Monday, May 28, 2012


Consumed by maggots,
they’re converting bullion
into timeless dung

Asserting a reverse alchemy
a death that won’t expire—

Like roads untaken
armies unattacked
cities unbombed
land unstained by blood—

They become useless in their scheme of things

Proving laws, like grammars
are descriptions that cannot innovate—

intuitions worth living for

Friday, May 25, 2012


If I had a Republican mind, my pursuit of happiness couldn’t end. If I had a Democratic mind, I’d still be seeking justice. With a schizoid anarchic mind, I shut my eyes and see whatever I might adopt. Its biology will seam together a multiple choice question of something else evolving something that wasn’t there before. It’s power feels kind of sexy, an orgasmic catastrophe creating a need to make more people. Their potential unity, invited by the chasm in her flesh, will make them come. Flooding the cornfield, Old Muddy soils their southbound money. The corn had better be extra corny this year, or someone else’s gonna get it.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012


As I pace the city
planning to subvert
my enemy’s strategy,

mourning doves
sound tranquil,
as if

knowing I defend them,
they observe
every win


Monday, May 21, 2012


As an erotic poet wades through blood something grave fuses bombs resembling ova mesmerized by energies of language hearing and saying only what It needs taking possession of whatever we abandon seaming a tao into us.

A vulture, defending the road…

Friday, May 18, 2012

When angry, why not laugh?


The trajectory of Ishmael Reed’s Mumbo Jumbo feels like “madness maddened,” as if it were written by a comedic African Ahab at war with the white whale.

It’s as monolithic as the monolith it attacks, seaming together the international and inter-racial strands of an inside-out subjective analysis of “Jes Grew” nationalism:

We decided that we would be their [Atonists] desecraters, that we would send their loot back to where it was stolen and await the rise of Shango, Shiva, and Quetzalcoatl… [89]

MJ lays out the paranoid gist of a secret “1000s” year-old racial holy war between Pantheist Pagans and Atonists, pitting Eros v. Thanatos in an attempt, via “mumbo jumbo,” to exorcise our secret societies of their ancestors’ “troubled spirits.”

This task, according to the novel, is so important because the private struggles among secret societies are at the very core of all warfare:

Moses learned the secrets of VooDoo from Jethro and taught them to his followers. H.P. Blavatsky concurs: “The fraternity of Free Masons was founded in Egypt and Moses communicated the secret teaching to Israelites, Jesus to the Apostles and thence it found its way to the Knights Templar.” 186

The aggressiveness of the Atonist White Man is the African Pantheist’s burden, which is made all the more difficult because “The White man will never admit his real references.” [194]

Certain Romantic, anti-Royalist Anglophiles may find the trotting out of the Osiris Myth old news and might even take exception to the way Reed’s narrator skewers Milton:

[Milton] foresaw the Bad News [Jes Grew] was going to bring to the world. John Milton, Atonist apologist extraordinary himself, saw the coming of the minor geek and sorcerer Jesus Christ as a way of ending the cult of Osiris and Isis forever. [171]

The narrator then quotes at length from “On the Morning of Christ’s Nativity,” before pegging it:

And those “Timbrel’d Anthems dark” is the music that old Jethro played, the music of worshippers of those festivals where they had a ball. Boogieing. Expressing they selves. John Milton couldn’t stand that. Another Atonist; that’s why English professors like him, he’s like their amulet, keeping niggers out of their departments and stamping out Jes Grew before it invades their careers. It is interesting that he worked for Cromwell, a man who banned theater from England and was also a hero of Sigmund Freud. [171-2]

A feeling may persist among lovers of Milton, I count myself among them, who refuse to damn the man because Africa wasn’t on his radar in the mid-Seventeenth century. Anyone who’s read Paradise Lost knows Milton didn’t love Jehova/Yahweh or the Demiurge, nor did he proclaim him a god worthy of worship. In fact, one might suspect Milton’s Satan of speaking on behalf of Milton more than any other character. God was the King Milton rebelled against. But still, Milton aligned himself with Cromwell, etc.

Reed, a humorist who more than once in MJ made me think of Kurt Vonnegut, skewers that and all world views which can’t and won’t groove to the blues.

By satirizing “white” political-economy and culture and contrasting it against counter-institutions on the “black” side, Reed ends up satirizing the whole of human society: “What is the[ir] wound?...the knowledge in his heart that he is a … charlatan …” [132]

Readers looking for history will instead find both an historical artifact and present-day conflict that seems to be forever ongoing in our affairs as human beings.

Today we have the so-called “Tea Party” representing a spasm of the Atonist vision of the “African” Obama, for whom the term African-American feels oxymoronic. Jes Grew embodies everything Ayn Rand and her wounded, tea-bagged followers most fear—the pursuit of a life worth feeling.

