Tag Archives: humor

Don’t Write A Poem When You’re High

Don’t write a poem when you’re high.
The words might be marked with hard labor.
You might forget how to make it look easy
and the struggle will be real for the reader,
not just for you. 

Don’t write a poem when you’re high.
It might sound like you put in work
and any instructions you followed from within
will be written on your hand for easy reference
and anyone who wants to look can look.

Don’t write a poem when you’re high —
if it happens by accident, don’t show it around.
Keep that one to yourself until you can erase
all the signs of how hard it was to get it on paper
without coughing up everything you’d been holding in. 



used to have something to do
with how your tongue
gets thick
and the top of it turns to
cellophane — all crinkly and
hard to talk like that


used to mean that
close by but
not within reach is something
that will make it better and
all the anticipation is making it worse


before satisfaction but not
if you go by any old
dictionary and its rules


used to be
just the prelude
to wet

It’s Only Wednesday the Fuck

“Wait, it’s only Wednesday. The fuck?”  — MED

A friend of mine posts on Twitter
their dismay at the week crawling slowly by

with a single line, 
“Wait, it’s only Wednesday. The fuck?” 

that seems somehow to add a title,
an honorific, to the dread weekday name.

I develop in my head the image of a tapestry,
a medieval rendering of the cheap and elegant

Wednesday The Fuck, Ruler of
The Slow Lands, Head of The Legion

of Digruntlement, riding a bony white mare
through their domain as we peasants kneel and mutter.

Let’s face it: Wednesday IS a fuck. Too far from
last weekend and also too far from the next.

All Wednesdays ARE fucks. They sit there
on calendars waiting to be filled with Tasks

and Events that will keep us miserable
till we can boot scoot on down past Thursday,

get moshing on Friday, rave on through
till Sunday afternoon and the next go round.

Monday bears all our moaning while patting us on the shoulder
all day; it remembers our recent joy.

Tuesday mainly hurts us by taunting us about 
what’s coming tomorrow right up to the moment when

Wednesday the Fuck shall ride again at the head of
columns of bland, deadly, We-Got-Shit-To-Do soldiers,

seeking conscripts to those miserable ranks.
Don’t do it, I say to my friend. Don’t fall under

the fucking spell of Wednesday the Fuck
and become old and bitter about time;

just keep on getting through it. Time is as arbitrary
as — well, as Fuck. If Wednesday needs to be overthrown,

we are the only ones who can do it.
Let’s plot the revolution right here, right now,  

and start with Wednesday, which can’t even spell its own name 
without adding extra weight in the middle — the fuck?


Carbonated Mouthwash

Upon waking from a dream
of being awarded the Nobel
for inventing
carbonated mouthwash

I immediately look up the possibility
that the dream was prophecy
and not a side effect of the weed
I smoked before bedtime

only to learn that not only
is the invention a done deal
it was in fact a bad idea
for what it does to teeth

Once again I’ve dreamt
of being honored for crap
Gotten my hopes soaring
over dangerous and unoriginal thoughts

and thus have replicated in this dream
and its sobering aftermath
the entirety of
my literary career

there’s some weed left


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.


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
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
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

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

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

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


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

I’d make a good President
because I have inhaled
snorted popped booted swallowed
all the good national drugs —
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


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


Old School

old school
talks about all
those things everyone
used to hate and longed to
change or escape from
old school 
old school
muscle memory
of what used to hurt
hurting then is how
it knows what it now
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

you don’t see
the bridge abutment

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