Dispatches from the Suicide Hours of Immortality

The poem is a pied piper for the rats in my mind

The Sunday Dispatch 10.18.20

blue

 

here is the night

alone within my

element

 

no fault

no blame

 

an

easy

win.

*

hope and caution

 

penned in

on the precipice

 

circling in wonder

counting revolutions

 

a break is imminent

but which way it falls

is anyone’s guess

 

in the meantime…

 

see to your obligations

to yourself and others

 

know what helps

from what hurts

 

keep it simple

and kind

 

for no matter what you do

you can never not be where you are

 

so it is always in your best interest

to be fully and unflinchingly present

wherever that may be.

 

*

gallows at the crossroads

 

reverence denied

when the truth is hidden

 

history is not taught

but handed down

 

felt and carried in the body

the bones do not lie

 

from generation to generation

we are all what we have done

and what has been done to us

 

just as what we do now

will reverberate within future souls

 

we must believe

the bitterness of the past

will make the dream of tomorrow

that much sweeter

when it finally

comes true.

*

zero ground

 

conflagration of the inner landscape

far too long burning uncontrolled

 

sparked by a rampant inevitability

laying the best of intentions to waste

 

to emerge from the smolder

battle scarred and scorched

 

better prepared to seed the fertile soil

and give rise to a greater purpose

 

than choking on the ashes of eden.

*

transmissions from babylon

 

culled from consequence

a shadow stands within me

 

formed in the undertow

of dream and myth

 

forged in the friction

between impulse and desire

 

an entity of influential energy

 

a doorway to redemption

 

thru which

the darkest light

forever shines.

***

“We go through life. We shed our

skin. We become ourselves.”

  • Patti Smith

 

 

The Sunday Dispatch 10.11.20

feeling it

 

simmering in purgatory

between the last since the first

and the next since the last

 

stalled and stranded

in the ghost-town of the heart

 

stars burned out

nothing but dust in the tank

 

and the wolves of memory

howling thru the night.

*

as well as can be expected

 

fucked up but fine

many have it much worse

 

i don’t mind the solitude

or the staying put

 

i bide my time

and keep my peace

 

waiting for the world to turn.  

*

glimpses of the way

 

going where shadows go

to find what is hidden

in what we hold precious

 

to realize

what we don’t know we know

 

no matter the heartbreaks

nor the promises taken

 

it is imperative

to remain in touch with your innocence

throughout the journey

 

so that you may understand

what it all means

when your destiny

arrives.

*

back to this

 

vague and inscrutable

love and its falling

a necessary confusion

seemingly impossible to master

 

my thoughts often betray me

when it comes to such things

 

over and over until

wrung of all reason

 

left in a spinning oblivion

of hindsight and insecurity

 

that hopefully, if nothing else,

makes for good poetry

every once in a while.

*

enough with everything already

 

now, as i near the half-century mark

 

the world is sick

the nation in downward spiral

the state on fire

 

the sun seems to hang

in an ever-present haze

of burnt rust

 

i sit here

jobless

single

sober 

 

hopelessly in love

with nothing at all

 

yet, somehow,

life has rarely, if ever,

been better

 

i’m open,

emptied

 

ready for whatever…  

 

i’ve never been one

to think too highly of myself

 

but something about

being broken and mended

 

broken and mended

broken and mended

 

lends itself

to a certain serenity

otherwise unattainable

 

and i can’t help thinking

that knowing this

makes me one of

the lucky ones.

***

“I don’t believe in dogmas and

theologies. I just believe in being

a good person.”

  • Robert Mapplethorpe

The Sunday Dispatch 10.4.20

for my love

 

anything without reserve

from the garden of my heart

is yours

 

just as the sky

within my soul

is yours to fly

 

every word forward

from the moment we finally meet

will be born of your beauty,

your agony, your joy, your pain

 

for then

they will be mine

as well.

*

butterfly

 

in her bright way

sparkling in the night breeze

 

far from slumber

but dreaming nonetheless

 

side by side

in this dark new world

 

being loved back to life.

*

everything but a kiss

 

broken by the wake

love left in a dream

 

there was a meeting of eyes

an embrace

 

but now she is all

but a sweet breeze

of bitter ash

 

dissolving into the white air

as i reach for the memory

 

the sharp gust of a perfect and passing rose

making a lunge for my heart

 

leaving only its thorns to remind.

*

where were you at the end of the world?

 

twice thought

third for luck

 

all eyes on anything to see

 

liberty sucked into

the electronic void

 

we can choose not to be stuck

on the wrong side of the energy trade

 

willing sheep

branded and herded

click by click

 

from a genocidal past

cloaked in tradition

to an unstable future

hardly bright with dreams

or truth

 

never have our voices mattered more

our power is in our presence

 

and wielded wisely

can free us from any

shackles imaginable.

*

simple twist

 

neon thru beat up shades

the lonely burn of confusion

 

windows wide

but not a breath

to be found

 

born to summer

a month too late

 

like the vacant street corner

in a cold steel cloud

 

sometimes sundays

weigh a ton.

***

“I am modest but ultimately faithful

to the pride of the lions that have

carried me from Babylon to here.”

