Dinner at the Sizzler

if purgatory

is a soup kitchen line

in a catholic church

hell

is serving up grub

on the corner of 8th & vine

southern baptists

pulling up

in their tax exempt jesus wagon

to serve homeless people

hot chili in july

heaven, happens

in Cincinnati

when pigs fly

Born on the Third of July

I’ve learned of a man

who refers to his dick,

lovingly,

as White Rocket.

I imagine I can hear him yelling, “Blast off!” whenever he ejaculates.

The stories begin to simply

tell themselves,

nay?

Mother-Over-the-Rhine

we were four madcaps deep

in a ratskeller bathroom stall

stoned

within boozy historic walls

one of us pissing

three of us smoking

all of us drinking

3 queens and a king holding court

in the men’s room shitter

gods were made

mushroom euphoric

k-hole bar bouncers lamented

upstairs Nagasaki

our glee

our group dynamic pee

a urinal patron

chimed in

with delighted confusion

so

my lips began

to recite a poem

summoned at will

about buying tickets to the show

spoken word,

nay,

spoken turd, i say

he laughed and applauded

on the other side

of our bomb shelter door

in that moment

we

truly lived

every parade

i found your death certificate
in public records
you died alone
in 1995
in northside
as you had lived
you were dead on arrival
at UC hospital
AIDS only left behind your shadow
i was on bed rest with the twins
i couldn’t come to your funeral
i am so sorry
and i hate
that they sent your body
back to kentucky
to the soil that rejected your very existence
cincy pride is today
i went for you
every parade
is for you,
Doug

Aralee

they had a wake

for aralee strange

in a bar

where university poets

showed up to behave

like academic sharks

sparring with street poet jets

i sat beside a man who was

a monolithic Jewish Poseidon professor

on a funeral date

wrong for me

i,

equally wrong for he

though it doesn’t keep me from missing him

weeping openly

in a room full of

a species of staue

films of her played

as her southern voice caused

candlelit

unbloomed lily buds

in table vases

to burst open

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