Police Surveillance

One of the problems with being a criminal today
Is that the forensics and technology that law enforcement uses
Are more sophisticated than most people realize.

I spoke with a cop at work and he told me
He had a license plate reader built into his vehicle that
Could read hundreds of license plates per minute
And that he knew
Everywhere I had been the last three days.

I took him for telling the truth about the matter.
He seemed like a decent enough guy
But it still felt creepy that he knew that.

After that I
Never looked at technology
The same way.

It seemed as if all this new
Technology and surveillance equipment
Built into our phones and elsewhere
Is the best babysitter and tattle-tale
The world ever devised.

No wonder there haven’t been
As many serial killers in the news lately.
The cops know everything about you.

So if your considering being a career criminal
Don’t think you can “get away with it”.
Law enforcement is watching us
More closely than we realize.

Culture Shock

I missed that small town Swedish vibe
When I arrived at Laguardia Airport.
That sense of not belonging in my own country
Lingered with me for several years
After I got back to the United States.

I had been overseas a bit too long
Living as an exchange student in my teens
And came home feeling lost in no-man’s-land
Neither here nor there in heart and mind.

It took awhile for the spell to wear off
That sense of not belonging.
For years I felt disoriented until
I had rediscovered myself again.

I am
A poet &
A writer
With a touch of Scandinavian spice
On an otherwise American dish.

If I could only have known that sooner.
It’s nice to come home again.

A Memorable Performance

I walked up on stage
To share my poetry for “Open Mic Night”
At a bar located in Downtown Cincinnati
In order to give them the freak show
That I thought they might want

I got up to the mic
In a nervous manner and
Looked down upon my drunken audience while
Speaking these words from my poem
“Escape to Insanity”
In a jittery manner:

“They say I am mad
That I am evil
And creepy
That my genes are corrupted
And my brain is deformed
That my actions are freaky
That my behavior is not the norm
They then ask me the question
“Sir why are you this way?”
I tell them as such:

“A genetic predisposition
An environment unsound
The reasons for madness
Don’t matter to me
For I believe
In the world
Of impossibility”

Wacko Schizo
Psycho and nuts
Call me whatever
I don’t mind
For I can escape
To a strange world
And leave you behind.

I’ve seen places from hell
with fires and flames
Of torture and madness
It’s name is taboo
Psychosis, psychosis
Does it scare you?

Madness, Madness
A self destruct button
That I pressed
Years ago
To blast off on a mission
To a planet
Where the aliens are free
To play with
My memories

Here things are different
Many say they are strange
Here it’s the “normals”
That are deranged
If you want to be different
If you want to be free
From logic and reason
Then come and meet me
On this strange planet called
Insanity”

After I finished I looked at the audience and received
No applause
Nothing
Just silence and
I stepped off the stage thinking
That my poetry was best not delivered
On a Tuesday night to a drunk audience

I seated myself at the bar stool and ordered
A beverage and burger relieved that the
Whole ordeal was over with when
The next guy took the stage for his comedy routine

He got up and started his act
Telling the audience that the
“Son of Sam” just gave a poetry reading
And I just stood there kind of mesmerized at
The whole scene as he disemboweled
Me before the audience over the next several minutes

I guess I should have just laughed with the audience
As he went on telling jokes about
Serial killers, the Unabomber and Homeless Bums
But there was a part of me that started to get angry
So I started laughing and clapping
At all the wrong times
And told the comedian that
Death was preferable to his torturous act

My verbal blows went on for some time
And eventually the comedian
Left the stage in an upset and defeated manner

The audience was so awestruck and upset
That I decided to quickly take my leave
In an abrupt and discreet manner

I eventually got home in one piece
Without bruises and
A new “adventure notch”
On my belt that left the audience
With a show they will never forget

*This happened several years ago at a pub on Main Street.

