This is just poetry. It won't save you, but it may locate you so that a rescue party can be sent out. — Dean Blehert

Thursday, April 30, 2009


Know myself:
Lean forward far enough
to miss my belly
when I spit.

Dean Blehert
Blogs: (short poems) (essays and longer poems)
New book (Deanotations, Volume 1) available at

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Solving the Energy Crisis

To help us break our dependency
on OPEC oil, we have developed
the bookburner. It runs best on poetry
anthologies and "little magazines," which,
like oil, consist mainly of compressed,
refined fossils. Plenty of fuel.

But we must proceed cautiously
and not commit ourselves to this
energy source until we've established
contingency plans for containing
potential spillage of raw poetry
into the community, contaminating
our children with literacy.

[Note: "Little Magazines," refers to magazines (usually containing poetry, short stories, critical reviews of literature) from small presses. When I say that they consist mainly of compressed, refined fossils, it is possible I'm referring to the paper or ink, but also remotely possible that I'm referring to the quality of the poetry found in most such magazines.]

Dean Blehert
Blogs: (short poems) (essays and longer poems)
New book (Deanotations, Volume 1) available at

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


"You're so prolific!!"

Not pro-choicic?

[Note: Also I tend to be profound, rather than prolost. And more profuse than proseparate. Also I'm very much in favor of ducts (product), but I don't like senseless doting (antidote). And so on.]

Dean Blehert
Blogs: (short poems) (essays and longer poems)
New book (Deanotations, Volume 1) available at

Monday, April 27, 2009


[Back in town and online with a larger backlog than I'd have thought possible from a 3-day absence.]

La Brea Tar Pits: Full of mammoths,
saber-toothed tigers and other cherished
skulls and spines and of out-of-print species.

Please teach your children to survive
and to remember our poems so that
we don't have to write them all over again.

Gull wings ripple the sky,
bits of loose wave escaped
into the air.

Dean Blehert
Blogs: (short poems) (essays and longer poems)
New book (Deanotations, Volume 1) available at

Friday, April 24, 2009


Dear Readers,

I've been off e-mail for several days (a bug--just got it up and running). Now I'm about to leave (a short trip -- back late Sunday) and will be off e-mail for a few more days. So here are a bunch of make-up and make-up-in-advance poems:

On both sides of every war,
rabid enemies agree
about death.

[Note: We associate war with disagreement, but I'm always impressed with the massive agreement that goes into any war, each side ramping up, developing similar weapons and disciplines, ranks, hierarchies, propaganda, training. This is particularly obvious where two societies of radically different background come -- as enemies -- to mirror one another, as, for example, Japan mirrored the United States in World War II. It seems we have too much love for one another, using wars to drain off the excess.]

The leaves of a whole tree top
lift off...


Out for a walk--good way to write,
because there is such wealth
of grassblades, insect and bird chirops,
changing tree patterns, houses as neat
as pieces of candy for the eye in their
endless variety of flavors, all this
to fill me back up as I empty myself,
not by what I write, but by lasering
through layers of mental debris
in search of, not the words,
but the speaker, the hearer.

When I was a kid, we called the wretched old lady
on the corner a witch because she'd shoo us
off her lawn and call the cops about ouor "gang"
running across the yard over which she bent double
every day, battling weeds.

Now I am 50 years old and a poet,
shabby, but gentle. What would you do
if you looked out your kitchen window
and saw me playing in your backyard?

[Note: Yes, I was 50 when I wrote that poem. That was 17 years ago, time enough for another high school education.]

All my women agree
that I'm very good in

When I was little I'd sit on the rug
before our huge wooden-framed radio
with glowing orange dial (as if
at the feet of a master). I'd peer
into the dial, trying to penetrate
its transluscence so I'd be able to SEE
The Lone Ranger, Sergeant Preston, etc.
It's like that when, trying to see you,
I look into your eyes.

