No Pome

(Two deep breaths, then bellow)

No—
to this ceaseless city grid walking
bouncing up and down roads remembered
as if to rearrange them
searching for Walt Whitman garb
past the mega malls
an old world hat and cane
coarse cotton workman’s jersey
second hand boots and belt
keepsakes at half price
congested racks
corduroy slacks
LPs in their molding stacks
Gramophones chanting the runic
voice of Enrico Caruso

No!
to this intellectual looting quest
bookstores old and new
seducing like ice cream flavors
shelves segregated by fetish
native american studies
gnostic mysticism, taoism
kabala, existentialism, new age feminism
and zen
qi meridian manuals, quantum physics
and classical lit
gothic myths
whole rows devoted to Hitler & Stalin
the pre-Socratics
how to bake bread, make your first million
find happiness and read Einstein & Wittgenstein—
dummies for dummies mingling
down every aisle
the cosmos gathered in
tall and dusty spines

No!
to the genealogies of family, tribe, culture
and civilization
photographs of street strangers
postcards collecting museum memories
tacked to a wall
yiddish nostalgias perfuming rowdy
delicatessens
brisket in chopped onions
lunch time kugelmass conundrums
black and white cookies
black and white films
gefilte fish on lettuce
russian borscht with dollops of cream
corned beef on rye piled to the heavens
pizza slices, hungry glares
telephone poles pronouncing their
repertoires
philharmonics, cello recitals, monologues
don’t miss it!

No!
to revelation
beauty
yes-yes days and
and new initiatives!
clarinet lessons with Gene
cocktail parties with colleagues
second masters, third bachelors
mongolian doctor’s visits
bikram’s yoga in dance halls
new balance running shoes
stretch pants and adidas socks
letters to my uncle Hy
typed on 1936 underwoods
my own hebrew folklore
sold in community college catalogues
auto maintenance classes
household fix-it tutorials
daylong at the home depot
piecing together the nuance
of a toilet

No!
to academics’ belabored talk
to poetry workshops &
african drum therapy
to family constellations
and light hypnosis
to biblical quotations and
porno arcades
revolving door of
sausage stuffed 19 year olds
youth orgies, metro riding
fantasies
gymnastics of mind
inspiration
magazine stands
youtube libraries of everything
under the sun
documentary and mockumentary
historodrama and you name it skateboard
stunt
wanna see crocodiles snapping necks
the dark side of the internet
scrolling tours of the tragic, banal, curious
and grotesque
streams of charmless jokes, clichéd wisdoms
the magnetized wand of my chosen friends
headlines here and there
nothing read!
butt jokes
gay jokes
disquieting political threads
the uninformed and insightful
equalized by the metronome of
cat memes
a sermon on the mount
sponsored by buzzfeed

No to the homeless!
No to the elderly!
No to this lunacy!
to schoolyard kid shootings
to shoot-first police mentality
to deforested redwoods
and dead black teens
to poached elephants and monkeys
to Allah & Jehovah, Krishna & Mithra
to God on earth in the heart or in the liver
to sudden McDonald’s blowing up Muslim terror
to the prayers sent before igniting
and after dying
to the flitting sentiments conjured
by TV remotes or tracking pads

No to the untactile semblance of a human alliance!
silent sutras to sentient beings
organized protests down the palisades
kid shoes hanging from telephone poles
to the childish games of men in power positions
no to the end
of Western Civilization—

No to discern Yes!
No to discern Eth-ics!

No to languorous sleep-through Mondays
to bus and tram crammed Tuesdays
to marijuana, sake, house wine and espresso
to meditations in the café or desert
to the tavern, the celtic trad jam
the hipster joint, the DJ in beat phones
to low hanging jeans code
the excitable glass clanking after hours
No to being alone—

No to the bar stool drool or Arabian mat
conversation culminating in foamy heads
of hookah smoke

No to spoken word body slams!
lamentations and Hosannas
the forced or spontaneous Kumbaya

No to this person, this stage
No to this poem!

No, to these resounding unpresent labors!
to construction pit neighbors
to the seven hills of Rome
to all the Romes that ever were and ever
will be
to their milky goats and
greedy Romuluses

No to all the histories unread
that might have helped us
to turn another page
No for Eternal Damnation of Progress!

No!

I’m saying no…
to hell and highwater
to heaven on earth fools
who really knows how to say it—

No—
for this is what I do—

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