Friday, April 28, 2017

TICKY-TACKY

Acceptance—is expensive.
Since it's tough to cultivate,

and even more difficult
to distribute—most people

can't afford it,
except maybe once

or twice a year. During
the holidays, maybe

they'll make a pilgrimage
to some

bleached and
tall suburban mall;

where they'll fight
for some precious, picked-over

bit of it—
which, half the time

gets smashed
to pieces

before they're done elbowing their
way out of that hell

and back home
to their own, more familiar version.

Resignation—however,
is cheap,

quick,
and everywhere. In every

neon heap
of a strip mall, next to every

groggy blue bus and
train station,

and on every
single street corner,

in every dismal
downtown neighborhood you

could imagine—seems like
there's always

some jumping little
hole in the wall going—where

that's all
they sell.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

CONSIDER

As far as we
know at this time, backwards

time-travel is still
prohibited.

The jewels 
in the crown

of your corner lot garden—
all those uncountable,

charitably pink-
white cherry blossoms—

when nettled and nagged 
by soft enduring rain

eventually 
will sigh and settle—

to clog your storm drains
and highlight every 

last little 
crack in your sidewalk.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

SPECIAL CASE

At last—those holy city
parks and

gardens—
full of yellow
and orange,

full of pink,
red, and violet-
striped lollipop tulips—

are beginning
to shrug
and wilt

and lose
their neat,
laconic integrity.

What a sweet
and lazy relief

to see their humid
tiaras slip,

to watch them crumple
and rumple,
and melt—

and finally start
to look

just as guilty
as the rest of us.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

CHICKEN

On a spring day so
pleasant, it's downright
alarming,

my weird, distracted
thoughts fly away, and I'll pray
to god—please turn me

into a bird, make me
a slender and golden American
eagle;

not so I can fly far,
but so I can learn how
to stay here

on the lawn—milling around
when it's not
my default, quiet,

calm,
disarmed completely,
and gradually disappearing

into the innocuous,
egg-yellow
background.

Monday, April 24, 2017

VANISHING POINT

Sorry to say—compassion 
isn't a 
very big thing.

It's more like 
that precise and pointed 
jewel facet 

where kinship 
annihilates 
individuality. 

It's a blade, 
a weapon. It's knowing—

like a narrow spear of 
rain knows the river, 

like a pair of silver scissors 
knows white paper—

that right now, 
somebody out there 

needs more help
than they're 

willing to ask for—and yet, 
also owning the feeling 

that it could be, sometimes,
worse than this: 

sometimes there's a 
desperate little animal 

making its nest 
under the hood of your car,

and it needs 
more help 

that it knows 
exists. 

Friday, April 21, 2017

FLATTED FIFTH

There's nothing 
you could articulate  

that would 
make a good

defense. That's just it.
There's this

dissonance 
in you, 

and it 
really works in context.

Like a jazz chord—
but more 

primordial,
less 

complex, and easier 
to analyse

the quieter 
it gets—

it's that part of you 
who's silent

that seems to know
exactly what to do.

Which means—
when you talk 

you always 
come across

innocent
but blameworthy, too.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

50/50

If it seems
like your mind

must start racing
insanely fast

just to imagine
some peace,

I promise—
it's only trying

to keep pace
with your body

(which already feels the
very same idea

as a
resignation).

What,
did you think? those crickets—

which you can't see,
but suppose

must exist—
from the way

they keep
grinding their legs to pieces

in the grass over there—
are doing it

because they
feel like it?

You think
those trees

menacing the perimeter
of this field

are tall?
Nonsense. Trees

aren't tall. Trees—
are deep.

Monday, April 17, 2017

BODY POSITIVITY POEM FOR MOTHER EARTH

In the
all-hell,
busted wreck
of spring, she's such

a mess,
she's
such tough art,

she's like—
is this 
the end 

or is this
the start? 

But it's like—to us, the earth
is
some sagging

and bulbous
and fleshy
old lady

being pretty
outrageous,

scantily dressed,
all in our faces

and out-there
in public
in a way we don't like;

a little too real,
a little

raw for our taste,
a little

too confident
and honest
with herself

and everyone else
about

how
beautiful shit

and
actual,
literal shit—

never used
to be
separate.

