Haiku Halftime Show

Legalese is smoke
from a dragon just before
it burns you in court.

Pretty petal mouth
fragrant and pink and blooming,
hiding a wasp’s sting.

The busy spider
scrambled up its dew-jeweled web,
fussing over guests.

She dreamt of flying,
her young wings clipped and crippled
by her mother’s tongue.

Ghost-faced bandits steal
through the misty midnight dark;
opossums on the move.

To purify wells
by drinking up the poison:
subprime mortgage loans.

They crucified Christ
everyday, their hatred
biting hard like nails.

Little fawn baffled
by fluttering butterflies;
the joys of childhood.

Sleepy-headed boy
nods on the couch, King Arthur
knighting him in dreams.

Whiskey yeast prospers,
distilling what will kill it—
as do humans, too.

The doll did not move
as she hid in the toy box,
fearing sweaty hands.

He wrote poetry
as passementeries stitched
to life’s humdrum hems.

To wed to that name
was to noose oneself with a
gold-inscribed choker.

Her blouse button popped
with the heaving sighs of her
harlequin daydreams.

Her breasts spoke true
with their deep cleavage divide;
a divided heart.

How like a hammer
his thought, a chisel his word—
Freemason wizard.

Kleptocurrency

Cryptocurrency or
kleptocurrency?
Like a casino with its
poker chips stacked against you,
it will exchange real money for
1’s and 0’s.
Money that steals itself;
what a 21st century concept.
Out of sight
out of mind
out of wallet.
It is easy to pickpocket
wealth absorbed into the
E-ether, pulling it out of
thin air
like a magician pulling a
bit-coin from behind your ear.
It is like lightning
in the Cloud,
flashing brightly
and then gone,
but not even thundering out
(even if you are thunderstruck
by the bankruptcy).
How ironic that currency
made of info-dumps
and that can never really change hands
or be lost in the couch
or dropped on the filthy street
should be so dirty
as it zips about from one wire
to the next.
It is the ponzi scheme
dirtier than the pond scum
in Wall Street’s wishing well.
Might as well buy virtual “real” e-state
and see how many tenants
pay for the rent.
I am sure your avatar will eat well
even as you starve.
What a brazen blackmarket
operating in the light of day.
And what good are undercover detectives
investigating
when everyone is undercover?
These criminals
and these victims:
indistinguishable.
True, we are all complicit in the fraud
that is currency,
for every currency is a magic trick
and we are coerced into believing it
until, like a cult growing toward religion,
illusion enslaves sense
and delusion overmasters reason—
yet,
this is something much newer,
more genuine in its fraud.
Electronic currency exists
as current upon the digital byways.
Like your digital girlfriend
in a dating simulator,
it’s real insomuch
as others never ask too many questions
or ask to meet her:
“Trust me. You guys would get along
great together.” It is the same as
“Trust me. It’s as good as in the bank.”
Electronic I.O.U.’s between strangers
divided by time zones and continents.
It seems an experiment
in the Thomas Theorem
to see how much
“real” currency can be purchased
from digital counterfeits:
anything thought to be e-real
is real in its e-consequences.

Witching Hour Haikus

Her words were written
upon hearts as on tombstones;
cold, hard, deep, final.

“Teach a man to fish”
they say, as if they don’t own
every river.

Streets cobbled with skulls
and anthems of unheard screams—
parade of empire.

He clung to belief
as if a shipwreck’s flotsam,
but t’was the iceberg.

They all vowed she was
the salt of the earth, and so
she salted the earth.

Firstborn of Egypt,
did not you die innocent
as God’s other Son?

Trapped

It was a family of mice
beneath the kitchen sink,
each a victim of its vice—
corpses rotten, beginning to stink.
They had been caught in glue traps,
their bodies black and distended,
having been looking for food, perhaps,
and finding themselves now ended.
There was a father, a mother,
three children all on the same trap,
as if one had been caught, and then another,
all falling prey to the same mishap;
none learning from the one that came before,
wanting an easy snack, an easy life
in a place of respite away from the more
difficult fields, with their toil and strife.
And now their leisure had them shitting
themselves where they hunkered down to eat,
unable to move, wrenching, then quitting,
giving up the struggle, or else tearing their meat
in fear of the end, consuming their own flesh
to survive just a bit longer, as if they might
see their old world again, the one still fresh
with flowers and berries and gentle sunlight.
And I wondered, as I threw them away
in the trash bag, with its heaps of waste,
whether we, also, would some dark day
be trapped on a dying planet, inevitably faced
with our own imminent demise;
wondering whether we would still choose to lie
to ourselves as seas boiled beneath ashen skies—
able to do nothing but watch our own children die.

