From the Edinburgh University Companion To Twentieth Century British and American War Literature

I had thought for the last couple years this poem was lost, but using the link in the footnote in the book excerpt I was able to locate the original version that had been on Poets Against The War. That was at a site run by Glenn Butkus, link here: http://bibliosity.blogspot.com/2009/09/artificial-light.html please visit and support people into poetry and ideas and truth and beauty and goodness and...

Artificial Light

Under the sweet desert
the anniversary impulse 
is bred into
the soldiers heart...
in time nine beats
for eleven measures
and self disappears 
into the Arabian rhythm.

In rhythms and beats the orange
sun rises and violent
its violet edges 
say good night
and good morning
to insurgents and surges
of soldiers playing and plying
the dead for mediated
affirmations of each other's
causation.

Under yellow sodium 
artificial light 
death came.
To each with ecstasy, sadness, 
passion and numbness;
To each with pain,
forgiveness, 
and hatred. 

Two televisions sit facing
each other, transmitting
in different languages, filling
the air with sounds
mixing together,
playing to an ever
deafening crowd.

-Mark Brunke







https://driftwoodforgetting.blogspot.com/2009/10/artificial-light.html

Walk Through These Woods With Me

Lost in the damp spaces
Of moss and down trees
Lost across trails and down
Floating leaves
Green and brown mud
And wooden walkways
Ferns and winter decay
Does Spring come again?
I look at these teal stars
In dim afternoon rain
Hazel skies and the distance
Between my loneliness
And my ever present
Otherness and your presence
Which reminds me
Which reminds me
Which reminds me

again this

Again this week I must report
Thoughts of eyes possessed me-
Again this week I must report
Thoughts of nothing become distracting-
Again this day I awoke
To the reflection on a window,
Again these birds singing
In the morning sun.

There was the moment I was lost
In my pending existence...
Now I see today only as
A vast and endless sea, cold 
And green dark, blue to 
The horizon whose waters chill
And only can warm 
Now as the longer
Thoughts are logged aloft,

Again in driftwood forgetting, again.

Again this week I must report 
Thoughts of you possessed me-
Through my eyes possessed
That everywhere the endless is

We Are Three Percent Nitrogen By Mass (Sunday)

What do I do when my love never fades
For you? For you I only have memory.
The smile of one kind face in the days of
Only one kind face. Why does love not fade?
Why can love not ease itself from today?
Why can we not lift our thinking out of
Our heads and maybe even compost it…
I would worry about the nitrogen,
Likely. I’m sure my thoughts are of released
Nitrogen, that is just more evidence
Of a recent decomposition. 

There is no another. Thoughts invaded
Now array themselves into new arrays.
There is now absence,

one has gone away.

a despair of the heart

this is only a time for a heart of
despair

this pain comes back to surround the chest in
remains

all love has gone the only plans I made
both are gone away
love, love is gone away

a hand can know numbers
but alone can not press

all the things

inside me there was one small fear
little and cared for over the years
it grew
came through my chest
under the skin
I was not hoping
for I love you
but rather for Not
its a small world
I know well the places
little and cared for over the years
and who needs to hear
I love you again
who needs that world
after all if you loved me
what would I do but be a fool
and if you don't
then someone else a fool
the shy bury themselves in fears
little and cared for over the years
irrational appropriations of imagination
that some words and affection
will be met with something
something something seen as a beast
and treated as such
irrational thoughts I will
go away to the silent world
and that is what came true
Not even I don't love you
but a silent film
of the old Northwest
inside my head of a
still life
painting

The Diets

The name “The Diets” was inspired by Phillip K. Dick’s biography, from the stories of him medicating himself into a state of fury to produce his work, as well as the religious somewhat whatever it is, like the Diet of Wurms, and the term for a legislative body. I resurrected and used the name The Diets then for my own work from about 1989-on. Originally, it had been used in a different version by a band in high school. The song Where’s Mario dates from 1984. The rest were written between then and 1997, most of the lyrics being written between 1992-1997, and the music being written over many years in some cases.
All songs by Mark Brunke,
1.       Keep The Noise Out
2.       Feeding Cow
3.       The Angel Plays (Little Insect)
4.       Chaïm Soutine
5.       Absolut Hate (American Pop)
6.       Five Year Plan
7.       Friends ‘R’ Graves
8.       Wasted Time
9.       A Vision
10.   In the Eye
11.   Where’s Mario

