Just Kiss Her

It’s never very romantic,
no matter your accent or inflection,
to tell your one true love on the cusp of your very first kiss,
“You know, most human mouths would never pass a health inspection.”

“It’s the bacteria and all that.”


We recently asked a hand-picked group of Americans
“What’s your biggest health issue?”
and all three responded,
“I have trouble deciding whether to take
a sleep-aid or a stimulant.”

Now there’s hope!
NEVA-Doubt Pharmaceuticals
offers a breakthrough treatment
for the millions of Americans
who have trouble knowing
when to take a sleep-aid
and when to take a stimulant.

Start your morning off bright
and enjoy blissful comfort at night
with Sleep-or-Go! the only FDA-approved
over-the-counter sleep-aid and stimulant in one.

Sleep-or-Go!’s patented bio-detect crystals
instantly tune into your body’s rhythms
knowing when it’s time to “Go! Go! GO!”
and when it’s time to go “Slow, s-l-o-w, s-l-o-,”
providing either 6 hours of instant energy
meeting the D.S.M. IV’s definition of mania
or 8 hours of near catatonic repose.

“I used to toss and turn all night, obsessing over
whether I should drink a full pot of coffee,
or attempt to take a sleep-aid. With Sleep-n-Go!
there’s nothing to obsess about any more
and I can fall asleep.”
– Donna from San Diego

“When 2:30 in the afternoon came around,
I’d always be dragging, but I’d never know
whether I’d be better off taking a stimulant
or popping a sleep aid and napping under
the desk in the vacant office down the hall.
Thinking about it was sapping my productivity.
Now with Sleep-n-Go! my productivity has sky-rocketed
and I am churning out more 60-page reports
that no one will ever read in their full entirety than ever before!”
– Jim from Baltimore

Say goodbye to those endless hours spent wondering whether you need
a sleep-aid or a stimulant.

Say hello to a little purple pill that takes all the doubt away.

Join the potential millions of satisfied customers
who have used Sleep-or-Go! effectively
to sleep

Ask for it by name at finer drug stores, pharmacies,
and all-night truck stops today.

Side effects may include: dizziness, headaches, dry mouth, nausea,
excessive splurging on comic books,
sudden onset of a desire to listen to speed metal,
delusions of grandeur punctuated by frequent utterances of “Call me your king!”,
hyperactivity, hyper-vigilance, hyper-vigilanteeism,
frustration that there are no 24/7 dance clubs in Milwaukee,
even poorer than usual decisions involving choice of sexual partners,
injuries resulting from repeated attempts to chop through a stack of cinderblocks,
running great distances in a tuxedo,
excessive blathering on starting with the phrase “Wouldn’t it be cool if…,”
very vivid dreams, semi-lucid dreams,
somewhat murky dreams involving having to skin an endless stack of rabbits,
catatonia, bed wetting, sleeping through fires, and premature burial.

If any of these conditions last longer than 4 weeks,
stop taking Sleep-or-Go! and consult your physician.
Be sure to tell him all the other medications you are taking.
He will tell you which of the other medications you are taking
are the real cause of your side effects,
and you will be able to start reusing Sleep-or-Go!

Not for use if you are pregnant
or thinking about becoming pregnant
or are related to anyone who has ever been pregnant.

in an alley

jazz pony
with the star-spangled stirrups

you’ll be fine

we’re just
hosing down the Electric Horseman

The Evolution of Horror

There is a deer in the shoulder of the road.

There is a deer in the shoulder of the road
whose stomach is red from blood.

There is a deer in the shoulder of the road
whose stomach is black with flies.

There is a dear’s head and deer limbs in the shoulder of the road
jutting out from underneath a blanket of flies.

There is a pile of flies on the shoulder of the road.

I’ve Had My Own Struggles With Hot Dogs

I was raised on hot dogs.
We had hot dogs every night and every morning.
For lunch we’d also have hot dogs.

At night, I’d sleep on a bed of hot dogs.
I’d lay my head down on a pillow filled with hot dogs,
and my mother would pull the blanket she knitted
from hot dogs over my head
and I’d dream all night about hot dogs.

Some nights I’d have good dreams –
like being a fighter pilot in a squadron of hot dogs.

Some nights I’d have nightmares –
like an evil wizard had taken all the hot dogs and fed them to his dragon
and made a rule that no one could make hot dogs any more.

But I’d wake up and see my hot dog nightlight, and know that
it was just a dream. I’d then eat the hot dog my mother had left
as a midnight snack on the pile of hot dogs that made up my nightstand
before going back to dreaming about hot dogs.

The best memories of my childhood are of me
sitting on one of our hot dog chairs at our hot dog table in the kitchen
writing out my homework with a hot dog as I
watched my mother stir a pot of hot dog soup
with a long string of hot dogs.

And I’d hear my dad put his hot dog key in the door.
He’d open it up and say, “I’m home! And guess what I have?”
and then he’d pull a string of fresh hot dogs from behind his back.

“Hot dogs!”

So trust me.
I know exactly what you’re going through
and we’re going to get through this together.

The Five Things I Remember About You

I remember your cheeks a rosy pink
like fresh handprints in a spanking fetish watercolor

I remember you pulling a jeweled drawer handle
and languages fell out

I remember you weaving a basket
of breakfast sausages that the dog ate

I remember you crying in a restaurant
confused and overwhelmed by the difference between bratwurst and knockwurst

I remember the smell of your hands
when I started to hyperventilate
and you stuffed an over-sized jawbreaker
into my mouth to stop me from breathing

I am Special

I am Special.
I have Emotions and Feelings.

