Political Disquietude

Buckled at the knees, face in the dirt,
one can only pray for enlightenment, but
at a time when morality is valued by
silver and gold,
a baton twirled
is mightier than the sword dipped in ink
and sprawled across
ancient parchment.
Men march in unison, into foreign lands,
while chanting words
of a dead language:
Democratia Sit Virtus

Flag inserted into the land, the
obligatory explanation is
written on paper, covered
with black marks, in soot.
Erupt in glory, a city once was.
Redacted sentences are had for
good reason:
to keep characters in the dark.
Transparency is only a concept that
belongs on the back of a bookmark.
Dust covers
clouds and envelopes the sky,
dark and as black as superstition.

We speak with symbols, because subliminal
advertising becomes cogitative, rather than
entering one ear and leaving the other.
What belongs in the border is bold,
as we marginalize open space, although the occasional
proverbial foot will cross the line.
A slash of the throat will tell you
that all eyes are dotted,
just as some lines are crossed.
Like an olive branch exposed as thorns.

A proper medium is exploiting
vulnerability under rule.
Hot air is expelled when
converting oxygen,
or exclaiming honesty and integrity;
lest we forget land comes from sea.
It is in their nature; our nature to build
roots underground.
Better to keep intricacies hidden.
Never is the iceberg fully exposed.
Or the brain.
The kitchen.
Even the vault.

What you keep from the people
is for the people.
And common ground is neither
left nor right,
despite what you’ve been made
to believe.
It’s about the courage
to think before you speak.
It’s the courage it takes
to build strength and
beseech the weak.

Seen Shore

An hour out to sea, by land, and as early as the sun rises, the thumbs hit the road looking for a way into town, out of town.

Gulls speak in vowels,
melodious as wind carries
the sounds under the pier,
through nets being cast to sea. Glimmer in the fisherman’s eye,
staring at the waves that crash below.
Erosion is the fear of councilmen and
the faces plastered on billboards,
but nature isn’t a mistake.
We have only wrapped ourselves
in a blanket we call chemistry.
A beach turned to glass,
we still wouldn’t see the ocean clearly,
and we would still ask why the sky is blue.

Driving down roads,
ten miles in between
each town.
I’ve never seen
so many thumbs out.
In cities, from which I’ve seen,
a middle finger is customary.
But not here.
A thumb is an absolute,
and a blinker on a car
pulling off to the side
is a flash of compassion.
Ocean from side to side,
pastel houses scattered on land
beside sea shells
and surf shops.

And the hitchhiker walks,
with a backpack,
and one can make out a peace sign,
and long, sun spotted hair.
Someone that
knows the land.
Businesses hang “Going Out of Business” signs,
but that is embellished.
That is because the pastel
houses only flourish during seasons. For people
who want a taste of a simpler life.
Who call out to an ocean breeze, with hopes of casting away
a stress level that would change a footprint on sand into a
window to the soul.
And here I sit with my feet in the sand, tear running down my cheek,
because men do cry, especially when staring out to sea.
I’ve seen shore, but I would
not ask a local what
coastal means to them,
I wouldn’t understand.
Where I come from,
people hold out their hand.
A thumb is a rarity.

Orientation

There have been orientations
I’ve attended
that hit home, hard.
Ones that were held in auditoriums,
which brought outstanding projections.
Of voice and talent,
speaking to talentless voices that seek
increments of the number ten.
Tens of hundreds, speaking excrement.
Cause shit, even a ten is divisible by the number two.

There have been orientations
I’ve attended
that hit home, hard.
Ones that were held in back rooms,
with walls plastered with common sense.
Of apologies and service,
speaking to employees that service apologies
to miserable men waiting for change.
Tens and hundreds, purchasing excrement.
Cause shit, even the box that holds an engagement
can be discarded.

Orientations are set up.
They’re made to entice and integrate,
but in all actuality they’re erroneous and agitate.
They speak fate,
but hinder the great.
They mark you.
Like I’ve previously stated:
Orientations are set up.
They’re not a debate.

The Medical Doctor

My family doctor suggested bed rest.
If that was a statement rather than a suggestion,
I wouldn’t know, because the redundancy of those
two words was enough to keep me idle,
awake, agitated for days.

It was around the time he carefully
scribbled his script onto the blue pad
that I began to chuckle. This prefixed
prescript was only a temporary solution
that was barely legible. Whether or not
a scribe in this profession is meant to
be as erratic as nomadic cavern canvas,
it speaks volumes that the DSM IV considers
substantial. Until a once thought preconceived
notion becomes precedent in the ongoing
sought after expansion of knowledge.

A continuation of disorder and disease,
the facts and fallacies,
all become testing.
The standard practice is only as strong
as its weakest hypothesis.
More so when it becomes general practice.
I would like to believe
this to be an emergency,
but the white-coat before me
felt the need to sidetrack,
and thought it appropriate to mention
youth in Asia.

The deadpan humor
was disconcerting.
But not as unnerving
as the redundancies that
were given to me as a solution
for my sporadic sleep.

Some insurance!
Reassure me, doctor!
So, he did,
through his proclivity
for pharmaceuticals.

Love Thy Neighbor

Home Depot: Aisle Four: Shelves & Brackets.

Screws should be in the toolbox at home.
Toolbox…yes, in the garage, next to the miter saw, and
my old skates, the four-wheeled skates, not the inline,
never in line because of a rebellious nature.
A leather jacket kind of resistance.
A motorbike brilliance.
Now riding lawnmower equipment.
Dad’s don’t walk, we’re brazen.

The ancient toolbox next to
an ancient cardboard box.
Scribbled on the front, the marking of youth,
my name, my print. Such ugly handwriting.
For God’s sake.

But as for keepsakes:
The only objects that hold more merit
have more and most accumulative dust.
Yearbooks, pictured peers, so many memories
and faces. So many faces in this book.

The trophies. Number three. MVP.
A wipe of the thumb revealed the number.
And the rhyme is new.
Wit came with later age, I suppose.

Sports in adolescence, the physicality, the egotism,
it clouds critical thinking, or maybe wry remarks, too.
“Gay” and “Asshole” become some of the favorites.
And now this leads to an obligatory pun.
Grass stained knees. Sacking. The loser is gay.

How paradoxical!

Other contents of the box are various marks.
Grades; graduations; girls.
Three G’s that I’ve
always evaded because of laziness.
Because fuck dignity, right?
At least at that age integrity is as foreign
as the idea of it even being instilled.

How can you know if you’re being raised
in the wrong?

Well, you’ve come to the right place.

I’m sure two examples is sufficient.

It’s usually the acquaintance my son
brings home that opens my refrigerator door
before saying hello.

Or sometimes it’s his friend,
our neighbor’s youngest son, who boasts about his parent’s
material possessions, while his parents ask
my wife and I if he can stay at our home for the night,
as they argue in the dark because the electric bill
is overdue, and their credit is scored
by the proverbial scissors.

Not ones used to cut red ribbons, but
the ones you’re told not to run with.

“Of course he can. I’m sure they’ll love a sleepover,” I answer passively.

“Thanks, we owe you one,” he responds abruptly before disconnecting.

I could have said that owing people one
got them into their predicament.
But, like they say in the Good Book,
(The book I’ve always let collect dust,
not to be confused with the dust
on the box in the garage.)
Love Thy Neighbor.

And sometimes you never know
when you’ll need a cup of sugar.
Thankfully I know there is sugar in the cupboard.
Milk and eggs in the refrigerator.
But no shelves or brackets.

Aisle four, Home Depot, no help.
I figure any will do, and at home
I’m screwed, I mean I have screws.
I’ll ask my son to help me hang them,
somewhat for the company,
also because they’re for his belongings.

The neighbor’s son will talk about the
elaborate woodwork on the rare chestnut
shelves his dad owns.
Surely it’s perception, something
mood lighting can fix,
which his parents are arguing over,
well the lack of  lighting,
seeing as how their mood is already set.

My boy and I will place his
trophies on the shelves,
as I tell my boy I was number three.
Once an MVP.
And the neighbor’s son
will tell me
his father was
number four.

The Idiot

An idiot makes the same mistake twice.

That “fatherly advice” is trapped
within my head,
bouncing back and forth,
causing a headache,
but who’s to say that
the mistake isn’t the cause
of pulsating temples and closed eyes.
In one ear and out the other,
one could hope for.
But these days it’s in
one nostril and down the throat.
Down “Shit’s Creek” in a soluble boat.

But don’t call home.
The heart left.
The telephone has been off the hook–
inanimate objects have it easy.

Fresh to Death

Tables have turned.
Seas have parted.
Cracks filled.
Edges filed.

Tempestuous weather
has been bestowed
upon the misanthrope.
Red, once white bandages,
cover up the cut throat.
Naivete is labeled onto
those who seek hope.

Never showing is worse
than time taking its course.
Hoping that a course
is precedent in the time
of a foreseeable corpse,
of course.

Eyes closed,
a young man close by
exclaims, “Fresh to death!”
Rotting flesh, covered
by a Maker’s Mark,
or a Target,
never something seen Beneficial.
It’s not like we could ever
Shop Rite.

But as this young man
exclaims a new age adage,
I close my eyes,
and hope and pray
that he’s right.

RSVP

Save the date, the letter reads.
The date staring me in the face,
with the time right beside.

I remember our time, although
it was never dated, only stated.

My face gleams,
reflected in the gold embroidered letters.
The date and time leaving an impression.
The letters and words sinking in.
Permanently pressed.

The letter sealed two fates.
A celebration to connect two souls.
But no room for a third party,
at the party that is.

Guests will arrive with gifts,
setting them atop the table.
As I find room for my excess baggage.

Perfect gift to receive before the honeymoon.
In my eyes, not others.
As they approach and say,

“You ruined her day! Do you even care?”

And I reply, “I do.”

Love is a Collection of Shapes

Complications in your love life,

as shapes, must start with the triangle.

Alone you’re a line,

in the beginning at least, because the addition of

another line creates the letter L.

And when placed on the forehead, this sign can

become as daunting as a scarlet letter.

 

Port to port,

squares and rectangles

are contained. They come

to pass, by seas and oceans,

purple mountains majesty,

onto rusted tracks that have not

progressed since a golden stake

joined two separate ways of life.

 

At one-hundred miles an hour,

a written word is not as powerful

as a shape, a collection of shapes,

a unified image that is logistical.

Conception brought round full circle,

until repetitive nature and routine

become systematic, if not lackadaisical.

 

As the world turns, one side sleeps,

another wakens with intent to distribute.

And somewhere in a lost city, or suburb,

two people that have formed a triangle,

sit between a lit candle, on top of a square table.

And in the breast pocket of a man’s suit sits a

square box, holding a gold circle.

 

Shapes become meaningful.

And sometimes answers are explained

by shapes yet defined. But the answer

Yes 

that was given at that square table

was displayed in the shape

of a tear drop.