Monday, April 30, 2012

Everybody Plays (Prompt: Fade Away)

Step right up,
try your hand!
Take a breath
and outwit Death!

It’s the only
game of chance
where everybody plays
and everybody loses!

Spin the wheel
and try to outwit
Father Death
and he plucks
fathers from children
leaders from countries
husbands from wives.

Will your beneficiary
get to cash in on
your term-life insurance?

Can you beat
that train
to the crossing?

Should you risk taking
your chippie
to the motel
when you’re also taking
high blood pressure meds,
high cholesterol meds,
and Viagra?

If you’re lucky,
you’ll get a warning.
Some of you
will overstay your welcome.
Most of you
won’t know what
hit ya!

Haven’t entered yet?
Don’t worry,
you’re already in!

The Last Lottery!
The Final Round-Up!
The Happy Hunting Grounds!
The Great Beyond!

The trip of a lifetime
is just waiting for you!

Who’ll be today’s lucky
winner?

Maybe,
it’ll be

you!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

A New Holiness (Prompt: Re-use a previously used phrase)


There’s no point
in doing this
if you’re just
going to lie.

So, the truth is
you’re going to fail at this
most of the time,
but contrary to logic
you mustn’t stop.

The best you can hope for
is that every now and then
you feel it –
the holiness
the wholeness,

but beware,
for when it seems
that you’re certain
you’ve glimpsed
the face of The Eternal One,
an egotistical,
self-congratulatory
amnesia
will wipe the holiness
away faster than
a shaken Etch-a-Sketch.
It’s not about being
being holy just one time
and making it last forever.

It’s about making
each new moment
a new holiness,
completely alive
and serving that which
lives in all things.

It may appear to be
interconnectedness,
but it is the awareness
of your place
and your sacredness
in the continuum.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Problems (Prompt: Problem)


We are born
tabula rasa
on all six sides.

Without trial,
without trouble,
we remain
blank,
untouched
smooth,
too smooth.

The failures
the angst
the shortcomings,
the problems
all chip away
at those smooth sides

making us
interesting,
instructive
perhaps even inspiring.

Knowing this,

I strive
to reinterpret
each problem
as yet another
teacher.

If I am
successful and wise
the problems
will not cease,
but rather
will make me
smarter,
more grateful
and more alive.

Friday, April 27, 2012

The Problem is That It’s a Perfect April Afternoon (Prompt: The Problem is...)


The problem is that it’s
a perfect April afternoon,
and that bright blue
cloudless sky,
looks even prettier
because it’s dressing up
a Friday afternoon

which means it’s only
a few more hours
until I get to
be with you again,
because I have missed you
so much this week
(but I always miss you),

but since you’re in one city
and I’m in another
(and since neither of us
is independently wealthy),

instead asking you
to meet me for
a quick, private picnic,
I’ll go back to my office,
and hope that
you had
the same thought of me
upon seeing
this perfect
and problematic
April afternoon.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

The Codebook’s Finished

In this poem

the daybreak represents
morning
and the tree
is knowledge.

The babbling brook
is supposed to be
the mocking voices
of a vacuous
culture.

The snail
on the stone
represents the perseverance
of the protagonist

while the dew
is meant
to conjure doubt.

The aging windmill
in the distance
represents
Man’s ultimate
mortal demise,

whereas the frog
represents the most
noble of
all human endeavors.


OK,
now that
the codebook’s finished,
on to

the poem.


(Written for Meeting the Bar: Allegory at dversepoets.com . As usual, when I can't do what's expected of me, I make fun of the situation.)

There But For the Grace of Four Percent (Prompt: Animal)

“Scientists have sequenced the genome 
of the chimpanzee and found 
that humans are 96 percent similar 
to the great ape species.” – 
Stefan Lovgren
for National Geographic News
August 31, 2005

I squint
as I look
in the mirror.

I see the wrinkles,
the smile,
the imposing eyebrow ridge
over soulful, searching eyes,

and think,
there but for the
grace of four percent
is the great ape.

While this majestic beast
possesses inherent dignity,
the most successful ones
are those who have been
trained to amuse
by riding bikes,
smoking cigars,
and wearing tuxedoes.

