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BY Michael

10/01 Direct Link

It’s gotten late

And the day has been a bit wobbly.

I am not sure about the things on the shelves

I suppose I should do something about them.

Make decisions about what goes where

About what stays or goes.

 

It does seem to be part

Of the gizmo

To be about making decisions.

We are decision-making things.

We deliberate

And then decide.

 

Is this what the wolf does

When he comes to the edge of the clearing?

When he pauses, feeling the wind pushing

Fingers through his hair?

When he sniffs

Pauses,

And then changes direction to circle around?

10/02 Direct Link

If the music is too loud

And hurts your ears

Then shut your eyes.

If you cannot bear the weight

Of the responsibility which you have taken

Consider the verb

And graciously give it back.

Perhaps you should not have taken it

To begin with.

 

If however you cannot bear

The logical outcome

Of the events you will set in motion

By giving it back

 

Then your brain will go to a cool

Quiet place where everything

Is drawn in shades of white

And you are caressed daily by

Warm fragrant winds

That whisper only things

You want to hear.

10/03 Direct Link

It only seems…

I know…

I never get to the end.

My mind leaps ahead.

It is already gone you see.

I am left here

Alone,

Trying to read its trail

In the heavy timber down

Around the lake.

 

I got lucky.

It rained last night

And there’s sand and

The sport riders have tilled

The soil to a fine powder perfect

For taking impressions.

 

I’m not such a great tracker

You see.

I don’t even pretend.

The jeans are for comfort.

I retired the worn-out boots years

Ago

And the logo on the hat

Says something about Mickey Mouse.

10/04 Direct Link

You ain’t so much gone

As all shoved up into the

End of the room.

 

All shoved up into the

Alice in Wonderland grown tiny end

Where the door

Would have been.

I’m pretty sure it still is.

 

I’m not sure

But the room might…

The whole fucking apartment might

Be slanted in your direction.

 

I don’t know that things

Haven’t turned a bit

Rubbery

Leaning in your direction.

 

Tables on bent legs

Sinks straining off their pipes

Like wanton stars

Staring too long down

Into that very dark place

Where tears stop in mid-fall;

Where even time

Holds its breath.

 

10/05 Direct Link

Yusaid hesaid isaid itwuzsaid iamslammed.

There are too many comforts here and not

Enough there it is as simple as that.

The language instinct appears to be the same.

 

It appears to be the corruption of governments

Causing the most difficulty to people these days

And although I am not a man entirely without

Means

I am not a man entirely without corruption

Entirely without pain

Entirely without language.

 

I see leaves falling from the sky it seems

There is always something falling from

The sky around here.

How is it

Do you think

So much shit

Gets up there?

10/06 Direct Link

Someone suggested it was my fault,

Something was my fault

And I was ready to agree to whole

Slews of crimes

Rather than undergo any

Real questioning

Any real investigation

Into what

Real crimes

I might be guilty of.

 

Those things tucked

Neatly into the barf bags in the webbing

Of the seat in front of me

On the plane that has departed

Without my ass.

 

I suspect I watched too much

Television

And I got confused when one of those things

I was supposed to see in the movie

Crawled out onto the floor

And happened instead

To me.

10/07 Direct Link

I remember there was something

It was not about a purple cattle prod

I was driving

Going south

I have no idea why.

 

I was raking leaves

Muscling them into the curb cart

To haul up the hill and upend there on the

Pile of leaves that has been cooking for

Maybe twenty years now.

 

Someday I’m not going to be able

To toss that curb cart full of leaves

And lift it off like that. 

I already have a plan for when that day comes.

 

This plan involves a smaller garbage can

And more frequent trips up the hill.

10/08 Direct Link

There was no surprise. I went to the grocery store.  I deliberately picked a lane with a real person working a register because I am resisting their replacement by automated lanes at a time when unemployment is so high.  I wonder about the cost of doing business in a political frame of mind.  It is not as simple as buying domestic goods.  It is good to create buyers for your own goods, to a point.  The problem begins when people begin mistaking capitalism for democracy.  They are not the same thing.  Greed is not good.  Check your preferred values manual.

