…just stay home

A language exchange, terses verbal onslaught,

Translates

An uncomfortable description: “Read.” 

Curled toes bargain with the heartbeat, pace alone 

Comforts the options 

Diagnosed through an inquiry, anxiety insisted upon. 

Begins the comparison 

Against personal actions, to those performed

By others. 

‘If this meant that…’

‘I did this before…’

‘It must mean that…’

Infant interactions, defined as sloppy killers. 

After the blade oxifies, healing begins. 

In this Age of Commodification, 

Relationships are transactions

And ownership obliges control. 

Words come cheap

It’s the interpretations

Which bankrupt the soul. 

Panopticon Viewership for Influencers

1.

A history text-book was left open on the dashboard, 

Through the windshield, read a statement, highlighted in green:

“The State is a recent invention.”

Accepting this concept, 

Martha entered the Mall

And proceeded to shoplift various items

She considered crucial for her survival. 

Red eyeshadow to disguise her laugh-lines.

Make-up remover wipes to take-off her disguise. 

Blue lip gloss, in order to sustain the ultimate PUCKER for boot-licking. 

She finalized her transactions, while leaving the Market, 

Paused before a security camera. It was posted above her head,

Beside a light

In a corner of the parking-lot. 

Martha squinted and contemplated her pupil 

As the camera lens. “What do I see?” She asked. 

2.

A-priori:

Armchair posterizing

Rationalized universal causation, deteriorated the walls

Fixed in place by moving tape,

Setting box corners.

Using edges last encouraged by Occam’s Razor,

Dragged a scissors and separated 

A place for valuables. 

Guts spilled. 

Robbed of purpose,

It

Was 

Presented to Flatland for examination. 

(Two halves design the whole.

One heart for an intravenous tow.

Encourages anxiety to stimulate 

Pleasures made to duplicate.)

Dumpster’s rusted hinges 

Squealed as they functioned

And welcomed the box 

Like a coffin nestling its corpse. Rain downpoured 

And men who sleep inside bags,

Separated the cardboard 

Into four corners 

And hid their dimensions 

Out in the open. Sunsets occurred. 

Moonrise kept the streets aglow

And what appeared to be a compromise

As reliable as Kant’s walking route,

Claimed the most popular habit

The 

Answer.

Ode to City Parks as Metaphor for the Tax-Gap

City Park’s 

Grass 

Acclimates to foot-traffic, 

Folds

Like two parallels, never to meet. 

Trophy fabric 

Succumbs to the wind

And smacks its clamp

Against the metal flag-pole. 

Clouds become

Objects

Familiar to imperial culture. 

“I see a bear!”

“I see a bull!” 

Inside a shadow.

Is it human? 

Light pollution 

Mired in smoke plumes 

Curls before 

Cell-phones 

Held like relics 

Capturing 

Purple arches. 

Purple God. 

Square jawlines frame 

Plastic symmetry 

And

Offset

The tragi-comedy,

Situating prophetic 

Graffiti 

Along the park fountain’s

Base,

Or snorting H 

Off a library book 

To mimic  

The tax-gap. 

“Wealth is in the numbers.”

An Ending Suited for Regicide

An adorable suicide, 

Impacts the recall from dream state

To waking life. 

Taunting nightmare happenings 

To include catch phrases 

Synonymous with political campaigns. 

Illusions which trapped curators, who meant to establish options

For personhood,

Instead 

Dictated dream state analysis. 

Flatland suggests a ledge to peer over, 

the concept of length directs shadows to retreat inside the basin. 

Placating 

Posthumous profiles; standardized to fill elite dimensions, 

if such qualities subsumed human features 

What dances inside the abyss?

Locations are benefitted by former vagabonds,

Who censored their peripherals with fauna and 

insisted white collars strangle the throat,

Most suited 

For different sense-data. The kind of stare 

Given by an overseer

As they witness a slave revolt, 

Or a jazz drummer discovering accents off the beat,

Or God parting the clouds and declaring,

“Enough is enough…”

A Brief History of Neo-Liberalism

Nocturnal dust hibernates behind the refrigerator

And taunts the compressor by remaining still, 

Despite daylight’s winded attempts 

To achieve relevance 

Through an accidental chore. Open the door.

See the light. 

Capitalists patented canned-air to combat stillness. 

Communists huff canned-air to escape oxygen. 

Appropriate nomenclature for neo-liberal idolatries 

Affiliates the evolution of morals 

With advances in technology. Ice box times 

Demanded the Ice-Man. Modern refrigerators 

Accommodate AI,

Worshipping the needs of the unemployed Ice-Person. 

If food spoils

Blame the dust.

Sad Person Qualifications

Top floor apartments shelter stair noises, no longer content belonging to levels, they die where brick and stucco meet the morning fog.

But the hollow footsteps compete for space within the soundscape, challenging my neighbors, arguing in Spanish, deaf translations to my English trained brain, it’s the tone I recognize and door slams and whimpering, establishing human “love” as the true victor. 

‘Ha,’ I think. ‘Fools. Why invest in such tragedies?’ 

