Poet’s Market

Against the (cash) flow of the free market, poetry is useless.

Poets practice idle worship.

A poem traffics in elicit non-sense, in that it asks for no response, checks for no pulse.

You can put a price on a poem, but it will never sell (out).

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Free Writing #4

Neurotics lick
Invisible wounds
At pity parties

God works in
Mysterious grays

I’m either
On the phone or
Away from my desk

How would you rate
Your experience
In general?

God sends angels
People send emoji
Thoughts and prayers

I’m on the phone
Under my desk
How would you
Like your refund?

Priests high-five
True believers on
Palm Sunday

I’m either
In pursuit or
On the run

How would you rate
My experience
In general?

Anxious poets
Fear the verse

Are these
Tide Pods
Gluten-free?

I’ll have to
Check with
My manager

Shovel Her Stoop

Forget snowstorms
And wind chills

I want Summer
In my hemisphere
This Valentine’s

A flirty girl
With strappy shoes
And silver toe rings
To boot

Soft soles
At the foot
Of a warm bed
To soothe

A see-through
Sundress
To remove

Before I shovel
Her stoop

Breakup Song

Tell me everything is alright.
Tell me everything is all right.
Tell me everything is alt-right.
Tell me I don’t look fat in these jeans.
Tell me I’m the one that got away.

Tell me I was your thirst.
Tell me you think of me when you hum.
Tell me I sweat the small stuff.
Tell me to grow a pair.
Tell me we are never ever getting back together.

Tell me you bought my book and the shipping was free.
Tell me I’m a white boy from the suburbs what do I know about “suffering.”
Tell me everything will be OK.
Tell me everything will be okay.
Tell me size more or less matters.

Tell me God is binge-watching us.
Tell me you never faked the news.
Tell me I’m more than a hound dog.
Tell me my poem is lovelier than a tree.
Tell me no man is a peninsula.

Tell me the meaning of strife.
Tell me everybody dies in the end.
Tell me there’s someone for everyone to disappoint.
Tell me it’s “lie down” not “lay down.”
Tell me nice guys let the girl finish first.

Tell me what will be will be no more.
Tell me if I liked it then I should’ve put a ring on it.
Tell me he doesn’t taste like me.
Tell me your name.
Again.

Blog Off

I have nothing to say
Nothing to say I have
To say I have nothing
Have nothing I to say
To have nothing I say
Nothing I have to say
Say nothing I have to
Have I nothing to say
To nothing I have say
Nothing to say I have
I have to say nothing
I say to have nothing
Nothing to have I say
To have nothing I say
Have nothing I say to
Have I to say nothing
Nothing speaks to me

Negative Capability #2

My imagination is a monastery and I am its monk.
—Keats

My face is a mirror
And I am its gaze

My finger is a prick
And I am its tip

My lust is a mistress
And I am its boob

My rear is a bum
And I am its couch

My beard is a garden
And I am its gnome

My faith is a habit
And I am its nun

My fear is a mountain
And I am its cliff

My will is a fortune
And I am its heir

My ego is a lion
And I am its pride

My voice is a note
And I am its tone

My wit is a parent
And I am its kid

My life is a ripple
And I am its wake

Above A Whisper

A previous version of this poem was published in Nervous Lethargy.

I walk on blades
Of grass around
My father’s grave

Avoiding sunken
Markers careful not
To wake the dead

I want to share news
About a great job
My own place to live

The love of a woman
Who finds me
Worthy of affection

But none of this
Has happened
And it’s getting late

I tell him about
Another mild
Chicago winter

And Vegas picking
The Cubs to win
The World Series

My voice breaks
Like mist
Above a whisper

As birds fly in V-formation
Over headstones
Fixed in solemn rows