Eructatious Anomalies

I was talking with my wife one night

while preparing food in the kitchen

my Grandpa that died of cancer

in 1988 came up in conversation

he had a tracheotomy 

but didn’t get one of those 

creepy robotic throat devices 

I recounted to my wife 

that the doctors told him to

drink beer and burp his words to talk

this brought up a memory that my mom

relayed to me years later

a few days before he died

he burped the words ‘good night’

before going to bed

I then proceeded to practice myself

swallowing air and burping words

I burped the phrase ‘I love you’ perfectly

realizing my new found gift

I then said to my wife

“if I ever have to get a tracheotomy,

I could still talk to you fairly well”

she said, “I hope that doesn’t happen”

I said, “I know, I hope I never have to

get a tracheotomy either”

she said, “no…talk”

Corked

it was christmas morning

I was happy

probably eight to ten

I got a new bike

and a cork gun you cock

and shoot a small cork ball

all of about fifteen feet

I felt like a badass

marching into the front yard

with my weaponry held high

oh I see the neighbor kids

got some realistic cork guns too

I raised my gun

letting them know that 

I was ready for battle

when an object

with a base of metal

propelling at a high velocity

made contact with my chubby

little boy belly

leaving a stinging red spot

what kind of cork guns do they have?

they mean business now

I thought 

well so do I

I held up my bag of ammo

as I hid behind a large tire

the bag I held was filled with

roughly thirty shots of cork balls

the enemy across the street probably

thought I was holding a bag of dog shit

they didn’t hesitate hitting my wrist 

with their super corks

my wrist and my belly 

now both on fire

I ran inside crying

my mom had a talk with the boy’s mom

the boys said that I walked out

provoked them into battle by

showing off my new gun and bags of ammo

all while shouting 

I’ll shoot y’all

later in life

after moving to another school district

I befriended one of those boys

he was a few years older than us

able to drive the orange duster

blaring metal

trying to hit anything bold enough 

to make its way in front of him

big redhead Steve in the back 

egging us both on

while I hung halfway outside the 

passenger window 

screaming improv haiku poetry

it was kind of my thing

D.O.G.

I may have delusions of 

grandeur about my writing

possibly leaving a legacy of sorts

this is true

but in my defense

I’ve always had that attitude

wanting more

something creative to define me 

anything other than the truth

be it….

a student

pizza maker turned

pizza taker

milkman in a grocery store

student again

office worker

unemployed 

warehouse worker 

warehouse manager

bartender

cable man

warehouse worker

warehouse manager

office manager

general manager

unemployed

self-employed

student again

sandwich maker

roofer

self-employed 

and now back in a warehouse 

(in that order, somewhat)

but that’s just me

always wanting something greater

with more meaning

be it…

a poet

member in a metal band

member in a punk band

member in a nu metal band

a rapper

a D.J.

a podcaster

a comedian

a writer

and whatever else I decide

to do in the future

(in that order, somewhat)

Just a thought

a satiating desire for happiness

leads me to believe that it is all a mirage 

a fraudulence proclaimed by millions

only a facade of the subconscious 

apprehensive tendencies muffled

into a catawampus catastrophe

blue is my mood

red are my thoughts

heart

a blackish hue

pantomime my emotions

show me how elementary they are

pour upon me what I give off

a sulfur of hate

dripping anxiety

burning nostrils

bleeding entrails

rancid bile

complete unadulterated shit

Sole Food

“Please reconsider. This is kind of a big deal,” pleaded Ryan.

I sighed, and said, “I have all these leftovers.”

“Fuck the leftovers. This is a world-renowned chef cooking for about a dozen people, and I have two tickets. You are going.”

Ryan insisted, basically commanded my attendance with him to the restaurant, featuring the new, underground culinary hotshot. I reluctantly pulled myself from the couch and began to get ready. I poured another drink, sipped the brown fluid, and looked for a shirt.

Once on the road, Ryan blared guitar rock and gleamed with joy. He yelled over the music at me.

“I’m glad you are coming. I didn’t want to have to take Phil.”

“How long have you two been roommates now?” I asked, just as loud.

Ryan’s smile melted and he immediately turned off the music. 

“It just sort of happened. I can’t really explain it. Once turned to twice and twice to us banging it out almost every night. But lately, we haven’t been connecting. That’s why I didn’t want him to go. Plus, he doesn’t like soul food.”

“Wait, what?” I asked, confused at what I just heard.

“You asked how long I’ve been romantic with Phil, right?”

“No. I asked how long you two have roomed together.”

