..from THE ESCHATOLOGICAL DOG.. ‘Che Bella Causa.. Il Gran Rifiuto’

for what beautiful cause, the great refusal








They say Hitler murdered six million.
I ask what about the massacre
of the Polish officers in the Katyn forest.

Or Stalin’s documented record concerning
the forty-three million deaths he ordered, all of
whom were his own people? Which Mandelstam
glowingly described in his transcendent poem
to the Russian, naming him ‘The Cockroach,’
immediately prior to his camp goodbye note.

How can this or any other deaths
matter to me when friends are not involved?
I think of a people suicided by indifference.

Monsters rushing in to ride the reins
of a great refusal: apathy, and
sullen insignificance
harnessing the egomaniacal chains: descending
broken halos amid a true religious refrain.

©Dean Baker

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Of sunnier afternoons I’m hoisted upon the leg
of the Cypress tree, across from the caged dog
beneath the habitat of spiders asleep, I see

No evidence here of my small Grandmother’s
spare rooms held together by dark hollows,
whether the space or portraits of doomed Russian saints

Since we have progressed beyond dirt hovels,
absorbing everything into the generic grace
of America where nothing feels safe, the threats

Of foreign abstracts, sovereign escapes
into the pasts of poverty, kerchiefed women
muttering imprecations secular or holy, just

Unknown neighbors, the jousting feints of politics,
the pogrom of the familiar where no one
yells out or cries romantically for Anastasia

Her dirt-streaked feet the root of a southern breeze
today only miles from the Tennessee border
nor even my silly Aunt Sarah wrapped in degrees of apron

To come out and play, swirl and twist in the mist
the dust of the soon to be
forgotten mechanics of the twenty first century

©Dean Baker

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.. from DARK EARTH.. ‘Bathurst Yards’







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 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.”***********










I saw Christ, and I saw the Rose.

I miss the scent and the peace; but I refuse
the return to the garden, the false Paradise.
There have always been too many Rimbauds.

No room in the garden, no space in Paradise –
plenty of opportunity among the thorns.

On the lookout for gun runners, starved midgets,
ballerinas perched upon the precipice.

Among the shadows, among the smugglers, within the walls
of the castle, beside the thorns: the rose.

And inside the Rose, now too many Arthur Rimbauds.

©Dean Baker

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..from DARK EARTH.. ‘Queen St. East, Toronto’







The jaw slacks, with the weight
of the body’s loss,
to an inexorable acknowledgement

The brain is unfettered
in its jug; spilling over
with the nostalgia of alcohol

Flat on their backs, near Moss
Park, curled fetus-like, the
inhabitants whirl in a static frenzy of

Enfeeblement, any amusement here
sublingual: the posthumous twitching
of cynics en masse

©Dean 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.”***********


..from The Lost Neighborhood.. ‘False Memory’








I could never get far enough
away from parents and school;
the entire round of idiocy
molded into routine, the ad hominem
advice about getting a job:
the dull labor devoid of enjoyment,
the only quest, employment, while

The sky itself’s matchless horizon
astride the deathly quiet of poems
read in the street after work, amid
the muted absence of minor
disappointments in love’s eyes:
cannot conceal the theft, or
crime, I daily commit against myself.

©Dean Baker

Fiber 66*






The polymers, the binding
Not so much the absorption of
One into more
But the true synthesis of macro
Into micro
The lost principle where now
The minor
The ineffective before
Becomes the guiding
Non principal

Where you
Or your I can alter everything
The world changed
While the social
Psychosis carries onward
Broken teeth, un-toothed even
Still masticating more and more
Towards towards we
Become the wards of a society

Having the courage
Decency to admit confess
That yes, we are not
Smarter than those low-lives
Others lived
Just more apparently conscientious, if
Not driven mad
Though that’s part of the engine
Consuming it all
More tongue than tooth

More soup than goulash, yet
Engaging the remnants
Until once more what’s left
Comes forward to be
Born again
As the vital lie of our
Characterlessness which
Would comprise
The gift we miserly
Deign to share in these sad immigrant lives

©Dean J. Baker

  • excerpt from a forthcoming book

*Wallace Hume Carothers’ work on polymers led to the first synthetic fiber.
Cited in Whiplash by Joi Ito and Jeff Howe, from Science And Corporate Strategy by Hounshell and Smith.

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all my books http://www.amazon.com/Dean-J.-Baker/e/B00IC6PGQM – can also be found at BORDERS, iTUNES, etc

 check these quotes from readers of DARK EARTH DarkEarth

“Having read Dark Earth by Dean J Baker my first reaction is WOW. This was written for me. His poetry speaks to me deep down in my soul. The style of writing then the naming of the poems is so on target. A must read for poetry lovers AND all who just love to read.”

Dark Earth is a thought provoking collection of poems..”

Rabelais and Hieronymus Bosch look out of dark chinks in these poems…”

alternatively, direct from – https://deanjbaker.wordpress.com/links-to-my-books-in-print//

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..from THE ESCHATOLOGICAL DOG.. ‘Bird Brains’

The sun’s not yellow, it’s chicken!” – Bob Dylan

Everyone has an opinion these days, some have even
Taken it upon themselves to capture these on the page

Whether rhyming or not various lines make their way
Through the air and flames to take a place, to reposit

Themselves in the form of art or some such imitation
Of the forgotten real thing – even the desire for poetry

Is misplaced, so great that surrogates resembling those
Are daily made in the form of solicitous belief, eager

Dispensations of neuroses confidently stated as though
These were the first and finally only things discovered, not

Caricatures designed to distract and placate, without
The slightest apology for the life pecked away as the writer’s

Riches are gathered once more for attribution to their own holy
Parade of vocalized chirps and tweets where even poetry

Has succumbed, gotten a bad name since there are so many
Poets I think there must somewhere be an obvious absence

Of clerks, and grocers willing to work for the joy of it all:
The lowest common denominator now a substitute for the truth

©Dean Baker



..from SILENCE LOUDER THAN A TRAIN.. ‘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

excerpt from SILENCE LOUDER THAN A TRAIN,  102 pages, $15.99


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I don’t know how to act because. It affects me posthumously.

I cannot recognize myself.
I used to have a few ideas. Now I’d rather drink beer.
And the city is the same everywhere.

Links of the distant renew my bereavement.
I can’t fathom such loss of memory. Grace isn’t covert.
Nor even retrospect.
Recurrence is its own consigning delight.

We let this high talk lapse: the dead lean into the wind.
It will not pass from them, though the survivors slip into passion.

The sound of born worlds indefinitely.

Continually close to tears as it takes us.

©Dean J. Baker

excerpt from THE TRANSITS OF REVELATION,  120 pages, $15.99


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