My bestie’s cousin–they call him Sketch Pad–has a tattoo on his penis But was too pain-shy to finish The right half of his left-right Two word rib tat. He was supposed To be “Black Sheep.” He ended up BLACK SH…
I hope this is the last time my Tired ass leaves the seat of This gray vinyl hospital chair Turned forty-five degrees to My mother’s gray blanketed Hospital bed. She’s being Discharged today to better things I hope.
Today—leaving day— Is the first day I noticed there is Color in this room. I have nothing Poetry profound to say about This presence—the coral and blue. Nothing you can carry in your pocket when Your mom attempts slow suicide too by Refusing to eat—to comfort you. To Reckon the anger. All the anger.
Except to say the color is there. The color is there, aloof Of whether you see it or not.
But do see it. See the color. It’s there.
-M. Ashley photo taken at Kaiser Ontario Hospital, Ontario, CA
The croupier god comped me a suite at The Palace, (offseason), and led me through the hallways personally, making smalltalk, explaining how the elevators work, keeping a steady pace while his scuffed rake dangled from a black elastic loop sewn custom into the lining of his white suit jacket. He opened the coded door for me, (first try), deciphered the thermostat, unstuck the drawers, programmed the remote to new, in-house channels, and turned the well-dressed bed down.
He said, “This luxury is where you lie.”
He handed me a gold card with my name embossed, black laurel in the upper right corner framing a female silhouette with an EZ-Read magnetic strip on the backside hovering over a hotlist of company-owned joints.
He said, “This is how we feed you for free.”
He strummed his swarthy fingers over an orderly row of three-score and ten play-worn purple checks arranged in an open, unfinished wooden box lined in remnant green felt and set on top of the empty honor bar.
He said, “And these? These are a very good start.”
As of today, this poem is ten years old. Crazy crazy crazy. Happy New Year everyone!
“Flow down and down in always widening rings of being.” -Rumi
I imagine us bound together by barrel Rings. Maybe we could go into the lovers’ Protection program under the name Cooper and you could kiss my clever Mouth with your clever mouth almost Out in the open. Only the gods and the Government would know we were never Supposed to end up barrel bound to Each other.
Your people think you married down. Fuck your people. I married you and You’re a criminal—with lots of money so…
Is that up or sideways? With you It’s almost always sideways.