is a tiny wandering imaginary dinosaur which migrated from AOL in October of 2008.

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Rhodingeedaddee is my node blog. See my other blogs and recent posts.


[6-16-2009 Update Insert: Most of what is in this space is now moot. I found out what I was doing wrong and have reinstated Archives and Labels searches. They do work. However, in certain cases you may prefer Labels to Archives. Example: 1976 Today begins in November of 2006 and concludes in December of 2006, but there are other related posts in other months. Note: Labels only shows 20 posts at a time. There are 21 hubs, making 21 (which is for 1976 Today) an older hub.] ********************************* to my online poems and song lyrics using Archives. Use hubs for finding archival locations but do not link through them. Originally an AOL Journal, where the archive system was nothing like the system here, this blog was migrated from there to here in October of 2008. Today (Memorial/Veteran's Day, May 25, 2009) I discovered a glitch when trying to use a Blogger archive. Now, it may be template-related, but I am unable to return to S M or to the dashboard once I am in the Archives. Therefore, I've decided on this approach: a month-by-month post guide. The sw you see in the codes here stood for Salchert's Weblog when I began it in November of 2006. It later became Sprintedon Hollow. AOL provided what were called entry numbers, but they weren't consistent, and they didn't begin at the first cardinal number. That is why the numbers after "sw" came to be part of a post's code. ************** Here then is the month-by-month post guide: *2006* November: 00001 through 00046 - December: 00047 through 00056 -- *2007* January: 00057 through 00137 - February: 00138 through 00241 - March: 00242 through 00295 - April: 00296 through 00356 - May: 00357 through 00437 - June: 00438 through 00527 - July: 00528 though 00550 - August: 00551 through 00610 - September: 00611 through 00625 - October: 00626 through 00657 - November: 00658 through 00729 - December: 00730 through 00762 -- *2008* January: 00763 through 00791 - February: 00792 through 00826 - March: 00827 through 00849 - April: 00850 through 00872 - May: 00873 through 00907 - June: 00908 through 00931 - July: 00932 through 00955 - August: 00956 through 00993 - September 00994 through 01005 - October: 01006 through 01007 - November: 01008 through 01011 - December: 01012 through 01014 -- *2009* January: 01015 through 01021 - February: 01022 through 01028 - March: 01029 through 01033 - April: 01034 through 01036 - May: 01037 through 01044 - ******************************************************* 1976 Today: 2006/11 and 2006/12 -- Rooted Sky 2007: 2007/01/00063rsc -- Postures 2007: 2007/01/sw00137pc -- Sets: 2007/02/sw00215sgc -- Venturings: 2007/03/00216vc -- The Undulant Trees: 2007/03/00266utc -- This Day's Poem: 2007/03/00267tdpc -- Autobio: 2007/04/sw00316ac -- Fond du Lac: 2007/04/00339fdl -- Justan Tamarind: 2007/05/sw00366jtc -- Prayers in December: 2007/05/sw00393pindc -- June 2007: 2007/06/sw00440junec -- Seminary: 2007/07/sw00533semc -- Scatterings: 2008/08/00958sc ** Song Lyrics: 2008/02/sw00797slc ********** 2009-06-02: Have set S M to show 200 posts per page. Unfortunately, you will need to scroll to nearly the bottom of a page to get to the next older/newer page.


Thursday, November 30, 2006


15 of 25 1976 Today 353 bicentennial year sonnets (214-228) - August: Year-day 214 The prosaic and poetic truth is: a world-class athlete should not be controlled by the government of her or of his flag country, or else world games ought to fold. Money and power ruin everything even as they build everything anew. In the waves of starlight the life sperm swing wending orbs (circling their stars) green and blue. To be of and compete against the best in one's class is a hardship filled with joys no human force has the right to curtail I repeat/ because of my soul's high zest for the women from the girls, men from boys who so grow, regardless which win, which fail. - August: Year-day 215 Censorship? Feed 'em hell, the brilliant little things, mother, father, who in your God-fearing ignorance/ fuel hate. Let 'em toss your brittle responsibilities against rocks, sneering. So what if empathy withers, compassion and understanding drop, and respect never grows as each body grows. What deaths we fashion because we're insecure! What heavens sever! O complicated creature, answer chaser, who needs the solace of a place of honor; who cringes at his faults, extinction's arms! pray for discernment, that sacred eraser of generalizations that cast on her or him brute spites. Heal. Spread each/ other's charms. - - Note: Just after typing the above, I said to myself: "You're not to be believed." And then: "Don't believe me. You fall in hole." Take this for what to you it's worth. For myself: I am not quite sure what it means. - - August: Year-day 216 What's remembered last is remembered worst may not be as true as at first it seems; as everyone's blest, so everyone's cursed no matter the tints of actualized dreams. My body refuses to give and give; my spirit likewise implores me to sleep who/ with his allergies and else/ must live as . . . the athletes who jump and hug and weep. So I mark this page with signs you may read if you know the language I'm using here; I plant this garden with rows of good seed you may name and eat from/ to help kill fear; I touch prayer. Happy birthday, sister two. Strong grace for each soul, however dark, cruel. - August: Year-day 217 Noises in the park, nighthawks screeching peace, the Great Bear watches from an open field as corn, wheat, alfalfa crackle to yield. I'll give you a spirit shorn of its fleece that yours may be warm while pleasingly dressed. The rivers flow backwards to lay their eggs. The stiff teetotaler's in his kegs. When your eyes are closed, your vision is blessed. Handsome as the grasses and trees may be, as the flicked clouds and invisible gales, the night makes ghouls of the movable world. Mirrors invert what of me I may see. At the height of its beauty, a rose fails. In our hearts' caves/ who knows/ what awes lie purled. - - Note: A hiatus is upon me. I have been spending much of this day readying for it. Saturday I expect to be moving. Tomorrow I will be dismantling and packing my computer system. Am not sure how soon it will be back up. PM 10:05 Thursday 2006-11-30 - Brian A J Salchert - - It is Friday morning. - - August: Year-day 218 Being Supreme, Rune, thank You for my life; as harried as it is, it is much blessed in the mind I have, in my special wife, in the lands my emotions/ pop/ redressed. Maybe some choices I have made were wrong; maybe some choices I am making now are not the right ones for that or this song; still, here, I can make them, can even bow. Ha ha! Ha! Ha. Ha-ha, ha, ha! What fools prance the towns and countrysides of my heart! What wise men ride my spirit beyond schools! Sometimes where we finish is where we start. Whether or not I hold the/ proper tools, I hew and play contritely/ each learned part. - August: Year-day 219 Lord, let your great ones/ rise up from the poor, for their numbers are greater and more true, striving or waiting, depending on You, fronds light & airy, fronds bouncing with spores. Lord, let the triumphs that/ render men whole march through the humble and seemingly weak so the tongues of waters constantly speak peace and strength to the source, the ragged soul. Lord, let violence built by the false prides in a man, whatever his color, bury him, though I, certainly no matter my strivings, my victories, my grand asides, won't believe I'm holy enough to tarry with the saints. Precision, Lord, each man's eye. - August: Year-day 220 The end has come; the end willcome again. And always I will find a way to go. It does not matter how, or where, or when, or even why, or what I do not know. Down paths erasing in a shifting snow or7nbsp;trails of blood dancing/ from murdered men or into spaces where whipping rains blow, I prepare fordeath, and was, now, and then. Though entire worlds can pass without a trace or suddenly appear as from no source, apocalypses wander through your face with unremitting pride and long remorse, another time we'll enter at this place, welcomed; another, reached/ only by force. - - Note: I am back up. It is Sunday, 2006-12-17. - - It is Thursday, 2006-12-21. A belated note follows: - 2006-12-06 (after 3:33 AM) - - - Before I go on, there is a field of concern I must write about. That field of concern is sexuality. This is what I believe. - - - Sexual persuasions (sensitivities) are innate (are inborn). They reside in one's psyche (in one's spirit). As one matures, one comes--by means of reflection (of self-examination)-- to recognize them, at which junctures one can either deny or accept them. Any attempt to change one's sexual persuasions is a form of denial. - - - Sexual expressions (activities) are the results of choices (of the use of free will). They reside in one's neural- muscular constitution (in one's body). Any thing can be a source of sexual arousal. Examples are: the trunk of a tree, the smell of a flower, the wink of an eye. Wisdom is the monitor of free will. - - - One's sexual nature is highly complex. However, one's sexual persuasions may seem quite simple. Nonetheless, to say that one must adhere to a specific vision of the human condition is blatantly irrational, and can never be more than a matter of faith. Note: I do not mean to imply here that faith is silly, is without value. - - - Getting to me: Due to my low sex drive, I am essentially nonsexual, afterwhich I am primarily an autoerotic, and secondarily a homoerotic, and tertiarily a heteroerotic in both my sexual pesuasions and expressions. As it is, I am my own monastery. AM 4:22 - Brian A. J. Salchert - - August: Year-day 221 The weary traveler rests his bones. Oh yah? The weary traveler lets his ashes blow. No--the weary traveler leaves ma with pa and trundles out/ to catch the bounds of flow. When one dreams alone, one's dreams remain dreams; when with others, reality begins: to paraphrase a priest. Leaving, it seems, requires returning. Nature/ correctssins. The BigThompson, a part of its course/ changed, churned insidiously past the swank homes raised on the landfill it blithely had owned; the buried bed (from which it was estranged), insidiously also--waiting with its gnomes for the night now done/ when the canyon groaned. - August: Year-day 222 Hurricane Belle is ringing up the coast, whirling toward Long Island, my sister says. So what if/she's not one/ likely to boast. I'm not one likely to put on a fez, at least not today, happy as I am my ears won't be hearing Hurricane Belle, my meek bones feeling her toppled trees slam, even if she hasn't surged up from hell. There are certainly better things to flee and face/ though often we/ can't pick and choose the encounters we want/ or where they'll be/ or when or why or how. None want to lose. It's a rare spirit that keeps itself free, though violated by merely soft screws. - August: Year-day 223 "Still to this world its wondering beginner" o Howard, I too trim, elide my reason, endless desire to supercede the sinner; rejoice in those changes that shape each season. Tutelary poets, abstractionists, desperate at times, faced with mysteries, it does do us good to learn of & list rocks, minerals; flowers, insects, birds, trees: butter-and-eggs, snapdragons, foxglove, phlox; monarchs, even cabbage moths, sugar ants; barn swallows, robins, goldfinch, meadowlarks; elms, willows, birches, cedars, maples, oaks; myriad other others in our camps who whiff skunk, savor bass, feel dawn winds lap. - August: Year-day 224 Wladymir Cieszynski: deep poet, seed, whose V-bug veering into a parked truck sheared the growth of his enchantments, struck a fortune that froze the fires of his need: read. Death, I should appreciate you well, often enough beside you in a nod; left wondering why I was kept by God from Atropos' scissors within that spell: To live to die; to die; to die to live, exploring, so/ one's words will smile and cry and laugh and sing and hold; that where they give no one will have to seek the reasons why; no one will mind/ much flows/ through reason's sieve, the rooted man below/ leafing our sky - August: Year-day 225 "Hell is other people" said Jean-Paul Sartre; and the young and old in Lebanon weeping, and I, and perhaps you, forced to depart from who we are because of the hate leaping from the spirits of others, feeling, know. We aren't even sure Antarctica's free of the grime ofour conflicts, the soiled blow after blow by which we raise misery. Yet heaven is other people, too, hands sincere with food and clothes and comfort, lives willing to give even themselves for us. How dark are men's attachments to their lands, how glorious! Each of us, where he strives, should learn: "We are all Bozos on this bus." - - - (Regarding the words in quotes in line 14 above: see FiresignTheatre.) - - - - August: Year-day 226 Conflicts of the spirit. Life against life. Whether it is holier one's own breath remain, or be sacrificed: for a wife, a child, a friend, a stranger nudging death. Rock candy, sugarless gum, soybean oil. Somehow in a garden an aster strikes its white pose at a leafy breeze, the soil stands up for rain, enemies/ set their spikes. The life I've lived against the life I missed: Have no regrets I'm told, for regrets kill, but I do: people who asked me to stay, people I maligned, left, but might have kissed; the high school I attended on the hill, the high school I didn't, my dreams astray. - August: Year-day 227 Many of these sonnets many may say are but fair rhymed prose, sing-songs for a nose to snub; will not see here any repose of light or wall-shattering, sharp foray or honest, caring touch; will mark the day each was written for/ among the lost. Those, however right they are, let us suppose these sonnets will outlive, as thoughts we pray. How fervently I dream a perfect love is entering my life, not just a wisp of beauty I'm barely/ able to see; how darkly I likewise dream/ others shove me into death/ with poetries more crisp. When I tell you I'm insane, believe me. - August: Year-day 228 America, you crawl, walk, run, leap, fly, fall down. In Idaho they ride past groves of apples, tomato fields . . . dream of stoves hot with crackling pine, slopes numbing the eyes with the sweet smoke of snow. Wisconsin, I extinguish you, light you again, the droves of Chicago / New York not yours, the coves of Maine, the grains of Kansas not; yet my our beings thrive in each other: your lakes refreshing, shimmering my blood / my nerves; my images ghosting your waves and weeds; the streets of West Bend / Fond du Lac, the takes and shots they spawn, cutting us/ as they serve. Always/ work to grow/ regardless the needs. - 15 of 25 Brian A. J. Salchert

