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Joseph Farley

Joseph Farley finds inspiration in a muddy creek and the woods around it.  He enjoys books in a post-book age.  He tries to meditate without falling asleep.  He takes long walks whenever he can, preferably in the company of trees.  He likes to fall on mats, and utter strange noises while striking at air.  Most of all he likes to write poetry, fiction, and plays.

Darwin Journeys to The West

Existence is
a random act,

the action of
wind and waves

on infant rocks
in ancient seas

from which explodes
the monkey king.

The Monkey King is a famous figure in Chinese folklore. The Monkey King is born from a rock shaped like a monkey after centuries of exposure to wind and waves. Wind and water are source and/or carriers of qi, the life force or energy of the universe.

Lusting for Books

In the hour before training at the union hall begins
I wander into Borders and slather over books.
My psychologist has told me to curb my appetite
lest I ruin my mind, but the desire is still there.
I take books one by one from the shelves,
fondle them, smell the fresh scent of new pages,
clean and crisp as a woman’s perfumed hair,
run my fingers over the words like the skin
of a paramour, trace the spine of each novel,
with tongue search out the sounds of poems.
Pent up emotions can find no release.
There is no time, no money in my pocket,
and no room in my house for more jealous lovers.


scratches in clay
scratches on palm leaves,
scratches on papyrus,
scratches on bamboo strips,
scratchings and brushings
and chiseled squiggles,
all doodlings
that dissolve into words
in the ocean of the brain.

voices speak
in scratches
and scrapings.
put the needle
of the phonograph
on the clay plot
and listen to the sound
of the potter’s wheel
the breathing of
the craftsman
and the shaping
of his hands.

Scientists say the sound of potters making their ware may have been captured in the finger lines of ancient pots, much as an old-time record captured sound.

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