Saturday, August 15, 2015

Knick knack paddy wack



With every hand he shakes, every shoulder touched
he cups his own heart
                                    as if it were a wire bird cage,
                                    on a window ledge
& he but placing that small bit of essence
still clinging to his fingers
                                   like cotton candy
                                   from county fair nights
                                   & next morning stomach aches
in,

so that it might sing
to him
          & he remember
                                     beyond the groaning
                                     of this awakening

The humility in his palms are a psalm
I want to memorize - not for the trinket
the old ladies that taught Sunday School
bought from dollar bins,
                               delivered as bounty for winning
                               sword drills

like a sticker that reads "Jesus loves me"
but is no less revolutionary
                                 than "Abortion Kills"
                                 billboards

I want to place my heart to his chest to listen,
let the bird sing until his tongue is in my ear, tickling
my thought process til they unwind,

a broken DNA strand that no longer dictates
the coffee I drink, the name of the pigment sunset
takes or who I am supposed to hate

like tripping over the cracks
in the sidewalks of our ideals & dogma
& falling into the arms of the man who beat our mother,
until purple & blue were just another skin color
of oppression - then asking him out to lunch
to catch up

because I am tired of packing pistols to PTA meetings,
movie theatres & on nights I feel like wearing a hoodie,
we are losing the war
                                   of our own isolationist tendencies,
                                        and well wishes of "I will pray
                                               for you"
                                                               Never
                                                               getting      our hands
                                                               dirty

our hymns have become honking horns
& the middle finger; something we wear around our necks
to show off religiosity

There is no app for this,
our GPS can not find the coordinates
though the mechani-feminine voice keeps directing
us to "Turn in 100 feet"

with no thought
to how we will walk after that
on bare ankles

The best I have are napkins & scribbles,
impressions in the muscles, waves on the shoals,
songs i don't know the words to        but hum

& snap shots of an old man
hand to his heart
after each press of the flesh

I use to line the bottom of my birdcage
to keep the shit
                  from building
                                    up.

40 comments:

  1. Sometimes I feel that changes are not moving as I would like them to.. The dogmatic attitudes seem to gain strength, and compromise and acceptance is viewed as weakness and defeat. Where is the room to be a human when you are categorized as a statistical entity... Maybe you have found the best use ever for the newspaper.

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    Replies
    1. Being human.
      I wonder how we would truly define that. And if we would still fit the definition. At times I think we are becoming more like our machines.

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    2. Maybe we need a little pigeon superstition to believe we have a choice.

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  2. I could literally spend hours dissecting this; there's so much meat here! But I'll just list some favorites instead:

    "& he but placing that small bit of essence
    still clinging to his fingers
    like cotton candy
    from county fair nights"

    that hanging "in" just below

    "I want to place my heart to his chest to listen,
    let the bird sing until his tongue is in my ear, tickling
    my thought process til they unwind"

    "until purple & blue were just another skin color"

    that very smart "hoodie" placement, which embeds "who die?"

    "we are losing the war" ("war" always flips into "raw" for me, as I've mentioned before)

    your alignment and spacing here:
    "of our own isolationist tendencies,
    and well wishes of 'I will pray
    for you'
    Never
    getting our hands
    dirty"

    the hanging "but hum" (hilarious)

    "after each press of the flesh"

    My head is kind of exploding, seeing all the clever stuff you did here. I love your brain.

    "Give a dog a bone" indeed.

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    Replies
    1. Raw is war!

      Yeah the title was fun play for sure - and what intersting lyrics when you really look at it eh?

      Glad you caught the bruise being another skin color. It blends in. We stop looking, dont want to get involved. Stop caring - cause it will jack our own lives up. You know. Bystanders!!! are just as guilty.

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  3. Birds are beautiful creatures they have the ability to soar on wings and we humans wish we had wings. They offer us songs and hope with each new day. If only one would open their hearts. Beyond the groaning of his awakening..awakening can be difficult as we have to get the goop out of our eyes to see the vision that is waiting. Awakening requires change on many fronts..who will unlock the gateway and put away those pistols whether they be words or attitudes. I don't know, does anyone know?

    yeah the shit part is not fun those droppings a reminder of what we take in must come out in some form. A bit messy I say.

    The image of a cupped heart is powerful..as once you have offered your "true" heart there is nothing left to offer except maybe your very "soul" ...to bare yourself in a world of chaos knowing you might offer yourself to hands that will not appreciate the "true" beauty of the gift you give.

    Our hymns no longer beautiful, just horns honking away and no one listening...

    just the other day someone went to a mall with a gun...let out a few rounds..luckily no one was hurt...what is the point when we take aggression out on innocent people.

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    Replies
    1. It is a scary thing to offer yourself. It takes strength, courage and humility for sure. Because there are so many people that dont care, are not ready to care, and you will get hurt until you figure out who those people are.

      I dunno on the shooters. Its pretty scary the world we live in and the access to firearms. I get that it is the person not the fire arm that does the damage - but why do we continue to put guns in the hands of those that are mentally unstable? Our system is broken. And if a parent gives a gun to a kid that is unstable, I think the parents should be prosecuted.

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  4. "a broken DNA strand that no longer dictates
    the coffee I drink, the name of the pigment sunset
    takes or who I am supposed to hate".............hope this happens some day but will it ever take place? not till such men (The humility in his palms are a psalm) grow in number...every bit of the poem is very much absorbing....

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    1. The guy was pretty cool. He was an older gentleman - and I am not sure why but I started watching him and after every hand shake he touched his heart - and I thought, how cool is that.

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    2. that is very cool..it has symbolic meaning - you have touched my heart and I am blessed.

