My grandpappy always said

“A bird in the hand is worth killing two birds with one bush.”

—Grandpappy

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Owls

I’m sitting on the toilet seat staring at the shower curtain touching my knee.

It’s an intricate pattern that’s almost Greek key, but not,

I see an owl—

two owly eyes and a beak that howls hoot hoot.

The whole curtain is owls.

I wipe and get friendly with my sphincter. At a certain age

you become more in touch with your erogeny.

I don’t know what it means, if it means any-

thing, but the body changes it doesn’t stay

static. It evolves, goes through phases

like the moon

like girls in college

like laser light beams in a space opera (no, that’s phasers).

I’m going through phases. I want to be the person

who sits in a Starbucks reading poetry

gripping a grande

cappuccino or flat white or green tea latte

something slightly bitter with steamed milk—

not too sugary—nothing too

addictive; melt into a wing-back chair,

plush stained cush-

ions, holding my paper cup with pinkie-finger poking out daintily,

a tome of the finest meter and rhyme in my lap

whiling away the day

to the sound of easy listening and holiday favorites,

chasing aristocracy, but belonging in a barn

with the owl, the cock and the tufted tit-

mouse

which isn’t a mouse at all.

Hoooooooooot.

Sunday night musings

A wasted Sunday gets in your brain. You question the point of existence and the imminently liberal use of 2nd person. You recline in your bed with plans to go to sleep early, but you tire yourself awake. You read a paperback, web surf, play with your pubes at length, feeling the coarseness, pulling at tufts like weeds, trying to discern if this one is longer than that one, checking your junk for oddities, taking in pleasure in the meditative act of blind, platonic fondling. No boners (or female equivalents) here. It’s your body, your mind. You lay so long you feel as if your limbs are frozen and movement of any sudden sort, while inevitable, will inevitably cause some tendon to snap. Visions of surgery, traction, sweaty-browed rehab. You remember shaking a leg out hokey-pokey style earlier in the day, wondering whether the unexpected noise that sprouted from the joint was the sound of severe ligament damage or a nearby car crash. You shook it again to be sure, it was seemingly intact, no harm done, but you know that’s false certainty. The damage is done indeed, like listening to music at rock concert levels as a kid, the hidden debilitation is biding its time to go into effect. Like dementia or impotence. You think humans should probably only have a 50-year lifespan, but what about all that’s been achieved by people after age 50. Maybe your best is yet to come. Selfish. Pathetic. Just another excuse to be lazy, waiting for the gravy train. Enough indulging. You move. It hurts, like hell for a long second, but nothing breaks, nothing’s broken. The subtle tears can heal. You’re not done, you’ve got more left in the tank, which reminds you, the car needs gas, and you’re out of eggs, people are dying, Wednesday’s going to be nice, a friend left a random voicemail, you pet a dog’s soft fur, you wipe your ass, you tire yourself asleep. You wake up.

Cremation

I want to lay on my horn

and scream through this bloody machine

spent the last thirty some-odd years

driving the posted speed

content to complete a crossword puzzle

in black ink

constantly evading the earlobe itch to drop the hammer down

without abandon

and brake so hard

so the wheels

squeal, seared rubber scrapes off altogether

leaving dead fragments

on top

of a chasm of spent protoplasm

Mornings are a motherfuc—

prescribed pills have lost their efficacy

the body battles the mind

the mind beats hammers and tongs

questioning whether the microcosm that defines us

confines us

or is it only a snapshot, fading

a capsule, betraying

a fabric falsely woven and set a-blazing

a moth caught in the flame,

immolating.

Eating Habits

I don’t

think my cat likes

it when She’s trying to eat Her dinner

some brown slop

spooned out of a can

onto a porcelain white dish

set a few feet away

from me

while I pee a strong golden stream into my own porcelain dish

She looks at me

upturned whiskers and insulted sensibilities

I don’t desist

because it’s my 2 bed 2 bath apartment

cheaply carpeted with barren walls

couch with unmatched chair

used chest turned coffee table

cat tree beside the wall

where She reclines on high, waiting

for me

to leave

to resume

Her daily feast.

Mis(ter)taken Identity

Calling a credit agency to update errors in your report is a game of chicken that you’re going to lose and you’ll begrudgingly give them all of your vital personal information to verify that you are who you are; fingers, legs and testicles (or ovaries) crossed that they are who they are. I hope the new ‘me’ enjoys those student loans. Ha ha he ha ha ho, it’s funny because of the excessive cost of higher education in this country.

Lunch’s Labour’s Lost

I work from home a lot, wasting away.

Needing sustenance but still stuck, hungry.

My available options are not good.

A bag of broccoli, a raw, red pep-

per, half a cup of lemon yogurt, and

some squares of rich dark chocolate, to taste.

