Archive for March, 2012


Cynical Girl

Oh Marshall, you got it all screwed up this time,

like with her intravenous rhetoric she could squelch her way

out of an adult diaper cyclone so clean you could

basically eat off her, but don’t think of it as emerging,

she, ah, ain’t exactly Botticelli’s Venus, man,

cool is the most non-committal of the temperatures

is what I mean to say, and where’s the fun if she

ain’t going to put that pretty neck on the slab under

the pendulum, she’s a textbook about rocks, she’s

a spiny ball of porcupine, but for all that prickly safety

she, like, doesn’t move, man, and you can just sit there

impaled and talk shit about the mainstream and its many

tributaries while you bleed out, but it will always sound

like stasis to me, like air bubbles in amniotic fluid,

and if you stay, uh, fetal like that man, well fuck, maybe

you can reverse engineer yourself back down to a single

cell, something I’ll need a microscope and blinders to see.

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medical school lesson 3

I.

Once upon a drive-in theater these pink

wrinkly critters came to visit the Earth,

no flying saucers or escape pods, just a rain,

just plopping onto beds of pine needles,

you’d think it was trippy too, man, even adistance,

afloat on a raft in a lake of cerebrospinal fluid.

 

II.

They were, like, looking for new experiences

because that’s their foodstuffs. Got it?

 

III.

The critters found these pretty hilarious monkeys

on the Earth, and decided to build their homes

in their funny, empty heads, a warm place, mornings

full of fragrant amber cerumen and bloodbaths.

 

IV.

They found out they could shoot tentacles down

into the monkey bodies and make them do whatever

they wanted. Yippee! The critters made this thing

called a nervous system and whenever the monkeys

were lazy they only had to shoot them full of millivolts,

hey monkey, get off your damn ass, wiggle your fingers.

 

V.

Soon, the wrinkly pink scamps realized they could control

the monkeys even further, and make them do things that had

dick-all to do with their basic monkey needs. Mischief!

The monkey-critter units put on suits and became doctors

and lawyers. Some of them became Van Halen.

 

VI.

The whole thing was actually pretty fucked up.

I’d only call it symbiosis to be politically correct.

 

VII.

Hello. My name is Jason. I am a wrinkly amorphous

pink critter who lives in a monkey. I am afraid that my

fellow wrinkly critters have forgotten their roots. They’re

getting themselves, like, existentially confused with

the monkeys, so it’s hardly a wonder I feel so alone

and messed up and different all the time, I could just

blow myself out all over the wall. I mean it, it’s

getting pretty fucked up down here, like, help me,

Obi Wan Kenobi, you’re my only hope, take me

back to my wrinkly pink space home, a planet filled with

sandy tornadoes, blowing blebs of mercury and thoughts.

You might say that I continue watching Jeopardy! in hopes that one day Trebek will deliver, in that voice like acid and aloe, soothing condescension that many practice and only one has mastered, an answer that tastes like chest tightness and laser pointers, dilates my pupils, shakes me by the throat so that my voice tumbles down into the black tile chasm as our eyes lock in frantic awareness of the question, but it is too late, time eats through the floor in disappearing red rectangles before the connection is made, before my neurons have gripped the assailing letters in their electric tendrils, and what do you know, I’m out another 200 big ones, better go back to Potpourri for 800, because anything larger would just be greedy.

1) Good poets borrow, great poets steal, excellent poets murder and don’t get caught, the best ones smear the ashes on their foreheads.

 

2) Alliteration. Don’t do dat. Cept sometimes.

 

3) Not unlike pornography, you’ll know it when you see it. Consider the metaphorical weight of breasts and line breaks. Pendulous.

 

4) You will write better poetry if horrible things happen to you, but is it really worth it?

 

4a) Maybe.

 

5) Sometimes, my eyes feel like a sniper has his laser trained straight on the optic disc, oozing straight into my brain, and maybe beyond. Definitely beyond.

 

6) Torturers, shazam, massacre, sepulchrous, nativity, syndicate, beluga, ratchet.

 

7) Item 4 is dubious. 4a is fine.

