An Investment in Interesting

I can’t get to the truth

the same way twice

because magic is the man who does impractical things

Beaten pathways are trod-on by hard-hitting people

their meaning is confirmed by money

but Death is the only currency

Why is it that a stranger has more love than a best friend?

Position, fame, and material gain

make living a laugh

while everyone tries to be exciting

the world is coming to an end

the hold-outs have value

kindness, a smile, a friend

those with little to say

say a lot

they give hope to humanity

because they don’t want to save it

and anyone who does, I stay away from

in my tiny room

where the walls speak

We are a thousand things in the dark

until we decide

to be one

and that

is an investment

in interesting.


Rodeo Clown

I sit in the dirt

asking why?

Why should I get up

when I’m just going to get bucked off


this is a one man show

and I’m the only one watching

I’m not even the hero

trampled on

riding a beast

of my pleasure

tearing my fingernails

lying in my underwear

eating chili

contemplating momentary power

while I squeeze meaning from

my empty ketchup bottle

You have to shake it

and hit the end

until it pukes everything out

I’m a rodeo clown

seeing the limits

wanting to jump fences

with painted face and ring heroics

masking, my trampled drifter status

I’m not funny

though I laugh at myself

How can I leave this circus

and become a man in a suit, reading numbers, and saying the right things?

that is a different rodeo

where one clown rides high

even though, he or she is feeling low

if you wipe off their paint

you see their nakedness

hung by ties

it’s a rodeo

with 8 seconds of fame

before getting bucked off

in the dirt.

At Night

at night

when we are all alone

the darkness wraps us in a dark blanket

where we can be

all the horrible things

in the cold.

at night

we melt away

into walls that shut us in


for all the visions

that keep us looking

in the same direction.

at night

what we love

is no longer the same

when we do it

without the ones we love.

at night

desperation sinks in

as we float above our mind

until we fall into the depths

of unconscious dreams.

Conversational Wars

“Congratulations Budd, what are you going to do with your degree?”

“I don’t know… maybe I’ll be a lecturer.”

“Those jobs are really hard to get. You know… you might try to get a continuing ed job—they’re less competitive.”

“Oh, thanks.”

“You know Budd, I tried to print something on mom’s computer and it took 30 minutes…”

“I know, I did my taxes on that computer. I finished and then dad tried… the swear words were flying.”

“The reason your mother’s computer is slow is because of the anti-virus software she installed on it,” my brother-in-law said.

“I know, I have McAfee. It wants me to renew, and I don’t know which button to push to Not renew. Now it pops up in Spanish and Russian. I don’t trust anti-virus developers. Have you seen the documentary on McAfee?”


“Well, it might be something you’re interested in. He was a sexual deviant.”

“I’m not interested in those sorts of people.”

“Oh, that’s not what I meant. I know you’re not a sexual deviant.”

“That stuff doesn’t interest me.”

“What does interest you?”

“I don’t know… everything.”

the puzzle of ourselves

we puzzle over

our missing pieces

our frayed edges

that no longer fit

we puzzle over

our perfect picture

we never put together

do we understand ourselves

why we lie in pieces




We are a thousand desires

with one love

a perfect picture

our pieces

finally put together.

The Four Houses of Death

“Behold, the pale horse, and the man who sat on him was death…”

The men of Mammon walked out of the dungeons with an iron-clad retirement plan. It was still raining, but softly. Louis was standing at the ferry with a sour look on his face.

“Boy, take us across and wipe that expression off your face. Do you know how lucky you are to have this job?” Anton asked.

“Very lucky, sir,” Louis said with falsity. When they got to the shore, Anton slid into his black Jaguar; Sonny, his Ford Bronco; Jim, his Cadillac Escalade; and Ron, his Hummer H3. Louis tried to cover up a sneer, as he got into his Honda Civic. The sun came out for a brief moment when they were gone.

Jim immediately got into the shower. His beach house was see-through, designed by someone who didn’t believe in condemning others. “Those who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones,” Jim was fond of saying. He didn’t use soap or shampoo, believing that his natural scent attracted people to him. It was blue skies and sunlight, an endless horizon, where his dreams were limitless, until he noticed a shadow in his shower that wasn’t his own; a knife, the blood, his screaming, no sound. His vocal cords were slashed; and the phone rang…

“Why doesn’t he pick up?” Ron asked. He was walking around in his bathrobe, smoking an unusually long cigar. There were coats of arms hanging on the walls, suits of armor near every doorway, Doberman pincers, alert, on the castle grounds. Clinking… strange clinking. “What’s that sound?” Ron asked. Arms were rising, sheathed in metal, holding a crossbow. WHISTLING… a bolt found its mark, right through Ron’s heart.

While this was happening, Sonny was riding around his ranch without a care in the world. He stroked his six-shooter and smiled. The sun was going down, beneath the lonely hills. Suddenly, they weren’t so lonely. A pale rider stood at the zenith of time, pulling a Winchester rifle from a scabbard, narrowing the peep-sight on the charismatic preacher with a smile; it was the smile of death and Sonny smiled back; what else could he do? And a sonic boom ripped through the atmosphere and into his lungs, gasping for air. “Hallelujah…Hallelujah…”

Amidst the Godly chorus of Death, Anton sat in his black house with the lights off, preparing to journey where he would never be found. His black key was a weight of worry around his neck as he tried not to think about killing his friends. The HMS Messiah was docked at the island, where Louis could help him unload the loot. When he got there, he gave two keys to the boy.

“Turn them on my command.”

“Yes sir.” They entered the treasure trove and loaded the ship. It took all night, into the wee hours of the morning. And Anton handed the kid another key. “I know you’re tired of driving that Civic. Here’s your reward.”

“For me?” Louis asked.

“A master always repays his servant.”

The boy got into the Cobra and Anton shut the vault doors. “With death…”


The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse

There was cash from several countries, jewelry swindled from old ladies, gold bars melted down from wedding rings, and deeds to properties and land. In the center of the room, a cobra mustang.

“Now tell me again, Anton, how did you get that car here?” Ron asked.

“It’s not a car, but an automobile, an artwork of craftsmanship.” Anton climbed into the race car and smelled the leather interior. “Oh, look, someone left cocaine on the seat.” He rolled a hundred-dollar bill with his spindly fingers and snorted the coke. “Now that’s heaven on earth.”

“I guess it’s all here,” Jim said. “Now tell me what you want to do. Our churches are crumbling.”

“Part our separate ways, I guess,” Ron said.

“But Jesus, don’t you guys want to preach the gospel?” Sonny asked.

“People are harder to deceive these days,” Anton said. “There’s the internet and the anti-God culture.”

“I guess you’re right, but the love for the Word ignites my bones like napalm!”

“Sonny, if you really want to preach the gospel, just go to the third world. You can live like a King and the people will treat you like a God. Now, we part our separate ways, like the four horsemen of the apocalypse, riding out to the four corners of the earth, to rise up congregants for Jesus Christ!” Ron preached.

“Couldn’t have said it better myself!” Sonny cheered.

“Now, return to your homes and put your affairs in order. We leave for a new life, tomorrow.”

To be continued…

Four Skeletons in the Dungeon

“Confirm to me that you still have the combination,” Ron said.

Jim opened his silk shirt, exposing a gold medallion and a silver skeleton key.

“Do you honestly think I would give up my key to Hades, for the resurrection of Jesus Christ?” Sonny asked.

“I don’t understand you,” Anton said. “Do you believe in God or not?”

“Hell yes, I believe in God, just like Satan and his demons!”

“Always with the drama…”

“It stirs my followers from their slumber and gets the blood pumping!” Sonny shouted.

“What about you, Ron? Is our money safe?” Jim asked.

“Well, why not go to the safe and find out?”

The four pastors walked down the stone stairway into the dungeons. There was the vault, cut into the island rock, with four skeleton holes.

