Man’s Search for Meaning

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I am number 119104

Moses told me to stay, his word echoing across centuries

Honor thy father and thy mother, declared the stone words-which,

Eternal; prophesied my long days on earth.

We, humans, departed, carted, from possessions parted

To hell by another name not so sweet, Auschwitz

We were concentrated-crammed into tiny train cars headed to concentration camps

Lined, searched and stripped—then teased and stripped naked,

The only relief the water pouring from the faucets as we stand completely naked

Our friends are smoke, bitter acrid acid smoke floating to the “Heavens,

Smoke is death and death is cigarette smoke floating to the heavens.

We, blank, battered, broken, beaten by baseless banalities-

Life meant nothing, corpses are gory rag dolls unwanted

Dragged bump bumping on the cold earth, earth so cold that we are numb,

Toes blackened, no scream as gangrenous black toes are torn

I am number 119104

 

Human no longer, but masses of bodies clumped nine to a wooden pallet

Shaking in nightmarish throes because it is better to live in a nightmare than wake,

To the living hell, our skeletal bodies clicking and clacking caricatures of death coming closer

Psychics all we could see death, coming closer. Nothing mattered, nothing but preservation

Of self, even biting bloodied lips to hold in bloody laughter as the bloody Capo conjures pathetic poetry

We, baser creatures, dropped into hellish nightmares break, but not all for

Et Lux In Tenebris Lucet-and light shines in the darkness and so fated,

We, cows, cowed by constant callousness head to Dachau aboard a train

Each straining to glimpse a future through small windows, I strain to see my home in flashes

Seeking salvation but the words beat me back and the past is swept away

But we dance, for the train is not headed to slaughter and we will not die today

Et Lux in Tenebris Lucet- light shines in the darkness

 

But even battered, broken, beaten there is still beauty.

For, we said “how beautiful the world could be” when blessed

With a solemn sunset splattering the red blood, blue veins,

 purpled bruises and angry black hate across the skies

like some maddened painter splashed us across the skies.

“How beautiful the world could be…

Be my wife, I remember asking her to be, to say I do,

I due to death but no longer as she rescued me

Giving me life and reason though her life is uncertain

We commune as one and my wife and I are become one

She is my tree of life, giving me the courage to face the world

Like the dying woman smiling silent tears streaming as she goes,

Her only friend her hallucination in which the tree talks

 

Doctors of death, dealing in denial we can’t escape our patients

Patiently planned escape not fated but ended with rotten potatoes

not freedom, but freedom found bound within barbed wire confinement

Suffering acquiring meaning and life becoming purposed, fated

No longer disease wracked suicidal starvation but rather sacrifice,

Bleeding heart no longer numbed but raw, reality rapidly realized

Endless hate in sadistic flesh sacs, demons walking in flesh of capos

Brothers in race but venomous snakes measured against momentary

Kindness in soup from the bottom or saved morsels of bread broken

The very best of us did not survive.

 

 

Then suddenly, Freedom.

Nothing.

Faltering steps through fields of flowers…

Nothing

But slowly we wake wondrously to reality,

The nightmare is over for most,

No more “Soup from the bottom please”

Or “Attention, Attention” and alarms

No more death smoke rising silently

I step, after faltering step

Through a field of flowers and fall.

“I called to the Lord from my narrow prison and he answered me in the freedom of space”

“I called to the Lord from my narrow prison and he answered me in the freedom of space”

“I called to the Lord from my narrow prison and he answered me in the freedom of space”

I am human again.

Subspecies aeternitas.

The future has finally arrived.

 

 

 

 

The Runners (Partner Poem)

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Co-written with hastywords

 

The phantom highways

Stretch before us

High speed, racing towards
A destination we can’t see yetOur feet are weightless,
each step covers miles
and yet we are going nowhere
endlessly running

Weariness threatens us
On our endless destination
Urging each other forward
Holding each other up

We are so real, so poignant
but only paint brushed on canvas
bursting with life and color
an endless moment captured

The earth under our feet
The sky our sunlit canopy
Never a more beautiful picture
Captured, a living symphony

She strokes our surface, lovingly
as she paints our moment, her dream
Her wheelchair creaking softly
as her brush dances
and a tear traces a path
to her smiling lips

 

Quest

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Have you ever just wanted to walk away?

