Behaviorism

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Men are pigs
if pigs could fly.
Man already flew
over the cuckoos nest.
Behaviors shaped by steel
razors cut in barbershop windows,
selling thick cut bacon
for all the housewives
wined enough to
accept a man’s money
and try to change him
to a family man, these
greasy, no good men.

Robbed

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You were robbed at the cradle
and lacked the cognitive skills
to recognize that love
will never grace you
from past to future,
from parents to one room apartment;
forever The Stranger noveled
into sidestreet maternity.

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He was no parts stronger, 
no parts wiser, 
one part taller
but only from age. 
He was aromatic, 
blending his sweetness
with the cylindrical truth. 
He was only half parts complete, 
paired with half parts 
cinnamon and loving tenderness. 
Falling upon empty glass
means his time has come and passed, 
washing in the belly full, 
a blending of body and spirit.

Alteration

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Alteration 
through barbers 
and barbells, 
biscuits to thin, 
bargains for feeding, 
clothes breaking the ribs, 
blisters from fashion, 
bruises to match, 
be beautiful, 
be weary, 
be your own wind to catch.

Top of my Luck

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I was standing on the shelves, attempting to reach for the candies designed for adults. I fancied the exterior design. Treats I truly would have popped into my mouth, mulled over, and spat into the walkway near the checkout counter. I begged with chattering hands, reaching in the heavens, speaking to the moment, speaking in magical tongues, attempting to make my arms stretch out like cartoon characters.

The paling fluorescents grab color from the aisle, a stained crème, making me feel sicker, smaller even. A slow wane into pronged hooks holding cards of greeting. Like a busy street in Chicago, one goes to my shoulder, one grinds into back bones. My body stumbling like a plinko chip until I reach the end of my momentum. A neighborhood cashier recognizes the situation but works for minimum wages, so she bats her eyes and organizes the lottery tickets behind the counter. “Where were his parents?”

A rush through the back entrance; doors swing open into an oversized van like a bank robbery gone awry. Van progresses forward but my head was spinning. How ironic is this carnival ride in the parking lot that actually houses our town’s festivities? Knife-like flashes of nausea pummel my stomach paired with an headache rocking from front to back of stage, “where is the fuse box?”

In our mad rush, I reach for the door handle, a universal sign for parents to pull over, even in high speed traffic. I expel what was left of my day on the pavement, the portion that splits between roadway and nature — the gravel that tells two tales. In the fresh air, I spoke to my situation. “All of this for a box of chocolates that I may or may not have enjoyed.” “You know they had coconut in them,” my subtle brain twirling. I didn’t even recognize. I hate coconut.

Loops

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Breaking her heart
broke my bedroom collectibles within the next fifteen minutes,
storming through screen door,
rushing down the short hall,
blasting a radial space to pieces.

Sitting in my driveway
off to the side where the grass
naturally yellows,
pressed against the steering wheel
of her 1999 truck, or Buick, whatever it was.

Sitting at the lunchroom tables
deciding to start 3rd period homework the day of,
She needs consultation for the past 7 years,
when her mother died,
when she had to develop tendencies,
being over it, but emotionally
fluttering to stay alive.

Breaking her father’s heart
when she engages everyone sexually.
She forgot the rules
that she attests to on Sundays.

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She paused. She clasped my hands quietly, as if she was trying to avoid waking someone. I looked into her eyes and spoke to the moment. “Just don’t speak.” The tears swarmed. She was lighting a wick. My chested welled with disappointment; her body was failing.