Sunday Serenade

self medicating
because life is
mad suffocating

I’m skating

on thin ice
due to sin and vice
gimme some advice
to make it through this life

rhymes a precise trajectory
straight mental telepathy
to hit you in your empathy
Come on — be a friend to me
tell me how to beat my enemies
you tell me they’re not enemies
they’re just friends yet to be

Ah, shit
word vomit
got me drunk
on my own bullshit
looking for a pulpit
or a culprit
something to worship

even a dirty ol’ hermit will do
even a radio wave will do
an Internet page will do
a Television stage will do

gimme something to look forward to
like a million dollars or a love to make me holler
Wanna be a baller like Steve Balmer
break shit up like an Oxford comma
creep up like an undercover in an Impala
life flies by then it’s time to see the embalmer

don’t tease me, yo
with the easy road
that’s a dead end
I’m heading
I need to keep it low
foot off the throttle
there’s no genie in a bottle
to be my bro
so just peep my flow
and let me continue on
until I hit oblivion
and my bones are gone

 

 

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Woolly Lips

Nobody likes poets, especially other poets.
Nothing but hullabaloo or murmurs too soft and sad to hear.
The annoying pulling on your sleeve, saying ‘look at me’.

I read a short story about a boy named Matt and thought
that it could have been about me, but then remembered,
like a bird coming back to its nest, that I am not a boy,
nor have I ever done anything like the Matt in this story —
who was courageous and interesting and worth writing about.
When I write about myself it’s mostly just snide remarks; like,
I only drink socially but I’m quite the social person, or
my best days are ahead of me because I’m always moving backwards.

When the texts stop it’s time to look for another vice.
Carrying your phone to the bathroom, scrolling on the toilet,
the germs ride back on it like the space shuttle rides on that
custom built Boeing 747, yet we pay extra for bags over fifty pounds?
You ever wonder if the reason life is so hard is because at some point
some clever bastard discovered fine print, and then other clever bastards
followed suit and now you can’t buy a pen or a roll of paper towels
without also scrolling through riddles of legalese that trick you into paying
an extra $5 if you don’t stand on one leg and pat your head while reciting
God Bless the Brawny Man, or some shot like that, or am I just paranoid?
And mad?

Which reminds me of my 40th birthday to Nashville, staying in an Air BnB
meant for bachelorette parties (you could tell from the neon LIVE, LOVE, LAUGH sign),
the Uber driver reciting a comedy routine punctured with classic songs, getting dropped
off on Broadway and dancing in the street to My Posse’s On Broadway, before the boots
and whoops and extra-unnecessary shots sent my soul a-limbo-ing through loopholes.
I remember thinking that life was both worth and not worth all the fine print, but it’s
a better choice than darkness, so I danced and wailed and spent my dollars with glee.

I’m a fountain of good times and bad decisions, maybe not bad, just not good.
But it’s all flowing out of me like a stone child spitting water into the air.
I watch Netflix, starting with one episode, then fall asleep through the next three.
There’s no way to get them back. But in some ways maybe they’ve entered me.
I’ve dreamed an entire episode of Stranger Things. I’ve watched Anthony Bourdain
drink Sake in Osaka without even knowing. I’ve woken to black screens 100 hundred nights in a row. I’m the king of nothing. Child of the abyss. Wool of a lamb’s kiss.

Christmas Cheer

Lips and legs and and loops of these…
Dwindling days, my hair is all grey.
I look upon the lawn wondering
what the night brought on
and what stayed behind.

When you appeared through the glass
with a scotch and a smile and some sass,
then stood underneath the mistletoe–
with tinsel in tow–
singing too loud to a crowd
that didn’t want to bow;
I thought I saw a slice of salvation.
But it was just you preening and
running out of patience.

When snow falls and the angels crawl
into shapes that little children draw
I can’t help but wonder if we’re not all
reenacting a bad TV movie we once saw
when we were too young to know the law.

Ah, mom, I thought you were nice
when you were on your third drink,
splashing in ice, and we were up north,
but I think you were on your fourth,
and we were somewhere down south.

Damn Time’s We Dying In

Damn, how time’s change.
You were funny on The Apprentice,
now every breath of yours is a menace,
makes my teeth clench so much I need a dentist.
Never got anything in this world you didn’t cheat to get.
You may be president but you ain’t got my respect.

I used to like him, but now he claims
the devil’s got the energy of a dragon, just like him.
Flies in a 747 with only him and Kim,
selfish human beings with no purpose beyond greed.
And your shoes look like doodooo
Sorry, if I’m being mean.

