The Whale

He’s fifty-five years of smug blubber,
a bored heir to a lucky fortune
who can barely walk on the vestiges of his legs
bumbling in the lobby of the fancy hotel
like a giant aquarium.
He’s waiting for another cab,
a town car or something, but I shark him
and drive him to the casino
where he blows
thirty grand a month.
It’s hard to understand fear or humility
when you know you can eat
everything in your path.
His mate mooncows beside him
like a somnolent mirror image
on this sunny afternoon,
rays filtering down from the blue sky
into the windows of the cab
where the dust rises
like plankton.
His voice is a screechy violin
and I’m just another suckerfish
in his armpit.
It’s like I’m in an undersea vessel
that’s gone too deep:
my ears plug up;
the crack in my windshield
jumps one inch
at a time.

Five Minutes Later He Blocks Me

Guy messages me on Facebook
Please stop being a cliché.

What? I ask him.

He says, That’s all you can say?
God you’re terrible!
It’s like arguing with a

Arguing? I say.

I really
do sound dumb
but am not sure about the context.

I go to his Facebook page.
His cover picture consists of six
side-by-side frames
of his headshots:

scraggly half-inch beard
messy brown hair
22 years old
chugging a can of PBR.

The bio says he’s a fiction instructor
at a community college
in some edumacated and progressive part
of the country.

Epiphany falls upon me

though I am probably not
using that word
quite right.

Show Me a Cliché

A guy named Jimmy tagged me with his poem 5 minutes after requesting my Facebook friendship. His poem appeared on my page. I didn’t like the poem and said so. The personal messages ensued.

Jimmy: Fuck yourself-you’re a piece of shit, you’re embarrassing.

Me: Jimmy, you’re taking it too hard.

Jimmy: I don’t give a fuck, I write words, put them out, I don’t care what people think, no one cares, either, except for you
because your life is so, so, so sweet.

Me: Why did you tag me?

Jimmy: Because I thought you might have been a worthwhile individual but you have shown me you are not, don’t worry, it won’t happen again. You’re a piece of shit. I’ll tell you that whenever you want to hear it.

Me: Because I didn’t like your poem?

Jimmy: No because you’re an asshole. I don’t care if people don’t like poems. I don’t like poems, who cares? You take writing too seriously, you are a failure, though, a cab driver
never forget that.

Me: You’re pretty upset.

Jimmy: I don’t care at all, I promise. I just call pieces of shit pieces of shit. I don’t care, why would I care? Fuck yourself-you’re a piece of shit.

Me: Your poem was full of cliches.

Jimmy: Ok, show me some clichés.

Me: I told you on the thread.

Jimmy: Whatever, I’m hammered, go fuck yourself-and, show me a cliché.

Me: Every line.

Jimmy: Ok, your existence is a cliché if you really want to get into it so go fuck yourself.

Me: You think you can tag people and they’re all gonna
tell you it’s wonderful?

Jimmy: I don’t fucking care man. I tag people, read it, react
I don’t care if you don’t like it. I do care if you embarrass yourself and act like the piece of shit that you are.

Me: I didn’t notice anybody coming to your defense. How many people did you tag? 32?

Jimmy: People have these things called lives, you should look into it. Also, who the fuck wants to interact with a child-man who is a cab driver and gets absurd about shit? If I gave a fuck, I would delete your comments but I don’t give a fuck
you’re just a piece of shit cab driver. You’re a cab driver, dude, get over yourself. You drive a car. People who are 16-years-old do that.

Me: You’ve never been told you were not a genius?

Jimmy: Fuck yourself-I don’t care, man, I just really don’t.
I am not a piece of shit pretentious writer like you. I have a job that is not being a cab driver. I write because I need to.
I send it out to the internet, people like it, some people don’t, I don’t care. You take yourself way too seriously and that’s embarrassing, man, because you’re a 44-year-old cab driver, I mean, fuck, that’s awful dude, get over yourself.

Me: Holy shit, you told me off Jimmy.

Jimmy: Yeah, my name is not jimmy but it doesn’t really matter. Must be so fucking sweet being a 44-year-old cab driver
getting upset at strangers on Facebook especially since you are not talking to “Jimmy” you’re talking to “Jimmy-Rey” hahahaa!


American Slave

I was talking to this rich white lady from Texas on Facebook
about the fact that my wife is an undocumented Mexican
and the government is putting us through hell
sucking our bank account dry
making us strip naked for stranger after stranger
and still they don’t want to give her a green card
even though my wife has never harmed a soul
even though she has done nothing but work hard
and be a loving person her whole life
even though we want nothing at all from the government
we just want to live together and be happy
and this lady hems and haws and I finally say ok what is it

and out it comes: she once had a Mexican maid
who stole a necklace from her bedroom
she says don’t get her wrong not ALL Mexicans are immoral
just most of them
she says don’t get her wrong she loves all human kind
but it’s important to know your place in life
it’s important to be respectful
it’s important to know which side your bread is buttered on.

Naturally the rich lady from Texas
doesn’t work
she has never had to put food on her table
by cleaning someone else’s pubic hairs out of the tub
doing someone else’s dishes
vacuuming someone else’s crumbs off the floor
she doesn’t understand that it is nearly impossible
for a Mexican to come here legally without waiting
90 years
she doesn’t understand most Mexicans don’t come here
to be disrespectful
they come here because they are desperate
and their families need help
she doesn’t understand Texas Arizona New Mexico California
were ALL MEXICO until not that long ago
she doesn’t understand that without cheap labor of Mexicans
and many other desperate poor people
rich fucks like her could never live their cushy lives
or how much tax money Mexicans pump into our bloated
sick government.