Keep the Noise Out

Vaseline eyes, I have been watching you
in the mirror, so sweetly, so many times
Vaseline eyes and plastic lips

Keep the noise out I am running down
To keep the noise out I am running down
To keep the noise out I am running down
To keep the noise out I am running down

My pig skin, I have been watching you
in the mirror, so sweetly, so many times
Pig skin is boiling
Like a rubber reflection

Keep the noise out I am running down
To keep the noise out I am running down
Keep the noise out I am running down
To keep the noise out I am running down

Brain death week and I’ve got to stop
I’ll lose everything
My ribs form my chest and move like cockroach legs
And I am depressed

Vaseline eyes, I have been watching you
in the mirror, so sweetly, so many times
Vaseline eyes and plastic lips

I am nothing more I am nothing less
I am nothing more I am nothing less
I am nothing more I am nothing less
I am nothing more I am nothing less

Keep the noise out I am running down
Keep the noise out I am running down
Keep the noise out I am running down
I have nothing more I have nothing left


Feeding Cow (Loving my Disease)

If only, lonely…hold me
Until I stop bleeding
Whatever I forget to need and
If only, lovely….blow me
Love is my disease, love is my disease

Its all a part of love
Feeling just a little too much
Yellow sodium eyes
Sony artificial light
Love is my disease, love is my disease
Love is my disease, love is my disease

If only, lonely…hold me
Until I stop bleeding
Whatever I forget to need and

If only, lonely….blow me
Love is my disease, love is my disease
Down the cow side of myself
Wearing (?) contradictions
Stale and beautiful bread
Mourning becomes waking up

Love is my disease, love is my disease
Love is my disease, love is my disease

Until I stop bleeding
Whatever I forget to need and
Love is my disease, love is my disease

If only, lonely…hold me
Until I stop bleeding
Whatever I forgot to need and
If only, lonely…blow me
Love is my disease, love is my disease

Outside of my soul, outside of myself
Outside of my hole,
When I’m dead, when I’m down on myself
Wide awake and dying
The poison of another day

The Angel Plays (Little Insect)

(hey there, little insect)

I’ve seen all the angel plays, running rings around my head
Drifting across the stations, dying to be born again
Seen all the angel plays besides myself
And my breath smells like its somewhere else
For your wings I would trade a tree
And carve it into bees

And they swarm inside my breath
The poetry of rattling teeth
Cut my circulation please
Seen all the angel plays on my knees
Seen all the angel plays besides myself
And my breath smells like its somewhere else
For your wings I would trade a tree
And carve it into bees

All the cripples had a dream
A toothless parrot screaming
All the angel plays end with me
To hell for the rapture love thing
Seen all the angel plays besides myself
And my breath smells like its somewhere else
For your wings I would trade a tree
And carve it into bees

I’ve seen all the angel plays, lying awake on stage
Drifting across the stations, dying to be born again
Seen all the angel plays besides myself,
And my breath smells like its somewhere else
For your wings I would trade a tree
And carve it into these.



Chaïm Soutine

(dogs barking)

Said I’ve got integrity, a hole in my head
I said I’ve got a shallow grave, all the girls get seasick
Get me to the Irish Mariah with one red shoe
Get me to the Irish Mariah with one red shoe

Said a jar of crippled babies in the hills of Tennessee
Learning to crawl by falling with a worm in their hands
Get me to the Irish Mariah with one read shoe
Get me to the Irish Mariah with one read shoe

Now bleed my left of center, I’ve got a great hole
I said I’ve got integrity, a great big hole in my head
Get me to the Irish Mariah with one read shoe
Get me to the Irish Mariah with one read shoe