Wednesday, November 29, 2006


14 of 25 1976 Today 353 bicentennial year sonnets (198-213) - July: Year-day 198 Spritely in the gust an US flag flaps its happy hellos and happy good-byes as if it knows its republic will rise from where it's been taking extended naps; and maybe, just maybe, from there perhaps no longer lapse in its reach to be wise, welling tears I resist/ into my eyes because people care in their hearts and maps, because people care in their thoughts and stands, because people care in their souls and keys. Jordan, Dellums, Kovic, King, Mondale, Carter. There's no denying the strengths in/ this land's resources; that the right use of them/ frees green for hope / white for honor, as we charter. (2007-01-06: As I have elsewhere said, whenever I read something I have written, there's a chance I will re-vision it.) - July: Year-day 199 Perfection is the human dream, the flame the runners carry, the fantasy land, a sound we thought we heard once from a band, shiverings when we think/ a certain name; and no persistence of extravagance will cloud, expel, erase it from our wills no matter how it crams our senses' tills and pulses our hearts in a frenzied dance. Nadia Commeneci: remember her, as Matthew Arnold in his "Dover Beach". Not even tornadoes can cause a stir as powerful as is in the will of each who arcs the stamina to so prefer, jumping for galaxies beyond her reach. - July: Year-day 200 If I can love you more than you love me, what's it mean the end of the world's at hand; what's it mean the ocean nibbles the land; what's it mean your spirit is/ up a tree? Maybe we should congratulate the wind for not listening to the sounds it carries, and past here/ tears apart, and past there/ marries, thickened by closures; by openings, thinned. Answer me, lover, or answer me not: I am passing known; I am passing strange. Sometimes you can touch me; sometimes you can't. You must either handle or leave the lot being together forms. To rearrange me/ might take too long/ to be worth the chance. - July: Year-day 201 The wind today is that exciting kind which brings to me rolling images of long journeys/ & loosens my bowels as love difficult to speak does/ so that in my mind traveling to the far away is all there is/ with the sounds of that wind; my senses are almost closed--angels of recompenses replacing them. I'm horizontally tall. The deserts dream of inundating the seas; the mountains dream of titillating the skies. Sometimes I want my verses to be trees; Sometimes I want my verses to surprise. Sometimes I drop my body to its knees. Maybe tomorrow we will find real eyes. - July: Year-day 202 And unimaginably far away galaxies of burnt-out stars litter space and the ripened blossom of our small race shocks fruition with its naivete. Yet future's future, still, we scheme, project. And what sweet bloom/ doesn't want to/ die proud? Soon Machina sapiens, crying loud, may demand more praise than we now expect. But if what I am is a preparation for the beginnings of a deeper nation, so be it, so be it, so let it be. This work and my others will then ascend as bodies of love between friend and friend, and my race blessed/ for how well it can see. - July: Year-day 203 Some days when time is short I wish I could inhabit/ one of these/ adroit designs as easily as I can speak, for pines would freshen my lungs then and sunlight would bring strength renewed to my bones, my rude heart. I might receive more wealth than I could spend as if I'd been given a rainbow's end, a pot of gold virtues from which to start. Today, like so many others though, will fails to produce, to thaw the soil; and all I'd raise stays seed. Harvest devoured by rats couldn't irk me more. I am hot to kill, yet can't, for such killing would fall a fall, twice end me. I must be/ patient as cats. (1976 and September, 2007) - July: Year-day 204 I write: for myself, for others, for you. And the sky is light, and the trees full. Share. Let what spirits communicate be care. Dolphins protect. Godlfinches accent. Do. I write: for myself, for others, for none. When the sky is yellow, the sun is blue. I'm the black in a leaf, the green in a flue. There are many forms/ from which joys are spun. The current rises, the current descends. The mouth of the poet jabbers and jabs. You'd be surprised by what a sneak thief grabs. Nothing's pursued to its absolute ends by any other than the god who blends. "Be various yet one" command my slabs. - July: Year-day 205 Since AM 4 I have been/ stupid tired, unable to finish by 7 what I could have/ by 5:30. Such a nut I've been, though now knowing much I've desired was fated by/ the events of my birth. Maybe hypnosis/ would help my life too. Still, I like to think I alone, can hew my way to wakefulness, improve my worth. One-color rocks/ don't begrudge and complain because petrified rainbows are not theirs to hold the deep eyes of a complex brain and tease it away from its daily cares/ though their one color brightens some/ in rain. I don't have to dull myself/ with my stares. - July: Year-day 206 Extra hours at work/ because it is summer, and because the Olympics is on, hours lost at home watching TV--it's a bummer in a way, not giving my writing powers the time and quiet they need to complete the daily sonnet I'd determined to-- my pen holding, my eyes ahead, my seat trying to tell my head/ to carry through. I've got to admit, though, however much I enjoy writing these, I like to please my being in/ other ways too; so, such as/ I am doing: letting divers/ seize me from this, weight lifters and boxers/ touch my nerves, and bicyclists/ give me the breeze. - July: Year-day 207 Long end-of-the-period night again, checking in guests, balancing the accounts: my punishment for wanting/ too much when I've lost the resources for such amounts, having committed them to secondaries/ becoming the patriot I dislike; the masochist in me/ exploiting the fairies; the learned polymath/ out for a hike. Pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters, dollars, checks. Debits, credits. Tiring limbos of love. Answers, mistakes--burning/ to find them out. Frustrations can be such miniscule specks and yet be giants in the ways they shove a balancer prone to chastise and pout. - July: Year-day 208 After living on bananas for two weeks, Idi Amin's army peered at him darkly, or so I've heard, while on Mars, who but Viking I recording the red--grim and striking and chocked with intrigue; and there in Montreal, Christov lifting the weights/ almost beyond the believable. Flare. Reagan chose Schweiker. Listen. Watch the Fates. Spinning with a planet clinging to life, mixed in its evil, its good; always trying to keep wrong from overbalancing right, sunlight slicing more sharply than a knife, a man unknown, a little man defying the delicate moon with its scoop of night. - July: Year-day 209 Moses, Babashoff, Wilkins, Cofin, Naber, Haldeman, Chandler, Pace--Olympic stars of these United States--bless them; the saber diving of Greg Louganis--let the bars of our anthem be played--the bright embrace of Mike Shine. How matters it if I agree (in principle) there is (really)/ no place in these games for nation boasting. Let be. Only, let honest competition reign-- an edict against insane politics; from anything less this world cannot gain, already in a Russian roulette fix; from anything less each joy, sorrow, pain cannot be/ haloed with worth. Beauty/ sticks. - July: Year-day 210 Persistence is the kingdom of the wise and those incessantly misunderstood penning their symbols in mutated wood. I am a mountain goat that tries and tries. Mark Vonnegut of The Eden Express / Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., of who knows what-- if I give you bibles, I give you smut. I'm far too various for a set dress. Even these sonnets with all they contain can't tell you enough to hold who I am. Even the faucet slides into its drain. I'm down from my mountain kissing a ram. A light from the future explores my brain. More leaves wriggle their petioles/ & scram. - July: Year-day 211 Overstrained my constitution again, blithering about extra work at work so a small pain has entered this tired jerk in his left shoulder/ only to leave when I've gotten his being quiet again, head and body down/ somewhere stretching/ for the currents of rejuvenation, store of continuance/ through field, range, wood, fen. Learn, learn, my wife's reason constantly pounds; but it's after three and I'm still awake, hoping to defeat a time-prisoned world. Of course I enjoy the sounds of my sounds! Of course I perceive the visions at stake! At the cliff's dead edge my sapped body's curled. - July: Year-day 212 In China last night many were told: take to the streets: sleep there, the officials fearing aftershocks from the tyrannous earthquake; in Montreal, a bantam Russian, hearing the judges decisioned against him, judges immediately booed by the crowd, turned from the ring/ crying, conceding why/ grudges come/ when fate keeps the gold one's duly earned. Misfortunes of nature and politics will ever be with us I guess, I guess. We'll never untangle the in/out mess we humans stumble through/ where the burr pricks. Yet our candles light because they have wicks, and there's more than enough/ to praise, confess. [ some revisions made in August, 2007 ] - July: Year-day 213 Let me nominate today Poland's day of thistwenty-first Olympiad, they having done so well on track, field, at bar, even an EastGerman partly their star, being a Cierpinski. And the rain, grey and slippery, seems to have helpedtheir play: young Yacek, tall, slender, cute, above par in the high jump; the silver relay four. Oh, the soccer squad, favored to win, lost; but the pole vaulter found gold in a rain and the men's volley balls rained on the Russians. One lives what he loves, whatever the cost. There's always The Rose of Heaven to gain/ and the fun of slitting/ a devil's cushions. - 14 of 25 Brian A. J. Salchert

