Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Aerial Finish Line

Aerial Finish Line

She had no life's ambitions
American or other
I could say it was always her Dream to fly

Or that she always
Would fly
In her dreams

And, thematically aware, swing her by the tail
Send her flailing off a cliff
Into the sky

A culminating moment
Movie fodder

Destiny fulfillment
Foreshadowed all along

But she's a cat.

A wake, a party
A swift kick to the head
A shotgun

Something epic
Would be way, way too much

I'll wait until Monday
And hit the vet's place
Show up and beg for mercy

For Greta and for me
End this
I haven't got the cat gut, the emotion left to spare

Care for her

I'll quietly sit
And cry as she
Quietly dies

Some sodium-laced chemical
Filling her being,
Dragging her in to the afterlife

Or if the vet cries foul
There's a quality of life left
Morality and the law won't allow it

Then I'll drive away
Find a gorge
And I'll send

My Greta


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Potential Punk

Potential Punk

He's six.

Round-faced and brown
Like a native
Of the rainforest, he

Comes stomping through my front yard
Two feet from my house
With his white wifebeater on

Just to be
Confident and

He spits on my lawn
When I come out my front door
And just keeps going

And I'm afraid of him

As he crosses the invisible line
Traverses into
The yard next door

I tell him
In case he's
There with his ears on

That he's ending up aggressive
Got an angry attitude

Oughtta calm the fuck down
Doesn't need to challenge

Not me

All up in my territory
He'll end up being hurtful
He's IS hurtful


I believe he thinks
In his
Six-year-old way

"I'm not hurting anyone, just
Maintaining my stride, my
Little power

Against life's obstacles, blazing
My trail through to
Surety and safety

Choosing my defensive moves"

But you'll end up suffering
Fighting for safety
Every day

In a gang, I'm thinking, in prison
No choice of any kind
No safety, no surety

Your attitude
Will give everybody else
The same attitude

It doesn't matter
Who threw the very first punch
In your life

You're throwing the first one now

With your downcast eyes
And your frown and your little fists
All up in everybody's space

You're throwing punches

Involuntarily, maybe, but threatening
When you could be strolling slowly
In the street

Or you'll get stuck

That way

A strong guy
Calm. He

Doesn't have
To prove


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, July 23, 2010

Appropriate (For Charlie)

(For Charlie)

You were blamed.
They were wrong.
That was then.

It's time
To begin

To feel

Midsummer Shower

Midsummer Shower

Don't need this plush and bed-buggy couch anymore
It was nice, like
Three hundred bucks
On the curb now

Now it's raining

Now I'm still standing still in the yard
In my jersey gym shorts, is all
Being soaked - sopping - staring
At the quietest and calmest revelation ever

Yeah, move now
To a new place
With nothing
Allow it to wash clean away

Thinking and
Folks and
Ways in which to spend your money


And do not worry, Boy
That the deep thunder is just as judgmental
As your next-door Baptist

You know


That you



by Coke Brown Jr. -
as posted on Coke's Croaks -

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Armed with Empty Automatic Knowledge

Armed With Empty Automatic Knowledge

Go in for the discipline
The direction

The strict structure
The habitual work ethic

The paycheck
The health care

The college degree
That you won't ever get

The hot meals
The sense of accomplishment

Of saving America

Against an unknowable

That you're useful

Good and

Doing it all

Build muscle
In your head

And cracked

That just one rung higher

Must know better

A vicious circle
The helpless and lost learning

To be told
What to do

No matter how
Illogical, nonsensical

Destroy people

You don't know

For a


You don't know


To convince others

To do the same


How to kill
The Other

How to fight

How to struggle





This computer's default mode
Is inward

What's thinking

Useful? Y N
Connection not made

Intel ligence inside



Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Eyes in Our Heads

The Eyes in Our Heads

The mirrored sunglasses
Stop everything short


Mine having been
On the road
Alone with me
In motels for a month running

His just half a foot over
The Formica table
In the gas station "country store"
His face forward


At a level to quietly communicate
With a dull red ketchup squeezer

An extra inch of
Brown handlebar could
Drag crumbs
Across his biceps

Laid out flat and forward
In front of him
Like one long, thick arm
Hands clasped at the end

As if in thanks

As if.

Eyes, uncovered
Would have

As I head
To the head
But I won't be
Giving any.





