The Carnivore's Dilemma
A truck hauling scrap metal
ended up on the heap.
The moral arc may be long,
but its interruptions are constant.
From the ground, the horizon
shrank to a view down
the glistening nose of a bugler
summoning the troops as
the skies above opened up.
A dog trotted for miles
without changing its pace.
Superheroes are fantasies
of childhood, but the hazard lights
don't tell me if you're real.
They only signal caution,
which won't make me a better poet,
just a little less likely to get
the bends in rainwater receptacles.
No need for a scuba suit now
that it all floats on the surface,
beginning with an apology
and ending with a full shopping cart
in front of Wal-Mart.
I'd describe it more like tumbling.
At some point I stopped believing
in fate because it wasn't
getting me anywhere.
A new skin forms along
the milk carton's rim.
Small, hard june bugs collect
on the screen door of
a laundromat offering free Wi-Fi.
We ate eggs in the hole
for breakfast, then sweated
them out later while trying
to pitch a tent on the sidewalk
outside the nail salon,
saying, Fuck the prestige
of elite institutions,
this block is like a village.
We didn't really say that,
and I didn't really say this.
It could be much worse
compared with the mistake we
once made with creamed spinach
fattening us up for slaughter
when I only wanted to cuddle.
We're all going to end up as
bisexual computers anyway.
Well that changes everything!
Except for the daily radio address
schedule, and the nod
to permafrost--so eco-friendly.
We sip beer from a used
Dunkin' Donuts coffee cup
instead of getting a haircut
after another night
of fierce electronics.
The Alchemy of Morning
The lion stores gold in its mouth and yawns at the sun.
Would it be better if its teeth were tight with braces?
The lost objects come back in different disguises, like a catalog
that specializes in last-minute gifts. This one smells of mint
and wet cardboard boxes tossed with ski poles under the bus.
It's rough terrain even for hang gliders. Imagine how the future
farmers feel. This isn't the United States of America. I sometimes
imagine a strobe light when it's only a faulty bulb. On certain days
everything vibrates slightly and speaks a language of hum.
That doesn't have anything to do with enjoying nature or not,
or whether I'm a regular at the closest bar.
The gears grind whenever they're shifted hard into neutral.
That won't stop the runaway mining cart headed for a large gap
in the tracks. In my dream, it exploded in an exaggerated fireball.
You said, I'm glad it's all behind us now. My view of life is incomplete.
There was nothing left to do with the piles of empty beer cans
except resize them as jpegs for the web. I donated my collection
of giraffe neck protectors to the Smithsonian. You can see them
in the modern wing with Wu-Tang Clan memorabilia and an oil
portrait of my father as a hat shop. I meant to say a velvet painting
of Barbara Walters conducting an interview with Yuri Andropov.
Fast food restaurants create a logic for the burger. I shared
a hair color rinse with Lindsay Lohan. That sound is of the other
shoe dropping, except that sometimes you never hear the first one.
Or maybe it's just the click of a dog's nails on the bare floor.
Still, I don't have any pictures of pets on my Facebook page.
When I hear the word bricklayer, I also think of basketball.
Are we taking it really slow or just ignoring each other?
The award for wearing the biggest backpack to the hip-hop show
is called logorrhea. It's fun to imagine the things you can laminate!
It might even take the musty smell out of that wet bath towel.
We keep a telescope inside to find stars on the ceiling
but mostly end up staring at the TV. One screen was even bigger
than my daughter and washed the room in Easter egg colors.
I listen to the radio with the speakers pointed away. The photographs
tell us what we already know. The guardrail has more than
a few dents in it beneath pink magnolia blossoms sagging
in the rain. Yet once the invisible pen dries out, the writing
will be even harder to read. I didn't touch your money. I'm here
to rearrange every solitary corona as the back of the class blurs
for the nearsighted teacher.
The wreckage might drift over a large area,
but not every map has a center,
not every instrument makes a sound.
I only need to hear you breathing.
Sometimes I eat for two.
A small marching band shuffles along
in the middle of a parade
featuring a red Corvette convertible
and a wagon stacked with corn.
Bats are decent swimmers
is what the mermaids told me
while scraping their knuckles on coral
and adapting to new technologies.
Most people on TV seem to like us,
except for the politicians on talk shows.
I use a cricket's wing for a syringe
once the illness becomes part of the cure
for supplying a desert army
in the heartland.
When it's over, we'll catch a bus
through the forest to a low sun.
It's not that we're directed,
but we still know what to do,
speaking when the intercom light blinks
and saving money on ketchup in large jars.
Yet that's no reason to take
all the photographs with you
or demand, "Get me some dwarfs
for the performance!"
This is a poem about a flood in the apartment,
or trading the soapbox for the pillbox
as the architecture turns into ghosts.
Putting it in a plastic bag will help
reduce the smell.
A doghouse is a temporary shelter
with an oval door for a long jaw.
Let love build it this time.
Threat makes animals shy in their bodies.