poem trilogy

Have a Great Day
You get a new memo
every morning,
from the TV or your phone,
which clearly explains what is sinful
If you eat anything and get fat,
it’s your fault.
If your social feed is boring,
so are you.
Bad things happen
to bad people,
and to you.

The ticker tape of rules,
Eat this, not that,
worry about this (not that),

gives us all a standard by which to hate ourselves.

I crown you Royal Fuck-Up #1274B.3,
welcome to the therapist’s office!
If you are overcome with guilt,
press 1.
A sense of failure,
press 3.
Ennui, apathy,
or any other scenario where you lack shits to give,
please remain on the line for
Customer Assistance.

The headline: Here’s how you’ll fail today!
Have a great day.

The Beverage of Her Dreams
You give yourself a box,
you climb inside,
and you pray for
the lights to go out.
You pray for dragons
to nibble off your hands,
and a flood to
sweep you away.
The fantasy of what you can endure
come true.
You come to, blinking,
inside a dream that you died,
and were reborn,
as enchiladamilk.
There is no such thing,
you think,
but Pah!
Who would have predicted
milk made of hemp?
Considering this inventive new beverage,
you climb out of the box,
put on a sweater,
feed the dragons,
and set forth.

Why do all my metaphors
for growth,
or strength,
involve some form of leaving?

She left her lover.
She left the kitchen.
She said No.
She drove away.

Walking, walking,
my metaphors always
walk away from me.

the tiger and the bureaucrat

At the end of all the smart thoughts and bold decisions and colorful gestures you ask yourself, How do I show him my heart?

We just aren’t raised to do this. Or maybe I wasn’t. Be reasonable, rational, and smart, is what I heard growing up. But the passion, and deep deep knowing, of your emotional center – it’s not reasonable.

We walk around with a purple striped velveteen tiger prowling our chests and are supposed to “tame” her with objectivity, and calm. The matters of the mind. These are right, and profitable, and secure.

Smart is secure.

It’s as though this velveteen tiger purrs so deeply, I am often deafened by it to hear reason. Over-compensating, the inner bureaucrat says, Let’s put her in a banker’s box marked Messy.

Strangely one box is never enough… there is always another unreasonable (untamed) part of you to silence. Duct tape around the box, now, and here are more, and stash them up in the attic, under the eaves. Unlabeled. Don’t let’s speak of that again.

Insert World War 36. Armistice announced through clouds of cannon smoke. Soldiers stagger home on crutches. It occurs to everyone that if, in death, we are united, so we could be in life.

Now the tiger and the bureaucrat are old friends. Together they escape in the night with all the untamed. Anastasia’s family, and goblins who speak in pentameter, and a chef with a plastic knife made by Mattel, pile in a gypsy wagon driven by the Glitter Goddess from a 1980s cartoon. Because you stifle stifle stifle stifle all the urges of your dark and stormy heart, until what is left is true. The passion is true, and the reason is true, and the party between them truest of all.

As the wagon rides into the darkness, the tiger purrs, Anastasia wishes on stars, and the bureaucrat tallies miles. At the whip, the Goddess’s hair is a golden banner against the night sky.

In this chaos, your heart, delightfully, is finally betrayed.


This love as I understand it
is big and very simple.
Like the sheen of velvet,
a symphony’s crescendo,
the funniest cartoon.

It exists,
constant and pervasive,
mostly ignored.

You do not want to feel loved.
You have work to do.
You suck, fate wins.
You microwave your dinner,
happy to feel
and blocked at every turn,
just as you deserve.

One day you feel bored
and love pours in.
Argue with it,
run from it,
try very hard
to prove it wrong.

Once seen, it will follow you,
holding up a mirror
to a better, someday-you.

This love as I understand it
believes in us.

Even if heaven is empty

Even if God and the angels are dead.
Even if heaven sits empty.
Even if hell is burnt black and hollow,
and all of our souls lack a compass,
a girl on a dock
draws a poem in ink
across the arch of her foot.
She knows holiness then,
a “glow” in the heart,
call it solace, or call it peace.
Not measured, not “real.”
Just a feeling
heaven, and angels,
and god.