Complex and unpredictable,
they can submit
to each other
for intensely personal grooming,
but can also mobilize
for the violent
overthrow of
a designated enemy.

Victims of circumstance,
they move to where
the food is
and they learn
the unwritten rules
of their hierarchical society.

They hunt,
they share,
they nurture,
they rape,
they invent,
they ruminate,
they try,
they fail.

So
I’m starting think that
the four percent difference
consists mostly of
cosmetic appearance,
differential acrobatic skills,
and self-serving statements
of perceived
moral superiority.



Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Exercise (Prompt: Sports)

As an overweight child,
I hated playing sports,
but I did so
mostly because if I didn't play
the teams were uneven.

I would rather spend
my time
in my parents’ living room,
lost in a pair of
plastic over-the-ear
headphones
plugged into the
stereo (as it was called then),
playing records
I borrowed from the
public library.

Music was my earliest
passion.

When I was 13,
for Christmas,
my parents gave me
a pair of headphones
that had an AM radio
built-in to them!
They even had
telescoping rabbit ears
antenna for
improved reception.

(Remember, this was 1976.)

So,
on Sunday mornings
I would take my headphones
and ride my crummy little
two-wheeler up and down
the eight block
section of neighborhood
where I was allowed,
and listen to Casey Kasem’s
American Top 40,
and dream of making music
that he would
someday introduce.

It was the only time
I ever liked
exercise.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Gracia (Prompt: love)

Her family moved in
across the street
from mine,
and my 19 year old
head was turned.
I was curious.

I moved slowly,
the only speed
my timid, virgin
heart knew.

She was dark haired,
dark-eyed,
peach-cheeked,
with a wide,
friendly smile.

Fittingly,
her name was Gracia.

Where I was a nervous
dervish of insecurity,
she was calm,
comforting
and laughed when needed,
and took me seriously
when needed.

She was beautiful
and she was my friend
and I loved her.

Moments together
were warm and they glowed.
We were chaste,
perhaps even naive,
and we both happily explored
the previously uncharted regions
of each others' heart.

We taught each other
how to kiss,
and nothing more.

There was no need for more:
it was an exquisite time,
and that was enough.

But, like a haunting melody
on a worn-out 45,
somewhere deep down
we both knew
our summer of 1983
would come to an end.

The next year
she started dating
Alex,
and I tried not to watch
from my bedroom window
as he gently guided her
into his car,
in a most gentlemanly
and enviable fashion.

He was older (which I wasn’t),
he was Christian (which I wasn’t),
he had a plan for his life
(which I didn’t).

Within two years
she married Alex,
and I attended their wedding,
which her family
inexplicably and regrettably
decided to boycott.

I used to wonder
about my place
in her memories,
until I found out
years later
that her
first son’s name
is
the same as mine.

(Posted for #OpenLinkNight at dversepoets.com, the best poetry website on the whole damned Internet.)

Monday, April 23, 2012

My Morning Ritual (Prompt: Morning)

The ritual starts the same way:

My first thoughts
are always scrambled:
part disappearing dream,
part beeping alarm clock,
and part soundtrack
to whatever tv show
is playing on the set
that was left on
as a lazy night light.

I hear the tip-tip-tip
of Yorkie claws scratching
on the laminate floor
as Sadie the cat
drags her paw
across our closed bedroom door,
and makes
a slow, torturous scrape,
her mute petition
for admission.

The dogs want out
and the cat wants in,

I’m barely awake
and I’m already playing
zookeeper.

I escort the dogs
out to the backyard
and I breathe in the
sweet and sharp
cold morning.

God hears
my silent prayers
of gratitude,
and my mind scans
the coming day:
it thinks in terms of
appointment blocks
in Microsoft Outlook.

I ask
“please help me be
a good man, and
please watch over
my wife and children
and bring them all
home
safely.”

I dwell in this
quiet and slow moment,
until clarity materializes.

Then, the barking begins

shallow and soft,
ruff-ruff

ruff
then louder

yike-yike-yike!

which signals the
end of my morning
ritual.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Stones (prompt: Judging)


Long story short:
it didn’t go down.

