My Girlfriend and My Life

She told me, “A woman needs to smell you—you must have a seductive scent.”

She gassed me with one perfume, after another, like an intoxicating toxin

that would linger for hours, like a loitering prostitute.

“What’s wrong?” She asked.

“Nothing.”

“You’re tearing up. It’s okay for a man to express his feelings. What’s going on? It’s toxic to keep emotions bottled up.”

“We should keep them in the bottle. A man needs to keep himself, to himself.”

“That leads to suicide.”

“Suicide is okay—then he can die with honor. Take that away, and he’s got nothing.”

She screamed, and cried, and pounded my chest with her fists. “It’s not okay to say that!”

“There, there—I didn’t mean to say anything.”

“But you did—and it hurt me!”

“I’m sorry.”

She looked cute when she was mad, like a little girl. I felt like a monster, and it felt good.

She got me a bottle of cologne, shaped like a lightning bolt. “This is your scent,” she said. “For the bad boy.”

I saw that she got one for herself. “Are you a bad girl?”

“No—this is good girl cologne.”

“Clever marketers,” I commented.

Then, she started to notice things about me, that needed improvement.

“When was the last time you changed your sheets. There’s a big hole in this one.”

“That’s where the wire sticks through,” I said. “I position my body just so—so it doesn’t stick me in the night.”

“You need a new mattress.”

When we went to look for one, I caught her looking me up and down. “You could dress better,” she said.

“I’m a writer—we’re allowed to look like slobs—it’s a style. Just be thankful I didn’t wear my bathrobe in public.”

“You act like you don’t want to get better.”

“It’s just that we’re all dying—I don’t see a need to cover it up.”

“Well—if they make corpses look good—you can look good.”

“This is what it comes to? —make-up, fine suits, and fancy cologne?”

“This is what you have to do— when you get a girlfriend. Most men are failures, until their women teach them, basic hygiene.”

“I want to break up.”

“What!?”

“Yes—you haven’t seen my toenails yet—and I don’t want to get a pedicure.”

“Mister—you’re already scheduled for one. Ling, has excellent acid that kills fungus.”

“If things are growing on me, they’re meant to.”

“Then, you have a whole ecosystem down there—good luck, being alone!”

She stomped off—and I could smell her lingering perfume—her presence, that didn’t quite go away.

While writing this, I got poked twice by my mattress. It belongs to me—just like my life.

The End

Strange Fruit

Too often, those who save us, don’t know they do

it was my art teacher in high school

She said, “You have some good ideas—why don’t you write them down?”

I hung-out in her art class, because it felt like a safe place

I talked endlessly, and drew horrible pictures to amuse myself—all of which were original

Students would file into her classroom and see my paintings or pastels on the wall

“Who drew that?” They would ask.

I was different, and my art reflected the same

I was quiet, everywhere else, and my pictures were loud.

At the end of my Senior year, my art teacher stood-up in front of the school

and said, “Out of all of my students, Andy has the most artistic potential.”

This prophesy has been shattered, time and time, again

like broken mirrors of bad luck

but her level of belief and declaration of faith in me

has given me hope, when there was none.

The things that save us, seldom claim authority over our lives

We discover them, like a friend, that nobody knows

Those bits of ourself that are recognized

are the seeds of dreams

They are dormant, and grow with belief

so flawed

nobody will buy them

until

we sprout into a different kind of tree

and bear

strange fruit.

there is nothing worse…

there is nothing worse, than a woman pretending to be interested when she’s not

there is nothing worse, than a woman starved for attention who makes everyone listen to her

there is nothing worse, than a woman who poisons you—

if she can’t kill you, she will poison everyone you know.

there is nothing worse, than watching a married woman flirt with a young man, so she can feel young again

there is nothing worse, than women worshiping themselves

there is nothing worse, than a woman who cuts others down with her words

there is nothing worse, than a woman saying one thing, and meaning another

there is nothing worse, than a woman walking away from you

there is nothing worse, than when a woman wants to hurt you—especially, when she’s listening to what you have to say

there are far worse things women do, that haven’t made this list, but it’s late, and now for the men…

there is nothing worse, than a man who pretends to agree with you, and then makes fun of you to his friends

there is nothing worse, than a man who pretends to see something in you

there is nothing worse, than a man who pretends

there is nothing worse, than a man who is trying too hard to please

there is nothing worse, than a man who has learned how to act, from a lifetime of following, and believes he can lead

there is nothing worse, than a man who wants to be on top, and suffers ridicule, until he can get there

there is nothing worse, than men who accept mediocrity, and believe it’s not

there are worse things in the world, than this list, but they didn’t make it, because they didn’t come to mind

These are the things I think about, some of the time.