“Look, I think we’re getting close now,” Ryan said, as the guitar rock blared once again, louder than ever.

We arrived at a small boutique restaurant on the outskirts of town. It was seemingly closed, with very little light visible from the outside. I observed about 15 or so people in line as we parked. 

As we walked to get in line, I turned and addressed Ryan.

“Man, about what you told me earlier.  You know I don’t pass judgment on anyone, usually.  But, I just can’t gloss over this one thing”

I paused slightly, huffed out a breath, and looked at the ground before continuing.

“I mean…who doesn’t like soul food? Come the fuck on.”

We waited in line with neither of us speaking much. Finally, approximately 15 minutes later, the door opened, and we were ushered into the main hall.  It was very colorful, yet extremely elegant. As soon as we were seated, our first course arrived almost instantly. The service was outstanding and a true testament to that industry. 

Each course they brought, and each bite I took, had flavors I never knew existed until that moment.  Everything they sat in front of us was devoured without hesitation. Between courses, we each took turns trying to describe the flavor orgasms that took place in our mouths.

I think that it was between the 3rd and the 4th course, when someone at the table yelled out.

“That’s her in the takeout window!”

Everyone leaned or twisted their necks to see her. I thought I got a glimpse of the back of her head, but couldn’t be sure that it was actually her.

I forget what course it was, but when we had the oyster and oxtail bisque, there was a piece of oyster shell in mine. I wrapped it in a napkin and put it in my pocket as a memento. 

Dessert was like nothing I’d ever experienced. A cornucopia of flavors, textures, and temperatures entered my mouth and left me in a state of heightened blood sugar bliss, with many unanswered questions. All in all, the entire presentation made a typically benign eating experience a truly unforgettable happening. 

When people got up and began to leave, the chef herself made a brief appearance. She came through the kitchen saloon doors on a pair of crutches with her foot in a cast or something. That didn’t stop her from bowing, as we all clapped and cheered at the extreme rare sighting of her.

This left the entire room in a frenzied state long after her departure. Everyone stood and participated in their new found comradery, as we slowly filed out into the street. 

As Ryan and I walked to the car, I thanked him for offering to take me. I couldn’t have imagined not going at that point. Another group of people could be heard, with one on the phone telling details of the night.

“You should have come, bro! It was fucking fantastic! She puts her foot in everything she cooks!”

I froze in my tracks. Of course, I’ve heard the figure of speech, meaning someone did a tremendous job cooking. However, that made red flags and whistles go off in my brain. All I could see in my head was her with that bandaged foot, condescendingly bowing to people who had just consumed pieces of her. 

I laughed at myself out loud, realizing that those thoughts were completely absurd. I told myself that it must have been all of the wine that I drank, or perhaps, just my imagination running wild. 

Ryan dropped me off and headed back out. All I wanted to do was lay my head on my pillow and sleep. My belly was full of great food and fine wine. At that moment, I finally allowed myself the ability to feel happiness without judgement. It felt good not to worry about outcomes before events take place. A sense of freedom took hold of me and allowed me to shed my superficial concepts of society, if only for a brief moment.

As I finished getting undressed, I remembered the oyster shell. I had a perfect place in mind to display it. I found my pants and retrieved the napkin. I unwrapped it to discover that it wasn’t an oyster shell after all. It was a goddamned toenail. 

Fuck! She really did put her foot in it.

Months later, she was arrested for serving herself as a commodity. I’m not exactly sure of the charge, but you get the gist. She was indeed putting pieces of herself into the food. When she was arrested, her entire leg and a few fingers were missing. 

Who knows how far she would have gone if she wasn’t caught? Would there be a new figure of speech eventually?

“She put her twat in that dish!”

Something (anything)

(Originally published by Horror Sleaze Trash)

staring at a blank page

waiting for the word to escape

wanting the poem or story to come

something creative

to make me feel alive

any goddamn thing

to make my day worthwhile

so my reason for existence on earth

wasn’t just to make rich people more rich

my purpose today wasn’t just to sweat

eat and pay taxes

that doesn’t sound like

a life I am interested in

a deep dark hole of nothingness

one which escape is unforeseeable

then the thoughts of my parents

that died young come to mind

makes me more frustrated

rips at my soul

further hinders my ability

to elevate from this sink

so I pour another

and realize that tomorrow

is a different day

Listen up

my wife and I 

finished the yard work and 

began on some inside chores

I put my earbuds in 

began vacuuming and

started a Brooklyn Drill

rap mix on YouTube 

I’ve been indulging in

UK Drill for a little while now

so I decided to give the

American counterparts a listen

to my utter disbelief

a fucking fried chicken commercial

actually broke into the mix 

less than 3 minutes in

I was utterly shocked

horrified

so embarrassed

how could they possibly play this?

