, Royal Rangers, I had to learn how to explain what I believed in.  I was versed in "the sixteen fundamental doctrines of the Assemblies of God". Rather than saying I don't lie, I don't cheat, and I don't steal, I could quantify the principles of my family's Christianity. When I began to identify as an atheist, I had no list of principles to quantify my belief system. So, I set about developing a guiding philosophy that would define my personal beliefs.

What do I believe?

Whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them (Matthew 7:12). Christians call this the Golden Rule and it has equivalent sentiments in every known language.  This is at the center of my beliefs. 

I want the right to exist. I must respect the rights of others to exist. My life is my own and no one has the right to take it from me except for myself. I have a responsibility to others to respect their right to choose to exist, or to not exist. God doesn't tell me I can't murder; I want to live! As a result, I must defend the right of others to live; I can't murder.

I want the right to choose my own life. I must respect the rights of others to choose their lives. I want to choose my gender identity, marriage partner, vice or flavor of ice cream without restriction. I have to defend the rights of others to do so as well.

So, when I want to know what is right or wrong, I ask myself, "what would I want for me?"

Friday, August 26, 2011

Dog Poo!



I have three dogs that I walk each day.  Marco "El Pollo" Polo, a found shepherd and doberman mix, weighs 106 pounds, and his two friends, Zoot! and Fat Cow weigh 35 and 45 pounds respectively.  As a citizen, I go to great efforts to pick up after them when they visit a neighbor's yard on the walk.  It has become quite a process.

You'd think this was pretty straight forward a chore.  No.  As a tightwad, I refuse to use more than one bag per trip if I can help it.  And, I want my neighbors to know that I am acting responsibly to keep dog poop off their feet, out of their yards, and out of the groundwater.  So, each day I start out with bags and chalk and dogs and set off on one of several routes around my neighborhood.

I have discovered several things about the technique and have worked hard to develop my Kung Poo (with apologies to the martial arts).  At the first squat, I prepare a bag.  First, my hand goes inside so the bag itself serves as a glove.  I pick up the pile, or in Zoot!'s case, piles, and turn the bag inside out, careful to keep the poop away from the top edges of the bag.  It is warm, yes, it is soft, yes, it is stinks, yes, so I twist the bag closed and bend its neck around the fingers of whichever hand can take it in my juggling of three leashes.  But wait, there's more!  With a bit of chalk, on the sidewalk, I draw a heart and put in the initials of whoever was the author of this incident, then carry the bag along to the next stop.

It gets a little tricky if everyone goes, especially Marco, and sometimes I wish I could just let go and use more bags.  But what are ya gonna do; don't we all have an obsession or two?

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Three Dogs Walking


When we moved here two years ago, I began walking our three dogs around the neighborhood with chalk in my pocket.  I drew stick figures of the four of us and labelled them "three dogs walking".  Chalk, of course, is easily removed by rain, which we don't have, and regular wear, which we do, so my grafitti is neighbor freindly.  Eventually, I adopted a symbol, adding a date and arrow signifiying the direction we were going.  Occasionally, I might add a cartoon greeting  to whoever came by or an eye keeping "neighborhood watch" on an empty house. Through four or five routes I might scatter a dozen signs as I collected poop, put trash in bins or passed homes of friends I've made.

A few weeks ago, I began to see other symbols; a lightning bolt descending into a low arc over three circles.  It appeared at some of my  own marked corners, in front of my house, and in the drive of the home of its maker.

A strange trespass that I hope to encourage.  South Austin has a reputation as the home of weirdness.  I like to think we have a little better sense of friendliness and camaraderie.  It is just one more sign that I am truly home.




Monday, August 8, 2011

Feathers of a Bird

Since I came to Austin, I have become a busy birdwatcher.  My own backyard is visited by the ever-present Mourning Doves and the occasional Grackle, who sound like winding and clanking machinery when they roost, but better birds visit each day.  For three years now, Mockingbirds, Robins, Blue Jays, Cardinals, Black-crested and Tufted Titmice, Chickadees, House Wrens and a variety of sparrows have visited my two feeders and birdbath placed strategically within view from the couch as we watch television.  While the Green Parrots that I have seen about Austin have never visited us here in Mauserica, I do have a returning pair of Golden Headed Woodpeckers, a pair of Downy Woodpeckers, and a Ruby Throated Hummingbird who regularly checks out the flower stickers my wife put in the window to keep the stupid doves from breaking their necks (at least one crashes the window every day!).  We even see the occasional Red-tailed Hawk's shadow as he glides over the canopy in our backyard.

