Friday, March 28, 2014

Therapy

Therapy

When I’m tired of livin'
and nobody likes my poems,
when I’m worn out from workin'
and I ain’t got no home, 
here’s what I do:
I mosey on down to a downtown street,
find a little cafe with jazz coming out
step inside and start tappin' my feet,
and then I forget what I was crying about.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Coolidge

I drive through Coolidge
on the way to Tucson
but have only stopped there twice,
once to get something at Wal-mart,
I don't remember what,
and another time to see the Casa Grande Ruins,
a big adobe house built by the Indians.

In Coolidge you`ll see really tall cactus,
probably some men in cowboy hats,
a dollar store, a trailer park,
a bar called the Gallopin' Goose
and just south on the highway
there's Stinger Welding,
a big metal building
it might have been gray
and it might have been blue
and it's got an angry bee on the side
and I drive by all this stuff
a couple of times a year
eating sunflower seeds, feeling sleepy.

And this is the way we pass
through most of the towns
on the way to some other place:
knowing no one,
speaking briefly
or not at all
taking with us only a few unclear memories
of ten-thousand clear glances
and perhaps a trinket from some store
but we don't remember
what it was
or what we did with it
or where it is now.

Depression

Depression comes into the house
like fog through the crack under the door.
It moves into the living room,
into the hallway, into the bedroom,
staying low, low down by the brown carpet.
Depression senses today's victim,
an innocent girl,
crawls up into the bed,
and smothers her.

She unplugs the beeping alarm clock
and rolls back into bed,
wishing things were different,
wishing she was dead.

And all around her
on that dark and dismal day
are smiling friends who surround her
and move their mouths to say,
"Cheer up, you silly girl!
Everything's going to be OK!"

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Flowers in the Gardens of the Spirit World

are giant and bright and beautiful
and they sway all day
and they’re green 
and they’re blue
and they’re purple too
and they communicate with us
by the way they sway
and by the way they spray
out a mist of pure love
and a mist of pure joy

and with their petals outstretched 
they shout out praise 
to the God of flowers
and they shout out praise 
to the God of people
and by their love 
and by their life 
the flowers in the gardens 
of the Spirit World 
produce more love 
and more life

and you might say
that this is my imagination
and you might say
that this is hallucination
and you might say 
I need medication

but if you would have been dead
you would not have said
“Nonsense,” and then walked off 
to pick and pin down 
the normal flowers
on this normal Earth,
and you would not have attended
the bi-monthly meeting 
of local flower enthusiasts
at which you serve as secretary 

rather you would have 
closed your eyes, 
let your soul rise,
seen the flowers
smelled the flowers
felt the flowers
all the million flowers
in all the million gardens
of the glorious Spirit World

and then you would have believed me
that this petunia is temporary 
and that this lily
and that this other lily
both of which are neatly reposed
in your science flower book
will decompose, decompose, decompose,
along with your science flower book

and if you would have been dead
then you would have believed me
that these flowers pinned down
in your science flower book
are not everything that Existence 
is willing to give to you, freely. 

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Propinquity

is not now a noun of renown,
nor has the populace formerly donned
the word with a crown of popularity, 
opting not to pull “propinquity” 
from its obscure nook in an obscure cave,
solitary, crouching at the base of a stalagmite.

But today I saw “propinquity" in an old poem
written by a dead person, 
a passionate and tender woman, 
judging by all these poems
she left behind when she died,
poems overflowing with propinquity,
and off to the dictionary I went
to find out what it meant.

It means closeness,
as in, “I long for the propinquity
that attends the primitive community.”
and “Why can’t there be more propinquity
between one and Infinity?”
and “I support propinquity, 
in the abstract, and here, in poetry, 
but please, Dad, get away from me."

Thursday, March 6, 2014

The Boy Who Cried Wolf

Once upon a time there was a little shepherd boy, and it was his job to watch the sheep, and make sure they were safe.  One day he was watching the sheep, watching the sheep, watching the sheep, and he got bored.  So he decided to play a trick on the townspeople.  He decided that he was going to tell everybody there was a wolf trying to eat his sheep, even though there really wasn't a wolf.  

So he started yelling, “Wolf!  Wolf!  Everybody come help me!  There’s a wolf!”

And all the townspeople ran out to help him and they said, “Ok, little shepherd boy.  We’re here.  Where’s the wolf?  We’ll get the wolf for you.”

But the little shepherd boy said, “Ha ha ha ha!  There really isn’t a wolf.  I was just tricking you.”

