Tuesday, July 31, 2007

missing the salt mines - NOT

a poem printed in Prairie Wind - in their Spring 1996 issue. remember the mantra - small presses need your support.

since i am on vacation, and deeply missing the paper machine, i'll offer up a work poem. seems appropriate, right? and speaking of work, did i mention how much i miss it, oh yeah, i did ...i heard the contract talks are off until late August. Again, scheduling conflicts. If nothing is resolved then, no talks are in the works until October. Geez. This must be a real high priority to someone. We've been without a working contract since March already. Oh well.


we recycle cardboard
newsprint & dreams
here on the threshhold
of oblivion

fog drifts across the highway
the dark river mutters
dark heron laughs symbolically

we are the faces of america
in disrepair
we are the missing pieces
of the puzzle

floracarbons in our lungs
a sour wind telling tales we disregard
dark heron conversing with the dour river

we are the remnants of hope
all in a tangle
not even bohemian
in our struggles

frost on the wind
steam swirling from rusting metalic vents
dark heron disappears in to icey fog

Monday, July 30, 2007

a possible explanation of - nothing really.

a possible explanation of my lack of any new poems over the last few years - when a similar, but much shorter, hiatus occurred in 1987.

this morning i updated Leonard's blog with the third (and last) part of his recent manuscript. Paula has some wonderful pictures of her recent trip to Greece. OK, i am envious. There! And Roger is still one wording it with some very interesting stuff on his blog. Links to them all are in the side-bar, if you're so inclined.


When there are no words there are none
The quaking of mountains or the pleasantness of smiles cannot bring them forward
If they are gone they are gone
If they have been wasted they have been wasted
But O they danced as flames in the night from my heart to the wind
And they danced for her because they found joy in it
Now they are tired and desperately seek rest
They may come forth again
But now they are tired and desperately seek rest

Sunday, July 29, 2007

the Grande Zombie tells me sleep is over-rated. is that true Roger?

a poem from 1982-1987 era - published in Insomonia & Poetry - a small press 'zine. - in 1995. it is also probably the only poem i have published that works in rhyme. one of the very few i've written in rhyme actually. again - when you can, support those small presses of your choice.

really wasted today. probably got a total of 3 hours sleep in the last 30 hours or so ... must be anxiety or something about being away from the ever joyous paper machine!! Yeah, right.


Plath watched the channel.
Brodigan watched the bay.
And they both heard the same sweet voice that never went away.
i watch the mountains.
i listen to the voices.
i stare into those templed spires realizing i am running out of choices.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

a delay in vacation start ....

todays poem is another one from 1995 .

some updates on the world around here. negotiations, we sort of hear, are off again, over the company wanting to deny vacations during scheduled shut-down days/weeks at the mill, where they need all the workers they can find. (how about hiring more people?) The union says there aren't enough weeks in the year now to allow everyone the vacation time they are allowed. So the union walked away from the table. Anyway, i guess they will talk again - but no time is set just yet.

speaking of vacations, i GOT to work (as in mandatory) one of the nights on my vacation ... the contract says they can schedule you on the first two days (& nights) of a vacation, as those days are not protected, though they will try never to do that. well, they did to me, again. i think this is the 3rd time in two years i've had 2 or more days lopped off my vacation time. Oh well, such is life at the big happy papermill. but now i am off, free to lolligag around, listening to some old 60's music and trying to catch up on some much needed rest.


who would care what is said (or not)

the neighbors fought every other night in the darkness. under the veil of stars or fog.
she's a rotten bitch & he's a goddamned lying bastard.
neither are worth a pile of shit.
but by morning they smile,
each in their own Ford Escort, wave a "good morning: to the old walking man who knows nothing of the last night.
such a wonderful couple.