I’m convinced my phone 

is listening to me

how else would it know 

of my absolute 

love for fried chicken

Boots and Pants

the dj moves 

with fluid-like 

precision to the music

a modern day shaman

guiding the subconscious

mapping the experience

with thumps

waveforms

sonics 

it’s hot

why is he wearing a hoodie?

too cool for school?

though he probably didn’t graduate

I kid

yet

I pass judgement

I guess I’m getting old

the lights just piss me off now

a strobe and laser beams

on whiskey

doesn’t have the same effect

as on ecstasy

More than expected

(Original version published by Horror Sleaze Trash) … the new version is edited a bit

perusing the telephone singles 

lines in the late nineties

listening to 20 second messages

from absolute strangers

a decade or more before 

any dating sites existed 

apps where pictures are seen and

locations are known beforehand 

this was the Wild West

Russian roulette in a sense

a true fucking gamble

you went by voice and actually

had to trust that the person

on the other end was who

they said they were

I used to make actual lists 

while on the phone with girls

as to why I shouldn’t be

talking to said girls

but occasionally

against my better judgement or

out of sheer desperation

I would meet these women

so after a little while on the phone

one night with a cute sounding girl

I got her address and headed her way

it was about a half hour drive

with vague directions

roughly a decade before

regular people had GPS

I was familiar with the area 

so I had that going for me

as I made the left down the 

dirt road into a trailer park

I started to get that

‘what the fuck are you doing?’ feeling

when I pulled up to the 

dilapidated mobile home 

I audibly said

“what the fuck am I doing?”

I soldiered on

I got out of my car and

walked toward the movable home

I passed piles of trash

dogs on chains and a

beat up El Camino on blocks

I knocked on the door

a dirty kid answered

I asked for, whoever

the dirty kid screamed out

“whoever, somebody’s here for you”

as I peered through the door

numerous inbred-looking faces

stared back at me in confusion

there must have been ten

people in that living room

finally she emerged

in all her glory

we locked eyes and

both gave each a once over

I was absolutely stunned

but the first thing 

she said to me was 

“you are bigger than I 

thought you would be”

I was taken back

a little embarrassed

but also totally confused

because I couldn’t help

but notice the well defined 

at least eight month

pregnant belly on her

I took a step back and said

“well that makes two of us”

More vices than a blacksmith

birds are singing better 

than any top 40 drivel

a blue sky encompasses me

as I retrohale Latakia

the candle of restlessness 

burns fast

while my contempt 

constantly expands

ambiguous realities

cascade down upon me

up is down and down is the norm

glued to the bottom of living

anticipating anything

but nothing happens

fortunately or unfortunately

that is expected 

a sword of delusion

enters my heart

I extract the blade

to find it dripping 

with culpable confusion

sentimental reflections bring to mind 

memories of winters loss

chemicals do nothing to mend the hurt

only a temporary reprieve

an aching

guttural 

gnawing of emptiness

never to be whole again

In heels?

my wife got home from 

walking with a friend of hers

she melted into a plush chair with a snack

“I’m so tired” she exhausted 

I asked why she was so tired

“we walked two miles in heels”

I turned abruptly and interrogated 

“in heels?”

I was bombarded by visions 

of my wife and her friend 

walking the streets of some posh 

neighborhood in Spanish Fort

looking for wealthy johns

she finished her bite of sandwich

“no…and hills”

A difference in dollars

I was at the kitchen table

attempting to write one night

when I noticed my wife

watching a television show

on the murder porn channel

about a back-alley abortionist

I was shocked

I’d always thought that landscaping

was the perfect business model

with quick startup and

extremely low overhead

however

I was mistaken

a lawnmower costs

a hell of a lot more than a

clothes hanger

On a balcony in New Orleans at night in the Central Business District

half a pie moon hovering

while fleeting 

mist-like clouds float on

causing a blurry outer edge

there’s a slight breeze

then there’s not

the air is unseasonably sticky

I drift off into the cityscape

hotel rooms and offices

light up and dim randomly

like shooting stars out of the 

corner of one’s eye 

jutting structures 

offer a multitude of colors

with some ever-changing

the city’s sound is comforting 

constant hums of

industrial a.c. units

lull me into a trance-like state

only to be jarred back by

sirens or honking horns

fortunately

at these heights 

people don’t even exist