A Day in the Life

What determines
the speed of pee
in the morning?

Who gets to choose
when to italicize,
and what makes
a how or what a why?

What determines
the rights of the wrong
later on in this night?

A Fountain of Feelings

Corn chips
and chickpeas
are what I call
dinner when

it gets too late
for friends
in the spotlight.

It’s easy to judge
from the side
of the court;

it’s hard to swallow
all the jelly jams
we tend to retort.

When I hear
ossified threats,
I’m prepared

to sweat it all
out of my tips
and drip until
I’m disjointed.

A Fox Burrows Anywhere, Anyway

Why would anyone lie
about being from New Hampshire?

I’m not sure anyone might
envy those sorts of puritanical roots.

Set yourself free in light
shone from the granite shore stacks.

A decade ain’t too much to
divorce at your insufferable marker.

A Latitudinal Tumble, A Narrow Passage

At one point
in my young life,
not so long ago,
I lived on a dusty hill,
littered with spicy poems.

Back then,
I had three fridges:
one for food,
one for beer,
one for items not to be consumed.

It’s not that I was being
extravagant;
it’s just that I like options,
and I like compromise,
but energy is money.

Now I live on a calmer hill
with a cooler base—
one fridge went to North Dakota,
one went to Alaska,
one went to Texas.

Abalone

Scoop up my spine
from Koreatown—
no spice left inside.

I am a rare mollusk,
souped up as best
as this city permits.

Accented Markers

Unbuttoned
Unzipped

Hushed lips
Among a cohort

&

An assortment
Of obstacles

Are lost until
We’re overcome

Actual / Virtual

accept embrace
informal format
body repetitions
wobbly signature
end conversation

Adjectival

I contributed
to the confusion,
but from what
was it derived?

Ahem, Amen!

What happens
to a dream
deferred?

I’ve asked myself
that question
a few times.

But my answer
is different
in Pittsburgh,
in Richmond,
in Los Angeles;
yours is different,
too...in Harlem.

I’ve been told
a lot of Bukowski bros
have now become
freshly woke.

There are so many
new terms—
I feel like
I have quarters
jammed
in both of my ears.

Play me a song
on the jukebox;
play me anything
other than Drake.

Alameda

Strut along the post-
shady-lane streets.

Something will sprout;
some things will never
come about, no matter
how deep the weeds.

Nights spread upon
us under moonlight.

And while on the out-
skirts of a technical
world, big boxes fill
up with judgments.

Aleatoric Work

If you put in
forty hours
or more, well,
anything is
possible, huh?

American Independence

What’s one off day
and fifty bucks?

A slip-up
is still
a slip-up,

and slipping sucks.

If you only had two options,
would you pick
a place with a name
where people know yours,
or would you prefer
to stay in a concrete cocoon
wrapped in flannel and foam
while the air conditioner
tells you to go home?

An abject object

tumbles down
the slanted stairwell;
an apologetic operation
brought me back
up to the first floor,
where I lost my limbs
for a few months—
they’re back now,
and I can hold my heart
and palm my face
and walk away
from every single
canceled conversation.

Apres Spa

I wake up
just before noon.

This weekend,
there are no rules.

I can still smell
the oils on my back.

I roll over a bit
to lick salt off your neck.

I play with the wisps
hiding beneath your armpits.

Don’t ever change;
be the woman you want to be.

As Well

I have made
peace with
your decision.

I have made
peace with
myself, as well.

Ate on Sixth

Shadow boxer,
French dipper?

Who are you,
tonight?

The medicine
has overflown.

The mental state
has underwhelmed.

The Internet
is the jungle
in its prime.

It’s time to get
back to writing,
back to reading.

Attendant Self

I guess
I’ll be guessing

Who what when where why?

I’m nonplussed
Plus one

Is this how far I have come?

Austerity Plus

the chemical patina
of contemporary relics
compels me to inquire
within the labyrinth.

every turn becomes a sick burn.

I can be a morgue poet
at night and in the day.

I can be a rogue pinball
for months at this rate.

I can be nothing more
than a prudent prophet,

one year too old to be so bold.

my pants are short,
my shirt is painted;
my coat is loose,
my lips are tight.

I have learned a life of silence.

my secrets are yours;
your secrets are sworn
under my wild oaths

on both trembling sides
of each state’s lines—
here, there, or where?

Banchan

Foreplay
is a beautiful
tasty thing.

Banquet Duet

New York,
you work.

New Jersey,
you’re alluring.

I’m the King of Toilets;
she’s the Queen of Flushing.

We’re both in love
with Los Angeles.

We’re both home
with each other.

Basura

The heater
is smoking;
the heeder
is fouling;
the header
is cowling.

Dip the tip
in the mud;
rip some sips,
feel like crud;
cup the nups,
butt the smog.

Beaten Paths

In Chinatown,
a man with many
accents
tells a cabbie
he’ll fuck his mother—
his wife and daughter,
too.

Across the Hudson,
a white walker
steams her vanilla ice
and spits vodka juice
at a stout Sim
who goes by the name
“Denim Jeff.”

Fifty yards
down the grove,
one may learn
how fib trees grow;
grisly bears approach
drugged queens
and drag pegged paws home.

In the subways,
on the streets,
the subs and doms
are subject to meet;
it happens—
a stance,
cold feet.

Bedtime

When I’m supine
I’m prone to fear
the low feelings
of being alone.

Behind the Stage Name

Awakened from the fog:

There are too many
spaces in this cemetery;
the headstones are all
misspelled—how childish.

How a child can change
the rest of your life,
even if you’ve yet to know
what it means to grow.

I think I’ll lay down here.

Biathlon Man

I’ve jumped the gun before,
like when that bank robbed me
and made me a better sport—

now, I feel safe with my speed;
now, I feel gung-ho, and more-
over, I feel more open to see.

Big Hit

If I were a singer,
I’d speak the blues.

But I’m a writer;
I read the news.

I think it’d be noble
to take a shit at Nobu.

Wouldn’t it be nobler
just to piss with you?

When I top 40,
I’ll be a big hit.

Blessed to be Cursed

Some might call me
a son of a bitch
but those who do
can go to hell;
my mom is a saint.

Bon Voyage

Today, I say
goodbye
to the chase.

Today, I say
goodbye
to the city.

Today, I say
goodbye
to America.

Tomorrow,
I will live in
your hotel.

Boys Too Men As Well

Thick viscous
stains, soaked
on crumpled
canvas pain.

I’m in my office;
he’s in his cave.

Double-dash
single dads
on Monday
night, football.

Bruise Trail

My clavicle is moist
My cavities are yellow

The edited inaccuracy
Has harshed my mellow

I’ll drag my knuckles
As I convulse through
Contemporary discourse

I’ll sag my backbone
To at least sort of placate
The now-tabled sources

C-Note

Cysts on my balls,
cysts on my brain,
cysts on my face,
teabagged again.

Camaraderie

Loneliness is a noun,
but it doesn’t explain how
we get to feeling alone.

Togetherness is a town,
but we’re frayed like days
spent down in the throes.

Cape Cod Mix

Is there extra space
in the paragraph?

Is there extra space
in your station wagon?

Don’t mind me;
I’m just eating myself again.

It’s no bother at all;
I’ll just write alone on the deck.

Capitol Hill | Format Hell

Crowd the line;
cloud the ruler.

Acid rain drops
down on my keys
like Papyrus font
on a digital screed.

Bears, bulls,
and moose
are wigging
the fuck out.

What year is it, anyway?

I want my tea to be green;
I’m tired of that Earl Grey.

Cat’s Nip

Felix told me
he thinks I’m
a true talent.

I don’t know
much about
Felix, really.

But I must say,
I think Felix is
right about me.

Cellular Novella

A virus in both my ears
from bad technology.

Bacteria in my bad gut
from the stress of God.

Let me write a few pages
about hammer-and-sickle-
style oppression, wielded
by myself on myself; okay?

I’ll send it to you via text,
after I’m done breathing
into these balloon bags.

Let me know when you
receive it? Let me know
if you still need me; okay?

Cherub with Cigar

Cheers to me
and my men!

Haze in the gaze
of my black glasses
on my baby face;
graze the remains
of spilled chills
in my dry hands.

False-positive,
always negative!