Thursday, July 15, 2010

Thought Karaoke Lizard

Thought Karaoke Lizard

But I play one

You have to understand
Person has to

If you don't get it
I'm doing it wrong, quickly must change it up
Warble more desperately in more octaves

Or drop to gone, unjustifiable
Scattered off-white paper litter

If you're familiar with celadon
Let me put it out in those terms
I'm sooo familiar with it, too

If that's too easy - you think you know it completely
Or you're a hardcore chlorophobic
I'll tell it in another way - magenta maybe

I stared at the swatches for days without stopping
Each and every single shade
Can produce them with my head

De Niro


From the realistic podium
In the smoky, black-scratched, acryclic, sound-proof booth
Up here, above you

I'll assume
You still
See me

Let me


Force an education of it on you

In any
That you want

To recall
To request



All vindication
Depends on




by Coke Brown Jr. -
as posted on Coke's Croaks -

Saturday, July 10, 2010



The dental hygienist
Picks and scrapes
Lifts and separates
The soft, pliable matter
From the hard
And digs
But it's not personal
It's cold
Like the chemical air in your mask

Her sister is the psychiatrist
The same to your brain

At the restauant table
Their heads turn partially to each another
Their eyes don't need to meet
Their smiles are flat and rigid
Their necks are
Full of ligaments

Is as

It should be

by Coke Brown Jr. -
as posted on Coke's Croaks -

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Needing Rain

Needing Rain

Something about this huge expanse
Two-thirds of the way to the bottom
Of Utah
About being
Alone in it
Makes a person want to talk
To God.

The red and pink
Goliathan pointed rocks
Having been thrown from inside the earth
At incorrect angles
The lines of strata drawn so starkly
Unnaturally thrust from the land
Haphazardly, horrifyingly naked

Can cause a man to think too much
To decide too much
For lack of anything else
To do,
To believe too much
To need to somehow

To a massive, poking outcropping
Of dirt
And fleshy sand
And stones -

A different layer
Is on the surface here
Than in most places.

You can see clearly and too far, how
Some self-justification
Could be a great comfort
How some self-flagellation might make things change
That never seem to change
How a spiritual man
Might have baked out here

A hundred years ago
One summer
How God could come
How beliefs are born of desperation
The need for some kind of knowledge
To make him solid and full
In the void.

God really spoke - speaks to people
He really told - tells them secrets
Whispers history that no one else knows
That can’t be translated
For fellow human beings
Things so intimate

Between the Almighty
And the one man
Yet entirely accurate
Astoundingly universal
In some singular way.

Every man - might be an island

And if he tried to swim
Across the desert, the sky
This infinite
Cornflower-colored sky
To touch its individual
Round puffs of clouds
These same-difference

Separated, bobbing blobs
Of white air and water
If he could try to step
From one to another
He’d only fall to Earth
And be flattened
By his own weight.

These clouds don’t communicate.

They are seen by each other,
Heard by each other, but each
Must maintain its distance.

Each is much more firmly, closely held
To God

Than it is

To the next.

by Coke Brown Jr. -
as posted on Coke's Croaks -

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Fuck You

Fuck You

You cannot understand
This leather jacket
And me.

I don’t care
If you want
Or don’t want to


I can’t even ride a bicycle.
This jacket, embroidered heavily in orange on the back, on the silver pin on the lapel
Says “Harley Davidson.”

This jacket is ancient.
The guy who wore it
Has got to be


No one
No matter how desperate for drugs or drink
Would sell this beautiful, wonderful thing.

It squeaks quietly when I move, muted.
It is softer than any human’s skin.
It sleeps on me, so lightly

Like a lover, like a tiny coddled baby, like my own pre-birth placenta, like God.

It has gray veins
In its darkness.
Its zippers have been repaired.

Someone cared about
This thing.
It was


The man at the shop saw it on me
And knew, just as much as I did
That it was mine now.

He sold it to me
For nothing
Almost, I swear.

He smiled and told me to wear it in good health.

I don’t know who he was,
Who wore this skin.
He might have been insane.

He might have been bad
Or good
Or just


I‘m trying

Right now
Not to

He might have had AIDS

Or killed himself with
Heroin or
Jack Daniels.

I’m taking over for him.
I’ll do the living now.
I will work this part.

The jacket will take the weather that still is falling.

