opening of The Wasteland by T.S. Eliot

Odd that this "cruelest" should be running through my head today.
It is April. Rain drops. Cold. We no longer speak of
hail. Now it's "ice pellets." I ask my geology teacher: "Why?"

"Perhaps it sounds more militaristic." That's acceptable in this, the cruelest
month, producing, as it is, a wasteland of western civilization's seed-bed.
Set the Tigris afire, the Euphrates ablaze, annihilate the cradle between

the rivers. It's time for Mesopotamia to be full of craters,
bomb craters, missile holes, unidentified dead bodies, the residues of civilization.
The Taliban blew up Bamian's Buddha, Bush's America blows up Nineveh, Babylon,

Ur, the Chaldeans, the Sumerians, Jarmo, all barely guessed at before
they were nine thousand years in the past, peered at curiously
by the 20th century, blown to smithereens in the 21st, subjugated,

as all things salable, under the price-tag of oil. "Rulers for
Sale" "Countries for Sale" "Presidents and Premiers for Sale" We live
in the bargain basement of a world gone drunk on greed.

It was ever thus in the cruelest world, made so by
the cruelest animal who, lamenting all the while, kills and kills
and kills, letting the desert sands drink the blood of children.




For Chungmi

Listening to the radio, when some of the odd programs come forth on
a Sunday morning, saying things (one never hears on CNN, NBC, ABC, CBS,
NPR) from college campus stations or Berkeley or other banished-to-the-fringes
and marked-to-be-annihilated-by-the-FCC places, I hear a recapitulation

of Korean war news that none ever heard fifty years ago -- still don’t
hear today, except on the odd Sunday morning stations of college campuses or
Berkeley or other banished-to-the-fringes, marked-to-be-annihilated-by-the-
FCC places -- that dozens? hundreds? thousands? tens of thousands? of our U.S.

troops, our boys, our brave boys in khaki, while they were annihilating villages
in Korea (would annihilated villages in Vietnam) stood in line (probably in the
evening) for access to the rape rooms. Joking and laughing, eager for the
combat, they stood in line waiting to stick their penises into the bodies

of terrified girls and women. Maybe there were rape rooms for the gay
guys, too, waiting to stick their penises in the assholes of the Korean
and Vietnamese boys. Now, we’ve all heard -- if we listen carefully to odd
radio stations or have a friend who wrote a play -- about the Comfort

Women, raped, mutilated, killed by the Japanese. These victims now, slowly, cautiously have
stepped forward to tell their tales. But what we don’t hear, have never
heard, is what happens to the other victims: those lads, the U.S.
troops, our boys, our brave boys in khaki who pulled their penises out

of their khaki pants and pushed them into the fragile bodies of little
girls, mothers, sisters, daughters, who, if they (the girls) were lucky, then died
with the injected-by-many, smeared-semen oozing white and viscous from their
gentle-lipped hidden entrances to the privacy where babies come from, slipping newborn

into the world. The soldiers, we assume -- because they were the winners, the
conquerors, the God-on-our-side ones -- lived on. Dozens? hundreds? thousands? hundreds
of thousands of U.S. troops, our boys, our brave boys in khaki,
our rapists-come-home now walk among us leading “normal” lives. There is

never a whisper about prosecution for the rapers (whether they be our boys
or Japanese or Muslim or Christian or Jew) in any war zone where
victims, losers, are shackled in rape rooms or restrained eagle-spread on the
ground by the lads (their friendly, cooperative buddies) so their comrades can push

their penises into the contorted-by-fear bodies of young girls, grieving mothers,
widows, aunts, grandmothers in each war zone where this has happened from time
immemorial. On each battle ground, the lads, our U.S. troops, our boys,
our brave boys in khaki or blue or mufti, stuff their penises limp

and covered with their buddies’ semen, and the girls’ blood and fear, back
into their pants, adjust their gun belts, bringing their heavy weapons again around
front where they can be easily grabbed to shoot, and walk off. Or,
leaning against a tree or the wall of the rape room, they light

a cigarette and enjoy the rumpus of the later comers with the girls,
women, meaty-pieces for penis-hard men. What I want to know is:
who are these men now? Do they enjoy sex with their wives? girlfriends?
prostitutes? Are they the ones who go on raping in “civil society?” Are

they the ones (Congressmen, for instance) who vote for more wars, more combat,
more victims so they can go again into the rape rooms beneath the
trees and stick their battle hardened penises into other peoples’ mothers, sisters, daughters,
and the butts of other soldiers twisting, turning, screaming not to be raped?

