Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Small Lie (Prompt: Small)


Restraining a giggle
at the moment of truth,
she told me
“you’re not small,”
and after that
I never trusted
anything she said
ever again.

(In the Soupy Sales Format: 25 words or less.)

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Remains

After the end,
when the landscape’s been reduced
to a smoking ball of glowing rubble,
there’ll be no witnesses,

save for the boxes
some simple
some elaborate,
housing the bones,
the remains.

Skeletons
and skulls frozen in
macabre eternal smiles,
some arms folded,
some at their sides
as custom permits.

Lying unceremoniously
at the bottom of these
caskets
will be the piles of stuff
that outlasted us,
the detritus once deemed
important, nay
life-changing:

multicolored
military badges,

deflated plastic sacs
where silicone and saline
once jiggled,

stray jewelry,
the rings and necklaces
of varying levels of
sentiment and
temporal value,

hard plastic
prosthetics
that prolonged abilities
and kept stigma
at bay.

Still, all of these things
over eons
will eventually dissolve to
dust,
easily blown away
by the spinning
of the earth.

So,
if you do not
cremate me
and return me
to the dust,
as I’ve suggested,

then please bury me
with something
permanent:

bury me with
some nuclear waste,

something that’ll last
a couple million years
or so.

(Written for #OpenLinkNight at http://dversepoets.com/ - the best poetry site in the world!)

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Deathbed Confession (Stream of Consciousness Poem)


I used to fall asleep
imagining I could fly.

I’d walk to the cliff
shift my weight
my limbs became wings
and it was simple,
just gliding down
to the valley
and I’d be asleep long before
I reach the bottom,

but that trick doesn’t work
any more.

There is ever
a beat,
a rhythm
carrying on
like an acid drum loop

boom boom-shakalala
chaka-che-boo-che-leh

and I think
I must capture this
and attach my name to it -

I’m invisible
most of the day
so when I sense something
will reveal me
I wrap myself in it
and hope it will
freak out the squares
and incite the freaks
to wave their flags for me.

I want to be
the rebel outsider
who made it past the
boundaries of convention
but still is
paradoxically
loved.

Just give me
a supercomputer,
all the creative software available,
and time enough,
and I’ll create
an argument
why you should love me.

And you just might,

but now I’m going to ruin it
with the deathbed
confession:

I’m about carnality.

From the first conscious sensation
-that nagging erection what wakes me
as I muse about places he’s been-
to counting the hours until
I get to eat again,
and how should I spend my calories
because I’m fat
fat
obese and fat,
and that makes me instantly
unloveable,

I am just trying
to satiate my appetite.

So point me to
that pizza buffet
that always says
“I love you,”
to that sugar glazed anything
that coos
“lick me into submission
and swallow me whole
and let the crumbs fall
light and fun
on your lip and chin.”

The food never denies me,
food has never let me down.

I recognize it
as love in it’s purest,
most self-sacrificial form:

consumable.

(Written for #MeetingTheBar at http://dversepoets.com/ - the best poetry site in the world!)

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The Stray Blonde Hair (Prompt: Hair)

I do not remove
the stray, blonde hair
stuck to my
black dress shirt,
as she sings
her impudent,
implied immodesty
to envious onlookers
everywhere.

[NOTE: This is in my own form that I’ve dubbed the “Soupy Sales” – to wit, a poem in 25 words or less.]

Monday, May 21, 2012

For the One Who Stayed

I lost count
of how many woman
I said “I love you” to.

I had written
miles of poetry,
dedicated songs on the radio,
made mix tapes,
when they actually were
cassette tapes.

But they didn't stay.

I could transform a
$40 budget motel room
into a romantic boudoir
complete with candlelight
and roses
with only 20 minutes’ notice
on the off-chance
that I got the green light.

But they wouldn’t stay.

I knew all the in-spots,
had tickets
to the latest shows,
and I freshened up my
ad-libbed small talk
every week,

and this was all
before the advent
of the internet
so it really took some
time and effort
and real legwork
to be the King of Romance.

But still…

I kept hoping that
an all-encompassing,
heart-exploding,
landscape-changing
love
would somehow
float by my window
and finally
just stay.

I used to joke
that I was going to get
a tattoo on my chest,
over my heart that said
“YOUR NAME HERE.”

I’m so glad
the only tattoo I have now
just says
“Anita.”

(Written for #OpenLinkNight at http://dversepoets.com/ - the best poetry site in the world!)
November 2010.  (Could I possibly have a less muscular tone than this?)

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Room Service (Prompt: Dessert)

New love,
and in
the afterglow,

she let me
savor

the hot fudge sundae
off her
bare
bottom,

and I have been
hers
ever since.

[Note: I purposely wrote this using 25 words or less. Is that a recognized form?  If not, I'd like to claim it. :) ]

Monday, May 14, 2012

Buddah Moskowitz, [name redacted], and the Venn Diagram


I Google
“Buddah Moskowitz” and
“[name redacted]”
and smile at the result:

“Your search did not
match any documents.”

Most of my immediate
and extended family,
my brothers and sisters in
Christian fellowship,
and fellow academicians
with whom I’ve worked
for almost two decades,
have no idea
who Moskowitz is.

Also,
there are many readers
in the far-flung nether
of the ether
who regularly visit
and are sweeter to me,
kinder to me,
more appreciative,
and know me better
from the inside out
than most who
only know me
face-to-face.

One whole circle of
the Venn diagram
doesn’t  know
the other circle of
the Venn diagram
even exists.

