Bar Hopping — for Lindsay Lohan

8 07 2010


At some point they will put me in prison.
All my adult life I have been pampered
By the system and it’s fawning minions.
They’ll lock me up not for what I’ve done
But for what I’ve thought. And if they knew
What I really thought they would never
Let me out.

They want to praise and worship my urine.
Track my every keystroke and list it down
My trail to oblivion goes through concrete and steel
Makes bond and resurrection on one payment plan
Life with no parole; it’s a new Slave Class
Let me out.

They have my name, picture and fingerprints
My profile and my physical marks and quirks
They know my address and my family and all
My partners in crime and the places where I lurk
They know by blood-type and where I work
They are on alert for me coast to coast in guilty digits
I’m a prisoner to mug books and computers.
Let me out.


A Society of Police

Let’s make everyone a cop. Give us
All a detective’s shield and a hotline
To the Main Computer. Password: Drop a Dime
We can turn each other in for sloppy police work.

Everyone can submit a “voluntary” monthly report
State place of residence, financial and employment status
Any change in political views, List all acquaintances and
Describe your health with hair and urine samples attached.

We can take turns doing pat downs and house
To house searches. And nothing like a Friday night
Surfing the neighborhood wiretap and eavesdrop web.
Cameras will be on every tree and building—Secure.

When we are all cops who will be the robbers? We’ll
Have to import them from abroad and every time you
Get drunk and slobber there will be a monitor there with
A swab to take your DNA sample for filing—So Secure.


Let The Whales Fix It

14 05 2010

They’ve punched a hole in the world
our globe is deflating, bleeding out
the grease of life floats like a tumor
oysters are fried and shrimps are boiled
playing with guns we’re shot in the foot
can’t plug it with money or old ideas
leaking like a hemophiliac on fire
we stand stupid in quicksand singing
songs of the deep not known to whales

derricks like waterbugs skate on the sea
exploding cold as profit on the bottom line
thar she blows spitting balls of wax
Moby Dick can fix it with a baleen smile,
a patch of excuses and a Coppertone tan
mix it with vinegar and derivatives
that’s the dressing the whales enjoy

Orcas gather like toothsome nuns
too late for transfusions, time to entube
treasures, pleasures and drastic measures
the world goes slowly flat, oozes lymph
small fishes flip on the beach frying
even the algae are obese and greasy
whales once cornered the market on oil
now they laugh at our extinction

The Himalayas hiss and sink to the Hindu Cush
like a punctured souffle shrinking flat
the world is getting soft as a warm cheese
deflating, leaking ambergris and essence
the price of gas is embarrassed in free fall
the whales swim lubricated in doom
slick as death the planet shrinks
will the whales save us with their sperm?

The Amazing Poetry of Lightning Rod

5 03 2010


Welcome to Lightning Rod World Headquarters where you will find the secret and solitary writings of the amazing poet Lightning Rod. Please feel free to comment and to share these poems with your friends or enemies. –Lrod

Here you can read poems from Lightning Rod’s upcoming new book Cool Calm Collected.

Remember: This poetry is for entertainment purposes only. Don’t Try This At Home.

Cool Calm Collected

5 03 2010


What is the purpose of poetry? Anyone who attempts to read or write a poem has to ask this old question.

Since there has been language there has been poetry. Even sign language finds a rhythm and a meter. The most basic guttural grunt can indicate music and meaning. In fact poetry has developed hand-in-hand with our languages. Shakespeare practically invented modern English in his verse. Ancient histories were recorded in poetry. We know of Troy only because of Homer and surely countless attempts at civilization are forgotten for lack of poems. The troubadour news was spread during the Dark Ages in the poetry of songs. Every major religion is revealed and expressed in psalms and sutras and chants. Our cultural ways, our laws and values and traditions are codified and remembered in nursery rhymes and repeated poetic aphorisms. With modern advertising poetry has become rocket science. Jingles and marketing slogans and brand names are all poems.

The word poem comes from the Greek poiein–to make. Literally a poiema is anything made, anything put together or piled up. This is honest etymology. Most art is a pile of something. We pile up the evidence of our lives in landfills and poems to later be mined by archeologists and scholars and contemplators of tufts.

As you may surmise by the title of this book, it is a collection of poems. At least they are what I call poems. Many people have offered their definitions of poetry. The dictionary states it in concise if prosaic terms as:

an arrangement of words written or spoken: traditionally a rhythmical composition, sometimes rhymed, expressing experiences, ideas, or emotions in a style more concentrated, imaginative, and powerful than that of ordinary speech or prose: some poems are in meter, some in free verse.

This is a good definition, I suppose. The definitions of poetry are as numerous as the people who are asked to define it. When we refine the question to ‘what is GOOD poetry?’, the fun really starts. Defining a horse as a quadrupedal mammalian doesn’t help you understand the nature or essence of horse as well as riding a horse or even seeing one run.

If we ask poets to say what poetry is, we get a more intimate and stylized definition. Coleridge maintains that, “Poetry is the best words in their best order.” Frost says, “The figure a poem makes. It begins in delight and ends in wisdom… in a clarification of life – not necessarily a great clarification, such as sects and cults are founded on, but in a momentary stay against confusion.” And Emerson commenting on Whitman’s Leaves of Grass, calling it, “Incomparable things said incomparably well.” These tell us more about the essence of poetry, I think.

