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Thursday, March 29, 2012

I don't sell cars. If I did I'd never eat. I don't really sell poetry, either. Never have. I do publish poetry, however, which presents a small dilemma, namely what to do with boxes of books once they arrive from the printer. I give a few away to my friends, family, and fellow artists. I went so far recently as to get a few copies of each of my books out and put them on a bookshelf. It's nice to see a row of books you've written all lined up like that. I recommend it to all writers. Sometimes I pick up my four books like they are cards and pretend i have four of a kind and I just won some substantial pot in a poker game. That also makes me happy. But mostly they just sit in boxes. For me, after I have written , designed, edited, and sent the book to the printer my role in the process has concluded. I just don't have the taste for selling anything, and I don't covet the bank account of anyone who declares themselves a poetry salesman. But cyber space being infinite, and my closet being overflowing, I'd be remiss if i didn't ask at least one time if anyone out there would be interested in buying one of these damn books of poetry I've been writing for almost twenty-five years now. 


Bus Station

Please don’t steal my bag.

Please don’t steal my blue bag 
With all my poems in it. 

Please don’t try to to steal my 
Blue bag with all my poems 
In it and a bag of pepitas 
And the number for my caseworker 
Then feign confusion when caught 
Because you, too, have a blue bag 
That says Downtown Mental Health Center. 

Please don’t try to lift my blue 
Bag with all my mom’s cancer poems 
And the name of my caseworker in it etc... 

It’s far too heavy. 

The Millenium Falcon 

Poetry is the land cruiser 
When you wanted 
The Millenium Falcon 

The A/V girl 
When you wanted 
The cheerleader 

Poetry is a broom closet 
At the Ritz 

A Swiss Army Knife 
In a nuclear showdown 

Being given Tinker Toys 
And asked to build Paris 

Poetry is half 
A loaf of moldy 
Bread and enough 
Peanut butter to 
Last the night 

Which is to say 
It is everything.

Dumbing It Down 

I dumbed it down. 
I fed it McNuggets 
And put it to sleep 
With pop tunes. 
I made it join 
The Republican party. 
I drugged it with 
Cable television, 
I bribed it with 
Guilt-free sex 
And threatened it 
With religion. 
I spent a lifetime 
Beating it 
Into submission and 
The ungrateful bastard 
Still writes this poem. 



You were our first lesson
In rage and greed,
Possibly love.
Our smiling guardian
Put the stick
In our small hands,
Blindfolded us,
And whispered
Unspeakable treasures
Awaited us when we
Destroyed you.
Spun around and
Drunken with images
Of unimaginable trinkets
We became whirling dervishes
Of lust and anger,
Whacking and thumping away
At your broken smile
Way past nap time,
Until frustrated with
Our lack of killer instinct,
Our teacher sawed you
In half, spilling
Far less enticing bounty
Than we had dreamed of.
Some rushed forward and
Grabbed and devoured,
Others stood back and 
Cried over the carnage.

Either way we all learned
Who we would become that day.

The Streak 

   The announcer fawns 
   Over the Iron Man: 
   “Number 63 has played 
   In 120 straight 
   Football games, 
   An amazing feat 
   Of endurance.” 

   I do the math: 
   Sixteen Sundays a year, 
   Three hours a pop 
   For nearly eight years, 
   360 total hours, 
   Or maybe five or six 
   Weeks of my granddaddy’s 
   Life in the field and 
   The mill afterhours, 
   Covering the rent 
   2,750 straight months, 
   Playing hurt through three 
   Heart attacks, seven children 
   And five disbanded 
   Pro football leagues. 

   Now let’s talk about 
   About a fucking streak.

  Linch Mob 

     Just once I want 
   To saddle up and 
   Ride out with 
   The mob, 
   My blank face 
   Hidden behind a  
   Red kerchief, 
   Spitting my hate 
   Through broken teeth 
   I want to fire 
   My six shooter guilt free 
   Into crowds of women 
   And children. 

   Just be there in 
   My overalls with the 
   Other villagers 
   I want to hold 
   My torch to the 
   Monster’s face 
   And ask him 
   If he really thought 
   He’d get away with it. 


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