Part 2


eric solibakke

go easy toward madness
        arrive fresh and vigorous
                 arrive with reserves
like odysseus , sufficient to pull
the most recalcitrant bow

for karl iván

Oslo, Norway
third edition 1999
1968, 1987, 1999 © eric solibakke

  1. On Poetry
  2. Letter from Crete
  3. At Knossos
  4. Aphrodite
  5. Today the Air
  6. Note for a New Epic
  7. Axis
  8. Song
  9. Metafruit
  10. On the Obvious
  11. Meditation (2)
  12. okay , and back to life
  13. A Wake for Dead Mother
  14. Philodendron Leaf
  15. Wet
  16. Yonika
  17. Right Now
  18. Her Name
  19. Home in Plaka
  20. View at Sunset


On Poetry

medieval looking typewriter , byzantine mechanism
        behind bottle caps , umbrellas , discs
                suspended , keys

with language like zinc'd smoke

from half a lifetime ago  :  the kid with the worst
reputation in the county , a special friend of mine
everyone talked about his idiot brother in the attic

i knew nothing  :  we were pals

had i remained a year longer
today we would be a team of casual criminals
on the west coast

with word-like phaiakian ships at the speed of thought

alkinoos and arete , the alphas of
an island where a man would like to live
with ship-like words at speeds of perception

sounds with
                         the sharp angles of sculpture
some pop group playing la bamba
                sound network
today's madness today
        tv heads shooting
processed images , pasteurized
                electricity , on electrijunk
the news of pop sound
                         battles reports from theaters
of controlled war
                                  while 'movie' stars
go crazy
acting out public seduction fantasies
to amuse the republic of ugly fucklings

sometimes i get it in my head
everything out there is just to find out about
a kind of museum in the present tense

Pause , Pulse


apr 3 1967

as for me  :  downright bad , BAD
(in case you didn't hear  :  i said BADad)

emmett just got a letter from barrister saying
they haven't enough money to pay their writers
at this time
                     get that ! no bread at all
        the same letter is on its way to me right now

they hint about paying in august
                 which blasts my schedule to hell
                         because i lose summer
what the fuck !
nothing to do but scrape together enough cash
        to get back to athens o athens O
        (  after six months i can sing of athens
        a place to come back to

no turkey                 suppose i'll teach english
no italy                     and blast off
                               some letters to relatives

can't travel in winter   )    (    except to the south
                 another winter in athens ?

        money  :  busy fucking up friends
        relatives employees associates mates and
        even whole masses and groups of people whom
        it never meets  (  nothing personal

                 (  a poem must contain
                    everything of relevance to life

e. and a. don't have enough money
to get out of crete , so they have
to spend the whole summer here
                 which is a terrible disappointment
                 saved only by
                                  e's belief that he can
                 work on his poetry
                                  and a's that she
                 can finish her novel

what really bothers me
                                   is karl
he may well suffer from lack of money
                                   modus vivendi
                                   modus vivendi
                                   how ?

        the sentence and paragraph don't exist in speech
        in spontaneous utterance
                                                   when a man's words
        get charged with emotion = the sentence is foutue

librarians stick us on that island
        " mega biblios mega kakos "
                 because they read books with an eye
                 to filing them for ready reference
and they need a subject name that looks serious
                                                   on the file card
together with printers
        (  and in our day scientists , politicians
                 and businessmen
           kick the emotion and meaning out of words

with the best of men  (  and women
        running this world
                 nobody could build a machine
of memory-intelligence
        of any relevance to the universe
the more computers know
        the less of significance is known
reductions of the universe
        nobody has the right to do that
one deserves everything god dishes out
        i demand no less

        snow melts from the northern slopes
                 crystaline whiteness shows black gashes
the weather warms as spring comes on
        and spring comes on so slowly
                 first warm then cold
as if earth wobbles madly out of control

tuesday i rode with emmett up through
vineyards  (  past knossos
                                     the vines were stiff brown
                                     bark shaggy and peeling
friday afternoon they were tipped with green fans
        big enough already to flutter in the wind
                                                   last night it rained
today wind surges up the valley
                                               slamming shutters
my feet are icy but not , thank god
as cold as when i first arrived
baDUM   baDUM   baDUM   baDUM  :  iamb  :  not music

