Archive for 2012|Yearly archive page

Salt Breeze

In Uncategorized on June 26, 2012 at 4:13 am

It is the innocence of the wind

that I cannot reconcile with your indifference

to the news and history

and blues of language…

For we are  tribally wandering

where slaves and settlers and natives

each worried

and speculated

and dreamed…

Some tried to get along

like you and me,

united by the wind

while others were untied

by land

both inside

and outside their minds.

I return to language

for the compass of its beauty


some tiny slits of what occurred between people

in history

and today over our succulent

lunch of salami

sliced as thin as a Brooklyn deli squeezed

amid skyscrapers in mid-town Manhattan.

Comments sometimes

glue me back together

so that I let  the breeze slap

my  cheek in peace

even though other times

late at night I return to wondering

why or how you can just immerse yourself in the game

at the expense of language  that would broaden the scope

beyond your obvious…

but it is both the unconscious and skin

that unites and propels

my willlingness to be patient

hardly knowing if the you

to whom I speak is internal or external.

For we can only write or speak a speck of what

ever flowed in history

or even of what flows below us in a single day

And the sand and water compete

to see who loves salt more…

A competitition indifferent to us,

but which will far outlast

even, possibly, the last gasp of plankton.

I love sitting there

having identity subsumed

by salt, sea, sand,  sun

and the images and possibilities

I see in you…

ever experimenting to discover

which are nestled in fervor

that returns

and which need discarding or refining…

If we can shift from so close to so far

to back again

in a single day,

week, or minute,

oughtn’t  that make relations in history equally as suspect?

Identities of oppressors and oppressed

ever shape- shifting

and the illusion of identity

held captive by the false bondage of language?

To cling to the wind should suffice

but it doesn’t

because I want you to be all

sorts of things that I think I want to see

missing all that I could see if I were not

distracted by hopes dreams promises

lies and truths

just like our predecessors

salt breeze sings

winds wind my skin

hungry,  taut

sought by salt

Taxpayer-Funded Indiscriminate Slaughter of Wildlife Across our Land, Exposed At Last!

In Extermination at its Blindest, USDA-Wildlife Services, Wildlife Slaughter on May 4, 2012 at 12:51 am

Hot off the press, The Sacramento Bee at last has the expose that we (several of us in the Hands Across Prospect Park group opposed to the killing of geese in NYC)  had hoped The New York Times would write….a chilling, horrifying expose of the utterly non-public killing of millions of our country’s wildlife with public funds…unlike the equally horrific, but well-publicized wars in “our” name, this killing of millions of wild, voiceless animals in our name shows that we, too, are animals,  in a world where we seem to actively disdain our sentience that knows we don’t need to resort to such violence.

Read it, get mad, and let’s take to our local city councils, state legislatures, and the halls of the U.S. Congress…

The Killing Agencey: Wildlife Service’s Brutal Methods Leave a Trail of Animal Death

I just saw and heard one of these above-cited majestic coyotes (one of millions murdered) weeks ago in Yosemite National Park.  Their call of the wild is more beautiful than most else I have ever heard in my entire life.  To think of doing anything but standing in awe of them kills the part of me that must flinch when they are killed.  And we are all lesser for it.

Above, I tracked her in the snow in the early morning.  And to my utter surprise, her tracks led me to her: curious, but moved on quickly.  Later she caught a mouse in the field, which I also caught on video…..(unable to upload)

Dream Bribes

In the lioness on May 3, 2012 at 5:47 pm

She wanders outside language’s cages
flitting between the furtive and fertile
widening between the sky’s ripening stripes
calculating dream bribes
in the pivot of her eyes

On the Lonely Stretches

In Lace on March 22, 2012 at 5:19 pm

Stop trying for a while
and see what happens:
it’s good practice for death…
giving up is a god
to help on the lonely stretches

lolling behind the back door
of ambition
I noticed your nut-brown branches
they fell elsewhere
I resembled lather
tumbling between them

broth of the subconscious
where the formed battles with the inchoate
where an idea splices the raw
traveling in the direction of words

your pounding has rounded me
dropping me off
at the door of the beyond
where I wander
like a lonely echo
drifting past chaos
into the incidentalness of a spring day

you grant me a stage
to be in your play
unknowns drift in the wings
emblems of them strewn in your arms

there’s no spot
can be tender forever
in pain or pleasure

we can stretch into the narrow
we can fold ourselves in the open
borrowing every moment
inhabiting this flesh on loan


Pick Me

In Burst of Laziness on March 15, 2012 at 5:32 pm

If you picked me,
I might ripen
like a peach
in your palm…

Who would be there
to whisper
immortal warnings
of the vine?

