What I'm Doing Now

Despite their tiny confines,
these goldfish are wanderers.
Not for them, the shelter of the castle,
the calm of the tiny pebbles in their sandy bed.
Wherever, they are, it's not enough,
so they move on and on and on,
even if the place they come to
is the one where they've just been.
They can't hitch-hike across country.
They can't eat in bus-stations,
spend an hour or two
shooting the breeze with a stranger
in a town that's barely made it to the map.
Not for them, pine forests one day,
desert the next.
Or a night under a starry sky
followed by bunking on the floor
of a college's roommate's apartment
in St Louis.
For all their restlessness,
they can do no better than
glide round and round,
through the castle,
over the pebbles,
by the grinning glass-distorted faces.
"Do goldfish ever stop,"
somebody asks.
How could they,
with no gold fish bowls to stare into.

In the Land Where Pessimists Dwell

If spring is to be believed
and here nature and I differ
then the proffered hand
of bud and limb
can be shook by even
the most indifferent spirit.

But I have no faith in seasons.
To me, it's just weather
rearranging the dead bits,
painting some of them over
so fools will think them new.
For all their masked intentions,
heat is just bare-knuckle snow,
light is merely darkness counterpunching.

I firmly believe that
it's all January,
that I was born, will die,
in the frostiness
of New Year celebration.

Oh I've believed in spring, all right.
I've shaken that eager hand
of supposed change.
But I froze up doing it.
I turned the page
but not the calendar.



Visions of High Mindedness

       on acid rain stained
         streets i wanda
         in my dinged up
         tarnished honda

      if i suddenly decided
         i'd go off nowhere
  i would not know the benefits
  of breathing soot soaked air

     i'd not know the magically
consistent gray monotonous tone
          thrown up by these
              buildings drab

       i might have no impetus
to inch past its hair brained scheme
    the vapid rapid pace of things
       a source of mass insanity

     hanky pankies everywhere
        as i turn to trundle off
               in search of
      goodly transformations

       not unlike klaus kinski
           in a 1960s movie
     buttressed & supported by
     visions of high mindedness

        Ghost of Eddie Stanky

    the spirit of this baseball great
             cant be kept away
his scabrous tongue inside dugout
     wisecracks on the chisox play

      filtered up from underworlds
           an undetected way
       the ghost of eddie stanky
              looking skanky
               holding sway

           signaling & signing
              to the players
             cracking jokes

           coughin up a loogie
             goin up in smoke

       Cartoon Boys Inner Battle

      his hardnosed unforgiving way
             almost never wins
     struggling with demonic nature
            traced back to his kin

        cartoon boy a desperado
    wrestling with a voice that brays
"stop yourself from fruitless dreaming"
             this goes on all day

        shaken by his cartoon rage
         at war with himself this kid
                hates the way
               his aura strays

        paralyzed in misty fields
         behind primitivo shields
           crouching in the dirt
           fighting for self worth

     slings & arrows of misfortune
          in this way materialize
           it is near impossible
       for cartoon boy to fraternize

               he soldiers on
         despite how screwball
               storms & stress
              unscrew his head


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