Herbie Mann Comin' Home

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Process


Entering a room with a closet on a hushed late morning with rain heavy at times

only with the thought of keeping madness within bounds,

legislating reason into it, into the cross words merged with physicality,

hedging with restrictive clauses the feral urges.


Taking a test vote to register in public and hide a subcommittee fire -- 

who governs shall lead each for each into a dark called light,

bills getting passed as countries pass away,

then going into the kitchen and pretending nothing happened but nature.


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Saturday, November 19, 2011

The Five














One normal way. In yellows and greys, in cheek-pinks and corneas moderated to a Carolina blue,the spirited hope of warm day time, loin love and the occasional aged whiskey -- 

that if it were just a matter of being alone, just a matter of self-solace -- this tenderness -- one would manage it like a watercolor, a paper sheet done within the breeze of half-an-hour, sun slapping the hand with its burn.

But then there's night to think of and the second self, impatient, ready for the baton of blood, 

the impetus to purge, to frizz the hair, dance around in nakedness, slap-happy deeds, to the i-don't-care, to the fuck-you, and its dualistic song of oh, oh, oh.

Why, my love, the birth of it!  That other, sequent life, das Kind

the leprechaun of a piece of yourself which calls your name in a cat yowl closing on a suckle, burping thrice before dozing into a body-warm swaddle.


Don't we gather here, my friends, open-hearted enough in our success to embarrass the look on each other's face, 

that there's a fraternity to acknowledge at the offramp where cold breath meets cardboard sign and one reaches for the limp bill stuffed in a pocket -- 

avoiding those central places where American men line-up and the bold and crazy women chart a circle of repugnance and you just cast them four odd coins that you scramble-for as you break into run to miss a witch's curse.

The other us, the fifth, we bring to that table, that table of one's own version of kosher

what's filled the heart like leftover canteen water, a secret, the slosh of worrying that it's just luck after all, 

that the salt taste is actually one of one's own tear-grieving and we bring in the chairs, vindicate the emptiness by inviting-in the whole world.


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Sunday, November 13, 2011

Weather Man


Aren't all cities built on a terrace of carnage, shifted layers of earth between the pottery and dead language of a first and next

embers cooled and dusted over, pocked by the shepherd staves, pig-shit-on, and trammeled by the wolf packs

whole periods of neighborhood, of relatives by marriage, of bedsharers,

of work life vulnerable to forgetting, to being forgotten, to have been.


Straw beach hats found in a trunk: such are opportunities.  And thinking of them in this city, figments of snap memories, things that might have happened if they did,

several of the friends I've had would remark on this casual reverie, the sitting here at the fresh front staring with a caffeine blank, no doubt to passers-by

puncturing any thought -- if they were inclined to let it breathe -- that here's where the work gets done, where worlds are reimagined

the old transmitting sharpness to the young in the breach, at just the right point, time's beauty mark.


Well here's something, the drunk espresso fine enough for it, clean, and my mood is forward with the ships,

the boats conveying the visitor, idler, the family with a hand-held happy child,

espresso fine enough with a cinnamon dash and unintrusive jazz --

tentative about this, but try it:


On a day of surprise, on the first day of an injustice,

a perpetrator jerks into action, musters his 'crazy' and acts on the unthinkable, and a whole Rube Goldberg of a process sets off -- no hitch -- on its way

and what happens to us, in this City On The Hill, enraptured --

I say to you, do this:  amo amas, you know, catch the U.S. in a swoon, get caught-up in the hurricane, the unconditional love, hoping for the wind to veer.


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