If, when I step out of my goddamn pretty Prius,
A fucking “real” biker wants to look at me

With disdain, with a sneer,
As if I am a poseur,
As if I do not wear this shit with the utmost honesty,

That asshole

Can go directly
To fucking


by Coke Brown Jr. -
as posted on Coke's Croaks -

Friday, June 11, 2010

Avoidable Inevitabilities

Avoidable Inevitabilities

It’s not just that she’s Asian -
Her eyes try to reach forward
Through the thin glass in the
Mod rectangular frames
That her mother just bought her -
She must have practically begged
For them, repeatedly explained
That she could not read the numbers
On the small, bleached paper credit card slips
Printed by the twenty-dollar

Machine behind this counter

In this horrible thirty-room motel
Four stories without air conditioning
But it’s Denver, so I guess a man
Isn’t supposed to need it, I should open
The window like the curly gray-bearded

Angry, weathered alcoholic next door

And the young woman apologies profusely
Genuinely hurt by my dissatisfaction
Her squinting eyes are not cast down
But looking right at me, almost confused
Frowning a small, mortified frown
Insisting sincerely that it isn’t her fault that
There’s a bar with a loud live band
Right under my room every night
And that I can’t sleep
I know I won’t get back

The two-hundred dollars for this week

In that scratched tile
Open-air lobby
I realize
That she doesn’t have to strain
To be pretty

Although she can’t see herself

When she takes her
Hair down and
Her glasses off
And frowns
At night

Her accent is not very thick
She should be in college
But she’d
Have a difficult time

Her mother

by Coke Brown Jr. -
as posted on Coke's Croaks -

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Capture (Road Poem #6)

Capture (Road Poem #6)

Does my photo steal the soul
From the black cherry dirt, as well

I can only see it
Hear the creek

By quickly stomping
On the brakes

Whipping out the camera and
Back into the long and winding road


I don't even remember Muir Woods anymore
Or my sister, almost at all

Only arguments with my ex
Me stomping away

All of us

Any moisture from this land

Using it, turning it
With our focus, our attention



I worried
I shouldn't stop to look and shoot at all

No idea how far I was
From a real road

Heatstroke or dehydration
Sunburn, run out of gas

Woman somewhere asked me
What I wanted to remember so badly

Around a bend two trees
Taller one's

Green puffy arms

Hovering above
The other

I said,

Other than


And suddenly
There was

The interstate
Crank up the radio


I don’t


by Coke Brown Jr. -
as posted on Coke's Croaks -

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Road Poem #3

Road Poem #3

Reading the first things in ages
Made them Kerouac because I hadn't
And noticing the lamps, then
In the hotel room
Almost remembering marijuana again
It's memory so long embedded
And books and a cat, two now here, as well
Not matching lights but borne of the same elements
Burnished silver color and black and cream and one lucite
And realizing
You could see all the way
To the person who put this lamp together
With his hands
And the bedspread
I can't but
I'd bet you could


by Coke Brown Jr. -
as posted on Coke's Croaks -

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Rick in the Rainbow Lounge

Rick in the Rainbow Lounge
(Conservative Thinking)

Every day he’s there
Like good clockwork.

The equation is

Hard liquor and Coke on the one hand, while
The insulin pump pushes in on the other.

Pure poison and the health of medication
Are equally effective

In making him Not Rick
But a thin, brittle, opposite-of-autonomous object

A receptacle, a host, a tin bucket

A tool for the use of parasitic, living, liquid molecules
A plastic toy with which substances and light and shadows play.


He holds the scales outstretched and even.

Real justice is surely the limbo

Between a blind life and a death.


Truth is not the American way, and
Whether one thinks it is or not

Depends on the definition.

We get “truth” from the TV
Or sermons, seated next to our selves

Our practically identical family
Friends and FOX

Or we figure truth out
Like any other mathematics

That rainbows are made of water and sunshine

Refracted, and so
Are we.


Calculations can be objective, can be a little bit of safety.

Conservative thinkers can watch the most basic facts, the CSI shows, without guilt or anger

While the stoners stare at the pixelated, binary slickness of Showtime.


Don’t expect
Much more


Than either of those, though. This is entertainment
Not active involvement, not evolution, not

Equality won for
The races, for the sexual differences.

The numbers, the digits in their heads
Won’t, can’t reach

That far.

They are fed with electronics and images
And the illusion of learning. They want to sit still.


