A Poem Commissioned By Jenny St. Angelo On The Subject Of Porn

Once
I clicked on a video
And began to do my thing
Without headphones because no one was home and
Fuck it

It was taking longer than I had time for
Because that’s how it is sometimes
But things were moving along

Then
I heard a soft muffled ‘Molly?’
'You there?'
'Molly I can't hear you'
I looked down and my phone was all lit up
The ID across the top bannered
MOM CELL

God
Life is so cruel sometimes

I gasped
And jumped
And fell out of bed
And slammed my computer shut
And hung up on my mom who loves hearing from me and wishes I would call more

I paced and prepared my speech
Took a deep breath and
Still naked
I called back


"Goddamn my roommate and her action movies.
I just got to my room. It’s quiet here-
How are you?
What’s new?’

We had the pleasantest conversation
Because she’s truly a lovely woman

When we hung up
I sat naked on the floor laughing
Face buried in my hands somehow so very glad and so very disappointed all at once
That no one was there to see

Then
When all the laughter was gone
I gathered myself
And
Ever so
Resolutely
Finished the job.

Haiku for 5:47am

It’s not the darkness

Or the quiet…but the still-

ness that’s so private.

Yet Another Haiku for the Conflicted

Columbus Day is

Some deep bullshit…. but I ain’t

Mad at the day off.

Another Haiku for the Conflicted

Does God laugh at me
When I treat myself to a
Skinny soy latte?

Three Fords and a Toyota Tundra

Joe Murphy never drove me anywhere

but I know for certain that it was in his green Ford Explorer

on the way to school in 3rd grade

That I asked my father what sex was and if it’s something people have then why don’t I have any?

He told me that wanting what other people have is a sad way to be

Then he asked how I thought people had sex.

“Kissing?” I offered

To which he replied, “Close.”

 In his silver Ford Taurus I asked him what happens you die.

He asked me what I thought happened-

I have no memory of this but apparently I said

“Is it like swimming?”

To which he replied “I hope so.”

And it was in his black Ford F-150 that he grabbed my arm before I hopped out to enter my college dorm and said “When I went to school my dad left me with $20 dollars to get a haircut and a hamburger. So I’m giving you the same, adjusted for inflation”

Then he handed me $25 dollars.

My father bought a new car 3 weeks before he unexpectedly died.

A grey Toyota Tundra with a computer screen in the dash

I asked him to send me a picture but he never did.

I desperately wish he had

So that after my emergency flight home

I wasn’t meeting it for the first time.

His truck that smelled so fresh and had his eyeglasses in the cup holder.

I sat alone in the cab, feeling the new upholstery-

I ran my hands along the steering wheel and pulled open the glove compartment for no reason at all.

 I turned the ignition

letting the Tundra roll out of the driveway.

Then through the subdivision, down the Farm-to-Market road, up onto the Seawall and all the way through town.  

 With the windows down and salt air whipping across my face

I thought of all the cars Dad had owned.

How many of them I sat in.

How little he drove me around

How often he made this drive

How many times his eyes looked at these streets, these buildings

How my eyes are all that’s left of his eyes

How I must look

and keep looking for him

everywhere

How I’d give anything

anything

to ride around with him

computer screen in the dash

salt air whipping

to once again

just for a second

just for a moment

be back in the passenger seat.

A Poem Cut From A Play About Neil deGrasse Tyson

Molly Murphy is a hard worker

but not necessarily a smart one

Molly Murphy will run herself into walls

Over and over and over again

Because that’s just how it’s done

She thinks

And if you aren’t wrestling to the death

What the fuck are you doing?

Molly Murphy was often told

“We were made to work

not to be happy.”

That happiness is truly a stupid idea

and really

she agrees.

because that’s not how the pyramids were built

or a man got on the moon

or how her iphone was made.

But what she doesn’t know

Is that of all the math

That’s happened

Happening

All the chaos

Out of the wrath of an ambivalent universe

Here she is

On Amsterdam avenue

crying over her dead pet fish

With her eyes

That tear up

On their own

Inside her flesh

That took 13 billion years to make.

It’s a privilege to be alone.

Duane’s Brain

I wonder what my 

Pet fish is thinking when he

Watches me have sex.

The M102

Two men

Both in wheelchairs

Ride the bus together and compare their rides.

One has better cushions-

The other—a more quiet motor.

Enjoying the friendly competition

And looking out the window at the same crap

Going up 3rd Avenue

Letter To A Beta Fish

Dear Duane,

It’s true-

You’re going to live most of your life in a bowl on my dresser.

The one with all the hair products and piles of unopened mail and scraps of paper with bad poems scribbled across them.

That’s going to be your planet-

The landscape in which your life plays out.

…I think about that alot 

Our planets, how small they are

How you deserve better Duane

How we all deserve just a little bit better

And yet, we don’t have a right to the cards we believe we should’ve been dealt

We’ve only the chance to play the crap out of the ones we have.

You’ve been told that

And I’ve been told that

But Duane

If your cards are a half gallon bowl whose water isn’t changed nearly enough on a dresser in the room of a woman who briefly, just briefly, just for a millisecond thought about flushing you-

What the hell are you supposed to do with that?

Slow-Death-A

Is what we used to call Odessa
Or what my cousins called it
Seeing as I’ve never been and have no desire.

Tyler- we called Tired
Waco- Won’t Go.
Abeline- Ain’t Never Been

And our home- Galveston-
The little sandbar where my grandmother was born married and buried
With the streets we know by heart
That place we called Galvatraz.

My cousins and I, in the summer
We would drive around in my uncle’s truck slurping alcoholic slushies
Trolling the Target
Waiting for the sun to go down so we could smoke in the cow pastures and count the stars.

And life kinda goes like that down there
Or maybe it’s like that everywhere
In Tired
And Slow-Death-A
And in
Galvatraz
A small town at the end of a long road
So far from Heaven
So close to Houston.

What’s For Dinner Haiku

Pizza sounds good. Wine
Does too. But mostly the fun
Is eating with you.

Haiku for the Conflicted

Life is hard when you 

Hate corporations but love

A good McFlurry.

Duane’s Lament (a beta fish)

Now like before. La-
-ter like now. Gulp gulp gulp…As
Long as life allows.