All that to say this.  All those birds crowded around a feeder drop a lot of feathers.  Downy pin feathers, long pinions, and everything in between.  As a compulsive collector and artist (anything you have enough of can become art), I pick up every one and drive their quills into the tops of the palings in my fence.  Every paling gets one, and when they are full, I add a second or third.  When the wind blows they wave, wink in the mottled sunlight, and sometimes even bow like grave Japanese.  I like to think of each one as a salute to finding joy wherever it happens.

 If I found enough feathers, could make my own bird?

Friday, August 5, 2011

An Accidental Garden

I can't be the only one.

Last spring I gathered my carefully chosen seeds, created a sprouting bed of worm-dirt, compost and potting soil.  Planted row upon row of flowers; eight varieties of color and bloom.  I watered assiduously, weeded and thinned my little plot.  Soon I had a dozen or more in each row, strong sprouts.  I planted them in my yard with a shovel of their potted dirt all along the edge of my garden. 

None bloomed.

However, I have eaten two pounds of butternut squash and four tomatoes from plants I never put down.  In all, five pepper plants, one butternut squash, a giant sunflower, and five tomato plants of three varieties have grown to bloom and are beginning to fruit.  Suddenly I actually have more of some vegetables than I am wanting to eat.  Good for me. 

Now, if I could accidentally grow money....

Monday, April 11, 2011

Good Manners

If you know me, you've heard me talk about "The Alice Principle"; the belief that, taken to their logical conclusion, good manners can save the world.  When Alice is confronted by the caucus of birds she politely slips away.  She manages to avoid all sorts of unpleasantness through the simple expedient of good manners and the knowledge of when to leave; the latter determined by the responses to her overtures.  When manners fail to garner a return in kind, Alice simply leaves with as little damage to her self or reputation as possible.  So, I have been researching.

I have discovered that the purpose of manners is to "make other people feel more important than yourself."  Manners is the formal aspect of Respect; a code of behavior that expresses the intrinsic value and human rights of every "other" individual.  Manners is the expression of Respect. 

Respect requires the individual to focus on the comfort and feelings of others.  Some basic tenets:
     Recognize levels of societal status.  Older and higher ranking community members are recognized if only for having survived longer and been trusted with more than younger or lower ranking individuals.  As we no longer live in feudal states or with a landed aristocracy, this means presidents, doctors, and seniors outrank citizens, patients, and the younger.
     Recognize natural rights (with the important addition of "Right to Privacy").  This is why you say excuse me when you ask a stranger the time, why you do not take, use, or interfere with the property of others, and why you do not enforce your will on others.
     Recognize the individual tastes and preferences of others and limit public behavior with an eye to common values.  Burp, fart, curse and scratch in the privacy of your own home; don't inflict such idiosyncrasies on an unsuspecting public.
     Seek the comfort of others.  In public, bad behavior is not recognized publicly. Seats on public transportation is given to the less able; older, injured, challenged, belabored individuals.
     Assume the best.  The guy who cuts you off in traffic is not an asshole; maybe just inconsiderate.  Give the benefit of the doubt when safety is not the issue.

Oh, there's more.  Some of it very formal and detailed, but all aimed at creating a coded behavior that eases all parties involved.  And guess what!  It can all be derived from one simple rule.  Treat others as you would like to be treated.

Oh wouldn't it be fine to have smiling encounters in the street, in businesses and communal resources?  Wouldn't you love to be treated as if your happiness were the concern of everyone else on earth?  Wouldn't it be nice to know that everywhere you went, you would be treated as if you were special, worthy, free, intelligent, independent and deserving of humane treatment?

That's how you escape the dangers of Wonderland.
    

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Sonnet I


The Whispering Stars

The whisp’ring stars in empty inky black,
Their secrets shadowed orbits, dust and winds,
Complex geometry, insomniac,
Sing silence the void comprehends.

A complex hydrocarbon molecule
Will meet with pre-biotic mass and cling
A thousand, million, in tides of cosmic jewel
Void, solo, duo, choir, orchestral sings.