I also think positive thoughts too.

A Poem is a Woman…

A poem is a woman

who must be approached from many angles

but if you do it

too much

or too fast

or look at her the wrong way

you become a creep who can’t write.

Been thinking about the lack of love in our society

it boils down to greed

the people don’t know—it won’t set them free—not that kind of money.

We can only set ourselves free

but many of us don’t want to be free

it’s like a bad friend we can’t get rid of

because he’s our only friend

it’s like a town we hate

but it’s a place we call home

it’s the drug we use

because it makes us feel good

but it’s not a real feeling—

it helps us to forget our pain

if only, for a moment.

We are wasting our lives at work for money

We are becoming what other people want us to be

We don’t know what we want

and if we did—we could leave home for good.

A poem is a true expression of our soul

it’s more than painted words

it’s a woman who wants to be looked at, and cherished

lead, into the night.

a poem speaks

but it doesn’t talk about itself

We want to be admired

while the poem only wishes to be understood

We are not perfect

and the perfect poem does not try to be

it’s just honesty—

Who can you be honest with? Love them.

Perfection is for people who are pretending

We all seem to want it

but it’s a big act

People throw people around like money

“I make more than you.”

It’s sad, really—when people think they are worth more

because of their money

They have bought a lie with their life

They can’t know value, they easily dismiss

They need to make more money, so they will be more valuable

This lie, is the worst deception

Never buy it.

A true poem, can’t be finished

it just keeps writing itself

every breath, is a new word

a new spelling

now, she can be, won.

Morning Symphony

My intestines play a solo in bed…

It can take years to compose a symphony

You must embrace the part of you,

you were pretending,

didn’t exist.

A story, rarely, can be told straight

You must see it differently

invent ways to tell it—

all those mundane experiences

forgotten

in your mind

are your redemption.

It’s not about discovering something new

but realizing

what was already there.

What can we do for eternity?

At 80 years old—he was a madman

jolly—and full of his own self-belief

spoon-fed

the milk of Santa Clause.

It took 50 years

to become totally insane

because, any righteous madness

happens slowly

the righteous, live by their own decisions

it makes them able to be who they are

“Abandon all hope, yee scurvy dogs!” Are the words of the scurvy brain

And for some reason, there is hope, in total surrender to death

a life that’s measured—is one, that must weigh something

it’s not the feathers, in a feather bed

because the madman set fire to his comfort—years ago

He reads his own newspaper

circulation

1

a-top the coldest mountain

Why go to where it’s impossible to live?

living, makes us old

“I don’t want to grow old!” Said the 80-year-old man to his father

“You are prideful!”

“What should we do today?” Asked the 80-year-old man to his father

“I need to pick the lint from between my toes, and then Suzie is going to give me a rub-down and rotate me.”

the madman prayed for death,

while his father was clinging to life—unable to live

What can we do for eternity?

What can we do now?

Perfect Philosophy

I open my eyes, slowly

I didn’t die at midnight

The pink sunrise, is a cupcake

waiting to be eaten.

I have no plans, because my plan didn’t work

I am full of life, with nothing to do

I play for perfection

for the green golf course

full of fog

where I hit perfect golf shots

into dawn.

There are perfect paintings

and perfect people

perfection is an ideal

it is scorned in society

because no one can live-up to the standard

I live for it

because it can’t be achieved

we can only respect, what we can’t conquer

Nature

the game of golf

and some women.

There is the perfect novel

the perfect writer

He lays down the line with purity

“You want to make a lot of money.”

“No—I just want to do it.”

“You want fame—glory.”

“I want power.”

It’s the perfect putt

the perfect comeback

the perfect date

the perfect girl

the power to set something in motion

Perfect philosophy is having an impenetrable standard

society has them

and they usually go like this:

too fat

too skinny

too poor

too strange

Society wants their own perverted perfection, so that people stay paralyzed

My kind of perfection, doesn’t have any limits

it’s the stars

burning

with nuclear explosions

Art is worthwhile, because the artist decides

perfection

“and god said it was good.”

Life

The boy with an awkward bent

looked at the confident wrinkled man in a suit

who was going to determine his future

Power comes in two varieties—the most common

are those who get on top, through dealing

and saying the right things.

It takes so much sacrifice, that raw undisciplined talent

is a slap in the face to those who must be in control

and those with talent, who don’t understand the rules

quickly get eaten by the gods.

