Total Eclipse of the Heart.

Third in a set of poems based on the titles of the most-overdone songs at karaoke. Also: Don't Stop Believing and I Want It That Way.

Total Eclipse of the Heart

Virgin moon
Every now and then
Diana breaks out the arrows.
A hunter, she was born in Italy.

Turning tides
Every night the bar is full
and empty at the same time, you know
it kind of waxes and wanes.

Turning on:
the Turned Ons and the Turners
all circle each other, but
sometimes you just run out of time.

Mars and Venus
are just fucking fuckpads
and everyone is mad
at the universe because they're alone.

Virgin moon, bright night
The hunter sees a boy that she likes.

Virgin moon, bright night
Every now and then I fall apart.

Turn away
Every now and then
I watch them work on the street
and then I go and shop for a shirt.

Turn to me
Girls are aware of who's
approaching, boys attune to
who is running away.

Lock and key.
Home and garden. 
Shop for clothes. 
Medium small small medium small.

Virgin moon
goddess Diana's bow is seen
in the crescent phase,
in your belly, in your eyes.

Small sky, big eyes
Moons of your shoulders, sun of your heart.

"Turn around! Smile!"
It's funny how beauty makes everything fall apart.

And I need you now tonight.
We could be alone together.
We could be on our phones together.
I'm overcome, just come over. 

The moon relates to melancholy. 
The moon is in a song.
Okay, Cupid. Okay, Diana. 
The choices are the shadows, don't be bad, don't be wrong. 

The bar is breaking up. Hunters and the herd.
Hugs with cigarettes and a few fumbled words.
I really, really need you tonight.
Whatever's going to start tonight.
Totally. Starting. Tonight.

Early in the day
I was choosing a shirt
Now I lie with you in the dark. 
Tracing out the moon's
actual ellipse from your heart.

Sort of like a circle or
a lima├žon with an arrow's sharp.
The imagined shape that you'd see
if you saw an eclipse of the heart.


A version of this piece originally appeared at You Offend Me You Offend My Family.

It was 20ish years ago today…

The first pop music I ever heard clearly was Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, and if your experience is the same, then you scarcely need read this preamble. The vinyl record belonged to my father. I was very young and had only a vague concept of music being in two categories: 1) All my father's classical records, in which I had begrudging compulsory interest, and 2) something called rock music, which was on the radio. Self-image having formed well before musical vocabulary, I knew that rock was the cool category, and that I could not possibly belong to the cool category. In terms of "having musical taste," I mainly knew the opening theme to the Battle of the Planets cartoon. Bach and Brahms and Beethoven were things that happened in an adult world: pleasant, settled, defined. But next to these 3 big B's in my dad's record collection, there was this one record by the Beatles.

Since it was the only album that didn't have an old man in a white wig on the cover, I was fascinated by its kiddie-friendly colors. And anyway, I had to figure out how this record player thing worked at some point or other. I put Sgt, Pepper on side A and carefully placed the needle.

And the rest, as you know, is Earth-bound magic.

Poly, a parody of "Polly" in the style of Nirvana

A song about the "poly" (polygamous dating) concept, written to the tune of "Polly" by Nirvana.


Polly is a poly
I think you have to be cute first
To have a lot of partners
Everyone's a dark horse

It's not for me
Let's hook up
Have a fling
Let me take a ride
With someone else
Want a friend?
Friend yourself
No one's old
No one's cold
Promise you
This isn't true
Let you take a ride
Amuse yourself
I am hot
I help myself

Polly wants it casual
She doesn't wanna be tied down
Unless she wants to be tied down
Wednesdays are so booooooring

Poly says her phone's dead
She's just as bored as me
But she has a lot more options
It amazes me, the gall of hotties

Is it me?
Try and see
Let's hook up
It's not a thing
Not too attached
Don't hurt yourself
Don't want a male
Don't want a wife
I'm very open
Unless you're fat
Or really rude
Or an Asian dude
Got an open mind
And I am sexy
So I wrote a sext
To myself.

Next in this series will be a spoof of "Molly" by Sponge.

I Want It That Way.

Second in a series of poems based on the most-overdone karaoke songs.

I Want It That Way

I invented fire. 
The one messiah. 
Believe what I say.
I own a desert.

I make a diamond a day.
I invented sex, and also those
yummy walnut prawns at Chinese banquets.
I am pretty lit, by the way.

But tell me why
I can't decide
that you would just walk in
from outside.

I'm friends with a dinosaur
who shits concept cars.
I am absolute truth.
I invented mistakes. Also, cake. 

I made you in my image,
messed up your hair though.
I'm that guy who stays up for four days
and sleeps for three. I'm Pinocchio,
I think in code, I'll love you from
the start of time to
the tallest point of Tokyo.

But tell me why
you can't just decide
to ache for some guy.
I can see electrons,
spit a billion sick syllables,
stop and start a heart,
but I can't make up your mind
and am left wanting, that way.

Don't Stop Believing.

As part of the ongoing karaoke otaku-ness, I'm writing some poems based on the most-overdone karaoke songs, holding loosely to the song's theme and line structure. This is the first one.

Don't Stop Believing

She stretched out on the street,
her fist a pillow,
she tried to feel comfortable.

He thought about failing to fail.
Not from southern anywhere but
also can't be from a bar.

The scene seen with raw eyes;
two young folk speaking smoke, 
simple minded as spaghetti, don't forget me,
don't forget, I won't forget you.

She sat up straight and attentive,
a shadow passed over like a cloud
in the desert, like an idea. 
The night turns navy towards me
and the pulse of Friday street lamps
taunt and turn into nothing. 

We're always making a movie.
This one's weird title is:
"Heartbreak Goes Around in a Circle
Like Mononucleosis of the Discarded."

Turn around, flip the world,
hold for sound. But don't forget,
don't forget to smile and move,
because movement is love.

She said, "We are all getting smaller
with every one of us,
classroom to cluster to ashes to dust;
But don't stop believing,
don't ever not believe
it isn't true."

I looked up when she said that
and couldn't shake the feeling
that nothing was wrong.