Poetry & Songs, by Charles Carreon

For the sake of ornament and illumination.

POETRY

Postby admin » Tue Oct 01, 2013 9:32 pm

The Oracle, by Charles Carreon (14 years old)

Image

Outside Woolworth's and the A & P
Shrieking descriptions of damnation
Stands a demented soldier of Christ
Gnarled hands and twisted mind
Rooted in his grimy book
He teaches only screamable truth
His hands flay the air and his voice
Drones on
Yet his transient flock listens
Listens and answers
Answers with a silent, endless scream.

(1969)
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POETRY

Postby admin » Tue Oct 01, 2013 9:32 pm

The People, by Charles Carreon

We are the changing-lanes people,
the impatient-waiting-on the on-ramp people
the can't-stand-to-be-stuck behind-a-truck people.
We are the go-up-high-in-the-elevator people,
the live-long-in-a-gymnasium-on-the-exercycle people,
the cash-your-check in the line at the bank people.
 
We are the ant people, the build-their-hives
above the ground people,
The run-their-carriages on road-of-stone people,
The count-their-dollars in the millions people,
The deck-their-wives with splendid clothing people,
The raise-their-young like spoiled princes people.
 
We are the television people,
The wash-their-clothes-with Biz people,
The shine-their-cars with fancy wax people,
The comb-their-hair with gleaming mousse people.
 
We are the inch-deep-roots people,
The insubstantial-as-the-grass people,
The people without real names or memories.
We are the reckless people, the foolish people,
The coming-and-going people,
The crying-like-desolated ghosts people.
We are the people who try to sing themselves
to sleep,
But know no magic songs,
The people who line up to die,
And waken every morning asking why.
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POETRY

Postby admin » Tue Oct 01, 2013 9:34 pm

The Point Is Nothing, by Charles Carreon

Now lift the knife,
Now plunge it into the heart.

Lift the knife and plunge it in.

The point breaks in all barriers
because it is nothing,
penetrating all things.

Piercing deeper,
its reverberation emanating
from ever-deeper levels
shatters bonds in subtler and subtler places,
and all begins to crack apart
from the inside out.

At last it all dissolves in smoke,
and then in air,
leaving everything clear
and unspoken.
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POETRY

Postby admin » Tue Oct 01, 2013 9:36 pm

The Samba of Ignorance, by Charles Carreon

Image

(Sing with Carlos-Montalban-pronunciation to a sinuous, sultry beat )

Not everybody likes to dance
Afraid they are of sweet romance
Preferring the samba of ignorance

Inside my rigid thought construction
No mechanism of reproduction
Just the boring noise of self destruction

Oh, samba of ignorance
So sweet entwining passionless
Of concrete make my party dress

The danger's clear my sweet companion
No daring drives through passion's canyons
Go straight to lovers leap and jump in

Oh, samba of ignorance
I can afford it, a small expense,
Free speech is just an extravagance

Oh, samba of ignorance
Let's dance it now and take no chance
Eliminate all happenstance

Oh, samba of ignorance
I'm blinded in your twisting arms
Safe from knowledge and from harm.

(This poem is really about Juan C. Aragon, creator of Buddhistboards.com, who operated under the false name of Bernardo Aragon during 2002-2003. Apologies to the true Bernardo Aragon, who probably is guilty of nothing more than knowing Juan.)
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Postby admin » Tue Oct 01, 2013 9:38 pm

The Starlit Tomb, by Charles Carreon

[When I was at H.H. Dudjom Rinpoche's birthday party in San Anselmo, California, in 1980, I fell asleep during the Yeshe Tsogyal empowerment. I dreamt that I was looking at a pure white field of crushed pearl dust, and on that white field, as if someone were creating a sand mandala, a red swastika began to appear, pure red like ground rubies. When I awoke, having lost my upright balance, I stuck out my hand sharply for support, which made a loud thump heard throughout the large hall. Everyone turned to look.]

One would like to think that the business of writing is ordinary, that the life of the printed page is simple and direct, but the truth is otherwise.

To be a child of language is to be a slave. A slave to the flow of discourse, to the flow of meaningful sound. Should you fail to heed its insistent flow, you will pay a price.

Nothing surprises one more than loneliness. Just when you think you are insular and self-sustaining, you discover that you are no one when there is nobody but you.

Still you have your words. You can wind meaningful sounds through your fibers of being and seek in meanings transitory and broken the substance of your ignorant knowledge.

The night breaks open like a stone to reveal a heart of emptiness, a tomb of designless design, as quintillions of stars cascade through without explanation or destiny.

