but aren't they all random?



A Pocketful of Poesy was a Poem-a-Day(-on-Average) Blog* up until the great derail of 2013. The impossibly-high standard of quality proved impractical to keep up, without a book deal. But don't take my word for it: click RANDOM and judge for yourself! And feel free to offer your critique.
*based on poem rate for calendar years 2009-2012. Also, kidding about the book deal.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

"Who Made Your Day?"

You know who made my day?
The lord Jesus Christ.
That's right.
Made it from scratch, to a divine specification.
People, do you hear a lot about Jesus? Well let me
tell you something, that guy, holy crud. I don't want
anybody telling me about Jesus unless they get that:
I am going to tell them RIGHT BACK. And we're going to see
eye to eye too, because after all, that's Christ's love
in operation! A lot of people might think that's scandalous
- but not me.

I am all about it.
I tell it on the mountain,
I tell it in the valley with a hammer,
I tell it down, down, down in my heart and
I tell it RIGHT DOWN THE THROAT! And if the devil
wants to sit on a TACK, that's his business.
I don't truck with tacks. That's tacky.

But as to tact, I deliver:
what I've got to say with dimples
and winks, shrugs and imploring gestures,
a Christian Side-Hug perhaps, and ladeled on top
with dollops of diplomacy and tact to boot! Often,
in ancient days, the soles of a boot
might be held on with tacks.
But in modern times, and in our modern ways,
we see that it is tact
that holds on the boots of our souls, which after all
have to trudge daily through the mud and the hum drum rolls
that endlessly build a rumble of suspense for the cymbal clash
that just never seems to come. And while we wait, we argue
over what the symbol was a symbol of.
But does Christ care?

Look, you take care
of your own answer on that one.
Christ sent me a LETTER it's called the BIBLE.
I opened, and read it. It said they was suckas!
Wanted me for their army or whatever.
Picture me giving a dang, I said NEVER!
PUBLIC ENEMY #1! PUBLIC ENEMY #1!!

Oops, sorry. I always get
a little hyped up listening to P.E.
I'm surprised it doesn't spill over more often
into

my poetry

So, who made my day? Chuckie D,
Flavor Flav

Terminator X!

and a little bit of J.F.C.

Monday, September 26, 2011

the only piece this puzzle needs is a frame

a beautiful picture
made out of pieces once
jigsawed and jumbled
a hopeless endeavor
to put it together
was going to take years,
but here you stand
whole, with the cuts
disappeared

organized religion

a lot of people will say they're against
organized religion

I agree

when I was a kid,
in church
altar boys running into each other
priest knocking the big candle over,
opening up to the completely inappropriate
passage - "Today's reading is
oops
not this one!"
People starting in on all the wrong hymns
I tell you

the way to find God is not choreographed
you just come stumbling
in.

anything beautiful

I can't make anything beautiful.
I have tried,
and however I cut, craft and spin,
the work rotates by and I can clearly see
(before it settles into place)
the ugly side. And that is
it.

For me, I will not see it without
that part. Even if walking all 'round
it now at rest, the ugly part is hidden
from view - I know the truth. A truth
not beauty.

I know it it better
than any who come to see it first at rest,
at peace, and believe it to be
a thing beautiful. They have missed,
and are deceived. No,

I cannot make anything beautiful, but some,
so deceived,

will say I have made a thing
beautifully.

my occasional lapses

I genuinely am sorry for my occasional
lapses, I
am sure they build up
into black marks against me, though
not any single one of them is worth
the apology I belabor you with,
together,
the collective weight of the lapses
you never would have noticed,
and the piling-up apologies for them
which you frankly
can't accept
must weight heavily against me

and for that I'm sorry

Sunday, September 25, 2011

the fish princess

you had your tongue in cheek,
until you spit it out
with a glare at me
and it bounced, oh
it bounced
on the curb, and then
flopped around
just like a fish!
well, the hole in it
could have been made
by a hook

And I caught such a fish
it said: "oh, throw me back!
I will grant you a wish,
I'm a princess of sorts"

with a glassy-eyed look
and a gasp, you implored

and I pulled out the hook
but you spat out your tongue
just as if to say "There!
I need no help from you!"

well, what did I do wrong?

Friday, September 23, 2011

Do you know how big my love is?

Do you know how much I love you?
Because I don't.
It's gotten way out of sight - like a balloon
with a slipped string, except as it rose
in the air, it did not shrink but expanded to fill the sky.
And now all there is all this bright, cheery red
filling the whole sky, with white, fluffy clouds
scudding along under it. It looks
quite alarming. But that's my love
for you.

