Approaching my father's 80th birthday
   makes me feel young for my age
    I've retired
    he still works
  I think he's a shyster lawyer
  He thinks I'm a paper poet
  Shyster lawyers and paper poets bleed in the tweed
    so we
  What to send him for a birthday present?
                      a hard-on?
  Better to keep it for myself
  I'm sure he'd say
                     (Sept. '74)

                 (a year has passed)
  My eighty year old octopappy
  (knowing he's mortal
             dyes his hair dark brown
  not because he's vain
  It's better for business he claims)
  is coming to town
                     but first
  he has to close a real estate deal
  No wonder
          he calls me
                     a communist gypsy
  In the same vein
  a judge in court
          accused me
  of watching the world
                                      go by
  I held my tongue
  I wasn't his son

         ZIG ZAG

Jesus & I
were both busted
    in occupied Jerusalem
at supposedly   different points
                 in time
          for supposedly different
in the very land he encountered
          Mary Magdalene
            and said:
                 "Let he who is without sin cast the
                 stone." I got stoned
and then met my wife Susan
                 a dark-eyed Hashemite beauty
from Brooklyn
            in an Arab cafe
                 Boy meets Girl
    we made love & peed in the bushes
                 on Mt. Zion
    overlooking hallowed halls
                     of ancient worship
Now, years later,    I see her
            in occupied


        Hundreds of revolutions
...of the earth later

            The Church exonerates Galileo
            Who exonerates the Church?
Pope absolves Solar System
For its unearthly centeredness

the mariner of the mind
of moons of Jupiter
Phases of Venus
Meteor marked
Craters of the moon
& skating rink
Rings of Saturn
       "From the departments of the Church"

            (i.e. Inquisition,
            Celestial oceans
            in a drop of blood)

--Assigns specialists
To study "the Galileo episode"
        (a 350 yr. P.R. beating
        His Holiness hopes to reverse)

Roll over Copernicus
          Tell Newton the news.


Is the opposite of anger forgiveness?

Are we responsible for our faces?

Is security life's biggest delusion?

At what point do we exchange our freedom for it?

Is death our state of being before birth?

Did dying become mandatory with the gift of orgasm?

Why is the hunger of our loins the itch for self-replication?

Is desire convoluted narcissism?

Are daily suspensions of disbelief doses of reality?

Is manipulative paranoia the wave of the future?

Did we train the enemy on whom war we declare?

And when, finally, will the epoch of mind-fuck end?

(It came and went)

From buggy whips to my red Camry
Kamikaze Mitsubishi
It won't be stylish marriage
can't afford a carriage
Mo town Nissan we've got a lease on
From Kitty Hawk to the Moon Walk and beyond
Today the Solar system, tomorrow the Galaxy
and concentration camps for computer retards

From Victorian- The queen's not amused- to
Let's-do-it-in-the-road dudes
to God's-our-only-sponsor-on-the-air-
all adding up to a good papal fisting at the DNA Lounge

From the Gay 90's to the Gay 90's
a hundred-year progression
when our hearts were young and gay
to our kids young and gay
"My son married a man!"

"Is he Jewish?" 
"Is he Black?"
"Does he take drugs?"

From booze prohibition to pot prohibition
and the drug war on people
The New golden Rule:
More prisons than schools

From the molten core of our comic, atomic century
the two German Wars to the so-called Cold War-
The Commies are coming-
of living memory

To make the world safe for democracy is fear itself
never in the history of human conflict
so much light at the end of the tunnel
do not ask what your country can do for

prosperity just around the corner
and a chicken in every pot, my little chickadee
or is that a gun in your pocket?
With one small step for a man
I shall return
with peace in our time
because I'm no crook
I didn't inhale

                       with that woman

The Octogenerian and Zig Zag appeared in Cookie Aura
1977, Crosscut Saw Publishers, Berkeley, CA. Ex Cathedra appeared in
Cookie Aura, selected poems 1987.

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