BY JAN HAAG

ART & POETRY - ACCUMULATIONS

POETRY + ESSAYS + MUSIC + TRAVEL + FICTION + TEXTILE ART

INTRODUCTION + HAAG'S BIO



33 POEMS ON THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD

for

THE 2001 POEMS




HISTORY II

#01
07-19/20-01

In the beginning was the blank page.
God's job was similar to mine.
What to do?
Fill it up! And humans prefer meaning.

Following upon original creation, my job is
a smidgen more difficult, the pattern's
been set, rules
made. Fighting rules is the work of

fools. Am I a fool or God?
God's work, if it is what
surrounds us, could
have been better conceived, constructed, better ruled.

Nobody disagrees with that: activists, passivists, organ
transplanters, geneticists, warriors, priests, widows, grieving
mothers continually pray
for pattern alterations, rule retraction, finality easements.

Every quark of everyone, Big Bang initiated,
is born God -- powerful, without power,
a whizzing probability.
One has luck or lacks it. No

rules are read, no pattern is pointed
out, no path chosen. "You're on
your own kid,"
with one big female and male -- usually --

who may be dumber than you. You
learn what you learn, you do
what you do.
This frustration is called "living a life."



LOVE

#02
7-22/10-27-01

The single emphatic lesson life's taught me
about love: You can't be yourself
and be loved.
Whether it be sex or [Afriendship, half

of love is deception, fifty percent is
pretense: forced laughter, agreement, prevarication, perversion,
a skewing yourself,
bottling, capping down your effervescence, awareness, energy,

pretending innocence, belief, devotion, compassion, unselfishness. Ha!
This is from a woman's point-of-view.
Who can fathom
the vagaries, the mysteries of a man's

mind, a creature who created for his
lust both virgin and hussy, not
someone for love,
but for conquest, submission, subsumption, who'll take

the love of any woman, twist it,
torment it, spit it out, laugh
at the fallen
hussy, rape the unfortunate, mouth compassion, indignation,

and help, write checks, but never question
the location of his penis on
any given night
in any given womb, nor the capabilities

of his heart for any thinkable or
unthinkable evil. Man is a veil
of intuition, mystery
preying on his mothers' species. Yesterday, A.

Close's lecture, assured me 70,000 years
ago -- after the Torba explosion -- Homo
sapien -- and his
brothers -- died out, along with everything/everyone

else. There were left -- at most -- forty
females capable of birthing modern man.
The Tao says:
From the one came two, from two

came three, and from the three came
the 10,000 things. As McKenna says:
Who fucks who
constitutes the history of Homo sapien sapien.




KNOWLEDGE

#03
7-22/10-27-01

You know, it's sad to know it
will make no difference, even if
I discover the
reasons for the existence of the world.

History, and the history of knowledge is
so tidied about that from time
immemorial, no one
without credentials, the right friends, the opportune

place -- preferably already prominent in the world --
can say anything that will be
listened to, that
might make a difference. Once in a

millennium the human race celebrates an Einstein,
but usually elites are deaf. Solutions
lie all about,
scattered as broken eggs on the stones

The high priest calls a sweeper to
dispose of them, pays no attention
until served the
omelet by a preening-clique-authenticated, suitably toadying chef.

But once in a while a noticeable,
large enough pile of notes are
left about, blowing
in the wind. The sweeper picks them

up, one of the ordained snatches them
up, publishes them, receives kudos, attention.
Nobody is aware
of the original author, except the author.



FICTION

#04
7-22-01

Today, early, fiction arrived at my door.
Without preamble, the recorder bowed out.
the creator stood
ready, pen poised, willing to snap up

all eccentricities, stir the pot, serve up
a character, incident, plot. No longer
tethered by reality,
fiction could play, and enjoy, the game.



POLITICS

#05
7-23/10-17-01

O Devayani, dull-witted, dreary, dried up like
a prune, desiccated, didactic, lacking in
lyric and bravado,
lacking in song, from a heart that

is songless. The days stride by, and
you read about murder, a Western
amusement, the detective
story, Eastern as well, catching the criminal.

Can you catch yourself, waylay you in
a dark street, call the carabinieri,
have them cuff
and coerce your soul, haul you in

for questioning? Where has all your inspiration
gone? In the gloom of a
Seattle summer, have
you lost your wit? Besides the carabinieri

are busy -- shooting people in the streets of Genoa,
people who disagree with the corporate
rich raping our
planet, our lives, spoiling our food supply,

owning it! How inspired can you get
in a world, more colonialized, more
owned by the
West than even the Brits ever dared

dream. The Opium Wars drove the opium
importing Brits out of China. But
how inspired can
you get in a civilization where one

human can own 90 billion dollars (who
can even conceived such an amount?)
while others starve
daily. Write some lyrics, write something from

inspiration, look at the trees which, lasting
only the ghost of a summer,
drop their leaves.
Their blossoms have long since wept and

died. Human greed is the opium of
the people. The Corporations help us
imbibe it daily,
with mothers' milk. They say it is

human nature, they encourage our avarice. O
Devayani, dull-witted, dried up like a
prune, desiccated, didactic,
lacking lyrics, take up heroin. Sniff. Sing!

