bilocated worlds

autumn_smoke_s

My phone politely starts my Sunday:

Good morning human,
your mission is to find out
whether purpose matters.

Where subdivided paths marked
invisible demarcations,
I saw enough to know
the truth of almost nothing.

Where falling cartoon clocks shattered
into bells and spiral springs,
I waited for a gentle sound.

Where graduated tick marks
switched the traffic lights,
I stopped to contemplate my lies.

I clean my teeth and start
my exploration
miles away from home.

~/~

On the steps before the gym,
I come across a stranger.
He sighs and coughs the city air,
looks up at clothes
the sky is wearing, faded stonewash.

He’s writing a note for school tomorrow.

There’s a river running through my house,
it washed my life away.
I did my homework though,
imagined words 
that rest
on feelings, heartless and unfounded,

my love for you.

The expression of my thoughts
is marred by imperfections,
stigmata of my youth,
but I promise I’ll do better, teacher,
I promise I’ll do better.

~/~

I travel onward
through the artifice of realism,
its bones and bolts,
where cranes are idle scaffold vultures
perched on vertebrae of buildings,
dry and dying before their birth.

Now I’m in a photograph of sunset,
a page unopened in a coffee table book
of diversionary lust and neon.
Twilight ghosts that rise in autumn’s smoke
awaken all around me.

The beautiful horizon, the ocean’s
distant line, is my conceit.
In her nearness, she is restive and chaotic.

As I journey, less days are right
and more are not,
but I promise I’ll do better.


background
My phone is intrusive and not polite at all; my conclusions about what I saw while I was driving to work one day.

artwork
autumn smoke part above.

53 thoughts on “bilocated worlds

  1. So good – liked all of it (a lot) – but particularly – the second-last stanza: two views – the restive and chaotic sea up close and the horizon line – opening up so many spaces for the reader. Terrific.

    • Thanks Peter, and for mentioning that stanza. I was pleased with it. Funny how ideas form. One place it came from is the Brazilian city Belo Horizonte “Beautiful Horizon,” and what a great name it is. Not that I’m complaining about, say, Dubbo. 😁

  2. Gold from the very beginning…I laughed at “politely” and your mission, I mean, that is just GOLD. What else do you have to do on a Sunday anyway?
    Amazing, as usual.
    And I love the art, too!

  3. Our phones are not meant to be polite, especially when they’re signed on to Google, which constantly makes ‘suggestions’ whether we like it or not. 😉
    I like the irony of the phrase ‘artifice of realism’.

    • Thanks Magarisa. Yes, I was going to write something about Samsung and Google and decided not to. I’m not throwing my phone away, just have to put up with it. For me reality is whatever I pretend it is. 😸

      PS I have to apologize for the typo in my comment on your blog. I’m careless and I make mistakes all the time, notice and then can’t change it. Wish WP let you edit them.

    • You’re welcome, Steve. I’m not throwing my phone away either. We (as in modern humans) make lots of compromises for the sake of convenience, don’t we?
      P.S. Please don’t give your typos a second thought. I usually don’t even notice. I can correct them on my side if there are any typos on my blog that really bother you. Otherwise, it’s all good. 😊

    • Thank you. I must say I do not know Mr Lewaper like you do. I only have the pleasure of reading about him on your blog. I suspect he is a very famous person and that Lewaper is a pseudonym. For example, he might be the King of Spain or the first astronaut to land on Mars (secretly). 😸

  4. My purpose in life – and yes, it matters – especially on Sunday mornings, is blueberry pancakes. 🙂

    Hard to pick a favorite stanza, but I adore this one:
    “Where subdivided paths marked
    invisible demarcations,
    I saw enough to know
    the truth of almost nothing.”

    And “stigmata of my youth” is so poignant. I loved it all. Impossible not to. There’s a space in me that the words seem to fit perfectly.

    • Thank you BG, yes it does. Yesterday (Sunday) I was at a Buddhist event where the Heart Sutta was recited, the one that tells us everything is empty and meaningless, and afterwards a great vegetarian lunch. If I’m going to contemplate the void, I prefer to have a good meal first. And an occasional glass of Pinot or a coffee. 😸

      Yeah, it hurts a bit thinking about me starting university at 16 years old, and the infinite list of what I didn’t know, and still don’t, but I wouldn’t change anything. Go nerds. 🤓

  5. The paradox seems to be that life is meaningless and meaningful at the same time! Go figure. It will take a lot more meditation before I get it. But I’ve heard that the most enlightened Buddha was the one who laughed! That I get!

  6. Steve, I’m very slow to respond to this piece. I read it days ago and have now re-read it and I find it filled with interesting thoughts and great depth. There are lines in each main section that struck me as having marvelous depth. Lovely work.

    • It’s fine and I’m grateful for your feedback whenever it happens, Frank, I truly appreciate it. And I want to thank you for helping me with my problem (the soluble one, that is 😳), I’m currently getting used to the changed comment system, a bit different because new comments don’t appear highlighted for moderation.

      My writing (and work and thinking) is a bit staccato lately. I’m hoping a healthy dose of fear that I have nothing to post will save me before the end of this week. 😃

    • Thanks so much for your kind words. This piece holds uncomfortable truths for me so it’s pleasing to know it’s appreciated. And ditto, I’m looking forward to reading more of your posts. 😃

  7. Steve, Your poems are gems.
    They are like sand washed coloured glass that you find on the beach and want to hold and treasure. You have this uncanny ability to take us on these trips of the mind and heart.
    Last night I read it, but I was too tired from studio work to understand. I like that your poems make me want to read them more than once to see what I have missed the first time around.

    • What a beautiful image. When I was a young rock collector, I wasn’t able to distinguish the natural from the fabricated. I would collect pieces of concrete, bitumen, tile, and on the shore, those pieces of polished bottle glass. I searched and searched through my geology book and never found them. 🙂 Thanks for your kind words Tamaya.

    • My pleasure, Tamaya, and I’m sure you do. It was just there when I was driving. I saw the boy seated in front of the gym and the sky at the same time. It was very dry, and the smoke from burning off, dust, ordinary clouds, pollen etc. combined to make a city sky with subtle colors and shapes, not natural, but still amazing. If I’d had my camera with me I would have taken a photo. And caused a major traffic accident probably. 😸

    • Thank you so much and you’re very welcome. The consolation is that at least I’ve seen enough to know that it’s my truth, and perhaps I’m not the only one.

  8. I like that your poems form me require to study them more than once to picture what I give birth missed the initiatory clip around. My personal favourite,
    ‘the sky is wearing, faded stonewash’
    smart as a whip!

    • Muito bom. Words are such strange things aren’t they? Sometimes I find them under the rug, or between the cushions on the sofa. I pile them all up and wonder what to do with them. Occasionally I scatter them in the backyard for the pigeons to eat, and now and then I mark them as spam. 😁

  9. Love: Now I’m in a photograph of sunset–just a beautiful stanza, the images as well as the sound.
    Love the art; looks like an oil painting with brushstrokes and the horizon and clouds at sunset.

    • Glad you enjoyed. Sometimes I think the words choose me. I know that writers are inspired by beautiful scenery, but being bored waiting at suburban traffic lights works for me. 🚦 My pleasure. 😃

    • Thanks. I’ve been trying to teach my brain to do tricks, sit up, roll over, play dead. I give it coffee as a reward if it gets it right. But it’s harder than I thought. 😜

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