POEM: Recyclable Me

In death, I'm a recyclable,
my gut biome will gnaw its way
out of me like Ripley's Alien -
if on a microscopic scale.

Agents of the Destroyer will
turn my tissues into food bits
to feed some other animal.
Yes, I am inescapably 
animal - inescapably 
in transformation from living
to not...

This may seem morose, but is it?
He who can imagine a dog
cracking open his bones to eat
away all the marrow --
without an inner cringe, or wince --
is a person who knows freedom.

Brass Monkey

the brass monkey seemed real --
not like a real monkey,
but like a real supplicant,
making a real offering

i guess its realness 
was the realness
of human wishfulness

it looked real
because it looked like
what a human desires in
a monkey --
rather than how an 
actual monkey would behave,
hightailing it with the fruit
up to too lofty a height
to have its jackfruit repossessed

i read that the original
"brass monkey"
was a cannonball rack 
on an old-timey sailing ship,
then the term came to
refer to cold weather, 
because the differential
contraction of cold metal 
would cause the cannonballs 
to pop off the rack --
hence the saying:
"cold enough to freeze
the balls off a brass monkey!"
and, somewhere along the way,
it also became a low-brow 
malt liquor cocktail

seems strange that so many 
brass monkeys would exist
that weren't monkey-shaped,
or even made of brass --
but such is the way of words  

Three Thoughts on Shadow

I
Where is my shadow?
I look behind me
&
see that it's 
ill-formed & indistinct.
And I wonder whether
it's 
the quality of the light, 
or
the quality of the me.


II
I read that Oraon shamans
study people's
shadows.
Fat-shadowed people 
are said to be 
ill-tempered,
stubborn,
& 
domineering
[but not necessarily 
fat-bodied.]


III
I heard tell of
a master of shadows.
It might not seem like 
much of an object
of mastery --
shadows being intangible,
but he always knew which way 
he was going
and where the world sat 
at the moment.
[And that's more
than can be said
of the rest of us.]
It was a simple skill
that most could not
be bothered to practice.
Everyone else's inability 
to find value in those 
dark angular patches
was his gain.

POEM: Information Age Ailment

Screaming streams of information
pelt all corners of the mind.
Neurons are constantly
flickering with flinches. 

Meanwhile, the body 
whispers its secrets
in the hushed tones
of a prayer uttered 
during a shootout. 

POEM: A World of Loathing

a cat abhors a vacuum
vacuums abhor tangled hair
tangled hair abhors a hairbrush
hairbrushes abhor Victorian Spanking Fetishists
Victorian Spanking Fetishists abhor Victorian prudism
prudism abhors immodesty
immodesty abhors modesty
modesty abhors whores
whores abhor cheapskates
cheapskates abhor expenses
expenses abhor ledgers
ledgers abhor ink pens
ink pens abhor writers
writers abhor synonyms
synonyms abhor antonyms
antonyms abhor continuums
and so on...

it's true that Eddie Rabbitt
loves a rainy night,
but who loves Eddie Rabbitt?

[the Coalition for 
Names with Double-Letters,
that's who!] 

POEM: Hypnagogic Voices

I hear voices --
a cold burble of voices --

too dim and distant
to extract meaning,

too inexplicable not
to inject a rationale,

or a slate of reasons:
-madness
-conspiracy
-expectation
-the impulse 
toward void filling

minds despise quiet,
filling it with 
puzzling prattle,
and making any 
hash of sound
into cryptic natter,

until sleep descends

POEM: A Leak in the Sunny Side

Rounding through the pass,
I crossed from the cold
to the sunny side.

But while I transited
from the damp & mossy
to the dry grass
side of the mountain,
I carried the cold with me.

The ubiquitous sun 
would not warm me,
but rather I seemed
to suck the warmth 
out of the world --
as if I were a portal,
and the light landing
upon my skin was shunted
to some parallel universe.

I was the world's window
left open with the heater on,
and the temperature
differential pulled a steady
breeze in my direction,
to who knows where?

POEM: Knee-Jerk Speciesism

Photo Source: Ken-ichi Ueda – 
https://www.inaturalist.org/photos/121 [via Wikipedia]
I glimpsed the red hourglass,
vibrating in a stone wall --
a Black Widow spider,
bouncing on a thin web
spun within the void
of an absent rock --
that gap forming the
 spider's recessed hide.

And instead of being happy
that the spider 
had found a fine shelter,
I worried that a child would
stick a careless mitt 
deep into that wall hole,
and be bitten on the hand.

In retrospect,
this seems so unfair 
to the spider.

POEM: The Power of That Which Bumps in the Night

The last lamp out
dips the room into darkness
[sudden darkness]
and in the nothingness,
before vague shapes form,
a clunking sound triggers the
stab of an adrenaline spike
into ones chest --
mainlined frisson, or fright:

the heart thumps,
the chest cinches,
the stomach lurches,
breath is sipped spastically,
and an involuntary noise escapes 
from some unnamed place within.

The power of strange and startling 
thuds and whumps 
has fueled many a storybook, 
but though the mystery
is rarely solved,
we get over it soon enough.