Sell your soul. What good is it
in a soulless world of rape,
disenchantment, profit, disillusion,
greed -- when the 200 own the world.

What will they own if you forego an
addiction to greed, if you return
to the forest,
scratch the earth with an unowned stick.



SHAME

#06
7-24-01

Thinking about shame this morning, what popped
into my head was clean Cleve's
silver spoon -- going
at it with cleanser and pad, he
chastising me with, what I thought was,

disproportionate anger. Having almost never cleaned silver,
how was I to know I
was "ruining its
value!" "polishing away the silver." I thought

I was doing him a favor. An
odd, at best, example of shame.
Trivial, inconsequential, except
he remained angry at me for years,

for that and similar infractions. But think
of "democratic" America's shame: the coup
d'etat of a
stolen election, soon overlooked, absorbed into history.

Think of the shame of a world
where, full of riches, food, technology,
more than half
its inhabitants starve -- tolerated as "the way

things are." Even the much vaunted Jesus
of the Christians said: Spend your
money on me,
the poor will always be with you.





POLYANDRY

#07
7-24/10-27-01

Without research, still, I dare say, it
seems there could be no more frank discussion
of polyandry, in
Thibet, than in Notovitch's notes, kept while

approaching Leh. He remarks on the health,
vigor, cheerfulness, delight of the women
of Ladak -- one
wonders if this comes from the fun

of fucking with her three to five
husbands (and lovers) or the rich
protein of semen
entering her system or -- maybe -- just being

treated with respect and having say over
her own person, her own land,
her own family,
and no one having to worry about

over-population in a high, remote, unknown (to
the Western world) land of scarce
resources. The ideal
population was, it appears, for thousands of

years, 1,500,000 inhabitants for 1,200,000 square kilometers.
Thibetan men, in Notovitch's view,
are puny. "Feeble"
is his word (the translator's word?). But

when a husband dies (usually, as in
America, younger than his wife) or
is absent, his
place is offered to a bachelor, widower

(husband's brothers and father are already included
in her menage), an en passant,
Buddhist traveler. Jealousy,
is all but unknown, and: "The Thibetan

is too cool-blooded to know love... a
flagrant violation of established usage... love
would pass in
his eyes as both selfish and unjustifiable."

Thibetans, apparently, know only loving-kindness, generosity, and
a singular lack of animosity. I
would of course,
like to see another reference confirm Notovitch's

observation of "feeble". Tibetan have always struck
me as kindly, equitable, cheerful and
robust, at least
the monks. Perhaps, that too, is semen

in the system, for the western world
would often like to say the
great monasteries were
full, not only of piety, but gay-ity.

Now, of course, we have poverty, starvation,
pollution, rampant technology, and the ruthless (raping)
Chinese to control
the population. These men are more robust.



PLAINNESS

#08
7-24-01

Reading a description of opulence -- or was
it just luxury? -- that a book-character
lived in, my
soul gasped, cried out for the plain,

the unadorned, possessionlessness. It stopped short of
wishing to be digambara -- but that's
what it really
wanted: to be sky clad! Enough is

enough! Yet all literature of the spirit
concerns itself -- probably more than secular
literatures -- with kings
and queens, the high born, the king

of heaven, queen of the gods, princes,
possessions, patrimonies, as if nothing a
plain person could
give up matter a fig to a

God. The big stories are about men
giving up their riches, their kingdoms,
their wenches, their
jewels, their heroics of war, blood AFTER

they've enjoyed them unto boredom, a substitute
death. It seems spiritual literature is
even more about
getting and spending, war, lack of peace,

repentance, but not restraint, about the political
life, and who's worth speaking to
and who's not,
lineages -- who's worth being related to and

who's not. It seems to me plainness
is what I want, and the
courage to spend
my life (what's left of it) in

a cave, or walking Bharat, alone, descended
of no one. Human life is
all too entertaining,
gossip too much fun, expanding the hearts

of men to accommodate envy, envy for
the power and the riches of
the rich and
powerful. I know. I've played that game.

Now send me out to sea in
a leaking boat, blind and deaf,
feeble, and alone
with my soul to practice my austerities.



TAO TE CHING

#09
7-27-01

Beginning with blank mind: If you have
it, you are silent. Te. Integrity.
Power. These large
words, leave my mind blank. I do

not think like that. I wonder who
does. The world seems to be
retreating from me
as in a dizzying vortex as I

retreat from the world. We form a
double helix, insight's DNA,
an oscillating gyroscope
made of the death of passion. I

walk the cold city streets of early
morning -- incomprehensible to me. Sex is
offered, not accepted.
As grime eats at the once clean

North West streets, buildings, vistas cloud in
the gray, sneeze-inducing air. Lush laburnum
gardens, though not
warm, create beautiful bowers for the sleep

of the homeless. Art work is handily
distributed to hang cloak and bag
on when the
staring homeless are awake -- and warm. I

-- too -- often -- long to become homeless. To
express my rage at "civilization," by
disappearing from civilization,
that which has become a horror, shocking,

I'm sure, to a Martian -- if there
were such. Given the beauty of
the world, consider
the ugliness man has brought, inventing his

monstrous tools, perverting the genes of nature.
Greeks spoke of hubris, Chinese spoke
of integrity. Lao
Tzu sounds good, lofty, sonorous, but does

he apply? As five billion humans become
refugees fleeing from the ghost-cities of
civilization, will he
find us food? Will we want it?



