Not Twins

Not Twins 

no one could believe their eyes

 

it was if the likes of this

had never happened before

two people arrived

wearing almost the same thing

same colour same garments

different cuts

claiming they didn’t know

what each other was planning to wear

they didn’t go to the same designers

they didn’t plan to arrive

within minutes of each other

they aren’t sleeping together

they didn’t have the same ideas

at the same time

they aren’t embarrassed at all

didn’t mean

to pull attention for the others

besides

isn’t not a sin

to be so similar

being original

isn’t all it’s cracked up to be anyway

no they’ve never met before now

they aren’t interested in meeting

or being photographed together

different agendas

different lives styles

nothing

understand this

absolutely nothing in common

please stop using our names

in the same sentence

we don’t agree on anything

ever

except of course

these coincidentally similar outfits

I watch Project Runway in all its variations. If I never see another pencil skirt come down the runway I’ll be fine. The push on this show is to be fashion forward, create new silhouettes, innovation. For women. Rarely is the challenge to make something fashion forward for men. In fact the few times men’s wear has been asked for the designers have panicked at thought of making pants.

Oddly several of 227 Rules for Monks deal directly with fashion, cloth, & who can actually make your clothes. Some will only wear Lacroix – just kidding. But to be honest even with minor variations I couldn’t tell one monk’s robes from the next. It a uniform of conformity & utility. Which is what all clothing is intended to be.

We live in a culture where personality is easily defined, displayed and promoted with fashion. Even non-conformists wear uniforms – if your don’t dress to fit in with the people who dress not to fit in, you’ll never fit in. Clothes define class, elitism, race, weather.

This piece springs from a real incident in which two female semi-celebs arrived separately at an event dressed identically. If it weren’t for hairstyles they could have been twins. Once it was clear neither knew what the other was wearing they were brought together on camera, I guess I hopes of seeing would be the most embarrassed. The semi-star who was the lesser of the two killed themselves the next day out of shame – just joking.

 

No one sought out & brought together the dozen of male stars who showed up in nearly identically banal tuxes. Though one man was singled out for being a little outré for his lack of a neck tie. I can’t remember the last time I wore a neck tie 🙂 But if you show up wearing the same outfit I’m wearing it’s not an embarrassment merely proof of your taste.

 

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The Beginning of Wisdom

The Beginning of Wisdom

silence

is the beginning of wisdom

 

silence

often passes for depth

 

so I’ve learned

to keep my big mouth shut

not even speaking

when spoken to

delaying the opportunity

to opine

to give others the chance

to say enough to hang themselves

I’m well hung enough now

so there’s no need

to show that off by hanging myself

by having you

hang on to my every word

 

what gets imparted by my silence

isn’t my problem

it’s a real silence

it claims to be no more than that

it echoes your expectations

not my implications

if I have nothing to say

I do just that

 

if I have something to say

I keep it to myself

I’m not thoughtless

just thoughtful

not going to take up your time

so you have more to use

to display the breadth & depth

of your profound

expansive

realizations

 

I am wise enough to admit

that

I am merely saucer

to your bottomless well of endless wisdom

This pārājika deals with modesty,  not claiming to be more than one is – which in our culture is seems antithetical to the need to oversell ourselves constantly. This sort of easily exaggeration: it wasn’t just a bad movie but one of the worst one has ever seen. Enough just isn’t enough. If it is you are clearly settling for less, compromising for comfort & are probably boring. Intelligence must constantly be proved.

Actually I’m really speaking about myself – at least at one time – with the compulsion to establish my insights – often insights into things I knew nothing about anyway. Cynicism is a ‘fun’ way to entertain without needing to have a more complex grasp of anything.

I’ve have learned the lesson that ‘silence often passes for depth’ – what is he thinking? can be even more satisfying that telling people what you think, or even letting them know you think nothing. If someone is sure I’m thinking something, when I’m not, I don’t tell them otherwise. I keep my big mouth shut.

