Intentionally Mispronouncing Tic Toc
There's a megaphone where my mouth once was -
I'm a sexy siren.
I've been secluded for years.
Parents are certainly asleep,
While we are out back lighting fires
And playing truth or dare
The Truth is always Gehenna,
And the Dare is being
-A Desk at Work
Ode To Drugs or Ode To Excess
Coffee is so loud on the body
Pot settles in
Liquor makes the drinker sad
The lottery is slim
Cigarettes take your breath away
Ex leaves you grim
Sleep steals away the day
Diets wear you thin
Acid flash without consent
Sunlight stains the skin
Time will leave you old and grey
The earth will fold you in.
Homage to Dorothy Parker
Millennial Academia II
And Oh, the green lawns of Manicuria, the uniform haircuts!
Hard-wood humid dance parties with crystal punch.
The stately mantlepieces,
And Oh, these genitals all!
Proper genitals, I'm talking, licking the corners of pink moist mouths.
We speak consent here, or else.
We Speak the teat of suckling imperial wit, Sir.
Why there’s room for everyone who’s known the nape of daddy’s whiskey driven tennis practice...
The Main Line, Pa
3 Letters Abroad
I'm still here, Love,
While you're off,
Being off somewhere warm.
December is extra handsome this year with snowflakes.
I'm proud of you, but
I want Answers!
Please tell me:
1. Is Paradise a jello mold we're both stuck into, me here
and you there?
2. Can you remind me what you taste like?
Have you returned yet from scouring the globe for Eden?
I hope you're home,
wherever you are.
I was expecting a return letter covered
in dirt and tears and
I can wait.
- North Philadelphia
I was wondering who "Jo" was, whether
It was a boy or a girl.
I am Jo and
I am neither.
Well as long as you pay me, I
Don't care what you are.
Northwest Philadelphia, 2016
Wrinkled, In a Busy Restaurant
In contrast to the languid velocity of your sluggish fingers,
the delicate glass
as eager as ever.
let lax the fists in your chest.
-Unbraid your belly.
-That foot ain't gonna rub its own worries out!
-Go home every time you move.
-Wish for love on every eyelash.
-Drink every soul that shines like that.
- East Passyunk
Thanks to Poetry
the memory of my father
has begun taking inventory of
the thousand words its worth.
as the image inevitably fades at the edges and crumbles,
I can stick these words into
to maintain the illusion
that some things never die.
- The Bronx
Now is not the time to take time,
Now is the time to time time:
You can make time to take time -
But there is no time to make time to take time now.
- West Philadelphia
Spaces for old mustachioed men to go and get sad.
I couldn't resist the sight.
My skin is sagging noticeably under my chin
And my upper lip itches of bourbon.
Ah my fellow fellow!
Something sinister awaits you under that split-flap Clock.
spend a lifetime here underground.
The Clock has
started to remind me of my mother.
from leaping in front of trains.
- University City
Uniforms at Work
I rinsed an apple for a child who walked into the market, barefoot.
"Thank you, Ma'am."
The Apple rolled over,
revealed its face,
I wondered where the child's parents had run off to, smirking.
'You're very welcome.'
The next guest,
Drenched in himself,
Coughed, a nasty nasty cough. And
the Apple hid its face once more in the child's hands.
- North Philadelphia
on your way
to listen to the universe sway,
West Philadelphia, 2016
I awoke from childhood in a college dorm,
But it was just a dream I hadn't yet forgotten.
Last night was tarot cards and whiskey in our summer apartment.
Luke read in his hand that a cataclysm was all but certain and
that he ought to consider sharing his feelings with
that special someone.
We felt no desire to wash the dishes that were groping their soggy way out of the kitchen sink.
Fruit flies billowed out of them in a flittering cloud as I lurched groggily over the dishes to espresso myself awake.
- Drosophila Melanogaster -the fruit flies-
their species name was a song I sang every morning with a side of jelly toast –
I welcomed them,
I fed them the sticky residual rings of mixed drinks from every last night. Peach Schnapps.
Sudden study of Biology - the murderous subject!
Discarding tiny heap after tiny heap of drugged out drosophila into a petri-dish to meet their soapy doom -
but not before ascertaining their genetic breakdown for science:
- Eye color: 3/4 devil red, 1/4 purgatory white –
Come summer, I was done with death and
I made it law:
No one is to squish, swat, squash, wash away or do any violence of any kind to these benevolent guests. I was still drunk from the last last night.
There was no fruit in the apartment.
The subway stung my nose of urine in puddles and someone was smoking a cigarette on the platform. It was July, and hot.
The woman sitting next to me was a waitress. She spoke suddenly into my shoulder:
You ever have these before? [She handed me an obscenely orange tiny plastic bottle]
I'm a waitress, so I work 12-hour days & I -
Well I don't drink the whole thing, just this much. [Glug.]
I got on the train, and didn't see the waitress again.
I swore this was my last styrofoam cup, paper sleeve and plastic top I would ever send to a landfill.
I wasn't sure if I even enjoyed my coffee.
The man next to me drunk from a “Giant-Gulp” – the straw made a hollow squeak as he neared the bottom.
His eyes were hollow.
He suckled the last bits and dropped the cup at his feet
for someone-else to find.
The advertisement on the subway wall ahead was for a slick plastic cell phone.
The events that followed have been described as our "Neo-Sincerity-Hipster-Cliche-Post-College Adventure."
-A baby blue minivan.
-Our degrees worth little more than the swank paper they're on.
We were burning - the four of us.
We were certain.
We believed in believing in believing in.
The threat of being ordinary
prickled our skin like dried sweat.
It seemed there was nothing we couldn't shake.
Society is a myopic cyclops
and we are
scurrying under its nose bleating in sheep-skins.
- Haverford College
Show me this street, please,
Without a single atom unreckoned.
humbly burst at the seams of my Self,
Spontaneous, all over the sidewalk.
But today I have a headache from my nose always between my eyes
And Skull and I have an understanding, which
Precludes Street's unhurried tune
Which is too sincere for my time-lapse mind,
And I'm too tired today of always being in the wake of my own careening,
So I begin slinking toward my favorite delusion
When suddenly, I am rung
By a most improbable Subject,
- all magnitude -
Smiling their poem straight at me.
- Center City Philadelphia
Appiary Magazine's YouthQuake @ The Monkey & The Elephant, January 2017
Sun Drunk: Show & Tell @ Crime and Punishment, May 2017
Story Slam @ Elixr Coffee, February 2019
Story Slam w/ IGWBT Theatre Company, February 2021