One Blogger Likes This (for Eric Clapton)

Okay okay so I read

Another rock-star

Autobio, this one

By old slowhand

Himself. Yeah I know

He did great work

With Cream, Sunshine

of Your Love and all

That, but truth be told,

Any halfway decent

Blues-rock guitarist

Would have sounded

Great playing with

Ginger Baker and

Jack Bruce, the J.S.

Bach of the bass.

And those stunning

Lyrics were penned

By unknown poets,

Of course.

And really, everything

Original Eric did since

Was pretty lame stuff.

The first line of his

Book nearly put me

Off from reading it:

“Early in my childhood,

When I was about six or

Seven, I began to get the

Feeling that there was

Something different

About me.” Well Eric,

Most of us get that

Felling, so don’t wax

Too special.” But after

That the book got

Pretty good, and I was

Surprised to find that

Clapton was a fan of

Kenneth Patchen. But

As Bukowski wrote, it’s

Possible to like someone

If you don’t know them

Too well. Something like

That. So I wasn’t too shocked

To read that, after earning

Millions, buying cars, and

A barely-legal wife, old

Eric ruined my mostly

Positive view of him. As

He wrote: “…it was pigeons

Roosting in the eaves of our

House (mega mansion), cooing

In the evenings and waking up

The kids at five in the morning,

That tipped the balance. I went

Out and bought a shotgun…

Ethically it was never a problem

For me…” How lovely. Now I’m

A guy who loves peace and sleep,

But the sound of birdsongs never

Bugged me a bit. And even if it

Was an annoyance for his kids,

There had to be a better solution.”

So screw

Eric Clapton. Another “hero”

Bites the dust. But the crowds

Still scream his name in

A stadium near you, while

Robert Johnson died in

Agony as a very young man.

And as for me, who would

Cry for joy to hear the cooing

Of birds instead of blasting

Stereos everywhere, well, I’ll

Be lucky if one Blogger likes

This.

 

— FB

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day After My Birthday

I don’t tell people

I know that my

Birthday is coming.

I don’t tell them

On my birthday

Either. I don’t want

Those few that I know

and care about to spend

Their money, because

They haven’t got much.

But being human, there’s

Always that penlight-sized

Spotlight of hope searching

The dark cave of my life

For something or someone,

Especially on a birthday,

That man-made boundary

In time that intensifies

Our hope for happiness

Or meaning. So I stopped

Down to a strip-spot I used

To visit, after the insane

Job, and after putting in

My earplugs to deaden the

Rap crap and hell metal, I

Spied a baby-faced, black-

Haired angel shaking her

Birthday-big white ass on

The stage. She looked me

Dead in the eyes with a look

That seemed to say that I

Was more than just my

Money. And despite all

The hard-lived lessons of

The past half century,

I began to half-believe,

Because I’m even dumber

On my birthday. So I stuck

A few bucks in her hard-

Pressed garter and said

That I enjoyed her acting

In Twilight 3. At least I

Don’t steal my lines from

Movies. And when her dance

Was done, she sat that birthday-

Sized sweet ass of hers down

Next to me. That and her face

Lit a few candles in my soul

Really. I told her that she looked

Like Lord Byron’s great great great

Etc. granddaughter, and when

That didn’t click, I said descendent

Of Elvis, which worked up a smile

On that cherubic face. Well, she

Shared a few things, like her

Studying to be a yoga instructor,

And I tipped her a five every

Several minutes, but she still

Hit me up for dances pretty

Quick, which I politely declined,

Saying I was enjoying my play-

Date and her luminous beauty

Too much to want to spoil it in

Some dark booth. And then

The light in her eyes dimmed

And her smile clicked off. She

Made an excuse about having

To talk to the “house mom.”

A few minutes later I saw her

And that luminous ass pressed

Against some other half-dead

Fool at the bar, who was

Smiling like it was his damned

Birthday in a universe that

Remembers.

 

— FB

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dead Languages

I gloried in studying Latin

Before the jobs crucified

My concentrative powers.

All those Romans, wine

and togas and black

bangs flowing. All that

Poetry, Dramatic Tragedy,

And those epic orgies. People

who wonder why anyone would

Love a dead Language must

Be braindead not to realise

That all of the great languages

Have been dead for some time:

The language of Romance,

The language of Poetry,

The language of Free Thought,

Even the language of Logic

Itself, though they might

Seem to be alive sometimes,

Like the hot blood flowing

Through Catullus’ lines,

Or the proud look in the

Eyes of a statue of Venus

Or Augustus

Glowing alone and

Unloved in a museum

near you.

