Samples, loops, music as a layering, a pastiche...the sound collages which comprise "Choral Soliloquies" owe a great deal to those who created the samples and loops in the first place. I simply spent a lot of time with them as if given a sonic paint box to play with. Changing speed, pitch, volume, direction, or deciding to leave as is...trying one sample in conjunction with another, and with the poems as songs, trying to find the chord which resonated best with the words and timbre of voice...these aural experiments were also an experience for the spirit. I consider it fortunate to be immersed in these astral cinematic dreamscapes and to live in a time where such technology exists; where collaborations can occur between souls who have never met but are given an internet platform to put their creativity out there, often while remaining anonymous. In many ways that is why I still find the process of such works-in-progress to echo, oddly enough, old school ...the choral and the solitary, the alchemy of coming together for something larger... calling to both.
CDs and free downloads listening also at
I Sent a Letter to My Love www.amazon.com/dp/B07BF2QTBZ/ref=dm_ws_tlw_trk1
(Thanks to Bernice Rubens)
A drop in the bucket it was, water, water
Welling. I thought if perhaps we were
Suddenly stone-struck, then we'd have
Some sort of beauty, noble, immutable
To the descent of gray sheets. Marble slabs
Chiseled gothic, poignant under a curtain
Of trickles: what a presence, perfection,
Catharsis of a kind. The features would be
Set, no recesses revealed, no sadness, no longing,
Only a passion, roman cold, cauterized right into
Rock. I needed that,
Desired metamorphosis, at least some coral cove
For gulls flapping over, their tattered whiteness
A mirror-series of flags against the mad seas
Distraction, its lament, intractable:
The moon rise, the tidal pull-----
Stone is never so desperate, & to fathom
My real hunger would be to acknowledge
Just what you have been. Instead I embrace
The statue of my carving, & enter it, fitted
To form. In that stasis there is a storm
To weather the shelter of, evading
Evading the secret each wave delivers
As it eats my basalt. Breath after breath,
The solitude spreads shadows on far shores,
A whole continent of lighthouses, & my
Engraved craving falls, littered letters in surf.
Drifting, now eyes watch how gulls come,
Joan Floating www.amazon.com/dp/B07BF66Z83/ref=dm_ws_tlw_trk2
Burners turned herky-jerky,
the berserk motion of drunks----
From what basin do these waves accelerate?
My arms, sails, winding around masts,
take flames leeward
then shelter the hush, astonished
by what oranges, topaz, bejeweled gusts
bleed up blue.
How anguish is just relative,
indigenous to such dancing that eats,
chafes, dazzles sweat’s fever.
To where is it blazing?
Not liquid bronze, this garment of flesh,
a collection of swathes
presently darkened in succession
‘til only bones would resemble gold
if their char’s ever washed away.
So, billowing, I smoke, float,
a swooshing of voices now crackling
their wireless to root reception in place:
There, cloud gauze, adrift, betrothing
Juno to her essence: a sea gull’s cry
wheeling circles somewhere painless
Home Movie www.amazon.com/dp/B07BF8N7PD/ref=dm_ws_tlw_trk3
“It’s still raining.” Mom said
to the reporter when he asked
how it felt to see Dad swept
away by the flood of
this disaster we’re living
making world news, & us caught
by the camera our neighbor Billy
somehow fetched from the waves
to film copters swooping down,
the rescue guys on their ropes
shouting & snatching at
while houses collapse & plastic
cat dishes sail past as if
the very flash of these instants
held the windblown motion of
rag mags & you hardly had time
to get a real close look
at the command performance
we’re givin’ before
our screams bleed into silence,
before our tears are your eyes.
Christ, George www.amazon.com/dp/B07BF7JB67/ref=dm_ws_tlw_trk4
Here we are, how many feet up, the right engine
Givin’ out & some holy roller in the back
Suggesting we sing hymns. Amazing Grace.
Nearer My God to Thee. Well, I guess you
Can’t blame her. I, myself, would rather belt Bessie
Smith or just stick with these Pisco Sours
While drawing pictures in the clouds.
That might at least prove a distraction.
Now come on George, don’t look so scared.
Count your blessings. Ha Ha. Know what I mean?
I mean, after all, we are together & were finally
Able to see Rome, Piccadilly, Brussels.
Thank god for your retirement. Thank Allah for scotch.
At this point I’d be willing to thank anyone, shave
My head, sell flowers, convert to Hari Krishna.
