Tom Clark Photography

meditation on a brazil nut

The starkness of a chestnut glazed table
willing to stare back at me with a dare.
It challenges with a static potential,
that which only a table can muster.
I cannot be envious of that.
But I do envy that on it sits a brazil nut
contoured by shadow.
A brazil nut that
too may desire purpose.
If it could,
if it were not
just a legume.
Though it too has grown out of itself.

I being more than a nut,
or at the very least
greater than or equal to,
do percolate with such desire.
But lying here, wrapped in chenille and scarves
find the realization of my purpose
much further off than the arm’s length
fulfillment of our artless brazil nut’s fate.
If I do extend my non-hungry palm
I will eat the nut, for the sake of Brazil.
I might.
But instead, as accustomed to,
I will not force purpose into my palm.

Thus, I continue to sit.
Encloaked less by blanket
than by denial.

awareness as a courtesy

awareness as a courtesy

Nighttime muses caress breezy shoulders
careening over little known instincts.
For bliss, for virtue, for loss, in folders.
On blocks of lady luck, we connect.
Using whichever craft of needlepoint
canoodles us best, to resurrect.

We sit and soak our nimble hips
in nebulous.
Jubilee delight
(so I like to call it).

               Some drive cars, most eat shit.
               We decay at computers becoming illiterate.
               Mouths flap, ears close, dogs still prance and babies pose.
               Little’s the same but most still here.
               Quintessentially remiss.

Togetherness, anti-retro world of narcotic bliss.
You know what I mean.

               Everyone talks about the same.
               The people, the places, and worst, the things.
               We’ve got shoes, we’ve got pants, we’ve got shirts
               and sometimes even skirts.
               Hats, purses, jewelry, blame, all the same.

It’s a kind of madness, this sickness is.
Oh, do tell.

               We drink, eat, shit, fuck, breathe.
 And move, we all move.
               Capacitize, monopolize, reiterate.
               Concretize, idolize, create.
               Philosophize, dramatize, rejuvenate.

It’s a kind of sickness, this madness is.
Rusty days, layback mattresses.
Don’t.

               We are parody, we are myth.
               Satire, blasphemy, tragedy, tryst.
               Hardly there, always here and closer to death.
               For those with bodies, only birth was first.

It’s a kindness, this awareness is.

awaiting sleep (mania)

Preening madonnas catapult themselves through streets of mind,
in purple pumps, flashing gold fireworks sidewalk wide.
S’not exactly right, that they’re here;
but we’ll let them bounce around until my head falls off,
just ‘til then.

They’re prophetic prostitutes, these nightwatchmen, frogs in disguise.
Fluorescent-tinted eyesores and pineapple-tainted breath
equal pressure on the brain.
I hurt. I fly. Can’t see any way out.

But the beavers hunger; they need less focus to urinate.
If they didn’t, and did focus, were able to;
they’d gnaw off their own buckteeth.
For they can’t see the wood right in front of them.

They’re not drifting on stacks as they should be,
or even floating by on backs of tortoises.
They’re swept up in torrents of moonshine,
squealing all the way.

Ouch. It hurts to have brain so wide and swollen,
to take murky, bloody steps through swamps of cortex,
one wet boot clomp at a time.

I taste blood.
Where from? The mirror reports none. I checked (chickened out).
Is it from the inside I taste?

The guffaw of nightwatchmen echoes through mindchambers,
warning of impending bliss.
Explosions loom overhead, pressing down on consciousness.

Sloppy red blood stains fat lips.
Lips of mouth sealed shut
by black ropey stitches.
Dried brown blood,
thick saliva oozes through cracks
with words unspeakable.

Fingers tapper out letters,
trying to make hand twitches legible,
readable to seizuring minds.
Attempts at communication
stress the stitch, pull fat lips into threads
that slice deep wounds,
as a cheese grater takes to a block of cheddar.

Grace screeches by on the taut wings
of a pterodactyl-sized bat.
Steroids. Eager. Pleasure.

