Archive for February, 2014

Terror and Confusion

February 28, 2014

Reading Thompson’s campaign trail memoir
it’s an odd thing
I know the ending
America sucks a turkey egg
hatches a second term
for the power hungry wolfman
but the world of ‘71
about half of which I spent in the womb
is like an alternate reality
riddled with murder and rape
long mushroom clouds casting shadows
over the sunshiniest of days
assassins stalk the land
college campuses boil over hard
into violent clashes with police
homosexuals live shamed lives
the war on drugs knows no mercy
it’s a grim drama of decay
thefts, muggings, vandals
derelict property
urban blight and white flight
fear and loathing, indeed
this oppressive atmosphere
of life in the states
is presented to me subjectively
filtered only by language’s limitation
delivering a harsh one-sided critique
with what I and time
must mostly be forced to agree
because what’s the other side?
segregation now and forever
even if our current president
didn’t happen to be
born of a biracial couple
what’s the other side?
anti-sodomy laws
criminalizing abortion
hair-straightening and skin whiteners
marriage inequality
isolation and nativism
the wounds of ‘72
the year of my bloody birth
did not begin to show
the faintest signs of healing
for 20 more years
set backs still occur
as we sit around waiting
for the old bigots to get along with dying
it takes so long
death never seems to finish up the job
the hate is never fully culled
it remains there
in the midst of the herd
bright red and mad
screaming and daring
for all and any predator
to pounce in
take advantage
win an election
in a billowing smoke screen
of terror and confusion


We the Finish Line

February 25, 2014

Art was not born
from the wonder of birth
that base beginning gave nothing
endings sparked the creative urge
witness to death
expecting its inevitability
waiting on it
wondering upon it
not before we didn’t
but after we did
dying gave it to us
the spectacle
the battle and violence
the turbulent failure needed
to create
to bring forth a new idea
stroke a brush
smear a finger across a cave wall
write a word
speak a prayer
scratch a symbol in sand
who we are is not a starter’s pistol
it’s a finish line
that’s what we strive for
thrust forward our chests to cross
run through in triumph
breaking the ribbon
passing straight past
into adulation
the roar of the crowd
the fire of the guns
laying us to rest
it is after all
who we are
fated to be
to go the distance
to ride into sunset
to give birth to our art


February 23, 2014

a bundle of joy mutated
forty five to half fifty one
future destroyed and muscle too
lost where you live
a minotaur in the kitchen
flipping flapjacks
horns down
where will dining occur
under watchful radar
forever after is the way in the maze
death is no way out
pushing tiny pebbles up anthills
and down the same side again
too tired for more
baby maggots into the hole
hungry and alone
growing cold, crippled
loveless passages forlorn
the queen abides cautionless
sprouting eggs like mushrooms
in dung piles
another shitty metaphor for life
we put it in our bag of plastic
skip and dance
down windy roads
wee ants trying at life
muscularly declined
100 times body weight
reduced to zero
wheelchair, obsolescence
sound the alarm
fire trucks that never show
shows that never fire
eaten alive in the crawl
given good wishes
trying pleasing hopes
dying idiot lies
that’s me
in the dystrophic fire

Welfare Media Queens

February 20, 2014

In the government office
you film them queueing
those in the welfare line
it’s a special report
designed to give aneurysms
to conservatives
veins bulge, throb, faces redden
the sight of the freeloaders
the subhuman mongrels
always in line, always waiting for the handout
moochers, parasites, grifters…
follow them into overcrowded apartments
walk your cameras down ghetto roads
come and video them in their homes
see the children’s faces
catch them too
in the natural environment
see loved ones stuffed
with processed foods
canned beans and peas
boxed pastas and cereals
be the witness the people need
to see the underfed shuffle off to school
unhungerable to concentrate
unconcentrably hungry
locked in daily struggle
animals society leaves defenseless, recourseless
no land
no hunting ground
born here
expected to thrive here
endure here
do all the things it takes to live here
document that
fill your reels, tapes and memory sticks full of that
put it on the news
in papers and magazines
shout it from the corners
make it seen, make it heard
have a nonpolitical bias
have a non-corporate vision
have a heart
have a future
feed the pigs truth