When I find the tooth-themed Words on my Brush,
I am happy.

When I remember that Birds rule this World,
I feel frightened.

When I hear Louie Armstrong sing,
I feel sad that he is buried in a landfill or under the Meadowlands.

I am Special.
I have Determination, Talents and Goals.

When I file down my Teeth to make them more like a Penguin’s,
I tell myself, “Keep filing. You have a Special Mission.”

When I see the Baby Geese peck at their Shells from the Inside,
I know I have X-Ray Vision.

When I feel the Rumble of the Train at night,
I close my Eyes and promise myself that someday I will live in a Treehouse with a Fireplace and a Butler and never have to buy Ice or Vegetables ever again.

Last Known Communication

I am on a mountaintop.
There is just so much stunning scenery
to show you and so much detail to capture
that I almost forget that
I am here to sell
a 1932 NYPD murder photo
of the mobster Vincenzo Colletti
whose tones and stunning depth and clarity
even rivals traditional silver halide prints.

There’s my man now.
I told him to come alone –
no sherpas.
Luckily I brought 2 cans of
but they seem to be expired.

This could very well turn ugly,
and I might not make it.

Luckily, my father taught me at a very young age
to always carry several carrier pigeons in my pocket
just for this type of emergency.

If you receive this,
go immediately into my study,
break open my pirate’s cove Christmas Snow globe
and lift up lid on the treasure chest.

In there, you will find
a tiny mummified finger.
Bring this to Britemeyer.
He will take it from there.
Do whatever he tells you.

No matter what happens
or what they say about me,

just know two things:

One: I always loved you more than her
(Britemeyer will fill you in on the “her”),


Two: I was only following orders.
Except for the incident with the daschunds.
I simply never liked them.

10 Wednesdays, 6:30-9:30 PM, Not-for-Credit

All of the students in the class know the rules concerning verbs.
Our teacher laughs at them –
both the students and the rules.

“Here’s the things with rules.
Try to cobble the existing rules to
the secret to following rules
which is to be aware of them
and then break them in a selective manner.
For example…

“Mow walk turn
Mow talk turn.
Pull throttle.

We have no idea what she’s talking about,
but we’re fairly sure it’s complete and utter horseshit,
even though none of us know the difference between
a metaphor and a simile. We’re still at adjective-noun stuff
and we’re nowhere near ready for
verb-verb-verb-verb-conjunction-preposition type of poetry.
That’s for the advanced class that knows it’s probably horseshit,
but has the sophistication to appreciate it.

We’re only here because we’re in a pilot program
where small-timers in lieu of incarceration
get put on parole, but have to take and pass
a not-for-credit poetry class. I guess they made
Walt Whitman a judge or mayor or something.

But our teacher’s been published just about everywhere.
She has 12 books of poetry to her name.
She has tenure.
She has tenure in spite of what she’s published.

She makes no sense whatsoever,
but she gets very high scores on student evaluations
possibly because she brings high-grade hashish
to each class and shares it with us
and encourages us to smoke it openly.

It’s a shame, because I can’t smoke pot.
The two times I’ve done it
it’s made me unbearably aware of how
small and insignificant I am
and everyone and everything else is
and it’s just one long scary scream
and when my head isn’t turning in on itself
I ache for a spaceship to get me off this
suddenly crowded planet or a potion
to get me out of the trap of being stuck
in my one and only life and the every morning
horror of the continuity of the self –
something to make me someone else
but taller.

“Poetic language is based on rhythm,”
the she says, tapping her bowl
against her ankle, near a tattoo of what
first appears to be the Black Flag bars,
but on closer inspection are just bar codes,
which relives me to no end,
then refilling the bowl
and taking a longlonglonglong hit.

“Follow the meter here.
It’s one of my own poems from my book
‘Limericks for the Most Likely to Die Young and Beautiful'”

“A monkey with wino-like sobriety
When forced to be sober shows anxiety.
Shoots horse for his cure
As he floats through the door
Says, ‘Sorry, I’m just not meant for piety.'”

“You see?
now hold your arms out,
I’m going to jump into them!”

George, the Vicar of Christ

was a popular attraction at the London Zoo,
treated as a true V. I. V. O. C.
(a very important Vicar of Christ)

Crowds would roar with delight as he
sodomized a plastic penguin
and a real bear named Winnie.

He ate cobwebs for sustenance
and for amusement they let him
pilot a barge down the Thames on occasion.

At 1 PM daily
they’d tell him he’d made Cardinal
and hold a mock coronation.

At 2PM daily
they’d bring him a stack of papers
to feed into the shredder.

And when the public grew weary of his act,
they cleaned him out of his cage
and first tried feeding him to the lions,

but the lions wouldn’t bite.
So they took him to the Romans, but they
were too busy doing pilates to care.

So they took him to the Jews,
who took one look at him and said,
“What? We need more troubles?”

So they took him to Christ himself.
“Lord, this one here says that
he’s one of yours.”

And Christ told them, “I only picked 12,
and none of them were named George.
Give him to penguins. They’ll know what to do.”

And turning to George, Christ placed his hand to his cheek and said,
“The penguins always watched over the little children
so much better than you. Didn’t they George?”

And that’s when George first realized
that all along he’d been a V.S.L.V.O.C
(a very sad little Vicar of Christ)

and that he’d never
be seeing Christ


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