Thursday, June 30, 2016

earth note 415

from the dreamcatcher
comes the light of memory
clearly buried inside
but at a crossroads
you've been searching for

each texture turns
below the eyelids
bright and dark filters
even the wind
can be heard and touched

an unexplainable place
separated from logic
knowing and not knowing
rational in its limitations
will never see the color id

--- e b bortz

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

history is now

when the youth & the workers took over
the streets of paris in '68

only the top-shelf champagne & chardonnay were worried

when we filled the streets of chicago in '68
to stop the war and the democrat mayor daley war party

only the liberal & left career seekers thought it was the wrong tactic

dick gregory was on the ballot in pennsylvania & he would get
our nonwasted vote

legions of brute force of the state made it clear
we were on the human side of history

as were our brothers & sisters of the '68 prague spring

when civilians face down tanks & bayonets
that's usually recognized
as an end to democracy

all the focus groups might as well fold up
their platforms & side shows
and get ready for the main event

present tense noted

--- e b bortz

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

an inferno we can't see

burns in our midst
from the inside out
i run
looking for an escape
grabbing a strong branch
lifting the whole
dead body weight
to slip inside the canopy
like camouflage
the sight of smoke now
comes over the hill
     clear now
     even in darkness

--- e b bortz

Sunday, June 26, 2016

who knocks on your front door

at dusk on a saturday night
trying to sell you a 'whole' package
of phone-internet-tv crap
that we've been busy shedding
like rattlesnakes
(watch our teeth)
as if there's some new electron
waiting to be claimed & resurrected
from the verizon archives
of obsolete machinery

oh yeah
can't wait
for the sunday morning
     monday morning
and selloffs

--- e b bortz

Thursday, June 23, 2016

earth note 414

the trees are offering
the only passive resistance
carbon in
oxygen out
repeat until death
do us part

the high rollers
of neoliberal politics
think they've figured out
just the right slogans
to cover the sham
misnamed an election

when it rains later today
it'll be a wash-out
in the broken tradition
of a rush to judgment
or a wall street circle jerk
gone awry

--- e b bortz

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

earth note 413

on the road
nothing is mundane
setting up and checking
the tent
this morning
in the driveway
still embedded with grit
from last year
before embarking
     a safety ritual
     or quirk of personality
though the zippers seem
to appreciate it
     in their shallow plastic
     that has replaced steel
before being called upon
by hot southwestern winds
petroglyphs and sand dunes
demanding from witnesses
an awareness
still to be written

--- e b bortz

Monday, June 20, 2016

earth note 412

circa 1989

lush is a meditation
not a commercial
it will make up
for the thousands of miles
of asphalt
concrete veins you've become

into another world
the rainforest is but
the original domain
that whispers when you thought
it might shout

from the hin lat falls
the flow is still against the tide
as i remember it
and a speculator's grip
can be made to open

if your sweat is genuine
gathering on your neck
and tastes
of mango

--- e b bortz

Friday, June 17, 2016

earth note 411

even dusk takes a short time-out
for one last angle of the sun
a yellow reflection stands
with the steel of the water tower
     trees of the ridge
sway in animated green
the river below prepares for darkness
as shadows move deliberately
up the ridge
songbirds take their last solos
     an improvisational ending
     or beginning

--- e b bortz

Thursday, June 16, 2016

surviving another inquisition in the age of lesser-evil

the two choices
come down to
keep them all out
deport the ones still breathing
or surge the unintelligible
jackboot paraphernalia modern day
interrogation apparatus
     bone crushing when necessary
turn every self-hating or scared shitless
into an obedient informer
in the best traditions of monarchy
& authority

blah blah blah
you know how it goes
and ends
in a whimper

--- e b bortz

(published in, June 17, 2016)

Thursday, June 09, 2016

barely sixteen and in search of a bass clarinet

reggie & i
would venture over to the crawford grill
circa 1964
to catch
the jazz crusaders
or lionel hampton
or sonny rollins
and how did a misplaced teenager
still stuck in soprano clarinet garb
from the northside of pittsburgh
get hooked in as a jazzer
all of this with nothing
but coffee and cigarettes on the table
all of this
except the cigarettes i now deeply regret
is owed to reggie
who would walk a mile
with his standup bass
if there was a gig
to partake in
     for us
the wailing began when we walked
in the door
and the manager nodded to reggie
as we moved toward a quiet booth
in the back of the bar
and we sipped on coffee
for hours like the trance
would never end
and could only be experienced
but never actually described

the world might be coming apart
or shifting off its axis
but sonny rollins' saxophone
was just getting warmed up

--- e b bortz

Tuesday, June 07, 2016

earth note 410

a wild turkey
squawking alone
crossing over to
my side of the avenue
two doors up
he's been here
many times
knows the mail carrier
and which door
the mail slots are on

there's a band
of several others
somewhere in the lead
calling them out
the morning traffic

---e b bortz

Monday, June 06, 2016

earth note 409

in spite of all the so-called
of this culture
     bury your competitor
     when you have half a chance
it's pretty clear
from the songbirds this morning
     robins      blue jays      chickadees
in the trees on the ridge
no one's buying anything
of the nation state
they all sing their own tune
in their own voices
but not alone
and not in an army
of conscripts or volunteers

a chaotic chorus
of liberation

--- e b bortz

Friday, June 03, 2016

earth note 408

raindrops are sticking
to the north windows
suspended in flight
waiting for the wind
to evaporate them

i'm sorry this started off
as a weather report
i'll go where it leads me
even to the crossroads
of minutia

a poet told me
there is no content
without form
i refuse to believe that
sometimes form is a prison

there is no explanation
of why green tea
in the morning
takes me back
into the forests
of southern thailand

i need no explanation

--- e b bortz