Poem: All the World

First of all

there is nothing, and nothing ever matters,

because your brain is nothing but sparks and dials and levers

going haywire on a loop

over and over, but what about beauty?

 

Shaolin vs. Wu-Tang is a story about friendship

where the two styles merge, choreography superior

fetishistic circus of movement, kung fu inferno

never translated with a meaning, iron eyepatch

villainy inherent, there is always more.

 

Nothing and more there is always there, behind

all time and space, depending on how you look

through one eye alone, see vapors evaporate

into joyful progress, every day a new door

made of candy, stars bursting chewable

red and blue and purple, but probably not.

 

That would be madness, panoramic obsessive

without paranoia, you’d be locked up

believing that, there never was tomorrow

in the first place, because all of us can feel

that we are the same, marrow and saliva

leaking out the folds, memories of pain becoming.

 

Shadows receding slowly, clearing your head

of detritus, nothing is ever at all

without a passion, stories die as reborn

becoming all places, characters and statements

at the same time popping a brain out your eyes.

 

Love is in everything, forever onward

omnipresent dreadfully looming

horrors of the dawn dusk in between and end,

search for a kernel of joy, that’s all there is

when it comes down to it.

Poem: All the World

Poetry: Philosophy Volume 4

Swelling like good songs, Strummer gone acoustic

spanish optimism, calming a steady breeze

curling inwards, patter past the pit

in your gut still clouds bang horizon

darkness towers forever

over us, all of us, struggle sharply instinctual

suicide, when it’s hard red eyes

frozen by the beat, clear blue

shattered with a ball peen

strike at the center mass, nothing of a cushion

underneath, shards will rain

over everyone on both sides

opposite the split, the river will run

red as the sclera screeching

from the blood shot, unplug in emergency

if at all like this, they’ve won already.

 

But they haven’t a knowing smirk

painted left to right like a comet trail

in the dawn light over the plain, booming a shattering

pulse throughout all reality, it seemed at the time

or must have had I been there, overconfidence

shaky fencepost complicit swaying

this and that, hesitance may be

a symbol of the soul or time ravaging

footprints in the sand, showing the way

enlightenment presents to us

going in circles, seeing blank horizon

everywhere forever on, footpads placing

pleasantly in the sand, it is warm

sustaining hilarious resonant contemplation.

Poetry: Philosophy Volume 4

Poem: Down Low

Delicious, lovely happenings abound

around the area floating, if you look for them

in your imagination

that is, they reside on the slide

in the pride of losers clinging to each other

while the world changes behind their backs, again

just like before when it happened

to their fathers, grandfathers buddies cousins

boss’s bro’s and bandits, all of us a link

in a chain that knows nothing connects

really, which is sad

but only kind of, honestly.

 

Because Flavor is important, in all places

at once, preference being a fact of life

we express our spirits through, what we enjoy

is like a fingerprint, and could we catalog the world

in this way, as if compiling examples, or would our spirits be

like sand in water, or pliable

like Play-Doh fresh, and I think maybe all

simultaneously, meaning you could create

databases of libraries, so I guess it’s no use

considering impossibilities, but a sense is created

by what you’re a fan of, I guess.

 

All this is important because I am sickened

by what you people like, and this gives me comfort

unbelievably massive, cloaking all of us in a shadow

of spiteful noncompliance, is the consistent popularity

of 2 Broke Girls an eternal question

or just a fact, that most people are braying

assholes who think it’s funny to embarrass ugly people

in front of the others, which it often is

but still, you don’t wanna broadcast that shit

homie, gotta keep the devil

on the DL in more ways than one.

Poem: Down Low

Poem: Becoming

Way home from Tony’s, eggs and Halava in a plastic bag, a brilliant moment exploded,

a Toyota ripped down the street, screeched and ejected a passenger, a frantic fat man undoing his pants

wearing the expression you know, he is frenzy want and need, one that left the car running

frantically panting, as if in a trance, I just took it.

 

I was only 15, and I don’t know where it came from, this conception

that rules don’t mean anything, and penalty is only consequence, catch me if you can,

I just drove, knowing no one was looking for me, until I abandoned in two blocks adjacent

scampering through bush over fence.

 

I was free of it, my decision, and I only wonder what I’ve wrought back then,

how much inconvenience, and perhaps pointlessly missed the birth of his son, or some likewise calamity

I’ll never know or care probably, as it shakes out in memory, realize that reality is what you say

that I didn’t really, I wish I had, don’t you?

Poem: Becoming

The D.A.C (Differently-Abled Comedian)

  1. Cole’s Open Mic (2338 N. Broadway)

It’s Wednesday, and for Chicago standup comedy, that means it’s time for Cole’s Open Mic.  Cole’s is the most popular open-mic in the city; the reasons for this are many, and plainly obvious.  The bar’s layout is perfect, with an open bar area ideal for drunken socializing cut off from the back performance space by a shallow walkway, which does a good job of limiting the noise pollution.  The beer specials ensure that the crowd, which is often quite large, will before the mic starts be more than suitably tipsy.  Beyond that, what most sets Cole’s open mic apart from other open mic’s in the city is its exemplary opening act, Foz the Hook.

Foz, who frequently refers to himself as “Your old pal Foz” is a tunesmith, piano player and raconteur who frequently launches into carousing renditions of crowd favorites like “Drunk Astronauts,” and between songs regales his audience with wistful observations of life, most of which are forgotten nearly immediately.  After Foz brings his set to a close, the open mc host, Adrienne Brandyburg takes the mic and warms up the audience with a few minutes of her own comedy, which does a good job of bringing the room together and getting them ready to laugh.  Each week, Adrienne also offers free to drinks non-comedian audience members, ensuring that the crowd will be mostly passive and friendly.

