Prowl (for Tony)




The pastor shook as he stumbled out of the blue ribbon

And he tried to lead me to the wrong pasture

But I turned away from that eager lamb, still memorizing you…





I saw our little group reborn from cannabis seeds, eaten alive by conformity,

Pulling themselves together at the crack of a morning school whip before the king,

Tree fiends throwing 99% of their prose poems out the midnight crapper and preparing landfill diving expeditions to retrieve 2,000 light verses,

Who ducked and ran from female bathroom to female bathroom seeking musical enlightenment, they spent thirty minutes in male bathrooms recording parodies of sappy                               songs, only to be rejected by Dr. Demento,

Who believed that suburban Beats crave angsty poetry, and shoved nine minutes of shit down the poor Beats’ throats thinking, “I am the next Ginsberg.  Hear me howl,”

Who then attempted to exterminate all memories of that ghastly recital, tearing their hair out at its mentions, and joking about the scene a month into the aftermath at another recital, making crystal lightweights categorize their new works into the “interesting” shed

Who purged millions of dimes at the same five businesses,

Who performed acoupella for Latin teachers, and were kicked off stages for performing explicit acoupella content by halfway housewives,

Unrealistic novellae about eunuchs and antichrists underneath their liquid pillows which the man on the right can’t see and the man on the left doesn’t comprehend,

Who once listed beef jerky as a hallucinogen and wrote flash drama based on Kurt Cobain’s mashed potato nightmares, replaced w/ sketches of Anne Frank wet dreams,

Whose thumbs continually cracked even after eight years of not being sucked so often, and whose feet suffered a false fungus while messing around at Jewish summer camp,

A kleptomaniacal lot, raiding teachers’ grunge pantries behind their sticky-noted backs,

Changing facial expressions less than Lindsay Lohan, they dressed up as bonobos and tadpoles for Halloween and used poetry as their compasses,

Aspiring to name their own books after Frank O’Hara books, even after they named their own poems after Frank O’Hara poems,

Who once thought they could make America erupt by being dirty old men, they knew some Bukowski and they weren’t afraid to use it,

Usually donning brass monkey suits, they occasionally took their shirts off and started dancing to Mac Dre’s “Feelin’ Myself” on the rooftops of Volvos,

Who called their style “neo-Neanderthal,” but were obviously contemporary Caulfields,

Who laughed throughout Coach Carter and cried at the end of Office Space,

Who never learned to drive an automobile, but learned to drive a peer crazy, the secret ingredient to this was the usage of obscure references,

Who themselves were driven mad by the idea of rats giving live birth like humans do,

Who ate sushi with the supposed nephews of Li’l Wayne,

Who carried around elderly iPods with blown-out speakers and over two gigs of Frank Zappa’s magic band,

Who hastily disappeared from midnight parties on Cuesta Grade, creating both rumors and radio series mockumenting the undead social drunks—“No one ever saw him again”

Who didn’t know shoe cleaners well, but were willing to do so in front of classmates,

Who asked for screaming orgasms at Juice Club,

Who appeared on national TV hanging their heads low,

Who flashed their condoms at strangers,

Who wrote long poems about how their little group has always been and always will until the end,

Who rhymed “Jack Kerouac” with “hacky-sack,” their Caesar raps remain offbeat,

Who almost did what was expected of them in a few classes, and nothing whatsoever in the rest,

Who streaked in libraries and were bookish in strip clubs,

Who claimed to know John Cleese and Art Spiegelman personally but didn’t,

Who expected you to know what “Dogchan” means or else,

Who took swigs out of other people’s Newmans,

Who got mad in their schools and read the news today—oh boy—nobody knew where they came from but they were all together,

Who crushed on you, you bitchy little brunette, you,

Who got into fistfights with the whitest of black folk and the blackest of white folk,

Who argued about Beavis and Butthead,

Who stayed locked in your box-shaped hearts for weeks,

Who played the jukebox like some cats play the blues,

Who dug Ferlinghetti but coughed up Corso,

Who mistook one waitress’ catchphrase, “Soup or salad?” and ordered the super salad, but received burnt toast,

Who fucked girls while “Helter Skelter” played in the background,

Who didn’t like spam but still got barnfuls of it,

Who didn’t understand the book Tarantula, though neither did anyone else,

Who didn’t know shit about cooking but weren’t very arrogant-looking,

Who saw William S. Burroughs’ naked body at the end of every fork,

Who truly loved slutty girls; much like Winston Smith truly loved that slut Julia,

Who weren’t afraid to freestyle about being friendless and bi-curious,

And who realized that Wikipedians will label them LGBT after viewing the previous line,

Who were more mainstream than their astrologer grandmothers,

Who called rich men “Skunk” and poor men “Sepulveda,”

Who spent half their lives calculating the legspan of a Southern jumping frog,

Who eventually had their ashes scattered throughout Mission Creek,

With the lethal Mission Plaza bathrooms overlooking the remains of my generation—

Ah, Tony, you can join us if you promise to not bring those junkies along with you—

And who killed barnfuls of shitty conversations with even shittier non sequiturs,

Who died instead of thizzing,

And maintain chastity and therefore, ambiguity.


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