Daily Archives: March 28, 2015

Drunk Upon Speaking Truth To Power, He Continues

when you defined my problematic tongue
as a vineyard of mistake and false fortitude
I was (in my amused distress at your anger) 
mildly heartened to realize that to be drunk on such things
is the perfect toil for such a bland and poisoned night

to be a source of such diamond intoxication
is to stand on a small hill amid empty fields
around a stingy town and then demand 
that the smug townsfolk provide me with meals
fit to accompany such wine as I may pour

there are worse things in this strained and damaged world
than the hangover of such inebriation as may accompany
the sensation of speaking free and easy truth
as strong as any liquor
you may choose to name


How To Paint A Masterpiece

In the hand place a walnut.  Call it now 
the walnut hand.  A brain-shell in the hand.
Refer to it in the background, somewhere.
Give it a line to

a recognizable tree, a clear leaf,
stone-hard bark.

Answer that clock ticking
in your own walnut shell,
your brain shell.

Answer that clock that says
no time but now
and not much of that.

In the face, place your last thought
of your first love and your last kiss
with your second love and the unknown
first kiss with your last love. Also,
in the cheek’s blush a touch
of the walnut shell, the 
brain shell, and how little time
you have.

Should there be an allusion
to God or a mythology of similar
bent? What should be bent
to service a cause or thought or
patron? Is there any reason to be doing this
that is not in service to
the stain on the walnut and
how it rides in the open hand?

A masterpiece, you know, is 
a question or two or
a hoard of them.  A horde
of them bearing down upon you
from across

all the historical and ahistorical
and myth-drenched plains. 

In the last stroke, the walnut
should hold unseen all 
but the name of your 
final grace

which will be revealed

What We Take

Originally posted on 3/26/2010.

We take
our coffee without cream

We take
our lunch when they let us
Ham on rye
yellow mustard
maybe cheese
maybe lettuce
chips and pickle on the side

We take it on faith
that we might lose these jobs

We take
our money home
Keep it close enough to hear it squeak

We take
our clothing simple and plain and sturdy

Once in a while
we’ll take on something
with a touch more style
as long as it toes a certain line

We take
our evenings as they come

We take
our friends as warty and hard as we are  
We talk
the way we learned to talk
at the knees of those like us

We change the conversation 
only a little at a time
unless we’re shoved along a path
we didn’t plan to take

We do what we can
to hold on to what we used to say
adding new words only where they fit

We take
the daily news with a heap of salt
Even when it makes
some kind of sense
we don’t pay much attention
unless we recognize a name or a face

We work too hard
to care too much
about which suits are running a game
we know we’re going to lose

We take
our champions as they are
and our warriors
as we find them

We take them to heart
if they sound like us
because that’s how we know they’re real

We take on
the battles they want to fight
because that’s how we learn to hope

We take out the garbage
first thing in the morning
to keep it safe from the raccoons and skunks
and the neighbor’s dog that rips the bags for snacks

We swear we’ll mess that dog up one of these days
for messing us up and making it hard
to keep order on the streets where we live

We take
a moment to look one way then the other
before crossing the street
and climbing into our cars

in our same old solid clothes
clutching steaming travel cups
and brown bags
that hold the same sandwiches
they held yesterday
and the day before

We take it
and take it 
and take it
and take it
and take it

until we stop
until we die