Trust Bed and Breakfast

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In 1970 we stayed at the Trust Bed and Breakfast. Charming, family-run, the richest food, the freshest fruits and vegetables. The children played with the proprietor’s kids. I remember thinking how charming. A warm July Saturday on the lake at twilight. The first time I saw a glow-in-the-dark Frisbee. We mused about rods and cones and wondered if it glowed for the cats. It hit your father in the nose and he was so charming. Time has a wicked sense of humor, you know. Nowadays you couldn’t pay me to go to the bathroom in such a place, let alone sleep in it. Imagine the child labor laws; forcing your children to play with strangers, even if we weren’t that strange; just how filthy it really was; how today’s standards have so charmingly destroyed our reliance on such quaint and ancient dangers.

Humans-Paint-Canvas, String-Nail-Brick

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A giant fireplace. He stretched before gray bricks, 
trying to hang the painting evenly. Mostly
brown and blue and tan, a mountain scene awaiting
the perfect placement of the durable string
behind it and the patience of the man before it, 
a little purple with glints of orange and yellow
reflecting from the walls of a gorge. A little
moon on the rise. Perhaps an off-canvas presence,
an implied sunset or a dawn. In the painting-as-
extension-of-the-room sense, a sun could gleam
poignantly—depending, of course, upon where
it was hanged. Near a window might be nice,
but we were in the basement. I held his hammer
and rusty nail and pondered how bright are moons.

An Ice Cream Disaster

afterThe Emperor of Ice-Cream" by Wallace Stevens

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When his time comes and the lamp’s
affixed its beam on the muscular one, who’s 
to whip up ice cream for those scamps
about to have their fun?  Might it be lewd
to send the wench, to bid her swirl un-
feminist curds as brawny feet protrude?

Or send in the flower boys to churn
with a noise so touching it’s unheard—a silence
more poignant than any emperor’s.

The faint whiff of cigar haunts
the ice cream-less scene, its delightful
dream unearned. (So much for want.
For such soft finales served so not quite quite.)

When I speak of poetry I am not thinking of it as a genre. Poetry is an awareness of the world, a particular way of relating to reality. So poetry becomes a philosophy to guide a man throughout his life…. [With poetry, one] is capable of going beyond the limitations of coherent logic, and conveying the deep complexity and truth of the impalpable connections and hidden phenomena of life.

Andrei Tarkovsky, Sculpting in Time, translated by Kitty Hunter-Blair (1987)

UNTITLED

after ”On the Beach at Night Alone" by Walt Whitman

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Alone at night on the beach, a drone might 
not be out of reach. It’s something like something.

It’s similitude, something like something.

A South African website with Ask Anythings from South Korea.

A whole is the sum of its roots, of its somethings.

The roots of a plant stretch into the clay.
Not a power plant, but something like something.

The water in the dam surges into power.
The roots dig. The buds flower.
That damn water, something like something
like might be the life of us all.

Like a doctor and a body shop, it’s something like something.

How much more does the airmail cost? I’m in Seoul.

A vast similitude interlocks all.

The New Truth

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The earth shifted. A natural occurrence, so they say, and magnetic north shifted with it. True north. A few degrees on the compass, a correction. With that, we can only guess. Little purple crabs washed ashore in Oahu and birds migrating above coastal Carolina are miles off course, seemingly offended, nesting in trees that seem to better suit a change in a few degrees. Other birds are dropping to the ground, thousands all at once. Dead, like the Hawai’ian crabs. Fish are swimming funny, and bears are a little confused too. Of course, this may be nothing new, they say. I always knew that bears were confused. And a salmon’s ebb and flow just ebbs and flows a little differently. Israel and Ukraine are acting up. Russia, too. America is a little slow to react on things it was once quicker to jump on, a few degrees ago. Waiting, perhaps, for a correction in the moral compass. For the next Jesus or Walter Cronkite to lay the moral authority smackdown. Maybe the dolphins will figure it out. Meanwhile, an airport in Tampa has shifted its runways a few degrees to align with the new truth. A truer north, shifting with it.

why oh wow just wow

upon reading Thanksgiving poetry on the 24th of July

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Why oh why oh why why why
Not have Thanksgiving Day in July?

Or August or June or in January?
In every month, we can gather and carry

all we can sew, all we can reap,
all we can eat, all we can keep

and throw in Christmas and Easter Day, too,
every 25th or when the moon is new.

Confining our joys to just one month oh why
not just combine Thanksgiving with the 4th of July?

When bunnies and Santa arrive, why not say
"We can celebrate everything every damn day!"

Halloween’s at four, and New Year’s at five
and at seven we’ll drink to just being alive.

All day every day, start the weaning right now
'til the importance of any lacks all meaning. Just wow.