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manifesto

August 5, 2017

full of life,
so I will
life
until I’m called
back
to where I was
before I was
born

now I know
I run on
different
fuel
and it is
astonishing
what a difference
it makes
to be properly
nourished

when first
I broke into
this slow motion
run
is hard to tell
now,
but break into it
I did

(not running
from
but running
to)

and far now
have I run,
further than I
would have
believed
I could,
yet never
have I been
so close
to home

full of life
so I will
life
until I’m called
back
to where I was
before I was
born

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the infinite crease

August 1, 2017

the infinite crease
towards which I must fall,
which pits kingdom against kingdom,
which splits and envelops,
a certain tapestry of cheekbones,
guitar licks, disarmingly
insightful phrases, a sampling of
available spiritual intoxications,
and particularly innocuous moments of
clarity resolving at the tonic,
or, indeed, wandering off
into the uncharted territory of
where to incur silverandgold promises,
such that they are
such that they might be

ah, crumpled heap
gazing from forgotten island
towards distant shores
and wondering what languages
are being spoken
where we are not

reverence and irreverence in A

July 31, 2017

expand into the perimeter of your chamber,
and then crack it,
and then mend it,
and move on

I hear the 12 Commandments
coming around the bend
and I’m only worried about a few
and even some of them I may have
misheard –
I mean, I ain’t ever coveted no ass

I am not haunted by Christmas past
except the endless afternoons,
nor Christmas future, as the
Buddhists only use it to sell
red-suited fat men and flashing lights –
they already have the peace on earth and
the goodwill (well, kinda)
heck, the Prince of Peace is
Jewish, and it’s probably
Leonard Cohen

guitars are hung on walls,
maybe they should hang
guitarists too,
to encourage more kids to
take up the drums

did Jesus wind up in Kashmir,
preaching and fasting in the mountains?
build your own argument,
reverse engineering saves time.
imagine a bald Christ wandering in saffron robes,
or perhaps in a suit, with a fedora

Lucifer is known by many names,
surely Christ is the son of God of
1,000 faces – Jewish, gentile,
African, Asiatic – black, white or brindle,
as the gods show up in every next hill and
every next valley, every next river and
every next foxhole
and every next sand dune and every next swamp

a god on every street and in every stream,
for every family and for wherever people are gathered
for wine and song and joy and grief and hope and
fear and thanksgiving and despair and thirst
for acceptance and love and to learn to play the drums

and where did Mary go?
everywhere that Mary went the Lamb was sure to go.

format nostalgia

July 27, 2017

the sweeping patchwork of horizontals,
the art stretched across what now seems
an impossibly large canvas
it wasn’t the vinyl so much as the cardboard

twelve square inches plus twelve square inches
of bounteous space, and that’s without the
glorious gatefold
places to hide details and secrets

and the spines, my dear, the spines
across which fingertips would flip and drag,
reading by colour and by thickness and condition
as the alphabet argues its way from
Abba to ZZ Top,
an array of plastic coverings, of paper qualities,
of typefaces and widths
it wasn’t the vinyl so much as the cardboard

grimy with successive fingerprints of
successive purchasers, occasionally bearing
a name, a scribbled notation of ownership

at the weak point, where the record curved
past the edge, sometimes a tear,
sometimes a rip,
right through the title and artist

it was inexact, it was messy,
and it aged well
but it wasn’t the vinyl so much as the cardboard

I was born for longing

July 21, 2017

all the roads lead back to you
for it seems I was born for longing
all the numbers counting back
words piled on words
phrases on phrases
and all the tunes return to my tonic
for it seems I was born for longing

from dawn to dusk and back again
it seems I was born for longing
all the years racing horizon-bound
images flicker into images
colours blend to a universal hue
and all the poems end with you
for it seems I was born for longing

sanctuary

July 21, 2017

the push and the when
and the wondering
and the window cages
with sashes that
appear and disappear
and reappear
those certain things
that were open to the wind

some noise
like clockwork,
some noise
unseen,
some noise
longed for
those certain things
that were open to the wind

door
sanctuary,
flirting with
prophecy
those certain things
that were open to the wind

splash, pizzazz,
razzamatazz
all explosions
end up as whispers
those certain things
that were open to the wind

the bellows of life
that redden the embers
stoke the fire
to bring the next explosion
those certain things
that were open to the wind

new door
new sanctuary,
damp with
prophecy,
walls thrill with
anticipation of
the fireworks to come
those certain things
that were open to the wind

the quiet and unhurry

July 18, 2017

finding like precious stones
the quiet and unhurry
under layers of sophistications
anxieties advices admonishments
that settle innocently like dust
only to trap harden calcify obliterate
and require archaeology to remove

the quiet and unhurry
glimmer out of reach
until by movement of earth
or stirring of spirit
or act of the Gods
cracks form,
the wind and the rain
begin to pick and poke
and prod and
weather and
wear and
wash away
what was really only dust
after all

speak softly and
carry a small broom