BY JAN HAAG

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

HAAG'S BIO

ART & POETRY - ACCUMULATIONS


THE 2004 POEMS

INDEX



BELIEF

#01
01-06/07-04

The greatest joy beneath the sky
is watching Shiva-purna,
lying flat as a squashed frog,
his head stuck through
the brown-bag's-handle,
attack
-- dragging the rattling bag --
the vitamin bottle's white plastic ring,
beneath the clipped twigs of the black bamboo,
strewn on the floor,
having overturned the juice-bottle-vase
set there to tempt him,

while I, warm,
-- maybe even too warm --
comfortable, lie on my cushions,
cocooned in my comforter,
on a snowy morning reading Ved Mehta's
1963, tempest in a teapot:
The New Theologian
proving
or not proving, as the case may be,
some minor theological point
as to whether or not
God does or does not exist.

1963
is the same year
that, in San Francisco, it came to be believed
that Plate Tectonic Theory
-- the continents
of the earth,
powered by internal combustion,
had, did and would continue to
move about, re-
configuring
the earth daily --
was true.





OTHER THOUGHTS

#02
01-10-04

Sieved through my consciousness,
my knowledge of the world
has become my poetry.

I have spent most of my life
in schools, colleges, universities,
centers of study, but escaped

the insistent force to think as they do,
in exchange for neglect,
a certain label for weirdness.

You can only fight them from within,
taking decades to overcome what
all agree is outmoded, untruth, lies,

but traditional and, therefore, unassailable
by observant conclusive thinkers
like me.

God has been dead for two generations
now, yet the argument goes on.
Man would rather have

the meat of argument than the bones of truth,
the fun of description than the fact
that the Emperor has no new clothes.

Occupation, entertainment, Diogenes cries
"Don't step between me and my comfortingly
warm sun of belief in nonsense."

Take away the nonsense, certainty, tradition,
the world becomes eerily quiet,
and, in solitude and silence, acceptable.





THE FISHES ARE REFRESHING*

#03
01-10/11-04

Fishes, fishes, O fishes of the sea,
26,000 kinds of fishes
fattened on red, yellow and green scree.

The cat, brown, white and black,
lies on the floor
flattened like a squashed frog.

How many are there now? 6, 7,
8 billion of us? and you're trying to tell me
that a handful** of stout, sinecured German,

Swiss, English, American theologians -- trying to figure out
if they are Christians (the deadliest of all faiths)
and, if so, with or without God, with or without religion:

idiot savants arguing about the color
scheme of the Emperor's new clothes as they
rearranged the chairs on the decks of the Titanic --

should mean even zit to me, us, anyone -- then or now?
Talk about intellectual isolation, as Ved Mehta (one of the best
of 20th/21st century writers) does on page 138 of his "New Theologian"

(1965), regarding Dietrich Bonhoeffer's time in prison, 1943-45,
before Bonhoeffer died in Flossenburg! The squashed frog
has arisen and bats my fingers on the keyboard.

He has as many opinions as a theologian,
meows about the fog moving in from the distant
hills of Bellevue where, earlier in the morning,

it covered all but the tips of the trees,
converting the landscape into an ancient Chinese
painting of spiritual ecstasy.

Some of the fishes -- however many are left -- will find
their way from Lake Washington, through the cut,
through the locks, through the Sound to the sea.


*Their study -- with Professor Pietsch in Biology of Fishes, 311, UW, 2004

**Karl Barth, Eberhard Bethge, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Emil Brunner, Rudolf Bultmann,
David Edwards, William Hamilton, Eric James, D.M. MacKinnon, Reinhold Niebhur,
Arthur Michael and Ian Ramsey, John Robinson, Nicholas Stacey, Paul Tillich,
Paul van Buren, A.R. Vidler


DISEASE

#04
01-11-04

I guess I will eventually give up in despair
but not at the moment
!@#$%^&*()!

every single little god-damned thing that goes wrong
I'm going to protest
!@#$%^&*()!

I'm going to protest and protest and protest
'til the cows come home
!@#$%^&*()!

right on up here to the fifth floor, mooing
bellowing, hoofing it
!@#$%^&*()!

Maybe I have Tourettes Disease.
If so, I have it in spades!
!@#$%^&*()!

Every time the doorknob catches my sleeve -- it's not even
a knob anymore, it's a spear-headed latch!
!@#$%^&*()!

Every time the jar lid leaps! Every time I stumble
over the seen or unseen crack!
!@#$%^&*()!

Every time I forget on the other side of the room
why I got there! why I set out!
!@#$%^&*()!

What time it is or where I am supposed to be! What I
just read! Even took time to memorize!
!@#$%^&*()!

"...then it all disappears," like snatching away the final chessman
in the classic Holographic experiment,
!@#$%^&*()!

We hear little about The Holographic Theory of the Brain now-a-days,
but I remember it,
!@#$%^&*()!

and the possibility of putting the Japanese National Library
on a sand-grain-sized chip!!!!
!@#$%^&*()!

I've come this far on my own. Now I need an eyedropper full
of holographic sand-grains -- Don't! Holy God!! Spill Them!!!
!@#$%^&*()!

Why is it that I can laugh at the leaping salmon-cat
breaking all my glass and ceramic,
Ha! ha! ha! ha!

without one backward thought, but cannot bear the sidewalk
reaching up to skin my knee,
!@#$%^&*()!

coffee or orange juice, mango or some God-damned thing
making me itch, day and night
!@#$%^&*()!

the computer opening my poems in Greek!!!!!!
or cutting off in Zip archives, the last lines!!!!
!@#$%^&*()!

O Universe! O Divine Laws! What did I ever
do to you, to deserve such pranks!
!@#$%^&*()!

Daily, hourly, as if I had nothing better to do than long for Heaven
where all the whys and wherefores
!@#$%^&*()!

will be laid out on double pages, as in the vast ledgers of India, which I can read,
at leisure while burning my tongue on the too-hot tea,
and, at last, know!!!!!
why.
!@#$%^&*()!

And how I might have stopped it!

*Tourrets -- Encouraging news: "Tourette Syndrome is neither a progressive nor
degenerative disorder; rather, symptoms tend to be variable and follow a chronic
waxing and waning course throughout an otherwise normal life span."


MOON

#05
01-12-04

One of the most beautiful sights in the world
is pre-dawn, from my high window
looking at the brilliantly illuminated city
reflected in the serene glass of Lake Union.

Man, in the distance and in the aggregate,
can be exquisite, but bump into him in
the wind-blown, paper-strewn streets,
head down and ice-cold, left to be

homeless by his fellow-men... Ah stay
in your tower, angel of speculation,
stay here out of the wind, stay here,
heart still intact, watching the cerise

of the sunrise replace the three
quarter waning moon, with a tear
drop of Venus below it, sparkling
in ecstasy above the mirroring world.





LUCKY ME

#06
01-13-04

I look at the strings of illuminated rubies
running south
and the illuminated diamonds
racing north
and realize even Shah Jahan, love
sick, rich, could
not have given such necklaces to
Mumtaj Mahal,
could not, even then (1631),
keep her
from dying of too much love.*

The world has been made sparkling
by our inventions.
I have been made constantly comfortable
in my eyrie,
been created eagle, to watch the pre-dawn
and midnight
traffic forming insubstantial, 50 mph, jewels,
far away from
hunger, far away from cold, guarded
all around with
privilege, while billions of homo sapien sapien's starve.

The Italian's are, also, at it again -- Parmalat having
bilked billions of lira,
beyond even the wildest imagination of an Enroni,
yet their boss, NPR is eager
to tell us, lives modestly, no "pleasure domes"
for him.
And once again the bejeweled thoughts in my head
halt! Why?
Why rob hundreds of thousands of people of their food,
their shelter
when you don't even want to spend it, Calisto Tanzi -- schemer!!

Berlusconi!!! -- power-mad as Bush and his cronies.
*Mumtaj Mahal died
giving birth to her 14th!!!! child.
Restrain yourselves,
gentleman. Such lust for other people's
livelihoods and women's
bodies, will crash the world about your ears
and, lucky me,
while the jewels run, I get to watch, I get to hear of deaths
by drowning,
deaths by starvation, deaths by bombing, deaths by disease,
deaths created and maintained
by all you guys lusting to conquer the world and your complicit wives.





NEUTRINOS

#07
01-14/15-04

"They do not play any role in atomic structure but move freely, passing through all matter in their path.
Many of the neutrinos observed by scientists have been those that follow the rays of the sun and pass through the Earth."
U.W. physicist pushes for neutrinos facility, by Andrew Sengul, The Daily, January 13, 2004, Page 1.

Not much to add to that for the beauty of the visual poetry:
tiny things riding within or on sunbeams, penetrating the earth
more easily than air touches my lungs.

We can't see them, we can't feel them: no weight, no charge, no mass
and the spin of 1/2 -- they haunt me in my day dreams and nightmares,
they speak to me compellingly -- like the lines of an unwritten poem.

All around us, passing through us, they account for more weight
in the universe than we do. Far more. Like dark matter.
98% of the universe is dark matter and, so far, not to be found.

Like love -- everybody talks about it, few, if any, see it,
feel it, live it, know its meaning. I, for one, never use the word,
for it reminds me of those half dozen horrible, stressful, anguished

romances (in the fashion of the movies) that I endured, sought out,
craved right up to my 50th year, when I, still in torment,
over losing my last love, walking across a grocery-store parking lot,

on my birthday made a solemn observation, even somewhat
of a vow, of: "No more!" -- no more loves in my life, no more
romance, no more throbbing devastations to my peace of mind.

And I've been rather successful. Each loveable man I have met since
then, I think it's two or three, I have managed to elaborate a friendship -- not love
-- infrequent talks, walks, they usually have wives to take care of sex.

Until recently. Now, like neutrinos passing into my blood stream,
slowly spiraling, as in a cyclotron, residue of Yoga study with Bill,
love particles are peripherally perceptible. How does this manifest?

In his class, in his yoga, he makes me feel loved and treasured,
appreciated, supple and beautiful again, all within my own body.
For that two hours, working out the stiffness, working in the harmony,

I feel love and at peace, as if, when I learn to make this feeling last
through days, weeks, possibly years, when I can practice alone, each day,
eventually I will know the feeling of what it is to love another human,

be able to penetrate into what this babble about love in this world
of strife, stress and drama is -- why its good reputation? when it manifests
so many frightening horrors. Conceal yourself, O Love! like the neutrino.

Occupy the world, be the dark matter, teach us union with our bodies,
teach us to know, to pass through the earth, to irradiate the hearts
of all humans -- not with the counterfeit coin of Hollywood romance,

but with the weightless, massless, chargelessness of subatomic particles
gleaned from love movements, breath and stretch, from the dearest gift
of all, the (for the most part, unappreciated and hardly noticed, human) body.





"One Suicide Too Many" It's time to recognize this is a virtual epidemic and do something about it." Philip Dawdy, Seattle Weekly, January 14-20, 2004, page 19-30

FOR GOD SAKE LET THEM GO


#08
01-15-04

Let them go. Let them go,
there are eight billion of us,
As in high finance, a million
or two seems a very small sum.

Have you never heard: "Live fast,
die young and leave a good looking
corpse."? It's worth thinking about.

I've spent my whole life (70 years) thinking
about suicide, and now that I have cheered
up, I rather miss the entertainment,
the company of the thoughts,

but it, the good cheer, certainly doesn't
lessen the intention of being a suicide
myself when the time comes.

Dear Mr. Dawdy, you've had the entertainment,
the company of the thoughts for lo these
many years. Certainly the bill will come due.
Other civilizations have had other thoughts about suicide.

We must pay the price for our obsession with turning
an option into a negative. Do you want some silly
psyche doctor meddling around in your head?

or in your guts for useless, expensive, pharmaceutical
blood money? When the pain of living is overwhelming,
let those who wish, go peacefully. If help is needed, humane
ways of suicide are where (all that useless) study-money should go.
Or
create a society in which people actually do want to live.





LAGRANGE POINT 2

#09
01-16-04

"At this spot, the gravity of Earth and the Sun are in balance." NYT, 9/11/02, p.27

This is where, 940,000 miles from Earth,
the new Webb Telescope will hang out,
at minus 370 degrees, to capture images
of the earliest days of the universe, about
14 billion years ago, and search for dark
matter, that unseen 90% of everything
we do or don't know.

"Cool," you say. In 2010
we will, if we still exist, send it off on its
three month's journey into an orbit we
can't possibly imagine. Will creatures
come later with more balance and
more imagination, less intent on
making space, once thought
to be heaven,
a way station to hell?
Find your spot on the Web and wonder.





EINTOU

#10
01-18-04

I have,
among the old
days, new oblivion.
My thoughts have flattened out like my
computer screen. What now
takes two inches
used to

take two
long, gray feet and
brilliant, iridescent
blue to make prosaic statements
of the true -- half way through
oblivion
to black.

Eintou form: syllabic/wordcount: 2-4-6-8-6-4-2, suggested by Akintiunde Kofi Camara


EINTOU II

#11
01-19-04

I stridulate,
you scream indignation's violence,
my neighbor strangles in red-tape riots,
our government efficiently silences people here and abroad.
Crushable, insects to their carrion birds,
lynchees to their mobs,
dead meat,

we support
their malodorous, rhetoric-laden idealism.
Dubya's STATE OF THE UNION is
scheduled for tomorrow. I heard it today from
Martin Luther King's April, 4, 1967,
Riverside Church, "WAR" speech
.
Change one

word, from
Vietnam to Iraq. I
also heard comment on the anniversary
of his assassination: "Nothing has changed!" Speak clearly,
speak loudly, stridulate to the world.
They grind up tiny
insects for

Mad Cowboy
food, feed it to
the poor, soldiers, those unable to
get out of this war-machine's HUM-V-way. Declare your
side! Die with us or slave
on in an uranium-rich,
dead world.





EINTOU III

#12
01-24-04

Blank mind
again, again
ending up on George Bush,.
a perfect puppet, pull his strings
and, unbothered by truth,
reality,
moral

purpose,
he'll talk with God,
receive commands, decree
war, death, destruction without qualm,
undeterred by reason,
democracy,
or thought.





EINTOU IV

#13
01-25-04

Imagine spending
your whole life getting
richer and richer and, when richer,
feeling compelled to get richer still, and richer.
It's a good thing Fort Knox
houses the gold. Where
would you

put it
if you had billions
of pounds in gold? Surely not
in your sock. If you were richer still
could you eat one more meal
every day? Sleep in
two beds?

Pee in
multiple pots? Wear two
suits? My uncle did that -- poor
as the poor -- for warmth, I suspect, possibly
for laughs, But surely, they heat
the White House, would
lend even.

Bush a
blanket, even after he
has ripped all the blankets from
the dead, from the world's freezing poor sleeping
on the frozen ground. Let's bury
the White House under
golden fuel-rods.

Let him,
with Strangelove, ride his
enriched uranium into the barren sea
dive beneath the inundated land, clasping his WMDs
to his heart and explode with
power in his oily
gold greed.





EINTOU V

#14
01-25-04

The world,
crystalline structured, is dense
and surprisingly permeable but patterned, complete.
Wend your way in the forest of facets.
My beloved eyrie, a jewel box
of incandescent orange menace,
sly black,

shimmers, closes
around the sparkling night,
complete. Mine, but I'm excluded. All
the molecules got here before me, occupied my
space, left no invitation, humored me.
The orange tree declares
it's humanness.

To be
human is to be
orange, flecked with dashes of red
Luminous like the 4 o'clock sun within, reflecting
rejecting crystals. There's no room. But
welcome. Dark matter turns
out bright.

The rocking
chair with its three-dimensional
black slats imitates the lumber from
which it came. Soon we'll grow it by
nanotechnology, byte by byte, making it
greedy to avoid a
scented treeness.




EINTOU VI

#15
01-26-04
Living, dying,
it is a hoot.
Opinions all around suffused in air,
laws dark and deep as the sea incarnadine,
one blind human rudely tows another,
offers sympathy where only
silence speaks.
Light, darkness,
from the other side
seeps beneath the crimson piled carpet
rife with design, pattern, pity, peace and dark
blue threads, reaching for the splashing
sunshine, orangeness of dawn,
answered questions.








EINTOU VII

Pancha Karma

#16
01-27-04
Lets try
some more of this
dialogue form, back and forth, back
and forth. I keep thinking about there not
being space, room in the universe
for me, the crystals,
the facets
being too
close, dense for me
to penetrate. But that can't be
How can I, I, a flame alone, stand
beyond the universe? Get in there
and swim, swim through
the crystals,

swim upstream
through the black brilliance
the luminous orange and veridian green,
the shimmer, the sparkle and God's gutsy roar.
Listen to the tinkling, but there's
no sound, none. Sound
none. Sound,
play out
the line, catch crystals
in grass. The stream runs cold,
ice bells ring through the woods, swim through
the structure, slip into the molecular
grid, half as dense
as you.
Climb down
the cliff side, climb
up the ridge, negotiate hemispheres edges,
talk with the roaring silence of the spherical
God, dog paddle swiftly down stream,
stand on the ice,
guarantee death.












