tick-tock motions colliding with still-beating carrion
carrying itself to the back of a ninty-two Toyota Corolla
cracked window crack smoke with the gravel and gum wrappers
specters radiate their hue and render ol' Baker Boy into a heap
there is a shaking on the surface.
wet gravel and neon dance through squinting eyes
passenger pigeon with nocturnal aspirations
you're in that place now
the sunday crowd wait in line
in their pretty sundresses
in their buttoned up shirts
in their sunday best
unbeknownst to them
god can be found in the filthy gutter
as easily as the chapel halls
where the potlucks draw the crowd
when the sermons run dry
and the coffee gets cold
She only needed three fingers;
one for demands, one for insults, one to show love.
Her pinky made her feel too prim,
and her thumb made her feel like too much of an ape.
She had no need to hold on to anything,
and no reason to open any doors,
she just wanted a little silence from the thunder
and to see the cracks in the ground on a hot day.
One set of clothes for the doctor,
one set of clothes for the preacher,
and one set of clothes for the home.
She still has a forest green rotary phone with the ringer cut out
just incase the stove gets angry or the roof caves in.
She hated the Beatles and probably hates us,
but that's okay, we're not all that special, are we?
The man who can't read came to visit today,
he sung along to each song that the radio played.
The track marks and scabs wove a story of bother;
of a life cut off short, my uncle, his father.
The man who can't read can fix anything:
a gasket, a hinge, a lever, a spring.
He pedals his bike and sweats up a storm,
no lights, no water, just part of his norm.
The man who can't read used to play in the yard;
we'd catch crickets under bricks, and skin knees til they scarred.
Garter snakes hid under the walnut tree
and we'd catch one in each hand and grandma would flee.
The man who can't read has been told that he's dumb,
that he smells like an ashtray and looks like a ***.
He still owns a picture of when we were young,
when we lived in the house where the picture was hung.
here we spin the synchronic dance of the fluids
that dribble down in aesthetic perfection;
free-flowing from the gullet of creation
into the palms of the frenzied flock.
the grim etchings left by her in the signet
reflect the proper terms for glossolalia,
but the honeyed tones are lost to primitive organs
and a piteous gurgle is all that emerges.
here we were, eaters of shale, chewers of dirt,
warmed beneath the blanket of her shadow,
paled by the protection of her casting murk
that hid us from the vile stars.
pollen, pollen, pollen, pollen,
showering, soaking, deep down in the gut.
Bezoar of my bezoar, heart within my sleeve,
I am waiting for my emotions to return to me.
Parental love could shatter the eggshell persona of a rascal young man
who carved ***** rhymes into the boy’s bathroom stalls,
who doesn’t understand the point of deadlines,
who saves his milk money to spend on strike anywhere matches
to burn shed bark from the maple in the back of the park.
He remembers the days before mom rediscovered her vices;
the days when there were cocktail meatballs and Christmas cookies.
Those years he will never get back now seem stringy, translucent,
and barely clinging to the fault lines of a shifting mind.
One day he will think of those cookies and taste bitter almonds
as his checking account becomes overdrawn,
as the fix-a-flat in his tire doesn’t stop the escaping air,
as he slips into the warm blanket of Bombay Sapphire.
If you’re surrounded by people in fanciful dress,
who only take advice from peers they want to impress,
just remember that soon you’ll be home in your bed
where the only racket is the thoughts in your head.
The leaves will change color and the skies will turn grey,
the sun will go hiding early on in the day,
the chimneys will smoke, the nights will stay strange,
and we’ll lose track of time keeping track of the change.