Posts for June 8, 2019

Category
Poem

Ode to My Cut Off Black Jorts

You came to a boy who didn’t love

his legs as a pair of pants hung

on a rack at a TJ Maxx. You didn’t

have a zipper but five golden buttons.

 

Every year for ten years you grew a bit

thinner. The boy a bit, in fairness to you,

because you did your work well, fatter.

Forgive him, he was happy, he did not

 

know what it would do to you, the way

it would eat away at you, slowly. The knees

washed out and ripped first. His thighs

greedy and hogging the denim. To be fair

 

to the boy, for a few years you were all he

wore when he went out at night to skate

until the park lights clicked off or if the moon

was full and he could still see, until

 

the concrete was once again cool to the touch.

And before going home you waited patiently

stuck to a spike on a fence as he jumped from

the high dive only to wrestle you back on wet.

 

Blame the invention of the cell phone for

the slit your pocket sticks out like a tongue.

Blame the pens, the boy carried for school

work and learning to write. Blame the keys

 

he crammed for your guts spilling. But it was

the boy who took the scissors to you. Above   

the knee. Can you see your sacrifice as a gift

to the boy, who was now, in fact, a man

 

no longer ashamed of his legs, fond of the scars

and even the lattice work of the pale blue veins.

This is why when the crotch began to go, the man

could not give you up just yet. So the hole grew.

 

And the man took to wearing solid black

boxer briefs to hide the inevitable to keep

up the appearance of integrity. The other

day you ripped up the line of those gold

 

buttons and there was no longer a chance

for the boy, no the man, to wear you to the

store, or the skatepark, or when company’s

over. You’re nothing but softness and seams.

 

What will become of you now? Can you

face the scissors again? Are you willing,

friend, to be cut once more? To rags this

time–of use until this man grows old?

 


Category
Poem

daybreak

soon the bird

will leave the nest
and find another home

Category
Poem

debating with Kongming

(blackout poem from Luo Guanzhong’s Romance of the Three Kingdoms trans. Yu Sumei)
 
bring evils and destroy,
obtain,
claim all great things,
court the mountains and spears.
orphan and abandon shelter
before you understand the aspirations of man.
suffer and seek,
seclude and scant.
weak men, burn away.


Category
Poem

Cliché

Is it cliché to say 
It burns when it goes down 
Maybe so, but it makes it no less true

You may learn to love the feeling
Crave it even
But sometimes you just yearn for the temporary relief it gives

Then you may wake up
With a splitting headache 
Just another cliché to start the day


Category
Poem

RECLAIMING MUSIC IN RECOVERY

how an urge from under
keening from the past
a woman’s long dirty nails
reached out to sully you

what grasping fingers
rescued from creation
what fingerprints of genius
hold you down

Jimi on that strat ax hammer penis
Crosstown Traffic
Can You See Me
make me stronger
then you kill me

Sunrise on the starship
Tear down the walls, motherfukers
Go ride the music

I’m So Glad
Green Grass and High Tides Forever
nervous at the movement, the car window
and the glare
Road to Ruin
I Don’t Want You Anymore
they load the rolled-up air with anger
you play it loud to
kill the windshield time
without a woman

Why Does Love Got To Be So Sad
Lou Reed John McLaughlin Bowie Jethro Tull
vinyl lying on the floor with ashes
fryouts way too loud and late alone

Odysseus chained to the mast
sirens eat out his liver
they think it’s a different movie
sailors didn’t sign up for this shit
You said you had cocaine
She don’t like
She don’t like
She don’t like
Cocaine

the glare was daylight
now it’s poison
are you a bad witch,
or a good witch
Dorothy?

AM I ROOTED 
OR COMING CLEAR
PRAY EVERY MORNING
you’re my blue sky
you’re my sunny day
Lord you know it makes me high
when you turn your love my way

walk along the river


Category
Poem

POOF

POOF

Words cannot escape
the ghostly pen or pursed lips
Abracadabra, I missed


Category
Poem

The Water Hose (From:Earliest Memories)

I had the water hose in the sandbox
drowning the enemy army men,
turning their battlefield into a quagmire,
even my own bazooka guys were sinking
out of sight so I ran over to the faucet
under the wood worktable propped against
the back of our garage to turn it off.
And there was Vicky Veeden, the girl
next door who was in 3rd grade but often
stayed home and hung out with me; she’d
brought her stepdad’s old navy blanket
to drape over the table for our play house.
“Just home from the war I see,” she said.
“Let me hose you down.”

The cool water ran muddy and then clear;
it shot through me like a bolt when she put
the hose into the front of my shorts to get
the sand out. “Come into our house to let
me check your wounds,” she said. In the dank
gloom she looked at every bit of me for
imaginary injuries: a broken leg to be set,
a head cut to be bandaged, a hurt in my
middle part that she had to examine.

Then our play changed like a dream.
I held back from Vickie’s embrace
when she tried to show me what mommies
and daddies did at night. Still, I wanted
to know about our underneath parts
so I stayed for all of the show and tell.
I knew I should be learning something
important but I had no idea what.

When my mother called me in
for dinner she asked me
which side had won the war


Category
Poem

Oakley

Shakey, Silver & Seven
Romana Place Pack,
we ran in gangs.
Ringing doorbells at apartments
on Elaine St.
running home to put on pj’s,
alibis in bed.
Jevenile jet set,
we were wild.
All three kids,
we cracked our noggins…
Ralph, snowball held high
turned to smack into a pole.
The Big Wheel Wagon parade
handle slam mishap 
got me 5 stitches.
Ryan, little Ryan’s sweet head
under the library bench
rushing to Children’s Hospital
blood on the seat.
Rachel Ann  (cuz I was Rachel
there couldn’t be two)-
her sister pierced her brother’s
ear with two cubes and a needle
right there in the kitchen.
Up on the hillside
the boys with their club house,
no girls allowed.
Catching Collette
with Jaylene without me
playing in her back yard
my heart feeling so crushed.
Stollen from city
My City
abandoned for farm life
Brown County.


Category
Poem

Whelmed, but not overwhelmed

the straw
that would have broken
this camel’s back
you added
to your light bundle
making mine weightless


Category
Poem

You Found Me

The world collapsing all around

My mind a cyclone of words

Painful words

Through the dark I found your hand

you found me

You brought light

I couldn’t make a spark

Labored breathing

A heart bleeding from words

But you found me

Giving me strength to go on