/wal-mart birds/

I try to pants Jess while
she’s cleaning
and she tells me no
so I take out the garbage
which is mostly coffee grounds
because that’s the bulk
of our diet.

Outside it’s warm.
It’s one of those warmedover
Texas evenings
that feels like somebody
just turned off the skillet

An ambulance blairs
down Lamar
and El Pollo Rico
is running low on customers
The drive thru sign reads
VE
RU
and I wonder how it came
to be that all drive throughs
became drive thrus

The grackles gather
near a dumpster.
A family dinner.
Jessi’s sister calls them
“Wal-mart birds”

I take the trash to the dumpster
and think about how long
it’s been since I last
slept outside
and how glad I am
to not have to fight
wal-mart birds
for dinner.

I go back inside
because I can do that now
and make myself some more
coffee.

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/AN ANGER CALLED RESOLVE/

When you were born everything was already here and they said, “this is the way things are.”

When you saw things were broken and harming 80% of everybody, they said, “This is the way things are. There is nothing else.”

Then you studied history and you saw that things used to be completely different than they are now and you said “This means things could be different than they are now!”

And they said “This is the way things are. History is dead. And if you try to change it, we’ll fucking murder you.”

So a deep anger hardened in your chest and you called it Resolve. And you began to meet other people who felt the same. And together you made plans for something better.

/dreamz necrotic/

for Rhie

Once we were without food
(more than once)
There was food around
in grocery stores
kitchens
restaurants
dumpsters
there was food around
but we had none
and we looked upon the bounty
which was not ours
and saw holy in it

We used to sleep outside
on concrete and pavement
in the dirt and grass
There were beds around
in mattress stores
in bedrooms
in jails
but we had no beds
Now we sleep in beds every night
and each night
it seems almost too comfortable

We used to be free and full of horror
scraping busted roads with extended thumbs
taking on midnight with whatever
chemicals Dionysus endowed
and whenever dreams came
they were half-rotted and not without scream

Nowadays our bellies are full
and you spend your time
getting other people beds and food
while I spend all my time
wringing out the poisons inflicted
by necrotic dreams

Everything is better now
they say
and I guess we should believe them
what do we know?

THERE USED TO BE A SHOW NAMED CHEERS BUT IT DOESN’T EXIST ANYMORE

1.
“NORM!” is what the audience yelled
when they knew they were in the presence of Norm.
Imagine now
thousands
maybe tens of thousands (hundreds?)
yelling “Norm” in their living rooms.
The 1980s were built for yelling “Norm”
There’s no iteration in the multiverse
wherein people didn’t yell “Norm” at the TV in the 80s.

2.
Recliners cracked to full easement.
The rabbit ears soak in all the laughs
from thousands of miles away
where a bar nestled between Narnia
and Never Never Land
showed us the misadventures 
of wacky characters.

3.
A lamp sits on a floor
in a room half-painted
the lamp bare-bulbed.
There is no other furniture
and a pizza is on the ground.
The smell of fresh paint fumes…
and Sam Malone has gone to a convent
to convince Diane Chambers to leave.
It’s a weird episode and it feels like theatre
and the pizza is eaten
and nobody laughs much
but somehow that doesn’t really seem the point
not here

3.
The gnashing of snow boots and the 
dismantling of flannel
The storm seems hell/bent.
There’s a fire
and this is probably Truckee, CA
and there are cans of shitty vegetables heating
and the fire isn’t hot enough
but everybody puts aways their snarling
to yell “NORM!”

4.
There’s the episode 
when Frasier is a whiny little asshole
because Diane broke his little heart
Nobody ever feels sorry for Frasier 
because he’s rich like Diane
but unlike Diane
he never attempts to 
empathize with the proles.
It is the eternal American struggle
between SNOBS and SLOBS

5.
There is a humidifier
and a mattress is on the ground
and it is bedtime for children
but nobody is sleeping
Grown ups are boring but
they get to stay up forever
and they have the TV
The theme song powers through the house
and deep in the human heart
everybody wants to go where 
everybody knows our names
and they’re always glad we came
So the kids break into the hallway
to hear the song
and maybe here some “jokes”
and get to hear people yell “Norm”
and that was better than dreaming

YOU SHOULD EAT TRASH!

People are eating trash right now.
You should eat trash.
It makes you stronger
makes you bear hardship with aplomb
makes your hands and heart
grow rhinoceros hide.
Eating trash makes you a brilliant kind of monster.

At my work there’s a lock on the dumpster.
The combination is 8800
in case you want to eat Italian food trash.

My bosses lock up the trash
because they don’t want you to be strong–
because if you’re strong 
you’ll take back the world.

They like owning the world.
They like telling people what to do.
They want you to conform to their temporal framework
and eat food before it passes into the designation of trash.

Their yuppie constitutions are too soft
from years of eating gourmet food before it’s trash.
They can’t handle it.
They can’t get strong.
They can only lock the dumpster
which has the combination 8800.

Discover





Discover Credit Cards
interrupted my music
to let me know
that they really care
about my personal information
and the safety thereof
which is good to know
because after 3 decades using computers
basically the whole
of my personality
can be represented by
a conglomeration of binary code

And it’s good to know that
when large companies are jockeying for my binary personality
Discover Credit Cards are looking out for
my interests
for once

The other day my friend called me
because her landlord
was trying to evict her illegally
and she was they were going
to kill her cats
(which does happen
Rich people don’t know about this
It happens)
I told her she should call Discover Credit Cards
because they have everybody’s
best interests at heart
and that they could
sort this out in no time

Then she hung up for some reason