The Cat Left Behind after the Squatters Were Chased Out

I am just an unlonely cat.
I am a loner but I am a tiger.
My family has left me this house.
It’s falling down, so I sleep on the roof.
The grass and trees are closing in,
so things will be shaded, greener soon.
Being a cat, I like that. (It’s summertime.)
The house was condemned, my family
driven out. They left me behind.
There’s some paper taped to the door
I cannot read. Sometimes I sit and look at it.
Sometimes I go through the busted window
and look for them. I cannot bring myself
to move my little Gore-Tex mouse from where
the kid last threw it. They were very poor,
so I took them in. Now they are poorer
without this house. Without me.
I am unlonely and rich.
I am a cat. The streets and the woods
are my palace, my house. They may
come back. They may not. You see,
I am a cat. I am out nothing.

no pity

Embezzle the universe,
steal everything it has of worth,
suck the juices from the rind,
make love to its ghosts
then the friends of those ghosts
and so on to infinity.
Stay up all night
stealing power and stealing feeling.
Leave nothing on your plate.
When the monsters in white everything
finally come for you (and they will)
be broke and exhausted
from a recent orgasm, dance, poem, wave, whatever,
some sort of explosion, anyway.
When they try to put you in a wheelchair,
throw it off the cliff into the ocean
and crawl to the nearest fix
of everything at once.
Don’t listen to your grandmother
who died rich and begging
others to tell her that her life was good.
If you don’t know, if you have to ask others,
it clearly wasn’t.
Though she looked regal in her coffin,
the white hair and sparkling jewels,
she was like the sixteen-year-old who took pills
and vanished before she was formed,
all the wild, sparkling nights ahead
trapped in the sinking stone of her body.
It doesn’t matter how many years that woman lived.
She was the same as the young girl
who swallowed the pills out of fear.
Take no prisoners in this life,
and especially not yourself.

The Animal

The suddenness of it all,
the coyote in the dumpster
behind the Dollar Tree
jumping out of it,
fleeing the human,
the goofy talking kids he ran between,
making them scream,
weaving across the highway,
missing speeding grills
by mere inches,
made it into the deep brush
grown up around the railroad tracks,
on fire at this time of day
with the dying sun,
and there he disappeared.
It is phenomenal
to be alive
at the same time
as things that struggle for survival
with this much style,
using the spark
of the specific gift,
the singers,
the screamers,
the runners like him,
or those who wrench
the horrible facts of existence
into stories
that buoy us as the gods
once lifted us, when we needed them.
We have a crazy gene
or two for this,
coded to move
us to the tune
of well-played bullshit
of any sort that’s geared
to survival,
though it makes us
crazy, though it
probably means
nothing but what
it is, it still is,
persistently,
and always
our desire for it,
to be a part
of it, weirdly
comes on
and at us
suddenly
and all we can say is,

Hell yes,
I want to be
a coyote too.

Poetry Koi Pond Anthology

Well, there are a few bright, odd-finned ones,
motley ornamentals,
feeding on colorful flakes
near the top,
sort of interesting
to watch,
for a few minutes
anyway.
Then you notice yourself getting
a little tired
of their constantly open mouths,
blowing too similar bubbles.
After that,
it’s mostly the bottom feeders
of the pond
doing their thing
and feeling quite special
about it,
as ever,
all of it really just
what you expected
when you plunked down
twenty bucks
or whatever
for the privilege
of feeling this
pointless envy.
You’re still jelly,
even though you know
they’re all just
a school of fish
swimming
in each other’s shit
and sometimes
swallowing it.

Crow Mood

I get so tired sometimes.
I take off my shirt.
I take off my shorts.
I crawl into bed.
It’s 3 P.M.
This is insane.
I hear the crows
outside my window
cursing existence,
having fun,
cursing existence,
having fun
cursing existence.

I can relate to the goddamn crows.

This is my commentary like theirs.

Somebody fucked with my feathers.

Trash Talk

that man who was screaming in the middle of the street

who shot all those people

the same guy who was shot dead

who’s flat on his back in the street now

wearing his last wifebeater

with his pit bull licking his blood

licking his brains from the asphalt

the man who shot everyone

who shot all his neighbors

did it because of a $700 trash bill

see, the township was going to start fining him

for each day he didn’t have trash service

(they all gang up on you like this, see)

for each day a fine and his trash

would no longer be picked up

but climb to the heavens in a pyramid

and they say that’s why

he did it

the thought of mountains of trash and fines

the word “why” for mass murder

is comfortably insane       believing itself

I’m just sayin

if you need a sturdy pit bull

I know a traumatized one

yeah, he has a confederate flag bandana around his neck

but hell, you can just remove that

that poor dog had no idea

he was a racist with a tail

Chivalry

Drive past a late summer match on a blue tennis court under shade
of a park’s greenest trees. Green shadows on a tennis court
of bluest blue, where young plays old, old plays young,
before it maybe happens, a quiet game elsewhere,
in other shadows, meshes of the afternoon, not hard fought
on either side really, since it’s nothing, nobody for keeps.