Tag Archives: irony

A Drop in the Bucket

His Holiness came
to visit the Big Easy:
a mixed race culture.

He spoke to thousands:
they lined up for hours to hear
his message of peace.

His smiling face shone
on all those who assembled;
what great energy!

Practice compassion,
be kind and giving to all:
we are all the same.

After it was done,
the throng of rich, white faces
sought the French Quarter.

While poor, black people
(still the large part of New Orleans)
went about their day.

Five hundred thousand:
the dollars raised for this trip.
That’s a chunk of change.

20 MAY 2013

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Imago: a decastich

Show, don’t tell, the modern critics rave!
Let solely image drive the poet’s art;
so that this generation weaned and fed
on television’s drivel won’t complain.

Describe in such a universal way
that anyone with half a brain could find,
within a flash, some personal motif
illuminating their sad, pointless life.

What else is the whole point of poetry?
Who cares? Who still has time to enough to read?

12 DEC 2012

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Kris Kristofferson

Light up another cigarette, crack open one more beer
Let’s drink to those who lived and ended up with a career
Who suffered the indignity of having their gold panned
Who didn’t end up dying quite as young as they had planned

Light up another cigarette, and pour out one more round
Let’s drink to those whose wasted years are not yet underground
Who suffered the injustice of not suffering enough
Who didn’t end up dying to send their record sales up

Can you still be a martyr to a cause that no one knows,
a prophet in your own home town, a sheep dressed in wolves’ clothes,
if they all know you struggled, but still managed to survive
playing double sets in some old, empty dives?

Light up another cigarette, line up another shot
Let’s drink to those poor devils that the critics have forgot
Who didn’t spend their short, sweet lives in angst-inducing pain
Who stayed on at the grindstone and instead lived on in vain.

Light up another cigarette, tap that last pony keg
Let’s drink to those who carried on, and had to learn to beg
Who suffered in the shadows, while some comets came and went
Who paid the tab when others left, their money still unspent.

Can you still be a martyr in obscurity, unknown,
if your splash isn’t big enough, if your death cult hasn’t grown,
if they see you still living, and assume you haven’t cried
as much as those brave legends who all died?

Light up another cigarette, and fill up one more glass
Let’s drink to those whose lives are more than a grand epitaph
Who pay the price for living by pretending not to die
Who write the songs we all sing when the caskets roll on by.

27 NOV 2005

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At the bookstore

At the bookstore yesterday
two young punks with their parents
came in as I was going out;
they were festooned with spiky hair,
spiked bracelets and Doc Martens,
and t-shirts both bleached clean and pressed,
brand new, although the bold design
I’d seen — in fact, I’d worn myself
some twenty years before.
I didn’t have the heart to stop
and tell these kids something I’m sure
they would have heard with disbelief:
that I had heard of Minor Threat —
in fact, I’d hung out with Ian M;
a past member of Iron Cross
had been my roommate for a while;
the guys from All still had my Kustom amp;
and I’d lived, for a couple months,
on Henry Rollins’ furniture.
Hell, I’d even toyed with the notion
of playing in East Bay Ray’s new band,
after the Kennedys expired.

When I was a punk, Bauhaus
was still more than a t-shirt collection.

But these guys didn’t want to hear that,
I know.

Nobody wants to think their revolution
is recycled.

4 AUG 2005

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Laughter of the gods

If you would hear the gods gambol and laugh,
their rumbling chuckles echo through the land,
and tickle divine humor, pick a path
based on a well-conceived and thought out plan.

You need not start out on it. Not one bit
of progress is required, so long as all
your fervent hopes and dreams are tied to it
in theory. Say, for instance, in the fall

you’d hoped to fix the house up, rearrange
the furniture, or patch the bathroom tile.
No great ambition, nothing wild or strange;
yet at the gods’ lips, a slow grinning smile

begins to form the moment you believe
the universe and you have found accord,
that fate and karma have dealt you reprieve
against those good deeds done, so long ignored.

With busyness you occupy your mind,
engaging one idea after the next,
until a peaceful moment, when you find
a chance to just relax and to reflect,

and there, under the silence, you can hear
the stifled guffaw of the universe;
then, suddenly, the truth becomes so clear:
you either laugh, as well, or things get worse.

14 JUN 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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Overly Simplistic Solution #43293X/B

Thanks to a thread over at Have Your Say Today.

The question: should guns be banned?

My answer is, and I dedicate it to Charlton Heston, Tom Selleck and Arnold Swartzenegger – each who may use it as they see fit:

No. Banning guns violates the Bill of Rights guarantee of the right to bear arms.

We should instead ban the manufacturer, sale, distribution and use of ammunition. There is no constitutional right to LOAD those arms.

That way, both sides can be happy. You get to tote a gun around, decorate a rack (either in your house or your truck), wave it at parades, but you can only hurt anything with it by swinging it at arms’ (it and yours) length — a distance that puts the target both in perspective, and within range of a suitable defense or counterattack – which would serve you right for waving that thing in their face to begin with.

Don’t outlaw guns. Outlaw the bullets.

Peace out.

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