Friday, April 12, 2019

Bad News


The boss has nothing but total respect for you
She says so with a smile even a hand on your shoulder
She has always cherished your commitment
Your infectious energy sustained as devotion really
To her let’s be honest not the corporation itself
The good one who talks with you and understands
When you’re having a day or someone you love
Is in a particular way that simply interferes so
Long as it’s not long-term or utterly sapping
Since and you know this without any confusion
Our firm is not a charity nor a slave-driving enterprise
But like any normal company in the business of business
It seeks solely to make a profit while giving generously
To the many organizations dedicated to the less
Lucky it certainly cannot abide employees who fail
In separating the personal from the professional
Which HR sees as a form of extreme selfishness
Since so many depend on that one employee
To fit perfectly into the machinery of commerce
Or like any system with gears and sprockets
One dubious part slows the whole operation
And puts a burden on the others not to mention
On the boss who only wants to smile with her hand
On your shoulder when you tell her how it happened
That you’re likely to miss the deadline even though
You’re deeply sorry about bearing such bad news
At the worst of times but sadly and sorry to say
You’re kid got run over on the way to school
And you’re likely to need at least a day or two

Bosses Think They’re Gardeners


All my bosses had bosses
Who had bosses or were
The boss of bosses, and all
My flowers are for the boss

Just up from me, since he
Provides opportunities that
Squeeze my time of its being
At play poem-making The Boss

And not without mad dreams
Devious plots to unseat him
As if my only were to evaporate
All day without thinking

About what the boss thinks
Of sailboats and sunshine
From my coworkers and I who
Keep the clocks in the corner

Of our eyes our ears attuned
To the bootsteps synched
To our motions-cum-brand
For what the topmost skims

Buying it up as far from us
As not to suffer himself
Our impossible dreams full
Of the real awakenings

As if to give nature a say
As with colors brightest by day
In the aura of their equations
And sums that fail to include

Where one stands on the ladder
Against what the ladder leans
Who is up and who is down who
Is condemned to turn a frown

Since that is what grows in soil
Cultivated so mercilessly well
Seeking that glow at the top
Rising thin and crooked reaching

Amid others pruned by the boss
Trimmed and trained to shape
What pleases him since he’s
The one doing all the watering is

How he puts it when you push back
Scratch your line in the dirt
Not a goddamned fucking inch
More means nothing to him

So what now what will you do
Uproot walk off into hunger
Rob the local branch jump
Into a volcano

How will you pay the bill
Repair the breach where your line
Crossed you out
Exposed your will at the service

Of the boss’s dirty work
You’re the dirt to be removed
New saplings incubating
To be squeezed of their vitals

A jungle load of new saplings
Younger than you better
Than you will ever be better
You start fixing things

Mending and patching and stitching
Things back together if you
Want a blanket when you sleep
If you want more than onion

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Coot-Mended


saying it outloud
Double-crested American Coot
in a snowstorm
on a frozen lake
is like all is
good and suffering
is on the mend

saying it
soothes the wounds
of whatever
unsaid unsayables
thus keep on
saying it
repeat it
louder and again
Double-crested American Coot
Double-crested American Coot
Double-crested American Coot
in a snowstorm
on a frozen lake so good to be

mended
by a Double-crested
American Coot in
an American snowstorm
on a frozen American lake
in a cold
Double-crested America

keep pronouncing it
outloud clear as ice
Double-crested American Coot
on a frozen lake
in a snowstorm
if you know what’s good for you

say it once twice a hundred times
say it until you’re blue
until spring unfreezes
Double-crested American Coot
Double-crested American Coot
Double-crested American Coot
saves me every time


Sunday, December 2, 2018

a white anti-anthem

WHITEY CRACKER

(two cord anthem with
one more for the refrain,
capitalization in first three
stanzas as a clue to the
melody or its lack)

I’m WHItey CRAcker
My DADdy had a KNACK
Killed off the RED man
And chained up all the BLACK

My kid’s an ANgel
LEADer of the PACK
We CALL him MessIAH
Sneaking out the BACK

I’m WHITey cracker
Got NOTHing but a SACK
Fillin’ it with WHAT I find
Ain’t givin’ nothin’ BACK

Whatever I see, it belongs to me
Whatever I do, I’ll be doing to you
Wherever I go, I’ll be laying it low
                I’m whitey cracker on the move

