Writings on the Shithouse Wall
Good Time Gals Bad Time Boys

Mother Issues

I am sitting across from my mother,
on a two day yoga retreat
as she reads my first book of poetry
and I explain away my life.

She is horrified, editorial - amused,
oblivious as I get eye-banged by fellow yogis,
who like bad boys who dress in black spandex,
drinking Roobios out of recycled cups,
listening to sad songs on big headphones,
taking breaks to recite lurid poesy to his Catholic mother,
who salutes the sun with the woman who raised him
who stands with his mother,
imperious against the dawn,
and flirts with rural girls in search of a soul.

There’s a 95% chance
I am going to have sex with one of them -
with some controlled breathing,
all the props,
getting lots of asana
on a combined yoga mat,
in some monastic cell.

My mother will be in bed.
She is one of those early risers.
Ignorant of the pot smoked in the temple
And why we really practice our stretching.
Someday, she’ll read this poem too.

“Hi, mother, this is me.”
You son has come home
and it’s time you got to know him."

“I am here because Byron Katie was bullshit.
I learned everything about being alive from you.
As you drink tea and read obscure literature
and laugh and shake your head and tch in disapproval
and need no cult or book circuit to teach.”

“You taught me to live, no matter what.
Life is painful and that pain means we are alive.
Why disregard our emotions and try to be still as stones?
Rage against the dying light.
Stand defiant against the dark.
Embrace our stories and feel our feelings.”

Why deny our baser natures when that is the way we were born?
Naked and already dying,
In the hands of a woman just as fallable
who considered aborting me as a viable life path.
And who I would not blame in the slightest
if she had taken the clinical route.

“Open yourself to the universe,”
said my therapist,
“And you’ll be surprised what happens.”
Apparently, you find out you were this close
to playing it as it lays,
dodging coat hangers,
wrapped in umbilicals
and ironically alive.
Saved by the same conservative morays
I tried to shed like unwanted cells.
like Joan Didion grew up in the coal region
Instead of the California wastes.
He’s definitely onto something.

He’s a cancer survivor with a missing leg
a incisive mind and a no-bullshit kinda attitude,
who’s super power is being able to shut me up.
He encouraged me to reconnect with my past.
He also knows that life lived is painful.

He’s why my prolife Mother is reading -
My poetry about gay threesomes
Learning about all my formative mistakes,
The details of failed marriages,
The drugs snorted and the bottles drunk
the songs sung and the messes made.

It’s a really good thing she has a sense of humor.
Else my therapist would get the Freudian slip.
Somehow, I doubt he meant using her
to pick up hippies in converted monasteries,
Charming my way through these secular and restrictive corridors,
Earnestly pantomiming a sensitive soul.
What’s a narcissist with a broken childhood to do
Even he has to find his savasana somehow.

Whether pretense or past tense,
Being a momma’s boy certainly has its perks.
Her decisions are why I am alive.
I just hope my therapist approves.


Don’t get married on your favorite holiday
Unless you want to meet the shades of Charon
Every time you cross the damned street.

You’ll start seeing that boatman everywhere.
He’s in costume at every party.
Reminding you of the journey to come.

This holiday represents the end, remember that.
It is a hallowed time.
Glamourized, but still monstrous.

Our childhood treats are someone else’s trauma.
Our jack-o-lanterns used to serve a purpose.
When their febrile toothy grins were enough.

He waited there, but we didn’t notice.
We were too innocent and naive to be truly scared.
Not like we ought to be.

The adult version isn’t much better.
Cheap imitations of a sexualized zeigeist.
Party city wigs over dancing bones to be.

Now he’s just waiting outside the party.
Skimming his ferry ever closer.
Just outside the revelry’s reach.

The older we get, the more we lose.
The worlds draw closer.
One parted veil at a time.

And always he waits, that grim boatman.
Waiting patiently for his fare.
Grinning because he sees what we will become.

The older we get, the more we remember.
As we see glimpses of that eternal shore.
As we watch our loved ones go.

By all means, celebrate.
We build bonfires for a reason.
We glorify our cormorbiditys across the gap.

Tonight, we gather on the docks.
We pay homage to past voyages
And await our turn.

As he paddles ever closer,
we throw one hell of a party
because we are celebrating our final transition.

We are daring him ever closer.
We are taunting the monstrosities with our reveries.
As he propels his inevitable skiff.

It’s a bad time to make forever plans.

Good Time Gals

They are the good time gals.
They are the women who make the world,
Who come in many forms,
Who cross all boundaries,
And struggle against stacked odds.

They are mothers born and goddesses chosen:
Some warriors, some healers,
Some brutal, some savage,
Some kind, some rude

  • All equal.

This is an ode to the feminine form
in all its guises,
To the women who made my world.
Not all of them birthed me
But all shaped me
All equally,

Equally beautiful
Equally monstrous
Equally stormy
Equally righteous

Some were a passing light
Flittering across smokey windows
Some were lingering lanterns
Guiding the way down twisting corridors
Some were pragmatic nurses
Closing the dead eyes of fathers.

They are the good time gals
The women who remake this world
Who propelled us as a species
And might help us tear it all down.

Forty Two Poems

Forty Two Poems

No reason, no real rhyme
Just attempts to encapsulate
Little vignettes, bubbles of time.
Gaseous things.

Some quirky, some foul
Some droll, some stupid.
You know, poems about life.

They say right what you know
And I really know a good cosmic fart joke
And the pointlessness of worry

Forty two songs about things falling apart
Cosmic order that, the arrow of time
Ever to that great Entropic goddess
Singing that eternal knell

The music of the spheres
My cosmic ass to your celestial ear
The heavens sing
With forty two explosions of the gut.

Fatten the Curve

If you plot populations throughout history
Counting back from now to antiquity
You may notice a startling asymmetry
when charting our ironic morbidity

Graphs place you in the top percentile
When nations crumble as eyes turn docile
When we huddled massive must now reconcile
Maybe our ancestors went out in style

Would you rather be born in ages agrarian
Oppressed by noble contrarians
Or struggle with classes proletarian
Who have proved just as totalitarian

Be born in a time in famine and fable
And lucky enough to make it past the cradle
Or be destroyed by technologies most fatal

Odds are you were born in that moment
When populations had an exponent
As centigrade rose and coastlines floated
And when everything simply exploded.

It was a numbers game in the conclusion
Be you humanitarian or Malthusian
The rare peasant died young in delusion
But a majority went out in collusion.