EINTOU VIII

#17
01-28-04
Cold comes
in the winter under
the dawn-edged, gray-blue canopied, silent sky;
the temperature, crystalline snow, falls hour by hour,
almost visible, crackling in the air,
lying upon the land
bitter cold.
Broken cold
dominates my sad heart.
Nothing mitigates the indigo and purple
lying deep in the pulsating hope of
a broken heart, still
cold, breathing.
Warm thoughts,
like warm mittens covering,
my scrubbed raw, red hands lift
the circulating melt-water round and round my brain
advancing arguments for faith and hope,
reviving slowly, respiratory survival,
alive, warm.
Stay warm,
cries the worm, fat
and loose in the moldering soil,
enjoy the neutrinos' fall, igniting your deep realm.
Unidentifiable dark matter chants of harm
constantly released ageless, unapparent,
warm, strong.
Hot flumes
exist under the seas.
Volcanoes, rifting ridges, in the blackness,
eviscerate the earth's heart heat, speeding up time
slowing down the brilliant, pluming sun.
There'll be a cooling,
ending hot.
Fiercely hot,
until the last moment
of human-free time. O whirling sun-ball,
when we leave, who will appreciate your travail?
Who will look into your tear-drawing
brilliance, feel the heat,
hot torment?
WORKING ON THE SPACING IN HERE 4-30-06, 7-10-07

EINTOU IX

#18
01-29/30-04



















They've changed
all the names: areas,
streets, roads, swamps, mountains, and streams.
The Michigan Curve, The 405, Meadowbrook, Emerald Downs,
I know not where they are:
the blackberries, the blueberries,
the perch.
After seventy
years, they've co-opted my
memories, re-made my land, cut down
my forests, chased my cougars, scattered money in
the streets, laced billions of cyber-bytes
throughout the molecular patterns
I loved
in the
universe. Forcing me to
change loves, change lives, divert my
muse's musings around villages I knew, now gleaming,
high-tech, glossy, glamorous suburbs. Condos stand
where we tramped with
black, white-pawed
Bootsy through snowy
forests for Christmas trees,
scrambled over logs and brush for
blackberries -- not the evergreens! that the newbees pick. But the real, wild, conical, Northwest
blackberry -- and the pale
orange-pink huckleberry
which grows
no other place: vaccinium
parvifolium,
not sweet, not sought --
though its delicate lace of a bush glorifies
our white alder woods -- its tang,
in huckleberry pancakes teases
the tongue.
Where Bell
town was has become
a condo-canyon. Uncle Freddie climbed Pilchuck
nineteen times. He was not afraid to walk
in the woods alone, to acknowledge
the animals. Now it's
a terrifying
place to
meet the terrible human.
Bells ring no more. Too many
die to pay attention. Gobbets of body parts
reclaimed are offered to satisfy remembrance,
longing, love. We're not
to go
into the
sea to feed fishes.
Separation from nature is urged, often
demanded, cannot be helped, is aided by the
new names. We no longer know
where we're going, where
we've been.
Like salmon
going upstream we leap
the dams, the locks, passionate with
new life we oppose the rapids and find
our habitat clear-cut, the stream full
of tailings -- too shallow
to spawn.
So I
keep a cougar: my
buff, beige, brown, light-eyed Shiva-purna cat
who daily draws blood -- his idea of tender,
loving play more ruddy than my
own. Menaced, I shield
my heart.






























EINTOU X

#19
01-31-04
U.S.A., America,
shot like a rocket
into the sky of Imperialism! Empire!
stood there, arms akimbo, bases in every land,
WMDs pointed in all directions, including
toward its own pulluating,
pulvinated heart.
What is
wrong with Islam? cries
the rational brain? They recite -- but
to music -- the same, water-well and sand, homely,
fairy-folktale stories of the ancient desert
as the Christians do.
Why squabble?
What was
the quarrel back then --
before oil? Was it always greed?
Who did Mohammed worship before he became God's
amanuensis? Was he the Second Coming,
itself? while Christians clung
to primogeniture?
Has man
nothing better to do
than war for his invincible invisible
invention? There's Shiva-purna again, swatting the lid off
the counter, spoiling for a fight,
white paws battering my
vulnerable hands.
Lid flung
into space bounces on
the rug, he demands attention like
the Skull and Bone boys -- find them at
Yale -- lying about at midnight, universe-awed
longing to possess, crucify,
dominate everything!
But unlike
the Tibetans, who wanted
damsels -- and plenty of them, Christian
(talking to God) Fundamentalists cry and legislate for
holy abstinence. With live birth assured
for all cannon-fodder, woman-borne --
perpetual war,
perpetual violence,
is their ravenous creed,
their entertainment. Blood brothers to terrorism,
grab the world, squeeze it dry of all
nourishment for the poor. Jesus, himself,
said the poor will
always be...
As long
as there are rich
there will be the poor. See
to it! Who else will fight their wars?
Blessed are the poor for they
shall see God, whether
or not
they want
to. Shiva-purna now sits
beside my computer, blue-eyed, white ruffed,
white-boot paws stretching out to hook my unsuspecting, computering -- tap tap tapping -- fingers, from
adorable to vicious, in
one claw's
table-shaking strike.
The demand for play-killing
of the feather-bird goes on. Meow
and meow, needle stabs. I'm called to play
God of the battle. Arjuna was
told that he must
do what
he must
do. Destiny. Even (or
especially) as Gandhi's non-violence gifted Britain
with the opportunity to exercise their barbaric proclivity
for murder, our wild urge to
broadcast democracy (as we
know it)
gives us
opportunity to pulverize all
but the Skull and Bones hoodlums
of the earth. Nay, calls for it; nay,
insists. The 200 that are left
when the uranium clouds
drift high,
will, if
their timetable works, take
off for Mars with ammunition, murder
in their greed-riddled breasts, their caste intact, knowing
that, as one earth-person can have
a fortune (income) greater
than all
the total
income (fortune) of everyone
in Africa, they can re-establish this
wondrous, much to be desired, state of affairs
throughout the known and unknown universe,
recreate God in their
own image.
Like gape
and suck fish, they
are supplied with pharyngeal teeth to
shred prey that eludes their insatiable, vacuous needs.
I'd better stop now before I
find all things possible --
and permissible.













EINTOU XI

#20
01-31-04
I sit
with my coffee, eyes
scanning desert, horizon, the sun's decline
hearing the music, despising the music, the kryias
it stirs in my vacated heart,
the longing, the sorrow,
the dirge
sung along
the Falgu river beneath
dry crackling fronds. I want to
be there again, in the dirt, the dryness
the dust, abstaining from thought
breathing in heat, expelling
heritage in
my hermitage,
in my hermetic mind.
Am I sitting in the dust
in the heat, a dried and desiccated corpse?
Do I feel only with skeletal
fingers? Do I watch
with only
socketed eyes?
The language has invented
itself for my use, my plaything,
a dildo for self love and abuse. In
our backward society we speak only
of AIDS, pregnancy, condoms
crime, rape
and despair
when describing sex to
our daughters, drugs to our sons,
as if the positive, the pleasure, the reason
for experiencing anything at all shouldn't
exist, has a pull
so irresistible
we dare
not admit it without
dashing the sign of the cross
against the devils who inflame our souls beneath
our inflexible, hardened, belt-pushing, shameful, unconfessable
blushing desires. We don't
have a
Kama Sutra
in the West for
it would be immoral to enjoy
such fleeting pleasures as flesh is prone to.
An unusual position some would say,
for a woman in
the West.






FIBONACCI

#21
02-02-04

Sunflower
Look into
the eye of
the whirling big-headed straight-stalked sunflower.
Some grow so big you can use them
as umbrellas, lolling between you and the rigorous, ancient, golden, parching, Grecian sun.



In repsonse to my Desolation Poems, Poetic Forms Used in English, the Fibonacci form
was suggested to me by Gary in an e-mail of March 28, 2002. It is 1 2 3 5 8 13.





FIBONACCI II

#22
02-03-04

Dense
with memories
I wander through
the illuminati morning of Seattle.
I drag my ever renewable strength behind me,
the living and the dead, mourning them less than the shyness of Rainier.

She
can hide
in the gray clouds
completely, from Cascades to Olympics --
elusive mountains also present only in diurnal memory,
accepting the snow each time it rains to sequester themselves in the clouds.

Today
100 feet
from the ground
from the nunnery's top floor
I see Seattle's morning buildings illuminated from the
west. The Olympics, snatching sunrise, shimmer pristine in white shrouds, reflecting the sun.





FIBONACCI III

#23
02-05-04

WARNING!!!

Prevent!
THAT CAT

from having adventures!
Or immediately notify Jan the
Jailer.
To prevent HIM getting used to Performing
in the Chapel and becoming an intolerable SHIVA-PURNA wag -- with that insouciant tail.

P.S. HE spent the night of 02-04-04 in the Chapel -- cavorting, I presume --
and came home with dirty paws, dirty belly,
to say nothing about a
heart-rending wistfulness to
repeat the
adventure.

HE
thinks HE
can make up
for everything by being adorable,
affectionate, coy, but I assured HIM that is
unbecoming in a cat of HIS exalted name. Nor is it my intention

to watch HIM spend the whole next day licking the dust out of
HIS fur coat, pretending HE missed us enormously
and doing penance by sitting
at the tightly
CLOSED Chapel
door.




Posted on the Attic Artists of the Nunnery's hallway door into the Chapel.






FIBONACCI IV

#24
02-05-04

Roots
is wrong
as a metaphor for
old, stable, traditional, come-from, enduring.
Roots, as a form of meaning, must come
from now, living -- the new hairy fibers thrusting into the earth, the living

part
of big
old roots, nourishing,
immediate, flourishing right now so
the leaves can leaf, can grow from red
to green and back again, green to red and dead, but the roots

remain alive, sucking at the earth, absorbing the rain, sustaining those leaves overhead.
It's a full time job being a root,
a little hairy root, daddy-root
is just something
to grow
from,

nothing
to remember,
nothing to worship
and sing hymns to. Roots
are too busy fingering through the soil, pushing
molecules, growing chains of what we're made of: hydrogen, oxygen, twisting, long helices,

long enough to bind round the earth layer upon layer round and round.
You might look on all creation as small,
active, attenuated layers, moving about
weaving who knows
what. But
roots?

They
move with
us, grow in
rhythm with the tree, die
when the tree dies, live and grow while
the branches flourish, make the twigs and the leaves, and the flowers vibrate

with enough life to need more roots -- grown on demand, sprouted at a molecular
command. Go go go cries the chlorophyll, go
cries carbon dioxide go go
cry the fibers.
The roots
grow.

Excited by worms, twisting between the fruity crumbles of new earth, what else
can they be expected to do? They grow
with the tree, are the
tree -- roots don't
exist without
branches.





FIBONACCI V

#25
02-06-04

I
can see
how people past
the age of 70 become
exclusively ensorcelled by the function and failure of
their own body's breakdown, crack up -- sit around day after day after day

replaying
their ailments,
operations, by-passes, replacements,
their digestive peculiarities, aches, pains,
arthritis, insomnia, paranoia, idleness, loneliness, lovelessness and cancer.
I see it in myself, though I luckily got into the habit early

on of turning all of me and my world into words, fleshy little
words arranged in patterns, big orange-red patterns, little
crystal-like linkages, molecular arrays that
are what they
are. Surprise!
Surprise!

Be
a poet!
Escape the world
on a word and a
simulation of the divine, drag out time enough,
knowing there is nothing to do but end it all, all at once.

Ride off into the future which, like the past, 13 billion years old,
won't mean very much when we get there
13 billion foreshortened years from
now, warp speed
warping
us.





FIBONACCI VI

#26
02-06/14-04

Tom
cat loose
in the nunnery,
velvet paws and iron claws
blue-eyed puma, wild animal, the nuns are gone,
black bamboo was brought for you, blood on the floor, purr pussy purr.




















































FIBONACCI VII

#27
02-08/12/14-04


NOVEL READING*

An Ascesis
Reading
Raban, Jonathan --
relentlessly domestic, understated,
ruefully Seattle-detailed, with gloom and self
revelation, with grey skies hovering, known bubble-bursts sidelined,
revolving, flickering, shimmering -- more details -- as dreadful things are anticipated by page 43,
my
heart, heavy,
already in my
throat, coffee-enhanced, grows frightened, trembly.
I don't live on Queen Anne, but my
windows rattle in the gathering, always to be expected, ruthlessly benign, gull-filled stormy
weather.
Will I
waste my Sunday
woefully reading more and on
without tending the things of my own life,
withdrawing into the gratifying, affectless** VR*** of a Seattle book with a Seattle
mind?
With horrid
documentary drama lifted
straight from the newspaper head-
lines, reminding me of the time I tried
to mold my own mind, grasp in my own heart,**** the rapist who chopped
off --
only an
orange moon watching --
one and the other arms
of the girl (who survived). He lived again
outside prison, released once more into "civilization," to muse upon, who knows what,
consuming,
committable phamtasma-g-
oria. The gibbous, growing
moon passed two days a-g-
o, causing me to remember the (in retrospect) frightening
visit of my, 2 a.m. Asian, skirted in my maroon scarf, begging,
in
illuminated tears,
insensate protection from
its pursuing Cambodian, a protection
I could not offer because it wasn't my
infidel prerogative to offer from where, not my home, I was cat sitting.
As
I reassess
now, two years
later, I see such entreaties
might quite well have presaged (perhaps premeditated) throat-slittings.
Or not. Trust is my middle name. Or was. One no longer knows
how
humbly or
hubristically or where
humans are obliged to displace
heart and compassion (beyond the storms that won't
harm you) unto man-made probabilities which can only be master-minded by a man
knowledgeable
of trade-
tangled VR twine,
things so actual-horrid nothing humane
he can invent will displace them, even the
Starbucks-induced, coffee-jitters high, in conjunction with which, and with whom, we are more
likely
living out
ludicrous fate, rappelling,
leveraging up or abseiling -- cautiously --
lowering down, down, like the golden orb arachnids
lustily, unknown to themselves, who can replace steel, accede to spinning-exhaustion with glee.
Benign
fear, wan,
wobbly-paced, grueling suspicion
reared by our man-made condition:
brutality -- in which one human for another human
displays contempt, avarice, cruelty, nastiness, greed and, not surprisingly, comes quickly to own
big
bunchy gobs,
boodles of earth
burdened with oil, inhumanity slicked.
But, writing and reading, I'm made to realize,
beneath the thousand poems, I've not dealt in-depth with my own horrors, saleable
truck.
Through luck
they might work
into being worth a buck
a memorable quease in today's market -- bloated, star-stuck,
never at rest, spectacularly speculative.. I continue pages 43 to 51and sink
comfortably
cocooning myself
carefully in fiction,
catastrophically angry at my fellows
completely ignitable, like a lethal time-bomb, a crazy
creature, deeply sympathetic with the suicide bombers, bemused by how slow this suitable
test
is at
infecting the planet.
Why live under the feet
of the greedy -- with the solution close at
hand -- arithmetic-friendly spelling: a life for a life, a death for a death-text?
Follow
faithfully or
foolishly this abecedarius
full of guilt and abstraction
filling in by scrambling an alphabet for a
fulsome novel, fleshy with fear and fulminations. Hearing footsteps will make me happy.
Xerox
the complex,
duplicitous world. Ax
away the arrogant duplex beaux.
Remind yourself the reason for fear is reflex.
Shadowboxing is meant to divert simple impulses do to. It'll proceed to perplex
just --
judging from
jurisprudence -- such playful
jibes and hurting jabs, like
jottings. It'll be brought forth and scheduled for
jousts through eons of recrimination, lagged about with fine pine staves through my
aorta
-- creating a
difficulty in America
where prevalent lying and dyspepsia
establishes what you should do and what trivia
any man can perpetrate with or without claiming the accumulating progeny. Pro forma
memory,
miracles and
mildly outnumbered odd
Midas applications to God will
marshal in and around the sky where glorious
music will be trumpeted on trumpets, coronets, didgeridoos. Will I know when to
stop
which cop
without a pop
who will insist he mop
each pool of blood, drop by drop
or seek with ulterior intentions to invalidate, then gleefully if not gracefully lop
quadrants,
quasars from
quartz reflecting invisible
quarks aligned queerly in the sky,
quash each hope by the approaching last page,
quackery recorded, unsatisfying, stitched-up fantasies falling drip, drip to the queen's beat and
buzz,
creating fuzz
by a klutz
flourishing absences, who serves ersatz
after giving up coffee while shouting jeez jeez
jeez and cheese, and reminds us of all that stupendous, lurid, cacophonous jazz,
won't,
willingly endured
whenever one wonders
where this will end, wriggling
wanly out of the alphabet wandering and pulling
waxwings from the sky, losing sight of Chinese, boat, stained glass window, dog,
kudzu
and guru,
off to Honolulu
or up the dry Falgu.
So very many of the Tutsi and Hutu
died in the tented world of genocide, covered up, enfolded in a mumu
vision,
variegated with
voluminous flowers and
verve enough to last lifetimes,
vindicated by good words and bad, I variously,
vacillatingly feel I may be ordering... I value nothing but my own death.



*Based on my initial reading of Jonathan Raban's Waxwings
**Page 4, ibid
*** Virtual Reality
****Legends, Histories and Horrors






VARIATIONS ON PRIME*

#28
02-16-04

PONDERERS OF MYSTICISM**


Its
beauty and its
richness seemed to fill all
available space -- and yet I was outside

it.
Its exquisite intricacy,
though absolutely absolute, seemed fluid
-- and, sure enough, I could swim between

its
facets (like circumorbital
angular bones). Its molecules were
too close together to permit me, yet

I
laughed with great
wit and shimmering good cheer,
like the tinkle of a chain-linked fence

of
wind and icicles
I slipped through the sphere,
warmed by the web of black bamboo.

