Friday, May 30, 2014

poem of the day 05.30.14

thursday afternoon

there are five of them
waiting on the platform at 20th avenue

two girls and three boys

when they get on the train, loud and vicious
they split up

the girls go toward one end
the boys sit next to me

they give the girls a chance to sit down
and then smallest one
(isn’t it always the smallest one)

he cups his mouth
he shouts, ya’ll a bunch a pussies
ya’ll cunts
you too, maria
ya’ll a bunch a pussies, he repeats

so that only the deaf and the dead haven’t heard him

no one responds to the kid
not even the girls

maybe we’ve all grown too accustomed to this shit
or we just want to get the hell home

christ, he’s not even that old
leaning more toward thirteen than a young man

up with fellas
down with ugly bitches, he shouts

and it echoes through the train like a cannon shot

then the boys slap each other five and laugh
they are all dressed the same
in clothing telling them to OBEY

well, i guess they’re off to a great start in this country

i look down toward the girls
they are laughing and playing music

if the boys have gotten to them you’d never know

but girls have to learn early here
they have to learn to scrape indignity off with a smile

bitch whore cunt pussies

at 61st street the little boy rises with me to leave
but not before getting in one more shot

ya’ll is ugly pussy bitch, he shouts

then he gets off the train laughing
but it doesn’t last too long

his face turns into a permanent smirk

i look at him
i wonder what it would take to grab him in the station
right here
right now
put the fear of god in the little punk

tell him if i ever catch you talking to women like that again….

this strutting piece of american privilege
on a thursday afternoon

he wouldn’t listen to me anyway
i’d be another pussy

so i let him go toward his connecting train
and i go off toward mine

doing my part to let the misogyny perpetuate
wondering what in the world  i’ll say about this

to my wife
our mothers
your sisters

to everyone’s niece.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

poem of the day 05.29.14

when old friends become devoutly religious

at first there is some shock
or it is like watching a bad horror film

or there is no shock and it was always inevitable

but there is a hollow sadness
not unlike standing around someone’s wake

and you wonder if there was anything
that you could’ve done to save them

maybe called more
invited them out for a beer and some conversation
been the one to lend an ear and offer advice

instead of spending years stuck in your own malaise
looking for the kind of answers
that only come through bathing in fire

still you can’t believe that this is the guy
yes, that one posting photos of church breakfasts online
telling everyone that his favorite book is the bible

was once the dude who screwed everything that walked
behind his wife’s back

or how that one is now this foreign specimen
who enjoys christian rock and no longer drinks alcohol
was the one who used to beat his woman for no reason

or he was the one who always went to strip clubs with you

the one who got drunk in bars
and then made you spend hours casing downtown
looking for whores

it’s hard to look at these transformed hypocrites
dressed in their sunday best with their lifeless families

praising jesus, jesus, always jesus
hating gays and immigrants and all other enemies of the state

when you were once with them
swinging baseball bats at senior citizens
on snowy highways caught in a sweaty speed pill fervor

stealing tip money and dumping beer
on drunk girls in even drunker bars

listening with jealous glee as they told you blow job stories
done in church parking lots on the cheap

or how you sat idly in parks on humid summer nights
as they molested underage girls on clay tennis courts

you wonder what it was that caused them to fall so badly
to take up such a fragile and transparent yoke as organized religion

age or boredom or both?

and what kind of seething, perverted rage
still exists deep within the well of them

when it could come out to shine anew

you hope to hell that this is just temporary
but deep down you know that the religion trap lasts forever
and that there is nothing else to do for these lost souls

but close the internet browser on them
don’t answer the emails and never pick up the phone
when they call

mourn their memory until the pain no longer exists

get on with the living
instead of becoming as they have

just another one
of the walking dead

waiting on the afterlife.


