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Tuesday, August 8, 2017

MILO, THE SHIT BIRD



Oh SHIT, man!" said Jerry. "Something just went SPLAT on top o' my head."

Ben looked up. He heard the flutter of wings and a strange otherworldly cackle.

Jerry said, "What the hell was that, man?"

Ben stared at him, deadpan. "I think you've just been hit by Milo, The Shit Bird."

"Milo The Shit Bird...wha-?"

Ben fished around inside his lunch pail to find a paper napkin for  Jerry--the glob of excrement perched atop his buddy's hair growing more pungent by the moment. "He's legendary in this neighborhood. I know the people who used to own him. He's a Myna bird...they kept him in a cage most of the time, and he made it clear to them he wasn't happy with that arrangement. Then one day when they were cleaning his cage, he saw his path to freedom. Took off out the front door that had been left partially open. Ever since, folks around here have reported that they've been crapped on out of the blue--literally out of the blue--because he hovers over them and then it's bombs away, like he was the Enola Gay or something."

 "Geez," said Jerry, who was a poet. "That's kinda poetic justice. Taking it out on random people. He sees them as the oppressor."

"There's some inspiration for you, Jer," said Ben. "You could immortalize Milo, The Shit Bird in a poem."

"It is poetic when you think about it, man. We keep animals in cages. And because we think that's all right, we put people in cages too. Rather than, you know, trying to heal them."

"Sounds like you want to write about-"

"Man's inhumanity to man."

That's a deep subject, but if anybody can pull it off, you can."

Jerry had just about finished wiping the poo out of his hair when the two of them heard the flutter of wings again in the tree they were perched beneath under the noonday desert sun. And before Jerry could duck out of the way...

SPLAT!

Milo, The Shit Bird had struck again. This time the cackling they'd heard before was accompanied by: squawk...ASSHOLE...ASSHOLE...squawk !

"Jesus H. Christ!" Jerry cried. "Why'd he pick on me...TWICE?"

Ben had to stifle a laugh. "He knows your a poet, dude. He knows you're sympathetic to his plight. The only one who could put into words what many of the rest of us are thinking. Poets have started REVOLUTIONS, man!"

Jerry rubbed his stubbled chin, lost in contemplation. 

Ben glanced at his watch. "Guess we better be gettin' back to work, and find you some shampoo and a faucet to stick your head under."

"Geez," said Jerry. "That kinda puts into perspective what my real job is..."

 Ben closed up his lunch pail and gazed into the vast blue sky--the place where epiphanies that hit you like a water balloon chucked by some nasty middle school kids on a rooftop come from. He started off across the park. He turned back to see Jerry looking pensive and glassy-eyed. "You comin' man? he said. 

"Yeah...sure...I'll be along. I just got a lotta shit on my mind."

"Yes, my friend, I CAN SEE THAT!" 

"The world will know the saga of Milo, The Shit Bird!  First, an epic poem, then a children's book..."

Jerry was prancing around, shouting into the wind. Though just downwind of him was where you really didn't want to be. 











Tuesday, August 1, 2017

ZIGZAG



No tracks within a good
ten miles of here
but on a misty morn
that horn
is ridin' the breeze
cutting through my brain fog
it echoes
like the call of the wild
from back in the day

I shouldn't have switched on the TV 
cuz some Trumpster shill
is telling Martha Radditz 
who the "normal" Americans are
pretty sure Caitlyn isn't on his list

I traveled all this way 
doin' the transcontinental zigzag
just to end up in a world where
transgender crappers 
would be the hot button of the day 

you can be 
whatever you wanna be
on the inside
the outside's just a shell
that we tortoises use
to deflect the rain 

(and I don't know who I am
but life is for learnin')

so when I present the idea 
of trans-racial
I'm sayin' it's not a bridge too far
cuz we am what we am
and we are what we are

not the same as mixed blood
it means starting out identifying
as one ethnicity 
but waking up one day to realize
that in your heart 
you are something else

never knew why I always wanted
to jump out of this pale skin
til I ran into the lost ones (who
like the Indians Columbus encountered
were never lost to themselves and thus
had no need of being "discovered")
and found there was Cherokee blood
from grandma 

the most captivating woman 
at age 32
I've ever seen 
her eyes foretold me
foreshadowed the coming 
of the little bastard
and one by one the pieces
began to fall into place...

a half-bro
who is half Hispanic
all the time spent 
south of the border
and in the Caribbean 
where I saw a way of life 
that was impervious to sorrow
whenever a street band would play
and knew so strong in my gut
that it was a part of me
and always had been

how my paths zigzagged
and crisscrossed
like an etch-a-sketch sky
spinning round so fast sometimes
I met myself speeding in the other direction

I'm not what I appear to be 
bro
though you would never know

and now I'm reading Sherman Alexie
who says that Indians seldom travel
in a straight line

not even the Crows



   


Saturday, July 22, 2017

NO QUESTIONS ASKED



Bet U didn't think about
why you're with
U-NO-HOO
today
and betcha didn't reflect on why
you're even with
U-NO-HOO
yesterday either
maybe U thought about it
way back when for a bit
but hey U got some
body
and so U do it by rote
cuz some
body
is better than no
body
right?

