Monday, January 28, 2008

Kick in the Ass

I start speaking and the timer jumps and I got three minutes to show everyone else up and thats the way a lot of people look at it
Strictly speaking this is a competition, its designed as a poet's test to grind out the rest into the audience to watch the second round progress into the best
Which is to say that it usually loses me before the final three
And maybe its because there's a lot of people out there that don't like what I write or the way I usually perform in an aggressive tone or how I'm making a second grade effort right now to make this piece rhyme or at least flow
But I started doing this shit because of I had something to say and I'd bet everything I own that there's at least one person here today that has never slammed before but everytime they hear it they get a feeling in their gut and an urge to step up but they haven't yet
So those of you out there, you know who you are, pay very close attention to my words
What the fuck are you waiting for?
For this brief period of time this mic is mine, but once I walk off it could be yours
Thats not intended to be a challenge to you, its an invitation
I want you to bring in those pieces of paper you've been hiding in your desk drawers
It doesn't matter if its another piece about someone that broke your heart or your day at work or how much you love bacon
Cause you need to stop thinking that the only poetry that matters is the stuff that tries to change the world
I'm tired of people crying about a personal revolution, its not going to fucking happen
And yeah, that sounds great, but if you really wanted to make an impact you wouldn't just be spitting words at locals in a bar, so what are you really writing for
Yourself or a high score
So don't dare mistake this as some kind of plea to shake up the slam or a request to be your inspiration and become your best friend
Cause there's a very good chance that I could think your poetry sucks
But keep in mind I'm also an ass because I don't have the tact to be anything other than honest in every aspect
So you can trust I'm speaking the truth when I say that I respect every person that has the guts to get up and share their stuff with a crowd thats going to judge you
Now this is your kick in the ass, cause some of you need it
I know I did, and if any of you need the same kind of push that I got we can exchange numbers after this and I can fuck you over too
And you can come back here every week with a new piece trying to be better than me till it wears off and you quit writing like you got something to prove
You can learn the same lesson that I did, stop trying to earn a place, and just say what you want to say
Fuck the scores, fuck your fears, and fuck anyone that might have anything negative to relay about your performance up here
I'm not going to blow smoke up your ass or wipe your tears, but if you come talk to me afterwards I'll shake your hand and see you next week

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Sentences Behind Your Eyes

I didn't want to march outside and change your world
I just wanted to get out of bed
I didn't want to blow your mind with these words
I just wanted you to let me sit inside your head and catch fragments of thoughts like refridgerator magnets and arrange them into sentences behind your eyes
Now close them and read this with me
I don't want to be your savior anymore
I never wanted you to look up to me
I wanted you to level with me
I wanted you to realize that you're worth much more than you give yourself credit for
I didn't lose myself in your skin because of the make up you wear, or your new shoes, or the way you fixed your hair
Its cause sometimes your words would float in the air and I breathed them in
Till they came back out of my fingertips in uncontrollable bursts like when I wrote this
I wish you could march inside and change my mind
I wish you didn't feel so alone with a thorn in your side
Now close your eyes
I don't want to be your devastator anymore
Stop calling me
Stop calling me cause I can't stop picking up
Your voice is the cigerette after I just quit
I need to hold it in my lungs
And exhale back into the phone
I admit to the truth
I say things you shouldn't hear right now
Of course I miss you
But I have to hang up sometime soon
I have to disconnect from you
But you never say goodbye
You just fall asleep on the line
And I still listen to you breathe when you do
Now close your eyes
I don't want to love you anymore
But I still get that knot in my stomach and that knock on my door
Two AM and you can't sleep without me
And I can't say no
So here you are
Asleep in my bed again
I'm just waiting to burn the sheets and wash off your fingerprints when I trace words into your curves
Everything that I should have already said
A confession of half truths and little white lies that starts with "I wish" and ends with "good bye"
Now open your eyes
I'm sorry
Even though that word means nothing to you anymore

Monday, January 21, 2008

A Routine Mission

It was supposed to be a routine mission
A one man operation that would only take an evening
Then I report back to the rendezvous point with the boys and have a few cold ones
But something went wrong
Next thing I know a fever falls over me while I'm in that jungle and I'm trapped
When I came to that cup of chicken noodle soup was just sitting there staring at me
It taunted me, an angry tiger pacing in front of me with vegetables and pasta dripping from it's jaws
And I was in a bamboo cage with it
There was no use entertaining the thought of escaping, for it would take much more effort to fight what was outside of this cell than to wage battle with the rabid animal inside
So I sat up and grabbed it with my two bare hands and fought it down my throat, each mouthful taking swipes in my gut and trying to crawl back up
I could only wrestle with it for so long before I had to retreat back to my corner and lay down
Let the beast settle in my stomach, for its roar was threatening to find its way back out
Then the orange juice slithered into my peripheral vision
Oh God, the orange juice
This technicolor cobra that snuck into my corner while I was resting
Oh, you slippery mother fucker, don't tell me I have to deal with you too
And I could hear foreign tongues screaming wagers around me while I was drenched in sweat with a washrag that weighed down on my forehead like a blood stained bandanna
And they raddled the bars and reminded me it was coming
They screamed for me to end them or it was coming
And I knew it, but I didn't even want to look at those creatures
My stomach turned over when I just thought about finishing them
I couldn't do it......just needed rest..........just needed sleep
Then all the voices fell silent, and there was a shuffle of feet as the crowd opened up and fell down on their knees
And the cobra and the tiger gathered next to the wall where the ground was displayed and a figure cloaked in a terry cloth robe walked down the path to my cage
A voice came from under the curlers and the bifocals and said "you didn't eat your soup"
And I said "Nooooo"
And the voice said "you didn't drink your liquids"
And I said "Nooooo"
And the voice said "are you cold, do you need another blanket"
And I said "mom, please, I feel like hell, can you just let me sleep?"
And she said "You're not going to feel any better unless you get vitamins."
And I said "Well the vitamins don't help if I can't keep them down."
And she said "Do you want to watch something else on TV, how about something educational like the Discovery channel?"
And I said "please, mother, I just want to discover what happens when I close my eyes"
I crawled out of there on Sunday afternoon, well fed and emasculated
I like to think I just forgot what dignity is.........rather than losing it

