I walked down the way to the neighborhood McDonald’s like I did every day. It wasn’t too far. I was very lucky to live within walking distance of the burger establishment. The day was nice enough. A bit hot, but there was a cool breeze catching in the trees of late summer. It seemed as if the heavens were smiling down upon me.

I walked into the McDonald’s and saw people all around me. Some were smiling as they ingested their reasonably priced burgers but some of them looked less than happy. I walked to the counter where Jim, a nice young man who regularly helped me with my daily transaction, smiled at me and said

“Hey Al, how are you doing today? Welcome to McDonald’s,”

“Thanks, Jim. I’ll just have my usual,”

“A Big Mac combo?”

“Yeah, super-sized,”

“Well, Al, we don’t do super-sized anymore, but I can make it a large for you?”

“Large is fine,” I said, “I just really like saying ‘Super-Sized’,”

Jim took my five dollar bill and exact change and gave me my receipt which I crumpled and put in my pocket.

“Here’s your cup, Al,”

“Thanks, Jim,” I said, snatching the cup from his hand, I went over to the soft drink dispenser and filled my cup with very light ice and 48 ounces of ice cold Coca-Cola. I grabbed a large lid and a straw. I unwrapped half off the straw and then blowing into the straw, shot the other half of the wrapper into the trash. From there, I went back over to the lobby and waited, my arms crossed for my burger and fresh French fries.

I watched a lady and her son gather their food as they called out her order. She got a chicken wrap with a large French fry and her son had gotten a happy meal with chicken nuggets. The woman guided her son to a booth and they began to eat.

A skinny man who had rung up just as I had entered the McDonald’s came up to gather his four Spicy McChicken Sandwiches. I was marveled that such a skinny guy could eat so much food!

Then I heard them call my order out. BIG MAC AND LARGE FRENCH FRY? I went to gather my lunch and said to the lady behind the counter,

“Excuse me, miss? Can I get some hot mustard to dip my French fries in?”

The woman looked at me sadly with a smirk.

“You know, I’m very sorry, but we don’t have hot mustard sauce any longer. They discontinued it,”

“What?” I said, “There must be some sort of mistake. You see, I get hot mustard sauce everyday to dip my fries into. Are you sure you’re not just out?”

“Yeah, I’m sorry, sir. We simply don’t have it anymore.”

Her voice sounded slower each second. I could hear my heart thumping in my ears and my hands shaking. A great red rage began to overcome me as the woman behind the counter looked at me, her eyes filled with terror.

“You have to have some back there somewhere?”

“I’m really very sorry, sir. We are all out,”

“You can’t be all out!” I yelled, “You just can’t be!”

“I could get you some barbecue sauce, sir? The French fries are very good in barbecue sauce?”

“I don’t want the barbecue sauce! I want the hot mustard sauce! I come here everyday!”

It was then the anger overtook me. I threw my tray of food behind the counter and screamed ferociously as a coffee pot was shaken off the counter and crashed onto the floor.

“I want my hot mustard!” I yelled again, punching my fist into the Coca-Cola drink machine and knocking over the lids and straws, the salt and pepper and the little packets of ketchup. Some people began heading for the door, as others out on the patio looked in intrigue. I could feel their eyes on me as great globs of sweat began pouring down my face.

“I come here everyday!”

A manager came out from behind the counter, his hands out in front of him as he said to me,

“Sir, I’m very sorry, but I’m going to need you to calm down. You are being out of line. I’m sure we can solve this in a rational manner or I’m going to have to ask you to leave,”


I felt my hand curl up into a stone fist and saw myself swinging at the manager. Next thing I knew he was out cold, as the rest of the restaurant exited out the door. I began flipping tables, I threw a chair threw the window where there was an ad for a new burger sandwich. I could see the red in my fists. I jumped over the counter and shouted my demands again to them employees. I grabbed a teenaged employee by the red polo and demanded that he find me hot mustard. I threw him down and he crawled out the drive-through window in fear for his life.

“HOT MUSTARD!” I said, “I COME HERE EVERYDAY!” I said, throwing the deep fryer onto the floor as cornered employees screamed in terror. “I DESERVE HOT MUSTARD!” I said. “I NEED HOT MUSTARD!”

I pulled the drawers of burgers out, I swiped the mess off the counter as I lurked closer and closer to the cornered workers.

“It’s not our fault!” they said to me, but I knew better than that. They worked for McDonald’s. They were McDonald’s. They were keeping the hot mustard all for themselves. They looked at me like I was the devil himself, but I knew I was in the right here. The customer is always right. I yelled it at them.