And the townspeople said, “Well that wasn't very nice.  We came all the way out here to help you, and you just tricked us?
And the little shepherd boy said, “Ha ha ha ha!”  So all the townspeople went home.  

The next day, the little shepherd boy was watching the sheep, watching the sheep, watching the sheep, and he got bored again.  So he decided to play the same trick again.  He started yelling, “Wolf!  Wolf!  Everybody come help me!  There’s a wolf!” 

And all the townspeople ran out to help him, and they said, “Alright we’re here.  Where’s the wolf?  We’ll get that wolf.”

But the little shepherd boy said, “Ha ha ha ha ha!  There really isn’t a wolf.  I tricked you again!  I can’t believe you fell for it two days in a row.”

And the townspeople said, “Hey, that’s not nice.  That’s not nice at all.  We stopped what we were doing, came all the way out here to help you protect your sheep, and you just tricked us again?”

And the little shepherd boy said, “ha ha ha ha ha!”  So all the townspeople went home.

The next day, the little shepherd boy was watching the sheep, and he looked up, far away, to the top of a hill, and he saw saw something small, and brown, and he didn’t know what it was.  But it got closer and closer, and bigger, and bigger, until he could tell what it was.  And do you know what it was?  It was a wolf!  A real, live wolf!  Growl.  And he was hungry for some sheep.

So the little shepherd boy started yelling, “Wolf!  Wolf!  Everybody come help me there’s a wolf!”

And all the townspeople were about to go run out to help him, but then one of the townspeople said, “Wait a minute.  This little shepherd boy tricked us two days in a row.  I bet he’s trying to trick us again.  I bet there really isn’t a wolf.  Let’s not even go out to hep him.”  So none of the townspeople went out to help the little shepherd boy.

And the shepherd boy kept yelling, “Guys, I’m serious!  I’m not tricking you this time, I promise!  There really is a wolf and it’s gonna eat my sheep.  Please come help me!”

But nobody believed him, and nobody went out to help the little shepherd boy.

And the wolf got closer and closer to a sheep, and he ate it.


And the moral of the story is: don’t cry wolf.   

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

The Three Little Pigs

Once upon a time there were three little pigs that lived with their Mommy pig and their Daddy pig.  And one day they were all grown up, so it was time for them to move out, build their own houses, and live on their own.  

The first pig was lazy and impatient, so he built his house out of straw.  It wasn’t a very sturdy house, but it was quick and easy to build, so that’s what he did.

The second pig was a little more hard-working and a little more patient, so he built his house out of sticks.  The house was kind of sturdy, and it took a little bit longer to build.

The third pig was very hardworking and very patient, so he built his house out of bricks.  It was hard work, and it took a long time, but when the house was finished, it was strong.

And the three pigs each lived in the houses that they built.

Then one day, the Big Bad Wolf came to town.  Growl!  And he was hungry for some pigs! First he went to the house made out of straw, and he knocked on the door, knock knock knock.  And he said, “Little pig, little pig, let me come in!”

“Not by the hair of my chinny-chin chin!”

“Then I’ll huff and I’ll puff, and I’ll blow your house in!”

So he huffed, and he puffed, and he blew the house in, and he was about to eat that little pig, but before he could catch him, the pig ran to his brother’s house made out of sticks, ran inside, and locked the door.

But the Big Bad Wolf chased after him, and when he got to the house made out of sticks, he knocked on the door, knock knock knock.  And he said, “Little pigs, little pigs, let me come in!”

“Not by the hair of our chinny-chin chins!”

“Then I’ll huff and I’ll puff, and I’ll blow your house in!”

So he huffed, and he puffed, and he blew the house in, and he was about to eat those two little pigs, but before he could catch them, they ran away to their brother’s house made out of bricks, ran inside and locked the door.

But the Big Bad Wolf chased after them, and when he got to the house made out of bricks, he knocked on the door, knock knock knock.  And he said, “Little pigs, little pigs, let me come in!”

“Not by the hair of our chinny-chin chins!”

“Then I’ll huff and I’ll puff, and I’ll blow your house in!”

So he huffed, and he puffed, and he huffed and he puffed, and he huffed, and he puffed, and he huffed and he puffed, and he huffed, and he puffed, but he couldn’t  blow the house in.  Do you know why?  Because it was made out of bricks.

But the wolf really really wanted to eat those pigs, so he stopped for a minute, caught his breath, and looked around.  “Hmmm,” he thought.  “These pigs won’t open the door, and I can’t blow the house in, but boy am I hungry!  What should I do?”  

