from SILENCE LOUDER THAN A TRAIN… ‘Written On Water’


 

 

 

 

 

 

I wonder if
Virginia Woolf
walked first

into dark waters
while writing
To The Lighthouse

then returned to
drop the pocketed
stones, on the sand

because the book
required added light
and a certain weight

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

©Dean J. Baker

-excerpt from SILENCE LOUDER THAN A TRAIN, 102 pages, $15.99 – Buy and Enjoy! – these poems are posted not to generate the peep of cricket clicks called ‘likes’ but to stimulate a conversation between us which begins with both the poem, and you buying a book of mine, showing a genuine interest

“A bold and refreshing approach to modern poetry, one that breaks the rules when necessary and yet conforms when it suites. Highly recommended…”
“If all the reader is looking for in a poetry anthology are the poetic ramblings of someone trying to impress with their command of language or a gently rolling stream of consciousness then this probably isn’t it; but for poignant and thought provoking insight and new ideas, one would be hard pressed to do better than Dean J. Baker’s Silence Louder Than A Train.’” 

Title taken from words off John Keats’ gravestone:

This grave contains all that was Mortal of a Young English Poet Who on his Death Bed, in the Bitterness of his Heart at the Malicious Power of his Enemies Desired these Words to be engraven on his Tomb Stone: Here lies One Whose Name was writ in Water

 

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‘Bathurst Yards’ Toronto… from DARK EARTH


 

 

 

 

 

 

Sprawled in this boxcar apartment,
no one’s serious
the disturbance temporary

The end of the line,
the lock breaks –
the cargo falls out over-ripe

We shall never get there;
blueprints and maps
do not provide an idea of progress

Which does not matter,
stepping from the rails
to meet familiar ground

Watching how the sun I own
goes down through these trees:
our wings, folded like those leaves

©Dean J. Baker

********..from a review..”Rabelais and Hieronymus Bosch look out of dark chinks in these poems… instead of Emerson’s “Whim” above Dean’s lintel we might assume “Melancholy” resides here… that dark brooding that laughs below, and rises through the bones to jerk you awake from your too lazy sleep of existence.”***********

 

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from DARK EARTH… ‘Last Romantic’


 

 

 

 

 

 

Your skin is:
a cool whisper
on my hot flesh, and

In the delicate, yet
perfect island
of your ear, I’d swear

I, who am blind, could
hear and see:
the one miracle of eternity

©Dean Baker

-excerpt from DARK EARTH, 142 pages, $17.99

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from THE ESCHATOLOGICAL DOG… ‘The Minor Importance Of A Dying Swan’


 

 

 

 

 

 

The past cannot claim you,
though the wolves
come thick as forest trees; and
as bare
with their false necessities:
so far from root and water.

Ghosts of another time lay
down on tracks,
they imposed upon your mind; teach
some other song, my dear:
not fear,
but what it means to be strong.

The world belongs to you alone,
who give name
once decided to go on through;
see, the fools disappear,
and you were worrying:
it is yourself, coming this way again.

©Dean J. Baker

-excerpt from THE ESCHATOLOGICAL DOG, 152 pages, $17.99

written after seeing Karen Kain and Rudolph Nureyev in ‘Giselle’ – Ballet is the perfect art: music, dance, poetry, the play.. all combining to make more of each, and the whole.

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from IN RIPARIAN FIELDS… ‘Honeycombs’


those who do not learn from history are bound to become history

Electricity changed everything. There were always broken cities where we once lived. Collapsed so long ago we did not notice. And it’s only if we think to visit those worlds that we discover what is not to be sustained.
You can call it the past, your past, your history. The name isn’t important enough to stumble on.

You know there were people once. Moments made of how you felt, what you thought, how you did this or that, was it regular, was it all expected. Those were your neighborhoods.
You may have felt lost, or found. Or found again that you were never lost, merely touring destruction never witnessed before because that is not how the reportage goes. It is always what we found, never what they saw or experienced.
We, the innocent. They, the vicious and unwanted.