Christian Brunch Vibes

I wrapped
my dry lips

around the neck
of a natural bottle

to slowly drain
fermented honey
from the barrel

the desert dies
for nobody but
it can be death

as the moon set
firmly in the sky
a dog lapped up
his piss in peace

shortly thereafter
I reached inside
the refrigerator for
melted marijuana

Christian Science Choir

A sunflower seed
gets lodged in
my left foot crate.

I don’t panic
as I plod along.

Earth has given
me goodness
and I shall rejoice.

This will feed
at least one beak.

Baby bird’s friends
sing solos to me
and I applaud them.

Church Bell Snooze

Banged my skull
against the night—

standing down,
horizontally plumb.

The temperature
has dropped like
twenty degrees
in three hours.

The desert is
a wild bitch
on peyote.

Ding dong!

Cling On

Sometimes my
stiff little fingers
can’t extend like
they want to do.

Sometimes they
are as flexible
and mobile as
they need to be.

Sometimes they
just don’t speak
the same tongue
as those that wrap.

Cloud in the Sky

The irony of timing
is a heart-stomper;

my bruised valves still pump,
my rusty blood still flows,
but it’s hard to catch breaths
with these swollen paws.

When I first received
the concept of death,
I wasn’t able to perceive,
and it’s like, that’s okay

until it’s no longer
a sappy happy hour.

Let me ask you:
How many quarters
did you put in the meter?

Let me ask you:
Can you continue to
take this toll together?

Colloquially Coastal

Inbred heirs
with their
ingrown hairs;
outer-borough
fears, out-
of-body stares.

I haven’t been back
to New York
in ages; do the places
I like still exist?

I’m fine with fermentation;
I’m drunk at Souplantation.

On May Day,
I remember
my purpose.

Coastal Ledes: Additions & Others

The gun shots
have stopped;
he can come out
of the closet now.

What’s the difference
between the Great Plains
and the Middle East:
worshipped prophets?

I’m somewhere halfway
between Irvine and Davis;
ants munch on the mulch,
as I drive up to the Mission.

I left the bowls
at home—what
will I drink, what
will I smoke?

Combos

Let’s go for a ride,
write a lengthy book,
and not look to the sides.

Conceptual Post

If one in a hundred
million ideas lives,
celebrate the day.

Constant Vows

I only ever start things
I intend to finish,
and a life is only as long
as you plan it out.

Take your time,
but please don’t make
me take up mine
on the company dime.

I spin my wheels around
frosty parking lots,
and I spin my ring around
my inflamed finger.

Convincer

Happiness
is a gun.

Life shoots
blanks, and
then, you
are done.

Loneliness
is a slum.

Life stacks
pranks, and
then, you
are glum.

Convocation

A frozen face
in a sterile place.

Industrial imagery
in organic enclosures.

Plot twist!
A knotted kiss
on a cliquish
college campus.

School’s been out
forever, for years now.

Intellect espoused
never; no more now.

Copy That

When fresh water
meets a fresh face,

and aged mud swiftly
sticks to pawned paws,

the pace gets pasted
to the tracks of time.

Cottage, Hill

Hindsight at the VIP lounge
with a psychiatric gambler:
Contemporary art, whatever.

Smoking skinny cigs
with his new avatar:
Did he let go of HR?

The scent of French perfume
has now entered my nostrils:
I’ll draw her face onto mine.

I gave up my armor
when I gave into love:
I still have my flashlight.

Alone in a cottage;
alone on the hill.

Counter Lean, Come to Lay

In the morning,
she sniffs nightshades
by the sink and
shares her vulnerability.

In the afternoon,
I serve and volley like
the partner I want
to be; uh, I need to be.

We’re playing doubles
on grass, love-love;
we’re working sculptures
in clay, hands in gloves.

Courting Chair

You dropped fancy food
and fried flowers on my lap.

This isn’t Los Angeles;
this isn’t New York;
this isn’t Pyongyang;
this is adulthood.

I will drop into your nest
and crack your eggs for you.

Crab in a Cage

I poked my tongue
with a pole—bear
with me, my dear.

I can’t stand this
feeling—the sand
that swirls around
under my tongue,
between my teeth.

I’m infected with
guilt and shame,
and I’m to blame.

Crosswalk Donuts

I’ve conditioned myself
to rinse my stubbly skull
at least once every two
times I step into my cell.

I blame myself
for any misfortune
I might suffer;
large or small,
365 days a year,
and now, I’m 34.

Sometimes I can
walk in circles
like a metalhead
in Pasadena,
as the semaphore
naturally cycles.

Sometimes I slam dunk
my face into caffeine
and cross my fingers
while I air out my swag.

Dangling Modifiers

I hang my lower extremities
off a vintage window curtain.

Sand grinds up between
each of my ten toes, but
I’m not worried about it
entering any other cracks;
I’m a man of cloth today,
cotton covers my ass right.

Bugs bite my ankles like
roaches on a rotten pile
of Twinkies in the sewage
pipes of a Buffalo diner
in the third or fourth hour
of an unexpected morning.

There are no bison roaming
this beach; I see gulls flying,
babies crying, and old citrus
getting more rotten with each
minute that passes; hey Julie,
can we maybe go to the mall?

I’d like to dangle my modifiers
in a food court now; I’m thirsty.

Desperation, D.C.

I’m in a K-Hole
down on K Street.

Trees talk to trees
through their roots
we’ll never see.

Some families
fuck each other;
others give it
to the plebes.

If you’re looking towards
the future, you better
look in another direction.

There’s nothing here
but the fog of a bother.

Dial File

I switch

from AM
to FM
to PM

while on
my search

for audio
and visual
and sexual

pleasure.

Diplomacy Now

I slid rubber
skids into
nailed lumber.

Shoes be gone;
shows be strong.

I separated water
from vinegar
and poured it down.

Shout-out to all
the difficult people.

Donkey Ditch: The Corporal World

There is no brass
in tacky sax solos.

Free jazz is so expensive
in urban cemetery lawns.

What’s the matter
with Arkansas, Bill?

What’s in your wallet
when you shake it, Hill?

Superpredatory loans
always got sharks fishing.

You know, Florida man’s at it
at all hours, from all angles.

Smoke a cig, smoke a J;
rip a riff, split a spliff.

One to three steps,
and then you’re dead.

Doormat

Welcome
to my life.

Welcome
to my house.

Hump my leg;
watch berries
roll down a hairy
staircase until
it’s time for tea;
rage with me.

Midweek;
mid-thirties.

Cobbled soul;
no time to worry.

Double-A Notation

Sometimes
It’s okay to be partial

Adulterated
&
Accelerated

The typos
Write Themselves
At the special house

At night
On hump days
Once the light is right

Unstitched
&
Unhinged

It’s okay to come apart
Sometimes

Dreaming of Deserts

in the middle
of a summer night—

can we leave tomorrow,
all right?

Don’t trust
my judgment;

don’t trust
my genius.

But trust me when I say
I trust us.

Let’s move beneath the moon;
let’s soak in the sun.

Drunks in the Limelight

Oh, my bad
for not recognizing
your subtle flourishes.
Can I buy you a drink?

It’s all good
for now, so you say,
but it’s day’s end here.

How about that drink?

Dull Drums

hairy aides
heavy crust
ultra aches
up the punx

Edible Word Arrangements

Out here, oily canvassing
for self-representation;
someone’s got to make
a name in the game.

Moldy raspberries
molded by plastic
caskets remind me
of why I’m alone.

Fools gone wholly
with the cold wind,
and it’s freezing,
even in Los Angeles.

Headlines wrapped
around my head like
a babushka—the hairs
spike like a hard kiwi.

Permafrost nostalgia
for lit candles I’ve
never come to blow;
now, I suck on yolks.

Executive Privilege (Raw Power)

A pompous parrot whistles along to the chaotic chorus of coyotes, and the Jamaican percussionist tries to regain his rhythm all night. Say a prayer for a full moon and a fertile season. Say, you don’t know what time it is, do you?

The acceptance of neuroses is both a blessing and a curse. I wasn’t lying when I said I’d start to prioritize better. But honestly, I’m having a hard time standing.

Take me to the operating table. Make my mind and body equally able. Don’t let these officers get the best of me; don’t let them near you, either.

Extra Space

Sometimes a sentence
needs extra space—too
many characters on one
line.

Fact, Simile

Ancient hats
on modern men
don’t make sense
to senseless pundits.

