Tuesday, October 22, 2019

mmcxx

How much longer are you gonna be here?
                               —Kris Jenner  

I do not watch television.
I guess what I really mean
is I watch tv quite rarely.
These days, anyway.

This was not always the
case.  I turned the te-
levision off for about
ten years around 2000
(the year that I moved 
to San Francisco, as it
turns out). Because it 
was all Reality TV, Who
Wants to Be A Money
Money Money Money
American Idol.  Even
Lost looked like a cross
between a soap opera
and Survivor to me.
To me, television 
was filled with no-
thing but total trash.

Then, about a decade
later, with a huge new
televison, and a room-
mate who watched it
(at least Nick at Nite
and the Cartoon Net-
work) I’d occasion-
ally watch TV.

During that decade
pllus, I got used to
enjoying shows I
never watched but
learned to love.  It
was a couple thing,
it seems upon re-
flection.

Soon, network shows
exploded on the internet.
That’s how i look at it, any-
way.  Suddenly, after binging
on Mad Men and Damages,
watching TV was not synony-
mous with having a lobotomy,
or at least having one’s
intelligence (should one
have it) insulted.

These days there’s Netflix 
and Hulu and Amazon and 
CBS (Yes, CBS has been
around forever, but that
is a network to which I’d
certainly subscribe, were the
extra money necessary to 
do so at my disaposal.
Should I add only
because of the 
new Star Trek?).
Even HBO 
seems
a must
again,
just

to 
keep 
up with
pop culture.
And there are
so many good shows.
When Meryl Streep
appears on a weekly
drama, you know
the world has
changed.

So why am I
writing this
poem sitting
here in my 
friends’ hotel
room (We happen
to be watching
The Kardashians.

It’s my first 
time, I feel it nec-
essary to add.)?  I
feel old as I try not to
listen to what they are 
saying on the monster set 
in front of the cushy hotel 
couch upon which I am sitting.  

And uncomfortable
and embarrassed
as the world moves
away from me.

Sunday, October 20, 2019

mmcxix

Second in a Pair of Poems Found in 
2017 Leatherbound Calendar 
Picked Up on a SOMA Sidewalk:

THE PRESIDENTS BUSH









for Ellen Degeneres —— because she is my hero

Friday, October 18, 2019

mmcxviii

Found Love Poem







































mmcxvii

Ted and the Giant Pumpkin Book

I am an extrovert
who has social
anxiety.  It is to
be expected.  I
am a Gemini.

It is said that
dogs yawn
uncontroll-
ably when
they are 

anxious.
I gleaned
this striking
tidbit from
a Ted talk 

given by a
man named
Jon Ronson.
Jon read the
entire DSM

(which is the
now larger
than ever 
manual filled 
with a list of

desrcriptions 
of the 374
purported
mental dis-

orders) to
discover that 
amongst his
own were
generalized 

anxiety disorder, 
nightmare dis-
order (in which
he has recurrent
dreams of being

chased by
creatures where-
ver he goes 
who constantly
tell him that he

is a failure.
And he has 
malingering, 
which, accord-
ing to Psychology

Today, (accord-
ing to Google)
is “the purp-
oseful production
of falsely

exaggerated
physical and/
or psycholog-
ical syptoms
with the goal

of receiving 
a reward.”  I
am about a 
third of the
way through

this Ted Talk
on YouTube
and I’ve already
received quite
the reward.

I linger long
enough to hear
how Jon met
with a Scient-
ologist (because

of course he
decided to meet
up with a critic of
psychiatry), a man
named Brian,

who he asked
“Can you prove
to me that psy-
chiatry is a 
pseudo-science?”

to which Brian
said “Yes, let me
introduce you 
to Tony,” who,
as it turns out

is in Broadmoor,
which used to be
known additionally
as the Asylum for
the Critically 

Insane.  That
is as far as I 
have gotten.
I took a break
to write you 

this quick note
about our trip
to the Pumpkin
Patch (which 
you like to call

The Funny Farm).
We will take off
at 5 in the morn-
ing.  Dress warmly,
in layers.  There

may be a bit of 
sun; be sure to
wear a cap or
something.  
And we can

grab lunch in 
Half Moon Bay
on the way back
up, and be home
by around 6pm.

