To Those Who Patronize Strip Clubs (Day 29, 2017)

Tomorrow is the last day of National Poetry Writing Month.

To Those Who Patronize Strip Clubs

Strip clubs are great
if you can’t get a woman 
to disrobe for free
and you prefer your
arousal devoid of personal
connection, her eyes,
if you actually look at them
glazed over in boredom
as she pretends to
pleasure herself to earn your 
dollar before moving on to the
next lonely and pathetic man
and repeating the performance

Maybe you can even pay the 
disinterested young(ish) woman
to sit on your lap and squirm
in a pantomime of ecstasy
and speak words your
wife won’t say during 
your semi-annual 
four minutes of 
missionary thrusting
where you both keep your
your shirts on and 
never kiss

On route 22 in
western Pennsylvania
there is a drive through 
club where you can pull
around back and stare
at a dancer through 
a window (two, if you
forgot to roll yours down)
and then return to the
highway to continue your
trip to your parents’ house
or back to the office
having gained a fleeting thrill
in exchange for five dollars
and your dignity

If only you,
like me,
oozed sexual charisma
so fierce that
several times a day
you had to decline
your partner’s frantic
erotic pleadings
for fear of driving 
her clinically insane 
with a preponderance of 
sexual pleasure,
none of this would be

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A Letter of Apology (Day 28, 2017)

Almost done with National Poetry Writing Month.

A Letter of Apology

I’m sorry

you came here for lighthearted levity, bright airy reveries, gentle irreverence free 

from the snark and the snarl and the bile, the sickly perverse and the dark and the vile but

you were mistaken, a fool who’d been taken, you left this place shaken and

rightly disheartened, so I beg your pardon, no

offense was intended, let our breach be mended, your forbearance commended, for

these are just words I’ve strung in a line, no need for concern–I promise I’m fine, your trust must be earned; I’m honestly trying to

be what you see in me, why you believe in me, all that you need from me, I’ll prove you can lean on me, please

be patient

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Easily Offended (Day 27, 2017)

We are 27 days into National Poetry Writing Month.

Easily Offended

it wasn’t the swear words
that upset her
not just them, anyway
he could be funny and kind
but his mind traveled
to places she preferred 
to pretend did not exist
why push boundaries and buttons?
she did not see the offense she’d given him
the first time they met
at the office Christmas party
when he saw her in a 
snowman sweater 
worn unironically
and knew that they
were destined to be 

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What the Cat Saw (Day 26, 2017)

Just a few more days to go for National Poetry Writing Month.

What the Cat Saw

The cat balances 
on the back of the couch
with her face pressed
against the window

the little boy play
soccer in the neighbor’s
yard with his friends
his legs pumping hard chasing
the black and white ball as it

into the street
bouncing up a few inches
on the lip of the sidewalk
and skipping onto the
weathered asphalt 
where it takes a turn 
down the slight slope
to the right

for the silver SUV
going a little too fast
because the driver
is late for dinner
hungry enough to distract
him from the road ahead

small feet slap the
pavement in blissful
ignorance of the 
force approaching
now that the ball is just
out of reach and the
boy dives for it
as it passes under the
black plastic bumper

screams to rise from
horrified throats 
startling the driver into 
braking suddenly and 
for a silent moment
the players stare at the
Star Wars tennis shoes 
poking out from the
front of SUV
not moving
until a tiny voice yells
I’ve got it!
and the boy crawls out 
holding the ball
smiling at his friends
as the driver shouts
the friends resume breathing
and the cat purrs softly

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Smile, Chuck! (Day 25, 2017)

Day 25 of National Poetry Writing Month.

Smile, Chuck!

Someone is taking a picture
freezing this moment 
for millions who
have never and will never
be in the room with you
but who want to understand
why so many love 
and adore you

These folks want a taste of 
your fabled charisma
want to see if you
might also move them
to abandon societal convention

Most of all
they want to know if
you’re as bad as Bugliosi
says you are
if you’re a crazy killer
crossed with 
a low-rent pimp

Show these people 
your best self
the kind, gentle musician
who organized orgies for
a couple of Beach Boys
and made everyone happy
if only for an evening

Smile, Chuck
show some teeth 
because when you don’t
you scare the shit out of everyone

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I’m Tired of Poems (Day 24, 2017)

This is the 24th day of National Poetry Writing Month.

I’m Tired of Poems

I’m tired of poems about
butterflies and lilac bushes
and hope and love and beauty
all that worn-out shit

I want the poetry of 
blood-spattered curtains
and smoking shotguns
clutched in cold hands
and clenched in gold teeth
I want to read haiku about
hardons and odes to
sodomy so detailed and specific
that God considers bringing back 
fire and brimstone 
as a response

Give me vomit on sidewalks
and scorpions emerging from
rusted-out shower drains
in neighborhoods where
used syringes outnumber grass blades
and arson improves property values

Tell me how you fucked my mother
in an over-full port-a-John 
or describe the texture
and taste
of a tapeworm
extracted through your mouth
anything but 
sunsets and gentle waves 
that remind you of your kids

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A Deer Loses the Will to Live (Day 23, 2017)

Today is the 23rd day of National Poetry Writing Month.

A Deer Loses the Will to Live

Perhaps the rest of the herd
hated him
talked behind his tail
blamed him for the tick outbreak

Maybe the does
refused to rut with him
choosing younger bucks
with smaller antlers at mating time

It is possible that his only friends
were a skunk and a rabbit
not exactly fit company
for a deer of his age

Whatever the case,
shortly after dusk
he threw himself
in front of my car
busting a headlight 
with his shoulder
hammering a dent into the hood
with his face
bloody hair clumps
in the grill
as my wife screamed
and I stomped the brakes
I swear I saw his neck
twist and snap 
a foot from my windshield but
when I opened the door
and looked back
all I found was
a trail of blood headed
into the brush

He died as he lived


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