For What Its Worth

November 5, 2011

There has been in the West and in particular the U.S.A. a social civil war. It is a generation gap inside a generation. The baby boomers and their off-spring. The anti-war movements, the civil rights movement, the seeds of the environmental movement began in the late 60s and early 70s. It was pushed by a younger generation. But not all that generation. I remember marching on to the bridge in Detroit, marching down Bay Street, university occupations etc. The majority of my generation, the boomers, wanted nothing to do with any of this. They had bought into their parents’ or at least the status quo view of life. That it was okay the way it was. You couldn’t change things anyway.  And the only important thing was the bottom line. But we were idealistic. Romantic. In the late 70s and 80s, everyone became hedonistic. Then cynical. And then the Soviet Union disintegrated. Under the pressure of new generations in the east. Now we see this same scenario in the Arab countries. “Something is happening here. What it is ain’t exactly clear.”



Part 2

when she is not here i imagine her in perfect dreams, golden and erect.


Her fingers are always painted and polished. No one has ever taught them to worry.


Worked in a restaurant for five months washing dishes. Sometimes when conversation was slow in the dining room I would come out wearing a gypsy uniform, holding a violin, and recite Sigmund Freud. One day I got my notice. It read. DON’T FEEL PARANOID. YOU’RE JUST UNLUCKY.


Sometimes i can’t stand being inside my own skin. It crawls over me. The joints begin to squirm. Its as if I had already been buried and was beginning to decay while still breathing.


I’ve got to quit having these dreams re: death & clean underwear. Is this how the fallen angels felt the morning after. Did they have any regrets. What did they take for the hangover. Do they spend their time now lining their pockets with shooting stars. Why didn’t Christ die for them.


Why did I marry? Because it seemed like the thing to do. Go to college. Get a B.A. Get an M.A. Get my teeth capped. Buy life insurance. My epitaph will read – Another Victim of Social Gravity.

November 5, 2011

I wrote a long prose poem in my mid-twenties. Most of the poem is about failure. The failure of will. Of ambition. Of a relationship that is doomed from the beginning. With misgivings. A lack of fun. A deep sense of responsibility and guilt. I myself was in such a relationship. With a friend. Who should never  have been a lover. At least from my perspective. Although never unfaithful in body, my real self was somewhere else. I cheated the relationship. But this isn’t about confession. But something else. Confusion I think. And cowardice. Although admitting that is also cowardice because it has something to do with a general malaise of spirit. But you can see for yourself in Part One.



Part 1


Temperamentally unsuited for graduate school, was how the department head had phrased my exile. Noxzema drooled down his lips as he pronounced the sentence – emotionally unequipped for life. We had never gotten along. He couldn’t forgive anyone who had doubts about Descartes. The question never was whether one existed or not. The question was why did one exist. One time at a party before he had ascended into the chairmanship, we had gotten into a spat. He accused me of back stabbing. Of negativism. Of using wit as a knife on others. With a personality like yours, I replied, all I need is a spoon.


Woke up with a start. Parachuting out of a dream I drifted into consciousness. Holding her hands in front of my face. I pulled on each finger separately. What are you trying to do, she asked. I’m just making sure they still belong to you.


Naked beside a morning window. Her body gathers only the light that is pure. Long brown hair. The way her fingers run through. My thighs ache for an old familiarity. I’ve always wanted to make love to an angel from behind.

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