Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Don't Philosophize

T., sit down and have a smoke
on the porch
and don't think.
Watch Friday turn into nothing
but Saturday.

Relax, don't phiosophize.
Don't philosophize!
Forget the immovable object.
Damn the Great Stream, man!
Nothing fucks a fallen tree!

T., that which does not kill you
So stop worrying about
chlorine radicals,
mercury poisoning,
inferior knishes, bagels, pizza--
Whether nothing can exist in a vaccuum...

Instead T., fill your Zippo;
piss in the bushes.
Because, you're the Jack of Diamonds.
You're an inverted ninth
ringing in an alley even
the rats have abandoned.

Talk is a thing.
Not to talk, the proverbial tree.
So, relax, don't stare,
because nothing is worth the nothing
you can't have.

This was written in the spring of 1991 for the last poetry workshop I took while at UF. It was the only thing I turned in that semester Debra Gregor liked. I wrote it to tick her off. Shows you how in tune I was with that class.

This came from an assignment with some pretty harsh restrictions, it was the only time that that type of guideline ever produced something anyone was proud to be a part of.

I still feel like that guy sometimes, except now I know most of the environmental concerns are crap.


Wednesday, January 12, 2005

My Summer Vacation in Babylon

My Summer Vacation in Babylon

"At 3:30am on the night of June 5th, 1992, the
top telepath in the Sol System fell off the map at
Runciter Associates. That started the vidphones
ringing." -- Philip K. Dick .

I wonder if one of the prizes
of Borges' Lottery would have been
a Joe Chip Tenner had the Company
predicted the future?

I know things are going
badly when I start mixing genres --

I must be the only person
who considers today a holiday.

Above the cloudline like this it's hard
to believe there's a rest of the world.
My leftover peas, the same texture
as the cake and the turkey, will be
just the same tomorrow, presentable
but, ultimately, indigestible,

Much like entropy.

I mean, all I have right now is this,
a no-smoking sign, a sweaty businessman
reading Tom Clancy and embalmed peas...
Maybe the world doesn't exist?

Why Not?

Maybe, this is this my Prize?
My Wish...
To struggle with this at 30,000 feet
in a plane flying on the collective
whim of the people in it?

Is this all I get?
Is this where all my uneaten
childhood peas went?
Maybe that would explain why each course
contained one thing I didn't like. Screw

Rod Serling or the Flight 101 episode
one day I'm going to take a trip
and not come back.
Pick a card... Roll the Bones... Put the mask
over your mouth and breathe normally.

That's why I have to finish
this before the plane lands, because
when the world comes back, I will
cease to exist.

The first draft was written on June 5th 1992, under the circumstances described in the piece. While I do not like to fly on the best of days, that day in particular I had the closest thing to a panic attack I've ever had in my life during takeoff. It was, to say the least, a very surreal experience. This was also during a period of my life where I would re-read Ubik, the book quoted in the epigraph each year on this date. Dunno why? Just thought it made sense at the time.
I recalled this one from memory today and I know that the stanza structures are completely different than they were when it was last worked on, which probably would have been around 1994.

Monday, November 29, 2004

...and all points in between

It's nothing like opening a door,
more like, making a move in mahjongg.
Boltzmann could define
if for me; Dirac could simplify
the math; Frost would mourn
it's passing.
It's still not opening a door.

An open door is not a door.
Much like a broken window...
Plato could do this better.
They don't do anything.
We turn the knob;
exert a force.

The door has no story.
If only that door could talk...
Maybe it would lie.
Tell you a cat,
to quote Schroedinger, instead
of a tiger.

And, if they could talk, what rights
would we have?
Would we still be able
to go outside (the cat
subverting) the room by removing
the hinges?

Like most of our inventions
they're admirable and efficient,
but that which defines them
destroys them and only we
can revive them...
by choice.

It's a door's life
and it's its story,
and that fits.
Ours is nothing like opening one.

First written in the fall of 1991, this and Escher were the first two pieces conceived after I'd sworn off writing workshops. Inspired by the layout of the Atlanta Hilton.

What Escher Might Have Thought of the Ball Point Pen

One hand drawing the other, both right,
both incomplete. Something like the uroboros,
but no eating involved and nothing
like my bank account which might
actually be a quantifiable thing
if the universe wasn't expanding, but porous.

I'd be more efficient if I could
smoke with my right hand, he must have been --
that's what his left hand was doing...
Not fading... I don't know. What I would
like to know is why it's quantum sin
to know both where you are and where you're going?

Maybe he saying saying you're a mirror
to your actions...? Nah! No wonder the hands
are both right and three-dimensional,
at least to the eye. If we can infer
three of them from two then how do add?
No less multiply? And the wherewithal

of a priest to speak of salvation?
They get one from three, and I get
a rubber check while Heisenberg
laughs on his way to the occassional
bank, and Escher considers a marmoset
teaching physics and living in the suburbs!

If we can prove, by math, that a black hole smaller
than a quark but heavier than the sun
can exist then shouldn't we be able
to market it as a new garbage disposal?
Why do we have to cast just one
reflection, as he suggests, instead of a stable

of forms, mutually exclusive, Freudian even--
One reading in the dark while another
plays softball on the weekend with the guys
from work. Quantum physics, cooking cajun
and mall-bashing could all be related to weather
forecasts. It all depends on the shape of your eye.

Mom once said that schizophrenia was like cooking:
You never knew what you had util you tasted it.

Written in the spring on 1991, revised very little. I did a little clean up while typing it up here. This is one that should be read aloud to understand the rhythms in place. And, while I don't agree with the speaker anymore, at times I'm almost convinced by his argument, such as it is.


Paralysis in Blue

The classifieds say that landscapers
are needed all over the city.
A dollar-thirty-six candle blues
the room as Zappa plays,
"That ol' G minor Thing Again."

From the wall a shadowed jester
glares defiant. Half-hidden
behind a half-removed beige mask.
He knows his sneer is what will be
as Zappa solos in G minor,

Perfect time is a statistic:
The jester will sneer until yellow;
The blueglass candle will burn
for seven days they say;
The classifieds and Zappa do
that 'ol G minor thing again.


Written orginally back in 1989. One of the first real successes (as minor as it may be) I had at the time. I played with this on and off until around 1998 or so. It got revised again here while posting.