Sunday, March 20, 2016

Rodak's Writings: 1970 …the tail off a brass monkey (an epistle to peter)

poor pastoral boys    we
wet behind the chops stumbling
in childish sheep-dreams
of yesterday meadows
america’s fallen fruit
gone deaf
with the voiceless poets
eyes gone mad
with chemical litter scowling
guts churn  in the dirty bus
arriving never    never late
transfer useless brass
taste on the tongue

down at the baby boom
production line doctors
weary grey forceps shuffling
worn through to brass
caked with afterbirth
and the cycle grinnnnds
through one factory to
the next
and another final
sputter of the lawnboy gravemaster

city scabs infested with billions
thought sparks drowning
in the pus they
generate generate generate
life clogs naturally
umbilical vessels choke
breakaway flake-off brass
handles of the box
lid slams on yesterday
biting off the universe somewhere
a child learning
to be in time cries out
rush to him don’t let him think
it matters at all    try
but the joy timeless ignorance
wins only pyrrhic
victories and time ties knots
in his nerves knots
that grow
calloused on the pavement
on the vibes of the times

are you out there and
when i land
i remember myself-child’s first
spring of awareness
red sandbox shovel spring’s
brightest symbol fresh from
kresge’s and blue and buds
and hers and mine dew and
early sun bird song and life
all on one level

i sit in the sand
toy dump truck half-buried
i drop earthworms snatched
from the black spring earth
through the truck down
the funneling sand they
writhe like fire victims
poet already creating my first
cashing in my first intelligence
i am in time i feel
the monster cradled
in my brain teething
out the milk fangs of karmic
suicide    i am in time
i smother
parking lots.

and back at the lightshow
blake’s gods shelley’s greeks
and whitman’s americans howling
laughter immortal ginsberg’s beat angels
moon the face of time’s grief
alone    poet
slouch in the boneyard gnawing
on the fossil thigh of the great muse
he    the lucky one with the mind    poet
and the mob rush from
factory to factory
to pray for the future they pay
for     watching tv politicians
they pray for    for their lives
rejoicing:  they are adequate

then show me muse
the american dream:
            a spectre appear to de tv politician
            he jolt up stiff in his bed
            de spectre speak:

            i am nature richard nixon
            let me be your mother
            i know best
            you lie with the whores richard
            it is time you were a family man
            this is disease    i offer you love

  no no scream tv richard
  i in love already
            nevertheless in slink a second spectre:
            i am asia richard
            let me be asia
            i am old yet i grow younger
            my daughters shall be
            the new asia
            that they may live in
            pleasure with your sons

  no no scream tv dick
  i know which commie pervert fathered
  that brood of red witches
  and he settle back pleased
  he done heldthehardline
  den sudden-like:

            i am black Richard
            let me be black
            all the johns in this
            mansion are for white ass
            all the windows are for blue eyes
            i don’t see nothin’ in the mirrors
            but you see me richard
            ain’t black beautiful
            in this light
            let’s git it on dick

  no no scream tricky dicky
  my blood runs pure
  but i do need a maid who does windows
  apply at the guard shack

and he snuggle back chaste in his bed
but all at once a brass band blare
in bop de honky-tonk angel star-spangle
and spread-eagle:

            hiya ricky this is america
            you remember me rick
            the blue of my blood
            the white of my flesh
            my royal purple cunt
            we been down the road rick
            cuz i chose you special
            any way you want it baby
            you fuck me over
            fame on my lips
            milk-n-honey tits
            i piss gasoline
            shit uranium
            and cum gold bricks
            in the grip of my gash is power
  yes yes that’s my baby scream dick
  falling all in a rut
            when in glide a fresh spectre:
            i am peace Richard
            a virgin innocent of the power
            of any man
            my breasts are firm and young
            beneath this veil my limbs are soft
            i will mother a sane generation
            you must take and love only me
            for my dark sister awaits my failure
            and no man resists her vamp

  no no no scream poor Richard
  i got me a real gal gonna love her
  till i’m dead
  and he fall back bucking into America