But those are only the

Echoes and shadows

Of life. The Romans

Are dead, just as is

The civilization they

Sculpted, sang,

Stabbed and screwed

Towards Olympus,

Dead as the one who 

Writes

These lines.

 

— FB

 

The Consequences of Not Becoming a Rock Star

I read the bios

Of certain rock

Stars. I like reading

About the their

Early struggles:

Keith, Mick, and

Brian sharing a flat,

knicking change

to feed the pay-

Heaters, Tony

Iommi persisting

With guitar after

Losing the tips of

His fingers, Ozzy

Getting by with one

Shirt on their first

Euro tour. I eat

These pages up

And am happy

For them when

They finally make

It. But the pages lose

Their flavor when I

Get to the long

Drug binges, wrecked

Hotel rooms, and the

Long trail of discarded

Virgins. I don’t think

It’s jealousy. It’s just

A matter of senseless

Excess, not to mention

Those poor virgins, and

The doves and bats 0zzy

Bit the heads off of. And

Then there’s the nagging

Realization that for most

of us, the early struggles 

Never end and

Will never be

read about

By anyone.

 

— FB

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Most Never Learn

My father has

Plagued this

Earth for 80

Years now.

Lying, whoring,

Driving away

Everyone he

Claimed to

Love with

His selfish,

Petty, sadistic

Ways. To this

Late day

He calls and

Invites his

Grown

Kids over.

Then before

We can even

Sit, he lights

Up and blows

Cancer stick

Smoke into

Our faces.

Still, he’s

Creeping

Up on the

Grave, so

For a while

I made an

Effort and

Visited him.

The last time

He stood there

In his boxers,

In his kitchen,

Puffing cancer

Into my face,

Then he opened

His voluminous

1980s fridge and

Pointed to a pizza

Box, the only thing

In there, besides a

Carton of milk. The

box held one

Last slice,

The lone leftover

From the pizza I’d

Brought to him and

Shared with him a

Week before. “Hey,

Don’t leave stuff

In my refrigerator,”

He said with his

Gruff, low voice.

Then it hit me.

All week, while

I’d been slaving,

He sat there

Fuming in

His kitchen,

Obsessing on

That pizza box

“Taking up the

Space” in his

Refrigerator.

I thought about

Asking him if

He really wanted

To spend his last

Days that way,

But I’d tried to reach

Him too many times

Over the years. And

The look on his grave

Face told me not to

Even try.

 

— FB

 

 

 

 

Donations

Amazing and not

In a wonderous

Way, nearly

Every store now

Asks for donations

At the cash register.

Just today, at Check

Smart, as I made a

Payment,  I was

asked by a very

big girl wearing 

A tiny pink hat

If I wanted to

Donate for

Breast Cancer

Awareness

Month. Being

Dead tired I

Said, “The best

Rarely blessed

Me with their

Breasts. They

Gave them to

Men who cheated

On and beat the

Crap out of them.

Again and again.

Those breasts and

Their cancers belong

To those men.” Little

Pink hat smiled and

Said, “That makes

Sense.” Then I went

To the strip club,

Dumped half a

Grocery bag of

Cat food near

There (can’t say

Where). Then I

Straggled into

the spot, where the 

Freshest, best piece

There danced dance

After dance for a

Somewhat man-

Shaped

piece

Of crap.

— FB

 

 

 

 

A Dignified Silence

Went to a clean,

Dimly-lit spot

For spaghetti

With marina

Sauce, no meatballs,

Thank you very much.

I used to like the place

Because they don’t blast

Music, the coffee is good,

And a low key vibe

Pervaded there. And

On the best nights, I

Enjoyed a dignified

Silence.

Of course,

Nothing even vaguely

Edenic ever Lasts long.

Today as I ate my spaghetti

A group of old gaffers invaded

The place, and the nauseatingly

Predictable prattle followed

In their wake: ball games,

Card games, Trump this,

Biden that. Even in their

Grizzled years, they

Remain unaware of

The real game. You’d

Think that after decades

Of being played, of chasing

aces in vain, that at

Least one of them would

Have something interesting

To say. But no, like Shoppenhouer,

No matter how long I loitered in

My booth, after the salad, I

Heard nothing indicative

Of heart or mind.

You’d think that after decades

Of losing lottery tickets,

Overbearing bosses,

Dull fat wives, and the

Betrayals of so-called

Friends, they would

Be strong enough to

Travel solo and bask

In a dignified silence.

