Okra Casserole Baked at 350

The bald soprano was hiding in the bushes.
You better say something or I will.
God is watching is not good enough. Tell
them the neighbors can see everything.

What’s going on? How has this happened?
It’s just…I feel like, I feel, I feel like jelly:
wobbly, shaky, and just confused.
It’s the end stage of cultural decadence.

All the self-loathing…a delirium
into which America as a whole as fallen.
I’ve decided I need a break: a chance to celebrate
happy me day. I’m out of here, as the kids say. Later.

I pull up on easy street at the end of the block.
I read somewhere everyone in this neighborhood believes
in God even if they are atheists.
I think, wow, that’s my kind of place; just like back home.

Don’t forget to lower the lid. There it is, civilization
in one simple directive. Will it be followed?
That is my question.
A society that forgets is doomed.

We are on the brink of public defecation,
fecal matter in the stairwells, puddles on the steps.
We’re one inch away from becoming
a dog society, a shithole, yes!

If we don’t take measures soon, we’ll
become indistinguishable from Mogadishu.
The mutts roam the streets today,
their asses exposed as they sniff.

Degeneracy has little to do with bank
accounts or poverty. The help who kept house
in St. Louis, Buffalo, and in Memphis scrubbed
floors clean enough to eat off of. They were shiny.

They smacked their kids around; they ruled.
Lower the lid. Flush. Washed the kids’ mouths
out with bars of soap. There’s still hope.
It will require getting tough.
They’ll need more than a good talking-to, mark
my words. Tough is preferable to rough. Men
can’t do it. The whole country needs to mind
their manners. The job depends on the women.

Satchmo Was White

Frank Bizarre.
Do you know him?
It ain’t art.
Frank Bad Art, that’s more like it.
“He began to look at poetry as a career path.”

2 + 2 = 36? I don’t think so.
It’s just spouting off. Ranting like a little girl from his dorm room,
at Radcliffe. He’s a she, she says, over and over. Whoopee-doo.

Frank, what is all this about killing women? You identify with serial
killers? You write about jacking off on corpses. It makes me want
to jack off on your book.
You write about anger. “I’m ANGRY.” Yeah, what for?
They serve you a lukewarm latte in Harvard Yard? Anger is good for business.
Anger sells. Jack off to that, you sicko.

You have a lot of nerve writing about Bakersfield, California.
He is Ava Gardner, my ass.
You think you can write about AIDS and get the Pulitzer. Shit,
you can. And then your magnum opus, the phenomenology of the anus.
Christ Almighty!

Hard-ons and the Romans. How erudite are we?
Jacking off as you walk along. What a dick.
You call jism a sign of metaphysics. Who are you kidding?
I’m on to you, you bum-fucker.

What is this about burying women? That’s all I want to know.
You’ve got them in the dirt, fucking their corpses.
Jacking off on their tits. You get the prize for this? How?
You slip them a twenty? Threaten to tell?

You talk of hunger. You’ve got it covered. Eating ants.
High praise for Laurel & Hardy? I don’t disagree with everything.
Ray Charles. Handy-dandy. Good luck. French thought.
That’s enough to win the Bollingen, wow. Hey, you’re raking it in.

But what about Thomas Hardy? How about Frederick Seidel?
Where is Charles Bukowski? How do you explain that? They
didn’t hate women? Gee, Frank. Isn’t that discrimination?

Sitting Pretty

Thanks for sending…

What I notice again and again
with these blog spots,
I read them often at the end of online stuff,
what I notice left and right
is the level of bile…
the rage and easy shit-talk

these people, again, left and right,
talk so disrespectfully of all authority:
“police are pigs, Obama is a fag,
Trump and Melania should be shot”…
all of this anarchic anti-social sludge
…Sheesh…as they once said.

it is an awful picture
Americans have become…what?…
terrifying really…
there is too much of what people don’t care about.
basically, they care about nothing…

what about that traveling show at MOMA?
it is a small miracle that the country is as great as it is.
but really, look at all the refinement and how unappreciated it is.
in every wonderful city: buffalo, cleveland, kansas city, shreveport.
all that is so great, but these people just quiver with rage…
and who are they?