Wait a minute. What’s that stewardess say?
Bockle. Bockle. That PA needs a new battery.
Oh, so this is how the oxygen mask works. Just
Press a pillow here between the knees & the chest.
Breathe easy. Who’s she kidding? No George,
You’re not turnin’ too blue. Sure they should have
Parachutes, an ejector button or, beneath seats, maybe
Some special flap that could open right up. We’d
Float down like insects, taking in the scenes.
Perhaps buildings with windows large enough
To see lights, faces, every individual expressive
As plants. Yes, try that idea, landing on an island,
A kind of tropical symphony enveloping us both
Like the time we sat in that restaurant, some waiter
Playing the violin. My head, heart, is on his bow
Now. Funny, a nice switch, not to feel abandoned
Or bitter. Certainly the sky has large hands, & so
Does the earth, for when it happens. George, until then,
Just sit tight. I won’t let go of yours’ either. Promise.
Marilyn's Good Day www.amazon.com/dp/B07BF8C48N/ref=dm_ws_tlw_trk5
It was raining & I forgot
Sun glasses, forgot the accessible
Face, the detectable susceptibility.
It was raining & I let it fall, got lost
In the drizzle, for once was not
Just something more to eat.
Who was that in that window
I walked by?
I did not stop, didn’t look, never
Thought to, all of the usual terrifying
Life gone flying to these drops, these
Sudden magnolias, sleepy, waxen,
White furl, scent splash, birch of
Small spots, the young, the sleek
Tongues dousing down soft,
Rising up dark-----
The whole night mouth wide &
Glistening, night of hosannas or
Quiet light reaching some 24 hr.
Dawn, some round the clock calm.
It tasted like milk, skimmed down,
Nude, the coast of Hollywood, blue-ing.
Salome, Salome www.amazon.com/dp/B07BF5WPT5/ref=dm_ws_tlw_trk6
Veils, the silky, the arduous
Ardor of these scents, such scarves
Of perfume, my legs being pistils,
& from within, about, comes
This blossoming moon flower.
It has taken me years, memory
Being curtains, the windows I waited in,
Nylon shifts sweeping ‘round, a slow
Waltz with the motes & I
Sheeted, a cocoon to myself, in transparent
Husks, as ghost, as statue, wanting all recall
Of who sculpted…
Innocence was imprisoning business
But I learned with my fingers, fingers, the touch
Listening, braille as Geiger counter shaping words
Of worlds for the unspooling, the rewinding & I,
Ariadne, keeping a single thread for each vision
To lead me further, lower, deeper, high…
Whispers, omniscience, finally the heard &
The watched became clear abundance,
With my power, sensitivity, a mask
Dance-shed sensuous & passion a psychic
Who knew what you were…
Vigil struck so quickly, John, & hunger,
An owl’s talons. My eyes were the breadth
Of their feathers shadows turning radiance
Into angels x rays-----
Bring that head closer, your halo like a platter
& a cross with four points, your face, your gaze,
The ears, the chin…..
Tenderness has ended in no vengeance, my skin
Itself, the absolute shroud cradling you dear.
Getting Away www.amazon.com/dp/B07BF7F6ZP/ref=dm_ws_tlw_trk7
Counting the houses, the lights, the windows...
It’s good to keep track, this path demanding
focus or, no, I demand that, make my movement
the most immediate goal.
All else has been left:
the claustrophobia of a trailer cell
hoarding knick knacks of deceit.
Perhaps I dramatize. Some days were perfection:
the gift of sun on scrubbed floors, coffee before
the mail and starting on jobs...
Why belittle what my husband began tearing at?
Those flaws found were delusional or minor cracks
still glued whole, of essence, like veins
of glaze in a fine antique bowl.
So our skins were bound, something to be held,
touched, looked upon with care
‘til the smashing flew its furies in:
daily unreasonable bouts of knuckles, stares, words.
“We can get help... We should...”
Stone would want to listen more, stone, a harbor,
willing, yielding, these boulders I could shoulder in
for the night in this park
Here are my hands. Here is my scarf, my shawl.
I will tie and pull them round.
I will get through this night
& away from counting houses, counting
lights, the face of some god, my
husband, in all these closed doors.
Full Bodied www.amazon.com/dp/B07BF3M47J/ref=dm_ws_tlw_trk8
Come. Consider this flesh:
the stretches of birth, its
wears of freckles, its
How grand. How decadent.