Just when we thought the stripper
had taken everything off, she shed
a tear.

I am basically nothing at all,
which makes me very flexible.

How do you follow an act like

Dean Blehert
Blogs: (short poems) (essays and longer poems)
New book (Deanotations, Volume 1) available at

Friday, April 17, 2009

Give Us This Day Our Daily Poem

[Note: This time, three poems -- one for Friday, one for Saturday and one for Sunday -- won't have time to send poems out on Sat. and Sun.]

Some were paid in beauty,
some in strength, some in jewels.
I got poetry. Now that a billion poems
won't buy a loaf of bread,
I choke on poetry while others
starve on bread.

[Note: I liked that when I wrote it, but now I think maybe "I feast on poetry while others starve on bread" makes better sense -- though maybe a bit glib. Really what a poet chokes on is too much poetry he's been unable to give away/share/send off into the world. I'm eager to deal with empty nest syndrome. Often it seems to me "writer's block" has to do with all the attention the poet has attached to poems that have never been acknowledged, understood, admired, recognized. One of the great advantages of having appreciative readers is, that once I feel my poems (like kids with good jobs and families of their own) have rooted themselves in the culture, I can forget about them and have new things to say.]

On the horizon
bare trees
make distance famous.

Wake my life...please!

[Note: Some of you may not remember the line this is based on, the most famous gag of stand-up comedian Henny Youngman: "Take my wife...please!" (Yes, Henny, not Henry)]

Dean Blehert
Blogs: (short poems) (essays and longer poems)
New book (Deanotations, Volume 1) available at

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Silent (and possibly Deadly) Night

How is flatulence after eating cherries
like a crooner tripping on the stairs?

Both are Bings that go thoomp
in the night.

[Note: Yes, my children, long before Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young there was Bing Crosby, with his hundreds of golden records and even an Oscar for best actor (in "Going My Way" -- which kind of fits the poem) and the most popular recording of all time until beaten out by "Yesterday" -- "I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas". And, of course, there are bing cherries.]

Dean Blehert
Blogs: (short poems) (essays and longer poems)
New book (Deanotations, Volume 1) available at

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

City and Wilderness

[Two poems today (Weds), since I didn't send one out Tues.]

I drive through the city, narrowly missing
hundreds of moving cars, signs, pedestrians,
parked cars, hydrants, trees, buildings,
statues of portly bearded guys on horseback --
I do this every day, never hitting a thing.
God, I'm good!

We drove 200 miles to a national park,
to a motel room with carpets and lamps
where we argued some more the same old
arguments. (But when we stop fighting,
we are in a redwood forest.)

[Note: It seems silly to go to a scenic place just to continue squabbling. But it's one thing to argue at home in rooms that are already thickly coated with our grimy arguments, another to continue an argument right up to the point where, pausing for breath (the next morning, perhaps), one looks up...and up...from the mossy floor to find a cathedral-vaulted world in which our tiny hostile noises are no more than the distant chatter of squirrels.]

Dean Blehert
Blogs: (short poems) (essays and longer poems)
New book (Deanotations, Volume 1) available at

Monday, April 13, 2009


If I could, with a thought,
destroy this planet,
I'd only do it once --
just to see.

[Note: Could be a super-villain talking -- or a curious little kid.]

Dean Blehert
Blogs: (short poems) (essays and longer poems)
New book (Deanotations, Volume 1) available at


Sunday, April 12, 2009


When my time comes to live,
give me a simple burial in plain flesh,
don't make a big fuss -- give me a name,
milk, trinkets to toy with. Don't
grieve long for me. I am not lost.
I go but to another kind of death.

[Note: For a few of you, this may be obscure. It posits the following: We are spiritual beings for whom flesh is at least as much an entrapment as means of enabling communications. Thus birth is a form of burial, and a spiritual being, about to take on a body, might consider this a kind of death.]

