Yesterday I strolled out
To the barn to get something, the drill
Or maybe that pink putty, it turns white
When it dries, & the window was black, buzzed.
Overnight, two hundred
Or more flies birthed in the barn
& then the swarm swarmed the window.
Thoughts, these flies, headaches, pandemics--they sweep
The psyche, the window, this noggin, this nation.
I woke to a nuisance I didn't earn.
When I flushed the toilet, the sewage rose.
This is what I've become, squatting, shitting
On paper towel in the garage.
Suddenly it begins to snow.
I don’t know how to say it, but
The cashier at the grocery has begun
To harass me, comments on
The length of my cucumbers, the girth
Of the chicken breast I buy
For homemade dog food.
Today she called me a skank, in question
Form & even worse, the shelves were still
Bare of toilet paper, matches.
Still I can’t blame her, remembering what
I said here earlier
About thoughts flying, the headache
Of a pandemic, unknown
Accident or incident prior.
I zip up my coat & move on.
Once outside of an alehouse
In Muncie, Indiana, someone mentioned
Last night’s Sugarland concert.
I said, “I heard they really brought the house down,”
A stupid joke, my goof-timed cheeking
At the tragic collapse of the stage.
A guy said, “My cousin died in that collapse.”
“O fuck,” I said, “Punch me.
Free of charge,” but he refused.
Surely, countless other accidents
& incidents I have forgotten, folks
I have disrespected.
I have lived a long time, made many moronic maneuvers.
Thomas Edison originally believed
The phonograph a tool
For recording voices, memos to mother, meanderings best
Kept secret, though necessary to let
Fly from the snout.
Not songs, no, he argued.
Songs are already recorded elsewhere, have to be found.
Here’s how dumb & pathetic I am!
I still take one of my wife's hairpins
To clean my earwax, though I know
Lee Gerstenzang invented the q-tip in 1923.
You can call me a project-oriented poet. A big beam of obsession & confusion & delight shines down & I'm hooked for a bit. My two full-length collections of poems are WHAT IS WHO (my self-published MFA thesis at the Michener Center For Writers, 2018) & More Wreck More Wreck (published by Coconut Books in 2014). My most recently-released poem-project is FUTURE BARN, available for FREE both in PDF & audio form.
I'll post new poems every Friday from my forthcoming collection, I ONCE WAS SOMEONE ELSE & OFTEN STILL AM. I'd be honored if you gave it a read, a possible share. Thanks!