            a dark shadow move

  **dat’s all boss

poet    back from the brick shop
back to the wholesome smoke
to roll up reality in a metaphor
and slam it on the paper prisoner
of words in time’s dungeon
throw away the key    poet
weary oily and stoned
the sheep the shepherd loves
a strange abortion in the spring-
time could only bring a chuckle
if it didn’t have my own
hysterical eyes

meadow is a six-letter word
tomorrow is an eight-letter threat
forever is a ten-second rush
may the dreamer forget us


deep in the heart of
the quiet revolution
lost in the backlash
of another fling at sanity convinced
that i would do better sitting
in my own shit in a nest
in eden than strolling in
the streets of the bronx
i realize that if
i could eat books
i would be a rich man
for many years

how many universes can one mind contain
how many bodies
contain one mind
one universe
all the time there is
to learn the how of infinity

i don’t want
yesterday or tomorrow
but yesterday is mine
by right of conquest    tomorrow
by default    guilty time terrifies me
and lures me to the murder scene
just knock me down and stone me

_*_*_*ssstoooood on zanzibar
set on my head
i proclaim myself
conqueror of realities
that would stampede the gods
greasing my limbs
on brass ladies dipping my quill in musk
touch soft breath flowing hair copper
in the sunstone speeding to the outmost
eternity yawns….
                               ….sucking a soul into
                                    the vortex
                                    content without form
                                    light without fire

!!! yet whence this redolent
mush beneath my haunches
as i squat in the brick factory
what this tome on my lap
mote in my eye clot in my brain as
lost in the backlash
of the peoples’ revolution…i remember
what bad luck it is to
leave a hat on a bed

            **but man    you jes’ flopped yo’ fedora
              ovah de bloodstain on dem petah max


            **de whole universe done saw dat man
              dose who issue fate dey all leaned over
              de rails o’ dem tall wooden galleries
              and dey knuckles was white with rage
              dey’s wearing dem fine black robes
              an’ dey’s callin’ yo’ ass down man
              an’ here’s de verdik!    mo’ of de same!

just knock me down and stone me

i can’t dig this weather
this fucking brass scar at the base
of my spine
gives me hell in the winter
the parking lots get slippery
the nights are ghastly long and
time mocks eternally

            **be rough bruthuh    be hip
              git out that brasso and git’cho soul
              ready fo’ easter
              stay off’n de bus wif de brass hubcaps man
              shun dat public transportation

just knock me down and stone me


lost soul dreaming
back from chicagos of the mind
and cloistered castles crusted
in infinite variations
on each clock-breath of creation
back from endwards of everything
up through formwards of something…i think
i     the lucky one    with the mind
poet    my soul drifts up slowly
on soft wine and a peak-a-boo
i feel fear beaten
to a thin brass blade…i reason
to just such experiences
is great poesy heir…i summon
this muse i used to dig
my subject: the human condition
turn it on    sugar

            **you back at me agin you sonabitch
              ah’ll show you yo’ heart
              ah sees a baby
              fallin’ from de sky
              it hit de pavement at yo’ feet
              haid smashed flat as a cardboard mask
              but moist as a dogpatch
              eyes starin’
              tiny hard-on pointin’ accusingly
              at de world dat stop to gape
              a cabbie run ovah de baby’s haid
              he jump out de cab screamin’
              i’ll lose my welfare dole
              an’ hobble off on one laig
              invokin’ ‘pon the spirit of f.d.r.
              a mother pass wiff her brat
              take one look at de slewn babe an’
              start beatin’ on de kid yowlin’
              i ever catch you doin’ dat Rodney
              an’ it’s yo’ balls unnerstan’
              rodney pee his pantyhose
              cop o’reilly pound his stick bellowin’
              aw-right folks de fun a-aall ovah
              move along please    gethefuckinhellouttahere
              get so excited performin’ his duty
              dat he blow off his great toe wif his
              service revolver for which he receive
              a citation fo’ ‘ceptional brutality
              an’ a scholarship to de harvard school
              o’ law fo’ his son magog
              a passin’ doctor look at de baby an say
              ah think ah’m a-gonna upchuck
              an’ he take hisself suppository form
              outta embarrassment
              in a shabby hotel a nin’ny-year-old pimp
              have a wet dream an’ ‘mediately make
              a decision fo’ jesus
              de empire state buildin’ shiver
              down black soot on de backs of de doves
              dat peck out de eyes of de winos
              in de gutters    whilst
              from de puddle o’ blood
              de baby stare…
              how y’all like dis so far