It’s like when hens go
home and expect
their chickenshit
cocks to roost.

Fall from Grace

Oh, god!

My pants are getting too loose
for me once again,
and there’s nothing I can do
but tug on threads
or tie them with a new noose.

Oh, god!

Fantasy Junkies

Most-watched
or top-rated?

Morgan Fairchild
in syndication;
Fairfield Porter
is primetime posh.

Spicy menu gone
wild; to be fair,
I only ever need
a nosh to co-sign.

Strike spared deets
and gut credit clean
until you’re bowling
for Pepperdine.

Most-hated
or top dogs?

Fashionably Straight

I’ve been mad dehydrated
since the start of summer.

I’ve been limping along
since my first senior year.

It’s so sad to choke
on your own words.

It’s even sadder to puff out
your chest while smoking.

I’ve got a golden finger now,
and wow, concrete for feet.

I’ve got lead-protected trousers
for when I need to be iron chic.

Flesh Spot Dive

I ingest mountains
of bromelain
and turmeric

now that I’m more
serious about
being a man.

I’m like, you know,
an American hyena
in a nickel-and-dime

supermarket, or
at least I have been
for a quarter of my life.

Forty Ounces to Wherever

“I’m wet.”

“Can you take me to the hospital?”

“I’m not supposed to be here.”

“This is not my neighborhood.”

“Never mind, homie. You have a nice day.”

Free Consultation

Love can be a lump
of coal in your throat.

The pain is internal;
the pain is external.

Love can be a load
of come in your throat.

The pain is internal;
the pain is external.

Fresh & Wild

I am pink like salmon
at a commie convention.

My poetry is humanistic;
my verses can be Satanic.

Sometimes my free mind
gets so misplaced like
a bag of frozen berries
in a suburban grocery.

Sometimes my worn body
gets stiff or goes limp;
the line gets finer and finer,
and green gets lost in time.

Friendship Commission

Full speed to commit;
fool’s creed to spit.

No desire to conspire;
no want to front.

Partners en route;
lovers en plain air.

Best friends for life;
my tongue don’t lie.

Get a Clue!

This is the
message;
this is the
branding;
what is the
this then?

God Finger

would be a great name
for a rock and roll band
but it’s nearly impossible
for a rock and roll band
to be great this century.

Goodwill

I donated all my problems
to a local yard sale.

The preteen asked me
if I needed a receipt.

I told her I didn’t…
I told her I didn’t need anything.

Graphic Design

Big bold fonts create confusion, and this grim generation deteriorates.

Graphic Report

The whole of the cowardly
gapes for all to comprehend;
but instead, we tend to focus
on the lesser deets—the nape
is prickly like a Tucson crook,
the parietal plateaus with the
occipital brewing a cult below;
the teeth turn yellow, of course,
and lips get skinned redder than
the hips of an eighties Corvette.

Great Allegheny

I regret so many
choices from my
teen-plus years.

I could have just
tucked in my pride
and not run away.

I regret I trusted
any adults who had
never written a word.

I could have listened
to my instincts, but then
I’d have lost my lessons.

Great Neck

Her neck is long.

Her limbs protrude
past her cloth limits.

We sip on caffeine
in the crispness
of coastal winter.

I try to guess her
favorite shellfish—
where can we get
some at this hour?

Grim Buffet

You chopped a foot off
just to get ahead.

I cropped a head out
just to stand again.

What’s wrong with
this picture?

What’s wrong with
this life?

Would you rather
spoon my eyes out,
or feed me visions
with a wet knife?

Grinding, Grounded

I don’t ever know my size
when I’m in other countries.

[pause]

My hammies are stiff;
my bones are stiffer.

My family is love;
my friends are livers.

[resume]

I can’t ever see my eyes
when I’ve come in peace.

Groundhog Day

When words are repeated,
they can become choruses
or mantras, or they can just
be bullshit. I’m just as tired
as you are, but at least you
get the sleep you need—or
at least you do, sometimes.

When actions are taken,
they give real meaning
to the recycled phrases;
when facts are impacting,
trust can be so engaging;
when I get the rest I want,
I can be such a husband.

Half-Mast United

I was dragging warm rubber
along suburban streets
when I was outbid on myself
by an American sniper.

His lenses were rustic,
my fingers were rusty,
and I was left for dead
by the dumpling house.

Don’t bring chrysanthemums
to my customary funeral;
you’ll only make my relatives
cry harder than necessary.

Half Past Pico

I saw an empty storefront
lit with fluorescent bulbs
as thin as me. There was
a neon sign on the outside
that simply said it was open.

When I held out my hand
and grabbed for the handle,
the door was locked and my
brain was shocked. I felt so
lonely, but I was surrounded.

Hallucination

I pulled some string
from my slacks,

and here’s the thing
about facts:

they’ll unravel
like old fabric,

but only if
you let them.

Help Wanted Ad

Looking for a partner
Preferably over 30
Without daddy issues
Who goes barefoot to bed
Eats somewhat healthy
Will walk with me in pain
Will drive me to the doctor
Is closed off to small talk
Is open to disagreement
Believes in wealth redistribution
Doesn’t believe in God
And is critical without bias
Oh must hate cops

Hollywood Inn

Hold on,
hold on to
lumps tonight.

Sleep over,
sleepover—
Hilton or Hyatt?

Only at the Dreams,
you’ll see what I mean.

Home Economics / Talking Heads

A man is a man in his world;
a woman is a woman, too.

But why strike out possibilities
in such expanding markets?

Stay open for business
in the East and the West.

I mean, why would you go let
red states give you blue balls?

Just remember one thing:
No sex in the karaoke room.

Hoops & Loops

Sometimes
my brain farts
and
my mouth shits.

My waist
is getting smaller;
my legs
are getting longer.

Will you
put another notch
in my belt?

Will you
rub arnica oil
on my flesh?

Hot Pursuit, Cold Shoulder

One step
on another step,
next to those
that came before.

Can you feel
the outsides of the insoles
scraping against
the cracks of the county?

And here, there’s not much
beyond these chemicals
to prevent a barbequed pig
from getting pulled apart?

Have fun at your dinner party;
have fun blowing bubbles—
I’ll be watching instructional videos
on YouTube, with the dogs.

Hot Towel Hotel

From Washington to Los Angeles
From Beijing to Hong Kong

The pain is centered
The nerves are stricken

There is no more luxury
There is no comforting

Give me soft treatment
Give me hard money

It’s Washington and Beijing
That have forgotten humanity

Human Sundays

We are both
the beginning
and the end.

We are both
the activities
and the rest.

We are both
the prayers
and the sins.

Hyperthymia

I’m a warm plate
made of ornately
narrative ceramic.

Can we open a window?

Can we open our minds?

I get lost in the vibes
and you lose your cool
with all my plot lines.

[I Will] Call a (Female) Doctor

Wednesday was a wreck
Thursday was a tempest
Friday’s come and gone

The weekend will forever
Be a maximum ultimatum
And that’s a bet I’ll take

Afternoons are warmer
Than I ever remember

I guess God has decided
To take long naps forever

My glasses keep sliding down
My slim bridge to neuroses

I peer through clawed fog
With strangers staring back

I don’t want to feel alone
I want you to feel at home
Please pick up your phone

I don’t want to feel alone
I want you to feel at home
Please pick up your phone

I Chat My Message

Hardly wearing
soft wares, you
really turn me on.

If I didn’t

...maybe you did,
or maybe you would.

When I’m alone,
late at night,
I wonder about
alternative lifestyles
and alternate lives.

I think to myself,
“What if I had moved
to Vegas or Frankfurt?”

I think to myself,
“What if I had never
donated free energy?”

If I hadn’t...

Illustrated Song

I’m stacking logs
behind a rural
Sunoco station,
and rehashing
hash in every form.

Bone Thugs hype
hour in my own
private zone;
disjointed vibes,
ready to get gone.

I’m a chorus of one,
I believe what I want.

I’m a chorus of none,
I gave up what I’d begun.

Now what’s the difference
between verses and versus?

Actions are not above words.

I’m Getting Old

There is no longer
anger in my bones.

Anxiety comes,
anxiety goes.

Oh, I used to crave control;
now, I understand freedom
is forever a foreign concept,
and power swells the head.

There is no longer
knots in my gut.

