Thursday, March 29, 2012

i found a new vein

never noticed before
this one sucks up
all the impurities never recognized
the ego inhibited ones
usually associated with
attributes i'd rather leave alone
     cut out the bullshit already

in the darkness of each dream
sometimes the uncomfortable
finds a way into
the active body

instead of welcoming
a new direction
i find new fears
that will hopefully
not lead to new excuses

so let the day
go forward from here
let's see where
the blood leads

--- e b bortz

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

earth note 178

for every passing car
up the avenue
early memory
raises itself

a stripped-down pickup football game

     my unexpected speed

a hot summer day in the middle of the ohio river
     swimming back from brunot island
     desperately floating
     not fighting
     the current

the steady rumble
     of a pinsetter's disrespect
     for a ninth grade social studies teacher

an eighth grade history teacher who asks
"are there any jews here"

a half-dozen bee-bee holes in the windows
of franklin ice cream (lee & meadowbrook)

learning how to take a punch
learning how to swing back

but it's alright ma
i'll go with
endless love illusions


more shark than jet

--- e b bortz

(published in, Mar 29, 2012)

Saturday, March 24, 2012

earth note 177

with the rain this morning
the only brightness
coming thru the trees
were radio tower beacon lights
steady intervals
as if each flash
could predict the future
or monday morning
stock market openings

a continuous fog
bears down on the valley
the beacon is not a lighthouse
the sea is beyond our sight

--- e b bortz

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

taconite conveyor

north of hibbing minnesota 1977

poured into the
pellet storage bins
which led down
to the railroad cars
pointing toward
the superior wisconsin
iron ore depot
to be loaded
onto the iron ore boats
for buffalo cleveland
hamilton ontario
and more

but the end of the conveyor
was also a beginning
of the wilderness
if you were looking north
poplar tamarack white birch
as far as you could see
some far flung lakes
and if your eyes
stayed steady at sunrise
you might see
grey wolf
blue heron for sure
black bear if you were lucky

the pellets flowed continuously
kicking up dust outside
the conveyor shields
a 66% iron composition
like a fixed recipe
for the steel mills
to the south
natural ore deposits
and thousands
of hungry
underground miners

yet the conveyor spoke
like a shill
the natural world
did its best to cover
its ears
& if there was a bottom line
you always knew
were the eternal witness
& thus accountable

--- e b bortz

(published in, Mar 26, 2012)

Monday, March 19, 2012

earth note 176

the open road
is no longer open
even if our imaginations
insist on it

being prepared for disappointment
is not the same
as folding up
your tent & resigning
to the uniformed paths
dished out to you

don't tell my dog
the grass isn't greener
down the highway
he knows & leaves
bullshit when he hears it

driving west on u.s. 2
to avoid sunrise
in your eyes
seems like a good enough
goal at this point

for every strip mall
forced upon you
there are still
scraps of poems
& wild woods
that demand

move on
when ready

--- e b bortz

(published in, Mar 24, 2012)

Thursday, March 15, 2012

i have a bicycle

that looks for
spiritual fulfillment
usually on
an early spring day
& somehow convinces
me to drop everything
& head down the hill
to where the river trail
still cluttered with some
concrete walls
asking messages
even of forgiveness
for the cruel way
we left
the remains
will haunt us until
written history ceases
or it's outlawed

and unlike twenty years ago
streets & bike lanes & trails
we cried for
are now the domain
of something
further than ourselves

proselytizing animals that we are

--- e b bortz

(published in, Mar 16, 2012)

Monday, March 12, 2012

earth note 175

a thick fog at four
in the afternoon
seems unusual

it leaves behind
an enigma
an origin of confusion

all of these hills
are old
& obtuse

the end is not near
the beginning
all but forgotten

all events mesh
in their own disorder

in the veil
has no lift

--- e b bortz

(published in, Mar 14, 2012)

Friday, March 09, 2012

if the naive

would leave their comfort
& go out
& meet the hollow
there is time
to breathe taste smell
search the landscape
let the muse bring you

--- e b bortz

(published in, Mar 11, 2012)

Sunday, March 04, 2012


the debate is safely
within the magic box
a consensus imagined
but not real
for every issue
there are predetermined
outer bounds never to be scaled
never to be explored

if you happen to be vying
for a space in a shelter
you don't count

if you take the bus
you don't count

if you refuse the phony
hand of hypocrisy
you will be shunned

if you are aboriginal
you know what to expect

if war is not an answer
there are always lies

if you expose the lies
you'll go to prison

if your water is poisoned
or your dog barks at fracking trucks
you don't count

if you've built a trojan horse
and called it an ark
some will call you a visionary

--- e b bortz

(published in opednews, Mar 6, 2012)

Friday, March 02, 2012

earth note 174

still life frost
on the japanese lemon thread
always yellow lime
deep-rooted enough to flourish
through wind
ice & drought
bamboo encroachment
inalienable resistance
to the abusers
like a conifer a lifelong love

--- e b bortz