Quality of Life Unconscious Addition by Subtraction

I stopped at a corner store for bread and eggs this afternoon and, as usual, the radio there was tuned to the local classic rock station. As I was leaving, I realised that there are some things that could be removed from the world without me ever noticing they were gone, but that the simple subtraction of the minor annoyance I feel when such things impinge upon my awareness would still improve my life.

So, in no particular order, here’s a list of ten things I’d never miss.

  • Hearing a Neil Young song.
  • Hearing a Beatles song.
  • Seeing a Tarantino film.
  • Rex Murphy.
  • Reading a Maya Angelou poem.
  • Seeing a Terry Brooks novel on any bookshelf anywhere.
  • Seeing a Henry Miller novel on any bookshelf anywhere.
  • Another fucking translation of Rumi or Kahlil Gibran.
  • The odour of bananas.
  • Mormons.
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Let Great Wings Descend

Morning and evening clocks constrict the day.
If time must be measured measure it by when
The blue heron’s shadow darkens the bay.

Do not appoint an hour in which to play
At work or work at love, sleep or wake again—
Morning and evening clocks will thin your day.

Let the hissing sand of hourglasses stay
Silent, turn to stone. Let great wings descend.
Watch the heron’s shadow play on the bay.

The dark estates of night will always lay
Under the ticking pulsars’ sway. Why, then,
Let morning and evening clocks rule the day?

Tides are not channeled by time’s narrow strait.
Their slow dance with the moon fully depends
On how the heron’s shadow stains the bay.

So laugh aloud and saunter on your way
Until you can no longer apprehend
How morning and evening clocks strangle days.
Follow the heron’s shadow down the bay.

Posted in Astrophysics, Blue Heron, Cosmology, Epistemology, John MacKenzie, Language, New poems, Poem tweets, Poetry, The Moon, The Sea, The Sky, Tide, Time | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Moon Turns Over and Over

I’m gone out walking in moonlight
With yesterday’s dew in a flask
To count all the stars above me.
They’re the questions I’ve never asked.

The moon turns over and over,
It’s a coin I’ve tossed in the sky.
But it spins just like my head spins,
Can’t make heads nor tails of goodbye.

I’m here in the night, it’s empty.
The stars have a silence that grows
More silent as the night thickens
And I know what everyone knows:

The moon will fade into darkness.
Falling stars will never return.
I’ll kiss another remembering
Your mouth but nothing, nothing I’ve learned.

I’m gone out walking in moonlight
With yesterday’s dew in a flask
To count all the stars above me.
They’re the questions I’ve never asked.

Posted in Art is lies, Cosmology, Country music, Country song, John MacKenzie, Language, New poems, Poem tweets, Poetry, The Moon, The Sky, Time | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

This Week in the House

John MacKenzie:

Andrew Griffin tells it like it is.

Originally posted on tankawanka:

This week the powerful,
The ones used to training weapons
On unknown others,
Had a gun turned on them.
In a panic they barricaded the doors,
Furiously tapped and tweeted
And dialed their cellphones,
Then fashioned stone-age spears
Out of snapped flagpoles,
As the Prime Minister hid in a closet.

In the end none of them died.
Who did die?
An average joe just doing his job
And a mad man with a sick mind
Poisoned by religion.

Just as earlier in the week
Another average joe doing his job
Was killed by a different mad man
With a sick mind poisoned
By the same religion,
But that was nowhere near
The man hiding in the closet
So, like who gives a fuck, right?

The man in the closet
Poked his head out,
Eventually,
Just long enough to squeak
“Not intimidated,”
Before he disappeared again
To plan how the people…

View original 173 more words

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Face the Table and Bend a Little Bit (a prostate exam villanelle)

The moving finger probes up where we shit.
Listen: the doctor stretches, snaps his glove.
Face the table and bend a little bit.

Age can make all of our asses forfeit
Their health to cancer’s greed. So we’ll speak of
The moving finger’s probe up where we shit.

