Soaring West

When you knock me down
I always get up
So I’ll never drown
In your cyanide cup

A glutton for punishment I was born
We never get to choose these things
So soak me with your scorn
To give your own heart wings

Like the cat that comes back
I will always return to you
With broken bones, with broken back
It’s my life’s work to do

Some day I’ll soar west
Toward the promised land
Till then stay safe in your own heart’s nest
And I’ll live in my head if I can


Author’s note: In the last verse some of you may recognize the allusion to Wordsworth’s Stepping Westward and to a poem by John Donne called Riding Westward. 


The Lizard

I’m talking to a lizard

Who dont know what she is

She thinks that she’s a wizard

Because of her relatives

The Earth is flat she says to me

And it’s gonna end next week

You’ll be struck dead over by that tree

There goes your lucky streak

Her friends come walking over

Here’s the Hunchback of Notre Dame

Einstein runs for cover

They all think he’s to blame

Now they’re busy hanging Darwin

Cain and Abel pull the rope

It’s Ezra Pound’s last bargain

T. S. Eliot’s smoking dope

They take away my codeine

And tell me i’m gonna hang

For being an old dope fiend

Before the church bells rang

I just did get away in time

With the help of Stagger Lee

Got my ticket and i’m line

The Titanic sails at three


Hummocks and swales grow sere and brown

Walking home when the sun’s gone down

Provenanced in ashes and grief

The heart recedes like an autumn leaf


Everything is new tomorrow

But tomorrow is yesterday

Contained there an ashen glow

Of a bang that happened long ago


Now there’s snow on the roof and the chimney’s cold

And the bones feel the logic of growing old

But my shoes are laced and the treadmill’s on

And the night’s resolution is already gone


In the long summer morning

I will come for you

So that you will see in the silvered light

What you thought forever gone

Is it sunlight is it shadow?

Or just dappled light through the bracken?

You will see a face

A baby’s face

It will be my face

It will be

The face of death

I am addressing you

And you will understand

This House

Snakes in the attic

Rats down below

My mind’s erratic

When the insects show


They get on my face

They get in my eyes

They want this place

To tell its lies


The walls are sweating

The draperies alive

This house is not forgetting

That here i cant survive


I wake up in a trash can

Cant live here any more

And i stumble across the grass

On my way to the liquor store


Some kind of war’s coming

There’s blood on the tracks

As my mind is going

And not coming back


Too old to remember,

Too tired to care

In an institution

But IDK where


These walls are talking

Screaming at me

You’d better start walking

When they cannot see


Outside is a river

Swollen with rain

God’s an indian giver

So flush me down the drain


The Earth is Flat in Indiana

Not too long ago I was talking to a friend of mine and .somehow we got onto the subject of science.  After a little pause he said to me that he’d found somebody who believed the Earth was flat.

You must mean a creationist who believes the Earth is 5,000 years old, i say.

No!  He says emphatically.  This guy believes the Earth is flat!

Was he just pulling your appendage?

No, he says, shaking his head.  This guy believes it because the world looks flat so it must be flat.  I just didnt know what to say to that.

Was he psychotic?

Not as far as I know.

Then dont engage him, I say.  The more attention he gets the worse he’ll get.

I promptly forgot about it until weeks later when someone else told me he knew a guy in his home town who seemed otherwise normal except he was convinced the world was flat, and there was a government conspiracy to cover it up.  Here are two people who dont know each other who have independently surmised that the Earth is flat.  I dont know if this a sign of the times or a commentary on how poor the education in this state is or what.  I just dont know.

Sometimes I listen to conversations going on behind me in the checkout line.  After hearing one I decided to never listen again.  This one may not seem as egregious as the flat earth but it is bad enough.

One of these hayseeds behind me said he wouldnt drink milk from the stores because he was worried it was spoiled and he might get food poisoning.  So he decided he was only going to drink milk right out of the cow because it was safer.  After all, he went on, there is “too much government inspection,” which, according to him, is the real problem.

Just in case nobody knows it, when milk comes out of the cow it is at its most dangerous.  Tuberculosis, Listeriosis, Salmonella, E. Coli, just to name a few.  That’s why they pasteurize it.  Heating milk below boiling for about half an hour kills all the bugs just waiting to maybe kill you.  Such things I learned in grade school so I guess I’m being naive about what adults should know.  At least here in what they call Kentuckiana.

And I dont know what else to say.  Sometimes I have to get on here and bitch and blow off steam when these things get to me.

Good Day.