for the wicked

defeated by the day, I
crawl into my bed again
seeking solace, knowing none
is to be found. I’m weak
with moral turpitude
and some kind of
virus. are they the
same thing? my bones
ache and my blood throbs
to the rhythms
of avoiding responsibility.

this useless waking period
has sapped my strength
and left me powerless
to resist the siren call
of a sad and guilty sleep.
I’ll rest my weary bones,
but take no joy in it.

what the dreaming self knows

in my dreams I am
a powerful witch
whose enemies line up
and ask me to punch them
right in the face.

in the waking
world I’m plagued by
itches and pains,
dirt, doubts and laundry.

I think about quitting
smoking and take every
opportunity to berate
myself. I take down
a flystrip that’s been up
since at least August.
I am interrupted in
reading an article about
how people who hit
the snooze button are
more intelligent and creative
by having to sign for a
Staples delivery
of bulk toilet paper.
I make myself coffee
at 3 pm even though
I’ve done nothing
to deserve it, and try not
to be jealous
of a young poet
whose quote appears
in my Facebook memories.

I wish I could have all
the confidence and courage
to make things happen
that my dreaming self
knows is mine by right
of existence, that feeling
that I’m capable
and undaunted
and powerful.

what can I do
to keep that bone-deep
knowledge, carry it back
like a knapsack
from the dreaming hinterlands
to the world where
I’m still myself
on the physical plane?

endless entropy

things are getting
demonstrably worse.
science fiction is
becoming fact,
and science facts
aren’t welcome in
this country anymore.

if you bury your head
in the sand, you’ll be
unpleasantly surprised
when the sand heats up.
like the frog
in the slowly boiling
water, most of you
don’t feel too bad
just yet. except
all the people yelling
because we know
how bad it’s already
becoming. for us
each day is worse
than the last. how
are we going to survive
the next four years?

if he had his way,
we wouldn’t. just
when you think
it can’t possibly
go any further
downhill, he digs
a new tunnel
to hell.

so laugh it up, make
all the jokes
while you still can.
soon enough they’ll
get you sent
to the gulag.

even more crimes

the only person
I hate more
than the subject
of my last poem
is whoever spilled
a raw egg or
a rotten piece
of lettuce
on the floor
in the middle of the bar
area at the Sidewalk Café.

no joke, I actually did
slip and fall down
and hurt my knee
and though thankfully
my tights are unharmed,
some attractive people
chatting away nearby
saw me go sprawling
and solicitously
asked if I was okay
because my fall was
so embarrassingly,
obviously painful.

so double fuck you,
fuckface. may you
rot in hell
with your lettuce
and your carelessness.

crimes against humanity

you know
what you did. and you
know how totally unacceptable
it is. if you want
to be in society, that shit
just doesn’t fly, man.
so very very
not cool. I’ve been silent
for too long out of
cowardice but I’m
putting my
foot down. no
more. this
shall not stand.
I will find you
and I will make you
hurt the way
you hurt me.

so whoever left your
goddamn coat
on the floor at the
Sidewalk Open Stage
tangled around a chair
that made me trip
and nearly do
an embarrassing
faceplant in front
of everyone:
fuck you!

to my idol, who shall remain

I did it, I did
that thing, the one
that you asked everyone
in the audience
not to do. I know
you hate it. I’m not
going to do anything bad
with it, I’m not gonna
put it online or
tweet about it or
otherwise make
a scene. I just made
a little, secret
for my own personal
and private use. I couldn’t
help myself. it’s just
that I’m
such a huge fan.
I’m sorry.

just not

weather so brutal that I
cannot feel my face,
American Airlines sending
my goddamn bags to LGA
when they knew damn well
I was arriving in Newark
after they canceled my flight
and forced me to spend a
miserable night in Charlotte
in a hotel full of dudebros
in suits for some Phi Beta Kappa
conference in which they’ll learn
how to be even bigger dickheads
than they already were,
some asshole in my building
having the nerve to do laundry
when I am using both dryers,
a stupid jackass revving
his shitty car loudly for
no good reason, all of you,
can you just

star of the sea

the water is blood-warm.
like a perfect bath,
like a sensory deprivation
tank. I can’t tell
where it leaves off
and I begin. I watch
the lights change color
and through the pink mesh
of the pool float, seem
to be blasting off
into outer space
on my ship
sailing across
the ocean of stars.

I float aimlessly,
perfectly content,
and my thoughts drift
as easily as
my body moves
with the currents.

I turn over, lay
on my back, and
watch the moon
like Hathor the horned,
the cow-eyed
goddess, sculling her
silver craft across
the sea of night.
Nut the night
goddess holds up
the sky for her.

I think of the
church nearby,
called the Basilica of St. Mary,
Star of the Sea.
I pretend I am
the star, and the sea,
and mingle my starstuff
in the waters
of birth. time
ceases to exist.

I’m leaving
tomorrow. just when
I finally learned
how to relax,
it’s over.

those noodles

they’re amazing. so
good. and yet, in
the end, he still left.
he loved her, and
she did everything
right. but
she didn’t seem
to need him anymore.

he didn’t see
the way she looked up
as if missing him already,
as if she sensed the
finality in the deliberate way
he walked out the door. and
she didn’t see
the way he smiled
with pride and eyed
the line of customers
waiting outside
the newly revamped
noodle shop, which
somehow became
famous mere moments
after serving her first

he told himself
she’d be fine
without him.
she had her
childhood friend
to look after her,
and her shop to run
and her boy to
take care of.

so he hit the road.
with no reason
to mentor her,
no excuse to be
near her, it was
the last thing
he knew how to do.