DC8 eating black-top
into an old dump-truck. flagger holds STOP sign in one hand, cigarette in the other. the sun curses. nearly as well as she does.
eats more dust. & more dust.
in a week they'll mend the craters with a new layer of asphalt. steet will be open in two weeks.
in a month, they'll tear it up again for another gas line.

the cop (blue uniform, badge number 1736) knocks. 6am. Sunday morning.
Yes. i know the neighbors.
tempestuous! Mark in the trunk of Diane's Escort? throat cut & she without a trace - into the mystic?
well, he was a goddmaned liar, officer. told me once he'd been to Spain & the Persiam Gulf.
Diane swore he'd never been out the damned state of Oregon.
who you gonna believe anyway?

Thursday, July 19, 2007

new glasses and i can see clearly now

another 1995 unsolicited, unpublished poem.

not much going on today. new glasses and a cool afternoon, no rain, but lots of clouds and well, i've always liked the rain (some expected tomorrow) and cooler temps, so can't complain about that. one more day off, lots of little chores to get done, then it's back to night shift and those damned heavy-weight export orders that are such a pain ....


everyone i read these days: so successful & literary.
(editors, educators - all full of intelligence.)
i am inferior - here in the rain, working with sweat & blisters.
i walk - inner-city, to where the graffiti artists work.
here is find my brothers: young & angry illiterates that struggle at communication.
except i am old.
i spray paid old hearts (dreams). it changes nothing, but for a while i am beautiful.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

contract talks continue

another 1987-1989 era poem - unpublished. unsolicited.

contract talks are officially in progress. last week they talked and this week more are scheduled. the union seems to feel there are no major stumbling blocks so far, but only reported back on potential changes in how the work schedules are made (potentially by the workers instead of management) and the company wants all positions to be certified - in other words, we'll have to qualify for our move up positions (if not our current jobs) by some sort of testing. This has been rumored to be in the works for years, so it's not really a big wake-up call or anything. i can't see the union fighting this very hard, if at all. other than the fact we know there will be changes in the insurance carriers, not much else is being said publicly.


Will you hold her as the rings around Jupiter, a simple kinetic or electro-magnetisim?
your entire existence circling the vision as if galaxies of wonder?
Does she illuminate you as comets across the sky?
your entire being radiated in her?

The mirrors in your eyes will tell everything your heart feels.
Words are irrelevant now.

If the morning sun fails will you create one of your own for her?
your arms warming her heart as solar winds warm her face?
Will your heart orbit her eyes as a moon?
your survival laying in the invisible magic of her love?

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

a poem published in Fireweed

poem from 1995, printed in 1996 by Fireweed, a Eugene, OR based 'zine, edited by Eric Mueller, one of the great patrons of the local arts. Another fine small press publication that should be supported.

tomorrow i'll add a bit of chatter going around about the state of contact talks.


1 red tail hawk
2 upon a fence post:
4 sentinel
5 of a better dream.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

an olde 1987 poem, with footnotes!

and yet another 1987 poem - unsolicited. unpublished. it was written to a friend, and at the time night watchman, at Cuddeback Lumber Co ... the years have removed him from Oregon, and i have no idea where he is these days..... if you're out there, John Kn., drop me a line.

it is cooler here in the Willamette Valley today. But not cool by any means. Guess the thunder storms last night helped. at ye olde Paper Mill, this is the month, and these are the very weeks, that the management and union are supposed to start meeting/speaking to establish a new contract. Who knows what sort of joys await the rank and file. as of now, it's all speculation on what will be taken (or added? ha!) to our existing package. next week (i believe) the 4 new hires begin their orientation and training. They are scheduled to start working the week i am on vacation - the last week in July.


The future is to be.
In the dripping fog of early morning there is reaffirmation, glorious and profound.
Listen to the sounds, delicate and precious, soft as the whispers of her heart.
Listen to the sounds and understand each before dismissing them as insignificant or trivial.

The future is to be.
No matter how brilliant Hannibal planned from the concern and greatness of Carthage, the Alps and Rome still remained a difficultly too great to master.
Plans are only a short gnarly stick used to beat back the beasts of uncertainty.

