God, The Concept

Let me tell you the reality of God is just an idea.
Fictional treasure is envied but never stolen.
See, prophets will be killed,
martyrs who turn idol can be taken,
but ideas are intangible. As real as unreal.
Strength enough to shape and change existence,
with enough intelligence to know not to physically exist within it.

And in this internal manner,
God, The Concept,
is permanent.

Simple is as simple does.

No corner of life is simple. It is rare to find a wholly predictable. Seldom is simplicity seen, yet it is simple enough to stare. Edit rough edges omitted smooth. Highlighted goodness and happiness. This sort of judgment can be found. Often, unavoidable.

Importance. Prevalence. Power that must be recognized by dominance. Hope climbing high into the air with trees, titans with subtle little minds, cherished thoughts uplifted, held out and free like charity and leaves let go of at the ends of seasons. Selfless. Endearing. Seldom seen for what it really seems, but for what it seeds.

Incredibly complex and selfishly. A gift better to give than to receive. In fact, power and strength, which I likened to trees, also have roots. Ants and flies and worms, climbing mammals and slow-crawling turtles lugging homes, all benefit from a lack of simplicity. The majestic, monarchal star ablaze in the spotlight of our sky, clouds, rain, mountains rebelling gravity and impenetrable obstacles asleep under rotted logs. Where is simple? Lowly? Creepily crawling forest floors. God of bright. God of massive. Clouds sparked and exploding, exhaustive radiation outward. Pressure. Gravity deep within. Molten smarts and iron whim.

I can not find a simple element in life. And I live simply. The soil is a novel. The blue roof a confessional poem. Rhymes and metaphors and simile bubble out steady like springs, until so many collect, pooled into analogies. Drowned rivers that slice the narrow banks of religion, philosophy, art. All emptied out into the ocean of Mankind, behind our complex staring eyes, within our imaginative plastic minds.

I have found simplicity. It is buried like a seed inside the benign produce of perspective.

Seven Kinds of Armageddon

I have taken this past decade for granted, granted I could not have known that until today. At this very moment, when every other word I read either fires me up or exhausts me. So I have decided to read my current news in historical fiction instead. All the characters are either imaginary or dead. And it makes watching the world fall down around them so much less stressful. Because here we are, still reading with our eyes open, seven kinds of Armageddon loom on the horizon. It is hard being current. Being alive. Living and breathing the organic diction of nonfiction. Here we are, buried heads in the sand between us and the glowing rectangle in our hands.
Ten years ago I read a book of poetry by Raymond Carver. And I read a book on agriculture, written during those too few enlightened years back in the forties. When government subsidized farmers not to grow. Covering up cornfield graveyards with soybean blankets, and tree-lines along deep furrows and fields buried under weeds, no hand touched their seeds. Eight years ago I read a bunch of theology and philosophy and social criticism from a man, Kahlil Gibran, who was fancied enough to profit off prophet. One of the few. I worked through this point of view, and it seemed like if grass could open up its mouth and speak to us. It seemed like oceans had finally found a lawyer to make a case for their emotions. Or like if a voice had a voice. Or we met the grandparents of language. I read the gospels. I read the kings. I read the stress that hope brings.
It was amazingly not like this. Not like reading these hungry feeds. These headlines laced by opinions no one could get away with in person. Just in print. Like there really isn’t someone behind them at all. Just intent.

That good cholesterol

I have a soft yellow heart like a hard-boiled egg.
I have arrived at terms with death. It is only pain
still testing the cracks in my shell,
finding me in the safe places I dwell,
and itching me there. Tangling my hair,
stubbing stumpy toes and talking with a tone
I would not hand out to a child. All the while
the wild laughs at my labor, which was not an intentional joke.
Life’s rapid, aggressive, responsive regrowth,
strikes me more like revenge. Not passionate,
desperate, hurt and hurtful, blood for hungry vengeance,
but a more quiet, natural, insinuated, obligatory sort.
The sort a parent strikes out on their progeny in old age.
Cage for cage. Trapped in prisons built like guilt, and responsibility.
There is no joy in plants to witness the worker pant,
tear flesh encircling wrists, planting the seed of that awful itch,
right through calcium walls, the smooth soft almost not
quite off white jiggly unbroken membrane,
into my fertile, flakey, as close to orange as a color can go
and still remain yellow, heart.
Like the buried center of a hard-boiled egg.
Art has led me to establish acceptable terms with death.
But pain. Slipping fingernails beneath broken skin
peeling me hungrily to pieces. I’m still working
on a rapport with pain. With a sensitive blood-mover
like mine, I am sure to suffer in life. Just not in vain.

Years break down

Forty five minutes on a sixty five year stump. Hands hurt.
Everything passes through them. Curled fingers on folded palms
grown out of vein wrapped wrists on click elbows. A stump like that,
that old, the very base of the very tall, will not part for a five pound splitter.

Barely dented. No splinter. The full abrasive weight felt sharp hard
vibrated in your hands. The stump takes none. It all falls on you.
That is five minutes in. Only you don’t know there’s forty to go
and you hurt clean up through your shoulders already.

But there is always a better tool. A heavier hammer. An independent wedge.

And a clearer head now knows the time and height and density
and fibrous energy and twisted splinter chorded towers. A mind
that now knows every one of sixty five years breaks down into hours,
and hours to minutes, and seconds begging roots dig deeper
in the earth to find good water, stumped trunk run up higher
above the heads of others in seek of weather
with lightning dentures that roll like thunder
and bring Prometheus’ fire to the forest
and burns us to make us stronger.

