Friday, August 12, 2022

mmmdlxxxvi

Prow Cash? Dig, Nation!

If your hunger is not satisfied,
wait a while for the next dish
to arrive. Check the backyard

for seven windblown garments
on the clothesline. They’re so
ghostly, like seven shivering

ghosts, levitating. A little bit
of disingenuousness is, by all
means, acceptable; can and

should be tolerated, without
any hate and without any bias.
If the gravity of the situation

calls for brevity then you’ve
come to the right place. Sure,
it can be tough to reach that

ideal work/life balance, but
when is it ever appropriate
to err on the side of deflation?

Whenever I suggest that you
take a breather, that means
take no more than three and

then get right back at it.
Shoulders shouldn’t slump.
Don’t even think about it (a

tacit agreement is never
binding). In summary,
back at it is

a euphemism
best left
undefined.

san franskeleton

Thursday, August 11, 2022

mmmdlxxxv

the slender-storied splendor with a secret

a hundred and forty stories
swirl around inside of me
this morning. as if have
indeed been shot up from

some sleek metropolis
so slender and erect that
i am ogled by the herds of
grounded human gnats

who shield their buggy
eyes as they look up at
me, almost bumping into
me first, as the herds make

their ways blobbily this way
and that, most all of them
headed for work somewhere,
perhaps, surprise, inside this

grandiose new obelisk with
which the tiny masses of worker
gnats seem heretofore unfamiliar.
and, yes, i feel them crawling through

my innards now, like tiny mechanistic
nuts and bolts that shoot like clock
work to whichever floors for this
day’s silly grind. like some

giddy unchecked feeling they do
rise in me, i think that i shall not
forget this frothed emotion. by
the dozens and soon hundreds

i am sated and yet shall remain
as hungry for this breakfast now as
i will be tomorrow as they come and
go. it seems like only yesterday

or so that some smug architect
and then a few more muscular
gnats emboldened by some
lines strewn onto parchment

dug the hole from which,
story by story, plate by plate,
i was til but a month or two ago
so neatly stacked. look at me now,

i’ve grown into such a smooth
and dapper behemoth. i’ll watch
as these vast clouds of gnats begin
to wither, wonder if one of them

spits a soul upon its death knell,
knowing full well that i’ll far
outlast the comings and the
goings of this batch and its

identical dim progeny and what
comes after such and so on until
generations have inhabited me,
mingling with the exquisite stories

within the gleaming walls of my
spectacularly modern exterior,
never let in on the secret that it’s
i who am the soul of this fine city.

sassy skyscraper

mmmdlxxxiv

can’t decanter?

this phase, driest in
august, could yet
finish this disaster,

who’s holding on
for dear life, crying
uncle at the doorstep

of the apothecary.
but yet the sapless
seedling finds it way 

beneath the chalky surf
ace of earth’s dusty crust,
sinking through what

goes for soil in these
here parts, desiccated
as a microwaved tarantula

(but only so to speak, such
bleak words said only for the
most imaginative ruminant,

of course), wiggle-sperms its
tiny self as if a chunk of lead
dropped down into a cask of

talcum, til this giddy-sober
little whisker’s dunked its
delirious digger-nut of a

head into the one miniscule
sticky drop of desert yet to
cling but to an urchin’s

smidge of moisture,
et voilà, kaboom,
the sapless sapling

bursts forth,
through a
hungry

earth,
it would
appear at

first,
but drunk
and sluggishly,

eventually
maturing, as
with time one

might, buoyed
by its strategic
yet perpetual growth,

enamored by its sheer
existence, its resistance
to logic, as it were, 

suggest that its mere
living be, miraculous
as it in verity is but

the very (life-
living) template
of deliberate.

watermetal

mmmdlxxxiii

palpatine the paramedic

what’s so funny about
humiliation?
 asks the
bully pulpit, but only
with high hopes of
becoming an out
comes agency
par excellence.
high on what?
if only gurney
disuse was the
only answer. we
didn’t have a class
on etiquette at the
ambulance university,
becomes an excuse for
turning manners bedpan.
when at one’s throes, a
tremendously humbling
duration should one ever
encounter, one mightn’t
expect the hesitant can’t-
see-through-the-pain-to-
glimpse-the-nausea trauma
of puke-texting 9-1-1 to’ve
been the local’s jokey way to
dial-a-comedian (farcical as it
may be, lowest common demon
as, upon arrival, our humilicon
welcomes mid-throe-down. come
on, gut-punch, i calls the doctor as i
seizure doctor! even bad jujube would
have the decent claws to slay, “get thee
to a doctor not a duncery; and save the
mouth for none but tlc, and stet!” but
yet, and am i the one to have to quell
the siren’s malicious odor. well, hell,
always one for happy endings, me
and my ego are recuperated all
but wholly not thanks to the
dick what drove me sickly
to the doc pursuant to
so bad it’s lethal
insult comic’s
bully-banter.

bug talk

Tuesday, August 09, 2022

mmmdlxxxii

Head Crud

The urgency feels gone.
But if logic were a dic
tater, would I be stuck
mid-daydream? Resoundingly,

no. And fascism, like
unemployment, sucks. So
here I go again. And yet
I sit and wait for another word

for procrastinate. But, though
the bell dongs hollowly, there
are too many bats in this here
belfry. I should wait until the

dust settles is a conundrum,
thinks the dumdum (ad infinitum).