 

8) Lying isn’t so bad once you get really good at it.

 

9) Eat lots of fiber, masturbate frequently, and dance like nobody is watching.

 

9a) They are watching, though, for what it’s worth.

 

9b) Implications.

 

9c) If my name were a number, it would be three.

 

9d) We are all savages, you see.

 

10) I am a lie, but I’m really good at it.

Wanted: pubic relations expert with an eye

like a metal detector who can jingle not jangle,

can help me pass a neck biopsy seeking

redness and/or lymphadenopathy. Must love

blogs. Understand when I tell you the devil

wears product in his hair, the horns ain’t natural

but he’s got a good image guy/gal. I need a good

image guy/gal, somebody to make the typo in my

first line seem deliberate and edgy, somebody

to shroud me in human-sized soup can labels and if

that don’t work to put me on sale for buy two get three

for the price of the free toaster you got as a signing

bonus. Wanted: a clue. Wanted: a haircut. I’ve heard

I’m old-fashioned, but maybe if you wrap me up in 

cellophane you can rook somebody at the flea market,

act like the smudges add character, collector’s value.

me ya-ya’s

it shake rattle and roll in me guts

like bazooka it glitter like zsa

zsa it me ya-ya’s like energy

like do anything if time ta but

no gotcha got none it electric

excited like ta-da like blurry

two places at once but really

nada say bada bing lookit

me ya-ya’s whole lotta shakin

bacon goin rah rah like sugar

like cola and empanada

oh me aching ya-ya’s oh la la

like too pretty cunada like lava

me burning up ya-ya’s can’t

get em outcha papa ya-ya

like papaya like skipping 

record needa needa needa

needa get em outcha these

ya-ya’s or i go kabooma

like grab on the earth squeeze

like waxy like gouda like

nausea like heartburn

like ya-ya’s me ya-ya’s

me needa get it outcha

needa needa needa needa

Hindsight

It’s less that I should have known than that I distinctively did,

the sky’s stomach rumbled in yellows and ecru, and another

freaky, winking moon foretold the arrival, I remember everything,

one might run sheaves of stringy erst-paper through a pasta

strainer and there see the men and omens raising glasses

in sans-serif with colored-in vacancies in letters b, d, g, etc…,

the proof was hand-written in discordant wind chimes that almost

seemed to tunnel through the cirrus cataracts, seemed to howl,

I know this, knew this, I remember all of this, the temporary

non-self organs that whispered while the streets were so conspicuously

vacant, and, with its happening, can it be so strange that I breathe

now only in hitches, that I haven’t left home in weeks for fear that I miss

the shifting shadow, water-logged with unbearable strangeness and truth?

Workshop of the gyroscopes

–This poem is basically Keats, except if he wrote psychotic, meandering postmodern experiments instead of odes. Or maybe I was thinking of Lord Byron.

 

–I’m getting a sort of Bowie vibe out of this thing, but that could be because you keep pointing at your crotch while you read.

 

–When you spell out the first letter of each line, it says “I hate you dad.” Is that on purpose?

 

–The phrase “obstructive gallstone” keeps jumping to mind when I read this, and I’m not sure why.

 

–Think David Foster Wallace, minus the talent, but maintaining the stringy-ish hair and frustration. It’s something.

 

–I like the Die Hard imagery, when you say that you feel like you’re falling down an elevator shaft, just barely able to grab a ledge for purchase. The rest is horrible.

 

–Actually, I changed my mind, it’s not Bowie, it’s like if Queen were somehow gayer. Or maybe like a slightly more twee, self-satisfied Terry Pratchett.

 

–The Metallica thing, dude, where it’s like sinister and foreboding, and kind of builds up and goes all like BUH-BUH-BOW-BUH-BUH-BOW. Sweet.

 

–Have tried replacing every adjective with “bodacious” yet?

 

–You are utterly irredeemable as a person. The poem is OK, I guess.

 

–I like it.

 

–I don’t.

