TO THE ORIGINAL LOS ANGELES DAILY NEWS!
A Verse to
by RIP RENSE
(Jan. 9, 2013)
When the guy at the Santa Monica Co-Op
asks if you want lettuce on your sandwich,
itís sort of like asking if you want blue with that sky youíre
breathing. I mean, he peels off exactly one green leaf, only
moderately wilted, enough to sate an overfed dwarf bunny with a
"lap-band," and lays it gingerly on the bread.
Thatís the kind of day it is here, you see. Itís a
day. Ah, Rense is nuts, right? Itís 70 degrees in January in
L.A.., an unimaginable dream for much of the world! Well, I hate
70 degrees in January in L.A., so there you are. The air is
cold, the sun is warm, the flu bug is poised to fell every third
jackass ordering a latte inside every stuffy germ-incubating
Starbucks. I like clouds once in a while. I like moisture in my
sky, along with blue. I don't like cold sweat in my armpits and
heat on my face.
And for that matter, I donít like January. Itís like a
long speech by a monotone banker. Before the rubber
"How are you, sir!" the sandwich guy at the Co-op had barked,
I tried to be folksy, wound up weird.
"Oh, well, uh, you don't want to know. That would be too much
Furtive look from Sandwich Guy. Whoops, don't want to be
upsetting. . .
"So I'll just say, fine! And leave it at that."
"Right!" barked Sandwich Guy. "Can't complain, right!"
"No, I could," I said. "I could really, really complain."
Uh-oh, weird instead of folksy again.
"But donít worry! I won't, I won't."
"Right! Good! Doesn't do any good!"
I let Mr. Positivity alone to make the sandwich and went looking
for cat food that the Unholy Three might not reject in wide-eyed
This all took place because I had just forced myself to
get Out of The House after sitting in what could romantically be
called "writer's paralysis," but really is nothing but good,
old-fashioned depression. I know it's depression because I saw
an informercial about it last night. It said that the true test
of being depressed was if you answered a few questions with
"yes." The first two questions were "Do you feel sad?" and "Do
you lack interest in doing things?"
Bingo! (Hell, I'd answer "yes" to those if I won the
lottery. And a Pulitzer Prize.)
My first stop, pre-sandwich, had been a lovely park in Santa
Monica named after a field of clover. What could possibly go
wrong in such a poetic circumstance? I had gone there to do
gentle Tai Chi, instead of to the "Y" to do a strenuous workout.
I had done a strenuous workout at the ďYĒ the previous day, you
see, followed by a nice flu shot from a pharmacist who looked to
be about ten-years-old.
"The good thing for you," said the ten-year-old pharmacist, "is
that in just a few years, you'll be 65 and Medicare will pay for
She was being folksy, trying to cheer me up.
"Nah," I said, smiling. "I'll be dead by then."
To her great credit, she found that howlingly funny.
So the thing is, I didn't want to do a strenuous workout
on the day right after the flu shot, so as not to encourage my
chances of becoming part of the two percent of flu-shot
recipients shot down by the flu from the shot itself. I've
recently gotten over two months of pneumonia, no thanks to persons claiming to be doctors of medicine, and I'm just a
bit skittish about illness right now. Otherwise known as "scared
"Jaden! Jordan! Joshua! THROW that ball! THAT'S it! YEAH!Ē
Someone was yelling, there in the beatific field of clover. No
more intrusive than a police helicopter. I looked around. It was
one of those "coach" jerks who thinks he has to bellow like a
coked-up drill sergeant, never mind that he's coaching. .
Okay, maybe they were four. Maybe.
"JORDAN! TAKE PRIDE IN THAT AYS SHIRT YOU'RE WEARING!"
Except he pronounced it "Jor-dan," as everyone does now, along
with "gar-den" and "stu-dent." It's as if the entire American
populace is being taught to read and write by the dyslexic kid
who used to sit in the back of the class, hiding. Sound it
out, now. . .GARRR. . .den!
