Tag Archives: #whitetrashprobz


30 Apr

I get these fliers like once a month from one of those shady “we buy houses” places, and I’m honestly getting tempted to call them. So I did a little blackout poetry to try to dissuade myself from what is probably a bad idea.


I want
I have been trying
I am not sure of the condition inside
needs some work.
ask them
be willing

You can choose
you want fast
I don’t care.
Please take a moment
Please try
I hope that
we can work something out…I am

Regular Poem: Covenant Peanut Butter

21 Apr

Not to put too fine a point on it and not to as paul would say
Think of [myself] more highly than [i] ought to think

But you know how i feel about old testament prophets
And you know how i feel about mowing

And there’s no good reason on God’s green earth
Or even hell’s half acre

That my ancient battered lawnmower whose wheels are halfway to falling off and whose blades have probably never been sharpened in the fifteen years its been clinging to efficacy
Should have started today after spending the winter in a shed with no heating and no door

Not only did this old girl fire up and get the job done
But she also purred to life on the very first pull

It wasn’t exactly like when elijah was living with that widow and her son died and she was like “why’d you come here to eat my food and murder my son” and elijah laid himself out on top of him and cried out to God to revive him
But it wasn’t not like that

Not all miracles are so dire and dramatic after all
Some miracles are just little things that ought not be possible

But where’s the covenant peanut butter factor in
You’re asking or maybe not as seeming non sequiturs that really only make sense in my own brain and the way i associate ideas are kind of my thing too

(Well not this time babe
Thematic relevance and from the very same chapter of first kings)

It may have been the same evening year before last
That my best friend and her husband helped me change the oil and spark plug on this same old mower

That they wanted a snack and went to raid my cupboard
On a rare occasion that i had bread in the house

And she said
Surely this can’t be the peanut butter i bought when i lived here

(She was my roommate before she got married
And that was three roommates ago)

But it was indeed against all odds that peanut butter
And two years later (counting from that evening) or eight years later (counting from when we last lived together)

That peanut butter is still to this day in my cupboard far from depleted or rancid
In fact i successfully ate a generous helping of it on a waffle two weeks ago

(Before the widow’s kid died
There was the famine in the land and the infinite flour and oil miraculously extrapolated from scraps

Her house did eat many days
And the barrel of meal wasted not neither did the cruse of oil fail

I’m not saying i’m an old testament prophet
I’m just saying that for all my myriad curses i’m also


Regular Poem: On the Grind

20 Apr

she’s always on her grind
always got a scheme going a new project an old project always a project
usually for money but sometimes just for self-edification
some blend of physical and mental
that takes planning and vision and muscle in equal measure

a self-directed self-starter
on her grind
making that money
making those connections
(she’s gonna make it after all
throws a beret into the air and
freeze frame

i often find myself in bizarre situations with her
driving an open lonely stretch of turnpike
listening to her monologue about
events that she doesn’t give enough exposition to really understand
and conspiracies that i don’t exactly buy
standing with my back straight and my hands in my pockets with my head cocked in thoughtful listening mode
in foggy parking lots and chilly equine rescues and stuffy living rooms and dusty gutted hotels mid-renovation

when she introduces me to other characters in these bizarre situations
they without fail nod and say something like
oh right
that girl

a foundation has already been laid they already know without having seen me before
i’m the sidekick
and they trust me because they trust her and she trusts me

it’s so fascinating

we’re all protagonists in our own lives
but there’s so much to be learned about yourself when you analyze
what kind of supporting character you are in somebody else’s life
especially if that person lives her life in a completely different genre

she’s the plucky heroine of a pulled-up-by-own-bootstraps adventure
and in her narrative i’m her mentee
whom she sees as a younger version of herself
to be nurtured and cultivated and remade
into the best version of both of us

but in my narrative
(well in my narrative
i’m all white trash gothic and heavy-handed poetry)

she’s on her grind
like a powerful river
smoothing the rocks beneath her by willful and persistent erosion
always surging forward with an ultimate goal
obstacles surmounted in crests and bends

and i’m on my grind
like a grindstone
the free-standing electric kind with a sandstone wheel
i can sharpen or i can blunt or i can polish and i’m very good at it
but somebody has to flip the switch somebody has to connect the power and start me to turning

on my own i am inert collect dust
look like a pretty relic
some specimen in an antique shop
although i’m not antique
i work

i still work

just plug me in and see
just plug me in

Regular Poem: Garage Opossum

19 Apr

my dog keeps trying to bark away the opossum who hangs out in our garage
and i keep trying to explain to her
that opossums are friends

they’re not rodents
they’re north america’s only indigenous marsupial
naturally immune to rabies
predators of nasty bugs and stuff
scavengers of other nasty stuff
clean quiet basically friendly animals

being wine drunk in your underwear on your back porch and
hearing mysterious suspicious rustling in the black foggy night
and steeling yourself to defend your home
with a glass of wine and a flashlight in one hand
and a glock nine millimeter in the other
and finding one rummaging in the neighbor’s garbage
who gets startled and hisses at you and the blinding light in its eyes

can be a shock
but ultimately
it was me apologizing

opossums are nocturnal and have just as much right to be out looking for trash
as i did being trash on my back porch

my dog thinks more in black and white though
fitting as i’ve read that dogs are color blind
and she considers any unauthorized entity in the garage
an intruder needing barked off

but that’s the thing
opossums are always authorized in my book
and whatever authority hildie thinks she’s got as chief security officer
my name’s the one on the deed

when she starts paying property tax
she can bark off any marsupials she wants
hell she can tell me to start barking