No, it was all set to happen,
we were all there,
we had our stones ready to go.

We had this whore
dead to rights.

We had her surrounded,
and there she was,
whimpering like the
adulterous bitch
that she was,

and then I see Jesus
in the crowd
and I figure
I’m gonna outfox this bum
once and for all,
and say

“Hey, Jesus,
we caught this woman
in the act with some guy
who wasn’t her husband,
 so we’re going to stone her
like the Mosaic law says,
or do you have a problem with that?”

So, what does Jesus do?
He crouches down
scratches something
in the dirt,
wipes it away
and says

“Let he who is
without sin
cast the first stone.”

So, what could I do?

Since I was the one
she was doing it with,
I had to put my stone down
and walk away.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

The Search for Truth (Prompt: Under the Microscope)

Under the microscope
the empiricists
search for evidence
that confirms or denies
what
the mystics
already know.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Blankety-Blank


All night I worshipped her blankety-blank
without a single thankety-thank

so I called her a middle-aged blankety-blank
(to give her collar a yankety-yank)

then I pinched her on the blankety-blank
(it was really just a prankety-prank)

she hissed "don't you touch my blankety-blank!"
(I was hoping she'd give me a spankety-spank)

but she just covered up her blankety-blank
and asked how much I drankety-drank

and then my heart just sankety-sank
when she declared

"never again, will you
blankety-blank my blankety-blank!"

(NOTE: This was the only thing I could think of that had a couplet.  It's from 2008, and written for a laugh.  Hope you had one. Posted for http://dversepoets.com/ #FormForAll.)

Let’s Get Away for a While (Prompt: Let's)

Let’s get away for a while
wander back
to our genesis,
before we became
two ringmasters
in charge of a circus
where the animals have
outgrown their cages and
aren’t listening to reason.

Let’s just get away
and be like those couples
who meet for lunch
on these bright sunny days
when you are miles away,
as I envy their wide-eyed
mutual adoration.

Let’s remember who we were
when we met
and how grateful
and valued we made
each other feel,
how this love shined
so obviously
for all to see.

Let’s go back
to who we were
before those stupid,
disfiguring fights,
and those perfectly
rehearsed barbs
forever took
the stars
from our eyes.

This love
was never
somewhere else,

it was always
inside of us,

but now it's
covered with unpaid bills,
doctor appointments,
mounds of dirty laundry,
and perpetual servitude
to our children
and our parents.

It’s time
to shove
those distractions aside
and lift up
the hidden gold
that first
drew us together,

polish it up and
make it glow again.

It’s time.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Baptism (Prompt: Life Event)

When you decide
this is what
you want to be

not because
of what it means
in the next world,

but what it means
in this world,

then,
you’re ready.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Thai Peanut Spicy Chicken (Prompt: Regional Cuisine)

I let the wisps of
peanut-scented steam
waft from the Styrofoam
to-go container,
and I inhale it
as though it was
some exotic breathing
treatment.

My heart pounds
in my chest
and the saliva pools
in my mouth
as I carefully
balance the peanut sauce
with the white rice
on my fork.

The Thai spices,
a magical mystery mix,
shoot electricity
from my tongue
through my entire being,
faster than morphine,
as exciting as her touch
the very first time.

The crunch of the peanut
and the tenderness
of the chicken
make every bite
a challenge
to savor
and not devour.

What problems that exist
in this world,
in my world
are for the moment
off somewhere
far, far away.

The memory
of sweet coconut milk
and fiery red chili
stays with me
all afternoon,

reminding of
what is often
the best part of my day.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Unity 3000 (Prompt: Science Fiction)


How many times do you
wake up in the morning,
with a profound sense of
detachment,
insecurity
and ennui
that even your usual
two cups of hyperblend
can’t fix?

Ever wish you could just
get up with
a great attitude,
rested, refreshed and ready
to produce more positive output
for your corporate benefactor?

On days like this
when even your
state-prescribed antidepressants
aren’t doing the trick,
don’t you wish you had
that little something extra,
a secret weapon
to give you that little extra edge,
so you could be Top Bot
for your sector
and win that extra 15 minutes
of Virtual Physical Interaction
with the hologram of
your choice?