If you ask me, good poetry is an assortment of words that when read or heard cause something to happen in your mind, something noteworthy but unexplainable. Good poetry causes you to know things in a more mysterious way than by simple explanation. By means of such devices as rhythm and rhyme, meter and metaphor and by symbols used like colors or chords, a good poem is able to evoke emotion and realization. At the very least it takes you from wherever you happen to be to another place. It represents a journey of some kind, even a very short one. But in the final analysis, no matter how you try to define or intellectualize about poetry or discuss its qualities in an academic sense, good poetry is good poetry for the same reason that anything is good, because it works. And poetry works best when it is entertaining.

With this volume, my most ardent hope is to entertain. Such cerebral entertainment as poetry is lost on the majority of people. I have resigned myself to this fact. If I was after pure box-office I would try to sell more pedestrian products like Self Help books or Romance novels or some other pornography or literary confection. But I am a poet so I can only give you poetry and hope that some of it will resonate.

You will find poems in this book written in numerous styles and moods and voices ranging from the silly to the surreal. Some are epics and some are merely moments. Some are designed to be heard and some are made to be read from the page. My advice would be not to waste your time trying to understand what they mean. Real poems don’t MEAN anything, they DO something. They do something to your consciousness. I hope these poems do something for you. –Lrod, 2010.

Book of Changes

24 02 2010

I’m making some changes in my life
It’s about time, but it’s always about time

I’m not going to sleep anymore, only pass out
I’m giving up my bad habits, like working and waiting

I won’t smoke unless I am awake
but oh, I forgot, I’ve given up sleep

I’m swearing off frivolous sex and having impromptu children
but that’s no problem because
only post-menopausal women look at me anyway
and that happens rarely

I’m giving up all pretense of being a poet
it’s a bad job to start with, but at least the pay is no good

yes, I’m making some changes in my life

I’m going to take up the Jew’s harp
(I know that there is a less ethnic name for the instrument
but I can’t remember what it is.)
either that or the dijeridu

I’m not going to make decisions anymore
we see where that has gotten me
nor am I going to learn from my mistakes
who wants the same old mistakes?
I want to learn new mistakes
mistakes that nobody has ever made before

henceforth I will only procrastinate in the future tense
I will only say I am going to do something when it’s already done
this will free my time for the important things
like not doing what I meant to do

This changing your life thing is very intoxicating
I could get hooked on it like some people get hooked on plastic surgery

I need a new ID
this name is old and rusty
and it’s not like I would miss my credit rating
would a sex change be too severe?
perhaps just a change in atmosphere

I think I’ll sell resort property in the Antarctic
there’s bound to be a market
the investors will be swarming
when I harness the power of global warming

the possibilities are endless
when you are making changes in your life

there is a book about this,
it’s called the I Ching
I know it’s a trivial thing
the same old sixes and sevens
but it’s a handy manual to have
when you are making changes in your life.

The Ballad of Katman DooDah and Felonious Punk

5 02 2010

By Lrod and the Joy Urchin

Click to listen

The BeBop Ballad of Katman Doodah and Felonius Punk

Katman Doodah and Felonius Punk
Who’d imagine I mean who’d a thunk it now
That pop-star wannabees with Bop Philosophies
Would make the right mistake; find heaven in jazz

(Chorus I) Wrong is Right
Less is More
Never felt like this before.

Katman said, “Felonius, I’m a dyin’ man
but I’m not gonna give it up; gonna do what I can
Just one thing bothers me ’bout Bop Philosophy
How does one undertake
to make the right mistake (furthermore)
What’s the meaning of JAZZ?”

(Chorus I)

I said, “Katman, I’m just a Felonius Punk
You know how I am; if I’m not stoned then I’m drunk
But even I can see that pure Bop Philosophy
Has only one very simple basic fundemental
This could be the SECRET meaning of JAZZ
it says,

(Chorus II)Less is More
Wrong is Right
Can I sleep with you tonight?”

Katman Doodah and Felonius Punk
Cooked up some music; called it TumblinFunk
And though these two could not agree on Bop Philosophy, with typical defiance they stunned the world of science with the simple elegance
Of Their Theory of Jazz, it said:.

(Chorus II)

And I’m Stickin’ To It

2 02 2010

This is my scarred soliloquy

I opened a can of treason on the morning of the third day

the product stank in its concentrated form but when diluted was quite tolerable

but the resurrection machines were made by infidels and heretics
and the internet is bubbling with mock gospels and plagues and news of plagues

this is my awkward argument

I was blue as Billie Holliday or Lord Krishna
espresso locked horns with the whiskey mechanism
it was a wet night in the Land of Circumstance.
the oligarchy was relaxing with guiltless appetite

this is my muffled monograph

I caught sight of a stone maiden cold from wandering
in her hair was the bright bud of hurt and suspicion
she wore it well. It was wilted at the edges like her eyes.

It was no surprise that she had a story to tell
not a long one of her road to hell and back
but a short tale that she fabricated on the spot
concerning things that are and things that are not.

her words tore me from the moment
gentle as fingers about a root
and she stroked my memory
just long enough and
just slow enough.
add to that the drone of her voice

this is my dangling dialogue

she twirled her tongue around her mouth and swallowed once
I saw the seed of generations in her pupils
I was her student then and let her guide me through her intricacies
each fold and membrane a chapter
she shook when it was over.

This is my story