Poetry & Songs, by Charles Carreon

For the sake of ornament and illumination.

POETRY

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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POETRY

Postby admin » Tue Oct 01, 2013 9:41 pm

The Universe Begins With "A", by Charles Carreon

Image

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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POETRY

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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POETRY

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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SONG

Postby admin » Tue Oct 01, 2013 9:56 pm

They're Looking So Pretty, by Charles Carreon



Image

They're looking so pretty, tonight
Coiffed and suited just right
All of their sound bites prepared
Schooled on the issues, a little bit scared

They will cross swords oh so light
Blades barely meeting and smiles drawn tight
Billions will ride on their answers
And voters will make their selections.

Still there are times when you just have to wonder
Is the whole thing an incredible blunder?
While we compare hairstyles,
The sky starts to thunder
Tornadoes appear on our doorsteps
I wonder, are we on the verge
of a thousand-year bummer?

No one will touch that, tonight
Which is why Gore is nowhere in sight
We'll have plenty of style,
A side of issues-lite,
A sneer from the right,

They're looking so pretty, tonight
Sexy, formal, an anchor's delight
They'll charm everyone in sight
It's like a lamp store in here, it's so bright.

Teeth gleaming, hair sculpted
Meticulous cosmetic morphing
Into perfect candidates,
The kind who never quite debate,
At best get testy
Are never late

But we must cast our ballots, tonight
On what basis? Who knows wrong from right?
Let's just be fools for a night,
We'll vote, but first turn out the light.
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POETRY

Postby admin » Tue Oct 01, 2013 9:58 pm

Tibetan Two-Step, Shuffle & Slide, by Charles Carreon

(Perform while wearing seersucker suit and straw boater hat with ukelele accompaniment.)

There's a sucker born every minute
In the good ole USA,
I got here through religion, and here I'm gonna stay.

Just stand right there
Don't scare the crowd,
I've got wisdom teachings, so gather 'round.

It's true you've heard tales of monastery life
How it's filled with depravity and extra wives
But where we gonna go? It's cold outside.

The spiritual path is hard to travel,
But in an antique Rolls
The miles just unravel.

So whaddaya expect a guru to do
But pass the crumpets,
Wouldn't you?

So listen up kids,
Not many can boast
That they told you the truth before they ate your toast

And before you say no, remember first
I'm the best of what's left
And you could do a lot worse!
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POETRY

Postby admin » Tue Oct 01, 2013 9:59 pm

To Rage, by Charles Carreon

To rage is commonly seen as a thing unfeminine, obscene,
but when you show us how you really feel,
it's more stimulating than when you seem serene.

To rage is rarely done in public, still less often
With those of dull wit, but the pleasure of passion
never passes from fashion in the palaces of pain.

To rage without a limit, without rein, is something timid souls
Can't but disdain, so they linger at the edges, fingering
The lemon wedges, till at last their final hour's passed away.

Of rage I've known the flower, the exulting, burning hour
When every plaster idol crashes down, and at the ruins
Of the temple, I cast no backward glance,
For when you rage you have to give in to the dance.
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POETRY

Postby admin » Tue Oct 01, 2013 10:00 pm

Tough Lady, by Charles Carreon

[This poem is not really very good, but it has a story behind it. The lady referred to in the first line is Gaea Laughingbird, or at least so she once was known. Back when she and her husband Shandor Rainbow Wind were in the first flush of their plumage. She, I sneered, exhibited her ignorance by referring to Colestine, a tough biker whore of a valley, as a pristine mountain valley. Yeah, once you peel off the tatoos and fifteen years of cigarette lines. You know she's been rode hard, and I don't mean down the highway. ]
 
Tough Lady

One lady, in a flight of fancy,
Likes to call it a pristine mountain valley.
It is nothing of the sort.
It is a logged-out, kicked around,
beaten up old piece of land,
Scarred with deep-rutted skid roads,
robbed of its tall timber,
The haunt only of tough critters --
Porcupine, jackrabbit, quail, gopher snakes,
rattlers, the occasional bear, and of course,
People, whom Don Juan said must of necessity
Find inhospitable places ideal.
 
It reminds me of somebody who's been in a fight --
a real sonofabitchin' fight that lasted a long
time, until teeth were knocked out and ribs
were broken and knuckles were bloodied and both
participants fell back and looked at each other
with suspicion and a shade of respect, feeling
the absent tooth with a probing tongue.
 
Some people, self included, have called it land-
rape, but the more I reflect,
The more I conclude that Colestine's given
As good or better than she's taken,
And tired as she looks, I'm sure she'll make it
One more round.
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POETRY

Postby admin » Tue Oct 01, 2013 10:02 pm

Trans-Human, by Charles Carreon

Trans-Human?
You have heard of this thing?
Sounds better than cyborg, no?
I am so afraid
of dying
I want to upload myself
To a microchip
But then someone
Might snap me into their network
And I couldn't run away
Trans-Human?
Nein Danke!
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