Dude’s like an abomination, a monstrosity,

a freaking monstromination, he like punches

babies and shit (haha, you see, this is what

passes for wit and political commentary now,

you asked for it), have you seen his views

on women, black dudes, and oh my god,

you should see the shit about female black

dudes, which I guess are called black women,

anyway, I’m only asking because I haven’t

seen any of these things, but I’m sure it’s

real real bad, I sort of picture the guy as like

a tornado with raggedy black arms, oh dude,

but I’m not saying they’re black because of, you get it,

right, anyway, I don’t know a whole lot about

[“your” candidate here] but it feels right, you know,

and people laugh when I say these things about

him, and actually, shit, that’s pretty good, I’m

like, personable and stuff, funny, a laugh riot

(and it should be said I’m not afraid to throw real

riots, like, uh, for the people and/or if my teams win),

I’m starting to feel all white-robed and sandaled here,

pretty goddamn electable, and I don’t know how

that other asshole sleeps at night, but if he felt

as smart as I do right now, I bet it’d be pretty easy.

Laertes replies:

Family is one thing, dancing down

the street, and medieval inheritance

law, well that shit even bored us, back

in the day, psychologically improbable

reading or not, the point is

(here she comes again!)

 

whoa-ho, I couldn’t tell you if those

synthesizers were ice or cinders,

(here she comes again!)

 

but it was the kind of night that makes

you feel like forty thousand brothers,

I kinda liked the way she dipped,

can we end once and for all your

trite discussions of the meaning

of the word “ironic”,

(she’s my best friend’s girl!)

 

muh-muh-muh-muh she’s my

I don’t usually stutter when it’s time

for action, excuse me, but she used

to be, well, something, alive at least

(here she comes again!)

 

I never did know enough about inheritance

or ownership, borrowing, lending, leasing,

sub-prime mortgages, but oh she’s dancing

(she’ll make you flip!)

 

in the starry sky, memorialize us, let our

story be flung across the hallowed halls

of your

(but she used to be–)

 

high school, please

(mine)

 

misread us into something special,

anoint us with rue and lily pads

(yeah yeah)

Sex Talk

You should see the look on your pudgy idiot 10 year old face,

that this was what required such stammering attempts

at tact, decorum, secrecy, this supposed attempt at male

bonding was actually some sort of, like, life lesson, and

Jesus H. Cupcakes, do people actually do such a nasty

thing on purpose (they do, they do!), and now it’s just

starting to occur to you that your dad and mom hchchck

guhckkchkk your like gorge is rising hchcchhchk rrrrchchk

it sounds like you’re trying to pronounce Chanukah the right

way, like your Jewish friend Benny told you to, sounds like

you’re doing that hairball letter “R” like zee French do, gccckkkk

and your dad drew pictures (MD’s feel, like, obligated, you guess)

and you’re shaken, shook, you can’t shake it, can’t even decide

which gender goes with which, they look like Easter Island faces,

gahhkhkrrrkkkk, or like a beagle with a dick nose (OK, so that’s

the boy one) and seriously, do you have any questions, you do,

you do, but that twinkle in your dad’s eye has you scared half

to Pluto, like he’s proud of what he’s done, or proud of you, like

he’s a sweaty Saint Nick grinning: “just wait ’til you figure out anal!” 

The technophobe replies:

Even as it becomes a real, uh, endeavor to make

this argument, I will strive to scribble against

unnatural fe/male enhancement as I’m slipping,

I know, into a tea kettle digital whine, but like,

when I was your age

a wee lad                               younger

Confusing. Let me start again.

When we were not so goddamn sapiens,

is what I mean to say, remember your father

found meaning in the tortured red thumbs,

the crooked nails, the, like, sheer doing

of the white-paneled shed out back?

The crux

Um.

Is there even poetry without font alterations

and empty enhancement anymore?

I can’t, uh, hm. It may one day soon be as easy

as when the only words came from my brain,

freshly sculpted from cumulus. Obsolete.