When numbers swim in zeroes far too great
For conscious minds to eat and swallow whole,
All things then become possible! Create!
From Space and deep of time can sing a soul.

In tiny steps, how meaningless, how odd
Evolves the Universe from Nil to God

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Principle One: Thirty Days Makes a Habit

I was very young when i heard on television that a person could create a habit in thirty days or thirty repetitions.  I took it to heart.  In junior high school, i experimented with handwriting, devising specific e's, g's and a's, maintaining verticals, rounding curves.  I built routines and organizational systems in repetitive forms, practiced elocutional speaking, building accents, practiced with weapons and wrote methodically.  In thirty days, you can do almost anything.

In the interest of citizenship, i intend to establish a new habit, that of a citizen, e. pluribus unum.  In thirty days, i hope to create and become a citizen, establishing principles, standards, criteria and definitions of what is a citizen.  I hope to use this body of work as a manifesto, or bible of my personal belief so that anyone considering my credibility has an idea of what i believe, what i mean, what i say and what value it may have.

I expect a more streamlined, highly productive and well-maintained life benefiting myself, my family, my city, nation and world.  I hope this to be my beginning of a new phase in my personal life and an assertion of and immersion in my value system. 

I remind myself:
     Know what you believe. 
     Make yourself.
     Act right.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

DOMETHU, hanh, ha. : a silliness

I've found a new game.  I love the security words created for facebook and twitter postings.  Each sounds like a word, or a complex affix: pritimbl, grasista, tierdo, menesti.  Putud, yopfomi.  Guplinta, and upldent. Porducai-- and D O M E T H U!!!

These are no simple randomly generated words, roots and affixes. Consideration of their forms, spelling structures and variance reveals a pattern, Chthulic in appearance, ancient, old.  What nefarious purpose do the authors of these services hold for the American People?  Like that short story, "Irtnog", where all the writing in the world was daily reduced through a complex mathematical process into a six letter word, allowing every reader and writer to come into balance of supply and demand.

Good thing DOMETHU wasn't called in 1984.  Or maybe it wouldn't matter.

DANH Danh dannnnnnnnh!

Anyway, I like me them security words.

April 19 Poem: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly Pt. Three

My Old Friend Jack

I slice his eyes; he looks surprised.
I hack his twisted grin.
And what else goes?  I pierce his nose,
Knock teeth out, punch teeth in.

Cut carotid, scalped, quick gutted
Twinings inside out.
Deft razor lace, I slash his face,
Scrape hollow, raw, mute shout!
The seed comes next, and I'm perplexed:
Need heat! Need Fire! Need Light!
And with his head, I'll guide the dead
On this Halloween night.

Roast honeyed seeds that pumpkin bleeds
with sugar coated treats
to every child, both tame and wild,
Princess, zombie or beast!

No, I'm not cruel, nor am I ghoul.
My or'nge skinned friend is daft.
What makes us pain, and sounds insane, 
makes Jack O'Lantern laugh!

April 18 Poem: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly Pt. Two

A Poultry Loss


The chicken danced, his best friend pranced
across the barn dance floor
With feathers white, as cold moonlight,
She drifted out the door

Her beak was wet, she'd lost her pet!
The loss, it made her cry.
She mourned in tears, torn by her fears,
Her heartbreak made her sigh.

For help she looked, while lunch she cooked,
but no one volunteered
To help her find her poor lost mind;
"Too bad," the doctor feared.

"You take a rest, sit on your nest,
and lay yourself an egg.
You must relax; your heart you'll tax,
O please, don't make me beg!"

And so she went, her heart was spent
never recovered, she.
No pup nor kit, did she find it.
She ended so sadly.

April 17 Poem: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly Pt. One

I tormented my eighth graders relentlessly by writing these like water goes downhill.  So here come three of the the best, worst, and least attractive; you decide which is which. Edit HTML

Draft of Imitation on Scary Cheese

The scary cheese, it makes me sneeze,
it knocks my knees afraid.
I slice it thin to serve a friend;
My hands shake on the blade.

All filled with holes, dug by cheez moles,
It threatens from the plate;
Its yellow guise appalls my eyes;
It looks at me with hate!

