old time religion

my parents were screaming

at each other

in Baptist curses

doors slamming

phones torn asunder

sounds of a home splitting apart at the roofbeams

my father throwing the floor model television out the front door

and one frightened sister

smuggling me out a bedroom window to another protective sister

that may not have all happened on the same night

it was so long ago &

this wasn’t constant

not your average weeknight at the Young’s house

but it’s always the first time

that matters most

tough eggs

it’s frustrating

when you’re trying

to teach your offspring

to fly off

from the nest

when

they are pigeons

the size of bowling balls

with no desire

to put aerodynamics

to the test

high school interrupted

in the 1990’s

your flannel shirt

was a cultural ticket

that took you

greasy haired

through a graffiti pocked

bathroom stall door

to a grunge w├╝nderland

where herpes came standard

with every tribal tattoo

nirvana whining

about your libido

a mosquito

&

girlfriends untrue

your dreams will be

dry humped

in a Geo Metro,

Generation X,

your so-called life…

high school interrupted

…eating Pearl Jam until

Zima vomit came to the house party too

with green apple jollyranchers

attended by

your skankiest girlfriend

who smoked Marlboro Reds

with the acumen

of a triple divorcee

her eyelids

the trashiest

ice blue

master class

i suppose you could say

i’m one of those people

who has seen more than their

fair share of things

you will certainly find

me adept

in a broad range of topics

from culinary techniques

to obscure music

embalming

comic books

addictive substances

and

lesser know shitty diners

of the northeast

some of it owed to college

and my need

to join the rat race too soon

mostly it was my proclivities

my insistence on taking

a master class

in dating old fucks

what an education

Paris in the rain

a woman’s life

is too tenuous

delicate

billowy

spider web

close call on I-75

in preterm labor

on the way to the

Paris airport

in the rain

fragile

beautiful

precious

sacrosanct

finite

for bad friends

bad family

bad coffee

bad shoes

bad mattresses

bad jobs

bad husbands

bad debt

and bad dick

learn this by 30 for maximum

enjoyment

future

female

conquerors

of a dying planet

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

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

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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