10/09 Direct Link

Had I words

(I suppose I do)

I might lodge a complaint

In this space.

Lodge it like

A hack hack

Fishbone that

You could not hack back

No matter how you

Hack hack’ed.

 

I might very well

Stop up this place

With such a

Thing.

 

Well,

I must be succinct.

I have been patient

And as serene as I am able.

No one has come.

Only this image:

An unsteady man walking out a shakey

Pier on a foggy night

Alone.

Slippery boards.

Mist layering cool over

Sightless frightened eyes.

Voices fly at him from the dark.

Batlike, swooping.

 

10/10 Direct Link

I have come to this banquet

To a special table

Reserved for me.

My name is neatly

Written on a tidy white

Card placed in the middle

Of the cloth

And there is a single chair.

The curtains are drawn back

And outside a bright light bathes

The city.

The room is empty at this point

Save for me and a sea of linen clad

Tables.

Pulling out the chair, I take

My seat

My back grateful to feel

The shifting in weight

The press of the chair.

It is a good chair.

There is a pen on the table.

10/11 Direct Link

My mother twirls

A phone cord which is not there

As she explains that she is taking

Care of the neighbor’s dog,

My sister’s dog.

And that she must get there

By five thirty

Or the dog will shit in the house.

And there is a coyote that sits

In the bushes

By the corner

And little Tabitha is afraid

To walk by there

Don’t they attack people?

And there is something about the

Dog

Being fierce.

Am I still there?

And this is the first time today she hangs

Up

Because I am too slow,

Too slow to respond.

10/12 Direct Link

Wet asphalt

Laid so carefully in the ground

sod framed perfectly

house after house.

Rain blown like handfuls of

nails against the roof

spitting out a mangled

aluminum trough

sliding down the muddy moldy

sliding under the water hose

already rolled up

done for the season

soon to be

hanging like busted lizard hide

in the shed.

Cold in the winter

Long blue tubes of forgotten

water freezing inside.

Bugs skinning around for

the hollows of cracked rubber looking for warm

places to breed.

These are the things they call home.

In the spring they are happy to see us

10/13 Direct Link

You have given me 742

Pieces of  

Revolution vinyl.

I have strained my back hauling 14 crates

Adding them to my own collection.

I am impressed with your

Pristine collection of

Beatles LP’s.

 

I have dutifully scrubbed five decades

Of dust and smoke off the jackets

And have purchased a new turntable,

And godknowshowmanyaccessories.

I have attained cult status

With my children.

I find I do enjoy the Duke, Jackson Browne,

Suzanne Vega and John Lee Hooker. 

I even like Elton John and the Mothers of Invention.

 

But what, tell me

Am I to make of

Emerson, Lake, and Palmer?

10/14 Direct Link

grew up in the middle this

denim aristocracy.

FFA was a varsity sport at my high school:

Future Farmers of America.

if your dad owned a farm

has and has notz

were well defined.

 

where there were multiple sons

it was confusion

and daughters were

well

not killed at birth.

daughters were raised to be farmers wives:

Future Homemakers of America

wives of second sons

who were vaguely angry at the world

drining too much

driving fast.

 

future factory workers

the ones Viet Nam didn't get.

deferments for Farmers and farmer's sons.

the draft boards were hungry for

the rest.

10/15 Direct Link

My eyes are gone now. 

I have been too long at the tube

this morning and curious

little colored flies have

carried them off as I danced

on a current of grace. 

It was grace

moving in time across

printed circuits

sipping through xylem

taught me to breathe,

to sing, and to dance. 

 

I pause and listen

to the soft rise of the earth.

I pull raw air into my lungs

and it sounds like Jazz.  

With a capital "J." 

It is music. 

Mumbo jumbo Jazz,

your favorite station for

all the life you can gulp,

you wireless junkie you.

 

10/16 Direct Link

My eyes are gone. 

I can barely hear the chorale. 