Some this comes from not caring that much what people think of me anyway. I let my shirts do the talking as they are frequently more memorable than anything I’ve ever said. Hey, may be this piece needs a rewrite ‘tailoring/is the beginning of wisdom.’ 🙂

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Dead As Charged

Dead As Charged

he was ignoring me

refusing to answer

a refusal that showed an utter disregard

a lack of respect for my position

I have every right to be listened to

to be obeyed

without questions

without hesitation

so when he refused

to acknowledge my command

to wake the fuck up

to roll off that bed

to lay face down on the floor

with his hands behind his back

I shot him

 

I panicked

when he didn’t move

I thought he was

was waiting for me to get closer

so he could pull off

his oxygen mask

pull out his intravenous tubes

and strangle me with them

or that he would grab a scalpel

and cut me to ribbons

I sensed he was faking it

to lure me to my death

so I shot him in self-defence

because he was unresponsive

he’ll never do that again

I taught him a lesson

 

let that be a lesson to anyone

who thinks being dead

is a way to avoid

our righteous violence

to protect the moral values

of the world we want to live in

This piece gives me shivers as I read. It has a ‘ripped from the head lines’ quality to it but takes it one step further, or does it? It is a combination of a list poem with a narrative that speaks from the shooter’s point of view. This pov approach is one I take so I can speak in a voice not my own in a way that allows the readers to make judgement calls.

Many of statements reflect things I have heard or read various law enforcement members say after a shooting. The message is all too often one in which lack of respect = death sentence. Not obeying quickly enough or properly also call for severe response. Being deaf, hard of hearing, or merely stunned after a punch are not acceptable causes for not obeying a command. I have seen cases in which the police officer’s panic was sufficient defence for his actions.

Has a dead person been shot after death? I can’t say, it wouldn’t surprise me, but people have been forced out of hospital beds at the command of police regardless of medical conditions. What nurse wants to be charged with obstruction of justice for saying a patient can’t be moved?

The ending is the usual justification for these actions. We do what we have to to protect you and if your doubt that then you too are the ‘enemy.’ I’ve performed this piece a few times. It reads well & I love the changes in emotion the language takes me through. The ‘thinks being dead’ gets a laugh but the ending is a bracing reminder of the moral stance some people are willing to take.

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Offence Free

Offence Free

feel free to take offence

take all you want

particularly when it is not

my intention to give it

particularly

when I’m not aware of it

when I can’t even feel

you taking anything from me

strip it away

 

hoard all that offence

to yourself

I won’t miss it

once it’s gone

and you take it so eagerly

it must mean more to you

than it does to me

in fact

I won’t sully what you chose

to take without asking

by explaining

by putting it into any context

even by apologizing

for making it available for you to take

 

it was like a pie set to cool

you couldn’t resist a slice

but you can’t blame the pie

for being so desirable

you felt compelled to take a piece of it

to eat all of it

until it made you sick

 

so if I make you sick

feel free

to take your leave

One of AA’s steps suggests that amends be made when we give offence to someone – maybe I’m spitting hairs but to be there is a difference between giving offence and someone taking offence when none is intended. There are still people offended by homosexuality or anyone on the non-cis-heterosexual spectrum. There are people offended by someone else’s taste in music, in political parties. I suspect they are looking for the opportunity to say ‘how dare they …’

At one time I felt it was necessary for me to over-compensate for my sexuality – acting super-nice – going out of my way to prove that there were good queers in the world. But that’s a pointless exercise in futility. Alan Turing was instrumental in the defeat of the Nazi’s & that wasn’t enough to keep him from being hunted down punished for being gay.

This piece is about stepping away from the need to placate, please or even educate people who decide that being who you is offensive to them. I think it sad that people still find this need to hate in order to give themselves some sense of self – they define themselves by their fears while justifying them as deeply held religious beliefs or whatever jingoistic justification is trending.

I am powerless over homophobia, transphobia, racism but I don’t let those phobias steal my sleep anymore.

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Don’t F**k With Me

Don’t F**k With Me

it changes your d.n.a

alters your chromosomes

creates a blood brain barrier

between you and your higher consciousness

once is all it takes

you can never turn back

you are infected for life

sullied beyond compare

your authentic spiritual values

have been sacrificed

to physical pleasure

you will never be satisfied

all who are virtuous   unsullied

will sense your lack of purity

they will have nothing to do with you

even those who have fallen

will shun you

as they shun each other

except for those frantic moments

of mutual self-abasement

that deny them fulfillment

grace will never return

to your life

which means

like all those who have partaken

you will have no life

no after life

no present life

only a life

numbing the sense of loss

with diversion

These 227 Rules for monks proved to be wild prompts – some, like this first one, proved to be very easy to run with. This the first of the 4 pārājikas. It starts as a list poem but rather than merely name off the standard reasons to avoid intercourse – i.e. pregnancy or disease – I went directly to the moral, cultural admonitions that spring from this unbalanced view that sex is good but dirty – that to enjoy carnality is superficial & shallow.