1980

#10
7-28-01

Describing when copper pipe with lead solder
were last used in Seattle homes,
I read "1980"
and was glad I lived in a

brand new building, thinking 1980 not far
behind. Later in the morning, I
questioned what had
I been doing in 1980. Mt. Saint

Helens exploded, I went to China. Before
that, the walk up and down
the central mall
of Boulder, with my monster of a

new boss, enjoying the Hari Krishna with
their bells and chant, a preface
of things to
come. The female boss's greed, contempt and

jealousy forecasting the nation's direction, those dancing
in orange, forecasting my future and,
as the water
for my coffee boiled, I realized that

was twenty years ago. Then I was
ensorcelled by the extraordinariness that I
could remember that,
that well, so long ago, so clear

and, for a moment, thought the brain
really wasn't getting forgetful. Back and
forth, a soft
ping-pong, the brain began to game. I

remembered my Uncle Fred, who was wise,
remarking to my remark, when I
was about forty,
how the years were foreshortening. He said

that later on the centuries would do
the same dance -- get shorter and
shorter. B.C.
would get closer. And it has. The

millennium rolled by, decades seem like days.
And they are. Unless it's thousands,
it seems trivial.
65 million years ago in the Chicxulub

Extinction the dinosaurs disappeared. In the Toba
Extinction, humans all but disappeared. I
tap the NET's
search button. 75,000?! -- I can almost

remember that! Between 1980 and now isn't even
a puff of smoke. Yet! Look
at the 10,000
things that happened between then and now.

The lights flicker, lightly dizzy, I remember
the Tibetan monastery. But what do
I remember? Red-cheeked,
smiling faces of orange-and-maroon-clad monks squeezing past

on the dark and dirty stone stairs
going back into sunshine after gaining
permission to spend
my twenty-five dollars to take the Kalachakra.

Bewildered, in a fog, depressed, having already
meditated three months too long in
Korean kyol che,
why would I be here? The booming

bray of the long horns, the scimitar
sweep of the high hats, monsoons
pouring over people
beyond the open doorway, the crowds on

the steps, passionate, absorbed, drinking sweet chai
with my back against the back
wall, the diarrhea.
Even the Brahmins rules of caste begin

to seem sensible. I can almost discern
when and how they were made,
as I find
I want to eat alone and only

food cooked by my own hand. I
want silence and ceremony. Enough of
the chatter and
problems of people. I begin to think

the Brahmins faced the same situation we
face today, the pollution of our
food, the greed
the crowding and they divided themselves off --

just for sanity, serenity. And a person
alone is a challenge to the
multitudes -- Ah, he
has no friends. So we must be

friendly. The Brahmin makes another rule -- he
can be polluted even by a
person's stare. Another
ceremony to purify himself from the crowding.

According to modern community, this is bad.
But it is coming. The pollution
of every molecule
of the exhaust-fume-air, of food, the cacophony

of daily life, the touch of grime,
the seeing of the ugliness man
has made of
the world. I make my rules too.

Twenty-one years skips through my brain as
fast as a ricocheting bullet. Nothing
happened. Everything happened.
It's gone. Two thirds of a century.



THE GUTS

#11
8-01-01

V brings up the unified field theory
and, after my usual showing off,
"I've heard it,
I know it, I can name its components.

I've read much about it I don't
understand and a little that I
did, etc." It,
that conversation, and the GUTS remain in

my mind for days, burrowing there, throwing
up illuminating, evocative rays, shimmerings, glimmerings.
Finally I marry
its insubstantial image to the flittering, skittering,

almost invisible image of my own problem
-- or solution? Lately -- in the last
few years -- more
and more frequently I get vivid glimpses

of what I know: world-things, people-things, me-things:
images, laser-vivid, evocative as Proust's cookie,
but unlike Proust's
cookie or the GUTS, all these stunning,

fabulous, be-jeweled, worth-preserving image never hang together,
nor do they come in a
worth-remembering sequence.
They explode randomly -- like reality -- into my

brain, and, like fireworks, last for moments
-- some linger as cascading sparks -- then
fade, leaving glitterless
trash, winged snowflakes, falling from the sky.

I asked: What am I really waiting
for? For all that master scatter
of poignant, powerful
images to explode into a unified field?

some suddenly-manifesting, self-cohesive density? -- or a spider-strong
thread to hang them all on?
to find my
own great novel suddenly written? my own

remembrance of things past made manifest? my
history of the world recorded? a
Big Bang reversal?
my ten thousand things reduced to one?

Is that? -- would that be? -- enlightenment? Or
just #1 on the best-seller list?
Can particles, components,
spin their own gravity, their own glue?



