Complete the Form

18 03 2010

At the bottom of Federal forms they place a several paragraph section in fine print
that estimates how long it will take you to fill out this form
something like four days to read and decipher the contents
another two days to gather your information, seven hours for the calculations
four to fill out the forms, two minutes to address the envelope and three seconds to lick the stamps.

Even at Blockbusters they demand picture ID to rent a plastic disc
first they dock your paycheck and then they hit you again at the end of the year
oh yes, I know that all the money they extract is to buy a flack jacket for your son in Iraq
and a body bag if necessary. Don’t fret, it only takes eight hours to fill out this form.

The scientists in Switzerland surmise that soon it will take all of us
eighteen hours a day just to answer our email
and the postman is a crack dealer with infinite suspicion
and we pay for the privilege of civilization with an anarchy organization
breathing down every neck with auditors. regulations and documents.

I don’t count taking out the trash, mowing the lawn and feeding the dog
If I were you I would anticipate a tax on every breath you take
and next a toll on imagination if you can find time for it after
you fill out the forms required to even indulge in the vice.

fill out the forms and conform to the norms
get a blank stare, be television aware and copy your paperwork
if they audit your calculations stand you on trial for your computaions
it will only mean more forms to fill out
we estimate it will take you the rest of your life.





RESUME

18 03 2010

When I was seventeen
it was a very good year (small town girls etc)
but I also got my first job
and read my first beatnik poetry
which encouraged me to nurse my foibles
and vow to never suck another man’s cock
or punch another man’s clock.

I have succeeded for fifty-five years working for myself.

Sure, there have been odd jobs and enterprises
but since I was seventeen, I’ve never Sold My Hours
For A Handful of Dimes.

The computers at Social Security will draw a blank stare
if payments are submitted under my number. Who is he?

I’ve lived by the seat of my pants for so long that they are shiny
with imrov manifestos and starvation smoking snipes
soupcans and hotplates, nigger rigged pensions
the road is paved with the best intentions but leads to hell and employment.

That’s why I write blank verse on my application
it’s for my own enjoyment and inches of penetration not for sale.
I could regale you with my antics of cunning and luck
but what the hell and what the fuck do you care about my credentials
it’s down to brass tacks, the short hairs, the essentials

If I was going to jump when the boss said “frog”
I would have signed up for a heart attack long ago
My job is a cardiac tattoo, an emblem, the logo of my dreams
Don’t ask me for a urine test. And furthermore let me stress
that my body costs more than the finest whore and more than my methods confess
I’m rich and I’m poor because I won’t sell.
My thoughts and time are mine alone but you
can have them for a song.





Roadwork

18 03 2010

I live on the Highway
Where gods and sinners ride.
Fellow travelers, all pedestrians
Or hitchhikers elite with clever destinations.

We are all a synthesis of our steps, whether
Barefoot, in sandals or in boots. Yet the road
Gleams and stretches, ever stretches.
Past even the Law and the Blooded Lamb.

I live on the Highway. My motel is motion.
Bring your dagger, your pistol, your thug stopper
Travel and feel the wind on your face
Monument to velocity
Now
Solid in your arches.

Cherish your section of the Highway.
It stretches past our sight and dips
Through valleys unimagined
Ruled by trolls and inquisitions.

I am blessed by every pebble tread
The Highway is my food and breath
I will go only so far but It continues
Beyond the blink of my birth and death.





Double Nickels

18 03 2010

still alive at fifty-five
I can’t believe my luck, still truckin’
shuckin’ my bandages, lickin’ my sweet wounds
still alive at fifty-five

if I had known I was gonna live this long
I would have abused myself more ardently
not jumped, but dived
still alive at fifty-five

my fifteen minutes, an instant replay
now the director’s cut. I feel like a
walking oscar, parody of myself
still alive at fifty-five

life is funny, but death is a joke
as long as you keep laughing.
I see my friends; they drop like flies
still aiive at fifty-five.

thanks for the drive and
thanks for the kicks
still alive at fifty-five
and all I want is fifty-six





Womb Service

18 03 2010

when she asked me to give her a massage
all the poetry in my brain hissed from my ears
and my nose enclosed the velvet lotion on her back
and then lower and lower still

and the tang of cooking meat and coconuts
a smell that encompassed me like a color
my nostrils had a memory and my fingers
had a mind of their own panic for moisture

it was like the mouth of a kissing fish
a signal from pulsing muscular morse code
dot-dit-dot dit-dot ahhhhh
my finger on the key to her groans

the groan came from deep in her throat
I had to find it, I probed with my most
sensitive instrument
and probed and probed again

I found the groan and doused it with generations
of sweet viscous eternal life
her eyes saw the future and the past in one glaze
she tipped well.





Carry A Torch

18 03 2010

the atmosphere is thick as illusion viscous pantomime jello radiant music of the damned scoffs escapes the air won’t accept it.

I’m too sparkling for my environment. a testament to fluid and scepticism typhoons under my eyelids; methane nostrils the concussion of my heartbeat my dreams are blind orphans wild. they pant like dogs in summer.

I speak in the ritual sorrow of poems I lament scars and suicide and fat children born like cattle for thier hands and bellies I cry and my tears evaporate and crystalize torn flags of my nation, my heart. I burn for you and the flame is blue





When I Was a Young Flute Player

18 03 2010

when I was a young flute player
I could play eight bars without a breath
I could force three full tones above high C
I could tongue 128th notes impeccably
when I was a young flute player

When I was a young flute player
James Galway didn’t have nothin’ on me
I could play underwater or in the vacuum of outer space
If you could think a noise, I could make it
When I was a young flute player.

When I was a young flute player
God was my only composer and Jesus was a corporal
I could blow the chrome off a trailer hitch and burn without smoke
I made notes unknown to mortals
When I was a young flute player.

When I was a young flute player
The flowers would open to my song
The girls would moisten and the boys grow stiff
the air accepted my trills and kissed them
When I was a young flute player.

When I was a young flute player
Jazz asked me for advice
the audience stood slack when I blew
and remembered things they never knew
When I was a young flute player.

When I was a young flute player
even the saxophones trembled in fear
and I soared above whole sections of brass
I could make it rain or cause the sky to clear
When I was a young flute player.

When I was a young flute player
I only made one mistake, I learned the blues
now I spit coffee in my embouchure and listen
for the clues of melodies that sparkled
When I was a young flute player.