glances edge of
the moment before
glances edge of
the moment before
I’m happy, but not go-lucky. I have no idea why Victorian houses are haunted. It’s an unreal thing that actually exists, like reality TV. Whenever I dance, it’s a square dance. It’s not a swagger, it’s a righteous gambol. Once, I sought redemption in the New Math, but it just didn’t add up. Maybe that’s why I don’t trust the trustees. Anyway, like a baseball bat on a soccer field, redemption would be wasted on me—wasted as a heart attack on death row. Janine says, it’s all a part of the inhuman condition. You’re a good man Leon, but in a bad way. She knows I’ve served my country. I pay my taxes. I do what I’m told. But in my truck, I’ve got an eight-pound hammer that likes revenge. Everything I hate becomes a nail.
Will I remember all this,
Or will it be lost,
Like a dream
Slips away in the night.
Many of those I have known
Are now gone,
I almost hear their voices sometimes.
There are many of them that I still long to see,
Many I still wish were here,
As long as I breathe I remember,
Are they still remembering me?
They’ve gone away
And are lost to my senses,
Still alive in my memory.
All of them have fallen asleep,
Some say never to dream,
Except In the dreams of others,
Able to awaken from dreams.
Work and some living
The shifts are
twelve hour shifts
and a worker’s biggest daily struggle is,
as often is the case with repetitive jobs,
There is also exhaustion,
you are, after all
working for the better part of a day,
but you can fight exhaustion
with a good meal and some courage.
Boredom is a different beast.
It requires you to dig deep.
It requires some philosophy.
You have to be okay with who
you are to deal
Sometimes the boredom
will become so grand
you’ll fake a bathroom visit
just so you steal away ten minutes
of not being a cog
in a machine you can’t know where it begins
and where it ends—
the warehouse is so big.
And you’ll take a leak
and then wash your hands
and then your face
and then look at yourself in the mirror
“ I didn’t know you to
be so lazy”.
It’s the repetition
It will get anyone.
Anyone with a soul,
no matter how desperate.
I don’t care if you’re
a single father with three daughters
and one of them is
not all up there in her head,
and you have to make target everyday,
you’ll still visit those bathrooms
more than your bladder needs you to—
those bathrooms are always full.
And then there’s the demeaning moment of
waiting to clock out, finally.
All of you in a line, trying to respect
the social distancing rule
but doing a terrible job at trying,
some not even trying at all,
and some just staring at that last minute
in the clock, ticking slowly towards
the end of our shifts.
And then, finally, a breath away from leaving,
you have to go through security
because apparently, people steal,
it’s a warehouse after all
a monkey can do it.
Don’t expect to find the
elite of Bucharest here.
And then, zoom out from work
and you have daily life
because you have to live too,
at least just a little.
And so the days
pass slithering from your life
in bad and cold and wet weather—
obnoxious snow every other day,
in the kitchen over the stove
cooking or doing laundry
taking up books again and weed
and getting an Amazon prime account
because you have to have things
to look forward to.
Otherwise life just sucks.
You have to have some things.
Just some aggressive fucking
and alcohol and a movie
and a Macdonald’s meal every week
is not enough.
“We should fire some weapons”,
you tell her
panting still and sweaty on the bed,
“There’s a firing range close by
we should check it out one of these days.”
Or maybe go to Scotland for the weekend.
Ride some horses. Learn new poets.
We could go skydiving, she says.
No, fuck that. I wouldn’t do it
if they paid me.
And then her hand
is reaching for your dick
again and soon her lips follow
and you’re thinking about things
to look forward to,
and that you need more of them.
That this is like a silent but very loud
scream of fear.
To need more and more things to look forward
to. Like a fear of death.
A middle age crisis
on your late twenties.
you’ll never blow your nose
you are that self conscious.
You’re thinking that
you’ve wished for your own death
with a whole hearted honesty
but how does one decisively
jump in a pool of nothingness
without second guessing
how to slip into an irreversible
and forever-going and amnesiac
without looking back.
You’re thinking that it’s nightmarish
to get stuck in a public bathroom
and reaching for toilet paper
after a hopeless shit you couldn’t avoid
and not finding any.
What else would one do
but scream for help?
You’re thinking there’s
a broken spring in your bed
and it’s fucking with your back.
That it’s snowing outside
and that inside it’s nice and warm
and that she is nice and warm on you.
That lust is like rabies when it gets a hold of you,
and that there is a lot of mindless violence
out there and ruthless competition
and that you have to be really careful
if you want to make it
if you want the house and the car and the garage
and the dog and your peace of mind—
none of it easy
you have to be weary of people
most of them don’t want you in peace
most people are polar bears feasting
on guts and blood
and that the modern poem has become
more like the writer
talking to himself
rather than the writer
that writes a letter with heart and dream and mind
and puts it in an almost empty whiskey bottle
and then sets it on the waves and watches it go.
You are hot she says
touching your thigh with her lips,
meaning your temperature
thank you, you say,
I work out and she laughs
and says hotboxing a car
is called submarine in Bulgaria
and you laugh
because you’re high and she plucks
hair from your chest
and she has an ear fetish
and you don’t work tomorrow.
