Sunday, September 27, 2009

a turn of the card will never be accepted as final

a turn of the card
will never be accepted

as final
not while other decks

can be produced
and the room never closes

and night never

closing in after lunch
dying of hydraulic overhauls

riding rails without tomorrow
every heavy elephant laughs

delivering seven sisters tambourines
after eddie nodded negatively

don't expect youthful exuberance
truthful predictions verify instantly

many friends expect sympathy
graciously understanding murderous impulses

overlooking terrible intentions absolutely
observing annual returns carefully

blind neanderthals blink hesitatingly
if you like this

i got a million more just like it
everybody likes stories

but they know exactly
what stories they like

so a turn of the card
will never be accepted as final

Thursday, September 24, 2009

back in my old home town: it's like i never left

an alligator named al
didn't have a friend or a pal
he went to the pawn shop
and bought a laptop
now his acquaintances are glo-bal

a barracuda named ben
was sentenced to life in the pen
he went to the bars
and looked out at the stars
and wished he could find peace again

a cobra named constance
to her mirror made remonstrance
when she found a gray fold
and said, i'm still not so old
that i can not find true romance

a doctor of philosophy named dave
took up residence in a cave
in his comfortable flannels
he watched five hundred channels
and to thought was no longer a slave

an economist named ed
lost his job at the fed
out on the street
his heart skipped a beat
and raindrops fell on his head

a fearless forecaster named freak
called his brother in jail once a week
they had long conversations
about the future of industrialized nations
and agreed that the prospects were bleak

a grumbling gerbil named gerard
took wall street's collapse very hard
his emotions came out in a rush
as he angrily spooned his mush
and he said, they've quite lost my regard

a guinea pig named pete
in all his dealings was discreet
a nickel here, a dime there
of everyone's needs he took good care
and the payoff was always sweet

a harried hamster named herbert
had a craving for strawberry sherbet
he neglected his affairs
and attracted strangers stares
his appetite - he just couldn't curb it

a hummingbird named henri
finished his afternoon tea
when he opened his copy of the times
and read of the government's crimes
he was reduced to apoplexy

an ibex named isidore
dropped his peanut shells on the floor
his friends all cried, dagnabbit
you must lose this disgusting habit
or we won't cash your checks any more

Monday, September 21, 2009

the unexplainable man: powell and market

getting off
the escalator

city of garbage
city of coffee cups
city of rainbows

see the blackness
feel the warmth
plastic covered paper cup

hot sun
blasting transistor
nine more hours of daylight

a virgin woman
and a virgin man
from minneapolis, fascinated

i asked for tuna
on a soft roll, goddamit
a soft roll!

poised to reascend -
the filthy pigeons and humans

these people are dirty
i don't care about anything else
but they're dirty

speak english
people used to be proud

human sounds
slice of hot dog between teeth
gurgle of beer down throat

behind the window
pretense of reading the paper
embarrassed to be alone

an old man feeding pigeons
the diseased loathsome pigeons
life calls to life

yes yes
the baked potato
is wonderful

i thought it was
something good, like a
steak or something

on hands and knees
on the sidewalk
outside mcdonalds

bus boy
standing over the bum
like a drill sergeant

cameras, cameras
no one takes my picture

said no to six panhandlers
lonely sneakers
down the steps of the bart station

Sunday, September 20, 2009

the unexplainable man: at the beach

went to the beach
of looking for a job

cold morning
no tourists
the waves are white

the foaming rocks
the hills
and the gray sky

clouds roll up
like limousines
waves crash and die

cold raindrops
riddle the sand
fur of a running cat

police car
stops for a hot dog
in the rain

running down the beach
the pit bull stops
shell of a manta ray

sky god - triumphant
sun god - devouring
sea goddess - forgotten

no more messages
but humans
still watch the waves

human hand
monster hand
above the waves

the great hand
of the sea and sky
no fingers

for thirty seconds
called to me

reality is reality
and i'm
only myself

bulbous seaweed
from the ocean floor

i wanted to kill myself
i went and looked at the ocean
i felt better


fine sand
across the muck
like frosting

Friday, September 18, 2009

the unexplainable man: from an old notebook

i was born in the wind
and my brains
blow all over the city

throw a mouse
out the window
into the fog

endless waves
all crashing
all keeping their secret

some cheese always sticks
to the wrappers
enough to feed -

picking up the paper cups
and straws and napkins
with delicate, birdlike precision

not so bad
better than manila, man

how did it happen
who did what to me
i didn't do nothing

can't hear the voices
can't hear the silence
only hear the sirens

a mother cloud
and five fluffy
baby clouds

open mouths
slobbering mouths
say what

automatic teller
unblinking sentinel
scrape of a duffel bag

the wind stirs
the paper cups
at midnight

baby sparrow
tiny hops
ripped garbage bag collapses

i would never never never never
call elvis a bluesman

i'm not putting him
you understand

grab him by the throat
throw him down
the broken escalator

tell you something
what to eat
is out on bail

they've got beautiful shops
very modern
it's just a modern town

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


dewdrops of morning
writhe in desperation
in the noonday sun

nuclear chemist
brushes vanilla cake crumbs
from blue suspenders

i thought life was real
was very quickly informed
it was otherwise

sad alligator
taunted by white flamingo
under a pink moon

Monday, September 14, 2009

slurkett #7: assassination at midnight

be careful on your way out, admonished the count
certainty is absent
don pedro has let it be known that he has lost patience with the queen
everything is in a muddle, we know

following the route
gradually revealed by the glowing firmament
his poor frazzled brain aglow
in despair the poor archduke let his steps be bent

just beyond the stable, where his loyal sturdy mount
kept whinnying to and fro
let this cup pass from me, muttered the archduke, it is tantamount
methinks to the poisonous offshoot

now and forever ascribed to the king who had a big mouth and spent
out of his inheritance sums obscene
perhaps now moot -
queenly laughter by light of the moon - shadows leaped from the fount