The least common of all—is the power that erupts from the insides

vulnerable

and cool

It’s a natural mirror

that doesn’t reflect the vampires

because there’s no soul there

to see

and the soul that does look into the mirror

doesn’t try very hard

He’s empty

so that he can be full.

There are people who don’t want to be part of life

They capture others

in photographs.

Times vanishes, and they don’t have their own memories

just their victims, 

in still life.

Spontaneity

is for the unprogrammed robot

living in the present

with a dangerous dance.

Nothing about his gate

or face

is fake

it’s all genuine—especially, when people need to hurt

him

their ugliness becomes uglier

while his face, becomes more beautiful

They can’t have it,

no matter how much they want to rip it,

from the mirror.

They built it

because they recognize an image of value

that speaks a language they will never know

It’s the man who turns his back on God

It’s the man who says no to religion

It’s the man who doesn’t want to be his father

It’s the man who has been given life

and doesn’t need to repay it.

Family sees right through him

no matter who he thinks, he would like to be

He can’t escape, those who know him best

and when they leave, he will lose everything.

He is just starting out

His past is short

And his future, is a certainty.

It Just Rains… and there’s nothing we can do about it

I feel sorry for my neighbor’s pug

squeezing a loaf on the third-floor balcony

while I watch it in the rain

suffering.

There are so many sufferings…

At bible study the sexually frustrated males

talk about video games, and not looking at pornography

The guy who writes screenplays, tells everybody he’s tempted

He looks me in the eyes, like I’m a guru

Word has gotten around—that I’m a radical

I told them all, they shouldn’t touch themselves

they shouldn’t look at women

and they should refrain from all sexual thoughts.

“But what about when we get married?” One of them asked.

“What about it?” I said.

“We can think about our wives, naked, can’t we?”

“Sorry—that would be lust. Jesus tells us not to.”

“You mean I can’t lust after my wife?”

He looked at me, like I had canceled Christmas.

“Lust and love can’t occupy the same space in your mind. Lust is selfish. Banish all sexual thoughts. Purify your minds. Do you think Jesus lusted after the church?”

“No,” everybody said.

I turned to the guy who writes screenplays. “I’m going to tell you a secret that will change your life.”

He was actually listening to me.

“If you don’t play with yourself, you will become a genius, and your screenplays will all become movies.”

He was waiting for me to make a joke, but I said it with a straight face.

At the gym today, I avoided the crazy cat lady as long as I could, but I needed to get on the treadmill, eventually

thankfully, she was talking to another young guy

She knows them all, and she talks about her cats, constantly. “I just don’t know what to do. Romeo’s brother has cancer. The poor thing is down to 12 pounds. I cremated Romeo last week—it cost me 350 dollars. Those cats keep me alive. I spread Romeo’s ashes on my flowerbed.”

“Uh-Hugh,” the young guy said.

“I just am sad all the time—and I eat when I’m sad.”

“Uh-Hugh.”

Then she started crying, and the young man said,” Don’t cry.”

“Oh—don’t worry about me—it happens all the time. I had to put tears in the eyes of my cats with a water-dropper. It’s okay to cry.”

I thought about her suffering

I thought about the suffering of the young men listening to her

they needed to work out, and they were too polite to say, “SHUT THE FUCK UP!”

I know most of the men in the gym restrain themselves

Nobody talks, except the crazy cat lady

and everybody politely listens, including myself.

I ask her about her cats, and I try to be understanding as she tells me the same stories, over and over again

Now, I time my workouts at 4 AM, and right before the gym closes

the problem is, everybody else is there too, when the gym opens and when the gym closes.

We’re all too polite

Maybe, we’re all cowards

or maybe, we have compassion.

Probably, some of each.

I do feel sorry for her, though

And for the young men at bible study

And for the pug, left outside to shiver in the rain

Society doesn’t care

like the weather

it just rains,

and there’s nothing we can do about it.

Society is a Sad Funny Song

I watch the secretary I know

taking her daughter around the corner

to go shopping.

It’s funny to watch desperate men

hold onto desperate jobs

and then

watch desperate women

challenge them

for holding those jobs

and the men talk back, like they did to their 4th grade teacher

and they are convicted of their male privilege

and forced to write

“I am a bad man!” ten times on the board.

I laugh, as I usually do

while society plays all sorts of strange music.

It’s a mournful dirge, with pop—absent, the father

All classical sounds are free

but society plays what it can’t afford

they consume—instead of create

and consumption is a disease

there are few angels—mostly beasts

The secretary and her daughter are angels

without money, but with family

they have enough, and they know it

and the rest of society is a sad funny song

while the girls laugh so hard, they cry

and I’m laughing too,

while I write this.