Basic Income Initiatives

Footing the Bill

In the linked graphic, they’re called experiments rather than initiatives, but I’d argue we’re past the experimental stage.   As Coleman Hughes put it — and I’m paraphrasing — welfare states are a necessity given that the average person lacks the skills to earn enough in the market to sustain himself and his family.

And that goes for singles, two-earner families and female heads of households as well.

But as these programs proliferate — and they will — my guess is that wherever they’re administered, there will be an accompanying reduction in civil liberties and other freedoms.  Why?  Because those dependent on others to make ends meet don’t get to negotiate the conditions under which they live.  You don’t have leverage on the dole.

THE REM SERIES

The idea for this series came in my sleep as did many of these poems themselves as well as others like them. 

I either dreamt them outright or started writing them as I emerged from sleep, whether from a dream or flat-out unconsciousness. 

The genre, then, is STREAM OF UNCONSCIOUSNESS.

REM
 
They say, in REM,
The brain persists,
Even absent stimulus.
Tasked with more
Than running us,
It does, itself, create.
The dreaming brain
Declares itself,
Spawning stuff from nothing.
Some who fear what
REM reveals
Appeal to martyred gods.
 
JAD, 2018
REM II

Giddy and glib,
We giggle,
Drink gallons, sink galleons,
Think gold.
Sleek and unruly,
Adored by the sun,
We glide through these galleys,
Dream yachts.
No one can stop us,
Just yet.
 
As preening as Patton,
As savvy as Seuss,
As grasping as
Monetized Facebook,
We scuff it, say fuck it
Like Ford.
Bend it like Beckham,
Sting like Ali,
Remember the Gipper,
Each play.
 
When hearts break their
Silence,
Report to themselves,
Run smack into Time
And its coffins,
Are they merely confirming
God’s whims?
You kidding?
They’re roaring unraveled
Through REM.
 
Nothing may stop you,
The world may not end
Though Grant may surrender
To Lee.
There’s food in those galleys
For both Huck and Jim,
Now plucked from those tough
Middle rounds.
Are you ready for REM?
We’ll see.
 
JAD, 2018
REM III: For Hem and Hank
 
Scour the hours,
Adlibbing your fibs
Or troweling the bowels
Of invention.
Moments, unspooling,
Rewind.
Muster your gumption,
Temper your wit,
Shrewdly inch forward,
Fall back.
Days are now panicked 
Like horses in flight,
Seeing, in hills,
White elephants.
 
JAD, 2018
REM V: FADING
 
The season, corrupt
In its lushness,
Stiffens resistance
To change.
Tourists don’t notice,
Drawn to new sights; 
Worlds in transition
Don’t count.
 
Adderley, Braxton,
Lloyd and Ornette
Rally my mood
With their groove,
Music like novels
That most never read,
Few even skim or
Peruse.
 
Back on the pavements,
Roaming the grid,
Yet, conscious of
Almost no traction,
I’m parsing the signage,
Encoded with cues,
No longer intended
For me.
 
JAD, 2018
IX: STREAMING
 
Night
 
Lyrical larcenists,
Low riders laved,
Looters still lean
In the glass –
Better to languish
Than brandish your past.
Your felonies
Mark you as fools.
 
Accept it.
 
Heralded actors,
Aware of their roles,
Perform in excess
Of direction.
Bald simulation,
Their hyper-real goal,
Presumes we’re not
Acting as well.
 
But we are.
 
Monochrome minders
Of monarchs removed
Vet recondite
Rulers of night;
Reveal in an instant –
Negating their charge –
The secrets at large
In their hearts.
 
No quarter.
 
Snippets of lingering
Wake-walking REM,
Remnants of roguish
Redress,
Reason unclenching
But visibly bent –
Rollick as filters
Dissolve.
 
Step lively.
 
Day
 
Over the water
On narrowing strands,
Corsicans welcome
The sun,
Pleasures awaiting
Or dimly recalled,
Yellow umbrellas
Unfurling.
 
Shall we swim?
 
Monaco rises,
The crags in its cliffs
Re-sculpted by
Afternoon light,
Gilding the privileged,
Resplendent below,
The divas still
Dishing at lunch.
 
Good hunting.
 
Miles expended
For aisles in coach
Seems hardly the
Wisest exchange.
And, yet, we survive it,
Rely on man’s wings,
Submit to ill will,
Deny it.

Let us pray.
 
