No Big Deal: I Am The Eye Of God

Disease of another type begins in the waiting room
with a TV locked on an autoimmune disorder channel:
white-haired woman explains it's not so bad,
but you do have to give up cross-stitching, and
find other things to love. TV or soup or walks.
You always pay your deductible right away,
then wait 45 minutes for the doctor.
He needs tests first of all, so it's two weeks
of blood work, MRI scan, results allowed
only for him to see because who are you?
In the meantime, heavy doses of drugs
that are poisonous over the longterm, so
it's only temporary, until a regimen, also
poisonous enough to make you sick
each week, thin your hair, who knows
what else, called chemo pills, that work
only so well, unable to fix a finger, knuckle,
two knee caps, leg cramps, chest aches,
and you can only recall the old lady on TV
gently guiding you on how to give up.
You also wonder why they don't drill
a hole in your head, let the demons out.
The ear doctor explains, "You're going
to have lifestyle changles. They start
with turning the volume of the TV up.
But you've aged out of any rights
to complain. Lucky to be alive. Yes,
true enough. Illness is the creak
of the door closing slowly. Once,
you served as an eye of God,
as He works to figure out what is
dream, what's actually happening.

One Valley Over From The Bullet & The Bayonet

Come to me, youth before faith grows brittle
enough to snap in two long nights. I bring fuel:
Nothing exists. You don't believe that, do you?

Physicists say something like, everything is not
here, really, and eyes deal in probabilities, as do fingertips,
until we wear this one world as perfume, instinct.

And everything we do distracts us from death,
while those who argue with me are clearly in prayer,
or maybe fearless...only soldiers know for sure,

as they tell the evidence of bullets, bayonets,
and the utter unreliability of flesh and blood
to keep out the world, keep in the wish.

I could describe my green sweater, or
my wife's descent in health due to doctors
lost in time management, paperwork, taxes.

Tell you about a meeting today in the office
where one person lied to look good, and
another shut up because what's the point?

The sacred words are the truth, and nothing else,
while space and time itself ripples, so nothing
really just sits there solid as a bathroom cabinet.

Might as well talk about cows and chimps as human beings
because we ain't that much, we who don't want to know you
unless you submit to a world the way I see it,

Social structure happened, and can't be unwritten, so
the dopes, killers, priests, bankers, senators stay in charge.
In all weakness we say, "Well, I tried to warn you."

There. The end. Nothing further down this road.
Find a butterfly, and elope. Get born again
on nothing more than hope. Rise. Imagined.

And we wait with open, outstretched hands
for a trail map to the next valley from someone
who's never been there. None relieved of choice.

Yes, everyone must agree. Do you believe
that can happen, my little magician? Yes?
You believed it since you were born? Me, too.



L.A. Apocalypse Cartoon

The heat cooked Thursday to 98 degrees,
a new record for L.A., a city that advertises
its weather to the Midwest and Back East,
while selling China on Hollywood dreams.
Adam tried to talk to his girlfriend again
about moving to where there'll be water
10 years from the day he might propose
a life together. "So, let's go there, and
make plans in one last atmosphere
similar to where we grew up. The temp
of California left long ago for Oregon.
When we die, Malibu will be way up,
closest beachtown to Anchorage."
Candy just got her Japanese tattoo
declaring her faith all be OK, inside
her interior universe, a doomsday
scene on any given day, earthquake
tearing apart the city stone by stone,
ground rising to meet flying rooftops.
Smokes a joint daily to glue it all back.
"I can't relocate like we're refugees,
babe. It's bad mojo. It's giving in.
We must live what we believe,
and it can't be we'll let it be sold
out from under us, for final profits
in banks without tellers or guards."
Adam wanted to say 200 years
is all that history's got left, and
we'll be lucky to be dead, if we can
still die on time 50 years on.
"Eugene will be good for us.
We're a day's drive from friends
who'll stay here with no choices
left but to beg us some day to live
with us, where there's still water."
Candy swore to keep her L.A.
cell phone number always, forever,
as if she once lived in Atlantis.

