Monday, October 31, 2011

Life’s a Supermarket with Expiring Goods

A child quietly screaming, veins
pulse towards a motherly shadow.
Bruised face, red-purple, like
the discolored arms and legs of
heroin addicts from countless years
before and to come.

The child stares my way, an
innocent, isolated alien abandoned
three planets from the sun.

Token thoughts of the saddest kind
were given to the juvenile moped riders,
the helmetless children of pavement
and cement. A crescent raceway
designated for the speed and superegos
of calloused emotions, hard-headed
drivers of remote-controlled cars and
baby whispers.

I walk past normal spectacles of any day.
A confusion jamboree tornadoed among
the weak, dedicated, and elderly.

In the marketplace, in the produce and
deli sections, the dog of consumers’ souls
waits at the end of a rusted chain.
A slobbering guardian.

Jaw lock.

In line first, but forgot to grab a ticket
with a number printed on it.

“The line starts back here,” some guy says.

Oak Road Bonsai Trees

As thick as an action figure’s arm and
branching in lightning flashes, it takes
form. A practice from Japan my eyes
have seen. I watch the snips, smell the
limbs clipped. Green crashes to the bed
below and will soon be composted.
There’s a miniature rake and shovel for
the sand, gravel and moss landscapes.
Manicuring hands prune like a barber,
daring chlorophyll fingers to transform
into an unnatural, unwanted life form.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Family Vacation in the Scorches of Heat and Drunk Sincerity

Lightning tattoos a dead end night.

Before the alarm clock’s scream,
children are already awake.

Toys and cartoons lead the way.
Like the time alcohol brought
a spouse out from hiding.

Maybe it was St. Patrick’s Day or
Cinco de Mayo or Dyngus Day or
New Year’s Eve, but it happened.

Not the way your ancestors may have
experienced it, not the way animals
have instinct, although, you’ve dreamt
about getting mammals drunk.

No U-Turn on this highway.

Yield to your dreams for the sake
of others’ plans and punch life’s
timecard on schedule.

Like the time I left my rage
at the side of a peppermint field and
stumbled through the age of growing up.

Lazy bones sat with rolled cigarettes
and jugs of homemade wine.
They offered their outdated advice
and said phrases similar to,

“What’s the price of rice in China
got to do with American supermarkets?”

They fell down, assumed the fetal dance
and poured gasoline into flowerbeds.


I see all of the footprints in the snow.
Whose tracks are they? Are they yours?
Did you come back? Are you yelling
out to me in the backyard blizzard?
Probably not. You gave back your key
after all had been removed except the
sheets, the wine, a potato with eyes.


A week ago yesterday, uniformed toughs
copped Gene off Broadway.
Two teenage boys snickered and rode off,
one on the bicycle’s handlebars.
A small, wired haired mutt pissed on a bench.

“Gene never did nothin’ ta nobody!
Except fight in a war that was given to him,”
echoed throughout the tiny valley.

Lazy day sharply came to an end.
Tonight we toast and drink to him.
We think things are unnecessarily
unprofessional in critical times.

We cut off our pant legs to encounter longer
nails in plates of bacon and eggs. Broken arms
use hitchhikers thumbs to their advantage.

When will Gene join us? It’s been thirty
pounds of aluminum cans and still no sign.

Whores who don’t feel safer still walk around
after their naps. Detox centers are filled up
and Gene never returned.

Another example stolen from the streets.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

A Wall as an Island

After the giant tortoise was unshelled and
gutted, we mounted the head.
It hung next to an iguana’s.

For days after, the two heads seemed
to rest in peace; old friends from Galapagos.

Next on Dad’s list was the cranium of a finch.
They would be his Three Stooges,
a complete set in mint condition.
Who could place a monetary value on that?

Dad wanted to buy Darwin’s skull also,
but mom wouldn’t let him.

Church Postcards

The black ice wind scrapes across
a tar patched sky. Like an old, tired
native, it weeps at the view of
physical dissemination.

From the depleted East the elements
pillaged conviction all the way to
the evening’s crashing sun.

The valley vibrates when creatures
clamber over mountains, into cathedrals.

Reminders of hope abide upright,
a Vegas neon crucifix beacon
to guide us all.

