I will make my heart a factory.
And my asshole will be a gallery.
But it doesn’t matter.
They’ll treat it like a public library.

The nice, decent people you forget;
but the subhumans you remember,
coming in at 5 minutes before closing,
taking out a brand new book,
and then returning it with a turd marking their place.
No fines are to be paid,
prattling on about paying taxes—
If you pay,
you don’t have to pay
and you can break what you want.

You can paint your butthole blue
the most beautiful blue there is
the sky when it’s at its bluest blue,
but it still stinks.
But then again that’s not the point.
We’re made for failure
But we’re also made to make…
even if it’s banal
even if it’s tired, unoriginal
and even fake.

What we make
will eventually stop up the pipes
for good.

No matter.
I have my scissors.
I have my paste.
I have my paper.
I have my waste.

And yes, heart.
I have my guitar.
And my amp that rumbles.
I have my pick.
And my carpel tunnel.

And I will shit beautiful music.
Every color possible
until I fade.
And I will scream the world
right back to the world
like it’s a
broken hearing aid.

E.E. Cummings

Posted: February 7, 2017 in Poetry
Tags: ,

I don’t think that I’ll age well.
I was counting on poetry
to keep me young
like some kind of island or some shit
that gives the mind
a much needed respite… but look at Cummings:
never worked a straight job;
traveled to Europe frequently;
given a generous allowance;
had someone else father his child;
and among his friends were the likes
of W.C. and Ezra.

In many ways a
Lucky man.

Yet then again,
even he didn’t age well.

Became frail in old age
hateful of Hollywood
critical of welfare
his own

But then again
the army did put him
in a detention center.

His wife kept their
from him.

She didn’t even
know that E.E. was her dad
until she tried to
seduce him.

Perhaps my only hope lies
in the fact
that there’s no poetry in me

and perhaps that
isn’t such a bad thing
for even poems
tend to be nailed to a cross
and hang like
a piece of half-cooked bacon

and are ultimately
easily forgettable….

Even the good ones.

* Originally posted on Citizens for Decent Literature, July 13, 2013

The Slick

Posted: February 11, 2016 in Fiction

Kurt felt good and cool and simple in maple tree shade as the grass drooped whichever way the gentle breeze willed it too. His once blond dreadlocks were fading to silver. His arms and legs had only a little more girth than bone, resembling chopsticks with pink skin hanging off of them. And the whites of his eyes were as blond as his hair used to be, but only with thin, thread-like veins of red resting in their corners. Next to him, was a cooler full of iced beer.  “Did anyone ever tell you teenaged adolescent pukes about the Slick?” He said to the three neighborhood boys. “Of course you haven’t, you kids got no sense of culture. No sense of tradition.”

Rob opened the cooler and passed a beer to his two friends, Bill and Jason who were each sitting on their skateboards. Their elbows sat on top of scuffed up knees. Rob preferred to stand.

“This was back in the 60s and the 70s. It wasn’t like the X-men nowadays. Back then, comics meant something. They had something to say. Nowadays, you crack open a comic, and there ain’t hardly any words. Most of the characters ain’t worth a shit either. Who can really relate to Captain America. No soul. Flat. You know that he’s gonna save the world and he always saves the world. Boring.”

“I don’t know. The new Avengers movie was pretty awesome,” Bill retorted.

“Yah, I’m going to see it again next weekend,” Jason eagerly added.

“I’ll wait for it to come out on video,” said Kurt.

“Uh, you mean DVD,” corrected Jason.

“Yah, sure. Whatever,” he answered, putting his hand in the cooler. The ice was getting watery. The beer was running low too. Pretty soon, he thought, he’d have to go back in the house for some more. His small, yellow house with chipped paint. “You kids want to know who deserves to have a movie made about them?”


“The Slick, that’s who.”

“Who the fuck’s that?” said Rob.

“Yah. Who the fuck’s that?”

“Jason, shut the fuck up.”

“The Slick appeared in a couple of issues of X-men back in the late 60s. I think Stan Lee was doing the writing then.”

The kids just stood there and listened. They had heard Stan Lee’s name before, but couldn’t quite place it. None of them cared to admit that fact. Rob let out a large burp.

“He had the power to shoot K-Y Jelly out of his fists kinda like the way the Silver Surfer could make cosmic energy shoot out of his hands,” Kurt continued, “and he could make himself real slippery so if anybody ever grabbed him or had him in a headlock, he could slide right of it with no problem. And if somebody tried to shoot him, the bullets just slid right off him. Now you tell me, is that cool or is that cool?”