I have been staring too

long at this

curious little

pattern of

swarming dots

and they carried

my eyes off as I

danced on a fine wire of current.

 

It was grace you know. 

Grace taught me to breathe

and grace taught me to sing. 

In pause

the fleshy ratchet of brain and bone,

is listening

for a breath larger than the forest: 

the soft rise of the Earth. 

This air pulled into my lungs

tastes like music.

It has me on my knees,

pulling the soul out of me.

 

10/17 Direct Link

It doesn’t matter that my eyes are going.

 I can still hear the chorale. 

 

Hell yes

 

 but I have spent too many days staring at things I never see,

listening to things I never hear,

and sinking into solemn rivers of ancient religious replica

that bead up on my skin

and run off before I rise

from the mud.

 

Yes: grace.

 Psyche gave me grace. 

She taught me to breathe,

to speak in my own tongue. 

She taught me to sing. 

In every beat,

in every pause of muscle,

in every whisper of an eyelash

and I piss on it.

 

 

10/18 Direct Link

I am listening carefully. 

I hear the speckled breathing

of the stones;

I hear the singing of the trees and

the great Halleluiah of billions of souls

rasping this mantra to an idea of whobedey. 

I can feel the soft rise of the earth

waking each morning,

The ripple across the horizon

as the rise rolls on

and around the globe. 

The perfume and stench,

the calm and clatter of this life

has infested my body

 and it sounds like music. 

Music has me on my knees.

It has broken my heart,

and is wringing the soul out of me.

 

10/19 Direct Link

I walk the road

as the automobiles beat by

in endless drone.

Half a million vehicles following

the combustive communion. 

Fighting their way upstream

to mate.

The fuel mist rises,

a fog of holy water,

a dark ghost.

 

We suck in the oily sweat

and begin to cough. 

 

Out of the cough flies

shrieking smoldering words,

words of insanity and lust. 

The final first cough out

of a human mind asleep, 

poisoned awake,

receiving awareness in one

flash of inspiration just

as the gasoline mist ignites.

 

We continue

to walk in our sleep. 

Portraits of zombies 

embrace the

the mantle.

10/20 Direct Link

It seems at first

 that 20 is an arbitrary number.

It is arbitrary chalk

working between the lines

over the lines

for maybe too long a time.

A long tongue 20 is in its prime

adding this season to

the approximate number of things needed:

parks, billboards, cars, restaurants, and back porches

among others.

 

This is the number of visions

required.

This is the approximation

just like the number of pixels

 needed to resolve a picture

20 is a number of lies to

needed to resolve the truth and

20 is the number of perspectives needed to tell a story.

10/21 Direct Link

Up the stairs

to the first space

the room where I used to watch out the window

the children circling the driveway

in the summer

this is the room I washed Mandy after Kyle

brought her up the stairs when

she fell off her bicycle.

Now the room is full of guns swords, bows

and weapons.

It has become my sons’ armory.

 

Somewhere back there

I left that with my sons.

I wonder if I should admit

That I have automatic weapons in my house.

But there is a guitar too.

We are close to the heartland here:

guns and guitars.

10/22 Direct Link

This once was daughter’s bedroom

It's become the guest room,

I think if I were to come in here

I would probably be surprised

at the things I might scupper in hair brushes

or under the bed.

Things that I haven't seen for years or

Obama I might find thanks

and hear who knows what.

 

I  

look out the window

I see the leaves I’ve been stirring

this morning piled up in the front yard

but the rest of the yard is empty

much like the cluttered spaces in this house

they all are

pretty much empty rooms

empty spaces.

10/23 Direct Link

I open curtains looking out

Over a tight canyon

Where a crane steals fish from

My pond in the morning.

 

Behind me a flashing calendar

Declares it is time to take my

Medicine.

 

These chimes have been hanging

in this window and have been

Following me around to the point

That I do not remember who first

Gave them to me.

 

I talk to them and it is the wind

That speaks back through them

taunting me I can now see farther into the forest.

I can see farther into the forest because

I'm up higher.