Well , wait no more!
New for
[INSERT HOLIDAY FIELD]  [INSERT YEAR FIELD],
the only product
you’ll ever need again,
the Unity 3000!

The Unity 3000 links
to your Personal USB Port
through an attractive dongle
(available in four different
ethnic skin tones),
to help you sleep better,
and while you’re sleeping
you’re also reprogramming
your subconscious,
so that your dreams
are more inspiring,
and your sleep
is more restful.

Let the power of
just lying there unconscious
work for you!

Choose from a variety of
Programming Attitudes:
“Go For Our Dreams!”
“That’s Not a Mountain, It’s Only a Hill!”
“Work Will Make You Free!”
“There is no I in TEAM!”

Just download the program to the dongle,
insert it in your Personal USB Port
and fall asleep!
As you doze
our patented DreamAlign process
will do the rest!

The Unity 3000
also data mines your
dream activity
for negative images
and disturbing content,
quarantining these aberrant
thoughts and feelings
until you can download
and process them properly
at your next
Mental Health Review or
Performance Evaluation.

Call now to see
if you qualify
for a free Unity 3000!

Employers,
ask about the tax credit
for providing
the Unity 3000
for your employees.

Have that peace of mind,
that contentment,
that satisfaction,
that comes from finally feeling
complete.

Just in time for
[INSERT HOLIDAY FIELD]  [INSERT YEAR FIELD],

the Unity 3000,
get yours now!

[INSERT PHONE FIELD] [INSERT WEB FIELD]!

[Posted for #OpenLinkNight at dversepoets.com - the best poetry site on the whole damned internet!]

Monday, April 16, 2012

Playlist: Id (Prompt: Mix Poem)


The beach is a place
where a man can feel
he’s the only soul in the world
that’s real,
here’s the thing:
we started off friends,
you say
I only hear what I want to,
how do you cool your lips
after a summer’s kiss?

I was born from love
and my poor mother
worked the mines,
and there’s nothing you can do
to turn me away,
welcome back,
your dreams were your ticket out,
I’ve been searching a long time
for someone exactly like you.

I’ve got to say it
and it’s hard for me,
last night I didn’t get to sleep
at all,
add a little sugar, honeysuckle
and a great big expression of
happiness.

Who’s the black private dick
that’s a sex machine
to all the chicks?
I'm coming straight for your love baby
Like a rocket, girl,
stand!
in the end you’ll still be you.

Superhighways coast to coast
easy to get anywhere,
you just could not know
how long we tried
to see how this building
looks inside,
Late night flight, LAX
limousine and you’re all set.

If there’s a smile on my face
it’s only there trying to fool
the public,
life is a song worth singing,
you can tell the truth,
you can tell a lie,
baby, lift your head up,
they tell me you’re shy, but
I love you just the same,
been around the world
and I can’t find my baby,
I’m writing letters
and your candle’s burning,
my heart starts breaking
when I think of making
a plan to let you go.

I've been walking in
the same way as I did,
when I say I’m in love
you best believe
I’m in love
L-U-V!

As I was lying
in a hospital bed
a rock and roll nurse
going to my head,
forgot my six-string razor
and hit the sky,
he was a boy
she was a girl
can I make it any more
obvious?

It doesn’t matter what I say
as long as I sing with
inflection,
I don’t think I can handle this
another day in Metropolis,
I have had my eyes on you
from the day I learned to laugh at myself,
caught you laughing too.

Hey, don’t worry
I’ve been lied to.

[Note: these are the first lines of the songs in my current Rhapsody playlist. Whoever guesses the most of them correctly, wins a free copy of my latest e-book!  There are 34 songs listed herein!]

Sunday, April 15, 2012

The Foreman Speaks (Prompt: slash, button, mask, strap, balloon)


Ok, listen up, you hacks.

I’m sure you’ve all
received the memo from
Research and Marketing,
and the word is
that the big bosses
are behind this
so they’re serious.

The online e-card sites
are kicking our ass,
so if we can’t beat them,
Corporate’s going to slash
the creative division.

