Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Cuff of Doom

Sitting on the ledge
of the doctor's table
fidgeting, the new white
patient's paper cover
crinkling beneath my jeans
the doctor finally comes in
to take my blood pressure
she pumps the black ball
the cuff tightening around
the sweaty hinge of my arm
her face gets serious
Is it bad? I ask
after she deflates her cuff of doom
It's elevated, she says
Are you nervous? she asks
I feel my heart in my throat, I say
I haven't been here in ten years, I add
Okay, I'll go check on someone else
and be hack in about ten minutes to
take another reading, she says
Think calm thoughts, she says
then she closes the door
to the horrible little pink room
my pulse slows down finally
as I stare at a jar of cotton balls
& allow my mind to drift back
twenty-five years ago,
to my two favorite cousins
Petey Boy and Benny
the way they used to bring us
smaller kids out on the lawn
at dusk in the summertime
how they'd set up a semi circle
of old wooden folding chairs
how we'd sit on our legs waiting
the two of them facing us in the center
fireflies flashing in the air around us
& the steady repetition of crickets
then they'd start retelling their
favorite Twilight Zone episodes
they'd team-tell each tale
trading off on details and dialogue
I remember I'd forget everything else:
about school the next day, my dog
my friends, my father and mother
I'd lean on the edge of my chair
waiting for the next scene to unfold
my favorite episode was the one about
the camera that took pictures of the future
my cousins would love to watch
our faces as they retold the mysterious
twist of the last scene
That's why we do it Benny, Petey Boy would say
pointing at my wide-eyed face with
my knees pulled up to my chin
For expressions like that, he'd laugh
then after that Benny would play the guitar
& they'd harmonize Beatles' songs
moving from one song into another
in the thick summertime night
even back then my favorite was "Yesterday"
then afterward, I always felt sad and quiet
in the shadowy backseat on the long drive home
like I had left something behind
Fade. . .
the door swings open
once again the doctor pumps up
the cuff of doom
& we both wait
I keep looking at her face
her mouth scrunches up to one side
like she's almost disappointed at the drop
You were just anxious, she says
It's a lot better than the first reading, she says
But I'd like to keep an eye on it, she adds
as the cuff shrinks back down, defeated

1st draft is kingpin

1st draft
is kingpin

the knobs
of the poem's



if the poem
doesnt come
from deep
inside of

the poem
is merely a
game of the brain

all this

license for the blues

there is always someone
clutching the edge of a table
dizzy from being so alone
in need for another set of legs
to keep them from falling down

there is always someone returning
to a place they shared w/another
a little cafe-turned-cemetery
& standing there speechless
while the great teeth of change
grind in their ears

there is always someone
who'd be willing
to pay somebody just to say
goodnight to them
as they reluctantly recline
on the old mattress
insomnia creeping up their shape
starting w/the cold toes

there is always someone
who dreads sunrises
more than a three a.m. phone call
announcing someone else's death
the yellow disc like a circular saw blade
buzzing for their neck

there is always someone
collapsed in a cab
the wheels turning & turning
& them mumbling to the driver
"any address, any address
except for home"

one for the lost

the critics will
never take
this knife away

this blade w/which
i carve
these things

some call them poems
i'm not sure
what they are

& it doesn't matter
the label
b/c they seem
to save some
of those who are lost
or foaming at the mouth
or so alone
they get vertigo

the critics
will never take
this blade
from my hands
never get me
to quit carving

b/c for all
their sloppiness
for all their
lack of technique
these poems seem
to save a little

& that's enough for
my hand to never
let go of this knife

stagger & type

between a suicidal
& a loneliness that brings
about insane dizzy spells
where i must clutch
the edge of a table
to keep myself up
i stagger along
this fucked-up tightrope
towards that big fat Zero
somehow finding time
to type some things
that may make yr madness
& my own pause
& leave us be... 