Tuesday, November 28, 2006


13 of 25 1976 Today 353 bicentennial year sonnets (183-197) [ AM 9 Wednesday 2006-11-29 Note: Given that I often comment on my writings, and given that I often revise what I have written, and given that sometimes I parody what I've written, I herein admit I have for some months been considering using a Creative Commons License; but, until I can be sure/ what I am writing is being read, why should I get such a license? I know I am a maverick, but not a granite head. I know an opinion I espouse today/ I may on/ some tomorrow/ differently espouse. I understand that my intent to place online as much of what I in my soon-to-be 66 years have written (and continue to write) as I see is of value, even if others do not see it so, does suggest/ I wish/ to carry on an open conversation with/ others in the noosphere, a wish which a CCL would certainly make clear; however, I am not quite ready to make that move. Also, as I want to be sure you know the obvious: I find political correctness insidious. So, if you want to call me turd, I grant you permission. I do. My point here is: Freedom of speech can only persist as freedom of speech when touting it is not undermined by subservience to/ opposing opinions. I do not advocate violence; but I do advocate tough love. If you want a certain person, myself included, to grow in knowledge and wisdom and whatever other goodly virtue, you must be willing to share, and not by saying: "Okay, we'll make it easier on you"; but rather by saying: "Okay, you are able to do this. Let's see how/ we together can enable you to do more." Teachers must always be willing to learn from whatever and whomever, but must at the same time be willing to lead forth, and not do so wimpily. Have I been guilty of wimpy teaching? Yes. I have been guilty of many reprehensible acts. Pandering is a vice. Sometimes, this or that person considered me a genius. I warrant you, I am no giant intellectually, or any other way. I am an INFP on the edge of becoming an ENFP, for what that's worth. Read what I write, and if it makes you laugh, laugh. Thank you. Brian A. J. Salchert ] - July: Year-day 183 Today my doctor informed me the fluid in my pleural space is solid, and long been so, apparently. Yet, what was wrong? He'd like to see old X-rays. There's a druid quality in this wish, it seems, but I'm as curious, too. Positive responses to TB skin tests don't just happen. Nonces that signal trouble mean something in time. My various chest X-rays, it's true, were negative, but I've been through periods of respiratory hardship when I didn't have X-rays taken, so a burr of something other than TB the gods could have stuck me with, though they won't say why. - July: Year-day 184 Poetic theories abound, as well as styles: the animals, plants, and elements of a part of a deepening realm. Has you not known? Richard Kostelanetz, gents, and I, have; and I am/ learning from him. He'll guide you through beings and things that pop your eyes and ears and sense of self. You'll swim walking, but walk on, and stop, stop, & stop. So, Richard may not care for this old form I've now for half a year worn and intend to wear this coming half, declaring it's the height of that reactionary storm slashing at poetic beauty. I'll wend his way, though, too; for now, my sonnet fits. - July: Year-day 185 Not so sure about the efficacy of prayer as it's usually defined, I still thank those who centered so much energy on my weakened being, whose each strong will was a health-giving pyramid these bones, this flesh/ could rejuvenate in. The ways I move, love, may not harmonize with tones they're used to; still, life bless their/ nights and days. Slicing with teals up a laughing cool lake, cocked toward each sound that trembles a/ slant room, kissing rose petals then stomping a face, my heart in my pocket for my head's sake, my head underground to let my heart zoom, my heart with my head/ to make whole this place. - July: Year-day 186 All the people out there cracking their fires, I gotta crack mine too--clack! clack, clack. clack! freedom for those who suffer the lack, freedom for those in whom freedom inspires repeated forays at the bricks and wires of those inhuman laws/ penned to keep back supposed inferiors: Female, Gay, Black, Chicano, American Indian. Pyres! Pyres. And a skin-and-bones child with a puffed belly rests/ at the edge of a cay; airs, waters, earths, roll with sins; judgments explode in theeyes of/ decent sense; we are stuffed wimps who need the thought Hubert Humphrey shares: " . . . be stewards of the common trust.": care goaled. - July: Year-day 187 Population zero: that's where I'm at. Can't say I'll stay there, though it seems I may, in andout of thewoods of/ my odd day on this frail planet of lust, love, and that which furthers my inheritance and hers if once, because we've decided to fuse-- whether out of care or the need to use-- the power within me within her stirs. Oh, I know this may raise a horror in some, foregoing communion so deep and good; and yet it's our right to choose how to plumb each other, and when--if we/ feel we should-- and where--neither of us seeing a bum inside, or worse, because most/ couples would. - July: Year-day 188 And the tall ships glide up the bay, the river-- and I do not like you for what you are; I like you for what you could be: a giver of life in light, a planet-holding star. And the drum and bugle corps perform. Hear. It's the bicentennial of our land. And I do not curse you for what you fear, but bless for how you extend your hand. Sure you can fool yourself, fool me, with masks; not answer fairly what a question asks; look askance at the caring in my reach. Sure you can pooh-pooh the difficult tasks that burn dark holes in the dreams in a speech; yet we harvest only as each serves each. - July: Year-day 189 Elizabeth the Second dines in state this now starred evening in the Rose Garden, the Queen of England come to celebrate with a people George the Third would not pardon the 200th birthday of their delight Adamsed and Franklined and Jeffersoned and by others begun who believed it right to establish and govern their earned land. Yet we ought not condemn old George straight out who later with John exchanged pleasantries; we ought not forget what we're now about as great ones gather in the D. C. breeze. Against our pollutions our blood cells shout: "Survival's languages don't rhyme with ease." - July: Year-day 190 (opening quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson's "Compensation") "Punishment is a fruit that unsuspected ripens within the flower of the pleasure which concealed it." I, bumbling, learn the measure of God's justice, the pains of grace rejected. You, also, self-seeker, will learn, deflected by "unbridled desires" from the true treasure, the fruits of the false; see, taste, feel their/dead-sure poisons until God's way is re-elected. Samson slew with the jawbone of an ass I forget how many men one keen night, but didn't begin what he ended then. A laddie sleeps with a fair willing lass, and they oil and oil where she bulges tight, and if sorrows come, they share them, amen. - July: Year-day 191 Ride on, troubadour, carrying to all the songs your inspirations lead you to of how quickly we humans rise and fall as we love and hate, and are false and true; for however lyrical your works are, they yet will exhibit philosophies, they yet will teach as they dance near and far as we need them to/ who forget our knees. In Kingstone Forest Angela and Todd hide for their health's sake from their closest friends, rediscovering themselves in the God the Snowy Owls in snowy airs/ recommend/ forgetful their unnerved relatives send each other to where/ worm with/ worm contends. - July: Year-day 192 Most of those starvation enslaves don't die of starvation as such/ but some disease such as measles or dysentery. I-- ploppings of cow dung unsettle my ease. Low on cash, I can still do more than dream of a steak dinner. Look at the position of that American elm: how supreme! I know like luck, though I scuttle contrition. What is hunger? Can't say I strictly know. Oh, I have known dehydration, the hours of waiting for the intravenous needle, but hunger? I have not seen my "fat" go, have not felt my proteins burn up, with powers inside me lost I couldn't drill back, wheedle. - July: Year-day 193 It isn't easy to care about you, finding it tough to care about myself, forcing my sensitive body to do things it maybe ought not: sleep on the shelf, caution in the dump. Walking away won't pull an answer either out of some hole in our lives we weren't onto; so, dear, don't expect a jack of knowledge/ from my soul. It's an amazingly gruff world for fools. And the flag of wisdom's not nearly mine. Suicide is suicide, whether done quickly or nonchalantly. No one drools over idiocy who can decline consistently from getting/ too much sun. - July: Year-day 194 Those politically exiled, by right, can and ought to re-establish their place among the nations of the world; no might disallow the name they choose for their face, nor the anthem or flag they sing and fly. Oh let Taiwan be Taiwan, and the man whose country snubs him fly what strikes his eye, and singwhatpleases his ear! Rip the ban. This Earth's too small now for smallnesses tomake it smaller. Bodies, souls, open to the flow of what's coming: the Trans/formation Age. Bus, Bus Stop, twist and shout. Attitude. Shake it. Kneel. Increase your love. Increase what you know. Hate what's hateful. Live--with sensitive rage. - July: Year-day 195 Dream state after dream state after dream state, from before midnight until beyond dawn, and I can't remember all that took place, but I have never been dreamed-filled so long. At times it seemed I was losing my mind. I did lose my boots, my car, and my way, but not the teeth I'd expected to. Fine, I'd just as soon keep them a few more days. Some places I walked through, though, sure were strange, buildings architecturally macabre, people in dimensions I could not join. It was summer outside: sharp, hot, no rain-- not even a sprinkle; but in the park, also strange, crowds: suspiciously coy. - July: Year-day 196 And conventioneers tiptoe on the planks of their platform as if they are afraid of their own and each other's weight, dismayed some that the planks don't crack, but keep in ranks. And no one knows if he ought to give thanks, being bothered, or start a new parade, yanking planks which seem improperly laid/ replacing them. Strengthen the river's banks. Still, a platform's a platform, a small sign that need not be followed as a decree; and/ as politicians toast with their wine/ you can bet their minds will change what we see-- and it may be good, and it may be ein, and the river kindly/ enter the sea. - July: Year-day 197 How often I stopped just short of that field where the path quieted, or walked away through a marsh or woods on a sunny day where none else had gone, not sure/ when to yield, not sure/ when to push on. So I have felt this summer, watching Jimmy Carter win election after election. All sin. All freeze with doubt and, elsewhere, with doubt melt. Cartermania, a voting disease, I'd termed the rush/ to back the/ peanut man, believing what/ he stood for/ could not please sufficiently, could not properly span the worlds of those lives whose freedoms my keys demand, but now am willing to say: can. - 13 of 25 Brian A. J. Salchert

