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.

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98% Waxing Gibbous

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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

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reflex

reflex.jpg

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

sometimes
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

sometimes
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

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twopossible

1.
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

2.
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
sometimes

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trompe l’oeil

desiree-palmen.jpg

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

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Mirror Hairy

robot-2.jpg

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

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

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to be read in the style of Keanu Reeves

keanu_reeves2.jpg

read my feed
bitch
read my feed
prick
feed my reed
tuna
feed my reed
meat
plant my seed
earth
eat it like a
vegetable

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