To others, the illumination could
have been the star of Bethlehem or
an orchestra of hyenas honing their skills.

Sets of rules bleed into open fields,
blossoms of childish purity refuse to open.

Mother Nature’s ghost glides like
wished upon dandelion clocks that
jettison toward a daylight moon.

Her apparition whispers a soft yawn
in your ear. The meaning is unpredicted
and surreal like a teenager whose teacher
went to school with you.

The portcullis is closed, the drawbridge
raised while crocodiles and piranhas
haunt in an autumn eclipse.

Wishful August into September

Traveling from the Midwest,
diagonally to South America,
Chicago to Bogotá.

Motor a rental across the
Andes to Quito.

Wade in the Pacific,
saltwater rushing up to thighs,
filling pockets with crustaceans.

Always emotive like a great wave
rolling upon the dunes of Indiana.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Politics Isn’t Always a Game of Poker-faced Halfwits and Liars

Machiavelli passage, a time and a place
for men to be good or not to be good.
A prince must have the knowledge of
being able to know the difference of
appearance and action.

He should be loved and feared in order
to rule more effectively. He must remember
that many people are not good. They will
need to be dealt with quickly, maintaining

the image of goodness amongst the people.
Appear more sympathetic than merciless.
The governed tends to respect those who they
believe is more willing to nurture than punish.

Deception to maintain the kingdom.

Keep the governed happy and content, but also
keep those (who may wish to do harm) under
the impression that one wouldn’t hesitate to
destroy those that are against the kingdom.

Certain actions maybe necessary to keep the
citizens fearful and thankful simultaneously.

Tax money shouldn’t be wasted on unused bombs.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


The old man’s collar forces him down.
A splintered, wooden contraption,
heavy like a sinking cruise liner.

Translucent eyes scrape dismal lids.
Drooping purple, aging black.
Breath screams. Pops of blood debasing
the mouth like an old street whore.

The pleasure exits, drowns him out, and
down like rabbits in garbage bags,
sinking in the brown juice of a river.
Ear canals and lungs fill with tears.

Explode. Ecstasy.

Over a bridge there are bags,
yellow tie straps swaying lightly, under
sprinting clouds. They nap like a newborn.

The old man’s life a poisonous appendix,

fading away are thoughts of marmalade,
sweet bunt cakes and yesterday.

Swift Migration

I left the concrete via turn lanes,
one-way streets, the homeless
suffering. An overpopulated mass
transit subway system; a pulsing
aorta of mortal vestige.

I hotfooted it like fleeing deer
from a forest ablaze; mosquitoes
absquatulating out of rippling water.

The city has me sweating more
than normal this year.
A wild time. Not the year
for lovers luck.

Static covers understanding and
conversation like moss.


No, just a mossback.
A backwards pedestrian crossing
towards flooded basements.
Beyond the city limits, the brisk air
and whispers of deceased foliage
smash my face like a rubber mallet
against a Bondo dent.

A sparrow, or maybe a finch,
skims in the wind, dodging hail
and meteor particles reminiscent of
December dandruff on a black sweater.

Their wings brushing bashful.

It’s to the country setting I’m jetting to.
No bike lanes or parking meter readers.

Just the echoes of silence and
the smells of hogs and ethanol.

Obscure Metaphor

Why spend all night refilling water balloons from the tap?

They smash like poems. The shrapnel continuously
rolling off leper’s tongues and trailer park sheet metal.

Real and fake, like Buffalo, New York, Monkey Wards,
Merrimac, Kentucky, Moldy Dead Guy Island,
Cat Crunch Meow National Park,
Monterrey, Mexico, Beirut, Lebanon,
The Caves of San Francisco’s Non Art Community,
The Idaho School of Veterinarian Medicine & Ethics,
Bogotá, Columbia, Lake Charles, Louisiana.

Hell, maybe even South Bend, Indiana.

Smash a beach, watch welts from a liquid whip bruise
a body made of granules. The sand mutates darker as
the water and the sun have their way with it.

The tide reaches for a lady, in a plastic folding chair.
Possibly, her thoughts are of the one who was here
and then departed. Broke onto the shore, only
to retreat back to nature, back to a tortuous horizon

Might As Well Jump

I don’t know how it happened.
It just did.
The shit was random, original.
Life changing.

