Wheels Don’t Build Themselves

On the drive side the spokes are too tight. The dish has pulled aside, and riding with no hands isn’t safe.

It was never perfectly round, and the tire went flat years ago, so each bump transfers to the seat.

There are dents in the rim, each blemish a reminder of a failure, a betrayal, or a wreck.

Sand paper, a file, and a rag to pick up the shards.

Oil applied to the nipples, so they won’t strip.

Patching the tube, airing it up, and noticing a blow out in the tire.

Cutting the lock nuts off the races to free the rusted axle, wiping out the hub to shine a light inside, and taking note of the cratered belly.

Each article is another batch of new grease, and fresh bearings.

I am not a wheel, nor a unicycle. I am the frame. The brake cables. The chain.

My drive-train is intact, and this is a search for the tools to maintain it, so the cogs will take longer to strip out.


Are You Happy?

At times I am a locomotive running full-tilt, pulling my load through new decisions on the line.

At other times I am a caboose, pushing the weight up the hill, with all that’s left of my will.

The engines always need fuel, they’re insatiable appetite gobbling down the tracks in my mind.

There’s always the sound of screaming wheels on the track, smoke in the sky, and brake dust billowing.

As each car passes by, I notice what each one carries, and the train is me.

The station stops are my chance to question the load, to strap one down, or cut one loose.

I hope for shorter stops, a better maintenance crew, and less need for repairs.

The track is community, the hive, the ant hill, and a shared meal.

The Stamp On My Sixteenth Year

Bulldozer tracks in mud.

Deep in your belly a thud.

Dried cracking dying earth.

Slayed mirth.

It’s the only poem I’ve written that I remember by heart.  Its taken me to the top of the mountains, and the bottom of the jail cells.  It sank in, won’t be stripped away, and burnt a purpose across my soul.

You wonder why I drop my phones, ditch my cars, and fade into the forest.  You ask if I’m thinking straight, doubt that I care, and wish I’d stuck around.

Blame the poem of my sixteenth year, as it wrote into me, what it was, to be free.

While I do not regret what it does, I wrote this in the hope of a new poem, that you can meet in the burn behind my eyes.

Maintenance Man Union Draft #3

2099“Look lady, you’ve stolen the attention of one of my best friends, and because I can’t share as much of him, I thought I’d steal some attention from you with these flowers. Please consider it as a maintenance transfer, as I’m making a foray into your heart, in the hope that it will transfer over to his. Basically I’m beating around your bush with a secret ménage à trois, so I can pretend to not be jealous.”

That’s not quite what I wanted to say. Can you folks help me out with this one? How would this make you feel? Would it bring you laughter and make you want to kiss your man? The first one just said,”I’m sorry for your loss”, because I’d be in town stealing his attention and gave her sympathy flowers for it. Since he doesn’t call me back much, I have to work my angle carefully, because she’s pretty cool and I don’t want to change that.

The second one said, “These flowers are maintenance, so I don’t have to field his woes if you decide he’s not good enough. Give the flowers to his daughters if you’re having doubts. We’re maintenance men, and he isn’t maintaining me, because he’s maintaining you. I’m trying to help you lady, because he makes me feel gay and possessive too.”

Looking Forward to Yellowstone Erupting: 10 Reasons

1. The plane that fell into the Indian Ocean can take a news nap, so we can hear about something enthralling.

2. I’ve never had the chance to see the park, and people always brag about how beautiful it is, so now they can shut up.

3. I’ll get the chance to need my new flashlight, and it will be a great reminder to replace the batteries.

4. If I’m lucky enough to have it coincide with massive earthquake activity, the neighbor who is bringing down my property value with their hovel, won’t be a problem anymore, because their horribly built shit shack, will cave in.

5. Natural disaster brings out people’s self-preservation instinct, so I’ll get more insight into who is spiritually awesome enough to preserve communities, and who just wants to be alive.

6. Wyoming is a boring sparsely populated state full of grass, so watching nature throw a party there would be pretty excellent.

7. So what if only the stupid one’s are left, lava cooked Bison meat sounds tasty.

8. When the dust is done forming clouds of sheet lightning shows, it’ll get wet from rain and take out our electric systems, which would mean that the local utility guys could be bribed, to extend our bicycle tours and sail boat adventures.

9. Father time has been tickling Mother Earth’s fancy under the covers for too long, so wouldn’t it be great if her satisfaction spilled onto the international stage?

10. All of the hoarders from the Great Depression, Y2K, The World Banks, Zombie Apocalypse Fanatics, and WalMart would have a chance to share the stock pile of goods they’ve set aside for us.