I have no cause to champion
that’s worthy of a flag,
bedecked with symbols meant to stir
like-minded souls to arms;
no psycho-babbling sycophants
pore through my work to find
some mystic key that might unlock
their esoteric core.
if taken quickly, just skin deep,
there’s no euphoric high
to titillate the rebel throng
who seek a new messiah.
My generation does not struggle,
nor is it oppressed
by more than its own aspirations,
which don’t add to much.
We seek to decode messages,
enamored by their form
but not impressed by their content;
besides, who has the time
to contemplate some foolish scrawl?
Besides, as we all know,
all knowledge worth the knowing
was old news some years ago.
Our elders? They resent the way
we skulk around and wait
for them to die; we will inherit
naught but scornful pride.
The younger generation
we already do not like;
they simply fail to listen when
we outline our great plan.
In part, because there is no plan,
no underlying glyph
that seeks to make the parts a whole;
instead, we ask “What if
there is no point to anything,
no future, and no past;
therefore, there’s no good reason
to build anything that lasts.”
28 JUN 2005
I’d find some peace if I just had more time;
quite often now, this notion comes to me.
Not as a nagging fault, but more sublime,
suggesting an impossibility.
But peace is built on just a second’s span
and in that tiny jot of life finds form,
requiring no deliberative plan
except to seek some shelter from the storm.
We think it so elusive that we chase
its shadows, stirring endless clouds of dust,
perpetuating our madness and stress,
instead of calmly waiting in one place,
not worried that our steeled resolve will rust,
or that we’ll give our lives a moment less.
And those great projects we cannot delay,
that we, in endless barter, trade and sell:
these too must pause; their bluster must give way
to quiet lulls and contemplative spells.
For peace cannot be found until the soul
finds in the chaos a low quiet song,
the words of which may seem mundane and droll
to those still lost in the wild, howling throng,
who judge those not in motion as great fools.
With progress, they would manufacture peace
and for a profit, offer it for sale.
But nothing will become of those whose schools
instruct in only war. Until they cease
to use the name of progress, they will fail.
16 FEB 2005
There was an idea
that grew in a brain —
not a clean break, but rather
a troubling sprain.
It swelled up and shut off
the centers of speech,
thus remaining hidden;
and just beyond reach
it festered, fermented
and spread like a rash
along the poor cortex
which gave up, and crashed.
But that was so long ago —
now the brain’s learned
to shun stray ideas
lest its pathways burn
with even the memory
of strange and queer thought;
to be safe, it forgets
most that it’s been taught
and so pretty thoughtless
it plods through the day —
imagining it has
always been this way.
Now dearly beloved,
believe this is true;
lest you want ideas
to happen to you.
08 DEC 2004
The heavy August air sits like an insolent child
sulking under the carport where the breeze
can’t get to it, if it even tried to do so
down the fractured street that no longer even pretends
to be the straight and narrow
it clings like a moldy, mildewed straitjacket
against the concrete and staggered magnolias
no one strides the sidewalks in this town
there’s a slow, undulating saunter
that even the uptight Metairie folk employ
to let it roll on the avenue
when the afternoon downpour doesn’t come
the next door neighbors crank up the stereo
and let the stale cool air from inside
seep into the afternoon swelter
while the young punks across the way
their cars parked across the desiccated lawn
rims shiny like a beacon that cries out
illegal income, get your groove on here
sit languid and lazy on the front porch
sipping cold drinks and waiting on their cell phones.
You can hear the locusts swarming on the levee
as the lubricated air relaxes its grip and settles down
for the night.
18 AUG 2003