When Mumbo Jumbo was published in 1973, “Jes Grew needed its words to tell its carriers what it was up to. Jes Grew was an influence which sought its text, and whenever it thought it knew the location of its words and Labanotations it headed in that direction.” [211]

Jes Grew seams a necessary, subconscious drifting toward the beautiful, a desired after but slippery unity orchestrated by the psychogeography of a collected, unconscious mind. It’s like the narrator says early on: “This is the country where something is successful in direct proportion to how it’s put over; how it’s gamed.”

Allowing for the uncanny is always a trick. Ironically, there’s an old Jewish proverb that goes: “When fearful, dance; when sad, sing.”

But the old Atonists forgot something: When angry, laugh. Life is play…

That’s mumbo jumbo.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


we nap in anguish
fingering blood
beneath our guillotine

over shabby filaments
of patois
we evolve
cloven hooves

Sabotage the bone of
a flower that will

The lamb

Approaching a formlessness
not even the deepest spies

Some plan
the wise might


Against us

Monday, May 14, 2012


The membrane—
vibrating with kazoos
and patriotic marching
bands spilling over
Battle Hymn of the Republic—
reflects an impure light

On this bone—hung like a trophy—
on this skin erasing itself
slowly down under
where the glitter is,
where the road curves, spurting pansies
where you stomp them down
wearing goose-step moonboots

To wipe yourself away

It claims dominion
bribing us with courtesy
fusing Its opposition to our ferocity

As we police the vacant streets
looking for you.

It would seem you’ve purloined everything,
illegitimating, they say,
that which makes.


On this bone—hung like a trophy—
It claims dominion
As we police the vacant streets
Vibrating with kazoos
On this skin erasing agent
Looking for you
Legitimating, so they say,
Slowly beneath
That which makes
The glitter where
The road curves, spurting pansies
Reflecting an impure light
That you stomp down
Wearing goose-step moonboots.

Friday, May 11, 2012


you begin knocking
on a small hatch.

It’s unlocked.

no one will guard your bag.

You’re on his bunk,
sailing for an unknown continent,
feeling the intense instability of your p(r)ose.

All day now you’ve been playing with that bruised banana in your pocket
(the one no one will guard
[poking it with your pointer
{hoping to pull it closer}]),
if you could only...

All the other girls are laughing because Mitt asked you where you got that pretty boy.

One of them’s wearing a pirate’s outfit, fingering the tip of her dagger.

The undressed gentlemen are coming together as the hair flies.

O captain, my captain! We’re at the juncture!

Sobbing, you flee to your bed because he pled you to cuddle.

He didn’t mean it…will by no means re-member.

And your family’ll never know

You can’t forget.

It was only a prank.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012


My lady’s come;
her deity, go[o]d.

I’m mortified, however.

She’s touched. I’m pregnable.

And so It seams, perhaps.

Monday, May 7, 2012


They shift
using a swiss
cheese hummer for

Yesterday, they were amused
something Abdullah’s mother said
something about the way he shovels his cous cous
or was it how Uncle Ahmed’s olive oil made him fart
[ass up]
at afternoon prayer

But today
Nasrallah’s son detonated an IED
killing Joe from Denver
and Cindy from Pittsburgh

I thought about how we, too, laughed yesterday
something about Cindy’s son Moses crapping his pants on Space Mountain

They move, again
my M-60 of phallic steel—
twisted & oily,
smelling metallic—
death, rattling in my arms,
streams of uranium lead
spewing from the eye of my cock—

A skinless corpse boiling
tomorrow its depleted meal
a phosphate memory whose vessel


Rage might relapse into pleasure,
provocation into bliss

But a lost nation will never recover
its dead, or revisit

Friday, May 4, 2012


Thought eccentric by locals
—she wore white—
her Reluctance—
Or, later in life,
To leave her room.

She was troubled
By the "deepening
Of those too close.

And these words—
Of friends—
Gone sleeping
The “churchyard sleep—“
The sad hour of evening—
Once a time for study—
The words have gone to rest,
And the book, open—
The scholar—alone—
Producing tears,
Poems she can’t wipe away;
Nor would she if she could—
They feel her only tribute:

“Home is so far from home”—here
This "funeral in the brain"—
This failure of life’s hunger—
Death’s teleology—
Demising itself—
A rotted space—
Twain murder and suicide—

She knew her mind as spirit
Yet tangible, a place to go
And much of her life—
The best of it, perhaps—
Was lived there—

The "undiscovered continent"
Of the spirit’s landscape—
Embellished by nature,
Not words—
Where one resides with
One's other selves:

“Me from Myself—
To banish—but since myself
—Assault Me—
Have I peace
By quitting me—
From Me.”

If Emily Dickinson
Were living
Today, I'd propose—
In wedded bliss
We'd spend our lives
At home—alone—
Together—in our flanking rooms,
with a wee hole in the wall
for conversation—

Wednesday, May 2, 2012


The sea’s too candid

Its contagious
nagging for attention

to move
the way the
wave flows
will fail then


Seek higher ground

I am father of the Sea
You are Its mother

Our child grows
away from us

We age and sink,
would surge and
flutter, but sudden
death will not

Obey us