the queen of the rustling palms

the king of the Caribbean is thirsty

at the funky Café Del Mar

sipping on rum, sipping on

a silver crescent sliver of moon

sipping on a thousand salty stars

pouring from the Big Dipper

pouring from the coconuts

as cool jazz and the queen

fill up the white sand gloom

 

the queen of the rustling palms

wears her famous Trina Turk

bright yellow in her majesty

smelling like a jasmine sea

smiling with white pearls

out of sun-licked radiance—

and the king wants to drink

her royal dimpled dominions

wants to drink her rustling palms

 

in the white sand gloom

outside the funky Café Del Mar

under a silver crown of moon

under her shower of salty stars

under her rustling palms

the king of the Caribbean is thirsty

and the queen

smiles with white pearls

and eats her coconut ice cream

 

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my palapa promise

words blown away

by the tropical sublime

stay in the moment, man

use that Caribbean time

record my million monkeys mind—

as a sizzling sun heats

an endless, singing surf

 

mojito madness approaching

Margaritaville’s all exploding

words tumble out of the ballpoint

some funny, some the poignant joint

get it all down, get it all down

before the sizzling… cools down

 

her dangling, sandy foot

lulls me to sleep and

my palapa promise

is a notebook full of

flip flop, bikini surf, Chopra-infused

boozy… sunbaked

nonsense

 

 

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serial news

serial news makes

famous killers major newsmakers

glorify the gore, evil sells

25 to life

for taking a life

saved by insanity

alive with insanity

instead of death in the big house

paroled to the halfway house— with a book deal

is John DeRipper

 

serial news makes

anonymous victims minor casualties

just details to

minimalize the loss of

forgotten dead, tortured innocents

bloody formalities on 48 Hours

crime scene photographs

coroners report, remains in a box

cops with a lifetime of bad dreams— bad dreams

oh yeah, what was her name?

 

serial news

the vigilantes snooze

whatever happened to

an eye for an eye?

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exit 25

exit from a .25 caliber

exit in his twenty-fifth year

body dumped by the dumpster

his girlfriend’s screams are clear

flashing lights and crime scene tape

cops are asking questions

residents saw a black SUV

speed away from this location

 

a mom saw it from her window

and read about it in the news

she felt for the young victim

felt another mom’s deep death blues

 

but seems Evan T. was a bad, bad boy

at least that’s what

a bad boy blog had read

Evan T. messed with all kinds of kids

and many had ended up dead

but when you double deal with the Russian mob

you’ll get your just dessert

you better not fuck with Moscow Bob

or he’ll put in you the dirt

 

was Evan T. a cheating pusher man?

a double dealer dealing all bad hands

did he mess with kids?

screw with the mob?

did he really fuck

with Moscow Bob?

 

if you read a bad boy blog

like we did

you might form a sad opinion

the reality is we’ll never know and

there’s two sides to a door kicked open

 

exit from a .25 caliber

exit in his twenty-fifth year

 

 

 

 

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poppin’ wheelies in the new ‘burbs

poppin’ wheelies in the new ‘burbs

poppin’ wheelies in the new ‘burbs

four-eyed bros

are jumpin’ those

high rise wheelie bikes

off the fresh curbs

 

when King Street was gravel

and handlebars were chopper high

it coulda been a trip for smokes

with a note from Dad to buy—

rides with four-eyed bros to secret forts

farmers fields made into tracks

was BMX before the gear

faded t-shirts on our backs

 

high rise wheelie bike

my banana seat is golden

sissy bar flares shiny fender

ape hangers tightly holdin’—

knobby on the front forks

wide white-walled slick on back

Kangol cap before the helmet

knee high socks for shin attacks

sometimes I laid ‘er down

skinned my suntanned thigh

bro patched up the dirty road rash

and back on flyin’ high

trickin’ with the gang

feelin’ summer groovy

Huffy, Raleigh, AMF or Schwinn

they shoulda made a movie

 