THE TAO TE CHING

1/38
#12
7-23-01

I wonder if I'm up for this,
I have Mair, Wing, Feng and
English before me,
each using a different word for Te:

Mair = Integrity, Wing = Power, Feng/
English = Good(ness) F/E is graceful,
poetic, the translation
I owned in the past; Mair

is claiming new ground opened up by
the Ma-Wang-Tui manuscripts of silk, but
he's no poet;
Wing is a friend of mine,

caught up in the modern world, she
has fine footnotes. I respond very
little to grandiose
statements and progressions, unclear if I am

simply to observe such phenomena in myself,
to try to emulate them or
give up in
despair. Why do I read the Tao

Te Ching? I have read it many
times before and can hang on
to it no
better this time than the last. Perhaps

its only content is: it is as
elusive as life itself. I thought
I caught one
thing to disagree with, that the fruit

is more worthwhile than the flower, but
then R.L. Wing uses substantial
and veneer. Can
I imagine night blooming Cerius as "veneer"?



THE TAO TE CHING

2/39
#13
7-23-01

Translators Mair, Grigg, Wing,, Mitchell, Chen, Kaufman,
Kohn and LaFargue, Feng and English
work The One.
This chapter doesn't exist in the Guodian.

My mind remains blank, except, I remember
I am a daffodil growing from
soil, earth, dung.
My roots, though I do not understand

how, support me. I am stone. I
do not tinkle like jade. Each
translator captures only
his own image, beats his own drum.



THE TAO TE CHING

3/41
#14
7-23-01

I resist the Tao's big fuzzy abstractions.
They mean very little to me.
I remember: "To
make the concrete abstract is the essence

of evil." I now have 13 translations
from the library. Is there one
that speaks to
me? It may just be that Chinese

philosophy, like Christian philosophy, makes me feel
bad -- both sick and like an
evil doer. Hindu
philosophy fills me with joy. I agree

with the one and find it, for
the better of my happiness, to
avoid the other
two. Vedic chant fills my heart with

bliss, while Christianity's glorious masses -- musical, religious,
people -- fill my soul with a
feeling of penury,
despair, and a need to dodge guilt.

Who are my translators now? Chen, Feng
and English and Lippe, Grigg, Hendricks,
Hendricks, Kaufman, Kohn
and Lafargue, Kwok, Palmer and Ramsay, Lau

and Allan, Le Guin and Seaton, Mair,
Mitchell, Wing and a little Salomon
on early Buddhist
manuscripts, thrown in. Another of my teachers,

Boltz, appears more than once in the
context of the Tao Te Ching.
It's amazing how
many world-class scholars, musicians, adepts I have

encountered along my Way. Dran once said:
Even if I turned out to
be an unsuccessful
writer, writing has given me a superb

life. Since I was old enough to
think, however, it has struck me
as odd that
we put such disingenuous faith in old

books: Tao Te Ching c 300 b.
c.e., Bible c. 300 c.
e., Koran, c.
600?? c.e., (a 90% reiteration of

the Christian Bible) Ancient Buddhist Scrolls c.
100 c.e., Vedas -- the oral
tradition goes way
back, but manuscripts are no older than --

it is not to be found, no
date, palm-leaf books disintegrate fast in
the many century's
monsoons c.e., when at least two

millennium of compelling intuition, thought, creation, writing,
research has gone on since then
and goes on
today, greater, perhaps in its power and

insight, than anything the big boys of
early humanity ever thought of in
b.c.e.,
and yet we worship, we gloss and

interpret, extract every morsel of meaning that
might have been meant or not
meant from these
old tomes. My contention: take almost any

manuscript, pore over it enough, gloss it
enough, interpret it enough and it
too will contain
the world's wisdom -- especially if you give

it a tribal aetiology or hype it
as post-computer-age-super-think. Rumi, in my opinion,
1300 c.e.,
is more worth study than the whole

previous or coming lot, but that's because
he (right here slipped in a
momentary vision of
the crossroads at Hyampom) sees the world

I long to see, the sublime entwined
with the mundane. Well, it gives
the scholars something
to do. Though I often appreciate tradition,

I cannot be a traditionalist and be
a poet, a creator, I can
only tell you
my vision, I learn what I can

and express what I express i.e.
a brand new synthesis of a
brand new person
with unique capacity, experience, insight. What the

ancestors were doing 10, 20 or 60
thousand b.c.e. I don't
know. Why do
I cut up bits of prose into

poetic pieces? Because it affords form, a
terminus? 'Though I often lose my
way, 'though I
often wonder at what I do and

why, just working on my soul seems
to have been enough of a
job for me
without partner, children or social context. My

Tao is art, writing, poetry, painting, pattern --
structures I can build, elaborate, destroy
on my own --
"I vant to be alone" -- with my computer



JIM MACHIN

#15
08-16-01

I only knew the top of his
head, noted his pleasant presence as
I cared for
the plants in my windows, his patience,

his quietude. He enjoyed the dappled sunlight,
the beauty of the Minor trees,
blue hydrangeas, red
geraniums, his friends, coffee, and the lobelia

overhead. Meditation gets easier as the years
advance, quietude delights, silence satisfies. It
seems God liked
him a lot, led him gently away,

left remembrance of him in the golden
air of the summer garden. Ninety-five
is a good
age to leave the earth -- at peace.



