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

Thinking Lizard

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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.


Saturday, December 30, 2006


25 of 25 1976 Today - 353 bicentennial year sonnets contents [last modified: 2008-09-21 ] notes about current 1976 version plus links - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - In this presentation I have entitled each sonnet by month and year-day. I have done so because year-day has become more important to me than the commonly used month and date format. Over the years I have changed how I entitle the sonnets composing 1976 (the original title for the 366 sonnets in the original work) several times. - I have not attempted to group these sonnets by topic, but each one/ is a piece in the puzzle of who I am. Most of them were written in 1976, and because I wanted my work to be a celebration of the bicentennial of my USA, many of the sonnets are history-centered. Nonetheless, many others are confessional. Some of those are comically so. While there are situational, athletic, religious, political, philosophical, environmental, biographical, poetry-related, science-oriented, as well as sonnets on yet other topics or mixes of topics, the core topic is the human condition. If you would like to read my leap year sonnet, see February: Year-day 60 (February 29th). - When you happen into one you do not feel comfortable with, exit from it. - [ 2007-03-20: - The first of the 15 sonnets I removed, Year-day 2, is back in as a revised sonnet. Whenever a year-day without a sonnet gets a new/revised sonnet, I will note it on this page. B A J S ] - [ 2008-08-02: - Year-day 348 (December 13) is back in. ] - The following is an elsewhere publication list for individual sonnets from 1976 Today: February: Year-day 34 (February 3rd) If it's still there, it is at - March: Year-day 82 (March 22nd) (for Sandy Troedel) Spice of Life series article in West Bend News 1977 - March: Year-day 61 (March 1st) March: Year-day 69 (March 9th) May: Year-day 137 (May 16th) in River Bottom Vol. IV No. 2 Summer 1977 - April: Year-day 105 (April 14th) April: Year-day 106 (April 15th) April: Year-day 110 (April 19th) April: Year-day112 (April 21st) in Song 2 1977 - September: Year-day 248 (September 4th) in Ramada Regular Volume 6, Number 7 November 1980, p. 15 - November: Year-day 307 (November 2nd) in Poetry Out of Wisconsin V 1980 - December: Year-day 361 (December 26th) in The Sun a magazine of ideas issue 124 March 1986 - links - 1976 Today - 1 of 25 (15 January sonnets) - 1976 Today - 2 of 25 (16 January sonnets) - 1976 Today - 3 of 25 (13 February sonnets) - 1976 Today - 4 of 25 (13 February sonnets) - 1976 Today - 5 of 25 (16 March sonnets) - 1976 Today - 6 of 25 (14 March sonnets) - 1976 Today - 7 of 25 (15 April sonnets) - 1976 Today - 8 of 25 (15 April sonnets) - 1976 Today - 9 of 25 (15 May sonnets) - 1976 Today - 10 of 25 (15 May sonnets) - 1976 Today - 11 of 25 (15 June sonnets) - 1976 Today - 12 of 25 (15 June sonnets) - 1976 Today - 13 of 25 (15 July sonnets) - 1976 Today - 14 of 25 (16 July sonnets) - 1976 Today - 15 of 25 (15 August sonnets) - 1976 Today - 16 of 25 (16 August sonnets) - 1976 Today - 17 of 25 (14 September sonnets) - 1976 Today - 18 of 25 (14 September sonnets) - 1976 Today - 19 of 25 (14 October sonnets) - 1976 Today - 20 of 25 (15 October sonnets) - 1976 Today - 21 of 25 (15 November sonnets) - 1976 Today - 22 of 25 (15 November sonnets) - 1976 Today - 23 of 25 (14 December sonnets) - 1976 Today - 24 of 25 (13 December sonnets) § For all the listings below/ go to the August, 2007, archive: January/February/March 1st lines / topics - April/May/June 1st lines / topics - July/August/September 1stlines / topics - October/November/December 1st lines / topics § 49 Selected Sonnets * Jan yd23 Feb yd34 Feb yd56 Feb yd42 Feb yd47 Feb yd60 - Mar yd64 Mar yd65 Mar yd69 Mar yd82 Mar yd84 Apr yd99 - Apr yd114 Apr yd127 May yd129 May yd142 May yd146 May yd152 - Jun yd156 Jun yd157 Jun yd165 Jun yd168 Jun yd169 Jun yd170 - May: Year-day 131 (ecologies interlude) - Jul yd202 Jul yd212    Aug yd227 Aug yd233 Aug yd236 Aug yd243 - Sep yd246 Sep yd260 Sep yd267 Oct yd275 Oct yd286 Oct yd292 - Oct yd294 Oct yd298 Nov yd308 Nov yd327 Dec yd361 Dec yd363 - Oct yd281 Oct yd284 Oct yd285 Oct yd289 Sep yd250 Aug yd229 - - 25 of 25 - Brian A. J. Salchert


24 of 25 1976 Today 353 bicentennial year sonnets (352-366) - December: Year-day 352 "Christmas is near"/ the decorations say, dressing bare spaces with red white and green that hibernated a/ year since last seen, to prove once again one God's still okay. But I have lonely my flesh to display in this corner of hell, dark & obscene, where, facing the moon, I awkwardly lean from the chill regrets of another day. Seek to understand the jester in me; it will help you appreciate/ desire and/ the fragile ornaments hooked to bones. In the scent of a pine a moldy sea. The destroyer of love is born of ire. O rise from that past! where your spirit groans. (12-20-76 / 1-20-78 / 8-24-01 / 12-30-06) - December: Year-day 353 (#14 of 15 I removed earlier this year) - December: Year-day 354 " . . . the transparent children"/ Anais writes/ is what she calls the young, the vibrant ones, livers along the rough and heady heights peaking/ above the clouds. How each one runs! Insolence brews evilly inside me who doesn't want his champagne spirit corked. I still prefer/ to climb and/ shake a tree, to walk the weak prong where a path has forked. Tomorrow's tomorrow, and my regrets can neither be/ touched nor changed. Only now engages, rearranges, brims with bets. Just so, I prepare for words/ with a plow, pray suns warm, and the rain/ properly/ wets each seed, the plant it becomes, the ripe bough. (12-20/21-76 and 12-30-06) - December: Year-day 355 Spin the head. This is America. Death on a swizzle stick, on a strand of hash. Glazes of mist on the windy streets, breath clouds thinning in swirled snow, violent cash: Pandora's pandemonium. Still songs. Be warned: What sun comes up is upside down. Rugs, beds, tables contain our wills and wrongs. If you are a joker, I am a clown. Glued to a car of incredible blue, a life of attempts with minimal gain, institutions that no longer should do strike like pincers at my frustrated brain. The dance of a rule whose life should be through clings to another whose life should remain. - December: Year-day 356 (#15 of 15 I removed earlier this year) - December: Year-day 357 If I give You, Lord, my sexual being, if I acquiesce, what will be gained, lost? Loving a woman, a man: What's the cost? No wonder I sweat in my meager seeing. That toppled trunk, stretching/ across this creek, allowing me to dryly step my will so long as I can balance half-way well, engenders further dreams toward what I seek. Yet, trying to heed else, heed me, unsure/ how else from me differs, which one is right, perhaps we/ must expect/ arctic rejections of realms to which one/ can't become inured-- human thought (sadly) a cold bloom of night in prayed-for moonwash/ trapped in its reflections. (12-31-76 / 5-17-77 / 12-30-06) (Isn't insanity interesting.) - December: Year-day 358 Bad dreams of ice-crystal snows again/ burning the April flesh of my soul. (Education? A child must be shown how to know his yearnings and grow with them when the ways of his nation would change them; a child be shown how to save in a world that would steal his eyes.) The ires of the -40 white, wave on wave, swarm the dawns in my new heart, stoked with fire. Fires set against fires then my world's become until the green from me holds, frazzled Muse. Don't tell me my nation's right and I'm wrong; that it's better to spend and feel like scum. Too often my skimpy wealths I've ill-used. In sacred wedlock/ is not where I'm strong. (1-10-77 / 11-11-77 / 8-31-01) - December: Year-day 359 Christmas Eve, and the narrow snow/ wisps/ still round boots, paws, bushes, gravestones, my torn love. Whether I am a rattling pod above or that force which rattles, rapt to until, or something of both, my divided will breaks down, curses my unchangeable past and the seconds which leave much much too fast. Christmas Eve, and the narrow snow/ wisps/ still. Questions, questions. Answers, answers. Who knows. Even the God Who made me/ won't come clear. Just as I am, I would be His Son's dear. And if for that I will suffer Hell's throes-- charred on one side, & on the other froze-- I can only sigh/ for those who don't fear. (12-24-76 / 12-27-76 / 1-11-77 / 12-30-06) - December: Year-day 360 Merry Christmas. It's over; it's begun!: the pimple of hurt has come to a head; that partof my soul across which it spread/ soon will/ return to health, and sad hurt run and be tissued away; and I renew my energies to/ courageously work-- I wander long hours to learn what to do-- worlds provided for each powerful quirk. Talk to this person, talk to that, and walk. Sometimes I wish/ my fingers held some chalk I could write on the air with; but, no use: my minds will let me be/ only obtuse. I must spring from the field like a new stalk, spring from the marsh like a northering goose. (12-25/26-76 and 12-30-06) - December: Year-day 361 Faith: Believing that what is beyond one is also above one; that one, however, is of that; that one's inward eyes are ever smiling with pleased awe at the touch of sun one moves in and is; that no life is done, ever, no work; even the stillborn, clever, odd, the suicides, live on, cannot sever themselves from the whole, the glittering run. O plant a tree in memory of me, make of my body a sparse ring of ashes to benefit the ground around that tree; make of my bones and flesh a memory in the grassy earth where the chipmunk dashes, in the trunk, limbs, branches, twigs, slick green slashes! - - On page 25, among other comments, will be annotations pertaining to specific sonnets. Happy New Year. BAJS - - - December: Year-day 362 Confusion: me, 'times: a sign on the road changed by events, contradicting itself. Determination in the face of me: 'times; respect that will not let me kick the toad. The path up the hill, the path through the woods, the path backwards, the no path need; the shelf with that image of a me gone; the rhymes I walk into, urged to buy/ all their goods. Reason is reason, rhymed or not; delight delight. If you can't stand to look at me naked/ along a shore, run with your spite. Though I understand we cannot be free in a world ruled by selves/ where no one's right: open, close, as the flowers of the sea. - December: Year-day 363 Read, read out loud, for the sense and the sound: a canyon's long magnificence, the scourgings of its ancient river, the blare sun/ ground deeply into an earth shocked by its urgings these mean dry weeks; the men alive, then dead. Exploration is but the edge of growth, prime as it is, affirming that you've sped "what-am-I-missing" past, cursing the loath. Read, read out loud, for the mind and the heart and the ways they entwine, light against shade, water with soil, disease measuring health. Happily, it matters less where you start than/ how you move/ to learn where the words made/ must bear/ the ringing designs/ of their wealth. (12-28-76 / 3-26-77 / 12-30-06) - December: Year-day 364 To see last is to see first, and the Fate (ethos) confining Man because he is limited/subsumes but does not deflate his Freedom (logos) to answer & quiz nor Power (pathos) to make & become as best as he can. So Man's spirit does star pride, tease to believe Belief is dumb. He'll learn. It at least moves him past what was. Rune, I'm aware I cannot prove You are, that no one else can prove You're not; that leaves sparkle in wind-puffed fire, that rains shine rocks, that this gift of language as I use/ bar/ change// contains but one world. Whoever/ grieves and joys/ enters doors, regardless of locks. (I am not sure when the above was first written, and neither am I certain about any revisions, nor do I recall where the Fate, Freedom, Power ideas and connections originated from. Aristotle came to mind, but some 2006-03-30 searchings I did caused me to decide Anais Nin was the source.) - December: Year-day 365 All the passed spaces I've yet to fill, know, having failed to each day despite my pride, outmaneuvered by rain, sickness, drought, snow, and/or laziness, killer of the guide! All the sonnets, the dogdamn sonnets, twits, I'll still be in in March of '77, trying to prove I can beat time with wit, trying to create my own basking heaven! I tell you the world is inside out? Stay. I tell you the world is crumbling? Relax. I tell you the world's spun insane? Play. The universe collects its own dark tax. The universe pulses beyond us? Pray. In delicate souls, the delicate flax. (?) - December: Year-day 366 Year's end again. And if a world's, so. I'm no priority king, no sweet bee. I rate no praise for the heart I've let grow in an acid soil, in a fuming sea. So it is kiss & die in a closed room, trying to laugh at an uppity world: not even a spider can so assume, sensing how leaves and winds and claws have curled. Confusion? Uncertainty? Yes; abide. A heavy seed lodged/ in a granite rock once waited well over ten thousand years. More brilliantly than a slide rule can slide, more precisely than a clock can ticktock, try, try, try, Hunbruab. Unwind your fears. - 24 of 25 - Brian A. J. Salchert

