Unwar

May our hearts never cage nor condemn the birds of sweetness. May their melodies inspire us to sing our lives in the key of grace major. May our minds long linger in fields of remembrance, trading memories with one another; life’s mysteries revealed in the unified flowering of we. May our fists unwar their grip from bombs. May our actions nectar guns into a loving sweet, transforming bullets into bright little beasts worthy of kisses.

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Dying

People dying from disease. Dying for clean water to drink. People dying for a kind word, or hello. No extra shot of racism with their Starbucks americano. People dying for a fight. Dying from a bullet, fist, or fright. People dying for appreciation; less taxation, more honest representation. Dying of depression. Dying for the next presidential election. People dying from being undernourished, overstimulated, discombobulated. People dying for truth. Quadraphonic equality and a freedom-ringing groove. People dying to love, to give, and dance. People dying to live again. People dying to live again.

How to Approach Your Inner Child When It’s Wearing Headphones

1) Wear a Sigmund Freud rubber mask. 2) Approach calmly, carefully, with your emotional baggage not too heavily packed. 3) Mouth words like “symbiotic,” “cooperative,” and “reconciliation.” 4) If the Sigmund Freud rubber mask doesn’t work, try Scooby Doo or Betty Boop. Definitely not Jabba the Hut. 5) Wear your own headphones, ignore your inner child. 6) When your inner child isn’t looking, plug into its mix. 7) Listen deeply. Feel the rhythms of everything wonderful and wounded. 8) Should your inner child ask you to dance, strip away all self-consciousness, and move. The only one watching is you.

If Kissing Were a Mathematical Formula

If kissing were a mathematical formula, the equation of a circle would equal the shape of your puckered lips—an elliptical sweetness whose radius is centered at the origin of bliss. Any and all equivalent chord theorems would refer to your joy’s intuited music—songs soothing savage global anxieties into a geo-born geometry whose main function is to create an earth that is beautiful and round. An earth that graciously bears humanity’s weight, along with providing an error-free formula stating that true love can exist, just like the presence of your perfect-circle kiss.

The Very Un-American Mall of AmeriKKKa

Shopping for a new nightmare at the Un-American Mall of AmeriKKKa? Lynching ropes and semi-automatic weapons are always fifty percent off. Waterboarding demonstrations are held hourly in the parking lot. Join the National Guard in the food court as they build a wall around El Pollo Loco to separate the Mexicans and Mexican food sympathizers from Mrs. Fields, Hot Dog on a Stick, and Subway. Take advantage of Torture Tuesdays where a new race, gender, or religion is maligned and brutalized. And don’t forget—the Disney “It’s a Small World” ride has been replaced by “Welcome to Our World of Zenophobia, Homophobia, and Philophobia All Topped Off With an Indomitable Sense of Ignorance, Paranoia, and Conspiracy Theories.”

Suddenly a Smile

Suddenly a smile, stitched together by songbirds and easy-moving streams. A soothing music of muses entangled in a soft white-noise of joy; sweet showerings of tranquility whose native language is rain. Suddenly a smile, a soulvolutionary war in devolutionary times. An uprising of alive where weapons abandon inner and outer battlefields. Wounds scatter in winds. Bruises heal their battered blue. Contentment asks, “Do you remember where you came from, or where you’re going?” It asks, “Is that scar on your arm a birthmark, or a wound you suffered along the way?”

When Bad Luck Crank Calls You in the Middle of the Night

When bad luck crank calls you in the middle of the night, tell it you already gave at the office. Insist it should dial 911, report itself missing. That it should learn how to harmonize with jukeboxes, unbend its pent-up despair into pop songs of do no wrong. When bad luck crank calls you in the middle of the night, recommend it should buy some serendipity gum, learn how to blow bubbles of fun. Maybe do something more productive with its time—learn to play an instrument, feed the homeless. Give it the number of a reliable shrink or priest. Wish it well. Send bad luck on its way. Tell it goodbye was the perfect word invented for moments like these.

Every Song’s a Story

There’s a ‘Bad Moon Rising’ ‘All Along the Watchtower’. That moon makes some ‘Comfortably Numb’, while others are ‘Born to Be Wild’. There’s one girl with a ‘Lust for Life’. Her name’s Sheena. ‘Sheena is a Punk Rocker’. She ‘Don’t Fear the Reaper’. She’s no ‘American Idiot’. She ‘Won’t Get Fooled Again’ by ‘All the Young Dudes’. She’s a ‘Brown Sugar’ ‘Super Freak’ with no ‘Fake Plastic Trees’ in her garden. She says, ‘Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood ‘. I might be ‘Back in Black’ but I don’t wanna ‘Paint it Black’. Don’t wanna be no ‘Beast of Burden’. I got a ‘Heart of Gold’. I ‘Wish You Were Here’ so we could go ‘Dancing Barefoot.’ So ‘Come as You Are’. Let’s ‘Take a Walk on the Wild Side’. We’ll ‘Fight the Power’. Break the ‘Chain of Fools’. We’ll sing ‘Hallelujah’ with the great ‘Spirit in the Sky’. We’ll be ‘Stayin’ Alive’ far beyond the ‘Sounds of Silence’. Believe me, baby, ‘We’ve Only Just Begun’.

A Fate Worse Than Death

Death kicks back in bed, flips on the TV. It’s the usual 24-hour news cycle: school shootings, sexual assaults, discrimination, DACA, the Cambridge Analytica data scandal. And when it’s not that, it’s nothing but Trump—which feels like a fate far worse than death, Death thinks. Death clicks off the TV, sits quietly in bed; listens to midnight winds howl through the cracks in its thoughts. Death wants the poison removed from its shadowy steps. Death wants to rise to the top of the pop charts, become a You Tube star, go viral with affection. Death wants the tutti-frutti back in its booty. Death believes now’s the time we gotta learn how to live.

A Song of Doing-No-Wrong

A song of doing-no-wrong breaks out on the boulevard. It soul steps in a mid-tempo strut, wails in the key of B Mighty. The song of doing-no-wrong packs an extra shot of sass in its vocal attack, wields brass knuckles to protect our chuckles. For miles around, nothing but smiles. Worried question marks straighten into elated exclamations. The song of doing-no-wrong is past perfect, future friendly, and present moment majestic. It’s a hot-blooded holler, wet with dreamalicious schemes. The song of doing-no-wrong continues along on a pursuit of happiness—not so much its, but ours.