A Break in the Rain

Driving down the freeway, it is raining.
The car stereo plays an album from the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet.
Traffic plays outside where the guitars do not sound.
A break in the traffic presents itself.
The rain beats down harder.

I switch off the windshield wipers, which were going back and forth every eight seconds.
I think of rolling down the windows; and speed up.

As I imagine the water drilling itself into the left side of my face, it pools vertically on my windshield, and I see, for a moment, a rainbow that is not there.
Traffic has built up again along with the water outside my car.

My car? I own it! I imagine rolling up the window.
I imagine straightening my tie.
I imagine slicking back my hair.
I stop, and present a grimacing smile to the brake-lights in front of me.
There you are, at last.

Some Advice for the Long-Dead Occupy Movement

Converge again, and create your tent cities of
Love and Hope and STDs and Public Safety Hazards.
Sit in your Circles again and Beat your Drums and
Talk and Live and create your Ideals. You must have your
Ideals.

Now; you have killed the grass on which your tents are
Erected. The Police will soon be ordered to
Evict You. The Politicians who once supported you, and
Told you to Stay as Long as you Needed to Effectuate Change,
Are discussing when to give the order.

Now! Before they come again! Pick up that Brick! Throw it!
Through the Window! Now is your chance!
Throw that brick through the window!
You can not destroy a corrupt system unless you enter into it,
Or you commit violence against it.

Your Drum Circles and Marijuana and Sharing Economy and
Consensus mean nothing, if you do not take up arms,
Or lay them down and enter into the Belly of the Beast.

Eugenia Place

The sleek, modern high-rise thrusts itself up,
Piercing the afternoon sky. Its translucent glass shaft
Shimmers in the clear wind, as its rigid cement blocks and steel beams,
Ribbed around the building, gleam.
What a phallic erection this is! Such potency,
And wealth.

But from its roof grows a mature oak tree.
It looks stolid and ancient. Its gnarled trunk
and yellowing foliage suggest the archaic;
A straight thing made crooked with age.
Its roots grow both shallow and deep.

Another 10 Haikus from the Mechanical Turk

The rain is falling
The storm is almost upon
night is so dark now

—–

A dog barks so loud
His owner is very proud
The dog starts a crowd

—–

Wispy strands fly off
I watch the soft magic flow
Of dandelions.

—–

The world is changing
Will it be better or worse
Let’s see together

—–

Some Rose buds are red.
Some rose buds are orange and white.
Give me fifteen cents.

—–

Painful swollen jaw
Can’t eat anything but soup
Wisdom teeth suck

—–

haikus are silly
but are kind of fun to write
case in point above.

—–

I am so tired
My bleary eyes start to shut
Peaceful dreaming now

—–

Trees are painted red
Crunchy leaves beneath my feet
Fall season is here

—–

Black, gray, and yellow
The sky clouded, the moon bright
Driving through the night.

Please Ignore the Meaninglessness Below

On a Gossamer Shore stands
Liberty herself, weeping into her
Spiderweb’d fingers, clasping gently
Seventeen Tons of Empty Pages
Upon which are written Dollars, Cents, and
Pounds Sterling. Accounts Jumble
Together and Apart, as White Papers and
Blue Memos Cascade out from her Wavy
Hair, which waves Goodbye to all that,
As she bends down to present her
Alabaster Ass to Every Passer-by or
Onlooker, of which there are None.
The Bialetti Moka Pot burbles up Sickeningly
Strong coffee, which she Drinks Down Deeply,
Converting it into a Syrup which is
Thick with a Lack of Meaning,
And Best Served over Cold Pancakes.

Waking Up from a Mugging

My eyes open and I see a low yellow light
Vaguely illuminating an empty parking structure.
My chest is cradled by a cool, gravelly, black asphalt.
A dull, tired pain throbs in my head.

I try to get up, but my muscles don’t work.
I loll my head from side to side, and do not see my car.
My mouth is dry and salty. Oh, to lay down my head,
And rest. How nice that would be.

But I should call her, to let her know I am alright.
Am I? I fumble in my ripped pants pockets,
Feeling for my phone. It is not there.
Wait, my chest pocket is poking me. My phone is there.

My eyes drift unfocused at its screen. She is there.
I push my finger on her picture. The phone calls her.
I tell her I have been carjacked (have I?).
She says she will come pick me up.

My face is wet, dripping. I am so tired.
My head aches, my mouth is dry. Hungover, I curl my
Left arm to my face, and lay them down, on the asphalt.
Blood runs from my nose and mouth, and pools
On the ground around the crook of my elbow.
I am comfortable; I have laid down my burdens.

I watch the blood drip from my face, peacefully,
And disinterestedly contemplate my fate.
Why am I unafraid? The blood continues to run.
My suit jacket is caked in it. Ruined.

Oh, to close my eyes and drift away. But,
Instead, She finds me, lying in a pool
of my own blood, just around the corner from my car,
Broken, tired, aching, alive.

The Commute

I sleep in until eight, then rise,
Defecate, wash, and dress. And I’m
Off, driving thirty miles to work,
Listening to Miles Davis and Bill Evans.

I remember once meeting a man –
A black man, tall and dignified –
Who had an encyclopedic knowledge
Of black music. He would have put
Any doctoral candidate to shame.
He was a retired bus driver.

In Santa Monica, for years, he drove
The Big Blue Bus. I am told
That at night, he would put on jazz music
While he drove his route from stop to stop.
He was not supposed to have any music playing,
But he ignored the rules, and played.

Traffic is light. Above me the sky is blue,
A few clouds lazily drifting by.
Even though I woke late, I will still
Arrive at work on time, obediently.

A Suburban Tuesday Morning

Out back, the chickens are squawking,
At nothing in particular.
A solitary crow flies overhead,
and screeches.

In the front, the drip-line irrigation system
Shudders to life, and waters
The new landscaping, which is
Drought Tolerant.

A trash truck lumbers down the road,
Stopping at each drive way.
Its motorized mechanical arms
Reach out, and take away the refuse
Of our domesticity,
Leaving behind empty bins.

A light fog rolls in,
And I think of Richard Yates,
And how I believe that I am happier
For knowing that I am not special.

Insomnia

As I slept, deeply, in the early morning,
She rose quietly, and retreated to the corner,
Where she sat, holding her knees, rocking gently,
Back and forth, the diffused moonlight playing on her face.

How can she tell me of her plight,
When she doesn’t know it herself?
What causes the ennui buried in
Her soul, the unabatable dissatisfaction?

But then, she does know it. She must.
And I know it too, as I wake and see
Her sleeping, soundly, beside me, the
Corner where she sat empty and dark.

I roll over, and try to sleep again,
But cannot. I count to one-hundred,
And still I lie awake. It’s not time to get up,
But I do, in the early dark hours of the morning.

Ten More Haikus from the Mechanical Turk

Sweat dripping slowly
Hot and uncomfortable
It is summer time.

—–

Today has been good.
Tomorrow will be better.
Yesterday is gone.

—–

Cat napping in sun
Heat beats down without relent
Fresh air breezes past

—–

A man sits at home,
staring at his computer,
hoping for the best.

—–

Sitting on mTurk,
Earning nothing as time flies,
Someone post a batch!

—–

The panda eating
Lying gracefully in grass
Coughs up something gross

—–

Sparkles in the rain
Heavier than usual
My pool lost water.

—–

Here I sit sweating…
No HITs anywhere to do,
So hopeless and sad.

—–

I enjoy the time
slipping away, never to
be seen only felt

—–

Together somewhere
In another dimension
Finding fantasy