And then he looked up on the roof, and he saw a chimney, and he got an idea.  He would climb up on the roof and crawl down into the house through the chimney.  So that’s what he did.  He got up on the roof and he started crawling down the chimney.  

And as he crawled, he made this sound, “Scritch, scritch, scritch, scritch” and the three little pigs heard the wolf, and they said, “Oh no!  What do we do?”  And one of the pigs said, “I know, let’s start a fire in the fireplace, so that when the wolf comes down, he’ll burn.”  So that’s what they did.  

When the wolf came down, he landed in the fire, and he got burned really bad, and he screamed, “Yeeooow!” and he crawled back up the chimney, jumped off of the house, ran all the way out of town, and never came back again.


And the moral of the story is, when you build a house, build it out of bricks.

Goldilocks and the Three Bears

Once upon a time there was a girl named Goldilocks, and one day she was walking through the forrest, and as she walked, she sang this song:

Tra la la la la
My name is Goldilocks
Tra la la la la
I love to skip and trot
Tra la la la la
I’m having such a wonderful day
Tra la la la la
I wonder what will come my way

And then she found a Bear’s House.  And she was curious.  So she looked through the window, and she didn't see any bears in there, so then she went to the front door, and she knocked, knock knock knock, and nobody answered.  Then she put her hand on the door handle, and twisted it, and she opened the door, and then she went inside the Bear’s House. 

Then Goldilocks walked around and she saw a table with three bowls of porridge.  One bowl for Daddy Bear, one bowl for Mommy Bear, and one bowl for Baby Bear.  And she was a little bit hungry, so she decided to taste the porridge.  First she took a bite out of Daddy Bear’s bowl of porridge, but it was so hot, it nearly burned her tongue.  Then she took a bite out of Mommy Bear’s bowl of porridge, but it was so cold, it nearly froze her tongue.  Then she took a bite out of Baby Bear’s bowl of porridge, and it wasn’t too hot, and it wasn’t too cold, it was just right.  And it was tasty.  So she took another bite, and then another bite, until she gobbled up the entire bowl of porridge.

Then Goldilocks stood up and walked around, and she saw three chairs, one chair for Daddy Bear, one chair for Mommy Bear, and one chair for Baby Bear.  And she thought it might be nice to sit down, so first she sat down in Daddy Bear’s chair, but it was too hard.  She just couldn’t get comfortable.  Then she sat down in Mommy Bear’s chair, but it was too soft.  She just couldn’t get comfortable.  Then she sat down in Baby Bear’s chair, and it wasn’t too hard, and it wasn’t too soft, it was just right.  And it was a really comfortable chair.  So Goldilocks sat in it for a long time, until she almost fell asleep.  But then she said, “Wait a minute!  Wait a minute!  I don’t want to fall asleep in a chair.  I want to fall asleep in a bed.”

So Goldilocks stood up and walked around until she found three beds, one bed for Daddy Bear, one bed for Mommy Bear, and one bed for Baby Bear.  First she laid down in Daddy Bear’s bed, but it was too hard.  Then she laid down in Mommy Bear’s bed, but it was too soft.  Then she laid down in Baby Bear’s bed, and it wasn’t too hard, and it wasn't too soft, it was just right.  And it was a really comfortable bed.  So Goldilocks laid there until she fell asleep.  Snore, snore, snore.

ROAR!

It was the bears!  Goldilocks screamed, “Ahhh!” and she got up out of the bed and she ran out of the Bear’s House and she ran out of the whole forrest, screaming, “Ahhh!”  


And the moral of the story is, if you’re ever walking through the forrest, and you find a Bear’s House, don’t go in there.

Sleepy Bear

Once upon a time there was a bear named Sleepy Bear, and all he wanted to do was sleep.  So one Tuesday morning at nine o’clock, he was sleeping.  Snore snore snore.  

And his Mommy Bear said, “That Sleepy Bear.  All he wants to do is sleep.”

But Sleepy Bear just said, “snore snore snore.”

And his Daddy Bear said, “Yeah, I wish Sleepy Bear would get up and do something useful with his life.  Hey.  Sleepy Bear, wake up!”

But Sleepy Bear just said, “Snore snore snore.”

And Mommy Bear said, “How should we wake him up?”

And Daddy Bear said, “I have an idea, let’s roar at him.”

Mommy bear said, “Oh, yeah, that’s a good idea.  Ok, let’s roar at him, on the count of three.  One, two, three, ROAR!”  

And Sleepy Bear woke up!  And he said, “Hey man, I was sleeping, man, what’d you have to wake me up, for, man?  I was having this groove-a-licious dream where I was eating this gigantic blueberry pie.  It was far out, man.”