“What kind of super power is that?” asked Rob suspiciously. And for a few seconds, all that was heard was the sound of prepubescent boys sipping beer. The old man shot a half-inebriated glare at Rob.

“For starters, it’s the kind of power that makes it easy to jack off, which I’m pretty sure would be useful to you,” returned the old hippie. Jason and Bill laughed. Rob couldn’t think of anything clever to say, so he said ‘fuck you’ instead.

“Yah, yah, yah. Well anyhow, the storyline wasn’t anything too creative. Basically, Magneto and his army of mutants had taken over the world, and enslaved the humans. It was up to the X-men to save the day… you know. Cyclops would try to pump up the other X-men and say in a really pompous way, ‘Show no mercy X-men, for there are beings in there that would feast on the human soul itself,’ and all the other X-men went for it—all except Slick. Slick said, ‘What’s the point? If they want to run the world so damn bad, then let them. They can’t make the world any worse for us than the humans who’re always trying to put us in cages.’ And Cyclops would say something like ‘Because it’s the right thing to do.’”

“So what happened next?” asked Rob.

“Well, the X-men listened to Cyclops, and they defeated Magneto and his minions and put the humans back in charge. And out of gratitude, the humans kept persecuting them.”

“That sounds pretty lame,” said Rob as he was taking the last gulp of beer. Jason and Bill agreed that that story totally sucked.

“Well, that’s the world for you,” answered the old man.

“What happened to the Slick after that?” asked Bill.

“After that, the Slick was never seen in the pages of X-men. But he did make an appearance in the Fantastic Four. It was the one in which they were confronted with the planet-eating giant, Galactus. Mr. Fantastic placated Galactus by offering him a gift of the Slick and his powers of lubrication. And he hasn’t made another appearance since.”

“No way Mr. Fantastic would ever do that,” Bill pointed out.

“No, Mr. Fantastic would never do anything like that to somebody against their will, but in this case the Slick volunteered himself.”

“That doesn’t sound like something he’d do,” said Rob.

“Yeah. It’s pretty out of character for him, I gotta admit,” said Kurt, opening a new can of beer.

“That’s pretty messed up.”

“Well, I guess you have to look at it from Galactus’s point of view… after all, it must get pretty lonesome in space.”

* Originally published online in Zygote In My Coffee #140, January 2013.

A Letter to Franz Kafka

Posted: December 20, 2015 in Poetry

I’m not going to say that it wasn’t
A fucked up thing for Gregor Samsa
To suddenly wake up as a cockroach
But I still say that it would’ve been
Even more traumatic for a cockroach
To suddenly wake up as a human

Sure his fiancé left him
Sure he lost his job
Sure his family was happy when he was dead
But it was good that he found out who’s who
And that all is conditional

The roach knows what’s what
That existence is
A delicate balance of
Cooperation and competition
That sentiments
Do you about as much good
As a busted leg

And it knows better
To stay away
That the light of lies
Can’t penetrate the darkness
Under the refrigerator
That the stink
And corruption of
Can’t find it
In the walls
That the roach motel
Or death by suffocating poison
Sure the hell beats
Consciousness that cripples

Once the roach becomes man
Where does it hide?
Two legs aren’t as good as six
And it isn’t used to being
Such a big target

* Originally published in Deuce Coupe, March 24, 2010

Barely the Minority?

Posted: December 16, 2015 in Poetry

They’ll watch tv like blind dogs…
Buy lottery tickets
Listen to the same old songs
And bitch about taxes under
The compulsion of stingy despair and piss
Away their coins in slot machines
As they piss themselves
Yet enjoying their bitterness.
Yet functioning despite their hopelessness.
Yet unaware of their absurdity.
Yet seeing dignity and entitlement in it.
Yet proud of their ignorance…
Finding comfort
In the certitude
That only half-ass religion and
Patriotism can bring…. On Sundays
It gets them a 25 percent discount
Off of the privilege
Of a personal relationship
With the savior.
On some days it’s something
That they don’t even think about.
And on other days, it’s the only
Thing that sustains them
As they patiently wait
For their compensation at the end of days.
This isn’t a town somewhere.
This isn’t a city somewhere.
These are a multitude of lonely enclaves
Of humanity
Barely the minority
A cheap
And a reliable source of
Renewable destruction
For everyone and everything else.

* originally published in Haggard and Halloo, August 31, 2009

Hamid from Egypt

Posted: December 12, 2015 in Poetry

In the back stockroom
Of the downtown Safeway,
I worked with an old man named Hamid.
He was a PhD in history who
Was forced to flee
His own country.

