Blue Sky, Part II

They want a poem

about jazz music

as an understated triple clef, a hip

to trombones tapping that ash off

syncopated soft curves, because

that bared marrow crackling

of rap on the avenue

won’t sound right.


So speak the jangle of lawn chairs,

the rattle of revolvers locked in

broom closets, conducted by

passing car door speakers—

keeps an eye on the breath of children

over dark night. Having already

turnt the soil, the earthworms

into sour milk from that timbre

of slouch and high lark.


So when the skies feel parched

remind them of the Mayans

tossing human heads down temple steps

to the same beat that built the calendar


and a fire’s smoke

inventing zero.

mayan wayne


Disappearing Alan Smithee

Utah 2005 0630 10091711 - Comb Ridge - Fish Mouth Cave - Hands on wall

When I’m low

I’m binge watching

the ticker tape of

closing credits only.

I don’t have to tell you, but

everything ends the same.


I pretend

I’m in the movies, but

just the scriptwriter,

just the sound guy,

better yet, fed up director

revelation left

on the cutting room floor.


When I’m low

sop ink up from paper,

backspace the subtitles,

reuse old taglines to the show.

That racket of anvils—

after lunch like Hannibal

sacking the score.


Hole up in wardrobe,

better yet, throw out

those costumes, rub out

my thumbprints then walk out

that door. Scrub graffiti off

the gargoyles, my address

from curbside, delete

all my profiles, text

both of my parents—

I renounce my tickets to the show.


When I’m low

host reunions in my apartment

where dead ancestors squat silent,

passing secrets in the living room,

something ‘bout

times before the internet,

but what it is

Grandpa won’t say.


You can hear him in

the woodshed, returning

digital back to video, cellulose

reels to flash lamps, canvas

back to cave walls—

drowning buffalo

in too many coats of paint.

“On Devil’s Food 1919” by Miguel Aldaco

Got into the Penn Review!

Penn Review

Ask those Black Sox
those ballplayers if Arnold Rothstein’s lips smacked of milk sweat
drunk on devil’s food when the fix was in.
Luciano in the upstairs lavatory, hamming it up in the abattoir,
turncoat henchmen boil down the bathtub in a hiss of lye
while Lucky sits
as if poolside by poppy plants.

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Future Primitive



They promised us jet packs

instead all we got are these stupid phones.

Burn day light batteries by the soft glow

of our smug faces,

but if you need a burrito

I’m the unshowered oracle you have at home.



into a tv dream of fall cardigans, mock turtle,

gray stitch of evening wear perfect for a night on the town

as a nap on the couch. $200.00

if the commercial reminds you of a classier grandpa


instead of the drunk who became ancestor

refusing doctors a hack at his other foot.


And by god

where are the robots,

iron Neanderthals to do the laundry, crush dishes accidentally

with manacles for palms?

I fancied a future where families dressed

to the neon best

wrapped group hugs ‘round contraptions bawling sprockets:

adolescent circuitry at odds with robot law.


Instead, clothes still come in one fashion

per item, no shape shifting nanofibers tailored by our minds,

oh, but the success they’ve had

inducing automatons to cry.


Witness this by the odorless interface, conduit of cell phone towers

to touchscreens, celebrity retweets

ignite rafters of this open air mine.


Yowl and snivel,

sure, me too.

Grinds my gears by the eye sockets

like waking dreams totally recalled. Levi’s,

maybe Apple ads, unsolicited tender access touch my special place:

Memories of first kiss jpeg

renders a weep over adverts

pimping straight leg pairs of jeans.

…For Pop




Keep it

just over the berm, no,

further, beyond the punched out bicuspids of Kandahar.

If there’s enamel to be scraped

do it on the far side

of mud walls until smoke rises like a preteen in fits—

in short bursts of sporadic fire on the other end of a television

clambering to tell vapid tales

of concussive blasts—

an echo of a telegram, dead

by the time it reaches, acres clear of nodding infantry,

as if poolside by poppy plants.


It’s best to keep it

somewhere else.


Nope, not gonna’ get rope-a-doped

back into the material world of gunplay.

The hack-hacking

of another joking broken soldier unloading.


in the same ditch he finds his counterpart:

strokes from the cleft of the ear across,

shrapnel upending clean butcher slices

returning his pallet of bones to the stars they rose in.


This is not what sells. They say

if it bleeds it leads, but they insist upon ketchup.

Not the amber glow either of us were looking for.

We keep it locked in safety deposit boxes patrolled by Swiss guards

plucking chocolates

from a golden tray.

Back from Beirut


You can tell a hooker

whatever lies you like.  Become an anthropologist

dining at the corners

of her open mouth.


You tell her you’ve come back

from seeing the world, a journalist

if it suits you. Grope her gray ass

pock-marked like moon landings in the yellow hours

of your parent’s living room, brimming

with toys.


Your half-brother, 18 years your younger,

is 6.  She unzips your pants to the tune

of his Fischer Price accordion she kicks

away black heels, shooing off teddy bears

like jackals.


You invent a real estate license, confessing success

on a handshake for the family time-share. And,

even before you left the States, that

you were a generous son

between puffs up her skirt.


What’s finished is over.

You offer a glass of water and a chance

to watch TV, a break from the bump and grind.


Her palms still glistening,

I’ll leave you to your unpacking,

it would seem

you’ve still got much left to do.

Take the Day

There should be a holiday for all the dumb-dumbs

the nit-wits, nincompoops, and harlots,

half-pints and hiccups—

turned full pints, business executives,

pilots, and professors.

One day for the re-construed connoisseurs of guffaw

and lager.


And how about a holiday from the hangovers?

From the hang nails and further cavalier trifles

pinched at the steaming corners of all

half-baked days.


Let’s take a week

for those common American monsters

who fluff couch pillows on Christmas Eve

before the tree lights go dim,

long after half siblings

and step-parents cast themselves upstairs.


There should be a holiday for all the scarves dropped

on train tracks,

a day for bent tickets

swollen hands

tender digits

as they scour down from the platform

and fetch a baby blue

Father’s Day accolade.


A vacation

from that worst kind of racism, the dull rub

of when it’s just too hard to tell.  Holiday

from the tin roll

of trolling earbuds, a shivering zip up

the escalator ricochet—

exhale into Ft. Totten’s red line midnight transfer chill.


A day off for Batman, for Oprah, for the blue pulse

of wall socket volts, a vacation for the ball players

and the varicose veins.


And for Atlas, who

on the first day of March

simply collapses

like a six pack, dusted in the sun’s orange evening shade.


I recommend a mental health day

for fitness trainers

exhumed from the coughing hulk of once leviable

Houston bodies, juggling night classes on Nabokov and tax law.

Slack skinned Saturday night gargoyle like a wing

over Georgetown libraries.


Take flight, take care to do no wondering

and just stare.  Leave the cupboards bare and the car horns dead,

especially if the turn sharpens up ahead.


For the teachers who bartend,

the students who strip,

the plaster on the terrace

of a Disney cruise ship.  For the unsolved murders

to the nose on your face.  For god sakes

take the day.

Just as a side note

I’m finding the ending pretty cheesy.

I’m shooting for poem aimed at those of us

who have changed our lives and worked hard,

but now deserve a little relaxation… a break from the world.

Any suggestions would be appreciated