Sleight of Hand, or, How Everything played on television is bought and paid for at some point by somebody and so none of it can be neutral really because by gum if your story is encouraging folks to negatively interact with my multinational corporation then I don’t really want it run on any of the seventy-four networks that I own now do I?
April 13, 2014
There are stories
every so often
of men of some repute perpetrating
activities of some high measure
with a bit of money spent here
and pomp applied here
and circumstance ignored
or embraced or talked up or
so on or so forth so that
the meek and bewildered
keep their eyes wide
at all that money
and all that pomp
and fail to fathom that
circumstances here are
just not the same in China,
the oil in their rivers, though,
will reach our seas eventually
March 26, 2014
If it has been said that we look like ants—
after a long winter, we now look like bees.
The way we bob and sway between potholes
our vehicles doing a choreographed dodging dance.
And the potholes, God bless them,
patient panhandlers with their hats flipped upside down, take a bow—
will you toss in a quarter?
They wait for alms,
graciously offering to swallow my tire.
March 16, 2014
March 10, 2014
Inside their cages
shit on the ducks shit
on the chickens.
are all attractive women,
less blood stained than one would guess,
wearing their white coats too well.
The stench reaches the other side of the street,
mixing with that of a nearby deli
where meat is roasting on a stick.
A young girl raps on the window
and waves to a rabbit.
She probably thinks of it
as a “bunny.”
March 2, 2014
The most common use of surreptitious is with the -ly suffix: Surreptitiously.
But to use it as a noun, “He is surreptitious” is surely loquacious behavior.
However, I’ve been more interested in the root: Surrep-
which can sound like syrup depending on how you pronounce it.
Although there’s always been something unsavory (no pun intended) about syrup.
It lacks couth, where molasses, with similar viscosity, seems able to maintain integrity.
Syrup, or especially surrep- owns decidedly clandestine attributes.
I stole the idea of molasses, it seems to say, replacing it with an imposter.
And perhaps you aren’t even aware of the difference.
February 24, 2014
According to etymology crisp is defined as meaning
“to become brittle”
though the use of brittle, I attest, would have to be its pejorative form.
Brittle’s connotations suggest something less desirable
as though calling a potato chip “brittle” would be an insult,
which is the highest of inconsistencies,
since I doubt anyone would want their chip soggy or leastways, malleable.
It is not a mistake that Chips and Crisp are nearly identical and easily mistaken in their spatial relationships:
The isss sounds with no ‘Z’ and the hard ‘P’ defends its case with its own onomatopoeia;
the sound of a chip crisply snapped;
or breaded and fried chicken crunching in my mouth;
or a hard pretzel crumbling over molars;
or glacial mountains thundering with a splash into the ocean;
or the popping of meat over a fire; edges browning, blackening until carbon laces the steak in gristle.
Crisp’s associations with brisk are prevalent.
A winter morning is both crisp, and brisk.
And the proximity of both words in tandem is utterly delicious.
Say it, you’ll see. Crisp. Brisk. Mmm.
The crisp briskness is a crisply aural sound;
the hard sucking of teeth in response to pain or in sympathy to it;
the crust of the snow that has melted and refrozen atop the powder;
the temporal slate that squirrels skitter over unimpeded by the snow’s depth.
My own boots, for a moment look like they will walk on water before crashing inward;
Snapping like a crisp chip, salt particles flinging into the air.
February 20, 2014
The backlight is lit and flashing.
The phone is rattling in my hand.
But I wonder if I will answer?
I see him in a hole in my sock.
His peach-colored handiwork swirls
Peek out into a fabric-less world
Where my footprint is his fingerprint.
The words you have said—
I am the door
I am the living bread
I am the light of the world
I am the good shepherd
I am the resurrection
I am the true vine
I am the way
I am the truth
I am the life
I am Jesus
—can I believe that?
Why have you made such a fragile me?
I’m masquerading false humility.
What good is it?
If I got turned inside out
And saw the way I really am
What would I think of me then?
Not intestines, entrails and organs.
But abstractions and presumptions.
I am dead while I breath.
This is fodder to feed my fears
And proof that problems
Never go away by ignoring them.
Hello? I say.
It’s me, he says.
February 18, 2014
On the sand it all makes sense:
Lay flat, balance, position is important.
Feet at the end of the stick, paddle out
And paddle through the whitewater.
I’ve got to go outside.
I’ve got to go to the unbroken waves.
I keep staying in the whitewater.
Go straight out through the oncoming whitewater—
You’ve always told me
Take that surfboard straight through the waves—
But I’m stuck in the whitewater.
You tell me to trust you.
You tell me to take courage.
That you will keep me afloat.
That you will save me.
Can’t I stay in the whitewater?
Why must I be Peter?
Wasn’t he enough?
I am content, so don’t call to me.
That’s a lie.
I’m in the whitewater.
But don’t call to me.
It’s churning and I could never—Come
Haven’t I come far enough? Can’t you come to me?
But I have
You’re beyond the whitewater.
When will I stand up?
I must kneel first.
Will I ever kneel first?
I’ve got to go through the whitewater.
February 17, 2014
I can make a clone
if you give me the right ingredients.
As far as batch size is considered,
taste my preferred draft first and if you like it enough, have as much as you want.
The color should come as no surprise: Dark—one might say brooding—and ambiguous with a bite.
