No One Watches the Train Fall from the Broken Bridge

 

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His problem has nothing to do with the train which travels steadily through the night. Everyone is content, if not happy, on the train, reading opinions they already agree with, drinking champagne, eating delicacies imported from foreign countries. They pretend they do not like the food, but wish they could eat as well at home.  All of the people on the train are facing the same direction, which gives them all a strange comfort.  A few of them look out the windows, but it is too dark to see the trees in the forest. It all follows along so logically, like a math problem in high school where rats scuttle east over well-polished wing-tips at a variable rate of three feet per second. They stop randomly to nibble on discarded bread crumbs dropped with nonchalance by the passengers on the train. Meanwhile the train travels south at a consistent seventy-three miles per hour directly toward the crumbled bridge which once traversed a chasm one thousand feet deep and a mile wide. There is no question at the end that one must answer. However, there is an answer; there is always an answer. No one watches the train fall from the broken bridge. No one hears the explosions as it crashes into the rocks below, or the last cries for help of those who are momentarily still alive.

On a trail nearby the train tracks, a monk moves through the dark as if he has been here before, thinking vaguely of other things. He pauses, peers into the dark, then wanders off along his way. The monk’s tangentially wandering mind is not enough to mark the train’s passing beyond the silence which lingers in the mountains for several hours after the sun has risen again.

(July 6, 2018)

onward into the day

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“Love is the root of everything….Love, or the lack of it.”

— Fred Rogers 

 

like glass resonant in trembled anger

the fear is outrageous and constant

one horrific event erases the next

in an infinite succession of bomb blasts

bludgeoning attention to a bloody slurry

only the noise of the moment matters

and it does not matter even then

but only in the silence it creates in you

the silence of the possibility of dissent

so one must learn to hear without

hearing deafly to see again without

seeing blindly to go with open trust

across the shattered shards of glass

onward into the darkening night

 

(June 23, 2018)

Those Who Watch the Fall

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A thick malaise slurs

the day with inarticulate

desires. There is nothing

but dissatisfaction beneath

each prime move. He slips

about the house finding solace

in unread books, in thoughts

of what he might have done.

 

The pointed questions come:

Why he dawdles over trivialities?

Why he quakes a pauper to his ideals?

Will the last glass of wine be his cause?

Will the safety of his status quo

be the death and guilt of all?

 

(June 18, 2018)

Cassandra at the Door

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To hammer a nail straight

and quick with a few strikes

takes practice— to the point:

 

I stake myself on a cross,

a basic graph to plot

trends and sequences—

 

facts and numbers,

numbers and facts,

are so easily turned;

 

so, perhaps a story here

that can plant the horror

will suffice to save us:

 

Do you hear that? It is

coming. Martyrs laid

out like drying fish;

 

where distortions and lies

bend all matter to earth

a fetid stench rises.

 

In a hell so manifold,

your closest friends

will be devoured.

 

(June 16, 2018)

The Only Safe Word is Silence

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I am not being

listened to means

you are not being

submissive enough

 

do not speak

simply act

on my desires

do not question

 

questions cause doubt

I must not hear

as insecurities

rattle like chains

 

for me to be free

you must not be

 

(June 8, 2018)

We Walk to the Witch’s House in the Wood

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It was a place to go.

It promised us more.

The past had nothing,

but anger and fear.

 

The witch smiled,

because we knew

she was a witch,

but entered freely.

 

Compliance, not cages,

held us to her.

It was easier to

submit, than not.

 

We live in fear

of a better world.

 

(June 2, 2018)

Among the Wreckage

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 “. . . . . . . . . . I want in the heaps of rubble

at last to hear my voice again

which was a howling from the very start”

–Ranier Marie Rilke

 

The flailing screams

have been left behind;

most days now, I speak

with a calm bitterness.

My anger’s directed inward

toward my personal failings

more than to worldly disdain.

No longer like the nascent shock

of a newborn’s confrontation

with the air, I write now

in a desperate determination

to witness the insidious lies

I tell myself to survive

the language of the ruins.

 

(May 3, 2018)

Zeitgeist Frog

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A deep resonance in waves

flows through my walls

as if they did not exist;

and, I am set atremble

like the wings of a butterfly

on a bit of Queen Anne’s Lace.

 

Thus fear inculcates the normal

day to day rituals, casually,

like friends meeting for lunch.

I cannot control my shaking.

I have become thin glass

singing in harmony

with the tremulous cacophony;

until I shatter like ice.

 

(April 29 2018)

Vermin Fed Maggots

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Nearby, in the gutter,

common wisdoms

still wriggling.”

–Paul Celan

 

 

The remains of old ideas,

ripe with anger, are

so deeply embedded

one breaks bones

only to find dust,

instead of marrow.

 

They raise their heads,

and laugh righteously

at their bitter lies.

Always, they wait nearby—

truncheons polished,

jackboots shined;

While common wisdoms

smile like the recent dead.

 

(April 24, 2018)

return

 

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we have been here before:

 

 

the muck,

the blood,

the clarity

of violence

in the word’s

brutality,

the complicity

with death

 

 

(April 1, 2018)