Posts tagged ‘long poem’

July 28, 2015

Dear Judas,

by jhon baker



I cannot believe in God

for all the ill his world produces;

for all the memory of your embattled figure.

aren’t we all the sons of man?

the daughters?

aren’t we all the saints of tomorrow?


dear Judas,

I weep weep at thoughts of you.




holy holy

I suppose I call out for you

(your tragic figure)

feet playing the edge of a precipice

knowing not whither to fall

and be damned


speak for me

(holy holy)

Adonoi for sought blessings

for finding your body to love

speak for me

holy holy – holy holy


dear Judas,

child, saint

you are venerated in my heart

I feel you

listening now for words

from your voice


I pray to you

seek you out in hymn –

which star are you?

speak for me,

our holy blessings and names

our holy actions and love






dear Judas,

where can I find you?

I look in back alleys

search the graveyards

stop in cafes

along busy streets

and I cannot find you


the air is desiccated

sun burnt skin flakes

and peels

as I strive in the daylight

looking for you

in the faces of dirty children

with uncombed hair

I seek you out

among the poor

and tax collectors

among the rich

and forgotten


dear Judas,

I write to you now

to understand

not of your purported betrayal

or that last kiss

wherein you created


to understand

the end

the dark night of your soul

I listen among the birds

sitting under trees

for your final declaration

the last act of a hanged man

misunderstood for two thousand years


dear Judas,

you are the first



hanged from the devil’s tree

where no bird sang but wept

where stone and arrow

met your body and mind

your last walk holy


dear Judas,

holy Judas

martyred Judas

I pray for you

call out to you

(your tragic figure)

I weep weep at thoughts of you


dear Judas,

sing for me

holy holy

your soul scarred

and sacred

your body left and


that strength of a thousand thousand men

the courage of many more

tracing a line round your heart

broken now

broken for all time


– Hoc Scripsi



July 16, 2010

ab initio

by jhon baker

Been sleeping in too late all this week. unable to shake myself from the bed at a reasonable hour – I don’t know what to blame. My dreams are intense like the greatest movie you’ve ever seen only I’d rather not be watching them. Some people don’t dream, how I envy them at times.
If I knew then what I knew now, how much more I would know now.

on one blog I read nearly daily there was a great question – what is a long poem? I think it was misread by the majority of commentators as  – the long poem –  and also confused by many with the epic poem and the narrative poem but here was my response and I feel like quoting myself today so….

I’ve been referring to my poems as short and long and now reading through these comments I think I ought to start referring to them as short and longer poems. I always viewed the long poem as a relative term in accordance with the normal output of the poet. For example, Gerog Trakl’s poetry never ventures into the type of long that most people are talking about here but his psalm is considered long.
I think to define the long poem as rigidly as having to contain a certain number of lines is a bit incorrect as the term long poem is merely descriptive and not definitive.
Maybe long is when you see a poem and realize it is several pages long or longer and you say to your self – holy fuck do I have time right now?

I probably don’t add much with my comment above but I thought it interesting enough to bring over.

I keep thinking of shaving off my beard but am afraid that my son wouldn’t recognize me and my wife wouldn’t kiss me. mostly lacking the energy to alter it so it grows longer.

I wrote this poem in February when news first came around of F. Castro’s improved health and lately there has been more of him in the news and on the Cuban Television so I thought it apropos.

it seems (prisoners of consciousness)
    for Orlando Zapata and Fidel Castro

F. Castro is 
doing well
it seems
Cuban dissidents are
still dying
in prisons
it seems
R. Castro blames others
for the blood but not
his blood
it seems
all the while we
mostly remain silent
it seems

 – Hoc Scripsi

So, here are my questions. What is the long poem to you? what is Castro to you? what is God to you? what is poetry to you? What is the sun to you? Have you listened to Sparklehorse’s last album yet? What is sleep and dream to you?
write what you want.
where you want.
ode to SAMO.
ode to illogical graffito on bathroom walls.
four letter words written in crayon.
or carved into the paint by those with more time.