Dean Blehert
Blogs: (short poems) (essays and longer poems)
New book (Deanotations, Volume 1) available at

Friday, April 10, 2009


Each madman's epically mad:
His oddity is the ill he had.

[Note: For the pun-impaired (or those whose pun awareness is limited by their good taste), the two best known epics in Western literature are Homer's Odyssey and Iliad -- or "oddity" and "ill he had." As for the message: I suspect that the behavioral oddities we call madness have to do with the person being out of present time and stuck in past unpleasantness. He thinks everyone is out to destroy him? Then he's immersed in an actual incident when this was the case. (And maybe it's not so far from present time after all!)]

Dean Blehert
Blogs: (short poems) (essays and longer poems)
New book (Deanotations, Volume 1) available at


We are here to give. Even the beggar,
busy being a self-fueling belly,
can only give. He gives his street
an ugliness, a shadowed intricacy
that must be looked at or away from --

in either case requiring a decision
until habit digs a hole in my universe
and slips him into it before I can see him,
as I, too, become free of decision
and rich with shadowed intricacy.

[Note: The point of this poem is, of course, whatever you make of it, but for me it's not a criticism of the beggar for being an unpleasant presence. It's about the way those things we are unwilling to confront -- and unwilling to admire -- take root in our own universes, that is, in our lives, like weeds, and proliferate. Probably the beggar himself is the result of all the things the beggar could not/would not confront.

Similarly, as we blank out parts of the world (like homeless people with hands out), they become part of us, our world becoming increasingly vague and shadowy. This is not a plea to give alms to the poor. It's a suggestion that we not shut down our awareness of the world as a defense against it. I sometimes give the beggar something. Other times I don't. But I don't look away. After all, the guy is doing a terrific job of being a beggar. I can admire that. Also, just letting them be there, granting them the fact that they are there, that SOMEONE is there, has a positive effect. It reminds them that they are people too.]

Dean Blehert
Blogs: (short poems) (essays and longer poems)
New book (Deanotations, Volume 1) available at

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Finding You Again

In my dream, I died and was reborn,
not in the future, but in the past,
to be the same person all over again,
but with subtle variations--but not
too subtle to be first,

and even later, when I'd been persuaded
I was nowhere but where I was,
nor had ever been elsewhere, still
certain things didn't fit:

I met you in the wrong place
or at the wrong time or not at all,
and even when not at all,
I knew you were supposed to be,
were somewhere,

Dean Blehert
Blogs: (short poems) (essays and longer poems)
New book (Deanotations, Volume 1) available at

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Our Defenses

Booby-trapped, mined, burglar-alarmed, draw-bridged,
surrounded by alligator-infested moats,
invincible -- such a monstrous rightness
clicks on to defend us when we fear
betrayal. Save us, I pray,
from our machinery.

Dean Blehert
Blogs: (short poems) (essays and longer poems)
New book (Deanotations, Volume 1) available at

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


The waitress asks if I want anything else--
as if I wanted what I already had,
as if I could even remember
ever having wanted.

[Note: I probably wrote this after deciding, one day, to reward myself for having gotten nothing done by going out to dinner, then realizing, as I thought over restaurant choices, that I couldn't think of anything I really wanted to eat and that it was hard to remember when last I had really strongly wanted something. At such times, I become aware of the extent to which wants have become habits. One wants to make love because someone is there to make love with, and one is supposed to want that. One wants a piece of pie because one is supposed to want it. One enjoys it (often without paying attention to it, perhaps because one is reading the funnies because one is supposed to want to read them because they are supposed to be funny) without much tasting it.

The point is not that one should be greedy or starving, but that it's a sign of life to WANT what one wants, to have some fire in one's desires. There are those who argue that desire dooms us and that all our miseries are based on desire. Perhaps, but I'm not arguing that one should be the victim of desire or slave to one's desires. I'd distinguish between that and having the ability to CREATE desire, to decide to desire something and then really want it. In sports, the coach tries to get himself and his players to really want to win.

