MOVIE CHANNEL I'm watching another movie from the thirties. A woman coughs. Two scenes later she's dead. A bevy of beaus is courting Bette Davis. But why? Black guys wheel suitcases down railway platform. They smile. Sometimes, they even sing. Fred Astaire, in black and white, has no discernible body. I still giggle at the Brothers Marx. Charlie Chaplin keeps his mouth shut. Rin Tin Tin saves the day. And when Errol Flynn swashbuckles, I have no doubts that they don't make movies like that anymore. It's more than just lounging on the couch, the television remote dozing at my side. This is time travel. Clark Gable's ears protrude and yet the women love him. Those same women know their place. Except when they don't. It's the time of the depression, yet it's all about how not to be depressed. Even when the hero dies, the sobbing keeps its distance. Besides, murders are solved. Good triumphs. The girl behind the perfume counter meets and marries Ray Milland. Blacks open doors, take hats from visitors. They smile. Sometimes they even sing. The war is on its way yet no one's fighting it. Not when the west needs to be won. Indians are shot in vast numbers. They don't smile that I've noticed. And they sure don't sing. But, against the odds, people are brave, do the right thing. And, in the end, they invariably choose the right one. It's America in black and white, except it's extremely gray from where I'm sitting. And, whenever the opportunity arises, Old Glory, that ubiquitous flag, is raised. It smiles. Sometimes it even sings. TOO MUCH TO ASK That my juices stay vital. The Civil War finally be over. Fading black and white photographs regenerate themselves and even add a little color. That cockroaches no longer breed like cockroaches. My earwax doesn’t smell. The chip on my shoulder is chocolate. A certain side of my personality doesn’t emerge at all. That gas fumes never again mix with the odors of fish. My tuneless punk band has a shot at stardom. Drummers master their skills without ever having to practice. Fruit stick to their guns, don’t go rotten. That faith is rewarded at least once a week. Mozart replaces Valium in the medicine cabinet. The shaman’s instructions actually work when carried out. Ghosts are real and friendly. That the guy on the barstool next to me is not a cretin. Bureaucracy is less Kafkaesque. Strip joints exist only to help in giving directions. Interaction runs smoother. That book-reading militias replace the gun-toting kind. Vacant lots find something to do. The gas station urinal is not stuffed with paper. There’s a parking space at the bakery. That anyone who wishes to be alone can be. The forest remain deep, secret and just noisy enough. Shell-shock be reserved for those seated near the amps at heavy metal concerts. Charlie Parker’s not forgotten. That, should the occasion demand, the air be full of horns and hallelujahs. Or, if not, be as quietly dazzling as the stars. Wishes, once vetted for possible harm to others, come true. Four generations of my family can exist peacefully in one house at one time. That I’m invited to the right parties. There’s still old hippies in the world. All my motives are genuine. That it’s not too much to ask. THE UNDENIABLE VIEW From this whirlpool as it spins through space, the view through windows of the massive inscrutable buildings has an unreal quality, fine furniture and shiny waxed hardwood floors like occasional glints of hope, but the man in the chair with bald head and glazed eyes suffering through the doom of every last one of his ambitions. like a lizard without the tongue reflexes to zap that passing fly as his fingers tap the inevitable thrum of the grave, the clogged artery of dust and worms that ultimately puts every last one of us out of circulation – did I say “window”? I meant mirror.
Selected Drinking Poems by Randall Rogers (Smelly) Moments In Time A universe is a river of alcohol spreading capillaries of experience and love to growing bodies minds and souls: the mouth is the gateway to the asshole the eyes are the windows to beauty but it is the breath that makes one smelly both good or bad for life. Firing Blanks/Parental Practice Sometimes because I have no child and drink (as so many do) I look next to me and start teaching air to grow up and not choose voluntary death because I fashion myself a drunken single parent bachelor INCEL with potential. Mendacity Drunken friend there are no others out there life on Earth is it Eve made it so discovering the secret of life and death - original sin - sealed our fate begging God to return ever since no reason to offer up – set up - another morality play (for us to knock down) allowing matter consciousness enough to create transcendent ideas enough to make life beautiful without booze. Omnibus Drink Selection Happy Hour Into conscious mechanization I pour into the fluid life of a margarita machine solid state meandering pulse free to ripple surge develop ice cube sugar electricity spark enough to blow our minds to smithereens weeping depression melancholia restricting life support till visions and breakfast pull us all back from the brink of sanity still breathing pure magic. 2021 Attending a concert drunk nowadays is a lot like entering a hot dog eating contest: you take your life in your hands. Glorious Abandon! Mystify your world look for souls you’d want to go to heaven with and drink with them love them toast them share truths and insanity with them boast as brothers fight spend time in sweet inebriation drunk with their wives in carnal knowledge with them hold dear to mystery to define them in alcoholic shining armor! enhance amber clarity to obtain position in their thought where they rest assured come fortune or naught failure or success grounding of a middling stifling drudgery life or cognitive tempest sex with you is the answer too all will be well…. With another round.
