terrible, stupid money

a big problem lifted,
leading everybody
potentially to a very little problem
clean it up
a very little problem
lost to lose again

there’s no reason to panic
the finest look at what’s happening

i just left parts of the world
incompetent in a very nice way
we’ll take more money
that’s okay
we’ll take more money
the right thing is terrible,
stupid money

demean me
demean the people
demean the greatest

– all text taken from President Trump at the coronavirus task force press conference 26 February 2020.

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these in-between chairs

we really believe
believe it’s going
to get back probably
go back to all these empty
these in-between chairs

mother probably
surprised the whole world
could have stopped
been stopped in place
it’s too bad
it’s too bad

nobody has ever done it
somebody was on one
long before anybody else
was even thinking

immediate
immediate
like as fast as we can
you know what that means
by its nature
things in times
and, I mean, fast

they had no hope
a game changer
and maybe not.
and maybe not.
but it could be
based on
a game for other things
totally unrelated things

if things don’t go as planned
it’s not going to kill anybody

we didn’t know this
was going to be the playlist
what happened here
wherever you are

so many things are happening
a very exciting time
nobody has ever seen
anything like this

i’m finished

– all text taken from President Trump at the coronavirus task force press conference 19 March 2020.

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i wish i was pow

about eight feet up,
the Rylance/Rudko (94) was usually reliable
having still functioning the following keys
– I W S H O P A Z M –
and indeed now a woman in jeans and a white t-shirt
(it’s usually more Lees than Austins here)
with a foothold on Willis/Smith (02)
scrolls in a piece of paper and pecks away
the gummy clacks perforating the quiet
of Fort Sheridan in summery swelter

then there’s me,
leaning against the Hoskins/Sher (81)
pressing what’s left of the space bar on the Irons/Bryant (09)
and though i’m really here for the Hoffman/Reilly (00),
i’d settle for the Reilly/Hoffman (00)

the idea was given to Shepard by Peter Boyle
(Jones/Boyle (80), about halfway down, on the east side)
and though he wasn’t known to be a sentimental man,
Sam collected one from every production
from Broadway to the one in the back
of the coffeeshop at the other side of the
St. John’s Bridge in Portland, Oregon,
where the play was punctuated by the
drive-in box at the Burgerville out back
(that typewriter actually struck an audience member in the face)
and piled them here – ten feet high
running half a city block

and as she passes, i ask this Lee what she wrote
she straightens, says the shift key is broken,
and turns the paper so i can read
i am a wampish mishap

what are you going to write?

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hands

silver pipe
cellphone
toy gun
loose cigarettes
skittles:
what’s in their hands

is now on
ours

 

– via a prompt from Two Sylvias Press
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Full of Stars

space construction

from 2001, dir. Stanley Kubrick

i tire of the sun
it’s always in sight
and its brilliance is taking its toll

the stars all around
shine ever so bright
and i’m tired of seeing them all

the rings of Saturn
are epic and grand
but once you partake, so what?

a comet streaks by
the fourth one today
have they nothing else better to do?

i do

i’m building a pub at the end
of the universe
and no one is ever invited
the drinks are thin
and prices are dire
the jukebox plays only the Eagles
our peanuts are stale
the urinals cloudy
and space rats run shuffleboard rackets

so
i’ll lock all the doors,
and draw every shade,
and on repeat, play Take It Easy.
i’ll maw through some nuts,
wash ’em down with Buds Light,

while i take pointers from space rats on how to handle my cues,
and pray to Cassiopeia that no one comes knocking.

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Vanity, You Pretty Thing

In a f e w days, i’ll be reading a statement
directly on camera, silver gun pin
impaling shirt to tie, fixing me here,
staring into red hum light – a stop sign
i’ll ignore while my needle skates across
Hunky Dory

look out the window and what do i see?

In a f e w days, i’ll be a vintage typewriter
in the library of Lewis & Clark, ribbon twisted,
f key mashed down from one too many
f words – a problem best addressed with a
pry bar while my needle skates across
After Hours

i’d rather be all by myself

In a f e w days, i’ll be a seagull off the
Oregon Coast, lofted by winds over the
vista, cars parked, doors open, arms
pointed, eyes squinted at that or that
spray, while i dive for spun thrown
Nilla Wafers

 

– based off a tricksy little prompt from Two Sylvias Press
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when you believe

when your mom told you bad luck results from going outside with wet knees,
you scrubbed skin to raw red medallions, never as dry as could be. now you
believe bad luck opportunes from clipped toenails after rain, from whistling
in bus stations, from writing poems on napkins at Yo La Tengo concerts.

things get ugly and out of hand, things get un and sur real in ways and weights
that defy the reasonable parts of your once sane, once calm brain pan (simmer).
you turn the flame low, and brush your finger clockwise over the top. you
don’t even question anymore – the debatably practical staves off the bad.
understand there’s always something to fear understand your way back out

Then when things get ugly and out of hand and un and sur,
you know it’s just a haphazard dry in the first steps out that makes you
suffer. just a too quick towel dash as the minutes clip by pppppppppppppppppppppppp

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