The Scapegoat’s Prayer

We are begotten
and burdened
by flesh,
its temptations thus befall us
and become us,
so let us shackle a lowly beast
unconfessed of sins
with the weighted words of our evils
and cast it out to Alini, to the
wanton wastelands of
arid responsibility, thus
providing us our innocence
so desperately craved
and thereby proving us
the lowly beast we would each other scapegoat. In make
and in meaning
we are what we would
in our steads
forfeit to condemnation. For we
were made in the image of our Maker
and likewise must divest ourselves
of our multitudinous sins,
hanging their blood-blackened thorns
upon the crown of the Goat,
of Lucifer, Satan, Azazel,
for he is the beast of burden that chews the
roughage of our hearts’ sins.
Hoofed and horned and
black-lipped with iniquity’s cud, whispering
in our ears, he is
the Goat, the Scapegoat,
consumed by the same duty that
Jesus knew.
Yes, imbue him, encumber him, and
cast him out,
for he carries in him
that which we begot upon the earth:
black deeds,
blacker thoughts,
blackest desires—let him eat the roughage
until only the human heart remains,
more bestial and lowly than any
truebred goat grazing
in the fallow vastness of
spiritus mundi.
Come! Cast out the overladen sacrifice
as did the Lord his firstborn son,
glutting within his angel’s heart
the sins of His making.
For He so loved Heaven
that He hurled forth His first son
to expunge the impurities therefrom;
the impurities of His own Creation
as we do our own.
Cast it out
as the Maker did us
from the Garden of Eden, our species
a great congregation of
scapegoats, too, and scapegoats that
cast out scapegoats, as we
cast out the Maker, in turn, God being
the scapegoat of our sins as well.
Lucifer, Eve, Adam, Christ, Man, God—
scapegoats unto scapegoats, a whole herd
of overburdened exiles, our unhappy Exodus
as natural as sin itself
in this flawed skein of flesh.
Come, partake in this ancient Pharmakon, for
from sins arise as a black plague
our communal heart, so drink fast the
remedy,
and relish the
poison,
relieving by stony pills
the Pharmakos;
the therapy without equal,
the ritual without rites,
the original opiate,
and opioid,
of the shameless masses
exiled by the sinfulness
of Nature’s perverse innocence.
May we eat well
of blame abloom
in this hoof-trammeled wilderness.

The Hyena Queen

She was a pretty hipster, hair mohawked
like a black mane of jagged crests,
and her laughter was shrill as she walked
into the club, leading her pack with her breasts
bouncing in rhythm to the DJ’s dubstep track,
heading first to the neon watering hole
for a drink, every dude gawping and stepping back
as if he feared the loss of his heart and his soul.
She ordered margaritas, licking the salt
and leaning on the bar as she coolly eyed
the dark jungle of the room, the gestalt
of the animals in their herd, grinding side to side.
Her pack looked wild and hungry, their thighs
paw-printed with tattoos, and their painted faces
gleaming with piercings, their black-rimmed eyes
hinting at Punk Rock, and elephant graveyard places.
A young man approached, eyes like a gazelle’s—
big, dark, innocent, full of frenzied flight
before she disemboweled him, spilling his entrails
with high-pitched laughter full of scorn and spite.
Her pack’s cruel, giggling glee then rang out
to silence the grazing grounds, the thunderous savanna
dropping down-tempo as she shoved her snide snout
through his guts, and his genitals, the young man a
carcass now, eviscerated on the dance floor
as her pack enjoined in the kill, tearing him apart
long after he had fled through the exit door
with whatever remained of his mangled heart.
Her pack then hunted their own prey,
seeking the stragglers, the loners, the lost
upon the edges—those who wanted a day
of excitement to remember, even at great cost.
Wobbly-legged calves, newborn and chaste;
old grey beasts, single and lonely;
straight, gay, bi, pan: grazers of whatever taste,
they were all led astray by the lunatic laughter only
to be torn apart, shredded, heaped up in a pile
by this pack of predators, their laughter wild and petty
as they fed themselves on the dignity of others while
dubstep storms blew over the savage Serengeti.

Shadowboxing

He fights his memories,
often cornered by them in random ambushes, the flash-mob
throwing jabs and uppercuts while he staggers
against the neural ropes, brawling with his
life, its mortifying figures
casting behind him as shadows.
People who see him boxing against
invisible opponents
think he is restless, or crazy, but
it is the only therapy that keeps
him from curling up in a fetal position
as the amygdala gangbangers take turns
kicking him in the hippocampal gut.
He always tries to fight back against their
hazing, his fists focusing the emotional
excess to fend off
the challengers that step into the
limbic ring.
It is a tick, an eccentricity,
a necessity. Punch the
memories away. Here he swings a
haymaker against the recollection
of the time he wet himself in Middleschool while in want
of a restroom; and here is
a straight left, followed by a right hook
to knock out the vicious memory
of his first attempt to get a date
for the Highschool Christmas dance,
stuttering and sputtering as if
already suffering from boxer’s brain,
the mnemonic concussions coming like a free-for-all melee tournament.
It is not suppression, Freud,
but sublimation; the means by which he
faces off
against his faceless shadows.
He tries to
curbstomp
his own feelings,
his shame and humiliation, his self-
loathing, and to embrace the ringside
grandstanding showgirls
of his first kiss, his first love,
his first bout of
lovemaking, only to be startled by the upset loss to
his first breakup, his first car wreck, his first
eviction notice.
He tries to pummel these shadows down,
to vanquish them with his knuckles
only to find them huddling out of reach
against the back wall of his
mind, dwelling there, eclipsing any and all victories
until the day he should lose the final
fight, the fight of Life,  which we always eventually lose, the bright lights of the cerebral ring turned off, the arena boarded up, and these belligerent memories at last subsumed by the final darkness, like
still, nondescript shadows
lost in absolute night.