As for what AYS stands for, I am so pleased I donít know. But
the implication was clear enough. Take pride in whatever
corporate logo is printed on the clothing you are wearing. After
all, you will soon shoulder the heavy responsibility of obeying
corporate commands to consume, consume, and consume some more,
and you must mentally prepare!
Problem was, this "coach" simply. Would. Not. Stop.
Shouting. Was it coffee? Had he just finished viewing "Full
Metal Jacket?" Or was he indulging some misguided notion about
keeping children's attention focused. . .through terror!
I do not jest, sorry to say: I walked all over the park, and
there was absolutely zero Tai Chi-friendly terrain where I could
not hear the Jor-daning voice of Drill Sergeant. A hundred and
fifty, two hundred yards away, but. . .
"JA-DEN! JOR-DAN! JOSHUA!Ē
I stood and stared. It was really quite astonishing. Such vocal
projection! And Coach loomed, striding madly back and forth,
much as I imagined Custer might have done. And oh, how the
trendy-named little tykes stood close together, wide-eyed,
dazzled, a nest of their trendy mommies seated nearby. Maybe
"coach" was paid by the word. Maybe one of the kiddies would
grow up to be a mass murderer.
I left. Tai Chi Bye Chi.
And thatís when I wound up at the Co-Op, picking up my one leaf
of lettuce. Thankfully, nothing occurred to further enhance
misanthropia there, well, that is, unless you count the fact
that I walked out with one bag of groceries costing ninety
dollars. Plus 20 cents for the
double-bag. Okay, okay, most of the cost was for "supplements"
that I am suckered into buying because I imagine they will help
me to fend off germs hiding in that one leaf of moderately
And I drove home through the usual ego circus. Silver Mercedes
in front of me tailgated a black SUV from red light to red
light, as if this somehow might improve something. At last,
Mercedes passed SUV on the right, entering a bike lane to do so,
and caused SUV to slam on brakes, etc., etc. Yawn.
Because I wanted to have at least one small moment of
something resembling pleasure in my day---I know, selfish as
hell of me, really---I stopped at a coffee joint called "8
Espresso." In the pantheon of dumbass business names, I'd have
to rank it near ďPetals ní (sic) Wax HomeĒ in Marina del Rey. 8
Espresso. What could it mean? The film the rat-pack never made?
Am I the only one who finds it utterly bizarre that a stupid
rectangle in a sterile, deathless mini-mall is decorated to look
like a "funky coffee house?" With old couches, fat chairs, red
velvet curtains, and---Jesus come now---old Beatles and CSN&Y
albums strewn about for "atmosphere?"
I ordered a mocha from a nice young woman slightly larger than
one of my cats. She had odd glasses, but then, most people do.
I looked at the price. It's a tribute to my dogged
determination to have a slight bit of pleasure in my day---or
rather, to self-pityingly lavish a dose of chocolate on my dying
taste buds---that I paid it, anyhow.
"Large or small," she said.
"Small," I replied, noting that this would still cost me enough
to make half of Africa gape.
"You said soy milk, right?"
I admitted it. I had.
"We have to charge you fifty cents more for alternative milk."
Really. She said that. "Alternative milk."
"That's okay." (You can have all the contents of my wallet if
you'll just give me a goddamned mocha.)
I paced around as I waited. I do this. I pace. It gives me
the illusion of doing something while I'm wasting my life. My
father was the same way. I
looked around. The 8 Espresso crowd was typical enough. Two
tight-jean-imprisoned young women typed manically on computers,
faces taut, sphincters tight (well, that's a guess), as if they
were doing a compare-and-contrast of Nietszche and Schopenhauer.
Of course, they were writing e-mail, if you call that writing.
Several guys in their 30's and 40's were discussing something
involving money and writing. I wanted to warn them that these
things were mutually exclusive, but Iíd had my fill of
conversation for the day with Mr. Positivity Sandwich. A fat guy
about my age sat sunken in one of the fat chairs, typing on a
laptop, which was actually in his lap. Or, rather, on his lap,
balanced as if at the summit of a rolling hill. I caught him
giving me an appraising look that I would liken to something
approaching dog inspection. He had seen me looking in horror at
the CSN&Y albums, and judging by his expression, this had
I win friends without even speaking!
