Saturday, June 25, 2022

Two poems

EVERY SO OFTEN

The Stop Requested voice
From the bus
And the No Lifeguard On Duty sign
At the beach
Get together.
It’s lit.
The party, the shoes.
Bomb-ass music.


THIS MORNING IN THE BOTANICAL GARDEN

What’s your name?
When I told him
He started to walk away
But then stopped, turned, and looked at me
Like the page had been refreshed
And he was seeing me anew.
I repeated myself.
That’s my name I said.
He took a step away. Stopped.
Looked at me. He wasn’t quite sure
Where he stood in the universe.
His body wanted to flee, but his feet were steadfast.
He removed his hat.
He took a knee.
My Lord.



© 2022 Randy Stark
Please visit my website at www.randystark.com.
My books are available on Amazon.

Saturday, June 18, 2022

This poem inspired me early on; it still does:

Recuerdo
by Edna St. Vincent Millay

We were very tired, we were very merry—
We had gone back and forth all night on the ferry.
It was bare and bright, and smelled like a stable—
But we looked into a fire, we leaned across a table,
We lay on a hill-top underneath the moon;
And the whistles kept blowing, and the dawn came soon.

We were very tired, we were very merry—
We had gone back and forth all night on the ferry;
And you ate an apple, and I ate a pear,
From a dozen of each we had bought somewhere;
And the sky went wan, and the wind came cold,

We were very tired, we were very merry,
We had gone back and forth all night on the ferry.
We hailed, “Good morrow, mother!” to a shawl-covered head,
And bought a morning paper, which neither of us read;
And she wept, “God bless you!” for the apples and pears,
And we gave her all our money but our subway fares.



Sunday, May 8, 2022

[The city breaks in houses to the sea, uneasy with waves,]

(by Charles Reznikoff) 

The city breaks in houses to the sea, uneasy with waves,
And the lonely sun clashes like brass cymbals.

In the streets truck-horses, muscles sliding under the steaming hides,
Pound the sparks flying about their hooves;
And fires, those gorgeous beasts, squirm in the furnaces,
Under the looms weaving us.

At evening by cellars cold with air of rivers at night,
We, whose lives are only a few words,

Watch the young moon leaning over the baby at her breast
And the stars small to our littleness.

The slender trees stand alone in the fields
Between the roofs of the far town
And the wood far away like a low hill.

In the vast open
The birds are faintly overheard.

Saturday, April 30, 2022

Expressive Activities

 

It’s Spring and Mabel Mercer singing Cole Porter songs.

 

I just finished reading Swan Dive, a 2021 memoir (and some funny behind the scenes observations) by NYCB dancer Georgina Pazcoguin.

 

Among the topics she covers is an issue I’ve long wondered about: “The success of The Nutcracker as a revered tradition in the United States is baffling,” she writes.  “The US is the only country that regularly performs a ballet that everyone else in the world considers unwatchable.”

 

Another pithy comment concerns a different ballet and a role she was apparently dissatisfied with: “The part was so incredibly mindnumbing,” she writes “that while sitting in the wings I was able to do my taxes.”

 

And speaking of wings and Spring and birds and things, Dorothy Parker was having none of it:  “Every year, back comes Spring, with nasty little birds yapping their fool heads off .”


Please visit my website at www.randystark.com.

My books are available on Amazon.

#randystarkpoet

 

Saturday, April 9, 2022

In case you missed it

 Black Lives Matter Releases Statement on Biden's 2022 Budget - Black Lives Matter

 



 




"There is a saying that says a budget is a statement of priorities. If that is true, then Biden’s budget is showing Black people that he couldn’t care less about saving Black lives."---from the statement above.

Saturday, April 2, 2022

Stickin' It to Putin















STICKIN’ IT TO PUTIN

Made with non-Russian vodka.
One after another.
After another.
After another.
Stickin’ it to Putin.
You do that enough
And it starts to have an effect.




Please visit my website at www.randystark.com.
My books are available on Amazon.
#randystarkpoet

Saturday, March 26, 2022

Shop Talk (a continuing series)

















From The First 21 by Nikki Sixx 

“Early on [with Motley Crue] I would insist on rehearsing whole sets, playing backward from the encore, then forward again, building our intros, breaking every song down, remaking it, breaking it back down one more time. It was relentless.” 