David Lee Roth needed a ride
to his storage shed.
It was off of Ironwood Rd.
He gave directions.

High kicks and screeches like my
dad’s Impala highlighted the way.
His cellophane pants melted.

We survived on Dramamine, oranges,
and flat cola in a plastic cup.

The cup reminded me of kegs, fights.

David Lee Roth said, “Quitting someday.”
He lit a Marlboro. The cerulean smoke
rose from the cherry. It was starving.

It swallowed him whole without regard
for the seatbelt or the law.

Broken Bottles Captured in Spider Webs

Verbal monitory systems thrive.

The sound of rose petals falling
to cement, bees following downward,
from honeycomb castles, to imbibe
the last of the precious juice spilling
from testimonial warning razor slits
with cigarettes and coffee mornings.

Amish bump along the highways
in their black buggies, horses pull
bats out of holes in barns and houses

like broken bottles captured in spider webs

Friday, October 21, 2011

Alone Again

No boring fetish kept locked away
in a musty closet or

a war-time footlocker that
once held foolish love letters.

No maid uniforms, leather whips,
handcuffs or hot-waxed nipples.

No choking, biting, smacking of
an ass cheek or two.

No naked lunches, no tropics.
Just cancer and capricorns

Thursday, October 20, 2011


She ran scantily enveloped in aluminum foil
as the rain ran down gray. A mindless taxiing

between bagpipe solos, lightning flashes.

A vision, the smallest bit of dead, of bent
necked swans taking flight from a lagoon.

A cross-eyed donkey perched upon the highest
stone to decipher the western wind. The low
lands have been stretched like medieval torture.

She spread the land like a gypsy.

Songs, theft, joy is what was sprinkled over
the pay phones, the waste water and sex shops.

The cricket warriors assembled, troops of
musical shields to muffle her gun shot laughter.

Trash Man

I never wanted to be a police officer when I was kid.

I wasn’t taught to view the men in blue as guardians
or upstanding citizens hatched to serve and protect.
They’re just humans like the homeless.

I was advised to know my civil liberties, memorize
The Constitution and Bill of Rights, befriend
drunken lawyers.

I was informed of shady dealings, planted evidence.

My dad said, “Son, never say a word to anyone
without an attorney present. Recognize unjust
happenings and the prospect of disaster.”

However, my teachers said the opposite.
They said that the police were our friends.

The black kids’ eyes bloomed dark, terrified.
The Hispanic kids whispered immigration hymns.

Others laughed while the rest cried.

I didn’t have a badge or handcuffs growing up.
No Billy club to flog my brother with or
mace helpless, future taxpayers in their
ignorant, unaware faces.

I never wanted to have the legality to kill.
I wanted to be the garbage man.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Racquetball King and the One Who Wouldn’t Be Queen

The racquetball king strolls from a match easily won

His skill with a racket and rubber ball caught
the attention of many, but it was the girl,

with a dead heart, that he desired.
She stood in the middle of a field of fire.
Everything about her was stoic like
she had been caught in Medusa’s gaze.

The racquetball king just couldn’t stand
the view. He used his favorite racket and his back-up
to part an ocean from Hades of combustible lust.

In the middle of the inferno, the girl with the dead heart
laughed at the way he frantically tried to save her.

The back-up racket started to melt, rain came down
as if the mortal’s hellish battle had been blessed by Zeus.

The racquetball king bowed in acknowledgment.
The girl of his desires, dead heart not pounding,
gave the middle finger up to the heavens.

She then pulled a shriveled mass from her pocket and
handed it to the racquetball king. She kissed him on

the cheek, stepped back, collapsed, became soil.

And Then You Were Thrown Up On

You and your lover are drunk on wine;

taking black and white photos
while listening to punk.

Black and white thoughts,
but gray where it matters.

A few snapshots later, you’ve
recreated all aspects of avant-garde.

Societal radiation emitting from
an imaginary anti-television revolution.

A staple pierced through the web of
skin between the pointer and thumb
stung with brilliant, artistic pain.

Anti-war poses were patriotic
in their American appearance.
Cushions fortified democracy and

a helmet on a cat protected children’s future.

