Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Dreaming of Buddha

i had a dream last night
that i donated my
red, fake ivory Buddha
statue to some locale
and lost my way completely.

when i got the
statuette in a
small korean market,
they warned that i
could never bring it back for a refund.

it was bad luck
and they flashed a grave
countenance that bespoke of
fire skies and blood lakes.

i tossed away the receipt and
huddled it next to my computer
monitor for all these 10 years of so
i have pounded through these years
of words trickling like a palatable
matrix i forget continually.

and it was that one small dream
with the big man statue
leaving my grasp for another location.

i don't even know where
to get it back in my dreamland
when i fall back asleep.

but the beauty of this,
is that i'm awake
and he sits to my left with his
relaxed fingers,
full grin and another dreamless day
to watch everything pass
with his closed eyes
and lightly strewn gown.

Friday, June 22, 2007

angling towards the mid-life breakdown

as we amble through our teens,
really find our genitals in our early 20's,
learn how to use our rock shoes in the mid 20's,
contemplate good thought talk during the late 20's,
figure our family life in our 30's,
and wonder what the fuck towards 40,
the reality is that we are all just
pretending to prepare
for our big, fat mid life crisis
that will have no definitive day,
but it is always spelled out in the last
drop of whiskey that
lands on your young,
pink 30 something tongue that will have
to account for all the missed words,
botched birthdays,
forgotten events and
tiny missed issues that will
barrel towards all of your bowling pins
like something so accurate,
that olnly god could concoct.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

perfect human stories

if i was ever able to stumble
in the right chunks of time,
i would wander the halls
of assisted living compounds
and retirement villages to

concoct a thousand vibrant
characters under hundreds
of seasoned themes to
sell millions of books.

each of these shriveled,
pill addled bodies
have souls flourishing with the
victorious accomplishment
of cheating death for so long
and each of them have enough
adventure and intrigue
to have the best of their lives
strung together into a handful
of amazingly rich stories about human triumph.

and if i ever get the time,
i don't want you to steal
this notion of mine
or tell anyone else that is
mired in writer's block
or sell this off to oprah's underground book club
or tell me later that you are sorry
but it was such a good idea.

i simply want you to just drift
along this theoretical train ride
with your eyes slightly closed
and to conjure up the best of all of us
into one,
humanly perfect life
that would make
yours small enough
to understand
the enormity of our
human whole.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

custard explosion

there used to
be an old custard shop
up the street across from
a big church.

it didn't last long.

it was always smoky and hot
inside and the cakes and cones
were rather bland.

odd for sweets because
there is few ways to
make sugar sour.

the oddest thing about
this short lived outfit
was the sign out front.

i could never figure out
exactly what it was.
it looked like a heart
exploded in the middle
of a loaf of bread or
a still picture of an
ahnnilated penis before
it's shaped into a vagina
for a happy transvestite.

some brave hero soul
took the sign down recently,
but the months and days of
peering into that creepy
sign is sitting in my brain
like a beating heart
in the chest of a newly
formed woman.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

john con

saw an old con man
that i used to work with
and loosely know in my days at
the YMCA.

he stole slabs of meat ribs
from our freezer that was
to benefit kids who needed a facility
to come to.

he also stole equipment and cameras
that the kids used all the time.

and after he was exposed,
he was quickly torn out of our script.

it had been over 4 years since i saw
this 'john' dude,
if that was his name,
and he was walking up a dirty street
on the east side of town.
he looked worn,
ghost like,
falsely happy,
riddled with human debt
and oblivious to the mechanics of good living.

as i gripped the wheel a bit tighter,
i peered into my rear view mirror
to see him recede into my past
yet again
as my tiny boy
glowed like river treasure
in his seat
as my past and futures
quickly swam over that small
sliver of mirror.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007


each time i see that
sticker streaming from the
back of broken american car
i want to follow these drivers,
get out and tell them that
i cannot forget this day
because these stickers remind
me why this country is on such
a reckless course to Armageddon,
so in reality,
i would never had to have a bumper
sticker that cost the slight fraction
of an actual bomb that is falling over
Iraq as all the dummy Americans Trollope
around reminding each other of something
that none of us will ever forget
and no bumper sticker of any cost,
size or color could be enough to
unremind or remind me of such a
day as 9/11 as the
poor old car with the pearl harbor
sticker kills its engine behind me
as a small kid walking into
the dollar general asks his dad
what kind of pearl is in the harbor
and why would we ever forget to call
911 when there is an emergency.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

the priest up the street

is passed out
on wine at 4 in
the afternoon
as the rumor
of no god finally
vice gripped
his brain
along with the
putrid morning
as his eyes
begin to rise
again with the
thought of
christ sneezing
and he knows
that he can have
one more
cup of
blood red wine
if god will
tell him the secret
to yesterday.

