Monthly Archives: June 2007

James observes a Lansing White and his girl from across Jolly Road

The man bounced in and out of James’ vision, which was impeded by the rotten window frame, the half-grown spruce in the front yard, the 1992 grey Plymouth Horizon parked across the street, and the girl bouncing and twisting drunkenly just feet ahead of him. His phone chirped and then a distant voice garbled out short phrases, and the man replied by putting the cell up to his face and firing back staccato words between the steps of his gangsta gait.

James watched as the man bobbled in and out of frame nervously, but not without his apparent sense of cool. He was a perfect example of what has come to be known as the “Lansing White,” the vanilla Caucasian whose standards of dress and behavior were completely determined by the blacks he grew up around. His voice was deep and self-aware, as if he were calculating each word against what he perceived to be the hip-hop standard, he walked as if his left leg were two inches shorter than his right, and his XXXL jeans seemed to defy gravity by remaining up just centimeters under his ass.

The girl in front of him tumbled to the ground in hysterics, and the Lansing White tucked his phone away, adjusted his sideways Detroit Tigers baseball cap, and said “Get up, girl” in a voice not unlike the ones heard at the beginning of the R. Kelly songs that seemed to dominate the only radio station that people listened to on the south side. The girl just laughed louder and rolled around some more. “I said GET UP GIRL.” He sounded like a cheap imitation of the guy at the roller rink before introducing a Lakeside track. He rocked back in forth nervously and glanced down the sidewalk, waiting for somebody, maybe the voice on the other end of his cell.

1 Comment

Filed under short fiction

98% Waxing Gibbous


lessons from the moon:

do not drink three days before
or three days after
a full moon

do not stand outside of the clubhouse
and peek in with spite
if you don’t want to join anyhow

do not pull an Ignatius Reilly
and hold yourself aloof
from those around you

do not give in to the vices
that in your stronger days
you resisted with a noble spirit

do not think too hard about yourself
when you know you’ll never figure it out
on nights like this

just ride the current across
sweeping deadly emotions
and know that when you arise
the next day
things have the possibility
of being better

Leave a comment

Filed under poetry



after a dose of particularly strong scotch
I envision the act of writing to be something of a reflex
that I can’t control

I feel like a hopeless addict
but instead of taking toxic things in
I put them out for the world to scrutinize

why the hell would I do such a thing?

what drives me to write
when I should be doing something more productive?
I might as well be chopping off my toes with a butter knife

I think writing is a reverse addiction
where instead of getting yourself high
you hope to get others high

the depressing thing is:
I don’t think anybody has ever gotten high
reading my goddamn poems


Filed under poetry


My head is full of the delicious moon
reflected off the skin below your neck

and the other gentle curves that make up you

my voice can be heard grabbing night air
at your loss, not creating words but
promises of words not born

you were gone before you ever came,
I was dreaming the experience of déjà vu

it was one of an infinite set of possibilities,
another world taking flight
and skirting away forever

I reach for it

1 Comment

Filed under poetry

trompe l’oeil


Dropped into France with a cosmic vacuous THUD, slowly reaching to awareness to find an old friend married to an asshole. Their baby in hand, glasses knocked off from the distracted head, there is no money in the wallet and no wallet in the pocket. Unable to find a phone to call mom and beg methodically for money.

Venture outside and see the familiar hill that was supposed to be in Prague and realize that all foreign lands are the same if you haven’t been to them. All of the record shops are empty or clutching at straws. Obsess to ghostly women about having to be here nearly blind. A statue of a rearing horse behind a fuzzy pink park bench materializes again in front of the ascending grass.

Wake up on the south side of some declining city and say “At least my glasses are fine.”  A familiar woman laughs and slips on her dress, heading to work.

“trompe l’oeil” appears in Haggard & Halloo, June 22, 2007


Filed under poetry, published work

Mirror Hairy


you can
take credit
but it ain’t yours
and it ain’t mine

that’s my face
you said
I said
the robot said

Leave a comment

Filed under poetry

to be read in the style of Keanu Reeves


read my feed
read my feed
feed my reed
feed my reed
plant my seed
eat it like a

Leave a comment

Filed under poetry


I’m waiting in the bedroom
with my chain mail off

a cheap note for a woman
from a cheap man

He’s hung the pheasant
and the clunky gloves
astride the deadly arrow

It’s the first thing she notices
returning from the stables
heaving red from exhaustion

To her
dinner is no problem
for a horny man

she plans to repay him
with copious oral sex
but only after he dresses
and devours the fowl

Leave a comment

Filed under poetry

prelude to the sushi wars

riding a green bike from 1973
two warped tires somehow he
stays on a steady path
wicker basket full of fish
just pulled from the ocean

pocket full of giant matches
kerosene dreams in his waistband
vision of the woman he desires
keeping him company until the fire

only enough room for one sushi joint
in this town-
the father of his beloved had said

do you love her or not?
he winked with a serious frown

1 Comment

Filed under poetry

El Azteco

greasy Mexican fare
indifferent service
yet they put something in the food
and we all come back for more

I’ve known people on the inside
and none of them will tell me
what the secret ingredient is

I’m friends with employees
I’m in love with a former waitress
and all of them are addicted to the food they serve
and they won’t tell me why

people with good taste and discriminating buds
go bonkers over the topopo salad?
nothing but a pile of lettuce

that’s strange

objectively the food isn’t great
lots of cheese lots of beans lots of rice
but it smells different than other Mexican food
and the waitresses smell different when they leave

I don’t know
but I think they sprinkle cocaine over their food

1 Comment

Filed under poetry