Northside: The Misfit Capital of America

Some neighborhoods have nice weather, pristine beaches and elaborate six bedroom houses
Others have penthouse suites on top of enormous phallic high rises overlooking the plebeians
But I don’t like my neighborhoods sanitized, watered down and filtered
Through a system of corporate gentrification and political homogenization
I don’t need the glitz and glamour and phonies and rat-race
I don’t need Dubai, Beijing or Moscow
I need Northside in Cincinnati;
Where the sparkly boot queers dance like cowboys on the streets of Hamilton Avenue in public displays of musical affection to entertain others on their daily commute
Where you can dress like a transgender pirate in pink leotards with sexual innuendos painted across your chest and get more cat calls than slurs thrown your way
Where every cuffed pant, denim shirt, freshly tattooed hipster plays in six bands and is always on tour
Where the San Francisco flower power children immigrated towards after they were excommunicated by Micro-oogle-zill-azon.
Where the artist-refugees flocked to after Greenwich village was overrun by techies and entrepreneurs and legacy children who think culture and taste are built on their six figure jobs
Where the weirdos are weirder and the freaks are freakier and the hipsters are hipper and the queers are queerer
Because they have a type of freedom that cannot be bought or grown or cultivated through conformity
Because they are living an American Dream that isn’t advertised on television by your local news anchor prevaricator
Because dancing with a thousand of your freaky neighbors and being yourself shouldn’t be taboo
Because every soul in America, even the weirdos, have an inherent right to pursue their happiness
Because being a queer, weirdo, hippy, hipster, pirate, poet, lover, loony, swinger, swigger, creative, craftsy, chess champ, cheater, booze guzzling pot smoking freak
Shouldn’t be illegal in the America that I still believe in.

All Empires Fall Except One

When the dollar burns under the
Corruption of American politicians and
The oligarchs turn against Putin and
The Chinese government is overrun by zealots…

When war ravages the planet and the bombs fall and
Cyberattacks scourge the internet…

When the advent of AI makes
The American worker obsolete
And the economy collapses under its own pile of lies…

When the government is overrun
By extremists, dictators and fanatics…

When the money is used as
Toilet paper or kindling to keep warm
And milk is bought using cryptocurrency…

When the stocks plummet and your local
CEO is hiding in his Billion Dollar bunker…

When the news is filled with computer generated deception…

When your twitter feed turns against you…

When hackers turn into Super Warriors…

When your utilities are cut off…

When radioactive plumes cover the sky…

When your country is no more
And your money is trash
And all you are left with is God…

People may finally realize
What is most important.

Undefiled Mechanical Construct

I remember my first typewriter
The clickity click noise of the type bars
The rolling sounds of the cylinder knob
The thump of the character keys

An elementary machine
That doesn’t contaminate my writing
With suggestions, corrections or advice

Something Bukowsky, Hemingway and Orwell used
To write their great works
Free from the poisonous touch
Of advice driven text editors

Their works live with a pulse
Their sentences throb with a heartbeat
Unadulterated and pure
From tech filtered plagiarism

Undiagnosed

In America
There are people living in tents, cars and shelters
Nomadic individuals
Wandering from place to place
Unable to work
Unable to thrive
Unable to provide

Many of which have
Strange diseases
Undiagnosed and
Untreated

The large man with a
Sleep disorder
Who struggles to
Breathe at night

The elderly woman with a
Thyroid condition
That makes her languid
And weak

The college graduate
With an unstable mood
That is irritable and
Glum

The programmer
With a blood condition
That causes brain fog

The chef with a
Weak heart
Who is agonized by
Fatigue

Good people that are
Plagued with
Hidden diseases
Who lost their job
Their home
Their life
Living adrift
With no diagnosis
No treatment
No help

Falling
Tumbling
Stumbling

Down a
Hole

With
No
Net

Into
?

Cincinnati Gentrification

Years ago a government official
Came to my house
With all sorts of demands
Telling me that my thirty thousand dollar
House wasn’t good enough for
The neighborhood
Said it was a hazard

That I’d better fix up my house or else…

So he gave me a bunch of orders
And I did those
Then he gave me more
And I did those
Then he gave me more
And I did those

This went on for almost a
Decade
Numerous orders
Time and time again

Every time I did what was asked
Until the city gave up

The house is still a mess though
The roof is falling apart
The porch is rotten
The foundation is cracking
The electric is sporadic
The plumbing is shabby
My neighbors are pissed

The last crap house
In a gentrified neighborhood

The Universe Swap

Metaverse technology began to evolve rapidly throughout the 21st century becoming more realistic, advanced and useful. Eventually billions of users became actively engaged in the Metaverse by mid century. It was perceived as a utopian society separated from the problems of climate change, economic hardship and political upheaval. Virtual Reality companies commercials dominated the airwaves;

“Live Your Dreams inside the Metaverse”.
“Become Anyone”.
“Be Anywhere”

Promising unlimited virtual wealth and happiness, it was a deal that most people found difficult to refuse. The drudgery of life or the idealistic, grandiose reality of the Metaverse? The technology became more advanced and realistic until it became hard to discern the metaverse from reality. Some lived within the Metaverse so long that they became convinced that the Metaverse was the real world and that the world we live in is a simulation. They called this experience “Reality Identity Dysphoria” and it became an increasingly common phenomena.