Neuroses only
keeps one put.

Improv Advice

Never try
to be witty
while lying
on a gurney.

Incubator

I remember some calculus, and I have finally calculated an apology, but it’s after hours. Sober people say that nothing good comes in the early morning hours, and they’re probably right. Well, other than newborns.

In Lieu

of the mortification
that comes without
said prior information
I must ask you now

I reckon I must know
I know I have mentioned

and I get you must go
and so I must question

okay in reference to
our earlier conversation
what would you do
about the quoted situation?

Infinite Line

I dare you
to question
yourself.

I doubt
you’ll get
to the point.

Interstitial Poem

I could have
sold cold drinks
to a stranger
from Craigslist.

I would have
contorted limbs
waiting to exhale
for a space race.

I should have
piled paper
but instead
I was a friend.

“It’s complicated”

is what people say
when they accept
their insecurities.

It’s Gonna Take Some Guts

No more cheap slices
for this busted boy;
no more coffee talk
with smoke breaks,
either, all right?

I have extracted
most of the toxins.

But you can still find
me with a vodka soda
and a nourishing novel
on heavy metal nights;
don’t look hard, okay?

I am a deft coyote
shifting investments.

Izakaya Manual of Style

I ate the shell
of a ginkgo nut,
because why not?

Dry mouth wags the dogs
with the leakiest of guts.

The salt of the earth
assaults me whether
I ingest it as a double
dash, or into my colon.

At night, dogs make a pact
to become benign wolves.

I idle in a malignant
queue of vehicles,
I guess, oh well.

Jersey World

I’ve gotten manhandled
in Manhattan;
I’ve been broken down
in Brooklyn;
I’ve become quixotic
in Queens...

But I’ve always
seen earth flatten
on the streets
of New Jersey.

Jesuit Still

Can I measure
my guilt and shame
with a ruler,
or do I need to
extend some tape
from fingers to floor?

You decide if I
ought to be smacked
or whipped.

I’ll choose how I
deal to move forward
with my chagrin.

Joel

He is a good man
with solid footing;
he offers advice
on commerce and
communication;
he has two wives
and many sandals.

Jukebox Poem

The stools don’t get
any higher after two,
or four, if you’re so bold.

There are puddles
out piling by the pool.

The parking doesn’t die
down, even if the traffic
has eased up on your mind.

There are anthems for
every bad decision alive.

June Groom

I poked each
of my five fingers
into the package—
it’s not my primary
method, but now
I’m secondary.

I have a wife;
she makes me
feel more alive.

My wife makes
me feel more
like a passenger.

But I drive us
on the roads.

I can feel my band
tap against the wheel
when I’m steering
and the radio is loud.

I can taste the metal
of the molded ring
on the three pieces
of rice I found earlier
in my bagged search.

I have a wife.

Just Is…

Just is a funny word—
I mean, interesting—
I mean, like, as in only,
or, like, as in morally right?

To be fair, you didn’t hear
me the first time I told you
I loved you; I just wanted
to let you know, then and now.

Keith Dreams of Sushi

[Santa Monica]

Salmon and avocado
wrapped in seaweed

[or]

after smoking free weed
is a near-perfect deal.

[Ventura]

Kimono Lies / Thoughtful Eyes

How progressive
of you to have
an open relationship!

I only want to
go to sleep
with my wife.

How progressive
of you to offer me
gluten-free beer!

No, seriously—
I really appreciate
your consideration.

Know Nothing (No Way)

Where’d I put
my orange cylinders?

[I don’t know.]

I was so high,
I brushed my teeth
with hydrocortisone.

[Oh, no.]

Is it fatigue,
or is it fear,
that brings me
to shower in tears?

[I don’t know.]

I don’t mind
body odor,
as long as
it doesn’t smell
like Golden Corral.

[Oh, no.]

Now I’ve got my green,
and I’ve got my red;
I’ve got the organic,
and I’ve got synthetics;
I’ve got good times ahead.

[Okay.]

Kosher Salt

All my sorriest days
are far behind me,
but I’ll still apologize
for your future worries.

I tried to let you know;
I tried to stay afloat.

But one too many teas
kept me up on my feet,
and Pico felt the weight
of my cracked back. End.

Laborious Defense

Lie like a judge
Lie stiff as a plank

Body as a hammer
Live limb to limb
Give grip to grim
Copies and answer

Get nailed by the law
Get nulled after all

Language Is Contact

A preposition
can be so
precarious,
you know?

What are you for,
what are you about?

Where are you from,
who are you into?

Then again,
pronouns
are perilous.

Lassoed Fault Lines

I’ve got jokes in both of my pockets—
sometimes, I pull one out of one;
sometimes, I peel a fresh banana
and slip before I’m done swallowing.

But I walk on the same streets,
cobbled with my own history;
and I sleep in the same sheets,
wrinkled about my sewn dignity.

I’m no cowboy, I’m no commander;
I’m just a conversationalist, who
refuses to speak with rough riders
in this fractured age of snubbing.

Late-Nite Capers

No more bubbles,
no more battles,
no more troubles.

I’ve said my piece;
I’ve gone mute
to some degree.

My tongue is tied;
it’s now locked
like Nova Scotia.

Laundromat

I found old headphones
in the washing machine.

It’s so difficult to listen
to yourself these days.

I found new memories
in freshly dried pants.

I’ll pocket them this week
and share with you later.

Led to Zed, Not a Thought

Did you realize
I’m self-realized?

Actually, I guess
I’m self-actualized.

I’ve carried all my zeroes;
ctrl-alt-delete theories.

In the year two-thousand
and twenty, I’ll be a query.

Leetspeak Freak (Old News)

Get shorty with me, and I’ll write poetry for you. The philosophy of right on is right off the 110. Articles are wronged every day—it’s a symptom of the times, posted hourly (or weekly) depending on who you ask and how strongly they react. Democracy died out in the open, lit by the ghosts of recent past. It’s us and them, now and then.

Life Life

How many mistakes
are worth repeating?

I am a walkabout—
I wander in wonder;
I ponder, asunder—
that’s what I’m about.

When will the days
cease to be bleeding?

Lonely Cop

Shoot shots
at the bars.

Shoot shots
at the bodies.

No love is real
when you’re blue.

No love is real
when you’re you.

Long Twilight

I really love
the salty smell
of the Westside
of Los Angeles
late at night.

I feel like I can
swim to eternity
when I look out at
the sea or the sky;
I think, Who am I?

Lorem Ipsum Facto

No more peace
West or East;
just the embrace
of lite civility.

It’s called a mood,
and I’m feeling it.

No more wars
in my world
of punks and
dumb fucks.

It’s called attitude,
and I’m living it.

Love All The Time

No champagne
in the sex room!

Some coffee spatter
on the kitchen floor,

scratches and skids
on the dining table.

Eat fire in the sunlight;
swallow swords by night.

RPG in one time zone;
bazooka in another.

New comedy, no drama;
more botany, new mama.

Making a Man

“You’re a technical millennial
in jury-rigged Gen X gear,”
she said to me over lunch.

I didn’t have an auto-reply;
I don’t have much use for
call-outs or clapbacks.

It’s a forest in the real world;
it’s a jungle on the Internet.

I’m just trying to be decent,
while America is “getting great.”

Malabsorption

I’m a bollard on land;
I’m a buoy at sea.

I bob and bleed,
in fog and slogs,
and then I see it.

I process the surely
scripted remittance.

Discount sponges don’t
do the job in premium
market madness, huh?

I’ll soak it up, I’ll suck it up;
I’ll folk it up, I’ll fuck it up.

Material: Download & Upload

Deaf prose
Paltry poesy

A ring around
A fingered foe

Major
Minor

Over
Under

Conflate idioms
Define cachet

Commitment
Can be so passé

Maximum Volume

Drinking seltzer, stoned
in a pornographic pool;

eating shit like a starlet,
licking lips like it’s caviar.

Bubbles on the bottom
of a bruise hanging over
the bite of a beer and
the back of the head—

it’s called hair over here,
it’s called hair everywhere.

She said you better cut it out,
or she’ll pull it for you herself.

May, I Say

The smell of lavender
and the taste of persimmons
make me happy to be alive.

These gems of the world
remind me of you
and you
make me
want to stay alive.

Let’s drive up or down the PCH
until we can see the stars
more clearly.

