Sunday, October 27, 2013

The First Time Charlie Cooked Bacon

Charlie, barely beginning to grow hair on his chin,
Is alone in the house, looking bored, once again.
He’s a typical latchkey kid you’d find these days,
A video-game addict who never works and never prays.
It’s six o’clock, and there’s no sign of his mother.
What makes this day different than any other?

The boy’s forefathers were ranchers, butchers, and mountain men.
Their ghosts are flying.  Into Charlie’s abode they enter in.
The boy does not see them, but his ancestors are there,
A few lean by the door, a bearded man floats in the air.

The invisible men stare intently at the young man
And something pulls him to the kitchen, to look for a pan.
He sets it on the stove and lights the little fire.
Bacon is on his mind. Bacon is his desire.

Monday, October 21, 2013

The thing that I like about poetry is

I can do whatever I want
and I can write about whatever I want
and now I wanna write about myself
and the way I feel about myself
and the way my feelings feel about myself
and I, myself, dedicate this poem to myself

and I can ; put semi-colons;
wherever I wanna put semi-colons;
and you can’t see me sitting at the
keyboard typing this poem about myself
but I’m dressed up like a tiger
and in fact I really am a tiger ;


people can’t make an entire stanza
out of one little conjunction
but tigers can ; and if you don’t
know what a stanza or a conjunction is then

and I don’t even have to finish my senten
or offer anybody a complete th-
and if I wanna change subjects
whenever I want, and if I wanna
use the word “winsome” even though
I don’t know what it means;

and another thing I like about poetry is
I can just introduce a new character
whenever I want, depending on how I feel,
and he’s a goblin and his name is Perry
and he’s winsome and he’s got an enchanted amulet
and Perry’s amulet is small but it’s really all a big
metaphor for post-modernism
and you’ll never see Perry again;

and another thing I like about poetry is
I don’t ever have to go to the library
or learn stuff about stuff; I mean; it’s so cool;
like I had this dream last night,
and I was a boa-constrictor;
munch-munch-munching on the marshmallow-flavored
bark of a Tummy-Tummy-Tum-Tum Tree

tubby bonk! tubby bonk! tubby tubby tubby bonk!

and all those old poets had to rhyme
and all those old poets had to go live
in the woods for a while and ponder
and sit on a boulder or stare at a stream

and sometimes people ask me,
“Why didn’t you pay your phone bill?”
and I just say, “I’m a poet,”
and sometimes people ask me,
“Why didn’t you put the laundry away?”
and I just say, “I’m a poet,”
and sometimes people ask me,
“Why’d you disguise yourself as your father,
withdraw all the money from his bank account,
and buy two-hundred and thirty-seven exotic rocks?”
and I just say, “You should have seen those rocks,”

and when somebody asks me
what I do for a living I just look
them right back in the eyes and say
“I make my living with this,”
and I point to my love-soul
and sometimes they say
“No, really, what is it that you… do?”
and I just say,
“I look at cactus, man… I look at cactus.”

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Vote No on the JO Combs Unified School District Budget Increase

Dear Readers,

Right now there is a mail-in only election going on in my neck of the woods.  There's only one question on the ballot.  Vote yes for a 5% school district budget increase or vote no to keep the budget the way it is.  I'm voting no. 

This is a tough vote for me.  I know some people that teach there and they say the class sizes are getting bigger.  Also, Arizona is not a very good state for teachers' salaries.  Teaching is one of the hardest jobs out there.  I think Arizona teachers should get paid more in Arizona.  Teachers often end up spending their own money on classroom supplies.  I sympathize with these teachers, and I sympathize with the students trapped in failing public schools. But throwing more money at the problem isn't the solution.  The solution is to cut administrative costs, or to abandon public schools altogether and educate our young in some other way. 

Well... honestly I think that the public school model is broken, or at least severely damaged, and that we ought to do what we can to switch kids over to private schools, parochial schools, charter schools, home schools and apprenticeships. 

I'm voting no.  That doesn't make me a bad person, does it?


Tuesday, October 15, 2013


My son, the time has come for you to learn
the proper way to act around our saguaro cactus.
Don’t touch it.  Don’t hit it with a stick
and don’t hit it with anything else.
Remember where the cactus is
so you don’t accidentally run into it
when you’re playing
hide-and-go-seek or capture the flag.
All you do is look at it.  Keep looking.

One of these days you’ll appreciate this saguaro.
One of these days you’ll be glad this cactus is here.
One of these days you’ll be lonely, and when you are,
come outside and sit next to this cactus.

Sit down in the dirt
or go get a folding chair from the shed.
Look at the cactus for a while and
look away for a while.
The important thing is that you’re near the cactus,
within five feet, for a long time.
Doesn’t it feel good to be
next to a giant, silent, living thing?

And one of these days the monsoons will come.
The sky will darken in the summer afternoon,
rain will pour from the clouds to the earth,
and the wind will blow and blow and blow,
and in the wind,
the branches of the mesquite trees will sway,
the paddles of the prickly pear will sway,
but the arms of the saguaro cactus will not sway.

When the storm passes, if you wait a while,
you’ll see a lizard climbing among the needles,
and a cardinal perched on the saguaro’s peak.
This saguaro cactus will stand upright,
sturdy as a stone, letting those animals visit.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Psyduck, Pokemon # 054

Psyduck’s a duck, but not precisely.
“Monster,” is fitting: a feathery creature
Whose dark and destructive cerebral powers
Give rise to his most frightful distinguishing feature.

(His most frightful distinguishing feature, by the way,
Is a BAM BAM ray that blasts out of his big yellow head.)

Psyduck gets headaches that hurt his duck head;
And Psyduck gets headaches that hurts everyone, too!
And one time Psyduck got an ache in his skull
Which led to the destruction of Pikachu!

Ouch! Did you feel that? It’s him, and his head!
Psyduck's head is in your head.
Soon you'll find his mind in your mind.
Yikes! Now I’m scared to recline in my bed!

Psyduck is all around us. Psyduck is expanding.

Lugia, Pokemon # 249

Oh most noble and airborne Lugia,
Pokemon classified as legendary,
Hast thou descended from the Land of the Giant
Or the Magical Tree-Tops of the Fairy?
Nay, for these places are merely fictitious.
The reality of your actual existence is much more delicious.
Your home, Oh majestic Lugia, lies in golden afternoon skies.
I’m perceiving a gigantic platter of actually-perceived blueberry pies,
Which are yummy, and really really really really real,
Pies which cause our mouths to water, our tongues to tasty-feel,
Because these now-perceived fourteen pies are sublime,
More than Snorlax Sublime, more than Charizard Sublime,
Yes, the sublimity of the pies is best digested, not by analogy,
But by a thrice-repeated pronouncement, pronouncing their actuality:
The pies are Lugia Sublime, Lugia Sublime, Lugia Sublime!
Also, a blueberry pie has blue in it,
and you, Lugia, have blue in you, too.

Were you formed in the Dank Dark Depths
Of the Very Cosmic Womb of the Cosmically
Dank and Dark Poke-Mother of the Poke-Force?
Are you the mystical power which gives rise
To Ash Ketchum’s imperialistic drive,
The power which enables all the Pokemon to remain alive,
And imbues all the Pokemon with the will to thrive?
Or are you the Son of this mystical power?
Or the Nephew? Or the Nephew’s Cousin’s Business Partner?

Ah, but you speak no answer, because, like all
Pokemon, excepting Team Rocket’s Meowth,
You are forever bound by the Poke-Force to talk
Only in utterances of your own name.  What a shame.
For I ‘twould love to hear you speak,
In words replete with sense, in sentences complete.
But we, for now, ‘twill have to settle,
Since only your sounds “Loo,”  “Ge,” and “Uh,”
Are permitted to bespeak your mettle.

What Pokeball can contain your greatness?
What Pokedex can describe you in fullness?
What Poke-illustration can Poke-illustrate you?
Seriously, Lugia, you’re downright Poke-mysterious!

I’ve only seen you but once in my life,
When after a day of battling and strife,
I sat by a rock on a mountain’s peak.
‘Twas then that I caught a glimmer of your beak.
And then your wings were revealed to my view,
And then your belly, your back, your wing feathers too.
I stood and I stared.  I dared not say a word.
Lo! Perching before me was a legendary Pokemon bird!

All massive, all terrible, all very sublime,
And I knew this would be the first and last time
I would see you.  ‘Twas as if I was fixed in a haze.
Upon your midnight eyes I fixed my gaze.
I looked at you.  You looked at me.
Our eyes locked for an eternity.
I retrieved a Pokeball from my leathern knapsack
and dreamed of the day when for me you would attack.

I pressed a button, watched the ball enlarge;
I was going to show Lugia who was in charge.
But alas, before my Pokeball’s size fully increased,
My plans for domination were prematurely ceased,
For you were in majestic flight,
headed off into the starry night.
And you flew away, away, out of my sight.
I wanted to throw rocks.  I wanted to fight.

I was furious then, but now, everything’s all right.
Lugia belongs in his home in the sky.
Don’t tie him down.  Don’t even try.
Maybe we really don’t need to catch them all.
Prideful acquisition will lead to our fall.
At least one Pokemon should be allowed to get away,
Poke-fans, keep this in mind next time you play.