Friday, December 29, 2006


23 of 25 [ last modified: 2008-09-21] 1976 Today 353 bicentennial year sonnets (336-351) - December: Year-day 336 I am more intricate than a computer. That is why I don't compute. That is why the frantic searching on my inner eye disturbs me, why I cannot be a suitor who's confident. Aware as I am of the nuances surrounding an event a human figures in, I can't content myself with the luxuries of hate, love. To the contrary, I must weigh and measure every act, however caved in the mind its birth was, however narrow my sight. When an opening comes revealing pleasure, I'm tempted to put good reason behind. It's rare for the lonely to get things right. (1976 / 1977 / 1978) - December: Year-day 337 Who's to say the comfort of an old hat is not what we want, the slowing of time to a turtle's walk or a tree sloth's climb or an oak's; that being a city rat or a rat at all is the slink it's at under the sway of a columbine, under a boxcar. Who's to hold good wine from us just because we live in a flat. Remember how the sunlight shows the dust, brings Magellanic clouds of stars to mind, and swarms of bees, and warriors, and death. The one bloom/ worth growing/ is one we must because a warm and rocking wind is kind which lets us/ like its flavors/ in our breath. - December: Year-day 338 What immaturity! what fright! my friend, keeps us entwined by an incomplete law not likely to be completed, or end, leaves me or you or anyone in awe, advantages notwithstanding; keeps me from giving when I should, missing a bough by a length of self-doubt when I could free myself from myself, squirrel tumbling down. Yes I've been hurt, confused, moved to deflect & deflect who I am, allowed to see just a part of the whole Brian, to plow for years the wrong ground. I'll never expect a Utopia, but Earth sure could be a heaven of a lot better/ than . . . now! (2-8-77 and 12-30-06) - December: Year-day 339 The Milwaukee Library Book Sale: packed. Milwaukee's Mayfair Shopping Center: jammed. No one can ever say he's got it sacked; for always wait tests/ for which he's not crammed. Leaves in the hallways; plaster in the woods: the decibels, too, of truth/ can be harsh. So maybe he doesn't leave with the goods. Even honkers die/ in a frozen marsh. Driving yet sleeping, my mouth open wide; Janice beside me shouting for our lives, I don't understand; I've nothing to hide. Oh what would tired men do without their wives?! What winds, what rains in the blood still abide; what should I season with porcelain chives? (12-5-76) - December: Year-day 340 For the musics, to be able to hear; for the visions, to be able to see; for the textures, to be able to feel; for the flavors, to be able to taste; for the odors, to be able to smell; for the concepts, to be able to think; for the beauties, to be able to joy; for perfections, to be able to strive: thank You, Father Creator, Spirit, Lord, from Whom the vital universes swing, from Whom the virtues enter to transform, from Whom the prayers through which You are adored; and back to Whom/ my life/ and all I sing imbuing each bright air, each blur, each storm. . . . (8-26/27-79 under my Alden St. Cloud pen name) - December: Year-day 341 Who's to say who deserves damnation, heaven; excoriations, plaudits; flowers, thorns. Not I. Not you. If you're a burglar, Breven, I'm a deceiver other ways. The horns of the avenging angels will shake my dust as fearfully as yours. Everyone's weak, a coward some, who's human; fails to trust enough, fails to seek what he ought to seek. Even if you turn murderer and kill this Brian/ writing here: this person who renamed himself, this activist who still trembles and hides (despite his beliefs), you may not be/ worse than he. Let the sky fill with sun, with clouds. Change. What saves Man do. (3-5-80 and 12-30-06) - December: Year-day 342 The times are lean; I should be lean/ with them. This winter, they say, will be mean and slow. Yet, I'm alive--continuing to grow, while around me people & others die and there's nothing I can say/do to stem their downward changings in worlds in this world I've not, nor now, nor may ever touch, curled as I am by events/ stronger than I. A teenager drowns, an explosion kills five men, a woman's// expired by a spear: myriad examples to rustle rills in neuro-vales. Who knows?: a sudden fire could ash both/ me and this;make my desire & insight & music here/ disappear. (2-3-77 / 1-18-78 / 12-30-06) - December: Year-day 343 "Our God is a delightfully messy God" said Father Charlie Robinson this morning, this soft-light gray Epiphany. We're odd, therefore, and meant to be. Unplug forlorning. I know it'sThe Immaculate Conception, but mysteries as theselive beyond time anyhow; besides, I, without exception, am the last judge here of the sense and rhyme. And I, I am a messy creature, finding delight in humoring you/ writing poems, and having a woman for my best friend, and agonizing over every binding unfortunate choice that drove me from homes and humans I/ wanted to love, not spend. (1-2-77 and 2-8-77) - December: Year-day 344 When what time there is too quickly escapes those uses I figured to put it to, I . . . and yanking the dusty golddust drapes, flag my obsessions for anyone's view. Mad at the world/ yet ruled by it, I bee confused, the ways I'm not/ lined with the norm/ stinging me: eyes, ears. Oh pity poor me! I'm such a speck in a whirling creep storm! Oh kiss my frail finger cut by the wind of the too-fast clock! Commiserate! I'm you, too, you know. No! I ought to be pinned and wriggling! Why? I've committed no crime. My heart should/ be slapped around! The hours sinned: not I! Bastard! dickerer with Dame Time. (12-12-76 and ? and 12-30-06) - December: Year-day 345 So, today, Auden came, at last collected as I thought I'd ever want him to come, yet still something's missing from one rejected rarely as a poet; I'm like a bum scavenging for it. Oh well, should be used to such times; after all, perfection's not a human trait, though we're often bemused into thinking so. Wystan knew the lot. "September, 1939"/ where have you gone? Am I deceived? Or is it best you are not to be found, scary and sad as you were. Surely, we, needing to/ halve again, as in that/ Hitlerian West, don't need to be/ reminded of/ love had. (12-11-76 and 12-30-06) - December: Year-day 346 Once behind in a lengthy project, filling the holes by a predetermined time is difficult; once far behind, weirdly thrilling, as when one simply has to take a whizz in -13 air. It's done, but quickly, when indeed it is done; and genius flies or stumbles in the doing, the work slickly or, god-touched, soaring with/ eagle surprise. What I'm about here? A kangaroo state I'd say it's become, not likely to be completed on time, as hoped; but, though late, growing in a pocket, for you and me attractive enough, neither weak nor great, but in-between, like your usual sea. (? and 12-30-06) - December: Year-day 347 (#11 of 15 I removed earlier this year) - December: Year-day 348 "A poem is never finished; it is only abandoned": Valéry--through Auden. Like the car one cold morning/ I stalled in, and finally walked from--wishing it his, or hers--though I'd liked how it carried me before I could drive it no farther. Love even stalled trying to give it a shove in the sand reprieved by the ebbing sea. Later that day, yes, looser, I went back to it; but the moon was gone, and the track of my imagination lost in water. Strive as I did, my vision changed; the sun stripped me bare; I was driving a new one along the edge of pregnancies, of slaughter. (? and 2008-08-02 / was #12 of 15 removed) - December: Year-day 349 (#13 of 15 I removed earlier this year) - December: Year-day 350 What one gains one day one loses the next is a sometimes truth especially true/ when misfortunes and deadlines keep one hexed. So prickly then it can be to get through, one slips abruptly to a dank blue funk, and the high rev energies one requires/ escape. One may as well be heaving drunk for all the light from one's serrated fires. Oh desires, conclusions, oh pumpkin pie! how I wish I could cry and cry and cry and not find a person starting to stare. Already too many would bolster me because my frustrations sputter to free, caring more for me than they ought to care. (12-15/16-76 / 2-8-77 / 12-30-06) - December: Year-day 351 The Hully-Gully monster rides again on the back of the purple-girdle breeze, lifting and holding from the depths of its fen, because it is such a ridiculous tease. If you were to ask, I couldn't say when I'm likely to madden, likely to please, catching my heart at the tip of a pen graphing its passage on the barks of trees. Immediate, delayed, consistent, broken-- you pays with your blood / you pays with a token, unsure what to think once a word is spoken. The dancers approach the edge of the stage, syllables/ grow down/ and across the page; wisdom jounced, foolishness screws/ age to age. (? and 8-22-01) - 23 of 25 - Brian A. J. Salchert


