Thursday, September 8, 2016


I admit to being surprised to hear
that you managed to forgive her
for things of ill repute neither tasteful nor understated
nor without consequence to the innocent

Or that she agreed to meet with you for coffee at your old diner
the memory of your angry and bitter rebuke
still so painfully resonant in her ears

And that 
that affiliation was patched up
with not a little tenderness

This was a story about losing
Was it not?

I confess I was astonished
that the chance you took
against your last best judgment

Yielded some fast dividends
Particularly when the time was so perilously close to running out

That was some luck, my friend
Random f-ing chance the likes of which not seen
Since evolution of the first white American guy to make an honest dime

But this was
a story about losing
Was it not?

I can’t get over
the simplicity
of a transaction
in which kindness
seemed to lose you every advantage you went in with
and out you came
a pint less 
maybe more

But this was a story that
reached its losingest of conclusions
no other was in store

You still lost
Did you not?

Perhaps you missed the memo
Absent a day of school
Didn’t get the script
That explained that you were to walk this messy and broken world
A messy and broken soul
No reclamation
This was not going to end well
This was
in fact
not going to end for you at all

and I find this likely
and frightfully plausible

you had access to that redacted line at the end that everyone else missed

Monday, August 24, 2015

white whine buzz

I will in no way claim
that my vices have severe repercussions
or that my struggles with them are as profound as those of others' in my life

I do know this:

It being the first day of school
I was expecting the corporate coffee chain location at my school
which has served me so well over the last 2 years
to be open and ready to vend me a beverage this morning

It was not
It was gone
Inexplicably gone

I settled for the 3rd rate swill
That is the nectar of every Sunday morning fellowship hour
offered by the establishment down the hall

And I don't care how excellent their salmon lox bagel sandwich is
    Because, oh my,
    Did that ever hit the spot
It doesn't make them qualified to caffeinate the learning masses

what the fuck, school? over.

And for the first time in memory,
this night owl
cannot wait to go to sleep right now
wake up tomorrow
Just to try to make this right

Monday, April 27, 2015

shippers [explicit]

Is there a special place in hell
For fandom shippers?
I certainly hope so.

Because there are other sites on the internet
          other genres of literature
          and other genres of porn
                    (fan fiction)
Where one can find a venue
To support the romantic relationship of two fictional characters
          And WITHOUT any disservice to the supporting female character
                    formerly strong, with differentiated integrity
                    formerly the personification of hope
                    formerly engaged in a physical relationship with another man
                              with healthy consequences
                    formerly capable of self-composure without the validation
                              of the protagonist male character
                                        still brooding
                                        still haunted
                                        still broken
                                        still joyless
                                        still inaccessible
                                                  even after she accessed him

I don’t know
It’s like you guys just…

          wanna see two imagined people fuck

Is there a special place in hell
For showrunners
Who shamelessly cater to the groundswell of these assholes?
I think not.

I think that happens when
I hope that happens
When you guys realize
                    something else
                    before you caved

If that occurs to you in between trips to the bank

Friday, April 24, 2015

Concerning the Matter of the Disowning, However Imagined

Eggshells are things better spared
Than to have my weight imposed upon them

Not unlike that time
My presence was demand-requested into the debriefing on a near 
Concerning which I was quite pleased to have been present and helpful to the only real suffering individual concerned
     As far as I was concerned

Until I had to sit through the 
                                   of the affected cohort group
I have no doubt 
     sad for their anguished companion

Were probably a little more sad not to have been present
And to not have the opportunity to have really joined with her in her suffering

An uncomfortable realization:

     I had been present
          For all that glorious anguish
     I got to see the empty package of generic pain-reliever
          the drained liquor bottle
     I got to call the ambulance for Christ sake

And now I was the only one request-demanded to the debriefing
Because I was witness
     The first-hand conduit
          of all that suffering

For this beleaguered group

I was to be the Fluffer of their Shared Anguish

And I suppose I gave it to them

I was recently unfriended on Facebook
by the fellow who demand-requested that I be there
All he indicated was
Something about my cover photo 
     which depicts an angry self-absorbed man
     dressed ironically as a sad clown
He really seemed to take personally

Thursday, April 23, 2015

concerning that matter of some racial bigotry in Oklahoma

I must name names:
          Yukon, Oklahoma
          Independence Middle School in 1992 if I’m to be incredibly blunt

