Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Prepare to Die (Prompt: Preparation)


Everyday
I prepare to die,

by slowing down
and not fighting
the inevitable.

I practice
wide-eyed breathing,
taking in everything
without judgment or attachment.

I feel less scared of death
but I am still not ready
to go.

My best poem
hasn’t been written
and my best melody is still
hiding somewhere
inside a piano
waiting to be coaxed out
and I just hope I find it
before Death finds me.

I wonder if every goodbye
is going to be
the final goodbye,
but before I can
do anything that would
constitute a Grand Finale,
I just leave,
to prepare myself
for how random and mundane
the inevitable end must be.

This life is
an improvised play
in a theatre with
outdated permits
and it’s only
a matter of time
before the Fire Marshall
unceremoniously
shuts it all down.

So,
play on, I say!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Transvaginal Probe


“Before proceeding,
I have to tell you that
your answers are being monitored
for quality assurance purposes,
and they can and will
be used against you
in a court of law.

You have the right to a
born-again Christian attorney.
If you cannot afford one
or scored “Less Than Competent”
on the “Morality Inventory”
you answered when you registered
one will be appointed for you
at no cost to you.

Do you understand?

Yes, I can see you’re
bleeding,
but before we proceed
I need you to tell me
you understand.

Very good.

Question 1:
Are you now
or have you ever been
sexually active outside
the boundary of traditional,
one man, one woman
marriage?

Very good.

Question 2:
Have you ever inserted
any object into your vagina
other than a tampon
for anything other than
hygienic purposes?

I’m sorry, could you repeat that?
I couldn’t distinguish
your response
from your moan.

Very good.

Question 3:
Have you ever
used any of the following
products:
male condom
female condom
spermicide
diaphragm
cervical cap
contraceptive sponge
birth control pills
Depo-Provera
Lunelle
vaginal ring
intrauterine device
withdrawal
sterilization or
natural family planning
to prevent the
fertilization of
your precious irreplaceable
ovum?

Hm.
Could you elaborate
on your answer?

Your doctor prescribed it
to regulate your cycle?
I thought so.

Alright then,
I think we’ve everything in order.

Just take this sheet
into the green room,
change into this paper gown,
and after your procedure
the nurse will inform
you of when your results
will be uploaded
to YouTube.

Thank you.”

(Written for http://dversepoets.com/ #OpenLinkNight)

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Open Mike (Prompt: Risk Poem)


In my bedroom
at my parent’s house
me and my little $28 guitar
performed concerts
at Carnegie Hall
at the Universal Amphitheatre
in Abbey Road Studios.

Starting in 1975,
I strummed and sang
to adoring, imagined audiences.

(I even planned for my
New York debut
to come out and start
the show with an
acoustic version of
“Nights on Broadway.”)

But
I never worked up the nerve
to sing my own songs,
my own heart
for others.

Flash forward to 2001:
My father died,
I lived in a passionless coupling,
my chippie went back
to the man she would eventually marry,
my OCD was at fever pitch,
and while the Prozac
didn’t kill my erection,
I couldn’t come anymore.

The ad said
“INLAND EMPIRE
SONGWRITER’S OPEN MIKE.”

Dr. Warren said I should do it,
so I found myself there
armed with what I thought
were my best songs.

They called my name,
and my nerves jangled
all the way onstage.

I couldn’t see
past the stage lights
so I closed my eyes
and
launched into
the first song
I remember
ever writing
from 1981.

By the time the chorus
came around,
I could hear
their laughter,

and it felt good,
since they saw the humor
in a song titled

“If I Fall In Love
With You Again,
It’s My Own
Damned Fault.”

It took 20 years
to get there,
and I reveled
in my three minutes.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Some Cry


Some cry
in the stall
of the men’s room
during the sermon

and some cry
at the far end of
the Target parking lot
with the windows
rolled up
and the music on
loud.

Some cry
just sitting there
in the Starbucks
afraid to be
anything but invisible.

Some cry
but you’d never know it
for all the pain
they inflict
on others.

Some cry
only when
they’re happy
for to cry
otherwise
would start
an endless flood.

Some cry in the spotlight,
and some in that moment of
massive quiet
after they orgasm.

Some cry for the
mistakes that brought them
here,
and some cry
for the dreams that
never will be.

Some cry
because they can’t un-learn
how not to cry

and some cry
because it’s all
they have left.

Everybody cries,

but in this universal
malaise
lies the hope
for the birth of
empathy
which can give birth to
compassion
which can give birth to
love.

(Written for http://dversepoets.com/ #OpenLinkNight)

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

What My Neglected Lover Thinks (Prompt: What _____ Thinks)


We used to make
music together, and
though you couldn’t say
it was beautiful,
it was ours.

We would fly away
to quiet islands
where his touch
would bring forth
my sweetest sounds,

I was there
when every other female
broke his heart.

I’d take him in
all busted up and pitiful,
even smiling as he croaked out
the Great American Songbook,
until I nursed
that ungrateful bastard back
among the living.

Now I stand

waiting in his closet
with the rest of
his neglected digital concubines,

each with the empty promise
that we’ll be loved soon,
but we’ve all grown a bit jaded
waiting.

I should’ve seen
it coming,

The guitar
and the drumsticks
tried to warn me.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The King of Romance Speaks (for Sarah Lynn)


Flowers sent
on February 14th

rarely smell
as sweet

as the bouquets
sent

on any other
day.

(Posted for #OpenLinkNight, #31, at dversepoets.com )

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Rock Bottom (Prompt: Dead End)


When the police ask

if you have any
unused vacation time
so you can go into hiding
until they can
find and dissuade
the man who is
trying to kill you
because he (erroneously) thinks
you raped his wife

and you pack
as many of your possessions
that’ll fit in the back of your Honda

and you take
one last
good look around
at the room
and think
“what if I never see this
again?”

then
you’ve probably hit
rock bottom.

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

My Secret Motivation


My acts of selflessness
are those of
a flawed Christ,

and I do not accept
their approbation;
their lauding.

Ostensibly,
I feign modesty
when my actions
are seen and praised,
for I know
my secret motivation.

I never dreamed
I would be walking through life
with someone so
beautiful,
so in order to keep her
I became a different person,
a better person,
to remain in her
circle of grace.

Sensing I will die
long before she will,
I work daily to leave
a legacy
so loving,
inimitable
and unexpected
that she will never
ever
want for any another,
but me.

So,
at the heart
of all this
grandiose selflessness

is a niggling kernel:
selfishness.


(Written for OpenLinkNight at dversepoets.com)

Friday, February 03, 2012

EXTRA! EXTRA! (They still say that, don't they?)

Thanks to the wonderful folks at bar none group, one of my poems is featured on their homepage.

Poetry Template by Buddah Moskowitz

They showed me some love, now it's your turn!  Show them Love too!
We now return you to our regularly scheduled broadcast.

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Shpritzo (Prompt: Habit)


Maybe it was years
of being picked on
for being fat,

or being the middle child,

or my training to be a
comedy writer,

but there is an ongoing
internal monologue
that answers
everything I encounter

with a shpritz,
a comic insult,
a smart-ass remark.

They are unwanted
and arrive instantaneously:

in quiet moments reserved for intimacy,
at deathbed confessions,
during pompous sermons,
while reading narcissistic status updates
and I just can’t help it.

Being a professional
I’ve trained myself
to keep them in line,

but sometimes I release them
because I think they’re too good
to keep to myself,

and I often realize
I was wrong,

usually, 
a word or two too late.

Then I wonder
what light is it
that shines through me,

Jesus Christ or Don Rickles?