Dispatches from the Suicide Hours of Immortality

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

the sunday times 12.1.19

all go where they go

 

time to time

inside the mind

 

calm to chaos

emotions set in motion

 

deep in the ache of longing

yet fueled by a joyous fire

 

balancing breakdowns

with better days

 

everything has its place

 

and it is always

here.

*

new darkness

 

jagged in recurrence

the natural forces within

 

none too immune

but better now harnessed

 

shining black sheen

as bright as beauty

and just as soothing

 

an act of balance

and acceptance

 

continuously challenged

 

by this seemingly unbalanced

and unaccepting world.

*

a little more

 

cut paths from thin air

reaction chains slowly breaking

 

provoking persistence

from depths of despair

 

it all comes around

until it no longer remains

 

transmissions received

upon impermanent waves

 

grains of thought slipping thru the ether

poking holes in our personal theories

 

perspective betrayed

by a few steps removed

 

feel from the inside

the bones on muscle

 

the muscle on skin

the skin on air

 

the light is within all of us

and all of us the light.

*

the echo of bone

 

canyons deep

like the hollows

of the heart

 

centuries of symphony

in seconds of storm

 

every truth revealed

on an infinite loop

 

and nobody listening

but the darkness.

***

“Why should it be so hard to give up

seeking something you know you can’t possess?”

  • Lew Welch

the sunday times 11.24.19

emptiness and grace

 

mining charnel ground

to slay and let go

 

unserved purpose

of ego and recurrence

 

always around again

never fully thwarted

 

but to know its presence

is not to heed its call

 

tilling bone and soil

unmoved by ornaments of charm

and adoration

 

toward the infinite finality

of notions preconceived.

*

dark places

 

no thought comes

without its chains of memory

 

condition conforms

pressure shapes

 

arriving in departure

halfway gone before

feet touch ground

 

clouds emerge and surround

as we spin the carousel

of emotional baggage

 

endlessly entranced

by everything but now.

*

up on luck

 

as fate would have it

if there is such a thing

 

we burn inside of ourselves

the center of our being engulfed

 

bleeding the light

or charred to a cinder

 

obviously oblivious

to all the ways thru

 

at times all so unbearable

the keeping or the letting go

 

the grounding or

the endless flight

 

always something

to pick at or prize

 

some form of need or approval

not being met, or, in fact, surpassing

our wildest dreams

 

so we grasp and cling

or turn and deny

 

until we finally realize

there is nothing that can be hidden

and that everyone already knows the secrets

 

but most remain unable

to even tell themselves.

*

miles from nowhere

 

long casts the shadow

of years spent in the ghost-town

of the heart

with a grave-digger’s smile

and a mind full of holes

 

brushed and dusted

stoned and rusted

stalemated on a checkerboard

of black and white lies

pulling the shades down

and the covers up

bloody, unwell, and somewhat

mostly dazed…

 

but now

to trace back the long road

without looking away

 

the wreckage of roses and broken promise

still smolder like a conquered city

 

and as that red sky distance slowly fades

i can finally find solace

 

in giving up any hope

of having a better past.

***

“Some nights stay up till dawn

as the moon sometimes does for the sun.

Be a full bucket pulled up the dark way

of a well, then lifted out into light.”

  • Rumi

the sunday times 11.17.19

always something

 

low heart

high hopes

 

stuck somewhere in between

 

beauty

only brings sadness

as of late

 

since the last fall

 

as far from close

as nowhere can get

 

crawling in love

from the last place

she left me.

*

dear darkness

 

unmasked in the light of death

the night wreaks of smoke

 

red moon witness

to incineration

 

ashen morning

of lifelines severed

 

the choke and tether

of possession released

 

subjugating the wild

for our caves and kingdoms

 

for we deserve

nothing less.

*

by the light of the fire

 

crack and flicker

gone in a flash

 

this burning plague

year after year

 

the choking air of october rolls in

 

the sky alight

with panic and loss

 

the red and strobe

of sirens and blare

 

signaling autumn

in los angeles.

*

in the weeds of wild and wonder

 

dark light mind

caught in waves of oblivion

 

eyes hovering alight

 

everywhere this presence

this joy

this sorrow

 

the weighted heart held aloft

by silver cords and sleight of hand

 

high above the seas of madness

that mirror our every move.

*

points of contact

 

when

there is no there

here

 

touch wood

or ground

or skin

 

bring home the mind from wander

 

mired in the past

or drawn to the future

 

from the base of now

we grow

 

and become

who we are.

***

“The measure of your life is the amount of beauty

and happiness of which you are aware.”

  • Agnes Martin

the sunday times 11.10.19

come and go

 

…and here again

another gone day

made better

 

alive in time

simple truth

shining

 

letting go

the complications

of the heart

 

just to rest

in the light of solitude

 

and be on my way.

