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kelp

k

we all saw them nobody can ever take that away from us we saw what we saw not remembering who saw first or who insisted pull over get out not one of us will forget the first thrill the first image the awe the amazement

on the top of a bluff maybe a hundred feet above the water the air was clear the mid-day sun behind us the view spectacular the scattered white tips of the gentle undulating waves sliding over rocks

collective nouns for harbor seals include bob colony crash harem herd knob plump pod rookery spring team

we bantered settled on bob because that’s what they were doing what must have been one two three hundred of them just floating suspended in the waves for those few moments nothing else would have felt more sublime how lucky to witness the meditative wonder the oceanic grace

whose idea was it to get the binoculars?

the lizard of Tarsus

t

somewhat inspired by Jim Grimsley‘s play, The Lizard of Tarsus

there may still
be a lizard
beyond the pail
in the dark
beyond the…

(i’m not going
there again
anymore saith
the grim
hemophiliac
playwright)

J. never did
come back
to the fold
after all that
furor and frenzy

still
the peasants
wait
for his
second word

here’s a clue
for you all
the lizard was Paul

Medium Picks From Your Editors History Based on Your Network Reading

M

When logged in to Medium.com I was presented with a curated feed of 54 headlines titled, “Medium Editors Picks From Your Network Based on Your Reading History.” I copied the headlines and rearranged the words to create these new and improved headlines. No words were added or deleted. The only liberties taken were with punctation and a couple of plural/singular changes by moving the final ‘s’ from one word to another.

  • Advice: Don’t Bring Back The Ice-Cream Stand
  • The Likelihood of Happiness Almost Derailed My Future
  • 20 Lessons to Be a Profound Dad at Early Birth
  • The Power of Having Heard of You at 6
  • Want to Get Healthier? Hack Your Five Color Senses
  • Handwriting Versus a Good SaaS
  • Help The San Francisco Breastfeeding Cult
  • The Challenge to Define the Runs
  • Your Indistractable Brain: The 14 Consequences of Screens
  • Should You Stop Asking Your Boss to Manage Your Masturbation Strategy?
  • Apple Explains Everything You Need to Know About it’s Domino’s
  • Why it’s Time to be Computing from Uranus
  • How “The Apple Logo” is the Least Interesting Book I’m Reading
  • You’ll Have to Give to Abortion For Science
  • The Most Dangerous Fantasy Across the Years
  • Pride Chromebook App Promotes an Anti-Apple Crisis
  • Americans’ Good Habits Will Help You, Britain
  • Facebook Board of Directors is from Venus
  • Where To Splash Water to Receive a Six-Figure Job
  • My Advice for Parenting: Beware Free Advice
  • An Open Petition That Protects Elton John from a Big Cancer
  • The Kink of Silicon and Robots: a Most Interesting Event at San Francisco
  • The Future Figures of Google in 400 Rejected Titles
  • Trump: Liberals Sexism is Inversely Proportional to Constitutional Indistractability Law
  • An Unsavory Wealth of Kids Spells an End of the Marketing Generation
  • How Will People Around the World Breakup with Sleep-Tracking?
  • Mexican Grandmother Asking for Things is Why I Learned to Diet
  • You Are the Weirdest Invention of Today
  • Breathing Floral Steam is Bad for the People I Sleep On
  • Brittany Speech on Campsites is Better Than My Partner’s Story
  • Online Dancer Left the Weirdest Shit at the Reservation
  • How the Worst News Will Break Online Barriers
  • Why 88 Years of IT Predictions are Not Really Startups
  • 2020 Person of the Year Announced and It’s You
  • Seven Contrapoints to the Prime Being
  • How a Tiny Heart Could be Responsible for an Orgasmic Soul
  • How the Dying Perceive Dating Older People
  • I’m Gaining Psychological Weight to Breakup with a Madman
  • Meet the Latest Disease to Get a Company Job
  • Gay Senior Yet to Come Out (at Work)
  • How AI Shame Distinguishes It from Us
  • Oscar Zara Wants a Sugar X-Plainer Marathon at The International Bootcamp of Health
  • Illustration Windows Are Ruining More Than Eyes
  • You’re Gaining Developer Experiences for Debt
  • Old Scammers Guide to Interviewing for Target
  • This Learned Skill Intimidates the Best Gym Thief
  • What Does “Layering It On” Mean?
  • Who Started the Lumen Culture?
  • How I Plunged Into Tamal Valley In August
  • The Matter of Repealing Unicorn Science
  • What Card Apps Can Do for a Loss
  • You Actually Only Need Part 3 of the Next Startup Era
  • How and When to Talk About a Huge Tamale
  • Have I Learned Way Too Much to Build a Better Jewel?

The original headlines:

Medium Editors Picks From Your Network Based on Your Reading History

  • Bring Back Handwriting: It’s Good for Your Brain
  • The Most Interesting Things Apple Announced at its Least Interesting Event
  • ‘Brittany Runs a Marathon’ Promotes a Weight Loss Fantasy
  • The Science of Masturbation
  • The Profound Power of Breathing
  • The Most Dangerous Anti-Abortion Strategy Yet is Gaining Steam
  • I’m from Venus, My Dad is from Uranus
  • The Apple Card Explains Everything You Need to Know About Apple Today
  • Want to Get Healthier? Hack Your Five Senses.
  • The Cult of the Domino’s Logo
  • The Likelihood of You Having Heard of the Book I’m Reading is Inversely Proportional to the…
  • Lessons Learned from More Than 20 Years of Asking About Americans’ Online News Habits
  • An Open Petition to the San Francisco Pride Board of Directors
  • Why You Should Stop Asking for Parenting Advice On Facebook
  • ‘Madman Across the Water’: Tiny Dancer and a Big Splash for Elton John
  • The Challenge to Define Happiness
  • Liberals Beware: Repealing a Law That Protects Free Speech Online Will Only Help Trump
  • Google Wants the Chromebook to be the Future of Computing
  • To Give Advice is Better Than to Receive Advice
  • Sugar, Heart Disease and Cancer: an Unsavory Story of Wealth Versus Health
  • How to Get Started with Illustration (Part 3)
  • Eyes are the Window to a Robot’s Soul
  • Contrapoints Spells the End of an Era for Lefttube
  • How People Perceive Color Around the World
  • Why I Left a Six-Figure Job to Build a Breakup Bootcamp
  • What Distinguishes Us from AI?
  • I Learned the Consequences of Gay Shame at 14
  • Screens are the Latest Invention Not Ruining Kids
  • What is ‘Layering,’ and Does It Mean You’re Bad at Your Job?
  • How to Manage Your Boss
  • Next Generation Marketing Will Have to Break Huge Psychological Barriers
  • Rejected Titles
  • Way Too Early 2020 Oscar Predictions
  • Why It’s Time to Breakup with Zara
  • Mexican X-Plainer: Tamal Vs. Tamale
  • The Ice-Cream Stand
  • The Weirdest Shit to Come Out of Silicon Valley In August
  • The Seven People You’ll Meet at a San Francisco Gym
  • How Much Does Diet Matter When You’re Breastfeeding?
  • Could I be Responsible for My Partner’s Debt?
  • How to Talk to the Person Who Intimidates You at Work
  • The How-to Guide for Indistractability
  • Do Sleep-Tracking Apps Actually Help You Sleep Better?
  • Lumen, the Dating App for Older People, is a Prime Target for Scammers
  • How Sexism Almost Derailed My Floral Startup
  • The Science of Kink
  • Can You Really Have an Orgasmic Birth?
  • I Spent 6-Figures On a Dying SaaS Company
  • This 88-Year-Old Grandmother Was an International Jewel Thief
  • Campsites Where You Don’t Need a Reservation
  • ‘Unicorn Culture at its Best’: the Weirdest Experiences Interviewing at Startups
  • How to be a Good Senior Developer
  • How Britain Plunged Into its Worst Constitutional Crisis In 400 Years
  • Being ‘Indistractable’ Will be the Skill of the Future

the shortest distance (running up that hill)

t

I’ve thought about suicide once or twice…
I’ve thought about suicide a few times…
I’ve thought about suicide a lot…
I think about suicide every day…
say, if only I could, oh…

my birth
happened in the now
which means it’s happening as I speak

my death
will happen in the now
which means it’s already happened

I am born
I write these words
I am dead

I made a deal with god
I got him to swap our places
been running up that road
been running up that hill

I am borne
I wrote those words
I am dead

I made a deal with god
I got him to swap our places
been running up that road
been running up that hill

thinking about burning a bush…
thinking about a burning bush…
if only I could…

this poem wasn’t inspired by but borrows from a Kate Bush song, “Running Up That Hill”

there’s a man

t

there’s a man standing in front of me
holding a hand grenade by the pin
in his mouth
I ask him,
what is the meaning of life?
he opens his mouth and
the grenade drops to the ground
boom, we die

there’s a man standing in front of me
holding a hand grenade by the pin
in his mouth
I ask him,
what is the meaning of life?
he opens his mouth and
the grenade drops to the ground
a dud

there’s a man standing in front of me
holding a hand grenade by the pin
in his mouth
I ask him,
what is the meaning of life?
he opens his mouth and
the grenade drops to the ground
boom, he says

there’s a man standing in front of me
holding a hand grenade by the pin
in his mouth
I ask him,
what is the meaning of life?
he opens his mouth and
the grenade floats up into
the sky

there’s a man standing in front of me
holding a hand grenade by the pin
in his mouth

there’s a man standing in front of me
holding a hand grenade by the pin

there’s a man standing in front of me
holding a hand grenade

there’s a man standing in front of me

there’s a man

Key West Lyric

K

my head is smoldering
on the hipster beer porch
after this morning’s hot yoga class
in the garden of Gehenna
otherwise known as Key West
aka the laryngoscopical paradise

lacking a sufficient harborside view
I am content admiring
the evaporating condensation
from the glass on my table
well it’s not mine really
I’m just harboring it
in the shape of a long
dong and silver
skinny cock

what more can you say
meaning can I say
than that
then that
and no it’s not
a Rhorshack blot
a Horschak plot
it really is a rooster
I block you not
it must have jumped up
on my table from the sidewalk
the previously clarified table
when I wasn’t drinking thinking

Key West is
a white boy rapper’s
fantasy fest
of tropical spew
brought to me by
Emcee Cous-Cous and His Berry Band
reverb set to eleven
the sons-of-conchs
won’t stop hocking
their empty no trespassing
craft booth Cubacabana ice cream
transgender hot dog
contemporary tattoos
in baked Bahamian accents

if it will make the thumping stop
soothe my bleeding eyes
sink the Santa Cruise Shits
derail that wonk train
I’ll take one of those
fry-grease-paint sunset
fuck you pink tease shirts
you know the ones I mean
the ones with the mermaid
on the back
wide-open parrot legs
pissing in a sidewalk cup

earlier on the beach
not thinking of Neville Shute
I dared myself
to write a sentence or a poem
using the word parallax*
and now I think I’ve done it

* the apparent displacement or the difference in apparent direction of an object as seen from two different points not on a straight line with the object [Webster’s Third New International Dictionary, Unabridged. 2019.. Web. 13 Jun. 2019.]

Excerpt from The Americ Book of Death

E

Her body lay on a platform that took up the bulk of the room. Pallid. Leathered skin of her face. Lower lip stretched up and over the upper, sutured in place with a skinned twig. Eyes sewn shut with purple thread.

A new mother lay with her new born infant on the floor. Her being her. The newly dead. Her, the mother. Her, the child. Three generations of the inevitable.

The mother writhing and moaning. The infant on it’s back. Wiggling. Waving limbs like an upturned insect. Trying its body. Trying. To break free.

Thirteen. Of us. Lined against the wall. Humming. Facing her. The mother. The newly dead. The baby. Humming anknown frequency. Forgotten.

The Prince of Dark. The man unseen. Behind a screen. Preaching. Lava. Smoke.

I am silent.

Midwife returning. Carrying the abalone shell. Pink. Green. Blue. Nacre. Mother of Pearl. Chalice. Water. Drinking. Offering. Pouring.

“They die for your sins!”

I am afraid.

She pulling me down to lay on top of her. The Midwife. Mourning the dead? The living?

Me straddling her. Hands and knees on the plank wood floor. She reaching around my neck. Pulling me down. Heavy. Between her legs. Gravity. The weight of my body grinding. Her writhing. Hands exploring the contours of my jean-covered inner thighs. My ass. The seam along my perineum.

The Dark speaking softly. Murmering. Thirteen. Of us. Humming. Me fighting against her. She, too strong. Her consuming me.

Death born in the cellular body at the moment of conception.

Death escaping the womb. She who determines when the fighting commences. Retreating. Into our pre-birth mind.

Death a decrepit woman. Stuffed. Displayed in The Americ Museum of Cultural Anthropology.

Death a squirming infant, waiting to make sense of its place in the scheme of this.

Death a desperate orgasm achieved as a defense against time.

Death comes. The Midwife. She is good.

smooth dog fish

s

the sea lion swims
in tiny circles
of apathetic and
unknowable rage
resignation
against the smooth fluorescent
swimming pool blue
concrete
or is it cement
I can never remember
the fish dog flips
flippantly
flipping
whiskers up
huffs it’s baited breath
whisper bark
the breadth of
the twenty-four-seven
lighted aqua chamber
(everybody else has long gone home)
circus rung
prison lung
that’s one smoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooth dog fish

untitled (still the breeze)

u

dry, dry air, moss, lichen, pale green, grey-green, sage, gnarled, twisted branches, dusty, olive leaf, olive berry, olive (the color), aubergine, (purple), sword leaf, star-shaped, shifting, drifting, swaying, trees, branches, leaves,

the deck I’m sitting on, with it’s 6” wide boards is the color of beach sand, the common kind, sand cliché, picaresque (I think), that table and chairs there a crate and barrel picture, stabbing leaves pointing to the sky (beyond the Walker Metal® railing), the sky is sky blue, the sparse, slowly moving white clouds cloud white, cotton white,

brown grass out there, in the view, under the trees, through the trees, deer brown, foal brown, mustard brown, not brown,

hummingbird,

breeze, distant highway sounds (distant highway), bird sounds, chirping sounds, buzzing sounds,

yellow, mustard yellow, mustard yellow (not dijon), hot dog yellow, a falling leaf, an occasional falling leaf, over there, over there, a fence, fence posts, fence wire, over there, lines and angles, green-grey round post lines, evenly cut posts, over there,

seven golden leaves artfully arranged on the deck, all face down, dead leaves, the shadows of (other) leaves on the deck more alive, fluttering, alive, the shadows of the black rails, dark parallel lines, contrasting,

my feet on the table, coffee table, metal table, Walker Metal®, the sofa opposite, the couch opposite, the metal couch sofa, the white upholstery, the black pillow, the black pillow with white lines, black and white shapes, my feet, crossed, my feet crossed, my ankles, my dirty feet, dusty feet, the lines where my sandals were,

distant barking, a caw, flying insects, still the breeze

Invocation to Pork & Beans

I

I call to Carna, Goddess of pork and beans,
Bringer of health and strength to the physical body,
Defender of children and other human beings,
Lord of the Vital organs,
especially, the lungs, intestines and heart.

I call to Carna, also known as Crane, Sacred Witch.
sworn enemy of screech-owls, vampires, rapists and cads.
Protect our bodies from violation,
ravishment and desecration.

I call to Carna, also known as Carradora,
Una Strega Buona,
Free us from guilt, shame and the chains of silence
that we may open our hearts
to the wonder of imagination and creativity,
and to the experience of joy,
which is our birth-right.

on the nature of coincidence

o

on the morning of september 11, 2001 i looked at the clock (digital) on a wall of my kitchen to see the time was 11:11

i then immediately heard behind me the ‘tink tink tink’ sound from my phone indicating a voice message had been received

i did not hear the ring tone of the arriving call because my phone was programmed not to ‘disturb’ me before 11:11

the call came in just enough time before 11:11 that i was not disturbed by it’s commencement

the message left by the caller ended at exactly 11:11 which is why i heard the three tinks

on my 11th birthday i played a game with the neighborhood children in which i was a crazy character named ‘leventy ‘leven

i ran and jumped and fell and ran and jumped and did cartwheels and I feverishly repeated the words, ‘i’m ‘leventy ‘leven! i’m ‘leventy ‘leven’ while the others tried to avoid me

my friend stephen adams died in one of the towers

these events must be related and so they are

eggplant ashes in the dust bin of his story

e

sad plum—
a passion of fruit,
alit from
his palm
his pain

a few whispered words in the looming air
lavendar
sorrow
grief
regret

a teeny, tiny, tinny, toy piano
goes plink
plink
plink

The Status of H

T

we walked in the
Moonrise Kingdom
of your car
only to find
a thousand ways
to kneel and kiss

it’s way too brunch word
violent and original
whenever I’m completely awake
working hard to distract me
from working hard
so please fuck off

I’m in a really good place spiritually
the best vibes ever
delicious watermelon,
right meow!
your perfect human bridge
one for the wild
belly shot included

it’s true, I would have gone to prison
feeding my horse
and shining my bayonet
taking one of my most friends
definitely a most yoga teacher
to sit on every new thing

what I always wanted
his awesomer doppelgänger
long dang works for me
maybe it will feel like
Meowzer’s switzerland camel
if it arrived through the window

why is it that
after a lovely
shame on the lawyer
Miss Ma’am and my grandmother
shoot star trails in the sky?

(This poem was constructed with phrases taken from a friend’s Facebook status updates.)

predicted text

p

the fact I can be
to be the first
half of the day before
I get a follow back
on my way home from
work to be the first
half of the year
and the other hand
is the only thing that
would have to go back
and I don’t think that
I have a great way
of life and the other
hand is the only thing
that would have to go
back and the first
half of the year
and the first half
of the first half
was the best of the first
half of the first
place for a few weeks
of a sudden it was
the best of the year
of high quality of life
and I don’t think that
I have a great way
of the first
half of the year
of high quality
of life is the only one
that is a good time
with the same thing
that would have to be
the best thing to say
it was the first
half of the first
half to find
to do it again one year
and the rest
for some of my favorite
part of the year
of high quality
and I don’t know
how much you mean
to be a great day
for the next few
weeks of a sudden
it is the only one
that is a good time
with the same thing
to say it is
this same thing
this same thing

(This poem was constructed using my phone’s predictive text feature. I accepted every suggested word after typing the word, ‘the.’)

The View (from here)

T

Screaming motorcycles
encircle my house
triggering a fear
of the dangers of
daring to be young
again.

On top of that
all the birds
a round here
are refusing to
co operate.

I remember leaping
over the handle
bars and painting
the street with
several inches of
my fore head skin.
(I did not say
fore skin.)

The She-Male House Finch
inserted it’s face in
the bird feeder (w)hole
where it stuck
to comical effect.

One motor cycle
in particular
sounds like a
dentist’s drill
while the others
drown it out with
their incessant
shift ing.
(I know that that
doesn’t make sense.)

Hop ping limbs
like ladders
the Tom Boy Finch
refuses to look
me in the eye
accusing my
slothful style
of deferring Spring.

All I ever wanted
for christmas was
the pride of a
bloody lip and a
gaping (w)hole that
once up on a time
was my two front
teeth.

A scourge of thirteen
neck and fist tattooed
Alien Starlings
wearing Ray Bans
threatened to take
every thing I own
before turning away
on mass (as) they
changed their
collective mind.

That gear box scar
runs from my old
neighborhood under
Bob’s Big Boy buns
all the way to
my present left hand
thumb which was n’t
protected by my
sixties style
white helmet.

Hammering, jammering,
blinking and blanking,
the god damned!
Chickadee Task Masters
are shoving all my
best ideas in to
someone else’s
chimney.

They aren’t even real–
meaning authentic–
meaning tangible–
meaning dirty–
meaning real–
bikers–
just paunchy dads
drinking Foster’s
“Australian for Beer”
in cans.

I think I’ll stay
in side to-day

unless that
Miniature Hawk
comes back
with my
glasses.

Waiting to be Paid

W

for Robert Earl with love

In the beginning was the word
and the word was Rob’t Earl,
a live wire from the streets,
a direct hit to the heart.

Word be,
he be cool, be cool,
he be hot.

A warrior of the human kind,
he declares his ‘legiance
with a scarf of calico colors
on a Monkish head.

He be cool, be cool.
Word,
he be hot.

The vamp of Hunter St.
is an elegy
spilled in cursive neon blood
on the sidewalks of our minds.

He be cool, be cool,
he be scat,
he be one cool cat.

Those who read him
are sure to note
the blackest of cats
is a panther,
sleek, savage, satin and ready,
looking for prey
but not really wanting an answer.

He be cool, be cool,
he be hot, be hot,
he be gee be,
he be bop.

Pandemonium Hexagram

P

three baby elephants
in a sandy desert pit
— the receptive earth above —
stirring up dust and dirt
a contained mayhem
running nilly willy
trying to escape

unaware of impending
danger from above
— the arousing thunder below —
thirteen toothless
Pteranodon!!!
fly circles over head
with a plan of attack

the image is Pandemonium

untitled (empty)

u

fountain mist
bare feet
cold metal rail

empty sky
empty tree
empty nest

a drifting headless duck

empty words
empty mind
empty heart

Grace

G

She stands out there for the world to see,
her undecided right arm raised
against the ash grey sheet,
neither beckoning nor saluting,
four stubby half fingers
mocking the wave you might prefer
to have seen.

I can hear the river outside,
over there,
behind that stone wall,
surging, soaring, roaring,
flushing, rock and rolling,
over the steady electric hum
behind me,
the stainless steel elephant
deciding whether to charge or
sink to it’s knees in silent grace.

There is water on the wood,
stain on the concrete
and a shine on the surface of
that tarnished lady
as she finger paints
steely fractal greeting cards
against a  colorless sky.

How did she get that rusty patina
and peel’t skin and those
dark circles ’round her eyes?

How long must she mourn
in that starkly public way,
summoning nothing or
signaling no-one or
high-fiving and diming
anyone who cares
to look?

Fruit Lady

F

In her previous life
she held up the roof
of a high school gymnasium.

She misses the sneaker chirps
and the thap, thap, thap
of bouncing orange balls
less than she enjoys
being upright in the sun
bearing only the weight
of an imaginary fruit bowl
on her upturned head.

With her sculpted
muscular arms,
slender, hip-less torso
and pubescent boy breasts
she looks more like
a young Heracles
than her Brazilian Bombshell
name sake.

Her primitive serpentine shadow
lengthens with the day
as the sun slowly etches
bronze and orange age spots
in streaked lines across
her dark brown metal skin.

Forever frozen in profile
walking a Junkanoo two-step line
she sings through
finger-thick lips
her Caribbean song to the sky.