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Sunday, November 26, 2017

At Poe's Grave

Employee Appreciation Day:
Once a year we gather here,
librarians, come to be appreciated
by the dead I guess
and a dean descended from higher learning
to serve his servants bloody beef and cupcakes
in the church adjoining this,
your junk food-covered grave.
One block away
we've walked from work
to hear our entertainment: On bass,
washed-up hippies playing pan pipe
versions of age-old diva Escapades
take you on a journey through the fall days of a critical world.

Now goth kids stand mistaken
by your grandfather’s grave
licking their razorblade scars,
invoking anarchist mantras,
half-expecting some chance wedding
of werewolf and tarantula. 
O can’t you hear it, mustache man? 
Is that your spirit in the manhole steam?
Have you heard how slot machines
can cut your debts in half?
The army will take you back now. If nothing else,
the journals fill with sanguine tales—
babies born inside out, the man who grew a second tongue.
Sorry, still no cure for congestion of the brain
but pills and things you tried:

Start saying weird shit to people.
Point to the cherubims and say
Dude, check out those nude little dudes,”
and watch how professional eyes
grow wide as freaked apes, saying

You’ve got the wrong place,
go out on Lexington, go join the crack addicts;
they dance like flamingoes all day at the market.

It’s tempting, but hey,
we all need a paycheck,
so I stick til the end,
the last one still expecting more
than a case of e. coli and a belly of confections.
Even my eyelash parasites flee
cuz the charm of guessing con men
from the destitute has gotten to be old,
and I never read my tickets when I play for lottery gold.

Tell me if nervous laughter is drifting over El Dorado now. 

You correct the ghosts.

I’ll conform.

All in the Game

Stop 1: The streets are on fire and the people are sweating in supermarket trolleys. Collect 45,000
Stop 2: You compare the United States to an angry mama bear. Various groups protest. Collect 500,000,000
Stop 3: You put rocket launchers in the hands of children. Millions of lives are saved. Collect NRA pass
Stop 4: Bubblegum-flavored peanut butter is a hit. Collect 700,000,000
Stop 5: A group of militiamen has deemed you the Archfiend of Mammon in a promotional pamphlet. Liberal media becomes infatuated. Collect 58,000,000
Stop 6: You avoided war but thousands of lives were lost. No one respects you.
             Collect 12,000,000
Alternative: You went ballistic. Now the people want blood. Collect 12,000,000
Alternative: You thread the needle perfectly. The universe adores. Collect 17,000,000
Stop 7: Your taxes are due. Collect 75,000,000
Stop 8: Other people can’t get mad at you for your success. Collect 600,000,000
Stop 9: You find the cure for cancer causes cancer. Collect 25,000,000
Stop 10: You lose all equilibrium in a skiing accident at an undisclosed mountain range. Win a free talk show.
Stop 11: You are controlling member of a nanny torture ring. Government post denied. Collect 45,000,000
Stop 12: The AFL-CIO has tapped your phones. Spin again.
Stop 13: 42% of Americans support new slogan, ME = MC2. Collect 90,000,000
Stop 14: You find a bag of coins under a python. Time magazine calls you Human of the Year. Collect 6,000,000,000
Stop 15: Your BMW is implicated in a sex scandal. Collect 41,000,000
Stop 16: Kate Moss, Vishnu, and an octopus approach you about a time share in St. Martin. You become Viagra pitchman for a fiscal year. Collect 2,000,000
Stop 17: Your sixth wife wants all your money. Collect 10,000,000
Stop 18: It’s time to get back to basics. You create an affordable electric hybrid that everyone wants. Collect 4,000,000
Stop 19: You become an outsized celebrity ice sculptor with a methadone problem and a stable full of wild bears. Collect 1,000,000,000
Stop 20: Effigies of you are burning in the streets. Immediate image makeover is a success. Collect 47,000,000
Stop 21: You enter rehab for fellatio addiction. Collect 20,000
Stop 22: Signs in the street read Capitalism sux. You don’t explain It isn’t capitalism anymore. Collect 50,000,000,000
Stop 23: Atlantis rises. New markets form. Pick a car and circle the board

how many times, no one knows.