Do they come home, cacooned by their memories? Maybe they are the ones
who declare themselves for these wars. For I, personally, don’t meet any person
who defends the U.S.A. terrorist attacks on Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Columbia,
Peru, Guatemala, El Salvador, Vietnam, Cambodia and the hundreds of other countries that

we have infiltrated, invaded, raped “to bring democracy” into the lives of the
living and the walking dead, whose innocents, with genocidal fury, we kill in
countries not our own, where we bomb so we can rebuild (at great
profit) their infrastructures. In the polls, Bush and his henchmen still stand high.

Somebody must vote for them. Are these voters the old rapers with the
hard penises? gone soft now with the remembered horror of destroying the bodies,
the lives of girls, mothers, daughters, widows, aunts -- who now need Viagra to
get it up just enough to father a single daughter for their later-

in-life pleasure. Who are they, these dozens? hundreds? thousands? hundreds of thousands
of U.S. troops? -- our boys, our brave boys in khaki, brutally screwing
their sisters, screwing the earth, so there is no place to come home
to unhaunted by their hideous memories. Is my experience so limited or have

all the rapers become liberals? demonstrators? protesters? Did they change their minds once
they experienced the “glories” of war -- or -- do they want more? then some
more? more under the trees, in the rape rooms -- changing procreation to putrefaction
with their terrible pleasures -- to be lived with, remembered until the day they

die, victims forever of man’s uncontrolled terrorism of his human sisters and brothers.

from The "M" Poems


" who exploits, or busies himself with, something in a sordid or petty way..." Century Dictionary, p. 1083


So there is only family life and war mongering
left, and economic development.
Down through time and space we have eliminated
the soul and art (now reduced to cartoons).

We have eliminated handmade and hand calculation.
Mongering has become our sole activity.
Do not dare to create unless it can be sold.
Breed, breed children, recommend the Republicans,

" used only as the second element in compounds." CD, p.1083

with their war-mongering, white, Yale savage
in the White House. We know what that means:
cannon-fodder -- can't be righteously at eternal
war without a good supply of stalwart boys.

Can't look in God's eye, call him our own
unless we have sons to sacrifice,
foreigners' blood to pour on our Nasdaqian
altars. After all, their lives are meaningless.


(Aedes aegypti)
"Any of various dipterous insects...the females of which..." Century Dictionary, p. 1096


I'm, more or less, a nine pint, 8% female,
so it would take 851,718* simultaneous bites
for mosquitoes to drain my body of blood. Does it
help that they'd all be female, stabbing away, sucking?

Would it be possible to put up with this blood-sucking without
flapping one's arms, hopping about, crooning and shouting?
What would be left? A flaky wasp's-nest-like tissue?
Or just the fat that floated on the fluid?

"...puncture the skin of animals (including man)..." C D, p. 1096

Even I am two-winged about this. Should I
fly away? Stick around? Be drunk to the dregs?
Animals usually only have tails to swish. We have
intellect to wield, yet we stand still for this draining

by the "self-revealing grotesques"** now in office -- mostly male,
a sex change must have taken place -- who suck and squeeze.
Tiny as mosquitoes, they manipulate our lives,
cannibalize our life blood. And they can be fatal.

* BLOOD FACTS , MOSQUITOES, PHYSICS: Volume One, Resnick, Halliday and Krane, 1992, UW, OUGLibrary Question Board

**discription (of Trent Lott) borrowed from The New Yorker, 01-06-03, Remnick, p. 29


"Vain or unprofitable discourse." OED, p. 223


Well, well, well, my eye fell on this before I could
get back to the Century, but such a perfect description
of the present state of affairs in the Bush-impacted
White House, which may indeed lead to the end

of the world, is not to be resisted at 6:00 o'clock
on a Saturday morning before going off to Fidalgo.
My guess is, useful though it may be, the word
wasn't much used after 1716, but then splendidly:

"Those Sacerdotal-Secular Mataeologues of..." OED p. 224

as if the scribes were describing Bush and his cohorts coming
along a couple of centuries later. Self-interest and private agendas
don't much alter through the ages: greed is greed, war mongering
war mongering, idiocy idiocy, and puppet handling

was honed to a fine art long before the usurpation
of the world's most powerful chair by the little Bush's
corrupt coterie. Every empire champing to rule the world
has its comeuppance, though many lasted longer than we will.


