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Tuesday, August 8, 2017

MILO, THE SHIT BIRD



Oh SHIT, man!" said Jerry. "Something just went SPLAT on top o' my head."

Ben looked up. He heard the flutter of wings and a strange otherworldly cackle.

Jerry said, "What the hell was that, man?"

Ben stared at him, deadpan. "I think you've just been hit by Milo, The Shit Bird."

"Milo The Shit Bird...wha-?"

Ben fished around inside his lunch pail to find a paper napkin for  Jerry--the glob of excrement perched atop his buddy's hair growing more pungent by the moment. "He's legendary in this neighborhood. I know the people who used to own him. He's a Myna bird...they kept him in a cage most of the time, and he made it clear to them he wasn't happy with that arrangement. Then one day when they were cleaning his cage, he saw his path to freedom. Took off out the front door that had been left partially open. Ever since, folks around here have reported that they've been crapped on out of the blue--literally out of the blue--because he hovers over them and then it's bombs away, like he was the Enola Gay or something."

 "Geez," said Jerry, who was a poet. "That's kinda poetic justice. Taking it out on random people. He sees them as the oppressor."

"There's some inspiration for you, Jer," said Ben. "You could immortalize Milo, The Shit Bird in a poem."

"It is poetic when you think about it, man. We keep animals in cages. And because we think that's all right, we put people in cages too. Rather than, you know, trying to heal them."

"Sounds like you want to write about-"

"Man's inhumanity to man."

That's a deep subject, but if anybody can pull it off, you can."

Jerry had just about finished wiping the poo out of his hair when the two of them heard the flutter of wings again in the tree they were perched beneath under the noonday desert sun. And before Jerry could duck out of the way...

SPLAT!

Milo, The Shit Bird had struck again. This time the cackling they'd heard before was accompanied by: squawk...ASSHOLE...ASSHOLE...squawk !

"Jesus H. Christ!" Jerry cried. "Why'd he pick on me...TWICE?"

Ben had to stifle a laugh. "He knows your a poet, dude. He knows you're sympathetic to his plight. The only one who could put into words what many of the rest of us are thinking. Poets have started REVOLUTIONS, man!"

Jerry rubbed his stubbled chin, lost in contemplation. 

Ben glanced at his watch. "Guess we better be gettin' back to work, and find you some shampoo and a faucet to stick your head under."

"Geez," said Jerry. "That kinda puts into perspective what my real job is..."

 Ben closed up his lunch pail and gazed into the vast blue sky--the place where epiphanies that hit you like a water balloon chucked by some nasty middle school kids on a rooftop come from. He started off across the park. He turned back to see Jerry looking pensive and glassy-eyed. "You comin' man? he said. 

"Yeah...sure...I'll be along. I just got a lotta shit on my mind."

"Yes, my friend, I CAN SEE THAT!" 

"The world will know the saga of Milo, The Shit Bird!  First, an epic poem, then a children's book..."

Jerry was prancing around, shouting into the wind. Though just downwind of him was where you really didn't want to be. 











Tuesday, August 1, 2017

ZIGZAG



No tracks within a good
ten miles of here
but on a misty morn
that horn
is ridin' the breeze
cutting through my brain fog
it echoes
like the call of the wild
from back in the day

I shouldn't have switched on the TV 
cuz some Trumpster shill
is telling Martha Radditz 
who the "normal" Americans are
pretty sure Caitlyn isn't on his list

I traveled all this way 
doin' the transcontinental zigzag
just to end up in a world where
transgender crappers 
would be the hot button of the day 

you can be 
whatever you wanna be
on the inside
the outside's just a shell
that we tortoises use
to deflect the rain 

(and I don't know who I am
but life is for learnin')

so when I present the idea 
of trans-racial
I'm sayin' it's not a bridge too far
cuz we am what we am
and we are what we are

not the same as mixed blood
it means starting out identifying
as one ethnicity 
but waking up one day to realize
that in your heart 
you are something else

never knew why I always wanted
to jump out of this pale skin
til I ran into the lost ones (who
like the Indians Columbus encountered
were never lost to themselves and thus
had no need of being "discovered")
and found there was Cherokee blood
from grandma 

the most captivating woman 
at age 32
I've ever seen 
her eyes foretold me
foreshadowed the coming 
of the little bastard
and one by one the pieces
began to fall into place...