Not the sun,
shining her fine ray
between us,
divining an
crevice between flesh,
gingerly slitted open,
tilted lips,
and trickles,
slathering nectar upon
ache divided.

When dicey hunger revives,
my sisters
remain on the vine,
wrapped up tight.




I hold hands with Death all day,
trying to avoid racing Him.
Even while I cannot resist athletes,
hospitals show
you can’t trade life for
buckets of money:

As He nears the finish line,
money is cheap
talk is rich
but nothing buys time.

It makes me want to swindle
Death with sex

I have to play tennis
in the hospital like invalids do:
with a volley of  mere words,
hoping if I served you
just one
it would take you on a journey
where I could be the ball
you served again and again:




I have to concede, this may be a partially resplendent world, at times.

When else but now, in the perennial tussles between peasants and tyranny,
could you order up a fabulously wealthy boyfriend on the internet?
With the press of a button here,
a few light key strokes there,
out of the infinite reaches of cyberspace,
you walked up and shook my hand.

I was never looking for that monotonous measure
of most of the world’s currencies,
that pays pennies for people in order to pour millions into mansions,
and will never know the true value
of a pesticide-free tomato.

But you have proved your wealth to me
in tiny aliquots
of attention
an alchemy
between common elements of my body
and uncommon elements of my mind
and dripping me
till nothing is measurable
and everything is redefined

Flotsam From Yosemite & New York

In New York Times, The Call of the Wild, Yosemite on March 15, 2012 at 12:35 pm

Hetch Hetchy valley before the flood, 1911

This blog is losing steam, but I will keep using it as a catch-all for clippings that ordinarily might be found wandering on scattered napkins in various back drawers of my desk–instead, clothes-pinning disparate comments in one place just so they are  “there,” (here?) in some humorously presumed immortal tunnel of cyberspace….

First, a comment by  “Citizen” RI, and my response:

From New York Times, “Women Figure Anew in Senate’s Latest Battle”

  • Citizen
  • RI
 Senator Feinstein: “This is part of a larger effort, candidly, to cut back on rights and services to women,” she said. “We’ve seen it go from discussions on Roe v. Wade, to partial birth abortion, to contraception, to preventive services for women. This seems to be one more thing.”
“Rights”? What “rights”?This is where the new “women’s movement” loses me. Sen. Feinstein is at least correct in that it is “one more thing.” The ever-expanding claim of “rights” is just a code-word for the entitlement attitude of many Americans. I’m sick and tired of every special interest group or section of our population that has an axe to grind demanding more “rights”, which *always* translate into the federal government (taxpayers) giving them more money and limiting the rights or liberties of others.

We have very few “rights” as human beings and Americans, but have an unlimited number of liberties. Stop confusing the two. The Republicans are right for opposing liberties being masqueraded as rights, regardless of the group responsible.

Dear Citizen,
I agree with you that we are arguing over a matter of degree–but here it seems your vision is that America has not “melted” into broad humanity and shared prosperity regardless of superficial characteristics of gender, race, religion, socio-economic status, and political party affiliation, which are all peripheral and shallow compared to humanity.
When you tap into the deeper roots of our shared connection, it is impossible to see splintered groups of special interests, all with their particular axes to grind, or, worse, as attempting to take more than their fair share of a limited pie.
It is unfortunate that you would needlessly quibble over amorphous distinctions between “liberty” and “rights” while losing the classic vision of liberty, rights, and freedom as being but reiterations of the concept that every person, without exception, has the opportunity to thrive, not arbitrarily curtailed by an overweening authority, either from an authoritarian government, or, in our case, from megalomaniacal corporations who presume to dictate to governments the terms of service by which they shall violate our privacy, pillage the earth, and extort our survival (healthcare) for whopping ransoms (insurance premiums).
Keep fighting the petty fights, and these larger forces will plunder these bickering markets gleefully… Where is liberty when the world is privately owned in holdings that dwarf all supposedly “sovereign” nations?