The last situation I thought I wanted to be in that I was forced to be in?
Being the new kid in town, forced to get undressed in a boys locker room
          with other neo-pubescent boys, complete strangers

The last situation that I in fact did not want to be in that actually happened?
Being the new kid in town, forced to get undressed in a boys locker room
          with other neo-pubescent boys, complete strangers
          while they chanted the following

          Hail, Angels, Dressed in White
         Killing N——ers, Left and Right

I don’t remember the rest for some reason
But there was more

I said nothing
And I tucked that incident away amidst the rest of the unpleasantness
          of the aforementioned circumstances (…middle school…Yukon, Oklahoma)

Now, I can’t help but think
Had I a device to record and capture that moment 22 years ago in a middle school locker room
Participants no more than 14 years old
And if I had to guess—
          Not their first recital
          Nor their original composition
          But an homage that was doing someone proud
          I wouldn’t say they pulled it out of the air
But I would say it was in the air

Now then
          The thing to do
          is not to say 
                    Well, I never…
          Oh it is tempting
But for some grace perhaps I hadn’t come from another Bible Belt town with a tad more
                    Not really embraced
                    But diversity nonetheless
          Wherein my best friends had been individuals of color
                    Which excuses me nothing from the fact that my ancestors
           Considered their ancestors to be property
                              of THEIRS mind you
Did I personally do anything?   i.e. RESPONSIBLE for that
          and that’s rarely going to be my conversation
But I’m vulnerable to breathing air like anyone
And also to saying nothing
          Which is exactly what I
                                                  did that day

And that, G-d willing, will be my conversation from here on

And I fear (though I don't know)
          All that having it on video would have accomplished
Would be to reiterate to the world that I didn’t do anything else when I could have

Monday, April 20, 2015

the hero of the rest of that story

It was a dream
About this thing that used to happen all the time
     in our adolescence and adolescent adulthood
You and I were at one of those parties
     thrown by the larger circle of friends

Which we’d only agree to go to provided we had one another’s back

In this version, though
We’re actually not who we used to be
But who we’ve grown up to be
     You with the wife and kid, and the 9 to 5
          (or, the 7 to 5, in your case)
Me splitting time between perpetual student and clinic

And we’ve all returned, as if to a very specific sort of reunion
     You and I having a tacit agreement
     That my emotional entanglements of the past
of which you’re well aware and we need not detail for these purposes
     would not make me timid

It was going quite well
But I had one of my moments
     Someone requested you for something
     You were gone for what seemed an eternity of a few minutes
     I panicked
     I ran

I mean I really ran
     Somehow I had my shorts and shoes
     And I just started jogging off
          Down a neighborhood street that was a little bit like
          any street in every town I’ve ever lived in.

I worked up the requisite sweat after a couple of miles
Which seemed to get it out of my system
     But there I was returned to my senses and stranded
     Though with a phone in my pocket
               (which should tell you it definitely wasn’t the 90s)

And even in my dreams
Yours is the only number I still have memorized

“I’m sorry, man
     I pulled a John…”

You pulled a John,
     you laughed, not in the least disappointed

“But can I pick up some ice cream for everyone since I’m out?”
          (which should tell you I wasn’t 19 anymore)
You conferred with the rest of the guests
And decided on the spot this was the best way to explain why I wasn’t there

I woke up right after buying the Blue Bell

There’s no doubt in my mind you came and got me

Sunday, April 19, 2015

First Response

The Brewery in Bricktown
     Some Saturday afternoon
     Days after?
Whenever it was
It was still happening

In walked the firefighters, the EMTs
‘Wearied’ might be a description
     so long as descriptions
     and the grossest of understatements
     can be on mutually inclusive terms

Up to the second floor they immediately proceeded
     Not expecting
     Nor requiring
The standing ovation that erupted
     as they marched

I do not remember a lot of smiles lighting up their faces
But it was a part of them
To serve
To respond
To rescue
And that they wore this as they marched up the stairs
     was visible

I’ll never know how long they’d been toiling that day
     If the human toll
     Blended with the Federal debris
What a toll it ultimately took
Nor if a complimentary burger and beer on the house
     could ever be thanks enough
Nor if our first response as a grateful public
Could ever make theirs worthwhile