I hesitate to write things sometimes, I do anyway and then I spend a day or two regretting....not that I wrote down what was on my mind. In fact, sometimes things are important enough to transfer to a blog that I've run for over 15 years. Most things are lost into the subconsciousness that FB is. What I tend to regret, for lack of a better word, is the absolute understanding I have of living in a world where blindness to facts is becoming the norm, not the exception. Perhaps the facts and variables have become too numerous or complicated to fathom for the majority of people. I have found that arguing with willfully blind people is useless and produces animosity all around. I have also found that some people are unwittingly blind, mostly due to altruism to a 'perceived' common good and some, due to direct instructions from the 'higher ups' in the 'perceived common good'. Yet another type of willful blindness is solely reliant on financial/material gain. That kind of deliberate blindness is the truly unforgivable kind and embodies a sociopathic gaslighting of others in order to perpetuate more blindness and therefore, more financial/material gain. That's the kind that can eventually get a person onto a guillotine as was the case with Antoinette, Marie. Perhaps the devolution of societies and entire civilizations is a direct result of defective, erosive, blatant and imposed by authority 'blindness'.

Blindness is a subjective cognitive dissonance. It is our innate sensitivity to hypocrisy (real or imagined), in ourselves, in others and in civilization as a whole. It is an integral part of our 'social fit' in terms of group belonging, strength and if we are instructed to not communicate understandings between one another, we are doomed to a hopelessly downward trajectory as 'nations'. I'd say the most common areas in which cognitive dissonance has become a societal problem are not only increasing in their intensity but in their ability to cause societal damage. Some of those areas are: religion, politics and science. I place them in that order however it is much more likely that science is second only to religion in this. Sadly, we live in a civilization that has been conditioned to separate not only "church and state" (even waging wars to force others to swallow this extreme, killing them relentlessly if they don't) but to separate religion from that which religion is meant to legislate i.e. the 'state' and the 'universe'. As a muslim of course, I know for certain that without the state (politics) and the universe (science), "god" as such has literally no reason to exist at all. And I beg to differ. I either missed the memo or as a whole, others missed not just the memo but the entire operational handbook. I assure you, I missed nothing. What is more, we as muslims share this certainty with a whole contingent of other people in other 'religions' for lack of a better word. I urge those people to put aside their petty complaints about the personification of the unseen, their ideas of saviors and multiple sources for the same damn thing..... If only for the few minutes it will take to hear me out.

We live in a time where society has exiled their own creator to the sidelines. And it shows. We are ALL IN whether we know so or not. I refer to an important Quranic analogy about the sun and the moon being asked (by God) whether they would submit 'willingly or unwillingly'. Both replied, willingly. Neither of them were told to submit to humankind. Unlike the angels and the devils (djinn) who were ordered to follow specific directives. Angels follow immutable directives from God himself (and have no free will)and the djinn, follow directives both from "God" and from mankind. I assure you, they isn't too happy about that either. Unfortunately, some people got that a bit mixed up and believe the devils can control human beings. They can't but they will help humans to do the wrong thing if the human is so inspired to do so. And look around you. Many of them are doing exactly that...with seemingly magical means of ordering people to do what they are supposedly told to do. Like believe in Global Warming in spite of evidence to the contrary. Big evidence.

In this case I will again comment on a matter that presented itself and live with my own regrets as I see fit. Apparently yesterday, an article appeared in alot of FB feeds. It caused an acquaintance of mine some consternation because as an artist/activist/scientist, they didn't want to talk about it.. It was yet another man made global warming fear mongering article. I didn't take it seriously but many people did. People on both sides of the issue. Some people literally made videos about the idea that the article suggested an armageddonist message....from the left or rather the so called "left" which is peopled much more by agnostics/athiests than it is from theists and their ilk. So, regretfully I must respond to this gag order communicated to me by an innocent activist/artist/scientist who appears to be trying to follow the instructions the article gave. The article which disingenuously attached Trump and coal (unpopular things to liberal people) to scientific prophecy. Not for lack of a better word because science is prophecy. Like it or not.

The article originated from the United Nations, the same UN which has failed the Palestinian people over and over and over, turning blind eye after blind eye to state terrorism in numerous countries like Rwanda Cambodia and East Timor to name only a few. The same UN which sponsored one of the largest all-country burglaries WITH bribery programs (Food for Oil headed by the discredited Kofi Annan) in Iraq based on false evidence of WOMD which were never ever found. The agency that continues to aid and abet the ongoing wars on Arab people being waged by some seriously bad international actors (Israel, USA, Saudi Arabia). The UN that turns a blind eye to the starvation and suffering of the Yemeni people. And now, they hope to "save us all"....from ourselves? Are you kidding me?

The "global warming" article is "peer reviewed" but only by the "peers" embedded in the IPCC (a special branch of the UN) which is literally paid to prove global warming versus doing things the way they are actually done in science by considering all the variables (like the little tiny fireball in the sky known as the sun). In science, theories are tested and if they survive, are used to provide 'predictability' (prophecy). Few if any 'theories' are ever determined to be "settled" and that applies right on down to the theory of the speed of light. Yes. Some people don't know this but in science there are things known as Constants which are not constant at all. What has been determined, sometimes even by the researchers who discovered these hard core variables in the first place, is that CONSTANTS actually CHANGE over time and are dependent on a multitude of other variables, some of which are also these very same wayward "constants". E=MC squared is not the bedrock of all things we once thought it was. Worse, it can only remain constant if the universe has more than four dimensions (X, Y, Z and Time). The ones that we can actually study are truly very limited, as limited as the constants of 'religion' and the 'five' senses. The ones they create in mathematics (I refer to as mythematics) such as string theory (versus a much more likely 'theory of everything' known as the Electric Universe) are imaginary (the unseen world known as 'al ghaib' in Islam). Like "god" we can never ever know if they actually exist (through direct observation Big Bang-in-vivo versus God sitting on a cloud-o) and have no hope of actually studying an outcome...except...through mythematics which implies both logic and reason but doesn't actually prove it in real world evidence. Like the Big Bang which happened in the past and is utterly, entirely unobservable and developed mainly by Jesuit priest/scientists. All of those imaginary causes can only be observed indirectly and without direct observation, they will remain theories and for some (agnostics) that also applies to "god". No athiests then should legitimately support the Big Bang. That would be the most contradictory stance and quite laughable in terms of logical deductive reasoning. As well, many of these 'theories' are not what we call "reproducible" which in "science" is critical and much more so in what is known as "cosmology." Predictability, not the speed of light or other such "constants", is the real bedrock of science. Oddly enough, predictability is also the bedrock of religion. Imagine that! All religion, every single belief system on the planet concerns itself with one important thing and that is the 'future' and how we can avoid hardship in this life and beyond. By turning to the past.

Cosmology is the poorly veiled answer science has for "god". One of the best examples of 'god' in cosmology is what is known as the Universal Observer theory in which we can't even observe the data because when we do, we inadvertently change it. We change it through 'human interpretation' and through actual influence on subatomic particles (do we really or is this another excuse for things such as Bell's Theorem otherwise known as 'spooky action at a distance'?).

