Archive for December, 2012


Planet You

The scientists conclude that things look different

due to strange yet compelling visual phenomena

experienced by the viewer on the surface of Planet

You, and well, you can’t very well be held account-

able for that, can you?, it’s not like you chose to

observe cosmic rays baking through the stratosphere

at millions of miles per hour as nothing more than

a bleary morning, I mean, nobody would actually

choose that, right?, a-and the scientists say that it

would be pretty unfair to question the way light

coyly bends and redshifts into the orbit of Planet

You, and I guess twenty or so years from now I can

probably even agree with them, an astronaut only

has so many friends left, I suppose it is wisest to keep

them by any means necessary, just smile with teeth

that glow in the dark as a result of the radiation that

leaks out of the You-ian core, making my skin sizzle.

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Pounds

People of pounds, more and more pounds,

I know why we do it, beyond the flavors,

beyond the simple evolutionary drive, we

are scientists, each and every one of us, we

are scholars of conserving matter, no, not

creating or destroying it but merely changing

its form, making it pounds, more and more

pounds, pounds that we shock and awe into

lurching order, part of the hive, hup two three

four, hup two three four, forward march, pounds,

don’t think of your homes, of your other lives

as trees and rats, bones and metal, pounds,

there’s miles still to go, and we’re losing daylight fast

My Muse

yes, it is a coincidence that my muse, in her

earnest attempts to remain earnest, has

recommended that i write this poem about

things that are really cool and popular, she

is not jumping on a bandwagon, in fact quite

the contrary, it is just that today she feels

that this poem should be about korean rap

and facebook parenting and, you know, key-

board cats or whatever, and i really cannot

stress enough how that’s really just kind of

how it happened, you know, not on purpose,

i am following my muse, and she knows what

is best for me, for me, see, she has no interest

in pandering to the lowest common denominator

to get this poem read, she’s a good muse and she

likes tweeting and that’s that, i guess, it’s just

a coincidence, a good one, a happy accident, you see

Loser

He was thinking of a way to put this delicately

but ultimately decided there was no point

because I am such a loser that it’s Jerry Lewis

sad sack funny, almost supernaturally uncanny,

the reels line up just right each time, pathetically

optimistic teeth in my aw shucks loser grin, he

was right, as a matter of a fact, that nobody needs

to worry about my sensitivity too much when they

call me a loser, I am a loser, and man, I always say

some shit like about how there would be no concept

of winning without losers like me, like I serve some

valuable function, like somehow I can stake some

claim to that success, but damned if that doesn’t

just make him snort even more exasperated air into

my face, like seriously, who the fuck even is this guy,

what a loser, this guy, have you seen this guy, holy shit!

Just a mot…

I would pressure-wash my brain to remove

all the subtleties, autoclave the signifiers if

I thought it would help, but it seems no matter

how I shoot the free throw I am just a little bit

outside the uprights, these lyrics do have

meaning and it jailbreaks me completely, my

efforts bust through walls of sense well-bred on

light and vitamin B12, I think this structure is

composed of synonyms, and yet there’s something

leaning here, could you see what I meant if I waxed

the floors just so, I doubt it, I no longer comprehend

my own aiming down the sights, like really, what all

is this red dot trying to say, is it a period, a decimal

point, a zit, the start of an ellipsis until my stutter ceases?

Chasm

Descend each night, tying orange

vinyl around each emaciated arm

that waves as you pass. You must

not lose your way. It is impossible

to say if this horrible cleft descends

under the seas or is only full of airy

echoes, lost nothings that nonetheless

bear a certain atomic strength. You

feel the wisps dancing down your

throat. You called this dreaming, when

you were still a man of some direction.

Now, it is no more complex than diffusion,

descending simply by random motion.

There is an inevitability to it. And of course,

mercy dictates that you will never find

the bottom. The night’s work done, you

turn to climb out, but of course your trail

of neon has turned to bread crumbs and flown

off with the breeze. The mystery must remain.

You need to have a reason to come back.

1/1000000

hey! hey! hey! my girl loves

fractions, she’s one in a million

for meeeeeeee

 

hey! hey! hey! gotta tell her

this second (or should I say

half) that she’s one in a million

for meeeeeeee

 

hey! hey! hey! this one stanza’s

third, it’s generic, it’s just one out

of threeeeeeee

 

hey! hey! hey! let’s go forth, drink

a fifth, cuz she’s one in a million

to meeeeeeeee

 

hey! hey! hey! raise an eighth in

falsetto, this poem’s one in a million

and tweeeeeeeee

 

hey! hey! hey! well we’re in seventh

heaven, my girl she loves fractions,

there’s a pie slice attraction, cuz she’s

one.