Head Crud

Saturday, August 06, 2022

mmmdlxxxi

fuzzy sobriquet

hey, hey!
oh, hey, hey!
deadmau5 is here
to stay!
or at the
very least they’re
here today! that
was a test, by the
way. so what’s your
answer, class? [you
answer.] aha! so!
and very well! in
this class there is
no class. (we’re
unbiased,) no.
incorrect.
(answers?)
i mean say
that in this
class, there
are no
incorrect
answers. (o?)
how ’bout that?
           among
the students is a
dance they like to
call class. [is it
sometimes
rather 
called 
trance?]
[bingo!]
and how
might we
classify
this fine-ass
class? on, but,
yo, we don’t
classify [’cuz
that’s a no-no].
[it isn’t allowed,
at least aloud.]  
well, for one
thing they're pro
              noun;
déclassé. and
that’s perfectly a-ok.
[meanwhile, 
5witching to what
they’re actually
doing. . . .] i’m
sending
out
my
resume 
[uh huh].
so, hey, hey!
said, hey, hey! 
bedhead is here 
to stay! [now
they’re think
ing don’t
blame 
the
dance, blame 
the dancer.]  i’d 
much prefer rolling
my eyes up clean up
into my skull [mau5
ears glowing like a
metronome] and
get lost in some
other state
[they mean
the dancefloor].
thump, thwack!
thump, thwock!

knock, knock.
who’s there?
what’s the
best state
in which to
work? why,
the state of
unemployment,
of course. [nope, 
says our anti-hero,
the seeker] [and
what a sucker!]
[didn’t they mean
to say it
’s the state of
                      trance 
thats number one?]
nope, says the fraud.
nope, says our sucker,
the seeker, getting back
to the beat. that i
s indeed 
our fair protagonist, the
antagonist.  getting
back. to. the beat.
and so [wait for it],
hey, hey!
oh, hey, hey!
trancey-dance
is here to stay!
[beat that, buster!]
[naw. i’m pretty
sure you got it.]
[and, by the way,
here’s your a plus.]
[keep on shakin’!]

doin' the dada

Friday, August 05, 2022

mmmdclxxx

devilution

it’s 2022 (oh,
no! he said it!)
and there’s a
lot of hell in
the cinematic
world.

there’s
a lot of hell
in the real
world, too.

[our hero
now ponders
for a moment...]

but subtitles
are suddenly
pretty cool.

think positive,
says the monster,
[ka-ching!] positively.

think pawsitive

Thursday, August 04, 2022

mmmdclxxix

My Plateau

“Where exactly is the peak from
which you take in the best view?”
asks my imaginary therapist (I
think?), turning it all back to me.

I take the microphone easily, bree
zily. It is the vacuum of August, 
month of holiday-less vacations,
the time of year that is most often

filled with the rising heat of the
seemingly endless void. When all
of the laziest canines, at least those
who don’t exist on hummingbird time,

sleep and occasionally daze from the
softest and coolest perches (where the
most delicate pooches spend hours
twisting and folding themselves just

so, into the most comfortable and
canonical luxurious nose-down poses).
“Oh,” I respond, my lips to the mike,
with only the slightest vocality in an

otherwise whisper, “I’m with them.”
I point individually to the several
lazing dogs that can be easily seen
(from where we sit or snooze or lang

uorously stroll), each almost content
edly stuck somewhere in their own
individual cycle of dozing and dazing.
“I’m caught up in the seemingly end

less dream of the chase.” And this
goes on. Whether I’m lying prone
in a literal slumber or sleepwalking
through a perverse meta daydream.

This must be true, I can hear myself
thinking, unable as I am to ever quite
determine my state of consciousness.
I’m as captured as I am enraptured,

as it were, within the fog’s embrace.
I strain in attempts to peer through
the thick of it, my semi-conscious
imagination, in search of a clearing,

somewhere the fog opens, exposing
whoever I am to the glistening sun;
atop one of the several renowned hills
of this lost metropolis, perhaps. My

numb legs wobble around shakily 
seeking incline, any groundswell 
that might lift me and my heart 
(that’s body and soul) into the 

open arms of my love. For we have  
an appointment, I say to myself con
vincingly. He’s been awaiting my
arrival, and once I do, he’s as

happy to see me as I am happy
to see him, and I’m all caught up
in the magnificent squeeze, the
electrifying clarity, of his hug.

And then we are off. So down
we go, as gay as can be, for fair
September, and another spectacular
night on the town, our lost metropolis.

meta me

Tuesday, August 02, 2022

mmmdclxxviii

TBH

Why’d we play a silly get-to-know-
you game instead of ask the probing
questions of the month directly? It’s
that curiosity that keeps love alive,

that elevates commitment to adventure.
Let’s always coalesce just to confess our
darkest secrets. Or don’t we have any?
I’ve a defiant hope that we each do.

Why? Well, sure, when it comes to you,
it may require more effort to remove a
layer. But what thrill to make each day
a quest to glean some deeper part of you.

What better way to keep love an adventure
and to extend what is until the ever after?