No
moment in eternity
is repeatable, no experience is
replicable, so why did science choose such

odd
criteria for
ascertaining things that
are or are not. Time's
river is a sole certainty step into --
flowing, changing, even bashed by the sea's tide. Fluid molecules, faceted
structure fills space, time and are not interchangeable. I stand with poised wings.
I choose motion, the dance, the once, the only, the nonce, the moment. I sing Nada Bhrama




*The Prime Form: 1 2 3 5 7 11 13,17, was suggested to me by Gardawg ----- via e-mail, 3-28-02,
**Thanks to John Horgan for this splendid phrase in Rational Mysticism, p. 5






PRIME 2

#29
02-17-04

I
wish I
could say it
was true, but it is
only partly true: I never had kids
in this world because I am ashamed that humans have so
trashed this globe, turning paradise into a dung-heap of thievery, power-madness and greed.

I wouldn't want my kids to be maimed, tortured, killed by the players
who rule this world, who want only war, murder, to molest
their fellows -- who've been doing it for
a long time -- finding it
so profitable, why
should they
not?





PRIME 3

#30
02-17-04

I
was amazed
I wasn't told
in time to get there
before all the molecules, interlinking in their
places, had occupied all the space within the crystalline sphere of
all there is. What a hoot it was to comprehend all there is

and
know I
was not a
part of it, not expected,
not rejected, just not a part of
it, belonging elsewhere -- but there was no where else. So where
was I? Observer, uninvited guest on the fringe of the all embracing universe.














PRIME 4

#31
02-19-04


AN ASCESIS

Apparently
we've become
used to feeling's
absence as the wing dips,
as the plane circles, Langewiesche* claims we
see the tilt but that we feel no disturbance to our
balance, we plane riders, we sky riders of the 21st Century. I can
not
yet even
pronounce his name,
nor, fairly frequently, follow his
prose. Perhaps that is because, in a
deceptively simple language, he is talking about things hard to conceive.
One is used to hard-to-conceive things being talked about in difficult languages, or
not at all. We're so used to doing, full-steam under stress, we seldom
think at all -- or feel. We fly, we drive, we ski,
we jump, swim, dance, run, even walk,
but our minds are elsewhere --
down the wirelessness
of our
cellphones.
We're quite used to people galloping along alone talking loudly into the night-time
or sunny air. Animated, one-sided conversations, apparently with the light-years-away stars,
or the sun or the gray clouds,
speed up and pass us
by, while we,
too old
to
go
fast and
too amazed not
to feel, wonder what world
those cell-phoners see -- or feel -- as they
walk my streets talking to Saigon from Seattle, Cambodia from Canada,
Africa from Armageddon, from the land of the "free" to the home of
the brave Iraqis who go on living -- even beneath the waves of shock and awe -- though no
less
awe-ful or
shocked than Americans
who have lost their country,
their sky, their ariel perspective, and now
muck about in the dirt, some trying to understand the pancaking
of the World Trade Towers and others trying to cover it up. Langewieche**
also reported on that scraping clean of the American bone. Or they fly unseeing about the world,
nose to calculator assessing profits to be made on privatizing the world, feel nothing but the weight
of change in the pocket, care for nothing except preventing people from drinking
the rain. We are banking, it seems, toward a tail-spin without
feeling, without even noting the lurch of
the landscape. We balance on
time's point. Desensitized,
numb we
tilt.




*Inside The Sky, William Langewiesche, 1998
** American ground : unbuilding the World Trade Center, William Langewiesche, 2002
















PRIME 5 PROGRESSION

#32
02-21-04


AN ASCESIS

"Most weather lies within the first 20,000 feet of the ground, where gravity compresses the atmospheric mass into a dense soup...* p. 119
Each
morning, getting
out of bed
to face the soup du
jour,
piping hot in the mind, or
cooled to a gelatinous fog, longing to swerve into the storm,
document it, return triumphant, poem waving, defining what is, stretching, turning, each morning
getting
out of
bed into the
atmospheric mass, the dense soup
of possibility and denial. But, of course,
getting out of bed, one never gets beyond that first step
of a thousand miles -- memorialized by the Chinese, counting steps along the Wall.
"There is no graduation from the experience, only an end to each flight."* p.119, Langewiesche
He,
being a
pilot, thinks of
Saint-Exupery as being romantic
and in error but, stepping out of
bed each morning, reality, unlike that Night Flight, begins to unravel.
There are no patterns, no rules except a raft of do nots barged
alongside desire, in there for the ride. No matter how distained or insulted, they return crying: "Renewal!"
"The airplane's forward motion imposes a crude immediacy on our thoughts, so that even when we do not understand the weather, we may pretend that we do."* p.119, Langewiesche, Inside the Sky
First
the coffee--
if we must,
have our drug of choice
to face the day -- or the cat's
arrogant play, The News, highlighting the accelerating disintegration of the world.
Who would have bet on living long enough to see all honesty, honor,
compassion swallowed up by greed. We read about the past with horror, Tamerlane's Tower of Skulls, the
Nazi's Tower of Skulls, the Cambodian Tower of Skulls, the Silent Majority's tower of Christian skulls. "My what a
lot
of skulls!"
remarks the Muse,
excavating deep into the weather's
wind, estimating, knowing, that though there may
be idyll-ing from time to time ("...episodes or scenes of charming
simplicity..."**) the weather will always be with us, close to the ground, where
the body-parts (no definition in **) fall, fertilizer for further incursions into the storm's eye, the storm's laughter --
toes, lips, labia, bones, gelatinous masses, a testis or two falling, falling, drifting into the dangerous zone, the earth's
surface, the desolated, high, fecund landscape of human minds teased by low weather, tempted by flight, watching -- as form and pattern collect, dissolve.***
"The terms 'high' and 'low' refer not to altitude but to pressure..."* p.120, Langewiesche, Inside the Sky, A Meditation on Flight.




*Inside The Sky, William Langewiesche, 1998
** "idyll" Random House Webster's Dictionary, Third Edition, 1998, p. 356-7
*** The Prime Form extended: 1 2 3 5 7 11 13 17 19 23 ad infinitum



















PRIME 6

#33
02-21-04
If
I slow
down enough to
appreciate, to fully understand what
is going on, insanity will surely obstruct
my path. Only by pressing forward at full tilt against stress,
pressure and a blind, bull-head determination can I get through one more day
and
one more
day at speeds
that blur the landscape of
madness within which I hold my finger
to the wind, like an icicle too cold to drip, while
fanning my frothing, oathing anger against the way things are to a blazing
fury,
can I
sleep at night
through the BBC News announcing
in reasonable, well modulated tones, the end
of the world as I know it. No wonder the West
hates the Eastern Guru who sits peacefully still to fully appreciate the thawing
drop
begin, grow,
turn pointed and
tear-like, reflecting sky and earth,
then, when ready, gather enough gravity to
fall soundlessly into the somber sea. One wouldn't want to compromise
one's individuality by becoming part of any ocean. If we follow the recommended
plan,
each drop,
like a single
molecule, will stand alone, dimensionalized,
like the dots in an enlarged news
photo, too greatly dramatized to ever be mistaken as a union:
eight billion individuals and no glue sticking them together in a coherent yoga.
Catch
as catch
can, one must
remain on one's toes to
toss one's net at time's edge, dragging
in on its wave of energy the thoughts to be noted,
lest they become stiff as dead starfish washed, flotsam and jetsam, to shore.
Love
comes galloping
up through windows
of time. Watch carefully lest
the white coverlet, shroud of your yearning,
be torn by the cat of impatience. Mark the threads and
buttonholes, appreciate its similarity to snow. Crawl under its deep warmth. Stay there.






PRIME 7

#34
02-22-04

Head
down, padding
toward me, my
not-so-miniature, tawny cougar stalks in
stiff-legged. Nose to nose, he stops, drops
a little, purple, grape-bubble-gum box, fetched, I guess, from the trash
of the neighbor-up-the-hall -- one more gift in a growing catalog of unusual treasures.

Shiva-purna has brought home to me: feathers from another neighbor's duster, two pieces
of ruby glass from a delicate wine goblet he carefully broke
before transporting it, a golden bracelet, lying
twice in the middle of
my bed. Even
though my
hands

and
feet drip
blood from his
bites and scratches, can I
doubt his love, his wit? Adapting to
the urban jungle, he does his best. Would I prefer gifts
of mice or that, trying flying, he caught crow on the nunnery's window-walks?





PRIME 8

#35
02-24/25-04

THE MOST IMPORTANT EVENT OF THE CENTURY


What
did I
do with my
time and my mind before
I got caught at the 1999 WTO
protest -- TMIEOTC? The world had gone on, still goes on as
corrupt as it always has been. I learned this bit by bit as

we
moved from
1999 to 2004,
but now it disturbs my
peace of mind. I participate, send letters
and e-mails, attend protests, harangue friends who share my convictions, opinions,
stay awake nights, listen to the radio -- now 99% propaganda. But when was

it
not? The
world seemed a
better, sweeter place before I
knew all that I know now and,
in the end, one is inclined to say: who gives a
hoot? I manage my life -- a great deal of the time -- with something

close
to honesty
and honor, kindness
and compassion -- only, perhaps, because
I have an eyrie hermitage. But, also,
I notice this anti-war, anti-demagoguery, anti-corruption stance fills my time like
that last triumphant TV entertainment of valiant Clinton enduring that "Gottcha Game" of

the,
even then,
too-corrupt-to-believe Republicans.
In retrospect, what fun, what
innocent, Hollywood-scandal-grade fun to come to every
night, to be bedazzled, to be told what one could not
believe, but had to as the war-mongering-Republicans nearly toppled my president. And now!

Now,
really on
multiple WAR-PATHs, though
no less unbelievable, they are
decidedly less amusing. But as history is
dredged up alongside every crises, especially on KBCS and KEXP -- who
tell as much truth as anyone is likely to get nowadays -- it becomes

clear,
crystal clear,
it was never
any different! Especially among empires!
The British Empire was founded on opium
the American Empire was founded on opium (p.3). I wonder if opium
was at the foundation of Rome? Probably, but beneficient in use back then --

before
it was
made illegal, thus
maximally lucrative by our now
ubiquitous practices of Trade, Deception and Greed
updated and squeezed into a compact mass of approximately 200 persons/corporations
by our modern, could-have-been-used-for-art, technologies -- 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1

The
only important
question left now,
it seems, is HOW did
the world come to be this way?
Why? Why isn't it different? And then, of course, the last
question -- Will it ever be -- 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 -- different?

Millions
protest -- billions
soon -- around the
world, but in our touted
democracy, where our president stole the election,
he, "tough-minded," finds it more expedient not to hear the people.
Jefferson and Franklin foresaw the nation they helped create would end in despotism.






PRIME 9

#036
02-25/26-04

I
am terrified
of my own
experience. I can live through
anything, but in retrospect my heart contracts
with terror, fright, a trembling fear alone and in the dark --
screaming retreat, trembling, with a dying in my heart, longing to be safe

where
I can
no longer be
hurt by a rude slap to
my reaching hand, where I can be
fully awake to know that what I do I will remember,
and when remembered will be terrifying -- beyond any fear in the present tense.





PRIME 10

#37
02-26-04

I

never
sing. But

when
I chant,
odd things happen.

1st:
I chant
Hindu and Moslem
music -- music in Hindi, Sanskrit

or
Arabic -- which
speaks to my
soul as no other sounds
in the world. 2nd: when these odd

things
happen, I
am chanting, always,
in a group -- at times
with a living leader, at times along
with a recording -- the music fills my heart, almost beyond capacity,

with
delight -- and
remembrances, also almost
beyond endurance, floods my throbbing
veins, remembrance of other singers whose high
wailing voices permeate the air as if they sang out from
the tops of ancient Sofia's minarets -- filling my heart with poignant joy. 3rd:

I would like to sing that way. I would like to be able
to lift my voice into a wail, almost of agony, capable
of being carried to God's ear. 4th:
so I sing as best
I can -- which
I have
come

to know, through experience, is not very loud, certainly without power
to be heard throughout the city and,
in the old days, not
infrequently out of
tune. I
think

my tune is better today. 5th: I
almost always find myself singing
with the leader,
rather than
the

responding devotees. 6th: When I
recognize this, I
try to
sing

with the devotees
rather than
the

Guru -- but
seldom

succeed

in

limiting
myself to

the
responders. 7th:
Thus emerges a

quite
interesting aspect:
I almost always
find I am singing just

a
little ahead
of the leader
-- as if I want to
show that I know the song -- or --

maybe
as if
I want to
lead the leader. 8th: I
am always conscious of this, as if
I wanted people to hear my high, wailing, ecstatic voice and

to
admire me.
9th: I think
it is self-consciousness that makes
me sing more quietly than I think
I am singing. 10th: the self-consciousness -- manifesting almost as if I
were engaged in an illicit activity -- also sets up a tension, an over-excited

awareness. 11th: I used to think how embarrassed I'd be if I really
were singing loudly and that loud was out of tune. 12th:
But now I no longer care. I
choose to persist in singing,
clapping or keeping
time with
my

toe. 13th: Thinking, perhaps, if I try long enough, hard enough,
loud enough, someday I will be calling
as loudly, as ecstatically as
the muzzerins from
the towers
of

Islam; before the tombs of the Sufi
saints; as my companions in
certain sessions of
bhajans and
chants;

as Mirabai and Rumi calling
for God -- unself-conscious,
ecstatic, alone,
loud,

wailing an ecstasy
of agony,
blessed

by sound
and

silence.





PRIME 11

#38
02-28-04

My
cat looks
upon himself as
an alarm clock, not only
an alarm clock, but a righteous, sentient,
maker-of-rules, alarm clock, ringing at meal times, wake-up, get-up you-lazy-bones, early morning
times and just-one-more-hour times. He takes it out on Quan Yin, my little,

eighth
century bronze,
very heavy icon
who sits with a crystal
guarding my life and my thought, guarding
my mother's ashes, incense ashes, skillfully draped in golden chains. His
white paws dig into the corner where I have shoved her white, serving-as-a-shrine

table.
He wedges
his paw between
the statue and the wall
and gives Quan Yin -- glancing at me --
a little shove. I sit up from my floor-bed and give
him a withering stare and a glare. He taps it again. The heavy

little
Goddess of
Compassion moves half
an inch. I clap, sharp
and loud. Shiva-purna, the cat, lifts his
blue-eyed head and gives me a quizzical stare. Another white-pawed tap
tap. Another explosive clap clap. Another who-me? stare. Tap tap tap. Clap clap

clap!
Blue-eyed defiance.
Who me? Yes
you! Black tail gyrating, curving
to a crook against the white wall:
tap tap tap, CLAP CLAP CLAP! Barely a glance -- tap tap!
Yes, you! You wicked wicked wicked cat! Interestingly enough, he never attacks Quan

Yin
when I'm
from home. Tap
tap, CLAP! Now I'm on
my feet. Ah, that's all I ever
wanted, he smiles his one-sided smile and, tail crooked like a
velvet hook, hops down and strolls across the studio. I clap again. He

swings
round, arching
his back at
me. And laughs! With me!
-- my righteous, opinionated, defiant, extra-sensory perceptive cat!
I wonder, at times, if he is going to spend all
nine lives with me? -- tap tapping Quan Yin and, bat-like, ringing the room.





PI

#39
03-02-04

I looked out
this
morning to see small,
fluffy
white clouds in the sky
and my village ending abruptly about four blocks away:
little peak-roofed
houses and great big trees, smoke
or, more probably, fluffy white
steam, drifting off
from the nunnery smoke stack,
short now but still far above the one
story houses -- but that is deceptive to say it
that way, for I'm sure each of
the houses is old enough to contain many stories,
abundant small-town lives.

Seattle, the town,
is
completely gone beneath fog:
no
tall buildings, no Lake Union,
glassy, waved or calm. As I write, the fog
drifts almost
up to my eyrie windows, disappearing
the whole world, and I
am left alone
at my computer -- the fog
can't seep in here! -- to add one more
line and one more line to this attenuated form
of the infinite. From Suzanne's brain to
my page. Imagine carrying a transcendental, even to 128,
in one's head.



PI = 3.141592653589793
PI = 3.14286 -- Archimedes' estimate from the OED (1841), p. 813
Pi 16th letter of the Greek Alphabet, ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter
A transcendental -- non-repeating infinite decimals
An irrational number






PI II

40
03-02-04

A body is
such
a personal thing, I'm
glad
I don't have to share
mine with anyone. Safe in my skin, enclosed like
a glove
or a plastic sack, if you
keep the twist twisted, you'll
never leak out.
Egad its me, while everything
else is out there. It is one unit
and I'm the other, feel-able, pinch-able, smooth as silk.
Inside are all the passions, outside are
the sky and the sun and the birds twittering.
Am I that?





