Poetry & Songs, by Charles Carreon

For the sake of ornament and illumination.

POETRY

Postby admin » Tue Sep 24, 2013 4:07 am

Love Letter to Cottonwood Creek (West Fork), by Charles Carreon

Gathering of many smaller flows,
of trickles and drips,
all proceeding from somewhere above,
from the peak of sloping granite
we call Mount Ashland --
Down in Hornbrook they depend on you
for all their water --
Up here we splash in hollow bowls
 of rough, rust colored rock.
Nearby the flow's exposed seams of grey
clay that crumbles to make a nice,
rough soap or body paint, or just lies
there getting soft on the bank.
There's seats of sculpted sandstone
and a bathtub for children, and a short,
rough slide, all literally a stone's
throw from a logging road: for naked
hippies only; we know your secrets,
Cottonwood, you can't hide them.
 
I've found the cool, fresh spots where
deer make the damp earth smooth, resting
intimate with you in a narrow, steep
ravine shaded with willows.
I've sat next to where two flows meet
to make you, and listened to the sound
of their union.
I've walked further up and seen
your tributaries blocked with logs
and also the shade stripped off where forty-foot
pines and cedars stood, protecting from the sun's
heat the tiny, vital flow that is yours by right.
I've looked at the skidder tracks
where tall, slender trees
were dragged away in chains.
Only the crooked ones, the twisted ones,
the dwarfed and gnarled ones are left,
proving the truth of the Taoist's argument.
 
Oh, Cottonwood, I know you're all right,
and you'll make it even though you dried
up altogether this summer for the first
time in years,
You're running now at least eighty gallons
a minute,
And I love you and all your rocks and boulders
lying bare in the steep ravines;
I love how you make dams and pools out of
rotten old snags;
I love you and your oaks and alders that
grow so close to the crumbling bank that
in rainy times they sometimes fall into you
or perhaps clean across, making bridges
across the muddy torrent that is you in midwinter.
 
Further down, where you earn your name
giving life to white-barked cottonwoods
with leaves that whisper, exposing
silver-dollar undersides, down there
you're some else's,
But here at the West Fork I know your ways;
I've spoken intimately with you
by means of cups and buckets,
We've held long-distance conversations
through the hose of the waterpump;
You've washed my dishes and my body
and those of my children innumerable times
with your pure, clear hands,
And in the midst of summer heat
I can lay my head in your lap
while you pour a stream of water over it,
washing out the heat and the thoughts
with a roaring of bubbles and wet sound
 
The cold wrings me out and pulls me
together, clears my eye and washes
the dust from my ears; I can hear
you then and I listen for true words
that no one understands.
 
I think perhaps that love is like this,
that I give myself to you walking barefoot
up your long, straight shallow stretches,
slipping on the smooth rocks, and
I won't think about how I heard
there once were trout in you before
Fruitgrowers built a dam they needed
to use you --
I won't think about it, Cottonwood,
as if it meant that you were losing ground:
I'll remember the petrified branches
scattered on your banks,
And the ancient whispers I heard
among the alders when I touched them,
As if I'd been stirring Grandmother's bones,
and I'll remember then that your young face
is ancient. I won't cry for your wounds:
I won't disturb the spirits
with my foolish crying, Cottonwood;
I'll just be quiet, Cottonwood,
I who breathe briefly, here with you
who will be flowing
long after I am gone.
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POETRY

Postby admin » Tue Sep 24, 2013 4:08 am

Luck, by Charles Carreon

Waiting for the impulse,
The real move,
Is so hard ...
You know what you want to do
You know what you have to do,
But to actually feel like
You and the doing are now
One at point "A" is something
Else again.

So, no genuineness,
No spontaneity,
No taste of pure impulse
On your tongue.

Instead, the bland flavor
of obligation fulfilled,
The comfort of avoiding risk,
The pat on the head
From the familiar God.

Today, a cascade of energy
Will radiate from the sun,
And just as it happens,
A drop of it will bless
The earth.
So faithful and regular,
The sun has no sense of duty.
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POETRY

Postby admin » Tue Sep 24, 2013 7:48 am

Magic, by Charles Carreon

Like going from here
to there without spending
any energy

Like going to bed a creep
and waking up a nice guy

Like doing nothing to
improve your situation
and having it improve anyway

Like buying a crystal
(or a car) and having
it change your whole life.

Magic ... another word for
advertising ...

12/26/88, Los Angeles, California
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POETRY

Postby admin » Tue Sep 24, 2013 7:49 am

Magician's Hat, by Charles Carreon

Borrowing the magician's hat,
and upturned cuffs,
And a certain flair with the audience,
Introducing my lovely assistant,
Invisible as ever but lovely nonetheless,
I present myself to you
As what I am.

For my opening and closing act tonight
I will be everybody and somebody
And nobody and you.
I will examine parallelograms,
enteogens, exorcism ...
Making reference to the placement of furniture
In your living room.

I will tell you the story of a broken heart
and of the girl who broke it more thoroughly.

I will tell you how my lovely assistant
came to be.

We will walk till you are lost in the mirror-land
of mutating forms.