Monday, November 27, 2006


12 of 25 1976 Today 353 bicentennial year sonnets (168-182) - June: Year-day 168 Today I found a core of reference waiting on a shelf in Grolier's Book Shop. It is an ocean of charmed recompence that supports my being yet makes me stop to see again what I've been seeing: Life's of a piece that changes and changes, growing from no beginnings we can grasp, its strifes and harmonies filled with/ wonders of knowing. And squaws carry papooses so they see, and chicks carry babies so they're kept blind. The old die young; and the young, old. To find yourself, you must forget to look, just be; be yourself, you must look ahead, behind. This is America: A Prophecy. - June: Year-day 169 This is a song praising maintenance men, who may holler, chew, spit, yet keep things clean; and this is a song for construction men, who build & rebuild and implant the scene with structures we want and architects plan, and this is a song for the architects; and this is a song for the works of Man, praying for beauties he often rejects. The shunned barn, collapsed with its hay, sinks, sinks into its own decay; the orange moon, three-quarters bright, nests at a maple's edge; and animals become the dreams each drinks and the thoughts each accepts, midnight and noon; and a man walks out, and hangs from a ledge. - June: Year-day 170 Long ride on a slow train. There just ain't no way I'm gonna git myself to where I'm goin' on time. Just have to forget time, forget he's even around. Watch for snow come hordin' in at the windows. Let June go like a fadin' dream as the colors climb through the green leaves. Not fret about time, crime, jouncin' from Boston to lost--Chi-ca-gooo. Com'on train you arumblin' on the track. Com'on train you, need some oil in my back. Com'on train you on your hazy tired rails, we gotta git, gotta, out of your jails. Com'on train you, old turtle in attack, mean it when you hare, when your whistle wails. - June: Year-day 171 The trip is over; the trip has just begun. Turn and turn and turn; and stop, sit, and turn. My body wins the coffin, fills the urn; my body dances naked in the sun. Wheeling/ by in a chair, or on the run, a hat to shade my eyes, lessen the burn, considering what's given, what I earn, I sense how a knife to the gut/ must stun. The windows roll & shimmer/ in the leaves, and faces mix & melt & fall apart; my arms change to cotton beneath my sleeves. If this is where we end and where we start-- and I don't know who it is/ what deceives, somewhy a bird's made its nest with my heart. - June: Year-day 172 Death, my friend, is old news I'd like to say I do not care to read; yet as its near I read it anyhow, letting my fear raise goosebumps on my soul/ trying to pray. Am I foolish for not throwing away such news, for not giving a deeper ear to life, to what's to come, or calls out here beside me, though its wearing a toupee? Don't answer me. It's enough the thread holding these words together is ready to bust at the least hint of my attempt to answer. All the mornings/ those papers I'll be folding, as all the afternoons/ turned to ash and dust, as all the steps/ created by/ the dancer. - June: Year-day 173 And around me, like water, rushing sun; and around me, like water, swirls of clover; and when I feel, on one side, I am done, I notice the cool below, and ease over; and try to let the insects go their way, the haze of the heat shimmer and expand without my feeling hotter where I play my unclothed flesh between the sky and land. A sampan on the Yellow River rocks, a blimp exalts two mountaintops in Spain, a mongoose knocks a cobra off its blocks, the fuzzed seeds of dandelions seem rain; I dream I've been here once and will again to bandy with the sunlight's pastel spots. - June: Year-day 174 Step out. The wind will not/ slice off your nose, the moon not host itself upon your tongue; nor will you snatch the fragrance of a rose or learn how Martians on your tastebuds sung. This ageing night, darkening in a corner, whatever its new faults and attributes, more an enchanted well-wisher than scorner, won't chop you up and bury you in roots. So take your thoughts and sail them to the stars and raise a cup to gentleness. For you are moving through a night of special grace, one that, though each circumstance of which/ bars your being from certain pleasures, is true and good, and soothes your back, and clears your face. - June: Year-day 175 Well, my friend, let's go gather conversations from the winds. It's a good day for it. Not a place up the sky is harsh with light.Nations wrangle, but not a place down the sky's/ sot with deep gray clouds. Just dark enough this morning for the mourning dove; just bright enough this afternoon for the goldfinch. The kid horning in the distance won't make me want to hiss. "I tell you, Pat, too many of our young lack respect, especially/ for themselves; will not care, work, grow up . . . be women / men. Why? Coddling parents? laws? Have we begun planting barbarians? Free humans delve, create, live sensibly!" And we, my friend? - June: Year-day 176 The Joplin and Springfield rainbows trance eyes-- lemon, turquoise, orange, gunmetal, rose-- and I don't understand why their repose graces so southwest Missouri, and pries those portions of my heart and mind/ ruled by the gods of self-indulgence, or why so many of the rich watch the poor die and laugh, or one's fundamentalist fooled. Beyond culture the world's alive and well, but who is there, or once there can remain? The rainbows of the spirit start in hell; the rainbows of the body end in pain. I do not know which ones of us can tell where light bows/ in a world so/ streaked with rain. - June: Year-day 177 The body is a fragile work of wonder rising on the arches of its two feet with its lungs pulling in air, sour to sweet, the voice of its courage the voice of thunder. And the arteries, veins, and spritely nerves aligning their ways through the flesh the bones support, and the wild inaudible tones of the molecules, and the muscles' curves. Oh, in a moment the heart could spurn pumping, an insolent gale slash throats with a board, a bittern intrigue with its hidden thumping, a candidate bore with his whitewash stumping, a mind go crazy in a locust hoard, a body flash in the beauty it's stored. - June: Year-day 178 To live is to die; to die is to live. Apple blossoms hold apple blossoms more. Our joy is measured by the joy we give; when our virtues virtue, we don't keep score. Murders occur in our brothers' backyards. The phoenix rises as its ashes choose. A person's touched on by the things he guards. And no one wins until he's learned to lose. In the alley the trash/ sneaks from its cans, and moments of sadness savored and snuffed. Weeds in a corner clutch air with their hands. Caught by an anger, a lost window slams. He was stripped and stomped by shadows of toughs. When we love, we bless, but neverenough. - June: Year-day 179 Sometimes it isn't worth a Teton Dam, my attemptatholding the flow of fuel and controlling it for the person who'll be me if I soundly/ change who I am. Graces laked to be continently used by a spirit their free flow might devour, and laked to strengthen such apportioned power, tunnel this spirit's weak anchorage fused. Some naturals won't unnaturally be tampered with, especially by ill, unstable souls as this one. Just can't win. Seeking myself, I use you; you use me, seeking yourself. The smeared blade of the will. It's as rare as heaven/ to defeat sin. - June: Year-day 180 As the sun coasts toward the tunnel of green, the blue sky hazes its coming farewell, our U. S. flag still/ on a pole to tell another sharp day in our land we've seen. Then the flag's bounced down in settings serene, and the mother folds it. Even the smell of the zyphers please; and yet Rome once fell for lack of a durable/ king/ or queen. Nowhere, nowhere, can we humans erect a realm so perfected it cannot pass; someone or something . . . find means to detect the weaknesses in/ the roots of its grass, even if we in/ our wisdoms suspect/ what seems so solid may/ barely be gas. - June: Year-day 181 More tests; yet more tests. It's TB perhaps. It's my allergies. Anyway, I must now go to the hospital. We can't trust it will heal: my system; that a relapse won't occur; the minor cramps in the calves, the tender blotches that redden, and swell round ankles, turn dark; and what I can't tell: the fluid on my lungs . . . nothing that salves can cure, returning stronger than before, spreading from the lower legs, while the aches and discolorations there deepen, filling my lungs more. So, tests: whatever it takes to reveal the/ low-grade culprit, restore my body to a state less/ slyly chilling. - Junes: Year-day 182 So, I'm on umber St. John's third floor, gathering out a window, and a cop is completing an accident report; and a newsboy, shirt off, braking to a stop, has taken his tan from view; and a sun I cannot see shines a wind-gabbing maple; and a car/ whirls round a rock; and a hunt for a bird without chains/ becomes my staple. After attempts to collect sputum, neither of which was very successful; the lettings of at least 6 vials of blood; X-rays to re-explore the fluid on my lungs, either the temp, pulse, & pressure readings are/ getting to me, or a bird without chains can't coo. - 12 of 25 Brian A. J. Salchert