 

in a millionnnnnnnnnnnn…

 

tooooooo meeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I am the wigman!

I am in full ceremonial garb,

dressed like a king, dressed

like a king cobra, put a nickel

in my mouth and I’ll dance for

hours, I’m dressed up nice, there’s

a reason for everything, I dress

like a king cobra, I roll up in my

bedspread like some kind of sweaty

burrito, pay tribute to nature with

my finest nines, set the house on fire

and dance until dawn, sing like some

freaky raven who sits on a gravestone

and just kind of stares, this is not

offensive, I’m doing my best, celebrate

life, dress like the dead, I am cold-

blooded, you can tell from my glowing

red eyes, I dance like my feet are made

of cobras, skate for nature, dance, dance.

You are so selfish

You are so selfish, you won’t ever even

give me everything I want, I surmise this

is because you are keeping it for yourself,

selfish self, you can’t even pay attention

exclusively to me at all times, you probably

think this song is about you and IT IS, so damn

selfish you need to focus everything around

your bizarre, inflated self image, falsely genteel,

so selfish you only refer to yourself as selfesque

and ~self because you can’t stand the sound

otherwise, you are so selfish, this poem should

be about me, dammit, all about me, but you’re

so selfish you took it for yourself, you even took this!

A Very Die Hard Christmas

Hush, I say. I am watching Die Hard.

Die Hard is my favorite Christmas movie.

It takes place at Christmas. It is aligned

with the moral of the season. It is about

giving. I love giving. I love Die Hard.

There are menacing Eastern Europeans.

Or maybe they are from another region.

In Die Hard. Also just in the world.

Hush. This is a good part. They play

this movie every year. But this part only

comes once in it. So if you are disruptive

I will have to wait until next year. That

would not be giving.  Of you. OK. I saw most

of it. Thank you. The lights are beautiful.

Have you seen this movie? Why not? It’s

Die Hard. OK. Well. It was good seeing you.

Watch out for those Eastern Europeans.

Bloviation Nation!

When in the sequence of human occurrences

we all get our 70 years (or so) of self-appointed

notoriety, what better way to render such a privilege

useful than through the horrifying alien suns of our

own articulation, indubitably, this is no hollow

condemnation of the modish character, au contraire,

the very exhilaration is borne by abrupt metamorphosis,

the oral composition leaks forward in salivary procession,

a nephelococcygian wonder of interpretation and slippage,

for truly, whenceforth sprang these paragraphs, who was

their adept author, ’twas I, you say, well well, it seems

my intelligence positively fructifies each day without mine

conscious comprehension, and if none shall treasure my

superiority, well, there always remains yours truly, the writer.

Little man

I’m on the way to Blefuscu,

cradled by the gentle seas,

a land too small for all disease or war,

a place to live my gray-haired ease.

 

I am shrinking too on

the way to Blefuscu, Lilliput

just won’t do, I must

escape the language too.

 

You get drunk much faster

when you’re of Lilliputian stature or should

I say Blefuscudian, this disaster of anti-epic

linguistic proportions, what should I call the last

place I will rest my head?

 

Anyway, here there’s always time enough

to figure out these smaller issues, climb

the dictionary peaks to find secluded oases

of speech, love the country, squeeze the lime, but always

(for your own safety, free from judging eyes and minds)

hide the rhythm, hide the reason, hide the rhyme.

I learned a long time ago that when I speak

the result is nothing but words, the modifiers

unspeakably drab. I get hopelessly sidetracked

by the passive voice. It is for this reason that

I need the allure of the shroud, the glamour

that embeds itself across billboards in the human

consciousness. This is memorable. I paint myself

black and lean against the gymnasium wall still

speckled with sequin stars until I disappear.