a half-bro
who is half Hispanic
all the time spent 
south of the border
and in the Caribbean 
where I saw a way of life 
that was impervious to sorrow
whenever a street band would play
and knew so strong in my gut
that it was a part of me
and always had been

how my paths zigzagged
and crisscrossed
like an etch-a-sketch sky
spinning round so fast sometimes
I met myself speeding in the other direction

I'm not what I appear to be 
bro
though you would never know

and now I'm reading Sherman Alexie
who says that Indians seldom travel
in a straight line

not even the Crows



   


Saturday, July 22, 2017

NO QUESTIONS ASKED



Bet U didn't think about
why you're with
U-NO-HOO
today
and betcha didn't reflect on why
you're even with
U-NO-HOO
yesterday either
maybe U thought about it
way back when for a bit
but hey U got some
body
and so U do it by rote
cuz some
body
is better than no
body
right?

maybe

me
I don't need no
body
just to have some
body
around

but if I ever do
I'll dig up the one
that's in the back yard

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

SERVE AND PROTECT



Apartheid never ended 
here in A-me-rica
it just got more subtle
the arbitrary traffic stop
for the flickering tail light
that quickly escalates 
into life or death
is payback for your sipping 
from the wrong water fountain
for lo these many years now...

and a sympathetic jury of his peers
from kin-dee-garden on
trained to revere and respect 
the badge 
the uniform
the flag
and indeed any symbol of authority
under any and all circumstances
likely as not will let him off
if he remembers to say those magic words
I feared for my life

and if someday he should fall
in the line of duty
a huge parade will escort him
to his final resting place
yes 
give him his due
he laid it on the line each and every day
to serve and protect

though here in A-me-rica
the dark-skinned man
who gets in his car
drives to the store
just to get some milk for his babies
may have the riskiest job of all

where's the parade? 

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE



It started with Madonna
now it's monkey see
monkey do
follow the formula
it's tried and true

And the law of the jungle
comes down from on high
in 140 characters
each day
(but it's beneath...the planet of the apes)

did u get a bad rap
or are u just a bad rapper?

it's still up to us to decide
what is cultural
and what is just plain crass

and the next Madonna wannabe
is up on your big screen
twerking her ass 
in your face
and somebody is calling it art
and that's what's wrong
with your generation 
right there

when nobody has the stones
to stand up and shout
who choreographs this shit???

we dunno 
but he's putting together
the halftime show for the Super Bowl!

one day
with the world awash in rainbows
our true colors will shine
until then
to go on for a bit
even in the face of
mindless 
primal
mediocrity
seems reasonable

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

THE TICKET



Henry Miller went hungry a lot
in Paris
but he fed enough blood
to his bitte
to summon command performances
on a regular basis

you can't gain an advantage
by lining up in the neutral zone

show me something
I haven't seen 
like Tilda Swinton's tit
flashed in a movie
I can't remember the name of
but it was good
(partially because of that)

what if everyone woke up at the same time?
(think of all the pancakes that would have to be made)

try
not to get too high
or too low
as they are both impostors

impermanent states of mind
that come and go
come and go
like the shifting breeze


the middle path
slow and steady as she goes
( occasional detours into the gutter allowed)
that's the ticket

Sunday, June 18, 2017

FULL FRONTAL LONELY




1.

You think that you've written down
the thoughts
that were lonelier
than all the thoughts
that were written down before you
or after you
but you are wrong



2.

I'm reading some poems by Jewel
(don't smirk--she's "intriguing")

I am told

I'm adored by millions
but no one calls

and one can only think
then...
what chance have I?



3.

Poets never say what they mean
they just expect you to figure it out



4.

Maybe
that's why you're alone
(even in a crowd)
as they've all given up 
on trying to figure you out



5.

Opaque
isn't that intriguing
to those who are searching
for the light



6.

 James Wright always told you
what his poem was about
right up front in the title...
he shared that trait with Degas
who would do a painting of
a dancer in front of a window
and name it "Dancer In Front Of A Window"


7.