*

this mantle

 

now back when

the streets fall away

into a gray forgetful slumber

 

tension present

amidst an alternate ease

 

as veins fill with light

lifting the veiled heart

from its shallow grave

 

trails of dust and footprints

that lead away reveal small victories

holding mountains in place

 

far from the silver corded skyscrapers

overlooking the aimless youth and young manhood

 

that has forever been leading

to where i now stand.

*

fall in the valley

 

night between the canyons

wrapped in a calm chill

of what’s to come

 

shorter the days

to wait for darkness

 

signaling the approach

of another year’s midnight

 

a witching season past

and a christ to come too soon

 

then a few days grace before

everything starts all over again

 

still a bit far off for now

so we’ll go on like things will never end

 

searching for humanity in the suffering

 

like everyone does

everywhere else.

*

nest of clouds

 

closely followed

ghostly gray

 

mourning rising

with mist alive

 

uncaged from dream

to drift the minded miles

 

from hour to hour

imperfectly still

 

at rest in motion

toward havens unknown.

***

“Down to radiant dust

fall the curtains of past time.”

  • Gregory Corso

the sunday times 11.3.19

ashes

 

lungs dusted

with glitter

and embers

 

last light leaving

thru the chambers

of the heart

 

love soldiers on across

battlefield after battlefield

 

engines sputter

before kicking back in

 

lock step rhythm

with bloodrush and bile

 

to turn on a dime

as destiny changes direction

 

from the pit of the stomach

to the heart of the sun

 

we burn

and burn.

*

remission

 

pulling tides from

pictures of the moon

 

cycles phasing

thru the undertow

 

graded reluctance gives way

to the slightest expectation

 

the rose brightens the hue

as the colors begin to show

 

love wins again

 

and everything

is lost.

*

deem worthy

 

sometimes chaos

clears the path better

than anything else

 

picking off the disinterested

while placating the trouble makers

 

feeding distraction

to the easily swayed

 

honing the truth

of a different kind of knowledge

 

for one that sinks beneath the surface

and finds rise in the falling

 

is one who endures

and leaves the trail

as it was

 

for others not to follow

but to find on their own.

*

drifts

 

roadsided

piled and waiting

 

pure and unscattered

 

returned to some semblance of order

by way of storm and upheaval

 

blindness lapsed

we see the good

that can grace our presence

 

if only we take the time

to stop and look.

***

“The world asks of us.

only the strength we have and we give

it.

Then it asks for more, and we give it.”

  • Jane Hirshfield “The Weighing”

 

the sunday times 10.27.19

sunday somewhere

 

truth to remain

 

in the hollow of the heart

where light waits for love

 

becoming another

faithful reminder

 

of hope at its best.

*

scrapture

 

up from the plains

beneath the bleeding stones

 

no words

from gods

or statues

 

rolling claps of thunder

then silence

 

just a storm

of natural chemistry

 

bringing down the lights

to bring the beauty of darkness

into better focus

 

no divinity demanding miracles

no life but the stories we weave

 

heart into heart

spirit into spirit

 

nothing goes away

but everything.

*

golden shore

 

sweeping the garden

every stone is turned

 

archways perched with crows

as the fog shimmers from the inside

 

holding in its keep

love’s inviting distance

 

almost reachable

at last.

*

endeavor and ever

 

sacred grayness

amidst a temple of rain

 

tracing steps to now

from spaces in between

 

who we are and how

and where to go from here

 

entwined

or separate

 

and as each shining moment rises up

 

time will tell us

all we need to know.

*

break and tend

 

deep skies

in the back

of the mind

 

above a potter’s field

of memories unremembered

 

there hover the ghosts

that love could not save

 

but the heart

will forever

hold.

*

“We’re all just walking

each other home.”

  • Ram Dass

the sunday times 10.20.19

occupied space

 

a storehouse of symbols

 

everything defined becomes

perceived as real

 

arranged in linear memory

to give the illusion of continuity

 

when in fact

only in dream

is reality unveiled

as it is

 

unstructured precision

harmoniously random

 

everything all at once

 

ever changing

every time we

look away

 

an infinite topography

of everything in between

what we believe to be past

and future

 

our only map

to this giant nowhere

we call home.

*

sorrow

 

cast stones overturned

in dark dreams of dim refuge

 

skin to skin

strangers and ash

 

safely solitary

in the rafters

of the mind

 

long from both passion

and peril

 

with nothing to feel

but loneliness.

*

seeds

 

arms aloft

strength in surrender

 

no use

the glitter of glory

 

whispered hands brush away

the scared ground

 

cracked slates of foundation unearthed

sturdy and becoming

 

grooves carved deep

in the dancing light

 

with new trails to blaze

toward that spark on the horizon.

