Harbor Detective Searching for Songs With Titles Like “Kill Other Race Cars”

Maybe you could
tell me what the lifeless feeling that drags
the empty hook back
feels like.

Maybe you could
make that sound
when you’re ravenously hungry and
you slice too quickly
and you cut off your fingertips
more happy-sounding.

Maybe you could
lean over
and show me
your wound
on purpose –
how it is still open
and exposed –
and I can ink
a funny tattoo around it.

Wait! Before you
close the door,
here’s an even crazier thought –
maybe you could
carve a canoe out of me
and sit in me
and paddle us up a river
deep into the land
and we could disappear together.

OK. I get it.

But think about what I said
and get back to me.

I’ll Be Your Massive Arms (Translation of Ineptus, 2nd Century B.C.E. Alexandrian Poet)

I’ll be your
massive arms,
but where is your emergency?

where are your costumes?
where is your can of venison?

are you on a
space station that orbited the Earth
(as it was created)
out in the
starry blackness?

 
your face is like moist, unearthed clay?
you forget the practical use of eyes?
 

you think you are
the first race in the history of the universe to
crank
cat whiskers
eight hours a day?

 
if you want to get rid of
an unfresh odor,
do not ask for
anagrams of “troubled waters”

if you want to change
the radiator,
do not sit there
tuning your guitar

and if you want to grab the treasures
that lie in small, narrow spaces
do not ask for
massive arms!

sometimes people make the sky and move on

sometimes people make
the sky
and move on
a confession
or mercury
and probably worse

there’s a long song and a dance
it’s best to roll with
that means

bursting from the ground
to feel like flying

funny how
setbacks
work
right?
a simple process

questions for a Robert Motherwell painting

How would you sleep
if you could sleep?

How would you dance
if you could dance?

How would you kill
if you could kill?

How often would you kill
if you could kill?

If you were to become an accomplished master
of only one weapon,
would it be a handheld weapon
or something that fired projectiles?

If you caught a whale
and cut his belly open
and there were an old man in there
would he say,
“Thanks, but what took you people so long?”
or
“Now why’d you have to go and do a foolish thing like that?”

Would you have many friends?

Would you love
many shallowly
or few deeply?

Would you brush your teeth
three times a day
or only once
or none?

Would you brush your parents’ teeth
three times a day
or only once
or none?

The Falconer: A Poem With Concrete Images

a certified falconer
runs hundreds of feet beneath his prized bird,
whose sharp beak
snipped off each of his fingers
before flying off,
and shouts the same phrase over and over –
“Explain why! Explain why!
Explain why! Explain why!…”

eight miles back
at the campsite
a colony of feral cats
sniffs and paws
at his fingers

The Episodes

in this episode, a Boston terrier’s eye is removed without sufficient anesthesia, then people in the town of Michigan are grateful

in this episode, the “messenger from God” comes from the English town of Peyton, meaning “village of the warrior”

in this episode, homes are restricted to some real or imaginary boundaries

in this episode, the patient gradually recognizes the streets of Cowboy Town, Wyo

in this episode, a one-named rapper with a hyphen in his name is made from tap water or, worse yet, comes from the factory in huge blocks

in this episode, a cigarette case is present

in this episode, everyone lives in a smallish town, and just wants the best medical treatment for themselves

in this episode, love exhibits a day or so after physical exercise

in this episode, anonymous callers, doctors, nurses, neighbors, school teachers, will turn to medicine as they have done numerous times

in this episode, I was constrained while the rats could come and go

in this episode, we get happily lost while they dance to themselves to ashes

in this episode, a puppy is being trained to distinguish between a flickering and a steady light

in this episode, cleaning one’s hands removes more than physical contaminants – it also removes the “pure heart”

in this episode, kindergarteners are working with new fuels to find one that burns more cleanly than petrol

in this episode, the village’s primary worry is not starvation

in this episode, there’s a build-up of pleasure/pain to the point that you feel your vision starting to get weird

in this episode, student-made cheese causes an open fracture

in this episode, Portugal is relevant to world affairs

in this episode, all the good you’ve done up until now is erased in an instant

in this episode, frustrated drivers lean on their horns in traffic while the bodies are removed from the vehicle

in this episode, it doesn’t matter the time of day or if one’s bathing suit is still wet

in this episode, the local architecture is built to support the weight of snow

in this episode, a dumpster in an alley serves as a private sanctuary within the city

in this episode, cats are aloud

in this episode the name means the opposite of what it really is, and is hence, ironic

in this episode, it is suddenly cool to be Interested in ghost stories and folklore

in this episode, the challenge is to learn to stay present while trapped in an empty vat

in this episode, erect posture is maintained through fever and convulsions

our grooves lead to graves

I groan the grooves
that grow with groans
I roam the room with
roars grown sore
I stare the steps
in solitude
I cross through each
as if a door

sometimes I add more water
in the vast space to the shore
and when land is receding
into my own storms
I roar
I roar
into my own storms I roar

if only we could fast forget
our groans upon the grooves
our roars upon the waves
tell ourselves prayers
not counts of breaths
believe that Jesus saves

but we are those
who groan our grooves
and our grooves
lead to graves

To a Very Special Mum Coated with a Latex-Based Highly Inorganic Filling

be happy.

if you’re not happy,
find someone
who is happy
and imitate them.

you may, facing east

you may,
facing east,
late at night,
think
(not that I might)

a crow in the long run
is more apt to fly
than bite,

and if the roads were flowers
all trips would be timed to bloom,

and if things weren’t as they are
you’d be in another room.

Ted Nugent, Where Are You When I Need You?

Ted Nugent, where are you
when I need you?

