Ars Poetica

 

A poem should be wordless   

As the flight of birds.

   Archibald MacLeish

 

nobody cares about poetry

all that sentimental blather

and speaking in academia

withering from the world

behind your walls

of words

 

but I suppose I was sold

when somebody said it’s

an attempt to explain in

words that which can-

not be explained

in words

 

I was guaranteed to

fail and I was free

and that was

all it took

to hook

me

New App

 

Paul just shook his head

when I told him about

my plan for a new app

that uses inaudible low

frequency sound waves to

simulate human empathy.

 

Pop in your earbuds,

launch my new app on

your favorite device,

and let the feeling that

you’ve really been heard

just wash right over you.

 

But let us forget for now

about the healing power

of my incredible new app

and talk more about Paul

and his consistent failure

to champion my dreams.

A Preference for the Madness

when I see a man alone

in a shopping center parking lot

flailing his arms like a dry land drowning victim

I expect him to be insane – or engrossed in a manic episode

but all too often he’s simply wearing a tiny telephone earpiece

quoting disappointing sales figures or bickering with his girlfriend

and the closer I walk – and as the truth sinks in more deeply

the more certain I become that I’ve somehow been cheated

Movie Theater

I took a sick day and went to the movies. I like to go alone on weekday afternoons.  People are at work, and the theaters are nearly empty.  It was Clint Eastwood in Gran Torino, and he badly wanted some poor sonofabitch to get off his lawn.

I chose a central seat a few rows from the front and glanced around to see just one other person sitting, oddly I thought, far away in a back corner.  But to each his own, I decided, and turned my attention back to memories of the Eastwood films I had seen.  Several minutes later, as the previews were winding down, a man strolled down the aisle and sat directly in front of me as if reporting dutifully to his assigned seat on the second day of tenth grade geometry.  After glancing around the desolate theater a few times to be sure I was not the target of a practical joke or the subject of some social experiment, I began to analyze the possible motives behind this man’s most bizarre seating selection.  I thought mental illness was plausible but finally decided that he must have been somehow oblivious to the imposition, and I’ll have to admit, this triggered a rage response in me, complete with fleeting thoughts of sudden violence.

But then Clint flashed on the screen with his trademark technicolor scowl, and returning suddenly to myself, I switched to a more suitable seat a few rows back and let the projector’s pale blue opiate glow sing me down to the bliss of no longer knowing.

Donut Shop

Tom Chalmers rested his elbow on the donut shop counter and watched as customers filed through the early morning line ordering coffee, donuts, and bagels thick with cream cheese.  No one complained about Tom’s habit of craning his neck for a clearer view of certain transactions, if they noticed at all in the rush hour hustle.  Tom spoke to no one, but he nodded knowingly from time to time, occasionally crooking his brow.  Only Bill Peterson, seated quietly at a table nearby, observed Tom’s routine with any depth of interest.  After months of observation, he had nearly achieved clarity regarding Tom’s behavior and found himself standing on the precipice of a startling theory that was sure to turn the entire donut industry on its ear.

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Mid-June round-up featuring Bearpark, Field Mouse, the CALM compilation and much more

Thanks to http://www.spectralnights.com for featuring my song in their mid-June round-up.

Spectral Nights - alternative music, indie music, music reviews, new music, music blog

With Glastonbury taking place next week (which we won’t be going to for the first time since we started attending in 2003 – damn ticket servers), our inbox has unsurprisingly been packed with new music of bands getting set for festival season. Here’s some of the best we’ve heard lately.

A Compilation in Aid of C.A.L.M Part II

Released by our friends at Till Deaf Do Us Party records, all proceeds from this compilation go to a very worthy and deserving cause. Released to promote the fact that mental illness is no longer a taboo and to help people realise there are people looking out for them, it features the likes of The Xcerts, itoldyouiwouldeatyou, Night Owls and Tellison. By downloading it, not only will you have a bumper 20 new songs to listen to but also be helping an important cause.

Bearpark – ‘Distant Fields

One of…

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Gridlock – a poem

 

take any exit that leads

beyond the line of trees

that guard this highway

like occupation soldiers

 

past construction zones

and horn blast hysteria

speed trap surveillance

and brake light surprise

 

toward the low-slung sun

that marks the horizon

like a lidless eye

or better still – fly

 

for the sake of rising

above the power lines

and glide around awhile

until we’ve had our fill

 

of land and sea and sky

and find a place to land

in the paint-peeled rafters

of an ancient fading barn

 

or up on blocks, perhaps

in a dilapidated car

let’s sink down deep

into the sleek back seat

 

like a pair of nesting pigeons

considering the significance

of a universe that holds

the last two secret stars