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g r a v e l
A L I T E R A R Y J O U R N A L
Squeaky critters squirting along the knoll.
The recurring squirrels of course;
but chipmunks, voles and field mice too.
Those silent squeakers please as well--
snowdrops, crocuses, daffodils—
nodding still-lifes who also get the nod.
A dog’s woof, cats cutting bluebirds’ throats.
The wet laughter of other men’s daughters.
Sparkles necklacing the monkey-faced lake.
The ridiculous surge of glee that not
even a billion bell-jars can muffle.
The air is abuzz with reasons
to wallow in it, innit?
Anyone in front of a computer screen
right now, indoors or outdoors,
is dead inside and outside.
This is at least what the birds are singing.
Like a candid lover the sun sees
our vulnerabilities and seizes our flaws
Just in time to improve them by disproving them.
Due to its chrome hue, the grackle
is literally packing heat.
Whereas the cops, thugs and zealots
are merely carrying redundant weapons.
Geese race across the lake
thrilled to be small and at large
while my 400 plus Facebook friends
(myself included: yes, I friended myself)
evaporate and emasculate in demonic synch
with everything they fear.
“But Fear is trust without parameters
gone awry” conjectures the philosopher
of the urinal; but what he does not know
for certain could fill the Mosquioto Goddess’ Syringe.
This kind of intensity is no longer sustainable,
nor was it ever, but what the serial rapists
and corporate pornographers know
that the rest of mankind is just
commencing to suss out
is that Mercy wings Both Ways
and that sticks and stones
make love better than we do
and that the azure malaise above you
is not technically a sky….
and that names will always hurt you.
I’m a Big Girl Now
Trees sparkle and rattle and turn colors
that seem brave but are probably wimpy.
My wedding ring gleams of loyalty and betrayal
and the astonishingly seamless synthesis thereof.
The sky’s agog with gauze and azure and this
is considered both ordinary and breathtaking.
I killed a man in the Alps when I was nine:
tripped him off a precipice for kicks.
To negotiate this senseless negation,
I simply shut my eyes and mouth
and contemplate the above.
We’re All Plugged in to The Ultimate Unplugging
From Barbie to Bambi to Rambo to Maybe
you and I: to each its own zombie seclusion,
zeroing in on the color zero, growing number
as we lose common ground.
There is, however, something to be said
instead of mechanically tweeted;
even the birds, beauty’s dead-bolts,
can see this.
Meantime, the ridiculed calendar reads,
like a dullard at the podium, what remains
of the days of the week: Monday is duct-taped
and thumb-screwed straight out of the gate;
Tuesday is a wheezing obesity;
Wednesday is kidney failure in the park;
Thursday is diversify your polio day;
Friday is interrogation at the burn-ward;
Saturday is an even sadder day
than the one you have been
commissioned to forget;
Sunday is a suicide picnic
for toddlers in fatigues.
Monday renews its demise,
buckling in clinical despair.
The mood is deep and random.
Sailboats suckle panic in the bay.
Cowards float by unannounced.
At the posh gym, senility double-dribbles
into a Best Grandparent Ever teacup.
The monk in the pagoda
brokers karma in a pinch
while the slick lawyer
self-immolates in a hole.
Girls stay prettier than imaginable.
Boys simmer into emasculated solace.
The last hitchhiker on the planet
disappears into the top of a tank,
thanking God for God knows what.
Creative Whining Workshop
Oh man, my expectations have been totally shattered.
I came here to accomplish certain stuff and none of that stuff
has happened. I can’t even believe how lame everyone
and everything is. Ow, my ass makes my face look too weird
and my face is always stealing the spotlight from my ass. Gee,
the weather’s so aggressive: it won’t acclimate to my
It keeps doing stuff that isn’t comfortable. Even my pen feels pointless;
the ink is so chaotic and makes me feel lonely. When can I take a pee-break?
I really have to go ASAPee. Ha ha I’m so funny but nobody appreciates it.
Everyone is so occupied with their own narratives, I feel so isolated.
Dammit life is a jerk! It keeps squeezing and squeezing my feelings
and won’t even take the time to apologize. When I get home I’m so
Gonna ignore everyone until they figure out why I’m so upset.
My Frust-ratio is like ten to one right now: I’m just not into this,
no I am not.
The wry effort of a winter morning
to communicate a purposeful calm to its shivering victims,produces the snowman:
white baron of numbed glee.
Among its inestimable functions,
the snowman is a metaphor
for the poet’s relation to poetry:
a swollen blank eyeballing schoolgirls
and churning muffled decibels
which are marketed as the noise of poise.
Good that their only following
are the ones they follow; and this too
is natural as neglect and response.
Dialing their hang-ups is how they connect
and for this they are to be
forgiven if not forgotten.
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