Take Your Shot, Shoot Me Down

Rambling wordsmith without a pen, then, when the walls crumble,
I’m the man with the shovel. Above it all, the Earth looks like a marble
somebody shot on a big black carpet, it ain’t far fetched to think I’m
the creator of this detonation. Blow it up. My ego and us, shards
of Woo, shards of You. Part of me needs a lobotomy, the other part
needs a tender hand to grip when I slip. I’m gone, ragged vagabond.
But I’m also here, peanut shells and flip flops and whiplash. Come over.
Call me. Kiss me. Punch me in my soft cheeks. Everything is confusing.
Everything is inspiration. Inspiration is everything. The roses in the trash
and the one blooming on your face when I whisper something sweet.
Though, I usually shout nothing sweet. These words carry their own micro-climate.
This weather buries my snow angel and melts my burning heart. My yearning
start to this life put me in an anxious, sickening tailspin, I type these words
in an airport bar…. again. I fly back home in a metal bird I know no science of.
I’m just a poet researching what it means to dance and cry and high-five the
passing sky. If there is one thing I leave you with, it’s that I hope you never lose
your hope, and I pray that a day comes when the anxiety goes away. And I’d love
to see you in love, even if it’s not with me.

I don’t edit. I don’t repeat. I will keep on truckin’,
even through all the fucking defeat.

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Broken Bone Marrow

Spiraling little sparrow
Broken spare wing.
Choking on bone marrow.
Going home tomorrow.

Talking to yourself again…
In the bathroom with the
toothpaste stains.

Looking through my phone,
at old numbers that I’ve called.
And don’t remember calling.

Listening to Damien Jurado
over and over,
singing about leaving
Colorado.

I’m thinking of quitting,
but I know I can’t.
I’m thinking of you,
but I know I shouldn’t.

Put the pin in the map,
stick the needle in my arm,
watch my blood fill up
the vile. Vile little blood
droplets. I know these
claws and these jaws,
and it’s the only bite
I like.

Singing about leaving,
while stuck in this place,
it makes sense then that my
bark is worse than my bite,
if I have teeth at all.

“You’re at it again,” She says…
“Is it you?” I ask.

Chirp. Chirp. Chirp.

Asphyxiated

after they stop putting candles on the cake
and everybody stops singing for us
I’ll be there with a cupcake and a match
to make sure every birthday is happy.

the flowers I sent are still in a vase
and the card is still in the envelope
but I added water and cut the stems
and kept them fresh for you, anyway,
because one day you’ll notice.

It started as a day by the river
that turned into a poem that
became a tattoo on my shoulder
and now it’s a story I tell strangers
that ask what’s the one piece
of ink that means the most.

When everybody stops looking
and you feel like the spotlight has dimmed
and you wonder if you still sparkle
I’ll be there to shine that so bright
you feel asphyxiated by the glow.

Christmas 2017

It’s Christmas and nobody was at the Car Wash so I went through quickly and wished “Merry Christmas” through a closed window. It’s the day we get with family and drink alcohol with breakfast. It’s the day the entire country shuts down for a pagan tradition. It’s the day we celebrate when a boy without a father discovered a message from a princess on a droid.

The super-industrial dryer blows the water off my window. It smears into progressively smaller drops until the final one is wiped from existence. I drive out without vacuuming because I don’t want to get out of my car. I drive down La Brea, the only car on the road.

I play the game where I pretend I’m the last human left in the city. Everywhere I go I’m the only one. I wonder what I would do? And if it would matter without anybody else to see me do it? If a tree falls without social media, does it make a sound?

Playing Tennis on an empty court, the balls just pile up against the opposite wall, a yellow ring at the base of a green mesh fence. I’m sure after a few months I wouldn’t even use the free car washes.

I get home and clean up to go out for a Christmas meal. The city is hazy and the news is shitty. Donald Trump is being a Grinch and confrontational, throwing a presidential tantrum on Twitter… such is our world now.

George Clooney gave 14 of his friends a million dollars. I wonder what I would do with a million of George Clooney’s money.

It’s Christmas in Los Angeles. My friend is waiting for me with spiked cider.

I’m so grateful for my friends.

