POEMS WHILE BECOMING ME
by Russell Foltz-Smith
2015-2016 Marina Del Rey, CA
Copyright or something. They are just words you know.
OR READ ALL BELOW.
DOGGED NOTIONS THICKENING
Dogged notions thickening
Frailing optics dulling by screenlit quickenings
Simulacra signing songs
Fictions dictate on ships
To The nameless throngs
All aboard these flailing bodies
YOU WILL LOOK
You will defy
Now The blood is on all
And spills into the
Futures forever fractured
Unloaded of vitality
In your armaments of
You've condemned us all
We are silent
The babies wail bearing witness
Awaiting another shell
Sun down round here the locals say
Their blonde hairs and reddened cheeks
Ideas blown out and gone before now
The roles roll in ready to spend
Trading fiat for photographs
Ends for means
The interpretation rains down
Reigning experience, a sunset
Bored now by hashtags and reposts
Loaded and unloaded life yets
The wind wanders outside
Carrying the tired sighs
Of slumbering husbands
And weary wives
PLANNED ON PURPOSE
Purposed out to the site
Where plans lurk fringed
In-between contingent labors
In this or that carried on in the lowest light
Around make shift dinner tables
And termite populations
Futures drop out between
It's fines and maybe tomorrows
Alone with roommates sorrows
No combination of paychecks
Here her and the others similarly
unplanned in the shadows of darker plots
and delivered on the wings of angels
long ago planted apparenthood
of right and wrong's hazily drawn surface
in the false scriptures of man
There's always a plan
Of death on purpose
THE RETURN OF LOVE
The hush at the bottom
A son arrives; descends
Gasps of tears envelop
The return of love
The night is early. I dream of a door. It's a small door, ever smaller. Here in the bed my body can't move. The door shrinks to pin. Silent screams erupt without moving a lip.
The trembling boy at the top of the metal staircase handrails. Too afraid of the shrinking doors. The room with the shrinking door and the growing boy. He was trapped. Trapped in a world that kept shrinking.
This night is early. I dream of a door - a very small door. The room is full of hate - it is red and hands. The red hands wave ideas of banishment. Taking boys from their mothers. And mothers from their girls. And people from themselves. The room has infinite corners of darkness. The darkness calling little boys and little girls into corners where they watch as the older shadows go away, into the door, the shrinking door.
Freedom is early. Freedom to be is a door. It opens and closes. The hinges on the door grow weary as the man enters. He's bigger than the door. His hands are red. His face is red. His eyes, white.
Subject verb agreement is a problem.
He enters, it closes. The night is older now. He's older too. Scary it is. This silence. I am scared. Trembling my pillows vibrate. I move to the door. I never shrink. The door does. He goes opposite. He engulfs my fear. He is bigger than me. He becomes me, enshrouded.
We are worse than dead. We are death. The night is still here. It is now always night. There are no stars. Just us. The death in the night our children extinguished upon.
THE SHARED LAMENT
he walked on water
Why couldn't I?
what in his immortality
that he suffered
What She and I Suffer
a strange message of
Give me a cross to bear
Bare me on it
Give me a god for a mother
and a sexless father to birth me
Give me the power to rise
FIGHT TO BE
Tickled prick ignites fervor in entangled
Twined twinned mirrored by 359 degrees
Assailant flees freed of the burden of causality
Affected through infected feckless
Quietly gnawing deep within the belly
Of the deepest love
Born reborn rebore rebooted
Again and again
This trove of triviality
Dis-quieted stirred on by the timeless
THERE SHE IS
Swift sweetening blackness unfurling into stained wood
This world a world unknown
The art of becoming the became
Against the washed out backdrop erected
The ghoulish souls of failed present presenting
Memetic devices - those traditions - the scripts
From the mount - those sermons - burning brushed
Commanded from neverwhere but here
This now already forgotten to the deserted sands
Of the oppressed - the depressed - the repressed. The the the. Always the the. These false dichotomies
Us. You. Them. Him. Her. Heard only in end
Giving up on becoming
Giving in to be done.
Because it's hard. It's impossible. The impossible dream
It's windmills whirling always over there
Upon the journey of a thousand other shadows
Time is at your back on the back of all that wasn't ever there.
Out of time. Out of becoming.
There. She is.