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  5. Today (15th August) is our independence day, but I wonder are we really free when we have to take pistols and guns for our safety every time.

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    Replies
    1. Exactly - that is not freedom.

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  6. i wanna learn from those as well that just accept people as they are and love them - there's too much of that pseudo religious stuff that has nothing to do with religion at all but captivity and a lack of respect and compassion for people.
    very cool beat to this - you know - you should rap that at church

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    Replies
    1. I have slammed at church once, a while ago. I was the "Eminem" for church for a bit. That was kinda funny.

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    2. now that is something I would like to see and I know I would enjoy it. -sort of like a Nitty Gritty Slam...

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  7. Wow, the cupped heart is such a powerful image - the humility......the bird cage in his chest........there is a lot to think about in this poem, "who I am supposed to hate".....and the falling into the arms of the man who beat our mother........the bruises being just another color. Been there, in that silence where the adults pretended the night before didnt happen........but the kids knew it had........a fantastically powerful write.

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  8. X this is my favorite by you and I will be reading it again and again. We have lost our way, lost touch with ourselves. Everything we do to be happy just pushes us further out of sync, further out of touch with one other. A culture based on apathy and excess.

    mindlovemisery

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  9. whew... this just rings with truth and the power that offers. so much i agree with here, so much we are doing wrong as a society, as a culture, as humans and it's so hard to figure out how to fix it. maybe as poets it's simply our job to observe, or maybe to call out the wrongs we want to see righted.

    "The humility in his palms are a psalm
    I want to memorize"

    such great music in these lines.

    I'm kind of really loving the voice you're presenting in this new place.

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  10. Whenever I thank someone, I have a habit of patting my heart, another way of expressing what their kindness meant to me, because the words never seem quite enough when something touches your heart. We get so wrapped up sometimes in the cynicism that surrounds us, so defensive, and we forget to see people for who they are. I love all of the images your words have conjured. This is truly both a thought-provoking and thoughtful piece.

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  11. This poem is really very moving, Brian. You are such a great observer of people.

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  12. And all i
    have is dance..

    the
    rest
    is
    salad
    dressing
    less
    or more..
    smiles..:)

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  13. Oh God
    Brevity
    of Dance
    ISCONTAGIOUS..:)

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  14. Sjoe, great poem. I LOVE it, esp the first six lines and the humility..., DNA strand.... There are many who will speak a blessing on everyone - meaningless/thoughtless as a 'by the way'! I have often thought that the word human should be changed to humane - perhaps one day...

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  15. First, the title is superb X ~ Next, I like the metaphor of the wire bird cage and these lines:

    The humility in his palms are a psalm
    I want to memorize

    and
    I want to place my heart to his chest to listen,
    let the bird sing until his tongue is in my ear, tickling
    my thought process til they unwind-

    This reads somewhat like a Sunday's gospel with a mix of political sarcasm ~

    Hopefully we can find our turn or pitch to sing of what's in our hearts ~

    Happy Sunday X ~

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  16. I really like that line ... the humility in his palms are a psalm ... and the alliteration. Psalms are inspiring indeed ... if only everyone could live by them, the world would be a better place :)

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  17. because I am tired of packing pistols to PTA meetings,
    movie theaters & on nights I feel like wearing a hoodie,
    we are losing the war

    Oh man this is awesome stuff! Love the way you have woven this piece. I sometimes wonder where the freedom has gone from the world.. we are slaves even after attaining freedom. Does true freedom even exist anymore? We are too afraid to be out without carrying a gun for protection. When will this fear stop? Is there an end to all this? Well penned!

    Lots of love,
    Sanaa

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  18. there is no app for this,
    our GPS can not find the coordinates
    though the mechani-feminine voice keeps directing
    us to "Turn in 100 feet"

    you had me there

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  19. This is so powerful and riveting. Superb!

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  20. thought provoking.. sometimes I feel that we as a society are not able of change for better anymore.. I do hope that feeling will be proven wrong.

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  21. Love the way you wind through that poem...cotton candy to bare ankles to wire cages...wonderful.

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  22. like cotton candy
    from county fair nights
    & next morning stomach aches

    That is just brilliant.

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  23. The humility in his palms are a psalm
    I want to memorize

    Maybe my favorite line in a piece full of great lines--

    Every time I read I piece of yours I want to know who you are---your work is always just excellent

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  24. Hey X--I also think hands getting dirty may be more useful than those pressed together--anyway, thanks. k.

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  25. First off, the title is just absolutely brilliant....sets the tone for this whole piece. Give the dog a bone....like the damn dog who made that child think blue and purple were just other skin colors (more brilliance). Love the whole thing :-)

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  26. I don't even know where to begin except to say I read this many times and it spoke to me in so many ways....but the idea of the hand to heart is so profound....so I offer my hand to my heart to you for this amazing write as it touched me....and hope we can keep the shit from building up.

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  27. May not be totally related but I feel
    a touch of Murakami in this particular poem. At times real, at times like caught in fantasy.

    The central character is very interesting. I think can spend hours watchinh him too, I might talk to him.

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  28. there are poems that make you go wow! and want to make you cry. this is one of them. hard hitting, without the embellishments. really, what is this world heading to?
    i noticed, the muslim people do that, touch a hand to their hearts, after a handshake greeting.

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  29. Whew! Awesome writing - intense, visceral, staggering evocative and powerful ... the cupped heart "as if it were a wire bird cage, on a window ledge": an indelible line of poetry.

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  30. Well X, you certainly left your mark on this one :-) ...interesting and well written.
    ZQ

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  31. Excellent poem, the social issues you address are numerous yet simple. Well written.

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