Climate as such is not only related to environmental factors (a blend of natural and man made (created using nature) influences) but more importantly, things way way out of human control in the realm of this same and 'godlike' cosmology. Not only out of human control but mostly outside of our ability to even observe it, forget even theorizing over it unless you accept that theories remain theories usually for eternity. Just like the afterlife.. If you don't think so then why does NASA spend so much money counting sunspots? Why has China just launched a new satellite that will provide vastly improved data sets regarding solar activity? What's the point of 'manned space flight' to planets that are as close as Naco is to Bisbee in the scheme of the Milky Way let alone the entire universe/multi-universes away from us? Why bother? Nothing here in Naco will tell you much at all about anything in Tokyo afterall.

Cut to the chase. We have now been told and many of us are dutifully following our marching orders which are being issued directly from the UN which has not provided more clean drinking water to the poor in the world. Instead, they have created more poverty (that THEN needs clean drinking water) in the world through numerous violent and state sponsored acts of aggression throughout the world by failing to hold the really seriously abusive states accountable (US/Israel). Benefiting not only from the war contracts that sprout up when serious issues are ignored but from the administration of recognizance in the aftermaths of these same wars...through so called "peace keeping missions". Marshall planning it all the way to the banks.

How on earth can anyone buy into this new weaponized doctrine of 'global warming' then? Since when has the UN done anything even remotely beneficial for anyone and even if they've had small successes, their large failures have cost millions the loss of life, liberty, wealth and sovereignty? How many times have they been caught red handed fostering war through institutionalized bought and paid for neglect? Not to mention, sex trafficking like that which was uncovered in one of their favorite hunting grounds called the Congo and Angola? Like the Catholic Church, the existence of this 'international flag ship of peace', it exists not because it is effective/honest/human centered but because it employs so many people and has self appointed itself to the 'human good' just like the popes appointed themselves to be 'god's representatives on earth' using smoke signals and insider trading. Some of these UN secular theologians are very highly paid having discarded all notions of that old useful vow of priestly poverty. Like members of the International Panel on Climate Change i.e. the IPCC who are treated to Enron-like island retreats and other career bonuses too numerous to mention in order that they continue to manufacture fake science. Fake SETTLED science. Who now are manufacturing this horrendously corrupt gag order by photographing a child next to the bones of an animal. They used to use sickly polar bears until National Geographic had to publish a retraction because polar bears are thriving. Increasing populations even.

Donald Trump appointed one of the most disgusting anti abortion, pro Israel/Zionist, pro death penalty monsters in modern history, Nikki Haley, who was just removed or resigned as I cross my t's and dot my i's today. Second only in terms of agregious appointments of John Bolton to National Security Advisor, who, if you ask me, has his own circle in Dante's hell right next to the Diablo himself. What on earth must be going on then?

That's the UN. Regardless of what you think about Dr. Ford's situation and that miserable catastrophe. No one batted an eyelash over Nikki Haley. Not. one. single. eye. lash. Not CNN, not FOX. Not the left that is too busy curtailing discussion about global warming and not the right that is too busy worrying about Alex Jones. Trust me, those two things are more related that you might imagine. And today, that awful David Gergen, CNNs answer to the burning man festival that the real rich and powerful men attend, owl oak lodge over in the redwoods...awful Gergen cited Haley as being a symbol of our 'stability'. To what? Zionism? He seems to be feeling the loss heavily.

But folks still want to love all this BS coming out of that monstrous agency known as the UN? Because if Donald Trump hates global warming, they must love global warming. They forget that Donald Trump has reoccupied the UN using people like Bolton and Haley. They like being scared and having others scare them. I'm here to tell you, you have your thinking caps screwed on and you've stripped the threads. It doesn't appear that many of you will ever be unable to unscrew your noggins because they are entirely jammed. I'm not at all surprised when in fact liberals embrace a policy coming out of a severely slanted and decidedly Bilderberg agency like the UN.

It's one thing to accuse human kind of using too many plastic water bottles and ruining the environment. It's a whole other parochially inspired nonsensical get-yourself-to-the-confessional and buy your tributes for the pope mentality when you believe that humans can change the actual climate, the cosmological climate that is so big that what happens on a star at the furthest reaches of just the tiny little Milky Way impacts the chlorophyll down in your little daffodil sanctuary next to your pot plants. Climate is not only God like, it has inspired many civilizations to build entire multilevel structures just to predict when the sun is going to rise in 20 years and some, in 20,000 years. I've come to a near conclusion that all that stuff about the Aztec calendar was real. It was real climate science, from the past, before we ran to the nearest Blockbuster to rent a copy of Back to the Future.

In Islam, we are instructed to go to the GRAVES. To study, in other words, ARCHAEOLOGY. The UN which has done its best to monopolize and cover the facts of the matter like the great flood and it might have been more than just one flood and I assure you, those floods wiped out entire civilizations and buried them with the fishes much like Obama hid the body of Osama. They will never be found. These cycles repeat themselves. No more and no less. Humans are not going to change anything about the climate, for the better or for the worse. When you are told that we caused it and we must change it, get out your pocket book because the next step in this grandiose robbery of mankind is going to be, we need to fix it. To fix it we (the cash strapped UN) not only need money but we need to inject the air with alot of crap like hail busting chemicGerman company was ordered to cease and desist by the Mexican government. Screw Nafta, clouds travel. Without passports.

Yes the climate is going to change. The beauty of this very rotten UN plan is that they knew that already. It's a win-win for them because they can always blame all that weirdly severe, early/late, record breaking snow on this poorly understood and studied only by those they pay to prove it MAN MADE global warming. They aren't really lying to you....global warming as a theory is truly 'man made'. I'd say it is MAN INVENTED and invented by some really corrupt 'men and women'. My challenge to people now then is to tell me how the IPCC explains volcanoes in this scheme of theirs. If volcanoes are not the smoking gun of predictability, I don't know what is. Mount St. Helens followed the ice storms in the 70s. It's right there in the record, we all lived it, most of us anyway. I guarantee you, global warming cannot answer this question, cannot provide you with your much deserved prophecy that stands between you and your death. Oddly enough, the solar minimums can and they've been giving that answer to mankind throughout history. The answer is: poof. Everyone and everything melts away leaving a few remnant structures that measure the sun's passage throughout very very long swatches of time. We too will melt or be buried standing in volcanic ash or fried in a burst of asteroid activity or hit on the head with baseball sized hail one day. Probably not tomorrow and certainly, telling anyone that in 2040 we are all going to die is not the business of Global Cooling folks.
We leave that to the Armageddonists at the UN IPCC who are putting the gun to your head and asking "all in"? No one is allowed a partial pass, just like all armageddonists who fail to comprehend that all things considered, who in the hell wants to survive that? How on earth is the UN going to save me? Or you? They clearly haven't managed to save all these other folks now did they?

There's an old saying.....never discuss RELIGION or POLITICS.

Now we must all abide by a third method of learning how to shut up and take it: we are no longer allowed to discuss the weather. Not from a rocking chair on the porch on a sunny day down in Georgia and certainly not in a conversation with a friend. Because through these various legislations emanating from a defunct piss poor church like the UN, things like SETTLED SCIENCE ARE ISSUED LIKE PAPAL BULLS to wide eyed, good hearted 'believers in science', Settled. Science.


It suddenly occurs to me, she refers to herself in third person using her given name. There is something innately wrong with this, as wrong as the use of the hippocampus to describe pearls to swine. Climate change can wait for today, today it is sunny and Sunday it will rain. We only need 48 hours of warning you know.