Buddah Moskowitz
writes all the things
that [name redacted]
is too timid to admit,
and [name redacted]
knows how to keep
keep his head
and hold his tongue
so that he can afford
to keep Moskowitz
on the payroll.

So,
it’s purely a business
arrangement:

Moskowitz explores
[name redacted]
and [name redacted] supports
Moskowitz,
and so on and so forth.

There is only
one person standing
in the Venn diagram
where the circles
overlap,

but I’m damned
if I can tell
who it is.

(Written for #OpenLinkNight at http://dversepoets.com/ - the best poetry site in the world. Come on in!)

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

As the Bible Clearly Says

Thousands of
bible colleges
crank out
millions of
amateur theologians
and future pastoral staff
who will plant
new churches
(or take over
the payments
on others).

Hundreds of translations
over two thousand years,
with countless misspellings
endless interpretations,
and more re-interpretations,
cynical willful omissions
and unintentional mistakes
all lead to a document of
dubious
empirical
reference.

Presently,
there are hundreds of versions
inspiring thousands
of small home group bible studies
led by well-meaning believers
who have never read
much less translated
the original texts
in classic Greek
or Hebrew
or Latin
or Aramaic

but will dutiful try
to guess what
the Book of Revelation
means

and some might try
to calculate His return
(despite Jesus’ admonition
not to do that).

The only phrase
that might actually be
an accurate translation is

“Jesus wept”

only because it’s
two words,
with less room
for interpretational error.

So
if you ever hear
a supposed bible expert say:

“As the Bible clearly says”

as though the meaning
and truth of the Bible
were self-evident
and obvious,

please know,

that person
cannot
be trusted.

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Detached From Inhibition

An out-of-town
business trip to
New Orleans and
a dying marriage
is a bad combination.

I was surrounded by
shouts and laughter
attached to people
who drank enough
to become
detached from inhibition.

Every few steps
a new flyer was
thrust in my hand,
guaranteeing
sensual delights
at reasonable rates.

(Anything extra
to be negotiated later.)

The pain was heavy
and dull, and
all the unanswered
calls home
just dragged the blade
slowly
across my heart.

Of course,
the weakness won.

I found myself
skulking down
a slick, black alley
looking for an address.

The muffled bass
from a party inside boomed,
and from the shadow
a teenage voice offered:
“You looking for a massage
girl, man?”

I nodded, and he gestured
to an unlit stairwell,
save for a red glow
up at the landing.

The wooden stairs
creaked and groaned,
“don’t do it”
“turn around”
with each step.

At the top of the stairs,
a locked screen door
let me peer into
the empty space,
lit red,
with loud music pumping
from an unseen speaker.

I rang the bell.
Rang again.

Heart racing
and I almost left,
but I rang again
and an older Filipina
with steely eyes
and flawless skin
came to the door:
“You want massage?”

“Yeah, but how much?”

“I give you good massage. Come in.”

“No, but first, how much does it cost?
Are you the only woman here?”

“It’s okay, I give you good massage.”

“But, are you the only one here
who gives the massages?”

Either I confused her
or pissed her off
as she left me
standing there
on the landing.

Did I insult her?
Was she going to get
her boss to come
and kick my ass?
What if I got naked
and they stole my wallet?
Or just took my clothes and
threw me out into the street?
Or worse, what if they
held me down
and raped me
and filmed it and sold it
overseas?

Whatever strange impulse
that sent me up those stairs
also sent me flying
back down,
out of the alley
and back onto the crass
vulgar sensuality
of Bourbon Street,

where I never felt
so safe and
so grateful.

(Written for #OpenLinkNight at dversepoets.com, where only the best poets are online now!  Go join the fun!)

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Reckless Eyeballs


I learned early on
to keep my eyes
to myself:

a stare can be misinterpreted.

I don’t want to fight you.
I’m not trying to scare you.
I’m not trying to make you.

It’s just too reckless
any other way.

I know these rules,
so what is this drive
that compels me
to break this rule?

Something inside me
is looking in
your eyes
for reflection,
for approval,
for connection.

But in the split second
before that unknown
consequence
materializes,

I avert my eyes.

I just don’t want
to start something
that I can’t finish.

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Hell Reigned in Los Angeles (April 29, 1992)

We all saw the tapes:
peace officers beating,
maybe even taunting
this crumpled mound
of humanity.

We knew this
wasn’t supposed
to happen
in our system,
we knew justice
would be served.

The verdict that afternoon
was Not Guilty,
and Los Angeles
awoke
to the most visceral,
public episode of
mass cognitive dissonance
it had never dared to dream.

The verdict meant
the system was broken,
and anger was righteous,
the fires were unapologetic,
and every drop of blood
spilled was red.

The city broke
free of its moorings,
rocketing to places
uncharted,
and the reaction
was frightening,
mesmerizing
and unprecedented.

The institution entrusted
with providing justice
was tampered and rigged,
and the resulting chaos
rained Hell
in Los Angeles.

For three days,
anarchy,
stray bullets whizzed
like lethal mosquitoes,
and there were
so many fires raging
that water pressure
in the city
reduced firehoses
to water pistols.

I remember
driving home from work
crouched down
almost eye-level
with the dash board
because the violence
was so random.

The flashpoint
eventually lost its flame,
and the TV stations
stopped covering
the lawlessness.

Even two decades later,
I still remember
looking at the police
as they stood by
watching the rioters,
and being scared
knowing that the cops too
were nervous, powerless
and very, very
outnumbered.

(Written for #OpenLinkNight at dversepoets.com , the Internet's Premiere Poetry website- come join us!)