"A minuscule letter as distinguished from a capital or an uncial..." Century Dictionary, p. 1067


In general use: very small, but not so small
as foraminifera. Seeable. Useful. The small cursive script developed
in the 7th Century. Perhaps it includes those minute ways
of writing on the human heart,

the calligraphy of pain, awareness, sorrow, foreknowledge
of what the children will go through. We welcome them,
and then, right away, we make it unpleasant for them,
teaching them deception, devious ways, malice.

"...opposed to majuscule." CD, p. 1067

Nothing much changes. The majuscule is almost unknown
except in airy-fairy, surely unattainable ways. We define
ourselves as human by our faults. He lies. It's only human.
He kills things. It's only human.

Once in a while we get tired of death and destruction.
A few 100,000 or a few 1,000,000s protest,
but this hardly registers in our common-currency minuscule.
Outside the pale. Ignore it. Continue.


"A military engine formerly used for throwing stones, etc." Century Dictionary, p. 1012


It has many forms: mangonele, mangenel, mangunel, mangenele, mangurnele,
mangnel, maungenele, mangonelle, mangonell, manchonel, manganel, mangonel,
magnel, magnale, magnelle, maggenell, magonneaul, mayelle, magonel, magonell,
mangole, mangonneau, manganella, mangona, mangonnum, mangon-em --

then there's the Greek magganon -- all meaning, quite singularly:
"an engine of war." The OED traces the first usage
back to "Mangunell," 1194. So many many engines " ...for
casting stones

The OF feminine form is: "...mangonelle... [or]...It. manganella..." OED, p. 118

and other missiles..." One wonders what the feminine form
was used for. So many words, now useless --
just as silo-ed missiles outdate, become useless before a decade
is out. If

only we could get men concentrated again
on piling stones, Obelisks, Pillars, Towers, encourage them to play
with their "engines [sic] of generation,"
leave death and destruction to gentle Lethe.


"...suggestive of Mezentius, a legendary Etruscan king who is said to have had living men bound face to face..." Century Dictionary, p. 1055


Both the Century and the OED suggest, by "legendary" and "mythical"*
respectively, whether they mean to or not, that Mezentius
may have never lived. But living, let's you and me,
spend a moment thinking of his purported action.

Stand, embrace your brother (or mother) and be bound,
face to face, lip to lip -- smooth, maybe silk ties, around
your neck, around your shoulders, layers upon layers
of bondage, so you cannot move, or sit or walk.

"...with corpses and then left to die." CD, p. 105

Possibly you can lie or fall down with his (her) body
beneath or above or beside you while eternity
passes, while starving to death you contemplate the horror
of your captivity, the putrefaction of your bondsperson. Look steadily

at this image. See if you can recognize your fellow man,
see if you can recognize yourself suffering
as the legendary perpetrator of this Mezentian action.
Ask the purpose, poetic or mythical, of our hatred of one another.

*OED p. 404


Mass1 may come from "...dismissal..." OED, p. 205


You'd think some where in the four pages of "mass" in the OED
there'd be room for "mass demonstration," but the classifications
of "mass," "the masses," in both the OED and the Century concentrate
on the lower classes:

"...the great body of the common people; the working classes or lower
social orders; often contrasted with 'the classes'..."*
Of course, both carry the thoughts of the 1930s.
Today, February 15, 2003 may help revise the lexicon

Mass2 is probably from Gr. "...barley cake...knead..." Century Dictionary, p. 1025

An estimated 10 million people will be demonstrating today
in cities around the world against George Bush's war.
10 million people turning out for peace, 10 million people
asking America to stop its mindless aggression against others.

Even years of Inspections and Negotiations is preferable
to another event in George W's ubiquitous war plans
to subjugate the world and its peoples to the corporate-ruled will
of an unelected madman gone ballistic with his superpower.

*Century Dictionary, p.1025


" in step in an organized body..." Century, p. 1018


Ten to twenty million people around the world, yesterday,
marched to protest George Bush's manufactured quarrel with Saddam Hussein.
Half of the signs carried in Seattle -- home of the 80,000
turn out for the WTO and for this new

turnout of 90 to 100,000 -- cried "No Iraq War," the other half
shouted: "Impeach Bush." "What kind of peach?" "Impeach!"
"What kind of peach?" "Impeach!" But there has not been one
mention of these signs, this consensus, in

" go somewhere at one's command..." CD p. 1018

any media. Listening, watching, reading assiduously, I have heard
(here in Seattle) just one report that said -- out loud -- that there even was
an Anti-War March in Seattle. The media reports
1,000,000 in London, 3 million in Rome and,

additionally, the 1/2 million in New York. But not one word
about Seattle's protest, nor the protests in at least 50 other
American and non-American cities with -- who knows what signs.
Ah! Freedom! Democracy! "What kind of peach?" "Impeach!"