Said I’ve got integrity
A place to lay my head
I said I’ve got a shallow grave
Where all the girls get seasick
Get me to the Irish Mariah with one read shoe
Get me to the Irish Mariah with one read shoe


Absolut Hate (American Pop)

You say yes and your sick for a week
If I’d known I’s hard to hold I’d killed myself in my sleep and gone to sleep last night
Absolut Hate, Bitter Distaste
Love is only a machine maid
Absolut Hate, Bitter Distaste
Love is only a machine maid

Used to fly in flowing moments weak of gin
Now I’m just falling down a cancer chain
Left a contract good for a heart attack
Killed a bitch birth with an axe

Absolut Hate, Bitter Distaste
Love is only a machine maid
Absolut Hate, Bitter Distaste
Love is only a machine maid

A body made of wax houses depression glass
Your sole conviction is that you’re stoned again
Whistle winter whisper darkly down the devil how
You think the only way you can see me now is picking me apart and

Upside down, the Hanging Man
April came first
With wilted wisdom, teeth in a grin
And April comes around again

I was elated and fading with savior shaped eyes
Stoned on azure and I’m falling apart
I’m dying from dreaming a nightmare
I’m beating Joan of Arc with her own chicken heart

You can die in American Pop, you can die in American Pop
You can diet in American pop, you can drown in American pop

Absolut Hate, Bitter Distaste
What keeps me awake
Keeps me awake, holds me today
Absolut Hate


Five Year Plan

We’re Chinese space aliens on dope, shooting up chickens from a river boat; we’re Chinese space aliens on dope, shooting up chickens from a riverboat; what are we gonna do now? There’s nothing now. We’re Chinese space aliens on dope.


Friends ‘R’ Graves

Look at these things on the shelf
My burned up baby feet, these houses made of rust
That mother threw away, a mother threw away

Remembering the dumpsters, we played in as kids
The broken syringes, speed trips into dust
A mother threw away, a mother threw away

All my friends are dead, all my friends are graves
Rather fuck it up a puppet or a slave
Mother threw away, a mother threw away, away

Remembering the devil wandering away
Remembering the devil wandering away as
A mother flew away, a mother flew away.
Why?



Wasted Time

I waste time, I waste time, I waste time, I waste time….

More of a flesh covered tangerine whispering to spiders on mushrooms
A craven hallucination in bloom
Across my head when I’m speeding again
Across from my head when I’m sleeping again

I waste time, I waste time, I waste time, I waste time….
Sleepy in my head when I’m dreaming of you
Sleeping in my head when I’m dreaming of you
Sleepy in my head when I’m dreaming of you
Sleeping in my head in when I’m dreaming of you

I waste time, I waste time, I waste time, I waste time…

All my clocks are ticking in largo, wooden ships left out to dry
I’d go out but I’m paranoid
Across from my head when I’m speeding again
Across from head when I’m sleeping again

I waste time, sleepy in my head when I’m dreaming of you
I wasted time, sleepy in my head when I’m dreaming of you

Sleepy in my head when I’m dreaming of you…(9x)



A Vision

Low I swallowed you in a dream last night.
Low low load, low in my head. Low low load, low in my head.

It’s in my head, it’s in my head, it’s in my head, it’s in my head
Vast images of the stratosphere in its circular days
Red upon red, in a dream, upon a rock, laid my head
Where buckling back and falling forward
I laid myself to the water’s edge
And you moved like glue
On a window screen

Low low load, low in my head.

It’s in my head, it’s in my head, it’s in my head, it’s in my head
Vast images of the stratosphere in its circular days
This city burns in television colors that waive a golden mosaic of wind
Where buckling back and falling forward
A diet of worms upon my plate
And the sickness I’m being fed
Low in my throat
It has nowhere else to go
This low low low load



In the Eye

Sliding down on Anne, then she kissed me in the rain, got me in the eye and ran away.
Somethings never change, girls you meet in laundromats, changing you for this and that.
Sliding down again, then she kissed me in the rain.
Somethings never change, somethings never, ever change.

A hole in the ground, there’s a gun looking out, I can see my death.
A hole in the ground, there’s a gun looking out, I concede my death.