At last my coffee was ready and I headed home to wolf my
one-leaf-of-lettuce sandwich and ďalternative milk.Ē
The cats bothered me so much for some of my sandwich that
a chunk fell on the floor. We had a tug of war with it, but I
won. They are no match for me.
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---Jonathan Minkoff, Recorded A Cappella
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with pioneering Japanese-American reporter/Daily News
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BY RIP RENSE
"Staggeringly well written. .
.sweet. . .funny. . .sad. . .elegaic. . .not a
thought nor sentence out of place."
---Keith Snider, San
by Barbara Weeks
review:Susan Christian Goulding's
Daily Breeze column on "The Oaks"
MAN CHAINS SELF
TO OAK TREE, READS 'THE OAKS' AGAIN AND AGAIN!
AVAILABLE EXCLUSIVELY ON THIS SITE
"I stayed up
to finish the last 100 pages.Ē
---Dave Allen, Thousand
""This book deserves to
be read by hundreds of thousands of people It is a
gem that talks to a diverse group of people: those
who grew up in dysfunctional families(!); Southern
Californians who will love the suburban anecdotes;
teens and everybody who has ever been a teen with
all the awkwardness those years impart. It's also
quite funny. Readers simultaneously laugh while
groaning over these horribly insensitive 'adults'
raising Charlie, who is much more adult than they
columnist for the Daily Breeze,
People Mag. Correspondent.
Rense interviewed about "The Oaks"
in Ventura Star
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LESS THAN SATISFYING ENCOUNTERS WITH
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Measured by its attitude.
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than any three other people I know. I've
given this some thought and my conclusion is
that it is your unhappy fate to be something of
a "schmuck magnet." Unpleasant-incompetent-self-aggrandising
people enter your close orbit with greater
than the rest of us."
---Bob Ballenger, Encino, CA.
230 pages of LTSEWH's.
A LINGO CZAR LEXICON
OF WESTERN CIVILIZATION---
Measured by its language.
is---210 acid-dripping pages exposing rigidly
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patois, abominable cliches, infantile drivel,
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spewing from their 500-word vocabularies as
their knuckles hang ever closer to the sidewalk.
IT IS: THE MOST IMPORTANT SPEECH MADE BY ANYONE IN
THE LAST 60 YEARS, BAR NONE. LADIES AND GENTLEMEN,
The Rip Post
ALL FOR TAIKO, AND
TAIKO FOR ALL.
How two educators and a
scientist came to
devote themselves to the drum.
CHINESE MEDICINE DOC EXTRAORDINAIRE!
AND. . .
AUTHOR OF "WHILE
MY GUITAR GENTLY WEEPS: THE MUSIC OF GEORGE
teacher, deejay, recording
on Mata Hari, Daktari, high school
students, John Donne, the future of the planet, and
his album. . .
plus: 'Breakfast With The Beatles'
host Chris Carter, and more
Verse to You:
Starring Rip Post resident laureates Scott Wannberg (R.I.P), Jack Oakes,
Charles Bogle, Raj Bavnani.
Enjoy samples below, and. . .
visit the big poetry archive
I walked into the Vagina Hotel
just because of the name
Tell me, I said, why is this
hotel named for a vagina
and the proprietress
who claimed to be a poetess
said, why, does that threaten
No, I said, I've never been
threatened by a vagina
but then, I've never met one
that could talk, either,
so I can't be sure
Misogynist loser, she said, so I moved on
Feeling hungry, I stopped at Vagina Burger for lunch
Tell me, I said, to the waitress,
Why is this place called Vagina Burger I mean
that's not very picturesque
Oh, she said, are you threatened by the word, vagina?