There’s enough deadliness in just that cretic,

don’t you think?

yeah tell it man

let em know who’s the boss, yeah

you the boss man, tell it man,

e-nun-ci-ate man, like you’re

solving a puzzle on Wheel of

Goddamn Motherfucking Cruel

and Twisted Fortune, man,

 

be black and proud or half or neither,

be white and nervous, Chinese and timid,

but tell em man, fight the power

so hard they say it almost seems

desperate, be desperate, man, if

that’s what it takes to show em

you the boss, man, desperate like

one-a them goddamn housewives,

man, be a badass boss bitch housewife,

 

try real hard to make sure they can’t see

you care, but don’t let them know you’re

trying so hard, that’s embarrassing, man,

just be loud and be right, and if you can’t

be right than just be loud alone, that works,

and if you can’t do neither well shit,

you’ll figure something out, just always tell

it man, you the boss man, yeah, yeah

Experimental Self-Indulgence

for Sebastian Wai

 

I think you may be right, and what alarms

me the most is the mental detritus, plaque,

uncertainty and strangeness as it occurs to me,

that a dictator might just be a tuberous gumshoe,

the deftest angler still has yet to masturbate,

and it can be fatuous to collect such obese pronouns.

 

House, flat, domicile and apartment are homeward,

philandering psychics are nothing if not sincere.

 

Please save me from this pit of disease called sarcasm,

but if you hate this type of wordplay,

prepare for more punishment in the coming days.

 

It just keeps going on, steelies and pebbles,

and does the fact that all of this rattling is here

while I idly hope for reason make me an asshole,

or might it one day be the key to making

my rectum one with the jagged stitches of nirvana?

medical school lesson 2

I.

“doctor, doctor, give me the news,

i got a bad case of lovin yew.”

 

–Birch ain’t bad either on a day

like this, when even the mailboxes

seem to be shedding blossoms to

the breeze, a day when I could almost

stop to breathe if it weren’t for the ragweed.

 

II.

“doctor: docked her! gimme some!”

 

–S’that what you kids are calling it

in these days of binary stimulation,

of burning re-entry to the blogosphere?

 

III.

“doctor, doctor, gummy the news. i

got a bad case?”

 

–D’you want first, the bad news, or words

coated with horse hoof and qualifiers, words

doused in high fructose corn syrup until

pancreatic cancer sounds as light and fluffy

as whipped cream and storm clouds?

 

IV.

“doctor, doctor, give me the news,

i got a bad case of love exhumed.”

 

–Kid, we all got ex-wives in this bidness,

nobody can deal with a doctor forever,

unless you mean to say you’re fucking corpses,

there’s government reporting rules for that.

 

V.

“doctor, doctor, give me the news.”

 

–I got a bad case of lovin’ you, the news

is old and pulping in the gutter but I think

you can still read some of the headlines

as those soggy tumbleweeds crawl across

the street, and they ain’t all bad, you know,

some things are trending upward, I swear,

can’t name any specific examples but it’s

enough to keep me trying, you know, until

the Mayans and Emmerich turn out to be right,

until my feet and lower back are rusted iron.

Tailgating Christ

License plate says JESUS but I’m skeptical,

even though that probably wasn’t the easiest

custom tag to lay one’s hands on, but JESUS

drives like he’s using echolocation, diving for

moths on the highway even though the sun’s

distant beady eye sees no other cars around,

he’s not as slick behind the wheel as the Pope

and Carrie Underwood suggest, he pulled out

right in front of me from a rest area, and holy

shit, now here he goes exiting into the next one,

what in the name of Jesus crabwalking Christ is he

doing, I find myself helpless but to follow JESUS

hoping to bear witness to some station of my crossroads,

call it JESUS parks the second time, no VERONICA

station wagon in sight though, and now I’m up close

enough to see fluorescent bumper sticker newsprint

painted on like disco vomit, and I admit, I’m getting a

little excited here, the one truth in slogans that I strain

and pull to read, and the gunshot of our apposed

bumpers smacking together is louder than you’d imagine

for the slow speed with which I was trying to inch forward,

and now JESUS and I are both stopped, and I want to

see the figure straightening his hair behind the steering

wheel but I can’t, the door opens, a sandled foot kicks out

and I freeze, the question acidic and wild on my cracked lips.