Drop everything, grab a bag and fling yourself into the unknown

Each step carrying you into your future

Each footstep kicking up dust and uncovering your destiny

 

Have you ever stared at the moon 

hanging there like some mystical fruit

ripe and tender and just wanted to pluck it

to reach up into the galaxy and consumed worlds

swallowing entire civilizations

 

Have you ever sat down, closed your eyes and disappeared?

Your body fading as you sink into a different world

a world of fantasy where you understand why you were born

and you are special and your life means something

 

Have you itched to break free of this mold 

and uncover your true self?

Have you longed for freedom until your insides bleed

and you can barely breathe for longing?

Have you started to walk away and then

stopped?

 

The unknown too strong

the bonds too heavy

the burdens too tight

the people too broken

have you tried to fly 

but drowned in excuses?

 

Have you felt so alone in your desire

So broken in your failure

that you sat down and created

a poem

a story

a song

a painting

a dance

a memory

a joke

a moment

art

hoping that somehow by airing out your fears

you will grow wings and fly

when in reality it’s just a mirror

that tells you the fairest in the land is waiting

but you’re too afraid to leave.

Gone

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I was born in iniquity, and raised on lies

I consumed deception by the gallons and immersed myself

How shattered must I be

that I can no longer tell reality from lies

or conjured fantasies from happened mundanity

 So shattered that even the hidden pain I veil

in words and poems and downcast glances

is but a shadow of the mirror of the true pain 

of the true falsehood that allows me to conjure up memories

that never were and paint them brighter and realer 

Words that allow me to slip on a mask and become 

more than average but in the process lose that average

but yet even as I stumble search and seek

hoping to grasp some morsel of wisdom through introspection

even then when I am alone and my heart is laid bare

even then when I am entwined and my heart is stripped

Even then,

the truth dribbles out in increments 

flooded out by the gallons of deceit that spews

endlessly and relentlessly from my mouth

from my carriage from my very existance

Each small drop of truth a unique snowflake soon consumed 

by the sandstorm of life and I am left blind

scrabbling for truth and trading for pennies

searching for the secret place I stashed them

but even as I watch the place I placed them is gone

leaving behind naught but dust and doubt 

Each step a lie is drawn on the sand in footprints

with waves of reality following erasing the marks left 

but yet somehow I am always a step a head 

Searching for a place, a person, a thing

something so much more than me that I can release myself

and be torn apart and rebuilt from the core out

each memory construction reduction reduced 

and re construed to match what truly lies within me. 

The Answer is Only Half the Journey

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You demand clarity,

each heart beat pumps desire

for knowledge to your brain

 

Your eyes strain

searching endlessly, relentlessly

for the answer to your question

 

You dread the answer

but you cannot unloose the hounds

of information from ripping through

 

You celebrate

as the answer appears before you

but you find its only half the problem

 

Now you know

what you wanted to know

Now that you “understand”

what will you do?

Life

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Life is but a journey to self,

A mission to conquer ego

And discover who we are

Our passion and our love

A quest for communion

We lust for acceptance

In bleak hopeless world

But we try again and again

Slamming against the brick wall

Often times it hurts

We cry

But failure is death

And death is not an option

So we claw our way to the top

For a brief moment we conquer

But our wax wings melt

And we shatter on the rock

We pick up the pieces

Duck tape heart leaking

And we search for ourselves

Try to tap into our power

But we are weak and drained

Our scarred heart beats still

We pick ourselves up and climb

Pushing our ego like Sisyphus

Fool’s Friend

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I’m searching for a friend

I used to have one but I think I lost it

I’m scrambling up and down

Looking in cabinets and in dish racks

I even pulled out my book of faces

And scanned desperately through the pages

Of faces looking up at me

But I couldn’t find my friend

How can this be?

Just yesterday it was smiles in the hallway

And secret inside jokes

But now it’s just a face in my book

And a memory that grows dimmer every second

Was it ever real, my friend?