By the way, these days, when most of us out-live any physical attractiveness we may once have had, it's a priceless ability to be able to create desire for one another. Those who destroy their families by betraying their spouses and seeking nubile lovers don't know how to create and continue to create love and desire. They look for beautiful bodies to create it for them.

As I sat in that restaurant, I realized I was failing to create desire, substituting for it stale "supposed-to-be" desires. How many marriages go stale because husband and wife feed off these "supposed-to-be's" and fail to notice -- until it seems to be too late -- that there's no life there...because they haven't been creating any.]

Dean Blehert
Blogs: (short poems) (essays and longer poems)
New book (Deanotations, Volume 1) available at

Monday, April 6, 2009

The Loud Drunk

The loud drunk on the corner
thinks he's wise because of
all he's been through.

He'd be wise if he ever got through
what he's been through.

[Note: The wisdom of a victim generally consists of all the reasons why nothing could have been done about it, somehow a comforting thought. Some of the wise things I've learned from victims -- including my own vacations from creating my own dreams to spend a few days or years turning all that over to what everyone knows or to experts or to the weather -- include:

there's nothing that can be done about anything;

everyone's screwed up, so you can't trust anyone;

not only can't you always have what you want, but you always can't have what you want;

you can't fight city hall;

to hell with 'em all;

none of 'em ever understood me

and much much more!]

Dean Blehert
Blogs: (short poems) (essays and longer poems)
New book (Deanotations, Volume 1) available at

Sunday, April 5, 2009


Note: A slightly longer poem -- you get extra credit. But it's a very simple poem.] [Further note: I may have sent this out as a daily poem before a few years ago. It's one of my favorites. One of the things I like about it is that I find the violins and cellos of most poetry begin to bore me, so that I feel refreshed when I can produce a piece that is, more or less, a drum solo, pure percussiveness. Sometimes I prefer the music I find in raw, but energetic and positive, statement.]

On Resisting Evil

Because the evil have made the trains run on time,
we are wary of efficiency and accomplish nothing.

Because the evil have misused force,
we hesitate, hoping for miracles.

Because fools have thrown away their lives for madmen,
we imagine there is nothing worth dying for
and, dying anyway, live in fear.

Because the evil have created formidable organizations,
we dream of standing alone, swallowing that swindle
(dreamed up by the weak to subdue the strong)
that organization must be abhorred.

Because the evil seem driven by destructive purpose,
we are wishywashy, lost, as it were, in qualifications,
lest we be tainted by zeal.

Because the evil rely on solid stuffy citizens
(who can best be governed by fear of loss of status)
and call them sane,
we think we must be crazy to be creative,
so create only self-destruction.

Because madmen have equated love of our own country
with hatred of all other countries,
we try to love mankind by despising our country,
as if love of neighbors could grow
from hatred of self.

Nothing is left to us if we try to be good
only by being what evil is not,
nothing but evil itself,

which is, perhaps, a violent effort
not to be evil.

Note on Stanza 4, above: I say that the idea that organizations must be abhorred is a swindle dreamed up by the weak to subdue the strong because I think it can be shown (by someone with huge scholarly ambitions and a better grasp of historical detail than I command) that the idea that organization is a bad thing and that a real mensch stands alone has been used by those who fear strong and creative individuals -- used to neutralize them, so that groups of fearful people can isolate and control social mavericks, each of whom stand alone, despising organizational skills. Thus free beings are enslaved.

Part of the scam is to equate organization with criminal organizations and fanatic organizations. Another part of it is to equate organization with conformity to majority rule on all matters, to set up organization as the enemy of individualism.

It's true that when individuals decide to work together, they must do things to keep their differences from getting in their way, but this needn't mean a rejection of individualism. It simply means that they look for goals they share, and concentrate on them. It also means, sometimes, compromises, but in a sane group, the compromises pay off for the individual, meaning that the ability to live as a free individual is preserved and even expanded via the organization. In other words, one sacrifices a relatively small amount of individualism to enable the increased survival of individuals.

