..

“In a Rock Band”

She took the low road

Full of sand and mud

And now her face is but a mask.

.

The camera never really flashes to her

And when it does

It’s like it still didn’t flash to her.

.

She is a walking indication

Of what it’s like to give up,

To set the exclamation point

Malevolently,

In upon the self,

.

To tell the world she’s worthless,

To tell herself she’s worthless,

And

.

She is an entity wholly unapproachable,

Like the end of life,

Like the end of an oblong,

Sun-scorched ordeal.

“Sociological Equations”

Birth plus ennui

Equals classical music.

.

Globalization

Plus economic depletion

Equals jazz.

.

Globalization plus

Economic depletion

Plus defunding of public schools’

Music programs in New York

Equals hip-hop.

.

Slavery

Equals

Gospel.

.

Slavery

Plus globalization

Equals rock and roll.

.

Globalization

Plus something

Equals country…

.

I’m not sure what or where it is

But I’m pretty sure I can smell it.

“A Moral Quandary”

I saw this post

I like on Facebook

But I’m not sure if I should like the page.

.

They might think I’m creepy.

.

And they might be the benefactor of my will.

.

And they might be

The party that decides

Whether or not my life insurance plan

Kicks in

After I die.

And they might be the person who

Turns on the sun,

Maddens the headlights,

Butters the yams and

Flaps the jacks,

Pinches the pennies and

Causes any number

Of nuisances

To fall like

Neutron bombs and

Encumbered patrons

Of the know-how blow-now.

“4-24-24”

Perhaps, short of actually finding a legitimate flaw in you, they were simply not fully adept at showing mirth and good will, or were unprepared to do so at the time.

“After Exiting Miami County”

Over the glaze of

An abyss of country plain

I glide, the look

In the eye

Of the bald eagle

Napalmed

Into my disposition

As he seems to say,

“Don’t think about me.”

“I Can Feel My Liver Floating around in Chicago”

Was it the boarded-up Hollywood Video,

The pi**-stained train car,

The string of six-degree days

Or the giant,

Phallic downtown skyscraper

Poking the sky…

.

We reach

Far

.

Into the

Night

.

And

We reach

Far into ourselves

To kill ourselves

To drone ourselves of

The crushing din of

Everyday life as

.

I cradle the malady

At arm’s length

Singing a funeral dirge and

Smiling in my pink, metal distance.

“The Enemy Has Left the Building”

Driving back through Indiana

At the end of February, 2024

I notice a vast, exhaustive expanse

Of aridness, an eerie,

Brown cloak of desolation

Befallen our planet on

Which we

.

Have taken to monitoring

Everything with video

Surveillance, have

Advertised marijuana

In states where it is illegal and have

Sped to the end of the

Movie

.

To see

The naked body,

Now dead, with

He** not a crashing,

Thunderous storm but an

.

Eternity of a withered abyss

Tailoring staring at oneself and

Confusing oneself with something.

“Carmel, Ind.”

We all got the programs

When we were in our seats,

Glossed them,

The faceless corporate nothingness,

The ladies who don’t mean anything

With fake tans and the

Spatial abyss between

Noblesville and the city and

It was another underdog night

When I set out darker than black

For a cheap good time

And found you writhing

Like a new breed of dog,

When I was intimidated to make eye contact

With the high schooler working the seafood counter at Kroger

With an unbuttoned jacket exposing a Misfits shirt,

When I knew to be nice to the autistic grocery bagger

Because I just knew the world needed more of that

And I knew it was my purpose

And I laughed at finding my purpose in Carmel

And I swear I saw my dry spell obliterated in Muldoon’s

Until I looked at the lady’s epidermal ease

Like a little girl, seeing

What they need from us

In this suburban town where

I knew what I was trying to do

But didn’t know what I’d find.

“Untitled 365”

It comes again and it’s crazy, like a universe-spanning landscape of pastoral light. I’m surprised that it doesn’t feel like the Narcissistic days of college — the tendrils of awkward, sarcastic puns, of that Supergrass CD, of ideals and a start and an end. I think about younger people. The world is on fire in a bath of love and I feel like a ridiculous experiment, soon fatalized, now just basking in the glow of this test run on this planet that oozed out more euphoria, more endorphins and more magic than was billed on the event program.

“The Little Wife on Riverside Dr.”

She stands ardently on the porch

Administering to two men,

A husband and

A worker.

.

Her arms are folded and she is

Stationary within her domain.

.

She smiles and nods,

Of slender jawline,

Neck, waist,

And low height.

.

I pass by her and her

Eyes seem to absorb me

Within an orb of

Warmth and moisture.

.

She is looking,

Relating to

These two men

And she is

Crying out

.

Into the night, she is

Shrieking at the human

Condition

On the inside

With

.

Fiery red blood and

All the while

Keeping a comportment calm

On her porch,

Her domain,

On which

.

Her feet are like cinder blocks and

Her eyes are like home.