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Everything posted by TomPeters

  1. Poetry Pinelands bushes Reclusive lowland hearties Pink blossoms, Dark cranberries, punches to the tongue Laying low and heavy in the scratch. Come men with sticks Beating old maid fruit from Chaparral’s maternal clutch White sands cluttered with rootless exiles Each berry pitted with a hidden puff of air. The berry’s latent lightness Caged greatness waiting to rise Waiting upon mild craft, On husbanding attention, On weight, pressure, moments made. The men flood the bog Crash of water, The broken bob a-twitch From their momentary sea-bed Holy Ghost buoyant Pulled sky tall Rupturing the wine-dark surface Winning crisp and happy Barrens wind.
  2. RevAl, thank you for your insightful expansion on my comment. Such a substantive exchange of ideas actually itself somewhat eases my sense of solitude. There is intelligent life on Earth after all! Our shared sentiments, though made worse by the modern age of technology, have precedents in earlier times. I think it was Thoreau, in the telegraph age, who said that soon we shall have the ability to speak instantly from one side of the country to another, but the question is whether we will have anything worthwhile to say. [ETA: I think the Thoreau quote is this: "We are in great haste to construct a magnetic telegraph from Maine to Texas, but Maine and Texas, it may be, have nothing important to communicate. . . . We are eager to tunnel under the Atlantic . . . ; but perchance the first news that will leak through the broad, flapping American ear will be that the Princess Adelaide has the whooping cough."] Technology's a big part of it; I think also economic mobility and the fracturing of the family; a reduced sense of confidence in any definitive set of core shared values or even any canon of art, literature, or thought; as well as an unbelievable amount of economic specialization such that it's often very hard to identify a profession or trade you're part of an interact with on a daily basis. I don't think there's any social solution -- just the individual choice to make the effort and reach out -- or not. Friendship is a sacrament.
  3. Loneliness is the black death of the 21st century.

  4. So, is the Arcade gone or what?

  5. Happy Groundhog Day to all my fellow Americans! Brings me back to Groundhog Days of yore, when grandma would bring out sizzling sticks of groundhog kabob, which we'd wash down with fresh savory groundhog milk, topped off with her patented Marshmallow Groundhog Surprise pie. And, of course, if grandpa saw anyone's shadow, we'd have six more weeks of ALF reruns. Good times!
  6. I can explain everything.

  7. Sign on the window says "Lonely". Sign on the door says "No Company Allowed".

  8. Took it apart and put it back together.

    1. Brother Michael Sky

      Brother Michael Sky

      any extra pieces left laying around?

  9. Elvis Costello Bright Eyes Bob Dylan Weird Al Dolly Parton Marah Live REM U2 They Might Be Giants Dead Milkmen Capitol Steps Mark Russell
  10. Can't seem to disturb the universe.

