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Howard Gipstein

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Sunnyvale, CA, US

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Early Morning Vibrations

by

Howard Gipstein

generals of war
in senseless silver lining,
point to the ocean
while vacuum cleaners fall from
their eyes.
beings from space pour grammatical errors
into their glasses
and drink to a pointless reality
as an alarm clock goes off
in a general's pocket.

a telephone wire fades from view
and goes off to join rimbaud and william blake
in a poker game.
it all changes.
trains going east and west
surge on into average disorder
the movie slows down.
a lamp shade rolls from a reflected room
out in space.


Eleven O'clock Desert

by

Howard Gipstein

sunrise mystic lips of cave-in
sanity unyielding
changes i fly into mercy
streaming from naturally
zippers in my moon
close off sundays
i will catch your
mentioning favorite cash
subordination climbing on
zero ice
lips turn to powder
of freeway i look
into calmness rockets
factory
boiling.


Marching to Perfection

by

Howard Gipstein

look past parking
lots time zones
morality see your
i hope not
salad continue zipper
locked dreamless night birds
below horizontal
magnifying summer
laughing mechanical balance
why not thank you
meet me lately
very tired
easy flames continue journey.


End

by

Howard Gipstein

in the middle
of
yesterday

pine needles
rushing
to the
sides of Thursday

horizon of clocks
FLASHING
ON AND OFF
in tomorrow's sky

and calendar rockets
fade into icicles
in the zippers
of memory

casual
SILENCE

backing away
and then
filling the void

cracks
in the concrete
the ground
ON FIRE

The ocean moves

yes i agree

but it can't go anywhere
SO

IT can't go anywhere
it CAN'T go anywhere
it can't GO anywhere
it can't go ANYWHERE
erehwynaogt'nacti
so.


Glued Wires

by

Howard Gipstein

You're a series of ribbons.
You're a static electricity statue
deep within,
far away.

There are glued wires
screaming from you skull
like bees.
You call them angels.

There are glued wires
screaming from your brain,
pointing at the moon,
crashing into the sea.

Your eyes
reflect short circuits.

You're a series of ribbons.


Abstraction

by

Howard Gipstein

You're an ethereal abstraction
floating above city streets,
haunting me in alleys.
You erase time.

I am a chain reaction
of illusions.
I am stranded in the mountains.

We have created a chance
and now
we must take it.

We have created a chance.
We have created
a change.

You erase time.
I am stranded.

We create changes.
Changes create us.

I erase time.
You're an ethereal abstraction.

We erase time.
We are abstractions.


Unable to Touch

by

Howard Gipstein

We're unable to touch.
You can't get past my door.
You stand outside my window.
I see you looking in.
I'm a constant explosion, baby.
This room is shattering.
I walk around and around,
conscious of everything.
I try to call you
but I can't make a sound.
You look past me and mouth words
at the walls.
I try to call you.
Nothing happens.
I keep walking.
I still see you looking
at the walls
but I just keep walking.
You turn away
and move towards the street.
I'm a constant explosion.
The walls crumble.
I crawl to your door,
bleeding to death.
We're unable to touch.


Cartoon Warfare Ecstasy

by

Howard Gipstein

juggle of cloud my riffle
circus mystery playing cards
again storms of recreation
splinters heaven
sweeping children
cry again
no
one
resemblance
blank
time no more
gulping hello hello
holes in kitchen
cemetery wildness.


The Death of Pop Culture

by

Howard Gipstein

i was walking
it was midafternoon and the sky
was almost green
a car came by
and immediately crashed
there were large buildings everywhere
three paramedics came running
from across the street
people were coming from all directions
laughing and screaming
an old lady came by on a horse
she was holding a box
containing all the elements
of pop culture
she handed it to me
i looked inside
and saw several pieces of metal
twisting in many directions
i gave her back the box and
she rode on
i watched her disappear
into the glare of the sun
the paramedics pried open the car door
and looked inside
there was no one there
everybody left at once
i walked down a side street
and went into a store
i looked around for a minute
and decided to buy an ice cream sandwich
i didn't have any fun that day


Reunion

by

Howard Gipstein

in your bones i am a foreign country
you travel at night
with no destination
in you eyes i am a statue
in your womb
a shadow
in your veins
a desert
in your voice i am crying
in your mind i am forgotten
thru your windows
you see me on a quiet street
in your face
i am the lava
of your dissolving beauty
in your hands
i am aging
in your sleep
we are embracing
in your sleep
we are walls closing in
when you awaken
we are embracing
we are merging light.


