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Sordid Sequences # 2

It was never meant to happen’ tells her tale with tear-filled eyes & a slight stutter. She of the priesthood. She of the Book. She of the League of Social Order. The congregation fidgets in their folding chairs & occasionally one or another will cough or take a sip from a hidden flask & on & on she goes. Seemingly, there is no reasonable explanation & when she’s through, ‘he of the four stars’ promises to find those who would bring this hell to our people. Promises to undo what has been done. To make up for lost time & the lies that have been spread. He seems sincere. Not like his orderly, ‘he who casts the first stone’. We’ve known him from years past. Racing by in his Aston Martin & secretly messing around with our women & young girls. Some say, there’s a bounty on his head. As of tonight, no one has attempted to collect.

Mustering What’s Left Poem

Abracadabra & away we go into the maelstrom into the flood into the maw of the goat-of-war where bleeders roam the pastures hunting a way out & a way to believe & a way to the wayside where Uncle Charley waits in his Green Hornet disguise & Aunt What’s-Her-Name snaps-up snakes for dinner & never says No to a passing grunt her being a patriot doncha know & here the wheel turns & the whistle blows & Joe with a missing leg & Artie with a missing arm toss the dice to see who goes first & around the bend with shattered knees comes the Black Reaper on his hefty Hog with all those furry fox tails & a blond fox too stroking his neck & whispering in his one good ear & here we go again down the shoot to the end of the street where the whittlers whittle & the shufflers shuffle & buttered rum is the drink of choice & chess is for keeps & here’s Buddy with his perpetual grin ginning-up another cockeyed ruse for fun & games & burning the candle at both ends one in his ear & the other up his ass & away we ride to the show of shows & one for one & one for all & no one the wiser & no one to blame. It is what it is . . . doncha know.


. . . unresting death, a whole day nearer now, . . . From: Philip Larkin “Aubade”

It hovers, like the stink of sulfur or bad blood, wakes you in the night, squats on the edge of your bed staring into space, unmindful of your sweat, your knotted fingers or your trembling lips.

It’s then the darkness closes over, leaving you gasping for air, staring into the chasm where no one speaks & nothing moves & you are now, for the first time, completely, eternally & forever alone.

                  In memory of Neil Lehrman

You Sent Me To Kill Or Be Killed

Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, the enigmatic figure at the center of the worst American war crime in recent memory, admitted for the first time on Wednesday deliberately killing 16 Afghan civilians last year, most of them women and children . . . Critics of America’s decade of conflict in the region . . . seized on the stresses experienced in the war by soldiers like Sergeant Bales . . .

NY Times – June 5, 2013

It’s Late. Night hangs heavy in Kandahar Province. Scorpions. Wood lice. A Mantis prays. Staff Sergeant Robert Bales injects his nightly dose of anabolic steroids, buckles up his gear.

Four tours in ten years. No time to reminisce, no time to dream. He’s careful to climb down the ladder reserved especially for him. At the bottom is the pit, Dung Beetles scurry. His head throbs.

You’ve seen your buddies’ shredded bodies baking in the desert sun, babies dangling dead from barbed wire, a woman blown to clots & bone by the bomb she’d wrapped around her waist.

The medic’s say PTSD – The lawyers say, booze & drugs. Tonight, Robert dreams mayhem: Spirits of the brave & lost will cross the devil’s river – He’s locked & loaded . . .

Night goggles & high octane Wild Turkey 101. My enemies are everywhere: In their tents, behind their walls, in their gardens & in their beds. They babble in tongues, sneer & wail.

I need silence to think. My throat chokes on our renegade soup. There’s nothing to be done. Extermination. I am the champion of justice, the avenger & the priest. Locked & loaded.

Bless me father for I . . . I am a missile unleashed & proud, a drone in desert camouflage. I’ve been sent to redeem my country’s honor. I am without home, without mercy, without guilt.

Pray for me as I kneel in the sand & light my torch. Nothing is left of me. I am slag. I am heroic. I am disaster. See me for what I am, what I have been trained to be. I am a machine.

Running on fumes. Nothing matters. The mission is at hand. How many must die? & why? I am marked. Absurd. Without guile. A bomb. Fused. As intended. Poison. Catastrophe.

