Thursday, April 7, 2016

 Underwater, Still Breathing
There is an underground current
a noisy empty room
red drops hitting the oak floor
odor of damp wood
A stretch of breeze saturates
the morphing darkness
There is something simple
being whispered
something vague and sadly beautiful
We listen to the faint sound
of a mosquito
rising above our lovemaking
Bodies of reeds
arching with the current
I lift your thighs to my lips
the way a wine glass is lifted
to the deep warmth of a mouth
Your breathing swells
A chilled rain breaks
we float to the bottom
still breathing
trying to outlive death
Your sex in my mouth
is keeping us alive
When I resurface
the empty room is myself
A tipped over wine glass
bleeds across the floor

Yard Sale
There is a spy within me
tapped into suspicions
one eye zeroed in
round the clock
There is a ward
of smuggled wounds
convalescing in my notebooks
smudged so badly
that only I can decipher
the blood
I wake early
before family commotion starts
before the endless
mandible chatter
rips apart the silence
because my mind is groggy
standing before sunrise
because birds flutter
in such a manner
that my center loses grounding
My eyes are sky
pulled away from my brain
morning fog clogs my head
I am an old basement
damp and dripping
Maybe a yard sale is in order
to rid myself these shabby feelings
these ragged doubts
Today’s High Temperature
I threw flour into the snow
as if to say
this is white and this is white
only, one is more sickly
A yellow line crosses winter’s face
Fever is an atmosphere
as if to imply
the power lines are covered
with ice
heavily coated, frozen blood
diverting heat
to a small fist in the gut
First the ice breaks into fire
in the same way
the future breaks into war
The body’s earth fractured 
as though to move the enemy  
into the open
Then the mind is discolored
with bruises, voices
flushed out of graves
the heart stripped
In time, a clear weather front
moves in
a pale swamp of calm, breath
becomes fertile
only to say
I have given birth to spring
my mind buoyant in sleepy rain
my body in cool stillness

In downtown Santa Cruz
a tribe of runaway youths
drift along the uniformed streets
or sit in doorways, injured pigeons
wingless and grounded
A few of beg while others
exist as tongue-tied bandages
on emotional wounds
They stare with the frosted glaze
of winter’s windows
on broken down homes
hopeless and filthy
Runaways make their way
from mornings to evenings
and back to mornings
connected to one another
like seconds to minutes
and each moment’s lost time
will never be retrieved
Some are provocative beggars
shouting derogatory insults
as if entitled
to a hardworking persons cash
Others accept their poverty
in silence
as if their blood is polluted with it
A teenage girl
in ripped, shabby clothes
sits cross-legged
head to her knees
hands over her face
dirty brown hair knotted, clumped
She exists as a dry well
A beaten and bruised boy
of fourteen
assorted purple scars
across his impassive face
chain smokes used butts
he picks from the sidewalks
The Alpha male
a gruff tattooed boy
in his mid-teens
throws dice against a wall
while speaking gibberish
to his younger crew
all the while catcalling
at women passing by
His explosive arrogance
as unapproachable as a landmine
and each hour these children grow older
in their derailed lives
grow older against the unspeakable
of what made them run

Everything never happens. Nothing
forever, uncertain, anxious wisdom,
idols, icons, Infinite Poet.
Every mystery is free, is distraction
is necessity. Tomorrow begins
a blank New Year.
I am ready.
I think I'm ready.
So many mind spurs, kicks
and blows, footsteps
of words, heels of words
toes of words. Soul. Nonsense.
there, full center
ah, star-ashes spawning life,
unnameable, unknowable, unwritable.
I repeat, everything never happens,
it is true, it is not true, Seers, Prophets
Demigods. Choose a belief,
for example, everything chooses itself.
Across earth, droves of unrest,
disordered, unsettled. The future’s
jammed thoughts, brazen, agitated,
defiant, full thoughts with thrust,
bounty and punishment.
Big seeds of ego.
There is no truth that is not corrupt   
in a psychoplastice world,
in the muddled meaning of being.
Perhaps true, perhaps not. All-in-all
it worships and moralizes
O slippage of truth, half-truth, false truth,
plugged into nothing.
Ah such gratifying relief. Nothing.
So unassuming … nothing.

The spirituality of sound
of a gong

of a loon

the impossible grieving
of morning doves 
the cracking of ice
the drone of urban streets
trucks rumbling
over wooden bridges 
a cat’s purr

There’s a need to hold sound
to feel its pulsation

to see colors of sounds 

or to hear the sun mounting

the sky or

the bloodless and wicked 

sound of lightning

Ah, the overflowing tapestry
of sounds

with their invisible force

or the unconscious sounds 

of the dead

diffused and distant

or the meandering of echoes 

the broadcast, the transmission
the longwinded sermons
the cry of newborns 

the utterance, the announcement

a city’s cacophony, the uproar

the dissonant chord

the rhetoric of schizophrenics 

or Purple Passages of Deep Purple

psychedelic or progressive sounds

Om, a sound of guidance
the chant, the mantra, the moan 

of orgasms, the gasp, the scream

the subtleness of a whisper

Dah Helmer

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