(After a theme by Allen Ginsberg)

America I can no longer hear the birds.
America what is a bookstore’s true purpose.
America go ahead and kill me I love an underdog.
America I would join a jail before I’d kill for you.
America your pledge and flag routine are farther North than Korea.
America if any man were truly a man the moment you told him you require 40–80hrs. of his time to make another man rich he would rip your head off guffawing and belching as he did it.
America a gun escalates a cop escalates precisely because he has a gun.
America I am going crazy over…


After you passed, I unearthed

bugs, grubs, and facehuggers

in all the things they told me

I needed to eat to live —

noodles, garlic cashews,

and the squirming sounds

of nervosa. Sixty pounds of

seared meat taught me little.

But decay, like sadness,

is only half-contagious.

Your silence also spoke

in all of us the Lesson:

that the Stillborn is

still born, that the

Dirt cannot be dashed,

and that Our Past can

only rot the Rest

if We attempt to rip it

away.

Like you used to, now I smile
between two chubby cheeks.


It’s the life above not the boots you want. Proud LL Bean atop the tundra. We all look good in print. Unsure for certain what I’d do without pursuits poetical. Prolly haha all day. Mutation from youth to 30 sorely yearn for loud friends. Carousing. Scanty money’s enough. Lack thereof, lean pockets. Books. Learn the life of the mind is what it means to live right now. Young at heart. Fee-fi future accosting new thought. If we were trees we could reach round the power lines. Grow rows and rows. Don’t look down a long road. To be unwavering, unwanting. No yen. Fo-fum. Fresh never frozen. Burns but you have to buy your own adventure. Or dream it.


Three simple steps to equanimity and quiet joy

Credit: Scott Woyak & Fine Art America

Step 1. Procure a pet. Canines, felines, and even bovines are preferred (s/t w/ big eyes and fur will do the trick, though I’d advise against the llama — they spit).

Step 1a. Pet your new pet frequently.

Step 1b. Achieve ego-death by dint of a newfound selfless love for aforesaid pet. (This sub-step (1b) is everything really)

Step 2. Apply prenominate concept (1b (supra)) to each and every other aspect of your life, esp. those involving interpersonal relations; the acquisition and accumulation of material wealth; the oxymoronic (and really rather silly if you come to think of it) notion…


(for poets)

‘Sunday nap’ by L.W. Roth (http://drawing-of-the-day.blogspot.com/)

Say it over
save it
as the squirrel
scrapes his line
in the pavement.

Whether he keeps
speaks
or skims it
is but half
your business.

Chicken,
cleave your lips
or mend the rips
‘cross our neck
— send it.


When he rose to adulthood I reviled him, judged from a false high. He was on drugs and unemployed and cadging money from our family, and this angered me: your average work-obsessed, unaware American. And thus the last hundred interactions I had with him were merely one-sided indictments: iniquities and unctuous penalties from an impenitent know-it-all who was also mooching and stoning and coasting and comatosing with substances. The differences between us were superficial, but we lived in a superficial country, and so I was deemed superior. But because he’s now dust at the bottom of the Atlantic, I can…


Carolus-Duran, “The Convalescent,” Musée d’Orsay. 1860.

Shame we burn
our being for numbers:
blue maths cold past
consumes till future’s tubed,
choiceless mortis of the now.

Pill: I take another sight:
a Sun so numb he’s unseeing.
Fahren, dinero, height, might
I undo him tonight? Mm.
To immolate. Facultative.

Pills. Bills. 150+ Pokèmon.
I was a picayune will be dead
soon. Our star’ll sink dusty when
she shakes her sickly head.
Luna. Two.

Puke: I’m quietly sorry for quarreling,
better me to you. Dear tutor: noose.
Gallows. Thousands. Living for cowards.
Thou sand and thou Sun hath forsaken us,
all but One. Couldn’t begin to count them

down. Would need to start now.


While healthcare workers strive in vain to raise the dead, we’re busy jumpstarting what actually matters — the economy

* Originally published for LinkedIn’s From the Creative Director’s Desk series

Just the other day, while eating a candy bar, I thought about an oft-heard word: creative, now a noun. What does it really mean to be a creative? What greater humanistic impact does creative advertising have on society? On COVID? On the future of our great country? As designers, copywriters, and directors for big, beautiful brands like Ford and Nestlè, we need to know where we fit in the new future of the West. For example: Why do we still have our jobs when so many don’t? I’ve seen…


A Modern Romance

Victoria Watching TV” by Fernando Guibert

He had been behaving so strangely lately, and this had kept her waking — idly vacillating between vague, late-night streams and gnawing at her newly manicured nails. A quick pop with the fellas, that’s all he said, but what does that entail? Those fellas were bachelor assholes, still pining for undignified fun well into their 30s.

Her accusations dissipated to make room for frustration: the nippled light glowing above the foyer flickered. She had told him explicitly he needed to fix it one night this week, but he hadn’t. …


Dublin, 1916

If hell were a city,
we’d feel no such pity
for the man who ran it, would we?

And if I were a Father
who lopped heads in water,
would the Judge ever let me be?

And if I were a Mother
alone, swollen, smothered,
would the Lamb not share my shame?

But all is forgiven
when He who is Risen
condemns his frail children to flame.

Theodore Vaughn

Writer and rural poet.

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