By Jake Sheff
I Trust Your Highness Will Excuse my Being Opal Creek
“Do a similarity of paths in life and a similarity of situations give rise to a similarity in characters? As a general thing it doesn’t. For people with strong minds and spirits of their own it does not. They have their own solutions, their own special traits, and they can be very surprising.” Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago I shall not copy the optative mood of the stars; Nor shall I occupy the sky, my LORD. Your rules Alone shall I observe; reality can’t control me. I shall keep Your laws; the sin of being dull is In lockstep with autumn’s metronome. The best Ideas are most misunderstood; I shall be kind And show concern: a pleasing odor to the LORD. Like people, sunlight needs a cause to matter; Causes need unbreakable beliefs to shine. I shall Not uncover my interrobang if it is not ready For prime time. I shall not uncover Wyatt’s And Surrey’s filtration if the day prefers to hear The world is ending and reality defies flirtation. I shall not uncover the waterfall that proves While it is easy to fall it is hard to fall well. I Shall not uncover that while fighting evil, some Forget the evil in themselves; it uses elderly As an adverb. I shall not uncover the hyperbole Connecting song and dance to society and day; It is the unction going crazy trying to save The world, and the naturally popular cedars Should like to read it. I shall not complain, “They Suppressed Galileo, too,” for the stars to say, “You’re not him,” my LORD; it is an abhorrence. I shall not want a way; not every creek is happy With the one it has: it is perversion, and no empty Way in need of water fails to find some, my LORD.
A Weatherbeaten Sunday at Multnomah Falls has Entered the Lists
“As a driver, you are ultimately responsible for recognizing and reacting correctly to changing conditions, signed or not.” Oregon Driver Manual, 2020-2021 “[T]he sound of a shaken leaf shall chase them; and they shall flee, as fleeing from a sword; and they shall fall when none pursueth.” Leviticus 26:36 You crane your ignorance to view her from the highway And history of Ukraine. She brings you Indias that Come all the way from your ideas. You listen to The instant work, work, work, like something installed With a screwdriver… A song is basically a person Made of sounds, you see. She names names, To emphasize and reinvigorate her subject matter: Freedom, bondage and hybrid male sterility. I think there’s a Dollar Tree around here, but you Exit your mistrust of idolatry to get a closer look. You interlarded the Cascade Mountain Range With high-occupancy visions painted by Hans Holbein the Younger. She is not like politicians’ Broken promises, reeking of ptomaine and Back issues of Pravda. She looks at you expecting Sin: it’s hard to see yourself in such a light; it’s Hard to see, and such a fright. An eagle’s Flight, in situ, speaks to someone it calls ‘Mr. Secretary’ inside you. To beautify the brutal, Haystack Rock in Cannon Beach has no memory Of you, but I stole power and a purpose from It last weekend. You test her bridge, and brush Aside a detail with the pride of Ernst Kirchner. Pride hates dissent, will put it down by force. The truth, by power of its argument alone, can Change your course. Survive, survive, survive, She pleads with scientific love. I’m cavalier About what isn’t clear, but you’re the type who, If the sun refused to set, would have to do Something about it. Multnomah Falls is like The bird who decided just yesterday not to Migrate with all the rest. You shape her to your Liking, looking for a wrong to right. She doesn’t Miss a beat; whatever isn’t perfect has to die. “Worry is morally satisfying when your thirst for Pity is quenched,” I’m told. You hosed me, worry; I was hosed. (Worry can be such a lorry sometimes.) You want her to prove reality does not control My speech, nor does it control your thought. We are Constrained only by what exists, not by what occurs; The shape of life. She seeks what can’t be known; In this alone, she is exceptional. Her thoughts are like Museums: full of objects never seen outside. I asked Her thieves if it was true that poetry thrives when People are free. (They are like a herd of zebras, moving In the same direction: it is an impressive sight, but Which of them is best for putting in the zoo?) “Yes,” They said. “That this is so is surprising to no one, Save the fella’ in the concert hall who’s unaware The sounds he hears he’ll never hear outside.” Now I assume, like everyone, sometimes they lie.
