Polo Shirt

everyone wanted that
little man swinging
a mallet on
button-down cotton
symbol of money
and conformity, belonging
to the great
american dream, success
on our chest
was everything in
yuppie popped collar
middle school hallways
of my youth
before time passing
and truth telling
consumerism, that word
of excess and
education, realization that
things are just
things

The Day He Couldn’t Write

he tried to remember 1986, the 7-11 with
rolling hot dogs glistening on metal
smell of slurpee sugar, spoon straws
filled with red frozen slush, playboy magazines
covered, cloistered in the corner
laffy taffy, baseball cards in wax wrappers
but then he forgot why it mattered, and moved on
to dancing, prancing, using words like dazzle and
bob dylan, but it still wouldn’t happen
wouldn’t congeal into anything
just looking for truth, he thought
looking is the problem, let them find you
play hard to get, but sometimes that just means
you are alone, like a rolling stone
a complete unknown, a themeless writer
who couldn’t make it happen
not today