It's good with chips, to melt in dips,
and I would eat it, too;
But it sits there with holes that stare;
I don't know what to do.

The deadly snack, if it comes back,
I'll race to get away!
I'll melt it down, I'll make it frown,
This dog will have its day.

Such soured milk, I hate its ilk
Intolerant Lactose!
 No cheese I'll buy! Cheese I'll deny!
I hate it and it's gross!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

April 16 Poem: No Mourning

Wake up! Wake up!
The light comes!
The world keeps turning round.

The flowers yawn and birds complain
In floods the dawn, Sun's amber mane
Spills golden light from molten veins
It warms the flesh and feeds the grain

Wake up! Wake up!
The beehive hums!
A new King Day is crowned!

April 14: Tool

I hope that I can someday be
At tool of great utility
form follows function one two three
I have a purpose, meaning, me

You say you think I am a fool
To wish to be a common tool
A hammer, axe, a saw, a mule
But I know what I am, do you?

A tool has reason, value, use
It keeps the world from coming loose
When called upon will not refuse
and lives its life without excuse

I'll be a tool and thankfully
Glad that I've lived productively
and in the ground sleep peacefully
A tool is what I choose to be.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

April 13 Poem: Blue Jays

You listen to the Jays shriek at cats and you'll know what I mean.

Now the Jays won't put up with ya,
The Jays won't leave you alone.
Now the Jays won't put up with ya
If you're standing on their lawn.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Day One of Thirty: The Citizen submits microfiction.


So, the Devil walks into a Bar...

            “Just water,” the devil told me, and he lit a cigarette.
            My eyebrow, right one, twitched in question as I polished the bar and set the glass.
            “Temptation ain’t what it used to be.  Tired.  No mood to drink.”
            My job traditionally requires a bit of companionable conversation, and though he’d initially made me nervous, Satan had become a regular.
            “If it helps, I hope to fuck some bar-bait after my shift.”
            He tipped his head, profiling a smooth-pointed ear, the corner of his mouth fluking into a glimmer of appreciative smile.
            “You’re too kind.” 
            His cool grey voice sidled out between even, sharp, white teeth.  A few too many for me to stare.
            “Hardly a challenge,” he added.
            I smiled back, feeling, suddenly, foolish and inadequate.
            His eyes scrolled down to the clear glass of water, condensation beading its flutes, and watched one heavy drop slide down and disappear into the orderly white absorbance of barnap.
            His slender reddish fingers draped the glass like a caress, stroking lazy curls of steam into the atmosphere between us.
            His eyes moued shut and he sat like a sleeping viper.
            A moment.
            Two. 
            Swelling discomfort stirred my stomach, diaphragm, and lungs.
            “Hey,” I offered, “you okay?”
            The red fingers slid their evaporating caress down the fluted glass before him.
            “No,” he half whispered, “no, I am not.”

            I went home alone that evening, claiming remembered study for non-existent exams, accepting a phone numbered napkin decorated with a suggestive lipstick kiss from a smoky eyed doll who nursed a Sex-on-the-beach for the half hour she sat at the bar.
            At home, I opened my laptop, stuffed and lit a bowl, and clicked on “my favorites.”  I scanned three or four stories with my hand in my lap, but my heart just wasn’t in it.  I think the Devil was giving up.  It made me ashamed.
            Maybe I’d call that girl— I fished out the napkin; Janice was her name — and invite her for a walk in the park on Sunday afternoon.  We could take some bread to feed the ducks and have a coupl’a Hawaiin Snows on a bench under the cypress.
            Janice.  She had a nice smile.

April 12: Screw You if You Don't Like Poetry

I play grammar like a music
and its standards are my scale,
Puctuation makes percussion
staccato mace and flail.
I'll caress you with a murmur,
I'll seduce and I'll offend.
My license is poetic,
and now you're at the end.

(Ha ha.)

April 11 Poem: Flight!

Steel boats
Iron sky
Change our weather
We try, we try

fleeing trouble on demand
but still it's with you when you land

April 15 Poem: For Shawn in San Antonio

Each day you stay away is dismay gray.

April 10 Poem: On Looking Down

As always in airports, my sketches and associations help wile away time.  After reading through some entries during flight, I built this poem with its strict formality reflective of consciousness on the planet.

