A Compilation of recent poetry (click the title to read the full poem)

  1. A Novel Idea: An Exuberant Thursday in December
  2. Wings Clipped on the Perch
  3. To Emily Wherever I may Find Her
  4. The Things That I Am (with purports after the end of the poem)
  5. The Terror of Consciousness
  6. The Garret Life
  7. Telefunken
  8. Solo Fight
  9. Searching for Bobby Fischer
  10. Read my Poems
  11. Raised by Wolves
  12. Pit Fighting in my Childhood
  13. Osiris
  14. On Being of use to the World
  15. Oaks and Sequoias
  16. Mapping Morning Chill
  17. Looking for singing school
  18. Life Before and After the Screw Gun
  19. I Do Believe in Spooks
  20. Gob Smacked Again
  21. Flabbergasted
  22. Coding Life
  23. An Analysis of All Action

A Novel Idea: An Exuberant Thursday in December
By Timothy Ford McGregor
February 16, 2011

They were prepared to take our village by storm
Their siege engines were positioned
Their archers had many smooth and deadly ebon shafts
They were rabid in their desire, they coveted our wealth
The fury of their discontent convinced them of the justice of their cause
For men such as these, enough is never enough

Their General came for parlay at the center of the field
I spoke to him of the practical nature of commerce
Of the fecundity of peace
The General saw the wisdom of a compliant village
His marauding army also wanted the town intact
He wanted the citizens to remain productive
Thus ensuring a rich annual tribute

He knew our village had no chance of defense against his dogs of war
His marauding army had a reputation far and wide
They were vicious and ruthless and did not take prisoners
He spoke of fire and death and the plaintive cries of our women
I yielded to his demands

A deal was struck
We feasted together in the main plaza of the town
Tables and chairs allowed our townspeople
And the rough soldiers to sit and dine at their ease
They paid for their dinners and the many meals that followed
They paid with the first installment of annual tribute

Over the next month while the men and horses took their rest
While they re-provisioned their stock of food and supplies
While they repaired saddles, bridles, bows, and carts
They carefully sharpened their bladed weapons

Then at the full moon they left, looking for other plunder
Their wagons creaked with the weight of many barrels of food and wine
Maybe in the next village, the cooler heads would again prevail

By the light of the moon we opened the buried chambers
We carefully tended to our unused weapons
We cleaned them and checked again the battery charges

Gigawatt laser cannons
Photon torpedo launchers
Microwave rifles that would fry a man’s brain like a pot roast
Iocane poison, many boxes of racked vials of the lethal liquid
A drop of which in a cup of mead would cause certain death
A substance to which all of my people had developed an immunity

Again we have narrowly escaped having to exterminate men
It is not always so and we grieve those difficult funerals
In the evening we carefully powered up ancient machines
We used the old ways to transmute a large pile of stones into golden coins
We stored them in wooden boxes with rope handles
Tribute for the next band of marauders
We have enough

When the Tao is present in the universe,
The horses haul manure.
When the Tao is absent from the universe,
War horses are bred outside the city.
There is no greater sin than desire,
No greater curse than discontent,
No greater misfortune than wanting something for oneself.
Therefore he who knows that enough is enough will always have enough.

Wings Clipped on the Perch
(after “Eyes Fastened with Pins” by Charles Simic)
by Timothy Ford McGregor
24 March, 2014

Lethargy is supposed to be on a ten-minute break
Pausing his life sabotage, a brief caesura

He ought to put his phone down during break
This Loki has an app that plots loci of effort

He feverishly works the buttons and sliders
Humming to himself as he gazes rapt at the screen

As soon as the second hand reaches the twelve
He sprints from the break room, a clockwork agenda

He comes to me when I am willing upward my barbell
Tells me to walk out and get the remote into my hand

Whispers to the officer supposed to cruise my block
That it is enough to patrol every other street

Tells me that the stovetop can remain populated
With utensils and spotted with grease overnight

Communicates in Dog that the back yard is an arduous
Journey and that any patch of carpet will do fine

Plants the seed that the zealous pursuit of my
Livelihood can be stretched over several days

