Daily Archives: March 23, 2010

Cutting The Grub

said the grub,
“is always deserved
because it is the only thing
other than birth
that each living thing
is always owed
strictly by virtue
of having been born –”

but because I did not speak grub
in those days,
I took far too much satisfaction
from cutting the thing in half
with a trowel as I dug
the new bed
for the flowering onions. 

Had I known
of The Serene Acceptance,
I would have refrained from the act,
for it would not have been fun
if I had known there no resistance

How do I know this, you ask?

Because it is a good day to die,
I think, this understanding
came to me unbidden,
if you can believe that,
or even hear it.

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Music Education

When I want to remember,
I listen to rock and roll.

When I want to learn,
I listen to hip-hop.

When I want to be exploded,
I listen to jazz.

It does not matter what I listen to
when I want to party.

When I want to be heard,
I play a guitar or a poem.

When I want to be,
when I want to just sit on the point of me,

there is only the red cedar flute
my father gave me, tied with leather, oiled and dark.

I am imperfect as player
but whole when I play it, and alone, always alone.

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The Muck

Remember the first time
we were together?  I talked
a lot, an hour straight at least,
not to hear myself talk,
but because I hadn’t had
an audience like you in years
who seemed to want to listen.

I told you everything
about the killings, the trees,
the good strong knife,
the blood on my sleeve,
how I’d cried nonetheless and how friends
I still won’t name helped me
get away. 

I went deeper,
talked about how
I liked it as much as I hated it,
how it somehow felt like nothing at all,
how my night vision sharpened
as the first full spurt
splashed out. 

Then I went all the way in

and said that now, years later,
I didn’t feel any great remorse
but a warm satisfaction
at having survived
and at having learned early
what small fear death held
for me.

I felt safe so I told you everything,
said to you:

I am sharing this out of love,
out of a genuine sense of love,
I’m willing to let you
into the muck where I’ve lived.

When you were very still after I had spoken,

I assumed too much
and chose to believe that you understood now
the knife I always carried, how callous and open
I seemed at certain moments, how guarded
I was at others, and that your trembling
in my presence
was a sign of your fear for me,

but then I had the crisis moment —
saw how your shaking was precipitated
only by my words and your fear of them
coming together in friction —

I grew angry and said

I shared this out of love,
out of a genuine sense of love.
I have been willing to let you
into the muck where I’ve lived,
and this is how it falls out?

Then I flipped the knife open and said

I do this out of love, out of a genuine
sense of love, not for you but for myself,
and while you are not in danger now
I certainly am dangerous,
and I live dangerously,
and if you are to understand me at all
you should see me like this
and know me for what I am —
open, but not insane,
not by half,
considering the muck where I live.

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