A month ago I ate a tin of fish

sardines by themselves nothing else, the can

was buried in the back of the pantry.

Writing in iambic pentameter

is a real pain in—three more syllables.

Top 10 tips for preparing your Christmas tree

Tip #1: Buy the first tree you see

Tip #2: If you don’t buy the first tree you see, pick your nose and contemplate existence

Tip #3 : Firmly secure your tree to your glove box

Tip #4: Do not string the Christmas lights as if they’re silly string

Tip #5: If you don’t have Christmas lights, spray paint your pet python and staple it to the branches

Tip #6: If you don’t have Christmas lights or a pet python (or if your pet python dies of internal bleeding), stare at a regular light bulb for 5 minutes then look at the tree

Tip #7: Tree mini skirts are now in vogue

Tip #8: If you ask your tree to slow dance, remember to let the tree lead

Tip #9: Ornaments rhymes with pornaments

Tip #10: Always play Christmas in Hollis while preparing your Christmas tree

God made dirt

I’m from the north. Years ago during lunchtime, a colleague (he was from the south) dropped some food on the floor. He picked it back up. He held it to his mouth, preparing to eat it. I asked if he was going to eat it. He said, “God made dirt, it won’t hurt,” and ate it.

I laughed hard. Excessively so. I laughed like this guy I used to work with at Blockbuster Video. He laughed really hard. The dumbest, lamest jokes had him doubled over, splitting a gut. If he laughed at your joke you earned nothing. You had no idea if you were being funny. And when he inevitably laughed at someone else’s pathetic offering, you hated him.

I laughed like that. First, it was the rhyme. I appreciate a good rhyme. Second, it was the simplicity of it all. Third, I’d never heard that expression before, and I laughed at how sheltered I apparently was in my northeastern enclave.

That colleague also said stuff like, “He was on her like a duck on a June bug.”

We never said such fun things in my home, growing up.

Last night I went to brush my teeth. There was an inch-long hair poking out from the bristles. It wasn’t mine. It was too short to be my wife’s. There’s something inherently disgusting about any thing being attached to your toothbrush. It’s holy ground. The hair was too straight to be a pube. It was probably the cat’s hair.

I pulled it out, flicked it away and brushed my teeth.

God made dirt.

The Tempest

The wind picks up

eddies of dead leaves

revolve

like a dog chasing its tail

a static change in the air

pressure pockets the world

is different

now

entering a new dimension

a hollow world stamped down on top of the existing one

traced over in black ink

a storm’s being summoned

and set about

flung into the future

hours away

bringing the old world and old molecules

pressing salvation through a sieve

of cloud

little needle shapes emerge

stitching together

a thin sheet

to wash over our sins.

Analog Time

I read an article today that said that kids these days don’t know why we use the terms clockwise or counter-clockwise. Or what they mean. I think we’re expecting too much from kids. As long as they know where my next beer is, I’m good.

Random 4-year old reading this: “That gives me an idea for an app.”

Time in no time

Time flies like horseflies, in skips and scatters

like breathing

only when you stop and consider

your diaphragm rising and falling

in long meditative reflection

do you recognize its passing

the loss

of something

ungraspable

collapsible

like the 4th dimension in Interstellar

because when you are stuck

on back to back

to back

conference calls

where people say things and use words and explain concepts that you thought

you understood

hours before

but the onslaught of words keep

stampeding your brain

then there is no such thing as time

just a black

hole

impossible to escape (unless you’re Matthew McConaughey in Interstellar).

I can see its skin through its shirt

I like clothes with holes in them. Moths or well-worn are both fine. But never for fashion’s sake. A pair of pre-torn jeans is pretentious. A faux pas. You have to earn your disheveledness through extensive living, washers and clothes dryers, or feed a family of lepidopterans. Now put the fuckin’ lotion in the fuckin’ basket.

Trumpty

Stop whatcha doin’
’cause I’m about to ruin
the image and the style that ya used to.
I look funny,
but yo I’m makin’ money, see
so yo world I hope you’re ready for me.

Now gather round
I’m the tweetin’ fool in town
and I like to fly to states that are battlegrounds.
I’m sellin’ dried steaks and gaudy ties off my shelf
so just let me introduce myself…

My name is Trumpty, pronounced with an Umpty.
Yo ladies, oh how I like to hump thee.
And all the GOP candidates – please allow me to bump thee.
I’m steppin’ tall, y’all,
and just like Humpty Dumpty
you’re gonna fall when Fox News pumps me.
I like to scream,
I like my hair funky,
I’m spunky. I like my orange skin lumpy.
I’m sick wit dis, straight Wharton mack
but sometimes I get ridiculous
I’ll eat up all your debate time with my gibberish
hey yo fat girl, c’mere-are ya ticklish?
Yeah, I called ya fat.
Look at me, I’m orange,
It never stopped me from gettin’ busy
I’m a freak
I like the girls with the boom
I once got busy in a private yacht club bathroom
I’m crazy.
Allow me to loudly praise me.
They all say I’m the greatest ever but it just don’t faze me.
I’m still gettin’ in the girls’ pants
and I even got my own locker room parlance.