Yes, it’s very bitter.
ABV? It’s called intoxication for a reason. The less I have to think, the better.
And most of my fellow brewers would agree.
I call it the All American Dream Ale.
Equipment? My equipment, of course. It’s all anybody’s got.
The Boil Time is all day, every day. Never know when you’ll need to be ready.
Don’t want to be caught unprepared.
Mash Profile: Single infusion, heavy body(burdensome even), and a lot of mash out.
Taste Rating: As long you’re not a connoisseur you won’t be able to tell the difference.
I can make gallons of this stuff
so close, you can’t tell I’m a counterfeit.
February 14, 2014
Let’s join the Byrd gang and all go throw rocks through windows.
Let’s make Friday wait for us.
You are part knife, part slab of meat.
The world is a shark.
You know what comes next.
February 12, 2014
i understand the river
of thought and learn
to breath among the
creatures of the riverbed
i speak but the words
get carried away
back down the curvature
of the giant sphere
i add my own water
to the stream but it
seems a pointless
it becomes foreign
just like my reflection,
the morning after
one thing remains true:
that i cannot breath
in this land
of fish and mossy rocks
i feel freer with
my feet hovering just
inches above the ground
and drier, too.
February 10, 2014
there’s roadways, freeways, expressways, throughways & parkways
don’t forget the airways, even the waterways.
maybe we should break away
before things start looking thisaway:
down the passageway about midway to the entryway is the doorway
that leads to the alleyway where about someway to another pathway is the driveway
follow that to the hallway & about halfway to the stairway is the gateway.
let’s throwaway thataway straightaway
let’s go sideways
let’s give ourselves some leeway
let’s fallaway, walkaway, & giveway
let’s be like Wilson & castaway
so we can make headway on this speedway & runway
let’s ditch the highway & take the subway
or vault up the gangway & stowaway
let’s get off the fairway, lose the raceway, forget the causeway
take the byway in everyway
until we’re underway.
let’s go this way.
February 10, 2014
And when they gunned you down
with your friend on the phone
I hope you knew why they sought to
shred your flesh with bullets
and I’m glad to hear you were rent
so you yourself could rend no more,
that the red poured freely from each
puncture and tear, that your eyes
rolled back and your fingers twitched,
still clutching that toy gun of yours
and I’m sure your heart was black
and half-dead, anyway. And I’m sure
that your soul was as empty as
a six-lane freeway in Southern Pyongyang
January 27, 2014
on raymond there is no
game to hunt
like chess you must
stay moves ahead
get to you
if the families on raymond
push you out
just like any game
you make a move
and stay three
to win or otherwise
topple the king.
January 21, 2014
beware, and forge
with the youth in
the things that lie
now plain to see
and in front
beware, and more
and learn to love
the confusion of
January 20, 2014
So it was a cold dark January in Michigan
as they often are and we
would pull together for warmth every
now and then and I would consider you
and I think you would consider me, also
While the cars screamed down the avenues
and gangs of howling young-adults roved
to and fro before your otherwise relatively
peaceful abode I tried to steel myself
from the knives you would find
The lacerations always sting a bit but
they usually heal quickly enough with
a lot of pressure and
a little bit of time but they cut
somewhat deeper than they look sometimes,
those knives of yours
Sometimes while nursing a particularly
gruesome slice I would be speechless,
though I never mean to keep you waiting
and I want you to know that I won’t bleed out
and I need you to know that I’m sorry
Sometimes during these long cold Januarys
I know you have your own wounds to clean
because it’s still cold and dark here in Michigan
and I find plenty of my own knives, too.
January 18, 2014
if i could only write one good
it would be about when we went
and the humidity of
the middle part
how it did fog up
my glasses in
it would be about how i felt like
the whole time i knew you
a small puppy hidden under
and when we got to golf shores
i felt the foreboding of
being set free
by your sullen parents
in this, the best of my poems
i would remember and in detail
explain the last moment we
but only the beach remains
walking barefoot and
the new freckles
i would fall between
and i would end the poem
and much before i spent a week
at my grandmother’s
far from home
vomiting out religiously
all the sickness i had
When I was fourteen I learned that only Americans use AOL Instant Messenger because the people I met on forums that were from Canada or the UK were not familiar with America Online so I downloaded an MSN messenger program because Microsoft is a pervasive sort of multinational entity and I used it to talk to people that I have never actually seen face-to-face and who eventually stopped logging in to their own messenger accounts because Facebook Chat has since all-but-killed anonymous instant messaging clients but boy nostalgia is a thing sometimes.
January 12, 2014
I no longer chase ghosts
through a wasteland of slow-
loading forum pages or a
frigid sea of unreliable chat
applications but some nights
when I sit up (half as late
as I once did) I can not help
but wonder what became
of all the ghosts I left behind
January 12, 2014
‘Everyone’s heart is leaking’
she said, as she looked at me sideways
but all I heard was we were all destined for nothingness
that everyone is dying all of the time
A television showed a horror on it’s screen
while a strange instrument emitted dulcet tones
But the pain in my stomach was tightening
and my heart beat faster and my ears rang out and
Everything spun in the darkness
Or that’s how I felt, at any rate
She did not seem so concerned however
still jamming her wand in to my chest
so I laid still like I was instructed previously
imagining my heart as it undoubtedly leaked out