Tag Archives: blame

The Great Lies: curtal sonnet

When all at once the world decides to fail,
on such and such a day, when pundits claim
to clearly see our leaders in the ooze
of mad careening chaos, and then rail,

without a single scrap or crumb of shame,
that all exclusive blame for the great ruse
lies with our high command, not you and I,
what prize can that debate’s proud winner claim?

When of our fictions we are disabused,
what does it matter which of the great lies
we choose?

14 FEB 2017

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Both Kinds of Good

It should be said (at least one time in jest)
that in the world exist two kinds of good
to separate what matters from the rest,
for use by some discerning soul who could

in keening the true nature of a thing
believe their observations to be fact,
and, damned be the naysay blabbering,
to light the world with simple, subtle tact.

To say the thing could scarce but make it so!
The world believes the magic of such words,
and will, despite what evidence may show,
imagine rocks transformed to cooing birds.

And what are these two parts of goodness named?
The pointing finger, and its share of blame.

14 MAR 2015

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It’s Our Fault

If the world was better in your youth,
and kids had much more sense;
if things once great have gone to shit,
and nothing makes much sense,

you only have yourself to blame:
your parenting did this.
How damned convenient it must be,
what ignorance and bliss,

to vainly praise your parents’ ways
and how well you turned out.
Explain to me the reason why,
because I have some doubt,

why nothing that you learned so well
you passed on to your kids,
and how, despite your efforts,
our whole future’s on the skids.

2 APR 2014

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Half Crazy

I’ve always been a fan of reggae, calypso and island music in general; and the songs “Margaritaville” and “Two Pina Coladas” seemed to be missing what I’ve always seen as a crucial element in the description of relationship recovery: that madness, or craziness, that seems to engulf you on both the way in and way out, particularly where a protracted separation is required both medically and legally. A number of my songs touch on this factor in one way or another, with the ultimate purpose of finding something to laugh about in the situation as the best therapy.

I’ll tell you that I almost lost it
once or twice but now I’m doing fine.
There may have been an incident that put me down
somewhere along the line.
I’ve been held back, and I’ve lost track,
it got to be too much and I got lazy;
they tell me parts don’t make the whole, but
no one’s ever really just half crazy

I’ll tell you I was loco over you
but now I’ve come back to my sense.
Still, any man who’s studied Freud will tell you
there’s no middle of the fence;
and I’ll admit there’s quite a bit of time
where what I did is kinda hazy
I’m no exception to the rule, ’cause
no one’s ever really just half crazy

You told me that I’d done things wrong,
that I’d forgotten how to talk to you;
and furthermore, you’d gotten sore
that I could never give you what you’re due.
That may be so, but I don’t know,
the right and wrong of it still kinda phase me —
seems like we’re two sides of the same mind:
no one’s ever really just half crazy

You acted like you didn’t want
the things I did because they were insane,
and made me question who I was and every thought
that came into my brain.
I’ve been a wreck, in retrospect
you really should have known you couldn’t save me;
but knowing’s just one piece of mind and
no one’s ever really just half crazy


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Dividing Up the Blame

Wind blowing through a courtyard
Shattered windows turn their broken eyes on me
Blind, can’t see the street because I’m crying
for my soul is in the gutter, trying to find release

Is there something on that wall?
Looks like some writing on it, it says
Just six more hours until the dawn
Then you can crawl back where you came from

Some sin, something I can’t remember
Memory’s the enemy shot down on these streets of love
Lost, in the battle, in the fighting
for my soul, an empty victory in a war that does not cease

Is that someone up ahead?
Looks like a friend of mine, who said
“You won’t stay warm without the wine,”
and passed right back into oblivion

Oh won’t you give me something for the pain
I can’t stand another night out in the rain
Please don’t call it charity, but help me just the same
While I’m waiting for the jury who are out right now
Dividing up the blame.

Spending my time searching for nothing
To add it to the nothing that I own
Spending my last dime on a bottle
So I won’t spend this night alone

Wind, blowing cold against my body
Shuttered windows turn their sunken eyes on me
Blind, seeing nothing but the nothing
in my soul, an empty shadow where an angel used to be

Is that something up ahead?
Looks like a fire burning.
Pull up a chair and throw it in
It’s six more hours until the morning

Oh won’t you give me something for the pain
I can’t stand another night out in the rain
Please don’t call it charity, but help me just the same
While I’m waiting for the jury, who are out right now
Dividing up the blame.

You say I’m guilty
I say you’re guilty
We’re all guilty
If no one’s guilty.


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Hypocritical Mass

Yes, I have been a hypocrite:
talked a good game, but never played;
and facing challenge, I have quit
the field and left teammates dismayed.

I’ve shouted sermons down the street
on practices I’d never tried
and often, told new folks I’d meet
colorful tales, most of them lies.

On politics, on love, on war
I’ve claimed my way the higher road,
poured salt in wounds I knew were sore
to prove some tenet of my code.

I’ve eschewed meat, when it was scarce,
naming some holy cause;
and when my vegan friends went home
found some steak bones to gnaw.

The pious route, the pilgrim’s path?
I’ve seen it from afar.
When people stumbled, I have laughed,
and drove off in my car.

What talents given me, I’ve wasted,
just to watch them spoil;
and criticized what I’d not tasted
just to play the foil.

Yes, I have done my part to serve
some causes rather lame;
and later claimed not to deserve
my fair share of the blame.

Yet, through all this, I’ve never lied;
when asked, I’ll say, “inhaled”,
and honestly, each thing I’ve tried
to fudge about, I’ve failed.

I’m no great angel, I’ll admit,
but have learned from my flaws;
and not been such a hypocrite
to think there should be laws

so everyone would act and live
the same way that I do;
to fight such thinking I would give
my life. How about you?

The hypocrite and martyr die
in differing degrees:
one in an instant, on their feet;
one lingers, on their knees.

08 JUN 2005

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I could dredge up every wrong and each intentioned slight
to catalog the way the world has hurt me, or just might
and in that laundry list of ills imagined, or in fact,
find solace in a victim’s role to explain what I lack.
But if I fail to count as well the angry words I spoke,
the thoughtless little things I’ve done, the sarcasm and jokes,
then I have not been truthful, nor have I learned much at all;
just made excuses for myself to built a higher wall
throwing all blame for what I am beyond it, out of sight,
and with it, any hope of balance or setting things right.

Because although the world is hard and seems sometimes just pain,
there is no one at fault but me despite my sad refrain
that evil forces hold me back and do not let me grow.
Believing that is one thing, but it does not make it so.
And every time I point a finger to some separate cause,
or seek to change the world without first fixing my own flaws
there is no revolution, no epiphany or grace,
but only more confusion in my mirror’s tear-stained face.
Sure, my environment is part of who and what I am;
but unless I accept my flaws and start to give a damn
about the way that I feed into what destroys and kills
there is no way to move beyond what I perceive as ills.

They say that truth’s a pathless land, that each of us, alone
and naked, must confront our fears ere they be overthrown.
Well, honesty’s a two-edged sword with not much of a hilt;
disuse will turn its blade to rust before much blood is spilt.
Each cut made in another’s flesh will crease the wielder’s hand,
and only with much practice can the user understand
that truth, like revolution, starts with small, un-noticed nicks —
in private; and in spite of one’s brave public politics.

04 MAR 2005

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