Whispers into my wheelhouse that this is a first draft
And I needn’t concern myself with meter or imagery

To Emily Wherever I may Find Her
(From “The Lost Thought” by Emily Dickinson)
By Timothy Ford McGregor
February 16, 2015

I would like to play host to a clearing of my mind
I have done so before and it is a humbling thrill
It is a loving embrace of all that I hold dear
While my senses protest that they see nothing

I try to petition for this magical, ebullient feeling
By matching the feelings and thoughts exactly
That last gave rise to and sustained the holy moment
Though my simulation is perfect, no forest is revealed

Without the grace of the ineffable conceit
The myriad replications in my willful simulation
Will not lift the massive structure of my white noise
A summer breeze dashes my city of cards to the table

And once again, after this reflection, clay footed man
Walking along a strip of grass beside a busy highway
Slouching toward a chance to be brisk and businesslike
I play host to the shrieks of indignant desert birds

The Things That I Am (with purports after the end of the poem)
(after “Wilderness” by Carl Sandburg with parts of Whitman’s “Leaves of Grass” and Coleridge’s “Kubla Khan” and mention of Thomas Hardy’s “The Darkling Thrush”)
By Timothy Ford McGregor
February 16, 2015

There is a wolf in me . . . eyes wary watching for the moment to strike . . . nostrils quivering for the scent of fear that betrays your self doubt . . . and the shriek as I leap into your neck—I am keeping this wolf until I can extricate those parts which gird me from those which bleed me.

There is a quantum alien brain module in me . . . cataloguing every sparrow that falls by date, time, location of initial ground contact, weight of bird, position of sun, mate and/or chicks left behind—I believe that this data will combine to allow me to reverse engineer the nature of Providence.

There is a demon lover in me . . . it lives in a savage place! as holy and enchanted As e’er beneath a waning moon was haunted . . . it desires, selects, seduces, howls with unearthly battle cry . . . in between times broods as it paces back and forth before bars that numb it to stupor– I am keeping this demon until I can extricate those parts which gird me from those which bleed me.

There is a gazelle inside of me . . . fleet of foot to shame dime messenger Mercury . . . I run from the battle to a vantage point that allows me to see the pattern and choose a side . . . as quickly as I withdraw, I return, resolute, to join the fray.

There is golem of granite inside of me . . . it crashes and pummels when I am surrounded . . . it causes my enemies to pause and reconsider . . . it creates a safe space for the darkling thrush in me that would cry out on an icy morning and attract predators– I am keeping this granite golem until I can extricate those parts which gird me from those which bleed me.

There is a skillful scribe inside of me . . . I do what I imagine is beneficial to set him free . . . In a sealed chamber of Marabar he works unaffected by all that I pray for and long for . . . only the purposive study and the resulting lines get through and ablate another layer of cave wall—I will free him and he will stay until the end.

I am of animal, demon and alien artifact, of the foolish as much as the wise, Regardless of others, ever regardful of others, Maternal as well as paternal, a child as well as a man, Stuff’d with the stuff that is coarse and stuff’d with the stuff that is fine, these are the things that I am.

Clarification of this work There is a wolf in me . . . eyes wary watching for the moment to strike . . . nostrils quivering for the scent of fear that betrays your self doubt . . . and the shriek as I leap into your neck—I am keeping this wolf until I can extricate those parts which gird me from those which bleed me.

Purport: This starts out like Sandburg’s poem, but where his is about the savage carnality of the wolf, mine is about my obsessive desire to make myself right by making you wrong. This is one of my many character flaws that I try to mitigate by disclosure.

There is a quantum alien brain module in me . . . cataloguing every sparrow that falls by date, time, location of initial ground contact, weight of bird, position of sun, mate and/or chicks left behind—I believe that this data will combine to allow me to reverse engineer the nature of Providence.

