James Hart / Fiction

If fiction is dead, reality is not far behind.

James Hart

James Hart
Be Home Soon,
December 31
Hart will have maintained this blog for One-hundred-sixty-nine million, nine-hundred-forty-eight thousand, six-hundred seconds through 31 May 2014. Times two (roughly) deep in the Twenty-Fifteen. ******************************** ******************************** ******************************* A carpenter's level designs a calm sea. ******************************** ******************************** Violent movies and prime-time TV shows ought to have disclaimers as reality checks during curtain calls. The cast could gather for a bow and civil handshake and or cheek kisses in order to demonstrate (to the least sophisticated among us) to let us know that the aforementioned carnage was make believe. A fiction. An entertainment. Such reality checks (and stage craft tribute) would well serve a fairness to the deranged among us who are prone to confuse the fantasia of entertainment violence as 'acceptable reality behavior'. There are legions of empty vessels awaiting sustenance about 'how' to react. With sure-bet frequency, the ubiquity of guns and conditioned criminal reflex results in aberrant behavior with subsequent ruinous acts of violence. We see it along the road. We read it and see it and hear it in the news. Such a paradigm! Odd that bow and bow and bow and bow are the same word. One for thank you, one for protection (?}, and the other to stay off the icebergs ... and of course there's the shoe tie, and gift wrap and that bloke from Saginaw, reading USA Today on the Greyhound. Here's a limerick from my Average Guy series: Of all emotion, the grin 'n frown, the best among us, stand down. ******************************** Here's a paragraph from my Average Guy: a couple of satiate dinner guests had ensconced themselves on the living room sofa.* * Whoops that was an abandoned paste, thanks, Merriam W. }One Moment{ Like all boys they wanted everything: the wild treetops and Tarzan hollers, then back to the soccer game on Channel 9 with their buttered microwave popcorn and tough-guy toothpicks. The painted fancy news ladies, in high skirts. Slivered clapboard was a place to carve initials. Not far, canaries built their own thatch nest, hunkered and still against the wind from all directions. An onyx black crow its wing tips torn of feather like a shrapnel-wounded plane, stood watching. Until it was yellow and black, a flurry of woven grass and fallen scatter of shadowed ruin. A swooped escape of yellow dots and the black clawing predator of powerful wide wing, its bright beak triumphant to the sunshine, the white fluff chicks burst within merciless gripped coil. A quick flight toward 3 o'clock backward through nascent Linden buds. An automatic trick spiraling, a mystical bullet, the motion at once there and gone to stellar over soul of weathered naked branch. Its prize of canary chicks: a satiation to the endless March blue. ******************************** (more) Average Guy Then the Old Spiced Fuller Brush man shows up blowing Lucky Strike smoke rings, Dinah Shore had her own hour, and ol' Ike poured concrete, coast to coast. Sundays? Victory at Sea, Archbishop Sheen, Groucho Marx, I'm never sure, such awhile back, weren't the Commies about to attack? Then who'd blink first, Nikita or Jack? ******************************** She spoke of life she did. I'd a fascinating 'eye in the sky' riff' invoking the richly named Auden, at midnight: A to F, clamored-clack of generous muse, nearly always helmeted faces appeared, dusty in white powder, an encounter along the parallel hedgerow , of dog-eared tome, her lips an alabaster meow: some kindling, Edward R. Murrow, the who, what, where when and howl Another magnolia time, first daffodils, another year from June, cold-level ferns as white knuckles; O the color of yellow sugared Chuckles. a sow with piglets, upon the soil: where oil prisms the mud, A new day, so near insane, this autumn an abject postpartum; O bacon, o eggs, why did I start'em? Now I have to eat, the ceiling fan, an aeroplane prop, a yolk slurp, one more word, perhaps a fast break, maybe a dark hour, nothing but cake ... a belly ache ... cooler by the lake. &ah:It's a bit early, Oxford level though, as I'm left, in our adage: truth may vary. If only Aynie would have used "Atlas Mugged", as real utopian form. Keep those Dreamliners rollin'! Until greed and fear return to the dictionary, beyond the zone of human nature. Operative words above: OXFORD & ADAGE &/or: PEOPLE WE GOT THE POWER


JANUARY 14, 2013 1:04PM


Rate: 3 Flag
                                 too cold to snow

Now you've caught my long distance run on past the wooded panorama the vast water a morning sunlit shimmer pleases me well beyond the chance of knowledge.

Here's a paper airplane, sport laces tight, goat-like pliable ankles, the break barrier boulders, bigger than machines, smooth stone leaps.

I may have thought other words for blue, even clear-cold is suspicious, high and low brow, that cloud bank with airplanes coming from it.

Breath louder than waves.

Bottom deep breathing.

Breath caught bird-like catching.

An air struggle.

Real sand and torn rusted ship slices.

A faceless dime store watch. 

Skeletal seagull in smooth charcoal char.

A well rusted thick gauge mesh.

For an escape?

From the Edmond Fitzgerald? 

The bird and patron dead, PSITTACOSIS.

Its edge sharper than a barber's shear.

Tetanus this far from my home. 

A wet suit para-sail sailor without wind.

Expressionless a strange face on water. 

Bay lights burn a smog bank.

Old iron sustained, plastic to be gathered for new knees.

Snort, honk, real loose.

Walk it then toward Otis Pier.

That was not a wheeze. 

Nor wisdom.

Odd to do jumping jacks on shells and rounded stone, the orchestra on strike.

I heard they came to bury you. 

You would be appreciative of my presence.

Jesus, I wish that we could talk.

For you I will say I am sorry for our loss, reminding the next of kin, where we've been.

With loud voice I would think of asking permission to read 
Death has No Dominion.

You would listen as you always do.

You would be proud of my well shaved features.

