Poetry Reading

15 short poems
spanning 38 years
19 December, 2002
Shaker Heights Main Library
Cleveland, Ohio

3 Smiths foto by Jim Lang
3 Smiths by Jim Lang

Past Lies and Poverty

Old wonders shrink, grow tame in time
The new fear hangs on
In quiet desperation, quit of desire
Like the shadow of a crowded
Culture in which each
Declare their innocence
In straight unfocused silence

It is there
The smell of unwashed
Dishes smug in the stench of our
Unclean shame
Like a salesman's underbreath
Fishy, stale
The deep teal, the tiled resonance

Of hungers on top of hungers

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Now Zen

It aint age.
It ain't sex.
It ain't race, religion, height,
   gender, color, class or learning.

It's path, progress and position.
The road not not taken.
Be here now.
Hear now
   o eyes unseeing
   o ears unearned.

We're all perfect potential
   cept maybe republicans, lawyers,
   the true organized crime called police
   the true whores called priests.

You can walk on water IF water wants.
Just ask.
Walk willing.
There ain't no dark night's ungentle light.
Ain't nothing outside but lies.
But even lie true ain't for you.
Walk within.
Don't need no god.
No catholic pimp pushing blood feast.
My lie's mine.
Walk my own walk.
Fuck the talk.

Grasshoppers gone wrong become ants.
Bad ants cry uncle, cry wolf, cry baby.
Goats goad sacrifice to sun.
Ritual requires repetition, release.
Nothing stays river's run
   but drought's dry dirt
   (and river still runs).

Rub your ears together.
Start a fire.
Flesh alarm.
Let gone go.
Lock lip.


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Night Fragment

As has been said
The night weighs upon the city
In tired, fat insolence.   Rat scurry.
Old papers flap down empty streets.
It is an ugly season.   Full.
Day slouches in, in shameless anonymity
Devoid of great chained excuses of being
A voided has been of god, notion and country.
Unfocused without, we hunt worms within
To bait further cold excretion of reason, rationale.
Refuse refusing our naked nothing.
Strip steal by night.

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Alone This Train

I look to pain to gain
Sleep devoid of sheep
And master's muster walk
Or talk of tinkers'
Conforming will

Alone this train
I see you born
To breed
To die
Infected meat
To teach to cheat
Your fly from famine
Shallow matter
Decayed in safety's slumber

You briefcased fellows
Bellow farts to follow
Hollow smells
Of high topped fashion
Passion fish not flesh
But flounder

Hurried waters sleek in sinning
Shower lies and cry forgetting
Licking compulsion's flesh

This land is long and lost in shadow
Her sweets succinctly sour

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The Corporate Mean

The promised land of milk and honey
Hides the men of scars and shame
Who came they say to slay their dragon
Yet slayed to stay the same

Sleep creeps like Jason's wool
Down shelf enchanted eyes
Devolved from Mammon's muse
These self selected wise
Inside their phantom rooms
In fairy tale castles
Devoid of viable dooms
As integrated assholes
They sway
Illusion's lies

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The Heart as Arsonist

Sure the kindling.
But as well the wood.
The place as such
And substance
Of the matter.
Amounts of time to flicker.
Flame in bright arrogance.
Become fuel to continuity,
Faded maturation.

It is not wonder
Yet is
Why wolves, weres and lovers
Lie dreaming before fires
Fire places
It is the melancholy
Of the cycle calling.
Warmed atavisms
Consumed in life
In love of rebirth.
The remembrance
Of werewolves wanting wings.

All these
The core past caring
The fire is
Is love.
The spark
To kindle the passion
Then human the substance
To weather completion
This this is love.

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Unknown Nipple

Your nipple
Though we've yet to meet
Must surely seek to touch
My tongue's erectile tissue
Which seeks south to nether musk
Past inward looking navel
Which wise in eastern ways
When rocked in western rhythm
Knows what in maya may
Be only sleek illusion
Wonders reaped and sown
In peaks before the valley
Down treasure's traveled road
Where promise wraps forgiven
Its penis premised trap
Where truth in life is hidden
And minor deaths enact
Their furtive nightly burden
When joy it should be danced
And future fear forgiven
Like past purveyed by chance

Your eyes so solemn watching
Your lips promised pursuit
Your soul silent searching
Your heart no kindness fused
To form for wanting giving
To life its lift and shine
My love it spurts in wanting
Your flesh your spirit wine
Within your skin whenever
Blessings cross my brow
Profane in sacred wanting
Pure light enough for now
But o o unknown nipple
O mind of supple bliss
O soul unsullied, simple
On me bestow your kiss

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Love, Lust and Atlantis

Big cups of American coffee cheat rent.
White bread rat dead.
She and he honkeys'
Random windowed sex smiles
Eco eat spun doc wet work
Paid by skin inch.
Collective shoals hustle bush.
Shapes shadow symbol.
Vargas vaginas piss shit shower shave
Customized codes of conduct.
Sheep indivisible suckle our young
On the teats of the old,
Dewey without decimal.
Rather India-inked Indians
Than dead baby truth.
Missed and Mister P. R. Clone
Dildo ditto dodo
Mime mind
Sheep asleep
Next dead guy to cum along
Arguments amongst the monks.

