Author Archives: abclarke

About abclarke

http://www.linkedin.com/in/ArtClarke

Reaching

Bend towards light and follow the star,
Stretching and growing and reaching for far.
Turn petals and faces to reach the beyond,
Almost, yes almost, breaking earth’s bond.

And the dirt and the shit that covers your roots,
The worms and the beetles that ravage your fruit;
Find joy when you ponder amidst all your gloom
For their charitable gifts do power your bloom.

The Misanthrope’s Ball

Come, come to the Misanthrope’s ball,
Misandrists, misogynists lining the walls.

Glaring and staring and flaring and raring
To air out their hate with odious swearing.

Yet the secret I know is they’re all in the hall,
For lonely abhorrence is no fun at all.

Tapestries

We are but spools of thread
Of varying lengths,
Each our own color and heft,
Yet anchored to the yarn
We raveled from.

Our bobbin unwinds
As the path we walk
Lays down our filaments,
Winding around the others’,
Weaving the fabric of our lives.

Until one day
Our cylinder falls
From the canvas of our souls,
And we are left to ask
Have our actions sewn beauty?


Carpe Diem

Image result for hang gliding

I thought “carpe diem” meant
Seize the day
And wrest the world
To my whim
My will,
And my way.

Yet time
And time
And time again, 
I was blown back.

Now I know “carpe diem” means
Seize the day 
And hold on.
Lean my mind, 
And my soul
Into the world.

So like a hang-glider,
I soar
Or dive
As the world’s wind blows.

Triangulating the Truth

Image of a triangulation surveying system from the 1700s.

Each reference point,
from different angles,
improves our understanding
of the terrain.

I know this.
I understand this.

Yet when it comes to my soul,
I discard your perspective,
and your advice,

For surely
my scope alone
can understand the world.

Apocalypse Now

Let’s have an apocalypse now,
Let’s end it all.
Come on together,
Let’s have a ball.

Let’s destroy the fountains,
The gardens and flowers.
Let’s tear down our monuments,
Let’s kill all in power.

Let’s brew up a tempest,
Of fury and hate.
Let’s throw all we’ve built
Into hell’s open gape.

And then, oh my friends,
With apocalypse here,
Let’s notice the void,
And be alone with our fear.

The Rabbinical Mathematician


Taking your wrinkled hand in mine,
As our grandchildren play in the crèche,
I remember

How we argued about the Ketubah.
How you pushed.
How I prodded.
And how we agreed
No matter what angle life came at us
We should approach it together, as one.

I signed.
You signed.
And we multiplied.

I co-signed.
You co-signed.
And we multiplied.

Now our grandchildren bring us joy.
And no matter how life pushed,
No matter how life prodded,
I agree
No matter what angle life came at us
We approached it together, as one.

The old laws are the most beautiful.

Sign2(angle) + Co-Sign2(angle) = one.

Thoughts: #3

The secret to happiness is there is no secret to happiness,

And the path to happiness is the path you are on.

Accept these truths and you will find happiness,

But only once you stop looking for it.

Oh, my my

I am in the fight of my life
For my life
With my life.
And my mind cries
Find my tie,
Step off my chair,
Let go of everything,
And reach into nothing.

And you say we are in the fight of our lives,
For our lives
With our lives.
And our hearts cry
Find our ties,
Sit in our chairs,
Let go of everything,
And reach for each other.

Oh.
I see.
It’s not my life
I fight
But my my.
My my.
My my.

If I can just…

If I can make it to now
Things will be all right.
If I can focus on here
Not those things that might.

If I can make it to now,
Things will be all right,
Even if horror
Is clearly my plight.

If I can leave behind yesterday
Let past times be past.
If I can forget what must come,
No matter how fast.

If I can make it to now
And feel sadness inside.
If I can just let my grief
Be kind future’s guide.

If I can just make it here,
If I can just hold on now,
If I can just reach my hand out,
I’ll find arms that allow
A holding of comfort
Where tears can run long,
And when sewers are washed clean,
Keep hold firm and strong.

If I can make it to now,
And let go of escape,
The grey fog of sorrow
Shall slowly undrape,
And valleys of flowers
Fed strong by the dew
Will await present me
To finally break through.

Shapeshifting Calf

Image result for newborn calf

Oh shapeshifting calf!
You are furious wolf,
And laughing goat.
You are wounded bear,
And cheeky monkey.
You are devious fox,
And lovable puppy.

Lest anyone sense your shaky legs,
Lest anyone see your lonely eyes,
Lest anyone feel your fearful quivers,
Lest anyone hear your longing lo.

I wonder if you look beyond your mind’s pen
Would you find there are others
Who can smell your bullshit,
Yet not recoil.

Can you trust them to lead you out?
Can you trust them to clear the byre?
Can you trust the pastures they steer you to?
Can you trust?

Painting Pictures of Mankind

There are three types of people in the world: Jasper Johns, Monets, and Vermeers.

From a distance the Jasper Johns are all fucked up. Get near them, and they are still fucked up. And get really up close, get into their space, and you’ll see, yes, still fucked up.

Monets, from a distance, have it all together. But get near them, become their casual friend, and you’ll see clearly how messed up they are. And really up close, it’s madness.

And Vermeers? Well, from a distance they have it all together. Get close, and they are still all together. But get up really close, become their lover, and you’ll see the crazy. The harrying of the brush-strokes. The mad war where greens meet yellows. The peaks and valleys of the oils clumping on the fabric of their canvas. Perhaps controlled insanity? But insanity none the less.

In intimate closeness, they are all maniae. Yet this is not all they share.

No.

Each is viewed but through a frame, that if we lift and look beyond we see the paint fade off. Vermeer’s kitchen fading to the nothing house. Monet’s Japanese bridge to nowhere. John’s paint splotch that just stops, ends. And in this nothing, we find everything: The painter is there; The brushes are there; The wheat and the chaff; The flowers and the roads; Even the abstract, the numbers and concepts. They all live beyond the wooden box of our constraints. The frames are just a view we impose upon them.

There are three types of people in the world: Jasper Johns, Monets, and Vermeers. They are all beautiful.

The Plan v. The Goal

Do not mourn discarded plans
To ride your camel a thousand miles to Mecca,
Once you know you must climb Everest instead.

The plan is not the goal.
The plan was never the goal.
The goal was the goal.

If the goal changes,
No matter how good the plan,
Change the plan.

So rejoice, grab your mule and climb your mountain.
It matters not whether you wade through camel shit
Or mule shit to get there.

Was It God?

Ant on blade of grass.

Each night Ant leaves the colony, treks through the field, finds a blade of grass, and climbs, climbs, climbs. 

Ant’s work for the day has passed, his burden lowered, the others sleep, and Ant is done, done, done.

In spiritual ecstasy, atop the spike, mandibles clamped tight, Ant waves his legs to pray, pray, pray.

Deep inside Ant knows he is part of something larger.
Deep inside Ant knows he serves a higher purpose.
Deep inside Ant knows he has been touched by God.
Deep, deep, deep.

Yet a small part of Ant niggles.
A small part of Ant nags.
A small part of Ant needles.
Burrowing doubt. Pernicious doubt. Malevolent doubt.

Was that moment when Ant felt one with everything truly God; or was it just a fluke?