Friday, March 27, 2009

All Things

I turn up the music
To drown out the voice
Of the tour guide
But I’m really trying
To wash away
The imprint
Of my own hands,
The guilt left in cement
Two doors down.

I smile
At the strawberry preserves
Innocently placed under
The old reader’s library globe.
Australia seems to be
Craning its neck
For a taste
While casting shadows over
The thighs
On dance journal jackets.

All things where they belong
I suppose.

Thursday, March 26, 2009


Late once again
And bathed in sweat
I make sure to walk under
Every laddar
Every black cat
That crosses my path
Salt spills from my pocket
Marks my trail before blowing
Back into the sky
Being absorbed by the slugs
Hot on my heels

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


At what point
Does one arise and
That golden piece
Of sand
That which when moved
Brings and becomes
The flood
Each grain turning
Into itself
And falling
Falling to erase walls
Erase rivers
Erase maps
Erase the pale
Of your cheek
Pressed against
The pillow
From the bathroom
It appears to glow
Like silk
I stop to watch you sleep
And wonder
How long

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


I have 3 green plastic soldiers
On my desk.
Two for each end of the hallway
One for intelligence.
This makes things better
Than they were before.
When the lights went dim
And all manner of snake
Crawled from kitchen
To mail room.
Have you ever tried to sleep
Behind an HP Pavillion
Hugging a stack of reports
To keep them dry
From the rain?
Neither have I,
Though I wondered about it
As I was cracking
A beer that evening
On the floor in front of the TV.
I rolled over onto a plastic soldier
Stuck in the shag
In front of the couch.
My first draftee.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Balls Out

Advice to all 3rd, 4th and 5th tier employees:
Always go balls out.

Unfortunately, this is often overlooked, even though it has been formally recognized as the Ninth Habit by The Greater Hennepin County Jr. Curlers Collective. The swing vote of said adoption coming from the Edina delegate, who only three days earlier swore off lutefisk and a deteriorating relationship with his mother. But I digress. Balls out. It is the only way one should approach or stand at the company urinal. Not simply one sheepishly poking out, but full balls. Belt open and khakis hanging off your ass full balls. Knees apart and eyes on the horizon full balls. Tijuana bachelor party full balls. Balls full out! You never know who may walk up to you after all. You should always hope for your supervisor, manager or boss. But understand... this is not a challenge. This is a service. This is the removal of pretense. All things made clear without a raised voice. But in order to do so, you must set your concerns aside. This is not to be a display of ego. This is an exercise of will beyond the fickle concerns of the ego. Large or small, balls out. Young or old, balls out. Partner or clerk, balls out. Trust me, all structures, pyramids and hierarchies would rearrange. All blocks would fall and reassemble to their natural state. In an ideal world devoid of pants, it would be obvious who is hiding in their BMW. But this is not Utopia, so use the time you have. Balls out, of course.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

A Fill

I have nothing to say of any particular you or myself. Do you? Speak up at any time. Or cough. Yeah, I thought so. The thing is, this is a fill, a stall, a mild sealant or band aid placed upside down. Bound to pull apart again, bound to seep and bleed. But rather this than licking one's shoe perhaps. Unless of course... But my ability to bend has been somewhat lacking, ergo the noise you see before your eyes. White. Black. Whatever. Just five minutes of noise left to find the drain. Five minutes of noise folded and placed inside the suggestion box. Left to curl and burn next to such gems as "The iPod ban is unfair", "MLK Jr. day should be a jeans day", and "My boss is a dick!" All sympathy and nods to that last one, of course. If only I could crawl in there myself. I'd raise some hell for sure. Eventually at least.


smile harder pal
it's just a little bit more
than a nod
though you may
chip a tooth

smile harder friend
it's just a mirror
they want
to adjust their
toupees in

smile harder kid
it's only from moment
to moment
and you'll forget
before the clock falls

a little bit at least
it makes it easier
to crack the capsule
breath in foam


If I could cover up this world with words
I would sit and type and write and
Upon the floor the walls the
I see in the mirror as well as
Those in the corner

One final absurd blanket for everyone
One final black barbed wall of teeth
One step off the cliff and into the sky

What a day for my hand to cramp
My tongue to knot
My pen to snap
What a day for language to fail
Under the weight of concrete


Someone's been scanning
Our past
Our memories
For profit
For plastic

What looks like a box
Of nostalgia
Like the legs
Of a fly

Roll your windows up tightly
Speak in hushed tones
And by all means
Watch that smile


Your children
Balancing in front of me
Look unsurprisingly like fish
Faces sucking the oxygen
From my last few breaths
Of water

I know it's not their fault
Their design
You just couldn't be bothered
With bringing
Their plastic bags

So glad you chose the
Open-air submarine
With army tank treads


Training will be held at 10:17 sharp this afternoon. Please be prepared to take notes and clean up after your nap. Topics covered will include...

  • Building Team Enthusiasm

  • The Myth of Sisyphus: What Camus Forgot to Mention

  • Synergy - Right in the box all that time?

  • and

  • Covering Topics: How to Craft DyNAMIC and EyE-CaTcHiNg lists BEFORE that meeting Begins.

