Thursday, May 31, 2012

Safety Sloop


Bleeding warmth to savage winds
I lean against the coastlines bend…
Out to the sea, the farthest pale,
I push against the winters swell.


I pull myself into the wind
until the lee is lost again
and only that which may be there
Is left for me to find it.

No whale or shoal upon the sea
Will stop to bind or hinder me
Unless the craven crawl returns
me safely to the leeward shore.

Monday, March 05, 2012

Holiday Goat


Holiday Goat
                                                                                                     
In fields that spring the newborns played,
By summer all the doelings caged
Now only sheep remain at graze
To see the coming winter.

From the old I take the young
And leave the damned to mourn the loss
In faith that ritual sacrifice
Will ease this doubt I’m given to.

Sheltered under broken rock 
Yet high above the thing to come
I edge the razor with a strap
And dream of two door-ed Cadillac’s.

From here the harshness shines in waves
To break on meat that smells of salt
And colors bruised to bloody rust,
(A grit that slowly wears in time.)

Winged and weightless the flies hover,
Sure that in the intensity of sheen
A sweetness is upon them,
Just as I mistake the agony of effort
For a prayer of submission.

Razor strapped and polished slab
I cleanse to myth my ruthlessness.

Mike Brady 2010 (revised 3/12)






Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Sonnet 73



Sonnet 73(1609)
William Shakespeare
That time of year thou mayst in me behold
When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang
Upon those boughs which shake against the cold,
Bare ruined choirs, where late the sweet birds sang.

In me thou seest the twilight of such day
As after sunset fadeth in the west;
Which by and by black night doth take away,
Death's second self, that seals up all in rest.

In me thou seest the glowing of such fire,
That on the ashes of his youth doth lie,
As the deathbed whereon it must expire,
Consumed with that which it was nourished by.

This thou perceiv'st, which makes thy love more strong,
To love that well which thou must leave ere long.



That time of year you may in me behold
When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang
Upon those boughs which shake against the cold,
Bare ruined choirs, where late the sweet birds sang.

In me you see the twilight of such day
As after sunset fades in the west;
Which by and by black night does take away,
Death’s second self, that seals up all the rest.

In me you see the glowing of such fire,
That on the ashes of my youth do lie,
As the deathbed where on it must expire.
Consumed with that which it was nourished by.

This you perceive, which makes your love more strong,
To love that well which you must leave before long.



Reading it the original way just hurts my head and takes too long -- though translating Shakespeare is a real particular form of arrogance.

Friday, June 03, 2011

Best Gawker quote of the year

"Sarah Palin is what happens when Satan pours a touch too much banality into his vats of evil."

MisterLumpyDough

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

This Years End Time

Please excuse the rush and haphazard in my writing, I'm in a hurry and want to get this out before the 21st.

Those of you that know me understand that I have no problem with the Apocalypse – in fact, I've always encouraged it through both thought and deed, (because faith without work is a dead thing without juice or forward momentum-- as if that needs explaining.)

What bothers me is not the death of billions of people, though it's sad in a way I can't even conceive of -- it's that someone sat around and read the Bible, praise be to the lord, and after much and careful study actually came up with a date – and that's just sick.

Religion is all and only a faith thing – if you could actually prove any of it, it would be science. And the faith thing is fundamental – it's what keeps it from just being another mental illness of the delusional sort. Sure, it's fine to think of it a pure trick for social control, or perhaps a way for the powerful to keep a lid on the ragged mobility, but with the faith thing going for it, it has wings and a way to soar through the mind when open eyes and voiced reason seem pitifully inadequate to answer any honest question worth asking.

So the concept of an accountant, with a vision of the mathematical sort, numerically rounding off this and adding to that to come up with the end of time, and then publishing it as a public relations ploy, all seems like an evil to me. I wonder not about the act of the death of all things, but rather the eyes that are being using to discover that death and make a glory of it.

When I read the bible, I see the words of Christ –( it used to be easier because they printed them in red, but they are still there if you look.) They seem like nice words until you realize that they are just the carrot being dangled before you in a massive carrot/stick sales job, and that underneath the Christian forgiveness lies an unalterable base of an omnipotent god who still requires submission and worship in spite of being everything and all things – or so the story goes.

And after the big bang, those lucky few will ascend to be with this hard and punishing thing of a god where the only kindness will come through the intersession of his co-dependent, graphically and systematically abused only son.