Wednesday, May 28, 2014

poem of the day 05.28.14

smart phone users at the
sigmar polke exhibit 05.24.14

sigmar polke worked across all mediums

painting, photography, film, drawing
prints, and sculpture

but i can’t seem to get across one gallery of this retrospective
without some asshole stopping
to check their smart phone

or i have to weave around some bored
twentysomething thumb-humping their gadget
for the status update of the latest facebook bore

maybe you’re just too diverse for these folks, sigmar

for the girl tweeting about her times square lunch
for the boy playing candy crunch on a bench
for the woman posting pictures from the top of rockefeller center

maybe nine galleries of experimental german art
has taken these poor fools to the brink
of their ability to process information

like the lady over there by your prints
of homeless men on the bowery
the one buying shoes on amazon

or the guy in the old navy american flag t-shirt
the one who looked like he stumbled in here accidentally
while on his way to snap a photo of starry night

can we really blame him for checking the atlanta braves score
while propped up next to your four paintings of strings?

the old man next to your potato fortress
for writing an online complaint letter to our commie president
for letting art like this slip inside our precious borders?

even i’m having a little bit of trouble here, sigmar
i’ll admit to it

and i like your stuff
you’re kind of like the missing link for me
between the way they used to do art
and these asshole who call themselves painters and sculptors now

someone for whom the function of art still mattered

but i’ve been watching this video of you placing orange peels
on some woman’s camel toe for five minutes now

and i still don’t see the meaning behind it
other than maybe the effect of boredom on that day
or how you were just a bad flirt

but your painting of a dozen supermen
crowding the aisles inside a supermarket

that got me
it was quite a riot

i mean if i had a smart phone
maybe i’d take a picture of it
and put it all over the social networks, my friend

give this exhibit a little boost

although more than likely i’d just tweet
about how many fucking tourists there are in this museum

stinking up another saturday for us locals
here in good ol’ new york, new york.


Tuesday, May 27, 2014

poem of the day 05.27.14

ring tones

it’s an outdated complaint
but i can’t stand ringtones on cell phones

it’s like everyone is a star
with their own soundtrack
everyone is a celebrity

more like game show hosts

as if the music on these devices isn’t bad enough
it’s the attitude that comes with it

how the offending moron just sits there
and lets the phone ring

so that the rest of us know
what kind of bad music the asshole listens to

and then it’s always
oh, is that for me?

before they finally lean over and pick up
to then shout some banality
at the infinitely important person on the other end

i sound like a relic complaining about this, i know
and it’s only going to get worse

but it drives me mad

on buses on subways or in the grocery store
as someone’s phone blasts star wars music
because their wife called to remind them
to pick up a can of peas

or the beatles because the old man forgot his wallet again

i wish we had ringtones for important things
like ones to announce our deaths

or when someone that you don’t want to see
might be rounding the corner

instead of ringtones blaring to let amber know
that britney is calling about her new nail color

then maybe i could find some usefulness in them

i mean it might be nice to hear
tchaikovsky’s piano concerto #1 right before i bite it
a clapton riff when i’m coming up on traffic

or the stones’ gimme shelter sounding out
just to give me fair warning

that you’re standing there waiting on me
only one block away


Monday, May 26, 2014

"best of" poem of the day 05.26.14

memorial day

i told her we should
go to the park and have
a picnic.
she told me i hated picnics,
which is true.
picnics and parades
and kids and dogs
and disney and
the 4th of july and
football sundays
and people who talk to me
in bars when all i want is
a drink.
but it was worth a shot.
the summer was coming
already the cats were laying
on the linoleum in a heat-induced
it was getting harder to fuck,
burning and sweating until
we had to pour water on each
other’s assholes just to
settle down.
in a month the apartment
would be unbearable.
we had to get out and do something
now, i thought.
maybe we could just walk up
and down elmwood avenue,
going only into the air conditioned shops
but you hate people and shopping too, she said.
which was also correct.
so we opened up a couple of bottles
of cheap wine,
then the 12 pack of yuengling,
pulled down the shades,
and didn’t answer the phone.
we watched a couple of bad movies,
and fell asleep before the sun went down.
it was a good holiday


Friday, May 23, 2014

poem of the day 05.23.14

fleet week

the three of them
were sitting at the end of the bar
in their starched white uniforms

like returning heroes
like princes of new york

christ, they all looked like sunburnt popeyes

drunk and liberated from their duty
waiting to go back aboard their ship
to shower with each other again

we were drinking nearby
drunk and liberated from our jobs
waiting to back to our apartment
to shower with each other again

when one of the little soldier boys asked me
is that you’re wife?