Of my death, of my death, come again with nothing
But a bitter collapse
A bitter collapse, a bitter collapse, bitter collapse, bitter collapse, bitter collapse, bitter collapse, bitter collapse, bitter collapse, bitter collapse, bitter collapse, bitter collapse…



Where’s Mario

I stood here on the ground
Millions of stars around
I looked for God, what did I see?
The edge of space inside of me.

Where’s the dog?
I want to know, where’s Mario? Where’d he go? Where’s Mario?

I stood here on the ground
Millions of stars all around
I looked for God, what did I see?
The edge of space inside of me.

Where’s the dog?
We know where Mario, and we know Mario is,
and we know where Mario is, and we know where Mario is…

I stood here on the ground
Millions of stars all around
I looked for God, what did I see?
The edge of space, instead of me.



The Diets, Calliope, June 1997

I always had many songs going on at any given time, so the overflow riffs and ideas started coagulating into songs as soon as I finished The Coming Electronica. Oddly, the one song I didn’t include was Come In Electronica. I was thinking of doing a double cassette release or something like that. Sally offered to pay for me releasing The Coming Electronica, so I proceeded with that. By the time I had 100 copies of that dubbed and covers printed (for free by my friend Sneke at Kinko’s), I had already finished writing more material and completed enough songs for another album.

1.       Come In Electronica
2.       In December Light (Calliope)
3.       Television
4.       Saturnine Mine/Tabloid Star
5.       Piece
6.       Sunbleached
7.       Cold Whiskey Hole
8.       First Base
9.       A Doubting Apocalypse (Come in the Can)

“hungers browse on the field of sound” -Rimbaud




Come In Electronica

When we dead awaken shedding our two pennies for eyes
When I’m seeing ghosts coming through your walls

C’mon kids jump around a little more, didn’t you read the directions on the box?
Its four four o’clock, are you ready to die? Slow painful living for the rest of your life.
Didn’t you hear the kids in the wall coming to their obliteration?
Didn’t you hear that anticipation living through this evisceration?
C’mon kids are you ready to die? Slow painful living for the rest of your life.

On any other day I could have been an angel but you looked into my eyes and said,
“I am seeing devils, floating through the walls…”
On any other day I could have been an angel but you looked into my eyes and said,
“I am wearing mushrooms underneath the floor…”

Dissipating days so sick of it now, if it gets any more I’m going down
Dissipating days so sick of it now, if it sounds any worse I’m gonna drown

C’mon kids jump around a little more, didn’t you read the directions on the box?
Its four four o’clock, are you ready to die? Slow painful living for the rest of your life.

And she says now drown, now you can drown and she says now drown now you can drown now you can drown now you can drown

Come in Electronica, Come in Electronica, Come in Electronica, Come in Electronica
(bird calls done with guitar through phaser pedal and feedback)

[I'll get the rest of the lyrics in here eventually]

Driftwood Forgetting

Driftwood Forgetting

Looking
In glass,
side by side
in the bathroom,
the navy timbre
of towels wiped
of our looking past.
Us looking back where
there is no air
that inhales new areas
then it needs a
space
she always needs space
where the morning dresses
of the Rains-Moons, the river daughters
of the Sun King, cross
ways and forwards, in gun habits
and magazine smiles, washed up on

speed queens in their rinse cycles,

today in news aids
God is on their side,
In pale paper powder, lovely
Easter-skin, March white cancer bandages
under these orange violet eastern skies.
Our sides are or were
In your hotel mouth.

A broken mourning of the other.
We move under the constant kaleidoscope,
Mars, Venus, Sun, and Moon. We are death by water,
We are
Fear in the dust on the surface
Of bridges, the cross in waste land.

America sends its regrets as an advance to rejections,
an imperative male story
where soldiers die after death
has looked them in the eye:
Childlike charred mirrors of war's mosaic idol.
Terrorists we call them,
hand stacked bagged pyramid of sex
and power schemes.
We are artists though, painting their landscape as the blue deep
and violetless sky, lunar words across calligraphic dunes,
missing the drop, lost
in the last waves

of a grayscale ocean.