2 happy faces

Monday, August 01, 2022

mmmdclxxvii

     America, you boil over
                    —John Wieners

Two and a half
years now in my
sweltering coffin
of a hotbox (of
note: it’s been
an unseasonably
cool year thus far—
   )   the difference
between outside
and inside is strong.
I’m not sure what
I’m doing here. I’m
not sure of anything
but declaring my love.
It’s no mystery, really.
A psychedelic interlude
might deepen or enhance
it. But not everyone can
afford such luxuries as
psychedelic interludes.
Not I, sealed up as a
hermit in Hotbox #424,
sending all of my love
through the walls and
the one little window.  
It roves across the 
land and flies over 
the broad seas 
along side its RSVP.

drip

Sunday, July 31, 2022

mmmdclxxvi

Aspiration

Scroll back to
about a hundred
years ago. I thought
I saw you perspiring.

This was before the
Big Bang. Now, as
I stare into space.
Or at the jar

full of decayed
fruit. One might
think. What with
all of the con

cupiscence. A still
life
. What about us?

wormholes of desire

mmmdclxxv

The Disengagement Dance

I tend these
days to go
about my
business,
my routine,
in fits and
starts and
with such
swoop and
such swerve
just to get
out of the
way of
humanity
all the while
hungry for
anything
that might
resemble
social inter
action. It’s
such a pickle
of a problem,
this conflicting
push and pull
towards and
away from
engagement,
that if I find
myself think
ing on it as I
pinball my way
through people
getting from
wherever I was
to wherever I
am going, I
become so
overwhelmed
by the imposs
ibility of it all
that sometimes
my dizzying dance
will come to a sudden
standstill. And in
that frozen
state this
dilemma
will swell
within me
until I be
come so
saturated
with this
conflict—
this push
and pull I
feel with
those with
whom I
perform
this daily
topsy-turvy
choreography—
that it dominates,
it takes me over,
filling me with
such vertigo that
it is all I can do to
remain standing
in that wobbly
state, my two
feet glued to
the ground,
the world
blurrily
swirling
around
about me.
Eventually,
I find com
fort in the
awareness
that I have
been here
before, and
that soon
again, I’ll
somehow
be able to
lift a foot
and take
a step in
hopes to
move
again
towards
whatever
my next
destination
will be. And
that direction,
ever forward,
just up ahead,
is the only
direction
that exists,
is the very
one that
got me
here in
the first
place,
despite
all of the
twisting
and turn
ing and 
veering.
And then
I’m off
again,
dancing
erratically,
as I always
do, with you
and you and
you and . . . .

the disengagement dancer

mmmdclxxiv

Overstuffed

“Who’s that
sad clown
they can
never
quite
stuff
down
the barrel
of the circus
cannon?”

“Why that’s
me, of course.”

sad clown broken little rock

Saturday, July 30, 2022

mmmdclxxiii

Coin versus Catfish

I come from a family of
leisurely fisherfolk, so
even before I was born

(I am certain) I’d been cast
by my folks and theirs and
so on as the little buster

who reels in the catch. And
so I was placed in all of the
fishiest high-falutin’ perches

known to exist by the general
public in the land of my youth
(that’s The Natural State, which

had up until recently and most
unnaturally been nicknamed,
rather, the Land of Opportunity).

So just picture me, as I do, if I
try hard to recollect, peering
down through the current from

the banks of the Arkansas River,
trying to envision what was im
possible to tell: whether or not

any yellow-gilled catfish were
slithering the surface of the
riverbed, that is. This was a

sport in which I was least
likely to participate (al
though there’s not many 

a sport in which I’d but
reluctantly join). And
yet I spent many a long

and grueling hour at this
minnow and worm and kid
finger-puncturing activity.

I’d try so hard to concoct
a way to make the days
go by more swiftly when

I’d be stuck at this eternal
family ritual, but to no avail.
In fact, the harder I’d try, the

longer the day would become.
This diversion, I’d strain to
envision, was something

so crucial, was my heroic
version of divining, or of
that alternative sport

which was practiced, and
just as religiously, in those
local parts: dowsing with a

twin-forked twig (which was
but another yawn-fest, in my
humble opinion). In retrospect,

there was an even better
analogous elevated hobby,
career or condition, one that

was also quite popular there
abouts, if but a bit more modern,
and it, too, was performed quite

often along the same riverbanks
and creek beds where you’d find
dreary me on many a weekend.

Also similarly, this was a sport
most ordinarily performed by
elderly numismatist retirees,

ones who’d get antsy if sunk
in their La-Z-Boys for longer
in duration than an episode

of Wheel of Fortune. This
was surely a means for an
escape into something more

solitary; no kids or grandkids
or wives would ever seem to
accompany. And they’d always

remind me of zombies, playing
miniature golf, only in very slow
motion and without any golf balls.