The future is to be.
"The soul of man does violence to itself ..." (1)
There is apprehension in your smile.
It has the nervous twitch of someone waiting for omens that are slow in clumsy in their arrival.
And your laughter, it is nearly synthetic now, as if i it has the necessity of duplicating the perfection of machines, or someone elses genius.

The future is to be.
Look into her eyes, delicate and precious, soft as the whispers of your heart.
In all the pain to follow, in all the glory to be found, nothing will be as significant as her smile.

The future is to be.
"Let us not waste our time in idle discourse!" (2)
Let us dream dreams as brave as assassins believing in their holiness.
Let us hold our hearts as if they were gossamers in the wind.
There will always be dreams that struggle for existence.

The future is to be.
"There's a divinity that shapes our ends ..." (3)
Softly the rain falls.
As you stand in the confusion of the wind, along the rivers that rise and fall as your dreams, let your laughter dance across the whiskers of the beast that stalks you, deep into the peace that should be lasting and soft and hers.

(1) - from Meditations Book II - by M. Aurelius
(2) - from Waiting For Godot - by Samuel Beckett
(3) - from Hamlet - by W. Shakespeare

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

not exactly penguin weather

and -well, wowzers - yet another unsolicited poem .....from 1987

NOT quite as hot today. still rather uncomfortable, but only in the lower 90's ... not exactly penguin weather for certain.


Aristotle sits before the voids, contemplating ever minute detail presented.
i ask him of significance.
He tells me to shut-up and appreciate the spectacle.

i am the wind through the darkest tree tops when the night is uncomfortably warm.
i am the whispers you never share.
i am Jesus, if you desire it.

Aristotle sits before the unknown, defining it.
He tells me of logic and rhetoric.
i believe they are the very details of duty and obligation.

In the papers are the travesties of war, glorified.
In the papers are ...
i avoid the papers.
Rather i sit before the swirling of clouds being formed in the stratosphere.
There i examine the finite details of beauty all about your immaculate heart.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

magnificently hot today

only 25 posts (which roughly means 25 poems and rants) are on the "front" page of this blog. The other posts are still available for your perusal. They haven't really vanished forever. Just go to the "archives" in the side bar to the right. (at this point, there are about 40 poems sleeping in the dark over there.)

here in the olde Willamette Valley, it's magnificently hot today. it's a flat oppressive heat that just simply destroys ambition (100 degree F). luckily, it's a day away from the papermill. Inside that cement box we call Paper Machine #2 (even though there is no longer a #1 machine in existence) it's like an oven on days like today ... oh well, will get my turn in the box in a day or two ... can you feel the enthusiasm?

today's poem is from Proverbs For The Initiated - (c) 1999 - published by Cedar Hill Publications - the book is out of print to the best of my knowledge.


Grandpa drank Falstaff beer on Sunday afternoon,
listened to the Giants on the radio
extension chord out a bedroom window to the patio.
He loved Mays. Still his favorite was Maricial.
He loved the flash & flair of the Dominican Dandy.
But he himself was more like Jack Sanford -
8 innings every time he was called. Hard sweat
& honest effort - looking for a little support
down the stretch from friends & family.
Finally there just wasn't anything left to give.
Even the beer was stale after that.

Monday, July 9, 2007

a morose poem from the "zombie-zone"

utterly burnt out from a long night shift (can't wait for the 4 new hires to get their orientation and enough training to be allowed to work on their own!) and well, deep into the "zombie zone" mode ... so this poem is one of those unpublished, unsolicited poems, written in 1996, a "bit on the morose side" i suspect .... yeah, understatement of the hour!


wondering if shaving is worth the statement

my eyes not certain they are ready
to capture the world as it really is

too numb to ache
my flesh is merely a covering
bones have forgotten rhapsody

i fart for morning
as if a prayer to a god i have forsaken
my pledge of allegiance to life
for at least one more day

then i reluctantly piss away
the dreams i have erected the night before
& prepare for consequences

