Last First Day Back

64b62659437581fed1e48e5180d1fd43

In the first day halls arise slight scents

Of layered floor wax, student nervousness

Static new shirts, cotton combed jeans

And hair blended with

The rising cost of chemicals.

After the blurred search for a room number,

We open the same books

We’ve always been opening

Updated with new footnotes, images

Fonts, page texture, and critical theories.

Our talk is mixed with a quiet

Summer attitude of late mornings

Florescent lighting spots a yawn

Coffee appears in an array of costumes

New pens have been invented

To handicap note takers handwriting

Lids of laptops are raised

For the ones who lack concentration

Who claim they are multitaskers

The multitaskers raise the lids

Finishing early as all first days do

The sound of so many steps upon tile

The newborn attempt to find the elevator

We all reach its doors together

The question is the same

Up or down?

Posted in Poetry | Tagged , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Sitting On The Dock Of The Bay

15b6c8c22b6ebe507ab21a8b9b65e2ad

I sat down for a beer at a bar called “Dock Of The Bay”.  One was brought by a handsome little bartender named ….. Ah, fuck I don’t know. I was halfway through my beer, reading a piece-of-shit novel named Howard’s Hind End when the bartender starts whistling.  I thought what the fuck? This is no time and place to be whistling. There are beers to serve and deep-fried tater tots to dunk in boiling oil. You know, dried up pieces of batter, claiming to have potatoes in them that mysteriously taste like fish sticks.

He must have heard me, because that’s when he, the whistling bartender, returned with a bowl of foul smelling tater tots and placed them in front of some unsuspecting glut who suffered from an extreme stomach protrusion, named in its kinder version, a beer belly. Right next to the plate of steaming heart attack was a small bowl filled with some orangey goo with tiny green alien particles mixed evenly inside its custard. Whatever you do, don’t call them pickles. I was just getting over the initial stench when the tater tot eater started to whistle! That’s right, two blokes from my burb were puckering their way through happy hour, creating a duet that would make Sonny & Cher look like virtuosos.

Hey, I’m trying to read a novel jerk-asses. It may be not a very good novel, but damn, if I want to read something bad I should be given space to do so. You’ve got tater tots to worry about. Shouldn’t balloon man be filling his endless bag of belt-held storage called his stomach, and leaving Mr. Nameless a tip that won’t make a ding in his teeth bleaching bills?

I moved to a table outside and resumed Chapter 33 of Howard.  I read about an uptight woman, who was about to marry someone she didn’t want to marry, because she was accused of winking at a bartender (This is when I looked up to see if Mr. Nameless was lurking around looking guilty), leading her to social ruin. (Hey, it’s a Victorian thang mother fucker. Don’t try to understand.) Apparently, this was also the cause of her picking out bad furniture for a palace. See what flirting will do. And that’s when it happened.

My protagonist, who I had been following through 33 chapters of painful nothingness, who would never touch a tater tot in her life or else she be forced into prostitution, started to whistle! That’s when all the whistles (I mean alarms) went off!

 

One year later, influenced by the whistling encounter, my PhD dissertation turned out to be how incidental inharmonic noise, heteroglossia, and contrapuntal reading led 19th century realism to blossom into Modernism. I whistled a happy tune (In tune, by the way).

 

Posted in Flash Fiction | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

Two Lips

56ab49dec0840a8a9a8ac77fac34a858

You look so new tonight.

I remember those wild lips….that

I was frightened to kiss.

 

Then,

 

I’ve never listened to my fears

Passing by them, feeling

My triumph from meager beginnings

The medieval beginnings of us

Into an age of reason

Our passionate verse becoming

Sensible prose

Materializing into a lucid love

 

Yet,

 

My fears have defeated me

Into states of wilted forms

Unable to stop the trampling

Nights of tears, the years

That can only be blamed upon myself

And the rigid forms of uncertainty

Established by a host of rules

Stretched out in never ending handwriting

Powerless to put the right words together

 

Our undoing?

