The Distant Gunfire of Shooting Stars

I keep my chin up
The labyrinth of night
The graves in the sky
Hoping I’ll see you
Speeding by.

I keep my mind in a haze
My eyes above the clouds
The ground is too hard
For bone and feather.

You’re distant in space and thought
But when I need someone
Blowing kisses at the sky
The moon will be the only light
To illuminate
My stepping stones.

I can feel the rodents
Inside my skull
Picking and peeling away
The layers
on the inside of my brain

The Confines of Sanity

Madness is the release

Sanity,
The most suicidal
cage
For souls rotting under
Commitment, responsibility
And cubicles
Stained with the brains of the last
Employee of the month

My computer screen is still splattered
A textured red

Some cages are environmental
The dog fenced in
The yard where your nose
Sticks through the grating
On one side
And you bump your ass
On the other

Some cages are subtle
One night
Sleeping in a warm
Bed with the wife
The other
Waking
through a burlap sack
At the stained
Tile floor

Some are bear traps
The bone peeking through
Torn cartilage and muscle
You only have now
To chew through that leg
And set yourself free.

Coke

Melting
alpine peaks and itchy noses
divied up
with rusty razors
“Shit stings brother”
faucet nostril
in hot Lavender Sky
 
an oasis of empties
and Christ on the Cross faded nausea
the poets are scratching scabs
shitting poetry
in mildew corners.

Process

Someday I’ll be
The laureate of self deprecation
I can’t tell the creativity from the highs
And I think more than not
It’s one and the same

My father used to tell me
That poetry is a joke
That rambles on and on
And you listen
Eagerly awaiting the punch line
But it never comes.

I fear he’s right
But sometimes
I manage
A chuckle.

I think he must have
Laughed so hard
It killed him.

Father

Unfinished with puzzle pieces
Coming out of place
Falling to the floor

Where they’re kicked under the couch

Why I’m not allowed to.

The last time I tried to sober up

I bruised my face
On the east side
Of my knuckle

The last time I tried to read

I was naked
With hands celebrating
Before I finished
the fifth page

The last time I drank coffee

I beat her
heaving, mid BM
And broke a belt buckle
Across my best friend’s
Face

The last time I was in class

I fucked the haggard
Professor
Grunting
Naked

The pupils with
Bulging rose petals in
Their pockets
And notes on

What not to do.

Ode to a Puyallup Paradise

Stale Tobacco
Fresh apples
Squatting out back
With the folks
Peering out on my Garden of Eden

Stogies with my only
A piece of lung
Coughed up on the front patio
And suburban sunsets

Dogs howl howl howl
At smog-ridden skies
Crying out to be a tramp
In natural lands
Me, a soft member of their pack
Hoping to feed off of their after dinner scraps
And the roaches
In the crawlspace

Rolling papers left with the talent
And the busted up boys down the street
Put up their arms
Fighting for the delusion
Of freedom in suburbia

Daddy sits alone in his truck
On his way to work
Sucking the soul out of man
Like golf balls through garden hoses.
While I puff puff
On Johnny Appleseed
Out back

Some reach out for freedom
With worn out battle strategy
While others float down their rivers of stagnant shit
Accepting defeat

Militant men in 4X4 pickup trucks
Armed driving like Afghans
In American hummers

And the eyeballed boys
Crying out in their baseball uniforms
How many runs have they made?
How many runs are made at them?
Before I’m sitting on a dusty cot
Next to a man who committed no sin
To get into prison
He’s just a fan of the ass play.