I’m whitey cracker
I’m a nation-hijacker
Hang your daddy on a nail
Lock your brother in my jail

Put your mama in my kitchen
And your sister in my bed
I’m whitey cracker
And it’s all in my head

I’m the man of the house
Mighty mouse in a hole
I am king of my castle
Got a drawbridge soul

I’m a lionized zero
A weepy-eyed hero
Selling my goo-goo gaga
To keep it all a go-go

I’m whitey cracker
I got nothing but a sack
Filling it with what I find
Ain’t given nothing back

Whatever I see, it belongs to me
Whatever I do, I’ll be doing to you
Wherever I go, I’ll be laying it low
I’m whitey cracker on the move
.
I’m whitey cracker
Ain’t givin nothing back
I got all kinds of things
Like my US liberty

As long as it means
I’m the one who’s free
I’m whitey cracker
And I control the space

Ain’t nobody better
In the human race
I’m whitey cracker
Smokin’ in the teepee

To get the bigger piece
And talking sweetly
Winning was a breeze
All them on their knees

I’m whitey cracker
Imperial lord
High on my horsey
With my daddy’s sword

Whatever I see, it belongs to me
Whatever I do,  I’ll be doing to you
Wherever I go,  I’ll be laying it low
I’m whitey cracker on the go

I’m just a missile-boy
Prince of the cheapshot
Hunting down darkies
With my snipereye robot

I’m whitey cracker
Slacker and a whacker
And the money don’t flow
Unless I let it go

I’m whitey the best
Whitey the fine
Whitey master
And the planet is mine

If you ain’t white
And on your knees
Don’t start crying
If I don’t say please

When I steal your shit
And your bitches too
And kill your kids
With smackshot flu

I’ll put you to work
In my factories of pain
Feed you the crumbs
Feed you the blame

For losing the game
For losing the game
I’m whitey cracker
Whip-snappin’ hacker

Got to beat you down
Just to hold my ground
And keep the goodies
Your granddaddy gave

I’m whitey cracker
A builder and a sacker
I do while you think
So my kind don’t shrink

I’m whitey cracker
Afraid of going down
When a new sun rises
Above the old town

And all my daddy’s sins
Come collect their rent
I’m whitey cracker
And it’s all been spent

Friday, November 2, 2018

Conditional

if the body’s a temple
with stained-glass

eyes and the sun lights
a story to help the body

die then what do I care
of flying buttresses

of the steeple’s needle
at the top of the spiral

stair what does it matter
what is there if what isn’t

is what was always where
you should have been

Monday, October 22, 2018

Natural Politics

I have no agonies about gay marriage
or equal pay for equal work
or tax revenues or laws
going this way and that way
zigzagging with the times
I don't cry over police brutality
or surveillance machinery
looking into my deepest being
where reside millions
of cute cats acting like cats
to lift me up, a standing
ovation of the doomed
I don't obsess about corporate
scandals or violence how
much it costs to build
a new plane new tank new super-
sonic death-arrow since tens
of thousands of subsonics
await deployment
and I don't care at all
what politicians have to say
since they know
as much and less about life
as my barber or the waitress who always
smiles when she pours the coffee
their only advantage 
pristine cowardice
I don't really care for things
like that because it's pointless
unless you’re looking to do
something with your time
fighting this against that
in a ring where the fix is in
but the fight makes you
feel good for some reason
makes you feel
like you’re winning
just by losing, victory
in the loss of it all
I don’t want any of that
I prefer to sit out
back quietly amid the hazelnut
and apple trees
and wait wait wait
for the deer to arrive they come
four and five at a time
to nose around in the surplus
relax sweet dessert
lazy pawing in the grass
they know there’s no hunt in me

Monday, October 8, 2018

Involuntary Suicide Poem


even though experts say
my son will burn up
and melt like a candle

and the waters will rise 
enough to set one 
against the other

in a violent confused
survival; and even though
they say it’s impossible

to avoid it, impossible
to reverse it, to return 
to our clueless selves 

of senses and loves, back 
when we were children
of earth and sky; even

though life’s already gone,
i still have to write this poem
so my son has a chance

to forgive me

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Poem


Everyone 
is a story

with misery
in it. Even

Rockefellers
lose loved ones

too early.
Everyone

is a pain
inside. Why

tell me
please 

how is that
so difficult

to see?
Everyone

is a story
to understand,

to stand
under, to

hold up
for all to see

as another
possible me.