External Verification

I was relieved to discover
that when you said
you couldn’t make it out to see me
the excuse you gave
proved solid.
I checked it
against friends’ testimony and,
when I questioned the bias of the sources,
got some support
from private investigators
– several, so I could verify
their independent findings.

It was important to me
that you not be dishonest,
so I assumed you were dishonest
and sought all the information I could
to be proven incorrect.

I am so very glad
that I did
because now I know
how I can trust you
and treat you appropriately,
and now that you understand me
a little bit better
you too can do the same.

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Post-Performance Review

I just heard your performance
and let me tell you
that skirt fits you very well.
I really loved the choker you were wearing.
The lyrics you sang were really sexy
and your lipstick
is just the right shade of slut.

It was very impressive
the way you owned the stage
and commanded the attention
of every man in the place
and any number of the lesbians.
You did good, kid,
and let me tell you,
I am not an easy one to impress.

I think I might have
some ideas
as to what you can do
with your music
and your shows
and your further career.
I have suggestions
some strategies
that could get you
what you’re looking for.
If you’d like
I’d be happy to provide my thoughts
over drinks
or later over coffee.

Anyway, good job.
Let me know
if you want to get ahead
and maybe I’ll do the same.

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Roll Out

I have been walking these wettened streets
stewing over what’s been said.
I see so many of the sites
you’ve cited from your youth.
This was the wrong place
to have a fight with you
where you know everything
about everything.
But then
there are so very many places like that
and I so enjoy
having fights with you.

The subjects barely matter
so long as there’s passion
the explosive energy
that brings a flush to your cheeks.
I love to see you care
even if it means
I become the subject
of your disdain.

And often
it is eerily easy
to attain your ire. Like:
“When are you going to realize
that the pottery store is not
a poetry store?
No matter how many times
you may stare at the sign
they will not be the same thing
“I don’t think I’ve ever heard
you say a good word
about your great aunt.
She must not be that great
after all.”

Fish in a barrel
And then?
More fun than a barrel of monkeys.
We fight
and sometimes
we make up
but either way
I get you at your best
your most furious
most passionate.

It is all I ever want.

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I wouldn’t have liked it with you, anyway.
It might have been fun at first, sure,
but eventually
it would have been tiresome
to be with someone so beautiful
so elegant,
one who made every interaction
an attempt to be the best
she could possibly be.
It would have been exhausting
trying to keep up.

It would have been annoying, too,
being seen with one
so much more gorgeous,
so associated
with society’s standards of exquisition.
It would be hard
to never be up on your level
and to know full well
you were too smart
not to know it, too.

My paranoia would have grown
by leaps
by bounds.
My jealousy would have tripled overnight.
I would learn to be a man
far more petty
than the one I am today.
It is for the best
that you’re clearly not into me.
It is pragmatic to give up the chase.
It is only wisdom
to have aborted the effort
before investing unduly.

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Proof Negative

I’ve got a show on Friday
where I’ll read stupid words
like these
into a microphone
for the people
who are dumb enough to come
but you won’t be there
because almost no one
is ever dumb enough to go
even though they say
“Good job!” after they see me
read words into microphones
and say
“I really liked the third one!”
when they might not even have been in the room
when I was reading.

They don’t come to the shows
which hurts a little
for each one that isn’t there
so even though
there are always some bodies around
and they always act enthusiastic enough,
the absence of the rest of the world
is proof negative
of the quality of my work.

If people wanted to hear my dumb voice
speak lame sentences
then they’d be there
and they’re not.
They won’t be.
They don’t come
but I perform anyway
because that’s what An Artist does
despite the regular pain
of your regular absence
every time.

the show’s on Friday
at the usual place
and I’d really like you to be there
when I say some of those dumb words
but I doubt I’ll see you
this time
or the next.

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Sometimes I find parts of poems
ideas that have never quite coalesced
sentences without a home
and I combine them
with others of their kind
to form some Frankenstein whole
a mishmosh of monstrous pieces
built into a tower of babble
from their assorted origins.

I am rarely proud
of these works of desperation
these uninspired aspects
of half-visions, unformed on their own.
I am glad to have done something
for these orphans
but am somewhat ashamed
of what I have,
in weakness, wrought,
but still I find
these creations have their own audience
some fans who see some beauty
in their pieces.

Perhaps they don’t see the surgical lines
I can remember from those freakish births.
Maybe some simply like the parts
that have been allowed to see
the light of day
due to their adoptions.
Possibly it is the very mutations
that appeal,
the sense of something corrupt
coming from such bastard splicing.
Or maybe the people are just being polite.

I have many children
and I love them all
but these monsters
made from cadavers of stillborn sentences,
they are among the least
of what I have wrought.

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My therapist said
you provided a perfect opportunity
to sever all contact
and go cold turkey
avoiding any word, thought or deed
that would relate to you

and these past few days
I have been true to his command
keeping myself pure and untouched
by anything involving you

except not really.
There is
in all things
a distinct absence of you,
a you-sized hole in the wall
where you made your speedy escape

and even where there is not
a visual space
you should have filled,
there is a sound
a fragrance,
hell, a thing I wanted to show you,
to experience with you

but now
in this period of drying out
there are only
the constant reminders
of what is missing

something you would never notice
if you were here
because only then
would the hole disappear.

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Become Foreign

Please, I beg you:
never cut your hair.
It is astonishing.
It is exotic.
It defines you.
It makes you
a thing I want to know
and very much
want to know better.

Please, I must insist:
keep your locks
and your power.
Maintain your familiar form
and contain the magic
it avails.
Stay as wondrous
as you are today,
an object of inspiration
an object of desire.

Please, I entreat:
do not change.
I cannot promise
I will want you
as much as now
if you ever transform
into something different.
Do not risk
becoming a stranger.

Please, I beg of you:
never ever cut your hair
but when you do cut your hair
I would like you
to leave me a sample
to treasure
of the once perfect you
that I once knew.

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The Pills

The pills don’t always work.
The smiles don’t always work.
The cake
the ice cream
the ice cream cake
and candy, they…
don’t always work.

the downs get going,
and nothing can keep ’em down.
It’s a part of life.
It’s a part of chemistry.
It’s a part of getting through.
Maybe there’s even a reason for it
though I’ll be damned
if I know what it is.

But dancing doesn’t always work
and drinking doesn’t always work
and death of your enemies
even in the most hilarious of ways
does not always work
in dispelling the darkness.

Not weed
not movies
not comic books,
nor comedy shows
nor constant playing of "Karma Chameleon"
will stay the blues
from their appointed rounds.
When it’s your time to be depressed
that’s just it.

nothing will get in the way
of having a bad day
we can try the blow jobs again
if you’d like.
Just to be sure.

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I’ve been thinking a lot
about the last thing you wrote.
It really got to me
though I can’t say exactly why.

It made me want to change, though,
or think about changing
or maybe just change my shirt.

I’ve ended up wondering
if the direction I’ve been going
is the one I want to be
– which might have been your purpose
in the first place.

I’m taken aback.
I’m a little embarrassed
and unsure
as to what ought to be next
and I think
to a great degree
this is because of you
and what you
so recently wrote.

Impressive work;
I should have said so earlier.
really great tweet.

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