Unlike all the beasts we have known,
murders, thieves, and miscreants
there now arises a wickedness
that cannot be measured in neat units
or fit into convenient little molds.
Where did they go
when the capstone was finally fitted
and the labor contracts were off in the garbage?
Where did they go
when the Taj Mahal had absorbed its last marble
and the laborers were without their paychecks?
We are now so tolerant,
so willing, that intelligent people
are unable to speak freely
You won’t write me down in books
or read my words with a rose
colored gloss over, or toss paint
as white as I on picket fences
I see beggars suffering silently
uncounted out in the streets,
these old rags slumped over plead
but only each to each
razor wire fences ascend
as phoenixes from the ashes
Even as newborns
we are defeated
by our very own nerves
If I gaze at an apple
and smoke with a shaman
who plucks with bended knee
the apple red of famous mythology
They are very small things, the small plankton,
The atoms of oxygen, the words said
I have owned words,
owned them all,
owned them as a suit–
Among the world’s most pressing ruins
artifacts come rising as phoenixes
parting their form from the fierce driven wind
and sand that whirls around in its dying
hour of enjambment with earth and sky.
We poets do not live
within the confines of margins;
poetry itself lives
All beauty has been taken.
The natural is no longer allowed
To be as it is without filter.
The body is no longer a temple;
It’s a canvas on which we paint.
The soul is relegated to metaphor
And no longer allowed to spread
to the hearts of others.
She says she is always there,
and I am always here,
so how is it
that five miles can feel
an oceans worth of divide.
I do not wish to be
the voice of the Bering Sea’s struggle,
nor would I deny the plight
of sea ice and polar bears at once living and dying for home.
as the newspaper
and anchorman read
There are people with cactus hides
that walk across the desert sand
where others would
if not for fear that they would die.
This is the law,
the rule of nature eternal,
the force for which we name
The ever decreasing minutes of day
trickle like the granules in an hourglass;
Do not believe bankers, princes,
or governments; for all their wealth,
glittering gold, and grasping at control,