Heat in the pussy, fire in there. Very hot, searing the mound, lips,
delicate inner fleshiness. Wet nubs do not assuage, but feel
to the flame like alcohol. Holes burnt into sexuality and innocence.
Secondary, really.

Dreams begin awake, scenes from an autopsy film on autoplay
flash characters I have not known, having conversations
I must eavesdrop on with superb attentiveness to make out.

Pressure on the brain. It hurts. Fluid flowing not too much, but
too much in there blowing up like a balloon.
Organs twitch with malicious tingling. Is this death?
Or just mania. Take your pick. (You choose, I’m not.)

Photograph by Bennett Raglin 
www.brphotocreations.com 
Featuring model Walter Hurley
Shot at Alchemical Studios, NYC

Bondage

a thousand ideas of bondage

The chains look quite different now–
Having morphed from a thousand ideas of bondage to actual cuffs.
A choice, another day. Yet chains are still chains.

Passion diffused to specificity, reined to immutable reality.
Desire reduced to just one lone force–
Still it’s the same game
As when the vices were many, centrifugal pursuit.

To say I want you
Would be just another doomsday greeting.
Confirms we’re both standing in the same field, that is, of existence.
It’s no coup, neither understanding nor escape from thingness.

So, is this the same performance you signed up for?
I know I did. But I’ve changed my mind.
Sweet punishment shall follow
As we don’t get to change the patterns set in our minds
From eons before. The now is merely a result of all that.
Yet we reside in the fantasy of immediate creation.

In this revolving mindfuck, we are no different
And so the compassion flows deep.
From within this requiem, I have no firm urging,
No wisdom growling approach or resist.

We must play these rounds all together
Whether with hands of denial and inexcusable bliss–
Exquisite choice or destiny divine.
There we each are.

In perfect stillness, it all disappears.
Save the throb of heart, course of blood and cosmos rushing.

Yet the silence of the in between is only that,
An intermediary until the next flesh thought.

Chains remain links to bodies
To lives and earths of unquestionable flux.
Yet the truth of why we are here is neither fading passion nor logic.
No, this level of desire is the soul begging for goodness
Through atomic revelation of seed and sight–
There where there is no distraction, no sex, no justice, no fight.

Only a love which has no name.
It is false piety and the perversion of confusion which gets in the way
Of wiping and polishing the chains clean
To present our vigorously exposed minds on a string
To wonders which will cease.

There, God is found.
Otherwise you still wait in the abyss,
A shivering masochistic lamb, the nether pawn of self.
You can never build your own light, without the nameless one.
Rebellion is a mere folly of identification; nothing truly courageous there.

Step and sniff.
Bow and obey.
Dissolve into mortal light.

by Jill Freedman (1971)

crusts of the poet

Smoke.
Trails painted red.
Trolls collecting the wrong fees
for dollhouses never built for the wrong sexes.
Liars lie where wisdom ought to breed.
Children bathe in too many shades of juice to digest.

This is a circus, I feel I’m in a circus.
Wherefore art thou?
Alongside me?
Yes. No.
Yes yes YES.
Phantom messes lodge in my seat.

Please please purchase me out of this life,
away from rainbow flakes of gravity.

So much expressiveness in toes
So much pain in the world, in people,
such a huge need for love exists.

Changeling stress won’t utter the words
you want to hear.
For in its furry body,
only farthings can get
the newfound dribblings of self
to scream.

Imagining self stains my goggles
with a pillowcase sodden by night,
a chance completed by sleep
and left seeping out
in a prattle of bygone.

Watered mouth,
a fully satiating self
sits at desk, so still.
With the discipline of Titus,
she surges into herself
by finally giving the world
its reason to beg for more.

Rub your beak in charcoal and see
the darling pea that yearns for a pod
nearing beanful engulfment without respite.

You’re a midget?
Well, you’re tax-deductible.
You heard me!
You’re so short
you don’t even have to pay!