February 18, 2014

Put it in your heart and hold it there until it stinks
let it rot, fester and mold
dwell on yesterday
let it obsess you
become you
stuff it in your soul and keep it until it decays
let muck and humus fill your lungs
stick on the past
like cloth to gangrenous limbs
eat a slurry of shit
let it become you
pass through your system
mark your breath, being
be the horrors of history
unleash it to your bloodstream
let it course through you
be you
being – heart, soul
the things you are not
let it stain you
let it reign you
let it keep you fastened, tied, restrained
bound to your credulous heritage
your gullible ancestry
all those learned things
you learned about yourself
wash in it
until you’re not half the man you used to be
when it was yesterday
like you wish it could be

Who I Was

February 13, 2014

I drew what I wanted to be and not reality
the rendering in crayon is crude
large swathes of single colors
stick figures
at the head it says
“A Picture of Ricky’s Family Done in Kindergarten”
and in a different hand
in the upper right corner: “1977”
my parents and I are camping
we never camped
a large bonfire is burning
we never had fires
all of us hold fishing poles
I was never taken fishing
but strangely
I don’t remember ever wanting to
wanting to camp
wanting to fish
wanting to build a fire
mostly, what I do remember of those things
is not liking those things
not wanting to do them
my Grandfather made me fish
he loved it and he loved fishing with me
but I did it for love of him
so you see
it took awhile to figure it out
I didn’t draw what I wanted to be
I drew what was expected of me
a lie about my family
a lie about a family reality
one teachers and peers would smile upon
approve of
I played to the audience
somewhere along the way I lost that ability
and now I’m me
barely able to remember who I was

Grows a Lily

February 10, 2014

a severe meander
far off the desired course
a path hewn by time
for a hundred years
the river works at keeping you in the loop
the waters before and after
but the struggle erodes forwards
the swing cannot maintain
walls crumble
a swift new way is cut
and they’re you’re left – lost
no flow of sustenance – alone
a backwater – forgotten
as mighty currents seawards surge
past you
ignorant of you
ignorant of past
your place in it
their place in you
onwards they rush
white raging foam
over polishing rocks
under collapsing banks
whirlpools, eddies, life in the depths
sleek muscles armored in scale
consuming, spawning, being consumed
away from the war
slowly sediments accumulate
oxbow to marsh
marsh to field
field to forest
somewhere in it
grows a lily atop you

Alternate History

February 8, 2014

The best alternate history sci-fi stories
are the ones we tell to ourselves
the day after the night before
we wish we could change

Access Contained

February 6, 2014

People need to be told what to know
too much freedom
of information
is detrimental to an open mind
a well-rounded person
will never result
from cherry-picked internet searches
digging up data
that agrees with prejudices
pre-conceived beliefs and ideals
in that way lays danger
communities of homogeneity
refusing to visualize beyond their nose
the horizon contracts and narrows, gets nearer
they will trap themselves
enslave being
cage possibility and potentiality
to live a blinkered, sequestered life
contained by assumptions
we become small
we become categorizable
filed into labeled cabinets
a willfully crafted prison of similarities
where different opinions are the key
which can never be wrested from the jailer
it’s a place
to where all the clipped birds flock
and sing
the same song
on endless repeat
a record skipping
to the syncopated beat of a million idiot drummers

But Dead

February 4, 2014

The head is solid but mostly air
cheap styrofoam beads
bonded together
formed to take a wig
draped over the top of it
on a woman’s chest of drawers
but she is no longer alive
dead as her hairpiece
there amongst such important things
bracelets, rings and small boxes
what do you do
dump it off
one big lot of small time crap
the harvest of a life’s possessions
sold piecemeal on the open air flea market
but fleas don’t pick over corpses
they flee them
without blood
there cannot be life for the parasite
this is not true of the carrion feeder
pocket picker
purse snatcher
all is game
even that splattered on the street
broken under wheel without her hair
left behind at home
because you don’t need it for the corner-store
gently, the wig I set aside
lift up the faceless model
turn it one way and another
jab it repeatedly with index finger
leaving dents in the white surface
compacted, dense
angered, I punch
and the whole thing just splits
bits scattering in the still room
drifting in shafts of dust-moted light
like gnats
that cluster around my head
like gnats in my nose, ears, mouth and eyes
like gnats I can never drive away
no matter how frantically I thrash and wave
like gnats, pretty much just like that
like gnats but dead