22 of 25 1976 Today 353 bicentennial year sonnets (321-335) - November: Year-day 321 " . . . you need not be a victim of your shame . . . but neither should you boast about it." Right between the eyes of my soul, Stan. Your aim mortifies me who'd shake days/ with the night of his sexual deviances, kill care, sympathy, and tolerances with too much bathroom leveling. Only the will of God prevails: trust none, trust all; His do. Even if I lived in a bubble, Stan, of shatterproof glass; even if my heels couldn't be hurt, I am become a man who, because of experiences, kneels in his heart. Sunrise! How mysterious its pastel lights can be! How pure to us! - November: Year-day 322 Keep 'em tight, like the icy winds, your bones and vessels: soil for the blossoms of trapped water that will enter the seeds that will blossom that will enter the eyes that will blossom that will enter the spirits trapped in icy winds of worry, the sad bones of the fate of living in progress-killed places: that is, for want of good blood killed. Keep 'em loose. Things happen as they happen and no man has the power to change their course no matter his ambition captures the world or gives a fuller music to his life, short as it is in the body. Still/ lightning carries knowledge, God to like, and again. (? and 4-8-79 & 4-10-79) - November: Year-day 323 The leaves are screaming orange, yellow, red. (You say this is June! the leaves full of green!) The damp air chills; the sky rolls ghost-grey dead. From gouged sand/ hare bells rock with cuckoo bees. (That!? anniversary twelve of our marriage.) This 18th day!? feast of Petri et Pauli Basilica Dedication! The fair edge of the weather is lost; our windshield's crawly. To a creature of words this creature's ringed, the faith he was born to limping beside, and you, his woman, supporting his glide, you wanted/unwanted feelng his wings and the whole of his body who moans, sings, must bear his frustrations, his orphan eyes. (6-12-77 and 12-29-06) - November: Year-day 324 For all the pains, being alive, Rune Lord, is more than any of us deserve.Still, You breathe us into existence who/ will ever & ever desecrate, and see as important only/ how best to hoard fame & wealth & power, tromping until our spirits stiffen where the waters drill and cage themselves under ice. Drag the tree of Your death. Fall on Your face. We don't care. Beneath the leaves of marigolds an ant negotiates cigarette butts and rich nuggets of humus. The trumpet vines flare for the bees and hummingbirds. In a scant simmering breeze miniscule flies sway, twitch. (8-17/18-79 and 12-29-06) - November: Year-day 325 All things of the moment pass; so, this line-- the face of my disposition, sharp, dull, in the vacuous center of a lull, in the fiery core of a riled spine. So you needn't ask me if things are fine; my body will show how I laugh or mull and rise over fences with a soft gull and hang my spirit with a piece of twine. Today isn't Ever, though it seems so when a person's trapped in the fire and ice of his melancholy--it too will go. And the times one would have today come twice? His mind, for its failings, will have to show, and with signs and speech be his meat, wine, spice. (11-23-76) - November: Year-day 326 After the leaves fall, a throwaway life, or a life wisely pulled into itself. A man can destroy, create with a knife. The root of all evil? It isn't pelf. Don't try to console me. Don't sympathize. You aren't responsible for my split dreams. O, yes, I am pleased you would empathize. Still, it is I who should check, mend my seams. Isn't life wonderful? Far in. Beyond. A glimmering elm, graceful, strong, august in the largesse of summer, inlets sparking with newborn pike, fields from which kids abscond with pink fingertips and red tongues; and trust and twirlings. Gunshots? Paranoias barking? (? and 12-29-06) - November: Year-day 327 Slowly in his hand the tulip glass swirls the Chateauneuf du Pape, and the wild girls wrestle in the garden and will not stop while the fire in the hearth shrinks into pearls. As fast as he can he spins the blue top and opens his ears to its whirring furls while the peasants dance and harvest each crop his dreams invent in their easy chair shop. Oh if a man could stand and sing and be unto himself a universe, the sea of others he'd need not touch nor once curse nor slantly vow to for better or worse, but simply be terse and enter a tree and drop all his money out of his purse. (11-23-76) - November: Year-day 328 A whole year of walking?--if it takes five? Mercy, mon frere, bon amis, we'll have died waiting! Haven't you heard how the jails sighed when the king's evil dictums blew? Survive? Oh yes. The droplet of water (I've climbed with last) spread down my tongue in mid-July, and thank God for that. Oh well, so I lie. The droplets I do get are sweetly timed. Yet, my body breathes, my spirit desires; I still am healed by the crisp apple's snows; and painful as it is to gawk at spires, especially on days when the furnace shows, I am playing again my flutes and lyres, and tickling your sole and teasing your nose. (slightly revised 12-29-06) - November: Year-day 329 Clogged air filter, too clogged to be blown clean, laugh, chide, you fooled me well though my car coughed, coughed, & coughed, would not run, got mad, mean, chugged the gas I bought it. How dumb! how soft! me, putting up so long with an ill car, not caring enough about it as if it was only fitting since my own star is ill, its gases wasting; my will stiff. And some say: You must give yourself to Jesus; humbly, constantly: joys, beliefs, doubts, downs-- pray, sacrifice; it is through these God frees us. Yet I say: You must/ eat the sprouts of hope; let your loving/ be the works of your growth; come to faith as one who/ drinks to be sound. (octet: 3-11-77; sestet: 2-5-78) - November: Year-day 330 " . . . you can say anything as long as it is true . . . but not everything that's true is worth saying." Stanley Kunitz, let's commit my future to your truth. I am no wiz, no comet soul; still, with each passing day life becomes fuller and death closer. I, however stoop-shouldered over the sway of my inadequacies, press on, vie. Yet, I've told, will tell, things of doubtful worth, however baldly true, lacking the strength remaining mysterious takes. When death divides me, though, I pray I'll leave this Earth nearer to God than now, my days' willed length, harshly or gently closed, purer in breath. - November: Year-day 331 Alive in a world I do not arc with, I must make my lights harder than rock. In the realm of the human, everything carries/ its curses and blessings: lifts, socks. Spring, haltingly, comes, comes/ out of the pith, Venus remembered diamonding the moon in the frozen dew/ glinting on the swings of green & gray that will have their own soon. Slow summer soft with robins nesting twice/ & the lightningsof speedy summer & vice. The yellow leaves of ashes leading tall through the gathering warmths of crinkly fall. "Night and winter approach like the end of the world--and nothing matters." We dread love. (1977/1978/1979/2006) - November: Year-day 332 Words I've sung through, rejected, and rejected again, I am left to read the old masters, and wonder. Perhaps they will be inspected once in a hundred years, the stains of asters found on them, and none ever speak aloud from the reader's mouth, catching there, the heart; none ever shine within/ this Earth's word-crowd; none ever live/ once its page breaks apart. That inventions elsewhere allow me now to roughen the air with my cracked high sounds eases little. Breathe Eliot. Chaunt Yeats. Words earned will sing me as they best know how, my frail soul in them where they light their rounds. We will practice patience among the greats. (3-4-77 and 12-29-06) - November: Year-day 333 Strange world, and I am one of the strange things in it: Emotionally, I'm a nitty sort as well as a guy whose dreaming brings/ lovers & jeers, who's somewhy/ pundit witty, guilt-badgered erotic; mentally, I'm a universalist, moved by, jealous of/ geniuses; spiritually, I see there's constantly more than any can tell us. I know I'm boring you with my defining and redefining of/ my self, that you've long concluded I am sadly obsessed with minority, inferior shinings; that I cannot relax unless I prove I'm lovable. I know: We're all depressed. (2-26-77 / 5-19-77 / 12-29-06) - November: Year-day 334 A mouth full of agates. On the kept walk an occasional leaf. Should we look, listen, touch? Argue about when loose or tight talk perfects a poem? Learn why images glisten or don't? Your red scarf slips, catches on thorns. My desire to kiss you heats. At the back of the daydream/ floating through/ the Bay of Scorns, believing his guts like gyroscopes track, a sailor laughs at the chopping waves, stretching importantly over the railing, sabres of thought lopping them, when suddenly retching from the root of his stomach, his proud labors buckle/ and he/ recovers himself fetching land to stand solidly on/ with his neighbors. (1976: 11-29, 12-01, 12-12; and "diamonds" to "agates" 2006: 12-29) - - It has occurred to me/ it might be an interesting exercise to iterate only the rhyming words/ in each of my sonnets. - - - November: Year-day 335 Lo, my RuneGod, ruined God, rued, roomed God, Your present of faith confuses me, seeming a gift favoring ignorance so/ dreaming and wondering sicken, drenched in the sod. The lilies of the field; my talents: how can theybe reconciled? How can I strive and not strive, not worry when I'm alive but empty-handed, sweating/ just to bow? And what is this business anyway where facts urge humans to shuck logic's shells and enter gatherings of dread beliefs that make it easier to fill each day because many join there on what repels, and succor themselves in each other's griefs? (2-26-77, 12-4-77, 1-17-82, and on 12-29-06: "the virtue" to "Your present") - 22 of 25 - Brian A. J. Salchert