But Mommy Bear and Daddy Bear just said, “ROAR!”


And the moral of the story is: Don’t sleep your life away.  Get up and do something useful, or get up and play.

The Three Billy Goats Gruff.

Once upon a time there were three billy goats, Daddy Billy Goat, Mommy Billy Goat, and Baby Billy Goat, and they lived on a field of grass, and every day they would eat the grass.  Munch munch munch, munch munch munch munch.  One day, Baby Billy Goat was eating the grass, and he looked across the river, and he saw more grass over there.  And it looked greener than the grass that he was eating, and it looked delicious, and he wanted to taste it.  

So Baby Billy Goat went up to his Daddy Billy Goat, and he said, “Daddy Billy Goat, how come we never cross the river and eat some of that grass over there?  It looks so green.”

And Daddy Billy Goat said, “Son, I was born on this field of grass, and my father was born on this field of grass, and my father’s father was born on this field of grass.  So we’re staying here.”

So the Baby Billy Goat said “okay” and went back to eating the same old grass.  Munch munch munch, munch munch munch munch.

The next day, Baby Billy Goat was walking around, eating some grass, and he looked across the river again, and the grass looked so much greener over there, and he really wanted to taste it, so he started walking along the river, until he found a bridge.  And then he started crossing the bridge, walk walk walk, walk walk walk walk.  

POP!  It was the troll!   Meh, meh, meh, meh, meh, meh, meh!

“Ah!” The Baby Billy Goat screamed, turned around and ran away.  Then he went to his Mommy Billy Goat, and he said, “Mommy, do you think you could try crossing the bridge and getting some of that grass and bringing it back here so I can taste it?”

And Mommy Billy Goat said, “Um, I don’t think I really wanna do that because I have this friend named Debbie, and she’s a Billy Goat, too, and Debbie has a husband named Jerry, and one time they were going for a walk, and they found that bridge, and they were just curious, so Jerry started walking across the bridge, and then a scary troll popped out of the river and just did this ‘meh meh meh meh meh meh’ thing and they were so so so scared.  So Debbie and Jerry told me that I should never try to cross the bridge, so that’s why I think I don’t wanna try to cross the bridge even though the grass over there does look kind of tasty.  I mean, it really does look greener, doesn’t it?  Like, really really green.  You know what, Baby Billy Goat?  Sometimes when I’m alone, I think, what if I never really do what I want to do with my life?  What if I never really achieve my dreams?  What if I end up as an Old, Old Mommy Billy Goat and for my whole life I’ve just walked around the same old patch of grass, nibbling and nibbling and nibbling until I go crazy?  Question: When is Mommy Billy Goat ever gonna reach for her dreams?  Answer: right now!  OK! OK!  I’m gonna do it!  You’ll see!  You’ll all see!  I’m gonna cross that bridge!”

So Mommy Billy Goat started crossing the bridge, walk walk walk, walk walk walk walk.   

POP!  It was the troll!   Meh, meh, meh, meh, meh, meh, meh!

“Ah!” the Mommy Billy Goat screamed, turned around, and ran away.

Then Baby Billy Goat went up to Daddy Billy Goat and he said, “Daddy Billy Goat, can you please try crossing that bridge?  You’re so big and strong, maybe you won’t be scared of the troll.”

And Daddy Billy Goat said, “Son, I was born on this field of grass, and my father was born on this field of grass, and my father’s father was born on this field of grass.  But what the heck, I’ll give it a shot.”

So Daddy Billy Goat started crossing the bridge, walk walk walk, walk walk walk walk.

POP!  It was the troll!   Meh, meh, meh, meh, meh, meh, meh!

But Daddy Billy Goat wasn’t scared, he just put down his head, stuck out his horns and ran straight into the troll.  And he smashed right into him!  Bam!  And he knocked the troll off of the bridge and the troll fell into the river.  And the troll was hurt so bad that he couldn’t swim anymore so he drowned. 

Then Daddy Billy Goat said, “Come on, Mommy, come on Baby, let’s start crossing this bridge.”  And then they all crossed the bridge and got to the other side of the river.  And Daddy Billy Goat said, “Come on Mommy, come on Baby, let’s start eating this grass."  So they all started eating the grass.

And then, something really funny happened.  Baby Billy Goat was eating the grass, and it tasted okay.  But it wasn’t delicious.  It just tasted like normal grass.  And then he looked back across the river, and the grass over there looked greener!


And the moral of the story is, the grass is always greener on the other side.