poems, subpoems, & mirrors

Orbiting Observation


Wise ones waltz with Sophia
through counter-rationality
that she choreographs at the margins,
never pressing her way into the masses,

—though she passively
offers them the balance—
recognizing her offerings
would be given away in vain
at the center always ready to lose hold.

Right there in the middle,
that dot of precise gravity,
rests the incessant potential for a Bang!

Satellites orbiting observations,

voyeurs speculating about the dark matter,
poking it with sticks,
prodding it with computations,
fashioning it with metallic and plastic beasts,

observing, without really observing,
and managing to threaten
the viability of life
in the sea, on a bird’s wing, on the ground,
the hummus from which the work woke.

The narrative was published
and reviewed by competent peers.

But at the margins
you can finally begin to see that dot as a dot—
a blip so small its comprehension without
distance from its enormity

will draw you mad with grief
as you recognize your insignificance.
But at the margin of error
that triviality of mere existence
tastes of extravagance.

And stepping off
that razor of madness//bliss
you can float dead in pools of sorrow
and resignation and anger
and rage and disregard

for the mereness of it all
or sit breathing in wonder and stupor
and grace and care
for the sweet vapor of it all.

The beautiful fugue whispers
its discordant themes melting,
lending solace in the transcendent quiet
of the unwritten plot

being played on the horizon.


Inspirations: Noumenautics by Peter Sjöstedt-HCloud of the Impossible by Catherine Keller


Featured post

Mists Hovering the Underbelly


south jupiter

The earth at one point
was a cloud of gases, gradually
gathering through magnetism
into a generous geode
shimmering into ever new
layers of complexity
and beauty. Attraction

grates on the elements,
forming creatures
and creations into images
of the swirling community
of matter endowed with sparks of life.
It shines brightly,
a strobe of energy,

and dims on the wave
of the pulse, Darkness
giving cover of night for slumbering,
Light in which to do beautiful work.
Lately it seems the slumber
has stirred Sirens streaming
constant messaging,

soliloquy and choral screaming,
and the gases, the vapors
of our thought and reason
are storming like the cyclones
of Jupiter’s underbelly,
the electricity of the plugged-in Blues,
the contemplative call

from its acoustic porch and field
antecedents, the prophetic
wailers of ages unto ages
proclaiming the plainly seen,
explicable were it not shrouded
in dense Falsities proclaimed
by ingratiating prophets of Promises

designed to deny the Oath takers
their bogus, targeted Reward
which was said to be Security
that becomes a sense of the tenuous.
You can submit yourself to any
properties of the gas,
the way it floats in air, inert,

observant, pliable, and steady.
Or its flammable propensity,
aggressive, fluid, expressive, on an edge.
Or it’s cluttered atmosphere,
traversed by bird by plane and satellite,
by ashes of Industry and War,
by prayers of conscious Life,

by waves harnessed with sound and code
and others yet hidden.
Breathe in that which is already within,
and find it there in your lung,
in your gut, in your peering eye,
your fingers and skin for touch
and walk from there.

Invocation of the Authoritarian god


Weak and passive god of Armies,
projected Phantom of pilfered Prosperity,
Our Victim of idolatrous machinations,
Lord subjected to Our Laws,
Wing and Shadow over Our Sacred Lies:

You comfort the afflicting
and strengthen the brazen oppressors,
preparing for Us a Way
to justify Hatred and Rage,
authorizing the mining of the earth and seas
for fueling the eternal fires of Power and Security
maintained by erecting
an Infrastructure of Infinite Growth
and forever forging Weapons of War.

We say Your ways are not Our ways
To vindicate Our groveling in fear
for from cowardice comes the strength
needed to revel in Our holy ignorance,
to make offerings of others’ flesh,
to glory in the unrest and chaos
an Economy of Ownership demands.

We raise up Our fervent cry to You
to broadcast to Your enemies,
who are therefore Our enemies,
The Good News that everything belongs to You.

You have charged Us, Your Servants,
with the mighty task of overseeing
Your Kingdom with a firm grip
and an unyielding resolve,
with the affliction of legislating
those who are unworthy
of Your Grace and Protection.