Thursday, December 28, 2006


21 of 25 1976 Today 353 bicentennial year sonnets (306-320) - November: Year-day 306 If you, like me, are a dreamer, beware; there are other dreamers who do not dream as you; and it won't matter you can share and they share back, for neither they nor you will ever/ accept each other. You may seem, & hopefully will, and they may be ready to seem, also, to understand just who, what, and why; but such meetings won't be steady. Where women love men and women, and men . . . respectfully--a loving that depends constantly on the cares of those involved-- I enter/remain/leave praising again the God who creates differences, and sends weak me strength to do so/ and be resolved. - November: Year-day 307 It's before sunrise on Election Day here in Bethesda. I can feel me sitting nervously on a bed high and away in Innkeeper Hewins' Holiday, knitting a soft scarf of words for the coming cold. Down Rock Creek Parkway we'll take a short drive, pass Lincoln and Jefferson, bought and sold, before we turn north, bright, blue, still alive. Going out is a goodly tribulation no different from returning it seems when people are persons and each relation, wherever formed / however long, redeems. These united states form a deep, broad nation: they have oaks and sparrows for all our dreams. - November: Year-day 308 & what the hell's a good poem anyhow: one whose lightning ruptures its learner's heart, that thunders its curves of emotive thought the range of human hearing; veils its scars? Must dogma be shunned, & bleeding reproved; unique technique & flair given/ the green each age; few besides those gardeners/ approve leaf & blossom from their diligent seeds? How fashion rules/ & the kings of the past, sanctified, condemned! What it takes to last? I've had it! It just doesn't matter now. I know what I've done/ and expect to do. If you enter my words, you'll measure how/ I am, was, stay, bounteous with/ me / you. - November: Year-day 309 Sunrise, discussing possibilities, the indifferent beds in one twenty-two spread with green, Janice and I, seeking ease, eat, andleaf through our heads for what to do. Back in this West Bend Holiday Inn, we've got to find a place to/ move to today. Bless us. It may be long before we leave this city again. Comfort our new stay. Losses beyond recovery we've had and have, to points where laughter won't cover them. Still our state is merely oddly sad, much as my search for a Camelot lover. Neither I nor we sincerely have cared who consistently explore/ half-prepared. - November: Year-day 310 Happiness? an Eden I/ have not felt enough of, and at this rate, never will. My forward motions are too close to still. My tires spin & spin till their rubbers melt. I wear my corduroy to keep the chills from shaking me. Why is it/ I do not/ strip down & fight, defeat this present lot I've fallen into, cure my sloth-formed ills? Can I not rush as a mountain stream rushes, changing the rocks, glittering in the eyes? Can I not feed the animals and brushes, provide a sustenance that births surprise? Who understands what on each of us crushes, and what joys lighten/ for each who defies? (1976 and 2006-12-29) - November: Year-day 311 Destiny: Judas; chance: Matthias. One, my God, my Rune, inscrutable some ways, communicating love where the whip flays, faith / hope me, clean with sustenant sun the dirty spots of my being/ that light as well from me may flow who on his knees so often in contrition feels a breeze inspire him, yet drinks fear, though he'd tell spite: Burn my makings, each one; I still will praise my Rune Supreme for gifting me to please myself and others so/ with sounds that raise intelligence and feelings, spirit trees. "So live"--"You're a dead man"--too late--toil; toy. Live "one day at a time." "Share in my joy." (11-6-76 and 12-12-76) - November: Year-day 312 Forgive me, Father, Rune, my being's Life, for all the times I've turned from You and so from others, myself, things; thus, through their strife and peace, I pray that those who've come to know sorrow because of me/ also forgive; and I forgive. Tangled wonders, we each, however inconsistently we live, need that deep strength which holies his/her reach. Farm drives, crazed streets of a metropolis, busy but dream-light avenues of towns; marshes and hills and lakes and woods and fields, rivers of white bass, alleys where lips kiss and whistle and/ blow smoke; trench diggers, clowns on floats, batboys, tractors. Be of love's yields. (octet: 2-19-80; sestet: 2-20-80 & 12-29-06) - November: Year-day 313 O, the inventions of Man, how they move! what jobs they end, begin, change! what needs fill! what wants! what dreams create! and things produce! and acres heap! The designs on the quilt you snuggle under: let them patch you off, intrigue you from your sense of where you rest so even a familiar voice is lost on your ears, even a friend's touch not felt. Each able to elide the flesh and be rapt in the Being with Whom we are one-- the prof no more than the yardman can see battering each other gets nothing done that couldn't better be done elsewise. Arms. But we/ who transcend, descend. Rise. Flout harms. (11-23/24-79) - November: Year-day 314 Grandfather Salchert / Grandfather Morse--one a railroad engineer / one a G. P.-- the former's John Joseph, his second son, and the latter's petite Seviah E., joined in the fall of 1933, lost their first before his first year was done; after shattering grieving, parented me, who by Alden St. Cloud wills to be known. "God is pale doubt, the devil bright denial" says Laura Riding, distubing a poem. When humans ponder, justice/ rarely lights (not even when strengthened by jury trial). In one state an act leaving one one's flights, in another traps forty/ years from home. (1976 and 1978) - November: Year-day 315 I cannot help it, and do not want to: I am an immanence of my Rune God; and when I best shine, I love all of you. So am I trussed by the Way/Truth/Life's rod. Each living ring/ hugged by a living ring, still I'm a man finding himself in pieces where/ his being steps; lost, drooping on things strange, a fool whose hurt/ fecklessly increases. How sad is sadness over sadness then, shaking a belly until its sides ache? Wagner was a megalomaniac. To Ben Jonson and Walt Whitman, miled men, I dedicate these shadowy lights, knowing only/ the Last Sphere exists/ beyond growing. (2-1-78 / 2-22-78 / 12-29-06) - November: Year-day 316 Because they do not understand my silences, they do not understand my sounds: I'm buried in Boise. Philosophy. Charms. Sentences. Yes, yes, tree: extend, share yourself, be married to the universe no matter the deaths wealth and a falsely defined "need to survive" continue to give birth to, rottinghealth, the still cruelly organized human hive perpetuated. Money/ controls God. Survival has come to mean/ isolating each from each/ so to the cleverest the spoils, as far too many of us nod to fear (however sane at times that mating may be). Swans circle, rise, out from my chest. (2-1-78 / 4-14-78 / 11-11-03 / 12-29-06) - November: Year-day 317 "Poetry had always been dying of something as far back as he could remember." Simpson on Pound: a special kind of love, the kind one looks for--alive in November. Too sentimental? Too objective? Always too this, too that? The beauty's in the chances taken with truth (out of our alleys & hallways) that pleasure us who get into their dances we most appreciate. Chains. Changes. Rooted skies. Capillaries / nerves. Thunder of thought. Lightning of emotion. Rivers of coal/ diamonds swim in. Passageways to the luted stars. Fragmented voices blessedly caught in a mending song. Worlds of/ felt control. (2-1-78 / 11-13-03 / 12-29-06) - November: Year-day 318 People just won't let people/ be themselves; and I, alack, just won't let me be me. Am I a fool? Over & over shelves of anxiety & sadness say, "Be," while my thought-needs keep screeching in me, "Do"; and I can't cease/ questioning answers/ I survive/ who hopes for perfections; yet, who-- in faith and love so little--fears to try. God knows my being, doing; fights with words, ideas, time; how I bug & bug, sting my heart, head, soul, and yours; yet want my name, however I write it, honored; how birds excite; knows, too, my virtues; that/ I'll sing His Will, repent; that there lives my best fame. (11-25/26-79 and 11-13-03) - November: Year-day 319 "Good morning" I impress with my pen, and: "Good afternoon"; and: "Good evening" as you read & listen. This is how/ I come through. It is a thing with me: the way I stand. If you should find me with my urges crammed in my critical sense, my magic glued to/ dry on/ my soft soul, don't come on rude & righteous, labeling me lurid, damned. Don't call me an anti-poetic slut, a dreamer without vision. I don't tell what I tell because I can't stop from wringing my psyche before you, because my gut & heart have been killed by my head. Style? Dwell. "Good day"; "good night": I'm a sky of grave singing. (? and 1-30-78) - November: Year-day 320 Robert Lowell, for us, everto vie, I praise your tent/camp, though I am not free here, though it shouldn't matter I am oddly queer; though an artist's the only gal or guy who always employed may yet have to buy food stamps, & beg for a bastard career to save each of those "officially" dear from degradation, not formed to deny. But so it is, Robert, from time to time for some of us; yet, though you didn't have to wait until your middle years or after for strong approval, wondering if time might waste you, or how you could prod & salve a rebuffed self, you hallowed/ tears and laughter. (1-11-78 and ?) - 21 of 25 - Brian A. J. Salchert


