Monday, December 15, 2014

For the Guilty

I write this for the guilty
For those whose pockets
Are too rocky with dirt
Whose hands are weathered
Whose hearts are calloused 
I wish I could sing to you
Slip into the tender side
Of your nature
Like the Man in Black
I wish there were more songs
For you
I can not pretend to understand
You-- the how & why of you
And sometimes
I hate you
But more & more
I realize
That what makes
Somebody one of you
And how much
You deserve
Cruel, stupid things
And if I were to measure myself
When I measure myself honestly
I am guilty, too

Monday, December 8, 2014

December 8, 1980

My parents' record collection
Already beloved
His face
Seen daily
It seemed.
So when his face appeared
On television--
The smart Beatle
Who loved Yoko
Without apology--
When I saw his face

I knew he was gone.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Laundry List

Drag racing
Underage drinking
Underage sex
Date & Gang
Child molestation
Of money
Of jewelry
Of tapes/CDs
Of Identity.
Drug use
Drug dealing
Drugging food & drinks
One on one
Ten on one
Skater Punks vs Stoners.
Carrying &
Using weapons
In cars
On foot
Torturing animals
Killing animals
Gun ownership
Bad checks
Black market:
Buying & Selling
Smuggled, or
Resisting arrest
Evading authorities
Domestic violence
... I
Witnessed it
Knew about it
Was a victim of it
Or did it.
Were rarely arrested.
Never killed.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

The World

I am tempted to ignore all I see.
I am tempted to ignore all I hear.
No, do not tell me. No, do not tell me.
Do not show me Pain. Do not show me Fear.
It is not my wish to cover my eyes
To pretend all is well when it's Madness
Or wish the wish true with comforting lies
No such trick has ever fooled my Sadness
But you, finite, yet full & filling still,
Have more than I, infinite, yet brimming,
Can stand. The stem will break. My heart will spill
Into the deep end where I am swimming.
Raining, yet the ocean is blue-- but why?
It's like the water has hope for the sky.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Meanwhile, people

So the final creep
Of Tyranny
Has unlocked 
The prison door
In Egypt
A dozen
Or so
Have been raped
And have been 
Saying so
For awhile
But it takes
A man telling jokes
For people to
A man
Just admitted
He was raped
And people
Noticed right away
If only to roll their eyes
Blame him
Shame him
And likely 
Not believe it
Still shoot
Their ex-girlfriends
And people
Still punch each other
In the face
For TVs & purses
And people
Are saying the things
"America" said
When sheriffs
Also wore sheets
And people use 
The word "Freedom"
When they mean
I will still have to 
Walk the long way
When somebody 
Blocks the path
It will be my fault-
Long pants & three layers-
For being out
And people still
Don't understand
How stupid it is
How dangerous it is
To insist the oppressed
Keep oppressing themselves
Because it is safer to
Just comply
It is unfair but
You'll be safe
Until somebody
Decides to 
Block the path
If my favorite
Sports team was playing
I'd set a car on fire

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Lost Omni

Does anybody remember that show Voyagers! ...?
Or Quantum Leap?
Both shows portrayed Time
As finite
A modern rendering
Of the Fates' tapestry
Only sometimes
A thread would
Be out of line
Pulled loose
Or broken
And the voyagers--
Phineas Bogg &
Jeffrey Jones--
Would need to 
Weave it back into place
Or Dr. Sam Beckett
Would repair the tapestry
And leap to the next
They put things back
To the Way They Should Be
And I feel like
That there is supposed to be
A Jeffrey Jones
Or Sam Beckett
Or somebody with
A mysteriously impressive
Pocket watch
(or screwdriver)
Fixing things
Somebody with nimble fingers
And a handlink 
Leaping to those spots
Where our leaders failed
Or died
To those places
Where everybody is heartsick
Battle worn
I am sure
That some of these knots
Are not supposed to be here
Maybe Phineas
Stopped listening to Jeffrey
Because he fell in love
Hard enough 
To let the threads tangle
And break
Maybe Sam really
Did leap home 
Maybe he needed Al
In order to see the 
Maybe we need
Our time travelers
To be heartsick
Never resolving their pasts
Never correcting mistakes
Maybe we need them
Tangled & broken
With threads pulled loose
Maybe the Fates
Do what they can
Gnarled fingers poking through
Taut, twisted yarn
Maybe dreaming
Of time travelers 
Has ruined us.
We are Time travelers already
Going one way
Going forward
Forgetting the picture
Woven behind us
And no Ziggy
(or doctor)
To put us right.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Tell Me "Merry Christmas"

Let me say,
As we usher in
The holiday season,
That I am totally OK
With the phrase
"Merry Christmas"
And if you want to
Tell me
"Merry Christmas"
As a tiding of goodwill
Then yes, of course
Tell me
"Merry Christmas"
I will likely say
The same exact thing
Back to you
But please, if I slip
And say
"Happy Holidays!"
Or if I greet you first
And I am in a
And I say to you,
Dear Christmas adherent,
"Happy Holidays!"
Please do not be angry
Please don't assume I'm
Missing the point
When I was young
"Happy Holidays"
Meant "Happy Thanksgiving
After which, I hope
You have a
Merry Christmas,
Followed by a festive
New Year's!"
Truth be told,
It means more
To me now.
It also means
"I don't know exactly what you celebrate
But I hope it is joyful & lovely"
And yes
It also means
"Happy Hanukkah"
And "Happy Solstice"
And other holy observances
That sometimes coincide
With the Christmas season
It applies to atheists
Because they actually
Love their families
And getting a day off
And I want them to
Have a good time
So yeah
"Happy Holidays"
Is a sort of loaded phrase.
I can not speak for everyone
But I know for myself
And the people in my life--
The ones who like
"Happy Holidays"--
This phrase is not loaded
With animosity or contempt
We do not say it
To spite you
And any request
For schools or businesses
Or public figures
To consider
"Happy Holidays"
Or "Season's Greetings"
Is rooted in our love
For each other.
I still have a hard time
The holiest days
Of some of my friends
Because, growing up,
My school
My calendar
My neighborhood
Didn't care
Well, I care now
There is nothing wrong
With kindness mixed
With brevity
And what's wrong with being
A little generic--
"Hello, stranger.
I am extending kindness
To you, no matter
Who you are or
How you worship."
What is wrong with that?
I believe you
When you say
That "Merry Christmas"
Means that also
I believe you
When you say
That Christ is
The Reason for the Season
You are celebrating the birth
Of the Savior of the World
So I WANT you
To say, "Merry Christmas!"
I want to hear your joy
Thank you for sharing
Your joy with me
You like saying, "Merry Christmas"
Then say it to me!
Say "Merry Christmas"
Because you love Jesus
Say "Merry Christmas"
Because you grew up saying it
Say "Merry Christmas"
Because "Chriss-Muss"
Is sing-songy and
Fun to say
Merry Christmas!
I trust you.
I trust your goodwill.
This time of year
We are encouraged to
Be kind
So, when I
Or somebody
Shares their joy
And says
"Happy Holidays!"
I hope you trust me.
I hope you trust them.
At the very least
I hope you are kind.
Merry Christmas.