"couplet"

you say my reach exceeds my grasp
but I say you've got one firm ass

we aims to please

darlin' I will meet you behind the scenes,
as the curtain draws back,
and the crowd stamps their feet,
we will storm in stage left
and return their bouquets,
at the highest velocities

- wow, what a play!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

"Best Bad Influence"

if you could only use your powers for evil,
instead of good
goody-good
good all the time
if you could let a couple wrong words slip
through your lips, from all the thoughts
that flit
through your mind
if you could only use your powers for selfish ends,
I'd justify
whatever that means
'cause you and me are a good, good influence
but I bet
if you try, you could be

the best
bad influence
I ever had
you could be the best
bad influence
I ever had

I think we've learned a couple too many lessons
took too much to heart,
the truth
and the lies
I guess it's probably been some kind of blessing,
but now it's time to strip
away the disguise
sometimes you have to take a little permission
tell yourself, hey it's okay
to be wrong
we're at our most perfect when we're at our most human
be just a little bad
and bring me along, you'd be the best

bad influence
I ever had
I know you'd be the best
bad influence
I ever had,
oh, you could be that, you'd be
the best
bad influence
I ever had
true story: FACT
you'd be the best
bad influence
I ever had

I'd say we've got an awful lot of potential
and all we'd have to do
is cross
a few lines
I hate to say it but it's going to come down to you
'cause I can't even read my own mind
and here we stand, and we're both on the brink of
waiting for the other to pull us across
and good excuses
are all we can think of -
we just need one
bad excuse
what would it cost

to be the best
bad influence
I ever had
you would be the best
bad influence
I ever had

stunt coordinator

when you try a stunt, you
need to make sure time stops
for the camera switch, and your double
sits in exactly the right place
in the mis-en-scene. That is,
unless,
you prefer to do your own. The insurance companies
will not love you for it. And the fans, they
will probably scratch their heads. Who do
you think you are? Jackie Chan? Man,
some days you need to stop. And realize:
Take the beatings you must, and
get out while you can, 'cause
you can't even pass for the stars
in your eyes

same

it's going to be better,
tomorrow
or worse, but it can't
stay the same
it can't stay the same
it can't

now you've opened the tomb
of your life, and the curse
when you lifted the lid
is the same one you laid
from the day of your birth.
You have changed. Every day,
moving forward and learning
what's next. Well

it's going to be better,
tomorrow
or worse, but it can't
stay the same

which is probably
best

somewhere a clock is ticking

This thing
sits and ticks out its life.
Its tiny hitched ribs
and wheeled gear lungs
hung on a precise spinal wire, run
by a heart
that is not connected to a brain or anything.
it runs, on time,

towards out

ways & means

There was never any question
you were going to make this work
in my mind or yours. But not
in the world's
And that meant so much?
to give up not an inch!
in the face of the worst
you knew who would flinch
first, and you knew you
would last,
until everyone else
gave up. Went home.
I agree with your methods,
expressed in terms of your goals. But
did you consider you could have won more
than a game?

when you had me alone,
and
the whole world was not
in the room.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

grazed knees

there's nothing about
this moment I'm in now
that I can't call back
with an instant's grace

even twenty-two years
past that look on your face,
I can still see the sun
through the curtains behind me
my peripheral vision
has everything in its place.

Well, what happened to us? We were
kids, we grew up. We were soft,
with pink skin
and wide grins
when the band-aids
came off

run

this focus is good
I need this again

it is so long since I
had my wind

the ground is so hard
as if it's proud

and the music is pounding
like mortar shells

there's a stitch in my side,
coming undone

as my ribs stretch and gather flesh
to knit back up

my body strains against itself,
and the ground is so hard

to understand

but it rolls along, bobbing
like it's nodding its head

while I kick it
repeatedly,
for what you said

chocolate

dessert
is communal property. This
is dinner, is it not? There
are rules. We set a date and
it came. We share the wine,
offer and decline entree bites
- make great impressions, feel our way
cautiously through these minefields, but

dessert - by rule -

is no gray area! What's mine is ours,
here. Even though you (as you always
will) decline to order, I (as I always
have and had presumed, will) order
the biggest, deepest, best chocolate thing
they have.

And holy shit.

