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BY Michael

08/01 Direct Link

I was waiting for the lawyers.  Others had come ahead of me judging by the vacant spaces on shelves and along walls, by the impressions left in the carpet.  He never locked his doors. There was a pile of books in one corner, not a neat stack, but a pile suitable for torching--strewn one on top of another where someone had taken the bookcase leaving the contents:  maybe a hundred books and a broken ceramic statue.  It was a young girl in a long dress, her head broken off.  I picked her up, fitting the head to the body.

08/02 Direct Link

The internet is just too damn distracting.  I find it more useful, more convenient to write on a machine that has no immediate or no Easy connections to things internet.

 

I have this machine I was repairing for someone. When I return it I may have to secure another, or strip down one I already have.  Things go on a dedicated writing machine.

 

I believe I should even use a separate machine for publishing lest I be tempted to connect while writing.  What about research?  The same thing.  It is no different than when I used to visit the library. 

08/03 Direct Link

What if I had no internet?  That would certainly change my life.  I could still have computers.  I could use the library to connect.  I could even maintain an office for my work.  They have office space for people like that.  I would save maybe fifty bucks a month.  I would lose TV.  I would have to read more books.  I would lose a major music source.  I would have to listen to more radio and cd’s or play the piano more.  I would be thrown out of the house, forced to re-connect in places where I needed to connect.

08/04 Direct Link

This no internet thing fascinates me.  While it presents a number of problems, it also presents opportunities. Right now, it is just too easy to turn on something and be connected to an electronic matrix which may or may not be real.  One which nevertheless does represent a real cost in time and money.  How much of this stuff do I need?  How many of these subscriptions?  How much connectivity is really necessary? I think I need to first understand what benefits I am trying to achieve here first, and see if there is a more direct route to them.

08/05 Direct Link

I think I am looking for two benefits.  One is a greater synchronicity between my goals and my achievements.  Perhaps that covers everything.  The difficulty is that I tend to be easily distracted, and find myself pulled into the glowing screen in its various forms for far too many hours of the day…I think.  That should be easy to deal with, if that is the problem.  I simply schedule computer time.  I have work time, writing time, and play time.  I schedule it, and leave the damn things turned off the rest of the time.  Does that get to it?

08/06 Direct Link

Eating chicken legs

Over the sink

Mulling over reruns of

Mully and Skillet.

 

I want to believe.

 

How many times has Mullard Died?

To arrive unscathed at the end of nine

Seasons with an updated cell phone:

 

My therapist accuses me of grieving.

 

What?  I ask.

She doesn’t know.

Takes wild guesses.

 

I take my own

Wild guess.

Holding my breath against the wave

Breaking in on me as I consider it.

I wanted to believe

Something could be real;

Could be believed.

That all that talk

That intensity

Was more

That some messy chemical dump

Over the kitchen sink.

08/07 Direct Link

I am again looking out the window into the green,

And the peaceful world around.

Lifted from a night of horror. 

 

Quickly,

Strip the bed. 

Burn the sheets.   

Burn the room. 

I want to burn the house after a night like that. 

 

Burn the man. 

Destroy the body. 

Scatter all the evidence. 

Let it never happen again. 

 

Today I am left exhausted.

What did I get?    

What was it about? 

Self-pity? 

Existential angst? 

Chemical imbalance?

 

Am I any different now?  

Or am I at the top

Paused for the scenery

Hearing the screams below

Waiting momentarily for the

Next plunge?

08/08 Direct Link

I decide that it is a cup of coffee that I want.  It is most probably not what I need, but it is what I want.  Moreover I should go get it somewhere else, but I fix it in my kitchen and settle down in my living room to nurse it.  Nearly 2 P.M.  I know from experience my day is close to shot.  I have a prism of a headache running from the back of my jaws up past the pinnacle of my fine nose.  I was rude to the salesperson at the electronics store.  I just lost it.

