Thursday, October 23, 2014

TFLN Poem - Dicks, Deconstruction


Here's this week's poem.

My game plan?


Making trolls weep under their cum-covered bridges.

I should  - I should know your middle name,
And at least three personal tragedies you’ve worn,
Before I’m seeing your dick.  That’s my exchange rate.
Pure and simple.  If you’re flaring up my phone
Or my OkCupid profile with some grainy, mange-tossed
Thatch of hair and grey, calloused member,
 What do you expect?   Swooning?   Pity fucks?

And if you took the pic yourself,  it’s even more pathetic.
Everyone knows the best sex pics, like all mistakes,
Need perspective. Illumination.  A dedicated background.

Oh, goddamn, yes – I’m judging your white socks
And the rash darting around your thighs.
I’m wincing at the trundle of dirty clothes
Slopped on the floor beneath you.
Mise en place is everything.

Take this iconoclastic phallus
I’ve sent you,
Strive not for perfection,
But for the capitalization of the ideal.

And maybe,
Just maybe,
Don’t fucking send people your junk
Like it's a Craigslist sofa sale.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

DD Poem - A Divorced Dad Howls At the Moon


Here's this week's Divorced Dad poem. 

A Divorced Dad Howls at the Moon

The moon,

She’s a bone-white eardrum
Stretched bare across a littered sky.

A confessor,

A bolt of crinkled paper suspended in quiet,

A discontinued firemen’s net  -
 Scuttled by the grave of time.

He’s in the backyard,
Stripped to the waist.
Sober.   The weekend toys
Lodged neatly in plastic tubs.
Feeling the downy grass on his bare toes.

It’s one am.   And yet, he can’t stop living this day.
There’s more action to be made.  Exaltations,
Dream-seeding, corners to clean.
There’s an itch. An implacable itch,

He fills his lungs with twilight air,
Deeply, and then,
In stark surprise of himself,
He barks.  A feral, joyous, cry.
Moon-bound.   He, he is saying:

Hear me, you lunar mistress.
I am living. I, I  am slowly getting fine.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

TFLN Poem - Seagull, Sanity


Here's this week's poem.

And I’m just getting started –
Erica, you didn’t use a pan.  Tucked in the wings
And lodged him in the bottom rack.
Set to broil.   I heard noises. Harsh, brittle noises  Thought that was
You and Trevor, scraping groins on the counter again.
Or doing knife play, or just filling the room with your wild
Wiccan chants.  But it was him.  He was, he was still living,
Wasn’t he?   Banging against the door, hoping to fly.
Singed blood slopped on the bottom, feathers
Crisped and yellowed.  You’ve seen chickens in stores, right?
You know they don’t cook ‘em in their all together.

And next –
Here’s why I’m afraid to even ask –
Since there’s no fucking beach for MILES –
Where did you get him, and why did you bring him here?
They’re airborne rats.  Let ‘em pick up the garbage.  Take
What’s undesirable.  Don’t bring them into our apartment
To hunt.   You want blood.   I don’t get it.   I never will.

We. We. Live here.  Things, people, animals.  Do not
Enter this dwelling, cowered, quaking, unaware,
To be yoked at this altar of itchy rage you’ve made.

I’ve cleaned it best I could.  Worn through five pads
Of steel wool.  Felt bone and eyes  mush into my fingers.
 Smell’s pretty hostile, though.
But I want you gone.  Sister or not.  You’ve stopped
The meds, that’s clear.   And I don’t to want clean any
More carrion.  Make any more excuses. 

I kept the wishbone.  Cleaned it.   It’s yours.  Keep and 
When you need a gram of kindness, crack it open.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

DD Poem - A Divorced Dad Makes Faces at a Baby in an Olive Garden


Here's this week's Divorced Dad poem.

