May I Have This Dance

Hey there, Jenny
You were the queen of the prom
You had the perfect teeth,
The perfect little dance,
The perfect little life,
And everybody loved you.

Cold, grey, November days,
You’ve got three kids now?
Isn’t that—well.
Hey, how’s that relationshi—
He wouldn’t marry you?
He just drives around in his truck?

All day?

Please, I’m not bitter
And, excuse my contempt;
You had so much going for you,
You were royalty,
And it’s just so sad to see you
Become this cliché.

The [Redacted] Story

You are [classified]
When we [redacted] on the [withdrawn],
I [omitted], you [redacted]
But you [removed], your [classified] were [omitted]
And that’s why we were so [withdrawn]

Sweet Son of Paradox

I am the god of the anthill
The king of dust mites
Emperor of microbes.

I wear a crown of filth,
A robe of rubbish,
And hold a scepter of grime.

And despite it all
I grin through tears
For at least I still am royal.

The Lies of Light and Life

Scattered vermillion rays of hate make love upon the shore
Distant, dusting, dismal days are all the dove ignores
Scrawling hands of lust entwined say sin is all but slain
Crawling sands of wistful time sway then in winds of change
There I stand, there I sit, there I sleep in shame:
For on the bloodied gates of ash is inscribed my name.

Thirteen hours, twelve minutes, seven seconds soon
The butler of the dungeonkeeper severs heads at noon
The portent, portal, portable portion of his mind
Is lost to cost and frost and harder still to find
I peek in to Peking's peak and pitter, placing blame:
For on the muddied grave of yore is entombed my name.

As per request of listlessness and stymied starlets' scowls
The wolverine is smoldering as the violent harlot howls
The death of death and birth of life is boasted by the priest
But standing on the highway side is the reaper of misdeed
Avoiding sight, avoiding sites, I sit and count my stains:
For on the ruddy reaper's scythe is ordained my name.

Effortless Tomorrows

I'm sitting on the corner of Merciful Street
Just twiddling my thumbs as I put up my feet
On a cardboard box that reads, "Kick the curb"
A sign is on my neck that says "Do not disturb"
And as I sing a dusty dirge meant for no one's ears
I see the changing of the guard to all of my peers

They tell me to be thankful and I just get bored. . .
Yeah, I don't think I want to come around here no more

Emancipated circus freaks are lining up the block
Advanced trades then circulate on all of my clocks
The future and the past are allied in my pocket
And the linear equation is clasped within a locket
The dancer and the general pack up their clothes
And prepare to turn a little house into their home

I look over my shoulder and see you're on the shore. . .
Yeah, I'm pretty sure I won't come around here no more

Gypsy poets and musicians from home and from abroad
Threaten to unionize if they don't all get iPods
Fanciful interpretations of their melodic thirsts
Are lit across the faces of the clerks and the flirts
Eternity, they say to me, is just their little joke
And everybody in the car is ready for a smoke

All this misfortune is more than I can afford. . .
Yes, I am certain I won't come around here no more

The Aqueduct Delousing

It was an odd and sunny Monday when the chancellor made his speech
While JFK and Ronald Reagan barked up a tree
I walked down from the docks and I held my head up high
I had yet to learn that this would be my day to die

I waited at the street light, when it said stop then I would go
And at the old folks’ home I picked up Edgar Allen Poe
“Take me to the bar,” he said with quite a thrill
So I revved up my car and we drove down to Bunker Hill

As we ordered drinks I noticed there was trouble there
As two men in minks came in with uncombed hair
One said his name was Ralph and the other’s name was Henry
But I knew as soon as they walked in that they would apprehend me

So I took a cue from my old friend, the Kentucky Colonel
And I jumped behind the frying pan as if it were a hurdle
And as the two argued among themselves about their garden
I ran across the marketplace looking to buy a pardon

