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BY Michael

07/01 Direct Link

He was cornered.

One of him.

The other one watches

Wondering what he will do,

How he will work† his algorithyms.

At some point his mathematics will

Fail.

Always does.

And then there is the extrication from the wreckage

The Jaws of Life

The insurance adjustors with their

Constantly clicking pens

And blameless smiles.

The pleated blouse with the navy

Tie held neatly in place with a gold pin.

He should have pulled up sooner

But the mathematics were at odds

With humanity.

Of course it was a bad gamble from

The beginning.

Always is

What life places before you.

07/02 Direct Link

Think beach

Think hovering sky

Closing at the edges.

Clamshell pearls

Gather about the grit

And the swollen ripples

Pressed up and up.

The sand and glitter

Takes its ease

To the sound of rusting tumblers.

Towers behind the beach

Are almost tiny

In comparison to the

Shallow arc of sky

And the pole of sizzling sun

Slowly setting herself

Into the water

Gently

Skirts held high.

Feeling the meniscus

Creep up her legs

Cover her thighs.

It is cold only for a moment

At the hollow at the base

Of her spine.

She lays back

Floating

Over the horizon.

07/03 Direct Link

They have been murdering

Fireworks in the dark

Since the fourth of June.

Bright sticks, plastic caps

Torn pieces of paper

Collapsing in explosions in the night.

We are driving home past a stand and

Grandson wants to stop.

Why should I be surprised?

Son would have wanted to stop.

At his age I would have wanted toÖ

And I stop to remember this

Desire that has slipped from me

Not so very long ago.

To launch mortars

And splats of flaming stars

Over the house at night.

I wonder what other things

Are to slip from me this way.

07/04 Direct Link

On the Fourth of July

(Several things happen here,

I get caught up in this

Introspective explosion.

Klause Shulze does something

Very similar

Both of us proving that

We are capable of exceeding the bounds

Of taste and creativity when not

Properly supervised.)

Erase.† Start over.

Really.

My grandson just wanted to

Go to the fireworks with his friend.

That was all.

Of course, I took him,

Picking him up the next day.

Remembering fireworks I went to.

Happy to be home† instead

Letting the grandson experience

The bugs and blare

The boom and bust

The crackle in the night.

07/05 Direct Link

Of course I continue to flip this way

And flop that way

And for some point in time this morning

Even experiencing once again

Severe angst.

Followed for no apparent reason

By calm

For the most part.

It occurs to me that it is

True

That I must accept something.

And that what I must accept

Is that I do not live on solid rock;

But rather on a small ever-shifting bag

Of liquid

On which it may be difficult to maintain

My footing.

07/06 Direct Link

You can spend too

Much time searching for what

Is absolutely correct

And miss the entire show.

There are those

Who maintain the journey

Is the point.

The destination is merely

Another ending.

A paradox is a thing

Which only seems to

Be a contradiction.

It has a key which causes

It to open to sense.

What then is the nature

Of the journey

Of the search?

Is it the frenzied scratching

Of broken nails

From the wrong side of

A coffin lid?

Is it the slow

Inhalation

Of exotic aroma?

The scrubbing spot

By spot of a kitchen floor?

07/07 Direct Link

This is the other tape

The top of the dark limo

Slipping by on the road

Below.

Out in the barn the young rooster

Balances on a gate and tries to crow.

The young woman in the house

Looks up from her reading and

Smiles as she listens

To his effort.

Inside the darkened car

A manís head rolls loose

On the back seat.

Not quite asleep.

His brain chants in time to his breathing.

The young woman puts down her book

Going to the window

To watch the dogs

Return some errant chickens.

Paris by noon.† Paris by noon.

07/08 Direct Link

This is another tape.

They are in no special order.

I can feel it rotating

And locking down as I load it.

It is changing, moving,

Pointing in a new direction already.

I am bracketed at a slightly

Obtuse angle by two

Pottery studios.

One is silent most likely

Gone to dust.

The other vital

Fired

Keen with the assault

Of the edgy weird.

