Thursday, July 23, 2015

Countrypolitan

The sadder the song
the sweeter the sting;

tales of regret
spun around
countrypolitan arrangements
call to me
as sirens
cutting through the AM static.

Why I am helpless
to I follow them
in bittersweet masochism
though their poignant goodbyes
and scenes of
unrequited splendor?

As I watch my sleeping angel
the answer
comes to me:

once she and I lived in
one of those songs
until the day
I dared to leave
my self-imposed prison
and join my life
to hers.

As the songs play
I hear lessons learned
a little too late
and smile

that
for at least
once in my life

I got it right.

[The definition of countrypolitan, "For the Good Times" by Ray Price.]

[Go post at http://dversepoets.com/ - say hi to Anthony Desmond and buy him a drink!]

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Invisible in a Hyperconnected World

This hyperconnected world
makes invisibility an impossibility. You can stay off the grid only if you want to pay for everything in cash and work under the table and not own property, even if it’s only your name. There’s just too much to steal. Give them a SSN, a street address, zip code, mother’s maiden name, 4 digit PIN, your first phone number, or your saliva off a discarded paper cup and they’ll use it to find out everything about you. I change all my passwords once a week, starting Friday at sunset and ending Saturday at sunset. It’s as close to a religious ritual as I observe. I keep all my money in my security mattress, which is made of metal and is fireproof and I change its password every day. No, you may not take my picture. Don’t invite me to the high school reunion. I ignore anything mail from the government. I have no pets, no spouse, no children, no extended family, no surviving kin. I commit everything important to memory, which leaves little room for anything else, but that’s ok because I’m safe, and that’s the most important attribute of all.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

My Philosophy of Life (for Brian Miller)

When I was 7
my first poem
was published
by the Fullerton News-Tribune.

I was inspired
by a late-night
tv sermonette
themed
“people are to love
and things are to use.”

It was the first time
I remember pondering
purpose, meaning.

(My grandmother
had the clipping,
ragged and worn,
in her wallet
when she died
25 years later.)

Then came
the long silence
between that poem
and trying to listen
for the voice of God.

Hearing nothing,
I embraced
and espoused atheism,
becoming a
material empiricist.

I embarked on
a life of modest
hedonism,
a suburban epicure.

It made life so rich,
so vibrant,
but ultimately,
it felt empty.

I needed a place
for all my gratitude,
for the roses,
the orgasms,
and the pizzas.

In all those
experiences
I was connecting
to something grander,
something not material,
something divine.

Eventually,
God and I
found each other,
and surprisingly
my philosophy
hasn’t changed much:

Why are we here?
To love
and take care
of one another,

just as God loves
and takes care of me,
and just as I try
to love and take care
of God.

[Written for the great dversepoets.com and my friend, Brian Miller.  Congratulations on getting your Master’s Degree!]

Big Ass

Big ass SUV
to carry big ass man
with his big ass kids
to his big ass home
with a big ass mortgage
and a big ass pool
that distracts you
from his big ass
insecurity

and his big ass wife
wears a big ass ring
on her big ass finger
to show all her
big ass friends
the kind of big ass
love this big ass
man has for her

and they eat in
their big ass dining room
with lots of big ass
space between them
and their big ass kids
who want very little to do
with big ass mom and dad
because they have their own
big ass concerns waiting
for them
in their big ass rooms
each equipped with a big ass
big screen tv

and the big ass son has a
big ass truck
and the daughter has a big ass
tattoo just above here
big ass big ass

and they're all in a
big ass hurry to
get to the next big
ass thing
that they think will soothe
the disturbing and unsettling
big ass questions in their souls

so the next time I see
the big ass overfed and
well to do
flaunting their big ass
out of control
desire

I’ll be thankful
for my modestly placid
small
world.

[Posted for Listen to This: Anaphora at dversepoets.com - come along and have some fun!]

