Another sort of topical poem.  I'm on a Ravenna Diagram allegorical roll.  You, cher lecteur, are meant to look beneath the surface, as well as surf the surface.  For example : "prose Popeye" is a pun for the Greek rhetorical term prosopopeia.  A very old thing in poetry... in culture generally.  "Personification."  Archaic, prehistoric, in fact.  You put on a mask (persona) in order to represent something very hard to picture.  An absent Presence.  So the idea here is that fanaticism has a very weak or corrupted "picture" of the Good, the Divine, the Holy, the Person.  So they attack ancient religions they know nothing about.  ISIS, for example (so ironically, the ancient Egyptian goddess...).  What is your "picture" of God?  We are all imperfect, many of us suffering from various mental distortions... so this might affect the image in our minds.  I think of Jesus in the Gospels saying "You must become as little children to enter the kingdom of God.  For these little ones always behold the face of their Father who is in heaven..."  Think of the adoration of children for the image of that which they need & love.  This is a psychological insight, you might say... to which my silly "prose Popeye" is pointing.


O big zebra-striped cicada
with the Air Force wings
found adrift this morning
in Sophie’s baby-purple wading

pool – can I identify with you?
Or maybe only your husk
was left behind.  Ask
Jonah in his whale, or Zarathustra

in his Cyrus-shade (serene
weatherman).  Inquire
of the Yezidi-martyrs
on their mountain.  Savage scene

of human inhumanity
today.  The mimic-men
love Mickey Mouse – then
spool to hate such levity;

they kill what they deny (themselves)
persecuting poor Me
in the name of purity –
pure folly (petty peevish dwarves).

I’ll circulate the prose Popeye
instead.  A sailor-sketch
of Pappy in his ketch
(the Pope, perhaps?).  Only the sigh

of Peacock Angel – delicate thread,
goldfinch trompette marine...
yet you sense what I mean :
bright Joan – ah! – surfing from the dead.



A Game of Chess


Another eleventh (August this time)
on brick-silly wasteland of
one shady summer patio.  Well
of hurry-up peas... bee-balm...

Joe-Pye weed... & yet this elfin
flower-team backyard
is not exempt.  The hard
news (frenzied shrunken headlines)

bearbaits me too.  From River Alph
to Yezidi desert, innocent
Peacock Angels get bent
down again.  The gibbering gulf

twixt glib libel & Guelf remains kiln-set
in demosthenic night.  Rainbows
of violets against violence? – how
coin bowl for Guinea-worm alphabet?

Sketches of Spain... Spanish Castle
Magic.  Convivial Jorge
the Gardenia been draggin’
me, all over.  Plays chess, too.

Iris, sez I, is a yurt-mother.
King’s taken baby steps
between crooks, bishops...
Q’s unreadable.  & here’s another

pawn to put in (yawning spacesuit).
A pair of carpenter asps
of the caduceus, Jasper –
dove from the deep.  Shalom (checkmate).



On the Inability of our Elected & Well-Paid Partisans to Enact Immigration Reform, or Any Other Useful Legislation


August, goldenrod of the Caesars...
& the paisan smile (inscrutable
& sad).  Drawn to the water table
of lakes & seashore, the sea’s recess.

Fold-on-fold cascades (irretrievable
decades).  In the crazy-quilt
of recursive fields... your guilty
maize, & mine (South-Sea Bubble

of the mind).  The Omaha train
pulls out at 7.  Osage
family.  On the last stage of
mourning (in the land, under the rain).

Traveling without their kids (Honduran,
Guatemalan)  refugees
from the stupidities.
Natural harbor (salty, hardpan).

Paralloid Congress troops into recess.
Up to the lake somewhere.
Collective crowd-esteem, hot air
fog spectacles with greediness –

navigators led by speech-balloons
exhale (from stingy lungs)
each bartered hearts’ unsung
remorse.  So an unseen moon’s

ray numbers our undoing.  Unkind
theoreticals & partisan
we mold a house from sand
that cannot stand.  Yet, love is blind...