Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Rodak's Writings: ...from Whom all Blessings Flow

…from Whom all Blessings Flow

I’ve been too easy
on myself
and on you
and on your world.

I’ve wished you a river
and I’ve let you skate.

And that river flows
and it burns --
its primordial wetness
mocked by tongues
of dancing blue flame,
as if a bad dream
set free to consume
all that yearns
for a simple peace.

See? you say –
It’s a fucking miracle!

Praise Him!

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Reflections: At Nadir

I find this election season to be totally demoralizing. The followings of the two candidates who will oppose each other in the general election are absolutely cultic in their devotions. This devotion has almost nothing to do with these candidates' histories or political policy positions; it's all grounded in a hero worship that totally ignores their glaringly dangerous flaws. Both of them are equally lethal to American democracy and any hope for world peace. I grieve for my country. We are at nadir.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Rodak's Writings: Cruel and Inhuman - a poem

Cruel and Inhuman

The present is tortured
by confinement
in the cold dank cell
of solitary recollection.

An isolated memory grows fangs --
it gnaws at its own wrist.

Upon the whetstone
of lonely despair
it hones a blade
fashioned from the scattered
scree of the fractured past --
for it longs to free
its dispirited blood
from the circling tunnels
of incessant remembrance.

It yearns for reunion
with a partnered past,
so to share once again
what was once shared as new --
to dwell in the present
with no fear of the coming hour,
no fear of tomorrow --
every memory reborn a blessing.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Rodak's Writings: Why Servetus Had to Die ~ an oldie

Why Servetus Had to Die

Goddamned reprobate!” Pappy Cal hollers, huffing,
pumping like a preacher, chasing the speckled hen back
towards a damp afternoon in the sweltering tarpaper coop.
Thus is inaugurated the Twelfth Kansas Revival.

Up the hill, in the big house, stacks of saucers
rest dust-free in the gleaming oak breakfront,
their cups, hanging up above on brass hooks,
shiver like silent ranks of martyred heretics.

The saucers wait impatiently for the science fiction fad
that will make headlines of their humble designation,
while Bartholomew -- the one we dubbed “Weasel” -- regards
his broken cap gun and his dead hamster with nostalgic
empathy, and stoically returns to composing his memoir.

But no, that’s too easy. Those saucers wait to be dropped
or thrown -- broken -- for the release of their voices;
for their kiln-hardened bitterness at long last to be spoken;
edgy and cutting; musical, strident, impassioned, verboten.

This was all material for a novel never written
by a woman named Robinson, though its composition
was predestined according to sometimes reliable
communicants of Welch’s and Wonder Bread,
at least one of whom was the humble possessor
of an alliteratively tolling Doctor of Divinity degree.

But that was in Idaho, not this flat Kansan Oz
peopled by Munchkins in faded bib overhauls;
not this Ozian Kansas plagued by farmers that fly. 
And returning we see Cal has choked that poor chicken,
unable to shove it back in where the eggs all lay nested.
That persnickety hen, although wings were provided,
refused finally to flap them, to soar towards safety.
Thus did she die: a victim of scruples; sacrificed to her pride.

Pappy Cal we now see flinging saucers at Bartholomew,
for the Weasel prefers to make cryptic hen scratches
in his little red notebook -- his stiff pet there for company --
than to scratch in the dust, so to sweat out a livelihood.

The Weasel might well have had Robinson’s sympathy --
but son, this ain’t Idaho. So, Bartholomew tucked and he
squealed as he rolled away, while a flying saucer chorus
in their pieces and shards took up counterpoint harmonies.

After sundown the porcelain was swept up and discarded.
We had a fine supper of roast chicken with gravy.  
We then sat in silence and listened most solemnly
while Bartholomew read from his Renaissance diary.

Duty done, Pappy Cal snored like Noah in his library.