The burden of such a responsibility
is great, and so We thank You
for giving Us the Strength
to reckon Ourselves justified
in the meeting out of Your judgement
by whatever means We deem necessary
following from Our industrious interpretation
of Law and Order prescribed
in the covenants and constitutions contained
in Our spell casting books of Ancient Writ
and Enlightened Declaration.

You make possible
the inversion of the Word of Life
into a Dispatch of Death.

By your Blessing and In Your Name
We are entrusted with the Call to strike down
anyone who chooses to disobey
Your Perfect Will,
which though We cannot comprehend It,
We have faith that We are the true instruments
of Its implementation.

Protect Us from those who are against You,
for though We have every confidence
that they will be cast into Eternal Darkness,
and that We will be lifted up
upon clouds of endless, golden-white Light,
We know that We should be first afforded
the assurance that You Are With Us Now
and therefore We shall live longer than them,
comfortably in grand estates and towers,
before the culmination coming in the Last Days
when We enter through the Gates of Death
that promised Afterlife in Paradise,
of which We know nothing
yet so adamantly announce and anticipate.

Malleable and ever-amenable god,
turn Your echoing ear toward Us,
display Your Favor through Our Victory,
heed Our Mandate, and hear Our Prayer.



Inspirations: Twitter Series by @dwcongdonEvangelicalism, Authority, and ExclusionMatthew Hill, Tennessee SB 0994 authorizing drivers to run over protesters when exercising “due care.”White House, Red Hat: Steve Bannon’s Man at the Vatican by John Gehring.


Idea Market

IDEA MARKETfacebook out there.jpg

Ideas are for sale,
and why shouldn’t

they be another

They provide
the most assured
protection from

the forces of Reality,
whatever at the time

we believe
that may be.

But does it
repeat forever?

Repeat into
the ecstatic
access of data?

Inspirations: Trump Knows You Better Than You Know Yourself; “Thought Leadership” #ThoughtLeader

A Prayer to Glorious Leader Trump


golden chaos.JPG

O Great Glorious Leader!
Son of the Spirit Chrysus*,
Heir of King Midas,
Czar of Titled Towers,
El Duque of El Dorado,
Führer of Fantasy,

may We rest and be remade
in the Crucible of Your Debts
so that Our Ceilings and Skies
will shine as plated gold.

Smelt and fabricate Our Lives
as figurines becoming
of your magnificence.

Guide Us in Our Devotion
and Glutting, Our Famished Feasts,
and fortify Our Resolve to face
the horrors You’ve beset upon Us.

We pour out Our Oblation of Rage,
Confusion, and Fear with blind devotion.
O Gracious Giver of Golden Greatness,
The Really Greatest Best Donald John Trump,
We thank You for taking everything.

Location, Confession, Location


(A sprawling poem accompanied by drawings illustrating the imagery. Drawings are numbered and located within the lines, cited in brackets.)

123.jpg[1]If everything really is a bad
as it seems, that only means
we’re right here where we’ve been.
And I have to confront something.

[2]I have to see that I have been
enmeshed in a scheme
of guilt of sex, medication
alcohol, theology, writing,
the probative arts, machinery,

the whole goddamn thing.
[3]All the idols are said to be fallen.
We even had some Christians
cackling at the inception
of iconoclasm,

456.jpgbut they couldn’t
give up the tangential ghost.
[4]Alas, I permitted the auspice
of certifiable genius, soliciting
its Teflon book jacket quotes

and amassed warrens of citations
to mason a defense of my ideas.
The smart are ever so dumb,
and deafness is the hottest
commodity on the market.

[5]Hearken through speakers
everything blaring, and then,


the sickest silence engulfs you.
[6]Raging lights, you will never
sleep. Dim the beat of your heart.
It only has just that much to say.
Your focus, it distracts you

789.jpgfrom the more pertinent
things that deserve your attention.
[7]See, if you were to stand on your
own two feet, if you ran at
top speed, no rest, no water,

no protein sips, no hitchhiker thumbs,
you’d probably be to her
in (you’re overestimating yourself)
three hours. And then you’d be
really sweaty. Your feet

would tingle neuropic. You’d never
run again. And now,
[8]at the doorstep of promise,
what is more important—
presenting yourself as you
truly are: a measurement

of unworthy, unmeaning, transient
space; or: a welcome, confused,
questionable trace on the line?
[9]Will you play your part
of one among a many few mitigating