This should mean something.

10/24 Direct Link

Shockwaves roll down the street.

It’s always the street with you isn’t it?

It can’t be a café or a glen in the woods

or a battlefield in space.

Everything has to happen out in the street.

What’s with that?

What has married you to the pea gravel and tar?

Did you lose too many teeth in it?

Grind up too much of your face against it?

Have you inhaled so much of that tarry stuff and

absorbed it through your skin

hair

tear ducts

and nails

until it is home

nd not this

carpeted padded temperature controlled

man cave?

10/25 Direct Link

It seems to me

that I am telling you

Rather loudly that

you are too unhappy

all the time

Or at least too much of the time

And it is like going against a

concrete wall.

I just know it is going to bust my

head if I try so why bother.

 

That wall is built to harden stupidity

if you ask me.

You may have some other ideas,

but I know what it feels like to slide off it

for the third time on any given morning

before I’ve had my coffee.

I know what it is all about.

 

10/26 Direct Link

He was doing pretty well there

and then he fell off his

shiny new tricycle.

I’ve warned him about three-wheeled

recreational vehicles before,

But he won’t give up.

 

 He’s all banged and bruised now

 Inspecting a crooked finger.

 In his cosmology there is a reason for this pain

 

Personally I don't get it.

It is too much like

suffering for the sins of

Others.

 

He actually sees no way out

 when there must be a door every ten feet,

 a bus every fifteen minutes.

 The new code calls for an electrical socket every four feet?

 He really cannot see them.

10/27 Direct Link

I have finished my oatmeal.

It is one o’clock.

The phone call that pulled

Me from my sleep

was from a different

dimension

I knew this through some trick

of temporary focus.

 

Usually I cannot tell

when these people are

trying to get through.

It is dangerous both for them

and me.

 

Just before answering I looked

out the window

Into the clear autumn air and I could

see a woodpecker a hundred yards

off

working the side of an oak.

I could see his head moving,

could make out his beak.

his eyes,

through some trick of temporary

focus.

10/28 Direct Link

On a day like any

other day.

zombies are attacking

motorists in Miami.

 

In Michigan

we are protected

by the frost line

from large bugs

reptiles

and questionable

predators.

 

Even zombies

cannot make it through the

frost line.

 

We have smallish

politicians but they must

go elsewhere to grow

to dangerous size.

Perhaps once in the Detroit

steam tunnels

it was warm and moist enough

to nourish the kings

one might find in gentler climes,

but I think all those must

be gone

by now

having wondered

zombie-like into some

overgrown and snowy

vacant lot for a

long sweet nap.

10/29 Direct Link

This may be the fourth

location.

It is the cabin of my car

as I slide along the freeway

and today I am driving in the

rain.

It seems I have spent the equivalent

of several years in one

cabin or another

in one direction or another

Road warrior that I was

making the three- and four=hour

daily commutes because that was what

I was supposed to do.

Remembering the days of heat when the highway would

melt and wrap around the tires of monster trucks.

The explosions of sudden violence with

other cabins rolling through the skies

like dice.

10/30 Direct Link

Sometimes I find me

trying to scribble while someone else

prowls

the stairs and this is

the same difficulty

with anyone I would bring or have about

in that I have

a responsibility for everyone.

I am unable to sever this connection

even if I go into another room and hide

the awareness is there.

It is a rope tied around my wrist.  I can

not escape it.

It is a hook in my gut

I suppose this is why I live alone.  It is because

I must because I cannot even pretend to write

When I am not alone.

10/31 Direct Link

Fifth space

is the hollow

in the uncarved meaty gourd

of my head

where pieces of pie

and wet seeds

string from a leaky seam.

The place where I live.

The place I cannot seem to escape.

The place where the sidewalk never

ends

It is as if everything exists not

out here

but in there.

This is the place where the men

and the women holler at me

from wooden sidewalks across

muddy streets

as I destroy my new shoes.

This is where I sleep

and dream

where I hear the echos

of music

and of the night’s ripping.