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

why the motherfucking poems are made

poems aren't made for saying, Hello

poems are made for screaming, Fuck you!

poems aren't made for saying, I love you

poems are made for screaming, Notice the still-open eyes of that roadkill!

poems aren't made for saying, How's the weather?

poems are made for screaming, An ice storm is approaching in my sou!l

poems aren't made for saying, Beauty is truth

poems are made for screaming, Ugliness is King!

poems aren't made for saying, How are you?

poems are made for screaming, We're all doomed no matter what!

poems aren't made for saying, Ah, home sweet home

poems are made for screaming, We're so full of Lostness our tongues float in it!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

living in the ether, dying in the ether

living in the ether
dying in the ether
being a drunken asshole in the ether
blacking out in the ether
banging the typewriter in the ether
fucking in the ether
frying eggs & sausage in the ether
battling blood sucking hangovers in the ether
contemplating suicide in the ether
loving someone until there's only hate left in the ether
cursing birth in the ether
staring at legs in the ether
jamming hands into empty pockets in the ether
chain-smoking cigarettes in the ether
melancholic in the ether
nothing but a walking orphan in the ether





coffin nails for everybody

i lit a cigarette while waiting for the train
& a man standing there said,
"i quit smoking those coffin nails years ago"
& i looked at him in his wool overcoat
& his beady eyes behind wire frames
& his perfectly parted hair
& his smooth cheeks
w/the financial section of the paper
tucked beneath his arm
& i wanted to scream,
"i see the nails of the coffin everywhere!"
coffin nails holding up the barber shop
coffin nails keeping the bank together
coffin nails in the hem of long coats
coffin nails in the beams & sheet-rock
of the long rows of houses
coffin nails pinning the cribs together
coffin nails riveting the automobiles together
coffin nails hammered into everything, everywhere
especially love, especially fucking love

Saturday, December 4, 2010

this business no-one sees

right now i am just a very still body
really mostly a bunch of involuntary movements
everything at work at the cellular level & not much more
as i sit quietly w/my elbows pressing down upon this rickety card table
my temples cupped in my hands like someone
who's a master at emptying their mind
tossing out the clutter, the brutal baggage
& if you looked at the way my eyelids are closed
you might even think all is well w/me
no, you wouldn't think i am a man being torn apart by tigers
you wouldn't think that about me by the way my legs are crossed
& outstretched in faded jeans
ending at old, black thrift store shoes
loosely laced & calm
no, you wouldn't think that one of the tigers was busy pulling my guts out
& another has what little is left of my Love in its belly
would you?
this business no-one sees
this business that is just my own
repeated daily
if you didn't know
but i go on
i take up my my guts, shortened, tooth-marked & return them to w/in
& finally after reaching down one of the tiger's throats i lift out my Love
it's a little more dissolved by the tiger acid but i hold on to what is left
i'll die performing this task
saving my guts, rescuing my Love
even if there is nothing to fight
even if there is no one to give it to

in this orphan-hood

we are all orphans, in a way
some feel it more than others
& sometimes if we're lucky
we find somebody else
who makes being an orphan
not such a lonely thing
yes, sometimes we find somebody
who makes this orphan-hood not quite so bad
& you both run hand-in-hand through
the wilderness of space even
if it's only for a little while

even tho stuffed w/blood

we are all puppets
in a way

stuffed w/blood
& guts

but still puppets

manipulated upon
this fucked stage

until the final curtains
come back together
& it is night

3 a.m. inventory

he has a belt fixed w/a loop
that'd fit around a human neck
upon the coffee table
he has a long folding razor
upon the desk resting on a stack of books
he has a bottle of pills in the medicine cabinet
next to the deodorant
& in the kitchen is the gas oven, of course
every room contains a different method
except the bedroom that is the torture chamber
then there is the mattress
that keeps him awake till dawn
the four walls of isolation, of waiting, of no answers
& the twisted sheet like a straight jacket
This blog is updated irregularly and has nothing to do with the poet's output. The poet is actually disturbingly prolific. He writes about 5 poems per day. The pages are everywhere, even stacked in the bathtub.