Category Archives: Materialism

“Oh, I know”

“Oh, I know”

Oh, I know it”s been said before but bears repeating:
Unless a man embrace estates, his sense
Of eternity, his gifts of endless strife and goals of regret intense
Enough to merit periodic casual to shameless open weeping
In the corridors; unless the deadly abyss of every night’s sleeping’s
Prone to breach and rupture within his dreams or by the clock;
unless ‘neath the lens,
His page is thus combustible by the light focused upon a spot,
his joy depends
On something well beyond his own heart’s contumely,
his gates–his paradise, his weeping–
Fall well beyond the storehouse of his eyes and its catalogue of fears,
His light is changed to fire in tragedy and myths of talismans that guide his way.
Again, unless all this is welcomed well before the final hour, his pride will swell,
His vanity implode, and circumstance becomes
a euphemism for all he sees as hell.
Remember please that breath and breathing signify that death is ever near
And in these final years, satisfaction’s just another word for nothing left to pay.

“The Underside”

…dedicated to the many who wonder what’s become of all that is and where the bottom is…

“The Underside”

“‘The underside’ … it’s not just in tandem, ‘Once, it’s everywhere! … sigh …’”
And she was right. It seems the predilection toward
The animal appears where there is none; the tsunami’s force is froward
Where there is no place to go but straight to hell for all but those who fly
Or settle for a second-rate mortgage off the high road’s endless traffic.
And we along the shores of what’s become the greater sea who sit
And sign within ourselves no higher there, nor lower here, are aware of it:
There is no real rest from those who foment
Condescension to Creation, laced with lies
To trap the innocent, and revel in the vanishing point
Below the picture, well beneath the edges or between the joints
Of slender bones and tissues in the body politic; cries
Will rise for them and for their victims and their families,
The “taken”, “took” and “broken for which poets scribble homilies.

Once

“The tree outside the window taps very gently on the pane … I want to think quietly, calmly, spaciously, never to be interrupted, never to have to rise from my chair, to slip easily from one thing to another, without any sense of hostility, or obstacle. I want to sink deeper and deeper, away from the surface, with its hard separate facts. To steady myself, let me catch hold of the first idea that passes … Shakespeare … Well, he will do as well as another. A man who sat himself solidly in an arm-chair, and looked into the fire, so a shower of ideas fell perpetually from some very high Heaven down through his mind.”

The Mark on the Wall
Virginia Woolf
[1882-1941]

“Wife, child, brother, parents, friends…We come only to go apart again. It is one continuous movement. They move away from us, and we move away from them. The law of life can’t be avoided. The law comes into operation the moment we detach ourselves from our mother’s womb. All struggle and misery in life is due to our attempt to arrest this law or get away from it or in allowing ourselves to be hurt by it. The fact must be recognized. A profound unmitigated lonliness is the only truth of life.”

R. K. Narayan
[October 10, 1906 -- May 13, 2001]
(shortened from Rasipuram Krishnaswami Iyer Narayanaswami)
The English Teacher

“What Peace of Mind”

“What Peace of Mind”

What peace of mind can find a living here?
Pundits’ fantasies will not stop the tears, the midnight cries,
Incessant lies, and still the public yearns to know what we despise
From commentators and the late show comics. Do we fear
The truth and turn the other way when asked
If what comes down the pipe is truly past
Our tacit understanding? Reasons? Seasons? Are there tasks
Beyond endurance here, or is it always first and last
A matter for the courts, the press, and cold realities
That simply digest information and ingest lucid cosmic facts:
There’s them that’s got, and them that’s wracked,
The rich, the poor, the lack of morals backed. Atrocities
And blessings rank as equals, ours to fricassee, ours to fear.
There’s them that’s got, all right, and them that no one hears.

“I Have No Idea Who Told You That”

…a poem written some time ago…

“I Have No Idea Who Told You That”

You know, I have no idea who told you that,
But I can confidently tell you that your story’s old,
And if what you’ve said is true your anxieties will fold
So neatly, fit so sweetly in my pocket flat
Against the credit cards—abuse the telephone
A while, and leave me with it long enough to burn,
And on occasion, yes! a Tuesday afternoon, absurd
As it may seem, I’d love to see you sitting here alone,
With nothing else to do but tell me what
You think I want to hear, and I’ll be
Your mirror for the time it takes a tea
To make its bitter way from boiling hot
To tepid, and the distance of two cigarettes,
Before I’ve had enough, and leave with no regrets.

