NaPoWriMo Day 12

i am driving when the absurdity
of everything hits me
an existential moment of
whatisallthisbullshit?

i and every other driver
hurtle down the freeway in
explosive metal coffins
to jobs we we don’t want
to do every day
the ideas of
property
ownership
money
all of it squeezes down on my chest
like a fist squeezing out the last
pea-sized drop of toothpaste
from a wrinkled tube

of course
i try to be a good buddhist
detach myself just enough to
recognize the feeling
acknowledge it
watch it pass like a leaf on the wind

it helps
it does
the squeezing goes away but it’s replaced with
a hollowness in the chest as if someone
has shoveled out
my heart
my lungs
my stomach

i’m not much of a buddhist
the tension goes away
the hollowness keeps me company

attract/repel
those are the two human choices
unless you’re really good at balancing
and i’m not

and seriously
why is she putting on eyeliner while she’s driving that fast

did any of us have the imagination
to see ourselves older
in these circumstances
and it’s the circumstances that matter
they’re the nitty gritty
all those kid daydreams about the future
were just looking at a map where you can see
the red and blue arteries pumping out blood
but so zoomed out
so zoomed out
you forget about the smell of the hot asphalt
and car exhaust

some of are trying to fly here
some of us are lucky
because we weigh less
due to local variations in gravity

NaPoWriMo Day 9

the old man in front of target
is probably homeless
probably–i don’t know
haven’t seen him before
he isn’t holding a sign
or asking for anything

as quickly as he appears
he disappears
out of sight
out of mind
but when i enter the store
he fills my nostrils
human stink so arresting
i stop breathing

i wonder
how can someone smell
this bad
i wonder
how small can my mind be
that i run into this
like it’s a wall

we browse the same aisles
he carries a plastic bag
stuffed with other plastic bags
is he planning
on shoplifting
that’s where my head goes
a train on a track
because i suck
he walks past
the refrigerated dairy

part of me dares the target employees
or another customer to try
–just try–
to usher him along or out
part of me that knows it should be on fire
part of me made bitter on dregs of self-directed wrath
part of me that knows someone should speak for this man

that part of me doesn’t to spring into action
he is invisible
unless you count the smell
he might as well not be here
might as well be somewhere else
or nowhere else
or someone else
except
he is right there

by the time i check out
i am sick on my own shame

transparency (20170923)

that kid behind
the deli counter
runs the meat
snick snick
against the whirling
blade
shaving off paper-thin
slices of my feelings
wrapping them in white
paper
–white except for he gets blood on it–
and sells it to me by
the ounce
always rounding up
to the quarter pound

i keep coming back
waiting for the butcher
to run out
but he always has a thick
fat-marbled dome
ready for the machine

i will read
the evening’s news
through transparent sheets
of myself

NEW! Open Mic Reading

Yes, that title isn’t lying. The wonderful Rose, our own Poet Rummager, has graciously added a new reading to the October Open Mic page. Check out her sites here (poetrummager) AND here (slashermonster).

You can catch all the sweet voices on the Open Mic Page.

Also, consider this your last reminder for October to get your readings in for this month. Seriously, people.

night song (poem 20160521)

latticework honeycombs
where bees make blood
instead of honey

all the same to vampires

(i’ve wanted to sink my teeth
into the soft skin of your neck
on more than one occasion)

marrow sitting deep
inside singing and humming
i can hear it while you sleep

calling my name
i curl around you
offering warmth in exchange

——

The Daily Post
Daily Prompt: Sing

brick (poem 20160520)

when i die
i want to be wrung out
like a dish rag
every ounce of blood
every drop of salty water
squeezed out
i want to be pressure cooked
and made into ceramic bricks
that will last forever
and i want to be built into
a fireplace
where you burn logs
on cold nights
you will hear my voice
whispering in the flames
and the fire will warm my cold
brick nature
and i will feel like flesh
to your fingers
when your run your hands over me

——

The Daily Post
Daily Prompt: Brick

Poem 20150303

why not give everything a title
novels have them, after all
and most songs
sure
some composers’ works are catalogued
by number
obtuse systems of organization
that only a librarian
or a programmer could love
how about these small collections of words
you drive onto the screen
like a shepherd running sheep
why not stamp something at the top
of the page
declare what it is before you make everyone
dive in
and swim through the words
so we know if we’ll be swimming in a lake
or a pool
or a latrine

hold your breath
and jump in, i say