The evening progresses,
Primes you for more,
Escorts you in style,
Then ends.
You’ve been to the mountain;
The mountain, to you.
That feeling, unsummoned,
Remains.
 
Allow me.
 
JAD, 2018
REM XI
 
Blazes that blacken
The bowers of time
May cinder the
Portals of mind.
 
Yet, who called for
Binary choices –
Genders, schisms,
Ruptures, divides?
Who let the genies
Run wild?
 
Even as men are
Morally lacking,
Women are groping,
Politically.
 
JAD, 2018
REM VIRUS

Moments that cling
To the surface, 
Others that foil
Escape,
Winter-numb moments
That signify what?
Death-of-the-world
Afternoons.
 
Reason resurgent,
Encircled;
Passion departed,
Recalled;
Tremors of freedom
Too fleeting to sense,
Hustlers who tend
To end up . . .
 
Misers embroiled
In law suits,
Monsters imperiled
By grace,
Martyrs recanting
A moment too late,
Mercy in makeshift
Retreat.
 
Innocence leaping
From towers,
Barricades eaten
By rust,
Fatalists falling
For all-night reprieves,
Gamblers at odds
With their luck.
 
Women empowered
By grievance,
Power ennobled
By grief,
Grief unacknowledged
Infecting the heart,
Hearts unaware,
Torn apart.
 
Actors uncertain of timing,
Judges unconscious
Of crime,
Pundits unlettered,
Unfettered, uncouth,
Children unburdened
By truth.
 
Futures redacted
By prophets,
Poets untested
By pain,
Fortunes invested
In merchandised death,
Cultures that squander
What’s left.
 
Statesmen who count
On factotums,
Bankers who cater
To thieves,
Mentors who pander
To miscreant minds,
Maskers of masses
Deceived.
 
Sickness that passes
Like sadness,
Fitness that marches
With flare,
Panic that rambles
Like armies in flight,
Fighters reluctant
To fight.
 
Moments that crack
Through the surface,
Others that offer
Escape,
Winter-sprung moments
That signify much.
Birth-of-the-world
Afternoons.
 
JAD, 2019
THIS

Is it merely a chain
Of distraction?
Maneuvers intended
To saturate time?
Are we featureless force-fields
Whimsically formed,
Improbable fictions –
Or what?
 
Is it solely dependent
On context?
A semblance of substance
We sense at a glance –
Eternal, ephemeral,
Emotive, extreme –
Some prism we
Dimly perceive?
 
Can we ever explain
Its beginnings –
Before it, without it,
An end beyond time –
Admit that we’d rather
Dissemble?
Do we relish such use
Of our nerve?
 
Does the panic it triggers
Confuse us,
Deceived as we are,
By regret?
Are we risen or fallen
Or running in place?
Is it solace we seek
Or forgiveness?
 
JAD, 2019
PHANTOMS

They turn up from nowhere –
At random, in spurts –
Or cycle through once
And are done.
They lurk at the
Edges of sleep;
React in a vacuum,
Say nothing of note,
Yet look at me hard
Then away.
That I no longer
Move them is clear.
 
What passes between us,
In silencing code,
In subtleties now
Misconstrued,
Adds to my longing
A searing regret,
Rebukes me for what
I’ve become.
Initially fetching –
Real for a time –
They wither like passion,
Recede.
 
JAD, 2019
REM XV

REVELRY rooms with RANCOR.
Think rigid, partisan POLES.
MENDACITY threatens
To ply them with lies.
CONSCIENCE, stricken,
Prevents it.
 
MANIC DEPRESSION
Powers ahead,
Urged by its twin, BIPOLAR.
AWARENESS is growing,
THERAPY helps.
Grudging CONTRITION kicks in.
 
JAD, 2019
REM XVII

Scrambled signals feint and dart
Beyond the reach of force.
Sidewalks whisper caution.
 
Time elopes with happenstance,
Gives circumstance the slip.
Weary wonder wanes.
 
Some see cyber paradise;
Some, complete control.
Few who look see clearly.
 
Cyber-savvy bombers thrive,
Stable systems scream.
Skies exposed, explode.
 
JAD, 2019
FOR THE FALLEN

1.

I had black and white
Dubonnet flashbacks;
Spied cases of Schaefer,
A few empty kegs;
Reflected on moon-driven
East River currents,
The tourists,
Their holiday hopes.
 
Was it sailors defending
Times Square?
 
