Wednesday, June 20, 2012

June 21, North 2nd Street. Dusk

Starless luminous air obscure …
…trees blackly sign invisible
wind in silhouettes power lines church steeples couple
copulating in 3rd floor bedroom

Comcast gives

square-pants finger to the city
McDonalds speaks Spanish on bill boards

We are the Oxen on Oxford – the dead animals
eaten – smoke and wine
for consolation, hum of fans, beer cans clatter underfoot
lone cyclist rounds the corner

we grow things here
dreams, psychotic fantasies
in steel lockers laid
horizontal on the roof

to the east, black smoke stacks, water towers
lighted windows
& the first visible star of summer

Sunday, June 17, 2012

An Old Man Heading Home...

I sit in a room with stacks & stacks of boxes... two days work, and not done yet. Organizing for the move tomorrow. I'm good at this...organizing physical space. Downside, that I've managed to get so much STUFF in a single room apartment.

   Exciting and a little scarey... good scarey. If you're not a little anxious about the next move, you got nothing to look forward to but death. To a gritty concrete cave of a room in warehouse... with some awesome roommates, and a fantastic view of the city from the roof. Urban pioneering again. Not bad, about to begin my 72nd year.

   I think I'm most excited--along with being in a collective living space again--being able to do art... I've got years of accumulated ideas... Found Things, and my first "project"... the scare quotes in deference to Dottie Lasky's wonderful essay/chapbook: "Poetry Is Not a Project" ... is a Poem Tree. Lilla has a perfect tree, dead tree.. at O.U.R. Gallery... that I'm going to make into a poem tree to Change the World ! ... but drawing and found things and poetry... bring them all together... in mind, in space and time....  
Feel like this has where I've been going for the last... for all my life: bringing all the fragments of my life into a single stream. Writing, fiction.. poetry... was almost there...but the PHYSICAL BODY LIFE ART ... missing. Can't do pottery now... though... who knows? ... but visual art... where I grew up, married to poetry, to IDEAS, to REVOLUTION.
   I thought I couldn't be happier with my life in the Philly Poetry family... it's only getting better.

An old man heading home at last...

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

We are not meant to live divided & alone...

When I first came to Philadelphia, there was an old Hungarian woman who lived in an apartment upstairs from us, alone. Something happened, maybe she fell, became ill--she stopped coming out of her apartment. Weeks after we last saw her, she was found. There was no food--cabinets and fridge, all empty. She starved to death.

It was one of the things that opened my eyes to the insanity of how we live, separated by nothing more than a wall, a flight of stairs...yet living as strangers. Not long after, we moved into a communal house in Powelton Village.

Capitalism divides and divides and divides--Emerson's Self Reliance made over into a dehumanizing horror. Think of how marketing demographics works-- first dividing us, then repackaging by taste, age, income, race, sex--bleeding our relationships of human significance, with nothing left to connect us but what we buy, how we spend our money.

I'm moving next week... from my one room efficiency in South Philly (where neighbors do, at least, keep an eye out for one another)--to a former factory/warehouse in Kensington--sharing rent and expenses. A few Occupy veterans. A few other refugees from the Machine. Another commune--50 years later.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

On Growiing Old in an Age of Total Comodification of Youth

    I think a lot about being old. Especially, hanging out mostly with young peeps. Not cause I feel either alienated, or decrepit (so far, I'm way healthy for my age, and the younger peeps I've palled up with are totally accepting and awesome), but because I sense how unusual this is. How unique my situation...

  It makes me feel all the more intensely the pathology of the cult of youth that dominates our culture and the all too common fate this condemns our oldest citizens to as their companions, loved ones and family die--left to live alone, or institutionalized like the animals in our factory farms.

   We are not creatures evolved to live alone, or segregated by age. I'm so convinced, that if there was a time when the old were respected for wisdom--and there was any truth to the belief... it was because they had been granted the privilege of learning from the young for multiple generations.

Left alone, we deteriorate into grumbling dependent misfits.

  I've been so fortunate--to have stumbled into an extraordinary, excepting loving community/family of poets here in Philly.. and then... came the Occupiers... let us outgrow the brand name... it's a movement bigger than any label, as large as the hearts and courage and imaginative will for a better world of those who devote themselves to its work.

   As I approach the beginning of my 72nd year... I would not trade places for any one on earth. I am as lucky as any man could ever hope to be... even as I worry for the fate of those I love in this terribly troubled time.

Cat in Desparate need of home!

Neutered male American shorthair tabby
In good health. Indoors only.
Likes to play with his fuzzy ball & chase a string on a stick (play time every day is important).
Asks for lap time. Purrs to slow gentle stroking.
A rescue kitten, he’s been my good friend for 8 years
but I have to move the 18th where there are too many cats and he is not welcome.
Please give my friend a home where he will be loved and cared for!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Saturday June 9, 2012

She was
always more than
her qualities
even as they eluded her over
the years a nation of
farmers plowed
slaves into the folded landscape of rivers

lines are not lions though they have been known to roar
bisecting the apex of intention

we are
beginning to see
what we were seeking
no longer exists
that the other side of the
coin only appears in dreams

she knew
as a child the day would come
when all the birds
fled her body
would sing

a glass harp in the wilderness

Review: Chronic Chronos Kairos

Emily Barton reviews Chronic Chronos Kairos for Another Chicago Magazine