No, although I admit I find it a rather ugly sounding
I mean, couldn't they have called it a morning glory or
a midnight moon or something
She snorted and walked away, mumbling "asshole"
So I left and went to Starbucks where a woman on a
had a bunch of books next to her called My Vagina, Your
Vagina, Our Vagina, The Cat in the Vagina, Of Mice and
Vaginas, Huckleberry Vagina, and The Vaginas of Wrath
Oh, and that one by Naomi Wolf called Vagina: a
What are you staring at, snapped the laptop woman
Oh, sorry, I said, I couldn't help but notice your books
Do they threaten you, she said
No, books don't threaten me, I rather like them
Then why are you staring
Oh, well, I've never seen so many books about vaginas,
it piqued my curiosity
Are you threatened by vaginas, she said
No, I'm threatened by aggression, mostly, at least to
But I do wonder how a vagina could have a biography
Does that threaten you, she said
Well, let me think about that, seeing as this question
keeps coming up
Stupidity and arrogance threaten me, and hostile,
defensive people threaten me, and guys with lots of neck
tattoos of bloody knives and Jesus threaten me, but a
biography of a vagina, no
that's too ridiculous to be threatening
Laptop woman's eyes got as big as ignorance and she said
What do you mean, ridiculous!
Oh, well, it's like this: the idea that retreating into
a frame of mind where one's sex organ is exalted, where
one's very self-worth is focused on one's sex organ,
where an obsession with one's sex organ is conflated
with philosophy, and in the case of the vagina, is
somehow construed as "feminism" and "empowerment," well
this strikes me as asinine and puerile
and a mite indelicate
Laptop woman's eyes got as big as vaginas and she hissed
get away from me you fucking pervert or I'll call
I momentarily wondered what security's phone number
might be, and happiness's, goodness's, and joy's
Then I moved on because I felt threatened
Il perche non so
mi chiamano mimi
il perche non so
my name is this
I donít know why
things pump into
groceries into bag
dogs play in yard
bestial shouts from windows
supernova roses expand
petals to Betelgeuse
super apes trail offspring
sun nuclear fire
little mites feast
wail impotent trill
murders of joy
painter wipes fix
moment gone and beauty
crack and fade
universe and skin
blue eyes and harlequin
il perche non so
---Charles Bogle 7/12/10
it once? Hear it twice!
to Raj Bavnani's annual
slums of gold
the slums of gold
are having open houses for all the affable c.e.o.'s and
financial wizards who have taken their bailout money to build
shiny brand new executive bathrooms and finance relaxing weekend
retreats far from the noise and fear of the street.the slums of
gold have king size beds that will make the most tired and achy
executive feel so human and tender.
special guarded elevators will take these new stylish tenants to
the penthouse,but wait a second, sometimes the penthouse has no
roof and the vultures soar overhead awaiting their next happy
the slums of gold find themselves eventually under a fierce rain
which washes that fake gold off revealing corroded iron and
it's a new year
homicide will soon reach its deductible
and its bills will reduce greatly.
the slums of gold are having a block party.
bring all your favorite yes men and women,executives.
bring your bylaws and meeting minutes.
you'll have to budget the air
inhale just so much oxygen.
the banks glow in the dark.
they begin to pull up stakes
and slither across the earth
looking for food.
meanwhile,all humans with no health care whatsoever become kings
and queens for one day.
they are asked to pose for high profile pictures.
as soon as you're through coughing up blood could you smile and
the c.e.o.s have blood in their underwear.
should they panic?
should they take a happy pill?
all the happy pills forgot their distemper shots.
they are not agreeable this morning.