101112.jpgthe consequences of civilization’s
malaise and contempt
in your very small, yet, beautiful
[10]plot? You just bought in,
with your acquiescence

to the contingency of shelter
that bares your debtor’s name
on a deep stack of documents. Reach
[11]out now and find the goodness
that is whispering in the streets,

in the hollows, among the winds
atop the hills, in the resistant pine
and rhododendron. That embrace
[12]is where we begin. This year’s
festivals will be a last whimper
before the cerebral celebration

131415takes an intermission
to mention our sponsors.
[13]Enjoy them. Be there. And look
into the eyes of every
being you see. There

[14]is something moving, and if
we’re hovering close
to our conception
of rationality, then we’d
recognize it’s a bit of a swarm

[15]which probably most of us,
those we in this moment know,
won’t survive. Get out of here,
and then come back down.

Inspirations: Some concerning context behind Rachel Held Evans and Nadia Bolz-Weber’s “Why Christian?” conference series by Stephanie Drury; The failure to bind and loose: Responses to Yoder’s sexual abuse by Rachel Waltner Goossen.

A Prayer to Our Outgoing Liberal Leader

A PRAYER TO OUR OUTGOING LIBERAL LEADER529887_521551457867684_1372327034_n

Dear Smooth Certainty,
sweet release for Liberal liability,
we give You thanks
for assuaging our complicity,
helping us through this dark time
when we might have had to face
our active acquiescence
to the Dominion of Death.

You have blessed us with Feelings
of Bliss and Justice,
thinking equality is not only achievable
but it is now a Hope fulfilled.

You have swept us up
by Extraordinary Rendition
of our fragile Convictions.

We will miss the ambiguity
granted You by
oppositional obstruction
that has graced us
with the comforting
option of Righteous Indignation
easily proclaimed with concise verbosity.

We bless Your Name,
Barack Hussein Obama,
President of Proclaimed Progress,
Diadem of Deep Interests,
Grounding Guide of the Grafted Gullible,
Liberal Lord of Light.

Make a way for us now
to continue to walk in Your Way
through the turbulence
of truncated Truth.


Inspirations: Obama administration eases policy on preventing civilian casualties in Iraq, SyriaTrump’s Neo-Fascism will be built on Neo-Fascism of Obama and Democratic Party by Ajamu Baraka; America dropped 26,171 bombs in 2016. What a bloody end to Obama’s reignObama’s Big Sellout: The President has Packed His Economic Team with Wall Street Insiders by Matt Taibbi


Labyrinth of Blinding Light


Americans love mirrors
so long as what appears
to be looking back at us
is something we can cheer.
Exceptional without exception,
we have the best ways,

the most freedoms,
the fairest elections
sponsored by efficient corporations.
For our next phase
in overcoming the world’s malaise,
proving ourselves above the fray,

our smartest, industrious
global citizens have outsourced
some previously unthinkable,
but now welcome opinions.
Considering our history
of exporting and imposing

the most favorable conditions
upon backwards, uncivilized
substandard states and institutions,
it is only sensible that evaluations
are to be constructed and reviewed
by the peers of our powerful,

crafty, virtuous, patriotic leaders.
We can rest assured
in the knowledge
of our unblemished role
in providing necessary
protections for the world’s

sense of maverick order,
rules, and obvious laws.
With our labyrinths of mirrors
reflecting back flattering scenes
of heroism, romance, and geniuses,
we’ll remain big, strong, and tall,

capable of building the greatest walls
to ensure that from our city on a hill,
our precipice of skyscrapers
shining their beacon light,
and the grace of our mighty Lord

we shall never fall.


Inspirations: Democrats, Trump, and the Ongoing, Dangerous Refusal to Learn the Lesson of Brexit by Glenn Greenwald. Independence Day: Resurgence and other works of military propaganda that includes plenty of cheering scenes.

Be A Good Sport



It is only in losing that we know how to lose.
With the comfort of viewing victory

from a living room chair
we think ourselves winners.
We’ll be the bereaved. We fail

to notice the loss as its lines creep

into the routine of our daily
recreation. We think it a game,
the engine that we see we cannot

effect, so we place our bets,
hope for the best, and try to get some sleep.