I have been going to Cole’s Open Mic for seven years, and thus I have the privilege of getting “bumped” up near the top of the list upon request, but this is a privilege offered to few.  “Bumping” is a thing that most Chicago open mics participate in, wherein those whose comedy has been frequently seen and are known to be talented are given preference; therefore they receive a better spot on the list.  I remember, when I was first starting out in the open mic scene, I felt “bumping” was a horrid injustice, and one that I would never support or participate in.  After a few years of effort in open-mic comedy, childish principles like this are easily discarded.

For new comics going to Cole’s Open Mic, I would recommend showing up between 2-3 hours prior to its 9:30 start time, for if you find yourself late on the list I’m not sure how attentive an audience you’ll have.  I usually show up around nine, allowing me to gage the mood of the room and predict how large an audience I’m likely to receive.  Showing up early, especially when you are just starting out, is vitally important for the open mic comic.  The time you spend getting to know the other comedians, and the friendships you are able to build with other people in the scene, can be an enormous help in your journey to become a standup comedian.  It is very important to know your audience, what they are looking for, and what they will laugh at.

If I am soon to perform in front of a large or medium sized group of people who’ve never seen me before, as I was this night at Cole’s, it is important for me to get them comfortable with my “accent.”  The “accent” I refer to is the sound of my voice, as it was altered by the traumatic brain injury I suffered a little over a decade hence.  Because of my “accent,” it is important that in my first bit I either address my speech directly, or quickly disabuse my audience of the notion that I am to be pitied in any way.  In this instance I used the latter technique, opening by saying that “despite my voice, which might lead you to believe that I am somehow mentally handicapped, I crush pussy on the regular.”  The shock of this vulgarity, and the brazen nature of my self confidence, normally, as it did in this case, causes the audience to react with raucous laughter.

After this strong start, and in a way that references my personal malady, I can flow through the rest of my set easily enough.  I then did this by saying that though I “crush pussy” regularly, there is only one for me, as I am in a committed relationship with a woman that I am in love with.  I then slid from this description of love and wonderful commitment into some details of our relationship, namely, that my girlfriend does not shave or trim her pubic hair.  I described how it is a favorite habit of mine to give my girlfriend a “noogie on her bush,” though she finds this particularly annoying.  I described that when she tells me to stop, I tell her I will, and then I just go back to it.  I explained that I do this until she finally responds with fury, yelling in my best imitation of an extremely annoyed and perturbed woman, “Stop it!

After these two bits, as is often my habit at Cole’s Open Mic, I launch into some fairly standard crowd work, gently ribbing the audience and laughing along with the assembled crowd.  Being a differently-abled comedian, this is normally one of the more interesting things for me to do on stage.  For most comics, crowd work normally concerns handling crowds of people who disrupt the flow of ideas, adding their own egos into the comedian’s stage time.  These people are typically called hecklers, and I can say that my condition, and the sound my voice makes due to my condition, has meant that I’ve very rarely had to deal with hecklers.  Hecklers usual     intention is to gain the support of the crowd at large, and if it seems as though the heckler is picking on a disabled comedian, the crowd is liable to turn on them.  Conversely, because my tone of voice may seem pitiable to a large portion of the audience, I instead must use my interaction with the crowd to make them more comfortable with me.

After my set, I customarily hang out for a little while, but as the back performance area becomes choked with comics waiting to go up, I tend to take my leave not long after performing.  Cole’s on Wednesday night displays the always-beating heart of the Chicago standup comedy scene, and as I am a (fairly) beloved veteran of the room, it is where I can take the most chances.  It is there that I can explore the possibilities open to me, being a disabled standup comedian and a standup in general.

The D.A.C (Differently-Abled Comedian)

Poem: Ceiling Sketches

On our side we are always leaving

no matter what, we know the facts

that you don’t, and they tell us the truth

of what we would prefer to believe anyway, the fact is that

we are, and we know it

as a horse knows a gallop, we know to leave

indentations where we tread.

 

But we understand, don’t make a mistake, you can’t

know we have your best interests at heart, for we do

though in a roundabout way, wish you success

in all your endeavors, after you’ve eaten

all the shit mustered, prideful joy abounds

for surmounting such a crest, which we believe you could

jump high enough, barely for you can’t quite see it, the avalanche.

 

Waiting around the corner

raise a standard strategy, teaching savage

trickery creates competition, basics for expounding

whatever way one will, forget the rules

like smoke in wind, still go to church

eating vegetable desserts, it seems pointless

tipping a doom bowl over.

 

View an error, wishing you could correct come, large step

over the error after another and you’re nearly there, already

anticipating a victory, but each and every

time you are closer, and a gradual constant

accompanying no victory yet, though a shining sky

would signify a change, our blood runs black

tormented sludge, but it will never be exhausted, our will.

Poem: Ceiling Sketches

Poem: The Morning After

The time is now, that much is certain

to everyone, for everyone, too

much is certain, stores running short

of confidence, seeing the past and the future

superimposed, something must and is

happening now in people’s exploding

minds, afire and that’s all it takes

to start a real revolution, the revolt of the revealed

tearing everyone’s blinders off.

 

Or, spit on the ground, cleat it

with steel, make a stomping splash

sound effect, goose-stepping

our discarded hopes, forgetting the ancient

wisdom seeping up again

from the dirt, feasting on death

as flowers eat the sun, every factorial cataclysm

shows that the sky is higher

than ever, before we finally see

god, the devil and a rapturous war.

 

More than likely neither, of course

because whatever happens, the heart beats

like nothing, it lasts forever

as far as you know, in the end

it will come too soon, so justly

we wander on, taking what comes

clean and dusted as best

we can, say yes half-heartedly

again, but not for a while.

Poem: The Morning After