PI III

#41
03-04-04

Life changes slowly
or,
seemingly, not at all.
Overhead
the sky shifts from rain
to a sun as brilliant, to my eyes, as
the Big
Bang to the molecule, or molecules,
I was back then, 14
billion years ago.
Oxygen invades, expands my system,
hope dilates my retinas, attunes my hearing to
change: slow, violent, but so vastly violent the air
seems stagnant. Aspiration is stilled, life moves
along its trajectory with no help from my hopes
or fears. I

stand still in
sunshine,
listen to the air
greet
the silent snapping of synapses
with something approaching despair. Repetition reveals the design, while
flourishing between
novelty and nourishment of our fractal-izing
ability to see what is
and what is
not. Nothing stops Pi's transcendence.
Nothing, except in superficial ways, alters the living
and dying -- transmutation -- of our molecules, one by one,
into what we are, having come from
what we have been. "Slow down!" cries the speeded-up
over-stressed brain which,

perhaps -- a big
perhaps! --
was meant to process
this,
bring it to fruition and
recycle it: z arrow z to the second power
plus c*,

so some can run off to
infinity and others circle back
to care, terribly!
-- drinking a molecular cocktail called
compassion concocted by Quan Yin, Goddess of Mercy --
though -- beware Maya! -- there is no mercy in human
life. The rest of life escaped consciousness
-- luckily. Or we are lacking in so far as
it is only

recently it has
occurred
to us to notice,
to
question, perhaps, the anguish of
fishes writhing at the end of hook, line and
sinker, suffocating
on too much O where there
should be H2O; to question
the torment of
asparagus, smothered, decapitated, steamed, eaten,
digested, shat -- but no! we must not think
of such things, lest we, O precious humans, starve
on air, kindness and goodwill. Nature designed
us to eat or be eaten. Pay attention to
idam ch'dam cha**



*z'z2+c, formula for the creation of Mandlebrot sets.
** idam ch'dam cha = and this and this and this -- too, is God!
PI = 3.141592653589793






PI V

#43
03-12-04

BLINDNESS


I was thinking
of
Archimedes' blindness this morning.
Smart and
blind* -- just a little off in calculation, but
doing it in the 200s** B.C..

So early in
discovering
an insoluble problem! -- or
fact. Why
should one think of Pi's transcendence as a
problem -- or irrational or inconclusively odd?

He calculated 3.
1
4
2
8
6

-- let it go,
apparently,
at that, just +1
-3
+3
off.

I have one
friend
of 94 or so
who's blind,
still works. Another, in her 80s who, losing
the light of sight, offed herself.

We appreciate numbers
handling
our civilization for us,
handling
our emotions, our sorrows, attempts
at love, our misunderstanding of who we really are.



*No Archimedes was not blind, as far as we know, this blindness is meant metaphorically as "not seeing into the future" and the transcendence and insolvability of the irrational, teasing, poisonous pi.

**In Archimedes' day, close approximations of pi had been known for over 1,000 years. An Egyptian document dated to 1650 B.C., for example, gives a value of 4 (8/9)2, or 3.1605. Archimedes' value, however, was not only more accurate, it was the first theoretical, rather than measured, calculation of pi. From http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/archimedes/pi.html -- (link to)

PI = 3.141 592 653 589 793
3.14286 -- Archimedes' estimate, from the

idam ch'dam cha






PI VI

#44
03-13-04

WAKE-UP CALL


My cat likes
to
be petted early (5:00
a.m.)
in the morning. By 7:00
his claws are out. However, at 2:00 a.m. he

has already attempted
to
persuaded me to chase
him
up the hall. When he
runs, rump to paws, down the well lit, red-floored,

golden hall, my
big,
(20 pound) cat sounds
like
the "thundering hoof beats
of the great horse Silver." I dare not follow --

at 2:00 a.m..
But,
along about 9:00, he's
ready
for another romp or two:
me thundering, clapping, cat-talking behind, 'til he skids into

the laundry-room --
bright
eyes flashing behind the
hinged
and open door, scimitar claws
out -- no more petting his seductive fur 'til tomorrow.

For the rest
of
the day it is
Food
and Fight -- proving, his leopard
and yeti heritage against my frail furless female flesh.





PI - VII

#45
03-13-04

PUSSY-CAT PURRS


Aside from which,
he
has a lopsided grin --
not
much used -- only seen at
particular times in a particular light. Clownish, puckish, I
see his

teasel-like laughter in
the
light brown dash on
his
lower right jaw. A white-booted
Siamese with irregular marks, his face is black with
white streaks

and muzzle. His
eyes
are blue and different --
one
more Siamese than the other.
His brown belly is white-lightening-streaked through his soft-as-ozone fur.
His white

paws, big as
a
pup's, delicately tap tap
tap
each tabled-thing to the floor.
Bang! Fanged, cobra-quick, his claws flash forth for blood.
Pussy-cat, Pussy-cat --


is also addicted
to
paper-pawing. A snorting brown-black
steed
pawing pawing frosty ground, Shiva-purna
paws my papers, rattle rustle rattle rustle rustle through
the night.

I bought him
an
upholstered mushroom when he
was
young, a low, bar-stoolish sort
of thing. Sleeping there, Sphinx-like, paws out-thrust, he over-sees
my life.





PI VIII

#46
03-14-04

"This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper." The Hollow Men, T.S. Eliot

One day and
fairly
soon, Dubya's going to
open
his eyes after one more,
abstinent, sexless night and find he is unutterably alone.
Laura gone --

maybe looking for
sex.
But emptier than that --
the
world no longer host to
the dead whose brains, Swiss-cheese-like, were riddled by BSE.

Six months after
the
first mad cow, we
no
longer tested for the disease.
It would have ruined the beef business. Nor did

we listen to
the
science that found GMOs
deadly,
lest it ruin Novartis' or
Monsanto's businesses in wholly owned genetic seeds, weeds, fertilizers

and farmers. Monsanto/Novartis
changed
their names to Pharmacia/Syngenta
but
they both remained death dealing,
racketeering conglomerates of greed. Now, poof, everyone gone this

morning. They'd been
eating --
because there was nothing
else
to eat -- their own steak
and potatoes, corn and tomatoes, with a side of

soy beans. So
they're
gone now along with
drowned
Haitians denied refugee status, mother's
denied childcare, everyone denied jobs, the Iraqi's denied their

country, the Americans
denied
a verifiable election. The
Pakistani,
almost as involved with arms
dealing as the U.S.A., blew themselves, along with half

the rest of
the
world, up. The CIA
abrogated
democracy in every country, substituting
rich, capitalistic dictators and, being extremely talented at disappearing

people, emptied the
other
half of the known
world.
Success! Dubya and brothers now
own everything! But -- and this brings tears to George's

sad, lonely, morning-weary-blue,
pious
eyes -- now there's no
one
left to envy him, nor
bring him his morning drink and hear his re-assurances.



PI = 3.14159






PI IX

#47
03-18-04

CICHLID


Every once in
while
I hear a cry
in
the walls, an odd thump
up from the floor, a meow from the roof,
but no
roof, no other cat -- Shiva-purna well
accounted, sniffing my bloody trail.

I live high
in
an attic, but above
my
eyrie-attic is dark-attic inhabited, possibly,
by the ghosts of cats past. Did the nuns
have cats?
At night I hear their velvet-pawed
shades leaping the beams, the

studs, descending walls.
But
it's only occasionally, indistinctly
I
hear these mirages of sound --
along with tingling hopes of eerie adventures. Shiva-purna looks
to the
ceiling, I look to the walls.
Are there cichlids there? Mouth-brooding,

mother-watchful, multi-breeding cichlid?
But
this is not Lake
Tanganyika
nor anywhere near the ocean
or Africa or the sea of my brain filled
with weed and the startled awareness of other sounds,
other worlds.
Shiva-purna watches the walls, I crawl
along the cold gold floor.



PI = 3.14159265






TETRAKTYS

#48
03-19-04
"A set of four; the number four; esp. the Pythagorean name for the sum of the first four numbers (1 + 2 + 3 + 4 = 10) regarded as the source of all things." OED, p. 230

Odd
and hardly
to be considered,
such little numbers unite
to become the Kundalini's All Powerful Ten Symbol of peace.

Strung out thin, we march, one by one toward destiny,
embracing ourselves and others,
walking peace's talk
hoping for
warm

winds
to blow
from the sun's
decaying source to comfort
us, until the light dims, as for the polar dinosaurs,

and we freeze to death beneath our own incapacity to
love one another. Hate
comes in the
form of
God.

Some
humans adopted
the project of
love, but it is
failing, day by day, bit by bit, greed trumps all.

They call it power, but it is nothing less than
killing one's neighbor to
destroy his house,
steal his
food,


make
off with
his boots, his
honor and his works.
One wants to long for the tyrant's death, but turns

aside to let God pursue his course, chants: one, two,
three, four, picking them
apart, trying to
trace their
source

before
they cascade
like an ancient
basalt flood flashing across
a thousand miles, solidifying as pillow rock in the sea

-- on which no human head will ask to rest, on
which no plant will
seek to grow,
where lichen
will

form
eons from
now, under a
cooler sun, shedding its
tears which, as the Incas' believed, becomes gold, a thing

of beauty to be molded. Beliefs ricocheted as white power
seekers slew, liquefied and
shaped the sun's
gold for
hoarding,

reduced
all things
to commodities to
trade, though it destroy
the world which was created free and beautiful for all.





1 2 3 4 10, idam ch'dam cha, z->z2+c






TETRAKTYS II

#49
03-19-04

Panthers
sleep in
trees. My cat
sleeps with me by
day. At night he wanders, pussy footing, with the moon.

Lions
loll in
long, wind-blown grass,
companionable, king of beasts.
My cat walks on water, sits in the sink, yodels.

Tigers
spend hours
changing their shapes.
My cat insouciantly strolls,
changing patterns where I'm permitted to roam in his house.

Cheetahs
careen across
the Serengeti plain
faster than an SUV,
lithe and limber, my cat runs the halls like thunder.

Cougars
haunt forests
in the Cascade
Mountains. My bewitching cat
lounges in his high, round window slowly melting Mount Rainier.

Leopards
with thick
long tails wander
the Himalayas licking their
spots. My cat, with thicker tail, grooms his white boots.

The
great white
Yeti wanders mythologically
remote, dangerous, never seen.
Ubiquitous Shiva-purna lies on the sill and in my heart.

Don't
forget the
fanged Puma, nor
the kitten purring in
my pocket dreaming of fresh flesh, heart, liver, kidneys, blood.

Felidae
in feline
felicity lies across
my life, languorous, lithe,
suited up in fur, leg-stroking, wet-nosed, blue-eyed, giving pink-tongued felicitations.




1 2 3 4 10, idam ch'dam cha, z->z2+c






TETRAKTYS III

#50
3-21-04

THE OPIONATED CAT


You
pay extra
for more fat
in formulated kitten food,
but my opinionated kitten, not quite two, now that he --

apparently --
considers himself
a cat, won't
eat fat -- or beef
or chicken, just a little fish, thank you very much; small

portions
of pork,
liver and kidney;
but not much flesh --
please. He also likes nettles, nutritional yeast, water, an occasional

asparagi.*
He's offended
by eggs, oils,
butter, but likes sambhar,
or highly spiced Indian vegetables, or Mexican or Thai. Anything

on
my plate
is worth sniffing,
if not for eating,
then touching with a delicate white paw, hooking by claw

to
the table
or the floor.
He bears the name
of the great Indian God: Shiva. With his Ardhanarisvara-like** smile,


he
takes advantage,
when he can,
of my giddy delight
in his kittenhood that persuaded me to name him Shiva-purna.

Shiva's
dance as
Nataraj creates all
that is and destroys
all that will be. I should have known better. Cats

have
the tendency
to turn out
exactly as named. I
expect, at any moment, to see Ganga*** drop into my

eyrie,
course through
Shiva-purna's fur
, pick
up tears and wild
rain on her flow beyond the Sound toward the sea.



1 2 3 4 10

*"A plant (Asparagus officinalis, N.O. Liliaceae) cultivated for the sake of its vernal shoots, which form a well-known delicacy of the table." OED, p. 492

**Ardhanarisvara, "The half-male [r] and half-female [l] form of Siva. It symbolizes...the transcending of all opposites." A Concise Dictionary of Indian Philosophy, John Grimes, p.53

***The Ganges river

"A set of four; the number four; esp. the Pythagorean name for the sum of the first four numbers (1 + 2 + 3 + 4 = 10) regarded as the source of all things." OED, p. 230

idam ch'dam cha, z->z2+c







TETRAKTYS IV

#51
03-25-04

The
cat and
I use a
lot of dishes. He
likes dainty, meaty bites multiple times throughout his day

and
night. Yummy.
Sleeping, walking, slicing
liver to feast my opinionated
cat, I stumble forth from my warm cocoon, a suicidal

butterfly,
ankles deliciously
exposed, toes for
nibbling at, the leaping
stalking, tail-arched, 20 lbs cat shadows my half-awake half-life.

He
lifts my
papers: paw paw
paw, scratch scratch scratch,
like a officious tax-collector come to haunt my wakeful nights.

He's
a vivid
personality. Better, I
like to think (I
have no choice), than a purring, curling, soft-pawed, affectionate puss.

He
keeps me
on my toes, sniffs
my computer, criticizes my
poetry, keeps my world in perspective, my words as words.

Butterfly
affections though
he has, he
returns every time I
cry out for his company, thinking he is gone. Bounding

and
bouncing stiff-legged,
back from the
laundry, eager and alive,
willingly fighting each red-and-speckle-feathered demon I manage to manifest at

the
end of
a string. Dishes
pile up, cat fur
clouds the corners, Shiva-purna, on his back, boots aloft -- sleeps.



1 2 3 4 10






TETRAKTYS V

#52
03-26-04

I
spent days
and days and
days reading "Old Fourlegs"
the book about finding a living Coelacanth -- old "hollow spine."*

For
300,000,000 years,
he's been with
us -- or we with
him. He got here first -- a first of the first.

And
here he
still is, as
I read -- Shiva-four-white-booted-legs, striding
toward me, lion-leopard cat, native to the wild, clawed for survival.

I
curl up
in the night
feeling like the yoke
of an egg, trying to comprehend my driving hunger for

strawberry
jam against
the big, old,
armored fish's clever, concealed
swim for three-hundred-million years survival, a shadow among the rocks.




1 2 3 4 10

*"Old Fourlegs, The Story of the Coelacanth" by J.L.B. Smith, p. 231, Longmans, Green and Co., 1956
"A set of four; the number four; esp. the Pythagorean name for the sum of the first four numbers (1 + 2 + 3 + 4 = 10) regarded as the source of all things." OED, p. 230

idam ch'dam cha, z->z2+c






TETRAKTYS VI

#53
03-26-04

We're
all members
of the same
club. Nobody got up
to admonish Fuehrer-Bush that it was in very bad taste

to
make a
slide show and
jokes
about not being
able to find Weapons of Mass Destruction -- looking in the

closet
of the
Oval Office, looking
out the window, under
the desk, the rug. While the official TV and Radio

dinner
guests laughed,
one more soldier
was killed (we do
not know how many Iraqis) being in that occupied country

looking
(on the
president's word) for
Weapons of Mass Destruction,
defending us against the Non-existent Weapons of Mass Destruction, which

the
President saw
fit to make
the butt of a
joke and another joke and another joke. Is it treason

(high
crimes and
a misdemeanor) to
joke about sending soldiers
to their deaths on the basis of deceit, stupidity, greed?





TETRAKTYS VII

#54
03-27-04

Empire
never died.
Continuity, tradition, heritage,
things are as they
ever were throughout history. History, itself may mean, "things as

they are now." For today, the rich get richer and
the poor get poorer.
To those who
have
is

given,
to those
who have not,
all is taken away.
Biblical lore, Republican doctrine, the core of the capitalistic exploitation

of indigenous peoples. Kill the buggers if they interfere with
the making of profits.
Steal their land,
steal their
water,

knowledge,
livelihood, shoot
the nameless, screaming.
Distort our news to make
the homeland cheer all native deaths -- and our own enslavement.

I search and search and hear eclectic reports on radio
not on the main
media, but on
KEXP, KBCS
mixed

as
on NPR
with the hideous
screeching, drumming, sentimental strumming
now called music -- as if enough noise could emphasis or

obscure man's sizzling, ubiquitous, incomprehensible, hatred of, inhumanity of man
against man and woman.
Rape, murder, shock
and awe
bombings --

do
they really
need the tradition
of movie music to
emphasize or override the two second assaults we feel like

bullets penetrating our chests with sound bytes, continuous, serious, ratta
tat tat, made unabsorbable
by speed, and
endlessness -- compassion
forbidden,

time
for thought
lost in the
din of the music
and the much vaunted "objective voice." Even the stock market,

bull or bear, crash (thousands of people made destitute) or
gain made moot by
the non-stop nervous
stressful, jangling
noise

of
on the
spot voices:
a little singing, a
little dancing, a few shouts, a volley or two followed

by
a certain-to-be-forgotten-barely restrained-from-tears-voice
in agony, mourning
wives', children's, mothers', fathers'
deaths as the byte moves on, back to the reporter's

name,
station ID,
rat-ta-tat-tat, next byte.
Lies are exposed, conspiracies
are revealed, cupidity beyond belief is mentioned, and the byte

moves
along. Not
a pause, not
a thought about the
carnage of our civilization, just a little mood music helping us

rejoice
in our
pit of amoral
corruption so wide and
so deep you can actually see China, where we used

to
be threatened
by the sight
of starving children. Now
they starve, sometimes on TV, but media, with music, concerns

itself
only with
gross national product,
corporate profits, the Dow.
Things are as they were for The East India Company,

because
we, O
Democratic America, want
them that way. A
colony ourselves, we didn't get to share in the (opium

and
other) profits
from the last
Empire, but now we
can imitate, emulate, surpass the Colonial Empire of the British,

with
a far
more demonic (and
friendless) Empire of our
own. God bless America, we've become the Evil Empire incarnate.



