You do the DNA test and find this

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After the Flight


You do the DNA test
Bring the sealed results to a funeral weekend
Everyone gorges on Chinese food

In the living room you reach into the envelope
There is laughing about our thousand year lineage
About how much this or that, as if we know

Most everything we’d know
Except the 10.5% Jewish
Looking at each other

That one word
Stands up on the page
Like a boney stereotype

The sound of Ashkenazi
Someone Googles it
Most of all, laughter

2-4 generations back
10.5% of our blood. 10.5% of the giggling
My Jewish friends get a text

A little allure about Jews
African Americans and Jews
And now some of them is you           

When Chinese food was empty trays and egg drop soup
During landing, considering
The wheels touching down

Spinning hot and burnt
Amongst cornfields, dead and tall
Hearing their wheezing breaths

You realize
This is 10.5% targeted. 10.5% spit
10.5% grief and ash and bones

From a pit
This is kinfolk in a forest, hunched
Cousins, mocked, raped or blamed

An uncle or an aunt, 100%
Ducked into their own
Face full of tears

Searching

Image result for cubs television
Games of the World Series


An intrusive thought: I am not a Cubs fan; just want to route for the loser
I am a loser, searching the screen, eyeing a woman in a jeans skirt in a bar
So sexy, TV. Elements of guilt. Facebook. Fly out to center.

Facebook, addicted already after six weeks. Maybe just compulsion
Don’t want to get up to brush my teeth. I can stop any time I want
The reverse of yoga. On my side, the Indians’ logo looks like the middle finger

Look really hard. Wait for a close-up. This is the opposite of church:
Smiley commentators, Simpsons commercial, Fox Sports, Camry, Cancer
Campaign ad. Cubs win. Facebook. Time for bed, face tomorrow

Maybe another night on the couch it’s warm enough flick the light
TV fucked me again without my consent. Nonetheless we cuddle
Our feet tickled by the waves mixing with glowing sands

Not long ago, when the wind and sea crashed together at my feat
I would have told you--I told myself--there was no way to be, except unfettered
By force of skull, the way nails cannot budge from timeworn boards

When you’ve sniffed the sweat of children tying bedazzling carpets
Been to Hemingway’s bar, or heard cracks choir up from a frozen lake
Sailed the bays of far, pumping the iron of globe, but feel numb

It’s the medication. The testosterone levels. It’s relationships. Stress        
Facebook. Midlife. The imprints of bygones, an irreducible congestion
Search, I tell myself, real hard. For Solomon’s wisdom, through his ruins

Our brain ranks last in thought, nonetheless talks a lot

Octopus Photograph Burnt Orange Octopus Print Sea Creature
The Neurons of the Octopus are Vested in its Tentacles


The octopus is in its groove
Conscientious thug in a realm
Its neurons mostly sway in arms
Its brain is finer than the slots

Apparently the waters warming
Will do just fine, the creature,
Swiftly changing to demands,
Is no polar bear for sympathy

Our brain is in the tongue
It’s tied into a knot
Forests being felled in swaths
Thank god we’re half way in

Our brain is in the bog
Its fumes tally the decay
You see the compass arrow spin
We’re all heading South

Each breath falls off the shelf
Rum is running in the ears
Our brain ranks last in thought
Nonetheless talks a lot

Our brains are in our cocks
Acquiescing to its rot
The mind is tucked in fast asleep
Thoughts without being thunk

Our brain is leaking common junk
The info poisonous to touch
Were we an octopus to acclimate
We might just call the future lunch

Truth is a bowl of flaming oil and a dog.


