Monday Morning’s Meeting With Steve

It’d be nice if you could at least say hello

Hey!
You!

Frenzied dizzel-brain!
Dog-crapping-up-my-yard-while-out-for-a-late-morning-walk neighbor!
What the f?
I mean like
What the actual f?
“Neighbor!”

Yes, that’s right, I am addressing you
Yes, you
The one now clamoring how you “forgot the poop bags, ah ho ho ho, ha ha ha, oh well, ha ha, short term memory loss I guess and at least it’s organic fertilizer, right?”

All tittered nervously in short gulps of air and high pitched giggles
Eyes darting about the sidewalk for somewhere safe to rest your desperate gaze
But never in my field of vision, never in my eyes
I’ve got eyes you know, I’ve got eyes

Yeah
And these eyes?
They see you every day at this same time, in this same pattern, this same rut you’ve created, this habitual groove I’ve succumbed to too, finding these few minutes to pull errant weeds every weekday at these very same moments on these very same clocks we share in common

You know man I thought we were neighbors
I thought we shared this accidental bond
C’mon
Friends? No, we’re not friends
Obviously
Obviously
But we live on the same pre-planned block and we see each other every day
And we know our routines and so we must have a
A relationship right?
You do not think so?
Ok

Wait
Wait!

How will you act,
I mean it, listen to this:
How will you act when the reckoning is on the doorstep of our horizon?

The reckoning, you feckless fool, you know – Jesus.
The foreign hordes at our shores
The great climate calamity a’comin’ and a’trottin’ our way
(Only one of those is true I know but I’m never sure which one.
Don’t TELL me…)
When the minutes remaining mean the difference between life and death and that difference is partnership and camaraderie and eye contact goddamnit!
Real life begins at the conception of emergency
And that shit
That development of paranoia and fear materializing in the actual world, touching us and abrading our actual skin,
That shit is organic too, dear neighbor, you subject of my budding disdain, you dog obsessed spineless sidewalk meanderer,
That shit is organic too

And now you’re walking away
And now you’re walking away

I was just trying to connect
That’s all
Forge some
Community
In this accidental community

Ah, well
Well

Time now I suppose to return indoors
To fret anew
O’er my bitcoin account
O’er my NFT sales
O’er my dark web deliveries

FlyingJohn

When I Was A Billionaire

When I was a billionaire, the air
Seemed to fold ’round the frame of my name
My soul, soil and skin
Buttressed by the billions

No pain here in these extra folds
Dimpled by the excess
Dimpled by the desire
To make you smile

This is, yes, indeed, another cry for you
My unrequited
My blindsided
Love

We were bound by blood
Blood the billions could not dissolve
I could never resolve the puzzle you presented
The tangled untie-able knots I resented

I was a billionaire
But you never believed
Never conceived
The rarefied air I breathed

And it was a moment only
Only a moment
And don’t I know it
Don’t I know it

You never understood how I could lose the billions
The interest alone, you snarked, would finance a nation
Yeah, a nation of slaves, ruled by
By your master race
I howled to the stone wall,
The stone wall of your terrifying face
You need to feel something like my pain
So wild and wordless, wordless and wild
But true, so vital, agonizingly real
Real and oh so true

I’ve lost the poem
Lost the billions too
There was a time we’d laugh
Me and you

Laughed till the earth stopped spinning
All the good we were winning
We were winning!
We were winning!

I never needed billions
I never did
I never needed you
I did

But it’s been so hard
So hard to admit
To submit and admit
Let me just admit:

I only needed
You I only needed
You to be you
And be proud
Be proud
Of me
I only needed you

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The Mishap

It was the cadence
It was the rhythm
Made me murmur:
(Made me admit?):
“I love you”

Terms agreed to
Plans to sign by Friday
I murmur:
(I admit?):
“I love you”

It was the cadence
It was the rhythm
My wife uses
My mom uses
My sister and me

But you’re a stranger
I’ve never seen
And I don’t love you
(Don’t I?)
And yet

It was the cadence
It was the rhythm
I murmured
Murmured: “I love you”
On our late afternoon conference call

“Ok all, great meeting”
“Terrific, terrific”
“Thank you”
“Oh no, thank you!”
“Ok then well have a great evening all”
“Good night”
“Good night”
“I love you”
“Um”
“I don’t know why”
“Um, well”
“I don’t know why, why I said that”

It was the cadence
It was the rhythm
Your polite chuckle
Your quick goodbye

And now
At this late hour
At the bottom of this tumbler
In this low-lit cavern
I wonder:
“Do we still have a deal?”

Hashtag You Too
IMG_3476

Coping, by the lake

I’ve been pretending
Just like you
Never comprehending
The best of you
And me
And the best of you

The years crept in
While I’ve been pretending
To understand the reckoning
To come

How are we to understand 
This simple but grand 
Grand design 
To which we’re assigned  

I’ve survived by laughing 
All my nervous white-water rafting 
Pulsing forward and mapping
The rapids snapping God’s thin wrapping
Clapping blindly along with the cohort you done trapped me in: 

Confounded corporate colleagues
Desperate despots desperately diseased
Ungrateful lovers gone to snores
Badly maligned hookers and whores
Bratty kids
Career skids
Age defeating us all
Father’s sudden fall
Blot clots dropping
My best buddy shopping
At Target
The ruin of us all
The mall, the goddamned mall 
Tear it all, tear it all
Down