well, not yet, i said
which i thought was good enough conversation

but the jerky little g.i. joe
kept staring at me

kept staring at my woman
like he needed to get something out

the other two in their starched whites
just kept looking around
waiting for another drunk patriot to buy them
a congratulatory drink

or for someone to pat them on the back
and say, hell of a job, soldier

when he said to me, they must be fun

what do you mean? i asked

well, he started laughing
then he put his hands toward his breasts
like he was holding two balloons

i’m not too quick
especially when i’m drinking

but i think i understood what he was talking about

you know what i mean? he said
you know?  you know?

finally i leaned over and said to the other two swabs
you better watch him in here
this is a communist bar

when they saw what he was doing
they tried putting his hands down
but then he fell off of his stool anyway

another brave soldier gone down

we’re sorry, one of the sailors said to me
but i wasn’t buying it

we’d been watching clowns like these
harass women all week in the city

like conquering titans
like golden gods

so i finished my beer
then my fiancé and i got up to leave

i felt drunk and liberated
by never becoming just another
misogynistic, volunteer asshole with a gun

it’s all right, i told them
maybe we’ll all get lucky in the end

and he’ll get his balls shot off
when you boys sail back to iraq


Wednesday, May 21, 2014

poem of the day 05.21.14


blomfield always comes in
when there’s five minutes left in the day

when i think i’m just about done
with the pain and the agony
of public servitude

there comes blomfield right through my doors

he’s always dressed the same
no matter the weather

black skull cap
diarrhea green army field jacket
baggy jeans that look like he crapped himself

sparkling white sneakers

yes, i’ve examined blomfield from head to toe
because some hatreds must be
engrained in the memory to truly blossom

he always wants something from me
a newspaper that’s a week old
a phone number to be looked up
keys to use the bathroom until the very last minute
to peruse the magazine racks
or just to walk around the building for the final five

i used to think they were up to something
that the big wigs sent blomfield down here
like some sort of secret shopper

now i just think he’s deranged

the rest of my co-workers are scared of him
it’s understandable when blomfield is wearing
his heavy army jacket in eighty-degree heat

we’ve been trained in america
to hate what we don’t know
what he can’t understand

but i don’t hate blomfield for his coat
or his skull cap or his jeans or his sneakers

for the fact that he never seems to labor or sweat

i hate him simply because he’s the last impediment
in the way of me getting back to my life

he’s the train or bus that i’ll miss
he’s the drink that i’ll have five minutes later or the couch
he’s the meal that i’ll burn thinking about how bad i hate him
the restless sleep that i’ll have


standing there reading fliers
for kid’s magic shows and free math tutoring
at one minute til the hour

checking his watch until the very last second
that he knows we’re open

before he exits the doors
to stand outside looking both ways

scanning the street for a block party
or a community board meeting

wondering whom in the hell to torture


Tuesday, May 20, 2014

poem of the day 05.20.14

worst fight ever

it should seems strange
paying twenty-five dollars a ticket
to watch a field full of millionaires shag fly balls

it is a touch strange, i guess
what with all of the war and famine

although some people in this place
are paying in the thousands
to sit and watch the game

still there is more enthusiasm
in the hot dog and beer lines
then there is here in section 412

most of the people around me
are checking their phones anyway
hoping to be entertained by something better

but then the seats become alive when they start

two drunks
one in a NASCAR jacket
and the other wearing a hat telling me to OBEY

who knows what started it
but there they are shouting and pointing
then pushing and shoving

tackling each other like two tranquilized bears
right onto the concrete steps

no one is throwing a punch anywhere that counts

the two fighters look as though
more caught up in a love embrace

now the crowd around me is going mad
some are booing and some are cheering

a section full of cro-magnons are chanting
worst fight ever

as the two drunks continue to roll around
as security steps around them
trying to figure out how to break it up

the cro-magnons look sad
because they have not been chosen to put
flesh to bone and blood

and it may be the worst fight ever
but it is more exciting
than watching another millionaire
go down on strikes
or trot the bases on another solo home run

it is visceral and of the moment

and when security hauls the two bruisers away
they both give the crowd the finger

and when we all stand and chant


i sort of feel a part of something in this country
i think maybe i feel like the rest of you do every day

but then the inning ends
with another millionaire popping up to third

and when we all rise again
to sing god bless america

i suddenly remember where it is i am

so i leave the stands
to go and get a beer or a hot dog

to take a piss
to try to recapture a little bit of magic.


