on arriving unexpectedly at the pearly gates (20170528)

i try to turn and make my way back
the hands are firm on my shoulders
and pull me toward clouds like columns
drag me, really, but my feet
rip through the cool cumulus
like it’s cotton candy

i swat at the hands
but we pick up speed
soon we will be through
those gates
which will close irrevocably

i imagine all those people
i spent so much time avoiding
and now they’re all in there
my shirt is covered in sins
like stains from every
spaghetti dinner i ever ate

every misstep plain as day
written on me
written on my clothes
tattooed on my face
a small greek chorus rushes behind me
trying to keep up
strolling left to right to left
everything i have ever done

i am convinced the same thing
happens in hell
but everyone there refuses to hide
their disappointment
but here they will make excuses for you
you won’t have to defend yourself
but the damn greek chorus
refuses to shut up
and my mouth fills with clouds

thanks for the epiphany (20161120)

for a sudden insight
i want to thank the asshat
who spaced out at the intersection
until i flashed my high beams
–saw it twinkle
–like a lightning bolt
–out of zeus’ clenched fist
–in his rearview
and he decided it was okay
to turn right onto the
empty street

and then i had to follow him for
two miles
–not stalking
–we were both headed for the freeway
he signaled
to get on the northbound
and then changed his mind
long past the p.o.n.r.
and swerved back into traffic
so i could follow him
onto the southbound

and my god
i realized that the only
way hell
would work is if you had no
idea you were there
because if you knew that shit
was going to just keep going on
for fucking literally ever
you would just refuse to cooperate
and curl up into a ball
and sisyphus could roll you
up the damn hill because why not

but what would the point of that be
as either a deterrent
or a punishment
if you didn’t even know you were
being punished
you wouldn’t even develop
stockholm syndrome and that would
mean god is just a dick

and how can we tell
that’s not what we’ve got
on our hands here anyway

Poem 20160415

once there was a mirror in eden
but the first victim
of any hard-won self-knowledge
perfect or flawed
is always the reflection

smashed, resurrected
a thousand, tiny, jagged,
puzzle-piece doppelgängers
each an accurate representation
of the human eye

they paint hell a dark, sooty place

it is polished, clean and bright
every surface shines
magic mirrors that only reflect you
impossible to look away from


National Poetry Month
NaPoWriMo Day 15