Woman in a bathtub reading

Wrong on the internet: Why I’m indifferent to immortalizing mistakes online

Having to say everything a particular way,
to be on-code, to speak according to the party line, to be complacent,
to have your every word tracked, considered,
scored, scrutinized--

This you,
people I barely know,
this you,
lackeys and pleasers,
this you,
those bored enough to be interested
in what I said years ago?

If we're lucky, we get 80 years
and I hope to develop a diamond core
that enables me to be unbroken
by the complaints of weaklings.

I don't travel through the valley of the shadow
nor the obviously alliterative willows;
I'm not the drunk, broke artist,
nor overtly sexual for its own sake--

but, if I were, I'd be no worse
because you can't force the words to behave
by simply putting them in neat rows,
dancing predictably,
harmonious like the movements
of the assembly line
where the same thoughts are assembled
by people who talk the same,
look the same,
all seeking unity with perfection,
without the acknowledgement of wrinkles,
spots, bad hair days, missed shots,
sneezes, farts, illness,
problematic family members,
trauma of all sorts. Let's not acknowledge,
but pretend to be perfect and preach perfection,
till bombs fall and demagogues like whirlpools
grab gullible minds,
dragging them, uniting them in the deep,
but they're not cared for by the ocean
spare the food they provide.

An elder told me my proximity to tombstones
makes me immune to this living and I get closer
every day.

Before, they would just take you to a wall
and shoot you.
Now they operate on your throat and let you go
to sit among the snickering folks
who talk plenty but say nothing either

but you wouldn't know because there are so many.

'How can billions of people be wrong?', ask burning forests and
dull crops and full hospitals
and graveyards and meritless wealth distribution,
and the fevers, and the guns-- so many guns.

It's true I might not be great,
but certainly no worse.

Vultures fly over the bones
of opinionated people,
they peck at the dead flesh
of wordsmiths,
they sit on trees to look at the skulls
of satirists.
When the sun is at its peak,
you can smell artist legacies.
The museum is empty;
the stadium is full.
The Television holds on
to my zombie eyes (we're just passing
the time).

The vultures say we taste the same,
that our bones look alike
so let me say what I please.

Nerdblog, blog of blogs reigns supreme

In my youth learning the meaning of the web log, 
Nerdblog, blog of blogs reigns supreme,
I go to the store and on my way home smell pizza,
I buy coffee and roam the streets and look at people,
peopling as they people about,
I think, what do I do, writer of blogs,
how do I think, writer of blogs,
do they know that I am a writer of blogs?
As I contemplate by bloginess, I consider,
Does Nerdblog reign supreme?
Ask a neighbor, ask a buddy if Nerdblog
reigns supreme.
It is the talk of the town;
swindlers sell tickets to seminars
on how to interpret the Nerdblog.
In truth no one truly know the ways.

In search of coherence, I’ve decided instead to write another poem

This trend can't continue. 
We've all seen the stories about angels and weren't impressed,
we'd rather you stop breaking the writing poems about poems rule.
It's a well-known rule you cant write poems about poems.
Unless they're bad poems or not poems or prose poems,
which I consider weird non-poems.
First rule of poems...
(This douche voice does not belong to me,
but the latter one does)
As I write another piece of whatever the hell this is,
just know that you, the reader, are more the fool;
I've spotted you and I see into your soul:
You understand me therefore you are twisted,
but, since you're here, walk with me a bit longer
and think how I address you like no one else does,
how I'm simply telling you
without the pretense that I'm better with words
though I like how words sound.
Sound them out and tell me which words
you like when they're said together.
I care to know more about the word music that changes
your mind,
if you're more into bulls or into deer
and of which you're reminded
when you read what you like.
I don't really think of either, but more
of a single petal on a tulip
because the words I read should be just as soft.
But what do I know? After I learned
a bit about scansion and meter to the extent I sometimes
thought to the beat, I felt none of it mattered
and all the words I cared about were
shaped to feel tender as I read them.
What a discovery,
to finally understand the power of softness
and to seek out the experience
not just in poetry but other aspects of life
so that you never see paintings the same way
or think music is stupid.
For a while, when I was a child, I was too
conspicuous with my reading.
Now I've put away childish things,
but not quite as I engage you for yet another evening.

Indirect diss track

This is my indirect diss track, 
a track in which I wear a sweat suit,
a track in which I wear sun glasses
and stand in front of a gray background,
a track in which there's just a microphone
and I'm supposed to act as though its sole presence
evokes a feeling of a return to authenticity.
Somehow, we know how this plays out,
but the awkward arm folding has already begun.

