Concussion – from The Transits Of Revelation


 

 

 

 

 

 

Tonight, I can’t tell what the poems say.

I almost gave in. Traded my life for the garbage and bargain of bright lights, and ritual slaughter.
Now, I’ve gone too far. And all the more I was unconvinced.

That’s a quick punch your nerves can’t accept.

Sad contumacy, no song.

*

I make my exit among the back-handed essayists.
We exclaim politely.

We smile like Siamese who realize there are no twins.

The sooner you get over yourself, the sooner you begin.

You know what it means to read, you have no idea what it costs to live this.

©Dean J. Baker

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Secrets


 

 

 

 

 

 

The depth of my soul cannot be measured by the lack of currency
in my possession.
The coins of your success do not notch failure in my heart, which
lies forever in your thoughts.

Many talented Golem walk, wander the streets of cities, such as
Nashville and Toronto, convinced of their importance. They light
the pages of the military’s internet.
They are not my army. But your conscripts into the columns, churning
towards honey and God amid the eternal dust.

The secret you keep from everyone is: nothing you have or possess
will be kept safe; everything will be taken, everyone lost is already found,
nothing you task is sacred or profound.

I am the thief who has stolen these moments, remaining
unconvinced the poet’s garret suggests anything, but the poverty of
your own inabilities you please yourselves to call imaginations.

More wealth is mine than you could dream. And that is how I keep
the world of your possessions, with a benediction and a song: a heartbeat.

Dance now, in your cage of bones, as the flames burn higher. Don’t
ask me to help when all along I have done what I can, offered sustenance:
thrown all things up in the air the better to be seen.

And all you’ve done is to dispatch the crows to steal the shining stars
and pretty things you could never hope to own.

This is the embrace, the kiss you have been waiting for: a secret even
now you have lusted after, and towards.

There is no end.

©Dean J. Baker

Toronto: This Used To Be My City


 

 

 

 

 

 

This used to be my city, that had
not become a Third World country
where I’d fail to classify immigrants
by their methods or prospects
for wielding murder, the damages

Where I would walk past midnight
unarmed except for poetry and my guitar,
mobile from Bloor St. to Queen
past 2 am for the streetcar, no thoughts
given to congregations of assholes

The offers of women, drugs and other
lies laid out with the singular subway
the medium for contrary ways of
contained assault: the coward commuters,
guilty bystanders crouched in conquest

Now hunched and mouing in defeat, the
cops state your word against theirs always,
the crowd scurries around in escape:
the millionaires have taken over the short
parade, not saying: you’ve been priced out of existence

© Dean J. Baker 

(c)All Rights Reserved

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The Initiates


Prose poems that are a paean to Musicians, Writers, Artists, & Wingnuts: to folksingers, the troubled and disturbed, open mic nights everywhere.

Boris wandered lost in the crowd, stifling yet another
belch; knuckles sliding along the ground, a ham-fisted
grab-bag of Coca Cola, chips, and a stale cigar clenched
in the other hand.

Corncob was mounting the stage,
the first and last object he’d even come close to mounting
in the last decade.

These were among the real Bloor St. underground
denizens, cave-dwellers, morons, and the intellectually
quadriplegic.
Each of these unmentionables has participated in a
simultaneous and mutual evacuation that had completely
polluted several layers of whatever atmosphere existed only moments ago.

I sit back here, scribbling these words; praying that
nobody will notice me or call attention to the fact that I
am being what they please themselves to call cynical.

Though I believe it is simply relief that someone
else has taken on the task of description they would not be
able to contain once begun.

I guess it doesn’t help that our peerless leaders are
themselves in dire need of such therapy as this cast of
village idiots provides.

Both were kings of long sustained bursts of silent thought.

 

©Dean Baker

Now, Go Read Rumi


I delight in watching opinions
and replies float in self-righteousness
the display of fake emotion
the peons of drama reducing everything
to cries of vengeance under glass

not exactly fine dining in the age of crass
the brain dead registering sine sprays
the public figures jived
out of wealth, position, and endless supply
tantrum babies twitching as if alive

as each performs the illiterate schooling
the undisciplined on articulation and design
exactly where they lay reclined
as true signs of a civilization in decay
deteriorating beneath the waterline

believing these are a signal of fresh
breath and a path which inclines upward
not the tremors of decline
waving goodbye as each performs
hieroglyphics undecipherable by sense or taste

favored tics ideas like war and hunger
murder and contempt mere signs
signifying waste begging history take note
prisoners of their own divine
now, go read Rumi

as if you did not already know

© Dean J. Baker 

(c)All Rights Reserved

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In These Cities


There’s eight million, or maybe 4 million, or possibly twelve million souls in the naked city by now, and at least half of them seem to be calling themselves poets.
When I first started writing poems, I think there were eleven, or sixteen. I allowed that there might eventually be a few sub-tribes but that these would be grouped around maybe 20 in total.
I figured this by that fact that the ones who make wonder and light seem to be speaking from inside me, and even now it feels like we’re sitting around sharing late afternoon light, a few evenings and some dark nights. They’re always present.

