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.

I
this poetry, on this midnight
runs through my veins:
all this hurting, my purple pen
is my blood,
each word a corpuscle –
and to let it out to the world,
sometimes my poetry is simple:
blood,
cut from my flesh,
bleeding my emotions free.
Self destructive
so that I can leave the world
with impressions of fire and intensity,
of feeling.
This is how I feel.
And a poet is a job of living,
breathing, suffering, sacrificing
money home security comfort
for the fleeting knowledge that I am writing.

II
I am smoking: I will die quicker.
I am drinking: I will die quicker.
But I am leaving what I have,
these words
the blood of my existence.
The blink of an eye
and the full moon is gone
waxing, waning:
soon so will I, another man
will die and fade into obscurity,
but these ideas, thoughts, memories
will not disappear quite as quickly,
eroded into paper or computer.
Crickets die – they begat children
to carry on their simple song;
this is human responsibility.
Treat this as information
of a life.
Swallow it whole or in pieces,
pass it along;
someone will find it useful:
the memories of me,
who and where I am right now.

Imitation of Charles Bukowski

Posted: April 27, 1993 in Poetry
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once at a stoplight in San Diego
one middle-aged bum in a dirty red flannel
asked me for some change ‘cause he had a couple children
I said that’s not the reason but I can guess the real one
he said he lost his job just a couple days ago
said he had no money and he didn’t have a place to go.
the light turned green but I asked him what’s the money for
he said port wine; I gave him a dollar sixty-four.

Artwerk

Posted: August 6, 1991 in Poetry
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running around
on your plains
stark naked
– I am fun.
I see windows
to look through
at your artwork
I stand on tiptoes!
I have no money
to pay to get in.
I smile that I love you
wink beyond the flashbulbs
for ME!
and (maybe) I will go away.
I am your artwork
you
painted
me.
now I go away.
come with me?
let me try to paint you!

Untitled Poem #102 and 1/2

Posted: February 5, 1991 in Poetry
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who can tell what will happen tomorrow?
what will I drink? what will you do?
how much money would I like to spend on you.
when will I see you and where.

I wish you a dinosaur and a penny
I wish you enchiladas and dolphins
I wish you love and chap stick
I wish you coconuts and grassy hills
I wish you an earring and pencil lead
I wish you whipped cream and blood
I wish you happiness and pen ink
I wish you a treehouse and Apple Jacks™
I wish you blue and green and orange
I wish you beer and Lemonheads™
I wish you dreams and brown leaves
I wish you words and squirt guns
I wish you chewing gum and piranhas
I wish you luck and three bird feathers
I wish you beef jerky and yo mama
I wish you would and brass
I wish you wings and belief
I wish you days and several candles
I wish you toenails and bobsleds
I wish you gold chains and thermostats
I wish you negligees and carpeting
I wish you a bag of marbles and bones
I wish you the stars and a flower
I wish you incense and Rolaids™
I wish you a Twix™ and a pipe wrench
I wish you courage and money
I wish you a huge slobbering puppy dog with a big tongue
I wish you Jello™ and time
I wish you wood grain and shivers
I wish you letters and Coca-Cola™
I wish you.

Wallet

Posted: March 20, 1987 in Poetry
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A wallet lay upon the ground
Should I return it to the Lost and Found?
Open it up, is there ID?
Visa and Mastercard! Oh lucky me!
One hundred in bills, non sequential.
A driver’s license – quite essential.
A bunch of pictures and gas receipts
A pair of tickets for ballet seats.
But alas, I am still in a bind
For this wallet I found still isn’t mine.
I know how stupid this may sound,
But I returned that wallet to the Lost and Found.

Purse

Posted: March 10, 1987 in Poetry
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The contents of a girlie’s purse
Are many, sundry, and quite diverse.
Lipstick and makeup and lots of things
Gum and candy and classy rings.
Jewelry, mascara, Vogue and Elle
A little black book of their clientele.
Wallet full of pictures, numbers, and dates
A list of loves and a list of hates.
Bottles, books, boxes, and cans
Liquid paper and rubber bands.
Advil, cookies, extra pens,
Millions of notes from millions of friends.
Mirrors, brushes, hair spray bottles
Earrings and brochures to look like models.
Keys, matches, undated green passes
Used to get friends out of their classes.
Credit cards, bracelets, maybe a comb
Everything they need while away from their home.
Nail polish, eye shadow, liner and blush,
Packed in their purses ‘cause they’re in a rush.
Watches and perfume, a pack of breath mints
Nickels, dimes, quarters – about fifty cents.
Thank God there’s only so much space in a purse
If bags were in style, it would be that much worse.

Meals

Posted: March 9, 1987 in Poetry
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What is it like
To be a piece of French toast
A half a club sandwich
Or a grade B roast
Sitting on the plate
With someone looking down
A bit of parsley for a brain
An orange peel for a crown
As scrambled eggs
Or a hamburger bun
Waiting to see
Of what end they’ll become
A fat lady or a kid
Or a man with ready cash
Or the ultimate rejection:
To be thrown in the trash.