Sitting on tree swings is something that happens, even when writing about them is cliché

Sunsets, flowers, and red valentine's day hearts-- 
I hear these are all the signs of bad poems
so I've entered them here in this one
which also communicates an awareness of itself.
With each line you get to explore my mind even deeper,
thus laying the groundwork for your condemnation
of my logically flawed thought patterns.
Next year, Donald Trump will build a wall around my poems
and make me pay for them.
This will keep the world free of my words which continue to litter the internet
like warts and interestingly placed hairs
on the faces of old church ladies.
Sitting on tree swings is a poetic cliché that the universe continues to permit.
No one has told the builders of tree swings that tree swings have been done already.
No one has informed the makers of iced tea
to stop making the beverage for sleepy summer afternoons.
It's as though injustice is allowed to reign
through the existence of my words and cheap powder drinks!
Have another exclamation!

My brick and concrete overview of New York City, ignoring parts of Staten Island as one usually does

Here’s my account of New York City, no better or worse than anyone else’s, but I hope you find it helpful. There’s a great variance in temperature, having all four seasons– snowy winters, hot summers, falls full of orange and read leaves, springs full of flowers. There’s no difference from any moderate climate. If you go to the outskirts, you get a peek at the wild life that once occupied the land. In the Bronx Botanical Gardens, you can spot blue jays and cardinals. My girlfriend, who lives in Staten Island, sends me pictures of peacocks, turkeys, and deer. When I was younger and lived in the North Bronx, I’d see the occasional blue jay– but the urban landscape is sadly comprised of a few animals– few of which are well-liked: Rats, cats, dogs, and raccoons. You can also spot Skunks in Baychester. Pigeons and robins are everywhere. I don’t know anything about their current vibrancy as species, but they appear to be resilient and scrappy. I remember observing the birds, as a kid, always impressed by how the cold weather didn’t appear to affect them, how quick and alert they were for food.

You can find people of different kinds here, but you can also go your entire life without associating with people outside of your ethnic group. The city therefore grants people the opportunity to be cosmopolitan, but a person can also remain as backward as anywhere. The internet has democratized things a bit. It was once the case that people were more dependent on this monstrous concrete and brick hulk, focusing their efforts on it, building it, and putting their love into it. Now we don’t focus as much on physical places like New York City. We’re more and more on the internet.

People have continued to live in New York City, in spite of the ebb and flow of its relevance. Something about it is cozy. The word associated most with the locals is “bodega”, the name given to a corner store typically owned by a Dominican or Puerto Rican in most of the Bronx, Northern parts of Manhattan, several places in Brooklyn and Queens I would guess. There are also may Yemeni-owned corner stores, which are pretty good too. I’ve had lots of good sandwiches from those places, usually after having stumbled home drunk from a bar in my late twenties. There are many bars, far too many for me to name. You can find good craft beer places, the types of places I would visit that would normally carry obscurely-named porters and stouts of high alcohol content. But, if I were ever in a tough spot, I would settle for a place that served Belgian Beers like Chimay and Delerium Tremens. On my nights out in the city, I experienced the full range of who people could be. I, who was once sheltered, was at once assaulted with life’s beautiful and darker elements. I saw people at their worst and I saw myself at my worst. Now I’m at a point in which I’ve forgiven others and have also forgiven myself. I don’t drink so much anymore. My greatest pleasure is derived from a cup of coffee, which never has to be fancy. It can be a simple cup of coffee and I would be happy.

I wasn’t allowed to drink coffee as a child, but I think my grand mother made me try some when I was seven and I hated it. Then an Indian lady at Dunkin Donuts shoved a cup of coffee in my hand in my twenties and told me to drink. So I drank. I was hooked on regular coffee ever since. I can already picture the coffee snobs turning their heads in disgust. I drink mine with cream and three sugars. I hope that, no matter where my readers are in the world, they have a place they can sit and drink coffee and chat. I hope the chats are pleasant ones and that they carry meaning without them simply being an exchange of pleasantries. Meaning and pleasure are not opposed, but the empty exchanges on the weather on the outside without us at least addressing our weather in the inside of ourselves will do nothing but increase our dread as we labor through life. Coffee can be had in a number of ways. I like mine in a very simple and straight forward way. The corner stores all have coffee. The few diners that still exist here all serve coffee. None of it tastes as good as coffee I once had in Zona Colonial in Santo Domingo, but, whatever the coffee, it generally does the trick and helps me cope with life. Living in an urban climate, full of grays, with people dressed in black, constantly laboring for the bare minimum– you’re well set up for drudgery. Coffee is right there with you throughout your annoying morning commute on the subway, which has a bunch of guys yelling “Showtime”, flailing about, and sometimes kicking people. There are sometimes homeless people who sleep on the subway trains. They’re normally left alone– but be mindful if you notice that all train cars are full and a single train car is empty.

