hallmark

All things decay,——we're born to die,——
   We're born to die and rot away;
So "Happy Birthday!" is more a "Goodbye"
   To the year you lost on your earthly stay.
   I will not shout with joy today
Some birthday cheer I know is a lie:
   We'll leave it at this: I'll simply say:
        HAPPY SIXTH OF JULY!!

-_*

The Apeman Cometh

apeman

When I doo see a monkies pigmie face,
And recognize the thought which it doth owne, 
And reade a wits awarenesse in its gaze,
Ne doo I doubt we are from one roote growne;
For there is much in mine owne image showne
Such as I witnesse in the beastlie man;
And it doth neede one glauncing looke alone
To see such features common of a clan.
It doth indeede require no lengthy scan
To knowe the rabbit cousin to the hare,
And he that looketh on the monkies plan
Should thus perceive an hairie man is there.
  And he that doth this certaine truth rebut
  Is blinde, or he doth see with eies both shut.

-_*

To a Phonometrician

Gymnopedist, palate of color,
pince-nez umbrella-man in a bowler,
what playest thou
now? I can’t hear you.
Pound it out on the piano
like an old fish
fresh from yesterday’s catch.
Forte! Sec! Staccato!

Your garden tells time
by the flush-flat gnomon.
It’s cloudy. There is no shine.
It rains lemon
juice.

-_*

Numbing the Electric Night

lightning

I love explosive, TNT-like thunder,
Dimension-ripping streaks of deadly lightning
That nerve the volted arm-hairs to alerted height’ning,
The wrathful rage that threatens blasts asunder;
The awing, awesome power of nature’s wonder
That electrifies the night to day-like brightness:
Those still frame moment-shocks of watted lightness.
And so it was for me a foolish blunder
To drink enough to dull my senses numb,
And hear those thunderous tones as wrapped in felt,
Reverbing rumbles softened to a hum;
And pummeling rains, that blunt pound pelt by pelt,
Bemuffled to a pattered, drizzled piddle;
And then to pass out, hammered, in the middle—

-_*

Pipes (or “The Enlightening Thoughts of a Marijuana Smoker”)

The “Highland Cathedral” does not get me high:
Bagpipes and organ? You could do it, but why?
It just proves what I’ve said so often while toking:
The best type of pipe is the pipe made for smoking!

I hear Justin Bieber, and God! is it awful!
That god-awful sound should be goddamn unlawful!
His pipes should not sing ‘cuz they’re best used for choking,
And damn it! the best pipes are the pipes made for smoking!

I pick up my pipe, set some kine buds on fire;
I suck down some hits, soaring higher and higher;
And pondering what music right now would most rock,
I realize that the best pipes…are the pipes playing Bach!

But let me step back quick to add an appendix
That’ll make this Bach-lover sound more like Jim Hendrix:
Bach-playing pipes are the very best type,
But Bach’s music is better when you’re smoking a pipe!

-_*

Ice-cream Sunday

ice cream

It’s in the obstreperous, venomous wood
I spend the long, difficult days of my week.
I stand in the spot where I too long have stood,
Or climb the low hill to its stubble-spiked peak.
So, what makes it worth it to wake up on Monday?
The Saturday Scrabble, the nice ice-cream Sunday.

-_*