Regular Poem: Appropriate Activities for Dads and Their 12-Year-Old Daughters

14 Apr

for the life of me i can’t remember
what my dad’s undercover alias was
i’ve probably got his cab driver’s license from like 1993
where he’s got long hair and a beard and serial killer glasses
clunking around somewhere in a box full of switchblades and shotgun shells

that’s the id he’d use
when we would go to car lots
and test drive convertibles and sports cars
on particularly boring saturdays
and i always got to pick whatever name i wanted
because i was a kid and they weren’t gonna check the id i didn’t have

it was a cheaper activity than bowling or the movies
and more entertaining than mowing his buddy’s farm for extra cash

i was thinking about this today
i was thinking about how
i’d like to be part of a small time conman duo
nothing mean spirited
just little clever scams here and there for fun and profit
’30s dust bowl drifters style

Regular Poem: Operator, Please Connect Me to 1982

9 Apr

i’m always revisiting ideas from new angles
or perhaps they’re revisiting me
and perhaps the angles aren’t new
so much as the polygon has simply been rotated about the origin
sometimes the figure rotates a whole 360 before you know it
and there you are
the same in most ways just
translated a few units down and right
across this axis or another

we used to call my dad’s place
Doc’s Fun Cars
(facetiously of course
after a very trashy used car lot in the trashiest part of town
Jim’s Fun Cars
red hand-painted letters flaking rusty dandruff onto rusty pontiac hoods)
because he had several non-working vehicles deposited here and there

his house was never clean but hardly ever outright disgusting–
serviceable gruff-old-sentimental-divorced-guy-out-in-the-sticks-where-nobody-bothers-him cluttered

we’d sit around in uncomfortable chairs
bullshitting about politics and religion and conspiracy theories and dr. phil and local news and what have you
and he usually wouldn’t let me leave without giving me money
either just for myself
or to run errands for him with

so here i am
in most ways the same
just translated down and right a few units
across ghostly and/or unpleasant axes

bullshitting with a different old man
who has even more non-working vehicles strewn across his sprawling backwoods acreage
and he never lets me leave without giving me money

dilapidation neglect and abundance
choking robust weeds overtaking manmade structures
ancient furniture that doesn’t match
stories half remembered and twice embellished
fraught familial relationships

it’s so much the same that it makes the differences especially jarring

if i could actively choose a circumstance to revisit
or have revisit me
it would not be an off-brand analog of my dead dad
but that’s the thing about gothicism isn’t it
there really aren’t any choices at all
just fate

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

Regular Poem: Tennessee Williams

17 Aug

it’s a tennessee williams night

all hot and humid and repressed

(it’s southern gothic
but not

yes to the ivy
no to a lot of other things)

it’s all lyricism and smoke and mirrors
semi-autobiographical heartache

(i’ve often been mistaken for a southern belle)

it’s a tennessee williams night

his later plays were too weird
he was too weird
and then he died
too weird even in death

but he is still known

for his hysterical ladies

i am hysterical in my own right
and people indulge me all the same

“i’ve always depended upon the kindness of strangers”

i’ve always depended on the indulgence of strangers

they’ve always just let me

be the center of attention
ask me questions
dare me to answer them

who else could get away with the things i say

do i actually get away with them
or am i only barely allowed to say them

if i were to encounter myself
would i indulge myself

it’s a tennessee williams night

deliberate cruelty is unforgivable

but we’re all

Regular Poem: White Trash Gothic

2 Apr

if i were a bronte
or maybe just somebody
who once shared a train compartment with flannery o’connor
i might do it better

have a few better descriptions
more succinct lines of ominous dialogue

instead of just this
jumbled narrative
that feels like
the world’s longest hangover
but like a whiskey hangover
all not unpleasant heat in the chest and infuriating pulsing in the eyeballs
the scratch of too many cigarettes
in the wet chasm of a throat
unused to speaking
to anyone but ghosts

one must wonder
what are the differences between conspiracy
poor planning
bad choices
obscene coincidence
familial curse
divine providence?

one must wonder
if there are
they’re worth noting

i’m a romantic maybe
a shelley romantic
don’t buy me teddy bears
take me to a cemetery and whisper
in my ear about mutability

and that’s where we find our heroine
in a cemetery
whispering words of mutability
into her own ears

this audiobook is almost over
to be replaced by another
forgotten as soon
as the librarian reshelves it
images might remain
but do they belong
to this
or an audiobook from eight years ago?

our heroine exits
enters a new scene
whispers different mutable things to herself

what’s the best meal you ever ate?
what’s the best kiss you ever had?

i’ve had too many
i didn’t catlogue them
enjoyed them in the moment
and the moment isn’t now

the moment now
is conspiracy
poor planning
bad choices
obscene coincidence
familial curse
divine providence

the now moment
is a hangover waiting to happen
an audiobook half finished
little stupid steaks pan fried in butter
a kiss with too much teeth
a cemetery with one visitor
who didn’t even bring flowers

Regular Poem: The Sailboat Is Gone

1 Apr

the sailboat is gone

good riddance
happy trails
and also
suck it

i don’t know how to sail
it was probably shitty anyway
sitting there for years
being weathered and having unreachable dreams thrust upon it

maybe it got sold
maybe it’s been parted out
hacked up

good riddance
suck it

i hope you find yourself
mooring in pleasant warm waters
slide into a safe slip and stay
be loved as you ought

but still
suck it

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