HOUSES OF THE HOLY
Stunned like a catfish,
iron pliers cracking skull bone
that splinters bird of paradise feathers
all the way to tail fins tapping
for all their worth
the warped boards of the Lake Worth Pier.
Stunned like that again? I think not.
So stick your needle-nosed, leader wire
pliers wherever they pinch & grab,
but don't show 'em in public lest you
invite the most god awful fire & brimstone
into your esteemed houses of the holy.
THE ROYAL SCAM
(After Steely Dan)
I await the squealing saxophone.
on rolling bolero waves.
Squawked and mugged
over and over.
The piano inhales.
search for oasis.
Red and white feathers loosen from the sax,
then drift over a neon city
leaving fossils embedded in granite
high above the dark tinted windows
THE EXPANDING BRAIN
Where are you now?
I’m in my brain.
What part of your brain?
I don’t know exactly.
Well, are you in the reptile brain,
the mammalian brain . . . ?
Why do you scoff?
The human brain is more complex
than a few Jungian archetypes.
I roam the brain the way mangrove roots
finger an inlet’s dark waist,
feeling each root’s fingertip caress the emotional gills of salamanders
then scratch the vermilion silt of intellect the next.
I might live primarily in one hemisphere
of the brain for six months,
simultaneously inching, slithering
into several lit and unlit rooms,
little emotional rooms
where I stroll freely
like August wind
through an abandoned Maryland barn.
At times I sleep in this beautiful barn
and watch its shoulder blades ignite
into a beautiful goldenblue fire.
Actually, there’s so much of the unexplored brain left
that I sometimes believe I’m a wild animal,
a leopard prowling utter darkness,
a toucan excreting large seeds from its dream
onto the brain’s pine needle floor.
In my secret and humid places
orchids explode with exotic beaks, raspberry wings,
and swan necks of shivering light.
So, you see, I’ve barely covered
any great distance at all
inside this mountainous vegetable
we call the human brain.
Often, I know exactly where I am
and where I’m going in my brain.
Sometimes, with a flickering tongue of intellect,
I taste flowing mists
from mysterious universes I’ve yet to visit.
And I cherish long walks
through the gilded halls of paradox.
I feel amethyst joy when the intelligent coyote
drags around the thunderous tail of a crocodile.
You see, this coyote has an intuitive understanding
of Heidegger and Eliade,
plus a weakness for cabernet as dry
as the abandoned skin of a speckled cobra.
I take it there’s no point in asking
about the New Brain?