Stay steady, Rick

On your stool. It was engineered with numerals

To hold your weight.


Conserve, hold together, your enthusiasm
Your ideas

Your hope, the length of your

The breadth of your service to, but not your coddling kindness to, not your indulgences of, yourself.

It might look right anyway.

You believe that’s what matters.


I’m no happier than you are
Or than

Bill O’Reilly is

No one

Is angrier
Than I am

But my will is certain, that
Neither my placidity nor my actions will destroy my potential

Or me, or you

Or him, or her
Or us.


My flashing yellow pride does not just exist out of nowhere, you know.

It was not a gift, granted by the sky. It was fucking methodically fought for, hard

Like you could be fighting if you wanted to live.


Strength is founded, and
Yours could be

Not only upon these drops

Of cold, lazy, pulling, insidious, thick liquid
And too-bright stripes of warm, waking, pretty, shining light

But in a huge, intrinsic power, in a hulking knowledge
That the liquid and the light are the primordial, stackable blocks of life itself

Essentially unchangeable, yet traveling, malleable possibilities of discovery, the
Unequivocal construction of the universe.

Equations, fairness and balance, sense, can be forced into it

Or out of it
By us.


It is never only our falling down with gravity or

Our flying up with helium or with petroleum, with rocket fuel, it is

Never only our perceptions, our sensations.


The fact that we see, that
We can move, that

We can know the atomic arrangements of

The lights and
The liquids

The poisons
And the medicines

That we can take them
Or leave them


That all of these elements
These parts, these pieces, their



Their potential, yours

To be recombined


To take
Or be taken by


To move toward
Or away from

And strength

The truth.

-- -- -- -- --

You could



Under that neon with that drink in your hand

Your chances, statistically, your choices, and then, again, your chances




by Coke Brown Jr. -
as posted on Coke's Croaks -

Saturday, May 8, 2010



Garbo is
Making a movie
Playing a professor
With haughty sex appeal
To the camera
A baton
At the ignorant
Lines she's learned, that
She believes are literal

Convictions are

Convictions attract
Circling attendant bodies

Convictions are

An undeniable mass attracts
Insignificant objects




And deciding somewhere
Behind her projecting voice, her
Emoting eyes

It's all b.s.

"Not my job,"
Is sinking in on her

The speeches sounding the same
Whether unreal or

"Don't listen

Don't even

I don't honestly
Know anymore

Don't ask
Don't pay for a


Don't make me

To say, to show you
My libido
My words

It was suggested she
Get into her Bentley
Drive herself away
In the silent night
Stare at all the stars
Where polluting spotlights
Could not

At a single one

In mascara
In the rear-view

And see

by Coke Brown Jr. -
as posted on Coke's Croaks -

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

A Part

A Part

An African man
In a U.S. Army coat
Pulls on his cheap cigar
In the trees
In a park
His back to a cemetery wall
Made mostly of mortar
Not so much of stones
In the tepid night
In Tel Aviv

Skyscrapers just to the east, but
So close to the beach
I can feel the sea
Pushing and pulling
The Earth

And he speaks to me
In Arabic or French
Something weary but pleased
And romantic

Having just received
The most sincere efforts
Of the insides
Of my mouth.

He looks into the far sky
Perhaps high
An oft-defeated fighter
For some unquestionable kind of freedom
And I say back to him
"American. I speak English."

"Ah," he merely said
Nodding slowly
As if he should have known before

And our hearts
Both sank
Into pity, to

In the moment, in the place
In the single time and space
Where coexistence
Was forever manifest, where
All was right here, every
Compounded and complete
Natural, full
Sharp, pristine, and clouded
Flawless, filthy, fantastical and real

I am only the audience

Forever a witness
Is all.

I will never

Be a part

Of Heaven.

by Coke Brown Jr. -
as posted on Coke's Croaks -

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Why I’m Hateful Sometimes

Why I’m Hateful Sometimes

Because I’m Bo Diddley or
Robert Johnson or at least
Eric Clapton, but I’m
The only one who knows it and

Because you’re Carol Burnett or
Phyllis Diller or at least
Mo’Nique, but
You don’t mind.

Because I’m
A stationary vagabond
And you’d fall apart
If you pratfell.

Because my heavy lifting
Is behind me, maybe, but
You haven’t finished

We were both thrown in the lake, naked and infantile, but
I swam to shore while
Everyone pushes her boat out again
To get you.

