May 20, 2015

baby teeth...




baby teeth

there was the time
I saw the mortal end 
of my ability to be amazed 
under the influence 
of the awe and wonder 
of how a child might feel...

isn't forever supposed to be 
given no circumstances 
other than play...

I was nearing 
the third grade 
it was hot 
and I was digging 
into the ground, 
reveling in the raw scent 
of it beneath my post industrial imagination 
I pretended to see the signs 
under the community clotheslines 
in the center courtyard 
of this snaked bricked row 
subsidized housing complex
I lived at...

I was at one of those poems 
I remember now being written
a post war boom choral civics lesson 
meant for who I would 
come to know 
as a disposable hero...

the incised fantasy
leans start to happen 
when the Sun pulls 
time as tiny knives 
and fingers the air 
school is out 
the asphalt 
and concrete shimmer 
leaps of faith 
want my dark again 
and no matter how far I dig
I am always losing 
my baby teeth

EJR ©

you the poem, begged a storm of limbs...

Andreas Achenbach, 'Clearing Up—Coast of Sicily', 1847.







you the poem, begged a storm of limbs

as if you knew what was coming...
none of us did...even the trees 
begged the dark skies 
for shooting stars to wish upon 
for exits to appear when 
and where we wanted them to be...

the strafed glow of human lives 
intermingling while so oblivious 
at times to each other's presence 
causes both consternation 
and surreal fascination...

I am a selfish observer in this regard...
watching the death 
of Schrödinger's cat, ad nauseam...
spending lifetimes as friends 
and enemies with myself 
as a dependent on birthright 
and place for the structure 
of me as the poem...

my flesh and blood follow...
verbs and nouns chased after 
counted tamed and unleashed 
here the poem speaks 
as if my soul knows spawn, 
flow, ebb and wane 
are what humans do awash 
in cycled sea and rain...

EJR ©

past dreams of futures...



past dreams of futures



I was 8 or 9 years old 
I understood my world band radio's 
inner and outer dials 
their hiss and pop crackles 
the frequency tunings spitting 
lightning sounded connections 
I imagined my finger 
on the pulses of time 
in order to breathe in 
a future of broken clocks 
and spoken musical tongues 

that culture is more a word 
for bacterial growth these days 
than our je nais se quoi 
tells us, temperate forests 
have orchestral seasons 
played entirely by insect life cycles 
and how they can be used 
to gauge the authenticity 
of any awe we might exhibit 
catching hold of fleeting magic 
when alone
wishing 
writing 
wanting 
wonder 
in our eyes, still



EJR ©

May 18, 2015

tales of a fool's razor-ed edge...

Gartenweg mit Hühnern (Garden Path with Chickens), by Gustav Klimt. 1917






tales of a fool's razor-ed edge

I say...

why engage my humanity 
outside of sublime evolution 

why not be 
a maple blossom 
brief blink 

yes, I put my eyes under the spell 
of shade wobble shadow theater 
streetlights and serenades 
cobblestone condensates 
surveillance cameras 
I imagined were wrought iron poles
topped with flickering gas lamps...

I find myself always briefly
debriefing entrances 
in choice knock, bell or toll 
a lone thought 
awl ways bought 
taut bone to flesh 
in wolf step by step 
number painted patterns 
the lambs, I understand now...

I am in  
my own movie set luxury 
I remember by season 
each landscape I weaned myself from
I watch my highlight films 
in the burnt narrows of nostalgia
I channel more sentiment and fondness 
the farther from my youth I get 
in order to obtain 
any wisdom 
from my sordid 
for this poem



EJR ©

May 13, 2015

ore bit...

photo from Italy? circa 1920, no attributable author found



ore bit

I promised her 
open-window will take
south and east away 
as I dug fingers 
into loam, tracing 
my intentions 
as geometry

there were parts 
of me inside nowhere 
parts I wanted to play 
pieces fallen once 
forgotten then remembered 
words, sometimes 

when the poem get inside
turning a short attention 
spanned life 
into base instantaneous 
gratification ones and zeros 
alone or in a group
we're bitten or bits it spit at up or out
it being something we sit on
and if it means role playing, 
well we'll improvise 
surmise the guises 
that can surprise us still 
and we will fill our pockets, 
it’s the bourbon, bread and cheese  
stealing the sugar-packets off the table
saying to the barkeep, straight no chaser please

we'll nose 
and ease 
our way in 
and out 
of the fantasy ride 
the delve and dive
the exhale language 
wearing what exits hide
eyes fight scent 
for control 
of safe 

we push
into danger 
and zone out 
we are antsy 
and aware 
skin-crawling-ly so
of everything 
we take nothing 
more than a breath 

and we watch where 
Morpheus gets in 
the mobile 
of planets and stars 
spinning slowly above
the baby's crib

EJR ©

May 12, 2015

symptomatic modernity...

