Author Archives: bpmcgackin

Pool

Shut the fuck up with your open mouths like
gaping red wounds and various other
tired metaphors. Imagine the lipstuck
orifice as something new: two rare and
exotic plantains or some such foreign
fruit; a pair of the sexiest dead slugs
ever to be stepped on in Christendom;
whatever third example you’re thinking
of that might be better than the third that
I’m thinking of; a crescent-shaped backyard
pool well after midnight, two long banks of
cherry-colored LEDs lining the sides,
saltwater, not chlorine, and I’ve never
in my life been so in need of a swim.

Basketball

I write a damn lot of stupid poems.
Look at me sitting at my desk feeling
indignant. Look at me arguing with
myself over how other people should
live. There’s a basketball game on, and I
hope those players are happy. There’s a small
lime tree on my neighbor’s balcony, and
who the fuck needs to care but them? I see
the same grand vistas and lame internet
facsimiles as you, and nothing I do
will bring the world any closer to Truth.
Maybe there is a god, and maybe he
does hate gays, and maybe he is racist,
and maybe you’re right, I’m going to hell.

Smoke Detector

I’ve spent my whole life encased in plastic
awaiting tragedy. A light flashes
green to inform those near me I’m working,
processing only what’s in front of me.
There may be smoke in the next room, but my
battery is only strong enough to
monitor the here and now. Watch me hang
around contributing little to life
at night; ignore me completely during
the day when the threat of a blaze isn’t
as great; turn me off around dinnertime
so you don’t have to deal with my shrill voice;
protect yourself and everyone you
love by replacing me at least yearly

Classroom

It once was poets were secret sharers.
We had the facts and we voted obscure
references and high emotional
intelligence. We left it all to be
discovered, teaching men to fish for words
and women to fish for equality.
The lines are all different lengths and the
stanzas fat or short or unmeasured or
strictly structured, but each poem ending
eventually, often by its own
hand. But there are no secrets anymore.
We have nothing left to share but old rhymes
and dusty structures, as though metaphors
were heirlooms we found in a steamer trunk.

Recycling Bin

I’ve written nine poems today, and I
don’t expect any of them to be much
good, and neither should you, but I think
it’s entirely possible that if
I keep on like this I might maybe could
possibly eventually pen a
proper poem that students will loathe and
their teachers will force them to memorize
and, dare I even dream it, recite, and
someday later during an awkward date
conversation the realization
that my poem was actually great
will wash over one student like a wave
and s/he will say something that gets her/him laid.

Crystal Ball

For those who didn’t finish seer school,
here, let me predict the future for you:
this poem is about life or maybe
it’s about love or at least it is most
likely about growing old and knowing
what the future will hold and this poem
sometimes rhymes because it has to have a
bit of that sort of thing or else it’s not
an official poem a sanctioned work
of art and oh this poem is about
death duh and probably sex or wanting
sex or whatever it is one does with
sex during the fallow times and oh yeah
this poem is all about frustration.

Astroturf

This is what happens when you fall behind:
you write a “this is what happens” poem
like you’re some Great Artist in the know, some
ageless linguistic mystic, comma here,
example there, extended metaphor
to illustrate the wisdom of your oh
so timeless take on the nature of man.
And you can, because you use phrases like
“the nature of man” and own it, and oh
there’s that interjection again, all the
best poets make such exclamatory
motions, and this is what happens when you
commit your life to art, and oh what a
life and oh what a world oh if only.