Awake -- (work in progress)

I slump all day in the blindness

thumping with heavy hands.... slowly and audibly thumping and thumping

Back up with closed ears away from the staring eyes of the waking;

Motionless and decided.... put in place.... ordered.... complicit

Continuing and looking away and straightening and leaving.


How careless they sound here, loose and restless,

How loud they shout, the big oafs on their feet.


The wealthy airs of bon vivants, the smutty airs of the vivacious, the stupid faces of drunkards, the glistening faces of swingers

The sutured psyches online, the rational opening curtains, the secular reasons,

The dementia patients in closets, the abortions disposed of how?

The day forgets them, tries not to think of them.


The divorcees sleepless on their bed, his palm is not on the hip of the wife, her palm is not on the hip of the husband,

The sisters alone far from their beds,

The boys driving all night

And the mother in pieces crying and pacing with her naked child.


The voyeurs, the eavesdroppers and gossips never sleep,

The prison guard never sleeps.... the strict father never sleeps,

The judge that hangs a murderer tomorrow.... how does he wake to the mirror?

And the murderer.... how does he wake tomorrow?


The eunuch that consumates love wakes

The hermaphrodite that consumates hate wakes

The heart of the gambler that threw it all away wakes,

and the mollified and do-gooders wake.


I lie wide eyed far from success stories and still

I shake my fist and give them the finger from inside my cell;

the contented spring from their beds.... awake and comfortable.


The dawn pierces me,

I see that I am hideous.... and I see that what is not me is hideous.


I hide under the covers.... I stay awake far from the others gathered to watch;

I see in the clear light of day all the realities of all the others in the real world,

and I scorn them.


I am catatonic.... Quiet down here. Self control exhausts energy universally.


I am the ponderous moment.... it is old sun at midday,

I reveal scuttlebugs.... I hear rocks be still when I sit close,

Empty gifts in glass towers decorate glass towers of empty gifts.


They really botched it, those executives of strategic leadership

Hiding everything from everyone and sidestepping for the joy of the dance;

We are their gambling chips, and they think us proud to have the most pips,

We endeavor at their bidding, far up the garden path,

They slam shut their iron doors and point the finger at us, and save themselves;

Divided we stay, misguided idealistic individuals with only dirges and stone cold still stares.


I was an honest man.... an honest woman.... a donkey.... ethical,

A refugee and a skilled migrant.... a judge that stayed out of court,

She who is satisfied with ignominy, and she who will always be nobody,

A poet.... a hunchback.... a treasured might.


I was he who cast off adornment and let my feet leave all behind,

My lingering hate has gone and it's dawn,


Collect yourself and dispatch me brightness,

Send me and my antagonist.... she does not want to join me.


We unravel as old knots.... you resist enlightening me


She who I ignore questions me and becomes my friend

Leaving me laughing under the bed.


Brightness you are harsher than hatred.... her thoughts are dry and indifferent,

I see the cold desert she brings me.


Our legs are crossed.... You stay with me here,

We should steer clear of the bleedingly obvious.


Careless, daylight.... always, it will ignore me.

I know my enemy is here.... she is daylight,

I am deaf to the sound of stone.... I doubt.... I am sun.


O cold lipped and oblivious. O wise decision.

O for self interest, everyone demands me!.... they dressed me when I awoke,

Now I am paralysed, I know my place.


Bridge that I won't miss tomorrow morning when I close the shutters,

Bridge over the border, release me and go away.... You divide me;

I am glad to be naked and alone,

And don't care where hands lay.... and what is this leaving me, maturity, innocence.... and the fulfillment at the end of the pier.


The wind laps to the last bare rib

Laps barren shells.... laps tongues of thorn, sharp and brittle

The lilac shell closes and cringes from light

And poison spits from lips and cold avoiding shoulders, and the worst poison last.



I ascend my Eastern seat.... my blood rises,

fetid smells of age surround me, but I will have no wake.


My cheeks are not pink like a young boy,

I stand high on a hobby horse and recklessly poke holes in laughter.


Nor am I a young bride asleep all day, happily bedded at summer noon,

she smells mangos ripening in the honey full air.


A baby blanky I see - it's not for me.... I am unwrapped and lie in the wilderness;

It is bright here in the desert.... it is evil and pain.... insistant and purposeless.


I know that it doesn't matter how things should be, they are sad;

Whoever hasn't had enough, puts people in coffins.



I see an obese floater flailing through tangles of flesh,

Her bald fat flows unconstrained over bones.... she clutches it in with embarassed arms.... she berates herself with her hands.


I see her dark eyes.... I see her shameful body;

I love the slow burdens that would land her feet first on the water.

You carry her you compassionate froth topped waves

Will you let leviathan live? While you pamper it into the ailments of old age?



contra Walt Whitman, The Sleepers