Ankylosing spondylitis, from the Greek

meaning help I’m turning into an ankylosaurus,

my tail bone is a nine iron or three wood,

a dinosaur in my young age, my ankyls

really hurt and I’m dying, losing it, my joints

sing a prog-rock fusion mass in Latin,

despondent, it came on so spondtaneously,

please respond, as in all of those things,

plus a spine like an oboe reed, and I

can only bend so far, you know, any

kloser to nowhere, to standing stuck

in the ground in a field of quivering

dismembered car antennae that somehow

still have fading AM band reception.

“my sister’s mentally handicapped,

shit, i got issues” he tells me

and it’s like he’s realizing it for

the first time, not the kind of quasi

selflessness that passes for bravery

around these parts, none of that

“man, but we all do” qualification,

that part is coiling like smoke

and we can both see it without

giving it the honor of a voice anyway,

and he asks if i want a cigarette,

and i don’t, but i take it and just

sort of hold it between my ring

and middle finger like i figure

i’m supposed to, and we float like

the sun, yellowing with age,

dancing on the elastic edge

of the horizon’s melancholy,

waiting for the morning, or

at least for someone else to

talk to about the night, the stars,

the sharp silver edges of the sky.

While you may not normally stick

your hand into dark, suspiciously

mouth-like recesses, you say you’ve seen

Temple of Doom and you know better,

this is just part of owning your own vehicle,

don’t be a fucking coward. Reach in there

half-blindly, remove the stick insect sentries,

and now there should be a sort of fang-like

mechanism, it’s basically a timing thing, think

miniature golf, think Edgar Allen Poe, but

mostly don’t think about the doctor’s

rectifying needle going in and out of your

flesh when you screw up. Don’t screw up,

be an adult, for Christ’s sake. At this point,

there’s a few ridged plastic things, and you

must answer me these riddles three,

1: what’s black  and white and red all over

2: what’s black and white and read all over

3: why DO fools fall in love, your ex-wife

probably knows the answer, but remember,

if you were a little handier I bet she wouldn’t

have left in the first place. Are you even

listening to me anymore, there’s this, uh,

little string of spittle creeping down toward

your quavering Adam’s apple, paralyzed silk,

and come on, man. There’s still the charged

wires, and this weird recess of pointed toothpicks

attached to a spring-loaded base, and like

26-ish more steps full of rust and tetanus,

so would you just sack up a little here,

the sun’s going down, and you and I

both know this will be even harder in the dark,

 when your pupils will open wide enough

for the Hyundai Elantra to drive through,

racing down your optic nerve at reasonable

consumer vehicle speeds, single headlight

investigating all of your left brain’s secrets,

framing them in a stare of halogenic judgment.

heal me

KleenexMucinexValtrex me, annex

me, stage a coup to force me into

your New York State of minefield,

lick my boo-boo, lay your hands

on me the Bon Jovi way, Dr. Quinn

me, force me to write a gratitude

list that I will not thank you for,

Lazarus me until my retinas are sore

and stinging from the sunlight, then

poke me in the eye with a sharpened

spoon until it goes away, that sure

would be welcome, or crucify me,

vivisectdisconnectcircumspect me,

circumcise me so I can make it past

the bouncer at your heaven’s door,

wisen me, wizen me, forgive me

so that I can fail to meet your 

expectations in return, holdme

kissme thrillme pillme, it ain’t

that hard, this ain’t my first rodeo,

grab a scalpel and let’s get cutting,

let me see my gears mesh and stutter.

Once more:

Directions

Just around the final bend the mountains

will rise up in the back of your throat,

speckled like toads, and you won’t know

whether to puke or to pray, so that’s when

you’ll take your next left over the guardrail

right back into the welcoming territory of natives

who only speak passive voice, as in “these

varied members of the class Insecta that live

in your innards were fed to you by a sprouting

wink and nudge” and for once you will ignore

the editor’s red ivy and weeds, trust the experience

to plant itself, to speak the only words it knows.

