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Thursday, August 25, 2016

MOST MEN IN AMERICA



Outside my window
the raven beckons
to follow him again
as in that kingdom far away
in a time when hoods
of muslin saved our sight
from the diamond in his eye
that blazed like a thousand suns

And wasn't it you
who told me that love
is like a banana
you've got to peel away
the facade

And wasn't it you I saw
seething inside your skin
at the Metropolitan Opera

Grunting like a pig
when the fat lady sang
hooting from the balcony
like a Portuguese pimp
a break with tradition to be sure
running amok till they pinned you down
inside the ladies room

Tempest in a pisspot

And isn't that Miz Chauncey Lee L'Amour
sitting right over there
sucking on her
mint julep
trading tales of the good ol' days
when men were men
and women were horses
and giddyup ol' paint
was the prelude to a kiss

Her entourage
of the rouged and the wrinkled
hanging on her every word
well aware that most men in America
in this year of the locust
in this decade of the plague
would rather be sniffing
through the long abandoned ruins
of an old haunt
than to give up the ghost
to some baby-faced whore

And now my old friend the raven
has moved to Baltimore
where he works as a squeegee man
on certain odd numbered holidays
and plays the guitar
with Eric Clapton
and sometimes Charlie Byrd
while all the sweet young things chant
GO CAT GO!
GO CAT GO!

But well you know
the whole world's a stage
that you're going through
just to get to someplace else
and though they stomp and shout
for another encore
quoth the raven: Ain't no more!

It was a lively time
says Miz Chauncey Lee L'Amour
well aware that most men in America
take their pants off one leg at a time
all grist for a story of some kind
and you know dahling
you really should write it

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

AND SO ON



No one is crazy
about a poem
that goes on
and on
and on
and on
and on 
and on 
and on
and so on
(you gotta get out there and slop the pigs!)

A poem should be
like a good fight with your girlfriend. 

Say it succinctly

have it mean something
make it feel like a stab in the heart
and get out of there.

Come back later.


Approach cautiously

and take a peek
to see if "she" still looks friendly.

Then dress her up a little

and get ready
for her big debut with your friends!


Tuesday, August 16, 2016

TRACE IT BACK




Nature procreates
mindlessly
with no regard for the numbers
or the consequences.
I know some peeps like that too.

Bathing in their own pious disregard--
the stink of the river still on them,
as Gaia's icy tears
cascade into the sea.

And I thought I heard her whisper:
There's only one of me...
and far too many of you.


Wednesday, August 10, 2016

OLD BEATER



When I reach the end
 of that road
I'll be like some of those old cars
I used to drive around
held together by chewing gum
and bailing wire
an old beater
(I know what you're thinkin')
limpin' along
chokin' and coughin' and splutterin'
(but never  out of "gas")
destined for some boneyard
to be gutted for spare parts

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

UNNOTICED


They slip by

day by 

day by 

day

that is life's little trick
as you're not supposed to notice
till one day you glance in the mirror
and reel back in HORROR
then you hear somebody laughing
you can't see them
but that is LIFE
getting such a kick out of
pulling that shit
on some hapless sonofabitch
once again

Friday, June 17, 2016

FISH IN A BARREL



You remember the wild west
where everybody was a gunslinger
and when the bad guys came to town
an armed citizenry had some
recourse to deal with 'em

I had a vision
of a new America
much like the old America
where east is west
and west is west
in the new wild west

Where pistol packin' mamas
are toting something more than lipstick
and Tic Tacs in their bag--
and they know how to use it

Cuz a shootout
is better than a massacre
any day
pardner

Or would you rather be fish in a barrel?

You know as well as I
that day is comin'
there'll be no more debate
just a throwback to a simpler time
when men were men
and women were Miss Kitty
and the cathouse
is right down the street

So sidle up to the bar, boys
and get yer whiskey
and learn how to down it
in one swallow

Cuz a shootout is better
than a massacre
any day
pardner

Or would you rather be fish in a barrel?

I had a vision of a new America
where necessity
becomes the mother of invention

Where zombies roam among the populace
programmed for apocalypse
(they're already here)
and they have to be taken out
you've seen the movie--
we gotta take 'em out

Cuz a shootout is better
than a massacre
any day
pardner

Or would you STILL just rather be fish in a barrel???

 




Saturday, June 4, 2016

ARE U FLASHING GANG SIGNS AT ME OR ARE U JUST SPASTIC?



Dem goddamn blueberries when dey fall
when dey fall...

Dad deserves the best--get him some new
jockey shorts, but beware--he'll be pissed
if they're a size too small,
so sneak into his room when he's sleeping
with a tape measure.

Dem blueberries when dey tumble
off da 'frigerator shelf...

I confess what I've had bottled up inside me
for all this time is that...
goddamned Santa Claus,
he never brought me NUTHIN' I really liked.

(Would you believe I had a mild form of
Tourette's--"Saint Vitus Dance" they used to call it--
which I mostly kept under control,
or do you think I might just say that as an attempt
to explain, legitimize, or justify my poetry? )

Goddamned Santa Claus.

And dem blueberries when dey hit da floor
dey don't spill all over da place like before--
maybe my luck is changin'

At any rate, we musn't rush.
We lose GRACE when we rush--
like all the ungainly people
running to catch the bus.

