The game is rigged the money’s spent

If I stay in bed too long

dreaming of the times gone by

There must be something wrong

like not knowing what is right

If I get up and get gone

still daydreaming in the morning light

There must be something wrong

because all I see is black and white

Out there on the road

passing frowns can’t weigh me down

Like songs from days of old

freewheeling there’s no time to tell

She’s been reaching for the sun

did all I could to take her there

Must be doing something wrong

like two children we’re still unprepared

To walk

on our own

As state signs blur

on the road

Yet all this time

we have grown

There’s still this

phantom partner feeling

though we’re on our own.

When you go there’s still coming back

don’t be extreme like who needs that?

There must be something wrong

for me to feel like this and that

She was going either way

it didn’t matter if I saved the day

There must be something wrong

for me to think or feel this pain

Standing in the setting sun

which blinds me now casts shadows on

Reflections on the windowpane

my doppelgänger’s staring back at me

If looks could kill I’d live

my malice spite all gibberish

God knows if I could commit

I’d probably muck it up like a little kid

Whose ball

hits the rim

It bounces far

time and again

The game is rigged

the money’s spent

Yet there’s this

faint glimmer of hope

like there’s a chance to win.

Her Genius

We are all our own genius

aren’t we? Self-help tells us

to be selfless while the world

tells us to be tough

slowly, gradually

like a surgeon’s steel

picking apart pieces

of our sanity like a game

of Operation. We are all

children at heart, aren’t we?

When our nose’s glow red

and hairs stand on end

while our souls ignite like kerosene

flailing our arms in ecstasy

remembering the truth which

from birth was wiped clean

like a board of chalk.

We’re always trying to get that

message back, that message which

in a world or man and steel and greed

can only exist as long as love at first sight

where in the morning she lay

soundlessly asleep bound to no one

her genius in my memory forever.

What are you going to do?

I never really know what to do

I just get up and wing it

I’ve been winging it since

I was a little kid, when

I’d tie my hair in knots, pull it out and

I’d tuck it in the couch where no one could see

I wasn’t fooling anybody but

I’ve gotten here so

I think I’ll go a little longer while

I sit here pulling at my beard

I count one hair, two hair, three, no more.

Child’s play.

She let the boys touch her after school.

Built well with a push-up bra to boot.

She wore her t-shirt a size too small.

And cheap checkered flannel pants.

The kind grandma might gift from Walmart.

And peaking out her behind was a white thong.

After school she’d let the boys touch.

Under covers, in her room, before her mother got off work.

If they got too close to her privates, she’d gently shy away.

Maneuvering her legs just enough to disengage the boys hand.

Leaving them embarrassed because she did have rules.

She wasn’t a whore.

After school the boys would touch her.

And being 2 years younger she gave them a false sense of adulthood.

A dominance that is eventually debunked with age.

It wasn’t until they got older that things began to change.

People’s opinions started to effect those early adolescent days of childhood teasing.

And over time the boys graduated and went off to college.

But the boys her age didn’t want to touch her after school.

She was branded a slut by the girls in her grade.

And promiscuous by the adults in the neighborhood.

It didn’t bother her that much though.

Only sometimes, at night, when she couldn’t fall asleep.

So she’d close her eyes and count like sheep.

The boys she let touch her after school.