i’ve lost my shit

April 21, 2014

and i can’t find it
despite my best efforts
it’s been months, and nearly
years since it was misplaced
and this bus across this
bridge over this river
to this mountain seem
largely insufficient to help
me find it.

maybe you think you’re better
than this, like there is little
need to go find shit when it’s
been misplaced as most people
would just flush such shit
anyhow, but this is my shit
and i can go looking for it if
i want to and there is little
you can do to stop me from
seeking after it when a ticket from
houston to here is as
much as it is.

so i’ll giggle at you while
you laugh at me for seeking
so earnestly after my misplaced shit

Sometimes
accidents happen
people die
and there’s nothing
we can do about it

If you’re reading this
please don’t forget
to live a little

Some folks
never get
the luxury

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

feelings

April 6, 2014

you just want to fall down wherever you like you think the tears from your bruised knee should stop traffic you think fair for you is fair for everyone you think your mental boulders are real you think it makes me cold-hearted that i think you’re wrong you are crushed beneath the weight of a boulder and you are lying there with no strength to lift it you will spend hours wondering whether your time being offended at other people’s lifestyles helped you in any way move that boulder but it has no feelings to manipulate and you are powerless to move the objective things with no subjective ones around you are an individual worm who all along felt it was more.

Potholes and Panhandlers

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.

Abject

March 16, 2014

Higher on a shelf
going crazy
getting rotten
pulling on a thread
of a fragile woven world-
slowly coming apart
By my hands, i will make it shed
i will cover it in stains
the way it did me
watch it struggle 
gasp for air
when it cajoles, pleads or puts
on airs 
i will yield, bide my time
watch it grow, expand
radiate joy and hope 
and just as it made me something sadder
i will rob its light, enthusiastic energy
twist its beauty
turn its gifts into a curse
fill its days with doubts, worry,
fear and unbearable pain
days thick-sown with irrepressible will to live
enough to want to stick around:
suffer when suffering comes
-sadness for ever looming - 
breathe, cry or laugh

Inside the butcher shop

March 10, 2014

Inside their cages
the rabbits
shit on the ducks shit
on the chickens.
The butchers
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.”

Surreptitious

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.

Crisp

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.

God is Calling

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.
I know.

Whitewater

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.

Brewing Beer

February 17, 2014

—for Mike

I can make a clone
if you give me the right ingredients.

Brewer: Me.
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.

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. 

what should i say?

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
endeavour

it becomes foreign
immediately
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.

Way

February 10, 2014

there’s roadways, freeways, expressways, throughways & parkways
don’t forget the airways, even the waterways.
…anyway!
maybe we should break away
or getaway
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.
no way!
let’s throwaway thataway straightaway
let’s go sideways
always
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.
which way?
let’s go this way.

Lest We Forget

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

the wolf on raymond st

January 27, 2014

on raymond there is no
game to hunt

like chess you must
stay moves ahead

starvation cannot
get to you

if the families on raymond
push you out

just like any game
you make a move

and stay three
steps ahead

to win or otherwise
topple the king.

beware and forge ahead

January 21, 2014

beware, and forge
ahead
with the youth in
your heart
the things that lie
behind you
now plain to see
and in front
so blurred

beware, and more
importantly:
forge ahead
and learn to love
the confusion of
today
without hesitation
between footsteps

Bloodletting (I’m sorry)

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.

she hid him beneath her bed

January 18, 2014

if i could only write one good
poem
it would be about when we went
south
and the humidity of
the middle part
of alabama

how it did fog up
my glasses in
just seconds

it would be about how i felt like
a stowaway
the whole time i knew you
a small puppy hidden under
your bed
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
spoke
in person
but only the beach remains
that
sunbleached afternoon
walking barefoot and
the new freckles
i would fall between

and i would end the poem
very poignantly
and much before i spent a week
at my grandmother’s
in ocala
far from home
vomiting out religiously
all the sickness i had
endured.

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