My sins are forgiven tonight.
I confessed to dead parents
and dead grandparents and
aunts and uncles and all
those who hold a chit of mine.
I'll pay you when I die. I'll
serve your penance and
burn in hell for you
or wait in a dull room
of purgatory for you
or negotiate with St. Peter to
get you through Pearly Gates.
My life was scripted on a blackboard
with chalk in a classroom.
Father Paschal. English.
Tiger, Tiger in the night...
Do not go gentle...
My Papa's Waltz.
I'm walking down
into the underground.
Erase my mistakes
and clap the erasers
clean after school.
My loves leave me.
My heart's a revolving door.
They come and go and go.
I hunt them in bars and AA and
grocery stores and churches.
All the usual haunts
we lost and needy frequent.
We might meet in the meats.
A universe from nothing
water to land to sky and heavens
bones and flesh and heart and maybe soul
and if there's time a brain and love
always birth and death
war and peace and generations to fight on
famine and feasts and kingdoms and dark ages
live by the rules whatever they are
blame it all on me
I don't care
promise to die in the allotted time
keep everything a secret from everybody.
why is everything I'm told a secret? Nothings that important. Who cares?
There are so many ghosts here.
I wonder if anyone is real.
Is there a wizard of HePo?
Am I asleep in the poppies?
If I click my heels 3 times
will I be on the farm again?
I was drunk and full of sorrow
when I wrote this letter. It is the
truth. I can never write these
words when I'm sober. I see you
in my dreams in the long nights
and ache for your touch.
You're so far away. It's why the
world falls apart each of my days.
looking for god in the ruins of my life,
order in the chaos flowing in my wake.
I'm too old to die young for passion.
I have survived my mistakes.
My family has survived my betrayals.
We all know treachery too well.
I'm sure you've heard nothing good about me.
Your sphincter seizes up in fear
whenever you hear my name. I'm a ****! I know.
I thrive on the thing you thrive on.
Your biology. A perfect storm for me and my ilk.
What would a Halloween costume of me look like?
Maybe just a mass of boils, pimples or pyles holding
onto your **** sphincter. Maybe I look like you.
You create me. I keep me going. I take more of you
leaving you less. I'm selfish. I'm sorry. I don't
mean to hurt you. I'm just following my DNA the
same as you. You try to **** me as you nearly
**** yourself. I die, but I'm never gone forever
and every scan is a fingers crossed and prayers.
I'm Cancer. Now you know me a little better.
I was diagnosed and sent away to
where pain is chemically banished
feelings are forbidden and seen
as signs of weakness and trouble.
Injections keep me a stone faced statue.
I don't cry anymore. I don't laugh.
People are kind.
Blame it on me.
I lost you long ago
but you still haunt me.
Wander beyond sanity
and flights of fancy and
see what climbs up my
spine and whispers
"Life is empty promise".
I'm out of my mind. Stay.
I'll set myself on fire if
you might notice for a moment
and feel the pain yourself and
set my people free like you.
I'm too old to die young for my poetry.
Sylvia Plath stuck her head in an oven
and killed herself at 30. Hart Crane jumped
into the water and drowned at 32.
Dylan Thomas drank himself dead by 39.
Anne Sexton found peace in a garage at 45.
We poets mind by instinct.
We bees caught in the wrong hive.
It doesn't matter who our father was.
It matters who we remember he was.
Empathy has a sorrowful price to pay.
We don't ask for burdens but we can't refuse.
We're poets. We pick at the scabs and
write our words with blood that escapes.
I'm 70 and love poetry but not a big fan of death.
We were as one lovers forever.
We shared a bed for months, but
I snored and you slept on the couch
just out of reach forever.
how it starts
I was in my cups in my water hole.
I went to the WC and there I rid me
of crap I'd heard through the evening
and wiped me with sheets of doctrine.
Who the **** died and made these
pitiful imposters the boss of us?
A belief or set of beliefs held and taught by a Church, political party, or other group.
My poems are my children. I birth them
and baptize them and see their failures
and successes and look them over and over
never want them to embarrass the family.
I spin 100 plates on 100 sticks and drink
myself into the clouds and write something
I'll never really understand but love when
I look it up and down the next day or I
delete it, abortion of sorts, and I hurt.
It haunts my mind and lends its lines to me.
I mourn dead words and dead metaphor
and hope to raise them from the dead.
I was in a cruel place of my own design,
lust my mistress and love the sacrifice.
My tragedy was going off script and violating
every moral code that was ever taught me.
My splice of the film jams and melts and
my image disappears into only god knows.