LET US WRITE ABOUT BEAUTIFUL THINGS
An ugliness flopped in mind
I turned up a stream of love songs
in major chords to flip
the sadness around
Those pleasant strums
brought me back to tops down
sun a mile high
batting less than ten percent
trying for love
Then I was in a dark theater
at my exasperated
and totally sincere
inhabitance of singing
ay! - I missed an E flat
at the high
but brought the house down
with a side smirk
Beautiful things are
of endless future triumph
Dances that are more look-sees
Promises Forever, lasting months
Streams of Aspiration
ending every fourth period
Beautiful things are prime numbers
the distance between them grows,
inconsistently, but grows
sometimes twinned back to back:
a wedding then wedding dances
filling a first home with a glass table
then your first fondu party, oil on fire.
Kids born after kids incepted
their first gasps then first grasps
Invalidating the pre-historic notion of beauty
the revelation that therein the birth there was real act of creation -
no matter how selfish -
there she is -
a purple gasping human sponge of awareness.
Beautiful things are cuts and scrapes trying adolescent things - becoming self.
Teaching your dad to
become himself by getting hurt -
not trying to get hurt -
but by trying to ride without training wheels
painting, writing, cooking, living.
Let Me Write of Beautiful Things
a school house of rushed voices urged on by rushed voices known so deeply
The Engagement of these Gasping Souls - The Acts of Creation, creating. themselves.
now in major chords
Let Them Write of Beautiful Things
Footfall footfall. I walk one step after the other. It is the 39th and 64th day of the walk.
I reach the beach sun dipped but slightly cool. The surfers baptizing the day and moms looking on wondering about sons and daughters. The fishermen cast out for meals hauling in wriggling silver. A billion and half footprints adorn the shore - wandering traces of heartbreak and desperation.
My pace remains inefficient. There's no where to rush and no one in particular to meet. No one is expecting me. I walk into a dream, a walking waking swirl.
Bodies explode in furious supernovae of blood and guts as flags pierce the air. Other bodies establish their destiny upon piles and piles tongues and eyes and hands - young and old and all innocent. The destined afix themselves at the center of existence clothed in fear. The void reveals itself. A glimmering ghoulish faced mass. It is me. Then it is you. And everyone. Ripping. Gripping. Tripping.
The void expands mercilessly. Feeding on accelerating desperation of existence. The march of the bloody pulsating masses crying out fuels the combustion. Each self claiming more righteously existential necessity. Darker still. More selfhood. More identity. The differentiation is more fully drawn. The void is more fully complete. There is no truth.
There's a great eruption. The rapture of fear. Great tears in the distance, everywhere. The children look on. Silent. Beyond expression, their expressionless faces in the face of the dark unknown. There are no colors.
It is hot and it is also cold. The void shivers its quickening. Curling up in massive waves the formless form inhales the children. They do not cry out. They do not resist. There are no destinies.
It is quiet. Silent. I hear my breath. Slightly labored I bring in oxygen and expel carbon dioxide. I cannot see the void. I cannot see the non void. I am not standing anywhere. I am in no relation. There is nothing.
Two dogs run by. A boy chases them. A car horn sounds out. Three dirty men argue over at a bench. Footfall. I notice. My steps. And their relation to the ground, my origin.
THE HUMMINGBIRD TRAP
We're trapped and gotta get outta here
The clouds puff out and roll on
Bruce rings out while the meat smokes on
We give thanks
all these thanks
Avoiding conversations in our haste
That hummingbird finally slowed down enough
I caught him in slow motion
I'm thankful for that
Been trying for years
Titling towards wayward dreams
The dallied romance seems
Ever drifting - teaming /w demons
but it's just a breeze
Chasing the loosen leaves
YOU EVER WONDERED
Once I wrote about Shadows
but that's not really it
Let me tell you about guilt
i shouldn't be here
here I am. I feeling liking always apologizing all the time when i meet you.
Hello, sorry, it's not me you meant to meet, hi, it's me.
my friends where i worked were shot in the face.
i wasnt. by five minutes. i was still employee of the month.
i love them.