They’d swing those things just
a bit to the left then a bit to the
right, and back and then forth and

yet ever so slightly directly in front
of their slow-dancing gait, a weird-
wiggled walk that at least the first

generation of the undead always
seemed to have. Golf clubs, in
deed! In those days, these metal 

detectors appeared as if out of 
nowhere, and by the plethora. I 
was in awe. I’d so rather have

been in what we called the
city playing a round or three
of miniature golf. Occasionally

I’d have the good fortune,
between reeling in minnows
and worms, that is, of witness

ing one of these patient loners
bend over, reach down, and
pick up something which when

wiped a bit by a handkerchief
or the bottom of a button up
oxford would glimmer at me

for a moment before it went
into a pocket or a backpack.
And I can tell you for certain

that if given the chance, I’d
have traded that rod and that
reel in a heartbeat for one of

those gizmos that looked like
weed whackers, and hovered
just above the earth like a tiny

UFO (while making all kinds of
UFO noises). Instead, I was stuck
in a boat or on the bank under

a glaring sun counting every
excruciating minute until it
was time to “Let’s reel ‘em

all in,” which I’d gleefully do,
and help hitch up the boat
before hopping into the cab

of the pickup for the ride
back home, during which
I’d be nothing but fidgety

and hungry and daydream
ing (well, it would have
been twilight by then) of

what I would find in the
sand or the soil if instead
of wasting so much time

with a rod and a reel
attempting to lure in
a slippery fish or two,

I’d have had in my grip a
metal detector, scooping up
loot and getting rich, to boot.

contemplating the catfishes

Friday, July 29, 2022

mmmdclxxii

Haven’t Ya Heard?

there are no more words.
this is the bunk what
happens, ya hear?
when the slishity-slosh
has disruptured your ear.
there ain’t no more god
damned words left, my
dear. wawawa woogie
maloogie mah dear.
au revoir, au revoir,
midnight’s anon. and
sputnik’s an adjective,
zozo’s a gown. this
cause of this mess is
such a sensationless
hokissy pokissy
coo coo kachoo. a
typical word’s worth
a fortune, you know?
a typical fortune’s
atypical person and
persons like word
herds have over pop
pop—that’s overpop
popladed reverdeetop—
stimladed zoopa di 
zeemu lacra an ab
ra skidabra alacra 
da abra scab kidabra—
i mean stutter stutter o
verdapopple ate. stinko
beano end o’ pinko
weigh up on toppa
duh brinkitty brink.

de ja pü

mmmdclxxi

Can’t Speak

My tongue’s
become
numb rubber.

Who knew
a day like
this might

come? The
world goes
on and on

without
me—and
yet I sit

right
smack
dab in it,

only I’m
struck
dumb.

No words.
And my
tongue

numb.
No spark,
no sputter.

Just unsung
birds, forgot
ten names.

The city
leaves my
mouth like

fogroll—
legroll—
whole

hog—
egg bowl—
bingo bongo—

gogo gonzo—
braino draino—
nah. mah. wadz.

da na ra ma tha ara

Thursday, July 28, 2022

mmmdclxx

the
teeny*
tiny
twist


this
tempting
tendency
to articulate
ten tons of
tickle-tarty
tongue
twisters
t’ertanally
entangle
the tongue.

*alas,
  my
  bad,
  this
  bit,
  no
  doubt,
  is a
  smidge
  less
  teeny
  than
  tiny.


the tiny not so teeny twist

mmmdclxix

Grunge

He clung
to the bum
of his very
own son
because
that’s how
long his arms
hung. This was
their first en
counter in
months—
the occasion
none but to
check in on
the son of a—
but given how
long his arms
hung, almost
at once he felt
the small gun
that rested up
on his son’s
left bun. It
was then that
Ben noticed—
Benjamin, the
son with the
gun upon
which his
pop had
his palm
overlayed—
the warming
bulge of the
pistol being
so steadily
pressed into
his butt that,
he gleaned
that his pop,
so stunned
by Ben’s gun
was no doubt
about to come
right undone,
and this rev
elation, of
course, was
no fun, so
that now
pop’s dear
Benjamin
was horribly
bummed.
This sad
little scene,
such a bun
dle of blun
ders, had
all played
out in a
run of
just over
a minute
at right
about
quarter
to one
when
Ben’s
poor
pop
had
arrived
in surp
rise. But
the sad
vignette
turned all
but tragic
would stay
frozen for
several
minutes
more on
account of
the dorm’s
loudspeakers
(which were
overly loud)
at right when
the man was
plumb coming
undone blared
none other than
Soundgarden’s
Black Hole Sun.
So, in light of
that spirit (and
forgive me the
pun), this dumb
little father-son
story is done.

sad clown

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

mmmdclxviii

Sonnet w/o a Shirt

      All I felt was fall in love.
           —Anselm Berrigan (on being in the apartment 
              of Dodie Bellamy and Kevin Killian, from 
              various notes on Kevin’s passing in Harriet)

“I’m not naked,” says this poem
directly into a smallish crowd of
mostly youthful human beings who
think to a person that they know what

love is. It was, of course, a distant
and dreamy time when the sex of
the lyric was always sexy. “Diiiig,”
proclaims the piece, who knows bet

ter than to stand under the naked sun
with their shirt off on such a remarkable
Saturday afternoon. All of the humans
roll their eyeballs up until the insides of

their heads bleed, for they are the last hep
cats who can really soak up a trend (relish!).

