This Blankness, This

This blankness, this
never-ending stare
into the abyss–what is it?

It can’t just be me
on the precipice of nothing,
there has to be something there.

Even if it’s just a robot
with a kindly smile
and a flashy old bowler hat,
that’s enough for me.

The Typhus Made Me

To tell a glitter salesman that he has no shame is rude?!

I’ve been insulting these guys for 64 years, and you’re just now telling me this?

I’m not going to change my mind. I’m too old to think so hard about things. I remember when I was a young man, and the typhus made me see pretty angels until the doctor brought me back. Oh my, was that something to see. I never did see those angels again, but I think they’ll be around when I croak.

I Could Have Eaten Mango

I had too many mangoes on my mind
to make a rational decision

about myself and
the proprietary methods
with which I interact
on a daily basis.

Those mangoes
were simply too juicy and complex
to worry about pressing matters.

I could have eaten mango
through a cattle drive
through a parlor trick
through a root canal
through a minotaur

until all known mango
in the universe
had been consumed by me.

Professional Authoritarians May Fall

Maple loop dragon rolls steep fervently
in the grandiose multiplicities
that we find ourselves around
in a constant way,
though not buttered with finance or treason.

You might find it subtle
to fly through emperor penguin hats
while announcing the arrival
of the next Dalai Lama,
but your associations
with professional authoritarians
may fall flat upon impact.

Nevertheless, that shouldn’t stop
your vague forays into the kind fireplace
we call matrimony. Settle down,
raise a dozen schnauzers
and investigate the true meaning of Christmas.

Why Are We Anxious?

Is it the endless possibility
forged in the stream of creation?

Is it because we know
that our job as poets
will never be done,
and those poems won’t write themselves?

A combination of those
leads to stagnation,
the unwillingness
to accept a spot
in the pantheon of heightened thought.

Those people who wrote their works
and died long ago
are the same people now,
just in different clothes.

HELLO, no Hospitals

Saturday is our day of fun at the zoo this week. My wife is so excited to see the orangutans and try to talk to them and see if they can make sign language back. She tried to learn American sign language, but only made it past the alphabet and some basic vocabulary. I don’t even think that any of these orangutans are going to know sign language anyway. Wasn’t it just a really special one who could actually communicate using it? It probably took years and years of training from the zoo staff, or whoever taught the animal, and in the end it probably had a tiny little vocabulary anyway, nothing to write home about.

I mean, the damn monkey can’t even write, and it sure as hell doesn’t know where its home used to be anyway, now does it? It’s not like its mommy orangutan stands by the shoreline in Sumatra or wherever they’re from, hoping that her baby will return to her some day. I mean, there’s probably an instinct like that, but there’s no way that she’d be able to pause in her life to entertain that thought. I mean, it’s basic survival in the wild, isn’t it? You can’t just go off daydreaming, or some puma will sneak up behind you and take a bite out of your kidney.

And even if you get away, that kidney hole will never get filled, because HELLO, no hospitals, so you’re limping around even though your legs are just fine. That’s how much your lack of a kidney truly hurts when you’re trying to get to the nearest place to find a proper dying spot where the vultures can’t get at you, because who likes the thought of having their rotting carcass get picked at out of sheer carelessness for not having hidden themselves before they died? I mean, it’s not like you’ll be looking down at your sorry body after you’re dead anyway, you’ll be too busy knowing about absolutely everything there is to know.

But honestly, it would be ridiculous to not at least give it a shot.

For the Jollification of His Savior

We need our tea kettle boiling over proper, tied to an enchilada and soaked in a a spritz of urine from a fox in the Andes mountains, though not the typical Andean fox. The typical Andean fox would wander and holler and look at the land with big eyes and think “I own this place,” whereas we need ourselves a fox with the kind of begrudging acceptance of his own fate as a pawn in God’s scheme, to be toyed with at any time, any place, for the jollification of his savior.


I once held a sentiment dear to my heart. I named it Pomona and gave it free reign. Pomona was quirky, but stayed in the house with a crippling fear of losing its balance in public and shaking too much while I ate my corned beef. So I let my dear sentiment stay in while I roamed; Pomona was grateful and gave me more trust while lying in bed and burning the toast. When the house burned down, Pomona escaped and called 911, then sat on the curb while I got the good news.

Pomona was gone when I rushed to the spot where my house used to be. I wasn’t surprised. I called my ex-wife and I moved in with her. I swallowed my pride and I waited in vain for my poor lost Pomona to find me again. It didn’t. I got my insurance check and boarded a flight to New Zealand, to hide in my sorrowful, uprooted life and wait for new sentiments to fix my depression. They didn’t.

Mind’s Canyon

Bet on the stout Summer
folding up its arches
for a tourist passing by
en route to the beach.

Truly forgiving
is one thing.
Regret (mounting,
whirring, stomping

through Mind’s canyon)
outstrips common decency,
eats hungry babies.

Who do we know anymore?
Do we care? How many fights
do we pick with ourselves?

To see someone lounging,
unknowing and bare,
stripped from

what is

in exchange for
what’s there
in plain view,
smaller than God

that we trade
for false living
and collars to wear.

In the Heat of the Sun in Tomorrow Town

In the heat of the sun in Tomorrow Town,
an iguana lies in wait. Knowing not
quite why it waits, it resigns to casual sunning.

There on the rock, it contemplates
the coming day’s fly action.

Maybe a dragonfly will buzz low enough,
forgetting its millions of years of instinct
for a moment, just a moment.

Less Yellow

In the midst of the middle with a stone in my bed, absolutely nothing had fallen my way. I befell a certain curtain chaser with a penchant for sodium pentathol and a mincemeat pie methodology on his way to uncharted technology. I asked him: “Hello, where are you going so fast?” and I met his response, a fist to the gut. It stung for two days as I wallowed and cried, just wondering why a man would cause a stranger such pain. I meditated, prayed and fasted for days, just trying to see where that man’s passion lay. Then I stood by my doorframe, abstaining from nourishment until I knew for sure that this man would come back. Thankfully for my health, he was there in ten minutes, as though he’d known I was waiting for some reason. I asked him again: “Hello, where are you going so fast?” and I met his response, a fist to the very edge of my gut’s personal space, then quickly withdrawn. He had a smile on his face. He said: “You young men have too much curiosity. It could kill you if you don’t understand with whom you should not speak. You’re lucky I’m a conscientious fellow, and I teach you this lesson just to make you less yellow.” He then went on his way, as quick as before, and I yelled after him: “Did you mean to rhyme like that?” He stopped in his tracks and let out an audible laugh before continuing on his predetermined path.