We weren’t alone.
There were the cockroaches,
And the mice, and some gnats.

And there were lines
And lines of

Of homeless people
With forsaken brows
And furled beards.

Of bag ladies
Without illusion, hope
Or femininity.

Of trendy yuppies
Who were overpaid
And smug.

Of gutter punks
Dirty, stinking,
And unapologetic
Or hip kids
As gutter punks.

Of party-time college boys
Looking to drink,
Fuck and spawn.

Me and Hamid saw it all.
The working types. The artsy types.
The hippie types. The average types.
The druggie types.

We put the cans in large
Plastic bags. The bottles were a bit
More difficult, because they came in different
Shapes and sizes. We sorted and stacked
Them on pallet boards
Like slaves
Building a pyramid.

* Originally posted on Haggard and Halloo July 12, 2009

Insect Freedom

Posted: November 18, 2015 in Poetry

When Joe Cloyd
Woke up
One morning

He found

Into a

He didn’t panic
He didn’t despair

He looked
To his right
To his wife
Who was
And slowly
Out of bed

He then went
In his
Daughter’s room
To look in
On her
But the crib
Was too high

But he could
Smell her
And she was
Doing fine

So he headed
For the
Front door
And was never
Seen again

When it hit
The papers
He was
Talked about
By old women
Who never
Even knew

The old women
Despised him
For turning
Into a
Because they had
Nothing better
To talk

Joe Cloyd is
Slime, I
Don’t care what
Anyone says,
Declared one of
The old women
At the bingo hall

Yah, turning into
A cockroach is
No excuse, another
My sweet Bill
Turned into a
Cockroach years
Ago and we’ve
Been happy ever

But their
Cockroach husbands
Who were at home

* Originally posted on Clutching at Straws February 17, 2010

A rough life on four legs

Posted: March 31, 2014 in Uncategorized

On the block over from the pioneer square
just opposite the meyer and franks sit
the gutter punks
and their dogs.

It’s the dogs that get me. I know I should
feel bad for the kids
but that’s not why I give them a few bucks.

They sit in the shade obediently. The lease
is slack. Only a few feet away are the
food carts.

Autumn is halfway through. And

Their bellies are gone and their
tongues are tired


Some guy gives you a brochure
about the GOOD NEWS
and keeps walking.

They sit there as if they know all
about it
but how could they with all that

I don’t see jesus
descending from the heavens
with a can


I see are the nicotine stained
fingers of children
holding tight to
a leash

Shut the door and come in

Posted: March 20, 2014 in Poetry

Life is a series of doors
that you open once and then close forever.

No wonder all these old people
are bitter—envious and hateful of youth.

No wonder they suck on the flag
with their hand over their heart
and their finger up their ass.

It’s hard to imagine that all these old people
were young once, but they were—

these timid haters of children—

so dried up that not even viagra-laced veal
with a side
of cealus caesar salad
can make their pricks

burn again.

I like that you paint. I like that you’re not one
of them. I like that you like the sound of me
playing the bass

that thumps out color
(I do my best)
as we try
to make up our own key.

* Originally published in Citizens for Decent Literature #4, September 22, 2012

The sensitive poet

Posted: December 17, 2013 in Uncategorized

the sensitive poet takes narcotics
the sensitive poet hides behind abstraction
the sensitive poet becomes more literary when he drinks
the sensitive poet sells himself
the sensitive poet is offended when you don’t recognize his genius
the sensitive poet dreams of immortalizing himself through his verse
the sensitive poet is mindful of his purse
the sensitive poet is getting worse and worse
the sensitive poet reads all the other sensitive poets
the sensitive poet thinks he’s better than you
the sensitive poet steps on the tits of his muse
the sensitive poet is useless
the sensitive poet can’t even change a fuse
the sensitive poet is a sheep in wolf’s clothing
the sensitive poet likes your work because he wants you to like his
the sensitive poet is self-aggrandizing yet self-loathing
the sensitive poet is all that we are not
the sensitive poet is bilge, bile and rot
the sensitive poet hangs out in cafés
the sensitive poet hangs his MFA over his bookshelf
the sensitive poet makes sure he’s looking pretty
the sensitive poet always says something witty
the sensitive poet is always coifing and preening
but the sensitive poet never says anything worth believing
because all the sensitive poet really wants is a lay
and for some reason the sensitive poet gets away with it

Originally posted in Citizens for Decent Literature on March 17, 2013