family

Muddy American Flags

We seek the darkness

thunderstorm funerals

muddy American flags

and trains off their tracks

I loved the picture of you out in the water

the wind made your hair wild

Nothing lasts…

I caught a blue glass-eyed wink

and a toothless grin

through the slow rising twirl of cigarette smoke and green flesh

I could smell the decay on your brain

It was a rainy day

when they put you in the ground.

Everything is open wounds now

and a bland thanksgiving dinner sucked through a straw

We forgot somehow, how to laugh

Could have been the slow drip of morphine

or the simple way our bones cracked.

Death dragged his heavy feet

as real life licked me

like a sandpaper tongue

Reminded me I am just the nameless meat

between the lion’s teeth

and we all die alone.

In black in white she sat

her legs demurely crossed

with her crooked cat eyed glasses

Tell me about your chaos lady,

the bloody slashes across your face

your dead baby sister

at the bottom of the outhouse.

It’s no wonder

in the end we all go mad.

Would it be ok if I took this gloom

and weaved it into some hideous mask?

I will hide behind it for the rest of my days.

 

In Memory of my grandfather

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My temporary brother

He said he’d been in a gang

back when he lived in LA

His best friend had been shot

and died in his arms

So he returned the favor

Bang! It was that easy

It wasn’t easy at all

He’d also been DJ Tanners 

date to the prom

His parole officer

had gotten him the gig

He called me his sister

but when he was drunk

he always wanted to do 

non-brotherly things

I saw him years later at a party

Sitting alone and smoking a cigarette

I said ‘don’t you know those things will kill you?’

He said ‘not quick enough.’

He was a dad now

but his girl had taken the kid and ran off

with another man

He was sad and lonley 

I looked into the black holes in his eyes

and I didn’t say it outloud

but I didn’t blame her

Instead I put my arm around him

and rested my head on his shoulder

and said ‘you’re not alone now brother,’

I never saw him again. 

Little Lion Man

I have a little lion man

his hair is made of gold

he has my heart

and my soul

upon a string

Though in truth he was never 

meant for this world

But to live inside a dream

Still I keep him near

Sometimes I look at him

and ask

who are you

and how did you get here?

His bedtime stories

are Bukowski

and Stan Rice Poetry

He listens to the Doors

Nine Inch Nails and White Zombie

Peope tell me he will grow up to be

rather strange

and I tell them even if he does not

I will love him all the same. 

Lost Sister

She contacted me on facebook, said she was sorry it had been so long, that she was sad. It’d been ten years now? she asked. No, I think longer. She said she was coming to Vegas to see me. I said that would be great. We shall see.

But she did come. I was pleasantly surprised. She said I looked good and it was nice to see me. Me in my boots in this 70 degree weather, her in shorts and a tank top. 

I marveled at the way she moved, her laugh, the way she ran her fingers through her hair. It all reminded me of me. LIke looking in a mirror. She blaimed everything on dad which I didn’t think was fair, but it was what I always knew in my heart. I forgave her for all the neglect, the unreturned calls, the years of being ignored. It was nice just to be near her. 

She stood up and said she had plans, she had to go. I tried to hide my disappointment, but she said she’d call me later about dinner.

She never did call. I got a text “it was nice to see you.” That was all. Some things never change. And I thought, that bitch is so much like me.