Spend money. Stay alive.

Vicarious living, now, through 3-D scenes!
Look at the view I’ve got from here!
Why the fuck would I leave? I can relate
to this campaign. Not the political one, or
the military one, although… No, no. The ad campaign!
I’ve finally found the perfect toilet paper
to fit my active lifestyle! And I can buy it
at my local and convenient, almighty superstore!

Look, see, what’s happened? The stores
don’t even sell us the products! It’s no longer,
Hills has the best toys! Its buy Mattel toys
at Wal-Mart! You think you have a cough?
I didn’t, but now that you mention it, my throat’s
been kinda silent. Buy some unnecessary pharmaceuticals
at Wal-Mart! Garden supplies, gourmet groceries, elegant

garments! Everything and anything and mostly
things you really don’t need, all on sale this week
only! Make a family tradition out of the weekly trip!
Your wife will be happy! Your kids will shut up!
Your husband will put down his poker hand and
take out the trash! Your dog will shit outside!
That damn bird will shut up too! Your life will
be insurmountably easier, and it’ll cost you less

than any of our 2 or 3 remaining competitors.
Everyone rushing to the store to spend their money,
like no one in the country trusts it. Get rid
of your credits as fast as you can, because once
the grid shuts down, we’re finished. You know that, right?
What are we going to do if we can't access our electronic
credits? And it will happen. When it does…
We better get to Wal-Mart, quick!

Voice of a Nation

But how, where, can this quality
be found? What, so much, takes a
silent voice, and noticeably makes
it american? The voice of decent?
The connotation of revolution?
The zeal of honesty that comes
along with the ability to speak free?
The right, writ by silent pen to, to
condemn? Criticize? Question?
The exaltation of one’s own prosecution
above all others? Is that simply it?
The loudest voice is the american voice?
The symposium of a nation, seats filled,
utterly to the brim, in one unified
drone, heard in jarbelled clips. America,
the melting pot of sound, emerging on
the global stage, the bloated throats of
a billion righteous testaments! Convinced
in Congress, we'll find the continuity of
our continental cacophony. Crazy.


None Of This Is Necessary

It’s international! It’s instant! It’s
integrated! It’s inconspicuous!
It’s on your phone! It’s individual
yet indiscriminately inseparable.
It’s in your INBox. It’s En Vogue,

InTouch, in People Magazine
interesting celebrities insisted, “It’s
incredible!” Log on, sign in. Insane
savings! Insert your personal PIN
here! Inexplicable ingenuity in

convenience! Invest! Insure!
Inoculate! In minutes, increase
your manhood! Hardcore interracial,
interspecies incest, you say? In here!
Indiscreet interaction, uninhibited,

infuriated, yet, insufferably insignificant.
Immersed in infomercials incessantly
introducing ingenious inventions
we are incapable of continuing without!
Infotainment impeding on the integrity

of intelligence. In print is outmoded
but imbalance is only fair. This impulsiveness
is intolerable. Incomplete investigations
intended only to incite uneasiness into
an ineducated citizenry. Intellectualism

isn’t in style in school. Institutionalized
indoctrination into the innumerable
masses, indulging themselves, stationary,
on the infinite inaction of the internet!
Indeed, I’m in tune with the irony, however

insurrections need a means of beginning,
and in fact, I must say, that I am not in.


Understand I’m truly
trying to downplay the agony
here. Trying to remove the

distance, or at least fill
it with something soft to

fall into, like drawn
hearts or a sugary
gelatin treat, something

to go down easy after
the bloody realness of
medical procedures

Strawberry jam
That’s just alotta spilt
strawberry jam


Off Day

On the streets, remembering the remedy of
the untold stories of passersby, the limped,
heavy stepping, timed to the lazy bass line
of a heart struggling under the mid-fall sun.

How hard it is to look around, at the cityscape
with all the pure energy off the moving glass
but damned be harm for an opportunity to
bare such holy witness! Perception is

the cage of the mind. What a flow, past
the generically decorated shop windows
timed with the seasons like religion is just
a way to tell what time of year it is. In LA

maybe. Rapid, vapid displays of disaffection
from the strangers passing like emotion
possesses a tangible, polarized force. The
spandex assed girl at the gas station, who doesn’t

make a second attempt at eye contact outside
of the mini mart, as she tries to start her jeep.
Scalding in the reflective rays, motioning a gaze
streetward to avoid any malignant growth of hope.

The tired spinning of the digital time piece
temperature totem out in front of the folding
hometown credit holding office. Unseasonably
warm in the, despite its reputation, often cold

shouldered city. The open porches, rattling with
the crushed motion of discarded lifetimes, as
the afternoon lifts so lightly to form the clouds that
will eventually cover the red, red harvest moon.