While I sit lonely
by a fountain
where naked cherubs
are pissing away my dreams
knowing that collaborationists
stalk their own shadows
while pigeons goose-step
through the square--
but none can tell you whether ghosts
sit up and listen to the footsteps
that echo through an empty museum 



8.

And maybe if you search and search
you can find another poet
who has described the human condition as
full frontal lonely
but I'd like to think that one
is all my own


9.

And I am alone
as you are alone
as we are alone
imprisoned within these shells
straining to touch palms
through the glass



10.

...I have my books
and my poetry to protect me...

what I did
what I didn't
truly of no import now

after falter
before correction 
the man who seeks to make connection
finds the days of infinite possibility have flown
but only because a world turned deaf
and blind has deemed it so

the ego

in its fatal attraction to the body 
must always lose


11.

There now
no more whimpering
face it like The Man
monolithic in his solitude
as all mill about like ants
resigned to his fate
to go out in a blaze of glory
lighting up the desert sky
on a Saturday night
on a spinning blue pelota
somewhere
lost in space

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

AT LONG LAST



I like women
who write like men
and men who write
like women

somewhere in the middle

they meet
in a smoky androgynous haze
where they size 
(and feel)
each other up
coming
at long last
to their defining moment
with no compulsion
for going under the knife 






Tuesday, June 6, 2017

HIGH SCHOOL YEARBOOK



Some look
really geeky

some look
really dorky

and a few
so arrogantly
self-assured

but I was there
and I know
that was whistling
through the graveyard

Tuesday, May 30, 2017



DOOMED GIRLS

sit
right up at the bar
where they can be noticed

doomed girls
ride
on the backs of shiny hogs
with their arms wrapped snugly
around his waist

doomed girls
haven't spoken to their moms
since forever
and don't know why

doomed girls
are still trying to get their kids back

doomed girls
find work as babysitters

doomed girls have stacks of  presents waiting
for when their kids come home for good
someday

doomed girls
are determined to quit smoking
someday

doomed girls are going to take
that Mediterranean cruise
someday

doomed girls
place their hands over their hearts
at baseball games

doomed girls
are loyal to a fault

doomed girls
are always making excuses for him

doomed girls
don't know when to shut up

doomed girls say
"I walked into a door" a lot

doomed girls know
it's always their fault

doomed girls
have visions of finding that nice guy
a little too late

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

ANOTHER DAY



I snake through these streets
at dawn
oxygen is brain food

come back
hoist the weights
do my Falun Dafa

still only 8 o'clock
the day lying in wait for me
like Apollo Creed
mocking
chanting
you got anything else, suckah?

the story of my life

am I Rocky
or just another bum?

dunno...
but I'll go down swingin'
either way

so cue the music
I'm about to hit the streets again
little kids
and dogs who want a piece of me
tagging behind

I move twice as fast
when I hear a siren in the background
a conditioned reflex
from the teenage years

seizing the day
before some body part
seizes up 

fightin' the good fight 
and Apollo is wrong...

cuz I ain't goin' down

Thursday, May 18, 2017

COUCH TOMATO




I once met a psychiatrist
on a blind date
and as we sat there
with our drinks
I tried to see what was in her eyes
and what they revealed about
what she was thinking about
me

but as it turned out
she liked me
and wanted to see me again
and I went round and round
in my head about that
as in if we started up with each other
would she be constantly psychoanalyzing me
(why should I care if it's free?)

but in the end I decided I'd feel
too self-conscious in that scenario

which is weird cuz
it was all the rest of 'em
who tried to analyze me
more than she ever would have
and to this day
I know they think
they had me all figured out

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

DAY AT THE PARK


From your soapbox
you're out to save the world
your words echoing
through the park
vying with bouncy
norteno tunes blasting from
low rider car stereos

your nebulous forever
built upon a city of hope
hope against hope
when you're dangling
at the end of a rope

but what if I told you
that everything thing we do
is motivated by either
love
or
fear
and that we can easily choose
between them

and that you stem from a long line
of fear mongers
over generations
and generations
of fear mongers
spitting incendiary words
into the air
the fire and brimstone
heating everyone under the tent
into a frenzy of believing

and giving

but material gain has naught to do
with the hereafter
it's has to do with the here and now
and that house upon the hill

and your aim is to be
that guy on Sunday morning TV
sayin' keep those cards and letters
comin' in folks
cuz it takes a lot of jack
to buy the stairway to heaven

so the plate is comin' round
folks
the plate is comin' round
(what's in your wallet?)

