Daydream While Standing in Line at Starbucks Blues

The trouble
with complaining
about overpopulation
is the failure to admit
your own existence
is part of the problem

We who are so intimately
attuned to the primacy of words
may be falsely misled
by the callousness of those
who are not, since they are
distracted by the looming
or evading orb of dark before them,
and, lacking more time, are merely
enforcing their seasons of regret
upon us; see and being, darkness,
no light, except for the kind
that appears with heavy, closed,
lidded eyes, searching for the one
true source of the sun, finding none

Oh, sorry, didn't want cream,
and I don't need to suck on a straw
for that

Dinner Time at the Deluge

She looks out the window
while doing the dishes
Through curtains purchased at Walmart
Through a window during the shifting seasons
of spring and fall she can look across the great corn fields
of  southeast Iowa and view the funnel clouds
moving in from the west
Through to creatures great and small,
as well as straight toward a field,
across the wide driveway,
covered in dented, smashed-in, rusting,
demolition derby vehicles,
without tires, up in blocks, or, on their sides,
the prized possessions of the experienced, the unafraid
Gear head men
with minds for growing maize and working the system,
Martian farmers and their silos that moan
and wail on into the day and night,
their great insect-like machines
mulching and churning and harvesting the land,
From any direction is nothing but cornfields for fifty miles
And up that driveway, a kind of truck stop for the locals,
since she makes breakfast
for banana bunches of the good ol boys every day
She's still got her figure, you know. In fact, she's pretty fine.
With long brown farm girl hair a bit shreddy
from ceaseless moving
for a couple of decades now,
since the kids were born.
Just as the hammer
is pounding red steak chops,
tenderizing it.
There she is, looking out that window,
noticing a raven on top of the little house on the prairie,
Okay, Okay, it's just a barnominium:
She'll never get the word
that her neighbor's daughter died
in the opiod epidemic
after a bitter cold night
walking the street
in West Virginia

Death of a Newspaperman

Dream of dying at the desk,
after a couple of decades
of walking out for a cig
as the main form
of exercise

Dream of winning the Pulitzer
due to the accident of history
of being at the wrong place
at the right time

Death of Ben Bradley
hard boiled but suave,
better as Jason Robards
than Tom Hanks,
long in the tooth
for the truth,
yelling from the elevator,
"Get it right!"

Dead while typing a word,
head dropping on the keyboard,
responding to a thank you note,
that rare thud of recognition

Fired up by Lou Grant
and the Pentagon Papers,
the thought of making a difference
in need of nicotine, ink stained
into delusion by the deadline

Born to be the private I
in the public eye,
slouching into the grocery store
for a freeze-dried pizza,
pressured by money mad spouses
to go into public relations

The spinning around of coworkers,
moved on to puzzle piece places,
chasing the fantasy, used like fuel,
used like verbs carefully considered,
spit out nouns sticking on the concrete

Friend of cops and criminals,
a lifetime of naked fearlessness,
with an ear to the ground
worried into a cadaver
over concerns it rang real

Channeled into a narrow closet,
in the White House briefing room
listening to a huckabilly
yawl denunciations and falsehoods,
mostly for cable teevee

The reporter died here
in the desert of the destitute,
during the electronic swarm
of hive bees and mad bloggers

Woodstein and Orwell and Animal
and Sally Field and rushing
to the office for the single fact
that makes it all worthwhile

Ghosted into a low groaning hum
like a coal miner or puppeteer,
the obituary was quite kind,
the mundane tick of the clock
is what he survived