I disappeared in my shrink's office one day. I saw no windows or doors. I was trapped in me and it was like nothing I've ever known since.
One of the saddest things
I ever remember is seeing
tears in an old man's eyes.
What horror of the heart
could bring ancient stone
to feel such lost despair?
He was cutting the grass and dropped dead.
His body betrayed him. My eyes burn and
my heart aches. He was my hero. I smoke
and drink and womanize like him. I think
he'd be proud I follow in his missteps.
I refuse to cut the grass in his memory.
I pound my fists on the desk
demanding explanation for the
reason the mirrors bend at edges
silver edges stretching into chaos
that we know all too well. Chaos
holds fragments just out of reach.
Edge of death will we see meaning?
Where were you? You were promised
all our lives. Is it just a little white lie?
Is it Santa and Easter Bunny and Christ?
We looked for you everywhere but never
found you. We pretended we did but it just
ended in little white lies. Will you still believe?
One more glass of wine
Into my time machine
travel back before you die.
We'll laugh until we cry!
We agree death tops our fears.
my mourning overwhelms.
I drown again in my sea of tears.
Always missed, never forgotten.
The party's still going strong. I've been alone
in the backyard tree house looking at the stars
and crying. I lost my way long ago. Grapes of wrath
dead on the vine while you drink your bitter bile
saying pretty things to pretty boys inside the party
still throbbing to a beat meant to end in suicide.
Stage fright my night
naked in the spotlight
all my imperfections on
display for disapproval.
I was in the nut house for observation
like an insect under microscope to see
what was wrong with me. Threat to self
or others? Suicidal? Anti social or Christ
help us all an atheist or Darwinist?
I didn't **** myself so I was released.
It's all in my head.
Promises of treasured recognition
if your brilliant poem is picked
from the crowded field as first rate.
Award is 3000. Entry fee is 20 bucks.
Hmm. I think I'll start a contest. It seems lucrative?
Alone With Everybody by Charles Bukowski
the flesh covers the bone
and they put a mind
in there and
sometimes a soul,
and the women break
vases against the walls
and the men drink too
and nobody finds the
crawling in and out
the bone and the
for more than
there's no chance
we are all trapped
by a singular
nobody ever finds
the city dumps fill
the junkyards fill
the madhouses fill
the hospitals fill
the graveyards fill
I searched for you tonight, again,
with google and held you briefly.
I found you in Oklahoma as a
realtor and life in different worlds.
I remember the magic we lived.
I know it's gone forever.
It's nice to hold you in younger
arms from all those years ago.
It wins battles and finds true love.
It can never exist in moderation.
Passion lives in life's extremes.
That's where we find the best of us.
Write without it. It dies on the vine.
Life without it will be lonely death.
I'm done cursing the sun's fierce noon heat.
Now we dance naked in the cool moonlight.
We walk in midnight's surf and taste the
salt on each other in tall dark sea grass.
When summer ends hearts can be broken but
we always have Nantucket bittersweet as is.
Poets are frugal. Never waste a single word.
Wring every drop of meaning and nuance from it.
Poets are mad. We're Mad Hatters and March Hares
and Alice always falling into rabbit hole worlds.
Poets are skeptics. Nothing fits in a box perfectly.
The lid won't go completely on without gobs of tape.
Poets can't be defined. We're as unique as any little
white lie told by children since time began ticking.
The face of war is made of faceless
soldiers. They must be anonymous.
No brothers or sisters or friends
can be so casually fed into its maw
orchestrated by the grey old men
playing with them in their sandbox.
I lost myself among the frozen stars
in the dark palette of a cold midnight.
Nowhere left to go I came by your door
for old times and knocked. You were gone.
You were never here. Pretend marriage.
Me with a wife and 2 young kids and mad
as a hatter I fell down the rabbit hole
where we played house and thought we
were in love. We were burned by lust
and divorced and last time I saw you
**** in your dorm and me leaving for
Boston next day. We killed a 12 pack
and pretended one last time at love
and I went away and lived my life as
best I could you always on my mind
but knowing better. I came home to
see my kids and came by to see you.
I lost myself among the frozen stars
in the dark palette of a cold midnight.
Nowhere left to go I came to your door
and knocked. You never answered.
If you'd been home?
I'm dragging myself cross country
once again trying to find a place
that I can recognize as home. I
hunger for my own kind. Tired of
temporary jobs and loves and bars
I don't recognize in the morning.
We kept her calm with Laudanum.
She continued to unravel quietly.
We had to surrender her to the
Lobotomist when she had outbursts
and bit the hand that fed her. She
lives suspended between life and death.
She's no trouble now. We visit monthly.
We knit or read or cry quiet tears again.