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

HARD



It's getting harder to find...

someone who isn't twenty

has half a brain

has an attention span of more than 10 seconds


It's getting harder to find... 

someone who can name one former president
besides George Lincoln and Abraham Washington

who won't call you "honey" at the checkout line

who remembers what I just said even if I can't


It's getting harder to find...

someone who can use
to
too
two
properly in a sentence

who hasn't been spotted at Wal-Mart
with a way too outrageous Brazilian butt lift
the cost of which has consigned them to 
meander those aisles for the rest of eternity

who can write a line like
"I'm blessed and I didn't even sneeze"

if U can write a line like that then 
drop 
me 

line
or 
too

otherwise Dumb and Dumber To
is playing down the street...

see U at the movies

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

GUSHER








You think this is all
random
but even slot machines
are programmed
to spill their guts
at predetermined intervals...

the only truly random thing
is the poet
and his muse
and when that gusher
may be gettin' ready to blow

so stand back
ladies and gentlemen
because there's one now
(you can spot him by that
 tormented look in his eye)

as we move within range
it's advised that you prudently
cover your heads

we have pith helmets for sale
in the gift shop



Thursday, April 6, 2017

ALTERNATE EXPLANATION



That roach on the bathroom floor
was flat on its back
so I figured it was fixin' to die
(not always the case with humans similarly positioned
with a randy look in their eye)

respecting its process
(I've read Kafka)
I left it in peace
figuring tomorrow I'd give it
a proper burial
after dark
in the neighbor's yard

but when I went in there
it had up and disappeared
apparently righting itself
at some point
and hauling ass
which told me something
after I thought about it
'bout never counting anyone out
even when it looks to you
like the fat lady's opening her mouth...
it could just be you know
she's gonna stuff another donut in there

there is
of course
the alternate explanation...

the cat ate it


Tuesday, April 4, 2017

ALL THIS WAY







Imaginary Garden With Real Toads











A birthday boy's tendency
is to replay everything
against the purples
and pistachios of spring

The little white lies
from another time

The past receding
like the ass-end of a train
from which you've just disembarked

Ancient phrases
inside another eternity
and of no import now
the greater truths ignored
for sake of our little tete a tetes

Today I ponder the world's disasters
the worst of which is adding another digit
to that chronological catastrophe
I fondly refer to as me

Everyone gets  a raw deal
and still the clouds roll by 

Coming all this way
drifting across the cosmos
with these inconvenient truths 
on these afternoons without angels
and still we stand
in anticipation of one extraordinary love

Having experienced the moon
in a myriad of exotic positions
I unmask poems
of barking cats
and rats
and elephants
and stand revealed 
to lonesome applause

Waiting for Santa Claus
I blaspheme and bubble
in the center of all infinity
as I bend to softly kiss you
and the world becomes 
my oyster
and you're my clam

Let's go to Amsterdam



From my poetry and short story collection: Last Tango In Timbuktu

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

PARDON MY FRENCH


Sometimes, for politeness sake
(or goodness sake)
I try to come up with a euphemism
for the "F" word
but nothing seems to fit
(pardon the pun)


I've tried fu*k
but that smacks too much
of the hand of a censor for my tastes

There's fugg 
(as in "muddah fugga")
but that's a little too street
and I can't claim a lotta street cred
(though I've slept there a time or two)

Then there's fook
a bit too British, old chap
("put that fooking thing down
before you hurt yourself!")

And a myriad of old standbys

frig...frick...fock...
(Meet The Fockers--wink wink)
which have become so common
in the vernacular
they've lost all impact
(or should I say thrust?)

You could say it in French (baise)

and sound totally innocuous
on this side of the pond
(but not in the company of 
anyone wearing a Rasberry Beret).