Randy Sez:

Thank you to the writers I read just before I begin my day
They inspire me, but don’t hold them responsible.
My writing is like my wrestling
Informed by Japanese and Mexican stylists
With plenty of Freddie Blassie
And The Fabulous Moolah mixed in.
But all my own doing.

Randy Sez more:

I write using a secret formula.
A messy desk has many dimensions.
References and Source Material a go go.
A random list of random things at hand:
Writers’ Thesaurus
Old Farmer’s Almanac
Dr. Bronner packaging
A People’s Guide to Los Angeles
I Will Pass Even to Acheron, by Amanda Newell, 2021
A monograph of artworks by Chaim Soutine
The King James Version of the Holy Bible
A couple of books on NW Coast Native art.

Randy Sez More Plus:

And not always, but often I’m listening to music as I write or read. Sometimes I listen just to listen:

Vivian Fung, Phillip Glass, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Roy Hargrove,
Sister Rosetta Tharpe: There Are Strange Things Happening Every Day
Koko Taylor: Whang Dang Doodle
Memphis Minnie
Luther Johnson (Snakeboy?)
Symphony #2 by Johannes Brahms
Les McCann, Live at the Village Vanguard, 1967
Her "Fachwerk for bayan, percussion and string orchestra" is great.


© 2022 Randy Stark
Please visit my website at www.randystark.com.
My books are available on Amazon.
#randystarkpoet

Saturday, March 19, 2022

String Theory

 
Art by Antonio Berni










I’LL TELL PEOPLE, HEY

Dream, believe, achieve.


YESTERDAY WAS BLACK ICE! 

I was terrified to drive
But not choice!!! 


YES

I want to win $1 million dollars a week for life!



© 2022 Randy Stark
Please visit my website at www.randystark.com.
My books are available on Amazon.
#randystarkpoet




Saturday, March 12, 2022

Choice Bits (a continuing series)



UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE
I hope this link works. Maya Deren.



And I’ll tell you right now
Things have been so great
They’re throwing money at my feet.
Contracts and women at my feet.
I don’t know what the rest of my body’s doing
But I’ve got the happiest feet you ever saw.

Jack E. Leonard, Hollywood Palace, October 16, 1965


The invincible power of poetry has reduced me to the condition of a tattered beggar.

Basho, 17th century


Every Country Gets the Refugees It Deserves

Rabih Alameddine, title chapter from The Wrong End of the Telescope, 2021


Here are some other things I liked over the past few months:

DUSIE: Tuesday poem #457 : Wayne Miller : WHAT I KNOW ABOUT TIRANA

Venus de Milo: On Being Rediscovered by Karen Head - Poems | poets.org

Trap Music by David Tomas Martinez - Poems | Academy of American Poets

Review: ‘Félix Vallotton: Painter of Disquiet’ at the Met Museum – ARTnews.com


The Road, by Cormac McCarthy, 2006
Harrow, by Joy Williams, 2021
Narrative of Sojourner Truth, dictated to Olive Gilbert, 1850
A Walk in the Night, stories by Alex La Guma 1968
Memories of the Future, by Sigizmund Krzhizhanovsky, 1920’s

And this poem: Minna IX

Sedate and archaic, a twilight-frilled haze
Walks over the meadows like rolled-out centuries
Quivering in sprightly welcome.
Trees pushed down by silence;
Trees lolling in comely abandon;
Trees pungently flamboyant,
Their leaves spinning in the wind’s golden elusiveness.
Trees probing the shrilly sensitive sunset
Like little, laced nightmares leaning
Upon a scarlet breast;
Trees sprinkling their stifled mockery
Upon the blue tomb of the air;
Trees, are you silenced beings
Whitening into the winding paradise
Of old loves seeking a second death?
And has this archaic, twilight-frilled haze
Moulded me to your semblance?

by Maxwell Bodenheim, born in 1892 in Hermanville, Mississippi, was a poet and novelist active in the early twentieth-century literary scenes of Chicago and New York’s Greenwich Village. 

These are the titles of my favorite poems by Frederick Seidel from his book Poems 1959-2009.

I’m Here This
The Complete Works of Anton Webern
The Death of Anton Webern
At a Factory in Italy
Yankee Doodle
A Pretty Girl
Going Fast
Portia Dew
The Birth of the Universe
Drinks at the Carlyle
Chiquita Gregory
We Have Ignition
Cosmopolitans at the Paradise
The Hour




Saturday, March 5, 2022

A Word from the Apotropaics

Get luck in a hurry.
Hit the winning numbers.
And hit them again and again.

