Earthquakes

May 5, 2009  :: 0 comments

There are 500,000 earthquakes
each year. 100,000 can be felt,
less than 100 cause damage.

The earliest recorded Earthquake
was in the Shandong Province
of China in the year 1831 B.C.

We don’t know much about that Earthquake,
other than that there were probably around
500,000 Earthquakes that year,
more or less;
amnesia is endemic
to the human condition.

In 350 BC
Aristotle observed that soft ground
shakes more than hard rock.

Damghan, Persia
is a 7,000 year old city
of 70,000 people.
In 856, 200,000 people died
in an Earthquake.

500 miles further in 893
150,000 people were killed
in an Earthquake
in Ardabil.

The Earth is not a dead stone.

Shortly after refusing the crusaders,
in 1138, the birth year of Saladin,
a quarter of a million people died
in an Earthquake
in the city of Alleppo.
In 1183, Saladin took the city.
And then the Mongols arrived
shortly thereafter.

Between the dynasty of Song
and Ming, under the good
of Kublai Khan,
in 1290,
100,000 people died
in an Earthquake in Chihli, China.

The Jiajing Great Earthquake,
1556,
Shensi, China,
where people lived in homes
they carved sideways
from the soft dirt deposited by windstorms
on the vertical side of the Earth.

The ground tore itself open
and water began to spray forth
as if it were bursting
through a dam.
The rug was pulled out;
the walls of every house collapsed.
Mountains were moved
and rivers changed places,
the Earth rose up and sunk,
and new hills and valleys were formed.
The skin of mountains
poured itself on doorsteps.
Everything collapsed.
830,000 people died.

This has happened many times.

The Earth is not
a silent stone.

80,000 died in Shemakha,
Caucasia, 1167.

60,000 in Sicily in 1693.

77,000 in Tabriz, Iran, 1727.

On All Saints Day
in 1755
the Great Lisbon Earthquake
threw stone churches
upon the population
as they praised God.
After the tsunami revealed
lost cargo and old shipwrecks of the sea,
fire ravaged everything else.
Every major church was destroyed.
One quarter of the population perished.
Voltaire, Rousseau, Kant
and the Sublime appeared.
Descartes
had been pulled apart.

50,000 in Calabria, Italy in 1783.

200,000 in the Gansu earthquake in 1902.
Landslides buried the living.

100,000 in Messina, Italy in 1908.
More than half the population.

142,000 in Kwanto, Japan in 1923.
Nearly a million houses burned down.

110,000 died in Turkmenistan in 1948.

70,000 in Chimbote, Peru in 1970.
The town of Yungay was buried.

1976, Tangshan China.
The official count was 255,000.
Some say it was more like 655,000.

50,000 in Western Iran in 1990.

40,000 in Bam in 2003.

227,898 in Sumatra in 2004.
2 million people lost their homes.
Tsunami hit 14 countries.

86,000 in 2005 in Kashmir.

And 87,587 died in an Earthquake in Eastern Sichuan, China
last year.
45 million people were evacuated.
5 million were left homeless.
Rivers dammed themselves forming 34 lakes.

The Earth is not a dead stone.
No monument survives.

Not for Me

featured in the poetry forum May 5, 2009  :: 0 comments

Not for me.
Don’t unwind
the jack from the box
or make the sky come apart
for no good reason,
I am not a daffodil,
or a lion,
or a see-saw.
I am not a streetlight
traffic accident
or bus stop,
I cannot decompose
concrete, I cannot
recite the alphabet,
or drink whiskey,
I don’t have
patience, I am not
worth doing,
not for me.

You can’t say
that’s not enough for me.
I am not too young
or too old;
I am not anything.
I am not a classroom
or a book,
I am not rainclouds,
raindrops, or sun.
I am not concise.

I am not baseball,
I am not a bicycle,
I am not binoculars,
a mountain range,
or a hole in the sky.

I am not
a strong military,
I am not a weak military,
I have no border
anywhere in this world,

I am not clothing.
I am not a car salesman
or a pellet pistol,
I am not a paper target.
I am not truth,
I am not untruth,
I am not here or there,
I have not ever,
nor have I not.

I am not a police
clash or a street
dancer. I don’t ride
telephone poles
or make thunder,
I am not blind,
but I don’t see.
Not me.

None of this for me
None of what is before me,
I am not the question
or the answer,
the solution
or the silence,
I am not a disco ball,
I don’t have two left feet,
skin or teeth,
sunburns,
heartbeats,
eardrums,
I don’t have any legs–
I don’t have anywhere to go,

Nowhere not for me.

Do Not Stop

April 10, 2009  :: 0 comments

Tents upon tired
frozen dirt,
wind that stops
at doorsteps
and says hello,
lovers that do not
stop for the wind,
and others who simply
do not stop.

