Category Archives: Poems

Exclusion

So I’m wanting to check my Yahoo

e-mail account
and my computer is waiting
for Yahoo to respond.

My computer frequently has to wait

for certain
other sites as well
such as G-mail

and live dot com which sometimes doesn’t respond

at all.

I wonder what is going on here

during such times of waiting.

I mean, is my machine,

waving its digital hands trying to get the site’s attention?
Or is it more a milquetoast
fallen victim to a binary slight?

Maybe the site is laughing at us

smug in having what we at the moment need,
Its code ablaze with algorithms
designed to keep us out of the equation.

15th Anniversary Poem

(For Gary, of course)

Here is a poem for a cheaper anniversary,
the kind of anniversary
you can get away with when

You’re living in a basement apartment
and not doing gift exchanges
as you weather the current financial storm
as you always have – together.

Here is a poem for a cheaper anniversary,
the kind of anniversary
you can get away with when

You’re well past the wooing stage
and well into the “whew”ing stage
looking back and past a decade and a half
of remembrances you help each other remember.

Here is a poem for a cheaper anniversary,
the kind of anniversary
you can get away with when

There is no more modesty,
your undressing and intimate exposure
being at times a matter of foreplay
and at other times a matter of course.

Here is a poem for a cheaper anniversary,
the kind of anniversary
you can get away with when

There is really no such thing,
your formative years together weaving
a comforting quilt of exquisite design
that can only be appraised as priceless.

Here is a poem and just a poem
so cheap it’s not even printed out
saving ink, paper, and trees.

Here is a poem that is nonetheless a poem
penned from the heart and written
for no one else in the world but you,
my one and only true love.

So did I get away with it?

Soda

Cocks came between us. My own erected
a wall; bricks of desire, raw and damaged
by repression and spackled by need. His,
which I never saw, was more like an invisible
fence and me a denatured dog yapping outside

its bounds. We stayed friends, from Junior
High, through college, and into my spiraling
orbit of depression. I dropped out and drank
and worked at a motel, my unbalanced self
balancing the nightly ledgers. He came

through the front door of the office bearing
two cans from the vending machine out
back: Mountain Dew for him, Dr. Pepper
for me. This is important, you see, for he
knew me well enough to know my favorite

drink. And when I think about that night,
I can’t recall too much of the conversation,
being all wrapped up in how beautiful
he looked with his thick eyebrows jutting
over thoughtful eyes. I simply took

the can, cool to the touch and wet. I get
sentimental over that offered soda. Sure,
I would have liked to have been thought of
in a way that would quench my other thirst,
but being thought of at all is not something

to be taken for granted. But I did, as that
was before he ran a light and a semi jackknifed,
erasing him from the earth. He left me
alone that night, and, full of want, I went
into the lobby and put a pot of coffee on.

My Personal Town

My Personal Town

I’m a scared child in a tattered gown
hoping that some day I will get it right.
I build things up, just to tear them down

One of these days I’ll erase my frown
and finally give vision to my sight.
That’s the story of my personal town.

One of these days I’ll become a noun
full of predicates marching left and right.
I’ll build things up, but won’t tear them down.

One of these days I’ll regain my crown
and show them all what it means to fight.
Things get gory in my personal town.

In the real of the world, I always drown
as the sails of my ship are lowered at night.
I no longer build, I just tear down.
That’s the worry of my personal town.

Damaged Fruit

Childhood is a skin you can’t shed.
I saw my own birth.
The doctor in the house cut the umbilical.
The aroma of antiseptic baptized me and I tasted
blood disguised as amniotic fluid. The scalpel tore
me away like a tumor as he said, “It’s kind
of like a boy.” The nurse
blushed, thinking she saw him say something
funny, but
he was just misquoting Richard Hugo, hearing him
give a remarkable reading
at the University of Colorado
Denver
despite being dead.
Come to think of it, It must have been
Boulder, instead.
That’s where
poetry lives
and every writer has a bike.
Some mountains look nice enough to die on
and you know how those Rocksniffers are, always
making us late with their infernal whispering:
I’ll make it fit if it’s the last thing I do.
The rabid squirrels of desire
took our oversized nuts away.
The morning sun left us shivering
so we turned inside out
so bad
even Foxy became all tangled up in intestines
and he’ll have to call the doctor back
from the nineteenth hole.
“Fetch me a ripe caddie,” he says.
“He needs to find my balls
and show me how to grip my club.”
He knows ways of searching he can’t remember.
Ce’est la vie?
Nien! Ich werde jenen Fehler nicht wieder machen
Low hanging clouds applauded our arrival,
marveling at our performance:
claws out, we dug into our skin,
searching for that oh so tasty
hidden morsel.