After shared laughs, your lover climbs
into a cardboard box.

Like a cast ballot, folded,
trying to make a difference.

Monday, October 17, 2011


At the day’s dawn a fox hunts through
beer boxes, old electronics, trash bags
for survival scraps.

Two men wander the same path as
the fox. They rummage the same items,
scrapping metal for profit.

Fire burns on the top of the mountains
most mornings. Red, orange, purple,
yellow crayons melt on radiators of rock.

Berkeley Park runs quiet.
A rusty Pontiac waits in a
parking lot next to a karaoke bar.

No phones are ringing.
No false car alarms.
The fire station has hit
snooze on the siren.

Dogs lead themselves down Tennyson,
stride over children’s chalk graffiti.

Alphabetized authors were given the streets.
Yet literature rushes down the sidewalk.
Numerous sheets of paper, all different
colors, never knowing the story’s end.

The art galleries closed hours earlier.
Plastic cups that once held wine now
lay, with a hangover, in gravel.

A coffee shop unlocks its door.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Convict Poetry

I got a letter in the mail the other day.

It was sent by a girl that was doing time in
a women’s correctional facility somewhere in Ohio.

She told me that she had read some of my poems
online and that they kind of moved her.

She also said that it was my fault for her current residence.
See, she was reading my poems online and forgot about
the meth cooking in a room off of her boyfriend’s garage.

The goods got too hot and went BOOM.

Neighbors called 911 and kids got out of school.

She then went on to send me one of her own poems.
It was a sentimental rhyming thing about her son.

It wasn’t very good, but I knew what she was saying.
I knew what she meant

After a Long Drive

For Amy Dolinger

Silently standing, hoping that
something will happen.

Desperate prayers for the screams
of temptation to continue. Like

a box of dead baby birds,
unfortunate, but captivating.

It’s not enough to be warm
in a world that’s so cold.

It’s white lies in a confessional,
ghost orchids deep in a swamp,
broken squirt guns in the hands of kids,
daisies placed in a Jack Daniel’s bottle.

Still beautiful, still sweet.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Man’s Best Friend

I sit addled by that dizziness
that creeps from the mind,
rests upon shoulders.

It crawls the scalp.

Like a black dog
tied to a dying crab apple tree,
the sun’s anger burning,
flies disappear its ears and
eyes, ants cut off its paws,
fleas taking it all in.

Too weak for suicidal daydreams,
wondering if there’s still bite.

The dog lies, belly down, and
waits for the sky to bring water.

I don’t think the dog has a name.

I lay with the dog,
tied to the fading past,

we’re forgotten together.

Loved By All Men, Cherished By Zero

Watching over her children with a
loaded shotgun, a drunkard’s grin,
my neighbor waits for falling tear drops.

A police car drives past.
One taillight burned out.

In her ranch-style house
the windows have been exploded out,
holes decorate the walls,
an empty pill bottle
dances with the breeze.

Spinach spoils on the counter top.
Bloody toilet paper balls in the trash.

There’s been no sleep for over three days.

Wickedly entertaining behavior
that never wanted change.

A modern-day maternal outlaw.
An angel in love with the devil’s goodtime ways.

Not too Different

Two screamers argue, cobra-faced,
about the shadows of sound.
Coffee and last night’s pizza pieces
sail back-and-forth.

Joggers drag on.

The head of a songbird pleases a cat.
Hot days have the lines long
for cold rabbit stew.

The reptilian couple stop.
Braced like beggars at dawn
biding their time before
the guinea pigs arrive.

Prairie dogs burrow deep.

The dance of termites brought
cheers from a group of caribou
studying abroad. A powerful

rain came down right after the crows left.
Earth worms came out for a cleansing.

They crawled for miles to get
from under a skin paved avenue.

Hyenas stopped laughing.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Prank or Maybe I’m Losing It

A crucifix is laying head-first in an open oven.

A wine bottle is crusted to a kitchen counter,
black panties across a rocking chair.

Someone did this.

A note on the toilet says,

The glass of broken snow globes decorates the tub.
Drawings of hearts on the mirror look unhappy,
suicidal cherub working a noose in the cellar.

