Archive for April, 2011


April 23, 2011

Sometimes we trivialize darker matters in order to accept them

For instance, when I expose my emotions to my therapist

He uses them as an opportunity to crack jokes

And while I should assume that he’s just trying to lighten the situation

I tend to believe that he doesn’t care.


A Nifty Little Lifetime

April 23, 2011

Finally I will agree that camp is life for everyone
Whether they have truthfully lived every moment
Or spent as little time outside as a hermit

And before Santa Rosa falls into the sea

I will be a counselor and not a chest

I will eliminate any doubt

That there was a breakthrough summer

Campers who once shared bathroom slumbers

Will leave the BK for the sanctuary

And learn to love their nifty little lifetimes

I achieved my goals, Nate Perch

But I never did outgrow camp

Nor did camp ever outgrow me

Others may concentrate on the details
I concentrate on this life
And keep on traveling upward with a cabin in my palm
I may have stumbled, but I’ll never crash on my way up.

Summer of 2007

April 23, 2011

It was no breakthrough summer

Like the seventies were to the sixties, it seemed to be a nostalgic but violent hangover from the overindulgences of the previous year

I am just thankful that the girl pecked my cheek and not my lips

Because she’d have been an unfaithful and disappointing first kiss

When I presented a flock of poems, she only complimented the one that the other boy co-wrote

If I hadn’t credited him, what would she have said?

And I don’t exactly miss the lengthy songwriting sessions either

Where I saw myself to have the ambitions of Dylan and the ability of Garfunkel

Sorely wishing that I could resort to just covering Jello Biafra

And perhaps present the 21st century to updated horrors of “California Uber Alles”

With an apathetic team of songwriters on my side, I’d joke that our new religion-themed song should be in the key of “G-sus”

But I couldn’t have hummed such a tune if I tried.

Multiple Meats

April 23, 2011

I remember those crisp college days when Jennifer and I would tour Thursday’s Farmers Market for all the latest steaks

But she’d always find herself slave to the sausages, sifting through Polish dogs for something elusive

And one night, the entire high school tennis team, who all knew her, dropped by on some haphazard reunion

The former champion, an enterer of Brown, introduced her to a zestier hunk of beef

So I once again became acquainted with Miles, reluctantly striking up a conversation with the vendor while nibbling a small slice of pepperoni

He informed me of a life I didn’t care about behind the best of “Flamenco Sketches”

And right about then, Jennifer finally finished her meat & greet, and I left downtown for her car

And long after she lost my love to her appetite, I walked past her on yet another Thursday night on a dissimilar Central Coast

Finding her in the arms of a petite, ambiguously brown friend she used to play poker with

And taking pleasure in a vegetarian shepherd’s pie.

In Pursuit of Soles

April 23, 2011

I still remember the Friday nights when I’d leave the bar early

With Jennifer at my side and two frothy mugs full of Pabst in the trunk of my van

And we’d ride out to the Motel Inn, where I’d remove her thick black boots after a squeak of approval

And pour the Pabst on her slim, delicate soles

The liquid would massage her slight blisters and give a special shine to the ring around the littlest of her five rouged and unfortunately whorish teenage offspring, who I tended to support as if I were a belated yet discreet stepfather

And then, I’d lap up the juice on her flesh like a dog on a dish of water

And get delightfully drunk on every one of the snarky juvenile delinquents

But later, the squeaks of her boots became angry and unwelcoming

And she stormed off with a light man who preferred Heineken

So now, I prowl about town with the taste of her soles still fresh in my mind

Like a blind dog in pursuit of the moon, I howl out odes to her precious memory, often becoming entrapped in the clutches of a shallow lamp in the damper sectors of the Motel Inn

Light-years away from my Jennifer.

Space Cake Cookies

April 23, 2011

The space cake cookies that Jennifer baked me were so potent

That when we made love, it was as if I were asleep

And the best night of my life seems to be an elaborate dream

Some of the moments have escaped me, but they occasionally appear

In the middle of my working day as instant but wonderful flashes

And how Jennifer regretted telling me of her Roger

Whose hours as a barista were lightened by the secret ingredients she’d sneak into the pastries

And who took all the credit for the better qualities of the baked goods

I wonder if she bakes the same space cake cookies for Roger

And if when they make love, it is as if he is asleep

And if the best nights of his life seem to be elaborate dreams.


April 23, 2011

Just because I lack a god does not mean I lack a code

I know not to covet my neighbor’s soles and to study the texts I am assigned

And just because I momentarily forgot about the essence of a mezuzah

Does not mean I will become slave to the demons who enter my doorpost

It is true that many of my mortal heroes don’t care for their fans

The artist, the bard, and the filmmaker ran through an eager crowd last night

But I will make the best of a secular life

And prove that although I lack a god, I do not lack a code.


April 23, 2011

Yesterday, Tony drove south from the Evergreen State University

And told me that he mistook black tar junk for poppies

Now I wish that I could have changed the life of my friend

So that Laverne would never let him binge over by the train station

Just like Kerouac did when he lived in town

The others don’t pity Tony, alive or drugged

They think everything’s his fault

And I still wish I could have made a difference in the life of my friend

So that I won’t have to watch Tony erupt

He’s using drugs that Kerouac himself never dreamed up.


April 23, 2011

I feel like an old man when I realize all my good friends are dying off

I’m losing them to LSD, the War in Iraq, and the Los Angeles County Jail

And my brief reencounters are always sad and disappointing

I want to keep my youth, but I don’t want to take my friends’ freedom

And then I realize that an old man lacks the time I still have

So I head to the Kennedy Library and check out all the books I can still finish

Halfway through Crime and Punishment, I rejoice, but still hope that my friends are soon freed

From LSD, the War in Iraq, and the Los Angeles Country Jail.

The Valedictorian

April 23, 2011

By twelfth grade, the town was a thriving spot for evangelical Christians

And not enough of us took offense to my high school’s valedictorian

Who refused to inspire us, or even affectionately namedrop any of us like the salutatorian did

Instead he simply told us how much he wished we would someday be as pious as he was

Leaving no room for growth or for passage

And while he could easily hand his beliefs to the heathens

He couldn’t make them pray in the way that he did

We turned away from his mythologies

And while his valedictions from sin failed

His valedictions from school were a gift from God.