Monday, January 14, 2008


There's openings of black sky midnights that separates your beauty marks, stretching over expanses of unexplored canvas I'd like to design
Use my fingertips like paintbrushes decorating landscapes that illustrate the maps inside my mind
Design a pathway to a mansion with 56 floors, each one filled with portraits of years that came before, pictures that don't feature people but just emotions, that glow and move on their own
And when we reach the roof we can touch the heavens and pull the essence from the night so you hold it in your eyes and I can watch you shine
Burn embroidered signatures into the depths of our chests that say that I belonged to you until death
And you can shine like a star that only wakes after dusk
You can shine and write love letters to our children on the clouds in stardust and whisper fragments of half the love I've been privileged to receive into them and let it rain down
And you can shine a light that reflects like God's smile glowing off the tops of oceans of love potions that swallow the hearts of men and women, intertwining with the blood in their veins till they shine like a lighthouse in torrential rain
And the dust of our bones will drift past the villages of witches and undeserving princes
Past the boroughs of three heads dogs and two inch tall tree dwelling elves
Past the fields of iocane powder and life waging Sicilian men
Past a world of enchanted wonders that no one thought to be true, just as no one thought it was possible to love you the way I do
So marry me in a kingdom past a portal to another world through a gap a in stone wall
After I announce myself to the six fingered man who killed my father and challenge him to a duel
And slay a dragon that holds a ruby for a heart so that I can ask an eight foot tall blacksmith with arms like tree trunks to fashion it onto a ring for you
Then provide the horns on the alter of an elder God who will carry me back on a gust of wind
And I can live off the fairy tales I created on your skin

Friday, January 4, 2008

Brian Young

When Melinda Young was nine months pregnant she looked like she could burst at any moment
She was already a small pale woman and with a little being tucked in her guts the skin over her stomach was stretched to the point that it almost looked transparent
It was as though you only had to breathe on that belly and rub the heat off to get a window to the tiny driver inside
She was transformed into a mobile snow globe displaying a jiggle'n little elf next to a gingerbread house illuminated by a plastic ray of sunshine
And that thought made me smile
It made Melinda smile too when I told her
When Brian Young made his entrance into the world Melinda made her exit
Died right in the middle of child birth, never even got to see the blues in that boy's eyes
She was a single mother and her father Jacob took custody of him after that
Jacob was a crabby old bastard that shook so bad he spilled half his whiskey when he poured it into a glass
When he would sit outside in his rocker and I was feeling particularly cruel I would find amusement in watching how long it took him to find his mouth when he'd take a sip
I heard he was a pretty decent guy before his wife passed
I also heard he was a sniper in Vietnam and once crawled through the grass for two days just to get a shot on some unlucky high ranking officer or something
Then he spent the next two days just edging himself back
I don't know if there is any truth to that cause from what I saw he hardly ever left the house
Around the time Brian turned six he started terrorizing the neighbors cat after running outside wearing only a pair of Superman undies and a blanket with cigarette burns wrapped around his neck like a cape
I'd hear him scream "this looks like a job for"
Which was usually followed by Jacob yelling "stop running around dressed like a goddamn queer and get your ass inside"
One day I caught Brian bolting out the door with his two piece costume on and right in the middle of his catch phrase he tripped over a rock
He immediately crumbled over and balled himself up, crocodile tears running down his little cheeks
And I swear to God I've never seen an old man move that fast, swept him up and rocked him in his arms, gave him a big kiss on the cheek and carried him in
I walked past the house once while that old badger was sitting out said hi and asked him how he was doing
And he just glared at me with his glass in the air fishing around for his lips
I was sure that asshole had enough piss and vinegar left to keep him alive and puckered for the next 50 years
About a week later I realized that the neighbor's cat had the courage to venture outside again so I asked around and found out that Jacob died
He was found laid out on the kitchen floor with a fifth of Old Crow in his hand, most of it sprinkled around the glass on the counter above him
I don't know what happened to Brian but if he grows up to be anything like his grandfather I'm sure that little prick is going to be a senator or something
And that thought makes me smile when I think about it
I bet that would make Melinda smile too