May we just be
In peace
Increase our ease
Ah, consider these wild geese before ye as they float without strain or pain into the main thing, that jet-stream-thing, that thing that’s some god’s invisible dream driving all pollination, all elation, all cosmic fellation, the seedlings going deep, all sharing our
All sharing our caring hearts with one another
Consider these geese
Cease your seizing, your wheezing
And breathe
And breathe
And end
End
Pretending

American River

Stella, Rebounding

Marco is a fantastic lover
I’m telling you the hours
The sheer flexibility not only of limb but mind my my
My, my
I’m telling you we flower
Marco is a fantastic lover

Why, just look there:
The agile thoughtfully silent nimble elegance of his tip toeing out my disheveled room
Half-clad pre-dawn to attend rehearsal on time
The dentist, his accountant, or something
Well, a finer gentleman Yahweh hath never crafted
A genius so cunning with his tongue

The blinding suns of Los Angeles are massaging me in their gauzy white glow
I am nourished dear ones
I am nourished and I shall flourish and I am not blind
Just wise
Wise, my dears, to the singularity of the moment
So please
Please
Let me be

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The Process

Dusk obtains and breezes shift how?
Your eyes note the adjustment but not the transition
You’re left struggling for something to say

How to paint this marriage of devolving light and insight evolving on some canvas of noise with extant oils and powdered pigments made only of the invisible machinations of your mind

Your ears perk as this babel of birds now ebbs like the slowing chorus of corn kernels popping in mother’s ancient microwave before those anticipated movie nights, those nights of ancient anticipation

“Is this not the finest onslaught of metaphor you’ve grappled to obedience?”
Your mouth is discovered smiling
The mysterious construct of your ego, pleased
“No one will ever understand but I understand and it is good.”

Night triumphs again and you commit your fingers to the dance
Drawing letters in patterns that bind us and propel us and disgust us and seduce us
Reduce us to the frail persuadable dummies we convince ourselves we shall never be but all
All fundamentally are

Your dancing continues and succumbs to your spasm of limbs
Beating at air as if pounding the tribal drums that signal something like strength
Something like the ever-moving matter seeking a place to collide and then I guess see what happens
Like you did with the dregs of your experiments in chemistry class clandestinely stowed in the back of the locker in the slowly filling test tube which one day just might end this all
Or cohere to useless sludge
Or satisfying slime
Or simply birth
A chrysalis

You dance and you bray like a jackass because somehow this liberates you and somehow it does always work
The puzzles remain before you but the familiar frenzied fever to fill in every last empty square has taken leave
And so now you seek someone to kiss and molest and hope they molest you in return in the wild jackass abandon you just displayed on the disco floor
Perhaps the flailing inspired another who will meet your pattern and ride the waves with you to the shore
You cry to them: “What’s poison for Pete may be manna for me!”
And you laugh
And they laugh too and the wave. just. does. not. want. to. end.

Well,
That’s the dream anyway in these nights you are reminded of your persistent exposure to a vastness that cares little for your rituals yet the indifference makes the rituals and reminders all the more resonant to you 

It feels awfully good to sweat through your nice clothes and to drink the cold sweet concoctions  that provide momentum for your howling

It feels awfully good to fall in a safe soft place and surrender yourself to unconsciousness muttering an echoing refrain of our  Lord’s Prayer each heartbeat further depressing  the wah-wah pedal in this fading concert of a night well spent

To know time and duration but feel none of it as it occurs
To know
O

Come morning, you cradle coffee and stare at trees

IMG_5438

Happy Anniversary. Here’s a poem! Wait, this year is crystal? Oh. Oh dear…

I asked your daddy for your hand in a letter
Every warming year we got better and better
Our droughts got hotter, our floods got wetter
Like you, the moon’s a riser
Like me, the sun’s a setter
A clenched jaw in-your-face fretter 
A jilted lover’s torn-up letter (strewn across my dorm room floor that night,  remember?)
So, yeah, we only got this rusty water in our oily red rusted kettle
And nothin’ else
But it’s enough 
It’s enough

In this calamity 
This vapid loud city
Messianic mess most definitely  
Like you, it’s real real pretty
Like me, the poetry’s real real shitty 
And barely witty 
An ugly unloved bitty
A sour off key ditty 
But it’s enough 
It’s enough

And it’s enough I say enough
Deeper than pink fluff
Softer than sand paper rough
Like you, it takes no guff
Like me, it’s besieged by stuff
Silky but tough
Tethered to you in this paper handcuff
And it’s enough
It’s enough
Cause I got you 
Yeah I got you
And

I I
Love love
You you you you you!

Mwah!

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‘20 to ‘21 (note to self)

All year long all year all year!
We were all unable to leave all
Unable to breathe all
Unable to grieve all
All year!
And we’ve been holding
Off holding off
All year!
The floods heavy
The fathoms blue
The ballooning fear
The agony and sorrow we’ve lived through
It is a dark time and it is.  It is
Past far past!
Time to acknowledge the hurt time
To let in the pain time
To exhale
The lost rhyme.
The lost rhyme.

IMG_6559

Stella, in lament

Oh Sam, I don’t know about you
You’re just out here looking for something to confess and be ashamed of
So someone like me will rub your shoulders and tell you you’re ok
And oh don’t you work so hard and ain’t this world so unfair
What an unfair place
All the oozing love and comfort to further conceal all the shortcuts you’ve taken
And handouts you’ve indulged from day one of your privilege
I know too many men like you
And it ain’t gonna do for me
God no not for me
Let my loneliness resume

StellaInLament