Poetry from Duane Vorhees


    --Albert Einstein, at 2, when presented with a sister

--What is woman? A boon-&-hex, sometime-mate / sometime-check.

--Oh, what's man? An egg-ego? A comicbook hero?

--A brain with bones.

--Mixed with chromosomes!

--Woman is the ultimate X.

--The Royal Comptrollers of Sex, we're architect-builders of children, passion's pilgrims.

--Man: atoms with kinetic glands, machines-with-hands.

-An electric orangutan!

--You Singer-Device, all undone! Man's the Iron Cross and the iron dream.

-An iron sculpture of sweat and jizzum.

--A puzzled philosopher's tired scream: Why can't women be a syllogism?


If you want, get a job, it's fine by me.

Drive the tourist carriage, that's all right,

just so's I can ride your dick box for free.

You want to be a fighter pilot? OK with me,

long's I can fly in your cockpit highspeed.

I don't mind even if you want employment

with the Sanitation Dept. Just let me

work nights in your manhole, okay?



When we played at being young

we were all less old than raw

All were hangers, none were hanged

and all were knights of the Lord

And then the ordered murder

that joins the chaos of raw

succeeded the disorder

that normalized our Before

Our invisible missiles

and markless wounds from the raw

advanced to marches and drills

medals formations and corps

the glory and brotherhood

the backwardness of raw

the salute to blood and mud

and boredom broken by gore

Our red company carries

symbol standards of our raw

spear and aegis of ares

forged by the hammer of thor


it was one hundred years raw …

raw of spanish succession …

that great patriotic raw …

trojan … peloponnesian …

pastry raw … pig raw … kettle

raw … or the whiskey rebellion …

or la guerra del fútbol …

afghan raw … jinshin-no-ran

guerra de pacífico ...

or la guerre des trois henri …

crusades … bello gallico…

or the raw of jenkins ear …

raw of the oranges … the straits …

in the mahābhārata …

opium raw … the eight saints …

or the raw of the stray dog …


Despite all these eons of together, you still want me to write you poems? Okay:

"the stars:scattershot across the purple night / like bullshit on velvet"

Don't like it? Terribly sorry. This lack of sweet poetry, can you forgive?

But beyond your vertical crescent smile

there lurks O swastika – Mons Lisa skinners box

When you sleep your closed eyes look like Chinese twats

Though your eyes no longer burn with magic

and this hour with infinite possibilities won't swell any more,

yet your quotidian eyes still warm the frosty air,

and I don't mind my time with you.

And your arms don't anchor my lusts as they did before,

and your form isn't the amusement park it used to be

when I was the new ride,

but your embrace remains a comforter in the cold winter nights

and the scenery's quite nice still.


At the temple festival the tables went humming under the cabbage, rice, and melons. The summer sun waning. The baldbearded helium balloons dancing grandly among nubile paper lanterns, buddhas bronze/rotund. Ah, the season it was of Experience Superior – the feelings of love and the perceived reciprocity of love, when, past all balance and sense and generational propriety, exuberant amidst the consuming and consumed, we two, lanternballoon-alike, food and Buddha commingled, music and the truth congealed.

That's why your paradox didn't register at the time.

And the Children happy as tadpoles aswim in father's river. And the Children pampered like feathers adrift in mama's balloon.

Now my beauty r  e  a  c  h  e  s   o  u  t  in search of your damp and hidden cottage. (Remember the crisp sunflowers asmoke unkempt against the steep/&damp scampismelly dirt path. Recall the rose-of-sharon labyrinth oft-credited – before and since – as the soul's taoWay, eelslick & serpent straight, into the nirvanic heart of notUnbeing.) Your thatched and pointed little house – it's not where last I fingered its locks. The knobs now I'm told are handled some other where.

But even so, blind and blind, my beauty reaches out

reaches                              out

my blind beauty reaches

                             out into cold and empty vacuum.

And the Children pampered like feathers adrift in mama's balloon, and the Children dappled in shadow ajoy in haughty first light.

Your holy mantra for the season: Iloveyou can't love you. And the rutting neophyte at your knees picked at the koan's echoed contradictions. I angled it in the light, squinting along its crosshairs, but the scope just would not focus. Flash powder applied, I tried to freeze it in its frame. But the quiver could never quite gel. Dusted for prints, but no proper whorl ever emerged to point its finger conclusively. "I love you can't love you." I parsed the riddle into phonemic meaninglessness but the significance never decoded. Affixed onto the acrylic stage for minutest examination, clarity persistently remained at yet one remove. Until Enlightenment came at last, slowly in a rush. I'd always known you'd go, of course, but not so suddenly. And not so soon. The painful puzzle pieces shuttered into place. And the Children dappled in shadow ajoy in haughty first light, and the Children, dapper as bluejays, agreed in bawdy verdure. I love you can't love you, Clause the first personal, in classic equipoise with clause two cultural. Subject-ckause by predicate controlled, the halving twins yining and yanging about, plusandminus all at once. The treasured self, forbidden/desired,  embraced/abhorred.

(My fellow anthropologists, take careful note: her heart's harsh judgment was conditioned by decades and millennia of micromacroforming. Metaphorically speaking, as such, I am the incest taboo. In those society eyes, I'm the faggot in the homophobic gym, the nigger in the genepool, the sheep in the unbleating humanfold. In objective terms, and all in econocultural conext of course, her loving me was always the equivalent of fucking the corpse.)

And the Children, dapper as bluejays agreed in bawdy verdure, and all us Children vampiric taters asleep in God's root cellar.

But the mantramoth, addicted, tethered herself to the tormented flame. The cycle doomed to turn and flutter, return and flutter, and flutter away. Return again, again away, covering and recovering the same old ground, rut ater rut after rut again.

And koan's mystery deepens.

But the Children happy as tadpoles.


Echoless laughter

marked the mocking

rictor sardonicus

of our love,

showing us that time

is the machine

that shredshredshreds presents

into pasts.

And tomorrow’s rich

tapestries, which

were infinite once, have

slimmed to threads. 

Life’s chaos indeed

is orderly but

not in ways we have


Our universe was

not Galileo’s

and also won’t be

our children’s,

but all their loves and

all their changes

will still be all the same