maybe

me
I don't need no
body
just to have some
body
around

but if I ever do
I'll dig up the one
that's in the back yard

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

SERVE AND PROTECT



Apartheid never ended 
here in A-me-rica
it just got more subtle
the arbitrary traffic stop
for the flickering tail light
that quickly escalates 
into life or death
is payback for your sipping 
from the wrong water fountain
for lo these many years now...

and a sympathetic jury of his peers
from kin-dee-garden on
trained to revere and respect 
the badge 
the uniform
the flag
and indeed any symbol of authority
under any and all circumstances
likely as not will let him off
if he remembers to say those magic words
I feared for my life

and if someday he should fall
in the line of duty
a huge parade will escort him
to his final resting place
yes 
give him his due
he laid it on the line each and every day
to serve and protect

though here in A-me-rica
the dark-skinned man
who gets in his car
drives to the store
just to get some milk for his babies
may have the riskiest job of all

where's the parade? 

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE



It started with Madonna
now it's monkey see
monkey do
follow the formula
it's tried and true

And the law of the jungle
comes down from on high
in 140 characters
each day
(but it's beneath...the planet of the apes)

did u get a bad rap
or are u just a bad rapper?

it's still up to us to decide
what is cultural
and what is just plain crass

and the next Madonna wannabe
is up on your big screen
twerking her ass 
in your face
and somebody is calling it art
and that's what's wrong
with your generation 
right there

when nobody has the stones
to stand up and shout
who choreographs this shit???

we dunno 
but he's putting together
the halftime show for the Super Bowl!

one day
with the world awash in rainbows
our true colors will shine
until then
to go on for a bit
even in the face of
mindless 
primal
mediocrity
seems reasonable

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

THE TICKET



Henry Miller went hungry a lot
in Paris
but he fed enough blood
to his bitte
to summon command performances
on a regular basis

you can't gain an advantage
by lining up in the neutral zone

show me something
I haven't seen 
like Tilda Swinton's tit
flashed in a movie
I can't remember the name of
but it was good
(partially because of that)

what if everyone woke up at the same time?
(think of all the pancakes that would have to be made)

try
not to get too high
or too low
as they are both impostors

impermanent states of mind
that come and go
come and go
like the shifting breeze


the middle path
slow and steady as she goes
( occasional detours into the gutter allowed)
that's the ticket

Sunday, June 18, 2017

FULL FRONTAL LONELY




1.

You think that you've written down
the thoughts
that were lonelier
than all the thoughts
that were written down before you
or after you
but you are wrong



2.

I'm reading some poems by Jewel
(don't smirk--she's "intriguing")

I am told

I'm adored by millions
but no one calls

and one can only think
then...
what chance have I?



3.

Poets never say what they mean
they just expect you to figure it out



4.

Maybe
that's why you're alone
(even in a crowd)
as they've all given up 
on trying to figure you out



5.

Opaque
isn't that intriguing
to those who are searching
for the light



6.

 James Wright always told you
what his poem was about
right up front in the title...
he shared that trait with Degas
who would do a painting of
a dancer in front of a window
and name it "Dancer In Front Of A Window"


7.

While I sit lonely
by a fountain
where naked cherubs
are pissing away my dreams
knowing that collaborationists
stalk their own shadows
while pigeons goose-step
through the square--
but none can tell you whether ghosts
sit up and listen to the footsteps
that echo through an empty museum 



8.

And maybe if you search and search
you can find another poet
who has described the human condition as
full frontal lonely
but I'd like to think that one
is all my own


9.

And I am alone
as you are alone
as we are alone
imprisoned within these shells
straining to touch palms
through the glass



10.

...I have my books
and my poetry to protect me...

what I did
what I didn't
truly of no import now

after falter
before correction 
the man who seeks to make connection
finds the days of infinite possibility have flown
but only because a world turned deaf
and blind has deemed it so

the ego

in its fatal attraction to the body 
must always lose


11.

There now
no more whimpering
face it like The Man
monolithic in his solitude
as all mill about like ants
resigned to his fate
to go out in a blaze of glory
lighting up the desert sky
on a Saturday night
on a spinning blue pelota
somewhere
lost in space

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

AT LONG LAST



I like women
who write like men
and men who write
like women

somewhere in the middle

they meet
in a smoky androgynous haze
where they size 
(and feel)
each other up
coming
at long last
to their defining moment
with no compulsion
for going under the knife 






Tuesday, June 6, 2017

HIGH SCHOOL YEARBOOK



Some look
really geeky

some look
really dorky

and a few
so arrogantly
self-assured

but I was there
and I know
that was whistling
through the graveyard

Tuesday, May 30, 2017



DOOMED GIRLS

sit
right up at the bar
where they can be noticed

doomed girls
ride
on the backs of shiny hogs
with their arms wrapped snugly
around his waist

doomed girls
haven't spoken to their moms
since forever
and don't know why

doomed girls
are still trying to get their kids back

doomed girls
find work as babysitters

doomed girls have stacks of  presents waiting
for when their kids come home for good
someday

doomed girls
are determined to quit smoking
someday

doomed girls are going to take
that Mediterranean cruise
someday

doomed girls
place their hands over their hearts
at baseball games

doomed girls
are loyal to a fault

doomed girls
are always making excuses for him

doomed girls
don't know when to shut up

doomed girls say
"I walked into a door" a lot

doomed girls know
it's always their fault

doomed girls
have visions of finding that nice guy
a little too late