among the vineyards  :  knossos  :  reflections of soul
(  i got lost three times right off
        the mind that made it
                 agglutinative architecture
                         labyros = double bladed axe
the labyrinth does not confuse
                                  (  straight & curved blades
once the whole is contained in mind
seen from above , it seems simple
                         one remembers labyrinthine hedges
                 the french were fond of planting
                         under the sun and relatives
                 false riddles don't count  :  claritas
                 exactly that  :  clarity
                                          the birds above must laugh

despite venetians  (  to say nothing of dorians etc
and turks
                 cretans retain the labyrinth
iraklion has no center , no concentration
no concentricity
the venetian wall puckers scar-like over the maze
typical minoan  :  not even the port makes center
                         knossos about five kilometers
                         from the sea  (  thalassocracy
and cupped on a serene slope
hidden from the drama of white-topped
                                                   mountains  (  seasons
and the sea  (  motion that will not stop

the turks leave practically nothing
music        sweets
minarets added to old venetian buildings
the wall
             honoring two cretans
                 kazantzakis  (  exile / ascetic of the spirit
                 venezelos  (  prime minister , during the republic
                                                                    --i think
the stone slab over kazantzakis
                 shattered as if by bombs
                 the legend grows here
behind the slab , a wooden cross
                   stripped of bark , weathered white
                   about a man and a half tall
wobbling in the wind
                                  and a headstone
  :  i fear nothing , i want nothing , i am free

(  visitors have copied the legend all over the stone
    in pencil
and who could believe such audacity
                                  in the hands of some men
                                  words have meaning
                                                                 :  written
huge venezelos a mere effigy in bronze
        cretans hold the ' volta ' in front of him
        every sunday
traffic passes hard by
and a cool park  (  long-needled pinus , eucalyptus
                         other round shapes planted close
                         ruined by traffic on all sides
no traffic passes under e's balcony except on foot

as scheveningen is to den haag
                                              poros is to iraklion
in the old days poros was a leper colony
from the city by a deep ravine
                                              still unsettled
although houses now creep into it

                                          i feel like a leper
when i walk among the children in the suburb
                 they have been known to cast stones
e. says i look like christ at the head of a flock
hostility becomes curiosity when i speak to them

an agricultural inspector
rakish blue uniform open to his hairy navel
                         informed me without preamble
                                                   :  crete is rich
and gave me directions to an archeological site
not mentioned in tourist guides
' fantastiko taxidi '   fantastic voyage
        sun sets just off the balcony
                 just out of reach , behind
        mountains cut from construction paper
                 raquel welch  :  fantastic voyage
        one mountain peaks like her breast
the sun nipples it on its way across the atlantic
        meanwhile the aegean , blue aegean
                 gets washed out gray turning to ivory
                 then gold
                                  the chryselephantine sea !

knossos faces the sun's appearance , the east
mark  :  knossos and i have commerce between us
                                  to face the rising sun
(  the i ching advises me to return to athens
                                  within seven days

raquel welch , fantastic voyage into inner space
        the only space
                               that counts
in and out , a matter of energy
                         whether it exists , what's out there
                         ' pragmatiko ' they say here
                         angels on pins
                         as many as care to
in and out energy flows both ways
                         fantastic voyage into the universe

wake up   wake up   you people out there
the sun in the east strains to arise

wake up   wake up   and open your eyes
the day commences cool and fair

put away dull dreams and awaken
the five drowsy inlets of soul

the this   the that   are one   are whole
flowers of godhood be not forsaken

must the human spirit be also measured in mere coin
        i , i for one , have no market value
                 and no contribution for industry
                         nor time , nor love

i fear nothing
        but the malice of other men
i want nothing
        but health and my natural fullness
i am free
        of so little that i quake with foreboding

on the steep side of mount iouktas
                                                   (  under it  :  zeus
i see you , kazantzakis , as a boy of say 14
thirsty , burning under a cretan sun
                                                     on the same path
                                                     emmett and i
        disdained the road
        lately built for phone company access to antennas

my dry body tingled from exhaustion and fear
                 while eagles floated below me
        be bird-like
        my clumsiness annoys me
        effortless altitude
                                          jesus , what a drag
                                          coming down the mountain
                                          controlled fall
the as-if-painted landscape
        becomes real again
                 on the same plane occupied by automobiles
the controlled fall
        i gave the mountain the strength of my body
                 and below me ,
                                          well below me
the eagles
                 eagles did fly