And, from Yosemite Nature Notes Blog….

So many millions of visitors to Yosemite a year, so many stories, do the visitors all go to Facebook or Twitter now instead of blogs?
We are coming to Yosemite partially because of the story of a family we met last year (2011) at Spring Break while camping in Cunningham Falls, MD, State Park–the Dad, a full year later, was still raving about the Yosemite trip, and still dreaming about quitting his job and becoming a Park Ranger.  They had 3 wonderful girls, under age 10, who all had loved it.  We were sitting around a campfire telling stories and  were no longer strangers, but,  in the moment, were the oldest of friends, in the way that nature negates time.

The world wide web, in order to be truly wide, and to attempt to include the whole world, diminishes when one interface designed by one or two companies becomes the predominant format of the majority of users, in the same way wild spaces are wasted when they are desecrated for the short-term want/needs of a time-limited group of people who ignore the awe that millions of future generations will experience if it is left pristine (as Yosemite is).

I would love to read the comments of other people who have long-time connections to  Yosemite, as well as of people like us, who have never been, and, because of the expense, view it as almost a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.  We have not flown anywhere in 10 years, but this one time, will surely be worth it.  The flowers here in D.C. are reminders that soon we will see ones we’ve never seen before.  I bought a hand lens today.

And the eloquence of park ranger Shelton Johnson is surely that of Muir, tapping that subconscious connection that can be many words or no words, but still point to the same elements that all of creation knows on the cellular level–visceral connections that are difficult to put into words, but which we know intuitively when the “wild” is not so far outside from us but is recognized as simultaneous with us when we roam the earth–even roaming urban landscapes, but none so powerful as a relatively unblemished wilderness…

I enclose the link to Ranger Johnson’s latest very moving video because I think it would be wonderful if the NPS rangers blogged too.   An array of voices and observations of the changing nature of Yosemite would be delightful.

Spring Fervor, Continued (3 Short, Ripe Poems)

In We'll never know on February 23, 2012 at 1:53 am

For just one night
let me smolder like an ember
break all my rules
with the pivot of a tender finger

and when we are a river of fever
your rain will break my plaintiveness
my singe will evaporate into song

I will dwell below swollen banks
tending seeds
promising fragrant tendrils
possibly fruits

before maturity instills
bitter tannins
bruised goals
rotting globes


our children are emblems of the enzymes
secreted in secret
wandering in a trove of pheromones


When the memory of your golden-flecked eyes
penetrates me
poems tumble my words
as easily as oil glides into the pastels on your walls

let no one understand me
not even you
by words alone
who cares
when your elusive stare
falls near me
hovering around caged dreams
nestled near my bones
flitting in between
discarded items
now far too small
for ordinary speech

Words Are a Clasp

In Uncategorized on February 20, 2012 at 8:37 pm

Words are a clasp
to hold down a spasm
whose splintering dimensions
lightly seam
a line from your lips
beyond the frowning knowns
to the impermissible

Words are not ours
borrowed tools to steal the hours
clipping the seen out of our way
so the words we know how to say
do not choke us

We live where no one can see,
angling language
to escape the contradiction of
being seen

The unseen wriggles in silence
while words rivet the adjustable perimeters
back into their proper passages


Come Back When You Are Happy

my eyes won’t close
they’re torn inside out
ripped from a page of your sheets
strewn in a bed of free verse

that calendar
was a desert
blighted by cars
wandering margins
needing nomads to fill them
evacuating anger

come back when you are happy

vacantly swerving between abundance
and spite
a dress moves on and off
on and off
day after day
but the body is never seen
yet it felt known
briefly careening
below time
between your hands and eyes

we won’t come back till we are happy


Occupying The Invisible Man’s Apartment

In We hold these truths to be self-evident on January 29, 2012 at 1:35 am



(Cassandra, 20-30 CE)


The Invisible Man, from Ralph Ellison  (Nick-named Tim.  With the invisible “e” on the end, he becomes the hands of Time.)

Lennie Small, from Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men

Troy Davis

Scene: Invisible Man’s basement apartment, under the 1,369 lights of Monopolated Light & Power

Time: Now, but by the time we cut in they’ve been hanging out a long time


Troy:  Invisible Man, you were so lucky to realize you were invisible while you were alive.  Why couldn’t I figure out I, and all my supporters, were invisible till after I died?