when you go to open them up to ingest one they bite your
---Scott Wannberg, 1/24/09
Get me up in the morning to
wash dishes brush teeth feed cat
scratch ass stare out the window
wonder why and what
At least I wonder don't I
Get on the phone with hungry ghosts
asking for money calling me sir
India outsourced peasant fool robot
stealing lives for corporate America
Stare at the tube and write things
Go fly a kite things slight things
email eat a snail step on a nail
stomach burns world turns
might as well
be quacking ducks
Out on the street meetin cretin
nearly run over by el spunky
surrounded by savages yelling scared
sunshine superman yacks about script
into unseen cellphone
isn't he impressive makes me
Wait in line with 80 stunned people
gifties weight shifties while amorphous
postal clerks take breaks
giggle and make very small talk stealing
time ainít it fine
just makes me pine for
better days other ways Shakespeare plays
Drown in ego suffocate with self
hide from horror might as well turn off
Betelgeuse screaming jokes from the
Humans never get the punchlines
Too busy fighting terror speechifying
leechafying preachafying chicken frying
Facebook, book my face out of here
A face can be a book but a computer
screen is no face
And I canít face most books
They are designed to screed, not read
They are bankbooks
Making fins for hucksters, not Huck
The last book I read was the last book I
Kindle is a swindle
Twitter makes me want gin and bitters
And someone told me he was tired of all
About how this has been the worst decade
of our lives
And how heíd been hearing this same moan
Get over it, people, he said, well
Iíd like this guy to tell the people who
lost people in the desert follies
In Iraq and Afghanistan that they are
Iíd like this guy to tell broken people
who lost their jobs to automatons in Sri
Lanka and the Phillipines to get over it
Iíd like him to tell the people whose
people died because
They could not afford health insurance
to get over it
Wounds donít heal, they scar, but then,
as George Harrison said, with antidote
time wounds all heels
Itís a time of ephemera, chimera, and
Everything is a substitute for substance
Demographers are the cartographers
antacid is the new acid
Pop a few and itís way cool consuming
fool office pool
Drop a stool think its jewel youíre just
a ghoul out of fuel
Sloganeering domineering my eyes are
Reality shows, reality slows
Social network since you canít get work
Media mavens are terrorist havens
Mexican mafia al qaeda being paraded
Howís it rated are you sated hellís not
gated donít you hate it?
Salute the stars and bucks
Stars and bucks forever
May I help the next guest?
My mind is the fresh daily grind
Decaf short two percent Americano
Senior citizen barista tip jar bank
Fatass cheap suit laptop cell-phone
short-sell frappuccino freelancer
Oh say can you see
the dying of the light
Political correctness porno erectness
Mayors and presidents blowing smoke
Makes me choke kills all hope
Say okeydoke have a diet Coke take a
youíre getting soaked
Itís all set-up for same old joke
Internet has privatized everybodyís ears
Everyoneís a hustler, a corporation,
Everyone is a
Every man is an island
I post, therefore I am
none can flee
Friends in Alabama Antarctica Alaska
And Bismark, Nice, and Raton Boca
Youíve never met them and never will
Nostalgia youtube is your pill
Beware the nice police
They will come in the night and
Steal your irony and kidnap your sarcasm
And hold your truth for ransom
And they will torture your reason with
Euphemisms and smiles and platitudes and
And waterboard your psyche until you
Like Larry King and Oprah and Tavis
Sometimes I find poetry in cigarette
butts that will soon
Go down storm drains and stop up dolphin
And sometimes I find poetry in blue
And the other day I found it in a
Dialogue bubble when I went to erase
And it said ďAll history will be
cleared. This action cannot be undone.Ē
And I thought it sounded like Nietzsche
And should have been read aloud by
As he gave that astounding speech in
All these moments will be lost in time
like tears in rain
child species walks and flops and sings
and drops dead
full of curious eyes and larcenous lies
Upright two-legged tool using fool
usurping and burping
Where have all the flowers gone?
Long time greenhouse gassing
Humans are on the way out and winds on
the way in
Winds that will whistle through ancient
rock and petrified log
For no one to hear and no one to fear
Winds that no one will hustle or paint
of sing or ride
or rhapsodize with ecstatic soliloquies
Oh, tiger lily please
i didn't see all that much but boy do
my eyes hurt
in the hallowed building
that forgets where it lives
i saw a way of life
try to shove itself into a tube of
the teeth of the world
when love runs naked
through the battle
that dances up and down
the road out of town.
periodically the reaper fellow
comes through selling subscriptions
but frankly his pitch needs grease
and the navy can't tread the water
you shower in.
