Archive for May, 2013

Culture for Cattle

May 30, 2013

Culture is history
glorified traditions of past barbarisms
it is a trap for the mind
a prison of ritual and habit
the movements of ancestors
handed down the generations
like heart disease or sickle cell anemia
a defect kept alive through breeding
from parent to child
the dress, the steps, the words
are taught
from the ground floor up
individuality, family, tribe, nation
it is all festering anthrax
a sickness of cattle
hiding under the banner of culture
your culture
which you are to be proud of
your people and their accomplishments
what is it to you
you –– the grand culmination of their works
sucking a can of cola
staring into the screen of a mobile device
tapping out letters like a slow monkey
and the smiley fucking wink faces
but don’t get me wrong
when you celebrate your culture
throwing your Cinco de Mayos
your Thanksgivings, your Saint Patrick’s Days
I’ll be there partaking
eating and drinking and thinking
what a triumph of shit


Theological Flight

May 28, 2013

nihilism nibbles like a marmot in the nuts
gnawing away the hard exterior
in a concentrated effort to get at the kernel –
the accreted black pearl of being –
to bleach it white like baked dogshit in daylight
as the universe expands to our blossoming knowledge
we whither and die
the hideous god of Abraham was right
to forbid it of its playthings in the garden
but to grow as a species
indeed to understand ourselves as one of many animals
that fruit was the toll
and now we suffer:
displacement, discouragement, disarray,
of course, to the wise and trusted
theologian, that first pair of pastoral persons
in their shameless nudity
is metaphor, but even if it is
that doesn’t mean gods don’t condemn it
in the case of fact vs. faith – the supernatural takes sides
all of this is nothing
suns and stars burn to cold densities
beating hearts pump their last
even when the last is green corrosive alien blood
nothing gets a reprieve
science eats our fictions
science is the marmot
fiction is the nutcase
and here we are inside
helpless against those dreadful teeth
that bring unhappy pain – big and small –
from the infinite to the tiniest string of the theory
we get stuck in the middle
between the wolf pack and the canyon’s edge
our future is a 50/50 certainty
until we learn to fly

The Old Home

May 24, 2013

What is Eau Claire
– my home town
should I consider it a collection of places
a half address on an alley off First
a house on Terry Lane
where I lived and played
as other homes were built
and inevitably inhabited by others
some of whom became friends…

What is it
is it family; is it those friends (even when they move away)
or is it memory, mostly lost
erased as if by tornado
razing to the ground every building:
homes, record stores, bars
where to then would I return to mourn?

A hilltop aspiring to mountain status
A conjunction of two rivers
Standing alone next to a Gargoyle
in Joynt ruins
Kicking rocks in Pickle rubble
Out on Business 53
looking for the Pied Piper
Who’s going to meet me at the London Square Mall now
When will, ever again, Cablevision be… worth watching

My home town is a time that needs no twisting winds
to destroy it; it’s already gone,
put on its death bed the day I moved away,
and left in my absence, room to become much more,
which it has, better, but not mine
belonging only ever really
to the centennial sturgeons
of the Chip
to the Mississipp
to the sea
the currents
around the world
and back to me
sucking tepid coffee
at the Chick-a-dee’s

The Smoking Gun of Theological Debate

May 22, 2013

In this corner of the ring there’s a twinkle of hell
set to hash it out, hammer down
In the other squats a dull pious glow
keeping it all in, hand held holy up
as if to swat a fly on his own
pile of unstinking shit
There will be no agreement
no acquiescence
no affirmation of spirit
The fighters want to fight
The watchers want to watch
There will be anticipation
acceptance of soma
Places to begin include abortions and fags
equal rights, unequal wrongs
mercy killing and merciless war
Holy men bow and penitently smack the crap
as people like me preach peace
but pick up guns – lusting to annihilate
scat-wallowing Jesus pigs – not for peace
but for peace and quiet


May 20, 2013

trespasses ignored
like farts in polite company
social unacceptability
produces the nonjudgmental God
a good host of hosts
who would choose
to look the other way
or turn the other cheek – as it were –
than embarrass a guest in His home
mistakes do get made
it is after all an exceptional creature
that never misses the mark
should we suffer more
than what natural repercussions may come
for a swing and a miss?
I think not
what Lord
but a truly shit Lord
would be one to proclaim
‘Let he who is without sin
cast the first stone,’
and then to go right ahead
and throw the damn rock Himself?
Do you see how this works?
difficult it is, impossible even,
for a course spirit to understand
the finer things
so please stop
thou foul mouthpiece
of fear and vengeance
just stop your fucking hiding
behind the Bible
you and it
are only so much stinking wind

Life Begins at Fuck You

May 17, 2013

You start to wonder what you’re worth
filling and drinking a glass of water
a precious resource of life
we consume
in western, educated, industrialized, rich democracies
without hardly ever thought
unless it’s to complain about the price
of a petroleum plastic bottle
we chose to buy
rather than drink it from the tap