How I could be large enough
for a deity: the breasts of
Buddha, and belly of the
Call me Circe of the crossroads
with a whole West Side Story
dipping across the shadows of this,
docks, dance halls & warehouses,
the angelic street toughs, the scurrying
from swallows, those cops, with a taste
of wine & cigs still thick in my mouth.
I open it, an accordion. What tunes,
what tales swoop through there
where such brawls took place & they
had to nail the tables down?
Now I’m a pantheress, now a true stud,
equestrian with Latrec’s Paris, Chagall’s
lovers entwined about my baubles, the many
rings of my fingers, pearls about the neck.
They are gleaming fresh again from the ancient
fascination in a gasp, a look, this intimate refuge
from the boulevard’s tango, its harbor of
uncloaked silks, tossed away caps, unbuttoned
What’s in the background? Mirrors, Notre Dame,
the hiss of cesspools being washed.
I recall only sighs, the passage of francs, being
“fallen” but thinking, “Well, it’s a life”, while
dreaming I was beyond the songs of Edith Piaf,
more of a Mahalia Jackson really, with a voice
huge as Africa, and spiritual, spiritual.
Normal Moments www.amazon.com/dp/B07BF6741Z/ref=dm_ws_tlw_trk9
Pools of quiet, caught up in a stitch
of knitting, the pattern of a friend’s face,
how the cat loves her belly rubbed, jumps
into the funnies before I reach the last strip...
My son, as you must know our lives have become comics
turned inside out. Not a thing is quite right.
There’s hardly a minute which doesn’t remind us
of something concerning you:
hated broccoli, sock found behind the couch.
Perhaps you’ll return to us this way,
simply an appearance which changes the cosmos,
their topsy turvy scheme, because it’s so
I say this fully aware not much is normal,
close to being Blondie & Dagwood, Hi & Lois.
We’ve had to involve police, enlist the media,
turn to strangers, blow up your school portrait
for bread bags, for milk cartons.
There’s been no other way, not even the heart’s
telepathy pinpointing you in the universe,
though it goes on trying.
“We have hope,” the posters say
& sometimes I fear—--
fixing dinner, tying your brother’s shoe,
I fear the hope more than the not knowing,
wondering which, if either, will be the thing
to undo these moments
& cut us for all time
Persephone Poisoned www.amazon.com/dp/B07BF3LLS8/ref=dm_ws_tlw_trk10
Cold wind blows from my gaze,
My grin a coffin, the hibernate freeze
For years of six months apiece
Spent in some hell.
Sullen, implosive, do you think
I don’t know coals upon TNT
Stacked beneath this vast chilly stance?
Believe me, how I feel just what you
Can barely sense about what keeps me remote:
You calling me beautiful, you stroking
For a hand, marionette-made,
To hold, to have…
Let go. I’m a long way off from you,
You, fuming a possessive plume of pouting
I taste the spring & am going
To warm my bones there, going to seed
Whole worlds farther off from the venom
You bit me with.
Child-snake, your fangs are only a teething
I coast from, a monarch sprung from
My tourniquet womb.
Many a Sorrowing Beekeeper www.amazon.com/dp/B07BF4CFSX/ref=dm_ws_tlw_trk11
Many a Sorrowing Bee Keeper
“Please to see the queen,”
she might have sung to these workers
in a different time, but now, smoking this hive,
see how even the drones have changed.
That one still brings the buzz of another,
but overall they are less trusting
with their numbers becoming scarce.
Yellow & black, some beleaguered plight
has come to their fuzz, their clear gold dust wings
landing to striate the Keeper
who’s become precarious too.
“What balance is out of hand?”
she asks in a whisper as if down on one knee.
Is her covering veil that of mourning,
a netted babushka & the same fabric on her fingers
still deft but forlorn?
“Aren’t you messengers for the dead?”
God, goddess, look how she questions,
puzzled plaintive in plain sight,
knowing despair is a hungering
& what of the honey?
It is rue to each poultice for all wounds never mentioned
but apparent to these beings her gestures reflect.
How their little legs give, stitching without sting,
& she remains seamstress,
pouring webbed nectar to every sore.
Under indifferent Nature’s heat, she senses many others
bursting as blossoms on her kind,
the sun not granting pardon for what has been done
to all creatures living.
Still, forgive me she sings,
profusely apologizing like a nurse to the hurt
as she goes on smoking this hive,
a stalk of many mouths, her palms
the Futures’ mandibles now,
taking, taking more.
