America Lost

tattered-american-flag-1445282-640x480Like a chicken with its head
cut off, we keep running
around like it matters.
It’s time to lie down,
close the casket,
try not to pinch
our fingers.

Regardless of which corporations
made the axe or which politicians
wielded it, the head’s gone.
It’s not like we were using it anyway.

Generations of brain-damaged
high school jocks voting
against funding classrooms
certainly didn’t help.

Giving oil tycoons money
from the general fund
to burn the planet
certainly didn’t help.

Pretending corporations are people
that speak with dollars
instead of consume them
certainly didn’t help.

At least the gun nuts
haven’t killed us all
yet and we’ll soon be poor
enough that the wealthy
won’t consider us worth screwing.

If we’re lucky they’ll leave us alone
long enough that we can die
in bed instead of the gutter.

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Common Sense

penny-2-1240637-640x480This morning’s Living Poetry Monday Poetry Prompt was to write a “common sense” poem. Here’s what I produced.

Common Sense

We assume rational actors
take the political stage
after a thorough vetting
by the American media
and our registered voters

yet something’s gone awry
when a vast minority
consistently elect
blatant con men
and proven liars

to cut funding
from public schools
so future generations
have even less
common sense.

 

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VR Skeeball

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VR Skeeball

The ball feels real,
the heft in my hand,
minor imperfections
in the texture
beneath my fingertips.

The clinks and clanks
of the machinery
sound authentic.

These hi-def graphics
are phenomenal.
I can even see waves
in the ocean beyond
the boardwalk.

My avatar wipes sweat
from his focused brow
in the dank arcade.

Fully immersed,
I can practically taste
this milkshake.

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Who needs a driver?

road-to-nowhere-1449440-638x467A couple of weeks ago, Living Poetry, represented by myself, Tara Lynne Groth and Anna Weaver, attended another Science Cafe at the NC Museum of Natural Sciences. This one was all about the artificial intelligence needed for self-driving cars. They posted a video of the fascinating lecture where our poetry starts at about the 67 minute mark in but the presentation is well worth the hour spent.

Install an AI in my car tonight!

I’m ready to be chauffeured
home by sensors and algorithms.
I get my best ideas while driving
but I forget most before I park.

Imagine how much better a poet
I’d be if I could write while traveling
through lush landscapes or watching
the full moon rise behind the trees.

But could the act of driving
fuel my creativity
even more than wine?

I’ll leave that for the AIs
to determine as we approach
singularity together.

 

 

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Television

old-t-v-1310765-639x726This morning’s Living Poetry Prompt was “television”. Here’s what I wrote.

Boob Tube

Why do they call it the boob tube?
Besides the obvious rhyming pair
there aren’t any naked boobs
at all. There’s plenty of jiggle
in bikinis or bras bared
for less than reasonable reasons
but I have to monitor pay cable
to see the female breast
in all her glories.

Perhaps boob is meant figuratively
given the men that appear on Sunday
morning news shows.

 

 

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Silent Screams

20171009_174149Look at what arrived in the mail recently, my author’s copy of Silent Screams: Poetic Journeys Through Addiction & Recovery. I am honored that University Professors Press editors Nathaniel Granger, Jr. and Louis Hoffman chose to include my poem Milkshakes and Chilidogs in their book. Check it out.

 

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Analytical Poem

spiderweb-1372905-640x480I’ve been writing the Monday Poetry Prompts for Living Poetry for a couple of months. The prompt from this morning was randomly derived by dice and a thesaurus. That’s how I came to write an “analytical” poem. I’d been challenged before to write a poem about computer programming before so I’ve been thinking about it but hadn’t actually set pen to paper nor fingers to keys until now. Hope you like it.

Analytical Poem

Plastic coins about the size
of a silver dollar only thicker;
Thick enough to read words
engraved on the edge;

Stacks of coins
in metallic boxes;
Boxes with labels
precisely etched;

Bold arrows float
pointing from box to box
sometimes looping
like a snake
eating his tail;

That’s what I see
all in black and white;
Then the coins pop
from stack to stack
and fly from box to box;
Their motion glows
gently colorless
and the arrows quiver
with delight;

I see these imaginary objects
with my waking eyes;
Observe their behavior;
Manipulate them with thought;
Make them dance to my tune;

I build machines just as real
as any loom or engine
which solve real problems
make lives easier
businesses more profitable
yet these programs
are less substantial
than a spiderweb;

 

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NCPS Featured Reading

12743563_10156510847585655_6692687021661795776_nThis Sunday afternoon at 2pm I’ll be one of the featured readers at the NC Poetry Society Reading Series at McIntyre’s Books in Fearrington Village, just south of Chapel Hill. I’ll be reading from my latest collection, Milkshakes and Chilidogs, which will be available for sale, of course. I might even be persuaded to sign a copy or two.

I’ve been to a lot of poetry readings in my time and they can sometimes be a little dull. I promise this Sunday will not be your normal poetry reading. I have something else in mind. It might be entertaining. It might a total disaster. Expect casualties.

Whatever it is, you won’t want to miss it.

Facebook Event

Living Poetry Meetup Event

 

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Kokopelli

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Postcard Poems and Prose Magazine published one my poems today. Check it out!

This is a site that everyone should subscribe to and all my poetie friends should submit to. Kokopelli is third poem I’ve placed there and I always enjoy seeing what image they come up with for a background. They’re great to work with.

 

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Wine and Chocolate

IMG_20170823_073521Last night was the launch party for my latest poetry collection, Milkshakes and Chilidogs, and rather than me reading from my book, I asked my friends to read their favorite poems from my book. I was worried that it would be too self-indulgent but it worked well. There is nothing quite like hearing someone else read one of your poems aloud. My parents were there and my father, who makes the best macaroni and cheese ever, offered his interpretation of my poem “Comfort Food”. All told, over half of the poems were read over chocolates and wine.

Then I was up early this morning for my appearance on the 3-D News program on WHUP FM, Hillsborough. The recording has been posted to their website. My bit starts around fifteen minutes in.

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