Some of that comes from the separation of mind from body from spirituality. Truly spiritual people transcend the physical and are therefore pure & deep. The notion that the spiritual opens us up to greater sexual pleasure is heretical. There is a ring of Dante’s hell for the likes of me I guess – where we taste pleasure with one part of the body while our feet are set on fire at the same time. But let’s face it shame haunts more than our feet or our private parts.

There’s also a powerful sex subtext around HIV & the use of contagion to further shame people – is sex worth dying for? Why can’t you people lead a sexless life of physical purity? One of things to remain an ‘approved’ queer is not to remind anyone about the sex part of homosexual – not in front of the children or pets. Queer is so addictive just to see two same-sex people kissing is enough to spread it, it is so contagious.

 

Hey! Now you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee in Washington at 2018’s capfireslam.org – sweet,eh? paypal.me/TOpoet

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The Beginning of Wisdom

samprules2

Started a new set of prompts – I love lists of things – this one will prove to be endlessly productive for another couple of years – 227 Rules For Monks

05fence01

This is the last of the 4 pārājikas

The Beginning of Wisdom

silence

is the beginning of wisdom

silence

often passes for depth

so iI’ve learned

to keep my big mouth shut

not even speaking

when spoken to

delaying the opportunity

to opine

to give others the chance

to say enough to hang themselves

I’m well hung enough now

so there’s no need

to show that off by hanging myself

by having you

hang on to my every word

what gets imparted by my silence

isn’t my problem

it’s a real silence

it claims to be no more than that

it echoes your expectations

not my implications

if I have nothing to say

I do just that

if I have something to say

I keep it to myself

I’m not thoughtless

just thoughtful

not going to take up your time

so you have more to use

to display the breadth & depth

of your profound expansive realizations

I am wise enough to admit

that

I am merely saucer

to your bottomless well of endless wisdom

Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblr

05fence01

https://www.tumblr.com/blog/topoet

Dead Already

samprules2

Started a new set of prompts – I love lists of things – this one will prove to be endlessly productive for another couple of years – 227 Rules For Monks

*3 Not to commit murder.

Dead Already

he was dead already

that’s why I shot him

I thought he was ignoring me

that he was refusing to answer

a refusal that showed an utter disregard

a lack of respect for my position

I have every right to be expected

to be listened to

to be obeyed

without questions

without hesitation

so when he refused

to acknowledge my command

to wake the fuck up

to roll off that bed

to lay face down on the floor

with his hands behind his back

I shot him

 

I panicked

when he didn’t move

I thought he was plotting

that he was waiting for me to get closer

so he could pull off

his oxygen mask

pull out his intravenous tubes

and strangle me with them

that he would grab a scalpel

and cut me to ribbons

I sensed he was faking it

to lure me to my death

so I shot him in self-defence

because he was unresponsive

he’ll never do that again

I taught him a lesson

let that be a lesson to anyone

who thinks being dead

is a way to avoid

our righteous violence

to protect the moral values

of the world we want to live in

29-seats01

Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblr

29-seats02

https://www.tumblr.com/blog/topoet

Feel Free

samprules2

Started a new set of prompts – I love lists of things – this one will prove to be endlessly productive for another couple of years – 227 Rules For Monks

The 4 pārājikas

2 Not to steal.

feel free to take offence

take all you want

particularly when it is not

my intention to give it

particularly

when I’m not aware of it

when I can’t even feel

you taking anything from me

strip it away

hoard all that offence

to yourself

I won’t miss it

once it’s gone

and you take it so eagerly

it must mean more to you

than it does to me

in fact

I won’t sully what you chose to take

without asking

by explaining

by putting it into any context

even by apologizing

for making it available for you to take

it was like a pie set to cool

you couldn’t resist a slice

but you can’t blame the pie

for being so desirable

you felt compelled to take a piece of it

to eat all of it

until to make you sick

so if I make you sick

feel free

to take your leave

22-bluered02