Purport: Because of my Asperger’s Syndrome, my memory is astonishing, almost alien.
Hamlet said; “There is Providence (God’s hand) in the fall of a sparrow,” and he was drawing on this line of scripture:
Matthew 10:29-31 King James Version
29 Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father.
The Jews in Sepharad (the Hebrew name for Spain) enjoyed the privilege of untrammeled scholarship under Moorish rule from 755 CE to 1492 CE. They set out to re-create the original Torah that was sundered at Babel by a process of reverse engineering of the world and all it contains. This is a logical process because the world and all it contains was originally created by God’s holy light being blasted through his Torah. This process of centuries of reverse engineering resulted in the Books of the Kabbalah. In this stanza, the poet seeks to do the same thing with only one occurrence of God’s will, the fall of a sparrow.

There is a demon lover in me . . . it lives in a savage place! as holy and enchanted As e’er beneath a waning moon was haunted . . . it desires, selects, seduces, howls with unearthly battle cry . . . in between times broods as it paces back and forth before bars that numb it to stupor– I am keeping this demon until I can extricate those parts which gird me from those which bleed me.

Purport: I have long maintained that the third and fourth stanzas of Coleridge’s poem “Kubla Khan” describe the thrill of the sex act and then I add in Rilke’s panther to show how abstinence makes the demon grow numb.

There is a gazelle inside of me . . . fleet of foot to shame dime messenger Mercury . . . I run from the battle to a vantage point that allows me to see the pattern and choose a side . . . as quickly as I withdraw, I return, resolute, to join the fray.

Purport: I grew up in a rough neighborhood where in the case of a fight, you had to judge carefully what was being fought for before choosing a side and choose your shots carefully in order to fight the fights that could be won. Dimes or ten cent pieces in the US once were adorned with Mercury’s winged head until 1945.

There is golem of granite inside of me . . . it crashes and pummels when I am surrounded . . . it causes my enemies to pause and reconsider . . . it creates a safe space for the darkling thrush in me that would cry out on an icy morning and attract predators– I am keeping this granite golem until I can extricate those parts which gird me from those which bleed me.

Purport: A golem is a Yiddish creation of a man from mud that exacts vengeance. It is to me a symbol of unthinking, awesome power. The darkling thrush is from the poem by Thomas Hardy of the same name, which is the ineffable, beautiful thing living in the icy wasteland that I play grateful host to.

There is a skillful scribe inside of me . . . I do what I imagine is beneficial to set him free . . . In a sealed chamber of Marabar he works unaffected by all that I pray for and long for . . . only the purposive study and the resulting lines get through and ablate another layer of cave wall—I will free him and he will stay until the end.

Purport: In Forrester’s novel, “A Passage to India,” a central image is the caves in India at a place called Marabar. The caves are immense and within the igneous rock mass there are also hollow chambers that we don’t have access to that are huge bubbles in the rock where it quickly cooled at formation and not actual caves but God’s prison cells. My imprisoned, patient, hard-working scribe is the best part of me and I cannot free him by prayer, only by continuing with my writing.

I am of animal, demon and alien artifact, of the foolish as much as the wise, Regardless of others, ever regardful of others, Maternal as well as paternal, a child as well as a man, Stuff’d with the stuff that is coarse and stuff’d with the stuff that is fine, these are the things that I am.

Purport: I am all of these things and more. I am the universe, versed and unversed, I am I in I. Most of this stanza is clipped from Whitman’s Leaves of Grass” and then I add my title as the last line to take ownership.

The Terror of consciousness
By Timothy Ford McGregor
February 16, 2015

Years ago I read an essay by Santayana
Where he explains that what Hamlet is actually
Commenting on is the
Paralysis of the suicide lies in the uncertainty
Of what comes next

One can be aware in life of the
Relentless driving force of the nightmare of the world
Or not be aware in death
Or maybe be aware in death

And maybe death does not extinguish consciousness
And maybe death is a door to a scarier place than here

Or maybe death is a rest
Or maybe death is silence

I am afraid of consciousness
Because our art comes out of
Magical and incantatory roots
And I might hex myself

Consciousness of consciousness makes me dizzy
And threatens to dehypnotize me
You will know when I start wailing and never stop

Poetry carries within it the principal of the actual
Poetry is the principal of the actual
Only the rock that the Bishop kicked is actual
I have never believed that

The Garret Life
By Timothy Ford McGregor
February 16, 2015

The garret life is found
In the steep reaches of the psyche
In the deep reaches of the psyche
In the broad reaches of the psyche

As well as up literal stairs
Leading, winding up to the small room
Just under the point of the roof
Where you can only stand up straight
In the very center of the room
Where it’s cozy and warm in
An apartment building in Paris
Where I have been

The sardine caves of steel
Asimov
Can also provide
A crèche where
The poet can nourish himself to health
And eventually to vibrant work

But Emily withdrew from the human race
A renunciate in white
Stayed in the liminal state
Documented her journey well

Questions for discussion:
Did she really exist?
Was she really flesh and blood?

