Category Archives: Poems

The Billionaire Poets

The following is a excerpted version of a poem commissioned by Poetic People Power that debuted in performance
on July 31st 2013 at the WILD PROJECT.  It is soon to be adapted into a story on an upcoming subscription based website dealing with social issues:

There are times I consider myself a wordsmith and nothing more.  Most of the times I take a stand, I am sitting –
in front of my computer on the coach in my boxers with a cup of carrot juice and some books –
writing up a storm.

I perform this poem as a dream for the wealthiest among us to hold the soul of a poet in their hearts.

I.

Inside the coffeehouse
that they own
the billionaire poets could easily write an ode
to the thousand dollar bill
using their thirty carat diamond Diamante pens,
with the eighteen karat gold nib
filled with the blood of emaciated artists
and unlawful investments.

Instead they fill stadiums
with the organic fruits of their labors,
tossing tomatoes back at hungry crowds
whose sobering cheers defuse the boos
catapulting cant-elopes to expand minds in states
that have yet to change their views.

Next, they attempt to straw-bury the blues
by cherry picking poems from recent news of bloodshed and injustice.
Skittle poems that taste the rainbow of reinCarnation.
Flower poems that shower sweatshops with sprinklers and paid vacations
pushing Daisies to clone Apple products on back order.
Poems that expose factories to roses, color outside lines
and remove all horticultural borders,
just so that after….wards these poets can donate their pages
to minimum wage wordsmiths underperforming for the quarter.

Then they celebrate,
by giving motivational speeches to fetuses,
by cashing reality checks
for any head-in-the-cloud bleeding heart elitists
who may never learn to fly,
and by offering up heaps of 3.14159 repeating
’til everyone gets a piece of the PI…

 

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Possible Justification for Using an Outdated Pseudo-Offensive Vocabulary, That, Depending on Context, May or May Not be Considered Racist

Let’s face it the New York Knicks are fickle.
They play soft, they play hard—
one minute their the Ringo Stars of the Garden, the next the Shitty Beatles,
but last season had me walking on Lins and Needles.
Now that allusion to the ancient Chinese medicine practice
known as “acupuncture”
probably went over most of your pretty little heads,
just know it was entirely un-Lintended.
Either way this Linsatiable Landry list of Linsanity
has resulted in a shit storm of media attention
and numerous letters to the editor,
all from a series of unfettered comments
and ambiguously racist headers.

I guess what I’m asking is–
should every political pundit wannabe Linguist be dismissed
when they let slip a slip of the tongue that stings stinks and stuns…
I mean whoever thought journalists would get fired for running puns?

I have an Uncle Tom. He’s a 6-8 conservative Caucasian
who happily lives in Cali with his wife and 6-7 son.
If it wasn’t for an injury to his right hip
and the innate desire to get an Ivy league transcript
my Uncle Tom might one day have played for the New York Jets.
Now if someone else in my family
eventually chooses finishing college and health
ahead of career advancement, fame and wealth,
can I ever get away with saying he or she’s an “Uncle Tom.”
I mean as long as you’re brought up to speed on the story,
can’t I personalize the lexicon without being derogatory?

Or let’s say my materialistic girlfriend,
a nice Jewish American Princess with a killer left
is caught yelling at our Sushi Chef.
I wouldn’t dare call her a JAP without being slapped in the chin
since nobody knows if I was directing my slurs to her or him?
The death of a Charlie
would make any young Vietnamese soldier boy sublimely upset
unless in reference to a muffed up love connection
resulting in Chuck Woolery’s untimely death.

Sure, honkies can be a one man band during a traffic feud
and cracker tracks this white dudes predilection for lightly salted snack food,
but no matter who’s a “chink in the armor” sounds—offensive and rude,
especially when used in relation to an Asian no matter how amazing
a player may or may not be playing.

Now I can tell you to just not say it
but who am I to tell you what you can or cannot say?
After all, aren’t I repping the white man,
who’s kicked out, murdered, enslaved and raped for generations.
leaving this embarrassed Caucasian pretty red in the face.
And that’s not meant as a slight at Native Americans or First Nations
but let’s…face it-
it’s getting harder to frame any thought without upsetting race relations.

Like, I can’t call (Irish Singer) Bono, “Mick”
even if I’m relaying that his current swagger reminds me of Mick Jagger.
And follow me here, unless he was the first one testing a new drug
helping middle-aged men with urinary tract issues better piss?
I could never call my Italian cop friend guinea pig Chris.
Even in this case where context is key,
I can’t let you know a bunch of fagots broke my fall when I fell out that tree?
No homo…phones. Or homonyms, hyperbole, simile, synecdoche-
basically we’re slowly purging the world of any and all ways to wordplay
so how do we say what we wanna say?
Well, the founding fathers set out to assure
our first amendment rights could never be breached
but what’s next, a law restricting the freedom of figures of speech?

So I guess what it boils down to is this.
Does an apartment demanding to be spic and span
ever consider who’s cleaning or it doesn’t matter either way.
cuz even if you don’t mean to be mean
one meaning of a double meaning can be so demeaning
it changes de meaning of what you’re really meaning to say.
So know the difference, expand that vocab and try to find another way.


