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Bad Luck Jul 2018
The difference between actions and habits,
     is often measured by the person you're asking.  
One bump, one line, one half ounce...
All shared by people you don't even give a **** about.

These chemicals make me sick --
              Limitless...Why quit?
              When it's only ten bucks for a hit like this?
Even Jesus Christ would have gotten addicted,
              if drugs in his day were half this good.

"Yeah, I'm smashed -- but I promise I can drive fine."
      Walk and push the limits of a real fine line...
If I don't **** myself, or someone else... I'm happy.
       Stare death in his eyes, wink, and start laughing.

Gasping as I swerve lanes --
Stay safe, get paid. Mundane daily.
Living a-live.. Eat. Sleep. Dream. Get laid.  
Chase feelings.

           Please, just feel me now.
                                    You know me, right?

           Please, just feel me now.
                                    You love me, right?


I want to melt with you -- let our souls collide...
Dissolve the boundaries between students and teachers.
        To bridge the gap in the great divide
        No secrets between us -- bleed into the speakers.

Feel the air in your chest, and ask God for a reason...
To stay or leave Him.
He makes excuses...

                                                     ­      ... Believe Him.
"Bad Luck: In a Wakeful Contradiction" is now available on Amazon in paperback!

Link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1691941182
Jack L Martin Sep 2018
Giannis Antetokounmpo
Drinks Ouzo
In his Greek Freak
Pumpkin Spiced Latte

The grande size is
$5.25 USD
Salary of Giannis Antetokounmpo
$24.16 million USD Per year

One USD per meal (Meal Math)
$24.16 million USD feeds
1,655 families of four
per year

GO BUCKS GO!
"With two years remaining on his previous contract, according to multiple reports Aaron Rodgers will receive $67 million by the end of 2018 and more than $80 million by March next year."

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/08/30/aaron-rodgers-signs-134-million-nfl-contract-commits-to-green-bay.html

What's wrong with this picture?
CK Baker Jan 2017
( i )

I lucked out
on table 4 last night
window seat
baseboard heat
with intimate passages
from Ginsberg
in his purest
and most evident form

Cover-all Carl was draped
in his usual garb
(turning pages
of yesterday's news)
animating, culturing, bantering
on the fate of the
Greek barber
(in an accent of which
I'm not so sure)

His cronies
looked on
(with a twisted conviction)
countering
with their own tales
of ingovernance and woe
did you know that Panasonic
lost 5 billion last quarter?


The evening moved
in time lapse
with painted winds
streaming lights
and a host of
school girls
running cold

Maleah passed
on her late shift
(checking the pile and trough)
patronized the boys
and called it a night

( ii )

The bald man
is back at it again
bickering at the till
(something about
a cold free coffee
or 99 cents
or the coloured guy
behind him who got it hot)
a kind Filipino
is trying to get it done
at 8 bucks per,
losing her cool
and shedding a quiet tear

Wonder what the Purewals
or Haitians or Cossacks
would have to say
about this grim public reminder,
wonder what
this sad f*ck
will do tonight...
without his
bus pass
or sling sack
or broken Turkish stems
laura Mar 2018
(you do you, baby boo, i know moms
who rather write poetry and spend five
bucks on their kids’ mouths lolol)

always the act of forgetting the people
behind the screen, when you blame me
like mingling with lanceheaded dreams

delivering pointless blows spelling it
like im incomplete unless i bring all of
myself to the table alone

& the room’s clean, and the kitchen’s clean
the birds sing and the sunlight’s cold and bright
seems like everything’s where it’s supposed
to be when you’re not around

now what a paradox that is
People be like, just donate 5 bucks lel not that hard yo

sure thing captain
King Panda Feb 2016
I was flying home from Denver
and the man next to me ordered 3 double vodkas
slipping the stewardess a hundred bucks
by the end of the flight he was asking me
to come home with him
he had a sheepskin bed throw
that would keep us perfectly warm
this chill winter night
I refused
called him a drunk freak
and giggled when he stumbled down the escalator
and split a **** in his forehead
that cracked like
like Easter
smothered in chocolate frosting
Doug Potter Sep 2016
I walk out the back door and see a doe
rise from bluegrass as two bucks
follow her into the timber,
she looks back and flags
her tail at the sound of
of my breath.
Zeeb May 2017
Wrenches clanging, knuckles banging
A drop of blood
A  new part here, and old part… there
A hotrod had been built!
A patchwork, mechanical, quilt

I drove past the banner that said “Welcome Race Fans”
Took a new route, behind the grandstands
And through my chipped window, I thought I could see
Some of the racers were laughing at me

I guess chalky grey primer is not to their taste
But I put my bucks mister in the right place

I chugged-popped past cars that dealers had sold
Swung into a spot, next to something old

Emerging with interest from under his hood
My neighbor said two words, he said “sounds good”

The voice on the loudspeaker tells us we’re up

Pre-staged, staged, then given the green
The line becomes blurred between man and machine

Bones become linkage
Muscle, spring
Fear, excitement

Time distorts ….
Color disappears …
Vision narrows…
Noise ---  becomes music
Speed --- satisfaction
Nat Lipstadt Jul 2018
~for granddaughter Wendy on her first birthday~

mailman delivers a
a small bubble wrapped envelope,
an internet purchase made a long sometime ago  
accompanied by an enjoyable, self-served and self-serving,
"you're a good fella"
          pat on the back        

a spurting act of the what-the-heck,
trigger pulling, self-pleasuring,
donating a few bucks to saving poetry,
****** in by a suckers click bait

sent money to the
   keepers of poems;   
they even give something
in return.

sensible pencils.  

a non-rational purchase;
@ $6 dollars per leaded squib,
a wooden helping kiss rife with possibilities

all for a goodly cause
preservation band society poetic

this one-and-done impulse many weeks ago, 
followed by an immediacy forgeting,
then, an eye stabbing,
a widening wow weeks later
upon receipt
of an unexpected 5 pencil's all poems poetry reciting!