And playfully let on that you knew it was me who swiped your Salems, one, two, then whole addictions weekly from atop the stereo.

Yes, yes it is always springtime. 

You, of the Greatest Generation, would be impressed at the cut of my jib, my internet sport coat, an alligator on my grey polo.

Well, well, well here's your holy card.

I have sequential collection of these. 

I would try to make a joke.

Just not to cry like a little boy.

You always caught on.

You always wondered why I would say that now.

Although your mind rapid as the doomsday clock would be with those of ours who preceded you in death.

Those crew cut blond children of your womb, your man a clock puncher, an always old spry cowboy poke, his secret amber bottle thirst, no Sunday habit, not even whiskey.

That mandolin strummed by shop-torn hands. 

Dead now thirty years, who once said when he was a boy he'd slept by the starred river and stayed warm beneath sawed pine boughs. 

I remember how he left in winter, too.

An identical cloudless January day. 

Rock salt, the sun too far and heavy coat cold.

A sacrilegious acquaintance laughed when I told him how his ground needed to be thawed by bonfire before the digging. 

I know! 

Some people's kids!

No, no, I never followed through with all that journalism.

You'd sure get a kick out of stuff like 'implied parenthetical' I bet. 

You know they have you write your own obituary day one. 

No mam.

Nothing for damn sure.

I am a poet. 

That is why I would think of asking permission to read aloud.
Death Has No Dominion
for our family.

I don't know why not.

I mean really.

That hot afternoon of garage round ball hoops. 

Hipster slang for orange ball.

Happy Days.

Those news reports of the Texas Tower sniper. 

Your grimace and terror as you tilled those gumball tulips.
Your man tightening the wheel barrel, its to and fro, where poppies grow.

You know where I'm coming from.

Me and you and your sons.

All children.

Never never a good neighbor fence.

Concord backyard grapes.

Pasture scale lilacs.

Always summer hazed with grief.

The trick or treater, grown somehow neater.

That laugh of yours, always something fast and kind to say, your Reader's Digest way.
This may not be polite, but once in a blue moon I heard argument and brisk soliloquy of door-slamming rage. 
And prolonged bawling. 

There was music to all of it.

I do not know how your saintly soul could have endured such protracted acrimony.


I would think, what a strong woman.

You would like that.

Even now my voice, that of a wretched tramp, speechless as dirt falling.

Now I know the silence.
But I was your son's friend who wrecked bikes.
The kid with a flashlight looking for bass bait--the dandelion up rooter, the nascent botanist with the walking stick collection.

Me of wheelie motor-scooter.

Your iodine.

That Sauk vaccine.

Me, the boys and Maybelline.

Yes, yes that was me, sad alto sax.
The BBgun shooter the one with the cherry bombs, oddly home from school--all your guys, my buckaroos.

And you were June Clever surrounded by war ponies and peaked pink peonies with a paper plate of peanut butter and jelly. 

Jesus, I want to read
Death has No Dominion.

But now with no penny, I must be original as a child.

You can't walk into a Norman Rockwell painting, and I know you did not really leave. 

I do wish for you a high religious ceremony with those songs about flying eagles.

If you don't see me, I will be here.

If I don't make it there, to hear
Death has No Dominion,
I shall diligently squeeze
lime over my gin.

After all, you know it's still Monday.

But I'll find you, so not to be alone.

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Death Has No Dominion was written by a Welsh poet whose name escapes me. Dylan Thomas?
And Death Shall* Have No Dominion
And death shall have no dominion.
Dead men naked they shall be one
With the man in the wind and the west moon;
When their bones are picked clean and the clean bones gone,
They shall have stars at elbow and foot;
Though they go mad they shall be sane,
Though they sink through the sea they shall rise again;
Though lovers be lost love shall not;
And death shall have no dominion.

And death shall have no dominion.
Under the windings of the sea
They lying long shall not die windily;
Twisting on racks when sinews give way,
Strapped to a wheel, yet they shall not break;
Faith in their hands shall snap in two,
And the unicorn evils run them through;
Split all ends up they shan’t crack;
And death shall have no dominion.

And death shall have no dominion.
No more may gulls cry at their ears
Or waves break loud on the seashores;
Where blew a flower may a flower no more
Lift its head to the blows of the rain;
Though they be mad and dead as nails,
Heads of the characters hammer through daisies;
Break in the sun till the sun breaks down,
And death shall have no dominion.
Dylan Thomas, “And Death Shall Have No Dominion” from The Poems of Dylan Thomas. Used by permission of David Higham Associates, London as agents for the Trustees of the Copyrights of Dylan Thomas.

Source: The Collected Poems of Dylan Thomas (1957)
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*Shall Have = has? Where's the audio? Where's the rip cord?
A powerful, eloquent remembrance. R
Loving this. And coming here only to read this, to read your poems. A trip so well worth making.
Read aloud it hums along and aches in all the places you didn't think it would.
The morning I reads in The Journal that, as reported by Dylan Thomas, someone named Bernadeia Johnson has received half of her 2012 bonus potential, a sum of $12,000.00. She earned this above and beyond her yearly salaray of $190,000.00 by improving reading skills of third graders and math skills of 8th graders - improvements that may have a chance of increasing the abysmal grad rate of 44% in the city to, dare we dream, a percentage above 50 in four and nine years time. Mr. Thomas did not report on how Bernadeia plans to spend her bonus.
Now I reads this wonderfully wrought tone poem that infuses the other Dylan Thomas and feel inspired to opine that while death hath no dominion, stupidity is making a remarkably strong run at it.
Watching the snow fly in our shining city.
I was outside thawing the faucet with a plumbers torch and couldn't see most of the afternoon; then I gets margarita salt in my eyes after rubbing my eyes. Now hey the blender keeps popping the circuit.