The Vault in Princeworld

They keep the king’s sanity locked away

They still call him the Prince

     though the king’s passing

     should have demanded his ascendance

They tell him not –

     let him be his own purple transcendence.


They don’t let him tour the kingdom the way he used to:

     regal, upright in purple and astride his motorsteed.


No, his tours are as well guarded as his tower.

Neither puts him in touch with his full extent of power,

     nor views of the countryside,

     nor soft hands

     raised to hold greeting comely smiles

His decrees travel about as far as windowless views


Oh they tell him his words are pearls

     cherished far and wide.

And then he leans back with pride,

But there’s a steely room

     his words locked deep inside

     where they’ll ever from the sunlight hide.
They keep the king’s sanity locked away.



July 29, 2019

Trees, Deer, Hillsides

How is it you’re a highly regarded poet,

but have not one poem about the strife

     that surrounds you in this world.

Yes, it is nice to contemplate the beauty.

     I do it, too

     In a poem or two.

But after a time sitting under the tree

the issues in need of resolution come rushing back to me

     in a blast!


You’ve written a poem about the baby deer
I read that while trying to avoid an explosion too near.


I’ve come to think not addressing the troubles

represents an irresponsible layer.

I picture you sitting under and tree,

     looking out over your hills,

     and knowing only the removed,

     detached, most pastoral of thrills

while I write to bring light to a world that kills.


Then it occurs to me, yes, you are of a different layer;

One where they detachedly disconnect

     from their place in the problems.


     Or they just don’t care.


Does your tree-limned hllside

know how many accountants died

     when your dynastic president lied

     because he had brought politics to hide?

Dubious, since it doesn’t inform your writing hand,

     and when your pen does take a stand

     you seem to stick to a familiar brand –

– words packaged with mostly non-nutritive filler

     still support leaderly killers.


And I’ve decided you live and write way out there

     because you’re scared.

You Could be writing about bombs in our towns, too.

The approaching battle sure gives me shit to do,

     but it turns out in both class struggle and international strife

     the intended target is you.




June 8, 2019

What it Takes to Do Miracles

Now that we’re broken up

I’ve gotten rid of my crappy job,

     and I’m going to work at living out my dreams.

I freed that section of my budget to expand my means.

Now I fill blank pages by the reams and reams.

Now that we’re broken up

I’ve redirected a load of time that’s been spared,

     and solved all those worthy causes

     about which you purported to care.

I tried church again

     since I repossessed my own soul that was bared.

Now that we’re broken up

     I cured hanta, SIDS, SARS, AIDS, ebola,

     and saved kids in Angola…

     Senegal, Sierra Leone,

     Cameroon, and back home,

And, uh …

Now that we’re broken up

I chased all the snakes out of Virginia

and I’ll get around to those damn mosquitoes

     if you let me continue (continya)
I’ve become a miracle of science and math

     once I let go of all the terrible wrath

I’ve learned the nature of magic

     by releasing everything tragic

Now that we’re broken up

I looked up how to build stars

     so I could make one named after you

Then I invented the black hole

     so you could know what it’s like to get ripped apart, too.

I’ll let reality be that you’d get spit out the other side

     because I’d rather you go

     and learn and grow

     than have to have died,

Because I couldn’t have done any of this shit

     if I didn’t learn to dispose of my pride.



June 15. 2019

So Into You

Cool demeanor.

Seat at 45 degrees.

Complacent in harmony.


She, totally affected and at peace,

        watching you.

Now I know what you do

        why you choose cover tunes.


She’s so into you

     she can’t think of nothing else.

So into you

Solo Guitar Man,

        watching from the side

        and think up a plan

        for you to do next with your hand.


But you’d better finish up that set

        or miss out on this sure bet;

Before her narrow eyes wide,

        or out of that chair slides…

  Lips flushed full,

        pupils full of light,

        breasts riding out breaths o’er ribs,

        you’re all of her sights;

She is all anatomy and focus

        and you are the locus.


I wouldn’t be able to finish playing

        responding to her craving.


But that’s me,

        maybe your love for that guitar

        and what it do.

        has strumming her chords beat by far.


I can’t imagine.



June 8, 2019

For the Kids

What I did not expect to see

is you, a broken legged newcomer, admonishing me

for trying to pick up a coloring menu and crayons

the numbers of which seem to abound


“No! Those are for the kids” you say

to me, at the end of a long ass day

of teaching

into whose minds I’m reaching


The kid’s


See I’m a 28 year old man

and you mighta just caught me with my hand

in the Crayolas

but look lady this day is ovah!