Sound good?
I know that I
suffer from de-
pression.  And
lately I have be-

gun to think
that I have a
set of imaginary
friends.  Well,
lately?  Act-

ually, I’ve had
them pretty much
as far back as I 
remember.  In
fact, that reminds

me, I must call
my friend Jim
this afternoon.
Anyway, I look
forward to see-

ing you this Sat-
urday.  No negative 
talk, remember? 
The glass is al-
ways half full!

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

mmcxvi

Diaspora

     Sometimes you want to believe people are something that they are not.  By the time you
     realize who they are, it’s too late.
                                                                                            —Storm from the X-Men

What’s the matter,
did a cactus get
your tongue?

I could tell by the
tone of his voice
that he was having

a problem parsing
the package.  He 
went on with his

story, Anyway,
I could tell that
he had a little

sugar in his 
trunk.  At this
point I am caught

between a laugh
and what’s the
matter did a cactus 

get my tongue.
Salty Wednesdays.
Groups full ot tears

and sarcasm (group
meetings, reparation,
recreation, rumination,

graduation).  I won!
shouted the man at
the cash register.

We were at the
corner store.  I
knew Mr. Corner.

As the winner
walked out the
door I said, Hey,

Tony, another 
wiener, eh?
I cringed as

if I were the
one that was
cringeworthy.

Rama lama
ding dong,
Tony said,

unable to 
discontinue
laughing,

ha ha ha
Rama...ha
ha ha lama...

etc.  Happy
Humpday!
says my 

gabby 
comp-
anion

to nobody
and every-
body at the

same time
(it was just
the three of 

us in the 
store by 
now, but

you could
still hear
the winner

howling his 
way down
the street,

heading in
the direction
of what was

once my home
away from
home...)....

Monday, October 14, 2019

mmcxv

Rewritten Arkansas

     You only have the right to piss in the fountain
     If you are beautiful.
                                           —Jack Spicer

Yesterday I did not
encounter any fount-
ains.  That is not true.

My youth is enshrined
within the hope for a
future; I scan of the

hustle and bustle 
around me at any
particular moment

until I spot the one
hustler and bustler
who brings a little

tingle up my spine.
The hustlers at
Union Square, no

different than the
bustlers at the
Metreon Target

or, I walk all
the way to 
Pier 39 

(always
loving to
play the 

tourist.
Like the
hustler 

I believe
I am not,
nor never

could be, 
even I know
where to find

the best catch!)
until I spot
The One.

My work has
just begun.
I am enshrined

within the twill
(or the tulle)
of the until.

’Twill happen
one day,
this until.

Like Ponce
de Leon
searching

for, and be-
lieving he 
had found,

he had “dis-
covered” (as
we “learned”

in junior
high school;
the class:

Arkansas
History)
the glorious

Fountain of 
Youth, his
life-long dream,

in Hot Springs,
Arkansas.
de Leon 

the discoverer
of Arkansas,
The Natural

State, that 
great home-
base of my

imagination,
the wondrous
Land of Oppor-

tunity.  And
also, as a side-
note, the home of

the “Chocktaw,
Chickasaw,
Cherokee,

Creek. And
sometimes
Sioux.”

Friday, October 04, 2019

mmcxiv


Aftership

Take note

of the date
of birth (the
infant squeals).

This could

just be a 
case of 
queer love

at the cele-

brity divide,
he joked to
himself. Be-

ing himself,

he joked, a
lover, not a
fighter.  He

joked.  Put

the kibosh
(he did) on
hallucino-

genics be-

cause of
the scream-
ing angels.

Always,

the ang-
els, scr-
eaming!

At last, be-

ing once
a sheep,
the word

he felt was

reborn.  The
scorn I feel
is the waste

of time

it took
to get
here.

Sunday, September 29, 2019

mmcxiii

You only have the right to piss in the fountain
If you are beautiful.
                                —Jack Spicer

Yesterday I did not
encounter any fountains.
Well, this is not true.

My youth is enshrined
within hope for a future.
The scan of the hustle

and bustle around me
until I spot the one that
brings a little tingle up

my spine.  The scan of
the hustle and bustle
around me at Union

Square or at Target at
the Metreon at nine-thirty
at night or at Fisherman's

Wharf (ever so happily
playing the tourist in my
own city!) until I spot

The One.  I am enshrined
in the twill (or the tulle)
until I spot The One.

