Blocked Again

Scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed
I see this “editor”
bitching because some writer had the nerve
to write her a letter complaining
that she’d rejected him
which is of course in bad taste
and really should be illegal
according to these knobs
who granulate from college
buy themselves an editor cap
and teach creative writing part
time somewhere that does not appreciate them.
They dip their dainty painted toes
into their kiddy pools
of art and life
and act as if they’ve swum the English Channel
I had never heard of her and had never
submitted to her journal
but I said something
on the comments section
and she didn’t like it.
She came back with
“Oh, I understand now, Mather is another
bitter writer I have ‘declined’
and that’s why he’s complaining here!
Let me tell you something Mather
(they love to say your name multiple times
to emphasize the condescension)
it is not a good idea to make a scene on
an editor’s Facebook page.”
“Ha ha thanks for the good idea,”
I said
and she said
“Goodbye Mather”
and with a superior and practiced flourish
she blocked me
proving how well she herself dealt with
and I sat there at my desk
thinking of the big round blank face
of that comet out there somewhere
racing toward us.

A Note to the Utopians

keep trooping,
take your little Tupperware party of the soul
to the next house
go pick your noses
on someone else’s nickel.

I’m getting sick of hearing about how it takes
fewer muscles to smile
than to frown
getting pretty
fed up with it Utopians.

Society is glutted with you goo tards.
Look, there’s a Utopian
with a cup of oolong tea
tapping a novel into her laptop.
There’s a Utopian
living in a pine tree.
There’s a Utopian sniffing Carlos
Castaneda’s armpits.

Utopians, where were you
when my gall bladder imploded?
Where were you when I ate too many mushrooms
or when my brother got thrown in the slammer
or when my gouty foot
bloomed into an eggplant?
Probably pulpit-hopping
or counting your trust fund interest
or finishing your Pope John Paul paint-by-numbers.

I suppose I need to go to school to learn
your language, Utopians, your secrets,
or at least a seminar or symposium
or maybe I need to take a retreat to Big Sur or Tibet
or eat only salads
of four-leaf clovers from the highlands of Lochailort?
Or maybe I just need to give you cold
to hold a place for me in paradise?

Am I gonna pull the money
out of my uterus, Utopians?
Am I gonna pick the money out of my
ass hairs?

I’ve got to go to work at the Dollar Store
and my husband’s been driving a cab.
He says he’d like to run you
down on the street and then back
up over you a couple of times.

Utopians, I swear
you bring the darkness rising
out of people
with all your bullshit about light.

Or Maybe it’s Already Ended

Let’s not be melodramatic
let’s not wear turtlenecks in the sun
let’s not stand up there and apologize for nonexistent
stage fright
let’s not applaud wildly like soccer moms
at kindergarten graduation
let’s not be sad because it’s cool
or delicate because it’s expected
or vegetarians
let’s not pretend we’re Indians
or gangsters
or are channeling some Egyptian princess
let’s not quote Becket
or carry Bibles everywhere we go
or romanticize bus stops
or heroin needles
let’s stop saying blood and guts and
let’s stop saying genius and must-read.

Let’s start being honest
about all this
it’s not much
we’re not much
goobers in the sand pile
downers in skinny jeans
latte-slurpers and sushi-chewers
screws loose and heads fat as Thanksgiving turkeys
just look at the way we walk and talk and
make videos
it’s sickening
even our laughter is false and condescending
our little hard-ons
our little death plays
12 poems about starvation before dinner
9 poems about heart-ache after dinner.

Rebels, please, even our preachers have earrings
and tattoos
everybody’s trying to sell their penny-sick souls
everybody’s trying to sell their dimestore doohickies
shit, just look at the cherub faces
of the poor prepubescent world-changers
chapbook makers
pony-tailed haiku poopers
shopping mall roosters with perfect noses
crowing about the hard life
academics writing papers about reviving the male spirit
slapping their own asses
loafers and tenure and diarrhea down their legs
which nobody will mention.

Where will it end
where can it end
our doggy-whimpers
practicing inflections to the mirror
writing “you are beautiful” in lipstick
believing everything that falls off
the ends of our dull little pencils.

Fun Times

Like when some professor honors me
with advice on Facebook about how to make
my poetry “better” (more like
his) and I laugh at him and tell him
to fuck off go write your own poem or
write a critical piece about my poetry and
get it published somewhere
and after this he makes several public comments claiming
I am seriously mentally ill and need
help and calls out to my friends saying
if they really care about me make sure I
get the help I need
he’s really worried I might try
to hurt myself or others (the gaslighting
passive-aggressive prick has never
even met me)
and then he goes to one of my friend’s pages
and buddies up to him acting all
nicey-nice and blaming the whole altercation on me
saying I egged him on and still
maintaining that I am seriously mental a real
sick puppy and my friend doesn’t
defend me (he’s really not
a friend)
and the professor
tries to sell him his poetry book and my friend tries
to sell the professor HIS poetry book and they
end up agreeing to buy each others’
poetry book and it’s very
wonderful and rainbowy and if not for the fact that it is
Facebook they would
be licking each others’ buttholes
and it’s all
thanks to me
my mental problems and my


I dreamed I stood up and my belt fell off
and my pants fell down.
I bent down to retrieve the belt and pull up my pants
and there was a demon standing in front of me.
He was ten feet tall in a black robe that was opened
showing a naked and emaciated white body and he had
a bald head like a moldy cantaloupe.
He told me if I could not put my belt on correctly
I would be sent to Hell.
I sweated and feared for my life
as I tried to put the belt on
and there were a thousand loops
and I had a hard time with the ones in the very back
but I did it carefully and quickly as I could
feeling the clock ticking down and the demon watching me
and when I was almost there
I fumbled with the buckle
I couldn’t get it
and I failed the test.
He didn’t do anything to me
but he burnt the whole world right in front of my eyes
with the toss of a match
and a grin
and I stood there
feeling sad
and scared
and lost
with my pants undone.

Furnace of Guts

Reading Cioran with dirty bare feet
his words crisp as fried crickets

his thought a bottomless well
echoing with the gall
of fallen prophets

the floor-fan’s hell-breath on me
this sweat-house I wait in
this “furnace of guts”

and outside on the Hermosillo street
a wall of flame and light so bright
you can see the bones of the dogs too tired
to yawn
their shadows like pools of blood

I do not flatter suicide

I shut my eyes and see
strawberries and cream
meat and nopalitos
my silly wrinkled dick rising
like a dandelion on a salt field

Cioran said love is the lie
within the lie
I can’t argue or deny

I close the book
stand up and go to the dribbling spigot
to wash my feet.

Uncle Tad

Uncle Tad was always either standing up
or lying down.

He didn’t like to

He wasn’t fond of chairs
or stools
or sofas or any
of that nonsense.

Uncle Tad stood up
at the bar
stood up at the party
stoop up at work
in the yard
in the living room
while watching
a ballgame.

Have a seat Uncle
someone always said.

I’m ok.

Then he’d go straight
from standing up
to lying down.

Uncle Tad lay down in bed
Uncle Tad lay down in the kitchen
Uncle Tad lay down in the yard.

The only time he ever sat
was while driving
his big old green truck
fidgety behind the wheel
especially if there was traffic.
He didn’t like it
and nobody else liked it either.

That was Uncle Tad.
We didn’t understand
but we loved him.

We loved him standing up
or lying down.

And then finally
only lying down.