$4.89

I understand.
She’s the meow’s pajamas
the latest love of your life
everything you ever wanted
and the pinned beneath your swing.
I get it,
I think.
She’s special, but
is she salad special?

Sure, you can go out with her
and order her a salad
at a restaurant
or go to the deli
and make your own build-a-beasts
for $6.99
or after hours, maybe,
at $4.89.
But at home
just the two of you
with all of the ingredients,
are you synced enough
to make an excellent salad for two?
What have you experienced?

Has she tasted
your grandpa’s shrimp salad
with the secret mayo replacement?
Have you two gone that far?
Have you shared the recipe?

She…
She doesn’t eat shellfish?
Are you sure, then,
this is really the woman for you?

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Thieves in D’Temple 4

Excuse me.
I heard a sneeze
so I said “God bless you”
to the ether
so whomsoever risked the devil entering in
had a chance at salvation
and it was very polite of you
to say “Thank you,”
but
you didn’t sneeze.

I saw.
I was watching.
I had eyes on you
when the sneeze occurred
– I know not where –
but you I saw, as I said,
and this I swear:
nothing came out.

You, stranger,
are a serial non-sneezer
and will receive no blessing
for no action committed.
You’ll get nothing from me, today!

Well, no,
there were no strings on my statement
no commitment connected to my blessing
offered to the air
but
that hardly seems kosher, does it?
You can’t just take my words away from me
like that, can you?

Give me back my “Bless you”
dammit!

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Some Kinda Monster

When you’re feeling strangely monstrous,
like you’re only suited for shadows
or a hermitage
where no one need know
any of your darkened deeds,
when you can feel your sins
just blistering skin
scraping off horrible parts of you
dragging down cobblestones
while you wait to be captured by villagers
once their suspicions prove strong enough for action…
when the feelings whelm and whelm again,
go take a walk.

Enjoy the day.
Look at the beautiful puffy clouds
and absorb some delicious vitamin D.
Stride the streets with pride
smiling at strangers
– who cares if your grin is crooked and cracked
with teeth the size of gravestones?
Let the sunshine in
to every single possible pore.
Go naked
for the best absorption.
Let everyone see the entirety
of your monstrosity.

And if you’re as bad as you say,
if the world’s as set against you
as you believe
and they take you away
as you were always destined to go,
at least you had a final afternoon in the sun.
Every hideous beast deserves
at least that, eh?

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Thieves in D’Temple 2

The white bicycle
representing his demise
where the flowers used to mysteriously appear
has itself
mysteriously disappeared.

The evidence of Bobby’s passing
is past tense.
His death bike has gone missing,
is what I’m saying.

I would like to think
that with the icon
of his internment
apparently extinct,
it might mean that we could see Bobby himself
coming down the road
any day now.

I’m not getting hopes up
but I will keep
one leery eye open
just in case
Bobby opts to pedal by.

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Wanted:

Guru for a fixer upper
with no real potential.
Mentor to take over life.
and fashion into something worth living.
Organizer to reorganize what went wrong
into something resembling a semblance of normality.

A helpmate to resolve all of life’s
little imbroglios.
Dietician/website manager/mouser.
Lead singer + Songwriter + Producer + Drummer
+ Guitarist + Bass Player + Keyboardist
+ Triangle Player + Roadie
+ Management. I’ve got the name
(negotiable).
Retroactive Abortionist.

Editor and Advisor and Collaborator and Muse.
Maid/soulmate to make restitution
for catastrophic errors in all aspects
of current existence.
Help.
Help.
Help.

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Hard Times Again

It’s not normal what you’re going through

but it’s all right.

It’s not healthy how you’re suffering

but you’ll survive it.

It’s not good what you’re feeling

– not at all –

but afterwards

you’ll feel some Nietzschean relief,

I hope.

At the end of the tunnel

after you’ve seen the light

and found yourself brightened by the blaze

you’ll be renewed

and improved

and maybe even reconstrued
into better version of yourself

like I’m working to improve the language

with better word choices.

So today may suck

and tomorrow as well

but what you get out of these bad days

will be better days

or the other thing, I guess.

But after that?

Better days still!

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Drought

"He photographs puddles," she said.
"He’s really good."
I nodded. She continued.
"Occasionally, he sells a picture
and it’s a big windfall
but the art world is capricious
so he doesn’t always make rent."
"Sure," I said.
"Sometimes," she added,
"he needs some help
during rough times.
That’s where I offer
some additional support."

"You pay his bills?"
I asked.
"I help him out,"
she corrected,
"So that he can follow his muse
when the puddles come out."
"Aren’t there puddles, like,
most of the time?"
"Not in a drought,"
she said.

"So you support him,"
I said,
"You let him keep up
the artistic lifestyle
so he can go out
when he wants
and look for the wet spot
and take the money shot.
Got it, sugar mama."

We didn’t talk for a while after that.
Our conversations went through
a kind of dry spell.

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Frankly

It’s OK to talk to people
in the room that you don’t know.
It’s all right.
They won’t mind.

If you smile at a stranger
there is the faintest possibility
the stranger might smile back.
In New York
the possibility is faint
but there’s a good chance
that like you
they’re from out of town.
Nothing ventured,
as someone once said
– and he, too,
was not a New Yorker

You can try anything.
You can dream anything.
You have the potential to do anything.
Take as many of these words
as you wish.
Some of them may work.

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Hour and an Opportunity

You didn’t give me a chance
to fuck things up
– and I would have.
I would have
badly.

It would have been a car wreck
of tremendous proportions,
but you didn’t know that.

You didn’t have the experience
to know the kind of atrocity
I can get up to
with an hour and an opportunity.
You just took a look
and made a judgement
and you know what that is?
That’s prejudice.

And yes, that prejudice
would very likely
– almost certainly –
have been borne out by the reality
but you owed it to me
and yourself
to have seen what we could be.
You get that, right?
You see how you shortchanged our future, right?

Now, I’d be willing to give you another chance
and forsake all that I’ve got going for me
at the penal colony if
– well, let me know.
Just –
you’ve got my info.

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One Hundred And Twenty

All right, just
you need to listen to me.
It’s kind of important
that you give me a few minutes
to get my point across.
You’ve been avoiding me
and I get it.
I do.
I understand how I’ve been acting lately
but if you just give me three minutes
– two –
I think I’ll be able to make a compelling case
as to why it’s worth your time
to give me two more
and two more after that
and then maybe three more
and you might see where I’m going with this.

So
so
so do you think I can get two minutes of your time?
Just two minutes
one hundred and twenty paltry seconds
to review the past eight days
and consider what went into them
and what we might be able to do
to go forward
without so much awkwardness between us.
Is this possible?
Is this conceivable?
Is this something we could work out?

One twenty?
All right.

First,
let me apologize
for the forty thousand cherries
currently in your apartment.
I was wrong to deliver them.
Second,
you were wrong
about everything else.
Allow me to explain –

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