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 -