The Trumpty Dance is your chance to do the Trump.
Do the Trumpty Trump, come on and do the Trumpty Trump.
Do the Trumpty Trump, just watch me do the Trumpty Trump.
Do ya know what I’m doin’, doin’ the Trumpty Trump.
Do the Trumpty Trump, do the Trumpty Trump.

People say “Yo, Trumpty, you’re really funny lookin'”
that’s all right ’cause I get things cookin’
Ya stare, ya glare, ya constantly try to compare me
but ya can’t get near me
I give ’em more, see, and on the floor, B,
all the girls they adore me
Oh yes, ladies, no one respects you more than me
’cause in a 69 my Trumpty nose will tickle ya rear.
My hands are small, uh-uh I’m not ashamed
I talk about my pickle, I’m still gettin’ paid
I get laid by the ladies, ya know I’m in charge,
both how I’m livin’ and my face is orange
I’m verbally abusive, my politics polluted,
I use words that don’t mean nothin’, like really really really great
I like to shout ya fired, and if ya missed it,
I’m the one who said I can just grab ’em in the [biscuits].
My ego is fragile, I need the starlight.
Well, yeah, I guess it’s obvious, I also like to fight.
All ya had to do was give Trumpty a chance
and now I’m gonna do my dance.

The Trumpty Dance is your chance to do the Trump.
Do the Trumpty Trump, come on and do the Trumpty Trump.
Do the Trumpty Trump, just watch me do the Trumpty Trump.

*

White men, do the Trumpty Trump, do the Trumpty Trump.
White men, do the Trumpty Trump, do the Trumpty Trump.
White men, do the Trumpty Trump, just keep on doin’ the hump.
White men, do the Trumpty Trump, do the Trumpty Trump.

Let’s get stoopid!

Home Run Fun

He jacked it. Jacked a huge bomb. Launched it deep and hard to center. To left-center. To right. Upper deck. He creamed it. Knocked a big dong. Smashed it. Ripped it. Crushed it. A huge towering dinger. He’s touching all the bases on that one. He blasted it. He went downtown. He went yard. It’s a goner. He slammed it. The grand salami. Break out the tape measure on that one.

Anyone got a light?

Love in the time of the singularity

Maybe in the future we won’t fuck anymore. Just touch our heads together. Our heads growing bigger and more powerful. Everything tied up in those neurons, all sensory perception barricaded there. All nerve endings migrating to our temples. And when two heads, propped up on mechanical, android bodies because our hollow skeletal bones are insufficient for the task, touch, those ‘beings’ will orgasm simultaneously. Feel united, complete. That will be love. No heartache no despair no cock thrusting and depositing semen. No quivering vaginal walls. Just skin, two patches of skin, residing directly external to the prefrontal cortex, connecting at an atomic level, conducting electrical impulses, messages, communicating infinite adoration.

Catwoman

Hello.

Helloooooooo

heeeeeellllooooooo

hello there.

Hell.

Here.

Iamtalkingaboutthesecondbatmanwithmichaelkeatondirectedby
timburtonwithdannydevitoandmichellepfeifferascatwoman
whereshemakesasexycatsuitoutofpleatherandsewinghooksitlooks
dangerouslynaughtyandshesaysifeelsomuchmoreyummier

Not the one with

Halle Berry.

Bursitis

I have bursitis in my knee. No doctor diagnosed this.

I went to Google. Typed keywords in the search box.

pain on inside of leg below the knee

It popped up. Autofill. Symptomatic crowdsourcing.

Pluralistic hypochondriac-ism.

Been popping pills, Advils, ad nauseum (looks curiously

like

A devil)

dissolving in my gut, acids eviscerating

the cinder block molecules into easily

digestible

bite-size pellets

And after twenty (thirty) minutes

the pain dulls, the blood warms, the mind slows

I must be cured.

The effects wear thin, the blood cools, the tendons re-fray

biological mish-mash like refried

beans

topped with

Cotija

cheese.

Sound the horns, lower the drawbridge

the body idyllic

susceptible to ice pack attacks

leaving the soft, squishy skin as cold as a corpse’s

severed

head.