Monday, May 19, 2014

poem of the day 05.19.14


she tells me
she has lived with criminals
she tells me
she has lived with hasidic jews
and fundamentalists too
she says
she has apartments in vienna and paris
she tell me
she has lived many years in spain
she asks me
if i know what’s in the bottled water
that i’m drinking
if i know what’s in the air and in the soil
she says
she has lived with blacks and whites
and has been left lacking from both
she says
that being drunk with germans is the best
but sober…
she asks me
what i think about climate change
and mother russia
she says
you seem like a very wise man
but that’s only because i don’t talk
when she tells me
about syria and iraq
about how the taliban will retake afghanistan
once the united states leaves
she asks me
what i think about pakistan and the bomb
she says
all anyone in america can do is watch sports
and television and play on their phone
she says
everyone in america is obsessed
with their looks and their clothing and their money
then she says
you know, you could be a very handsome man
if you’d just shave your beard
and get rid of all that gray.


Thursday, May 15, 2014

poem of the day 05.15.14


it would have to be on the honor system
catholicism being what it was
but we were all going to tell the priest
in the confessional room the same thing

that we were excessive masturbators

it beat telling the priest that we swore and stole
or snuck smokes on basketball courts
that we were mean to our parents and fellow man

when i went in the confessional room
the priest was sitting in a chair facing the wall
my chair was to the back of him

hello, he said.

hey, i said
we waited
oh, yeah, it’s been some months since my last confession

then we waited again
you may begin at any time, the priest finally said

so i started telling him
but instead of the masturbation i started telling him
about ripping off baseball cards and snuff from thrift drug
how i stole some of my old man’s kools

hmmm, the priest said
he looked at his watch

it was boring shit
so i got with the program

father, i said
i also like to play with myself
uh, hmmmm, he said.  he perked right up

i can’t stop, i continued
exercise shows, sitcom moms, movie starlets,
blonde evening news anchors on channel 11,
my neighbor who never wears a bra,
my old man’s playboys, batgirl, wonder woman,
and cher in that black leather outfit that showed her…

okay, the priest said.  i think i understand
what’s going on here

he started craning his neck
trying to get a look at me

if he craned left, i went right

he sighed
if we’d done our jobs correctly
he’d heard this story a lot

except cher
i added cher on my own

the priest didn’t even offer any words of encouragement
he made me do the act of contrition
which i forgot midway through

just go out and say five hail mary’s, he told me

when i got up the poor fool
had his head resting in his hands

he had another three of us to go before
he could seek the solace of release

when i got back into the main area
calvin deflino was waiting to go in

what did you do? he said

i added cher, i told him

then he gave me a wink and a high five
before going in to say his peace
and receive such immaculate absolution.


Wednesday, May 14, 2014

poem of the day 05.14.14

facere et docere (to do and to teach)

the catholic school dance had ended
and we were waiting for my old man to pick us up

but he never showed

when we were the last ones left in the lot
calvin said to me, what do we do now?

i shrugged because i didn’t know

i had images of car wrecks and home invasions
but the chances were good my old man
had just fallen asleep on the couch again

we’d been less than a month in this school
the big, catholic high school in pittsburgh
taught by the christian brothers

danny said, maybe we should go and knock
on the brother’s door

it seemed like a good idea
all of the lights were on in the brother’s house
they probably had a phone

they were our teachers our spiritual guides
there was no way they’d refuse to help
three fourteen year-old boys

it took a while but one of the brothers finally opened up

he was still in his garments
the black pants and black shirt like a priest
a little while collar instead of a tab