I think the important thing to note in the time of COVID is that you can get good take out in New York City– take out from all over the world. Sure, you can make your own, but that would take away precious time I can spend typing, eating, Netflixing reality television, wondering how many versions of a British bake off show can be created, watching every single version of British bake off shows. What is a place, really? Frank Sinatra made a song about this place so I guess that’s cool?

The blue wolves howling outside of windows

Sometimes blue wolves hang out 
outside of windows and they howl
to let all the cool people lying in their
beds know they're just human,
not wolves,
wolves who hang out outside of windows,
eating raw leg of lamb by the moonlight,
listening to smooth jazz
on their walkmans they keep awkwardly clipped
to the sides of their fur.
We don't know what the wolves think
when they look in our windows,
seeing us lying in our beds,
our bellies exposed
to the sounds of tacky saxophones,
our faces contorted to the ugly cry,
scratching ourselves as we turn
beneath the covers,
snorting and emitting foul odors,
filling the room with browns,
while the blue wolves howling
underneath an even bluer night sky,
dance in the vineyard,
listening to their walkmans,
munching on leg of lamb,
wearing bowties
sitting at tables,
each with a little top hat.

Today’s mixture of thoughts brought to you with chicken empanadas

We don’t have to agree on everything, but let’s conclude we both like chicken empanadas and will eat them when given the opportunity. It’s not often enough that we are confronted with a flaky crust; we take this challenge on willingly, knowing these efforts enhance the enjoyment of flavorful chicken.

Yesterday we had empanadas with coffee and you told me my bar stool is ugly but functional.

Meat hangs from the ceiling, which makes me either pretentious or refined; I haven’t decided. It hangs from the ceiling, giving the room a look. We can’t decide if it’s a good look, but it’s a look all the same. There’s wine here– rows and rows of it. We normally just watch it, nowadays. We don’t normally have it the way we did last night, drinking row, after interminable row, throwing the empty bottles at one another and breaking into song. Last night was different, but we’re eating at the moment. There’s knocking at the door and you get up and let another man in. He walks up with a bottle of wine in his hand. He looks at the wall with last night’s broken bottles and decides the wall can use some more broken bottles. An eerie look overtakes all of us for a second; we laugh and then we start drinking.

This season, like the last season, we will have chicken empanadas, coffee, and wine. We will sit by the warmth of a fire. We’ll listen to you insult my bar stool, we’ll break into songs, we’ll throw bottles. Then we will get past the winter solstice so that the fire by us dims making way for the greater fire overhead.

Villains find ways to cope with the new normal

Scardon had enough!

He’s never had such a bad pastrami sandwich! How was Scardon, lord of the night supposed to rule the world without the right pastrami sandwich? He swished his cape in disgust. “This won’t do! My ominous mask looks like everyone else’s mask!,” he gasped. “Everyone wears capes now! How will I stand out?”

He thought about going outside to cough on people and the beatings he would receive as a result. He stroked his mustache and struggled with his French press. His hands were useless when he was anxious. With murderous dictators succeeding the way they were, it was hard to distinguish himself as a supervillain. Scardon therefore embraced the supervillain purely as an aesthetic and discarded the real life embodiment of the supervillain which was the murderous dictator.

People didn’t quite understand it when Scardon yelled, “I am the darkness!” at people. They thought he should learn to calm down, for the most part. He still practiced lurking in the shadows while holding his hands out like claws.

He considered the best type of poison gas– if he should use the colorful kind or something in a black or gray. “When it comes down to it, if I contribute to the art, it will all have been worth it”, he said, delivering his latest scowl, crouching and doing his best maniacal laugh.

The blue knight

This is the history of the blue knight, 
who slept with the king's wife
so the king got angry,
sending the blue knight
to monsters,
which the blue knight vanquished,
so grew the legend
of the guy who was so good
he did
whatever. Till he wanted
someone other than the
big mistake.
The poison worked quickly.