Poems by KIRPAL GORDON
|Kirpal Gordon writes for both literary
venues & commercial clients. His latest reviews
can be seen at PoeticInhalation.com & Longhouse.com
& in American Book Review. His work is most recently
anthologized in Vernon Frazer’s Selected Poems
of Post-Beat Poets published in China (2oo4) in translation
& Carrie Schneider’s American Yoga (2003).
Of late he has been writing spoken word solos for jazz
music, playing & touring with Claire Daly, monster
of the baritone saxophone. For more on his writing,
log on at www.KirpalG.com.
|The bird is in the field as the field
is in the bird. In the grammar of
Sanskrit one can’t have it one way & not the
other. Yes-&-no, both-&-neither:
every spoken word wheels true, but moons only rise &
glow in skies ‘cause om
nama sri chandra rishis lyric it so.
Sound makes the world our maws mutter, shudder &
shout at. In the
rhetoric of Sanskrit a single inflection’s fall
separates a saxophone from a sunset.
Why do we get stressed? Elocution admits our tongue
tip to be Shiva lingam
strike-stroking yoni cave fissures where mouths of
unborn life forms whisper
Birds? Yeah, birds wing by wildly. But in the incantation
fields only open with the wail of a word or the wink
of an I. If the veil of
Maya conceals our own divine nature, then the other
is who we seek to discover,
enjoy, reveal & become.
Guttural-palatal-domal-dental-labial: the sutras
of Sanskrit elucidate
the part mouth & tongue play in the art of love
to be so exact---& so exactly
the whole of love---yearning to sing & get sung
over & over again.
Rilke turned his lust to stone, stone
to blood, blood to bone, bone to dust
to know our affliction’s fire, to pen the peep
of wonder at death’s flowering
grin: Rose, o pure contradiction, desire/To be no
one’s sleep under so many /Lids.
When Kerouac scat in prose what Rilke wrote his epitaph
toward, he saw sacred
slits slide open & birth mark the bloody cost,
why heart & hymen get broken:
to elevate love above all other instruction for tender’s
the wound insisting
us human & the salve that heals is in the touch
of lips & feel of fingertips.
We’ve seen the shapes rage takes against the
flicker of the flame: bombs drop,
blood flows, bones break. Calm seas reflect what every
face already knows:
lines drawn won’t erase.
To move, any blues song will tell ya, you got to
move, mother. To where’s
what all the trouble’s about, invading or avoiding
another. Accept loss forever
Kerouac riffed, remained open & not blew it, Hamiet,
ripping out habit to
tear free the callous that keeps our corazon contorted
for we’re adrift within
preparations we can never fully intuit. If bereft
that lust is life & desire
direction, then remember roadmarks are only all we’ve
To slide from loss to lost, let’s swim the
ocean we’re in with a stroke that
mustn’t end or we won’t get nowhere enough
to find the rose whose folds
Rilke hid our real identity in---brains: stem-seeds
wrapped in idiosyncrasies of
veins the way a heart’s the sum of knot &
bloom; the petalled room we enter
unfolds like the wings of desire---nothing but the
shape we might be born from.
CAN REALLY HANG YOU UP THE MOST
|Growing up against the rutty grain, dirty
dishwater in gray veins, the litter’s puny runt
blew a gutter grunt, knew luck’s bittersweet ball
was gettin’ born at all, head poppin’ out
of mommy’s ju-ju shrine as parade boots stomped
across the wah wah peddlin’ a salty Leonard Cohen
line: all humankind shall be metal-twined until the
key of sea shall free them.
Growing up against nutty Neptune’s reign, the
runt covered not the waterfront but nightclubs it
spewed up & maintained. While women worked that
walk, he saw why rivers save their sediment for the
sea, the wail on that trail, a beach full of blues
in perpetuity: to slay with a song of long notes,
less a killer of ladies, more a phraser of praises!
Rung lyric strung, embouchure so strong, his name
Growing up amidst rugged mugs motley mean, he minded
not the underground scene for relief came in grinning
facts, that no matter how far into earth he dug, he
came up with metal to melt down & play: a silver
flute, a Harmon mute, Adolph Sax’s gold suit
shining. When storm shouts broke with morning, floodgates
opened & whatever was buried six feet under found
its way to what was called the Long Island Sound.
On the third day, according to the G-men, Orpheus
ascended & joyous noise arose on a bridge in Brooklyn,
sky so warm round in rain, only a hint winter had
ever been. The sun shone bright diagonals across oily
avenues, Sonny, & spring rolled in, the here-we-go-again
that looms blossoms from scrap heap & peat moss
bottoms, shaped him a felon in his own unknown skin,
seeking his Eurydice.
Growing up at his arrest for no address & alleged
lunar howling his horn runneth over like a soul in
lungful wonder. He stood alone in a twilit zone playin’
a gut-bucket vamp that had the courtroom comin’
undone in fits what got him a witness, notes so low-down
& mean women tore out their hair & screamed.
A mob of maenads lunged toward him & he knew for
certain, as only a drowning men could see him, that
his is the ocean, songs but bits of he the key of
sea shall free. He eyed in the gallery his Eurydice
& the spinning of big wheels in the town of Ezekiel
proved to be nothing next to her beauty