A Perfect Lover

There are names scratched in sidewalks I never noticed. Children’s chalk drawings that I stepped on. Flowers that smell like bottled-up tropical islands. The clouds, right before dusk, even take on a melon hue. There all these things I never knew existed until I saw you. The world changed for me that night. That night, through your slightly veiled windows, you on your couch with your laptop in your lap. Your bangs draped across your forehead. I’m in love with your forehead.

I can’t believe I’ve never seen you before.

And now I see you every night, though you never see me. And in this way, we have a kind of unique relationship. I look over you but don’t expect a thing. Isn’t that pretty romantic?

Most men want something.

Even though I can see that you’re alone, and that no man comes to visit, I’ve never once approached you. Even when you’re on your weekly Sunday afternoon supermarket run, I keep my distance. I respect your space.

Sometimes when I don’t see the light come on I wonder where you are, but then I’m reminded that mystery is the spice that keeps every relationship full of flavor. I can only imagine the mystery you’re not even aware of feeling not knowing I’m here.

If that makes sense? Because I’m sure you feel something. Even though you don’t see me, you must sense my loving presence.

You see, that first day I saw you on your couch, with your laptop in your lap, you were crying. I couldn’t tell what you were looking at, but I could see such longing and hurt in your swollen eyes that I fell in love a little with your misery.

You looked hurt and it was beautiful, in a way, not that you were hurt, but the feelings that arose in me. Total devotion. I felt a grace fill me up and it was like a balloon; and I knew that I was supposed to tie that grace balloon to you and keep you lifted off of this dirt. And that’s why I’m here watching over you.

Does that make sense?  Like, I loved all of you from the start, even the dark and damp and uncomfortable pieces. I wouldn’t say I wanted to wash your feet, because that is a little gross to be honest — but a little like Jesus, I wanted to adore you. That kind of thing.

And whatever little misery, or misery-maker, in your life, I wanted to conquer. I hated it. I wanted you strong again. Not teary-eyed and thinking of things that bring gloom to your angelic visage. I am not a violent man, but now that I had somebody to protect I felt a little like a warrior. It’s important to note I am a peaceful man.

But I’d rather tear out all the rose bushes than risk you being pricked by a thorn.

What would you do without me?

I love the way you read in your bed before going to sleep. All these books I’d never heard of before. The first time I touched your apartment was when I came by in the day, considerate of you being at work and not wanting to intrude while you were there, (always thinking of you), and I head to lift myself up on your windowsill to get a closer look at the titles…

The Alchemist…
The Writings of the Buddha…
She’s Come Undone…

You seemed like a woman who needs consistency in her life.

That’s why I’m here every night.

But tonight something different happened.

It was still early, maybe a little before midnight, when a car drove up and parked outside. I waited in my hiding place for whomever it was to scurry off but this person sat in their car for almost ten minutes.

I’m as patient as they come, obviously, but it was starting to bother me. What were they waiting for? The driver of the car could be seen, thanks to a streetlight that captured his pointy features with a sharp honesty. A nose that seemed to eject from his face. Lips that curled in a damaged way. His hair was crumpled and spiked with some kind of modern substance. I could tell the guy was nervous and that he kept looking at her apartment. I knew from taking the back route through the alley that she was in the shower.

What if this person was out to harm my angel?

Eventually the guy got out of his car and rang her doorbell. His jeans were dark and slim and his button down shirt was the type guys with desk jobs wear for interviews. He reached in his pocket and leaned his body at a curve in order to wiggle out the object he was struggling with. I tried to figure out what he had in there. I normally wouldn’t be so brazen but I stood up out of the bush to get a better look, just in case I would have to apprehend the guy single-handily (wouldn’t that be something!) or somebody would need to testify (me), that they saw this suspicious guy ringing her bell and spotted diligently whatever weapon was in his pocket.

He finally freed the thing was stuck in his tight jeans. It was a little box. He stared at it like he didn’t know what it was for a brief moment before the door opened. The remarkable thing is, when she opened the door, she turned and looked right at me. I was certain I had blown my cover, but she didn’t see me at all. Her face had gone flush with recognition and emotion and surprise, but it was for the man standing there with the box. Not me. She looked stunned, and so did he. I was stunned too, holding my breath, standing in the bushes.