 – Me

March 15, 2010

I believe it to be Monday

by jhon baker

Monday morning, as I am an insomniac I’ve decided that posting this at 3 am is the best thing for me to do at 3 am.
This poem was published here not that long ago, I’ve wanted to repost it as the line breaks were removed from it for some reason. I hold no grudge but it reads better this way. It’s one of my favorites which probably means it isn’t very good. I think it is, the life forms looking through the windows remain silent on it while others have expressed interest but they don’t count as you can never expect people who care for you to be honest in such matters.
I am thinking about why more poets aren’t crazy these days, I think the answer to be simply that they are not poets. It is believed in the science community that about 95% of Poets (as opposed to people who write poetry to get laid) have a diagnosable mental disorder – while only 28% of the sciences. (professor Arnold Ludwig, MD, “method and madness in the arts and sciences”)
I am not Catholic but my favorite of the Saints is the relatively unknown – Juan Grande Pecador – which translates as – John The Great Liar.
I am responsible for the translation of de Andrade’s poem at the beginning, if there are any errors in this wonderful poem they are all mine and not his.


“and now, José
the party’s over,
the lights out,
the people left,
the night turned cold,
and now, José?
and now, you…”
–    Carols Drummond de Andrade (trans. J. Baker)


I sketch umbrellas to
and that I am tired of
being only a man.

Hungry all the time,
eating  avocado chicken
and tuna fish.
Drinking only coffee,
and sketching umbrellas
looking out from
third floor

Closing mouth to
emulate good men, wise
to not debate with
women, enjoy
dreaming of youth but
disappointed in memory.
I am tired from this
and being only a man.

Naked and not
   entirely unbeautiful.
lights on, off,
standing, lying down.
Showing scars from
deep wounds.
Innumerable on my,
arms, chest, legs.
Chicago, Seattle,
South California tattoos,
trying to define shape
and color of self.
I am tired of this body
and being only a man.

I sketch Umbrellas
to remind.


Juan Grande,
I am your son but
you are tireless.
Juan Grande,
I am you student.
from looking, or
searching or
or being
only a man.
Juan Grande,
how do you cope?

Juan Grande, I
use a typewriter because
it does not correct me and
it is faster then pencils.
Juan Grande,
I cannot be a
Saint because I am not dead.
I am not dead
tho’ I do not feel lucky
because of it.

I am only a man,
and in that, only
your progeny.

Juan Grande,
not nameless but
unknown father.
How is it that that
you made confession,
how is it that
you came to be a saint.

I sketch umbrellas
to remind,
and that I am tired
from being only a man.

I recognize
death, its face
and proximity. I
do not regret my life or
that I am only a man.
I am only a man
sketching umbrellas
to remind.


I am you lover
entering the bedroom,
distressing the bed.
Not dissimilar to tilting
at windmills trying
to surmount destiny,
or hallucination.

Woman, I am tired
from being a man,
cleaned body washed
on rocks by the shore.
I am tired from this.
Incapable of more
and incapable of less.

it is late now and
you are still with me.
Tho’ I’ve offered nothing,
tho’ I will offer nothing.
You are still with me
tho’ I am broken
and resplendent with
anger. Tho’ I clench fists
at phantoms and shadows.
Tho’ I am only a man,
I sketch umbrellas
to remind.


and lastly.

Stopping for a moment
to collect my thoughts.
I think of this attempt
at beauty. It is not an
attempt at describing your aversion
to be naked in the confines of
a shuddered apartment.
It is an attempt to show that,
even tho’ rarely thought about
or admitted,
nakedness is not hideous.

After all,
I am naked and not
entirely unbeautiful.
Only tired and
sketching umbrellas to

 – I wrote this.

I’ve noticed that, as where I don’t look at the keyboard while I type, I make a lot of mistakes while typing in the dark. Please indicate corrections that are necessitated by this lack of ability.

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