Uber Gangster Heaven

In an Uber, coming home from an appointment an hour away, stuck in traffic, the driver spent the first half of the ride telling us how important unions are and how he went around stumping for the union all the time when he worked at the Albertson’s warehouse, and then in the second half of the ride, he told us how he wants to get a collage of American gangsters tattooed on his leg (he had tats all over, including his face). He wanted everyone from Al Capone to El Chapo (not an American gangster, but I kept that to myself), to all these relatively current drug lords I’ve never heard of, and then somehow we ended up with him telling me how crack is made (or so he’s heard) and how much Percs and Fentanyl cost on the street (or so he’s heard). When we got to the destination, I told him that that ride was the most fun I’ve ever had in an Uber by far, which is a fact! I told him he was fantastic and gave him a big fat tip. My male friend, more conservative than I, was not thrilled, but I was in Michelle heaven!

I love people so much.

My only regret is that I forget to tell him he needed to add Jimmy Hoffa to his tattoo. Dang it!

-M. Ashley

Authentic African Musical Tiger Says

In a moment a pain, crying and praying, my god brought me this. The radio playing mysterious drums and me… I had to look. Authentic African music surely… with a tiger on the cover. A tiger.

Hard to pain cry and SMH cry laughing at the same time.

And if that weren’t enough: That look in the authentic African music tiger’s eye: “You… Hey you… Hey you there lady, crying. You! Authentic African musical tiger says, RELAX!!!”

And buddy, you’d better fucking relax.

-M. Ashley

Yogi Poodle (poem)

My poodle does downward dog
Ten times a day at least
Farts a slow fart
Presses her narrow chest back
Yawns with a long lolling tongue

Lord Shiva—First Yogi—Master
In a curly coat showing us all
How life and farts should be done

-M. Ashley

Caramel Vodka Cocktail at 3am (poem)

Dreamtime craving for alcohol
when you’re not a drunk
means Bacchus is having a crisis
of consciousness tossing
the nymphs and turning
the maenads out of his bed

thump
thump
thump

they hit the floor and

tap
tap
tap

he comes to your window

because you have your own bed
and won’t sleep with him in it
gravity isn’t a threat then
and he has the whole carpet to himself

because he enjoys thrusting
his head under your box
spring and tying your
mismatched and long-
forgotten shoelaces together.

Also, he thinks you’re fun to drink with
mostly because you don’t much,
don’t have the stuff for proper cocktails,
and while you’re craving his liquor
he’s craving the sexy way
you pour it into a diet root beer
shrug
and drink it all down.

-M. Ashley

Poetry Goals (poem)

I would love to swan around and
say dusty things about poetry and
have everyone give a damn and
have groupies who show me their boobs
and read at Carnegie Hall to 53,000
screaming teeny boppers in poodle skirts

and all that other shit
that real poets do
and don’t actually do

but always do
in my sweaty
jealous
glory hogging
little mind.

-M. Ashley

NaPoWriMo: Worst Poem Ever

I trace your ribs
In cerulean ink
Dewdrops of blue
On the skin
A connect-the-dots
That somehow
Resembles a unicorn
In calligraphy lines
A unicorn with the stripes
Of your bones
A child of myth
And the Serengeti
A mythical zebra with a horn

They must have had unicorns
In the Serengeti too
And your ribs
And my ink
Must have been
What their pelts looked like
On the walls of mythical hunters

If they had pottery
In the mythical Serengeti
And this cerulean ink
Would stick
I would trace your ribs
On the pottery too
While you are sleeping
The rise and fall of your abdomen
With your sacred breath
The reason the lines would be blurred
Not my tears, my love
Not my tears

-M. Ashley