Alan Botsford – Ⅲ
a mamaist crazy blues
You, no clerk of the weather, a bagged-out Saxon-Afro accidentally on purpose hanging
Out at the crazy a-go-go, now come, come out
From the backroom, whether through back-door or front door,
Come out and into light, come to stay while the sun shines.
For your tale that’s tell-tail needs to be found (and told), of the happy couple
High & low, good & bad, not so so-so but cheek by jowl acey-deucey. (Got the drift?)
Come out, even if it means dealing with B & D, S & M, the going
Through fire and water bassackwards, colossal’s undertaking.
No, you can’t Band-Aid it—‘cuz it’s ball-busting work, your killer task at hand.
Though older than God the egged-on foe may be—bearish, not bankable and bullish,
Giving diddly-squat in return—nonetheless, come out, come clean.
(But beware–come too close & the mind’s bastille
will make a basket case outta ya…)
So, lest your blindness beat your story all hollow, you,
A beaut, a boon, a slippered con to boot,
Girding up your loins for this arty-farty second wind,
For these gifts—stop kvetching!– from the slippery gods, now begin
Beating the bushes for the next Be-in, off-beat yet in sinc with these times
Out of joint, that-are-a-changin’ (within limits) while letting
Everyone in on the ground floor — in more senses than one—
At your inner core’s latest venture, the Hotel New Nature—no babble of a popped
Bubble economy, nor budding bauble of a nine days’ wonder, nor even a
Babel Towering over the chaos. Just a place part and parcel
Of the woods, that rises Phoenix-like out of your infernal ashes.
Oh yes! Be now, with a belly laugh, the you—all flakey & flashy but not flaked-out—
That can give five fingers to every God and Mammon nay-sayer with an itching palm
Who comes down the pike. Be now going hat in hand to the hard facts,
Not counting the cost, not gilding the lily
—just getting down to brass tacks while wasting not your precious sterling breath.
Be now, in a Pickwickian sense, going moment to moment in medias res,
No more marking time nor falling for some zappy flash in the pan. Be now
And here in your masterly inactivity going strength to strength
With seeming diabolical skill, knowing you owe your flights of fancy
To the deus ex machina of this first (round) robin of the new nature
Which has brought you this far, cracking wise
In no run-of-the-mill routine, no chintzy Rube Goldberg or Cheap John of chin music.
For in this cutthroat game whose current cuts both ways,
You cut up the touches and, like
The proverbial cut-up, know when to cut the mouth.
Still, the unkindest cut of all comes
In the twinkling of a mind’s eye, and
Suddenly you’re leading a dog’s life, named ‘Iota’,
The land of the living gone doggedly to the dogs…
Yes, you know how it is—being up to your ass in something,
Asshole deep in life that no eagle eye of yours can put to rights.
But what choice, in chasing Creation’s rainbow, do you have?
No time now to beat hasty retreat to your castle in the air gone rotten to the core.
If you would break the ice at the bottomless pit—no mere blot on the landscape–
It’ll take more than a blood-curdling yell at the crossroads.
So come now—armed to the teeth with these borrowed plumes—
Go ahead —cross the Rubicon—aka the Styx—a consumation devoutly to be wished…
All fired up, con amore– what big bang are you waiting for?
All-out but antsy, come, blaze a trail through your blazing inferno.
For the watered down version of truth you’ve been handed
(Which ain’t hay—it too cost a pretty penny) needs
Its decks cleared, like any ship of state of the soul.
Yes, didn’t you know? Look around you—water, water everywhere.
You would see how the land lies and which way the wind blows? Know
From here on in the coast will never be clear, that from your bag and baggage
No remark will be casual (or causal?) and you may never say anything and safely arrive anywhere!
No, there’s no more studying for this acid test!
For a clean sheet’s what’s needed
From our cherished beliefs, our pimped circumstances, our thick centuries-old plots.
See how our city fathers, our captains of industry, our classes and our masses
–citizens of mean (and no mean) cities all– see how we, all of us a chosen people,
not just Uncle Sam’s, are all brother Jonathans and sister Joans
Who, laughed to scorn, have otherwise become chilled to the marrow?
See how we’ve broken our butterfly on the wheel, each one of us a broken reed?
How we, once able to hear the call of the wild by word of mouth, escaped
Into scraps of paper, and now have (and how!) profound debts to pay?
Yes, it’s time we grabbed and ran (like Jonah, that whale of a poet spouting clichés)
With the pride that’s done swallowed us (modesty thrown to the winds)
—this ‘not bad’ may be good
Once, like a moment of truth…, but not (no, not) for all.
Come, take this energy of despair and follow it to the ends of the earth.
For it’s time to bring it full circle again, like a cart
Meeting a horse, or a man his brother, and to cast in your lot (sans hope) with
(yes, even giving carte blanche to) the devouring chasm, the yawning abyss, the rock
Bottom– those depths where the Sleeping Dragon, the Public Enemy No. 1 lies…
Come, then, write the words of Her stony silence on the walls of our world’s caged age.
Let the wind of change She sings wring our withers
Lest we be without chick or child.
O Let the burden of proof fall like a bolt from the blue,
For if it’s magic, sub rosa, a rosy future with a vengeance awaits,
A world of truth that words cannot describe.
No golden opinions can be won there, no happy throngs joined.
There you will find great open spaces that Time, standing still, holds in its fleshy grip,
A Grand Old Man of the gorgeous East
Ready to hand the four corners of the earth on, like a torch, to you…
While you, the next stranger in a strange land, will take His much of a muchness
And as it slips through your fingers will make it yours
Until the insubstantial pageant’s substantial to the whole
Wide world again.
So go ahead—cast your bread upon the waters.
Now bright and early waiting
Under a lucky star
For the child of new nature to be born.