Everybody waiting for something to happen…

They then disappeared inside. From where I was stationed I couldn’t see the living room, where they must have went. It was 12:33am. I’ve never stayed while she had company. That was a rule I stuck to religiously. This sort of relationship needs parameters. But this was the first time her company was a man.

I had the feeling this man was the one who made her cry the first night I saw her. It’s been two months! Where was he when it was raining and there was that leak in the ceiling, and she had to use buckets to catch the water in the middle of the night?  Where was he when she came home drunk that night and left the door unlocked? If it had been somebody else, somebody unsavory and criminal, they could have intruded into her house, instead I locked it for her and didn’t even look inside but for a few seconds — just a quick little peek, really.

I had no idea what they were doing in there.

I had to get a closer look.

Which brings me to why I’m telling you all this.

Why I need to explain my actions.

You see, I crept across the street, pass his car, and over to her living room window. Normally I don’t get this close, but this was a special circumstance. She needed me. There was a little space I could wedge into, between a bush and the wall. If I was careful I could peer in from the corner. I moved in quicker then normal prudence dictated but this was an emergency.

They were on the couch. He had his spindly arms wrapped around her and she was squirming in his clutch. Her face was buried in his shoulder but it looked like she was crying.

I always carry a knife. Because you never know.

Even though I didn’t have a plan I took it out. With my back on the wall I shimmied along the wall for a better look when I accidentally rubbed the garden faucet, turning it on. Water began slowly cascading down my back.

Damn it!

This might be a sign that I should run. I should take off right now and call it all a loss. But that’s not what warriors do. If this man was going to commit Evil I couldn’t let some soggy trousers defeat me.

I stayed and fought.

First I had to shut off the water. I couldn’t turn around so I groped for the handle blindly and couldn’t locate it. It continued to drench me as I listened for a sign that I’ve been detected. I could hear them talking, but it didn’t sound like it was about me, so I carefully twisted my body so I could find the damn handle and shut off the faucet, but now I was crouching in a giant mud puddle. I had to do something.

He could be murdering her right this instant.

I took a gamble and went around to the side where it was exposed to the neighbors. I didn’t care. I had to act. When I got to the window I stopped and laid my body flat against the wall and then turned my neck, so I could see  in.

They were on the couch still. Kissing. Her hand was cupped around the back of his head like a bowling ball. It was disgusting.

I was stunned. After all I’ve done. It felt like a butcher took a cleaver to my heart and turned it into giblets. All the time I’ve stayed here and watched over her. Those nights she cried and I wanted to hurt whoever did this to her, and here he was, defiling her before me. The disrespect!

A rage molested my soul and a desire to plunge my knife into this man’s chest possessed me. I was beside myself, this is truly important here, I was not me. I confess. I was hurt. There was something burning inside me that was unleashed and the burning was spreading and it lusted to burn to everything down. It wasn’t fair that he should come back and steal her away.

I decided to break in. I admit this. Only to prove to you how hurt I was. So you understand why I did what I did. Right then I was going to hurl my body through the window. But I stopped when I was blinded by a ring glinting on her finger. And then saw the inside of the box had a satin lining.

I was frozen. I didn’t know what to do now. My mind was tumbling like a horrible lottery wheel where the balls always land penniless and while I was putting the last pieces together, I noticed that she was looking right at me, and she was smiling.

That’s when I knew it was over between us.

And so I left.

But before I left I slit his tires. Popped holes in the rubber so wide I heard the air hissing out. Not out of malice, you see, but to make sure he didn’t leave this time. It was the final act of my perfect love.

Don’t tell anybody.

Postcards of Me

I am a chimney sweeper, sweeping chimneys,
street sweeper sweeping the street;
I’m your dream keeper keeping your dreams.
Wake me up when the stork is gone.

I’m the man screaming love sonnets at
the post office. My romantic post-apocalyptic
poetry is popular with the machine gun girls.

Your lips on mine,
ziplocked like a sandwich bag.

If that baby is mine I’m going to have
to buy a new couch.

I’ll have to get a new job.

I’ll have to sing a different song.

And when you find yourself on the end of the pier
and it’s Christmas Eve and the city behind you
is just barely conceived, like the little baby Jesus,
and you spit into the black ocean and with it,
somehow, you think you leave it all behind;
but it’s not at all like that, not at all,
because you carry it everywhere,
oh, you can’t really leave it behind
like a goddamn colectomy bag,
you keep that shit
hidden underneath
your shirt.

