Friday, February 29, 2008


A girl wrote her phone number on the back of my right hand today. I know this girl likes me because she referred to me as "Ryan J. Rader", and only girls who like me do that. Girls who didn't like me in high school just called me "Rader", and that annoyed me. They might as well have called me ugly or short or overweight, which in high school I was all of those things. Fuck them anyways. I am still short, technically, but people don't call me short. I don't know why. I think it's because I wear clothes that fit now.

Whenever I look at the back of my right hand, like I just did, it makes me smile and I want to show everyone I know. This is more important than sex. This is better than sex, right now. I don't even know if I should have sex with this girl should the opportunity arise. Should I? Yes. I should. I didn't have sex in high school. This will make up for it, like the other seven did.

High school is actually more important to me now than it was then. Lots of those girls are pregnant now with fetuses of unnattractive men. I almost want the number tattooed on the back of my hand. Those ugly children will grow up, and I will be old and cool like Lou Reed and they will see my tattoo and I will tell them this story.

Is high school over yet?

Wednesday, February 27, 2008


Soaked, standing in the shower
I don't get the wrinkled raisin fingers and toes
and the soapy fingernails of childhood anymore
No place for the Stormtrooper vs. X-Men wars
fought on my round, hairless belly
My navel was a prison for building blocks
My knees were fleshy glaciers that rose from the murky, hard-water ocean
My toes were buoys
My legs and elbows controlled the tide

The tips of my toes are useless now, I tower over
The porcelain and chrome fixtures where I learned how my body worked, accidentally,
But soon becoming an engineer of myself
Now I'm working on a degree in women's studies, becoming
A bachelor with a masters.

My aim is impeccable unless I've been drinking
I suppose there is room for a fifth next to the aftershave.
Batman was an alcoholic even when he was five inches and plastic in a bathtub.
I should drink in the shower. I should take showers
with Catwoman and Supergirl now and teach them
what I've learned, but no.
Childhood ends when erections begin.
Cold showers from now on.

Monday, February 25, 2008


Before I drove to the liquor store
my grandmother slipped
on the ice and shattered her ankle

After I returned with the bottle
I opened my whisky and saw
three black children running on melted snow

Sunday, February 24, 2008

two poems written in the span of five minutes

'Don't you think it's better this way?'

A stranger, suggesting the
Title should be more specific
And related to the story

About a young man on
A field trip in a shopping
Mall in North Dakota

Urges me to burn my
Leather wallet and never
Wear blue jeans again

This is not a matter of life and death--

--It’s a goddamn
Shopping cart covered in mud along
The riverbank

It is not a running commentary
On grocery stores and pharmacies
And you are not the shopping cart
You are not covered in mud
You are high and dry
On a covered bridge above the river
I did not care
To see the shopping cart
Until you pointed it out to me
And then
I considered jumping
To grab it and wash it in the river
And drive you home while your fingers
Grasped the metal lattice from
The inside of the shopping cart

This is the part where
We are struck by a passing
Pick-up truck and
Flung into the title

Thursday, February 21, 2008

On A Postcard to William Henry Harrison

Two years ago I had the best
Summer of my life, specifically
June. I drank wine and danced
Every night. At the beginning
of August it rained and I got
sick. Thirty days and nothing
but rain filled bottles to show for
it. I know how it feels. Enjoy
the summer.

Monday, February 18, 2008


We do not make sense, we judge it instead. During our critique of the omniscient whatever, we defined God:

My god is black and plays harmonica
Your god is you, because you can count on it.

I like your god, your god paints suicide like the inside of kindergarten classrooms. Your god references my favorite bands and your god plays a Fender Stratocaster. God is not a Gibson god. When our gods meet, they should start a band with Elliott Smith and
Dave Grohl on drums and call themselves Caning the Able, maybe selling 200,000 records and opening for U2. I hate Bono for his piety. We can duck out early and leave our gods at the afterparty. They won't care, our gods are ambivalent...
Would you like to grab some coffee with me? That's what I'm trying to say when I quote Thom Yorke.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

I Take Myself Very Seriously When It Comes To Art?

I could never grasp the concept of
Drawing shadows
Which means everything I drew took place
On two-dimensional moonless evenings

This is the second portrait I’ve received
By the second person, and I wonder
Will there be a third? And will they teach me
How to draw my own picture where I stand
In front of a brick building
And my silhouette is laughing at me? In my defense,
I am drawing with the alphabet and I don’t need sunlight
To burn the letters into the paper

Once I carelessly drew horses and superheroes, now I can barely pry myself
Away from the mirror and my solemn bohemian expression to
Let you know that you are my favorite artist,
I think.

Monday, February 11, 2008


Frederick Douglass Goes to Mars is the first of many episodes featuring the iconic civil rights crusader. Much like the Marines, Frederick Douglass gets into all sorts of wacky adventures in exotic and foreign locations. Using his superior powers of discourse, rhetoric, and beard, Douglass manages to outwit the nastiest of haters. Frederick Douglass' mortal enemy is haters, and haters can be found everywhere. There is no plot structure, conflict, or resolution to any of the episodes, and none of them actually exist. Haters, however, are very real.