chalk lines of bodies in the schoolyard i feel like an old whore out of luck out of time out of any useful thoughts needed for what this world has become broken rainbows chalk lines of bodies in the schoolyard the first hit is for the pain next is the chase for the elusive dream that brings relief the poor are more likely to die from attrition yet it is easier to swallow that we're all junkies wastes of flesh the excuse for the rich to get away with never paying taxes we'll go dancing under the bridge near the great river with any bit of life left we'll slip into the cold water of tomorrow and never be heard from again ------------------------------------------------------------------ three or four days later i remember dreams when i was younger and i always had a woman by my side some tantalizing muse that would whisper the most evil shit in my ear to make me laugh and we would write and paint and drink until the sun came up three or four days later and every time i thought i found that dream woman something always got in the way be it life be it my fragile ego be it the inability to ever be good enough for something other than my hand the nights i drink myself to sleep increase with every passing year eventually, the clock will run out
The Wire Come on out of your shell, Take a walk upon the wire, Watch that you don’t fall, Beware of the fire. Look down at the abyss, Fire down below, Careful as you move along, Take it nice and slow. Fire down below you, No way to ascend, No way to know what is ahead, When the wire has reached its end. Don’t think about the abyss, Pay no attention to the fire, Dig each righteous step you take, As you travel on the wire. No way to go backward, Back into your shell, The wire is now your home, Your shell has served you well. But the wire might lead to heaven, Or the wire might lead to hell, But it’s your wire to travel, Pity if you fell.
To Those I’ve Wounded What I didn’t do I should’ve done, and what I did do, I shouldn’t have, and now I can’t escape my own history, a stench like dead-flower water in a vase.
The Many Depressions of Life One of my grandmothers had dementia toward the end. A ten-year old end. My other grandmother who is still alive has schizophrenia. Not good to have so much mental illness in your family DNA. I don’t bring that shit up on dates. I went to meet the dementia one because this time, she was way too close to the end. She didn’t recognize me at all, nor my father and worse yet she wasn’t herself anymore, either. Everything that made her my grandmother was no longer there. We could as well be two strangers communicating through two different languages while suffering from different mental illnesses. Five months before she was diagnosed they’d flown her to the USA for a very expensive eye laser therapy. This old husk of a woman could see as well as a cyborg. “ What a waste” I had told the room after I’ve given up getting through to her “ such a waste of money just for her to turn Ike this now.” My relatives has scolded my thinking. My father had put both his hands in his pants pockets and said: As much as good timing can help bad timing can harm. They scolded him, too. They didn’t understand that my fathers pants pockets were once full of money and relief but were now empty. My relatives hadn’t counted coins on the palms of their hands anxious that they’re adequate for whatever sad purchase you might need to make in decades. I never saw that old lady again. I got a picture some months later of my father leaning over the open casket of his mother and planting a kiss on her forehead. She looked peaceful. Done with it all. The sadness of my father’s face baffled me. He always had a great disdain for his mother, for her intellect or lack thereof and the fact that she never helped him once in an essential way, or at least that’s what he maintained. “Put the smartest man in the world To live with the dumbest person of the world and I guarantee you the dumb one will win.” Addressed to his mother for when they lived together. But family is family. I guess. There’s a biological factor in the stubborn love of a relative you would never befriend in your life. That old lady was once my grandmother washed my baby butt tought me how to take a dumb in a Turkish toilet. Kissed my tiny weenie when we were done washing and always told me that I’ll become a lover boy. That I would see, some day. What can you say? Plenty of reasons to get depressed while in the joy ride no matter the joy— the fleeting joy. It’s a game of turns. In time, I’ll be leaning over my dead father thinking of all the time we wasted not talking about art or women or anything at all and I’ll wipe my tears over his forehead and soon enough it’ll be my time to be weeped over and who knows I might finally look peaceful then.
Pinch You stretch, getting out of bed, and I’m as tightfisted as the trees with my love. I could cut you but that would hurt too much, so I smile at you instead, my gainful governor. See, I’ve given up so much territory already, given you my hopes for some kind of trip to the sky. But we can’t afford it, you say and shrug. Here’s payment, I say, jaded but educated in what turns your body on. You don your protective suit, shy but exultant as I’m busy fumbling with your parts, making slow but tidy love. You enter my halls with enough force for four as the naked nymphs of the past bathe in a fountain beside where the poets educate and the fairies are lying, waiting for various forms of approval from the romantic Gods. My main interest is to toy with you, but don’t be concerned, I’m deranged. I want to rule you and obey you and maybe that’s why I’m upset, filled with worry for the daily. It’s a great morning though and I promise I won’t be so aloof and overwrought. I don’t tell you these things I’m thinking for fear of your reaction. You’ll just have to split my legs and wait for the result.
Author Bio I could advertise the network of scars I bear from a neurotic upbringing, or say I live mostly in my head, or even joke that I am a noted writer of blurbs for other people’s poetry books, and I could do it, just as required by your submission guidelines, in “50 words or less,” but it wouldn’t be the whole truth, more like the article of clothing given to a search dog to learn the scent of a person who has gone missing.
What the Billboards Say They say, NO DREAMING. It’s true the world has fallen through the looking glass, but no dreams? Just last night I dreamed about a truck, a dog, and a field of poppies growing near my house. Tonight, they’ve brought search lights shining them into my windows as if to say, Hand them over. What will they do with my dreams of armored trucks, brave dogs, and a field full of soldiers fighting to save us? Now they’ve finished with our land, they’re searching deep into the heavens. Now it’s up to the stars, so far failing to shoot them down.
Good Book this book makes me uncomfortable with each page crackling like whips at each turn there’s too much rape and slavery along with a few pinches of incest the slaveowner has no redemptive quality there’s no Morgan Freeman to narrate and soothe me. there’s no real conclusion just more death and rape let’s read romance yeah, the hunk is a misogynistic asshole with ripped shirts, disguising commandments as chocolate tones and he always appears out of nowhere but the sex is so good and consensual and they live happily ever after now that’s a book