I have slept in a cave in Malibu, high in the hills
in the golden rock, looking out over the dark chaparral to the Pacific.
I don't go there often,
in memory. I seldom go near my

other lives. Yesterday, I ate camas -- a little white onion-like, crocus-like bulb --
at the Mima Mounds. It was slightly sweet, starchy, dissolving
to a gelatinous-pudding-like substance. The Indians cropped it
in the Mima Mounds.

...fraught or associated with memories." p. 1042

That, too, will become a memory. And the movement of the neck
East Indians make, so slight, so full of secret delight, ambiguity
so well described in the Burma* book I am reading --
more accumulations of memory.

And the Peace March of 10 or 20 million, Saturday --
that, too, will dissolve into memory unimpeded by failing to cause
the White-House-madmen who rule the world, who don't listen
to the people, to change their minds.

*"...she tilted her head slightly from side to side... a habit he had seen in many of the Indians. It was quite subtle, as if she was enjoying an inner joke that was much funnier, and much more profound, than her words suggested." The Pianist, Daniel Mason, p. 219 -- the subtlety of this neck movement and its meaning, which is somewhat like a jeweled serpent's swaying to music, is here well described.


"...responsiveness to musical sounds or harmonies..." Century Dictionary, p. 1112


A Sufi in Poona, at whose feet I sat for an afternoon
and a cup of chai, suggested the tempered scale might
be the reason the Western World is so out of tune
with all other civilizations.

For, though we love our music, all but unbeknownst to us,
it sets our teeth on edge, we have divorced ourselves
from the harmony of nature, from the restful, natural
tones of the just or harmonic scale,

Mad -- ultimately derived from Indogermanic "to change"... OED p.13
"Ungovernable anger, rage, fury... " OED, p. 18

and we have suffered a disjointedness, aggression ever since.
Equal temperament was first used in the early 16th century,
and universally (sic) adopted by the Western World
in the early 19th century -- significant dates for the mad

aggression against all others of the European/American
nations. I, who have studied, Nada Brahma,
vouch for the soothing effect of the natural, non-tempered scale,
the rejuvenation of equilibrium, a return to humane love

"Equal temperament was an innovation that allowed for more than one key to be played on a single instrument, the sacrifice being that no key would be in perfect tune. To tune in equal temperament meant deliberately creating beats, adjusting the strings finely so that only a well-trained ear could discern that they were slightly, if necessarily, out of tune." Daniel Mason, The Piano Tuner, p. 214


"...coin or certificates...also, any articles or substances similarly used...hook-money, knife-money..." Century Dictionary, p. 1083


There is no hope.
In Gandhi's day they still had the land. The people
walked it, sat on it and, for the most part, could even
till a meal from it. They had cotton and fought for salt. We?

We touch the earth at no point. We walk on concrete,
drive, fly. Food comes only from the grocery store
It's price, dependent on manmade, owned and patented seeds, rises,
rises. With food controlled for profit, used as weapons,

"...also, property considered with reference to its pecuniary value..." CD, p. 1083

Remember, it takes only 40 or 50 days to starve to death.
No, its not a conspiracy. It's a business deal. The end
of the world will be contracted out to the highest bidder.
He will proceed. For profit.

just one chapter: The Great Game. We, you and I, are neither
pawns nor obstacles. But then, one day they may miss us,
finding the world contains only oil, money,

body parts, luxury items, not even an expendable flunky to carry
in the tea. I used to blame England for destroying other civilizations
But, as it turns out, they were only the gruesome overture
to Imperialism's God Blessing America.


"In Japanese use, a personal or family device..." Century Dictionary, p. 1082


The heavy silken drag of the kimonos over the polished,
grey cypress floors, so clean that even on white tabis
the dust does not show: the sound sibilant, the perfuming
wisteria intoxicating, the aloneness devoutly to be wished.

Flickering pictures, mon of the mind. Flowers from ancient worlds
of slowness and time. Coveted and misunderstood by the West.
Coveted mainly to be destroyed, forcing nuclearized Japan to re-arm,
to re-engage in the aggressive, regressive world's demise

"...or cognizance." CD, p. 1082

If you don't know this one, it is a heraldic
crest or distinguishing badge used by the Japanese. Exquisite, often
monanthous-embroidered. The chrysanthemum mon is well known in the West.
But there are others, or were. No, "are"

is correct for the rich, the powerful, the elite are
always with us. It is the poor who disappear, are replaced
without warning, evidence, compassion, cognizance. However, their mon are,
meanwhile, singularly unimportant, festering to claim their own.