I woke up with a bad hangover. All that testimony left me feeling I might have chosen the wrong side of history again. They finally found that little girl who was strangled and left in the dirt, abducted from her bedroom by the assailant years ago. They also found a teenager whom he strangled.

Of course he raped them. Of course he did but we must wonder, since they are only bones and hair, was it before or after they died?

I'd like to be Louis CK right now or Bill Cosby. It's so close to home. She tells me he revealed another of the victims today, a would be polygamist who bought rings but not promises. A medical doctor no less. The bearer of the human torches we all ought to be but fall far, far short.

She refers to herself in the third person. She is never in the room in this act, always an observer or wanting to be observed. Like the hippocampus. The mysterious organ that rules all the planets or is 'thought to'.

Everyone is watching us all the time. We watch each other now, we count our numerous likes and even have a means for disliking each other without seeming to mean it as personal attack. We can delete this or that, we can edit it a little more and I assure you, the shot heard round the world kept me awake all night long. Because that wasn't a shot that was fired, it was a whole army marching into the fray, throwing themselves on their swords and remembering every last incident as if it were yesterday. I don't know but I am 100% certain about certainty. More like 50% in the virtue department. I know I am never wrong because no one truly purports to be wrong. Instead they just label it, dress it up with I'm sorry, no offense intended et cetera.

Those two girls pictures are on the front page of the free Mexican paper down at the store. I had no idea that the older girl was so beautiful. I love that the Mexicans do it this way, no holds barred. In other countries they show you the real photos. From car accidents to mass gang war shootings and beheadings. If life wasn't already so real I'd say, just wait, it's gonna get real, real soon.

Did I tell you I babysat and the kid's father cornered me in a garage, tried to feel me up and french kiss me? I got away. I got away from several sexual predators. Aren't they all? Hunters versus gatherers? I'm pretty sure I was raped but only if I change and insert a few variables. Pretend that I had not spent hours and hours in front of the mirror practicing to be a woman who needed a sperm donor.

She tells me now she hates them all. Her trust has been broken. Her ideals have been shattered. I want to say welcome to the club honey but instead I try to tell her: born alone, die alone, men = women. God's up there, here's the master copy of the test. Check it out. Yes, you were assaulted because you would never agree to do this if that variable were visible. But you see darling, they never are truly visible. Your windows are never really locked, your valuables are often stolen right from under your nose and it takes a good long time for you to see that they are missing. All those rights you did not really see as worth defending: your pussy. vagina. cunt. birth canal. Someone told you, told us all, that paying lip service to the labia is enough to physically guard it from invasion.

My mom's best friend Vera was raped with an ice pick. An ice pick. It left her barren. In more ways than one. She died a hopeless drunk with COPD.

Barbie refers to herself in the third person time and time again. As if she was never born, as if she will never die. As if the mechanics of the ruse are not as visible as they are. All that make up. We must all be clowns or geisha girls. We all have to side against the perpetrators or there must simply be something wrong with us. Because at the core of this problem is the fact that we are not in charge of our bodies anymore, like we were in the seventies and had guiltless sex. We are all molls in the mafia by now, dressed to the nines or naked. Forced to pretend that WASPs who go to binge drinking schools because their parents have money to burn were actually virginal girls in the safe confines of the cloister.

I'm surprised they did not attack the Jesuits too. I'll just throw that in for fun. Luckily, most of the nuns turned to each other. At least in my town they did. My best friend is a lesbian. She had five rotten step fathers in a row. Another person's father killed a man for assuming he was not just homeless but he was gay. The professor's body lay rotting in the tent for days before it was discovered.

We are on this wild pendulum ride now and there are no easy answers but the least we can do is not allow another pedophile strangler necrophiliac to live another day. By reducing our complaints to old stories of dry humps gone wrong. Or dads of the kids we babysat trying to indulge the fantasies engendered in them by Penthouse models with small tits wearing tiny kilts.

It's called a value system not a virtue system. We all know sexual abuse is wrong.


Fire Alarms of Citarum

Now, this is a new patio.  Same old stars and planets.  I think of the days when we'd not think twice over shooting out the streetlights, pulling the lever on the fire alarms even though they'd catch us with the blue dye on our palms, the place where our futures were written.  This is a new patio and a loving couple pass by just before dawn, clicking their tongues at the dog that they raised from just a puppy, that sweet smell of pup and love, that unifying element, that status quo of Western Civilization.  A dog named Boo whose abdomen exudes the memory of everyone's first bike and lost tooth.  This is a new patio but it's been here since the beginning of time.  Waiting for the sunrise this morning, waiting for the happy Mr. and Mrs. Smith to pass by, eager to improve their heart rates, lower their systolic BP.  Yes, that too, that too.  If I shot out the streetlight, things would come into focus but I don't own a gun.  Yet. I'd have to keep it out of reach where it would be of no use, would have to learn how it works and then, worry about it working, worry about how to keep it clean.  A well aimed stone would do the trick anyway and rocks are free, no hate speech intended.  They'd run to fix the EPA approved of lamp though because  in this hemisphere darkness is the enemy.  It looks too much like night. Mr. and Mrs. stride into the distance, holding the sin of their flashlight, praising and examining the character of their dog as the sun revives all this stuff one more time.  They'll be off to work in a few hours, the stores will all be open and no one will be the wiser. The price of Indigo is 4 billion somethings.  It says so on their hands. 


To Whom It May Concern Again it is coming of age, blown open blossom, turn key operators and survivors, coming up for air twice. Yet forty or fifty are burned alive, forty or fifty are buried, forty or fifty become lost scrambling up the hill to check. When the machines start to stop at zero, replacing the hums with great silence filled and fitted by one huge conversation between nature and her guests: promises and facts, big success stories, all of it gravity gravity gravity.


Causality of the Qiblas
-Don't look now, someone's done your starvin', CCR
The little stars are moving hard
knowing if right or west, such
great distances, monstrous dark
places in the sky. How strange
it is to consider the azure
disc, black and all so empty
save for this light as it enters
the lenses of atmosphere, one
after the other filters and delivers
to the Ard* her rainbows and cancer,
limonada and drought.
Yes, he gives light to the needs,
Yes exposes the hand that steals,
Yes says yes to the Mariana trench,
affirmative to the eyeless fish.
Brilliance strums the giant string
of bird noise at dawn as night
is bound to day in terminal slavery,
reflection pitches shadows on the moon.
Illumination brings out the fruit,
sow, seed and sweat.
Yes tows the iron and the iceberg.
He is Yes, flying those kites,
Yes brings the ants on home,
each and every time.
Yes is the neutrality in the dog fight,
the eternity of No
is half a heart beat long.