Because you’re never unhappy
In my estimation, but
I’m everything and that and always
In yours.

Because everyone sees that
Sometimes I’m creepy, but
Only I know
That you are, too, a zombie friend.

Because I argue with the radio like an old, old man -
I want them to do it right, dammit, and
You just
Never switch it on.

Because you don’t remember
And I can’t forget;
You imagine starshine from the black hole when
It’s just, plain, empty.

Because you’re in the moment, and
I’m in next week, even when the
Is zero.

Most of all,
I hate you

You’re at your house,
I’m at mine,
That’s what we decided, and
At the crossroads

I can be both
And myself;

You’re asleep in your armchair
In your bunny slippers,
Maybe never



by Coke Brown Jr. -
as posted on Coke's Croaks -

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Magical Reality in the Carolinas

Magical Reality in the Carolinas

Magical reality
In the Carolinas
Is not
The same as the Southwest.

Hillerman’s is dry, emaciating heat
And the other
Is dank, dripping, growing,

There is not so much dying
In Charleston
As there is always

Putrid, rotting, festering, spreading


The central Atlantic coast is not about
Earthly murder and holy spirits
But about resurrection, about
The living dead,

Not about hot, spiraling, rising mirages,
Wafting hallucinations,
But about the commingling
Of hanging white smoke and sharp flames,



In the desert

You can see the evil
And the enlightenment

From a mile away.

In the swamp
The things swim
Below the surface,
Bloated from their bites

Of the bodies

And the minds.

by Coke Brown Jr. -
as posted on Coke's Croaks -

Sunday, March 28, 2010

God Poems #5


For a long, long time
Nothing but
That dry dust tone
It only seemed insanity
That you could be there
Moving low in the river bed
You’re a person
Not omnipotent, not even able

People think and speak
In words
And dark, striking, bloody colors
In falsely-remembered Polaroid pictures


Impossible for anyone else
To know

To hear


To tell

The All-Knowing says Its things
With circumstance
The odd occurrence
When one is


The slightest sound

A rustle and flow
A cloudburst, a breeze

One here


One there


I had Him
Or He had me
The fish, the Man
Tugging each
At the other



Human empathy
Did not



Now the river
Flows full of fishes
Each with a head
And heart
Of its own
I can
Hear them all through thick water

I can point at them
Tell them apart
The trout
From the garbage fish

The shiny, the sought-after
From the dull

The fresh-tasting
From the common, the gamey

And not one of them


Is God.

by Coke Brown Jr. -
as posted on Coke's Croaks -

God Poems #4


Sometimes it seems as though
Is a slowly moving, steel super-ship
Gliding through thick clouds

The gray gospel whale

And we must be
The barnacles
Upon His great


by Coke Brown Jr. -
as posted on Coke's Croaks -

God Poems #3


Of the sins,
The big ones,
The ones that’ll getcha,
That’ll kill,
One-seventh of them are Godly.
That’s wrath.

Christ killed a fig tree.
It frustrated Him.
He knocked over a table
In a temple
In a tizzy
In His wrath.

Jehovah so loved the world, that
He drowned it all dead
Except for a few folk
And critters and
We’ve been warned:
He’ll do it again.

Your behavior.


If They’re perfect,
Either or Both,
And They act this way,
Raise such a fuss

Then we must be, too,
Blameless when we’re bitching,
Our animosity all right,
Our drama never to be denounced,
Our fits just and good,

In the image
Of the Hypocrite.

In the undeniable texts
That purport
To know these things,

Wrath seems not at all bad,
Not deadly for its purveyor,
The perfectly acceptable sin of
The Almighty,



by Coke Brown Jr. -
as posted on Coke's Croaks -

God Poems #2


I want to know
What your thing is.

A man has a yarmulke on his head, and
A woman almost always wears
Her LDS undergarments.

A couple have their direction
And the building where they kneel, in two different rooms,
Facing that way.

A lady has her candle, her cards, and
A man his athame, his lingum, their

My friend said he had nothing, but
He was wrong.
It was in his own head, where he couldn’t see.

Does your maypole remind you?
Does your scarf, or your silence,
That Something is there?