MAYA

#16
8-17/18-01

I gave up on Tao Te Ching --
too much abstract advice for weak/
strong, noble/humble
increase/decrease, action/nonaction. Who could utilize

such advice to choose breakfast, make coffee,
decide which bus, what walk, invent
software, censor the
terror of aloneness in the anxiety-driven human-gathering

we mistake for civilization. Now I study
the Maya. Cerros, Palenque, Tikal, Teotihuacan,
the Aztecs -- civilizations
so exuberant, flamboyant, talented, awesome in architecture,

art, literature, blood, that one would think
our Frankenstein-God would have stopped there.
Enough of creation!
Today Maya-spirit -- creatures of feeling, superlative invention,

despair -- is gone. I cannot sleep. Nor
rid my mind of pierced penises,
snatched hearts, pierced
tongues, human-made mountains, pristine, white, sun-toned, sensuous

fabrics' beauty, terrors of jungle and jaguar,
vibrancy of royal ceramics, art higher
than our Leonardo
or Warhol, their buildings grander, more abstract

than the Tao. Lost in jungleness, was
their stupendous work-ethic, like ours, an escape
from imperious Gods,
was there no one to help defy

the terrifying shadows. Apparently the people decided
on Kingship, built vast domains, triumphed,
then withdrew support,
trust, returned to the land to farm,

as Pol Pot obliged the Cambodians to
do. Maya assuaged their fears by
making human life
more horrifying than anything met in nature.

How can one go on after civilizations
so colossal? Perhaps they thanked Gods
for the mean-little-gold-grabbing
Spanish come to help them die. Perhaps

they had done enough, had done it
all, had begun their retreat before
their civilization, supervised
by the Spanish, aided by Spanish diseases,

dissolved. Remember! Their supreme victor's prize was
often death, the spurting of blood
from the heart
for the delectation of Gods. Even with

our eco-terrorism, bombs, starvation-enslavement of the world's
people, our privatization of food, our
soon-to-begin-manufacture of human
beings, still, we have light-years to match

Maya hubris, Maya grandeur.



TAO TE CHING 2

#17
08-19-01

I keep slogging slowly along the Tao.
For words that propose you do
nothing, it is
too full of injunctions, instructions. If one

occupied one's mind with it, its sayings,
advice, wisdom, one would not have
time to live,
nor to write, nor to think. Best

to go out and breathe the light
blue air, pick the blackberries, gaze
on the multi-windowed,
tall buildings, admire Seattle for planting so

many trees, lead tours of the library,
eat ice-cream, read a mystery, snuggled
down into sleep.
Invent one more poem in the morning.



EXPERIENCE

#18
08-19-01

Experience is the oddest thing. I see
a picture of bare feet descending
a spiral stone
staircase and I am returned to Conques,

the monastery behind the ancient abbey with
the stone coffins, thinking experience is
as ephemeral as
are musical notes -- they sound and are

gone. Each moment is -- and is gone.
Experience, more ephemeral than the wind,
ruffles the mind,
touches the senses, the body -- is gone.

Teasing, kissing, almost unperceived in a headlong
dash with time, through the day's
moments seen in
peripheral vision, smelt as intensely as lilies.

Moments rise, receed, pluck my heart. Poignancy
rules -- but no longer than a
moment, no longer
than experience, come, and gone to memory.



CULTIVATE DESIRE

#19
08-25/10-16-01

On earth in the moonlight, what still
fascinates me is Angkor Wat, Nokhor,
Ongcor, and hundreds
of similar wats conjured from Cambodia's plain

near Tonli Sap, the largest structures on
our planet save for the gigantic
snake of the
Chinese Wall made into a concatenation across

the mountains and valleys of the landscape
of the Middle Kingdom by Chin
Huang De. But
Buddhist, Hindu, built by Khmer Kings in

renunciation of this paltry world the might
of Angkor -- even in the Chinese-like
square-meters, bare rock
description by (discoverer for the Western world)

Mouhot, the power of desire bleeds through.
Buddha found the answer was desirelessness.
Then proceeded for
fifty years to preach and teach, travel;

in his name were built a plethora
of the grandest structures of earth,
with brain-washed, unpaid
labor, slave labor. His desires fulfilled, he

died. Along came Capitalism, declaring we'll enslave
you, but we will pay you,
and so built,
this time, not so wide as high,

some of the highest structures the world
could conceive, preaching desire. Cultivate desire.
To be alive,
in the definition of Christian-Capitalism, is to

have desire, gluttony, greed. Like the Buddhu
and the Hindu subsisting on austerities
in the woods,
desirelessness, in the 21st Century world just

doesn't cut the mustard. Desire is all.
After desire is death. Construct your
own reality, whether
you build Ongcor with stone or imagination

is immaterial. There is nothing more to
life than the living of it.
There is nothing
but what happens at the center of

things. Dance Shiva. Dance. The moon went
from half to full, and back
to half again

and down tumbled the World Trade Towers.



