Yet Another Introduction

This is ridiculous.
This is a travesty.
This
is quite unfair.

There is no justice in this world
if we allow a situation like this to pass
for another white man
to succeed
in the face of so many other qualified candidates
of other ilks.
Why should we ever countenance
another old white man
under these circumstances?

Never again.
NEVER AGAIN!

There have been hundreds of years of white men
up front
center stage
so why should it continue
for a single instant longer?

Shit.
Goddamn.
Fine.

Ladies and gentlemen:
Jonathan Berger.

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Sufferings Untold

You don’t want to hear it,
believe me,
but if you’re sure…
Be warned, though,
that some things,
they’ll just fill you with regret.

Their metabolisms were different
so one was huge
and the other was really thin.
Those two were in love
so I guess their shapes complemented each other?
But they were both named Arthur
so though it wasn’t hard to tell them apart
it was hard to call them apart.

But it gets ugly.
They were into BDSM
with the slim one playing the masochist
and the enormous one all dominant.

It never was supposed to get out of hand.
They had safe words
and we’re careful about their forms of play
these two Arthurs
and their games sometimes had an air of danger
that freaked out their straighter friends.

But eventually, because he was the dom
and the other was small,
the big guy,
he became known as
The Master of Fine Art.

See?
I SAID that you’d regret this.

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The Slow Fast

When I fasted
I used to get the shakes:
delicious shakes
over on Ninth Avenue
during my renaissance of responsibility
at a point when I thought so much more
of myself
and knew so much less
of the world.

I got the shakes
every year
during those slow hours
when no nourishment
was to pass my lips.
I did this because
I was stupid
and I thought a shake was a liquid
and thus a solid choice.

But no liquid
according to my god
is permissible
when I am drowning my sins away
through abstinence.

Now, a wiser man,
I do not follow all the rules.
I wash away my apologies
in water
for the moments of the fast
and slowly see fat disperse
as my sins wisp away
to be clean, once again,
until tomorrow.

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Failure.

Buck up, old son.
When you’re slow to eat that ice cream cone
and a little dribbles on your hand
and while you try to lick it off your hand
distractedly
some more gets on your shoe
and as you look at that in disbelief
the body of cream slides off the cone
and plops sloppily on the floor,
it is not your fault.

Well, I mean,
it is your fault,
absolutely, without doubt,
but so what
because failure is built into you
and not just because you’re a loser.

We all are.
Humanity is born to lose.
Sure, there have been many great things
we have accomplished on this earth
simply being on a planet
with sentient life,
but if you think it through,
for your every success,
how many things have you not done?

The day you get that raise:
did you attain world peace?
Did you discover a new form of flora?
Did you get to eat a really good ham and cheese?
Did you get an even bigger raise?
Then even your victory is wrapped up in failure.

Of course,
we the people
have a way of turning any black news blue
and if you turn that view again
you can look through that same lens and see
that on that day when you got that raise:
you helped successfully maintain the political status quo vis a vis warfare.
You stopped any invasive new plant life from entering our ecosphere.
You avoided saturated fats by saying “no” to the ham and cheese
AND kept it real with a salary more comparable with the lowest in the company
thus staving off the revolution
for another day.

Even in failure, then,
there is a way to find success.
So, good job,
I guess.

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Dumb

This is a haiku
because it follows the rules
of five seven five.

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91119

What I did eighteen years back
was I ran like a chicken
with its head cut off
looking for something to do.

There was nothing to do.

There was nothing for me to do that day
but absorb the enormity.
I tried to place myself in the event
look for a location that could fit me in
but it made no sense
and I made no sense in it
and I still don’t.

I can’t say anything
really
about where I was
or what I did
because nothing I did or was
that day
counted.

It was all about others
and their losses
and their actions.
Though in my city
it wasn’t my story
eighteen years back
when all those stories fell.

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Garden City

she says she’s leaving the citythat she needs to get back to nature
and i say ‘there’s lots of nature in the city
it’s just kept in boxes
contained
where it belongs’
but she doesn’t laugh

she says ‘that’s why i need to get out’
and i have nothing to say to that
so go off
to skulk sullenly
in the streets of the city

where i see rats and roaches
in the street
and pigeon crap above
and grass attacking cracks by feet
near condoms full of love

and i come to see
that the city is a garden
full of nature
if you choose to look

just as the country is full of diversity
and the sky is full of seas
and everything is nothing
as much as nothing will ever be
so if she says she’s leaving
then however much i plead
she must surely venture
if leaving’s what she needs.

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Schlesinger’s Goat

Dylan already said it.
The Simpsons already did it.
Billy Shakes probably had a hand in it
and Asimov maybe analyzed it.
I’ll bet Diana Schlesinger
from Third and Fourth Grade
already talked about it:
She was kind of a know it all.

I tried to write about this topic or that
but truly
I only dabbled.
I’ve been beaten at every turn
by betters
and now
my own memory.

I’ve said everything I can think to say.
If there was any more to utter
I’d have muttered it
or stuttered some variant.
I’ve run out.
I’m spent.
Even mentioning the very blank slate
of imagination
is old hat
and often experienced
by my hand
and every one else’s ear, eye, and ideation.
I’m out.

I wish I –
no.
That’s it.

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Call It

You sit silent, insipid,
snivelsome, insinuating an attempt to curry favor
all while you avoid stating what your really feel.
You’re not as subtle as you hope to be
nor as effective.
You could try honesty.
You could attempt a truth.

We are here and I am hearing your words:
the ones you’re saying
and those you keep distant.
I understand, I think
where language evades,
just what you wish to ask.

I can’t say it for you.
I won’t.
It would mean so much less
if you can’t earn the answers
by asking the questions yourself.

I can’t even say
how different the conversation would go
were you able to have borne directly
into the storm where we head.
Had you not the need to steer clear,
could I have smiled at you
with some greater pride
and easier eyes?

That’s not an answer I am prepared to provide.
All I can offer is this:
I know where we’re going.
I wish we could get there faster.
I wish one of us
could seize the day
so we could more quickly arrive
at our terminus.

Please, let it be soon.

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Under the Bridge by No Pepper

A guy just said
that a guy once said
that everyone should write a song
about being lost under the Brooklyn Bridge
which made me a little lost
since if you’re under the Brooklyn Bridge,
you’re not lost. You look up:
poof!
you know where you are.
Hard to wrap my beard around the concept.
Maybe in the water?

The guy who said it is dead now.
Maybe that’s how he passed:
drowned writing under the bridge,
struggling with drafting verses
paddling, tangled up in pedals.
Maybe that’s how he found his depth
as a writer.

But probably nobody has ever been lost
physically
under the bridge
unless they’re looking for an address
that the bridge obscures.
Probably the bridge enlightens
far more than it obscures
so anyone who writes a song
about being lost under the bridge
is writing lies,
writing bad songs,
and that’s why I’ve never heard them
or the concept
or the guy who came up with it.

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