Scan to receive.
Use promo code.
Discover the secret to

Rejuvenate yourself.
Make a moment.
Feel the difference.

Start your skin care journey.
Reverse the damaging effects of winter weather.
Tame nervous tension.

Turn back the clock.
Forget fad diets.
God ALWAYS gives us 

MORE than we can handle.
Six times more.
In tablets, powders, patches, creams, ointments, gels.


© 2022 Randy Stark
Please visit my website at www.randystark.com.
My books are available on Amazon.
#randystarkpoet


Saturday, February 26, 2022

Share With Us


















You know how when you hit the back of your head
And everything goes to the front
In a musk ox stampede?

So take us through timing belt specials.
Do we have to set our clocks back or something?
Is that the Disney bundle?

I'd love to hear more about 
Positive thinking in subzero temperatures
Mazurkas, poemes & impromptus.

If you go down to da reeever
Ees eet herd immunity or tinning the herd?
What should be my level of concern?

Share with us 18 million coffee beans
Freshly ground, freshly brewed
Serves how many perfect cups?

Talk a little bit about the  
Meditation garden gate being padlocked
Tell us why people sleep outside like exposed pipes.

Aren’t they aware today is street sweeping day?
Don’t they know time’s running out
To give to the annual matching grant fund drive?



© 2022 Randy Stark
Please visit my website at www.randystark.com.
My books are available on Amazon.
#randystarkpoet




Saturday, February 19, 2022

Now Nobody Can Taste Anything



















The Biden administration needs to provide enough acorn squash
Or butternut squash "for all American families to be able to eat
Twice a week, every week." Acorn squash or butternut squash.
"It needs to become the norm," she says.

These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA

JOHN WAYNE GACY

Remember him? He became an artist, too, after he retired. He missed out on an opportunity to dance with “Ellen” though because her show didn’t come on the air until many years after he was executed for his crimes.

Here’s some bio info and a sales catalogue for his work.


IT IS TIME (by Kamala Harris)

It is time for us to do
What we have been doing.
And that time is every day.
Every day it is time.



 

 

 

 

 

© 2022 Randy Stark

Please visit my website at www.randystark.com.

My books are available on Amazon.

#randystarkpoet

 

 































Saturday, February 12, 2022

Two Love Poems

artwork by Odilon Redon


















AMOR Y AMISTAD

Damas para caballeros.
Soy cariñosa.

Caballeros para damas.
Me gusta la música.

Damas para damas.
XXX-rated pulsepounder.

Caballeros para caballeros.
Yo vivo en Vista.


AT THE CAFÉ RENOIR

She was smoking hot.
Her mother named her after a comet.
Great legs, great body.
Shorts and a tank top.
An ass like prize money.
It’s still the best bumping ring I have ever been in.
It’s been a year since we broke up.
The best metal stairs I’ve ever had my head slammed into.
Scary shit sure but hey. 
Turnbuckles are available.


© 2022 Randy Stark
Please visit my website at www.randystark.com.
My books are available on Amazon.
#randystarkpoet


Saturday, February 5, 2022

No Gaffing

 















(gaff:  give a flying fuck)

Here I am,
Living like royalty,
Royalty in exile,
But royalty.

Bouncy castle keeper needed for 
Half day, ¾ day of
Peace and freedom, a party;
Cheer and tumbling experience a plus.

Juliet balconies, 
Jack and Jill bathrooms,
Plus a 52-piece chemistry set
In case push comes to shove.

This evening’s light, 
A nice pinot grigio from Argentina,
It interrogates as it situates.
No revolution without a wine club.

The bottom line here is look.
We are the world, right?
If traffic’s heavy
Take the Dauphine.



© 2022 Randy Stark
Please visit my website at www.randystark.com.
My books are available on Amazon.
#randystarkpoet


Saturday, January 29, 2022

Choice Bits (a continuing series)

 



New and new to me, plenty of such moments occurred in 2021 and have been documented in previous installments of Choice Bits. Here are some of the Glengarry level bits I came across during the final month or so of last year: 

One of those writers I’d always heard about, but never read. Birds of America literally fell into my hands at a Little Library. A marvelous book of stories. As you can see from the photo, there could have been a ton; a single choice bit cannot do her justice, but I want to show something, so how about this: 

“There is a pain in his eyes, something sad and unfocused that stabs at them—that fear of a misspent life, or an uncertainty as to where he’s left the keys.” 


