Bloodlust

Consider that you are loved.
Even when people don’t know how to show it.
Even when you don’t know how to receive it.
Consider that you are loved.

There is a lot going on in this world. A lot of struggle. People are hurting in all kinds of ways. We all know this. We feel it deeply. In our bones. In our flesh. In our shortness of breath. The panic. We lash out. Bare our teeth. Snap and growl. Especially with those we love. We snarl. Spit. Act nasty. Get ugly. We bottle up our emotions and explode.

We have this tool. The internet. To reveal our happiness. Our scorn. Our absolute disgust. Our love and relationships. We tell little lies and noble truths to garner scraps of attention. We fumble and flop and flounder
biding our time until what?

What is more intimate and revealing than feeling safe to express our darkness, our hatred, our anger? To be listened to in silence. Ears big as elephants. Hearts large as houses. What is more intimate and revealing than the gesture of loving space held?

I spent a small bit of time with an Argentinian writer and anarchist outside of Buenos Aries. We talked about love. Amor y rabia. He disagreed vehemently with the idea that “all you need is love” in no roundabout words he called it shit. People need housing and healthcare. People need time to spend with their families. People need food. You can’t eat love.

I didn’t disagree with him. But our conversation was loud and passionful because we still need love.

We still need love.

We live in greedy times.
The days are eaten up by work.
Why?
Work is eaten up by bosses.
How come?
The vicious cycle plays out from the time we hit the alarm clock to the time we clock out. Labor is stolen. Time is stolen. Where does that leave love? Love is not a currency. Love is not quantifiable.

Still…

Love gets shoved into a box and wrapped as a present to give a few times a year. Love gets a hallmark card scribbled on at the last minute the barcode succinctly ignored. Love gets pushed around yelled at stomped on used like a doormat ripped out of the chest tossed in the gutter and rained on.

I love the rain.

Love gets the brunt of the anger and rage. The hatred swirling in the short breaths taken without acknowledging we are actually living blood pumping hearts stomping out of the chest into the streets to scream at whoever will listen.

Love. We are mourning. We are grieving. We do not always mean what we say. We may believe in the moment the harshness. The fuck you. The curses swelling like waves. But we are a loud cry from those who deserve it.

The rule makers have no peace in their hearts. Only greed.

The greed trickles down
turns us all green
we puke our disgust
onto one another.
We are covered in the anger
meant for another
meant for the collective
to wield as a weapon
to recall times of the guillotine
pulling down figure heads
and holding them up for show.

Consider
Consider that you are loved.
Consider you are powerful
yet humbled.

Consider that you are hurt by a loved one. It is true. We hurt one another. There is no excuse. There is no retribution for unthinkable transgressions. We are forced into situations by circumstances systemic. We cannot become alienated and isolated over minutia. We cannot spurn one another without cold reason. We must take up our chains. We must take up our anger and rage.

We must…

As I finish this poem
I overhear lyrics spoken

“I never had healthcare
just a pistol on the waist
for the people”

It gives me a moment of pause and contemplation.

There’s no denying these times are dire.
The fire burns.
The fire burns.

Consider that you are love.
That you are
another piece of the puzzle.
Without you
the big picture crumbles at the feet of tyrants. Full of greed. Full of unknowing.

We all deserve better. So much better.

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sobering heartache

subconscious bandits, marketing perverts,
advertisement imperialists, exploiting deep listening
to rob us the ability to think below the surface
to see the emergence of wildness
blow thru the omnipotent bits of news
the fabricated apocalypse so tightly constructed
a chokehold on third eye esophagus

how many people are suffocating in unknown depression?
downward spiraling, shallow breaths
hearts bursting uncontrollable
the frantic tick of moments
unable to make sense of the passage of time
the lightning speed of language
the thoughts rolling in disaster after murder after police acquittal
the state playing joker, executioner
the political players swimming in blood money
unfeeling, unrepenting the call of nature
stuck accumulating greed
needing to consume and devour the poor

ignoring the righteous path
to share material visions
the caress of eros
lovemaking in forests
the moon shifting in slivers, tugging at bodies
the post-scarcity abundance, the socialist project
feeding the hungry
taking care of the elderly
housing, health,
no more war

the sky isn’t the sky anymore
it’s held up by wires and telephone poles
invisible currents, thought bubble webworks
the earth rocked over by concrete and brick
hidden like a fantasy