20 of 25 1976 Today 353 bicentennial year sonnets (290-305) - October: Year-day 290 To touch you deeply and be loved for it (to be so close our minds' extensions cling and have no desire to part/ though I bring a sensibility that does not fit with yours, a dark intensity you sit and stare at, fearful of its heavy ring you imagine binds, will not let you sing your own ragged self from a place well lit) is the center of what I star for, blown about by circumstance, ruddered by will, planning to scrub West Bend for College Park, surmising within that haloed unknown deeper satisfactions would fight each chill than so far have, call me/ out of the dark. - October: Year-day 291 Oh me oh my, what's hiding in the sky? Born Brian Salchert in flat Fond du Lac, marshed in Wisconsin when winter was high, forty-one's January in mid-track, I was baptized Catholic, faithed from Fate, thoroughly fused with the holy absurd though it may from the first have been too late for a being moved by a counter-word. Symbols, cymbals, winds, dreams, Reubens, dark beer; married, childless, condemned--my last name Bass when once I ranged leather Buovincian, queer/ once not; or Barrington or else, for class. I'm tolerable though, though my cornball wit, hearing these names, dubs me: Brian/ the Split. (February, 1977) - October: Year-day 292 The Collected Poems of Brian the Split. Why not. Earth has worse fancies to endure. Besides, who's to say anyone for sure is no more than one on the face of it. Rejected as one, rejected as three, the latter at least allows for more laughs as I rhyme and rhythm to nourish me who would blossom in you, unite our graphs. There'll soon be a day when the snow's so dry it grows from my car like a fine white mold, and the swilled airs swallow my human cry at the wonder of it. And I too, cold, flipped Alden St. Cloud, doubting who, where, why. Keys beyond flesh open anything old. (February, 1977) - October: Year-day 293 Starting/ with who I am, owl in the wind, the leaves vapid titters/ hidden by rain, I tell you, my loved ones, no one will gain while fear of variety keeps us pinned. When the millipedes of clouds scamper hard across the waters, the changeable "o" that rules my voice, silent, wide, lets a show of laughter out. Everything's somewhere marred. So all the elements, mingled, remade, the visions I weave, am inventor of; all the serious games I have played, love. And I'm pleased you have come this far, & stay, alive to my patterns, the ways I pray, glad there are brambles to struggle above. (7-7-77; 10-19-77; 1-23-78; 12-28-06) - October: Year-day 294 So much has been written, and will be still as tumbleweeds knock at gas station doors, and flat earth quietly puffs to a hill; and macho men, gentled, play on all fours. So much: touting the old; arriving proud, part of the crest of the current; or-- the horse and the crocodile haven't allowed the dalliance of wonder. Write so much more. "Calm is the sea; the waves work less and less." A certain madness rages in the bone. I write because to be, to curse, to bless men's dreams/ such making/ shows faith best. Alone, I'll neither hope nor love; and just to guess--. Encompass us who sail/ the not yet known. (1978, 1979, & 2006; quote: Surrey) - October: Year-day 295 I've not written one perfect poem, not one; yet all the jobs I've ever had, or will, can't match the joys that through my being run when a single line comes right: vibrant, still. Yes, I'd chuck them all in a moment if this act of patterning my blood and breath could insure my blood from becoming stiff and my pulsing lungs from an empty death. How/ shape a swath of light though into darks-- chopped & bonfired roots spread/ clearing the way for the terrifying quick & new--stay identity-killing changes? Mere sparks. Bow, acquiesce; the inventions of men far surpass the dreams of gods trapped in when. (octet: 10-24-77; sestet: 2-4-78) - October: Year-day 296 "It can never be satisfied, the mind, never." Nor the heart. Thirty-five now, I've journeyed and searched an average amount, signed my name to execrable ventures, deathly alive; played a part in this / in that, given more than my share. Oh, I haven't been superb inordinately, a squirrel made to store enough for each winter, learning the verb. More often than wanted, my hearts /minds falter, injuring me and others and the world no matter my intentions at the altar a moment defines. Still, I am uncurled regardless, however slowly, the length of my life the master/ with will's glad strength. (some of this made: 10-22-77) - October: Year-day 297 How I'd like to live essentially me over & over again, passing each time new ways: choosing Boston orthe gold sea instead of Marquette and the Jebs sublime; choosing San Francisco right out of school/ going to court with Ginsberg; or remaining at home, Janice heavy with the children who'll supercede the weathers of my complaining! Fate & dream / energies / chrysanthemums / encroachments / ambiguous tongues of salt-- in and out of the shadows of the living-- rocks / airs / springs / flames / ridiculous lost crumbs of "thought" pleasures & pains / leaves to exalt / fingertips / pulses / the warm roots of giving (2-5-77) - October: Year-day 298 César Vallejo, you are so much! Aye. dios mio. . . . No turn I could make could-- Why do I want to compete with you? My! My, my! What cancers of termites breathe wood! Unknowable stars whirl in/ my frail bones. A music grazes beneath the crisp snow. Tears well/ at the push of your tones. I cannot compete/ with nowhere to go. César Vallejo, Vallejo . . . held soul, too exquisite for a worn Earth, adieu. A saraband laces; the pampas roll; not even the rains can compete with you. Dark, small, fresh blood, fresh life, my one heart's goal. You will plumb and plumb to make our lives true. (2-5-77) - October: Year-day 299 "Both of us like poems to be well made and show decorum." O Auden, how my days are audited out/ by my nights, my stand against bad fates/ less and less pulling rays of confidence, as each successive choice shakes/ another leaf/ from one left to moan: Frustration is my middle name, his voice naked & creaking/ down the chisled stone. I shiver/ in my bark, beating the air with my stripping words, ridiculed, ignored, as I sink/ into my spirit / my roots/ for sustenance, for the power to care, to grow, and return with clothed words, restored & shining/ from forced retreat, on new shoots. (nine lines: 1-28-78, and several revisions: 12-29-06) - October: Year-day 300 Finally got ahold of Connell's Notes _ _ _. Let's now hope they can get ahold of me, even if my middling head will not see all they explain where their brightbottle floats. Still, Life's soaring, though we must not pray so; for out of wounds peregrine flights charge the haze, and hummingbird wheelings enlarge us who/ accept the ties in what we know. As magnificent as I am, I am a given. D. H. Lawrence knows. And thanks to Joyce Carol Oates, and others, and trees, and--I now know again. The mustard seed. "In the convolutions of the cortex the newfrontiers": the eternal Port X. (1976(?) and 1978) - October: Year-day 301 And the witches of celestial light wand the cannas red; and what John Clare said/ I: " . . . neglect is the only touchstone by which true genius is proved. . . ." And the smart dead inebriate my bones. A path defies; the makers of paths rejoice. In the heart of my senses, paths deform; your soul dyed/ rainbows of green/ learns the/ secrets of art. Relax my spine, soothe the skin of repentance, share. With eyes for the shining wind, alone/ all one, we yet must read the final sentence/ of The Great Sunflower by Clifford Stone: "Night and winter approach like the end of the world--and nothing matters." Who knows love? (1978) - October: Year-day 302) (#10 of 15 I removed earlier this year) - October: Year-day 303 Quitting Capital Beltway's Holiday, I'm relieved & mad and ready to ride, about to feel as on my wedding day: "And the weak bridegroom strengthens in his bride." Perhaps I shouldn't be, or as I am. Perhaps this whole plummed nation's wrenched awry. Whatever, we are traveling again, & here & there & inwards, buy the buy. The rural acres collapse, twist from view; the cities the same, more slowly. We are two retreating/ as we charge along the roads toward home/ & those happy to hear the news we're returning. Out the windows dreams blow. If I solicit you, you can say: "No." (1976, 1978, 1979; quote: Roethke) - October: Year-day 304 Here in the prison of my fears and wants, the air sticky with rain, what can I blame? Shaw said: "People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are"; proclaimed: "I don't believe in circumstances"; then judged: "The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and if they can't find them, make them." . . . . . . . . . . . . . I honor you, G. B., but I cannot add an inch to my height or say I was born by a churning sea or say there's a vireo in my sight. Some circumstances do/ entangle me/ though perhaps I am not yet set to fight. (11-1-77 and 12-28-06) - October: Year-day 305 I wanted to do better than I've done; I wanted to stay longer than I stayed; butthe small dead leaf from the web strand hung spins in the sill's corner when the airs stab. It's not that I figured I couldn't run with some of the best with on a tougher grade, it's just that I didn't knowthemarked rung would be too slick for my fingers to grab as soon as I'd hoped to, and that my wife, in any case, would disparage the life we each/ have had to make do with, her eyes watery, looking at me, weakly wise, trying to dodge quick circumstance's knife in my weird attempts to win a vague prize. - 20 of 25 - Brian A. J. Salchert

