Don’t take up the alarm about the invasion
Anyone with a sniff of wisdom knows it has begun

That it has been in place for the longest time, that’s
Our sense of fairness, the largess of conquerors betrayed

Do not remind those who have families and friends
That anyone of them could be the enemy, dazzled with false

Idols and the indolent charms of the indebted slaves
Do not speak of the Barbarians at the gate, while the cities

Burn and spark and fires break out everywhere without origin
Do not mention history as a lesson, the abandonment of finery

And charm as the initial state of what the future brings
Where the aliens have occupied what greed left behind, deceit

Kept in place and refined so no final attack need take place
Anymore as the music plays, the dancers ticktock and sway to

The rhythm of the gathering wave soon to surrender us, again
As we gasp and there is no remembering from that place

©Dean J. Baker

provenances1a my newest book

Print available only here: Provenances And Paroles


Magazine Minds, Confectionary Lives and Cold Souls in Café Society







These are the days of holy rage; the nights, of broken thunder. The numberless,
specific insanities that pull your mind right under: total potentiality.
You know, don’t you? Who can’t gain weight, ain’t got no appetite. You can’t pick, you can’t choose but you do: whatever emboldens, enshrines and establishes the lowest common denominator. Your god of decay.
Meanwhile I’m vanishing invisibly – can’t sleep at night, and before evening’s day I am all awake.

Where drunks stumble and lurch; slur my daylight mind in ancient doorways, forever
with us.
Of course, it’s everyone except you. Fear being another tightrope.
I shall disappear. The jewels of truth light my way through empty towns, hollow streets.
There are no deals. I left everything behind that would not touch my sunken eyes. In
this I am blind, the wounded thief.
You rule like life is your death.

Who would be the orphan and limping stepchild, ascribed with insulting logic?
Hadn’t I assumed the debt that was once always my badge and refuge? I did not want these signs of genius undermined and botched due to lost affection: or losing what you never had, a haunting.
Another apocalyptic howling at the moon, screaming at the living. Who never laments or complains. Who by consumption sustains.

Unborn flesh torn by desire and the desireless.
Physical distances I contemplate as loosely as lost spirit encounters where self-consciousness bows to tie the ribbons of my shoes.
Vision. Life never was the jingle of bells, living never the property of those alive.

Above all else, passion informed.
But how – can I ask – do you care: how many dollars for how much, those objects of your impersonal lust. There is no daven, mavens.
And me with my eye trouble, my insomnia, my depression. Mere symptoms.

Poetry the next disavowal by sodden lugs and lumps abandoned in coffeehouse condominiums, esthete shelter-bombs.
Who are not satisfied with a life of anonymity.

Who require new distraction, always.
A pleasant death, for T.V. minds. Pilgrims of no progress recognizing no signposts in their intrepid research into the divine.

The rest: morbidly dull, virtuously sadistic, and wholly masochistic as a result of not
cornering the market on sensitivity.

Lot’s wives: you have had my company for so long you even believe we have not been fucking in mid-air.

Dreamers of an everywhere downtown, the neon nightmare: dummies, doppelgangers,
jerks, stooges, nerds, zipperheads… plus a few second banana intellectual epileptics, emotional fascists, and spiritual tyrants.

At least none try to borrow a cup of sugar, although I can’t really be sure of the neighbors.

©Dean J. Baker

provenances1a Published today, my newest book,

Print available only here: Provenances And Paroles


This Is A Poem







This is a poem instead of a kiss
for those of you who seek out bliss
measured and measuring by indifference:
these are the words of what you still miss

This is the sorrow of borrowed happiness
this light in the night of former loneliness,
the danger of the day you cannot forget:
this is the poem instead of that kiss

This is the tongue instead of those lips
removing from you what’s needed to live;
these are the teeth behind that bright smile,
this is the reason for one more mile

These are the songs whose music is strong,
the melody known the tune you call home;
this the holiness without foreign rules,
the love brought close in all sacredness

This is a poem instead of a kiss,
whose taste is true, whose religion is bliss:
these are the words whose whisper is known
in whose fields passion measures no indifference

©Dean J. Baker

  • excerpt from In Riparian Fields

provenances1a Published today, my newest book,

Print available only here: Provenances And Paroles


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Of Insomniacs And Amnesia




I could not sleep
until I learned to stay
the words of your betrayal
speak loud and clear, in
every action that you take
As though you keep
behind those swept green eyes
each secret of defeat

As if carrying on,
when the days are dark
could be all;
but I must travel far,
to gain back
the self I lost in torment
Loving you, forever as I do,
amid such careless lives:
tossed upon the world, against that splash of blue

©Dean J. Baker

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provenances1a Published today, my newest book, available only here, temporarily: Provenances And Paroles

Werewolves, Vampires and Other Assholes

for Henry Miller




There are werewolves everywhere, and ghouls, but
especially in the hollow of the human psyche;
that grave this age ate and winds howl through: shut
your mouth, open your mind and look around.
How godlike we are, and how foul; always somebody’s
war erodes our precious souls, privacy we do not disdain for riches.

Those also could be shared; never by socialist bitches,
rot, would the contempt be stilled, which bigoted fools
allow themselves that all standards not lie reduced: so much
refuse of literature, emotions grown distant from whomever
is frozen out, no welfare and irrationality do I sing here,
off-key in tin-panned notes, but by my cut throat, I see

The internecine ravages of the undead, spread worse
than any saving disease; and the sink of heaven
become a dump where all are lumped by any religion, for
no grace moves between poor evil, and the tragedy
of our rich world: nor does anything change the fodder
into anything more or less than these machines bewitched.

©Dean J. Baker

  • excerpt from my forthcoming book, Provenances And Paroles
  • met Henry Miller briefly in Toronto, Ontario as he accompanied Erica Jong

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