poetry: for hippy john

August 20, 2008 at 7:32 pm Leave a comment




the hippy



The hippy’s woman

spends an hour, in the morning,


her tired and frizzy hair, vainly attempting

to hide the scars


that clown her face,

distort her smile.


Gentle she seems, meek

(but the careful avoidances

mask a thing

the hippy knows too well):


her words wander,

refracting sometimes strangely: hebephrenia, perhaps:


may be,


she carries scars too

in her brain.


…having outlined and

emphasized, I say,

she goes out to assume the burden


of another day.




The hippy rises early,

most mornings. Brandied

coffee, joint fuming brain,

he starts the fire…


and what will he do

today. This home,

this house; a symbol.


He made the money

selling pot. (say

that softly, now.)


He built it himself:

hoisted each beam, shifted

each plank; this ‘place’


is no place, it is part

of his self, writ large

and quite wordlessly.


He has missed the city at times,

to be sure. He has few visitors,

here on his scrubby hill.


But he knows this hill

as once he knew lovers;

each curve recalling a secret,


a private experience; he hasn’t

had so many paths

since childhood.


The land knows no lies,

no portents, no meanings: the deer

do not cry of justice,


struggling against that

long vaguely sensed, and suddenly familiar spectre.


He has known, at times

a mysterious calmness: “all things,” he says later,



“made equal and thus all

things one, no division

any longer visible


“whether of self or other, whether

of gain or loss, where

there is no word nor separation.”


The knowledge, you see,

is quite quiet; nearly, in fact, silent. I say, he


becomes more silent.




They greet me as a friend

each time they meet me.

(But each hearing

can breed echoes, with some.


Perhaps somewhere

i lost my sense of time:

i think

i have never been touched.)


Am i my own friend?

At times this same insight

is self-directed, pauses each

word and swallows each act.


I have never been, in a sense

other than a stranger

to anyone, at all. The price

of poetry is silence: but of its lack, noise. I have

learned silence,

by now, fairly well.

But how do you speak

a lack of words?–we say


little, really, the hippy

and i. Shadows…

this next time, I’ll sharpen

his knife.



has many forms)




Fugitive images and

vain vague images: once,

I can remember, I hoped

to be free.


I lived on the hippy’s

land, for a while.

It was bad for my art

and not good for me;


we drank those months

away. Yet still these visions

of some esoteric brotherhood

will not resolve


to vain dreams

and self-deceptions.


–i have described myself

quite often


as a voyager toward

truth. but, to be honest,


i’m not at all certain

how to stand it, should i find it.



Entry filed under: poetry. Tags: , , .

Notes on Backup On Good And Evil

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