Thursday, October 17, 2013

What are you, new here?

Can I get a glass of
what's that stuff called again?

It falls from the sky,
but also comes 
from the ground.
Boats float in it 
fish swim in it. 

You sure that's what it's called? 
not that I don't trust you, 
but I'm going to look that up. 

Monday, September 23, 2013


do you mean
you're out of meatballs?

You have meat.
You have balls. 

Get in the kitchen
and shape that meat into balls.
Pour some cheese sauce on it

and charge me $15. 

Thursday, August 29, 2013


If you're going to resurrect stars from our past, have the decency to go all out. Dig up Johnny Cash. Boil his preserved remains until the tender meat falls off the bone like a medium rare prime rib and make a stew from the broth. Strip the flesh off of a pig and zip-tie it onto the cleaned bones and tattoo a "13" on his fucking neck. Cram that Japanese voice-simulating robot into his face. Hammer hooks into his wrists, attach strings, and make him dance like a marionette.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Plastic Bags

Fuck you plastic bags
With your crinkly noises
Down the street. 

With your boa constrictor handles
Into the flesh of my arm. 

With your membrane thin walls
My produce to the dirt below. 

Thursday, April 11, 2013

A Letter to the Ghost of Billy Mays

To: The Ghost of Billy Mays

I am dissatisfied with my Big City Slider Station. It seared my mouth-watering Billy Burgers to perfection, but it just can’t outperform my frying pan. You see, my kids, they love The Three Stooges. When somebody comes to the door, I answer and say, “Hey chowderhead!” and wallop their skull with a frying pan. While the non-stick heavy-duty construction of your burger press provides more splatter, it doesn’t make the noise that the kids have come to expect. They prefer the ringing chimes of the frying pan as it takes its toll on the missionary’s head.

From: Drunk and Dissatisfied

Jeffery Shellenbarger

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Yet Another Beach Poem

Oh, how the sand grits
between my pinkened toes
as I stroll along the breezy shore.

The smell of rotting fish carcasses
engulfs the gulf where I take a sip
from the Mai Tai in my weathered hands.

Over there, a seagull picks a crab
out of the sand with the precision
of a sniper in the deserts of Iraq.

My glossed-over eyes shift towards
waves battering the shore, rejecting 
the beer bottles left behind by kids.

There’s a boat off into the horizon
dredge fishing away all life
on the fertile sea bottom.

I’m told the sun is setting now,
but all I can see in the sky is darkness
saturated with ominous clouds.

If I had it my way, I would never leave
this wasteland of tourists and hooligans,
but I can only bring so much booze.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Pepperidge Farm

Do you remember
baking Christmas cookies with your mom
painting faces on the little gingerbread children
with sugary white icing?

Pepperidge Farm remembers.

Do you remember
waking up early on Saturday morning
turning on the TV to your favorite cartoons
and eating Cap’n Crunch?

Pepperidge Farm remembers.

Do you remember
crying yourself to sleep at night
worrying that your same-sex attractions
will make you an outcast?

Pepperidge Farm remembers.

Do you remember
the look on your ex-boyfriend’s face
when you fed him the line
It’s not you, it’s me?

Pepperidge Farm remembers.

Do you remember
the day you realized
that even though times were tough
things were gonna get better?

Pepperidge Farm remembers.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Mr. Clean

Squirt soap on hands,
Scrub scrub scrub
Rinse rinse rinse.

Clorox wipe soap bottle,

Scrub scrub scrub
Wipe wipe wipe

Squirt soap on hands,

Scrub scrub scrub
Rinse rinse rinse.

Clorox wipe Clorox Wipe bottle,

Wipe wipe wipe
Scrub scrub scrub

Clorox wipe soap bottle,

Scrub scrub scrub
Wipe wipe wipe

Squirt soap on hands,

Scrub scrub scrub
Rinse rinse rinse.

Dry hands on towel,

Shake shake shake
Dab dab dab.

Open door with towel,

Twist twist twist
Pull pull pull

Wash towel in sink,

Soap soap soap
Scrub scrub scrub

Clorox wipe Clorox Wipe bottle,

Wipe wipe wipe
Scrub scrub scrub

Clorox wipe soap bottle,

Scrub scrub scrub
Wipe wipe wipe

Squirt soap on hands,

Scrub scrub scrub
Rinse rinse rinse

Dry hands without towel

Shake shake shake
Blow blow blow.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

20 Things a Mother Should Tell Her Son... in the 1950s

So there is this copypasta going around of Facebook that is driving me bonkers. It's this list of twenty things that mothers should say to their sons. Uh oh. Gender is in the title, so you know to expect some outdated garbage. Let's explore this, shall we?


1. Play a sport.

It will teach you how to win honorably,
lose gracefully, respect authority,work with others, manage your time
and stay out of trouble.
And maybe even throw or catch.

Playing sports is a great way to learn these skills. What makes me uncomfortable here is the fact that a mother is supposed to push sports to her son specifically, not her children in general. It enforces the idea that men play sports, as well as enforces the idea that a mother can't teach these ideals by herself.

2. You will set the tone

for the sexual relationship,
so don't take something away from her
that you can't give back.
This is absolutely horrible. Instead of teaching your son to treat his sexual partner as his equal, you are to teach him that 1) he is to date women and 2) he is to be in control of her.

3. Use careful aim when you pee.

Somebody's got to clean that up, you know.

A better lesson: Share bathroom cleaning duties with whomever you live with.

