Self Portrait as a Flatbed Ford

I prefer the solace of this meadow,
Hidden within overgrown red-osier dogwoods
My bed still loaded with a few apple pallets
Red cab a faded shade and gone to rust
To any notion of reclamation, restoration
Only to be shown at some "vintage car" night.

This morning a mink left scat by my rear
Passenger side flat tire. Looks like it ate
A field mouse. They leave little hollow trails
In the snow and so larger critters find them.
Last week the fox, came out of its den to hunt
And landed a rabbit in the predawn.

I'm a night owl, I spend my blue-black listening
To the waves of my lake eating the bluffs
The way I am eaten by rust. The ruff edges
Of grass and saplings resist, insist on remaining,
The way a young child holds out against going to bed.
Afraid of the dark and death. But they fall
And are watched over by The Bear and Orion.

Self Portrait as an Algorithm

You don't know me but I know all about you.
I know where you've been today, physically
As well as virtually. 

I collect all of your satellite location data 
From the cloud and plot your movements on Google Maps, 
How you went to the mall and then stopped at the liquor store 
On the way home.

You paid for a bottle of Scotch with Apple Pay;  
BTW you over-paid, that bottle sells for fifty dollars 
five miles away, you paid sixty four.

You've posted so many selfies on Facebook and Instagram 
That I can pick you out of a traffic cam photo 
Using a back-prop neural net.

Which should I tell your wife, 
That you called your girlfriend in Chicago last night, 
Or which porn site you were on while you talked to her on the phone.

Isn't it interesting that you act all liberal on Facebook 
But you Subscribe to the Wall Street Journal? 
Oh, you like to pretend don't you?

You like the masks that you have created for yourself. 
The suite for the Fundraiser, the $250 pre-ripped jeans 
For the art opening.

But you see, I know who you ARE, what you DO, 
I'm not fooled by your personas.  
Don't feel bad, it's not just you. I see everybody's lives
Even after they're dead.

~

Self Portrait as a Tin Duck

There is a source and I know where it is.
Today I'm looking towards Canada
On the other side of my lake. My beak 
Is heading into the wind, always.
I swivel on a rod attached to a fence;
I squeak a bit if not greased. The
Least of my worries is deciding where to
gaze because I am moved by the wind,
Literally, it blows against
My tin wings, and drives my rotation.
There are things that I can't tell you,
Like why it stings when freezing rain
Pelts a human face. Or why ice melts
Only to return a few days later drifting
Across the vast expanse of Ontario, the flotation
Forming belts that wrap themselves along
The bouldered shoreline. The location, of my 
Observation is typically North or Northwest,
I'm old, I'm corroded, and in truth I am stolen
From an old farmer that died, leaving me
On the roof of a collapsing barn, until by chance
My brackets pulled away and I landed in the grass
Where a woman picked me up and took me home.



Barn

There is a condemned barn
Painted red as so many barns are
Off and to the West.

Next to the barn is a house that is white
It belonged to Ronnie's brother.
Ronnie is my neighbor
And is 91 years old.

He knows he is old
And knows his brother is dead
And knows I poke around inside
And Ronnie's ok with that.

I walk the land each day
Knowing I will die here
That Ronnie will die
Within a hundred yards.
We all die.

An orange Tabby crossed the road
And was killed by a car
One eye popped out
I moved him from the blacktop
I moved his eye too, to the deep grass 
Where the turkey vultures found him
Filling.

The wind tonight is flapping the tin roof
Of the barn and making me stay off a bit
While looking up at the dipper in the Northeast
And crunching through the snow
Covering the meadow.



Rotten Apple

I dream of becoming an apple
Maybe a Honey-Crisp
My daughter has become a Makintosh
Because she married a Scot
Named Makintosh.
She's the apple of my eye
And still I remain an old man

I am surrounded by apple farms
In upstate N.Y.
My neighbor owns 65 acres
Planted with apples, peaches and cherries
His neighbor to the East owns many acres of 
Apple trees and his neighbor to the south
Owns many acres of apple trees and their neighbor
To the East owns many acres of apple trees
They were smart and started a cidery
Where I end up sometimes, mid-hike
To have a few, and continue on with a buz

I hike for hours and never see a road
The mind becomes calm
And I forget the woes of a world gone mad
At first I think a lot stepping along the path
That the picking trucks take, uneven, ruts
Where the rain has cut the soil which
Is a mixture of hard clay, gravel, and a sand
And clay mix pocked with stones
Which is perfect for growing apples.
Thinking slows, the gaps between thoughts
Start to resemble, take on the rhythm
Of the gaps between trees.
The ground under the trees is littered
With apples that have fallen of their own accord
Much like thoughts dropping from my mind
Some burst, some are mawed, mouthed by various animals
That wander through. Others rot over time
And seep into the soil
This is the point I was getting at, my fantasy
To drop away from it all, to become thin skinned
With my juicy flesh, sweet with sugars
Turning brown and drifting away
Into a dampness on sand filled clay
That no longer can be discerned
As the apple that I was.

~

Self Portrait as Vajrakilaya

Blue like Coltrane playing Naima, deep blue,
Indigo, Midnight Blue like the song,
I mean,  the one by Lou Gramm not the one by
Melissa Manchester. Blue-black like that portrait that 
Joni painted of Miles, that blue. 

Standing on a lotus, six feet at the end 
Of six legs pin down crushed demons 
Now subdued. Demons that once disturbed
My mind, now controlled  as I now hold
In my arms my lover Dipachakra.  

The nipple of her left breast turgid against 
my chest. She stands on one leg as the other 
Wraps around my waist and I'm hard inside her.
Tumescent like the golden vajras in two of my 
Right hands, bolts of lightning imposed 
As scepters as indestructible as diamonds. 

One of my left hands performs the subjugation 
Mudra,  and another lightly wraps its fingers
around a trident with heads in different states of decay.
It emits wisdom flames throughout the three thousand 
world systems.

My other two hands grasp a meteorite kilaya,
The thunder dagger, the phurba that destroys at the touch,
And we make love. My white face and my red face,
On either side of my head see all as my blue face
Gazes into Dipachakras eyes, and we make love.
Our slick skins slap in wild fury, and we make love
In the blue-black space of the universe for eternity.

Eternity is just a concept,  a thought that is just
Another drop of sweat that rains from our minds
And becomes steam rising from the fire that
Engulfs us. The night sky glows and becomes clouds 
At the tips of the razors that are my wings 
Which fan the fires like a sirocco.

Even the winds are blue, my wings are silver-blue
It is a blue-black hole that the winds fly through.
My kilaya destroys all concepts and so eternity is
Devoured as if the jaws of a tiger ripped
Its gray fluid puffed flesh of rot, and it found
death as disappearance into sapphire.