Tag Archives: limitations

The World is a Small Town

Don’t want much, but that’s all right
Nothing much happens here on Saturday night
Get laid, get drunk, get in a fight
Maybe all three
Maybe at the same time

Don’t need nothing, but that’s OK
Nothing much here to speak of, anyway,
Get up, get old, collect your pay
Maybe all three
Maybe if the sun shines

This little town can sure get you down
Hard to find a reason to keep hanging around
Sure ain’t no doubt the old rural route
is not the quickest way if you’re hellbent to get out
Little town dreams, and little town schemes
keep us separated, too much space in between
But don’t let the welcome sign turn you around
The world is a small town.

Don’t say much, but that’s just fine;
Nobody really listens to me, most of the time;
Get riled, get hot, get out of line
Maybe all three
Maybe if I’m tipsy

Don’t ask much – that’s just as well;
Nothing doing here – it’s either flood or a dry spell.
Get set, get wet, give yourself hell
Maybe all three
Maybe the way it should be

This little town can sure get you down
Hard to find a reason to keep hanging around
Sure ain’t no doubt the old rural route
is not the quickest way if you’re hellbent to get out
Little town dreams, and little town schemes
keep us separated, too much space in between
But don’t let the welcome sign turn you around
The world is a small town.

22 DEC 2006

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Honest Silence

What is there left to talk about?
The lines have all been drawn,
and leave us little common ground;
not much to dwell upon.

Why squirm in silence here together,
bound by social whim
to say not what is on our minds,
but delicately skim

around the ugly awful truth:
that you and I will not
agree on art or politics,
on legalizing pot,

on why it is that men and women
fulfill different roles,
what constitutes an act of war,
or what makes up the soul.

Excepting those fine topics,
we can speak on what you wish;
although I’m sure in time we’ll find
other taboos to list.

What is there left to talk about?
Why meet here at the fence
pretending that we give a damn?
I’d prefer an honest silence.

08 APR 2006

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The spheres of thought that tangents bring

The spheres of thought that tangents bring
in touch with mine are lessening,
perhaps in spite of my attempts
to cross each bridge, and burn each fence
so that the world seems more to me
a web of connectivity.

It could be that these are not times
for straying beyond party lines;
or worse, more likely, minds are closed,
so wary of thought overdose
that if a single word slips past
their brave defense, the die is cast
and they will be like Robert Service’s
fitless man, alone and nervous.

Such things occur to me, and then
I feel the urge to write again —
despite the fact that precious few
will find my voice worth listening to,
instead preferring rehashed news,
extremist views, and seats in pews
where others preach some party line.
If that’s the case, it suits me fine.
I do not write to please the masses,
or think these brief missives classes.

It’s a desert; most oases
are mirages not worth chasing.
Each one has a tale to tell:
some only sand, others with wells;
and sadly, when illusion sells
more stock than substance,
these sad hells
are peopled with a hopeless lot
who can’t or won’t let go, and plot
the quick demise of any who
would posit their heaven untrue.

20 May 2005

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Who Says That Poetry Dare Not

Who says that poetry dare not describe,
except in abstract, the signs of the times,
when modern culture abounds with sound bytes
from cinema, like Puzo’s line
that all business is personal,
and we hang with pride by electron pins
our ragged, besmirched angst,
so that a global web of public noses
can share our hampers’ contents:
the tattered, faded t-shirts (now vintage wear)
that in high school twenty years ago
could get us suspended for dress code violations
(I think of the Ramones, the Clash, and Bauhaus,
who sell more accessories now than
they ever dreamed of during their lifetimes).

Who says that poetry must first, before all else,
be small and disheveled, a Pigpen trailing the muck
of his own me-o-centric dust bowl,
or soft and insecure Linus, grasping desperately
to the security of psychosis,
lamenting years of analysis that have left us,
as a people, addicted to neuropathic drugs
and fattened the wallets of countless would-be-Freuds
and their pushermen?

Who says that language must devolve
to suit the temper of the times,
instead of lifting, by the scruff of the neck,
its whining, self-centered congregation
beyond the dry and brittle pews of academia
into direct experience with the Divine?

Who says that poets must wait, patient,
while the world argues and decides their fate?

