Not Eliot

Between those happenings that prefigure it
And those that happen in its anamnesis
Occurs the Event, but that no human wit
Can recognize until all happening ceases.

~ W.H. Auden


Not Eliot 

The times I wrote

I am not this, I am not that,
Prince Hamlet, Lord Rama,
Jiddu, Osho or Narendra Modi,
Do not summarize that nothing
Is it at all. Not Keats. Not Mann.
Not anybody else at all.

For we have nothing new
To write, to say, to paint, to sing
All we had, warts and all, are in the past
A mistaken but undeniable past.
Another nailcut and I will have
Clipped away my dance with
Everybody that there ever was.

Each one of us ships at night
Working less trying to achieve more
Meaning, purpose, love, legacy
All Joyced in the flood of time.
Million artists a millions lifetimes
Passionate, convinced, determined
Pawns at the feet of fears, commerce and survival.

Hollow men are we filled
With fraudulence and vanity
Time wipes all slates clean and our children
Do the goosestep of hating all we
Stood for. For all we stood for
Was a selfish premise. Of what we thought
Was right. Not knowing that nothing is really ever right.

Lizards

You fear
Whatcham
Art is when you or I see and hear what the artist sees and hears even if it is just
Lizards.

Or symbols
Residuals
From your real life palm fronds hiding everyone knows for example rhetorically
Lizards.

Dog dreams
Since human
Dreams could never match up or even reflect what might be meant by symbols like
Lizards.

Checkout counter
Five items or less
Cash me my reward points I am never coming back, ever, nothing ever could, not even
Lizards.

A Scratch

We built you
Not by design
But because we loved each other so.
Not a scratch.

You are us
Chosen by that
We never could claim to understand.
Not a scratch.

The world is
On our side
Sometimes we need to be taught.
Not a scratch.

Nothing can
Stand in the way
Of what we are destined to become.
Not a scratch.

We invite
The bruises and hurts
That are needed to set all of us free.
Not a scratch.

Look up, ours
The road ahead needs
Fortitude, forbearance, compassion and strength.
Not a scratch. No.

Nothing can
Stand in the way.
Not rejection, not insults, not blame.
Surely not.

Not a scratch.


If This, Then That

What does one do it it comes to be
That one was wrong? Unusually wrong.
What when one day the veil falls
Proving what one knows to be true false?

What do I tell myself the never day
 All I thought insane turns sane? Criminally sane.
Where do I stand when it turns out
Changes excuses without a doubt?

Yous and Is

(i)
You?
Who stained the boardroom table,
Stole to see if your wit was really that sharp,
Built menages e trois making best friends of best friends,
Missing zeros like Sunday morning traffic lights, You
Who drove into a shuttered down icecream shop
To celebrate India winning over Pakistan?

You?
Who called the landline to drunk fight Dad at two in the morning, You
Who gave her two different colored eyes, revenge
For not knowing your child as I bore her in me,
For whom I lost my faith, my courage,
Sitting in a psychiatric waiting room baby in bruised arms, You
Who said you'd always be there?

You?
Who stranded my cetacean mother till she breathed water, You
Who lay bleeding unconscious immovable on the living room floor,
While Mama walked out into the foggy winter night,
Taught me how to put superglue in vacationing doorlocks,
And powder on gorilla glass. Your daddy the guy
Who rained CDs, thousands of them, from the terrace
Because a neighbor called the cops? You?

(ii)
Crimes that pay to bring to life the walking dead,
Give sight to the blind, free the chained,
All due for hearing, no books really closed, verdict
Clear, real, as immediate as sunshine,
but I don't want the kids to know
That their father was convicted and jailed,
Not even if by himself in his own prison.

Aces don't win wars, my deeds, my consequences, my rules,
My knowing never being known, just knowing all is mine
Maybe someday you will know what you knew was wrong,
The coldness of her last breath hand, the gleam in the eye
At the convocation, the box of sweets. The nearness of the earth,
The warmth of the water, the million grays of the clouds. Me.

(iii)
Yes, me, and there is so much more
That I would rather you did not know.

Eve's Day

She bought
A large strainer
An economy pack of scrubbers
A set of kitchen napkins
A larger dish drainer
Clips for the laundry line.

He bought
Mustard oil for Junior
Argan oil for the hair
Mince for burger patties
Spinach for fritters
Eggs for breakfast

The night all paid off,
Closed door, lost hope.
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