Music Lessons

She professed her passions wholly mute
when enjoined at the cusp, lips tuned to lips,
yet he played virgin curves as a flute,
fingers fluttering with their deft-toned tips,
and he blew in measure so astute
the melody resounded through her hips,
and therefrom did vibrations take root;
from pelvis to legs, from bosom to nips.

Honky-Tonk Heartbreak

She croons over the Karaoke boom,
voice as smoky as fresh-charred barrels of oak,
white lightning across the busy barroom,
both hot and sugary—whiskey cut with coke.

She is a rough woman weathered with age
and the seasons of dragging a heart on sleeves—
hollow-eyed, denim-thighed, veiled on the stage
with her auburn hair the shade of Autumn leaves.

She sings her Loretta Lynn like a dirge
for the Man in Black, lost deep in his cup,
her soul rising, fermented, in a surge,
dividing the hot whiskey from the syrup.

Burning Out

I saw a shooting star—
it did not travel far
before burning itself out
without a whimper or shout,
and I thought of Cobain
who blew out his grungy brain.
He said “Don’t fade away,”
which is a hell of a thing to say,
but he did get his final wish,
eating a hot slug dish
and now they all praise him
for not letting himself go dim.
But didn’t he, though?
I believe so.
A tortured star, he was,
or so says all the buzz;
the buggy buzz in his head
which was why he is dead
because he could not clean his skull
of the insects, all overfull,
and so chose a lobotomy—
brain-fuck sodomy
to cleanse the kingdom,
which, I think, a thing dumb
to do,
don’t you?
He had great teen spirit,
though I don’t hear it
in the repetitive chords
for the zombie hordes,
and he must have known
the seeds he had sown,
because if you live long enough
on counter-culture bluff
it eats you alive,
all that bitter beehive
of angst and sarcasm—
you can’t even orgasm
without being ironic
or, at the least, Byronic.
Why else name your band
“Nirvana” when manned
by someone so “over it”
as to be a perfect fit
for an eye-roll model,
a “Molly”coddle.
Ironic,
iconic,
iconoclast,
mic Mono blast
who kissed a whole generation
into Hole-hearted veneration
until the Love soured
to see himself so empowered.
He was a quasar
who emitted far,
but it all had to conclude
for the bleach-blonde dude.
When loved all around
even the grungy underground
will rise to the Pop peak
and become quite chic,
and atop that summit
he chose to plummet,
so the star burned himself black
before his Sisyphean back
stooped with old age
and was thrown from the stage
for becoming what he hated
as we all do when outdated.
Don’t fall behind…
Never mind.
Meteoric fame
and a meteorite name,
all in all
after the stars fall
a cold space stone
spoken with a fervid tone
in the mouth of a fanboy
who fans the flames to annoy
the rest of us,
blowing stardust.
Whatever, mop-hair—
I don’t care.
Sellout sob stories
also have their glories.
I won’t weep over his tomb
or mope in the after-gloom.
Have you heard the new Nine Inch Nails?
That pulsar really sells
on the radio waves
now and again, in enclaves,
being a downward spiral
that was once viral.
Reznor had some things to say
about the starfuckers in his day…

