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  • hardie karges 6:58 am on April 12, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , POETRY, ,   

    The Word and the World, Both Too Much with Us 

    You can be in the world and not be of the world, and that is important for those of us who choose other-worldly pursuits, as typically defined, with pleasure not reduced to sensation and payments largely in kind. Money is the mark of the beast and possession is his hand-maiden, the need to accumulate more and more, bigger and bigger, the ultimate swindle, as if existence cold be quantified and life codified. But total Buddhist renunciation is not possible, either, except for brief retreats, because to live in a world removed is only possible with strings and ties, so the same dreaded possession to be avoided, ultimately. The answer is to carry that beloved retreat with you, and me, in your head to be applied liberally at any convenient point of contact, and as constant reminder of the blessings of omission to which you, and I, have pledged heartfelt allegiance. Every mouthly utterance should be a word’s worth. True freedom is internal as well as external…

  • hardie karges 3:19 pm on July 5, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: POETRY,   

    Souls for Sale: the Price of Admission… 

    Hubble pic

    Hubble pic

    I realize now my major fault in this world: I want everything to work out, and refuse to believe that it won’t, or it can’t, woulda coulda shoulda if I had my way, equals a world without evil and a heaven without conditions, without terms or even definitions, depends on expectations, hard to believe that there’s someone I can’t get along with or a gadget without a price tag, a movie without laugh lines or TV without sight gags…

    it will take a miracle, though, at full price with no coupons, for this half-baked society of half-breeds and half-asses with a half-life of a generation and halftime at dark-something: thirty to pull out of its malaise with dignity intact as a matter-of-fact and as a matter of dead men walking, that’s us, without prayers or preconditions, stumbling blindly through the darkness of ignorance and fear without so much as a clue as to what the future beckons… (More …)

  • hardie karges 10:10 am on May 17, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , POETRY, , , social commentary   

    Religio-politics 101: Desiderata Considerata 

    Texas, Mexico, river, fence and questions

    Texas, Mexico, river, fence and questions

    …and a strange peace comes over me, in the midst of all the chaos, rejection and reflection, in the midst of patchwork solutions to comprehensive problems that are beyond my comprehension… and I think it has to do with people, last but not least of the great apes, violent and intelligent beyond belief, the gentle ones naturally long gone, left only with the hardened ones that must be softened by religion often rendered impossible by the needle tracks of time and the sloppy sutras of space…

    We are pathetic little people with our pathetic little problems of food, shelter and clothing, mostly just demanding dignity, Capital D Dignity, as if that were the most important thing in the world, that self-importance, that self-esteem, that love that is a priori to all other loves, that feeling of being centered in our self slightly above the navel and just below the head let’s call it heart and get it over with, the connections between people one of heart firstly and foremostly…

    I love the so-called losers of this world because they are the humans with heart, sometimes, or sometimes not, but at least they’re usually open to it, for lack of better options, but it’s not that I hate those who are so sure of themselves and such masters of the world; it’s that I pity them for they will never know the feeling of submission, the feeling of being part of an indivisible whole of which they count only for a little bit, whether entertainers CEO’s or politicians, it’s lonely up there…

    Celebrity sickness is the disease of the day in late 21st C. America, drunk on fame, real or imagined, our obligatory fifteen minutes barely enough in this day and age of hard drugs and random hugs, gotta’ keep the rush coming to see ourselves in pictures on the Big Screen; selfies won’t do for much more than government work, the basic minimum of likes, follows and shares needed to gain some face and hold on to it for a day or two. Why do we see ourselves on the Big Screen at the expense of ourselves on the ground planting seeds and forgiving misdeeds?

    My main memory of a visit to Cuba was the loaded question from a local functionary, fully formed and well-thought-out, could only come from a Commie, stuck behind ironic curtains for most of his life and that of a nation: “Just what do you need Internet for, anyway?”