We don’t even have to be introduced. We know each other. We have nothing to prove, and everything to enjoy. Endless wonder and delight fill our time.
I cherish that time, though it always seems to end.

I have to return to the ordinary world of dead souls, broken dreams, schemes, and mayhem where great engines of the mind lay rusting against many midnights.

Moving through neighborhoods grown wide, work has invaded everywhere. Everyone knows, everyone bows, all are expecting the same, and the sparrows of my youth are nowhere to be seen.

Whenever on my travels I was in the vicinity a poet’s house, I’d make a special trip there. I’d go and look up, imagine them and their life, writing and doing. I’d be lost in the immensity of it.

Now I slog through the unrecognizable paths and streets. I pass a hundred roads and avenues, nobody calls my name. The silences have fled, replaced by noise.
Instead there are strangers yelling their names out windows onto the boulevards, certain of cash and fame. Bereft.

I keep walking, making calls which few recognize, eventually sure that one day when I have passed that way, suddenly a porch light will shine in the evening and another timelessness reign.

©Dean Baker

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Failure To Communicate… from The Mythologies Of Love


 

 

 

 

 

 

I did not know
Until you walked away
That what carries you
Goes behind, a traitor

I did not introduce myself
I did not propose
An illicit meeting
Nor that you and I marry

I sat in the soft
Southern breeze later
And mourned my loss
Your perfect ass

I could pinch myself

©Dean Baker

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Silence Louder Than A Train – Highly recommended…’‘
“… one would be hard pressed to do better…’‘
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**Dark Earth–  ‘Rabelais and Hieronymus Bosch look out of dark chinks in these poems…’

‘The most unique set of poems I have ever read’

 

In Riparian Fields

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NEW BOOK – Petty Gods Of Apparent Decline, 121 Pages, $5.79 ebook here->Petty Gods Of Apparent Decline ebook $1.99 – buy print, add ebook for .99

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Save

Anywhere… from Petty Gods Of Apparent Decline


 

 

 

 

 

 

You can be murdered anywhere, but
you’ll always die in Congress or in Parliament.

From a lack of care or indifference
to what’s said and done by everyone expecting
salvation be a ladder to Paradise, until
the stairs to another life declining repair
prove they lead nowhere but upside down.

Change will come eventually you think,
forgetting the war ongoing in everything
where slaughter is observed religiously,
statistics carved in counterfeit
register complaint surreptitiously proud.

To serve the perverted ego’s lazy appetite
for the curve of constancy, no matter what
it takes to frame familiar certainty:
mistaken for the truth still boasting loudly
for release from the cage of incessant proof.

In our recalcitrant lives something despairs,
training us for extinction as the prize.

©Dean Baker

MY LATEST BOOK ***121 pages***, print $5.79, ebook $1.99  – BUY THE PRINT, OWN EBOOK FOR .99 – OWN BOTH FOR $6.78

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‘Poetry that is classic and timeless.’

Vital, intense and uncompromising – singular in clarity, artistry, and authenticity.’

Work which illuminates as it informs – a reviving sense of discovery and perspective.’

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Written On Water


 

 

 

 

 

 

I wonder if
Virginia Woolf
walked first

into dark waters
while writing
To The Lighthouse

returned to
drop the pocketed
stones, on the sand

the book requiring
added light
amid a certain weight

to carry forward
into dawn, before she saw
her own luminescence, gone

© Dean J. Baker

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Your Beauty


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Your beauty has nothing to do with you.
Just because I admire what’s
Sweet and good, does not mean it is true.

Your truth may be right and straight, but
This belongs to what is old, not new.
Your beauty has nothing to do with you.

Your wonder is all you may own, your
Joy at what inspires and works alone.
Your truth has never been a ghost.

Your beauty and your truth are one at last.
I can see them in the mirror now:
In the reflection, not the shadow that you cast.

© Dean J. Baker

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