birds are not real

birds are not real, but birdfeeders are
so are the squirrels that raid them
        angels are real
so are the bless’d anvils where angels are beaten into existence
	with imaginary hammers 
carnations and dahlias and oleanders, not real
sugarcane is real, cocaine is unreal
	horse lemons, real
	flag wax, real
	frisbee golf, real, but illegal in all fifty-seven states
yesterday i re-read revenge of the lawn 
by richard brautigan, this time with my eyes open
watching out for stray lawn darts
        richard brautigan is real
but bird’s nest soup is not 
i have an uncle named jay bird, yeah, that’s his real name
       he lives in florida 
which isn’t real, unless you’re a snowbird and enjoy shuffleboard
and don’t mind all the whackadoos 
        politicians are real
        and taste like chicken 
two fish swimming in a fishbowl, neither will speak to the other
they swim in angry circles 
one fish starts to think, and think 
        and think
then swims up to the other and says: oh yeah, well, if god isn’t real
who changes the water?
birds are not real, but flying fish are
	roosters, not real
        flamingos, not real
        pink plastic flamingo lawn ornaments, real 
today i am re-re-reading revenge of the lawn 
but this time much slower, looking for clues
i know d.b. cooper is hiding in there, and bigfoot 
        canada is real, but only in picture books 
the cellphone superglued to the palm of your hand is real 
        but your facebook friends are not
	and guess what- neither are you
hidden messages emitted from fluorescent lights are real, but i’m unclear 
on the science of tinfoil hats, will they save me from electromagnetic madness
or just cook my potato-shaped head even faster?
my distress is real
(and i don’t want to live in a world with no birds and an evil cabal of imaginary 
squirrels selling birdseed on every street corner and artificial flamingos playing 
frisbee golf with my naked-as-a-jay-bird uncle in a town with no carnations where 
the kool-aid flows like streaming reality shows and mr potatohead is the mayor) 
tomorrow i will re-re-re-read revenge of the lawn 
        this time backwards 
in the bathtub, with the lights turned off
        birds are not real 
        but their shadows are  


happy earth day!

sorry i keep disappearing, but the weather has been so nice, and i was cooped up for so long, i just can’t focus on poetry at all, i just want to be outside. so instead of any new poems today, here is what i have been up to:

these are the collegiate peaks in central colorado, just north of taylor park reservoir, i believe all those peaks are fourteeners, and this mountain chain is part of the north american continental divide, all watersheds east of these mountains flow into the gulf of mexico, and all watersheds west of these mountains flow to the pacific ocean

i camped a couple of weeks upstream on the taylor river along these ponds. spring thaw was in full swing, and the area was very swampy. the fishing was pretty good

that’s a moose standing in the middle of the bog. i didn’t see any calves, but there may have been one bedded down in the thick brush. this is as close as i will get to a moose while i am on foot. many years ago, i accidently got to close to a moose calf and momma chased me up a tree… lesson learned

about five minutes after i took this photo, a bull elk popped out of the trees up on top of the hill, took one look at that moose, and ran away. kind of wish i had been taking a video

i plan on spending more time up here this summer. but now that my foot is rehabbed and feeling good, i guess i should go find a job =)

happy earth day everybody! i know i’m a day late, but in reality, every day is earth day, and what an awesome place the earth is, wouldn’t you agree?

new boots

dear unrelenting neverending uphill battle
i bought some new boots today
size twelve double wide
steel toes and hard soles 
does that frighten you?

of course not
you are the unrelenting neverending uphill battle
journey with no arrival 
mindless ambition, missions and visions
tall as denali 
long as god’s shadow
all of us on trial

as a kid 
i got my ass kicked by the other kids in school
beat down in the home that i ran from
beat down in the streets i ran to
as a man
dragged down in the great recession
lost the business i built from spit and dirt
and beaten flat in the aftermath
by the i.r.s. 
cut down to size in the eyes of soulless white collars
got my ass kicked by every boss i crossed
every woman i loved, everything below
and everything above
thugged and mugged in the dark  
left for dead
and i wreck myself when no one else will
cause i don’t know myself
without any bruises 

can you see all the teeth in my eyes?

i’m a bubba-shaped object
hands like two pitbulls  
a mind made of knuckles 
a heart of scar tissue
blood like burnt diesel 
my name is no-shame
and i’ve got some new boots
dear unrelenting neverending uphill battle
i’m coming for you