Friday, April 28, 2017

The Metaphysics of Value 2

The Metaphysics of Quality
in a lot of ways,
speak to the conflict
America has always had
with itself

So I will not take away
from that;
I will celebrate that

Intimations of Quality
have always been best described
as a fickle bitch
so I instead
direct your attention
to something else,
the Metaphysics of Value

Value is different
from Quality
in that it brooks
no exterior judgment

It is an entirely
internal affair

That is why
Robert Pirsig
if he doubted his Quality
always had Value

Thursday, April 27, 2017

The Metaphysics of Value 1

Earlier this week
Robert Pirsig
passed away

Here was a guy
tormented
in some ways
by his greatest achievement,
a fateful sojourn
into Quality,
the Metaphysics of Quality

He never knew
quite what Quality was
but rest assured
he had it

So again
in tribute to him
I present
a companion,
the Metaphysics of Value

Rest assured
he had Value,
too

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Waking the Sandman 22

so I said to the Sandman,
it's your fault
that bad books exist,
that people die,
that space and time
are torn asunder

it's all your fault,
Mister Sandman,
all your fault
and you have
nothing to say
for yourself
so don't even try
don't send any dreams
I don't believe dreams
not anymore
they're all bullshit
countries are torn apart
they're fiction anyway
and they have no concept
of morality
no sense of dignity
a language they never learned anyway
like me
so I guess I'm like you
in a way
which is a strange thing to admit
which I guess means
I'm the Sandman, too...

tomorrow is another day
the same day
as yesterday
and so the topic will change
will stay the same
will evolve a little, maybe

anyway,
we'll learn if anything
has any Value

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Waking the Sandman 21

I just read a bad book
that reminds me
how bad fiction
is like a bad dream,
and I don't think
it's a coincidence

Naturally
I blame the Sandman

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Waking the Sandman 20

her absence
is a void
and sometimes
I choose to fill it
by thinking of it
it as a waking dream

because the world doesn't seem real
without her

Friday, April 21, 2017

Waking the Sandman 19

Years and years ago,
twenty years ago,
she told us all
about a dream
where she talked
with a cousin of ours
who had just died

I never knew
what to make
of that

Well,
two years ago,
I had a similar dream

So now
I kind of do

What it means to me
is that dreams
no matter how
confounding
can also be
comforting

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Waking the Sandman 18

I will never forgive myself,
I can never forgive myself,
for not being there
when she died.

I have no good excuse.
How could there be?

So I can only guess
what it was like
when she died.

I know what was happening
in the hours preceding
when she died,
and I remember clearly
being told that this would
precede death,
and yet
I allowed myself
to be convinced
to leave.

And I did.
I left.

I left.

I left.

And a few hours later...

I'm told that there's
a kind of peace
that precedes death,
a kind of grace,
almost a dream,
a softening of the fatal blow.

Can I assume this happened
when she died?

I can't. 
I just can't.

You're supposed to be there.
I should have been there...

And so I can never forgive myself.

More than anything else,
this haunts my days,
a periodic waking nightmare
that troubles me
to my core.

I believe
I deserve it.

I betrayed her.
In the end
I betrayed her.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Waking the Sandman 17

Were not
her waking moments
dreamlike
in those final months?

Or, nightmares?

Monday, April 17, 2017

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Waking the Sandman 15

I beg,
beg
the Sandman
to wake me
from a new
Easter nightmare,
since it was then
that she died, too

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Waking the Sandman 14

(when you were young
did you dream
that life would prove
so difficult?
sometimes
I think we're haunted
by visions of the future
more than our worries,
little unconscious
time bombs
just waiting to go off,
exploding like clockwork
throughout the day)

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Waking the Sandman 13

Growing up...
sleeping in-between her sisters
gave her nightmares
scary movies
gave her nightmares
punishment
gave her nightmares
...an uncle
gave her nightmares
the loss of the roller rink
gave her nightmares
the loss of her mother
gave her nightmares

But she never gave up
on the dream

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Waking the Sandman 12

In her final days
a caregiver expressed
incredulity
that she had ever
skated majestically

but she did,
on roller skates
(when that was still a thing),
and she was a judge,
and that was
a whole different era,
one that's hard
to track down now,
but it was real
and this lost era,
this lost dream,
still captivates me,
even if all I know
in the barest hint
of what it had been

Monday, April 10, 2017

Waking the Sandman 11

Do you remember
the dream of Camelot?
Well, she cared a lot
and then he was shot

Friday, April 7, 2017

Waking the Sandman 10

I had a dream,
after she died,
and in that dream
she affirmed
everything good about her

But that still didn't make
reckoning with her life
any easier

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Waking the Sandman 9

Jeannine, I dream in lilac time,
I dream a dream that will reclaim time,
that was stolen in time,
times past in lilac time,
in Lily's time,
Lily's time after your time
but at the same time
she borrows from your time
and it makes my time
easier time

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Waking the Sandman 8

One day Romeo and his grandson
played the violin together

Well, actually, Romeo played a real one,
and his grandson didn't

But it was still a dream come true
for Romeo's daughter, the grandson's mother

There was only one problem;
there really wasn't anywhere
for the grandson to play,
once he played a real one

His parents looked and looked
for years and years,
but eventually, even the understanding
band director suggested he take up
something else

And so he did;
the grandson took up
the melaphone, and then
the French horn;
neither was particularly like
a violin

But the grandson persisted,
for a while

Until the violin inside him
was shattered,
like waking from a dream,
realizing that nothing you experienced
was real after all

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Waking the Sandman 7

Romeo, Romeo,
where've you gone?
headed down to America
where I'll ply my trade
giving haircuts for a living

Romeo, Romeo,
where've you gone?
came back to Canada
where  I won't feel
so overwhelmed

Romeo, Romeo,
where've you gone?
headed back to America
where I'll work in the mills
like just another of my kind

Romeo, Romeo,
what is your kind?
French-Canadian,
and Catholic, too,
wouldn't think those're
persecuted, did you?

Romeo, Romeo,
what did you dream?
I don't know anymore
and I prefer not to dwell on it
or I'll just feel homesick,
and that solved nothing last time

Monday, April 3, 2017

Waking the Sandman 6

The Sandman plays the violin;
of course he does,
of course he plays the violin,
so he's a connoisseur,
a connoisseur of violins,
of the craft of making violins,
and he knows all the masters,
the masters of crafting
a truly exquisite violin

One day he stepped into an airport
and overheard a discussion
between a TSA agent and a young man;
the TSA agent was asking the young man
to open a case, and the Sandman guessed
so that the young man could prove
that the contents matched the case,
that there was a violin
in the violin case

The young man opened the case
and revealed that there was a violin
in the violin case, and the TSA agent
was satisfied,
and then the young man volunteered
that his grandfather had made this violin,
and the TSA agent asked who
the young man's grandfather was,
and the young man said,
"Romeo Laramee"

I don't know, maybe the TSA agent
expected the young man to say,
"Stradivarius,"
but what were the odds of that?

Clearly the TSA agent accepted
the young man's answer with a friendly
but blank reception, because
"Romeo Laramee"
does not mean the same as
"Stradivarius,"
which is not an insult to
"Romeo Laramee,"
but to say that there are more names
available in this field than
"Stradivarius,"
and that perhaps it was a little silly
for the TSA agent to expect to know
the name the young man produced,
unless somehow the TSA agent knew
a lot of violin craftsman

But what are the odds of that?