Walk of Shame

Once there was a girl
(or boy, it doesn’t really matter)
who didn’t have a name
(or had one that was shattered)

who wrote too much
then spoke too much
then matured backwards

he or she would only
shut up inside a tavern

then was only seen outside of it
tightroping the distance
between that person’s self
and other people’s houses

My Friend Silke

Silke was a 6 foot tall German woman
with a 5’3 Brazilian lover
They were my favorite couple
Because of the height difference,
their tender exchange of languages
and the way she spoke very boldly
while he barbecued meat for her friends
Which, at the time, included me
and some Chinese students

I never tired of hearing her
regale them with her short answers
which always led,
tension building,
into a very large discussion

“Oh, where did you live in China?”
“Tiananmen Square.”
“Oh, really…when?”
“In 1988 my family moved there
and stayed for 6 years.”
“Ah.” She would let it sit
before mentioning
that every time
she made her admission
to a Chinese person,
they fell silent.

“Yes,” one breathed,
“that’s because, in China,
if you talk about the government
or terrible things that have happened
it’s like a cane will come offstage
and grab you away from the audience.”

Silke said a lot of things
I’ll remember, and also garnered
the best answers to it
along with my piqued interest

the best part was,
we were all there to speak English
otherwise I never would’ve had access
to her brand of journalism

three months spent listening
and now, I’m an expert
on the cross culture between
China, Brazil and Germany

i dont think I ever admitted
that I was American
I was going through my own
little silence;
it was during an election

no one ever troubled to ask me
what was happening
we are always front and center
when it was my turn to cook
i thought of collared greens and southern food
before they chanted, “HAMBURGERS!”

to be from america
is to come to the party
cloaked in invisible infamy
no matter who i am
I’m one of many
they’ve seen it on TV
They even know more
about 9/11 theories than me
which, for them, is not surprising
it’s that classic American ignorance
in my defense,
9/11 has become an obsession
in a place where spice girls
are still considered a thing

today, i watched a documentary
on south korean education
you can be sure
if i asked a korean about it
she’d be prepared with an answer

and now i have to answer for
this stupid orange bastard.

at least he didn’t punch a Clinton
that’s not unheard of
in Taiwanese politics
it seems every country
is, in part, embarrassing

portugal is onto something
with their drug policy
isreal had christ
and we are the land
of the whopper
but in korea
you can have
your burgers delivered
on a mcdonald’s
motorbike

Paper Doll

Coke Whore Hippie

Paper doll, my paper cuts, it’s all a cheap deception; body wrapped in vines, you try to tear out my infection. Pour gasoline on low esteem, there’s fire in your eyes; I burn my throat to breathe you in, so I tell you, tell me lies. Drunk off my tears, baby taste the gloom I swallow. Boy of blue, surrender now, your promises are hollow. In between my blood-stained sheets, hey, can you hear me now? Claw my plastic doll parts, throw my ashes on the ground. Massacre my bones, bruise my skin your shades of blue. Tell me, tell me lies, because I can’t handle the truth. Let’s paint white roses red because you had me at goodbye. I love the way your heart breaks and I hate the reasons why.I hear, I hear sirens as you crawl my stairs to heaven. Til death do us part, my sick…

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Out from Under

i was born
as a slug under a rock
either it was lifted
or i was pulled out of it
but suddenly, the sun
was blinding
behind a magnifying glass
for inspection
by some kid
i was his
experiment
he flecked salt
at my writhing body
and left me there,
half shrunken

then, other kids came
and poked sticks at me
until their mothers
shrieked

i was born
as a slug under a rock
but i was raised out
by the ocean
looking up at the stars

if that’s not good enough
ill just keep on looking
up

Hypodermic Needle

There’s a hypodermic needle
in the bathroom flat on the tile
where Robby was laid out, stiffening
like Jonny, falling backwards again
or Willem spinning into the frozen
snowed over ground of our
grandparents’ farm
with me, laughing hysterically
and Tiffany having still, tiny, opiate addicted
infant after infant…

There’s a hypodermic needle
in the bathroom flat on the tile
Nobody touch it!
I put up a sign and call
the police to remove it
something I never would’ve done
in a previous life, and should’ve.