The lecher and the pauper were eyeing me strangely
As an old and younger couple were trying to buy a baby
I took out my fireworks and lit off quite the fuse
And when they let me lead the band I had to refuse

I decided then that I would go to see the sights of Paris
But the Hilton there was closed so I just crawled upon the terrace
The king and queen stood all alone, sipping on their wine
And I tumbled down to be their clown and tell them all was fine

The jester did not like that, so he moved to kick me out
But I just tipped my hat to him as I hopped upon a trout
The sudden call of sea-bound hauls then burst upon my soul
So I communed with nature and changed my name then to Thoreau

But soon as I had done that, a soldier took me by the arm
And told me that I had to go save the countryside from harm
So I hopped into the marching order of the ants and bugs
But they led me to a spider-hole where I was given handsome hugs

I kicked my feet and jumped right back up into the melee
When suddenly I learned that I could turn night into day
So I slipped and slept until the sun and moon had switched around
And I let my life expire so that a new one could be found.


A man today
asked me- “Where
are you going?” As if my
entire life could be captured,
my direction summoned, my
emancipatory urge denied. So
I responded: “Nowhere. Or
Everywhere. I haven’t yet
decided.” He looked at me
strangely, the corners of
his mouth curved in
disapproval. His jaw,
stern and unflinching,
was mounted on two very firm shoulders, straight and
broad. “I simply meant what stop you were getting off on.”
My chest heaved in agony, my heart swelling with embarrassment.
“Apologies, I had thought you were a slave-catcher, seeking to return
me to the plantation.” I had said too much. and now the truth was out-
I was free, loosed from my destiny, unbound by the whips of men across
my back. But he didn’t make a move, just stood with his arms across his
chest, tapping in rhythm to the clacking of the train across its track. It
was the heartbeat of the nation, the pulse of an entire people. The denied
dreams and broken backs of countless men, Chinese, Irish, German, and
Black. If we had all joined arms and celebrated in unison, perhaps our fate
could have been shared-- instead, we remain a profile in despair, the shattered
bust of Caesar’s slaves. But I will liberate the forms of poets and princes.

Longevity of Souls

I weep the tears of Solomon when last he heard the call
Of all his wives of foreign gods within his crumbling hall
That wise old sage had forsook the powers he beheld
And Caesar’s troops ensured that old Israel was felled
The corona of history was passed soon to the King
First to Herod then the Christ, the pivot soon would swing
As Zealots called to Pharisees and called for Jesus’ blood
Black storm clouds turned the sandy desert into mud
Simon born as Peter rose and took the papal crown
As Saul of Tarsus stood in awe as light would soon surround

Apologists and charlatans would tarnish their good names
But Augustine and Charlemagne restored the sacred chain
The kings and princes of the time soon assumed a role
As enforcers of the cross, a goblet was their goal
Barbarism and disdain became the twisted truths
And cuckold Arthur became the rising youth
When folk tales of the ancient past were revived from ash
History was soon revised so Christians would not clash
Up in flame and up in smoke went Alexandria
Its library and pagan thought met with malice and mistrust

So great evil and great good soon would come to pass
In name of God and name of King and especially of class
Europa seemed corrupted by a universal greed
So Martin Luther went to Worms and posted his treatise
Calvinistic doctrine soon swept the northern lands
And good old Henry seized the chance to marry yet again
Impure yet within the minds of the most Puritan at heart
The Anglicans began to tear themselves apart
Ousted from their nation and without home or hope
The outcasts left Angleterre and learned soon how to cope

The blizzards of this foreign land hardened their resolve
And soon the wars began against the native tribes involved
Colonies grew discontent and declared their independence
As slavery became the norm for social men of interest
The generals played their games and fought a bloody war
But soon the King grew tired and severed his support
A nation birthed in thought and deed separate from the church
Was born to Thomas Jefferson under Sally Hemmings’ skirt
Muskets flashed and rifles passed from farmer then to soldier
As tensions grew, the nation blew apart its bold composure

