Early

A girl like a yellow buttercup

Early in memory

Played a recorder for me

I was four

Kruschev

And Eisenhower

Ran the world

Helsinki

Was a dark town

My first dance

I know a thing or two about loss…

I know a thing or two about loss:

In a room of happy men and women

I’m the interloper, a caste thing

Like a button on a drowned man’s coat

So that you must look away—

Americans like a healthy difference

Not a febrile haunted body

With static of blind

Or hands flapping.

My tribe…

How many times

Have I left a party

To stand among crickets?

 

The Argument

 

—“I do not know which of us has written this page.”

—Jorge Luis Borges, “Borges and I”

 

Hands that rock the cradle

Or sweep a white cane

Know who’s writing—

Words appear and startle

In the air above

Sleeping children

& a blind woman

Parts vast lexicons

As she makes her way

Down broadway

Tap tapping.

 

In his blindness

Borges

Was never alone.

So he didn’t

Rehearse

His fate

Reaching

Or walking—

Friends

Told him

What to see.

I say

In the sloping dark

The blind move fast

Their own words

On their tongues.

 

Remnants

I was sad all afternoon like an old dog

Who watches crows walking the grass

This is how it is some days

What can you do

Build nest in mind

With pages from libraries

Splintered by war

 

Bo Diddley, Joe McCarthy, The Donald, and Yes, Lying all the Time

“Who do you love?” I sing whenever I hear a burst of vitriol from Donald Trump. It’s not altogether bad to think of Bo Diddley several times a day.

The Donald is a man so devoid of love (or anything like it) he’s become a hot coil of resentments. One can think of him as a clock on fire.

Aaron Barlow has now written an extraordinary essay for Political Research Associates entitled “The Triumph of the Lie: How Honesty and Morality Died in Right Wing Politics”—an incisive roundup of McCarthyite history and the carpet bombings of facts now being carried out by the GOP.

Barlow’s essay addresses our eroding moral climate and it’s incitements and it’s excellent reading.

Back to Mr. Diddley.

Lying has everything to do with lovelessness. No love, no truth. No love, no courage.

All of which begs the question: “When did the GOP fall out of love with America?”

I know. First he talks about love like The Beatles or Marvin Gaye, then he imagines foolishly there was a time when Republicans loved their country, loved it’s people, and more than just a few.

OK. Forget the particular day. It’s silly. As hopeless as “the day the music died.”

I’m trying hard to not lie. I love this country. But what I’ve always loved about America is our ability to tackle hard issues however uncomfortable the process may be. Air and water pollution. Energy shortages. Inequality. Hunger. Oh Christ, we’ve a long history of standing up for little people, the folks who most need need help.

This of course is love of country. This is the truth.

One may say, cynically perhaps, “it’s easy to love when you’re warm and comfy” and the argument goes this way: when the ruling class began to understand the limitations of natural resources it turned greed into public policy—neoliberalism etc.

Even during the Great Depression Americans still thought their best years lay ahead.

The GOP fell out of love with the American people around the time of the Arab Oil Embargo.

Yes, in the future there’d be only so much good stuff to go around. To paraphrase Pokemon: “better get it all.”

Hey, if I’m no longer obligated to love you, you stranger, you “other” why then I can argue that the poem on the statue of liberty is merely a decoration, added later.

We all know “things added later” are frivolous.

We all know the truth is featherbrained. Snowflakey.

“C’mon Little Cupcake! These lies are delicious!”

 

Education

One night I went to the woods and talked with birches

Saying: “I’m not oppressed!”

There was an evening wind, branches rustled,

It seemed they answered me:

“We are incomplete also…”