When Did It Start? www.amazon.com/dp/B07BF5VRWV/ref=dm_ws_tlw_trk12
I was seven I think
taking a pill
or eight. I don't
Dad it was
for the bombardment
an illiterate's shame
nice lamb chop you
would question my
innocence & there
the rope then & I
would always be
pretended my body
was another kid's
as if it
like my Aunt said
and I was
not to dwell on
the word elephant
The Cats of Claudel www.amazon.com/dp/B07BF29G64/ref=dm_ws_tlw_trk13
Should I not have cried about the flood?
The mud sluiced back the statuettes
That I made, one shelf, two...
The others were not catastrophic,
And among the figures, the faces,
Balanced my cats, their whiskers,
Silver water, their meows, my pulse...
Where are they now, now after
The plaster’s been salvaged,
And the kiln-set clay, and the marble,
Not mammoth, but long as my vision
Which once sought such light--
Sculpting from that
Was a whirling dervish in wreckage,
And I should have laughed
About the backed up Seine, should
Have done as my cats did:
Found a spot, curled for sun,
The milk of it, the ivory...
Still, of all that, I made a show,
My triumph, the salon,
Though nobody believed,
Nobody paid, except strays
With a fondness for felines,
Their genius of just being--
The Seine might take care of this too,
And these... the depths... a whoosh...
And then crash...white chunks entering
To de-sculpt is a pick ax at my blood,
Not liquid silk, not satiation, but
Breaking and dust--
I suppose that’s when the cats left,
Yet here, in these prisons, a roving
Eye, a scraggily head reminds me
Of their company, and the silence,
The music, in stone
Stolen Hearts www.amazon.com/dp/B07BFB2YVG/ref=dm_ws_tlw_trk14
Helping you escape was my penance for God’s lie.
No, not God’s, but humanity’s:
Improper, contemptuous, their guilty scapegoating needs…
Why did I believe you that day, reading my bible
To you through the bars? Oh, people will say
It was loneliness, say I hated my warden husband & fell
Sway to your eyes. Not exactly. That’s too pat.
What you wanted was one person to see
You could kill no one
& then there was me.
I didn’t understand at first, neither of us did,
How a person’s faith may exchange places with another’s
Until both are transfigured by the single combined light.
No, I did not hate my husband &, if lonely, only
In the way many people are: through the silences
Of marriage, through the lives lived as expected & not
Comprehended until perimeters are fixed
& patrolled, patrolled…
How I breathed by such a pace, using Christian belief
For endurance, & how you told me your lack of it
After being dealt another cage.
Weeks went by & so what if I was being used?
Condemned to desperation, how else can trust be thrust
Forth but by measures of equal risk-----
A saw, a file…
It was I who stole your heart or why else
Would you come fetch me? Excess baggage, faith
Rearranged & on the run through nights of snow,
Trains, an abandoned mule wagon…
Oh Canada! Freedom! Tasting flight, open
Air & some farms’ chainless dream:
We would start over, our arms, pillows, our
Arms, kept promises-----
How chance betrays hope in the way posses hunt.
It didn’t take long…
Hooves, bullets, shouts…
I whispered in the thick,
“Quick shoot me here.”
How funny, your lousy mark, I lived
While you, to them, were suddenly beef,
Riddled on all fours.
Goodbye my warden husband.
What I’ve exchanged is the faith
Of your bars for these strange, these somehow
Innocent ones my lover never
I read him my bible
& found then, as I find now
another home here
It’s rather a shocker, to nature & even myself
the fact that I’ve survived.
Most figured, & I don’t mind saying it,
that I’d die young,
one of those frail neurotic types for whom,
to be borne, the world is too much.
The thought could make one nauseous,
but all I can do now is laugh & laugh,
wondering just who in hell is left
for me to celebrate this with.
The cats, I suppose,
Duchess, Periwinkle, & old slant-eyed Redcoat
with his left ear half missing.
I’ve nineteen altogether,
their life spans a collective karma
for the incarnations I’ve gone through,
who I was during this decade, that,
each, more or less,
a bit of a scrap pile...
Fingering the tatters, everything floods back,
the chain smoked years waking up
to stumble over bottles
or into arms—--
Ricardo’s, Jack’s, those throwing down lifelines while, in actuality,
searching for their own,
the mattress going, “Dao! Dao!”,
‘til I decided friendships were best.