i didn't see all that much
but boy do my eyes hurt
every time you ask me to leap off the
i remind you i still haven't earned
resembling a wing
tell the rage
to act its age and smile
once every now and then
anything it can throw at me
i've already fielded
in a time
when popcorn fell from the sky
and wounds grew gardens.
going home time
finally slipped through the wire,
treat it gentle,
pass the veneer
ache no more
for at least a minute, anyhow
heard a rumor
we were being pulled back
to a rhythm
that wouldn't break us.
killers will eventually get monuments erected in
and the pigeons will rejoice
through impending snarling weather
asleep on the side of the road
you will find civilization
rolling dice in pitch black night
one more round for the survivors
wherever they crawled off to
the highway refuses to comp you
pay as you attempt
meteors aim their best profiles
at our hacienda
raise your vulnerable face
to their fire
tell them the story
you never finished
the one about the woodsmoke
the shiny people
and when its time
to wander upstairs
to a room that goes on for hours
place your heart on mine
make some music
they claim vaudeville is coming back
we'll bring down
blood and candle smoke
Hereís a rhyme
On a rainy day
When thereís no time
To while away
The drips drip down
And drizzle, too
And the clouds crowd
And the coffees brew
and hatch their schemes
And cats are furry
Asleep with dreams
Do ants ignore?
And do they snore?
Trailing in and out of particulate ant reality
Pushing sandgrain boulders aside
Do they know that they know only what they need to know?
People, though, are blessed with peepholes
Through which they can see
To shade and color their thoughts
With pointillist light
So why do they ignore
(And they do snore)
Trailing in and out of particulate people reality
Pushing the sandgrain world aside
Pushing the peepholes aside
Content to burrow inside anthills
And closet in caves
Of no thought or art
No daub, no sweep, no dab
Of synaptic brush
And scarcely a blush
A marvel to be unmarvelous
A miracle to be unmiraculous
A thinker to be unthinking
The ants have an excuse
Survivability is their be
But what of we?
Going to Townes
The latest failure
turned the curve
with the herd.
the last thing,
failed to compose
why don't you
to let it fade
to sepia like
Going to town
Old man of
No lines left to
time to slam
Call it a day
I've seen my day
no more struggle
for one last verse
I'm checking out
without a doubt
Will survey landscape
one last time, not a
pleasure trip, not even hip.
Down with the ship
Chilly winds blow
Closing the show,
last one tonight.
What does dancing have to do with anything?
What does anything have to do with dancing?
Prisoners of skeletons, unite!
When all is said and done, there will be nothing more to say
So do the exclamation point while the sun shines
Come on baby, letís do the twist
Mashed potato yeah yeah yeah yeah
Itís the latest
Itís the greatest
But dancing is confused with groin and loin
By the banal and anal
When it can just as easily be done on paper
Or in silent thought
Or turn of brush, trill of flute, stroke of lute, expression
The trick of the steps is in forgetting the stepping
The trick of the thought is in forgetting the thinking
The trick of the being is in forgetting the being
The thought of the being is forgetting the tricking
Dancing is moot
Come on baby, letís do the quark
Mashed electron yeah yeah yeah yeah
Itís the latest
Itís the fatest
Synapse boneís connected to the sun bone
Time boneís connected to the heart bone
Night boneís connected to the moon bone
Poem boneís connected to the math bone
Now hear the word of the Chord
Shake rattle and roll
From Betelgeuse to bell toll
Toe tap tree sap sky map noon nap
Blood pump eye blink live die sigh think
The best stuff of life is the best life of stuff
Itís all important and itís all fluff
Trip on toes and bump your knees
And fall down waltzing if you please
Be a foolís the golden rule
While hosted by the molecule
We were better off
When the sun went around the earth
And the seas had an edge
Where ships full of heart sailed off
And gods made the stars wink
We were better off
When books were read by monks
And there were no lights
And no galaxies tumbling through universes
Tumbling through other universes
And pictures were painted
And saints were sainted
We were happier to have a sky
Instead of infinity
And deities to control our destinies
Instead of DNA
Howling at the moon was science
Trees were television
Words were mathematics
We were better off
Frightened of the dark
---Charles Bogle 6/22/09
A Great Long While
Itís been a great long
fortune did smile
incantations and recipes
longer on file.
