Tag Archives: humor

Vapid

They took everything that was already white
and compressed it into a small cake.
Utterly slick, ultimately waxy,
as small as an ironic footnote. 

Laid that bit into a chamber,
set it on flameless fire as if
they didn’t care about it, raised it
from its crushed state into the clouds, huffed it, 

blew it out into the thickest shade
of pure chalk imaginable,
then stood behind it in deep admiration
and masturbated

over their skills
at being so unlike
the entire everything
that birthed them.

And oh, the beards they grew,
and oh, the monstrous foods they devoured;
the long nights of staring into the eyes
of the disposable past

with sucking love
and hot detachment.
Leafing through the edges
for paths to the dead center;

admirable little men in their circles —
circles that nonetheless
are still just men masturbating
behind vast, thick clouds of white.


A Theological Debate

You manage to wring
a mystical message
out of mishearing 
the lyrics of a Kid Rock song
and then expect me
to nod in agreement when
you present the mistake
as evidence of God’s finger
in all things. I point out
that all it shows is that somehow
we make things work 
even when they don’t because
we long for there to be an Order
to this mess so we cobble one up
from any weak leather and scrap nails
we are given.  “Isn’t that
the same thing, really?” you ask,
and while it’s hard, perhaps
impossible, to entirely reject
your defense of such 
accidental revelations? Dude.
In the name of all
that’s potentially holy,
try to remember:

we’re talking about Kid Rock.


Trickster

My partner tells me
she came home 
to a coyote in the front yard
last night.

There is no need
to ask if she’s sure.
They’ve been around for years
and we’ve both seen them before — 
though never here, never this deep
into a dense city neighborhood.

Between us, we have now officially seen 
more coyotes here on this street
than we’ve seen guns
on anyone 
except cops,
gang signs
from anyone except on
Facebook,
and muggings except
on TV.

Remind me again 
how this city is a shit hole
and we’re all crazy for living here,
sneer again that it’s all going to hell.

That laughter you’ll hear
will not be the laughter of
the Trickster.


His Type

He’s a  
shitty video,
bad zine,
faded heavy knit,
square bottomed
necktie
of a man. 

He is a 
wrong turn onto 
a short dock and 
an unwillingness to
brake before he goes off
the end into water
too shallow to allow a 
dramatic, tragic
denouement.

He is a
bankroll fat with 
singles and
not even a twenty
on top to 
cover.  

He’s a pool shark
with a warped stick, 
big talk small walk,
too quick to back off
when rocked back by
one well-chalked bank shot —
no game for the long haul,
no words for the laugh
from the watchers lounging
against the far wall —

you know the type
and you know how they all
fall, after a while. Later
we’ll make jokes about him

but while he’s here 
you steam and stew and 
think about how sweet a single 
slap behind his neck
might be, even though you know
that’s not worth all the trouble
likely to come from
all that whining
and tattle tale talk
afterward.


American Vegetable Parable

many of you
have just learned
that we live in an onion

which once peeled splits
fairly easily and reeks
and makes you weep

but have yet
to learn another thing
long known to many

that if you wash your hands with
stainless steel right away
and dry yourself up

you stop weeping and
then can get back to work
making something

PS

you will of course
still have to do
some chopping

but there are many people
who can explain that to you
if you are willing to learn


Me For President

Originally posted 3/14/2011.

I would make a good President
because I would have to be dragged
kicking and screaming to the job

because I am relatively free of the mental defect
that would make me want the job
and that makes me more qualified
than those who usually try and do it

I would make a good President
of these Disunited States
because of all the hot bones in my closet
I’ve been everything at one point or another
and everyone could find in me something to hate
or declare me unfit for the office

I would make a good President
My father’s right off the rez
My mother’s an immigrant
(don’t worry, she got here legally —
not so sure about my dad)
I’ve got the American Dream covered — 
was here
came here
am colonized and
colonizer

I’d make a good President
because I have inhaled
snorted popped booted swallowed
all the good national drugs —
money
fame
casual cruelty to my fellow Americans
I’m on the wagon now but
I still know my way around
a finger flipped in traffic
whether domestic or foreign
(I know my enemies can change
on a dime into allies and back again
from years of merging onto freeways)

I’d make a great President
because I’ve got the allegedly necessary genitalia
for the job
and I don’t look biracial
so I can be slotted without too much fuss
I know how to wink and nudge
and slap a back when a back
needs slapping

I’m not running
If nominated will not run
If elected will not serve
(but boy howdy I’d be good at it)

Oh man you’ll be kicking yourself
next time the vote comes around
that I wasn’t in the race

In fact
I’m thinking of changing my name
to None Of The Above

just to test the waters


Dammit

There’s a clock in my stomach
that demands I find happiness,

a ticking within
that is counting me down.