Hal & Midge Get a Tan

by

Howard Gipstein

hal & midge were going on vacation
they were going to gilligans island
they got in their car & started to drive
they drove for miles & miles
when we get there
well go to church
said midge
when we get there
well go to safeway
said hal
after a while they could see the ocean
it was right next to a fosters freeze
hal suddenly remembered that hed left his comb in the garage
we also have a cat
said midge
so they turned around as blankets fell from the sky
& returned to their house
only to find that it needed paint.
on top of the roof they could see the skipper
who had since become a french existentialist
complaining about hals haircut
they went inside & closed the door
i think ill make some toast
said hal
taking off his eyepatch & beret
we already made some
said the professor & mary ann in unison.


Underwater Marriage

by

Howard Gipstein

i was attending the wedding
of myth & reality
it was being held in a submarine
that was headed for russia
there were so many people there
that i never got to see the bride or the groom
everyone was dressed in black or bright red
except for carl jung
who was acting as minister
carl jung was dressed in a white flannel nightgown
& was surrounded by a lot of brand new products
of the unconscious mind
when everyone was seated he picked up a garage door opener
& declared it a universal symbol
he did the same with a tv remote control device
a set of water skis
some nail clippers and a hairdryer
then he auctioned everything off
the reception was held at a boarded up mcdonalds
on a deserted island
by that time however i had gotten distracted
& wandered off to another part of the world.


Structural Changes

by

Howard Gipstein

the walls come down
with a roar of fear
that echoes throughout the world
in the tunnels of the future
the walls come down
between the shifting fields
where hope and despair toss the coins of peace
and harmony falls like a bullet on the debris
that gives way to the shifting of terror
in the eyes of a beholder
the walls come down again and again
on tv and in the collective mind
where history stands guard
and east and west finally meet
on the burial grounds of the void
the walls come down forever
on the tile floors of unity
where politicians dance
between the wealth and the glory
the walls are disappearing
but the pieces remain
like an ancient myth waiting to be retold


giving up her halo

by

Howard Gipstein

she           walks        upon      reflections           she
             holds
          possibility           i       try           to          make
       connections
            she    steals        my   memory         she       walks
around      her virtue             undecided     undiscerned
shes          giving    up   her  halo        to regain her
            symmetry
    &         pain     from          the       world            while
          her 
chains       all            unfurl                  upon   my        ice   of
 whispers
           upon      her golden                    deck          where
       she 
     holds         her            lack           of               purpose
           &
her               constant                       restlessness          i
       see  all
     windows          open               just  before      all        goes
       black
            she       turns    &      draws   the                   curtains
saying      that she           wont      be    back      &             she
       turns
              away     from     my  eyes     from     the     world
     shatters       her         reflections               of         the
images            i        create          i           have           no
recollections           of     what            i            used
              to
contemplate               she             flies                     from
      every 
object                  just       before         her        final     form
         wont 
        be    held         in          misconception               total
      being
    left            unworn               as          she             turns
            away
       from         my         eyes                   from             the
world             she          locks                all
                      doors
    behind           me         she            hides      in      her
       weariness
            i      cannot           pretend             to        see
      her
    she      cannot            emerge               from         this
             her
        fingers            touch         the                substance
         she
once            dreamed      we               both            contain
              its
         the    lack            that        keeps      her      going
           its 
     the    past             that             keeps         me         sane
          as
   she            turns           away         from        my     eyes
       towards
        the        world


Keeping the Windows Clean

by

Howard Gipstein

Explosion of lite,
signals from fallen molecular secrets
become involved in consciousness exercises.
The ocean takes pity on the sand.
City streets flow in and out
of our minds like candy
on days when serenity
is like a candle
and reality is like a flame.
Galactic jello sends letters
to aimless people
who are involved with
keeping their windows clean.
Sometimes the universe
is like a thermometer rain storm.
Sometimes it's like an empty beer can
that's been frozen in the
present tense.
Sometimes it's like another way
of escaping breakfast.