Today I had rain, anticipation,
Carpenter ants and uncertainty,
Peace and fear both,

I had the autonomy, the free will
To remind myself or not to,
To allow myself

To feel or to not
Feel thanks.

by Coke Brown Jr. -
as posted on Coke's Croaks -

God Poems #1


The real first question might be
Like this:

If you,
You, just in passing,
You smile upon a woman
In a burka, in a dark veil,

Will you,
You ever know, certainly,
If she returns a smile?

Will it be wrong of her
Or of you,
You to have smiled?

Will it be
More wrong
To have been
Frowned upon, plainly,
To have returned that,

To have that returned,
At you,
To you,


by Coke Brown Jr. -
as posted on Coke's Croaks -



They claim no power, their misfortunes always faults of others, grace only ever granted by the fates. It wouldn't be seen by them as mercy on my part, but as weakness, as simple acceding to inevitable moral defeat and the perpetual balance, the order of things, if I was to make this legal action stop. Even so very obvious an act of doubled generosity would not be met with gratitude by its objects, but with the relaxed expulsion of a pent-up, undeserved self-righteousness, appropriately uncertain for so long and held sickeningly at bay, now released with the relish that one must feel when letting loose expensive hounds on unjustifiable prey, always afterward with the maintenance of a full lack of awareness of the extent to which their self-imposed pain had been prevented for them by me, by the absence of justice.

They’d sneer at me, smile at one another, and gather their purloined goods around them, proclaiming, incredibly, their grand theft to have been based in kindness and equity, never their eyes to see their own greed and unreasoning, forever falsely remembering my gallant permission for them to commit high crime as nothing more chivalrous or personal than due course, than the vast, unquestionable waters seeking their level, nothing more complex than sweet, common Nature balancing her own ledgers by turning their ink into a fine mist, into evaporate, and then again,

by turning it



by Coke Brown Jr. -
as posted on Coke's Croaks -

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

My Core Belief Was in You

My Core Belief Was in You

You encouraged me
To walk into the ocean

I knew
That I'd come back to shore

Later, still wet, I walked
The Main Street median

In my short, blue swimsuit
Sleeveless T





And knew


I allowed you to be
My lifeguard


My bankroll
My backup plan

My designated, my trusted

My lack
Of responsibility


For a
Goddamned second


You had just said that
Folk don't give up

Important ideals
After age twenty-five


But now
After being there

And being abandoned
Never having done it



In the
Passenger seat

Not even drunk

Without any

To remain

For yourself


My belief
In humankind


It can't be
Relied upon

To ever do
The right thing

I might never again be
A happy spectacle

Might never

Or remember

That someone
Can care that much

Because no one can
But me

I will only remember
To wake up tomorrow and

To write this and then
To take another sleeping pill

And to sleep

And if I walk

The ocean

Onto the

I may not be

You've convinced me
I will always be


by Coke Brown Jr. -
as posted on Coke's Croaks -

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

I Can, Cory

I Can, Cory

I can love you.
I'm allowed.
I can pretend that I think that
I'm Jesus
Because sometimes
I do, a little, no,
I am.

I can learn to hear voices, and
You can hear mine, and
We can both be confused
About what's imaginary and
When it's not:
Selling it off,
Selling out,
Someone who's turning,
Never really free
From mistakes,
Past or
Ours or
Someone else's, or
Those that belong to no one,
The ones that just exist, just

I do.
I love your specific,
Your individual perfection,
Your taut, veiny, groaning,
Hungry, resentful body,
The thing that you give me
That's so very close
To honesty
I'm allowed.

For a day
At the very,
Very least,

I can.

by Coke Brown Jr. -
as posted on Coke's Croaks -

Sunday, March 7, 2010



Don't decide what decision to make next.
There's no reason for reasoning.
You shouldn't figure out what's best to figure out.
Tonight, there's no sense in being sensible.
Don't think about the fact that
You sometimes think too much.
You shouldn't plan on doing any planning.
There are no considerations to consider.
Don't worry about whether or not
You should be worried.
Allow yourself to be uncertain.
You're not required
To require anything
Of yourself
Or ever again.

by Coke Brown Jr. -
as posted on Coke's Croaks -

Thursday, March 4, 2010

I See,

I See,

Through the cloudy, bullet-proof glass,
That the thin, small woman
Has a gold stud in her nose.

I fill out the card
And slide it, and thirty-five dollars,
Through the slot.

She seems to stare down at the desk
But watches me like a television
In her third eye.

I wonder how deeply she sees,
The pen in her hand stock-still,
Her mouth open.