Who says that poetry dare not touch
upon the sacred? Without tangents
such as these, what good is it? Why, then,
keep on, and on and on, ’til break of dawn
insisting that the pen is mighty?
Wherefore comes that might? From lashing
oneself to the mast of culture’s speeding craft,
so that the Sirens on the rocks
may loose their soft, seductive stream
of sacrilege,
and yet not sway the poet’s course.

24 APR 2005

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Valentine

If we rely on calendars and ad men
to prompt us into thinking of our love,
and on one day a year make feeble gestures
to compensate that love for our neglect

(the endless days of noncommunication,
illusions of control based out of fear,
a slow loss of respect for one another,
the taking all for granted without thought)

do we expect that one day makes it worth it,
that souls, despite starvation, can endure,
or hearts, wracked with a lifetime’s hairline fractures,
are still willing and able to respond?

If you would love me, do so in the open.
Do not in secret build devotion’s shrine;
and if by Valentine’s I have not known it,
there is no point in saying you are mine.

14 FEB 2005

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Blues for Elijiah/Fallen Angels

For some reason, sitting out under the carport this morning in the rain made me think of a period during 1991 when I wrote about 30 songs in the course of 36 hours. It was a very strange Peter Gabriel meets Van Morrison kind of weekend … just me, the computer terminal and the digital piano.

Blues for Elijiah

Ravenous, we turned our backs on civilized pursuits
in suits of woven rags and skins, exposed to elemental change;
No human chatter breaking forth, no spewing after-thoughts
of imperfect internal combustion.

Blinded by the word of the immortal beast of broadcast,
scarlet-eyed, star-struck, in cathode-ray imposed myopia,
we foolishly believed that we had found the new Messiah
and we called to him by name, Blessed Technology.

Cloven-hooved, through clover fields, we chased the dream inconceivable
Thinking we could make believe and make it more believable

Turn away from your television
Turn away from your radio
There are more things in Earth and Heaven
Than you’ll ever know

Words are only words if they hold no other meaning
Symbolized interpretation of an unseen imagery:
The silence shouts out deafening; cover up your ears
or you might hear something important.

Hungry now, and rooting through the leftovers of history,
power ties no longer bind, yet cut off circulation.
Do you still believe that you have found the reasons for your presence?
Do you still hold fast to dreams that have no meaning?

Turn away from your newspaper
Turn away from your bulletin board
There are so many things escaping your attention
There are more rivers left to ford

With all your money, can you still pay attention?
Will all your bridges tumble into the sea?
With how much credit can you purchase my affection?
Will you be frightened if I love you for free?

Turn away from your television
Turn away from your radio
Listen to the music playing out in the courtyard
They’re playing verses you should know

Turn away from your radio
Turn away from your magazine
There are things happening that are much more important
There are still wonders you’ve not seen

26 JUL 91

Fallen Angels

A monster’s out walking the streets tonight
Devouring the city, cobblestone by cobblestone
A soul without mercy; and you know
pity is a lonely word, small and forgettable

Silent in mute screaming agony
Following the gutters down and out to the sea;
otherwise, without purpose, directionless,
void of apparent course.

Searching for fallen angels
Fitting them with dragons’ wings
‘Cause if this play falls on its face
We’ll have to think of something

The monster in his guise, so human,
licks his lips, mastiff-inspired,
the scent of life, animal
caged words, primitive and sophisticated.

Alone in schizophrenic company
Following the sound of life around the corner;
no intentions, only expectations
of disappointment in the shadows

Searching for fallen angels
Fitting them with dragons’ scales
‘Cause we’ll need more cannon fodder
When self-preserving instinct fails

A monster is stalking the city tonight
Devouring the pavement like lines
on a printed page, without mercy or pity,
which are lonely words, small and
easily forgotten

Searching for fallen angels
Fitting them with dragons’ hearts
‘Cause we’ll need all our energy
Once the floor show starts.

26 JUL 91

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Box Haiku

Inside the small box
that is our experience
there is nothing new:

the folded edges
let in small amounts of light
to read old news by.

But the lid is loose —
a gentle push opens it;
look, there is a sky!

If you throw your weight
against the side, you can tilt
the whole world open.

Just another box
that may look like open space
but has edges, too.

Some spend their lifetimes
thinking the box protects them;
they worship cardboard.

What lingers outside
is violent, wild and risky:
it is fully alive.

Without much warning
it may devour your small box;
why die that slowly?

Life is not easy;
anyone who denies this
is selling something.

Look! Your box and mine
share a common boundary.
Let’s leave together.

22 JUN 2004

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