poppin’ wheelies in the new ‘burbs

poppin’ wheelies in the new ‘burbs

four-eyed bros

are jumpin’ those

high rise wheelie bikes

off the fresh curbs

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she slips

she slips

into my mind

like she slinks

out of a slip

and slips into our bed

slipping me the smile

winking me while

she slips me her hand

and I slip out of my mind

 

reality slips

forward—

she slips

into

memories behind

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you left the banana, or Valentine split

like a banana split

you ate ice cream, chocolate sauce

and cherry hearts

but left the banana

you took your whip creamy love

and hid it away

in January’s cold anger—

my heart split open

like that banana

and the cherry juice

spilled into my

next month’s anguish

 

a banana split

is not a dish for one

not a February dish

nor is it warm

like cinnamon hearts

 

when the fourteenth came

I gave you the hearts

you gave me cold shoulders

and goodbyes—

like that banana split

 

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portrait of the poet as an empty vessel

imagine, if you will

a picture frame without

a picture

across the room, in the reflection

of his mirror

the picture frame now

contains a faded, gaudy painting

two pictures that thrust the viewer into

the ego fight zone—

 

I was a sleeping lion

laughy Daffy Duck

The Silver Surfer

an angry young buck

selfish super dooper

the envy cup so full

I floated downstream in a mug

as someone else turned the spoon

one of the limbo bimbo lost souls

wearing nothing but

expensive shoe soles

 

scowl me a smile, Troy

sour me awhile, boy

 

burning embers sparked

a coaster

the best of it flamed to me

and I have become a great actor

I am the great sneaker deaker—

but you can’t fake spirit

you can’t hide your voice

 

I am a feeling

of light

I am a breath

of dust

 

alas, my lass says

I am no one

going nowhere

with nothing

pity

I love that faded, gaudy painting

those shoes, my ego

this is the ego fight zone—

the true self

is the picture frame

without a picture

 

imagine, if you will, that

I am happy as

an empty vessel

I am an empty vessel

 

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that Canadian look, or cool to be Johnny Canuck

apologetic and glad

with parkas, big boots

here, plaid’s no fad

—that Canadian look

 

red serge and mukluks

from Hudson’s Bay

to the Mounties, eh?

I’m sorry I look so good

 

prairie wind chill fashion school

arctic lows to Rocky Mountain highs

prairie wind chill fashion school

we learn what keeps us warm

prairie wind chill fashion school— ’cause

black skin frostbite don’t look cool

 

snow and ice

is the northern price

lotsa luck, you southern schmuck

ya gotta be cool to be Johnny Canuck

 

the big beards are back

with handlebar moustaches

like Blacque Jacque Shellacque

mad trapper and the lumberjack

is that Canadian look

 

warm in furs and pioneers felt

buckskin fringe? First Nations, or the Voyageurs

and hats made of the beaver pelt

the skin on which this country’s built

is that Canadian look

 

big goose down jackets

flannel-lined blue jeans, toques supreme

big goose down jackets

moose-hide moccasins, the snowshoe dream

big goose down jackets— can

make you look like the Michelin Man

 

snow and ice

is the northern price

lotsa luck, you southern schmuck

ya gotta be cool to be Johnny Canuck

 

apologetic and glad

from Hudson’s Bay

to the Mounties, eh?

I’m sorry I look so good

 

 

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cupid’s misfire

Her hands sweat.

“Time, gentlemen. Next table, please.”

He sits.

You are gorgeous!”

And… you are too young for me!”

“Name?”

“Suzanne. Yours?”

“J.J.. My mother’s name was Suzanne.”

“Oh, really?” She’s distracted. “What are you writing?”

“You’re the one. You tick all my boxes.”

He looks at her with familiar eyes.

“What do you do J.J.?”

“I’m a firefighter in Melville.”

“Really? I lived there a long time ago.” She hesitates. “What does J.J. stand for?”

“Jonas Jackson.”

She pales and stands.

“What’s wrong?”

She left him once, twenty years ago, she’ll leave him again. She can’t date—

her son.

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