Yep, try as I may

I've not found a good one
seems it can't be polite
and totally effective at the same time 
(a nugget for everyday living? )

So I guess I'll just say fuck it

and leave it at that

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

GOLDEN





Imaginary Garden With Real Toads--dVerse Poets Pub




On a sun-splashed day
in a desert 
where the Horse With No Name
made his claim to fame

With spring making overtures

like a punch-drunk lover

I saw her

in my mind's eye
I heard her
in my mind's ear
I contemplated her
in my mind's belly button

Behold The Vagabond Princess

electric rays sparking 
from the tips of her golden hair
she's been there
and back
on a beach with some name
And all because sunshine came
softly through her window that day

Swaying to the beat

of a distant drummer
her gaze is locked on summer

A painted man

walks down the street
blowing bubbles out his ears

How does he do that?


The world is a wondrous

and magical place to be...

The answer blowing

in the tail winds
that are bringing her to me 

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

MILLICENT BEGINS THE MONUMENTAL TASK OF DICTATING HER MEMOIR



(A revised version of one that appeared a few years back. Enjoy!)



OH, BUZZARD SHIT
she said, with a wink
and a drink in her hand.

I knew Marilyn when

she was still a brunette.

I boinked so many famous men

there's no keeping track.

It wasn't notches on your gun

back then...
nothing like that.

They were all indiscretions.

You either gave in...
 or you didn't.

Some guilt?

Sure.
But you did it for love.
Every time.

That's the difference 

between then and now.

BUZZARD SHIT

she said with a start, 
momentarily nodding off--
her gin and tonic slipping
from her fingers
to the floor,
seeping  into the
wine-colored carpet.

It only lasts for as long
as there's a twinkle in his eye...
get that down...
a twinkle...in... his...

And she is out

down for the count
and done for the day.

It's a beginning.






Tuesday, February 21, 2017

ARE YOU READY FOR LOVE???



Would I appear more attractive to you...

If I were bravely shot out of a cannon
and landed in a mangled  heap
just short of the straw pile?

Would I appear more attractive
if  I wore flannel shirts a size too big
(with shoulder pads beneath)
and had a beard
(oop, I have a beard)
and went out each morning
with a big ol' ax
to single-handedly chop down the rain forest?

Or, say, if I held my wine glass
with my pinky extended
and gushed about "finish"
and "bouquet?"

Would I appear more attractive if
I posted pictures of my Corvette
(better get one first)
from every angle with the caption underneath:
VROOM VROOM?

Or if I popped over
and fixed your computer with one
perfectly placed karate chop...
VOILA!

Would I appear more attractive
if I were twenty years younger?
Thirty?
A baby spitting up on your new sundress?

Or...

If you saw me falling out of bed
( banging my head)
first thing in the morning--
mumbling...scratching...farting...
traces of last night's garlic popcorn on my breath, 
chasing you around the room imploring:
KISS ME--I'M YOURS!

Reality raises its ugly head.

Let's all go back to bed. 


Tuesday, February 14, 2017

THE FOURTEENTH OF NOWHERE



The pussy is the portal
into another world
(that was Kubrick's observation)
so come with me
my squiggly little brother
the journey is arduous
and fraught with peril
but would you rather languish here
and be just another jerkoff?

On the couch
feet propped up
head tilted back
The Outlaw Bible of Poetry
resting on my lap
Jazz zonked out
beside me
fan whirring away
in the corner
keeping us both "cool"

He likes to rest his head
on my yellow pad
sayin' screw your fleeting ideas
I got some serious sleepin' to do
so I begin jotting these words
on the back of an old envelope
that's the immediacy of poetry
and the sun hasn't even risen

Like the first time I went on Twitter
and it said "What are you doing"
and I thought the only purpose was
to literally say what you were doing
like "making breakfast" or
"farting into the wind"
but that got old fast

It doesn't pay to take things too much to heart
especially on a calender day set aside 
for eating chocolates and getting laid
because it's all done by rote
and next week you may have no idea
where the hell she is
other than 
as far as you know
some other world


Wednesday, February 8, 2017

TURN BACK TOMORROW by Tim Schaefer...Kindle edition is FREE today through February 12th--from Amazon .com




Hey kids, just wanted to let you know that you can download the Kindle edition of my new novel, Turn Back Tomorrow, for FREE today through February 12th only! This is the e-book version of my totally ADULT time travel thriller that sells for eleven bucks on Amazon. All I ask in return is that when you've completed the book, please consider giving it an honest review on my Amazon book page. Reviews are what make or break a book. Thanks! Love ya!
(Sorry, links aren't working, for some reason. Just go to amazon.com and type the title of the book into the search box at the top of the page, and my book info will come up.)