Dryness

by

Howard Gipstein

First
we're given an infinite thirst,
then
we're set down
in an infinite
desert.

s WALL low wwwd

by

Howard Gipstein

the goddesses wurR iNtru b b ball so they came to the city to
disappear& after living in the streets for awhile they came to
live with me & we drank wine every night & we spoke little at
first but gradually they told me of their lives in the city of
their drunkenness & their hunger of their unseen holiness & their
vacillations btWn spinoza & nietzsche & they wuDd sometimes say
that divinity is the feigning of death that we cant exist as
living beings & at the same time as appendages of an external
living being for a living being must be its own caUSE &in the
MOuuornings they would sit quietly by thWIndow &when the sky grew
light they wouldd leave for the day setting off in every direction
in sRCHof the superhuman ideal but they would return each night
discouraged & eventually we all went into the mountains together
to celebrate free wilL & we found a meadow there divided by
3streams & the streams cross D& re cRoss d EACH other & each
stddream was a melody evokNG what the goddesses could no longer
remember but what they longed for just the same & they realized
that these were the forces that were carrying them thru this life
& I noticed the way the sunlight shattered across the treetops on
the highest peaks & I followed the path of eights that thwattTeAR
made around the slopes & rocks while the goddesses waded into the
coy me lo dies & then allowed thMSLvs tobe swallowed whole but
then they emerged dripping & mesmerized & they floated on the
surface saying that they were overcoming themselves & when they
came out of the water we drank some wine & passed a pipe around &
then the afternoon was gONe so we headed back but on our way to
the city their voices became frgmnts of rock glass & steel &
their words crashed against each other & shattered & soon after
our return they all went down to the harbor & caught a boat going
down thecoast to the mouth of th3streEE am s& I never heard from
them again but one night I was on a road that circled a lake &
the water was black & the sky was a mouth that had closed over
the stars & I thought I saw the gddsses approaching in a white
car but the car went by too fast for me to be certain & then the
sky ignited as lightning reached into the middle of the water &
some time later I met a woman who said she had come to the city
with the goddesses & they had traveled together for many years
but she spoke little about that or about anything else & she
stayed with me for 3days each day sitting by the window & reading
from her bible & I left each morning to go deep into the citys
splintering belly &at night I traveled back thru the debris of
rock glass & steel to find her asleep in a chair her bible open
to the book of jonah & after she left I remained alone trying not
to think too much about her or the goddesses as the city
continued to grow & fall apart around mE


thefrUItofMYth

by

Howard Gipstein

while walking along thtracks btwn thboarded up houses & the metal
& the rocks we shared the fruit of myth & tho we didnt say much
we walked side by side & then arrived in town just in time to see
two panhandlers a man & a woman standing on a stone & forming a
word one word between them that had never existed before & a
crowd stood watching trying to read the almost imperceptible
movements of their lips & listening for the slightest sound but
nothing could be discerned so we left them some money & walked to
a cafe & it was all dark wood rough walls & cracked ceiling & I
wanted to know how she moved so easily in such a solid world & I
wanted her to see how wild I was because of her & all she
illuminated & it was all about to explode but it was a stone
growing over my voice pressing out from my voice & I was at the
point of shattering so I pretended it wasnt there & we invented a
way of keeping a distance & then we ordered some burgundy & rum
altho we never drank any & we spoke constantly & I would have
unravelled then & left only a flame but I knew she would never
look so we remained half hidden & spoke less & less until finally
we walked away from each other into the stones & now she looked
past me from across the table & I looked at the walls & at
paintings & at words & I could not recall any of their textures &
I watched as a musician set up a spiral horn & I watched a man
toasting absurdity falling back in his chair & earlier hed been
dreaming & failing to laugh & the word that was forming was in
everyones hands & eyes & between the fragments of conversation
that were causing us all to fail & in the window I saw the
ancient hiRISEs ready to fall & the sun was setting so wE stepped
outside & crossed the street & then walked past a pawn shop
boarded up & falling down & then we crossed to a park where we
lay down on the grass for the stars were coming out & wed never
seen them so bright & we watched the orbits of all the celestial
bodies & we could see ourselves disappearing in all this & as the
lights came on across the street the panhandlers walked by still
forming the word & then they entered a hotel w/a broken sign over
an opaque window & then more lights came on down the street &
after awhile we stood up & walked back the other way towards the
darkness & as the lights became scarce we began to kiss but it
was starting to rain & she wanted to go inside again so we found
another cafe where the lights were always out & the panhandlers
arrived soon after & sat down & I wanted to approach them but she
held me back & the word was still forming in the total darkness
but no one would approach its source & the stone burst out from
me then & seemed to sparkle but only I could see it & then it
rose above our heads & vanished & I fell down into a chair into
myseLf for she was no longer there