I lost it, recovered,
Repressed my misgivings,
Desensitized circumcised
Fear.
 
2.
 
Sorry, Post-Moderns,
Your referents are gone;
Bankers, the same with
Your credits;
Political theorists,
Your theories are lies;
As are, biblical scholars,
Your yarns.
 
Or so I advised
A French tourist,
 
Waving my ravings
Like writs from a court,
Then naming my
21 friends.
 
3.
 
Full Metal Jacket
Kept airing all week,
They needed to
Tee up the mourning.
Cowboy and 8-Ball
And Doc Jay still died,
Though Joker communed
With them each.
 
He knew how they’d died . . .
But for what?
 
I had black and white
Dubonnet flashbacks,
Pictured the fallen,
Those kegs.
 
JAD, 2019
THOSE 21 FRIENDS

Forty-three years in
Manhattan, and the
Count stands at 21 friends.
One, maybe two, are still here.
Through conflict, rejection,
Betrayal and death –
Changes of venue or heart –
Time has deleted my past.
As I circle Times Square,
This hyper-clear night,
At the start of a
Cool, grudging June,
The sadness I buried
And thought I’d escaped,
Shadows me
Shaping these lines.
 
JAD, 2019
WHAT WAS IT?
 
Did anyone know
What anyone knew?
Or cared in the meantime
Or felt?
Was anyone paying
Attention?
The moment, regardless,
Had come.
 
We pondered the causes,
The absence of skills,
The shortage of time
And equipment,
But in spite of our passion –
Or maybe because –
No one remembered
The drill.
 
We enquired of experts,
Consulted with touts,
Wrote letters and
Promised to speak.
But no one was able
To offer a theory
On what the real issue
Might be.
 
We lobbied for changes,
Collected receipts,
Exhumed then reburied
Old tropes.
In light of some gestures
That hadn’t occurred,
Gifts were exchanged
Then returned.
 
We traveled to Georgia,
Sojourned in New York,
Considered both
Butte and D.C.
Yet, none of our partners
Seemed keen to engage.
We almost recruited
Quebecers.
 
Was anyone thinking?
Did context still count?
Was meaning a
Meaningful goal?
We caucused for hours,
Recruited old hands.
What was it?
We never found out.
 
JAD, 2019
CONVINCED
 
Impaled by sleep, its
Quartering blade –
The armies of night
Ripping through me --
I awaken, each morning,
Agape at my wounds,
Depleted by dread,
Undone.
 
As I lie there surprised
That I’ve made it again –
Often, a grim
Thirty minutes –
I accept that, by now,
I’ll succumb.
These bloody, long nights
Have convinced me.
 
JAD, 2019
PLANET REM: IT NEARS
 
What crisis crouches,
Camouflaged,
Beside this foul canal?
Which screeds attempt to screen it?
Are cattle calls
Conducted here or
Merely kosher kills?
Which scribes instill ill will?
 
What cyber-sexed
Semantics reign
Through signals celled and sold?
Are softer-subtext
Matadors
Now flashing redder red?
What victims feigning virtue,
Dream of shaming fame?
 
What carnage simmers
Near the beach,
What landing craft approach?
What sabotaging bureaucrats,
Militia-sped, have fled?
What amplified
Resistance builds,
Who holds the road to Queens?
 
The effigies of
Aftermath –
Impaled piñatas all –
Hang from sacred banyan trees
Beyond the call to arms.
Have crones surmised
This sudden end?
What cavalcades await?
 
What convoluted
Contretemps
Of forward French design,
Cloned to cleanse
Identity
And freeze dry Palestine,
Has ever flummoxed force?
This time, blood may flow.
 
Waves of evening
Etiquette
No longer breed finesse.
Former favored sycophants
Compete for cruder tropes.
When did life become like this –
Is panic in the house?
The moment covets clues.
 
Bottom-feeders lunge for air,
The middle kingdoms fall,
The hoarding class has
Raised the bridge,
Rebrands inside the walls.
A stanza strangely
Clear enough,
Declares more than it yields.
 
What mission now
Metastasized,
Is creeping in our wake?
Can all that seems
Indelible
Resist atomic weight?
What hybrid, now unfettered,
Is feeling for its pulse?
 
JAD, 2019
REM XXI: FIELD MARSHAL

FM:
 
I will wipe the blood
From these battlements
If you roast me a
Chicken on a spit;
If you solder my
Broken toy soldiers;
And build me a
Maplewood bar.
But I only have
Twenty-four hours.
Is it future enough
For your needs?
Though I might sound oblique,
I’m determined.
Acuity runs
In my veins.

