too much factory district, too much winter bus stop too much rent and paper-thin paycheck too many scrap metal scars too much heart in my chest pinching lungs in half too much gray landscape on the surface of my eyes too many holes in my jeans too much is too much and she comes to me like something out of a jukebox a renaissance and i wash away in headsong her arms are long like rope, so i climb up to her atmosphere, copacetic blue a million cartoon parachutes her face is calm always april, shelter from angry storms, and i fall asleep on her cheek her heart feels solved like a vase, open ended vessel woman shaped wishing well her thoughts are time machines, rosary beads, wind hitting a wind chime with accidental pleasure and she says to me if the world is an actor then the actor is a villain and the strings of this machine need oil and ambition and the stage is a mirror for the hero in our heads complicated symbols flashlights for weapons trick coins and sharp pencils, if the world is an actor then the actor is a villain she says go deep if it soothes smooths sink to the bottom of real unaware one eye flashing hazard lights, one eye filled with shadow fish exhale and evolve love will remember your name, skip stones across the water trails to lead you back home somewhere pastries fall off the back of a bakery truck and the ravens dive in somewhere, a mangy black dog enjoys a brown leather shoe somewhere, a cross-eyed comet makes lopsided circles around a dizzy star somewhere, a photograph unfolds faded fingers tracing the silver shapes hitting strings until a symphony explodes loader than a bus driver’s battle cry: hey you getting on or what?
from the book of armaments
the following poem was inspired by the 1975 cult classic film “monty python and the quest for the holy grail”, from which the first stanza comes directly
and the lord did grin, and the people did feast, upon the lambs, and sloths, and carp, and anchovies, and orangutans, and breakfast cereals, and fruit bats and powdered potatoes, and marijuana brownies, and blueberry cough syrup, and prepackaged dry noodles with the little flavor packets in them, and virgins, and dead virgins and toe jam, and week-old sushi, and yogurt stains on the carpet, and black rabbit afterbirth, and something blue and sticky at the bottom of the fridge, and tacobell and the second-hand watch i bought my sister on her birthday that didn’t work, and the asshole who sold it to me, and a sixpack of forty weight lawnmower oil, and the plastic ring carrier that it came with, and the plastic bag i carried it home in, and a glass of antifreeze both half empty and half full, and rupert murdock and nine million and twenty three, four hundred and forty thousand, nine hundred and thirty five cubic tons of hydrogenated corn syrup and spam balls, and cheese logs, and tree frogs, and the stuff they put in lava lamps even through the warning label says we shouldn’t, and a big ol' cherry on top, and whipped cream, and lots of colorful sprinkles, and french chocolate drizzle, and crushed hazelnut, and three sprigs of parsley, and a lemon wedge, and a little umbrella, and some croutons i guess and it was good i guess
*process notes: in the image above (decomposing a symphony backwards thru a blender) i created the trash heap in the foreground of the image in a series of layers. the primary layer of garbage was created by writing the names “rupert murdock” and “ted turner” over and over and over, vertically, horizontally, diagonally, forwards, backwards, up-side-down, right-side-up, etc. then drew in more garbage on top of that garbage. i was very happy with the process i used, i think it turned out well =)
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