Friday, December 30, 2016

My Celebrity Death Hoax Hoax

My death came as a surprise to no one, a shock
to some and no doubt, a relief to others (be fair:
in Life, not everybody is going to like you, let alone
love you; everybody has always got to hate some-

one without reason, or logic. And I'm not special).
But mostly it fills up television air time on a day
where the news is dead slow, if moving at all. First,
will be an tsunami-level outpouring of loud grief;

a great and mighty, "Aw, God damn it! Not another
one!" except it won't be in 2016, but later. Clearly
my sense of timing is/was as bad as ever. But that
is just the kind of rogueish detail that'll blossom

as an endearing part of "Portrait of the Artist" lie
that death seems to invoke for us. Folks fall over
themselves in a rush to sanctify or else throw mud
clumps at others' grief  in the sudden sharp impact

death owns. I hope my death will be no different.
Let there be equal mouths selling sweet stories
of golden heart and a wisdom never appreciated
when it was still paired with  breath; and also

someone not even close to me to start the autopsy
of my every short-coming. Talk about all the drugs
and drinking and bad behavior. Do not forget
the mental problems; these all make great fodder

for arguing my legacy, one way or another. Be sure
to mention sobriety, in passing, maybe shaded too
little, too late. That's not a bad title for the movie
now that I think on it. Especially, re-read my poems

in the editing light of "It's all he left behind for us."
Please- take a line here or there and make a meme,
a t-shirt; I want to trend in the afterlife. Al Pacino
(if he is still alive) for the bio pic, although miracles

happen all the time with CGI, so anyone could be me.
That's another great title. See how, even dead, I write
my own story in a way I never could, alive? And please,
please, please, make up a story of how I kicked a puppy.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Mickey Mouse in Black 'n' White

There were dogs, and then there were dogs, I guess,
I don't know. Back then I didn't think about it
that much. Goofy was my friend, Pluto was my dog.
It was just how the world was. It was the 1930s.

America was in the toilet of the Great Depression,
and you were grateful if you were lucky enough
to be working. There were a lot of things back then
we never questioned. I wore pants. Donald didn't.

Minnie had a full dress with panties and shoes;
and Daisy made do with the feathers God gave her.
Goofy lived in a house, and Pluto was chained
outside. I want to say I knew something was wrong

in my cartoon heart, but I didn't ever have words
for it, even when the Talkies came. We didn't
stop to think, didn't consider the implications
of Donald carving the Thanksgiving bird, or why

everybody was drawn in such broad, narrow strokes.
I'm sure Walt meant "Song of the South" as a compliment
to the Colored, like "Hey! The Reconstruction, right?
Not so bad, and wow! Do you have magical stories!

And, oh those singing voices!" Of course Walt was racist.
Everyone was back then, just Walt was worse than most.
We Toons were hungry for success. The only tune we heard
was what put food on the table. I just drove the steamboat,

I didn't want to rock it. But in my dreams, I ask Walt,
"If you wanted us to live in a brightly- colored world,
why wouldn't you hire Black people? But the only color
I worried about back then was the green of the money,

and how best to keep clean my white, white hands.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

The Only Place to Go is Here

This world is lost,
but the last thing it needs
is a sense of direction.
We can't trust maps anymore,
not when we put them and the table
and they just lie... there.
It's time to think outside:

pretend you could fly--
if you flew east as hard as you could, far enough
to circle the world, would you ever come home again?
Yes. But from the West.
If you go North enough, over the pole, and you are
heading South, until you fly over the pole,
and you're heading North again. You're spinning in circles

because this world is bipolar
and maps are part of the problem.
It's not that they don't lead us places,
but there are things we think maps are telling us,
like, here is better than there, so
we must be better than them. So we have wars
of North against South, and East vs West,
as if Right and Wrong were just
"location, location, location..."

Maps trick us into believing
we don't belong to the land,
that the land belongs to our territory.
We've forgotten our hearts know what home looks like.
We keep fighting over real estate.

And we're just as confused about "Up"...
we mistake plans to conquer space for spiritual ascension;
think if there's a perfect place
we'll only find it in our Heaven,
but then we will find it, map it and it will be ours.

But if someone else, even
from a culture I'm told is my enemy,
sought their own Heaven,
following different cartography;
even if they took off from the other side
of the world from us, guess what?
They'd still be heading "up".
So it won't matter who wins this race.
Once we're out there in space
the only place left to go is "farther away".
If we humans can't agree,
not on where we came from, but why...
the only perfect place we could have reached
will be lost.

This is how maps lead us
off-course, and their promises of a home
we can call our own, will only trick us
into losing our way if they get us to forget this:
That person on the other side of my world
is just like me: another human being, just trying
to find their way home.

It's time we think bigger than maps
and treat the words like Us and Them,
Me and You...
as gradations, not absolutes.
We'd see the differences between us
are false illusions, like the borderlines
on a map or a globe: they're not really there

unless we choose to see them,
and treat them as more important
than the maps we carry here. In our hearts,
we are already home
where "X: marks the spot
because you are here. Now,
where ever else you go in life,
here is where you begin.

If the world can discover this someday,
it won't be maps that save us.
What will matter is that, if we follow one,
we treat it as a guide
not another Bible God gave us.
What matters if the people who believe,
even if we don't know where we're going  yet,
we can all get their, together, if we all try.
Crazy right? Crazy like people who believe
that people could fly.