TIME RIDING SHOTGUN
and here is time riding shotgun
laughing at its mis-conception
tick tick tick tick
boom goes the unknown
SHE WAS FRENCH
She was French - A 3rd generation Parisian
I pumped her full of words
In desperate persuasion
Until the police came From the academy
A guy named Larry
In a suit, a real whitey
Showed up too
We mostly took turns
In those days
Flopping about three point five
In the 305
Wondering where in the world
She got old
And I moved on
Dos the way it goes
Learned out years later
She wasn't French or even German
She was a Netherlander
HOW TO CREATE SUFFERING
Milgram letter experiment
THE WAVES THAT DO NOT WAVE
Ears hear the screams in the distance
Playing girls with girls running round
The endless sands their crashing piles
And non resistance.
Waves crashing with insistence over and over
World going round sun going down
On this day our daily bread
Some don't break but last decade I did
Dependent and repenting back then
Sad for my endless sin and my future
Saw the sun and the son not shown
But signed. Signed and signed again
Until I learned.
I am the son and son I'm knot. Confused
But sort of released from the saccade of
Motionless I found not I but the blessed endless
Fading zon. Out above the waves. Pushing
On and on and on.
WAIT UNTIL THE MACHINES FIGURE OUT JERSEY
Pastor Bruce raps on and on
Professing whispered teenager dreams
I want to be that teenager
I can be
Let me crawl into this ideal
It's not real
But it's the only thing
This rasp of an east coast culture
How we all end up
Sad wishing yesterday's were today's
Hoping tomorrow's come at all.
Autospelling our way out of the great
Bruce lyrics. Wait
Until the machines figure
The old narrative is dead.
They get confused.
We all do.
What hulk tread here
What shadowy transplant dared
Making a mark
Grass sneaking up all around
Holding gently the idle musings
Sweeping by in puffs of white on blue
When will it happens sinking
Hands accidentally brush up
These unknown loves giving
To the possible
Syncopated sun drips
Flaunting at the walking trips
The hats and glasses
And burnt looks from too
Many days walking
Foot by foot they tick along
IN THE AIR TODAY
Reminded me of Phil Collins
The stereo sound of left right channel oscillation
The checked brick ground sunlit
Just beyond the boats
Their owners still sleeping under seagull skies
A couple asleep on the bench
Day ending or day beginning slowly
They don't have any shoes on
It's thick today
The dogs pant leashed and running
Their look a likes panting too
The earth here is slopping its way
Into another turn of existence
Forcing strategies of redoubling
No in between
In the air
A really old stone house melts on the corner
Here in the District of Columbia
Walking on a brick street holding up
The past and the consumer present
Great things happened here once
And they might yet again
Tonight I soak in the thickness of ideas
Brain pregnant with a possibilities
Drummed up by Terrance Tao
His mathematics flying from west to east
Silly ideas of compression perception
Here it's bandwidth overload
Ground control to major tom
Wails from an open doorway
I slide slowly
By and by
The space of all possibility spaces
Mined by minds and strums hard fingered
I do. I will.
Tomorrow there will be data. An idea.
Yesterday a trace. History.
Tonight there is music. Melody.
All at once I'm drenched in experience.
THIS IS NOT FRANCE
I ordered a ratatouille crepe and had a coffee poured
Sartre ideals crossed my mind
The fork all plasticky threatened my escape
To monads and cogito ergo sum
And dreams of wet paint on Parisian canvas
Sunsets on red brick
Strange wispy words lipped
Red with white cheeks
Flowing wined principles
It's powerful stuff in concourse d
Where the facade barely pulls off even
On the way I argued with a French driver
His complaints seemed alien
What is this France he speaks of?
Viva la revolution
The left! The left! Let's us live
High minded and Cartesian
Mind above body above mind
Speak of freedom and love
Men named Alain and their serious looks
Ah to be named Alain!
She mistook my order
This is not a crepe
And this is a diet coke
The fork is plastic, that remains true
France isn't real is it?
FOR THE BURNED OUT MIDDLE CLASS
Speakers blurt an old blues jam
Coffee burning as fast as
She can pour it
For the burned out middle class
Truckloads of work parked out back
They sip their last drop
Of hope before the day
Begins its dreary beat
The same as it was before
The coffee burning
Its bitterness long gone unnoticed
It's already 78 outside
It'll be hot today
Everyone's eggs soggy and tasteless
In equilibrium with the air
Door swooshes old broken Bells jingle
Last man out
Napkins piled on the plates
Cups half empty
No longer steaming
She clears the morning
For the next mourning
This one and that one long by gone.
