Sunday, June 9, 2024

poem

 Boys to Men

Some men look like little boys

Trapped in giant bodies

With their gray hairs and ill fitting shirts

Pinched faces of petulant ire

After so many years 

Not being taken seriously 


Then there are the little boys

Coming home from school

Who look like beatdown men 

Just getting off a ten hour shift

At the metal processing factory.

Carved frowns hinting 

At the jowls to come.

They sit at quiet kitchen tables

In empty houses alone

Eating snacks

Before homework and chores.


The men who never lose 

Their boyish mien

Wage war against the boys

Of hardened visage

When they grow up.

It ends the way it always ends:

With scrapes and bruises and burial

Mounds of unspeakable tragedy.


All that remain

Are the boys who look like boys

Playing in the backyard dusk

And then the men 

Who look like men 

Concealing silent wars

Fought within themselves

For as long as they can.

They save their final doubts

And anguished tears for when no one is home.


Every day is a battle to stay alive. 

Thrashed by the froth and churn 

They man the helm

Until their sons are ready

To take a turn 


6/9/24

poem

 Happiest

I am happiest when I forget who I am,

When I lose all sense of self.


The big joke in life is that

All your friends and lovers


Love a person 

You can’t recall.


When they speak of you

They speak of a stranger 


You can’t remember 

How to be.


6/9/24

poem

 Infinite Peril

Never forget the inherent danger

Fibrillating at the heart of infinity

In an infinite amount of time anything 

Is not only possible but inevitable.

Us here, me and you, it isn’t special

It was always going to happen

We just didn't know when. 

Think for how long we’d been

Patiently waiting on deck

Bats on our shoulders

Wondering if we’d ever get to hit. 

Infinity explains the existence 

And the meaning for everything

In due course.

And also the absence of meaning 

In a world that doesn’t yet exist

But will.

Infinity will snatch your joy 

And spit on your wonder.

Who do you think you are

Other than what you’ve always been?

Infinity is the golden goose wryly 

Grinning as we clutch at its hatched 

Little eggs of time, which are

Quickly traded in for material trinkets

Of immeasurably lesser value. 

Somewhere along the infinite timeline

You’ll become the sort of person 

Who learns the lesson

Of the pricelessness of time

Just before a voice whispers:  it’s too late,

By the time you get it, you’ve missed the point.  

So you get dizzy with acquired time,

Lose your balance, fall face down. 

Laugh at your peril. 

The only way to save this

From utter trivialization

Is to join a doomsday cult.

Become a man on a sidewalk 

Wearing a placard proclaiming

THE END IS NEAR 

Not as a warning

But hope.


6/9/24

Sunday, June 2, 2024

poem

 Maslow

I have no memory of being held 

When I was born

But my mother assures me

She never put me down

Until I stopped crying 

Nor will I recall after death

Whether I was held

As I lay dying

But heaven or hell hinges

On whether certain needs

(Remembered or not)

Get met.


6/2/24

poem

 Upside Down Flag

My upside down flag is a poem

I’ve written under duress

The siege is still ongoing

We’re all under attack

No one feels safe

These lines provide only

A few moments of security

Please send love

And a sliver of beauty


6/2/24

Monday, May 27, 2024

poem

Apples and Oranges

Every poem ought to have two endings

One version ends with a hand job

Behind the high school concession stand 

The other with a chaste kiss

Under a mossy bridge, 

You and all the trolls.

Everything is the same 

Up until the final stanza:

The puppy survives another razor's edge day

So the old hound can finally die in peace

A girl is rescued in the nick of time 

Just as the killer decides to go into therapy 

In one version you see where I’m going with this

But in the other your eyes glaze over in disgust

One ends as sacred mystery

While the other is just a bust 

For the poet, endings are interchangeable

One night I give you this one

Maybe tomorrow its secret partner

But if you read them back to back

They tend to self annihilate 

In a flash of blinding light 

Like the doomed ending 

To every electron 

And its positron partner.

Your surprised look won’t make any sense to me

From my perspective

I see no difference.

It’s like a bushel of apples

With all the rot and bruise weeded out

No matter how it ends

I always feel the same 

Gutting wound of loss.

As for heroes:

Sometimes he lives

Sometimes he dies

Yes, I’m a quasi- regular guy

Albeit weird and strange

Wandering through kaleidoscope orchards

Looking for someone to save 

All I have to give you 

Is yet another apple

That you, for some reason, keep calling

An orange 


5/27/24

Tuesday, May 21, 2024

poem

 Apgars

We’re all born screaming

The louder the better

Pink and wet and wiggling

The doctor writes down the scores

And says everything is fine

A proud dad jabs his healthy

Baby boy into the ether 


Death has a different kind of scale

Quiet and pale and unstruggling

Chests like boats in a calm harbor

Morphine or delirium have erased 

All trace of grimace 

Everything has already been said

A semi circle of bowed heads


But I’m afraid I’ll go out fighting

Heart pounding, eyes aflame 

Driving everyone from the room 

Crash carts, code blue

An elderly equivalence to ashen stillborn infants

My dying score a perfect 0

With 5 minutes and then 1 minute left


5/21/24

poem

 Last Requests

Do not intubate

Do not resuscitate 

Do not try to feed

Me finger to mouth

Do not leave me

Alone in the evening

Do not pretend

You see the phantoms

Dancing before me 

Do not stop for roses

On the way to visit me 

Do not visit me

Stay with me

Do not condescend me 

Or ask me if I’m thirsty 

Do not forget that death is comedy

Not tragedy

Do not forget to laugh

Because this is not a tragedy

Do not neglect to bring

My pile of unread books

From the nightstand at home 

Stack them here within 

My field of vision 

But out of my reach

Leave me at peace 

With everything 

I ran out of time

To read  


5/21/24

Saturday, May 18, 2024

poem

 Gift and Burden

Love is both gift and burden

Like having a child

It must be tended 

To in all the rote ways

Dependent as it is while

So young and fragile. 

But it will never cease 

To surprise you.

Some mornings you will wake

And pinch yourself

Hardly believing this is your life

That you have been entrusted 

With something so imperiled and precious

But it is not yours to control

It has a mind of its own

You will be shocked to find 

How well it can do without you

It grows up, matures

Becomes itself

But by then it won’t matter

By then it has become your whole life

Which is not your old life 

Anymore


5/18/24

poem

The Committee for Public Morale

We are gathered here to address

The elephant in the room:

The sense that everything is bad

Or at least not quite up to the standards

We could reasonably expect given circumstances

Of wealth, status and unearned felicity.

We all feel we have been had.

Nothing works the way it should.

Our abundance is only in the things we lack.

Even this committee is a fraud.

We propose no alleviative agenda

We offer zero solutions

Nothing will ever come to fruition

This is merely a fact finding mission.

We are data harvesters, nothing more

Time is our ledger

We will never not be here

Such is the burden 

Of mere cosmic bookkeepers.

Please write down any ideas 

You have to make things better

On a torn off slip of paper

And swallow it whole. 

We will read them all later 


5/18/24