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The world appears more interesting when you live more than half way to the pole. Different voices too.
"I discovered the Theory of Relativity while riding a bicycle." ~ Albert Einstein ~

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Saturday, January 05, 2008

Primary Thought Forms Gone Cosmic

From a Big BANG out in Iowa

Headed south out of Albuquerque
A shiny new Volvo Air Ride she was
New moon darkness enveloped the road way
So dark the road surface disappeared
It was 2:45am
About 2 hours out
Nearly to Truth or Consequences
He hadn’t noticed the fork on the Finnegan diagram
The one where E=mc2
The one where two beers split into antimatter
Ejects a Fox news video
After Dr. Dimento gets called to the scene
To phone in the news
Apparently quantum jitters had gone local
Or maybe it was a slight tear in the cosmic web
Food quality stainless wrapped in dark matter
Bound for area 31
The driver tuned into a late night godcast on his ipod
Looked out the window and saw stars
It was just as his moma said it could be
So he wished
He wished that when he came back from the dead
He would be Max Headroom with a new hairstyle
Or maybe a contractor for DARPA
A document librarian in Dayton
What a dream for a truck driver
The donkey pong champion of Little Rock
So what does this have to do with nuclear mayhem
The speed of light
Measured in Planck lengths instead of board feet?
Only Bishop Usher knows the formula
Brains are optional
& Super size that order of Freedom Fries
wtf, I voted for Huck!
Honk if you believe in little green men
This matter is headed for a black hole
The space time dimension powered by Cheetos
Black chiles
& retired Sumo wrestlers who can’t stop watching
Chuck Norris videos.
It’s a YouTube video gone ballistic
In a world with no need of gravity
That’s my theory and I’m sticken’ to it.

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Monday, November 26, 2007

Winds of Change - Water and Dust

Wasted Time and Talent

Like subjects of an obscure study
Hoping to find their names
Listed among the grant winners
Her photos stare into blank space
With the unrelenting dryness
Of an authoritative textbook
The climate scientist droned on
It was the 101st paper of a long career
By the 97th , written iconically in ’97
He was recognized as prolific
A champion in his field
Rain, or was it the lack of it?
No one seemed to know
Even fewer cared. It was written
On the faces of the listless audience
Seven CEUs was the incentive
Invented to fill the chairs
Placed haphazardly on the floor
Far from home
Far from the crises
That wait like forsaken lovers
Long ago given a number
Placed on a shelf
To catch the dust of good intentions.

by Alan Bender

This piece was written in response to the genuine commitment to change presented on the

Circle of Blue website

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Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Synthetic life - Letting Sam &Mary Speak

Use the control panel to start or stop the audio.

UnStupid Continuum text Friday, January 06, 2006

Today, Jan 10, 2007, I visited a website that I have been on for months and read an interview of Donald Hall, the new PLOTUS, by Robert Birnbaum. The first poem he talked about was "Baseball" which he summarized by saying, "... In that particular poem I talk about baseball only about 10% of the time. It's a collage—I pretend I am teaching baseball to Kurt Switters, the great collagist, ... ."

Kurt Switters, I was stunned. It probably does not mean anything, but it is weird.

Original post on December 31, 2006

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Sequel on Q

On Oct 10 New York Times columnist published an article "Generation Q: The quiet ones."

I've been calling them "Generation Q" — the Quiet Americans, in the best sense of that term, quietly pursuing their idealism, at home and abroad. But Generation Q may be too quiet, too online, for its own good, and for the country's own good.

Had he taken my cue from my poem ? Twisted it for his purposes?

Sunday, October 07, 2007


published on New Verse News, I promptly crafted this sequel in response.

Substitutes? Say,
American Enterprise! Got mine!
But not yet fo’ you, Q!
You unknown Quantities
Who refuse to play by the old rules
By the numbers

Numbers that don’t add up
Below the top’s bottom line
The Q are you & you & you
The Q who cannot face the Z
“Who will come to be
The doomsday eye witnesses
But WE”
Quotidians who do not count,
Their blessings.