Impulse Control

Z is the color of my human brain

a humming fluorescent zuh zzzz

but I can tune it out zow zuhhhh

unless it’s the only thing left on

in the room buzz Z is the color

of my  human chain reaction

zow zuhzuh zowowow zzzzzzz

picture it as blinking white

cigarette tip cinders and my

zzzzzzzz nerves are fiber-optic

cables zing buzz down the line

down the line where nothing ever

feels as good as Z zuh is the best

the color of the craving and obsession

feel the zzzzz roof of my mouth

vibrate ziggurat zounds cheat

and try out xylophone zzzzzzz

what the hell right it feels just

as good and I will always wonder

about the neuronal breathing zoom

to think if it feels good zz just zz do it

and is that zzzzz thought already enough

to get cause and effect cranking into jerky

tin man motion too late to stop

so why zzzzzzzzzz bother even try to stop

stop the impulse is born dripping with Z

stop I think it is all right to surrender

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

dance of the skeletal optimists

step kick kick touch

clatter leap clatter clatter

bow turn kick turn 

fall apart back together

life is as stupid does

i know i think i guess i gather

it’s getting better do not move

do not touch do not clatter

kick leap lost an arm

do not worry nothing matters

it gets better on its own

i know i’m sure it’s getting better

heads up chin up

face up pitter patter

hey jude down a notch

temporary stormy weather

lost a leg lost my head

i surmise it’s kicking better

kick again touch again 

pitter bang and putter clatter

feast on hope life is wine

the skeletons are getting fatter

i’m sure if i just do not move

around the corner things are better

i’ll just make these hollow sounds 

and jump and kick and leap and clatter

 

Voyeur, Redondo Beach

“Down by the ocean, it was so dismal”

 

I see her, the fat woman on a dented turquoise boogie board.

No, I don’t slobber all over myself with words like “Rubenesque”, that’s demeaning.

Certainly ridiculous in this scenario.

The gulls sound like sirens, even with French fries in their beaks.

The woman is just regular old fat, not “voluptuous” or anything.

Momish, I suppose.

She resists rhythm, lyricism, completely.

Almost.

Something about her reminds me of the last contact corona of an eclipse.

She is really getting pretty far out now.

Purposeful.

This occurs to me too, dimly.

Does anybody else see her/care?

Hm.

I consider fetching the tanned, muscular 20-something off his stilted throne, but don’t.

Maybe she would want me to?

Oh, wow, she just about ate it pretty hard there in a swell.

Distant.

What does it sound like that far out?

I bet we’re making eye contact right now, she and I.

Pretty sure.

The riptide sometimes feels like the tug of a willful child.

A disproportionately strong one.

There is a sense of wanting.

Is it nice to be wanted?

Must depend on your personal situation.

I look around.

My head feels not unlike that buoy out there.

Usually I would eschew the double negative.

You know, just say “like” instead.

This situation demands a little care.

Funereal?

What will my brother say when I tell him about this?

Smirking “natural selection”, but that’s not fair.

It’s wrong, imprecise, you’d have to see it for yourself.

Oops, there she goes, slips out of view.

Did she go under, or just pass the horizon line?

When you hear a song and there’s a tone that makes you physically roil with sadness.

It’s primal.

Defies description to the point that I might need adverbs, which I never use.

Beyond the horizon, I think.

What do you think she’s seeing out there now?

My story is there’s too many sizzling

pixels vying for supremacy over

this holy Hollywood junta in charge

of my flashing, weeping neuronal

shadows, but it ain’t so bad, hey man,

what are you gonna do? Nobody bites

their tongue off in this constituency,

I don’t, Shirley don’t, I say la vie

est belle belle belle, and all this

fancy French reminds me, have

you seen La V In Rows? Here:

v v v v v v v v v

v v v v v v v v v

v v v v v v v v v

v v v v v v v v v

v v v v v v v v v

v v v v v v v v and well you get

the idea, it’s a pretty long one actually,

that beauty goes on for hours and hours,

a bit of a snoozer, so I just gave you a, uh,

truncated version, but it’s got this

sort of austere charm, right? The poetic

equivalent of a still photo of Helen

Mirren frowning on a beige background.

