MAKING FACES

Those parents who threatened me

that if I kept making faces,

my mouth would end up frozen

in a two-fingered grimace, forever

 

clearly never considered that the Buddha

has a smile that long outlived

all the pairs of uptights and unenlightened

who concentrated too much on his future.

——

 

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LOVE POEM #66 – HERE COMES THE STORM

It always starts with the clouds

seeping in after a long day’s work.

You won’t spot them,

as you mutter about the dishes,

if you don’t look out the window.

 

Your morning of watery coffee

and soggy granola will grow damp

when you go to rinse your bowl

and catch their cup on the counter,

left, empty, in the hustle to their car.

 

Then it’s your turn to pop the cover

on your two-person umbrella

and slog down the road, lost

in the downpour of your own thoughts.

 

Work will hide the sounds of the storm.

The pencil scratches drown out your personal life,

and only the occasional crack of lightning

will shock you from your presentation.

 

But the walk home finds a tempest in full motion,

the wind, the rain, and the river flooding the sidewalk

choke out all other thoughts, and all you can focus on

is that goddamn cup they left on the counter again

sitting expectantly, for you to clean up.

——

 

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DRESS UP (AND OTHER HAIKUS)

Out, on a Bench

I forgot the sound

of your delighted laughter

sitting beside me.

 

Still Life

Water unbroken,

leaves caught, frozen forever,

and me, watching them.

 

Shooting Stars

A hushed suck of air

fills the boy staring skyward

as streams cross the sky.

 

Piano Music

The lonely heart beats

slow and solemn to the song

wrote in D minor.

 

Dress Up

Honeyed cries of joy

call out from the living room

in mismatched clothing.

——

 

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PLACING AN ORDER

Stepping up to the register is the first mistake.

You’re never ready to order

and you’re never ready to respond

to the trick questions the cashier lobs to you,

 

even though it goes just like you rehearsed.

They raised their hand lackadaisically,

and you hustled on stage for your cue.

 

Then, before your audience of two,

you forgot your lines.

 

It takes a moment

of dead stares, silence, and avoidant eyes

to realize you’re losing the crowd,

and the time comes to ad lib a new order.

 

“One cheeseburger, with grilled onions

and no pickles, please, I hate pickles.”

They smile, take your money, and pretend

not to notice that you forgot to order for your date.

——

 

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GREENWASHING

It’s a very green day. So green

that it’s hard to tell the trees

from the tall advertisements

standing out over the freeway.

 

One, an ancient pillar of mankind,

crumbling beneath the thick air;

the other, a penultimate achievement,

letting us know Exxon is Going Green again.

 

That immaculate camouflage

like a Ridley Scott dream perfected

sits atop the sky. Waiting for the right time

to rip though the hull of the Earth,

and leave us drifting in outer space.

——

 

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LOVE POEM #64 – TIN MEN

Robots don’t fall in love

with metal kisses and steely hugs

like their dated fleshy counterparts

would project on a screen.

There’s nothing in a kiss

that an android can’t compute

or a secret line of code

that keeps true love on lock.

 

Robots fall in love just the same as a teenager

running amuck on prom night:

with sparks.

 

In a moment where their electric current

gets bombarded by a waterfall

of magnetic emotions and suddenly

she sees that shining suit of armor as Agilulf reborn,

instead of the tin man he is,

frozen forever without his oil.

——

 

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RUNNING ON FUMES

Out alone on the desert road

in the humid summer sunset,

my car sputtered along,

seeking respite from the seething air.

 

Which is how I felt walking

through the bleak parking structure

between shifts at my second job,

on the way to Baron’s for lunch at 4:30.

 

Yet when I turned the key

and the car crawled back to life

I felt a rush of energy

knowing Willow would be there too.

——

 

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SKINNY DIPPING

Swimming in the blue-black starlight

like a spaceship drifting through the cosmos

I thought I caught a glimpse of Venus

sitting by the shore of the basin.

 

But when I turned to look again

it was only the fleeting whispers of a dove

perched on a rock in regal white feathers,

the rays of moonlight dancing on its wings

 

and I was there, frozen;

waiting for the bird to take flight

so that I could dress in peace

and not be caught naked by Zeus.

——

 

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DREAM LOOP

Today’s dream (or rather, last night’s dream) plays with something of normalcy, which is something that seems to occur regularly in my dreams, which is perhaps why I’ve struggled to remember them for so many years. Here it is:

 

I woke up, for the first time, or perhaps the millionth, gasping for breath. My room was dark, but the beam of light peaking out between my window curtains signaled to me that it was well into the morning. I took a brief look around, when suddenly the door burst in and my father was there, spewing some nonsense about getting out of bed and doing my chores. I couldn’t really make it out, but his tone of voice was clear enough. I sprung to my feet, threw a pair of shorts on, pulled a shirt over my head and walked through the door…

…then sat up gasping for breath again, again, for what felt like the first time, but may have been the millionth. At the time, I had no memory of what happened prior, just as many fail to remember their dreams moments after waking. This time there was a scratching at the door, likely from one of our cats. They would occasionally scratch, asking for food—or occasionally freedom. I opened the door, and saw Twilight, our black cat, staring up at me with great green eyes. I walked her to the door to let her out front, the pitter-patter of her feet were as light as snowflakes falling. I twisted the nob, watched her exit, then figured I’d grab myself a quick bite to break my fast. I took two quick steps to the fridge, opened the door

and again was gasping for air in my bed.

 

But this was where the dream ended. My eyes opened, and the world felt that slight twinge of real that distinguishes it from even the most vivid dreams. What does it mean? I don’t really know. I could be, very obviously, that my life is literally on repeat. Day in and day out things are too similar to really be distinguished. The repetition of gasping could very well be indicative of choking, as if I am dying by doing this. Or, it could mean nothing, and this is just some weird thing my brain decided to project, and I just happened to remember it. Who knows? Let me know what dreams you’ve had that stood out to you in the comments below!

 

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HELP I NEED A NAP

So while I was fumbling around my mind today, watching Casually Explained videos, I decided I should talk about sleep deprivation, mostly because I’m functioning on a cool three hours sleep, and had to get up to wait for the gas company guy to get her (spoilers, I’m probably going back to sleep after writing this). Sleep deprivation, according to a quick Google search, can cause fatigue, daytime sleepiness, clumsiness, weight loss, and weight gain. To which I’m thinking…duh? Daytime sleepiness? What the h*ck kind of symptom is that (like my use of censorship on “heck” there)? Of course you’re going to be tired if you’re tired. That’s WHY YOU’RE TIRED.

So let’s just skip the symptoms, because I don’t feel like talking about them, and focus on why I stayed up in the first place. Yeah, I was binge watching T.V., and no, it was likely not a good idea, but hey we all make bad decisions and just because I can come clean about them doesn’t make me a bad person, right? RIGHT?

Wow, my brain feels like a mess today. Anyways, sleep deprivation makes you feel like you’re brain was baked on high in an oven for a minute, quickly doused with a soapy water mixture, then finally tossed in a blender for a quick go, before carefully being poured back into your head. It is not a fun time. It can make you feel sick without actually being sick. So with that, I’m going to cut it a bit short today to get this all set up, and take a (hopefully) short nap.

Oh, and let me know what your sleep patterns are like! Do you get all loopy and weird like me when you’re tired? Or are you one of those high functioning people that can just power through it?

 

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