Collateral damage . . . It is. I am . . . What must be known . . . What must be expected.

After John Zorn’s Masada (Live In Taipei) 1995

Disc #1

What does one call the ones who breach the gates, the ones who whip the dispossessed, drag our young women behind the wall to shame them with their fondling? What is there in our slim vocabulary to drive pain up the spine, to churn the bowels, cause the retching blood? Shebuah! & spit in the dust between their feet. Shebuah! & raise a furious fist that will never be mistaken for peace. Shebuah! & burn their first born behind their eye . . . where they are sure to find them crisp & cold.

Shebuah – Curse – An Oath

After Miles Davis’ Bitches Brew

Spanish Key (excerpt)

There’s a party. In the square. They’ve come. To calm the heat. Some swig dark. Rum from a bottle. Others. Smoke. There’re the girls. In their undulating dresses. Reminiscent. Porcelain. Dolls. Like marionettes. Weaving spells. It’s hot. Nobody. Hurries. One old guy. Passes. A bottle. Joints make the rounds. Saturday. The kid with the trumpet makes his way. To the stand. Hits that high note & then another. The others join him as the gnarly crowd twitches & shifts from one foot to the other. There’s a guy in a wheelchair. He carries a pistol under his blanket. Don’t trust no one. I guess. Can’t blame him. It’s been a nasty year. An old woman drags her curious son to see the hotshots in their zoot suits, holds up a sign in Spanish that translates: Too Late! Too Late!

After: Terry Riley’s Cadenza On The Night Plain

It’s the song she sings in his ear as he strokes her tender bristles, licks. It’s the song she sings in his ear as he strokes her tender bristles, licks the nipple that grows taut & dark under his kiss. & as he reaches into her to find that elusive spot she gasps as if to say Yes, you’ve found your way & his touch heats & her breath stiffens & his fingers & her lips & soon the stroke is urgent & her body reaches up to meet him & opens for him & she chants in tongues that reach back to the beginning, to the first man & the first woman, when it was new & sometime, even now, new again . . . . .

After: ‘From The Waist Up’ No Stars Please Music by The Trummerflora Collective

After scrambling for the last breath after chasing the last fix after wailing at the wailing wall after the big man threw the first punch after the small dark girl began to cry after all the money was gone after stumbling through the park after vomit & blood in the eye after the car left the station after crawling through snow after sleeping under the porch after the cat shit on your head after birdcalls & catcalls & sirens & cops after pistols & whips after no witnesses after a star fell after you missed my call after I sent flowers after you missed my call after I took another drink & another & after the bottle came the hovering in the calming sea after swimming into the sun after all.

After Fred Lerdahl’s String Quartets – No.1

To be certain. Relax. Think about that time in Oslo. She was to meet you. Yes. That was a time. No. She never came. What’s the use? Not now. Follow the yellow butterfly. Take a sip from the bottle. Write your name in the snow. Forget to forget. Mother’s milk. Some other time. Remember Copenhagen? Saturday night. No stars. Gobbledygook. Cornpone. Or was it porn? The message is clear. Random notations. After all. That’s right. Summertime. Too. Don’t squander the moment. Sizzle & squeak. Speak to the man in the moon. Rattle be damned. Centipede. Some other time. Say it ain’t so. Remember Chicago. 1957. Charley McCarthy. The Rubicon. Notes in the book directed you to swim to the watermelon. Must have been a dream. Summer is sinister suspense. Never did like her. Always made me nervous. With those scissors. Suck-it-up. On North Avenue. Remember? She’s on your handlebars. That sweet ass. What was her name? Maria? No. Clair Ann? No. MaryAnn. That’s it. MaryAnn. Right you are. Take a break. Start again tomorrow . . .

After her suicide

he gave his first prostitute a Tag Heuer watch for a blowjob & the next a puppy for the works & after a few more days of terror bought a ticket to Katmandu & borrowed a fellow passenger’s identity allowing him to enter a dream of self-immolation from which he escaped; his skin the color of rust / missing his eyebrows, ears & right eye. When they found him wandering the hills above Florence he showed them how he could remove what was left of his head & replace it with another that resembled that of Orion The Hunter – in his hands the corpse of The Lizard God & in his mouth a tongue that could never again shape his defense or tell the truth.