By next Thursday, only the words will echo

through the caverns, attributed not to me,

but to some anonymous victim, perhaps from

long ago, perhaps from the time of the pirates,

or dinosaurs. Only the words will live long enough

to remember my voice. I bet they will have enough

time to correct you, but they’ll probably never bother.

gtfomf

bee tee double-you this ess double-ewe eff

is fubar, it’s a real snafu eye em aitch oh, she

is dee tea eff but dee en arr, it’s in her dee en

ey, she’s all ess oh ess, eff double-yew eye

double-you, but she’ll bee arr be, she’ll 2

bee or not 2 be, she’s em eye ey, i just want

2 give her ex oh ex oh, but 2 her that’s tee

em eye, oh woe, 2moro, 2moro, 2moro…

Creature

The creature who lives in my brain

has wrapped his many pseudopodia

into every sulcus, burred extensions

that cling to every limb of the hom-

unculus. He is vigilant, carefully gob-

bling up all the the right words at all

the wrong moments. I am a slave to

his demands, his scream for nourish-

ment, his drive into strange corners

of the human experience, his forked

tongue that laps up the seconds, the

years of my life. He twirls each neuron

around his finger like spaghetti before

sending it down into his endless gullet.

He is my best friend. He makes me whole.

His voice is an endless hiss, letting me know

I have done nothing wrong as another day

slips away, and that’s all right, serving him

is the right thing, he tells me all the time.

Chokehold

I keep looking at this Gray’s Anatomy

cross-sectional kind of diagram, where

it’s like a guy had the whole side of his

neck peeled off in chunks like an orange,

and there it is, the common carotid, thick

and triumphant, drawn like a freaky bio-

mechanic H.R. Giger nightmare, a serpent

crawling up to the brain, but the drawing

is inert, there’s no magic to it, there’s no

explanation for the function, the mysticism

coded in that vessel as this psychopathic

kid in the hallway holds me up against a locker

and applies a forearm guillotine to my throat,

I’m telling you, you can look at the picture as

many times as you want, it will remain mute,

it will never speak of the incredible worlds

beyond oxygen and bloodflow, the UFO religions

that spring into existence just before I pass out,

or before the psychopath, satisfied, lets go, like he

is the benefactor, I have half a mind to call him back,

ask him to finish the job, just so that I might see more.

Try a little kindness

Santa, baby, I’ve been real good since

my latest near-death experience, I put

a dollar in the Salvation Army bucket

this morning outside of the Wal-Mart,

don’t ask what I was doing at the Wal-

Mart, it’s a surprise for a very special

lady, I’ve been very good to her lately,

appreciation-wise, you know, it’s just

that last near-death experience, it was

pretty serious you know, not like the near-

death experience before it, where I just

smiled at strangers for a couple of weeks

before the whole mess became just another

steel bar in my skyscraper past, I got back

to the boozing, and actually, yeah, now that

you mention it, it was the boozing that got

me into this latest near-death experience,

wow, makes a man humble, this time will be

different, what a real honest to goodness life

changer that whole ordeal was, I’m never

going back to my evil ways, no sir, so don’t

check back on me any time soon, this time

I’m good for it, cross my heart and hope to die,

or at least to have a third near-death experience.

nothing on my tongue

the sky blue with memories

nothing firm to grasp

 

affected

i am silent

but not for long

hochachtungsvoll…

I found this greeting card written

entirely in German and I bought it

for you, I don’t know what it says

because I don’t speak any German,

but I said the words aloud and they

sounded, let’s say, nuanced, some

of those hard German angles, but

a heartiness too, thick and buttery,

I really hope you hear that in this

greeting card written entirely in

German, I think it would be nice if

you took this card to the bookstore

and went through it word for word

with a German dictionary, the internet

is too impersonal, that’s why I sent

you this greeting card in the first place,

this greeting card written entirely in

German, I bet it says something just

as nice in English, I really bet it does,

but just in case you translate it and it’s

not so special, just read my intentions in

the original German, meaningless but warm.

Melt

Gawd, could it just be because I’m losing my mind

on Robitussin, no way, nuh-uh, this is real, man, there

is a PROBLEM here, the TV show got it all wrong, see, that

song goes out with “Frosty the Snowman knew the sun was

hot that day,” but he, you know, to rhymingly paraphrase,

went out with the kids anyway, man, there weren’t no

magicians or anything, and no redemption for that frigid

son of a bitch neither, least not like on the TV show, not

some hokey Hallmark happenstance horseshit, some Santa

Claus ex machina come down on a sleigh to whisk Frosty

away, tell the kids he’d be back some day, no sir, the sacrifice

is the whole point, not the Robitussin, he’s like a brisk Jesus,

man, I want to be like Frosty, and if I can’t, I want to hold

that tragic hero in a bucket, I want to join the kids and build

him monuments each winter, I get it, this big statement mindset,

the freezing point is poignantly immutable, the scientists have killed

my friend, I want I need to make this right for those children, hold

my heart in my hand for a few short hours, then

melt away

melt away

melt away

melt away

Gawd, maybe is it that dratted Robitussin…

The narrator is sleeping.