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Bowl of Flaming Oil


A Chinese sage once said, “Truth is ‘neither this nor that.
It is a bowl of flaming oil and a dog:  Entranced, vexed, immobilized by 
it
        This is how truth burns”

Her bones are remodeled, she creates like a god
Eats in the convent with clowns and a snake. Sleeps in jail with silk sheets in the
nude
        Bathes in a river of crocodile teeth

She vanishes with the failing light
Sheds her skin in a cave on the hill, uttering questions for the
sure
        Scratching in darkness in the dirt

Then sunrise squints into her yawning eyes
A quiver, then a feeling: It is happening! Like a padlocked piano lurching into the
day
        To cast light on its keys

When It Finally Takes Flight Leaving You Free and Sad

Image result for albatross above ocean
When Marriage Finally Takes Flight Leaving You Free and Sad


I.
When marriage finally takes flight
(and I mean ends)
You may be left with a freedom

From its triangles of elephantine memory
Free from a quarter century of cataloged errors

Free of her bickering clutter
Of those dishes and dishes
And stacks of sorry parenting

Free of her crystaline stare and conversation-less daze
Weekends of issues about issues
Free of nights sans joi d’vive et bon vivant
Or any French terms whatsoever

Free of marriage falling asleep on me
Free of her dirty pots

Thank god almighty
I am free [at last]
from her tasteless soups


II.
Free, yet
When your marriage finally takes flight
(and I mean ends)
You may experience a sadness lasting more than five hours

You may burrow deeply under the covers
Through jungles of kismet
Sad as oranges rotting
Sad for the boys
Dreaming arguments
Slapping on cliffs
At the roaring seas

Low as an albatross
Warping the waves
Leaving a continent
                                                             
Sad like a marriage
That should have not
Left the continent
Twenty-three years ago
(and I mean taken flight)
To flutter and skim the whitecaps
Eyes stinging shut
Far from shore

Leaving a continent
(and I mean leaving a marriage)
Soaring free as swells lift

Flapping as they drop

Terrified by the sight of my own blood

First Visit To My Grandparents


I walk the graves to find my own
Dripping genetic sweat on clippings of grass
Searching for their names, my name
In Pennsylvania. From Austria-Hungary

Past suicide row, the lawn mower calls it, by the scrappy trees
Where he doesn’t go. Finally, I kneel under the pines
Kissing tribute to their granite lives, smooth and burning
In the Slovak town by Hermitage, in Sharon

Where pig blood drained to the Shenango River
Where Dad’s pitch-forked fish bled in the Shenango
Deer grazing under the spent orchard above the Shenango
Cicadas screaming as the highway spoons the Shenango                                    

Numb stone walls, Sharpsville Steel, bricks
Muscarella’s Restaurant, beer and tattooed boys
Lawns of used furniture and tackle shop under the flag
Everyone grown old on the slag heaps by the Shenango

Patagonia, where the Slovaks arrived to steel mills and railroad Co.s
Patagonia, where warped boards are scraped of paint by years  
Patagonia, where unemployed weeds dawdle on the baseball field
Patagonia, where possessions of paycheck days are sold on lawns

With tongues of moss spewing fuck the future
Channeling fathers’ chapped knuckles across lips
Where slate turns to cardboard on sodden sheds
Walking the asphalt with get-by thoughts

I have come as an explorer
But leave having been ripped
From the old world, terrified
By the sight of my own blood

Fuck rummaging, I am everything!

Just About Everything


Fuck poetry’s inane means of shedding sorrow!
Rummage to the bottom for a source of new
I am not the Phoenix/the lotus/there is no sunrise at hand
Everything for which I’ve cared for is cast in sand

Fuck the Phoenix and the lotus and a new dawn
Rummage by the waterside for signs of birth
I am blanketed down for a winter of divorce
Everything I am is drown in ripples of remorse

Fuck the dying flowers in the vase of putrid water
Rummaged by a partner who tipped it over
I am trying to fill this page with honor, but shame
Everything since July has changed but my name

Fuck the dumb-ass stunt and blunt force of the F word!
Rummage my possessions for a key that unlocks
I am a diagnosis of cancer/lewd dancer/a weed
Everything that love has brought me just bleeds