A strong group is made up of strong individuals. Such a group will always be able to handle a mob huddled together out of fear of standing alone. As has often been pointed out over the centuries, one twig snaps easily, but a bundle of twigs tied together is hard to snap. That's the byword of fascism (derived from a Latin word for such a bundle). And it's also a model for communist totalitarianism.

What's missing from that concept is that to destroy such a group, all you need to do is cut the string, then snap the twigs. A bunch of strong individuals working together (no strings attached!) is far more powerful. Each is capable of standing up to attack. Each has initiative. And, working together, they are far harder to break than the bundled twigs. Also, it's hard to break the "string," since it contains no compulsion exterior to each individual. It is each individual's intention.

A relatively small, but organized group of strong (spiritually strong -- people of character) people can control a huge mob. By "control," I don't mean that the small strong group aims at manipulating or tyrannizing masses of people. I mean, simply, that it is capable of control. If the mob is panicking, the small group can calm it. If the mob is breaking up into small groups bickering with each other, the small strong group can organize that mob into functionality or disperse it.

More to the point, just the small group's ABILITY to control gives that group a calming PRESENCE, an ethics presence. The mob feels this and responds to it. This isn't a hypnotic thing. Just as certain people (said to have a commanding presence or charisma) can walk into a room, and just by their being there, bring order into disorder, so an organized group of able people, just by their presence and their capabilities, bring order.

This is true of a strong individual, whose presence brings order, but when this presence is amplified by the united purpose of a group of individuals, each of whom, singly, is a leader, the capability is greatly increased. It's not that a group of, say, three such individuals has three times the power of one. It will have far more power than that, since the abilities of each resonate with the abilities of the others. A group of weak individuals tends to reduce the power of the group (the ability to bring order) to the lowest common denominator of the group. A group of strong individuals brings an amplification of power that is something like the square or cube of the number of individuals (say, 3 people, 9 or 27 times the power).

(An interesting study of both sorts of groups: The Beatles. Four musicians, at least three of them, John, Paul and George, brilliant song-writers and performers. (Ringo has his own brilliance,but song-writing isn't a big part of it. But he was part of the creative ambiance of the group.) When they were able to work together, in the early years, they strengthened each other, their brilliance as individuals amplified by the association.

As they got increasingly into drugs, formulaic social outrage and other distractions, while they increased in musical sophistication, some magic drained gradually from their work, and they began to feel oppressed by one another, limited by being Beatles. What they did, each on his own, is still remarkable music, but (to my ear, anyway) far less magical than what they were able to do as a group.

It's not that each produced music one quarter as powerful. Far less than that. George, perhaps, gained a bit, since he'd been overshadowed, in the group, by the brilliance and dominance of Paul and John. And each of them produced a few songs that are of top-grade Beatles quality. But something priceless was lost. One of the great post-Beatles Beatles song, George Harrison's "When We Was Fab" (on the Cloud Nine album) says all this better than I can. [The Fab ran out on the Tide?] [That's a joke, for those who don't know that Fab, as well as Tide, is a detergent.]

Of course, tastes differ. It never ceases to amaze me that so many people think Lennon's maudlin "Imagine" is a great and profound song. It has it's brilliance, if you can stomach a secular humanist manifesto and glaringly false innocence, but "She Loves You, Yeah Yeah Yeah," for all its hints of adolescent zits and apparent simplicity, is a far greater and far more profound piece of music. Of course, sometimes Lennon tries for profound and achieves it (e.g., "Strawberry Fields,") but that's still a Beatles song, giving him the scope to stand apart from his ideas and view and turn into music his own thought processes ("That is, I think I disagree" -- the musical equivalent of hair-splitting Talmudic reasoning and indecision), whereas, post-Beatles, he became a relatively shallow, programatic dogmatist -- until his last album, where his playfulness and warmth emerged again.