Did it happen like this in Pompei? Was fire the accident resulting from the flow only because nobody then wanted to recall the unpleasantness of whatever civilization upon which Pompei made its home?
These may appear to be questions involving ancient civilizations, rumors of history, notes upon which scholars can delay knowledge that is ever present.

Barbarians cut off heads, massacred, were rude and cruel to others’ sensitivities. These are our legends, too. They murdered students, they persecuted the penniless, they triumphed in glory over the crude.

Debates to please themselves, discussions over the appropriate ghosts to be allowed, souvenirs of the fascistic national pride supreme over all those who remain bowed down.
Funerals and crowds. High hosannas and the hallelujah for the singular. Candy can feed the crowd for awhile, but only delay the great revelation all look toward.

Like visitors to our own burial plots, serving only to confirm our whereabouts so the living can distinguish between the dead, and the simply we-who-are-about-to-die salute, we’re all the Emperor’s kids.

I wish, you wish, they wish. Impatiently for the process of the future, dust we can see from the stars that freckle our skins, obvious or not. The financiers pull the strings of everything. The moneymen and women. The manipulators of hopes and dreams, recognizable at least. Grace importunes for all and all.

Our bones and flesh once so perfect blend in since who is so important you can believe anything they say which you in your democratic cannot self-confirm, or perhaps dispense with outside your temperament.

In these we rise, in these we surface. Yet. The minor hums and thralls passing almost without notice are as ever present as the necessity for listening and repetition.
I can hear them now just as those who indulge in the beneficial effects of astrology lay down their shovels above, refusing to disturb the beauty of what they rest upon. To do so freely could imperil what they believe they stand upon.

In truth they shift sideways to our striving – not to be caught in what some call our beliefs and others refrain from speaking of conceits.

There is a song in there for somebody. Many songs unspoken, many words to call into being that which is sought and found in one breath.

 

© Dean Baker

excerpt from IN RIPARIAN FIELDS, 162 pages, $18.99 cheap

If you’re reading this, you need to own at least one of my books. And if you’ve been reading this blog for years and haven’t bought a book, you’re missing out. And probably a robber.  https://www.amazon.com/Dean-J.-Baker/e/B00IC6PGQM

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Dean-J.-Baker http://www.amazon.fr/Dean-J.-Baker/

http://www.amazon.de/Dean-J.-Baker/ Canada/US/England/France Germany/Italy/Australia/Brazil/Mexico/Japan/Europe

also at Barnes And Noble, US and UK http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/Dean-J-Baker?store=allproducts&keyword=Dean+J.+Baker

 

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from DARK EARTH… ‘A Nation Of Lunatics’


 

 

 

 

 

 

The anhedonics have it; more pills,
loveless sex, booze and cash, all
forms of coping with the modern world.

Or athletics, politics, religion –
each interchangeable and dependent
upon the credulity of homo sapiens.

Enter the delusion of impending fame,
no less than cosmic significance, and
don’t forget the neighbors’ good opinion.

All this plus an ability to command
weather by temperament, along with
the omnipotent faculty of being bland.

Fuelled by money and growing sophistication
as the level of education sinks:
the picture of a people who cannot think.

©Dean Baker

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‘Kool Aid For Dark Gods’…. from The Poetry Hotel


 

Things may appear to be normal for you.
You take refuge in the certitude that I have
accepted what’s been presented, offering
no visible dissent. Whether is it insult, abuse –
the virtue of your beauty or the wisdom
in believing the truth as delivered, you will

Notice neither remorse, ingratitude nor
suppressed attitude. You will believe your life
continues as it should; that you have scored
another mark on the wall, scaled a low height
so that whatever state of mind you require continues.
There will be no indication of other ideas, of

Other perceptions not participating in the scheme.
From where you stand behind the screen of
childhood memories, vengeance and attributes
of righteousness, along with an imperturbable
inviolability, there is no danger reaching out
from a cushioned darkness, no scratch on the blackboard

No sudden whiff of a scent made by monsters
merely biding their time for you to fall asleep.
Everything contributes to your ideas of the good
as you ease off into dreams unaware that dark
dealing has long ago claimed you for itself
where you breathe, stand and look now out on anything.