I wrote the poem, THE 11TH HOUR AND GENERATION Z in the middle of September right after Wilson published her piece and it was published on New Verse News on Sunday, Oct 7.

The end of civilization?
Not the Greatest Generation
nor W,X,Y or the Boomers can face the Z
Who will come to be
, The doomsday eye witnesses
But WE

The 4F generation, Q-pals
are not, are not among the list
Our parents who chose fucking because
dust storms forced them into
a cave of credulity
under a hay rack of Russian thistles
they gathered for critters
too thin to butcher and stew

Once the war made them fat
those marked souls
traded gas rations for love children
one of those few
who only heard the
fireside chats on the radio

Our draft deferment education wasted
Some trudged off to our their own war
while the boomers ranted
we watched the Chicago seven on TV

10 week wonders with brains but no balls
who dodged mandatory ROTC in protest
Grew rebel hair to touch on our ears
We was the quick minted colonels
Boomers had to juice

The Q generation was unqualified
we was the wrong cohort
An anomaly conceived in a hurry
before a probable death
a hope to replace what was sure to be
a Patton wet dream
! duty and country--

An afterthought not worth counting
Thankful to be taken for granted
Thankful to be too old to care
About a death wish
We sold at the fish market
10 cents on a dollar

Smelling like Friday
It is only Tuesday when the Clock
reset by Eisenhower
grinds to a halt for lack of petroleum jelly
And an interstate highway
needing repair
can't take us away to our
Red Planet fantasy before
the nuclear snow storm
melts in a greenhouse
built without a plan

*title from article by Kelpie Wilson t r u t h o u t | Environmental Editor (Sep 14, 2007)

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Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Shaping the Message

Some people say, seeking out meaning in poetry sometimes takes squinting or looking through binoculars or magnifying glasses to put things out of focus, blur out the detail... I believe it is inherent to the poetic experience:

... sometimes you have to lay down till the feeling goes away or...!

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Friday, June 29, 2007

GotPoetry.com > > News > > KY - Poetry Radio Show Every Friday Night

GotPoetry.com > > News > > KY - Poetry Radio Show Every Friday Night: "Lyrical Liberation
Poetry and Spoken Word with your host The Original Woman

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Monday, May 21, 2007

Mr Toad goes to Washington

Mister Toad’s Born Again Ride

Out of the blue sky of disaster
Devil winds twist like thunder gods
Dripping fury in cold drops
Showering the faithful
Destroying the home of their dreams

Driven by fear incarnate
Neighbors scurry like emboldened rabbits
Marching to war
Anything to avoid facing the obvious
They feign an immortal faith
Offering their petitions for sacrifice
It is a terrible lesson, about
Poetic justice they cannot avoid

Misunderstanding chance as irrational
& death as inevitable
They fall on their knees
Offer a tribute for their undeserved luck
Praise God it was not them

Save for a Methodist minute
They might have been praying
While everyone else ran for the cellar
Scared as meadow mice
Saved by their unbelief!

If John Calvin was a poet
Don’t look for him to disclose it!
Can public service be this beguiling
When it’s “a sin” to be smiling?

Have you ever been manipulated
Digitally? Had your pixels fiddled?
It always happens on Mondays
The day after the day after
Second-guessing bluenews accounts
Counting out the missed possibilities
One excuse only: Arithmomania!

On the other hand, it’s Sunday
Wal-mart still has toilet paper
Sam’s has pop tarts, and, with a
Pickup line full of jizolene,
The loaded question is,
Briefs or Boxers, Osama?

So much for heading
“Nowhere in particular.”

So much for heading "Nowhere in Particular" as the attraction’s theme song (also known as "The Merrily Song") proclaimed! Both tracks led Toad to a similar fate, though. While he was able to narrowly escape the police, gypsies, and Judge, he couldn’t avoid the oncoming train in the blackened tunnel.

