Fast Poem 39: No Profanity

If you would like me

to forgo profanity

reject your sleazy,

find some decency

and do not do

the things you do

that compel me to say

F you.

Fast Poem 36: A Fetish of Troll

Just because I like you

does not mean

I like the opinions you spout.

That I like

what you say to me

does not guarantee I like you

anymore than being me guarantees

I like me.

And always,

please,

keep in mind,

that just because I

consider you full of it,

a crazy, crackpot,

conspiracy theory, laughable misfit

missing every point

in every pointless way,

does not mean I do not like you;

that I would not jump at the chance

to buy you a beer

or share the darkness

of damp exotic nights with you.

Think on and imagine,

whoever you are

cool anonymous fiend.

Blow my mind

sky high.

Parody me to smile.

Satire me to giggle,

and at the end

of adolescent diatribes

let us,

you and I,

at least try

a slice of like.

Fast Poem 35: It Doesn’t Make Sense

“It just doesn’t make sense!”

Ah, but it does make sense.

It always makes sense.

It makes more sense than one.

We may not have access to the sense it makes.

We may refuse verity of the sense it makes.

We may sense the sense it makes

but choose

no pursuit 

of the sense we sense,

embracing for the moment no sense 

which, makes no sense

when later we sense

we need to squeeze out some sense                      

to sense some peace of mind,

to get some sense of closure,

to move on.

Sometimes lack of data makes impossible making sense.

Sometimes we lack capacity 

to ingest and condense complexity,

to sculpt cosmic chaos into information

etched with sense of sense.

Sometimes sense fills us: hate,

anger,

tragedy,

threat,

mortality,

letting no excess length width or depth to fit sense.

Sometimes sanity requires denying sense;

“It does not make sense.”

“God works in mysterious ways.”

“It is Satan’s work.”

so we can breath again.

There is no difference between denys

except in words.

Each finite,

valid until

sense illuminates the manuscript

or The End unmatters the matter.

Before,

after, 

neither trigger-event nor sense of event dissipates, bends, or mutates.

Beneath it all it makes the sense it makes.

It always makes sense.

It makes more sense than one,

but sometimes it feels better to cry,

to just to cry,

and that’s okay.

It makes sense

sometimes to cry 

just cry.

It makes sense.

It makes more sense than one.


Via an alter-ego I participate in online course offered by Coursea.org. The course, ModPo (Modern Poetry) is taught/led/guided/coached/illuminated by Al Filreis, Kelly Professor of English, University of Pennsylvania. This was my first encounter with his work. 

I experienced a spiritual weirdness watching the video introducing the course. Ten seconds in I felt that if I should see Al Filreis on the street I would approach, thank him, grab him by the shoulders and rub my beard against his beard, give him a high-five, thank him again, grab his hands and force him to dance an ad-hoc polka and finally grab his right-hand with both of mine and shake his arm off. His enthusiasm for poetry made me feel like I’d found my way home after years of wandering the wilderness, keeping the sun always at my back.

Yet, I disagree with at least 1/2 of what is said and taught in the class – disagree is probably too strong a word – let me say I have ideas below, beyond, sideways, or even above what is said and taught in the class – a condition I find inspiring, illuminating and wonderful.

The poem “It Doesn’t Make Sense” was written in response to a ModPo forum thread. During discussion of Gertrude Stein’s Let Us Describe someone said “Sometimes things don’t make sense.” This led to a quick discussion of “Life not always making sense.” linked to the language experiments of Stein and other Modernist poets. On the forums, for better or worse, my alter ego questioned what sense life does not make. In response, another ModPo participant offered a link to Joan Didion’s essay “White Album.” , generously suggesting it might help my alter-ego grok how life sometimes does not make sense. Several pages of the essay can be read here. I think pages 11 to 14 are those intended. To me, the essay validated the question “What sense does life not make?”, which means my alter-ego did a crappy job explaining himself. I wrote the poem so he maybe, might, sorta find a way to better articulate his resistance to the idea that life sometimes does not make sense.

Fast Poem 34: On Interpretation

What criteria do you use to determine right interpretation from wrong?

Who wrote the criteria down. Did they contemplate for long

before reaching consensus? Do they intend one day to tell us; 

down here in the trenches, we the lowly masses, 

how to think so that we comply? 

What rules we must apply

to determine should we deny 

or accept an interpretation 

as worthy of consideration –

wrong or right,

day or night,

black or white?

And if we find between lines a song

unwritten laws deem can not belong

do we bag and set it curbside

or self-thinking decide

which voice stands out –

the wrong, embryonic shout

or the mature murmur of right

safe but rutstuck tight.

-Note on the Poem-

An alter-ego is taking a class at coursea.org named Fantasy and Science Fiction: Our Modern World, The Human Mind. The professor delivered a video lecture proffering interpretations can be wrong. On a discussion forum, my alter-ego disagreed with the professor’s position. Another student disagreed with him and sided with the professor. The dialogue progressed a step or two before my alter-ego, better late than never, asked me for input. I offered this.

Fast Poem 32: Frustration

Times like this.

A line floats beyond grasp;

at tongue’s tip but too far from lips

or pen to save.

It scurries to shadows,

like diseased vermin;

hides behind inconvenient walls,

close but out of reach,

mewing and chirping;

reminding that no other line,

should another bother to come to mind

today,

tomorrow

or another day

will do so well,

be so good, 

as the one that got away.