Sunday, November 26, 2006


11 of 25 1976 Today 353 bicentennial year sonnets (153-167) - June: Year-day 153 Esoteric jibberish, foolish talk. Some of what I have rhymed is tough to sense, and why? You'd think I'd not want my thoughts dense, forcing readers to closely eye, to stalk, to untangle vines from bushes, from trees, and winds from waters, from hillocks, from fires, extricate my desires from my desires, here, jumping, climbing; there, on hands and knees. Yet my words gather and part as they will, not that I do not imprison their plays; but sometimes--as when one swallows a pill, observing the changes it makes, and weighs them--words appear: a feral, foggy chill within; but gentler than torrid forays. - June: Year-day 154 Somewhere in the tapestries of the air a bit of a weave defines who I am, or was, or may yet be; yet changes there as a wolf becoming a bleating lamb or a coat of moss the skin of a snake, and so whispers, wheezes, whines to me me in words tough to grasp, whether for my sake, yours, or no one's/ I/ even hear them, see. Look into it, if it soothes your heart; trace each/ chameleon turning/ as you can. Maybe what's invisible eludes you less readily than it does me. One's face, you know, is not seen without help. Who ran, trueing the false, falsely fieing the true? - June: Year-day 155 Richard Kostelanetz, your visions splinter the windows in my blood, driving the ice in so that I have no name for the winter hardening there, far from romantic, nice, touched with fantasies of emotion I can snuggle up against. Oh, I know you don't wish death, though you are/ more of the sky than the roots, more pure math type in hue. But, listen, Rich, I wouldn't mind so much if you wouldn't; your cold sky beauties catch my heart in my mind. Let my warm earth touch/ move your mind in your heart. Still, though we scratch gossip, we show & sell, Kostelanetz, honest addictions: our graphics, our sonnets. - June: Year-day 156 Bridal wreath, red maple, sun: West Bend, bright for "Alice in Dairyland" and this year's "Alice" finalists. Young women's hopes, fears pageanted out in three packed days of flight into and from the no-man's land of truth. Candelight heat, spirits releasing care, fragrance of virginity in the air: what fate portends in a mole, a wedged tooth? Janice Marie, name of the miss who'll win. Janice Marie, name of my wife--not entered. What will the first do with her year of fame? Some will say we are dying, fast in sin. Some will whisper: "By evil they are mentored." White, red, brilliant yellow: so winter came. - June: Year-day 157 Bold Forbes, Elocutionist, Bold Forbes. Third horse in four years to win the Kentucky Derby and the Belmont Stakes. So good, lucky: yet neither good nor lucky enough, spurred though he was by a jockey of deep skill. Oh Secretariat, last of the great, how soon will one like you charge from the gate and fix us again with the triple thrill? Heywood Hale Broun, sports' announcer exquisite, always I am pleased by your dandy visit, your mixing of literature and sport and history, your warm distinguished air counterpointed by flashy clothes. Swift, spare, the thoroughbreds sweat to match your report. - June: Year-day 158 Pentecost. Anniversary fourteen of that hard blooming from the seminary to where I experienced more of the cherry in me, bringer of injury and keen embarrassment I still haven't defeated, even though my embarrassment's now more for those who malign than from any sore I feel from the center of where I'm heated. Embarrassments of other kinds I jail however/ ought to be significant, and easily could: our ignorance of the praises Aaron Burr and Nathan Hale deserve; our letting self-hatred reek, rant, destroy; our choosing/ clean hands/ over love. - June: Year-day 159 As many things as I reveal to you about me, there will always be things I will not reveal, things hid in corners by my fears and shame and better sense, askew or not, so you can never cleanly view who I am, not that what I let you eye, anyway, tells much, whatever blue sky it seems to fly through, however on cue. You will just have to live with what you get as the trees' leaves jitter, waving hello. I haven't prepared a succulent breeze. What you know you know because bodies let some things out despite what their wills would show; but for much more than that you'll have to squeeze. - June: Year-day 160 Coincidence has charms that chill my spine and urge wandering laughters from my heart. Reading Anne Sexton's "Gods", its fourth-last line-- I was on the toilet--gave me a start. Coincidence blows bubbles through the air that float good moments from when I was young, and bad ones too. Coincidence wakes care; reminds me of when the honeybee stung. Have I passed this way before? Will I pass again? Whether or no, there are returnings that cave our mouths, stun our eyes behind glass. And where they are not, they're replaced by yearnings that cycle everything even so. Under an ocean's deepest kingdoms, Man's cleft wonder. - June: Year-day 161 Cartermania. Everybody's gone peanuts, cracked and jumped/ right out his shell, waving his thin-skin flag over the lawn of his ignorance. Oh, Hamilton, hell were you on when you said the masses couldn't be trusted to choose who's best for this nation, two hundred now, of united states! Wouldn't you thrill to see what's come of this creation: All the peanuts queued to be cooked, and crushed, and processed into the creamy and smooth, nowhere crunchy, nowhere natural. Sam, how many of them/ have been Jimmy-flushed, and smile, as if only what's soft can soothe their ailings! Pray I'm wrong. I hope I am. - June: Year-day 162 Outside the drapes the glary winds so shiver the leaves/ I think for a moment it's raining against this building's bricks, the sky a giver of snippy lashes; but I'm merely straining for metaphor and relief, the truth shows, as if dryness and flatness are not mine to use, as if I much preferred quick blows to the heart, the guts, the head. Life's so fine. Albert Goldbarth--your eye at the knothole, looking out from the park of your strange dreams as your galaxy races, births, and whines, amazing/ the editors' eyes--your soul delights me too, some; yet rarely what seems is: imaginations remake the signs. - June: Year-day 163 A / New Jersey. Victoria and Swine in combination? A variant of Hong Kong with Swine? The final/ loss of love? The result of my forgetting what's fine and good about me has/ acquired its shine more centrally from one who stands above my ambition, my silly wish to show my self too far, than/ from me? End of line? Having missed death in a half dozen places because someone wanted me kept a while, I could peacock in my luck, though I know such fanning would obliterate my traces, mock the strutting in my unearned style. So, I guess I'll just warble/ where I go. - June: Year-day 164 Anniversary eleven for me and Janice, wife who keeps mesome ways chained as also herself because she's/ remained my spouse, and well may contiune to be no matter how much I wish I were free those moments I don't want to be constrained., don't want to be--as I've often complained-- shadowed & silent. Let them/ hear and see. Anniversary eleven. And I, because I'm neither famous nor rich nor self-pleasing gutsy, may exit my door (if I get that far) but ought never try to enter it, knowing how hearts decry the insouciance of a weedy flower. - June: Year-day 165 Early morning: Ohio: the pale clouds stick out their flaming tongue; the thermometer cracks, anticipating. My teach aunt, stout, indomitable, drives; the U-HAUL tracks behind. We washboard past the eiree lake, the Pennsylvania grape vines--the Olds Cutlass, silent, smooth--intending to make Swampscott by 8 PM if the planned holds. Strangers we pass, each my sister / my brother, special / gifted, bad / good, sober my glasses. In a rotting nation, not much relaxes. This moment, that, I wish I'm somewhere other; still, riding toward Emerson land, the grasses of upper New York waving, spins my waxes. - June: Year-day 166 The America of business is to spoil the view: the next exit 30-A, Johnstown, New York, for Gulf and Holiday Inn, right there on that red/white sign for you! right there near the top of that high round hill, surrounded by trees and trees. Yank it out! Can't you hear your guts jumping/ up to shout, "Yank it! Chop it down!"/ juicing/ for the kill? Loose your triangled flag, so debonnaire. Fine. But if you own a business and/ so need to advertise, do not let whatever helps to sell/ become the/ land of your care/ so its flag will dishonorably show-- but, crud, why sputter so. Green trees forever. - June: Year-day 167 Ralph, here I am, an ignorant man in Concord, my hands on your headstone, praying for strength, hoping that through such help I can say with my pen/ much that is worth the saying so whether I seek the heaven of Yeats or ValĂ©ry's universal self or communion with the Oversoul or gates to another, or my, or no thought, more than just a tit and a tat of the poems I make will attract eyes and please the ears of those who behold them, changing in small but affable ways the cares in their homes, raising a laugh, a smile, an insight, tears/ touching a hunched heart toward/ the straight, the tall. - 11 of 25 Brian A. J. Salchert


10 of 25 1976 Today 353 bicentennial year sonnets (137-152) - May: Year-day 137 Their burial mounds: Bones scattered with bones: strata of them. Many by white men's plows made flatter and wider. Bones under stones under much earth, bones, stones, earth. When the boughs still arched over them, a sacredness swept the airs they rounded toward. Indians since have come, respectful, sad; short vigils kept-- where axes, plows, and excavations mince for space, food, knowledge--knowing who has broken the aura there and there, or, if not, changed that aura, corn planted where trees once were, we not caring what skulls beneath have spoken-- crumbling when touched--or, if caring, deranged anyway, scratching for more than lands bear. - May: Year-day 138 Cashing in the chips. It's time to go, take a long walk through new territory, watching for signs of contentment, watching the lake breathe, the swallows flow, the winds crest, while crossing, with each move, millions of lives. The hours, seconds, years my life's been given I've yet to appreciate. And these lives, these powers? I barely know them in the burning wet. Forgive me, forgive me not, I am cashing in. This pace is much too fast. It is time to kiss the turtle. So, adieu, good-bye. Look for me, if you must, ambling, not dashing-- a change of heart on entering my prime, wondering where I'd care to die, and why. - May: Year-day 139 (#6 of 15 I removed earlier this year) - May: Year-day 140 Oh forget it, man, your life is not here nor there nor there; yet, you have stuck yourself with your overspending on the wrong gear, making it difficult to move. Fool elf, if you had sat down seriously; but, you didn't, and even if you could do it over again, wouldn't. In your gut you know: only from now can you change you. Only from now--complaints, regrets, behind. Likely turn. I could fair as well entreating the evergreen to be everpink. Find a way I must though, or go on repeating. If I cannot somehow make myself fit, I pray I'll pass, bearing/ the hope of it. - May: Year-day 141 Wake-up calls. Wake up! Wake up! Wake-up calls. First night in a long while I've stayed awake with any ease auditing to the walls a day's accounts at this Inn. One mistake I made, though, and then another, forgetting to phone two guests, my thoughts wound with the tangles of imbalances, those here and those netting my weakened defenses from my well-set angles. Oh, yes, mistakes are made by anyone human, and are not necessarily sins, acts that jolt a self from where it spins; yet a man shrinks seeing a rising sun when no corresponding sun seems to be brightening his spirit. We treasure wins. - May: Year-day 142 Let those of us who can, do: marry, love, increase each other, children blessed and blessing/ while those of us who can't, do otherwise yet rise supportive for the health of all; and all of us explore below/above/ & on the level, confident in stressing the primacy of life; and each surprise tomorrow today/ with care, catch each fall. You like me, if you do, for who you think I am; so also I like you. Yet who I truly am as who you truly are only God knows. So do & be: dream / link. Wizards of circuitry / fools of a zoo, we hide to live. Pray/ someday/ truth can star. - May: Year-day 143 It's amazing how sometimes everything works out right for an act that has gone wrong, as this morning when I stepped outside: Zing, six junior high boys hurrying along on their bikes; then, the last one yelling, "Mike, slow down, you're going to have to pull me. My chain fell off." Then, the one on the bike ahead/ slowing, his beltless jeans bulged free so the trailer could clamp his hand on them and turn a sure failure into a gem of a small victory, the two guys easing to the school grounds, snuffing anyone's teasing, knowing that as a whole leaf has a stem their action was: both functional/ and pleasing. - May: Year-day 144 Peace, amid frustrations: nine days behind. Metaphoric brilliance, or none at all, genius will shine not only in the rinds but also in the pulps of its penned call and also in the seeds, and, in the leaves and wood/ look forward to/ and back upon fruition, and, in the blossoms believe, for everyone, perfection's lights are on. Is it summer? Is it fall? Is it spring? Is it winter? We can anytime sing and sing, trace the palpitations of sorrow and joy; can anytime begin or end, continue, revise the moments we spend recording moments/ for moments tomorrow. - May: Year-day 145 You have your crossto shoulder; I have mine. Yet this is not to say don't bother me withpleas, complaints, and groans. No one's divine who knows he knows but dimly, that the sea could never let him walk across its waves without his Lord's provision, without faith: no human looms divine. And so what/ caves your spirit/ must cave mine. I share your wraith. Imperfect, often I'll be mean to you and you to me, or another of us be mean to you or me, or you or I mean to another being passing through. No bomb surpasses human hatred. Thus "Thou". We need Life, each other/ to be, sky. - May: Year-day 146 Death comes in puzzling pieces; also life. Our enigmatic universe spins out. You move with a loved husband, a loved wife in fantasies where neither of you shout, or weep, throw things at each other, or beat flesh black-and-blue, and red. A willow touches the weedy yard, the scummy pond. The heat prostrates the house. People/ swing by on crutches. That is the top and bottom of it, hard as steel. There is no sense complaining or trying to tie this minute in knots so it can't get away. Whether green or charred, it will second by second show its door opened then closed, moved by/ the on-the-go. - May: Year-day 147 The level of my caring sinks and sinks till I see the rugged stones through the muck; be they winks, be they drinks, be they jailed inks: I view them askance and decry my luck. My hands in my pockets, eyes in my thoughts, the teeth of a dragon sprouting cold men, I come like Jason and the Argonauts/ then fall off the plank into could-have-been. It's just no use/ trying to rise, the air isn't there for my soot-lined lungs; the words I need have all wandered on, gone to seed, hit dead drums. It's just no use farming care on the waters of my life; ranging herds of circumstance/ scare it down, think it feed. - May: Year-day 148 Friend, do not talk to me of love and death; I've eaten so much I'm sick & afraid. When the leaves have gone, I wish they had stayed. When the phlegm comes thick, I pray for a breath. Do not speak to me of beauty and right; I've drunk so much I'm wobbly & pale. When a blossom wilts, I wish it weren't frail. When a day's too hot, I welcome the night. Talk to me rather, if you have to talk, of the eye of the storm, which cannot see; where not even breezes have learned to walk. Speak to me likewise, if it lets you be, of a game whose structure dances from chalk, and tests the balances in each bent knee. - May: Year-day 149 Status? You gullible--. Gems. Gold. Sit down. And you needn't flap your hands around like some dame in a snit either. Put that spike on the floor. Maybe you should be a clown. The trees all hazy with heat; a tired cat: halfin shade, half in sun; yellow bug juice in a glass pitcher on the lawn/ near loose flagstone; purple alyssum puffing fat. What'samatter, that glitter/ turns you on!? Such a false space: rainbow sherbet!: all me! Glow with your hot/ in-fashion elegance to hell. We are all sick who cannot don a wisdom-sewn concern, a sympathy shining with knowledge, a shared permanence. - May: Year-day 150 Overcast skies, and from those to earth, fog-- Wisconsin, one hundred and twenty-nine-- here in West Bend where a few things are fine but many are not, and this is my log on a couple of them. What does it say? Hear. Brian's log. Sun date five/twenty-nine/ nineteen seventy-six. Have let the wine of the auto-erotic haze my way. Nobody saw me but me and my Rune. I'd been building this daydream about who I am; it carried me/ into the Inn, a confrontation with a Beechwood tune, a ride to the edge of a rumble. "You, be true," I hupped me, "though they pull the pin." - May: Year-day 151 "Poetry is for the intelligent." So? Seeds in the rich ground of who you are, in the right weathers, enter the airs, sent explorers/ ringing your/ medium star. A robber, armed, may accost your wee life. An emotion, pure, will disjoint your mind. Are not these post modern days? Won't the knife, the gun, the vial of acid each serve, bind? Well, too bad! Think that I am; think I'm not. Love me; learn from me. What is is, and stays so/ even if I have/ had enough/ and want a different future. I have got to/ recall the past, alive in the plays made, whatever the truths/ dealt to my hands. - May: Year-day 152 In the heart of the artichoke, no blood; in the cone of the storm, no dreamy sight. If while I'm writing, my pen is in bud, and pushes leaves and blossoms out of night, thank desire and environment. Stand free. We will walk the spaces in molecules, examine an atomic galaxy in its spinning electron light. No mules. Remember when stopped at the end of May to look at the days the daffodils danced, to bow to the irises kingly old, think Arthur Miller now gone from our play and the parts he so outspokenly chanced. Be glad for each wisdom, shining and bold. - 10 of 25 Brian A. J. Salchert