Once there, you will know the level of the wrath of god just by watching his sons eyes as the keys rattle in the keyhole after the Lords had a hard night out with the Buddha and the Zeus drinking Zima's to excess.

Heaven indeed, and nowhere to hide, for nothing more will be hidden from you, or anything – imagine that.

(Jews will be welcomed, but first they will have their circumcisions undone, the hard way -- a new compact for new times.)

So I suppose this focus on the person and not the event is my fault, but I again and again come back to the human being that uncovered the secret date when all of us will be rubbed out, give or take a chosen few.

And honest, there is a god and it's bigger than I or you, but this is not it.

I have been thinking about this person for a week, and I'm pretty sure it's just one person – that's how these things work. I have not come up with my own words to tell the feeling, but do have have a poem that sums it up for me – it's exact in both punctuation and in its effect, and, really, it could not be more clear.

The Snow Man, by Wallace Stevens

One must have the mind of winter
To regard the frost and boughs
of the pine-trees crusted with snow;

And have been cold a long time
To behold the junipers shagged with ice,
The spruces rough in the distant glitter

Of the January sun; and not to think
Of any misery in the sound of the wind,
In the sound of a few leaves,

Which is the sound of the land
Full of the same wind
That is blowing in the same bare place

For the listener, who listens in the snow,
And, nothing himself, beholds
Nothing that is not there and nothing that is.













Friday, April 08, 2011

Eat the Rich

From Vanity Fair, By Joseph E. Stiglitz -- full article linked

"Alexis de Tocqueville once described what he saw as a chief part of the peculiar genius of American society—something he called “self-interest properly understood.” The last two words were the key. Everyone possesses self-interest in a narrow sense: I want what’s good for me right now! Self-interest “properly understood” is different. It means appreciating that paying attention to everyone else’s self-interest—in other words, the common welfare—is in fact a precondition for one’s own ultimate well-being. Tocqueville was not suggesting that there was anything noble or idealistic about this outlook—in fact, he was suggesting the opposite. It was a mark of American pragmatism. Those canny Americans understood a basic fact: looking out for the other guy isn’t just good for the soul—it’s good for business

The top 1 percent have the best houses, the best educations, the best doctors, and the best lifestyles, but there is one thing that money doesn’t seem to have bought: an understanding that their fate is bound up with how the other 99 percent live. Throughout history, this is something that the top 1 percent eventually do learn. Too late.".

http://www.vanityfair.com/society/features/2011/05/top-one-percent-201105

Friday, April 01, 2011

Jacob Barnett teaches us Calculus 2. Techniques of Integration

God bless this kid -- at all points he seems to want to be helpful, but it's just random crap to me -- I can only pick out words, and other than that, nothing makes sense. It's as if I were trying to explain the complexities of individual States sodomy laws to a Frenchman -- I imagine a blank stare asking me, "what's the point?, or, "why are you even talking to me?" I comforts me to reflect on the fact that he's probably wrong too.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Cold Comfort for Change

Cold Comfort for Change

In our wailing
And shaking of fists,
Prayers to what we prefer of reason
Touch lightly on the thing beneath.

These gestures made through the movement of time
Rub softly and abrade the mindful eye.

Yet still eager for sighs of discontent
As they leak from curled lips,
As shaped by the unseen gnashing of carious teeth --
Breathing into an anguished distraction
The pain of it falls into a of thing of itself.

We set fire to the altar by change
And gnaw loose from the traps that we’ve laid.

Mike Brady/ 2011

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

“Self-control in kids predicts future success, study says”


http://www.chicagotribune.com/health/la-heb-tiger-mother-20110124,0,337942.story

This fits with my ongoing observations that god died a long time ago, and that we are now left to find meaning in a rotting three ringed circus tent of cause and effect -- a corpse left behind by a slightly pissed Deity to kind of fuck with us– a sort of old-testamenty styled policy and procedure manual of ridged, yet animated, organization that leaves all morality and ethics up to a combination of peer pressure and crowd control -- all to be run by grown up  bullies that used to beat on us in grade school and the anal retentive door gooders that fast tracked through high school by pretending and agreeing better than those of us lacking in both persistence and any sort of attention span.

But I digress.

Self-control is just code for doing what other people tell you to do, just as tolerance is code for putting up with other peoples shit until you get used to it. It’s not about creativity, imagination or the joy of the new – it’s about control and submission to something outside of self. It's not self control if other people are doing the controlling.