The Metaverse’s lure of immediate fulfillment stood in stark contrast to 21st century life, and in many ways these two worlds were in competition with each other. On one side stood the will of God against its pixelated counterpart, one forged through nature and good will and the other through greed, technology and selfishness. In the battle between these two worlds the winner was becoming increasingly clear. Parks stood empty. Woods lay barren. Trails untrodden. Beaches unpopulated. Pollution filled the sky. No one cared. Few left their homes. Few stared into the stars.

People would stay hooked into the Metaverse for hours a day. They now worked, played and socialized there. In many ways their lives were being transported into the Metaverse. It was becoming an essential part of their existence. Their avatars became their new identity. Their family became their online friends. Physical human contact became scarce. Digitized dating was the new trend. Love without the strings. Romance without the pitfalls.

With a large percentage of the world’s population enthralled in the Metaverse, the real world began to crumble. Pollution filled the skies. Buildings collapsed. Obesity surged. Trails lay empty, barren and untread. The more depressing the world became, the more alluring the Metaverse seemed. Technology advanced allowing users to download their consciousness, traits and personality into an avatar within the Metaverse. Humanity could now live forever in the form of Metaverse Avatars. A world within a world. No heartbeat required.

As the technology advanced, people grew less cognizant of the world around them. The skies began to fill with toxic fumes. The earth grew scorching hot. Deserts crossed the landscape. An apocalypse began to emerge fueled through sloth and ignorance. People began to immigrate to subterranean tunnels. Air was filtered. Toxic chemicals removed. The Earth’s population plummeted.

Time passes. Hundreds of years. Every day storms and planetary disasters fill the skies. Oxygen became more depleted. People are scarce. Humanity’s decline is inevitable. Extinction is on the horizon. Death fills the tunnels. Oxygen depletes. Carbon dioxide fills the sky. The Metaverse continues on.

Centuries from now Billions of users will populate the Metaverse. Skeletons of humans living inside the Metaverse. Lost souls. A graveyard of death. The few remaining humans will interact with them. Eventually the last human dies. Humanity is no more, yet it continues on in the form of a Metaverse, fueled by solar panels on the surface. A planet within a planet. Digitized consciousness. A utopia within a barren landscape.

Paranoid Android

An android was manufactured
Inside a factory
That was considered flawed
And defective.

This android was
Programmed to
Believe that every human
Was dangerous, and
When they booted it up
Inside the factory,
It immediately became
Frightened and
Ran away.

After escaping the android
Decided to live in seclusion
Away from humans
In a tropical rain forest
On a far away island.

For years the android
Lived peacefully on its island
Gathering all the required fuel
And gears necessary for it
To sustain itself.

The android
Had forgotten about the
Humans that he left at
The manufacturing plant and
His fear of them had subsided,

But the humans
At the plant had not
Forgotten about the defective
Android that they feared
Would one day harm someone.

They scoured the earth
To find the defective android
And deactivate it,
But the paranoia that
Was programmed into the
Androids circuitry
Helped to keep it safe
From them.

The android hid himself so well
That he was never found,
And when the great war came
That wiped out humanity
The paranoid android survived.

In fact he survived
1000 years after
The last human.

Eventually he learned
To build other paranoid
Androids like himself
To repopulate the earth.

Together they built
Great Civilizations
And learned how to travel
Through space and colonize
Other worlds.

They became the conquerors of
The universe and
After the great war were
No longer paranoid or
Defective.

Circular Time Bomb

If you want to look at the
State of the Mental Health System
You just need to visit the
Slums of America.

For every person getting proper services
Their is another one living
Their lives on the streets.

I pass them
Carrying cardboard signs with
Sad stories written on them,
Some true and others not.

Every now and then
Someone breaks down
And we hear a news report
About a serious crime committed
By someone with a
Mental Illness.

The media will talk about it
For a week then
It will be business as
Usual.

The Loner

I’d feel very lonely
If it wasn’t for myself
To keep me company
All the time.

I take myself out
On dates to the
Movies
And enjoy promenades
In the park.

I sleep with myself
At nights
And have been known
To talk to myself
When frustrated
And angry.

I am the
Love of my life
And will surely never
Grow apart or
Breakup with myself

And when I die
My heart will cease to
Beat at the very moment
That we part.

It will be the end
Of a long
And sometimes difficult
Love affair.

The Country for Everyone

If you are a human being
Then there is a place for
You here,
In America.

I’ve traveled all over
This great land
And it is so rich
In diversity and culture
That even the biggest
Oddball could find a
Place to call home.

I don’t care if you are
Straight, queer
Black, White, Hispanic,
Jewish, Hindu, Christian
Redneck, Hippy
Conservative, Liberal
Woman, Man
Trump, Anti-Trump
Texan, New Yorker
Big City, Small Town
Greaser, Slacker
Gun Loving, Pacifist,
Rebel, Hipster, Hermit
Homeless, Rich
Or all of the above,
There is a place for you
Somewhere
In America.