Then, as you know,
I fell into leaf-letting, demonstrations, & the lot,
even 24 hours in some cold piss-stenched jail.
In between there were letters, books, the cinema,
wash days, picnics, & every odd job imaginable.
I remember feeding Suicide Bernie
coffee one long night for hours.
I remember C.C’s cancer
ravishing flesh the way famine does.
“Oh good.” I think Izzy said
on the death of McCarthy.
“Where’s the mercy?, asked Shirl
on whatever occasion, the 3rd world, our own street,
she came up against the cruel.
But, as I’ve alluded, they’re gone,
gone except to me, cradling,
crinkling, smoothing such lace
mentioned now ‘n then to the curious
visitors who trickle in.
“What was it like?” or “What should I do?”
Questions like that.
Once in awhile, as if at a river,
I see a bright thread, a flash of this
unattainable masterpiece where their reflection
is mine, rippling superimposed, first puzzled,
then, placid, but,
come on, at ninety,
once in awhile is still pretty fair odds.
The poet, Anna Akhmatova, reflecting on perseverance and luck in the face of governmental persecution orchestrating violence and deprivation against so many who would not survive lyrics Beyond misery and madness, beyond
blitzes, tartars & prayers
for death, my life
along time's constant zeitgeist, the radium
of amnesia killing memory until, by surprise,
posthumous breaths again stoke the vision,
refute evidence of destruction:
TB, blacklisting, the beloveds taken away...
What is this, this something
which twitches like a cat
or snow slowly fanning to reveal,
in clear moments, Leningrad rooftops?
Hands, gazes, embrace chocolate earth,
the rich silt massaged and tossed forth
toward a sky bursting titanium.
Dark flakes hit the whiter,
a mixed squall against blue—--
Knowledge, experience outlasting all which sought
to drive spirits down,
& succeeding in part
with the encampment of skin...
Here survival is not virtuous, but a fact
which nearly refrains from rejoicing
yet does not does not
for the soul is an oath swearing to witness
the sting of strife
(in the lungs)
(with whatever voice is left)
You're Asleep www.amazon.com/dp/B07BF4BKDY/ref=dm_ws_tlw_trk17
On automatic pilot In a commuter plane.
Flying at night is the most peaceful thing.
These lights are our own Tivoli,
A cathedral of sky.
Going so deep While floating as if through glass
As it forms, is to apprehend How significant smallness can be,
Meaning us in this vast cavern,
Meaning those spires, T
hose good window faces—Look—down there in the dark.
That dark is as good as chocolate & maybe we are almonds
For some god to swallow,
Unless perhaps it’s already happened & here we are in the thick
Of god’s roomy bowels.…
When I say God I mean you, so
Move over, you air-bound Dutchman,
Dozing at the controls, Your headphones on Wagner.
Someone’s paging us from his booth
On another jet I cannot see.
Listen, it must be long distance & I think you better wake up.
I think maybe we are like prayers
That voice now needs.
Long Ago www.amazon.com/dp/B07BF3QM1G/ref=dm_ws_tlw_trk18
Warmed by another,
Always someone warmer
In that once going on...
Returning is a glass path
Across that bridge
With no thought of:
Make it different.
Not then anyway.
Not this time,
Its particular past lasting
Long as it takes to put
One finger against still lips.
But they do not tremble.
But they do not speak, & time
Curves over, holds the warm heart
Inexperienced but for fear &
Liking that slight touch
More than many things given,
More than the giving back by
Being there, yes, just
All for the being
Fountain over granite, the engraved names ripple:
time, in their own time, and the time running past…
Black outs, the heavy drapes, edges pressed
smooth, almost rigid, so the light couldn't
What was that? Ssh. Ssh. Every rustle gives
like a match and
there's a lot of branches,
vines to be caught in as if
by a search light in the middle
of the street
We met I
remember a parachute's descent, the
too vulnerable skin and thinking,
though scar soft, I'd cut
board the train, plane, tank or
go down in trenches
dreaming a campfire under
nights (curtains) so close (curtains) no
rocket (the names) could hope (names we)
to explode us (whispered)
What the Good Soldier was Told not to Recall
Down in the dirt, mud oozing, miles of inches, bodies,
khaki-coated but flesh, close, emitting steam, open wounds
Over which some surgeon warms hands…
Rains, bullets, hit swamp basin silt, limbs
Grapple., grope guns, spill pell mell…
Fingers ripple, black reflections, come across
Dog tag, wedding ring, thumb…
Above copters whoop-----
If photographed, stumbled upon, this would be a document
The saner world salvaged. But
People forget war means taking sustenance, leaving
It orphaned, shell shocked.
