High on the banks of the Rideau, I
amongst cousins, aunts and uncles
watch for the world’s curvature to reveal itself –
not something of which I’m informed, seeming
to have become wrapped in stillness while
around me voices and movement, some
laughter and pitched horseshoes; my mother
relaxed with a constant smile, my father at home
among the Presbyterians, no sour Russian cloud
choking emotion: unstung now from coal, and
gold mines, injuries underground, the resounding
sounds of ‘Galician!’ shouted
as muted timpanis of birds, the distant highway
ribbon tramped with refugees from the cities
out there and below, a boat; small from here,
chugs smoke, gathered in from the canal, flooding
the plains, the trees almost drowned where
beneath them another landscape rises to meet
all these foregone ghosts, sailing
across the skies of vehicles in which they drive
beneath the waves; the commerce crowds, the
indulged neuroses, the frittering of wings held
closed in false attempts at flight over worlds: anchored
to the real, the physical, this time borne note
- excerpt from PROVENANCES AND PAROLES, 128 pages, $7.99, ebook 2.99<– own the book
NoTe: * I really appreciate meaningless ‘likes’ from aphasic cheapskates – clicking ‘like’ without buying my books is a lie
- SALE FINISHES END OF FEBRUARY
My mind’s a thread unwinding; I
pluck at darkness, which falls.
It won’t let the stupids out; it
suffers them to bray and shout,
these Attic businessmen and women:
busy, they are knitting spirit doilies.
Must I endure like a disease the bad
and bright side of the living’s enemies?
But who am I asking? We are so
few than farther between might be.
You cannot hear me; you are denying everything,
soiled by the crossways unclean:
strapped in a cocoon of the secondary.
©Dean J. Baker
- excerpt from MEASURING GRAVITY BY GRACE, 128 pages, $7.99, ebook 2.99
- NoTe: * I appreciate the encouragement of those who own my books: stop knitting your spirit doilies and buy a book.
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
in Early Selected poems, The Lost Canadian, Vol.1, 112 pages, 7.99
ebook https://www.amazon.com/Lost-Canadian-Early-Selected-Poems-ebook/dp/B01FRPN65I 3.99
- excerpt from DARK EARTH, 142 pages, list $9.99 – ebook 4.99
- SALE BOOK PRICES END AFTER FEBRUARY
Jesus lived 3 years as himself, got dead.
Said Church was within you, but drink this.
Eat that, become cannibals. I’m coming
back, but I’m not telling when: spend some time
in the meantime, live. That’s all. Get
over yourself, or I will. Here it comes. I
don’t want to spend eternity all hung up on things.
Outside the crows and ravens
peck my eyes, the wind blows and I cannot
tell time. In the far
distance I hear something approaching, alive.
Pardon me if I dust my broom and ride.
Never mind. You know I would not, could not, lie.
©Dean J. Baker
My very latest books – memorable, and mind-expanding new work: poems which truly mark a radical departure from previous work in tone, scope, and vision.
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.
The gorilla is swinging
from the rooftops
of a civilization he haunts.
In the back yard of this circus,
the pile of corpses
grows steadily higher.
He handles them quite gently;
as if they were puppets:
no sign of excessive violence.
There aren’t any distinguishing
marks on these tools
foolish enough to get caught.
The ape will oblige whomever
it is wants to be in on the act.
Since he grew weary of his hospital
cage, he falls on their beds
from a great height: always
Poems, evil smelling ways for
achieving wealth; a proverbial
monkey on his back
because it has happened again.
This time nobody gains consent.
He didn’t intend to be provocative,
his hemorrhoids were inspiration.
©Dean J. Baker
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 once chose.
© Dean J. Baker
We shall not be allowed too warm romantic movements much longer. The song is turned out in the streets.
Our lives a trick of the season, field debris gleaned over the long summer.
A metaphysical rash.
The patterns of my exercise provide some relief.
To accentuate disdain, the disheartened attempt. I spin, amid the greed, the horror of suburban trivia.
I want to fall through sleep, not fixate on the drape of night. I want to trumpet my genius in your stopped ear.
To break wind north of caution.
You insist on the niceties of performance. That this is more ritual than defect, I attribute to my thoughtlessness.
In anomalous terms: how careful you are that I pay.
No money. No illness.
Each binds with embalmed print the miracle you like to imagine feeding another five thousand.
Your exit unremembered is neither heraldic.
©Dean J. Baker
excerpt from SOLILOQUIES OF THE HORIZONS, 102 pages, ebook only $2.99, print $8.99
I will be posting 3 or so examples from each of my books over the next few weeks to encourage ownership of the books.
God, I’m tired of being late –
suiting my person to a fool’s
tailor who labors blind for the emperor;
who does not know
the difference between desire, and dust:
nor these odd goodbye scenes
conveying no taste of
the final, approaching lust
You’ve caught me with
my suicide mask wearing thin –
Death, an old sidekick
and various forms of unrequited love;
accompanied by virgin
the bone of the ghost-ridden
music that echoes in the hollow of my heart
I want you to take
some of your old medicine;
this hate, this emaciated bitterness
the dehydration of the body,
the loveless trough
throat and lungs make amid the unheard
pulsing of a sick sun
in the pumped-out stomach ache.
©Dean J. Baker
samples of poems to encourage you to enjoy owning the books..
I recall the time I found my father dead,
how arbitrary the day and moment; the season
and its mercy never quite apparent as then
He, with whom I’d spoken and shared love
as well as hope only seconds before it seemed,
now lay there in the familiar pose of disarray
Figuratively speaking of course, I wanted
to remind him that there were certain lengths
he did not have to go to gain my full attention
©Dean J. Baker
– excerpt from OF FLESH SCULPTURES AND ABANDONED LOVE, 160 pages, $9.99, EBOOK ONLY $4.99