The well-adjusted, socially-conscious
representation of Man’s better half
is fully cognizant of just how shitty
a person he really is, but she can’t help
hoping there’s some way to change
his behavior in a permanent way.

She’ll undertake a relationship as a challenge,
a ceaseless battle to be fought until:

a) she wins

b) she gets fed up with the whole thing

c) she dies while suffering under unlimited contractual obligation.

Frosty’s Eviction

I won’t drag out the inevitable if it means that you’ll turn into a puddle on the floor before I’m even getting to the point of my visit. It pains me to be the errand boy for these kinds of things, even if I am getting paid handsomely.

You’ve undoubtedly noticed how much things are heating up around here, and you probably wouldn’t be surprised to hear that your landlord doesn’t much like your style of living. I chalk it up to good old-fashioned prejudice and ignorance.

That being said, he’s giving you 48 hours to pack up and find another place to live. He wants to wish you good luck in the future, especially when it comes to affording a place where you can let your popsicles just sit out on the kitchen table.

Shrug and Go

Everything falls
on top of everything else
in the waystation
of our shattered consciousness,

building pressure
and adding weight
where a sane person
would shrug

and go about the day
as though uncompromised
by circumstance and accumulation–

aware of the fact,
ignoring it for progress
[or so they say].

Unlit Cigar

There’s nothing
like constantly haranguing
the world into submission

with your evocative words
and pro-life agendas,
especially if

you wear tailored suits
and carry an unlit cigar
with you wherever you go.

Giants to Feast

Fell upon a sixteen-pound cookie baked by Eleanor Roosevelt,
then tumbled into the mine shaft connecting Florida to Wyoming.

Made a right turn at wherever the wild prairies blew ragweed,
but had to double back away from the prairie dogs.

Ran through a tunnel built for giants to feast within,
realized those giants were hungry for supper,
leapt out of my skin and bled to death.

Any Good Pastry

A half-baked carp cheek croissant smears in the oven
as the room rotates itself a full 90 degrees,
never to return to its original orientation.

Spread too thin, the pastry burns within minutes
and catches fire, as any good pastry should.

The fire, fueled by neglect,
engulfs the cabinets and cutting boards
before the leisurely smoke detector decides it’s had enough.

Frightened, I Packed

A dull thud emanated from the cabinet last week as I passed by the kitchen. I didn’t investigate, but the thud got louder and louder while I camped out in the living room. Not one to be entirely superstitious, I shrugged it off and continued drinking my beer. You know, I couldn’t tell you what the thud was, but my next-door neighbor happened to see movement in my kitchen from their window at allegedly the same time as the thuds. Frightened, I packed up and moved away from that house as quickly as I possibly could. There’s no way in hell I’m going to live next to a nosy neighbor.

Behavior at These Times

We clearly didn’t get enough sleep, and now I can’t even focus for more than four seconds without staring off into space like some kind of nutjob. It’s impossible to plan to feel this way, but we could certainly have predicted it based upon our nightly behavior.

At these times, it’s important to remember that stomach lining can be replaced, and your muscles don’t always feel this tight. Nobody’s looking at you funny, so stop squenching up your face like you’re staring at the sun before you give me a heart attack.

I’m prone to sudden spasms, you know that.

For Sanitary Purposes

If I have no option other than to sweat here like a pig in heat (the humid Texas Gulf Coast, no less), shouldn’t I at least have a say in what kind of clothes I wear? I’m really disappointed in you for signing that uniform contract without at least reading it first. Isn’t that the first rule to contract negotiation? I’m not angry that I have to wear a uniform, I’m just pissed that you initialed the box right next to the statement that reads, and I quote: “All employees are now required to wear spandex undergarments to work, for sanitary purposes.”

Forget About Paddles

Forever mine, forever yours, we always have a state of transit between us and our breakthroughs, outbreaks, whatever you want to call them, those typical bursts of exquisite time unfolding through the mantelpiece and unimaginable pincushion sadness, tied together with grief and an inordinate number of pineapple chicken beak massacres.

It’s not as though we lose our typical digestion when something of this magnitude pops up, but there’s no telling the typical dragon-like experience necessary to be taken seriously around here for a change. If there were any kind of scrutiny to be had, scruples to withhold for times when tile melds with rock melds with bedrock melds with molten core, then we’d be in a different boat entirely.

