Try It

To close your eyes
would make memory
burn their lids
from inside.

Freedom?
You can have it.
I’ll take liberties
with that.

Sweet nothings?
We lay them like snares,
you don’t fall so much
as get hung up.

To picture you perfect,
we always do.
Like Joyce’s Michael Furey in “The Dead”.
The Idea is always better.

You are crazy,
I’m just as bat-shit,
to pair up with you.

Hate grows from seeds
sewn in the soil of love.

The more you give someone
the more its not enough.

Just Questions Today

no answers.
just more and more little moments in the day
where you ask yourself, “What for?”

just another day where you can have a  little pity party,
and you can be a little bitch about it.

but no one calls it that
and no one says that,
because no one is there.

one more day where you get up
from one nightmare…
(and wish you could say “…to another.”
without sounding so fucking played out)

so you take a happy pill,
your blood sugar is low
so you eat and think that
may level you off some.

all you can do
is scuttle behind
the ants in front of you.
and sigh; you
aren’t one of those poor fucks,
hopeless; at the end of the line.

 

Ruby Redbird

Behold a Ruby Redbird
by the diving board.
Clean upfront;
a stiff tart
but
the perfect thing
to taste on a dewy
summer Sunday.
Taken in a morning dip.
Sharing with you a half wet
Marlboro Lite. Not your brand.
Stale, moist, sour
and more a place marker
for one of yours
than a really friendly smoke.

 

The Craythur

or Krater,
or Cratur,
or creature.

From the Greek for “bowl”.
From the Latin for “basin”.
From the tribes of the north.
From the earth to the sky.

Drunk;
blinded as if caught
killing the King’s deer.
Tasting the woody malts &
every candied fiber of the cask.

GAMBLING

When I go to a casino
I usually just get really
really drunk, not gamble.

I’ll play the outside
at roulette. Then I
am really really drunk

so I throw a $15 hand
of blackjack away and
immediately know better.

I’m a more conservative
player when it comes to
another type of gambling;

putting yourself out there.
I talk about this with Krispix.
Sometimes I put my foot

in my mouth & say things like
“I only gamble with my life &
my reputation” to females.

It worked once for me, at
a wedding. I came off like
cool-breeze. Usually it doesn’t.

Still, I tell Krispix, we
didn’t always know how
to tie our shoes. Lesson,

practice, and ritual. These
plants all sprinkled with the
water of time permit skill.

And all this begins with
the taking of risks.
“Not shooting dope

with carnies” risk. But
putting yourself out there,
taking a detour, getting lost.

The best way to get the lay
of the land is to get lost
and wander till you come back.

 

 

 

 

The Bear By: Galway Kinnel from Body Rags, (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1967).

1
In late winter
I sometimes glimpse bits of steam
coming up from
some fault in the old snow
and bend close and see it is lung-colored
and put down my nose
and know
the chilly, enduring odor of bear.

2
I take a wolf’s rib and whittle
it sharp at both ends
and coil it up
and freeze it in blubber and place it out
on the fairway of the bears.

And when it has vanished
I move out on the bear tracks,
roaming in circles
until I come to the first, tentative, dark
splash on the earth.

And I set out
running, following the splashes
of blood wandering over the world.
At the cut, gashed resting places
I stop and rest,
at the crawl-marks
where he lay out on his belly
to overpass some stretch of bauchy ice
I lie out
dragging myself forward with bear-knives in my fists.

3
On the third day I begin to starve,
at nightfall I bend down as I knew I would
at a turd sopped in blood,
and hesitate, and pick it up,
and thrust it in my mouth, and gnash it down,
and rise
and go on running.

4
On the seventh day,
living by now on bear blood alone,
I can see his upturned carcass far out ahead, a scraggled,
steamy hulk,
the heavy fur riffling in the wind.

I come up to him
and stare at the narrow-spaced, petty eyes,
the dismayed
face laid back on the shoulder, the nostrils
flared, catching
perhaps the first taint of me as he
died.

I hack
a ravine in his thigh, and eat and drink,
and tear him down his whole length
and open him and climb in
and close him up after me, against the wind,
and sleep.

5
And dream
of lumbering flatfooted
over the tundra,
stabbed twice from within,
splattering a trail behind me,
splattering it out no matter which way I lurch,
no matter which parabola of bear-transcendence,
which dance of solitude I attempt,
which gravity-clutched leap,
which trudge, which groan.

6
Until one day I totter and fall —
fall on this
stomach that has tried so hard to keep up,
to digest the blood as it leaked in,
to break up
and digest the bone itself: and now the breeze
blows over me, blows off
the hideous belches of ill-digested bear blood
and rotted stomach
and the ordinary, wretched odor of bear,

blows across
my sore, lolled tongue a song
or screech, until I think I must rise up
and dance. And I lie still.

7
I awaken I think. Marshlights
reappear, geese
come trailing again up the flyway.
In her ravine under old snow the dam-bear
lies, licking
lumps of smeared fur
and drizzly eyes into shapes
with her tongue. And one
hairy-soled trudge stuck out before me,
the next groaned out,
the next,
the next,
the rest of my days I spend
wandering: wondering
what, anyway,
was that sticky infusion, that rank flavor of blood, that
poetry, by which I lived?