Author Archives: bpmcgackin

Frozen Yogurt

Taste image and color image and smell
and everything else you’d expect from
a poet, only this time we’re in a
frozen yogurt place and it’s October.
But this is California, and it’s
90 degrees outside (why don’t you live
here? it’s nice) so maybe things are a bit
different. Or you could always pretend
that it’s really 4th of July and the
colors are a bit more red, white, and blue
than black, green, and orange, the tastes cooler,
too, than this new pumpkin flavor, the smells
a mix of bbq and fireworks
instead of—no, we have that when it burns.


What was yesterday? No, let me rephrase:
what was I doing 24 hours
ago that led me to today? Was it
a birthing phenomenon, a newness
brought upon by my actions to enhance
my life? Or a slow, floating sensation,
a makeshift raft lolling on the day’s waves?
Each morning is like another jump off
of a cliff towards death, and what I want to
know is whether I was pushed, I stumbled,
or I leapt. The ground is racing towards me,
the whistling sound my plummet makes getting
lower, and at some point I’ll be little
more than a cloud of impact dust. How soon?


Your white dress billows like a jellyfish
plume, tentacle limbs askew, buffeted
by the windy waves beneath the surface
of my gaze. If I stare you down too long
you’ll drown the both of us, disrupt the thin
tension of our infinite possible
futures: look back and I might go under;
ignore my eyes and I might dry out on
this lovely beach and die; gently rock your
lifeboat hips in my direction and I
might forgo all metaphors, lose myself
in the depths of a wet speculation,
imagine it all in reverse, your words
a faint seashell whisper in the morning.

Beach Blanket

Not so much sex on the beach as second
base on a sandy blanket, wet towel
barely concealing the rhythmic movements
of her hand on his manhood roughly ten
feet from where I’m tanning, reading, eating
a peanut butter sandwich. The girl on
her back, straps undone, t-shirt over her
face to protect it from the sun; the guy:
much older, pretending to massage her
shoulders, leaning over her, constantly
checking if the white-haired gentleman to
our left setting out his chair has any
clue what’s going on there, never looking
at me, or maybe knowing I don’t care.


Rolled oats or miscellaneous other
possible cookie ingredients strewn
across the kitchen counter. Is “strewn” an
oats verb? I assume that there are proper
baking words one would use to describe the
sight of overexcited particles
of half-mixed batter splattered, scattered, or
whatevered. I’m not communicating
myself innately like the baked good I’m
making is able: one clear memory
for the sight of flour on the table; one
for the indelible smell from the hot
oven; another for the taste, homemade;
one for the love of someone feeding you.

Conference Room

Go to sleep and dream three years of a tough
relationship, love the shoe string holding
your two tin cans together, until that
fateful dream day when a stranger arrives
to rob your house, kill your wife, and then die
in the escape, and you’re left to tell the
police the whole thing. Wake up to go pee.
Go to sleep and dream of another lifetime,
a hot tub scene with another lover
completely, devoted to each other
and to the steamy feelings bubbling up
from below the surface, take your love on
the road, a jungle cat in a circus
show, and you don’t know your lines, but that’s fine.

Dust Jacket

To match my dust hat, my dust shirt and tie,
my dust-shined shoes and dirty leather belt,
my dust felt-tipped pen and mustard yellow
notebook, my wood and clay wallet, my dust
socks and dust boxers, my rock monocle,
my grass-stained vest (my very best), my dust
undershirt, my dirt clod cufflinks, chain, and
pocket watch, my mud umbrella, my dust
walking cane with the hidden blade, my dust
cigarette case, my filthy handkerchief,
my dust coat and tails, my dust tux and pale
muck cummerbund, my toxic scotch snifter,
my unwashed, “No, in fact I can’t spare a
buck, mister,” grimace, back from the cleaners.


Be the headliner you want to see in
the world. If at first you don’t succeed at
becoming extremely famous, try, try
again. A penny saved is a penny.
Early to bed, early to rise, makes a
man as rich as Ryan Seacrest. Those who
can’t do teach themselves to be okay with
extra work. An apple a day keeps the
people from PETA away. Good fences
make good paparazzi deterrents. Fall
down seven times, get back up as many
times as your director tells you. Not all
that glitters is gold—sometimes it’s silver,
platinum, diamonds, or a new Rolls Royce.


It is possible to live in pockets
of existence, with but within the shared
fabrics, not altering the pattern but
having an impact on the general
shape the world’s clothing takes, making it bulge
or tear or shake in unnatural ways,
affecting the sway of reality’s
hips, the curve of her waist, the outline of
her figure in a lover’s hands, her grand
universal silhouette. You may be
her small musician. You understand the
right notes to strike into humanity,
and you play them from her pocket until
she decides she’s listened to you enough.


And why shouldn’t we worship the golden
objects that attract us? The Poetic
Example Number One and Poetic
Example Number Two? (Insert what works
for you: the perfect words of a preferred
author; the perfect curves of a foreign
sports car; the perfect taste of a well made
bakery item; the perfect all of
the above of your objectified love,
body splayed, role played, prayed to and for and
with all your heart.) Why shouldn’t we worship
the transient, the fake names and labels
we create to define experience?
And why shouldn’t my idols be godly?