law unto himself


Society based on the rule that each one is a law unto himself would soon be confronted with disorder and anarchy. Real liberty for all could not exist under the operation of a principle which recognizes the right of each individual person to use his own, whether in respect of his person or his property, regardless of the injury that may be done to others.


— Justice John Marshall Harlan —



Revolution and rotation,
the shadowed relief
falls from faces of the sun —
days and nights;
decades and scores;
waking and snores /
the waltz with the moon,
wobbling ellipse,
slingshot into a new year,
older with vertigo;
verily I go
into the shadow
of the fingers rose
and the glasses,
the glass half-bubbly.

*[ WSB ].

Time Ball | 2020

Ball_Time Square

technicolor ball
with no one around at all;

–thanks to Jacob Starr–
in sync with time down a bar;

the iconic light—
seven designs for midnight.

*[ WSB ].

Downtime Interruption


Totoro: Studio Ghibli

  snap !;
I might just explode
from the CRACK,
of fire, sulfur snaking
sibilant-backboned in
the neighborhood
early the holiday,
unexpected pyrotechnics
from pyromaniacs impatient
with an overload of
testosterone giggling
a noisy-boy interruption:

totoros upsetting my
downtime Ghibli festival.

*[ WSB ].

Lead in gOld

Circle Squared_small

efore the leaden clouds there was fire
that blazoned the sky from dark slumber,
so that purity flowed through each vessel
made golden in the crackling crucible —
for from the oceanic sludgy base,
life walks the stairs of transformation.

The alchemist seeks transformation,
where the phoenix rises like rainbow fire
from the lead ashes at the spinal base,
the primal snake coiled in slumber,
listless to the dissolving crucible.
The tin-surfaced waters of the vessel:

the pregnant dragon sleeps in the vessel,
the chthonic soul awaits transformation,
daybreak by the dark iron crucible,
journey of all dark souls across fire
that filters dregs from earthly slumber
when two doves wing from a windy base.

Salty flats hold the unfolded base,
the copper heart beats; now the vessel
holds yin and yang, no longer in slumber,
but embraced in a transformation.
The moist darkness eclipses the fire
as the hero faces the crucible,

the dank chemistry lab crucible.
Lost in the magnum opus where base
elements pass under tongues of fire
that chant spells over a brewing vessel,
single-minded on transformation:
old. Alone. Decrepit in slumber.

Quicksilver words resonate through slumber
as the silver moon lights the crucible.
Vapor shifts to stone transformation;
the peacock tail fans across the base,
then the red stone congeals in the vessel:
the magus boards the chariot of fire.

Roused from slumber, the base hero
faces the crucible: a vessel quest
for transformation from darkness to fire.

*[ WSB ].

Out of the Loop

Eat Work Sleep Repeat

efore I star in my wake,
I’ll search for gourmet to eat,
circling my tedious work
before I lay down to sleep,
and dream fantasy escape
till it starts over again.

The repetition again;
when the sun stabs me awake
in time and space—no escape,
joy comes only when I eat
new poems before I sleep:
injected art always works

to survive ennui of work
looping again and again,
submerging spirit in sleep.
The cock crows early; I wake
startled, but settle to eat:
a metabolic escape,

really part of the same scape:
cosmos and quantum works,
wonders that I drink and eat.
Trivia offers a gain,
alcoves of awakening
out of the workaday sleep—

an amber trap: life asleep.
The social net traps escape
from expectation—unwoke,
with no passion in the works.
No. I’ll not acquiesce again,
but fight the monsters that eat

autonomy like a treat,
shake the drugs that bring on sleep:
step into my life again.
Live in the moment; escape
drudgery, mindful of work
required for awakening.

Again; of earthly fruits, eat
—wide awake from numbing sleep—
’scape for staging the great work.

*[ WSB ].

The Bucket


ehold the bucket.
Somebody had it,
then they said f⋂ɔk it.
They tossed it aside,
and maybe they cussed—
a shell of itself
all covered in rust.

*[ WSB ].