Rodak's Writings: Mad John ~ an oldie

mad john  

from insanity yes
but by virtuosity
or faith
we earn no grace
it comes of chaos
is born of catastrophe
like a grassfire at midnight
creating a simple desert
grace descends
as a fumbled penny
and rolls ten feet
to rest on edge—a miracle
no less
and no cameraman present
paradise lost
as one hour later
with the feat attempted
one hundred times
and failed ninety-nine
a crowd gathers to hoot
the madman
pocketing his penny: vide
mad john
the wings of locusts
making a rainbow fan
of his honey-soaked beard
clawing in fury at
jehovah’s mask
uncut hair lashing
at his naked waist
disclosing with a single note
the desert’s secret: fire!
he screams: fire!
and at the river’s bank
receiving a simple prophet’s privilege:
after my bath john
you may see to my shoes…
and it’s duck! boys, hit it!
who saw it dive?
a kamikaze pigeon!
it is miracle enough
enough of a sign: here is a man
who has known the madness
of a simple grace
who spits out upon leaving
a leg bent for leaping
with a four-letter oath:
fire! and turns to the desert

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Rodak's Writings: Pragmatics - a poem


Give your hideous honesty a rest:
lie to me.

What have I ever done to you,
or to anyone on this earth,
that I deserve to be
goosed by the truth?

Truth is for convicted felons
and sunbaked ascetics.

What I need is soft lies,
reciprocal eyes,
and the oceanic tang
of chowder upon the lilt
of my contented tongue.

Please lose the problematic verity:

take care instead to do what works.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Rodak's Writings: Reflections of a Wall-gazer ~ an oldie

reflections of a wall-gazer

my walls, my ceilings
are white for purity of life-style
and here beneath my feet
the floorboards are black
the flavor of death
which has no color
these boards which support
me now a membrane
between this moment and the abyss
beyond this room:
foundation for the walls
which are my context
i am supported, i am sheltered
thus immured
i exist

and there on the wall
grotesque icon
glaring in the heat
of one naked electric flame
one hundred-fifty watts
of unmitigated proof: the mirror
relentless merciless
infinite -- timelessly truthful
say these cellular eyes

but behold the mind, the dream
admitting the term -- the soul:
there is a funhouse reflection
a non-stop flight
unexpurgated passport
bon voyage, my blue-eyed boy --
never stop to question now
o, who is fairest
of them all
every mirror is another wall
every crack in the flooring
is the boundary of another
crisis of identity:
ticky-tock, all light’s a clock

in existential limbo sometimes
i think i’m a cheeseburger
often a television, a lucky strike
a ready woman
less frequently a symphony
a breath of air, a field of wheat
gone copper with the evening sun
o, when will i at last
confront the face of something holy
happy gleaming from the wall
think i’m a window
and fly out the door
pursuing with the speed of light
the swift-heeled shadow
of something left sitting
within wall ceiling and floor


Rodak's Writings: Unpleasant Reminder ~ an oldie

unpleasant reminder

yes, i know…
you are a seeker of ecstasies
a lover of beatific, transporting visions
a solitary wanderer of fragrant fields
you worship love in the cathedral of the pines
a service orchestrated by the genius of songbirds
a sanctuary lighted by colors
reflected from the robes of god
and scented by the garden breath
of the east wind out of eden
these things you love to touch
becoming one with their reality
you open your hands
and your palms fill with butterflies
fanning your hot lips with their beautiful wings
or you hold in your hand a hummingbird
knowing a breathless epiphany
with every flutter of its fragile heart
these things you touch
knowing yourself to be of their essence
your astral fingers remember virgin eve’s every shape
as adam learned them in eternity
see the imprint still in the grass
where she bore the innocent weight
of his fall to earthly grace
oh yes, you are a sensitive and free
child of nature, god’s holy mirror
as you unfold your soul and spread it on your knees
to reveal yourself in its perfect reflection…

…yes, but there is much
that you choose to overlook
behold the creature that scurries in darkness
recoil as it streaks across your feet
its black bristles rigid with fear
see how it sits, quivering with dark impulse
within the shadowed ring of its scaly, naked tail
showing the yellow blades of its necrophagous teeth
its gloom-piercing eyes gleaming
with a wisdom you wish not to comprehend
behold this night-stalking familiar
of the dwelling place of man
as you sit down to the feast
know that it waits impatiently in your cellar
possessed of an undying will
that is the lust to satisfy its beastly hunger

can you see through your dream’s dark dimension
the claw marks in the dust beneath your bed
or in your slumber hear the hissing in your walls
as you await the dawn with your love in your arms
and your heaving breast filled
with the fragrance of lilacs?
dreamer, would you be free?
it is the rat you have yet to embrace
would you know yourself?
it is the rat you must yet learn to love
only then will your mirror hold a true image
only then will you feel the kiss of god…

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Rodak's Writings: Amnesiac -- an oldie


i wasn’t paying attention
obliviously sucked down
through the opaque narcotic
of a quicksand ennui --

The sky had ripped off a page
and begun a new chapter…
i awoke in my heavy boots
staring at an empty palm
no grip on the plot line
that must have hoisted me here
amnesiac: i have lost
the gypsy poet’s number

i hear a voice
tossed back by the wind

who shall i say is calling?

