Morbid Transit

Sitting on the bus
too tired to read
listening to the clackity-clatter
of metal parts
shaking violently
as this hulking bastard
speeds across bumps & potholes
I’m just waiting for a bolt
to fly loose from the ceiling
& lodge in someone’s forehead

I’m thinking of weird shit
like being T-boned
by a U-Haul
driver high on “the pot”
folding the bus into a 45-degree angle
sealing us inside
would these plastic-looking windows
shatter, or crack into a spider’s web?

but mostly I think about
whoever’s seated behind me

like, what if they leaned over
& whispered something in my ear
breath all warm & moist
but not in any way sexy

or what if they put a cold blade
to my throat
& slit
or maybe just stabbed
real quick like
would I make a gurgling sound?
choke on my blood?
how long would it take
for me to stop breathing?
or maybe I’d move out of the way
fast like a ninja
turn the table, save the day

or what if they jabbed me
with a needle
full of saline
and said it was AIDS
just to see my reaction

or, what if, they slapped me in the face
with a Bhagavad-gita
or tapped me on the shoulder
handed me a bouquet of yellow roses

stranger things have happened
on the bus, I’m sure


Needing escape
from cubicle ambiance
& desktop tedium
I came outside
to get inspired

a breath of fresh air, an afternoon walk

but there’s not much to see
out here either
I guess it must be
my attitude that’s fucked

the sun is shining
the street performers
play their violins
push their books & pamphlets
people enjoy ice cream, cold drinks
play chess on stone boards
smoke their cigarettes

I watch the buses go east, go west;
an endless loop

I sit here observing
not participating
for a riot to incite
for something to ignite
inside me


backed in a corner, and here I am
walking around in a circle


Young rabbit
displaced & terrified

I watch him from my window
driver’s side
the light is green
but the car before me
brake lights

in the middle of the avenue
back & forth
a nervous dance
across the painted double yellow line
dividing life & death

I know it’s coming
and I cannot look away

he chooses the wrong direction
timing’s not quite right
he makes it past the first
oncoming car
but the second
stops him dead in his tracks
as it were

flattened by the front left tire
his insides turned out
a pink starburst contrasts
his light brown fur
and white cottontail
now still

my foot leaves the brake
slowly accelerates
life goes on
and I drive on
to the library
to return overdue movies
to the liquor store
for a case of beer
and on home
to finish out the day

Hammering Clamor

Hammering clamor
downtown din
grit, guts & glamour
soaked in gin

stammering blandness
balled up fists
gall, guff & grandness
clumsy kids

sandpaper sunburn
lemon juice
we all have a turn
finger bruise

blindly beleaguered
tampered with
mundane & meager
stunted pith

hammering clamor
haunted hum
grit, guts & glamour
zero sum

Word Association

Five o’clock,
Long day,
Another bill,
fuck that.
My kids,
miss them.
Maple tree,
cut down.
Powdered alcohol,
no thanks.
like me.
Drive home,
can’t wait.
Mad Men,
Don Draper,
that whore.
Game of Thrones,
not caught up.
about what.

Desert Island Albums

If you don’t like
my aforementioned perfect snapshot
I’ll write a new one
just for you

one with vibrancy,
sans inner turmoil
(I don’t like it
when you cry)

let’s craft a hot air balloon,
color red
and perfectly simple,
travel to an island

but we’d have to agree on what music to bring

That’s How I Like My Poetry

Wanna go to Yellowstone
when it blows
get vaporized
and see all the sights
along the way

& nothing to debate

writing thoughts down
in my knockoff moleskine journal
never knowing if
this poem will be my last
yet always hoping
it’s better than the last

& nothing to debate

Well I hope you felt something

Could Be the Coffee

I’m feeling anxious
this morning
I feel it in my chest
& deep down in my gut

could be the coffee
or something else entirely
it’s hard to shake
this handshake

it’s Easter with in-laws
the girls are hiding
plastic eggs for the kids
color coded
so less than, more than
aren’t an issue

they crack them open
find candy & coins
a dollar bill

and I’m distracted
I want to crack myself open
& see what’s inside

what’s making me tick
& what’s making me sick
why I’m broken
in need of a fix

maybe it’s the coffee
but this feeling’s hard to shake