5 pencils. No. 2’s,
on each a phrase,
a poet's name and their singular words parsed
(see the notes).

paired passages from five poets,
deemed and distinguished to be
commemorated-worthy
and
what's more apropos than a dangerous  instrument of a
loaded leaded pencil,
that can be used to add to the  
Ever Expanding Universe of Verbal Liturgy
("and I helped")
.
once briefly dusted off the top of closeted dreamy days,
my notions of acclaim gone, silly gone,
my only marks now are erasures,
tiny rubber sheddings on paper
that's my marker,
a minus mark of deletion.

may yet come the day,
one will one gather up the
many survivors,
poem fauns, all my orphans,
give them to the
Wendy baby,

first,
she to metamorphose those
baby squeaks and  giggles,
weighty weightless poem noises,
clapping, waving, delighted and delighting, kiss-throwing videos and that milk covered face,
into her own living words

all these noises that makes even non-poets
smile ear to ear unabashedly,
nodding in delight agreement
to her own non verbal
original poems
:
perhaps
one day a little girl
will stumble on five pencils,
mixed in within fifteen hundred poems not particularly well hid,
between worthless insurance policies and other artifacts,
memoirs and pointless depositions,
hid between her older sister and brother's
crayoned keepsakes


  with pointed newly sharpened pencils
the very same,
this,
his Wendy,
might add
to the grandpere's poem collection with
pencils begging to be used,
for they are generationally and genetically,
pre-poetically enabled,
weighting the old memories
with new ballast and new balance,
from new verbal babies
all of her own.
What happens to a dream deferred?  Langston Hughes
Won't you celebrate with me? Lucille Clifton
Do I dare disturb the universe?  T.S. Eliot
I'm Nobody! Who are you? Emily Dickinson
Where can the crying heart graze? Naomi Shibab Nye

poets.org
patty m Nov 2018
Poets don't pick the time or place, or the state of their lives.  Some write while trying to STAY ALIVE in a hellhole state of abuse. And yes like the homeless man on the street They don't mouth words, they write guts, and gall, and bruises, They write love, and levity and crazy rants or bits and pieces of hope and dreams. Poetry is  the other side of the mirror, the place of sanity/insanity and escape.

Tinny whine
by design
a wind-chime
blowing
words are snowing
trumpets blowing
where's the rhymer
the man who writes lines for two bucks
what the f- - k
Once poets were revered
now they sear through the mind
refined or unrefined, no
loving valentine.
And still I read in awe
chewing on a straw
drinking all the thoughts in
how does one begin to absorb
it all?
The aches the pain, the non-monetary gain,
the romance, and happenstance,
As to the question
Who writes poems like this?
the words were uttered like a breathless kiss

not a reprimand, or justification
supplication to that
unholy state of upper-hand,
on demand, testamentary of
vocabulary signature of solemn state
in which one contemplates tone and
that alone designates the way
one whispers when truly touched
by poetry that says so much.

Who writes poems like this?
I seek to amend,

Only the very best my friend
text is so easy to misunderstand, when one can't hear the tone expressed.  
hugs
Patty
guy scutellaro Jun 2018
dad
above Maloney's bar where the loud rock music shakes the rats in the wall till 3 a.m. the vibrations travel through the concrete floor, up the bed posts, and into the mattress. it was like being front row center at woodstock. paul keater had seen jimi hendrix play purple haze to close woodstock.

slowly his eyes open. who the hell is he fooling. even without the loud rock music he would not be able to sleep, anyway. the wagon wheel bar sign outside his window blinks soft red neon into his room.

keater sits up, sighs, resigns himself to another sleepless night, and swings his legs off of the bed. he searches his mind for some distraction to pass away the night hours. he thinks about his x- wife. he remembers going to the phycologist to try and save his marriage.

"dump the *****," martlin said." paul keater laughs softly to himself. "I paid him eighty bucks and all he had to say was dump the *****." laughing to himself he reaches and switches on the lamp.

paul thinks about *******, surveys the foot high pile of magazines in the corner but instead spots his stack of baseball cards he had collected since when he was a boy. he walks over to the dresser. first, he puts on his giant baseball cap and then snatching the baseball cards, he plops down in the chair by the dresser.

the card on top is willie mays. he takes it in his hand. the card is not worn like some of the others. it looks brand new. although the cards are more than thirty years old he holds the deck up to his nose imagining he can smell the bubble gum that came with every pack of cards.

and he can. and he can hear the roar of the crowd. his team the giants is down three to two. the bases are loaded when willie mays comes to bat. the pitcher goes into the wind up. mays swings. it's a grand slam!

it was paul's tenth birthday.  his dad had taken him to his first baseball game and his father bought him the willie mays card from a dealer. eagerly, he searches through the deck for the willie mays card. he finds it.

oblivious to the loud rock music filtering through his room, paul holds the card to his nose.

fondly, he remembers.

dad.
excerpt from a novel. doesn't quite work as a short story.
Big Virge Oct 2015
So ....
What does it mean ... ?
to be .... " Corrupt " .... ?!?

