attack of the babbling acrobats (3rd draft)

(for all the fringe artists out there feeling a little beat-up)

damn those goofy fools
and their rubber bones
who drag their wild weather
wherever they go 
so ferociously flexible
so transcendental  
        so rude

acrobts are the leading cause of jungle gyms, 
       giggle-ism and restless leg syndrome 

acrobats are like sugary snacks, they’ll ruin your dinner 
       evil playmates who eat birthday cake 
       all year long

worst of all, acrobats will steal your tv, so easily
and so completely, you won’t remember owning one

all acrobats wear bullet-proof jackets, just in case in snows 
all acrobats wear ugly hats, except those who don’t

acrobats like to feed baby ducks on the grave site of 
dee dee ramone, king of acrobats

acrobats make and trade the most horrible things:
        chinese finger traps 
        left-handed puddle shovels 
egyptian ice cream forks 
        poetry and totem poles   
and worst of all, nun flavored gum 

all acrobats have loose screws, which makes them rattle 
        like spare change in the dryer 
        some call it music, some call it inspired 
songs that sound like lunatic finger-strumming rubberband lips  

nobody like lunatic acrobat music, except those who do	

	and worst of all
we need to build a wall, to keep them contained 
        some kind of acrobat habitat 

but what is it exactly 
that makes them so dangerous to cardboard cutout society?
too quick with a joke? too fast on their feet? too many tricycles on flimsy highwires? 
dancing on beach balls? running around thinking their own thoughts?

        damn them! damn them all to kansas! 

and how do we defeat them?
some call an exterminator
some scrape away the bad brainwaves with a hot coat hanger
some bang their heads on church bells
some cuss out the waiter and leave one percent tips
        some get their yawn on and try to forget 
some bury their heads in suburban homesteads and wallow in comfortable sorrow
        but not me
i’ve got acrobats in my attic
and couldn’t be happier 


red truck in bookstore (3rd draft)

the artist calls it 
        “red truck in bookstore”
        “white flowers in vase by window”
        “pond with clouds over mountain”
like that 
but different

inspired by true events
when a small red truck had angry sex
with a neighborhood bookstore
soon after, people gathered to gawk
just Looky-loos  
but some of them were painters
and some of them got excited for this rare opportunity to paint 
        “red truck in bookstore”
and set up their easels  

and look here, the artist was clever
under the right front wheel
a children’s book with a cartoon red truck on the cover

sadly, some don’t have what it takes
some can’t look directly at 
        “red truck in bookstore”
they look away, instead they paint 
        “old honda with flat tire”
        “broken bottle in gutter”
        “stray dog pissing on dumpster” 
stuff like that

as for method and technique, it was a fortunate disaster 
imagine the exact moment the art happened
drunk teenagers texting in red truck spinning out 
over median crashing into bookstore 
imagine painting that happy moment! 

imagine the glory, imagine all the art critics wetting their pant!
imagine the headlines:
last night, two red trucks crashed headfirst into each other inside 
the capital hill bookstore on colfax and grant 
one real as red steel, the other a fairytale 
witnesses claim “art imitates life”
no fatalities reported, rescue crews and 
art school students working around the clock 

personally, i like
        “red truck in bookstore”
its brave, its original, its both urban and quaint all squished together 
its colorful, if you like endless layers of red truck
yes indeed, i like
        “red truck in bookstore”
just not on my block

red truck in bookstore

friday writings #2 seven dogs

seven dogs 

i drank nine beers in nine bars
a tribute to nine women who wrecked me
walking home i walked past the red house
over yonder
same one i’ve walked pass ninety-nine and one-half times before
i stopped right there and thought, how drunk am i?
so i did the math 
nine bars, nine beers, nine times nine is eighty-one
in nineteen eighty-one i was nine years old
and in the nineth hour of the nineth day 
of my nineth winter, i walked this very path
with the same nine mailboxes on the sidewalk to the left
and the same nine garden gnomes in the garden to the right
ninety-nine and one-half newspapers piled up 
on the doorstep of the red house over yonder
and that’s when i saw what i saw
the thing that haunts me forever
i saw seven dogs fighting in the alley
for a leftover chicken bone
seven brothers forgot their bond and surrendered to the hunger
i saw their teeth grow long and their eyes grow sinister 
i saw mortal fear up close and personal
and then i saw the blackest crow i ever saw
swoop down and steal that chicken bone
then perch high on a steeple, seven tail feathers pointed due east
i saw seven dogs in disbelief 
seven dogs, one dead chicken 
and a tax collector in the blackest crow-feathered trench coat i ever saw
nine creatures total