hostility is privilege.
these are not the blacks
these bigmouths are white,
sitting pretty, ranting…
screaming at the top of their lungs.
they are maladjusted, just unable to see the point.
they are broken spirits,
like madmen sitting in their own shit,
stinking of filth, eating it and throwing it

Manifest Destiny

The drink of the 21st century, a toast to the end of the world,
the soda of choice of the new American gestapo
whose members prefer it to green tea or Jack Daniels.

It’s the drink once forced down the throats of prisoners at Abu
Ghraib, where they pulled down the pants of prisoners
and made them listen to hip hop.

They ate Lucky Charms for lunch and were forced to drink
each other’s urine at tea time. Women guards were trained
to pee on the corpses of those who refused to give in.

A Maryland teacher says yes to allowing students to draw on her dress.
She has now been nominated Teacher of the Year by Disney.
She says yes, too, to allowing boys to undress her.

They take her to the back of the room on a daily basis,
all part of a new program designed to address sexual deprivation.
Miss Turner is the district’s first volunteer.

When the boys are done, she’ll get a certificate for her days of service.
The district and the young teacher’s lawyers are in final discussions
over the cost of her unintended pregnancy.

The district has appealed to Washington to permit district nursing personnel
to conduct abortions on school grounds and have been approached
by Planned Parenthood about the disposal of the corpses.

There is controversy over the matter of the aborted fetuses’ ultimate value.
Chinese will pay more for the fetuses of Caucasians than those of people of color.
The district is bargaining for more since Miss Turner’s partners were black.

Members of the Equal Pricing lobby continue to lie low since coming
under scrutiny for the number of unburied caskets found at the crematorium
for disadvantaged and destitute children.

The German Chancellor has advised allowing aborted corpses to be buried
in open pits. This proposal has been accepted by the President of the UN’s
Advisory Board on Fetal Rights, said the Right Honorable Minister.

Say Please

Men with their shirts off holding flowers.
That’s the thing.
Some call themselves They, but not all.
Some He’s call themselves She. Some want
to be We. There is even someone who insists
on being known as No One. That’s me.

Call me No One from now on. It fits me.
Some insist on calling me white. These people
dwell in the land of the obvious. They are simpletons.
The simpletons want to know my cock size, too. I send
in pictures of my nipples. They are cannibals. I send in
samples from between my toes.

I don’t want to be greeted with a sniff. Dog culture is not
my culture. People who claim to know everything bore me.
I insist on remaining me. The heightened hysteria scares me.
Self-flagellation is not my thing. I’d prefer to be beaten.
I’m all about having it off with those who insist on obedience
for a thrill, not as a routine. I’m into Say Please.

Dog culture is our culture. We culture is our culture. Tribalism is deadly.
People who eat dirt have taken over. The women live like insects.
They don’t want to be caressed; they want to be kicked.
They shit on the sidewalks. They drink their own urine. They snarl.
Their men are in search of masters. It’s a dog eat dog world of their
own making. They don’t talk. They sniff each other’s assholes.

It is the cult of ordeal, life as a crazed test. These are people who view
nude hiking trips in the jungle as a lifestyle. They’ve replaced Shakespeare
and Noel Coward with graffiti penned in feces. Tear up the floorboards.
Camp fires made up of dictionaries and Greek translations. They teach
their children to poke out each other’s eyes. It’s not a matter of being gay.
It’s a matter of sex slavery. Total physical degradation. It’s galleon humor.

The culture is all about fun. Nothing is more fun than watching other people
burn. Setting houses on fire, blocking fire trucks. Listening for and hearing
the crackling of human flesh and the final cries. Laughing over the screaming
is the final joy. Dancing on corpses, smashing faces, gouging out eyes.
These are our liberators. America awaits. The lost land of liberty has found
its saviors. Get in line, sniff, howl. Our fellow dogs have arrived.