And all the enablers in congress and TV
as scoundrel rats they’ll go down in history
Fuck you too, propping up the clown for political grounds
I hope your guilt follows you into the next life
and all the harm you did letting the narcissist skate by
while America tore apart in the dark you suppressed the light
in order to be reelected you let Democracy die

And Fox News, fuck you too.

 

 

 

Running for Toilet Paper with Poop in Your Butt

A haiku be like…
then it’s all, like, well, you know…
kinda, like, just, yeah.

People like haikus
because there’s structure and shit
to drown the drowning.

Woke up too early
maybe I woke up too late
maybe I’m not woke.

Still use foul language
still scream in public places
Still write from the heart.

Running for teepee
with my pants around my feet
capture my essence.

Still counting syllables.

 

 

Hit the Space Bar and Call it a Song

Can you miss a hotel room?
Can it be home for a night? Two?
Like a bird that lands on a bough,
you sit and watch for a second,
give it a name, a personality,
call it Charley or something,
and then it flies away and you’re sad.
Because you and Charley hit it off.

I guess in this analogy the hotel room is the bough,
and I’m Charley. Or it really doesn’t matter.

I always overthink things.

I’ve written more poems in this room in 2 days
then I have all month back home.

Maybe the past two months…

The power of detachment. Feeling strange.
Being alone, and feeling it…. it’s what
writers do.

I’m up early again. Watching branches
drift around and swirl in the river.
I realize I don’t know the direction
this river flows because there’s so much
boat traffic the currents slosh both ways.

I went to a mall in the center of the city.
There were three separate events happening
with a lot of cheering and a lot of screaming,
but none of it seemed real, it all seemed like
they were actors who were hired for the cameras
or just for me.

Then I took a taxi ride through the wet streets.
People out in nothing but shorts; no shirt, no shoes,
laboring at difficult tasks: throwing tarps onto poles,
heaving boxes onto trucks, shoveling cement, shit like that.
And smiling all the while rain fell and the night dragged on.

I wondered what they would think of our memes…
the privileged millennial ennui of the Internet:
people wanting to die because their boss
asked them a question.

I’m from a different generation,
but I’m not so different. I easily shrivel
at the slightest harm, mostly emotional,
mostly my ego crushed by minor oversights.

Once I felt unwanted because my cat jumped
off the bed when I tried to pet him, but that’s
what cats do. I guess that’s what we do too.

My poems are just stories,
because I can’t write poems
and I can’t write stories.
I just talk about my thoughts
and hit the space bar when it
looks good…

Call it poetry.

Just
like
that.

The Capital of Thailand is Bangkok

Woke up early in Bangkok after a thunderstorm sent me early to bed.
Watched a barge slowly float upriver while the sun rose from the east.
Poured instant coffee and waited for the thoughts to come.
I’m going to get breakfast soon. Call a cab.
Ashamedly speak to the driver in English.
Look out the window at a confusing city.
Take pictures. Play on my phone.
Myself pretty confused.

I’m going to pull on a string and see if a knot will come undone.
Picture by picture. Temple by temple. Self-flagellating thought by…
well, you get it. I’m going to see what kind of company I can be
if I stop listening to myself and start listening to the pounding,
humming, oscillating love of the universe. I’m going to be quiet.
For a change — for change.

Goodbye in Thai is bye-byeeeee… (this is somewhat true)

My instant coffee is pretty good, but maybe it’s the view of this
overwhelming city that makes it so. Something about hotel
rooms that make me feel smarter than I am. More important.
I could make a King of Siam joke but I won’t (You’re welcome).
I’m on day two and I feel like I’ve been gone an eon.
We get so accustomed to our little patterns, our tiny cages;
once you’re free of them it’s hard to recognize yourself.
I thought, since nobody knows me, I could be something different.
I was contemplating telling people I am an architect.
But then I know nothing about buildings.
I could say I was a writer, but I know nothing of the soul
except the alliterations and rhymes that come to mind
when I sit down and look for a soft spot to grind.

It’s seven in the morning and already hot, already humid,
already confusing, and I haven’t even left my hotel room.
I can’t figure out the correct emoji to use for this feeling:
Is it hilarious tears? Or weeping laughter?

What is the face for existential dread/midlife crisis/privileged whining?

The Buddha sat for years to discover enlightenment.
I bought a cheap ticket off google flights.
I’m not implying these are the same.
I’m just stating random facts.
The capital of Thailand is Bangkok.

It’s time to eat.