The Bowl Can Hold

Because of his cruelty
Loki is sentenced:
bound beneath a titanic snake
who drips poison on him
so rapidly
so repeatedly
and with such toxicity
that Loki is left burnt and screaming
on the regular.

Because of her kindness,
Sigyn, Loki’s wife,
with a much lower Q Score,
remains in his cave prison
with the largest bowl
her kitchen can provide.
She does what she can
to protect her husband,
collecting what venom
the bowl can hold
keeping it from searing
his sneaky features.

She loves her husband
and even in his worst moments
does her duty
to defend him.

But the bowl overflows
and the acid reaches Loki
and the giant’s son burns
and he screams
and Sigyn winces
and empties the bowl of its pain
but not before the snake’s fangs
drip onto the god of treachery again
and Loki curses his wife
who is there in constant servitude,
remember,
simply to help her man.

To face his crimes,
Loki is punished
but for doing good,
so is Sigyn
which is not really the Norse way
but, it seems,
is the way of mankind.

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The Blame Game

Nobody came to your last fucking show
because you neglected to invite anyone, dipshit.
If you made the first kind of effort
to encourage people to see you
maybe they would’ve considered making an appearance.

I mean, it’s conceivable.
What is not conceivable, nimrod,
is that people will make an appearance
if you don’t invite them
if they don’t know about it
if you keep silent about your aims.

It’s not rocket science
not brain surgery
nor Rubik’s Cube completion.
It’s not that hard to put it together:
if you build it,
they will come.
If you build nothing,
why would anyone give a shit?

In any case, idiot,
your complaining
to the few who arrived
about the many
many many many
who opted to cop out
of something nobody knew about
is pointless and, of course,
the simple height of bad taste.

Also,
you smell.

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Earthbound Misfit

Leap from whatever you see
to best prepare for vicious landings.
Callous your body
with frequent falls.
Climb every hillock.
Flop into the pond.
Inure yourself to every injury
day after day
year after year.
Be your bruises.

Experience the heights.
Introduce yourself to the air.
Notice every nuance
of the life above.
Commune with the birds
the wasps
the leaves blowing every which way
like Dylan’s answers.

Become one with the atmosphere.
Know the world above you
and explore every aspect you can find.
Study the stars.
Read science fiction, comic books,
fantasy.
Learn about the Wrights
and the balloon men before them
and Icarus and Daedalus, as well.

With all this knowledge
buzzing about your brain
swooping and curling through your synapses,
climb again
to the toppingest place you can see.
Breathe in the rarefied air
and acclimate
and wait
and wait
and wait some more
and when the moment is right
– and you will know when that is –
jump.

It is in this way
that you may learn to fly.

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The Honor of the Occasion

It’s an honor just to be nominated.
…it would have been an honor
to be nominated.
It might have been an honor
if anyone had thought to nominate me.
It could have been nice
to be nominated.
It could’ve been nice
to be invited.
It would’ve been kind
had I been consulted.
If anyone thought I deserved a mention,
that would’ve been sweet.

But it’s not about me.
It’s about the solemnity of the occasion
the special event
that everyone ought to be commemorating.
A commemoration, I am sure,
that is going along simply swimmingly.
It is far more important
that the event be recognized
than that I get my perceived due
– which is no doubt undeserved.

It’s a unique time
and it’s more important
that we all spend time considering it
rather than get all caught up
as to who got invited or identified
or recognized or nominated.
Better that we all treat these days
with a modicum of respect.

Congratulations on your nomination,
btw.

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Kirk Cameron’s Greatest Hit

I’m sorry.
When you told me
to watch that very special episode of Growing Pains,
that you thought it would speak to me,
I took note
folded the note up,
and put it in my pocket,
at the same time
promptly putting it out of mind.

It has taken me
all of these months
and a cycle of seasons
to get back into those pants
and to find the note
so easily forgotten.
Understanding my hasty scribble
then getting in front of a streaming service
took even more time,
but at long last,
here I am
reviewing the fourth season
of Kirk Cameron’s greatest hit
and wondering just what it was
that I should be seeing.

Probably
had I done your bidding
just when you bid it
I could recall the conversation
that would inspire your desire
that I watch this – what?

Is that Julie?
Julie from down the block?
She was a regular on Growing Pains?
How did I not know about this
and what in God’s name
excuses you for keeping this from me
for so damned long?

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At His Grave

At his grave site
a year too late
a better inscription comes to me
words that would unite his disparate worlds
a statement we could all agree upon:

Constant teacher.
Constant learner.

My bad, dad.
Next time, I’ll do better.
Unless…
I wonder how much it costs
to edit a tombstone?

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Many Dead, Resting

At the cemetery
I thought we could find
his final resting place by memory
(even though
the individual rows of graves
have names to help
in just such a circumstance).
We asked for no directions
and simply trekked out
expecting to ascertain
his whereabouts.

Too speedily
we got lost
around the many
many dead, resting
in proximity to my pop.

The sun beat upon us
as we walked among the stones
seeking where he had gone
to rest.
It was uncomfortable
sweating through the necropolis
but at least discomfort
proved that we still lived.

Some circling brought us back
to an area we had already explored
but where others had already congregated
to wish my father well.
They had beaten us to his final destination.
Perhaps they knew where they were going.
Perhaps they had cared more.
Perhaps, unlike my father
and me,
they thought to stop
for just a moment
and ask for directions.

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While You Were Away

I found your secret stash
where you hide the goodies from me
so that you can sneak off
in the middle of the night
or when I’m at the comic book store
or whenever I’m elsewhere
unable to see you.
I got my hands on the loot
you partake in
when you know I’m not around.
I’ve eaten the biscuits
and the hazelnut spread, too.

I don’t know why
you felt like you had to keep these treats
from my prying eyes.
But maybe the fact
that I sought them out
with you out of town
provides a sort of hint
as to why you wanted them
out of my reach.

Also
I found your box of mementos.
I could tell
by the jewels on the container
that it held the treasures of your past.
I left them alone.
When you want me to see them
you’ll let me know.

But I took the pack of cigs
you kept in the freezer.
If you’re not back by the weekend
I’m smoking them.
So if you value my health,
come back soon.

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Not a Pretty Boy

I am not a pretty boy.
I am not just a pretty boy.
I have more than my curvy figure
to recommend me.
I have a brain beyond
this subtle shape so many
find so appealing,
a fanciful charm
beyond the form you fancy.

Some say I have a kindness about me
even more luminous
than my shiny scalp.
Yes, I sometime glow even brighter
than my sweat would suggest.
I have a soft soul
that complements my tenderly soft skin
and stomach.

There is so much to look to,
other factors that make me attractive
beyond my five chins,
four eyes,
three hundred and fifty pounds,
two infarctions
and wonderful sense of humor.

I am as deep as I am wide.
My stories have more twists
than my intestines
and my very personality
varies more than my scent.

I am beautiful on the inside
as well
and just so you know
my eyes are up here.

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Monty & Muriel

Monty and Muriel are dead.
I knew neither of them
but people I love
feel an absence
due to their respective absences
so I feel a little something, too.

Grant is also dead.
He’s a stranger to me, as well,
though I knew him by reputation
of his great works
some time ago.
He, too, has left an awful hole
in an awfully great number of people
some of whom I care about greatly.

It’s a shame
how only after one’s passing
can one be appreciated
by the greatest number of bodies.
Only in death
is it likely for Grant
to get his due.

I don’t really know
what’s coming for Muriel, though,
and as for Monty?
Forget it.

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