dan raphael

My Himalayas
“One day a monkey came to Milarepa’s hut riding on a rabbit, wearing mushroom armor
and carrying a bow and arrow made from stalks” (100,000 Songs of Milarepa )

day is early, furry, fungal, lambent and creamy as if i was in bed on a mountain floating leisurely
as an engineless cruise ship our desires for port and isolation propels in ziggy circles as satellites
want us to think we’re closer to landing, spending, stepping through, meeting the dolphins minimum wage, putting back what was filtered out of over-engineered glassware and air so pure our lungs get fat and flaccid.

when the pocket mountain, the holographic snow peak, a cold lump in my biceps, a craggy ridge in my butt so I sit on a diagonal misaligned with freeways and orbits, when the bus sees me waiting it changes course or breaks into several slices too thin for me to enter or sit, I am swallowed by one bird and shat by another clear across town, winking like a subatomic particle eager to please but unable to maintain with so many probes & receptors, as if I needed a special grip for every food I took from the shelf, trying to put fruit in a noodle bowl, trying to drink beer from a coffee cup.

instead of expensive plane fare cheap hypnosis so you think you’re from somewhere else and your home state is now marvelously new, quirky, & inscrutable—i could never live like that, where the rain doesn’t make appointments, where if the sun worked for me i’d fire it the first week, discord where tires meet asphalt, the birds seem mechanical, nothing here i’d call a dog.

i meditate inside a tree where each leaf is a past or future life and im not sure if its spring or fall,
how slowly things move, how at midnight the temperature goes up 10 degrees coz no one’s monitoring, so many are asleep the void must be balanced with various shields, purifiers, 2-hour lifespans, and painted scrims the stars project like suppressed memoirs when it takes all day to go one block as each store must be sampled and lost in.

what started as armor is now complex referents, as if i could choose what grows here in my size,
a closet of wet october, we launder by burying, by artificially accelerating seasons, i set the alarm so its always march when i wake, cold enough to motivate yet enough daylight to tempt, something new might sprout today through my topsoil skin, having simmered with volumes of trade and communication, what I couldn’t use for what you couldnt open, when the relation of verbal intensity to emotional import is an alien math on a world without fingers and toes, without distinct borders and fences, so percentage is more important than volume, genes are powerless labels, momentum in repose is maturity.

i oppress my legs whose education ive stunted, breeding for docile and sturdy, inescapable curvature emulating water-furniture decorating mountain ranges that started with bare fog walls so intent on staying still they became gravity junkies and gave everyone complementary membership in exchange for a few loose genetic ends we werent using anyway and didn’t have the right adaptors to connect in patterns tiles of every culture try to suggest without revealing how from here the horizon is fallen fruit eaten from the inside coz re-building them is what the sun does when we let our minds disconnect from every channel

take water from the equation. ring a hundred generations with a panoply of barriers, from altitude to desert to trickster goats inventing chorus lines and slam poetry marathons who wouldn’t turn around for home, downhill and easier to digest, a door my hand can open, windows i can stand in and seep through, the way my eyes get thicker in winter and uncontainable in spring. how can i ride when my legs keep changing how they connect to me, arguing third cousins and the one kid of seven who doesnt look like the others—if you don’t occasionally gamble your life becomes a square threatening to lose one of its corners.

for every car going by i want to be the driver. the hum of the highway is a swarm of bees meaning the hive is unguarded. i can almost not hear the clock so only my breathing is evidence of time, feeling a draft beneath my fingernails. how can i get more rain cream without climbing the cloud ladder, how can i answer the phone in my head when my hands have no way in, all these accumulating messages, strangers to call for no apparent reason, other peoples bills that must be paid, costumes allowed to migrate, doors removed from their hinges so we can ride whatever precipitation accumulates or invades, when the river banks go insolvent but the gold bars keep ripping through my pockets and i cant burn enough to melt dinner, cant run down the protein without pretending i’m a vegetarian, without appetites, without discriminating food from inedible, visualizing the pizza buddha evaporating into wheat fields with cows and vegetable gardens, the doorbell rings before I can order, my porch is flooded with winged demons and bush meat versed in dharma.

removing roof and windows so all that grows in the sky can fall in, i have a glacier in my glass, the light switches need more than a casual flick—they want commitment, how do I know this sunshine wasn’t genetically modified, demanding inner lumens and community generated photons i angle like the leafs to find the invisible suns we tango, an 8 step cycle embellished with proximity & mutual intent, i beam at whoever approaches, sunblock and black glass will not deter my infra & ultra, my pancultural fusion answering to any name, not like momma useta make but down-home & mud-true. since snow is water i can skinny dip tibetan winter. when the sudden tree unfurls its lineage i climb like sap and exit as a rainbow deglazing the secret windows in my spine

Not as Thick as Feared

our mustaches whisper rain in 20 foot square windows exploring their bubble boundary
outweighing lath and increased ventilation from thirsty summer bodies
stuck wearing their wardrobes for a week of push-ups, throw-aways,
multi-leg french curls as the smoke keeps recirculating
my paddle wheel nostrils like hungry cartoon dogs
got lips? got limericks?
broomsticks in unexpected places to direct unspecified traffic
if your hips are over 44 inches you cannot enter this tent
stretch and thin, slowly unfurling antler scroll, self-glazing fungi
like hottie sticks or bear dazzlers, like chickens living 22 hour days
learning to send messages in yolk protein--
emancipation over easy, scrambled rights

whenever i go to that town im sexually distracted,
wind from the packing plant, so many blue cars
if I realize you hit me as I cant judge distances
like a semi sliding over a roadster
wheels without brakes, feet without wings,
the streets only seem closed to traffic, bricks under barbecues,
i replaced my hair with sauce, learned to take orders in 14 languages
whether noodles or rice, chicken or tofu, debit or identity.
subliminal service, blinking before your eyes know,
am i barley or hops

the stream only seems to touch the rock staying aloft with trade
as thirst and dust moderate the angle of friction
with the foot removed to allow multiple attachments
as the speed limit keeps decreasing
if you hold the button down 10 seconds your finger will be sorry
we replaced the teddy bear with a smoked cows tongue
he used crows feet for earrings but couldnt get the moebius to stay in his nose

without friction we’d fall through,
the knee wants togo but the tires needs to think about it
plastic is lighter but you want the sound of metal on impact
i protect my place with a recorded shotgun
uncaress my cool reptilian fingers
the sun looks blue today, the sky is littered with cardboard
the village carried me out one handful at a time
moving with the barb wire shadows
from inside next januarys fire

i want to plant more string,      eyebrows,     effervescence     and midnight whispers
following the moon through the earth with my bi-dimensional ‘tennae
feel its agitating furrows
more curtains open to
unseated stars, stores with no one above them
people who seek the absence of others yet cannot leave the city
the sky will never be my roof

all that grain in the palm of my hand

an orange flag where its okay to jump off the mountain

dan raphael's Bop Grit     Storm Cafe was re-issued (from mIEKAL aND's Xexoxial) last december; now looking fairly solid that Impulse and Warp: the selected 20th century poems, will be out by end of 2010 (though still a lot of work to do.) Current poems appearing in Heavy Bear, Refined Savage, Haggard & Halloo, and New Mystics.

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