PREVIOUS NEXT FIRST MEANT WE CHEW, A dog like me, chasing his idiopathic hair...

van Gogh's Self-Portrait
A dog like me, chasing his idiopathic hair
bunnying back of th'neck

                 ... How much
for such madness: How much? (or banking
against my blindness, panting in fun, or

fasting my hanging tongue upon photons [sic]
of Dawn... like so many brilliant agonies

in the quietness of the westing Sun): I run
the melodies that make me... dropping

peculiar chords or moans scattering
icicles in the crushing concerts, frozen
in their form

       ... or maybe only lost
in th'loam of the Autumn half-warm

& yet nagged by Th'Plausible
& chanting at the stars, chained

in The Enchanting, wanting to fly
from the black, black roses of my repose

unregistered, having run from the lost garden
once my home, I howl at the moon with meaningless

bickering memories, scattered in the ambiguous
sounds of seeking, distorted in the stingy

mirrors... to a seed sowed in The Silence,

in the Quiet: watching the aphids now grown ancient
or dying brooding crowds coming out

to laugh in the rain--farts their fortifications,
smelling of inward pains... or looking up

at the sparrows of Peace that scatter (or the centipedes
plowing on their scented ceremonies), promises

simple as newborn ponies, What have they
ever heard of

            ... what are they
yet to learn of--that ultimate honesty
that finally authenticates, carelessly

prancing in their rain, and yet they also
shall end their days in the factories of glue

trying to make the connection
... Try thy best & t'Hell with the rest,

the anarchist ensembles trying to break out
of the ramparts of silence

with their crackles of Courage: They're dead!
they're the stuff that's fed, handfuls

of dogmeat spread in front of my face
by the demonic motors of The Ridiculous!

condensing all sense into th'spoilage of once-
elegant pretense, proud indifference,

indolence--Devour it! cries th'want
in my head, Devour it before it develops

its foul odor, before it brings forth
its rotting pestilence! and distills
( by its breath ...

into some dissociated Ridiculous Excess)
the exact, severe integrals of continuity

yet fresh (smiles in its immaculate & polished
forever by the rags of all outrage)

to an Exultation (like crumbs I'm fed on
--a dog like me, chained) before the Dawn

like some fabulous Tomb, Because!

velvet in its Sun of making, fattened
on the meats of Fun, only a make-believe image

mirrored in its form, conquered in the downbeat
of life's Song, crushed in Th'Uprush

by any th'least fragile gleaming
yet feasting on any left-over plausibles

sparkling on, remnants of the twilights (once
mothers of th'magnificent)... now disintegrating,

done: I look upon those formidable paths of Man,
now spinning in the forms of Faith (like furrows

trying to get a hold of Fate, of) the Future
like sidewinders following with fabulous intent

after their trailless tales, eating myself
my mystery understood but by a Reality that's

running away with me, unravelling into its furtherest
one-thing-after-the-next, the next,

which is all that we ever get out of this
piecemeal package (of a world of girls passing

in the park, or women standing in the dark, of lads
that think miracles are our inspirers, of men

who know it's all done with mirrors), wept
in the sweeping of the new-webbed I wander

though the laughs in my head, trying to avoid
the spider, drunk with the lithesome liquors
of the starlight

             ... like daredevils dancing
over the darkest bed, breaking the sound-barriers

of eternity (with my name, stuffing with my blood
the whole) of infinity I claim--Who cares!

if each man can only pull the chains that bound us
individually--if the only way out

is to convince all other men around us
--even those whose business (for generations
& generations)... has been the forging of chains
... the confines of this earth
but the smallest portion of the least width,

by the strength of all men will we one day
wander boundless through the realms sans end

O a dog like me, chasing, chained to the boniest
wonders of my avail, void past the breach

of my blood, ageless but in again, and stirring
stirring the currents of an instant

like a dustspeck, and blossoming
blossoming whole (only in the moment

that holds its All--own memory only),
melting in its self-go... I swat at

the fly that follows me
through its unquestioned why, so

superficial: So I show them all
my own peculiar chains... place them
right there in front of them all

& what'd you know: they laugh! (at
my indelicacy!... yet) may I
scrape my Mind down to the bottoms
of all the infinities (too arbitrary

to match my heights!)... Who cares! (about
this All, this gathered Soul, this Splash

of flesh): It doesn't belong to anybody.

