Saturday, December 20, 2008

If they didn't have the guts

to grab what was right 
in front of them
like a man, he barked,
that was their fault.
He saw the fish,
cleaned them out
right down the gold
in their back teeth,
and made them 
thank him for it.
He vacuumed out the register
with a bent smile,
tore up his tab,
and spat in the face
of the one guy
who had stepped forward
with hesitant justice.
"Go ahead, loser,
take a swing at me",
he sneered,
"put it right here",
as he jabbed his middle
finger
to his chin.
He then put the swag
in a tablecloth,
and laughed as he
stripped them of the
last of their
expired-code
dignity.


It closes in on him

when the last life preserver
has floated away,
and the molecules dance
in his ears,
and distant, unearthly
rooster shrieks
sound their absurd
proclamations of
midnight harem ownership.
There will be no
Get Out Jail Free Card,
there will be no
overtime,
there will be no
recount, there will be no
favors for Old Times' Sake.
And if he has any items
to declare, 
he better get
off the Potassium-Argon clock,
because someday
he won't be around
for them to
not notice.

She was a real tyro,

I mean a rock-'em-and-sock-'em
give 'em both barrels
KAPOW of a woman, 
five feet five, spittin' out nails
like pumpkin seeds,
a goddam piss and vinegar 
QUEEN
ridin' a runaway freight train and
laughin' like a maniac.
She had a body like a knee 
to the groin,
eyes colder than rebar,
and a face that packed more punch
than a friggin' PROM night.
And when she kicked me
face first through the
bar room window,
I was thankin' my lucky stars
that she'd at least left me
one cigarette,
three dimes,
and her number
so we could crank it up
next time
I was in town.




Saturday, December 13, 2008

They walk by me

suddenly,
as if they had appeared 
out of 
the miasma of an
all-obscuring fog,
their features only
sketchy in appearance
but filled with portents
and signs, 
sometimes heavy 
with meaning
and affect,
sometimes only
fleeting and hurrying
their way out my
bemused attention.
Some of them can still
make my heart race and my
lost fire flare up;
others are carrying
Rwanda machetes,
ready to make me howl
silently once again, and
still others are mere
elements of a crazy pastiche
composed of the detritus
of the mundane.
They are all suspects
in the Great Conspiracy,
and all of them
are to be mistrusted,
as I make room for new
walkers
ready to surprise me
on other rainy mornings.


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

No faded monster

from that time 
when our softly naked skin
was open to its
razor wire predations
can be allowed to win more
degraded triumphs
over us.
It cannot be allowed
to reprise its fetid act
again and again.
We must see its face,
and know that it
can no longer reach us
with its scabrous arms.
We have no time to let its
tired, ancient barbarism
drag us away from the
life we have built in defiance
of it, and from those who now
feed off of the love we have
paid such a dear price
to nurture and preserve.
We cannot let it drag us into its
indigo lair once again.
We are bigger than it is now,
and every day we live
in contempt of it,
laughing at it, 
despising its broken grip on us,
is a day when it can no longer
make us cry out
or freeze our legs in place.
We are needed elsewhere now;
we have no time to allow
that which no longer is
to keep us away
from that which can
still be.



Tuesday, December 9, 2008

A despised, hated empty suit,

grown weary with rapine 
and fog-clouded judgment;
unwanted, useless machines
sitting in joyless snow;
old titans crumbling under
the weight of brazen avarice;
masses living in fear of
being swept into canyons
whose floors cannot be seen;
grasping, clutching appetite,
its open maw obscene with
voraciousness;
warriors in distant horizons,
left to deal with slow motion
catastrophes;
blind "prophets" yammering
poison into frightened ears;
lives dragging on in routinized
mindlessness;
seething hatred straining the
leash of weakening restraint;
paper houses swept away
in torrents of foolish regret;
massive hopes placed on
slender shoulders.

Monday, December 8, 2008

It is the Child

of distant upheaval, having
erupted from Gaia's womb 
with insolent energy,
hot tempered and restless,
a brazen interloper 
in the community of land. 
Blasted into submission
by the implacable depths
and relentless skies,
ravished by raw life,
it was made yielding and pliable,
a malachite gemstone 
surrounded by the arms
of its adopted mother.
Come stand in its 
indulgent night
with me 
and feel the
strength
of its 
gentle infinity.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Mama