I am two blocks from my house,
being robbed by a man holding a knife,
and I am stalling for time,
telling him all about my heart condition,
and my pacemaker,
and my poetry blog,
and that I am a Virgo,
and how I recently got a new wallet
because my old wallet was too big,
like an old man wallet,
and how ironic it is that this new wallet
is somehow stickier in my jeans,
if I can use that word – “stickier” -
to refer to the straight out silly length of time
it is taking me to perform the simple act
of pulling my wallet out of my jeans
at knifepoint, jeans which are tighter than
they used to be, I tell him, because they closed
the entrance to my favorite running trail,
and I’m finding it hard to adjust to the new route,
so I tend to just skip my runs anymore,
and this has lead me to put on weight,
which makes it more difficult to remove my wallet -
blah, blah, blah, blah, blah – but I can
only stall so long Ted Nugent!
My robber grows impatient!

*        *        *        *        *

And I’m waiting for you Ted Nugent
to come around the corner of 22nd and Summer St.
majestically riding a four-wheeled ATV,
holding your bow cocked with your
pure and certain arrow of death, you resembling
a Greek warrior in his chariot, if Greek
warriors wore feathered cowboy hats
and leather vests and their chariots ran on loud
gas engines.

And I’m waiting here, stalling, so I can make eye
contact with you when you appear,
and give a brief nod of my head,
and say in a cool, even tone,
a tone which suggests we have done this
so many times before that it has become
almost routine – “Take him.”
And as the robber turns to face you,
you’ve already let your arrow fly
and time slows as the arrow comes
closer and closer then pierces straight through
his Adam’s Apple and out the back of his neck
spraying me with the blood of my foe,
most likely ruining my prized white
EPSN 2002 fantasy football league champion
t-shirt, but that’s OK, for I have been saved by Ted Nugent -
I can triumphantly and thankfully wipe the blood spatter
off of my face and say, “Ted Nugent! Dude, that was
fuckin’ awesome! Let’s go to Cherry St. Tavern
and let me buy you a beer!”

*        *        *        *        *

But where are you Ted Nugent?
Where are you as I say for the fifth time
to my robber how it is my sincere and
honest intention to cooperate with him
in every way possible as rapidly as possible
to the best of my ability to expedite this robbery
in as quickly and efficiently
a manner as is humanly possible -
even though I am thinking that still
somehow, against all odds you may appear,
which is why I am now in the process of faking a severe
back spasm (“Sorry, but I get these sometimes…
running keeps my back loose, but as you know
I haven’t been running as much as I used to lately…)
still hoping you will come.

*        *        *        *        *

Ted Nugent, why have you refused to
ride the streets of the our cities on your
four-wheeled ATV fighting injustice
with your powerful bow?

Ted Nugent, why you have failed to formed an army of
urban warrior vigilantes based on the Guardian Angels,
but tons more bad ass because they would
ride four-wheeled ATV’s and kill people with
high-powered hunting bows,
and be even more bad ass from a simple sartorial POV
because they would all dress like you,
eschewing the effeminate (i.e. French)
look of the red beret in favor of
cowboy hats with long ostrich plumes
and leather vests, and wearing blond wigs,
specifically formulated to correspond
with a picture of you in the May 1975 edition of Cream,
and Ted Nugent masks, so no one would know
who the real Ted Nugent is, increasing the fear -
but, thinking about it now, no, I guess
the primary reason they’d be more bad ass than
the Guardian angels really does come down to
the use of gas-powered four-wheeled ATVs
in an urban environment and the group’s
stated intent to dispense vigilante justice
in the form of an arrow through the neck.

*        *        *        *        *

Ted Nugent, I need you Ted Nugent to move from
70’s guitar hero turned right-wing nutcase
to 70’s guitar hero turned right-wing nutcase THEN
turned urban vigilante crime-fighter.

Because if not you, Ted Nugent, who?
Steve Howe? Brian May?
They’re all on tour. They still have (sort of)
music careers. And do you really think
they know a fucking thing about putting
an arrow through the neck of an evil-doer
(or doe) at 50 yards while riding a Black King Quad 700
no-handed while moving at 30 MPH.
No. They’d use their guitars and be slaughtered
like pigs. Steve Howe wouldn’t even have
the sense to use an electric guitar, but would enter
his doomed encounter sporting a 12-string acoustic guitar,
and middle-aged men like me would no longer
be able to attend (sort of) “Yes” and (sort of)”Queen” concerts
and imagine that even though Freddie Mercury
is dead and Jon Anderson insists on touring
as himself, that, as long as we don’t look too closely
at the fake Freddie Mercury and Jon Anderson
fronting the bands, that this really is Yes or Queen.

*        *        *        *        *

Ted Nugent, you could be glorious!
Why must you hunt deer like every other
typical run-of-the-mill boring bow-hunter
in the safety of the far-off woods
when there is so much injustice in the
urban jungle that needs an arrow through the neck?

*        *        *        *        *

Ted Nugent, I have grown tired of waiting.
I have given my wallet over.

Unbeknownst to my robber,
the folded $50 bill tucked in
the left side of the billfold
triggers a booby-trap
which will release a small cloud
of custom-formulated nerve agent
which will cause a catastrophic
cerebral hemorrhage. I am tracking him
now and, if like most robbers,
he removes the contents of the wallet
within a four-block radius
I have only another block to follow him
before he’s down and I can retrieve
my wallet and head home.

But in comparison to what could have been,
me and you Ted Nugent gazing triumphantly
down over the corpse of a would-be urban robber,
his head resting is a growing pool of blood,
the feathers of the arrow through his neck
fluttering in the gentle breeze of the night
– can you understand how this feels so unsatisfactory?

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