You should check it out, make sure

you check everything out, because

have something to say, is the point,

and this helps, silence is the golden

idol that gets God sticking your sorry

fork in a wall socket, because he knows,

because ignorance is the enemy,

and that CO2 won’t leave your lungs

all by its lonesome now will it?

#ihavenogeneration

Man, I go cruising down these streets

like nothing lurks in the dark, because

now the night belongs to young archaeologists,

blind opossums rooting through blackouts,

it’s just offal, tales from the intestinal crypt,

we are all squirming eyeless wasp larva

but we’re happy in these hexagonal cells

and we dream of stinging someday, dream

our asses off, and I feel long lost and Canadian

I just write whatever, I’m not afraid of internal

contradiction or hypocrisy anymore, it happens

(or does it?) gooble-gobble, gooble-gobble,

I would like you to know, I am in on the joke,

we are all in on the joke, there’s a joke, isn’t

there, yeah, I know, I get it, hahahahaha

you see?

Neurotica, U.S.A.!

Guy at the grocery store has stolen

my face, like literally, my face

is on the front of his head which

is on top of his body, and come

to think of it, looks like he’s got

my body too, you can tell because

it seems awfully soft and pudgy

for a guy so young, like you want

to look away, it’s embarrassing,

it makes your stomach moan a little.

 

Anyway, this guy has basically stolen

my, like, entire person and now he’s

got a cigarette lit up (indoors!), thanks

for the free PR, asshole, and I’m afraid

he might try some funny business here,

all of which, in line with previously

aired concerns, would reflect poorly

on me, but it’s not me, I don’t think.

 

Creative writing prof once told me

doppelgangers are cliché, and this

bastard sure fits the bill, all shifty eyed,

like you’d expect a damn doppelganger

to be, all sort of quasi-hiding like he thinks

plain sight is a rock in the crick, like

he’s a human mudpuppy with my face

and body, and it’s pouring rain outside,

which might be cliché too, brownish

liquid slowly percolating through cracks

in the corky white tile, bacterial cave kisses

surprising the lady who meanders past with

her toddler in a cart shaped like a fire

truck, oblivious to this, like, battle for

humanity going on all around her.

 

So guy keeps rolling through valleys

of vanilla yogurt, vanilla ice cream, French

vanilla flavored coffee creamer, and jeez,

what happened to all the flavors here,

bastard probably stole them too, where’s

the, like, moral fiber of this grocery store,

and now he’s heading toward the front,

slow, but that’s just to avoid attracting

attention, and I never want to attract

any either which makes him look even

more like me, but the point is I take a dive

at him and tackle him against a wire rack

that showers us with beach bodies, both

best and worst, and Challenging Sudokus.

 

And you probably expect that now is when

I figure out he’s not me, like I’m losing

my mind or something, but what are you,

an idiot, of course he still looks exactly

like me, he is exactly like me because

he has stolen my face and body, but even

once I tackle him, it’s like, nobody ever says

what you’re supposed to do past this part,

when your doppelganger’s looking at you

defiantly, like he’s somehow got more

of a right to your face and hands and balls

than you do, and really who’s to say he doesn’t,

as a couple of guys untangle the two of you

and you both just stare, eyes rolling, lips smacking

up and down in perfect wordless unison.

Kuato

Alone again, it’s a race thing,
he surmises, but then again who
can say for sure, he’s so drunk now
that the oddly sleek and futuristic
Martian barstool  seems to rock him
to unsettled sleep, so drunk that
he’s covered in a solution of sweat
and tacky mucus and God only knows
what else. He’s in a baby sling,
his life is fetal, but it has advantages,
the bass drum influence of the human
heart in his sleeping ear dampens
this howling psychic miasma,
this future looming sharp and terrible.
These women, these women
should know he’s a man where
it counts, all he wants is a hand
on his scraggly forehead, sharing
in his toothless grin at the weight
of all he knows, all he’d whisper
softly in their ears if they’d just
open their minds, open their minds.
 