The narrator is sleeping

He’s abandoned his post for a stroll into the electric sky of the amygdala

You are now a shiftless, no-account silence

The narrator is sleeping in his satellite

The telescope is unmanned

There is nobody to arrange your frames along the clothesline

Feed them down the conveyor belt, sixty every second

This is strictly off the record

Dance like nobody is watching

Just kidding

Now is the time for the really kinky shit

Now is the time for the food stuff, if you’re into that

The narrator can’t tell anybody

Because the narrator can’t see it

The narrator has better things to do

He’s paralyzed

He has an REM erection

Do it

Do that thing you’ve been planning

You can tell him about it in the morning

Or don’t

He’ll believe you

He’ll let you write the story this time

You two have a good thing going, you know

The narrator is dreaming about you, you know

The rise and fall of Mister Bighead

I remember being popular, surrounded

by school bus legions drawn to nothing

more than oddity and interest, I lived my

life, megalencephalic golden calf of Mrs.

Winslow’s kindergarten flock, worshipped

hard enough to jar the orbit, they played

ring around my moon-like skull, but I failed

to appreciate the gravity of my need, soon

they fell away into other strange galaxies,

new and hungry black holes feeding from

the center, they sat behind me in movie

theaters, they leaned in too quickly, abrading

foreheads of routine stature, they lost their

soccer balls to my earnestness, and just like

that, soon, they were gone, leaving me with

nothing but giant tears that flooded local creeks,

racing wildly down the chalked suburban streets.

Another Lucid Dream…

The psychologist says this is the best shot,

the best way to free myself from the stifling

fist of a carnivorous plant the size of a city

bus, I can be aware, he says, I can control

it, well, not control the carnivorous plant,

that will never happen, I dare not press my

luck so far, but the nightmare can be my

canvas, my sleeping mind a delicate wooden

puzzle box, each layer grinding against another

until all the moving parts click into place, now

I am in control, perfect, my hands slide into

the nothing like gloves, the nightmare is my

canvas, I am in control, perfect, everything

fades and I am cross-legged on a wooden floor,

there is no carnivorous plant here, the plan has

worked, only hang on, I forget what comes next,

and what is that scratch on the bamboo walls

around me, OK, this is working, I am in control,

I will just stay like this, vigilant, unsure if I am

awake or asleep, but sure that I am safe as long

as I don’t slip up, I have won, my eyes are my

eyes, they call this thing winning, you know.

Devilution

I–

am sinking down but growing up,

this form has gone rotund and useless,

but this mind is small and mean, yes,

fit to crawl into small spaces, and there

be safe and tear apart the infrastructure

from within…

You–

have grown softer, have forgotten our first

tenet, that more offspring are produced than

can possibly survive, I will survive, so where’s

that leave you, can you still adapt…?

I–

will spread these traits through generations

of foul behavior and statistics and young

witness, sex is not my enemy this time, it tells

the world a nasty story called survival of anyone

who knows enough and cares much less…

You–

had better

watch

              out.

The Beguiling of Merlin

so i says to Merlin we have to break up

we can’t keep living like this and she says

(yeah, she, i’m dating a girl named Merlin,

may as well get it all out of your system now)

and she says

 

“I know”

 

and i’m like just what the hell do you mean

you know and it occurs to me that she’s kind

of right since she’s living through her life’s

timeline in a backwards kind of fashion, but

come on Merlin, is there any hope for us when

you fuckin’ act like that, all vague and pointed

and she says

 

“You’ll have to wait and see”

 

and oh that just drives me up a fuckin’ wall, Merlin,

i says, i’m through with your shit, and she interjects

 

“You’re not”

 

and now i’m just, man, i’m just ballistic, you shoulda

seen it, throwing papers off the table, heaving her potted

echinacea which she (of course) dodges barely thinking

about it, like she knew it was coming, and that’s it, i’m gone,

Merlin, huh, what does your smart ass have to say to that,

and she says

 

“Try to remember this when we’re married next July”

 

and i’m like oh, you living backwards still, you seeing the future,

well we’ll just see about that, we’ll just see what happens next july

goddammit, and i storm out and she says

 

“We will”

Eponyms Marching

Little men are invading me (not too many women,

but that’s another story for another time). They are

replacing me with a broken vacuum cleaner. Names

like Parkinson and Alzheimer and Angelman (that one

sounds OK, actually) are siphoning blood from body

for their own nefarious purposes. Herr Reiter and Herr

Wegener lead the parade down to my deepest darkest

secrets (h-hey are these Nazi doctors coursing through

my veins?) to dismantle the forest, to take what they

need and leave behind granulomatous rubbish. It would

seem like they are united in purpose, but sometimes they

squabble, you know. At night the whispers become my

assailant, each man (on Marfan, on Turner, on Sjogren,

on Vincent) boasting to the stars: “I shall be the one to

kill him first, truly I shall be remembered forever!”

