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

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Clean Scum

It’s amazing

How many

Times I’ve

Sought just

Peace and

Refreshment

At a diner or

Bar, only to

Have Within

Seconds

Of being seated

Some troll

With a mop

Or Spray bottle

Trash my drinking

solace or dining

experience by 

Spraying deadly

Cleaning chemicals

On a bar that was

Already clean. Just

Now a squat, obese

Creature came up

Behind me at

The Denny’s

Counter and

plopped a mop

in a bucket 

Filled to the brim

With Amonia and

Who knows what

Else, creating a toxic

Cloud that within

Seconds scalded my

Throat so badly that

I got up and seated

Myself by the old

Fart who amused

Himself by calling

The hapless young

Waitress honey,

Sweetheart, dear,

Etc. then chortling

About it throughout

The course of my

Brief meal and scalding

My soul in the process.

Toxic clouds of unnecessary

Cleaning agents and loads

Of dumb rude retired

Boomers everywhere.

Leave the counters

And floors be, scrub

Slaves, or at

Least don’t sanitize

Them every five

Minutes for me.

I recall

Reading about

American tourists

In Henry Miller’s

Day leaving French

Restaurants aghast

That the French had

A few other things to

Do with their lives

Beside scrubbing

Everything in sight

Constantly, as though

Americans could

Ever clean up the mess

They’ve made of

Nearly every pure

And perfect thing.

— Fyodor Bukowski

 

 

 

Another

Another day

That started

Too early

And ended

Too late

Another 24

Closer to

The ultimate

Fate

Another open-

Eyed opossum

Dead in the road

As the procession

Of scum

Drives by

Another punk

With nothing

Better to do than

Throw M80s

At frogs and

Other buddhas

Too enlightened

Now to ever

Come back

Another high

School teacher

 And her class

Disecting some

Defenseless

Peaceful creature

Or other

Another splitting

Skull ache

And aching back

As the carnival

Of ugly pain

Sets it’s tents

And bloody

Banners

Ever higher

Into the sky

Long empty

Of gods and

Goddesses

Who might

Be willing

Or able

To supply

A reason why

So sling me

Another

Over this bar

As the sad,

Ageing,

And less-than-

Stellar girls

Dance. Some

Had the magic

Healing power

Once upon a

Time but

Wasted it

On the

Cruel and

Worthless.

Knowing

That helps

Me curb my

Natural sense

Of sympathy

So I’m not

Tempted to

Tip them

Too much

 

— FB