(Originally written 3/4/12)
The problem here, it’s tough to verbalize,
but so he’s like hiding this desperate cry
for help, the author, in gimmicks,
alliteration, haphazard, half-symbolic
hoo-hah, (and oh, don’t get me
started on the oozing parentheticals,
this sort of obnoxiously hyper-literate
and deliberate betrayal of grammar and voice)
and why? Why does he, the author,
do this? It’s sadness but it’s something
more, poetry is bogus, poetry’s the dog
you ran over backing out your driveway
(whosefaultwhosefaultwhosefault)
and so how’re you supposed to set
your jaw and take ownership, you can’t
I guess, you’re stuck with these glib, twangy
Southern political speech metaphors.
He says, he actually says in this poem,
I’m not even kidding, he says for real that
“time is a pendulum, and I feel now the force
component antiparallel to the direction
of my movement growing as I rise, saying
come back down and cease, come lie
with me, with my siren song of gravity.”
His words. It’s just a joke, what is the guy,
a physicist? A physicist-poet? No
such thing, poetry is garbage, poetry
is lame,  poetry is an excuse. Explain yourself!
I could go ask this guy why he does what
he does, and he wouldn’t have an answer, just
a dropped jaw, a masked chasm secreting
simile and evading the truth, the pungent
garlic on his liar’s breath never quite
enough to keep all of these fangs at bay.
 
(Originally written 3/4/12)

Thomas Edison, you lump of dog shit left directly
under a rack of those free green courtesy poop
bags they leave in parks, you brazen mockery,
flaunting of social order, when you invented
electricity, or whatever it is you did,
(I only read the first paragraph on Wikipedia)
did you realize it would come to this?

 

Thomas Edison, you putrescent butt nugget!
Thanks to you I have to bite my tongue
while my male friends study up on current
feminist rhetoric so that they can post
it on Facebook and hopefully get laid
for their sensitivity and intellect.
The point is, you’re a damn enabler
of the basest aspects of human existence,
a vicious circle of ignorance born of you,
Thomas Edison, you fecal smear,
this is all your fault, we are blameless!

 

Thomas Edison, you bucket of urine balanced
on a door such that it crashes down to drench
whomsoever should enter said door with pee—
how could you? An Internet radio program
just told me Sublime sounds like The Beatles.
That’s wrong, Thomas Edison! Am I
going crazy over here, you electric prick?

 

Thomas Edison, there’s a reason Prometheus
stands chained to a rock getting his liver pecked at,
is all I’m saying. I don’t know what the reason
is, why don’t you look it up on Microsoft Encarta
or some other outcome of your vile handiwork?

 

Thomas Edison, you dropped out of school,
and I didn’t, I went to college for four whole
years, and I drank and drank and drank there,
and that’s called learning about life, Thomas
Edison, we call that letting our children make
their own mistakes, and waste time, money,
brain cells, potential, autonomy.

 

I’m smarter than you, is the point.
Fuck you, Thomas Edison.

(Originally written 3/2/12)

J’onn

Martian Manhunter is on the cusp
of a pretty serious nervous breakdown,
skull in a garlic press and eyes about
to blast off like veiny cannonballs.
Not Batman or Superman or Spiderman
or Wolverine or like not even fucking
Aquaman, people even know who that
asshole is, is the point, Jesus Christ
we get it already. Maybe if he had a definite
article, “THE Martian Manhunter”?
Maybe he already does have one, he forgets,
there’s no written record to consult anyway,
it’s flickering like everything does these days,
it really isn’t easy being green, or invisible,
especially when you have brain cancer,
could be, it sure feels like it, unless he’s just
bored, depressed in this apartment,
this sepulcher of newspaper and old
jizzed-upon tissues (space jizz) and pop art.
And like, that ice pick, last night he woke up at 4:27
and he had turned invisible, he’s not even
controlling it anymore, basically, and so one day
he will inadvertently slip into the wallpaper
permanently, and nobody will even notice,
but he can fly, damn it, he’s got super strength
and yeah, fire is his weakness, turns him into
a mound of skin flakes and bacon and teeth,
but it’s not like you’d do any better in a fire,
that’s for sure, and can you cut the guy a break,
can you just cut the fucking guy a break already?
 
(Originally written 3/1/12)