But as it stands, there’s not even a raft in play here. Forget about paddles, there’s no way we can even keep above water long enough to contemplate navigating a body of water. We might be naturally buoyant, but there’s no reason to believe that floating like a cork for six hours is a given, even in the fairly gentle salty brine.

Bigfoot Carbon

It’s like I’m trying to crack
some Russian terrorist organization’s database

before the rubber ducky
explodes all over the train tracks
during the afternoon commute
away from the lovely metropolis
that affords so many people
the luxury of living 30 miles away
and commuting every day

to earn their big fat paychecks
while leaving bigfoot carbon prints

if they choose not to commute by rail.
But they can do anything they want,
because having substantial sums of money
makes a person immune from criticism
and the need to change lifestyle.

Subconscious to the Rescue

Pile the sandbags and twirl the belts,
we’re not gonna lose our dishes to the wind
if I have anything to say about it!

Pile it all up, all that crap you never expected
you’d need to keep the mental tempest at bay.

No use questioning it at this point,
your brain sent out the SOS two days ago,
and I sincerely apologize for arriving so late.
You’d never believe the cross-country traffic.

Hit the Road

With fists would be too bloody,
so we picked the feet instead.

Stomping full speed ahead
with soles at our disposal,
we fully intended to swing
by the 24-hour bakery for
some half-price doughnuts
and a snifter of cider
on the house (if Freddy
decided to be kind to us).

Our plans changed, and
we began flipping pancakes
until we could find
a tangible solution.

It struck me like butter
and I scraped my elbow
on the doorway as I
hurried outside to yell

“America knows the truth
about agribusiness
and systemic starvation
of impoverished nations,
just ask the government!”

A sniper’s round whizzed
past my ear and I took
no time getting out of there,

though I lost my clothes
while going so fast,
an issue that pops up
more often than you think it should.

Tedious Aroma II

The rats will have to scatter again,
just like after the old factory collapsed.

Or was the factory just fine before
a mysterious cracking screech filled the air?

Only the rats can tell you for sure,
and they’re long gone. Where?
Boca Raton, of course.

Those poor creatures deserve better
than having to scurry out of rubble
for the rest of their lives.

Tedious Aroma I

That old, musty library smell permeates
every air molecule in the place, and
there’s nothing worse in the whole world
than old musty library smell. There’s no way
you can get it out of a building for good.

No matter how many windows you open,
no matter how many walls you pressure wash,
no matter how much carpeting you steam clean,
there’s no end to the tedious aroma
unless you just tear the whole building down.

#78 Revisited

Great Outdoors Tradeshow Spokesperson: “This tomato in my hand has forty percent more oxygen inside its flesh and seeds than the average tomato!”

“Yeah right,” you say in disgust, kicking the pea gravel and crying silently to yourself as you contemplate just why you found reasons for everything you ever did, just to be shown up by a city slicker garden enthusiast right before the only day of the year that you can possibly get any kind of alone time for yourself to unwind and watch TV while a whole pack of hot dogs boils on the stove and the buns are on top of the toaster to get a culinary tan.

The fridge would sit closed, entertaining thoughts of potato salad and a cheese platter dancing through its circuits directly to its frosty belly for your convenience, because after all, you’re the one who shelled out hundreds of dollars for a box that keeps stuff cold and frozen–and perhaps give you ice and water if you shop around for a good one.

Turn a Profit, I Doubt You Could

We could catch and sell crabs at a seaside concession stand,
but that just doesn’t seem like a sustainable business model.

I think it was my fault for pushing you too hard.
We can’t all be entrepreneurs, and I should have recognized that.

Sales just isn’t the profession for some people,
no matter what you’re trying to get across to the customer.

Even if you had a self-wetting sponge with an everlasting,
constantly-regenerating supply of soap and scrubbing pad
made specifically to hold up for fifty years of wear (and could sell
this product at one dollar per unit and still turn a profit),
I doubt you could make someone want it.

It’s not your fault, I just pushed you too far.
Let’s go back to the drawing board, Gene.

#102 Revisited

Awful miscommunication–
tear apart sandwich halves
see how you feel after

obey primal thought
lift fingers violently
clasp chambered pumps
throw whole chickens

maul dunes, rove
past mongrel tendencies
waive discounted junk
settle accordingly–
move on.

More of a Kick

The main complication
will likely be
the bagel table.

Nobody is going to want
a bagel with lox or roe,
I’m guaranteeing that.

This isn’t even
a smoked salmon crowd.

