The breath lands on your shoulder.
Queer-wheeled and all
The world hasn’t stretched into a teardrop
Yet there’s some leftover solace in a brown paper bag
In the break room fridge so help yourself.
Its lower-left quadrant mottled by grease
Or some other non-GMO effluvia
Of the 40 hour week but no tears.
This motif was built on blood and sunshine,
Indigenous plants and a divine work ethic
Predicated on fratricide.
Bees come and go in the garden
Pollinating like fools.
We hew closely to prescriptions
Baiting the bears with earrings made
take a stab
miss a payment
broach the subject
rassle the bear
enumerate the innumerable
lampoon the vestiges
vote your conscience
kick a chair
build a glass house
piss in the wind
fart in a tornado
cry at the end
Once in one
Of the Dakotas
& listening to kiwi pop
Light broke through
A fractured pane
And scattered on the floor
At such moments
Your trained lemur
Francisco is a gentle, old soul
A poet in another life
Or maybe a day laborer
He tugs at the chin strap
Of his tiny red fez
And we laugh
Like in the days
When we loved
Each other more than ourselves
Or a lemur dressed like a bellhop
In a late 80’s indie film
But we always ignored the furtive cues
And that’s why across the miles
Here in Wyoming starting tomorrow
Or the day after that
I’m drying out
To wither away
Like fallen leaves
From a fallen oak
First the dead spot
In the vision
And the thought
Will it ever go away?
And if not
Could you focus
On a vacuum
All of the days
Without losing your mind?
But then it floats
Like jagged little jolts
And you want to lie down
To let rest wrap you
In the cool sheets
Of a presaged death
There’s flooding in Louisiana
Discontent in a board room
A man collecting his possessions
From under an overpass
And upon waking
There’s a wedge
Driven into the back of your head
But the log won’t split
Not yet at least
So they keep hammering
Yes they do
Until the jagged little jolts are gone
The waters recede
And a man buries himself in rags
While you wait
There’s nothing better
In this world of disarming contrasts
Than to bide your sweet time
On the salty days
Of a waning summer
In the sultry southeast
With a collection of short stories
By an esteemed South American writer
But if I had my druthers
Which are boxed down the basement
Next to jars of dried gumption
With my riding crop, pith helmet and jodhpurs
(It’s a long story, most of them are)
I’d put my lips to your page
And trace the horizon of your voice
As I cross the equator
I made sure to compare
Apples to apples, oranges to oranges
Before burning down the packing house.
The flames danced like heathens
In the throes of godless confidences.
Eric said “When you hear music, after it’s over,
It’s gone, in the air, you can never capture it again”
So I kept a rhythm to the rain
By beating on an old coffee tin.
When then the Sirens cut in I thanked
My lucky stars for two left feet
And hugged the walls
Like an acrophobic sniper.
Somewhere out there
Someone with two right feet
Was dancing the night away.
Ease off the fun pedal, Charlie
The dawn and its Christ will rise again
So pour me a bloodshot
To chase your grandmother’s eggs benedict
Neither breakfast nor this road
Will go on forever so
Let’s not get there on an empty belly.
Shake some beads on that worry machine of yours
And fix the Say Hey Kid to your spokes.
Let the wind curse what’s left of the lion’s mane.
New, old, middle aged, mox nix,
I pulled the thorn from his paw just the same.
The violins are crumbling like cheap suits
Or salt water taffeta communion dresses.
Innies or outies are just two aspects of the void.
In space, no one can hear you dream.