empathic insight obscured

puppets confounded, blind to the sacred
it’s not goddess, it’s science
strip away the mystery, no fucks given
we’re not human, we’re disposable cogs meaningless as stardust
tools to increase profits
fools that peel away the flesh
replaced by xenolinguistics, computer ballistics
the touch screens, you know what button to push
to touch, to rile up the people, to divide common sense
to subdue passion, wily, untamed,
angry, seething, desiring openly the destruction of systems
invisible yet clear as day
downpressing majority minorities

attempting to pray oneself out of misery

coming together to eat, to hug
to remind, to remember, to reconnect
to organize as anarchy, the unruly love
ripping out hair, lungs bursting screams
we deserve primal touch
the basics, necessities
time to be, space to create
to grow wilderness, health, gardens
to fuck in the middle of the day
to celebrate and mourn at leisure
no more toil, i want meaningful work & play

to fully express the entangled wondrous breath that gives life
that speaks truth in shadow when we are most vulnerable
like the thump in the chest, the pulse, boundaries unrolling
ripples that once deceived make sense
the silken threads of webs that glisten in rays after rain
the grin on a baby’s face

how much does it take to know the shit

have a drink, a good night’s rest
free from the sleepless phantasms
when the struggle feels weightless
when gratitude infuses
when it’s easy to awake for the sunrise
the colors, a hallucinogenic palette
absorbing, growing, breathing water
wishing,
less of the ephemeral rhetoric
wanting,
deeply
more

headstones anonymous as barcodes

row homes flash tv screen luminance
entertainment & news

sidewalks covet used needles
& scratched lottery tickets

empty beer bottles pile up like bullet casings

trees loom large and cast shadows

a murder of crows
a murder of

American flags
& police sirens

in a neighborhood park
people gather to praise Jesus,
his image on a banner
bloody & crying

we put our faith in so many dark places

in the dead of the night,
the junkies move like zombies
& the crackheads move like ghosts

fireworks bang in the sky

there’s a reclaimed lot burning a bonfire
the sparks fly into the stars

I woke up the other morning to birds chirping & I saw for a moment the intermingling and connecting of hexagons

I don’t know how, but my mind’s eye translated the birds’ song

like a quantum beehive, or perhaps better described as a blueprint for lysergic acid diethylamide.

Whatever it was exactly, instead of those black notes dancing around, it resembled a molecular structure drawn on a living canvas; the hexagons breaking apart and reorganizing with every chirp, chirp, chirp until the sun came up and I was fully awoke.

Then off to work & I fall right into a city daze

a digital hustle
a modern day alchemical struggle
turning pixels into cash

sound systems reverberate row homes
arguments bounce off brick walls

little kids holding hands, cute as can be, going to & from school throughout the day

everyone moves like molasses

the skyline like a heartbeat
a lullaby of barbed wire & cracked concrete

feathers ruffle in heat
naked bodies ruffle in sheets

fire hydrants spurt water

ice cream trucks jangle a monotonous song of sweets

the smell of charcoal whiffs from backyards like stray cats appearing from alleyways

I eat mulberries off trees. They stain my palms purple like ink. Purple like the shit on picnic tables because the birds eat the mulberries too. It gives me a sense of communion: we share the wealth of trees.

Jazz nights at the local bar where I twist my hand into cursive. Beer foams, tobacco smokes. Tattoos cover the walls of souls.

Whenever I see fresh graffiti, it makes me stop and contemplate the banditry of artists. Like cave paintings or hieroglyphs, the symbols sneak inside the eyes and unlock creative places in the subconscious.

I go to the community garden an hour or so before sunset. There’s peacefulness during that time of day. You can feel the breeze. The birds flock in slow motion.

A portrait is painted on the sign there. Cesar Andreu Iglesias. I looked him up. He was a journalist and labor activist in Puerto Rico.

The tink of hammer against nail echoes off the surrounding walls. & I feel the spirit of Senor Iglesias smiling down as small acts of labor resound the air.

When I enter the garden, I water the pot on the head of the Mesoamerican statue near the entrance. It feels like worship, like I’m honoring those who came before. Comfrey is growing there.

I’ve been planting seeds.

When The Heart Breaks Into A Thousand Pieces, Know That Life Goes On aka Like The Ash Of A Log, Give Yourself To The Wind

Biking
from North Philly to Westville, NJ
passing ghost towns
dead as can be.
The kind of places
where the wind blows
and all you hear is
the wretched creak
of a sign.

Metallic symbols communicating both
direction & abandon.
Like industrial wastelands
speaking in
graffiti, linguistics of the local
headspace.

