creative material by lee van laer
all material is copyrighted by Lee van Laer. No work may be reproduced in any form without the artist's permission
Isabel , v1.0
Crouching in anticipation
On the Chinese rug,
And rolling over, muscular with joy
As I hold
That is, to you,
Worth anything I ask, and more.
Isabel, v 1.1
You nearly caught those ducklings
In the dark splash of shallow, swampy water
And they were terrified by your
How could they know
It was only just a game,
Of the possibility of death?
The Dream of the Fish
The fish begins in silence
With a wish to swim, unknowing, into light –
Where dancing, rainbow spattered cells
Reflect a radiance too delicate to measure.
And then to find its wings –
To leave that womb of water,
Into places never seen, or sensed, or felt.
I have not delivered myself sufficiently unto Thee, my Lord.
I know not how.
Lurking, low, descending even further
Nose-diving, archiving, cataloging
Then trace each root and clip it,
Spelunker, caver, down-to-earther
Something sacred this way comes.
Fidgety, bashful, hyperactive
Who can't sit still
Filled with too much sneaky happiness that can't be let leak out at times like this.
(To rip your clothes off,
Run naked, free and wild
Is frowned on nowadays.)
We blue-gray, corporate laptop goatherd types
Try not to snooze
On this too-ergonomic seating,
While fellow capitalists drone on in dollars Senselessly.
Oh, frabjous convocation!
Objectives met with ease!
Let us issue
Carefully constructed recaps
Anoint the final moment
With bogus mountain spring libations,
And rearrange the paperwork.
It looks better over there,
I Makes Things
I makes Things.
Things fail and fall,
Sweat in the dirt.
Time dines on them, amused,
At Her entropic leisure.
And as for I,
Half a league, half a league,
Half a league onwards-
To make more things.
And as I tosses children,
Pitchfork by pitchfork
Into Her redfire, cast iron maw,
In the light of well-fed fires,
The illusion of
From The Heart
You want me to write from the heart,
And offer promises:
Pry those oysters open;
Strip them, show the pearls;
And then you’ll slurp down
Juicy, muscled mantle
Like a connoisseur.
Drink my salty blood.
It comes in buckets.
Elapsed time remaining
We live by wall-bound shadows,
Scraps of errant noise,
And a ticking, tocking, lorelei refrain.
Screw that. Come with me NOW,
Let's drop facades and clothing,
Savor foreign tongues:
Take golden breaths in, deep
Fill midnight wells with nectar.
When wanton, wind-blown sorrows come-
Drink fearless, everdeep, and taste
A fiery dervish bliss which gives no quarter.
And joy? I'll show you-
It's out there where we least expect it;
Hid beneath what look like rocks,
With worms, and unburnt salamanders.
Why look for God?
You know for sure he's down there, too,
Still bare-ass-naked like a child.
What say?- Let's join Him
Dip toes in moist dark loam.
There is not much elapsed time
From icy, starry nights,
South into gravity.
Grave-robbed, molten, molded
Hearts of dead stars
Stand up, walk around
Drink aged tequila,
Take motor tours.
Some isotopes point coldy north;
The social types
Get married to a little oxygen
Beneath it all, Yggdrasil's roots
Gingerly breach magma.
The final glimmering light from mother's eyes Lingering in centigrades of darkness.
A casual attitude prevails-
The young forge swords from her bones.
Swing them carelessly,
as though toys dipped in blood
Were laughing matters.
She cannot be amused.
There is a serpent underneath my feet.
Asleep, it stirs,
And moves the rocks and earth
Concealed, I might survive this insurrection.
The coward’s way is always quite attractive-
So it seems.
To always think outside the box.
Should I attempt
To swallow myself-
To disappear in paradise-
…Or is that just a snake oil
For invented maladies?
And if I should succeed
Will I excrete the ego
A hardened, squamous turd
That I’m best rid of?
Flush it down, and walk off
Free and clear?
No clear instructions,
Nor does Freud,
Or Jung, or Marx or Engels.
