deserves better

poem for La Mer [NIN]

Graduation

I am almost done it,
that quest I told you about, and
I promise I will make it back,
and I will no longer try to
save you from yourself.

I will let the kiss in the bus stop
rain go unnoticed I will not
smile at the driver from
outside, dampening with
every extra tug back toward you
in your sleek bomber
you with those Docs on your feet.

Because I have read more
of Gilbert and Gubar now.
I know it is me who,
like every power hungry fool,
has been your bane, and
I know the boon is knowing better
than to tie rocks to a feather,

I am going to shut in on myself,
I am the book of hate for objectified
love,
but I still miss you.

I will find a way
to make it back
but I will first
eradicate, even that
foolish desire.

I will run through the library
with the scissor of open books,
I will emulate no other poets.

I am here now.

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One Size

I can’t stand shopping.
I used to love being a kid in the cart and
grabbing stuff from one aisle when nobody looked
and then dropping it somewhere else:

maybe I was a child anarchist,
maybe I was a shit,
maybe I was a fucking artist,
without proper tools or inspiration.
so I took to the shelves and remade them
in my own twisted version of store planning,
in my own storm of shop dropping,
two decades too early,
two little fistfuls of products, poised
to my own devious ends.

Years later when I worked in a grocery store
all that karma was reduced to a single bill
I owed what I owed and at the end of the night
I had to fulfill the duty of looking for products
that been left in the wrong spot
the entire fucking store, shelf by aisle by freezer by display
for lost items, that they called “orphans” in case the
average minimum wage employee needed reminders that this
was a dire and crucial element to the job.

I think about the orphans when i shop now
and still once in awhile create a little chaos
for the next kid whose just trying to finish their shift
and get to some party where they can talk about how
it makes no sense to call them orphans since
they have never really left the florescent home
and they would by this logic call shoplifters kidnappers.

I have to shop sometimes though.
It is water boarding for my soul.
I loathe every salesperson not because
they invite it but because I just detest everything about the phony process.
I even start to sound like Holden Caulfield.

I needed boots though.
It could not be helped.
The previous week I had done a rush job of foot wear.
I had bought a pair, believe it or not, an entire size larger than mine.
This is how much I hate shopping.

They were like clown shoes after a few hours.
So I wore two socks.
but then my feet got all sweaty
and I’m pretty sure some sort of
athletes foot started to flare as a result.
They were on sale too. So no returns.
Now i had to return to the scene of the hell-crime.
I had to do twice what I reluctantly do once a year or more.

So I tried on 18 pair.
No luck.
everything felt like it was hard and designed for robotic footed beings.
everything felt like a twisted Cronenberg three hour retelling of Goldilocks,
with redheaded temper replacing blonde earnestness. Every sales clerk was
more and more a grizzly.

I gave up on Pay-Less.
It should have never crossed my mind to enter since
it looks about the quality of Al Bundy’s shoe shop,
and that can never be good.

I ended up back at the place I started.
Endless bus rides, hours of muzak and increasing
sense of panic driving into my body,
back to the fucking shire I went, seeking the impossible.

I saw them out of the corner of my twitching eye.
They gleamed like fucking Excalibur.
but then they walked like geisha clogs.
5 more pair.
5 more runway walks.
you always fucking wish the salesperson
would just fuck off
and not watch you do your test walk
like what am I going to do?
run out of the store in tight boots?
has this happened?
is it an epidemic?
i start to think about how this must be the shittiest job in the world
watching for potential kidnappers
putting boxes of orphans on shelves like a
detective at the end of some show
and finally
a pair of Timberland’s spoke
my fucking language
and I almost threw the size 13’s from hell
back at the sales clerk and
decided against it
I almost put them on the shelf
but didn’t
I just walked home
proud for having avoided a total rage out
and put the 13’s in the box the Timberland’s
my sacred number 12’s
had come in, and I put the box in the back of my closet
next to the other things
I like to pull out of retirement
for a laugh
now and again you need
to laugh at your own foolish abandon
of logic
of reason of
all fucking hope

because boots are made for walking…
and orphans are made to be re-shelved,
and shopping is for masochists,
see you again next year.

