Posts Tagged ‘Money’

In My Basement

Posted: August 15, 2002 in Poetry
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I am trying to find god in my basement.
In my own house (well, that I rent) –
To tell you the truth, it’s money well spent –
But in this wash of club fog,
These hyperkinetic lights,
This irrepressible sugar pop sound,
It swears to me that life is sweet.
Maybe only in moments like these.
But in certain spiritual lyric coincidences
I detect some karmic, cosmic communication .
A certain wink from the vertigo;
A nudge in the ribs from my madonna.
Ridicule from the turntables
For not expressing myself and my soundtrack
Every moment I breathe.
Is it prayer to spin records
And cry out when the experience hits you?
Or is that reserved for holier orgasms?
King of my kingdom,
Finding that I am god
In my basement.

A Million Books

Posted: March 22, 1995 in Poetry
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I wish I had a million books,
Not a million bucks
Or bionic looks,
Just books and Bibles
And bundles of paper
And the time to read
And loan them out
To my neighbors.
Recommending and reading
Between covers I’d tarry
And give copies away
Like a hippie’s library.
Pass them around
And get lost for an hour.
But if wishes were water,
I’d never have to shower.

Tails Side Up

Posted: December 5, 1994 in Poetry
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I wish on every
lucky penny
that I find (tails side up)
for you
for me
for us and wherever we’re going
in all this fog.

I want that my glasses
were halogen knives
to draw and quarter the mist of the
near future:
is it money?
is it marriage?
is it me?
that has you so distant
when I’m right here
holding your hand?

Maybe I’m a chain of flower petals
— all the “loves-me-not” daisies
of the last few decades;
all the dangling lies of the eternal carrot,
a pinata for
the materialism
of our parents’ generation
leaking into my soil.

But all I ever wanted from money
were my lucky
(tails side up)
pennies.

I
I love you most
when you are sleeping
and around the corner
I am peeping,
shadow in the box of light
that falls from the living room;
I hear the rain is coming soon
from the whish of the wind
‘round the corner of the front porch
lifting the edges of your hair
while you sleep tight.

II
time alone, quiet and silent
a peaceful drizzle outside
and a long nap under my belt
is good for a busy soul,
bustling with errands:
remember the value of free time,
lazy time: laziness is an
art form that can be productive
in its own sense — money
is not everything.

III
the Elves are gone.
it is the Age of Man;
can we continue
pointing arrows
at everyone
until there is
nothing left?

I went to find my childhood
buried in the morass of my memory;
discarded in a moment of adolescence
trying to be an adult
before I knew what that was about.

So me and a shovel and a dream
go wading through the cattails and the frogs,
looking under lilypads and scouring the undersides of logs;
hopes waxing and waning with the flux of a dark moon
laying with my arms behind my head
in a dark room.

There was a little gold-gilded crown
once made of paper. . .
I thought I had drowned my youth
in a premature effort to be a man,
coated with cars, money, girls, sex, and truth,
white picket fences and two and one half kids,
a loving wife and instant happiness.

Ah, but so many can’t and so many others won’t
dig up the countryside grave of their little one,
content to weep and dream with a withered imagination,
or they chase ghosts of happiness in platinum nightdresses
taped to the part of the elephant they can still feel.

Las Vegas

Posted: May 18, 1993 in Poetry
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one
all these slot machines are screaming at me,
hurling forth these awful noises
like upright pinball machines amplified
and winking with infernally fueled lights,
glowering metal goblins hunkered in military rows.
zombies run them, magnetized to the pull-bars.
coin after coin after coin fed like morsels
to squat and greedy quadripalegics
to be digested in square stomachs,
vomited occasionally into aluminum bins designed
to deluge the immediate area with tinny sound.
the only chairs in Vegas are the stools in front of slots,
the seats around the tables and the high chairs at the bars.
there they go – horrible shrieks and sirens,
running dark-suited security guards
and the beaming house manager congratulating, congratulating
someone lucky enough to give a slot the shits.
night and day rows of rolling eyes and gaping mouths,
so many tiki idols to pray to with offerings of silver.
miracles, healings, wishes granted often enough to other people
to make you believe. over your shoulder,
someone with a wheelbarrow of quarters
is smiling smugly before she’s taxed,
so you turn to your personalized priest
and confess, confess, confess;
give your money to the Church of Las Vegas.

two
you are nothing without neon stripes
surrounded with millions of scarecrow lightbulbs.
it’s a neighborhood gone gaga with Christmas lights;
the competition is too apparent, so flashy –
each hotel, forty floors of cement and steel supermodel,
the strip a catwalk for these gaudy flamingos
belching forth the illusions of winners,
fireworking electrical energy through millions of neon lacerations,
igniting the sky with an unnatural aurora.
each casino like a sick-to-its-stomach smiling Buddha,
pulling people in through its gilded belly-button
to explore the convolutions of intestines packed
with other gaping gamblers praying and dazed,
being digested in the bowels of Las Vegas.
the streets are the most wholesome places of normalcy;
there the garbage isn’t hidden, or snatched up
by a look-quickly-both-ways costumed employee
with a silver handled scooper and a platinum broom,
a golden smile tacked on like a nametag –
part of the uniform – in the streets
the honking of cars is sanity;
the people who live from their shopping carts are sane
because they have no money to spend.
these streets are thronged every night,
poverty illuminated by the neon lights.

Impression of Las Vegas

Posted: May 15, 1993 in Poetry
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I couldn’t help myself –
I had to stare at all the older people
in Las Vegas. They’re all
motorized, putting coins in slots,
sometimes playing two or three at once
and even when they win
their expressions don’t change.
I saw a man win $5000 in
silver dollars and
he just seemed annoyed that
he couldn’t play it while it
poured out his money.