Excuse Me, Are You Finished With That Hegemony?

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Hey man,

Respect the dynamic.

Our empire can’t be erected

On the backs of other’s babies.

 

Again. Can it?

Oh, and speaking of erections

Ladies, maybe if you let us touch your bodies

Every once or twice or three times

 

We’d let you have a say

About your plumbing or that place

Down there wherever the stork

Deposits the twinkle in God’s eye.

 

Alls I’m saying is it’s tough being white.

Hard to be WHITE. The WHITER THE HARDER.

It’s almost, almost like trying

To not there at all.

 

If A Poet Dies Does He Make A Sound?

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Oh, did you hear?

L the poet died.

No, feigned mourning,

I hadn’t.

 

Quick,

Fire up the laptop,

Gas up the time machine,

Dog-ear the Bible.

 

Sigh, They’re all dying

To the click-clack of the keyboard,

To the swipes of approval

Or disapproval.

 

In a Democracy everyone gets to Heaven.

Once there you can rate it:

0 being worst and 5 being best.

In an Oligarchy it’s pay-to-play.

 

We still get to write our review

But only from the vestibule,

And, of course, no one reads it.

Like L’s poetry.

Where I Bury My Meat

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Howie said it was fine with him but I wasn’t so sure.

“It’s fine with me,” He said.

“I’m not so sure,” I seemed to reply with a shrug of my shoulders “But, okay, I guess” and flung the burlap sack over the bridge railing. As it descended it began to assume a variety of geometric shapes like one of those 3-D screen savers you see down at the public library when you realized you’ve fallen asleep during your “job search.” Thankfully, between the roar of the traffic and the gusts of wind cuffing our ears we couldn’t hear the cries. We didn’t even wait to eyeball the splash. Then again, we never do. Some things are best left in God’s hands.

Interpersonal relationships can be tough. Hell, I even hate myself so much sometimes I’ve thought about asking Howie to throw me off the bridge but it’s tough to find a burlap sack that would hold me and he’s always been kind of frail especially since the railroad accident. So, I keep waking up, blinking my eyes three times and telling myself Show The World Your Smile.

Anyways, we walked along the old trolley tracks and thought of a time when people on this side of the river could ever imagine or want to visit the other side. I told him one time at the library I figured out a way to search for things on the internet and found old videos of a the trolley that ran between here and there right along the same tracks we were rummaging around now.

“Never shit where you eat” was all he said. That was his father talking. I knew that because I knew his father. He used to drive us to baseball games over in Jersey. We’d sit in the back of his Toyota truck with the American flag bumper sticker on it and throw old beat up baseballs into the river. We were really something then. Came in 2nd place to a bunch of Brothas from Ewing Township. Never heard the end of that from my old man but Howie’s dad never said much about it. Just kept shoving Beech-Nut chewing tobacco into his mouth and telling me to choke up on the bat. It didn’t matter. I could flash some leather but my stick had plateaued in the Bantams. Last time I saw Howie’s dad his lower jaw was gone. He died a month later. They had a closed casket. Howie had taught himself a slider but by tournament time his arm was a rag, just an empty sleeve fluttering in the balmy Jersey night under the lights outside Trenton. Then he had that thing with the train. I wonder if his mom is still alive. I don’t know for sure. Last I heard she had moved to Florida because her other son, Gary, couldn’t leave the state. He was always wired different. He tried some shit on me one time but I don’t think that’s what got him in trouble down there. As usual, it was something entirely different.

Hey, want to go panhandling down at the bible college? Its Wednesday night and I still have that trench coat and crutch stashed back up under the overpass.

Six to one half dozen the other was all he said.

Now when we were nine years old Howie threw nine straight strikes to close out the Bantam championship. Tony Schmidt, Donnie Ricardo and Tim Kramer. All caught looking. They barely lifted the bats off their shoulders. The ump Mr. Ruggiero said those pitches were so fast he couldn’t see them and had to call them strikes by ear when he was handing us the trophy. It wasn’t so long ago. Then again, I started thinking about how maybe two or even three burlap sacks could maybe get stitched together into one big one. Only if the time was right, you know, kind of like mercy. I was ruminating. Bad.

Penny for your thoughts he asked.

Damnit, he used to be such a smart kid I said to myself then punched his right arm up near the shoulder. Above the Led Zep tattoo. He winced. A wind came down the river and he whistled through his broken front teeth.

