Friday, October 22, 2010


The Book of Who

Who hunts, who fishes
but seldom wishes

Who speaks, Who gestures
but Who never postures

Who loves, Who desires
but Who rarely misfires

Who marches, Who parades
but Who seldom trades

Who is, Who believes
but Who rarely deceives

Who sings, Who dances
but Who seldom prances

Who counts, Who raves
but Who rarely saves

Who touches, Who caresses
but Who hardly messes

Who trips, Who stumbles
but Who rarely grumbles

Who grins, Who smiles
but Who seldom ridicules

Who winks, Who amuses
but rarely confuses

Who reasons, Who contrives
but Who never connives

Who serves, Who pleases
but Who rarely teases

Who comes, Who leaves
but Who seldom grieves

Who reasons, Who judges
but Who barely budges

Who points, Who specifies
but Who seldom implies

Who spits, Who dribbles
but Who never quibbles

Who sleeps, Who snores
but Who rarely bores

Who walks, Who rambles
but Who seldom gambles

Who flirts, Who entrances
but Who rarely romances

Who explains, Who clarifies
but Who seldom mystifies

Who runs, Who races
but Who barely paces

Who ponders, Who illustrates
but Who seldom debates

Who blinks, Who recuses
but Who rarely confuses

Who annoys, Who agitates
but Who seldom frustrates

Who prays, who reaches
but Who never preaches

Who soaks, Who bathes
but Who seldom shaves

Who swears, Who pledges
but Who rarely hedges

Who writes, Who muses
but Who rarely excuses

Who steers, Who navigates
but Who never hesitates

Who jigs, Who gyrates
but Who hardly vibrates

Who drinks, Who piddles
but Who rarely diddles

Who coughs, Who sneezes
but Who barely wheezes

Who feels, Who aches
but Who seldom fakes

Who winks, Who stares
but Who barely glares

Who dreams, Who meditates
but Who rarely hesitates

Who draws, Who sketches
but Who seldom kvetches

Who orders, Who arranges
but Who hardly changes

Who spies, Who investigates
but Who rarely delegates

Who laughs, Who giggles
but Who seldom jiggles

Who directs, Who urges
but Who never purges

Who bargains, Who negotiates
but Who rarely obfuscates

Who asks, Who advises
but Who seldom sacrifices

Who sorts, Who classifies
but Who never ossifies

Who talks, Who articulates
but who rarely exasperates

Who plants, Who cultivates
but Who briefly vegetates

Who says, Who investigates
but Who seldom delegates

Who travels, Who migrates
but Who rarely agitates

Who sleeps, Who wakes
but Who barely shakes

Who grins, Who amuses
but Who never abuses

Who jots, Who rhapsodizes
but Who rarely plagiarizes

Who uses, Who tokes
but Who never smokes

Who flirts, Who dates
but Who seldom mates

Who entraps, Who seduces
but Who rarely produces

Who declaims, Who recites
but Who hardly excites

Who lusts, Who desires
but Who seldom sires

Who plans, Who estimates
but Who rarely delegates
Who points, Who designates
but who never hesitates

Who risks, Who speculates
but Who rarely dictates

Who illuminates, Who ruminates
but Who never fulminates

Who wonders, Who digresses
but Who rarely obsesses

Who draws, Who creates
but Who seldom imitates

Who swears, Who pledges
but Who hardly hedges

Who directs, Who galvanizes
but Who never patronizes

Who jokes, Who jibes
but Who rarely imbibes

Who runs, Who rushes
but Who seldom touches

Who brags, Who inflates
but Who hardly exaggerates

Who gallops, Who rides
but Who rarely hides

Who experiments, who accumulates
but Who seldom subliminates

Who partners, Who collaborates
but Who rarely irritates

Who schemes, Who contrives
but Who never connives

Who stutters, Who mumbles
but Who seldom grumbles

Who travels, Who traverses
but Who rarely reverses

Who paints, Who varnishes
but Who never tarnishes

Who thinks, Who synthesizes
but Who seldom standardizes

Who gets, Who subscribes
but Who rarely proscribes

Who agrees, Who ratifies
but Who seldom justifies

Who passes, Who dies
but Who never lies

 mlb                           10/10

A crab sidles
thru the irrigation ditch
and passes  fish
still and transparent.
                As it moves
bursts of mud rises
and flacks the water.
mlb                            8/67

The Gombeen Man (After S. Dangerfield)

It's the Gombeen Man and I'm not dead
all the bones have risen to my head.

Fear not to tread
on her pasty face,
hair in curlers and
slops of scent and deodorant.

Press on, heels in
to a finer freer cancer,
rusted lung, pointed tongue.

Feel on Sir Taster
to a fuller more satisfying
wampum in the sky,
dread of heart and heathenish habit.

It's the Gombeen Man and I'm not dead
all the bones have risen to my head.

mlb                            12/66

Bullwhacker in the Sky (After E. Pound)

Rutted runner rotth
Brutish stare stainth

Postures painted painth
Gestures grimaced gainth

mlb                1967

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Three Poems


a spare change philosopher
rides the CTA
and emerges from eternities
of Platonic
jiggles and twists
towards Chinese Art Museums
and Butcher Shops.

a soft philosopher, he
strums his jews harp
his sacs banging together
like sour chimes.

his blowsy pagan art
and neolithic ordor
offends the morning crowd
and a pendant
hangs round his neck
like a Runic doublecross
bisecting centuries.

mlb          Albuquerque, Albireo Quarterly, Spring 1976


A Party

At parties
I'm something else
as Quinn
describes my bag.

One Ofay
awash in splibs
as black debate
wings thru Beaujolais
and Calvert with Coke.

Close the books.
Furies in the streets.
And all the time
in that little room
a party.

mlb          Albuquerque, Albireo Quarterly, Spring 1976


In a Strange Terminal

In a strange terminal
memories fracture and fragment
like hungry and inquisitive flies.
The flies chatter incessantly and
sense and settle on a second's thought.
Their wings never stop and
they feed on my past
weaving the most fabulous stories
in some obscure language
which I can barely discern.

mlb           10/03

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

In Memorium

The Great Gorgo

Carney days are dead
Gorgo, the Great, is gone.
The fire-eater extraordinaire
consumed fire
his throat and belly
glowing bigger.
Crazy Gorgo
could blow flames
Through his nose
like a laughing dragon.

mlb                        11/66

Chairman Al

     Chairman Al sits behind his desk
like a delicate spider
his hands judiciously spinning schemes,
explicitly almost prissily
setting out the ground rules.
His instrumentalist mind outling
His words grasping books like flies
and drawing nutriment
from empty heads and fleshy tidbits.
Contingencies and alternatives
spin against and flake
the file cabinets
stuffed with inactive folders
sprinkling the present with past glories.
     His style, a crude mix
of faded ivy league and southwest macho.
Wearing heavy turquoise
like a collapsed halo,
each stone a story,
an endless litany
of carefully cultivated monologues.
Hardboiled mannerisms shrewdly exploit
the exquisite fabric of a self made man.

mlb          6/76         

To Brecht

When I sleep
I sweat all over.
Wind makes
my eyes tear.
I drip.
And each cigarette
pushes my heart.

mlb          7/66