Pause , Pulse


entering the city i notice a girl on a nearby parapet
and we speak
                         for we are no strangers
i of my own
she of hers
for we are no strangers
and none more exist

with the sun hot
the last chills of winter die cooly
                         against our cheeks

knossos  :  beautiful cretan phoenix
of smoldering ash
                             throbs , as on the verge
vortex of flame-born
                                 aloft , airborne
the sweet love bird
                             of consciousness

o my asphodel
my outspoken pencil
and the commodious gatherings of mind

Pause , Pulse


monolithic fat thighed peasant
pendulous breasted
in the yard outside her stone spiti
she calls her daughter

        :  aphrodite

                 :  aphrodite

                                  the seasons of beauty
pass violently
                     under the hot lip of crete
time patterns
          redistribute themselves
on the sun

        :  aphrodite

                 :  aphrodite

the cool beautiful waters are bracing
in the sea off the coast of crete

        axis  :  truth , beauty
let flower the deepest root of existence
        and carve
                                  fashion idols
and texts
                 on the biggest tree in the forest

isomers , says emmett
isos meros         the same parts
                         the same place

Pause , Pulse


today the air is invisible motions
of the magnifying lens
                                    a vision void
                                    sucks sight out of grapes

the world rushes to my face
       (  to catch that sharpness in words
of low greens
                     forged on a setting sun ,
transmutations of space by the leaf
                         with extra spilled on walkways , sprayed

the edges of nearby mountains
command this air with witches' scythes

few secrets survive
when an air like this lays naked palms on bannisters
in public places
under , say , the clock at grand central
where there is no time for a tree to grow
apart from kodak mural  (  americanus  in cobalt colors

to dull the machine tempo
bangs the red hot element
                                        with tick-tock marks
as cold as all the gold under the dollar

history may be
what more than habits of data collection
when the winds blow modern miles per hour

Pause , Pulse



my ancestors immigrated from the north  (  father's side
mother's from the same general stock ,
wearers of skin robes , burr-hack tongued hunters
later with long faces , grave tones , ceremonial black
protest , respect for the devil and duty
                                                   to the New World !

one worked cross-country
                         laying the first railroad track
another got there later , selling seeds or deeds
                         men / commerce of course
the women were pioneer daughters
faced with the choice  :  white man or indian
                                                   to the New World !
                         utterly personal
                         but the story is here
to the New World !
                                  and they got cheated
        (  oppression aside for the moment
          of everything worthwhile they brought along
cheated , fucked out of it
                                          (  to the New World !

doesn't matter much where they come from
when the teeth of commerce get chewing rot-mind
the sort that produces market bombs
the gold standard the labor standard
                                          (  to the New World !
item -- loss of tools
                             i collect my tools  :  sight smell touch
                             taste hearing intellect  (  kazantzakis


measures and uses of intelligence
        (  in our day
have little or no significance
                                  the only intelligence of value
(  value = appreciation
                                  is the intelligence of appreciation
a . q . appreciation quotient
        beauty = sensation of life = truth
(  what you believe    (  what you experience
the not-false
                         look inside
look there & don't bullshit yourself
about where you are
                                  some men appreciate the lull
                                  as much as the conversation
consciousness  :
        to receive and transmit energy
                                                       is the great gift
the problem-solving habit
                                  reduces the universe to problem


to hell with sentences    /    they warp the depths
often , too often
and danger
                  :  the crystal , already rigid
    gets tougher to crack

now --- energy & accuracy
prejudice against grammar to get them in
get them  in
energy  :  units fields clouds vibrations
                                                         aimed  :  accuracy
                                                         focused  :  accuracy
freedom to balance energy-words
                                                   against words
crash !
the crystal cracks !
                              sheer power of expansion
bigness , bigger than the container

surrealists play all kinds of games
but why the hell don't they
                                         get serious ?
not grave  :  serious , for the poets  (  a . q .
make it new  (  unique
the plastic forms of consciousness
with spectra  :  beauty
                                      from essence
                                      the concrete flower
tao --- the road , street
and the way to the New !