Instead, it was cards,

Ball games, Trump this,

And Democrats that.

And so it went, and so it

Goes. Most men are truly

Cattle, but sans the dignified

Silence that cattle wear.

— FB

 

Yang for Emperor

As the old saw goes,

Now I’ve seen it all.

A self-made millionaire

who made his money

helping college kids

become entrepreneurs

has used his genius IQ

to figure out that

soon automation

will put an alarming

percentage of Americans

out of work, many

permanently. Add to that

the fact that companies

like Amazon paid zero

dollars in taxes last year

feel little social

conscience and have

nothing to fear from

a president who thinks

that the wages of the

working poor are

“too high.”

Long story

short: we’re staring down

the double-barrel

of even more tent cities

popping up like deadly

mushrooms all across

this fruited-plane.

SO Yang has proposed

a “Freedom Dividend,”

1000.00 a month, for

every adult, regardless

of what other income they

might have or make. This

would take much of the

terror out of life, and allow

the peasants to stop and

smell the poppies, spend

more time with the tots

(or thots), and create music,

paintings, and other forms

of art…perhaps even become

entrepreneurs like Yang

himself. So what do the

overworked and underpaid

(and underlaid) masses

do when they hear

about all this? Like

the natural born slaves

and dupes they are,

they roll their sleepy eyes

and smile supercilliously

as if the possibility

of a humane existence

is all too-good-to-be-true,

just like the well-heeled

gatekeepers have

trained them to do.

And then they vote

for liars, child-molesters,

and the progeny of

slave-masters, just as

they have always done,

century after century,

while fancying themselves

discerning and free. And

the moral of this story?

It might be something

like this: “the freedom of

those who know ends

where the “freedom”

of fools begins.”

 

— FB

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I Have a Plan for God’s Life

I keep getting these

Texts telling me

That God has a plan

For my life. Never

Mind the question

As to why God has

To spam my phone

To get my attention,

Let’s stick to the whole

“Plan” part. Without

Going into detail here,

I can say, looking back

On my life, that the

Idea of an all-knowing

And loving creator

Scripting the part I’ve

Had to live is far more

Absurd than the notion

That there’s no sky daddy

at all. And I don’t

Mean absurd in a fun and

Wacky way. Unless,

You’re one of the very

Lucky ones, you know,

if you’re willing to look at

your Life honestly. What

I’m Tempted to text back is

That I have a plan for

God’s Life. And that plan

Is to force him, her, it, or

Whatever, to suffer every

Indignity and horror that

Each and every one of “his”

Sentient creations has had

To face: from living in a state

Of ulcerous stress, all the way

Up to torture, rape, and murder,

Not just the pain that humans

Have had to endure, but let’s

Work in the misery of the

Little bleeding piglets crying

Out for their mothers on the

Factory farms’ killing floors

So the duped deists can

Munch their bacon. And of

Course, so many

Other sentient horrors

Too innumetable to

Begin to list. One

Crucifixion, which didn’t

Happen as advertised,

Wasn’t enough.

 

— FB

 

 

 

Fat Jeff

Jeff was the fattest

Kid at St. Mary’s

Elementary, and we

Teased him mercilessly.

We didn’t mean to be

Mean. We didn’t plan

Our taunts and jibes.

Our cruelty came as

Naturally as the rain

And lightning. It went

On for years, while Jeff

Started jogging, first

Just down his street

At night, then all the

Way to the mall and

Back. By seventh grade

He ran track, lifted

Weights, played quarter-

back, and was making it

With one sweet cheerleader,

While we, his former

Tormentors spent

Most nights with Ms.

January. Fat Jeff had

chisled himself

Into a lean, mean, sex

Machine. Of course, we

Had something to do with

His transformation. He told

Me as much years after. I’m

Not proud of my former

Cruelty, I told him, one

Day at my house as I

Showed him the riff

To “Day Tripper” on

my Korean guitar.

“Don’t worry ’bout it,”

He said, flashing a

James Dean grin. And

To tell the truth, I don’t.

Our jibes and fat jokes

Made Jeff a better man.

But I’m not too proud of

That either. Had he been

Made of softer stuff, he

Might have killed himself,

And I would have had a

Tough time with that. So

While the past was

Too cruel, the present

May be too kind. How

Many Fat Jeffs today

Lose out on Cheerleader

Booty because

Fat-shaming is uncool

These days? Today’s

Kids fail to comprehend

The meaning behind

Nature’s harsh ways.

Mother Nature is

Cruel, but beautiful

Too.

— F.B.