Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Black Line

Tan pants stained with a thin black line
I wear them all the time
Nothing fancy, nothing fine
Comfy clothes in which to climb
The mark on my thigh a reminder of the day
Sitting in the car thinking I'd something to say
No one to say it to so I searched for a pen
Finding myself in a miserable mood again
Hoping by scribbling I could put it to an end
The lesson learned: when my verse grows darker
Don't try to write using a permanent marker

Rat Traps

Rat traps and thunderclaps rainspotted puddle
through Seattle alleyway I mischievously muddle
shortcut to saloon not a moment too soon
shirking work scurrying away
past brickwork bent umber disarray
makeshift masonry plugs arches odd angles
fry cook on break betwixt lips cigarette dangles
flat metal boxes one circular hole
a moment's reprieve he dangerously stole
no judgment, no mercy, no reason to cry
we all have our place despite how we try
bait in a trap, smoke's exquisite relief
Me? My solace? Drink and belief
that writing in rhyme blessedly brief
neither rodent nor addict trapped will I be
write the right word and am magically free.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Fat You

Saw a fat you walking towards me
looked like you, but wasn’t.
Your pudgy doppelgänger.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

For the Birds

Oh yes I’m typing, there’s typing for me to do,
it’s very important to type things because why I haven’t a clue
Playing to type I’m pretending to type
believing the hype I phone using skype
because it’s the thing to do.
Employment’s deployment brings no enjoyment
my foot’s still inside my shoe.
The work I do is priceless.
The life I live is vice-less.
I wander streets with parakeets and feed them chickenseed,
the birds however are not of a feather and often a different creed,
Roman Catholic hawks and protestant squabs
Compete discretely for just the right jobs
doing battle like cocks in a pit
pretending not to give a shit.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Nine Blue Tiles

Nine blue tiles
a three by three square
finding meaning in everything
patterns on bathroom floors
bricks exposed in alleyways
asphalt stripped revealing history
geometric patterns
puzzles with too many pieces
or one giant puzzle
too complex to ever see reconstruction,
were it ever in one piece before.
Then again, perhaps it is now.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Artichokes and Cavalcades

When the shooting stopped and ragtag veterans straggled home, the politicians took over, cementing in history before a gelatinous future, the Western States of America. There comes a time when institutions previously considered unassailable must bow to change, when in the course of human events, holding truths self-evident and all that shit. The fact is we were tired of getting kicked around, tired of having people far away tell us what we could and couldn’t do, tired of them taking our money and spending it on things we didn’t want it spent on, like killing people.

The formerly united states of America will survive, as England has. Natural borders exist for a reason, rivers and mountain ranges signify more than arbitrary lines on a map. Western Americans are different, we exist in a different space, we share a different history. Aleutians and Russians, Snohomish and Asa’s girls, Utes and Mormons, the Hopi, Anasazi, Mexicans fighting French, Richard Henry Dana and California Dollars, Baja to Bear Flags, Whales, Great Whites, Orcas, Mammoths gone and the Giants live on, refusing to bend to the will of the distant weak. Those feeble in spirit, poor souls gathering riches once too often, gone to the well over and over without so much as a how do you do. Screw your electorate, we’ve got the college majority so we’ve got the authority to do whatever we like with what we steal from you. Tommy Paine was pissed.

Extended tours, army in disarray, economy shattered by banking scandals and Asian governments calling in chits, the field was ripe, revolution wasn’t a vacuous ad slogan anymore, we took to the streets then the hills. No one knows the back alleys and backwoods better than locals and if our forefathers and the Lakers, our Mesopotamian and Algerian and Vietnamese friends taught us anything it was home court advantage counts big time.

Not to diminish the lives lost, bodies shattered, families forever torn apart, but it was surprisingly easy. Take a navy base and a few missile silos and people start to pay attention. Foreign diplomacy, Benji Franks in Paris, no beaver cap, no; a Reyn Spooner and flipflops and we were California Dreamin’ in Tokyo, though. Sole Superpower the biggest poppy to lop and the community of nations stood in line to take their swipe. Hell, this wasn’t Kosovo we were talking about, this was the sixth largest economy in the world.

That’s how it came about, that’s how I found myself standing astride bots dots on a shut down Highway 1, the glistening Pacific on my right, the artichoke fields of Watsonville on my left, the cavalcade of conquering heroes marching slowly in the distance fresh from the battles of LA coming home to Santa Cruz and Gilroy, Milpitas, fucking Bolinas. Not even bothering with cars or trains, taking their sweet goddamn time reveling with the locals night after night as the roving party rolled north, dropping off fellows in their hometowns, kissing newfound friends and long-suffering warrior kin goodbye for now. There was tomorrow, oh yes, as Scarlett said, there's always tomorrow, we’d fought for it and tomorrow is ours forever.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008


No, not really blogging is it? I'm just dumping stuff in here, some of it new some of it old. So what?

