Junk

There's junk in the garage 
and it needs to be cleared
before summer sets in   Continue reading 
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Heroes’ Welcome

Parades, parades, parades, parades in every town, every zip code, every backwater trailer park, on ABC, CBS, CNN, newspapers, t-shirts, bumper stickers, Continue reading

Daily Motivational

Our greatest glory is not in never falling,
but in rising every time we fall. — Confucius
Well then, suppose 
you're a tourist on the Amazon River,
falling into the mouth of a black caiman, 
or falling off a curb in Jersey City 
in front of an angry cab driver? 

Suppose you're skydiving—is there an affirmation that
quickly sorts you out when your parachute lines are tangled? 
Catches your neighbor's buckshot when he catches you 

banging his wife? What's the Secret that inspires you to rise 
when you're convulsing on the floor of a restaurant in Seoul 
after taking your chances with the fugu sashimi—

as your mind races back to the scene only minutes ago 
when you were signing the restaurant's release of liability 
and smashing your family's hopes of collecting the insurance 
and delivering a bribe to the managing editor of your local paper 
so he doesn't print the embarrassing tale of your freakish 
death in the obituary column—

is it a rush delivery of positive thinking 
at substantial savings off the retail price, 
but only if you call now?
A version of this poem was originally posted in July 2014 and also appears in Issue #5 of In-flight Literary Magazine 
published in October 2015 by the Paper Plane Pilots. Tell 'em I sent you.

Comic Book Characters

Once the theater lights have dimmed
and the viewers have been rendered numb 
by an oppressively long sequence of 

“The following preview has been
approved for appropriate audiences by the 
Motion Picture Association of America, Inc.,”

the Big Summer Blockbuster begins,
utterly garish in its overproduction,
and right away I'm wondering, 

Whose little 'masterpiece' was this, 
anyway? Where did this copy of a 
non-original come from? And who

was the coked-up overpaid producer 
that recycled these apparitions 
pissed into a headwind? 

They're like aimless, discontinued 
comic book characters firing 
blanks in a bad science fiction,

like old, discarded action figures  
dusted off, modernized and slapped 
on a billboard, cocked and loaded,

ready to save the nation from its #1 
enemy: running out of enemies to blame 
for our own collective impotence—

and the figures are dripping off, 
melting like wax, ruining the blank 
canvas and staining the sidewalk.

“Feature Presentation” my balls— 
I'm sitting through a cinematic circle jerk
with tired sight gags and terrible lines.  

    And it doesn't even fit.

It lacks grace, the armor's
too heavy, and I don't like
the smugness of it: the silly

helmet, the ray gun, the cheap
digital readout suggesting
that someone or something

is actually inside, standing
around like a dumb ghost,
cumbersome and useless,

fumbling in the space between 
Where and Nowhere.
It's an artificial psyche,

a price-tagged identity,
stimulus-response in a cold
metal box with noisy hinges.

    And it doesn't fucking fit.

Volunteer from the audience:
find a cutting torch and aim for 
the welds. Melt this damned thing

off of me, post-haste. Close the
theater. Destroy the reels. Jail the
producer. Demand a full refund.

And the next time someone tries to 
sell you another outdated hero, 
jail them too. Heroes are assholes.
A version of this poem originally appeared in Issue #6 of In-flight Literary Magazine 
published in January 2016 by the Paper Plane Pilots. Tell 'em I sent you.