“a withering of spiritual life and lost the ability to tell things as they truly occurred.”

“lost not only the will but the power to remember.”



“Where I’d like to be tomorrow is where I am now,”



“Confusion is sweetest chirimoya on a dry tongue.”


“…the river gravid with mud, branches and massive trunks…”



“It was 1965 and weeding was a job for Mexicans and hillbillies who arrived every morning in a discarded school bus that was too old for hauling the hopes of schoolchildren but capable enough to take us from field to endless field.”



“Watt also employs diversity and repetition in her choice of motifs, traversing time and culture, connecting disparate experiences. Blankets are the most important of these; she has worked with them for some twenty-five years, after earning her MFA in painting and printmaking at Yale University. (As a student she had used corn husks, which were ‘not met with much warmth or encouragement.’)”



“Sparkling in beauty and destruction too,
Both at a twinkling…”



“at a wet and dripping distance”

“…the whispering grass
Ran its fingers through our guessing silence”


Denise Lajimodiere, from Tawkwaymenahnah

“and soon the rock is singing/my grandmother’s songs”


Gold Fame Citrus, by Claire Vaye Watkins

The novel is about climate apocalypse in the desert. The choice bit is in the middle of the book, almost like an insert, a satirical eight pages of evolved life forms in the southern California, Great Basin, Vega, Mojave, Death Valley, etc. ambit presented as a bestiary, and titled: Neo-Fauna of the Amargosa Dune Sea: a primer.

In it are found drawings and verbal descriptions of such mutantly new life forms as: incandescent bats, jelly scorpions, the ouroboros rattler (locomotes with tail in mouth via axial revolution), the Lilliputian rattler (a Swiftian nod!), stilt walker tortoise. There are others. Made me reconsider the multiverse.



“She stripped away/Her rancid poncho/An' laid out naked by the door
We did it till we were un-concho/And it was useless anymore.”



Please visit my website at www.randystark.com.
My books are available on Amazon.
#randystarkpoet






Friday, January 28, 2022

Carlsbad Boy

(after T.S.Eliot)

Between the release
And the reception 
Between the dragon fruit
And the mournful flute
Falls the app.
For thine is the Madonna and Child with iPad.

Between the workbench
And the altar
Between the barrio
And the salon 
Falls the motor pool.
For thine is the golf course turned bloody Antietam.

Between the Witness
Skate wax slickum on his hair
And the Scientist
Trained in fractals and dark matter 
Falls the eggplant parm.
For thine is the unintended consequence.

Between the post office
And the bank
Between the real-time data spreads
And the unisex tee market
Falls Carlsbad Boy, and boy
This guy’s a beast.



© 2022 Randy Stark
Please visit my website at www.randystark.com.
My books are available on Amazon.
#randystarkpoet


Saturday, January 22, 2022

Warning Signs

Warning signs of stroke.
Warning signs of inflation.

Warning signs of Vietnamese vegans.
Warning signs of ESP.

Warning signs of project-based learning,
In bidding increments of service bays.

Warning signs of artistic grasping,
Warnings signs of nap and weave.

Warning signs of interdefinability.
Warning signs of breakneck speeds.

Warning signs of Muslim fanboys.
Warning signs of double-minded Christians.

Warning signs of widespread failure,
Just pick your model and color.

Warning signs of steel plates ahead.
Warning signs of Canada.

Warning signs of things for which there is a spray, 
But it is currently unavailable.

Warning signs of syncing.
Warning signs of sinking.

Warning signs of nothing as we knew it to return to.
And whether it matters.

I can’t hear myself think.
What’s that a warning sign of?




© 2022 Randy Stark
Please visit my website at www.randystark.com.
My books are available on Amazon.
#randystarkpoet


Friday, January 21, 2022

The Honest Truth

A country is more than young architects
Or goat milk gelato,
Offices with vert ramps,
Innovative consoles 
Complemented by 
Intuitive worksurfaces 
Helping give encoded visual testament to
Loud music and vaping.
Switch front feebles.
Tre flips.