I wonder how far her senses can go
Into my thick past,
My problems.

I’m the weirdest thing she’s ever seen
Or maybe just everyday,
Only clearer.

There’s curry smell
And a sensation
Like marijuana.


In the room,
One pillowcase
Is gray from greasy heads.

The shower curtain is
A torn nylon tarp, and a nickel-sized hole,
Not a peephole, is in the door.

She gave me

Since I have my good camera,
I strip and I shoot myself
On the carpet.

What else could
Such a place
Be for?

I spend an hour
While she watches me from across the parking lot,
Acne under her chocolate-brown face.

Don’t see

The strength of my awareness,
My picture, my fine tuning,
Makes hers, for that time, even stronger.

A five-dollar bill
On the discolored pillow.

This is more,
I’m sure,
Than she



by Coke Brown Jr. -
as posted on Coke's Croaks -

Saturday, February 27, 2010



I spent all last night
Alone on my knees
In the school gymnasium
Constructing an expansive city

To scale
Of glass

So certainly proud of
My masterpiece
Rising into indoor hills 

Like Tijuana's hills but

I did it easily
Worked steadily
Toward my dream
In this dream

My hands capable
My vision never doubted

Hinging on
Transparent pane
After pane

In the morning
The critic came
His eyes wide at my ambition
Open-mouthed at my youth, my dedication

Galled, though, and just trying to be kind
About the quality

The windows in the stained glass church
Were a deep, sick,
Gaudy violet
Blocked up and chalky

The scope, he said
Overwhelmed any sense

The few wooden parts were only
Finished on the one sides
Raw and splintery
On the others

From a distance
All shiny and clear

Getting closer
The elements didn't quite fit together
Too much epoxy

And worse
The pH in my city's public pool was wrong
The ruddy men who showed up and swam there
So eager at first, so delighted to discover it

Their skin was crawling,

Their eyes screwed up
In tears
To climb out

The pictures
Wouldn't even be in the newspaper

Every iota
Of my work
My world, my creation
The most spectacular

I swear to God, Pablo

I know you now
I had this very dream
It was my reality
For a while, in my sleep

The night before the day
That I



by Coke Brown Jr. -
as posted on Coke's Croaks -

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Fit to Move Toward Enlightenment

Fit to Move Toward Enlightenment
(for Christopher)

Your work goes in there.
Your worry is your work,
Your analysis is, but
Some things have no meaning -

The solid but spinning planet,
The oxygen and the water
And your flesh
Are just a fact, a gift granted.

There’s God and your connection,
Your spirit and your hope
And figuring, your heavy sighs,
Seemingly all that can be done,

But then, there are your fingers and feet
And the walls around you
And the floor
That could use scrubbing by hand.

While you wait for salvation,
For the ultimate answer to
Your particular problems,
Your unhappiness,

Balance your brain with
Something less thoughtful,
More a stupid, true trademark,
“Just Do It.”

When you become unable to move,
Far too soon,
In any way you want, to jump somewhere
Without consideration,

When the lotus position
In your mind’s eye
Has become impossible
For your legs to emulate,

When you couldn’t save her
From a genuine speeding locomotive,
Mother tied to the tracks,
Because your fingers are too thick for the knots -

That’s when the years
Of slow, happy, wondering walking,
Then of slow, degenerative angst
Will take you their victim.

No matter how quickly you’ve trained the words to come,
No matter how you care -

We all know that you care
More than most -

In ten years, when the Almighty reveals Himself,
When abundant clarity does come down
That there was, indeed, something
You could have done,

The eternal answer
Will involve endorphins
That you might have released
By learning heavy lifting

(Bend your knees)
Or a jaunty, safe sprint
(Take plenty of time to work up to it -
And wear your reflective tape).

It involves the physical world,
Our home, our encasings
As much as it does
Your mind, your beautiful spirit.

