All the World is an Asana



A petal on a flower practices her yoga.
in a body no longer strong and agile,
her favorite posture being dormancy.
Her light, imprisoned in rigid form,
craves a change of asana.

Maples awaken in the distance with swaying red buds,
birds and bugs fly and wiggle,
stream currents flow,
moving beings in their unique
flowing, growing, flying and wiggling asanas.

Rocks still and sturdy in unperturbed posture,
the sun in fiery, shining Warrior Stance
and the moon in golden Silent Savasana,
pose, gazing at us, dreaming that all the world
has moved into the asana of loving.

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Packaged Brightly

Ladies and gentlemen of the jury

what else do you need to know?

How they've fleeced your bloodline.

Gutted your sons and defaced

your angel daughters.


How they put the planet

up for sale. Sky brown. Dead Sea.

Cut down mountains to get their goods

to a new market now that yours is

dark and shuttered.


How you always owe them something

even if they've claimed

each extremity. One by one.

Lopped off and

thrown in a hole


leading to

the process machines

that break the shit down

into dinner. Packaged brightly

w/lots of salt. And sugar.

And booze. 18% by volume.


How we dance on our last leg

the latest gyration. The newest dodge

and hustle. And I wish I had a hacksaw

to cut the shin away.

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Letter Home

     

Letter Home


Some Civil War guy

in 1863 wrote:


Martha, I have seen

the dog

'n pony

show

and I

can't watch

no more.


Me neither.

I know

the feeling.

Especially

blue

vs.

gray.

I know

the blood

don't matter.

The air

is out

of the

balloon.


You can call

customer service.

But I doubt

they answer

the phone.

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blue fan whirring

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(No Title)
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Robert Mil...

Robert Milby, of Florida, NY is Calling All Poets' Secretary, A co-host, and recruiter. He has been reading his work in public since early 1995.
He has supported and read with CAPs since the series first reading in March, 1999 with Founder, Jim Eve.
Milby has 2 books, 6 chapbooks published since 1998, 2 books since 2007, and two cds of his poems since 2004.
He hosts 4 other poetry readings in the Hudson Valley, including the 3rd Saturdays poetry series at Mudd Puddle Cafe, down Main Street in New Paltz from The Roost.
Each October, since 2003, Milby and HV Performance Artist Carl Welden, who plays Theremin, haunt the Hudson Valley as Theremin Ghosts! an unusual poetry and sound performance.

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Live @ Tract 187, West End Lounge, 9/13/16

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Family Ties

Dysfunctional families splinter

and members go their own way.

The distance between them immeasurable.

Children have a love hate relationship

with their parents and each other.

Time goes by, parents die

and the siblings gather to say their goodbyes,

but never come together

or quench their thirst of longing...

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Juxtaposition

A cat stalks a robin
A worms lies above ground
Feline and bird pounce…

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The Cardinal, Late August


Sunrise through the Silver Maples,
caught by Rose of Sharon,
this late August morning.
Meditation on dark roast,
and Summer ghosts,
but the little piper chases
the final sibilant one from
my candle-charmed garret.

The long, searing trail
from July to September,
has grown shorter.
From my table of swooning thought,
I am called by the scarlet emissary,
directing me, not only to his joy at Sunrise,
but contentment that we are not yet clawed
by Winter's frostworks, from where
he and I have often conversed.


-Robert Milby
August 23, 2014

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The Book Faire


The book faire is a distraction.
Why would I leave an early
Summer morning of soft breezes
through my window;
gentle piano from the radio,
a Blue Jay's rescue from
sentimental memory;
the heavy burden of capturing
the plight of the charmed
and the damned—
rendering these hours of wealth
worthy of my attention,
with half of my life achieved,
to walk into a weekend carnival
of colour, food, and noise;
leaving money—earned from
my strange morning meditation,
for bound collections of ideas
scribed by other minds,
when I have hundreds
in my garret already?
The book faire is my destination.