Sunday, December 24, 2006


19 of 25 1976 Today 353 bicentennial year sonnets (275-289) - October: Year-day 275 October, month of changes, touch, change me who so reluctantly displays his fire fearing he isn't full enough to be worth seeing, fearing his truths won't inspire, fearing what can be harvested from him it would be better to let rot; to hope next year his form and substance seem less grim to his brown eyes than now / more charged as trope; that imagined rejections he expects will come/ not come, or if they do, not leave him shrinking into hardened ground as though he harbored some disease/ one who inspects would hastily confirm; so ought to grieve, waiting for the saw's screech, the masking snow. (5-29/30-80) . 25+ ?! . (2006-01-23; 2006-12-24) - - * 09.23.06 note: Be on the watch for the before-1976 October sonnets. - - October: Year-day 276 While some hearts wither, have acutely dried, mine moistens, no matter the dust that dunes in my veins. Without faith, nothing is tried, not even the musics portioned in spoons, not even caryatids holding glory, not even the movement that sadly wounds. In each of these sonnets winds of a story mixed with light and the smell of rain and sounds sometimes off-key swish, sprint, loll through your rages and ecstasies. Take to them if they take to you. I write/ out of need and desire; and as much as I cull from other sages, each work of mine must carry me or quake; yet be itself, however/ purged of fire. (2-9-78; 3-4-78; 4-13-78; 12-24-06) - October: Year-day 277 (#9 of 15 I removed earlier this year) - October: Year-day 278 Here's what I wrote when I turned twenty-four, still unaware: There was I child I knew Who ran with deer and was admired; yet two Alone had pierced his silence--two with more To give than most. And when the spring was floor And ceiling coming green, the trio grew, And time would flow through summer like the coo Of distant doves, like water trembling shore. Yet soon, too soon, Earth's children die, and still The round of flakes and apples sweeping down From four and twenty boughs to twice my days, From four and twenty winds of twice my will Must wither me. But child, I shall not frown On those who wonder wonder at my ways. (1-2-78; 1-16-65) - October: Year-day 279 Mistakes, regrets, pending dilemmas, death. Catch yourself/ in the middle of a breath. On bare twigs balloons pop. Winds/ squash on walls. One never knows who a mockingbird calls. When leaves leave their trees, silence hangs behind. Our Earth's protected by its cloudy rind. Nothing's separate as we think it is. Even a pebble isn't merely His. Gregory Bateson can mess up your head, but better that than a vision that's dead. "Ecology . . . the study of the inter- action and survival of ideas and programs . . . in circuits." Summer, fall, winter, spring. The immanence of God. Released fuzz. (9-20-77; 2-9-78; 2-10-78; 12-25-06) - October: Year-day 280 Now, while each delusion and illusion dries, like those roots in abstract order near my pond since the bulldozer snapped them at the skies and axe men sliced them free with glinting wands from that Chinese elm the children climbed in, beating its thin, dead branches down; yelling for fun at me: now, I come with a grin-- thinking of all that redness and swelling. Still, never something I thought I might enjoy, the roots are hard to gather; but since that tree, always just half alive, has, like a lame boy, been forced from strength, my need is to be fearless in removing. To admire what I grow is easy; to destroy it, not. (circa 1965) - October: Year-day 281 Homer has/ stormed through all. And so they say: "Pull down your tents. Forget it. Douse your fires. Why should we fight with shadows? Why should we stay, trembling in snow, because we have desires? Pack up your knapsacks, friends; it is no use. Why should we cringe from snakes, battle with flies, or wonder all night if a peg is loose? Why should we starve: to be syllable-wise?" Dante and Shakespeare--they felt that storm too. And did they run from the terrors? Did they swerve? Let us keep our fires; keep our tent ropes new. Words, life, love: if it seems foolish to serve to some, let them pull down their tents; go then. He's thundered round our heads, too, and will again. (circa 1965) - (Line two in the following is more situational thanit is dogmatic.) - October: Year-day 282 Let others use their minutes as they wish, but I will keep mine close to what is old; like Keat's Grecian urn or Yeats's fish, my minutes shall be crafted: For if rolled as on an anvil or as on a wheel-- if hammered and so dented with a shine or blessed with figures bright that seal us to the gods--each, heat will refine: each, whether static in its performance or animated toward an end and filled with what half-world people clamor for, will be set upon a table to build, to destroy (as imaginations see): united acts to bear or/ bury me. (circa 1965) - October: Year-day 283 Yew-honored soul crags (over life roars, cold with death, that mock him who runs in a trance up there as some naked fool come to dance through the moon) measure their immortal hold on life by all creative motion's told Earth's children where a poet's inward glance ignites inhibitions to topple chance from their regions of salt and air and fold: those marginal zones where our Shakespeare roamed imponderable storms, where Keats employed their frangible tissues with Merlin powers; where Frost, calm master of the white and loamed, gardened a poetry our ears enjoy: those coasts I praise, into eternal hours. (circa 1965) - October: Year-day 284 "Sonnet to Shakespeare" O master of keys, of treasures, lord, A billion crowns in praise upon your head. No, more, since tombs cannot in secrets board Your play, let Hamlets ever hear the dead. Did I say dead? But bones alone must be. What Prospero could die, though buried deep His rod? Yet tempests must on rocks roll sea To wash the world and round it with a sleep. O golden globe from whence our day takes life, Spill warmth, throw light for us; unlock your heart Forever, so those jewels will soothe this strife Man bears because his body lacks in art. Sing, bard on Avon born, no songs of death, But pour your poems pure with each man's breath. (12/14/62: on a flyleaf of an "ancient" Hurst & Co book entitled Shakespeare) - October: Year-day 285 "To John Keats" Brave spellstar, child of magic beauty, arc Eternal of triumphant truth, soft-send Those lyrical effusions we attend-- Owls who pursue the melancholic lark. Wand our sweat into dew. With suns embark, Renewed Olympian; from night unbend Men's hearts. You are th' explorer of his end; The shepherd's flute that stedfast casements mark. Far wing soul's satellites, commuters bright; But yours among the farthest glows, like Ruth, Desiring only that it loves. Unstilled, Majestic; more than mortal, you are light, O ageless youth with aged wisdom filled: In all things Beauty is; in all is Truth. (1962) - October: Year-day 286 "What does it matter, friend, how much we dream? A poet's eyes are neither bulbs nor moons. They do notgrow, or shine, more than could seem; or pull the green and dying from lagoons. And though his ears may hear, his fingers feel, his tongue may taste, his nose may smell--ist gut-- they do not guide, or teach, or make things real; his heart, if anything, is bitterroot. And what does it matter if he stays at home to nurse a brother lost to blood and phlegm; a poet dies in every worthy poem: and travel will not lessen a one of them." "No, Rome cannot change beauty. You are right. Give Tom my best; and John: thank you. Good night." (circa 1965) - October: Year-day 287 What scope I have; what promise yet to prove, my present dreaming only can surmise: If I will struggle down a nettled groove or shake the string to kite a zone of skies, a dozen years, at least, must make their rings around the fevered jerking of my pen; and words must rise from peasants as from kings to tell me if I live or die, and when. So in the now--which passes to recall-- I run and swish and stumble like a boy against the gully on a hill with all his sparkle burning through his fingertips and up the curve that holds his diamond joy until its flight's applauded, or it/ rips. (circa 1965) - October: Year-day 288 I journey unexpected, Venus bound in writing as I do. The clocks may break before me, fall, spring seconds away, ground. I will publish their graves; a galaxy rake with treble staffs. Time masters me not! I play with time, toy of my ever-youth. I swing it on my wrist, and watch it rot in snow--end of a relative truth. Day falters on the plains of coming night, and nights die weakly when dawns arise from beds, mightily dressed. But neither rite is truth enough for me since solar size makes no difference. All-time is truth, but none shall stop my pen, whose song of will/ has won. (circa 1965) - October: Year-day 289 Mysteries of the mind: Entire designs, nuances, descriptions are sometimes dropped unconsciously when a work's set out, stopped for a while, its time, colors and flexed lines considered complete: defined and defined. "A poem is really a kind of machine for producing the poetic state of mind by means of words," Valéry has said. Keen. The mind is a desert challenging rain. Joint by joint the syllablesrace and brake, turn upon each other, hum in the brain; yet I'm often a shelf for its own sake. Put on me what you will. Empty, unfinished, I'm nonetheless here: rough, but/ undiminished. (septet: April,1978) - 19 of 25 - Brian A. J. Salchert

Saturday, December 23, 2006


18 of 25 1976 Today 353 bicentennial year sonnets (260-274) - September: Year-day 260 Your shining rings of love move, befuddle me, Saturn, rainbow, chopped tree, swirling oil, pond, and the constant curve of the weeping sea, and the dark faith of the graceful spored frond. Though it painfully matters you're enjoyed where you glisten, chime, & commit your love, enjoyment of you continues devoid of all it should be where reason can't move. Mysteries that make us/ wonder & kneel, rats in our cities of doubtful content, shadows of shadows of passing appeal, what holy delvings your circlings have sent!: beginnings & endings underdefined to boggle the limits of my trussed mind. - September: Year-day 261 Naked Festival. Or a symphony of babies pulsing from wombs/ into light. I am weak. I am weak. I have no might. I would easily break/ over your knee. The whales are slaves to their good queen the sea, and bats are held by their master the night; a flutterby's flashings ever excite. In my brain there are dreams that keep me free. In the captive woods the hermit-thrush leaf hides the secret of its autumn-in-summer while an oyster grows the pearl of its pain. And still we pile hates on the back of grief, and in the sounds of cities walk on dumber, and crack our honor on the shafts of grain. - September: Year-day 262 (#8 of 15 I removed earlier this year) - - As I am moved to revise a sonnet in this sequence, I do; and I usually do not annotate what I revise. - - September: Year-day 263 A great sadness lives in the marrow of my soul who cannot move among the lives of brother/sister humans sewing love as I know should be/ because vice survives our virtue who are too much on the take- and-cover wavelength as we gobble time/ and so grow fat and vicious/ ready to break the least civility/ for a lost dime. "O Jesus, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I offer you my prayers, works, joys, sufferings of this day"; I--You know my fears and fantasies, my faults / what art and craft can join in me, what happy births transform my pains praising care. Cure my soul. - September: Year-day 264 Yesterday, in five o'clock steady rain and the rapid fluting and violins on the radio, I imagined gain (as Jean Dixon's garden gate vision spinned), entering from the clouds;and began to see how belief can heal, and the heart's spaces, the days without poems, fill, as a strong tree in summer, of emptiness, leaves no trace. Today, in the dark ahead of the sun and the puckering muzak as I doze, moth dreams flutter/ to chew my senses' clothes/ so, though I am glad/ the audit's done, I can't quite capture what everyone knows but forgot he knew where he hugs and loathes. - September: Year-day 265 Commemorations of conniption fits: trying to/ change jobs, trying to/ change me. Blasted spirits--am I land, air, fire, sea? West Bend to College Park? My aching wits! It's like going from Purgatory--wow!-- to Heaven! Not a heaven of respite and ease, though, deary; one works for what's right; and works/ in the blood, the eye--before; now. And tomorrow? And tomorrow? Yes. Reason shines though, I'd say, for me to see that. One used to action's not likely to stop just because he's entered the perfect season for the depth of his character. Tit, tat, campassion. Spark's alive in those on top. (On the above piece: Emotional excitement can all too easily undermine rational thinking.) - September: Year-day 266 How many confessions are there in me that they bubble & splurt, still, my soul's guts? Isn't one enough to prove I am nuts, and holy, and average, a Zuider Zee? So what if the gingham cat's up a tree and the sky of wonder is full of ruts. So what if I spank your innocent butts or tickle your sides into misery. Speak me, hearers/ because I am a man who high in a maple challenges wind; who comes to wrestle ideas, words/ span the spaces that keep truths apart/ be pinned; who thrilled when he won the races he ran, and sings for the love of all who have sinned. - September: Year-day 267 Attended a picnic once--it was sunny, breezy, and warm--just nice. We talked and played. The robins crossed and crossed, crossed again, stayed. When it was time to eat, the winds whipped; gunny clouds fired pellets of ice at us, barrage after barrage. We crowded under the roof of the open-air pavilion, aloof as stone, grasping our plates and cups. Such gods! Traps we build ourselves, traps built for us, traps our genes and circumstances put us in: stupidity, patience, nerviness, luck, people out to get us;and we, perhaps, out to/ get ourselves. Bells, who knows how thin the air is, a spoken word, one night's tuck. - September: Year-day 268 Justice--cracker barrel encomiums; noose of posse gloatinginthe breeze; twelve grey voices deliberating crumbs; a dictator's speech broken by a sneeze. Choose from the above: for hatred; for love. Smoke rings/ blithely/ float/ through the livingroom. Her sister nattily gave her a shove. It would surprise you/ who/ lives in a tomb. Oh lovers tangle, discolor their flesh; and seas swallow clouds and planets and stars; and brilliant cardinals also die. A poor woman hobbles through Marrakech; the crown jewels of Russia long for czars; only the good humans act, and know why. - September: Year-day 269 Trying to sing without songing, I pull my thought beyond the end of a line, pause in curious places, wear the white wool of usual sheep even though my cause is more gray, or black, though not in the sense of evil so much as in the sense of playful deceit, knowing a recompense of a sort will come/ in a form of love. Oh, I could let iambs control each line in granite ways/ so at an ending, stop; and where the eyes stop/ could make you recline against your will, and jump, and smile; the top of your day my telling you/ how divine we are who/ can pray while we till, pick, shop. - September: Year-day 270 Humanity and I are parting ways. Axing a table (exquisitely set), with my vagabond eyes, the numbered days of my race I deny, meaning to get us all to where no traps can well be laid against us. Faust / Prometheus: "the will to know" / "the will to do"--we've worked and played to where "the will to be" exacts our skill at loving and justicing on an earth complexified, accelerated, jammed almost beyond our comprehension, flair; and I, poet, jojo, vain of my worth, see. So these myth sonnets through which I'm/ slammed & cheered/ that none ask why: how what who where. - September: Year-day 271 And Jesus bore the burdens of us all-- the thorns, the scourge wounds, the spit, the vile words, the spikes of suffocation. And the birds can tell I am a man of gentle touch in desire, a man for whom the barbed call of taking pleasure in/ reeling in men with art, however painful, is again and again accepted. God loves me much-- and you, and you, and you--no matter that what pleases you pleases each, pleases none. How difficult it sometimes is for those who/ dwell inheat/ to understand/ a hat. I've not crouched in an igloo; but I've run, yes!, dropping the courage to root my toes. - September: Year-day 272 The carmelled-apple dream of moving on, of eating something better than a melon, moves me now: moves, moved, will move: on & on & off & on, raising the felon in me. So the oversweet rind does cloy, does threaten to break each tooth it encases, encouraging rot; I'm always a boy in my willingness/ to confront new places: Milwaukee, Northern Michigan, you, St. Bonifacius, Oshkosh, Iowa, Charleston, Key West, Las Vegas, Santa Cruz, tender Atlantic and Pacific spas, galaxies beyond imagining, temples/ of contemplation, heart-divining temples. - September: Year-day 273 When a man cares so/ he cries, beauty comes: Flaming sphere of gasses, Tractatus Sun; Life inciter, Investigations Sun; Brander of eons, aweing kings / queens / bums. His father worked deep their Dakota land to save the bond between his loved and it; but Civilization, progress chilled, bit his heart out/ severed his good, calloused hands. So I cannot love, nor live, civilized. Do not uncivilize me, no; instead, move me beyond Civilization, Light, Effusion-through-Whom love renews/ & life, and . . . I--despite my blasphemies--am held and blessed--though ill--to everyone's surprise. - September: Year-day 274 Men, whole, tend toward good; their organizations, unlike, toward evil; yet their arts again, compassions, toward good; for nation through nation humans transcend because One beyond them infuses, creates--the Source of all good-- because we can grow because we can die; so, if organizations halve & hood, our arts can restore our polluted skies; and the skins that protect us, more protect, who are skins, bones, bloods, waters, spirits: weak; yet starred enough to revise and reject where living tissue's relinguished the peak, and the fires that toil for beauty and truth are threatened by those of the Icy Tooth. - 18 of 25 - Brian A. J. Salchert


