Author Archive: Mark Mandel

sale ending soon

are you focused on this thing:
sale ending soon!

that cocksucking, shithole gummed-up gear
karma dharma in your ear

sale ending soon
man on the moon

does your focus, hocus-pocus,
fix on just some things?

the same damned things?

sale ending soon
heal any wound

can’t seem to let go
all of your fears

gotta keep safe,
every one of your dears

sale ending soon
as you belt out this tune

then you wallow around
in results that it brings

the same damned things

sale ending soon
when will you prune

those some behaviors
not your saviors
that don’t make you swoon

sale ending soon
it’s coming on noon

give your last kowtow

and when you raise your head
lose your face but gain instead

the imprint of an emptiness
that baffles every circumstance

shoveled in a winter funk
living like a sacred monk

the voices have all left your head
in their place serene instead

a stream snakes up a rocky climb
a dream wakes up while in your mind

feeling free across the sky
unravelling goes by and by

did i ASK for a refund?

though my Amazon delivery apparently failed,
i woulda thunk that its drivers would have prevailed
getting me all six of the items my order entailed

yet when i examine the tracks of the delivery trails
digging into the facts discovered and unveiled
only three out of six had arrived in my mail

and, for some still unknown reason, the others derailed
and now they’ve refunded, and it feels like betrayal

though i can always reorder, as they have availed
i’d like them to tell me why the first order failed

was the scope of my items not easily scaled?
had the drivers been working and then they just bailed?
was there some other trace, or had that ship long sailed?

yet, eventually, i just relaxed and exhaled
and ordered again the same items assailed

now i’ll leave you since i’ve kept you abreast and regaled
and recounted my conundrum’s still unresolved tale

Inner Nature

Why does outer nature grab my eyes
—the cool mist of the morning air,
goats who bleat their feeding cries—
since inner nature’s also here?

But then a single drop of rain
wets my face and frags my brain.

My inner focus tends to curl
’round beliefs concerning joy and pain—
the back and forth of ancient swirls—
forgetting that it’s all the same.

Why does my focus stay outside,
as if I’m on an endless ride?

Both in and out are quite a pair.
They tend to ever slip and slide,
but never more than I can bear.
I guess unless I die inside.

I Used to Have Rings

I used to have rings
considerable things
doing wonderful terrible
everyday things

on me they would cling
flapping their wings
telling me all kinds of
relevant things

etched right inside
were some chiselings
so I nearly forgot
their pings and their dings

yet then they would bring
a music they’d sing
through a sequence of strings
some springs and some swings

and the legends of
terrible wonderful kings
would ring out in song
as they picked up their slings

and defeated some big
great hairy-assed things
and there I was left
wringing my rings

On Days Like This

I don’t know what a poem’s to do
on days like this when no one cares
no breaking news
when nothing’s true
we make our ways
through thick and thin
we raise our gaze
as it begins

I don’t know who next lives out
their lives played through as if they dare
they’re safe with all the others there
they speak the truth
these rousing youth
right now they’re young
around the sun

they sing their song
they’re flung along

I don’t know why we have done
what others have so often shunned
we have some laws
with sharpened claws
yet never mind
what’s welcomed there
those clever fines
are never shared

I don’t know when it will end
seems like time to now begin
they lead with voices filled with care
woven in their curly hair
their youth betrays
the silence won
their time to speak
has just begin

I don’t know how it may hurt
we’ve left their blood upon the earth
and if there are some others there
they’ll speak their minds
for all they’re worth
their faces lined
but thoughts combined
a blessing granted
through their birth

i don’t know who’ll read this poem
i work on it while i’m alone
they take their stand
out in the world
let’s change our minds
our thoughts unfurled

Danker Weed

He traded in his pirate badge
for danker weed from Trinidad.

His hammer had him by the balls;
his love had gotten menopause.

On a bus with bitter pills,
his purpose gone, was missing still.

He saw the signs and distance fly;
he took a breath and wondered why.

Should he stop, dank choices willed,
or did he dream of bliss fulfilled?

A rose with thorns had scratched his voice,
yet it was him who made the choice.

Shitty stops in a city filled
with people lost, their passion killed.

So far down that spinning wheel,
his heart had yet to truly heal.

But then he saw with whom he rode
as they travelled down that weary road.

Brothers all and sisters too
they each resembled me and you.

He cracked a smile and wiped a tear
knowing he could make it here.

As people do, when times destroy
he’d find his way right back to joy.

we absorb them

we still travel through the light
over land and in the trees
hear the birds and the bees

as we slide behind the night
feel the curling of the leaves
choose a sex, get it right

spin up dreams with our hands
seems behavior’s got demands
we absorb and explore them

some may burn
others learn
and others may ignore them

doesn’t happen overnight
tuck the seams
heal the blight

you may never like the odds
take some time
love your gods

Kokopelli
rub your belly
turning tricks on the run

trading places
leaving faces
stay transfixed on the sun

feel the plight of our whys
you can see it
in our eyes

falling back
right on track
still forgiven as we die

in every sacred shrine
if you hold ’em
you must smoke ’em

yet as dreams
are outshined
we cry as we unyoke them

we don’t know
how it ends
seems it all begins again

buried deep
in our bones
we just want to travel home

yet we pause to observe
and take the steps
we deserve

a lot of damage in our lives

love does
a lot of soothing
there’s some oozing
as it damages our lives

hear the woodwinds
twist our souls
as we keep on
growing old

does a lotta
gotta do it
what we wouldn’t
to include it

love does
in our lives
takes the focus
as we strive

think our moment
has arrived

just avoid it
wait inside

there’s a
damage limit
damage in it

desecrate the one

beauty loved
excess shoved
got a twinkle in our eyes

wouldn’t trade it
as you lie
never meant to realize

that the love
just because

and the damage
that it does

just embrace it
as you try
don’t avoid it
to survive

a lot of
damage init
living out our lives

the last time that the foreskin ruled

mighty towers rose and fell
their wonders shone across the land

hawks dove down towards cans of ale
countries built their walls and jails

babies fought as men and died
never knew their mother’s cries

by leaps and bounds, the fighting failed
the masses griped, the bankers bailed

what earth was worth they never found
sucked oil and blood out of the ground

dredging down through sacred sites
they never stopped, by day or night

their inside-outs spread thin and pale
upon the waves by din they sailed

they clapped on through the worlds of form
bred with fear, it was the norm

they yoked their souls to tooth and nail
and slipped and slid as all hope flailed

their leaders crouched within their homes
with all their rooms, they were alone

playing shows they seldom ever watched
they left their crotches on the couch

while merry sunshine lost her way
they pumped their losses anyway

they couldn’t stop, inside the gland
it never went as they had planned

they sharpened every handy tool
the last time that the foreskin ruled


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