Poets to come! orators, singers, musicians to come! Not today is to justify me and answer what I am for. But you, a new brood, native, athletic, continental, greater than before known, Arouse! for you must justify me…. I am a man who, sauntering along without fully stopping, turns a casual look upon you and then averts his face, Leaving it to you to prove and define it, Expecting the main things from you. –Walt Whitman, “Leaves of Grass”
i have heard you I have heard your barbaric yawp penetrating through time and I answer you mine is the soft voice in the cacophony people brushing up against each other, me, travelling at high speed i know them all, I am them all the musician the teacher the engineer, the migrant worker, the immigrant, the wanderer, the homebody the maid, the scientist, the politician, the single mother with babe in arms, the married couple, the homemaker, the preacher, the old couple sitting on a park bench the young lovers the writer, the trucker, the gas station worker, Native American, African American, Asian, Muslim, Christian, policeman, fireman, physician the same sex couple, the child, the son the daughter, the father I know them all, I am them all, my words your words their words immortal the poet-priest in me weaves through the cities, the country, the prairies, the mountains the rivers, the lakes, the oceans the farms the ranches, brushes by the rich, the poor the middle-class they are all of you of me I sing their song chant their chants, the they of who they are lives and breathes with me and in me poetry not dead in this time but an after current of conscience not readily discernible but thrumming as blood running through the body electric the poets, the artists the heartbeat so obscure the main do not realize it keeps them alive O Captain my captain I have seen you in that song of myself one of many songs thousands who did not know their song I have brushed by you in the crowds and looking askance I define you in defining myself o you dandy wanderer lover man poet
For GJF life goes on full stop time lies to me I wander aimlessly in a black soul abyss a walking shadow, myspan a shade colors dissipated run through sieve never returned gone his boyishness reduced to flat and black and white fifteen years today my world was silenced forever birthdays come and fade like winter grass and do not grow again in spring they arrive flatly they are more like signposts pointing to a destination inevitable and too far away for one walking so slow it seems that if one loved again it would be a pale shadow of the love that once was vibrant rainbows pulsating against the azure sky of his eyes that wept poetry and song and whispered just rightly was home and hearth and heart until that day of scissor-cutting disappearance in which I bleed no more but bleed transparency in dark and quiet corners I go on I go on I go on traversing insurmountable distance only looking for the sea now, for dreams of quiet waiting for my time to walk through that golden door (maybe) maybe he would not be there maybe he is nowhere that uncertainty does not thrill more cutting cut-out paper heart that no longer pumps only pretends viciously mocking me there are distances only to be traversed in dreams of conversations in celestial gardens the conversations that are silent and understood as the deer understands the change of seasons and steps lightly into meadows without fear those are whispers on the winds just enough to make the living wonder if doors open on the other side of forever or if these suggestions merely tease a playground bully offering a slice of sunshine only to fling it down to dirt this we are accustomed to, this emptiness the hole-eating acid of missing that only ends in dull ache my walking shadow goes on tiredly doggedly the hole no one sees a bulky burden black weeping mass despite colors invisibly wearing mourningblack day and night night and day year after year crawling imperceptibly towards Bethlehem this life this life shadows and shades, shades and shadows and I have so ever long to go voiceless lost longing 2013
there are no stars tonight just snow clouds, and some light somewhere above or below radiates the color rose the night presses in closet-like and freedom seems far off like May and spring and the love that grew long ago waving grasses flowers and summer rain what if doors could be open once shut and clocks could be rewound how different the world would be second chances freely given there would be fewer lonely nights with hidden stars and rose colored skies less words of forgetting and regrets less solitary tears less living in words and paper i slowly draw the bow across the strings and it sings of sorrows there are no words for.
No more Facebook, Instagram or social media of any kind. It was literally driving me to distraction. I felt more stressed and more disillusioned with people on an hourly basis: all the petty disagreements, the need to be right all the time on the part of others, the feeling of not being good enough every time someone posted about their “perfect” vacations, weddings, achievements, etc. As it turns out, McClean Hospital supports my own experiences:
A 2018 British study tied social media use to decreased, disrupted, and delayed sleep, which is associated with depression, memory loss, and poor academic performance. Social media use can affect users’ physical health even more directly. Researchers know the connection between the mind and the gut can turn anxiety and depression into nausea, headaches, muscle tension, and tremors.
It feels good to unplug. I’m here writing tonight instead of obsessively checking how many likes I’ve gotten on a post. I’m feeling less stressed already, and I have a feeling that for me at least, the need to unplug is absolutely necessary for my artistic life.
at the end, the precipice. no signs forward no signs back no bridge over no wings to fly only wide open black space descending down away from the sky
Then a movement in the wind catches my eye in this world of black and white there at the crossroads the devil waits under the black yew tree in the early night waiting there for me under the rough yew tree his black hat doffed, courting me once more a secret love, it never dies that long ago was born And once again I see Him calling softly for me under that dark yew tree it is him there seducing and pointing toward the precipice
behind this demon love there a carousel appears singing tinny melodies from forgotten Depression years
round and round she goes where the children are nobody knows there are only empty painted horses and music no one hears
and I on knife’s edge teetering as the carousel horses leer they know you were gone forever and also know you returned. As you beckon smiling, (a great black bird sweeps by) in the bird I see your beauty in the greyness of its eyes I contract, I fly… seeking you in flight on we soar once again through the joyful black night
Morning comes, wind-music singing in my ears I have not yet noticed that you disappeared Gliding still there in the sky with you I am a bird and then I notice no more carousel and No more grey eyed man of flight.
spinning arcing wheeling falling out of control I stare alone down the windshear precipice once more and hear the sudden clicking slide of pebbles falling down this deep dark hole
where do you go when love is flown and taken truth and souls?