Broken soul mesa, America:
No desire
No fire
No fur.

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Freud comes tonight
To mock our mere
Reflected lives'
Refracted fear,
Shelf dependents
Miming mirror
Of every man and action.

In abstinence
Such sibilance
Through undue trade
And undulance
Calls forth
In outlawed ambulance
Emotional transaction.

These scars we horde
Until they're heard
To bargain bare
A binding word,
The players paid
And pompous lured
To daily dead transgression.

Nipples rise
Through lemon dust
Raw, red
And real in sapient lust,
Emasculant tongues
Court and musk
Mother's moist application.

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Original Cinema

Small signs of logic pool to larger sockets,
Sprocket rules of flow

Autumn snap cracks cross
Yes no boundary, now then grime
And the even Steven myth

Add in
    Coffee rotation
    Bee pollen white crystal
    Hotel Babylon
    One million years TV
    Suburban life halfsounds
    Fungus eyes
    Hotdogs with blood and pus
    Artists of perpetual perception
    Fat bottom womyn in glass bottom boats
    Nature and man gone wrong
And this war of little mist
And reefer sticks
The two soul sham
Of wham baam action ma'am
(long way virgin slim to glass ceiling fan)

This bad boy business nuzzles
Nose near own navel lint
Bug belly blood in amber
Waves of shame
Dinosaur dreg dynamo hum
Blood rough ready rumble
Reflecting clone,
Trade in tiny tins

Liberty's filthy whore Profit
Loss enough for now

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Fungu Stew

Old piano roll's wrong.
Slime can't slide.
Hot crotch coffee time's
Limited clearance
For the effluent affluent,
The halfway whores,
The herd nerd cud kultchur,
And the old ass versus mass.

Psycho servitudes feed the fever,
Fodder optional.
Prime apes ape pre ape.
Mom's ashes my dust.
People getting fat.
Luxury cushioned
Nurture negating nature.
Easy pickings.
Easy meat.
Easy feeding.
Easy street.

Women leak.
Men bleed.
My country 'tis of greed.
Cleveland cop corruptus.
Onion nation bent
On killing shame.
Sodom insane.

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21st Century Schizoid Man

I've got certified rats in my rafters
Of legally voided mind waste
So excuse please these cancerous laughters
This spewing of petrified paste
Vague seeking through demented hereafter
I can't find my mind's been misplaced

Electron wails mournful my nay brain
Err trails its zinc aftertaste
This drivel due mad jolting sane pain
Embraces thy sameness posthaste
Dying I burp up my madness again
I can't find my mind's been misplaced

of when of where of what am i o god of whom of why
for seeketh then thou me thou see the be that thou belie

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Light Lucifer Lost

O listen now thou mad, thou meek
Receive and mourn my words oblique
Hear me - for I, Lucifer, speak:

God's impotent envy me from heaven hurled
Manward towards this god forsaken world
Where you in reward were Eden expelled
And I, once majestic, upon my belly felled.
Still, I reigned in hell in favor a god
Forever, until upon me science trod.
Then even from hell was I disbelieved
And from formal evil my duty relieved.

Now, no Heavens hold atomic aplomb
Nor profit in neutered gamma ray tomb
Knowing crucified wish is unworkable womb.

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Suicide Note

Poor naked ape, melancholy Dane
Dying the silent, sinking orange
I offer my praise to mad Ophelia's black mass
Receiving Laertes' pain poisoned harangue
I'll soon join that fortunate lass
Morpheusly oblivious of pain
   (Camus' first question of philosophy re
    weaves Thane Hamlet's or not to be,
    brings Kant's progressive unification of
    sense manifold to termination: total
    psychic expiration. Hence, our sole
    existential goal becomes fervently wishing
    good death's black ghoul to sensually become
    as one with our whole)
Where God assumes skull Yorick's reign
Stay yet awhile Horatio and give lie to my name

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Marriage Proposal

December of 68 I was lying on LSD on my bed downtown Baltimore.
Walls, floor, ceiling, doors all painted flat black.
Metallic mobiles and assorted assemblages hung from the ceiling
turning at will in low green and blue light.
My future wife walked in and sat so she could see me in the mirror.
So and so just got married she said.
That's nice.
Watch her reflection watching me.
So and somebody else also married.
More silence.
Watch her reflection evaluate my reflection's reflection.
Even through the LSD I could see she wasn't talking what she was saying
so asked.
I just want to know what's going to happen she screams
stalking into the living room.
I lie there amid my hallucinations and resentfully realize
I'm too weak not to marry her.
Another's strong needs always overrode my indifferent apprenticeship.
20 minutes later she skulks back to the bedroom.
OK I snap.
OK what? she snaps back.
We'll get married.
Six months I finalize
feeling sure the artist within will wither once reduced to marriage,
suburban boxes, the upperclass hypocrisy rampant in her family and friends.
We had a rich wedding in a high Episcopal-cum-Catholic cathedral.
Reception held of course at the country club.
None of my freak friends came.
The day of the wedding
I put all the trash left from moving in the middle of the floor
smoked the last of my grass
took off all my clothes
and slowly danced naked about the trash
sprinkling it with my box of monosodium glutamate
and chanting unknown chants of sorrow.

Smith by Jim Lang
Smith by Jim Lang


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