I have been profoundly

Affected by both artists.

Who will never know one another:

Women so different

So similar

Who both regarded me

Me with the same

Air of infinite patience

And seemingly equally infinite

Expectation.

07/09 Direct Link

It was a cold day

It seemed to be

I knew you

Wanted to come with me

My mind was full of the

Spotted fawn I had seen

On the woods that morning

And the howl of the

Mist it slipped into.

It was full of the shape

Of your thigh slipping

From your dressing gown

And the cloth against the

Lace against your skin.

It may not have been a cold day.

It may have been my imagination.

The mist may not have howled.

That may have been some part

Of my soul

Because the thing was so perfect.

07/10 Direct Link

It did not seem to be the obvious route to what he wanted, but there was something intuitively correct about it once he saw the mechanism. What else was he to call it? If it had not worked until now

It was because he had not allowed it and clearly it was in the nature of the thing to work.

As he looked back along the path of his life it seemed odd that he could have arrived nowhere but here he was. There had always been some irresistible force pulling him to this very place, to this very time.

07/11 Direct Link

OK, it is a day

Much like any other day.

I have fixed my dinner

And dropped the shade

On the west window against

The setting sun.

I close my eyes

Against the cold flame

Of the burnished glass

And get ready to duck

A pronoun

Second person

Singular:

You.

The world is full of wit

And destination.

It is crazed with singing

Things to stir your mind

A blur of going to do.

My friends ask

If Iím married yet

Or have someone

Special around.

I laugh and drop my

Head.† No not

This pronoun,

First person

Singular:

Me.

07/12 Direct Link

It was a day

Like any other day

The grass was welled up

In tight little plugs on

The field,

Connected by dark cracks

That seemed to communicate

Quiet wisdom deep within

The earth.

The bleachers too were dry,

Cracked and splintered.

I did not know there would

Come another day

When this wisdom

Would come

Wafting up through these cracks,

A purple fog causing the plugs

To thicken

To a lush growth.

Did not understand the

Implication of inhaling

This moisture

Of drinking this alien dew.

That would be

Another day

Long after the rain beat the bleachers down.

07/13 Direct Link

Only secure content is displayed.

But what is the risk?

Well, there are certificates

And colors,

Errors

And frequently

Asked questions.

The path seems to be

As sound as any other.

I even like the dappled

Effect

Of the tree leaf shadows

On the curve ahead.

You are suggesting

There are things I cannot

See;

Things that are somehow

Dangerous.

We are required by law

To inform you.

What you do is your decision.

What you give me is mis-information.

If some law requires this,

Then you ought to be jailed,

Or the law struck down

As too poorly written.

07/14 Direct Link

I start over.

It seems to be the thing to do.

What I had done before

Was

Ok,

Even interesting,

But

I think it is not what I had

In mind.

Starting out

There is something

Like a color.

It is green

Or purple

Or yellow

Or something garish.

It might be red.

It is just that

Red is often seen

To be in poor taste

After what happened.

Personally, I donít think

It is such a problem myself.

I cut my losses and keep going.

Except for the times that

I cannot.

The times I stumble

Over red memories.

07/15 Direct Link

I was going to go

To another place

Today the sky turned blue.

I will allow for the

Possibility that

It was already that

Way

Before I looked that way.

But it is seeing

Which makes these things so.

I was going to go

To another place

Today I was afraid things

Would continue to not

Turn out well.

The idea was to write from

A different perspective

With my back against a

Different wall but

The compulsion to

Lay my fingers on the keyboard

Is always so strong that it is difficult

To wait while I make alternative arrangements.

07/16 Direct Link

It was a day like

Any other.

It was going to be.

And then the sky

Turned blue.

It may have been

A sorting out

Of the weather

And it took me this long

To notice.

Or it could have

Been a sea change

In my own mind

Setting up such a

Swelling of energy that it simply

Pushed everything else

Out

Of the sky.

That is what it

Felt like.

It was that kind of

Blue.