A soldier is salt and rations.
A price slowly creates visible waves of demand,
working incentives of decay along the concluding sickbay
corridor, the war, the dirty money, the food,
the everyplace where veterans take a smell home,

families in the sanitizer...

and they shall know it in their nostrils
the slow declination of their year
on earth begins.

Setting sons in song settings.
Slow on a window screen, fly glued to the desert,
high, and drifting,  you move along.
The cross we illuminate in death is
darkness during our lifetimes,
a day's memory, an eraser.

In the green light the grey ruins waltz about the day.
The bay drifts off in the horizon, less and less
into aloof thoughts lost in the undulating visions.

Lost fog.

Venus apprehends the morning.
The priest moves about the Wood, from tree to tree the vegetation
masking his intentions. The transition was made, the elder lays dead.
An other slowly seeping into ground water.

On the paths of atonement

the goddess approaches, set upon sword in succulence,
the heaven colors of harvest yellow move into winter.
I and my God see God. The disintegration of godfloods
in the sides of the mind and eyes of my following circle
Mars low into the north, the pumpkin, the bloodrose,
the drifting through the darkness on a path of self-destruction.

Do not ask how I came to this
Day between your silent lipstick
Coating, with my glue and your red wax smears:
A path of convergence and a path realization,
a path of awareness into heels carved with
seeds and stems, under the miller's
wheel you will be, three for lunch
and a last one to kill
the taste of me. The wheel slowly
reads another second and the reeds
lullaby in largo, a psalm-scented incense
Of driftwood and forgetting.

Upon the ears
of a silent echo
a starless reflection
here is the river
where I am alone among
the weights of my eyes
under their pink lids
my fingers salted
my tongue oysters
my mind of mines
saturnine and blind
your memory in my diaphragm
your psalm, again.
There is no air
in here
its always her
there is no air
there is no air....

Will Wilt What Will

When Winter comes, 
Will I have told you I love you?
What will wilt in this dry air, and
what will become of desire?
What always becomes of desire.

Let's not be 
oblique, I mean 
my desire for you, a past now dim,
I mean,
that which is satisfied 
and hydrated
with satisfaction. When Winter 

comes for me what will wilt what will is
the will I have a memory of your 

edgeless sloping skin
in my hand? And if I can 

even spit words
will I say, "at least I had eyes that day..."? 

 Your voice said my name, it emerged
from your upper register, it was 
everything.

Some of the
worst memories are like that,

a coat of feather down 
soft as dust,
a scent whose 

moments linger on
in the body's memory, 

awakened, 
and with a memory weight
dusty clay like powder, 

where your own body
image
lays in departed 

packets of dropped memory:
will even the air never forget? 

What good is Winter
then, if it persists 

or seems to exist
to show its the end 

of an age, but only 
in reminders of desire?
Are you under this sky
and is that moon
shaped the same
where you see it today?
What is a good Winter?
It is your eyes,
as time descends
upon them,

Showing Results for Define: Acquaintance

Associate, ally, connection,
Never then did
I realize love does not take to Fools
That surge thoughtless from hungry hearts
As smoke takes from cinders.
Never is the thought that breaks me.
I remember thoughts of your long
Thin fingers and the geometry
Across your wrists...
And angular arms...
Across office luncheonette tabletops,
The paths from your fingertips
To your shoulders was often a dance of
Accordion conveyance belts, everyday kindness
Nearly musical, everyday kindness was
In the very best way just
There.

Three Poems from 2009 and 2010

Watching

We burned in
The war of Falls,
All around us,
Angels dropping
like flies;

I love what is still
All night, falling
In a walk through
All the
broken
years of us
In polar distances of
The quiet
Lunch sounds
we make out of
difficult conversations,
talking a round desire.

Lessons drift into your soft muscle,
Eyes lost on the wooden beach,
Curvature and bubble shapes, mucus turning
you from pink to brown.

The war of Falls,
These broken wingless
Words, bridges
Left decaying in brown rust
slowly straying over old green paint
as the new constructions rise.
Only the curious will wonder
Why we were, and they will become
something few and rare.
Armless, dark eyes, brittle
flowers reduced to pigment
and videography.