(Note: I say "relatively." He could still think, change his mind, etc. But I think he let Yoko create the space wherein he worked, and it was a relatively airless space, claustrophobic, compared to the ecstatic back-and-forth riffing between Paul and John that yielded in one legendary weekend (approximately) some nine songs that eventually hit number one on the charts (something like that -- someone will correct me, but the number was stratospheric). They needed songs, quick, for their first movie, "Hard Day's Night," so in that weekend, they produced nine great songs -- so many that two of them (both later huge hits) couldn't be fitted into the movie.

["Hard Day's Night," "Ticket to Rye," "Can't Buy Me Love," "I should have known better," "Eight Days A Week," etc.]

That surge of creative energy is with us today, not only in their songs, but in many other offshoots. For example, Keith Richards and Mick Jaggers, watching how easily John and Paul were conjuring new songs into existence, decided maybe they could do it too, and that began their song-writing.

McCartney's most recent album (Memory Half Full -- or is it Memory Half Empty? -- no joke intended, I keep forgetting which it is!) has one song that seems to me comparable in power and depth to Eleanor Rigby. It's called "Mr. Bellamy." As far as I know, it hasn't gotten much notice. But then these days McCartney tends to get dismissed by the hip as a writer of slightly saccharine songs. He ain't the Beatles, but he's what's left of the song-writing Beatles, not one quarter of a Beatle, a much smaller fraction (as were John and George, separately)-- but even a 20th of the Beatles is still better than anything else around. Check him out!)

Among those less capable, always there are a few who fear capability in others and encourage others to fear this too. These are people who, if they could control others, would oppress them, keep them down, so they fear the strong, assuming that others, given power, would do to them what they would do to others.

[Some people must have feared the Beatles....]

Thus, always, there are those who stir the weak to keep the strong down. And one of the weapons of such people is to put the idea of "organization" into opposition with the idea of "the strong individual." This is a false opposition. Beware of those who praise you for standing alone and refusing to be part of any group. It's true that schools overstress "Works well with others" and that society too often punishes originality and stifles initiative. It's also true that those who would overcome such obstacles had best be organized themselves. It's a matter of working out what your goals are, then finding others whose goals align with your own. It's a matter of knowing who your friends are. It's a matter of being able to evaluate the intentions and activities of others and then make decisions.

Some of these points are based on the "ethics conditions" (see -- particularly the steps required to resolve the conditions of treason, enemy, doubt and liability.)

One last note: In my opinionated discussion of the Beatles, above, I don't mean to condemn Yoko Ono. I wasn't there. When I say she created a relatively airless space for John, I mean relative to the bigger-than-planet-earth space in which John, Paul, George and Ringo were working together. As far as I can tell, Yoko was NOT operating at their level. She was/is an artist. The Beatles were among the greatest artists of the Twentieth Century. She wasn't and isn't of comparable magnitude as an artist. (If she is, I haven't seen the work, and the stuff she did with John is his weakest.)

Her own art -- for example, her movie of a bunch of naked human buttocks -- is trendy and shallow. It might appeal to a pop singer, if enough artsy people -- in Yoko's avant garde circle? -- have convinced him that his "Beatles" work is insignificant and doesn't confront the important issues and abuses of our time.) He seems to have limited himself to her, unwilling to be other than contained in her space, wanting, always, that sort of security -- not to go Freudian on you, but listen to the poignancy of the song addressing the mother who deserted him (Julia) on the White Album.

Nobody, certainly not Yoko, brought Lennon down -- no one but Lennon, addicted to drugs for many of those years with Yoko -- and she helped him get OFF those drugs, enabling him to write his last album, which is a vast improvement over the Imagine album and the others (miserable stuff, mostly -- especially Two Virgins) with Yoko. But Yoko helped him to move on.