“Where is the feast we were promised?” – J.M.

We Call It Art

We call it all art nowadays.

Plato and Aristotle would have no part of it.
Miley Cyrus is like a Chair on a stage, just twittering on hind legs,
marionette to popular trend and marketing ploys of men in sweaty,
bulging suits, in dark towers somewhere.
But we call it art and it is shit and we put it up on the shelf
next to beautiful music and the very rot of it carries. It does.

We expect kids to grow up and think and reason,
when the bleached sugar cane that is shoddy, thoughtless,
base exhibitionism and objectification is fed to them, from day one,
long before they can possibly develop taste, we dis-place their buds.

We expect a plant to grow when we urinate on it daily,
starve it from any sense of contrast between homogenized sales
and what a million real musicians etc work toward;
to be taken for the merits of their craft. Not their looks, or sexuality.

And we put right next to all of those hard won records,
any old thing doing any old thing. It can be total cultural appropriation,
stifled and quick edited for MTV-teat-weaned expectations,
and we will fight for the merit of it,
while gigging, serious artists, are struggling everywhere.

Gaggling around a teen who can barely keep her shit in the public eye,
like vampire photo hungry zombies, and then calling it her right.
What a fucking joke. That’s like fighting for a slaves right to more slavery.
Arcade Fire. That is music. That is at least something you can get behind and support.

We give kids the fast food of a thing, then wonder why culture is so bankrupt of
any kind of mature, decent mainstream art.
We poke at a fire and wonder why we sleep with burnt feet.

It is ridiculous. It is absolutely a clogging of the arteries of culture and media.
And it is just sort of sad, too. It’s not maybe immediately tragic the way a riot or
an assassination is. But it festers. It is like saying: here-
here is a million dollars for your exhaustive “art” and,

and then we will pay women in strip clubs a fraction of that,
and they will basically do the same thing,
and we will call one art and one indentured servitude to patriarchy.

And tell that to our sons and daughters.
By creating a mass media that shouldn’t be learned from.

And social malaises which should.

And expect them, in their first scenes, to discern between them.
And the real, real. That although it’s every person’s right Not to be denigrated by proxy
of ridiculous objectifications, or thought of as only flesh. Chatelaine magazine is no less culpable.
Nor any slew of advertisers. Because now you’re fucking with art.

This is where youths should be able to go when they have shitty parents.
When they have no parents. When they’re young parents. Anything.
And they should have the chance to bring themselves into a higher state of consciousness,
a better self-theory. Something. Not to associate art with wholesale pop porn.
This is not a good thing. We cannot seriously undertake altering
the male, neo-liberal underpinning, if we are still letting our vital source
become tainted at the mouth, alarm yourselves. Be angry it has gotten this bad.

Artists deserve better, kids, people in broadcasting deserve to make a better product.
And Miley Cyrus deserves better. Get her to Julliard or something. And fuck Nickelback.
Fuck senseless art. It ruins our chances at bettering our chances, and our future.
Those we are entrusted to watch over.
To aim, like Gibran says- and not bother to try and control.

America has always had this fascination with anybody getting to the top,
and it is the best thing sometimes about her.
In this case the most valuable artist would be a beacon of skill,
but also cultural consciousness. Someone like Bjork. Patti Smith.
If our greatest were truly our brightest, if by our tact and nature
we were only allowed to be judged, this would never be a problem.

The entitlement of fame and the American Dream of capitalism
which freebases the drug of fame, then pumps it unflinchingly,
into the crucial, unforgiving veins of creativity itself.

If art were still held separate from the greedy spying eye of those suits,
then we might not have this problem,
and artists could better channel assistance, effect social change.

This superstar thing makes music ugly.
Julliard should operate like some kind of work camp for privilege to check itself.
They should run a detox privilege program.
Courses might explore the nuances of appropriation.

How you are actually insulting sex workers world wide
by imitating what they are forced to do for pocket change.

Like some over-paid, under fought boxer
who gets outrageously enumerated
whether he tries, or says fuck it.

Art should be better than this.