Speaking of new mindsets, skillsets, and toolsets:
Relatively few can boast 
That their country possesses both 
Nuclear weapons and a Legoland.
I mean, rate your experience, right?
Earth’s crust is not gluten-free.
Egos are like vaccine--
Always needing to be boosted
No matter
What.

In addition to studies of identity and belonging
You can also tell a lot about a country
By its coffee beans.
Like they say a pet reflects its owners’ demeanor.
Man, the people in this country must be some bitter ass folks,
With some nasty ass pets.
And while we call ours “our” Legoland,
I’d a put the disclaimer out there.
We’ve still got to be shredding hard.
And that’s the honest truth.




© 2022 Randy Stark
Please visit my website at www.randystark.com.
My books are available on Amazon.
#randystarkpoet


Saturday, January 15, 2022

Going Up?

Thank you for that question.
That’s a great question.
I love that question.
Where do I start? I mean
How do crazy people even know what bus to get on?

You might be wondering, 
What’s covered?
Will it work for me too?
Will it translate my Twitter presence to the big screen?
What do we tell the kids?

Oh wait. There’s more?
Do couplets have to rhyme?
Which travelcard has the most valuable miles?
Is devotion compatible with non-duality?
Does Michigan get into the top 10 if they win Saturday?

What causes are you passionate about besides the Black Queer experience?
What do you mean?
How did that happen?
Are some silver Kennedy half dollars
Worth more than others?

Do you believe in kicking off your week
With flash savings?
But everybody’s different, wouldn’t you agree?
Do you think Momo would go to the symphony with me?
Do you have any pets?

So before you hit Exit ask yourself:
What is it you enjoy about forklifts?
Why are so many woke 
Reading Randy Stark?
Then talk to your doctor to see if it’s right for you.



© 2022 Randy Stark
Please visit my website at www.randystark.com.
My books are available on Amazon.
#randystarkpoet

 


Friday, January 14, 2022

Some Many a Crazy Evening

She was Pfizer.
I was Moderna.

She was a Capoeira queen, 
Big ol’ jet eyeliner.

My name’s Teeter.
I taught her tautology.

It simply means
You’re a real sender.

Her hands on the travel sites
Caused me to castle my silverware.

We switched whispers at E-Z-8.
Do what you done last week.

This origami thing she did with her legs.
Need a time stamp to verify but I’m pretty sure

We had moved like past Fiji.
I mean I was like Expeditionary Forces Local 325.



© 2022 Randy Stark
Please visit my website at www.randystark.com.
My books are available on Amazon.
#randystarkpoet



Saturday, January 8, 2022

Housekeeping with the Kopernicans

It takes vassals learning the wrong lessons,
Polluted with skill, perseverance, and savvy,
To optimize dark web monitoring 
And be counted among the wealthiest Americans. 

Success is the only justification needed. 
Any blue-ribbon committee
Can produce a no-hitter
If not a perfect game.

History is written by the unmitigated: 
Restless stakeholders,
Reckless stay at homes,
And other performative Sabbath breakers.

Brand X threat vectors? No.
But at the same time
All quite dope.
I did the math.

So, get the Fabuloso.
I looked it up.
It speaks to the kind of individual you are,
I can tell you that.



© 2022 Randy Stark
Please visit my website at www.randystark.com.
My books are available on Amazon.
#randystarkpoet

 


Friday, January 7, 2022

Vengeful Ire

I’m bloated with vengeful ire.
My body eructates refrigerator noises
That have leeched into my food.

There’s mizzle on the lakes
Champlain and Pontchartrain.
My piss is split pee soup.

There are moments where I almost think
It’s not me thinking,
To name just a few.

I am a horse named Vengeful Ire,
Moving up along the rail at 30 to 1,
Like it was the personal care aisle.

Past Soothing Gel and Natural Scent.
Maximum Strength two lengths back.
Fast Powerful Guaranteed.

Like a new wave in pain relief.
Real relief.
Relief you can count on.

Relief from the crippling worries
Of today’s over-scheduled world, where
The last one not to be crossed is the winner.



© 2022 Randy Stark
Please visit my website at www.randystark.com.
My books are available on Amazon.
#randystarkpoet

 


Saturday, January 1, 2022

Resolution for the New Year

I will attack my work like this whenever I’m at the keyboard.

McCoy Tyner Trio - Berlin, Germany, 1997-11-08 - YouTube

 









Please visit my website at www.randystark.com.
My books are available on Amazon.
#randystarkpoet