You remain wandering in the distance of your precognitions. You persevere in the toiling sands. You wash your water and mind your thoughts. You break down into a tiny pile of ruby dust and frosting of diamonds.
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Postby admin » Tue Oct 01, 2013 9:39 pm

The Trojan Horse, by Charles Carreon

Trojan Horses come in all shapes and sizes
But never in one the receiver despises.
A pleasant appearance,
desirable shape
Still lead to misfortune
Perhaps even rape

So beware sweet words
Which soon turn to gall,
For after fine flattery
It's up 'gainst the wall

Cassandra will tell you
The gift was quite bitter
For only a fool could think
Odysseus a quitter,

There had to be some better
Explanation for why Greeks
would sail away
Abandoning their station

A trick it must be
Thought the lovely princess
But no one would listen
So Troy suffered disaster,
and the image that destroyed them
Bears its name ever after.
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Postby admin » Tue Oct 01, 2013 9:41 pm

The Universe Begins With "A", by Charles Carreon

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First the nuclear blast,
the all-encompassing destruction,
The unrestrained expression of complete
and total contempt for all grasping ideas
all forms all precious things strings of jewels
cities full of garbage woods full of wildlife
mountain majesties and whole galaxies
Whoom! It all collapses under the shock wave
Every atom flies apart from every other atom,
Every subatomic particle from every other one
Releasing energy
Pure energy with a sound like laughter.
And like a cinder at the core of the bomb crater,
A tiny blue light glowing unfathomably bright
Then flickering in and out
Getting brighter with each flicker
Till at last, Bam,
He's there, with her
The two of them in wild embrace
Hair wilder than the wildest man of Borneo
Twisting up with locks of flame
Forehead ornamented with five skulls
Frowning brows and bulging eyes
Grimacing jowls and flexing biceps,
A dominating stance, weapons brandished,
No quiet undertow of wisdom this,
But one voice of unrestrained bliss,
While falling from the sky
The endless rain of iron daggers,
big as icebergs, sharp as razors,
Falling with instantaneous precision
on encrustations, forms, formations
Before they have a chance to take shape,
and the blaze of the collision
Is simply the combustion of the carbon
of delusion
Being liberated into the diamond of space.
The universe begins with A,
for Apocalypse.
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Postby admin » Tue Oct 01, 2013 9:43 pm

The Wilshire Bus, by Charles Carreon

I. Overture
 
This bus rattles on
through the night.
RTD, dirty and doomed,
it slides through its own
Tunnel of poverty
Down bright-lit Wilshire as
the deep blue twilight
enriches the dusk
behind the black tree
silhouettes of the neighborhoods.
 
Mini-markets, corner malls,
new car showrooms, hair salons
slide by, past scratched-up plexi windows.
At last, almost everyone gets off
before we reach the Westside.
Flashing light red and yellow
bar marquee has
no announcement.
No show tonight.
I've gotta pee.
 
The Wilshire bus makes you suffer,
drags you painfully down the whole built-up
congested length of town,
till you despair of your life,
of ever reaching your destination
in a timely manner.
Drags you through midtown, and Fairfax,
and Beverly Hills and Westwood and West LA,
and at last, when all the other riders have given up,
it lets you out,
My God, in front of Polly's, which is crammed,
of course, with people who are having a better
time than you are,
presumably they did not have to ride
the Wilshire bus.
 
II. Winnie-the-Pooh and Tigger Too
 
Winnie-the-Pooh would not have enjoyed
this trip, nor would Piglet or Christopher Robin.
There would not even be
the possibility of sighting a Heffalump
from this vantage point, although you might
spot some threadbare Tigger lounging
by a mailbox, bumming dimes, if you looked
close enough.
 
III. Aliens
 
The Wilshire bus is chocked with people who don't live
where you do, who aren't the same kind of people and
don't live your way, don't bury their noses in books
for the whole trip, don't catch up on their work
between now and McNeil Lehrer, don't do a thing except
stare and rock wearily side to side and back and forth
with no expression.
 
IV. Sleaze
 
Forty five minutes after you board and you're barely
in Beverly Hills. The scratch-dimmed glamour goes
sliding by, and the streets all meet at jack-knife
angles. Bright neon, and a glimpse of violet bar light
radiating from the ceiling of a glassed-in booze
emporium. Where's the mescaline house, the DMT lounge,
the ecstasy den? This bus doesn't take you through
Venice.
 
V. Pastorale
 
Now, in the long, smooth stretch going west from where
Santa Monica Boulevard crosses Wilshire, garden hotels
line the streets with high-rise serenity.
Tiny white lights twinkle in delicate tree branches,
the Westwood signature. I see a lobby, and a few hotel
room bedside lamps; I sense a certain TV ambiance. The
bus slows to a stop at an angle I know by the tilt of
the floor is Comstock, the light before Beverly Glen.
I'm coming home. My children are waiting, the video
is waiting, the leather couch, the wooden floor, the
porch light is waiting.
 