I’m desperate, throwing everything out in my search

My goals and dreams lie on the floor in a pile

Ignored in my quest to find a friend

And at the bottom of my drawer of desire

I see a glimmer and I pounce and grab

But it’s a false alarm, a fool’s friend yet again

Where are you friend?

I have been calling out for you

But maybe you don’t understand my language

I can’t find you but I won’t give up

Maybe it was never my job to search 

instead I’ll gather my dreams, hopes and goals

straighten them up and try them on for size

i think I will even go on a trip somewhere

and hopefully I will stumble across you

half buried somewhere like gold

I Found Myself

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I strike the first blow and the mirror cracks

A small lie, like a drop of food dye 

the lie coloring the crystal waters of my life

like a stain clouding the waters

I strike back, a counter of self hate 

punishing myself for failing myself 

and hurting myself with the hating of myself

The battle rages and the battle field of my heart 

is splattered with mud and misery and a

choking smoke of confusion hangs like a damp 

curtain coating everything 

I circle myself, my body a mirror wreathed in smoke

baptized in hate and sweating bitter failure

I wield words like a sword master, hacking with a lie

and feinting with an ego booster only to sink my sword deep

and twist with hypocrite. 

Words like machine guns shatter the silence as they shatter

my bones; traitor, pretender, user, manipulator

I try to defend with searching, trying and hoping 

but they are torn away like paper houses in a typhoon

I scream my victory, the blood still pouring from the cuts of

worthless and No one loves you

consumed I stab and stab again with hypocrite

Hypocrite, hypocrite, hypocrite 

the blood fountains from the gaping wounds 

a blood mist consuming the air and leaving nothing

I laughed at myself, hysterically my eyes demonic

the blood pools underneath me and congeals but I 

just won’t die so I laugh, each convulsion shooting red failure 

into the air and coating me

I shake myself and scream at my laughing self

holding the mirror and crying at the eyes crying at me

and carving valleys of shame through the grime 

and falling upwards and splattering my face

I coughed and reached for myself, 

my small fingers reaching for me and hoping for me

my eyes begging, pleading and bleeding for love

needing me to love me and heal me

I look at myself and I see myself in myself 

my eyes are calling for me and I am just so tired

So tired of hating myself and hurting myself because 

I can’t be what they tell me and so I abuse myself 

to make up for not being able to be myself

But I am tired of not Loving myself

So hold myself and whisper to myself words

Healing words that mend the rending 

I whisper Poetry, and Sing and God and Love 

and Journey and Mercy and Live and Be free

and I hold myself and whisper in my ear 

I love You and I accept you and finally I die

and I become myself

You, Me, We

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In age past, before the

darkness coalesced its liquid depths

and gave way to light.

Back, back before darkness

was dark and light bright

there was an egg.

A single potential in the

backdrop of impossibility.

A promise too potent to be

held by the cold embrace of

Nothingness.

Within we lay, not there but

There.

Unaware.

So was the universe born,

A potential within a sea of

Impossibility

And became we.

Doing me

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Solemn words, words so lame echo and re echo in my mind

Trying too hard to make something beautiful and inspirational

You know, to much of such and such and who and whom did that and this

Then and there but this poem is really going nowhere.

I write so much of such slushy like words that are mushy

That last line was just bad; in fact it was rather sad

That was me trying to be a poet, you know the kind that rhymes and sounds divine

And copies others who sound sublime in an attempt to catch that light of lime

But I am tired of doing them and not tapping into me and living my poetry

So I’ll take my own invitation and step into this and breathe,

The thick dark emotions constricting my throat like the ocean waves batter my soul

And I will sink into this and drown myself in myself and in my death find me

And resurrect me so that I can rise from my depths a new man, almost divine

Its good that I just learned to swim because now I can doggy paddle my way to discovery

And breast stroke my way to my nirvana each breathe sacred and holy

As the salt of my unshed tears sting my thirsty mouth and I drink the bitter waters

Of my Mara, the bitter waters of my failures and consume my own heart for courage

These words that pour out will be me more than I am me being me.