Fantasy Football

Let me tell you about my Fantasy Football League…

The football is made of frozen Snickers smushed together, and on fourth down teams can stick, punt, or eat the football. Instead of helmets the players wear helicopter hats, which are safe because no one is allowed to tackle, only tickle. The field-lines are made of confectioners sugar, and each goalpost is padded with a million Twizzlers. The cheerleaders roam the sidelines on rainbow colored unicorns during the game, blowing kisses at the fans and flashing them spontaneously.  The coaches don’t bark orders into headsets; they signal messages to the players, like I love you for who you are, with glow sticks.

Batman Stamps

I’d like to talk about my Batman stamps. Literally. Stamps, featuring Batman, that I got at the post office weeks (i.e., months) ago. Let’s return to that fateful day. It was cold, chilly even. I remember it like it was being made up right now. Misshapen snowflakes melted on my fleece zip-up while I waited in the molasses-moving line. Could I have just walked up to the lonely, electronic kiosk and purchased a book of stamps (i.e., a set of 20 stamps) in a fraction of the time? Sure, but where’s the human-touch in that? Like all babies, I crave intimacy. I wanted to stand before the postal worker, request a book of stamps and make her day because I was asking for something simple that she could produce without even lifting a butt cheek. No need to search the back for a package or have to explain the process for procuring a passport. Just the stamps, ma’am (or mister).

When it was my turn, I approached the counter apprehensively. This was a big deal.

“A book of stamps, please.”

The attendant reached down into a folder/drawer/something and pulled out a flat sheet, and pushed it towards me. It was Batman, all Batman.

I was expecting flowers or flags.

“Cool, Batman,” I said.

The attendant cackled like the Joker, pulled out a machine gun umbrella and ignored my comment.

I paid the price, took my stamps and went off.

In the privacy of my car, I perused the stamps. The post office went all out. There were four different Batmen; Batman throughout history. The Golden Age, the Silver Age, the Modern Age, The Post-Modern (?) Age. Four of each. And four bat emblems in four different incarnations. For a total of 20. All laid out on a specially branded Batman background with a story of Batman’s creation on the back. Real collector’s stuff.

When I peeled my first Batman off the sheet and affixed it to a boring envelope, my inner child shuddered. Sacrilege. But it had to be done. The stamps had a job to do, and my sentimentality had withered with age. What else was I supposed to do? Save them, lock them in a safe and hope they’d grow in value over time? Not my style.

I’m down to nine stamps now. Five Batmen and all four emblems. One day in the future, even in today’s age of emails and text messages and dick pics, I’ll use my final stamp. And I’ll walk over to the trash can, discard the empty sheet and say, KA-POW!

Moon landing

You could see the moon in the sky today.

Sitting on a cloud like a mystery

guest.

Uninvited, no R-S-V-P

showing up and pitching its tent

staring at me

a peon weighted

in a state of half-despair, half-dissent

driving round and round around

spreading exhaustion

needing a nap

to bring the moon back to its rightful place.

Baloney (or) Beer

Looking back on my life, I notice there was never an age when both baloney and beer were part of my diet.  Additionally, the few years during which I had outgrown baloney but had not yet started drinking beer coincided with my ideal weight, fastest running times, and peak overall health.

If there’s some lesson in all of this I have no idea what it is.

If a tree falls in an office building

The escalators in my office building and the adjoining hotel run all the time. Even when there’s no one riding them. The motor moves the belt, the belt moves the steps around and around. It feels wasteful. Someone should invent an escalator motion sensor. Not me. But someone who knows about those things. Maybe the person/people who invented the motion sensor door. Those tend to work pretty well.

I hate golf but my god do I love the sound of smacking balls

Spuds and I hit up the driving range the other day. I hate golf. I hate golf shirts. I cringe at the sight of a golfing glove hanging out the pocket of some guy’s pleated khakis. If some guy starts telling you his recent golf scores… fart in his face and run.

And yet, THWACK. I love that sound. THWACK. Damn, that feels good. THWACK. THWACK. Golf sucks, but the sound of a driver crushing a ball is divine. I know this much is true.

Apex & Aftermath

I desire to live a lavish life full of lush plushness

have fun

the result of a slush fund

expunge the moribund

extreme extravagance

an avalanche of affluence

discard the dastardly

abolish the acrimony

and when it’s all done

seek a higher consciousness

vanish

and salvage my soul savagely.

Men’s Fitness Muscle Health Lifestyle Magazine, Issue 1 to Infinity

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*Fountain of Youth! Live forever, never die, become immortal!

Rinse. Wash. Repeat.

Fumblings in Key West (or, Honk Out With Your Conch Out)

Key West is known as the Conch Republic. Locals are called Conchs. Key West Sunset Ale is marketed as ‘The Beer of the Conch Republic’. I had conch ceviche and conch fritters at a fish spot in Key West. They sell conch shells at all the major tourist shops. Basically, there’s a lot of conch over there.

As we drove by one gigantic conch shell situated on a street corner, my wife said, ‘That looks like a huge vagina.’