SGT:
 
The news from the front
Is disturbing, sir.
There’s mustard in places –
It burns up your lungs.
And the front, you’ll recall,
Has shifted behind us.
We’re losing, it seems,
Asymmetrically.
We’re stacking our powder –
And keeping it dry –
But we’re too scared to fire
For fear of self-hits.
The headquartered hackers
Have circled their screens.
The marines who’ve been
Cybered are out.

FM:
 
Are you claiming a
One-sided fog?
Shall I flee to Ibiza,
The grottoes of peace?
Stroll through the breeze
Like an afternoon god?
Admonish that fool
Whom that woman bamboozled,
Rattle my saber
And run up the flag –
When the masters of
Hubris are dying of shame
And the Ides of
McMansions have come?
But then, where is that chicken?
I’m starved.
 
JAD, 2019
STATUS REPORT

I have floaters, stones,
Plaque in my vessels,
Traces of Barrett’s
Esophagus.
While I ponder the
Ways I may perish or not,
Summer, undaunted,
Rolls on.
 
The lout in the White House,
His madness his fuse,
Erupts with a bomb
Thrower’s flare.
Determined to shock
With the sting of his rancor,
He merely revisits
His pain.
 
As he battles the fate
Of the least of us here –
That class self-deprived
Of self-worth –
He howls like a
Sinner in flame.
No wonder he craves
His own universe.
 
None of this works in
The actual world
As its actual
Workings make clear.
Does he not see it’s we
Who are sovereign?
Fencing with phantoms
Just simulates war.
 
He oscillates madly,
Turns peace into strife;
Relief, into studied
Foreboding.
The wave lately risen,
Collapses, recedes.
Rumors of madness
Persist.
 
JAD, 2019
NO LONGER MINE
 
Sidelined by time and
Cultures reordered,
I keep to my
Narrowing patch
Till, one day, a
Silent, subliminal
Summons
Steers me down born-again streets.
 
What do I think, then,
Of stark Hudson Yards,
The High Line now slivered
By buildings too dense?
The Meat Packing District,
Its monetized blocks –
Did I once go there
Only for beef?
 
Trust me, I’ve wondered,
But lacking in proof,
I seem to be just
Passing through.
These streets I once wandered
And thought of as mine
Belong to the
Hungrier young.
 
JAD, 2019
P IS FOR POEM

The pain that paupers
Precedent,
That profits paranoia,
That plunders perfect
Pedigree
And pranks each puny punk –
 
Is polling poorer, primed.
 
The pain that plumbs
Precocity,
That placates peeved Pandora,
That primps pretentious
Punditry
And prunes the pride of prudes –
 
Is pelting perky pines.
 
The pain that punctures
Pentecost,
That panders to pretenders,
That parses prim
Presentiment
Then pivots, prepossessed –
 
Is prompting pirouettes.
 
The pain that pans
Philanthropy,
That predicates personas,
That plots the path of
Predators
And paralyzes prayer –
 
Is proofing perjured popes.
 
The pain that pierces
Picadors,
That plagiarizes prophets,
That pasteurizes
Perfidy
And penalizes pluck –
Is preening, plumed or not.
 
The pain that pilfers
Paradigms,
That pulverizes passion,
That poaches pesky
Platitudes
And parries purer, posed –
 
Is pissing in the pond.
 
JAD, 2019
REM XXII
 
Up-swung, manic –
Humping for happy –
I tindered each challenge
I took,
Spiking with saffron,
That saccharin swill
That flowed from my
Chalice-like cup.
Did I muster my muses
Then pimp them all out?
Did I always seek
Mollusk-less shells?
Was form the one substance
I fondled – then flubbed
When ransacking
Crackerjack love?
Cumbered by bunting
Of stunted design,
Ancestral decline
And resentment,
I clawed back my talents
With talons too thin,
Cursing again
What I’d done.
 
JAD, 2020
IT'S TIME

I’ve hung from that cross –
Examine the holes –
Extract from your psyche
My screams.
The image I promised
Would neatly evolve
Is still taking shape
As we speak.
But what of those extra-
Terrestrials?
The ones we’ve awaited
So long.
Man, if they’re coming,
It’s time.
 