08/09 Direct Link

I have thought about going back to 2004.  That seems to be the last year the muse was with me, the year I could actually hear her talking in my head talking.  You never know who it is.  It is often not the person you think it is.  It can easily be someone you are not paying close attention to.  You know they are there.  You know there are sparks, but you may be thinking the sparks are coming from somewhere else.  There is likely to be a lot of confusion.  It is important to lock onto the correct muse.

08/10 Direct Link

There is a proper way to secure a muse.  First one must ascertain that they do not indeed currently have a muse and are actually risking running off a perfectly valuable asset by questioning their existence.  Validating the muse can be done with a brief review of recent work with an eye to quality and quantity.  Ask yourself two questions.  Do I remember doing all of this?  Is there a lot more here than I expected?  If the answers are respectively, “No,” and “Yes,” then you may already have a muse hard at work.  Get your ass back in gear.

08/11 Direct Link

It doesn’t matter that my eyes are going.

I can still hear the chorale. 

I only wish I had

stared at more naked wimmen.

I never stared at

never made love to enough of them.

 

If I could do it again

I would not set my standards so high

because in the end

They were all breathlessly beautiful.

I would not stop staring.

my heart would not stop beating.

 

I spent too many mornings

and reading useless books

or studying paintings

until curious swarming dots

of fruit flies carried my eyes off

when I should have been studying

Nekkid women.

08/12 Direct Link

This cannot possibly be a poem

There is nothing in it that can become poem

 

It has lain dormant over a decade

Refusing to sprout in this barren

Scratched-over farmyard

 

And today it causes me to wonder

About the pain of those who lived

In that house

About any pain I might consider because…

 

What right did they have that I did not?

What gave them the right?

 

The things that happen

While the sun is shining

While the grass is refusing to grow

While the chickens are scratching

In a dusty yard

Where mud has baked into the steps.

08/13 Direct Link

We came on long legs

By moonlight.

I remember the feel

Of the ground,

The growth dense

And lush beneath our

Feet.

I remember passing

Unharmed, untouched,

As if given passage by

Great silent gods

Standing shoulder to shoulder

As far as one could sense.

 

We came into their cities

On the cool nights

Passing among them

Through them

Sensing the warmth

Of their bodies

The pulse of their quick

Darting lives.

 

There are nights

I think of that distant place

I remember the feel of the soft

Lush growth beneath my feet.

And the cool air on my face.

08/14 Direct Link

I go from 60 to zero

In 14.6 seconds this time.

I knew I would.

That is how it is with you.

How it always is.

 

In fact as I consider it,

My life is full of a large

Number of you.

The deceleration time varying

All the way down to

Vanishingly small sub-second

Bashing bits of concussion.

 

It is not possible to define

Both the location and velocity of a particle

At the same time.

Of course.

So imagine the problem presented with a human being!

 

Still there are trends, probabilities

And the likelihood that something

Is going on.

08/15 Direct Link

 

Today is a day

Like any other

Where some blinds are closed

And some are open.

Where some voices drift  through my door

And others float

where I cannot hear.

 

Today is a day

Like any other

Where souls are

Stricken with light

And life is seeping from every

Nuance

Pouring

From every suit and rag

From the scuffed toes of our shoes

From bitten fingernails

Wafting like dark smoke

From the stain on the carpet

Seeping from room to room

Marching at the head of a band

Down the street

Kissing like two winged fairies

Dancing on a spring.

 

08/16 Direct Link
Moving like lover's lips at prayer, she is a particle of light, a moist quiver, a touch of delight. The muse of music shaking the soul of bone, brass, steel. Her home is hollow and sleek, and she defines this life. We can only approach this soul in worship. with timid mathematical ave and alphabet stars. She rains from the horn bell with her brothers and sisters, a gush of children breaking free. A gasp of joy from a hammered string, a flash, a chaotic birthing, swaying in precise sonic dance, a startled cry: the vibration of a painted wing.
08/17 Direct Link
Standing quiet against,
the White Winter storm,
a feeble understanding suddenly born:

A broken man on the broken sofa
Bellowing quietly with great broken brains
while the trash piles smolder and stink
and the cluttered slopes
rise in supine amazement.

