Coming Back from the Cave Where the Big Bears Have Surrendered (for today, at least)

There are these short stints 
in my life when I feel rather okay. 

These are not at all common. 
When they come, I am a satisfied 
pig watching with a flat 
temperament the chaos that raises 
my boat. The water rises so high, 
the landmarks disappear 

but my fear remains repressed, for I 
have cases of Hershey’s Almond 
Chocolate bars, 36 in each case, and I feel 
myself spectating at the odd 
feeling of not being disappointed 
in myself for eating a whole case 
at a time, more often than not.

My last short stint started
last Wednesday, but now, it’s terrible,
my boat is sinking and I’ve stopped
eating the chocolate. No matter.
You cannot make me fearful,
for I am writing.

There are these long stints
in my life when the darkness

permeates everything. The last one
ended last Wednesday, but it lasted
so long, nine weeks, and there were
two days when I was reaching down,
clutching my hair in desperation, 
but calmly embracing suicide’s horns.

The last long stint was overwhelming
and stifling because I felt as though
I couldn’t write a word. Writing is a vent
and I want it back soon.

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14 Comments

Just Like My Mother

Slight changes in the breeze
coming from the North, wood
block sound chunks from

shutters. It was the
anticipation, breath stolen
by fear and if it wasn’t

next time, it would
be soon, but we could
never hold steady

waiting for any good.
Some days, the love
pierced through her

Detroit armor, her
French denial, some
days, she loved her

own children having
sprayed and cooled the
coals covering her middle.
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7 Comments

The Decent Man, Part I

The black on the coal grey screen said 9:08, confirming ugliness in the truth of being. Failure drips down, seemingly from hair follicles that have tremors. She was smiling in the room with glass corner until she glanced at him as he sailed the hallway, and he knew the screen on the phone on his desk would show bad news. He had been hoping for 9:03 or 9:04 after seeing her violent eyes. As it is, there is no defense. He had promised her that he would arrive by 9 AM each morning, agreeing that this was entirely reasonable. He failed, failed, failed, and today there was clarity to the failure. Even the most simple parts of life squeeze and expand the pulpy mind of consistent failure. This is not a decent man, so it may be a terrible way to start our fictional dig into psychological essay about what it is to be a decent man. We will find out despite his failures.
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5 Comments

Lost On, Lost In The Highway

Today, my journey was the usual,
the daily, each day heading for home,
finding home hidden from me seeing

vegetable stands in bombed buildings,
watching plywood work it’s way
to shelter me from the innocent,

locking me away with crooked beasts
who have steel pipes pulled from
the structure of nothingness, ready to

beat me thoroughly, and I stare 
at the vacant parking lot with black 
sewage toppings, knowing there is no 

warmth, knowing it’s no home of mine 
but wanting to be flattened under the
sewage and the two smashed eggs.

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6 Comments

Strung Up

Motor-mouth machine, what part
of me believes, hopes for happiness
or peace? From mean to easy, neither

works, for punk am I, from the long, wavy
chords in Beethoven’s Number Two, his
weakest, but so powerful, stretching to dive

into a bar of the music and live there,
hide there, never come back, but I am being
a restless dog, first shaking, moving almost

a century to Mahler Number Tnree, and it’s 
here that self-pity reigns and crashes in on the
senses, the false triumphs, dogging my ugly

lack of talent, forcing me back to now 
where nothing can be good, not even
my favorite music. I whisper desires to drop 

dead and slink away as odorless gas, with 
or without music. Mahler, buddy, I am
gone and can’t come back. Scream, Mahler!

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2 Comments

The Bears Are Winning

Crawling bears wade
gracefully, almost inside

the fused pieces of blacktop
as I ask god, my neck like

a garden hose lost in thin,
light clouds which hide

the screaming, fierce opposition,
the devil, please god, intercede

for me, help me discover
my own center, don’t allow

them to drag me to my cubicle,
as terrible music stings my ears,

traffic from neighbors pauses, and my
dusty black car hops on the backs

of the bears, as I feel already roasted,
yes, toasted, unable to jump out,

unable to find my exit.

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7 Comments

Crawling Between the Light Blue Electrical Sockets

Whisps of gray poison slink

proudly, quietly around the gray

cubicles, melting marble chords of

self-esteem, directing my crouching 

character until like the innocent

charcoal translucent in the waves

of masterful ocean, I am

slammed against the fearless,

tarnished pavement of the walls

of an empty closet and the boss

shreds me, rolls the wads of me down

a chute to a table full of emotional

indigestion, across from an old, rotted,

scrunchy man, mean man, impolite, mouth

sealed as he is served by hippies, and I 

think it’s okay, no bitterness, he’ll die very

soon, and wilting, I know it is true

for all of us.

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4 Comments

Why I’m Not a Good Spectator at Poetry Readings

I’m here early. Observing
in a disinterested
way, or trying to appear

that way. The students, I want
to be one, and the hippies,
the hippies and a dead nylon

smell. Nothing wrong
with green hair but it bothers
me that it’s a fashion statement
while being anti-fashion, and I’m

anti-, anti-social because
I’m fearful of people I
don’t know, because I’m a
chicken without a mind,

perhaps intriguing on the
inside but flat as a board
in these chatty situations,
and all of this makes me

want to hate myself, especially
when George
won’t have the courtesy
to say hi to me. He is

the weirdo who was happy
to see me unofficially
kicked out of the writing
group. I hate him almost

because I set out
my weakness for
him, he being a similar,
bizarre character, and he

dismissed me,
the scoundrel.

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9 Comments

On Being Dead to my Soul, a Trashed Vessel

I work hard
to listen, struggle
for inspiring sound.

The right channel
is heavy, bolting me.

I tilt strong right,
like a puppy begging.

My soul is rusty
and roasting.

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10 Comments

The Sharp Brevity of an Isolated Spiritual Experience

For most of the day,
I had been treading
carefully, waiting and hoping

the tiger would eat me,
or leave me, and my daughter,

suffused in weightless smiles,
happiness. We had walloped

golf balls, hammered them
and missed them and whiffed
at them, so our energy

had been expelled. Driving
east in a smooth vehicle
like an oblong bubble. It was

evening, the sun in the
obligatory west, and maybe

it was a rear-view mirror,
but we were bathed in
gold, bliss and blessedness

on Highway 10.

 

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10 Comments

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