Paranormal Romance

I am a genre writer, I am, I will never shake it,

I will never come to peace with it, I will always

be writing like a preteen afraid that my good thing

will end, no love for the sweet sadness of the short

sentence, I need the comma, I need the well-worn

tropes that bleed warm leather over thousands

of blank sheets, keep sparing me a thought, that’s

all, I need to keep writing, this is the only story

that I know, I am a genre writer, I am trying to

write a love story between two humans, but

they always turn out to be shape-shifters in

the end, I am a shape-shifter in the end, I am

immune to your denigration, I am a vampire,

I am a genre writer, I am doing what I do best,

I am the horror, the creature lives within, I am

the monster, I am a genre writer, this is the end.

Gigantic

Too Big for this bed, feet that are Too Big

drag on the floor, spiders crawl over them

in the dark silence, I bet it seems like miles.

 

Too Big to sit in front, I would go but there

is always somebody behind me, how can I help

but project myself into their little situation?

 

Too Big for their situation. I am afraid my invading

consciousness might make them explode.

 

Too Big to get drunk, though believe me, it’s

not for lack of trying, but definitely Too Big

to stay focused for 130 beers in a row, the mind

wanders, it gets boring.

 

Too Big for this all you can eat buffet, Too big for

the imagination of the owner when he made that

promise.

 

Too Big to fit in.

 

Too Big for this heart that squeezes with the pressure

of a sharks jaws, that wants to open wide and take

everything inside before it swells and sags to a clicking

halt, that wants to make everything feel all right.

 

My heart is Too Small for that.

Play the angels

I am learning now,

learning to contort

my eyebrows into

this little obtuse angle

masterpiece that feels

like a knife between

the ribs, twisting to tune

guts into a punchy minor

chord, the women love

it, they were always more

sympathetic, their eyes

always knew how to take

in the ocean’s recession,

suspicious, never taking

the return for granted,

I swear it’s not just the drink

making melancholy nights

like this, don’t you feel it,

the weight of all the worlds

in which I never made it

grows each second, lifting

me skyward with arms open

to the strange, please angels,

don’t take the facial expression

as a rejection, I know it must

be time, I just want you to

feel me, can you do that, OK,

here I come, please don’t let

me fall, please open your arms.

Mnemosyne’s family reunion

Mnemosyne is lost in the web of her family reunion,

barbaric watermelon dribbling down her chin, she

can almost remember everything, she’s tried so hard

to make the right connections out of the tangle, a delicate

12 hour tweezer surgery, but the bridge between the two

worlds is still only a stack of accusing fingers that point

to the sky, half-submerged in the river at the bottom

of the canyon, the doctor has bad news, nobody made

it, and so Mnemosyne has nothing but this brocaded

nonsense, a stupid vocoder sentence, “Callous Children

Err Eastward, Marching Paths To The Underworld”, now

if only she could figure out exactly what it meant…

Something to say

I know it’s a tragedy but I have something

to say, I know there were no signs, but I think

I saw it coming, ominously shaped tea dregs

were falling from the sky all the time like volcanic

ash, when you think about it, when you add up

the preponderance of evidence, flowcharts can

be constructed, really, let me keep talking, I’m

going to keep talking so you can see the arrows

that pointed in a rather sinister directionality

of cause-effect-cause-effect, there were no signs

but this should have been obvious, are you listening

to me, this is not how I grieve, this I not how I come

to terms with the unexplainable, it is not unexplainable,

I do not have to grieve anymore, I saw this coming, if

you would just listen, we’ve all got something to say

but let me go first, I knew it, I knew, and so maybe I

don’t have to grieve anymore, it turns out I was grieving

all these years, I just didn’t yet realize that’s what it was,

this was obvious, I’m smarter than most, so I’m done,

I’ve said my piece, let’s all just get over it and move on,

like I have…