The words were "All We Are Saying Is Give Peace A Chance" (or rather "Our Chants"), but the melody and mood of those lines (so lugubrious and hypnotic) seems to me to be saying "Someone shoot me, PLEASE!" Lennon killed Lennon long before anyone could shoot him. He was starting to come back to life when he really got shot. That's the usual way of it with people mistaken by others for saviors or arch-villains or both. The awful Tsar gets assassinated, not when he's most oppressive, but when he starts to liberalize, frees the serfs. When you start to put in order in an area, a lot of suppressed confusion is likely blow up in your face and overwhelm you. Lennon's physical death was part of his spiritual revival, which I suspect continued, since I don't believe we are mortal, though our names and bodies are changed to protect the ignorant -- I mean innocent.

Yoko's probably OK. In fact, Yoko spelled backwards is "OK -- Oy!" She was a gun John used to shoot himself. Guns don't kill people. People with guns kill people. Actually, John used Yoko to kill a Beatle. He decided he needed to kill off Beatle John, a role that he felt had constricted him. Actually that role expanded him. The drugs had shrunk him to a point where he felt lost in that huge role. He was no longer up to taking responsibility for hundreds of millions of people on planet earth via aesthetics. The four of them, working together, had done that for years, effortlessly, it seemed. Hundreds of millions of people became happier, more hopeful, younger, more alive listening to them, watching them. And many of us, still, can reawaken that joy by thinking of their music or re-hearing it.

To be on a planet where people have created such work is a marvelous thing, like looking at a tree and watching how its branches twist and spread (the moon caught in them) and realizing one shares a world with such beauty.

You can yell at people "Peace! Freedom! Love!" or you can love them enough to put them in touch with their own joy, their own creativity, as simply as that tree does it for me. The Beatles did the latter. Post-Beatles, Lennon yelled "Peace!" George got kind of holy and sermony(though he often transcended that). And McCartney? Glib, I guess. He made an effort to be a Beatle on his own, and one can usually feel the effort. No, glib is a bum rap. He kept doing what he'd done as a Beatle (and a few other things), but some of the joy went out of him, and mainly, the magic that he and John had together wasn't quite there. I think George and John (especially John) tended to repudiate whatever they thought "Beatles" stood for, while Paul tried to keep it going. But years of pot attenuate the ability to feel. One has to force it a bit. Hence the endless songs that riff on and on, seeking an adequate closure (the overrated "Hey, Jude" is an early example).

Poor Paul, going on going on, producing fine music, but having to live in the shadow (hanging over him) of the Beatles (of yesterday), who happen to include Paul. Poor fellow, he's only half the great he used to be. But while he sings, the Beat and the Beatles goes on. Better Beatles then beatless.

Dean Blehert
Blogs: (short poems) (essays and longer poems)
New book (Deanotations, Volume 1) available at

Saturday, April 4, 2009


Re-entering the bedroom unexpectedly
I surprise my wife in bed with
my body.

[Note: What a betrayal! What does she see in THAT thing?! (Happens sometimes if I wander off, leaving the body behind.)]

Dean Blehert
Blogs: (short poems) (essays and longer poems)
New book (Deanotations, Volume 1) available at

Friday, April 3, 2009


"I had to force myself to do it..." --
how does one force oneself?
One must become two to be a problem.

Problems are convenient for those
who aren't the problem, since problems
stay right where they are, expending themselves,
against themselves, part of the landscape.

Problems are no problem at all,
but beware of solutions.
Hitler, for example, was a solution.
He had no problem with himself.
We had to oppose him and become
one side of a new problem.

Once, perhaps, Hitler was a problem,
a precarious balance of jaw-breaking forces,
holding him immobile -- and how clever of him
to solve his problem and become our problem.