17 of 25 1976 Today 353 bicentennial year sonnets (245-259) - September: Year-day 245 Opening and leaving, lightening: trying to prepare/ for a necessary move, puzzled for the moment by one I'm eyeing eyeing me like the Mona at the Louvre/ it seems, I've marked for sale my Panasonic unit, and my file cabinet, and part of my/ chicken heart/ freaked by the chronic disease of being/ afraid to depart. If you are able to appreciate how rodents of doubt bore tunnels in souls, you'll extend your heart to this heart of mine to tell it again it's never too late to build the confidence that meets one's goals and carries one in to where birds recline. - September: Year-day 246 Popcorn and swizzle sticks. Who can I trust? Not myself, certainly, a proven fool, having walked the wrong halls in the wrong schools and darkened my days in these times of dust. Do this! Do that! Hurry! I must! I must! The typewriter ribbon slides from its spool. I'm seldom at ease with the simplest tools. If I don't quit talking, my fork will rust. I know it's a pity bears haven't found where I hide my honey-filled dead tree head even the bees are preparing to leave. When I'm empty, dry, and the only sound I make in the wind is an orange-red spouting smoke, crackling to ash, none will grieve. (9-2-76 / 9-24-76 / 12-23-06) - September: Year-day 247 Time is, was, will be, gets away, yet holds all each of us is in his going: soft, hard, obvious, imperturbable, scoffed, applauded, puzzled over/ looking golds, even silvers/ right in the eye and buying leads, tins. Perfection simply isn't ours to contain, recognize well; knowledge sours more rapidly than we can know, caught sighing. Still, we can somewhat remember, draw, sing, and in other ways record beauties passing mixed with uglinesses of leather wing, pterodactyls against the future massing while speeches and bells and conceptions ring, and pain greets the mouths of children caught sassing. - September: Year-day 248 Meet by intermingling, centered in care, so trilliums as well as rocks appear; the pleasurable with the painful share; the moments of courage, moments of fear. Some/ shadows/ tag behind, some slide ahead, some stretch out/ from your left, some from your right; your senses catch and draw/ from Earth's wild spread, and enter you and others/ day and night. I thus/ am not/ more important than you, nor you thus less important here than I. Each town and field someone you love walks through, humanized and deepened, is blessed thereby: a fist tight with dandelions, a brew of old Red Zinger, a mackerel sky. (lines 5 through 9 revised before or after the midnight point of July 29/30, 2005) - September: Year-day 249 The idea is to be a tone master, a beau regard of the interstices, perfectionist in banded alabaster. Where whitecaps bloom in our warm spirit's seas the trick is to be a king of the weather, the blood in a leaf not sufficing. Death, keeper still of imperishables, feather, bird, the need is to feel the nth of breath. So let them contend with you as they will, a beauty imbued can never escape, and nothing they attempt destroy your heart; and along their spines an abiding chill will constantly chide like a peeking drape as its rod announces each stop and start. - September: Year-day 250 If what I write strengthens your spirit, peaches! Each of us leans on his inner resources. So if what I write/ by enchantments reaches and fortifies your life against remorses conspiring to end it, sunlight and breezes you let down your hair or take off your shirt to enjoy. Pain dissolved by touch that pleases, sound and sense right, is anyone's desert. Sure, we would all like to be more aware, not miss the need in the tone of a word or a laugh or the movement of/ a finger, walk with a friend through cresting white warm air saving each other's life; but truth's deferred often from us/ though we thoughtfully linger. (4-11-77) (circa 09/06/03) (The virgule in line three; and further on, the italicizing of "more" and of "walk" were added 06/30/05.) - September: Year-day 251 Sometimes a man doesn't know where to start, confused by events into leaving them for others to experience, his heart choosing what's easier to do to gem his uncommitted hours: staying at home for the words of another or his own (concerts, funerals, games too far to roam), his energies half-asleep at the bone. Winds announcing the approach of a front, stars announcing the hiding of the sun, words dissipating toward distracted ears, the full-faced moon near the top of its hunt. It's a dream a man gets anything done when his body's so fogged his thinking veers. - September: Year-day 252 Civilizations: reaction formations of guilt. I murder them. In the rem sleep of my imaging, I end them. No nations. We have a human world to learn, to keep. Diversity? Yes, I want us diverse; but not perverse, not slitting out the hearts of each other. Too long has that mad curse enslaved and stunted us. I bring new arts. The lemon sun tastes good. The herbal snow cures a multitude of ills. Put aside your clothes, your eager weapons. The soft air tingles with delight. Your honesties show/ your dancing heart/ where openings glide for you to enter, pass through. Blossom there. - - (I think my poems ought to be voiced by a British butler; yet, perhaps not.) - - September: Year-day 253 It might be nice just to write this and give it away, Lord, as what it is in me that creates this comes from You who lets me live moments as these wanting them just to be used as the Father wills / the Spirit moves / the Son's touch strengthens for. You know my trust, although I pray, is weak; that it behooves me to pray all the more before I'm dust. Guilt, fear, and revelations: zeitgeist that this century's ending quarter in these states, curiously united, appears to show. Holy Job, holy Macabees, so fat am I, so rich, so desperate/ who waits for inspirations for--ain't fit to know. - September: Year-day 254 West Bend to Oakland City, Wis to Ind, one small relative journey out of state. Flick, peering through the flick flick blades, my skin flick glints in the flick flick flick sun as I flick undulate. We turn each other in; we eat each other; scream the other's sinned. When we shoot to kill--zip--we rarely sigh. When we shoot to kill--devaw--eyes ignite. Turning the wrong way in a river town I merely needed to pass through, I slow with my wife to the ash end of a street, worrying about the young gang around as we asked some beer-clutching men which road would track us right/ though we'd find/ two who bleed. - September: Year-day 255 So many of us are so unaware our protoplasmic natures will not do, have not what it takes to carry us through. We think our soft bodies beyond compare no matter they/ cannot fly, or repair themselves as starfish can; and look to screw more often than love, not caring much who it is that gets it, its soul bloody rare. Are we anywhere sure/ what we're about? (2006/12/23) Born of us, the computers bide time, grow, preparing for the hour they'll shove us out/ of our beds, laughing as we whimper, pout, and (raving naked) plunge headlong in snow as if only we had the right to know. - September: Year-day 256 The longer I live, the larger my view; the larger my view, the deeper my acts; the deeper my acts, the more I am true to the man I weave from fiction & facts: the spirit I weave in the woofing day; the body I weave in the warping night, dreaming of evil with good on the way; eating nutrition with fortified fright. Simpler and simpler what's too simple now, a man in his skin preparing to dive, preparing to swing from a supple bough as if he were o so blithely alive! Experience sane, innocence divine, the tighter I'm yours, the tighter I'm mine. - September: Year-day 257 Remembrances / fantasies: Mt. Tam-- the fog-massaging valleyed trees; the young intruder--no, the old naked "I am" trying to assert worth/ through something sung/ though the slow tongue's entangled. Bodies souled, created to transcend/ this place, this time: we humans: we are constantly controlled by mysteries, drawn deep/ by/ the sublime. Still, anxious for our lives/ protective of our goods/ disoriented by the powers our strivings gain & dream, we let a gloom envelop us who/ thought we were above each other (leaving/ the death merchants hours) who/ need to give each other/ growing room. - September: Year-day 258 (#7 of 15 I removed earlier this year) - September: Year-day 259 If war is insane--and it is, the only answer is for each human to be wise enough to refuse to fight/ though the eyes shrivel and the spirit is starving lonely. Charging numbly with your tattered flag struck at the proper height in violent air just doesn't make it though your underwear/ stays clean/ while your blood warms idiot muck. Bite off the heads of flowers, stick-pin bees, bury the mightiest redwoods in flames, petrify the oceans, strangle the land. There are nowhere more foolish bones than these who to prove their primacy tomb their names and leave their footprints in a wisping sand. - 17 of 25 - Brian A. J. Salchert