DIVERSITY

#20
10-13-01

I

Ancient and alone, the decision will happen
sooner or later, to give up,
live in chaos,
go with the flow. Perhaps Diamond's important

contribution, and he didn't even emphasize it:
but only in diversity is strength,
a billion automatons
will be erased by an automaton virus.

only in the muck and the mess,
the whirlwind of life creating life
and death, is
continuity to be had, the going on,

up, down, charm, endless circular earth patterns,
the inventions of heaven, more planets,
more genes, more
more more more and, in your case,

Ms. Devayani, more papers to drown in,
more tides of written words creeping
up your legs,
to your knees, to your vulva, into

the crinkled bowl of your navel, across
the Gangetic plain of your stomach,
up the slope
of your breasts, dangling free, clutching hard-handed

at your throat, making you gag, into
your ears, the tides and tides
and tides and
tides of paper filled with poems, poem

filled papers, cyberspace filled with poems, as
if cyberspace were your eyes and
ears, the ends
of your fingertips tappity-tap-taping, trying to outdo

god in your profligacy, reckless prodigality spent
unto eternity. Words go on describing,
this world, worlds
in your heart, your liver, your chest,

your knees, the keenness of your eyes,
words, radiant words, follow the evening
crows, blue, black
into the wind, into the flamboyant sky.


II

And each one different, each a native
grass to be cultivated into cereal,
each word is
surrounded by its nutritious carapace, each word

the same, each word unique in its
setting. As chaotic as the world.
Shred a dictionary
come up fresh. Begin again to assemble

words into sentences. Each sentence unique, different --
as before the creation.
Molecules are identical, words are different and

vice versa. It's the setting, that matters,
the place in the code, where
helical twists dance
and sport, play melodies of celestial origin


III

But you needn't keep track. It will
track itself. Endure the Chaos. Continue.
Let those who
come after organize. Let bureaucrats do their
work. Let the poets do theirs.



INQUIRY

#21
10-16/17-01

How many molecules in 6,000 pulverized bodies?
How many sips can a mosquito
take from a
human before it is drained of blood?

Someone can answer those questions, not I.
Someone can answer those questions, have
done, will do.
Flames shoot through my mind, die,

like any fire. Carved on Venetian ramparts
in Heraklion, Crete: "I hope for nothing
I fear nothing.
I am free." Buddha's admonition, death's invitation.



MAPPING GAIA

#22
10-18-01
COMING SOON



ARCHITECTURE

#23
10-23-01

Ninety percent of knowledge
is writing it in
code to make it
incomprehensible to others, strangers.

It's the priest instinct
in us, the abracadabra
instinct. It's too simple
to say, I build

it this way because
I like it this

way.



CHANGING MOODS

#24
10-29-01

What an adventure it has been,
the sorrow and the pain,
like wedges, winches and whirligigs,
bestirred to move beyond the moment
-- it's in the plan.

What an adventure it has been,
all the motion and commotion,
to win to lose what's forgot
by day's end for tomorrow
-- it's in the plan.

What an adventure it has been,
never pausing, never savoring until,
too tired to rise at dawn,
the drug-warmth of the bed makes you smile,
-- it's in the plan.

Could it have been simpler?
O yes, O yes!
But the pain, the sorrow, the mood
swing into joy,
what else can you offer an old woman
-- in such an adventurous plan?



CLEVE, THE GREAT GOD LESHIKAR II

#25
10-30-01

This odd and pervasive sense
lately
that what was my life
has become history...

Yesterday, e-mail from Roz:: "Farewell
GGCL"
The GGL is no more.
Gone into thinnest

air. I tried to go
on
reading. It's what he would
have certainly done --

behind his mountain of dirty
clothes
and precious books, Sung, Tang,
celadon, exquisite things.

In about forty-three years, I
don't
remember him telling me one
personal fact, only

a grin now and then
to
acknowledge some subsurface subsidence, sentiment.
He had many oughts
but no personal drama, no
grasping after love.

He, his own definition, was
a
friend. "Friends last longer than
lovers," he said,

and he was right. But
then
he left. Now almost all
of my loves

have gone. Men die quicker
than
women. It's true. Into thin --
the humid air

of Seattle. He never got
back
here -- to live, though that
was the long

dream of his life, waiting
for
forty years deep in the
heart of Texas

for Mrs. Wheeler, his mom,
to
die. Storming and shouting, prodding,
she lived on

and so did he. Independent,
no
children, but adopting everyone, every
thing in sight.

There's a blankness there now
like
history. What does it have
to do with

me. The span of a
human
life completed is like chaff,
leaving raw grains

behind, it blows in the
wind,
the breeze of years, scudding
away to death.



WHAT'S IT

#26
10-30-01

What's it all for, cramming my head full of knowledge,
drinking it in to slake a desert thirst -- to fend off this life?
to prepare for the next?

The alternative?

Lie down and die.



WAIT

#27
11-01-01

Wait a few generations,
their greed will do them in.
In 2001 began the rape of the American's
freedom.
Capitalism trumps Democracy.
Lawmakers, Republican,
voted down the right of free speech,
the right to tax the rich.
They took away civil rights
and human rights.
Sold anthrax to Saddam,
terrorist training to Afghanistan,
munitions wherever possible,
coercion wherever necessary.
Having superseded the electoral process
by fraud and, backed by the great court,
the little man who was president
refused to look into his own
war chest to find that biological
warfare came from home.
Someone just helping out --
carrying out the pres's predictions.
Can't be prosecuted, because
he's one of the good old boys.
So if Osama didn't do it, Saddam did.

