Harkening back to kings and knights
that spoke alike in Frankfurt and York,
K stalked kilted cross knolls and kirks
from Bannockburn and Limerick
to the slickened docks of Cork.
When knavish Normans whacked and hacked
in their wake the course of talking tacked
and C became the hard consonant of choice.
But through dank blackness K meekly skulked and sulked
lurking in the background he kept his voice
and in those ages dark, K never bulked.
With a flicker of wick and tick tock of the clock
K woke to karats clinking in pocketbooks
rekindled by the knick knacks trinkets and rocks
raked from skeletons killed or shackled in locks
seeking knowledge of drinks to suck, snacks to cook
packed, stacked with cracks and smacks to the naked backs
of darker skin streaked pink with check marked tracks
and knees, kicked to kneel before plank crossed pikes
buckle, or risk their skull stuck on a spike.
awakened by weakened men choked to task
that kiss the knife, choking behind broken masks
crinkled with thinking tucked forsaken in brick.
Awakened by chalk knuckled monks asking to pick:
pick cake or the stake, pick flock or the block
Pick ax, pick cotton and make no mistake.
Awakened by skirmishes likely to break
when lackey met lackey like beserk cocks
K awoke…K blinked…K looked at the clock
K kinked his neck and hiked up his socks
hiked his knickers, took jacket from hook
kicked his knobby knees to walk
cracking his knuckles K partook
taking from the weakened flock
and K, once slack, joined jackels to attack
like a kinetic kleptomaniac.
K took kielbasa from Krakow
sprinkled with sauerkraut from Innsbruck.
Kismit skipped K east to Ankara
to toke on a Turkish hookah
and kick back in a kiosk
snacking on kebobs lacking pork.
K walked the road of silk
with kosher knish still stuck on his fork
and Kathmandu yet to bilk.
Karma led K decked in khaki
to ketchup from Kualalumpor
Peking kumquats, Korean kimshi
kangaroos, koalas, kiwis
Kyoto kimonos and kabuki.
K nicked then docked his Eskimo Kayak
with the Kon tiki in Waikiki
where he plucked the ukelelee
and basked in his pickpocketing knack.
In fire we found our voice. The endless howl
of vowel’s “ah…oh” pleasure and “oh! ah!” pain
opened, closed inconsonant. Furrowed scowl,
flailed fists, or grimaced teeth could not explain
stygian fears of neversafe. But fire
gave us a dream of dawn – a reason bright
to come together in the night. We stoked,
in darkness, great blazes, a golden pyre
cascading sparks that burned our cheeks midflight
as wails choked on thick smoke the flames invoked.
We learned the plosive pops of ember snap
dry kindling’s gurgutteral velar crack
and felt our tongues warm with power to entrap
crude ululation front, middle and back.
Shivering before, we after burned. We named
our us, our home, our likes and betterheres
our other, different, muchworseovertheres
We mined our lands, We herded unwilds – tamed
them slower, fatter – sizzling grease, clear
on the coals, licking busy lips, we cheer
fantastic stories. Truth flickers. Long, tall,
shadowy tales of hero, god and beast
stride with enormous reach in deed and fall
from grace as monsters, spawned of horror, feast
on primal fears, displaced and undefined.
“Someone will save us.” We need. We plead with loud
voices in mighty chorus. “We’re too frail!”
we say, we pray – too weak – Grasping with blind
abyssbound eyes, relentless we unshroud
enlightenment by clinging to a veil:
words, words, more ashen words. We char our tongues.
We scorch the earth with ritual and state.
Jabbering drivelous bloodlines, our young
rouse ancient desires and communioncate
with cryptic hosts. Infernos rise. Raw tears
stream down as coughing pandemonium
relieves our worried minds with apish thought.
You gave us fire. You gave us words. But fears
consume our livers still and chain us numb.
For light cannot dispel a darkness sought.
it does it now. not once upon
a time or wait until i un-
derstand what it is, what it means
and what to do about it any
did was done and now the only
it worth doing is between
the wonderponderings where then
and if cleave closer to the when
it does it now.
suspect it not to do it in
spectacled speculation fin-
ished specifying specks see-sawn
into “aha I told you” un-
expected ex-spectated – Look!
it does it now.
How could I possibly write poetry
with a pen as despicable and low
as you? Slathered in corporate logo
and motivational words of whimsy
cloaking an infrastructure grown greedy
with a cheery, non-offensive motto.
Art will not flow from such corruption. So
begone you wretched whore, slut, harpy!
Still…do you too not deserve redemption?
Is it within me to grant noble cause
so that you may overcome those rough flaws
imprinted(forced on you) by coarse marketing visions?
I think it my duty. I think…I think…
Well son of a bitch this thing’s out of…(ink)
“What’s your blood type?”
“O positive ;-)”
I winked with punctuated innuendo.
We seewhathappensed dinner
at a givesfreechipsandsalsa restaurant.
The friendsormorethanfriends decision
came before the water
We settled myplaceoryours
before the bill.
to more than tongues could handle.
I awoke alone
toogoodtobetrued last nights taste
of gotwhatyoudeserved regret.
Day broke my whereitallwentwrongs
when fingers felt
the stitches on my back.
At least she didn’t
steal my heart.
She only took a kidney.
I cannot hold the night without the day
becoming dream. Each touch becoming less
of you and more a memory. What press
of flesh imprints itself on primal clay
without losing a shard of essence – stray
immortal chance beyond mechanic mess
of tongue – a soundless, boundless emptiness
that once become is never told to stay.
Let go of then and open to a when
we next encounter now together. Do
not mourn your past regret with torso numb
and expectation proving fools of men,
when I will welcome you as neither you
as you once were nor you as yet to come.
The Sirens do not sing for them: those men
of sinew snatch “and”ing and “or”ing home
across the see. Letcher eyes lean in – come
chatoyant gleam – with stringy thatch of brine
rafted hair dripping, granite glistening, down
beside their puckered feet. Their nervous calm,
their twitching fingers creep on cragging rim
toward limbs – immortal crescents of the moon.
“Listen, I know a guy who knows a guy
who knows Homer’s assistant. There’s a small
part in the Odyssey for a chick that wails
like you. It’s not much, but whadda ya say?”
But Sirens do not sing for them and all
the others driven by the same old sales.