You start to wonder what you’re worth
for how many years it’s ethical to go on
drinking, eating, breathing
filling up the shitholes of the world with our waste
especially you consider this
when you’re one of the ones
who contributes nothing
standing at the counter of a gas station
putting on a tie and going to the office
rather than paving roads, extinguishing fires
patrolling crime, teaching children
caring for the infirm

You start to wonder what you’re worth
more than just existentially
it’s an easy trip stumbling into nihilism
into absurdity, quick and simple,
but when you start in on the problem
mathematically, even hedonistically,
cold and calculating pleasure
determining when in life
the value of what’s put in
well exceeds that what comes out,
and although it’s difficult to graph,
one conclusion rings resoundingly clear
although a solution it ain’t
murder everyone over twelve
but pass legislation stating life begins at forty


May 15, 2013

He brings it out and asks if I want it
A six-foot pentagram
matted in mud, hung with bug husks
snug in spider-wrap –
keeping fresh food fresh…
“I don’t need it anymore,” he says
then the thing gets passed over the fence
from his hands to mine
from his too cluttered yard
to mine…
What do I want with a six-foot pentagram?
I ask myself all kinds of questions
Most have no answer
I accept myself that way:
as a hole,
a blank, a dashed line waiting to be signed
with an ink vanquished pen:
you shake it and lick it and scratch at the page
nothing takes color
but tire-slashed grooves prove you tried
my tracks are made mostly by others
little action
loads of reaction
but it’s all in the reaction time
and there’s no need to practice
when the answer’s always “yes”
quietly taking what’s given
and knowing there’s nothing
for the sorry bastards to take in return
“What do you want with that thing?”
anything it’s got
“What do you see in those people?”
anything they’ve to see
“What do you get with this attitude?”
everything I’ve lost and a six-foot pentagram too

The Truth Hurt

May 13, 2013

Dedications are getting to me
the dates
of birth, of death
of, more specifically, the spans in between
born in 1963
dead in twenty thirteen…
I understand the religious desire to diminish
to make small
a might-as-well-be-infinite universe
to shrink thousands of millions of years
down to a comforting size
like lying about inches in a waistline
an occupation of durations
many percentages greater
than what reality grants
helps alleviate gnawing inadequacies
like a big fish story
or the man who can’t bring himself to buy
the snugger-fit rubbers
there is power in feeling larger than life
and I get that
I can sympathize
63 to 13, 50 years to live
is no time at all
up against billions… billions and billions
sad insignificant specks
if a young Earth makes them happy
should I begrudge
deny them their sense of peace and worth
yes, dutifully, pain them, I must
because what makes me happy is truth
and you can’t spell truth without hurt

Good Guy With a Gun

May 11, 2013

Cracking completely
succumbing to crazy rage
nothing, at times, makes more sense
the masses of accumulative complaints
compound the magnitude of every
perceived injustice
imagined or otherwise
there is no last straw
madness comes
when all the straws collected
explode in anarchy
up and out from desperately clutched fists
unable to have, to hold
to maintain order
the scattered remnants of life
like a shattered mirror
every shard reflects
the world’s smug disdain
for how badly your quests
for peace and success fail
and then in that instant
crystal clarity
knowledge that to regroup is folly
and the postage stamp increase
a child’s cries
the price at the pump
too hot black top
honking horn, thumping woofer
you see it like a vision
lead spraying out of you
at every and no target
you’ve always considered yourself a good guy
a responsible gun owner
and then suddenly there you are
family and neighbors dead
blood cooling on the tarmac
which now, in the aftermath
isn’t overly heated
horns are muted
bass a comfort
crying silenced
and all those costs of daily life
from postage to gasoline
what does it matter
all has gone so well serene
breath comes easy
and now that that’s all settled
and you’re a good guy again
the barrel turns inward
because, for a rough minute there,
you, you realize, were a bad guy
and the only thing, you’d been taught,
that can stop a bad guy with a gun
is a good guy with a gun
and now that you’re that once more
time to pull the cord (and the trigger)
and close the curtain on this
Jekyll & Hyde act
for good

The Sanity of Lemmings

May 9, 2013

Estranged by density
from their own kind
own place
rodentia on the move
escape, the best in sanity
to move
creeping under crystals’ cover
out of sight is the way to be
concealment is sanity
subnivean solitude among the masses
but when those masses are too massive
lemmings splinter – lemmings take flight
it’s a risk, a mass suicide gamble
the question is, “Do cowards run or stay?”
breaking snow cover
out of the trenches and onto the battlefield
exposed to nature’s senseless predation
a movable feast for fox and hawk
the great lemming diaspora is on
a time of wonderfully dark dreaming
distant horizons
fancy new grasses
it’s a dash of hope
and you are one of them
one in the herd
cackling madly in the hell-bent crowd
seeking new pastures of quiet grazing
you run, you leap, you swim
you are swept away
your dash of hope
dashed upon the swift current rocks
and still
you are not alone
one of hundreds who did not make it
a bad decision of group-think
but who can blame the crowd
for hope
for want of change
for finding themselves
in the hundreds
the thousands
millions dead
and the question remains
“Do cowards run or stay?”
The answer is in the sanity of lemmings.