Some of my column intros actually make sense. And then there are those that go skipping off in their own misdirections through fields of shruggeries and flowered flumpheries, amid the bognacious trills of stalkish stumpenings, and none of us can begin to beguine the forethoughts of the afterworded math we didn’t do, or subtract it all up to glean the nonscientifical methods behind the madness of pie. And never NEVER ask their hat sizes! You simply have to sit back and let it go, let it be, set it free, try not to set it on fire, because there is no stopping the loopy linear loco Zeitgeist Express once it has left the station. It says so between the illusive wavy dancing dotted lines and the tortuous tortoise penguin undertoes of the present tide of rip-snorting tantamounts. Just go with the flow, I advise. If you can’t read the blatantly balderdashed bold-print invisible-inked writing on the wall, you’re out of luck. For that is the way the bewildebeest wanders. And the mockingbird whippoorwills. And that is enough of that. Really. I’m sitting on the box that all of that thinking just popped out of, attempting to contain it for the sake of humanity or sanity, perhaps Pete too. Let us shuffle off to purpler pastures and pretend this ever happened once upon a teatime.
You get the gist. The jest. The driftbucket of the buffaloonery of a tub of three blind chicken-mice or men of the cheesecloth sailing out to sea with a side-order of curds and whey to go with their evil Antipasto. Or something. (I seriously wonder about you if you are still reading this, by the way. Seriously. More than I may have wondered the last time. If there was a last time. Well, there’s a first time for everything so I assume there would be a last time.)
All right, now I have gone too far! There is no such thing as a chicken-mouse! But if there were a chicken-mouse, would it squuck or would it cleak?
Perhaps we should ask the emu. I cannot tell you how many times I have asked an emu for an opinion and received a mute response. It said nothing quite clearly, I heard it. Which is actually rather unheard of and therefore should not be spoken of again. So keep it to yourself. Under your hat if you have one. If you don’t, I suggest you get one. But not from me. I am very attached to my hats. I use staples or Elmer’s Glue. Sometimes thread. Though that can get tangled up in the sticky web of the thoughts I weave, which are generally a bit moot. Have I told you this before? I can’t be sure. I have recurrent déjà vu.
Oh, and not to mention the monkeyshined chickadees swinging by their tail-feathers on a star from the moonbeams of songbirds who forgot the lyrics and can’t whistle a tune. Keep that quiet too.
Or we could just rewind. Yes, a do-over. A restart. Let us stop the muckrakish mudslinging hashmarks of mentalicity, if you don’t mind. If you do mind, then nevermind. We’ll ignore I said that. Or did you? Somebody said something! Whatever and whoever it was, I think it is best to take a double step back and think twice. Second thoughts can be so enlightening. They can also be redundant. They might even make you think again. Okay, I guess they usually do. But that’s beside the point. Oh no, did someone mention “point”? Why must there always be a point???
It is my staunch belief that there can be no point, no point at all! Who’s with me?
Wow, it got very quiet all of a sudden. Now nobody has anything to say? Don’t you find this awfully convenient when somebodies were saying somethings a minute ago?
Okay, I can take a hint. Points are well and good, sure. At the least they can be sharpened like a pencil. Or an arrow. Yes, arrows are good because they point. So there it is! Are you satisfied? Was that pointy enough for you?
(Just had to roll my eyes at myself.)
Fine, I am going to write some poetry. And the less said about what wasn’t or was or might have been said here or there, the better. I think that about says it all. But I’m sure I will find something else to say in my verse. This is only the introduction, you see. Which implies there will be more. But what if there wasn’t? What if I wrote silent poems? Would your mind fill in the blanks? Would the absence of verse make a statement by lacking a statement? Would it create a poetic paradox? Well, that might be interesting . . . But if there is one thing I know, it is that I cannot be silent as a poet or a proser. My versening and verballing brims and bursts and bubbles and froths and hiccups with resonance. Like chewing gum. You cannot get rid of it once it is in your hair. So mark my words, you should probably run.
(Many people these days have little tolerance or time for nonsense, it seems. I find that absurdities, like a good story or book, can elevate normality to the sublime. I appreciate your taking this moment to share some with me.)
Okay then. Here there be poems. And they might, I say might, even make sense!
the rise of the fall
The Fall has risen in splendid hue
An august specter cascading dew
Ascending to foggen chill-nipped air
From a gravish brume, a festive fair
Abundant with jackal lanterns agloat
Inspiring the tickle of fear in your throat
Comes the night clicking wicked fingernails
Its putrid breath reeking bats and snails
A figure in tattered robes of black
Long frosted hair like ribbons slack
Eyes raptly glitter and coruscate
Dizzied by hunger to levitate
Occultly enact great dismal deeds
Fulfillment of secret covetous needs
As the midnight carnival unfolds its props
A background assortment of grimness drops
A sharp and crimson tongue may flick
Its adumbral toothy mouth to lick
With furtive nature and obscure desire
From the orange embers of a raging pyre
Till cinders crumble, waste to naught
A dreadful languish distinctly wrought
There sneak the shadows, daggers hid
The chortles of manic stallions rid
Vast kindled spirits of bravery
Born of trepidations, unsavory
They rear and tumult in wrathful moves
Red-orbed bloodmoons and thunder hooves
To gallop from dusk to the dawning mourn
The gaunt complexion of a soul forlorn
Cloaked with the gray of autumnal gloom
When the fall of the risen sun spells doom.
