Tuesday, July 24, 2012

poem of the day 07.24.12

welsh pub, sunday afternoon

the guy sitting next to me
looks a little bit like the last president
only he has a moustache

he’s a good old boy though
in his stained white t-shirt and shorts
sucking aluminum bottles of bud light
while shouting invective
at the mets game on television

he can’t be the last president, i reason
that nut gave up the drinking and carousing years ago

found god and war for all of us
and set the national dial back fifty years

what would he be doing in no man’s land brooklyn
on a boring sunday afternoon?

watching the mets no less

but i’ll be damned if it isn’t him
that same wave of stiff gray hair
those clueless, squinty eyes peering at the idiot box

maybe if i played hail to the chief on the juke
he’d come to
drop the everyman act and stiffen
his sense of duty in these trying times
overwhelming his being incognito

or maybe he’d at least buy a round

but why take the chance?

there’s no point in get him all worked up
it never ends well when he gets nuts

plus i have a wallet full of money
so i don’t need his charity

if it is ol’ dubya isn’t he better off in this joint
where he can’t do any more damage to the country
than he’s already done?

two wars that are still raging

recession and debt that have lingered

the federal ban on assault weapons ending
under his watch

and another shooting on another american weekend
taking up the national consciousness

i think it’s best to just let him drink
the poor guy is probably racked with guilt
going a bit heavy on the conscience

but then one of the mets hits a single

mr. president screams
shoots down the rest of his beer
in one gulp

he shakes his bottle at the bored bartender
and says, hey sweetshit, how about another?

and i know
that he’s just as clueless
about this country
as he’s always been.


Monday, July 23, 2012

poem of the day 07.23.12

standard american tragedy

it happens like clockwork
after every standard american tragedy
a group of faceless tough guys line up
to tell everyone how different
it would’ve been
had they been there

there is really nothing one can do
about these types
except ignore them or let them talk
hope some lunatic with a gun
finds out where they hang
the next time this shit
comes around.


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

poem of the day 07.18.12

the rich fiction writer

the rich fiction writer
has written another novel

it’s been six years since his last one
oddly enough the world has managed to spin on

the rich fiction writer
writes careful, boring prose

he writes like he has decades
in order to finish a sentence

reading one of his books
is as exciting as walking down the street
to fetch the sunday newspaper

there’s no rock and roll in his words

but the rich fiction writer
doesn’t need rock and roll

he’s won both the pen/faulkner award and the pulitzer
and one time he spit on a crtic

to some, he is rock and roll

it doesn’t matter to him
that a guy like me has to read his books
with a bottle of pepto and a garbage can by his side

i’m not his target demographic

yet the rich fiction writer
sits on my coffee table
peering at me through steel blue eyes
and a denim work shirt

i struggle with him as i would
a tough morning shit

ready to cry out mercy at the end of each page

only i can’t think of anything better to read
on another hot and muggy july night.                             

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

poemS of the day 07.04.12

the american flag is ugly

the american flag is ugly
and so am i
sitting at this work desk
surrounded by everyone dressed
in red, white, and blue
they love to antagonize me with this shit
really think that it gets my goat
they start singing
oh beautiful
but can’t remember the words
show me search engines decked out
for the holiday
smirk at me and say
well, what do you think of that?
i tell them that it simply confirms so much
of what i already believe
i stop short of calling them
ugly americans
after all, i have to put in forty hours a week here
so i hum some woody guthrie instead
still they keep it up
don’t you like hot dogs? they ask
cold beer and good old american barbeques?
i tell them when it rains on the fourth of july
i get a happy feeling in my heart
i shut the blinds
drink chilean wine and eat indian food
watch films with subtitles colored blood red
but all they want to talk about are fireworks
the pretty colors exploding in the sky
and shattering across the landscape
killing thousands of birds
just like back in 1776
they say
equating a call for independence
with the end of the war
that ancient battle
the struggle that the french won for us
only no one here
seems to want to talk about that.

booze cruise

he was a nothing
a bit player in this place
before the new owners gave it the once over
and changed its name

he sat around with puppy dog eyes
clutching a sweating bottle of bud
looking for a conversation
he could weasel his way into

but now none of the old drunks come in here
he’s got his big boy pants on
and he’s the king of the bar
stuffing his fat ass into a prime seat
playing the star-spangled banner on the jukebox
a lackluster version of a lackluster song
sung by some nashville princess
with blonde hair and a botox face

when we sit down he swills half of his bottle
and gives us the once over
the nod of recognition
points at the chalk board behind the bar
says, are youse guys goin’ta tha booze cruise
on the fourth of july?

i don’t even know what the booze cruise is, i tell him
hoping that’ll end it

but it doesn’t

you pay eighty-bucks, he continues
get all of the free booze you want
take the boat right into the harbor
get so close to the fireworks and the other action
that you can almost see right up lady liberty’s skirt

he stops talking and smiles at us
checks to see if we’re taking it all in

then says
now tell me something more american than that?

before he waddles off of his stool
to play god bless america on the juke

turning back to wink at us
i look at this true blue slob and think

you, buddy,
nothing is more american than you.



Tuesday, July 3, 2012

poem of the day 07.03.12

under the tuscan sundress

she looks like one of those cinematic
raven haired italian chicks
created to stop the heart
but she’s speaking pigeon english to the boy
across from her
pressing her purple sundress
talking about the university
as he rubs her ankles
kisses her feet
occasionally she’ll look over to me
and smirk in an unkind way
frown or furrow her brow
it’s okay, i think
i know she knows that i’m the ugly american
on this train
spoiling the tuscan landscape
with my baseball cap and mcdonald’s bag
but i’m too tired to try and act like i belong
it’s too taxing to try and hide oneself in europe
all of the time
to not be so american on these ancient streets
when that poison oozes so easily
out of every pore
let her look
let her talk that college talk to her boy
as vineyards
and homes tucked into green mountains
roll by the train window
let this girl think what she wants to think about me
anything she wants
just so long as she doesn’t put her knee down
because this chick isn’t wearing
any underwear
and i’ve been staring at her cunt since rome
memorizing its twirl of hair
its every contour
the way an art scholar would
the david
the sistine chapel
caravaggio’s the calling of st. matthew
or any of that other shit
that i came to this country
to see.