Never been anywhere other than the front yard of the lady
who just lost her husband, in the house up the road. Until
carried piece by piece in the back of a jeep
by the boy from down the street. Me.
Three iron wedges in and hitting it still not splitting it,
still, from the opposite side. Feeling each hit in his fingers.
Every one of sixty five years.
Each individual second within the whole of forty five minutes.

By the time you feel the full weight of time,
you’ll know, because your hands will hurt.

Seedbed for Dreams

Endless scattering of stars over beds of cloud-dotted dark.
For years the patch was tortured. Toiled over by sweating faces.
Until a black bowl remained where unending space meets mortal vision.
And each sleeping mind sows a seed.
Dots off distant light like pinpricks leaking through from heaven.
Each one covered over, crushed, softly, by a single hand.
And then, by a world full of hands, the night sky is made home
to an array of red and blue spots of planets,
white and yellow flashing stars, some fall
followed by golden tails as soon as shining,
some rise and fall steady and eternal as a sun, or its smile,
teaching us that living forever dies a little everyday,
and from a smoldering death, again, anew,
stronger than the day before.

Stars are sown, every one, by sleeping minds.
Content to trust dark soil to grow seeds with care.
Content with the work done, eyes tired.
Only those still awake so late start the harvest.

Hands like open eyes scour searching out and plucking up
clouds of mist and clarity alike, seeing in a distance worlds
spinning the same as ours, and the stars that burn them.

Sunlight now felt internally, like fear of smallness,
meaninglessness, afraid of failure, of lack of possibility.
Born in a black night. So those who ceased casting dreams
start harvesting others, forgetting the simple gifts of single stars,
and for personal comfort, shape them now into forms,
such as a bull, or a warrior, a dipper to carry black water
up to a raised heads miles below, and all to see bright
where the sun does not shine. Never to understand,
or learn, or love. But to distract until morning comes
and the colors are clearer. Stars gone except for one
no one can look at anyway as it frowns across space,
dotted by daydreams, sprouting the dark spots of birds
on a fresh light-blue bed.

Awakened people now see their dreams reshaped.
Converted to simpler, easier to harvest
than the single stars whose shining formed them.
Harvesters fill with worry over knowing and remembering each,
and now we all see constellations much more massive
than any of our individual dreams,
whose myths dwarf the dots comprising them,
so much so each shining spot seems blurred,
hazed, faded every day in light of our new breed of night.
Instead of planting them where seeds can grow,
dreams more likely drape dying trees once a year,
line highways and streets at the tops of wooden poles,
form consecutive rectangles of window patterns
lining a taller pillar of rectangle.

And under a huge dome built by human hands,
each dreamed star is a cell phone in a raised fist,
waving now as a constellation that only inspires fear
when peaked through the clouds,
because now no one looks up to see stars.
Or goes to sleep in search of dreams.

Now we look only to see.
And sleep only to sleep.

Just after

The fact that we laugh is miraculous. By definition. It is without explanation. Rooted in social access and communication. But then again, a lot of things have roots and still fail to make a lot of sense. Like flowers. Like the assumption of dominance latent in power. Like sympathy. And expectations. And crabapple trees. A certain level of ignorance required for its existence. Caught off guard but only in the most forgivable way. Laughing. Offended. Off ended. Cutting wit, and mended. Blended, audiences and performers and wearing all black and staring contests with soundboards and burping lager chicken. It’s funny. Because it isn’t. Which is actually a requirement. The cost reward duality wrestling within any sentiment. It is miraculous when that sick balance ends in laughter. Which is another peculiarity of miracles. No one thinks to call them that until just after.


How many words were invented when we invented our government? Congress. President. Senate. I’m waiting. Which of these positions was invented specially for our unique democratic experiment? Because if we took these words from history, let there be no more mystery as to why it doesn’t work. We run our nation like the question how many broken lawnmowers does it take to cut the grass. Maybe a piece from each will work, and we can somehow splice together a decent machine from the rest of the world’s spare parts. But I doubt it. None of these countries, empires, philosophers or tyrants sent us their hearts. Just their rebels. Contraband. Freedom bound. People who look forward to sleep because of their dreams, not to avoid them. Face it. Democracy hasn’t actually successfully happened yet. The infrastructure required to stabilize it in a modern realm may yet not be in existence. And what we need are geniuses. Not chess champions or intellectual gunslingers pointing facts or eleven year old violinists.

We need what genius really means. What it’s always meant.
For the time being. A chance to reinvent.

Literally. Literarily. And eternal.

I don’t care for gift-wrapped rights. I’d rather have the fight. Besides, they never give the good ones outright. Like the ability to mess up once or twice and come out of it without a spinning record playing scratchy music in some judge’s office forever somewhere. Or to take stock of what all the world has to offer, before substantiating it into federal categories of access and control. I’m supposed to believe in God we trust, when my entire life a nonlethal, nonpoisonous plant has been condemned to extinction by my own government. I don’t know what you’re saying with closed eyes and hands folded together, but I assure you, there is a more powerful form of prayer. To any entity that fancies itself creator. Speaking just from my experience, there would be hell to pay if I caught you tearing pages out of my journal. Literally. Literarily. And eternal.
And yet, that is what we are hypothetically doing to a creator every time we build systems that only speak legalese. Like the world is locked, laws are keys, and without a lawyer on hand, it’s just safer not to touch anything. But I have more faith in the status of existence. Compared to its own inventions, the human being is a better system. Creative, flexible, great at independent study, plays well with others. We are born with our rights. In fact, I would go so far as to write, anyone who ever even tries to put them down on a piece of paper seeks to own you, in some way, if not today, then slowly over time. You. Your children. The entirety of life. Like it was a book we could go through and edit, lines to cut, or whole pages in clumps torn out altogether.

But that is not the nature of the universe.
Our creator is not a writer. It’s a chemist.