Shingles dingle berry
from the frame.
White experience with a
a Whiter brighter stain.

Frozen window, frozen sash
stark white freezing
naked glass.
hard, perfect,
gnawing my face.

White woman,
white weed.
Dirty promises
broken moldy seed
seeping like naked rusting cars
into the oil-soaked icy
junk yard ground


White river
White Man
White hunger
White gland
glowing,
blowing,
damned.
08/18 Direct Link

I’m so small

In a raggedy universe

hungry and scared.

If I die at all it will

Be of fear.

Or something.

I am sure they will call it

“natural.”

And indeed it is the most

natural of things

to speculate on the nature

of pain and existence

while being eaten alive by a

larger-than-life foul smelling carnivore.

 

Except there comes a point where

the only thing your popped out of body

experience can contemplate is the

Oops

in its design that allowed it to

maintain consciousness to and beyond

this point.

What God taught me to scream like this?

08/19 Direct Link

Can you see the sun sparks
swirling dizzy
into the throat of darkness

I think so.

I think I can see her

Shoving summer down into

That nasty furnace.

 

See her with a red hot shovel.

Bare breasts sweating over

A denim coverall

Hips rocking to the work.

 

Legs hinging out of work boots

Anchored to the foundry floor.

 

She’ll be around

When it’s time for the pour

Dipping the molten season into quiet

Molds

Her lips making that tight “o.”

 

We watch her work,

One eye on the clock

Not noticing the ashes already starting to skitter

And flow.

 

08/20 Direct Link

My mother is at the kitchen sink

Cleaning a rabbit.

And it lies naked

And skinless in a pan of water.

 

It is not that I mean

To think of you.

You are carried there

like a color whispered in the light

 

And the rabbit floats

Beneath the faucet drip:

A kind of salmon pink

Tiny broken ribs reaching for

 

Some kind of meaning

I will not define.

There is no meaning in color

It simply is part of what you are:

 

The rabbit I most likely

Didn’t want to shoot

Tried to hide;

Didn’t want to find

Another you.

08/21 Direct Link

It occurs to me to check the mail.

 

Sometimes it is days when I think

There is nothing there, that it

Surprises me most.

 

I can feel it my midday nap clinging to me

Sloughing off I dunno like maybe scales

Of paint that have dried there, and lose their grip

As I walk to the box

Of the agreed design and type

And pop open the lid.

 

I lift out the multi-colored stack:

Tiny arms reaching for me

Little voices crying out:

Your maintenance is overdue!

The wrong person is cleaning your house!

You have won a free cremation!

08/22 Direct Link

Early February thaw

brought a large frog nose high

out of the morning

pond slush.

 

He must have been sleeping

lightly to have popped

to the surface so easily.

Or

he was

some mystic

sent to speak to me,

stumbling over generations

 

What is it you have to say

frozen amphibian?

 

What am I

supposed to know?

 

Listening , I heard notions

a whisper:

A claim

A roar.

 

I heard waves scrubbing an ancient beach,

big Ice breaking up,

the gurgling of water

as it entered my ears and nose.

 

Moving with whimsy

In cold water

I am a swimmer once more.

 

08/23 Direct Link

I wonder

 

Waking in the pit

Beneath the celestial orchestra

Drums hammering out the light

 

I feel the cool

Morning trumpet mist

Marimbas soft

 

We are all still half asleep

The orchestra and I

Lungs sucking in the moisture

Piano notes racing over the hill

Like heedless children

 

They will come home

Hungry

 

Falling away

from the singing angels

And into the heat

And locusts of the forest

Heedless of all that

Not thinking how little of

This they will carry forward with them

Into their individually

Chosen adventures

Crafted so carefully.

We have played with these dreams

So often.