Research tells us
the market wants
outrageous
from America’s premier
greeting card company.

No more balloons
or cakes
or cute little
puppy dogs
on birthday cards.

No, they want
S&M masks,
strap-ons
and anything that
titillates.

Moskowitz,
button your lip!

If you want to be
an artist,
get the hell
out of here.

Go back to that
blog of yours,
with its lousy 50
followers,
you loser.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

The End of the World (Prompt: Doomsday)

It’s Saturday.

I slept in late,
checked the prompt.

Then life
just buffalo’ed in
like it tends to do
and I realize that
if I don’t write a poem
today
it won’t be
the end of the world,

but
best not to chance it.

Friday, April 13, 2012

EXTRA! EXTRA!

Big shout out to Vince Gotera - he had the good taste to feature this blog on his blog!
Check his cool poetry out too!

http://vincegotera.blogspot.com/2012/04/day-12-napowrimo-poem-day.html

Just In Case (Prompt: Unlucky)

I avoid walking
under ladders
and will skid
out of the path
of a black cat.

I knock on wood
and scratch
the interior ceiling
of any car I'm in
when going through a
yellow light.

If the car radio
is playing “Respect”
by Aretha Franklin
I shut it off
because it was playing
when I was in
that car crash
back in 1985.

I don’t have
lucky lotto numbers,
but I do have
a lucky number -
anything that isn’t
13.

If I spill the salt
I sweep it up and
throw it
over my shoulder

and I always pick
my wife’s handbag
up off the floor,
so she’ll never be poor.

I always take tests
with freshly sharpened pencils
so I am using pencil points
that never made
an error.

And whenever
I have to do a
Power Point presentation
for the
Board of Trustees,

I attach and it send
to 3 different
email accounts

always with the memo line
JIC (Just In Case),

and bring the presentation
on two separate
flash drives.

And every Friday
I wish my wife
“Happy Anniversary”
mostly out of love
but a little bit
out of fear
of what’ll happen if
I forget,

because
you can’t be
too careful.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Sometimes It’s Obvious (Prompt: Sometimes ____ )


They stir something
in us that makes us
admire their nobility,
their unshatterable dignity.

They find ways to walk
without legs,
type without fingers,
trust without seeing,
dance without ever
hearing the music.

Sometimes it’s obvious,
but sometimes it isn’t.

For years
she asked me
for a wheelchair
or leg braces,
because she knew it
would let the world know
there was something
“wrong”
with her.

As she gets older,
and we learn more about
her disability,
I realize it is not
invisible, only hidden

deep inside
her skull,
inside the already
twisted Gordian knot of
synapses, nerve receptors
and other gray matter,
her cerebellum
most likely deprived of oxygen
in utero
is damaged,
and slowly the effects
are manifesting:

balance problems
organizational problems
sequencing problems
emotional problems
algebra word problems
visual-spatial problems
auditory processing problems
problem problems.

The good news is
she’s not so bad off
that the world sees her
as disabled.

The bad news is
she’s not so bad off
that the world sees her
as disabled.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Autumn (for Rachel, who has been in Montana 26 days) (Prompt: Season)


It was still winter
when you left,
and spring doesn’t
hold out much
hope for your return.

I doubt that
you’ll want to come back
to the oppressive heat
and smog of
a Moreno Valley summer,

so perhaps,
I’ll have to wait
until Autumn
for your return.

Autumn has always
been my favorite season
but if you told me
you were
coming home tomorrow,

spring would be my
new favorite season
of the year.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Auto-Pruning the Family Tree (Prompt: Tree)



My family tree
started with Juan and Trini,
my grandparents
who came from
Mexico.

They had ten kids,
who in turn,
added 23 branches
to the family tree,
and many of these
sprouted branches of their own,
beautiful and strong
all through Los Angeles
county.

Except for me
and my brothers:

no kids.

My father used to say
“you can’t miss
what you never had,”

but I think my Mom
probably would have liked
grandchildren,
reaching past
the barrier of the unknown,
outlasting her.

But, Mom,
you showed us
what it took to be good,
self-sacrificing parents,
and it didn’t look
so appealing.