-Robert Milby
July 2, 2016


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Jazz Is Me

The sax player blows upbeat soulful notes
The bass player punctuates the air with staccato beats
The drummer's drum brushes scratches the skins softly
The trumpeter's muted wa wa's is a stiffled laugh
Accompanying the pianist tickling the ivories.
Fingers snap to the scat and feet stomp ready to romp
Jazz is an exorcism of the mundane
An eclectic at times hectic proliferation
Of improvised mastery of a music artistry
Eclectic as it may be it has always appealed to me.
The greatness of Miles, Coltrane and Count Basie,
Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald and Dizzy Gillespie
And so very talented more.
Jazz for the rich and the poor
Black and white.
Jazz is me without the blues
Aaahh Blues, that's a whole new poem...

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shiny banjo catfish

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Coyote

I saw you born of fog, playing with your brother on the colonial carriage path,

Surrounding glacial pastures, in northern New Jersey.
Your pack barked and wailed, when the fire horn screamed,
As I sat at my campfire on haunted Schunnemunk Mountain.
I followed your paw prints in December snows of Black Rock Forest.
Coyote, suckle your pups at Summer filled teats.
Breathing poetry under dark Mountain Laurels.
A truck murdered you.
I stopped at your majestic torso—
a yelp of rich blood like a red vine from your open maw.
Dark blonde fur caressed by Lenape ghosts, beckoned me to halt my car.
I could not leave you to be spread into ruin by oblivion's emissaries.
I grasped back legs, and pulled your sleeping body from damp and dumb pavement—
the sacrificial altar of commerce.
Petroleum death barges sailed by.
I dragged you, like a sack of wet sand; a fallen rebel against an urban incursion.
The humid day called witness clouds for ghosts to clean your blood
with hail and cool July rain.
They chased you down in Central Park.
It took days but they found you:
cast a net over your feral hide, stabbed you with needles,
and made your green fire smolder and smoke like addicts in alleyways, on stoops,
and Victorian tenements.
They captured you, ensnared you with poisoned meat
and rifle dirges like bold Grey Wolf and Mountain Lion.
Their metal traps mock your fangs; chew your fur, flesh, and muscle.
People turn on their own packs—they kill what they do not comprehend.
Coyote deity, your rut will be written in soil tales; on lichen parchment;
Spring fog, Summer oak stands, when your clan is gone.
Yet, who shall write of the human drama of blood:
Babies born of starving mothers and warfare fathers;
skeleton houses and twisted automobiles?
Humans prepare for war and make babies.
They slaughter the forest, and whelp babies.
They poison the water, and drop babies.
They pave over farmland and starve children.
Your spirit walks in Summer-mad marshland, searching for your mate and pups,
Crossing roads in bog mists, and scavenging like humans.


-Robert Milby

July 24, 2006





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Eating Lipstick

​Lipstick to lips wears off.  Or does it get ingested.  Some gets ingested.  

Ingesting one's own appearance is toxic.  One's own image, viewed too often, can be toxic.  

God made into image Is limited.  Matter made God Is toxic.  

The color of lipstick wears off faster 

Than the color of beets.  The color of beets 

Comes out in the urine.  The color of lipstick?  

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Teachings

My mother taught me to walk in heels.
She didn't teach me to kick.

My mother taught me to smile.
She didn't teach me to question.

My mother taught me to be alone.
She didn't teach me solitude.

My mother taught me vanity.
She didn't like me.

My father encouraged my independence.
He didn't like rebellion.

My father encouraged my talents.
He discouraged my direction.

My father made me listen.
His voice buried mine.

My father made me eat.
He did not feed me.

My brother brought the world home.
I wasn't allowed in his room.

My brother wrote for the college paper.
I wrote for myself.

My brother went to Paris.
I defended against men on the subway.

My brother argued with my father.
I watched.

My parents held to monogamy.
I learned to suffocate need.

My parents held to thrift.
I learned to turn off want.

My sister took care of my mother.
My mother took care of my father.
My father taught Gabriela to sing.
Gabriela bought me a dress.