Background Check (from 2009)

i’ve started to drift from center stage
not even honorable, but barely mentioned
absent from the X that marks the spotlight
somewhere on the edge of the edge of attention

an American false idol with negative votes
i’ve been kicked off more sets than abused remotes
seen more stars this summer than a bad boxer’s brain
fused to a telescope and I’ve hoped and hoped
for a chance to switch places with said stars switch faces switch cars,
at the very least be asked to join this elite on-screen team,
but my wannabe reality is still the stuff of dreams

i’m behind the behind the scenes
still got 14 minutes and 59 seconds to be seen
rubbing elbows is a fine start
but the closer i’m physically-
the more I realize how the stars and i
are still light years apart

this summer I curled two 30 lb. dumbbells
next to Bradley Cooper who was lifting 35’s,
sat behind Alec Baldwin blow-drying his face
and was asked to leave the set of 30 Rock
after Tina Fey whispered something to the assistant director
about how I looked “too Jewy” to be in a scene supposedly set in Georgia

i saw Julia Roberts and James Franco meditate next to a bald man
slapping his forehead in Eat Pray Love,
and watched the cast of both the Beautiful Life and Ugly Betty look prettier than me for 16 straight hours
first as a doorman i was put behind a statue, a column, and a waffle cart
all on Gossip Girl,
then forced to cheer for Pirates and Samurai on the set of Step-Up 3D

if a tree falls in the forest i’m its sound
stuck underneath torn costumes at the lost-soul and found
i’m Mischa Barton and Elle Mcpherson’s extra pound
not gonna front
I am in back of the background
an Extra-Extra
won’t read all about it,
the one you call when you already have enough

the shaky surgeon that doesn’t make the cut
the nervous hairstylist that doesn’t make the cut
you don’t schmooze you lose
and i didn’t make the cut.

the forgotten fly in the Monet Painting
that was painted over once the second coat was applied
blink and you’ll miss me
don’t blink and you’ll still miss me

the nobody’s-nobody and it’s already the final take
i don’t need my big break i need an earthquake
something tremendous- something i won’t have to pay you to see
something perfect for me

i’ve got it
i’ll…
CUT CUT CUT all background please report back to holding.

Funny Names (from 2008)

What’s…LEWIS BLACK and BETTY WHITE and RED BUTTONS all over?
A Comedia-del-Arte entrée of SID’s CEASAR salad gobbling LILY crouTOMLINS
and CARL’s REINER-schnitzel
while watering GALLAGHER’s 2000-year-old MELons on frozen BROOKS
in WINTERS with JONATHAN DONnning
a peck of RICKELed pepperS, that could PHYL-thISS DILLER
with fresh material picked by HICKS
beneath the RAY’s of ROMANO cheese squeezed from SAHL shakers
that could make anyone inKLEINed
to sneeze or KAUF-the foibles of MAN-up REDD FOX-WORTHY of hilarious fire
PRYOR to RICHARD BURNing hairNETs on CAROLers
singing SIMON says kNEIL before the legends who’ve left us,
then wake my life
Please
to this hurly-BERLEy one liner-refiner
Say UNCLE
MILTY guilty of BENNY more laughs then JACK,
FLIPping WILSON a HENNY for your thoughts of GEORGE as a YOUNGMAN
with sideBURNS HOPEing BOB could gig in Iraq
cutting BRUCE with LENNY and JOHNNY crashing CARS-ON the tonight show
into the JOAN and KEVIN JAME’S RIVERS that run through it
being sure to leave no finger PRINZE
since it was actually the BRET BUTLER who did do it while playing LOUIE LOUIE ANDERSON
near a JIM BRUERy filled with kegs of beer
drunk by a bunch of underage punks with a candlestick and no clue about who is being a bigger DICK
GREGORY when they party-LAUREL and HARDY
with crowds of diversity like

ROCKstars CHRIS drinking STEWART’s root beer
on JOHN’s daily show full-knowing CHAPELLE’s lapel is flowing to the center of Comedy Central
waving magic WANDA SYKES at JIMMY KIMMEL and ROBERT SHIMMEL
in ADAM’s Toyota CORROLLA
ATTELLing DAVE BARRY to CARREY CARVEY’S CANDY BARR to ROSEANNE
and be DEGENERES to ELLENs coming out plan
cuz stand-up guys and gals BERN-HARD when sitting atop SANDRA’s body guard
lending LEWIS to borrow CARLIN’s car to run over the FCC
leaving a fleeing HOWARD to stay STERN and turn to satellite
that should excite audiences to cheer even though the applause SEIN-FEL-D when JERRY left NBC
to joke under GARY’s SHANDL-iers light-ING up expressions
of disgruntled CBS mail carriers looking like LETTERMEN with DAVE
plaguing CRAIG to KILL-his first-BORN
if CONAN doesn’t pay back the money he O’s-BRIAN and the opening monologue he lent LENO
when he was MAHREd for life when BILL moved to HBO and MILLER was drilled by a network dentist
who insisted a De LEARY-ious DENNIS called COLIN QUINN a medicine woman
for trying to MACk TINA’s FEYce during a weekend update
at BERNIEs place where old MACDONALD had an abNORMal farm with a biPOEHLER charm
in an age of DAN AKAROYD rage and an off-balance FALLON CHASEing CHEVY’s
down a road paved in SPADES made in ADAM SANDLER’s-box building ROCKETS in GROSS moats
outside big BRAD HALLs with GUEST hosts paying hundred dollar
BILL and BRIAN DOYLE MURRAYS to have KEVIN kNEAL-ON JANEs CURTAINs
certain she was WRIGHT behind STEVEN weaving around the EDDIE IZZARD of OZ
giving BOB a NEW-HART,
the THREE STOOGES a brain and an EDDIE GRIFFIN some courage to let it fly like WOODY-woodpecker
a CRYSTAL blueJAY MOHR, and a red ROBIN WILLIAMS
being eaten by a BOBCAT worth his GOLdTHWAIT in DICEd-CLAY

