Napkin Poem 3

Why, we will see better days
Days of sun when surf rats scramble
Scramble in the tawny sand and dunes
Dunes that live to cast their shadows
Shadows by the sinking sun and rising
Rising of the pale little moon to light
Light the evening and the lovely
Lovely faces of the lovers.


Where You At, Mister Malone?

I woke up this morning
Hung over and weak
My eyes were all bloodshot
And my jacket reeked
Of the cigarettes I smoked
And the whiskey I drank
And the perfumes of girls
Whose faces were blank

I walked out around noon
To look at the sky
The trolley was wailing
My neighbor was high
On little white pills
And a funny grey smoke
He stared like a standup
Who forgot his own joke

I went out this evening
Just restless I think
Bought a handle of stuff
Almost too strong to drink
And I picked up some friends
Lit a fire and then
Laughed until it became
The next day again


Silver Father

My father maps the darkened ways to light
Beneath eternal stalactites that hang above the grave
Of man - cartographer of Plato's cave,
Silver-bearded Atlas bearing constellations on his back in spite
Of pain, arms like barrels of wine - and at the world's height
He brews wisdom in a silver chalice like a knave
Living in the sunset of all ages, playing his lyre in the conclave
Of the happy, for the golden, ever golden banquet hall's delight.

My father is a wolf, dragging home
An infected wound he will not lick -
For his cubs might even need the silver foam
Of his saliva, if they are sick.

My father has designs on time no artifact
Can hope to have, unless it be
By imitation of his heart - in lieu
Of this, call down the curtain on his act
And say my father is more strong than me,
And you will see, more silver-light than you.


New Rights, Dude

Raise your glasses and lower your standards, because I'm here to talk about rights and duties and I am quite serious about adding some items to the official canon of human rights, since we discover new ones often but forget about the cool ones from time to time. I guess we know how they work, right? I have the right not to be eaten, and therefore others have the duty not to eat me no matter how tasty I appear. Obvious enough I guess. I think it's the other way around though. It's more accurate to say that the duty comes first, isn't it? And that the right then flows from the duty, as effect from cause? That is, we all have the duty not to cannibalize even our most appetizing friends, and therefore we all have the right not to end up as any meal's main course. This is a reasonable expectation.
Wacky, right? What I'm saying is that we only have any individual rights at all because we first have duties to others. But even if I'm wrong, rights and duties are tied into a knot tight enough for it to be fun to invent some poetical new ones.

The Right To Be Kissed

So Jill suggests coquettishly to Jack that he go with her up the hill to fetch a pail of water, and then makes eyes at him while they dawdle around the well. Seems to me that Jack has a duty to kiss Jill. It's not a terribly urgent duty and he can do it when he feels like it, but eventually he damn well better kiss his sweetheart. That means Jill has a right to be kissed, which is kinda cool. Of course if Jack is a bad kisser, she is free to waive her right to be kissed, although this course of action might make it suck to be her boyfriend and is not recommended. After all, practice might improve Jack's performance of his duty to kiss.

The Right To Be Misunderstood

The little kids are already in bed and the big kids are watching a movie for big kids. No scenes with boobies, or words like "motherfucker" in it, but still too scary for the little kids. The movie's not done but daddy stands up and says "Good night all, I'm going upstairs to put your mother to bed." The biggest big kid isn't dumb. Grossed out, yes, but not dumb. The not-quite-as-big big kids are dumb, and don't know that what daddy actually means is that he's going upstairs to lubricate his whoopee stick in mommy's sugar basin. The not-quite-as-big big kids have the duty to not know more than they're old enough to know, and therefore to misunderstand daddy. The biggest big kid has the duty to purposefully misunderstand daddy's meaning, and just say good night with the rest of them. Now, daddy isn't lying, and he isn't joking, but he's not telling the truth either, quite. That means he is exercising his right to be misunderstood.

The Right To Be Forgotten

Let's say there's a young man with the unfortunate and embarrassing name of Arnold George Dorsey. When he changes his name to the much less embarrassing Englebert Humperdinck, we have the duty to forget that he was ever named anything else, since whatever he was once named no longer names him accurately. That means Englebert has the right to have that past unfortunate name forgotten, and all mention of him under his former moniker are to be erased from public record and from humanity's collective memory. Or...maybe we just have the duty to forget about Englebert Humperdinck and his syrupy pop altogether. Yeah, let's just forget about him. It's his right.


The Logos Kids Manifesto (part the first)

1. Words must shed light on something. Ideally.

2. Frivolity is acceptable. Sometimes.

3. Kissing is very good.

4. So is wine.

5. Truth is fine and goodness is very nice, but beauty is the end of all our scribbling.

6. There are always invisible consequences to anything written down.

7. There are always visible consequences to anything spoken aloud.

Thankless Young

In the time before Red Bull my Dad whose sorrow every bleeding day now begets would load up his shitty car with shitty college stuff and make the drive from Cranberry to Chicago with frequent stops for the purpose of forty winks and to stretch his tired appendages and to let his one time only one way only traveling partners with whom he split the cost of gasoline and sandwiches find a way to use the rest stop rest rooms quietly before re-entering Route 80 by way of sad little ramps and rolling on until he reached the campus of the U of Chicago after having braved the Nairobi 500 where they all drive on sparking rims the wrong way, but I had Red Bull and made it without stopping to eat or sleep for 51 hours from PA to CA and that's with sixteen hours through a Nebraska blizzard. Things I learned on this trip: (1) At high altitudes like the Rockies, cars do weird things. (2) Nebraska sucks and can go to hell. (3) Pepperidge Farm Goldfish turn my shit orange.

The point is that I miss my Dad.