My Goodness and Warmth

I wear the colors of a whining monarch, His most fervid protector and
holder of his trust. I change His damp linens and when He slays an
angel I am the one who salts its white body and see it entombed. For
these reasons, He considers me His beloved servant, prideswollen at
the sight of me in the distance, adorned in His good colors and
bearing His standard.

He is pathetic and it endears Him to me further. His knotty red
knuckles and quivering eyes are mine to serve and I cry for Him when I
scrub the garments it is mine to wear. Others claim to serve strong
monarchs with tight fists and unmovable hearts in their chests. I wear
my colors because they are mine to wear and I know that these others
are bad liars, bad liars who serve rulers as weak and unworthy as mine
and in their lying eyes I see the same loathing and love that fill
mine. He will be staring into those eyes as he dies in my arms and my
death will be in weeping.



I haven't got the time today to listen to problems from all of the people. The way it looks now, I won't have time for several months, and by that time the problems will be new problems and some of them will be gone and some will be worse and I still will strain for empathy. I haven't seen evidence of it.

That's why I wear this jacket with its screwy zipper, and these glasses with their incorrect lenses, and these briefs which pain my testes, and this hat with its obviously misspelled word. I offer this of myself to those who I cannot care for, and it is payment enough. Their pity, unwarranted though it may be, offers a validation which far outweighs any effect my imaginary empathy might have.

So suck on that, haters, and please: when you inform me of the mustard stain on this jacket with its screwy zipper, be tentative and patronizing. Hold me in your fat eyelids.


Chard, Lemons, Iceberg Lettuce, and Meat Fat

Here is the shameful little one: the primary blue piglet with a cocktail sword and email account password in his fake-looking pocket. He's drawn check marks in permanent marker all over his canvas sneakers. He secretly loves the smell of a cigar. His dreams are swamps.

The reason we're walking away in this silence is obvious, is it not? As obvious as the dry yellow grass. The little telephone I carry in my pocket starts making a racket and to a distant observer--our piglet, let's say--I begin inexplicably smacking my hip. I whisper "I'm embarrased it's orange." But you hear, "Time for ass, it's on."

Now I'm in a pickle, attempting to explain the unlikely sexual congress that transpired in my recent past. I cannot reconcile the easy lapse of inhibition as our encounter occurred with the disciplined way that I normally conduct myself. LOL


Shallow Guy Eating Chips

There's something lonely living here. Everyone feels it, including all of the teachers.

I know about the teachers and the things they believe because I have a hiding place in their lounge. Ever since my early student days, the teacher's lounge gripped me with fascination that couldn't be fully realized in glimpses through the cracked door. I found reasons to stay at school as long as possible: extracurricular enrichments and playing the volunteer. I became the child ghost of the waxed linoleum.

Mrs. Linkage had me assist her with the decorations for Mr. Tolbin's retirement party. As I hung crepe paper owls and twists of tiny incandescent bulbs about the room, my breath was thick and fruity in my chest and my eyes felt heavy with tears. I also felt Mrs. Linkage's gaze upon my deliberate child arms. She felt such happiness in my presence. I was an awed child, calmly appreciative of these teachers, a small walker with gentle footsteps. There was a natural goodness in me that she never recognized in her own children.

None of this is conjecture; my aforementioned hiding place made me privy to such things. In my old age, the ache in my knees is the legacy of my crouching teacher's lounge hours.


The Ice Melting on the Hood

There are things to cling to, like the clean pebbles in the pockets of
my jackets. I have too many jackets. In the last two years, I've only
worn one of them, on less than a dozen days altogether. It makes more
sense to wear sleeves long or carry a sweater. Also, most days there
are only a few minutes in the naked outside for which a jacket might
be preferred, and those minutes are only slightly more terrible
without one. So the closet stays closed, and the jackets and the
pebbles are forgotten, dumbly clinged to with hands that aren't mine.

It occurs to me that the path to work has become wild with thorns and
tough little vines, pleading calls from birds in unseen shadows.
Sometimes the scabs and pale scars on my sun-darkened arms startle me.
I'm not getting used to them and the people I know ask if I've tried
this lotion or that salve. I don't prefer to do that, though. The same
as how I squeeze my head in red hands rather than swallow something
benign from a plastic bottle. The only things I actually treasure are
irrationalities, anyway. The way spitting makes me feel in control,
the way spitting fingernail splinters makes me feel like some kind of
victor, the way a terrible mug of coffee validates this whole


The New Mormon Boy

In the convention center, Genevieve Reed and Steven Hart Brindell compare expensive new DSLR cameras. The woman's hummingbird mouth speaks soft, moldy words. The drowsy-eyed man has trouble following her; her voice cannot compete with the constant rattle of pitchmen and projected animation.