Mine
I go
Look what I do
I want that
I like it
Can I have more
You promised
(mad at you)
I know, I know
Hey, let go of that
Here, you can have some
(aren't I good)
Do you want to walk with me
(I like you)
Why do I have to?
(you're unfair)
Christmas is my favorite time
(I get presents)
Did you get all the problems done
(I can't do this myself)
Yeah, she thinks she's so special
(wish she liked me)
Should I go out for football
If you loved me you would
(I want you and you should help me with that)
Sure, I'll do it for you
(you owe me)
Well, Mom and Dad, I know you two
haven't been happy
(how can you do this to me)
(good, I'm sick of you two fighting anyway)
(you son of a bitch Dad)
(screw both of you)
(I'll never cry in front of you)
I got in!
(I'm on my way)
This homework sucks
(I'm in over my head)
Yeah, I'll go to the party with you guys
(Maybe I'll get laid)
(if not I'll just get really wasted)
I can't right now, I'm really
into Karamazov.
(I've finally found something worth reading)
(I can't believe all the bullshit I've wasted
my time on)
He's the best professor I've ever had
(he knows more than I ever will)
(he makes me forget all this other crap)
That was fantastic
(I hoped you liked it too)
(But I got off anyway, so...)
So tell me all about your day
(I don't care really)
(But I like you, and you care)
(So I'll listen and pretend to be interested)
It will be you and me forever
(Love is great)
(I can't believe you really love me back)
(It's too good to be true)
Yeah, work was good today
(it was a complete pain in the ass)
Sure, Bill, we'll do it your way
(idiot)
That's the most beautiful baby ever
(and she is)
(and she's ours)
(and I'm scared as hell when I hold her)
(how could I love anyone this much)
OK, we'll move to a bigger house
(hey, whatever you want, babe)
Tell me about your day
(just as long as I don't have to tell you
about mine)
So how long was dad alive after the heart attack
(oh my God)
(Daddy)
(why have you left)
(I should have returned your calls)
(thank God that's over)
I'll do my best, sir
(it's about time)
(finally some decent money)
(now what)
I know I should listen more
(whatever you say)
Hey, we both decide on the kids' schooling
(they're just as much mine as yours)
(another power struggle)
(I know what's best)
We'll get through this
(God, please just make everything
come out all right)
The doctor said it's benign, dear
(thank you God, I'll be better now)
(darling, I don't know what I'd do without you)
(she really is everything to me)
Well, now you know what a hangover is
(stupid kid)
(serves you right)
(I should smack you)
(please don't hurt me like that again)
I've never been so proud of you
(you're the best daughter in the world)
(my baby girl)
(how did I get this old)
The woman you're marrying is terrific
(she's just like your Mom)
(I hope you know what you're doing)
(now maybe you'll stick to a real job)
We don't seem to make love as much any more
(am I losing it)
(it's not like it used to be)
(I guess you're bored too)
(I get so tired now)
You don't have to call me sir or Boss
(but don't forget that I am)
Movin' a little slow this morning
(I didn't do anything and I still hurt)
So I guess that makes you Grandma
(my God is he gorgeous)
(it's better this time around)
(another part of my youth dies)
I want to thank everyone who's helped me
out over the years
(I never want to see half of you again)
Sure, retirement is great
(what the hell do I do now)
(I guess my contribution is finished)
(if it went by that fast then how much time...)
Yeah, my kids are the best
(but they didn't always listen)
(couldn't they have done better)
(hey, their problems are theirs, not mine)
You and me to the end
(who else would have put up with me)
(there's parts of you I'll never know)
(I miss the fire)
(I miss how many times we could do it
when we were new)
(you've always been there for me, and I don't know why
but I'll take it)
(I'll forgive you if you forgive me)
(You will always be the definition of love)
(I'm so sorry for the times I let you down)
(I hope I've been good to you)
Six months, is it?
(Please God, not yet)
(I'm not done yet)
(Just let me see her wedding)
(I'll beat this)
Oh, that's better
(it's really, really good to not hurt)
I love you
(I don't know what it all was)
(I don't know what's ahead)
(thank you for loving me back)
(you're more than I deserved)
Darling
(the light is so beautiful)



Friday, December 5, 2008

He had helped turn Edo's books

into luxurious white ash that night,
and the heat they generated
as they gave up the ghost
had buffeted his B-san as if the air itself
had grabbed them by the lapels.
His nostrils had never recovered
from the scent of over-done bacon,
and he asked why he had been assigned
the role 
of angry Yahweh.
"It's a mystery
known only to Him", came
the sage response,
and he was at rest,
knowing that the crab boil
in the canal
was not his fault.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

His body swayed unconsciously

as the fiery righteousness
engulfed the tremulous morning,
lifting him to lofty plains of
sunlit imaginings.
He closed his eyes as the
Spirit whooshed and bounced
all over the room,
now caressing him,
now slaying him,
now tearing laughter out of him,
now crushing him,
now putting him in the Upper Room
where he spoke in words
unheard in millennia.
Transported back to terra firma,
he saw the sanctuary
in surprising, gentle clarity,
and headed out into
the irrelevant Ordinary.