aunt sticky

Posted: 07/27/2014 in house of crazy

aunt sticky poured froot loops on the griddle,

followed by the empty box.

she had, with tender care, put fruit sections in my juice glass,

and emptied the pencil jar into my cereal bowl.

 

mom and dad are in san antonio

trying to turn blue back into red,

and i am here, watching the cereal box go up behind aunt sticky.

 

factors to consider for my future:

1. it takes the fire department seventeen minutes to get here.

(at least, it did last time.)

2, aunt sticky always looks so crestfallen when she realizes that she’s made a mistake.

3. it’s good to live.

 

let’s go eat in the front yard, i tell her,

and she likes the idea. she smiles and grabs her art box.

when the firemen arrive, i am trying a dog biscuit (they aren’t very good)

and aunt sticky is trying to turn blue into red by adding yellow.

colorful, that is what people call my family

when they’re doing the lying called kind.

_______

for play it again toads #7 at real toads. i used some words from grapeling’s list.

johanna

Posted: 06/01/2014 in house of change

lipsjohanna was a big girl,

my best friend back in seventy-something.

johanna was a funny girl,

could mimic anybody and crack me right up.

johanna had a nice mom–

“she thinks you come over to see her.”

johanna open and parse out the cold pills,

then bang a gong.

sleep well, johanna,

johanna so long.

_____

for Flash 55 at Real Toads, hosted by the super superb Hedgewitch, and also for Mag 222.

life in the theater

Posted: 03/23/2014 in house of crazy

Cloudsbeing with you is like life in the theater–

who am i this time?

who am i fucking, that i didn’t know i was fucking?

life is complicated enough

without the whacked scripts you cook up in your head.

here’s an idea–

keep accusing me of crazy shit.

keep bricking yourself up with all those stupid self-help books

that never make any difference anyway.

i used to spend hours trying to understand,

trying to shore you up, to soothe your worries;

then i’d get up to get a coke, and when i came back,

you’d be back to square one and basic crazy.

what do the radio waves tell you today, sugar?

who am i fucking, that i didn’t know i was fucking?

myself, i think.

see you in the funny papers–

i’m sick of this circus,

and i’m writing my character out of this play.

don’t be sad,

don’t complain to the stage actor’s guild–

you’ll always have the made-up me inside your head,

and that’s the only one you ever really saw

anyway.

______

photo “clouds” by kenia cris.

for play it again toads 3

red shoes

Posted: 03/09/2014 in house of change

suzie's shoesi wore red heels for you

to that italian place where even the busboys act mobbed-up.

the band sucked hard, and i had haffa mind to walk up to the bandstand,

wearing running red super gloss on my sweetest smile

and coo a request for one of my own songs.

i wanted to see the dumb look i’d get, and share the joke with you.

 

they had those cheesy meshed glass candles on the tables,

like mrs paul had just been there, recycling the nets and whipping out the matches.

when did you stop loving me, babe?

why’d you make me be the one to have to see it,

to have to say it?

 

when i left, it had started to rain

just like in some 40s flick where blondie finally gets a clue.

i waved down a yellow cab and snapped a heel cos the pavement was cracked from winter

and they hadn’t patched it yet.

when i got home, i pitched those shoes in the vestibule;

heartbreaker red, they were, putting a real fine point on it,

like mama does when she lets loose with the i told ya so’s.

 

well fuck you, dagwood, cos i’ve still got my stage boots.

whad’you got except a cheap sinatra raincoat with empty arms

and your crew of phoney buddies?

drop dead,

and by the way,

i took the cannoli.

_____

for real toads. art by Vandy Massey.

written while listening to B.B. King’s “The Thrill Is Gone”, courtesy of Hedgewitch at Verse Escape.

 

fence

Posted: 03/01/2014 in house of fools, house of women

something there is that doesn’t love a fence,

but judy works at the mortuary and lifted a little jewelry.

wouldn’t it probly be a sin to waste it,

now that it’s in our hot little hands?

that’s what judy asked me, though i’m not 100% clear about the “our” part.

anyway, i know this guy who used to go with my cousin and he knows a guy and

so we lost the jewelry and picked up a little cash,

then we both got our nails done and

now our hands really *are* hot,

sort of,  and the old lady would be glad she could do that for us,

wouldn’t she? sure she would.

it’s just like i always say, good fences make everybody happy.

____

for the robt frost thing at real toads.

dead

Posted: 02/25/2014 in house of music

Ladies and germs, please welcome three gentlemen and one great great broad, Coal Black and Poison Apple!

 

Heyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!

(heavy drum beat)

Hello Tulsaaaaaaaaaaa!

(wild applause, bass line drops in)

Fuck y’all, caintcha do any better’n that???

(wilder applause, guitar chords)

All right!

 

You and your tweaker friends stay up all week

screwing parts from the fire alarm to my tv,

I think it’s pretty lame, yeah I think it’s strange

when ya don’t want my lovin but ya want my brains

Sh-sh-sh-shamble baby

(you’re undead!)

It’s bullsh-sh-sh-shamble

(when you’re undead!)

When I first metcha, you were awful fine,

But now you got no teeth and a burned-out mind,

I’d rather puke than kiss ya, it’s just snot the same,

cos all you ever wanna do is eat my brain!

You’re rotten baby

(you’re undead!)

sh-sh-shamble baby

(cos you’re undead!)

I can’t stay with ya, can’t stick around,

so why dontcha just go underground?

Let’s bury the past and your sorry ass,

Just stay dead baby,

this time baby, cos

Sh-sh-sh-shamble

(you’re undead!)

It’s bullsh-sh-sh-shamble

(when you’re undead!)

Lemme see ya shamble, Tulsaaaaa!

(guitar shred)

Oh hell yeah!

J’miah

Posted: 02/16/2014 in house of love, house of women

j’miah got four sisters.

they dress ‘im up, sit his baby fat butt at their tea parties.

j’miah got all of their old

dolls, trolls, jacks.

you might’ve been surprised to see the green-haired naked marines

storm the beach and beat the Bratzis.

j’miah got four sisters, make him their pet.

they soothe and scold, make him be the dad or the dog.

time goes by, j’miah’s four sisters all get married, one by one.

all the husbands got sisters.

all the sisters think j’miah awfully cute.

“he understands things” they say.

“he’s not an asshole,” they say.

“like you,” they add, to the brother-husbands.

 

j’miah got four sisters.

it ain’t all bad.

he tell this basic fact to every new girlfriend,

including the new one,

the naked one,

the one with green hair.

______

for Kerry’s free verse challenge: Four.