Let’s climb the hills
near our house
until we can smell the plants
and taste the fruits
more dearly.

Maybe I’m a Country Singer

I’m taking Elavil
for one kind of pain
and Levaquin
for quite another.

I like to give all my friends
an easy in or two
so when the time comes
to count to three
they can always find an out.

I’m saving energy
for one kind of pain
and living thin
for quite another.

Mercury Retrograde Rising

Car wrecks happen
every day in L.A.

She slowly and sloppily
applied her lip balm
in the laundromat
until the soap actor
recited his lines to her.

Some people just
like to take the bus.

Met Life

The falcons don’t rest at night.

If you need to piss,
you better unzip.

The fuckers don’t sleep, alright.

If you need to shit,
you better be quiet.

Milk of the Goat

it’s a wonder how
a man can hug sparks
and mediocrity alike
and like rework words
for an imagined crowd
spilled over for now
until then until when
until I guess it’s time
to toss out goodbyes
left and right all right
all wrong okay okay
poetry is a hard line

Minor Rant

Guilty of not being wrong;
that’s not quite a song,
but I mean, I’ll still sing,
so long as I have some-
thing to glean in this world.

Minutiae Cracks in Hour Glasses

When I wheel my body
into our old kitchen,
I feel the slob of a dog
who’s finna get fed
forming puddles on
the tiles, and I make
my own mental mirrors
on the kitschy wood
you want to replace.

Is it me or the termites
who bug you most of all?

I continue to slide my
limb ride over to you; you,
propped up by the stems
you brought with you,
from the tropical island
that gave you your dirt
and water, too; I’m new.

Yes, I washed my face
in the tall, bare basin;
no, I didn’t think over
what might be growing
behind my tired eyes.

I have decided instead
to take a time-out to
plan how I’ll paint you.

For now, maybe I’ll
use my lobster claws
on your waist overalls.

And I will still regret
the times I forgot
about the time.

Mirrors & Windows

I wrote a trilogy
of autobiographies
filled with self-doubt
and paltry paranoia.

I have become geriatric;
but then again, when
was I not an old man?
Disguises only go so far--
I drag my mismatched feet
and dress in greyscale garbs.

The final chapter
of the final book
shuttered last year:
no panes, no pains.

Missing Article

I spent two decades on buses and trains. It was liberating to not use my hands; to call words by their names, from my fingertips to the pages. Now I drive, and I’ve become a better listener. But sometimes things still get waxed out by the wayside.

Missionary

Hi, hello!
How are you?

I boned me knee;
how’d you do that?

Edit in real time,
this is what you get.

A slip of the tongue
and a slit of the wrist.

Australian exhibitionism;
Austrian exit strategy.

Mock Crest

I painted a gold emblem
on my pale, ailing chest.

I sang the blues all night
with some local coyotes
in the pines, in the pines.

Satire is on fire, gasoline
is rising again, and I mean,

what’s the significance
of tribalism if we’re all
going to die in Phoenix?

Molten Cowboy Prescription

Hey, caricatures
give no care for
less than zero—

carrots dangle,
ballads jangle…

some friends only
do what’s convenient.

Hey, stop asking me
to stop using silence;
pauses yield prophets.

Mondegreen Jewel

I wrote a patriotic poem
in the front seat of my car.

It was an accident; I mean,
I probably shouldn’t tell you
about my mild insecurities
unless you actually want to
hear about them, entirely.

Commas can slice through
the landscape at this hour;
grab a rope for the view,
drop your guard for now,
semi-cordially, my glue.

I read a loyal love poem
on the hood, in the hood.

Montana Ten

Some folks think big,
some just count digits;
some folks stare at air,
some just see no limits.

Mountain Bush

Step by step
My shoes die

I climb and climb
Until I must crawl

I feel I would fall
If I surfaced to slip

Where’s my dick
Where’s my head

Muscles, Scholls

Put my shoes
on your feet.

I want to know
the roads you
have walked.

I’ll undress
in front of
your mirror.

I’ll give you
all of myself.

Mycology Psychology

Walk with me around Eureka; help me look for some new magic. Be my number-one passenger down the 1 until the 101. No! Let’s stay on the coast for as long as it allows us. I’ll buy you tacos, I’ll buy you lobster, I’ll buy you a plastic water pistol. It’s getting hot again, so when we’re back inland, you better have those liquid bullets ready. I want to be a downward dog, getting wet like you, when I’m coming up on these shrooms.

My Grandma Ma

French fries for dinner,
donut for breakfast—
who am I anymore?

Hey, I’m sorry about the parking;
I’m sorry for fainting on you, too.

I will take better care of myself;
I will take better care of you, too.

My nostril flakes make me
scrub shame off my face;
my ear hairs help me hear
my own thoughts, mid-race.

“Age is infinitely whatever,”
says the arthritic cutup.

I’ve been a senior citizen
since I was seventeen.

Will you just marry me,
so that we can eat
every meal together?

My Left Arm

She is more than
a slingshot, she is
more than a splinter;
she casts no doubt
on what we have
become together.

My Sciatica

I sit on a file cabinet
just in case I need to
remember what I need
to remember: I’m a pain
in my own ass; I shoot
horses, don’t I? Don’t I?

Natch Caw

An extended replay
of a jitney jalopy
is a very scary thing.

One minute,
I’m guzzling gas;
the next, I’m
surveilling my ass
from outside
the rumbling frame.

Circling, cycling—
it’s all the same.

Off-track, pile on;
dick bag, sigh tomb.

My turn to U-Turn;
my life to get right.

National Boulevard

Dang, Kelly!

How’d you do me
like that in the New
England simulacrum?

Double jeopardy on
the hummus front,
like real war on cable.

Which network,
which affiliate,
what time again?

Thanks, Julie!

Net Emergency

Too long
Too narrow

Body in mind
Foot in mouth

Mind my body
Mouth my mind

So long
Goodbye

New Age Statement

Jesus Christ
was nothing more
than a nice guy,
and neither am I.

New Agenda

I was going to
crop myopic photos
and write e-mails
to myself, but then
I opened up a fresh bag
of raw trail mix.

That’s the kind my wife prefers.

And that’s when I
began to read about
disgruntled men
and write about the rest
of society whose days
they regularly infect.

This is a poem for women.

New Life

“Life doesn’t end once you have kids,” she said.

He said, “Yes, it does. Or, well, the life you once knew does. You trade in your old life for a new one. And with each new child you have, you add another new life to your already new life.”

She said, “But will you miss your old life?”

He said, “I’ll miss some of the things, some of the time. Just like how people miss certain things about old jobs or exes. Won’t you? I mean, don’t you?”

She said, “Yeah, I think so. Sure.”

He said, “But I’m with you. And life is new.”

She said,” I like your new life.”

“I do, too,” he said.

New Role

Last name first—
how professional!

I’m having another—
out-of-body experience!

I’m sweating like John—
Candy, melting inside & out!

Next-Day Airings

Spraying liquid bullets
onto Chinese ceramics:

tiles become smiles
become frowns out
behind the outhouse.

Shooting hoops,
shattering glass;
we’re talking about
practice right now.

The ceiling reflects
some new feelings;
America might not be
ready for me, but well:

wood becomes soot
becomes a stamp at
the parcel tramp’s.

Send me your judgments
in a Styrofoam package.

Nocturnal Jocks

Running infinite loops
under burned-out lamps,
glazing the waxed streets;

now...

it’s no longer time to
sweat the scrimmage;
it’s time to entertain
this post-game exhibit;

now...

writing hampered headlines
on leftover legal pads, worn
in the gloaming minutes;

now...

the rules?

Not Again

I let my alien friend
Draw cartoon portraits of me
For as long as he would
But then I decided it was time
For me to go back to my own world
That is if I could
I didn’t know what would
Happen I just knew
That I needed to become
The cartographer poet
I always should
Have been in the first place
And that is when he chose
To cut up his license
And I renewed my passport

Not Terminal

I thought I was
insufficient but

the transmission
just got scrambled

my fertility is fine
mortality is mine

Obelisk at Dusk

a monument to a time
tied to a place in which
a face can be reflected
upon a glossy postcard
handled by a foreigner

Office Temperature

The hairy drop ceiling
blows sleet and nothing
else. The leather seats
have flesh, heat sifting
the room. On one side
of a door, I husk corn;
on the other side, I pass
over and transform into
a Trojan condom trying
to get slippery and be
pathetically irresponsible.