Outside it is dark, people have taken to the streets.
Drowning will replace deep breathes,
realism conquers love, and once a year

a thought about someone will disappear.

As personality burns in the background,
the reoccurring shadow of Osiris rises
above mountains and falls behind trees.

Tea Bag Party

Tight-lipped is the approach of gods
Old beings resurrected between brittle pages
A diaper full of burning thoughts

Do you want a haircut on Saturday?

Don’t go near the back bathroom
Daily do dead opossums rot

Ottoman stuffed full of Shar-Pei wrinkles
Beetle shell feet support on hardwood floor

The rats of March munch
on the face of monkey men

There’s never of a chance of a rain delay
in the vastness of a right-wing vagina
Making it a great place to see a ball game


The daylight life seems to be shrinking,
shriveled. Cancered thin.

We live nocturnal,

raccoon children with owl instructors.
I shot bullets into the sky as acknowledgement
of sexual conquests.

The stars get headaches; envy streetlights, neon.
No replaceable energy efficient bulbs up there.

I stopped under a bridge without my shadow.
Blizzards swept it off to float in Colorado.

There’s twenty-four hours of darkness in Alaska.
You get paid to live there.

Snowflakes landed on a drunk’s thumbprint.
There are a lot of them up there.
Falling fast without guidance.

There are litters of them here, too.
Equally unique, in chorus,

they fade from memory.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

In the Beginning

During a ceremonial fish gutting,
the local children swam through
the crab grass with fiberglass fins.
Spun glass appendages fastened securely.

The current can be a bitch,
but perception fares worse.

Adults ascended on a cedar platform,
raised above weathered tombstones.

The dais, a historical landmark, hosted
an orchestra’s wail while citizens smoked.

A distinguished looking man
raised his right arm toward the cloud
covered sky and relayed welcoming
from the heavens to the crowd.

The leatheriness of the man’s face,
standing atop the wooden stage, caused
a local animal rights group to heave buckets
of red, oil-based, paint upon his mug.

A wealth of facial hair did not help matters.

The cluster of people stood, watched
the man’s performance as if he were some
papal version of James Brown or David Bowie.

As the man danced in a triangle of fire
a little girl, with fiberglass wings, presented
a cake atop a white pillow to the man.

The heat from the man’s body melted
the frosting from the dessert.
The little girl reached into the cake and
removed a reptile of divinity.

Like how some religions drop the “O” from god,
the people swarmed to a blue-green Jesus lizard for

guidance and cosmic theological comfort

Monday, October 10, 2011

Lobotomize Me Already

Caught up in another one of
those mental tug-of-wars.

Which direction will pull harder?

Who or what will have
the strength to control fate?

Caught up in another one of
those mental battle of the bands.

Which sound will carry further?

Will listening closely expose
the hidden meaning of the tracks?

Caught up in another one of
those mental boxing matches.

Which punch will land, which will miss?

When the bell finally rings will
the fighter be down or left standing?

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Excuse Me, Sir, When Will I Ever Use This?

School is great for those who know
what they’re doing, I suppose.

Some find the experience enlightening.
Faraway, realities inundate their bodies.

I wish I could factor myself right
out of this linear equation.

Here’s a stat for you. I knew 88% of 20%
of some shit I’ll never use. I realize it’s

the bottom-line that matters, but what
really is the sum? Seriously,

I’ve got to know the degree of
a polynomial in order to

write stories and poems?

These past few poems are revised versions of older ones.

"Good, bad, I'm the guy with the gun." Ash Williams from Army of Darkness

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Blinders and Ear Plugs

Forever crashed, a footnote tucked away.

Chinese checkered life,
hopping over each other.

Formaldehyde brain theatre meltdown,

a sleep gyration,
a stapled crown.

A virgin parade promptly cycled
past the bank, the cathedrals, only to

revel in tomorrow’s crusted-over weight.
The way hell follows shadows sneaking.


Can’t help but to look over the shoulder.

This fearful anxiety that infects knows
no time frame, weather pattern.

Doesn’t give a shit if the shower is on
or there’s reading in the ozoneless sun rays.

Doesn’t necessarily happen in alleys,
late at night, extra cash in wallet.

Might happen while sitting alone, when
the air waxes stagnant. The same emptiness

that’s been lingering for years.