    (space intentionally left blank)

    Just what DO we need most, anyway? Why are we obsessed with this corporate mentality of skyscrapers Hondas and iPhones while homeless people are sleeping on the streets and begging for food? Is there no middle ground that we can all be part of? Maybe it’s time to reassess our priorities. Maybe it’s time to get back to the garden—a high-tech one—we and our smart-phones: but no two-year contracts, please…

  • hardie karges 6:59 am on October 3, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , POETRY,   

    Evolution for Dummies: Junk DNAAND the Double Helix of Culture 

    crown of thorns

    crown of thorns

    If evolution really favors smaller more adaptable units—which it apparently does—then Americans are in trouble, we with our much-heralded ‘ownership society’, especially cars and houses, the bigger the better. America is overweight, but it ain’t just carbs and fat. It’s fuel injection and renovated flats, these possessions that possess us, these conveniences that encumber us, these adornments that weigh us down, down to the ground, six feet under, rest in peace…

    Dinosaurs went extinct and so likely will we, as Americans of the central model paradigm, at least, hocked to the gills with credits and debits and accounting tricks and treats, and plenty of reasons to retreat; why bother with success, anyway, when there are so many reasons for failure? How did you want to go down in the Apocalypse, btw: was it war, famine, disease, or flame? It’s no wonder; it’s nobody’s shame, just butterfly effects gone wild with mathematical precision…

    Self-sufficiency used to be considered a positive personality trait, hard work a must. Saving was encouraged, if not absolutely required, and in God we trust; all others pay cash. Now we’re a nation of leveraged, selfied-out crybabies waiting in line camped out all night for our iPhones and soma, got a ticket for N’awlins but the bus stops at Houma, all cashed out and nothing left to buy, can’t buy a thrill, all we can do is cry…

    Even unemployed Americans have iPhones, of course, money no object, that’s a fact, that’s currency; homeless people, too, now, taking donations online, gotta’ check on the status of food stamps, see if that Social Security check is in the mail. Half the world lives on less than three dollars a day; see how many iPhones that’ll buy you, true poverty struggling to eat very day, not Yelp or snap-chat, giga-chips and cookies with no trans fat…

    But rich people are worse, crunching their numbers between gold fillings, fracking veins and splicing genes, GMO cereal killers with their high-flying lifestyles on private jets and multiple planes, properties portfolios and multidimensional probabilities, many worlds possible, taking off and landing with the frequency of junk, buying and selling people like so much chattel and so many cattle, bodies for sale, ten bills a pop, credit cards accepted, swipe it where you wipe it…

    The Anthropocene Age has been a blast, a quick short spurt of consciousness and destruction after years of ignorance and bliss, man inserting his thingie into multiple orifices, simultaneously, plugging holes and creating new ones, just for the Hell of it, just because it’s there, Mt. Everest and the Moon, by horoscope and all good offices, all for the good of mankind, come Hell or high water, reduced to comfort food and memories, that’s entertainment…

  • hardie karges 9:10 am on July 1, 2008 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Beat poets, , POETRY   

    The death of the novel 

    was proclaimed by a few pretentious college students a few decades ago. Strangely enough, they were probably right. Forget the ‘brilliant characterizations’ and all that crap. Every character in every novel not based on actual people is some aspect of the writer himself. Let’s drop the pretense of ‘objectivity’. It doesn’t exist. The only thing we know, if we indeed really even know that, is ourselves, our lives, our perceptions. Esse est percipi. The only real novels are the non-novels, reality bubbling through the filter of consciousness. Nothing really good’s been done since the Beats liberated the ink from the pen. Automatic writing is the best kind. If that’s ‘typing’, then this is word processing. Poetry is an inside joke, and as if it’s not bad enough, that the best modern art has to be explained in words to be appreciated (thank you, Tom Wolfe), then imagine the irony of poets having to hang their words from Christmas trees to be noticed. Forget dangling participles. Modern poetry closes a stanza with a dangling subject and starts the next with its almost-forgotten predicate, and loves every minute of it, almost reveling in the total and deliberate obfuscation of meaning, as if there were something quaint and entirely too old-fashioned about that.