Causality of the Qiblas
-Don't look now, someone's done your starvin', CCR

The little stars are moving hard
knowing if right or west, such
great distances, monstrous dark
places in the sky. How strange
to consider the azure
disc, black and entirely itself
save for this light as it enters
the lenses of atmosphere, stacked
bandwidths and delivers
to the Ard* her rainbows and cancer,
lemonade and drought.
Yes, he gives light to the needs,
Yes exposes the hands that steal,
Yes says yes to the Mariana trench,
affirmative to the eyeless fish.
Brilliance strums the giant string
of bird noise at dawn as night
is bound to the day in terminal slavery.
Reflection pitches shadows on the moon.
Illumination solicits sow, seed and sweat.
Yes tows the iron and the iceberg.
He is Yes, flying those kites,
Yes brings the ants on home,
each and every time.
Yes is the neutrality in the dog fight,
the eternity of No
is half a heart beat long,
and the people bowed and prayed
to the Neon God They Made. -S & G


Detail from the Patron Saint Llorona Holding the 12,000 Year Clock-figure 2b
Naco was so beautiful at dusk last night....a little diamond choker beneath one enormous chinchilla collar made of cold steam. Worthy of a Saks Fifth Avenue insert yet all I keep thinking of are the particles the mammoth left behind, the hide and tusk cells still in the air. This mammoth has been after me since I was a child. Out near the old tailings pond, opposite the El Rancho murals and coin op horses...was she there on that broad Savannah, did she run up the old canyon chasing her child before falling under a hail of Clovis projectiles? Certain of finishing my mother's last thoughts as I sat on the front seat in the old Chevy in '72 and she pointed and said, "out there!" What if all those Border Patrol agents just started digging? We'd have a trench instead of a wall and rains like this would form a moat. How big is this castle after all? This. This is how Allah tells time. This is the over-and- over buried in the once-again.


However exhausting the ex lovers
that punctuate the lines
may be, there is one thing
for certain, it better not be me.
Time, for what it is worth,
doesn't wait. Even for itself.
I see that one everyday
hidden in the fender of an old car,
standing atop a bowl of lemons
crouching in the store window.
Nothing more than reflections,
little lights, darks and assumptions:
this must be a car, that must be
the 12th of May.
It used to be the sale of a soul
measured the length of our kisses.
Now it's the time between
Xarelto and Entresto,
named by the Gods themselves.
This is the ejection fraction,
here is insufficient data,
the disclaimer contains words
like 'hope' 'will' 'as soon as possible'.
Remember: it is a disclaimer.
After all is said and done,
after all the photos have been strewn,
the typos corrected,
our belongings divided between
the thrift store and museum,
the vacuum of our latitudes,
and longitudes, these solar polar
bang bangs shift into high gear
and since it is all towards
the famous improvement
of our generation,
you know, the one that escapes
the fate of the Anasazi, escapes
La Brea, escapes the dreaming-
of-a-steak Las Caux pictograms,
Since it is that.
Dearest Darling, Happy Valentine's Day.
The heart is a pump.
The soul is an occupying army.
These winds might blow it up
towards Jupiter.
I hear it looks like paisley
and the rain lasts longer than the year..


The Eulogy of a Thousand Ransoms

"When we are marching in the mud and cold
And when my pack seems more than I can hold" - Lili Marlene

"See how God is punishing you."  The smirk on his face must have frightened the other passengers, they must have moved over a bit to distance themselves from an energy none of them recognized as Satan.  The Evil Whisperer.  The commandeer of remorselessness.  Satan sat back and closed his eyes, chuckling to himself, as cheerful as could be as the bus ambled through the curfew colored darkness. As the viral count mounted one after another assault on the pious ones as much as those guilty of far greater things than murder, he could be seen back near the sullen little toddlers resting their heads on their mommie's laps, shaking his head over the ignorance of people, the impersonal nature of his God, the same God who created all these poor dumb human beings.  These runners from the fire scared of their own shadows.  

It was probably raining as he climbed onto one of the buses taking passengers out of the city, past the strewn-about bodies too dangerous to collect, through the dark coal soaked air of Montserrat  County.  It is the kind of rain that turns on and off without warning, a person can almost drown standing up in that kind of downpour, the downpours of West Africa that bring hurricanes to New Orleans.  She could not hear other voices in the background nor was she really interested in what they might be saying or not saying.  She knew who was on that bus down to the last demon.

Most likely the mood on the bus was as grim as it was on the bus she had taken from the airport in Nicosia to the detention center on the fair grounds on the other side of Cyprus during that onslaught in '06.  Ten days of heavy shelling had left her in an excited state of pure exhaustion in which sleep matters very little.  Sleep in that state requires too much energy.  He wasn't there, he didn't bother to call even though the cell phones and electricity were 24/7 the entire time.  Even though his own children were in the line of fire.  As she looked out the window of the unmarked bus heading out of Nicosia, she felt as if she was being herded like a goat to the slaughter, no idea where the bus might be taking her and her children if anywhere at all.  Regardless of not knowing where she was headed, she knew why.  It was a fact:  souls belong to the sender, to the originator, to the director.  Not to those bodies that drag the souls around day after day.  Those souls all return to the manufacturer one day.  Those souls are all on a trajectory whether they know it or not.  Of that she was certain, Cyprus was absolute proof.

She knew for certain he failed to understand the nature of his emigration now in '13, seven years later, knew he refused to comprehend that the battle was on for his soul, not his body.  He feared Ebola, not hell.  Last time they were together he'd said, "I cannot believe what you believe."  Her mouth fell open and she had remained silent.  It wouldn't do any good to warn him again.  He'd gone completely AWOL.

Indeed, perhaps God was punishing her for being so gullible when he'd suddenly turn on her during a long distance chat and call her stupid, remind her of how useless she had become.  As he mocked her by pretending to lose a tooth knowing full well that she had just lost her third and he'd not had a cavity in his entire life, he managed to look so terrified one might imagine he'd been diagnosed with an incurable disease.  He looked into the camera and covered his mouth, his forehead wrinkled into some kind of agonal death graph.  She nearly wept over his loss, knowing as she did how important his appearance was to him until he started laughing and revealed his intact incisor.  She had just shrugged it off as a bad joke.  As she always did, using humor to cover up the fact he was incapable of understanding other human beings, she hadn't considered yet the possibility he was now in a state of possession, not his own.  It was far worse than that and for that mistake born perhaps of exhaustion or worse, laziness, perhaps then God was punishing her for not stepping in a bit sooner by divorcing him long ago, perhaps when she woke up after a drunken suicide attempt, her second and found he had placed a baseball bat by her head.  But now it was God stepping in as he had done for her several years before when she'd tried to murder her own soul.  She knew all about the machinations of this mysterious war with the devil.  She'd survived not just a suicide attempt, she'd survived intact and burning with a desire to get full disclosure.  From God.  Who obliged her on a need to know basis rather than the want to know way most people believe it ought to be.  She just never thought she'd have to write a battle plan.  Never knew she'd be sitting in the position of gunner, thought she'd just be down in a trench dodging shrapnel with the knowledge that Armageddon was now on, full throttle.  For a few fleeting moments now and then, she almost wished she'd never been made privy to this outrageous contention for the human soul.  Very fleeting moments, regrettable ones at that.

Now though, she was too busy screaming to notice anything but her own noise, her face pressed against the laminate flooring as the pain inside of her chest blended with the excruciating struggle to yell louder than he could whisper in an attempt to wrest control back from her delusional captor thousands of miles away.  She'd been hit and hit in the vital organs.  Somewhere in her mind she believed that the louder she screamed, the greater the chance might be that he would just stop whispering into the phone, trying to dismantle her resolve to preserve whatever sanity she had left, stop her hemorrhage and restrain his mad ability to wreak havoc in her soul with just a look let alone with six words murmured with the intensity of an AK 47.  Into an electronic device.  In another hemisphere.  The world of the unseen.  Mouth to satellite to ear.  Enter through the eye of a needle, it is easier.  And the bleeding just continues for hours and days.  It's the Space Age now.