Elbows braced to ready ourselves for it,
Eyes rolling to the emptiness above,
Face the table and bend a little bit.

Pulses thrum a hummingbird’s rapid flit.
Nervous flatulence sounds unlike a dove.
The moving finger probes up where we shit.

The rectum palpated a full minute
After the initial slow thrust and shove.
Face the table and bend a little bit.

While we lean there feeling the word submit
Perhaps we’ll learn its cross-reference with love.
The moving finger probes up where we shit.
Face the table and bend a little bit.

Posted in Art is lies, Art is theft, Atheism, Biology, Cliches, Death, Epistemology, Gender, John MacKenzie, Language, Medicine, New poems, Poem tweets, Poetry, Prostate exam, Science, Social Commentary, Tropes, Villanelle | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Restless Particles (revised Halloween sestina variation)

Near the bottom of the street a crow’s nest
rests high in a linden. A loose stick tap-
tap-taps in the wind that oboes its moan
through October evening eaves. That wind wept
rain all day into the nest and through it
to fall on the house below, this construct

derived as a function of time, need, luck.
As to who entered here to pace or rest,
do we need or want to know? Decrepit,
dark-curtained, shuttered—the slouched roof a map
of rusty-green moss, with black feathers swept
into crevices—someone called it home.

Perhaps the roof’s topographical zones
code, by moss shades and heights, the secrets tucked
beneath, or the undreamed dreams that have slept
long among restless particles of dust
a sun might show if it could pry a gap
into shutters and curtains, rend and split

the dark within—if such dreams could permit
light and warmth to settle flesh around their bones.
No. Light could only show how shadows lap
with eager tongues from corners, into ducts,
leak damp cold to spread and pool around chests
of drawers where rings and locks of hair were kept.

The crows have flown the nest. And no one steps
beneath the linden. The dogs do not shit
where its leaves impress wet earth—faint, pale crests.
Only that stick moves here, a clock unowned
and wound by wind. It ticks on, ineluct-
able, the escapement is gravity’s trap.

When tonight you feel autumn’s first cold snap,
hear the knuckle-cracks as it mulls precepts
of winter drafted in skewed lines of flux
striating thin-skinned puddles, will you let
October’s wind breathe its bold treble tones
into your lungs and linger in your chest,

stand in this west wind and try to adapt
to its murmurs of those you’ve known who’ve leapt
away across night’s cryptic viaduct?

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Restless Particles (a Hallowe’en sestina variation)

Near the bottom of the street a crow’s nest
rests high in a linden. A loose stick tap-
tap-taps in the wind that oboes its moan
through October evening eaves. That wind wept
rain all day into the nest and through it
to fall on the house below, this construct

derived as a function of time, need, luck.
As to who entered here to pace or rest,
do we need or want to know? Decrepit,
dark-curtained, shuttered—the slouched roof a map
of rusty-green moss, with black feathers swept
into crevices—someone called it home.

Perhaps the roof’s topographical zones
code, by moss shades and heights, the secrets tucked
beneath, or the undreamed dreams that have slept
long among restless particles of dust
a sun might show if it could pry a gap
into shutters and curtains, rend and split

the dark within—if such dreams could permit
light and warmth to settle flesh around their bones.
No. Light could only show how shadows lap
with eager tongues from corners, into ducts,
leak damp cold to spread and pool around chests
of drawers where rings and locks of hair were kept.

The crows have flown the nest. And no one steps
beneath the linden. The dogs do not shit
where its leaves impress wet earth—faint, pale crests.
Only that stick moves here, a clock unowned
and wound by wind. It ticks on, ineluct-
able, the escapement is gravity’s trap.

You’ll stand in this west wind but never adapt
to the thought that people you’ve known have crept
away across night’s cryptic viaduct.

Posted in Art is lies, Autumn, Crows, Death, Epistemology, John MacKenzie, Lindens, New poems, Poem tweets, Poetry, Sestina, The Rain, The Wind, Time, Tropes | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment