Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Let's Go Bowling!

The pin monkey's dream

is filled with panties soaked in lane grease, 
seven-ten pick ups and alley gutter taints.
His asshole sits
on the rubber tongue of the ball return
thinking of You To Eternity eternally.
He dreams you got the splits
to pick up in his second frames.
Your socks are sleeping where he shits
when you're typing in the bowler's name.
(don't forget to return them to the front desk
after you've rolled your best)
When your ball gets stuck
and you press the button near the fan,
he's back behind the pin setter 
pulling his pin setter pud
and wishing that you won't 
and he can. 

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Doll's Face in the Mirror is Speaking

The express and the local
came down Latona
stacked up like a Burlington Northern
eight articulated coaches long.
They hissed liked snakes
on the wet asphalt.
Two busses blew right past me,
the drivers looking worried,
the drivers looking south.
I boarded the next express
with the driver looking worried
and the driver looking south.
He hit the gas and swore under his breath.
We ran the red light at 45th
and ran the next two stops
packed with bewildered commuters
whose faces soured into impatient rage
as we flew past them.
The bus driver continued to worry and swear
and the jilted riders continued to spit and curse
as we drove on towards downtown and their empty desks.
I smiled at each one of them from my perch above the wheel well;
on time, smug and dry.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009



I was stretched out
on a lazy boy recliner
in my sister's clammy basement
looking in the rearview mirror
at all of my regret, shame
and hysterical foolishness
streaming out behind me 
in a steady white line of lies.
"If there's a justice in this world...
hey, how about that?"
the stereo commented.
"You're just dirt."
I saw all my worth summed up 
in an endless stupid stream of ribbon
uninterrupted in its pursuit
of someone running in fear
hunched up as if teeth were snapping
eternally at exposed haunches.
I was driving up the interstate
hauling corroded alkaline batteries
to the hazardous waste smelter.
The muscles in my neck shook with exhaustion.
My fingers felt like dumb lead sinkers.
Cars flowed past me like platelets floating through an asphalt vein.
I watched that endless white line
running out behind the wing mirror.
I don't know how many miles passed
before I recognized my defeated face
staring straight into the loathsome magnets
of my tired eyes.
I saw myself
moving along
wanting to stand still
going nowhere.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Vociferating Optimism

I'm a flea bitten Turkish rat
in a packed coliseum
being chased by a cat.

They pulled my brain out
through my nose
with a fishing hook
and a plastic hose.

You're a nearsighted optimist
on a podium
in need of an optometrist.

I run through a maze
with elctrodes stuck in my brain.
The researchers monitor
my pleasure and pain.

They beat up their friends
with the jawbone of an ass
They mistook them for foes
from their forgotten past.

I drink from a spigot
and run on a wheel
and let others tell me
what I think and I feel.

They purchased the kingdom
with anger and hope
and now run to keep out of
the rifleman's scope.

Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Friday, September 11, 2009


KIRO Radio 97.3FM has decided to cancel my favorite radio show, Too Beautiful To Live. Aptly named, eh? Anyway, their resident film critic, Tom Tagney, wrote a very nice epitaph I am including here...

TBTL, Why It Mattered

The KIRO radio show TOO BEAUTIFUL TO LIVE has attained its own apotheosis. The show whose very title dared to foretell its demise has now completed its mission. TOO BEAUTIFUL TO LIVE has indeed died.
I am not here to bury TBTL however, but to praise it. Its 396 shows now constitute the complete "TBTL Collector's Series" of programs and, in retrospect, the most compelling question may not be "Why is it suddenly gone?" but rather "How did it last as long as it did?" I'd like to believe we live in a world in which something like TBTL could survive but the evidence points to the contrary. So instead, I'll just appreciate the fact it existed at all.
TBTL was the most original, innovative, and intelligently off-the-wall show I've ever heard on radio. Where else are you going to hear butchered impromptu readings of famous movie scenes, regular visits from a grammarian, an in-house a capella re-enactment of a modern opera, an Oscar show in which food from a nominated film is cooked and consumed live on air, a week's worth of Spanish and Latin lessons, a spontaneous dance-off to music designated as impossible to dance to, in-studio imitations of Bob Dylan singing Christmas songs, and hundreds of other wacky ideas. And who else but TBTL would organize a listeners' prom, a roller skating party, and nights out at the Opera AND a Mariners game?
Often described as the radio equivalent of the TV series SEINFELD, TBTL really was a show about nothing. And in its seemingly haphazard investigation of "nothing," it proved to be, more often than not, about "everything." The genius of TBTL was that it recognized the profundity of the mundane. We all have to live in the mundane world, of course, but articulate dissections of our mundane lives can actually produce clever and entertaining insights. The personal stories shared each night by host Luke Burbank, producer Jen Andrews, and board-op Sean De Tore were more humorous than earth-shattering but the point was they were always very human - the kind of daily victories and embarrassments that make up our everyday lives.
TBTL often hurtled headlong into the inane preoccupations of pop culture as well. Their WHY IT MATTERS segments would debate everything from the silly to the sublime (e.g. an early show took on the significance of those Karate Kid movies, a late show examined the brilliance of Quentin Tarantino.) But no matter how deep it dove into the superficial, it would always, or almost always, emerge with a smile and a wink. After all, this was a show run by smart and culturally savvy people. Burbank is an especially quick and literate host who can drop off-the-cuff references to Tenzing Norgay, Soren Kierkegaard, and Jeff Koons as readily as he can to Zooey Deschanel and Jemaine Clement and he often does so in a single conversation. And Andrews was always more apt to cull material for the show from, say, THE NEW YORKER than she was from TMZ. For me and much of the TBTListan nation, I suspect, it's that high art/low art tension that best defines the show's appeal.
TBTL always reminded me of a slice of lemon meringue pie. At its best, it was the perfect combination of sugar-spun fluff and tart flavor. When taking a bite out of TBTL, you had to make sure you tasted both the meringue and the lemon, or you'd miss the point. Too many people, I'm afraid, couldn't get past the meringue in the show to taste the lemon. But if you stuck with the show long enough, the lemon would always out.

You Lie!

I went to see a doctor from the Third Reich,
to help me fix my golden spike.
Working at a clinic in the far Aleutians,
cooking up final solutions.
The stars in the sky,
spell in letters bright and high,
"You Lie! You Lie! You Lie!"

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

No Shit, Shirley

William Golding said he was trapped in a bone box.
I think he said that.  I might have been dreaming.
Carson Palmer said somebody is going to die on the field one of these days.
He said that.  I read it in Sports Illustrated.
Hildegard of Bingen said "not tonight, I have a headache."
Boy did she ever.
George Clinton said it sounded like Rural Funk to him.
So he sat down and he got his harp out.
McAuliffe sent a message to Luttwitz at Bastogne
it just said "Nuts".
I don't know how that translates in German.
Eddie Murphy said to just sing and women will throw their panties on the stage.
They never do.
The Gracchi got tossed into the Tiber for trying to get the plebes twenty acres and a mule.
There ain't no rule for the company freaks.
Herman Melville said it was the whiteness of the whale that above all things appalled him.
No shit, Shirley.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

"This is you"

A Flagpole

A flagpole on a schoolyard in summer

stands up useless and lonely.
It flies no colors.
It stands for nothing.
It communicates its isolation
in random pings of dismal sonar;
the metal clasp at the end of the cord
grasping at nothing, 
strikes the base of the staff. 
It goes unnoticed
by nearby telephone poles,
standing together at safe intervals,
connected by lines of communication
filled with meaning and purpose.