Monthly Archives: March 2007

Japanese Miniskirts Under the Ishtar Terra

exiting the pub I look up
into a rare clear night
and see Venus in detail
crouched up next to earth

it seems as though someone has
picked you up, Venus
and parked you next to us

I feel woozy and think
oh shit-
somebody must have spiked my drink

I should sit down on the tiny grass hill
cozying up to the pub
and breathe a little
then brave looking up again

+++

suddenly
the door slams open
exhuming two tiny Japanese women
hysterically laughing in black miniskirts
holding each other up

their drunken ruckus trails off
when one of them looks up
and points to Venus-
then faints

the other screams and runs down the street

I want to look again
but my eyes won’t open
I know Venus has swallowed the night sky
without good reason

+++

suddenly
the professors emerge from the bar
in a cloud of masculine cackle
they too are silenced by the sight of Venus
and possibly the unconscious Japanese woman in a miniskirt

only a second of silence then they pipe up
with sheer excitement
I hear them jumping up and down
I hear mysterious words couched
between oooohs and aaaahs

great words, actually:
Ishtar Terra
Aphrodite Terra
Lakshmi Planum
Maxwell Montes

Could it be?
Maxwell Montes was a great friend of mine-
as children we used to chase red squirrels
and pretend to be Hulk Hogan or Jake the Snake

then he ran away in sixth grade
and was never seen again

+++

I stand and look at the men
who all have immaculate grey beards
and I don’t see Maxwell Montes amongst them

yet they keep repeating his name,
pointing fervently toward Venus

was Maxwell descending from the sky?
is that him, naked and with long hair,
floating graciously to earth on a giant clam shell?

+++

I tilt nervously to the sky, but he isn’t there
neither is Venus
but the Japanese woman remains
stylistically sprawled across the sidewalk

the professors are nowhere to be seen
and I think again that somebody messed with my drink

-this work will be appearing in an upcoming anthology, yet to be named.  Stay tuned.

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The Halverson Encounter

I give the man Richie his change, and he glances at me, eyes wet like a puppy, wanting to say something. He wraps a fist around the neck of the brown-bagged Wildberry Green wine and deposits the thirty-two cents into his ragged army coat. His beard looks dirty, like he just crawled through a construction site flat on his face, and a bright blue rubber band dangles aimlessly from the growth, locked amazingly into place by just a couple of course red hairs. He stinks like rotten pears and moldy tapioca.

When he speaks it sounds like his vocal cords are each holding their own unfiltered cigarette, wet at the tips: “Did you know that some people think it’s normal to take a dump four times a day?” His words are yellow and sticky as they bubble out, barely audible.

“Really?” I say and lean in, actually somewhat amused by his random behavior. Richie never speaks, save the occasional grunts of greeting and thank you and whatnot.

“Really. I saw it in the paper. Do you believe that shit?” He speaks more! My lucky day at the liquor establishment.

“Oh yeah, I believe that SHIT,” I say, adopting a comedic smirk.

We laugh. My tenor laugh drowns out his whistling, weakling cackle.

When I look again at him he is suddenly dead serious. “Do you really believe that shit?” he says, eyes unwavering, still wet. “Do you shit that much?”

For a moment, I think clearly and choose not to respond. But I do respond for some absurd reason. I say: “Sometimes.”

His face curls up into a sneer as he snatches the cheap wine substitute from the counter between us. Turning away, he laments “fucking faggot” through his handicapped throat in a voice surprisingly loud for him. His body language as he exits through the glass door suggests that he has just given up hope on a once promising friend.

-“The Halverson Encounter” appeared in Haggard & Halloo for March 30, 2007

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Spring Meditation

The morning sinks into sponge.
The coffee sponge that I am,
I go for a third cup.

Smoke curls the air
but I have nothing to smoke.

The distant nearby
hum of whirring machinery
keeps me in good company.

Cars on the road shimmer with doppler,
which sounds transcendent at the moment.

Thoughts are sticky and hang together
like a room full of flypaper
with no open space for new flies.

Sit within myself,
that’s what the dream monk told me to do.
I remember now, even though I knew it all along.

-this work will soon appear in an unnamed poetry anthology

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Bayo, Bayo, Bayo

In charge with his visa card and perfectly sculpted hair
squeaky duck feather boots dyed red white and blue
masturbating on youtube and graciously receiving
a bazillion hits a day. Bayo, Bayo, Bayo, say it again. . .
Bayo, Bayo, Bayo.

Chalupa plastic shavings for a beard
I saw him working security detail
in a scruffy Detroit parking lot
ran by an angry Turkish man.

Bayo, Bayo, Bayo, I said
hypnotizing him so I wouldn’t have to pay
ten dollars just to park.
Bayo, Bayo, Bayo, he replied,
feeling the six-shooter in his pants.

Vibe with your laptop,
chuck it with friends.
Bayo, Bayo, Bayo,
again and again.

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Sunday Postcard From Detroit

Went to Detroit. Saw dead bodies reconstituted and kicking soccer balls. Saw the cross-sections of a body spread to fill a room, both ways. Saw polka dots, thousands of stuffed animals aboard boats and haunted houses, and detached gloves holding outdated static vacuum cleaners. Saw kunafa and ate kunafa. Never saw the waitress at Twingo’s. She never came out with our drinks.

-this piece appeared in Haggard & Halloo, March 19, 2007

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ventricle blues

How far away is space?

To restate:
How much space is between
us and space?

To inquire more personally:
How much space is between
you and I?

To be slightly icky:
How much space is between
my fourth and fifth vertebrae?

Is it more space than yours?
Because you hunch sometimes.

***

Look at the stars with me tonight.
I know where there’s a secret supernova.

I know where there’s a blues record
in which Muddy Waters moans
about spaces in the heart.

You’ll hear it when we tune in
to the hidden supernova.

-this work will be appearing in a yet-to-be-named anthology.  Stay tuned.

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notebooks

Who says spilling your brain is a sin?
I do it every day

you can find my blood everywhere
some of it fresh
most of it crusty

if you look closely you can see
tiny pieces of brain
none larger than a penny

swimming or stuck in the blood like
little islands of fantastic memories

great splotches of red forming oceans
in my apartment

mountains of paper
almost overtaken by bloody rivers

notebooks splayed crimson from their
rushing mist.

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