And so we drift, like harmless embers
over a melting tundra. Burning is our
only purpose. And nobody does it
like we do it. High and dancing
in the serialized wind.
And when we die, we leave
a trail of desperate selfies,
our raw face at arms-length,
each one a breadcrumb,
leading back to the source.

And there it is, we finally figured
out a way to live in the clouds forever.

In these Postcards from Us.

Living in the Cloud forever.

Understanding the Protests…

Love it or leave it.

Shut up and sing.

Grab ’em by the pussy.

At first I thought it was silly to be protesting. The election is done. What can we do now about it? It just makes us look like sore losers, I thought.

Then I thought about those phrases used by the dominate culture to silence critics. This rush to move past the election. The normalizing of Trump’s awful rhetoric without any idea of what’s to come.As if it was all a slip of the tongue.

I’ll keep you in suspense… he jokes… haha,

I thought about the Trump rallies that we witnessed for the last 15 months. All those angry (mostly white) faces. All the screaming. All the insults. Obama being blamed for everything. Trump calling Hillary a ‘nasty woman’ for merely disagreeing with him. Trump egging his supporters to beat people, threatening to throw his opponent in jail, threatening journalists with lawsuits, and acting like the whole thing was some hate-filled, alt-right summer festival to drum up viewers for his ghastly media venture.

(Think. What does Roger Ailes know better? Politics or TV? It’s the first time a Presidential Candidate was probably more interested in his adviser’s job than becoming President.)

The reason people are so mad is because they’re afraid of a Trump presidency. They can’t just accept the loss and “stop crying” because they vehemently oppose everything he stands for: greed, white-entitlement, ignorance, and aggression.

They’re afraid because a nationalist who bellowed authoritarian rants was elected to govern a country that is the most diverse, freedom-loving population on Earth. They passionately oppose his us vs. them ideologies. And they want to warn everybody what’s going on and let the world know that there are many of us that are, in fact, grieving.

Because he is the antithesis of the protesters’ values. Love, peace, civil liberties, reasonable discourse, pursuit of knowledge, love of the environment, humane immigration policy, respect for women, etc..

No, the protests aren’t going to change the result. I know this.

But they may send a message to people who now think their racist, regressive views are legitimized by an electoral college victory.

This is no fucking mandate to start reversing years of social gains. He was not elected by a plurality of us. Thank God that will be preserved in the history books.

No, the protests probably are not going to change the hearts and minds of people who aren’t with  us.

But so what. Fuck ’em. They elected somebody so vile to the values of our country, out of either hate or a laughable understanding for economics, that we’re forever tainted by this election. You don’t have to vote for the guy to feel the shame of what’s just happened. And that is worth screaming about.

That’s what’s going on.

We’re protesting the shame this election has placed upon our American souls.

No, the protests won’t change Trump’s heart or his wicked policies, but people want the chance to make it publicly known that he doesn’t represent me or my values.

His grinning face causes anger when it’s smeared across the aquamarine television screens of our living rooms. Snarling and mocking and terrorizing. His mad 3 am Tweets succeeding at nothing but causing arguments and animus. His insane victory sent shock waves of apoplexy through the Blue State consciousness. Laugh if you want, but it rattled our core. Never did we think a man so vile, so undeserving, so boisterously ignorant, and outright scummy could be elected into the highest office in the land.

We are flabbergasted; it’s hard to use flabbergasted in an unfunny way, but Trump did it. He whipped folksy charm and alt-right prejudices with Reality Show bluster and one-of-a-kind demagoguery and winged his way into the White House. It was quite the astonishing sight. Like seeing an iceberg collapse right in front of you and the slow wave coming to tip over your ship.

He may be good for a million memes, but the laughter sure does taste acidic. Let’s get the EPA on that.

Oh, right.

Fuck.

#notmypresident

Excuse Me While I Scream

What the fuck is happening?

I mean: really?

No, but really?

???

Yes, politics and media and entertainment and a collective disengagement with each other has converged in an epic clusterfuck, an unattractive orgy of stupidity and opportunistic clickbait fuckall, but whatever; yes, the modern age is a soundbite-driven-Reality Show-Matrix-gone-all-Hal-from-2001, but whatever; I mean, yes, Trump is certainly a worthy candidate for harbinger of the end times, the final Word written on a baseball hat, but whatever; what is  really going on?