WHERE BOYS TAUGHT OTHER BOYS
There's a torn net at the old court
Once where boys taught other boys
Right from wrong
The white cement cracked from dry heat
Worn from unending summer days
When the dreams were big
A well-weathered sneaker hides in the bush
Where Pete told a girl he loved her
Something he heard on tee vee
It turned out ok
They all turned out
Moved away and grew
Hard and callous some
Soft and ruined others
One or two seemed happy even
The dreams they still float
For new bodies to attempt
On that court and ever more.
Spectrum drumming delirious riots
From sweating skin caresses the nights
Sky - crickets dancing in tune
To the fingers wagging tales
Left to right they point the blame
To its biggest owner
The strange brood brooding corner
To corner - morning avoided again
Sweeping in the back
His tears fall into the piles of dust
Kicked by passer byes
Racing to claim the fading muster
Of the writhing sense unashamed
Anonymity body to body
He sweeps and weeps
While the drummer cracks his sticks
Taut snares and rolling thuds
Wrecking the silent cries
Of a world gone mad
Long gone mad made weary
The dawn never comes
Not this time
Glory reigns on the worthy
Those insipid masses
Theory of chairs
Be none optimized
A SOPHISTICATED MUTINY TRUMPS
Speaking truth power through
Billions and billions of bills
From Chapter 7 to 11
it is written
You are not bankrupt
As long as you smite
The smitten abruptly
At the slightest
Mention of your false extension
Make American great again
But without all the women
THE MAKER OF CHAIRS
They talk about creating. These techies. The computers of computers. Creators.
They do create. They situate and insinuate for those silicon babies. Packers of bits and queries.
And then there's a chair. Crafted. For all those
They mostly sit. But really.
Eons of the sitters. Sitting. And thinking. Weary.
And talking. And designing. And drafting. And tears pouring in contemplation of what was destroyed.
now programming. And computing.
The computers didn't exist without the craftsman
The makers of chairs.
STARBUCKS RELENTLESS PACE
The hearer of words, pages, gone
Scripted from life's wages past
Poets spoken here this storied place
Lost now to Starbucks relentless pace
Of lines in commodities and timespace
AND WHAT OF IT
And what of it?
These repaved paths tread a million times over
Morning after morning
Chapel after temple after tavern after inc.
A ruse of steeled roses risen
Outward encroaching reproaching all
Until all went into the tiny screens
Holding court for our creative destruction
Rendering lost these monuments to supposed freedom
perfect prisons for our bodies and embodies
Perpetual motion achieved
Relieved any notice
We seek to seek
Not for what is sought
Cresting sea laps surfing men
Their arms back and forth reaching
No longer yearning
These riders cast along whispered white caps
Cutting and gliding as long as long will be
Back to shore, back past the break
Up down through and under
At one, at once a merger between board man water
All that is is pure relation
I find myself praying to a God that doesn't exist
Stuck in a war of pre determined wants
Damned if you don't, do if you're damned.
I deserve nothing.
Standing on the edge of a cliff with no bottom
Singleton to noise
Prediction to prescription
Report to market maker
Past to future
Pure idea to pure physicality
Melancholy- the end of desire itself
not sure it matters. not sure this matters.
i think too much. about too much.
when my friends were shot in the face
and i barely left
i was employee of the month that time
i have brothers that shot more
made more than me
but that night the night ruined
people who die. they die
at the end of someone who never meant
LET ME BE ORANGE
What led me to here is what leads everyone. A desire to persist - to persist as fully as the body can extend - to the furthest and greatest reaches of existence. I wish to become more evermore until the last breath of this thing, this connected life, exhales no more - to be more than was born. Let me Be that last tinge of orange upon the sun-glazed horizon's hem when that glorious orb takes its final bow.
Meaning lost the way out there
Ensnared by ennobled physics
Defiant though it pressed
Vanquished amongst the burgeoning snare
Of darkened matter stressed
Slitted slots their makers trace
The human race and its lovers
Tee vee glows in the corner
How does a poet make any money?
There's a man lying in another room
heart beating too quickly
The assistant doesn't make any money either
Junk bonds oversold again
Foot falls from fleeing wife punctuate
Two or three jobs each
the mattress bank emptied last week
coffee pours itself out of the beatnik
38,761 emails unread
first the inbox abandoned
he's in the bathroom sweating
someone's life must be paid
breaking news, there's always breaking news.
how does a news anchor make any money?
