these are true stories

warning! these true stories are based on loose lips, unshaved characters
scripture translated from crop circles, fast food menus 
and all the stuff stuck to the bottom of my shoe 

true story every time i buy new shoes i have to learn to walk again
giggle and gimbal, stumble over curbs, each foot a conjoined stranger
the fun never ends
until it ends 
flatfooted again 

true story i have no use for politicians, but that’s not true
sometimes i run out of toilet paper
true story i’m not running for mayor of truthtown, i’m not managing
a health food store, i don’t sleep inside a fortune cookie
true story i see two moons tonight
one in the sky and one in the lake
and drunk enough to swim for it

true story a man and a woman holding hands in a deli
pretending they’re not going to devour each other
true story i wrote a dozen emails, all in my head, which has no wi-fi
so you probably didn’t get them
true story i took the last trash bag from the box, and put the box in the bag
true story i only sleep in pictures of beds 

final warning 
all these warnings may be hazardous to the osmosis of spontaneous true story 
true story, all these warnings were translated from chinese toaster oven safety 
labels with an industry standard garage sale ouija board:
	(caution plug securely or power cord be detached in set
	else crisscross wires fix with fork and feel emergency
        call god immediately, also, avoid soft drinks)

but let us not be warned
let immortal monkey gods deliver us onto random doorsteps 
let us midnight snack a greasy half-burnt sunset last supper of summer 
let us creature around in secret vehicles under a suicide of blue sky
let us go all weather, all together
and forget to do our laundry

this poem was published in “edge of humanity magazine” 4/18/23

end of the world (as seen by a stray dog that doesn’t know it’s the end of the world)

this poem is dedicated to wayne gilbert, my friend and teacher, who taught me the joy of reading, writing and speaking poetry

perhaps this is a poem
	or ancient prophecy echoing thru the ether
	or page three hundred and three of the g.e. 
	refrigerator repair manual 
or too much caffeine 
	too much ambition 
perhaps i’m walking the block 
in high tech shoes of direction and destination
or maybe i’m just spinning the earth with my feet
this might be september
	and the moon is shaped like a riddle 
	too big to smash with a hammer
this might be a fishbowl 
	and i’m just another fishy citizen
	working in a fish stick factory 
	i eat and shit and work
	work and shit and eat
	and then pray for god to come and clean the water
this might be the sticky afterbirth
	or the moment of climax, or the wink
	of a lover’s eye
in a faded blue buick with steamed up windows
	and young spirit waiting to enter
	the motel called mother
this might be a daytime tv talk show
this might be a keystone cops movie
	or maybe both
	grainy black and white
	big hat, billy club
rescue of the whispering, whimpering mr and ms damsel
tongue tied to the railroad tracks of tv guru voodoo
this might be a snow globe 
	 and i should feel foolish 
	for not believing in fairytales
this might be candy-hopscotch-doo-dah-la-la mountain
	where happiness glows like a crack-pipe cherry
	where catfish swim with dog packs of dolphin 
	grapevines sing songs of festival wine 
	and all the spy satellites hold hands and twinkle
this might be a motor-home graveyard
	flat hills of empty shells and grey weather
	dead center of humdrum 
	where hummingbirds forget how to hum
	and drop dead
this might be trick photography 
or the rare occurrence of natural magic
	behold the mighty onion
	a gallery of curtains
	unwarp the mummy from the mummy and wah-lah
no more universe
perhaps there’s another universe next door
	that looks and smells and shakes just like this one
	except no one there sings songs
	about onions (let’s go!)
this might be leap year
	and all the leap frogs are leaving this world
	to orbit some other mud puddle 
	bum around in limbo
snuggle up in candy-colored god clusters
	get too heavy with philosophy and fall down
tomorrow it will rain frogs 
this may seem crazy
	but this might be someone else’s fever dream
	and i’m sleeping in the wrong head
this might be the day before i die
	and i’m here to cast the first stone 
	to fill my coffin with novocain
	comic books and last minute field goals 
perhaps all of this could be or should
be or once was
		long ago
			all i know is
	i misspoke, tried to sing a choked
	bit my tongue so hard it made me cry
and i can’t see anything very clear
this is a poem

published in edge of humanity magazine 4-25-2023

poem written on the back of chinese take-out menu (2013 version)

i found god in a bowl of chinese mustard
he was just sitting there 
shimmering and grinning 
the way large bowls of mustard sometimes do
humbleproud, heaven-roasted
a little slutty? 
i was so innocent back then, so virgin, so milk bone 
all that changed when i dipped into his yellow heart
sweet at first it burned raw brain babble into biblical boil 
heat swelled hallowed hell 
i, inflamed 
i, in tears
lean back into synaptic-back-snap-back-flip-eggroll-dip oblivion
and floated there 
		for a yellow minute
then slapdash burn-crash into heat rash body knots, fist pounding table to the rhythm of repent! repent! repent! rapture-tingling soul-strip, snot dripping from my chin into little fire puddles on a chinese take-out menu slash placemat slash liability waiver slash chemical sutra slash contract to bring back a flower from a place with no sorrow 
slash star chart

posted for dverse open link night