I’m frightened that
On that day of reckoning
You’ll find yourself
Having refused every answer you sought,

Having lost




by Coke Brown Jr. -
as posted on Coke's Croaks -

Thursday, February 11, 2010

parked 120 miles from home

parked 120 miles from home

the highway wet and white and empty
the night abandoned and aimlessly slow
that's all right
it means more for me

here comes the old
from a time just now, before
telephones on roads
having to have that back

to shut up and shut out
words considered
better than most

sometimes take you different things
not what's obvious, everywhere
agreed-upon, expected
the standard American

all juiced up and
nothing nearby
to conquer
to win at

talking to myself inside myself
sure, laugh at me, childish
why would I want
a home

with a telephone
in a car, any thing obligatory
why would I want

when I can be
can do




by Coke Brown Jr. -
as posted on Coke's Croaks -

Friday, February 5, 2010

Communicable Diseases

Communicable Diseases

Sometimes they work backward
You’re road kill, then
Next time
You’re the runner-over
Not because it’s fair
It just works that way

Paranoia, deep destroyah
There must be a good reason
If everyone else is frightened
Huddle in the bunker, decide
What should happen next
Who should go down

Draw straws.

Drinks and dancing
Red bull and vodka
Old school, cosmopolitans
The twist, the watusi
The Beatles
The acid and the ecstacy

Elvis over and over and over
Henny Youngman and
Lenny Bruce
Back dat ass up
They’ll never reach Nirvana
They just keep happening

You can catch teh happy
But not from me
Not tonight
I’m a big, heavy blanket
To douse the flames
It’s dark under here

The Flappers’ Disturbia

Did you

Get that?

by Coke Brown Jr. -
as posted on Coke's Croaks -

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Hemlock on Evil

Hemlock on Evil

You swallowed it, the evil.
You wouldn’t figure out
That it was nothing
And it grew.

It tried to take over
From the inside out,
Through your skin, erupting,
Dirty, untouched.

Steaming hemlock
Made it sleep;
It took little naps
Then reared up, stronger,

Your head meanwhile
Your hands
More useless.

Like faith in God,
Like magic, like hope,
Like possibility,
Like life,

Faith in the bad shit,
Believing it has power
Makes it so.
Fear of it makes it unstoppable.

When you stop

To make
Go away,





by Coke Brown Jr. -
as posted on Coke's Croaks -

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Passive Power

Passive Power

There were no great white flashes
Of lightning, no
Sudden, momentous, important


Was easily washed-over
Happy, blue-purple
Dull as a river rock

When I lived with you.

Some people have roundness, smoothness
Their gift
To do no thing pointed
In their hearts, in their heads

Slow white puffs of soft smoke

It could always be worse
Death by day-to-day drama
In whirling insistent violence
Rather than calmly, bit by bit.

Vigilance breaks heads. It severs nerves.

Sleep now
As a thing sneaks in upon you
Slides the blade in, slick, bloodying
You will have saved the lives, like a superhero

Of every prior day

By being


by Coke Brown Jr. -
as posted on Coke's Croaks -

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Fixer

The Fixer

You’re asking God to give to you, or
Buddha be his name,
Gaia hers; they’re all the same -

“May I have what I want,” you say,
Instead of the small wondering,
What you might ought to have.

You could definitely win
A material game
Or one of feeling right, O Ethical You.

You might manipulate the tiny surrounding space,
Quietly vibrate the life around you,
Take humility lessons yourself and then,

Someday smart,
Learn ’em, durn ’em,
The folks you know.

You could take up your time here
At alchemy, at
Any change, positive growth,

Manifest things
You think
We need.

You’re asking permission
To know the morality
Of having your way with


Do yourself a favor, please.
Don’t chant yet. Don’t pray. Don’t draw down stuff,
Helpful objects or even goodwill.

Don’t look for meaning,
An answer,
Or for ease.

First, find that
Hole of a place

Where a tiny new seed
Of an idea
Might grow.

Raise the thought honestly,
Fully commit to it, live it completely,
As evil as it will seem,

That you









Dig out your gaping, earthy, black, hollow space
And, in an instant,
A trillion ready, promising, eager, hungry choices will congregate,

A darkening mass will flock and fly like bats
To your head
And your writhing stomach.

You’ll be, in your constant, ultimate weakness,
A mute autistic,
Prone upon bare ground, laid-out, rocking,

Clutching your body for dear life,
That empty, invisible, fleshy container
That holds "you."

You either will end up eternally shaking,
A junkie to something, to any small item that might taste slightly sweet,
Decaying and soon dead, or

You will

You’ll prove
Something simple to
Whoever looks to you:

You can


The deepest


You will know
Truth -

What is fair
And real
And right,

And feel



For now,
My so easily
Frustrated friend,


Are too


by Coke Brown Jr. -
as posted on Coke's Croaks -