No Peace Without Justice

It’s not on the cultural radar as are the Japanese cities, Nagasaki and Hiroshima.
It lacks the prestige of nuclear annihilation. The Chinese in Nanking died,
and nobody denies it, but their deaths lack nuclear glamour.

History moves on and the criminals get away. That’s harsh, that’s rude,
but that’s the way it is. The Americans didn’t push prosecutions and very
soon the guilty and the victims were forgotten.

For many, forgiveness is easy. Give the Japanese a break, some say, forget it.
Time to move on. But the crime of genocide doesn’t disappear; death by
Imperial fanatics doesn’t just go away.

The Americans and the Japanese cooked up the myth of the peace-loving
Japanese. It was the propagandists’ way to defeat the rise of communism.
Suddenly, our enemy had become a new friend.

Instead of bloodthirsty killers, the Japanese were depicted as innocent victims
and peace-lovers. “We would never do a thing like that!” and the world chose
to believe them. Nanking was dropped from the cultural radar.

Nobody wants vengeance. It is time to move on, but we must never forget.
We must take a good hard look at history. Nanking was a death capital
as terrifying as Dresden, as ghastly as Buchenwald.

What happened was no accident. The murderers in Nanking looked their victims
in the eye and stabbed them. They were as heartless as the American bombers;
they didn’t just look down and press a button.

They murdered with relentless determination and with sadistic glee. They stabbed
pregnant women and chopped up infants. They shot men between the eyes.
They drove their trucks over living victims; it was a killing spree.

Nobody wants vengeance but we must all take an oath of remembrance. It may be time
to move on, they say, but we mustn’t forget it. There can be no healing without justice.
These deaths haunt the present.

We demand nothing more than recognition, an acknowledgment of responsibility,
not even an apology, just sincere regret. The war is over. We are ready to shake.
We’ll never forget but we can move on. Nobody wants vengeance.

Jack Be Nimble

Some gals want you to buy them
a drink, but most would prefer
a house.

The expats in Saudi hook up
with Thai bar girls who want
it all. They’re the same as
the women in Beverly Hills.
They want it all, all right,
and then they kill their mates.

Take the kids, keep the house,
even the family car—they’ve
swallowed and demand compensation.

For some, it’s a cruel fate: to be
left in the desert for the rest
of their lives, paying for kids
they’ll never see to go to college.
“I love my daughter,” he cries,
after his fifth bottle of Coors.

The evening is young and he
hasn’t eaten. “Bring me another.”
His wife is a bitch, but he loves his child.

He was wiped out 3 years ago, lost
several hundred thousand dollars.
He lives alone now in a dorm for single men.
He empties his groceries and throws the plastic
bags on to the floor. The bags float like amoeba
throughout the house. There are over a thousand.

That’s Ken, but he is not unlike Bill.
Ken and Bill resemble Keith but
could be confused easily with Tom.

They’re about the same, lost in the East,
masters of Pattaya and Chiang Mai, lonely
souls in search of love. When Keith died,
his wife sold his TAG Heuer watch to the neighbor.
Before she called the police, she and the other
wives stripped him naked. She sold his Nikes, too.

Most of these guys are fat. They have hairy noses
and pink bellies. When a man like this marries
a 20-something bar girl, he’s through living.

Now he waits to die.
No one white will touch him. He
stinks from the waist down. Women
his age and from his hometown want
to be in charge. They have gray hair
and don’t want their bottoms smacked.

These guys are drunks. These guys are tyrants.
They like to drink and start fights. They drool
and wipe their fingers on the front of their shirts.

They need to be put to bed. What they need
is love. Yes: L.O.V.E. They are like Frankenstein;
they need playmates. They need a blind man to make
them tea. What they hate is that everyone else can see.
Life is a shit sandwich; maybe not for you
but for them.


“Say Please” is an excerpt from David Lohrey’s new anthology, Bluff City. You can purchase the book from Terror House Press here.