They’d get more of a kick
out of pizza or some other
typical American
fattening agent.

Opposable Digits Necessary

I should have put garlic up my sleeve.
You never know if a vampire’s planning
to try some funny business
with ruby port and a corkscrew.
I won’t worry too much about undead daemons
taking my blood, at least not
as much as I would worry about a chicken
lopping my head off with a cleaver
and serving me with a side salad
[after miraculously gaining the upper body
strength and opposable digits necessary
to wield a blunt instrument and prepare
a gourmet meal suitable for a dinner party].

Tiny Mammal’s Startled Yip

Nothing says “this stinks” like a loaf of cheese bread wedged between the fridge and the wall for no less than 45 minutes, especially if you’re holding it above a hungry mouse’s mouth while it gnaws on its own foot for sustenance.

Not only will the stench overpower you, but the tiny mammal’s startled yip will get the attention of neighboring creatures, all shapes and sizes. Believe it or not, the average American household contains more distinct species than the average American zoo. Of course, you can’t see 99.7% of them at any given time [unless you have a properly-calibrated microscope lying around].

Morning Trees IV

Nervous cretins climbed
up and down all the time,
then grew up

into prideful cretins
concerned with productivity
and saving face
in front of other
nervous cretins

while they destroy
those same trees
they used to hug and name.

Their memory is sparse
when you confront them on it.

Morning Trees III

Stumpy masses
of twitching atoms
all look alike
from the microscopic stew,

but from up here
they look like trees

with opinions about the audacity
of their neighbors’ garments
or dance routines
spilling into the street
during witching hour
every third Tuesday–satisfied?

It’s all a pack of rumors,
disconnected from the shallow
root systems and designed
to rot away after a few years,
transient, lost by nature.

Trademark Characters

An ant attempting
to successfully cross
a busy city street

is like

a human trying
to maneuver its way
across Disneyland
without getting stopped
for impromptu photoshoots
with trademark characters.

The ant only has to worry
about death by squishing.

The fate of the human
in Disneyland
is much, much worse.

Please Do Tell

Watch those lines.

Are they moving?

I don’t want you
just yet.

Please do tell me
if you see the lines
blur or change orientation–

I’m sincerely interested
in charting perceptual fluctuations.

Hey, don’t interrupt me
while I’m talking!

I don’t care if some
orange elephant’s
coming after you,

I told you to look
at the lines,

The Mood for Obstacles

That dreaded stairway of mine… I don’t quite understand why folks are afraid to come up to my door, even in broad daylight. I suppose the spikes and schnauzers at the bottom can be a little intimidating if you’re not in the mood for obstacles, but it’s smooth sailing the rest of the way up–at least until you come across the live gargoyles.

But come on, nobody [who didn’t deserve it] has ever been attacked by these peaceful creatures. They prefer to leave well enough alone and read a good book most of the time. They’re not going to go out of their way to cause mischief, that’s what imps are for.

And you don’t have to worry about running into imps unless I invite you inside, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves here. I only invite people with strong purple auras to join me inside my dwelling. I have, in the past, made exceptions for blue auras, since they still contain the rudimentary elements I prize highly in individuals.

Good Work, Inspector

It’s as though we stopped thinking
about what people might do and began
reacting appropriately to the actions
they actually carry out as an attempt
to build up their images in our eyes.

And I know what you’re thinking:
“You can’t possibly know that for a fact.”

Well, you caught me.
Good work, inspector.

However, there’s one thing you failed
to consider. I haven’t been proven wrong
on a hunch of mine [not a single time]
since 1983, and I don’t think you’ve got
the guts to dispute me on my moral high horse.

I ride in on my mighty steed and wage
war on negativity until I’m blue
in the face and meaner than a pirate
two days after shore leave’s over.

Moving Forward with Wharved

Hey folks,

Today marks another one of those random times that the author pulls up a chair and has a real talk.

I’ll keep it brief:

Since I’ve noticed an ever-expanding contingency of readers over the past few years (I’m up to 133 subscribers now, whoo!), I’ve taken it upon myself to be less erratic in the way I post my materials.

Specifically, I’ve chosen to begin posting my poems (and drawings) in more regular installments, so you darling readers don’t have to digest a half-dozen pieces at once. With my work unfolding in a more billowing fashion, I hope to get a more even rotation of viewership that spreads itself out throughout the days and weeks.

This is my goal, and I think it’s a simple enough one at that.

