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rats were the first to smell it
                       smell came before sound
                       smell sank          into
twenty five thousand          rat  hearts
        it                    was the    smell of losing
        it   traveled faster       than           horrible
twenty thousand more  rats joined         the crowd
fitting into every         possible stadium   crack
           there were sixty thousand           fans
           there were fifty five thousand      rats
           the Yankees were losing
           the last game before the world series
           it  was         do        or     die
rats are enthusiastic baseball fans
they love  tar smell, wood fragrance, incredible leftovers
                           ballpark    cuisine
the last strike cut through the noise
                                 like a mammoth guillotine
         silence was instantaneous
an enormous, five foot two, multi-colored butterfy
             flew into the stadium and landed on second base
                           stared 
                  into the stands                    
                into the    rat faces
                into the people faces 
into the face of new york grief; into the face of american grief
the gigantic butterfly smiled into the joyful       green of     grass
as the organist began soft,            romantic chords
                      modulated into sighing Puccini phrases
the butterfly glowed at the sound of music
                            softly sang   "un bel di vedremo"
                                     "one fine day we'll see"
reaching beyond  realms of despair, searching for joy
utter hopelessness transferred to all the fan faces
                               to the open,sorrowing hearts 
the final batter began to weep and knelt at home plate
the       catcher         dissolved into sobbing
   umpires        left                           the field
                       the game ending
                       was frozen into soft sound
          millions of tears blew over the center field wall
spread into the sighing city
  reverberated from sympathetic shining stars
love is redeemed                 love      is               lost
                 baseball                  is 
                                              overshadowed
                                                             by grief

[for the Yankees,Pasquale and Puccini]

                
                


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there is nothing left for us
                 we      must become wolves
                              gather all the
multi-million middle class people
become        middle class wolves
become                     poor
                           wolves
                                surround the banks
of every country
                      shape the sound of howling circles

                                                   halloween howls
which can melt computers                           ghost     howls
 destroying         money

there is nothing left for all of us
                 we             must become wolves
long-haired      red-eyed         sharp-toothed.
           nothing       but ghoul howls
           ragged careless bodies
           gigantic murderous howls
           
          filling the canyons of lower manhattan
          flooding the  golden bricks of wall street
           chewing stock exchanges
until evidence of before can only be found
            in our feces                                  

only wolves remain
              gathered on mountain tops
                                     peering from peak to peak
waiting to be attacked
                waiting to attack
                      circling mountain wind is the only music
    howls swirling in the universe
witchowls, krakenhowls, dotard dripping
                         moron moaning
                         idiotincessantness 
howling the end of greed
            chewing the disappearance of power
                                     howling away excess
annihilating wealth
                  howling, howling, howling
sharpen your teeth
                strengthen your claws
                                continuous howling
 cyclops are coming
             gargoyles are gathering
                           minotaurs are massing
                                 ogres are orchestrating
howl sirens howl trolls howl howl howl
                   vampires are framing the earth in blood
drive the greedies into oblivion
                        howl until there is nothing but silence                
let me sit here in this
       big maroon overstuffed mohair
                               chair
for a long time, at least centuries

       sit here and stare at the
               magnificent mantel
watch loved ones grow old
                 turn to dust
                         disappear

could i do that?
could i just sit and observe
        the essence of love?
                       not want to possess it
                       not want to control it
                       not want to understand it
                           watch magnificent fires in the
                                             fireplace

just sit here with
              walls evaporating
                  streets dissolving
neighborhoods wiped away
                 entire cities sinking into oblivion 
                                     my eyes still open
come to the redwoods
         return to the redwoods
relentless roars from northern california
          listen          to ruby colored voices
                                                 murmuring whispers
                                  in the background of our ears
                                               an insistent humming
                                                    strophic songs
                                               circling our brains
                                                    melting heart edges

come to the redwoods
                      return to the redwoods
                                            remember the redwoods
we can't resist the call
                        when we arrive
                                  we wonder why we left
                                  we are dressed in silence
we are enveloped by ancient arms
                        remembering back through ice ages
knowing we are part of the universe
               we are             the universe
               we        have                         always been here
                 each           and all of us
moving       around    the circumference   of      endless
such a joyful
           blessing
       to  be awakened
                     by thin, radiant
                         sun       strips
as they illuminate       
                the still, silent water of
                                          Tomales Bay.
                                          to watch the light                   
                                                       widen and
                                                       creep slowly
                                                  upon the dry November grass
follow the first morning fawn
                          as it cavorts upon the hardening ground
                                           with   a sense of security
                                      not yet threatened by the day's dangers
              
the same fawn stands absolutely still
                                 with
                           a tiny  tail
                             twitch
                                       as a companion comes from a far field
                                            to sit together
                                            doing nothing that is something
 