I protest this trends
away from the poetical

            **y’all would know   collegeboy

and all around them
the universe twinkled unseen
and the harmony glowed unfelt



street girl


and it’s paranoia    fear of (( them ))
the public transportation
the taste of brass in the night
the scar    the brass    the mark

            **fuckin’ nus’ry rhymes    downright biblical

the tail    not the paw
that knocks on the door in the night
bringing down the fear of fate
time and loss of self

            **easter sho’ ain’t gonna be early dis year


tired    poet
rising early
watching the snow
watching for the caravan
eyes toward washington

feeling old    feeling old
at twenty-four (keats dead)
feeling the dirt in my veins feeling
crust on my hands
blood in my eyes   poison i pour
in my blood    poison
my  heart is a sewer    words
my mind is a ragpicker’s hoard
desire    my mind is a thief at your door
murder    i am in time    spirit
my soul is a body    my life is flesh

book on the Buddha
marked with a trading stamp
snowing    jungle birds shudder
among icy branches of soul
eyes skitter and stare
i ring my arms with copper
to ward off the brass

god                                         …i say
is an eye
that is all
what does god see

i am                                         …i reflect
the eye
of a mendicant
what shall i want

it snows                                  …i fear
and maybe
my car won’t

i am afflicted with a craving
for fruit    perhaps tomorrow…
…more likely i will smoke
contemplating this absurdity

is grass green    is grass god
maya! my love
what do i see
what do i hear:
one machine
drowns out the music
of the spheres
put his ear to the ground

            **anyone a-comin’ kemosabe

cosmic defeat
the clock
each star fixed in
a groove

            **beware also de full moon

god stares shitless
from the parking lot    poet
lay down that vehicle
casey jones


i dismiss thee

            **guess ah’ll go niggah-town den

guess we all will

            **a-a-a-AH-h-mmm hip!

the reflection of god
in the mind-pool of
the muscle-builder
stream of piss at the image

            **’mpreshunism givin’ way
              ‘t s’realism an’ abstrack


            **ah’m leavin’    ah’m leavin’

my life is a murder    spirit    my soul
is a body    is a body
stack them in washington
walk-in Woodstock    die in washington
caravans bite cyanide hack flesh blow mind
jump from the sky   leave your body in hell
leave your body in hell   leave nixon in hell
leave washington in hell     leave your mother
leave your lover leave jehovah in hell leave
jesus in hell leave your money leave your
rhymes leave your music in hell leave your
dope leave your mind leave your body in hell
leave your body in hell leave your body in hell
leave your body in hell

sick in the city
ennui in the pasture
poet    nib of brass
grooved to the hubs
satori in the factory
glib in the meat-car
clever among the mourners
cinder in the ashes radioactive
sleep with sleep with

            **hey lawdy lawdy

hare rama

exeunt (the gong soundeth)

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Rants: The Death of the Left -- Addendum

Last night the disgraceful corporate media utterly dissed Bernie Sanders by their combined failure to air his speech to his followers following his disastrous showing at the polls. 
The corporate media have been in the bag for Hillary Inc. since day one; this was only slightly more blatant. Bernie is finished, so they can ignore him with total impunity. 
It is noted that they provided wall-to-wall coverage of Marco Rubio's sad farewell speech.. Marco, you see, is a bench player for their team.
What a sorry shadow puppet extravaganza this whole political charade is again shown to be. Somewhere in Hell, old Joe Goebbels is applauding.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Rants: The Death of the Left -- Super Bluesday

 8:00 p.m. ET -- 3/15/16

Early as it is, it's already obvious that Democratic voters today have opted to play it safe and just hope to hold onto whatever it is that they have left. This is so disheartening: the Prevent Defense. Hillary Clinton is of the ilk that put those of us in the necrotic middle where we are today. The future is now. And now sucks.

