Fall 2008, Volume 5

Poetry by Richard Harvey

The Stoic City Greyhound

I walk into the Seattle Greyhound station
Has Bukowski been here?
What would he think of "Patrons must exit...
To smoke a fuggin' cigarette?
And of me wanna-be Bukowski
Except it's 8:30 AM he'd still be asleep,
Or at least hung over having smoked the morning's fifteenth cigarette
Although I'm sipping an emasculated orange-flavored latté...
At least I started the day stoned.

I imagine Bukowski scoping

A nervous Latino man wearing
A ratty black jacket and a thin moustache
Clings to his bible like a goddamn pacifier.

A pretty black momma girl holding her baby
Steals glances over my shoulder
As I write (good luck kid).

Outside Anarcho-punks wear "The Damned"
Silk-screened on black leather jackets
"Bullshit!" tattooed onto their foreheads.

The tall dude walks his greasy black Harley shit kickers by,
His Aqua Velva a thin veneer covering the sweaty residue of last night's cheap beer
His skin is yellowed from the diesel fumes of a thousand Greyhound rides.

A bum tries to sell me the paper
He expropriated from a corner machine
His toothless grin challenges my antisocial fog and loses.

Bukowski scoffs
Hacks a rolling nicotine cough
And remembers lighting up on busses.

Those silver fuggin' tubes -
Like in Midnight fuggin Cowboy.

He takes a greyhound to L.A
I'm going to Wenatchee.

Hey There Brother, Who You Jivin' With That Quantum Debris
(God's laughing at us, Albert)

God threw the dice - we lost paradise
Then God bet it all again and won
Then just for the hell of it we created Christ
It's difficult to explain
Why God can't seem to find the time
To answer the 800 line, yet we survive
And the answering machine spits out chaos
And sucks up entropy, and a rose is born
Only to die and recreate itself
I love God
Not for beauty, not for truth, but for irony
All this happened while it is happening until it happens
A wayward moth electron caused the big one
Because it was beautiful and ironic
When the end of a non-entity
When a stray particle vibrates precisely
At the same frequency in three temporal realities
Here and there and everywhere all at once
The innocent electron, guilty with energy
Has abilities for all seasons
Predictable randomness with fundamental theoretical uncertainty
Because Nietzsche's waves propagated through time to Heisenberg
Now reality is probability without precision
When you know where it is, you can't be certain what it's doing
When you know what it's doing, you can't be certain where it is
And the act of observation affects the phenomenon
And electrons cannot but infect each other's trajectory
Moving freely and individually
As humans struggle to accept phenomena-
Beyond our influence is insufficient
To unravel quantum phantom mystery
Ask a baby, do you preconceive complete reality?
Not if you're a poet a physicist or a philosopher
And when the baby answers in kind, with a coo and a wondrous smile
Appreciate her possible logic or his inscrutable wisdom
Small and smaller, it's probably nothing
And nothing, if anything, is at least everything
Colliding at the speed of light Bang!
It's over—it begins again
But then perhaps it never ended
We'll see how they fall
Maybe some day when a non-entity
That perchance passed through Albert
Manifests in a molecule in a bowl of energy
For the mind to grind
Maybe it started small or maybe it's tremendous
Maybe it's always or maybe it's never
Maybe it's over maybe it begins
It's over, it begins
How vast it is, it really exists
The data just came in:
I like Einstein he handed God the dice.

BIO:  Richard Harvey is a poet and novelist who lives in Long Beach, California. Many of the poems published in Verdad will be integrated into the plotline of his novel, Soft and Chewy. He recently published a chapbook called Lemonade - Notes To Cancer. He is a 3-year brain cancer survivor. An important part of his healing has been honoring his creative nature by reconnecting with writing. He conducts Healing Through Creativity workshops with cancer support groups and students of all ages. He has a wonderful loving wife, two sons and two dogs; all of them occasionally wander into his poems. He is very grateful to the muse for coming back for frequent visits.