it is hard to know when to

take it easy flatfoot jack,
and stop blaming it on the bossa nova. the old school
was bad and we all know it, and they knew it too.

the climate today is women and those
who don’t believe them. monsters among men,
or maybe the latter is just made of the former.

‘god only knows,’ Brian Wilson spills out, but
god, I can’t muster a smile today. anyway,

her boot would look good on a throat,
as she burns the house down, chewing on
a cigar, sipping from a nalgene filled with tears.

she could
light it with that torch she always carries. flames need fanning these days, it seems.

first day of fall

stuttering through the last summer
of my 28th year here on earth:

tomorrow it will be the first day of fall.
far be it from me to call 2016 a success

by any measure of the imagination; by any
stretch across the yard with stick or tape

this year has been a sideshow of shit.
why, a white boy who only sometimes

wears girls’ clothes but is cis and straight
is still having a not-so-fun time, and that

says it all, doesn’t it folks? you can’t keep
the politics out of poetry these days Orr,

bodies bullet riddled and hitting blacktop
don’t cut like they should, god dammit.

people should be tearing down downtowns
and refusing to go into work, like I remember

they were doing in Greece not so long ago.
though that was about money I think. austerity

measures or something. and the students shook
that tiny island, I hear. well why are we not burning

something? well, they are, I hear
from afar. not where I am though.
I don’t see fire, much less smoke.
I am the enemy Dr. King warned about.
I am the white moderate. I’m the laze-about.
I’m the one who sympathizes, but doesn’t choke.
I’m the kind who sits on his hands, who doesn’t go
protest on the street. and why would I? I still have nothing to fear.
hell, I’ll probably make it out alive this year.