I was 13 in a hormone driven rage
trying to put the moves on Linda
in a hayloft. He was in my ear
whispering his disapproval. I was
deaf and have been ever since. ****
it. Kennedy was shot in Dallas that
day and my worlds been upside down
since the last time I heard Jesus.
Vote to make a difference. You will choose
your leaders from a list of losers as
options already bought and paid for by
we rich who always know what's best for you.
I abhor Monday lunch meetings with the king.
We've no use for each other but act otherwise
to keep a proper order. Manners make kingdoms.
I wasn't taught that in my proletariat schools.
We all end up as serfs. They dress us in white
shirts and we pretend to live like kings in
our modest castles in the suburbs. We hang
our crest and drink beer and bed our queen.
What a ******* mess.
My world has become lava
pouring from some volcano
I'll never see. I smell the
hell fire and feel the heat
but never drown in molten
***** flowing over my small
life that is a blink in some
god's eye as we're swallowed.
I'll wake and walk the dogs
and pick up their **** and
let them **** where they must
and wonder why it all works.
Like a pocket watch worked in my grand dad's vest pocket as he collected tickets and made the trains run on time.
in the history of the world
there's a reason for everything
and we'll never be able to see
the big picture so I'm creating
a new religion for you all to
embrace in blind allegiance
to my god I'll call Butterfly
who directs all with slight
breezes from his/her wings
that steer our ships with OZ
like precision so never mind
a little dog tugging the curtain.
Come closer into the light.
I need to smell your beauty
to quiet demons in my head.
God's tears cleanse our souls.
Come closer still, touch me,
calm my tremors still my hands.
Closer hold me closer and we'll
transcend broken in our world.
Dance closer, watch the stars.
Hear death's music ever closer.
In the shows I watch the man
and woman kiss goodnight then
get romantic as hell and all
carried away and **** like mad
and make me feel inadequate when
I just kiss goodnight and sleep.
Am I the only slacker?
I'm romantic and never bring flowers.
That's too cliche. I bring a poem I wrote.
It says things I can never say to your face.
Your smile is crooked and I love that.
You have no lips just like me. We'll shop
for lips and straight smiles and look
for music of our souls to dance naked
swaying in each other's quiet need.
Listen all you want and I'll send
this message in a bottle. You intrigue.
You tease and make me wonder if
I won some lottery worth a million.
I'm way beyond my sell by date so
I hope you find your one true love.
I'm a madman and a gibbon
and an ounce of mercury
and one sawbuck from the
hangman's noose. Hide me
in your petticoats and keep my
secret safe until the tide goes
out and we swim naked
and **** in midnight's bed.
Life is such a mystery. Who what when where and why doesn't even begin to cover it. I hope you are well. You write poetry that calls like sirens from rocky shores that only breaks ships apart and kills all on board. I'm just an old fool. Forgive me for my drunken lack of reason. I honestly don't where your Cupid arrows are aimed but if I were free and young I'd drag you into my madness I think is Love and you'd beg me to **** or get off the *** and I'd probably do both simultaneously. I can't believe I spelled it right!
A twelve pack on Thanksgiving.
Things heat up. Tempers flare.
Unkind truth rears its ugliness.
Everybody loves me except you.
Dad spoke a truth for the ages.
Everybody loves you except you.
We held position for as long as we could.
We were overwhelmed by an onslaught.
We ran for our precious lives but the
generals said we were cowards.
We were all hanged for desertion.
The generals are all an empty fortress.
Ultrasound to see alien in J's womb.
Pick up Bailey at 3 from daycare.
Take Bailey to shrink for anxiety.
Walk Bailey down her wedding aisle.
Take Bailey to chemo appointment.
Pick up Bailey's son from daycare.
Bury Bailey deep in my heart.
Bailey's son to shrink for anxiety.
I'm not on fire anymore.
The flames have licked their last.
The hard wood is just ash now humbled
from its once majestic glory.
Years will bury it and grow again.
Saplings will reach amazing heights.
Every one is finally suffering as one.
The poor are used to poor the rich jump
out of skyscrapers to death's great escape.
I sell apples on Wall St. for a dime and
keep on. I feed the family best I can
on beans and bread and hard times
in the city. Ain't no where to run to.
It's hard to live, just to live.
We know the city's dying but
we just don't know why. We're
gonna pack the Ford and head
to California to find our way back.
Here lies my innocence, my religion, my hope
and dreams and trust and my caring anymore.
I bury my despair and belief in another lover
next to my naivety. My bones are picked clean.
They are bleached in an O'Keeffe painting
next to the cattle skulls and scorpions.