thirty summer

carving words out of willows

Jazz in May #5

The music in May has been good to me.
All that Jazz just hanging there in the air
as I try to figure out what I could do next.
They follow me now, Buk
just like they followed you
and just like I’m following you home.
The music is different though, I could
never write with Classical, too much noise
and crescendo scares me when I don’t pay attention.
The whole thing has become electric
where you get discovered by blogging now
and barely ever have to go to slams or coffee shops
and read and read until someone feels your pain.
It isn’t electric typewriter as much as it is
electric chair.
I do it to Jazz. I let it reap my fields as the sun rises,
as the sun blinds noon lunch commuters
and as it sets and poses for the camera like a porn star.
This has all been good to me –
the music, the songs, the photos, the days –
It’s a full brass sound now and the room dances
and my fingers dance.
They read me now, Buk. I just hope I don’t dry up,
waste away in a gutter and run out of words.
To paint images on a computer screen –
easier now and it sings now with
these crazy devices like auto-correct
and we have built-in thesauruses so
all our lines look better like mascara better
and painted-on lipstick mouths better
and people say things like “that was deep”
and “you have it man, I love how it flows.”
And in some ways that is ok too.
We are on that new wave, man, that new avenue
where structure isn’t bound by flowery phrases
and gravestone-like sonatas.
We get to do it and we get to do it hard now
and we get to tell everybody about it
like some sort of poetry smut book:
“50 Songs of Shaw”
Where you get to watch me
put each word into its place
each begging word, bound and gagged.
The music of May has been good to me
and as long as they keep
beating those skins, smashing piano keys
and thumping that low E,
I think it will be alright.


No one ever watches the clock hands move anymore

No one ever watches
the clock hands move anymore.
It’s all digital now
with big blocky letters
or fancy fonts
on smart phones.

No endless cycles now,
no plans built
around twelve hour

just reminders
and pop ups
and alarms
and checking calendars
and Facebook tells you
when everyone’s birthday is
and all you got to do
is click a send button
and they get a generic
Styrofoam message
that acts like a sincere

“Happy Birthday,”

when in all actuality
you barely even know
they breath air.
We all know it was forced
and yet,
we still do it.

Everything has become
We sit hunched over
our keyboards
staring endlessly
and scrolling
and scrolling.

Waiting for people
we hardly care about
to tell us
what they are eating
for dinner.

And we complain about
them posting
pictures of their
kids in bathtubs.

We complain about a
digital revolution
as we perpetuate it
with each

There is dignity
in logging off

as there is
in owning an
analog clock
with a face
and an hour hand
a minute hand
a second hand.

Thoughts after a few good hands of poker

There is a

sweet embrace of the cool air
trying to stave the hunger of heat
As May dies into June’s arms.

Drunk on nights like these
with random voices yelling into the night
and I had a few good hands
at poker
won a few pots against friends.
Easy game, no money involved.

It’s nights like these
when the darkness stretches on
and all I know is
the glow
of the halogen light bulb
painting a soft yellow
across the room.

A few barking sirens
and the noises coming from
the bedroom as she falls asleep
watching television
and I feel as though
this is alright.

Life is alright.

My persona
used to be that of a raging being
putrid disdain for too much for me to recall.

I used to be that maniac Atheist
yelling back. I used to carve swear words
and song lyrics into my folders
at school, listen to Marilyn Manson
and discuss faux-paradigm shift wet dreams
with the sophisticated types,
only to find out that
we were the suffocated types

There was nothing new, no break through
so real that we would break world ideals;
no revolution created, just a whole lot of
empty words and miscreants misbehaving.

I fell short of that wet dream
just like they all do.

Now I sit at a computer screen
understanding that I
am just a man

and this is just words
on paper.

Read it

All the people
trying to be poets
trying to write it
and never knowing
even how to format.

Their stanzas are
all wrong,

Their lines
all run together

like paragraphs

and you are left
to sift through the rubble
of structures
and the architecture is all

You only hope that
you are reading each


the author

But the thoughts
I have
aren’t bitter

for I know that
they are at
trying to
write it out.

At least the words are there
of the fact
that it might be written
on coffee-stained


read like
a bizarre energy
cutting the quiet of the moon
like a coyote
with mange
in your living room
just sitting there
licking itself
at midnight.