sides and participles
best to have no disciples
draw a following
sketches and explanations
chosen few, rent asunder,
amidst lightning and thunder
Assiduous students practice darshan
greet Ezra, Rimbaud, Don Van Vliet
Kleptomaniac kelp gatherers convene
beaches, cobblestone robbers
pebble unturned as tidepool
count galaxies amid sandy grains
against the grain, we embrace
and salute the sunset, it is
traditional ways that we have lost
fabricate new canons of the soul
Ginsberg and Snyder might
appreciate the noblisse oblige of our
rhetoric and rusted-out meteoric
resonance with the cosmic spheres anew
this and Iíve got you, callay calloo!
propensity of humanity toward density,
the obvious and reviling the propitious
curse and a conundrum without cure
choice for bliss, the devil blues abjure
for all, last chance, last dance,
aside your curses, select a path thatís sure
time left, so best play on through
-- Jack Oakes 2/19/09
What can you
imagine for a
Where can you
roar like lions
at the dawn,when
forgot, if not gone?
It's a new era
of hope, so we
are again told.
But I don't
is so easily
bought or sold.
Who are we to
is the infinite
trapped as we
are in this amber,
we call "years"?
What we know
is soon enough
caught by the tide
and swept to
realms well beyond
blood and tears
We'll all fall prey
to some malady,
all in the script,
your lines before
the curtain falls.
Meditation on the
it open windows
or just pass time?
Take a step back,
you want to be fed,
and patted on the head,
like some good dog
who fell from the sky
with a mission unclear.
Must you, great huntsman,
always be barking
up wrong trees?
Your friends and kin
will always embrace
you, provided you've
learned the right
dance steps and
keep in perfect pitch.
Beyond that, what is
there than this surge
of billions of souls
we deem humanity,
arising and dying
under the light
of ancient stars?
You think you've
found one star that
will grant each
wish, but you
for more wishes
when soon enough
all will be gone.
No raging at the
dying of days,
last train takes
you way out
west, far past
long gone are
faded away are
the songs you
your soul to.
that will be that.
-- Jack Oakes, 2/7/09|
You wonder at what
youíve heard and you
of songs no longer sung
You await now until
the last bell is rung.
Youíve slowed down
the playback to the
point at which you
can hear the real words.
Then someone pulls
out the drum again,
the 11 dimensions
convolute and unfold,
leaving our slight lives
in the dust of stellar
---Jack Oakes 12/08
Why should not old men be mad?
Some have known a likely lad
That had a sound fly-fisher's wrist
Turn to a drunken journalist;
A girl that knew all Dante once
Live to bear children to a dunce;
A Helen of social welfare dream,
Climb on a wagonette to scream.
Some think it a matter of course that chance
Should starve good men and bad advance,
That if their neighbours figured plain,
As though upon a lighted screen,
No single story would they find
Of an unbroken happy mind,
A finish worthy of the start.
Young men know nothing of this sort,
Observant old men know it well;
And when they know what old books tell
And that no better can be had,
Know why an old man should be mad.
THE REMORSEFUL DAY
How clear, how lovely bright,
How beautiful to sight
Those beams of morning play;
How heaven laughs out with glee
Where, like a bird set free,
Up from the eastern sea
Soars the delightful day.
To-day I shall be strong,
No more shall yield to wrong,
Shall squander life no more;
Days lost, I know not how,
I shall retrieve them now;
Now I shall keep the vow
I never kept before.
Ensanguining the skies
How heavily it dies
Into the west away;
Past touch and sight and sound
Not further to be found,
How hopeless under ground
Falls the remorseful day.
A Love Letter, by Nanao Sakaki
For the most incisive and prescient commentary on the current
world situation ever written, click
The Poetry of Ellen Bass
The Rime of the Ancient Mariner
by Samuel Taylor Coleridge
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