This is a man who thinks it’s okay to shortchange the American public as long as he’s legally capable, our bridges, our schools, and our military loses, but hey, he gets to claim he’s a billionaire by liberal applications of the word.

And that’s all that counts to Trump’s raging ego, money and power, and there’s fools out that want to hand him it all.

Why?

Because he’s slick with the simplistic linguistics? A Catchphrase Charlatan. Hypnotizing us through hand gestures and a psychotic insistence on ones own magnitude.

This is a man who thinks the more money the more power you should have, you should grab ’em by the pussy if you want, because, hey, you’re a star!

This is a man with fake hair and a fake tan who needs to surround himself with beautiful women because of what an ugly piece of shit he is. He is everything that is currently WRONG about America. Greed. Ignorance. And Racism for the deplorable cherry on top.

This is a man that Glen Beck thinks is unhinged. Glen Beck!

How deep is your mistrust of government or your hatred of Hillary to force you into Trump’s sway, how rotten is the rot in your core to hand over the greatest, ALWAYS and MORE THAN EVER, nation on this spinning wonderball called Earth to a snake oil salesman with a tacky toupee?

2016 has been a year where all of our worst sides caught up with us. The downgrading of meaningful discourse to sensational quips and barns and “locker room” insults, our quickly edited blur of information does nothing but distract that there is a serious conflict between people who see the world as combative and hostile and unfair and reject science and want to retreat toward violence and authoritarian instincts, who plainly see the world as us vs. them; and those who recognize our common humanity, and the need for decency and intellect, that we need steady stewardship… of the the Earth, of our fellow man, of our neighbors and ourselves.

We don’t need a bully.

We need thoughtful love.

There are more of us that don’t want to burn it down. And would rather remain loyal to the democratic ideals that made this country fucking great — in spite of the virus that is The Donald, a divisive recklessness and dumbing down that is a genital wart on our democracy, an entitled baby throwing a temper tantrum,  that inflames our baser instincts, the little demons that lead to terrible places, a platform of aggression and arrogance.

Excuse me while I scream.

fullsizerender

I love my country. I even love Republicans.

I miss the Republicans.

It is it’s like when I was young in the 80’s and loved the Lakers and hated the Celtics, but I never wanted them to trade away Bird and McHale and start playing baseball or some other sport nobody knows what it is — some insane mashup of rugby and throwing daggers at trees bare chested.

I miss the competition, the debate, the back and forth. That’s good for America. The trading of ideas. This is just garbage. It’s not politics, it’s not policy. It’s personal and petty and has done nothing but torn us apart and distracted the country from moving forward.

We are the shadows and the men in chains and we built this cave and now we’re at the end of a sick puppet show that I hope we learn from, and can look back one day and study it as a historical anomaly, and that this is not the new norm. But I have a feeling what the media is calling Trumpism is here to stay.

The march of history is Mankind’s greatest story, and I guess every great story needs a villain. But this is where we get to write how it ends.

Let’s beat the beast at the ballot box.

Stand for your greater principles.

Your love of Good.

Clothes Dream

— sketches from a dream about clothes…

Two men, 40-ish, gobbling food in a rural dinner. Country folk all around them. These cats are obviously not from the area. One of them more than 6 and a half feet tall and was picking through a bag of clothes.

“At any point, you don’t have to do this,” the shorter man told him.

“At every point, nobody has to do anything. I don’t care about the law of zero. I care about dreams, and reinventing Capitalism, and bringing corduroy back, Holy, Mother Theresa!”

“Don’t say that,” his light-skinned companion with the tweed jacket implored.

“Why? She’s a real person.”

“She’s a saint now.”

“Even better,” the man with the clothes said.

The other diners began to give them looks, wondering what this madman and the rapper dude were doing in their town. The one who was yelling had a scroungy salt and pepper beard and feral eyeballs, the other one had bandages on his arm and a Russian fur hat. There was a peculiar blending of styles, culturally, ethnically, seeming both old and young at the same time, to the point that the identifier meant nothing. What are we really, but hungry or fed? Either way, they didn’t look like they belonged. Which meant that they were perfect for the times. What with everything changing…

“Are you ready to go back to Los Angeles?” The rapper asked.

The one with the beard shot back, “Not until I’ve made L.A. notice I’m gone.”

