Friday, January 28, 2011


[Just another little ramble.]

It's time now to think about paper and washes. To ponder suggestive light coming through colors. Who cares about the artists? Just make me something to stare at.

A picture of water in summer, of snow in winter. A sailboat just there in watercolors. Silver-umber trees simply bordering a frostbitten meadow. It is hard to explain. These evocative scenes must not be hackneyed. They must be delicate and emerge from a special sensibility. Light and ostensible texture and tints from the hand of a visual poet. The pictures must be open so imagination can enter. So two minutes seems like two wondering hours.

I like to slip into the places where light touches substance. Where light falls through complex and nimble hues. Inside my head -- behind my eyes -- I create many little worlds from the way watercolors live on paper. Places those artists themselves don't even suspect.

Yes, this light falling into these colors and the way I go into watercolored shadows. I make up scenarios inside the scenes. To linger there a while. It is so nice in watercolors. The paper washed like a bright dream. And ambiguous flecks inspiring moments of pleasant melancholy.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

the sound of silence

I have friends who live in Serbia. They are quiet, projecting through the silence a deep reserve of spirit. A profound quiet. It's strange how the sound of silence can be heard so distinctly. Can have such value.

I do wonder what they must think of me. Of this noisy American, constantly banging on his confessional drum. I'm so damn loud that even I can hardly hear myself think. I do hope my friends in Serbia don't think I've become (or always was) an obnoxious buffoon. I hope they merely chuckle softly at the clangorous clown, and not shake their heads in appalled bafflement.

Why am I so damn noisy? And how come they are so quiet?

I think America is a large insane asylum with no fences. We're all free to roam around and blabber as if the stuff in our heads is real or something. We're "exceptional," so everything we think and feel must be broadcast to the farthest shores of the Milky Way.

But Serbia is quiet nowadays. It is a grownup. Whenever catharsis is called for, the fireworks explode deeply inside the soul. Not out in the collective atmosphere. I think life is felt deeper there. Life there is a poem so intense that Ginsberg's howl, by contrast, is a cartoon yelp.

I like to think about my friends in Serbia. I'm glad there are people who breathe and feel inside the profounder regions of being.

Saturday, January 15, 2011


I keep forgetting to stick a copyright notice below my poems posted here. I'm too lazy to go back and do it. So...let it be henceforth known: I wrote the poems that I wrote. So don't nobody get no big ideas about stealing em and making a pile of dough off em!


This village is not on the map.
It is always velvet night here.

Phosphorescent jellyfish move inside
big glass globes atop the street poles.

Vague people walk deferentially,
not asking me why I am here.

Nothing will ever happen in this village.

This is where I will always be,
resolute amid the hushed velvet
of my long and ideal adoration.


Eerie notes from a Pan flute
cascade from her alien eyes.
Eyes open like the morning,
innocent in chaos wonder.

If the eyes of Dawn fell on me,
I would feel the sun spreading
warm light and visions of rites,
I would feel the breeze blowing
aromas of bliss from the old sea,
I would feel an ancient stirring
in colored veins of grotto marble.

But like a statue in Elysium dream,
Dawn is beyond my tangible touch.

Lisa Alvarado -- speaking

Last night, I tuned into the blogtalkradio show Red State Pariah. My FB friend Lisa Alvarado was a guest, in discussion with the hosts on the theme "America the Violent." My connection was bad, so I missed pieces of the broadcast, here and there.

The recent gun violence in Tuscon was addressed, as was Sarah Palin's "blood libel" remark. This was in the broader context of our country's history of violence. And in the even wider context of how insidious power structures result in less bloody but still horrific forms of institutional mayhem against ordinary citizens. Scapegoats -- illegal immigrants, so-called (what is the higher law?) -- are sought by the unthinking populace. Hatefulness is directed toward these human beings who simply prefer not to starve in their native land. While the real culprits sit in Wall Street, destroying politics, fomenting irrationality, and assaulting citizens via economics. At least, I think all that was the gist. Like I say, I lost connection a few times. Had to piece things together on the fly, so to speak.

Okay, I'll be honest (what an odd sentence). Over the years, my brain has dulled a bit when it comes to discussions of injustice. When those discussions are not people shrieking at one another, it's usually preaching to the choir. Yes, if I was in some present misery of injustice, my brain would not have dulled a bit. Anyway, I tuned in mainly to hear my friend's voice for the first time.

Then I heard Lisa speak. Jumping Jehoshaphat! I was not really prepared for that melodious flow of words, like a wondrous waterfall of passion and insight and coherence and personality! Lisa speaks with a measured eloquence. No fumbling for words and no loss of focus. She is a dynamic speaker. The forcefulness of her opinions -- which comes from lived experience -- is harmonized with or made gentler by a soulful humanness. And subtle layers of humor. I loved listening to Lisa's voice. To her expressiveness and earned conviction. mind did a weird thing: it somewhat detached itself from the issues at hand, in order to bask in the sentences themselves. Writing impressive prose is one thing. It is rare to hear impressive extemporaneous speech.

You can access the archive and listen to the show via this link:

Some neat stuff about Lisa, as well as webpage links, can be found on her FB Info page:

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


That's a lot of years. Dang.

I hope when you get to be 58 you will have eased into some form of sanity. No, that sounded odd. You are mostly sane already, aren't you? That's not what I meant. Rather, I hope that by the time you are 58 you will not discover yourself to be a psychologically dubious creature.

I simply hope you ease into elderness without being temporally displaced. Without thinking you have been shanghaied by time and left in a confused condition. Without libido increasing instead of subsiding. Without monumental daydreams oozing from your brain. And appalling night dreams leaving you run over by a cement mixer truck when you wake up. That's all I meant.


I can still jump through windows. Sing on pitch. Crawl through tight places. Imagine the impossible. Climb trees. And when wasps attack, I achieve a goodly proportion of the speed of light. I flee from them so fast they can't even see me. It's awesome!

But pain has arrived in the leg and hip. Old age pain, like rheumatism or something. In autumn, things get sad. In winter, my bones freeze. In summer, the air is oppressive. In spring, well, it's just all a bit too much -- the emotions cascade and tumble through my soul like illicit, hollering court jesters. The first rose bloom fills me with inertia, sucks all the time and reality out of me. Makes me ponder things that should not be pondered.


Add the digits together, and you get 13. Add the digits together, and you get 4. I don't think I've matured or developed very much beyond my fourth year. Sometimes, it feels more like a devolution than evolution into more reality.

Anyway...this version is a bumpy version. Giddy ups and breathtaking downs.

I hope you have a smoother ride. But there's also a little something good to be said for twirling inside this barrel of screaming monkeys....

pipsqueak sigh

Oh, my...and good grief!
I simply can't believe it.
Another poem about me.
Me sighing....

Why can't I write like a Russian?
Why can't I write like a Russian?

This is so unnerving.
This will not do at all.

It just won't come.
It's just not there.

I am not a Russian.

So I write with what I write with.
I let my mind go to far borders,
open my heart to black Steppes
and zones where words are wild.
I let those words fall through me,
and then I put them into lines,
into a circus ring of saying.

But it never comes out Russian.
It will never be that primal good.

Only Russians know where to find
words that are beyond all pages,
words drunken on the joke of love,
words that come like dancing bones,
to dance of how love goes deeply.
Words that speak of what is silent.

I'll never be able to write largely,
like a Russian, dark and richly. god!...I know
what the Russian is saying.