08/24 Direct Link

These things are a sleight of hand,

always moving in one direction

to distract

while the intent is to appear 

fully formed in a different place.

 

There are many who misunderstand

why I move this way.

They point to the disconnect between

the beginning and the end.

 

The thing that almost but doesn’t quite match

often leaves them feeling uneasy.

One never knows

they observe

where one will end up.

 

I might argue that clearly

at some point you knew,

even as you patiently watched

me work you were fully aware

the lady had not really

been sawn in half.

 

08/25 Direct Link

David says he is coming.  I have received three text messages over the past two hours where he toys with the idea of coming.  I reply to the last one asking if we will eat, because I am getting hungry and don’t want to eat if we are going to go out to eat.  But then it may take him another hour or two to make it here from the library.  Perhaps I should go ahead and have a small snack to keep me in balance until he gets here.  I could go hungry.  People go hungry all the time.

08/26 Direct Link

It was a day

Like any other day

Except for my daughter’s tears.

And with that one line

I can relax because

I already know that this

Poem

Will join those thousands

That will never be read by

Anyone.

(My daughter would never accept

That I would publically allow that she had

Wept.)

And yet I love her for just that:

She cried because she

Was simply overwhelmed

For having tried to wrap herself

Around too many things

(One of them being me.)

It was just the kind of tears

That her father might let fall on any

Other day.

08/27 Direct Link

I will wait for you

I love you and no one else.

 

How can you say that?

I am madness manifesting itself

In weird ways.

Today as a man

Tomorrow as a puff of stale breeze.

 

I will wait patiently for you.

You are the man I want.

But you will be sitting there until

The wind blows the skin off your

Bones.

 

You are a good man.

I am for you.

 

Don’t you understand?

Your patience is a pestilence.

 

I am a ghost,

A skeleton rattling across

A forgotten grave.

 

My ashes are scattered

And broken to the wind.

08/28 Direct Link

The goldenrod is getting pretty tall

Our there

Looking just like the goldenrod on the notepads

I had in school.

 

I had seen more of it this morning

Out in the meadow where it

Rained carp

Maybe 4 summers ago.

Might have been five.

My friend Elizabeth says that hummingbirds

Favor

The goldenrod

But I have not seen any hummingbirds

Since the goldenrod bloomed.

Have not seen her either.

 

My friend David stopped by last night

To play with his new IPOD

Telling me my migraines

Were my brain

Tearing itself apart.

They feel that way.

David reads a lot.

08/29 Direct Link

Red paint stapled

into a rusted road sign

Something happens

In the road ahead

 

It feels like

paradise

like

grace pausing

at your feet.

 

It cushions

at first before

it begins to seep

into the blood

into the bones

smelling like

like sin

like sun

like the arc of the arrow

springing in air;

 

Sounds like

the last sigh

the pounding fist at your door,

 

like the explosion of your heart

over and over again.

It won’t stop at the river.

It won’t stop at the falls.

 

It roars out of your chest

long after you hoped it would

stop.

 

 

 

 

08/30 Direct Link

David stopped by last night with his new IPOD Nano.  It is the same one I have, about an inch square.  His has 14 gigabytes.  Mine only has 4 GB.  I use mine for books.  He wants to fill his with mp3's of course.  He will learn that is a lot of mp3’s.  Part of his reason was to rip some of my cd’s.  There are a lot of them in this house.  He reckoned there were around 800 in the two racks in the dining room alone.  And then there was the opportunity for a tips and tricks tutorial.

08/31 Direct Link

I will miss all these lovely weeds

winds and grey skies

when I transcend to the next whatever.

Maybe I will not miss them then,

but I find they give me joy now

and I do not want to lose them.

 

Some say I will have a better experience

but what could be better?

I don’t know.

They going to put me on permanent heroin drip?

I don't want that.

 

I believe we are here because this is

our heaven

our pleasure principle

to start with

 

That where we have come from and return to

is less

in this sense.