I can stand on my own head and skip
over dreams of Liberty, a dog like me, masterless

in the make-believe of this brotherhood
I brood in... as unsurpassed as mountains,

squirming through th'earthbound manners (of my
everyday--yet can I think, mortal-made

the undying cosmos, yet can I ) feed upon
the ages spoiling the Soul to a man, spit

at Th'Omnipotence of The Permanent
with a word! ... yet can I navigate

high over the drought (of the Grave) with but
the lowly vessels of my veins!... yet can I,

poised on the peril of my innocence,
tiptoeing through the ripe, through th'leaves

that (spread upon the grass, describe
the Fall of The Cosmos, sawdust

in the grasp, lies elegiac, truths

that do not try too much (in the limp
colors of my afflictions, God's indelible

dingy, in the transcendent rot!... like a graveyard
of reproaches, th'Nothings that clack-clack

through Th'Night, all hearts bursting
bursting at their tongues, ashes & ashes,

in the despite... alone, looking down
on pools like liquid planets... I pant

in the many's warmth, overthrown by my burdens,
thinking I don't belong (maybe, This is where

we start... nobody complaining down the sidewalks)
that Th'Champagne is cold, of course, mistaking it

for Alka Seltzer (we're stricken & drunk
yet) gargling and gagging under the tasteless-

ness Sun! (the too-accurate biologic clocks)
like Chance's blind archers charging the Darkness

... like a dance of birds (is hurled): O
tumultuous Man (down God's galled galleries

like Doom the road... grinding their way
go) Th'Good, like feathered fantasies (go

Th'Evil dragging their choices like) chasms
trying to keep track of their lives (strung

together) between the lamp-shade belly-dancer
& the indoors snowman nourished by their warmed-over

notions: It's Summer, you know (and Imagination
like a trembling madness at) finding itself but one

amongst Fancy's numberless most-unstable stars
... the unwise wings of thinking already fading

in their Flight, O Why do we find everywhere
that we are living in a broken Life? when

we are all really strung together (like links
human), tumbling in the numbing cauldrons of art,

we are primordial (animals leisurely strolling
amidst dream's) immeasurable pastures (like

paintings, like statues) disintegrating in the duality
Who cares?... the little boy's toys are always broken,

we men, a dog like me, chasing the shiftings
of Sense, I keep telling you: Nobody's driving!

... there is no Master Artist at work,
I have become a dog (without becoming, I am

forever) in a state all but lost (in this indelible
World lost) from all forms, colors & purposes, aims

& right or wrong... the more broken they are
... those toys we make to try to get a handle on (to

try to put together Reality before it's too late

... the more broken) then the more they're cherished
by the little boy who thinks he has the rest of Life

... who's now an old man sitting quietly
in his Southern California home: catching glimpses

of the whole of life like occasional flies
and taking his fly-swatter to them (because

he doesn't even suspect that by capturing them alive
& putting them all together: he'll

break through the cobwebs that catch eternity
into its grand design... &) spreads it boundless-

ly to th'tiller of Time: a dog like me,
who knows... the only thing rotten in the state
of dem marks 's only unwashed feet, that
sex cannot cool one down

             ... it only beats
up the world like steel balls knocking in

delicate crystal bowls: Who cares! ... that's
the Soul's untraceable convections of perpetual chrysalis,

O no atheist with a stubbed toe ever failed to resent
God, a dog like me (I ask ye)... & glimpses like panes

of glass (holding back, holding back the all-dissolving)
Doubts: no atheist inside a plunging plane

ever sat quietly sipping Champagne & musing

upon the Nothingness (the tidal doubts)
of Man ... his saliva, breaking poignant

waves (tears of The Singular) Leviathan
Chaos (which are the sole source) of The Depths!

