Wednesday, October 17

Writer's Block


writer’s block
is floating on a raft
in the middle of an ocean
schools of words
flicker in the distance
far from mental nets
that panic in the dull sun
as days and days and
days and days and
days pass
no ripples of thought
break the monotony
of normalcy
of go here
do that
eat this
do this
go to sleep
the meditation
goes on and on

hint of clouds on the horizon
a drop of rain
falls on parched tongue
and finally
there’s something
to say


Pirates and Ninja


I don’t believe in pirate love
that sloshes grog
and swears loyalty
yet with the gleam of treasure
in skull and crossbone eyes
it sails away
and deceptively deserts you
on the island
of yourself

I believe in ninja love
that sneaks past
your wall
and whispers honestly
that today I might love you
and tomorrow I might still
until the day either
the love dies
or I die


Thursday, October 4

I Met Myself


I met myself and said, "Stop throwing myself around time.  The past and future are just fine without me.  Besides, I'm getting everything confused." 

Then I said, "I don't understand, what do I know, since I'm just a different version of myself."  I stopped to think about this, and as I did, every version of me merged into a we, and we knew only birth and death and triumph and despair and boredom, since there was nothing to separate this from that, and there was no time to be anything other than us, since we saw only the all of us together at last.

We thought, "This must be what it's like before or after a universe creates itself.  Before time stretches us out into different people, like an uncoiled rope.  Now we have tied ourselves back together.  We will always be we, forever and ever."

At least until the next kablooey, and we are blown across time into me and me and me.


Written for
dVerse Poets Pub

Monday, October 1

The World's Largest Booger


the world's largest booger
was lifted by a crane
from it's former owner
and traveled here by train

the museum has a sign
"Do Not Eat The Booger"
since to a toddler mind

snot tastes just like sugar

how did so much mucus
(it's over twelve feet wide!)
fit through a nose, unless
only afterwards it dried


Sunday, September 30

Sorry Kids


sorry kids

we won't walk to the zoo today
the animals all have colds
we won't drive to the moon today
too far for cars I'm told

we won't swim in the nile today
so nothing will chomp our toes
we won't gallop in Spain today
like unlucky Lucia, oh no!

we won't fly with eagles today
watch out for pointy talons
we won't drink with fish today
(an ocean is how many gallons?)

we won't ride a comet today
do they even have seat belts
we won't stroll on the sun today
our ice cream would probably melt

wherever will we go today?
come over here and look
of anywhere that's fun, I say
the best place is a book.


Tuesday, September 25

What is a Haiku?


Someone just sent me this tweet:

true (ie: not-as culturally appropriated) haiku are meant to include a seasonal reference & juxtaposition: "

and I responded with this:

I'm sorry that you /
can't open my gift since you /
don't value the box

#haiku #poetry #mp


However, I feel that a further explanation is necessary, since I write many, many of what I call haiku, yet others might call something different.  (Possibly twaiku or garbage, depending on their inclination.)

I'd like to start with the term "culturally appropriated."  What exactly does that mean?  It seems like a code phrase for "don't steal ideas from other groups of people because that's bad." 

Which means the Romans would have to give up their gods, Christians and Muslims would have toss their bibles, no one could eat french fries except Belgians, who couldn't even really eat those since potatoes are from Peru.  The U.S. stole democracy from France.  The Beatles "culturally appropriated" their sound from Chuck Berry.  In fact, nothing good on this earth would have been passed around, mutated, and evolved into something excellent if it weren't for our ability to culturally appropriate stuff from other people.

So are my haiku culturally appropriated?  Heck yes!  I am proud of it.  I stole the crap out of the form, and I mutated it right along with every school teacher handing down the 5-7-5 format to their 6th graders.

No, I do not write like dead Japanese poets.  Nor do I want to.  If the Japanese want me to give back their haiku form and the word that goes along with it, then they can hand over hip hop and rap.  It amuses me to think that somewhere in Japan, someone is criticizing someone else by saying, "You do not write rap correctly.  Rap must be like Snoop Dogg."

Though really, a Japanese person has never said to me, "Hey, stop writing haiku in English.  You're doing it wrong."  It's generally a well-meaning, yet snotty literary type with an authoritarian internet link and too much time on their hands.  They feel the need to correct me, since obviously I haven't already learned what a "real" haiku is on my own, so I need their condescending guidance.

Back off.  I know what I'm doing, thank you.  I've written thousands upon thousands of haiku now.  I dream in haiku.  Yes, I call them haiku, therefore they are haiku.  Yes, the word comes from another place, and another people, and I respect their language and their version, but right here, right now, this word is mine, and if I want to call what I write haiku, I will.  Your wikipedia article be damned.  It's written by democratic process anyway, and what good art has ever been voted on?  My artistic process is a dictatorship, in which I am the leader, and I decree that 5-7-5 is a haiku.

If you don't like it, then please don't read what I write.  It would be lost on you anyway.

Thank you.


Constructing my Mind

My 4YO daughter (who helped me) said: "Daddy, it looks like you!"

Asked an Exasperated Anyone


asked an exasperated anyone:
"oh someone, has a someone, seen no one

a someone's a wave, while that I can be
who'd prefer to wrap their arms 'round a sea

looking for no one, yes, no one at all
breathless and shapeless and massively tall

fanciful hair the color of the breeze
in dazzling night she sings along with trees

her silence fills the spaces when I speak
yet her thoughts on being are quite unique

yes, I'm anyone, anyone at all
though next to her, I'm enormously small

she runs faster than me, this lovely void
she'll be sprinting still when all is destroyed

maybe someone has seen her, you someone!
an anyone wants no one, yes no one

at all"


Sunday, September 23

Wednesday, June 20

Two Men Carrying a Canoe


"I'm sort of busy here, what is it?"
"Don't get grumpy with me, I have a question."
"You always have questions."
"Consider it my philosophical nature."
"I consider it your jackassery nature."
"There's no reason to be rude."
"You're right, well what is it?"
"What is what?"
"What is your question?"
"I've forgotten."
"You forgot the question you wanted to ask me a minute ago?"
"You're an idiot."
"Well, you're a control freak."
"I am not."
"Yes, you are.  You are always in front.  You don't even know where we're going."
"Yes, I do."
"No, you don't."
"We are going that way."
"Which way is that?"
"The way we need to go."
"How do you know that's the way we need to go, we can't even see anything with this canoe on our heads."
"I've explained this millions of times: it must be the right way to go, because that's the way we are going."
"But you've forgotten the reason!"
"That doesn't matter.  What matters is that I must have had a good reason to begin with, so we'll just keep walking in this direction carrying this canoe until we reach our intended destination."
"Which we've forgotten."
"So how will we know when we're at our intended destination?"
"That's the easy part.  I believe it will be self-evident."
"What does that mean?"
"Oh shut up."
"What is it now?"
"Don't be a jerk this time or I'll forget again."
"Okay, but just this once."
"Thank you.  Why are we in a desert?"
"We aren't in a desert."
"We must be, there's all this sand."
"Deserts are not necessarily comprised of sand."
"Who ever heard of a desert with no sand?"
"What defines a desert is a lack of precipitation."
"A lack of what?"
"Rain, Ethan, it doesn't rain in a desert."
"It doesn't seem like it's raining now.  In fact, I don't think it's ever rained."
"You might be right, but I don't remember."
"We would have heard it on the canoe."
"And we'd probably have walked in puddles."
"Before they evaporated."
"It is unbearably hot. That settles it, we're in a desert."
"If you say so."
"Just ask the question, you don't need to start every conversation with my name."
"That's a good point.  So, Dan?"
"What color is the canoe?"
"What does that have to do with anything?"
"Well this side is sort of off-white, but the other side might be a different color."
"The other side?"
"Well what do they call the bottom of a canoe?"
"I don't know. I suppose they call it the bottom."
"That doesn't seem very seafaring of them. Shouldn't it have a nautical name like port or starboard?"
"I doubt very much that Indians ventured into open ocean with canoes."
"Native Americans."
"They call themselves Native Americans now.  Or at least I think they do."
"Did Ind...I mean Native Americans invent canoes?"
"I don't know."
"I don't know either.  So what color is the bottom?"
"I suppose it's red."
"Why is that?"
"Have you ever seen a canoe that isn't red?"
"Sure!  Green, brown, I think they make canoes in every color."
"Well I've only seen red canoes."
"You're thinking of wagons."
"No, I'm not. I'm definitely certain that I'm thinking of canoes, since I'm carrying a canoe, and not a freaking wagon."
"But you haven't seen the bottom of the canoe, and it could be any color.  For all we know, it could be pink!"
"It can't be pink."
"Why not? That's as good of a color as any."
"Do I look like the sort of man who would carry a pink canoe in the desert?"
"I don't know, I haven't seen your face in a while."
"Trust me, you don't want to."
"We could switch."
"No, we can't."
"Why not?"
"Because we might lose our sense of direction in the shuffle."
"What if we draw a line in the sand, then reorient ourselves around the axis."
"That sounds potentially catastrophic.  Also, you don't possess my keen sense of direction."
"How do you know?"
"You are far too preoccupied with your head in the clouds."
"Well, you are far too preoccupied with your head in the canoe."
"As it should be."
"So what color is it really?"
"Yes, Dan?"
"Just drop it."
"Drop what, the canoe?"
"What, no! I meant the conversation."
"Well why not drop the canoe?"
"We can't drop the canoe."
"Why not?"
"Because we can't."
"Well, that's not a reason."
"Well, that''s as good of a reason as you are going to get."
"Who put you in charge?"
"I'm in charge because I'm in the front of the canoe, and people in front are generally in charge."
"Not in a canoe.  The person in back steers it."
"That's the rule on water.  On land, whoever is in front is in charge."
"You just made that up."
"No, I didn't."
"Yes, you did!"
"How would you know?  I could be an expert on all things canoeing, and you'd never know the difference."
"You didn't even know the name for the bottom of a canoe.  It's called the hull."
"You don't know that, you don't have a dictionary."
"Whenever we get to wherever we are going, I'll prove to you that the bottom of any watercraft is called the hull."
"You keep thinking that."
"Stop kicking sand at me."
"Oh, was I kicking sand at you?"
"Yes, and please stop."
"I'll refrain from kicking sand if you refrain from asking silly questions."
"Fair enough."
"But Dan?"
"Is this question silly?"
"Wait a second."
"I'm thinking whether or not the question I'm about to put forth fits your criteria for a silly question, based on my previous experience with you."
"Take your time."
"Nope, it's not silly."
"Better not be.  I have plenty of sand."
"Here goes: why does it sound like the ocean?"
"Everything sounds like the ocean when you stick your head inside it."
"That's just seashells."
"Nope, it's everything."
"Are you telling me it would sound like the ocean if I stuck my head in a colander?"
"No, it has to be an item without holes."
"So what, like a pot or a bucket?"
"Depending on the size of the pot or bucket in question, but yes, that's the general idea."
"It think that's the dumbest thing I've ever heard."
"Hypothetically, you could also hear the ocean if you stuck your head up your ass."
"That was uncalled for."
"You're right, I apologize."
"Thank you.  What if it really is the ocean?"
"It couldn't be."
"Why not?"
"What are the chances two people carrying a canoe would walk along a beach perpendicular to the ocean for mile after mile after mile after mile after mile, until they had forgotten the very essence of their purpose, lost themselves in the task at hand, and could no longer consider the big picture enough to direct themselves to their goal?"
"When you put it that way, it doesn't seem very likely."
"So what do we do then?"
"We do what we've always done, we keep walking, and hope things turn out for the best."
"I hope they do."
"So do I."