Even the trees leaning

Against the bowl of

Sky noticed the difference

And were drinking deeply

Greedily

Leaves and limbs shoved

Into blue.

07/17 Direct Link

It is happening

Anywhere you choose to look.

Here and over there

In London, Paris and Rome

In the little bergs and backwaters

Back home.

People arenít noticing

They just donít see

Perhaps they quickly accustom

Themselves to the things

That quietly creep.

It isnít possible to wake the neighbors

Or jangle the nerves

When nothing really sudden

Eye-catching or inexplicable

Has occurred

Yet the numbers of the

Dry drab bodies that litter the ground

Have become a nuisance to the

Point

Where their removal has shown up

As line items on certain

Financial reports.

Small items to be sure.

07/18 Direct Link

The smoke seems to cloud

The tubes

And I am circling the room.

I seem to be confused again

About small things,

Some of which may not even be

Possible.

It may be a trick of my eyes,

A bad focus,

A blurred- or double-vision.

The sight equivalent to a ringing

In the ears.

Which itself may beÖ

I was on my way out

Or up the stairs or down, surely some

Where else

When I realized that it was

So much closer than I had thought.

It was swarming against

The glowing sides of a pair

Of electron tubes.

07/19 Direct Link

There was something

Some phrase I had uttered in

Passing

That caused you some joy

And I was to have

Woven it into a poem.

Of course I have

No idea

What it was I said.

It was something about

Something sticking into you

Or out of you as you grow older.

Only it wasnít like that at all, was it?

Zack was taking you swimming.

I remember that.

You were full of Zack.

And I had slept in very late,

Still trying to sort out the discord

Of a dozen different dreams

Amateur attempts at

Autopsy as I sleep.

07/20 Direct Link

Near the top

Of the laundry hamper is a

Newly laundered pink

Towel.

A kind of study in stripes and peppermint.

Pink on pink.

I have no idea where it came

From

Originally.

My grandson had brought it to me

Last week

Out of the bath.

ďWhat is this?Ē

He demanded.

It is a pink towel, I said.

A beach towel.

Is it used?

Perhaps Michael Jr. used it to shower.

(Did he suspect a woman?

Was he jealous?)

Let me get you a clean one.

I reached up into my closet

And offered him a large

Fluffy pink towel.

07/21 Direct Link

We often try

To make things too complicated.

I am sitting now on my front porch.

The laptop balanced on my knees

Glowing in the dark

The top step slanted

Tipped slightly down

Toward the house

And the lawn falling away

Into the dark heat below.

There are no lightening bugs

Tonight

And I allow this even

Though I know

This poem has

Nothing to do

With lightening bugs.

Nothing to do with

The car accelerating around

The curve.

Because I am lazy

Or in a hurry

Because I did not go out to the porch.

Never left this room.

07/22 Direct Link

Your life is a mystery.

Perhaps I should not be

Surprised.

Perhaps I should consider

Carefully

Any other life

And see if it is any less

A thing of

Alien proportion.

Look at my own.

The one word that comes

To mind is

Recoil.

I recoil from the glimpse

Of my own life which

To even my own eyes

Is not only a mystery

But is beyond understanding

Even to one who

Is the responsible architect?

Understanding?

It is beyond reason.

Beyond sanity.

Let me start over then.

You have a quiet private life.

You find happiness in every direction.

07/23 Direct Link

Well I open a different notebook

Because it has occurred to me

A number of times in the past

And recently more forcefully

More rapidly

In a Doppler frequency increasing

Scream that I

Need

A change in venue.

A change of perspective.

A different view.

A change up?

The sun setting on a different shore?

A day or two

Unlike any other in perhaps

Some unexpected way.

Yes.

Like that.

I consider the ways

To accomplish this

Focusing of course

First

On the safe ones.

Well, you know about these things.

Safe is not

Going to get the job done.

07/24 Direct Link

I am thinking

About the safe space

And the unsafe space.

I am thinking about what may be safe

About the unsafe.

And about what dangers may be

In the safe place.

