Outside Walgreens

Do you have a minute? I’m conducting a survey
about the human condition nobody asked for.
Don’t think too hard. This will only take forever.

Say you’re buying wine at the drug store. Do you tell
the clerk to bag your medicine in paper or plastic?
Are you paying for your mistakes with credit or debit?

Are you free as a bird or high as a kite? Do you see
Linus or Lucy in the sky with diamonds? Imagine
the one you love. After taking your medicine tonight,

will you watch Netflix or chill? What about bunk beds?
Are you a top or a bottom? Play baseball? Do you pitch
or catch? Are the Dodgers in Brooklyn or Los Angeles?

In church do you sit on the left or right up front?
America is fighting a civil war. God is watching
from a distance. Are you with us or against us?

Outside Walgreens it’s raining cats or dogs?
We better get you out of those wet clothes.
I’m a nurse. Take me. I’m your medicine.

Displacement

According to your good friend Joy, a poet floating
in a river of stars, to demonstrate displacement

picture your childhood. Fill a bathtub with mood rings
and pet rocks. Disrobe. Climb inside. Picture everlasting

lifeboats and ether oars. Disrobe. Climb inside. Collect
mood rings and pet rocks. Smile, you’re a child named Joy

floating in a river of stars. Here’s your everlasting lifeboat.
Climb inside. Finish this poem. The one about ether oars.

Outside CVS

I’m conducting a short survey nobody asked for.
This will only take forever. Don’t think too hard.
First, look at the sky. Do you see clouds or angels?

When buying wine at the drug store, do you tell
the clerk to bag your medicine in paper or plastic?
Even though scientists determined it doesn’t exist,

do you still believe in free will? Are you paying for
your mistakes with credit or debit? Imagine your
second-most significant other is looking to unwind.

After taking your medicine, will you watch Netflix
or chill? What about bunk beds? Are you a top or
a bottom? Play baseball? Prefer to pitch or catch?

In church do you sit on the left or right up front?
America is fighting a civil war. God is watching
from a distance. Are you with us or against us?

Outside CVS it’s raining cats or dogs?
We better get you out of those wet clothes.
I’m a nurse. Take me. I’m your medicine.

Displacement

To demonstrate displacement, picture your childhood.
Fill a bathtub with mood rings and pet rocks. Disrobe.
Climb inside. Imagine everlasting lifeboats and ether oars.
Disrobe. Climb inside. Collect mood rings and pet rocks.
Everlasting lifeboats and ether oars. Smile. You’re a child.

Cloud Nine

The milkmaid soaked her rainbow dress. The milkmaid
soaked her rainbow dress in a river of stars. She’s on
cloud nine. The milkmaid who soaked her rainbow dress.
Get the milkmaid who soaked her rainbow dress a new
pair of shoes. She’s on cloud nine. Her feet are soaking wet.

Tongue Twisters

1.

speaking of heavy metal
my mouth weighs a tongue

words are to symbols
as cymbals are to drums

2.

so many masks on my face
you’d think I’m hiding
a thousand chins

so many words unspoken
you’d think I’m holding
a thousand tongues

3.

tongue in cheek
mouth to mouth
Poles dance
Czechs bounce

4.

I jumped off the roof
of a big mouth

spread my wings
flapped my gums

into the teeth
of the wind

I flew like Icarus
too close to the tongue

Six Feet Apart

look, don’t
look at me

look, don’t
look at me

stay six feet apart
measure the distance
between two souls

cover your nose
stand six feet
away from my toes

turn my head
and cough
up a lung

face the Muzak
hand over
your soul

look, don’t
look at me

look, don’t
look at me

remain calm
cool and
dejected

stay six feet apart
from the mask
choking my nose

look, don’t
judge me

I’m afraid
fear is out to get me

Every Moment Is Sacred

I’m an artist. A poet.
I find it hard to stop my mind
from out-thinking me sometimes.

Not everyone gets depressed like me.
Or anxious like me. But few people feel
the universe flowing through them like me.

I can’t imagine not feeling sad
one moment and happy the next.
I take the lows knowing
the highs aren’t far behind.

My life is a work of art.
Every moment is sacred.
As long as I’m kind and doing my best
every day, I’m living the life I want.

Generalized Anxiety

My brain is choking my mind. I blame myself for feeling
guilty. I judge my inner critic. My thoughts think little
of me. I’m a big kid now. My thoughts think little of me.
I’m a big kid now. Deaf is the blind man painting
the sound of dreams. My tongue is choking my throat.
My soul is a ghost. I think too fast. I can’t stop writing
about the moon. Oops. I did it again. Write about the
sun of God instead. Write about the birds and the bees.
How the captain of my boat pierces my sails and swallows
the breeze. How the brain of my soul is choking my mind.
I’m a big kid now. A big kid now. I think too fast. My ghost
has no soul. I’m too tired to dream. I’m too lazy to make
my poems rhyme. I can’t stop writing about writing about
writing. My brain drains my mind. I’m fine. I’m fine. I’m fine.
Everything’s fine. In poems empty space follows the last line.

Peter Pandemic

Peter Pandemic
falls from the sky

the sky has pink eye
for the millionth time

birds cough on bees
sneezing in trees

does the sun wear a mask?
don’t even ask

the moon begged him
a million times

birds sneeze on bees
coughing in trees

the sun in sweatpants
moons the sky

Peter Pandemic
you guessed it

has pink eye
for the millionth time