 

I find it funny, that all I wanted

Was a calmness, a quietude

A place

Between your Anthropocene blankets

Use what literature we have

Sing as poets

Plot as fiction

 

And now,

 

You appear to me tonight

With your face fresh, blushed

Warmer than before

Almost feverish

I don’t know these familiar lips 

Perhaps, I never did

Posted in Poetry | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 34 Comments

Losing The Ability To Be Lost

730fa4e8c644ba61e652814127f847eb

Our roads, once trails of patted dirt

Unsure of the shape they would make

Indented upon the denseness of dust

Plains, forest, mountains, and brush

Containing rough unclear pathways

Forks of misdirection, choices full of haze

Where wisdom’s mark once picked

The path, guided by rounded stars

 

Now, we have paved our roads

Wandering upon them as they glow

Without fear of losing our way

In the gut of night and skin of day

Thick oiled-down gravel compacted

Lit by strings of light channeled

Never ending stripes of white

As if they have bone and marrow

We are filled with directions to

The solidifying shape of upcoming curves

 

Strange,

We are forever found

forever

Posted in Poetry | Tagged , , , , , , , | 29 Comments

Ardor Sustenance

Maestro Photography

Maestro Photography

Your heat is about me

It is a blanket, a cloak of feverishness

An eternal wrap of rays

Heating my outer shell ……brittle

Seeping into my inner softness.

 

At times you hold me too tight…then

I become a burner, whitest of flame

As if the air within my throat

Turns to wet fire and light

And whoever I touch

(Even the world)

Will be singed, burnt into glow

 

I’m in denial of your grip

Burrowing inside tall greenhouses

Filled with the hazy scent of air conditioner

My numbed fingers upon triggers,

Computer keys full of messages

About you, in response to you

Talk of sustaining our relationship

 

I see you spying upon me

Dampened by tinted windows

Only a simple film divides us

Your eyes are too bright

Not to be noticed

Once they have laid their gleam

 

Knowing I have caught you

You enter…….extending your touch

Lovingly

Upon my naked arm

 

Posted in Poetry | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

Read It Silently

385c230d8a463d8ddd7e8976170be3f8

Noise is ambiguous

Defying structure and foundation

Tearing apart tonal centers

Widening the dynamic range for

Marginalized sounds to enter

Upon established modes of harmonization.

These frayed frequencies splinter

Throwing confusion upon the lucid

Intelligible and comprehensible.

Systems are placed upon

The deconstructive vibrations.

Experimental scores, transistors,

Amplifications, effects, and mistakes.

Their chaos id recorded, looped, and sampled

Into a theorized and summarized

New structure of voices

From outside the horizontal staves.

And in the attempt to universalize

All sound into an understanding,

Human slips of physicality

Or unconscious tuning between

Frequencies of causalities

Lead to more uncertainty

Exposing the maximal peripheral static

A halo of buzz, a deafening aura

Proving that there is and never

Has been such a thing as harmony

It is only a rule among many.

All notes are constantly

Hitting our bodies from everywhere.

Noise, then, must be included

In the greater sound check.

Exclusion is impossible

 

You tell me that words

Are different.

That they must convey

At least a simple apprehensible

Structure of silence

I say, listen to your head

As you read.

Posted in Poetry | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

Street Fair

282e239f6099b8fb5293d9dcb8a412da1. 1. Repeat offender vendors

Who set up to break down

 

2. The song remains the same

Only the avenue changes.

 

3. Livingroom rehearsed musicians

Exposing themselves to the elements

Of being ignored

 

4. Shaky Kombucha addicts

Wait in line for their fix

Of sour fermentation

 

5. Corporate bakeries pretend

To be small time organic

Moms and pops

 

6. Petitioners harass people

Who already agree with them

 

7. Two Goth girls act like it’s the eighties

Even though they were born in the nineties

 

8. A misting tent at the hostel.

Finally, those stinky street kids

Can get a shower.

 

9. Fresh locally roasted coffee

Imported from Central America

Stationed in Airstream trailers

Strategically placed at every other intersection

 

10. Fresh squeezed lemonade

Direct from concentrate

Add sugar — $1.00 extra

 

11. Weekend hippies with dusty new top hats

Complimented with a crow feather

Pot-leaf t-shirt and Birkenstocks….

They know that computer coding Monday

Is only a sunset away

It’s called “back to virtual reality”.

 

12. Fortune tellers conjuring narratives

For the fortunate few

“I see a person in your life”

It just so happens, we all do.

 

13. Beer gardens on both ends

Making sure the stumbling

Hop alongs stay within the fair

 

14. Local insurance office

Sets up a bounce house

Proving that accidents do happen

 

15. Smoked ribs and other carcasses

On display

 

16. New Seasons Market booth

Stocks out-of-season produce.

