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These so-called poems are gambits, which I’m always making, whatever I’m doing, then cultivating, shepherding, & managing, or failing to manage to deploy.

I don’t seek to join cliques of poets, artists, analysts, or those who have agreed on this or that set of doctrines, tho I borrow freely from all. Let them resign, & join me, facing the world raw.

I’m trying to reach whoever is receptive, excluding as few as possible, requiring as little comprehension of this or that code as possible.

I manage to snatch the so-called poems, occasionally, like rare electronic or chemical reactions suddenly triggered, out of & at the end of long periods of mainly scrambling to survive, which go way beyond the limits of my patience til that point.

I’m always struggling for truth & justice, & a way beyond every one doing the best he or she can for him or her self, & others’ suffering none of their concern.

I’m trying to live righteously, til I die. Not just to live selfishly or defensively. Not just to live as I was programmed. Not just to operate in the way that gains me immediate encouragement or reward.

Like everyone else, I must provide for myself, & am surrounded by rivals for resources, attention, & authority. Like yours, my costs keep going up.

Many of these so-called poems have been posted or published, in the USA or elsewhere, 50, 40, 30, 20, 10 years ago, or more & more recently. The viewpoints of the publications & websites have varied remarkably, from very pious to the most provocative, from many angles.

I am not competing for acclaim as a clever person. I am frankly trying to change your mind, to your advantage, & everyone else’s with whom you interact, who is not thriving at the expense of whoever can’t prevent it.

In that way, I mean to change the world for the better, irrevocably, whatever anyone thinks, doesn’t think, says, or doesn’t say.

So I am very careful to deploy only what I come, scrupulously, to believe is of real use to you & to everyone who does not thrive at the expense of whoever can’t prevent it—& those among their victims who have, in their hearts & minds, pledged allegiance to them, & serve them—including as their enforcers.

Occasionally, I change this or that one of the so-called poems in accordance with new understanding or insight, or write a new so-called poem so good, it seems to me, that I replace the one that I can most bear to part with. More often than not, this happens over a period of a few days or weeks, then stops for a longer, relatively peaceful or tumultuous, period.

I am sorry that I have not found a way to have had a more forceful effect so far among my contemporaries. I don’t claim to bear no responsibility for what happens, whatever the detriments of my beginning position, & whatever the advantages or unscrupulousness of those who have taken charge. I am always trying to become a better leader, without collapsing & becoming one more burden.

I am not a success, but not a failure, either—not dead yet, still budding deeds, more & more effective (at least, that’s the intention)—so, this collection & its consequences are developing.

Of course, without your attention & response, nothing is happening.

These so-called poems, which cost more to bring to life than anyone is likely to be able to imagine, I beg you: use them.



Many have climbed higher, on hills or smaller mountains, than I have climbed, so far, on the biggest mountain.

You, too, likely—since here you are, at the base of the big mountain with me.

Tho we don’t covet the prizes for reaching the top of nothing worth reaching the top of, we have to climb to the top of something that is actually worth the climb—whoever else notices, mis-notices, or realizes what we’re doing, or imagines we’re doing other than we’re doing, or that we’re just fooling around.

And it’s one big mountain.



2 Responses to “Preface”

  1. Kelly Mahan Jaramillo Says:

    I do not like facebook much, and often stay off of it for days, I only go on to read something interesting on in a language group I belong to.

    But once on……I have to resist getting sucked into the tornado of humanity, because hours later I will look up and have missed a beautiful sunset, in exchange for lots of political opinion, some interesting articles, more political opinion, some humor, and more political opinion.

    By then I will have joined in the commotion, and when I finally log off, I will wonder where my day/week/month/the season went.

    However, I have occasionally put one of your “So-Called Poems” up as my “status” and then I leave it there for a long time.

    If I am lucky, maybe two people will read it, and I will feel good for them. But ultimately I am selfish, I put it up for me because it helps me to not get swept up in the cyber-chaos, if the first words I read are yours.

    As always, Eric, thank you.

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