A Divorced Dad Makes Faces at a Baby in an Olive Garden

Meals at The Olive Garden,
Like all other workaday tragedies,
Aren’t planned; they’re the epilogue
Of a series of tiny, innocuous mistakes.

The conference was out of town.  He didn’t
Know anyone.  Wasn’t about to grab hot wings
With the Tri-State sales team at Hooters.  Only real choice.
Minestrone soup comes cold and tastes like the East River,
Beyond the meaning of the word “salty”, with some half-hearted
Rubbery shapes – could be celery, could be parts of an old tire.
But he’s starving, so he smiles, faintly, sips quietly.  Cuts the acrid taste
With forkfuls of his dry salad and a snatch of breadstick.

Just then,
From the table to his right,
A baby begins to sob.
Not a tantrum, or a cry of mischief,
But something more portent.  Fear, an awareness
Of death?   A grip of resolute sadness?
He nods.  Makes sense.  It’s the Olive Garden.
We’re all feeling that way.
But the baby won’t cease.  His family’s lost
In their chatter, cooing over their glossy dishes with too much cream,
Baby’s cry is lost but for this man.

So he rises to action. Cleans his soup spoon.
Wets it lightly with his tongue,
And places it, gingerly,
Atop his nose, balancing it there.
Then opening his mouth wide like a bass.

The baby turns, surprised, cries softer.
The man continues.  Drops the cutlery,
Plumps his cheeks until they’re wide
And flush as balloons.   Baby falls silent.
For his finish, the man seizes two breadsticks,
Crams them artfully into both sides of his mouth,
And claps his hands, an eager walrus.
Baby howls and giggles with delight.

And sometimes, that’s enough.  Sometimes that small,
Connective gift for a stranger – that’s the rivulet of mercy,
To forget, for a second,
That you’re a man alone in an Olive Garden
On a Tuesday afternoon
Not so much eating food as enduring it.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

TFLN Poem - Profile, Parole


Here's this week's poem.

So, it’s come to this.
You’ve just been sprung from jail,
And you’re in your grateful phase.
Everything’s so damn wonderful.
Hot showers whenever you want them.  Grocery stores.
Put your feet in a direction, and you can set them forward.
Nothing stopping.   And you found me.   Made a cupcake lunch date.
Now, giggling over my computer,  moving tiny words around .
Persuasive as a bolt of lightning.

You light a cigarette,
(but I told you not to smoke)
And whisper, almost dreamily:
Remember when we made out?

Like we were at a drive-in once, holding hands, 
Sipping phosphates and necking or some shit.
But it wasn’t making out,  Cass. We  - we – had our mouths on each other.
There.   You know.  That’s beyond making out.   That’s the realm of glands
And involuntary fluids, and I just keep this to myself.   Grin tighter, spray some
Cinnamon air freshener, pop a wintogreen lifesaver , bite it hard.
Jagged, chalky shards as I listen:

There’s too much – too much talking in this dating thing, Alex.  Just use
Better pics.  Be less sad.  Talk about animals and travel and fun stuff.
You’re fun. Be fun.  And brief.

You charm me by snuffing out the coal of the lit cigarette,
Closing your mouth and wrapping it around your practiced tongue.
Not a burn.  Effortless.  You fish it out, toss it in the trash, grab some
Of my mints.

I’m not fun, I tell you.   I’m not a nice person, Cass.   I
Have my uses.  Make things.   I don’t want to travel because
I haven’t even learned half of this island.  And everybody hates
A tourist.  Ignorant of history, nestled in the safe, cloistered sectors…

You’re doing it again.   You grin, like a cat cornering a sparrow with a broken wing.
Shut up.  Go get laid.  How long’s it been?

Ten months, nine days, I suppose.

Suppose nothing.  You know.   It’s all you think about.  Like a sucking chest wound.


There’s been work to do, Cass, I demur.  I motion to the computer.  You shrug,

Toss a sad smile, and go back to fixing me.    Keys click, the mints loll
in our aching mouths.