BONUS: My drawings will most likely show up on a once-weekly basis, to break the monotony of words. Sometimes, the drawings might even contain words! And sometimes, the drawings might ONLY be words! As the craft progresses, so will the ideas leading up to its practice.

Thanks again, readers. You’re all A-1 super duper tops in my book.



Bitten Nails [Reserved]

Tell it not
how you are
or how you act
around company.

Just tell
where we lie
and how we eat
within submarines.

Strawberries can float
down there, she says
as I grin from ear to ear.

We hadn’t known that until
one summer night underwater
with our best friends in tow.

Pressurized peers popped their ears
to the deafening steely screech

and scratched at their eyelids
with jagged bitten nails
reserved for panic attacks.

But look, in the distance,
a perfect ripe strawberry
floating innocent, supple, sublime
through the hull to the bridge
[where Diego swallowed it whole].

This memory is not as fond of us
as we think it ought to be–

but we always persevere
and find better friends.

Deluxe, Gargantuan

Before anything must really take place here,
let’s just remember what brought us to this point
of denial and humorless envy for a goddamn pickle.

Are we both too callous to see our foolishness
and obvious desire for a fight whenever possible?

It’s not like we ever really whooped each other
into a froth or a frenzy, but words have been said
that neither of us will unhear as long as we live.

Poultry guts, harpsichord licker on a Sunday night,
tickle-me-princess, tumbling ghost face deluxe,
gargantuan pimple pushing troll doll salesman.

Splintered Material

Full-on rage meanders
back to the dresser
and tosses throwing stars
at the formica counter,

bouncing sparks and splintered material
all over the place while
aged mosquito catchers
grumble about old times
before the internet.

Lost and Found

Spotted in the lost and found today:

two purple camisoles
a jock strap signed by Darryl Strawberry
a liter of Polish carrot juice
club tickets to the 1979 World Series
a monkey turban (most likely from the organ grinder)
a wool scarf, brown
Stephen Hawking’s eyelash
and a twelve gallon hat.

Note: The twelve gallon hat may simply be a reflection of shoddy workmanship, though I did not detect a difference in size from the other ten gallon hats I’ve seen in this restaurant.

Pick Up the Pace

Cool Charlie Mace
never had a reason to race
‘cept that time four years ago.

He took to the streets
with grassroots campaigns
and promises of alternative fuels.

But then when he faltered,
he lost his young fans
to the dragstrip
of irreconcilable agony.

It wasn’t even his idea
to run in the first place.

[Even When Cooked]

it happened to the mailman
than your grandmother,

we all have bones to pick
with the crumbling infrastructure,

For one,
these lasagna noodles are brittle
and flavorless [even when cooked],

no longer hold the public’s attention
or appetite. Big business has gone
too far.

on a cardboard box–healthy, fibrous,
nothing carcinogenic [that we know of]

Consistently Insulting

This book
is all about ponies
and their symbiotic relationship
with the microscopic organisms
in charge of cleaning their insides.

At times truly terrifying, this text
beckons the reader to reconsider
steadfast beliefs held since childhood,
consistently insulting their intelligence
from cover to cover.

It’s been a New York Times Bestseller
for seventeen weeks now.

Pipes Belittle

All those chain reactions
busting through the pipes

belittle stinky cheese scraps
and human growth hormone.

Tearing rich philosophy in two
while unicycling underwater

leaves much to be desired
for one’s lungs and psyche.

Lunge through the book covers
and try to absorb it this time,

you pompous snake charmer
with more wit than cantaloupe rind.

Smoking Is Bad for You

Tunnel to the core,
get halfway there
and look around.

You’re not burnt
crisp, rather
in disbelief
while you
reach around
for a cigarette
and a match.

Then you realize
smoking is bad
for you.

Patches Will Do the Trick

Seventy dollars
is all it takes
to lose your erection
for the time being–

I predict a surge
of business (monkey
or otherwise) for
this fledgling

Forget the
popping of
the pills,
the future.

Sick and tired
of being attracted
to somebody
when you really
just wish you could
get to bed already?

Well, fear no more!
Dr. Franco’s
Deboner Patches
will do the trick
every time.

Those Lost Galoshes

If I’d had a thousand soiled doilies
on my front stoop at any time
during the tirade of lost galoshes,
I could have cashed in, gotten me
an early retirement.

But what did I do instead?
I picked soiled tea cozies.
Now I’m broke, and those
lost galoshes ain’t
never coming back. Jack.