The Anteroposterior Diameter of Love on the Molalla River
“O sister! May you grow into thousands of myriads; may your offspring seize the gates of their foes.” Genesis 24:60-61 This river always yearns for a pain-free workday. It takes no pleasure in having numerous lovers. Every river longs to be taken care of. This river Never thinks of Bruges without the Pudding River Flying off the handle about the Khmer Rouge. Instead of I have to, this river always says, I choose To, and it never chooses wrong. Just look at how, On Ogle Creek, banned opinions are flying Off the shelves! This river constantly turns its Tacit noise into the King’s English when it flows Under Knight’s Bridge. Most rivers turn up Their noses at (and run from) wonder. Certainly, All rivers would be more boisterous in Boise… Brad Pitt can’t play this river’s yetzer hara. Certainly, no river’s angrier than Simeon and Levi, Or better than berry brown betty. Self-esteem And violence go together like the Willamette and Columbia Rivers; in effect, the Hwy 211 bridge Is the biggest fan of YA dystopian novels. I was Here, 594 years ago, on the Hardy Creek Trailhead When the weather was warm. I thought this river Was the be-all and end-all of parens patriae, and I Never thought wrong. Now my pain approaches Like a penguin every time I touch the nose of world Opinion, which is never here. Everyone knows Presentism’s malolactic fermentation drinks A poet’s proud imagination under the table at Table Rock Wilderness any time Uranus makes The universal choking sign. In Marquam, alpacas bow To eat, which definitely is intended to placate Hay Barn Creek and the gold mining ghosts at Time’s gates. Talent-tall deception: it costs nothing And lasts forever. Minnette Creek traded liberty to Be the letter C: she ultimately demonstrates compassion Isn’t necessary or sufficient for producing a good Deed; she’s the worst at putting trench warfare into Raku ware – to see this at its best, go see the ground When it’s dressed in crimson, velvet and white satin. And, And now, Molalla River just can’t let her be, refuting Reason and causality. (Few and hard have been the years Of their lives. Who sacrificed them, a million times, In Tenochtitlan?) This river, listening to the revealer of Secrets and REM’s Man on the Moon, hears, “I’ll see You in heaven if you make the list,” and experiences Delayed-onset déjà vu. Woodcock Creek can’t flow Without its colchicine and fawning press. Static On Dungeon Creek is gathered to its kin (the Stasi). Look Out! The worst ideas are definitely coming through, And Milk Creek struggles to submit in view of Mt. Angel’s Summit (a.k.a. Lone Butte). From the looks of it, Avalanche Creek has just seen The Vagina Monologues For the first time. Her language is from the land of isn’t. She smokes the best answer to humanity’s problems Near maybe’s vantage point on a rail bridge in Canby.
We Install a Sump Pump on (What Used To Be) a Holiday (Take 7)
“Shame on the world! said I to myself – Did we love each other, as this poor soul but loved his ass – ‘twould be something.” Laurence Sterne, A Sentimental Journey This eyeshadow overjoys my vision – almost Fills a void – because the goddamn world, like Some ongoing onion, makes me cry. Names Are tools, but I am unsure of the tool you named Just now, hon; you said it’s behind your wheelchair, Underneath a box of ammo? In the vortex Of angelic opinions, quiet bodies always have Too much to say. Constant ecstasy never Says to sorrow, ‘Sorry about that.’ But I do Apologize for any long hairs on the soap bottle. Here’s That screwdriver. Since the flood, there hasn’t been A pair of hands in the vortex happier than mine! I’m not cut out for having my expectations Unfulfilled, or swatting mosquitoes; that ain’t Me. You might tell me, “Jim, the powers that Be sin for the benefit of a broken ghost, and Not their own,” but the vortex won’t discipline Itself by words alone. I don’t mind if my dress tears…
We Install a Sump Pump on (What Used To Be) a Holiday (Take 14)
“I want to tell you a little about myself and my ways. If everyone was like me, there’d be no lawsuits or dragging one another off to gaol, and no wars: everyone would be satisfied with a moderate competence. But you may like things better as they are. Then live that way. The cantankerous and bad-tempered old man won’t stop you.” Menander, Old Cantankerous “Too much cleverness and too much learning, accompanied with an ill bringing-up, are far more fatal than total ignorance.” Plato, Laws Without a trace of irony, today’s perfectly insane Acoustics house the most left-handed laughter in All creation. This is, in fact, a moral victory; this Stranger’s death by a thousand perhapses. Scraps Of my conscience’s prelapsarian caste system need To drown with him in the vortex of crap. It freed My break-action diaphragm; divine misapprehension When he offered replacement parts from his store. The rebelliousness of the human heart would exchange The life of Riley for the wilderness; it rarely breaks Itself. My fingers boast of blushing sands. They cry Out ‘absit omen’ when I grab my phone with stodgy, Toddler hands. My brain is no trainee great book: They are made of eternal flames; I’m all self-hating Cambium and melting flakes of Sturm und Drang. My hunger isn’t getting any younger, but it cries A baby’s archaic tears. The day is pretty dumb and Bright; it might impress this vortex or a pretty girl.