soaking up the sun in grade number one

Tuesday, July 26, 2022

mmmdclxvii

the checkbook, a 21st century relic,
slides itself under the front door,
stands up, and walks down the
driveway to the sidewalk, where
it escapes behind the hedgerow


never to be seen again by the people who
occupied the fine establishment that had
just been exited by an inanimate object,
despite the warrant they put out for its
apprehension, and a reward that could’ve
moved one into an altogether separate class
(if one were in the ever-expanding colloid known
as “lower” – and it is true that “middle” had been
inching ever toward this strata as both the bottom
and the middle had experienced what had become
known as a “squared” or sometimes “cubed” gravity
field at such levels as compared with, say, gravity
most anyone alive might remember just months
back; and yet somehow the gap between what
the original first and second layers that were
essentially collapsing into one another and
the meringue, the veritable icing, that
level known as “upper” was expanding
in what might as well have been explained
in “layman’s terms” as “by the galaxy,” or
“by a vacuum that is steadily expanding
in a way one might call galactical exponentia.”
and with the planet become one gigantic lower-
middle class sinkhole and the upper crust rising
like a thin-lipped, crisp Olympus, words had, as it
turned out, become less and less effective. which is
to say, words had become less necessary. language
had begun to not exactly wither, but a more effective
description would be to say that language, words them
selves, had begun to sort of bottom out. there were many
sounds that were emitted in expression, from the rumbling
moans rising from the planet’s sinkholes, to the airy, thin-
lipped and high-pitched, not-so-sonorous yodels that were
whimpered from Olympus. expressions were viable at this
time, and were used, although it was often difficult to ascer
tain to what effect. but soon words, or what firstly were
attempts at emitting complete sentences, as had been
done with such regularity in the old days, began in
seeming earnest, the gods and goddesses, as well
as the sunken souls below, would, before a literal
and recognizable word or two would be awkward
ly mouthed, these attempts would soon simply
disintegrate into a low-pitched sound that
sounded as if it were coming from the
bottom of the perpetrator’s bowels,
or from some faraway and yet
now nonexistent farm animal
like a crieoowwwww. or a
cliarawawawwwwwwawww.
or a dirigidirigiduhooozzzah.
an aooooooozzzzaaaahh.
an ooooooozzzzowww.
until it was just the
silence that slowwwed
and that sleeeeelewwwed
the mahhhs. the mazzzes.
the mohouzzzeethewwws.

this is all that there is

mmmdclxvi

What can you tell me about my journey?

What stands out as eccentricity
or worse as my own perspective
gets lots for lack of practice. For
lack of interaction. As wisdom
sprouts from within like these
gnarly hairs that grow out of
my ears, or like the kinky
eyebrows that grow at
three times the rate of
the rest, and seem to
multiply exponentially
each year (first there
was one, then there
were three, then six. . .). . . .
I know exponential like I used
to know potential, which, if one
is not a late bloomer, say, once
that motor’s running, decreases
exponentially with each year it’s
utilized (utilize it well, my love, but
do not rush, you must never rush your
your potential, because that plateau will
be there, I swear it will, or it’ll be a goal
until you’re gonzo at least. But, oh
such joy in my heart as I tell you
this, but practical joy – once the
plateau is reached, where do
you go from there? Oh, there
is plenty of there there, do not
get me wrong, it’s just that the fun’s
in the incline, so steep that with every
step, no matter the weather or no matter
how thick the surrounding brush or how bloody
you’ve become from the brambles you’ve fought
each fine step to escape, at the end of the day, it’s
clear that you’ve progressed, you’ve risen up, you’re
higher than you’ve ever been before! So pace yourself.
Because no matter how slow you go, you’re still heading
up, and each and every night as you stretch yourself out
in the most comfortable position, upright as it almost always
is, and you rest your head upon a rock (another tidbit of
advice: it’s always better if it’s covered with moss on
one side or the other) – no matter how many steps
you’ve marched toward the inevitable top – you
have progressed, you can, with a splendid if not
slightly dizzy sense of satisfaction, know that
your altitude is at some point greater than
it was when you caught shut-eye the
night previous. So. Keep that focus
on the notion of the plateau, keep
that goal close to your heart like,
say, nirvana. But there’s no
need turning your venture
into a race. Take your
time. Enjoy your
surroundings,
what comes
at you, and
who you are
today as com
pared with who
you were yesterday.
Because once you make it
there, you’ve made it. Then
what? Slowly the sense of sat
isfaction from the progress that
you made every single day dissipates.
And there’s only one way to find that
feeling again, my love. And once
you’re that lost, you’ve not an
ounce of patience or perspect
ive left. And to the north,
or to the south, to the
east, or to the west,
in almost any dire
ction, at the edge
of nearly the en
tire circumfer
ence of that
plateau, you
will find that the
cliffs are sheer. And
while you’ll be ever so
tempted, and what with the
slosh of your brain and the sway
ing wattle you once called muscle
that’ll make up that body of yours
because you’ve been resting on your
laurels without a real goal at which you
might aim, nothing at all from which you
might orient yourself and find that motivation
that comes with certainly when one has a purpose,
one way or another, inevitably, you’re going to
go down. You’ll dream vaguely if you can’t
secure within you what I’m telling you right
now that you want down as a means to
get back up, but your recollection and
your sense about how to go about such
a thing will be indescribably vague, but
you need to trust me on this one. I
assure you that if you’ve lived without
a reason for existence for just a moment
too long your senses are going to bug out
and the last thing you’ll know is falling. So.
Listen very carefully, my dear, at this question,
which I ask that you keep near your heart through
the entirety of your journey, so that you may conjure
it up at any time, most specifically after you’ve reached
your destination and you’ve lost all sense of reason, of
motivation, of goal, of perspective: if you’ve spent
what seems an eternity gleefully climbing your way
up in this world, and then one day you find that
you have arrived at your destination, would it
not be mind-bendingly senseless to then
drop yourself, say, feet-first, off one of
those sheer cliffs, only to have just
enough time to realize as you soar
to your inevitable death, that
you’ve just gone about
erasing every single
effort, every single moment
you’ve given to getting there in
the first place? So don’t lose that spirit.
Nor the wisdom that will come at such a
great and satisfying cost.
Unless, my love, you
have a penchant
for the absurd.
Then, I suppose,
all bets are off.
But either way, my
suggestion to you is
that you do not let that
notion get lost. Keep what
I’ve said held tight. It seems
such a simple thing, but hold on
for dear life. Onward and upward,
my love. You’ve ahead of you a
lifetime journey of such risk, to
be sure, but with each passing
day you’ll know a bliss surp
assing anything you’d ever
felt until then, day in,
and day out. Breathe
in every ounce of it
as it grows within
you and as you
grow through
it. [They hug
goodbye, and
the young man
is up and then
forever away.]


