Cassandra


This poem has kept me up
two nights

Not that you’re responsible –
I’ve been waiting too long

And though it’s late,
the lights are on.

But now it’s dark
as dark between the sleepers

Who gather beneath this toadstool
midget lawyers of professional corner advice

In a room I never use:
we can’t seem to be quiet about you, child.

What could I do
about official feasts –

Could I provide my grandfather’s excuse
and his high collar like this

The way wild, sly women
take their place

Beside a man
too weary for waiting.

Now the world
appears among your guests

Suddenly apparent and unwelcome
as an anonymous donor

The company stands around:
you are sick into the night.

©Dean Baker

from The Lost Canadian, Early Poems Selected, e-book 

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A Nation Of Lunatics

Silencecovernew1

The anhedonics* have it; more pills,
loveless sex, booze and cash, all
forms of coping with the modern world.

Or athletics, politics, religion –
each interchangeable and dependent
upon the credulity of homo sapiens.

Enter the delusion of impending fame,
no less than cosmic significance, and
don’t forget the neighbors’ good opinion.

All this plus an ability to command
weather by temperament, along with
the omnipotent faculty of being bland.

Fueled by money and growing sophistication,
as the level of education sinks:
the picture of a people who cannot think.

©Dean Baker

*Anhedonia: Loss of the capacity to experience pleasure. The inability to gain pleasure from normally pleasurable experiences. Anhedonia is a core clinical feature of depression, schizophrenia, and some other mental illnesses.

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Anywhere

You can be murdered anywhere, but
you’ll always die in Congress or in Parliament.

From a lack of care or indifference
to what’s said and done by everyone expecting
salvation be a ladder to Paradise, until
the stairs to another life declining repair
prove they lead nowhere but upside down.

Change will come eventually you think,
forgetting the war ongoing in everything
where slaughter is observed religiously,
statistics carved in counterfeit
register complaint surreptitiously proud.

To serve the perverted ego’s lazy appetite
for the curve of constancy, no matter what
it takes to frame familiar certainty:
mistaken for the truth still boasting loudly
for release from the cage of incessant proof.

In our recalcitrant lives something despairs,
training us for extinction as the prize.

©Dean Baker

from Shadow Boxing The Infinite – to get ebook click on photo

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Political Differences

PettyGodCovernew1


Instead of the real thing there’s the idea.
Instead of love the notion of. This cold clasp
of irons a strange caress.

Attitude instead of discipline, or self
knowledge. Mirrors of funhouse
reflections reaching either way.

The mule of cowardice absent:
the corrosion loneliness will embrace
looking for a yes.

Instead of dedication, requesting dispensation.

Our own gift of aliens: who
resemble traitors so closely now
we cannot tell there ever was a difference.

©Dean Baker

from Petty Gods Of Apparent Decline ebook

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