no bud left behind

No bud left behind

– george stein


Maybe the Navigation was doomed from the start

It wasn’t as if there was an absence of signs

But things can always be taken two, three, or more ways

And then come the subtexts and permutations


Memory will inevitably smooth and polish

Things said and unsaid at the last supper

But there was a photo taken by the server

Among the many regrettable things people must do these days to earn a tip.


Now everything they touched and

Everything they fucked up, in their way

Will elicit waves that span the distance, pass

And come back again to spite


Some will surmise it was impetuous

Some will observe that it was avoidable

And most people won’t really care at all

Some of them will be right




The woman is perfected.
Her dead
Body wears the smile of accomplishment,
The illusion of a Greek necessity
Flows in the scrolls of her toga,
Her bare
Feet seem to be saying:
We have come so far, it is over.
Each dead child coiled, a white serpent,
One at each little
Pitcher of milk, now empty.
She has folded
Them back into her body as petals
Of a rose close when the garden
Stiffens and odors bleed
From the sweet, deep throats of the night flower.
The moon has nothing to be sad about,
Staring from her hood of bone.
She is used to this sort of thing.
Her blacks crackle and drag.





george l stein

my old honda has a bad tranny
and a psychological addiction to painkillers and lube
but whatever he survives seems to make her stronger
and weaker, and he wants to live just a little bit longer
because, they say, anything can happen, and may
and if the heart is truly like a wheel
then she wants more than anything
more than health, more than wealth
more than fresh, high-mileage pennzoil
wants someone to unlock and enter her
wants someone to wrap their fingers firmly
around her supple, stitched leather
turn the key and take her for a spin. it’s true,
sometimes life is barren, other times,
life showers one with fortune
and then sometimes it just rains.
drop the windows, harken the weather
toss the map, pump the stereo
indulge me just this once with premium ethyl, then
let’s just get this over with

just shoot

just shoot

one says let’s start by you standing there, here
in the inviting doorway of an empty coffin
a prop propped on it’s little end from which
to send forth, to launch, like
apollo astronauts or cuban baseball players,
or small-town freaks seeking the anonymity
and long, sodium-vapor shadows
of the new city in glorious night

and she complies.

photographer’s move and circle
round the ingenue du jour
sharks, at the sighting of silver fins twitching
in the cold, blue-green salt-waters
eyes dart, flashes flash, think
blink, then do it all over
break the fourth wall
then start in on the fifth

at the end, yearbook smiles, everyone says their good byes,
trudges down lost counts of bruised, concrete steps
returns in their individual measure
to the too-familiar place where movement ceases
the recent events become little, lost lambs
even the nuclear burn, full exposure of a mid-day sun
fails penetration at these fathomless depths