Pause , Pulse


to make
        expression in dire need of popularization
                 some    thing    ,    make    some
                         body  (  axis    :    beauty

a not inconsequential fact  :  blake
spoke to angels
                         while most never suspect
                         (   beauty at the loin

chagall's bird-woman-fish
        flying mermaid
                 in her hands the globe
                                                   of   flowers
the angel hovers
                         above the moon
above the sun
                         NICE                 soleil
                                      fleurs                 marc etc
hovers above , sing-
                               le fish
alone in the sea
                         where the blue bay
nurses deep blue the city
        :  color burgeons in the globe
                                                       of flowers
and her tail
                   (  colors gather on scales

flowers express
like living faces
                         express  :  energy
fish      city      angel
the upward order
                            mounting over the moon
over the sun & heavenly bodies
the color of freedom , i say
                                                   (  sea      sky      blue
freedom to make
                             action  :  energy

energy lieth not in the heart of flower
energy explodeth from the whole
the whole flower , wild flower and brief
sweet gesture of earth

blake rhymes with make
and his angels
                         (  conjecture
        may not madness outweigh , outvalue
                 / bomb game  /  market race /
                                                                a madness
not wed to good sense , wed to nothing
of consequence
                         :  / bomb game  /  market race /
head heart hands health
for the current slaughter

now , about the angels
                 :  is this blake guy a liar ?

                                  / bomb game  /  market race /
                                  sudden death
sudden life
                    on any scale you can find
          (  make no mistake
life wins over death      hands down
                   toward the earth
          where they come from
:  hands
            miracles are as much miracle
for extending an eon or an age
perfection of many reasons
                                           and no particular goal

Pause , Pulse


truth  :  not fact   ,   but
                                          essential fact
the truth  :  experience
                                      outward  (  the nature-like soul
                               opening on the spark-wings of expansion
and beauty
        for me the global axis
                 around which the universe turns
                                  (  cyclone energy   ,   vortex

' sitting devoutly at the feet of '
  earth architecture
  city of angels
  abode of man

i think always of the flower
                                          and sequential seed-pod
and data-pulse
                        in the vital inlets of soul

flowers of beauty and scents
                                            sow meaning-glory seeds
of morning light ,
                           the dawnly chromatics of joy

the same drop rains into every river
                         and returns to the brine of every sea

an isomer of rain
is the pea-like vastness of my soul

Pause , Pulse


what i mean by the expression " to give energy to the universe "
also " to do , make , play and create "

to enter with energy              :               uni-
        continuum of consciousness            *verse*wonder*
                 appreciation   ,   always

the remark that reveals truth always
        and when questioned , always inclining
                 in the direction of beauty

for the whole universe a pulsation
                                                    of the divine part

every joy conceived by the living
        out of earth's soul , the joy
                 itself a pulsation
                                           of the divine part
                         the compass rose of life

          creation ----------- joy

beauty  :  (  no theories à la ' university '
        a simple snail exceeds all postures

                 the energy of it
                 drives the self

as sun drives fruit through vine  ,  grape flesh
        :  the plastic forms of consciousness
is where i perceive it
                 " to give energy "
                         also " do  ,  make  ,   play  ,  create "

                             wherever the seam of words
joins the commodious planes of reality
                                                           truth occurs
with amazing intensity
        :  is what i believe
                 with the five inlets of soul in this age
(  &   odysseus
        i tell the story as it happen to me
                 and of fabrications i am master

Pause , Pulse


released from his cage
the freed bird
                         sits on a nearby limb
and sings his lovely heart out  :  from

eons out of pastness
from what is indestructible

(  excuse the fatherly tone
        but the twisted out
        ends of things
                the burned out
        and blacked , petro-
        leum smeared
        of things
        seem to cry out , now
        for guidance
phoenix !
o my god let it
and it shall     from ashes     arise

wherever odysseus wanders
he never exits the realm of beauty ,
        the denominator of significance
                 at the level of what is perfectly
                         obvious  :  truth

there is terror out among these angels
        (  and i see them above earth , on it
                 and under the sea

there is terror
        as well there must be
                 :  consider the green leaf over there

i did not make it  :  nor green

(  angels burrow through earth
pure shining granite diamond whatever
if they want

yet , sun will shine
in crystals metals hotnesses
come on , sun
give it to me  :  you're male and i'm
        female when it comes to shining ,
                 jab a sunbeam at me
                         and i'll accomodate

phoenix !
                 (  how many times must i say it
from ashes    arise

as i saw it rise out of the stones
of knossos  :  a city without walls

as in the consciousness
where words fail me for awe

for the moment
the jewel is on my eye

                 the jewel    !    there
and it all crashes in on me  (  for awe

i emerge with    :    beauty -- truth , or myself

sight  :  vision

here is the map  :  the compass rose of life

          creation ----------- joy

some men walk in utter serenity within the temple
of earth , yet i take up my tools

