Monthly Archives: April 2007

Dream Fruit

The australopithecine peeled dried lizards from the rocks
as the man in the pinstriped suit and leather case marched past.
He was resolute, determined to get to the office on time,
unaware that he was on a prehistoric beach.

He pulled a blender from his spotless jacket and assembled it
as the tide pushed in under his alligator shoes.
Why he stopped, or where the blender materialized from,
was lost on him, but he wasn’t surprised to discover that
you can plug appliances into the sand and they actually work.

Do you have any fruit?
he called back to the australopithecine,
who was busy stuffing lizards into his gaping mouth.

A giant sand worm, ala Dune, blasted through the earth between them,
and belched out a cornucopia of fruit the size of a dump truck
before burrowing fitfully back into the sand.

The man and the australopithecine stood still for a moment,
confused, scared, looking to each other for answers,
but there weren’t any, so they ran toward the fruit bounty,
leaving baked lizards and a blender in their wake.

In slow motion, the australopithecine dove into the pile,
biting into pineapples and giant pears,
while the man stood uncomfortable off to the side,
poking one of the freakishly large grapes,
not knowing how real the fruit actually was.

___”Dream Fruit”  appeared at Haggrd & Halloo on May 19, 2007

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Miniature Birds From Lagos

Oooooo! Oooooo!
I hear birds talking in the bathroom walls!
Could you translate the Hausa for me?
These birds are Nigerian.

Can you operate a sink?
I never learned how,
but I suspect we can flush the birds out.

A tiny, tiny bird flew into my uncle’s ear
as he shirtlessly mowed the lawn last week.
He told me it laid eggs,
and only ventures out for straws and used lollipop sticks.

Something tells me the birds in the walls
are just like the one in his hairy ear.
If that’s the case they’re small indeed,
and we can flush them out.

But I need you to turn on the sink,
and don’t bother to teach me how.
Momma said I’ll never learn.

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To Wake Up Dead on Easter

Those days-
when everything coalesces
into a series of weird events.

There’s a little Jesus in your pink egg.
There’s a church sign down the road
and today it inexplicably says:
“J TO THE C DID IT FOR ME-
HOLLER!”

You almost faint in Babies R’ Us
overwhelmed by plastic
and the flu.

Your furnace leaks carbon monoxide
but you cheat death again.

Your house has an emergency furnace transplant and
your wife dreams you are dead on the floor.

Who died? It feels like somebody did.
You just can’t remember who.

Babies R’ Us. . .
it’s just too much in there.

-This work is set to appear in Zygote in My Coffee #90

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Monks and a Drunk

Three ochre and maroon clad monks walk into a bar.

Whaddya havin?
asks the stylish existential mid-twenties female bartender.

The first monk orders a scotch on the rocks.
The second monk orders a rum and coke.
The third monk orders a long island.

I have to ask,
the bartender says,
but doesn’t being a Buddhist mean you can’t drink?

Who says? replies the first monk.
Who cares? replies the second.
Who said we were Buddhists? replies the third.

She makes their drinks
and they guzzle them quickly.
They excuse themselves and glide single file to the restroom.

When they return, they are wobbling and laughing profusely.
They start an argument with the aging Bukowski-looking drunk next to them.

You shouldn’t drink, declares the first monk.
The body is Buddha’s abode, proclaims the second.
We don’t drink at all, we’re Buddhists, states the third.

The man laughs and coughs and sparks a cigarette.
He looks at them with a light eye and says:
Fuck you Buddhists! You think you’re funny!

And the monks laugh with the man and say, in unison,
exactly, blessed sage, exactly,
and pat him on the back, one at a time.

+appeared in Haggard & Halloo, April 20, 2007

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Virginia Tech

Evil villains always say:
You did it to yourself.

They articulate:
What I’m about to do to you
is your fault.

They point guns and scream:
If you weren’t so fucked up,
I wouldn’t have to do this to you.

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unshuffle

You are on the edge of a panic attack!
You are on the edge of a panic attack!

Where would you run, if you could run?

-the robot voice

(flesh, made of flesh)

we are, made to rust
and to mushroom

you lost me? you are?

flesh bass outside rusting,
driven by insanity

you shouldn’t take those pills man

paranoid jealousy blob
made of swelling flesh

nostalgic for steak
you cannibal, you
flesh-eating lover

you, my brother
who can talk me down but words,
who can unshuffle reality so well?

my brother me
I’m missing letters to type
it

I’m normal again
I’ll die later
I’ll always die later
until I do.

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Applause

The sound of one hand clapping
is thunderous applause.

A lion’s roar,
the sound of wind as it brushes the grass.

The dead man in the casket understands
as his relatives mourn in song.

How much louder can it be?

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Earth Squeals, Careens

It went down but normal language can‘t describe it. Yellow steam puffed out like aerosol from tiny holes in the land. The planet began spinning and farting across the universe. Many creatures died that first day, unable to hold on. Me, I found a sturdy mangrove to wrap myself in.

So I was saved. At times, I wish I wasn’t.

I’m constantly having glass surface conversations with disabled giraffes under the trees. They clue me in, like private reporters. One of them said that home is nothing more than a big deflating piece of shit. The Proboscis Monkeys had to concur.

I found my dad a while back, floating through the swamp next to the coffee-maker and bowtie deposits. He instructed me to give up hope. Give it up quick.

Time is like a memory from the womb. Who knows how long I have been crouched here, tied down by kelp and thin vines, trading laments with animals? They all look terrified.

-this prose poem is featured in Juice

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Alcoholism in Prehistory

mammoth.jpg

The wooly mammoth stumbled into the pub
a hairy swaying beast with tusks,
unable speak and in need of scotch

the three ochre monks raised their glasses of rosewater
and beckoned the giant over to their table,

where they produced a bucket of single malt
and placed it lovingly next to his twitching trunk

he was drunk already
and the only thing to do with a wooly mammoth
who is too wasted to walk straight

. . . is to finish the job

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Shoppers Dodge You

That’s how the mind works
he says
unwinding a twisted up plastic grocery bag
and fading away, into returnables

translucent flap curtains
tumble in his wake

the image is framed
by the coffee grinder to the right,
high shelves of tea to the left,
heavy fluorescents in heaven
and the yellow tile earth

You feel as if you are in
someone else’s body,
because you aren’t sure what’s happening
or how you got to be here

The world is rocked by a massive BING,
then a nasally voice:
0-1, please attend to the fire in meats,
once again, fire in meats, 0-1

And suddenly you are injected with dread,
running to the exits, which you can’t find

The Management loves
watching you run in circles,
which you do
for the duration of the night shift

Shoppers dodge you
and don’t complain

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