The GOP voters, by contrast, are opting to do-or-die. They've had it with their establishment and are willing to take a chance on change. The disastrous end they will bring about will at least be swift and dramatic; not the slow death the compliant Democrats have opted for.

To the oligarchs go the spoils. Nice going, Sheeple.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Reflections: The Nature of History

History is a published selection of partial truths collected by the winners of various local or regional conflicts to justify the continuation of their more or less oppressive regimes.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Readings: Go Set a Watchman ~ Harper Lee

I just finished reading Harper Lee's long-suppressed novel, Go Set a Watchman. I found it disturbing. I did not read the novel with the intention of writing about it; the mixed reviews, and the history of its road to publication (with the suggestion that a semi-senile Harper Lee was coerced into allowing it to be published under less than scrupulous circumstances) were off-putting enough that I had pretty much decided to take a pass on it. I don't now recall what changed my mind. It would be dishonest of me to say that there were not parts of it that I very much enjoyed. The novel had moments that brought a lump to my throat. It kept me reading, (although I found it slow to get moving) and I finished it rather quickly.

I suppose Go Set a Watchman would have seemed quite enlightened as the work of a Southern lady in the mid-1950s, when it was written. But having not been published at that time, it probably would have been better to leave it residing quietly, with the rest of Harper Lee's papers, in the archives of a library somewhere. It is a profoundly conservative work, in all the worst ways. Its ideas are paternalistic, segregationist, pro-states' rights in the Dixiecrat sense, and subtly, but unmistakably, racist.

Because I had no intention of writing about Watchman when I picked it up, I was not taking notes as I made my way through it. Its racist elements are for the most part, as I say above, subtle, and it would require quoting long passages with added explication to highlight the underlying bigotry. That said, the first truly cringe-worthy passage that I came across occurs on page 156. Jean Louise Finch (Scout), home on a visit to Maycomb, Alabama from New York City, has gone alone to the house of Calpurnia, the beloved black maid/nanny who helped raise Scout after the death of her mother. As Zeebo, a member of Calpurnia's family, leads Scout into her home, we get this:

"She followed him into a dark parlor to which clung the musky sweet smell of clean Negro, snuff, and Hearts of Love hairdressing." [emphasis added]

The "smell of clean Negro"...Really?

A less blatantly offensive, but still indicative, thing that popped out at me as I read further along, occurs in a flashback.  Here we accompany a nervous fourteen-year-old Scout Finch on her first big date, with Henry, the boy who is to become her presumptive spouse later in the plot::

"She was sensible enough to sit out jitterbug numbers and avoid music with a South American taint, and Henry said when she learned to talk and dance at the same time she'd be a hit." [emphasis added]

Why does something "South American" so immediately possess a "taint" rather than a "flavor" or a "complicated rhythm" or anything else non-pejorative? 

Now for all of you contemporary gals out there who refer frequently to your misogynometers, I will add that what it takes in this book to bring Jean Louise Finch back to her senses concerning all of the above, after having been corrupted by Northern liberals in evil New York City, is a hard backhand to the mouth, delivered by her loving Uncle Jack for all the "right" reasons. And this is the denouement of the novel's plot.

So I found this to be a flawed work; and only partially because it is anachronistic and was left that way by its contemporary editors. Much of the flaw clearly resided in Harper Lee herself. 

There is, however, one other passage of which I made note, and I will close this review by quoting it. The line is delivered by Scout's loving Uncle Jack--the man who popped her a good one in the paragraph above:

"Prejudice, a dirty word, and faith, a clean one, have something in common: they both begin where reason ends."

I like that. 

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Reflections: Why Free College is an Empty Promise

How stupid I've been. It just this morning occurred to me why neither Bernie, nor anybody else, is ever going to provide a free four-year college education for all.
The reason is that without the promise of free college on the other side of military service, it would be impossible for the military to keep enlistment levels high enough to man the perpetual war and line the pockets of the oligarchs.
It would mean reinstating the draft--this time with girls being taken--and that would mean living the 'sixties all over again, and then some.
Free college: it ain't gonna happen.