Saturday, February 25, 2012

You can rhyme if you want to, but it's not really allowed.

Ah, rhyming. That sweet, often sickly cousin of free verse.

Some people can get away with it. They're usually 200 years dead or Shel Silverstein.

In college, I met some people whose poetry strictly rhymed. And they were into Pokemon and Dungeons & Dragons with equal avidity.

But sometimes, man.

Sometimes. I get that lethal itch. It's like cross dressing for some men. I just HAVE TO DO IT. In secret. But a in-secret-in-public kind of way. The same way a former football player will walk into Denny's at midnight with 'Runway Red' on his lips and a girdle.

Dear grandmother
I’m that whore that you raised
yes, dear grandmother
I’m that Babylon craze

My mother’s head soaks in bleach
there are rags on the chair
we had the same blood illness
spreading our legs everywhere. 

Now that I have that out of my system, we can move on. And by moving on, I mean in a way that means I don't really move on, but perhaps you think I have. 

As usual. this week I'm dealing with the (seemingly lifelong) themes of petty jealousy and envy - those godforsaken talented, wildly successful people who create loads upon loads - ENDLESSLY. 

One of the truly great ones I can just push aside pettiness and awe for is, well, not a writer in the traditional sense. 

Billie Holiday.
Something about her music drives me mad, lonely, fiercely joyful. This is her voice at the end of her career - which is admittedly different from the start of it. But heroin will do that.

How to dance to Billie Holiday

Move your hips like they
have borne a thousand children
and none

they cry out from the bedsheets

It’s okay, you say. This world is too
rough for you. I saved you. Birth control
and the Blues saved you from being born.

I’ll put you in the wash tomorrow.

How to dance to Billie Holiday at night

scrape your chest off like
you’re scrapping a plate
get it all off. All that red gunk
runs to the floor. Now, don’t you
feel lighter without it? Like a feather
on acid?

Now, move your feet, dear. Move.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

What I learned in preschool.

* If your child only punches three instead of the usual five children in the last 8 1/2 to 10 hours, I will tell you *insert name* has had a "GREAT DAY!"

* I have bad days too, okay? Pack your kid an extra brownie. That cheesestick just ain't doin' it for me around noon.

* This is my JOB. I'm trapped in this room for up to TEN HOURS. Help ensure your goddamn kid cleans up his mess before he leaves. Stacking rainbow blocks is not something I dream of doing on a Friday night after hours. The words "Did you clean up your mess?" are pure gold coming from your mouth.

* 90% of our impression of you fits in your child's lunch box. A heat-up Chef Boyardee and cheese doodles?  Pretty sure you're not winning Parenting Award of the year. How long does it take to make a fucking sandwich and throw in an apple? Start now. I'm timing you.

* "Well, I'm a parent and .  . ."
Yeah. I get you have kids. That's why I'm here. But thinking you're the Luke Skywalker of all parenting SIMPLY BECAUSE YOU POPPED ONE OUT does not make any argument valid. Look at my parents for chrissakes. Having children? Doesn't increase brain power.

* And most importantly. I love your child. Fucking. Love. Them.

Even when they wipe snot on me. Or smear poop all over the bathroom. I cannot stand to see your child hurt. No matter what kind of a shit they are being that day. And I hate when you don't love them as much as I do. Actually, I'll hate you. Be careful with those tiny bodies. Pick up your humiliated and sick child ON TIME when they vomit all over the class. 

Reprimand them. Love them.

Oh, and bring in extra cupcakes on their birthday. I down like, five of those in a sitting.

Quit Day.

Smoke lassoed around his head
and a small white cylinder glowed
giving me the evil eye
"You ready to quit yet?"
Not until I can't feel the burn in
my chest and sweet tingle of euphoria
Maybe, Marlboro Man, maybe next week.
You can have my father, but you can't have me.

Yes, I've been hiding a dirty little habit the last month. I've bought the e-cig to help quit. I know I can't afford to smoke, never really could. I think it's ironic - in a humiliated sort of way - that I'm spending hard earned grocery money that I need on those terrible, lightweight (and tasty) white cylinders of death.

So many of us who struggle to feed ourselves just can't stop feeding into that horrid tar cycle. I'm even quitting coffee in an effort to get me away from that beloved/hated 'Coffee and Cigarette' moment. That pure gold-and-tar stained moment when you hear the tobacco crackle, take a sip of black coffee, and let the world slide on. Because it can, without you. For this moment.

See, at one point, to afford cigarettes, I just ate less. One (or two very small) meals and the rest just went up in smoke. That is pathetic. Don't roll your eyes. I know I'm not addicted to meth, or snorting off my pocket mirror - it's not a hardcore addy. And I was so proud how long I quit this last time. A couple years. But wham-bam. Hard knocks just built up, and I toppled. I gave myself so many excuses. Only four days off a month for the last 11 months. I deserve a little break. *Insert lighter* Job I loathe, constantly feeling like a trapped rat. *Insert cigarettes* Car repairs, half my income going to student loans, no writing. *Insert repeat repeat repeat*

And these are all bullshit excuses. They're really no reason to go back. None of them.


A Restuarant Called Home.

fold open those napkins like my legs

quick and clean

please, ask for seconds

or thirds

it's a compliment to the chef

Clean up your mess before you

leave. I do so hate having to wash alone.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Trimming the hedges in paradise.

Often, when I speak or talk or write -

I garden. I trim the corners of my words. I prune my confidence and let my anxiety blossom like azaleas.
I stare over the fence. I wonder how you keep your grass so damn green. I hope you use toxic pesticides that shrivel your lungs. I look at my garden. All I see are aphids. I may hate you.

One of the worse - and best things to do in a writing slump is amp up on the reading. I've been knocking around some Bukowski, and the downside of that is, well, I've been knocking around some Bukowski.

Such fine fire-whiskey words. That bastard.


I didn't want to touch anything they ate around, off of, near. I wanted to give them all my money. I wanted to hate them more. I wondered when a wife becomes a mother, a husband a confused son. 

But most of all, I want them to die without pain, without remembering who or what they were fighting. Goddammit, there should be a prize for attaining old age. And it shouldn't be the luxury of sitting in a restaurant smelling of overheated food, overheated bodies, overheated life. 

Makes you want to smash into oblivion, go out on a comet. If I have to watch another old couple struggle into their jackets for-fucking-ever, I swear to God we'll both go down fighting. 

I'll smash glasses and cry, "Hold on! I'll get you out of here! Show me your dog and your car!"

And we'll run. We'll outrun you and your trick pony too.