Sunday, July 31, 2011


I know a few true poets, greet them with great joy

When we meet on the streets of the old city.

But as for the literati, what can I say?

Whiners, egotistical neurotics.

Nothing is more comical

Than to see them slavering after the latest fashion,

Tongues hanging out like winded dogs.

Twenty years of arse kissing

To publish a volume of boring, moronic poems

And you would think the Prime Minister

Had appointed them ambassador to the Cayman Islands!

Unlike dear Catullus I refuse to end

By slipping on a cloak of pious Roman humility.

I have this to say to sheep huddling together in the corner of the paddock –

Bah as pitifully as you may.

Bat your long lashes ever so fetchingly.

Death will snap you like a dry twig

And cast you off into oblivion anyway.

As for that book of poems –

That can be put to use in the outhouses of the new millennium.


Famous is embalmed;

Famous is ringed round by a sunami of malignant mirrors;

Famous is insane but every one pretends you’re not;

Famous is main lining false epiphanies;

Famous is gargling a tall glass of your own piss.

Famous begins with advice, ends up with egotistical moralism;

Famous is fitted for a suit of historically acceptable megalomanias;

Famous is Vladimir

Become a Barbie doll for the Russian Chamber of Commerce;

Famous is when they pin medals on your naked chest

But you don’t bleed cause you are dead;

Famous is the nose hook pushed up

And the brains pulled out on the mortician’s tray;

Famous is a dance of corpses where every one claps

But secretly they are horrified.

This is why I want to be famous;

Hungry ghost, stapled stomach,

Rolled out thin on a thousand pound press;

Wouldn’t that be wonderful?

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Tobacco Can

I dislike rising from my bed at 3 AM,

Descending the ladder stair and out the door,

Stumbling the frozen ground to the outhouse.

Nothing fills me with greater foreboding

Than leaving the warmth of my blankets

For the nitrogen vice artic air,

Under the winter sky pierced with the million pinholes

Of blue and yellow and green ice diamond stars.

Nobody can convince me,

Neither my wife nor daughter,

Neither my sons or my sister,

Neither friends or brothers in law,

Neither the Dali Lama or the Prime Minister,

That having a pee can for such occasions

Is anything but civilized, respectable remedy for an aging bladder

And the unbreakable habit of drinking a gallon of tea in the evening.

None of the societal fetishes for clean porcelain and running water,

For the odours of Vim and Mr Clean,

Can dint the pleasure I take unscrewing the lid of my tobacco can,

Kneeing at the side of my bed in a sacramental manner

And filling that smelly can with warm fresh urine,

Rising in the air the pungent but not unpleasant smell

Of protein or uric acid or whatever it is that piss contains.

Nobody can tell me that climbing back into bed,

Relieved like a great athlete might be relieved

After a successful performance,

Nobody can tell me that this is not sweet and elegant and wonderful

And, on the whole, superior to the so called intellectual or spiritual epiphanies.

Friday, July 15, 2011

On Reading A Translation Of Li Po’s Exile

I find it comfortable here. The arrangements,

Light dying at five each evening; Witchy branches of the poplar trees.

Ground still bare and already it’s late November.

Jigsaw puzzle of sticks in the stove.

Pissing outside in the cool air; Smell of woodsmoke.

Long nights floating on a sea of velvet black.

Coyotes singing badly arranged songs,

Burning stars as sharp to the eyes as cold water to the scrotum.

Since we are not continuous beings,

Why pine for the loss of some imaginary state?

What other world, no matter how grand,

Can replace the one right here before our very eyes?