1 2 3 4 10


"A set of four; the number four; esp. the Pythagorean name for the sum of the first four numbers (1 + 2 + 3 + 4 = 10) regarded as the source of all things." OED, p. 230

idam ch'dam cha, z->z2+c






TETRAKTYS VIII

#55
03-29-04

Life
opens up
from each small
drawer as rain drops
splash on the window, quite willingly anoint the black crow

Shiva-purna's
jaw trembles
for. Shiva-purna's a
house cat domesticated into
a rather intellectual view of life, his jungle is limited

to
the attic
of The Good
Shepherd, six artists, ghosts
of nuns and wayward girls, high ceilings, golden floor, rompable

halls.
No things
is too big
but can be knocked
to the floor. He's an attack cat, a civil guard.

Cross
his path
at your peril.
He loves only Jimmy,
a high, black, silken dog, next door, and Uncle Roger

with
his ten
thousand possessions plus
a TV and a
small red cat I just made for him of clay.

These
are his
small windows on
the world along with
giant animated pictures that attend his sits on the sills.





TETRAKYTS IX

#56
04-04-04

My
cat spends
a lot of
time making himself ubiquitous.
Again and again he tries to tip over the big

jar
of daffodils,
but the jar
is too heavy for
his spill-tactics to succeed, so Shiva-purna, with his white paws,

dances
round the
room shoving the
daffodils and secretly eats
the falling daphne blooms trying to convince himself, or me,

that
aside from
being a nettle-eater,
he is a flora-tarian,
a dancing flora-tarian, who extends his pristine paws staight out

over
the Shiraz
rug and buries
his face between them,
to study the design, conning intricate possibilities of teasing me.

My
cat, like
a crystalline structure
filling the universe, taps
my leg with his soft paw as I walk by.





TETRAKTYS X

#57
04-05-04

Full
moon today
and yesterday one
more round with the
mind-boggling, heart-stopping, fear-inspiring PC programed with MSWord, the most over

programed,
complicated, hard-to-use,
frustrating, needlessly choice-full
invention, reinvention and reinvention,
getting-worse-with-each-new-version, full of viruses, mistaken, mis-advertised, silly, insulting -- it presumes

to
correct my
spelling to words
I never meant, my
grammar, as a poet! into common prosaic alternatives without even

asking.
Ye Gods!
and little Fishes!
as we used to
say, dozens of years ago -- leave me alone! I want

to
write! I
don't want to
spend a thousand hours
every other year figuring out a system first invented by

Macintosh
also dozens
of years ago,
perfectly suited to my
needs, and reliable!. Take hint, O Microsoft! you're eventually going

to
invent yourself
right out of
the picture with one-too-many
features! one to many clevernesses that no one wants, no

one
needs, and
no one knows
how to get rid
of! -- except, possibly, a former Microsoft Employee or a dyed-in-technology

hacker
or department-of-defense
junkie. The rest
of us just want
to write a letter, a poem, send an e-mail, do

a
rough of
our taxes once
a year. Make a
machine, soft-ware for us, dummy! and let us get on

with
our lives.
Even I, addict
though I am, have
reached the point I now go toward my computer reluctantly.

And
I certainly
don't want to
and can't afford to
replace it every 3rd years -- getting features both useless and

frothingly
frustrating that
leap, wiggle and
squirm, cut in automatically
-- like the screamingly annoying ads on the NET, or spam

in
the e-mail --
when I am
trying to concentrate on
writing legacies for the human race -- who may not even

be
here to
read them. If
you persist with R&D
I may be forced to return to pencil and yellow pad.



1 2 3 4 10






LAMBDA SERIES

#58
04-07/08-04

Now,
what has
she done? Hung an
umbrella on the wooden screen to tempt me. 8

Ha! 1
I easily reach 3
it. She moves it further away, sets a plant 9

at
the screens
base. When she uses
that umbrella, I notice, she makes double sure

I'm
not about to
bound. Before opening the window, I'm not supposed to

go
out of,
she thrusts its
handle against the lowered upper window -- which I

can't
fly from
in any case -- and
pushes like hell to close it, then hangs

the
black umbrellas on
the white screen again. O glorious just-out-of-reach temptation -- maybe...?

I'll
try when
she's asleep. That slick-stiff
umbrella material is perfect for honing my claws.



1 2 4 8 and 1 3 9 27

idam ch'dam cha*

z'z2+c






LAMBDA SERIES II

#59
04-30-04

Three
weeks of
rest -- my muse was
fast asleep, breathing heavily, deeply as I stitched

the
accelerated disintegration of
the world: fighting in Fallujah, Negroponti, human rights violator,

appointed
to bring
his talents to ruling
Iraq, where, devoting U.S. resources to "freeing"

the
people, Iraqi blood
runs in the streets day after day after day

while
the un-elected
president cannot think of
a single mistake, his hand held by his

indicted
Vice while, together,
they bamboozle the 911 Commission, dripping smiles, lies, bombs.

a
seamless three
weeks of disasters growing,
growing to weapons-of-mass-destruction size: invisible, non-existent, unstoppable, lethal.





LAST POEM

#60
05-04-04

My life has become
the thousand-petalled lotus
closing in on itself.

One petal today,
one yesterday,
and one two days before that.
Usually uncounted
often un-noted,
the petals become fewer

between me and the darkness.
O magical darkness!
Sick, I lie on my bed
hearing the giant poplar, the cottonwood
rustling in the wind.

Their limbs break easily.
the Lombardy poplar, just beside my window
will be one hundred years old
next year, or the next.

It has a slim straight trunk
and upward thrusting branches.
The winds have sheered off
many branches. The sentinel
trunk, trimmed by the wind
back to its essential may,
eventually,
be without branches.

My petals collapse inward,
close around my heart.
I see less than I used to,
need to do less and less
until there is nothing
left to do.

Is this the last poem I'll write
tonight?
Forever?





I WILL NOT HAVE THOUGHT OF SOMETHING

#61
05-12-04

No matter what I do
No matter which direction I pursue
No matter what I lift or set down
No matter what I think or do not think

There is some small thing, infraction, nano-bit
I will not have thought of,
Some nattering detail that will come to bite me
Like a benzene ring, complete, snake-hearted, maddening.

No matter how be-here-now I become,
No matter how I pray and parse,
No matter how slowly or rapidly,
I stroll -- or run across the coals,

I am burnt by the perversity of "nature's" laws
The laws that came into effect as we moved from the forest
To the dry and must-be-cultivated land,
The laws that shift my life from one screaming crises to the next,
Make me itch and long for a suicide-bomber's death.





THE STATE OF THE WORLD

#62
05-26-04

The state of the world
and a bad cold
have kept me wordless
for weeks.

The good news is
with Global warning
the Alaskans can now bury
their dead more easily
and Seattle's weather, at times, is Californian

The bad news is
this morning I heard the first
extended examination* of the theory
that Bush and his buddies
were in on, if not planners of 911.
*Democracy Now, 5-26-04






THE STATE OF THE WORLD II

#63
06-21-04

The state of the world has not changed.
The news goes on bad -- and worse.
But recently reading Chomsky's
"Media Control", he reminds me
that twenty years ago,
in '84 the world, under Reagan,
was in much the same condition,
much in the hands of a government
who believed in torturing, killing people
and toppling regimes.
And
I paid no attention whatsoever,
I was totally unconscious of people
dying in Guatemala, Honduras, Iran, Iraq,
the Israelis beginning to go ballistic,
human suffering and human hypocrisy,
and lying lying lying to the American public,
while I, alone in the green house,
wrote some of my best poems.
What
does that say to my mind twisted,
growing dry, being teeth-chatteringly
indignant most of the days of my life
and in the midnight hours
waking to hear the news
(That's when they often broadcast
things more relevant to the truth --
hoping, I suppose, that nobody will be listening.)
Back-off.
Is that what it is saying?
The world was ever thus.
Forget the petitions and the e-mails
and the letters. Write your poems,
bear witness. Some may survive, even
if the world, as we know it, does not.





A NEW GOODNIGHT

#64
06-22-04

I am blank and wordless.
Start anew, start anew,
whisper the molecules,
softly

Sweep up the human
remains, clean the deck,
invalidate the cause, lift
fingerprints,
gently.

Weep deep in your heart,
and keep it private, don't
let it show. You learned
a long time ago
not to flow,
swiftly.

Ridges and swirls lie
easily, as do you. Try
the DNA -- repetitive.
Distinguish between
subtleties
too small to grow.





A NEW GOODNIGHT II

#65
06-23-04

John has, apparently or, all but, lost
his mind. His present wife is angry.
I am angry, too.

I don't know why
I have not known for months. I had
thought my anger was the condition of ageing.
You get angry. Who knows why?
The lack of dexterity? The loss of remembrance?

But something she said, reminded me.
John was always angry.

Once, I found
when he left after a visit, years ago, that I was
surprisingly depressed.
Later I understood, it was
his depression and not my own.
(My life was going splendidly.)

Something she
wrote in her second e-mail sounded
suspiciously like this "transference of
feeling;" John's ability to suffer and somehow
transfer his feeling to wives (possibly others)
making them feel as if they, rather than he,
were the containers of his (repressed) maladies.

I wonder if my present, ongoing, but now lessening anger,
was indeed a long distance infusion of his anger --
even though I left thirty-six years ago.

Perhaps, having lost his mind, the universe no longer feels him a suitable
container for his anger and, scanning the available molecules that
bear a "blood-type" compatible for transfusion, found me --
years later and far away -- his present wife not being
capacious enough to serve as sole container
for the anger that his no-mind has left homeless in the cosmos.

Convoluted thoughts? You bet.
Do I mind his (doctor's term) "early dementia?"
No more than I mind my own -- age, Alzheimer's or Mad Cow.
Specifically, I mind the madness -- and getting worse --
that our "civilization" has embroiled us in,
when we could be smelling the lilacs, wandering the meadows
and being kind to -- rather than killing -- one another.

One could, of course, stick one's head in the sand, not look, listen, see.
I lived that way when I was young.
Can I live that way now?
Is that the madness of ageing, less and less can be ignored
-- until one's dementia brings a blessed silence.

John was always a little mad, a righteous protestor.
Good night, sweet prince:* / And flights of angel sing thee to thy rest! --
when you're ready.



*John resembles Shakespeare, in the First Folio, Droeshout engraving (1623), except he has his forelocks. Indeed, four of the supposed portraits of Shakespeare resemble John: the Droeshout 1623, the Humphrey, drawn from the Chandos, 1783, the Stockdale Edition, 1784, the David Hockney/Paul Oldman, 1989 -- none of them drawn from life.

Also have a look at Will the Real William Shakespeare Please Stand Up by Alan Riding, NYT, March 4, 2006; and, of course, Google's Images file.






A NEW GOODNIGHT III

#66
06-24-04/04-20-06

Rattled, rattle, rattle, rattle, until my brains
sound like bones, dry bones, dead bones,
left-in-the-desert bones,
thoughts stacked up like bones
in the catacombs of Paris,
stacked in patterns, femurs
in one wall, tibias in another,
skulls displayed in heart
patterns and along endless dusty
mile upon miles of corridors
under the streets of Paris.

One can no more think of or understand
the human experience than one can
count the number of oleander blossoms
along Route #99 -- up out of California,
back to the gray skies and extravagant greens
of the Pacific Northwest -- warming up now,
to challenge the climate of El Dorado.

It calms me to write. Turn off the radio
for ten minutes Enough of Iraq and abuse
and torture, hypocrisy, lies, non sequiturs.
Our smirking, dumb-ass president is guilty
of everything but, like when fighting a gray cloud,
finally, he will be punched in the belly
and the rain will splash down
in big circles, to cleanse the dry bones
of my mind, the mad desert of life.





LATE IN THE AFTERNOON

#67
06-25-04

S
o
o
n
after
a hot bath
with a cool breeze coming in the window,
after thinking of death
a lot today, and great success,
hanging in my "living room,"
being busy and helpful, tireless,
committed, and a funnel for disasters
pyramiding from the radio, none of it
affecting the sunshine, the muggy warm-up
from over-cast -- "It'll burn off by noon" my
father always said -- here I am, late in the afternoon
nude before my computer, trying not to listen as jets
fly too low past my windows, writing a poem, a blog
as they say today, re Internet diary writing. Diary was and is
a far more palatable world than blog -- web log. Let the breeze
blow and the flesh cool down to engage in the night,
ding, dong
ding ding
dong.





NO APOLOGIES

#68
06-27-04

I went to the movies
late in the morning
yesterday.

"Fahrenheit 9/11"
an amusing preface to
the end of the world
as we have known it.

Perhaps most astonishing
was the eggs thrown
and the protestors marching
on the day of Bush's
inauguration, 2001.

Either my head was in the sand,
or the press was already so controlled
that I had never known about this
nor seen the images:
pouring rain and rotten eggs
pelting our soon-to-be-naked emperor


who would, by 2004, be booed,
and heavily guarded against raining eggs
and million-people protests in every country
he visited (between vacations)
and smirking arrogance while fondly addressing
-- in his own words -- above his white tie,
"the haves and the have-mores."

Amid screaming terrors, crisping corpses,
the growing homelessness of myriads
of populations throughout the world,
the little white toad assures each doom-sayer
that "all is well." And it is --
according to his agenda of black-gold

for him and his buddies,
lots of dinners and parties and quips
and hard, pickaxe work and tailings
for the rest of the globalized-under-protest
peoples tramped into the earth

by his HumVees and hypocrisy.
This is the Inquisition.
We are (forced to be) the savage hordes,
nuclear holocaust is only a quip away.

Welcome to the 21st Century Extinction
by the father of death and collateral damage,
the current movie playing within the cave.





I'D LIKE

#69
06-28-04

to end with one great poem.
Inspiration has flown,
the will has flown.
Iraq gained it's sovereignty today,
the sovereignty of a pet
staked in a burning field
with water two feet
beyond its tongue.

Cruel temptations in a cruel
world. I heard Nader
speak last night: one small
hope, but we are hopeless.
I saw the crowd of (mostly)
young people, filing, hundreds
upon hundreds into the Neptune
to see "Fahrenheit 9/11" as I waited for the bus.

I'm superstitious, I have so often
left the scene, just before it
became the way and the means.
Am I doing that again?

Giving up on my muse in blankness
and despair, my head filled only with
economics and politics, suspicious,
shrewdness and fear that no matter
what we do the elections will be rigged
and we'll be under the dominance
of an oligarch and its dictator.

Wolfowitz, licking his comb and licking his hair
like a beast in his lair, grinning between the deep
anguished grooves of his face, aged and stressed.

Then a crash from the kitchen. The God-damned cat
has batted off one of the two jars I am using to distill
cold coffee. I scream and lunge in rescue as his delicate
white paw taps the other jar. I dab and scrub at the oriental
rug and the floor. The cat wants to play, attacks. I straighten up,
get water from the faucet, sprinkle him. This time instead of fleeing,
he hunkers down, determined to outwait the rain, to outsmart my irritation.

Dear muse of a cat, help me regain a world
where there is more to do than count one's pennies,
and worry about fascism, where the news is not always of death,
one's feelings not always hollow.





DEEP SORROW

#70
07-06-04

Deep sorrow and disconnection
still befuddle me in the dying days
of my life. Emotions, which I think
I have none of, scratch in my soul
like a rash. Sorrow, damnation,
loneliness, follow each step I dare.
And those become fewer and fewer,
the steps, the temptations, each day
dimmer, until, uninvited I sit on the doorstep
waiting for the moon to rise,
for the sorrow and the tears to cease.





DO NOTHING

#71
07-06-04

Do nothing, offer nothing
be quiet. Hide in your solitude.
Let the boats carpet the harbor,
float on the lake of your mind
until it mirrors the shimmering light.
You'll know when the shimmer and the light
are one. Agitated beyond endurance,
climb Everest, swim the ocean.
Do nothing, offer nothing,
be quiet.





AND SO IT GROWS

#72
07-15/21-04

Nothing is ever traced back to its roots
which are always 99 and 44/100% corruption and greed.
Greedy little roots drinking up the minerals,
tendrils so light and fine who would guess
that, by the time dinner reaches their leaves,
too many will have died of starvation.
Too many? For what?
What is the purpose of living and dying?
Is it? It just is?

Make a buck, have a kid,
eat, sleep, in cave or castle.
If you get rich enough you can engage in
life-threatening sports. If you get poor
enough, they cease calling it sport
(except the guys with the bombs),
and it's just called "the way it is:"
some are rich and greedy,
some are poor and needy.
The glasses of the rich filter out the UV
rays, the cupped palm of the poor,
at times, even filters out the dirt.
And so it grows.

All the intense and lovely talk changes
not one whit of your basic
greed, power and terror.





IT UPSETS MY CAT

"Is it better to be caged and freed, than never to have been caged at all?" Barbara Meneley

#73
07-15/16/17-04

You
know my cat
well enough to know
that he is as opinionated
as a cheetah, a snow leopard, a yeti,
whose white paws tap at the universe,
the objects of perception.

