For Bob Dylan and everyone else who isn't him.
At the violet hour, the evening hour that strives
Homeward, and brings the sailor home from sea
-T.S. Eliot “The Waste Land”
Break me off a piece of your reality.
Instead of read a name, ring a bell,
Let’s just remember everything we can,
Because the less we write down,
The less there will be to burn
when the burning commences.
There’s so much time and so much to forget
But you cannot fergit
That we will all be scholars of unnamed treasure chests.
And I will not tell you of the catacombs
Filled with pages and images and words and sounds
All the colour-coded swirls that reside in my mind.
And you will not reveal your catacombs
Let’s just pass them on.
I’m a rose in a wax paper storybook
And you’re a tulip.
We’re pressed and preserved and wink at guests turning pages.
Grapes sound good,
Feed them to me.
We’ll drink to them and drink them
Wine at the heart, held to your breast.
Moonlight and the image of you emblazoned against the moon.
I’m breathless, silent, tilted, impressed.
I’m captured, enraptured, jikhan, blessed.
This is only the place we slept
While visions of life appeared
And if nothing that happened really happened
Then I’ll step across the sands
And even still I’ll be stabbed.
Soon enough a self-coup will be paid for with our blood.
And we did it to ourselves, there’s always a chance for redemption.
No ego, no power-madness, no politics, no wanton war.
We did it to ourselves while it was all done to us,
That isn’t to say anyone deserves what’s happened to them
But it isn’t to say that people don’t deserve something.
It’s so easy to be disillusioned.
I know this darling.
It’s so easy to just go along.
I know this darling.
Because I did the same,
Today I can only see
Mountainsides in 2D
And I want to see the other side.
I went to sign up for the war,
And I found you’d already signed us up.
I wished you’d have just gone and won it yourself.
Ah, but no one really does.
Let’s just leave the bed unmade.
Couplets, triplets, goblets, leaflets,
All miniaturized forms of
The -isms, -ics.
Can’t it all be that simple?
Just a haiku and war is dead?
Only mentioned the hopeless
Because we all have that in common.
It’s so easy to feel hopeless.
“I feel lost in the face of war.”
“I feel lost and dead and cryptic under its thumb
But I don’t knew if I feel hopeless.” Even if it is.
Let’s not assume oppressed heartbeats,
I want her head on my chest
Thump, thump. thump, thump.
And in the inclinations of the paintings’ eyes
We can spy a hint of sadness
Because those that render, have an eye for the hopeless.
It must be some kind of coincidence.
There has always been that coupled with ecstasy
And unburdened stars.
Everything is being born
Everything is dying.
All that was and wasn’t is born to be and not to be.
I’m sorry. Sorry that we haven’t done better
But eventually every method peaks.
Or else no one will come up with a new one.
Every idea, every last one is built on those previous,
Those often grievous things that preceded.
And the hope lies in the new creator.
I was a trooper and a warrior
Before this firefight.
I kept my weapon polished
Now I run naked through the night.
And I suppose, I supposed
That I needed something, but I don’t need anything.
I hope that doesn’t include her
There must be a way, even if there isn’t away.
We were all born on the day we were born
And everyday before that and everyday after that.
Luckily her wise provisions helped us.
And puppies raised by people try to use their paws like hands.
How could someone hear
And in their native tongue
And in their particular dialect
And by a mouth they can trust
While looking into eyes they are found in.
How could you hear and yet…
I wish everyone could be loved.
“She’s beautiful isn’t she?”
“You look like the kind of boy that might understand that.
But you might not understand and until you do, you keep yourself to yourself.”
She said, I hate that things happened backwards from what they should have.
I said, Like the letter s and question marks getting ?witchedS
She said, I don’t want to die.
He said nothing, because he’s never had to say anything for as long as I’ve lived.
I have known fear.
I have known it and kept it at a distant remove.
For if I’m afraid, then who else will be afraid?
But there is no middle ground on which to walk.
You must choose something to be your truth,
But I enjoy God and Bhudda and Jesus and Mohammed being interchangeable.
Well, so we meet again.
Let’s blow smoke to the gods.
C’mon, a violin is creaking out an amelodic melody in an alley,
It calls to me, it’s calling to us, we should stop the small-talk and listen.
I can almost pick out the tune.
It’s on the tip of my tongue.
I guess it’s a harp being punched by hands stained with nicotine.
And not a violin after all.
Let’s ponder white flowers.
Let’s think about vines on trees.
Let’s converse in tongues forgotten by God himself,
And then he’ll hear it and say I remember when…
And the smoke we blew to him and to Zeus
And to Odysseus and Sisyphus and Orpheus,
And the Titans playing chess with Jesus,
And Bhudda, perfecting the art of not breathing,
While no one calls anyone by any name we could imagine.
And then the smoke we sent to their heaven
Will wrap itself around whatever it finds.
Blankets, fire, tall-tales, hurricanes,
And every possibility will rewrite every cause and effect.
But you and I will stand here, or sit, as time unfolds
We will be here.
Trapped in between two Ionian Islands,
Casting nets for fish but coming up with people asking about him.
And there will be hallucinations of armies walking on water.
And there will be everything darkening and shivering.
We will eat what we are fed, but nothing will taste good anymore.
There should be somewhere nearby.
Somewhere to relearn what we unlearned.
I remember you. You remember me.
Yet swords against pens against guns against bombs
And we all fight against the instant destruction.
An atomic bomb makes sense,
As everything becomes faster and faster
And our lives extend with each new discovery,
And as we run out of things to fill those years with…
Well, it makes sense to be destroyed in an instant.
But I feel sorry for all those animals who looked their food in the eyes.
A new smoke is sent to the gods then
By an anonymous pilot, employed by faceless shape-shifters,
Whose strings are pulled by people who have never been naked,
Who chase that hue of green that trees don’t produce.
Which gives meaning to names that don’t mean anything.
And everyone I know can’t imagine the world before it was like this.
If it ever was.
Now here we are, because this is where we went.
The universe is expanding and contracting
And rotating one way and then rotating the other just as furiously.
And everything we are doing has never been done exactly as we are doing it,
Because nothing returns but only speeds toward that,
And you and me and we and us and them and those and all the others not ensconced
Are all twirling and spinning and running and screaming and dreaming and climbing
And falling and skipping and flinging ourselves down flights of escalators going up
While every other possible possibility is acting in its own way complimenting our motion
And working with us and against us to reach the same goal while the tunnel darkens
And as it darkens it lights up and enlightens and everything exists together, apart
And we all rush slowly and quickly toward the end of the enveloping tunnel that only
Can conclude at the only logical conclusion and that conclusion will be called oblivion
And the grace of that oblivion will be with us and within us forever and ever. Amen.