I am enshrined in the twill
of the until.  ’Twill happen,
one day, this Until.  Like

Ponce de Leon’s ’discovery’ of
Arkansas while searching for
the Fountain of Youth, which

he’d had on authority
was somewhere nestled in
the Ouachitas, where now

sits the city of Hot Springs.*
*Hot Springs, Arkansas.  de
Leon being the ‘disoverer’ of

The Natural State, the great 
imaginary homebase of the 
imagination of yours truly;

that wondrous would be
Land of Opportunity.  And,
as we also learned in that

same Arkansas History 
Class, it was then the home
of the Chocktaw, Chick-

asaw, Cherokee and
Creek.  And Some-
times, also, the Sioux.


Thursday, September 26, 2019

mmcxii

Wednesday Handshake

Unsteady hand

job which I
lost yesterday.

It sucks, but
many problems
suck.  One

sliver of a
silver lining
is that most

problems are
inevitably
resolved.

Note to
self:  to-
morrow

try thumb
wrestling
instead.

Saturday, August 31, 2019

mmcxi

     Set the tone.

     Re-set the system.

     Destroy all monsters.

     Resuscitate them.

     We’re even.
                      —Suzanne Stein

I’ll say!  Only
I didn’t.
But if I did,
I would have.

The joke’s
on me, of course.
It always is, thought
the monster, all the way

to the bank in
Denver (the one
in the movie that
doesn’t get

blown up).  Speak-
ing of exploding
... ... ...     Oh, hi.
I wanted to tell you

(wanted to say)
that only just now
(right here, today)
I signed my life away,

away!!  On the 
Happiness Spectrum
(were there ever such
a thing), I’d be about

a ten.  As in Bo?
asked Frankenstein,
with all of the earnest-
ness of a pink polka-

dotted mini-dress.
Press regress.
(Not regrets.)  I’m
picking you up

at SFO tomorrow.
Be a chum and
bring some bootie,
will you?  For the

one-legged baby?
I love you more
than all of the
other monsters.

Friday, August 30, 2019

mmcx

       Obviously there is something hallucinatory
       in the hammering of caskets.
                                           —Jack Spicer

“Oh, Goddess of San Francisco,” I begin, 
and then I pause just a bit to wonder who
that might be (I have some ideas).  I say
pay a lot of lip service to the recently de-

parted; actually, I would intervene here to

supercede the recently deceased with 
the cumulative dead, in general.  I say
pay a lot of lip service to the success-

fully superceded intervention. Humans 

shouldn’t have expiration dates, either, 
being people and all.  Do I hear no ap-
plause from the goddesses’ gods? They 

(we) should come and go as we please.  Well, it 
must be relayed, as of course we all know, that
they (we) do. Have expiration dates. Which
(and here the audience lauds thunder-

ously) “ARE A BIT TO THE RIGHT

AND DOWN A TIDGE FROM THE BOT-
TOM OF THE BARCODE (THEIR B...s,
OUR B....s).  At any random moment

there are always a few gods on teevee,

watching over us for a few seasons.
We know which because they are 
usually the ones that are uncharac-

teristically mild (nothing but a bow-

ling ball in tornado alley, that one
tsunami in the little fish pond in the
pasture, the heatwave that hits the

beehive...and only the beehive, etc.).

They each (these gods) take an extra
long spring break that often lasts through
at least the summer, if not infinity.  At 

least this used to be the case.  Omni-

potence has its own downsides (it
is here that I become hungry and
think instead its own drumsticks;

it being omnipotence and all).  I.e.,

try attempting to visit this life in an 
unusually concealed godlike manner.
This trick makes any concealer's eye-

wear much less blatant (just ask the
eyewear, the most vaudevillian
of the accoutrements).  And speak-
ing of pizzazz, I’m a HUGE fan!

What I do is split it into 10ths (no 

matter the original size, although it
turns out to most often be personal), 
give or take, and split the glorious gore

with my pals down the sidewalk.  My 
sidewalk pals occasionally sleep in con-
cerned tents.  But lately there’s been a 
lot of tentlessness down the sidewalk.  Oh,

and there’s also the pizza problem

and the various skirmishes that ensue.  
I’ve seen some doozies, let me tell 
you!  And, lest any of you forget, 

I am telling you.  Or am I?  Anyway,  a-
mongst my pals down the sidewalk, there is 
of course Hammock Man, who always gets the fir 
(or maybe it is a furry cedar, or, as we call it, 

“That Christmas Tree Most Prickly and 
Most Dense!”) all to himself, and there’s 
the one or two who get the fire for the night 
(varying pals, each of whom, on their fire night, 

we call “The Nesters”), there’s those who pre-
fer to get caught quickest by the rising sun 
(and we call this rather elite crew “Morning 
People”).  Hammock Man has it best.  