  • thx


He kept waiting for the explosion
The change
The moment of convergence where all
Windows would open up and spit out
A stream of marching Men's Warehouse
Stepping above our heads
Shoulder to hand
Hand to shoulder

I just wanted my paper
Just wanted my silence
My shield and a coffee
But I could see the fuses hanging out
The corners of his eyes
Begging the opportunity

Sipping my coffee
I went back to waiting as well
Loosening and stretching my hand to better grab
The collar in front of me

One can never be too sure.

pain meds

it's just two more and a half-glass of water
nothing less than the salt
stuck to the damp side of a bucket would do
or the cat who lost outside the window
at 4 o'clock in the morning


I shook the black hand of Darwin
Half-expecting his fingers to go for my throat.
Instead I found us arm-wrestling
For a shot of Jameson's and a ball of lint.

Losing interest,
I swapped in a door prop
And pocketed the lint.
What do I care from Whiskey?

where my head is

For what reason this is here, only you know. I, my friend am too close to set upon without the gulf of nothingness to shield me. I can only spit, twist my head and feign knowledge of self and presence in this fractured moment. Nothing new, nothing unique at all, save for a regional speech pattern patter of thought that I toss out like mute waves from the last skip of a stone across brown river water. We all have our hop hitch skip of a bad hip like a tongue used to avoiding a cavity. We just have different dental plans, crutches and stale breath. What's worse is the realization one's whole is but a reflection of each half, and we crawl through each day pretending or hoping one is more real than the other, yet secretly aware of the very real chance that each – right AND left – are mist reflections of the left AND right. Laugh, smile, or dismiss this as you will. I have no tangible proof you are nothing more. And defensiveness is unnecessary when standing before one sitting on a bean-bag throne.

Inspirational Thoughts

The beginning of any journey is not one end of a line. It is the center of a circle. The complete center, the absolute center, that which engulfs us like water in the ONE ocean that touches ALL shores. Increasingly, I find myself searching for center inside the handicapped washroom facilities. All shores are painted salmon, and I captain a porcelain raft through dark waters—my face lit courtesy Verizon Wireless. I like to imagine all of us together at 10:37—a Navy of Lost Souls shoulder to shoulder waiting for directions that never come, co-ordinates lost or slid under tile. It's the air-force we are hiding from. I just want a moment away from their buzzing propellers and constant motion. I hear them outside the door, obsessing over the price of fuel. Yeah, this is a start.


That whispering you hear around the corner
Is the sound of a serpent's tongue
Whistling food from between its fangs

It only looks like some secretaries
It only wears those shoes for effect

That laughter you hear behind the door
Is nothing but a group of goats
Folding dollar bills with their noses

They only smell like aftershave
They only look like suits on a broom

The buzzing you hear below your left ear
Is exactly what you think it is

You get a 20 minute break
Make your calls quickly

Eulogy to Fame

I dreamt I was visited by Cary Grant
Randomly checking the state of things
In a charcoal suit that alone proved
The existence of right angles

I sat down and began to show him YouTube
Showed him video after video after
Mashup after Rant after
Crash after explosion after fan film after...

Watching Hussein swing through the floor
He quipped, "Looks like every prick will
Expect a monogrammed bathrobe
And a private locker."

"Studio independence is one thing
But this is a narcissistic orgy
With $5 whores."

"It's Archie from here on out, kid."

I think I heard him repeat
"I like turtles?"
As he faded back through the wall.

Mr. Brown

(Song: Vince Guaraldi's "Linus and Lucy". Fades, then lights up on a bald, middle-aged man in a yellow shirt with a zigzag across the midsection.)

Mr. Brown: I have been bald since the age of two. My ex-wife left me to go follow the Indigo Girls around the world with her best friend Marcie. I live by myself in an apartment that I rent from my own dog . . . who just raised the rent by the way. Good grief, is it any wonder I’m a little depressed? I feel like everything I’ve ever touched gets ruined. Or dies. If you attended last year’s Christmas party you’d understand. And before you suggest it, I’ve already tried the therapy thing. I spent my formative years in the hands of a young gifted “hot-shot” psychiatrist. And what do I have to show for it besides a compulsive avoidance of nickels? Nothing. Then there are days I feel like a blockhead for feeling this way in the first place. We all have problems. I’m sure there are things that you can’t even share with your own friends. My best friend was like that. Last year he hung himself from his ceiling fan with a powder blue baby blanket. And I thought he was the most centered person I knew. Maybe I should just accept things and try to learn from my troubles like Lot did. But the fact is I’m not Lot damn it. I am simply a man who comes into work each day and sits in a cube for eight hours seven days a week and feels the weight of his own death like a toothache swimming in lemonade. And for what? Do I ever hear a “thank you” or “nice effort” from Ms. Othmar? No, It’s just “Wmaw mwah whah” this and “mwah mwah mwat” that all freaking day long! Take a look at this. (Holds up a fist-sized rock) My quarterly bonus. Rats! I was supposed to be a big-league pitcher, not the guy who files rejected credit applications all day. I want to scream out loud, but I cannot move my tongue from the roof of my mouth because it is so swollen with presence of absence. And do you know what really eats at me? The nagging feeling that all of my co-workers, the great and the greater are nothing but a sham. Losers like me but worse, because when they look into the mirror each day, they have no problem lying to themselves. Tricking themselves into believing that they are something more than what they really are, each and every one of them…a Charlie Brown just like me.


i did not pay attention in school
and today i carry the guilt
like a snow globe in my
book bag

missed opportunities and absent declarations
all replaced by construction paper
cut outs
wintergreen paste

if i hadn't thought at the time
she was a giant I might have
reached up from the desk
and plucked out her eyes

moments like this are slipping by us all the time
dragging their feet like tentacles.