Tim:  Don’t be so hard on yourself.  It is difficult even for the invisible to see all the ways they can’t be seen.  I remember how compelled I was, once, by the words of a blind preacher.  But that didn’t prevent me from running down roads of blindness.

Lennie:  I think both of you would be less blind if we could just turn off some of the lights in here.  They’re making me dang blind.

Troy: But my supporters are still saying, “I am Troy Davis! We are Troy Davis.”  It’s  hard to see who can see that they’re not seen–otherwise, why do they persist?

There was so much faith in the hours before my execution.  We’d been at that brink, and come through, before.  Did anyone really believe this time they’d go through with it?

Tim:  Your supporters vastly outnumbered your executioners and accusers.   Your supporters increased over the years, while the conviction of your accusers diminished and testimony was recanted.  This is part of the logic of being invisible:  sheer numbers and moral authority have to be obliterated by a powerful minority.   If truth weren’t a threat, it would be visible, not invisible.

Troy:  So the ones behind bars that don’t have names,  those invisible are even more of a threat to truth than I,  who, by being released from obscurity, became slightly more visible than they?

Tim:  True.  Though you felt desperate at times, you knew you had supporters holding signs for you–for years, all over the world.  You knew people were making connections over you.    They were harnessing their political power to combat the powerlessness you experienced in your cell.  But imagine the nameless ones behind bars, knowing no one is out there holding signs, embarrassing the judges and jury and executioners and press and citizenry.   The prevalent “truth” that they are guilty might be shattered if they, too, could tell their stories.  But like I said, truth has to be held at bay by making sure the invisible people stay invisible.    The name “Troy Davis” got out.  Can’t have their names getting out, or this “We are Troy Davis” nonsense might never die.

Lennie: Was I Troy Davis once?

Troy:  Lennie, in the moments before my execution, I believed we all were Troy Davis, even my executioners.  That’s why I pleaded for everyone to keep working for the truth to emerge, and to keep working for all the wrongfully imprisoned the world over.  But when I blessed my executioners, the papers the next day called me “defiant to the end.”

Tim:  They call Paul Krugman all sorts of mean things, too, for harping on things like the social savagery of massive unemployment.  If you can see clearly, you will be vilified, according to Darwinian laws of nature.

Troy:  We are all walking the executioner’s plank in life–one entrance, one exit, and no one knows how long his plank is.

Tim:  But history conspires while you live and long after you die to write and re-write every story you have told.  You don’t own your history.  Your fans and detractors are writing it for you.  At last you see, you are invisible in such process, even when you were alive.

Troy:  Weird how we can only experience eternity one moment at a time–no faster, no slower–we are eternally time-bound in our intuition and understanding of eternity.  Don’t know why I was trying to speed up eternity while I was alive, because I for sure am in it now.

Tim: Being invisible is best done through eternity.  There are finite times when you think you are visible, but as you saw in your life, those were the times that got you in the most trouble.

Lennie:  I was just looking for a place.  Dudes, I wasn’t looking for all this heavy talk.

Tim: Lennie, how is that butterfly doing in your pocket?

Lennie: You mean the wings of Democracy?

Tim: Yeah.

Lennie:  Dude!  I wasn’t Troy Davis!   I  had never heard of him.  I didn’t read the papers.   I was just paying my taxes.  I was just paying my taxes hoping to find a place.  I wasn’t meaning to fund his execution.  I didn’t have such a cool death either, so I can relate.  I didn’t mean to.  I didn’t know what I was doing….we just found each other afterwards….

Tim: But the wings….do they beat?  Can they flutter?

Lennie: Dude, I’m not Socrates.  I can’t do all this questioning and answer.  I don’t think it leads anywhere except to confusion.   But hey, I got this amazing canister of  Defense Technology 56895 MK-9 Stream, 1.3% Red Band/1.3% Blue Band Pepper Spray off of Amazon the other day…

Troy: I almost forgot what we were here for–I have them all right here….

Tim: Did I invite you two over for something I didn’t know about? What is that raft of papers?

Troy:  These papers are the charter incorporations of all the corporations in the world: the founding documents establishing corporations that people give allegiance to over the Constitutions of their own governments.  By giving precedence to corporations over self-governance, people willingly give the lion’s share of their labor over to shareholders and the corporate board, with beaucoup bucks for the CEO.