Cut The Fuel Tanks Loose

When the indicator lights cooled to dark,
left to guess at the terrain way up ahead,
it hailed inside my head, all the ways to live
with a sun and moon run off to outer space
like lovers who lived next door until they
couldn't stand it any more....exit orbit, yes!

Everything I understood as real, real
as mashed potatoes cooling to gluepaste
on the plate, next to meat congealing
to something the taste of tough socks,
religion to bluster, history purposed
into lies, philosophy dereliction of time,
so that whatever one said was about
them, except maybe math, chemistry,
physics, and other sciences could be
found on UFO's and it equaled out.

Darkness or manipulated light
was the choice spread before me
outside the cockpit. Engines stopped.
Sound of wind from the plummet.
And, well, I willed the plane to fly,
as if cabled to a blue flow of blood,
as if  hope ignited in nuclear power.
Don't think I'll ever land.  No choice.
Rise up, you wing commanders!
You know who you are! Cut
the fuel tanks loose. Pray. Believe.
Teach gravity a lesson all the kids
can take to heart on the ground
in the only conscious extinction.

Denny's - 8:30 a.m.

Not saying Denny's is a prison
but it's about all I can afford
outside my kitchen cabinets.
And it's not bad. The waitress
doesn't seem sad, a low voltage
energy powers her greeting,
writing on the order pad,
her twirl and pace back
to lift a dirty plate and place
my order up on the drum.
Breakfast is always good,
and a broken yolk still talks
of wealth and overwhelming
life. No one eats much better,
at least not in the morning.
I try to hold up my end:
An old man who's not sad.
I remember those guys,
and now I know what
they were doing.
The truth is, we weren't
sad. We were happy,
and hopeful, and
saying goodbye.

And on a midnight next year,
when I've crossed over, come
drink your best Irish whiskey,
all my worst old friends, and
piss free on my pricey grave.


This Debt

Once I surfed a swarm of bees
as they flew through peach trees,
a syncopating crash of apostrophes
among the plumpest promises
of flavor and life to come.

Today, I watched TV
same way I always did
when sick with the flu.
Gravity grabs the torso,
hugs my body down,
sailor lost to the sea,
careless nomad into sand,
daydreams gone for good,
as I crush the couch pillows

The only thing I have left
is my history, I guess.
Ballfield ridicule. The time
I got the shit kicked out of me
for flicking a cigarette into an alley.
Writing tech manuals for 37 years.
Ecstatic catapaults into the ether
launched off wine and bedsprings.

And my great, grand folly rests
on a back bedroom closet shelf,
my reverse of Shakespeare:
A prideful PTA President
mistakes a bartender
for a charter school guru,
and the fun ensues. No king,
no queens, but high word play,
collisions of meaning, mirrors,
mistakes. And so I proved failure,
maybe to glimpse the piper's path.
Or maybe playwrights are bacteria,
excreting bubbles of hope
like it was an element
on the periodic table.

Ah, well, it is time to disassemble.
Small wounds fail to heal.
My left ear can't hear right.
A leg throws itself out down stairs,
seizing upon a parade march
kind of style without permission.
And fatigue drapes the hours.

It is not enough
to have been young once.
We share a debt for being awake.
I didn't pay it.

Ghost Body

Stuck working on the mist
and turning it into words,
knitted fine chain mail perhaps,
static movie screen of water,
or an enveloping indecision,
when my ghost body rose up,
tattooed with the biggest fights
with two wives, lumpy scars
from the stabbing betrayals,
raised walnuts upon the skin
from all the times employers
shot me. Scarier still, muscle
turned to massive cable
from the strength needed
to llive this life. Survive.
And I was 8 feet tall!
Eyes of sunken beach fire pits--
ashes, charcoal and sparks--
lips firm and in control,
errant hint of a grin so
surprising to me, I wondered
who I was...this beast...
a conqueror? Me? How?
While flying around out there
is my ghost angel of who
I thought I could have been.