Hotel Bar Exurbia

Soulless, clinical brightness
The character of a nightclub past time
Accents a parody of diversity
These are nobodies people
And nobody wants to be there if they had a choice

Strangers telling family bios
The conversation of passing time
Making a change from sports without passion
Too many white faces
Too many alone men who aren’t single

Sharing nonsense phone clips
With the volume loud
Much like the half-baked politics
And re-parroted ideas of the world
Forced courtesy beyond please, thank you, and how are you?
Matching the lackluster fuel being treated as food

A lone woman enters the frame of male gaze
Uncomfortable looks under masturbation fantasies
The rejection of this as a self-portrait
The walking away
Beating a retreat from counterfeit human connection
This facsimile of anywhere one would want to be

A preference for isolation.

Image by Lothar Dieterich


Q.I. vegans
The dancing and laughing to show tunes

Tailors of the unseen
The sounds of children screaming have been silenced

Unreliable narration
Manufactured consent of socio-economic tides

Measured response
The text message idolatry of false prophets

Loss of faith
Measuring time with empathy and little action.

Image by Pete Linforth

Outed as a Poet

The social awkwardness of a dying art
Divergence into the purely creative
Refuge from grind, mind, and bind
Methodically out of time

A chance unearthing
Outed as a poet
Unable to move or capitalize
The strangeness of honesty

The balance of want and need.

Image by 0fjd125gk87 from Pixabay


It’s Valentine’s Day
And Ohio is burning
It’s water poisoned
Pets and livestock dead
Locals and first responders left wondering who will play them on HBO

It’s Valentine’s Day
And in Michigan kids are shot in school
Maybe, finally, thoughts and prayers are not enough
But then again

It’s Valentine’s Day
And Tennessee is making trans people and drag queens illegal
Questions of genitalia and clothing
Unintended consequences for those who don’t follow politics
Or depressingly maybe they do

It’s Valentine’s Day
And California is bulldozing the homeless
A routine street clean up with the stench of heartlessness
It’s not a slum or shanty town if there is no shelter
Self imposed blindness to the dispossessed

It’s Valentine’s Day
And Florida does what Florida does
The onwards march towards fascism
Unnoticed by those who do not read and seek to ban books

It’s Valentine’s Day
And a family in New Jersey is mourning the Suicide of their 14 year old daughter
Bullying by classmates for content and betrayal by school indifference
A resignation does not exchange for a life

It’s Valentine’s Day
And I’m fucking angry at the state of the states
How can you be aware without causing hysteria?
We look into the abyss clutching red hearts and pink cards
Living the jackpot
Awareness in retrospection

It’s Valentine’s Day
And this poem is not about me
Or the gas shortage and weather in Las Vegas
Tears of the numb and the distracted
Words into the void

But of course, it’s Valentine’s Day

Image by Dianne Clifford


When wishes are granted
Past and present weigh in on the future
Strings linger and drag
The resistance of those left behind

When wishes are granted
Demons become angels
And angels become envious
The rejection of belief in belief

When wishes are granted
One does not question their origins
To be thankful for mercies
And the elevation of attention

When wishes are granted
Purpose becomes focused and aligned
Clarity of thought from the wilderness
A self imposition and therefore solution

When wishes are granted
Dreams of heaven and earth wither
The pale light of day burns in irrelevance
And ashes and dust mark the passage of time.

Image by Michaela from Pixabay

Out of Time

Gutted like a fish by the future
Faces from the always past
Hard and between
Lives of labor and class
Classless and adrift

Made for horses and trams
Shoehorned in the buses and trains
Buckling under the weight of cars and multi-story parking

Skin in the game
Or showing skin instead of the game
Californian tans and luxury coffee
Pasty white faces and bad complexions
Poured into summer clothing in the dead of winter

Overcast and underserved
Moneyed yet reveling in the markers of poverty
Geographical loyalty repaid with the leavings of capitalism

Yet there is pride and belonging
Free from judgment of inherent contradiction
History and culture of independence
The art of finding one’s place in the world

A place immune to judgement
Adrift in time
But still home

You Left by Saying Goodbye

An expectation and obligation
What could be said?
Pressure and self-imposition
A crossing of lines by us both

No harm meant
The rules are believed in
Just slightly bent
Although penalties are real

And then you left by saying goodbye
Unexpected and yet convenient
Acquiescence to convention
Secrets to never become secretive

The care was genuine
The unspoken offer real
Trapped by unfortunate timing
Circumstance and hope

What could have been is done
Time multiplied by space
Timidity and judgment have won
Onwards towards the moving on.

Image by MOM from Pixabay

Thoughts in a Busy iHop

Tourists up late on a rainy day
Cheap brunching
Yawns and social media at 11am

The family that texts together
Doesn’t talk
But is judged by poets sitting alone

Poor new guy in training
Scared out of his mind
And trying his best

Flummoxed by Eggs Florentine
And a Colorado Omelet
But sincere in apologies for the wait

Young and poor
Willing to try
Disenchantments birthing ground

Parents of privilege
Setting poor examples
But proving class division

Complaints and a lack of self-restraint
Frontline management and coaching
“Get better, faster, don’t make mistakes”

Hangry is as valid an excuse
As the cough poorly covered
And the opportunity to kick

The unhappy waitress
Whether it’s me, her tables, or the kitchen
There is little joy

The jarring of this most glaring
the lack of the American mantra
“have a nice day”

Being the asshole
For reinforcing her world view
But opiniated none the less

Apologies for the wait
But not the not Tabasco
Or for life’s journey

Surprising diversity in a tourist hotspot
But not of the parties
We are microwave dinner packaging

Flipped like burgers
Meritocracy in our lack of care
Separated by plenty of accessibility

But I’d like more coffee please.

Image by Hansuan Fabregas

Head on Feet

in the detritus
of the destruction of
a once soft and stylish

Fifteen pounds
of will
and unbridled energy

Some call it
Others call it love

A head
On my feet
A relationship
of equal intensity
and choice

Paws padding on tile
The retrieving of beleaguered soft toy
Rescue and training
Equal in determination
By perspective and context

Happy for food and shelter
Happy for the wagging of a tail
In equal measures
a raison d’être

Or a live affair
And love.


I am the supervillain
I want change, to alter the world
The one with vision and goals
The one who knows more, and perhaps cares less

My enemies are the defenders of the status quo
Sanctimonious and self righteous
Using power for self-congratulation
The ones who seem to care more, but know less

Context is conjecture
It does not matter even though we pretend it is all
Is it just my world that I want to change?
Taking you all along for the ride?

Not prepared to share the acceptable worldview
What choice is there but to see me as villainous?
There may be disagreement about my methods
But at least I am willing to try

Yet I will be painted as lacking morality
I must be unforgivable by self-appointed righteousness
Heaven help us if peoples are allowed self-determination
The choice for peoples, and not just people, to grow

I see the chosen ones
Leaving the rest of us to their mediocrity
Forever trapped by absolute knowledge of what is right
Doomed to a future as past

So I shoot my shot
I become the supervillain
The man with a plan
More right than anyone is comfortable with.

Inspired by Marvel’s Defenders of the Status Quo by Pop Culture Detective and “I Wear the Black Hat” by Chuck Klosterman

Image by Amy from Pixabay