The language of aliens laid out below
  iterate shadowed cloud an interruption
of the glyphs of bird's-eye-view

A fog, a nimbus, white wet snow
  far from the sad corruption
of peopled green, its hues

Like spinnered tracks of dominoes
  spell natural disruption
of the planet that we use

From savage to savage still we grow
  depending on our gumption
and ability to schmooze.

This message, a sign, it's all we know
   a humanity eruption
some history's clues.

April 9 Poem: A Moment of Weakness

Dedicated to my good friend; you know who you are.

My Jew, there is a terror
     that runs deep in my heart
The fear I'll make an error
     that keeps us, friend, apart.

The genius burning through you,
     your surety of right,
Your confidence and parvenu
     of which I oft make light

Will choke on shards of commerce
     in casual interplay
Of opinion, right perverse,
     from my naivete.

What force or charm returns me
     to research day and night
To prove I'm not unworthy
     to stand with you and fight?

As apparent, your disciple
     my Peter to your Christ
Our freindship archetypal,
     I hope not compromised,

Is all I have to offer
     and I guess I'm karma, too
Or at least I hope and proffer
     a trade in joy I glean from you.

April 8 Poem: Not a Hike-oo

the bus kneels for age

and walking steps on and off

swallowed and disgorged

April 7 Poem: Twinkle Twinkle Oscar Stars

Twinkle twinkle Oscar stars
We-love A-ca-de-my A-wards
Camera eye and light of God
Graceful acts and graceless clods
Politics and tears good greif
Make your thank yous
Keep 'em brief.


Sung to the tune of the alphabet song.

April 6 Poem: Tribal

What I refer to as Automatic writing requires the author to dissociate meaning and grammar from sound and to create as pure a collage of sound and rhythm as possible with little or only slight regard for content or subject matter.  This collage was written in response to that moment when you realize youve contributed to an antagonistic crowd or a flock of grackles!  Hit and miss, but fun to write.


   Sher Khan
   Peck-a-way
Shhhh!  The coven's comin'
   Deep drums bassin'
Bumble gumbo drumroll
   Pedal back, pedal back, pedal back words

Kings in the yard
Kings in the yard
Kings in the yard
Kings in the yard

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

April 5 Poem: What's a Man

Ooo, that's it! I'm crazy
What's a man made any more
So many lost and lazy
with MTV girls dressed like whores
Heroes and morals upsy daisy
And their careless spreading spore
Our role's become so hazy
We play in, die in, war
If we take these as our precis
Men cannot be held much lower

Not I, alright, I'll make a man
Citizen, proud in freedom land
I'll find brothers, loyal band,
No evil will come from my hand
Control temptation in my glands
Have no children unless planned
I'll have to be what makes a man

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

April 4 Poem: Post-Apocalypse Me (a sonnet)

It's me, I'm lost, no Compass sees my way
A Ship, wrecked wracked and ruined upon the Strand
Alone through cold I'm numb, un-feeling spray
My Grave waits in a strange and foreign land
Remains I know have washed up on this Shore
the Salvage of the ways that I once knew
My Nineveh, my Mission is no more
Revenge will leave me empty, now where to?

These talents spilled in sand, what can they buy?
Don't mourn for me, for that old man must die.
 
I'm built anew, exotic, fortified
From stuff of Wreckage splintered in my Heart
I'll build a Treehouse high up in my Mind
From broken Days, forgotten Poems and Art

April 3 Poem: Golden Headed Haiku

Chatter impatient

Scarlet thumbprint on your brow

Yellow hammered awl

Monday, April 5, 2010

April 2 Poem: Kickerville

I drive a four by four
With a gun in the rack
A toolbox in the bed
For a dog in the back
 
Can o' Skoal on the dashboard
With a cup for my spit
Stinking dirty floorboards
From the s--- I kick
 
My jeans ain't ripped
And my shirt's tucked in
I'm a kicker, M----- F-----
And that's all I've ever been

My girl's a barrel rider
And she's gotta stay with me
'Cause she's gotten a lot wider
Since she let me spread her knees
 
My jeans ain't ripped
And my shirt's tucked in
I'm a kicker, M----- F-----
And that's all I've ever been
 
If you love dogs and chickens
And you won't dance with your wife
If your relatives are "hick"-en
You can have a kicker life