*

between the lights

 

sliding thru

true to remain

 

slow the songs of the night

heavy the breath of longing

 

inside where things fall apart

constant reconstruction

 

reverse engineering trajectory

where even distraction has its merits

 

finding not what is looked for

but what is needed

 

right where everything

points away.

***

“Hold within you

a fire so great

it’d put hell to shame.”

  • Naveed Dumasia

 

 

the sunday times 10.13.19

whisper and shadow

 

busted radiance

tourniquet smile

 

plundering circulation

for the darker blood of emotion

 

seated deep

this haunting ache

of useful longing

 

a slow burn

forty-eight years long

 

fearing a break of no return

 

simply to touch

something that matters.

*

remains

 

pointless mourning

begrudged and besmirched

 

time is nothing to rely on

distance remembers no love

 

all broken containers

of each other’s secrets

 

slowly flowing like lava

searing the ground beneath

 

our momentary history

so easily brushed away

 

breathtakingly inconsequential

yet construction continues

 

on our own personal monuments

to insignificance.

*

sinking

 

knowing the reason

does little to break the fall

 

still the memory

fading by association

 

so long now

but touched

as close as

yesterday

 

loss lingers

purpled like a bruise

yellowed at the edges

 

bone deep

 

love

leaves

its

mark.

*

red light blues

 

still gone

 

burning away the hours

from the inside out

 

near misses

and near fatal flaws

 

dead tracks

armored hearts

 

sunlight falls

between the cracks

of whispered days

 

as her shadow remains in darkness

 

a ghost

of a ghost of

a ghost.

***

“We must pass thru solitude and difficulty,

isolation and silence in order to reach forth

to the enchanted place where we can dance

our clumsy dance.”

  • Pablo Neruda

 

 

Thus concludes the collection “The Heart has a Mind of its Own”

Next week begins poems from my most recent work in progress

with the working title  “A Spark on the Horizon”.

the sunday times 10.6.19

gone down

 

corners of rooms

call out from darkness

 

the weight of silence

upon the heart

 

the same night at the end

of every other day

 

almost close

but just out of reach

 

someone remembered somewhere

 

no point in detail

 

just another anchor to cut loose

until i catch another wave.

*

last of september

 

around again

summer burning down

 

not much to remember

not much to forget

 

status quo and still waters

 

the mind wanders

the heart waits

 

trawling the deep

resonance of solitude

 

ever beckoning me

to follow my own light.

*

scriptnotes and faultlines

 

angled for direction

panning out to broadened scope

 

pinpoint and scattershot

 

patchworked progress gleaned

from the finest fragments

 

onward turning

past silver lakes

toward cold water canyons

 

driving away

driven away

 

spirits converging

as coyotes gather in the field

beneath the radio towers

howling in the dusk

 

and another red night comes forth

to bleed us dry.

*

in spite of agony

 

mourning redemption

golden ways long gone

 

the fulcrum at the crux of foundation

leveled and admonished

 

with just enough light

to bring this dark knowing

into focus

 

whether by sadness mined

or fire branded

 

we all bear the scars of our escape.

*

what the holy see

 

tapping in and out

deep in the fade of forgetting

 

hope has many disguises

whether burned like a witch

or lost like a lover

 

spaces locked away until

moments of precision release

 

as a billion broken stars

shower the dawn of our reverie.

***

“Shadow can’t survive without

the sun’s bright beam,

and death hold’s life in its coat pocket,

fingers stroke it like a lucky charm”

  • Terry Wolverton

 

 

 

 

the sunday times 9.29.19

better than nothing

 

walls around walls

 

sunlight’s soft intrusion

thru the cracks allowed

 

the bluest vacancy of open skies

hails the day anew

 

gracefully mourning

another lost night

 

to the sorrow

of love.

*

dead on

 

cornered by exact coincidence

with enough room upon the pages

to dig and dig

 

seeded deep

in the echo

of memory

 

the breath of hungry ghosts chasing smoke…

 

there are places inside me

that can only be found

by words.

*

roll wise

 

urged from ledge to ledge

outbound thoughts leaving be

 

gentle collapse

brilliant collision

 

courses parsed

by glimpse and glean

 

periphery compromised

by bombardment

 

turn back the eyes

to sanctum from inertia

 

rest in the assurance

that you are where you are

 

trust

in the dignity

of the process

 

forward and unfolding

 

there is

no end.

*

equilibrium

 

mile to mile

from nowhere

to here

 

trailing pieces of the heart

given away or just plain lost

 

all for the better

 

for the ghosts are wiser now

and the road a bit brighter

 

but still

as dark

as necessary.

*

“Loneliness is a valuable feeling.

artists need to know how to walk alone.”

  • Ai Weiwei