Wednesday, March 28, 2007

for Lori

todays update is from Humbly I Offer These Awkward Poems - unpublished manuscript. it was accepted and - then ... well, life lesson #767, don't count your chickens, i guess. it was written to my sister, Lorraine Gail, who died far too young .... a far greater travesty than not getting a bunch of poems published i suspect.

FOR LORI - version two
-after Czeslaw Milosz

i will put poppy seeds cracked corn,
for the dead,
who will return as birds
may be nourished.

but the thistle seed
in the old china cup
from grandmother's hutch
i saved for you,
redwing blackbird, gone
before the sky knew your song.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

charming the apostles

another poem from Poetry of the Deformed (c) 1996 - Pygmy Forest Press. this book, my first, has a certain charm for me (as well as naivety) - while it is hardly my best work over all, it still does give an essence of my approach and vision to/of poetry.


the phone tells me
my carpets are dirtier than my soul
the poor will accept the clothes in my closet
as well as appliances i never learned to use properly

donations: money, materials -
it will purify the heart better than confessions
the greater the amount, the more intense the

endangered species, rainforests
even the condemned
all on the balance of my dollars:
as if i were chosen by jesus himself

Thursday, March 15, 2007

after the great strike of 2001 - let's say life changed significantly

after the strike of 2001, and the lay-offs that followed, along with a few other personal catastrophes, i quit writing poetry all together - except for a few (rather poor) personal rants about the strike and some of the dialog that was proven to be less than true. this short fragment-piece was the first thing i wrote (after about 3 years) that was more in a poetic vein. very few real poems have followed, but maybe in the future .... this blog is my sort of attempt to get back in a writers frame of mind. we shall see if it succeeds.


it is a fallacy the dead speak
of dust & time & the sound
of horses on cobblestone roads no longer in existence....

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

a prose poem to leonard

another prose poem, this time from Proverbs For The Initiated - (c) 1999 - by Cedar Hills.

remember, if you'd like to read more of my poetry - check the archives. also, feel free to post comments and your email address, if you'd like me to write back for any reasons. i wouldn't mind making this an interactive blog, or i can keep it as it is, or let it fade away if there is no interest at all in its contents.

- after Richard Hugo

the rains, as always clouds are forming between my fingers. even the wind has attained a voice. but i cannot understand the mumbles.

inspect the gate. a marvelous attempt, but given time it will sag & drag, like the others i have built.

i will tell the judge no lies. i cough for reasons other than influenza. piss on the black robes of ignorance. i speak only truth, as rock, as river, as talons of hawk.

i watched a woman last night, her hips as inviting as her lips. my voice failed as she smiled. darkness in the abstract diamond on her thin finger. oblivion sucked on her breasts until she vanished.

by morning, i will forget nothing. call the wind brother. we are each as vague & miserable.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

prose poem

this piece is from my self published King Of Oafs collection (c) 2000 - Echo Park Books. it is a prose poem, one of the many "forms" i have experimented with over the years. along with montage, it is one of the forms i enjoy using.


the box i did not open at first: caressing the rough corners as if it were your laughter. wrens of the feeder with a curiosity i could not sustain.

i expected the roar odor of imported perfumes. BUT was rather greeted by the stench of cigar smoke. (Damn the postal clerks in Topeka, they who held the rough edges before me.)

the box i did not open at first. magic exude. it was satisfaction enough knowing ...

Friday, March 9, 2007

a moldy (and probably not very good) oldie

today's poems is an unpublished piece. i have hundreds (maybe thousands) of poems, fragments and "ideas" on my shelves - some bits of them may eventually get incorporated into larger pieces, and rarely one or two may end up being edited into a "new" poem. this one is from a "collection" that was written between 1982 and 1987. It is unsolicited and edited once (to be put up here).


There are two crows in the apple orchard, talking a sour and hard dialogue.
Their silhouette in flight is more of struggling than grace.
i watch them pecking at old, rotting apples.
Their language is unique and if not beautiful, it is rewarding.

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

the big break that never happened ...

from Proverbs For The Initiated (c) 1999 Cedar Hill Publications
this is the release and press i had hoped to make my poetry a somewhat major name. well, we all know it didn't happen for a lot of reasons that are basically water under the bridge at this point.


the bones - upon which empires were to be built -
are nearly unable to support life.
i hear them crack in the imperfect vacuum of the night.
something horrible happens to dreams
in the sanitary corridors of hospitals.
doctors inject them full of antibodies.
nurses make perfect corners of the beautiful haze.
& you lay there as if a vapor waiting to be dispersed.

the bones whisper of flight. perhaps you cannot hear,
above the hum of flourescent lights,
above the dribble of magic fluids down twisted plastic tubes.
but i hear!
something horrible happens to dreams
in the sanitary corridors of hospitals.

Monday, March 5, 2007

a real montage poem

a montage poem for you. from another unpublish manuscript - The Night Of Hobo Dreams.
a rather morose collection of poems, i have been told. since i mentioned the montage form in an earlier post, i thought i should at least offer one for you to see.