My mind tends to wander, but it does seem to me that god has ended up as just another reason to blame me for my weakness of being born human – the whole original sin thing – it’s like,  why bother if I'm born doomed…

But as a father myself, I can tell you that MY kids are not flawed to the core – they just have issues to work on – issues that come from having emotions and thoughts – the ‘being human thing.’ I have always tried to guide them, not control them. I love them, so I teach them with lessons that I’ve learned along the way.

In the end is suppose, Policy and Procedure manuals are only pulled out to find ways of punishing the guilty – and in any good, comprehensive manual, everyone’s guilty.

And God has left us a good one to use, and plenty of damaged people to use it.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Holiday Goat

Holiday Goat


I arrange to make the razor strapped
And dream of two-doored Cadillac’s.

From the shadow of a broken rock
Above the flatness of promised land
A harshness shines in waves
Of colors bruised and bloody
And the wind blows grit across an empty field
Where the only smells are salt and rust.

Winged and weightless, the flies hover,
Sure that in the intensity of sheen
A sweetness is upon them,
Just as I mistake the agony of effort
For a prayer of submission.


In spring the newborns played
By summer all the doelings caged
And only sheep remain at graze
To see the winter coming.

From the old I take the young
And leave the damned to mourn the loss
In faith that ritual sacrifice
Will ease the doubts I’m given to.

With a razor strapped and a marble slab
I make a myth of ruthlessness.

Mike Brady 2010



Friday, December 17, 2010

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Scuttling Trains



Scuttling Trains

A station agent with a watch to time
The come and go -- to chart the here and now. 
Not the wheels that turn from powered steam
Not the rails that guide the loads to home
Not the bucket that shovels coal
Not anything that moves at all.

A man caged on an iron stage,
Standing upright and wanting,
As loose and free as the bindings allow,
And coloring the blanks of small boxes in black
On to preprinted forms that don’t self correct --
Perfect to practice, again and again.

I know why she left me on this platform adrift,
Though I was ready to stay till the end of us both.
She dropped spikes in the cannon as the enemy approached,
And said, “It’s you,” and then fled from the battle.

The roar of engines dulls with repetition
And the echoes they make are just more of the same
And as they come in for the stopping and going
It’s me to remember the timing of trains.

Mike Brady 2010

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Oklahoma, Maybe.

Oklahoma, Maybe.

In Texas:

We don’t use French in poetry --
It’s all affect no matter the alliteration
And the vowels add only unearned arrogance.

Some German works:
Our thoughts sound best
In the language they were born.

Italian is just a kind of lust
With all the strangeness of rhythmic sonnets...
Their love is just a hole to step out of.

Latin words mean nothing.
Iambic my ass, we’re not Rome --
We plan to still be standing for the fall.

Mike Brady 2010

Friday, December 03, 2010

Palin/Pravda

 From Pravda for God's sakes. I just keep saying, "Marketplace of Ideas" over and over. To myself apparently. It's just hard to watch.

"If Sarah Palin is not some kind of a massive political joke in the USA, wheeled out to liven up the political scene from time to time with nonsensical and pastiche (one hopes) displays of sheer and utter ignorance, then it is worrying. It is even more so if anyone other than a manic depressive suffering from a chronic lack of lithium takes this...female...seriously."

http://english.pravda.ru/opinion/columnists/30-11-2010/115998-spankin_sarah-0/

Christmas Wish List 2010



A cast iron skillet,
(I’m doing cornbread variations this year.)
An electric water boiler for morning coffee.
Curtains for my bedroom,
(On days off, I’d like to see the sun later not sooner.)
Six-packs of chili – Denison’s, Stagg -- any bean type,
(Chili never goes out of style.)
Good and solid socks, dark and uniform – and ones that don’t ball up into black linen chunks and clog the dryer.

My mind has not the inclination for the asking
For World peace, or any less of strife,
And though the Sudanese could use a break this Christmas,
They are probably not the type that wants the fix.
(And it’s best to let the gods play to the finish,
Omnipotence is jealous at its best.)

Bacon’s good, but not as good as Crisco,
Yet Granny’s biscuit’s might require both,
I still don’t want a microwave, they’re ugly,
But an iron cornbread muffin mold is nice.

My father’s praise, but not so much my mother’s
Though my mother knows me better than he does,
My father knows me like I know my children
But a son and mother are mostly just the one.

Mike Brady 2010