Listen to the Back Beat

I wake into yet another pop song
tinnily tapping a tattoo in my skull
all efforts at inroads through the noise
fail against the vapid lyrics’ falsetto
let me go no don’t let me go again
and then again until I cannot think
through even a phrase of my own
to have a single thought cohere
I know I should be more careful
not to make the puzzle pieces fit
by pointing out the obvious truth
flowing through everything I hear
and another distraction presents as
I catch the first notes of laughing fear

(December 29, 2014)

Even at Rest I am Tense

Amid the books and cats in the front room,
I sit content within the labyrinth
I have wandered aimlessly through for years.
The familiarity of the ordered
spines lines up across the shelves as if fate
has spun out a net within each chapter
to script my thoughts, until they finally
arrived in this room defined by my books,
like old city walls to shelter my self,
and all I love, from the coming onslaught
of the sneering ignorance battling
obviously within me at each turn
of all the random pages I can read
within the growing shadows of the room.

(from a work in progress:”Arcana,” Xpentacles, February, 24, 2014)

A Year of Postings

On February 1, 2013 I decided I would try to post something on this blog everyday. I thought I would fail, because finding time to write has always been problematic.  I figured I could supplement new poems and musings with older poems, after all I have been consciously writing poetry since I was 15. Luckily I do not have much writing still extant prior to the age of 22.
            With this post I am making my goal a reality. I have posted 492 times since this time last year. Not only did I post at least once every day since last year, I sometimes managed to post multiple times in one day. The self-imposed quota has made me do what pretty much all advice to writers from writers boils down to: write every day. Many days I posted something from one of my longer projects from the past: “My Book of Changes”, “If This is A Comedy, Why Ain’t I Laughing”, “Primogenitive Folly,” “115 Missing Days, or “Sonnet, a Renga.” But the majority of the time what I posted were new poems. Even when I posted one of my older works, I still wrote everyday.
            I make no claims to the quality of my poems. But as Charles Bernstein wrote, if you call something a poem, then it is a poem. It might be a bad poem, but it is still a poem. I think I am writing some of the best poetry I have ever written. Yes, that is an arrogant statement, and easily mocked. I don’t have a problem with that; I write poetry.  I like what I write. I want others to read it. Like it, don’t like it; get it, don’t get it: It doesn’t change what I write or think about. I put thought and conscious effort into each poem. I try to write with skill and craft in each line I lay onto the page. I enjoy the hurdles of self-imposed structures, coupled with random chance and whim.
            Ultimately, writing everyday has given me a space to think about the world and my place within the life I have managed to carve out. It has made me more attentive to my thoughts and normally roiling emotions. If nothing else, this has been a positive influence, forcing me to examine the vicissitudes of my condition with a more contemplative eye.
            I will continue to post as I write. I am currently working on a project with my sister Donna Neal, the visual artist, based upon the tarot pack. So, the poems should still come on a fairly regular basis for a while. I am not going to worry too much if I miss a day or two along the way however.  I hope some of you have enjoyed the flood over the last year, and will continue to read what I write.

(January 31, 2014)

why write

to breach the surface
of  language
flying above the cusp
of words
I otherwise drown within
*            *            *
to feed the dark
a night trawler
nets the depths
*            *            *
like a fish in air
mouthing wet words
I cannot speak
any more
to you
*            *            *
to lay near her
after a kiss
as skin brushes skin
like whispered sighs
(September 10, 2013)