Witness it, buddy, give breath
Here in these trenches…
In a minute, leap, jolted
Frog trembling, falling, choking
Unconscious on alien American-stained land.
Afterwards, weeds flower, flourish, the voices
Of souls silenced in asylums homegrown
Grand Adventure www.amazon.com/dp/B07BF95FMY/ref=dm_ws_tlw_trk21
Which life is this?
Like stars, a little snow’s drifting by:
From them I settle down,
now in a jungle, suddenly some
Pretty interesting liberation, for a woman.
For once I can do more than cook their gruel
or apply a soothing
compress when fevers proliferate.
Not that such things weren’t enough.
I’d be doing them still if all the men in my family
hadn’t been taken, and “for questioning”.
None came back.
So what is this cause,
just some delusion to which I may,
like a voice, have some small part?
This gun feels like power.
The militia comes in. I make my target.
My, how death comes in, undistinguished,
too quick to be sharp.
Here is my next phase,
transported, a gypsy, to some gymnasium
ballroom, a dollar a dance. It’s not much,
but it pays,
pays for my kid’s lunches,
helps Mama fight the roaches
and the landlord, like these guys, my “clients”,
rather lost and a bit pesky.
It’s amazing though, how easy
I can make them smile.
Only twice has someone wanted more.
The first time I just let it happen.
After the second I developed instinct,
took a course and now know
how eyes can be gouged, throats broken,
Quite useful stuff I never hope to use.
Instead, I dream of leaving,
work at not being a victim while,
hovering above, some new incarnation waits.
Often I think it’ll be a comic fantasy.
I’ll become a crusader
wearing some big furry pink rabbit costume
hopping down upon armies or, more importantly,
Mostly though, I plan on flying,
unbound, high and alone.
I’ll keep clear of civilization.
I’ll consort with the angels,
a celestial primitive
with very deep,
Hard Sell www.amazon.com/dp/B07BF7GFN3/ref=dm_ws_tlw_trk22
The big turn on. How much
you put out? Honey, open 24 hrs.,
a regular crackerjack box. Cash up front.
Easy does it. Don’t want to forfeit
the prize now, do you? We’ll make it
smooth ... No. I ain’t fakin. I aim
to please. You wanna ½ shell, pom
poms, a nun’s habit? Pretend then.
Set down that belt. All right, but
it’ll cost extra. Stretch marks?
Yea. So what? Gotta kid too,
lives with my Mama. She keeps
his nose clean, sends me pictures.
Care to see? Didn’t think so. Nah.
Nothing personal. Of course this
is business. Used to it? Sure.
Hell, what else you expect me to
This is not a Mine www.amazon.com/dp/B07BF95FN3/ref=dm_ws_tlw_trk23
Is it thunder, that rumble, or more heaving like before?
How many days it has been since the ceilings slid,
sealing this basement. We were fortunate in a way.
At least here there are tins, pickled preserves, & my smart
sister with her candles, with her jack knife, who knew...
When the tremors started she said it felt like a premonition
and hurried us, all of us, even the cat, scratching
while being pulled along. Later, we waited, in fact are still
waiting now, singing songs, telling stories to ward off
the silences, those claustrophobic coats. How much air,
time is left? Did our parents survive? What’s it like
up above? Listen. Again there’s that shaking, dust
from the rafters, the baby crying and, “Move to the wall!”
My sister orders. “Or the archway. It’s strongest.”
How can she do it? My god, something’s clawing,
I thought I was too numb
even for these
I’m not totally unconscious.
I know that, & that
The something awful has happened,
The too-often inevitable, the one of
Love’s worst fears.
I’m not quite afraid though of course
The shock system has taken over,
The rush of dopamine, all that
& yet some senses are lingering
Certain neurons, the nerves
From this point I mostly hear, hear
The picture, winds of murmurs at first
A roar, a form of jostling
Becoming a car, a platform, stair-like,
Now a flat conveyer lowered
As I rise-----I am rising, aren’t I-----
But in the deep, mainly spirit, cradled
Supine, my head on some lap, the tender
Feathers of fingers sweeping (hold)
Beseeching (on) nearly or
Suggesting (ok) it’ll (let go)
Be all right…
I know that voice, now mainly a
Whisper, nearest dear
There’s such a flood I’m above
Tunneling like waves stars over
How dark the boat’s glass hull
Remembering entirely finding
Almost there (light) every
Summer on the river (light) now
(light) I am embarked
Victim #29 www.amazon.com/dp/B07BF6Z7XT/ref=dm_ws_tlw_trk25
They brought his body on a forklift
Because there were so many crates,
So many names to keep track of
As if this was a factory which,
I see now, maybe it is.