  11. Dear Sarah, One: Postcards From Your Flesh and Blood You, my older sister, were born dead. Tiny, blue, and cold. No warning, no reason. A year later, to universal relief and joy, I came, kicking and screaming. The medical chart for Baby Boy Bond noted, “conjoined supernumerary spiritual appendage”. Telling the parents was “contraindicated”. Two lifelines line my palm, one faint and one strong. Doctors often misdiagnose a heart murmur, because they hear through the stethoscope both my loud lub-dub, and a little echo trailing after. You and I, my sister Sarah, share one life, I the broad pane of glass, And you the spirit etched thereon Eyes burning black with feverish death Bony hands gripping Holy Scripture You’ve torn out every chapter but Lamentations. Enough, big sister. I sing of peace, and love The heralds of the soon-to-be Speak of a redemption Only so far denied. In this, if in anything, I believe. Two: Plea for Reconciliation Sister, confess your mysteries to me. Let me purchase from you, By my industrious silence, All the unworldly treasures You hoard and shield from light. Touch my fingertips. Read my open eyes, Soft blue and green, Pupils ringed with gold, You see no judge, Nor petty magistrate. I would not presume To badger you with Mere law, Right and wrong, When there is so much more Breaking beneath your ice, Beauteous, bountiful monstrosities, Cannibal gods, Platonic forms, Poison spiders gleaming on produce. I’ll forgive you, Oh, everything and more, Just know that I, Like you, Burn with the ghost of a flame. Three: The Childhood of the Living and the Dead Dear Sister, do you recall on childhood’s edge, You guided my hand and filled the world With crayon icons of the monstrous? Old souls Hatched from tabernacles Of no line, no modification, no descent Bearing the thumbprint of the Living God A mark indelible From before the first shuddering intake of breath Our father and mother made. Monsters: One had eyes like shoeshine; One slept at the bottom of the sea like a concrete ton; One danced across the marshlands and lonely places; One buried the dead in the lands with no name; One wrote intolerable family updates; One brandished its loss like a rapier; One was known only to itself, a secret, like a violin without strings. We thought ourselves among their confederacy, you and I, But in the winter darkness, small and sorrowful, We huddled together under The unrelieved crucifix White flags hoisted high Pining for the erupting miracle That would sweeten, mend, and free us To simply chase fireflies To simply rule the world. But when we came to the front of the line And the Host was raised to our tongues We vomited it out, wracked with wrong No priestly comforts here. Four: You, in the Negatives You were there in the first flickers The brittle yellowing paper of my first memory, Helping our little sister escape her playpen, The cherry chapstick of my long ago first kiss, The black-and-blue Little League bruise our father was so proud I played through, Our alcoholic uncles performed wild magic Howled at the moon; Pinched great-aunts, saintly and savage Told in lip-smacking certainty Of eternal Hell. The gray-green seas of lazy summers, Even red-hot wickedness, greenstick fractures of the mind. But especially at night I felt your fingers on my heart Even in the seedling years Every day was a new day Task-crawling, burden-crammed Life, and life’s caterwauling din; But there is only one night The pause to which we ceaselessly return. We owe debts to the night that we can never repay. We could never grow but in the recess of the world, When work runs out, and petty tyrannies take uneasy rest, Slave-catchers fearing the wild, dim landscape, Too close to dream, Too near that otherworldly judgment. We have so much old business to hear In our little, anarchic hours. And, Sarah, we know why All prophecies are written on pillowcases And the symbols mean “forever”. Five: A Pilgrim Writes to the Delivered It was appointed In the waiting rooms of more important people That you should start at the end And that I should be a pilgrim to that place Taking the hard pilgrimage On skinned palms, knees bloodied and bent Crunching down on gravel and particles of broken green glass Cars honking, incredulous, screaming for speed, Down Route 206 I'm always approaching, never reaching Mile Zero, my sister’s other home. At night, following man-made lights Suspended in space On off on off on off Spiraling out Repeating and repeating Lesson One to the uncomprehending moon. I'm inching past Inflatable King Kong roadside displays All night neon diners I'm rummaging through my pockets Paying another small town holdup toll I'm chanting childhood rumors Of the all-engulfing sea. And when I come Sister, we will baptize one another In the tears we shed for others And tears others shed for us. Six: An Answer to Objections Sister, you remonstrate me That I have lived and you have not That I do not bear the cross of a life that only could have been Even if my life were not yours There are so many mes as stillborn as my sister. I visited the Me Hall of Fame In Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania. Brushed elbows With legends of me To which I Am only a footnote. Took in breathless exhibits: The origins, future of me Me in popular culture, film star. Toured the burnished plaques Like third-degree relics the richest me, the strongest me, me the lion-hearted, the me that went to Japan to be a sensation. In the blistering cold Of Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania In the dead of Carbon County There is nothing for anyone to do But pay their $16.95 and Ruminate on all the things I could have, should have been. Sarah, we are all Rebuked by times unlived. Many shrug and smile. But happiness doesn’t claim every child for her own. The people of the tribes Made each stranger say the word “shibboleth” And he who lisped was slain as an enemy. Make you or I say “happiness” And any would detect instantly we were not to this word born. But still I fumble with it Like a knot of traps Unhooking its abundant intricacies with your Sometimes patient, laughing, collaboration. Seven: Our Hope for Future Days Therefore, I unjustly ask you Be thou patient yet a while more. We spread blankets on Palmer Square, And eat end-of-the-world gelato The inky night grows To gunpowder black White lights blazing through pinpricks A hush The clock runs counterclockwise Constellations break apart Come back together in new old patterns The mansions of the heavens Regress to astral hovels from which they came. And from the ashes The mighty glowing empires reform. We lay back And drink in The sudden reflux of the ancient past What seemed to be forever Was only for signs and seasons The hours wane All come to dust We brace For the very beginning At the very end.