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.

 

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.

As It Were So Shall It Never Be or Why Most Clocks’ Faces Are Round

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Its true: archival footage from the 70’s

Makes everyone look like a serial killer.

That’s why the world went digital.

To draw our our disparities into sharp relief.

 

Also true: I sing when happy. Like my mom.

And drink when sad.Like my dad.

They were both alive back then

Singing happily, drinking sadly,

 

Celebrating the icipient third century

Of a vaunted, esteemed republic.

Me? I sat on the floor

Playing Hot Wheels and Matchboxes.

 

What will the next encryption reveal,

Busted open like a plague, like a scandal?

That we still sing? That we still drink?

Or that the past always means more than the future?

Bumper to Bumper

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What frightens you, Norma?

What high holy terror

Can drop like a veil

And curl your toes?

 

Is it Love?

Is it the sunburned grandchildren

Of your sunburned grandchildren

Roasting along the equator

 

Where we’ll all move

To peek across the belt

Holding the world’s guts in

To see how the other half lives?

 

Norma, I am troubled.

I want to mock and deride you

But know it isn’t right.

That’s between you and your god.

 

Who called by the way

To say he’s stuck in traffic.

Seems Apollo’s chariot got a flat.

This high noon may last awhile.

Searching For Larry Screws

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I wake up and feed the dogs. I’ve lost track of a couple of Prozacs so take my dog’s. Same dose. Her’s is cheaper though. Go figure. I have a pot of coffee. Try to decipher my dreams. Am I gay? Will a violent death befall me? Is the dream of falling some atavistic remnant of our primordial primate tree-dwelling days? I burn a stick of incense. Frankincense. It reminds me of Catholic Church. Forgive me father for I have sinned.

What have I done? My whole life. You tell me. Convince me otherwise. My whole life. The entire breadth of it seemed heading in the right direction before swerving down a contrary course. But there are one or two things along the way that I can’t shake.

One was grabbing Adrianna Goodheart’s tit while I kissed her. She slapped me. Hard. No she said. Was that a tongue? I meant to ask her but that was it. The next day her boyfriend burned down our fort and my mom found our Penthouse magazine buried in a toolbox underneath the fake astro-turf carpet we had stolen from the mini-golf range’s dumpster when the firemen pulled it back to make sure all the fire was out.

The other thing was the Penthouse. Two things about that. One, there was a really hot lesbo scene in it.  A blonde and a brunette in Nazi apparel getting it on on a big white shag carpet before a roaring fire in some Gothic cabin in Sudetenland. Who the fuck knows where? They may have been vampires. I didn’t get that blonde/brunette dichotomy but it made me harder than Chinese Algebra. A few years earlier I got my first hard-on watching Raquel Welch in Fantastic Voyage on TV. I was dry-humping the floor so vigorously my parents thought I was having a seizure. My brother knew what was what but he just sat off to the side laughing letting me get psychoanalyzed by those two.

Second thing about the mag was an interview with a writer named Larry Screws. He had a mohawk and taught college in Alabama or someplace or another. Something about snakes, cars and bodybuilders and Southern Gothic. I thought, fuck, if this Gothic is like that other Gothic with vampires and buxom broads in black leather corsets count me in. See, I would finish my work first in school and go read the encyclopedias in the back waiting for everyone to get finished so I learned a lot but can’t necessarily put it all together.  It’s like knowing how a car works when you’re a kid; if you stand up you can steer it but your feet don’t reach the pedals. If you sit down to work the pedals you can’t see where you’re going.

So now I had nothing but an incipient Nazi Vampire Lesbian Fetish and a quest to find all the works or any of the works of Larry Screws. I was 10 years old. Our Republic was 200. Adriana’s hair smelled like some fruit that existed only on the labels of my cousin’s shampoo bottles. Can you blame me? Guess I’m not asking for forgiveness after all.  But what it is I’m asking for I don’t know. Don’t know at all. Sorry.

Daylight

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Things get back to slipping

Smelling like something burning in a church.

Books pile up on the futon like dishes in the sink

Or vice versa  or Vice vs. Virtue

 

For all that it matters.

Memory is soup scalding the tip of your tongue

Cursing yourself for impatience.

But the check may clear yet.

 

The days are liquid

Like quicksilver in your hands

Heavy and poisonous as the mercury

Kept in a small recyclable plastic vial

 

In the pantry off the kitchen,

Its lid snapped tight, expiration date mutable

Unlike its neighbor the macaroni & cheese.

If I make coffee, will you stay for a cup?