Sewing blankets on the rocking double length
ride home. Something warm, to off set the
breezy conditioning of the climate controlled
hours, listening to the draining wind winding through

the building corridors, stories above the overflowing alleyways.


Will It

How far can you see down the coast?
across the plains?
over the mountains?
under the waves?
past the moon?
out the window?

Everywhere you look.
Pretty awful.
Pretty awfully amazing.

Because I can see the Great Wall of China
and the Andromeda galaxy and Kilimanjaro
and that spider in the corner and the blood
rushing to your face and the simultaneous
tick of every clock ever and I have and I will.


It’s far away
The words echoed
Through the openness

Thoughts erupting like
Thoughts tend to do at
The sight of it

8 hours or 900 miles
There didn’t seem much
To explain about the

Circumstances and the
Cliché was tired but
It had to do what it had to

Do you think it makes a difference
Does it matter to you
Either way

Thoughts again turning to
Freedom like a steel
Latch, steel caged in

After so long in the once
Steel City. Stealing hours
And minutes as much as possible

From whom to keep just
To myself


On The Clock

Her doodles were
Big eyed and smiley

And she cocked her head
And smiled back at them.

Some were woodland,
Some humane, some

Inanimate, but brought
To life through her thick lined

Animation. They all got along,
Expressing themselves through

Hearts that floated like balloons
Or short dashes, exclaiming from

Their dimpled cheeks. She loved them
All instantly and fully. None more

Than any of the rest. But secretly,
The little love struck washing machine

Most of all. Its soft corners and
Cutesy knobs, its wink so adorable,

She wished she could crawl
Inside of it and live forever in

Its cleansing warm love. I love
You best, she said out loud, and

Felt an immediate regret for having
Said it so starkly in the company of

The other characters, but they were
Understanding and full of compassion

For her and everyone in the world and she
Felt comfortable again.


What clarity in the unsheathed
light of the walking away world.

Beds should only be comfortable
on Saturday nights, to ensure honesty

during the rest of the week. No more
days not working. No more nights

just lying. Laying,
sure. No more time

afloat in the that sinking dream boat.
No matter how fun the terror may be.

No more horizontal life.
The first step to being a stand up

guy is getting out of bed. But damn
its so warm, and soft, and cozy.

Just another half hour. Ok?


Pain In The Back

What is this sudden tenseness in my lower back,
the jerking pops and blasts of ahh, the one sided
hand shakes, the suh, um, suhden stuttering that’s
hah, hah, happening all the, uh, eh, ehvry so often?

The quick memory? Always noticing, again, for the very
first time, the dulling shade around the first knuckle,
the double and triple shifts put in, after bedding
down. Ignore, ignore, ignore, all of Aunt Sallie’s

intangible wakeup calls. What kind of bill is this? They
haggle every morning to the desk clerk, who’s not
yet gotten over the taste of last night. Whatever
her name was. The receipt full of numbers, stretching

the smiles thin, like handlebar mustaches. Trim that
up! They cry. No way that many calls have been made!
But the system never fails. Someone’s gunna be stuck
footin’ the bill. Misunderstandings of the reality. The

way the world can flip on you, draining that sand,
a rope you cannot climb. It puts all this tension in
my lower back, blasting pops of argh in this jerky
hand over hand.


Hold your eyes closed under telephone
lines. Line up the soldiers. Sound off

one at a time. Don’t look when they’re
callin’ us all by a lie. The desensitized

labels they print when we die. The sky
was so blue that last Thursday. The sails

and the ship and the sea. He’d never’a
left if he ain’t heard her say, that boy’s

lovin’ wasn’t ever for me. Now the wind
and the tide are good buddies of mine.

Where ever I’m headin’, they’re there.
All the stars and port bars are tagging

along. Where we headin’, ain’t none of
us care! So we’ll stroll along the docks,

then stroll through the parks, and onto
the outskirts of town. We’ll stroll through

the grave yard to the top of the hill and
as the sun comes up, we’ll lay down!


Moseyin' On

Hold the candle in the window
Watch your steps long the stairs
Tie the stick into your bindle
Will you get there? Do you care?

Watch the shadows moving in the attic
Hold your eyes open to the streets
Time long past since knowin’ you’ve had it
Sweet release in rhythms of speech

All the sounds go rattlin’ through the tunnel
Only a few signs’ll point ya toward home
Counter clerk hands ya change as you mumble
It takes lonesomeness to feel alone

Flip a quarter into the park fountain
See it spin slow and sink to the floor
Make a wish that all they may be found again
Make a wish to make no more

"Brooklyn isn't expanding!"