You aren't kidding around, are you?
I think

well, wow, I love chocolate too!
You are not kidding around.
I get a bite or two
of it myself. Working
fast

Delicious,
but
after a few years of this,
suddenly I switch

to creme brulee

spitting games

there's distance and there's accuracy
but either way, you've got me beat

"it's not a competition" - no! It never is,
but so it goes.

between the way you always win, and then
refuse to count the loss -

I guess I should just have the fun
that you pretend to have with us.

whatever's left

I'll take this side
in my right mind,
however you might wish
to paint the great divide
that lies between
- I'll take the side
you left to me.

gleaming auction

you make a sign
it's dangerous
your bid is in
you bid on me
at whose expense?
you might go home
with one too many
bachelors, but then -
it's all for charity

Wow

you slide along me, like
a squeak and thrill
of fingertip on strings
along chunk chug chords
with drive, in a line
and nothing but beat
coming up behind

well you can't stop now,
and neither can I but
this is nothing like beautiful music
we make

since we're not recording,
we'll play back the tape
and fix everything, perfect
and fake

in one take

how to be dead

just fold your arms
lie down, you're shot
you can't get up
you're playing wrong!
you'll wreck the game
shut up, lie down
and bleed out
from
the hole in your brow
that fills up like a cup
of thick, red tea

you be well-behaved, now
next time

it will be me

so snow patrol

so snow patrol makes me cry
now? really? Oh yeah, that's right
"Run" always did. But now I can't
even take the happy ones, the ones
that sound happy. When
did that happen? Darling, I
hate each and every one

of your bands

barb

I swallowed my bated breath and bit
the line, and I sawed with my teeth
- the hook in my lung drew close,
settled next to my heart -
I could not cut the string,
so I pulled
and it caught

broken tooth

broken hearts are worse
than teeth. It snapped and slid
a king deposed, his crown
cut off, royal head raw
and lord it hurt!
and now I have
appointments, too
to schedule
oh, life as well
- every damn day
between the crack
and torture's rack
is torture, too -
I'd take it all
if I could trade
it in for you.

where's a boy scout

don't let me rush you,
old lady! - we'll make it
across this street just
fine.

the traffic's my problem - you
just put one foot in front
of the other, and try
not to whine

Sunday, September 18, 2011

did a number

I really did a number
on my beard last night
and I thought that I
was going to have to make
a clean shave. I decided:
put it off,

for a couple of days.
You should never make
a decision like that
this way

Thursday, September 15, 2011

the effect that you have

I figured out
what you do to me
no matter what
what you do to me
no matter what the world
seems to do to me

no matter what weird thought
grows up all on my mind
or if I worry worry worry
about what I said
or if I think we must have gone
off the rails in my head

in between the last word
we said, and the first, that

the second that your first word
fits in my ear, and it's your tone
like a bell, like a gong, like a deer
in the headlights of the moment
I just freeze into place
as every thing clicks clear:
dumb look on my face, because
you

recombobulate me

I said you

recombobulate me

it isn't easy to explain why I get so out of hand
with scenarios that can't be hypothetical, man
because I've steadily convinced myself between sips of wine
that it's the truth, except it isn't - it's all actually fine!
but I can't see it because me, I've got my own little world
it covers half a billion acres of the worst things I've heard
it towers half a dozen miles of the worst things that loom
and then you show up half a second
all that shit goes boom, because
you

recombobulate me

I said you

recombobulate me

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

steady foundation

If all we were looking for
was a firm, rock-hard, and steady foundation
to build on for life -
it would be so easy to stop right where we are,
with these fucking obstacles

and build a house on those.

Monday, September 12, 2011

trying to cross

my loping, implacable stride
as I jay-run across the divided road
brings me closer to the curb
with every step

of course it does. what the fuck
kind of stupid sentence or sentiment
is that?

is this a poem? You call
this a - poem? Would you call
What happened! there

symbolically,

is: I believe I slipped
when I should have strode
and ate shit, asphalt, gravel and
skinned my fists
on the aforementioned road -

trying to cross

well,

I have done that before.
And will again. I tell you: I don't know

why the chicken must cross the road

but this poet doesn't need a reason
to go

just a moment
to stop and lie here, listening
to the rhythm,

distant
approaching tide of wheels
hissing

thinking, reflect:
on how hot my blood is
on how close one can get
on the step that I missed,
surely

purely for artistic effect

in training

Exercise
force of will
diet pills
and alcohol

the shape I'm in
is almost fit
to die - Oh, corpse!
be beautiful

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Saturday, September 10, 2011

again with the forecast

Tuesday afternoon -
partly cloudy, light rain
ten percent chance
of a hurricane

fashion criticism

My favorite outfit of yours that you ever wore
was that cute schoolish skirt of reddish
plum-ish plaid with the jagged hem, together
with that black tee, with a picture of London
on the front,
done in white glitter
that you saw at Gottschalks
(back when it was Gottschalks),
loved immediately,
and put back.

So I snuck back later and got it
for you,

although - now that I think back, it
was more complicated than that. I didn't sneak
back. I went back on your explicit instruction,
coordinated via telephone, as you tried to get them
to put it on your credit card
(because we must have been
fighting or something). So
instead of me just buying it,
we had this tricky point of principle
for the sales clerk to deal with.
You were in Los Angeles, and it
was an emergency.