 

Battle Scar Galaxy

I’m an astronaut on rotting cheese. I’m six feet deep buried to my knees.
The whole whirling world is whorls, earthquakes, hurricanes and whores.
I’m a snail afraid of the razor’s edge with a 21st century laser in my hand…
Shifting through the gigabytes… drenched by dripping fuel from jet planes.
I’m a little like Buck Rogers… but nobody’s heard of Buck Rogers anymore.
I’m not sure I know who Buck Rogers is anymore. I’m an outdated reference.
I’m a little like a velvet Elvis… star of my one-man self-centered crisis center.
This small world of shopping malls, selfish selfies, and soft-served hearts
has me transfixed and entranced — my pants fall down doing a white boy dance.
I’m going to a party of mimes. Everybody’s eyeballs pointed sideways nowadays.
We explain our strange feelings by copy-and-pasting other’s strange feelings.
I’m a crustacean on a Central Coast pier. I’m crawling out of a Cubic Zirconia.
It’s a diamond made of radio waves and gaslight. Carefully curated masks.
Gorging at the News Feed trough, living through a paranoid pretend presidency.
Not sure if I’m the brave puppet or the cave shadow, or if it’s mental telepathy;
I’m paintball splatter… but it don’t matter in this beautiful Battle Scar Galaxy.

Jeff Goldblum

We don’t want to look at ourselves
so we look at our selfies
I want to get drunk, old and wealthy
mail me checks to the Florida keys
be chilling with my cat Monkee
pull his tail he gets spunky
pull my tail I get funky
the crunk be stinking up my teepee
remember me from the Stinky B’s
lyrically little loony cuz’ I got no chills
dude in the back in the espadrilles
pour me a glass I’m gonna spill
run ’round real fast like Benny Hill
motherfucker don’t know I pay my bills
and dues I got dudes in the cruise
and the Earth moves so smooth
it’s like Mikey J doin’ a moonwalk
that cartoon talk don’t fly in the real
like blooms of gold hold onto my pole
baby doll I’m outta control
misfit with a fifth of Titos
and a big fat wad…

It’s Independence Day
Oh My God (3)

Bad Marge

Mary was sick of her name so she started calling herself Margaret because it was the only name she could think of that was worse than Mary. So when people yelled out on the street for Mary she would just spit on a nearby wall, even if it were a window that was there. One time she spat right in some people’s faces that were trying to enjoy their pasta. The woman had a noodle hanging from her mouth as she stared at the long drip of saliva proceeding down the glass.

Margaret wanted to be bad because good was so boring. It’s not even like she had a good cause like a molestation or a broken home, just boredom pushing her to do the delinquency that gave her the name that followed her everywhere: Bad Marge.

When she got Bad Marge tattooed on her shoulder her mom had a minor heart attack. Nobody would know until years later that the blockage began back then. Well, this could never be proven, but Mary knew…

***

Jean liked to paint her lips bright red and go to the Red Tavern on Saturdays and tell people her name was Roxy.

Roxy also wore safety pins through her leather jacket.

Jean gave it all up when she met Pete.

Pete wasn’t a guy she felt like playing with.

***

I would have written earlier but I didn’t where to send the letter…

***

Stephanie was from Tunisia. Her skin was the color of cream. She had a laugh full of teeth and we drank wine until the record skipped. She only went by Stephanie, that I know of. We saw each for two seasons and almost through Halloween before she got sick of Denver and decided to move closer to the ocean.

We were supposed to hang out in Tahoe but you know how that goes.

***

I started calling myself Jacob in my religious phase, when I hung out on Venice Beach too much. I had started a cult, two friends, and my girlfriend’s dog. She wasn’t really my girlfriend, just a girl that hung around a lot that I loved in a sunny 17 year-old way. I was too dumb to know what having a woman meant.

Jacob had a telescope he looked out before going to bed. Every night he had the same thought, there must be some kid on one of those points of light looking back at me. I lost Jacob around the time I started on the methadone.

***

Lauren told me she thought love was a cheap word people with no imagination threw around. Last I heard, she was married with twins. I wondered if she told them she loved them.

Lauren left one night after tearing down a concert poster. It was college so you know the type of poster.

We were both young and full of too much passion. To this day I don’t remember which band it was, but I remembered I liked the poster more than her.

***

There is a stretch of highway they named after Patricia. In non-drought years there is a drainage ditch that has frogs in it. If you drive slow with the windows down you can hear them croaking. People say Patricia had that kind of voice. Later on I learned there never was a Patricia.

***

I got the nickname Captain Telegram because of the way I set up my stories. I had a real obvious way about me, I suppose, a predictability stout enough to earn a nickname. Well, people only called me that when I was drinking. When the spirit is a-hold of me I have a tendency to pontificate and get on with myself. Captain Telegram is always right, even when he’s wrong. He can make something out of nothing.

Women, Captain Telegram might say with a finger pointing to the ceiling, are the embodiment of perfection — except when they’re not. Captain Telegram would act like it was something serious to contemplate. I don’t know where he comes from.

***

Like I said, I would have written but I didn’t know where to write.

***

Last I had heard you were a waitress in Portland.

And you went by Mary again.