Well these days ...
It would seem ...

A good place to start ...
is within ... " Government " ... !!!

Allegations of moves ...
" Corrupters " .... use ....
is ... " Regular News " ...
from ... Government Crews ... !!!

So ...
What's the score ... ?
with ... Government Lords ... ?!?
who have ... Powers to enforce ...

" Some " .... it seems
are now .... " Bought "
to affect the course ...
of ... Future Laws ... !!!!!

Surely .....
Something's ... UP ... !?!
when those ... CLEARLY IN ...
A position of ... " TRUST " ...
Affect the lives of ....

.... " ALL OF US " .....

because of .... Bribes ....
from .... " Corporate Ties " .... !!!!!

So .....
Does this mean ... ?
that ... Corporate Teams ...
who make ... " BIG MONEY " ... !!!!!  

" Cannot " .... make bucks ....
without being ... " Corrupt " ... ?!!!?

" SURELY NOT !!!!! " ....

Those at ... THE TOP ...
I'm sure would say ...

"We don't get paid,
to cook up plots !"

So .....
What's the need ... ?
to bribe .... MP's ....
or ... worse still ... LORDS ... !!!
to .... " MODEL " .... Laws ....
that ... Don't Help ... The Poor ...

It's been done before ...
and that's for ... " SURE " ... !!!

and it ... " Rarely Seems "
that they're found ... " GUILTY " ... !?!
or face .... " Penalties " .... ?!? ....
that affect ... " Their Rights " ...
to ... AVOID ... Prison Time ...
for what's clearly ... " A CRIME !!! " ...

They affect ... The Masses lives ...
just for .... A Money Prize .... !!!!! ...

" Corruption and Lies " ....
seems to be ... " Their Life " ...

But ....
" Corruption " ... It's Clear ...
doesn't end with ... " Peers " ...

" Corrupted Files " ....
seem to set the ... Profiles ...
of those .... Online ....
with ... " Corrupted Minds " ...
Like .... " PAEDOPHILES " .... !!!!!!!!

So .....

If your P.C. ...
Starts to ... STALL ...
You've been ... Surfing ....

TOO MUCH **** .... !!!!!!!!!!!

The clear sign being ....

….... Ofcourse .......

What is called a .......

" Trojan Horse " ...... !!!!!!!!!!

NOT THAT ...
I would know ... !!!!!

"Somebody" ....
Told me so .... !!!!!!!!!

I've watched my share of shows ...
that feature .... " **'s and Pro's " ...

Does that make ME ...
....... " Corrupt " ........ ?

Well ...
I guess ... ?

It kinda ... does ... !?!

But .... " Corrupted Flows " .... ?
Within .... My Prose .... ???

Well ....
Just like coke ....

My answer's .... NO .... !!!!!

So ....
" Corruptive " ... quotes ...
I choose to ... " CHOKE " ...

No Tell ....
No ** ....

But ... corruption now ...
is how ... cameras roll ...

and that's just how ...
the story goes ...
in most of these ...

.... Net Videos .... !!!!!!

Does corruption mean
A need to see ...
These girls in scenes ...
that were ... Once Deemed ...
as being ... " UNCLEAN " ... !!!!!

Well ....
I guess ... that's me ... !???!

But ....
What about .... THEM .... ???

Women ... YES ...
who ... OPEN LEGS ...
and ... Show Off ... ******* ...
to get ... FAT Cheques ... !!! ...
for ..... Having *** ......

Are they .... " Corrupt " .... !?!
for doing .... Stuff ....

That ... in the past ...
would of had them ... cast ...
as ... You Know ... What ...

.... " A ***** **** " .... !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Well ...
NOT .... nowadays ....
as long as they ....

........ GET PAID ........ !!!!!!!!!

Now ... i'm no ***** ...
But ... " Corruption's " ...

...... MOVED ......

in how it's ... Viewed ... ???

which is why I asked ...
at the ... Very Start ...

" What does it mean ...
to be ... Corrupt ... ??? "

It seems to me ...
that ... being corrupt ...
can fulfil many dreams ...
of ... " Living It Up " ... !!!!!!

So ....
what would you do ... ?
if you met a ... crew ...
who ... Offered you ...
A ... " Load of Cash " ...
to ... "****" ... another man ...
or to ... Build a plan ...
to ... " INVADE " ...
" Foreign Lands " ...

Well ....
if you would ... " Accept " ...
that type of ... " Payment " ...

Do you think ... ?
" You should " ... ?!?

" Corruption " ... could ...
Affect ... You Too ... !!!!?!!!!

or people ... who ....
are ... " Close to You " ...

which goes to prove ....
" Corruptive Moves " ....
can lead to ... Abuse ...

The kind of ... Abuse ...
that has ... " Moral Issues " ... !!!

So .....
Maybe it's ... " Morals " ... ?
that have ... " Hit the Rocks " ...
and have now been ... " Lost " ...

