Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Happy Hour. Burnouts. Free Nachos. Sex.

Below please find yet more very bad poetry for the collection that I am apparently working on for no good reason at all.

In my head I have given it the working title: 

Happy Hour. Burnouts. Free Nachos. Sex. 

because I found myself scrawling those words on a cocktail napkin recently and it seems fortuitously appropriate.

As always, these are extremely first draft-y. In fact, some of them probably aren’t even finished first drafts yet. That’s just how I roll.



by james bezerra

Such cliché
to say you move like poetry.
You move like drunken prose,
gasping, grasping, wanting
all at once;
all hips and tongue and
fingernails down my back.
Shocking, horny, sticky mess
of sweat and desire,
of sex and that tiny noise
you make
when you grind your body
into mine.
You don’t move like poetry.
You move like hunger.


Apartment D.

Apartment D
by james bezerra
Remember that apartment where
the fiberglass was wilting in the shower?
That always seemed dark, but in a kind of sexy cave sort of way?
And always had the wet smell of cigarette smoke,
even in the mornings;
the way everything smells like pine on a hot afternoon in the forest?
The apartment where you came over with plastic grocery sacks
because your mom had taken you shopping and bought us food,
because we didn’t have any
and you pulled out a plastic jug of Early Times,
which we’d neither ever heard of before,
and said, “Mom says
we can mix it with stuff”
and changed my life?
For better or worse.
That apartment where,
when we couldn’t pay PG&E,
the neighbors let us run that orange extension cord
from their balcony across to ours?
And how it hung there slack and low in the middle,
sagging over the dumpsters and the flies.
How we could only plug in one thing at a time?
And how the music stopped if you had to blow dry your hair?
That apartment where,
the cat occasionally caught on fire?
She never did learn she couldn’t stroke
a candle with her tail?

And how we sat up, all of us,
all night, most nights, 
with just the CD player plugged in
and finger tips
strumming guitar strings lit by tea lights and
glowing Marlboro tips
and how the breeze through the open windows blew the smoke out through the kitchen?

Where everyone who came over always brought ice,
just in case the refrigerator was out again,
and because we always seemed to need ice?

Do you remember that apartment?



by james bezerra
I should have sent you flowers more.
FTD still emails
to remind me
a week before
your birthday,

like a ghost spinning a top.


Gift Horse Girl.

Gift Horse Girl
by james bezerra

When I got laid off
when the call center closed.
Lost the health insurance,
couldn’t get the meds
and so
the headaches started
my brain got humid
thick and heavy and soundless and hot –
non-habit-forming-my-ass –
and then one morning
that girl showed up,
the one who looked like Lori Petty
with a history of abuse,
with a paper sack full of Paxil samples.
Handed them to me,
offered no explanation.
And so always be kind to everyone you meet; because you never know when
you will need a bag
of illegally obtained
pretty little blue
antidepressants from a
98 pound girl
you barely know.


Smooth Like Honey.

Smooth Like Honey
by james bezerra
We moved the coffee table
out of the living room
because she wanted
to fuck on the floor
with Tidal playing loud.
And Smooth Like Honey,
is the sexiest song I’ve ever heard.


On the Move, March 2003

On the Move,
March 2003
by james bezerra
We drove east for days.
It always seemed to be the middle of the night.
I learned my body can’t handle
7-11 coffee
and diet Red Bull
in the same two hundred miles.
We woke in a New Mexico motel
as US armor swooped into Iraqi desert
and we sat there,
eating Egg McMuffins watching war,
on TV.
Just like that.
No one had ever quite seen that before:
a TV camera on a tank.
We’re so used to it now:
The Forever War.
Anderson Cooper in a desert,
stylish black flak jacket -
makes one wonder if it’s custom tailored
and where do you find a tailor
who works with Kevlar? -
he looks square-y from a bad uplink;
Looks like he’s on safari.
Pink and yellow Tulsa strip club neon shimmies
like a mirage
of a lighthouse
when we pass on the 44 at night.
That’s all I remember of Oklahoma.
New forms of food we found along the way:
White Castle, Waffle House, Cracker Barrel,
Lambert’s Café home of the Throwed Rolls. Fried Okra,
which I thought were chicken nuggets, but which very much weren’t.
Other things we’d never of heard of then:
and extraordinary rendition,
enhanced interrogation,
sectarian violence,
surge and hold,
and Abu Ghraib,
and Green Zone,
and Blackwater,
and Haliburton,
Oscar Mike and
and embrace the suck
and hollow armies
and The 80 Percent Solution.
It was harder to find a drink
in the middle west,
but on the same day
I did see
the world’s largest banjo
and its most giant fiddle.
Yakov Smirnoff had a theater then
in Branson Missouri
and on Sundays
they used it as a church.
How do you even measure a war anyway, -
we asked in Hannibal,
trying to skip stones across the Mississippi -
in tons of ordinance? In time?
In pints of blood
or un-beat heartbeats?
In Illinois
in East St. Louis
a guy told me they dig basements
with dynamite.


That Irishman.

That Irishman
by james bezerra
The hostel in London
had a little breakfast room
and I sat there in the dark one night
with a limping old Irishman
quietly drinking beer
about 2007
and he said
about me
to his Indian friend,
“He’s American,
but it’s not his fault.”


Small Life.

Small Life
by james bezerra
Can’t ever shake the feeling,
the curse of a small life.
No one has a large one
where I was a boy.
A good life there is dirt under your nails,
lush fields of lettuce or cotton. A good truck. Kids.
A bad life there
is blowing up your garage cooking meth.
There are many shades between,
but not that many options.
So that’s the name of the little fear I keep in my shirt pocket like a tiny pet, like a hamster or a tumor with teeth: the small life.
I can scratch it on the head, my pocket monster,
on these summer sticky LA nights.
No one wants to die like Kafka,
but ultimately, as I lay dying, I hope my only hope won’t be to die like Kafka.
The small life can allow for failure
as a writer, as a man.
The small life can afford to be forgiving,
but that’s what makes it small.
The longer you live without success,
the greater that success has to be to matter.