Then
working the land
on a suburban homestead
people talking of
transition
(the cling of pitchfork
against wooden chips,
& a snake appears
shedding skin.

Another sign.

It must be
the age we’re in.

Traversing the space between,
from reclaimed warehouses
to reclaimed land
full of artists
full of gardeners,
like the time from sleeping
to waking,
a dream worth writing down
re-membering.

a mishmash of industrialized earth
a collage of decay & growth,
rustbelt visions

While building a tiny teepee structure,
starting with twigs & the tiniest branches,
someone said in a light of bemusement,
“Look at all the hands…”
and there were hands
everywhere
grabbing leaves
placing sticks
so many hands
building fire
contributing,
& in that moment
we decided (it was necessary)
to say a prayer
a prayer honoring
the four corners
the distant past
the present past
the here & now
the future tense
the generations
& dreams to come

As we honored the directions
in space & time, I
thought about my own ancestors
as well as those
who lived the land before.
A sadness,
tinged with anger
swept over me.
I apologize.
I do not know how
my bloodline is wrapped up in
mass genocide,
but we arrived in a white wave
shortly thereafter.
And working with the land,
the plants whisper
of the blood spilled
the terror unleashed across the land.
It’s in the herbs, it’s in the flowers,
the native spirit comes to life
in the trees, there are stories
in the meandering of roots,
there are ancient faces
in the bark.

When I am in a silent place,
I listen
I learn
I understand
to live closely
to live appropriately
to heed the call of wildness
to preserve the primal nature.

To honor the beast within.

The sacred rush of river
The vast expanse of ocean
The reflection of stars
hidden by the sun.

Once
I had a dream-
I was on the outskirts of a village
living in a hut made of branches.
It stood on the edge of a forest.

And one day,
the hut caught fire.

I walked closer & closer
until I was inside.
People gathered,
worried I’d catch fire too.
I assured them,
It’s not a problem,
after all, I lit the place up on purpose.

I disappeared in the flames.

I woke up in the dream.

I realized
I’m standing amidst raging flames,
but nothing of me has caught;
& as I get to know
intimately
the lick of fire,
it’s not so angry
as it is alive.

On knowledge, or lack thereof

walking talking
little automatons of buzzwords,
wearing our language like cloaks
revealing what reality we ascribe to,
naked underneath all our stereotypes
sweaty skin & tender flesh warm against
technology hugging ever closer,
overcome with viral fears because,
did you know, the media is a conspiracy,
the whole damn internet is an illusion,
maya, smoke & mirrors, happy to know,
there’s not a single reliable source in
the entire known world, so
where do you get your ideas from?
who are you talking to? who are you
talking about? if not through your vocal box,
your mind’s eye parched through with regurgitated ideas on repeat, wake up
thrown out like a broken record, wake up
burned like books in a digital fire, wake up
how did you arrive at your set of beliefs?
if not through a screen,
if not from a neighbor,
if not from a loved one,
if not from a scripted page,
was it spun from the double helix of DNA?
was it churned from the blood & bones
of your grandmothers?
was it a dream
or a drug that clicked like a key
unlocking the vast treasures within?
tell me, how we are all so enlightened
to have an opinion in the first place

maybe it’s just ghosts
stirring in the past
blown open like sails,
or an anchor clanking
hoisted onboard
like skeletons & bones
clonking a hollow tone

it reminds me of a treasure beneath the sea

a blustery day
entangled in wind chimes
the jangle adds a charm to the grey sky,
the house itself creaks & whistles
like a wooden ship rocking to life

I took the whole place apart,
piece by piece
I put her back together

I scraped years and years of paint
always working on windows
& doors
it makes me wonder about vision,
and passage,
and stepping thru
seeing

my hands rough & beaten &
callused with so many blisters
accustomed to cuts &
scrapes
I wear this body
like a glove
like a cloak
for my soul
to travel & work

I fell into this craft
this vehicle
this wooden ship
I landed
in this house

There is a widow’s walk atop the attic.
Its namesake comes from the women who
lost their husbands out to sea,
but still had a glimmer of hope
they might return one day

I go up there to watch the trees
to get a moment of solace
to fall headlong in the sky

before climbing back down to labor
to treat the house like my own
to imbue her with character
I sand
the grain & stain
the wood
pops
like an old record
singing blues

It makes me think about lineage & history

I must have been a sailor in a past life
star-gazing on clear nights
drunk on swill & sea air
floating casually
thru storm & days of calm