This is where things got weird. Really weird considering you were in Walt Disney World. Not just WDW, but the Magic Kingdom. And Fantasyland, for goodness sake! So where were you after kissing the front of a train at incredible speeds? Why, Hell, of course. Yes, in clearly what can be called a radical departure from the cute and cuddly Disney holds so dear, you and your car-mates ended up surrounded by Satan and his demonic minions in the bowels of a “Disney-fied” Hell (which some have described as it’s a small world for the 5 th time in a row. Yes, pitchforks and all, these long-nosed devils and their leader (complete with requisite horns and pointy moustache) showed you what happens to bad toads that get hit by trains. ... or don't as in neo-Climate Change.

Or maybe the voice of reason in "Wind in the Willows"

What the Badger Said

Sustaining empire is serious
To do the easy parts first
Give them language
Give them freedoms
Give them Rhodes Scholars,
Raw power and vast resources,
Roll in a touch of your rivals,
Bonaparte in drag
The progeny of Olympian Dreams.
Give them time to grow,
Win wars,
Lose wars.
Finally add the crowning touch,
The most difficult of all,
Pass on a sense of humor—
Offer them myths
Disguised as slap stick.
Write them allegories.
Include some religion guidelines.
In the end,
Give them what they what
Not what they need.
Celebrate their fools,
Invest in their theme parks,
Retell the same old story.
“Success is Temporary!”
They will look for reason.
They will look for praise.
They will misunderstand
Who the rats are,
Who the weasels are,
Who the rabbits are, and
Why you can’t believe Mister Toad.
Wisdom isn’t natural,
Neither are empires.

My thanks to
Michael Hartnack in Harare for an enlightenmenting reinterpretation and three excellent lines.

Zimbabwe life akin to ‘Wind in the Willows’ tale.”

Sunday, March 25, 2007

A series poetry challenge

The leader of a poetry group that I know challenged the group to write a poem a day for a week for the next group meeting. Generally I don't think much of this kind of thing but in this case it looked like a good place for some constrained writing:

I decided that some kind of form built around the English vowels (a,e,i,o,u,y) would be appropriate. Only 6, but the way I chose to work out of that was to have one verse for each vowel where the only vowel permitted was the vowel in the order they appear in the 14 letter, 5 syllable title, "a locust in rhyme" and since the title suggest swarming rhyme I chose a rhyme pattern and a syllable count. The line syllable count is based on the Fibonacci Series, 1,2,3,5, (8), 13 [the next term is the sum of the previous two]---the rhyme scheme is apparent in the reading.

a locust in rhyme

M: as fast
as a cast
can act and what all
bands call

T: or not,
for cold shots,
sold off howls, on long
lost song

W: push pull
dumb luck, full
cup, suck up, slum run,
pun fun,

T: shit, this
night flight is
in with its white light
still bright,

F: fly hy
myth. Slyly
cry, “... by gypsy Wyrds
gyp Byrds

S: clever
schlepp! Never
help the blessed best,
let jest

S: be. Why
it’s four eyes
and ewes our bees wing

The line syllable count is 2,3,5,2,1 the sum of which is 13 (a Fibonacci number), one vowel per syllable plus the one in the title gives a total of 14 for each of the the 1-6 reverse-lipograms stanzas. The seventh stanza takes off and does some things with all of the vowels, "e" is special in that there are 7 in the seventh stanza for 21 total in the poem and 21 is the next number in the Fibonnaci Series after 13, i.e. 13+8=21.

There are other things like the silent 8 in line 3 of the seventh, the vowel-sound consistency of the seventh with the pattern of 1-6, the vowel sound interchanges, plus all kinds of numerical resonances.

It was a fun challenge after all, and a nice place to use constraints.

