Tuesday, August 31, 2010

What’s Going On?

Why does the world seem to slow

down whenever I hear “What’s Going On”?
How can I describe the bass line?

How can I express what Marvin Gaye’s voice does in this song?
I can’t—and if I were to try

I’d be an asshole.
That, however, hasn’t stopped

a lot of you from trying.
What, indeed, is the deal with that?

Do you really think you’re going to add anything
to the appreciation of this great song? Finally,

does my not trying make me
less of an asshole than

you? Probably

-Jose Padua

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Rush Limbaugh

When I’m in need of a dinosaur my tendency
is to turn on the TV and flip the stations until
I find one where an episode of The Flintstones
is playing, then I wait until a scene with Dino
comes on and I laugh and I feel all right again.
Sometimes I get what I want, and sometimes
I don’t, and I think that’s a good thing except
when there’s something I really want that I can’t
get by turning on the TV and waiting. Usually
it’s not a thing that I want or an object but
a situation, a thought that I’m missing or an
idea that won’t go away no matter where I go
or how often I say the words I’m OK or these
trees are pretty
or go shove it up your ass.
I think the world is a beautiful place sometimes
but I also like to think about it not being there
or me not being here and wonder what existence
would be like if the world was not solipsistic but
its opposite, and the only things that exist are the
things other people think of. How awful that would
be, and why did my mind create such a horrible
place, where someone else has to tell you that you’re
alive, that these trees are green, and that your ass is
a repository for solid objects? Dino, you are a dinosaur in a
cartoon, but would you be offended if I told you
that you are more dog than dinosaur, that your behavior
is more like that of those modern domesticated animals
we call our pets or, if you’re strange, our companion
animals? You know, someone once told me that in
German the words Rush Limbaugh mean either
open my anal cavity, Leonard or stretch my nipples
to infinity
or I love these drugs more than I love America.
He wasn’t quite sure, but I believed him. I had no reason not to.

-Jose Padua

Monday, May 10, 2010

Complete Failure

I wonder how different
things would have been,
if instead of calling the first
track on Electric Ladyland,
“And the Gods Made Love,”
Jimi Hendrix had called it,
“And the Dogs Made Love.”
Would I have dropped out
of school and washed cars
for the rest of my life?
Would man never have
set foot on the moon?
It makes me worry, some-
times, about the names
I give to things, and the
titles I give my poems.
If only I’d called that poem
from twenty years ago
“The Complete Failure
of Your Ass,” maybe
I’d be famous by now.
Maybe you’d be famous, too.

-Jose Padua

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Ode to the Confederate Flag

Let it fly freely over all the white pimp motherfuckers
in Alabama and all the NASCAR
dads in Tennessee

who smile their big ugly smiles whenever I get screwed
over or fucked over or lost
or just fall to the floor

on my face. Let its pale noise flutter in the background
behind the skinhead bombast
that lurks in the shadows

of the vacant stares of the asshole frat boys with their
rebel hats and pickup trucks
with gun racks and

their nose hairs full of Texas beer foam and their balls full
of evil half-wit sperm. Let it shelter
the shirtless men who

walk down the street with their heads full of meth and their
minds full of the glory of
American made cars.

Let it soak up the rain on a bitter grey Sunday in Virginia
when the fundamentalist
megachurch lets out with

the leaden chatter of everyday lives and heads held up high
in service to a spoiled brat
vision of a tyrant

god and let me shine. Let me let you shine, as you burn.
Let me shine, let me shine
as you burn.

-Jose Padua