Monthly Archives: February 2007

Iraq

The mother’s hand
reaching for her daughter
the cheap purple flower
the rolled date sweet
the lamb meat wrapped
in a heavy brown bag.

The mother’s hand
reaching for her daughter
the red dirt avenue
the crumbling store walls
the mural of Saddam
splayed with bullets.

The mother’s hand
reaching for her daughter
the lightning from the earth
the quakes from the sky
the feet of angry men
running near, shouting.

The mother’s hand
reaching for her daughter
the warm blood
the glazed brown eyes
the white dress crimson
against the child’s stiff body.

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Bert Defeated and Worn

You might not know this:
Sesame Street is real.
Bert is a barista at an overpriced coffeehouse
I frequent on snowy days.

Actually, we’ve struck up a friendship
based on lengthy and heated conversations
regarding the nature of God.
Bert is a die-hard atheist,
and although I’m not an atheist
I’m close enough to remain level with him.

Bert says some crazy shit,
like:
“They need the devil and they take it up the
metaphorical ass for it. Poor bastards
think they’re going to the promised land
and instead their own creation eats them
in their beds at night.”
Steam from the frother raising up around his pointy yellow head,
his brow a solid bush V,
beady black eyes relentlessly probing.

I almost felt guilty,
like Bert knew something I didn’t.
Like the devil was fucking me at night,
in my dreams, and Bert saw it in me
with his relentless, impatient stare.
I had never thought this until Bert
planted the seed in my awareness.

“God is a letdown,”
he said a few days later, handing me the
drink of the week.

“Bert Defeated and Worn” appeared in Haggard & Halloo February 25, 2007

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Boob Haiku

Boob, easy to grab,

fits in a relaxed hand, and

makes the hand happy.

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still life #1

three stacks of quarters
half-empty bottle of
Red Stripe
three silver cords
braided sweetgrass
clay ashtray
folded bank receipt
new green toothbrush
digital camera batteries
salmon carpet
framed black and white photos
plastic didgeridoo
walking stick
wooden flute
hands and forearms

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Fresh Wax

Below the gymnasium you’ll find:
Dirt, confused red worms, dried and pressed dandelions,
crushed corn chips in useless bags,
the skeleton of an unknown species of mouse,
an incomplete hole dug by a restless mole,
who emerged only to crash his head against hardwood.

You’ll discover soft caramel made into brick,
rotting love letters from a boy named Miles,
petrified oak roots, nitrous cooking capsules,
sunken squirreled dreams twisted and pressed
forever under the weight of bonds for education.

This place wasn’t here days before, and now it is.
Everything and everyone is confused.

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thought/moment

She scrubs the bathtub with bleach.

In here, the conduit intensifies-
though dull, without inspiration.
I love the sound of water,
any time, any form.

Last night, the vent bubbled
when water butterflied into steam.
We all slept through it,
teeth grinding, saliva moving.

Now the smell of chemicals lights the air.

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badass destroyer

You are the badass destroyer of this coffeeshop universe,
equipped with impenetrable sunglasses, tall fuzzy rich boots,
and a ragged copy of Beneath The Wheel cradled in your hand.

You destroyed every man in here when you lost the denim coat,
the beret, and finally the glasses, all uniform black.

The space around you is solid and unapproachable,
and the men orbit, lost moons looking for a planet to love,
their heads clicking in your direction like sprinklers set to automatic.

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nerves

I aim to remove your nerves,
to slide them out from a small incision in your solar plexus,
like a fishing net from a lake made of thin pudding.

I’ll clear out the furniture and spread your nerves
across the green shag carpet. It’s like making the bed.

The colors will be so sharp,
we’ll have to squint as our eyeballs pulse.

You’ll hesitantly see, for the first time,
what nerves really look like, on their own,
without all that flesh oppressing them.

I like to think of myself as a nerve cartologist.
I’ve learned your territory through years of careful study,
I’ve drawn the map with my fingers on fire.
I’ve been through your hills and valleys so many times
that I would consider myself the foremost expert of you.
I’ve charted every last trail of nerve you have,
restricted only by your flesh and by your will.
You’ve let me explore your wet California
on a humid and foggy Humboldt morning,
until I came from Florida with stunning violence,
the wetlands overflowing with geyser activity.

We locked Michigans and fell asleep.

Now, you’ll see in front of you,
what truly makes you feel, fear, and lust.
I want to kneel down on this kelp-toned carpet
and gently run my hands over your sheet of nerves,
not actually touching,
just finding my way across the land,
your sighs and quickened breath all around me
as I look for your center,
the place where all the love emanates from,
the place sometimes coated in dread,
and I want to pull the pain away from you forever,
then wrap myself in your energy,
to live, at last, in a place completely filled with love.

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Michigan 2007

I haven’t seen an unemployment line,
but I have seen an unemployment room
stuffed with computers and people
who will help if you raise a hand.

My romantic visions of withstanding
the brutal winter in a jagged line
of forlorn men have not come true.

I expected to be huddled up and
shivering in that line as it stretched
around abandoned brownstones for miles,

men in depression caps, expressionless,
black and white coloration over the scene,
waiting for that loaf of hard bread and
maybe a pint of milk kept barely cold enough.

No, this was no high suffering,
this was a clean, well-carpeted room,
dotted with wide fat screens and
put-together people designated as helpers.

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burrito

This is the past, present, and future twisted into one gigantic psychedelic Panchero’s burrito, black beans as expressions of longing, lounging silently next to the mild salsa we concocted the last time we forgot where you ended and I began, and layers of thick stringy cheese oozing from sentiments only slightly laced with cliché. And you choose the meat, or are you vegetarian? This is sixth-dimensional slippable kissable tortilla molding fun, just look at it before they press it down, we could enlarge it and build houses or SOMETHING with such material, and line our bricks and promises with guacamole, only to watch it harden in the sun and attract insects of unusual size. God you are beautiful wrapped up in that shell, but it will only stay for two or three days before it must be eaten, and if I eat the shell do I eat you by proxy? I can never be sure. In fact, what is sure when flipping through bales of chopped iceberg lettuce we stumble upon the future, and it already happened? In these arms you can flip backwards into what we thought was time and pull the universe’s fire alarm, watch as the primordial creatures pass by with words and grunts of greeting, the aliens wonder where we’ve been all these years, and suddenly we’ve torn through the burrito and found nothing in center but a warm spot shadowing it’s presence.

burrito.JPG

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