The Sweepers

They rise early, They sleep late,
They watch with pale eyes:
Styrofoam, plastics, bottles,
tossed loosely into the streets,
like chum, like bait, like
careless lies in a church,
(insulting Their own divinity)
They go unnoticed by some,
sweeping, retrieving, lords of
trash, kings of clean, They go noticed
by some, some real assholes,
rash and rude, who see Them sweeping
and toss something –
a little flake of themselves –
to the ground.

when life gives us lemons we throw them at eachother

This year has made hypocrites of us all;
holed up in our homes or forced from them;
demanding to be waited on and refusing to wait on others;
demanding our liberty through others’ servitude
our freedoms are the links of these chains,
our desires, our fears, our egos,
shackling us to eachother,
prisoners in a sinking ship,
rudderless and shattering,
the passengers and the crew drowning
in the same waters, but claiming them divided,
surely the water only drowns those people;
surely the captain has planned for this.
surely, there is a captain.


Daedalus of Flight UA2287

I used to dream of sprouting wings
I used to, used to dream
of soaring, high and imperceptible,
with all the farmlands –
corn, soy, the flowerfields –
arrayed out like a crazy-quilt,
all splotches and angles.

I did not know what mankind does to dreams;
how hurtling through the sky, heedless,
could require months of planning and half a paycheck;
how tight and cramped the limitless spectacle could be;
perhaps a man should never meet his dreams.

Dead-ender

A job is just a job is just a job,
ya’know,
the world is just like a county-style festival,
lights and colors and sweet melodies to get you in the door
change your valuables for tickets,
and it’s all fine and flowers, yep,
for a while
until you get to the corn maze and
work yourself all astray, but,
hell, you can fool yourself into thinking
there’s nothing wrong with getting lost in a corn maze
from time to time,
that is,
until you find a nice dead-end path
with rotten stalks for walls and the rain beating you up,
and that’s just where you decide to stay, hell,
maybe they’ll send someone to find you eventually,
but,
nobody’s ever coming to find you, naw,
and you either find yourself out or get buried there.

The Fragility of Brick

The brick and mortar has crumbled
as a new world roared into being,
an electric world, sprung from the ocean
with seven crowns
and infinite heads, infinite bodies,
consumption made manifest;
a creature that sups more ferociously than Mammon,
a beast that gluts on misery, that rewards the vain and vaunts
the ruthless; not a replacement for the old world,
no,
a parasite breaking through the flesh of the host,
collating all cancers and terrors
and spreading them as easily as gossip.
The world of brick is gone, and yet,
the bricklayers still struggle through,
maddened, foaming, hungry,
with less and worse each day.
The state-building animal goes rabid
when there are no more states to build.

discarded shells

Rip the hangers from their racks and
pull apart the empty shells;
leave no findings of forgotten flesh clinging
to buttonholes or zippers.
These shells; tan suits, navy blazers,
off-putting polos and the ties our fathers wore,
(and our fathers’ fathers),
how these defenses have
gone out of fashion.
And still ghosts linger the fabric;
still, slimy and formless creatures are seeking
a newer, bigger seersucker home,
anything to give them structure.
There is no reason to keep these shells,
no reason beyond familiarity,
and so they are discarded.

The First Man To Die At The Alamo

The first man to die at the Alamo
has no idea if his battle was won,
lost,
or ceased in a draw.
Consequently,
to have had the briefest glimpse of
love or glory or
another terrible thing
is the best;
to have seen it, dimly,
half-formed as a dozen dismal creatures
(perhaps a bat, perhaps a horse,
perhaps a lion)
and then snatched away,
forever,
and have no idea if it was won,
or lost,
or ceased in a draw.

a princely sum of sorrow

And sorrow was all she had;
enough stored for the winter and
even leaner times, enough to
glut and prosper on,
and it was valued in the princeliest way,
more precious than gold,
more vital than air:
a sorrow to be supped and sipped,
a sorrow that stirred her,
a sorrow that stopped her, that
tapped into deep places and
brought bones burbling up from the darkness,
and it was all she had,
and it would never be enough.