"To give the character of money to..." Century Dictionary, p. 1083


I want to leave this page, to think something else,
but my eye falls on the definition of this age.
Each thing in the world: item my item is monetized.
I cannot leave. I am shackled. I first noticed

the phenomenon when I was studying the law.
This was 1988, and just beginning development, like a "developing"
country was the "economic theory of the law" -- essentially:
Charge more and more until the people bleed, and bleed, and bleed,

"...legalize as money; coin into money." CD, p. 1083

die of terror, fear, frustration, die of starvation, incarceration.
A most effective way to limit use of your resources is:
find out who really wants what, then make sure
they pay and pay and pay and don't get it.

Peace, justice, compassion, food. Don't limit birth on the overpopulated
earth! We NEED the cannon fodder. One talent the poor
and ignorant have is to reproduce without end.
The rich? Well, they're deep into cryogenics and cloning.


"...vulgar form of Morsel, v. " OED, p. 683


Being distracted this morning, the dictionary I grab
is the OED, and there is "moslings" --
kind of an adorable word (like a kitten).
In the 1875 quote "...used in wiping off metals while

grinding and polishing." But it's not in the Century.
Too old? Not even an "archaic." But Morsel v!
We have to look into that. Oh, my God,
there's not even a "morsel v."


"To divide into 'morsels' or small pieces." OED, p.672

in the Century, only an "n." -- and in The American Heritage,
the Random House, no v. : "to morsel."
Even as late as 1861, we have from Lytton and Fane:
"The split and morselled

crags." O look how it started out! 1598 Florio, "to morsell,
to bite." And 1621 Molle, "Chopping into pieces, morselling
and deuouring their prisoners." Well, now, we don't
do that today, do we?

Just nice clean carpets of bombs macerating the millions,
Vietnam, Cambodia, Kosovo, Afghanistan, Iraq -- it's not only okay,
it's good for them, and they should appreciate it as
much more sanitary than "moselling."


"Of or pertaining to Meton, an Athenian astronomer of the 5th century B.C..." Century Dictionary, p. 1053


19 years ago it was 1984. Long past now, that famous,
literary year, it passed by with little drama, but its prophecies
coming true year after year after year. In 2003 we're not
as susceptible to shock at lost 6

of liberty, lost of ethics, rip-offs, get-richer schemes of the rich,
the power-mad egos of madmen. America's propaganda machines is more oiled
than Orwell's; black is white, war is peace, no-see-um enemies lurk
behind every bush while big-brother Dubya

"...the Metonic cycle...of 19 years...[when] the new moon recurs on the same day of the year..." p. 1053

plucks away our rights, freedoms, way of life in the name
of saving our rights, freedoms, way of life. He creates new
monsters for each occasion, bombs while his buddies pipeline for oil
saving some for him too, should

he outlive the new order. If people get in the way,
those who protest the bombings and those whom the bombs land
on, no matter, Dubya assures us he will hold firm in
The Great Game, Imperialism, Colonialism, Globalization.

from The 2003 Poems



Choose words carefully it's time for laments.
Wink continuously, don't see or hear.
Pull the new cap tightly against the wind.
Listen to free speech whistling through corners.
And at the edges of leaves and fields, wait.
Don't believe the world is safe or good-willed.

Citing his pig-headed resolve, good-willed,
the president of the free world laments
war and seeks it. He, unable to wait
for its declaration, smirks and does hear
no man. Pipers careen around corners
swept by linguistic debris and the wind.

In opposition, millions choose the wind,
walk the street bearing signs, crying, good-willed.
Knees against concrete they pray on corners
The un-elected president laments,
finds no reason to listen or to hear,
decides, re-decides new motives can't wait.

He sends troops, more troops, and weapons to wait.
Huge, nuclearized, aimed into the wind,
blissfully metal, unable to hear,
while leaflets announcing noble, good-willed
intentions flutter with dooming laments
for those to die on targeted corners.

Those on the lamentable, doomed corners
are instructed to rejoice as they wait.
The free world's president hears their laments
crying for life as if they were mere wind
in willows, willing to comply, good-willed,
eager to die for American greed. Hear,

hear, O president, Iraq begs to hear
genocide justified on the corners
of the free world, murder done in good-willed
remote, removed, sanitized halls where wait
awful dooms of heartless, profit swept wind
over the corporate landscape that laments

our market share, our imperial wait
grown thin, the implacable need of wind,
of power, for the hypocrite's laments.