Act Accordingly

Negotiate identity
Acquire currency
Announce candidacy

Create policy
Appear ordinary
Praise adversary
Rephrase policy
Nuke adversary
Assume residency

Limit accessibility
Deny remedy
Conflate variety
Confute poverty
Observe catastrophe
Sacrifice currency
Find temerity
Question legality
Enlighten privacy
Lose enemy
Divert publicity
Exploit duality
Fan urgency
Disguise instability
Accomplish mystery
Permit atrocity
Secure patsy
Crush insurgency
Lick injury
Observe catastrophe
Dispense charity
Tout equality
Conceal mastery
Master plasticity
Recrush insurgency
Betray loyalty
Delay insolvency
Blame bureaucracy
Sabotage legacy
Screw posterity
Claim victory

Hope history


My teachers told me long ago
to breathe in deep
when things got rough
but now they say I sigh too much

and like a decomposing theory under test
my body racks up debt
one of summer’s last cicadas
moving slowly through
the reluctant sunlight of September. 

Forget metaphysical
revelations in the sidestreets.

The future is hungry
for what we are lacking
it will never receive
a sense of purpose all but blown
to my mind
as to those pudgy adolescents
wrists in their hands
I knew, wondering when
completion's achieved
when confusion will slow
when scenarios
will make material.

On a campus at midnight under snow
and a tree, high as a kite
and panning out the miracles
my life might take
I smoked myself an Otherworld
I would relate with in slavery.

Then the India Palace burned to the ground
Caramel light poured from warm windows.
I felt no heat.

Swing dancers stood still. Weathermen frowned.

What is it like

to not be forever eighteen?

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Escape from Towson Town Center

Fill  your gourmet  freezers  with strawberries and Mona Lisas. Streams of  people of all kinds flow like Belgian springwater nd the pretzels of my mind twirl round the diamond toys we dream. We are the gumballs inside the glass globe distributed randomly to open doors, never knowing if a man with a machine gun waits behind the next elevator.

Make a phrase and Define Me.  Keep me close in your faux revolutions.                                                                                                 
The  gumball sugar moves  me like a  fly to  its  downfall in the resin at the bottom of the tea. Make a wish. A French kiss.We will not be here long.

Sexy swimsuit billboard Latinas dripping  with gold  and graffiti that reads Immagrashun  Rules.                                                         
A kid with no name and no family got stabbed for no reason right here. It was like he never existed but one day a body was found.

There is a barrel of Muscle Milk behind the shiatsu massage chair. There  is  an   arrow pointing me down an ermine-fur hall. I breathe the scents that women wear, hoping the cashier will plant her talons firmly on vertebrae C1 and make me kiss her panda bear.

I often feel like an empty box with a golden bow. Put on the air conditioning and a light sweater. Yes, God, O, a thousand times.

This kiosk sucks.

The  Engagement Ring Of Your Dreams! Pearls of Oil Sealed in Handblown Glass!  One day they'll be rarer than the sky! 

Was that really Annelle?  She looks so young now!   

It's hard to find something that isn’t boring or disgusting.

I wonder if that lady is making a pervert of her son. He's been playing all night under the bower of Pimilico hats. He's spent way too much time frolicking under the panty racks.

Yo where Big Derek at with the pipe?

Rasins: Nature’s gummy sharks!        

When I find myself in times of trouble, I eat until I feel better. 

Sneakers gussied up like exotic birds on the perches of Foot Locker.  

Mommy, I want Christmas NOW!

I don't have time for this. The maps are always too precise, the legends  are wiped away, and the floors are three dimensions of total chaos.  