Perhaps I should retreat to rhyming poetry,

hide my mediocracy

behind dusty, classic forms.

Heroic couplet?

Dadum dadum dadum dadum da-ay

Tado tado tado tado ta-ay.

Dadoo dadoo dadoo dadoo da-be

Tada tada tada tada ta-be.

Weary sounds.

Worn boots stomping concrete streets;

marching behind Nostalgia’s baton;

parading to remember hell as glorious;

to summon sense of life whetted clear by fear of death;

to recover for a moment black elation faded

by years of day in, day out , banal comforts;

blurred by responsibility mundane as Monday.

No other line that comes to mind today,

tomorrow

or another day

will do so well as the line mewing

and taunting in the shadows,

as the one that got away.

Fast Poem 30: I Love Work

I am best when I have work to do.

Work is my drug of choice.

Work obliterates the

painful reality of neo-tyranny.

Work dulls the unbroken monotony

of soul choking bureaucracy infected society.

I get high knowing someone needs me

to get things done ASAP

and when I rise

I need not decide

how to fill my day.

Work is my drug of choice.

I am best when I have work to do.

Fast Poem: #22 – “Drunk with celebrityhood and his own ego, he became a media clown … “

We endured adolescent tribulations,
success and celebrations,
in private, in public and on TV.

We made love under State Street willows,
in bedrooms, in cubicles, on kitchen tables,
in the backseats of imported cars.

We made children who are laughter.
We made children who are murder.
We made children who are nothing at all.

Boomers, we are
a tidal-wave generation,
we consumed a nation,

in an unending search for new
that we might be eternally cool.

© 2009 Chrome Poet
Title from a statement attributed to Owsley Stanley

Fast Poem: #21 On Denial

If I believed that in seven cosmic days
the Omnipotent painted this canvas we call home,

and I can think of no reason not to

I would quake and tremble each time I heard
yet another species passed the way of the dodo,
another victim of yet another madhat hunt
or developing incursion into limited habitation
by Homo Sap Sap.
I’d hide in shadows head down for fear
the great artist might suddenly appear
and demand to know who cut brushstrokes from the canvas
to make room for Mr. and Mrs. Wafflepot,
recently joined by Holy matrimony,
to raise an unnecessary family
in a brand spanking new gated community.

If I believed in Darwin’s theory,

and the evidence is such I must,

If I believed a billion cosmic accidents,
as rare as winning the lottery,
occurred in space through time
to put on this spinning island
a creature as beautifully complex as the Labrador Duck,
I would gasp in sorrow to hear
the luck of not only an individual
but the luck of all alike for all eternity
had run out,
that the billion mutations and adaptations
had been erased
forever
to satisfy
status seeking desires:

oversized cottages
where the river meets the coast;
down pillows, piles of steamers
and of course
perpetuation of surnames.

© 2009 Chrome Poet

Fast Poem: #20 Abecedary Disciplinary Distractions

A game of Focus vs Creativity
haunting another waking occasion.

Tempting is the Focus pill,
resolute immersion,
idea, goal, deadline, completion,
interrupted only by frequent washing of hands.

Enjoyable the other,
natural,
unmedicated Creativity,
bouncing, fluttering thought,
associative,
continually dancing like sunlit patches
splattered on a forest floor;
laughing images,
wise, silly, foolsung phrases;
fragments flocked and flying,
shifting, twisting,
conceiving marginal unison
like migrating blackbirds;
like the chaotic paths of branches.

Creative loves sleep more,
a score for Focus.
Sleep, never loved,
an uninvited interruption of too-short life,
though compared to wake,
equally necessary.

What needs this day more,
focused eye
or the frustrating deficit of insight?

To eat a pill
or
not to eat a pill.
That dear Hamlet
is the question.

© 2008 Chrome Poet

Fast Poem: #18 The Emotional Availability of Sverre the Shipless

My penis fell off in the night.
it lay on the counterpane
next to her night clothes,
a lonely pink thought
without a pen.
I tried to put it back again
but it was cold & burned my hands.

She came home at 6PM.
Indecently incomplete,
I hid behind the bathroom door.

She saw my penis on the bed,
giggled & knocked & said everything would be okay.
Easy enough for her to say.

I cracked the door to watch her change;
the office heartache stepping out of
designer labeled pinstriped skin,
emerging from closet shadows
a primal goddess clad in nothing but air.
Breasts whole and firm were there,
and behind soft blond curling hair,
Sacred Pink pouted
intact.

Easy for her to say
Everything would be okay.

The Goddess donned pajamas;
primal splendor disappeared
into silky ecru clouds;
a sophisticated sorceress,
aura rippling in breezes
of her own design.

She dropped my penis
into the pocket of her dressing gown,
and walked down the stairs.

I heard her boil water for tea,
pop a cork and add brandy

She called up the stairs,
told me once again not to worry
Then tuned in an episode of something
on TV.

Eventually,
I reluctantly
found sleep.

The moon in the window
woke me at midnight & my left hand,
as is my habit,
checked for bits
of this and that & thrilled to find,
resting, warm & happy
the recently errant penis
safe and sound where it belonged.

At my side,
my lover murmured
sacred vowels and ancient rites
invoking buff spirits
and demons with six pack abs.

The thought came to me,
I should keep her close
for eternity
or flee.

© 2009 Chromepoet

© 2008-2012 Chromia Poetics