You never bought yourself
anything nice.
You didn’t have
any outside interests
of your own.
You never
went on vacation.

I wish you could’ve
enjoyed raising us
more than you let on.

Perhaps, then
I wouldn’t feel
so perpetually
guilty

about being
being a nuisance
a bother,
a burden
to someone,

and maybe then,

you’d
have grandchildren.

(Submitted for #OpenLinkNight at dversepoets.com  - Come join the fun!)

Monday, April 09, 2012

The Conspiracy Theorist Speaks (with apologies to Robert Lee Brewer) (Prompt: Shady)


How does he do it?
What is the mystery,
that missing piece of logic,
that would provide
the answer?

I check in
everyday in April
to see what
I’m writing about,
and somedays
I look at the prompt,
and think
“This can’t be
a planned-
ahead-of-time
prompt.

Looks like
he just made it
up on the spot.”

He says
he plans all the prompts
for the month
in advance,
yet everyday
he magically
comes up with a
perfect poem
to match
the prompt.

I’ll bet he gathers
his unpublished poetry,
gets 30 of them
together,
writes prompts based
on those existing poems
and then presents
prompt and poem
together,
voila!

Yes,
I bet
there’s something
shady going on
here,

I bet.

Sunday, April 08, 2012

I Reject the Prompt (Prompt: Rejection)


I reject the edict
to write today.

I reject the compulsion
to not miss a day
in the April
Poem-a-Day
Challenge.

I reject the prompt.

April Fool!

Saturday, April 07, 2012

This Bed (Prompt: Scene of Two People, No Sound)


In the end of all such days
they find themselves
back together in this bed,
exhaling in unison
as they lie down
on their backs.

In retrospect,
the events of the day
seems less insurmountable,
and they close their eyes
delivering these problems
into the arms of
unseen angels in the
darkness.

They clasp hands,
close their eyes
and implicitly trust
that the other
will be there
upon rising.

Friday, April 06, 2012

Dividing Up Stuff (Prompt: Hiding)


It was easy
to cheat on her
because
she trusted me.

I hid in plain sight
because when
someone loves you
they trust you.

She wasn’t
looking for my sin,
my flaw,
and she didn’t find it.

When I eventually
told her
I was leaving,
I made the mistake of
leaving her alone
with my private
things.

She went through
all my private files
and found all
the unsent poems,
hotel room receipts,
stray love notes,
and other convicting detritus
and stacked them
on the filing cabinet
for me to find
upon my return.

This was her proof
of my flagrant disrespect
and lazy contempt.

Still,
I couldn’t help
but feel betrayed
that my secret persona
was outed,
my performance
as dutiful partner
spoiled,
my private world
violated.

When trust ends
all that’s left
is dividing up stuff
and walking away.

Thursday, April 05, 2012

Lenny (Prompt: Something Before My Time)

I first met him in his cartoon 
where he plays an emotionally
distant Lone Ranger
who ends up taking Tonto 
away for a consensual 
unnatural act.

I was instantly hooked.

As he mocked 
the pseudosanctimony of
Ike’s America,
I was stuck in 
Reagan’s Movie America
and he sounded prophetic.

He wasn’t just telling jokes,
but trying ideas.

He peeled back the 
hypocritical 
“what should be” 
to reveal the caustic
“what is.”

The popular version is
that he was a dirty mouth comic 
who just said “cocksucker” 
and lowered the bar 
for generations of vulgarians
waiting at the Gate (of Horn). 

To me, he was a poet
with words and sounds 
and bad movie star imitations.

He was desperate 
for the truth
and when he gazed upon it, 
he found it painful 
to the point 
of heroin.

More than a martyr,
he was an artist,
trying to tickle out an honest laugh
and some truth,
the same way that 
Charlie Parker tried to 
coax something hitherto unknown 
out of the trunk of jazz standards.

His was an alto saxophone voice,
alive and demanding,
bending notes with 
Yiddish rhythm,
street profanity 
and the tsuris of 
five millenia and 
six million Jews. 

He never tried to do the
same thing twice
and I understand
he was genuinely kind
and generous to a fault.

Who else but SuperJew
would stand up 
and say 
“Have rachmones 
for Adolph Eichmann?”