triptych by Michael Hutter, ‘The Triumph of Flesh’ ©






symptomatic modernity
( why poets with children might not want to read the news )

we live in a world where caring
is a pejorative hallmark with strings…
yes I may be cynical, very cynical even,
not expressing much if any confidence
the marketeers would have my soul’s back
as much as my wallet determined worth
currently currency instead of any measure
of emotional and spiritual grace
distills my place and potency

I may be laced with poison
interspersed with what good
I am truly capable of…

this is where love leads to copulation artistry…
quartering conquest inside houses of bones…
we pray to the sands to rain temporary shelters…
we affix a less dimensional sense of destiny
to the wind by calling ourselves
kite masters and puppet players…

we travel in long mule trains
town to town to forest clearing
depot deposited backwaters
and urban sewer cathedrals
we promote bowsprit worship
instead of vocational rudder control…

we watch our children play hero worship
theater masking themselves beneath
white industrial birthed digital noise
flotsam and jetsam raking with their palms out
as if there were bread in the skies…

they are raised with a belief that tomorrow
has already sold out today and that yesterday
has always been meant to be painfully
looked back upon as a starting point
for something else that might go wrong with humanity…

they may instinctively understand
we, as a species might be unable
to stop ourselves from wanting
understanding at the cost of a livable salvation…

yes, dreams tells us,
we can rise above the frays,
instill in ourselves a dignity
beyond category and take the reins,
yes we can rise it seems
with a taste of irons in our hands,
the stain of blood on our lips
and meaning slowly siphoned away
into a deepening pool of imagery…

yes, we can blur the lines
between sleep states
and the waking world
while waiting to wish
upon the stars
like a child might
on a near Summer’s night
when everything
still seems possible…


EJR ©

May 11, 2015

la lucentezza di conquista , la fame di più...

Satyr and nymph, mosaic from Pompeii, House of the Faun


la lucentezza di conquista , la fame di più

per i romani ei tedeschi,
la vostra appetiti
per l'organizzazione militare
in tutto corso della storia 
è un lungo in corso poema, anzi !

----------------------------

this poem
takes me to you
in a place after
when the land of black eagles
and red wolves in the middle
of the twentieth century anno domini
ceased with the churning combustibility,
projectile volatility and futile attempts
at conquering in cold blooded savagery

this poem
takes me to you
in our place here after
when the land of black eagles
and red wolves in the middle
of the twentieth century anno domini
sought a more stable fiduciary
and made for TV killing means...

the east plundered
the stolen art and gold
while the west took minions,
minutia, methodologies
and relevant
to their market share
tiny seeds of fascism...

and by now this modernity
is all we see
it is remnant echo boom
and bust cycled mania
pop culture's spread
of beauty into low art forms
by now, we are mostly conceived
as rolling stone song lyrics
too many of us
can still be construed
in some way
as being under
someone else's thumb
crumb licking
boot savant
thirstily
and greedily
dialing ourselves inside
the red doors with black paint 
and mother's little helpers...

I used to like circuses
now I only like freak shows
and pied piper spontaneity
I used to like playing army...
now I am mindfully silent
when smiling to evoke
in a stranger's eyes
a weapon-ized surrender love...

and while, it is not customary
to lock looks with another
one doesn't know, you proved otherwise
I cared not sanity perceived
as much as tickling dead parts
been told this can be received
as disconcerting and rude
by I’ll take my chances
with advances toward you...

and you can call me
a nosy idiot poet then
because I am diving into
the where and why
of your soul
wearing curtains too...


EJR ©

May 10, 2015

poesia cuando también cerró se al ventana...



poesia cuando también cerró se al ventana

I sit here 
on a Sunday afternoon 
looking out 
from my study 
listening to Paco De Lucia
I've played golf already 
made a late breakfast 
and have myself 
now, an iced toddy 
it's a quiet Mother's Day 
out there it seems 
weather for restaurants 
and conditioned air...

then I say to myself 
I think about mothers 
everywhere mostly everyday, 
yoga pants too for that matter...

the birds are quiet 
and the heat is building 
beyond my old glass pane 
southerlies swell and I seek a poem 
I'm not trying to find words 
because I know sometimes
they like to drift in 
and out any awareness 
we have of them
they know the poems 
almost before we do...

the central air is droning 
and the bob and weave 
of branches as sleeves 
catch my eye in fluttered deception 
lifting lilting May is reach growth 
new leaves, maple trees mostly near me..

I begin to notice sounds 
carry differently 
in the heat 
and humidity 
they soft careen 
caught for a bit  
releasing more whisper than 
the sharper concussions 
pang-ing the cold air Winter poetry
also when the window is closed...

EJR ©

May 7, 2015

thinking about a place where...

The Dream of the Fisherman's Wife,
Hokusai, 1814, woodblock print



thinking about a place where...


