Wednesday, April 30, 2008


What We Can't Remember About Yesterday

I heard a good one the other day;
it rolled my torso with laughter,
and it made my buddy
shoot gin & tonic out his nose.

I had a two-foot taco
with a 15-gallon soda pop,
and we were on our way
up the coast.

The radio was on,
and the DJ was cracking
himself up. The ocean
was as wide as the West
in our left eyes.

Now, in our romantic
destination, we're safe
and comfortable, but we
heard a good one the other day.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


The Ostentatiously Pleasant Ottowan vs. The Astoundingly Drunk Irishman

As far as Connect Four games go
this one was notable for its lack
of any definitive conclusion, usually
a Connect Four winner is declared
when someone Connects Four,
but when the Irishman roared
and waved his drink around,
the bartender saw fit to call the game,
and the Canadian turned red
as a maple leaf -- there was
no shame in defeat, but he was known
by the company he keeped.


Various Snappers

The red snappers wait patiently
in great schools just above
the big bottom of the gigantic Gulf
of Mexico near the junked
oil drilling platform a few miles out
from the mouth of the Rio Grande.

We humans wait patiently
on the old boat in South Bay
next to the duck blind
with our grandfather.

We know our lines
will eventually tug
with a mangrove snapper
or something else.

Thursday, April 17, 2008


Tom's Mets vs. Scottie's Mets: An Imaginary World Series

Game one Scottie's Mets win
to give Tom something to complain about,
and game two goes to Tom's Mets,
cause Scottie was thinking about Notre Dame football.
Game three was a barn burner, but Tom's Mets won,
and Scottie's Mets are down two to one, and Tom's
telling everyone about how his Mets are gonna tank.
Game four: Tom's Mets too, and now Tom's so nervous
he's not talking to anyone, he's just drinking Bud
after Bud out of the side of his mouth.
And game five, oh, who could forget game five,
when it seemed like Tom's Mets had it all wrapped up,
but then Scottie looked up from his magazine
about high school basketball, and as soon as he did,
his Mets pulled off a comeback for the ages.
Now Tom's placing bets -- he doesn't want to think about
what he thinks is inevitable. And Scottie's Mets
take game six easily, cause that's the way it goes.
It's Big World Series Baseball. And who finds heaven
in game seven? We'll have to wait for the fine
colors of Fall, folks. It's not as far away as we think.


When We Were Snow Monkeys

When we were snow monkeys,
we groomed each other's shoulders,
but the bugs beneath us
were quietly fighting
the whole time.

Now as humans
we can press our foreheads together
and talk -- that's the nice thing
about being human, we can talk
about almost anything.


I've Got to Tabernacle

When you have to Tiny Tim, you have to
exploding cigar. You got a new leaf turning
over under your hood, and a plastic pig
piggy-bank for a car. I tried to tell the pastor
about the pregnant, pink pistol, but the point
was at both ends of the cocktail umbrella,
and he missed it.


What Tonight Has Taught Us

Walking uptown on Varick Street
with Burt Lancaster's weird nose
still curving and kind of gleaming
in my mind's eye -- One thing I've learned,
my pin stripes tend to be too wide.

When siblings slip up, don't slough
the dirty work off on a bowl of fancy nuts
like Tony Curtis -- you're bound
to your kin by blood, but everyone
else, well, it's only money.


[This one's not by me at all but by Jamison Driskill. I didn't ask any questions about this one. Neither should you.]

It's Ok to Love Dead Things

The line starts here.
My pocket covered, smothered
Signed, sealed, and delivered.

New fivers stick together,
Confusing the count.
Everyone starts to tremble.

"Don't take your money out in front of me.
Our business is in the photo booth."

I fan out three crisp one dollar bills,
Her body now faceless,
I smile until my face fucking hurts.

Every fucking time.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008


Dictionary Epistle

Subject. Class.
inflected etymologies

Especially long,
formal ones.
Didactic e s p.
often ||||Apostolic

Tuesday, April 15, 2008


The Ghost of Hannah Sedler

Hannah Sedler helped me out of a big problem last night,
but when I woke up she was gone. And preliminary
attempts to track her down have been very sketchy.
Amy was our keystone in this operation, but she
hasn't spoken to Hannah in years. Internet searches
are negative too. So Hannah was here in that wild dream
(I had a heroin problem or something -- it was bizarre)
and she's in a red car in my memory, driving me home
from Lubbock High School after biology. Dear Corporeal,
2008 Hannah: I hope you are as helpful and as comforting
as your late night psychonautic pillow-tropic ghost.


but sometime in the not-too-distant future

when you've found yourself hazarding new occupations
like psychonaut deep out in that Coney Island cosmos,
"oh look, here's something going on at the ballpark,"
and that tactile sun is setting on your fingertips
and the neon wind is blowing and the hum of those
huuuuge amps is crawling up the fine hair on your shins
with a "shhhhhhizzle," and it's so cold you can feel it!
Wait! The inchworm bass is bumping! And are you home
or far far away? Is this a bayou or death row?
Whose Southern California is this waiting for me
at the Atlantic edge of our almighty Brooklyn?

Friday, April 11, 2008

I am slowly catching up to April with this #4 NaPoWriMo!

My Near-Mint Thomas Jefferson Dollar

Winking at me from across my desk
is my near-mint Thomas Jefferson dollar;
it reminds me of The J-Man himself
but also of things named after him --
the first-borns, the avenues, the Shih Tzus
and I knew a biker in San Antonio
with a bullhorn he said
made him feel like The President --
I wish now that I had asked him
which president (maybe it was
ol' TJ himself!)

I don't think about currency
or America, I think more about
Lindsay and Ann and Tom;
Lindsay and Ann cause
they live on Jefferson St.,
and Tom cause his initials
are Tommy James.


Don't Call Me Charlie

You really showed us
what a slave can do,
and when the studio lights
gashed your face theatrically,
we learned that things can be Technicolor
and serious at the same time.

I've got knives in my kitchen
that show me something similar,
all deadly and Julia Child
at once; for once I'll stop
before color gets the better of me;
I'll slow down the credits for once.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008



You bubbling little soda,
girl, you crazy
like a cocktail, girl,
you got up and showed
us all your domesticated

You travelin' band, girl,
you got lots of time to spend
on trinket-thinking.

You've got to get up
before you've slept all day.


Swinging Back In To Things

Sometimes I worry
I don't do enough for poetry.

But late tonight, sick,
in my bright bathroom light
while reading Geoffrey Young's
The Riot Act, I realized
good poetry will happen
or not happen with
or without me,

and the thought is very
comforting to me.