There’s no such thing as a shortcut

Over, ever going over the tracks,
back and forth we go,
like a Dippy Bird toy putting on a show.

Ever going over the tracks,
well-worn; beaten, even,
by the careless, callous soles
of those in search,
yes, blessed, holy search,
of long-forgotten nightmare happy endings.

Ever going over the tracks,
tracks vultures track night and day
in hopes of catching a wayward soul,
consumed by delicious hate,
lost and blind and heartless,
yes, a murderer in the making,
ever going over the tracks…

- Kurt Poleet

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“But if without enmity someone suddenly pushes another or throws something at them unintentionally or, without seeing them, drops on them a stone heavy enough to kill them, and they die, then since that other person was not an enemy and no harm was intended, the assembly must judge between the accused and the avenger of blood according to these regulations. The assembly must protect the one accused of murder from the avenger of blood and send the accused back to the city of refuge to which they fled. The accused must stay there until the death of the high priest, who was anointed with the holy oil.

But if the accused ever goes outside the limits of the city of refuge to which they fled and the avenger of blood finds them outside the city, the avenger of blood may kill the accused without being guilty of murder. The accused must stay in the city of refuge until the death of the high priest; only after the death of the high priest may they return to their own property.” – Numbers 35:22-28

I don’t know

I don’t know
who blows the wind or spins the earth
or tickles a baby till it makes the cutest cackling laugh,

I don’t know
who put wings on an eagle or flippers on a whale or horns on a bull or breasts on a woman,

I don’t know
who made the stars shine so amazingly in the night sky
or who gave such wondrous gifts to artists and authors and architects and actors and Bach and Beethoven and Brahms and the Beatles and Beyoncé
or who made the hearts of so many so conniving and callous and cold and cruel,

I don’t know
who fills the summer with salty sea-breeze air, kids splashing in the pool, young lovers in sensuous embrace
or who fills the summer with bomb blasts, AK47s, IEDs, and the shrieks and cries of fathers or mothers who’ve just seen their daughter’s or son’s face blown into a thousand bloody bits of flesh and brain and tongue and skin and teeth and skull and eyes,

I don’t know
who wrote all the cryptic secrets in a book no one can really understand
or who decides who should be a billionaire and who should starve in Darfur
or who should be a Caesar and who should be gassed to death at Auschwitz,

I don’t know
if God is the Wizard of Oz fumbling around behind a big red curtain
or Charles Manson making his Helter Skelter followers kill and kill and kill and kill in His Holy Name
or the Godfather blessing those who kiss His ass and putting a bloody horse’s head next to some poor sleeping schmuck whose only sin was not showing the Big Man all due respect,

I don’t know,
I just don’t know…

- Kurt Poleet

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“The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool..” – William Shakespeare, As You Like It

Donning’s Bridge

Donning’s Bridge in the distance,
less and less invisible
with each step we take through the moor.

This morning is too quiet for September,
too quiet to ease this melancholy,
this unsubstantial doubt,
this listless uneasiness,
growing greater and greater
with each step we take through the moor.

Instinct bades our hands hold tight,
two sets of eyes become one in the hunt,
nothing but emptiness barricades us from the treasure we seek,
this dream, this hope we share,
falling further and further into the great unknown
with each step we take through the moor…

- Kurt Poleet

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Travis Bickle: I’ll tell you why. I think you’re a lonely person. I drive by this place a lot and I see you here. I see a lot of people around you. And I see all these phones and all this stuff on your desk. It means nothing. Then when I came inside and I met you, I saw in your eyes and I saw the way you carried yourself that you’re not a happy person. And I think you need something. And if you want to call it a friend, you can call it a friend.

Betsy: Are you gonna be my friend?

Travis Bickle: Yeah. - Taxi Driver

Dream

I’m not gonna wait, take the bait,
hate’s the only commodity
holding together the bricks of my soul.
Her dry cracked lips kissing the piece,
burnt glass burnt fingers burnt brain,
grab my whistle, just in case.
Can’t even remember when I last saw the light of day,
can’t stand still, sit pretty, walk tall,
soon enough I’m gonna lie down,
gonna close my eyes,
gonna go to sleep,
and finally find some peace…

- Kurt Poleet

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Omar Little: “Omar don’t scare.” – The Wire

Proud American

In any case, it can’t be clear,
we see factories smoking Lucky Strikes,
belching blackness into the cancer-stricken sky.

We see G.I. Joes playing cops and robbers,
on the streets of soul-food diners, corner liquor-stores and tenement settlements.

We see high-stakes poker-players,
playing Monopoly with week-to-week paycheck maker’s money.

We see comatose masses,
hypnotized by one hundred and fifty channel sixty-four inch pornographic babysitters.

We see lawyers and liars and lobbyists and loggers and doctors and dentists and draft-dodgers
riding a never-ending roller-coaster Tilt-a-Whirl Loop-the-Loop
of no taxation without representation.

We see all this, from the microscopic to the astronomic,
and yet we live and die in darkness…

- Kurt Poleet

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“My country, right or wrong,” is a thing that no patriot would think of saying except in a desperate case. It is like saying, “My mother, drunk or sober.” – G. K. Chesterton

Contingencies

Mascara tears drizzle down her cheek,
a few more beers and it’s not so bleak.
Take me for a ride,
one phenomenal ride,
past prison bars and distant stars,
fat bass busting out my speakers,
steal a brand-new pair of sneakers,
brimming with satire ’round the campfire.
Barbarians at the gate,
fueled by nothing more than hate.
Really? A wrinkle in space and time?
Your philosophy ain’t worth one thin dime…

- Kurt Poleet

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“When everything was ready, the stranger opened his eyes, moved to the table, filled a tumbler with tea for himself and one for the beardless old man to whom he passed it. Pierre began to feel a sense of uneasiness, and the need, even the inevitability, of entering into conversation with this stranger.” – Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace

Frosted Flakes

All shiny and new
just a few rose petals
mostly those petals
metallic fantastic platitudes
hissy-fit kitty-cat attitudes
warbling nightingale lost
Frosted Flakes for supper,
supper in the Upper Room
from womb to tomb
cheap cigars to rose petals
mostly those petals
just a few
all shiny and new…

- Kurt Poleet

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“What is straight? A line can be straight, or a street, but the human heart, oh, no, it’s curved like a road through mountains.” – Tennessee Williams, A Streetcar Named Desire