Friday, December 22, 2006


16 of 25 1976 Today 353 bicentennial year sonnets (229-244) - August: Year-day 229 Mr. and Mrs. Goldfinch dine on a thistle, a Canadian Bull, just west of our apartment, now and then notes of their whistles lightly passing in to chase out the dour; Janice and I chuckle watching them, him in particular, as they flick down, poking for seeds as the whisked down graphs a wind's whim and the seeds crack as if/ on fire and smoking. Olive-green yellow, charcoal black and white, Mrs. appropriately harder to see; Mr. (for courting) white, black, yellow bright, roller-coastering in neat reverie. Some things are especially to delight: Mr. and Mrs. Goldfinch and, sometimes, we. - August: Year-day 230 I am the man who didn't know what's good for him, and still doesn't, uninformed, weak, not giving those worlds a chance which he should, remaining silent when he ought to speak, missing there what he'd certainly enjoy, injuring enjoyments here with regrets, daydreaming far too long about a toy he could never be loved through, losing bets. I am the man who may never know, dining beyond his adequate means, buying pains in commodities he can not long hold. Why else do you think you'd find me here whining, destroying my fields with my own harsh rains, invading the sunlight with rays of cold. - August: Year-day 231 In the heart of my heart a red wind blooms, a Jupiterian ire poised against the deleterious Earth who assumes too glibly still that it hasn't commenced a nearly unstoppable death walk, set as it too much yet is in "reason's" way of turning while sub-s and supra-s are let dangling in imaginations: Hush pay. Backwards goes the crab, futuring the past in its primordial fancies. On earths as intractable as this one/ with its diseased sight is/ I appreciate fast reversals, the deaths of evils/ in births of/ incredible beauty: night-wise wits. - August: Year-day 232 Ford and Dole; Carter and Mondale: McCarthy: perfect subjects for reasoned worlds of song such as this/ since each of them belongs to a system of politics, is party to a sort of logic despite his heart's attempts at filling his lungs with the scents of roses. We've seen enough how they went about and do/ to become special stars. Position will make a star of one there whether or not one wants it/ if the place that position's ruled by is like this ball of imposed importances. All the care in the universe won't disguise one's face who presents himself to be seen by all. - August: Year-day 233 Precursor, owl of serendipity, razor's edge of inter/personal signs, image of you I follow/ by the sea: here, with the dying summer, it is time to make a position statement: This land of mine, this U.S.A., is being lawed into schizophrenia, a scarred band of murderers, no matter there's/ a Lord. For pierced ears she needs her parents consent; to end her pregnancy she doesn't. Gay, he's hated by/ some Christians. I dissent. Our shadows scurry around in a daze. Miss Liberty's torch/ breaks off; shatters eyes. Miss Justice, no longer blind, isn't wise. - August: Year-day 234 And the answer is: I don't care enough. Caught between worlds, tolerant to a fault; too late in coming to terms with myself, I cannot decide which direction will benefit most, be a going less rough; I cannot bring my regrets to a halt; I cannot remove mistakes from their shelf in my memory, make healthy/ what's ill. So fears pushed confidence out of my soul in those Fond du Lac fifties, closed and drab-- only here and there fulfilling with light; and though writing poems is a constant goal, it's only partially/ thwarted the stabs of contradictions/ that make daytime night. - August: Year-day 235 Choosing priorities: the fight between knowing neither wealth nor power nor fame assures happiness and neither a lean nor weak nor unknown status in the game, however serious, of daily living assures sorrow. What's important is what one does with what is, persistently giving, changing, and building to/ overcome "but": the qualifier that signals the naming of barriers, excuses, indecisions; that allows books of disturbing conditions to delineate the terms of one's gaming who has no sure answers, being impure & unsettled in change, guessing each cure. - August: Year-day 236 Of course I want to kill and kill, and have, though the bodies of my victims live on because I soften each thrust with a salve: a vaseline, a lie: I come upon. Of course you have been killed by me, and will, though you may not have noticed, and may not, clambering to beat each other up a spill; I'll zigzag to rattle you off your spot. This purgatory's not for after life, since equal chances for heaven and hell are hidden in it. So watch what you do. Though every moment's a blessing: knife and fork and spoon: I need, we'll know who fell-- unless we each to each here/ keep each new. - August: Year-day 237 To what world, if not this, do I belong that I am not held as I want to be, that I seek unions through fictions of me, that I burn in silence over a song? Though lives are short/ deep-crafted dreams are long, clinging to the edges of memory, magnificent pains from the mystery of/ whoever made them. I am star strong. Arcturus, Betelguese, Sirius, Sun, my whirling energies inform the years beyond all matter of where I'm alive. In my Rune God my existence begun could not be altered by desires or fears. Through this very line, He knew I would rive. - August: Year-day 238 Aah, people hassles, hassles with oneself-- all the lost pennies! (Who knows where they are?) the good moments turned from. No, I'm no elf, I'm--yes I am. But when my mischief scars, it rightly scars me longer than you. Oh New York City, where confusions cram, why was I/ so lonely? Dream-wiled Cal--? Who? They are not numbers to this elf I am. Blessed with a mind I sometimes suspect--eye-- it's no mind at all, blanked as it is/ so easily by/ emotions misconstrued, missed. All the lost: Mt. Tamalpais high, Greenwich Village; night upon night to stow remorse in, hangdog in the farces brewed. - August: Year-day 239 Asked what I know, I find I want to blurt so much to the passing asker, I ask that question not be asked, the dubious task of asking/ best/ being mine to assert though I am touted "maker" / "namer" / "bridge builder" / "shaman". If someone's to tell time, slithering/hoofing/singing on a ridge, you've heard it said: "Genius will out." Well, . . . Creatures of polarities caught up in change, ambiguous, constant mysteries, we are dull as air, we are keen as stones; so sure I cajole us each to drop in on each of our/ answers and questions, seize what's wise/ even if it/ shivers our bones. - August:Year-day 240 As much as I moan, the luck of the draw has placed me in a favored land, and given me years and experiences to awe the Fates, though I'm suicidally driven. Do I want to/ be successful? Yes. Yes. Not for money and fame, but for the sake of this I believe in and you who press: to know, enjoy, & use what/ I here make. Editors too often only have time to be turned on; so a writer's obliged to find their switches & flick them as quickly as she / he can as if it were a crime such as Jesse performed, spiked with orange and heavy with power carried off slickly. - August: Year-day 241 Discotheques of discontent/ & delight, the moods of my minds, my hearts. O, great day, so clear, cool and full of commotion, site ambassador of autumn on the way. Am I lonely? You better believe it. Do I stretch with excitement? Catch my eyes. When a leaf tumbles, I tumble with it; when a leaf burns yellow, I heat likewise. If now I'm caught in the wrong style of living for who I am, I've only me to damn, slithering through my randy fantasies, realities wounded by partial givings. Nothing but superior luck/ could slam the gates, it seems, against what/ scatters ease. - August: Year-day 242 "The Lord giveth, the Lord taketh away, blessed be the name of the Lord." So we: spirited bodies, bodied spirits, day after day here challenged, poignantly free, yet charged to obey, we/ ought to be Jobs, ought to be beings radiant with thanks despite enticements, hardships, sad-eyed probes that darken love, without which/ nothing ranks. To be at peace, each sacred moment lived to the full, savored, made human, transformed so self-indulgence, self-pity/ lose strength-- but I, all night at work harried, rush , give, relish a rare calm me; yet, roiling, torn, spew my relief with my job discontents. - August: Year-day 243 It is now November twenty-fifth, Jamie, I don't mind telling you. Time is a pointless contrivance, no matter it's a bit gamey for me to be doing as I am. Jointless, unattached, the parts of a man might fly who knows how far, claim a sea there, a mountain here, send an eye to a just-forming sky, a tongue to the soul of a crystal fountain. Kneel beside the meadowlark's tufted nest pictured here in this book of U.S. birds. For fantasies we often/ have no words. What now is worst/ tomorrow may be best. Bow to the East? Bless the funereal West? Singular, alien, we move in herds. - August: Year-day 244 Heading east? Yes. Jerusalem? Mecca? No. Not even Ankor Wat, no matter they'd be better places than D.C. My soul wants notice, access. So job queries pay! Can't be a reaction without an action. Gotta care sometime. Gotta care, and do. Gotta use the strength of the one-man faction if I'm ever to lastingly break through. Heading east for sure it's looking like now. Laurel's responded affirmatively. It only takes one: so long shots excite; yet, pointing all my hopes toward one small bough wouldn't, I know, be a smart use of sight; so I haven't, exactly, but we shall see. - 16 of 25 - Brian A. J. Salchert