Featured Post

The Journey to the West

Though we journey to the West We pray to the East More or less that's the way Each day begins and ends It’s a tale everyone ...

Monday, February 15, 2010

Morning Stretch

From first uncovering
In pre morning light
Stretching all points coordinate
The clavicles in particular
For each day’s anti-hunch

Via math simple and precise
All prime or better yet perfect
By disposition symmetrical
Doing each rep twice
Introducing that bit of sameness
Into the daily mix
Like a pinch of yeast

So that each day
I may go forth unchanged
But steeped in your spirit
In this body I wear
Like a provisional name
More open in mind and chest
Expressing equal susceptibilities
To salvation and ruin
Holding least suspicion
Of bad intent

More alive and hopeful
More at Liberty
Whether by speaking
As I please
Or seeking release
By hurtling with
Great vehemence
Along the path
I have followed
Without regret or distinction
For a dozen years

Perhaps eventually
Arriving close to the
Island’s nether region
Where so many have found
Full measure of freedom
My pulse quickens in kinship
Surprisingly free of can’t
And surpassingly plain

However unlikely
I’ll finish even a small
Part of the work
Belatedly begun
But having stretched
To full extent
I content myself
By striving
To understand more
While hearing less
And by the
Strenuous pursuit of
The beauty of fading flesh

Sunday, February 14, 2010

From the Desk of the General Counsel

On the working lives
Of great American poets
And those lesser well known
Who have sought place for words
Amidst the desktop clutter
Paying enough but
Only so much regard
Lured by the brass ring
But not without misgivings
We strayed and stayed
Then sold our birthright
For the monotonous plenty
Of corporate living
Surrendering our
Unfettered freedoms
For more nuanced rights
Of commercial free speech

How much better would
Our poems have been if we
Weren’t already primed
By professional training
Or otherwise so inclined
To wander in this endless
Thicket of qualifying phrases
Nor so prone to the pretense
That hidden meaning would
Better adhere to our words
Like burrs if we could but
Free ourselves from conventions
Of plain English speaking

Oh sisters and brothers
How we labored on
In the dismal vineyard
Captive and anxious making
Headway through the ranks
Ascending to vice presidency
All without giving vent
To inkling of doubt
In metered verse about
The whys and wherefores
Of our miserable day jobs
Through which we drank
And whored and pined
For a fiction more supreme
On the slopes at Vail
Or amidst the Florida pines
Whether we swung
Straight down the fairway
Or drunkenly at Hemingway
In dark mood or sublime

And who knows better
The Snowman’s curse
Than each and every one of us
Who has been bored
For the same long time
By the nothing that is
And always shall remain
In the fine print
Of the actuarial table
Or footnoted brief
Where it says
With irony unintended
That imagination starved
Will long out-endure
Consciousness stuffed
And overawed

But while I too have
Battled tedium and
Given imagination free rein
Always subject to email
And telephone
I have learned
To make the most
Of what comes
Ready to hand

Thus not so much
Of miracles at Key West
Am I singing as of the
Ever refreshing mess
On my desktop and the
Plain simple benefit
Of attaining
A decent living in such
Uncertain times

And even though
No poem of mine
Has ever
Brought food to table
It may have sustained me
All the same even without
Benefit of critical acclaim

For having pursued truth
Daily in verse to the
Same strict standard
With which I have prepared
My annual tax returns
Claiming deductions
Wherever I can
But always signed
Under penalty
Of perjury

To find your voice
First you must have
Lost your way
But once found
There’s no reason
To stay in the forest
Forever without
First obtaining
Ample provisions

Armed with this
Intelligence the
General Counsel
Sits at his desk
In Buddha like
Contemplation of
His happy belly
And ponders the merits
Of early retirement