Friday, August 22, 2008

PoemS of the Day 08.22.08

these poems will soon be appearing in Zygote in my Coffee. And even though I know you all are huge fans of Zygote, i'm gonna sneak preview the poems here first.


he might be the
only kid
who has guts these days
i don’t know.
but he and i have
this little war
going on
because he likes
to come by
the window
and scream
whenever i’m
making dinner
or just sitting down
with the radio
and drink.
he’s done this twice.
the first time
i shouted back
out at him
and he ran away.
the second time
i put my clothes
on like a drunken
and went casing
the neighborhood
for him
while my wife
followed me slowly
to make sure
i didn’t get my ass kicked.
but i keep a pair of shoes
in each room
for if and when he tries
a third time.
the kid sure has guts
but i’ve been an
asshole longer than he has
so i know
i have the upper hand
whenever he chooses
to renew our
dirty, little war.

grocery store check-out girl

she has tousled black hair
that is cut at an angle,
and she wears these retro 1980s clothes
like school girl skirts
with black stockings
and neon headbands.
she looks like the kind that
used to give me hell back in pittsburgh
back in the real 1980s
a decade not so good for me
but other people liked it
and they have parties for the 1980s now
and anyway
i’m always scared to approach
this girl
i want to take my apples and oranges
to someone else, maybe the old
mexican at the express line
but she’s always talking to this redhead
old bag for too long.
plus my grocery check-out girl’s lines
are always the shortest
probably because her eyes can steam
through a man,
and women probably hate her
with such a fine jealousy
and every sweating pervert that would like
to feel a sixteen year-old’s tits
stay away from her
because she’s enough to make them
reach across the counter and go for broke.
i should stay away from her, too.
but i guess
i get a sense of nostalgia when i see her
tossing potatoes in plastic bags,
and that draws me toward her line.
and i always try to find a way to be cool
while she rings me up,
and i say “hi” and “thank you” and i act
like the world has me by the balls
(which it usually does)
and she says nothing, doesn’t even give me a look.
and it is that finite cruelness that fills
me with such a sense of whimsy and longing
for the past, despite it’s inherent truth.

oh, my little grocery store check-out girl
in little brooklyn, new york
you’re probably breaking teen boy hearts
all over the borough.
thank you for making me feel fifteen again
without all the tangible pain and agony
and unrequited lust
and without all the secret dried up toilet paper
and napkins
that went along with that, too.

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