O he laments and laments and laments
promises, promises, wild in the wind
his righteous blood is up, war cannot wait.



It's the odd things that haunt one,
things you wouldn't begin to think
of as ghosts or hants. Life --
a testing ground of peculiar behavior, endurance.
You can hear it disintegrating all around.
(Mostly because I have a radio
and not a TV.)

I was struck last night
thinking about the giant leap living
things have made from cloudy,
all but transparent, amoeboid things
to the grace of my cat's arched neck.
He rinses his dark ears with, first, one
soft white paw and then the other.

With patience we could probably
last another hundred million years.
But its not likely with XY chromosomes,
drumming bongos in the ears of the dominators.
They silo away nuclear waste, its toxic power
retained until the sun cools,
until telescopes,

that have not yet seen
the beginning of the world,
pick up the end --
for nobody.



Let's face it,
I started out with a dream
Of fame and fortune,
But another dream as well:
To think deeply.
To divert fresh dew into
The river of unmatchable
Pleasure I found in books.
Oh, I have friends enough,
Cyberspace buddies
Who've found me out
There in the void,
Who read and quote me.
But that's not the fame
I was looking for, certainly
Not the fortune. I have not made
A penny a poem in a lifetime.

What I did find was a way
To hone my mind, spend my time,
A reason and enthusiasm
To follow many curious roads
Exotic foot paths, trails,
Leading into the brush
Of my mind, untrammeled,
Untamed off shoots, side shoots
Fairly frequently a fortnight
Ahead of the pack, enjoying,
Like masturbation, a solitary
Pleasure. Neglected, frowned upon
By those of the tenured path.

The world has got more cramped,
More criminal, more owned
By the greed and possession mongers.
There's hardly a place left
For a wayward thought
But a doorway pre-claimed
By the homeless. Scandal
Salaciousness have their audience.
Thumping music and howling
Song share the air with bells
And whistles, the tsunamis
Of traffic, machinery, the caws
Of the million crows, the screeches
Of seagulls, the mandatory
Preoccupation with coin counting
The tabla rasa of the soul.
I used to blame the British,

Those colonizers. For a long time
I blamed them for the ruination
Of the world, the siphoning off
Of difference, for the murder
And enslavement of the races.
But then the blaze of two planes
And two falling towers highlighted
The fuzz in our own navel,
The stink of rotting morals,
The putrefaction at the core.
Thus it was and ever shall be.
Times were not worse before,
Nor were they any better.

Is this that much sought after
Goal of life? To have the eyes
Pried open ever so slowly, ever
So painfully to recognize that goodness,
Truth and beauty, freedom and compassion
Are merely the placating words of murderers,
Enslavers, that the lie is total in this world
And in my own heart. Even my kitten Shiva
Is half malicious, blood drawing, a tiger,
The other half soft-pawed and purring.
The earth supports us and opens it jaws
Periodically to consume us or blast us back
To our constituent molecules. Is that
The lesson? Is that the goal of consciousness?
To learn that the division goes right to the core?
Is the core. To learn, as Sadhus know,
That there is nothing to do but sway

To the rhythm of the way things are,
Will ever be, sit in contemplation
Of the spectacle, enjoy the ephemeral view,
Dubious knowledge, dubiosity of hope
Dubiously conceived around dubitable thoughts
Dubitably executed. Dubitancy of motive of
Dubitant leaders, dubitate followers,
Dubitating ethics, dubitatingly initiated.
Dubitation the result, dubitative the future.
Dreams are gone, hopes are dead
Life goes on, nothing changes,
Nothing remains the same.
I still can't figure out why I go on

Entertaining myself at the concert,
The on-going-ness of life. It is still impossible
To believe that life is as ornately simple
As it turns out to be: Like a murder case
Requiring only motive, means, opportunity --
As fitting to life as to death. What will be will be.
What is is. Chance plays with dice.
Dice rule the world. To what end? --
You well may ask. To the end of motion
And pattern, energy's release.
To be so unrecognized, to have lived
so long, written so much, to remain
unheard, humanity's anguished heart
has frozen like a ball. Dubitatively
Forming duble by dublers. The dublet heart
Cries against dubment, against duboisine,
Fate dubs each invisible.

Where will the anguish lead? Lay down
Your ploughshares, sheath your sword,
Nothing happens, but what happens
Today. Content yourself with your
Contentable life, wishing, striving
Produces nothing, there is no content
Tomorrow. The dubster plays us all
Dubul what we are, Dubya is what
We will be given a dubylle chance.
I'm not what I wanted to be. I'm not
What I seem. I am what I am
And finally may be
Content to be.