Revelation and secrecy,
untamed terrible,
frozen dirt
melting campfires,
breaking fountain pens
and ruffling feathers
that can’t stand still,
time is sacred
of all things.

Into the soup caldron
that is bubbling hot
and boiling over,
dissolved in tea
that is whistling,
words that are spoken
in other rooms,
televisions turn off
and refrigerators
close their doors,
I stay awake
until the campfire
salutes the dirt
that is frozen,
confronting the wind.

Flashlighted men
wander among tents
while heartbeats
tapdance, whispers
of what does not exist,
that do not exist. Nothing
goes to a grey
garden and eats
unpeeled carrots.

Fish fall
and curtains close,
people go
home
and sleep it off,
with charms and silver
tongues that don’t sleep,
jewelry of what is not,
no expression.

The jumping off point,
the board, the platform,
the stage, the curtain,
the window, the parade
of people in the street
with nothing old and
nothing new,
no plan from before.
No door.

Doubts about ending
darkness, sand upon
sidewalks and
conga drums,
salient springs
of beautiful
purposeful poisons.

Fire hydrants
stand quiet
and explode.
I have tried this many times
and cannot explain it.
I don’t try.

Colors begin to fall
upon fingers
in waves,
invisible
to what is,
one
with what is not,
do not stop.xxxdo not stop.

xxxxdo not stop.

(3.23.09)

Work Is Time that You Trade for Money

featured in the poetry forum April 10, 2009  :: 0 comments

Work
is time
that you trade
for money.

Leisure
is time
for the sake
of itself.

What if you love work?
Now we have a problem.

So I sold mountains,
waiving endless gold
throwing purple pollen,
forming bright stars
from midnight
beneath the ocean
that rise together
until they connect.

(Do you remember the time
you got a sleep-related injury?

I do.
Never forget it.)

The cavernous space
of a moment
when seasons change,
unrelated to the revolution
of the Earth
around the sun,
related to revolution itself.

Steel bars
and zebra stripes,
school bus colored sun
in motionless resignation,
pens and pencils
in wardrobes,

That is where I work.
I sell my best non-renewable resource
for as much money
as possible
as fast as I can.

Desks that teeter on mountaintops
while snow is falling,
melting upon the stacks
of papers and receipts
for things that do not exist anymore,
reminders from the last century
of things I have never done.

Black notebooks
with sinister dealings
and steel raindrops:
meteor streams
I pass through
on the way out

on the way in
to a small cafe
to drink
warm cashmere coffee
with an old friend,
And set fire to raindrops:

Starlight suspension bridges
and quasars
that keep you tripped out
in the fourth dimension,
xxxhere,
where time
is sold for money
that can’t
buy time.

(1.2.09)

See-Things

featured in the poetry forum March 1, 2009  :: 0 comments

The simplest way
to say things
is to see things:

The sun
in the back of my head,
no timetables
for backgammon,
women of liquid starlight.

That sun was rising
I fell.
I fell from the center
of the carousel;
hospitals were hiding time,
the world was only horizon.

I want to see things
but there is nowhere to look

xxxfor nothing to see.

I ponder beneath reach
in every direction
toward the sun
that don’t say,
the sky that don’t see.

I see steam
colors rise from teacups
perusing altitudes
of human experience,
the decay of the sun
and bones that burn.

Flames rise from white
flower petals scribbling
upon purple night.

Orange fire rides on poles
that get turned on
by telephone polls.
I bury dewdrops
on flower petals
and tongues,
unmediated photon of no origin,
unsounded sign
of infinity and nothing.

Strings dance
upon an orchestra buried
beneath the stage
of no orchestra,
I scream
and there is no sound to see
is the simple way
to say things.

Unhinged door
to the cave where
I do not live,
secret to the sun
drawing the plains
and the precipice,
stone, the ocean
and the end.
xxxand many
xxxother things.

Sight of sound,
taste light, think
with moons, touch blue
fire, dance on
tombstones, know the origin
and nothing.

I do not speak for myself.
I split seconds
on flower petals,
seek solace next
to nothing,
and say thing
as I see thing.

The window is open:

As long as you exist
there is always something
to see.
xxxEven if you have no eyes.
So when I think back
to the origin, to what
exists before time,
the simplest way to say things
is that we see things.

and then we don’t.

(2.14.09)

There Is Not Enough Time

featured in the poetry forum February 21, 2009  :: 0 comments

There is not enough time.
The days are too quick
and the nights are not long enough
for me, there is not enough time.

There is too much traffic,
too many assignments and details,
too much talk,
too many distractions
and inducements, always wanting to be proud,
too many crooks with credibility,
too few thought meaningful clowns,
there is too much to do,
and not enough time.

The seasons change quickly
and then I die.
In this regard I
am clairvoyant, I can see the future
of my dramatic screaming theater,
penchant for grandiose proportion,
all the people shouting from mountaintops
in unison,
“There is not enough time.
There is not enough time.”

