You look great, Mom!
To end up alone
in a tomb of a room
just a lightbulb
and a potbelly,
and glad to have
...in the morning
they're out there
and you turn over
to your left side
to get the sun
on your back
of your eyes.
from "All's Normal Here" - 1985
Blood drips slowly through the tubes of my heart, like a lazy plumbers mistake,
I wonder as I listen to the gentle drops is it maybe for my own sake?
Do we all feel love's pain as a stab to the heart, or is that where we normally start?
I hear voices in the night, some cry and others sing
I hear bells in the morning, some dull and others ring.
Everything is a sign of something else, rolling in our head,
maybe we wonder the difference...alive or maybe dead.
Throbbing souls create a drumbeat in harmony and doubt,
those of us so used and done are feeling sadly left out.
The parade will march right by us and leave us at the curb,
like a statue old and worn that we should never ever disturb.
I remember when we were small, and you were just a bat and ball,
on the TV,
just a blip and a blot, bouncing around, while I crawled in my cot,
and we both grew, in volume and vision,
to blast into space on our own secret mission -
aliens fled when we were in session.
I remember one Christmas when I was just eight, pretending to sleep,
but staying up late,
my fingers crossed tight, trying to resist the pull of the night,
hoping that Santa would see me alright, with your arrival,
in a spectrum of light.
I couldn’t believe that your new form took tapes! That your games had more
than just plumbers and apes! I’d heard you could draw more than 10,000 shapes!
It’s a wonder I slept, while your envoy escaped.
I remember with fondness the pull of arcades, destroying the Deathstar and rescuing maids,
the scramble for change as you begged to be played, we were lost in the moment,
a moment which stayed.
I recall the freedom you offered at will, a doorway to dreams that’s cast ajar still,
and despite being an adult, I still feel that thrill, at the theme tune to Sonic,
all manic and shrill.
I know that I’m older, and soon thirty-five, and that there’s no cheat code for bills,
or for wives,
but I still hope that somehow our friendship survives,
I’ll remember you gave me those infinite lives.
Live life to live
shape the world and cultivate
away fears of shadows and hate.
Grower's thumbs often build
greener tomorrows, tokes to give
to brothers and sisters of today
always searching for more questions.
What clarity can bring to one
not you, but for someone
who holds the rotten cape
held together by rough black tape
to the bewildered open fields
of opiates and grapes
waiting just enough time
to bend around the vine
that holds together what they are feeling.
Let the world keep spinning
wobble from time to time
stumble off our feet
no chance to meet or greet
the war is on our street
bringing lust greed and pride
for all of us to abide
but all things can be forgiven.
Feel the sunny heat
of the smiles of those you just beat
for all the people are here
lovers, plumbers, drummers,
and this goes on, we run again
on and on we run again
on and on again
we go on.
Smack my ass in a car,
smack my ass in a bar.
Smack my ass, here or there,
I don't believe in any underwear.
I love a good ass smack,
right below the plumbers crack.
If I'm naked or wearing clothes,
smacking my ass is what I propose.
Smack my ass in the bed,
smack my ass after I'm dead.
Smack my ass up or down,
smack my ass in any town.
Smack my ass, cause I said so,
smack my ass before you go.
It doesn't matter where or how,
smack my ass, please right now.
Smack it good, smack it hard,
give my ass it's best regard.
You know you want to smack my ass,
just please no more broken glass.
Smack my ass in the shower,
whack it good, with all your power.
Smack my ass in the street,
my ass deserves a good beat.
Smack my ass and never stop,
maybe this boil will someday pop.
Like an upside-down stage curtain, steam rises
over a half-empty cup of ginger tea,
obscuring the dreary view of yet another rainy day.
The woman leans closer to the window
(she’s certain there’ll be an oily stain where her nose
makes contact with the icy glass).
Raindrops are mutating over cracks in the window,
their shadows filling in the blank
blotches in her eyes, camouflaging the liver spots
(themselves otherworldly mutants)
over her hands— sewerage on plumbers’ gloves.
She drinks her tea and whimpers his name.