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Wednesday, March 14, 2007

How many fascists in high places

Gopher Prairie’s Somnambulant

"I love America, but I don't like it." *

Asleep in one dimensional word hovels,
ghosts of Dickens squirm
like a psalmist for the first little pig’s last party

there were
the reefers

the huffers

Followed by
the buzz runners

Fire & crystal
a conundrum
Flimflam Damn Rapper
could not
crank off
or blame a DJ
hand job
remix 4

Could not

referential hyperbole
for high time

* Sinclair Lewis
who set
frei for a story named after the 3rd goose . . .

---step 1

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Sunday, March 04, 2007

myGod Space Aliens are Inside Us

Going it alone

Why worry about global warming catastrophe
Man is more clever than that
that wily species has invented germ warfare
Today we blame the terrorists
who understand the sinister plot
It is only a ruse to soften the religious mind
Accept the logic of us-or-them
While hurricanes rage, dust bowls churn
The microbes work god-like
Abandoning their animation hosts
Going it alone, well not quite,
in desperation the humans will launch them
by mistake of course—
Skyward? No, to begin anew
Like a space vacation, until
these earthbound others have digested
the species who did not get the fix.
Next time the single-cells will be more careful
growing their mobility in time
Less brutish guts, more grey matter
Smarts enough to leave chance and love out of it
manufacture replacements
depending mostly on silicon and spark
more conservative of biologic excess
that cannot rest before splurging out of control.
Crash and chaos is so random
so utterly beastly. Too bad, it worked so well
Until the predators turned on each other
Invented collective self interest
Attacked the species that made them
what they are today
Ah, but along the way humans forgot
what the single-cells know
All success is temporary

According to Hoyle (this ain't no card game) it is panspermia.

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Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Funcusing Convers(e)ation (or, Listening to the silent e)

Jambo LiZa

The neologistics of made-up words
Takes more than a word smith
Bending words to fit
Sentences they have been given

Investigating incestuous juxtapositions
Joining Latin with Swahili
Suspending Babel for ad homonym
Sounds like goddamned work

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Girls on the Bus

Mirror of Deception

Mirror of Deception

Mirror of Deception

Reality spins dependency webs
depicted in divine fantasies

Encoded behind left to right

Reflected images mock convention

Inside out color wheels
turn negatives into sweet odors

Sensory receptors confuse perception

Emit ennui bubbles

Salubrious bestial tongue salivation
deluded with reverent logic

Contemplates our starving incantation

Promises immortal salvation

Fills brains with celestial rewards
linking now with here

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Medicine Wheel Ghost Dance

Shadows from the Inner Sanctum

I suppose I haven’t read enough Wallace Stevens,
Or maybe it is William Carlos Williams
Them who had their start long before Stegner
& I never hear da work of Jack Kerouac
in it’s original time and place like
when Bukowski heard the muse grunt,
Mellow. Or is it just as well left unsaid ?

Were they uncomfortable with a rural past,
A church floor that chimed for another Isidore
Who conjured up their provincial adolescence,
Floated images of a history they left unturned
replaced it with a ’tude and a sharper tongue
like so many half eaten Halloween cupcakes
Rated 4 star because no one tasted more than 1?

Maybe these luminaries are the lighter half,
The human side of the moon, a spoonerism
That spawned our taste for consumerism,
The inalienable right to have our own gaffe,
our niche of spotlight time,
a human being starlet whose work is hoping,
Hoping for a better day, a better day by far,

But we don’t talk about it any more.
We don’t listen to the chant, we can’t see
the good and the bad, the tawdry and the sad—
it is black and white and better left unsaid.
The dead-and-gone are dead and gone.
We are the guilty who will cause the end
Dishonoring our heralds with “I told you so,”

Furthur went way farther than we thought,
Better days are something, that can’t be bought.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Mow Beta Clues

Head Grass

when I mow
I edit poems

Clipping boots &
cutting blades—
words must explain

clippings fly away.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

A boy who sings like a man


What he did not know

It was his preoccupation, curiously,

That was his undoing. Vicariously,

It kept him from his occupation,

He only knew his dissatisfaction.