I took care not to cause trouble.
Trouble took me in.

Trouble took me in
so quietly, I thought it listened.

Trouble took me in
so softly, I thought it was love.

Trouble took me in
with such a thrill, I thought I was free.

Trouble took me in
so deftly, there was no choice.

Trouble has a gnarled face -
Unmasked now, it unravels.

I continue to follow
dazed, hidden
I await the infant to kick.

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Recent comment in this post
Greg Correll
I love this. The repetition of "trouble took me in" and the brave, stark telling of how the ones who should have nurtured us quash... Read More
Wednesday, 31 August 2016 09:12
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Chicago Overcoat

It was a dream: Posing as a grifter
w/a bearcat named Ellie.
Nothing happened. We just kept posing
as the photog fumbled
w/film and flash.
Ambience. Angle.
Incidence. Time.

We chatted easy. She’d just broken up
w/a guy named Jim
who ran a deli on 6th. I’d just celebrated
my 25th. It was a great party.

Shadows. Stanchions.
Contrast and grain.
Hand in hand.
Depth of field.
Arm in arm.
The rule of thirds.

She looked like two million
and I felt like three.
Flash. Zoom.
It was a dream.

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MJ Live Aug 5 2016

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​road deconstruction #15

my body has an asphalt aroma.

i'm idle and my fuel tank,

a shot glass, is in the gutter.

outside table

is set with elbow,

fist on cheek, book

of cracked pages.


i watch this scene on the wall of my skull:

my brain, a clod of tendrils in search of a plot.

there is no place to root

in the exposed isolation of the road,

a dead ringer for the physics of chaos.


the shade of an oak is a collective memory.

i glow metallic in the ultra-violet sun.


i've hit a possum and the road, built

with no regard for obstacles,

continues its tail-pipe regret for the shy and blind.

drone of tires rolls out mother's predator pie:

a recipe for chainsaws and parking lots

to expand the rush hour of denial

and shorten the proximity

of stand-up comedian to botched executions.


once deflated, roadkill reveals its broken bones.

unable to stand, life continues

in the crawl of maggots.

may 17, 2014

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Cement Mixer Me

Cement Mixer Me
I do not sleep, night after night.
I stomp snock-wall cranium,
leave bloody bootprints, bone bruises,

swallow chemicals, hold my throat—
to close eyes is sand on talc,
is memory ink, grotesque plasm;
a spill within my wadded heart.

I spell words I would not hear,
on lines collapsing in the heat—
my stupid moves, my lies, my grief.

Cartoon nemesis, gravel'd me,
sinks into the alum ocean, 
wave on wave of best forgotten.

A momentary self-crustacean
snarled up in holiday lights.
All bees within, crushed in tins.

Or stoppered pour of chatterstone.
Cement mixer me.​
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Goggling Ooh & Ahh

Goggling, Ooh and AhhThe village eccentricspits on your car.The aging hippieargues a lot.No one has a handleon it anymoreExcept the marketand you knowthey're bettingyou turnon your own anddo the dirty workfor them. You knowthey've got itfigured outto the very last gasp.Rounded upto eat your dimeand daughter. You knowthis is how it goes.It happens t...

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two wives ago/two doors down/the haloes in her glasses

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Haiku

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Adrift

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jane street (our tellings)

Jane Street (our tellings)

 They all wanted to fuck me
on Jane Street but didn't.
Such was the luck
of the brotherly type.
A witness to women
learning to walk
along the Rockaway sand.

Playing them Dusty. Joni. Laura.
Our voices rising to the sky
black w/worry. Intrigue. Late periods
and trouble at home. Manhattan dying.
The Bronx afire. The autumns
in Washington Square.

We talked to the city and
the city talked back.
Whispered us secrets
and lies. And truths that later
proved true.

They all wanted to fuck me
on Jane Street but didn't.
Such was the luck
of the brotherly type and
some pangs still play
in our tellings today.
Certainly sickness. Certainly death.
Certainly the tides, high and low and
who did who on Jane Street.

       
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