On an ocean voyage I stayed in my cabin for
The passage and might have still been in my apartment
In Houston playing computer games, the only exception
Being the occasional pitching and rolling of the room

On the return trip I was strapped to the mast
Saw the roiling sea and the sun and moon as we
Forged our way through the waves
Madness is drowning, art is diving

Telefunken
By Timothy Ford McGregor
February 15, 2015

It was a beautiful radio
Wood, German made, an inspiration
Then it failed to fulfill its promise
That was when it stopped working

A friend’s father gave me this old radio
Because he knew I would love it
But he was actually just avoiding
Having to leave it on the curb

I was astonished that I could
Have fallen in with a crowd so crass
But it was a perfect radio
But it was a dream radio

The repairman had never seen such a thing
Inscrutable but the light still glowed
A button for each band
So I left it on the curb

In this life
In this shit life
Sometimes you have to chuck things

Solo Fight
By Timothy Ford McGregor
February 16, 2015

When the veil is lifted, take it slowly
At first you will want to toss out your former selves
But pick and choose carefully

Because you have always been I in I
And there is much still in those past selves
Don’t concern yourself with new brooms

Some books I will reread
Some books I will take on for the first time
Having read Donne, I strolled through Milton
As if strolling through a country garden

I love a solo fight
Boxing
Judo
Tennis
Poetry
Groundhog Day
Fiction
All You Need is Kill

The solo fight is the fiery crucible in which
All true heroes are forged

Where is the safety to be found
There is no safety to be found
Where is the safety in the ground
There is no safety in the ground
Where is the safety at the rear of the army
There is no safety even when surrounded by the army
Get used to it

Searching for Bobby Fischer
By Timothy Ford McGregor
27 January 2014

He knew what he wanted
He paid with his life
I have always been afraid
Of his kind of insanity

Never go all the way
My father’s rule
He must have felt it too
The shadow blaze

Of the inferno
Descending onto
Everything he was
Was on his mind

He dove through the board
To the infinite
And didn’t come back
One would have to be unique

Now that I have carefully
Wrapped this terror in quatrains
I feel that I know
Better how to survive

But my struggle
Is to flourish
So I put this moment . . .
Here.

Read my Poems
By Timothy Ford McGregor
February 16, 2015

Thanks for reading
If a stanza becomes a chore,
Skip to the next one.

Reading poetry is difficult,
Don’t let anybody kid you
Or talk you out of your opinion

A barrage of images can push us to the
Limit of our sense making ability

Metaphors can push us to the
Limit of our sense making ability

The lines sometimes go into meaninglessness
It happens to everybody

Reading poetry is like selecting a chocolate
Cut the chocolate in half with a knife
Look at what is inside and then decide
Only eat it if it is coconut or toffee crisp

Reading poetry is a metal detector at the beach
Wait for the beep before you dig
If there is no beep of interest
Just keep going along the sand until you find it

Go for what pleases you and helps you
On your way and
Skip over what you don’t need.