Old-School Threads

“Never buy acrylic or rayon!”

That’s what the pundit
with a fire in his abdomen
and gasoline on his lawn
told me while his mettle
went aflame, paces away
from his sagging blue yurt.

“Also, suede will save your life!”

Old Town Goad

I will stand
in the center
of The Gap

and shake
and spit like
an agoraphobic
having a fit

until my pants
snuggle my trunk
and I feel natural.

Olde English Hunky Musing

Bumbling along
a reserved path,
I wonder about
the life of water.

There are likely
some jaggers
slung about here.

I’m not a prickly
twig; no, I’m wood
from the castle.

Sixty percent of
my body is water;
the other forty
is mostly you.

Original Text

Contribute a better suggestion. Check savings; save checked baggage. It’s a long road to euthanasia.

Overgrowth

My waist has shrunk,
spring has sprung.

I backed my ass
into a metal rod,
cracked the glass
eyeballs behind
my core vessel;
a dented trestle
buckled, and oh,
what a waste!

The process to process
just got a little harder.

P.S.

Pockets have holes
Pickets have fools

I’m walking as much
As I possibly can
But I’ll never walk
Into a bank again

Sockets are static
Spigots are erratic

I’m walking as much
As I possibly can
But I’ll never walk
Into a wall again

Pain Never Leaves You

I walked ten-thousand steps
at least a thousand times
just to get to where I am now.

Standing on a soft corner
in eastern Santa Monica,
I watch the rich eat dinner.

It was less than an hour ago
that I got my insides scanned;
it‘s been less than a week or so
since I threw my brain into sand.

I’ll swim in the cold water—
I don’t care if I lose again;
I’ll roam in the dark night—
I don’t mind if I do again.

Pal Let Pile

I look like trash right now,
but you like it.

I took out the trash last night;
did you find it?

Black eyes, blue mind,
green fists, all the time.

I’m not a hue seeped in spite—
a found, refined tint.

I’ve got a new lease on life now;
will you co-sign it?

Palimony

I buy my friends
dinner and drinks
to let them know
when it is over.

Palindromic Kind of Life

From start to finish
it’s all the same—
edit while eating;
fuck it up again.

Palmed City

On the lot
In the garage

I am lost
I am drawn

Bloody thigh
Mosquito toe

Flooded mind
Miscreant flow

Magnesium son
Magazine moon

Peak Manipulation

you know that you
have yet reached

some kind of summit
when you are able to
convince a bedmate
to set fire to feathers

and when you
descend upon

the valley of growth
your wealth of fears
will go up in smoke
and this place only

has plastic bottles
and classic water

Personal Hygiene

Every now and then,
my shit stinks;
it happens to the best of us,
no matter how green.

I’m piling up dead
nails, fingers, nails, and toes;
I’ve been clipping my courage—
that’s just the way it goes.

When I look in the mirror,
I don’t see a man;
I barely see a beard,
how’d I shave off so many years?

Pet a Wizard

So much sawdust on the floor
beneath my barstool;
it’s hard to feel my nose, fool.

I stopped eating meat as a teen,
but I swallowed a frog
just because,
and now I have to cough
while my eyes pinball my spleen.

So many slivers of rust, worn
behind my stories told
in the desert, watered cold.

Phony Biz

I sang karaoke
at 356 Mission.

I felt like an ex-con,
trying to make good.

I felt all the animals
stuffed in deep space.

I was autocorrected
by a Viennese editor.

But it doesn’t matter none;
Siri eats my apples, daily.

I bought groceries
at 365 in Silver Lake.

I felt like an ex-con,
trying to make food.

I got poisoned by life;
I got soured by society.

But I’m no longer
under the influence.

Hey, I don’t want no scrubs;
these pigeons are a wonder.

Pinhead

I’m just a pinhead
grasping for air.

Some people put
needles in my arms.

I put needles
in my legs.

I’m just a pinhead
drifting to nowhere.

Piping Organs at the Beach

The kitchen smells like IKEA,
my face feels like Doritos.

The room is white and shiny;
my skin is smooth and flaking.

I bought a pack of herbal cigs
after fish tacos on my free day
down on the lonely boardwalk.

I wanted to surf through life
for just a second, just a minute,
like a copy man back in the day.

Well, it’s time to accept the debt
that God has granted all his kids.

So what’s the pace to to place
when I can forget fortune’s fare?

Plurality

I’ve always been one;
now, I am two—a unit.

You are my nature;
you are my nurture.

Multiply the vibes;
quantify our lives.

Pocket Change (To Come)

My two cents:
What’s ten cents?

Nickels
are fickle.

Take pride
in a dime.

Share a drink tonight
with a freak, alright?

Pooch

Boned again,
I’m driving along
the skewed route
back to banality.

Slow down;
now rewind.

Give it to me;
take your time.

Traffic is a bitch,
but I’m not bitching;
the moon is howling,
this girl is a hoot.

Post-Diurnal Journal

I enter words
as I exit the light.

I leave herds
as I join the night.

Practice Reality

You win some,
you lose some.

The thing about
competition
is it only works
if you work.

Otherwise,
you’re tied.

Precinct (Origin Story)

From what
or where
do you derive?

And what
or where
is your boundary line?

Surround me,
define me,
and I’ll never cross you.

Prima Diva

Positively swap positivity
into and out of her spout.

She is my chalice; she
cups my matcha lattes
with her porcelain skin.

I drink tea now, and I sip
smoothly—my legs stay
still; my arms, steady.

I am ready to just be a bird
in her always-bucolic breeze.

Problem Child

Down for whatever
when I’m fishing
for adventure
and or I’m dishing
with my bitches
whether I’m in Peoria
or I’m all out letting go
of periodic conventions.

Isn’t it nice
sometimes
to ramble on
while running on?

I’m the wind
behind my wins.

Progressive Lenses

I can see more clearly now;
my perspective was lost.

I found a poor man’s painting,
a history with no provenance

These books of emptiness
are too brief to try to read.

Maybe I should sell them;
is it even worth the effort?

Providence

The simple dimple
above my biblical
protrusion is deep.

The surrounding
surface is peeling.

Below Middle Earth,
the bovine swell
in the humid abyss.

Psyched-Out Traumas

The year before
I ate heaps of shit
for the first time
in a long time,

I read story upon story
about Appalachia
while eating Thai food
on the Vistula River.

Art can be so automatic;
sometimes, it’s somatic.

The shit-eating show
lasted for a long time
before I could grin
or even grimace,

because my mouth
was stuck like that
of a static icon
in a modular canon.

We code our poetry
for cloned coteries.

Q&A

Should I start
such a declaration
with a verb or an adverb?

Never mind.

I’ll begin with a pronoun;
I feel positive about people
and things in this moment.

But people change,
and so do things—

sometimes
they change
each other.

Right now,
I feel prosperous
in my ideas.

Right now,
I feel desperate
with my health.

Art goes bankrupt
again and again,
and then the bailouts
come from bruisers
on the mend.

Quizzical Poem

It was a trivial pursuit,
combing through
all of these old clues
to find a new you.

What’s your surname, sir?

Are you more of an Oxford
or a Cambridge woman?

I’m a Merriam-Webster man,
if I must define myself somehow.

I’ve hyphenated my colon
for the last time, I declare.

Punctuation must be
punctual, mustn’t it?

See you at a later point, ma’am.

Ragged Point

on the edge
with friends
it’s easy to
forget that
sharpness
can become
a means
to a mend

Rampart Village

I focus my nerves
and spread my neuroses
from room to room.

Some are split
by museum-like walls;
others are joined
by domestic hallways.

I’m pixelated in a few;
I’m hydrated in two;
I’m sedated and blue.

This is what it’s like
to be a detective;
this is what it’s like
to be introspective.

Rare Stone

I climbed a few
rugged mounts
only to pile up
plenty of doubts.

Oh, I was just
waiting to die
until I met you.

Now I can rest
in pieces of you
like a folk singer
in an old caravan.

Rebirth of a Nation

I want
to be wanted.

I need
to be needed.

You are
my nest, unforeseen.

We are
our tests, so wanton.

Parthenon
is no genesis for me.

Washington
is no revelation, either.

Red Eyes

There are monsoons
in the margins.