JAD, 2020
CONFESSION

What have I done
But paralyze thought,
Encasing stale words
In stiff lines.
What rhyming conceits
Have I practiced?
Who has opposed or
Deposed me just once?
Have I taken myself
For a fool?
Show me what pretext,
What peerless pretense,
What pardoner’s penance
Precedes me?
Have I even the gumption
To plead?
I’ve swaggered too long
Down this beach.
 
My atrophy nears,
My maximum range,
Recoil has rallied –
It’s roaring my way.
Can I still master
Methods and aims?
Truthers and traitors
Take terrified turns.
Torrents turn turrets
To dust.
I’m leaning towards lazy
Yet lunging towards pain.
The East is infected.
What fresh West is this?
Tomorrows are dwindling.
The sun staggers back.
Do I fear myself most?
I am here.
 
JAD, 2020
THEY'RE FRISKING
 
It isn’t one life but
Several, he muses,
Then loses his cadence,
All notion of time;
Roams through reflections
Of what’s just occurred,
Past splices of image
And rhyme.
But then, why do the
Words come at all?
The music meanders
Or, muted, just mopes,
A muddle of flagging
Conviction.
There isn’t the hint
Of a song.
 
But what of the words?
They’re frisking.
Who stole the play book,
My bacon, a march?
Then boosted the
Hierophant’s throne?
And who took that poke
At Spinoza?
Whose is this jungle,
Its insects and heat?
Have I sinned my way
Straight to Siam?
Will Conrad, my Conrad,
Retell us a tale –
Narcissus, Nostromo,
Typhoon?
 
JAD, 2020

	

Origins of Social Justice Call-Out Culture

It’s Only Six Years-Old

Most of the noise is in the Northeast and on the Pacific Coast, with a smattering of yelps in Chicago.

But it’s still a cancer and has chilled free expression, inhibiting professors from saying bold things.  So, no one’s exploring BOLD THOUGHT.

Compounding the damage is GADGET ADDICTION, the worst social poison we’ve known.

The biggest loser?

NUANCE.

FEW MOODS

FEW MOODS
 
I’m now in a 
Loamier state –
Sucking back into
Unconsciousness
All that I’ve failed
To recall.
Sleep, that discursive
Czarina,
Furtive divider
And balancer – 
Sea shanty she-god
Of blackouts –
Has stuffed me again
With her grist.
How do I know
I can grind it?
 
We regress by
Repetitive sequencing,
Dizzying circuits
Of spirals reversed
Into panics of
Manic embroidery.
With nothing so much
As a stich-saving thought,
We deem this – surreally –
Routine.
But with zero recourse
To what worked in de Nimes –
The genes bleu tradition
Forsworn –
Our raiment begins
To feel cheap.
 
Sleep may launch coyly
On gray, loamy days,
Flotillas of
Salvaging moods.
They may pass through this
Keyboard, pay duty.
But are they, like Britons
Rechristened John Bull –
Untested, inchoate,
Unyoked –
More likely to leave
Than remain?
Few moods afloat
Can re-navigate
The straits between sleep
And this state.
 
JAD 2016
DREAM ON

How slowly I list
Through these streets,
Straining for glimpses
Of set pieces past;
Of newsstands and
Storefronts deceased.
Scuttling through seabeds
Of tangled greens sheets,
I sense where my
Right mind resides.
Wary of rumors
At Boeing’s expense,
We stuff it, yet
Exit our seats.
The aircraft goes down
Over France.
 
The A/C is roaring
But may have just stopped.
The Riverdale bus
Has been bombed.
Disgusted with August,
The dog walkers yelp
While the nail shops on
Second implode.
Koreans are homeless,
The shelters full-up
And the A/C smells
Gutted and charred.
Picasso has emailed
A limerick to Sartre.
Do I pee now or
Fall back to sleep?
 
JAD, 2016
UP BROADWAY
 
Like sleek silver bullets,
Their roles therapeutic,
The cars of the 3
Shorten space,
Replacing each moment
Of ceaseless summation
With speed-driven visions
Of less.
 
Speed as it gathers
On rails to the Bronx,
Rescinds every claim
To attachment,
Rejects and dismantles
Each logos and nous,
While voiding all wagers
On God.
 
Mantras once dulling,
Adopted in pain,
Rejected in fits
Of denial –
All of them telling –
Have spoken as one.
Look to the breath
As your fulcrum.
 