So .....
What's the ... " COST " ... ?

A lump sum ... payment
to affect ... " Government " ...
which may well ... Affect You ...
more than it does ... " THEM " ... !!!

So ....
Do you think it's ... COOL
when this causes ... " Problems "

Like todays ....
" Credit Crunch " ... !?!

i'll leave that to you ...
to ... Consider ... your view ...

But ....
Here's my last question ... ?
for corruption to ... LESSEN ...
in this .... " Modern Age " ....
where ... "CASH" ... is the aim ...

whether by ... " Getting Laid "
or by ... " Law Breaking Ways "

When you think of this stuff ...
What does it mean to you ... ?

To be one who's .....

.... " Corrupt " ....
Having just watched the docu-movie, Cartel Wars .... this poem came to mind ...
Woody Dec 2018
She gave me her number
and told me to call her.
I asked if I could borrow her phone.

I was walking home
when I saw her again,
so I caught a ride in her man's Benz.
She was slummin' and I let her in.

I don't understand this woman;
marrying rich and ******* poor.
I asked her if they talk money after ***;
she said that would be in poor taste.

She gave me a hundred bucks
to get my truck fixed,
then drove on down the road.

I bought some dope
and threw away her phone.
A shoutout to my Bro, Jo.
Dawn Bunker Jul 2018
On a long stretch of highway
his thumb to the road,
Leon set off to lighten his load.
No thoughts of tomorrow
no plans set in stone
just a few hundred bucks,
and a dream of his own.

Leon was weary of playing the game.
His boss and his girl,
they both thought the same.
Their griping and wanting
was keeping him tied
to a life that he loathed,
left him weary inside.

He would act on an impulse,
and finally be free
to do as he liked, and be who he'd be.
A fantasy stirring could finally come true!
No end to the wonderful things he could do.

For hours he walked,
while the headlights flashed by
light on his feet and a smile to the sky.
While on that same blacktop
Jenny drove on
anxious to make it to Phoenix by dawn.

It may have been fate or say what you will
that she spied him on time
as she came up the hill.
Surely this guy must be needing a ride
so she pulled to the shoulder,
letting Leon inside.

Jenny felt guarded while driving along,
not accustomed to helping who didn't belong
in the world that she lived,
and the life that she led,
ain't it funny how sometimes we do what we dread?

Her worries subsided in such a short while,
for he talked with such ease.
He had such a nice smile!
It's true what they say,
you just never know
who you might meet if you give it a go.

Just outside Phoenix the sun started rising
when Leon said "Jenny, ain't it surprising?
I feel like I've known you my entire life."
The last words she heard,
as he pulled out his knife.

Ain't it funny how sometimes we do what we dread?
Leon's still dreaming,
while Jenny lies dead.



.
Robert G Page Apr 2013
by
rgpage


it’d been a few years since the music died
i was a senior **** hard as a rock.
yep for buddy, jp and richie we sighed
when ever we listened to S and J’s “sleep walk.”

back in the days of crisp clean air
the colors of fall and new school year.
still living at home with nary a care
just thinking of sports and the crowd’s wild cheer.

gone in a flash the summer past
we lived so fast life couldn’t keep up.
trips to the lake, two bucks for gas
saturday night’s dance and dragging the gut.

this was our life most all that we knew
we didn’t see where our futures would lie.
our harvest jobs got our new clothes for school
while our parents pitched in for the car’s we’d drive.

first day of school we checked out the class
all with their bronze summer tans.
that’s when I saw this cute texas lass
with the very strange name, jimmie-lynn.

a few of my buddies had steadies you see
they never had to want for a date.
but getting a girl was much harder for me
for shy and unskilled I accepted my fate.

we went undefeated three weeks in the season
for the schools pride I was good at the game.
as the team’s co-captain there wasn’t a reason
that for jimmie-lynn’s heart I’d turn up so lame.

then with the help of a friend’s girl friend
i got to meet this girl of my dreams.
i felt so nervous I wanted to run
not knowing then I was the end in her scheme.

seems that she’d seen me the first day of school
with my curly blonde hair and dark brown eyes.
she couldn’t understand why I didn’t have a girl
and she really couldn’t see why I was so shy.

she was warm and friendly, and I soon felt at ease
word’s leaped from my mouth I’d never before used
like “whatcha doin’ after the game friday night,”
and “wanna go for pizza” or “what ever you choose.”

the days flew by and friday night came
the night air was cold and the crowd was wild.
and playing for jim I had my best game
with skill and speed and fierceness unbridled.

after the game a quick shower and change
into my chevy reaching under the seat.
my trusty jade east for the dance at the grange
and off to chick’s drive in, my jimmie to meet.

my home town was small didn’t have far to drive
the place was hoppin’ and inside was packed.
take a minute, calm down, and spot jimmie I thought
but with a hero’s welcome  couldn’t  help but be jacked.

we soon found ourselves off and alone
we just sat and talked three hours on end.
then jimmie told me she had to get home
she’d be going home with her sister and friends.

i asked her to the movies for the following night,
with yes she leaned in and gave me a kiss.
it was short but sweet. this was all that I knew,
not knowing before just what I had missed.

it’s been fourty some years since that october night
a lot of life’s river’s passed over the falls.
and though we’ve long since gone each our own way
i’ll think of that sixty third fall most of all.
Jack Ritter Aug 2018
A baby boy shuts his eyes and sees
bull continents drift,
collide, startle, spin around.