9 of 25 1976 Today 353 bicentennial year sonnets (122-136) - May: Year-day 122 The self-winding watch of the poem ticks on so long as it's read, its readers held and charged and changed/ by what they// look upon/ and hear/ as nowhere are emotions quelled or the intellect left without designs to ponder, place, be pleased by. That is why while a good ode, sonnet, free verse piece mines its varied ways, it spells the ear and eye. That is why this first of May can indulge both Catholics and Communists and still tick finely too, opening our mouths, bending our recalcitrances, flattening the bulge of our self-importance, used by each will-- and using in turn--toward times without ending. - May: Year-day 123 Have you ever felt badly about things you have done? I have. So badly that I cannot stop thinking on some, and shout bleak condemnations continually at myself inside: so much so sometimes they confuse my necessary thoughts with their furious echoings, thunderous grey in a spirit whose skies ought to be fair. If God forgives me, who I believe does/ and has, who then am I not to. All you I've wronged, I know I cannot change what was-- however much I'd like to; know it's true// apologies/ are not enough. Because we're as we are, we're best when winds are blue. - May: Year-day 124 Confusion pervades. The moral designs formed in my psyche when I was a child still haven't dissolved enough for the wild in me to become act easily. Vines, bushes, trees/ chopped down, trimmed to formal lines of such preciseness I have often smiled sadly. Viewing them, I retreat beguiled and testy, my fingers/ playing your spines. Give, and take, though. All wildness wouldn't be acceptable either. Oh, incidents occur requiring more of the one than the other, the artist-woman must see-- having spoken, as I have, of balance-- must see it's relative to what's at hand. - May: Year-day 125 Killing time's one of my proclivities for sure. I do it best when deeply tired, letting my pen squiggle grey creeks where trees have laid down; my imaginings getmired in the swamps of dreams, the rem caves of sleep; and somewhat well at a dance floor's edge, gazing at lovers while into them daggers leap and the blood from their spirits spurts, amazing. The hours we force our beings to endure the exigencies of ill-bred desires! You'd think we'd had it with human manure and the hard smoke of malodorous fires! You'd think I'd have found an effective cure in the face of tombs and sinewy spires! - May: Year-day 126 Passing through, a salesman of pots and pans, of services, of words, trying to catch you off guard, get you to buy--my plans for doing so preconceived, set to match your wants so/ you equate them with your needs-- I work a little magic before you which (if done well) plants in your senses seeds of must have you nurture/ before I'm through. Then, whether I stay to see them bloom or hurry off to plant others, I relax somewhat, smiling to myself, because one who enjoys what I have to sell, whose door isn't trained to crush feet, who'll pay the tax of effort and time, is better than none. - May: Year-day 127 In Japan, yesterday was children's day. In America, another'll be theirs. Childless at 35; likely to stay so, still, I feel I understand their cares: that though they jump and roll and scurry off and seemingly want to laugh and dance past any rule or need, turning just to scoff when they're called, come home, anyhow, at last. Of course, there are the unusual cases: those, for instance, who run away for good, withdrawing to more salubrious places; those who/ run for a time/ to learn what/ should be done/ so they and others like their faces; those who suffer, can't run, but wish they could. - May: Year-day 128 Desolate, a dead leaf on a rough rock island in a swirling river, my stem anchored in a crevice of that rock, shock troops of water and wind tearing my flesh, shattering my bones, I wait for the knock that will snap my stem and set me adrift, a wish I constantly chant as the clock of the elements rudely chimes and ticks and tocks my disintegration. The moon gores the cape cloud passed by the night. The sun blinds a spread-eagled air. Too soon changes wrong what changes again will right. Someone/ flicks a match, and its moved flames prune/ to brilliance and ash, wisped from sight. - May: Year-day 129 So many poems exist, and will/ and will, leafing into sun, their small voices pressed against the wind, their bodies seeming still in the turning dance for whichthey are dressed variously--mounds, hills, mountains--as seasons touchand are touched by them. So many beings traveling out with their feelings and reasons momently caught for whomsoever's seeings. So, likewise, this embodiment of me, cracking open, uncurling, stretching: shape displacing sky, transformation of air, transformation of earth, of distant sea, the enchanting and enigmatic rape that fire is, dancing, still, taking to share. - May: Year-day 130 Give me the grace to forgive myself, Lord, Life, for my too quick tongue and too quick pen though I fear even that will soon be ignored by circumstances: again, again. Give me the grace to give of myself, Truth, Way, and not just for solace before death but moreso that Death as Rude Icy Tooth die/ because I and others honor breath. This moment, next, allowed to flash, alive in a world rife with splendors, sorrows, loves; or taken from it, the matter of me shed, left behind, compressed to dust, to thrive in trust, whatever new beyonds, aboves I work to move my spirit toward. O see! - May: Year-day 131 The world is full of recipes I'd just as soon forget, and full again of others I'd just as soon remember; let the dust hide, or not, whether grandmother's or mother's or Aristotle's or yours or mine. I'm told there are large carnivores and small birds dying out; that somewhere too soon in time die this Earth's needed elements, and words. The usual, usual: Synergetics, pyramid strength, Findhorn and Lindisfarne, the double helix, cloning, cybernetics, cryogenics, black holes, painting the barn, tush, Steps to an Ecology of Mind, exobiology, things left behind. - May: Year-day 132 Stopped to see Tom Montag last night, and learned it's time to get back where I started from, to deal more directly with what we yearn for: a United States where we can come and be comfortable, whatever forms our chattings take. And so the history of our nation must be rewritten: storms flavor its bland skies; songs nest in its trees. Oh, I know Tom may find it hard to praise this sonnet path I've decided to walk, it being too formal, too civilized: its borders too perfect for storm cloud rays to fall on with pleasure. But let me talk so; even here blood and thorns exercise. - May: Year-day 133 Expansive journals of Lewis and Clark, of Jefferson, or whomsoever we in this blessed country of the supposed free are privileged to use against the dark of the many stories sold us to mark our patriotism: thank you wells the sea in us under the moon;thank you each tree of our good wishes from its budding bark. Brought here, born here, let's recover what's true beyond where George's axed cherry tree rots and old dark Abe's vaunted honesty grew, knowing historians' redolent plots may not be the ones to hold ourselves to if we're going to abide, loose fear's knots. - May: Year-day 134 It's about time we let those who so hate that they'll kill willy-nilly where a foe is visioned have the days of the mad fate they apparently want/ so that they go to their deaths quickly and happily, leaving the rest of us to end our differences in peaceful ways, and avoid the false grieving of those heroing those/ who tossed their senses. No need to spout what revolution is; that it's sometimes right to die for one's thoughts; that this nation was born in violence; nor even to say your rights are as his, or his less than yours. Fight only soul droughts. When they kill in Boston, they make no sense. - May: Year-day 135 The words: "Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God" require no fancy philosophical support. No blank quiz of questions either. We needn't get antsy. What's true in its heart/ is true. Or, at least, we might say: "Obvious is obvious." When somewhere out of the brush a crazed beast attacks, detering it is up to us. So the king of England wearing his crown as if he were sovereign of part of heaven had to have that crown knocked off his cocked head/ to learn what's poorly built must crumble, down to its last weak brick, the incessant leaven of truth infusing it until it's dead. - May: Year-day 136 Common knowledge it is/ too often we/ make what is simple complex, leaving death outside the window no more than a breath of cold air designing, so what we see enchants us better than it frightens us who in artificial warmth think our lives cannot be suddenly nipped. Who survives? Anything can be blanked without much fuss. Today the air is hung with rain and fog, and the long flocks of ripples migrate south again/ on the asphalt flyway; our thoughts likewise, if we let them, sucking the grog of this weather too long. Pleasure your mouth with the liquor of light, and warm breeze draughts. - 9 of 25 Brian A. J. Salchert


