360


Three hundred and sixty degrees.
The great circle, its variations describe
The parts of atoms, and the motion of galaxies.

Its presence is felt in the arc of story,
The flow of melody,
The sway of dancers,
The rhythms of blood,
And of power.

Add the third dimension
And it becomes the spiral,
The helix, and thus,
The coded message that carries
The very pattern of life.

The pattern of life.
The great cycle, its variations describe
The machine-like virus, and the god-making Man.

Its presence is felt when the writer moves her pen,
The musician plays,
The dancer sways,
The blood rushes in excitement,
And love.

Add the dimension of sentience
And it becomes the search for truth,
Seeking ever the spiral upwards,
The path that leads back to itself,
The great circle.

11 February, 2011, Los Angeles
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Hell in a Hand Basket


First it was Panama; then New Zealand.
I just want to be somewhere else.
I thought: this place is going to Hell in a hand basket.

But I didn’t quite leave.
Panama had a downturn.
New Zealand didn’t seem quite to want me.
But still I thought: going to Hell in a hand basket.

And as a year went by, and then another,
I fell quiet. Desperate, but quiet.
And so it bubbled, on a mental back burner:
Get out. This place is going to Hell in a hand basket.

And then you, with your roiling enthusiasms,
exclaim: “I am so happy to be here!”
And you tell me (hinting, really)
That here you feel like a person!

So now I imagine a place
Where throughout one’s life, all one knows of horizons
Is the tattered, woven lip of the hand basket.
And your singing is of the approved variety.

And I consider that perhaps
We have not really been weaving that hand basket.
And perhaps
This is not Hell.

January 13, 2011, Los Angeles
 

Hell in a Hand Basket

First it was Panama; then New Zealand.
I just want to be somewhere else.
I thought: this place is going to Hell in a hand basket.

But I didn’t quite leave.
Panama had a downturn.
New Zealand didn’t seem quite to want me.
But still I thought: going to Hell in a hand basket.

And as a year went by, and then another,
I fell quiet. Desperate, but quiet.
And so it bubbled, on a mental back burner:
Get out. This place is going to Hell in a hand basket.

And then you, with your roiling enthusiasms,
exclaim: “I am so happy to be here!”
And you tell me (hinting, really)
That here you feel like a person!

So now I imagine a place
Where throughout one’s life, all one knows of horizons
Is the tattered, woven lip of the hand basket.
And your singing is of the approved variety.

And I consider that perhaps

Hell in a Hand Basket

First it was Panama; then New Zealand.
I just want to be somewhere else.
I thought: this place is going to Hell in a hand basket.

But I didn’t quite leave.
Panama had a downturn.
New Zealand didn’t seem quite to want me.
But still I thought: going to Hell in a hand basket.

And as a year went by, and then another,
I fell quiet. Desperate, but quiet.
And so it bubbled, on a mental back burner:
Get out. This place is going to Hell in a hand basket.

And then you, with your roiling enthusiasms,
exclaim: “I am so happy to be here!”
And you tell me (hinting, really)
That here you feel like a person!

So now I imagine a place
Where throughout one’s life, all one knows of horizons
Is the tattered, woven lip of the hand basket.
And your singing is of the approved variety.

And I consider that perhaps
We have not really been weaving that hand basket.
And perhaps
This is not Hell.

We have not really been weaving that hand basket.
And perhaps
This is not Hell.

 

The Problem


It was only about a thousand lifetimes ago that we met again,
you in your snug, perfect uniform
which was unable to mask your beauty,
glaring your disapproval at me.

I was calm, despite all the reasons not to be.
I sat, watching your agile hands
moving over the control surface;
saw the dim blue light of your eyepiece projector,
giving you information about me, no doubt.

My own was gone, discarded when I realized its true purpose,
after I awoke from the slumber
and mindlessness that it induced.

Your blue light flicked off, and your attention came back to me.
You used my symbolic designation to address me,
and I held up my hand to stop you.
“Just call me Sam”, I said.
You were bemused, and asked me why.
“Because that is my name.”

You tried to explain that the system said otherwise,
but In the end, you relented, and used my name.
You said that it had been a very long time
since anybody was “inter-processed”,
and that the procedures had been lost.

I was a problem, and it made me smile.
The inter-process was supposed to be permanent.
It wasn’t, at least, not for me.
You were unsure what to do.

I called you by your name, and you looked at me sharply.
“The answer is simple,” I said:

“Dance with me.”

Before you could protest, I arose and took your hand,
lifting you.
Before you could understand how,
there was music,
and your uniform was a glittering golden gown,
and you danced, though you didn’t yet remember how,
still believing that you never had.

I whispered your name into your ear,
and told you that you were beautiful.
And you remembered.

I could see it all rushing back to you:
the pale pink skies;
flying, flying so fast;
exploring the cliff-side cave;
escaping their traps and soaring faster than sound,
yet overflowing with bubbling laughter
that only we could hear.
And later, entwined together in airless space,
for an uncounted time,
watching the birth of a new sun.

You stared at me, and said, “Sam?”
And then we laughed and departed that place.

Now, cruel energies of the cosmos,
and crueler ones of others,
have reduced us both.

But today I remembered,
And now I seek once more
to be your problem.

9 January, 2011, Los Angeles