mardi 31 mai 2011

the limits of hope

there's something about watching your teeth fall out
one by one, fragment and break off,
that's pretty damn depressing...
all the sharp edges come into view of the tongue,
that all-seeing organ like a great antenna,
bending into the crevices of your broken beauty.
perhaps i am committing a great sin in
growing old and toothless when
i should be able to give up illusion and march
forward into the light of my pure being,
the way gandhi did, or mary baker eddy;
or else, as they did too, swallow the morphine
when the pain became too great to bear:
for even great souls are not immune to weakness
once pain sets in to stay
and that great hopelessness is upon you,
with the realization that it is hope itself that kills
and keeps you striving for an ever greater control
of your health, your welfare, even other people.
better to give up the hopeless quest and
know that everything ages, becomes diseased and dies
and no amount of spiritual angst or enlightment
is going to stop it.

samedi 28 mai 2011


i tell my doctor i'm in pain
and she tells me to see
a psychiatrist

the room is 7 x 7 x 10
there's a door but i
can't open it

somewhere there's a net
being tied together
to catch fish

and a marathon
will take place at dawn
but there are no runners

my body is tired of
living out this rat race
of pain

it wants to swim
out to sea and sink
but it won't make it

somewhere the crickets
have started to flood
the night with sound

somewhere a dogwood
is covered with a parasite
and doesn't bloom

a dog barks
a door opens
a fish is caught

i'm sitting here without
hope because hope
left long ago

shall i eat pizza
listen to jazz
fish for poems

shall i say thank you
for what was once
a meaningful life

pain takes everyday issue
with modest undertakings
like bathing or breathing

pain takes away the
last ounce of goodwill
you have for yourself

a lawnmover starts
gets louder and
softer across the street

the sun is shining and
everybody's up and at 'em
with joy and thanksgiving

i tell my doctor i'm in pain
and she tells me to see
a psychiatrist

the room is 7 x 7 x 10
there's a door but i
can't open it

Gil Scott-Heron has died at 61

The Guardian has put it all together for us. Excellent documentary here: Click on any of the songs below to listen.

The revolution will not be televised, brothers and sisters ... 
although it will be carried on "Democracy Now". We will miss
your new voices, Gil, but thank you for the ones you left us. xoxox

dimanche 22 mai 2011

Yoel Tordjman inspires a verse

it's raining again by yoel tordjman (click for more beauty)

Couleurs infinies
Jouez avec les fils
de ma triste âme
Faites une nouvelle musique

lundi 16 mai 2011

ode to oxycontin

i'm so sick of walking on eggshells
so sick of the slander
sick of the sick 
sick of the pain 
sick of government policy

i'm here to tell you
(and that is no small miracle)
that oxycontin saved my life
while this may seem pathetic to you
you do not live with my pain

after three months
of downward titration
on half the small dose
i took for 12 years
i hit the pain wall

the pharmacist said:
oxycontin releases one third
of its medicine up front
consequently it has more
addiction potential

well, thank god
for that release
three times a day
i have a 2-hour window
and air comes in

the pharmacist said:
oxycontin has no
generic substitute
it is very expensive and it is
not part of our formulary

well, thank god
i'm more important
than money!
they are letting me keep
my 50% reduction

oh praise the 20 mg
of forgetfulness
praise the rush
of temporary freedom
i am not ashamed of it

oh praise oxycontin
the only narcotic that doesn't
knock me out
i might write a poem today
or even answer the telephone

do not crush cut or mutilate
take only as directed
do not share with the neighbors
sign your name and date
on this dotted line

oh praise oxycontin
take the cuffs off the doctors
and the pain patients it helps
stop making us feel
like criminals

mercredi 11 mai 2011

big and little dee

america's chugging along
keeping the world 
safe for democracy
stuffing the pockets
of her favored sons
who fly to the east
in search of the biggest
and wettest oil reserves
deep in the heart of
the exotic continent
buying and selling
we'll be there first
not to be outdone by
the chinese cheats
who denigrate the very
word "democracy"
who make capital
without the capital "C"
who know how to
exploit their workers
keep them enslaved and quiet
we sew it all up
by opening factories
to get a little bit
of that chinese grease
and fuck the future
of american workers

america's got blowback 
as big as the Hindu Kush
like an angry wound
inflicted in the side
of an andolusian bull
charging the walls
with a big spear
dangling from its midriff
goring the red capes 
of a rubber-nosed clown
sent out to calm him
and if one goes down
there's a funeral
and a few brave journalists
who tear up the sport
but it's a cultural enclave
not to be broken or denigrated
we must be sensitive
to the needs of the indigenous
and let them have their fun
with their basque prisoners

america's got a calling card
dropped from unmanned drones
into the backyards 
of opium denizons
and miles of pipeline
enough for everyone
one for the russians
one for the french
one for the guy flying
by the seat of his pants
brave new world
brave new money
stuffed into the hands
of hungry afghans
at their checkpoints
we're training them
to secure their own lands
and in our back pocket
a folded blueprint
of how to get the oil
out of the caspian basin
it's a long chess match
for big and little dee

mardi 3 mai 2011

Serious Playground

I made this tribute to Laura Nyro, the great singer/songwriter of such songs as "And When I Die", "Eli's Coming" and so many more, and though many people and groups covered her songs, including the 5th Dimension and Barbara Streisand, you have to hear her sing them in her own strong, passionate, yet vulnerable voice.

"Serious Playground" is from Laura's last studio album, "Angel in the Dark", recorded in 1994-95 and released posthumously. She died of cervical cancer in April, 1997, just as her mother did before her, both at age 49. I have read that she was sick during these last recordings, and I always think how profound and courageous these words are: "I'm down for the music of my life..."