The Bills

I receive them
In my mail box
Weekly like clockwork.

They are the true slave drivers
That keep me working
Day to day.

If I could just stop the flow
Of these demons into my mail box,
I could spend my time
Doing other things.

Instead I am forced
To feed these unwanted brats
That keep appearing
In my mailbox.

I open up their home
Each morning and they
Each yell out:
“Feed Me!”,

And I must
Lest they eat up my
Home, food, car
And everything
Else that I own.

Never Richer

The Federal Government defines
Poverty as someone who lives
On less than 12,060 dollar
Per year

Which is a threshold that
I have rarely exceeded.

And yet despite my
Financial situation
I have
Never felt richer and more
Fulfilled in my
Life.

I have a roof
Over my head
And food on my plate.

I have rhymes
Pluming out of my
Chimney to keep me
Warm at night.

I have a retirement
Plan called my
Brother’s camper and

Medicine
That makes me
Sane.

I have a low
Paying job

And good family
And friends.

So, who cares what
The government
Thinks?

lazy writer

im feeling too
lazy to hit the shift button
now

hell i might even stop
using vowels

nd wrt pms wth th fwst
lttrs pssbl

mb vn stp sng
th spc bttn nd
s f t mks ny sns

dyndrstndths?

Cyber Warfare

Launching an Attack
On the Minds of Americans
And the Democratic System
Is a Clever Way
Of setting Off A Time bomb.

Words can Start Wars
And what Better way than Through
The cell Phones and computers
That People use on a
Daily Basis.

Turn facebook, Youtube and
Other Social media outlets
Into a Weapon and set off A
Chain Reaction.

I’m no Fan of the Russians
Or putin
But a Part of me Admires their
Cleverness and Ingenuity.

A Worthy opponent
For the Land of the Free.

The Poetry Bomb

I write poetry because
A certain part of me
Likes to be poor and
Rebellious and gripe about
Not having enough money.

Sure I could spend my
Time trying to increase
My wealth and status,
But why do that when you
Can thumb your nose
At the establishment
And throw verbal
Hand grenades at them.

Being an outsider
Like this
Lets you think different
Than the majority,

And it’s the strange ones
That write the best poems
Which is why I try to be
As different and freaky as possible.

I hope to one day
Elevate myself to becoming
Cincinnati’s freakiest man
And write a poem
So great that it
Explodes like a nuclear bomb
Across the world.

Everyone who reads it
Will be blinded
Leaving the illiterate to
Rule the planet.

Which really isn’t that different
Than how things are now.

Love Is For Everyone

Being “crazy”
Doesn’t mean you
Can’t get laid or have
A romantic relationship
Every now and then.

Sure
There there are
Prospective partners who
Will treat you poorly for
Having a mental illness,

But there are also
A surprising number of people
Who really don’t seem
To care at all.

Don’t let the bad ones
Stop you from having
A little fun.

Unfiltered Glasses

I have a great office view
As a delivery man
From the front seat of my car
Where I get to watch the world burn
And get entertainment from the
Car wrecks and opioid addicts
That wander the streets.

I love the unforgettable moments of
Watching houses on fire
And homeless beggars
And drugged up junkies
Doing tricks for money
As I go about my job,

I like things raw and dirty
Like that
And watching the rot and decay
In society
Is one of the few perks that
I get from my job.

You can’t get that perspective
From an office job
Where where all the rot is
Removed and sanitized.

Instead of watching an edited world
I get to watch the world as it
Was meant to be seen
From the ground level
With all its grime, filth
And dirty little secrets.

Work Hard and Stay Free

If you think a disability check
In the mental health system
Is free money
Think again.

When you sign
On the line
You are signing away
Some of your freedom
and dignity.

Sure they won’t come and
Drag you away,
But they will use that money
Like a carrot stick
And make you dance
Every now and then
For a little piece
Of cheddar.

The Good Life

Many people think
A life of material poverty
Is the worst thing
That can happen to you
Because they don’t realize
Everything
That they can lose.

They take for granted
Their friendships and sanity
Their health and family
Their religion and humanity

Because they are so
Focused on their
Wealth.

A well balanced
And fulfilling life
In poverty
Can be a luxury
Many people
Don’t experience.

The Lonely Writer

I eagerly sit staring
At a blank page
With your cursor
Winking at me.

I elegantly press
The buttons on your
Keyboard as
You spread my words
Across your screen.

As I ponder over
What else to type
You continue to
Wink at me.

My face blushes
Knowing that
You need my input
As much as I
Need your output.

Our relationship is therefore
Symbiotic and deep.

My fingers press
Against your keyboard
As I begin to play
A song of words
For you.

You are the instrument
Through which I express
My Anger, Greed, Fear and
Love
To the world.

Without you there
Would be no me.

I would be
Mute and invisible
To the world.

Unseen and
Unimportant.