Excerpt from Turn Back Tomorrow:

There was so much to learn about her--so many questions. In a way, he still felt like this was a fantasy--that the lot of them could very well be mentally unstable and this whole flying saucer business no more than a delusion they shared. But to be a total skeptic, here and now, with all that had passed before his eyes--a beloved president and a civil rights leader gunned down, Watergate, Vietnam, hanky-panky in the oval office--one would have to be delusional to blindly accept the official version of things. Half truths. Manipulation of public opinion through the media. Outright lies. A bit of the conspiracy theorist must exist in all who have traveled this road, and thus a mind that is open to thinking the unthinkable.



Tuesday, February 7, 2017

SONG FOR DONALD


Broke out the Steely Dan in the car yesterday (as I've been known to do), then thought of this little ditty from three years ago I penned as an homage to the lyrics of Donald Fagen. Had a lot of fun with it, and if you ain't heard it...it's new to YOU! (You can sing it to the tune of "Pretzel Logic")

If I didn't have to pee
I might not get up in the morning
said if I never had to pee
I might just forgo the day
you can take those dancin' slippers
and just throw them away
yeah toss them away

All the boyz told me

that you were so nice
lordy all the boyz told me
that you were so nice
didn't know you were a working girl
and that everything has its price
gonna pay the price

If you live in New York City
you dunno how to sing the blues
said if you live in New York City
ya dunno how to sing the blues
till you meet some chippie from Chicago
who's gonna give you the news
yeah she'll give you the news


Everybody out there

you know they're right on the edge
I said everybody out there
is ridin' right on the edge
they'll hit you with a hammer
an' push you right off that ledge

dah diddly doo
dah diddly day
dah diddly dun da dun da dun dun
da diddly hey
wah wah wah wah wah wah
wha wah wah wah woo
wang wang wang wang wang wang
da diddly diddly OOH

Who's that dude in the mirror

the one I heard somebody call "Pops"
I said now who's that freak in the mirror
buys all his duds from resale shops
if he don't get outta my house
I'm gonna have to call the cops!


Now if I didn't have to pee
I might not get up in the morning
If I never had to pee
might just forgo the day
you can bring me my coffee
and a side of creme brulee

If you live in New York City

you dunno how to sing the blues
if you live in New York City
dunno how to sing the blues
till you meet some chippie from Chicago
who's gonna give you the news
she gave Huey the news

da diddly doo

da diddly day
da diddly dun dun dun dun dun 
da diddly hey....


Thursday, January 12, 2017

COMING BACK FOR MORE



1.

Her exterior has been religiously anointed
her interior is exquisitely appointed

but I've come to the conclusion
upon eons of self-delusion

that the solitary life works best
for the constitution

as all about there's prostitution
in one guise or another

so be my sistah
and I'll be your bruther

for us there will no other
till my hour is up

and you're off to your next call
counting your haul as you slink out the door


2.

Decades whiz by
in the flash of an eye
and when I say I took her support stockings off
and wore them over my head
and then went out and robbed the liquor store
I think U know what I mean--
it's the universal language of love
ooby dooby dooby doo
 just me and you

Now I just want to slip
into another world
as this one grows chillier
by the moment
any world that I'm welcome to
(I grope for the key beneath the mat
at the foot of the door)

And she said: what is it 
you love about life?  
And I replied : the way it kicks our asses
and still we keep coming back for more

3.

Now I sit like the Fool On The Hill
on his lofty perch
a  man on a stationary bike
could attain a similar altitude
in far less time and trouble
but I preferred the scenic route

And I can see clearly now
all the dead-end roads
I've traveled down
they stretch in all directions
snaking to the horizon...
leading not to Rome
but to Samarra