all this from the cottage window
                          where we give thanks
                                        for being alive 
                                                  for being with deer
                                                         for being hidden in
shadows
I am utterly terrified that something happened and we were born into life
     soft summer breezes alarm me; they are the embryo of the North wind
i am terrified because silence is disappearing
     the fact that civilization is only pomp is horrific
all the poems which have never been written terrify me
     i haven't the courage to be swallowed by ocean waves

i cannot understand the beauty of flowers 
i am terrified by the depth of love 
i am distressed by my will to live
everything is contained in music including terror


it is shocking to think that hell might be worse than the New York subway
joy is the breath of life;pain hides at its center
i am perplexed by Man's invention of God
                           i am terrified by breath continuity 
                      i am disturbed  by libraries    
                  we may be browsing in nonsense

i am terrified by the love which surrounds us
i am anguished because my father died without words
cities are terrifying when they exclude nature

my mother sucked senility before she slipped into death
       everything can be translated into music
        birdsong beauty is more natural than our voices

i am terrified because words don't mean anything and words are useless
i am disturbed by all the poems which  have been written
                     none of us and none of this matters 
i am worried that the beauty of children will die
i am terrified because people believe beauty 
an enormous scream is hidden deeply within ourselves 
i am terrified by God's invention of Man
it is distressing to feel the cosmos outside oneself
it is terrifying to live the universe inside oneself
that death may be a beginning is utterly intimidating
that death may be the end is utterly terrifying
Dorothy Death sent me
              a lovely note yesterday,
"I'm going to visit with you
                          on Halloween evening at 11:15 PM.
I will bring a charming trio (accordion, guitar and bass)
                                so that we can tango.
Don't tell me that you can't tango;
                              anyone can if they concentrate.
If you can tango longer than I can
   you'll buy some more living;
if not-------------------------"

Dorothy's cursive writing is quite singular;
it has some fancy curls and twists.
she must have been tutored by some nasty nuns
                      or some Jesus lovin' Jesuits.
i replied (in neat printing)
"Dear Dorothy,
     how nice of you to think of me
         no accordions please
i thought you knew me better
the definition of a gentleman is
someone who can play the accordion but doesn't
          i suggest violin, guitar and bass
DON'T forget the vodka
             the last time we danced
we downed a shot before stepping into each new number
wear those shiny, red shoes;they keep me awake
                                             daniel"
anyone interested in watching
                can come to the center of Holly Park
at the appointed hour.
                      Dorothy is quite stunning
i'm running inner tango tapes through my head constantly
rewinding and replaying the video of our magic dance
the end is purposely blurred
              to obscure the identity of the winner
                                         

 at twilight
magic    is  deepening
     travel  along the energy road
  which is neither day nor night
  which     exists         in
                translucence
one can slip    through
                   opaqueness
tiptoe upon winding violet floors
            watch your shadows lengthen
                    until they are treetall
                      then   you       can  step
                          from treetop to    treetop
jump from shadow to shadow
      roll and tumble along purpling branches  

      words have dripped down the tree trunks
                         into the roots
language is darkening silence
                             at twilight
                            magic   is   deepening

illness lies next to isolation
                      special needs are attended
caregivers smile paraphrase presumptions
                   return to computers
  return to chattering patient stories
                  return to their private thoughts

flanks of nurses arrive and leave
clicking, hooting, whistling machines
                        lost in daytime roars
become night's musical sounds
          hissing beyond wheezing
          stroking past painscreams


          returning home you become
            the center of activity
           everything is dropped
                to attend howls
sleeping pills replace dreams and sex
pain killers are mistaken for love
 away from you is where everyone goes to be normal
       you are aware of all that is done for you
there is a hidden, secret circle where you don't exist
where you are seldom mentioned except in sadness

              surrounded by people
                             you are solitary
              you float within voices
              hoping for self sanctuary
where you can bathe alone
      where you can dress alone
            where you can cook alone
                       as you once were
                 lying alone on a cliff
                  within ocean sounds
                  where only your soul knows you
                       absence dissolves pity
                  where only you know your soul

when you choose to seek it
everything disappears and then
  reappears:
             that almost gone,
unbelievable sunset, proving death
             over the pacific ocean,
was exactly the same
when it sunk over
a civil war battlefield

                  when you look deeply
                  into your loved one's 
                  eyes and see many
               magic moments which filter
               through centuries, you know
                   that both of you
                are more than one
                                entity

if you allow yourself to dissolve into mist
                      to pulverize into dust
you will feel the essence of countless civilizations
you will feel the power of wind
                          which never stops blowing

how could any of us allow our existence
             to span less than a century?
             this would be a supreme energy waste
             all of our thought patterns would sink
      into the drain before eternal orchids bloomed