Prehistoric bucks suddenly accusing-
(Did YOU just back into ME?)
They jam head-to-head,
gouge, reconcile, then confer.

The boy likes what he sees.

The beasts get down to business.
They iron out earth's future
with special bellows, & lots of musk.

Above this caucus
of nodding, naying heads,
clacking antlers mesh
into a burgeoning thicket.

He calls for more!

The thicket shudders,
sprouts into a dagger forest.

It shoots up recklessly,
like a baby's legs,
and jabs the sky
with young ideas:

New species, struggles, lies.
Whole societies in the air,
too busy to teach their children
about the bellowing below.

           The weight of so much life is too much.

There is a final SNAP
of prehistoric backs.

Not a grain remains on which to carve
the memory of all the things
that passed before this boy's eyes.
A friend called it a Darwinian myth. Highest hurdle was anthropomorphizing continents.
Zeeb Jul 2015
Hotrod
Verse I

Wrenches clanging, knuckles banging
A drop of blood the young man spilt
A new part here, and old part… there
A hotrod had been built!
A patchwork, mechanical, quilt

Feelings of excitement not unlike those of Christmas mornings long past paid visit to the young man, his head under a raised hood, hands occupied, the job nearing completion.  Did building that Lionel train-set so long ago form some type of pattern in his brain, now being so pleasurably served?  The good feelings would dissipate though, as quickly as they came, as he cursed himself for stripping a bolt, or cursed someone else for selling him the wrong part, or the engineer whose design goals obviously did not consider “remove and replace”.  He cursed the “gorilla” that never heard of a torque-wrench, the glowing particle of **** that popped on to the top of his head as he welded, the metal chip he flushed from his eye, and even himself for the burn he received by impatiently touching something too soon after grinding.  He, and his type, cursed a lot, but mostly to their selves as they battled-on with things oily, hot, bolted, welded, and rusty – in cramped spaces. One day it was choice words for an “easy-out” that broke off next to a broken drill bit that had broken off in a broken bolt, that was being drilled for an easy out.    Despite the swearing, the good and special feelings, feelings known only to those with a true capacity for this type of passion, would always return, generally of a magnitude that exceeded the physical pain and mental frustration of the day, by a large margin.   Certifiably obsessive, the young man continued to toil dutifully, soulfully, occasionally gleefully, sometimes even expertly, in his most loved and familiar place, his sanctuary, laboratory… the family garage.

And tomorrow would be the day.
Fire extinguisher? “ Right there”
Battery? “Charged and connected”
Neutral?  “yes”
Brake?  “Set”
And with hard learned, hard earned expertise and confidence, in this special small place, a supremely happy and excited young man commanded his creation to life.

Threw  a toggle, pressed a switch
Woke up the neighbors with that *******

The heart of his machine was a stroked Chevy engine that everyone had just grown sick hearing about.  Even the local machine shop to which the boy nervously entrusted his most prized possession had had enough.  “Sir, I don’t want to seem disrespectful, but from what I’ve read in Hot Rod Magazine, you might be suggesting a clearance too tight for forged pistons…” then it would be something else the next day.   One must always speak politely to the machinist, and even though he always had, the usual allotment of contradictions and arguments afforded to each customer had long run out – and although the shop owner took a special liking to the boy because, as he liked to say, “he reminds me of me”, well, that man was done too.  But in the end, the mill was dead-on.  Of course from the start, the shop knew it would be; that’s almost always the case; it’s how they stay in business - simply doing good work.  Bad shops fall out quickly, but this place had the look of times gone by.  Good times.  Old porcelain signs, here and there were to be found, all original to the shop and revered by the older workers in honored nostalgia.  The younger workers get it too; they can tell from the men they respect and learn from, there is something special about this past.  One sign advertises Carter Carburetors and the artwork depicts “three deuces”, model 97’s, sitting proudly atop a flathead engine, all speeding along in a red, open roadster.  Its occupants a blond haired boy with slight freckles (driver), and a brunette girl passenger, white blouse slightly unbuttoned,  both in the wind-blown cool, their excited expressions proclaim… "we are free!" (and all you need is a Carter, or three).

The seasoned old engine block the boy entrusted to the shop cost him $120-even from the bone yard.  Not a bad deal for a good block that had never had its first 0.030” overbore.  In the shop, it was cleaned, checked for cracks, measured and re-measured, inspected and re-inspected.  It was shaped and cut in a special way that would allow the stroker crankshaft, that was to be the special part of this build, to have all the clearance it would need.  The engine block was fitted with temporary stress plates that mimic the presence of cylinder heads,  then the cylinders were bored to “first oversize”,  providing fresh metal for new piston rings to work against.  New bearings were installed everywhere bearings are required.  Parts were smoothed here and there.  Some surfaces were roughened just so, to allow new parts to “work-into each other” when things are finally brought together.  All of this was done with a level of precision and attention far, far greater than the old “4- bolt” had ever received at the factory on its way to a life of labor in the ¾ ton work truck from which it came.  They called this painstaking dedication to precision measurement and fit, to hitting all specifications “on the mark”, “blueprinting”, and it would continue throughout the entire build of this engine.  The boy stayed  worried the whole time, but the shop had done it a million times.