Pleasing the likeliest of crowds
hardly seems a feat of great mercy,
yet it still happens constantly and consistently.
Doesn’t matter who stops it, tries to, or doesn’t listen at all.

This particular scrim still outlines your tides of life,
waving you up and around me.
Moon forces up the liquid love around us,
eternally, yet only now so tangible.

What is, what was.
There are so many ways to go about it.
This trifling, meddling carnage
which could be dizzying.
But lo and beheld, it tries not-
to be fortuitous and so newfangled.
Ironically never terse enough.

Pile on the zygotes!
Just high enough to tempt the tempter,
to bludgeon the mindstuff.

Flippancy will not delight
where toppling over preconceived jokers might.
Chipotle mediation for kind hearted, restless fools
in meetings of clowns and miscreants.

Please do not dismiss my fitness like that.
Secularities strike me peculiar!
“If nostalgia is a country, tango is the capitol.”

Splash out the unadulterated bliss!
Until there is little left to understand.
Only the last left sage branches,
spriggets slid through teeth.
Pulled off tiny leafy by tiny stem,
leaving behind bare-armed twig bodies
littering leafless floors,
The changeless martyrs of forest time.

Encrypt a poem
for the sake of the poem,
and see.

Photograph by Jill Freedman
from “Circus Days” (1971)

"Last Resorts" a poem

last resorts

In seasons we are, little but ourselves
straining our strangers through mirrors,
and emerging again, as neat shards of retractable dust.

We poof, we pout, we paint.
And still we end up looking the same,
at the legends of same, in the blood of same,
from the heartbreak of same.

Sometimes the nights move into days
before we have the chance to reconsider
our actions, our wealth, our skin.
Motives slide into decisions.

When we do evolve, our skirts billow
with the freshness of reflection.
Nights travel without distress, malingering under shadowy gauntlets
of childhood bliss, of mountainous duress, of the sensory caress.

Passing in and out of breath, we sleep
with more awareness than we ever had before.
For our souls, because we want to create.

 

December 2004

timeless dissent



Sanity cannot have meaning
      not as subject, nor as experience.
Insanity, at least, secured better references
      along the course of history.
Gender, as subject matter, fed the monster
      of revolt by making logic out of nothing.
If not geometric, our love stories belie reality.

And since angles exist in matter,
      love must have form and thus equation.
Cracked open, love does have four legs
      and three eyes, like anything.
But it need not see nor ambulate
      to be recognized

As the great obsession-objection of man.

 

October 2004

Photo by Tom Clark

 

Chelsea Hotel

memorizing the chelsea

I sit at coiled desks of copper,
with a mind more vivid than a walk to the window
could possibly enhance.

I’m observing you, surrounded by our fetishes.
The scherzoid of bells and whistles
suppresses my uterus.
Easy, like the fishes.

We’re trapeze artists,
simulating monkey bars-
only with love and pears soaked in cinnamon.

Emotions that look like hairy stars
run radiant spears straight at my forehead,
and puncture through the third eye
and out the cuffs,
dousing the room with undrinkable brilliance.

A room for rent here.
No longer inhabitable by me, but for you, a crane-
uphoists your knickers into an interminable fit.

An alloy of frankincense and catatonic blurbs
keeps frying your batter around my legs
and nibbling on my knees, and on my ankles-
’til they’re full of hounds traipsing tails back to pounds.

Flamingos and pomegranates wade in the basin,
fluffing their ears up to hear the humans
braying in the other room,
exercising their age difference,
cloying at mismatched likelihoods that common absurdities,
Gemini births and penchants for sex
might iron them together.

Cocker spaniels and harpsichords
crash their feathers together
into an uproarious tune,
better known as “the alabaster twist.”

Who keeps sticking meat into Grandma’s chocolates?

Bayonets continue their slumber ’til April
and parchments re-align the harvest
for lascivious, the luscious great grain.
Drumbeat of left wing, gracious paradise
memorizes the Chelsea.

 

(poem IV. in The Chelsea Chronicles)

 

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