We don't have to look forward to a world
government. We have one. Its called
the WTO, the IMF, the WB, terrorism,
capitalism, the rich, the people
who already own the world.
It's just tiresome to have to keep
everyone else in jail.
Besides,
it cuts down on the customers
for the ubiquitous trash
the have-nots of the world are supposed
to crave and buy.
And they do.

But
wait a few generations,
their greed will do them in.
Not being able to resist selling arms
to their enemies -- "business
is business" -- nor the powers --
the extraordinary powers --
that undeclared war makes
possible, the freedoms
it allows the Republicans [the rich]
to usurped from the people,
the curfews, restrictions and repressive
laws it calls for
to keep the people in line
buying the trash of capitalism.
Long lines.
Don't forget to shop! even
when the bombs are falling.
The Red Cross director, good or bad,
who makes 450,000 annually
of the dollars donated for relief
from famine, disaster, planes
knocking down tall buildings.
Note the quarrels that go on
among the paid staff of the charities,
the well-paid staff, who sit in comfort
trying to figure out what is "fair"
for the people in the streets
who've lost their homes, their jobs,
their parents, their friends,
Yeah, exactly what is fair?
It's certainly fair to sit in the towers
that are left, in the comforts
of capitalism, and maintain their
high-paid jobs, trying to figure
out what is fair for the losers
of this world.
Wouldn't want to be too fair.

Wait a few generations.
Their greed will do them in.
Screw the environment.
Screw the poor.
Screw the sharing of food.
Screw the food itself.
Alter it!
So someone can make
money in the process!
Jail everyone,
let out the contracts,
preferably to the rich.
Control the consumers.
MAKE them buy the trash
of capitalism, store the toxic
wastes, turn a blind eye
while agents take
their secret share
of the "war on drugs."
Wait a few generations.
Mother nature will shrug.
One more species bites the dust.
Farewell Homo sapien.

As it turned out,
rampant greed,
wasn't even that much fun.
They got lonely with no one to rule,
no one to buy their trash,
no one to envy their life-style,
no customers.
Having, themselves, to eat
the GMO food they produced.

Mother nature -- if she is compassionate --
will shrug before we come up
with two heads, faulty lungs,
mutating ourselves into the next
chapter of evolution.
She'll breathe a sign of relief
when the greens begin to grow again,
and the animals are let out
of the cages.
When food is free, and the next mutations
have nothing better to do
than watch the sun set
and the sun rise
and Homo sapiens
are all buried under
their sacred mounds.

Our intentions aren't bad,
they're just insane --
like crazy, prolific nature,
who let us loose
in the first place.

In any country but America
it's called a coup d'etat.



AUTUMN

#28
11-3/4-01

Reflected sunlight at 9:06 a.m.,
the autumn is not so gloomy,
great thoughts, grand visions
illuminate my mind,
but I tire early
and fritter
away my
days.

I watch the kingdom crumble -- considering
what Angkorians must have felt of old
or the residents of Vijayanagar.
It's hard to connect what I hear
to anything happening
to me. For this
is a peaceful
autumn,
cerise,
gold.

As the coup d'etat goes on, we're
encouraged, daily, to lead our lives:
buy, spend as if nothing at all
were happening,
neither bombs in
Afghanistan,
nor anthrax,
nor threats
to bridges
nor

the loss of 450,000 jobs, nor the enrichment of the rich,
not the firemen fighting the NYPD for the right
to retrieves bodies of their brothers.
400 firemen died along with
the 5,000, were buried
beneath the debris
at ground zero
along with
the silver
and gold
in

storage vaults below the World Trade Towers,
limousines, documents; 70 feet down
the spaces descend obese with billions of
dollars worth of world trade
knowledge and what was
once thought
necessary.

Nothing changes, how do you win a war
that has no enemy -- except ourselves
except ourselves
ourselves
ourselves
selves

with appetites, thoughts visions, desires
unhindered by conscience, pity.
I have long thought I would
like be to around for the
demise of the Western
World. Who knew it
would be this
year?

Or that the autumn in cerise and gold
would be so beautiful, full of
birds flying, scarlet leaves
falling, mild weather, wind,
welcome rains, surprises,
and visions,
reflected
light,
sun.



DEAD MUSE

#29
11-04-01

O Devayani, I fear my muse is dead,
died o'Thursday
or any other day of the challenging week,
died of caffeine deprivation.

But the addiction? Where did that come from?
Shooting with needles?
Not I! Not I! Why doesn't the brain
do its own work?

Because the heart is deprived and dead! You
said: It died
o'Tuesday or some other day of last
week, stopped functioning, exhaled.

Gone, as surely as the Saracens from history,
my muse left
on a Crusade to wander on its own,
left my mind -- hollowed.



