Grey Days

I mentioned you in poetry a couple times today.
It seems I mentioned you repeatedly recently, my old buddy, Grey.
I can’t quit you, Grey, even though you left, so long ago.
I won’t quit you, Grey, though my heart may tell me so.

I was just wearing the dragon shirt that you said didn’t fit.
It was too loose on you. On me, it looks like shit.
I can’t quit you, Grey, no matter how hard, I try.
I won’t quit you Grey, even if you belly-up and die.

Some days the skies are blue; some days there’s only rain.
Some days are for dreams of hobos and jumping downbound trains.
and for holding onto thoughts of Grey (that’s you!); I hope that you know that.
Yeah, lots of ways to think of Grey. There’s more than one way to skin a cat.

We had some glory days, and then again, Revellations
and maybe it was only maybe me, but I had a lot of puns
and I won’t quit you Grey, despite you losing many a job
even one wherein you learned so much ’bout ‘burn and rob.’

I didn’t mean today to be The All-Grey Tribute Show.
But that’s the beauty of waking up; what happens next? You never know.
I can’t quit you Grey, unless it’s Saturday.
That’s the Sabbath, boy. That’s when thoughts of you just melt away…

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Another Webster

Webster’s doesn’t define ‘Endling’
but Robert Webster
– no relation –
coined it
twenty years ago
in trying to define
the last of a line.

It is strange
that we as a culture
have not yet named
this thing we are so especially good
at creating:

is our stock in trade.
You’d think
we’d have our fifty words for snow
all wrapped up
in fifty different pretty bows.

And we do have the word
I’m just surprised
we have not jumped at the chance
to own it;
to know at last
what we are,
as we head toward
our deaths as this group
or that.

It should be some sort of a relief
to at least
finally have a name for us
as we crawl to the end.

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No Remainders

I woke up with a start
with the thought
that you’d passed on.
It was time.
You’d had a long enough life.
You deserved rest
but it left me so broken
that I hadn’t any chance to say goodbye
hadn’t any opportunity
to speak to you
in any of the many months
that preceded the end.
I wanted to make it right.

I came here to see the body
and have found it warm
and alive
and you haven’t passed at all.
You are still here
and that is
You remain.
You endure
but for how long?

If this is the last time I see you
let me make it worth it.
If this is the last time we speak
let’s really say something.

Let us say things today
things that have been hanging
words that were previously
left on the table.
Let us end this day
with no remainders.

I ever cared for Bowie.

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Not Patsy’s Kind of Crazy

Crazy like a fox?
Crazy like a camel?
Crazy like an ox?
Crazy strong enamel?

Crazy like a poppa.
Crazy like an auntie
Crazy off of grappa.
Crazy like Chianti.

Them crazy Christians.
Crazy old Jew.
Crazy ’bout Madonna.
Crazy for you.

This isn’t Patsy’s “Crazy,”
nor crazy like Grey.
Not “Crazy Like an Ambush.”
or any other way.

Cuz we’re all crazy now,
as someone once said,
and to quote yet another
“If you ain’t crazy, you dead.”

So go crazy like Prince sang
in that Purple Rain ad.
If you’re not going crazy,
then you’re going mad.

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Wherever you go
whatever you do
I’ll be there
right there
looking for you.
I’ll follow you
the whole way down.

Wherever the path goes,
whatever further commands you give
the first word was the deepest
and that is the instruction
ever will I follow
and that instruction is You.

I will dog your steps, doge.
Where you lead, I will follow, my King.
I will follow you
like the sun follows a creepy crawly beetle
because the world is round.
I will follow you no matter
where it is that you may go.

I’m in pursuit.
Every breath you take
every move you make
I’ll be at your back
I’ll be watching
I’ll be waiting
I’ll be with you.

This is how I was made.
This is how you made me.
I am a creature dedicated to you
from the very first.
There’s nothing you could say
to sway me from my path
this involves inexplicable math
but the calculations are clear:
where you are,
so am I.

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Six Legs and the Truth

Based on recent research
(which means a cursory listen
to a five-year-old podcast)
I have discovered
that cockroaches
are worse suited to survive
a nuclear holocaust
than I had thought.
Obviously, there is little evidence
to support how they would do
in an atomic blast
as few experiments have been done
with that in mind
but it is believed
that roaches would fare poorly
in a nuclear winter.
It’s just not their kind of neighborhood.