There are too many televisions
and play stations
and too few teachers
who work for nothing
pushing raindrops
on street corners,
telling us to trade cars
for sunshine, because they know
there is not enough time.

I once saw an elephant
riding a fire quilt of chained ant
as a chariot to the power of kingdoms
and more timeless.
Yet too I witnessed liberty,
I watched songbirds
deconstruct basic human sensibilities
with unwritten rhymes,
but I never sold sunshine-
not enough time.

I don’t want to stop here,
while I am changing so much,
still unformed without mold or principle
and so akin to simple diction,
dying for the dead,
and dancing upon cemeteries
against an endless backdrop of night
where there is not enough time.

The problem
is that I do know where to look
for what it is
I want to find.
When I think of
Nothing
written as a motion picture
that ends where it begins-
it was never divined-
the universe itself came to mind:
there was not enough time.

And there is not enough time,
not enough time,
not enough
time.

(01.14.08)

There Is No Solace

featured in the poetry forum February 11, 2009  :: 0 comments

there is no solace.
no sun,
no window,
no beginning
or end,
no place to hide,
there is no solace.

there is no solace,
no stopping point,
no point of reference,
no endgame,
only the end,
to which there is no solace.

there is no solace
only to suffer
passing,
painful,
burning
death in liberation,
no solace.

there is no solace,
no solution,
no medicine,
no sympathy
clothing
endlessness,
no solace.

there is no solace,
only nothingness.
no beginning,
explanation
or insight,
no world to leave,
room to enter,
mouth to feed,
book to read,
or shoes to polish,
there is no solace.

there is no solace,
no warmth,
without fire,
only the cold
bitter sun.
there is no rain,
no wind,
and nowhere to go,
they will not follow us,
there is no solace.

there is no solace,
only heartbeat sensation
pounding mountains
with werewolves
amidst winter,
only the cold
distance to call us,
saying there is no solace.

there is no solace.
there is no hot coffee
to drink
on the sunday morning
before it comes to swallow us,
no solace.

there is no solace,
nowhere to go,
no solar system,
nothing to exist,
no moment to kiss,
no reason, no purpose,
and no solace.

there is no solace.

Bush Speaks on His Legacy

December 15, 2008  :: 0 comments

The American people may remember
that I said,
By the time that history judges me,
I’ll be dead.

But now that my presidency
is coming to an end,
Dick Cheney thinks
it’s time to think again.

One last thing to do
that sure would pleasure me
Is to go ahead and empty out
the Treasury.

Just make sure none of it goes
to General Motors,
Because all those union workers
sure have odors.

Boy Obama,
it will sure be fun
To watch you try undoing
what I’ve done.

Though, the one thought I might say
that’s most alarming
Is that you will do nothing
about global warming.

Just so it is clear,
and I’m the first who said it,
When Armageddon comes
I want the credit.

(12.5.08)

The Windowsill

November 17, 2008  :: 0 comments

Time is tight, I stand completely still,
Mouth toward the moon.
I have vision;
Flower eyesight opens from my innermost
Where I rest my chin upon the windowsill
Van Gogh room that John Coltrane paints blue.

I stand there one with the moon,
The other with you between indigo and blue.
I tried to save time from itself, to make it stand still,
While I burned my candle on the windowsill.
I use candles for vision,
A dark flame arises from my innermost.

Nothing words of the weatherman, sky of blue,
Ancient predilection of my innermost,
Simple as the moon.
I close my eyes and seek vision,
And I sit still,
Still upon the windowsill.

I seek all answers from the innermost;
You see nothing but my windowsill
As painted and view the be world blue,
Endless distance through existence still,
House made beside the moon,
Central source of night visions.

Mad tablets of paper pills upon windowsills
With wobbly ancient scribbling visions,
Pen and pencil of the innermost,
Take me without you to the moon,
Street address undressed blue;
Many curtains conceal what’s behind the window still

Burning and returning to the volcano of all vision,
Which I find only when my mind stands still,
Still behind the windowsill
Beneath the room where I keep coltrane blue
Color of the infinity of my innermost
Hue of my evening against the moon.

Endless visions, leaving this world from my innermost
Light of the insane moon, sky of coltrane blue,
Sit beneath the windowsill, and let my mind be still.

(8.21.08)

Waterfall Words Follow Windmills

November 17, 2008  :: 0 comments

Waterfall words
follow windmills to
the seashore
by the daffodils.

No window suns
shine to break through
poison polymers
that burn straight through.

Fallen frogs
melt in dark corners
without flashlights
to somber curtains.

Motion pictures
circumspect cavemen
while the daffodils
fall to the evening.

Waterfall words
follow windmills
to the seashore
by the daffodils.

(11.7.08)