We walk
your good
friend's home

and sit
down by
the clock.

And all
I do
is tic.

And all
you do
is talk.


An Automated Telemarketing Machine Service Puts Me On Hold

I am ignored systematically
by an emotionless machine.

The satisfaction gained
by hanging up on another person is lost.

I wait on the line
for the next available human.

The music has been proven
"easy listening" to ease stress.

I tell some woman
it was like asking a copy machine

for a date and receiving
an "out of ink" message;

like being told you should
see other people in text speak.

She wouldn't shut up
and let me talk,

carrying on
about my long distance carrier

in an unwavering,
monotone drawl.

On A Bench

Over the bench they draped a checkered blanket
like a picnic. A cold blue fills the gaps
where leaves laid down to rest
on the dew-laced lawn of a park.

She raises an arm, rakes her fingers through
bristled fur, leans against her lover,
whispers plans for the future,
as beer pools on the concrete.

Their dog turns in his sleep, arches his back,
ears pointed, roving for the sound
of a misstep. From across the street
I can hear the sound of a hearth
through the window of a home they built.


Everyone Will Exit The Theatre

The lights come on. I wish for another feature.
A chandelier glows incandescently
then everyone will exit the theater.

My own funeral; I look so bitter
eating and drinking everything that's free.
The lights come on. I wish for another feature.

A time machine to catch another year.
A fresco impersonates Bill Murray
then everyone will exit the theater.

My guests are in costume, dressed as creatures.
I am Bill Murray waiting hopefully.
The lights come on. I wish for another feature.

I want you to pick me, chaos theory,
bind my work together, seal the ennui
then everyone will exit the theater.

What won't be taken by the weather,
the changing hands, and time's erosive freeze.
The lights come on. I wish for another feature
then everyone will exit the theater.


That transportation, I will never trust(Dylan Thomas Cover)

That transportation, I will never trust.
I thought I was too worn and tired to care.
Rage, rage against the passage of the bus.

At once it rumbled, covered me with dust.
I took a couple breathes and did not swear.
That transportation I will never trust.

Arriving early, waiting is a must.
I hate how other riders sit and stare.
Rage, rage against the passage of the bus.

The price is always in a state of flux.
I fumble through my pockets, pay the fare.
That transportation, I will never trust.

I had made my mind, I would not cuss,
but what came next was more than I could bear.
Rage, rage against the passage of the bus.

"I hope you know we're going downtown, not up"
My eye began to throb and twitch, "to where?"
That transportation, I will never trust.
Rage, rage against the passage of the bus.


Bury Your Ambition And It Will Grow Into Something

I made a decent living making
everyday happenings out of flowers.

My palm sweat mixed with floral scents.
My touch brought lavender sleep.

Geraniums sprouted across the surface
of my body. The doldrums were over,

yet I felt like my front yard.


Sometimes Words Fail Me

I sent a word to the store, told it
to come back with some meaning
and when it returned crying,
defiant, I sent it to the cleaners,
whipped out my thesaurus,
while implying we would be seeing
each other again in another sentence.

Though reluctant, it left, taking
the whole goddamn utterance we shared
like a crab and its shell.
I stared blankly, traced the trail
of it absence with my literary eye,
which, by now, was red and puffy.


Pick Me Chaos Theory

The Seattle Art Museum's fresco looks like
Bill Murray. Maybe it was a portrait
of a Bill Murray look alike or maybe
it was the man himself. I could speculate
all night, calculate the odds his likeness
would have survived the wars, the natural
progression of decay, the changing of hands,
but I've got my own problems and they won't
fix themselves.


I need to build a time machine.
It's the only way I can be sure
I won't fade into obscurity.
I'll check up on my own funeral
after delivering by best works,
guessing the year based on
how many drinks I've had
before switching the dials.
If everything goes right, it will
be a costume funeral. I'll be a ghost
and so will my corpse. We'll both laugh.


I want a poet's corpse. That is
to say a meaningful death or one
described as beautifully as...
anything, really,
so long as it's remembered.
Pablo Neruda could narrate it in Spanish,
the music would swell,
and the people would exit the theatre.


For a moment, when the room fills with light,
I think about what I am leaving behind;
the people, but mostly what will happen to my stuff
if left unattended too long. We hurry out
of the theater, not knowing whether it will be hot
or a sunny day. Whether we will be below
or above the earth. We just want to escape
the artifice we leave behind.
Everything becomes a memento mori.


On An Overpass With Cars For Teeth

The freeway opens up, zippers shut,
as I drain the last drops from my cup.


Full of Myself

I don't take criticism well.
My foot goes in my mouth
and I can't help myself;
With jaw unhinged
I half-swallow, half-choke
on my own leg
and then the other.
Shins sliding down my esophagus,
I regret wearing shoes.
Would alcohol take
the edge off?
Well past the torso,
belly, chest, my lips
fold outward, inward, press
together in an incestuous kiss.
I wonder why I turn
on myself; why I
bend over backward
instead of forward, when,
one way or another,
I'll end up eating
my own words
and when it's over
I've come full circle,
yet I don't exist.
I believe all I've said
to be dismissive.
I am ouroboros.
I am oblivion.
I am infinity
and her finest
gray-haired children.


Our Woods

Lets go back
into the woods, down
the wooden steps covered
in blackberry vines, past
stumps nursing fresh nettles,
sun spots and huckleberries
dripping from our chins,
sweet as they were sour;
through the foxglove nested
within white grass; we will
stop to sit at the fire pit
underneath the power lines
and above the gas pipeline,
pick over the charred
remains of nights spent
feeling insignificant,
then rise and continue
to the valley, overflowing
with evergreens and fiddlehead
ferns eager to greet us with
some sticky sap or spore on
our way down to the stream
where, in fall and winter,
water runs too wide to place
a foot on either bank;
the path narrows under
a tangle of fragile maples,
then returns to a whisper,
tracing veins in a basin of sand,
punctuated with mossy branches,
where the musk of skunk cabbage
hangs in the air and our footsteps
mark a path till the next rain.
At its heart we built a cabin out of felonies,
wiped our axes on rust-washed jeans,
breathing clouded fear into the trees;
and beyond that, a small town,
a vineyard, and a man-made river.


Ode to O's

O, o, o, one thousand wanton O's
float over our soup.
Open your door,
acknowledge your poor,
foolish spoon.

Zoom zoom,
look how your spoon
whooshes across our modest room,
soaring headlong
into your mouth.


Upon reconsidering,
your spoon rockets over your nose
to moons!
To untold planetoids beyond our world.

Furthermore, you cannot
command your spoon
to our former compromise.