You will feel desire pulling you on through
Colored sand,
rainbow fountains,
Drifting clouds,
Across valleys perfect and serene.

You will journey far and re-emerge to
Red lips
chromed steel,
Cold leather.

You will greet the mirror,
Motherlover, angeldoubter ...
Poison popsickle sucker,
Lick and roller,
Tide rider ...
A ship burns on the sea at midnight,
And she is among the dead.

A clinging mist chills the harbor,
An old man's eyes scan the waves.
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POETRY

Postby admin » Tue Sep 24, 2013 7:51 am

Mama's Home, by Charles Carreon

Kay Kay Kay tookmy bay-bee away -- !
protestants stole my sweetie, catholix ripped
off my condoms, bankofamerica repo-ed my Brain.
Blue blood thrift executive slime
took Mother Mary for a ride in a credit card scam
(mastah-charge and veeza downthedrain)
SHE AIN'T GONNA TAKE IT NO MORE !
She rips off her bra in an agony of relief,
AND WITH A BEATIFIC SMILE ON HER FACE
takes out Wayne Newton, Frank Sinatra and Ronald Reagan
in that order, with three measured blasts.
Then it's on to others, annihilating them before
they can see her, making kitty litter out of headlines
that advertise a "second coming": she only comes ONCE.
Rupert Murdock and Patty Hearst will have to find
some other flabby universe to screw up
now that she's back, asserting her BIG MOUTH --

YEAH YEAH YEAH
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POETRY

Postby admin » Wed Sep 25, 2013 8:15 pm

May, by Charles Carreon

Well, come what May
Here I'll stay
can't get away
Anyway.
Solitary fire
tortured lyre
Burned out
Memory wire.
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Postby admin » Wed Sep 25, 2013 8:16 pm

Merry Man, by Charles Carreon

I see the towers and glass,
the ultrasuede.
It don't impress me.
 
They're just the markers in a silly game.
When we were kids
We used to play Monopoly.
 
But now the hotels are real,
and I have to sit in them,
and pay the rent,
and watch the videos on TV.
 
Don't hold out thirty pieces
in the form of a lifetime pension,
and ask me to betray my own family.
I've sat down at your table,
and it's set with silver plate,
But like the man once said,
there's just some shit I cannot eat.
 
Yes maybe I have vampire fangs like you,
And my eyes can gleam like ice,
But no mistake,
I'm just a Merry Man,
And I've got you in my sights.
 
Yeah I'll fight you
till we're both so weak
we can barely stand;
You'll yield or I will
kill you if I can.
 
And if I play this game for keeps,
It's you who made the rules,
and heaven judge us both
if we're fighting here like fools.
I'll take the common road
and give my friend a hand.
You catch a ride to the castle gate.
I'll stick with the band.
 
Los Angeles, 12/12/90
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Postby admin » Wed Sep 25, 2013 8:23 pm

Metamorphosis, by Charles Carreon

Image

Out very late
Eyes so bright as to be unnatural
Walking about in the light of street lamps
Hands shoved deep into pockets
Gazing at the stars thoughtfully
Fully conscious of the 3 A.M. silence
Saying very little
Listening listening
And everything is quietly whispering
Whispering very quietly
And we hear the whispering grow to a soft murmur
Soft light in the east begins to turn off the stars one by one
They disappear
And the light grows
Still we walk about
A bit chilly and
Talking softly about important things
Garbage trucks and lumber camps
Important things
And as all in the east grows indigo
We sit at the edge of a vacant lot
Watch the sun crawl over the horizon
Glowing very bright pink
Silent we are
With the glow fading from our eyes now
Simply smile and sigh and watch
In the living room play chess
As the sun scrubs the darkness away
Renegade bands of light rout the fading shadows
... and --- we sighed a long sigh -- for awhile
Then our minds curled up
Like cats before a warm stove
In a kitchen with a woman smiling 'round and
Singing songs the words of which she does not know

1969
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POETRY

Postby admin » Wed Sep 25, 2013 8:27 pm

Michelangelo Said to Diego Rivera, by Charles Carreon

Standing straight up here and now
The world is on fire
consumed by flames
One thing only remains,
Desire,
and that by a million names.

Who shall
measure the metes of the expanding universe
between the span of his hands?
Who shall
hold all life in the hollow of her palm
In the heart of a fertile valley,
Where a thousand rivers bloom?

No one
conquers all questions.
All die
to some extent unfulfilled.
The trick to appreciating that
is not so difficult.
Just laugh ...
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Postby admin » Wed Sep 25, 2013 8:30 pm

Mind in Eclipse, by Charles Carreon

Image

Our true nature abides
Like the sun in eclipse,
Obscured by the dark disc
Of a coal-eyed moon.
The only difference is this --
The sun is obscured by a stone,
While the shadow cast
by flesh and bone
Upon the inner eye
Is at most a figment,
At worst a lie.

***

Image

An eclipse lays to rest the illusion that the moon is self-luminous, and reveals the sun to be the sole source of light.
It has also been said that when the thinking mind is eclipsed in meditation, then only are the stars of the true nature visible.
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