Wednesday, July 20, 2022

mmmdclxv

a bod, a fraud, applaud, ipanema

‘you can say that again!’ only,
i’d much rather you not, i respond
to myself, standing here in
the fog that’s more like
a rock with no roll.
and aloud, but
not very, because i’d
rather maintain this feeling
of being submerged, of complete
immersion. until, at least, i’ve
persuaded myself of a little
diversion. is it that i’ve
grown bored, gotten
restless? or is just
me being, per usual,
feckless? and before i can
know it, i’ve swum myself out
of the colloidal gunk and all the
way back to the sun. oh, my! and
oh, me and my sensitive skin! can’t
you look at the muck that i got myself
into!? only then i remember of whom
that i ask. i was always this reckless,
between you and me. and genetics being
genetics, i can’t help but think, are made up
of gene and louise in my case (garl and mabel,
to be more precise, i should say. to clarify things
just a little bit more, those two were my grand
parents. and they had but just one vice:
they each disavowed their given first
names. so i knew them as papaw and
granny louise, you see?). can we rest,
if you please? my brain feels so damned,
so digested. can we rest while i dream—and with
all i have left—how to kill this disease and arise from
this state of bereft as if finally uncocooned and
and then cannoned right up and into the
magnificent blue. oh, boo-hoo,
if they could only just see
what i have become!

unt del deli del

mmmdclxiv

it seems as if

my appearance on
the tonight show
has been canceled,
you, riding in the
passenger seat
with the wind
blowing through
your hair. but
we aren’t even
moving, the keys,
still in my hand (my
hands aren’t even
shaking, will you
look at that). but
we had emerged
from the desert,
somehow, the
wind blowing
through your
hair, before
the legions
of zombies,
so very
grateful
just to have
arrived alive. 
look! there 
it is! the
new bay bridge
in the distance!
but the traffic’s
backed up all the
way to sacramento.
which is fine, just you
and me, i mean, the
only ones that are
even barely moving,
given that once in
the city, we’ll find
it, too, overrun 
with the walking
dead, staring
blankly into
us, or we 
know
better,
right
through
us. ‘oh, 
well,’ you 
say, somehow
relieved, and having
lived to tell. all of
those dead
pedestrians
who never
minded us
in the first
place.

from broken snowmen to dead pedestrians

Tuesday, July 19, 2022

mmmdclxiii

the thing about people

they’re nowhere near as
wonderful as you are. in
fact, they’re exactly the
opposite, almost to a t.
that’s the thing about
most people. not really,
of course. humanity, in
reality, is so much more
mundane. okay, perhaps
that isn’t true, either.
because mathematic
ally speaking, i supp
ose i might need to
actually get to know
a few (more) of them
first, you know? in or
der to make such a
grand and bleak
assessment.

the trouble with people

mmmdclxii

There are other. . .

places in this world
where a tourist might be
at which tourism is quite unlikely.

fish in the sea
(like you and like me).

matters that we should discuss.

options to consider –
sushi, for example, or, perhaps,
a French fusion of some sort.

things to do besides
sitting around all day
just being cerebral.

actors in this film
and yet you choose
to be obsessed with that one?

perspectives on how the truth
relates to honesty. Honestly.

choices one might make,
but is obsession a choice?

books that have been written
on the same subject. Tons
of them, as a matter of fact.

calamitous eras in the
history of humankind.

bluffs. Other cliffs over which
one might survey a
vast expanse.

cliffhangers.

rehto

mmmdclxi

off-kilter

about now
is when i generally
slip off and into eccentricity
which is tricky
because
already there
i try not to mope
as i sweep and i mop
away these various insecurities

     it’s mind over
     the matterhorn
     or so they say

don’t they?

activity of the month

Monday, July 18, 2022

mmmdclx

Two Titles For Which I Am Perfectly
Willing To Write The Poems
                     x
Two Quotes from John Ashbery
Along With My Misreadings Of Them


Title for a poem I would write, Number 1:
Get a Load o’ Yoda!

Quote Number 1 from a poem by John Ashbery –
from Stupid Petals (Breezeway, Ecco, 2015):

         “I wanted to read that book, close to the circus.”



Title for a poem I would write, Number 2:
Euripides Eumenides

Quote Number 2 from a poem by John Ashbery –
from Farm Hubbub (from Breezeway, Ecco, 2015):

         “They will still be building buildings.