All she could do was scream and all she could scream was "Stop! Shut up! Stop! Motherfucker!"  Over and over until at last she lay quietly, exhausted and sweating from the writhing about on the floor.  She had already lost 25 pounds in 2 months, nothing tasted like it should and even if it did, she'd refuse it to stay at fighting weight, lithe enough to carry her own pack and his, light enough to avoid the landmines if she could.   She was in the midst of war.  She'd been there already for long enough to know the difference between a mere battle and Armageddon.  There is no time for food, there is only sustenance there on that field, enough to get through to the next break of day, the next night raid and hostage taking.  Somewhere in that bunker she realized she had the ransom.  It was enough to get both of them to enough safety to stop for a bit and reconnoiter the troops.   

Her friends would show up unannounced to drag her out to one or the other restaurants in town and finally they stopped coming at all, a certain element of victim blaming in their tone of voice the last time she would politely decline their final offers .  Her only appetite now was for information, for clues, for proof, things of monetary value, black market things.  She was also fatigued from explaining the complexity of events to each and every person around her, tired of trying to convince them that she knew where she was headed.  All they could see was the eye wall of a hurricane and through good intentions urged her to evacuate.  Seek a divorce, give up, we know what's best for you.

Thirty five years of marriage and slowly all of it was beginning to make sense.  If only it was the type of sense which made one feel that type of pure joy one must feel when their disease is cured rather than the agony they must feel on the day their CT shows a large tumor just to the left of their nipple, but the base of it is rooted in the lung, it is inoperable.  Regardless of knowing she was right about the email one of his girlfriends had sent, "you were crazy last night, did you make it home alright?"  Regardless of knowing that and the rest of it or at least the parts God had revealed to her, she still felt as if tangled and bound at the ankles and wrist, screaming through the rags in her mouth saturated with saliva and the metal taste of blood pooling in her lower lip.  She'd made one little mistake.  One unfortunate accusation that was clerical in nature rather than substantial. The email was real, it meant what it meant, he'd been out on the town with the lady from the bank.  The one who kept sending him messages on LinkdN.  Confronted with that, he scanned the message and of course, since the name was wrong, he had grounds for pulling out all the stops, grounds for another attempted assassination, no baseball bat required as he had learned from the whisperer, one need not use violence in the netherworld when six words will do.

She'd attributed the email to an elderly Catholic woman, the head of a charitable group working for USAID, instead of the actual sender.  The sender was actually just another poverty stricken mistress of which there must have been at least four or five, perhaps more.  It wasn't her fault, there were so many names and things to go through and she'd mixed up the names.  She had piles of bank statements next to her computer in the guest room.  The stack of paper was such that if the door sucked closed suddenly from a draft, they'd slip off the desk like platelets forming enormous clots of white on the floor, one after another drifting through the air.  She'd pick them up each time, scouring them as she did and find one more cash withdrawal from a bank machine near a casino on the reservation in Tucson.  She'd mark it with one of the yellow highlighters and replace all of it into chronological order once again.  The time line would expand another month or two, January 2009 to March 2009 and on to this afternoon, "..see how God is punishing you?"

Perhaps God was punishing her as she shut the front door and watched the officers check in using their radios at their car out front.  They ran her in the system, cautioned her to change her address at the DMV, saw there were no outstanding tickets or warrants, no protection orders and handed her driver's license back, their faces a combination of pity and seriousness. They must have seen it all in their jobs.  From dead cows out on 92 to meth addicts holding guns to their head up at one of the dumpsters on American Avenue a mile away from her home.  Her neighbors were all on board, she'd warned them one by one that things might not be normal at her house for a while.  She'd told Janice of course.  Told her the marriage might be over.  The old woman across the street was trying to quit smoking but would call her up to bum a cigarette now and then.  It was nice to have a neighbor who for the price of a Pall Mall would listen to her laments for a half hour.  Janice advised her to get a boyfriend.  Standard advice from those not privy to the real issue at hand, the End Times things.  Those of us that know Armageddon gets us all.

This afternoon however, a gardener from another town had been trimming the grass across the street at Janice's house.  He alerted the police and feared for the inmates of the house across the street, he feared for her and whoever else might be screaming but he couldn't decipher the message.  He could not have known that the perpetrator was thousands of miles away on a bus running for his own life during the Ebola outbreak, on that bus down a few seats from Satan who was cheering him on, chuckling and goading him to more outrageous taunts than the ones before, each blow more daring than the last.  Poor Janice must have discussed it with her hired man and knowing as she did from personal experience, suicide can and should be prevented but it was likely she didn't want to betray her friend's confidence so she went along with the emergency call.  She knew the woman across the street was all alone but "common" sense got the best of her. Janice's husband had put a gun to his head over a quarter of a century before but it might as well have been yesterday, or the day her son did the same thing a decade later.  Janice lived with regrets and didn't need more of those so she let the gardener use the land line to call in a civil disturbance.

After the door closed and the police drove away, she dropped to her knees and just wept. Her old dog was outside hiding in the garage.  He looked as if he hadn't been fed for days however that wasn't the case.  He just couldn't eat either.  When he died some years later she buried him on High Lonesome and returned in a few weeks to collect whatever bones she could find.  The ordeal had taken years off of his life, Ebola kills dogs when it can and as she dug his shallow grave, her captor who had become her captive stood near coercing her to finish as quickly as possible, as if this death did not matter.  Stood there sinning as he was wont to continue to do and this she knew, and this agreed to.  There was no option in the matter.  Afterall, she understood the machinations of this war.  She understood the ransom of souls, the value of captives, the unseen bargains and treaties.  She had purchased the lease on his soul using the five swears, she just omitted her signature on the fifth after he had signed on his.  She didn't purchase it knowing she had done so, she only refrained from cursing him out of fear for her own soul, that much is for certain.  She knew he was as clueless about that as he was about the old dog's bones, as clueless about the sign he related back then.  He'd been in his shop on Gurley Street just down a bit from Sinkor when a man fell face first onto the sidewalk, infected to the gills with Ebola, dead before he hit the ground.  No one would remove the body for hours and hours and he must have felt more than a little uncomfortable thinking that God had him in the cross hairs by then.

Sometimes she felt she'd signed a contract with the devil by forgiving him, by taking him back.  She knew he was incurable, she knew he was blind but she'd had a dream long ago.  Fortunately she had written it down and for whatever reason, it turned up on the battlefield as if God himself had tended to it all those years lest it be forgotten.  In the dream, his mother had come to her and offered her $20 to go pick up her son on the other side of town, a place known as the Ouzai.  She knew exactly what the money was for when she reviewed the document so many years later, she just didn't know if it would be enough to get them both through that dismal last battlefield.  She mentioned it to his mother who was aware of her son's deviance from the path she'd taught him about herself and his mother agreed.  His mother was asking her to purchase her son's ransom in the dream, to rescue not just one of the fallen, not just a compatriot cut down by friendly fire.  She was asking to rescue a traitor.

