Sometimes there are occasions when I muse
On that strange state in which we co-exist
Called life. It’s then an urge I can’t refuse
Comes over me, to write a little list.
The first few pages make a panoply
Of things and people I detest, and when
I find there’s room, I write down things I see
That turn me off -- some places I have been;
Tattoos and makeup, and outrageous liars
Who make you think they’re something they are not.
My neighbor’s swimming pool, and his camp fires;
The noise and smoke that swamp me when it’s hot.
Those bores that leave me out of sorts, or tired.
All lumpy baked goods that are over-sweet,
Some teachers who should probably be fired
Leave little room for gristle on the meat.
A gang of politicians fills my book,
Especially those who have their own agendas,
Cash first, they say, and then you’ll have a look
At Heaven. Strippers shaking their pudendas
Like sausages and veal put on display.
TV with its perversions, histrionics,
And all the incorrect things we can’t say.
Rock music, commentators, electronics.
I could go on forever, but I know
That making such a list leaves me relieved
For just a while, but long enough. I’ll go,
Once other fools line up to be deceived.
Dr. Williams – An Indictment
Hung on a sky of cackling birds,
Gagging on waves of limpid words
And jagged phrases from a mind
That touts the rot, the empty rind --
Was it the doctor -- was it he
Who brought us mirthless comedy?
If only we could put on trial
This Mengele of form and style
Who bred out vigor, better choices,
Who silenced all the sweeter voices,
Removed himself from poesy,
Drowned others in a formless sea.
It’s known a cat will smile at certain things,
Yet never cries. There is a mystery
Within the secret, rumbling song he sings
That’s open to interpretation. He
Cares little for cheap catnip toys with wings,
Prefers to stay within his own feng shui.
Those crumbs that he arranges round his dish
Spell something out in code. Eventually
He’ll place them in a bottle with a wish,
While he, marooned, stares at an endless sea;
Robed in an elegance of fur, sees fish
That are more free. He cannot speak to me.
And now I think of you, my dearest friend,
Who, broken on a wheel of enmity
Has finally surrendered in the end,
Bent beneath weights that drag you heavily.
A friend I was not privileged to see
Closely. In actuality, your word
On paper, and too, electronically,
Spoke clearly of just who you are. I heard
Your essence call to me whenever air
Filled with your soaring thought and succinct word
And though I often felt your presence there,
Winging so far above me, my thoughts stirred
And I knew you were gone. In a dull sky,
Not knowing where to look, still, I knew why.
Remember how nightingales sang in the past
When poets aspired to perfection’s delight?
Now we’re in the future, a brave world at last,
Where formlessness roams an illiterate night.
Cemented in paradigms awfully correct,
All beauty’s rejected, the past’s for the birds;
The boundaries of form receive little respect,
Or syntax or rhyme, or three syllable words.
Darkness pursues us. We cancel our sagas
To keep from resembling sonorous bores;
Move to the sticks and raise large rutabagas.
Avoid this new world where we’re bored to our cores;
Pompous perversity takes all the prizes;
And poets are cut down to uniform sizes.