LAUGH TRACK

by

The joke is only funny

when you don’t get it.

 

Today was like the others.

An applause sign gone haywire

flashing before the punch.

 

The second hand scraped the grime

the chimney sweep must have missed.

Hashtags filled our cups, their voices

rising like curses from wells.

 

Medusa was demoted to worms.

 

She slithered to the water cooler.

Put a drop in each little mouth.

Gave them names

like Jane from accounting did with the pencils

after the miscarriage.

 

Jerry wore his tie at half-mast

for the sprinklers leaking tears.

The hour hand crept and crept

like it had a throat to slit.

 

The police helicopter flew

as if guiding someone home

(a lost child or a couple new to the city)

its searchlight waving

long brush strokes over the east side.

ON SKINNY DIPPING ALONE

by

Dear Ocean,

 

tonight you might as well be a bedpan.

Watching you used to be

like watching the door to a time machine hissing open.

Now I look into you and see

a man who could fuck up a microwaved burrito.

 

You spam the air with information

even archive dot org wishes it could forget.

 

OCEAN: you will never ever understand what this life really is.

ME: It is what I make of it.

OCEAN: LMFAO.

 

The last time I swam in you

I felt like a roofie in a gin fizz.

Looking way down into your lacquer

was like gazing up from a ferris wheel car

at the high point of its arc.

 

Back on shore

a dead seal exposed its teeth

like the moon was a camera flash

and it was saying cheese.

TALKING TO A BEARDED DRAGON

by

I dig your style

hours perched under the hot lamp

defecating on the New York Times.

 

How’s that view at the windowsill grabbing you?

 

Hope the mornings don’t get dreary

when the neighbors make the slow plod to the carport

shoulders up, eyes on their keys.

 

Try not to think about it.

 

Dinnertime’s soon.

Just blink

once for carrots

twice for crickets.

 

Thanks for being the picture of chill

when markets crash and taxes are due.

 

I bet an earthquake could tear down the walls

and you’d be all,

Just put ’em back up.

I’ll supervise.

 

Or have you read in the paper

about the ID chips and toxic clouds?

What about the people who think like you

in that sans-cerebral-cortex sort of way?

 

I know.

Amateurs.

 

But if everything is all crickets and sunshine

what’s with you clawing at the glass?

 

Just blink

once for snack request

twice for escape attempt.