When she collected the dog's bones she took her grandsons with her as if to insure that one day if she ever had to relate to them the importance of it all, she could remind them of her vow to bring the dog home, even if it was just one tooth or a single vertebrae.  Remind them to leave not one man behind in enemy territory, not one faithful animal either.  Nor their corpses.  To teach them about the sanctity of their vows and the ravages of their abuses.  To caution them with some real firepower.  It would be enough proof for them to know it wasn't just another one of her crazy old recollections, those stories she'd tell them about her days in the prison or the time she belted a Syrian in the gut with a walking stick.  She might let them see into the dark world of the gaslight, the prison tunnels she knew so well, explain it to prove God to them if she ever had to.  And although she knew she would never would do that unless they were in danger of becoming lost themselves, she would never do it to harm anyone even him.  She'd keep his secret if it meant these boys might recall the old man when they meet him in heaven.  All children deserve that much of an investment.  That ransom gave her just enough leverage for the never-ending tenure of being a jailer with a captive, just enough leverage to keep enough ammunition in the barrel lest he tries to jump ship again.  Just enough ammo to get off a few warning shots in his direction if need be.

Those bones.  She'd hold them in her hand and see that dog standing out in the rain, fearful of her screams.  Fearful of the demon that was trying to collect her too.  Wise dog.  Brown.  His ancestors in the Cave calling out to him in his sleep.

It was as if all those artifacts might somehow be used to build the ark she needed to get through the rest of her earthly life, to carry a few souls alongside her if she could manage to stay boarded herself.  Sails made of bank statements, oars made of femurs, the windful whispers of souls and saints and shaitans churning up the waves as the faithful stand on deck holding on for dear life, grandmother at the helm.  It's a rudder not a wheel she says to herself.  It steers in a contradictory manner.

Sailing on this sea of memory, hand to helm, the memory of near drowning in her own sweat on the floor while Janice bit her cheek and fought the urge to join her own men long since gone, to pull her own trigger, she'd pray to live only long enough to arm these little boys if she could, these youngsters out with her robbing graves. She prayed to die before she'd ever have to see them succumb to the machinations of the war mongerer, the slave driver, the hell-bent bothers of the accursed one whose sentence has always been hell while ours is only yet death while we live.  To live long enough to show them that fear is the devil's doing, in the shadow of the valley of death, fear no evil.  The Good Bible says without showing one how to load a cannon, how to escape the darkness of ignorance, how to ransom a soul.  It's all just alot of talk to little boys.

Lightning flashed on the horizon as the intrusion of innumerable battering memories poured down on her decks interspersed with a few clear days here and there.  At times she feared the next storm, at others she waxed nostalgic over battles won.  Death nears without exception, Armageddon gets us all.  Even her and if she could, she'd sit beside them at her grave and remind them to wash their faces, change their socks.  She'd whisper to them, I loved him anyway.  I had to.  You'd not have been here at my grave had I not given in to all that charm he used on those ladies.  He charmed me as he charmed them.  She'd whisper, I love you both too.  She'd whisper, I love your wives even though you have none.  I want you all.

Love she thought, love is not what the rest of them think afterall.  Love is the battle, love is the leading of the troops home, love starts on a mattress and ends in the grave.  Love is the thousand ransoms you hold onto, hoping against hope you won't spend them in this life frivolously on romance and all of its trappings or waste them on the gamble, later is always too late in roulette.  The gambler pushes his chair away only when his pocket turns up empty.  All our days are numbered but the receipt is in the safe.  It isn't collateral.   

Love, love thy neighbor.  Love thy spouse.  Love everything and fight to keep it whole.  Love is better than Love.  She'll tell those two boys with regret in her voice that it's better to save than to spend and how she'd hoped to never have to.  Either one.  She'll tell those two boys, carry on.  At ease.


-the pragmatic guest at all of the weddings since records of hurricanes were kept

Ars investigation what works now
tons of nonsense pushed down
a throat pipe so why try
to make it up the way they do,
taking that old Sra. with a stuffed chicken
pretending she was on a bus
down in the Andes.  She is as real
as her chicken just in case
the evaluation turns up signaling the empty.

Add a few words in Spanish
mention some type of date rape
plead for change, borrow a few blankets
to set up the refugee center
why don't you?  Some old woman
in NYC shall don her coat of arms
acerbically so, pinching her own nose
while she scribbles a few throwbacks.
Sure, it's a democracy, speed of light
is the constable, subpoena in hand.

This isn't happening, it's already
happened just in the future
so write it down in case
the world forgets all that ESP:
News at Ten: the next of kin
have not been notified
but I'm sure they are waiting.
Pity sells like hotcakes
in the ash strewn universes
of California, gofundme
for burial expenses, who said such things!

I thought the ashes already did that.

We as in we, the two of us
walk in different directions
going the same way over again
back to bed and up again,
as long as neither of us mentions
the epiphany more than once
we get along, tossing soap
and paper towels down the corridor.
Dorothy Parker get thee behind me!

Here she is again, running the bookshop
on misspellings and typographical errors,
the trend is towards memory, aka nostalgia
so much hard work to create accidental meaning
but if you delete enough, the mystery
will spoon full of sugar-it-down.
Was that really a stuffed chicken?
Did you mean to make fun of the pilgrims
or the Injuns?  Might be beautiful afterall
if the thumbnail shows the real blonde hair.
They can solve anything now with DNA.

All I could do at the reception
without you was walk to and fro,
appetizers to smoking area past the bar
where a boy with a wreath around his head
 points his gold lamé shoes, smirks a gotchagain!
Might as well be a stuffed chicken
if it weren't for the raw aggression.
My nafs pretty much said no thanks
to the newcomer regardless of the parka
and troubling set design, some folks
are stars, some are extras,
some just stuffed chickens.

And this is the old Southern Baptist church,
my mother said the dress flattered,
I knew then that somehow
as the keeper of the guest book,
I was afterthought, not good enough
to be the maid of honor but I really was.
It is not over by a long shot
until each guest there understands
the first step on that moon
wasn't theirs anymore than it was
Freemasonry across the street
who stood there last,
idolatry pre-exists the world,
Tolstoy a distant cousin of Tiny Tim..


Dog Road

I still have his bones you know.  Out in back, wrapped in a shopping bag, tufts of his tan hide still clinging to one of the sockets.  I think cities are for the young and winding down through the avenues trying to get out of there on a late Sunday afternoon, the sun leaves burnt residue on the construction vehicles at rest on the side of the road. The blue sedan in front of me says SKWSDM.

All I want is to go back, back and back.  I try hard not to become mesmerized in this Sunday light, this late afternoon everyone sitting down to their dinner or folding the last bit of the laundry they started Saturday morn, this aftermath of all the centuries before it Sunday light.  The streets are deserted, Craycroft, Wilmot, Kolb* and the artifacts there merely potential energy waiting to connect with hungover drivers back on the job tomorrow, improving the passage of time for the great population, the weight of their bones.  Not suits on sticks and sacks of sin, just bones, just cloth, just teeth and hair, just growth rings in the trees. Yes, cities are for the young and by the time I reach the interstate, the light has dimmed to funereal.  Not at all a sad thing and to the right is the long line of yellow train cars that have been stranded there for months now in a bit of wonderous totally empty quietude.  Air flowing through them, animals resting in their shade, coyote pups being bathed near one of the engines.  Who did this?  Have they been forgotten?

He was there that winter and I've no doubt it ruined his health.  All that misery and really, dogs have no way of knowing which one of us is asking forgiveness, which one is casting out the demons.  Yes it ruined his health.  I know it ruined mine or took the strength I had left.  But still, I have his bones although I could not find his skull. I did try. Holding onto them one feels close to it, perhaps the way we felt as children with the pink rabbit's foot keychain won at the carnival, chosen instead of a live goldfish or a poor little duck that would end up dead three days later anyway.