[Note: Interesting, by the way, that his most nightmarish creation was called "The Final Solution...." It seems there is no final solution to anything in this universe. Any solution has two sides: One side faces what it solves. The other faces away, and becomes the next (and worst) problem yet. When I see people "solving" our economy, I feel a need to hide the silverware. Not that there aren't ways to handle things or improve conditions, but that to do this, it helps to see the situation as something other than a problem.]

There was a typo in the following poem sent you yesterday:

Distant Music

She seemed mysterious, standing there
(waiting, as was I, for an elevator),
swaying slightly, eyes far away,

Then I noticed, obscured
by her earrings, the earplug, the wire
leading to her tiny Sony -- heard

(tiny and far away, but
devoid of mystery) the music
to which she swayed.

[The typo was in the third line from the end, which, in yesterday's mailing, was "(tiny and far away, but no".]

Dean Blehert
Blogs: (short poems) (essays and longer poems)
New book (Deanotations, Volume 1) available at

Back Again (and let me hear that popular demand!)

Dear Reader (that's you, I hope),

I'm back after nearly a month's absence. (Did you miss me? Who? Oh, I'm the guy who sends you short poems most days... [How soon they forget!])

Since I've been gone longer than I expected, I'll send a few poems today (make-up poems). By the way, if you know anyone you think would like to receive my daily poem, please let them know about this subversive or versive activity. Here are some poems:

Poets Who Give Their Poems To Strangers:

Two people share a seat on a bus,
but one is having a good day, the other
a bad day. The moral is, take care
in choosing your side of the seat.

[Note: This is meant to be a sort of nonsense poem, the sort of nonsense that comprises most pseudo-science. Actually it has no reason to exist as a poem. I don't know why I like it. But I do.]

She seemed mysterious, standing there
(waiting, as was I, for an elevator),
swaying slightly, eyes far away,

Then I noticed, obscured
by her earrings, the earplug, the wire
leading to her tiny Sony -- heard

(tiny and far away, but
devoid of mystery) the music
to which she swayed.

[Note: This poem suffers from technical advances in electronics. When I wrote the poem in the early 80s, it was still surprising to see people responding to tiny devices, seeming to talk to themselves, for example. Now everyone has a cell phone, tiny gadgets full of music, etc., and we are used to such things.]

Back from a morning run, dripping sweat,
my reek fills the elevator. All day
people will ride up and down here.
Later, meeting me for the first time,
they will wonder why I seem familiar to them.

In the good old days, most poets
were consigned to oblivion.
Theese days even oblivion
won't take poets on consignment.

[Note: There's this odd idea most booksellers have that "poetry doesn't sell," so that many bookstores are reluctant to carry poetry books on consignment (meaning they put the books on their shelves and get paid their cut when a book sells). Fortunately for us poets, oblivion is a very comfortable place -- they have soft chairs and a big TV screen there.]

If we knocked down all the walls,
we'd be free -- until all the ceilings
smashed us into all the floors.

Oh Dear! You've Been IDed!

"Be careful!" "Don't be silly!"
"Just who do you think you are!"
Intimidations of immortality from
recollections of early childhood.

[Note: William Wordsworth's poem (alluded to above) is "Ode: Intimations of Immortality From Recollections of Early Childhood," all about the days when, more spirit than human, he found a visionary gleam in things, a "splendor n the grass," remembering which, he decides that birth " but a sleep and a forgetting," but that some ember of our immortality remains, and can be blown into life by recalling the visions of early childhood. You can find the entire poem at

My much shorter version changes the word "intimations" (meaning hints or traces) to "intimidations," (put-downs), a change that is accomplished by sticking the letters "ID" into the middle of intimations, for in childhood we are strongly identified by others with our small and presumed-ignorant bodies. Childhood recollections are full of adult noises that amount to denials of our immortality, including the phrases that start the poem.

I started the title with "Oh Dear" because it seemed to me my poem was less an Ode than a lament. (You can hear the difference if you have an Ode ear.)]

Dean Blehert
Blogs: (short poems) (essays and longer poems)