(  " sight smell touch taste hearing intellect

and walk within the temple
        like a sunburst of energy
                 aching to flash into song

i sing with the vectors
        of my mind
                             (  a city without walls
                 faces the sunrise , knossos
let the centuries think of us as they will

the compass rose of death

        profit ----------- power

games !
the spasm of western civilization
to death
              the cutting in twain came with the iron age
              and iron still slices my flesh

and i find myself in the vortex of energies between

to the energies of napoleon
the philosophies offer armies
and the ridiculous ceremonies of statehood

throw any net you like over the chaos
        the green shining eyes of the cat remain
and the incessant growling in the throat

in the savage throat no net contains
        energy  :  ah , you great beauty
lie quietly

the savage chaos also sleeps serenely
        on the sun-warmed stones
sleek as a dragon's scale

poles  (  not dichotomies

dogs , like people , trip on the stairs
while cats purr in channels of oily purity
with a self-awareness that spooks me

        :  where did they learn so much

observe the cat settling into the sphinx figure
in silence

they leave words , i. e. the spoken part
        to me because i seem to care
and i do

(  endgame of the mathematical
that declines me now toward machines
for the exploration of outer space

rock of care  :  desire

when i have energy for outer space
        i won't need their tinny contraptions
who wish wing and desire flight

you cat-like bastard
                 in that everywhere-land of the rising sun
when i pry wide
your lips
              my own tongue flops out
              like a peacock feather in wind
                                          my own tongue

S      E      L       F      (   no need to scout a new word
o      n       o       u
n      e       v       n
g      r       e                  and in this space  :  homage
       g                           to the lowly flower
                                    ginsberg ,
i have in mind your massive sunflowers
lunging toward heaven on fulcrum-mountains
of rotted flesh and blood oceans

the sunflower makes it
        with much to spare , excess

of flower-flesh        color        and scent

Pause , Pulse


the soul of soul is truth
the motion of soul is creation
the flesh of soul is joy
the presence of soul is beauty

life rhythms turn slowly
every thing is an event
living is the ceremony of celebration

the sole responsibility of prophecy
is avoidance of falsity
time is no more

only the least significant measure of time
is measurable

father universe
son mangod
and holy spirit in all and beauty

you , reader , father son and holy spirit

pool-like pools of consciousness unite in unity

Pause , Pulse

okay, and back to life

okay , and back to life
                             weed worship
                                      and love of wind sounds
from weed leaves
                         near the window
you talk to me now , matter
5 perceivers of soul in this age

a bas ' deception '        
down to those rosy little hells        
of its own ' conception '        
value only as perceived
on this rock shall you build  :  beauty

!   fly comes zooming in
        from the garden
                                  skids a loop past my ear
        while taking in the green and blue leaves
        printed on the curtain , fake , and across
            the breeze diagonally making altitude
room check        :        :         :        seems dead in here
                   ( this is where i live )
and coasts over the philodendron leaf

                                                           in the garden
                 she ' saw how beautiful the mushrooms are '
                 and got turned on to nature
garden  :  an organized area of outside inside

a christian mind sends me a design for the ' city of man '
i learn about colors
        (  a friend discusses the merits of purple
           yonika scratches the gate to get out
                                                     the dog
                                to avoid fouling her own living space
in desperation
she pisses on the neighbor's front porch

yet another revolution in yet another country
        in the past greece or france
        in the future the same
yet another ' new ' system or ' new ' truth
                                                                 with typical
news from my native land , america
                                  (  the new continent , atlantis rising
i have been cheated again by an employer
                                                             a year's wage
                                  flushed down the commode
                 of a million-dollar deal called bankruptcy
these are the ashes from which atlantis         phoenix-like
                                                                  shall arise

plastic gardeners dust plastic grass
in cute little parks just off fifth avenue
kept at charming temperatures by air-conditioners
and the electronically approximated ' song of birds '