Damn. They’re no friends.
Looks like I’m on my own-
Please place suggestions
In the box.
I’ve done it-
Thrust head between my legs,
And sunk my teeth deep in my ass
…And now I’m rolling downhill, fast.
It’s good because, they say,
Until you hit your bottom,
There’s no overhead.
This is no time to render
Philosophies--warm, moist, and tender
Here is where the there is-
And I’m rolling downhill, fast.
The lowest low.
I creep on hands and knees
In breathless breathlessness,
Because I know,
In darkened temples deep inside
Where cowards dare not go
Resides the Pythoness,
Dervish mistress of the dead.
Give Her one chance-
She’ll squeeze this mousy life
’Til eyes pop from its head
In sheer astonishment.
She did that once,
She merely touched my tree
And it rained snakes
For week and months
I’m not afraid of fears,
And even draw some comfort there.
It’s my courage I distrust the most
That fairest of the fair
It opens boxes—yes—best left alone
And in the shaking, quaking darkness,
I hear the serpent moan.
Uncoiling now, from age-old slumber,
With scales of gold, and eyes bejeweled
It offers ice-cold bliss I cannot countenance,
Islam- I must surrender
To that chasm,
And throw myself into it,
There is no bottom.
Stunned like rabbits
Stunned like rabbits
On we run
Through city streets, awash in ignorance,
Oblivion, or bliss
Pretending there’s no difference.
Today’s disciples draw their comfort
Not from the iron around their necks-
But in the ears.
The chatter of convenient, hand-held Gods
Is eminently reassuring,
When facing the abyss of What To Do..
Darkened fodders penetrate the brain,
Erasing who we are, and where we go-
Replaced with cuckoo's eggs
That grow and grow
And grow and grow and grow,
Consuming all the while
The things we think we know.
We rush to this confessional,
In open space, with open doors,
And play repentant fool,
Projecting newly minted sins
Through tiny apertures designed to eat our words
And spit them out as wavelengths, gigabytes.
Is that cool-
We stagger onwards,
Makeup, hair, and clothes in disarray;
No worry; cheery neon billboards light the way.
They’re watching those.
Eyes aglaze, we think we pick and choose,
As sidewalks clutch at us
With eerie, gummy residues,
And storefronts hunt us down like hungry hounds
--We’re lost, of course, we know it--
But, thank God,
The merchandise is found.
Stunned like rabbits,
On we run.
I used to hear the ticktock man when I awoke.
No longer. Clocks have shed their gears,
Darkness brings awareness,
Alone, alone, my wife beside me
Last night, we died together
And now I find myself within
And this one's slow, and clever, calculating-
There's something comforting, it's true, about this moment:
But at the root of life as it flows in
That's number three
I sense the knot that ties this life to flesh.
At times like this, I'd rather Tivo life
But there's no later, now-
It's now, now, now.
And now, I'm always dying.
Ars Poetica: to Impress Rebecca
I'm going to write a big, sloppy poem
It will be arch, and kitsch, and coy,
Rhyme won't play a role, because
And as to subject, well, it will be positively stuffed
Pick a paragraph, voila!
And that's the whole damn exercise, me droogies,
The failure to show adequate foundation,
I think I'll write this poem soon,
The glittering rewards of my poetification
And even the hothouse grown tomatoes
Lady’s Cotton Briefs
A true story.
Late, late delivery! Great woe!
Ladies cotton briefs must fly,
Lest America-it's immanent-
Run out of underwear.
(No doubt Al Quaeda plans it so,
Fill the multitudinous casepacks!
Command the trucks and planes,
Let cargo doors gape wide, and cross
The vast expanse of ocean,
Untold amounts of our
Apparently (I didn't know this) limitless
Just to keep those hungry crotches
Dry and warm.
Don’t come to me
With picky-choosy sexuality.
Or cheapen this
With nervous virgin laughter.
Be red in tooth and crotch;
Let’s see those genitalia
Unadorned by compromise.
A Few Predatory Thoughts
Slap-dash, syncopated, thrown-together silence Mostly made of noise.