The universe is not expanding
It’s just getting older
Time, like matter, needs room to grow.
When it was young, infantile,
it was smaller than it is now.
That’s just the way of things.
It’s odd we notice it, like
the cells inside of us, suddenly
realize, Hmm, was there always
this much room? That is
to say, if we’re not growing
with it, we must be
cancerous, growing at our
own pace, doing or own
thing, sending our satellites
out into the healthy reaches,
looking for other organs to
infect, until finally the whole
thing is riddled by our ever
consuming needs and finally finds
peace in the release from
the expansion of time.


Tonight's Assignment for Mrs. Hoover's Eighth Grade English Class

‘How many more pages,’ her voice screamed
over the one the words were putting in her head.
‘I can’t believe I have to do this on a beautiful
day like today. It’s not fair! I wanna hang out
with Bobby. Yea, that’s it. I’ll just speed through
this and head over to his dad’s garage. Maybe
he’ll even take me for a ride after his dad closes
up. He’s so lucky his parents don’t make him
do his homework. Maybe if he gets me pregnant
I can move in with his family. Yea. I wonder
where mom keeps her sewing kit anymore. Oh
god. Remember that time she tried to teach me
how to sew? Oh god. That was even worse than
this stupid…’ And suddenly she realized her’s
was the only voice she heard. “Oh,” she said
out loud, “Finally.” And she ran to find her
mother. “Where’s the sewing kit?” she asked.
“Whatever for? Last time I tried to get you to
try, you threw a tantrum up till last Tuesday.”
Her mother, though surprised, was pleased.
“Oh, its for school. Something we’re learning
about in Mrs. Nelson’s” eight grade health class.


Above Deck

It’s not
The rocking motion
As much as it is the
Constant unsteadiness,
The knowledge that a leak
Could spring loose at any second
Here and all this time sweating, panting,
Teasing in the unfettered sun will have been
For nothing more than the scavenger picked bloating
Of some beach, where wild dogs bare teeth and bite tails
For any piece left of the putrid remains.

Happy New Year!

Ah, New Year
Old cliché for Thursday night
Another race against 3 O’Clock

To stand in the same damn spot
Answer the same damn questions
The same damn faces of the dejected

Same unending buzzing
Same sugary shitty coffee
Same holiday specials

Same shots of Time Square
Same shots of the same whiskey
Same shopping at the same mall

With the same sales that seem new
Forgotten after a year of gouging
Singing the same songs

Some other folks aren’t with us
But we tell the same stories about them we always have
So we’ll wake up

With that same headache
That same parched swollen tongue
Same rolling around groan

Same I shoulda’ knew better
Same ol’ Same ol’
To celebrate and say…

Thoughts On A Passing Decade

Approaching the end of the decade, I first must state, that, like the Millennium, ’09 is, should, not be the end. So odd that other countries haven’t called us out on it. ’00-’09? Make a list of your favorite, whatever, bands. Well, #9 would have to be Aerosmith, and #0 is, definitely, Motley Crue. I just knew you were an idiot, and how much dumber could you sound, but I digress. Having seen now three decades, rounding up, I’m beginning to grow increasingly impatient. All throughout the second half of the ‘80’s, the entirety of the ‘90’s, and during my time in the system of these ‘00’s, all we were told was this county would, someday, belong to us. That it’d be our responsibility to maintain and mold. But the first president I remember recognizing was George Bush, and not that long ago, I nearly came to blows with good friends, who understand the world, for pushing a 3rd George Bush presidency, and all the Bush people still have the loudest voice in the nation, despite toppling the public face of that particular régime. The media war, has subversively grown in importance, and, despite the youthinization of personal technology, has yet to be won. And certainly, with my grandparent’s still able to vote, and the ever advancing field of medical technology, how long is it really going to take before our generation is, in fact, in control? The simple answer, or means, would indeed be to lower the political age limits, but having no one in office of this age range, it seems impossible. As lobbying to those in office would be fruitless because these officials know they’d loose their jobs, and they’re terrified of having to fill in at the now vacant MacDonnell’s Drive-Thru window. We need force. Literal or figurative. But, now, here, perhaps I’m talking out my ass. Most of the youth in this country are completely subdued and happy with it. So, as the calendar flips, I can’t help but feel like my generation, the 7/11 to 9-11 generation, the misplaced millennium generation, is lurching ever closer to the complacency of all the other 30 something file clerks, worried more about their own failing mortgages, poorly educated children, and dead-end careers, than actually trying to affect change to the system that so efficiently placed them in such a spot. It leaves us with no alternative than to concede, and hope our kids can break free of the constant commercial this country has become, until, at 24, in 2029, they’re all sitting in a nationalized coffee shop franchise worrying about the same shit.