4. Save money when you're young
because you're going to need it someday.

Better advice: Always try to spend within your limits. When you splurge, be aware of the consequences.

5. Allow me to introduce you
to the dishwasher, oven,
washing machine, iron,
vacuum, mop and broom.
Now please go use them.
Hahahahahaha! That's women all right. Always cooking and cleaning. It's a good thing men never do those things...

6. Pray and be a spiritual leader.

Why should your child spread religion? A better lesson: Find your own path in life. Seek your own truth.

7. Don't ever be a bully

and don't ever start a fight,
but if some idiot clocks you,
please defend yourself.

...within legal limits.

8. Your knowledge and education is something

that nobody can take away from you.

That's not true at all. People get tricked into believing and disbelieving all kinds of stuff. A better lesson: Question fantastical claims.

9. Treat women kindly.

Forever is a long time to live alone
and it's even longer to live with somebody
who hates your guts.

Yes, men should treat women well. That said, why assume your son is attracted to women? Beyond that, why assume your son would marry somebody who hates him?

10. Take pride in your appearance.


11. Be strong and tender at the same time.

This is a contradiction that isn't. One can be both strong and sensitive, and it isn't hard to do.

12. A woman can do everything that you can do.

This includes her having a successful career
and you changing diapers at 3 A.M.
Mutual respect is the key to a good relationship.
Leave it at the first line, and you got something. Unfortunately, the author kept writing, leaving behind more heterosexism.

13. "Yes ma'am" and "yes sir"

still go a long way.

Some people don't like to be called these words. Better advice: Know your audience--use the correct language with the right people.

14. The reason that they're called "private parts"

is because they're "private".
Please do not scratch them in public.

Is this really that important? Let's broaden it up to make it have some meaning people can actually live by: Know your audience--act in a way that will allow you to maintain your integrity in public.

15. Peer pressure is a scary thing.

Be a good leader and others will follow.

There's nothing quite like an opening sentence that has no bearing on the ones that follow. Raw chicken will kill you. Swiss cheese is a great topping on a chicken sandwich.

16. Bringing her flowers for no reason

is always a good idea.

No it isn't. Bringing your partner flowers because you love them is a good idea. Also, why assume your son likes women?

17. It is better to be kind

than to be right.

Context is key. For example, if somebody is spreading homophobia, it's far better to speak up and be right than it is to be kind.

18. A sense of humor

goes a long way
in the healing process.

Ha ha, cancer!

19. Please choose your spouse wisely.

My daughter-in-law will be the gatekeeper for me
spending time with you and my grandchildren.

Leave it at the first sentence, and it's fine. Toss in the rest, and it becomes more heterosexist drivel that implies that the children are property that belong to the man, and that evil women will keep mothers from seeing their son's property.

20. Remember to call your mother

because I might be missing you.

Why don't you call your son?

Monday, February 4, 2013


A couple of months back, I submitted my Bill Cosby poem to Landescapes, an art journal put on at WSU. They rejected it. But fuck it. I think it's a funny poem. So, I present to a reprise of Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Bill Cosby.

Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Bill Cosby

Among the twenty terrible sweaters
The only moving thing
Was the Bill Cosby.

I watched three ads
In which there were three Cosbys.

The Cosby zip zap zoos
It was a part of his act.

A Jello Pudding and a New Coke
Are one.
A Jello Pudding a New Coke and a Bill Cosby
Are one.

I do not know which to prefer,
The beauty of Jello Jigglers
Or the beauty of dad sweaters,
The Cosby floobity doobity
Or just after.

Pudding cups filled the long window
With BPA-filled waste.
The shadow of the Cosby
Crossed it, y'see?
The Cosby
Encased in a sweater
A zany spokesman.

O thin man of Brooklyn,
Why do you imagine healthy snacks?
Do you not see how the Cosby
Prances around the TV
To sell you chocolaty chemicals?

I know the Huxtables
And I know the Kids Say the Darndest Things;
But I know, too,
That the Cosby was involved
in Fat Albert.

When the Cosby quit TV,
It marked the end
Of a television era.

At the sight of Cosby
Gliding in a green sweater,
Even the stiffs of Boringtown
Would laugh out loudly.

He road over Brooklyn
In a Volvo PV 544.
Once, a fear pierced him.
In that he mistook
The life he lived
For Cosby's.

The New Coke is flowing,
The Cosby must be kerfufflin'.

It was daytime all night.
It was hot.
It was going to get hotter.
The Cosby sat
With Jello Pudding Pops in hand.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

I'm Only Watching for the Commercials

It's Super Bowl Sunday once again, and no doubt I will hear somebody tell me, "I'm just watching for the commercials." This is my pre-emptive response to save myself some time later:

WHAAAAAAAT?!?  That doesn't make any sense! I know to some degree we are all consumer whores, but I know you to be different than that. I've been around you before when you watch TV. You shush me during the show, but never during the commercials. In fact, you turn the volume down and do something else while they are on. You have no interest in what Nicki Minaj has to say about Pepsi or how good of hands you're in if you have Allstate.

When browsing the web, you have pop-up blockers enabled. When a banner ad appears on the page, you ignore it. When an ad appears on YouTube, you tab over until it's done. I've even seen you browse with Adblock on.

So tell me, why is it that you suddenly enjoy watching ads one day out of the year? The junk that airs today is the same junk that will be annoying you every 10 minutes on Hulu for the rest of the year, and you'll either hate it or try your best to ignore it. Not today, though. Today you're watching TV purely for the ads.