6 for 39
My Life, in Poem. Part I.
From Here To There Ish:
Little boys not little enough
forgotten by the authorities
they make out in the bathroom
learning from their sisters
they kiss in the dark on toilets
some days - ankles rumple under
sprained and wrapped they sleep
nap time with ripped corneas
but they fight on for honor
of doreans and moms
phosphates and weeds thrown
to trees in rented houses
honda civics adorn streets
in the springs near pikes and peaks
lots of jesus here
dad wheels of fortune runs out
robots tag him out
the machinists undone by machines
they are late for Christmas sometimes
stuck in the snow late
telling the machines their excuses
their kids wait
families move here and there
Mr. Fox and Ms. Wong
implores a small class
of small people
to make a big book
it's full of cartoons and comics
as he turns passed
Aurora, CO. 60605 or so.
Again and once again
Siblings in a few rooms
Sometimes cops, sometimes reigns
But always something
Old russ loves in wading pools
spill out and have that day
he remembers embarrassment and arrows
One day, amongst the many, life leaves
Spock is dead.
Someone killed him by taking him.
His only friend, gone. 5 stages.
Never to pass stage 1.
He relents knowing his Shepard is Gone.
My Life, Part 2:
Someones mother suggests a private thing
it's a soft blow for the real hit
why not move to the everglades
where no one goes and no knows
grass is greener there, everyday
mowed by a kid with allergies cut
Acres upon grapefruits upon mangos glut
a heart explodes. die hard plays out for the 11th time.
dad is dead in the living room.
he died in the back and someone somewhere took him
to where they fix you up.
vanilla ice convinces us
but dads chest says otherwise
someone has a few days, like 5,
to move us out into a new place.
ping ponging in the back dad sneaks in the back
he's still alive and so is God
someone young is in the garage
lifting things to Marky Mark
others are crashing things into trees
who are we all
I write poems to girls
and buy them watches
one night, a mom didn't know but she probably did,
i sneaks out, and kiss a girl for the first time
but i hand over a mickey watch
so am forgiven
one time we watch Toy Soldiers
in the same house we housed real soldiers
sometimes army guys come in
and act tough
we teepee their friends houses anyway.
My Life, Part 3: Ever felt hurricane winds?
Staircases are cool until you have to spend all night in em.
and pissers as buckets
that's your deal
transformers blow out
little eyes pout wondering
we gettin out?
then they sleep by accident
dad tied mattresses to windows
it's cute and cool
who knew better then?
dan h hiding with me
since 5th grade
national guard kept us from
chainsaws made you KING
so we KINGED
next theater happened, when school kicked in
jesus called me a fag
so i gave up jesus
but no one knew this
dude jacked in his civic
ridin by lookin in
i gave up church then
for a show, 9-5 like.
head of all told me i weak
for denying anything
he sent me home
broke the mystic
i still cried weak
and moved anyway
cause parents go that way
My Life, Part 3.5: You Ever Wondered?
Once I wrote about Shadows
but that's not really it
Let me tell you about guilt
i shouldn't be here
here I am. I'm feeling like always apologizing all the times when i meet you.
Hello, sorry, it's not me you're meant to meet, hi, it's me.
my friends where i worked were shot in the face.
i wasnt. by five minutes. i was still employee of the month.
i love them.
Me, Part 5:
College not certainly
this guy, not a really a guy
at the time reading
i was Celestine prophesy
drove to chicago anyway
And now here they are. All my are.
Yet before this that
OK bombing happened, but we didn't care then.
some of us did.
we didn't think it matted sin.
plenty blown up
in OK but us on a bench
sell shocked but really no reach.
University of Chicago.
my life will never be the same.
Part 6, the advent of ideas about unbecoming
You weigh less around plutonium
Found this out looking at fermi
Where he touched atoms
And blew things up
You know less in a discussion session
Read everything carefully
But the third section
Turns out there was the key suggestion
You aren't who you think you are
Did too many shows
Playing too many characters
To remember my own lines
You know math occasionally
Between the shirtless dances
And the endless lattes
A few proofs fell out
Not always gracefully
None the less, qed