what do you want? he said

my dad never showed, i told him

and that’s my problem how? he said
well, i was stumped on that one
to be honest i didn’t expect that kind of treatment

can we use your phone? danny said
the brother’s home is closed, he said
the school is closed too
then he smiled and shut the door in our faces

i think he teaches religion class, calvin said

we went searching for a pay phone
our high school was in a college part of the city
so there were packs of drunk students on the street howling

a coed fell over and couple of guys picked her up
and dragged her away

we got about two blocks from the school
when a carload of pink-faced frat boys
threw their crushed beer cans at us

assholes, danny shouted
but then the car stopped and flew into reverse

we ran back the two blocks
back to the catholic school lot
we hid behind bushes but the car never came for us

there was nothing to do
so we sat on the school lawn

i watched the lights go out in the school
and the janitor go to his car humming

i watched the lights in the brother’s home burn
almost every single one was on

i thought of how comfortable and secure those guys were

safe to watch tv or read or to pray to jesus
or jack-off to images of fourteen year-old boys

like we all knew they were doing

close to midnight
my old man crept into the parking lot

i fell asleep, he said

as me and calvin and danny got into the car
i took one last look at that brother’s home
all lit up like the fourth of july

i thought about the brother at the door
the one who smiled and then slammed it in our faces

and i finally understood
all i ever needed to know about catholicism

the truth about everything
they’d always taught me to believe.


Tuesday, May 13, 2014

poem of the day 05.13.14

corn muffins

not all cops are assholes

i mean i’m sure there are
one or two good ones out there

anything is possible

the one here in the bagel store
standing midway down the line
blocking progress and playing on his gadget

while the rest of us fools line up behind him
and out the door

he’s definitely an asshole

eight in the morning on a sunday
with a hangover and the inability to sleep
all i want is a corn muffin
to go home and scald my tongue on coffee
laugh with the new york times

but it seems like everyone working here
is waiting on this cop

one of them is making his coffee
one of them is frying his eggs and nuking his bacon
one of them is toasting his everything bagel

he’s getting the full treatment
while the rest of us proles are getting leg cramps

and one of them is saying, yes, officer
and one of them is saying, sure, officer
and one of them is saying, whatever you need, officer

is your coffee all right, officer?
can the staff scratch your ass while you wait?

i wonder what the cop would do
if i vomited right on the bagel store floor

the baby faced prick
would probably arrest me
for disturbing the peace

or he’d take a picture of me with his phone
to show the other dickheads back at the precinct

and i can just see those corn muffins
sitting there encases in glass

i’m wondering why one of us just doesn’t
walk around him and demand service

why none of us will revolt

christ, the average citizen is even scared of the police
while trying to get breakfast

then i start thinking
maybe i don’t need a corn muffin
maybe today i’ll just take the hangover and the coffee
and all of the misery the new york times has to offer

but the cop finally gets his order

the entire bagel shop staff gather around
to hand him his coffee and his sandwich

officer friendly doesn’t even look up from his phone

he just takes his bag and leaves
with his cop pants wedged right up his cop ass

new york’s finest for sure

as the rest of us robots move up in the queue
to finally order all of those delicious things
we’ve waited so long for

everything that’ll just turn into shit
by the end of the day.


Monday, May 12, 2014

poem of the day 05.12.14


6:50 in the morning
he is parked across the street
from my living room window

blasting a pop song so loud
it feels as if coming from my own stereo

this american abomination
thumbing through his cell phone
as if it’s nothing

as if this world exists at his whim
before the sun is fully in the sky

while i
racing around the apartment in blind anger
grabbing shorts and a shirt
my keys and maybe a sharp knife for good measure
now finally and fully understand how
a man can commit murder

i think
well, this is how it’ll end for both of us
as i bend to put my shoes on by the window
watching as he fiddles with his convertible rag top

oblivious and dull
a true patriot of the work week

and as i race to the front door
i hear tires screech and a last blast of music
pollute the air

and then he is gone

leaving the street as it was before
quiet and periwinkle in the dawn

until that goddamned dog next door
starts barking away at a thin breeze

at really nothing at all.