Flash floods
to come.

I don’t want milk
or sugar.

I don’t ever want
dilutions.

I don’t ever want
delusions.

America is running
on a solo track.

Wake me up again
for my coffee.

Ride Sally Ride

Cotton and gas
cost us our asses.

Taxed and exhausted—
can’t afford to speak
the code of imposters.

Look to the sky:
ride until you die.

Risky Bizness

There are thirteen ways of looking at a crow. There are a dozen ways to plant a figure into a historical game.

Can you still be friends with an ex? Can an ex still peel back your skin?

Torsos are filled with tumbling bacteria. Mine is slight and slightly rumbling.

Routine Poem

Chugging
Plugging

Along
Away

Midnight
Dinner

Morning
Glimmer

Royal Flushing

Asian pearls
Asian pears

Handful of jasmine
Tucked behind your ears

Baskets of jewels
Snuck beneath the chairs

Lifetime of love
Lifetime of luck

Royal Towels (En Masse)

Current fictional motives:

Undulating,
thinking,
bespeaking.

Palming cellular phones;
clawing proffered codes.

Society-resistant beings:

Unreal
treatment
forever.

Sacked Alliance

I’m an elephant seal
lying on filthy sand,
mad-enveloped in lies
thanks to a maple bro.

We were something,
and you saw nothing
in the face of conflict.

There was a dance
in the backlit fields
of Oregonian hills.

It spilled over into
a haunted morning.

One slip-up can cause
a rotten tide of sewage.

Hang ten in a frame, friend.

Salty Dog

Most of the time,
I don’t want to drink;
but some of the time, I do.

And when I want to get drunk,
I‘d like it to be with you.

One day in August,
will you be honest,
and sip margs in Vegas
with me?

Santa Ana Winds

I missed out
on hydration
and protein—

I was blowing
bubbles down
at the cantina.

You were blowing
kisses from below.

You were watering
cacti from above.

Now, our hands
are moistened
and our heads
are measured.

Scarlet Hedgehog

Sorry! I was an accidental prick,
like a seductive Sonoran cactus;
you stamped me like Hawthorne,
and I went off, whispering into
the woods—baseball diamonds
can be forgotten, but bezels and
prongs are forever. Tell me who
you are and who you want to be.

Scroll to Edit

Greeting!

Typos tug at my collar;
I call out commentary
with a hoarse throat.
Powder on my nose;
canines on my clothes.

[TK]

I’ve made up my mind;
I’ve made up my body.
My feet are tender,
but I will not run away;
publish my obit my way.

Conclusion.

Seasonal Depression

I’m just a lesbian
with nowhere to go.

I’m still a cowboy
you’re getting to know.

Oh, I’m looking for a hug.

I’m just a therapist
going to therapy.

I’m still a poet
writing poetry.

Oh, I’m going out on the rug.

A slow dance is romance;
a slow dance takes chance.

Fall down in autumn;
rise again in spring.

Oh, I’m living for this summer.

Self-Care in a Careless World

I stacked two sleeping bags
and packed the rest of my life
in the back of my silver Jeep.

I decided that it was about time
to hit the dusk, kick some dust,
and drop a dime on myself.

When you lose your luck and
you’re all by your lonesome,
look above and kill a dove.

Don’t worry, God will forgive you;
she’s forgiven worse, but first,
can you ever forgive yourself?

Self-Realization

It’s a hot one
in the hills.

I’m doing push-ups
on stretched linen
like a smooth gecko
in the midst of sin.

Break me off
a branch or two.

Sermon Eyes

Nails in my feet, termites in my head;
shoes be gone, brain be dead.

You can be catholic without being Catholic;
you can be compassionate and still careless.

On the bluff, I am so presidential;
drinking Sierras can be so consequential.

Sex Towel

I found this cotton
in your cupboard.

It’s reminiscent of
the era of television
when fresh comedy
blossomed nightly.

I will whip it up and
down like a matador
and make no excuses
for the sand that spills.

Don’t feel bad about
the peanut shells or
the acidic juices that
flake and stain, either.

Just put it on the bed
and put it in the wash.

Shrimp Bank

Sometimes
I light up a joint
after midnight.

It makes me forget
about all, or most,
of my deadlines.

And that feels
like something
I think I need.

And when I’m high,
I stare at the mirror
and squeeze my arm.

I wait for blood or ink
to spill from my bicep
onto the bathroom tiles.

But life’s a broken record,
spinning country stories,
and I sing the blues, man.

So I fold my tongue like
pink origami and pray
for a glorious hole to dig.

For the time being,
I’m just a mini mudbug
gone scampi on a rug.

Silk Linen Morning

Casual knocking
on this canvas—

my taut ears tapped
in the flattened key
of me; steel drums,
resonate melodies
colder than divorce
court in Anchorage.

Float on past Portland;
the poem doesn’t live
until it reaches Oakland;
hold tight and come,
my dove, become and
index-point your script.

Cosmic dance on page
and print those acid hips.

Sisters, Oregon

One drinks to life;
the other nurtures.

I am thankful for
the love they give.

Skunk Tea

I left the burner on for the first time with you. The water boiled over and I, along with the crushed leaves, got skunked.

I am getting so hot; I want to take my clothes off. Face-to-face, will you be my bandage?

Sleep Right

My girl
snores like a boar
with her ears plugged tight.

Slow Dance

I took a hike
to the hospital
and told the doc
to peep my spine.

Two steps forward,
one more step further.

I shook hands
with a former pal
and asked to lock
the past with wine.

Two steps forward,
one more step further.


Slow Down, California

I drove my wife
and my parents
to Santa Monica
on Father’s Day.

Now I’m thinking about
generations and gentlemen
and antiquarian bookstores.

Now my geriatric shoes
smell like freshly cut grass.

What happened to the sand
on the inside, the animal smells
of the outside, and the rubber
I used to burn at hotel bonfires?

What happened
to the Los Angeles
I knew, only briefly?

I think it’s just fine
to focus on my time.

Somnambulist

If I could have endless anything,
it’d be Dunkin' Donuts coffee.

Lost my mug again;
found my blood pen

Don’t forget to call mom;
don’t forget to write, either.

If I could put an end to anything,
it’d be the nightmare of 2015.

Spectacles

I’m old enough to accept when I’m wrong. I’m young enough to look for happiness. This is why I wear spectacles.

State of the Union

A night of white
clichés and black
power; days gone
over polished heads.

Supreme beings
aren’t so supreme.

Skating on skids,
loading carbs,
saying cheese,
trying to forgive.

Ain’t much to do
with greased fires.

Stay Loose (For Now)

I am an imp of a guy;
I’m important as a spy.

I am an imp of a guy;
I’m important as an eye.

I am an imp of a guy;
I’m important until I die.

Stone Zone

My spine
is like
a sickened snake.

It curls
and furls
and
it winds
and whines
until it
dies in desolation.

Go on now—
grab some rocks
from the courtyard
and whack my back.

Okay now—
give me gummies
by the courthouse
and watch me melt.

Stool Sample

You look like you smell
like cologne from the mall.

You look like you bench
press snowboards on call.

Do you inhale carbon
burritos in the morning?

Do you blow sour nothings
at strangers’ dogs at night?

Strange Phrasing

When I read your words,
I am bewildered, but why?

You are a wonder, at times;
still, a wander, for my mind.

When I hear you speak,
I am bewildered, but why?

Stuff, Things

Spill soda in the cinema,
bumble with beer in bed;
sip up and slip up, and
try not to lose your head.

Don’t say irregardless—
words matter, and that
is not a word, my friend.

Sometimes we say stuff,
though—things that get
misinterpreted, but who
is at fault in that case?

Summer Broken

Truncate the article;
cut it down to size.

Turn a she into a he;
make a me out of we.

There are snakes
in every garden.

There are apples
in every grocery.

I’ll read your paper
in the washroom.

I’ll wash your rag
in the kitchen.

Superior Vice

I stand in lines
that never end

waiting for friends
to pick me apart

I see condoms
and cigarettes

and razor blades
behind glass doors

shattered dreams
are still dreams

and I’m happy
I’m finally awake

Superscription

About now, around then,
I climbed a tilde ladder,
in search of a silver lining—
meaning shifted and slid,
but now that I’m translating
from me to you and back,
I am ready to pack my bins.