Hey, it’s in the name

They are making up new seasons

As they go.

 

17. Hemp totes, hemp ropes

Hemp ladders, hemp matters

Hemp paper, hemp traders

Dopes on hemp, hemp belts on dopes

 

18. Clown balloon “artists”

Makes swords

For kids to thwack the shit out

Of each another

Americans learn young

 

19. “Free hot dogs and pop!”

As long as stomachs last

Posted in Lists | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 29 Comments

Polyrhythm

Photo by Elan Mudrow

Photo by Elan Mudrow

Our bodies move between layers

Like leaves, who dance beneath

Aggressive heat….waiting….

For the bite of upcoming chill

Who consumes, as it always will

Our cycle of touch and thought

Bending our tired sinews caught

In ignorance of the ground

Soon to lie upon.

Clinging to a self-definition

Initiated by our budding

That first feast….consummation of light

 

With dry edges we seek to extend feelings

Of old sparking petals who love stealing

Shafts of pounding earthly bound sun.

We are aware from first dew milk dawn

That we know, all life is sandwiched

Between larger vacuums of cold

And upon completion

When knowledge plays its last card

Our bodies, without consent

Refuse to stop dancing

 

I see the leaves swirl violently

With their skeletons

More fiercely then they did

When juicy bodies of greenest complexion

Took in all elemental surprise

To drink the sun with the smoothest of hands

Loveliest of faces and shapely skin…Now

Twirling brown, far into new year’s play

When snow melts for the aggressor’s return

Many have been paved into soil.

Beaten into pulp by the very planet

Who supplemented their synthesis

Becoming the very ground they never knew

 

Awareness isn’t everything

Life doesn’t necessarily use it

All of the time

Neither does love

Even though we think they should

 

We are dancing now

Within our own selfish lovemaking

Applying our eternalness

 To the world

Wondering why no one else

Can feel the strength of our sprout

I choose to lay underneath you

For my body is glistening with

A hope I have no name for

Posted in Poetry | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 37 Comments

World Wide Word Debt

f88cf4fa2caf7c1f718cb18b28d4a351

Photo by Madeline Rockery

  1. Letters of intent, e-mails of rejection, notices of eviction, templates full of blank communication.
  2. Crazy love-talk, whiskey arguments, sweet nothings muttered ad hoc.
  3. Directions to signposts pointing back to directions. A sad sign of an editor’s directionless infections.
  4. Notes on napkins, smeared love potential, ball point penned, complete with missing periods
  5. Tweets, a 144 mosquitos buzzing itchiness into verse. Followers spray with their insecticide mirth.
  6. Submission rules, game rules, the ruling class and rules of engagement. Fortunately, words have rules of disarrangement.
  7. Author of the month, author of the year and they keep on authorizing. Sign here.
  8. Summation, contemplation, a unifying theory. We keep looking for one word, that explains the entire turd.
  9. The Ten Commandments never asked please, leaving us all screwed. I think The Word is by any definition, rude!
  10. Essays saved by the cloud, poems strung-out on word processor, welcome to the misty mountain syntax gatherer.
  11. Chap books in need of lip balm, romance novels buying six packs. Scripts come in a series of lewd acts.
  12. More writing than reading have sentences in a sweat. Even flash fiction—free writes take time, my sweet pet. Writers are always in severe word debt.
Posted in Lists | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 41 Comments

Smile Baking

5feac499131b5c71daf968b38b77d58e

I bake this smile

To a golden brown grin

It’s my choice

How it curls upon my face

I can set the timer

To tender and loving

Or longer

To smug and smartass… you see

I will shape it as I see fit

Perhaps, I will add more

Snappy sugar…and

it’ll be a tender smartass

A lover of smug, or a crispy smirk

I cook this happy crescent cookie

With my own kind of dough

 

If perchance, my smile

Were to run into your frown

During a cake walk

Don’t get uptight

We’ve all dealt with fallen sweets

Redefine your dough

Maybe you need a pinch

More pompous in the mix

Or a tidbit less sneer

Ask your lover for a bit more butter

Measure the milk

Using your own cup

Don’t let anyone

Put your smile in the oven

Before it has had time

To rise

Posted in Poetry, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 26 Comments