And the 2 misreadings by a wound and wounded poet
(circa 2:00am):

         “I wanted to read that book close to the circus.”

         “There will still be building buildings.”

Ashbery & Windex

Sunday, July 17, 2022

mmmdclix

Note to Self

Listen, Hon,
I’m not trying
to add any more
agony to the min
iature version of
hell you’ve been
incubating in that
head of yours
these days
and nights,
but if you’re
going to be
up all night again
wrestling with your
demons, could you
at least have the
decency to give me 
a heads-up, say, by
around noontime?!
Or any time prior
to the wrestling
match, really,
because, as
a gentle re
minder,
you and I
have a lot
going on at
the moment,
so there’s more
than just your
mind games
that need
gotten to,
and fast. I
do and would
and most hopefully
will so very much
appreciate it.

Yours,

this way only, please.

mmmdclviii

Whattup?

Ain’t
a thing
goin’ down
except a bunch
of surly hurlyburly.

make art!  make art!


Wednesday, July 13, 2022

mmmdclvii

I Blame the Ugly

Which, I’ll admit
ain’t beautiful,
but there’s a
whole heckuva
lot out there
that’s ugly
as sin, I
kid you not.

And I know
that doing
this is just
as ugly of
me as the
ugly I blame
are, but can
you blame me?

We all want to
be pretty, I
dare you to
just try and
disprove that.
And if there
weren’t nobody
to blame then

what a bunch of
drop-dead gorgeous
people all of humanity
would be, am I right?
Well, of course I’m
right. So don’t be
ugly, dammit!
And that right

there is all I have
to say about that.

I blame the ugly.

mmmdclvi

Beg Pardon

Forgive my
Braggadocio,
But I am so

Very alive,
I’m alive, I 
Still live, and

This I swear.  But
Are you there?
Nope, you’re

Not. Because
You, my dear
Crew, chose

To vanish
When I
Was but

At the butt 
End of my rope.
And now that

I’ve climbed
Over half
The way

Back, I
Just wanted
To say

Go away,
Don’t come
Back, and

How utterly
Worthless
You turned

Out to be,
What a lousy
Investment

On which to 
Spend energy,
Years and years

And years of it,
Indeed, and
For such a lot

Of feckless
And sketchy
Vulgarians who’d

Seemingly exist, and
With such presence,
Such Oscar-worthy

Commitment,
Such earnest
Companions

Who’d each
And all turn
Into such

Glaring
Flakes
And just

Melted
Away
As I found

Myself quite
At the end of
My rope, not

A clue what
To do, no
Semblance

Of hope.
Well now
That I’m

Back, I’ve
Just one
Thing to

Say and
That’s
Please

Stay
Away
And

Not just
Indefinitely—
Definitely

Not—but
Rather
Forever,

At least,
If you please,
That’s infinity

And beyond
If there happens
To be one.

You seemed
Oh so earnest,
But yet the whole

Lot of you
Turned out
To be such a

Pitiful, horrible,
Repulsive crew,
And I mean it,

That’s it from
Me, That is,
To you.

And that’s it.
That’s all that
I wanted to

Say. That is,
At least
For today.

via del purgatorio

Sunday, July 10, 2022

mmmdclv

Dreamy McCheezy

Who’s actually running up
what hill? The world seems
off-kilter with a Kate Bush
song at number one and
parades of t-shirts with
a leaf motif. I won’t
ask if I’m the only
one who feels this
way. Who feels
anybody (any
more?) – or
I mean the
way Deanna
Troi feels. I
don’t even feel
like asking her, to
be honest. Being
honest is like fighting
the power (these days?).
Who wants to fight the
power just to tell the
truth? Seriously, though,
who are you, running up
that hill, and where’d you
find such power to reach
such a speed?  And what
are you here to tell us
(what are you here
to tell me?  Why
are you here?)? 
I mean that in the
most earnest way feas
ible, at this juncture.
Which is where we
are now – gosh, 
I’m sorry I keep
doing that  – 
it’s where I am
at this moment.
Fighting the power.
And for what? Bzzz!?
Hi. I started to say
I don’t care anymore
about who you are now.
About any thoughts but
my own. But I took a
test on how not to
care and I failed.
Miserably. So
who are you?
No, don’t tell
me. In this
dream that
would be a
lie, wouldn’t it?
I suppose it would be.
But one can dream,
as they say. And
that I most
assuredly do.

running up that hill

Saturday, July 09, 2022

mmmdcliv

As a Reminder

This is what I do.
This is what I love
to do. I do this
because I love
doing it. I am
unequivocally
drawn to doing
exactly this. Why
do I need a reminder?
Do I need to remind my
self or do I need to remind
you? Who are you? Forget
who you are, this is about me.
Oh, no. This is exactly what I
do. People may wonder (which
people, I wonder – probably no
body) why I would need to re
mind myself that this is what
I do. But please also note
that I’ve added that I love
what I do. Don’t I? I
think I do. And that
I’m—I believe
the word that
I used was
unequivocally

compelled

to doing it,
this thing
that I do.
How, then,
might that make
this reminder feel
(neglected)? The
bigger question
probably is, “Why
should you care?”
About what I do
or that I do it. And
regarding whether
or not I’m in love
with this thing I do.
Do you care? Because,
if you do, maybe you
could tell me why,
and then I’d know.
That you care. And why
you do. And not only would
that surely give me some solace,
but it also just might help me 
answer the question about 
whether or not I care.  And
then, I could, if I wanted
to, go about the business of
finding out why I care. If,
indeed, I actually do. 
Right?  Plus, and
this is just an
opinion here,
but I believe
that it’s nice to 
know some things,
and that it’s good
to know a little
bit about
yourself,
as well. But 
this started out
as a reminder of
something, did it
not? But of what,
exactly? Did I forget?
Maybe it’s to remind me,
simply, that this is what I do.
And that I love what I do.
But do I? I’m pretty sure
that I do.  However,
now that I’ve spent 
so much time and
expended this
bit of energy
rambling on
about it,
it seems the
more mysterious
question to me is:
What, exactly,
do I do?

