Sunday 1 May 2022

A selection of past and present


Don’t talk


Don’t talk of gender

or of sex.

Don’t talk it out

at all events.


Don’t talk of him.

Don’t talk of me.

Don’t stand

for masculinity.


Don’t talk ideas.

Don’t ask for proof.

Don’t be so brash

to ask for truth.


Don’t talk of drugs

or family.

Just bark the word,



Don’t talk free speech

or liberty.

Just bark the word,



Don’t talk about

South Africa.

You shut your mouth!

Don’t act bizarre.


Don’t talk about

the media

or Marxist



Don’t think it through.

Don’t be that chump.

Just sing along

to “I hate Trump!”


Just do what you’re

supposed to do.

You know the drill.

There is no you.


There is no God.

There was no Fall.

In fact, you’d best

not talk at all.



Remembering Whitman


You sang the body electric.

We sing the body sinful.


O graybeard, O Walt,

to talk of the white-blow and delirious juice,

the jets of love hot and enormous,

the woman and man,


would at one time cause storm,


now it causes politics.


O father of America, O poet of the body,

how would you observe us?

We who’ve turned flesh to words

and words to wars between

woman and man, between

body and soul, between

history and culture, between

sight and desire.


O Walt, O song of the fires and rains,

the black and the white,

the organ and spirit,

what flag would you raise in the culture war?

I’d think the flag of a Taoist Americana;

a lucid flag

—no, a translucent towel of a Taoist Americana

you’d set upon the sands of the Golden State

to get brown on;

sunbathing, naked, your beard, your masculinity,

the air, the animals, the women and men

singing the body electric

and soul electric

whilst beyond the world destroys itself

with words

and politics.


O graybeard, O Whitman,

uniting the states of being

in our world of severance.


The world would likely reject you now

with that beard and masculinity,

your body electric,

your body alive

and unapologetically free,

in brazen love-grip with a soul in love with life.


O Walt, O rugged individual,

accountable as much in love as in hatred,

loving love as much as hating hatred.

O wind and rain and surf and saliva,

O sun-bleached body,

O woman, O man, O human soul,

O joy of love-grip and the juices of life.

Your redwood, Walt,

your moose.

Your deserts, your canyons, Walt,


as we all embark on that numinous path

that none can wander for us. 



Now and then


We were up in the freezing hills,


warm in our little room,


as the morning stumbled in.


You were at the window.

A sparkle of light came

falling across your breasts.


There you stood,

aflame in panties and womanhood,

soon to return to me.


There are countless men

—all compete for bits of light,

all are forgotten,

all drag some chain or other.


But as you stood before me

—the morning fallen across your breasts—

I recalled that, now and then, a man will catch a break


and the chains won’t feel so heavy,

like they’re not

even there

at all.



I was you


I was you

and you were me

and that’s the way we wrapped ourselves in love


—our silken case


that hatched a memory

flying back to me from time to time.


Though love did not survive,

it didn’t die

but grew the wings of

something else I need not understand


that flies to me from time to time


to reassure, to let me know it never died


then sails away,

thanking me, I’m sure, for having let it go.






I miss you

though I’ve not yet left.



Venice Beach beneath

a burning, blasting sun.


My burning heart for you,


How long can you withstand?



buses and deserts







Oklahoma, suburbs

and questions, America.

Fears for you

in my churning gut.



just how

will they loot your legacy?



Texas and longhorns

and NFL with pizza.

Jazz and sweat

in New Orleans

and dirty secrets

of a city

that sweats on a port.



so confidant.


I fear for you.


The mob attacks

the shining city upon a hill.

They want to clean you out.

They need to clean their rooms.



the mirror in our rooms

reflecting the image

we see in ourselves.



you fought the Crown

then fought yourself.


Warrior, liberator

in dark nights of the soul,

you’re Booker T.,

you’re General Patton.


Are you on your knees,


—Your history, your anthem, your children




if you go

we go.



you’re strange afflictions like CNN.

But more,

you’re founding father,

you’re proud father

coming home from work. 

Enslaver but, much more,

emancipator; you’re a people

that shine a light upon a hill.



you’re the stretched fabrics

of all the world has sewn


and yet remain

the best we’ve known.



My mate and I left lovers


My mate and I left lovers

and hit the road.


On mountaintops we worked it out.

We marched back home

ready to love our girls.


We dropped our bags and told them we’d commit.


They dropped their eyes and turned away


and said they needed space.


Funny, really; that’d always been my line.


It made sense.

Love has a left and a right

but little else.


But oh how we dance:

She in, me out,

me in, she out,

around and around the pillar of love

that ceases to exist

once we take our eyes off our lover

and onto the pillar of love.


We amble by back roads

searching for the corpse of god,

flail down the rabbit holes,

try instructions but

plunge through darkness


and that’s why we love each other


for we can’t completely love each other

the way we’d like to think we can

—on this we all relate

on levels more unconscious.


So we pull away,

so the dance.

But I know she tried.

I tried too.


My mate and I came home

and the girls—well—

they gave us just what we deserved.

But it’s just the dance.

Perhaps it’s what we’d hoped for

all along.



Little sparrow in my heart


Little sparrow in my heart,

seems as if we soon will part.

Stay inside for some time more,

though your flutters make me sore.


Little sparrow, chant your tune.

Seems as if you’re leaving soon.

Break my heart just one more day

for the girl that’s gone away.


Little sparrow, when you leave,

taking with you all I grieve,

take the ache within my chest.

Wait before you take the rest.


Leave me with the thought of her

long enough to feel it stir.

Little sparrow, then you may

take it all and fly away.






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