Emergent Phenomena

So I’m digging in the back of my sock drawer, looking for that cool pair with the blue and orange stripes that I wear only seldom (despite their grooviness) because for those socks, you need the right ensemble.

Anyway my fingers feel something stiff like paper, and I pull it out. Turns out it’s a photo – an old photo – a little yellowed and crinkly at the edges. So I’m like, why is there an old photo in the back of my sock drawer?

And I look at it, and it’s like this greenish flash goes off in my head behind my eyes, because I know, right in that first instant, what I’m looking at. It’s a photograph of the moment – the exact moment – when life first emerged on earth. When that first self-replicating amino acid was synthesized in a steamy tidal pool as thunder crashed above. (I couldn’t hear the thunder of course – it was just a photograph.)

And I’m standing there thinking, how could there possibly be a snapshot of the moment of abiogenesis in the back of my sock drawer? To this day, I honestly have no idea how that happened.

But this morning my kid sister comes into the kitchen and she’s like, all right, who recorded over my Demi Lovato album with this grunting? So I say, hey can I give that a listen? And she’s like, sure, whatever.

And I listen, and it’s like this sonic boom goes off in my head between my ears, because I know, right in that first instant, what I’m listening to. It’s a recording of the moment – the exact moment – when consciousness first emerged on earth. And as my ancient ancestor hoots and squawks about the fully-formed thoughts she just had for the first time maybe in the entire universe, I can’t help but think…wow, man. What’s next?


In a world
Much like our own
A world that needs
A hero…

Of course there’s a hero
No, not a woman hero
That would be the heroine

Obviously there’s a heroine
The hero needs a love interest
After all

Certainly there is another
Female character
But she is shady
And she tries to seduce
Our hero

As punishment, naturally
She does not

Sure, that’s not all
The women in the movie
That would be stupid

The hero’s mom is in one scene
She has a funny conversation
With the heroine
About the hero
(What a lovable scoundrel he is!)

Anyway, in a world
That needs a hero…

What does he look like?
He looks like a hero!
He’s tall and square-jawed
Blue-eyed and blond…

Don’t you want to know
What the movie’s about?
Besides the hero, that is
(That part is obvious)

What do you mean you’ll pass?

Well, I guess
You’re going to miss out
On the blockbuster hit
Of the summer

Too bad

“What do you mean, declined?”

“What do you mean, declined?”

I blinked uncomprehendingly
At the Caucasian woman
Kind, and yet detached
Who did not want
To place a stumbling block
Between me and my purchase of

A splendid painting
(Done on cloth
In pure traditional technique)
Of gracious Bodhisattva Tara
Precious Buddha of right action
That I longed to bring back home
And hang upon my bedroom wall

“I’m sorry, sir,” she said
Do you perhaps have
Any other payment method?”

“Uh, of course, hang on”
And so
I fished out my bank debit card
Procured the thangka and
Went blithely on with my retreat
(Receiving teachings from
H.H. The Dalai Lama!)

It wasn’t till I got back home
And logged on to my credit cards
And bank accounts
And did the math
I realized just what I’d done

In retrospect
(With psychiatric input)
We looked back on that hot summer
As the time I had
My first full manic episode

And I’d spent nearly every penny
That we had
(And thank-you to the
Miracle of credit cards
I’d also spent
Near every cent
We didn’t have)

The summer
And the years we spent
Exhuming our financial state
Remodeled my relationship
With money

It’s not that I won’t let it go
(It goes as freely as it comes
And both of those will vary)

It’s more that where and how it goes
Are things that I will monitor with
And lots
Of care

Guardians of Littleboyhood (a found poem) [EXPLICIT]

This is a found poem taken from this interview with Ghostbusters (2016) writer Katie Dippold. No manbabies were harmed in the creation of this poem, but nor does the poet endorse their bullshit whining.


Women ruin everything
It’s patronizing
And ruined by feminazis

Just fucked my childhood

You might as well make
Saving Private Ryan
(With all-female cast)
Or female Rocky/Rambo

Since we all know women
Are equal to men
In every aspect

That’s right
I said it

People hate the nerd
For not seeing
This piece of shit



10 Things Not to Say in a Job Interview

Sorry I’m late; I
got here by unicycle.

I wasn’t sure where
to park it, so
I just left it
in the revolving door.

I might not get it back?
That’s OK.
It’s not mine.

I don’t know if the guy
I took it from
is going to make it.
I hit him pretty hard.

But that’s OK.
I don’t want
to work for him anymore
I want to work for you.

Well, not “for”, exactly.
I’m pretty sure
I could run this place much
better than you.

You might as well
put down that phone.
It doesn’t work anymore.

Your cell phone
won’t work either.
I’m jamming it
with this device.

Be a pal and
write down your password
right here.
(I can get it
against your will, but
it will hurt.)

Great! Now just exit
by the window
and on the way down
think of all the worries
that you’ve left behind!

Game of Thrones (an anti-ode) [EXPLICIT]

If this is a game
Then why isn’t it any fun?
Aren’t games supposed to be fun?
Maybe that’s just a misconception I had
I mean, sure:
Sometimes, certain people
Seem to be having
One hell of a good time
Like, say
This asshole Ramsay Bolton
(Or is is Snow? Is he still a bastard?
It’s hard to keep track
But in my book he sure as hell
Remains a motherfucking bastard)
Anyway, Ramsay
Sure seems to be enjoying himself
Most of the time
But that just makes the point:
Every single goddamn episode
Somebody is getting brutally
Murdered or raped
And most likely
It’s somebody that the show
Has invested considerable
(Usually successful)
Effort into getting me to care about
So FUCK YOU Game of Thrones
I’m not going in for your bullshit
Any more
(Oh, SHIT the new episode is up
OK, but just ONE more)


when a thunderstorm is coming
you know

there’s a quality of light
that’s not the same
as when it’s only overcast

that peculiar odor to the air
and slightly electrical

the far-off rumble
like a drum corps
when the parade is still
a mile away

maybe the wind will start
to pick up
and if you happen to be out
walking the dog
he will stop
and sniff at it

sure, he knows too
plain as anything

everybody knows

and when the weather alert
on your smartphone goes off
you look at it
and roll your eyes and say
well, obviously

we don’t need technology
we don’t need anyone
to tell us
we just know
we always know

so why, darling
when the storm was coming
why didn’t i know?

A Psalm

By the rivers of Babylon
We sat down and looked around
And we said, this is fine

We put away our ballots and our protest signs
Because those that carried away the vulnerable
Asked us to choose between their evils
And really, what’s the point?

Plus, you and I, we’ve got it pretty good
And did our hands ever truly know
How to create new things?
Did our tongues ever have a clue
About changing hearts?

These horrors we see around us
There’s plenty of time
And distraction enough
To forget them

Blessed are we
Who get to see the new
Summer blockbuster this weekend