We don't want to hear it,
but

right about now,
she must be thinking:

fuck it, if I cannot
get rid
of this privilege,

if I cannot give
all of this
away—then

I may
as well
use it.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

NEW MOON

It's getting
so late—

and my brain's

such a dark
and a

dangerous neighborhood;

but I think
I must keep

forgetting the way on purpose—

to ensure
that I'll always

need company.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

EXPANDING UNIVERSE

Saw a rumpled poster—
Beauty is everywhere. 
Insidious—I think,

to disguise
real exhilaration
simply by normalizing it.

Might as well say—
the sky is
just the sky.

What makes you think
you can
deny

both—
the uniqueness
that must dwell deep

within ever-increasing ubiquity
(for where else
could it

possibly hope
to live
so cheaply?)

and
each sly caprice
creeping out from every creased-up

corner of
the obvious—
simply

by
going and
stating it like that?

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

SYMPATHY FOR THE DEVIL

Because
he was never able
to sketch them—

and besides,
he'd always preferred
to pluck

them anyway—
to sever
the tether

of every last
immaculate wild-
flower in the garden;

then, he could
simply
methodically re-appropriate

all of their
dead little traces
of delicate mauvewhite fairness

in order
to slightly enhance
the net-exquisiteness

of a certain
fellow creature
he'd met recently

whom he
doubtless respected
and adored absolutely,

but whom—logic
would nevertheless
force him to conclude,

could basically always
use
a little boost.

Monday, April 10, 2017

BEHAVIORAL ECONOMICS

Saw
one singular pigeon,
amid two or three dozen

milling,
foraging in the gray
fountain rain at the intersection—

taller, broader,
champagne-gold-crested—
more beautiful

than the others—
but then,
as some approaching huckster's

cart
made him scatter
in impulsive, mechanical

bland union with his brothers,
was left clinging
only

to the cheapest thought: whatever—
a pigeon is a pigeon
is a pigeon.

Friday, April 7, 2017

NO ACCOUNTABILITY IN ADVERTISING

Guessing this could only be
one of those

suffocating,
stainless
subway car confessions—

stuck standing
up in there, feeding yourself
one or two more

fingers for dinner,
and desperate
for any old

surface
to look at
that isn't reflective,

eventually leering
at some mechanical
reproductions of a girl—

you feel
your botched head dim and
do a little swirl.

A little
sickening,

the dip feels
familiar, though;
just like your trying,

for decades
now, to somehow
grab a firm hold of

just
one single

trim, fit,
deliriously-
successful second

between—
the sham thoughts
you're

constantly having—
and your
rhapsodic, never-

ending
belief in them.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

THE DECLINE OF WESTERN CIVILIZATION

It's a little private superstition of mine—
that it's better to hang
the wrong man
than none,

and that no matter how much
on-demand
internet TV I while away
the night with,

my modular future
still is both
fixed and indelible—as if
God's ghost (an irascible,

southern-Gothic bogeyman)
still lives out there,
haunting the beautiful
thick, twisted forests of my atheism.

I'm perfectly comfortable—
letting some old
fisherman go to hell
in my place

for catching and killing
millions of innocent fish.
Meanwhile, I'll be
damned if I'm not

going to sit here and eat them
when they're
already dead. I didn't harm them.
Might as well profit.

Monday, April 3, 2017

PENTAGRAM

In the freezing gray abandoned stadium,
deep in the bombed-out

downtown section
of your poverty-stricken reptile brain,

there is still—a great roaring
cheer that keeps spontaneously rising

from the creaking, dilapidated
ghost-haunted grandstand

where your mom and your dad
and your mom and dad's moms and dads

are all sitting in a specific
pattern, whitish translucent,

sucking toothless
on chalky candy cigarettes

and dust-coated Ringpops
they can't taste anymore.

And every time
you even so much as

set a foot in the game—
you can hear them

put down the concessions
and resume howling it, tongueless, at you:

Military, Medicine,
Church, Law,
Economy!

Military, Medicine,
Church, Law, 
Economy!

What else on this earth 
will your words be worm-
food for?

Every B-
plus you get
could be an A-minus;

and even the A-pluses—should be 
coming a bit
quicker!