Michael McNeilley


not the
summer boardwalk
forest of
unattainable young

but the hot night
memory of slipping
in sweat sliding
off you

the one in the hammock
out the 2nd floor
window naked
her head shaved
laughing up

the 30 thousand
dollar sport
utility vehicles
in comparison

the cruises
the single malts
the thousand dollar
suits the gold rolex

that one touch
of her lips
that was all there
was recorded here

the small hand
tugging my beard
back down
your voice in 
morning darkness

no celluloid princess
no walking barbie
no inflated temple
love goddess no
vestal version

the one with 
the slender fingers
that wrapped me
in breath-faint

the streetlamp
light sliced apart
by half-open blinds
spread on the
bread of you

the best things 
are free
whether you can
get them 
or not


I have to go out today

it's been 3 days 
since I opened my front door
and I have to pay the rent
and I'm out of coffee
but if this wasn't my 
last pack of cigarettes
I might put it off again

it's not raining
but the sun is pretending
it's spring
it's what some would call
a beautiful day out there
with my luck I'll run into
conversations about that

I don't mind the world so much
it's people I don't like
their false smiles, phony
gladhandling bullshit
that 90s way
everyone looks down on
everyone else

still if I don't move the truck
they'll think I abandoned it
and come knock on the damn
door again, so either way
I have to go out today
the pack is getting thinner
the coffee thicker

but I sit by the computer 
wondering if you will write back
from wherever you are now
problems you won't 
talk about between
the lines of the rare
message from you

I know we don't talk much 
these days, we always kept
our problems to ourselves
but still one of the better things 
to me about the world
is that it has 
you in it

as we write to each other
mostly when things seem ok
it's been a while now since
there has been much
communication we
have our own internal 
clocks for this

when things are not ok
which is lately not that seldom
it comes through between
the lines all the same
I never understood this
but it's as obvious as
that bright damned sunlight

I have to go out today
taking you with me in
my head, more so than usual
if for no specific reason,
without thinking much,
without worrying about you
as this would only piss you off

smile into their 
vapid faces, cringe at the
price of another carton,
fine day, yes, fine day
did you see those cherry
blossoms, not much wind
but colder than it looks


the good ones are all

already taken
the jobs the women the lives

I should know this
having had some of the best
of all of these

havin fu cked them all off
running after more or better

of course taken is one thing
kept is another
the good ones move on

it's like trying to keep
a rainbow

the sun goes down


my fault

not in pursuing you
though that I would not 
is no reflection.

not that there was more
to be said, though there is
always more.

unless too much
has been said
(too soon for that.

but that I realize 
though I could go on
describing your hair

for weeks, and that I will
if only for myself,
as I could go on

with your lips
and that the voice
on the phone

I thought was you
was not and that I do
not know the color

of your eyes though
it was dark (as it was
always dark).

and it is no excuse
there was not time
though there is not.


to see without light

when I wake up too early
as I do so often lately
and lie looking at the ceiling
I think of you for no reason
as when I fall asleep not at
some set time but when I am
too tired to stay awake you
always come to mind and I
have come to accept this
though at times I still wonder
what I could have done or 
said but I can think of 
nothing still too often after
too much to drink or simply
over a cup of coffee there
you are again a thought with
no content just a presence
some remembered feeling 
of rightnesss that had
to have been my mistake
that should vanish as you
have but will not here at
bedtime and there in the
glowing morning dark with
nothing in between


First Church of Jesus of the Dead Safeway

We're so glad you've decided to attend our services.
We like to keep them short, so we can get 
right to the Cinnabons.

We chose this old Safeway as a form
of recycling. They're always abandoning them
for something newer and more plastic.
This old brick building is a nice home for Jesus,
warm and dry and spacious. And the rent is cheap.

We don't have sermons, we just read a bit
from our bible, which has nothing in it but the
words of Jesus. So we won't have a lot of 
discussions about who to hate, going to hell,
smiting the enemies, stuff like that.
We'll just talk a little about what he said,
see if we can figure out what he meant,
and try to live up to it.

Jesus never said he was perfect, and
neither are we. He had a lot of good ideas.
That's all this place is about. That
and the opportunity for communion.
And some singing, we do believe in singing.
Feel free to bring instruments,
feel free to dance.

For communion today we will have
Cinnabons and lattes. This is one way we
spend your contributions. The rest go into
the food bank and the homeless shelter.
You may wish to contribute or take from the
free boxes in the back room.
The clothing is not fancy, but it's clean.

There are cots in the back if you need
a place to sleep, but we do ask you to
help clean up. But I think we should
all pitch in.

If Jesus were here, God knows he would.