Tag Archive: poems


Even T. S. Eliot couldn’t get a deal

when he pitched The Wasteland limited series,

so that crazy premise based on your lame

lemonade stand verses won’t get off the ground.

You don’t even have fateful fortune tellers or

impatient barmen and your childhood characters

are trite and unreflective of grander social mores.

You should return to your drafts, have the

stand burn down, get sunk in a deep morass of

moss-draped swamp water, dissolve like a

shipwreck from the Near East and entrap

beneath its counter tokens of ill-starred scamps.

Depict distressed clients, kicking thin cups on the

sidewalk and bedraggled housemaids clinging to

some forlorn hunk of pulp, hoping for a fresh

squirt to transform their existence.

Then maybe you’ll get a second look.

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“We should have a flashback,” said Jeff spreading

his hands, “of the time he stowed away, scared,

riding in a test capsule with no one,

trapped in  a long orbit he never made.”

At which Leslie puffed on her cigarette.

“Don’t make me laugh, you hack. That’s the oldest

cliché in the book. The dark childhood mess

come back to enmesh him in its tight grasp.”

Her straight brunette bangs jittered. “Rollo stares

space in the face, unafraid. A mighty

white-suited orbit warrior, darting

into the far reaches of the unknown.”

Milton rubbed at the ache in his forehead.

“We know Rollo’s tough, but we gotta glimpse

his tender side. Maybe a space babe, a

statuesque princess from Mars with some spunk.”

“You have to be kidding,” sneered dry Leslie.

“The last thing we need is a Mars vixen,

a small-brained twit to simper at space hunks.”

“Let’s just do a jelly monster,” urged Jeff,

“like the one in ‘Moon of the Unhallowed’.

we can all get behind slimy feelers.”

There were reluctant nods. The meeting stopped

at four with notes on grappling tentacles.

Tough Girls – a poem

Tough girls

in grocery store parking lots

intimidating children.

They consider doing violent things with grocery carts

and smack their gum loudly, like soldiers bouncing tin cans off brick walls.

They posture and flaunt,

proud of their tops,

knowing every crack in the lot.

No one from the coffee stand will wave them away.

They sneer at local dogs and petition people.

Soak in the yawping sun, disdaining lotion,

daring their skin to darken.

Nighttime clambers onto them, bringing no quiet,

Spurring them on to jeer at loud cars,

their bravado rising with every baffled elder clutching a reusable bag.

Two burritos appeared on a sign board,

And pretty sure I could eat only one

And be left unsickened, long I stood

And looked on for as long as I could

To the trays that they were served upon.

 

I saw the large, saucy Macho Beef,

And having perhaps the greater fame,

Since it was quite massive and flaunted meat;

While the weirder Tropical Treat

Had nuts and fruits that might be lame.

 

And both that evening temptingly lay

In long trays with a paper sack.

Oh, I kept the first for another day!

And knowing how tray leads on to tray,

I doubted not I would often come back.

 

I shall tell this one day with a sigh

By some ruined Mexican fence:

Two burritos appeared on a board, and, yeah —

I took the one less frequently tried,

And that has made all the difference.

We interrupt this burrito

We interrupt this burrito

to bring you a chicken with no ulterior motive

luxuriating in a ravine where the leftover Panda

rots in the sunset.

When a headless mole makes the effort,

sets up a marmoset playground with fabricated logs

and collects porcelain bras from exotic countries,

the discriminating Teutophile adjusts his vest and

combs his mustache: incommensurable blocks of cheese,

floating above the intersection, surprisingly petrified,

make their own plans when day care is condemned.

Just as Cousin Rollo failed with his omelet,

and raised a race of rats that developed fears of seedlings,

Maxine will tear apart each taquito, shred by shred,

until she has conquered her final cuisine.

When you leave Sears at midnight

Turn off the lights for the mongoose

And luxuriate in a papaya tea

The gypsy woman with the eyeliner

Will wait in the boxcar

Undeterred by sheriffs

And dental assistants

Where the slides of her youth betrayed a razor

A man with rollerblade sides

Who took too long to appreciate her gum

These are the voyages of a girl who takes trips

Where the beaches are less photogenic

Than the steel folds of your lost hometown

And the desiccated potatoes of Mrs. Lindstrom

Who knew more about driveways than you ever will.

When you can’t live up to your license plate

and your taco’s the color of burnt sponge,

your subscription to Beard Man’s expired,

and stray women in Kansas unfriend you

the empty Cheeto bag holds no response,

the deflated roadside doughnut gapes in vain,

no two red vagrants lean at the same stance

and small mammals expose drab rearward views,

the state is not the low road that you know

but another with less yellow and more stone

exposing legless fish to winter sun

and flattening viable cops to crumbs.

And then    it was ten-fifty-seven

When her man stumbled through the door

Repeating the paper towel, recasting the ashtrays and counting all the daughters.

“Is it for the lack of a moon that you followed me

where the parked cars… Wait, is that the latest issue of American Male?”

 

But it was her lost moon,

the toothpaste on the cabinet and the

discount beer that splayed around.

 

He wasn’t the only prone guy she’d found,

Only the latest.  With a shirt to match his intelligence

And that old rabbit trick that no one enjoyed.

 

“Don’t brush that mustache.”  She threw her bottle on the floor.

“I like them Western.”

My Bad Poetry #15

I took a road trip into your girlfriend’s mind

Where I found hot sauce dripping

on all the potato burritos.

She has harangues she hasn’t even finished,

peppers she’s pelting you with in her head.

Like other waitresses, she’s dressed in aluminum colored skirts

She contains jewelry pilfered from Peruvian thrift shops.

Perched above the giant hamburger, she gazes down,

Her peppermint lipstick taunting you.

“I have four kinds of pickle,” she chants,

in that sing-song waitress way

as though twirling an invisible tassel.

She totes up her bubblegum achievements for the day

She rides into a new Arizona,

her carriages decoratively perforated.

“Would you like a side of sauerkraut?” she purrs,

knowing you’re allergic to German vegetables.

“And let’s finish that off with an eggnog milkshake.”

My Bad Poetry #14

The Smell of Poetry

 

Is that bacon burning in the frying pan?

No, dude, that’s the smell of my new poem.

It smells like words, searing in your brain grease

Droplets of chunky metaphor fat dripping through your neurons.

Can you get a slice of fat-free turkey bacon instead?

No.  These are gristle-packed, thrumming sizzling phrase strips

Globules glistening with dense significations, marbled murkiness.

This poem smells worse than an overheated, oil-soaked carburetor?

Is that what you said?

Some people have useless noses.

Someone left a dainty mango slice on the placemat.

They must’ve mistaken it for a haiku.

 

 

 

Meanwhile, the grease is pooling on the kitchen floor, oozing into coagulations of truth.