Last night I had that dream again:
A silver bird in the night sky, serene
Over the Atlantic. Strange, trying to
Wake, but I knew what was coming,
How the immense belly, in close up,
Would open & then, as though filmed
From a distance, seem so small,
Almost a dot though
Something else happened: a suspended
Spider, say, laying eggs
Except this was a plane & the confetti
Were lives before the explosion which,
Last Christmas, was the only actual thing.
It still is, this year too, though I try
To make an effort every day, those blessed
Moments I’m not pissed at the government,
The air lines, who were warned, who should
Have looked, knowing the make, a SONY
Radio which encased the bomb…
No use blaming just the terrorists, who believe
They are at war, really feel it as so, with the innocents
They take simply soldiers unassigned yet
Dying because war is about loss.
Yours has been the hardest, yours &
The others I think of these nights, breathing the fire,
The stars, cold flares I must see with your eyes,
Must see & keep with me so as to hold all you loved
& you did love life
Prove me wrong—--
the charges, the light brigades
too quickly dimmed:
on either side, advancing
on a work camp list,
names misplaced & then
Letters, novels, biographies,
who will write history?
Snow songs, sand songs, tropics
of green, of mud, an ocean,
these landscapes, waves
Shelter, food, loved ones smuggled,
People will do anything, anything,
& I have no more taste
for war, Mother Courage.
Heading Home www.amazon.com/dp/B07BF3N1NV/ref=dm_ws_tlw_trk27
Lying in the back seat, my parents,
up front, murmur now and then. Mom
criticizes Dad's driving. Dad
speeds up just to egg her on or,
"Yes dear, yes." Turns on
Easy Listening. Their voices
go lower. The rear window rises,
gains prominence, darkens for stars,
for blinking jet lights.
Different trees wave, encircle
this portal, a still clear screen
amid motion. It rocks, rocks
imperceptibly as I watch
shadows rippling over.
Later, older, alone with each other,
we inherit these expected
front seat positions. It's a
graduation of sorts, this cruising
over blue moonlit highways, a rite
of passage detailed by Frankie
crooning, a small second hand companion
to keep us from falling
asleep at the wheel
Clock on. You’re being paged,
A year, a movie reel. Tin sealed
It in, a nice cool quiet slumber.
That was the life!
We were “The Misfits”. Montgomery
Clift. Marilyn, at their good ripened
Cheese stage, one the thin-skinned
Punch drunk poet, the other tender as ever.
Off the set, their personal worlds
Were crumbling, human, a surplus of
On the wall, projected flat cut outs,
Two figures writhe: Clark Gable and his
Horse, a rope between tethering both.
To wrestle the majestic and have
The toughness be sensitive-----
To get dragged, dodge hooves, then
Bring down the stallion bucking, is
To know wildness has dignity:
Gable, bleeding, winded, honoring
Respect, cutting Pegasus loose. On
The road, driving back, Monty, in my mind’s
Eye, a stray to be held, Clark and Marilyn,
A pair dissimilar but oddly connected by some
Dog and three horses in front, the car, a
Seed pod, the wind, a runway, home-delivered
By the largest star in all of that black, and us,
Just a couple of screen hounds equally searching
For meaning amid a sticky floor and creaking
Oh movie buff, matinee chum, can you dare
I can and speak of it.
Instead of a number,
We each had a name
These are bells.
These are candles, & hands
Play their part, hands from the library,
Hands from the garden.
They have much work, much work:
A laying on.
Something’s to be rung, lit.
Something’s to be kneaded, consoled:
A flesh summons.
What is it they want?
For nothing have they come?
I have seen them in brass, in ivory slopes.
I have seen them painted & in close up, unnamed.
Saints have so many transformations
From which light emanates, ready to show
A white potato to someone who’s been flogged.
Out of darkness, roots, the febrile streams.
They dig ditches, brew tea, make beds.
They are dignified as wood.
What circle are they joining?
What songfest on the lawn?