“The customer is always right!” I yelled. I was a hero, standing up for my rights. You can’t just give someone something they love then take it away from them. That’s not fair. I approached them even closer my breaths ugly and harsh now on their faces.

“Please don’t hurt us,” said one brave employee desperately, wearing their McDonald’s employee visor, “Here, here’s a coupon for a free Big Mac combo.”

“Oh, that would be great,” I said, taking the coupon and exiting the McDonald’s. The day really was nice enough. A bit hot, but there was a cool breeze catching in the trees of late summer. Maybe tomorrow I would go back and try the Sweet and Sour sauce.



About these ads


to a friend

i’m a single white dude
living in the middle of america
and sometimes i get overwhelmed

i think you have a pretty
valid reason to get overwhelmed
i mean
you work forty hours a week
at a job
that some weeks eats at people
like a disease
and you still manage to
take care of
your two little girls
(who seem to be everything
to you)
and i think that alone
is pretty fucking amazing

if that wasn’t enough
you are out there seeking love
trying to put the spotlight
on a beating heart
during the shit show
that is dating in your
(probably dating at all)
and you say you don’t even know
how to love someone
but from everything i’ve ever seen
that seems to be all
that you ever do

life throws a lot
at all of us
and it does it
in a way that is anything
but just
but there is a certain
fairness in the fact that
it doesn’t discriminate
it just comes in
out of nowhere
like a tornado
and picks up your nice cottage home
along with any other riff raff
it gets too close to
and throws it down the

what i really want to tell you is
when you said that you
feel like a crazy person
who can’t even manage their life
that couldn’t be further from
the truth

in reality
you are an amazing person
who somehow
finds a way to manage
her crazy life
every damn day




there is sunlight dancing in dust
on the other side of my bed where you could be
where we could be
and be and just truly be
fingers like eyes surveying the horizon
warmth radiating like the birth of a new sun
betweenus no thing and everythingever
we could yin and yang and rock and roll
until we both push out every single stressful breath
left within our sore souls and our clumsy bodies
left to rest beside you resting beside me
(resting beside you resting beside me)
this we could have this we are we are we have always
been and always will be the truth of love
and the desperate desire of skin
to touch the skin of your skin
the cracked paint of your weathered home
legs twisting around mine like unstoppable vines
like restless music through the wall
but you are not through the wall you are
mount fuji (sacred) and i am the great wave of kanagawa
crashing upon you
in this painting somewhere
on the other side of the world
tucked away
behind bulletproof glass




this is a photo of a window. it is intentional bleak.








the past and the future
come crashing into my room
like a jet engine
like my name is
donnie darko
like the world can’t just
sit still for a second
like the world is
a 7 year old boy
who just ate a box of
trix cereal and
a bunch of cocaine
and i hear the monsters
through the paper wall
at 9:52 in the
grey morning
i hear the monster mother
yelling at her monster children
to get into their monster minivan
or they’re going to be late
for the day
that none of them look forward to
and if she ever sees me
she will smile
and all of a sudden
she will be as serene as monk
and the children will be silent
but that doesn’t solve my headache
and the truth that makes it swell
so i tinker at the
technological typewriter
and i calculate my odds
of finding a sincere real romantic
and human connection
on a planet
that can’t even wait in line
without tugging ferociously
on the sun’s pant leg
are we there yet
are we there yet
are we there yet
and the sun imagines backhanding
the earth and how gratifying
that would be
but the sun knows that is wrong
and the planetary police
can’t arrest you
for what you stop yourself from doing
and looks like here we go
i should make myself some eggs and toast
i should open the blinds
and let that sun shine down on me
like an interrogation lamp
like an officer’s flashlight
as he asks me have you had anything to drink
and i say to him
i wish