"It's not dark yet,
but it's getting there."
-Bob Dylan

it is finally evening.

rivers are low.
stadiums are silent.
the ghosts of Greenberg, of Gehringer, refuse to come.
their heritage has been altered.

pigeons on rooftops,
all they ever seem to do is shit on cars
& the outfield bleachers
with an elegance that defies logic.

broken steam line,
like the scream of gods gone insane,
& the accuray head going off the scale -
another damned reel of cull.

blistered hands cannot mend these imperfection -
the concrete here has no emotion,
merely bleeds its own black blood down walls,
onto floors.

crow with a broken foot hobbles across the orchard,
like a midnight drunk, the pain of living
rewarded with an intoxication that only God will ever appreciate.

apples rotting in an August
too warm for comfort.

where are the flowers, now that
yellow skies hang with ornaments of steel?
line-ups change too easily.

the subways are silent now.
what replaced the simple pleasures of our youth?
it appears the writing's on the wall & but no one stops to read
the fine print anymore.

will you kiss me now?

they cull paper for twist warp, mullin or wrinkles,
recycle it until it meets someone's standards.
no one but accountants or mill workers notice,
or care.

but the soul - when you cull that
it turns sour & gray,
until it has a stench
the body cannot stand.

let my fingers be the forgotten rain
down your hair, down your neck.

in the morning, pin my heart to your blouse.

indeed, our sacrifices are in more than one form,
to more than one god.

there is no dawn.
no sunset, where concrete sweats,
where fingers are laced with paper cuts & scabs,
where dreams are no longer real -
merely apparitions that dance along thin cat-walks
on the night shift, mingled in vapors of steam
& not enough sleep, in the mist of chemicals
best left unattended.

the ghosts of Cobb, of Kaline refuse to answer.

Sunday, March 4, 2007

is there an update schedule?

update schedules? so far, i've managed to enter something daily. i will attempt to post regular updates, but i doubt it will be daily for much longer. also, as posts grow, check the archives, as only a limited number of poems will be of the front page.

one of my great loves in life (besides poetry and music) is baseball. this poem is from a pile of rejected and rewritten material, currently in no manuscript.


i have looked down the long avenue of years gone by,
looked for the likes of Mays, Musial or Mantle.
i scanned the skies for Davenport, Boyer or Santo.
in their place I found the cold wind of December in empty stadiums.

not all the poems are monumental these days.
not many are even insignificant.

morning skies are hard.
rivers choke on ice.
i search the horizon for anything of comfort,
for anything resembling the warmth of her eyes gone by.

Saturday, March 3, 2007

comments are welcome

comments? i am open to comments and appreciate them as long as they are civil, which does not mean they have to be patronizing or flattering. since i don't have a stat counter, or hit counter, it is one of the ways i can see if anyone is reading this blog and what they are thinking.

todays offering is the opening poem from a manuscript - Humbly I Offer These Awkward Poems, currently unpulsihed, though it was "accepted" and i was told it was headed off to the printer and was to be the next "major release". But that was a few years ago and obviously never happened - for whatever reasons .... The manuscript has been scrapped and reworked (twice) and is now part of a larger project that very patiently gathers dust and an idle promise i will get back to it someday.

-after Lawson Fusao Indada

here they speak of Clackamus
& Calapooya Rivers. Chinook winds.
it is language as topography,
of dreams no longer valid,
yet vibrant.

here asphalt & concrete remain
in the lexicon of curses.
Cascade Mountains, Siuslaw River -
the language of land & people
in transition.

here, the immigrants & flunkies
mistake the midnight wind
as credit, payment due by the 1st.

if your language does not tell me something important
of yourself, your history, perhaps it is best
to speak of something other than dreams.

sidewinder. diamondback - honesty
is before you: lethal, beautiful
& misunderstood. Cloverleaf -
the highway that goes nowhere on its own,
but intersects with one that may.
pimp. pusher. priest - all equal:
eternity in different forms.

3 Fingered Jack, Tillamook cheese -
language as topography -
dreams no longer valid,
yet unwilling to die.

Friday, March 2, 2007

Open form poetry

almost all of my poetry is written in the "open form". early influences included e.e. cummings and walt whitman. more recent influences include paul zimmer and yannis ritsos.

the "confessional poets" of the late 40's and 50's were important in the way i present my poetry - poets as paul duncan and charles olson come to mind - though they are hardly the only important figures, merely the ones i can think of at the moment, which during a night shift rotation is amazing i can think of anything. the fact i am updating this blog on night shift is one of the minor miracles.

my longer poems, which i have not chosen to put here yet, use a form i call "montage" - snippets of images, emotions and philosophy mixed and woven around a central theme - in hopes of creating something larger than the individual pieces, just as a montage picture works. someday i will have to get some of them typed and entered into this blog, but don't hold your breath waiting.

this poem is from The Fatman In The Mirror (my second book) (c) 1997 Pygmy Forest Books


the fatman sits in the bathroom
editing another letter he will not send,
carefully writing words he had hoped
would bring smiles to your cheeks.

he gambles with loaded dice,
choosing to ignore his losses.
he is convinced it does not matter.
he is strong in the desperation of love.

the fatman looks in the mirror
but does not see himself,
rather jesus before the first miracle,
pondering his own potential.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

some poets i admire

just some of the poets i read and admire:

John Berryman
Yannis Ritsos
William Everson (also known as Brother Antoninus)
Fredrico Garcia Lorca
Walt Whitman
Paul Zimmerman
Leonard Cirino -editor of Pygmy Forest Press
Michael McIrvin -published by Pymy Forest Press & others
Rob Whitbeck -published by Pygmy Forest Press

and not a poet, but one of the more influenetial writers (for me) of the 20c -
Samuel Beckett

good stuff - worth checking out if you're unfamiliar with any of them.

today's poem is from my first book - Poetry Of The Deformed (c) 1996- on Pygmy Forest Press


wanted. dreams to fill vacancies.
rain clouds ok, as long as rainbows appear -
eventually. eyes that radiate magic
essential. must be prepared
to carry heart of stone until it again
becomes a feather. send resume
on the wings of blackbirds. will respond
by same.