Surf & Turf

Throwing out the cows
with the heavy utters—
bowling with the bowels
in a San Diego gutter—

bless my mother of pearl
funerary collection plate;
stress my mother of child;
loosely connect the dates.

Sweat, Sweated, Sweater

I felt filthy
at sunrise,
but I smelled
a new kind
of soap.

I don’t normally
live like a jazzman,
but then again,
I’m not normal.

***

The workers
of the world
will once again
level up, okay?

God! It’s so polar
on this mattress;
it’s so comforting
in this wool shield;
a slumber, so moist.

***

All of the bugs:
but out; each
day is a shiv.

Shut down
for what?

Tampa: Crushing (on) a Pixie

Seltzer in the park with loads of roads to and from elsewhere, like rods and reels; peel back the feels. Pluck chords on a harp as the sun sets on the boulevard. Slouching towards Bethlehem, pointing towards Doom. Palos Verde to Malibu to some dead and desolate Florida lagoon.

Tattle Tale

Mixed up a name,
doubled down
on a second one!

What’s the difference?

And, umm...

Who are we, anyway?

The time is never;
the place, wherever!

The find is right here;
life is weird, right?

Ten

Soap brews in
the caffeine stew.

Flakes fall
on polyester.

Grunts sing
like bosses.

And cheese
strings about.

This man needs
his coconut ring.

Terminal Views

Oh, how I
have categorized
my simplified life.

No, foul eyes
may not memorialize
my death in plain sight.

Terse Verse

Law has
no order.

I see shit
get sorted.

Solipsistic
visions of
universal
acclaim.

Clandestine
vitriol writing
new language
ever so plain.

Serial rites are
put in the past.

Ethereal nights
can never last.

The Age of Impermanence

Style is like a tattoo
that you can edit
at your leisure.

Fashion is a fickle
fuss of not much
to give pleasure.

The Archive of Now

I used to dwell on
the out of control.

I used to fix my brain
on the inconsolable.

I jeopardized my life,
and now, I got it right.

I mesmerized in kind,
and now, it’s all archived.

The Irony of Empathy

I miss walking past
health food stores
on either side
of the East River.

It’s so pleasant
to have the scents
of fruits and flowers
mask trash and vomit.

I wish I didn’t worry
about strangers’
perceptions of
almost anything.

It’s so painful
to have to care
about the concerns
of inconsiderate others.

The Jesus Ethic

Using razors
shouldn’t be
so difficult.

I never wanted
a beard; I never
wanted to be
scared, but well,
in this world,
you either get
cut or crucified.

I’ll just learn
how to lather
and deal with
the weather.

I’ll just earn
the right to clip
like a crowd
on the cusp
of tripping out
the real world.

The Poet Formerly Known as the Prince of Diners and Delicatessens

Sometimes
my skin melts
down my skull,
and I can feel
my brain slowly
doing the same
inside the walls
of this fresh lot.

My entire body
turns into salmon
and goat cheese.

If you mix health nuts
with grapes in a bowl,
this is what you get.

It’s 8 o’clock at the office,
and all I want is a Coke.

The Sun Is My Rising Sign

I’m seeing 11:11
like you always do.

You are me now,
and I am you, too.

I’m in need of weed,
but all I’ve got is fits.

I’m ashamed I’m an Aries,
but I’m proud of my grits.

That’s not what you want;
I’ll figure out my thoughts.

It’s maybe better this way;
is that what I should say?

Then & Now & Later

I ate seafood and rice
for lunch; I ate more
seafood and rice for
dinner: Asian vacation.

My guts are stuck like
peanut butter treading
the salty grain lanes
of a Bavarian pretzel.

I don’t blame Asia—
I’m not that kind of
American; I blame
God: Angsty fantasy.

My brain is strained
like East German paint;
there’s no use for walls
in a murky microbiome.

Three Stanza Hand-Me-Down

Today’s black magic
spills white margaritas.

Grand funk airways
terminally rip off faces.

Tomorrow, you can
patch up regretful holes.

Through with the Though

Okay
Alright
All right

Instant
Incident
Incidence

Incidence
Incident
Instant

All right
Alright
Okay

Today

I woke up at like 9 or so
with a purple patch
on my soul.

I drank at least
twelve cups
of green tea.

I discussed the dilemma
that is the American healthcare system
with a supply-side acupuncturist.

I ate mixed nuts for lunch
and mulled over the benefits
of adding more flavor to my diet.

I transcribed the legal woes
of strangers and foes
for a solid eight hours.

I took some antidepressants
and slowly nodded off
to old Terry Allen records.

Transformation

I was an it;
I became a that.

I took a spit;
I gave a spat.

I was an it;
I became a that.

Triggered by Ellipses

Nobody knows...

Nothing is absolute...

Not even statements...

Truth Addict

Most people are afraid
of embarrassment.

Why else would we
spin these stories
on our looms?

We’re all doomed
to unravel when
the sand hits the floor.

But I’ll tell you: lately,
I’ve become obsessed
with compulsively
discovering facts.

Typo Cast

Graphic design
is just words
and tones—

poetry is much
the same, if you
think about it.

Am I a graphic designer?

No, I’m a poet;
poets don’t get paid.

Uber Zen

Los Angeles is so noir. Whether you’re applying moisturizer to your face in the reflection of psychedelic semiotics or you’re being beaten to an orange pulp by the San Fernando sun, the coffee grind can (and probably will) kill you.

But it’s been so moist for months. Basements and garages are growing moldy with confusion and contempt.

I am a biologist navigating the physical sciences. I am a beat writer negotiating with terrorists.

I didn’t realize the poems I slabbed onto surfaces were still somewhat fresh when I slid them into their body bags. I didn’t realize people’s plunges could start so late and end so early.

I’ve taken the dive more than a few times, but I’m ready to keep more than just my head above salty waters. When I’m meditating on the edge of the earth, I am Uber Zen.

Urban Seer

I am keen
in my future life;
I was a prophet
in my past.

Valence

Be it beaten,
and unto us,
we get fed up

when the moon
hisses and howls,
but how to get it

undone above
when mutuality
is an ego space?

Vassals

Flattery can be a friend;
equality is an ideal deal.

If you want to talk to me,
you can come walk to me.

We are in the same field;
we are on the same mend.

Water Gone Warm

I take my glasses off
at around 2:12
in the morning.

I place them next to
the laptop where
I lay word bricks.

I feel like a pile now,
about to be laid
on a soft surface.

My wife is my real life;
I’m ready to write
in my cold dreams.

Wellness Plan

I spend some weeknights
unloading bushels of berries,
shooting arrows in strip malls,
and giving my purified face
spirulina scrubs before bed.

It’s 2019, and my Jeep
isn’t getting any younger.

Neither am I, neither am I.

You know, some weekends,
I fall in love every other hour;
and you know, you are like
an entire dim sum menu—
everything looks so good.

In 2020, my new license
is going to prove me older.

I guess I am, I guess I am.

What do I know about life, love?

She put me out to sea
after I put Patsy Cline
on the electric jukebox.

When I got back to land,
I asked her for her hand
and reached for the sky.

I saw a Jewish comet
burning out up high—
an afterlife to be mine?

What the Community Would Think

We can’t recant. The collective threads shan’t become tangled or webbed. Stay wound ever so slightly, tightly, just like such.

Oh, I remember the days when I’d drink my body weight in iced coffee from the bread shop. Or, in the evenings, when I’d line up chilled buckets of dollar beers in front of my chest as I played Zone D with a boxy TV. By midnight, I’d be ready for incense and postmodern prose.

In my post-prophet days, I try to avoid the navel gaze. I read aloud when I must; I’m allowed to be loud. I trust some will discuss the ways in which I’ve overstepped. I can be acerbic to some people; I can be allergic to others. But if you’re loyal, then you know I’m loyal, too.

I’ve given into a life as a monk, and then I’ve given it up. I never wanted to be a hunk. I’ve never cared about being liked; I’ve only ever cared about being loved.

Wildly Wending

Left to myself,
I will reserve
the right to let
myself go in
circles until I
get gorges
enough to be
preserved by
the government.

Wilt Wit

I’m a flower. I’m a corpse. I’m a corpse flower.

Wind Pipe Organ Son

When the beds are made,
ponies will break character,
only to kick up dusty heels;
so long, choking on manes.