Be sure to stay for home improvements own TIM ALLEN
PAULA POUNDing STONES into MARCIA’s CROSS
at a loss for who’s line is it anyway and learn HOWIE
MAN-hand-DELed DREW to CARREY RYAN’s STYLES to a bunch of WAYNE BRADY’s making MOHRCHIES
of COLIN taking PROOPS on GREG
in BRIAN SHERWOOD forest
Find the jerk with two brains and a bow-finger who stole STEVE’s MARTINi
from the SHORT father of the bride of young Frankenstein
getting WILDER than GENE at MARTIN St. LAWRENCE living life with holy man EDDIE MURPHY
somehow stuck in DANGERFIELDs of GOTTFRIED in these family friendly films that nobody saw
that make BILL COSBY seem more raw
than the son of SAM KINISON
Be sure to pay the check-mate when CEDRIC
plays the ENTERTAINER during his date
with QUEEN LATIFAH as GOLDIE HAWN pawns JOEY’s BISHOP for an ALAN KING
and a free-JACKIE-MASON concert
in a secret underground lair where if you SIN-BAD
you will be none the REISER than PAUL
pretending to be a BILLY CONNOLY artist…
Since you can’t HACKETT without a BUDDY to bounce jokes off and ask who’s on first
if what’s on second will never match the magic of ABBOT and COSTELLO
Cause just knowing the WAY-ANS
won’t make everything KEAN and IVORY
on the way-out
when brothers MARLON, SHAWN and DAMON spawn jealousy of JAMIE moving past FOX
as the golden ray who now knocks socks and ROCKs movie grins with Oscar wins trailed by
TOMMY on his Harley DAVIDSON
while bringing up the rear it’s DAVID ALLAN GRIER fearing that when he’s no longer living in color
JIM will CARREY his coffin and not his mother…
Just keep it on the DL HUGHLEY that this brother makes RICHARD JENI from the block look like
a DAVID CROSS between DAVID BRENNER and MARILU HENNER
hanging with MR. PAT COOPER fishing for fried KEVIN POLLACK in a frozen pond with DOM IRRERA
ice-skating beside ROB REINER and BOBBY SLAYTON.
Answer the RICHARD BELZER when it rings so PAUL RODRIQUEZ can GARA-FALO JANEANE
to the ANDY DICKtionary where you’ll find a picture of SHELLEY BERMAN
on a WHOOPI GOLDBERG cushion shushing BEN to stay STILL-ER
than LARRY MILLER spraying LOUIE CK One on the RED SKELTONS in the closet
of GEORGE WALLACE SHAWN of a new day paved in recent GLEASONs
gleaming screens and stage ovations
standing-up for all human hilarity.

Barely Hanging Around

Last night my girlfriend and I had a fight.
Instead of the bed I was banished to the sofa.
I so hope a reconciliation comes fast
cuz without her I don’t think I’m gonna last.
I’m not gonna lie, but every moment I spend on my couch I think I might die.

And not from any horrible disease or some basic need unmet.
Although my death could quite possibly be linked to my own neglect.
It seems to me to be pretty secure and all, but every so often I hear this erie almost foreboding creak
As if everything’s about to fall off the wall-a mere millisecond before killing me in my sleep.
You see when it comes to handiwork I’m no slouch,
but I recently tried hanging this giant framed painting over my living room couch.
And really, it’s only a matter of time
before my skull is crushed and a bazillion shards of glass stegasaur down my spine.
Imagine that.
You’re snoring a little too loud–shift sides while spooning the remote…because its dark…
and wham !!!
You’re killed by a piece of shitty art–
beheaded by an amateurish rendering of Ice-Skaters in Central Park.
Now it’s one thing to be killed by a piece of good art or fine art, you know by one of the greats,
but imagine dying from a crappy finger-painting of two ferns burning that everyone hates.
Pathetic.
Truth be told I live near the very same ice skating rink in Central Park pictured on my wall.
What if I was maimed, injured or killed by a picture of said rink rather than by the rink itself.
Also pretty sad.
I think i’m gonna go apologize to my girlfriend
so I can continue
to hang
with her.