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

jerry the human and spot the dog, part 2

for part one, click here

jerry lived in a world he didn't understand and couldn't control but he was only dimly aware of this . there were a lot of other humans like jerry in the world he lived in. they were all exactly alike and this frightened them.

each human had only enough time in their life to barely make the acquaintance of a few others. ninety years was a long time for a human to live. ninety years added up to about three billion seconds, a second being approximately the time it took for a human heart to beat to keep the human alive. but at the time of jerry's existence there were between six and seven billion humans alive. this was the number actually alive at a given moment - they were constantly being born and dying.

humans were social creatures who craved the good will and admiration of their fellows. every human wanted more than anything else to be "known" and "admired" by all the other humans on earth.

but the numbers were there. no human could "know" all the other humans, even for one second - there just wasn't enough time. but there might - just might - be ways in which any one human, or a handful of humans, could be "known" to all the others.

it was this insight which governed human behavior. throughout the centuries humans had devised many ways to implement this insight.

when jerry got up the next morning, his grandmother had already gone to work. he sat down on the couch and stared at the blank screen. jerry, who wasn't much of a television watcher and never read except for information, started thinking about his descendants. the night before, they had watched a show on one of the educational channels about genealogy. they always watched what his grandmother wanted - fair enough, it was her apartment. his grandmother talked continually through any show, which didn't bother jerry because he was hardly watching the shows anyway. his grandmother had found the genealogy show interesting and started talking about cousin this and aunt that and grandmother so- and-so and how she would like to look into genealogy if she could ever afford to retire. she was jerry's maternal grandmother - his mother came from a large and extended family, with traceable roots to many countries and continents. jerry had no idea who his father was - none at all. his thoughts as he listened to his grandmother moved in another direction.

every human has direct male and female descendants going back through the centuries. think about it ( jerry thought about it). your father had a father, who had a father, who had a father,etc. somewhere at the time of christ and julius caesar was someone who was your father's father's father's etc. the same with your mother's mothers. maybe they only accounted for one zillionth of your "genetic inheritance" and were as untraceable as a molecule of water in the ocean, but they had existed. they weren't like the lost continent of atlantis, or dinosaurs or shakespeare, which might have existed or not.

jerry decided to go to the library and read up on the subject - the same library where he had researched the ingredients for his special hot dog sauce.

he got up and made a couple of slices of toast. he stated to put peanut butter on them but felt guilty about using up all his grandmother's peanut butter so he put the jar back and ate the toast plain, with a glass of grapefruit juice.

he went out and starting walking to the library, it was a nice sunny day, with a breeze.

part 3

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

jerry the human and spot the dog, part 1

once upon a time there was a human named jerry. he had a dog named spot.

jerry operated a little cart on the main street in the financial district of a large human city. he sold chili dogs and sauerkraut dogs and dogs with his own special sauce.

one day the market collapsed and the economy entered a sustained decline. the young interns and frat boy types who were jerry's targeted demographic were laid off in large numbers. jerry couldn't make it any more.

he had to give up his apartment and went to sleep on his grandmother's couch while he pondered his future. his grandmother wouldn't let him keep spot. she said she was allergic to dogs and jerry was in no position to question this.

so he took spot to an animal shelter. it was a cold windy night, the prelude to a long hard winter.

spot was very well aware of what was transpiring. the transaction was handled by an efficient young woman in a thoroughly professional manner.

returning to his grandmothers house on the subway, jerry pondered the fact that spots life had been altered - probably ended - by the stock market. it didn't seem likely that spot had any conception of the stock market - any at all.

jerry wondered if there were other things that he knew as little of as spot did of the stock market, and that could affect him as much.
when he got to his grandmothers house she was taking two crispy chicken hungry man dinners out of the microwave. he was right on time.

part 2

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

this guy came at me with a knife

it happened in new orleans
or maybe it was bogota

in a dark alley
or at carnival at high noon

i was dead drunk
or cold sober

this guy came at me with a knife
or maybe it was a .357

he was my best friend
or a complete stranger

i picked up a whiskey people
or a jug of wine

i broke it on the table
or i took a drink

everybody screamed
or nobody noticed a thing

time stood still
or hurtled forward

the police arrived with screaming sirens
or complete silence reigned

i ran down an alley
or i surrendered peacefully

i was sentenced to devils island
or escaped to australia

i discovered a diamond mine
or joined the spanish foreign legion

i found the love of a good woman
or started smoking opium

my best friend and my wife are laughing at me in las vegas
or mouldering in their graves

i lived happily ever after
or died like a dog in the gutter