Don’t Be Like Them

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Don’t be like them. They want you in the ranks,
the mob — the clan of dullards who want you
to live according their stifling ideals.

They want you brain dead and
soul dead like them. They want
you to work the 9-5. They want
you in a cubicle. They want you
to be a sitcom watcher. They want
you to pledge to their flags and
worship their gods. They want you
take a side. They want you to settle
with their politics and vote for
their two-faced leaders.

They need to be led
because they’re too weak
to lead themselves. Continue reading

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Come with Me, Darlin’, Down to New Orleans

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Look at you darlin’, you’re worn out,
pushed and pulled this way and that,
numbed by the screen in the maddening
cubicle of a tethered life.

You’re tired of the limp conversations
with your half-baked generation.
Seems they’re bringing you down,
darlin’, so low that you can’t feel
the flow of your own blood
gushing around. Continue reading

The Chains they Crave

Their opinions are frail
but they hold to them vigorously

Their arguments are predictable
but they think they’re on to something

They never consider the unintended
consequence of their opinions

They just react as if their opinions
hold the answer

They just preach as if they’ve
found the remedy

They’re not interested in questioning
their own opinions

They’re not interested in consulting history
to assess what they believe

They watch the news like it’s telling
them something useful

They don’t know they’re
being fed rubbish

They don’t know they’re
being fooled into something

They cling to their politics
in times of dismay

They clamor for more laws
thinking that’s the way

They look to politicians to save
them from the day

Poor slaves

They know not the chains
they crave

Dark Dens of Wisdom

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A little black coffee in my mug,
walkin’ the dingy, dusty aisles
for hours taking in the musty scent
of century-old hardbacks. Browsing
the shelves, reading vintage
love-letters scribbled on back covers
from a time no more. Flipping through
wine-stained pages. Finding rare little
gems stacked in the back where
Poe sits sullenly on top Tolstoy.
Dostoyevsky next to Dante.

It’s so damn tragic
that these second-hand
bookshops – these dark
dens of wisdom –
are slowly vanishing
into the crevices
of time.

Along the Western Front

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Christmas Eve, 103 years ago tonight,
the world burns burns burns like
the furnace it is, but a hard freeze
sets in after an agonizing week
of wind & rain 
along the Western Front.

Tired and ragged soldiers on both sides
of a senseless, brutal war
emerge, with hands up,
from the trenches
harmonizing Silent Night
in unison
as the snow begins to fall.

For just a few hours, these war-torn
adversaries come together
as allies, as friends, as brothers.

They defy the rules of war,
ignore commands from generals
and politicians, and chisel out
their own peace. A peace not granted
by their masters. Two enemies, together,
under a bleak sky in fields of blood and bones,
laugh and sip whiskey and smoke cigars,
while sharing gifts as the grey dawn
gives way to the bloodshed again.

But for one night, just one night, these
young soldiers escaped the cage of honor,
the hell of their undoing, and lowered
their guns, and their goddamn flags
and found brotherhood through truce.

Let every night be Christmas Eve night,
1914, along the Western Front.

 

Among the Daffodils

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My face is beginning to show
the battle scars of time. My heart
seems to care less for things
I once held as relevant. As the years
unravel, things make less sense.

The hangovers last a few days now
instead of a few hours. Beautiful
dreams once lucid are now blurred.
The idea of God weakens with every
atrocious deed I see in the world.

Politics is a hopeless endeavor
just like our obscene habit
of obedience. The debt bubble
we’ve swallowed as “prosperity”
is on the verge. The wars have
grown tiresome, nobody cares
about them anymore.

Everybody is trying to sell
a lifestyle; they want you live
like them; they want you to buy
their life-changing product
or get behind their great cause;
they have the secret, they say,
just follow them.

The church wants confessions but I think
we’re all out. The witless hipsters ride
vintage bikes on Brooklyn sidewalks
to coffee shops that were once
brothels and asylums.

Overmedicated & indebted men
find it difficult to have conversations
beyond their jobs or college football.
Women do yoga on weekends and gossip
on long walks about husbands
who’ve lost that intestinal fortitude.

The 88-year-old man, with his retirement
and dignity wasted away by inflation, bags
groceries at the corner supermarket
to pay for his myriad of medications.

The dogs have grown bored of their masters.
The cats gave up on us long ago. The sparrows
flutter higher in the sky than they used to.

The books of Whitman, Emerson
and Thoreau sit dusty on bookshelves
as the television scorches and burns.

Where’s the promise of victory?

We’re being led somewhere
by the outside far away
from the treasure inside.

As the tribes’ march in lockstep
to their ordered destination,
I lie in the meadow
just beyond the bloody streams
surrounded by golden daffodils,
as the rain rinses me of oblivion
I’m lifted from the hollow abyss
into the universal radiance
where the five senses
become one.

Between the Voids

 

_DSC3294“I want to be with those who know secret things or else alone.”
― Rainer Maria Rilke

Just imagine an endless void,
infinitely dark and bound by no space
and time. A perpetual midnight
with no stars or moons. An
eternal blackness.
Then a flash.
A light, a breath, a life.
Milliseconds later another flash.
The last gasp, darkness, death.

Back into it. Continue reading