  • Jeremy Szuder

The Sunday Dispatch 9.27.20

somewhere gone

 

damned by expectation

unconsummated emotions scarred

 

deep wounds

of intricate patterns

emerge

 

inescapable echoes

from past recognition

 

thoughts

like murders of crows

blacking out the sun

 

bringing a strange ease and comfort

to the heavy bones of this heart

 

as i struggle to remember

the last kiss of long ago.

*

pulling threads

 

bones rattle

like chimes

in the cold wind

 

shipwrecks surround

a broken lighthouse mind

 

the truth of feeling

often does not translate

to the reality of emotion

 

beauty can be

as bleak as desolation

 

when the empire of the heart

can be taken down

by one true word. 

*

birds & angels

 

boxes of dust

beneath the bed

somehow inherent

with meaning

 

yellowed pages

of smog checks

and tire changes

so dearly undeparted

 

something in the holding

and the keeping comforts us

in some way

 

documents and dossiers

of semblance disordered

 

something cracked in the way we love

something loved in the ways we crack

 

whatever it is

we’re positive

we’ll need it again

someday.

*

the day after yesterday

 

it’s always present

in the scratch of a nail

on your skin

 

in the word

on the tip

of your tongue

 

in the alley

in the basement

 

in the walls

on the wind

at the door

 

in the secret you never know

in the truth you never speak

 

in the flimsy premise

in the clumsy metaphor

 

in the touts and the nuns

 

in the obvious influence

and the telegraphed conclusion

 

that never seems to come.

*

somewhere close

 

holding timelessness

in the space of the mind

 

an unmeasurable expanse

for presence and being

 

a conscious passage

of deeper resonance

 

not an escape

but a constant arrival

 

to where

we are.

***

“There is darkness in us all

but also light

when the face we show the world

is not the madness of the night.”

  • Lorna M. Rogahn

The Sunday Dispatch 9.20.20

if love waits not

 

either direction yields

to the center swallowing the whole

 

or the center’s swallowing hole

 

maybe the past is all that’s left

 

the acceptance of falling no more

 

the heart now just a turning stone

a placeholder for an empty space

 

heavy with the tenderness

of a longing unfulfilled.

*

only forever

 

things slowly lost

as lifelines fray

 

grander schemes

smaller windows

 

far passed  

the breaking point

of the heart

 

as wishes turn

to dust and shadow

 

endlessly swept away.

*

taking notes

 

stealing light from the fading day

just to get thru another night

 

always a bit of hope to be found

this much i know, at least

 

thoughts like scraps of paper

balled up in a corner of the mind

in an attic full of cobwebs and worry

 

somehow always ending up

in places saved for times

other than now.

*

missing trains

 

streets of the mind washed away

by the thought of a flood

 

hope laced with desolation

and worthlessness

 

it gets dark in here at times

but never too dark

 

just part of a required balance

to keep the pendulum swinging

 

never too far from a smile

or a good laugh;

 

there are places that need to be known

again and again

 

just to remember

how much better

it is now.

*

mirror to mirror

 

facing eternity

death never blinks

 

while life pieces

fragments together

 

stitching time

in broken lines

 

convincing continuity

into existence

 

contrary to its

non-linear circumstances

 

beholden to the impossibility

of holding ourselves accountable

 

for the myriad infinities

of reflection.

***

“All the dark hours everywhere repairs

and rights the hearts & tongues of men

and makes the cheerful dawn.”

  • Gary Snyder

The Sunday Dispatch 9.13.20

lost and found

 

hopelessly hopeful

in these stark blue days

of zero evidence

 

nothing expected

but the unknown

 

facades dropped

and secrets given away

 

standing

in the bare burning light

of this unknowable darkness.

*

love is a complicated hymn

 

from the eaves and rafters of the mind

thoughts dive and circle like vultures

 

picking apart reason in the dry parched noon

of ghostly hours and scolding self-recrimination

 

wide eyes

bleached as bone

 

blinded to the truth

as evidenced by the heart

beyond all brokenness.

*

slow sunday burning

 

slipping into

the drift of smoke

 

away from the tedious currency

of small talk and minutiae

 

eyes heavy with a sleepless hollow

here in a dark room of minimal development

 

awash in a mellow mood

of music and melancholia

 

finding my deep

and profound belonging

to aloneness

 

and its wide-open spaces

of impossible wonder.

*

puzzles and parachutes

 

the fall is free

but the pieces

don’t always fit

 

we’re all broken

in different ways

 

it often takes awhile

to figure which end

is up

 

thru various fogs

of war and worry

 

we patch our creeds

with whatever floats

our boat

 

every day

a trial by fire

 

in hopes that

we are moving farther

from what hurts

 

and closer

to what helps.

*

nightside

 

slivers glide

in smooth glints

of starshine

 

long this road

stretching toward

the boundless sky

 

darkness illuminated

by the fire within

 

sparked by the thought

of this good life

salvaged from

the wreckage.

***

“I will no longer mutilate and

destroy myself in order to find

a secret behind the ruins.”

