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.

 

 

 

 

So Foolish

It was so Foolish

Being human,

Always living

In the future

Or the past,

Luxuriating in

Mind-invented

Realms because

We never fit

In the real one.

All those word-

Games called

Philosophies,

Waking up

To shrill alarms

And slaving

Away the days

Just to buy an

Hour or two

Of dreams.

It was something,

It was nothing,

It was too little,

It was too much,

Yet some of the

Transcendence

Came from stepping

Away from our own

Species to hear the

Cries of others.

There was no God

To hear them,

And perhaps

The most horrible

Thing of all was

Realizing that we

Are the closest

Beings to deities

That this universe

Has created yet.

— FB

 

 

 

 

The Shudder

There have been signs

As of late, impossible

Situations, intractable

Problems, strange bumps

On the skin, headaches

That take days to die,

and the Shudder that sizzles

Up the spine whenever

It slugs me that my best

Days have run away

Like slaves only to

Be brought down

By the laughing

Dogs of time.

So many signs,

Like the song

That sings

I’ll never

Feel the love of

A lovely woman

Again. Signs screaming

My name in the dead

Of day as the

Sun crucifies me

Yet again. Signs

Tapping signals

Into my brain,

Telling me that

If I have anything

Left to say I should

Say it soon, and that

If there’s anything

Left to slay I should

Slay it soon, and

That if I have any

sacrifices left

To make, I should

Make them soon,

Soon,

Soon,

Soon

 

— FB

 

The Lump

Found a lump

On my body

In an impolite

Place the other

Day. Can’t say it

Was a shock. Cancer

Runs in the blood.

Can’t imagine leaving

The cats behind. But

Then again, I can’t

Imagine another

Couple of

Decades or more of

This life either. So while

It wasn’t fun finding the

Lump, I did meet it with

A certain equanimity, even

Something like relief

Muddied up with fear

Of pain. If it Is the big C,

There will be no chemo 

For me, that much

I know. Life was

Nauseating enough,

And I chuckle at

The though of

Asking anyone

To pray.

Either way,

Once you’ve hit a

Certain age, Most

things are 

Anticlimactic

Anyway; so wish

me luck or no luck.

If you’re a fan, or not

So much, all I ask is that

You try to do something

To lessen the sufferings

Of animals. And even

Though you never

Read my novel,

Thanks anyway.

 

— FB

 

 

 

Something Rather Than Nothing

Philosophers and

Physicists have

Asked themselves

Why there is

Something rather

Than nothing. And

I ask myself this too.

And why, if there has

To be something, why

This blood-stained

Food chain that binds

Living beings in a cage

Of horrors, softened only

By beauty, intoxicants,

And lies? And the first

Of these is beauty, hard

To grasp for most of us,

While intoxicants

Have side-effects.

That leaves mostly lies

For the masses, who

Lap them up like

Ambrosia and gobble

Them down like

Golden apples, so

They can believe

Themselves to be

Minor dieties

Or at least something

More sacred than

Mere predators

And prey.

 

— FB