Friday, May 9, 2014

poem of the day 05.09.14

ode to a poetry editor

you have taken
at least four or five of my poems
over the years

thank you

we’ve always had a good thing between us
at least i thought

we exchanged a few jokes in acceptance emails
you said a few consoling words in the rejections
to calm my ever-fragile poet’s ego

at least you’ve never called me a bukowski rip-off
like those boys in london did once

but i have to tell you
that i don’t understand this latest email from you

it was a rejection this time
which i’m not mad about

they were shit poems that i sent to you
and would be used as kindling if i had a fireplace

but it was the way that you berated me this time
for not sounding like pablo neruda of all people

you wrote, mr. grochalski, our readers
prefer poets like pablo neruda, not writing like this

whatever this means in italics

but pablo neruda?
to be honest, i don’t think that i’ve read
more than three of the man’s poems in my lifetime

an ode to this and an ode to that
and i was pretty much set on his oeuvre

if i can ask
what made you think that i sounded like neruda in the past?
when did i stop sounding like him now?

i’m confused and it’s the morning
and i don’t know where to begin again with the word

how to sound like neruda or not

or maybe thoman mcgrath or seamus heaney
or some other dead bore who appeals to the three people
reading your magazine on its quarterly basis

so i settled on this gem
well, just the title anyway

it’s not really like pablo neruda this time
or, rather, again, in your opinion of me

but it’s certainly influenced by him
and you, kind sir

which i think you’ll understand
when i send it to you next month

along with four others
that sound like the usual shit that i always write.


Thursday, May 8, 2014

poem of the day 05.08.14

to a cousin

my only real memory of you
was from when i was five or six

i’d just been to my first pirates game
and you were at the front door the next day
spying those golden bill madlock wristbands
that my old man had bought me

you asked me if you could have one
and without hesitation i gave it

even when sammy kozub’s cousin
flipped you on your back on the pavement
i never thought of taking it back

because you were defending me

and this is the first thing that i thought about
when my old man called and told me
that you were gone at only forty-one years old

suffocating on your own vomit
like some kind of rock star

i hoped whatever it was that took you wasn’t genetic
because most days i love this life too much to leave it
and i’m scared shitless of doctors and hospitals

i thought about violence and baseball and biology
on the day that you died

instead of how you simply weren’t here anymore

but time has been cruel to us both
family, i mean what can you say?

in some lines blood just doesn’t run thicker than water
it trickles from a rusty pipe

and we never really knew each other

so i probably have no business trying to eulogize you
especially in something as cheap as a poem
because you could’ve been any face on the street to me

you virtual stranger

but maybe there would’ve been something in the eyes
that would’ve caught us both

some resemblance or the mention of an old baseball hero
kid stuff to spark some kind of reminiscence

but that chance has passed us by, cousin
we’re distant stars burning out

and now we’ll just have to wait for something else


Wednesday, May 7, 2014

poem of the day 05.07.14

a simple life

writers write about writing
when they have nothing left in the tank
well, that’s me this morning
sitting here with chapped, itchy legs
a hangover and the shits
more death and sports on the morning radio
than i can stomach
i’m sitting here wondering why
i do this in the first place
at forty years-old it’s no longer for the glory
for myself or otherwise
to be honest, hauling my ass out of bed
before the sun rises
to throw some words down
seems rote and tired to me more than inspired
i think of all of those people who are still in bed
while i’m stuck stringing sentences together
the ones who will rise without thought
get showered, get dressed
get stuck in traffic and go to a job
for which they will give no honest effort
fill their bellies and spend their evening watching television
or playing on the computer until they pass out
the ones who’ll never have a suicidal thought
over what they’re leaving behind
what artless bliss these beasts must exist in
i really don’t know how this happened to me
in the first place
for i was once some kid in some neighborhood
a baseball bat and a glove
the television on to my fat contentment
hurling words at people like bombs
meant to disappear without thought
and not set down on paper
carving for myself a simple life
and not fooling myself with the pale glow
of self-righteousness
or god awful immortality.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

poem of the day 05.06.14

some notes on american art
in the twenty-first century

we’ve been in the museum for over an hour
and i don’t understand a thing in this exhibit