What I also want to say on this is that
I don’t know how to tell you about these miracles
These snapshots of raging moments in time
About the untamed regions I have finally located

Where I have felt a certain way and
Where I looked to capture that moment and feeling
With a net of words so it would become mine

Sometimes I listen to whole books of poems
for hours on audible.com as I read along
And I wait for the magic, the interest to spike
And I wait for a flat, dry spot
In the endless soggy marsh of meaningless words

Until you are a strong reader of poetry
You will often think this to yourself

What did I just read
Why did I read it
There is no meaning here
What a waste of time
What is this guy’s problem

You get over that with practice
I suggest taking a class
That’s what I did

When my mind is loose and slow,
Clarity fogged by drifting banks of exhaustion
And weary self-pity, losing myself in spirals of Memory and addled reflection
It could take hours to shake off
Relief is just a kiss away, kiss away yeah

If you have found a better way to
Circumvent
Overcome
Rise above
Break through
Nullify
Hack
Mental slavery layered in place your entire life
I’d like to hear about it
Because that is what I have found poetry does
Effectively

Raised by Wolves
By Timothy Ford McGregor
February 16, 2015

When things go to from bad to worse and
I don’t know what is what
I don’t have much to guide me
And tell me what is right

Because I was raised by wolves
Because I eat from the wolves’ dish
Because I admire wolf habits and attitudes

I wrote a short story for my granddaughter
I became hesitant to let her have it
Because I cannot see to remove the wolf ways
They are deeply embedded in everything I do

Because the wolf ways were black and white
Because the wolf ways were strong and silent
Because the wolf ways were not subject to analysis

I would like to be perceived as always being right
I have a blind spot when my behavior is not admired
My immediate reaction is to condemn you
In order to maintain my position in the pack

So many years ago that I left the filthy cage
And I am still enslaved by the mind of the pack

People who are in my pack are always pack veterans
There have been attempts to oust me as Alpha
I leave them a replicant self to boil in oil
And then I go about my business, leaving them smug

Pit Fighting in my Childhood
By Timothy Ford McGregor
19 March 2015

My parents made good money
In the pit fighting business

I first learned to defend myself
And then to maim my opponents

To stop the fight quickly
Which allowed my mom and dad

To collect their winnings early
So that we would not be late getting home for dinner

That way I had time to watch TV
And get my homework done before bed

I was not permitted to fight
Outside of the pit, for obvious reasons

Schoolyard bullies were relentless
Once they learned I would not defend myself

It was important I not jeopardize the family business
That put a roof over our heads and food on the table

Osiris
By Timothy Ford McGregor
14 March 2015

Aggressively blind to the harshness of campus life
I signed up for the class in
The Descent into Death or Dismemberment
Thinking it had to be a joke

However, the reality of the course slipped into me
And midway through the semester I found
I was no longer innocent
Life was no longer a thing guaranteed to me

My life is now cyclical
Bargained for
Only provisionally won back
Like photographic paper in a chemical bath

I am now fated to a life of the developing process
In a savage pursuit of truth
It is hard to explain to my friends and family
The untamed part of the world

I will not abandon my allegiance
To the world of the living
Even though my fear of this lion will not be denied
Better than to make of it a Paris panther imprisoned

The red eyed cauldron of morning
Will be upon the dew soon enough
I choose the normal excellence of long accomplishment
In this place where there be dragons

On Being of use to the World
By Timothy Ford McGregor
February 16, 2015

I feel useful to myself this morning
It all has to do with having been stranded
In the deepest desert for five days

I feel as if I am doing my job today
What with having just undergone two months
Torture while jailed by North Koreans

“What if you just do useful things
without all the muss and the fuss?”
My gentle wife asked of me over tea

As if one could justify the air they breathe
Without first having approached death’s door
Stuff and nonsense seems to me

Oaks and Sequoias
By Timothy Ford McGregor
6 March 2015

I saw in the distance a grove of diaphanous trees
Maybe a forest, they shifted in and out of view

When I went to a skyscraper every day
I knew that the trinkets I traded
Never would amount to much
When the world called on me

Now those pretty amusements are behind me
(They left me with a hollow belly)

I trudge through a stand of anemic poplars
At least they are real trees in real dirt
I see in the distance verdant oaks and sequoias

Just as they promised at the Ranger’s Station
They are really there, I assert and know that
The view from the 39th floor kept me from them
Kept them from me

Mapping Morning Chill
By Timothy Ford McGregor
February 16, 2015

The morning chill allows me
To participate in existence

As long as the chill is felt
Within two meters of the rear bumper

Of a car that I own
On my own driveway

I am describing a specific location
That I passed through

When I pedaled off to throw
Papers before dawn’s rosy fingers

When I walked at the edge of
A lake in the desert also pre-dawn

We lose nothing
And moments can be joined together

Looking for Singing School
(was “From a Skeptical Village Blacksmith” by the same author)
By Timothy Ford McGregor
February 16, 2015

The music of poetry, I heard you could show
It is something quite dearly that I desire to know

With notes upon staves, those tunes I can see
But how will verse lines also set my ear free?

