The Devil Plays All His Own Records Backwards
just to see what all the fuss
scratches the shit out of them
on this used turntable he picked up
at a yard sale seven months ago
and there are no hidden messages
that he can make out
not even a few of his own
and he looks at the album cover
then back to the record
before tossing it into the fire
and getting the next one
out of its sleeve.
Police Are Searching for a Doorbell Licker
I saw his picture on a black and white camera.
They say he walked up to this place at night
and licked the doorbell for over three hours.
Out in California.
Now that takes some serious dedication.
I’m guessing germs are not a large worry
for this chap.
His tongue raw with effort.
Dry as redwood kindle
If you see this man,
hide your palms in your pockets.
The doorbell was not so lucky.
Veggie Patches and the Mistress
The world is absurd.
People walk around acting like everything
is reasonable which makes things
I guess they need to pretend there is
some order to things,
some guiding principle behind
I know better.
I lock the door behind me.
Shut off all the lights.
You wouldn’t even know I am there.
Pulling at old skin tags.
Thinking about veggie patches
and the mistress.
Not mine, someone else’s.
I don’t have a mistress.
The whole idea of a mistress is absurd.
Like chewing on a pen cap for it’s obvious
I don’t think I can hold out much longer.
My gnarled spine crawling up my back
and out my nose.
The freshly shaven face like a clean slate.
The mincemeat clarity of sound check
A knock at the door
and I am standing in the bathtub.
Sewing heart transplants onto old teddy bears
so the markets don’t crash like cars
I don’t think the poem is beautiful.
Everyone says it’s beautiful and everyone else
says it’s ugly and somewhere in the middle
is a fence you get sit on as long as the owners
I don’t want the poem to be beautiful.
Ugly is okay, but never just for the sake of ugliness.
That fence could be torn down in no time,
but everyone seems to like it.
I don’t climb on poems
or write fences into yards.
Ugly is preferable.
The poem is not beautiful.
Crash Diets Should Not Involve Cars
You expect as much
but the underground
sneak up on you
is not on a diet
show your many attempts
a beluga whale
Windy City Poem (for Alyssa Trivett)
You got that windy city
wind as well
and it’s really that
that cuts through everything
and brings the cold
to the bone.
She tells me I have written a poem
I decide that she is right
and that this one
is for her.
If you burn your genitals, it’s a 1% percent burn,
she says out of nowhere.
If you burn your genitals, it’s 1% of your body mass.
I suddenly wonder why she is telling me this.
If she thinks I will burn my genitals or am planning to
in the near future.
Maybe she is planning on burning them
and this is her way of telling me.
Her face down in the NCLEX nursing book.
Maybe she is just thinking out loud.
I don’t say anything.
Men seldom do when it comes
to burning genitals.
Her nursing exam is in a few weeks.
My genitals might be on it.
They always say it is “untimely”
as though Death can be
anything but “untimely.”
Like there’s ever a good time
to die. Even the oldies still feel
they have a little more left.
A few years of arthritis and old war stories
But the obits always say “untimely.”
I have half a mind to put one in
that says such a Death was timely.
Couldn’t wait for that mean bastard
to kick it.
And just when the son of a bitch
looked as though he was panicking
and wanted to confess to anything – BOOM!
Don’t betray yourself now.
Go out just as you came in.
This nostalgia after the fact is nothing but guilt.
Manufactured or otherwise.
Seems death is always “untimely” unless you are
a hitman and paid for said death.
Still, the family will think it “untimely”
and say as much in the papers.
Barrie Anne Gardens
was the Compton
of the North
for poor families
just starting out
maybe it has changed now
they seem to be levelling everything
to the ground
and erecting condos
with extra fees
but this was knife
back in the day
lots of wives with unexplained bruises
along the bus path
which was a selling point
as I screamed for milk
because I was still
my father in accounting
and my mother in damn near
as long as it paid
and we could make rent.
I stand over the toilet
and think of front loaders
in gravel pits
wiggling the thing around
when I’m done.
If I were a back loader
I would sit down.
Spread the cheeks
like spreading the love.