'One must still have chaos in oneself to be able to give birth to a dancing star'- Nietzsche
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Poetry

Poetry

Standing there, thinkin

I might just spontaneously combust today:

a strung-out cellist’s crazed thrumming, smoky resin riffs

or a firefly flossing, light between the teeth of night

standing there, them sayin:

You can’t bring other people in   *ribbid*  

Just another sturm und drang mourning

in the lack of concentration camp, pacing

barbed wire eyes all around me, shower stall walls broken, graffiti  

The horse-fire screams barn up in smoke    the vanity of bonfires

Is it Guernica or “Guernica?”

You have 15 seconds to decide, beneath rohrschach skies

In this Auschwitz of the mind   *ribbid*

Rosencrantz and Goldstar pluck pizzicato at “Love,” 

waiting to be hoiked into their own spittoons

Outside the fence, outside where a fence still stands,

you see the thought-locust swarms develop the night,

clearing the koan fields, all ears shucking

It’s dark abyssmal dark in that Nietzschean way: 

(the black winks back)

Inside

we circle ourselves, eternal recurrences, and wait

for the Visigoths to descend  

Inside

Nero whistles at Dixie, the gypsy strumpet 

blowing a trumpet   the bulldozer man  

tumbles one naked idea after another

into an enormous wormhole, where futures generate

Inside

the minotaur is the maze

Inside

a cathedral made of gargoyles, its glass ceiling painted:

Adam exchanges fingers with the Abdicator

Ahab doesn’t have a leg to stand on *ribbid*

Smug-faced clouds spit out fallen angels, dancing algorithms

Ophelia finally opens a nunnery, she’s that ghost   just over there

And there by the latrine, Icarus does a header 

into a field full of uplifted sunflowers with Buddha-faced smirks

Overwhelmed 

*ribbid*

I shirk under the bed, Jim Bowie at the Alamo, repeating

Is that a noif?  Is that a noif? Is that a noif?

and count sheepish grins 

until I’m filled with wolfish grief

And now back to our regularly scheduled pogrom:

*ribbid*

-John Kendall Hawkins

Now voyeurs   keyboard jungling   tappy toe

gargoogles   down and qwerty   in the Dell

slashburning   by gaslight as they go

New World    Nazis phishin’  in Auschwitz Bay

(one jew killed   each second for years): don’t tell 

Charles Boyers   keyboard jungling   tippy toe

Dancing algorythms  of human clay

The imprismed light   Dante’s data hell

Gargoogles light ass-gas and watch it glow

Space between your ears   the last frontier gray

Colonial convergence:  it will sell

Slashing keyboard jungle   tippy toe

Fascist entropy   digital decay

In the big black man hole   rings Pavlov’s bell

Gargoylin’ and gaslightnin’ as they go

We know it didn’t have to be this way

It’s just the way all the dominoes fell

Through the keyboard jungle on tippy toe

Gargoyling and gaslighting as they go

–  John Kendall Hawkins

for Kerry

Out back in the garden, knee-deep in kale, 

her eyes seed baroque — old coffee stones

swirled around beds of composted worlds:

new grannies, wild herbs, and potato plants;

chicken bones (dog-gnawed); bees at pink roses;

crows carry on, a blue tongue flits at flies;

figs sway behind the dervishing hills hoist;

quince and blueberries, a dead brown dugite;

quacks, croaking, and throaty song birds; Hermes

toys a bandy in the shade of a blue

jacaranda; then the sun fades away

and rain plops down like paunchy Buddha bellies.

O, it’s a peaceable enough kingdom.

Through a spring miasma, her eyes kindle

fresh hope, a celestial prescience —

star fields in the black cathedral plasma:

no garden would exist without her mind

churning the raw green grist of the sublime.

  • John Kendall Hawkins

I will love you mercilessly and will beat

my frantic wings against the pane

until something breaks inside.  I will flame

like a solar fire filled with fugal heat,

and then press, press — a wild insurgency

of barbarians crazed by inner joy —

no matter if I create or destroy,

pushed on by existential urgency.

For whether driven by Donne’s tripart God,

Poe’s Bells, or the stark Stravinsky’s Firebird,

you move me until I am absurd 

with desire — like some burned out lightning rod —

a bird of paradise in a living hell

salivating metaphors at the knell.

  • John Kendall Hawkins 

Tacking, the square rig tense, and each bending

breeze a rapturous suspension; tall smiles

all around, leaning in toward isles

torn by tornadoes, almost lamenting;

blues on blues, the wild mast a metronome,

hoisting waves that roll and roar and riot,

with all voices deafened in the pilot

house, as we haul squid jigs and head for home.

All is lost, amidst laughter and the squall;

lost Dave pitzing his high-strung violin,

Michael’s cello thrums; lost skipper’s brass grin

at Jerry’s jazzy, sliding keyboard sprawl.

Dark first stars light the giddy levity

above the gushing black hole’s gravity.                                     

  • John Kendall Hawkins

Hero? anonymous bosh tacking luffing gulls
Ophelia swims up the river in a swoon
Hades moonsick Hamlet laments captainless coup
reflections sun buttered breasts glutt’nous mutineers
Leander hoiked into his own spittoon sees Light
Old Queen Margot plucks glockenspiel, and albatross
tone characters in search of the phosphorous straits
persimmon masks stretched tight as shaky chandeliers
Karl snaps selfies flush full of Facebook likes
Mary counts voices the origin of consciousness?
days numbers Shostakovitch the archduke trio?
riddles monuments to fear toccata fugue state
And thus thou art my love the Lesser Fool
A swim many one river fishing school

A Sonnet


Your mother cried through the laughing gas—cried

biblically, “Get it out of me!” and you

flooded out, long-headed and alien blue,

Jaundiced in mucous and blood, new eyes wide

open to a chilly ward with strangers

beaming at you, like cannibals, in joy.

“Overcooked,” one nurse chimed. And not a boy,

We knew, when Sam shrieked, “A niece!” What dangers,

we are, with our love, you’ll know all too soon–

molding you to a sad, misshapen need–

but, for now, we’ll let you be: urgent, freed

and piping your fair, obstreperous tune,

‘I amb, I amb, I amb, I amb, I amb.’

Now free me from this milkless form—goddamn!

I remember laughing real hard

as my brother died in front of my eyes

swept under a big black dragon of a tractor

trailer screeching WHITE FUEL painted

on its sides and just just not braking in time

gobbling him up who’d been chased by

the angry grocer with a broom for stealing

some ice cream into the middle of the wide 

wide street shouting and the wagon and the driver

and the screeching and the faces swarming in

the ambulance whooping it up and the white sheet

and the morgue and my mother shrieking

the burial and hysterical madness

my god my god I laughed and laughed

after all these years I laugh so funny

so exquisitely funny the way pain is

as it tickles your insides to death

A doctor once asked me why

stones should not be thrown

in houses made of glass.

They should, I replied

I said, they should

How else would one get out?

(Or think of Alice

at the core of mirrored shingles—

mind-menagerie, jungle of fragmented self—

ogling or smeared leers and everywhere eyes

with nothing to wipe away

distortions, but bags

and bags of broken stones.)

But he was not amused

and scribbled and smiled and conjectured

with his eyebrows. I glared

through raging eyes glazed with fear

and darkness all the way through

the Rorschach blots

building beaming rainbows to castles

and castles of refracted logic.

(Tears are constructed of such rainbows

and rainbows of such glass.)

Fingers pressed to the window pane

with the world whirring past

I wept cold as any stone trembling

all the way to the facility.