The war was won when all was done with casualties aplenty
As the nation wept for their kin, Lincoln died violently
Republicans and Democrats blustered and rebuilt
As dreams of black men from the South were hidden in the silt
Christ and God were soon invoked by parties young and old
The righteous and the selfish both believed their sacred goal
Emerson spoke to the priests and told them, “Look within”
Harvard made a point not to invite him e’er again
Transcendental humanists expand the nation’s mind
But Whitman stood in nature with a smile and declined

The brewing storm across the world exploded in a flash
And godless men of all the lands bled and fought and thrashed
Their disillusioned shells returned to deadened lands abroad
They numbed the pain and lived a life as tragic as was flawed
Depression settled in the land as the Satan on the Rhine
Peddled works of hate and spite that saw his quickened climb
The hammer and the sickle rose and straddled all the East
And planes and tanks and guns soon replaced the ancient priests
The Chosen Tribes of Israel were slaughtered by the score
And Franklin, Winston, and Josef battered down the door

The fungus cloud erupted and the Rising Sun withdrew
As the clawing hands of two titans began the fight anew
The dust had hardly settled as the children squandered peace
As the Israeli specter loomed above the Middle East
Armed with power and with flame granted by the world
They dominated all they saw with rockets they had hurled
The chessboard of the global map became a deadly game
Until the rise of Gorbachev who sought a different claim
The end of war was thought by all to be soon within grasp
As Bosnia and Rwanda were both allowed to pass

Terror and oppression were now the tools of trade
By both sides of conflicted testaments of faith
Were that the problems of all men and women yet so clear
It sometimes seems as though mere chance that we are even here.

Dishonest Yesterdays of Nobody in Particular

You spoke to me about your life
I wasn’t really interested.
You seemed so damn mystified
By the stupid little things
Do you have a brain?

You recall how things used to be
I seem to remember differently.
Oh, but all was well,
You were happier then, surely
Is that what you think?

You keep mourning the death of this past
I hear it all the time.
If you keep this up
Surely you must see
You’ll lose what you have left?

For those who haven't seen it

Neverlasting Fishbowls

To cosmic time, I'm but a blur
My heartstrings are a dulcimer
The phantom spirit in your eyes
Is handsome in its moral ties

Summer springs at winter's fall
Relinquishing a thinner Saul
Tout le monde, they say in jest
Madonna holds you at her breast.

Symptoms of a braver mind
Hidden from the slavers find
The truth that gleams in harvest moons,
The truth that seems to calm and soothe.

Procrastinator’s Oath

It's not that I can't do the work
It's just so—well, it's dull
I'll start in just a few minutes—
Yeah, after this song is done

Okay, to work I go,
I've opened up the book
Put my name on the paper. . .
Time for a break
I think I'll make a snack
Is that Back to the Future on TV?
I'll finish after this movie—
Oh, sweet, a marathon
I'll crack down in a couple hours

I'm kind of sleepy
No way to work
I'll just take a power nap. . .

Class is in two hours
Shit shit shit
Deep breath
Open the book…

And in fifteen minutes, I'm done.


Autumn graves for summer’s slaves
Deadly bits of treason
Fortune tells of enclaves
Hidden from the season
Shackled to the fallen oak
With leaves and twigs aplenty
I sit and watch the chimney smoke
And sob so violently

The Dirty Secret

The twisting knife within my heart, the legacy of hate
Is all that you have left me with in this hour late
The organ plays within the night, silent, silent, lost
My breath it clings to chilléd air, sparkling with frost

I had feared for life and love, pierced by Cupid’s bow
But winter brings a truth revealed, dead within the snow
The blasphemed hand and putrid filth that you wallow in
Scrapes your dignity away when you swallow him

Identity and persons whom you will never touch
Are now the coats with which I shroud my hidden lust
Perhaps what troubles me the most when I look in your eyes
Is that my hate of all you are is self-hatred in disguise