North by Southwest

North by Southwest

1.
Christ, when did the road
to Purdue become so paved? Did I miss
a memo, a leaflet, a constitutional amendment
that would have given me better directions? Or maybe,
I just cannot read so well, the coffee
and tear-stained map unfolding into social hieroglyphics
foreign to me. I watch
in my hindsight mirror as my best friend
takes a bite of an apple
I can’t taste. Don’t want to taste, actually, but still,
I clutch the wheel like I’m in control and don’t feel
anything inside me. I see
the sign saying 465 Exit Straight Ahead.
Like
an arrow going the wrong narrow way, I think,
but take it, anyway. I always do. Sometimes
you have to go South, after all, in order to go North,
and leaving Anderson is no exception. The bypass
snakes around Indianapolis like intestinal machinery
and craps us out onto 65.

2.
Weren’t there horses before machines? Wild
hopes running, roaming free? Full of fever
I reach
over to touch my best friend’s knee, but instead catch
myself and turn
the radio also on. So many stations, but all I get
is static. My friend hand’s me a cassette,
saying, “Why don’t you play
this?” I
oblige
and the greedy tape deck takes it. How great
it is to be inserting something somewhere! Rush
ushers Tom Sawyer in. I look in the backseat for Finn,
but all I see is a backpack containing my paint
by number SAT scores,
a welcome packet, and other dumb
and dumber academic junk reminding me I was sunk
before I had a chance to swim. Over
to my right, a Deer Crossing sign warns me to watch out. How
odd. The headlights are always on me,
and am I not
the only one frozen?

3.
Good time can be made going no
where. High school
was a similar nothing
affair. A Bloodguard beyond repair
with little worth protecting, the predetermined physics
of my body only outwardly observed the laws
of organic chemistry prevalent in the halls. The need
to be a cookie cutter
made Engineering seem full of bitter
sweet butter. But I wonder,
as I take us off the highway,
to gas up at a red and yellow Shell station
offering a free car wash, what
the real catch is. My friend
comes out of the washroom as I pull
my nozzle out, and stick it back where it belongs.
“Do you have to go?” he asks. “No,”
I say, and get back behind the wheel,
thinking, Where in the world does someone like me
have to go?

Man from the not What You Think Tank

I don’t wear a sheet
and I have all my teeth, back ones too,
keeping me cunning enough
to out grin crocodiles.

I look good in a 3-piece suit and artificial lights
of CNN. I talk in complete sentences
full of eloquence that makes sense to the asses,
I mean masses, of course, but I’ll spin
that line too,

saying that wasn’t what I meant at all, like Prufrock
without the love or song, or I was just
misquoted, just like Jesus

of Washington. I sit on committees, boards,
and am a card-carrying member of the PTA. I pray
to Specious; I’m all about the reasonableness
and always have a seat at the table, ensuring
my voice is heard loud and clear at the black

and white house. I espouse

important things for this grand nation. I’m a good
person, you can tell that by the unread
bible shoved in my back pocket. God mysteriously
works and is willing
to keep things between me and him, both
of us knowing it’s never about him.

It’s a sin, is all I’m saying, and praying
people see the light, that the mighty me
makes right.

Well, I don’t say that, cause I don’t
have to say
that.

I also never say those people
fuck dogs, just that
we need to seriously consider bestiality
as long as we’re seriously considering other things.
Don’t blame me for my listeners’ faulty inference

and I certainly didn’t say

they should have beat the shit out of that Shepard
boy just for existing,
and tied him to a fence, leaving him
to die like Christ, but without
salvation.

It’s just common sense we need
to create a stop and don’t think tank,
and stop the social experiment, stop
the recruitment, stop the anti-family movement,
and protect the children.

I’m all about the children. We know

they all start out okay and we need
to keep it that way, ensuring their souls
are kept pure as hate. Yeah, sure,
some may get damaged by our graceful state,
but I’m willing to pay the price,

and besides, if some young cock
sucking, fudge packing, God mocking
sissyfag fairy finally
jumps
off Heaven’s pearly bridge connecting

Hell to holy Hell

whose goddamn fault
is it?