So even though
the roaches seem to have a pretty good time of it today
I would like to
as of this moment
formally rescind my previous claims
of loyalty, fealty
and servantry to our insect overlords.
I had sworn to them
all of my scraps and morsels
come the dissolution of bipedal civilization
but now
I’m not so sure
that I should put all my eggs
in a roach basket.

I may just go back
to investing in rat futures
or consider a crocodile comeback
or possibly have a little hope for humanity.

I joke, of course.
Something’s gonna change
but I just don’t think it’s a lock
for the roaches anymore.
Prove me wrong, dudes.
The gauntlet’s thrown.

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Night of the Zombies

It’s the midnight of the zombies
when the parties always start
where these muted monster sheeple
turn their stumbling into art.

They go rambling though the city
losing limbs while dripping brains.
They arrive on broken soles
and via bridges, tunnels, trains.

The zombies have nothing in mind
and destruction in their touches
but you have hope to make escape
unless you’re using crutches.

The nights can be mostly unfun
with undead antagonists
as their simpleminded march
will not be stopped by clever fists

so best to ride their rampage out
until the night is done
and wait for them to all go home
and then come out. You’ve won!

One could say a metaphor’s
been hidden in here by me.
Of course, I don’t know what
you’re talking about. I’m just a plain old zombie.

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Alternate Side Support

Each day
when I come home
I see a dead woman’s car has moved
from one side of the street
to the other.
I am not so fanciful as to believe
that the car has developed intelligence:
I asked it; she didn’t respond.

I had earlier planned to take responsibility
for these alternate side shenanigans
until a member of the family
eventually took the car away
though it’s been weeks since the dead woman died
and I’ve heard little since.
It is easier
knowing that this last detail
has been taken out of my hands
but I can’t help but be curious
as to who is helping out
my former neighbor
in this final good deed.

My current preferred theory
is that ghost mice arrive
sometime before midnight
and collectively man the controls of the car:
twisting the key
pushing the pedal
running along the wheel
all in the purpose
of moving the car along
crossing the street
to avoid tickets on the dead woman’s estate.

I have no proof for this theory
nor do I have proof
that no neighbor has the key
or that a relative is padding upstairs,
each day dealing with her stuff
each night moving her car
every hour confusing me more.

I know nothing about this situation.
I think I may prefer it
this way.

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Transit Alternative

In a sullen fit
I spent that distant summer
on no train.
This was before I had a car
when my bicycle had been mostly stolen.
Except for a couple of emergency occasions,
I took the city by foot.

This was back
when you could pretend
that the city only meant Manhattan
especially if you actually lived in Manhattan
but it still meant
that trips to Staten Island
would require a little flexibility
on those self-imposed rules.

But who needed to go to Staten Island anyway?

I lived on the Upper West
and worked in midtown
and occasionally went downtown
and boy,
were my calves cut.
Biking already helped
but this daily activity further shaped
the one part of my body
that was regularly worked.

When people came
from out of town
I would usually meet them
at Penn Station
or Grand Central and then
we’d slowly walk the streets
that I was growing to know
increasingly well.

By the time I went back to school
I was ready for wheels again.
I got a new bike
and was willing to be driving
just about everywhere.
I was stricter once
when I was young
and my calves were cut.

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Thank you for a most memorable evening.
I very much appreciated that performance.
It gave me a great deal to think about
and I’m sure that all of us who stayed
will be talking about it
for a long time to come.

The makeup and costumes were very creative
and everybody’s deliveries were incredibly well-done,
considering all the difficulties I imagine you had
with the production.
Really, quite impressive,

I doubt anyone will blame the actors
for the racist overtones
– but really, that’s all they were:
overtones. Nothing was said outright –
Oh, rewrites. Huh.
Still not your fault, though.

I don’t think everyone could see the vomit
or noticed the change of actors
halfway through.
Those were different characters?
No, don’t explain.
I’m sure it’ll make sense if I
think about it
some more.

you looked like
you were having a blast up there.
So comfortable
and isn’t that the important thing?

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