Tag Archives: poetic

For What I’m Worth

You might feel full and heavy in the pocket but remember,
You’re a big fat wallet full of Ones
Stripper cash or tip money or the crumbs of a few decent bills,
Not worth the bank trip
Just enough for a half-tank of gas or a Seven-Eleven Snack,
On the way to your shitty job
That you take because your ship just hasn’t sailed in yet,
While the bills keep coming
Energy water phone rent and they can’t even give you garbage for free,
But you recycle every day
Turning cans and bottles into dollars and cents or shoes for third-world orphans,
Or whatever they do with it
The world’s full of curtains and you can’t go looking behind each and every one,
Let the Wizard be a Wizard
Sometimes all it takes is a little faith smoke and mirrors to get you home,
Sometimes you walk for miles
It’s the harder longer colder nights where you gestate the best of your thoughts,
And forget them later
Like all the faces and names of friends you’ve forgotten since you were a kid,
You wonder where they went
You never stay to see what happens when a slow-growing thing blooms and rises,
No time to be too fond
All the little treasures you built up over the years and the littler few you carried with you,
Seashells go back to the Sea
Waves work both ways and every time you crawl up on some new shore the tide pulls you back,
Rubber Band Independence
Stretched between your thumb and finger ready to snap out and sting the world,
Never leaving a mark
You never find a foundation never build yourself something to last never save for the winter
Live Fast and Broke
Always feeling full but you run out fast and it’s none of it worth too much,
Like a big fat wallet full of Ones

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Like the Twelve-Bar Blues

I want you to play me like the twelve-bar blues.
Pick up a guitar and just start sliding around,
Tell me something sad, tell it twice,
But don’t give the whole thing away just yet,
Because ABABCD is a tricky little waltz
And let’s not miss the third step.

Now riff me back to the beginning,
Hit a chord that tells me the story’s not finished
And we’ve got a ways to go.
Wind me up like a major league pitcher;
Stack me up like one of those wooden string toys
So you can push the little button under my feet and let it all
It’s a dangerous little dance
And let’s not forget where we started.

Spelling out a story in threes:
it’s not the fastest way to go about it but
Yes, No and No, Yes are no story at all:
Yes, Yes, No is the way a tragedy goes, and
No, No, Yes is where my little victories usually come from.
Roll up the frets and we’re back to step one
Feels like starting over but we’re a little further in the tale
And things are starting to come into focus,
What happened to you? What happened to you? Now I know.
It’s a silly little jig,
But let’s not forget why we began it.

I want to tell you a funny story, you might know how it goes
I want to tell you a real funny story, you just might know how it goes
See, I get so sick of you, and then I want to hold you close

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Autobio in Selections

The deals I’ve struck seldom ever see a fire,
and the raw ones I could show you offer little to inspire.
I don’t believe in fate but it’s a fate I’ve accepted,
and I find a way to stay generally self-respected.
So come spend an hour or an evening or a year,
I’ve got a lot left to offer but it all remains here
unless you draw it out.  No need to delay,
I’ve got a lot of nothing going on and thought of you today.

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Sorry, honey

and here’s that shimmering prince in all the yellow trappings of a Swamp Rat.

was a frog, was a prince; were a sore and hay-trimmed cinderella, were the belle of the ball
was some sick-crusted spectre in the throes of your bic-lighter passion (click, click, click), and–look–that jewel in the back of his fever-eyes–
once or twice you caught the glimmer of a Swamp Rat.
and here’s the king’s amber mane all matted with your lover’s sweat
and here’s a lazy sun hanging gallows over the Swamp you’ve built
and here’s a scaly tail with the rattle of dead skin over tree branches
it kicks bile into your throat. it slimes into the shelter of scabby lemon trees.
there waiting for an ankle, jewels of his eyes winking gold from the cool underbrush
the fetid home of your shimmering Swamp Rat.
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Your Move

There’s a triple-word-score on the board set between us,
And I know the space will just serve to defeat us.
‘Cause you set down your tiles, aglow, full of pride,
Then I throw out a word that beats yours by a landslide!

In Clue you’ve no clue, you demand the revolver,
I take secret passages, ever so clever,
By the time you begin to suspect Colonel Mustard,
I’ve found out Boddy’s killer, cuffed and printed the bastard!

And you loved it to death when you first saw my brains,
But you’d quickly resent just how much I contain.
I’m better than you at the games that you love,
You’re a chute, I’m a ladder, ten spaces above!

And we’re just like a Jenga; our tower’s in ruins,
But it’s you pulled the last brick, so why should I rue it?
Was it when I blew up your last battleship,
Or when finally I captured your carefully-placed bishop?

