California Earthquake

(a country song for a city boy)

If He made us,
then He made us all wrong.
But you can’t take us back.
There’s no store to return us to.
No forms to fill out, you can’t
tell Him to do it again.
So I guess we’re meant to live
in this world of sad song and sin.
Because what’s done is done
and there’s no returns
and no bargains.

My heart is a hologram.

So I clean my fingernails and yell into phones,
choose paper or plastic and wait in traffic.
If you see me coming down the street,
please pretend you don’t know me,
and I’ll do the same for you.
It’s the least we could do.

Green tea.
Late night TV.
Migraine headaches.
California Earthquakes.
Talkin’ rumors.

“It’s not you, it’s the tumor.”

Put me on the stand.
I’ll confess I’m not much of a man.
But that doesn’t mean you can treat me like a fool.
Your indifference is the worst kind of cruel.

It’s like ice that burns hot.
You’re there but you’re not.

They retired the Space Shuttle.
They shifted through the rubble.
They accused me of starting the scuffle.
And then didn’t allow me a rebuttal.

The sauna at the gym was too crowded,
so I lied among the weights and wept.
The movie was too long,
so I drove my car through a barber shop.

Walking the plank,
with an oxygen tank.
Heaven is a bank,
that’s closed everyday.

I was born in a golden crib.
Died alone in a stained bib,
eating lobster and dirt,
pretending there’s no hurt.

She was a monster in a skirt.

They came to my funeral,
to throw stones at my skeleton.
They rattled my coffin
like a Mardi Gras Parade.
They danced on my incondite grave,
looking for a recondite way
to His celestial treasury.
But the rocket wouldn’t take off,
and the change they carried wasn’t enough.

It wasn’t even enough to buy a cloud.

The snow piled up in my room,
blown in through the window
thrown open by birds too skinny to stay.
And every time I tell you I love you,
you just look away.
If I say I don’t believe in you,
you make it rain.

What’s a boy to do to get through your gates?

Piss-tasting beer.
Wasting away here.
Your words came out unclear.
Mine came out all veneer.

In a deflated globe, there’s not much to hold.
The world ticks backwards, my mind’s a pile of plaster.
One more for the road, so I can lose control.
This planet is fractured, this heart’s hard to master.
Crash my car into a wall, so you know that I am all…
in. Gone.

In the wind. Blowing…
like your toothless grin.


3 thoughts on “California Earthquake

  1. “If He made us,
    then He made us all wrong.”
    “My heart is a hologram.”
    this is such a beautiful conjure.
    “So I clean my fingernails and yell into phones,
    choose paper or plastic and wait in traffic.”
    blah, fucking society.
    “Put me on the stand.
    I’ll confess I’m not much of a man.”
    relative to what vision??
    “This planet is fractured, this heart’s hard to master.”
    wow, what a sentence. wish I wrote it…

    I love your poetry, I love your style, sometimes I wish your work was leaner, it would be much more SOLID if it were. BUT I know nothing. Im just saying…
    obviously I adore your word choice, you work on your craft, arent afraid to make unique word pairings that end up to be sheer genius. They often make my stomach drop…

  2. Thanks! Admittedly, I’m not much of a editor, but I will take your advice to try strip it down and make it leaner. I’ve read your work and am a fan as well. I need to read more of it!

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