I asked a young man with a limp and a beard and a t-shirt with a squirrel that said I'd like to put my nuts in your mouth (which I thought was a little weird), Is it really true the pedophiles can see you but you can't see them? "Let's go to the Lens Master," he said. "Perhaps a man I know can help us."

Does this make me look fatuous?
 Beware of mannequins. Their braziers are always 50% off. 

I'll take my rest with Windex-blue beverages and the soft breeze of Polynesian calendars.

Two guys. One stall.

The cameras watch my every move, but I'm cool with it. I am pixelated to the worldfly like decomposition. Besides, the world's thinnest women are refined to the highest definitions. I said goodbye to love, and turned into the next undressing room. 

So like, what’s your range?

The phone numbers stabbed in the  walls  end   in  the ears of a Prada retailer, the ambassador of Myanmar, the best BJ in San Jose.

The  teeny boppers  pinball off  another sugar high, dance past Munch's Scream into the fern gardens and the sounds of a deconstructed cello, buzzing as they go, and drinking Mello Yello. 

Coming soon:Something new!   

Oh, darling, why are you crying?                      

Twenty-five people accrue by the chalk outline of Batman. Heard em say This one’s sure to take the Year’s Best Murder prize.  But I let the reporters do the surrogate sob and keep moving
cuz the elevators keep lifting me higher than I've ever been lifted—up forty floors in the sky, where the eagles fly on a benzedrine high. I've got to look better than now.

Woe to the poets promoting humanity. Everyone is disabled. But not everyone gets to park near the door.

No thanks, I'm just looking.

These forks looked much better in the box.


Let me back in. Grandmother-breasted polyester flowers. Silver creamers. The wallpaper.

A crib upstairs. Dark Polaroids of February Christmas. Picture Lincoln kneeling in the snow. The smell of Dawn. The incredible mother.

The velvet sailor suit. Dark eyes, blonde hair. Yellow amusement parks. Stuffed horse. Rams-Jets.

Oklahoma! piano parties. Endless hors d'oeuvres. Sears catalogues. The banister. A Civil War funeral. Auction house bisque. Cowboys and Indians. Let me bathe with my sister.

Tall grass and urine. Blueberries, adoration. One-man baseball. Ducks and dinosaur robots. A honeypot. The sun. Canasta 
Super Bowls. Antietam. The word fuck is bad.

First fears. Michael's fornication. A tire blew off the car. Timmy ate six Big Macs. Ornamental birds. Killer whales. Record player destruction. Six-year-old sweethearts.

Canning tomato sauce. Never kill ants on the peonies. Mom is making Aimee pose like Hummels. Take a deep breath. The farms come down.

The houses go up. 1st place in the 600. Michael's diarrhea jokes. A Civil War funeral. Lobster tails, cancer, the cayman on construction paper. Poison. People came before me.

The tree. Susanna Hoff has a weird effect. There will be no Little League. Love quadrangles go bad. Guidance counselors. Erection in the mirror.

First oysters. More space. Johnny Carson Bible studies interrupted by front step Civil War deaths. The devil enters with a wooden sign: Ornamental Birds.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Why Was Angie Vasquez?

Angie, were you really
the source of gold behind the summer
inverse alchemy turning us to rust?
When a pilot cannot fly straight
it is all on you.
When a man finds a son, you were the lover.
When a woman stalks, halfheartedly
the dude who dropped her like a fish
it is you, the lip you did not wax
legs loved by the sun, and shadow
the laughter, knowing
where she begins, how she twists
the world with a Colombian smile.

You would not say a word
but how you'd fuck friends
marry a hedge fund
soldier a quarterback.
And like all eternal drips
I came to understand
my exotic mind as some windblown
tropic bird with too many feathers
all over the place.

Angie no one wants to say so
but you’re the measure, always were.

When I eat food it’s you at the base.
My speech is your subtext.

When I see sunlight, it’s you, many colors.
When I ride the glacier it’s you I escape.