joy to joy

Thursday, September 29, 2016

How luv chart started was, one day
they were losing track:

Each spike and doldrum went unrecorded
like spikes and whorls of both

flowers and fingerprints. Ah yes,
she was like, “My sepals and stipules

you’ve trended into; let’s set aside ‘luv
chart’ more for dear memory’s

sake than for our land’s, before
we were the land—” Again, the man

replied, I will draw it. Daily will
I mark it. You do your part and so far

no big complaints from either party.
“If fear, or pain, or grief be thy

portion, go back deep in mirror
and remember me there, therefore

the touch, the white, white teeth,
and the frivolous crest of hair.”

• • •


Wednesday, September 14, 2016

A man had got his truck stuck.
He’d been trying to maneuver it
to turn it around and got its back
wheels spun up against a steep bank
where they just spun. He rocked
the truck as he’d been taught,
forth and back, but nothing worked.
“Hey mister” said a kid across the street.
“Maybe I can get my pop to push?”
The man shook his neck: “Not
worth a heck, this old pickup—
not worth your old pap’s sweat.”
The boy walked on. Dawn
was just about on them. The man
jumped down and walked to town.
What was his plan? He hadn’t one.

• • •

ah yes

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

I have a date tonight with a version
of myself that’s 5 IQ points higher
and talks 10% faster. His

name is Aaron Belz, and he works
at a love clinic outside Fresno.
You ask, what’s outside Fresno?

So I’ll tell you, it’s the 99,
and it goes up to Modesto.
Anyway, my date was garbage, because

I couldn’t follow what I was saying,
and I kept crying on and off
like a girl. Well, I say “girl,”

but I mean perfect human who has no
flaws, and no, Belz tells me (or informs
us, as in the case of this poem),

that isn’t redundant, but then
I started sobbing again. It’s like
one guy can’t contain all the sweetness

and smartness and hope and happiness
he was given, so he’s two guys, one
just a titch smarter—kind of like,

well, to be honest, your mom.
And your FACE. I’m sorry to be shooting
so straight with you here at the end.




the cop carnival

Thursday, September 1, 2016

There’s going to be a cop carnival
in Cape Canaveral tomorrow, they say.
Police clowns fired out of cannon into orbit,
they say, even if the day is gray. Hooray!

My favorite police clown is called Trixie.
She works at a Kinko’s in Kirkwood, Missouri
and makes jokes like, “Wave at the tide,
and the tide’ll wave back.” Tidal wave, lol.

As for me I rarely attend such events anymore.
I’m not even sure what they’re for. It feels
as though life has closed its enormous, medieval
door to me the way it has to the poor.

I’d like to go backward in time, but I can’t.
I’d like to go backstage and meet Adam Ant.
I wish I were less of an unwatered plant.
I wish I had shirts that weren’t Arrow or Gant.




after ari banias

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

With all the news about mustard lately
(how to apply it, and to what kind of food)
I’m happy to be convalescing at Dead Man Acres
where the slogan is “We can’t stand fakers!”

Only Dijon, then, in my porridge,
poured delicately from a porcelain gravy boat;
only French’s Yellow slathered willy-nilly
across my pillow before lights-out.

And I am thankful for the sauerbraten I eyed
in the pantry as well as for those who fought & died
as well as for Elmer Gantry by Sinclair Lewis,
an author who really “knows where the food is”

(another slogan here at the rest home).
Come to think of it, it isn’t the best tome,
but it’s right up there with Martin Chuzzlewit.
Reading books makes my head buzz a bit.

• • •

more proof

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

“What are you smoking?” you ask.
What am I smoking?! Just for fun,
Let’s ask several not entirely
unrelated questions: What’s
your mom smoking? OK, just one.
One more: What aren’t I smoking?

Answer: Everything. I amn’t smoking
everything nor even, as chance
would have it and integrity demands
one confess, anything. I’m vaping
some humidity I distilled into Gerber
jars last time I was at your mom’s.

She asked me what I was smoking
and I answered in kind: her answer?
Clear as Pennsylvania moonlight,
it was, and sharp as reverse syntax:
“Smoking everything, I am.” Sweet
as Virginia ham; thick as an IRS fax.

• • •


Friday, August 26, 2016

Occasionally some of your
visitors may see
an advertisement here.

You can hide these ads
by upgrading to
one of our paid plans.

• • •

caped god

Friday, August 26, 2016

Jane Bigelow’s June bungalow
bears comparison to her winter hut but
isn’t the same: “Fewer sewers,”
she explains, showing no regard
for Beauregard, her Crohn’s-afflicted
boy-toy. “Too many bones
to upgrade,” she adds, pleasingly
sequentially, then, as if parenthetically,
“I pee infrequently.” But what if it rains?
“Oh, I’ve great storm drains, got ‘em
used from Roy Cleveland Nuse.”
The late Pennsylvania impressionist?
Yes, turns out Jane and Roy
were thick as thieves at one point,
their darkling hours marked by
the overpowering schadenfreude
crime TV delivers the way Pizza Hut
delivers meats and cheeses baked
into dough circles—or the way seamen
catch Zs in fo’c’s’les. “Flaunt ‘em
if you got ‘em,” spouts Jane jubilantly,
but one sees two seas of teardrops
coalescing in her withered conjunctiva.
“I should’ve stayed up north,” she burbles,
and then the dikes burst forth. There,
there, old dawdler. We know it’s hard.
Go back into your bungalow, and please:
Give our regards to Beauregard.

• • •


beginning of a much longer work

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

The world is a garbage heap, of course—
an exotic, labyrinthine garbage heap replete
with nudist beaches and crystal cathedrals.
Light reflects around it like a racquetball
narrowly missing the earlobe of a person
who feels athletic despite evidence
to the contrary. Light and rain, alternately,
plus good, old-fashioned, human insistence
on things being a certain way make
the garbage heap what it is: A nest
of complicated joy, etc.
                           Last night I dreamed
about lions and wolves congregating
along the edges of my driveway. The former
Minister of Mines and Mine Workers (miners)
had left her tiara on a box in the mud room,
and I desperately tried to text her, but I tell you,
thumb-swiping on my mobile device
felt like stirring green tea with an omelet!

Yet the beautiful, squirming creatures
lining my gravel drive, sleeping in the brush,
the bush, drooping in the hemlock, the lions
and wolves coiled under crepe myrtle,
snoozing under willow, near propane tank,
etc., made the whole place dreary
and feeling abandoned, like my heart did
when the men came and took the boxes
of books accompanied by an uninvented aroma.

But I had tricked the butler into charging
everything to Mom’s Amex. . . (drumroll)

• • •


other people

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

I love it when other people succeed.
That’s all I really want in life:
Other people to succeed, do well,
succeed, enjoy themselves.

The reason is that I consider
other people more important than I.
And when I’m done hanging out
with them I tell them “goodbye.”

• • •