National Poetry Month, Part 1

In honor of National Poetry Month, I'll be sharing poems instead of stories this month. Here are two cobbled together from my favorite exercises of late. The first was born of shuffling through Cards Against Humanity. The second came from an exercise in rapid revision that a colleague of mine shared with me earlier this year. I used my piece "Knowing Her," the very first thing posted to Patreon back in November 2014, as the inspiration.


I Love You Dearest, Dearest (Poem Against Humanity IV)

Here is the church and here is the steeple.
Open the doors and we here — the People — are throwing virgins in volcanos.

For this is the way the world ends.
This is the way the world ends. This is the way the world ends:
not with a bang but with
the penny whistle solo from “My Heart
Will Go On.”

The pain is like having anuses
for eyes, or like Miley Cyrus at 55.
It’s like a bout with leprosy
at the last glory hole on Earth,
or the heart of a child
pierced by puppy teeth.

It’s like waking up half-naked
in a Denny’s parking lot
after dreams of tentacle porn and
Daniel Radcliffe’s delicious asshole.

This is the way the world ends:
with late-period R.E.M. in concert,
no Bill Berry behind the drums
banging on things like a Muppet
on methadone,
and all of us singing
a dirge about why I can’t sleep
at night, about why can’t I be you.

I drink to forget
the monkey smoking a cigar made with
the stuff from inside Lance Armstrong’s missing testicle,
and with the violation of our most basic human
rights. And I get by with a little help from
Judge Judy tap dancing like there’s no tomorrow.
But still, I can’t help but wonder:
what made our first kiss so awkward?

Was it the centaurs on my tin-plated
lunch box, or was it the Lunchables
inside? Was it my ex-wife standing over my shoulder
in nothing but a shirt from the Boy Scouts of America,
or was it Bill Nye the Science Guy standing over yours?

In a world ravaged by heartwarming orphans
and MechaHitler making the White House the whitest house
of all, my only solace is you, my darling, you
and me, and our Five-Dollar Footlongs
and a cup of soup that is still too hot,
that might be forever.


My Sister Cuts

My razor is in the sink,
batteries drained,
resting in a shallow
pool of water and
discarded brown hair.

A blonde mohawk?

Some of the guys
wandering between
the room with her casket
and the room with the slideshow,
they know her better than
we ever could.

I’ve never been able to understand
how someone could do that.
Know her.

That sounds fucking stupid,
but maybe it’s true.


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