The corporate structure legally declares itself as more important that the mere workers, and so it should partake of the profits of their labor and call them “dividends,” which go directly into private shareholder and corporate office holder bank accounts to become the even more untouchable “private investments.”

The elevation of Corporations over Democracy hit a whole new height when the U.S. Supreme Court declared with the Citizens United v. FEC  ruling that corporations are people and money is speech.  The corporeal, unincorporated people who just had mere blood and hunger and breath felt a little slighted.  Who can blame them?  They’re alive, we’re not.

Tim: And the pepper spray?  Don’t tell me that you’re going to pepper spray the corporations?  Are you trying to make them cry? Do you think this will be any more effective than Texas executing a corporation?

Lennie:  No, we found a use not mentioned on the thousands of reader reviews extolling pepper spray as a vegetable: it is also wicked lighter fluid!

Tim: Are you saying pepper spray is more flammable than inflammatory speech?

Troy: Well, let’s throw out the lights, spray these babies up, throw the match, and see!

Tim: Why not–let’s see if burning the corporate charters brings more light to this place.   Maybe with a new type of light, we’ll be less blind….

[The lights flick out.  They start to cough and choke as  Lennie sprays the pepper spray on top of the heap of papers–but when Lennie throws the match–whooosh–it burns away the burning spray, and the three men see shadows and lines in each other’s faces they couldn’t see under electric light….]

Lennie: Something’s tickling me.

Tim: Check your pocket.

Lennie: It’s trying to fly…the butterfly is trying to fly….

Troy: Let it out of its cage.  Your pocket is its cage.

Lennie: I didn’t kill it…it’s free…it’s flying…

[the embers are smoldering….the pile is becoming ash…]

Tim: So how will the people know the corporations are dead?

Troy: We’ll have to get the word out somehow…

Tim: If it shows up on a multiple-choice question on a standardized test, don’t expect anyone to remember it–not even the students in the 98th percentile….

Lennie: We’ll just have to carry it as good news by mouth…

Troy:  This news might conflict with the Good News of the evangelicals…their Good News sure didn’t save my life, sincere though it was…but this could save some untimely deaths from poverty and homelessness…the news that we’re actually going to treat all people as equal under the law–give workers their full share of profits without siphoning most of the profits off to the board, CEO, and shareholders….

Tim: You’ve got a  lot of flying in the face of accepted truth to do there…

Lennie: That’s why my butterfly’s wings are beating… I didn’t kill him, we’ll send him among the people to tell the truth: the corporations are dead–corporations aren’t people–money is not speech–corporations cannot buy elections–Only people with bodies, brains, and hearts can keep ALL their profits of their labors, and re-invest 100% back into themselves and production of whatever endeavor it is, whether service, manufacturing, or intellectual pursuits…

Tim: You’re competing with 900 channels of cable t.v. propaganda to get this news out.  You’re competing with an education system that reduces education to a 4-answer quiz-show question:   impediments that Thomas Paine, Thomas Jefferson, and all the slaves who escaped via the underground railroad never had to contend with–the truth was self-evident, and they could clearly see when men were not equal, when wealth was falsely elevated.  And they had remedies: they migrated, they revolted against the King, they established new governments, they revolted against the plantation owners, they helped each other.

Troy: But I can at last see that I was invisible in my life, so surely my capacity to lose some of my blindness is helping others to see–If I can do it, anyone can do it.  The People can see they, not corporations, are people.  They can see what fairness is.   If a butterfly can beat its wings, and I can see, they can see…

Lennie:  I think the butterfly will lead me to the place I had always been trying to find…a place where everyone is safe…

Tim:  You two are certainly full of commendable idealism.  Whether this was street theater or something else, only time will tell.  But I am honored that you chose my apartment in which to light the sacrificial pyre.   We’ll watch the people, and keep seeing who figures out they’re invisible, and so does not waste energy believing they are seen by the ones who can’t see the invisible.  Then, maybe, the more just and equal world of governments for people might reign, and the reign of corporations and a few wealthy rulers at the expense of everyone else, might end….

Sopa Strike: Not Following the Paid PIPA

In Uncategorized on January 18, 2012 at 5:32 pm

Don’t follow the paid PIPA