A Maddening Disregard for the Passage of Time $20

Poem Selection from A Maddening Disregard for the Passage of Time

The Wild Stars

Every person on earth
walks their entire life back and forth
underneath the stars, but it seems as if
some never look up.

Babies crane their necks when they notice for the
first time the
ceiling’s been replaced by
sprinkling lights of heavens, hot white pinpoints
beaming down through the sieve of
dark in titillating dots. Things with

wings of various
sizes and velocities pass
by under its
concave canopy. Lions pounce on gazelles and
quietly gnaw fresh flesh by moonlight under
the fierce intensity of the night sky.

Hut-smoke curls gray snakes of fuzziness in
tiny wriggling threads up into the sparkling blanket of
the sky as it
curves entirely
around the globe.

A speck of three-masted boat in the moonlit sheen of open sea
has within it, the size of
microbes, intelligent mites looking out through
telescopes and calculating with
astrolabes in order to reach
shore on schedule. The stars, the

silent stars are their counselors.

A bead of water on marble, imperfectly
round, heavier at the
bottom, actually reflects
all the visible heavens and all the visible
stars on the
surface of its sides without any
visible effort, even
catching their progress from
horizon to
horizon before
evaporating un-immortally away.

On the blackened circular
surface of the
coffee in your coffee cup many of the
same stars are
mirrored. You drink their
light with your last
satisfied gulp.

Why do you hide the stars inside you?
The wild stars.

Why do you turn down their light?

12/9/89 (from A Maddening Disregard for the Passage of Time)

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In a World With No Time for Poetry

In a world with no time for poetry
we still have to die.

It would be so convenient if we could just
turn in our badge with our
full-color picture on it, go into a room
set aside for that purpose at the
corporate office
and evaporate, our desk left in order,
instructions on the
computer for the
one who fills our

But the earth itself is alive, its roots and its tendrils,
and even minerals are part of the food-chain
in the deep dark loam.
Air pushes itself in, shoving aside 40-story buildings
like a vaporized Jolly Green giant
to swirl around the
newly enamored, the
incessantly dejected, the old man watching at his window
for death,
the young girl wearing it next to her
skin on the
inside of her

Our bodies are ticking, their time is limited where they can
carry out the wishes and desires of the
unlimited spirit, but while they’re here

they get welts on their legs, exude fluids and
perfumes, live in a
strictly practical world, no time for
nonsense, while their

hair grows in ghost-land as long as the
anchor rope of the phantom galleon,

and minute mites like birds in branches settle down on our
eyelashes, thoughts like
ribbons of incandescence curve through us as
wide as the Niger,

and as we sit the walls around us become
obsolete, the hillside that
emerges as the
house dissolves, full of
unused warrens and
ant-entrances, blows away from

underneath us in a fine powder heading back to

The Fashioner.

1990 (from A Maddening Disregard for the Passage of Time)

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