I try not to get less serious 
than the situation demands

but it seems that the situation demands
less than I’ve so far given.

If I were a lion, I could sleep 
until I figured it out,

then go hunting with my pride
and sing myself back to sleep after.

Happiness over there, and I’m 
staring at it from here. What’s wrong 

with all these pictures
that don’t have me in them?

If you’re with me on this, no matter
where else you are, go back to sleep.

We’ll meet in the dream space,
stalk the goal of our stars.

Happiness is the balance
of waking and dreaming.

Whose fault is it 
that I am suddenly smiling? 

I’m not looking
to blame anyone

when it’s there in front of me
in spite of all my work 
to forestall it, dammit. 


The Mistake Artist

I’ve begun advertising myself on
classified message boards
as a mistake for hire:

call me,
for a small fee
I’ll screw up in your place
and take the blame
and the punishment.

My experience?
I’ve made a life from
being present at events
that shouldn’t have happened,
running the gamut
from spilled milk
to genocide, and
I’ve never cried
at a single one,

though I’ve always felt guilty, often
without a good reason for feeling that.

I draw the line
at subbing for you
on your most intimate errors,
those made from love
or its stand-ins, not from
fear or reticence
but because
I’m still no good
at those myself, though
I can provide referrals
if that’s your need (put simply,
I know a guy…)

Anything else, though —
lost data, financial ruin,
blunders of road
or home, social disasters
in person or on line,
evil political decisions,
callous disregard, neglect
leading to injuries physical
or spiritual — call.  I’ll step up

on what you won’t and take
every last bit of pain for you
so you can go on
your merrier way unencumbered
by consequence.

They say do what you love
and the money will follow,
but I’ve never believed that.
I did what I loved
and the money got swallowed.
So I struck on this: do what you’re good at,
what you’ve shown a talent for,
see what happens. It may be

the biggest mistake I’ve ever made
but if I don’t make it I’ll never know.

So call now.  Give me a sad story
to work with. Let’s make this happen.

Note: I require

payment up front. That’s
one mistake I won’t make

thrice.


Old School

old school
talks about all
those things everyone
used to hate and longed to
change or escape from
old school 
old school
means
muscle memory
of what used to hurt
hurting then is how
it knows what it now
knows
old school
old school
old school doesn’t know
how to teach a lesson
how to school without
hurting a fool or anyone
it thinks a fool
old school
old school a bland ploy 
no change no room to exchange
and play ball with new school
old school
old school told and got told on
old school
tell what you’ll tell then
tell then
tell what you told
new school damn bored enough with
old school yet
new school damned if it doesn’t shout out
old school for being old school
pain and bad marks
disdain and sad barks like
packs of whipped dogs
old school get behind
old school get out of sight and mind
old school
old school just
OLD and that’s
just about all


The Proper Perspective

Originally posted 9/25/2013.

Love’s not worth
the worry. You either
have it or don’t, are loved or
are not.  Simple enough;

devastating enough.
You can’t worry about it
to the point of no return.
Worry instead till just

before that point. Say there’s a pair 
of eyes that wreck you often. Why worry
about wrecking — you will 
or will not crash, they’ll turn your way

or stay fixed elsewhere, 
and there’s nothing you can do about it. 
What else is there to do —
obsess about them

until  
you don’t see
the bridge abutment
looming?

Love’s neither voluntary
nor subject to reason, so
sitting with your head in your hands,
utterly controlled by love, is foolish — 

rest your head
directly on your desk instead
and save your arms from fatigue.
Rest it there repeatedly, in fact,

several times a minute.
It will hurt less than worrying
about love.  You’ll see — eventually
you’ll pass out and love

will fall into
its proper perspective
of blackout and pain
at which point

you may still be worried about love
but no one will be the wiser —
and maybe, just maybe,
you’ll awake with amnesia.