The things we hold in esteem increase
the diminishing returns of intentions.
Value rings valueless,

a recognition that rends
one shaky for a time,
a little off beat,

grasping for a hook,
for an anthem of triumph,

a score to keep our accounts

buoyant, salient and indispensable,

even as the salary evaporates
with the transfer of landlocked reservoirs
to rising ocean tides, taps dripping

particulate laced streams
of putrid water. Thirst
will dry our judging eyes. All’s a gamble

with referees and dealers naming terms
ignorant of the grounds upon which the ball,
the globe, rolls around in space. Throw

yourself from the bleachers

onto the fields, deleting the numbers,
overturning the counting tables
with their metrics
and algorithms of counterfeit bliss.


Inspiration: There’s a bit of James Howard Kunstler in this poem.




Communication is the reaching, interactive address of subjectivity and is relative to a time, all the way down.

We get perhaps more artistic, more primal in our representations when we are obsessed with death, with mortality, with reckoning

with the fact that nature is neutral and cruel, yet we feel the call to fight against it, rage against ending,

and so we build machines and consume earthen offerings and potions and concoctions of the manipulated earth to ward off death and meaninglessness,

and yet still the end comes, despite our hospitals and our shelters and our sanitation systems,

our methods of commerce and insurance. In fact, some of these protections are being systematically shut down for the express purpose

of ensuring some die and some get to fool themselves into thinking they’ll go on surviving by means of building more and

more of the machine that now not only fails, not only is being destroyed by its makers, but will be swallowed back up by the very material

from which it was constructed in the form of storms and violence and heat and freeze and breaking glaciers and bombs

and rising seas and burning forests and shifts in land masses and the territorial pissing art we’ve appointed to the transition team.

In the end none of us could stop this. Our consciousness seeks to protect itself; it just has not yet tapped in acutely enough

to the terrestrial, material consciousness in a way to recognize that it has limits in that when it extends itself in an unbalanced way

it then shapes its environment in such a way that it changes the conditions in which it arose. The tragedy, of course, is that

there have been conscious creatures, prophets who have cried to cry out for balance, it’s just that their cries were too often misheard. Their words

have been misunderstood, silenced, censured, abstracted, institutionalized, immaterially gnostitized,

flipped to be interpreted in a way to completely subvert and misuse them for vile gain, unending growth at the expense of anything or anyone else.

This is worse when it is known deeply that one is doing it. Many, however, are scared or less minded, out of sync with

the material and its laws and limits, on a gradient of awareness. The action that follows from varied layers of conscious drives

is only an imprecise measure of culpability at this point, for even those who’ve known, who said something, have not been able

to stave off devastation, and some leaning toward that better way will gravitate towards more foul forms of justice in the search of balance,

but balance at this point, given the physical circumstance, is not likely to scale out to look anything like what we’ve come to

recognize as life. It will be alien. We must learn to absorb this new reality, to blend-in in a way that favors wisdom, peace. But we must also be willing to face

the harsher possibilities and yet still advocate for life even if it means our death. What comes after that for us may be nothing

or it may be everything. Perhaps this beautiful yearning and work for good, even ending in disaster, continues, but even if does not it feels more pure than other

options of cancerous greed and stormtrooping and conniving and living in luxury in the face of suffering, leeching off that

suffering by inciting jealousy and false dreams of perverted gain, celebrity. It will still be better than the depravity of murder and rape

and hypocrisy of speech and deed, and war, and profiteering off wrecking other life forms and the very life giving balance

of the earth. Perhaps consciousness will arise again on this planet before the solar meltdown coming in four to six billion years

vaporizes it all into an even newer layer of being in the universe. It may discover this conscious time’s hieroglyphics,

emotions etched into the earth. By that time will it have learned from our mistakes and maintain a balance more in tune than we have engineered?

Will it simply be a new tragic ballet of Wisdom in search of a company of graceful dancers with too few dancers able to learn

the routine, the flowering of the daily chorus and symphony on the face of the earth, yeast and pollen drifting in the air stirring up

the effervescence of shared and communicated and perceived conscious life, or will that dance be an unqualifying exchange and

letting go?


Inspirations: The Rapid Evolution of EmojisAn Insurrectionist Manifesto by Ward Blanton, Clayton Crockett, Jeffrey W. Robbins, and Noëlle Vahanian. Panpsychism via Peter Sjöstedt-H

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