                                  sweet wood of apple
                                  parts for the wedge of teeth

a pseudo-widow of w. w. ll  (  world war the second
slips into the garden
to report her lover seized by the police
(  a journalist , for telling the truth
                 ' state secret ' reads the charge

weed worship      and a ' city of man '         greeny flower of
                          based on the asphodel      ' incredible love '

definition  :  a place set aside to retain an air
                                                   of the ' great outdoors '

deep blue tiles in the oval pool
        cool water washes over them
                 the new green of floating moss
                         swirls among moving shadows

a gray cat rubs flank against the arbor post

i saw fountain for the first time in paris
luxembourg gardens
                         emmett and i  (  circled the basin
                         talking of robert duncan
                                  exotic fonts
                                  the rare textures of paper
to sculpt with water
                                                   infinite shapes of gold
                         cast on blue tile by the rippling wind
and that magnificent craftsman , helios

                                 IMP CAESAR T AELIVS
                                 made a little garden
        in athens   (        with paving stones
                                 and a huge grafitti
                                 IMP CAESAR T AELIVS

archeologists work in hadrian's library
        inking numbers on fallen stones
                 notebooks full of foundation lines
two block away        a greek
hangs over the temporary railing of a building site
where the scientists
                                 have halted construction
while they record the lay of old stones
                                                           old stones
        and the greek may be wondering
        if his ancestors who lived down there
        had it any better
                                          old stones
                                                   cratered by ghosts

non licet omnibus adire corinthum
                                  -- said those boring romans
while scribbling innumerable volumes
to formalize the rackets
                                      the place grabs me
                                                                    by the balls
                                            and pours in a vital energy
sufficient to burn out
        the biggest voltmeter ever conceived

my prick        
perpetrated perhaps        
the most massive fuck        
ever released into the realms        
of reality        
and hung around the ruined temple of aphrodite
all the next day
while my brains posted off in search of ' evil '

for three months i cast around for the word  :
                         my body chants the scripture of touch

old stones
we've all been in bondage           megali paraskevi
                                                great or good friday

a thin layer of mud on the streets
                                          after a wooly sky since noon
church bells athenian style
                                        unmelodious claps and bongs
the color the air like sunsets of tone
                                          (  rain is crucifixion weather
from aigios nikolaos
a modest procession bears church bric-a-brac
and candles shielded by left hands
candles on puddles in the hollows of paving stones

the big bell of metropolis
                                     dashes a warm tongue on my ear
and hums the mystical syllable
a kind of collision on the crowded street

inside the ring of police
                                    surrounding the cathedral square
        soldiers manoeuvre in honor of crucifixion
                                    human dominoes baDOOM by
        with muzzles turned downward
                                    to keep the powder dry
on the day of crucifixion
                                    (  rain is crucifixion weather

the archbishop's jewels strike dark like sparks
of divine fire unable to smelt the rap of rifles
for the marvelous sounds of bell

                                                           on sunday
        the king arrives in a sleek limousine
        escorted by 36 white stallions
                                          -- a few greeks applaud

with jewels machinegunning the night
the archbishop fires the pyrotechnics
of the top brass
                         and sends an olympic runner
                         with a flame for the crowd

we all take light from each other

at midnight the archbishop announces the obvious
christ is risen
                         a little severe rejoicing
                         by the bells
the army runs through the manual of arms
and the king catches a lift back to the palace
in a handy iron panther with bullet-proof dome
                         escorted by 36 white stallions
the street swarms with beautiful people
                 all the descendants of diogenes
                 looking for an honest man
                                                           christos anesti
and his yellow tongue licks away at the shadows
falling across their faces
                                      soft glow and shadowless

our philodendron gave birth to a new leaf this morning
by natural caesarian section
                                             now they are three
with the infant still coiled
        in translucent leaf flesh
bearing the green scrawl of the love tree

                                  a perception like a drop of water
                                  the mind
                                                   like an artesian well
        splits the rock
        to take shape from surrounding land

(  pool-like pools of consciousness unite in unity

                                                   every day of summer
                                                   after working in the fields
a weedy lake with rich yellow water
no beaches
everywhere traces of wild animals
                                              poke heads out of the forest
                                              for a look at the stars
                                              and a long drink
by 6 o'clock the sun falls behind pine tops
        the dark water sparkles with silver flames of bass
        as they leap for low flying insects
                                          a lake very like mind in the valley

a hand
guides me from the dimensions
of my apartment on adrianou street
                         (  hadrian , maker of wall and gates
to heaven
and i find it to be
exactly as i want it
                            a small field of brilliant yellow buttercups
                            a gentle humming
flowers swirl above my head
                            a yellow canopy of butterflies
and the sun like candle light
                            soft glow and shadowless

thus also in the book of the dead , tibet
a zen friend reports
                                (  the number of unread books
                                    constantly increases