It upsets Shiva-purna
to see those twelve 22 foot dresses
(hanging in our Great Hall the "living room,"
Closet, if you will, in this 100 year old nunnery
that supports Shiva-purna's perch and my eyrie)

made of felted, bright wool, layer upon layer of reds,
yellows, and a shade as dark as a Siamese cat's ears;
made of clear plastic and dog-hair, ballooning like Marie
Antoinette's ball gown; made of a slim column of silver mist,
dissolved by sunlight, buttoned with black pearls; made of dark,
scented, diamond cuts of ecologically-to-be-treasured Scotch-broom;
constructed of stained-glass-mullioned-window trim beneath a dimpled
scarlet silk; made of a torso-ed chandelier, shimmering with
white-thread-weaving crystals;
made of tightly twisted-living-newspaper
stories -- a kimono, thirty feet long, its train splaying out across the ancient, saged boards;
made of
slim rusted-wire, a mannequin-ghost, its drooping,
sleeve-arms snaking
around the polished floor;
made of saris and ties, a peacock-tailed-phoenix; made of
ceramic, a white-bodiced, hearted-paean; made of white-polypropylene crochet
with blue-belting-straps feathered to enclose the blouse; made of pale blue-gray canvas
and white, a medieval nuns gown with pomegranate heart.

Shiva-purna,
atop the balcony wall, gazes and gazes
as if he expected the out-sized birds to move about.
He is stunned by their immobility and silence.
He hops down, hunkers in the well at the top of the stairs,
meows to go home.

So intense is his desire to return
to his furred, brown velvet pillow
that he learns to paw open the dead weight
of the fire door.

Tomorrow, he crouches again in the hall,
guarding the door to the "Closet"
begging to be let in to face his terror.

One morning,
a bird perched on the west shoulder of the kimono.
Shiva-purna strained forward.

Before he can sprout wings,
I open the door, toss him
toward home.





DISCALCED

#74
07-18-04

There's more and more I can't do
as I walk naked through this world

Fortunately, I have little desire to wander
from the parameters of my eyrie.

Slowly, surely, I become sky clad,
a digambara, browned by the sun,

wrinkled by the wind and, as they say,
clothed in space, unable to dress for dinner,

too old to speak, I don't want
to hear what I have to say.

My feet have funny aches,
my mind is numb as a bone.

Why exactly did the genes and molecules
get together to make this odd, amusing shape,

these wiles that fill the world with horrors
no human should be taught to bear?





I'M PERFECTLY OKAY

#75
07-20-04

except my head, especially in front,
feels tight, dense, dry.
As if there were a headache in my nose
or along my super orbital ridges,
shielding up to the roundness of my skull,
darkened, as if a bit of concrete slag
were floating around there where my
corpus callosum should be
connecting the one half
with the other half of my brain.,
the one half of my life -- body --
with the other half -- spirit.

Dragging around this 70 year old hulk,
that aches here and there and leaks
and speaks -- to what end?
I haven't got an answer,
except that when I take the time to notice
I seem to be happier than I ever was before,
in youth and puzzlement, in middle years,
successful (so they said) and stressed.

Now, suddenly, in spite of the pains and problems,
the scales, as they say, drop daily, one by one,
from my eyes, and there, the whole dear absurdity
of the world hangs within a hair's breath to grab,
molecule by molecule, analyzable with today's
grand tech, like DNA sequencing, finding out that
with only A-T, C-G, 4 base-pairs to work
with, you can braid a whole
improbable world to fear
and to love.





ANGER

#76
07-23-04

Anger, to the twenty-fifth power,
blights/lights my days.
I lived for 69 years, good-naturedly,
and now! Now between this rising
anger -- I know not whether of death
approaching or the state of the world --
a fury flames from my mouth
to incinerate the world.

The way things are is not good enough.
I'd like to know if this is because
we have left our nature and our habitats
behind or if it is what caused us to leave
our nature and habitats behind.

Was it this annoying to be alive
in the darkness of the forest,
in the endless dryness of the desert?
Or is it our invention of bottles and jars,
cars and paper-pushing that has
brought us to this impasse of madness.

My experience of the third world
has suggested that they are nicer
than we are,
Even the cannibals: cooking
one or two white men in a great vat
and munching his bones
seems to me
more beneficent
than reducing Iraq to rubble
with our shock and awe,
killing thousands, maybe
hundreds of thousands
who had no idea they were guilty.

And me, well the loss of my dexterity
seems to put me, at last, in the same
boat as my fellow man. I never could
understand his forever frothing-at-the-mouth
anger before. Now I understand perfectly.

What is ultimate freedom?
Being able to walk across even a small section
of the earth without tripping or falling or banging
into things, to have confidence one can move
without calamity, to forget one's consciousness,
move like a cat, have reason to purr with contentment.

But life's not like that.
Why isn't it?
I now understand
because I am angry.





THE HEAT

#77
07-24-04

The heat has come
and
I feel well again
almost:
energy, passion, anger,
interest,
enough to get out of bed for.
Occasionally
I can smell the food cooking
and the flowers
exuding
sweetness in the sunshine.
I could have
bought some lychee the other day
but I didn't.
I'm losing interest in my favorite
things,
creating small spaces for other desires
which will live well
in life's vacuum, where dreadful things happen
and no one knows why.
Smiling evil is loose upon the land, knowing that law-abiding
citizens don't kill.
We need wicks for the candles -- candles to dispel the darkness





WHY NOT

#78
07-29-04

Why not write a poem
to say the Democratic Convention
seems to be going better than one could
have ever hoped. Marvelous speeches by many,
many being four or five, and we've not yet heard Kerry.


Why not write a poem
about having the courage to look on my
own, into my malfunctioning printer. I did. And have,
now, just plugged in my USB cable, which was hanging
loose. Shiva-purnas doing? Well, let's see if it works now.





DIM MIND

#79
07-31-04

Dim wit. My sight's okay,
but darkness crowds around.
Can the ash gray matter turn black?
Does it shut down molecule
by molecule or will it snap
all at once?

There's a dark cast to reality.
I'd rather listen to the wind
blow the cotton wood leaves,
my eyes closed, my brain
switched off, thinking of nothing.
For if I think,

it has to be about the 3,000
killed in the Twin Towers or
the 3,800 killed by American fumes
in Bhopal or the 350,000,000 incinerated
in Hiroshima beneath the U.S.A.
bomb of choice.

When I think of the agony of losing
just one Mother, my own,
surely it is the agony
loose in the atmosphere
that dims my brain, my wit,
turns my life to ash.





I WANT TO KNOW II

#80
08-11-04

"brainwashing, n. a method for changing attitudes or beliefs, esp. through torture or psychological-stress techniques."
p.84, Random House Webster's Dictionary, third edition.

I learn from Amy Goodman's
DEMOCRACY NOW this morning
a few moments from
the last month of Jeff Lucey's
life.

He was in Iraq, he was young,
he had never killed or willingly
harmed another, he was ordered
to shoot two Iraqis
point-blank

with a gun. He shot
one in the eye
(saw the light dim in the other)
(the nose was gone and the eye that had been shot)
and the other

in the chest,
took their dog-tags
(because he had them when he got home),
wore them around his neck
left them on his bed

and hung himself.
His parents, Joyce and Kevin
could not fine help for him,
though both they and the doctors
agreed

that Jeff suffered from
Post-Traumatic-Stress Syndrome.
I find that a, help-or-no-help, teeth-chatteringly,
nauseating, propagandistic diagnosis.
Jeff suffered

from being ordered to do an immoral, criminal,
in-human act by his commanders and his country,
an act which he thought was wrong
and he did not want to do,
but did.

It was not he who was sick. He was the only
sane man among his fellow soldiers,
doctors and distressed
family members.
He knew

it was wrong to kill (two of the Iraqis America had come to "free")
and, having killed, he could think of no other way
to right wrong acts
than to kill the killer:
himself.

Everything else is brainwashing:
the washing of my brain and your brain,
his Mom's brain and his Dad's,
his doctors and his officers'
brains --

an attempt to rinse away the human
knowledge that it is wrong to kill,
that war is a crime
and every act committed within it
criminal;

an attempt to rinse away the human knowledge
that every moral participant
(the sane ones, the killers) in war ought to become
a suicide. Jeff was not sick.
He stood up,

he took the ultimate stand against
being ordered to do what is not moral,
what is not human, what is not humane,
what any sane, honorable, morally courageous man
should do when forced to do a deadly, criminal act against his fellows.

I want to know
how the rest of us listen to the radio, lead our lives,
hear horrors, do horrible things, allow ourselves
to be brainwashed of our sanity -- so it can be replaced
with the desires, acts and consciousness of murderers.





HIS ATTITUDE

#81
08-11-04

seems to be:
Buy yourself a mink
coat, if you feel you
must pet fur all the time.

But don't touch!
I bite!
My fur is my own
and I like blood.

Fearsome cat!
Yet you purr to be
brushed:
brushed and brushed and brushed,

and tickled
once-in-awhile
under the chin, behind the ears,
and fed.





THE NOW

For Nick Frangakis in memory of What Is.

#82
08-18-04

For awhile I tried to keep up
with my old friends --
(until seventy)

until more and more
dropped dead. I feared
to write,

especially snail mail,
lest I get back a note:
"deceased"

or no note at all. Then what
to do? Write again? Asking:
"Are you dead?

E-mail is a little easier, but
by no means definitive.
So I

began to look around:
on the bus, in the street,
in odd places

in meetings, in mushrooms
to find who was
still here,

and likely to outstay me.
No! Just here.
Now.

I began to care less about tomorrow,
even less about today,
but faced

more bliss in the sunshine, doing
my 80,000 needlepoint
stitches.

"What are you making?"
(Always a puzzling question.)
"I'm making this."

"What's it for?"
"It is. It just is"
"Pretty."

"Like life!" I want to shout:
It just is. And one day
is gone.





I AM

#83
08-21/26-04

always hoping to die
before I have to do too much
more maintenance on this body/system:

the teeth, the eyes, the thyroid, the groin --
like our "sexually unbalance congress."
(oops, I mean "gender" corrected Professor Fantom)

there's too much health
and not enough lethal dis-ease.
Nonetheless there's stress enough, aches, pains,

irritability and mind-loss enough
to forego the rest
as it comes to a choice.

Skip it. I was musing yesterday, that
even as a child, I could never
quite believe that eating, sleeping, coping,

all that maintenance was all there was to IT.
The big IT. Life. Even at five or six I began to
wonder what IT was all about,

when the big event or events were to arrive.
But all events seemed to come in the came guise:
breathe, sleep, eat and try to stay awake

for the endless routines, like fish
endlessly O-ing, tailing it around in circles,
spawning.

I guess, the main event
when it arrived
was to be

sex (and love?) but, again, it seemed
a pitiably small reward
for so much coping.

Why do all that cleaning and coping and maintaining?
for such evanescent moments of delight?
To me, that was at the top

of the "eternal questions" list.
It never really got answered.
Shove it aside: "Eat your supper."

Such a lot of spit and polish
for such elusive delights.
If God's so keen on all this testing.

let him do a bit more manifesting
and taking care of those God induced wants,
this God-induced-human-busy-bodiness.

Even the biggest deal seemed to come down to lunch,
or who slept with whom last night.
And greed, of course,

that's the biggest, boring-est
hardest to shake deal of all
except, eventually, you begin to realize

that all the greed in the world does nothing
but buy more food, sleep, coping
and, God knows, there's enough of that already.

Ignore the headache, let the itch go on,
hope the teeth don't crack off,
avoid the side view in the mirror.

They shall endure.
But you have a choice to make
eventually:

unless you want it all to play out in drool,
babbling, prodigious wrinkling,
mindlessness.




idam ch'dam cha






SIX PORTRAITS AT 70

#84
08-23-04

The side angle
is almost sinister
in its reportage of age and rage.

The font view
has serenity
on its side -- and beauty.

All the family
influences
seep in sideways

sagging,
crinkled and creased,
fatted-up and jowl-y

heavy-necked
and loose lipped,
not a character in a

novel or a play,
but having played a life
role hard on the flesh and bone.

Having consumed too much
unhappiness, too much food.
plus coffee

as muse and
murderer,
does creation itself

flow from stimulants,
over-stimulation,
knocked sideways

from the Tao's serenity
of full face
forward?

Yet there are the horrors
of skinny-bodied
fleshy-chested

sadhus.
Life is not a beauty
contest, it seems'

Who's to answer
for family
influence

and the concealedness
of blind-sided, age-fallen
flesh.




idam ch'dam cha






THE NEWS

"Asian farmers' wells sucking continent dry" The Seattle Times, 8-26-04, p. A11,


#85
08-26-04
And that's not the half of it.
After they have sucked
all the water out (trillions of gallons),
and the oil out (quadrillions of barrels),

the earth, responding to its gutted
interior, hollowed-stomach, belly-aching
will collapse, implode
sink into

its dinosaur holes
created by our un-tender greed.
Rock by rock, sheer slime-coated
perpendicular tube-wells

for oil or water
will burst inward and down.*
We've advanced the subsistence
farmer's of Asia into the age of technology,

where, hungry ere now, they will
be able to starve to death in more desired-filled
and wretched ways.
Have you no shame? -- American

technology. Our "can-do" philosophy
keen to undo the balance of ages.
Where, just hungry before,
they now get to starve -- in droves.



*"...bringing a spate of suicides among those who rely on them."

AND:

"'Tomatina' festival's tomato war in Bunol (eastern Spain)" where 20,000 people turned 132 tons of tomatoes into pulp
['a river of tomato juice'] during the annual food fight." The Seattle Time, 8-26-04, p. A10


Why don't we send these 20,000 revelers
to Sudan, each with their thirteen lbs of tomatoes,
for the people who haven't eaten
who, maimed or raped, big bellied,

gasp with starvation, who have no homes,
where, though millions die, we still can't
quite reconcile ourselves to calling their plight:
genocide.




idam ch'dam cha






YOU CAN DO WITHOUT ME

#86
08-28-04

You can do without me, dear earth,
you are eager to let me know.
Indifference shines in the sun.
Neglect falls with the rain.
The wind blows in disregard of
the cottonwood leaves and me.

Cool, it caresses my cheek, but
it doesn't care about my mood.
The wind will change my mood,
but cannot change my life -- or
the life of the earth, the absurdity.
As I grow less suicidal, I grow

less believing and, as I cannot
believe the absurdity, the cruelty
of life, a vast indifference to my
own desires fans out under the
blazing sun of Sudan, where people
live in the grit of sandstorms without

water, without food, without shelter
from the bestiality of their fellow
humans. Where their brothers' and
sisters' blood is drunk by their cousins
of the sand without mercy, without
any feeling of remorse, without tears.

Where the United States of America,
strongest, most over-armed country
of the earth, yet rants and extorts
the means for more weapons from
its lulled, consuming population
to kill and to maim its fellows

living in the desert sands, in the ruins
of its bomb-shattered cities, on sewage water,
unfulfilled promises, torture and death. I have had
the vision and the knowledge encoded in my molecules
that you can do without me, dear earth, or any other single,
unreasonable, unteachable, beyond-compassion's-reach human.




idam ch'dam cha






THE UNLIMITED UNIVERSE

#87
08-28-04

Haunted by thought, I can write
no other way. Sirens
scream through the glittering
night. Obliquely I spy the flashing light.

There is no life but mind --
or chaos or created
pattern or musical sound
or age hewn tree become sculpture

or the cool caressing breeze enamored
of cheek's fuzz or
rose's scent even a
kitten can smell -- and everything else.





I LIVE II

#88
08-29-04

I live in a wash of words
and sunshine

listening to the Rubinstein/Barth
tape: an old friend

and an old acquaintance: both
professors and authors.

What I love and hate about both
is their wash of words

their arrogance, tap tap,
and their assurance, tap tap,

that what they say is meaningful, tap tap,
important, refutable, tap tap

only by other professors and authors,
while I hesitate always

even to set down here, in secret,
my comments

on their authoriatarainisms.
Nothing in my mirrored

world reflects their witty, worldly word play
except, from time

to time, my own indulgence in equally
wily, witty, worldly

word play which, as I do it, I watch and which
reflects nothing of my

world replicable by my consciousness
as either reality

or dream. I live in a world where I
smell chicken

frying upon the stove, where the noisy stove fan
makes the air a bit cool,

where I glance over to see the adorable lightening-
struck belly, buff and white,

of my cat, the God Shiva stretched across the foot
of my snow-white coverlet

atop my bed-on-the-floor. My teeth feel mossy
my mind, as always,

is a bit clouded-dense and over-activated by coffee --
the source of my creativity.

I could go on to describe the state of my nakedness,
but that would be

a bit much even here. The wall is white, the table
is white.

I have been stitching all morning on, surely, the most
complicated, -- as another

professor/author, Ellingson, has said -- system ever devised
for musical notation,

North Indian, Classical music notation (in this case notes),
wondrously intricate,

nearing the end (in about another month) of the 80,000+
stitches which create

a pattern of harmonically-elaborated designs, extensively
explained, (if you care to look at it)

on janhaag.com under The Ten Thats while listening
to Barth/Rubinstein

and questioning, at every (frequent) mis-stitch,
just why I do this.

Why do I persist in this temper-testing, endlessly
on-going stitch stitch stitching

which will bring me kudos -- but little ones -- very quick
to evaporate,

and the explanation of which will make your eyes glaze over
almost before I've began?

There's an example given on the tape
(by Rubinstein)

about the lack of a maker and an equal
lack of the thing made:

there is no writer and there is no story,
says he, referencing (author/professor)Borges.

There is only the making, the process, the stitching.
And for that, there is no answer

or observation.
It is the fascination of the elaboration, I am sure,

of the "10,000 things."
There is no reason to do, you just do it,

and envy the fact
that others have the talent to do it differently.




idam ch'dam cha






WHEN THINGS WERE EASIER

#89
09-14-04

Now everything seems to resist what I do, or I
resist the way of the world
as it unfurls,
free of my desire and discerning eye.