I’m sorry to say you’re a poor strategist.
It’s evident from your Scattergories list.
I score higher than you in Parker Brothers’ eyes,
So how’d I come away with the consolation prize?

Now alone with a Ouija, I’m searching for messages.
Ghosts tell me you’re happy; I’m left with the vestiges.
In our game of Life, you inexplicably rate:
Though I got all the tiles, you got Millionaire Estates.


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Eight Days Late

Pen, Ink, and Page on a three-thirty thursday,
The gentleman taps out his thoughtful review
Taking some effort and care with his diction
Intending, by writing, a love to imbue

“My dearest” begins it, with no written name
Blank space for his uncertain intake of breath
“I confess that, of late, I have loved you in dreams;
Waking, for me, has become like a death.”

The letter flows well, a clever composition
Allusions and similes thoughtfully placed
The Gentleman’s hand, in a quick, steady rhythm
Ensures that he matches his words to her grace

Well on into friday the Ink and the Paper,
Inspired by the Gentleman’s visions, enmesh
Until with a weary but satisfied smile
He sets down his pen, certain of no regret.

A Ribbon ties all of the pages together
A Rose slipped between to enhance the effect
Ink, Pen, Page, Rose and Ribbon tuck carefully under
The Gentleman’s arm, his missive perfect

Then nervously stepping out into the day
The Gentleman muses aloud to the street:
“I’m in love with her, here’s my confession in Ink.
I will carry it with me until we should meet.”

So the Gentleman and his Ink, Page, Rose and Ribbon
Made five fine companions, all knowing of this:
Somewhere was his love; he had seen her while sleeping
And he will be ready when he learns who she is.


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False Prophets

I’m in a haze before the short drone of my electric insect tells me I’ve got a message from somewhere. I take a look. I assume a familiar position: three fingers down the left side and my thumb slips in between, propping the communicator open and opening myself for the connection.
It’s the Internet speaking: a courier in code, straight to me from somewhere electronic. The message says I got a message. Suspense within suspense. Who, O tiny deliverer, do you come from? What secret, story, strife or star, and wherefrom?

Interlude: I got friends like waves on rocks and yin and yang, and you can see us touch but you know there’s no connection. I got friends like gloryholes, we find cracks in the walls to meet where we can. I got friends like smoke in the room, twisting and curling with the air until there’s no difference and I breathe ’em in all together.

The Internet insists at me. I open. Tap tap click and it’s some damn old wave on a rock. Well, says I, I was looking for smoke. But long as you’re around and the air is clean, I’ll pound a few times and we can pretend we’re something solid. It won’t be fun but something like it.

Now there’s two people kissing in the room and neither one is me, but this guy could be me if I tried a little more or less. I wonder if they’re gonna be happy together but I doubt there’ll be a sequel. Sometimes you just got to hope for the best.

Am I cooler than I used to be but less happy? Am I happier now that I’m not so damn happy all the time? I guess it’s just easier being optimistic when your symbols are a little more relevant. On the other hand, cynics always look cooler when they smoke. And they get all the women. Well I guess I ain’t that cynical, looking at it that way.

The world gets a little better every day but only if you’re high enough up to see it all, and wouldn’t you know it I live in a damn valley


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Summit Road

It’s dark as the guts inside where no one sees and thick as whiskey coke number seven, and I’m looking around for God or one of his friends out here but I’m starting to think they ain’t up for thumping knuckles tonight, so here’s me and here’s a great big beautiful road and here’s my hands whipping over the wheel like I got something to say to it. I’m going up and around tonight and maybe it’s a dumb idea, but my dumb ideas always end up better than the peoples’ around me so I don’t mind too much. I figure I’ll come down the other side some time if I hold out for it. Just one lane now; there’s sticky bald tires chewing up some gravel and of course they’re mine, I’m getting way up in the mist where there’s ghosts in the headlights and it’s nice to have the company, I say to them. Nice to be included. There’s trees on my left and my right and I guess they probably keep going after that, up one way and down the other where sometimes they open up just right and you can see things that you can just grab with your eyes and turn into secrets, you should try it, I made a few tonight; I figure if I keep going I can pick up a couple more if I just try hard enough.



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With a stammer and a grin I found your hip and your hand, and we made an easy circle of things
I never trust myself when I’m like this and nobody taught you how to trust, so we borrowed it from the rest and it worked all right because I caught some eyes that told me they knew, they knew
and I caught a few things from you, or stole them when I could, and I wonder if you could feel them slipping out of your guard
and I’ve had my drinks and I’ve done my drugs but you got me intoxicated on a look, how did you do that?
Sway, turn, little steps, laugh like you have to when things get serious because something always dies when another thing gets born
it’s an ugly baby, baby, but it’s yours and mine


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