poem for a corporate houseplant

hello, corporate houseplant.

it is me, your caretaker.

i wanted to talk to you because
you seem to be doing so well
in this bleak corporate environment
you seem to be thriving.

it was just earlier this week
following our monthly all team meeting
that you began to bloom a new aloe leaf
accompanying now your other aloe leaves
some of which pour out the side of your pot
as if they are reaching
slowly reaching
painfully slowly reaching for something
i don’t know what.

sometimes i daydream.

sometimes i imagine you,
corporate houseplant,
grown sentient
dragging yourself by your aloe leaves
across the long white empty desks
and to the big glass window
overlooking the southwest parking lot.

i imagine you holding your breath
and jumping from the windowsill
and falling to the ground i can feel your elation
thinking softly
i’m free i’m free i’m free
and then a kind of death
your fragile glass home
smashed in large pieces
against the concrete sidewalk
your roots grown cold and useless
with no dirt to latch on to
and no one to water you.

but then you float.

a ghostplant you float
up into the sky
where you ascend
into some strange heaven
for corporate houseplants
to do this again
and again
and again.

hello, corporate houseplant.

Talking to God Over Shitty Coffee at Denny’s

like two in the morning or something
i couldn’t sleep so i called up God
and was all like “hey God,
do you want to meet up for some coffee?”
and God of course obliged me like always
so we’re sitting around Denny’s
drinking shitty coffee talking when i ask God
“is destiny a thing?”and God says “yes,”
and i say “that’s kind of a bummer,”
and God says “well, i don’t think that doesn’t mean you can’t be proud of the decisions you make,”
and i say “i guess,”

and then there’s an awkward pause,
the waitress comes by
refills our coffees
and we sip in silence and then i say
“alright, God, what number am i thinking of?”
God says 3.
it was 3.
What am I thinking now?
God says i’m thinking about destiny
and i was like
well yeah okay that might not have been the
best approach and then i took the salt shaker unscrewed the lid and poured the entire thing of salt into my cup of coffee.
God says “why did you do that?”
and i say “you seem surprised.
i thought you knew that i was going to do that? wasn’t it part of my destiny?”
and God was like
“no – that shit just came out of nowhere.”
i think God would have turned to God for answers in that moment if that made any sense.
and then i held God’s hand
and i said
look. i know what they say.
man plans and God laughs and that’s beautiful
but sometimes we just take the car off cruise
control and we start driving off the road in the middle of Nebraska and we’re pushing through the corn fields and doing donuts and blasting dizzy gillespie and it makes no damn sense and no one could have seen it coming, not even you, i’m sorry, but that’s why i put the salt in the coffee because some things weren’t written.
some things happen that weren’t meant to happen and those things were meant to happen but not in the sense that everyone saw it coming because
sometimes no one sees it coming.
even you, God.
sometimes it’s brutal and vicious hard work or a spark to the heart and it’s raw and honest and it’s tangential and that tangent shoots off into space like a monkey in an astronaut suit and it forms a new monkey planet with a new monkey God who too will have a moment of awe when realizing that your
children are not you.
they break the rules in the name of something.
love
or change
or dizzy gillespie
but yes.
it’s a thing that happens and it’ll catch us all off guard.

and then the waitress stole the cash in the register, took off her apron and busted out the door into the cold night.

~
This poem was also featured on Rocky Mountain Revival if you’d care to give it a listen.

Sinatra on the Moon

i’m trapped on the moon with a bottle of whiskey
i’m sitting in a lawn chair watching the earth
rotate around the sun and it reminds me of the way
we used to dance together, in strange jazz clubs
whose names i don’t remember, i could never remember
i remember the way we reclined our car seats back
and pretended to stare at the stars, when in truth
we were just staring at the ceiling of the car
where the cigarette smoke had eaten away at the fabric

how things have changed
your spaceship left long ago, at my request
and i awoke from dreams that i had sent you away
from earth, only to learn you had left me on the moon
trapped on the moon with a bottle of whiskey
i’m sitting in a lawn chair watching the cell phone satellites
hover around the twittersphere, swing around the blogosphere
the big blue ocean and the waves that crash that mean nothing
to me but form the sand that forms the glass window
you maybe stare out like some cheesy fifties movie or something
at the moon, the full moon or maybe the absent moon
i don’t know, but we could be staring at one another
but maybe that’s just the whiskey talking
and to think i almost didn’t bring the whiskey with me
the only thing that could have made the moon more lonely
debateably

i feel like frank sinatra up here in the stratosphere
not charming, young sinatra
washed up smoked stained suit sinatra
sinatra knowing he will never sleep with a woman again
as beautiful as you were in that red dress at that ball
in new york city on new year’s eve in america on earth
the sinatra who proudly proclaims the glass of whiskey
in his hand and shares with the audience that he is
in fact, quite belligerent, and when life gives you lemons
you take the first spaceship up to the moon
so you can sit forever and collect your thoughts over whiskey
which, of course, are muddled like a weird trumpet solo
like when the band drops off and there’s no drums and no nothing
just miles davis solo romantic silent – listen, just shut up and listen

i’m trapped on the moon with a bottle of whiskey
and earth is this gem that i used to own
that i auctioned off in exchange for an eternity of quiet
endless space, endless silence, peace and god damn quiet

peace and god damn quiet.

A Study of Two American Human Beings

| an american human being | for our purposes let’s call them human being #1 | walks down the right side of a pathway as they approach another human being – presumably american as well | but human being #2 seems to be unflinchingly dedicated to walking on the left side of the road thus interfering with the preset trajectory of human being #1 (from the perspective of course of human being #1) | what does one do? | at first human being #1 is dedicated to its path | it remains in pursuit of its value of a system which is beneficial to every human being | or at least every american human being | but alas – human being #2 may not be american | human being #2 may come from a sector of humanity that has predetermined the left side of the road as the agreeance of the collective consciousness | the two human beings are faced in opposition on values that they have determined to be not only best for their own good but objectively for the efficiency and the betterment of the human race as a whole | time continues onward one second at a time | they meet face to face | in an attempt to veer in different direction they ultimately step to the same side once again blocking the lineage of one another | of course instinctively they then veer in the opposite direction | they both smile and exchange pleasantries | oh pardon me | oh excuse me | they bump | a chemical known as adrenaline rushes into each human being | they clash | chemicals release in the brains of the two humans and they begin to bicker | their body language tenses and they begin to shout at one another | both human beings finding themselves in the right (or left) have both been pressed with an age old question of fight or flight | both have opted for fight | punches are thrown | there is shoving and one human – irrelevant which one – falls down to the pathway | blood is emitted from the fallen human being onto the pathway | they experience pain | the other human being experiences guilt and regret | they flee | somewhere else two human beings in reaction to high levels of serotonin opt to press their lips and motion them in rhythmic friction against one another in what is commonly referred to as kissing | somewhere else a human being is born | somewhere else a human being passes into death and they are not thinking about whether or not they chose the correct side of any singular pathway to walk down | somewhere else a bird flies with no concept of pathways | somewhere else is conflict and the presence of the material world and potentially the divine in the mathematical processing of what will ensue in a causal continuance of events | dominoes | if that’s how you think about these sort of things |