  • hardie karges 7:32 am on June 21, 2008 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: POETRY   


    Poetry is like meditation, going to great lengths to avoid direct thought. They say the secret to good poetry is to not editorialize. I say ‘fuck that’. EDITORIALIZE! Tell me what you think, tell me what you know! I don’t care what color the sky is when the sun rises in the east and I already know what every animal does the first chance they get. I want to know what humans think about every possible condition that arises in the short span of human existence. I want to know what drove you to such an extreme in the first place, that you settled for this medium in the second place. I want to know how old you were when you first contemplated suicide. I want to know how old you were when you first contemplated homicide. I want to know what you see in your mind’s eye in that thin gray area between the waking state and full sleep, that fitful profusion of images looking for dreams to rescue them from their homeless condition, before that long nod of numbness slowly sinks into a body too tired for tears, too wired and weird.

  • hardie karges 7:57 am on June 20, 2008 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: POETRY,   


    Here’s writing fit for public consumption. There’s no politics nor science, no physics nor evolution, no cuss words nor sex, no spicy pickled metaphors, no right nor wrong, no meaning, no nothing, just letters holding hands forming words forming phrases going to market, staying home, having roast beef, having none, and making the funny sounds of verbal contentment all the way home. I’m ready to celebrate the mundane, revel in the morning blush on the evening primrose, and revel in the morning blush on my wife’s face. I’m ready to publicly mourn the birth of my dog and the death of my dad, exult in the toothless smile of a bum and the toothless smile of a lad. Nobody wants cosmic poems pretending to fathom the heights of quantum physics or wallow in the death of suicidal despair. It fails to inspire and it’s just not civilized. Still photography is my role model, cool remote and serene. I want to paint with words, watercolors and oils according to the mood. I wish I could write other people’s poems. I wish I could arrange flowers elaborately, poems in the shape of chalices and goblets, valises and vases, all containing internal logic, hard-wired beauty. I want to get out of my rut and get into a groove. Alas I’m stuck in my own body, trapped in my own mind, doing the best I can one day at the time. I can’t write other people’s shit; I can only write my own.

  • hardie karges 9:00 am on June 16, 2008 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: POETRY,   


    Poetry is what happens in the cracks, the empty spaces, the margins along paper’s rim, bar chits, and bills not yet paid, void if detached. The recycled paper bin is the wellhead of new thought. Poetry is what comes out when the brain is unwinding, disengaged, coasting downhill after a long night of tossing and turning. The early morning hours are fertile ground for plowing, fallow fields for planting. Poetry is a job where you gotta’ be on call. If you can’t write in the dark, then you don’t get the job. Poetry is what happens between acts, entertainment that truly holds you between. We’re competing with jugglers and clowns; we’re not competing with scientists and philosophers. A word is worth a thousand pictures. Writing is like gene-splicing, re-shuffling the codons. The most innocent mutations can lead to entirely new species. I mine my memories to see if there’s something I forgot, cross-reference myself to find out where I stand, second-guess myself as to where I’ll likely end up. Writing is like sex; I try different positions to make it come out fast and hard, in light hot licks.

  • hardie karges 7:29 am on June 13, 2008 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , POETRY   


    Forget story line; forget characterization. Like his critic told Jackson Pollock in the movie, “there’s only paint and surface”, words and paper, time, a medium for light and sound. A medium it is, certainly nothing rare nor well done. Nobody’s writing the great American novel anymore, just pulp fiction for ultimate adaptation to screenplay. Most poetry sucks, too, reverted to the flower arrangements in fragile crocks that the Beats smashed to bits fifty years ago to no future avail. When the smoke clears, poetry’s firmly back in the control of the academic pencil pushers and their precious little artifices and the delightful breaking of grammatical rules for dramatic effect. Someone who’d never dangle a participle leaves a subject noun suspended in mid-air at the end of a stanza waiting for the verb beginning the next stanza to rescue it and its lack of importance from certain oblivion, the flying trapeze of literature. This proves nothing except that the author went to poetry class and learned the insider’s language. I get all giggly just thinking about it. Of course ‘slam’ poetry tries to undo all that artsy-fartsy crap by the pure will of ego unleashed on a noisy stage, releasing obscenities on a suspecting public in dire need of sensibilities left to offend. Its similarities and simultaneous emergence with rap music is more than coincidental. Henry Miller and William Burroughs were the right men for the jobs of their times, but it remains to be seen who’s right for the new millennium, an age of interdependence possibly beyond the grasp of heroes.

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