The Perfect Funeral

Dark, cool room

flowers on both sides of her coffin

quiet classic country playing.

her favorite Patsy Cline hits.

“Mother” written on a bouquet of red

like a saddle on a brown maple stallion.

Maybe Bertha was riding Trigger to heaven,

no one said, I wouldn’t ask. I was twelve.

Sporadic cackles rang through this veil of death,

old ladies’ laughing I thought peculiar.

Finally a man of the cloth, reminded me of a Sloth,

stood up and started the flames of Hell,

my bow tie tightened and sweat poured in harmony

with the old man’s words..

What a perfect funeral I heard a woman say.

I scurried to the Men’s Room to give a child’s only gift.

Bus Ticket to Heaven

Death it seems to me is just a movement,

a bus stop in Cleveland I don’t know,

just a crowd of faceless faces

waiting for another ride.

Browns, Blacks, Whites,

pimps, whores alike

just waiting for another bus

to St. Louis, finally St. Peter’s.

Cinderellas won’t ride a night tram,

no night coach for them

strictly Amtrack’s club car

taking a double decker to heaven.

Imagine death if you can

sweep the dirt

chase those skeletons,

take the last bus out of town.

It’s a two-way trip for some,

for others a two year warranty.

God loves you but if you come by bus

check the final destination on your ticket.

Motel 6

God’s got me in his back pocket,

black billfold, plastic driver’s license,

and a sense of my demise.

He’s too busy trying to find a way to speak

to the haters, the arrogant, and legally blind.

What’s He going to say? “Hey you

find a fish, a bottle of wine and march

across the Sea of Gallilee. Look

for your nearest Motel Six. I left a light on.”

Bus Stop

We stared at the steeple, God stared back.

We knew it was a lie before dressing this moment.

You cried “there’s no god here,” no god here I repeated.

Just beautiful rolls of carpet,

deep painted windows and whispers, the whispers

changing our names, god given names, to a temple guess,

a temple joke, and no one laughed, no God for sure.

A stranger grasped my hand and pulled me through a curtain.

Your passing through heaven’s curtain,” He said softly.

The quiet in our new gateway to god antithetical

to a clamoring noise in our minds. I screamed “God is dead.”

Hushed silence disappeared as we left a fake temple.

Salt Lake City swallowed with relief as we boarded a bus

to leave, never to return. Funny I guess. We never returned

to each other. The world underwent a change for us.

God did not return. He grabbed a bus and headed to Vancouver.

Bathroom Prophets

Somewhere in the depth of death,

beneath breathing cottontails

which stand like tall candles snuffed

by forgotten fingers, bony and blue

there is an incandescent white

where homeless gods grow

amid natural city predators.

They warn of Armageddon,

but learn the pecking order

and the shame of being  weak.

Banana Clips for Heaven

From the streets of Chicago

to rural Newtown,

Denver to Houston

and all between,

the vengeance of mad women

torn old men and brainless boys

kill and fools ask why?

We call our wars just,

to Iraqi children and their mothers,

Afghanistan babies seek grace in Allah.

We brag about our God

as we rattle our sabers and scream hallelujah

vengeance belongs to America

sayeth the Lord and his children.

If a god exists

he has turned his back

to ignorance,

loveless murderers

hiding behind bullet proof

excuses and lies

singing, “give me another clip.”

I Walk on Water

It’s a lovely day in my hometown

think I’ll take a walk across the Jordan

walk on water for awhile, heal a leper

and bend the rules of Jesus

for just an hour maybe two

I am God and no one knows it

the soil of it all wipes clean

my miseries and unclean fantasies.

Plunge my nakedness into the river

deep and pungent the smell of man

never leaves the swirling slicks

oil of our fathers and their fathers

Mother Mary stopped by in her Vera Wang

fresh off the hangers at Saks on Fifth

snug yet quite revealing

the cross of her father.

City lights burn yellow in darkness

the lights leave but not the yellow

LA my kind of town

pimps and whores and rock n roll

designer jeans for short fat men

like me and my uncle

he’s dead now

I’m next.

Forever is a Fish

I stare sometimes into a starry night and I swear I can see forever.  I can see broken children of the Holocaust, the Black slaves being tossed off slave ships into a watery death.  Sometimes I see my brother, eyeless, and destroyed by the insidious effects of diabetes.  My father visits me in the pitched night and wants to know how life is going after his death fifty years ago.  The mind works in strange ways.

What keeps an old depressed man going?  My wife of over twenty years, Debbie, has been my rock and I would take a bullet for her.  I would crawl through broken shards of glass for her as she would for me.  We are tied to the same rope, the same love we’ve had since our chance encounter.  For me, life is serendipitous.  I see no God reaching his finger down and stopping the slaughter of children, the rape of women, and the unspeakable collective Catholic molestation.  If ever there was a God he’s skipped town and is now living on an island paradise as a sea turtle.  Sea turtles are smart and non-aggressive.  The earth is my home and always will be until my body is purified by the crematorium fire.  My ashes will be blown in the wind whipping through Cape Hatteras for I am a fish and I must return from whence I came.

Fake News

God loves nothing better than a freshly painted barn,

fresh concrete at the front door, and a Rhode Island Red.

Nice quaffed hair on a virgin girl and a sacred boy with clean hands.

Thou shall not touch thyself, smell the scent of temptation,

or harden at the sight of skin, bare flesh is for cat testosterone.

I wrote it in a book some call the Bible, others call it fake news.

The Leper Speaks

It’s a lovely day,

think I’ll take a walk across the Jordon,

walk on water for awhile, heal a leper,

and bend daddy’s rules

for just an hour maybe two.

I am the God no one knows.

I try to wipe clean

my miseries and unclean fantasies.

Plunge my nakedness into the river,

deep and pungent the smells of man

never leave the swirling slicks,

oils of our fathers and their fathers.

Mother Mary stopped by in her Vera Wang

fresh off the hangers at Saks on Fifth

snug yet quite revealing

the cross of her father’s.

City lights burn yellow in darkness

the lights leave but not the yellow

LA my kind of town

pimps and whores, rock n roll

designer jeans for short fat men

like me and my uncle

he’s dead now

I’m next.