Artwork by Patrick Beery

Artwork by Patrick Beery

one million murderers crash on the eastern shore of an occupied nation
never forget that handshakes were originally a way of indicating that you were unarmed
i guess that makes our ancestors liars and now we have come so far guns blazing swat teams swatting
riots in the streets of little old ferguson missouri
a black boy is dead and a white man of authority shot him down
we’ve heard this story before
will emmett till ever get some rest?
but we’re far too saturated with top ten
tips for improving your garden and top twenty
celebrities making human mistakes to stop and listen to the six gun
shots to listen to the hum be
neath the radio broadcasts
our heads filled with wifi and blue
tooth and wars on the other side of the world we are too damn frozen
to see that we live in the freezer of a cold war
heads on ice american dreams getting frost bite and still
the television plays on and the men in nice suits sitting behind desks
can talk the talk but without legs they may find it difficult to walk the walk but
still our love is buy one get one free our souls are being sold with free
shipping on the raging amazon and to protect and serve
they were meant to protect and serve but somedays it seems
all they do is threaten and order
and cheerios and campbells soup
skittles and arizona iced tea
hamburgers and hot dogs
right and wrong and right and wrong
and the kangaroos in the courtroom
and the elephants overcrowding the room and
right and wrong and black and
white and 2000 television channels as the news
papers burn on the streets as the true grit
journalists squat on craigslist row
and gonzo is just another muppet
and death before dishonor and
ladies first except
when they have
something to say
and the civil war is a cigarette
that never stopped burning and the two
towers never stopped burning and we’re all
afraid of the flames and the flames
spread like wildfire across
the spine of the rocky
mountains as smoke
billows below in denver
and marriage is being
confused with love
and love is being
confused with happiness
and we are locked up
in this fancy restaurant
with an overdraft fee
and we’re cleaning
someone else’s
dirty dishes
to try and pay
the tab
cleaning dirty
dishes to
try and
pay the tab
we’re cleaning
dirty dishes
just to
try and
pay the





no one wants to read your poetry, bro
no one wants to hear the premise
of the sci-fi novel you’re working on
nobody has the time to hear about your concept art
no one gives a crap about your mixtape

sorry, bro

there’s a reason that bob dylan
would corner people at parties and force them
to hear his songs

there’s a reason why walt whitman
wrote fake reviews about his poetry for
the newspaper

sometimes you gotta shove this shit
down people’s throats

you gotta be reckless
you gotta set yourself on fire
in public demonstration
just to get an ad listing
in the local paper

flail your arms around
like the wacky wailing arm-flailing
inflateable tube man
outside of car dealerships

no one gives a shit
about your art

so you’d better give them
a good god damn reason to start
giving a shit about you
and the crucial and beautiful things
you have to show and tell them




the sun stalks my window
like a sexual predator
trying to drag me out into
the back of it’s van
but i close the blinds
and shut my eyes
and read the sunday
morning cartoons
on the back of my




in the dim light of denver i dream
waiting for the light rail train to come
to station and i’ll board and i’ll close
my eyes and there before me she will be laying
naked beneath the blankets
speakers blasting from backpacks
bluegrass street kids tucked outside of
shops that have hung their closed signs
electricity hanging in the air like a
pending snowstorm and i am lost
oh so romantically lost and at home
and the old men and the homeless men
play chess and checkers and dice and streetlight
oh such sugary streetlight i kneel beneath thee
and worship my faceless god and she says to me

because this is a city in the middle of flatlands
a queen in the center of an empty chessboard
you have to hear the wind meander the clocktower
and sneak through the elitch garden ferris wheel
eclectic bars pushing and shoving each other for attention
country music clashing in the streets with hip hop
as great Buddhist mountains sit still in the west
watching like patient parents
waiting for their kids to grow up
they might have to wait a little longer

but there’s pedicabbers and buses and
bridges and oh my – marijuana!
and when the city fills with fog
you never know if it’s the breath of God
or just another saturday night
between a rock and a hard place
between the electronic agenda
and the folksong symphony
i am lost at home
but for now
i dream in the dim light of denver
waiting for the light rail train




i don’t know who you are
but i want to kiss you at union station
i want to fall in love with you in denver
i want to see the red lights of the city
reflected in your eyes
i want to discuss philosophy
and whatever you want to discuss
with you over egg cream sodas and pbrs
at leela’s

i want to dance with you
in a back alley of sixteenth street
away from the mild herds of tourism
and the thousand atms
away from the god forsaken walgreen’s
i want to lay with you in skyline park
i want to smoke a joint
down to the roach with you in
the glass elevators of the tabor center
i want to get lost in your words
and lose my wallet somewhere in the city
anywhere in denver
if i lose my whole outfit i’ll still
be glad that i met you

i want to complain about
the city construction with you
i want to wait in the drunken
shifting line of the 2 am sixteenth street
taco bell with you
and eat bean burritos
and regret tacos

i want to share a flask with you
on a bus bench with you
with no intention of ever taking
the bus

i want to die in denver with you
i want to anything in denver with you
i want to
anything in anywhere
with you

i want you to stop hiding
behind street signs and in the
back room of city liquor stores
i want to see you

i don’t know what i want
and it’s unfair of me to think
that you would
i don’t even know you yet

shit i’m drunk
shit this poem
union station
you and me
9 am sharp
oh man
let’s make that noon

whatever works for you

that sounds good



As you guys may have noticed, I’m switching over to weekly postings. As much as I love posting daily, it’d be unfair of me to myself and to you guys to pretend that I can keep up with the pace. Thanks for reading.