Their food came and they both studied at their plate of eggs and bacon and hash browns with a 19th century French hangdog look. Outside looked like rain.

The Autumnal Apocalypse

There’s a half-frayed, frazzled wit,
an accumulated drift, washed-ashore,
dragonflies flying over a digital reef-
kind of life — we’re projectors of this flickering
clock… Are you shining like a thought possessed?
Ringing like a heart string plucked?

?

I swear sometimes I don’t watch where I’m going
until I’m already there. I can not look up for three minutes
through the canyons of L.A. All the time steering
diligently staring at a text bible emoji Sanskrit lullaby.
A neon pant split in a crosswalk sprint. I come to you.

!

The come-down voodoo masquerading as a scarlet stain.
I see stars and scars on sunsets and your bra on Sunset
Boulevard. I don’t blame you for grabbing
one of the shards. The blood charging
through your fingers. The middle ones extended
and lingers, like a photo of sea mist
on a 22 year-old’s Pinterest.

Call me California Joe. Corona in the silver can.
Blue sky natural tan hollow coconut brain game.
Call me if you can.

There is melody in the way the words wallow
like a woozy sailor anchored in sleepy hollow.
When my tongue speaks my charm leaks
and I’m along for the ride, help us all.
When the heimlich saves the heiress and slips your pocket
fifty dollars because she’s embarrassed and the moon
danced back like Michael Jack, that’s my fondest memory.

New shoes watching for puddles
bananas are really cheap —
there’s no point to that.
It’s just something I’ve noticed.
I got to watch where I step.

Filters and bandages and miscarriages.
Old Bay Seasoning. Des Moines, Iowa.
I stand on land not native to me.
I’m the son from space, pumpkin spice latte.

The Autumnal Apocalypse, I’m whispered
carelessly away on a bobbing apple breeze.
But still the falling leaf saved me,
my little tender tornado.
Avocado toast bitch
baby.

Sunblock in Front of the Green Screen

I am signaling home. I am climbing through the cotton candy.
I am eating through the maps. I am out of seasons.
I am counting stars with a laser pointer
while you’re braiding the dog’s hair
and the winter night spirals
into ash.

My liquid talents prevail over my instinctual attraction to buffoonery.

It’s amazing how my humpback floats.

My heart sings through the keyboard.

I’m lying in a patch of grass, newspapers blowing in a tiny tornado.
Like a camera set. Like a photo with a filter. Looking at you looking at me.
Wrapped up in technological psychological bandages.
This is all so unreal, it’s the only way we can stand it.
Half-dead is the only way to live these days.

Sending mad texts at each other.

There’s something tidal going on. I don’t know what it is, but it’s goddamn seismic. The wave can crash in either direction. Madness has its own momentum. All we can do is scream at the TV and hope our neighbors hear us.
And hope that they don’t hate us.

Because it’s up to us…

Up to us to sing our songs…

It’s up to us to make merry in the face of this ego and hate.
Spaghetti-O weightless intellect. I am not listening.
This is not a joke.

Meet me on Jupiter’s moon, you know the one.
Let’s live like our dreams are underneath us.
Cacophony catapult I laugh at your thunder bolt.
Let me pin every silvery star to your lacy dress.

Summer somersaults — I fought dragon farts.
Can I be stupid and stupid at the same time?

Like falling in love with you but being so
broken I never saw who you were.
Wearing a haze of wayward days’ blue blur.

Everybody is painting pictures of small things
There’s so much noise in the world,
it’s all a game of making it go away.
Find a little picnic basket to bring to the riot.

The skyline plunging necklines.

When she kisses my lips my mind goes quiet.

See the sky-stained clouds dappled migraine,
Saturday afternoon brunch-whispering crush.
I got your bleeding vest, your bloody beak.
See the clock drip plastic fire rings.

Put ’em on your fingers for all to see.
We sleight-of-hand our way to the promise land.
Wave down yellow cabs with leather gloves.
We are the wings the birds prey over.

Laughing gas mask clown nose
subverted birthday cake. Let’s
all celebrate the loudest whisper.

Swinging on the windmill.
The stinging photographic flash
on the bulb of your nose.
Singing in the gin mill.
(everybody’s singing about old things)
The only way to survive
is to crash into the waves.

This flashlight shoots out 77 LED  beams.

We are demystified by air conditioners.

Passing sunblock in front of the green screen.