So I invite you into this journey of introspection, not the meditation preached by the silent monks

Or yoga postured by the crippled beggars, but the rocky journey of self discovery

Like when America was discovered by “Americans” because until you discover you, you don’t exist

So come and starve with me as you feast your face with tangible food but your soul hungers for the illusive desires

Come and burn with me in the hot sun fire of my emotions that are so bright I wear sunglasses inside my heart

Reach deep inside to the closets hidden within the closet where the darkness is so bright that you are blind

And can not comprehend what you are even hiding.

See me and you as worlds, entire universes because we are the sum total of our world

Reach and feel that power that you have shunned all your life, feel it there like a pool of lava

Powerful and incinerating everything so hot hot is hurts to touch.

But ignore the pain and reach in with me and sink your hands in down to your elbows and feel the exquisite release

As our world of lies and masks is burned away the lava eating through it all like an inexorable flood

Heating your blood and your bones and your clay self and making it into what it is

Come and mold and make yourself and stand forth in the sun your heart strong and sure

Your body glistening in the light of your ambition and your soul a lantern of hope

Walk into this adventure and stride out a God.

I miss you

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The hypocrisy of the heart knows no bounds

Even as these words typed pour out to soothe worried spirit

In my belly burn the fires of hell, bright and hotter than the sun

But as dark as the emptiness you leave behind

When you leave, though left you already had

And my heart breaks again and beats again even though

I was the one that let you go for a delusion of myself

But in the letting go tied you with a thousand strings of

Some intangible desire I cannot conjure

And so now as the illusive beat of the drummer boy calls

Your heart and your lovely gaze to the heart of another

I cry these words, my fingers quivering and trembling

Because my eyes will not cry

And my stomach churns and burns with the acid of regret

Because my heart doesn’t really feel it yet

But because my heart is a hypocrite

And the words of your beauty and perfection can only now

Splatter the page with my admiration after I no longer have you

I smile the words to you and type my approval

Though I want to reach out and grab you and throw you on my

Noble steed and ride through the sunset and come out on the other side

But I have nothing to give you but shadows of something more

So I will close my eyes and remember you as you were

My beautiful and illusive rose glistening in the glorious light of a million rainbows

As the light of my eyes illuminated your icy castle

But now as you thaw and grow

Your roots reaching for the ground and your leaves kissing the air

And your petals dancing in winds of change

I can only stop and stare my eyes lit up with the light of a thousand suns

And my heart beating the slow thrum of the universe song

I want to reach out and pluck you my rose and keep you safe and tucked away

But you would wither and die under my suffocating gaze

And I am not cruel enough to think to not share you with the world

So rose princess, ice queen, and stealer of my heart

I cast thee forth to the world that they too may enjoy your fragrance

 

I want a Name

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Where do names come from?

When the storks drop perfect babies fresh born at where the road of life forks

Do they come with perfect baby labels that grow up to be names?

If so how does the stork bear the weight of a name, a name with all the history and power?

And how do they choose which heavy name to put on which baby as they lay cradled by clouds

Each face cherubic and soft, their spirits naught but a whisper in the wind of time

How do these storks know to give one a soft name like Isabelle and another a hard name like Richard

Though both are identical in perfection

Or maybe the babies choose in their blind curiosity as they crawl and giggle in the unknown, their chubby fists clutching forever clutching until they find a name

I wonder how do the storks carry such a heavy weight and travel through the world of impossibility and brave the winds of time to reach the forks of life’s road

But we all know that storks don’t exist except for in our minds where we conjure them to explain away the things we are too young to grasp

So now I ask like when I asked my mother where babies came from and she told me that one day she felt sick and threw up and there I came

But even then with my infantile mind still a landscape of bizarre colors and fantastic imaginings that I can now only reach through the release of my dreams I knew there was more

Even then I knew that there was more than a simple purge to bring me into this world screaming

In the dark recess of my mind I had a shadow of the memory of the shadow of the memories shadow of the pain of birth

Now with science and teachers I know what happened though I may have known more as a child who believed that his mother threw him up into the world and tried making his own babies but they would only splatter the ground in a mess and never rise to speak

So now I ask again, where do names come from?