Pause , Pulse


what my country offers me

                                  america        o        america

        o to be in gloucester
                                          now that olsen's there

to appear acceptable to the average
employment manager
                                  to think with the tools of
                                  manifest insincerity

i am am am amer i can
                                  (  with 999 legs from radio city
nothing i can can can
                                  (  with a lyndon bandmaster
do do do about that
                                  my country 'tis of thee

the boss rrrrupt a deck of bill in my palm
                                  " as long as one's living , he said
        one might as well have the good things of life "
                                  since it was near the 4th of july
        i quit to go find the good things
                                  while the sun was still shining

        til i find how sweet the berry
                                  more lives together makes merry
                 the hollywood universe

uninterrupted epic since parthenon
        the house of christ served by major-generals

                 the sound
                 of one
                             hand clapping

                 the sound
                 of one
                             atom splitting

american        o        american

        you see the invisible particles of nothing
        near the nothing particle of nucleus

        not the orbit which makes matter

        energy orbits energy
        makes life

the pied piper of earth wails a grit horn

all priests and watchtower salesmen
        ... immediately instructed to redeem
                 ... they have been issuing for centuries

                         :  a rain check on the pleasant
                             this side of mind

... is the bastard who instructed you
                                                   love of mother is illness
                                                   hate of mother is illness
... disinterest is contagion
o amer america , power of usurious distinterest

        sweet , the sweet berry
                         life together maketh merry

our old mother
                      dies on the doorsill
a wake for dead mother
                                    we'll never get some other

Pause , Pulse


the love tree leaf
                            unfurls itself banner
nearly so big as parents
                                      with a hole pattern of archipelago
mediterranean sailing chart

                                  in the house up north
        the little babes are born
                                              without holes
                         and grow some with age

        our fly-through babe
        the flies buzz

        and nestles the motherly stem arm
        that grew one week two feet

        balances law the wind
                                        for the strength of arms so swift

" adagio of islands o my
                                   prodigal you are so
                                                                human so divine


    c                   rgyygr
    r                 ergyygre
    e               nergyygren                j
    a             energyygrene              o
    t               nergyygren                y
    i                 ergyygre
    o                  rgyygr
    n                   gyyg


" may my speech be one with my mind ,
                                           my mind one with my speech

Pause , Pulse


the weird green fruit
        squanders its juice on adjacent rocks
                 how just , the unintentional sea

with this cove full of girls and boys
wanting each other

                                  one speculates whether
        the government will outlaw bikinis
                                  henceforth , the form
        of woman is to be secret , perhaps ignored
                                  for the good of the nation

how those bellies overhang   !   the breasts dangle

the thought of a hairy gash squeezed in all that fat ,
the irony amuses me
                                          (  last night

the handsome bitch near the road
        sports a dozen cool swains
                 milling around like cops

two males split the scene
                                          and lope
        with tails swinging
                                          a couple of studs
with three hundred and sixty-five days a year

                 out to share a bark
                 at things
                 nobody ever thought
                 of barking at before

                                          (  last night
my shadow lags back , ranges ahead
from streetlight to light
                                      humming along
        on a rough landscape
                                          of sun-white stalks

the land has an air of late summer
before i've seen
                           the wet things of the world

        the summer flesh of city girls
        and crabs
        out for a stroll in the sun

Pause , Pulse


                                                       the dog world stinks
yonika goes crazy with joy smells
                                  her nose takes over
                                  wanders relaxedly around
                                  bestowing recognition of sniff
and what smells good
                                  she clamps with a bite
                                  information gathering
                                  with learned teeth
yoni the shiteater
                                  knows the asshole taste
                                  of multitudes
                                  scavenger of flesh

i unwrap a candy bar
she noses up on my knee
                                  and parks her tail with hungry eyes

balconies down one side of the street
        trees on the other , the park
                 straight and curved on a race
                  :        itsablur upahead        :
dali territory        freak time        crimes
        where the hell is the gate to garden

autoanimals on the right
                                  dinosaur ridden sky , o curse
(  light screams , ear havoc
                                  chainmail vaults crude
steel coffins for cities
                                  sawblades chop live bone

for cities  :
spidery rorschach of a map
                                          star ashram without walls
                                          city of awareness
                 too bad
                 philosophers and henchmen

                 you're now
                 case histories

                 medical reports on a recently conquered

                 a 1903 communication from a jungle
                 infested with yellow fever

                 i give the bee back her hive
                 and the ant his labor

Pause , Pulse


i come out of the wheaty air , heat of ovens
                             into the sunflame street

two youths                in front of me
                                with bulging briefcases

under my arm           to pio mavro
                                a loaf of the brownest bread

against temporary arrangements
                         and transitory conventions of value
the diet of discovery ,
                                  subtle food