You had decided you needed that shirt.

After all,
I don't think it worked
out quite like we tried, but it did work
out. You wore it to that party
in someone's tiny little bungalow home.
Everyone there had a pretty fun pose,
was self-amused, or just archly superior
- whether sticking out by fitting in,
or the reverse. They worked it! It worked. It
was a well put-together party. There was
an Anarchist there! Which is what I mean:
this party was well and intelligently planned.
They had an Anarchist. Man, that dude
loved what I had to say about Anarchy. Crazy,
because we pretty much disagreed,
but the main thing I remember is:

You looked as cute as can be. I think you were
telling people I picked the outfit out -
which could explain why that anarchist
was hitting on me.

Anyway: that skirt, the shirt,
and those cute boots, too - it was surely
somebody's style, and
you sure made it
you

Friday, September 09, 2011

regrets don't wash

regrets don't wash
not clean, at least

I didn't get a chance

to unburden myself
of all of the things that felt wrong

about everything that was said

in the space between "hi!" and "oh shit!
you're dead."

Hercules, Bitches

I'll be glad to stand fast
on a bedrock floor
with the weight of a world on my back,
or more -
and my face set hard
and grim as a stone,
with my heels dug in.
I will neither slip,
nor groan. but

not just yet, though.
After lions and hydras, so much horse shit -
the weight of my back is too much.

At a minimum,
I need a drink, first.
And to lie down, if possible.

I'm tired of Herculean tasks,
each more ridiculous than the last -
of finding new crazy ways to win
against all of these weird, strange odds we're in.
I'm weary - worn out, I am going to lie down.
I need to recover my strength,
and will.

Let the thought of each pointless effort
pass, get my breath and my limbs
and my back in place,

just a short vacation -
a few blessed days, and then

I'll get back
to pushing whatever infinite boulders uphill.

Ta-Da!

You know what? That whole thing was
stupid. I hereby declare that it never happened!
Can't I do that? We create our own reality,
right? By how we perceive, and interact with
what we perceive. Well, in that case, I say
"It's stupid: and it never happened."

The magic words! And introducing Presto Voila,
the infamous stage magician! Whose tall black hat
is as sleek and capacious as you please -
entire possibilities can be contained therein,
to be yanked out by the throat with a squeeze - or else
stuffed in whole, to disappear without even a belch! That hat
is a monster.

But only because of the head underneath,
of the man formerly known as Mr. Heart On His Sleeve
- nothing up my sleeve now, as you can well see

and/or believe

to know what it means

Impenetrable yet... transcendent. This
can only mean one thing, a very specific
thing, these words of yours,

your statement made

is an object. Its own. It
cannot be held in the hand, it's
too solid, fixed in place, but it can
be stroked, felt. Grasped, not lifted. The
imagery, the imagery cuts like a thick blade
through dumb flesh, and leaves it none the more
knowing,

for having gained such a definite wound.

your personal best

Stick a foot in your sock, it's
done. And a shoe, too while you're at it
lace it up and run, hit the door ecstatic
that the ugly part's finished, the fun
is sure to begin, now the smoke is extinguished -
and don't let the door hit your ass

On the way out, fix your eyes forward
and stretch your legs, in a lengthening stride
toward something inside that's been calling you
names, something you can explain, but not in words
(not to me). Something that is building up,
with each stab of pain
in your side - it's just a stitch

You can breathe your way through this,
hit that smooth pace that slowly glides
up towards your personal bliss
in your personal race,
a personal quest to beat
your personal best, well

you won't have to run very fast
to do that.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

thanks, just in case

if I ever get through
the worst patch of life
in my life, it will be
because of you

but not in a way that you'd
ever accept, even if I were to try
to explain

if I ever get through,
I will try to explain.

Friday, September 02, 2011

a good faith offer

To die is not over. But
to prove it is impossible
unless...death, you don't
want to! Even though faith,
you think, you believe but
ultimately, this life: Hold
onto it with hands! Your tight
and embrace makes precious,
because you never know what
it's worth. I will translate
for you

blessings

I'm sad as hell, I don't mind
admitting to you - there's no reason
for me to get happier, now
it doesn't feel easy
or better or worse when I smile,
so why not smile?

just wait for what's coming
to hollow you out

you'll find you've got one fewer
lesson to count

when your blessings come 'round
to take you down

and I don't mind admitting
my self-torture device
doesn't get me to break, like
one flick of your eyes
and I'll spill, all the classified
private advice
I was saving for you
'til the day that it dies

and just a little bit further,
the far side of now

the back of your head is like
"figure it out"

and it all makes sense but you can't see how

as your blessings come 'round
to take you down