Mr. Hart Brindell has been in similar situations countless times: situations in which he is unable to fully comprehend the verbal information he is receiving. His mind, given to automythologizing, has decided that some party is actively working to block critical information from him. Fearful of succumbing to paranoid delusion, he has taken care to formulate a plausible hypothesis.

He has assigned blame to time travelers who need to prevent him from making certain cognitive links that will add up to an idea that creates a reality they oppose. Desperate to maintain a sense of decorum, Mr. Hart Brindell refuses to voice this hypothesis to others, or seek assistance of any kind. After all, who is to say that these future-folk are wrong? And who is to say that they couldn't have simply killed him? He has taken this as a show of good faith, and though he is an affirmed atheist, decided that if there is to be an invisible force influencing his actions from a distance, this one is acceptable. It is this ability to compartmentalize his paranoia that allows him to seduce a woman like Genevieve Reed, to involve himself in sex stuff with her, and to father several children with her.

Unfortunately for the future-folk who so boldly meddle in the affairs of the past, one of Mr. Hart Brindell's descendants will do some really rotten shit and make a mess of things anyway.


Sean Michaels Became a Professional Wrestler When He Grew Up

I am compelled, on occasion, to disturb those ladies with whom I engage in the sex acts. "The sex acts" used to be my favorite term for naked times with women, until I heard famed cable television opinion generator Bill O'Reilly say "sex stuff" while interviewing the Insane Clown Posse. So, sometimes when I'm doing sex stuff with women, I'll say something jarring. For instance, I might say one of the following phrases.

A. "I dreamed of a spider last night."
B. "This is like hockey."
C. "I love this."

I know that option C seems tame. It might even be welcomed by my vaginally blessed counterpart, given she's one of those who enjoys verbal communication while doing sex stuff.

To clarify: I'll say something innocuous, but say it in an unsettling way. For instance, in the voice of a cackling witch, Quickdraw McGraw, or a sports talk radio host. I don't know why. I usually don't like these women enough to care, and maybe it will give them a wacky thing to tell "their girls."

I don't even enjoy sex stuff.


Among White Time

The boxes were empty now. We admitted triumph, finally able to see through the coronal discharges of our flesh casings, and spoke words of satisfaction to each other. The air was prickly with glee, subtle as fine mesh.

The vehicle on the slab was warm when we reached it. You knew how to operate the radio, and I asked you to do it. The pleasure you felt was obvious, though you attempted subterfuge.

Against the sky's diffuse glare, I felt my awareness descend gently. And you spoke seven sentences, seven perfect sentences imparting some shaded emotion. I felt your body's approach and I allowed it. I was willing. And I didn't disagree when you opened my trousers and called what you saw a callow amphibian.



The family I remember might now dwell inside a plastic bag on the floor. One smells its moistness as one approaches it, and regards closer investigation with a measure of repulsed respect. Most of us can understand that feeling. The peculiarity of a holiday meal in a dark place comes close.

The dark place is under this theme park, under the shuttered amusements and rusting thrills. It is under the concrete and its accumulated layers of sweat, sugar, saliva, and bird feces. This list of substances feels like a specific description of the stratum between our meal and the empty park above, but as we chew our meager ration, we ponder the indescribable, immeasurable mass of substances accumulating above us. It cannot be without weight.

One of the dinner guests crunches ice loudly and irritates the nervy interior of a tooth. As his or her neighbor silently despises this habit, the offending party momentarily comes to terms with the dreadfulness of the accumulating waste of more than birds and men.

Pain is its own kingdom and the purest ecstacy; it is the orgasm denied summation.


Funny Calcium Carbonate

Beautiful follicles, bear your peppers in that place of a keen description. Your body in this locomotive is entirely lovelorn. It cannot.

Your delicate goal is closer here, by a shampooed mole outside the false trousers. You offer to appreciate your shirt, seldom smelling of personality but defined especially with its ears. Put to that, the dove's bleating and dried head atop that nowness, or that acquired machismo which when listened to is woven like strands of your voice. Those reported to that to fart between your thin kin and the peculiar window mimic our ruse.


Unfortunately Yes

But I don't have a choice. I'm hoping. Yes. Can we giggle together? Is he okay? I'll be there soon.

I will be there soon. For the infant we have, I will bring some food. I will bring processed fruit. I will bring salt. I will bring melted ice.

I am copied. I am pasted. I know fax machines and I am good to go.

I'll be there soon, with no choice, but hopeful.