Perhaps I have always

Elected to dodge the

Pits and traps of the safe place

Knowing that it was an

Illusion

Knowing that openly embracing

Danger and risk was the easy way out.

Certainly it would be easier if I could keep

All the details in my mind

At once.

Simpler if it were more important.

Already it is slipping away from me.

Dancing distantly into the fog.

07/25 Direct Link

The sun flares

Wildly into my eyes.

The whirligig slowly rights itself on its axis.

The stars begin to flow.

The cradle rocks.

I am thinking of all the places I have ever been

Of all the places I have ever lived

And it is true that

Man is independent of place and time.

Wherever you go,

There you are.

Right up until you are not.

Unless you have grown so jaded of living

That it no longer holds any possibility

Of joy any longer.

As human beings we are not

Allowed

To let that happen.

Itís in the rules.

07/26 Direct Link

I am sailing sweetly into another broiled summerís evening.

Locust wings fanning a vacuum of leaves.

The vacant eyes of evening flowers

Stand in quiet rows atop

Their tired stems

Calling out for me.

I can turn my back

Face another wall

And feel the buzz biting my brain

As the earth shadow rolls quickly over

The brunt grass

Shadow rising.

The well dressed mingle

With vacant minds†

And grocery shoppers gone

Lost in downtown traffic

Swim upstream

Frantic like turtles

With weasels on their backs.

The wings whine;

The weasels strike;

And the flowers caress

Under the shadowís smile.

07/27 Direct Link

The sun broke through the storm

Splashing off my rain dappled windows

While cat clung to my shirt

The little nail pricks a constant reminder

Of her insecurity?

I suppose it is true that she

Would indeed slide off if she

Did not use the claws

And I wondered about the

Scent of other relationships

Wafting from the tiny wounds

Inflicted there.

It is when she clings the most fiercely

That I am most apt to put her down

Or when she is most passionate

About what I am doing.

I remember now seeing certain women

Wearing those tiny scabs.

07/28 Direct Link

I had a seizure the other night.† It had been so long since I been visited by that old friend that I didnít realize what was happening as the aura slipped around me. I felt the familiar nausea and the sensation of my brain being pulled inside out.† I recognized that I was going somewhere I had been before and remembered that I needed to relax and pay attention.† It seemed as the lights went out that I was waiting for enlightenment or something like that.† It wasnít until the next day that I realized I had had a seizure.

07/29 Direct Link

It seems warn today

Humid I suppose.

That is what someone would say.

It is the humidity.

I have noticed the delicacy with which

They make plastic water bottles

These days

It is not delicacy at all

But the blunt laws of

Economics

The same ones which dictate

Thinner saw blades splitting ancient logs

And thinner pieces of those logs

Actually gracing

Your dining room table

In the early evening sun.

We are not behaving well

By using less plastic

Or by getting more boards per tree.

We are merely maximizing our profits

While doing what we have always done.

07/30 Direct Link

I want to get along with the cat

As it teeters on stretched legs

Over the bare-wired transformers

Of my junkyard tube amp

About to be insta-fried.

I want to tolerate her insatiable

Desire for cuddling

For jumping into bed

As I am about to fall asleep.

I know that my thoughts as she tracks

Kitty litter over the kitchen counter are

Wrong headed.

And yes hairs

Floating through the air

Are,

Like her owner said before

Ducking into the hospital,

Hypoallergenic.

I want to not mind the

Rough spots on the arm of my chair.

She doesnít do that.

07/31 Direct Link

The UPS truck trolls by

As I wonder

What would the neighborhood

Do

Without its daily infusion

Of UPS?

They might have to send around

A truck to collect

The DOWNS.

I imagine the DOWNS truck

Would be a bright red.

And it would be taking

Things away from people

Instead of dropping them off.

Hello, I am here to get the designer sheets

Off your bed.

And your new waffle iron.

I am your frowning DOWNS man.

Oh does that mean you will fix

The waffle iron?

The UPS man broke it when he

Dropped it on my step.