doug draime | what it is, man! & eleven other poems

What It Is, Man!

You can blame it on the glands
or the nervous system.

You can make diagrams of
the brain and talk about
reprogramming the mind.

You can blame it on the genes
of that fucking butcher, Attila the
Hun, or Hitler, you can blame
it on that evil piece of shit.

You can blame it on your
mother and father, you can blame
it on society.

You can blame it on your last
fuck, or the bottle or the drugs.

You can blame it on your job or
your lack of one

You can blame it on your priest
or your rabbi or your shrink, or
you can blame it on me,

I don’t mind. But we all know what
it is….what it is! What it is, man!

24 Hour Surrender

There are those days,
those bastardly
blood dripping days,
when you know
more than

on other
days, that the world
is totally insane. Insane
with greed, insane with
over population,

insane with warring butchery,
insane with ego mania, insane
raving devil
insane. Mad and rampant with
corporate fangs of inhumanity and

death and
you just want
to crawl up
under the house
on those days,

crawl up under
the house
and pull the
earth up over

Slaves Of The Harvest

The captivity is as true as leather
straps sun soaked
to the bone. But the
eventual slaughter is gradual
like the aging of a bird, as

subtle as death in a coma. Always
hidden behind the scent of reward, the
global intoxication of greed, the
praise of vain glory in a brief
day. How unlike ourselves we truly are!

Gertrude Stein | Painting by Pablo Picasso

Gertrude Stein Has Been Cursed Properly

Her hair moved
before she spoke.
Everything was under water, except her feet.

State street Northside Chicago
was a flood of neon
(this was a picture she held
in her right hand).

I read her lips:
she was cursing Gertrude Stein’s corpse,
cursing Gertrude’s spirit,
cursing Gertrude’s sense of priorities

for not feeding Henry Miller
when Henry was starving in Paris,
when Gertrude was living there high on the hog
on her family’s money;

she was cursing Gertrude Stein’s
bull dyke ways.

The picture of Chicago in her hand
became a sheet of fog.
She stopped talking and
flung her hair around like tall grass in a tornado.

All the water drained away, and she stood on her feet
and disappeared like the sun at dusk
into the fog of her hand,
satisfied Gertrude Stein had been cursed properly.

Flipping Through A Concise Biographical Dictionary

Richard The Lion Heart was off at the Crusades
murdering babies in Palestine, while we did

Charlemagne was in his chambers pulling the
flesh from human bones and boiling the meat in white wine, while
we were praising the souls of those, who were
betraying their closest friends.

Pontius Pilate was reading a book on the many and
varied ways of suicide, when
we were building more mazes.

Alexander The Great, in a fit of encouraged rage set fire to the city
of Persepolis, at the request of a whore. And we did nothing.

Charles I was torturing his own family in a dungeon and burning
Joan of Arc at the stake, at the same time we were creating
a more spacious and inviting hell.

Hannibal ravaged men, women and children, strutting their heads
on poles like a Bronx boxer winning his first fight at
Madison Square Garden, meanwhile we danced in
the gore with our only begotten son, Death.

William Henry Harrison betrayed Tecumseh and slaughtered
Shawnee children along the banks
of the Wabash and Tippecanoe rivers, long after we had
sold and assigned all the seats to the Holocaust.

Churchill was dipping his cigar into the purest of brandy after ordering
the Irish people of all ages mowed down by
machine guns at a football game in Dublin. And we did
absolutely nothing.

Telephone Conversation

I lost track of the conversation
when she was comparing being
veterinarian with being a poet,

her brother was a veterinarian &
had moved in on us with his new wife &
they’d planned to stay a couple of weeks &
the weeks turned into months & then
her father followed suit. I started drinking
pretty heavy & seeing Mohawk war gods. Her
ex-husband lived right next door,

he was a shrink & kept saying he understood
my “life script”. So, as time went on I began
to consider murdering everyone on the block.
During this she was making trips to New York
screwing a poet-son of a famous writer &

now here she was a couple of years later calling
me at work telling me life was a struggle & being
a poet was like being a veterinarian. She
sounded completely serious, calling all the way
from the beach somewhere to tell me about life,
poetry & dogs with the mange.

After Sharing A Mason Jar Of Moonshine With An 85 Year Old Farmer/Employer Who I Helped Repair A Chicken Coop With When I Was Sixteen

In front of the chicken coop,
with huge holes in his gray
work pants & chicken shit all
over his boots, he said to me,
with a hollow grin ( his upper & lower
false teeth in his thick plaid shirt pocket)

“When you’ve worked like a dog
for 45 years for chicken shit &
the county wants ta put ya’ in
the crazy house, pick up a shot
gun & tell ‘em to fuck off”.

We All Grow Full Of Something

His poems were long and lean
curling down the white canvas
like snakes popping cracking exploding
with his liberating venom
before his college days
before he joined the political cause
(we all want to be part of something
we all want to belong).

Now his poems are stationary bloated
academic darlings farting party line slogans
you have to cut away too much fat to find
any meat.

He was once long and lean
in this picture I saw looking hungry
full of wire muscle a street fighter
before his college days
before he joined the political cause.

Now he too is bloated in this picture
on the front of his book like a graying walrus
“satisfied” pompous full of accolades and pus
(we all grow old and gray
we all grow full of something).

Scenes of Order & Disorder

William Tell, wild eyed,
his son, trembling,
the apple on his head.

Einstein dancing to
Bobby Blue Bland,
his skinny old hips
grinding it out.

Oppenheimer having
the screaming-meemies,
nightmares with
infernos of burning bodies.

Sir Isaac Newton, the hand
of his corpse holding
a cup of putrid tea, his
hollow skull eyes
looking out a window
at West Minster Abbey.

Mark Twain, his crazy-mad
hound dogs by
his side, smoke
swirling from his pipe,
cursing a snake-

Stardust Club

She said she had
my number. But
I told her
my number was still
being calculated

by numerous
committees of
and a large
assortment of
Vegas odds makers.

In other words,
the beads were still
flying up and down
the abacus
at incredible speeds.

She giggled
seductively, smiled
and moved in
closer, her hand
rubbing my dick
through my jeans.

Her mouth
and tongue on my neck,
“You know what number
I’m talkin‘ about.”

Question Everything

Question this poem
and the publication
it is appearing in.
Question every moment
inside your ever changing cage. Now, is the
release of your age old
servitude. Question the
ghosts of shadows, that your past and
future parade before you like
monkeys in a barrel. Question the abstract
projector of your mind.

Question every thought
of mind: of war and
conflict. Question greed and all political
thinking. Question every hint of fear
and betrayal. Question all
things of form
and weight. Question intensely every shade and
shape of ego. Question the Commander
& Chief of the ego, Death. Question it relentlessly
until you know the truth.
Now, is the release of your age old servitude. Question
every stinking lie since the Big Bang.

Wanna See My Fast Draw? OK, Partner You Wanna See It Again?

I have to laugh
at these
proclaiming &
defining themselves

these poets
the stars
of their own

legends in their
own minds

with their guns
which shoot blanks
like stooges

just like Don Knotts
& Tim Conway
ridding out of town
after a botched
bank robbery

sitting backwards on
their horses
not sure whether
they’re coming
or going

in Jimmy Breslin’s
“The Gang That Couldn’t
Shoot Straight”

but these poet “outlaws”
are even funnier
in the seriousness
of their

though much less

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