Only Jesus Christ
and Lenny Bruce.




Wednesday, April 04, 2012

100% is the Only True Number (Prompt: 100%)


100% is the only true number.

Everything else
just appears to be
a fraction.

I cannot prove any of this
but I suspect
it is all together
in one living
pulsating
being.

Duality and
non-duality
as one.

There is no there,
just the long,
faraway continuation of
here.

The good news is
there is no God
who is separate
from who we are.

There’s only God
and included in God
are the believers
the unbelievers
the nonbelievers
the abelievers
the logical positivists
the scientists
the materialists
the atheists
the agnostics
the yin and the yang
and the double yang.

Don’t be fooled by this
convenient shared illusion

that there is a you
that is separate from me,
and there is a them
that is separate from us.

There is
no chocolate cake,
no cardinal in the tree,
no breathless orgasm,
no Yogi Berra,

just God
in the guise of
chocolate cake,
a cardinal in the tree,
the breathless orgasm
and Yogi Berra.

There is only one
reality

and this is how you spent
the last two minutes
of it.

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Apology Song (Prompt: Apology)


I’m sorry I ate so late last night
I’m sorry I let my alarm wake her up
I’m sorry I didn’t l kiss her goodbye

I’m sorry I didn’t leave five minutes sooner
I’m sorry I let this fool ahead of me on the onramp
I’m sorry I need soy milk in this coffee

I’m sorry I forgot to get that signature
I’m sorry I couldn’t take your call
I’m sorry I can’t keep you, it’s the budget

I’m sorry I ate so much at lunch
I’m sorry I dinged that car next to me
I’m sorry I can’t stay awake for your after-lunch meeting

I’m sorry I will get to it before I leave
I’m sorry I will make it up to you
I’m sorry I thought what’s-his-name has doing it

I’m sorry I forgot to fill up my tank at lunch
I’m sorry I said I’d pick him up on the way home
I’m sorry I kept you waiting

I’m sorry I am late for dinner
I’m sorry I got spaghetti sauce on my good tie
I’m sorry I don’t know if your teacher is right, honey

I’m sorry I just need some quiet time
I’m sorry I had that second helping of dessert
I’m sorry I forgot to call the insurance guy

I’m sorry I’ll check to see if the alarm is set
I’m sorry I can see you’re not in the mood
I’m sorry I didn’t do so well today, Lord

but if you give me another one tomorrow,
I’ll try to do better.

(For #OpenLinkNight at dversepoets.com - come, join the fun!)

Monday, April 02, 2012

Two Visits (Prompt: Visitor)


Sometimes the visitor
is welcome.

When my beloved
little 96 year-old
grandmother from Mexico
was lying in the hospital bed
for a month,
dying from mostly old age,
each day took a little bit more
of my father’s heart,
as he made
the 80 mile round trip
dutifully,
until she finally
stopped fighting
and let the visitor in
that Saturday morning.

By that time,
the visitor was welcome.

Two days later
after Pop mowed the lawn,
complained of a sore shoulder
(which my mother rubbed
with Icy Hot),
and ate a microwave
corn dog,

he laid on the floor,
and as he watched
the 4 o’clock news,
the visitor quietly came again
and took him too.

Two visits
in sixty hours.

This time the visitor
wasn’t welcome.

(Inspired by Becky Sain’s “This isn’t everything you are.”)

Sunday, April 01, 2012

Tips for New Writers (Prompt: Communication)


Be honest
and be clear,

there’s no point in doing this
if you’re just going to lie
or write so you
won’t be understood.

If you’re looking for
giant ego strokes
then you
probably want to invest
in liposuction,
breast augmentation,
or hair plugs.

No,
if you're in this
then you either communicate
something of value
or nothing at all.

If you don’t illuminate,
then why are you
trying to shine?

If you don’t know nature
don’t write about it,
and if you don’t know about love
don’t write about it.

Write about what you know
and if you think
you don’t know anything,

then start writing about anything
and fling it onstage
before the masses,

and then you’ll learn
failure and rejection,
and then write about those;

they are subjects
to which we all
can relate.