“Gold Bars Soar”

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“Gold Bars Soar”

Gold bars soar that may or may not be there as dollars rise and fall
While doves and hawks lose feathers and the bourgeois stain
Their corporate tablecloths; numbers genuflect as mortgage rates
And candidates trade places in the spin. Who sleeps in the caterwaul;
Who stampedes for attention in the networks’ nightly call
To arms not heard since Boston; whose cotillions root for the notorious? Bait
And bombast never fails; the remedy is ever there and altogether late,
Meticulously timed by someone out to fill the stadia and malls
With never ending seasons’ greetings and wherewithal
To keep the vital signs of spinning polls and sardines at the gates,
Martin’s dream is deemed appropriate for the calendar and numbers integrate
The use of steroids and youthful thrall so no one drops the ball.
Who needs another change for heaven’s sake as one size fits all:
…And who really gives a damn with elections in the fall?

“Kenesis”

“Kenesis”

Kinesis for
The many who remain to wait
Silently for some benign constriction in the state
Of things, some sinister situation in the molten core
Of what it is they hope that God forgets to do or say.
Oh, yes. There are the borders to defend,
Concessions, lights within the processed prisms bend
And warp–so many suns are strong–schemes to calculate
With nests to build and chicks to feed,
but come the harvest, guests, the gathering
And celebration, the stories to be sold across the newsstands of the land,
The hands all sit here waiting with the others in the band
And ask themselves why grace and bounty seem so much like common tragedy
When in the once desired brilliance of the promised summer’s yield
The time for satisfaction never comes and the crop’s left in the field.

“Amazing Grace and Little Wonder”

dollar

“Amazing Grace and Little Wonder”

Amazing grace and little wonder who
It is that for a bowl of soup will squander future space and sovereignty
For a moment’s roaring respite; whose the chilling ring of casuistry
Devours precious primetime dinner hours on fecund ferial days. Few
If any fruits are plucked as potpourri for monumental business gambles
Gaining mastery of the blinding present, yes! perhaps, but whose the futures,
Fortunes and logistics strewn throughout the Milky Way with vouchers
On the run defined by wine and fine cuisine served with soundbite scrambles
In code for ever-mystic fiduciary streams, desiccating brooks
At source that damn the costs and swelling columns in the ledger?
Preferences, then, will legislate toward the whim; they pleasure
In the hidden barb, the ensemble, the purple caveat; the subtle lethal hook,
The crocheted will and hubris that, matched with folly,
supports acquired taste in all-consuming pain;
One need not wonder when and where the markets’
blisters will amaze, but if the boils’ll ever drain.

“They Move So Well”

“They Move So Well”

They move so well, they troll; they stroll
From this side of wagers to the other,
“Done!” and back again, smother
Goosesteps with mother’s deep affection, roll
The wholes in one and on a paper napkin map
Contingent strategies in sporting bars of habit and choice
Their viscosities of taste and controversy, simulated voices
Registering rapt concern from teleprompters
for whom it may concern that takes the rap
When leaders do not function as they should.
If what’s within the box is not ajar,
It will be soon, adagios of alarm
As phantoms masked in mortgages, just as whales, must surface
By the waters of eternal Babylon to their height in purpose.

“I’m Not So Cavalier”

humpty-dumpty-wall-image

“I’m Not So Cavalier”


I’m not so cavalier, you see; I’ve heard, I’ve lent a hand and bowed
To acid rains and lurid wastes and elements stacked,
Deranged, spewed, sprawled and rearranged, and I’ve attacked
And married Buicks, Saabs, and Fords and I’m not so very proud;
My many homes are bought and sold with not a thought
To living in them. Mine eyes have seen the glory of a myriad of pulpits,
Certified accountants and a pride of priests whose pious culprits’
Books are cooked in scarlets, blood-gelt orders in their sanctities taught
To serve the venal equinox between the self-sequestered fetid clans
In every land who have no ticket, pass, nor ever need to walk
When they can ride, nor ride when they can darn the stocks
That fuel the jet streams’ markets, currencies, and family plans
To lengthen gas lines leading lambs to houses built more or less on sand;
Three coins tossed in every fountain is the trend
while the Fed and Humpty Dumpty transcend The Wall Street Journal briefly
just before they hit the fan.

4 T

“There Is a Oneness”

Post-oak2

“There Is a Oneness”

There is a oneness in God, one sea, one reality
In all exigencies, and so it is that we may be forgiven
And promptly forgotten for want of pure imagination. In vanity, they who live in
Fear of all things independent, who recoil from continents bound by seas
Of visions circumcised in shibboleths; those who fear their kind and its Holy See
Of horror, elevated as the Host in the cacophony of leisure’s golden trumpets
on the page or silver screen; to these much is given, these perpetually driven.
Spent, they prefer the image of the albatross, the unicorn, what thrives in
Flight, in tears, now realised now immortalised in manuscripts of fantasy;
These of fact, these of fiction hoard seats at the banquet by dint of circumstance
As they huddle together in nights of simile and metaphor; laurels, the oak leaves
Crown their worried brows with scales of vicarious habit born of years of ease,
Forsworn by tedious cloning of the suns leaving nothing to life and chance.
Given, then in specious time or choice, both now please
Their phatic lioves, emphatic in numbers yet limpid in the slightest breeze.

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