... so grateful for his skill at swimming
and dreaming of an impossible rest (as distant as

eternity)... I exercise my legs, panting
in pain, knowing I can never just be (that shit

dreamers reserve for Heaven)... O some old pebble
set forever at the bottom (of a most beautiful

river describing all the psychedelic logic of a sky
that wriggling high across the body (of th'motionless
moving) Spring...

         sifts to its sense, stroking
the lyre, boasting of deeds of stone (while
the watery, gentle fingers which expect nothing further

... comforting my baldness) Memory rests herself
a handiest piece of junk, the bushes scratching
themselves with the Wind, dandruff the progeny...

O monstrous plaster sand-bits peeling off
the California peninsula sinking into the Pacific

Sea thumping boulders against the bottom of the
hills on her shoulders stumbling clumsily into

The Deep, O my [how rapidly must her gloss dust,
my hair fall out, brains blow away into

Death th'desert (out of which not even
Memory th'Goddess may deliver us) from the lapse],

barking against my Fate: I chew at
chains! still fishing in The Desert with a careless grin

or putting in some slightlier moister bait
into Life's golden dungeons (as if I knew

it's never too late--wearing my NOT IMPRESSED button,
brushing off my traces) where I've been--Go ahead:

I dare you to chart me... with much care (where
I'm staring!)... I bring my finger to my lips

and hide behind th'thickets of sighs all about me,
a dog like me (what'd I know? what'd I care?

I didn't plant them--I only wet them down
now & again... for fun maybe, or because

I have to... you understand)... for a time
I thought I was the only person alive (of all)

... and yet, staring at Fate, it can't be
I'm really this stupid--without help

--it can't be that I'm really this certain! (without
lots & lots of other idiots proving time & again
it's so) "Surely!"

          ... tells me: a dread
that's now got me itching... What is it?

You must first define it.

Can't you see what it is?

How can I see what it is if you have not yet defined it?

What is it? What is it?! Define it--Then
I will be able to say what is it

--Death! scratching with maggots' paws
at Youth (delicate crushes)... the ancient bear

of Life dripping wrecked dreadnoughts
from its parched blighted lips (over the scratchy

desert): not a death you can die, but
a death you can smell (in the living)... taste

& drink, choked in a spill of stars, nailed
to yourself (by Dark), holding the raven of distance

in the still of your trembling eyes (and listening
to the beautiful speeches of butterflies

like memories)... marauders from another time,

this is the stuff that shapes your being (down
Oblivion's boulevards) ... if you're not too involved in it

(to notice it), if your whole attention span's
aimed at driving, at not crashing to the side:

You will see it then (the long, long, interminable
chain that links us all--The one I wish I could sever
& go my way)...

  but, how can I?       

              ... that chain is The Way
I'm travelling... No man can change his direction

except by whipping that chain (of all men)
into another direction: I keep telling you

nobody's doing my driving!... But, am I a fool
for trying to tell you such a thing (a cow

like you, a dog like me, O Irrevocable Intellect!
splashing in The Deplorable shadows at some beach

where I'm crashing... so easily led into
Paradox! by any of Time's slightest tricks, by

a dusting of swans & swallows, only, or some
more concrete shit going down (to live in Texas

... a cow) grazing lazily up on the top of the head
trying to pass for some sort of miraculous non-

electrical hair-growth-control with which to go
against humanity's mediocrity (for we despise their love

of peace, et ceteras)... take off the hat & show'em
the bull, grazing... That's nice, they say

--who looks at something strange (out of
his own volition?)... but no sooner let the World outside
take notice and