Singing school, that is what I’m searching out
But prior to now, I had held some grave doubts

Might pilgrims exist in this golden calf age
When all of real worth must derive from a wage?

Never spend resources where no return will append
In the teaching of matters without gold as their end

But my ear has been blunted with the roar of my time
I hope to learn something, much more than end rhyme

With my treasure and blood I set myself to this task
I hope to hear the music in the feet at long last

That I may live a life less of the dullard
And become more than hulking flesh and futile sinew

The same thing again but with commentary added from the simple prefabricated bower of the poet’s creative space.

The music of poetry, I heard you could show
It is something quite dearly that I desire to know

I believe that you, Mr. Prufer can teach the music within the poetic line and all indicators tell me that you can teach it well. I urgently require this skill and technique for my poems and my fiction writing so that I can make my lines three dimensional when the situation calls for it.

With notes upon staves, those tunes I can see
But how will verse lines also set my ear free

I have played music with people who are tone deaf and I know what it is but this is different. I think this has to do with detecting intonations that I have previously ignored. There is no value in many Asian cultures in recognizing the duration of the R and L sounds. As a result, this non-tonal but velocity determined aspect of our phonetics is invisible to cultures that have not rewarded its recognition. I find myself in a similar situation with iambs, trochees, spondees, anapests and dactyls.

Singing school, that is what I’m searching out
But prior to now, I had held some grave doubts

This is from Pinsky’s book taken from the line from Yeats’ Sailing to Byzantium; “Nor is there singing school but studying / Monuments of its own magnificence.” My whole life consists of Singing School where I read in isolation but now I want a glimpse at the technique, which I believe will cause my study to move along at a more efficient clip. I didn’t think it was possible but now that my opinion is changed I lie exposed in my abject ignorance. It is a small price to pay.

Might pilgrims exist in this golden calf age
When all of real worth derives from a wage
This is a rhetorical question and an ironic statement to underscore my cultural observation.

Never spend resources where no return will append
In the teaching of matters without gold as their end

This couplet in parody came to me while watching “Mass Levitation” about the transport of a 340-ton stone to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. A common comment by those who need most to be uplifted by the secular religion of art was; “It’s just a rock, not art. Why waste the money? Better to use it to create jobs.”

But my ear has been blunted with the roar of my time
I hope to learn something, much more than end rhyme

Maybe this is true, maybe not. I hear the beauty of duets at HGO performances so I don’t think my ear is blunted. I think that end rhyme couplets can effectively contain a miracle. First, one must have a miracle and not my mere quotidian difficulties.

With my treasure and blood I set myself to this task
I hope to hear the music in the feet at long last

My simple desire stated plainly with slant end rhyme using paradoxically the language of warfare and honest effort applied in their work by soldiers and businessmen. This adopts an attitude that will ensure failure. I would have liked to have used the lines from John Donne’s “Song” about the poet asking to be taught to hear the mermaids singing and to keep off envy’s stinging but I could not make it fit. I am quite excited about your class.

That I may live a life less of the dullard
And become more than hulking flesh and futile sinew

Life Before and After the Screw Gun
(in response to Rae Armantrout’s “Apartment”)
By Timothy Ford McGregor
8 March 2015

I have always been a screw jockey
So now that I don’t have a screw gun in my hand
It looks like I have lost interest in the whole deal

Driving screws is safe and it pays well
And puts you at the top of the boatyard hierarchy
Nobody ever wonders what you do all day long

And it does not try your sanity
Because looking into the face of God
Is not a part of the scope of work when you have a
Screw gun your hand
And a tool belt cinched around your waist

Make up the beams on a jig
Pilot hole with countersink
Pilot hole with countersink
Feed screw into hole
Feed screw into hole
Drive screw
Drive screw
Move down clean cups