The sausages, frozen and stuck together, I twisted cursing, I
backed off, hand lifted, and hurled
them to uncurl.
Broken apart, ice chips fly and fry.

The cat attacks, smells desire with a mighty ire. I
share, mixing hot sausage, dropped, pearled
fat with refurled --
his favorite -- kidney. He draws blood tides

from my foot. And I know, eons from now, I
will remember, from the past, churl
ingratitude, tail awhirl,
my blood oozing, recording his disproportionate lie.





I'LL PUT CINNAMON ON MY NECK

#90
09-15-04

I'll put cinnamon on my neck, patted wet or dry,
eat garlic, swill powdered and pelleted
vitamins, drink vinegar,
because! there's a redness across my neck,

beneath my ear, crossing seams of age, folds of fear.
"It may be atypical herpes zostra --
shingles," Doctor said --
as close to a death sentence as

I am likely to hear. And, in a leap you're
unlikely to understand, it meant no
more coffee -- ever!?
A lack of coffee means writing is

out the window, down the drain, you can't save your
muse, your inspiration, your addiction,
your God, your
soul, your potential fame this time. Eat

your nettle pancakes, green as God's chlorophyll, like B
vitamins, good for you. The God
of the Botany
Greenhouses feeds his sick plants sprinkled cinnamon.

Certainly it can't be good for thee and not for
me, said I to my trees.
And now, drunk
on tea, neck dry and smarting, I

write and wonder what fame can serve if it can't
stop herpes or hurricanes as Ivan
is about to
swamp old New Orleans with the sea.





A REMEMBRANCE OF THINGS PAST
Hommage à Proust

#91 through #115
9-30-04 to 10-08-04






A REMEMBERING OF THINGS PASSING

GRANDMOTHER

#116
10-13/17-04

I'd like to stay home and think about my grandmother today
The golden leaves are falling with the rain today
Early -- for the trees are green today
Today the gold comes from --

Where does the gold come from -- falling from the sky today
Peripheral flashes turning falling swiftly with the rain today
White as Grandmother's white hair falling today
Today the sky comes from --

White as finespun white spiders' webs silken falling long unbraided today
A webbed face stout gentle hook-nosed cheerful silent today
She raised sweet peas in those days
Today I remember summer from --

A long time ago the sweet pea scent of Grandmother's today
Summer longing finger tips bent back from crocheting from
Tatting through long silent nights and from
long nights longing for day

Her days were like lace and like light shawls tablecloths bedspreads
Tatted one thread into lace one endless thread into
Stitches loops patterns turning flame into light
by the fire's flickering lace





ELECTION DAY APPROACHES

#117
10-28-04

The moon is supposed to go into eclipse today or tomorrow,
hiding her head, no doubt, blushing with anticipated shame
at the conduct of republican humans
intimidating voters, scheming, to steal

four more years of coercion, restriction, the violation of human rights,
lie-telling, Iraqi-killing, war-mongering, repudiation of truth, fairness, principle, sanity,
four more years of propping up their
smirking puppet to dominate earth.

My heart beats fast in the morning, not only from coffee,
but from fear of the civil strife about to
bring down the great American freedom experiment,
the comfortable, well-meaning American people

about to be conned again by the Nazi-grandfathered rich boy who
got away with cocaine dealing, AWOLing, drunken driving, all
those things he, the dubya, cares about
most. How will it begin?

It has already began, in Florida, again, with the disenfranchisement of
58,000 who were supposed to receive their ballots
in the mail, the disenfranchisement of Native-Americans
in South Dakota, the challenging

of voters in New Mexico, Colorado. Who's going to start the
fisticuffs, fire the first assault weapon? When? Where? This
time next week, will we be in
Civil War? It's hard to

fathom the future, here, seventy-one years since Hitler the First, in
this Empire on the other side of the sea.
Gone are liberty, justice, compassion, equality, hope.
World-slavery will triumph or die
on Tuesday





MEAT

#118
10-29-04

It may be meat that makes me feel better. Born a
carnivore, it may be my endless attempt to change
my nature that interferes with my joy.
Blood and flesh! -- the way

of the bloody world. To feel at home, part of the
human family, one may have to tear muscle and
bone, grind out life beneath one's boot,
as Shiva-purna, with his white

boots, snatches a fly from the wall, eats it, turns on
me to scratch up bright blood to satisfy his
lust for living food. Trapped in a
nunnery, he, no doubt, carries

genes from the jungle. Can I blame him for his nature?
Can I blame me for mine? I quote John
Haag here: "We are not fallen, we
are just slow to rise."





KILL, KILL, KILL

#119
10-29-04

Perhaps God got tired of flinging earthquakes, floods and hurricanes about.
Too much effort. So He invented Man to do
His maiming and killing for Him. Gently,
he started. First just killing

his fellow Man and a few animals for sustenance. The plants
of course, met their doom from the beginning of
Man, Animals, Nature -- dying each year and
returning to die once again.

Then Man, with God's encouragement, began widening his circle: genocide whenever
possible, conflagrations to match earthquake and flood and hurricane,
holocausts to incinerate the forests and his
fellows, nuclear bombs to be

held for the duration until God, Himself, got tired of man
and gave the go-ahead to destroy the whole bloody
mess. So who are we to interfere
with the dying of autumn

leaves in blazes of golden glory. It becomes obvious after several
100,000 years that we, too, were put here
to kill kill kill, die die die
as all else in creation.

Why fight it? The Vietnamese monks set themselves aflame. Burn or
be burned. Volunteer for death, take the burden from
our tired God, accept your appointment as
His doomed tool of woe.

Let the earth refresh itself without us, without animals, plants, nature,
woe, or accept our wild urge to kill - simply
a tool in the birth and rebirth
and rebirth, the

shape shifting of molecules. Remember nothing is ever created or destroyed.
Very likely the quarks feel no woe, nor the
neutrinos. Buck up! Humanity help God in
His distress. Just do it.





IT WORKED!

#120
11-03/05-04

The computer revolution has succeeded. The election went forward without hitch,
the voting on Diebold and Sequoia was as smooth
as silk. No fuss no muss. From
now on they can have

all the elections they want, America, Afghanistan, Iraq, North Korea, you
name it, we've got the machines adjusted, fine tuned,.
Let each person vote as they wish,
the adjusted machines will carry

the day. It didn't even take very many of them. Strategic
placement here and there, a tweak or two, we
win so subtly -- each time. Genghis Khan
couldn't have done it better --

he did too much blood, guts, towers of skulls for our
taste. Here it's just an adjustment or two. Honor
thy hacker. Elections ad infinitum, for all
eternity, are ours, pre-programmed, ordained,

undetectable -- malevolent -- though I would never use such an unsubtle word.
The world is ours! Rejoice my friends. The courts
are stacked, the new legislation is up
for signature: no abortions, stoning

for adultery, jail time for religious disagreement, a Siberia all our
own on Mars, women back in the home where
they belong, and pregnant, lots of cannon
fodder for the hand-to-hand stuff --

we'll breed all we want now. Free speech -- let the protesters
chat about whatever they want, GOP toys
can deal with all the uranium news
and body bags they can

produce. No more frivolous suits about life and death, John Ashcroft
can sue whoever he wants. Everyone's on our side
now. There is no other side. "But
what do you actually get?"

asks the Devil. "Huh? What'd'ya mean? We're the Haves and Have
Mores" "Power?" "Oh, yes, power." "Righteousness?" "Oh yes, we're
right!" "Greed?" "That's a word the Have
Nots use." "What do you

get out of it?" "I get to go to bed early,
vacation, sleep the chaste sleep of Empire. I get
to prevent those people having immoral sex.
I get to march their

souls right up to God for deliverance." "And what does God
say?" "Well, actually, I don't really know. He wasn't
there the last time I delivered a
bunch of those bodiless souls.

It was strange. A little spooky. A great big empty stretch
of Heaven and I didn't see anyone at all."
"What did you do with the souls?"
"What souls?" "The dead ones."





TAKE IT EASILY

#121
11-08-04

Take it easily, very easily, take time, covet reflection, like ducks floating
effortlessly in the mirroring waters of the midnight lagoon,
don't cause or disturb even minor ripples
across the mind's shiny surface.

Wait beneath the surface for a Lithuanian archaeologist like Marija Gimbutas.
She will come. Rest, rest quietly, she will come.
My life, my perpetual motion of a
life, returns again to zero.

All that has gone before has become mist in the morning,
fog, obscure, solid from the height of my eyrie.
In the past it has been my
my guilt, my fate urging

me to go out, to engage, find new work, new interest,
new action, to cultivate desire, but now I wait
easily, maybe I will wait forever, watching
Shiva moving across the water.





THE END OF THE WORLD BEFORE DEATH

Mark, Luke, John, Matthew
#122
11-15-04

Antonio died angry, and James -- he died angry, too. John, always
angry, now, mind waning, wanders within black cobwebs of
memory. Gossamer thin, insubstantial, his thoughts evaporate
into silent space, cosmic dust.

Allan, too, was, no doubt, furious at the leukemia that took
him, sucked his blood, hit delete on the keyboard
of his life. I hadn't seen him
in years, would not have

known of his death, except, by chance: Julia, flying East, read
in the New York Times, an obit-article, dramatic picture
and all. What a mask of tragedy.
Years ago, flying West, accidentally

finding Beverle on the plane and newly in love, I showed
her Allan's picture -- a different one. "I wouldn't touch
him," said she. "What do you mean?"
"With a face like that."

I thought him quite -- possibly morbidly -- attractive. "Too much tragedy and
drama." Perceptive Beverle, dead now, too -- she and he,
both, probably angry at the end. Lately,
I am angry -- most of

the time. At the very core of that anger is a
realization that I have had no influence at all
on the world. Not the influence of
fame, which I have, indeed,

already spent a lifetime musing upon, but an influence that should
have emanated just from living long, habitually, doing things,
knowing that this is what outcome I
can expect and what outcome

I desire -- and now REALITY -- that bitch! -- giving me something else:
the jar won't open, the door won't close, rugs
heap up to trip me. DISORIENTATION stalks
every moment of my life.

My life has become a miscalculation. I am faced with a
universe that has not learned from my wants, desires,
necessities. I am too old to be
foiled and foiled again. This,

I suspect, is the cause of the great anger before death.
I came, I saw, I accomplished, I wept, I
dreamt. Nothing left even a fingerprint on
the way of the world.





NOT MUCH TIME

#123
11-16-04

Not much time this morning to peep over the edge into
the void my life has become, the disastrous, dangerous
travesty to human life the land of
the free and the home

of the brave has become. Listen to the news all hours
of the day and night. One report after midnight
spoke of a man pouring fuel over
his head and igniting a

match to go boom in front of the Whitehouse, yesterday, and
another climbing the new, more pleasingly-decorative, security fence. No
one could say if the two incidents
were related. The burnt man

was taken to the hospital, burns over 30% of his
body, and judged to be Muslim. Well, no wonder
we didn't hear anymore: wouldn't want those
rag-heads influencing Christian righteousness. For

that's what happened following the example of some Buddhist's in the
last quagmire war. Americans -- can you believe it? -- immolating
themselves on the Capitol steps! And, again,
heard only once: that 2,000

+ 1700 + other U.S. soldiers are now refusing to
fight, going AWOL, laying down their arms. But many
times, even after midnight, we get to
hear again and again of

the Marine, going into a mosque in Fallujah, shooting a wounded
Iraqi at point blank range, shouting "He's only pretending
to be dead!" Apparently there was footage,
too, if you happened to

have a TV, which they warned you, before showing the explosion
of the gun, the exploding of his skull, blood
be-smattering the environment, that it might be
too difficult to watch, our

U.S Marines, our once pristine "moral authority" executing people. Kill
a thousand with a bomb: It's war. A-Okay. Kill
one deliberately with a gun: It's murder.
A war crime. Stay awake,

listen carefully, they' re only going to play it once from the
1:00 a.m.silence: The End Of The World.





I ALMOST

#124
11-17-04

I almost wish I didn't live in such a cocoon: warm
silky, translucent, chewable. My walls are white, my ceiling
is high, the morning cool can be
quickly displaced by blowing heat.

I live, like more than = the world, below the poverty
line, but I live in paradise. Partly because of
a fine low-income for artists project,
but mostly because I no

longer want the perks of greed. I can no longer imagine
having (or wanting) enough money to go out and
toss it about randomly for tschotskes and
season tickets. Is my life

smaller? You bet! Happier? Not necessarily. But it has become impossible
for me to imagine anyone wanting five cars, a
jet and six houses while another lies in
a ditch starving. Why? Why

would anyone want luxury bought by trampling over other people's corpses?
How many meals can you eat? How many suits
can you wear? How many yachts can
you captain? How many ranches

can you gather brush on for fun, while paying others the
world over, a "fair," dying-wage to gather up brush
for subsistence? Do you love only butterflies?





EVOLUTIONARY WARS

#125
11-21-04

Changing, growing, the world happening a little more each day, evolving
into something else so slowly one hardly notices. As
the marine, shooting him in the head,
said of the Iraqi: "He's

only pretending to be dead!" Like the rest of us. Sun
shines, wind blows, the cat pushes the little fluted
cup no longer full of pomegranate juice.
Yesterday was splendid. Today, reading

The New Yorker, I find the bottom of the pits again.
An ancient issue, saved for almost two years now
to read about Turrell's volcano, which both
wakes me up and puts

me to sleep. What a passion it has taken to change
it from Roden Crater into a didacticism of light.
One can admire his dedication, one can
envy his being there. All

the fun is in the making. To dwell within the act
of art. Recently I was missing any Buddhist or
Hindu or Jain caves in America, but
this generation, following in the

all but vanished footsteps of the native Americans, moves the earth
around once again like the Snake Mound, the other
Mounds. What a need to reshovel dirt
lies in the human soul.





MEDITATION II

#126
11-22-04

Power, fame, riches: the addiction to and fear of these obsessions
of the human soul, my soul. Oddly enough I
disposed of power early on -- never much
had the desire to lord

it over other people. Over objects and circumstances, yes. But people?
Always rather indifferent to people. Or is that just
the oldest cover-up of them all? Never
much success with people. So

just stepped aside -- probably with deep sorrow and at first, hard
to get used to, aloneness. Fame -- I guess that
was my replacement for never getting along
with people close by, never

being liked or liking -- or loved -- whatever that may be. So
I wanted strangers, hoards of strangers to love me,
envy me, want me. Recognition close to
home never much counted. But

from a stranger -- bliss! Riches? Well, I wanted that a lot
when I was younger, but now I discovered in
spades! that I already have enough money
to overeat every day, that

my most comfortable bed is the floor, that my tastes are
thoughtlessly simple. So I don't need the money any
more. For what? Oh I could spend
quite a bit, but it

would change nothing. Fill the hours more, when I don't have
enough time as it is. Time to do what? --
while these three, lean, angry tigers still
tear at my vulnerable soul.





MOSS

#127
11-25-04

The moss is three days deep on my teeth. Some days
I just stop caring for myself. My wrist hurts,
as do my lymph, I guess, glands,
both sides of my skull's

base: like stones between the
gray and the bone, flat as rolled
steel, tight as a corset, transforming my outlook to
a boulder's granite hue. Granite Falls is a place not too

far from here. I know I've been there, but I don't remember
the splashing roar of the water anymore, anymore than
the exact number of loves I've had
in my life. My thoughts

drop down like my cat's
eye teeth -- sharp, pointed, perhaps lethal -- across
his gums and the brown splash on one side
of this mouth -- perpetually grinning. He has a single tiny tuft

of white hair above his right eye, as if some of
his stuffing were leaking. Between swipes with unsheathed claws,
I manage to tweak the tuft from
his fur -- probably scratched loose

by an over vigorous hind
paw. His teeth are never mossy. He
cleans them thrice daily with hard, dry, crisp, anti-hairball
cat food, slurpy, fresh kidney, and some blood from my veins.

And though he doesn't like to be petted, he knows to
tease the back of my legs with his silken
tresses when I stand in the kitchen
and he's hungry. In Indian

lore, there is no good
and evil, Shiva is all things and
nothing. Shiva is care, contamination, the sap, the ashes,
the charnel grounds, Mt. Kailasa*, and the mossless banks of Ganga.



*The abode of Shiva, kailasa means crystalline






I LIE

#128
11-28-04

I lie naked and supine in the gold-white spaces of paradise,
warming machines whirring, winter sun illuminating this lofty emptiness,
listening to an analysis by Ward Churchill
of the two hundred-thousand plus

out of 15 (more or less) million native American inhabitants here,
in this land were I lie in the beauty
of the sunshine and peace, who survived
the genocidal fury of my

forbearers. They must have taken part. They got here in 1632.
They survived -- at least two who made me -- scalpings,
shootings, fire, the germ warfare of gifting
smallpox blankets. Scalping was an

Irish custom, taught to the Indians by the English, eager to
learn from all "enemies". There is a double line
of green plants, mostly avocados and lychees,
to my right, a blank

blue window of winter sky and black twigs to my left,
ubiquitous sunshine, hum, beauty all around, peace.
How long can I lie without thought?
Why is there such beauty

in a world of murderers? Were we given consciousness to create
an earth of contrasts so terrible that death is
the only answer, the sleep of unconsciousness
our only hope for peace.