  • Herman Hesse

The Sunday Dispatch 9.6.20

shadow upon shadow

 

there is a source

between the darknesses

 

in the small unnoticed spaces

from place to place

 

there is everything we will ever need

 

the answers we seek

the love for which we search

 

abundant and overflowing

 

always present

if we are.

*

of hope and harrow

 

stone letters

in lost wells

 

oceans flushed

from the eyes into

the hereafter

 

standing alone

in the crowded

centuries

 

heart in hands

hands to sky

 

take it all

and let me cry

no more.

*

as it was before

 

ways circle back

from unknown fires

of dark origin

 

some point of pivot

still veiled in shadows

and memory

 

where doubt becomes

the default setting

 

primary motives

second guessed

 

when hesitancy

usurped confidence

 

this endless search

for some blanked part of the psyche

cloaked in the abyss

 

keeps pulling me

relentlessly forward.

*

peace and perdition

 

slow time crawling

forcing focus on forward motion

instead of futility

 

endless outlets

within this holding pattern

of exile and isolation

 

that need not drag us deeper

into darker seasons of abyss

 

but rather can push us further than ever thought

into brighter realms of being

 

simply by walking gracefully and defiantly

thru this, or any other,

hell.

*

down is up

 

empty arms embrace

the dark sunday morning

 

with no other choice

but to take it all in stride

and keep moving forward

 

sometimes forever leaves

before we ever know it’s gone

 

nevertheless

there is a corner turning

always new ahead

 

that we’ll never see

if we’re looking back

and standing still.

***

“If I cease searching, then woe is me.

I am lost. That is how I look at it – keep going,

keep going come what may.”

  • Vincent Van Gogh

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The Sunday Dispatch 8.30.20

the desolate wild

 

the streets are alone

among the creatures of the night

 

as the arteries flood the heart

with lust and hunger

 

snapping fangs

and piercing wails

 

the air thick

with sickness and tension

 

weighted

by a heavy gray confusion

refusing to lift.

*

bell jars and bagpipes

 

life is death in disguise

a long way gone to a place we never left

 

circles and lines

brushed away by the breadth of oblivion

 

beneath a sky

cracked crimson

 

aching to be at rest

with the dirt in the ground.

*

time and measure

 

lost in the chorus

of a song i never knew

 

fumbling with the blues

on another lonely night

 

struck by solitude

for better or worse

 

sometimes life

is just a soul-killing loop

of endless trying

to no avail

 

but at least the words

have my back

 

and my sadness

remembers how

to smile.

*

no turning back

 

breaking points and mile markers

a constant surge of downward trend

 

favoring reaction over response

collusive corruption over cooperation and compromise

 

the bells toll and toll

with no comeuppance

 

bolstered and enabled

by weak link milquetoast cronies

and curmudgeons content in their disregard

for anyone but themselves and their kind

 

we are witnessing

an arrogantly blatant attempt

at the outright slaughter

of both democracy and humanity

as we know it

 

and unless we are actively resisting,

fighting, and standing our ground,

 

we are complicit in its demise.

*

the weight of fire

 

it all comes down

to burdens and admission

 

the anchorage of values

to which you moor yourselves

neither fully taut or fully slack

 

we cannot exist solely

within the margins for error

 

we must venture outside the lines

to make things work

 

at least to explore

and try to understand

a different perspective

 

to not be so blind and unwilling

to alter course on a mistake in the making

 

it is never too late

to learn to know better

 

but it is coming

awfully fucking close

to being so.

***

“Whatever inspiration is,

it’s born of a continuous

I don’t’ know.”

  • Wislawa Szymborska

The Sunday Dispatch 8.23.20

gray daze

 

small hours like ghosts

veiling the faces of clocks

and memories

 

states of dream walking awake

thru the hallways of the mind

among the clouds

 

where thoughts emerge

and wishes gently crumble

away.

*

rogue waves

 

holding forth with open arms

longing unreturned

 

like a quiet strangeness

cast in the shadows of the sun

 

cornered somewhere between tenses

in the gray hollow of suspended occurrence

 

tides signaling turn after turn

far from the sickeningly crowded shores.

*

standards and practice

 

defined from the outset

spaces of time carved

from the persistent void

 

securing some semblance of anchorage

within the unknown expanse

 

while remaining free to drift and adapt

as progression or regression sees fit

 

making all the difference

between breakdown and resilience

 

while allowing equal parts

madness and serenity

 

finding ample inspiration

in both.

*

turning time

 

this summer

is an open wound

 

a storm without eye

burning from the ground up

and the inside out

 

leaders unbalanced

with power unchecked

 

as we fight back

breath by breath

 

thru sickness and oppression

with both vigor and compassion

 

to reset the scales

dismantle the system

 

and bring our own unyielding light

to these new dark ages.

*

get going

 

sensing a shift

in the weight of things

 

headstones and shadows

myth and monuments

 

scales sliding from worth to worry

a patchwork of haste and idling

 

tentatively lurching forth

into the bright ramshackle nowhere

 

no longer waiting

for anything to come true.

***

“We need not stride resolutely

towards catastrophe, merely because

those are the matching orders.”

  • Noam Chomsky