Milwaukee Hotel

Dying on the floor of a Milwaukee hotel,
As it was always meant to be,
Staring up at my bloodstains on the ceiling,
wondering about the damages and fees.
My suitcase on the bed is surely empty,
my killer’s tires screeching out from here.
Turns out there’s always a new vengeance left to find,
If you don’t die from the bullet or the fear.
I wish I knew that I was gonna die, now,
so that God won’t have to hear me lie;
because if I live, I’ll turn my back on being a better man,
And stay on this bloody path until I die.

Dealing With The Devil

The cobbler saw the Devil in the forest
a field-hand spoke with Him before a killing frost,
The children say He lurks somewhere in the scrub-brush
and beckons to all the good and lost.

They say His hands are short and scything,
and a crown of shells weighs down His crimson head,
They say He lurks around the crossroads,
and stoops low so He may hear the dead.

Some say the Devil is destruction,
but I have seen Him, and I know His ways.
The Devil is nothing but a brick-layer
And damnation is the only road he paves.

Zombies

Hands pushing through the silty mud
lungs full of earth and clotted blood,
eyes white, hair falling away in patches
all the ragged rising up in masses.
Isn’t this what you fear?
Isn’t this what you fear?

No thoughts left except “survive”,
boarded up windows, a handful left alive,
all the world against you now;
the food chain reforged, and how.
Isn’t this what you fear?
Isn’t this what you fear?

Dividends

We scraped all the change out from the ribcages,
Funneled what we could into an undiversified investment.
The interest feeds itself; interest always feeds itself.
We are close approximations of lovers,
as lifeless as the screens we watch,
feelings like faint colors flicking across glass.
We can’t look deep in each other’s eyes,
not for want of trying, just for lack of
anything behind the pupils. Do we still love?
Do we still love? Did we ever?
But the portfolio is really pumping out returns,
the economy is booming. We might not feel it,
but the radio commentators assures us.

Killer At The Edge Of The Frame

Fixing his hair in the gleam of a knife,
in the backdrop of an early scene. He’s
ready to make his name with this,
face splashed up on the crimson screen.
The knife, the saw, the sharp-thin wire,
the gun, the spear, the house on fire,
he may be insane but he’s not a liar,
he’s just the judge, but we are the jury,
and the verdict is death, gory and hurried,
and he knows all your sins, you gluttons,
your lusts, your drugs, the breasts at the 11:05 mark,
and there’s only one hero left alive in this place,
to let slip the truth like a maddened dog,
before sinking, at last,
back where he belongs.

Hard-To-Port

It seemed like the shaking was natural, at first,
as everything always seems.
The waiters and drunkards were unconcerned,
As the hull drank the waves at the seams.
The sirens went off like fanfare
and the rush to the lifeboats was instant;
nobody is left to see me here.
Nobody is left to care.
I think of my reasons to stay on the ship,
twitch at the coolness of water. I dream
of the still life of sunken boats. I wish
for a reason to float.

Meditation

I’m not sure what to think about so I think about nothing,
and then everything, and worst of all-
What I need to have done when I’m done meditating.
I try to think about everything and so I think about nothing,
and the thoughts slide away like rain dripping down a dog’s
red back. I don’t think these thoughts are me anymore;
but they are the wax that feeds the candlelight. The
small motes crawling on petals, the smell of burnt air before a storm.
The little things, inexhaustible and irreplaceable,
which are not a part of something grander, yet,
are.

Bluegill

Call me the bluegill,
call me the bass,
plowing the waters
where the herons pass.
Pull me from my home,
or the fields, anyhow,
let me flop helpless,
away from my plow.
I’ll shake and jump
and spill out my rage
flex my fins at the knife
and forfeit my wage.

Mole

There’s always flowers underfoot
And bone, ants, the crunch of branches,
And deeper yet, molten seas,
Spinning, eternal iron, the furious cages
Of old Gods and their rages,

And back through the ocean, up,
Until the stars can once again
disburse their judgements on the earth.

A Rose With No Other Name

I dreamt of a rose that grew dissatisfied
with the trickle of blood drawn by a thorn
and willfully grew great fangs
like a smilodon or other prehistoric thing
and tore at throats, rent skulls in half and
splattered brains on carpet like cracker-crumbs.
I only guessed at the name of this destructive beauty
and as I awoke, wondered if a rose fed on gore
perhaps smelled sweeter?