I LIE II

#129
11-28-04/04-23-06

Always ready with the rapier teeth and claws, my cat switches
from pet to hunter before I can snatch away
my hand, my wrist, my arm
immediately beading with dark bright

blood. An all-American at heart, Shiva-purna asks to be loved for
his gentle, adorableness and feared for his claws, for
his ability to catch, kill and devour
prey within time's undifferentiated instant.

Beware, beware, O human child, dragging your consciousness like a sack
with seven cats, and every cat with seven kits.
Shiva-purna may get to Saint Ives --
but you? Close your eyes,

"Run fast," as Pilgrims urged the infected Indians -- who sought to
escape the spread of smallpox -- before setting out to
scalp the Pequots, who had brought
them turkey, squash, cranberries, friendship,
thanksgiving, and came in peace.





BLUE LIGHT

#130
11-29/30-04

I was making love to him and all his bones turned
to blue light. Was that a warning of divinity
or a nuclear signal of early death?
How odd some things sound.

Incandescence? Today? The Christian Rich, who believe the rich are rich
by divine right and riches confirm their rich divinity,
would laugh at barefoot Jesus born
on a bed of straw!

Can you believe it? In Bethlehem? They'd start a fund, start
a foundation, get him some proper bedding, a few
new, good suits, a shave, a haircut,
some shoes, a hot bath.

They'd teach him a bit about spinning and press conferences, winning
hearts and minds, defending democracy, the danger of women
and medical marijuana, war time necessities, how
to shake an image of

being gay. Forget bread and fish. We don't meet on hillsides
(Security's too difficult), we meet in raked auditoriums and
send for take-out. What's a good budget
for? I'll answer the questions.





CHANGING

#131
11-30/12-1/3/18-04

The world seems to be changing almost imperceptibly in some indefinable
way, step by pointed toe-shoe step, I dimly perceive
the space inside my head getting bigger
and bigger. A helium balloon

must feel exceptionally light-headed floating off to dance with clouds. In
what way must life be the way it is?
It's difficult enough practicing what you preach,
let alone preaching what you

practice. Think of Rush Limbaugh, poor, righteous, benighted, frothing, right-wing ranter,
he would be on his own hit list if
he dared to preach what he practices.
But he doesn't. He won't.

As one grows older, achier, full of pains, one begins to
realize that nothing ever gets better, one simply stops
complaining, one simply loses consciousness of the
original pain, disease; others replace

it. As Lampedusa observed: "Everything must change to remain the same."
I never wrote a novel but, unlike "Middlesex's" interlocutors,
I did have the time, just never
had anything to say -- about

other humans. Scads of time, but people's antics never much interested
me -- except in novels, where their motives and odd
behaviors, utterly opaque to me in reality,
got explained. When I began

to read detective stories, murder mysteries, after a lifetime of pure,
classic, elitist books, I wondered why I began to
crave them. One day it occurred to
me, I loved them, relaxed

to their tunes because they made the world so neat, so
explainable. When I arrive home from the complexity of
riding on the buss, seeing the world
in all its richness, sadness,

momentariness, I needed to flop down for an hour, have Lescroart
make it neat for me again. Explain some, if
not all, the webs and threads. Relate,
explain, divulge, solve. But now

I feel -- after giving up even the thought of it for
a couple of years -- that I may be ready --
edging toward writing a novel which, explaining
nothing, just traces a light

line in the sand of the way it is. Or, maybe,
that is what I have been doing these many
years in my 5,000 poems. Maybe 5,000
more to go, and I

will have dealt with the 10,000 things. Now's a moment of
unadulterated delight. It's still dark out at 8:24 a.m.,
my desk light is on, Shiva-purna is
stretched out, belly showing, beneath

the light, next to the white cup with the blue straw,
the plate and fork. Shiva-p's paws caress the calendar
which displays a small picture of a
Mexican gray wolf against a

blue background identical to the color of the blue straw. S-p
is all fluffed up in his soft-white furred, teasing
mode, blue eyes bright, dying to play,
adorable, deep-fanged like a Cheetah.

He claws at the stiff rag-cover of The Columbian Encyclopedia, Second
Edition which raises, along with the phone book, my
computer to eye-level. He wants me to
be done -- to clap, to

cry, to chase him up and down the hall. Last night,
lying in my bed on the floor, I watched
as he, having just eaten, licked his
chops with his extraordinarily long

tongue, slurp-swirl , slurp-swirl. I began to imitate him: a short lick
to the nose, then one extraordinary swipe to the
right, pink and as long as an
eel, and one extraordinary swipe

to the left, a candy-pink ribbon. I imitated each lick. He
watched me -- perhaps a little puzzled. Then, pink tongue
tapping his nose again, we went through
the ritual once, twice, thrice.

He had never seen me lick my chops before. What did
he think of this new mirror image? He's smart
enough to know a lot of things.
Ah now! -- after only being

able to engage my peripheral attention, he claws the little speakers'
wires, knowing the attack will quickly divert my attention
from words to him. I hide the
speakers beneath my Thai sarong.





HIDING

#132
12-04/05-04

She kept her son in the closet. Or, she kept her
son. He lived in her closet. It was a
large closet with a TV at one
end of her almost luxury-size

studio. He came out to cook himself modest, gourmet meals, at
times having to step over his Mom where she
lay, arms flung out on the floor.
The studio wasn't wide, but

it was long. She kept her sun in the closet. She
was born with a sun. She kept it hidden
most of her life, deeply closeted, in
the dark, behind the TV,

blindly obedient to her fear and obstinacy, ignoring the illumination collected,
like dew in a ceramic jug over three-quarters of
a century. She polished the inside and
outside of the terra-cotta jug.

Even in the closet it shimmered like a digital screen but --
not online -- nobody saw it except the dust motes of the
closet and a friend or two. They
nodded to each other and

wondered about both the son and the sun living in their
closet. Three-quarters of the world is composed of dark
matter, which nobody sees and nobody knows.
At times she hooked rugs

in orange and yellows to hang like suns on the wall.
She polished stones to reflect blue space and the
light of the snow-white sky, she reflected
on her history, opaque, bizarre.

Hers was a story deserving a novel, long, intricate, complex like
a cat-unraveled ball of angora yarn: and every hair
had seven tails and every tail had
seventy tales spun out to

embrace the 10,000 things. The son, sun and mom remained in
the closet, living each day, breast-stroking their way though
incident and accident. Because I knew the
mom, I knew she reflected

on the passage and meaning of life/time -- we talked a lot
about it, excavated, speculated, remained in silence -- and maybe
the son, always silent, did, too. One
conversation with the mom, every

two weeks was like trepanning the brain, relieving the pressure, a
surgery humans knew how to do, one upon the
other, almost back to the time of
the "missing-link" to the apes.





HIDING II

#133A
12-05/07/18-04

The sun comes into the dark hole where her heart used
to be. Her personal life is a more desolate
war zone than the rubble strewn streets
of Fallujah. She has kept

herself alone and apart, thinking, thereby, she might find the meaning
of life. What she has found is that most
people are willing to spend much time
convincing her there is no

meaning to life other then love/involvement/hatred of others. Even
as a child, when she first heard that "man
is a social animal," she rebelled, first
with horror, then with disbelief!

She came from a long line of isolates, hermits, on both
sides: grandfathers and great grandfathers, funny old men of
the woods, who lived alone, far from
town, wandered, sang hymns, and

grandmothers, who had never wanted to marry, probably didn't want children,
remained alone when spouses died or departed or hid:
like her father's mother -- who didn't speak
to her husband for thirty

years. Though they lived together, Blanche sat in the kitchen reading
The Christian Science Monitor, drinking canned milk in her
coffee, eating gray, homemade bread with capsule-colored
margarine, while Dell hid in

the sun-filled, dust-motes-spinning attic with his rank upon rank of small
brown gold-filled bottles filling the ceiling crosspieces, struts, beams,
windows sills, dark corners, where the floorboards
didn't meet the unfinished, unpainted,

ship-lap, walls. He descended to the second floor bathroom to shave
his gaunt, almost coal-mines-dark face, with a strop sharpened
straight razor. No isolate much declared or
distained love or a need

for each other. They challenged the woods and the earth, saved
newspapers with moderate success and weariness. They did. Just
do it! -- like the Buddhists. The meaning
of life was to get

through it: pick wild blackberries, eat tubs of strawberries, pound the
table in political fury, do what came their way,
refrain from complaint, die with modest, non-fungible
assets -- to be thrown away.





DO NOTHING II

#134
12-12-04

Do nothing. If you try to do something it will
fail. All but the fewest of things fail. Do nothing.
Even if you succeed today, you'll fail
tomorrow. Do nothing, O Devayani -- patience.

Fail with aplomb, fail with patience. Let the world be
as it is. Do nothing. The sun shines, the moon
reflects its light. Move as the moon.
Reflect the sun and earth -- intermittently.

Display the fickleness of the earth's atmosphere and do nothing:
clouds, wind, rain, snow, sun -- fog and darkness can hide
it all -- as long as you do
nothing. Cocoon peace. Do nothing.





MEDITATION III

#135
12-12/21-04

My breath is heavier than my body. If I take
in a breath completely I expand into weight -- a balloon
weight but, none-the-less, weight. When I exhale,
I deflate into a leaden blankness.

If you have not felt it, it is indescribable, but
if you have ever entered a room where many people
are meditating, and you are susceptible to
such things, there is a deep,

weighted, blankness, a letting go, like a sigh, that all
but, in its strongest aspects, rivets you to the floor.
The illuminated spine waggles a little, brightness
overcomes you and you settle into

permeable solidity. Permeable by all the molecules inside and outside
your body. You are a blankness in their midst, made
of the same material as they are.
And lately -- like the oddments popping

up out of the ocean of milk as the gods
and the demons churned -- out of the corner of your
eye, your thousand eyes, you see bits
and pieces of reality changing -- or

not so much actually changing, as possessing the possibility of
being different. For instance: if I hear of a child
being mutilated by a bomb and hear
further that some dear solider, full

of compassion, is moved to help that child, and to
do so, is raising funds to pay for surgery, hospitalization,
travel, the medical bills, I am dumbfounded,
struck by that out-breath deflation: Doesn't

our society automatically have enough to help, save, operate on,
rescue that child? Where will the money go? Who is
it that needs to be paid? Suddenly
that veil is rent, I can't

believe that the world is the way it is. It
should, it ought to be, it is different -- out of
the corner of my eye. Once the
possibility is raised that every vote

should be counted, then surely every vote is countable. Once
DefSec Donald Rumsfeld is caught ordering torture -- a war crime --
it no longer matters, as Bush would
have it, whether or not he

is a "nice-guy". Those are the things I see in
deep meditation, swimming along the surface of the ocean of
milk My breath is deep and weighted.
It could be death inhabiting neck,

the chest and the brow, or it could be a
glimpse of a different world. I sit, a leaden lump;
my hands tingle. I breathe; I can't
move -- lest I lose my vision.





HIGH NOON


Part I

CHRISTMAS EVE FROM MY EYRIE

#136
12-24/31-04

Seattle is gone today. It is gone on Christmas Eve.
The street, below my eyrie still goes straight down to
the lake -- one barely perceives the lake,
the fringe of the tree tops

outlines the margins of the lake. The Highway 5 bridge
also ends in grey fog, nothingness. Cars disappear on the
west side and appear out of the
mist on the east side. At

12:23 the lake, incandescent, ice white shows through the fog.
But still there is no Seattle -- two years, 105 days,
since 9/11. 3,000+ bodies, lives were
transformed forever in what looked like

a badly executed aerial stunt by un-trained pilots nicking two
special-effect buildings against a green-screen which was then and remained
nothing but blue sky purely lit by
empty air and the incandescent sun.



Part II

THE DAY AFTER CHRISTMAS TSUNAMI

12-31-04

The island of Sumatra moved about 100 feet toward the southwest
when the north-moving southern India Plate forced its way beneath
the northern Burma Plate about 7:00 a.m.,
December 26th, causing both depression waves

and elevation waves along a California-size piece of falling and
up-leaping ocean floor which, sucking and spitting, caused great waves,
tsunami's to undulate out to meet and
desolate the coasts of 11 countries

ringing the Indian Ocean. And, so far, on the last
day of the year 2004, it has killed at least
100,00 people, most in Indonesia -- Aceh -- and
Sri Lanka. Still fewer than the

death toll from their recent "civil" wars. But they have
stopped fighting for a few days now, to bury the
dead, tend the wounded. Million have been
donated from around the world, 60

million dollars from Spain, 30 million reluctant dollars (less than
the cost of Bush's forthcoming inauguration or two hours fighting
from the Iraq War budget) from America --
and no pause in the fighting there.
10,10,7,6


Copyright © 2004 Jan Haag
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
Jan Haag may be reached via e-mail: jhaag@u.washington.edu




THE 2004 POEMS

INDEX



Belief, 01-06/07-04

Other Thoughts, 01-10-04

The Fishes Are Refreshing*, 01-10/11-04

Disease, 01-11-04

Moon, 01-12-04

Lucky Me, 01-13-04

Neutrinos, 01-14/15-04

For God Sake Let Them Go, 01-15-04

Lagrange Point 2, 01-16-04

Eintou, 01-18-04

Eintou II, 01-19-04

Eintou III, 01-24-04

Eintou IV, 01-25-04

Eintou V, 01-25-04

Eintou VI, 01-26-04

Eintou VII, 01-27-04

Eintou VIII, 01-28-04

Eintou IX, 01-29/30-04

Eintou X, 01-31-04

Eintou XI, 01-31-04

Fibonacci, 02-02-04

Fibonacci II, 02-03-04

Fibonacci III, 02-05-04

Fibonacci IV, 02-05-04

Fibonacci V, 02-06-04

Fibonacci VI, 02-06/14-04

Fibonacci VII, 02-08/12/14-04

Variations On Prime*, Ponderers of Mysticism**, 02-16-04

Prime 2, 02-17-04

Prime 3, 02-17-04

Prime 4, An Ascesis, 02-10-04

Prime 5 Progression, An Ascesis, 02-21-04

Prime 6, 02-21-04

Prime 7, 02-22-04

Prime 8, The Most Important Event Of The Century, 02-24/25-04

Prime 9, 02-25/26-04

Prime 10, 02-26-04

Prime 11, 02-28-04

Pi, 03-02-04

Pi II, 03-02-04

Pi III, 03-04-04

Pi IV, Coup d'etat, 03-05/07-04

PI V, Blindness, 01-12-04

Pi VI, Wake-Up Call, 01-13-04

Pi VII, Pussy-Cat Purrs, 01-13-04

Pi VIII, 03-14-04

Pi IX, Cichlid, 03-18-04

Tetraktys I, 03-19-04

Tetraktys II, 03-19-04

Tetraktys III, 03-21-04

Tetraktys IV, 03-25-04

Tetraktys V, 03-26-04

Tetraktys VI, 03-26-04

Tetraktys VII, 03-27-04

Tetraktys VIII, 03-29-04

Tetraktys IX, 04-04-04

Tetraktys X, 04-05-04

Lambda Series, 04-07/08-04

Lambda Series II, 04-30-04

Last Poem, 05-34-04

I Will Not Have Thought Of Something, 05-12-04

The State Of The World, 05-26-04

The State Of The World II, 06-21-04

A New Goodnight, 06-22-04

A New Goodnight II, 06-23-04

A New Goodnight III, 06-24-04

Late In The Afternoon, 06-25-04

No Apologies, 06-27-04

I'd Like, 06-28-04

Deep Sorrow, 07-06-04

Do Nothing, 07-06-04

And So It Grows, 07-15/21-04

It Upsets My Cat, 07-15/16/17-04

Discalced, 07-18-04

I'm Perfectly Okay, 07-20-04

Anger, 07-23-04

The Heat, 07-24-04

Why Not, 07-29-04

Dim Mind, 07-31-04

I Want To Know II, 08-11-04

His Attitude, 08-11-04

The Now, 08-19-04

I Am, 08-21/26-04

Six Portraits At 70, 08-23-04

The News, And:, 08-26-04

You Can Do Without Me, 08-28-04

The Unlimited Univeerse, 08-28-04

I Live II, 08-29-04

When Things Were Easier, 09-14-04

I'll Put Cinnamon On My Neck, 09-15-04

A REMEMBRANCE OF THINGS PAST, Hommage à Proust, 09-30-04 through 10-08-04

Grandmother, 10-13/17-04

Election Day Approaches, 10-28-04

Meat, 10-29-04

Kill, Kill, Kill, 10-29-04

It Worked! 11-03/05-04

Take It Easily, 11-08-04

The End Of The World Before Death, 11-15-04

Not Much Time, 11-16-04

I Almost, 11-17-04

Evolutionary Wars, 11-21-04

Meditation II, 11-22-04

Moss, 11-25-04

I Lie, 11-28-04

I Lie II, 11-28-04-04

Blue Light, 11-29/30-04

Changing, 11-30/12-1/3-04

Hiding, 12-04/05-04

Hiding II, 12-05/07-04

Do Nothing II, 12-12-04

Meditation III, 12-12/21-04

HIGH NOON

Part I: Christmas Eve From My Eyrie, 12-24/31-04;

Part II: The Day After Christmas Tsunami, 12-31-04




RETURN TO THE 2004 POEMS


OTHER POEMS


BY JAN HAAG

ART & POETRY - ACCUMULATIONS

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

HAAG'S BIO

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