it’s the usual shit that has passed for art
ever since christ left chicago

paintings with no definition or structure
sculptures that look more like sex toys

video monitors splattered with paint
featuring images of women being assaulted

in one room an artist has depictions of violence on the wall
while on the floor he has sex dolls in various positions
their plastic vaginas gaping and filled with newspaper headlines

it must be me
everyone else looks so enthralled with what they’re seeing

people are taking pictures and scribbling their thoughts
while i’m walking around looking at photographs of penises
and women being finger-fucked by someone off-camera

while i’m walking around wondering what’s for lunch

the biographies of the artists pasted to the wall
are almost novel-sized in their length

because they’ve been tasked with explaining the art
because no one understands what they’re really doing now

one artist is obsessed with crisscross patterns
another artists just loves making shapes and lines

i wish there was a painting of a cityscape or a portrait here
something worth the twenty-bucks it took to get in

something a guy like me could understand

but instead i’m treated to a painting of oblong shapes
mounted on glossy wood with heavy-duty string

because the artist spent fifteen years
trying to figure out how to mix
painting and sculpture together


i think, so this is what it is now
american art in the twenty-first century

where the method of madness
has completely overshadowed the end result

imagine if van gogh were alive!

maybe i should get on board with this wave
i mean just like the art here this poem wasn’t much to read

but it was written on
an HP AMD Phenom(tm) II X4 830 processor 2.80 GHz
with a 64-bit operating system
using windows 7 home premium
with one terabyte of memory
in its internal hard drive

and maybe that’s what really matters now.


Monday, May 5, 2014

poem of the day 05.05.14

the bee

there is a bee
trapped in a spider web
covering one of the security cameras
they’ve installed in this place

it’s enlarged on a huge LED television
flapping its wings

it looks frantic

this bee is one more thing
trapped within the cog of all existence

bees have been put through enough shit on this planet

and he is sitting next to me laughing at it
as if watching a great slapstick comedy

soon others join him to watch

the bee shows up every third frame or so
its life force being sucked out slowly
for the amusement of the earth’s master species

i can’t help but feel bad for the bee

i feel like it most days myself
trapped on the train to work or in lines at the grocery
waiting to cross an intersection during the morning rush
or at the workplace watching such cruelty

i too am trapped within the cog of all existence
only my suffering is rarely magnified to this degree

i’m rooting for the bee to break away
from this hold and sting the living shit out of that spider

and for these people to disperse
to go back to whatever triviality
held their attention before this

or for them to wise up
and let this poor creature die with some dignity

shut the cameras off until the deed has been done
instead of standing there with their mouths agape

the occasional cackle
roaring out of their mouths
like canned sitcom laughter

with each ever-slowing flap
of those regal translucent wings.

Friday, May 2, 2014

poem of the day 05.02.14

like movie stars

i feel like a movie star
feel like a walking, talking piece of shit
because there are cameras
everywhere that i seem to move
huge television screens
reflecting common dullard moments back at me
at jobs and on street corners
in the aisle of the grocery store
while i’m trying to figure out what sort of dead flesh
to fry and shove down my throat
there are cameras in the park and on public transportation
telephones that can be plugged into computers
to trace my calls and your calls to me
because i’m not alone in this
you’re all movie stars too
filmed walking down the street
picking your nose and scratching your ass
oscar winners are we
so important living our humdrum lives
that these mendacious pricks
are recording our inane phone calls
mining the data for random product placement
or turning it over to the government for posterity
why in the hell have we become so interesting
to the corporate interest?
to the workplace surveillance boys
with their high-tech boners?
to the politicians who only need our vote
once every so many years?
when did this happen?
if you’re going to record our every move, folks
maybe you should wine and dine us first
use the camera to seduce us and make us feel special
so we don’t feel like such whores
in the wake of all of your shadowing
so we don’t feel so hunted down just trying to buy a sandwich
come on, big brother
make us feel like movie stars
strolling along this big film set that you’ve created
this paranoid paradise of the damned
posing for a shot on the red carpet
before you film us walking all the way home
and while we’re probably sleeping too.