     ... they'll call us up insulted,
telling us they saw us on the nightly news

& how they (knowing us personally--next door neighbors
& all): How come we hadn't had the courtesy

to run over to their house first of all
& given them (first: the bull), no use telling them

"It is a cow, you fool!" ... a dog like me, I must go on
now... to the civilized East (to go on

living, dressing the corner of the practical-
ly no room: an old wiry chair) in some unimaginably
ancient style, the powder fluff stale slapped harshly
across the face, while O some dumb rollerskating

ant, wearing last season's sadd'st socks, rolls by
upon a toppled tree--I smoke (of its toothpicks) two'r

three packs-a-day like a mule, O a dog like me,
thinking about a totally nude woman, skinny & bald

( I live for the ambiguity of it all): stands at her corner,
rats running around her flat cat's feet (as she

sharpens her points, her cheeks waltzing & waltzing the
quiet, dead breeze, Time turned to childhood, wondering

if th'teacher will give any of us her perennial
Second Chance (she keeps up her drawers somewhere,

stroking th'lyre & boasting my deeds, how much
for such madness?... I'm fasting, completely

run out of rusted old nails to chew on
for asking: What am I?! if so little am I

I can be anything I fancy... Ah, a dog
like me, playing catch with the angels, or

wagging my tail at the feasts of Fate's
fruity tables, from which The Artisan will toss me

The Past like a dead partridge (and I will bark, I'll
bark blindly) down all th'centuries... while The Angels

laugh, until its memory wakes me in the-dead-of-
night with a horrible shock at its sight--Now, will I

stand dissatisfied and rebellious (at such time?
and laugh at the lamentably) ridiculous in life

... or will I jape out some dogged, piteous sigh
blank & mindless, and roll over & die (as have sighed

& died... all the other endless, numberless brutes
of my kind)... at last having awakened from the dream

of Time (to find I have completely run out of
rust nails to chew on, and Perhaps--Could you lend me

a couple of yours?)... Perhaps,
and ... you'll be wanting collateral!?!

Isn't it enough that we always repeat ourselves!?!

Isn't this the best possible guarantee of all
that you shall see me again--Well, if you insist:

I own a slightly mis-used second-hand wife,
a couple 'o tried & true babies, and--You'll also take

the house? All this! for a couple of cigarettes only!
... Oh, I know we're a long ways from Paradise (and

how did we ever lose it?... Were we booted out?
or, more likely: Did we wander away aimlessly

seeking only to find (a couple o' thousand years
down the road)... that we had wanted to stay (back
there)... after all?

          ... Well, yes), of course: all that
& much more: I agree to your conditions, a dog

like me? (how unlikely not to!)... Can't I at least
keep my cat?... No? No, naturally--if you insist,

What is that?... that is the newspaper
boy delivering me--Your... what's ten thousand more

years? I say--If they pass?... rats
running around: I'm down to two packs (like

a mule), am I worthy? Am I worthy? now...
You're an ass, only you don't know it

because you keep yourself so trimmed & neat,
you dine upon all the right foods,

you say all of the proper things, you can be found
at all the correct addresses, so well-mannered, so

civilized... and tomorrow I may cut out altogether,
properly, a dog such as I... What is it that you're now

saying?... Did I hear you right?... You mean
you wont have to take any of me (as

collateral)!?!... You're saying that (at the synagogue
to your faithful congregation!)... you will leave me

to my own faith, to my own chain! O thank you,
thank you--I will never complain again (But

why are you doing this? Why are you forgiving me
this easily? ... It's because you actually

trust me!?!... THERE'S SOMETHING

wrong with you, buddy)... a dog like me?
& banking against my blindness (dancing

the timeless ... with grace, yet!
drunk) as I swim down the drains

of Dream's (sober at the wake (only,
held down motionless (only: in the make!

Who cares!... this (is magic (this

is (actually (down right (Believ-

ing in me!           

         ... ) *13