When I get my nausea under control
I tell this lady I wish that Mexican maid would have stole
every cent she had
and burned her fucking triple layer house down too
which makes the rich white Texas lady angry
and she blocks me

and afterwards I wonder why
I was ever talking to her in the first place
or how we became “friends”
and then I slap my forehead
of course, she’s a poet
that’s what she does
she writes poetry and eats chocolate chip cookies
which fall in crumbs to the floor
she writes poetry
she’s PASSIONATE about poetry
poetry is what she does it’s in her blood it’s who she is
she just can’t imagine NOT WRITING poetry
she would simply die if she couldn’t write poetry
even though minorities have a much easier time getting published
she will keep at it
she is a slave to her poetry

which is why she’s too busy
to clean her own shit stains off the toilet.

“Attention Fiction Writers: Here’s a Prompt for Your Tuesday Writer’s Funk”

I see this headline on Facebook.
The bored little kittens lap it up like buttermilk:

lick lick lick…
write write write…

What the world needs is more fiction
more and more fiction to wile the time away
while we are flushed down the toilet

the fiction writers multiply like rabbits
nibble nibble nibble nibble…

This world is falling apart like a freeze-dried tulip
but somehow the writers are in a funk on a Tuesday
and thirst for prompts
the writers are separate from the world
they are above it
they fantasize while the world goes to shit
cozy as bed-bugs
chewing their lips on Zonalon.

What should I write about today?
What should I write about today?
What should I write…?

Little bed-bugs in a funk on a Tuesday
you are part of the stinking fucked up world
the same forces at work on the world are at work in your soul.

God damn who would have thunk it
a funk on a TUESDAY what next?
What HELL what TORTURE this unbearable writer’s block
this unholy BULLSHIT freaking funk!
I mean on a Friday or Saturday I can understand it
but jeez when will it end?
When will the suffering end?
The whole of society is rotting from the inside out
but don’t worry don’t fret little beaver bugs
here’s a prompt for you to get the juices flowing
plus coffee don’t forget the gourmet coffee
or tea don’t forget the gourmet fucking tea
and cookies don’t forget the god damned fucking cookies

nibble nibble…

So nice this island the writers are jumping on
this prompt-island floating in the sewage
this island that is safe and separate from the decay
this island of creative entities superior writing beings
writing and writing and writing
and rewriting too
this island like a crispy treat 10 million writerly ants
are trying to climb on and devour.

But it’s ok it’s ok all you need are a few little helper words
to kick your asses in gear
like “Mother went to the door and opened it…”
or “Cousin tasted the lemonade when the phone rang…”
or “Whatever happened to Virginia Woolf’s

Jesus god fucking dammit screw off
little kitten writers little breakfast-nook scribbling
writer-fucks nibbling numb-nut bunny rabbits
you’re not saving anything you’re part of the problem
peace loving sheep beaver kitten writers writing
and bobbing with the stinking turd-current
flowing to hell on your squirming
writing and paddling and paddling and writing…

Poor fiction writers in a funk on a Tuesday don’t fret
I got your writing prompt right here.

People I’d Like to Run Over in My Taxi

meth heads riding bmx bicycles down the middle of the road
knees rising up to their skeletal chests
sucking on 7-11 fruity drinks

ripped and tanned cyclers in their skin-
tight colorful apparel
balancing their bicycles at red lights

old snowbirds
walking on the side of the road instead of the sidewalk
with their shirts off
swinging their arms out into the road to maximize
caloric burn

people walking with their cellphones
held a foot away from their mouths
yelling into them

anybody texting

people holding signs
about Jesus

people holding signs
asking for money

people dancing and twisting signs
advertising furniture stores or tax preparers

anyone holding a sign of any kind

people who cut me off
and then give me the finger

people who accelerate their cars
into red lights
as if they can’t see 100 meters ahead
or 3 seconds into the future

people who keep inching out
and inching out and inching out
at the red light
and then don’t move when it turns green

people who tailgate

people who slow down to 5 mph
at the 15 mph school crossings
as if they are expecting a good citizen award

school crossing guards
with their little stop signs

school bus drivers who stop traffic
and sit there having conversations
with parents picking up their kids

people who stand at the street corner
pressing the walk sign button
a thousand times

people who stare at you
like a person driving a car on the road
is the strangest thing they’ve ever seen

anybody walking around
in any kind of religious costume

people who slow down when they see a cop
even if they’re already going under the limit

mall parking lot cops
bicycle cops
motorcycle cops
pretty much all cops

pretty much every college student
walking around the university area

pretty much every professor walking around
the university area

anybody with a personalized license plate of any kind

anybody with a Thank A Cop bumper sticker

anybody with a God Loves You bumper sticker

anybody with a bumper sticker

anybody with a truck jacked up so high you can walk under it

anybody with a car so low they have to drive over speed bumps
at an angle

anybody driving a jaguar

anybody driving a bicycle with a lawn mower engine on it

people who pull out in front of me
when there’s a mile of empty space behind me
and invariably go 10 miles under the limit

people who won’t turn right on a red light
and then when the light turns green
we all have to wait for the pedestrians to walk across

people who slow down at green lights
because they might turn yellow

people who brake
then speed up
then speed up

people who stop beside me at a red light
and look over at me
like they’re daring me to return the look

people smoking in their cars
with the windows up

I just realized this poem could go on forever
so I will say
the people I don’t want to run over
are the ones with dogs in their cars
with their heads out the window

tongues flapping in the wind.