“i wanna kill a tech bro”
i wanna murder
a rich millenial
i wanna grab him by his undercut and scream,
“look at me,
look at what you’ve forgotten
look at the reincarnation
of the impolite and failures of life.”
i wanna strangle
a hip university tech bro
i wanna cut off his head and mount it and
carry it to columbia university and say
“i’ve killed the best of what you had to offer and
here is my art piece.
here is my art piece.
hand me a scholarship or two and i’ll kill whatever you throw at me
whatever promising future you give me
from whatever old loins you’ve been reusing.”
i wanna murder
a rich millenial
and paint myself with his
and walk into the nearest art studio and say
“i am your ally
i am your friend
here is the skin
of an old man recycled
and i’ve brought it to you to make it
something real art.
give me your money or i’ll
kill you, too.
i am a fucking artist and that means
i will kill you, too.”
Write, Rant, Scribble, Scrawl
I’ve hardly written anything
for the last couple of months.
I’ve had a lot of stressful things
going on in my life.
It feels so good to feel the urge
again, the future looks like one
huge, white, blank page. I’m going
to write, rant, scribble, scrawl,
and draw surreal caricatures.
Take photographs of the mind,
snapshots of my surroundings
Poetry, prose and all points in
between, whatever I choose,
because there are no rules.
I’ve never understood those who
talk of the tyranny of the blank
page, all I see are opportunities.
Places to place my phrases,
playgrounds for my sentences.
I’m excited about the uninvited
writings about to issue from
About Some Meaningless Events
The TV news anchor is counting on her fingers the day’s number of meaningless events. You can wait for the darkness to lift on its own or you can try your voice and rattle windows, shake pictures off the walls. Your fate is a matter of indifference to the oligarchs, who only pretend for the cameras that the opposite is the case. You have acquiesced too long in the charade; you might even be okay with living in a cage if it had Wi-Fi. Wake up, wake up. There’s nobody to teach a child to not step on a caterpillar.
Lady Ogre was working out on her Peloton bike when she felt faint and dizzy and puked up a junkie. Downstairs, her sometime boyfriend, alias Captain Dread, stood with one booted foot on an alligator skull, preparing to address his talented but perverted crew of underground cartoonists. “Don’t let the page be gray,” he said in his best pirate growl. “Make it jump! Make it crackle! Blister their irises!” While he spoke, a tree had grown out of the grave of Tom Paine, patron saint of outcasts and rebels, its leaves rippling like lacerated flags bearing the skull and crossbones.
There were weeks of paralysis when I couldn’t make rent. The landlord, who smoked in bed and was always catching fire, had finally seized my belongings – books, furniture, etc. – while I was out at the symphony. I rolled my coat into a ball just to have a place to sit down. The only other option would have involved a gas station stickup. I stared across the room at the empty space on the wall where a poster of Chagall’s cheerfully nihilistic “I and the Village” had been thumbtacked. My blood sang in my ears like a nightingale with a toothache.
a prayer for times of desperation
let me sink into the arms of the Mother
and clutch my way back to her hidden and sometimes barren womb
that once claimed me and held me infinitely
and balanced my embryo between space and time.
spared from the range of human emotion
only an egg and a sack of skin and flesh and bone
tightly wound in a sequence of repeating letters
of primordial stew.
let me be seated in the arms of The Virgin Mother,
wounded and bleeding and wearing a crown of thorns
that I have fashioned out of my own desperation,
the thorny and wild crown that seeps into my skull
and where milk flows from my mouth and eyes
let there be honey instead.
and let there be the sweet lilies adorning my crown
while Saint Peter paces at the gate waiting for my return.
oh, my prodigal son!
let me crawl into the mouth of God like a moth
with wings and all,
gently seated on the back of her tongue
where I will devour the soot of anger
and swallow last Sunday’s cigarette butt without any qualms for I will
be the gift that keeps on giving.
The dark side of car karaoke
Gene Kelly can get drenched
in the summer rain if he wants,
singing and hoofing
from lamp post to lamp post
as a change in weather
intensifies the drops
of a passing drizzle
to a muggy monsoon.
I’d much rather turn
the volume knob in the dry
cabin of my true blue
Accord as high as can go ,
caterwauling to whatever
classic rock tune comes on
for the millionth time
on a steamy August day.
I bypass Boston to attempt
a Bohemian Rhapsody solo,
multitasking Freddie Mercury
lines like a fucking Vienna
Choirboy strung out on speed
as the wipers tango
across the windshield
till at the only light in town
some guy in a copper
colored pick up truck ahead
of me rolls down his window
in the pouring rain and waves
a burly arm tattooed
with swastikas and flags
of a southern confederacy.
I figure with the rain and all
maybe the big malcontent
needs directions or something
but then he’s screaming out
faggot this and faggot that,
stomping towards my car
and I knew his GPS was looking
for a face to land a right cross.
Bully pulpits make wild dogs
mad enough to unleash
a hurting of biblical proportions
so the foam drooling out
his toothless mouth and an NRA
bumper sticker gave common
sense a pregnant pause
to consider flight or fight.
I unholstered my only line
of defense of a recording
smart phone to combat
the stupidity of hate as drivers
leaned on their horns ,not
to protect my ninety eight
pound weakling ass, but to get
to wherever the hell they had to go.
A cop came around with sirens
blaring and Anytown’s finest
ushered the heathen back
to the truck and sent him
on his way before pointing
at my cell phone and saying,
“I’m going to have to give you
a ticket for using that while driving.”
my dearest daughter
how absurd is it that we
should not know each other
after all these many years
part of it is my fault
my parental responsibility
overshadowed by my hatred
for that woman
you call a mother
in another universe
maybe things would be different
but I never read you
fairy tales as a little girl
and I’m sure as hell
not going to start now