Archive for June, 2013

Blank Screens, Vacuous Celebrations

The video screen
in the elevator went
blank yesterday. They
had warned us, “Pardon

the interruption,”
something about construc-
tion, so I shouldn’t
worry, but my mind

went blank too. Then,
today, some whiteness
was back, the horizontal
was fouled up, making
me think of the days

when we got our first
color TV, and I
did wonder about
aliens because when

the picture was all
fucked up on that R
CA, and the hori-
zontal lines were spinning

I would think of aliens
who were there just to
interfere with modern
comforts. The TV in

the lunchroom was work-
ing, working hard, show-
ing a trial and experts
on a trial that had

become a national
celebration because
it was supposed to teach
us about ‘Merica

where a Mexican man
shot an older African
American boy, and if
they had both been Mexican

or both Caucasian or
both African-American,
the screen would have been
blank, or America

would have been celi-
brating some other hatred.


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The Unshakable Infantile Spirit, Part III

I’m good with being a baby
now, at the core.
I confess.
People don’t believe me.
They reject baby me with nervous
They can’t see the core.

Today, meditation made me
Good baby, peaceful baby.
I could feel silky sands
of heaven fill my lungs.

I felt big life gifts from dogs
who settled in stillness
with me, who listened
to my silence, who
congratulated me on my
growth, who
loved me
with me.


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Today’s Wilted Spirit

The door, not heavy, but my arm
won’t open it against the moderate
closure spring, and desire strikes –

Suck me down 17 stories, through
the blue cements of underground
garage, through the wet clay until

I turn into chaotic French Onion
Soup and resigned to be beaten
by the thousands of personality

punches, ready to bend and flow
with all of the slice dragons who
think they are human. I look at

our entrapments of tired journeys,
and I hope they don’t dump me as
my age shows, dump me into empty

gutters where it’s only suitable to
drink and to die miserably in the
clay with the furry bunny souls.


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Oh, You Needy Spiritual Vacuum, You

Brahms brings out the writer in me
as I sit here asking why there is nothing
as beautiful as this guy’s meaty work (well,

this is untrue because there is nothing
more beautiful than whatever of my hundreds
of favorites currently fires the electrons
of the MP3 player at the moment), asking why

I have no words for the spiritual beauty I seek
and touch for mere glancing moments, asking why

I have no clues about how to
write poetry, except that I know you should never
write about writing poetry, so I droop,

conducting the air, asking god
to take me out, to take me
away to where my existence is only

Brahms, Mozart, Ligeti,
Bach, Shostakovich,
(well, there are surely a few others, maybe even
David Foster Wallace or Anne Sexton
or Hemingway!),

and these round, jolly dudes give me pipes
filled with funny tobacco and endless Costco
cake (just the blue icing), visions interrupted

by internal, screaming pleas, “God, please,
take me out,” but the compressed, dilapidated,

empty, vicious, pressed, caked wood yawns
at my spooky stupid whims and tells me to get back
to work on the meaningless numbers that I push

around, with only Brahms saving me from a
hanging from a light pole that has spooky
intimations of a cross and is warmly welcoming.


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The Reason I Blame the Vodka

In the gruff days before she killed herself,
I told myself she was the preacher’s problem
because that’s what he did; he comforted
the distraught souls, cushioned the despair.

He had all day for visiting, while I worked
all day, while I frittered with numbers for
meager paychecks, to pay the bills and buy
my vodka, so it was his deal, his bag of guilt.

But I kept thinking of it, kept thinking that I
expected too much of the preacher, a man we claim
to be a man of God, for if a man of God couldn’t
save her, how could I, the orphaned infidel?

Yes, but I replayed the days before, all of those
days in my cubicle thinking of when my vodka
would comfort me first, then thinking maybe,
perhaps, if I spent time with her, it would help,
but the vodka never gave me time.


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Little Girl Terrorist

I saw this little girl
terrorist, bowling, quite
unsuccessfully. The Secret

Police (Hey, NSA) were hang-
ing from ceiling tiles, arms
stretching down like

confetti, but they never
could stop the balls, and
the girl howled in vicious

laughter at a couple toppling
pins for each one she hit was
another city, and this is why

the number of pins was not
part of the battle for her.

One here or there, “I don’t
need no strikes,” she
screamed hoarsely.

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View Toward Ideation


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The Unshakable Infantile Spirit, Part II

So many say they can write, and here I add pink flurries
to the leaning stack, as gargoyles snort snot and

hang from my eyebrows laughing at my twisted,
sick, inadequate brain, and the excuses grab

my knee caps, rip them out, and the man on the corner
snickers. I don’t say I can bake. Why am I compelled

to write? I spy on the snake that guts, rather swallows whole,
all the other writers, and he and I drink grape juice at all the futility,

and the man on the corner hands me Pessoa, tells me
to read this, this that will tell me why I can’t

write, but the ants keep crawling up my
ass, while the gargoyles jump in the man’s pipe, burning

up into little leaves that blow up toward dirty clouds, and I keep
trying like a little baby with nothing to say worth anything.


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The Unshakable Infantile Spirit, Part I

I’m a baby, and I work hard
to cover tiny me under thick skin.

I wonder if being a baby is a bad
thing, thinking of my most
compassionate self coming

from baby me, but
I cry, and many people don’t like
people who are so maladjusted.

When I’m working the hardest to
cover, I don’t notice, but sometimes,

when my shell is naturally suiting itself
to me, I look at others and I think
I see that they have baby moments,

and those splitting quick images
make me feel less inadequate, less
alone, but I measure my inside

sensitivities against their outside
shells, knowing better, but I see
they don’t need shells like I do.

At some point, babies decide
that they want to be loved by
everybody, and if one comes

along, not loving, babies like I
feel intense pain, perhaps not
understanding the finicky qualities

of mature humans. I am like
hungry babies about some things;
I want what I want right now, but

I am a big baby, and I don’t want
much, if anything. I always want to
sleep like a baby, but for me,

instead of fueling cell growth, it
helps me relieve the pain of sadness,
and when I don’t get enough sleep,

my emotions are terrible like a baby’s,
my feelings are like tiny slivers of glass
being smothered by sharp rocks,

so I do my best to get sleep, but the
adults don’t like this for they think
I am a lazy asshole. When I became

old enough, I started enjoying alcohol
because the alcohol smothered baby
me, and I built my booze shell that made

me funny and entertaining and fooled
me into feeling a central purpose, fooled
me into a sense of meaning, and alcohol

smashed my persistent depression.

I’m a lucky baby because alcohol
decided to become my enemy, made me
hate the world so severely, and inspired

me to quit drinking with many people
who helped me avoid the deepening
path to miserable death I was on, so

I sit here wishing I could tell you how
embarrassing this is, tell you how
my spirit is so frail, so undeveloped, so

you can see how terrible I feel, but I tell you
because afterward, I can let loose, and cry
and cry and cry until you send me away.


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