Category Archives: Poetry

Spectors And Spooks

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Spectors And Spooks

They say this place is haunted.

I watched the news story,
saw the blue-walled backdrop of my apartment
and the last tenant insistent
about otherworldly persistence.

The ghost is supposedly a child,
a little girl,
which seems logical—
if spectors and spooks
are real,
well
what’s more real
and traumatizing
than childhood?
(If you don’t understand
then pat yourself on the back
and hug your mother
and also
congratulations on Daddy loving you.)

I leave a lamp on at night
with two bulbs
(one white one blue)
but not because I’m scared
of spectors and spooks
but because I’m scared of
myself
and my thoughts
in the isolating dark. Read the rest of this entry

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Suffer The Hummingbirds

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Suffer The Hummingbirds

Death be not kind
but there can be kindness in Death.
A daily Eucharist for an ailing Catholic
and a recovering Protestant
(Almost grounds enough for a conversion.
Almost.)
But Cancer don’t check religious backgrounds
and that mass in your belly don’t care about five o’ clock Mass.
Is Lourdes open this time of year, I wonder?
Categorical miracles are, naturally, absurd
but an individual one?
In this case, I would take it
and I wouldn’t even bat an atheistic eye at it.
Who’s the sick and who’s the comforter here?
Sometimes it’s difficult to tell, Grandma.
More often than not I feel as if I’m
one disjointed thought away
from a straight jacket fitting
and you’re holding both of us together
with softly sanctimonious composure.
But you do grow weary sometimes
and swear you’ll pray to die soon
and I look at you with deadpan eyes
and say,
“Grandma, I tried that for decades and it didn’t work
but then again I’m not as devout as you.
Although you’re too good of a Catholic to phone in an
honest-to-purgatory suicide request.”
And we both laugh and fill your hummingbird feeder
because they need tending to just as much as we do. Read the rest of this entry

Sterling Arthur Leva on KX @One Laguna’s Spoken Word/Spoken Song Radio Show July 6, 2014

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Guest: Sterling Arthur Leva.

Click the link to listen to a recording of the radio appearance I made Sunday. I read some of my own work as well as one by Lord Buckley. We also discuss Beat poetry, Las Vegas airports, and the word “doldrums.” I enjoyed myself immensely and hope to do it again soon!

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Waive That Flag

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Waive That Flag

It occurs to me that there
are far better things to wave today
than The Flag
(as if it’s the only one).
Things more indicative of the
overall State Of Affairs
in America,
things more representational of our
Many Freedoms
via American Exceptionalism.

For example,
Supreme Court Majority Opinions
opining that Bits Of The Bible
and WASP Hobbyists
are better than doctors
and women
(especially women)
because even though they’re
totally free
we can’t allow them to be
that free.
Wave that opinion proud, America
for you are free
for the most part.

Or perhaps
Unemployment Registries
at seven-point-who-gives-a-fuck percent
because Freedom does not apply
to the lazy
and the willfully dispossessed
which of course
they are,
right America?
Wave it proud, America
for you are free
for the most part.

Read the rest of this entry

Welcome (Back) To The Grotesquerade

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Welcome (Back) To The Grotesquerade

It’s a thin borderline
that separates me
(and me)
from a full-blown personality disorder.

Put Casanova
(or is it Nasa Cova now?)
back in a coma—
he’s awoken from his limp-dicked slumber
and he’s eyeing escorts
and flirting with friendlies
like a romantic in retrograde.
But at least he brought flowers,
right?

Take Cadillac de Bergerac’s
binoculars away—
he’s peeping on the ribs again
and what’s worse
has the audacity to refer
to women
as ribs
during his Evening treetop misadventures.
Just steal his fucking valve stems
and be done with it,
man.

But Johnny Warpath won’t make
like a tree at all.
Turns out he doesn’t only come out
when I drink my gin.
No—
he ain’t Dr. Jimmy, man.
He ain’t Mr. Hyde neither
and he ain’t hiding no more.

