Lance Uppercutski Celebrates His Cubs’ World Series Win

ive never wanting any thing more
in my life just screaming into a wall
for 8 hours naked n my badroom
crying in bed from last nite’s win

bcuz 2day finally we are all
child-bears proud of our job
as “underdogs all year” (it’s
smelly “under dogs” LOL)

as the saying goes, “chicaGO
big lest u go where u grew up”
& theres truth to this now
even tho i always said

“u dont need 2 be 2 big
to leave” lol zack was 16
when he left no FOXsport in heaven
no baseball, dad, etc. never wanting

any thing more in my life just screaming
into a wall for 8 hours naked and alone
im craving arbys 4 roast beef all that meat
to sink into & make me feel less alive

(originally published in Jokes Review, Summer 2020)

Cat Person

You ask me to watch Lollipop while you vacation
in Nantucket without paying me even though this is a definite
inconvenience but I oblige and then you text demanding

picture updates a few hours after I say I’ll send one
when I’m there. You ask for news before I arrive
like hanging out with your cat is compensation.

Look, I swear I’m a cat
person. I am. What
I’m saying is I may be adaptable

but Lollipop is not. Today I stop
by to swing scooped poop in a plastic bag
around the house and dump a confetti of

special urinary chickenmix into a small bowl
and there are flies all over the house from the
first night of catsitting because when I arrived

Lollipop was nowhere and maybe I left
the door open when I searched outside, shaking
a bag of treats everywhere, only to find the cat

inside the bedframe, hangin’ under mattress
in the lingerie drawer– when found, Lollipop
sprints into a shoe closet because she is not

a person-cat, and oh my god look at you on that rug
Lolli wants a belly rub yes you do ah god damn it
fucking fine.

(originally published in Plainsongs, Summer 2019)

The Gym

Planned to hit the gym after work
to flex these treadmills of atrophied muscles,
but decided to quit my job and drink instead–
first work-free morning’s sunlight’s sharpness
in my skull. From this decision, I have hurt
my liver once, my heart twice from lack
of exercise, ate Five Guys for lunch then
missed the gym again. If we are all not
getting our week’s workouts in running
from the shadow of time, embrace it.

(originally published in Phenomenal Literature, Spring 2019)

Horoscope – May 13, 2017

Expect your love life
to take a dramatic turn
for the better, Taurus.

Consider power steering:
without it, those daunting
curves down the Pacific Coast

can lead to rock wall
or fence or ocean.
When you drove to Philadelphia

without power steering
for the Black Swan premiere,
you didn’t trust your friends

to steer your Taurus. When
you sold it, the red-faced
salesman strained a sweat

steering it mere meters
into wide-open lot.
He asked how do you drive

this dangerous piece of shit?
You answered I am more self-
confident than I have been

in a long time. Today, you
charged down the staircase
wearing a pink polo your

romantic partner said she
wanted to punch you in
the face for. It’s no wonder

she reacts to you
in a positive way when you
change. Make the most of this

opportunity. Walk dirt
roads drunk on Hennessy
with the movement of stars.

 

(originally published in Construction, Spring 2018)

Cheez-It®

for now cheap breakable wheat is my bible okay

I’ve been in this basement for three days

etc. etc.

orange skies in the psalms of your dimples
(my throat is parched…)

it’s simple          open your palms

for your mouth

you could fit needles in these holes
                                                       constellations in these holes

should’ve put those tiny strings of stars
in my cart to bide my time

instead of sacks of snacks
to fill                                           & fill myself

until I rip open my last plastic head

dust volcanoes       until my eyes bleed Sunshine red

my fingertips          light & salted tiger sticks

my preacher says Jesus won’t eat Cheez-Its

I believe crumbs
lodged in teeth will return in three days

 

(originally published in Unlikely Stories Mark VI, Fall 2017)

Stand-Up Comedy

[the comedian approaches the stage in sunglasses
and a shiny black and green robe.]

Knock knock.
                        (Who’s there?)

I am.
There is no punchline.

Listen past your rush-hour heart.
I am up here breathing heavily.

Listen: I want you to laugh
and never stop. I am trying jokes
you did not know you wanted to hear.

I searched coast-to-coast for lands
who laugh with me, that tectonic shifting
from belly to chest.

Why did boys like me bring ladders to school?

We wanted to learn mountains and rarefied air.
To find reservoirs of laughter waiting.

What did 0 say to 8?
                       Nice belt!

                      (I don’t get that joke!)

But I want your holy, exhaled noise.
Relax.

What do you do if you see a spaceman?

You laugh. He doesn’t know what he’s doing here.
What he’s doing anywhere.
I offered myself to the ocean–
the entertainment industry.
She did not want.
The spotlight hungers for no one.

Why did the chicken cross the road?

Why wouldn’t the chicken cross the road
if the chicken intended to cross the road?

Most everyone I know crosses the road
without looking both ways these days.
I do not call them chickens– they are my more realistic friends.

I want to make them laugh.
If you’re not laughing for me, laugh for them.

We are haunted by too many things:
dead friends, dead family, dead love,
dead strangers, dead, dead, dead, dead, dead.

You can be someone’s haunting sunlight.
Someone’s champion jester dispersing their marbles too good.

Look, a magic trick!
                                   [he throws two playing cards onto the floor]

How do you catch a unique rabbit?
U nique up on it.

How do you catch a tame rabbit?
Tame way– u nique up

on something enough to latch onto–
just a hinge’s creak
before the mouth’s swing open, closed.

Some of us never leave that darkness.
The silent divide.

Laughter will bring us close.

I mean it when I say let’s laugh until we die,
even when what we laugh about isn’t funny.

I mean it when I say if you see a space, man,
park your car, man.

It’s over.

 

(originally published in The Magnolia Review, Fall 2017)