VI. Carnavale
 
Westwood & Wilshire: at the intersection of dream and
reality, UCLA spills its progeny forth into the
marketplace like a giant uterine canal of higher
education, slick with drink, commerce and bland sex.
They're going for a joyride; if they wanted higher
education, all they'd need to do is catch the Wilshire
bus.
 
VII. Sea Dream
 
The bus goes whistling past the VA cemetery and the
old brown hospital buildings where I always imagine
T.S. Eliot's patient lying etherized. Where San
Vicente veers off in a northward-sweeping curve to a
cooler climate. (Flashback to another night when a
driver on a lark followed that seductive curve north,
and drove us silently to the beach, through the dark,
cool onshore breeze. We riders were dumbfounded, but
glad to be off Wilshire, the old tyrant; no one spoke
a word -- we picked new stops on the improvised route,
and walked ourselves home by different ways.)
 
VIII. Home Stretch
 
The bus driver tonight sticks to the route, and I'm not
dreaming; I'm in the seedy part of Brentwood. There's
the mini mall on Barrington, and the liquor store where
I used to park my bike on the sidewalk and buy one Bass
ale from the middle eastern fellows and their female
companions. Still needing to pee, I feel the potholes
of Santa Monica stabbing my bladder with abandon. We
pass the Wherehouse and Jerry's Liquors, pass
McGinty's, Berk's and Savon, Crown Books, Bagel Nosh
and Vons, Callahans and I must mention the Liquor store
of Norris E. Roberts. There's Lincoln with its
homeless park, and copy shops on left and right, a
seven-eleven selling lotto all night long, and Polly's
old folks coffee shop, at last.
 
IX. Paso Lento
 
On the Wilshire Bus you ride
to a destination that is incidentally yours;
you pass by, and may touch
the sequins drooping from the breasts
of an aging whore;
you clutch
at the cold, stainless steel pole, counting street
names like a prayer that you're tired of;
you arrive at last, purified:
the driver's washed his hands,
and you have firmly grasped
your briefcase full of thorns.
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POETRY

Postby admin » Tue Oct 01, 2013 9:48 pm

The World Won't Work Anymore, by Charles Carreon

Why?
 
I can't have a cup of coffee without gunning down
a peasant.
 
I can't drive my car for all the rubber we stole
and the oil, too.
 
I can't use the telephone with all that stolen
copper wire stretching across our country
 
I can't watch TV for all the silent words the
network newsman won't whisper (I'd like to
shake him by the collar, damn him, why won't he
just call it murder!)
 
I can't listen to the radio for all the inane
gibberish they want to pour in my ear
 
While they are telling me to forget I hear it more
clear
 
I want to go, go away from here
 
The earth stinks so much like buffalo blood and
bad whiskey and the grass grows like iron,
 
like twisted words
 
I can't look at the bananas,
they leer like speckled corpses
 
Even California raisins remind me of Indians
who starved to death rather than hoe grapes
under the benevolent eyes of the padres
 
The world doesn't work any more; I'm afraid
it's my enemy.
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Postby admin » Tue Oct 01, 2013 9:52 pm

The Yurt, by Charles Carreon

Image

the yurt is round
(when I built it three years ago
my fellows in the grocery store
took this as final proof of what
they'd suspected all along, i.e.
terminal weirdness)
at any rate it is round, a round
latticework of two-by two's number
one select fir, free of knots
-- rough pine siding and plain old
composition roofing
in the center of the cone shaped ceiling
there's a domed skylight; the whole
house is like an eye and the sun
is always peering in
In the morning in winter it rises, shining
just above the kitchen counter, an ellipse
of light on the blue fabric of the wall
At around ten it shines on the breakfast
table, while dishes get picked up and the
second cup of coffee gets cold
Around noon there's a circle of light on
the floor in front of the trapezoidal-shaped
front door our friends and we all hate
(Matthew calls it the ankle buster, and
it is) and so the sundial gives us a con-
stant reading on the day till at last the
light slides up the roofbeam toward the
sunset, probably behind some clouds
 
appendix a: things you might find
outside the yurt
 
Peach pits
Old nails, half embedded in mud
fragments of white plastic spoons
remains of a rodent waylaid by cats
the cats -- Mellow Yellow, a friendly
fellow whose mild manner belies his
skill as a successful carnivore, and
Grey Cat, a self-satisfied shorthair
who avoids human company
An oak chopping block with the bark
still on it
A very small woodpile with a gimcracky
rain-cover made of scraps and those
thin, aluminum offset plates the Tidings
sells for thirty cents
A fifty gallon tank of water (lasts four
days)
A bunch of sunflower heads hung up in
burlap on the end of a roof beam
Whatever the wind blew out from under
the house
Coffee grounds coming out of the drain
A little comfrey plant
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