I remember you even as I see you,
room, and moment,
alone, illuminated
runes, and evening shadows
covered in a yellow sodium
of memory,
just an elbow
on a green
cabinet, your eyes
backlight,
we never touched.

We burned.

War Runs Across My Life

This digital world
lingers
and does not bring
us closer together.

I only see
my self with the help
of telescopes.
Every love song
reminds me of sadness,
every sad song
reminds me of a plastic
radion. When will this end?

We are torn apart,
slightly separated
by the presence
of conflict, bombs,
some scholar might say
the sweep
of world events;
yet it is back
to the feelings
of distance, the desolation

that you are
not here and may not
be, that causes
an unspoken anguish
I can share with no one.

And they say this digital world
brings us closer together,
"they", hmmm, who? who?
And yet when we talk,
I at night
and you
in the morning,
message by message,
it is only the distance
that is illuminated,
a trembling, quail distance.

I see these threads
unwinding finally,
back to a river in Vietnam,
a bear, a mountain,
drinking cold
too close to the mouth.
Sunlight breaks the horizon
water desert, brown
sand coming out of
your brown hair.

Our Close Distance

When will I come home
And see that lamp in
Your flickering room?

What will you do, home
From the war? Sunlight
And summer ore, or
Bus stop and creeping
Mourning through the night before?
What will you do,
Bandaged in your skin?

I will drink lampwax
And leave terracotta dust,
My faith and wonder withering in
Shadows on couches and grass arenas;
Until a semblance of my substance
Emerges, resembling enough,
Just enough encaustic dust,
So you may trust your memory,
Unlock the door, and let me in
from this close distance.

Sonnet #1

I dissolved in this minstrelsy: your blood
Beautiful smell falls within thoughts of us;
Tea’s pass in winds of opportunity.
These inklings of orphan lines before your
Clay skin drapery, adorned with snakes
Where no earth is passing beneath me, just
Unrequited looks over lunch and hair.
If I could only speak the eye musing
Heard in your voice: warm light filters my gaze
Into you: river grey eyes, drowning stars!
How many of these tea ceremonies
Have ended with your head coming down on
Nothing but your own shoulder! My dear friend:
Is love bound to ending silence? Harm? Care?

Liz and The Radio Universe

You're in the amber lucid reflection
where I drown down in a light translucent
well of sorrow. Below a buffalo,
between eternity and cynosure.
Where the radio universe discloses
ink's withered visage as shadowed
Oscillations to thee in to thee in five foot steps,
laid out as clumsy, odd, osculate steppes.
Can I call you Green, Elizabeth? Or
is there another color in your book? For
to shed my thoughts upon your ear's soft down,
to pray a book of hours in the sweet sound...
     or have I been waterless yet gifted
     to mistake politeness for half a thread?

-from Variant Forms
  Mark Brunke
  March 1999


Drumlight


Drumlight
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t5sRphng8mE

What are Drumlights? http://www.polarityrecords.com/vintage-drum-kits-1920s-and-30s.html

12 Standard Forms, Filled Out For Love Medicine, In The Ether Mail, Returned to Sender


What do we make
of love in December?
Small ashen
charcoal smears across
fingerprint ridges,
there will not be enough time
to archive and organize,
finally there will not be enough time.
Unsent letters, long since
unwritten nonsense piled
in teetering pyres, writing unlit
on burned paper making
lumbering waves into blackened
edges. We cold unlock the cipher,
decide on a substitutionary atonement,
look past the end of ink...
what's past the burned edge?
What of the poetry of love? Perhaps
love would have been better plagiarized
without it all, a guy in a pasture,
sheep, a dog, and he's lying under the stars,
unreason for some, we include a silent army now,
a pair of silent armies...
January will come again, regardless
of all today's broken things-
with head down, shoulder leaning,
that muscle pain somewhere in your body that
tells you love is. And then you know
January will collapse in your mouth.
And then what will the old skin do,
with its charcoal logging?