Alienation #2

Eliot and I were convinced
That there was a time vortex
To the 1990s
At the Target on Ohlen Rd.
There was some weird energy
In the freezer section
That extended out to the street
Where you could feel that
Just on the other side of
Some cosmic membrane
Tupac was blasting
From low riders.

We went to investigate.
For some reason we went to
The Arboretum
To get money
And then we bought booze
From the Twin Liquor by the HEB.
We bought wedding cake flavored vodka
Because it was on sale.
We needed the booze to properly
Investigate the vortex.

Eliot was going on about gemmatria.
He said it was the secret to everything.
But it sounded to me
Like a way to drive yourself mad.

We found a patch of woods
To drink the vodka.
It was a beautiful spot
Next to a creek.

He was a very sad man.
I was not as I used to be.
I was living with the woman
I live with now.
He was battling literal demons
In the forest of the green belt
Where he lived.

We drank the whole bottle
And never made it to
The Target
That day.

Soon he would accuse me
Of conspiring with the spirits
In his head
To try to kill him.
I never heard from him after that.

Millennial [poem]

I, 15 years elder the century, weathered the broke-brawned shelter of millennia.
The diamond dust which glistened the middle 20th, now micro-incisions the skin and teeth, makes rags of lungs.
Colonial, they say we were better. But now post, we look at the masses, zombie-tired, broodbloods’ eternal shuffle.
Nostalgia for sickly things permeates to a time when future existed. Rotary phones and VHS grain stipple YouTube longings.
Feast! Feast! Ye hungry eye. Ye huddled mass! Yearning for 30 day free trials!
The end of history came too soon.

Quarantine Blues

I guess the good part is
that I’m reading more.
There’s a biography of Lenin
by Tariq Ali that’s spectacular.
I read it on a beat up
ipad I got off ebay
with my stimulus check.

There’s nothing left to watch
on all the streaming services.
I watched everything I can stomach.
It pours out the screen in a
stultifying slurry.
I don’t want to go all Adorno
but every TV show is trash.

On the rare occasions I go outside
my minor problems are put in perspective.

I live in a low income neighborhood
and I’ve noticed new homeless people about.
There are the usuals: Jojo, Albert, Stephanie.
But now there are new homeless people.
And I mean people who are very new
to being homeless.
People are being forced out of their
homes at an alarming rate.

It’s continually baffling to me
that there are people without homes
at all.
It doesn’t make sense.
The resources are there.
But the love of exploitation is all too alluring.

Dreaming of my government check [NaPoWriMo #19]

Dreaming of my government check

Rich people like to tell us
we live too extravagantly
“Why do you have a phone
and the internet
and clothes?
You should live like a Victorian urchin.”

We like to tell rich people
they are living too extravagantly
“You don’t need that many houses
yachts
private planes
when people can’t afford insulin.”

Then there are the poor people
who defend the rich people:
the antelopes who defend the lion,
thinking this takes them off the menu

NaPoWriMo 2020 #3-5

#3

I go to the dollar store
for sundries
twice a week.
Yesterday over 10,000 new cases
of Corona were reported in NYC.
The workers at the dollar store
are resigned to their fates.
They know it’s coming.
We all know it’s coming.
A dark cloud of virus looms.

#4

sometimes I smell the perfumes of ghosts
and they send me to worlds without treasure.

#5

when i was in berkeley
a had a knack
for sleeping in places
where nobody could find me
and i would walk the 3 miles
to downtown
every day
and get food from the dollar tree
and go into the bookstore
and try to bargain with the store owner
“take every book i have and give me some jim carroll”
no avail
the proprietor didn’t understand how essential
it was that i know the fear of dreaming
and walked back to my patch of forest
up in the hills
so high that
it seemed i could jump over the bay

/wal-mart birds/

I try to pants Jess while
she’s cleaning
and she tells me no
so I take out the garbage
which is mostly coffee grounds
because that’s the bulk
of our diet.

Outside it’s warm.
It’s one of those warmedover
Texas evenings
that feels like somebody
just turned off the skillet

An ambulance blairs
down Lamar
and El Pollo Rico
is running low on customers
The drive thru sign reads
VE
RU
and I wonder how it came
to be that all drive throughs
became drive thrus

The grackles gather
near a dumpster.
A family dinner.
Jessi’s sister calls them
“Wal-mart birds”

I take the trash to the dumpster
and think about how long
it’s been since I last
slept outside
and how glad I am
to not have to fight
wal-mart birds
for dinner.

I go back inside
because I can do that now
and make myself some more
coffee.