After machining, the block was filled with new and strong parts that cost the young man everything he had.   Parts selected with the greatest of effort, decision, and debate.  “ You can compromise on paint”,” live with some rust”, he would say,  “wait for good tires”, “but never scrimp on the engine”.  Right on.  You get one shot at getting that right, and this proclamation demonstrated wisdom but also provided ample excuse for the rough and unfinished look of the rest of his machine.  But it was just a look, his car was, in fact, “right”.   And its power plant?  Well the machine shop had talked their customer into letting them do the final engine assembly - even cut their price to do it.  They were looking out for the boy.  The mill in its final form was the proper balance of performance and durability, and with its camshaft so carefully selected, the engine's “personality” was perfectly matched to the work at hand.   It would produce adequate torque in the low RPM range to get whole rig moving quickly, yet deliver enough horsepower at red-line to pile on the MPH, fast.  No longer a polite-natured workhorse, this engine, this engine is impatient now.  High compression, a rapid, choppy idle - it seems to be biting at the bit – to be released.  On command, it gulps its mixture and screams angrily, and often those standing around have a reflexive jump - the louder, the better - the more angry, the better.  If it hurts your ears, that’s a good feeling.  If its bark startles, that’s a good startle.  A cacophony?  No, the “music” of controlled explosions, capable of thrusting everything and everyone attached, forward, impolitely, on a rapid run to “red-line”, and it keeps pulling hard and delivering power while spinning fast because it is breathing right and proper and producing the power that thrills, and the only reason to shift gears is to preserve connecting rods, eager as the engine may be to rev further!

This is the addictive sound and feel that has appealed to a certain type of person since engines replaced horses, and why?  A surrogate voice for those who are otherwise quiet?  A visceral celebration of accomplishment?    Who cares.  Shift once, then again - speed quickly makes its appearance.  It appears as a loud, rushing wind and a visually striking, unnatural view of the surrounding scenery.  At some point, in the sane, it triggers a natural response - better slow down.    


He uncorked the headers, bought gasoline, dropped her in gear, tore off to the scene
Camaros and Mustangs, an old ‘55
Obediently lined-up, to get skinned alive!


Verse II (1st person)

I drove past the banner that said “Welcome race fans” took a new route, behind the grandstands
And through my chipped window, I thought I could see
Some of the racers were laughing at me

I guess rust and primer are not to their taste
But I put my bucks mister in the right place

I chugged/popped past cars that dealers had sold
Swung into a spot, next to something old

Emerging with interest from under his hood
My neighbor said two words, he said, “sounds good”

The ’55 I parked next to was “classic rodding” in its outward appearance.  The much overused “primer paint job” channeled “Two Lane Blacktop”.  The hood and front fenders a fiberglass clamshell, pinned affair.  Dice hanging from the mirror paid homage to days its driver never knew, but wished he had.  He removed them before he drove, always.

If you know how to peel the onion, secrets are revealed.  Wilwood brake calipers can be a dead giveaway. Someone needs serious stopping power - maybe.  Generally, owners who have sprung the bucks for this type gear let the calipers show off in bright red, to make a statement, and sometimes, these days, it’s just a fashion statement.  Now, expensive calipers, as eye candy, are all the rage.  What is true, however, is very few guys spend big money on brakes only to render them inglorious and seemingly common with a shot of silver paint from a rattle can, and the owner of this ’55 had done just that. 

Two things seem to be at play here.  One, he needs those heavy brakes because he’s fast, and two, hiding them fits his style.   Really, the message to be found in the silver paint, so cleverly applied to make your eyes simply slide across on their way to more interesting things, was “sleeper”.   And sleeper really means, he’s one of those guys with a score to settle - with everyone perhaps.   The list of “real parts” grew, if you knew where to look.  Something I had defacto permission to do since my rod was undergoing a similar scrutiny.  
“Stroked?”, I asked.  That’s something you can’t see from the outside. “ No”, the racer replied.  
“Hundred shot?”  (If engines have their language, so do the people who love them).   Despite the owner’s great efforts to conceal braided fuel and nitrous lines, electrical solenoids and switches, I spied his system.  The chunks of aluminum posing as ordinary spacers under his two carburetors were anything but.   “No”, was his one-word reply to my 100- shot question.  I tried again; “Your nitrous system, how much are you spraying?”  “Two hundred fifty” in two stages, he said.  That’s more like it, I thought, and I then figured, he too had budgeted well for the machine shop – if not, he was gambling in a game that if lost, would fly parts in all directions.   Based on the overall vibe of the scene, and the clean work on display, I believed his build was up to the punishment he planned.   I knew exactly what this tight-lipped guy was about, seeing someone very familiar in him as it were, and that made the “sounds good” complement I received upon my arrival all the more valuable.

The voice on the loudspeaker tells us we’re up.