MOOD

#30
11-09/16/18-01

I'd call this a mind mood or
a mood of the mind, but
I dislike both
phrases as I dislike being in thrall

to the moods of my mind: clouded, stagnant,
inert, dense, as if the fabric
of a basketball,
plastic, lined it all the way through.

Benighted, dim, nothing to think about think
about nothing. As if my forehead,
from temple to
temple, is being squeezed to a point.

The pointless errors of the body accumulate
into cascades of irritation, itchings, twitchings,
fiery nerves, all
the cells behaving like the jittery switchings

of strings. Deep down inside the particles,
the endless inside strings of things
so small one
cannot see or imagine, are gyrating endlessly,

each with its own pattern. The membranes
grow thin with age, the skin,
the nerves wear
out, stomach decides to be always sour.

The strings' gyrations are felt excruciatingly shallow,
more as the surface of life.
There is no
depth. I feel the urge to shut

up, say no more. But each day
comes. The sensational head grows denser.
Unrelaxed desire strains
at the reins, mind bewails the inability

to transfer nothingness into nothingness. Five years
ago today I started my website.
Being able to
contact everyone in the world and still

have nothing to say, makes me want
to run screaming through the streets.
And always there
is the urge to return to bed

go to ground. Sleep -- to just not
be here, to not think about
this, or even
that, to forego all moods of mind.



INDICTMENT

#31
12-20/21-01

So long as men are allowed to
separate themselves from the human race,
so long as
they cannot be held responsible by women

and children, so long as they make
male religion, so long as they
make male politics,
so long as they make male war,

so long as they bog themselves down
in feelingless, emotionless activities that hide
awareness of the
pain they cause, so long as they

refuse to see the results of their
torture and greed, to hear the
anguished cries they
bring forth, smell the fear they engender

in the gentle and chaste, taste the
bitter blood they spill of their
own and their
neighbors, touch the wounds they gouge in

other's hearts, just so long, shall the
world not know peace, and men
be condemned to
live beyond the pale of silenced dreams.



SOLSTICE II

#32
12-21-01

The poetry year, 2001, opened with occupying
a new place. Yesterday I began
to pack to,
move again -- now into an eyrie, an

authentic aerie careening, kiting into the sky
above Seattle, where, when I look
out, there is
nothing but sky: blue, grey, clouds, wind.

Already, I begin to hear hurricanes stirring
in my soul, dust devils, tornadoes,
penetrating the source
of the rain? Is it my last

desperate, crab-wise, knight-like move across this queer,
Quasimodo, chessboard of quarky-quasar life? Well,
we'll see. Here
it's the solstice. Happy Solstice! Merry New

Year, 2002 sloshes in, sidles up, slippery,
gloomy, slimy to... Birth? Rebirth? Journey? It
begins. And Death?
Well, set that aside for now. Get

on with probing the caffeinenated, itching, traumatized
brain, the anti-histamined body. Search your
soul for the
last 10,000 things/words to say/write.

2001 burst, closed, crumbled, flamed at 9/11.
Since then it has gasped, grasped
at chimerical straws
to reopen. Just yesterday, one day before

Solstice, announcement was made that the fires
have burnt out. O Shuttered Heart,
perhaps there is
as the flames, the smoke die down,

one last hope, a few more poems
may dribble out. Clasping Virgil's hand,
let's walk Dante-like
through this diurnal, quotidian inferno. Shall we,

Guelph or Ghibelline, black or white, pray
for the assassination of Mickey Mouse?
Shall I love
Beatrice or Bill? Shall I pray for

the trees to rebud after the deluge
of winter? Shall I close my
heart and open
my wings, fly round my eyrie? Or

fold the feathered things, spinnaker by spirochete,
and plummet, a siren, screaming to
the ground? Just
one more mere sound of stress in

the siren-riding, fast-closing night skewed by events
not anticipated by Australopithecus or Lucy,
Margaret or Jane.
Open my spiracle, let out the light!



SERGIO

#33
12-21-01

Sergio, talking about Le Corbusier, when he could
be talking about Barragan -- Why? Why
talk about less
than the light? It was his glasses

I noticed first, rimless, almost unnoticeable, sweet-faced,
mobile-lipped, a strange brain twisting up
out of Patagonia
shimmering with insight. Why talk about less

than the light? Doing good works, having
lived a life of amazing exile
and privilege, sitting
in his office of sunshine, showing me

brochures of his work devoted to helping --
the theory and practice of Western
Architectural Tradition falling
away into the Andes' misted crevasses. His

students help build round the world -- Mexico,
Montana, India, Washington -- practical structures, many-styled,
multi-use, Sergio's abstract
lectures becoming concrete, touchable, cradling the light.




More of The 2001 Poems



Copyright © 2002 through 2015 Jan Haag
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
Revised: 07-16-07
Jan Haag may be reached via e-mail: jjhaag@gmail.com



MASTER LIST: ALL POEMS


BY JAN HAAG

ART & POETRY - ACCUMULATIONS

POETRY + MUSIC + ESSAYS + TRAVEL + FICTION + TEXTILE ART

INTRODUCTION + HAAG'S BIO

21st CENTURY ART, C.E. - B.C., A Context