I'm somewhere else besides 
the insides an old room 
pheasant marshland grouse
forest creek hunting wallpaper 
and wainscoting with old paint 
old street old views old words 
all that I look at 
to bear some kind 
of bullshit inspiration 
that I can turn 
into a poem

thinking about a place where 
I choose to steal time from myself
in the most right 
of now I can know because 
I am mostly cliche 
mostly driven by simple electrocution 
mostly at home in my head 
with the group of voices 
that I have cultivated...

thinking about a place where 
the new bingo chips have human skin in them
the leprosy colonists fill our reeded baskets 
with bushels full of themselves 
we paint them, crushed early tree blossoms 
maples do fine from crimson cellular iron red 
to hose knife lime green and a slurry 
of in between colors that seem right about 
the dusty hues take views 
interior monologues raked in places I'd rather not mention 
but will anyway because I want 
every poem to be
more like my fantasies, painted
in the smells of flophouse stoner zombie love...

thinking about a place where
a sexy post menopausal maternal type 
can give me an unexpected blowjob 
before a sandwich attendant drone 
comes to take my order...

there's a robert wise film on 
turner classic movies tonight
though I might be too tired and drunk by then
to do anything other than imagine another poem
to entertain myself in the morning when I awake 
thinking about a place where...

EJR ©

this poem body is a forest clearing with incubation-al legs...


"Consequence",
art by Allison Sommers ©





this poem body is a forest clearing with incubation-al legs...

an old campground speaker affixed 
to a tall trimmed pine plays 
scratchy jazz and occasional 
PSA styled ringlets 
of words like these...

blah blah blah 
blah blah blue 
boo booboo boob
hiss pop fizz...
in an era 
of mixed media latest greatest messaging 
and capable long sleeved parlor tricks...
the emotional vacuity 
of politics masquerades 
as bodhisattva charades
in order for us
to see and to be 
terminally unique 
yet the same
reckless population 
lacking proper controls...

thievery of the wheel 
PT Barnum said sell the tickets
we'll get a show going

I think to myself 
could a live cell viral load out 
reduce the choke hold of humanity 
and how it applies it to Earth...

"perhaps", 
answers influenza, 
startling me a bit
as its voice was one 
I could not see...

"I do have more sinister cousins,
but I'll need most everyone 
of you all to adopt, 
a chemical-ized additive 
and fast fill addled 
Americanized 
western diet" 

I reply, 
" like skipping the sprouts 
and other things that may cause me 
a healthy aversion to dying off...?"

"yes", says influenza again, 
"exactly the self 
applied tourniquet 
grease we need."

EJR ©

May 6, 2015

when I write about...

Hunter Creek abandoned fruit tree, Curry County, OR,
by Andrew D. Barron ©





when I write about...

old fruit trees
I'll be right about 
being right there 
inside the blood 
and earnest ritual
of a garden 
I may have once had 
inside my mind...

this is why poems steal...
flowers can hold us, they always do
pawning our noses with the promise 
of ripe flesh and taut skin 
hallowed to hollow heart chambers 
waded hunger fills, empty insides waiting...

abandoned fences, lattice trellis, 
other filigree and seed 
traipse trace trundle strewn 
the littering of gravity 
in spent bodied seasons
sweetening death beneath 
trees' open arms 
come Autumn when Winter 
whispers in warnings 
and I write about pies...

EJR ©

for the archer:...

Artemis mosaic at
The National Bardo Museum in Tunis, Tunisia






for the archer:

she has keen senses 
foretelling in launches 
and delineations 
of a subject fancied
its entireties and histories 
one hand pulled string 
written by image pleased 
while the other hand 
releases living between ease 

her eyes capture prey
iris led warrior ethical 
her nose knew 
scent forests follow
the body
from roads and strife 
to a soul's comfort home
where everything is fleeting 
when given over to possession

a mind's escapism 
is mostly chemical
though I tend to dream 
about her when I can pretend
time no longer owns me
with its clocks and calendars 

I hook myself 
to the flight 
and trajectory 
of an arrow 
catching sight
of the sun 
and morning 
reaching through 
to the moon 
and night 

EJR ©

May 5, 2015

design this poem...





design this poem...

a tailor limb-ed 
eyed speaker 
language whore...

more cloth 
will always be needed 
it chose slow bleeding examination 
alabaster remains explanation process 
writes down science is always going 
to be lagging the miraculous leaps of faith...

and regarding single 
or multi-player game modes-man-ship, 
the poem knows 
time can be measured 
chronological events 
or it could be sewn 
into the movements 
of a soul between 
its every death and birth 
its every Spring to Winter 
and Winter to Spring 
its every stitch to structure 
its every freeing verse 
wearing the words 
where seams 
seem be 
the ways in 
and between 
the meanings 
of things...

EJR ©

sweeping beg of cannibal beneath dress...



photo of Miss Ruth Kellogg, sweeping,
published, in a series,
the "Delineator" magazine, 1920's




sweeping beg of cannibal beneath dress

I dared infinity's lover

to die of her beauty 
lying with Dawn 
in late morning rise

she was wearing 

May velvet pollen
maple's blossoms 
rain, bells, court tinder and flint

I squinted, found horizons 

say the sharpest cuts
are somewhat painless
though they all leave marks...

...that gather, ebb and eddy

dust and particulates 
even soap oils 
cannot keep at bay

so sweep I must 
trust in ritual and seize 
moments that come to me 
when so very hungry

EJR ©