8 of 25 1976 Today 353 bicentennial year sonnets (107-121) - April: Year-day 107 Aftermath: warm weather still; a Good Friday too good to believe, seventy-six and climbing/ with just a light haze for this high day this morning to indicate the hour hand on reaching three will catch us watching rain again, will catch us on our silent knees asking false forgiveness for all the pain we've caused and cause/ between our/ rosaries. Golgotha, ground of our spirits, the thief of jeers; the thief of blessings, let the sun shine, despoil our looked-for symbol of grief, our Linus cloth, the vacuous relief we get/ thinking a sign that says we've won has been given us, who founder, undone. - April: Year-day 108 Holy Saturday; I finally finished John Ashbery's "The New Spirit", poet of self-imposed isolation, diminished desires, that I am, knowing how to blow it, yet not even doing that very well, writing a meagre sonnet a day, half- expecting to be killed soon, marked for hell, forever unable/ to rise, to laugh. "The System"? "The Recital"? I don't know when I'll get around to reading them. Death would certainly cut my chance. From the dark I now am in I would just have to go to that dark as I am, without that breath of Ashbery air to give me more spark. - April: Year-day 109 Easter dawn, light strawberry sherbet striped, I sit here at my parents' dining table, remembering a child's stained fingers, his hyped nerves, and hearing geese I have not been able to see, the folded linen, the rolled stone returning and returning, as the dawn smoothes to lemon-orange, and the long known flame-behind-trunk, egg, forces to the lawn. Will be going to church this morning, sad though I am about it because I've got to complain there to my rife Rune God, grim through His followers toward those who have had hours/ unblessed ways. Ought a condemned man not join/ in Communion with those/ against him? - April: Year-day 110 In my left forearm an off-and-on ache disgruntles me, makes me look to my heart, wondering whether for anyone's sake I'm wise to expose my feelings and art as I do, showing isolation's flesh and bones where they're lodged in me; howthey claim my attention, depriving us of fresh outlooks, so that we wish/ I had no name. Yet Gail and Noreen made an Easter basket for me: a pack of Trident bubblegum, a Nestle's Animal Bar, and who'd guess-- an egg with my face. I would never ask it of them, any of it; but let it come. A body can't take too much loneliness. - April: Year-day 111 Emerson, man, your courage, verve astound! Such body your thought has, such power, I'm convinced its rising in you/ many times rose you/ gesturing, eyes intense, the sound of your voice stopping the books in your den just as now my reading your "Self-Reliance" moves me to quote to my wife; my defiance to lift me "upright and vital", this pen in my right hand, this red pen, chasing yours, pressing signs on this waiting looseleaf sheet so that it too rises (verdured with strength enough to embarrass the Supreme Court and the President and Congress)/ & speaks flowers/fruits that excite lives all their length. - April: Year-day 112 To rhyme is to punch the eyes of an owl; to attempt to mend days with threads of wind is to think you have found a rhythm. Scowl, look nonplussed, titter. I don't care. I've pinned them anyhow, the truths of these delights, these pains. To rhyme is to bite moons in trees; to make a rhythm is to stanza nights with the punctual passing of scared knees. So the leaves fall on all the shores of Earth, and the blood beats through arteries and veins; and doors close and doors open and hills climb; and whoosing, crackling fires affirm rebirth; and the ashes of summer build new gains; and the Black Angel greens with fame and time. - April: Year-day 113 Time crumbles like sand drying in a palm when memory makes presents of our pasts and unexpected turbulences cast terror and confusion into our calms; but so it is, for neither you nor I, however we build cities in the sand, can long build anything which strongly stands against winds and suns beating rainless skies. So new gives way to new gives way to new, and known gives way to known gives way to known, and always we are infants coming through, and always we are ragged to the bone; and if we must dig well to see what's true, we must, with understanding, build alone. - April: Year-day 114 O yes, "It is we who wither away, not the state", Randall; & yet we who grow strong and jouncy also. Imay not know enough to choose well the course of my day but that won't stop me from trying. Let's say our say then, vocally or as we flow otherwise, despite the angers that blow from us, the frustrations, regrets; so pray as caringly as we can, thankful for each moment we pass through, allowed to fill and be filled by: surgeon, patient, nurse; teacher, student; decadent; fireman, victim, store detective, policeman, guard; driver; mill/ mine/foundry worker: each a/ mystic creature. - April: Year-day 115 And so, when Chris Peters came to me smiling with excitement because she'd seen and heard Gwendolyn Brooks, my envy started isling me, and I acted toward her like a turd, happy for her, but stinky with complaints, irked at feeling a garbage island, cast from thought, my own included, the brown taints of hurt pride excluding me to the last. However, this same morning, more than I am worthy of, to be sure, I've been blessed with the duty of checking Mrs. Brooks out of this inn I audit for; so try to work and still chat, get good things expressed. My feelings pirouette behind my looks. - April: Year-day 116 If we kill each other, do the crows care? The male robins puff their proud orange breasts and trill their pleasant mating songs. Who shares? The spring birds mated/ weave their/ holy nests. If this rich nation fights with that for more/ befriended so positioned to be raped, its psyche shaken . . . even if its power breaks its attacker's holds, neither's escaped. Though Rune forgives; though Rune alone can judge, knowing the best the circumstances and/ the ways they've tangled, each (stuck in a hell) still has himself to fight with: forgive, nudge-- however painfully--toward health; demand some sort of restitution from; love well. - April: Year-day 117 April: turn; turn about: yet sweet; yet cruel: the hornets of mad weathers sting and sting, the daffodils of gentle light blow cool, the naked dancer wriggles off his ring. Inceptions chocked with death designs stretch forth. We meet ourselves/ remembering passed years. Our dreams from east and south and west and north, however deep with smiles, are deep with sneers. Your hand, now touching mine, now by itself, has fortunes in it only you will know, as dills and honey waiting in their jars, each one yours, each; each on its given shelf; and I will rest and work and watch and grow-- within, without--toward fruits and hearts and stars. - April: Year-day 118 What sorrows come upon me with the dawn, the brightness of its airs chiding my death; what spiteswhen I for safety view the lawn and a red pepper Stingray stops my breath! Oh, hu, hu! Can you believe? What spins? Please, I should be singing glories at my wake, be sharp and teasing asa lakeshore breeze, not a dumpy toad/ for-- for humans' sake. Everything in its rightful place: the world given, the world we make: towers of steel, towers of glass; mountains, sequoias, skies. Everything in its fitting dance: spots curled in an afternoon sleep; hood crest, mag wheel, eagle, CB; incense, songs, cuddling eyes. - April: Year-day 119 Conditioned reflex. A sonnet should rhyme; but not too definitely, so we're able to guess the word each line will end with. I'm serious! My words are/ all on the table. I will give one here, take another back, keep trying/ to shake my opponents, even if it is an imaginary stack I'm using. Don't tell me what I should leave in. I am only trying to do my thing; more, honor the charge to play life whole; I won't always seek to trick when I sing, slip you a seven you think is a king. Let's not argue about body and soul. Care about So Human an Animal. - April: Year-day 120 O--give the world away. We'll buy it back tomorrow. We haven't been using it very well, anyhow. From our sweet lack of understanding--it needs a rest. Sit. Maybe if for ten thousand years we let it whirl on its own, it will improve some, enough at least so we can rightly set our creations on it; be wise. But, come, I want you to see something. This rare Earth, blue, white, brown, grandly spinning in the light of its star, has only limited worth without us, even if we are fools, quite obviously, too often sure the birth of wisdom in us/ wields/ sufficient might. - April: Year-day 121 Lord, when the death frame's near, beam that belief I'll need to/ enter Glory, be that child You said each must. But what of now? the leaf turning. I seldom live as though--. Tossed, filed, I Am Who Am, yet/ pleased to be/ alive, move me, alive, to please, who so hard fails, who tortures himself: inside, outside; thrives not/ well; despite intentions, thrashes, wails. Peripatetic philosopher, Son of Man, my Brother, my spirit's one hope, I swear I'm so ridiculous: cocked dung, strutter of worded attitudes all spun from love, sincerity, but forming tropes more praised than acted on. Make virtues tongue. - 8 of 25 Brian A. J. Salchert

Saturday, November 25, 2006


7 of 25 1976 Today 353 bicentennial year sonnets (92-106) - April: Year-day 92 Tomorrow President Ford will arrive in this badgered country of beer and cheese, political hype, political jive, political shots at a passing breeze, mixed with an honest spice or three, performing for us. O the man himself is concerned enough; that won't change his bothersome storming where, after the ice, so much must be burned. Spears that were limbs with intricate ends, fanned to graced benevolence, rupture us coldly who watch, watch/ for the hibernating green to camouflage the wounds wounding the land, and skies of spirits that would strive more boldly to conquer loss/ but for// reminders seen. - April: Year-day 93 President Ford, I am not on your side though here and there we may find we agree; wheeling around in this "land of the free", there are too many times I'm pushed to hide with my thoughts and desires; bury my pride because laws condemn me for being me, and some folks imprison me when they see I am not like them in the deep and wide. So today you pass through wealthy West Bend, seeing how ice can despoil and create where this small writer, and his smaller friend, in a world too small for their energies, may have learned the best what greeds they must hate. - April: Year-day 94 The ways I love are dangerous, concealed as they are under disguises of care. Erase that. I'm not really so congealed; or, from the other side of sight, so bare. The problem is, the difficul--, the truth, if you really want to know, is that I'm lonely, like a hawker in a fair booth no one stops at; pirates, without a lime. Oh, what a joke this whole thing is! Who knows-- maybe I am a devious twerp, armed from the heart with snaky designs, a man out to get you (whatever way) with shows of false impressiveness; with small words, charmed to bursting; with looks that/ win what they can. - April: Year-day 95 Which hour was it I first learned who I am: this hour, this hour, where my dreamings begin, or an hour passed, where my dreamings began, or one to come, where my dreams willswim; or will I never learn, or always learn, whether in or out of a given form how here I am loose and here I am firm, or how well I'm sewn, or when I am torn? Ulysses, old, clambered out of his ship; Adam, old, driven from the Garden/ slumped; Satan, old, fire-eyed stretched/ against his fall. I, what I know, will know, making this trip where clouds and roots and animals are clumped, accept from the past, and/ change in my call. - April: Year-day 96 Closed in this bedroom, the sun hidden west, a lavender haze to mock me behind, I do what I can with the light I find from the shaded bulb on my crowded desk and the still blue air my windows impress as I pick and order out of my mind the imaginings there that best shined when they first sparked in my synapses' clasp. Weeds, timbrels, diatoms, bells; houses, docks, offices, slips; a goldfinch? warbler? alighting near a crow, then coastering shallow back from the oak: a warbler, I'll say, this writing; a goldfinch some other, when autumn rucks. The crow? It's really a starling I'm sighting. - April: Year-day 97 Touch me not; sleepless, I am weak as fluff of dandelion, only to be kept in the camera of memory, rough and dusty, and, as recalled, to be wept over, smiled at, held in a thought, and sailed on the waves of the air; or in the frame memory of a camera/ curtailed for us, where we love, to name and rename. If yesterday I felt I'd embrace you, today I feel more I could do so still; tomorrow I hope I will still feel so. Yet what I feel/ I probably won't do, today or tomorrow, fearing the chill of a lost friendship I'd rather feel grow. - April: Year-day 98 On the average, we American voters line up for hits; our ignorance cheers hell; in our voting we flounder as sailboaters who've never sailed, yet try to, though the swell we should have begun on does not exist and we/ go down with our votes in wild crests because of feelings we could not resist, believing those (believed too late) were jests. Time on time, without end, doing our thing, the slithey truths we are gatherers of, learned and forgotten, we opt for the sting of the viper-tongued, thinking that there love of country is the most sincerely shown despite how wickedly the winds are blown. - April: Year-day 99 When the universe ends, what beyonds? Hell? Purgatory? Heaven? Dimensions only dreamed of? Or not even a nothing lonely and afraid? Who can any way now tell, or could ever? Of what importance are these questions? Blinded by a middling sun, awed byauroras, winds--on this sheet, spun, here, I still write these words to reach: how far? Deep in a city's yellow night, shrunk, lost; rooting the elements with a coarse word hard to appreciate,hard to transume, I tweak the eternal; ignore the cost, a rose's fragrance on my fingers heard, and the flames surrounding an icy plume. - April: Year-day 100 If I weren't forcing myself to make rhymes and worry about the syllable count and the argument of the first eight lines; the denouement closing each sonnet out, it wouldn't be so difficult to fill as if quite naturally from inside this form approved by my persistent will, this challenge to my implacable pride. Then, even if I should somehow fail, though gallantly striding along the rail to make our attentiveness most worthwhile, I at least should there have spoken to you and gotten us somewhat pleasantly through on the form and meaning of that frail style. - April: Year-day 101 Each of us hews a life unknown to us yet I wish here to represent us all: disheveled, vital spirits who fly, fuss, meditate; who doctor each other, brawl. So we're not the same. So I can't be you in particulars. Common realms remain enough that/ shows of me are enough true to intrigue and charge through their joy & pain. You know how it is: there are things we've done that we keep secret, and there are things we strut, though we sometines/ bring into the sun/ things we should not; neither you nor I see perfectly, roiled as we are by who's won, by time, by things. Poems cage perfidy. - April: Year-day 102 I hate time, having to bend to it, aware of our existence in each other, of having grown/ from a father and mother; my trying constantly to make things fit within the tick-tocks that won't quite because the durations of them are longer than I calculate against how fast I can experience them from coming to was. A sparrow hawk pulsing over a field, a tall friend yelling good-bye from a door, the holy leaves waiting/ to be revealed, each land-and-ocean-watching sandy shore; my eyes by yours magically touched, healed: voices out of stones that stretch and sway; soar. - April: Year-day 103 Tomorrow, Jefferson, man of the farms, whose intellect surpassed our constitution yet who hid in the country of its charms a salience (for fear of) diminution. And what that secret value was and is I'd like tosay, and say and say again, but go ask him as, lovely, it was his whichrounds and deepens/ flat and/ shallow men. The point is: Intellects can not get stuck in one pinched way of going/ if this Earth of conscious being is to long survive; so Thomas, while the rural ease and muck both were delights to him, still knew the worth of ranging/ far around, Bucky-alive. - April: Year-day 104 Relax, it is past time, past time, past time. Your uptightness has gone too far, too far. Though softly you reflect upon a star, you much too nervously jostle to rhyme the details of your day-to-day existence, mourning the lack of this, surplus of that, wanting swift light magics out of your hat but getting nothing for your strict persistence: nothing other than headaches and tight bowels and burning blood and trembling flesh and bones and thought-aches setting consonants and vowels and metabolic tics choosing tunes, tones that indicate to those who care/ who owns dreams to jerk the eyes and chuckle the jowls. - April: Year-day 105 Desires--hear them, drumming across your windows-- leaves, rains, air; moths, June bugs; fingertips; birds: the ragged i's of blocked dreams; the thinned o's of throats shouting coarsely understood words: the sun that cannot quite get/ through the cloud: the pale shoot delayed/ by a granite rock: ideas lost in neural mishaps: cowed motions: chances slain because of a clock. Last night five plus lines came to me. I tried to keep them in my head during my sleep and till after midnight at work. Three died, or have seemed to, leaving something we'll bleep for now. Explorers in my brain have spied with their hearts before, and will, what caves keep. - April: Year-day 106 For several days, warm sun without clouds; today, clouds with just fringes of sun. Cool in the wind, my organs boil; I can't fool anyone. Yes, such weather rules me, crowds against my limbs and thoughts, jacketing their frenzies; but it also arouses frictions under my skin, setting each of the dictions vying for prominence in amazed air. I didn't want the clouds to come trumpeting their grayness against my frail off-white life. I wanted more sun. Why suffer a sting from depression again. For me, the strife of merely getting on is enough. Weather like this? Oh, at least I have a long tether. - 7 of 25 Brian A. J. Salchert