Was that fairy flicker in the blue-black sky a shooting star?
An angel tumbling out of grace, a U.F.O. or just a plane?
The tailspin crash of hope; a dying man’s last wish?
A spirit just released from the cocoon of a body slain?
Are we all not bound to this passing flesh and bone,
The fleeting products of blood and brain and sinew?
All capable of immense regret, tremendous emotion,
As much as to wither and wilt and then start anew?
Each day of the calendar we rise to live reborn
With the chance to make amends and find in it our place —
To learn and hone, produce, survive, and touch the world
Ere we fall asleep exhausted as if by death’s embrace.
Are not we fallen possessed of the same intrinsic needs
To be forgiven, remembered, respected, and held most dear?
Do we not tumble down in a wink to and from our dreams,
Then abandon the womb of sleep to live and love with fear?
If we might capture and save that twinkle in the night’s eye
To reach out, connect, protect the values we aspire
Ignite the flame in which hearts fall with fresh sparks
Imagine what depth of love could grow from the eternal fire.
Upon this earth stand things
That we believe are real
Their presence is a part
Of our world and all we feel
But below the surface what lies
Or lurks submerged too far?
A hinterzone of febrile terrors
May abide in the bizarre
Crawling, creeping, the kinds of things
That dig and root
Hulkish, pale, unsightly
In abysmal gloom and dankness
Where we know not what
This netherland belongs to them
As they prowl and scut
Until comes the day
When the underlings arise
Peeping, tunneling, popping up
And then “Surprise!”
As the oceans swell and flood
These lowlifes must pour out
For higher plains
Half-blind at first and grumpy
Will they surge
Wreaking vengeance for the changes
In a heinous purge
Like a locust plague
Their starving ranks shall swarm
Droning shrill and raucous
Will the critters form
A ghastly howling hellish
Legion of lost beasts
Squinting at us like
A bunch of walking feasts
Such nasty alarm to behold
Their scurrilous attack
Devoured by grotesqueries
Straight from the murky black
Dragging hairless ratlike tails
Ugly rodent chompers scraping
Puffy, pallid, out of sorts
And drooling maws right gaping
They’ll evolve with every step
Of their predatory dance
Like a chorus-line of marching mutants
While they hungrily advance
You’ll know when they arrive
I’m sure it will be a mess
They won’t wipe muddy feet invading —
Try to manage your distress.
without a net
Often I will find myself out on a limb
With no clue how it came to be
If I dreamed myself there or climbed in my sleep
If I was swept up in hugging a tree
I might also be prone to narrow ledge-walking
Or hanging from a cliff without notes
Such practices can be a trifle haphazardous
And are best left to mountain goats
I may hurtle downhill at the top of my lungs
Or veer on a tangent when riding a bike
I have tumbled off bluffs while sticking to facts
And have pulled my own leg in the course of a psyche
I may leap from a falls and forget to barrel
Or skydive without a single chute
I’ll prance across tightropes without a net
Wear the shoe on the other foot with a boot
I rhyme without reason and tinker with words
Making them up as I go along
I can be daring, undaunted, and take great risks
Yet overly fretful or extremely unstrong
I have done some dumb things that were very unwise
Like stepping on all of the sidewalk cracks
Jaywalking, backtalking, headstands upon gravel
And crossing the line on the wild side of the tracks
I will spit in the eye of a storm any day
Throw my caution to a tornado and laugh at my fear
I love thunder and lightning, wind and rain
But I will run if the butterfly nets draw near.
a murder of crows
I was murdered by a flock of crows
And where I decay nobody knows
They fled the scene with dripping beaks
My tomb a gully between two peaks
In a cloud they stormed with bad intent
Their dispositions sorely bent
Can’t reason with an angry mob
It’ll wring you dry of your last sob
The stuff of feathers their only trace
Black fluff adhering on a waxen face
As if to commemorate or anoint
Eyes staring uncaring toward a distant point
The motive obscure, without a reason
No meaning or virtue, for no cause or season
Yet here I sprawl from circumstance
Torn up and clawed, I stood no chance
I was simply there, the wrong place and time
Heed well the caws if they boast their crime
One day my bones may be discovered
The grisly deed of the crows uncovered
Though the evidence will have blown away
My remains would have little left to say
I begged for mercy, got down and kneeled
I know “whodunit” but my lips are sealed.