by a troll,
being goaded
to pay a toll
to a bridge
much too far,
just a smidge
for each railcar.
A coal burner
fed by fire,
a lol earner,
his sole desire
to switch the lever
and thus derail
those not clever
enough to tell
a smoke screen
from a smoke stack,
adult or teen,
online, off-track.

Celebrity Half-Life

Lost in social media solipsism

lost between all selves, the dividing schism

of identity seen through Photoshop,

man and woman distilled as proto Pop;

forged from flesh and digital revision,

splitting essence, influencer fission.

Two lives in parallel, but neither true

on either side of the camera view;

master and slave being one and the same,

a false character under a screen name

that separates and grants immunity,

posting and hosting with impunity

while burning bridges beyond the firewall,

forsaking dial-up life like a thrall

enslaved to the clicks and the hashtag brag,

a doppelganger suffering jetlag

as they try to keep up with their own trend,

millions of followers, but not one friend,

turning up the wi-fi hi-fi volume

of fickle, fleeting visitors, all whom

glance over their sprawling media flow

that gushes everywhere, yet shallow

and so dissipating in the next wave

of celebrity summer, for they crave

always what s fresh, what s Hip, the next new rage

deftly curated on his or her page

until boredom, noise, or distraction drives

them elsewhere, the ADHD half-lives

dissolving all such idols to mere rust,

as with all that cycles from boom to bust,

leaving them with themselves, so that they feel

split by the screen between online  and real


Haunted, not by a ghost
or a hobgoblin or elf,
but by an online post—
haunted by himself
everyday, hour to hour,
click by view by share,
mouse to signal to tower
around the world, here and there.
A video of him drunk
and falling down some stairs,
Videotaped unawares.
And soon that video multiplies
without hope of exorcism,
watched by millions of eyes
through a single lens prism.
He cannot get a job
because that digital specter
makes him seem a tipsy slob,
no matter the job vector—
like juice he is concentrated
into a human extract
marginalized and rated
by one embarrassing act.

Meanwhile she is haunted, too,
but in a more revealing way—
bare skin with an intimate view
uploaded for Pornhub play.
Her ghost is a thing of shame
that writhes atop her ex
with no context of love to claim
redemption for the wild sex,
and so she sees her ghost contort
her whole life into one act,
making her seem an escort—
a thousand lies from one fact.
Without her consent she sees
her ghost downloaded at high speed
all over the world for monkeys
to please themselves, when in need,
and she is wholly helpless against
her evil doppelganger,
no matter how incensed
while her ghost lets a man bang her.
How strange that a ghost may
outlive a person not yet dead,
and outlive them long after the day
they are laid down in their dirt bed.

The White Knight’s Gamble

Allow me a moment to
emerge from my acid bath of
and survey the checkered
before you cannibalize the
white knight at play
for being a man of
ulterior motives
while your opponent mocks him
as a turncoat to his own
The poor piece meant only
good intentions
but now he is sacrificed for the sake of a
and a chuckle
as both sides disdain him,
seeing compromise of any kind
as weakness
or subterfuge
or sabotage;
the much reviled
“Nice Guy”
being an emphatic
enemy sympathizer
in a war with
Man on one side
and Woman on the other,
playing the same game
since time immemorial,
never stopping and never
because if one side wins
and the other side loses
then both sides lose
as the Red Queen stumbles
and finally falls.
It does not matter if they switch
(or “genders”)
or seats during this
Chess match—
neither chair is an absolute
Woman’s pawns will betray
in hopes of becoming the next
Yas Queen,
and Man’s pawns will betray
in hopes of
pwning other pawns
and laying the
behind the King’s back,
and the naive White Knights
run afoul of the
militant thought police
on both sides because
there is no such thing as
friendly fire
among radical feminists
and men’s right activists
as they lob firebombs
in online forums and
article comments
and the social media sniping
that is the Mad Max tribal wasteland
of the internet;
everyone, including children,
can be victims of the
known as
identity politics.
And sooner or later
an extinction comes
brought about by the
unblinking, unthinking
as the two sides play a game
within a game,
dividing their own forces further
and so succumbing to the greatest strategy of
“The Powers That Be”
as they sit back and watch
Man and Woman
purge their chess pieces
in pursuit of ideological purity,
forever divided, and thus
easily conquered; meanwhile
the quintessential
“Nice Guy”
becomes a “nice” guy
only in the anachronistic sense,
“nice” meaning to
“not know”, to be
as in he is ignorant of the
mire into which he unwittingly drives his
noble steed headlong
to save
no one whatsoever
from the clutches of human
and identity politics,
his sacrificial crusade nothing more than
an honorable mention in the
Darwin Awards
as both sides laugh
and I submerge back into my
acid bath.

Instagram Poetry Is…

…as middling and mediocre
as the blank space between
a vulval portal to paradise
and a literal shit hole,
and yet
so many people are
by it; they are
as inexplicably enamored
as some are with the
margin referred to as
the taint—
it is thus the
anatomy of
exposed only when someone
bends over
and shows their ass.
And no matter how well
they think they can wax
it is still just a
hairy strip of


Chasing Will O’ the Wisps
would be more productive
than these dead, self-saturated
swamps of thought,
ideology being the stagnation of
without growth;
and so there stretch billions of
digital miles of
re-peat bog
as people plant the same seeds of
tribal belief, partisan posts
that have corrupted Eden
with web-arrayed weeds
just to add another layer
to the wasteland.
Even as they dig up
territorial turf
and let it air,
it still catches fire
as the stale, decaying
mouthfuls of morass
into one another;
meanwhile minds everywhere vegetate
into poisonous plants
which likewise never grow.
So much time and energy
tending rotten roots,
so much life
devoted to a barren horizon of
inert, suffocating compost.
It makes bogmen
of us all.

Hot Spotlight

What flower did not wither, too,
when under the magnifying glass,
the focused, scrutinizing rays
burning petals, stems, and the grass
surrounding it, hitherto
shriveling in that relentless gaze?

Nor can little army men
endure such a spotlight for long,
melting down as plastic sludge
despite however well-made and strong
while the lens focuses when
we critical children glare and judge.

And even an armored ant pawn
doing as its hivemind intends
cannot withstand that laser ray
while we, jaded, follow trends,
never reflecting on
how we may find ourselves burnt someday.


The troll beneath the busy bridge
enjoyed fish as well as any lamb
and would sit on the nearby ridge
overlooking where the salmon swam.
Unrolling his long bloodless tongue,
he would pierce it with a sharp hook
and cast it out there, far, in among
the fattest fish in the murmuring brook.
His tongue would wiggle, like a worm,
and wag mockingly at the passing schools,
baiting them with each insulting squirm
and hooking many of those leaping fools.
How violent that easy brook became
with so many salmon jumping and splashing!
With each salmon the troll did claim
the flow became as whitewater, crashing.
Yet, there was one fish who, being wise,
warned the rest of his remaining kin
to not look up at the lure, nor to give a rise,
and instead to swim by with an easy fin.
He told them, “Do not take the bait.
Let the troll’s tongue wag all it wants.
We will not be like the others and sate
his appetite, or be caught by his taunts.”
And since none opened their mouths again
to bite the bait dangling overhead
the troll starved and withered, bone thin,
and the brook flowed gently, once more, in its bed.