" you may believe anything you like
                                          says the academy
                                          meanwhile unbelieving everything
but don't confuse belief with truth baDUM

in the brown envelope sprouts the greeny fruit
        of now-in-full-bloom the money tree
                         whose noxious gasses asphyxiate

the autumn state of mind
is rigorously forbidden , banned
by love ' classified '
as emotional treacherous territory
full of devils and angels

while mercenaries guard the sepulchre
                                          and love is a mode of being
while buddha enters the harmonic realms
                                          the same as caring-not-caring
while a yacht under full sail crosses meridians

Pause , Pulse


earth does not fail
        greeks making it around this land
                 in bodies that once enclosed
                                                           the beam
(  of universe  )      within their skulls
                                                           perhaps aflame
with the first fever
        of those parched minds of today
        (  banishment of king life reign of death

first penetration of mind
        through the mirror of meaning
                 first nausea among jagged reflections

the earth does not fail  :  these dragon's teeth
push up men among dry bones , and despair
is unknown to the thin soil

the dog bounds to greet me  :  my hand on the gate
        dog bomb of energy  :  love attack near the knees
its always like this when coming home

all night with eisenstein , traffic with the obvious
as great men perceive it
                              explorers    dimensions    prophecy
light years from
the academy gone the way of ossification

all night with eisenstein                how to capture truth
                                                 in reflections
i turn away from my image in a car window
                                                           my eye
                         by pink blossoms
                         from summer trees

" only when eve was made perfect was adam
" thus also made perfect
                                                  her name is his
                                                  his name is hers

Pause , Pulse


the green-nervous focus of energy , an
eye-catcher stage-right in the garden

is plants that grow !
(  a grandchild philodendron born last week

big as a face-towel it hangs there
like a limp fish
digging the pressure of wind on green scales

to soften the blow
of stone squares in walls , square as
                                                       sharp corners
designed before memory
the kitchen looks a lot like a manger
where i imagine christ is born

                                  i can practically see
straw needing a haircut at the window

like a cave
                 when you go out of the mouth
                 you go in
                                  have the experience
of going out of something into something else
for a moment , until the sun strikes you

(  lying on my bed
                         home is what a person has
                         where he commands the atmosphere  :
as if in a courtyard outside
                         of some modest building ,
a rectangle of inner-space
                         divided at the golden mean
by an inside wall with a window in it

monkeys could as well live in my cave
(  the back wall is buried
                                  in the base of athene's territory
especially those pliocene
the weapon inventors
                                  our fathers
the monkeys who kill as a way of life

may never find it necessary to prove
although our fathers live , they are dead

my guess for the age of the house
        is 10 going on 15 thousand summers
and about the same number of anoixi
        they call spring here
                                          the season of openings

Pause , Pulse


it's the view that arrests in this spot
at the other end of the street
                                          where athene gave first messages
kleomenous that circles lycabettos

it's the view that freezes significance
                                          like the black lacquer of mystery

a four-masted schooner rides at anchor in the bay
        off new phaleron
                                    everything has name
                                    and meanings are elsewhere

the weird sun
                     sets behind a disintegrating rocket cloud
from this angle
                     the parthenon looks undamaged , whole
a freshness
                     of deaths and births against the eye
a place that counts
                     ' old flat-top ' i call akropolis , an arsenal

        blue salamis , aegina , peloponnesos
        outlined by densities of mist
                                                     as if memories of death
                 from the far side of the water of oblivion

in the distance
the missile disintegrates and clouds come back

the schooner glows with treasures        
along the deck        
jewels cascade four masts        

Pause , Pulse

Quiet Clouds, part 1: Life Lines
Quiet Clouds, part 2: Pause , Pulse
Quiet Clouds, part 3: Drywater

POEMS 1966-1996 | My Story | Giftwaves | Silly Bulls and Dog Growls | Oh This Yes | Eternal Perfect Beloved