“Farewell, My Lovelies,” “A Chameleon Named Silencio,” and “The Unwoke Wizard of Oz”
Good riddance, alcohol.
Good riddance mary-jane.
Good riddance hashish and uppers and downers.
Good riddance Timothy Leary … we hardly knew ye.
Good riddance to
those bottles of quenching cold ice-cold cottonmouth-inducing beer & ale
and those steins of on-tap room-temp Guinness stout
— it’s good for you the billboard said and the billboard wouldn’t fib. Read more.
“Views from the Cushion,” “Passive Aggressive Origin Story,” and “X-Ray Yoga Vision”
Doorway into adjoining room’s debris
boxes blankets pillows piled in childless crib
window fence smokeless chimney lifeless tree
its branches as bleak as a hopeless soul. Read more.
“Early Envy (1956)” and “Fantasy Football”
When he’s eight he envies neighbor/buddy Bobby his airline pilot father
who drives his eye-popping harlequin Ford Thunderbird
with gears-a-poppin’ engine roarin’ to and from Idlewild
before and after taking off into the wild blue yonder. Read more.
To Grandmother’s House We Go
When you were thirteen, your paternal grandparents Nonnina and Nonno already seemed ancient, having been married fifty years. Now you’re older than they were then. But you remember … Three things hang on their walls: a gruesome crucifix, a framed wedding photograph, and a billy club. Read more.
“Forget the Alamo,” “Eliot Ness Noir” and “Major Case”
At the aptly named Jackson Theater
when you were twelve
you saw John Wayne’s visually ambitious
version of The Alamo
— yet another story already told to you through TV
— and so of course yet another lie. Read more.
“Bernadette at Lourdes” and “Lolita Condemned”
Sister Mary Rose (so young she could’ve been your actual sister)
marched you and her other seventy-two second-grade students
(no teacher aides, no volunteer parents, just the good nun)
eleven blocks west toward the Fifty-Ninth Street Bridge
to the palatial Hobart Theater Read more.
“Bone Marrow Biopsy Reverberations” and “Return to Gamble Garden”
The oncologist instructs you to lie face down
like you’re going to get a massage
except you’re not going to get a massage.
And you think of the thousands of dollars
you spent while hooked on erotic massage
during the final years of your third marriage. Read more.
“Break Time,” “When Dying Deer Appear” and “Crawlspace”
Maybe you’ve lost
with your country
with a loved one
with yourself. Read more.
“In the Key of Keystone,” “Lost & Found & Lost” and “Winter Wind”
It was all that jazz
it was the city — San Francisco
it was the venue — Keystone Korner
a former topless bar on Vallejo Street transformed
into a world class club its interior intimate its memory indelible
& all that jazz Read more.
“I Like Ike”
When I was your age
the subway cost fifteen cents
gas cost thirty-two cents a gallon
television was free
& so was Saturday confession
in preparation for Sunday communion
when I was your age… Read more.
“Speed Limits? We Don’t Obey No Stinking Limits,” “Gym Rats” and “Poking Insidious Eye With Sharp Stick — It’s About Time”
We’re revved up on Peet’s coffee
driven by Silicon Valley vanity
in our 24/7 disregard
for our city’s 25 mph limits
speeding up & down Middlefield Road
at 40 … 45 … do I hear 55? Read more.