Scalpel-blade shivers creep over her back,
over the folds in her pantyhose;
chalk marks on the road become visible—
she remembers it like yesterday
when she cradled his broken body in her arms:
police car and ambulance sirens
conjured a dust devil that reeked of young death;
it clung to her designer clothes,
and complemented the purple stench of brake fluid,
petrol, and the god-awful breaths
of bystanders who’d gathered like a swarm of flies,
the soft susurrus of their conversations
intensifying till pencil-lipped, beast-like groans,
ready to feed on the hole in her soul,
salivating to take a bite of grief, and replace it with remorse;
she recalls the sound of her car keys
on the hot tar, which took a chomp out of her left knee,
and warm blood seeping into her every fibre.
Steam and chalk marks fade away into the past.
In front of the refrigerator,
on the grimy vinyl kitchen flooring, a ginger meows;
the woman ignores its pleas,
and reaches for the upside-down picture on the window sill.
A liver spot sprouts from her neck.
Violence sells, sex sells,
Do we have a greed as a society,
greedy need to feed insatiability?,
from East to West and North to South,
Watch carefully what spills from my mouth.
I can not digest what I divest to the dishevelled remains of my day.
I know they are not supposed to end or begin this way,
with tears instead of raindrops falling on my face, rolling down to...
to my paper covered desk, absorbed and lost drying the instant they were
spilled. Have you had your fill with what the world ills your way?
Take time to exhibit patient poise, in all that you face,
you are not alone in your lonely place, some say feel it,
I say try to pray and seal it! Away, oh Lord, away! Take me.
All this which is not the world's best will target you as a test, not the same
day or the same time, but sometimes, it will seem so as it comes all down the funnel
cloud of darkness of heavy woe and the gravity of your circumstances; pulls
at your hair on your head, plucks your nerves till your limbs feel heavy and dead
as your heart pumps red liquid poorly through the frozen pipes that circulate
oxygen with red tincture flowing that could be spilled like the tears and cover
the ground sorrowfully, bleeding ......
embarrassed as it is emptied,
from your vessel, with more cracks and
holes, pass me the plumbers' putty please!
Seal it and pray, each crack, each hole, each day,
It is not about how low down and into despair you go.
It is about him, Him! You might not agree, you might not
see, you may not believe, but He believed in you and me,
FIRST, so if things get bad or go worse,
look up from a position of pain, move to a place of
strength, to the rock, to the cleft, to the shadow of
an eagles' wings and then see what His mercy brings.....
Take what His mercy brings hold it close by your heart,
in your face.............your scars......the ugly...... will one
day BE gone........may my hollow sounding words tremble
like a tree-trunk under the weight of many birds that take flight
with your plight, your harsh existence, be carried away in flight
on the echo of "no more tears, no more tears" sends the winged
prayers to flights of spoken freedom........ heard higher and higher.
The child was reluctant, obstructive, rudely derogated the rules of night-time. In return, the mothers smile crusted over; her anticipating face raged with love, with tenderness, with necessity.
Hold back desperation: “Shall I read you a story?” Yes, a boring story, a story to bore your little eyes closed and your little head droopy and your little snores out.
All children learn to say no and this one was a champion already. Still gentle and formless it was not quite male, not quite female. It was androgynous, sexless, precocious with the possibilities of a gender unslated -- as if pigeon-holes could be sated at a later date. A choice depending on pointing out a celebrity from a picture in a magazine, and saying: ‘that one’.
“I don’t want to be in bed.”
This was said from bed, defiant, huddled and muddled within the pastry of the sheets and wriggling like a still-living filling. Four-and-twenty blackbirds, all singing.
Isn’t this a pretty dish thought mother.
“But bed is good,” she reasoned, “bed is a fine fine thing to be in.” She eyed it herself, covetously, the crispness of the linen holding the warm buttered biscuit smell of a child’s hair.
“Bed isn’t good. It’s lonely.”
Yes, lonely, sang the mother to herself, alone to be with myself only. Swaying with sleeplessness, mother’s voice burst with secrets.
“Bed is good. It is. It is where you were made.”
And you, child, are a good thing. Making you was good. Therefore beds are good.
Mother blinked dreamily, lies rushing unbidden to fill the gap between a child's world and the truth; the question came immediately.
“Have you ever seen someone making a pot out of clay?” she asked in response. Her arms raised in front of the child’s face. “Have you ever seen the clay sculpted, squeezed?” Then she lowered them. “And this was the oven. This is where you were baked.”
She wondered what kind of dreams these lies would bring, dreams of whispered fertility, Freudian dreams of plumbers removing bottoms and widdlers. Dreams of children baked out of clay and, rocked from the cradle; falling, smashing.