Poetry from Peter Jacob Streitz

DEATH SENTENCE

It ain’t that bad
Judgement day
The day you
read the verdict
From an antiquated
birthday card
But at least,
ya can still eat
Or go for
a’cup’a joe
Some sex exists
Yet the pressure’s off
It’s nothing to do . . .
with physicality
It’s like dressing up
. . . dressing down
Same thing
Without the gravity
For those
with too many candles
To blow the burn
More or less
With less being
—the age—
every idiot talks about
The new 60 being 50
And 40
is thirty-three point three
Or some such crap
Why not make 40
the new dead
Or 32?
An infant’s poo-poo
None of its relevant
There’s only one age
And you arrive at it
. . . like plunging through . . .
a trap door
After years
of immortality
And upright denial
When wearing skulls
and crossbones . . .
as patches,
tattoos and jewelry;
was an imbecile’s way
of owning death—
by childish renunciations
of an impregnable terror.
Denying inevitability
with bongs, bangs . . .
babies and beer
Raving praise be we
In the sweetest asylum
of fitness and health
Before sensing life’s not
a sap’s game
A roll of the dice
It’s a set-up
A preparatory course
A dawning so nonchalant
it’s terrifying
Terrifying—
in the abstract
In the flesh and blood
A natural phenomenon
With no court
of appeals
But only hung juries
as to innocence or guilt
Delivered by
a single magistrate
Whose only peer
is you, the defendant.
Ordering . . .
no imprisonment
Because the party’s
served their time
With both good
and bad behavior
Mixing dreams
and disappointments
Into the peace
of a living life
Before mercifully,
miraculously, magically
Announcing
. . . its all a training ground
For the biggest
of all falls
The one that—
makes you whole
When the alarm,
wakes no more.

GNARLIANS

These little big men
first appeared on the
BIG SCREEN in 1970
Doing fakies and grabs
riding backside on war horses
Repudiating fluids when
when attacking through floods
Denying meat from
slaughtered game
Never whining against
establishments
As they’re as contrary
to life as death
Or any home rule
. . . of one or the other
Charging headlong
into battle—
When told to retreat
And retreating
with victory at hand.
Fuck buffalo soldier
And peaceniks
Anybody giving in!
They’re Dog soldiers
Dog men
Clowns in Lakota
Heyoka’s wearing. . .
war paint
Not tattooed images
. . . of goofy pricks . . .
kicking daddy in the balls
Or thrashing about
on maple decks
But doing ollies
on palominos
And nollies on the
Cavalry’s head
Courageously lancing pigs
Or cutting Custer’s . . .
last stand to shreds
Saying yes for no
And no for yes
Honoring bravery
above all the rest
Fearing only the scorn
of women
From mommies to
the littlest
0r the mocking
androgyny of two-spirits
These were renegades!
— not honoring their lives—
But sacrificing it  . . .
defending their culture.

BLIND FAITH

Forget chimps
being a beard
for Aunt Suzy-Q
Or the fact your
uncle Ted was
never a horn toad
Change in form
—is evolution!
Not beaks
and buttholes
Feathers
and fringe hairs
Did Birdman
. . . turn into Miss Kitty
No, he morphed
into Batman
The same damn thing
—only difference—
He had a slave
a Robin
But Robin’s egg
was a human womb
Not a bonobo’s nest
in the Congo
Or Sasquatch’s
love shack—in Seattle
Yet the high priest of
fossilized bones
and bumpkis
Preach . . .
don’t be a Dumbo
Because,
Koko could sign
potty and pee-pee
And Klondike men
look like Kong
The morning after.
Yet no wunderkind
has ever seen or heard
. . . a hummingbird . . .
morph into a barn owl
Or a rat turn
into a politician
Score one . . .
for the evolutionist
But for those still twisting
the key into:
the Tabernacle of Truth
By turning
deities into donkeys
And asses
into parishioners
Know the altars
are the same
With irrefutable proof
. . . most devotedly held . . .
in the minds
of the beholders.

EARLYBIRD

What’s so special
about worms
That’s why I stopped
. . . dining at the buffet
All you can eat
No matter how many
—old-timers—
snorkel at the trough
Even for dimes to donuts
it’s not my cup of tea
At least that’s true
since my husband died.
He was the thrifty one
A self-made man
A dream boat
Sailing past
But beaching long enough
to take a mate aboard
Young and crystal-eyed
Like crests of waves
And a figure
same as mine
With a mere
. . . fifty years . . .
separating this from that
All supple and soft
A living doll;
some saw in me
Smart and tough
The right hand man
to our success
Both in and
out of bed
But that ship’s sailed
Now I cruise alone
Dressed
to the nines at five
Waiting for the barkeep
to jump-start my
HAPPY HOUR
While eagerly . . .
surveilling the door
From my corner seat
Like a wingless
bird of prey
I cast my graying
smile of harmlessness
Like a fisherman
with no bait
Waiting for a bite of
affirmation
Feeding my
shipwrecked self
With strands of the past
Still fresh
In mind and body:
if not act
Sampling the
sustenance of the Now
And yesteryear
In a praising feast!
That thanks the
deliciousness of youth
With a hunger
so unquenchable—it
knows no mortal bounds
Of cannibalization!
Devouring this banquet
. . . of laughs and larks
The nourishing infancy
of seduction
As this life-sustaining need
finds me paying the bill
At six-thirty
Full and sated
Leaving, along with the tip
that I’ll return tomorrow.
Same as today . . .
at supper’s beck and call.

SUPPLICATION

The gift of prayer
Has been returned
To its place of purchase
As defective
Or past
it’s expiration date
By those claiming
. . . sins are man-made
Most certainly man-made
Definitely man-made
Undeniably man-made
Like the consumers
who pollute the waters
And skies
Are totally responsible
For heat ups
And snow downs
Rains of forty days
and dust devil nights
Plus Noah’s ark
beached on dry land
Man alone causes . . .
these calamities
Human in human out
It’s scientifically proved
Technically stamped
Universally verified
One hundred percent—
made in the USA
Or outsourced offshore
Still human though
Chinese, Japanese, India-ese
Or Pakistan-ee
Even Euros contaminate
the hills and dales
Changing the landscape
with Godlike force
Worldwide
Being the sole cause
and effect
Of earth’s destruction
Except if Einstein
was to E=MC square
. . . this incontestable certainty . . .
Down a black hole of
pudding and just desserts
Proving the exact opposite:
that highbrow humanoids
—are shit flies—
in the eyes of the cosmos
If not planetary evolution
And their Svengali-like
ways to save the planet
—is their last resort—
Their sole alternative
To manically protect
their terrestrial deification
Via the psychic
inquisition of non-believers
. . . who dare . . .
to spiritually entreat anything
beyond the worldly plane;
as an apish superstition.
A blasphemy
Unmercifully crucifying them—
upon the trash heap of time.

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