He’s always hidden from reality during each 
segue between a pair of days (at least those with 
some semblance of sunlight throughout, I should 
clarify).  Hammock Man loves it up there.  He calls 

his gigantic cedar or fir tree Christmas.”  Houdini,
he most definitely is not, as the falls from such 
heights have been the catalyst for at 
least three broken toes (never adjusted), 

his right leg popping right out of his pelvis (we,
neither of us, yet know the technical term for this, 
but it has got to be the most painful thing I have ever
personally witnessed anyone endure, for sure) and

there was one fall after which an urgent surgery en-
sued (something about a few of the tree’s needles stuck
clean through his spine, which makes his cedar seem 
more of a pine, if you ask me).  Ever since that 

particular incident, Ol’ Hammock’s been severely 
in love with the word coccyxso much so that the 
tentants and the tentless have become a little bit 
annoyed by the man whose every day is Christmas.  

This same crew, nevertheless, manage the ap-
pearance (at least) of a genuine laugh every single
time Hammock utters the word. “Coccyx [laughter]!”  
I presume you get the picture.  But Hammock Man, at least

by our calculations, has never even emitted as much as 
a chuckle (when it comes to laughter and its kin, that is).  
And you can be fairly assured that he has led quite the
extensive existence, too.  But he does have those lovely 

and perpetual rose-red cheeks, which always convey 
a kind of laughter.  They also, I’d say, convey em-
barrassment, shyness, that there might a bit of a 
crush in the near vicinity (or perhaps perpetually some-

where in his meaty head).  Or Christmas, I suppose.  
And what is Christmas but a reminder of Easter. 
Which is but a reminder (for me, at least) of the 
oft-performed ritual amongst my pals down the 

sidewalk which some call “The Coffin Tent,” some 
“The Old Tentament,”  and others, simply, “Oh,
 Body Bag!”  And this group will often sing it as 
a song to the tune of Oh Tannenbaum (replacing the

title of the song with their phrase for the ritual).

Sure, it’s a ritual that verges on the grotesque,
perhaps, given the morbidity and all, but what’s
death but a natural event we each get to experience 

in one way or the other (be that experience to end

all experiences is grotesque and beautiful—that 
precious beauty that is in the eye of the beholder; 
that beauty that can turn the grotesque into, well, 

beauty itself, or be it anywhere in between)—so I say 
why not celebrate in some way or another, no matter
how often the occasion; I’ve rarely ever had the notion 
to look for any excuse for a bit of a celebration, after all,

no matter how it might be partaken.  Plus, a coffin
made of tent is so less problematic than the
hollowed out trunk of a tree.  especially as
there’s not a single nail or hammer to worry about.  

And, think about it:  the life” of the party, so 
to speak, in certain inclement weather (that which
is particularly wet) is easily slid by the pallbearing 
facsimile (or two) with a fair bit of ease, all the 

way down to the bay (which isn’t as far away 
as one would likely imagine), and even when it’s 
dry day, it’s not such a struggle to drag down 
the sidewalk, or the avenue, depending on the

time of death, given rush hour and all (or, rather, 
given the time of the discovery of the corpse, I 
interventionally supersede, caught up in my own 
little moment, as it were...)—although on

these days the comfy casket will likely encounter a 
snag or two, inevitably gathering a few fairly gaping 
hole on its sleep-bottom; but no one seems to mind, 
or even notice much.  Once at the bay we each 

do our thing (we are a diverse crew, for certain, 
so there is quite an assortment of things that 
might be done at the tail end of this path that be-
comes the besotted burial of the tented carcass).  

But soon after arrival at the bay’s edge, the 
tented body gets clumsily tossed into the metallic-
colored waters of the bay and then it half-floats away, 
often in the direction, as it turns out, of that spot 

directly behind “The Tentament,” as we call it.  
Or that’s what Herman always calls it, anyway.