Occult of Personality

Look Westward
and witness mediocrity run amok
like Lemmings following Lemmings
into fatal banality.
And by looking Westward I mean to look
at West’s Word,
Kanye West’s Word, his
Bible of celebrity, the Way of Yeezus
and Kim West’s self-worship;
hereby witness the blah-blah-blah blasé
in its purest form.
Look:
they groom their personas, like expensive
lap pets, creating a cult
of personality,
and yet only a few Occultists are purview to their
true souls—
their vapid, soulless shells
not unlike corn husk detritus
discarded en masse by the
cornfed social media industry.
They are famous
for being famous,
just as the town drunkard is drunk
by imbibing drink; but at least he is
entertaining,
if only for a while,
and famous for a reason.
But here, in America, every day is
a Saturnalia, a Feast Of Fools
when we hoist these unremarkable
dotards
upon our shoulders and tell them
they rule the realm of our
interior worlds.
Nor is it mere Pop Culture, but
Refined Culture that is infected by this
hallucinogenic brain worm.
Instagram poets give
a gram’s worth of
vanilla poetry
and are celebrated for their
lowest common denominator ruminations.
They speak of “accessibility”
as if poetry requires ramps,
all the while failing to see that
their poetry is what premises
wheelchairs
for their readers’ minds.
Crass and callous? A low blow?
Yes, but this is not resentment—
it is an exorcism of demons.
This is salty
because salt is needed
to expel the demons.
You may be part of the cult,
but you are not Occult; you do not know
the false idols you worship, nor are they
as real as some false idols may be.
They are carved not from granite
or gold or jade, but from
silicone, makeup tutorials, wigs,
Photoshop, video editors, cgi,
angled lighting, scripts, staged stunts,
studio touch-up, auto tune, PR firms,
incendiary comments, outrage-baiting,
political photo ops, two-year-old boundary
testing, and, of course,
bland envy. The masses envy,
as any person naturally will,
and have just so happened to latch onto these
commodified homunculi
and invested into their fetish forms
the wistful wish-fulfillment
via surrogate, via avatar
for the mediocrity that they,
themselves,
embody. These mirages of
self-referential product placement
are emblematic of our own commodified
lives, only with better
adverts and media presence.
The advertisement
is the product being sold; the product
is the advertisement. We are
a recursive, epiphenomenal loop.
Celebrate the
lackluster self
by celebrating the cardboard cutout
celebrity.
Being unmerited
is a merit now.
Being untalented
is a talent.
Being mediocre
is being extraordinary.
And witness the faerie glamour
worked upon their idolaters!
Reality star actors
staged and cheesing for the camera;
cheesing like a canister of whipped cheddar
mass produced and
cheaply bought
whereby the casual eater might tip his head back
and fill his mouth with a single press of the
Yahoo article, the MTV video, the smartphone app.
And there are the Youtubers
high on excitement for
themselves,
buying into the self-hype so that the
groundless self-involvement
becomes infectious through vectors of
pixels and soundbytes, the memetic
Lovecraftian horrors worse than
body infestation films
and psychodrama thrillers, their smiley personas being the
synergetic amalgam overtaking
subscribers with channels, websites, and
podcasts—
it is the invasion of the podcast people.
Subscribe to me and I’ll subscribe to you.
Follow me and I’ll follow you:
the definition of herd mentality, and the blind
leading the blind. A circle-jerk of
dickless sycophantic narcissists, the paradox of it all being
the only thing about them that is remarkable.
To watch them is to watch us.
Celebrate us.
Celebrate the US,
the cultural equivalent of a
wet rag
that cloys and clings and
waterboards with mediocrity.
And if the Kanye Wests of the Western World
“speak to truth”
a billion bobble-headed people
are there to nod in pop-headed Pop
idiocy, and self-righteousness,
the clarion battle cry issued for
their keyboard crusades from
Kim West, or Taylor Swift, or
whatever other idol of outrage and public standing
is embroiled in another hype-generating skirmish,
rallying them to their mean-girls jihad
with words as fake as the
silicone lips from which they sputter
in perpetual duck-face.
We have come to the uncanny valley
and laid down in it to die.
We are so accustomed to
fake people
that real people being themselves
is the uncanny valley we all fear.
All is plastic.
All is real.
Nothing is fake.
The gluttonous eyes of billions
render all things real in the worship thereof.
Plastic prosthetics were once used to compensate life,
to supplement deficiencies, the mutilations of
war and work,
but now life is a prosthetic
and we live through synthesized polymer demigods,
mutilating Reality to please them.
We pollute the earth with plastics
so why not also pollute with it our
newsfeeds, our houses,
our televisions, our hours, our hearts,
our minds?
Manmade artifice is preferable
to Nature’s artfulness.
All is plastic; all is dildo.
Even our president is a
reality tv star; a man hailed by his base
for being “real”, “genuine”, and
“saying it like it is”
as he lies upwards to a hundred times a day.
A pyrite president
for a pyrite nation.
We crave fool’s gold
for it gleams and shimmers and shines
falsely
and only fools would mistake it for having
value,
or values,
and so our president embodies us
in all of our cherished contrivances
clutched so dearly in the
halo of a digitally constructed lens-flare.
We are a nation that values
spectacle over substance.
We love the flamboyant mask
for blinding us to the vacuous conceit.
And like Kanye West, and Trump, and
Taylor Swift, we begin to believe in our own
masks. We are subsumed
by the forgery.
The Heartland of America
no longer beats true,
but is set to a pacemaker.
The Promethean flame has been replaced
by an LED blacklight
and we are too mesmerized by the dark glow
to notice the bloodstains illuminated upon
the Cultural murder scene.
We value the distraction
over the revelation; the coverup
over the truth.
And if you think you know your heroes
by the persona they present
know that you may very well know them,
for they are the product whose purpose
is to sell itself—like a pet rock
or a paperweight
in the paperless digital age.
To truly know them
is to know your own mediocrity.

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.