Steak Or Chicken

Originally posted 12/29/2010.

george clinton must now and then
think about giving up the stars
for a steady job in furniture repair

prince must sometimes think about saying
fuck it
i’m going into retail

bruce has to think about
the carefree life
of a plumber

mick must occasionally think
about financial analysis
as a late career choice

it’s the same with me
i wanna be
a rock star 

the way each of them is a rock star 
with a name that projects their particular cosmology
the minute it’s uttered

i want my name
to change the inner monologue
of anyone who hears it (that’d be SWEET)

but instead i’m in the store
looking at frozen fajitas
and i could be just anyone

if someone calls my name
i don’t turn around right away
they couldn’t possibly be talking to me

so inured to being a nobody
even my own name
doesn’t evoke anything in me

except annoyance that i’ve been disturbed
before i can choose between
the steak or the chicken

most days i don’t feel this way
i just go through motions
i’ve been through before

and i’m ok
if not happy
the world around me isn’t mine

i just live here
i mean so little to the living 
that when i stop living here

someone else
will be just fine
bearing my name

but right now i wanna be a rock star
and i want my name to make the choice
of steak or chicken for me

with a sense of grand inevitability
they should just magically appear
in my cart with its four perfect wheels

then i will thrill inside
as what i want
turns into exactly what everyone else wants

and then if i change my mind later
so shall change the fajitas
and so shall change everyone else’s mind and taste

i wanna be a rock star
instead of this — 
vacillating and anonymous mess

standing in the supermarket aisle 
in front of a bright freezer
wondering for ten minutes about a choice

between shitty frozen steak
and shitty frozen chicken
as if it matters 

and all the while nobody passing me 
seems to have a clue
about whether or not i’m even there


Animals As Leaders

Originally posted 3/10/2013.

Once upon a time a wolf, a hawk, a dog,
a cat, a snake, and a pig

were hanging out together
outside of a poet’s house —

the one place they knew
they could be safe

from natural enemies
and from each other.

Each was waiting to be chosen
as a symbolic inspiration to others,

or to be pressed into service
as a metaphor for something else.

They spoke in low voices over coffee —
who might be chosen?  

Snake and Pig prayed for the writer to be
politically motivated.

Dog and Cat argued
for a sonnet on domestic abuse.

Wolf and Hawk, as always, took the
metaphysical angle; hoped

for someone with a natural bent
who could press them into aspirational role modeling.

When the door opened and the poet beckoned 
it took them but a moment to swarm in.  

It wasn’t planned but they were tired,
and damned if anyone was going to be asked

to be anything other than what
they were.

This is the poem they ended up in
and they lived happily ever after.

Well, perhaps it was not ever after, 
but for a moment at least they were happy.

Not as happy as they would have been 
if the poet had just offered

to put each of them into a haiku
without bending them to human need at all,

but pretty happy — 
for a while anyway,

at least until the next poet sat back 
from scratching on their pad.


Baggage Claim

I see certain faces
and think at once of long slogs
dragging broken-wheeled luggage
through vast airports.

I hear certain voices
and think of bad air in tight cabins,
drooling men snoring
on each of my middle seat shoulders.

Tonight feels like a routine room
in a routine hotel. I’m routinely eating
something routine, coating it in routine ketchup
from a routine little bottle.

I’ll write an ecstatic letter and read it to you 
when I get home, words packed 

with the same joy a lost bag feels
upon arriving at last where it belongs.


PPP

 

there is liberation
in your handful 
of herbal license

but you don’t seem 
to want to let go
and let us in on it

did you forget how 
to empty your hands
among friends

did you forget how
to share
with others 

did you just stutter
while offering us
a welcome 

upon dismounting
from your high horse
will you admit a mistake

will you
remember your etiquette
and pass it

will you get back
to where
you once belonged

not asking
for everything
just something

hands emptied in
gesture of a generous friend — 
a good giveaway


A Week Of Safe Words

Originally posted 12/28/2012.

I’d like to be leashed
to silence tonight

so the safe word 
is just sound

if I whisper or say or scream  
LET ME GO

LET ME GO

~~~~~~~

tonight the safe word is
augury

if I make a dire prophecy
and suggest it may be imminently fulfilled

LET ME GO

~~~~~~~

tonight the safe word is
aspiration

if it seems that I am about to reach
my goal

LET ME GO

~~~~~~~

tonight the safe word is
ouchies

not ouch
(I tend to say that a lot)

~~~~~~~

tonight the safe word is
syllabus

if you hear that I’ve learned enough

LET ME GO

~~~~~~~~

tonight the safe word is
reflective tape on racing bike handlebars

if you hear that I’m not into it anymore
and am thinking of the Tour de France

so you might as well
LET ME GO

~~~~~~~~~

tonight the safe word should be
don’t ever let me go

we both know
what comes after that