Sunday, February 22, 2009

Two New Poems; Warning on Afghanistan

Here's a couple of new poems:


Is a poem about nothing
as in the center of a windsock,
the form of a shovel,
the dome of a cereal bowl,
the space between petals
of a flaming rhododendron.
Cup your hands, open your mouth:
the haven between barbwire,
empty esophagus.
Spread your fingers and look:
the open-ended triangles.
You say, “But there's air!”
Air defines the borders
of what isn't there.

This is a poem about nothing,
the dull ending of despair
where no feeling lurks,
the empty crib, the empty throne
where Solomon once sat,
a gourd, a scooped-out pumpkin,
a glove, a jacket, how these wrap
themselves around a space
expecting something--
a sudden pregnancy of substance!

Substance is as much defined
by nothing as by something,
the spaces between stanzas,
hollows in these letters,
the blank stare, the pause
of the Alzheimer's patient,
a boot, a candy wrapper,
a picture frame, gazebo,
how a poem begins from nothing

What a Man Wants

To sharpen a Buck knife on your front porch
until you can whittle hickory,
jump naked in a glacial stream
and dry in the High Sierra wind,

hit a home run and savor its arc
as you slowly trot the bases,
bring the hammer down at a circus
and ring the bell on your first try,

ride a Harley in the Mojave
through the carpets of spring,
see the Grateful Dead once more,
sit courtside at a Lakers game,

worship a woman with your body
and have enough dough to buy
the red dress in the display window for her,
discover a new kind of meat,

make spoons from coconuts,
have an obedient dog that walks you daily,
get good and drunk with no explaining to do
and sleep with an easy conscience.

Why post two at once? Because I'm greedy? Because I'm lazy? Because I wrote them since I last blogged? The phones are open, winner to be announced later.

But seriously, folks, there's a new review of my book on pg. 71 of the newly-formatted Centrifugal Eye, along with two of my poems. Another review will be out soon. If you don't read the book at least read the reviews so you know what you're missing.

I have no comment on the Oscars except to say that the choices, per usual, were predictable, with the possible exception of Sean Penn over Mickey Rourke--but everyone knows which way Hollywood swings--not to take away from Penn's fine acting. His comments on Proposition 8 out here were nugatory, as I am one who still does not believe the vote on that issue. Who cares if homosexuals get married? I had not thought so many in California remained in the past. Also I should add that Hugh Jackman was great, and who knew he was a song-and-dance man?

Didn't Jerry Lewis look ancient? And Christopher Walken looked like the vampire he has so often played. He gives me the creeps.

False spring here has rhododendrons blooming already, imagine! Not to mention all the daffodils and heather. Perhaps spring has really come, albeit very early.

California, the world's sixth largest economy, finally has a budget and no one is happy per usual. Calls for a constitutional convention abound; our constitution is nearly four times the length of the U. S. Constitution and has over 500 amendments because of our yen for propositions, governance by polling the ignorant as opposed to government legislated by the informed corrupt.

Since Senator Burris is a liar, I think him well-qualified for the senate.

I adjure Obama not to stick his foot in it in Afghanistan. It has the population of Iraq with a quarter of its literacy. The only natural resources are tribalism, fanaticism, opium and corruption. Guns don't actual grow there, they are supplied by competing armies that fail to govern the mountainous intransigence of a nation better left to its medieval ways. It is a quagmire, one the British and the Soviets lost and left.

With unemployment rising, some might aver that it's better to leave our troops there; I say this is cynical. Bring them all home from unwinnable wars that we started.

People are also saying that Russian and Pakistan and North Korea and Iran are all taking advantage of Obama already. But beware a leader accused of weakness; Democrats have started most of our wars.

I'm sorry I have so little verve tonight. Best I could do. Hope you enjoyed the poems.

1 Kilobunny,



  1. You are absolutely brilliant. And I don't give such praise lightly. Your poetry continues to astound me. I am making a list of all the books I need to purchase. Your book of poetry will definitely be on my list.

  2. I melt in your praise. BTW, a good anthology I picked up yesterday, edited by Czeslaw Milosz, is "A Book of Luminous Things"--straightforward poetry from around the world from past to present, a very approachable collection of verse.




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