The Owl

The house across the way
has a ceramic owl on the roof
to scare off birds
too stupid to know
that that owl is no predator.

It can’t fly.
It doesn’t hunt.
All avians are safe
from its painted talons
and immobile teeth
but the local creatures
are too dumb,
numb from always being birds at prey
to realize they could perch and shit
with impunity
at the house across the way.

I am no stupid bird
and from my view
I see full well
that there is nothing to harm me
on that other roof.
That owl will deal me no damage
I know
so I foresee no risk
in donning cape
and jumping from my roof
over to theirs.

The owl will not stop me
for I am no stupid bird.
I am
something else again.

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No Bowl of Cherries

Everybody’s talking ’bout first world problems
and third world problems
and problems with four letter worlds
like Mars and Uranus
but I’ve been considering recently
the underworld problem
and i think I’ve arrived at
just the way it should go down.

Now I’m not one for God
or Buddha
or Satan the Sixteenth
but I think I’ve thought enough
about the future
and I’ve come to some conclusion
about my own personal afterlife.

I want to come back
as a crispy duck pizza
which I have never tasted
but think sounds pretty sweet
– or savory.
Whatever.

The important thing is
I’ve subscribed to my supralife strategy
and I know what form it should take:
a slice of something extremely delicious
and rare.
That is how it should go down
immediately after I do
for the last time.

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Will Out

There is a buzz
seeking incessantly
to escape from behind my lips
beneath my teeth
beside my tongue.
A truth wants out.

I do not understand
this thing that needs to fly away
leaving my body
and entering the air.
I do not know
what needs to be said
but
it is pushing against my mouth
making me hum
and dance
and try to eject it from me
forcibly.

Someday soon
my teeth
will be unable
to keep the secret.
I can tell
it is only a matter of time
until my tongue lets loose
whatever it is
I will have failed to contain.

I am afraid of that moment
but also
somewhat excited
to find out
just what it is that I’ll say.

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This Isolate, Weme

On the grounds
of Bauman’s torched General Store,
where you could buy candy or creams
many years back,
stands a park.

Hans
once living beside the burnt store
in the abandoned town
is the man who built it.
He no longer lives
among the ghosts in Weme,
Minnesota.
He has found another place to rest.

Some still visit
this secret village
left forlorn these last hundred years
hoping to find some memories
or history
or something that attaches them
to this isolated land.
They leave,
disappointed.

The few who remain
are buried
discorporeal
haunting this empty town
wishing there was more to keep them company
but an empty post office
and a long-torched store.

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Wing and a Prayer

Laid in dirt
lies a humble bird,
wings without will
to do what birds are meant to do.
No movement
flicker or blink
can be identified surely
as the bird’s
or that of the wind.

Don’t be dead, little creature.
Live a little longer.
Gain strength from the soil
and become something more,
something that can do
what birds do.

Breathe, bird.
Grow.
Leave this filthy ground
and head to the heavens
– and fly further,
safely, free.

Little bird,
do not stay here.
Find a better home
that beside the road,
crumpled, broken.
Get moving, small thing,
please.

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Bubbles Rise

Silently
light reflects
off the plastic bottle
close to bursting with ice.

The bottle glints
glows
gazed upon from a distance.
The sun keeps focus
on this container,
contents melting slowly,
transforming from something
near breaking
to something
newly consumed.

Before then,
there is potential in that receptacle.
The bottle nears danger
as the ice becomes softer
and air attempts escape.
Someone
may end up sopping

But that moment
is yet to come.
Now
the substance in the bottle
slowly, secretly, transmogrifies
within its chrysalis.
preparing for its eventual shape.

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Seasoned Gash

There is something
we must discuss, John,
a thing we must resolve
before the night goes any further
and we do something
that one of us will certainly regret.

John, I love you like a brother
of some distant cousin but
you have to stop showing up
to my home
uninvited
and then going off and sleeping
with all my girlfriends.

Please
I know from your status updates
that you can find ladies all on your own.
You don’t need to poison my rivers as well.
Keep your flow
to yourself.
Take a lover
separate from mine.
I know you can do it
and I think you know it, too.
Leave mine be.

Leave me be
and maybe
at least some of the time
you could wash the sheets.

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The Other Shoe Drops

It’s strange.
When I thought you were wearing boots today
I thought you were cool.
I thought you were hot.
I thought you were a rebel.
Seeing the hint of a Doc Marten sole
made me imagine you as some sort
of hardcore figure
ready for anything
just waiting to kick ass.

I thought you were special.
I thought you were powerful.
I thought you were pretty, self-possessed and important.
Then you lifted your skirt
and I saw the sandals underneath
and the socks under them
and everything changed.

I had misunderstood
what I was seeing
but it all became clear
and nothing was the same.
I am afraid
we cannot speak anymore,
you hippie freak.

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Transported

To Laura
the high schooler
who found herself
too cool to date a college man
by the name of Jonathan Berger
all the way back in the day:
I am passing your old school
I think
since you never actually invited me to visit.

You would always be delivered to my campus
since our mutual friend would consistently
offer you rides.
Like a wish
you would just appear before me.

I liked you so much back then
though I’m not sure I really knew you. Certainly you
didn’t get the chance to know me
– unless you really
truly did understand me
and that’s why I was rejected.

I’m glad we were able to stay in touch
after you proved more interested in other boys
and I found other girls to obsess over:
older girls
girls in my grade.
I got over you
years and years ago
but
when I see your exit
on that rarely-taken road
I remember you
and am transported
to long ago lands.

I am thinking of you
and wish
like those far gone days
you could simply appear before me
and I could see you again.

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On Visiting Your High School for the First Time in Twenty Goddamned Years

There is a wasteland before you
filled with the young
the exuberant
the inexperienced
people that know nothing of your history
your years of wisdom on the subject of high school
despite being absent from high school
for forty semesters
minimum.

You recognize no one
even amongst the multitude of alumni
invited on this special day,
an occasion
with no instruction
no explanation
no provisions made available.

You stand in the center of the lobby
waiting for anyone
to offer some sense of order
in the midst of this chaos.
Perhaps there is a guide
a teacher in this place of education
who can show a returning student where to go
or what to do
or how to get some of the pie that had been offered.

You are alone among crowds
just as you were
as a matriculate so many seasons past.
It is a familiar feeling
in this familiar place
where you feel so very alien.
Where are the activities?
Where are the admission tags?
Where are the appetizers?

There is nothing here you recognize
any longer.

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