If we anticipate earthquake
If we predicted a tsunami
If we see fire
If we forecast flood
If we fear a tornado
We evacuate the people.

We rescue the people
From the shaking earthquake
From the howling tornado
From the drowning of tsunami
From the sweep of a flood
From the blaze of fire.

Armageddon is brimstone and fire
Bush's choosing good and evil for people,
His war will cause a flood
0f corpses and cripples like an earthquake
3,000 bombs will tsunami
The land, one person per bomb, will tornado

Iraq's world, equal the Twin Towers, a tornado
Of disaster. Bush and Hitler call such fire
Bombing "shock and awe." Power no God, no tsunami
would vent on His people.
In such a premeditated earthquake,
In such a blood flood

Why do we not shield people from the tornado
Rage of a madman who, in a flood
Of righteousness, will make the earth quake
To avenge his Pa, to snatch oil from the fire
To topple a man he deems more evil to his people
Than himself. This Herculean tsunami

Of aggression we watch gather his strength to tsunami
Millions without hope of rescue from the flood.
Billions can be spent, but not to rescue the people.
Tear them with tornado.
Sear them with fire.
Bury them with earthquake.

But offer no rescue from the pre-planned tornado,
Don't shield them from fire.
Don't protect them from earthquake.

Be about your righteous mission, Bush, make the earth quake.
Your hatred, madness against millions will fire
Armageddon's tornado.





At just below seventy its scrumptious to know
that one is all but irrelevant to this society.
No one needs you, no one wants you.
I even begin to expect less
of myself.

After the Iraq War started I heard a psych-type
define Battle Shock (BS for short)
as usually happening to young
warriors -- who get so
stressed out

that they want to run and hide. Not just from
enemies, but everyone, every human
alive -- the creators, all of them,
of this horror we
live within.

"Life!" I thought!
The definition of my life:
progressive abandonment of every
outpost, back-turning on every human: brother, father,
husband, lover, man, child, mother, sister, woman, friend.

higher, higher, higher,
away from humans, into the works of humans,
the intricate, awesome works of humans embroidered
in space on the loom of time, the expendable, large, drifting loom

-- for a moment -- in infinity
between the shifting subduction of the plates,
the fiery expansion of the trenches, the explosions
of the mountains, the deluge of the glaciers, the catastrophic floods.

One looks upon our works and weeps. If humans could do that, why
could they not love one another? Yet, I suppose, like my
battle-shocked self, the question is
backwards. Humans love each
other's works

too much, covet them, crave to possess the unpossessible, will kill
to possess, possess more, possess most, unable to conceive
that, like the dinosaurs, they were created
to be spectators, to enjoy the beauty
of the world.

Or, on the other hand, like the dinosaurs, because they eat a lot, they
are dangerous to themselves, the environment, others.
We have little evidence that dinosaurs fought
each other since they

million years, about sixty-seven
million more than we have -- so far. They seem
to have been in harmony with their environment. What
does harmony mean along the food chain? I eat, you eat, we all eat.

the woe? Maybe our biggest problem
is in inventing compassion. I eat, you eat,
we all eat? Why make it a problem? I die, you die, we all die, why
claw our cheeks? We have let our sorrow define our humanity. Was

that wise?

I ask the basic questions over and over and over again? Why? Because
I suffer from Battle Shock? Alone, I have no one to talk to but
my computer. It has certain rules, I have certain rules.
I only "get involved" with it, when I forget
to obey the rules.

Otherwise, it leaves me alone, does what I ask, serves as an exteriorizer
of memory. Memory! Ayii! Human's wounding compassion will
last as long as memory -- 'til all the walls are sand again,
the mortar melted from the bricks, bodies
burned to ash.

The earth's core will bubble, its mantle will ooze, extrude, it's crust will
one day erode back to nature. Erased will be the skyscrapers,
the rock-cut caves, the ribbons of transport,
and the transports of delight

in the bosom
of humans by the twitter of birds
in the trees. Did the dinosaur's heart twitter as it became bird,
archaeopteryx, took to the skies, abandoned its great girth, became
satisfied with flight and song? Would they, O long-lived species, have

without smugness earth's swallowing,
eight billion years hence -- by the sun -- a bit
of a while after man has eliminated his own species
with smart bombs, intelligent zappers of electronic systems.

