Sad Robot


Robot telephones me today so
I ask if she has a glass eye
And she says yes
Now it’s conversation

I say I have a glass eye too
Mine is brown
What color is yours
Robot doesn’t answer; she can’t

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Sleepy Time for Jimmy

sleeper half

Always find a way in. A way out. No doubt.

Kids played that slider door open and shut, open and shut cases, and killed that patio door, mortice plate murder, slammed it jammed it, all the better. Won’t latch now, so I’m in but never trip trap alarms. Not me, not Mr. Jimmy.

No larceny in play today nor never ever never more. Trespass is the game’s name. I only need day sleeping. Daylight somno, dodo, and snooze. I’m shut down for shut eye, burned and buried inside out. Nothing for anyone. Blinded, found out.

But once you’ve tried it, nothing like it. Be known the risk and dreamy reward. Rest for the soul, sole fashion to rest. Forget the rest. Now comfy is as comfy does, but when sleeping strange, please accept a wide range of cradle, crib, cave.

Listing, listing optionated choices: hammock, futon, sofa, davenport, air mattress, single, double, queen, king, California, KING OF CALFIFORNIA! Bed berth cot, any and all. Anything long enough to stretch. Take the floor in a pinch. Beggars can’t be snoozers!

Today I’m fallen, falling to rest, now can’t be caught or bought, but let’s go back. Let’s go on back. Go way way way back. Antecedents. Good golly miss Molly, my gal Goldie, got it all goin’ on, golding on; crazy for that Goldie Girl of mine, Just right. Just right and bearly right.

Daytime’s the play time, so I work the night. Night man, Hi Ho Motel, hotel, hidee hidee ho no tell. Girls, girls, girls. Girls call me Sleepy, Sleepy, Sleepy James Jimmy. Poor spiked up, pricked up, rouged up junkie gals. Off they nod away from wherever or to wherever they are headed. All hail King Morpheus, the working girl’s friend.

Can’t stand where you are? You sure? They’re sure. I’m sure. But Jimmy don’t judge Trick, trick, Trixies’ habits and they don’t judge his. They know I ride the train out way out to the deep down burbity burbs.

Nobody to home out there close to the strip malls and get malls, cops busy at school crossings, open windows and doors. Little Jim Jimmy nappy time ready, up all night Freddy. But safety first. And so I sleep, deep sleep the burb.

Jimmy use his own sleeping sack and baby sleep mourn morning to afternoon time. Then I’m up. Carry me my toothbrush and have me a hot shower. Jimmy’s a clean machine. Always take a change of clothes. Then drink their joe, java joe jimmy, with milk and Count Chocula or The Captain. Mmmmm mmmmm.

A scout leaves the campsite better than he found it, picks up around it, scouting about it. I clean it all up and put it all back. I take out the garbage, even the wet stuff, but usually lick lick lickety split one piece of cutlery, handle to tine, one long slippity slurp from the silverware bin. Leave a little DNA I say. And I’m gone.

Stop off my own place for the mail, pay a bill, take a pill, my own bed still made. Then to work, the long long shift. Long long night with the shiftie dolls in and out and in and out. Take the girls a little fruit, make up a hot soup. Look after them, see, nutrition for the afflicted, admitted, addicted.

Secret secret. You sleep out to survive, untouched, alive. But don’t buck your luck. You can smell it, sniff it, when the kibosh goes on it, the hink, hinkie dinkie doo when it’s time to change houses, change horses, find a fresh sleeping mount.

Still, all’s well that end’s well. You can snooze in your own bed. It’s still clean, pristine, but wash your fork Mork. Beware the sleeping cootie.

The wicked want danger before grace.

Note to Vera Wang

Vera Wang I saw you on Oprah today girl. Oh no no no.

This is HD television now sweetie, and you are scare eeee. We can see everything, ehv ery thing, and that is way too much pancake, and way too too orange, and it is NOT my TV, missy. Those are putty marks, darlin’, knifed on soooo so think. Something your dermatologist knows that we don’t?

But you say this look works. What’s the problem? HD is the problem, honey lamb child. High Definition. A microscope on your pores. You got the good skin, you are an angel baby.

Otherwise we’re talking zit vision. One thing you can’t do is hide it all though. That is, on the 1 to 10, a minus 99, the worst.  So you just go right on ahead then, girl if you want to… you like it so much. I’m just sayin,’ I’m just sayin’ is all.

And I know you don’t wanna know what I think. But Baby, if I were Mr. or Ms. Camera Person or Mr. or Ms. Director Person, your new name would be “Never Push in Tight On Vera … Medium Shot Only” Wang.

That’s what I’m talkin’ about. Mmmm hmmm.

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RR F BW2 shdw

We boys shot BBs at the Rock Island Rocket.

The Chicago to Denver fast train clocked 90 MPH plus, but braked hard on the long curve through town, sparks ringing flanged wheels.

Sometimes we left pennies on the tracks for flattening. Sometimes it was big limestone rocks. We set ditch fires in the right of way too, burned creosote ties, schemed possible derailments from crowbars and tricycles left on the tracks, testing all for pandemonium.

But, on the Rocket’s approach, as we faced the lead F-Unit, amped with hope and excitement, we clenched fists as if on a subway strap, and we yanked downward hard anticipating an engineer’s mirrored pull on his horn’s cord, a toot, as he passed. And engineers did toot.

We loved deconstruction, the promise of disaster, devastation, but we loved that god damned Rocket too.

A boy’s relationship with trains is complicated.

The Date

ring shdw



Everything was cool until she used the phrase,
“five million dollar home.”




Dad always said
We descended directly
From Charlemagne

The last of the inheritance
Are nosebleeds
And migraines

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I wanted Scooter to dress in matching shirts… even just this one last time.

Once he’d grown big… taller than I am tall, and had started college, I’d borrow his summer clothes; I’d just go to his closet and take a polo and hide it. When he returned to school in the Fall, I’d break it out and wear it.

His grandmother bought most of them… her way of helping out. She’d taught high school and had an eyeball for kids’ fashion. But no crazy stuff, nothing of the trifling… I liked her taste, and he did too… ever since he was little.

Long ago, I’d concocted Scooter a story about the Lacoste crocodile: I said that before their subjects stopped paying attention, back when they were “civilizing” Africa and Indochine, the French had forced colonized children to wear the crocodile tag. I taught Scooter to repeat after me, oui monsieur, oui.

When he finally caught me wearing one of those polos, he told my mother-in-law, who, bless her heart, started buying two shirts at a time whenever she could find them… at outlet malls, or Bloomie’s, or Penny’s… one for Scooter and one for me.

That’s how we came to have the matches in the first place. I never thought about it until Scooter finally graduated and came home to live while he looked for work. That’s when I started to notice the twins in the laundry and when I started to be sure they were clean at the same time.

I’d seen him in one of them one day and teased that I should wear mine too. He said don’t you dare, but I changed anyway. He’d played video games and talked with friends for an hour before he finally noticed and peeled his shirt off. The noticing had taken a long time.

He soon banned me from matching… He didn’t want anyone to see his Dad in the top he was wearing. But I suggested he humor me; let me get a picture of us in twin shirts. But he’d had enough, wasn’t an infant, and said no… NO, that I’d carried this too far.

Well, he’s asleep right now… really asleep; I’ve seen him in naps since he was a baby. So I’ll just drape one of his over him and dress in mine myself.

It won’t wake him, but I’ll take the other side of the bed, there’s still room, because I’m tired now too. We’ll rest well, the both of us. Oui monsieur, oui.

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