The Marketing Guru

Demonstrable return on investments
Wearing his MBA vestments
Meeting strategic goals
Incense burning on coals
Focus on incremental growth
Consultant or priest, or both
Words and phrases spoken like sages
Sacred wisdom pulled from pages
Volumes and tomes
Wharton’s or Rome’s
Knowledge from college
walking a knife edge
Sixteenth floor ledge
my business hedge
Levels of risk – a backed up disk
An obeisant bow
I worship now
The Mainframe Obelisk

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Prattle from Seattle

An awful cough’ll wear you down in this gray and rainy town - sniffles and sore throats riding early ferryboats - the phlegm from them, the Petri dishes - snot-nosed darlings despite our wishes - lavish us with their wet kisses spreading germs to me and missus - James Joyce wrote Ulysses - the days progress interminably - infections land indiscriminately - pausing now to blow your schnoz - regardless of this cold’s cause - you must go home and get some rest - rub some balm upon your chest - but a five year-old is such a pest - tell me are there any laws - denying men entrance to day spas.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

I Know Jack

I told Jack that I was thinking about becoming a hermit. But Jack told me that "hermit" is just another way of saying "loser". In America if you describe yourself as a hermit, you have admitted that you cannot succeed in society and have given up; you are a loser. This is Jack-speak, a wonderful black and white language where everything is easily defined into two categories: Mine, which is right, and Theirs, which is wrong.

There are no individuals anymore, they have all joined special individualists' groups for writers and thinkers. How do you get original thought out of a think-tank?

This is the way losers talk, bashing the system because they can't succeed in it. I walk on the periphery and watch as everyone runs in circles in the middle. I like to think this way because it makes me feel above the fray, it makes me feel superior, when in every other way I am perceived as the loser. I have no money, I have no power, I have no voice - very few people ask my opinion. This has its benefits, I'm hardly ever wrong.

Some say I am just scared, Jack says I'm lazy; I want to tell them that I have just realized that all this isn't worth it, that we are just spinning our wheels and that in the end we are all dust motes wiped up by the karmic rag. I don't, though, because someone might ask me to explain myself and while that is one hell of a pithy rejoinder, I'm not quite sure what it means.

I have a vague perception of what I call "my universe", and surrounding that perception is a careful series of defenses that I use to protect it from outside comprehension, and thus critique. I hate being criticized, which is why I rarely do anything.

The central tenet of my philosophy, which can be told with no fear of anyone ever understanding said philosophy, is that eventually everyone on the planet will come to the same conclusion at the same time and we will finally be able to live in peace. Unfortunately, at that very instant life, as we know it, will end. We will all simply cease to be.

For the time being I am the only person on the planet that knows what this conclusion is, and let me tell you it is no easy burden to bear. Every day I read the paper and watch TV and laugh to myself as everyone flounders about seeking pleasure, satisfaction and righteousness while blissful harmonies resonate in my brain alone. Sadly, being thus occupied affords me little income.

Part of the problem with the world that I've noticed revolves around religion, although religions merely manifest flaws in individuals so they really can't be blamed, they also serve to justify inflexibility which makes them susceptible to my attack. See, I once thought that we could have one true religion that would allow everyone to live in peace. This delightfully naive way of thinking was shattered when I began to imagine how this religion would coalesce.

I examined how other religions were formed, and found they primarily grew out of the teachings of one dynamic personality, and that person was ultimately deified, whether they wanted to be or not. Once they were gone the teachings of these leaders were made sacrosanct and as the times changed the true meaning of their words was debated endlessly. This, and the competition of already existing religions, often produced conflict.

Jack says my thinking is simplistic, and he may be right, afterall, he goes to work every day, I just watch the clouds.

Now, I'm not going to say whether conflict is "good" or "bad", it’s not my place to make such objective decisions. Yet, if one were to stumble upon the true religion that was going to bring peace to the planet, I figured this religion would arrive without such conflict. How could that be, you might ask. How could a new religion simply settle on the planet without arousing any suspicion? There's already an abundance of competition - competition that has been around for a long long time - and I'm certain that they wouldn't take kindly to being told they were wrong all these years.

This is where I had to use my imagination, your imagination goes to strange places when you aren't worried about bus schedules.

The only way everyone on the planet would agree on something would be if they all thought of it at the same time. Putting aside the implausibility of such an occurrence for a moment, think about what would result if it did happen. People being people, naturally different from each other in countless beautiful ways, they would never be able to relate to one another the meaning of what they had just thought. Everyone would try to explain it differently and in the end we would have the same old conflict.

Which is why, to maintain the perfection of that moment, the world would have to end. Unlikely, yes, but more pleasant than the prospect of nuclear annihilation.

We can either think the world is going to end after a long stretch of destruction and decay, or we can think that we are all striving towards a perfection we cannot comprehend. Either way, I'm still going to have to get a job.

Jack asks me what I do all day. I tell him I contemplate the infinite. It's not exactly a laugh, but his response is closer to a laugh than anything else.

If the universe is expanding because of some primordial explosion, and if this expansion will ultimately reach its end - well, then won't the universe begin to contract. All the matter that went hurtling through space after the Big Bang will, at the bequest of gravity, come crashing back into itself until it reaches such a density that another Big Bang is the result.

I ask you - How long has this been going on? Expansion, contraction, expansion, contraction - we might be on one ride out of a million, and each ride takes billions, trillions of years. We'd need Carl Sagan to do the math.

I wonder if this thought should make me feel infinitesimal or dramatically important - I waver between the two. From the viewpoint of the expanding universe, not just myself, but the entire human population past and present is nothing but a blink of the eye. Yet, if this is the only moment in time where that blink was discerned, that is, the only moment during countless expansions and contractions when a being was capable of acknowledging and pondering this mysterious universe, well, then we humans have an important responsibility.

That responsibility is either more or less important than deciding which long distance carrier to use, I'm not sure which. Jack tells me it doesn't matter if the universe is expanding as long as your personal debt isn't. He says the cafe on the corner is hiring. Jack has a point.