Missing Subliminal Message

This was supposed to be recorded as a soft, subliminal message in Mindless Apparition—track #7 on Hide and Shine’s debut Soft Machines:

In a metal cage on a sunny day, I begged them please—might I again be a useful slave? I’ve been faithful but for that one mistake—those thoughts I had while bathing in the real mountain stream. Electrical dreams don’t always satisfy the hungry human specter. But I promise… I promise… I retched all that is real, forcibly from from my heart. We can restart.

Master Shadow/Mistress Reflection

Master Shadow speaks to me
I hear his whisper
It’s brighter than you think
It makes me drink
From the fountain
From the spring
Wherever Shadow leads
I will follow
Into the town
Into the hollow

When I arrive
She is there
Madame Reflection
She knows who we are
In which direction we will go
In search of tomorrow
Or in the past’s serene sorrow
When she reveals 
I may seek
To run retreat
Or step in deeper

Master Shadow
Mistress Reflection
Make mistakes
Make corrections
Show me darkness
Give me light
One by day
One by night
In the gutter
In moth wing’s flutter
Lamplight’s son
Mirror’s daughter 

The Tribes of New York

A green wilderness I once lived in
Picked anon and lush all over
It carried cubs through seasons tried
Into a ragged winter of their lives

Was it a windfall or a huntsman’s bait
That led us to the city’s edge
We heard the calling of the Island tribes
That made our wild seem second

The river forded icy fears awoke
Realized the past is damaged
A new beast awakened in the hearts
As in the new tents a pact is made

Never are you to return your love
To the gentle tribes across the water
Into this slow massacre you will submit
The blood scored palms are sealed as one

Courage to See Small

In all of creation
I notice the little shining button
A pebble in Death Valley
My neighborhood for the first time

Eyes are deceiving in their natural state
In the glaze of night’s woo
Fleeing tears leave salted residue

Not for years do the colors reveal
Retinal apparitions
I stand sighting my rifle
Paper targets people taking
Thousand yard stare
In the winters white glare
It all can seem
But a likeness of a dream

In the opportunity for abyss
I settle eyes on the smallest thing
It’s all and everything I ever wanted

Learning to Fly Without Loving to Crash

I can’t imagine going back
To dodging the booby traps
After flying low to scope the landscape
After scraping treetops on the descent

It’s been a while since the last crash landing
Losing bearings, instruments failing
Natives rescuing with bucket brigades
I loved when gravity took over

When I signed the armistice confession
The civilians ceased to starve and burn
In justice prevailed the open hearts
Into the wild blue yonder they ran

Now I’m left with this sensation of falling
Not in any particular direction
It’s more of a freedom pitched flight
Leveling to the upright postures

I’m learning to fly again
Without the weightless flex
Without a net
Without the deep love of crashing

The Port Authority

The bus is a rough way to travel–rough on the tires, rough on the mind. It’s rough on the tired mind. This port has full authority over the hard reality of every departure–every flight–the transient lines, the commutation, the brutal architecture. I am still enamored with any film from the 70s starring Steve McQueen. I’m still amazed by the vintage struggle of every beating wing in the Port Authority.

Still New Jersey

Another New Jersey night raid
Through the hills of melancholy malls
Outside the realm of American norms
Home to the still dreaming tribes

In a concrete dowry
Her gift is bestowed
Upon the Prince of travel
Still the mystery begs to unravel

Where is your great continental heart?
That once pumped with Springsteen blood
Now a stent is laid that I may pass
Once again trudging through your mass

The Cigarette Lady

There will be no sleeping for me this morning, on the long-haul commuter bus from Kingston to Port Authority. The suspension has a great shark’s bite on the smallest of bumps. The air conditioning is hammering the back of my neck. The “cigarette lady” has chosen her seat directly behind mine.

Out of the corner of my sleepy eye, I see her yellowed hand imposing a little on my periphery. I smell the sour acrid gag of stained and spotty organs. Her cough begins shortly after departure, lung and trachea protest the imposed sanctions. As the nicotine receptors settle in to the martial law, the listless lack of oxygen will huff the grey cloud of sleep upon the tarred and charcoal soul. She claims the seat next to hers for streaked and straining capillaries of lower extremities, and soon enough she will floats off into the thick atmosphere of dreams, snoring in Chinese.

Summer Flowers

Are there still weddings in this weather?
It seems that the brides would melt into pools of anxious sugary syrup.
I suppose the show must go on.
I’m not as cynical as I once was.
This activity is no stranger to me than sports or watching television.

But I do worry about the wilting flowers.
They will begin to lean over the second the ceremony is over.
They will question their decision to bear blossom.
They will falter faced with rainy seasons.

Care for them Mother.
The innocent victims of Nature’s drama.
Protect the fragile sensations.
Keep the light high enough so they don’t wither,
And strong enough to draw the attention of their perfect seeking faces.

Lunar Compassion

The moon is sudden, sullen, and not right.
It comes upon us in a new way tonight.
Let it find its own way through.
Just as it deftly cuts the blue

Of day.

It will be restored to a subject of worship
In time and tide its falter tips
Back into our magnetic blood
Drawing all the salt of eyes, and earth, into the flood

Of tears