©Dean Baker

-excerpt from The Poetry Hotel, 104 pages, $16.99

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forthcoming in a new book… ‘The Unholy Mess Of Your Consciousness’


 

 

 

 

 

 

Every time you point at God, he disappears. At
least it would seem so in the interruption. I believe
he assumes your disguise: penitent, petitioning,
amused guide offering souvenirs of pain and prayer.

God is not a resting upon but a reaching toward
without division between the seeker and the prize,
no hypocrisy is brooked here: if you are the singer you
will be the song, the last note rung out
until you have become indistinguishable and none.

Hold the silence in your tone across the emptiness,
allowing travel among the realms, between
your throat and sound; these immeasurable distances
of space and time, black holes where knowledge dies,
echoing as stars wink on and out in various positions
like border lights
along the boundaries of skin and air, the observed
alterations again of flesh amid the infinites.

You do not stop to praise with diffidence, yet wonder –
your mind and chin tilted at a slight incline,
with no suggestion that you indulge yourself by questioning.

You know God is listening: no difference
between what is now a request, what corresponds as reply.

You are made manifest even as your doubt denies:
with every instant where you stop at rest,
a conscious thought of light will cease and bless.

The unholy mess of your consciousness does not represent
nor constitute any guarantee of diligence, or authenticity.

When you begin again momentarily you know God is listening.

© Dean Baker

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from The Mythologies Of Love… ‘Circle Of Destiny’


 

 

 

 

 

 

I thought I would escape death,
if I loved you well and long enough.

I would answer to his pride; conceal myself,
within the monuments of fleshy deceit.

I saw our kitten curl into question
marks that defined my helplessness.

How could you love me when I betrayed
by my selfishness your plan for immortality?

I had always tried to be good, being afraid:
You said I only wished to avoid living.

I knew I had failed to provide illusion.
I stepped outside the circle of applause,
I joined the cowards in the audience.

They were transformed into painted, wooden faces.
I wouldn’t mind much consenting to die.

I refuse the list of trivialities; the stakes
always high for those who would philosophize.

I will not accept slavery as my model
for spiritual and material transcendence.

Religion is anathema to God made manifest.

Now that we have fouled the bed of marriage, let’s not
pamper our vulnerabilities with relationships.

© Dean Baker

-excerpt from The Mythologies Of Love, 90 pages, only $14.99

http://www.amazon.com/Dean-J.-Baker/e/B00IC6PGQM

if you wish to add me on any social media sites – Facebook, Twitter, etc., – feel free to click the relevant links

Links to My Print and Ebooks

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LITERARY PUBLICATIONS

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from Of Flesh Sculptures And Abandoned Love… ‘Life On Other Planets’


 

 

 

 

 

 

In the house I supposedly own, someone broke in
the other night and took me for granted. I felt
no alarm or fright since it had gotten to be
quite a familiar habit. Whoever it was used
my chair, drank my wine, smoked my cigarettes,
then fell asleep at my desk after having composed
some poems I couldn’t possibly recognize as my own.

Later when he awoke I noticed nothing missing, though
things such as my notebooks, books, and even guitars
had been rearranged. My clothes undisturbed, my shoes
and boots lined up like soldiers at attention.
The cat remained curled, the woman fast asleep –
as far as they could tell there’d been no change at all,
the discovery of life on other planets a dream.

I sat outside near the cypress tree watching the stars’
light finally reach me, though my name was not called.
I felt a shadow fall, standing startled to see it
lean against the wall offering a silent conspiracy:
a secret knowledge I must learn to inhabit. Undone
by a score of lessons learned, I knew nothing again
before I could burn in my hidden solitude.

Who would stop at nothing would forever persist –
returning travelers rejoicing knew this, as I did
yet would regret and repent what I could refuse
to experience; any number of mouths and lips, whispering
in a different language than daylight, bringing those
things already known which, before I look too close:
I look away from into the nearest distance I chose.

© Dean Baker

my books – http://www.amazon.com/Dean-J.-Baker/e/B00IC6PGQM

https://www.facebook.com/DeanJBaker

 

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