Tag Archives: metaphors and similes

Regular Poem: Gamble

17 May

lay your money down
heap it in the pot
feel the excitement as you win

but realize
that too many people have placed the same bet
the odds were in your favor
so your share is small

you’ve bet
that i
wouldn’t learn from my mistakes
that i
would make impulsive decisions
that i
would be writing the same bullshit about the same four people for the thousandth time

that’s not a safe bet, babe
that’s a fixed fight

that’s the black sox scandal of 1919, babe

i use the gambling metaphor because
i use the gambling metaphor in my colloquial speech that everyone around me picks up on and subsequently uses

i’m turning us all into humphrey bogart
one hard-boiled cliche at a time
but not like regular philip marlowe humphrey bogart
but surreal dark passage humphrey bogart where
half the time you don’t even have your own face
just bandages and chiaroscuro
and spite

of course

you’d have bet on chiaroscuro and spite
you’d have bet on a lot of things

i always deliver on a lot of things
and never deliver on others

one thing i did actually learn
is that an always-never argument
is automatically invalid

there are sometimes

what are my favorite adverbs
who are my favorite people

they say not to write using adverbs
they say it’s lazy
telling rather than showing

what is a person
divorced from
she’s completing an action

adverbs answer a lot of questions

i ask
i answer myself
i use old-timey stock phrases

there are a lot of things worthy of hate
but adverbs tend to be
a grammatical whipping boy

catch me behind the woodshed
i’m always ready for a punishment
physical preferred because i know i can take that

put your money on me
i’m the horse with the worst name at the kentucky derby
but the worst names usually win
and you can wear whatever hat you want as you drink mint juleps

max bet
accidentally six bucks a spin
when really you had meant
repeat bet

but every bet
is still a bet
there’s the chance to lose
and the house always wins regardless


Regular Poem: Taurus Season

30 Apr

i said something blunt and dismissive
in my usual
blunt dismissive way
and she said
“of course you would say that
you’re a taurus”

and i said
“i don’t what that means and also
how do you know when my birthday is”

so from what she told me about what that meant
and a few other anecdotal sources
and from the fact that i tend to celebrate my birthday
the entire month of may
and people pretty universally let me

i’ve come to the conclusion
that taurus season
is all hedonism–
a hedonism of both the body and the mind
all ranting and buffets and margarita buckets and new clothes and sunshine hammock naps
lazy convertible rides and raspberry iced tea
skinny dipping and off-key singing
and saying a lot of blunt dismissive things
whenever you want

if aries is aggressive and impulsive
maybe taurus is that but with a rounded edge from overuse

at least i know that a taurus is a bull
and a bull is big and mean and has horns
but is often too lazy to use them

Regular Poem: Bad Girls Book Club, Part II

29 Apr

well i started the book without the
nouveau cahier
excuse me
new notebook
(there’s a lot of french sprinkled in because that’s what it’s translated from
and you know how i am
how my brain
splinters and drifts and then finds pieces of itself on a distant shore half petrified with salt and wind)

and so far
i don’t like it
it’s very pretentious
and if i had a euro for every time within even just the first three chapters someone’s derided the bourgeoisie
i could buy a decent croque-monsieur and orangina already
of course the bourgeoisie deserve to be derided
and so do i for feeling such pride at having
spelled bourgeoisie correctly on my first attempt
but still

what was the last fiction book i liked

oh yeah

destitute romantic dreamers in the deep south
generational trauma and troubles
sympathetic selfish people struggling with familial curses and differing addictions
literal and metaphorical ghosts
magical realism
lyrical writing
ruminations on love and loss
modern trashy gothic

i’ve got a dramatic streak
windblown moors a craggy precipice a lighthouse in a hurricane
that’s dissatisfied with the bourgeois
existentialism and philosophizing
inherent in so many fictional works
not written by disenfranchised people
or at least people disenfranchised adjacent

angry hopeful people with little money
and weird relationships with their parents
sentimental and pragmatic and spiritual and
maybe a little nuts
striving yearning working hands and working minds
seeing sad beauty in dog vomit

jane eyre in an indian casino in oklahoma

maybe i have niche interests
or maybe i just can’t relate
to middle-class french people
who hate their lives
for very different reasons than
i hate mine