Are they tending to a ritual, cutting swathes,
There’s a sort of bird catching up to them,
A sort of dragon wheeling over, baring sound,
Winds of wings ‘til the pitch is overwhelming
& they reel in a fury of radiant slow motion.
Look up. Look up.
The terror of it, the glory.
“Smashing things, girls”,
and sometimes he meant it literally,
with roses and presents afterwards…
That was the man at the table next to us:
A rooftop restaurant, revolving big picture
Window views, the dark sparkling and slowly
Blotted by fog….
Horns, I imagined or playing rainy pans
Those cold watery days, with the mind still,
By voices, sandblasted-----
“Just let me see your face,” said the kid when,
“Don’t look at me,” the woman’s fire-escape shaded
head turned away…
“Couldn’t you just love me?’, asked the song,
some sincere background vocalist…
“I’m surprised to still be alive.”-----
Accidental involvement: martinis clinking,
the bands waltz plucking the blare of taxi cab
fanfare for the luck of lovers spilling out upon streets…
susceptible wintry skin above clothing
consumed enlightened or disfigured by thought…
“Stormy Weather”, again went the stereo, my happiest
Christmas so far, when you read me your poetry,
whereas now, with an almost stranger, driving back,
the wake behind…..
“Please, I must ask you, would you like, if only
you wouldn’t mind, my
(your hands on the steering wheel)
(so firm and so steady)
to simply rest it
(the wipers and lights whooshing)
friendly-like, you see
(such a good set)
no come on, no
and thus he…
(smashing things…your face…)
(just let me see…don’t look)
(couldn’t you just…I’m surprised…)
Meditative spiritual piece for the homeless, the disenfranchised
Slow as congress, as war,
Though the inner pace careens,
A business, the same leftover
Business picking up as if
The start were different--
This is the rumor of change,
This, a fresh breath,
Blowing progress back
Progress, the storm,
& I saw a guy, sweet
Onto a sewer before
Picked him up then
'round & 'round 'cause
it was lost
but he didn't know this
he was sleeping
sleeping easy, salvation
in the motion, dark
night city, lights
kind of like tears, star
spirals, star echoes, the speed
of sound, & I, a seat behind,
just as quiet,
listened & watched
for the way
an angel may wake,
with this pattern
over the sky oceans old
Four Spiritual Poems for Carillion (Yellow, Opus, Susurration, Stairs of Prayers)
Originally for "Hack the Bells contest", the edited music in this piece was initially provided by composers Andrew_S._Allen, Andrew_V._Ly, Jenn_Wang, Paul_Coleman; a spiritual finale for this album on ruminations
A light to wake to,
The eyes not open yet
Though there is
That particular cove
Against the lids &
Maybe a voice, husky
Which is the sun
Of whom, what
The day may love
grey hazy purple
in veins of emerald
which drip & well
on lips just left,
eyes fading softly
but for their glow
towards some sun,
sun, love, beyond
The Bell of Mindfulness
is what Buddhism tells of
for us seeking peace
as a forehead hand.
Yours’ is laid blue
as a dove's shadow
and from it comes the quiet
where I can hear song
Then the visions come
true as stepping stones
just barely visible
This name, that
catches up to the faces
as breeze to leaves
in the reeds of these bones.
Blow on souls
so that my own
turns to transparent pewter
and tongue in the mouth of god.
Stairs of Prayers
To God’s ear
Of living in
The littlest cells
Busy with the work
As we climb
Slide on each other’s
Faith of flesh
Hoping for the answer,
Love, that is already
Links to Stephen Mead Art, Books, and Merchandise
Free Viewing: www.youtube.com/user/StephenMead
Free Listening: soundcloud.com/stephenmeadart
Free Reading: stephenmead.weebly.com/
Around the year 2000 I corresponded with the one and only Frank Moore en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frank_Moore_(performance_artist) about putting some poems on his radio show, LUVER, Love Underground Visionary Revolution. He liked the idea of me adding music to my voice but I really did not know what I was doing as far as even handling a microphone! Still after attempting a few takes for him my experiment eventually resulted in roughly other "40 cuts". I put them on a CD called "Safe & Other Love Poems". which eventually evolved into the work "Love Lullabies", those same pieces "remastered" with me adding my own humming of different favorite melodies as backdrops.
Various sites are still streaming his early apprentice-work open.spotify.com/album/71lhHRzo7XhJVzgeZ719uX and www.amazon.com/Love-Lullabies-Stephen-Mead/dp/B002EIWALS