Fire as a Warning

a lot of my ideas
bubble up before a shower,
“It must be the proximity
to water, everything flowing,”
that’s the story I’m going with,

I love a crusade,
when it’s set against
faded and jaded
and so-called
old-fashioned ideals
that don’t match the meter
of the people,
so we move to burn
those steeples,
and rejoice in
their drifting ashes.

I think about
the folks who went too soon:
Kurt at 27, killed by sadness
(I know he killed himself);
Jimi at 27, killed by bad luck
(he may have killed himself);
Robert at 27, killed by jealousy
(most likely poison);
Janis at 27, killed by pain
(the overdose a side-effect);
Jesus at 33, killed by empire
(the killer is always empire).
Their memories,
the kindling
for the lanterns
that border the edges
of the darkest woods.

Dark smoke is rising from the cities we built,
the machinery
we crank under threat.
Those leaders,
the faded and wrinkled
they daily set fire
to the people
who bleed money for them.
Then the old men
blame degradation
on anyone but themselves.

This tired church needs to go,
we need
a crusade.


Billionaires for Dessert

When I understood
that the onus is
mostly on me
to keep myself
alive and, Christ,
to give a shit about me,
that we’re all convinced
and, admit it, coerced
not to care beyond ourselves,
that every month, after I pay rent,
I calculate how I’ll pay
for the next ten days
before my check goes through –
I realized
this shit is all
carefully calculated
and crafted,
designed to keep me
too tired to find
and punch
every single billionaire.


How to Write to the Inhuman

Hey [name of company or CEO/passable insult (shitbag works fine)],
why does [rent/food/medicine/housing/any number of things we need] cost so much?
Asking for [a friend/my mom/the houseless/the disenfranchised/the 99%/anyone who isn’t you, you corporate asshole].

Fuck you very much,
[Your name/A concerned human/A decent human being/Everyone who’s not the company or CEO]

Here’s an example:

Hey Eli Lilly, you shitbags,
why does insulin cost so fucking much?
Why does insulin cost anything?
Asking for me and every diabetic person.

Fuck you.

I’m a pissed-off diabetic poet.

Hope this template and example help!
Write those shitbags what they deserve.


The Wheeling Stars

Some people
believe in market forces
believe in factory floors
believe in glass
ceilings and ste(e/a)l
believe in offshore bank accounts,
believe in those who
trounce the little guy, as if
easy knockouts count as victories.

Still, some people
believe in quarterbacks,
believe in the nickel-and-dime,
believe in working full-time,
on time,
all the time,
I really wish it would all


Well, I believe in
the wheeling stars,
in Mercury and Mars,
I believe in things I
can’t see.
’cause magic is just science that hasn’t been explained
and wouldn’t it be fun to race a yeti down a mountain?

So I believe in some funky stuff.
And I believe belief is enough
to affect behavior.

That’s why
I’m scared of some people.


A Midday Rant

I’d love
a magic button
to straighten my spine,
and buff out my tendency
to slouch.
The deep sigh, it says I
don’t want to work on Sunday,
I never want to log into
the Bank
of America app again,
I don’t want to wonder
if I can shell out ten bucks
for Burger King
(what is a responsible choice?),
I don’t want to have to repeat
“There is no ethical consumption
within capitalism”
for the ump-millionth time,
yes I piss on company time,
I eat and check dating apps too,
this is how you
a hacked-up soul.