From my window I watch a squirrel scamper along the roof of a neighboring apartment complex. The animal pauses before a broken shingle, rips a splinter from its jagged edge, carries it away in their mouth.

I imagine they’ll use it for their nest.

We know this hole exists.

Those living in the building won’t be aware of its presence until moisture soaks the wood and dibbles hello, to the renter below. 

I like that we share this secret about crippled shelter. 

It’s a power complex to offset my loneliness. 

Weeks ago, I met a standalone happiness. 

A smile which qualifies my other secrets for execution, to make space for something new. 

Content to feel my heart-beat fluctuate when my cell phone vibrates with a notification. 

‘Maybe it’s them!’ Is the first thought. 

I allow the phone to rest a few seconds, check it and sigh in acceptance, another email about nothing. 

I’ll spend the next few moments rationalizing why I feel such joy from rejection. 

Can’t feel happiness without sadness.

Can’t miss a touch if I had never felt it.

Can’t appreciate the blah, blah, blah. 

The squirrel returns. Well. I don’t know if it’s the same one, but for the sake of my sanity, I’ll pretend they’re returning to me.

Nobody Likes a Clown Without their Mask

Plastic mask taunted water-marks, brandishing its translucent features under rain-fall, bending where a neck would go and peering up to count each raindrop as they struck and slid and blended in with puddles and pools. 

“A puddle counts as one name.” Plastic mask announced their decision much to the water’s dismay, as it wanted to be considered an individual. 

Clay mask had worked their masters colors to resemble a face, with nostrils staring like Nietzsche’s abyss, baby blue irises which never stared beyond the room, or blinked at the sun. 

Obulus payments accredited to closed minds sterilized Heaven’s gate, enough for the light to guide a soul to the Casino. 

Pardon, 

Is the empty space 

Where a reply should go. 

Mask off,

Wrinkles welcome their final destination.

Insisting an open mind 

Operates like a mask.

The Standard Model

Cellular assemblage utilized for marketing products: 

“THIS paper skin CONTAINS MILLIONS OF C(s)ELLS! THE BEST IN THE BUSINESS!” 

Reality solicits convenience and sensory experience finalizes the transaction. 

Real world patrons divest their human features and auction them to bidders, 

Who contain the same organic alignments sold by the merchants. 

A higher quality of dust 

Contours the rusted inseam,

Bordering golden halos. 

Appearing as if

The old metal is smiling. Blankets of lotion 

Do the same,

Except patterns are made easily 

In the cream 

(tracing loop-de-loops_) and all that,

Rust-flakes jab

Underneath the fingernail and leave a red tint 

Atop human prints. The jewelry was artificial 

To begin with 

And purchased with full acknowledgement 

Of its true form, outlasting real plastic and flesh,

Numb to Armageddon and wealth.  

A failing franchisee 

Pauses before the entrance  

To his store. Beside an alcove 

Adjacent to him,

Sleeps a homeless man,

Inside a blue sleeping-bag.  

The owner nudges the man 

With his foot, in response 

He wiggles

Like veins  

Hiding under flesh, 

Words familiar to borrowed time

Possess the seconds of their exchange. 

Language makes existence happen.

It’s apparent 

Keeping Up with the Kardashians  

Is syndicated, as reality, for its dialogue.

Ghosts Haunting the Coup d’etat

An abandoned spider web, attached to a suburban chimney cap, pilfers its attraction to lonely debris, grabs pollen rolling over the shingles and hoists it like a flag. 

Clouds encase the backdrop, challenge the pollen and webbing to define “pure white.” 

Ghosts are translucent, forgotten and haunt places for attention. 

Bleached air is toxic to breathe. 

The chimney’s owners are painting their walls eggshell, in order to appease their guru, who instructed them to welcome cleanliness into their lives. 

Underneath the house’s foundation, soil protozoa purify Earth for exploitation. 

Above ground, a Styrofoam cup, stained with cherry Kool-Aid around its rim, gathers an eclipse and darkens red blotches decorating the cup’s basin. 

A door opens and pushes air which knocks the cup off the desk.

“I don’t remember drinking something red.” She says. 

“I remember my hog’s teeth, though, they were white as this…

We killed my hog. I remember this too.” 

(insert recycled sitcom trope here)

Cardboard boxes, stacked before the dumpster, 

Simplified access 

To raccoons, who ate like royalty, gorging on trash. 

Cardboard crumples when wet and rainfall 

Exchanged convenience for knowledge. 

Egg yolk 

Bespeckled with blood spots,

Stayed the predator’s hand

And examined the concept 

Of what could’ve been. NO. 

Life becomes. 

Life doesn’t happen. 

Dog urine 

Perfumed the tall grass. 

A scent which invited

Other mutts 

To take a whiff

Of identity. 

Self is the scent. 

CD bargain bins

Transpire the human condition,

Uplift infomercials

To Suicide Hotline 

Status

For lonely insomniacs 

And cops working 3rd shift,

Who watch TV  

On break. 

Week’s end encourages 

Another sitcom trope.

Is it time travel? NO. 

Deja Vu’ suggests 

A moment 

Could’ve, probably, maybe

Happened before,

But definitely didn’t.