Geek Scene


We used to rule the underground

But after the empire died

I found my friend uprooting violets

And he told me I was doing it wrong


No matter how deep you dig

You can never escape the status quo.


Girl in Revolt


Through all your pleasures, you endanger your life
At least I don’t need to be seen to feel infinite
In your modest past, were you a lonely girl?
If only I could have cured your desperate bones
Don’t love your body over your friends
When the revolt’s over, prayer lives on.


When She Was Good


When I was young I could produce a numbness
That led many to believe that I was pure
The numbness slipped away when I was faced with you
Your world seemed well-acclaimed while mine seemed mediocre
You loved those slumber parties when you’d all lie down
With a kitchen full of cookies, you’d pray that life was true.


I Can


I can mutter eloquence like a millennial Dylan
Scribbling 31 nationwide hits in seven+ years
I can freestyle the urban envy of Lennon’s “Imagine”
Each of my previous works cited “Ray/Simon”
I can be a Grammy-approved post-grunge giant
Showing off less talent than a kindergarten wall
And while I dream of superiority, all I lack is effort.


Owl Eyes


When the owl can see no more
Shut not the works of the watchful sad believers
For when those who were criminals are now captains and chiefs
And that which was once accepted is now a crime
The words of the sages will be nowhere in sight
But on the bookshelves of our age and in the eyelids of the owl.


Night Prowl

It was just like those snotty kids freshman year
Who snuck out the lavatory windows
Who stargazed for hookups at 4 A.M. Saturday morning
Without anyone’s consent

They were on their own

So I crisscrossed between genuine night and dimly-lit cabin doors
And by the time I completed my unseen pedestrian ranting
And pounced from beyond the village to my vacant bunk
I knew only darkness lies before me when I prowl alone.




I am in the dusk of an organizational autumn
My art is scattered leaves
And the leaves often wander from the trunk of the tree

But when the new year dawns
I will be out of my autumn
And have prevailed into spring
Where I have all my leaves of knowledge
In my own binder, on my own tree.


Funeral (for my grandmother)


It wasn’t until you recited your camp experiences to mine
And you recited perfect Longfellow to me
That I knew you as more than an estranged yet loving relative
When I dug you tomb and I spoke toward you
Before tens of fellow mourners
I saw you reciting poems and rejoicing in your grandchildren
Somewhere without chronic pain.


Downtown on Christmas


This is the plaza which the shoppers avoid today
Which the shopkeepers neglect until tomorrow
This is the plaza where the Goth boys drink
Where the moviegoers bounce
And the only working man is the guard

Cars zoom past here without any thought
The films are all strangled by poinsettias
No people here know, or have known of this kid
Bored at five o’clock on a bench so cold
Yet all Christmas joy is absorbed as he waits.


Your Chasm

I’m standing on the cliff of your chasm
I fed you two long sturdy ropes
There’s nothing I can do because the lassos won’t reach you
The vultures will get to you first

Even if I wore my Batman suit
You would not see the Earth’s crust
As Batman is powerless
Without his trusty jet-black Beemer.


Syd (for my goldfish)

Syd plays dead more realistically than the smartest dog
As he lacks emotions, and appears to be fish food
When he’s on top

My fifth grade teacher told us to persevere like salmon on a current
Never to retreat, no matter how dense the wave

Though in the games of life and love
—Of contrasting sizes but of equal value
Like Fat Man and Little Boy—
I would rather be Syd than a salmon
Because I would rather live in loving hands.


On Angst

What can be said of that whining sinner, angst?
The fool dabbles with you in his evening literary stew
The wise one locks you in the temperance of his Squirrel Hill head
Who can say they have not shut their gates to your green-eyed face?
They’ll let you turn Valentine’s Day into a most-unhappy Halloween
Where everyone’s either a zombie or a ghost.



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