Monday, July 13, 2015

The Rotting Gift

“God gave you a gift,

a beautifulstrange
caramelhotbutter
cherrylippedjaggedchin
gift,

and it took you to places
no one ever knew.

You fed your darling
mutant child,
shined a light
up under all the
maggot infested
earthworm crawling
guck on the bottom
and somehow made it
all
wonderous,
and the gift led you
to where the secrets
were hidden.

You knew you were
gifted,
but you didn’t care.
You let it rot
in the back of the closet,
moldy with black fuzz.
It needed light,
it needed air.

Now, you’re this
soft, aging suburban
Beanie Baby,
no hard edge,
no juice
where it counts.

Go ahead
and comfort yourself:
tell yourself
you sacrificed your gift
to take care of
your "blessings".

You had so much
promise,
so much fire,
but you pissed it all away.

You could’ve been a
superstar.
We could’ve changed
the world.

Enjoy your widescreen TV
with 200 shopping channels
and your paid-off mortgage.

You now have
exactly
what everyone else has.

Hooray for you.

May you never regret
your decision
to forsake your gift,
schmuck.”

Thursday, July 09, 2015

Pennies

I hate pennies.

They are so
not worth the effort.

They’re dirty,
they’re practically
meaningless,
especially if you use them
to buy someone’s thoughts.

They nag at me
when the check comes
and they mock me
in my drive-thru hurry.

A penny candy
can’t be bought anymore
and there is nothing
melodious about
the jangle of them.

So I say
fie! fie on you miserable
worthless pennies!

“Save your pennies”

Why? so I can take a hundred
useless dirty things and
exchange them for one
ragged filthy crumpled thing?

Nope.
Not me.
What good could a
penny be to me?

Nothing.
So, I toss them
aside
in parking lots
playgrounds
and anywhere I see people
who might need
something to believe in.

So, there, you have your answer:

I’m the one
who leaves the errant pennies
where you can find them and say
“see a penny
pick it up
all day long
you’ll have good luck.”

That’s me:
the good luck supplier.

Please,
no thanks necessary.

Wednesday, July 08, 2015

Don’t Wait Up For Me

Don’t wait up for me,
there’s still music playing
and something left to drink
and I am still looking for
someone,

and I get a sense that
person is here,
hiding in a quiet dark corner,
and if I turn over enough stones
and make enough chatter

maybe,
just maybe,
I’ll find what I’m looking for.

I’m not sure what this person
looks like
but my heart will tell me so,
and I’ll feel less alone
and not feel on stage,

so don’t wait up.

This could take a while,
maybe it's the search
of my lifetime

so if you’re gonna sit up
by the lamp in the window
watching the clock and muttering
I say:
go to bed now.

Knowing that you’re waiting
just makes me move slower
because I don’t want to be rushed.

If I come home,
then I'll know it’s where
I'm supposed to be.

The music is still playing,
this pulse is pounding,
bodies are dancing and
I’ve laughter and desire to burn,

so don’t wait up for me.

There are answers
in this dark night
and I will find them

and its nowhere
near sunrise.

Saturday, July 04, 2015

Star Spangled Bender

Oh, say can you see
through the cons and the fright,
how so loudly we failed
to make real our past dreaming?

All the hype and fast cars
made us think we were right,
as our futures we botched
we gave in to fresh scheming.

And do we even dare
in the mirror, to stare,
and dispute, if not fight,
that we don't even care?

We'll pay if that star spangled banner
if only for a few waves,
o'er the land of the greed
and the home of the slaves.



Wednesday, July 01, 2015

When the Thing Dies [prompt: dead poem]

Dust for fingerprints,
scrape for DNA,
track cell tower pings.

These only can tell
what happened before.

The greater mystery
is where does that life
go,

that jumping
pumping
springing
animus
that hears the
call of the wind,
follows the scent
of food cooking,
looks up
in silent amazement?

When the thing dies,
laying there quiet, still,
it's the sad miracle
on the far end of life,

the companion piece
to the mystery
of what makes it all

go.