Sleep Asphyxiation

Reveries and dreams elude me
And I am left wishing to be
In the land where Morpheus resides
So he can fill me with dreams, sweet dreams

Many have mocked Morpheus
As a God unfit for the realm of the immortal
And yet my malady has brought me this wisdom:
Without his power of dreams every man, woman and child
Would be driven into delirium and madness

I Hope that one day this wisdom
Will bring him to cradle me in his arms
So that I may find myself restfully asleep
And dreaming sweet dreams in the land
Long forgotten

*This poem is inspired by my sleep disorder

Sitwell’s Coffee House

I’m on Ludlow Avenue getting served
A cup of “Americano” by a gentleman
Wearing bright red lipstick

Across the room a lady is singing
“A Whole New World”
From Disney’s Aladdin

She is a bit out of tune
But that doesn’t matter
Considering that is how I like things

On the ceiling someone has scrawled
Poetry in dark black letters

Inside the restrooms are large antique
Televisions with the words
“We Used to Entertain You”
Painted onto their blank screens

The coffee shop I’m at was named
After the eccentric poet
Edith Sitwell
And it remains true to her legacy

Different and strange
It is a Midwestern gem

A magical place
Where I can write odd poetry
And almost feel normal

The Peer Support Drama Factory

I Worked as a Peer Support Specialist
For years at a mental health facility
Looking back all I can remember
About the place is the constant drama
Of the clients and employees
Who never got along

It was a thankless job
Low pay
High stress
And a completely dysfunctional
Environment that would drive
The otherwise sane completely mad

The day I left felt like a weight
Had lifted from my chest
Three years of hell that was finally
Over with

Love Me – Hate Me

Sat down to eat some pizza the other day
And the manager came over to say
That I look a lot like the Unabomber
And that the waitresses should be wary
Because I am a cult leader

I’m rather certain he meant it as an insult
But in fact I was rather charmed
Thinking of all the power and influence
Cult leaders wield over others
So I ate my pizza and left a rather generous
Tip to the disobedient flirtatious waitresses
That paraded around my table
In a quizzical and curious manner

Missing Pieces

Everyone likes a good puzzle
But never the ones that you can’t solve
Where there are pieces missing

When you come across
An incomplete puzzle in your life
Understand that not all puzzles
Are meant to be solved
So don’t fill in the missing pieces
With an unfettered imagination

The Egg McMuffin Friendship

Went to McDonalds yesterday
And a guy in a wheelchair was unable to pay
An employee asked him to leave
So I bought him an Egg McMuffin Meal
He seemed pleased enough
Wearing a big thick grin
As he quenched his hunger and thirst

I felt a sense of camaraderie
To the old man in the wheelchair
Because we were both incomplete
In different ways
Him deprived of his legs
And me deprived of a stable mind
Yet sharing the common bond
Of being survivors in a harsh world

Ten Years Ago

I received word of my first publication
And was so excited that I attended
Different writers meetings
Where I was scoffed at, laughed at
And teased
One man went so far as to tell me
That I was a lunatic with no talent

But I persevered nevertheless
Realizing that I must have hit a nerve
To cause such a fuss over
A few words on an otherwise blank page

And so I sit here 10 years later
With my words worn and read
Laughing at all the naysayers and haters
Who said I have no talent
With every word that I write
While they sit around empty handed
Claiming to own the world

Medication

Woke up last night
Realizing that aliens had visited my bedside
While I slept and implanted a small device
Inside my skull
I thought about digging it out
But then thought that it might be a better idea
To get back on my medication

*Based off events that occurred in early 2000’s

To San Francisco:

Oh you place of wackos and weirdos
And tech bubble drones
Place of Google and Apple
And the richest companies
In the world
With your beautiful skyline
And your wondrous buildings
With your history so rich and deep
Filled with wonders
That I have never seen

Your fruits belong to this
Great land of ours
Your riches were never
Meant to be hoarded
Let the floodgates open
Tear down the barriers
Of money and exclusion
That surround your city
Make San Francisco a place
Where anyone
With dreams and ambition
Can live

Wisdom From Someone Who “Lost It All”

Many people think
Being poor is the worst thing
That can happen to you
Because they don’t realize everything
That they can lose
They take for granted
Their health and family
Their relationships and sanity
Their religion and community
All because they are too busy
Focusing on their status
And wealth