Saturday, March 2, 2013

“I think we communicate only too well,
in our silence, in what is unsaid,
and that what takes place is a continual evasion,
desperate rearguard attempts to keep ourselves
to ourselves.

Communication is too alarming.
To enter into someone else's life is too frightening.
To disclose to others the poverty within us
is too fearsome a possibility.”
“The speech we hear is an indication of that which we don't hear. It is a necessary avoidance, a violent, sly, and anguished or mocking smoke screen which keeps the other in its true place. When true silence falls we are left with echo but are nearer nakedness. One way of looking at speech is to say that it is a constant stratagem to cover nakedness.” 

Thursday, June 21, 2012

maggie and milly and molly and may

maggie and milly and molly and may 
went down to the beach(to play one day)

and maggie discovered a shell that sang 
so sweetly she couldn't remember her troubles,and

milly befriended a stranded star
whose rays five languid fingers were;

and molly was chased by a horrible thing 
which raced sideways while blowing bubbles:and

may came home with a smooth round stone 
as small as a world and as large as alone.

For whatever we lose(like a you or a me) 
it's always ourselves we find in the sea

An Entomologist's Last Love Letter

Dear Samantha
I’m sorry
We had to get a divorce
I know that seems like an odd way to start a love letter but let me explain:
It’s not you
It sure as hell isn’t me
It’s just human beings don’t love as well as insects do
I love you…far too much to let what we have be ruined by the failings of our species

I saw the way you looked at the waiter last night
I know you would never DO anything, you never do, but…
I saw the way you looked at the waiter last night

Did you know that when a female fly accepts the pheromones put off by a male fly, it re-writes her brain, destroys the receptors that receive pheromones, sensing the change, the male fly does the same. When two flies love each other they do it so hard, they will never love anything else ever again. If either one of them dies before procreation can happen both sets of genetic code are lost forever. Now that…is dedication.

After Elizabeth and I broke up we spent three days dividing everything we had bought together
Like if I knew what pots were mine, like if I knew which drapes were mine somehow the pain would go away

This is not true

After two praying mantises mate, the nervous system of the male begins to shut down
While he still has control over his motor functions
He flops onto his back, exposing his soft underbelly up to his lover like a gift
She then proceeds to lovingly dice him into tiny cubes
Spooning every morsel into her mouth
She wastes nothing
Even the exoskeleton goes
She does this so that once their children are born she has something to regurgitate to feed them
Now that…is selflessness

I could never do that for you

So I have a new plan
I’m gonna leave you now
I’m gonna spend the rest of my life committing petty injustices
I hope you do the same
I will jay walk at every opportunity
I will steal things I could easily afford
I will be rude to strangers
I hope you do the same
I hope reincarnation is real
I hope our petty crimes are real enough to cause us to be reborn as lesser creatures
I hope we are reborn as flies
So that we can love each other as hard as we were meant to.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Fire and Ice

Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I’ve tasted of desire 
I hold with those who favor fire. 
But if it had to perish twice, 
I think I know enough of hate 
To say that for destruction ice 
Is also great 
And would suffice.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


The room was suddenly rich and the great bay-window was
Spawning snow and pink roses against it
Soundlessly collateral and incompatible:
World is suddener than we fancy it.

World is crazier and more of it than we think,
Incorrigibly plural. I peel and portion
A tangerine and spit the pips and feel
The drunkenness of things being various.

And the fire flames with a bubbling sound for world
Is more spiteful and gay than one supposes -
On the tongue on the eyes on the ears in the palms of one's hands -
There is more than glass between the snow and the huge roses

