Monday, May 30, 2016

Making Memorials

Making Memorials

Cities sink and high seas rise
Along a bootstrap revolt,
Carried high on foamy waves,
Buried low in technology’s
Castaway floating dinghies. 

Nations fall in desert tides,
In tyrants’ post-hazed oil springs,
On sandy, blood-soaked high dunes,
Oil deposits extracted for
West’s hard-wrought hegemonies.

Heroes fight in far off lands,
For branded, post-hoc ideals,
Trading lives for the living,
Securing selves on others’ backs.
Making friends from enemies.

Building fear on dark-soiled brands, 
Making war from tight conflict,
Policing home like afar, 
Choosing justice over peace,
Building rebuilt memories.

Against tyranny,
Against fascism,
Against each other,
Against terror,
Against errors.

For our neighbors,
For our highways,
For our suburbs,
For our machines,
For submachines.

We fight for imperfect selves,
On fronts and flanks and burdens,
Where lives are passed on cast pyres,
Where stateless foes persist on
Post decrepit binaries.

We die for heroic selves,
They die and we call them “we.”
Seeking perfection, trying.
Claiming redemption, crying.
Praising past: contemporaries.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Yooper for a Day

Yooper for a Day

I want to know what the dandelions know:
Buttercups pronouncing spring’s last snow.
     Piercing U.P.-Michigan’s unfrozen soil,(1)
Witnessing ice-cracked streams’ re-newed flow. 

I want to go where the dandelions go,
High in god’s sky, on wind or child’s blow,
     On hope-luckied palms, yellow-rubbed, strong life-boiled,(2)
Summer gardens now ready to sow.

I want to grow like the dandelions grow,
Glory upstretching, rich roots below,
     Two-headed twins, metamorphosed, self-sex’d foils,(3)
Like spun Earth, at seed, “A perfect globe.”

I want to know what those Yoopers know:
That neighbors are family,
That American Legions transcend churches,
That dandelion greens with
Homegrown tomatoes nourish souls
Through long warm summers,
Through joys and delights and despairs. 

     (1)Blanketing shores once as tall as Alps,
     (2)Alongside mayflies curt invasion,
     (3)Waldenic, scenic observation,
     (4)Geologically, surely as a Great Lake.

I want to know what that Superior knows:
Cool breezes bubbled from deep to
Push rock-smoothing waves ashore,
Wearing down hard obstacles, 
Depositing  ingredients for progeny’s
Homesteads and grounds: for 
New springs’ new awakenings.

I want to know what those dandelions know;
Just us heralding new ways to know:
     Strewn strong and deep, like a tough-hewn Yooper’s toils,(4)
Proclaiming: “Season’s short, grow now, go!”

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Again (In Chicago)

Again (In Chicago)

Sitting here, again,
On this same stone bench
In this same Grant Park.
Two years to the day
I’m struck by the cycles 
Of it all.

Same stainless steel Bean,
Same Halstead hangover,
Same skyline shots,
And fog and drizzle and
And clouds and scents
And visits.

Same words, more or less,
Same blank verse and
Loose meter and rhyme.
Living, co-living,
This all again,
Chicago is better.
Each day is better,
Each year is better,
Each over again
Pending first times,
All again. 

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Becoming Sir

Becoming Sir

There was that time, when I was nippy,
At the heels of every adult in the room:
Precocious, idealistic, boundless.
Making “purples orange” and “orange grapes.”
Fond remembrances into the future.

Then there was a time when I was snappy,
Biting off more than rightly chewable:
Industrious, prolific, profound.
“Both-ended candle burning.”
Making captured dreams real.

And then that time when I was silly,
Taking luck and blessings for granted:
Feckless, thankless, entitled.
In “Gut-rotted, foot-trodden puddles.”
Giving nothing back to the ether.

Then, cynical and angry, bully,
Consumed with loss and sacrifice:
Self-absorbed, equivocal, suicidal.
“But golden gold unending.”
PoetEconomy discovered.

And, then emergent in the middling,
In the breath of life re-revivaled:
Reconfigured, rebuilt, enlivened.
“Wishes realized amid heaven-strewn meteors.”
New-loving, loving new like the first time.

Becoming sir, like Elton, like Churchill,
Mantle handed to the less salt-peppered:
Wisdom-sharing, joints creaking, persistent.
With overactive “Nostalgia casing overtime.”
Doors held opened with deference.

Becoming sir, like my Grampa and Pépère,
Carrying on family’s names on other loins:
Legacy-building, crest nesting, inscribing.
“Beyond blood heritage: History alive”
Knighted, sword on my shoulder: yes, “Sir.”

Thursday, May 5, 2016



We amble before our Capitol, 
Our domed monument to the People,
Representatives of the United States,
Maintaining entropy:  disrupting  Order.

Union pulled left toward das Kapital,
Justice pulled right toward lost intention.
Tranquility misshapen by circumstance,
Schism betwixt chasmic relative Welfare.

Liberty equalized Capital:
Sustaining Posterity on debt.
Accursed Constitution, apparitional:
United States of America: