Breadcrumb #460


Field of corn, maize of concrete bars that stand tall and gleaming;
There’s a nightlight in the sky that casts down its radiating false fuckery,
And bids its brighter brother to do the same. Four voices blow from every direction,
Whispering unheard words; they blow into ears that can’t listen.

I remember the color of air before the dirt sucked me ankle-deep under the stalks,
Back when I saw more than giant tractor monsters teetering on steep green oases
Who threatened to fall a thousand times over and pull me with along with them.
But those monsters don’t fall; they just let husky string suffocate oilblood fingers.

The prisoners to my right are stuffed with straw, the same straw as those to my left,
And that goddamn nightlight drops to them a transparent rope, and they all touch,
They all touch, but scared of ropeburn they never grasp. “Tomorrow,” they say.
Tomorrow it is, yesterday it was, and the day before feels so long ago.

It reeks of cow ass and healthy corn, not corn for people but the corn for cattle
That feeds the hordes of wandering livestock, prepped for prepping, prepped for
Endless days stuck in the same soil and wheat-woven bonds. One cow looks at me,
Smelling of thick shit air, and asks, “Who’s really at the bottom of the food chain?”

• • •

Breadcrumb #459


Patriotism is a man tripping
Over the feet of children completely
Still but too close to the curtain
Separating them from their future.

Patriotism nearly falls off
The stage but grabs the microphone
Stand just in time to save
Himself and the entire country.

Patriotism noticed no words
Printed in the simple program
Saluting anything except frivolities
Thankless of any sacrifice.

Patriotism challenges any parent
Watching their kids’ disembodied
Feet now shift uncertainly
To stay sitting for his anthem.

Patriotism confuses the most
Important lines without feeling
The least bit awkward or wrong
In front of the upright audience.

Patriotism has no regret
When the drapery uncovers
Half the schoolkids stunned
And the others repeating the song.

Patriotism squints at the poor
Excuse for letters too small
Confessing his ballad was meant
To be the opening number.

The audience erects itself
Again enabling the worst
Breed of allegiance with the best
Of intentions.

• • •

Breadcrumb #455


If the body is a temple,
then mine is the house
of a fractured god,
god of peeled cherries
and pith. God of the crooked tooth,
lost enamel, bruxism;
god of the fumbled ultrasound,
god who sends doubting doctors
so to better teach you not to trust.
Mine is the god who refuses audience
until you’re two weeks deep
into the uncharted headache,
who listens best when you beg
for mercy from the toilet at 4 AM.
Mine is the god of the blistered bladder,
pelvic kidney, withered lung,
cystic ovary. Mine is the god
of unanswerable questions, a sphinx
speaking nonsense into flesh.
Mine is the god who takes no homage:
you sacrifice merely to learn how to lose.
Lose three years, forty pounds, senior prom,
painless sex, the blessed orange.
Lose walking. Lose fearless eating:
know the torture of the tomato,
the raspberry, the morning coffee,
know the futility of every choice
being the wrong one.
My god might be the god of Job,
my life ruined just as suddenly
and without notice.
I could say that pain has made me pious
but that’s only a half-truth.
My god makes you prove how badly
you want this life. You can have
anything you want if you’re willing
to walk over splintered seashells to have it.
Is one more livid sunset worth the bruise
you carry inside you? If the medication
that heals your bladder rots your liver,
which organ do you choose to save?
At the end of the test, the god of Job
gave him a new wife, new children,
soothed the festering boils inflicted on his skin.
If this is a challenge, I want no reward.
I choose this body made of sand and fire,
this body filled with stones and glass.
If everything must happen for a reason,
let the reason be this:
Sometimes there is no lesson to be learned.

• • •

Breadcrumb #365


Only the prettiest flower
may cut itself out, let fall
its head, that hydra.

Only the prettiest flower
may let down its hair,
that fireball of petals,

to paint on the earth
a memory of water
or a thought of dark clay.

The children of Jocaste
buried their feet
in the plastic soil of

of a world that was
already too busy
turning dying myths into

the prettiest flowers.

• • •     • • •

Breadcrumb #364



Problematic Moment
This is a no-fly zone:
I descend, take my wings off
I place them in my backpack
And I behold the fork on the road.

Both roads are what happens
Once everything has ended.
The question is where to go from there.
Moral assessments are made.
Social consequences will follow.

One road says Silence
And the other one doesn’t.

I scratch my beard
And all of its hairs fall off to the ground.
My African hairs pierce the ground like high-tech snakes.
They go into the soil of things
And a truth tree without leaves is born.
A truth tree only with branches,
Many branches.
I’m alone on this encrucijada.

My shadow has a shadow of its own in my heart.
My shadow came first in my evolutionary calvary.
My shadow doesn’t argue, she pulls.

I’m thinking.

The elephant in the room
Grows fat and impatient.
The elephant in the room
Steps on my body
And I am flattened.

I am now a bumper sticker:
Your choices behind the wheel matter
I keep saying.



Deliberating Moment
I sit down on the universal toilet
Waiting to unflatten myself.
I close my windows against voyeurs.
I peel off my banana and I begin to sweat.

The idea behind choice is to see
How each road leads where
And then to look around to see
If your heart is somewhere there.

Representatives from each path
And from subpaths within paths
Come to me with pens, special brownies
And papers to sign
They want me to put my name
On places and moments
That are neither here nor now
And I take their brownies
And I make paper planes
With their futuristic contracts
And then I ghost them...
...Unable to know...what to say... 



Inconclusive Moment
There’s an octopus on my face.
How it got here
The same can be asked of my face
And of this damn fork on the road.

Well, I’m blind and still somewhat flat
But I have a knife in my boot
Sharp enough for foreign tentacles
So I try to cut off its limbs
And each time I cut off its tentacles
Its testicles grow right out again.

Well, I have a lighter, so I try to burn
The octopus inside his brain
But the octopus is covering my eyes
So I fail again and again
Until I give up and I pull out a bowl
And I have a few puffs
And the octopus says hey man
Can I have some?
And I say can you get off my eyes?
And the octopus says of course man
You just had to ask.

The octopus is wise.
He’s seen much.
We finish smoking.

Now though there’s no oxytocin
Though my dopamine is limited
And my glucocorticoids are restless
I’m still on the road
With better vision
Fully unflattened
And ready to choose.

I don’t want to choose.
But I must:
My heart on the other side
Is waiting with the Self it wants
And I can’t use my wings.

• • •