Monday, May 9, 2016

Rodak's Writings: And There's the Rub - a poem

And There’s the Rub

This world, without me –
So as I reach for the gun
my yet unshattered brain
confronts my desolate mind with –
“Oh, sure. And then what?”

Rodak's Writings: The beach by/ego light ~ an oldie

the beach by/ego light

i’m writing
                the beach
clean and free
of human leavings
the polished sand
from a limited palette
   --pinks and opaline-gray.

the evening sky
becoming a fisherman’s lantern.

i  too am there
   my shadow falls across the sand
   in a shattered light
where foam and stone prolong each other.

the moon
blasting stars with her stolen starlight
the earth
hiding half of all that’s whole

while i bead the planets    like words    on a line.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Rodak's Writings: Poem -- a repost


your song i sing

down by the sea this last summer day

the sun shining sidewise on a tropical slide

foam stiffens and dries in the air

leaving a golden shell of salt and sand

which we shed like insects with minute contractions

of invisible muscles as we mount the stark dunes

neglected expanse of widows abandoned

in loneliness mounded rolling nude in the wind

crossing the highway out to the meadows

parched summer grasses the color of hair

marching through a stand of cronish oaks

with shriveled breasts

whose fingers implore release of the sky

cupping the wind in skeletal palms

their hearts exploding yet in verdant gore

here is there nothing so human as myself

as i have him lead me

the weight of my flesh rubbing warming me inward

my hair in the sky we ascend to the hills

i strive with the trees but i dream of the sea

where all is crisp with death i moisten

such is my womanhood’s power to life

from the shore to the hill

i let him speak like a stranger

imploring demanding waxing and waning

he sweeps through the seasons

now a wind now a whimper

i let him go on let him frost thaw and bluster

from march to august to april again

until i’ve heard quite enough i have come to season

now i touch him just once and he pops like a blowfish

all spine and taut flesh straining and staring

a fish out of water gone apoplectic in an alien weather

…the distant highway is a ribbon

around a bundle of hills

it winds its way down to a toy city

and a darkened room

where the cat stalks her boredom

in a frame on the mantel

my image resides

frozen in another life

beside my bed in little bottles

resembling crystal

liquid musk gleams golden

behind foreign words

suggestive of passion

the room is full of secret moments

which do not concern me now…

in plain view of the city i stretch make myself naked

and i pull him down to me providing a sea

now and swimming him through me

he acts like a stranger imploring demanding

now waxing now waning a wind and a whimper

frost thaw and bluster i let him go on

and the breeze rises harshly

drowning his babbling voice in my ear

as i gaze on the sky to avoid the distraction

of the bobbing and gobbling

as caught in a frenzy like a fish in a net

he withdraws charges blindly again and again

for the sea is a drug is a strong anesthetic

i can draw his blood freely feel it flow hot and slimy

and deftly my fingers are tracing my portrait

in red sticky liquid on the flesh of his shoulders

as i fathom the milky blind eye of the sky

and i am a tide rising gripping a monolith

set on the beach as an object of worship

by some ancient race as old as the shore

a tide like a hand gripping sliding releasing

muscular sinewy fingers of wavelets

pumping hard toward a peak of delicious fatigue

wave upon wave sliding sucking to swallow

the shaft of that rock in the depths of the sea

wave upon wave of salt spray and suction

rising and heaving and straining and yearning

until for a long moment the sea is contracting

and pulsing and swirling and i’m seeing my image

flashing and burning across the swift clouds

that are boiling and churning

in the smothering winds that scream

and then sigh

and lost in the distance something frantically pulsing

is pumping and toiling to urgently offer

but a spurt to my boundless my infinite measure

…freed from myself

i turn back now to him

but release has brought calm

to the rage of the maelstrom

he just soaks away

through the hair of the grasses…

far away my cat stretches tries her claws on the rug