But dad deserves the best, you know.
Every dad has his day
and his is comin' up.

The only lasting things he taught me were the phrases:
You talk like a woman with a paper butthole
and
Ya don't know shit from apple butter
and he was a linguistics professor too...

Goddamn blueberries.
(They've fallen and they can't get up.)

Santa tumbling head-first down da chimney.

We all
headed for a fall

So until that ungainly
ungodly day
git your back up off da wall
and DANCE!!!

(Do tics fit the description?)





Tuesday, May 31, 2016

A SHORT PLAY...ON WORDS (or "Eat Shit And Die")





                       THE SCENE: A fast food drive-through somewhere in                                                                    middle America                        

                       CHARACTERS:

                      SHE: A young female order taker
                      HE: A male customer who has just pulled up to the intercom                                                  


SHE: Hello, and welcome to SHITBURGER. How may I help you?

HE: Uh... I guess I'll have a SHITBURGER with everything on it.

SHE: You want the works on that, you say?

HE: I think...what kind of shit does that come with?

SHE: Oh, there's all kinds of shit on there, sir....a real load. I think you'll     enjoy it.

HE: Okay, then, I'll give that a try. Never had a SHITBURGER before, but my girlfriend strongly recommended that I eat some...

SHE: Oh yes, we get a lot of referrals that way. Mostly men. 

HE: So these burgers are good, eh?  I admire that you are up front in your advertising about the ingredients. That seems to be rare these days.

SHE: Well, sir, that was an easy decision. Our research indicates that most people don't give a shit what's in it, as long as it tastes good. And we've devised a way to make shit absolutely DELICIOUS!

HE: No accounting for taste, as they say!

SHE: Ha ha...that's right, sir.

HE: Your prices are really good.

SHE: Yes, they are...we make shit affordable...and addictive!

HE: Right...uh, what other shit do you have to go with that?

SHE: There's our curly fries...deep fried...

HE: Sounds delicious.

SHE : Deep fried in some deep shit.

HE :All right...I'll take the curly fries too.

SHE: Guaranteed to curl your toes. Would you like something to drink with that?

HE: I see that your BIG PISS cup is a full sixteen ounces for only fifty-nine cents!

SHE: Yes... it's full of piss, but with all the high fructose corn syrup in there, you'll never notice the difference.

HE: YAHOO! Looks like I'm all set.

SHE: Please pull up to the window then, sir,  and thank you for choosing SHITBURGER. Have a crappy day!

HE: Ha ha...no doubt about it. No doubt at all!!!












Tuesday, May 17, 2016

THE UNBEARABLE SLIGHTNESS OF BEING



Another dawn fulfills its pledge to the calendar.
Another day finds me searching for my name.
Angst must be kept at bay with constant distraction.

I wander through the crowd in a Mylar suit.

(Gotta short between the ears, I hear somebody say.)

Funny clowns--buncha balloons...

baby let's go and WHOOSH--it's bye bye.
The first in a long string of lessons.
(A child cries in the jungle under the Jurassic sun--
some things never change).

Girls in poodle skirts on porch swings,

Parchesi in the parlor, and Father Knows Best.
Secretly,we replaced this couple's 
coffee with Sanka brand.
(Secretly, she wants to be defiled in the basement.)
TASTES LIKE SHIT! she exclaims.
That one doesn't make it on the air.

Two come-hither eyes from across the room.

Carly singing:I'll never learn to be
just me first by myself.

Cruising through Memphis at midnight.

(Do I really feel the way I feel?)
She is nearly in my lap.
I said you can work the gearshift--
she made her own interpretation.

Packed my bags and headed west

(I've left a few things out)
west of somewhere
east of someplace else--
a matter of perspective.

No one knows where they really are.


And when I turn to look back, the memory of

You, and You,and You turns to salt.

And were it not for gravity
I'd have floated clean away by now--
avoiding all the fuss--like a pink balloon
under the August moon, or
Uncle Albert dodging the pigeons
before their nightly bowel movement.

Past the screaming bullets.

Past the starving children.
Past the glaciers cascading into the sea.

Somewhere there's a reason--

maybe I can see it from up here. 

Thursday, May 5, 2016

SOME EVEN RUN




Imaginary Garden With Real Toads










Somebody asked today
what I do with my time.
I said I pay bills.

That's takes up a good chunk of it.


Oh, and lots of walking

(mainly to take out the garbage).

Other than that it's

readin' and writin'
but very little arithmetic,
cuz I put 2 + 2 together
a long time ago and observed
that nothing comes out
exactly the way you're expecting.

Used to spend a lot of my time

tryin'to figure out why that was
but people would say: Why you standin'there scratchin'yo head all the time?
And I'd say oh, lice--and that left me with
a lot of free time to myself--
but still couldn't put my finger on it
other than each of us is just a half
lookin' for the other half,
instinctively knowing we were whole
before the Great Forgetting--
but once broken it's hard
to get those Humpty Dumpty
shards perfectly aligned again.

Best I can advise is

that at some point I will betray you.
Or you will betray me.
And we will either live with it
or we won't. Those who do
put on a brave face,
refusing to be broken.

Some of them even run for president.