Strike three was all I said.

Distance To Empty

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Shave the day’s ass and walk it backwards

For even a blind rat finds a sewer now and again.

Hear the tapping of their tiny canes,

The scuttling of their street sharp claws,

 

My friends, this is a movement

That has blossomed from an inchoate

Bead of sweat into fully-formed salty tears

Rising like the oceans,

 

A palpable fear beyond metaphor,

Scripted and hidden away for years

Beneath a lonely boy’s pillow,

Dampened with dreams and kisses

 

Right next to a mule’s champed bit,

Divinity’s teeth marks on the carcass.

The world’s not flat. Its an infinity pool

And we just sold out of extra-small sunglasses.

Talking Dogs

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“Dammit,” he exclaimed slapping his right hand on the battered, oak kitchen table-slash-work desk, stacked high with neglected mail offering coupons for oil and lube jobs, new homes for $500 down, credit card receipts (which all now slid with a slight seismic shift into smaller piles for even Everest is diminishing over Time), a to-do list written on the back of a religious leaflet in the guise of a check drawn on THE BANK OF ETERNAL LIFE (RESOURCES UNLIMITED) Pay To The Order Of “WHOSEVER BELIEVETH” (John 3:16)  $ Rom. 6:23 THE SUM OF Eternal Life By Jesus Christ, a full pepper shaker and a nearly-empty salt shaker which now both wobbled like bowling pins, the spare in an interminible yet precarious limbo, the veneer scarred with syrup stains and indelible teardrop-shaped sharpie tattoos like the mug a long forgotten convict who always manages to fuck-up right before parole and has finally surrendered to that void of recidivism we all eventually inhabit slowly crowding one another out from the under the beneficent umbrella of the military-industrial complex which mushrooms in the rain yet never quite protects all of us i.e. there always seems to be a few weak who get nudged out to the margins in this One Nation, Under Gawd Invincible with Liberty, “…in my next life I’m coming back as a Professor of Japanese Literature!”

 

The thunderous thud startled them both at their kibble troughs.

Jesus, here we go again, said Addie.

Nutmeg burped, I liked him better when was drinking.

He’s a dry drunk.

Hi my name’s Addie…Hi Addie…

Very funny. Yeah. Not drinking isn’t sober. Trust me. Would you rather do something well that you didn’t enjoy or keep trying to find that skill but muddle through like our buddy here?

We have a choice? I’d rather he take us out. I gotta pee like a racehorse.

Addie sneezed. Contemptuously. Nutmeg knew.

Why does it always come around to stuff like this with you?

You never want to play or scrap. I take your chewy toy from right under your snout and you just watch me. Trust me. I do my best to engage.

I like the new food. Do you?

You ask me that every day!

Yeah, well maybe sometimes its best to take things day by day, you know?

Hey, I was with the program. Not sure it transfers, though…just the same..

You get all philosophical but frankly sometimes you crawl up your own ass.

I know…its just a nice day outside I can smell it.

That was me, said Nutmeg sheepishly, I gorged on onion grass last night.

Addie went low trying to bite Nutmeg’s hind leg.

Oh Jesus pick a side and stay on it Nutmeg said shaking free.

Maybe that’s my approach? Its called inclusion. Everything matters to some degree.

Wasn’t that a John Cougar album?

Here we go…

Wait, what?

Addie started stamping her paws and wagging her tail. Nutmeg heard the leashes rattle. Finally, she exclaimed, I can almost taste it.

 

“You want to go out?” He asked.

Is a pig’s ass pork? replied Addie, Jesus Christ is life one big rhetorical question?

Small Talk

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Far be it for me, I said, Not being a “boots on the ground” type of guy, you know?

She laughed. Burped a little merlot out of the side of her mouth.

One of us had been recently divorced and the other recently separated. Neither of us sure which was which or who was who. I like boots, one us said injecting a little more irony into the discussion, probably me.

Oh really? She replied so it must have been me. Really, I said, But for all the advances isn’t it ironic that technology can disconnect suggesting the idea that Life Is One Non Sequitur After Another?

She giggled. Put her fist to her mouth suppressing the first of several hiccups. Pancakes!  she declaimed.

One of us was getting aroused. Not sure who. Ok, it was me.