Monday, June 11, 2007

exiting the cold grade school womb

the closest i ever came to the
melding of pure innocent excitement
and the moment my first blast of
light hit me as a living human out
of the womb was one
winter day in grade school.

it was one of those patent
snowy, cold days
that should have been called
by the superintendent,
but wasn't.

all us jittery kids
were merely biding our time
and dreaming of sleds or warm mugs of sugary brown.

and it was decided that us
kids could go to recess and tear
through the drifts of bright white
icing all around us in the
back of willy wonka's hidden room outside.

as we all left our home room
mummified in multiple layers of warmth,
a door down the hallway opened
and all i could see was
bright sun and the purest
white puncturing through that
tiny rectangle on the horizon.

at this,
all of us kids started running
faster and harder towards the
frozen miracle mirage before us.

as the rectangle grew into a big bright square,
then a perfect door opening,
i could feel the cold of birth
happening all over again
as i exited through that doorframe
and forgot everything
else that happened
before that very moment..

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Poem is to be Published

Hello Mr. Dimino,

Thank you for your submissions. I'm going to publish "THE GATES OF LIBRARY HEAVEN" in our 2008 Winter/Spring edition, which starts in December.

Liz Fortini

Friday, June 8, 2007

in the year 2020

my plastic coffee lid
will have finally decomposed and
become a part of our organic planet.

only a mere fourteen years
as the days ooze by like
small drops of coffee satiating
our short term memories.

i'm gonna mark 12.16.20 on the
calendar as the day
that my lid will finally
be legal organic tender on this planet.

and what a day that will be
as all the other lids wait
in line to be the
bag of coffee grounds
dumped into my
grateful plastic trash liner
miraculous morning
that has no biodegradable,
shelf life.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Apple Valley Review - Rejection Letter

Thank you for your submission to the Apple Valley Review. I'm sorry to let you know that your poems--"Leaf Blowing King," "Last of 2006," "Kansas City Moby," "1st Thought," and "The Gates of Library Heaven"--were not accepted for publication. (For what it's worth, "Last of 2006" and "The Gates of Library Heaven" were my favorite pieces from this set.)

Although the poems aren't a fit here, this is a particularly subjective business, and I wish you luck in placing them elsewhere. Thanks again for thinking of us.

Best wishes, Leah

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

movie censors

i used to think
that custodians or
trash throwers
had the worst sort of jobs
on the planet.

that ended recently when
i watched 'pulp fiction'
on commercial cable and
was assailed with
unclever ways to mask
the original cussing
the actors so eloquently
tossed in a
cult masterpiece
it is.

it's the job of the
network censor that
takes the prize as the
worst job on the planet.

akin to the muzak corporation,
how could you take the fuck
from john travolta's mouth and
make it a 'fudge'?

what makes it right to take
the 'shit' word from eric stoltz
and make it a 'shoot'?

what evil man or woman
has done this to the voices
that ring pure profane verbosity
that is the hallmark of classic
movie language?

do they admit these acts of
hollywood treason to their friends?

do they sleep at night?

do they cuss?

what would posses a human mind
to aspire to such a shameful
adult job to cover the original
script of a hollywood film?




and no one will cover these
words as long as i'm breathing
on this planet.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007


i believe that folks who finally
Pack up their midwestern lives
and move to new york city
have more balls than anyone i
will ever meet.

i've had friends go to
new mexico
florida and the like,
but the heat of new york city
is enough to snuff out any dream
city across this american land plane.

there is one such loose acquaintance
that i know who recently went
up there to do some art work
and it fell through.

they have since left,
and that is just fine.

the attempt at a town like
new york is the point.
as the huddled teams of
building cram through my
wondering brain,
i imagine that i live there
for a night and sip in the morning before
i awake to another kansas city morning
with my own slivers of new york
in the paint on my typer keys,
the plaque in my boy's teeth,
and the girl smell in my wife's hair
as the dissipation of dream
becomes the emulsification
of my shoe soles sucking in another
patch of middle western ground.

Friday, June 1, 2007

buckle up for lauren

i saw
a buckle up
for lauren
bumper sticker
on the back
of an aging
jeep weeks back
and looked down
at that
tiny slit that
holds me
tidy inside
my fast cruising
blaring to
my next destination
as visions of
who this lauren
girl really was when
an accident
took her from
future plans of
child birth,
and all the
decent memory
makers of earth living
gave me one more pause
to look back
at my tiny son
even more snug
in his belted seat
as the quick pace
of our moving metal
was too much for
my crammed brain
to shrug off.