I use ugly words on purpose (poem written with a found pen)

Nothing in word form (small) - 327635449_3c0ec68ed9_c

I use ugly words on purpose
I write ugly words on purpose
ugly ugly ugly ugly
until they lose all meaning
until they lose meaning
ugly ugly ugly ugly
words words words words
meaning meaning meaning meaning

I like it that they
have to do what I say
but sometimes it’s better
when they no longer matter

The way a first taste of coffee
is exquisite and delicious
and by the end of the day
you can drink it down like water
and it means nothing at all

just (to extend the metaphor)
makes you jittery and mean
and puts a bad taste in your mouth
and builds a brooding stockade
(fence posts bristling like unkept teeth)
against sleep

In this bitter analogy, what is sleep?
Sleep sleep sleep sleep.
I’ll know it when I see it
I I I I I.
I write using these ugly words
on purpose
I I I I.

 

0503201803~2

Continue reading

The stampede of History

Radioactivity_of_a_Thorite_mineral_seen_in_a_cloud_chamber

The stampede of History
occurred on this site in 1872
on this prairie—flat, enduring,
tasting of noon sunshine
and its black, black shade—
where the dusk-blue flowers of History
previously blossomed.

We have been living backwards
toward that day ever since–
forgetting that first giant step,
the big blue marble the color of History,
and the light of a thousand atoms
that smelled as black as History
and roared in our sovereign bones.

On that day in 1872, which was a day
like any other, the cicada chant
of History will be heard in the land
where lately the lightning blossomed
and the concomitant thunder rolled
like enormous cannonballs
across a flattening plain of History.

On that day, you’ll put on a beaded shirt
and ride through the fusillade
of soldiers—Sitting Bull
will be with you, and Jack Wilson,
as you ride, and the blue flowers
will part before you, the land
will rise up before you, and everything
will go down in History.

Continue reading

Nothing happens fast

Carl Sandburg on the Beach - 637b557

Nothing happens fast

first the Sun rises and
then it’s night time
and Carl Sandburg is
alive and
children playing horseshoes
and during that slow expanse
the mortgage came due
the elves lay down under
the hill and I

awoke thinking
Oh hell not again.

 

Continue reading

In my dream I was gravity.

Subsidence by seriykotik1970 - Flickr

In my dream I was gravity.
The pilings of the towers humored me
and the muscular calves
of the youths,
the repose and occasional slump

of exhausted hillsides,
and the sea’s endless susurrus
as it trailed the moon forever falling,
were my dance and my devotion,
my music and my mystery.

In my dream I have been gravity
and well pleased with the world.

Continue reading

And I lay down in mirth

Mirth_and_metre_(1855)_(14778448445)

And I lay down in mirth
like a bed. Later I stood
surveying the good
and the spreading earth.

Then the woods were alive
with invisible birds
and it was good, good.

I stood at my birth
and was wishing the dead
could still hear the music I heard.

Then I pictured the dead
in their cold earthen beds
and the sound of them rose.
And the woods were alive.

And I lay down in mirth
in the grass, in the dirt
and the dead in their earths
raised their voices in song.

The invisible birds
sang along, sang along, sang along,
and it was good, good.

 

 

Continue reading

— bent stick in the path, ridging

I.

– bent stick in the path, ridging
the dust

where the sun
has been beating down

ten thousand hours
since last it rained

if you were a snake

I’d know
what to do
with you

tip my hat
wish you good hunting.

II.

First a red
tailed hawk
juking from
treetrunk

to tall grass

under the dark canopy

and next I, emerging, see

coyotes
flashing against the sky.

I don’t understand this world
anymore.

 

Coyote Pounce by Justin

Continue reading

No matter what

Surrounded by troubled seas - 6659283805_a76fe0ae4b_o
The tall man stood on the island
Blunt-faced, facing the wind
With his eyes as wide as a child’s eyes
And his clothes flapping about him

And the seabirds cried like ever
Just as if he were nought but a stone
And the wind rushed heedlessly by him
Till the sea rose and mothered him home

His blunt face is long since forgotten
By his people long scattered and dead
But all the same he stood there once
No matter what nobody says

 

Continue reading

Why are you still here?

(after Li Bai)
3593697248_137f8fc388_z

It’s spring, you say – Why are you still here?

The lichens are slowly turning
The mountain rock to new dirt,
The snowmelt is carrying the old dirt away;

Why are you still here?

I smile; my heart
Beats as slowly as the mountain’s heart.

A peach blossom, ripped from the twig
By the pummeling spring rain,
May be carried by freshet, by gully,
By stream, by river – clear to the sea, maybe;

So too me:
ripped from heaven,
Halfway to somewhere else by now.

Which is why I have no answer.

 

Continue reading

Nuisance crow

The open Gate - 5321539250_99af96dab1_z

Nuisance crow
on an old fencepost:

green field behind;
brown hills in the distance;

gravel road,
deadleaf trees,
white sky,
world all around —

when did it all become
not worth a mention?

I fear my sixth decade
will make me an old man yet.

Continue reading