And, though in High School, some coloring went on

Not only to break up the day running long

But to color the maps of your empire’s spread

and bar graphs and pie charts to set in their heads

what your mega food chain economy could afford

but would rather not sacrifice a coin

not above board…


Yeah I am a teacher, I come here almost every Wednesday
I blow off steam a tried and true way:
spicy Mexican food, a margarita and coloring some page

imagine if I had to unleash all this damn rage

No, no I have found a reasonable release

I teach in the next county over, the one to the East

It might surprise you how much this occupation leads one to play
Me and my wife, interviewed simultaneously, hired the same day

Crusaders for larnin’
In a county of barns and --
motivational problems galore
Kids thinking only towards something more
and this year we introduced standardized scores

Tests they don’t care about
since college in their futures was always in doubt
I mean they don’t want another 4 years of school

though it’s my job to make it seem cool

In fact most achievement is an uphill battle in King George

Despite unsupportive administrators ahead we must forge

and don’t get me started on the parents

making the kids work the bushhogs so SOMEone makes rent
So between what I put up with and what I make happen in a town on the skids

You couldn’t imagine all I do, including this, is quite for the kids

Still, it’s your place, new manager at Tia’s

My wife and I will slink to our seats in a section attended by Mia

Who knows my face

sees us in her space

and gets me a coloring menu from the front of the place

and a full fist of crayons plopped down with grace.

Later you see me coloring and literally sneer

that such precociousness has made it’s way here.
“I told you those were for the kids” you came by to say

“I didn’t go get this, but someone decided I deserved a good day”

Obviously you don’t have more important things to do

because you hover over my dinner to grill me on just who

was so impertinent as to defy

your orders to deny

me a coloring page

Now it’s you edging on rage.


Stuffed, sated and happier with a colorful prize

I and my wife pay up and stand up and walk towards darkening skies

I return my handful of crayons to the basket

Seeing you by the door I mark the completed task with,

“Here, these are for the kids”
Our waitress nearby, hears and raises a fist and echos “For the kids!”



July 30, 2019

Giovanni’s Pizza

I thought it was going to be about sharing a family tradition,
eating Italian on the Oceanfront,
with you.


But I’m not Italian,
      and my memory of the place is not
      perfect-o.


But something I said caught the light just right,
      and threw it in your eyes
      shining like skies.
Well, you are Italian,
      but one look at your blue
      belies that about you.


And it turned out
      it was really about
      getting this view
      of you.





June 8, 2019

Misspent Ergs

Erg is a unit of measure of effort
Before… before, 2/3 of your efforts were placed
into meeting his needs;
      keeping him fed and taking care of his wants –
      “just cuz”.
But very little came back your way –
      less and less every day.


Your ergs were not reflected back anywhere near equal
      and if they were it was in opposition
While that’s dumb enough to make Einstein frown
      It’s totally letting Newton down.


Your last man was so unscientific
      he couldn’t stand, – so just skip it.


Here’s a new rule to make scientific fact:
      for whatever ergs you invest in me
      invest two in yourself as a priority
      and watch as I respond to your investment
              reflexively.



June 8, 2019

Down Here

Hey, Hey pompous ass
I thought of you in the porta-potty today.
I thought I was leaving you in the assembled throng,
but no, I caught whiff of a great mass of detritus.
Now while that smell wells up, catches attention,
you are still present – wouldn’t be anyplace else
and, to my shame, I realized
I am just now contributing to you.
I thought I was leaving you in the assembled throng,
but, no, you swell ever so incrementally more.
You don’t realize that, though you rise
to the top of the porta-potty, you’re still down here
with us
and will be.





June 8, 2019

Untitled 2019A

I hope you don’t notice
I have no patience when it comes to waiting
… for a taste of you.
But not being a chef I leap at another chance
to play doctor
… to put you in my waiting room…
But funny how I pretend to be the doctor
when I need you
... to douse my fever.



June 8, 2019

Hydroplane

Sideways


Sheet of ice was not in the plan
Just one puddle too many
      two degrees too few
      three hours of unattended roadway
      four seconds of terrifyingly smooth sailing
      or less
Sideways


Best you can do is buckled up


Like a roller coaster you didn’t wait in line for
Was your life, your choices, leading to this moment?
Spinning out of control, out of control
Or did you think you had a better grasp on your soul?
What are you thinking about that now for?
Well you don’t have anything else to do
      while your life flashes before your eyes
      as the world paints itself across your windshield
              like the movie you missed
                    while watching the movie
                          you thought you
                                were meant to see.


This slide might as well be your life now
      or the new start.
Are we here to see what made you lose control?
Are we here to see the slide?
Are we here to see the crash?
Are we here to review your life before?
Are we here to see the aftermath?


Too late, the transition time is only that
See where the ride settles in the end,
      see what of your things are left scattered about the wreckage,
      pick them up,
              or leave them and walk on like day one.




Are you new?
      Renewed?
Are you recycled or like never?
Will there be lessons that last forever?
Or will we see you on the powerslide
      at the end of the next ride?
Will you respond, recoil from the winter chill
      or are these few seconds your addictive thrill?




June 8, 2019