Whenever baked
I dream of Pittsburg
and this dusk
is no deviation.

Everything in the dream
beeps at me derisively.
Gas pump. Smart phone.
The microwave kills the salmon!
Toothbrush. Sex toy.
Every God-damned thing!

If I had any balls at all
like my primal Uncle Hank
held out against the wheel,
I’d smash them with a rock.
But I’m still weaning on leisure
and counting my remotes.
Regretting my vote, of course
which we all do, inside Iron City
or out. So that’s not a key article
in my pipe dream at all. No. I have
minor bouts of incubus
and this dark
is no deviation.



the appoinment

the appointment

A graduate from Gnome,

a little known school

in a town where trees

have funny shapes,

explains my waning

as App Fatique:

A modish disorder

of tendon and scholar.

As he piles on

the systemic failures,

the same dull sense

a cow feels

en route to my table

seeps like sepsis

through me.

The workers of pestilence

flood the room. Each w/an

insurance form

and co-pay tariff.

Flying like science,

they busy themselves

w/machines and franchise wonder.

Each little miracle color-coded.

Dosage unknown.

Still, there persists

an air hunger. A lassitude

that smudges the day. An immiscible brew

of barium and trace metals. An arthritic cog

disrupting the motion of the machine. A fidgety bone

that warrants removal.

three new reconstructions

Seducing Vivaldi

A rumpled scholar

and small talk mendicant

walk into a bar.

Their discourse diverted

by a redhead’s

crimson interrogation

of another sleek vision.

Both  in black

highly evolved

and sworn to secrecy

Sentient favors redhead.

Her counter-intelligence

intuitive to his nature.

The professor savors

the blonde oval mouth,

her ease w/medication.

The barmaid mixes toxins.

Cohesive maps

fail the brave and

if you’re waiting

for a punch line

Forget it!

The time for jokes is over.


God’s Particle

The Higgs Particle and I

were at loggerheads

and threatened

by multiple choice.

Like it or not

the bedlam’s built in:

Every mob

has a few loose cannons.

We’re all elemental,”

Higgs chides.

How about here?”

I reply.

I hear they have great burgers.”


The Clown of Humboldt Street

Stalin’s daughter

googled me and

came up empty handed.

My rep erased

by my third ex

Who swore she’d get me

and did.

I was now Dewey Bozell,

the pall bearer’s son.

Whose own mother questioned

why women succor

such shambling rogues

as Dewey Bozell

the pall bearer’s son.

The clown of Humboldt Street.

all c.2015 mj


four new reconstructions

In Monet’s Light

In Monet’s light
she caught my eye
on Opening Day
at the Milestone.

I was schlepping
sixty pounds of sugar
from the pantry
when I heard her sing
a ditty from the city
w/a shy invitation
I couldn’t resist.

Her finest dress
was a hand-me-down
from Molly, her older sister
who was four months pregnant
by another townie
her Daddy was gunning for.

When the coast was clear
and the shotgun espousal
a thing of the past,
I proposed. And here
we are, sixty years on,
toasting Opening Day.

No Synonyms for Women

Aren’t you the dude I trumped
on the high school debate team?
Your lack of hair
doesn’t surprise me.
I knew perfection was elusive
and laughed back then and I
advocate for it now.

There are no synonyms for women.
Believe me, I looked.
Pursued, rummaged every known source
and hint of rumor. Every shred of gospel
I exhumed from the sand.

Reality is treacherous.
The result of your meme.
You were always
you’re mother’s son,
perpetuating myth, not mercy.
And I swear there’s nothing
like New York City
when you exit stage left
to a standing O.

Carney Saga

It’s a lush retrospective. An off-kilter account
of my time in Tucson
where felony befalls me
for leaving blood
in the Santa Cruz.

I was your period, stage coach playboy
wooing town women
from panties and purse.

Like that Bob Marley song
Clapton demolished,
I shot the sheriff
from Sentinel Peak.

I bid farewell
my spit-shine days
and went underground.
Keeping the carney humming.
Assisting the bearded lady
every Tuesday when she shaved.

Like Watching Gidget Go Astray

America’s movie
runs too long
w/o intermission.
Miscast and over budget.
A loosely scripted, noir tangle
w/an adorable heroine
the crowd cheers on.

Quirky. Cute. A boyish do
in Sixties’ clothing w/a belligerent streak
she’s nurtured since Vinegar Hill
keeping the pot on boil.

It’s not a thriller, per se
nor fairy tale. Nor is it parody
for parody’s sake.
It’s like watching Gidget
go astray: Come home.
Turn color. Run for office.
Stab her husband
w/a corkscrew. Plead sincerely
then write a book.
It’s like watching ants cluster
and go to war. Go to war.
Like watching ants cluster
and go to war.


Small Moments

Small Moments

It’s one big lump in my brain
so excuse the excess. Politics, religion,
personal air. Prescient shadows,
disarming remarks.

All I recall
from another poem
you were too busy to read
is the mayhem genius
taking great lengths
to insure each guest
has enough scotch tape.

Like Simone snuggling Sartre,
his wife meant the world to him
but this was ten hours overtime.
So, like any nihilist, he unfolds
the parchment feast, unleashing hordes
of still born allegory
and trusses. Breath mints
and anxious cobblers.

It’s a small moment
in an obscure poem
but that doesn’t stop him.
Like all everyday work
it gets done. Usually by guys
w/shit on their shoes
and a paycheck behind.
All those guys we wait for
subjectively. Their small moment,
at hand.



I try to find the joke
in everything
but it’s not easy
these days. They’re bat shit
out there and no one’s trying
to stop it ‘cos that’s
the next guy’s job.

Well the next guy’s
gone fishin’. You’re on your own.
I’ve got potable water,
canned meat, corn,
a hazmat suit,
batteries, an old video camera
and a hot, young wife.
Mea culpas, toilet paper,
and an attorney
on retainer.

I’ve got no windows, but
all my friends
have drugs.
So good luck to y’all,
send a card.
Maybe I’ll see ya on
the other side.

10th ‘n Brutal

she was
last seen
in a
recyke dumpster
Behind a market
on 10th ‘n Brutal
Known for its meats,
customer service,
and locksmiths.

All the world’s
casual horror
rents here on
10th ‘n Brutal.
A graphic novel
dungeon town
far beyond Dickens’
dead London route.

No one hopes
on 10th ‘n Brutal,
Where the mayor’s
last penny
and the governor’s too
was spent.
Where the common beg
and flagellate.

the dick hard
here on
10th ‘n Brutal,
Where she was
last seen
in a
recycke dumpster,
The color weeping
from her face.

Sunny Lots

here’s the first one for twenty15

Sunny Lots

I’ve grown older
and wary of the sales pitch.
The Doctrine. The old time TV
selling catheters and long term care.
Cardiac stabilizers and sunny lots.
C Factors and urine flow and
vaginas that leak when you laugh.
Like it’s a joke or something
for baring a bit of neighborly bile.
Some little tumor
they have a pill for. A potion for.
Proportioned individually
seven days a week. Helps hearing
but not hair growth. And, in the rare occurrence
of a four hour erection, you could possibly
lose your mind.