What
ever it
is, I must
surely love
doing it. A lot!
Wouldn’t you say?
Oh, but why would you!?

the pink elephant in the room

Friday, July 08, 2022

Thursday, July 07, 2022

mmmdclii

I Have Taken Notes

See here, my scribbles,
by fraud and divinity,
and indecipherability and
Mother, Mother, Mom!

I have taken this down,
these notes on MUNI
and fix boogie and
call the tax people.

All seem of the same
importance, like the
pink felt tipped list
on the clean-ripped

top of a sheaf of
elementary school
paper with, what,
a trilogy of pieces

yet to be written en
titled “The unamused
muse,” “The muse’s
abuse, and “The invoice

for Joyce.” There’s
the name in green,
“Brian,” over “July
11th,” then “$64.”

There’s “AL2044779.”
I’ve made long and
short lists of songs to
add to a master music

list (written on the
top is sometimes
“MORE MUSIC” or
“to add to the music”

or, just “songs”).
There’s “more
calls to make” and
a lot that start out

“payment issue.”
The cryptic stuff
verging on the
poetic, like “H is

time for Clarity
not War...Or
Revamp Ever
for Sanity.”

Which has some
interspersed boxes
like it’s a checklist –
most just have dashes –

almost all are checklists,
one might surmise, but
_bedbugs, _looking
endlessly & comatose,

_interacting with the
never cans, _hurry
to spend hours,
_clams not cams,

_buse, _spun for
hours alone, then
“_BUT CLOTHES
ALL HERE NO

CALAMITY” – clams
not cams nor calamity
doesn’t make for calm.
There are notes about 

xanax and klonopin, 
about jobs and jobs,
scribbles taken during 
interviews that can jar,

not a single ounce
of context, and then
those that bring me 
right back to the

interview (which
whelms me at pre
sent, having had 
three separate 

interviews today, 
alone).  There are
notes taken while
talking with Mom for

hours about photos
left by her mother, as 
we speak across the
many miles it’s as if

speaking with her,
with Granny Louise,
or Grandma Hazel,
who gives us their

old home address 
in Detroit (20816
Russell) or is it
actually rather in

Highland Park?
There
’s Dad’s old
high school, John J. 
Pershing. And right

after, in the same
pen (green again),
“July 11, 1911” –
I want to call Mom,

so that is just what I
did. After her CAT
scan. When I called
earlier and Rick answered,

sounding just like her,
“But she’s having a CAT
scan, they’re going to do
surgery on her head in the

morning.”  He always
shouts.  Having just had
these three interviews
(really four), only one of

which had been sched
uled before I got up this 
morning, the first of
whom called me an

entire hour ahead of
schedule, I’d just woken
up. These piles of paper 
I need to go through 

just to find a needle 
in a haystack it seems,
a “writing sample,”
an interoffice memo,

random, I dunno, but
what I’m finding instead:
serial numbers of the
ghosts of electronics 

past, a draft of
a note to an ex’s
boyfriend, and a 
sheet ripped from

a tiny spiral note
book with just one
name on it:  Karla
Milosevich.” And

another sheet seeming
ly from the same note
pad with the phrase 
“slow and clear.” There

are such places to visit
in the Bay Area that one
week I cajoled all of us 
sibs into getting together

here.  Such a wonderful
time – the only time
they’d ever visited me
together, the only time

two had ever visited me at
all since I left Arkansas – 
before Gary passed away
in Missouri (he’d already

had two experiences that
nearly got him there, each
time he’d convince the
doctors he hadn’t been

feeling suicidal, in that
sweet-talking, easy
way he had of just
coming across as

absolutely earnest).
And Mom, who’s
been living at
the hospital

for something
like a month now?
Having surgery
tomorrow on her

head – for a broken
neck. That’s what
she said. Her neck
is broken! No idea

how. The cellphone
reception horrible.
I asked her if she
had gotten any

odds from the
doctor, whom she
said was one of
only four in the

state who do
this sort of thing.
“It’s very serious,”
she said, maybe

three times, as I
asked her in that
many different
ways, the same

question. So I
asked if anyone
had even survived
this serious procedure.

“Yeah, a couple of
people,” she said.
A couple of people.
And so I focus on

the tasks at hand,
my list of priorities,
the homework I was
given during two of

the three (four) inter
views I had earlier:
interoffice memo;
resume template.

One’s due by 10
in the morning
(they hope to
make a decision

on a candidate
then), the other
on Monday (this
one would be

“a process” –
so I write that
down slowly, in 
blue: “a process.”

Mother, Mother, Mom.