Ranged on these benches
The length of this car,
We clatter ahead
On the El –
Some count out stations
Or charmed by their phones,
Hide from disquiet
Or grief.
 
JAD, 2016
MINDFUL
 
Mindful of fear and
Blank meditation,
Of rain in the
Forecast and sky;
Mindful of buses that
Muscle through traffic,
Of trains that derail
In the Bronx.
 
Mindful of backache –
The stretches that work –
Of insights in
Washington Square;
Of loners and playwrights,
The stacks at The Strand,
Of moments recovered
Then lost.
 
Mindful of baseball,
The sun’s crucial light,
The young in their
Cantering freedom;
Mindful of shadows
Remorselessly cast;
Of veterans – the
Vacant and dead.
 
Mindful of patterns
And themes without end,
The dotage of
Heroes defamed;
Mindful of clerics
And seers oversold
When mindful of that
Side of night.
 
Mindful of mercy,
Of mastodon tusks,
Bukowski’s best poems,
Dead freedoms;
Mindful of leases,
Of ferries in fog,
Of evil that
Mortifies light.
 
Mindful of mindful,
As mind is of mind,
I’m mindful of
Mind as in mine.
Mindful of soil,
Of water, the breath,
I’m mindful I’m
Mindful of much.
 
JAD, 2017
OUR SUMMUM BONUM

Heaven is Shit, man,
This sounds good
Until it can’t be found.
If hope’s for sale
Through penance,
Fear upholds our hells.
God is summum bonum
Yearning,
Wails in ancient 
Tongues,
Tales that charm the
Anxious heart,
Convert its faithless
Beating.
What soothes us best
We bless.
 
JAD, 2017
I SING THE CITY INFECTED
 
The evening’s final
Scene complete,
The after-pavements teem,
Bathed in blinding L-E-D’s
In hyper-clear HD.
Symbols, sirens, centipedes
Compete down fevered streets,
Secrete their slag
And sabotage,
Infect unconscious meat.
Silt from leaded excess-flows
Collects in fetid pools.
 
Raw rejoinders amplified
Rebuke uncertain minds.
Regrouped, the waxing
Wage-less wait;
The waning ageless wilt.
Beneath the hum of
Rumored plots,
The jumbo slabs of waste,
The odes to tech and
Rectitude,
The rape of inner space –
Swollen moments quake.
 
JAD, 2017
WHEN STREETS DON'T REMEMBER
 
The flattening rays  
Of the sun as it sinks
Run the length of
Manhattan’s ranked streets
As I roam between rivers,
Acknowledge dead-ends,
Remember the missing,
Reflect.
 
I recall James Salter’s
Clean sentences,
Lucid and bright
On the page.
He’s left us distraught
And so has Sam Shepard –
A Donne-like
Diminishment double.
 
The face-lifted towers
That crown Bryant Park
Suggest, to the faithful,
Renewal.
Renewal, I ask,
On what basis -- 
When streets don’t remember
The best voices lost.
 
JAD, 2017
SELF-INTEREST
 
The messaging, scripted
And crafted,
Showed a need to
Excel through control.
Friends served as comrades
In crisis or guilt;
Others, as usable
Tools.
Women, too eager
Or well beyond reach,
Were neither the game
Nor its goal –
Foes on occasion,
Muses no less –
But mainly the ground
Where we played.
 
Grinders more guarded,
More suited to trade,
Focused their efforts
On profit;
Followed their clients
Through cycles and spurts;
Thought only in
Rates of return.
How did they temper
Their urges and whims,
Subsist in conventional
Lives –
Courting promoters
Who saw them as fools,
Shouldered no risk,
Cashed out?
 
JAD, 2017
ON THE PHONE
 
Believe me, it works . . .
That’s just what it feels like –
Win-hattan freezing
In Man-ter . . .
No, you’re the same.
You always liked playing –
Splicing together
Rogue syllables.
 
Sorry, I blanked.  They’re
Ripping down buildings?
Ripping them where –
Downtown . . . ?
All I see standing
Are vacancies.
Cyber-struck cyphers
Or what don’t I get?
 
Remember old Jack and
Neal Cassidy . . . ?
Don’t overlook they knew Time.
Knew it like . . . pardon . . . ?
Buildings like shards? 
Only the new ones . . . I see.
But slicing through what –
Old neighborhoods . . . ?
 
Really, no kidding.  I know!
Streets that resemble
Scenes from bad dreams,
Patterns with pieces that clash.
Do you find now that
Sleep is exhausting . . . ?
You do.  I find I
Awaken in pain . . .
 