Thursday, July 5, 2007

no rest for the ... ah, poet

didn't get much sleep before work today (on a night shift rotation this week), so was looking over some of the poems i've worked on recently and decided to add this one. it was published in Spindrift - accepted by phone (yep, they called me!) 2:26:96. Again, small presses need and deserve any support you can give them. Also, i worked a little on Leonard Cirino's blog today - some minor edits and what-nots. i think it will updated bi-weekly or so. And Paula's poetry page has an amazing photograph to view, as well as a very nice new poem. If you're into looking around the blog world of poetry at all, links to both are in the side bar. Until later:


1 the moon as if a paper dragon
2 caught in the dark limbs
3 of winter trees
4 & you beside the dark river
5 believing in miracles
7 the tail of comets
8 in your eyes
9 the whispering wind
10 in your dark hair
11 & me on the other side seeking
12 passage

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

poem from another small press magazine

today here is a poem printed in Mushroom Dreams issue of Dec 1997 - another small 'zine, probably long out of existence. Please support small presses in anyway you can - buying copies, passing the name of the poets to friends, or sharing the URL to on-line material. i know you've heard it over and over on this blog, but it is important i believe. And again, a thank-you to all the visitors and i do appreciate your comments.


the concrete cares for nothing.
i would like to think it had stories to tell
or that it had dreams, but it doesn't.
i remembers nothing of you standing before the sea,
watching the waves roll over
& gulls in an ignorant swirling bliss.
you with your long hair tangled in the wind,
salt on your lips.
those lips that were always more expressive
than your eyes.

& the rain remembers nothing of your hands,
but my bones remember,
even as they simply whisper,
even if they are unheard.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Gizmos for ya'all

today's poem is an unpublished and unsolicited poem from 1996.

a day off today, trying to get some rest before a long night shift with lots of overtime tossed in for good measure, or whatever they call it at the mill. a side update - still no word on the mysterious contract (though talks are SUPPOSED to be held sometime this month). Neither side seems too concerned at the moment. Also, not a peep about the potential sale of the papermill division of the Weyco world. keep 'em guessing, boys!


paper cuts do not expose the soul
but they annoy

the world was imperfect
i studied the flaws
even sent reports to silent gods
& their spokesman

no blue birds on my fence post
but the crows in the orchard
high on the aroma of rotten apples
told wonderful tales

the telephone salesman insisted
i could reach salvation with his gizmo
i offered him payment of silence

the black dog noticed merely
it was hot
laid in the shade of the old shed
already full of gizmos
waiting for the moon
to call fog off the dark river

Monday, July 2, 2007

a day or two off - i think

ah, the overtime is going to be bad the next week or so. just worked 6 days (12 hour shifts at the joyous papermill) ... and get 6 nights in a row coming up next. so the intervals between updates may be a longer than the past few. (just in case anyone notices or cares .....)

here is another poem, accepted but not printed by Semi-Dwarf Review. The 'zine was published by Leonard Cirino - a poet (and editor of Pygmy Forest Press) well worth discovering. (Links to his press and poetry in the links section. i did an update for him this afternoon, so there are some of his newest poems to be read.) His poetry is difficult, passionate and important, if i say so myself.

-after John Berryman

she writes words that be plastic.
i hates 'em as i bends 'em.
they means everything, nothing.
i know she laughs at my miseries:
source of dreams & pain.
she is not angelic
though i be mending wings.
ha, i tells you they gathers dust here.

the fatman grateful for affection
though he much prefer lust.
he too write confusion (on envelopes)
but it translates well into despair -
she without out of date dictionaries
find no incantation to soothe lonely.

pour me hard drinks, like hard lies.
fatman laughs, ha, i smashed finger
with more than one hammer -
so what love got to do with pain.

she spin words. i grow dizzy
as i confuse meaning with intention.
if she was less beautiful
i would tempt myself with other dreams -
they too be damned plastic.