Look deep
Writhe in pain
Write the line
Look deeper
Writhe in pain
Write the line

I Do Believe in Spooks
By Timothy Ford McGregor
6 March 2015

Some of us awaken and are afraid
We want the old life back again
At least it got me from day to day

Some of us awaken and breathe
A deep sigh of relief
That the blinders are finally off

Some of us find this discussion
Pointless as there is only one base reality
The only holy thing is what that man says on Sunday

Somebody’s pulling my tail

Gob Smacked Again
By Timothy Ford McGregor
13 March 2015

I am gob smacked by my discovery of poetry
I thought verse was a sterile place, a sterile pace but
Verse resounds with the roaring fecundity of life

I thought it was a quiet thing, practiced by the gentle
Then what about OSE agent, Croix de Guerre Beckett?
I am astonished by my discovery of the world of verse

I thought it could never be as action packed as the novel
But my perspective was altered while in the furnace
Verse astounds with the roaring fecundity of life

Now there is one more wonderful thing in the world
And it makes many demands but improves everything
I am humbled by my recent discovery of poetry

These lines provide a safe bower where this idea may flower
It is only a matter of time before I learn how to rhyme
Verse resounds with the roaring fecundity of life

Nobody ever makes it to the last lines of a villanelle
So I am safe as I crouch here under the bower fronds
I am astonished by my discovery of the world of verse
Verse resounds with the roaring fecundity of life

Flabbergasted
By Timothy Ford McGregor
10 March 2015

The miracle of my own existence flabbergasts me
And then it doesn’t and I forget the feeling
And I feel even-keeled, unaffected by astonishment

Note: The word “flabbergasted” and the word “bored” were mentioned somewhere in 1772 to be new words that were in vogue that year.

Then I have to try and find the words for the
Wonderful feeling of lived adventure from memory
I will blurt it out when it comes over me next

If you don’t know me, then it means one of
My pulp of mango dreams has come true and
I am a published poet

God only knows where; Wide Open Beavers rejected me
Although that was Kilgore Trout’s big break

If I had felt like this a year ago
I would have said I am having a nervous breakdown
But being a poet has caused this mindset to stay

I wouldn’t have it any other way
I used to daily banish fear and doubt
Now I don’t and I can smell better

This poetry stuff seemed like the most useless
Ephemera for most of my life but now it is frying me
And I can’t get enough of it but
I am taking my waking slowly or at least trying to.

Coding Life
By Timothy Ford McGregor
13 March 2015

We have codified our existence
to bring it down to human size
to make it comprehensible

We have created a scaled down version
Of the infinite so that we can forget its
Unfathomable scale

This is why the Jews do not speak
Or write the name of God
Because in so doing we apply a code tag signifier
To the
Ineffable
And do it violence by the edit that minimizes

The last time we looked
Only the poets and physicists were punching through
To the larger world

An Analysis of All Action
(from: “Articulation: An Assay,” by Jane Hirshfield from her collection: After)
By Timothy Ford McGregor
13 March 2015

The ability to persuade, it is widely known,
is slippery and smooth.
Considering this,
the most persuasive of animals must be
the hippopotamus.

But the tongue that we speak with
is rough and dimpled,
not bothering with the slick, slimy, and smooth.

How would you feel about you and me
not trying to convince, or harangue,
to sit still and
quell the tearing need
to win each other over,
to be relieved of the requirement
to judge every aspect of
the ten thousand things
for a few moments?

Warmth of the sun on our faces
the wheeze of breeze in the trees
standing sentry around this wooden deck,
ice water, clinking of ice on glass,
condensation droplets wetting my hand, drying

The fear of not being perfect un-resisted
as bird droppings are not resisted
by the black asphalt at the edge of the parking lot

Waves of joy and congratulations,
flowing out from us without a target

But thought is action
and tweaking
and improving,
bisecting,
recombining.”

“Reflection,” we call the image of the
sun-washed parking lot in the
shaded window of the shop,
the existence of which requires
no asphalt nor bird droppings.

Not one, not two.

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