Pre-staged, staged, then given the green
The line becomes blurred between man and machine

Bones become linkage
Muscle, spring
Fear, excitement

Time distorts ….
Color disappears …
Vision narrows…
Noise ---  becomes music
Speed, satisfaction

End
Nat Lipstadt Jan 2018
I Am that I Am (אֶהְיֶה אֲשֶׁר אֶהְיֶה‬ ’ehyeh ’ăšer ’ehyeh)

for Eléa

the requests are assiduous, regularly arrivaling, some shy,  
some heinous demanding and denouncing,
inquisitors inquisiting this revelation,
as if it could be bought in a Five and Dime,
with a childlike whining insistence

just  exactly who are you?

this is not my name above,
but one of seventy the Father gave himself

He named me in a fit of efficacy and whimsy and in and from, a fit of a deep veined mystery

You Raise Me Up

all this on the ****** side of corny, and would not blame you
if you moved on…

so nominated in honor of my mission, to travel with you in
all the travails that ail,
to raise you up to raise me up and thus salve the universe's cracks,
fill the crevices and the ****** scars invisible,
with the precise refreshment that make my life,
a slave to your thankfulness

I am the wetness of a mother’s lips upon
a thin red tear on a child’s skin,
I am the the rock hard father’s shoulders grasped by a child’s arms, the child does yet understand that human is illusion,
human is human, however strong,
it is the allusion of human limitations
that is our magical

I am the present re-borning come with a morning glory,
the time when the Am and the Pm  future merge in a name
without tense,
past present and what I may be is simply what
I am

when the past is but another sky bright star, untouchable,
but winking at you, to you personally

I am the touch of the untouchable,
a messenger commissioned to remind you when
the reminders are too far apart,
or even too close
and thus make a breathing space
in between for the living and the missing

I am the
no difference
between a newborn’s soft skin cells
relentless multiplying,
that offers the same precise sensation of the
grandmother’s delightful wrinkling cells of smiles of her
relentless dying,
for all, one and the same,
the child in her is you, baby

I am the fall before the rise, the first that defines the last,
the standard, once obtained, nevermore unobtainable

I am the first fruit of the summer,
a tongue blossom, a burst of memory, always recalled,
always the same, that begs for forgiveness for there are no
new words to describe the profound finding of the
simple pleasures that sustains the blessing over all things new that
are recurring and truly
renewable (shehechayanu)

I am the crinkle in the eye, the one that hides in the fine lines
and upon the lips,
when you purchase the hope however fleeting of a
$2 Powerball ticket,
the very same hope preserved when you laugh when you lose,
for there is contentment in knowing one may hope spring eternal,
yet again in a finite
three more days for and too another lousy two bucks fantasia

I am the ruse of happy satisfaction of a man
in the dark of alone at home,
staring at his sizeable bank balance
and the happy knowledge that its loss  it will make it greater someday when it  happy converted to memories and photos that  are worth a thousand times its multiplicity
if only,
or when,
he knows how

I am that pain in the left side of your red sea-parted soul that cannot be dismissed but is religiously ignored,
that you alone know of
due to its persistent existence, and because it is just tolerable,
it is a sad but comforting pain,
an acknowledgment that a companion travels with you
and that in someway is ok and you exist

I am the water on the night table that extinguishes the dry throat of recurring visions in eyes that always end badly
and make the bed’s welcome a fearful thing,
which is a fearful thing for in good sleep is the
re-naissance and re-formation and the salvation
that was given to you as a gift inside thy mother’s womb,
and that
it is I,
whispering the hum of easy soft lambs,
soft breathing you
unto welcoming rest

I am the poem that must end because of our
frailties and impatience to live in
the reality of human touch,
that must be put aside for any novocaine of words

I am the one who can only be alive
when he raises you up and
you begin a new poem all your own,
and then exit it too, willingly,
to embrace the raising up of living

and that is the
who I am
that I am
raising us up
Thorns Jun 2018
Why do I love you
Brown hair, blue eyes too good to be true
That sounds about right, but there's more to you’re kind and nice with a sense of humor that drives me mad
You had a smile that could light up the world
At Least I think you still do but you haven’t shown that smile all year
Your blue eyes are now a steel gray
Your beautiful smile is now still a fade
I’d do anything to see that again
To see you smile bright and look at me with those blue eyes
But only to see that again when you look at me
You did it sometimes last year but now it's mostly a plain face
I guess it's a sign to bug off, but I’m not listening
I was never
Sorry
My bad
I guess it proves you're too good to be true
I know I wonder why too
To think it’d be you to make me feel…weird in a good way
Why do I like you
But then I’m brought back to reality
You never liked me
If that's not true just tell me
If it is “Called it.”
I bet ya 5 bucks that you’ll have a plain Jane face on when you finish reading
And that you’ll throw the paper aside
And say something like this “ It basically sounds like you liking me and I’m awesome.”
I won’t change for you, never have probably never will
But that’s all I ever wanted
For you to like me at all
I don’t care if its out of pity or just for a milleneothe of a second
But you don’t and probably never will
And I guess that's okay
If you want to know ask me
But just so you know that’s all I ever wanted
For Mr. Awesome to like Miss loser
I think I now know why I love you
I want to follow my heart, but I don't know where the hell its taking me.
Masin Feb 11
Had a dream that I won a million bucks
And then
Woke up feeling like a million bucks
Terry O'Leary Sep 2015
1
Though still within our infancy,
we strive to thrive, but woefully
we flash and flaunt our 'primacy',
display our trophies pridefully.

Our terra firma ecstasy
destroys survival's harmony,
lays waste to life on land and sea.
Mankind, thy name is vanity!

