The New Ralph Macchio

People have been wondering for some time now who the new Ralph Macchio will be. They say: “Who?”
Well, I have the answer, and I’m going to share it. But I think it will come as a big surprise, so brace yourself.
I am the new Ralph Macchio.
Ralph knows already, and he’s not happy about it. But so what. And maybe you’re not happy either. But I’ll tell you what I told him. I said: “Suck on this, Ralph.”
He had his chance. It’s my turn now.
It’s my turn to be Ralph Macchio.

Graze

The horses are grazing over at the World Trade Center.
Tourists form a wide circle around the field
translating plaques out loud to each other
looking down at the grass-covered pit
before strolling over to the local Fire Department
where the hay stacks are piled higher than feels safe.
Squinting through dark glass into the station
past the truck, past the pole
they’re looking for a cow they can rope or a lunch bell to ring
in this unexpected land of big sky.

Circus Ghosts

Most people don’t like ghosts.
But everybody loves circus ghosts.
Circus ghosts may not remember
who they were in the real world or
what kind of car they drove.
But they remember their tricks.
They say: “Watch me juggle. I can eat fire.”
“oooOOOOOoooo.”
“I can eat fire.”

Welcome

Welcome
to the Golden Age
of me flossing my teeth.
An upgraded Age of Reason
and now even the common man understands
that the pale dots
on my bathroom mirror
are just pale dots and not some grim portent.
At night there is light
in this magical time.
I am guided by the soft reflection of
my polished mouth bone
and these gums
have never felt
so fierce.

Hi

Sometimes
when people walk by
I go to say “hi” to them
but nothing comes out,
I just open and shut my
mouth with a
dry whisper
and I think:
I must look like a lizard to them,
like a big, hairy, rumpled lizard
with a tiny
tongue.

Shaved My Beard

I shaved my beard today so, hopefully, we can put our feud aside.
You thought I was making fun of the ’70s, but I wasn’t. I love the ’70s.
That’s why I wore the beard in the first place. Can’t you understand?
It was starting to tear the block apart, our feud.
People were taking sides. Mostly they were taking your side. And that made me angry.
So I yelled at your cat. So I took your mailbox.
So I rubbed my butt on your car. So what, right?
Really. I mean, we’re grown ups, you and I. Look: I shaved my beard.
Let’s get on with our lives.

It’s OK

This couple had a fight at the bar tonight
about 10 feet from my knees.
At the beginning, he was saying
he really didn’t do “Graphic User
Interface design” any more —
he was doing “Information Architecture.”
And then they said a lot of things I didn’t hear
and suddenly, it seemed,
she was crying
and he was trying to make it right
but he couldn’t.
And I wanted to lean over
and comfort her and say:
“Lady, it’s OK.
Information Architecture
is a good job
too.”

Righteous, Stressed-Out Daddy-o

"Hey Potty-Mouth!
Like,
stop expanding
my toddler's
vocabulary."
shouts my inner, angry
uptight beatnik
to this guy sitting two rows back.
And I toss an espresso over
one shoulder into the eyes
of this small-smiling fuck.
I maim him with
my poetry.
I thunder him
with cartoon thoughts
in my inner,
angry, uptight
beatnik mind.

Office Life

It’s not natural —
how still we sit
hands hooked
over keys,
fingers curled in
arthritic crunch,
Blinking at
black and white characters.
Blink tap.
Blink tap.
You take an ape.
You want it to sit that still, that long.
You basically have to kill it.

Crispy yum yum child of God

The cinnamon chicken
slid off the car roof.
Gourmet exploding.
Big
messy
boom.
  Plate shards, scattered like shark teeth.
Chicken shards, scattered like chicken.
On the driveway. In the lawn.
And jeez:
what a strange fate
  for this
lightly basted
cinnamon flavored
crispy yum yum
child of God.