An Eclogue for Christmas

A: I meet you in an evil time.
B.                        The evil bells
Put out of our heads, I think, the thought of everything else.
A. The jaded calendar revolves,
Its nuts need oil, carbon chokes the valves,
The excess sugar of a diabetic culture
Rotting the nerve of life and literature;
Therefore when we bring out the old tinsel and frills
To announce that Christ is born among the barbarous hills
I turn to you whom a morose routine
Saves from the mad vertigo of being what has been.
B. Analogue of me, you are wrong to turn to me,
My country will not yield you any sanctuary,
There is no pinpoint in any of the ordnance maps
To save you when your towns and town-bred thoughts collapse,
It is better to die in situ as I shall,
One place is as bad as another. Go back where your instincts call
And listen to the crying of the town-cats and the taxis again,
Or wind your gramophone and eavesdrop on great me.
A. Jazz-weary of years of drums and Hawaiian guitar,
Pivoting on the parquet I seem to have moved far
From bombs and mud and gas, have stuttered on my feet
Clinched to the streamlined and butter-smooth trulls of the elite,
The lights irritating and gyrating and rotating in gauze – 
Pomade-dazzle, a slick beauty of gewgaws –
I who was Harlequin in the childhood of the century,
Posed by Picasso beside an endless opaque sea,
Have seen myself sifted and splintered in broken facets,
Tentative pencillings, endless liabilities, no assets,
Abstractions scalpelled with a palette-knife
Without reference to this particular life,
And so it has gone on; I have not been allowed to be
Myself in flesh or face, but abstracting and dissecting me
They have made of me pure form, a symbol or a pastiche,
Stylised profile, anything but soul and flesh:
And this is why I turn this jaded music on
To forswear thought and become an automaton.
B. There are in the country also of whom I am afraid –
Men who put beer into a belly that is dead,
Women in the forties with a terrier and setter who whistle and swank
Over down and plough and Roman road and daisied bank,
Half-conscious that these barriers over which they stride
Are nothing to the barbed wire that has grown round their pride.
A. And two there are, as I drive in the city, who suddenly perturb –
The one sirening me to draw up by the kerb
The other, as I lean back, my right leg stretched creating speed,
Making me catch and stamp, the brakes shrieking, pull up dead:
She wears silk stocking taunting the winter wind,
He carries a white stick to mark that he is blind.
B. In the country they are still hunting, in the heavy shires
Greyness is on the fields and sunset like a line of pyres
Of barbarous heroes smoulders through the ancient air
Hazed with factory dust and, orange opposite, the moon’s glare,
Goggling yokel-stubborn through the iron trees,
Jeers at the end of us, our bland ancestral ease;
We shall go down like palaeolithic man
Before some new Ice Age or Genghiz Khan.
A. It is time for some new coinage, people have got so old,
Hacked and handled and shiny from pocketing they have made bold
To think that each is himself through these accidents, being blind
To the fact that they are merely the counters of an unknown Mind.
B. A Mind that does not think, if such a thing can be,
Mechanical Reason, capricious Identity.
That I could be able to face this domination nor flinch –
A. The tin toys of the hawker move on the pavement inch by inch
Not knowing that they are wound up; it is better to be so
Than to be, like us, wound up and while running down to know –
B. But everywhere the pretence of individuality recurs –
A. Old faces frosted with powder and choked in furs.
B. The jutlipped farmer gazing over the humpbacked wall.
A. The commercial traveller joking in the urinal.
B. I think things draw to an end, the soil is stale.
A. And over-elaboration will nothing now avail,
The street is up again, gas, electricity or drains,
Ever-changing conveniences, nothing comfortable remains
Un-improved, as flagging Rome improved villa and sewer
(A sound-proof library and a stable temperature).
Our street is up, red lights sullenly mark
The long trench of pipes, iron guts in the dark,
And not till the Goths again come swarming down the hill
Will cease the clangour of the electric drill.
But yet there is beauty narcotic and deciduous
In this vast organism grown out of us:
On all the traffic islands stand white globes like moons,
The city’s haze is clouded amber that purrs and croons,
And tilting by the noble curve bus after tall bus comes
With an osculation of yellow light, with a glory like chrysanthemums.
B. The country gentry cannot change, they will die in their shoes
From angry circumstance and moral self-abuse,
Dying with a paltry fizzle they will prove their lives to be
And ever-diluted drug, a spiritual tautology.
They cannot live once their idols are turned out,
None of them can endure, for how could they, possibly without
The flotsam of private property, pekingese and polyanthus,
The good things which in the end turn to poison and pus,
Without the bandy chairs and the sugar in the silver tongs
And the inter-ripple and resonance of years of dinner-gongs?
Or if they could find no more than cumulative proof
In the rain dripping off the conservatory roof?
What will happen when the only sanction the country-dweller has –
A. What will happen to us, planked and panelled with jazz?
Who go to the theatre where a black man dances like an eel,
Where pink thighs flash like the spokes of a wheel, where we feel
That we know in advance all the jogtrot and the cake-walk jokes,
All the bumfun and the gags of the comedians in boaters and toques,
All the tricks of the virtuosos who invert the usual –
B. What will happen to us when the State takes down the manor wall,
When there is no more private shooting or fishing, when the trees are all cut down,
When faces are all dials and cannot smile or frown –
A. What will happen when the sniggering machine-guns in the hands of the young men
Are trained on every flat and club and beauty parlour and Father’s den?
What will happen when our civilisation like a long pent balloon –
B. What will happen will happen; the whore and the buffoon
Will come off best; no dreamers, they cannot lose their dream
And are at least likely to be reinstated in the new regime.
But one thing is not likely –
A.                         Do not gloat over yourself
Do not be your own vulture, high on some mountain shelf
Huddle the pitiless abstractions bald about the neck
Who will descend when you crumple in the plains a wreck.
Over the randy of the theatre and cinema I hear songs
Unlike anything –
B.             The lady of the house poises the silver tongs
And picks a lump of sugar, ‘ne plus ultra’ she says
‘I cannot do otherwise, even to prolong my days’ –
A. I cannot do otherwise either, tonight I will book my seat –
B. I will walk about the farm-yard which is replete
As with the smell of dung so with memories –
A. I will gorge myself to satiety with the oddities
Of every artiste, official or amateur,
Who has pleased me in my role of hero-worshipper
Who has pleased me in my role of individual man –
B. let us lie once more, say ‘What we think, we can’
The old idealist lie –
A.                     And for me before I die
Let me go the round of the garish glare –
B.                           And on the bare and high
Place of England, the Wiltshire Downs and the Long Mynd
Let the balls of my feet bounce on the turf, my face burn in the wind
My eyelashes stinging in the wind, and the sheep like grey stones
Humble my human pretensions –
A.                 Let the saxophones and the xylophones
And the cult of every technical excellence, the miles of canvas in the galleries
And the canvas of the rich man’s yacht snapping and tacking on the seas
And the perfection of a grilled steak –
B.                  Let all these so ephemeral things
Be somehow permanent like the swallow’s tangent wings:
Goodbye to you, this day remember is Christmas, this morn
They say, interpret it your own way, Christ is born.