“I go first, remember?” Ron said.

“Then I go,” Jim interrupted.

“And praise Jesus, let’s open heaven on earth,” Sonny said.

“And you’re last Anton,” Ron remarked.

Anton pulled a black key from around his neck and turned it in the lock. The stone separated like monstrous jaws, hungry to consume anyone willing to enter.

Ron lit a cigarette and inhaled. “Cools… I just love Cools, the minty flavor and soothing smoke.” He dropped his expended cigarette into the oil torch near the door and the cavern expanded with light.

To be continued…

The Murder No One Took Credit For

“A young girl murdered, during worship no less. And you wonder why people don’t attend church. The coffee is free, but it isn’t going to bring them in. We have beautiful women to seduce the men, our message is soft, and after a few weeks, congregants actually think God will give them more money, if they give us theirs… but that’s all over now because of a stupid murder. What was it? Did one of you sleep with her and have her killed because she was under age?”

“We’ve been doing that for years,” Sonny said. “And never had to kill anyone. No, this is something else. And it’s costing us our finances and our followers.”

“The police are investigating too,” Anton said. “And they’re a frightful bore. I’ve already been cross-examined twice, and they thought they caught me in a lie, but they were wrong–I actually had to spell it out for them on their notepad.”

“Well… who could have done it then?” Jim asked.

“It’s not who could’ve done it, but why would they do it?” Ron said. “We’ve got plenty of women in our congregation. A man needn’t look very far. We’ve totally taken care of any latent repressed sexual deviance; all men have free license to do whatever they want, and the women love them for that.”

Jim was staring intently into the hour glass, while the sand trickled into the bottom. “I hate meetings…” He said. “We aren’t any closer to solving this problem then when we started.”

“Would you stop complaining!” Sonny shouted. “Get on the floor with me and pray!”

“While we both believe in God, I’m not sure that God will help us.”

“Well… prayer never hurt anyone,” Sonny said.

“It hurt that girl. Now who was it? Was it you Anton? Or you Ron?”

“Come now, we all know that before a killing we consult each other. This one will bankrupt us all.” Ron looked out the window, into the storm. The lake was full of white caps and rain. “You left that kid out there, Anton. Why didn’t you tell him to go back?”

“I thought this was going to be a short meeting. I didn’t know you all were as clueless as I was. Well… without any leads we must go back to answering the annoying questions of the police.”

To be continued…

Cult on the Water

The island was privately owned and not an inviting place. So much so, that if a stranger walked to the dock on the opposing shore, they would immediately feel fear. Some people don’t live by the rules; they don’t climb ladders; they are not at the top, but in the shadows, pulling the strings of power.

“I feel the holy spirit over this spot right now!” Sonny stretched his hands to the ceiling. Jim looked at their charismatic member through black sunglasses, with a closed smile on his baby face.

“Do you believe in God?”

“Jesus, what kind of question is that? Do I believe in God…?”

“Well, I thought I should ask.”

Sonny took a drink of whiskey while Ron looked at both of them. “Why is Anton late? He’s never late.”

A man in a black robe, soaked-through to the bone was being ferried across. “Can’t you make this thing go any faster?” He shouted.

“Sorry, but it’s only a two stroke; it’ll get the job done though.”

“That’s what she said, or most likely what you say to yourself when you’re alone.”

The kid’s face was sulky; not because of the wind and the rain, but because of some spiritual malady.

Even with the 50 knot gusts, blowing across his face, Anton looked like Washington crossing the Delaware. He knew he was better than anyone who believed him, and he was good at lying to people so they would, it was the only way to control them.

Ron opened the door to their castle. “Why are you late? Jim and Sonny are testing each other’s faith and I hate playing God, that’s what you’re good at.”

“You’re too kind,” Anton laughed. “Boy, get my bags and bring them to the door.”

They went inside, lit their cigars, and when the room was sufficiently full of smoke, Ron began to talk, he was good at talking.

To be continued…