Shriveled Centerpiece

No matter how low
on the rung
I think I may be
at present
I still remember
my roots

working drive-thru
fast food
15 years old

on a busy night
seemed like
a million
motherfuckers
just wanted
pasta & bread sticks

a line of cars
all the way
passed the dumpster
(where, inconsequentially,
next to, I would partake
of mood altering substances)

I straight walked out
one day
set my headset
down on the prep table
said “fuck this shit”
walked out the door
and lit a cigarette

came back
the next day
clocked in
like nothing ever happened
because they appreciated
my hard work
and job skills

I’d show myself
appreciation
by shoving cheesecake
into mouth
in walk-in freezer

& stealing money
from colleague’s
register
for a quarter bag

my retribution
my karmic payback
an old man
at drive-thru window
flashed me his junk
a shriveled centerpiece

well, anyways
things are so much
more professional
nowadays
aren’t they?

Bohemian Chili Stands

fell adrift watching sideways clock
eyes know more than hands do
fell succinct while waiting on man
grasping for ball peen wisdom

ignoring subtleties
intricacies
and most mismatched winter errands
choosing to unglue shoddy binding
haphazard lifeless job they did

wide awake
smoking sleepy time tea
anxiety stole my best ideas
came in here with a wrecking ball
and diminished my shortcomings
and long-term ideas
but John Lennon always said that would happen
or maybe it was the Boss
I don’t really remember

it’s blue collar clip-on tie day
it’s my belly is too big for my coffee stained starched white shirt day
it’s find one goddamn pair of matching socks without a hole day
it’s marry your regrets day
it’s got a lot of gold to find day
it’s polishing turds day
it’s snap crackle anathema day
it’s I wish this cheap-ass checkerboard weren’t so warped day
it’s my pieces keep falling off the edge and
can’t stand straight day
it’s a lonely hyacinth growing through a crack
in the sidewalk in frozen February day

dreams are weird WTF do they mean
sleeping in cheap hotels pretending to be
people we are not
high on pot
and who is this narc keeps following me

wake up, shit, shower but I refuse
to shave
I’m trying to grow a decent beard here
what do you think
perhaps I should shave off my eyebrows like that Floyd fellow
or maybe a nipple for good measure
have a swim in the pool
cool off electric flag
bohemian chili stands on side of dirt roads

where is my best friend
we did not hand-in-hand pass through
the pearly gates of careerism
of successes
we chose different paths

and where is the champagne
and where are the flashbulbs
and where are the fast cars
names of which I can’t begin to pronounce
I have the pronouns and that is what really matters

and the birds are all sleeping while
the worms are still frozen
see you in another dimestore curiosity
pawned my self-doubt and hatred for a Stratocaster

Pinnacle

Undermined
by undertones
so overt in ways
of old

ugly times
to be seen
through eyes
micro sized

at apocalyptic
crossroads
at what cost
we whore the soul

get drunk
on human condition
purge self, repeat

If a door was to open right in front of you, would you not walk through?

puking pastels
into low-grade
pinnacle

an ethical dilemma
hangs from diorama

Fruition

I picked an angry apple
off a bitter branch-less tree
From the sullen seeds & leaves
I brewed the sweetest cup of tea

With the meat I carved a flute
and played a sulking melody
I took the rotten core in hand
and cast it to the lowly beasts

Took a seed of hate and tucked it in my heart;
grew a twisted creeper weed to climb outside fruition.

Whiskey Hiccups

I am a discontented DJ
always changing the music
just when it gets good

I am drinking whiskey
from a wine glass
chasing good times
from a taped-off past

It’s quite a shock
cold & hot
in the same instant

Hope I don’t
cut myself
on this sharp sharp knife

My mommy, my daddy
used to worry about me
now I worry about them

Installment plan all over again

Revolve in peace
who are you to
decide a planet’s fate

Don’t leave your
best work upon the floor
cutting you in
after-hours rooms

the humblest hotels
leave your hand hostile

Tried to speak the truth
but only hiccuped

I can’t help that
everything I believe in
exists in the space
between hiccups.