By doubting Nature's regnancy,
defying laws with levity,
we strain our spheroid's symmetry
(perhaps a fatal fallacy?)

for, swallowed in the 'world of we',
we feed on vain insanity
with thoughts beyond eternity -
so strange when looked at mortally.

No use to seek a remedy
ensconced in ancient prophecy
for if not handled skillfully,
as clay we'll pay the penalty.

                              2
The Moguls rule with cruel decree,
control the crowds like puppetry,
pursuing greed addictively
with no accountability.

The wind, it reeks of Royalty
(awash in waves of perfidy)
while blowing ’cross the peasantry
(eclipsed in clouds of treachery).

The Queen, well steeped in snobbery,
sits, preening proud Her pedigree,
on throne of sculpted ebony
while sipping Sect immodestly;

to sate Her Regal Majesty,
a caviar clad canapé
is served with golden cutlery
by maidens bent submissively.

The King is bailed from bankruptcy
by Knaves who hoodwink artfully
the down-and-outer evictee
who wallows in their lenity.

Forsooth, the Money Monarchy
exalts the dollar dynasty
engaged in highway robbery
by Peacocks plumed in finery.

Yes, Jesters and the Fools agree
to truckle to duplicity
and laugh about it witlessly.
Long live the peon's penury!

                          3
To champion an oddity
(like two times twelve is fifty three)  
one reaches to theology
through paths of circularity.

In bygone trials of travesty
the doubters, draped in blasphemy,
endured the pain and agony
inflicted by the papacy.

Inspired by the Trinity
fanatics bent cosmology
in geocentric fantasy
while Bruno burned for heresy;

and aged women, randomly
accused of wicked witchery
by justice framed in infamy,
were racked and shown no clemency

That epoch of credulity
(when savants fostered sorcery
and practiced ancient alchemy)
arose in dark age quackery

as clerics dripping piety
(while raging, raving rabidly)
pervaded thralled society
with callous inhumanity;

'repent', they bellowed, 'verily,
forsake the world's iniquity,
live lives of want and chastity,
and give your gelt to God through me'.

                    4
The Masters make a mockery
of freedom and democracy
by holding down the uppity,
released from shackled slavery,

now fettered in a factory
else strewn across the Bowery,
still chained in bonds of bigotry,
immersed in seas of poverty.

And colliers, tapping balefully
in sunken-mine solemnity,
yet thrum a mournful monody
some call the digger's elegy.

To children, pale and raggedy
(behind a day of drudgery),
the boss man, oh so gallantly,
bestows a penny, niggardly;

though some are fed (belatedly),
their eyes recede in apathy
while bellies bulge, inflatedly,
with mothers watching, wretchedly.

When met with health adversity
or broken bone infirmity,
the pauper dangles helplessly
with no insurance policy;

and those engulfed in lunacy
are ailing blobs left floating free
in ******-dream obscurity -
a mired madhouse odyssey.

Ignoring mankind's unity,
the rich and poor dichotomy
breeds dismal doomed finality,
eventual nihility.

                        5
Renewing days of chivalry,
wild warriors fighting valiantly
bring freedom neath the gallows tree
while blending blood and burgundy

to toast the slaughtered enemy,
and so convince the colony
to cede with smile on bended knee
and yield her diamonds, silk and tea.

At first they call the cavalry
and then again the infantry,
so proudly primped in panoply,
with arms from finest armory

(embraced in hands so tenderly
bestow benign atrocity) -
and soon atomic weaponry
will extirpate posterity.

                          6
Misusing high technology
(to feed the face of gluttony)
depletes our Rock of energy,
now slowly dying thermally.

Our gadgets breathing CFC
fuel ozone holes' immensity
while cloud bursts, raining acidly,
wilt woods in their entirety,

and rivers, tainted chemically,
polluted biologically,
refill our cups methodically
and drown our souls organically.

Adjusting genes mechanically
may well blot out the bumble bee
annulling fruits' fecundity,
but brings big bucks reliably.

We wager perpetuity
to revel momentarily
in shadow-like obscurity
ignoring the futility,

but if we bet unknowingly
on fickle fate's contingency
and thereby act haphazardly
we're doomed to lose the lottery.

                 7
The modern day bureaucracy
abuses trust egregiously ,
embeds itself in obloquy
and offers no apology.

It paints the past in reverie
to camouflage the tendency
to strip away our privacy
which paves the path to tyranny.

With earlobes lurking furtively
that listen surreptitiously,
and eyeballs peering piercingly
we've lost cerebral sovereignty,

and those who dare to disagree
must hide away in secrecy
else crowd a black facility
(with water board anxiety).

                  8
Yes, sans responsibility,
our marble in this galaxy
will crumble in catastrophe
ere ever reaching puberty…
If you're drunk too much
You're sleepin'
The child's gone
The slave's life is forgotten
For a couple of bucks in vain
Should help you make it the through the wintery night
In nature, we see the light, if the dark persists in the cloudy night.
kaycog Apr 2018
Death is a slumber
a weary home body
lurking into life just to leave town
Hide your thoughts, your bones
Pleasing thoughts in a corpse-less home
shut the door close the lid
send goodnight kisses to the moon
all settled in, throw the stars from your mind
cough out thirty bucks for the hearse, throw the coffin in too
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