You what?  Well, don’t be
Surprised if I’m not.
It all came together
In Madison Square.
Not in a rush of
Awareness at all . . .  
A panic attack . . .
In reverse . . .
 
Wait till I tell you, okay . . . ?
Mainly surreal, yet serene . . .
Intriguing as get-out,
A sense of return,
Grudging in places,
Yet, plainly a gas . . .
Height of the buildings,
The view.
 
You see, what I see
Aren’t memories.  They’re
Memories of memories,
Instead.
Flashes of flashbacks . . .
Had them, yourself . . . ? 
Remembrance is all
I recall . . .
 
No way . . . !  Hustled up 6th
To Rock Center.
Checked out St. Patrick’s,
The shoppers, the Tree – I’m
Searching, I guess, for my ghost.
Felt that I’d crafted some
Workman-like lines on how
We imagine New York . . .
 
Why say I felt?  I lost them.
Thought I’d recall them,
Forgot they were gone.
How stupid not
Writing them down . . .
All of them cadenced,
Broke where they should . . .
Miss them?  Forget it, I’m pissed!
 
Happened as well in
A cab in the Strand,
Sitting in traffic, hard rain.
Flying all over,
Writing on planes,
Living two lives, I knew Time.
Next time, let’s talk
About you.
 
JAD, 2018
JOINED
 
1.
 
Beauty viewed through
Numbing pain,
Now shines with duller
Promise.
Like clenching fingers,
Freshly stitched,
I bleed when
Stretched too far.
 
2.
 
Light advancing –
Watch for signs:
Those richer tones,
Come April! –
Ensures its own
Reversal
When clocks fall back
Again.
 
JAD, 2018
THESE, THESE AND MORE

These curdled responses
So crudely delivered,
These mercies withheld
From the meek.
 
These harbors of heartache
Revealed to the sighted,
These heartbreaks unsealed
In the night.
 
These writs and petitions
So subtly encircling,
These treasons reserved
For elites.
 
These calls to the calloused
To hustle the hapless,
These heroes now
Humbled or culled.
 
These lusts of the moment
So deeply embedded,
These calumnies
Cadenced in bursts.
 
These cavernous lapses
Devoid of all purpose,
These pointed
Omissions and voids.
 
These truculent tenors
Eschewing the high notes,
These crooners adlibbing 
The words.
 
These commandeered missions
Rebranded as movements,
These cultural markers
Effaced.
 
These limitless reaches,
Forbidden, forsaken;
These gambits and rescues
Delayed.
 
These tremors and shudders
Of innocent dreamers,
These maestros serene
Unto death.
 
JAD, 2018
WE AMERICANS
 
We’ve clung to the traces
Of lies once believed –
These spasms of
Star-spangled spin –
Then ditching forensics,
Adherence to facts,
Licensed fresh liars,
Nonplussed.
 
High on the mesas
Of pasteurized zeal,
We’ve roasted our martyrs
On spits,
Lip-synching birdsong,
Regressing in tweets,
We warblers of
Camouflaged fraud.
 
Racing through stages
Of cauterized grief,
We’ve sanctified
Ripples of hope,
Skirting the moment
Of tide-turning doubt,
Dividing awareness
In two.
 
Heartened by hucksters,
Their halcyon chants,
We’ve glowered at
Sages and seers
While heard in the markets;
On cable, the street:
Proof that our moment
Has passed.
 
JAD, 2018 

Vivisecting White People

That’s Not Kool-Aid, It’s Hemlock

This is nothing short of payback, and it’s grounded in nonsense.

They’re asking whites to shed their identities and belief systems, much of which have nothing to do with any of this.  And who, but for those with 10+ years of psychotherapy, is capable of significant change, anyway?

Only in cases of vengeance do we see this degree of unreason and intolerance.

Yes, let’s all return to Old Testament and Koranic concepts of justice and see where it takes us.  Where there’s collectivism, there’s collective punishment, the thing Palestinians accused Israelis of.  And rightly so. 

But, then, are those same white Americans who criticized Israelis for this now going to endorse it as some African-American sainted prerogative simply because whites are guilty of being white and, therefore, privileged?  When did the US adopt Maoist notions of identity?

Boy, don’t the shoe move from foot to foot!

And, apparently, one shoe fits all.  Don’t forget for one moment that this is less about justice and more about POWER.