Under Something Ugly

Always under

something:

The gun,

The thumb,

The idiocy of

Institutions,

The soft sadism

Of so-called

Friends,

The hard-edged

Disrespect

Of “neighbors,”

The ugly desire

to dominate

Common to bosses

And bankers….

Always under

Something

I don’t want

To be beneath,

But never

Again to be

Under the

Soft thick

Thighs of a

Lovely woman

Who lusts over

Me,

Much less a

Rainbow leading

To a pot of gold

Big enough to

Buy my way

Out of slavery.

— 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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

Reality is a Blind Piano Player in a Two-Bit Tavern on Hell’s Western Frontier

He sits on that puke-

Stained stool playing

The same old songs

Ad infinitum and

The hell with you

If you don’t know

What that means

Again And again

Without mercy

For too many

And with tenderness

For too few does

He tinkle those

Ebony and Ivory

Keys he never

Changes century

After century

Even as those

Bullets whiz by

His hoary head

He just grins

And plays those

Tragic, comical,

And tragicomical

tunes

For most as they

Straggle in dust

And blood-covered

And even those

Filled with arrows

And slugs suffer his

Discordant melodies

Sometimes

One will drink enough

Rotgut to call out a tune

Like Everything’s Coming

Up Roses or I’m in the

Money, and you should

See the piano player’s

Smile then….I’ve seen

It and heard his tunes

For lifetimes now.

Sometimes he’ll play

Just a Little Tenderness

If I look bad enough

Coming back from the

Not So OK Corall, but

Mostly it’s his sick

Or melancholy stuff

That I hear on my

Way to the bar to

Drink alone as the

Gamblers sit and

Lift marked cards

From dogeared decks

Even the saloon girls

There seem to be

Getting uglier lately

So I head on over to

The Last Chance

Spot where those

Baby-faced black

Girls lie just as much

But throw those

Velvety curves

Right in my stubbly

Face

And the dj plays

Those funny ass

Raps that crack

Me up

 

— FB

 

FB

 

 

 

 

The Danger in Romanticizing

 

A woman’s

hand, no matter

how much

it might

resemble a

dove,

isn’t one.

Seeing it as a

dove is

something

poets and

others who

romanticize

reality do.

And while

that can

be a lovely

way of looking

at life, it’s also

a dangerous

thing too —

especially when

that “dove”

flies

into your

wallet and

uses the

leaves

it finds

there

to fortify

a nest

in an

unromantic

heart.

 

— Fyodor Bukowski

 

 

Nothing Fits

They closed

The last shoe

Store in town,

So there I was

At Wal-Mart

Once again,

Searching

For a pair

Of loafers,

Size 10 Wide,

And seeing

Instead, once

Again, every

Size but that

On the shelves.

But I wasn’t

Alone in this:

Two old ladies

We’re also

Scouring those

Shelves. They

Look thin and

Bedraggled as

Though life had

Given them too

Much and yet

Not enough.

Meantime, I

Smirked to

Myself at the

Loafers sized

9, 9/12, and

You guessed it,

No size 10, when

It came to men’s

Loafers, though

They had the tie-

Up kind, but who

Has time and

Energy for that,

So I grabbed a

Pair of 10 1/2

And sat down

To try them on.

All the while, out

Of the corner of

My eye, I spied

The old ladies

Still searching

The selves, until

One of them

Plopped her

Bones down

On a bench

And Stared

blankly

Ahead and softly

Muttered to

Herself “Nothing

Fits,” again and

Again. The other

Went over and

Put her arms

Around her,

And they sat

Together like

That, rocking

Back and forth

For a while as

I tried to walk a

Few steps in

The soon-to-

Be-mine loafers,

Nearly breaking  

my Neck because

these 20 dollar shoes,

Fashioned by

Slave labor in

Bangladesh,

Were Fastened

 Close together

By a cord I couldn’t

Snap. As I walked

To the check out

Counter I

could still hear

The one lady

Saying “Nothing

Fits,” louder

And louder,

And I knew

Enough to know

That she wasn’t

Just talking about

Shoes.

— Fyodor Bukowski

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