Blisters

Cut out on my feet –
cigarette burn rounds–
from city streets
that used to greet me
with imitation fireflies
and flights of fancy –
dizzying and glorious.
Now cracking and porous
my heels no longer
enough to support
–me –

Lo, lost, in this city
I knew –
So well –
It’s a hell

from the second you left
familiar became terror
and all I could want
is to escape –
walk away searing
in the heat –
I burn my feet
on the streets
that used to love me.

We’re so evolved kids

I crawled cradled into a hole,
a little one next to Mrs. Ples.
There I laid my head down
on our grandmother’s breast.
There it was I cried
the where’s, the what’s, the who’s, the why’s.
Do we hurt each other so
like siblings do, me and you?
You pull each other’s hair, she said
To bash the other on the concrete,
the street, to claim the game’s victory.
But the game’s gone
too far, much much too far.
You’ve forgotten what a cop, what a robber is.
To hide (away) and to seek (refuge)
playing on the streets.
She’d hit us, she said
if she had had the strength.
You hate too much and care too little
So the game my dear
isn’t worth its prize.
It isn’t fun anymore,
it hasn’t been
since even before my time.

Thus spoke the thunder

Imagine that there were
no words
on this page at all,
just thunderous silence.
A blankness
with which you would
be reflected.
Don’t see these words,
see the lines between,
the gaps, chasms,
without which they would not
exist.
We are all spaces
between,
atoms
between people,
between planets,
between universes,
between ideologies.
Remember that between
is the place to be
don’t you know
when the rhythm is slow
you can better hear
the beat
music is
after all
the silences
in between.

Us, in significance

I see your brain as this galaxy,
he said to me.
Beautiful, complex,
I’ll never understand it.

I hear my alarm before it goes off
the sun hasn’t come up,
it’ll go down before I’m home.
It doesn’t revolve around you or me.

I’m no galaxy, no saviour.
I’m a wanderer like the rest.
My eyes are still red
from this morning and the next.

You’re pretentious, they said,
but I’m not pretending.
I know that I’m not
a galaxy or some king.

I’m a kid of postmodernism
whatever that means,
but so are you,
not that we had a choice.

Dancing in circles,
like everyone else.
So maybe we’re all galaxy together,
bunch of old star dust

and we haven’t stopped swirling
motes of dust, moving.
Stagnant we’ll lay
and we’ll suffocate.

But we don’t know where to go,
from here, let’s go
and keep the pendulum swinging
between Cézanne and Warhol.

It’s all the same to us,
because those posters hang
in the dentist’s office
on a screech-drill backdrop.

Move [in]significance, [in]difference,
choice maybe beautiful, complex,
maybe you’re the galaxy,
we’re the ones we don’t understand.

Trees and Concrete

I think they’ll call me
Heretic, or call me when
they secretly want my bed.
I don’t lay with corporations,
conglomerations, companies
that cut our lives
into scheduled shreds.

Put us in plastic, cubicles,
Let our roots grow into
Cold dead carpets
that don’t show the stains
of our slow-rot.

Some soar from rooftops
Like eagles of freedom,
America is bald.
Old, white and phallic,
men and towers.

We have chained,
To trees yes, but mostly
White fences and TV screens.
Bonded to a minted crucible.

Where our lives are,
Melted and pressed
Into numbers and cents,
Senseless and mute we are.

Marched into done-up buttons
closed brief cases
into nooses daily around necks.
Hung as our hope flickers
Like corpse coloured fluorescent tubes.

Resigned to a life of getting
by and told to buy
to escape the getting by. Escape
into dreams, fantasies,
in books and movies.
Into brand new TV’s,
showing same old stories,
we bought it yesterday to
escape today.

Cry out, muted eagles.
Croak ravens of nihilism,
clipped wings, blinds
of indifference and distraction.

Soar, to the sky
where the sun blazes.
Twice burns in purifying pyre.
See beauty, see revolution.
See the Bastille burn again.
See the rise of souls
out of soot and factory smoke
And into dawn,
birdsung from tree tops.