I pass through Davis like fingering through a file cabinet, one canyon wall after another.  This one is the two signs eight years ago, one after another on the same day. The next one is Grace's daughter's leg pinned on the median 11 miles northwest and there's five or so miles until a billboard reminds touristas to visit the mummy over in Wilcox. At last there is the gentle sloping downward ramp leading to the Amtrak stop where I got off the train with my brother's wife and waited at the Horseshoe for a ride the rest of the way home.  Each tune on the radio organizes a brazen number of memories into just two or three.

By the time I round the hill south of Tombstone, the last strip that drops down into the valley, a remainder of Mexico still visible now, the light is nearly gone and it is hard to imagine that it is still Sunday.  It's the turn of a century and I'm horseback in the post coital universe of the dead buckaroos where I am certain no one took their chances without the third dimension to adjust their rods in the wickedness of the desert at night.  It's all just words and heartbeats now, I'll be in bed soon and nearly frozen, just breathing.  All the ghosts there might just as well go home too, back to their positions on the buildings near the throaty owl atop the cedar two houses down.  I still have his bones you know and cities are for the young, the amnesiacs, the seekers of WSDM.

*Kolb from a Hebrew/Armenian tribe that settled in Germany





Here where we suck on our teeth
for hours upon endless hours
forsaking these hard-won blemishes
and I used to think:
smiling, those people failed
at smiling.  Now I know.
The worst gets worse,
temptation gives way
and fires do what they are made to do.
At four the world was inside
a bottle of St. Joseph's baby aspirin,
the monkey blood was real
and it worked by looking
at the red cross on the white box
while an old man whittled
to pass the time, so far courageous.
At twenty the blur began to whir
a little, I could still run
a while on empty, lub dub, tick tock
and it was Christmas Eve
all over again, mind boggling afterall.
Bandages at thirty were S-M-L,
the black lady at the fertility clinic
said, "learn how to knit"
and I knew she was right
about each one costing one tooth.
In my forties the protective layer
began to thin, hair felt just a bit
more ragged yet there was still
an endless supply of saliva and blood,
I heard people say: hot flash
and winter is early this year.
In 1972, I calculated my age
at the turn of the century
but now, just twenty more years
might be too much to handle,
earthquake roulette, a ferris wheel
stopped at the top is where I'll be.
That was the first time
death got a taste of me,
August 18th, two fifteen
and it wasn't raining.

As it wanders beside me
pretending to be
the shadow that he is,
over the years
playing peek-a-boo
a book of matches in one hand,
a stop clock in the other,

 sneaky old prig
I'm not your type.

Day turns into
day again
I work on another molar
until sleep overcomes me
no guard on duty,
my seventh dog gone home
thinking: I'll be like the Indians,
head off to the mountains
where they'll find me
up against that tree
and smiling,
his bone in one hand,
my last smoke in the other.


with apologies to Paul Simon
Here where we suck on our teeth
for hours upon endless hours
forsaking these hard-won blemishes
and I used to think:
smiling, those people failed
at smiling. Now I know.
The worst gets worse,
temptation gives way
and fires do what they are made to do.
At four the world was inside
a bottle of St. Joseph's baby aspirin,
the monkey blood was real
and it worked by looking
at the red cross on the white box
while an old man whittled
to pass the time, so far courageous.
At twenty the blur began to whir
a little, I could still run
a while on empty, lub dub, tick tock
and it was Christmas Eve
all over again, mind boggling afterall.
The thirties began in the eighties,
they used to say: mature for your age,
Chubby Checker remix teen thirteen,
bonfire of the banalities more like it
so the black lady at the fertility clinic
said, "learn how to knit"
and I knew she was right
about each one costing one tooth,
lay low Aunt Bee, save your strength
for soda crackers and suppositories.
In my forties the protective layer
began to thin, hair felt just a bit
more ragged yet there was still
an endless supply of saliva and blood,
I heard the witches say: hot flash
and winter is early this year,
all so much abracadabra.
In 1972, I calculated my age
at the turn of the century
but now, just twenty more years
might be too much to handle,
earthquake roulette, a ferris wheel
stopped at the top is where I'll be.
That was the first time
death got a taste of me,
August 18th, two fifteen
and it wasn't raining, a 24 hour flu,
10 years old, baby blanket
Delta Dawn doing the dishes,
mom is calling in the cats.
As it wanders beside me
pretending to be
the shadow that he is,
over the years
Mr. you-know-who reaper,
plays peek-a-boo,
a book of matches in one hand,
a stop clock in the other,
he's been on his way
from Lascaux shouting
Art Deco! grand finale!
sneaky old prig
I'm not your type.
I'm under my breath now:
Day turns into
the shake of a lamb's tail
or faster, gnat begets gnat,
I work on another molar
until sleep overcomes me
without a guard on duty,
my seventh dog dead
and dragged off,
thinking: I'll be like the Indians,
head off to the mountains
where they'll find me
up against that tree
and smiling,
a badass dog bone in one hand,
my last smoke in the other,


A reverse painted lamp, all thoughts present to the mind in reverse because the past is over now.  Minding one's business a way of life after it is discovered there are no ears against the wall, no one is listening now.  Just behaving.  Believing and behaving.  Practicing.  Another tweet from that guy and I think I'll lose it.  He is so funny, so abrasive and tells it like it is.  Like it is to some anyway.  Not much happens between those tweets except the silence in the yard, swimming pool pump gurgling on in the background, birds chirping, gnats flirting underneath an invasive Chinese Elm.  The roots of that thing course under the garage, the house and take on the role of natural plumbing.  Aquaducts of a specialized understanding, a grid invisible to the naked eye.  I am certain, absolutely certain of this. No studies could provoke more thought than destiny towards each particular epiphany.  The noise of that prevents the sound of a school bus heading up the hill in late August when the sun turns ever so slightly and the light changes from white to yellow from becoming outrageous.  All those little kids heading towards a day full of hand sanitizer and criss crossed maps on the wall near the clock that they watch, waiting for their freedom.  One more degree and it might be too far and lavender would commence so much more ennui, would prove the Danes right. No, the sun is just right here in August.


On Par

With every Stark Warning
at once a tornado, a different bombing
these Amber Alerts, it's a wonder
anyone gets any sleep at all.
Just to clarify, this is a stark warning
about all those other bleak end of time scenarios
in which the abducted and raped,
pierced through savages hungering
after justice, starving for the Armageddons
types blather on about,
the stark warnings. 
Something is going on
no doubt about that.
Problem is, no one believes
a muslim, our veil still too thick:

Religion is the problem.

It's always been the conundrum.
It's a catch-22.


The Sea Shell
In this heaven shall they wait and all those
like us for you to pound your fist on the wall
and heave your head upon the concrete, to scrape
your knuckles before digging into your long lost skin?
Like your father listening stupidly to the radio
in this vault of sadness pending, as you tidy
up bank notes and shave for the last mistress,
there were so many things I could have told you.
It isn't love on the verge of the moon's darkest side
that locks those that ponder out of paradise. It isn't
the sound of night as it groans along and takes
out breaths one by one to examine them.
This ultimate secret that poisons the years
bloomed and blustered before it pried open
our mouths and eyes and ears, entered us
through our dreams and premonitions.
News and music and announcers whisper
sweet nothing into the landscape of time,
into the thousand years of study and testing
the ignorant and ugly ear.