Friday, November 24, 2006


6 of 25 1976 Today 353 bicentennial year sonnets (78-91) - March: Year-day 78 What once was clear is clear no more, yet shall be clear and unclear again, rising up and falling down, now dark, now light. A shell which holds the sounds of waves, yet not, holds us. You come to me; I, you: each into each, wishing to be as two transparencies, films of substance in intermingling reach; willing/ only to give/ in slow degrees. In our hearts: dunes, mountains, rivers, old skies revolve, and birds, through the eyes of gazelles. In our skins: words of spies and counterspies dissolve, and laughs, with the ringing of bells. In our minds: every dream that mystifies or solves/ chases us from (or into) hells. - March: Year-day 79 St. Joseph the Worker's Day, and the swallows, ensconced again at Capistrano, we, forced to see our reasons are/ full of hollows for the trillionth time, mordantly agree when a letter from an insurance rep cites me liable for an accident I never had, and sends us out-of-step as that sold orange van in Beaver Dam sent. High on a mountain or skyscraper, much can be logically fixed on clear days, though not all, and certainly not all ways. And on clouded days or in caves and such, little, if anything, with reason, stays, hiding and changing as models' toupees. - March: Year-day 80 Guilty? Oh yes, we all are: in this; in that: railing against pollutions of water, air, land/ while ignoring where our selves are at, sickened by fear and hate and lack of care, and alcohol and nicotine and hash and marijuana and the dust of death's angels, and vallium and stolen cash and gambling--all/ impoverishments of breaths. Not taking time for proper exercise is one of the pollutions I allow. You? Prostitution? We're so worldly, wise. If ever once we truly gathered how our furious desires pluck out the eyes of our weak, endless spirits, we'd change: now. - March: Year-day 81 Gods o of laughter, of sorrow, your voices here we hear, rolling across this round mountain with the cool fog from the sea, the old choices, the old commands. Goddesses o of fountains, of fires, your changing shapes we see, escaping from earth with the dreams of sleep, the old dances, the old paralyses. Dressing, undressing, obeying, rebelling, we stake our chances. Yet verses we approve, however rough, however ragged, obstacled, should be somehow acceptable to those concerned, should follow the curves of feelings enough/ they both enclose & magically free that space and time we've honorably/ earned. - March: Year-day 82 (for Sandy Troedel) Kumquats and boysenberries and the edges of love. If who I am is less than who I might have been, less than you, clouds and hedges still scare and please us both. And as I grew, you grew too; and as I grow, you, as bright and frail as shafts of wheat, as today's breeze, each to her own fullness. So, though wrong, right, or neither, we can smile and hug with ease. That is why, mom, this afternoon, I smear our bland white bread with exotic preserves and chant incantations to frighten fear from the gray, the bush, to compose our nerves. Come, mom. Come sit. Come play, come talk, come hear. Oh! how from bark and pane that robin swerves! - March: Year-day 83 We are strange: mammals of sleek consciousness veined with darknesses, irised with light, damp as a root cellar in our bones/ but less warm, flowy as a gown, stuck as a stamp carefully placed so whatever it is it's stuck to is sure to get where it should, tired as an arthritic dog poised to whizz through flamed hoops, sharp as an ax/ killing wood. Confide in us; sooner or later we'll be sure to let everything out: inks from their pens, bulbs from their sockets, decay from their teeth, just as/ we allow a heel/ out for a walk, sly (and obvious) winks/ out for approval, seeds out/ for a jay. - March: Year-day 84 Again it comes, close, riding the prevailing westerlies, crow presence, hard to believe, huge as a house, dreamless, caught in a wailing that joins, yet/ mocks ours. What butterflies grieve but the dead leaves, this morning's wind so strong we can see it do as yesterday, drive an empty box near perfectly along the steep curve to our lot, passing alive? So Janet Gilles Araoka, away in Japan mothering two boys, returns from that confusion into ours, and we-- not at all expecting she'd come/ to stay, or come so soon, or, as she has--bring ferns, and bonsai yews, and roses, and a plea. - March: Year-day 85 The problem with death is it stops the voice, but not the artist's, the maker of light; the fires in him are so limned they/ daze night, Tiresias him in the realms of choice in his awareness of his place and others' as they speak to the edge of his last word inthe manner in which he is best heard, he with his/ starred fathers, and sons, and brothers. The fern in the mirror, droopy yet strong, sending with no visible pause arced shoots through the stodgy air (in this bedroom), rates a double of praise for its green-rayed song as, when, expectantly, flared from their roots, Earth's visionaries rise: to end Man's dates. - March: Year-day 86 Thank you, Harold Bloom; A Map of Misreading springs my bones, freshens my blood, strengthens me, forcing me to struggle with thoughts exceeding my extended abilities to see until I have met them over and over. Nothing is better for a lazy spirit, However sweet/ resting/ in stingless clover, than to enter theory, and never fear it. Milton in England--where did Shakespeare go?-- Emerson in my United States: seeds from which more seeds still darkly form and grow, belated as we are, our hopes and needs most difficult to fill, and fulfill, so beset with anxieties where/ light bleeds. - March: Year-day 87 Sleep: the body's balm, or so one's led to think: the shadow-time rejuvenation comes; those moments highly active brains can sink from their jittery waves, buzzes and hums, draw inward all their energies, for needs that in their daytime states cannot be met but merely, sometimes, recognized as seeds whose potencies will sprout and blossom; yet require darkness and quiet for their best/ development. Eight hours today. Eight hours I find I quail to admit, in my quest (however foolish) for eternal flowers, are not a waste; that by denying rest of such an order/ I might strain our powers. - March: Year-day 88 Up from the left, ahead, a pickup pulling a boat approaches the freeway, disturbs my being, primal lakes/forests/times bulling to awarenesses, nouns becoming verbs; then recollections of Chicago: yards & yards of people from the Tri-State seen rushing to unite, bless polar regards, show how airiness replaces the screen consciouness stood when insights manifest archetypes, and time collapses, & places, and one's insignificance radiates with one's significance so that the jest of the world, the glory--we; all our faces-- dances, alive with gratitude; elates. - March: Year-day 89 Such darknesses, such searing lights, Lord, jam my simple attempts to see these last few days. It's almost as if from not enoughpraise (or too much) I could forget who Iam, what little of me I have a grasp of; that amidst those changes within, without, my rankled mind drifts about and about, trembling, between the ports of hate and love. Maybe so. Maybe always so. Whatever, I need You now to walk with me across the hilly fields and through the fallen branches in the ice-stript woods, and along the clever alleys and streets of this chill sense of loss I live with, and its plethora of chances. - March: Year-day 90 The stubby tough potentate shouts and drums, swatting the wind with the back of his hand, throned where the Lake Michigan thumbnail comes to its inside top in the promised land; and all the king's horses gallop and ney, gathering the votes at the polling booths, and somewhere stuffed on the dark side of day jesters are glowering with strips of truths. Yet clearly this long-lived limerick king limericks his peasants and knights quite well for all that/ in his limerick-exciting manner. His realm does thrive! So one who'll bring his power to put down those who would spell "liberty" elsewise/ may/ not be inviting. . . . - March: Year-day 91 Cry out, my spirit says, cry out to God, or The Supreme Being, The Primal Rune; the world gives but a condescending nod, hearing the strange inflections of your tune. Cry, though it only does you/ any good, keeps death from your bones, each day on the run, helps them to swerve precisely when they should yet doesn't do/ what you'd rather undone. Rabbit, forever, in fear of the wolves, hummingbird having to cross a great gulf, man, different, on the side of the small, cry, though it hurts, as if trampled by hooves; do as you do, though it isn't enough; pray for those moments that will better all. - 6 of 25 Brian A. J. Salchert