Bootlegs

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Thank you for your patronage,

please come back soon!

When time is money,

there’s always something to do,

something new to see,

but only if you’ve already

won the lottery.

Success is timing, position,

some natural talent, skill

and heaps of dumb luck.

Many more

came before you,

with the same big dreams

playing in their minds,

but few have seen

their designs

pan out.

It feels like stealing,

but we can’t blame people

for doing what works,

and won’t put a stop to it

any time soon.

Shutting down a kiosk,

selling off-brand handbags,

t-shirts and shoes

is cutting down one bamboo stalk

in a vast forest,

hightailing it out

and congratulating yourself,

only to return again tomorrow

to do it all over.

They, like you, are also the little guy

and we all have big dreams here,

but there are bills to pay

and time is money-

there’s only so much

to be made and spent

in a day.

Imitation is flattery,

and in an uncertain world,

I’d be honored to be called

a safe bet.

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Through the Micrometer

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Bit,

by agonizing

bit.

Every tooth will fit

neatly into its

corresponding groove,

so that all

goes smoothly along,

without a drop of oil,

or so help me

God.

I will breathe life into this machine,

by the sweat of my brow,

the skill in my heart

and every tool on my belt.

There is no room for interpretation in my work,

it is so,

or it does not function.

I consult my micrometer,

and make my judgement calls,

which bits can serve,

and which

must be filed down,

beaten flush,

or discarded.

I am the Stradivari

of player pianos,

my creations will help themselves,

play their parts

and serve their needs

with or without you.

The Cutting Room Floor

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It’s hard to make it

in showbiz.

Much like the lottery,

No matter how many years

you spend toiling in development hell,

only a handful of those that play the game

see the happy ending

they dream of,

we pray for them.

Snippets, interludes, quips and storyboards

lie strewn about.

Half-baked,

deformed,

distorted,

deleted scenes

hold interstitial once deemed vital,

now unviable.

All seemed like great ideas at the time,

but quickly end up dated,

after production fumbles,

mumbles of delays

fill the air,

and stall all progress-

we pray for them.

These poor shades,

pray for a green light,

but all they find is red tape.

The business works in mysterious ways.

It’s harder for a camel

To pass through the eye of a needle

Than a rich man to enter heaven-

The higher-ups could stand to get a little thinner,

Yet they’re the ones,

Asking everyone else to cut down.

Some day,

They may see release,

Or at least the light of day,

I pray for them.

Tuatara

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I’m from an ancient bloodline,

patient and pensive,

and to my surprise,

time flies,

regardless of whether or not

you’re having fun.

Everyone I related to

left long ago,

and all that remains

are these fraud lizards,

with my third eye,

I see right through them.

Meanwhile,

here I am,

in exile,

under a rock.

I’m from an ancient bloodline,

strong and tenacious,

I spend my days digging trenches,

eating spiders

and hissing at tourists,

what a complete indignity.

My ancestors,

walked shoulder-to-shoulder

with giants and beasts,

now that there’s finally some room to breathe,

It seems there’s less space for us than ever.

I’m from an ancient bloodline

peaceful and wise,

and for old times sake,

I’d like to revisit the Halcyon days,

and have the sun blocked out once more,

an equal playing field.

Trust me on this,

the world needs it.

Paper Tiger Meets Straw Dog

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Paper tigers are

saber rattlers,

neighbor tattlers,

favored whiners and

major prattlers that

savor decline,

yet cannot fight.

To do away

with a roaring beast

only to find a

fragile fraidy cat

in its place

should not be surprising.

Sometimes stripes are earned,

sometimes they are merely projected.

Straw dogs are routinely discarded,

after their special day,

not because they deserve this,

but because this is their purpose.

Dressed to the nines,

blessed and

lest we forget

left in the street

once their mission is complete.

No matter how many times,

they are thrown away,

straw dogs return another day,

to be a display,

that cannot stay.

Backmasking

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Kids,

let me set the record straight

about “rock-n-roll” music.

It is an instrument

of evil-

a tool of demons,

devils,

and those who serve them.

It will rot your brain,

morally bankrupt you,

and turn you into a pawn

of satanists.

Don’t panic,

don’t “turn on,

tune in,

and drop out,”

and don’t you dare buy another album.

“It’s not all bad,”

you might be saying to yourself,

but you’d be wrong,

and here’s why.

The devil is clever,

he hides his demands,

in the music in two ways.

1) He has his messengers carry out

their acts of debauchery in real life,

instead of talking about it.

Monkey see, monkey do.

2) They hide their messages in their songs,

and it’s as simple as listening

playing the track

backwards,

to reveal their evil intent.

You can beat the Devil,

just keep your wits about you.

Kids,

why can’t you listen to nice music?

Direct-to-Video

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Purgatory can be found on Earth,

In thrift stores,

bargain bins,

And supermarkets.

Names and faces,

Some famous,

Some strangers,

Etched forever into

Sequels no one asked for,

To movies no one’s heard of,

Residing in everyday

Neighborhood haunts.

Horrifically corny schlock,

Poorly-written nature docs,

For children,

And TV movies that aired once.

No one makes something,

That no one is supposed to see,

But you wonder

whether these people

are where they want to be,

When you can buy half their filmography

for five dollars

and get one for free.

But maybe this is their dream,

To do what they love doing,

Make scenes,

And be seen,

Without being heard of.

Those souls are in my thoughts

For now.