The Parable of the Snake
Can't remember what that one had, when it happened,
a part of me began to let loose on the reverse side
of Jack's feeding plan, another spin off
with a nod to final debate, the gentle leading
as if we completely understand.
Who swapped peas for beans in the jar
and then switched jars, the one heart
scathed and debrided with scissors and flame
the other still chock full?
Too late say the stick men, too early
says the yawning hole at West 23rd,
keep walking toward the uneven light.
This army of bitten tongues swells
then retracts as if it is breathing,
a long tailed carnivore begins
and ends the similitude by swallowing.
Who will stop the marching? how deep
the tunnel winds toward the turbine,
tourists forage in the racks on the way.
We pass a sign that says buckle up!
There might not be enough love now
to finance the mortgage, hold up the cow.
These souvenirs might have to go, price slashed
and cells remaining on the handles.
A generation to come, several files by law
demolished in seven years like itches,
snouts and beaks crud and fodder,
bait and switch, rattle and shed.
One more long minute is all
the clock ever said as it clicked and tocked.



No one is more surprised that me.

There he is with his Qibla. I am fixated on the girl next to him, she couldn't be more than 18. She is adjusting her head ...cover, fixing it the way hijabi girls do when they are interested. Pushing hair in while pulling it out, eyes up and then down again, no one noticing the way their lithe bodies twist toward the object of their affection.

There is clapping and a bride and groom. The most beautiful bride a person could imagine. Her groom sits attentively near and love is revealed in its small moments. Ruths rule the castles of other people.

It is so.

I watch it over and over, stop, replay. A child wanders in and out of the frame, belongs to no one. The young woman cannot resist another look over and another. The cameras of heaven between Qibla and Qibla.

The two wests, the two easts under the pleasant lights . Tulsa. The way cities look from 35,000 like giant lava flows. The world is ancient.

And there she is, Rabab. Her heart beating inside the camera, her steady hand is on the wheel, and pushes him away and toward the person who with steady hand and that awful eye, one terrible eye and the other shut, packages memories.

How many angels were there? Two? Seventy-two?

She enters from the right side of his Qibla. Did she know I'd be watching her now six years ahead? How many treatments had been completed? In the beginning she used to wear ice caps but by the time I reached her after six days of one person after another entering Adlieh, entering Babdaat, it was clear that ice had not worked to prevent the theft of hair, the stolen color of her skin.

He is throbbing and glowing. His mind awash with houris. Taking his risik* before its time, playing the part of Sultan to his crew. The man of the hour and a child wanders into the frame, belongs to no one. The girl straightens her head cover, pushes hair in in order to pull some out. It is so. Take a walk on the Wild Side.

And Rabab turns him Qibla-ward, she is there forever looking at me saying: wake up.
handbook for freedom

-the skulker
-In fact the last yard
-is in the details
-Rub al Qali
-Letter to the Dead
-The Intercessors
-Dear Plaster Saint

In Fact the Last Yard
I dig grave after grave
to put this into piece by piece,
the advantage of time...
when it serves the guilty
is time, like Satan
forever waiting for the inevitable
to come, bartering and stipulating
as he does. Put each one to rest
says the self accusing soul.
Resurrect them again says the devil
and again and again.
Try to pull the scatter
into a single location
as angels stand guard
and retrieve data

and how the stockpile grows!
  I, the forever grave digger,
shovel in hand, half asleep,
stand in the stillness. The glade
of anger a few yards away,
that wholesome place
where the wicked meet death.
In the chorus one hears
the cracked voice of reason
who screamed late into the night,
death opera, she sings lullabies
to the frozen and ashamed.
If only the others understood
the list of sins, the stinging ablation
of forgiveness, the Z track
of the maze where the surgeon
cauters and amends.
In Fact

I dig grave after grave
to put you into piece by piece,
the advantage of time
when it serves the guilty
is time, like Satan
forever waiting for the inevitable
to come, bartering and stipulating
as he does.  Put each one to rest
says the self accusing soul,
resurrect them again says the devil.
Try to pull the scatter
into a single location
as angels stand guard
and take their notes.
I, the forever grave digger,
shovel in hand, half asleep,
stand in the stillness.  The glade
of anger a few yards away,
that wholesome place
where the wicked meet death.
In the chorus one hears
the cracked voice of reason
who screamed late into the night,
death opera, she sings lullabies
to the frozen and ashamed.
If only all the others understood
the list of sins, the stinging ablation
of forgiveness, the Z track
of the maze where the surgeon
cauters and amends.

...an origami in reverse
unfolding wing and leg and snout
Was it you that said
I am just crazy, that
my imagination takes over sometimes?
Did you whisper in low tones
that God was punishing me?
How natural it all seemed
in those times
all the wild animals tearing
at my flesh as you spied into our voices.
The checklist includes
miracles, backstabs, brainwashes.
A wallet sized photo, in the wallet.
The pink shirt which you testified
was green, as if that meant
I hadn't seen it
or the sandals and list.
The five separate swears
from which I abstained in fear
for us both.
As you thumbed through the files
in my backseat try as you might
to catch me offending another criminal
like yourself, does that make sense
to anyone but me?  And you?
There she is now trying to shake it off,
having the time of her life
as perpetuity forms into her regrets,
having lost love at that age,
having lost her hopes and courage,
all I see is alopecia and a black bra,
a few antics at the beach
and a liquor store receipt.
All I see is the desperate poverty
that drives non believers into hell.
Would it help to remember
the first call, the 'how are you now'
as I lay in a catatonia
from which escape is never certain:
love of my life/liar
and now as I hold back the demon
during lovemaking in a stupor
of mere tolerance, as I weep for passion
and her ghost, all is still
when I awake to the duty of ghusl
one more time.



When the owl slipped
away from the world,
he was in my arms
and wrapped in my prayer
rug, the one I keep in the back
seat of the '95 Nissan,
the murder weapon in
the driveway and it was
still warm. As he died
his head fell forward
like a newborn babe -
so few people ever see
an owl let alone hold
one, dead or alive,
so few ever hold both.

It hurt. It really hurt
to have killed such a thing:
half cat with hollow
bones and fake ears,
a witch with two hats.
For such a terrifying beast
they aren't made of much
and weigh no more than
a pair of boots or a rake.
There are no accidents though.
His body lay on the extra bed
until the morning. He refused
to answer as I returned
more than once to ask:

Which sign are you?
What can I do?
Are you sure?


The Skulker

Betrayal has seven layers, five of them destiny
sandwiched between black and white.
A card arrived with the bouquet,
in the back room on your bed.
The signal was busy the day at the beach.
One hundred and forty vignettes,
doesn’t matter what happened next or who held the camera.
In Adlieh I kept a key tied to my thumb
when you first met in long glances.
A falling star over my right shoulder
as you dropped the last vestige of your humanity.
She slid on the stretcher as we headed south
between love and the last meal.
That year the tomatoes volunteered and grapes returned
when beauty turned its hard back on memory.
I noted that it was a rudder not an axle
as defeat sculpted a new side between breezes
where we sat on the banks of Patagonia
waiting our turn.