Regular Poem: Double Portion, Please

27 Apr

i had a prophetic dream the other night
i hadn’t had one of those in ages
and so wasn’t prepared for the effects

i started awake at 4am
sweating and aching
hands and feet swollen
stumbled to the bathroom
reached for my toothbrush
but then realized it wasn’t yet time
to be performing tasks

i fell back into bed
and back into dreams

of swamps and trudging through them
cautiously thoughtfully but confidently

when my alarm went off
and i reached for my toothbrush at the appropriate time

i still felt
the heat and wet of the swamp
the teeth of the alligator

my prophetic dreams contain
just small truths
but if i were to be perfectly obedient
listen and do
even twenty five percent more

what could my dreams tell me then

it’s a scary
i’m here at the edges of the sublime

elisha commanded an unseen host
and it frightens me to think
that could be me

at least i’m not an old testament prophet
i’ve comforted myself by saying it so many times
but what if i’m meant to be
but i’m indulging myself in being a piece of shit too much
to realize my full potential
and i’m just getting vague hints through bizarre dreams and weird interactions

of course it could be coincidence
but i don’t believe in coincidence
i’m a calvinist after all alas

i can’t just sit around and wait
for a mantle to fall upon my shoulders
dropping from a chariot of fire
so obvious too obvious
for my modern sensibilities

but surely everyone
has a prophetic dream every now and then
surely i can just live and be

if i really believed that though
i wouldn’t be paying so much attention to my dreams
would i
if i really believed that
i wouldn’t be begging for more

Regular Poem: Thursday

25 Apr

the worst

except for certain mondays
and an odd tuesday
and the fridays where you’re burnt out and smoldering

actually truthfully
thursdays are the worst
is more a truism a mantra an idiom
than a statement that retains any real meaning

because it’s all the worst
and has been
and will be being

i shouldn’t be allowed
to set the mood anywhere
and yet people almost always let me

kind gentle al exists
but i don’t naturally access her
i ought to try harder
instead of letting myself
be myself
who’s such a thursday of a person

Regular Poem: What Ought to Be the Truth

24 Apr

you ever have that kind of dream

(or read too much of something too late at night when your body’s already half in stasis and your mind’s already half-dreaming or fantasize about something immediately upon waking when your brain is between gears and can’t super discern whether it’s dreaming or daydreaming but it indulges itself regardless)

that an image of it appears
in the full sunlight of a two pm
and it takes you a minute to process
that it isn’t a legitimate memory
that it isn’t something real and tangible that actually happened

and the moment you realize it’s not real
is one of the least real-feeling moments
of your life
because you’re essentially living in multiple dimensions at once
and then abruptly
it’s just the one dimension
and all the other dimensions that you can still access emotionally
and even to an extent existentially
are rationally fake?

there’s a veil there
gauzy and romantic and easily ripped if touched
by fingertips
or certain neural pathways

the illusion shatters
and you shatter with it a little

i really thought as i aged
i’d turn into one of my parents
i would never have put money on blanche dubois
and yet here we are

i guess i’ll worry more about it
if someone tries to turn the light on

Regular Poem: The Daring Old Lawn Mower on the Flying Trapeze

22 Apr

on the upside
i did mow before i had to weedeat
my entire lawn

but you know me and yardwork
we’re a bad combo

like mixing your liquors
when you can already feel a migraine coming on

like a bull in the china shop
he’s just caught his wife having an affair in

like the gas stove with a faulty burner
in the breakroom at the dynamite factory
where it’s 1926 and pretty unregulated safety-wise and everybody chain smokes

we’re a bad combo
in almost all circumstances
but especially
when i’m already on the tightrope
over the waves already playing on the wurlitzer

they could say i’m making a mountain out of a molehill
but have
ever accidentally run over a molehill
with a shitty push mower manufactured in 2005
and just barely clinging to life as it is

(that ambiguous phrasing was deliberate
the mower and i both
are grasping at threads
chugging seafoam
sputtering upon waking and
coughing up half-mangled sticks
billowing blue smoke
tires ragged and catching in the soft earth)

i didn’t cry this time
at any rate

but the circus music is still playing

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