Poem: A Good Education

MJ Auditorium at Gardner

At the Middle School two driveways down the street,

Hollywood safari vans tote tipsy tourists and King of Pop-culture purists

to contemplate like jurists the Michael Jackson Auditorium, whose much-lauded eponym

was sleek and slim, and boyishly indiscreet.

At this school, Russian parents take parking spots and umbrage,

when their children start to bleat

about the Czech (or Slovak?) wreck teaching home ec with no respect for Moscow discotheques, who expects to check classwork bereft of facts about the colossal crime in Crimea carried out by the usual suspects.

To my American neighbors, it sounds like the indirect vivisection of Vladimir Putin’s next election. Dollars and cents, rubles and shekels.

Garbage cans moved. Emotions operatic. Blissful harmony, discordant static.

Who’s more entitled, the white men born between borders or the white men with connections to the Kremlin? No one’s starving. No one drives a Gremlin.

When the SUVs and minivans . . . → Read More: Poem: A Good Education

Poem: What’s in There?

kid-with-cellphone2

You could say our addiction to convenience and comfort has been successfully repackaged as the highest end for our brilliant technological means.

Or, you could say that we’re in the grip of a nationwide plague. Of…A.D.D.

Or, you could say we’re simply a country of poorly developed adult minds with the collective attention span of squirrels during mating season.

Or, you could look up, my fellow fool – if you can tear yourself away from the sacred screen.

You’ll see discontented Americans waddling morosely to their cars, wondering why having more of everything hasn’t yet made them happier about anything.

No one smiles at me on the street, anymore. Yeah, that bond has been broken. We can’t look each other in the eye.

Because we’re all face-down in our palms, making marvelous use of the opposable thumbs God gave us and our fellow monkeys. They’re digging for grubs. We’re digging . . . → Read More: Poem: What’s in There?

Poem: A Brief Autobiography

clitboys_1

I was a punk rocker. A real one. Original Midwestern Hardcore Punk Thrash

loud and fast and angry enough to convey the depths of agony

residing in our adolescent breasts, the unspeakable (only screamable) pain

of being trapped like a bear in a sharp leg clamp,

tortured by the knowledge that we were ensnared in a system

we wouldn’t choose except under the threat of torture, and maybe not even then.

Not having a choice: “I want to have high ideals, I want to love mankind,

trust my fellow man, be loving true and kind – but everyone tells me ‘No!’ Everyone tells me

‘No such thing!’” That’s what upset us so in those naïve days before

we figured out how it’s all arranged.

 

For a minute or some decades of my life I learned

to play the game, the same one I . . . → Read More: Poem: A Brief Autobiography

Poem: If One Could Add the Entirety

Godhead of the light

If one could add the entirety

of what we can see

and what we can’t —

the supplicant on a rant,

the matter dark, unknowable,

a bitterness that’s stowable –

what we would have to examine

are children wrenched by famine,

a panoply of catastrophes,

like man-made war, and disease.

 

We would also deign to look

at an ancient antiquated book

imparting wisdom, dispensing lessons,

doling out her meager blessings

to those who care to think

that knowing God demands a link

to better angels, vibes much higher,

illuminated by your fire,

the one that burns within

where there’s no hell and there’s no sin.

When you glow the healing starts

proving science doth love the arts.

 

We know the good resides all ‘round,

that humble plots are sacred ground,

that if you focus on the light

you’ll develop . . . → Read More: Poem: If One Could Add the Entirety

Poem: The Difference

malnourished children

The difference ‘tween him and he

appears at first randomly

in mutations rare

results unfair

blessing him with ignorance

cursing he with intelligence.

 

 

If a plan there be

we fail to see

what force of kindness

manufactured blindess

to that which pulses like the breast

of pigeondoves and marmosets.

The one who looks not like you

the blackdykewopniggajew

heshehim your sisterbrother

emerging from a wombless mother

the difference ‘tween us and it

disappears when tightly knit.

Poem: Changeable

cute chamelon

Chameleons are cute

what with their changing colors and all that

adorableness ready-made for advertising campaigns

but when hunting they are less charming

more like their brutish brethren that merely slither

unblinking and expressionless

the toughest poker pedant to take

an oath

Hippocratic or otherwise

you would not find the same cute chameleon quite so cute

in a marketing cute kind of way

if you saw the lizard with a beetle in its mouth

not yet dead but vaguely aware that the insistent crushing pressure upon its abdomen

means among other less important things that this is the end

and please let it come soon and let the pain

this pain

this excruciating pain of jaws pinching into my middle

my guts and viscera starting to ooze

let it end

the three arms that aren’t trapped I flail about

summoning and being forsaken

in . . . → Read More: Poem: Changeable

Poem: Tubular Tubers

failed magician

Tubular tubers must propagate rumors

of doves in distress emitting foul humors.

Now what would inspire this rank impropriety,

this cunning indictment besmirching society?

 

A rift is the answer, a chasm, a cleft,

a cleaving, a shearing, a conscience bereft

of feeling and thoughts of the popular kind,

the ones that come straight out of sapien’s mind.

 

Potatoes and ginger can’t talk to the birds

despite the conspiracies you might have heard

spread yonder and far by agents of gloom

whose trickiest trick is to make you assume

that magic exists and compassion reigns.

All that we’re asking is please use your brains,

the ones that God gave you to figure stuff out,

to fill in the blanks and erase all the doubt.

 

See what you must and say what you claim,

then slowly repent and demonstrate shame

. . . → Read More: Poem: Tubular Tubers

Poem: How Can it Be?

a perplexed thinker

How can it be

You might wonder in a quiet moment set aside willfully to focus on will,

on what you will do and what you won’t and how it always is what you will it to be – yes,

during one of those appointments with your soul you might wonder

How can it be?

How can it be that I am simultaneously the most irrelevant and most important

creature in the entire galaxy, if not the universe and beyond?

How can it be that the assemblage of energy and chemicals and vibrations that I call Me

is of supreme importance when matters of personal convenience or comfort are at hand, yet

strangely invisible and uncounted when issues of piquantly more comprehensive concern are decided upon?

 

The universe is curved. Time has ended for some of the stars in our telescopes. We go on.

And . . . → Read More: Poem: How Can it Be?

Poem: Thumbs

an intimate conversation

Thumbs are what distinguish us

from the less important creatures below us on the chain of food.

Thumbs are why we eat them

and not the other way around.

Maybe this explains our fascination, our absence of humiliation

our willingness to stare and unwillingness to care

for life outside our glowing screens.

Some in the figuringit-all-out business will soon announce

the total triumph of opposition,

of digits doing what dogs cannot.

Others will say something else.

Noise, distortion, clamor, cacophony, a persistent buzz and thrackle.

 

We are amazed delighted liberated by our clever thumbs,

all the poems that they create

flying over keyboards, whose appetite we sate

by pressing here and pushing there,

underlining our aliveness

for emphasis,

for an uplifting reminder

we have thumbs.

Poem: Fantasy Misunderstood

george by the pool

When you announced your sex fantasy to the world

via a connecting platform,

you didn’t know that George – or Brad, or whatever movie star you named – likes to do this certain thing

with his saliva-coated thumb.

Always. Finally, after all the imagining and the longing

this gorgeous man finds you on your hands and knees

with ass tilted up

and your spreading just beginning.

Corking the starfish they call it.

One of your fantasy men also likes forcing women to suck it deeper,

until gagging or tears.

And the other one likes urinating on his conquests.

 

Don’t they know you only wanted to love the beauty, the dazzling glow?

Don’t they know you abhor the grime? Don’t they

understand you want the ineffable tremble maker?