Read the rest of this entry

Nostalgia Is, Essentially, Temporal Epilepsy

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Nostalgia Is, Essentially, Temporal Epilepsy

I don’t have a checkered past—
It’s more polkadot
or pinstripe
or paisley
even.

Some of it I’ll never forget, but more of it I’ll never remember.
And thank heavens for that:
I’ve read the police blotters I’ve made cameos in
and if I can take their word for it
then I’d just rather leave certain things blotted, please.
How do I look on paper?
Well, that all depends on the paper.
(College transcripts and rap sheets, unfortunately, are two entirely different kinds of coverage.)

One of my finest moments:
Being asked by a cop what I was on probation for
and
without wasting any time
replying
“Bad grades”
and smirking in his stupid fucking pig face
because it was true
and I thought myself
oh so clever.
The moral of the story?
Hubris gets you handcuffs
and my answer to the same question today
would be very different, indeed.

Read the rest of this entry

The Aesthete’s Lament

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The Aesthete’s Lament

He sees a pair of sweatpants and pants and sweats.
Has panic attacks over unpressed khaki slacks.
Grimaces over Christmas sweaters and jackets with letters, man.
He can’t spot a sports jersey without feeling queasy.
Someone’s got Crocs on and it’s making him uneasy.

He finds function over fashion a dysfunctional passion.
He’s all ascots and porkpie hats,
smoking jackets and backpocket handkerchiefs.
A dapper child of Oscar Wilde
getting sick at the wardrobes
from the Wal Mart aisle.

He saunters down the street,
glances sideways at a department store display
of perilous apparel and garments gone
astray,
and starts bleeding from his eyes,
leaks crimson on his finest peacoat,
collapses on the pavement,
and chokes a sob from his throat:
AESTHETIC IS DEAD.

Composed 2012. Gratitude to Michael Lohrman for the title. Read the rest of this entry

Fukushima Fallout Blues

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Fukushima Fallout Blues

I’m seeing radiation loud
In standard issue fog clouds—
I’ve got them Fukushima Fallout Blues.

I’m walking the dog
With matching gas masks on—
I’ve got them Fukushima Fallout Blues.

I’m calling family and friends
Telling them I love them, but it’s the end—
I’ve got them Fukushima Fallout Blues.

I’m avoiding Pacific fish
And fishy pacifists—
I’ve got them Fukushima Fallout Blues.

I’m flying a kite into that nuclear night
But that line’s been used and the core’s been fused—
I’ve got them Fukushima Fallout Blues.

Read the rest of this entry

Reading About Drugs, Booze, & Transvestites Under Academic/Artistic Pretenses

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I had the honor of being invited to read a poem at The WALL Literary Journal’s event at Saddleback College on October 24. The poem, entitled “Experimentation,” was published earlier this year in the 2013 edition of the journal. I was admittedly a bit shaky going into it, as I had never done a reading in an academic environment (as most of my past readings were conducted in bar rooms, drug dens, etc. to mostly uninterested audiences). What’s more, I had no idea beforehand was going to be filmed and that they decided to headline me, so to speak. Anyways, it was a great time and, in spite of my nervousness and lack of practice (or perhaps because of it), I think I did all right.

A Self-Protesting Eulogy Penned By Shaky Guilty Survivor’s Hands (For Dan)

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A Self-Protesting Eulogy Penned By Shaky Guilty Survivor’s Hands (For Dan)

What is a eulogy?
A eulogy is a poor summation
of a life far more complicated
and diverse than
words on a page
(even the kind ones
of which you are more than deserving,
Dan).

A eulogy is a post-dated bad check
passed between shaky guilty
survivor’s hands and
Death,
that most crooked and
undiscriminating of merchants.

A eulogy is a love letter
an affidavit
a confession
(on the part of the guilty party–
the bereaved)
with postage that falls
one cent short
and will always
inevitably
eternally
return to sender.

Read the rest of this entry