Assigned vibration values by arbitrary means.
Seat belts, please.
In the killing jar du jour:
Ballistic, battered nylon leathery luggage
Spit like squirming, wood-plucked grubs
On a hamster wheel conveyor belt
Of daft associations.
And we, hard-head, showy red-crest pileates
Moment to moment,
Whack for whack
We pick and choose at whim
By color, size and shape.
But inside they're all packed just the same:
Yesterday's dirty laundry.
Under concrete overpass, ripe
With a monoxide dust patina
Crawling gray, towards not much sunlight-
Are you screaming for your mother
Who apparently abandoned you
To languish in the grip
Of these animals called men?
They look like homeland monkeys
But they kill with deeper,
More perverted skills-
With dainty pointed weapons they name
Progress, and development.
The words come first
To dress things up.
Machines come later-
Lots of them-
After the standard-issue
Thirty pieces of silver.
It's a gardener's trick
Pruning down his horns
Until he is disguised as
The Good Thing.
That's real estate for you.
With these handled things of ours,
Craft lies within the making-
Art lies within the seeing.
Art rises up from inner depths
That science says we do not have-
Beauty, sensitivity, and soul
Are of the organism.
Divorce imposed by self-important reason
Cannot change this one iota.
The intellect can sterilize
A thousand enterprises,
Burn the ancient houses of mythology
In its march triumphant
To the newly shark-starved sea.
Foolish modern prophets sing
The crashing of cathedrals,
Silencing of symphonies
By the small, crabbed words
Of narrow men.
If misguided lovers of the soul then turn,
And burn their towers
Who can wonder?
Rage is just as blind
But much less subject to the rules.
Keeping God Company
God made me
To Keep Him company.
If Jesus calls,
He’ll have to leave a message.
I’m too busy just this moment.
There are all these
To do, you see,
That keep me from remembering
Perhaps that was His supreme and only error,
Thinking His creation
Was less magnificent, and less attractive
Than it actually is, and we
Much less susceptible
To its allure.
His therapist tells Him, no doubt
That His issues of abandonment arise,
From His own
We are made in His image;
In the end, as usual, even on a cosmic scale,
Everything stems from
I do not know the Watchmaker,
Though I presume to know it all:
Let me explain.
He lives in
And sneaky, hidey places in between.
They say He is Blind.
Kind of Blindness,
And sixteen (count ‘em) different kinds of paradise.
Light fills all the cracks in my world
But not in His;
Born in darkness, He
Has no need for it.
He knows the world by smell and sense of touch alone:
It is enough. Light comes from places we cannot understand.
I feel Him when my heart beats.
Watchmakers are never blind
But watches always are.
Men join boxes made of wood
With sturdy lids, and tight with nails
Then lower them to earth, within this life-
Dig narrow graves from fear,
Why not throw flesh to birds,
And bones to wind?
In dying lies no death, but freedom-
So they say.
Roll back the stone!
No tomb preserves the light from which we’re made.
And to hide
Within the grave
Is not an option.
She comes from elsewhere,
Needs no invitation,
Which, though foreign to our ways,
Belong at once.
We travel far, and yet,
This single instant calls us back
To those unshuttered, silent homes
From whence we came,
To which we shall return.
Pronounces unknown syllables,
Floods gravel paths so keenly spread
By our intentions.
Is She the color of a morning sun
Dancing off mirrors
That rise above cities
Built by our artifice, and shame?
Although my coarse affections beg to differ.
No sour manmade crucible, no flask
Can hold such wine.
It stands alone.
This Irritating Matter
I'm filled with a disturbing kind of
Lacking sound parameters.
It leaks out intermittently
Infecting everything I touch-
And breathe and speak and hear.
There's a blankness to it, too:
A jack-be-nimble nothingness
That disregards the killing thrust of wit.
In joy like this, in short,
To wallowing, shimmering,
Star-born fools like this,
Shadows cast on urinals
A note on contact: I don't check this e mail address too often. Please be patient.