But I am afraid that maybe we are too young to understand our human minds still too infantile to grasp the concepts and so we say only that God one day felt bad and puked out Abraham, Faith, Enoch, Moses and Joseph

Our black and white minds straining to recapture the dream within a dream that is the creation of our name of ourselves but the colors are too bright and we can not grasp it

So we create storks in our black and white worlds to carry our black and white names and miss the beauty of what those names are

We forget that lurching stumbling search of our birth as we looked for a name in that formless darkness before we were

The pain of the battle we fought to be who we are our toddler fists bashing into toddlers faces as we grasped in that darkness for a self

And when we grasped it and became Jack, Jill, John or Jacob that exquisite release of self and presence and knowledge of who we are

But then we were dropped by the stork and born to the world and in the blood, pain confusion we lost our name and we lost our color

And we gooed and gaaed in a blank black and white world crying for something we can not remember to miss or forget to remember, the ember in our hearts hurt

Burning with the desire for our names and ourselves that we fought for and won for

That name that whispers dirty secrets in our souls and is who we are and where we are going

We can not understand nor can we stand it, so we kill ourselves and each other in search of our names hoping that fighting like we fought before time was born will help us remember to forget

But even as we paint this black and white world red with the blood of our crying children we can not capture the names because we still think that one day God felt bad and threw up our names

So we fight on and on puking and puking trying to make our own names with the blood but it only splatters to the ground again and again

And we like the child that could not understand why he couldn’t make babies of his own to love and cherish can not understand why we can not make names for ourselves

Just as a mothers screams stirs the shadow of a memory of the pain of birth so too does the beautiful agony of music whisper the memory of our names to our souls

And art is the painting of the reflection of a shadow’s reflection of our names painted in a moonless midnight but with just enough light that we can almost see the colors

As I write now my fingers pulsing with blood and my eyes dancing and blurring on this page I can almost see my name

My name and my pain and myself given birth to by God, ripped out of the substance of the universe and bound to my corporeal self making me immortal

So that when my blood is spilt and my body is a memory of ashes floating through an imaginary wind I will still have my name to remind me who I am.

Maybe then after thousands and thousands of years of existing as a memory as a name passed down through the ages and gaining in wisdom I will finally be old enough to know

And then I too will scoff and laugh at the thought of God one day feeling bad and puking out my name

Then I will realize that spilling blood in a killing flood is not how to remember

Or maybe just maybe the next time I am born and bear this name that will last forever, maybe, just maybe, I will forget to forget.

Doorknob Decision

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What is this sensation that is gripping my body?

This gray cloud clouding my mind

Why is this haze surrounding my heart?

Who am I meant to be and where am I meant to go?

 

Once I was a child, I spake as a child and walked as a child

Now I am a man…?

Must I put away childish things?

Must I now walk and talk as a man?

 

What is this fear, this beast gripping my psyche?

Why does it tear at my courage and poison my confidence?

I am afraid of who I will be or who I am not?

Am I the question or the answer? Or neither?

 

Blue black memories dance in the illusion of my past

My future half forgotten, it promises silent whispers

Of potential that stroke my ego and quicken my heart beat

And I long to reach that golden apex but I am held

My legs straining against chains of lies and half truths

As the fear of my potential worms into my bones

Turns my body into a bag of dross, unwanted

But still the light of my soul shines through

And I am burning with my desire to be free and be me

But yet even as I reach for my future and grasp the knob

The ghosts of my failures haunt me and taunt me

Demanding to know my name and I cannot answer

So I stand, hand on the door handle to the road I must walk

And I face the tempters and whispers and answer

My voice a parody of the resonant power I had envisioned

I told them, my voice broken and quavering but resolute

“My name I do not know, nor is my purpose known.

No longer will I tremble as does a motherless child in fear.”

I paused, swallowed and continued my voice strong and smooth

“I will walk my road and I will climb my mountains

Suffer whatever I must to meet my maker

I will find myself and then you will know my name”

The last a booming roar of power, and I grasped the knob

And tore the door open and stepped onto the road

The last ghostly chain links breaking and fading

I am who I am and I will be who I will be