Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Normal Face

It’s important to always make sure
That your face is your normal face,
Your normal everyday regular type face,
That it’s not contorted grotesquely
Into a scary face or a weirdo face,
That your tongue is inside your mouth
Where it typically sits behind your teeth,
That your eyes are staring ahead
And not crossed or rolled up inside the skull,
That your cheeks are not filled with air,
Not puffed out like chipmunk cheeks,
That your mouth is closed firmly,
Not hanging open or dripping saliva,
That your eyebrows aren’t raised
Or moving up and down for no reason.
Your face must be neutral in most situations
Like standing in line or talking to a girl,
And you must check constantly
To secure it against sudden insurrection.
Take a photo of your normal face
To construct a standardized system
Of measuring the normality of your face.
Use your tongue to check for tears.
Imagine your face muscles as a delicate machine
That must be carefully monitored at all times
Like a Japanese nuclear power plant on your head.
But sometimes it’s hard to know for sure
What expression your face is making.
Run your hands over it like reading Braille.
Feel the familiar contours and fleshy hills,
The folds of skin and moist shadows.
What is your face doing now?

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Hollywood Blockbuster

When our family’s Christmas home video
Was released in movie theaters across America,
I sat in the back rows of each screening,
And watched everyone watch me
Open my presents.

I receive a Cinemark gift card from Gamma,
And the audience roars with applause.

I receive a gray polo shirt from Sean,
And the audience whistles and shouts.

I receive a pair of skeleton gloves and a fake moustache,
And the audience shrieks and bangs their heads together.

I drink eggnog and blink intensely at the camera,
And the audience jumps to their feet.
An old woman begins weeping.
A teenage girl passes out cold.
A boy shits himself with joy.
They can’t stop clapping.

It wins every Oscar,
Even the one for best foreign film,
Even the one for best animated film,
Even the one for best adapted screenplay.
And even the one for best special effects

This is a story I tell myself
When I’m editing my family’s home videos.
Is it really so ridiculous?
I’d go see your family’s home video.
After all, even a trillion dollar budget
Can’t buy honesty.

Friday, March 4, 2011

I have a painting at the Under $500 Exhibition at the Luminarte Gallery in Dallas this Saturday at 7PM. The address is 1727 E. Levee St.  Dallas, Texas 75207.
I'll be reading poetry at some dealy this next friday. Here are the details if you want to come see me. Quite frankly, I doubt I have any friends who would pay ten dollars for poetry especially when I'm only reading one piece for three minutes, but it sounds like a damn poetry circus, so should be interesting.

Friday, March 11 at 6 to 9 PM

ft great poetry and story telling by :

Buddy Wakefield (International Poetry Slam champion)
Joaquin Zihuatanejo (International Poetry Slam champion)
Richelle Gemini Scott
Ethan McClure
Brad Pike
Naidle Alexander Wieters


Location: UNT - Golden Eagle Suite (The main building at UNT with the student bookstore in it. Suites are on the third floor. Parking is free but read the signs to make sure.)

Thursday, March 3, 2011


After the explosion came the clean-up:
The firefighters tasked with extinguishing the reactor,
Felt pins and needles on their skin,
Tasted metal in their mouths,
Which later scientists would realize
Were burning radioactive dust particles.
These firefighters stood for hours
In radiation 40 times the lethal dose.
They puked and shit themselves,
Dizzily stumbled around the roof,
Skin inflamed in a strange red rash.
All of them died of radiation poisoning.

And then came the debris clean-up,
They brought in American robots to move objects
With advanced grabber arms and retractable scoopers.
When the robots failed,
Their fragile circuitry fried like onion rings
They sent us into the disaster site
To toss radioactive cylinders with our bare hands
Back into the nuclear reactor pit.
They called us “the bio-robots”.
In the cold nuclear winter, we raced
Across the plant’s roof as if on fire,
We had only one minute at a time to work,
One minute to move a nuclear rod
Or pound stone blocks
Or clear debris from the roof with a tractor.
One minute before seeds of cancer
Bloomed in our guts like flowers.

Helicopter pilots dropped chemicals on the reactor.
Two pilots died of radiation poisoning.
Three men drained boiling radioactive water
From the cooling tanks.
Two of these men died of radiation poisoning.
We raced across the roof like children playing a game.

Bio-robots they called us.
Someone has to do this job, they told us.
We have to be brave and do the work
No one else dares to undertake, they told us.
We are national heroes, they told us.

But years later, while she sleeps next to me,
I run my hand over her curved belly,
Imagining what sort of nightmare monster
I’ve planted inside her,
What three eyed Gollum grows there,
Like a living breathing cancer.
Can I love a brain dead husk?
A half-human half-octopus?
I was so brave back then,
And now I’ve never been more afraid.