Even as
I write. The total destruction
of human thought, both en-computered and in-truth
hovers heavily over my shoulder, like Poe's "Nevermore." So far we
hesitate to "fry" their systems because, doing so, we would fry our own. We have not

yet managed "smart" electronic erasers. We can blow up Bamyan with a set
charge, we can attempt a blow up of Baghdad with fallout from
Hitler's policy of "shock and awe." Indeed, what was more
shocking and awesome than the Twin Towers

We are democratic in our willingness to share our weaponry with one
another. We are one. Our only enemy is ourselves. Will we
be able -- in time -- to "love one another right now?"
Are the "bird-descendants," the Battle-Shocked
humans ready

for flight?
into space?
into the sun?
into everlasting


*Oblivion, n. "1. the state of being completely forgotten. 2. the state of forgetting completely. " Random House Webster's Dictionary, 1998, 3rd Edition, p. 496



from The 2002 Poems

beginning with



Just a few days after
the Enron Scandal breaks
the headlines announce:
Like old Papa Bush
who, fainting in Japan,
ended up with his face
in a plate in the wake
of an automobile
crisis. They seem to
sicken by what they
feed on. Corporate greed?
Internal combustion?
Their world screwed up like
a salted pretzel,
an intricate web of
favors and desires,
assassination threats
against Florida Jeb
(an unsuccessful
tactic, if ever there was,
to which the world paid
scant attention, yawned)
-- and the devious Cheney
with a heart condition.
God bless America.

Now the WTO, viper nurtured in the breast
of American Capitalism, turns against
our Corporate Giants, Microsoft, Boeing. To
lose Tax Benefits? -- to be sued by fellow Giant
AOL -- can it happen to the richest man
in the World? Eat well, Giant Cannibals. God bless



Go girls go!
Lead the way!
Get out of here!
Get out of it!

"The Ministry of Health plans to fight suicides by limiting access to pesticides..."
"But experts say rural women [in China] need other help, particularly counseling."*
My dear Martin Fackler, idiot man,
they need a reason to live!
You try being a slave,
a piece of property,
see if you don't
rush for the exit.

What I can't understand
is why most women
commit suicide.

from almost the beginning of time.
Pesticide for the "pests"
seems a natural solution.
Go girls go!
Teach the rest of us!
To escape.
Let men and their infernal greed own the earth.
Let's go elsewhere!

*"Suicide rate for Chinese women is high" by Martin Fackler, AP, in the Northwest Asian Weekly, 4-13-02

A study recently published in The Lancet estimated, 157,000 Chinese women die by suicide every year [ Not a lot out of 6 billion, many of whom are treated like farm cattle -- maybe worse.] On the other hand, Lithuanians (men and women) kill themselves at almost double the Chinese rate.



I think I am opting out.
The medical profession thinks
I am anxiety ridden and depressed.
My riposte is: You'd have to be crazy
not to be anxious and depressed
in a post 9/11 world run by
a non-elected madman
who thinks he can go
king-making in every other
country if they don't agree with
us, call them The Axis of Evil,
bomb them into oblivion.

The world has not seen
such mindless aggression
against its people since Pol Pot,
sure-footed on the footpath blazed
by Genghis Khan
and the old testament
heroes who
went into "Enemy" villages and slew
"every man, woman, child and cow."

It was ever thus.
You'd have to be mad
not to be anxious and depressed.
opt out into the illuminated
sunshine world of cottonwood
shadows on the wall.
The bliss of not being here.
When the sun doesn't shine,
I am not here.
The shadows are darker than my heart.
My pain is illuminated by
the blankness of being.

Copyright © 2003 through 2015 Jan Haag
Jan Haag may be reached via e-mail:


April Is The Cruelest..., 04-04-03

Battle Shock or Can You Handle Freedom, 03-27/29-03

Go Girls Go, o6-06-02

Hants, 01-14/12-13-03

Icon/Shrub, 01-15/16/25-02

I Want To Know, 11-09/10-03

Lament II, 01-27/28/12-13-03

Mangonel, 02-12-03

March, 02-16-03

Mass Demonstration, 02-15-03

Mataeology, 02-08/09-03

Memoried, 02-15/17-03

Metonic, 02-25-03

Mezentian, 02-14-03

Minuscule, 02-10-03

Mon, 02-20-03

Monetize, 02-21-03

Money, 02-18/19-03

Monger, 01-29-03

Moslings, Morsel, 02-22-03

Mosquito, 02-04-03

Music And Madness, 02-17-03

Opting Out, 08-30-02

Pre-Armageddon Sestina, 03-15/26-4/06-03

Sestina For Thoreau, 03-03/04-03






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