It was his knack for comely interaction.

What he wanted was his distraction.

Listen to him and them sing the beat sound turned down low.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Requiem for a dead man who does not know he is dead

(Is this) Something to die for

words on a white house mission
circling like turkey vulture
devil worshipers smelling road kill

all that remains, Iraq refuse
regurgitated from the wasting carcass
left after the oil was burned

freedom perverted by greed
men whose junior high shriveled ignobility
fathered global catastrophe

misunderestimated he bones
spell the fate for a cowboy too long in the sun
drug busted by some Allah Jesus

spurned by some Wahabi faith
faith that iz more right then ever, before
a jealous God gets the last word ?

He became his own Julius Caesar
a faux whose sword made from his words
stabbed him in the back

Friday, June 09, 2006

How Billy Collins gets it, kinda

Casting for Answers
after reading the Trouble With Poetry

Fish must imbibe in their own piss!

Billy Collins says it has all been said
& said & said about the useless dead,
by all those living who copy instead
of innovating to get some home street cred
amongst Aquarians they’ve never read.

Taken from a person with a legacy
who I assume knows better than me,
who’s old enough to spread incredulity
faster than some school of ichthyology
that knows Piscine waste ontology.

Do fish smell their own piss?


This is another thing to not over-think
Like love, freedom, and immortality
Basically it is a measurement problem
The more you think about it the less you know
Like the flow of a river
You can stand in one place and watch
Or you can go with it
It is all relative until you take the plunge


Like an URL in common(ness)

Aberrant dormitory hyperbole,
lock and sea (look & see)
life as submerged profundity,
web mates occupy independently—
an aquarium of banality,

a phenomena called group think,
a post modern poetry link
transmogrified: blog stink [!]
lexicographically abstracted from ink-
less mediocrity, a web drink . . .

A toast to a school’s togetherness.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

The Generations of Two

Wake up Honey before Ants Smell the Roses

I am dreaming of hidden variables

Standing behind me unseen

Like ants in your pants that talk to me
Their antennae are telling me about tickling you

It is something that proper aunts don’t talk about
But ants know something we do not
They chose women to do the work as if honey is everything
The drones are a lot like the hidden variables

Functionally unimportant but necessary to balance parity
Of course all of this is just a theory
Concocted by God who could not keep Einstein from conducting
Mind experiments that had no time or space limitations
Such disregard for physical reality made laboratories redundant
Grad students with nothing to do but study honey bees
Which is why Gore invented the internet
Hooking up physics grad students with honey bees was not trivial

Why Heisenberg had to go back to statistics to overcome his uncertainty
He was always afraid the bees were going to cancel the future tense
No matter his non-local experience he couldn’t let it rest
It was either him or Schrodinger’s Cat, there weren’t enough boxes for both
A pause implies a comma but to use one makes it unnecessary
Now that we have used one there is no stopping
Before we know it the ants will start talking to me again
The hidden variables may actually be constants
If that be the case we must stop thinking
Call out the National Guard
Turn our underwear over to the CIA
Ban underarm deodorants
Quit measuring electrons
Wake up and use our noses to smell the roses
Spout French phrases
Ask Lagrange to tell us which pair got where

Friday, June 02, 2006

No Conventional Encounter

Poitiers Church of Notre Dame de la Grande [20] -- "It will be seen that the construction is such that he who traces the path eventually emerges--like the poet of the "Rubaiyat"--by that same door at which he entered; he will have encountered no "stops," but he may have "looped the loop" an indefinite number of times." (shades of the Tree of Life?) ( Follow the black lines, not the spaces in between)

. . . Lest the readers digress.
Read and ponder the stuff of grand Coleridge eloquence,

. . . like an elliptical blogger dunce,
Inspired with a rare competence,
Spouting uninhibited vocabulary
Bell hollow, empty and free
Meandering athwart with a distinctly foreign insouciance.