Two Poems

Duke Nukem’s Peacekeeper .45 Talks Back, in Non-Heroic Couplets

There’s no easy way
to peacekeep, to hold back

the imagined terror
of intergalactic creatures:

their foreign
tentacles and

blue-skinned fists.
Simply, I don’t have that

authority. Simply, I am

by a white-man fingers
until my muzzle’s dark

barking has quieted
every target’s breath.

Damn. Why am I forced
to speak this

simple barbarian? Why
does only my tongue

burn with the gun-
powdered spelling

of cemeteries? How did I
become a singular

definition of hurt—
as if my design

wasn’t for someone else’s
profit? As if I’d asked

to be made into this cold
shape of murder? Truth be

told, I’ve never known
how to keep any

amount of peace
within my loaded

frame. Truth be told,
it’s not these bullets

I unleash at targets;
it’s the rage

of never being given

As an Adult, I Learn About Michael Jordan: Chaos in the Windy City

and after watching a 60-minute YouTube video of someone playing it I’m asking
what in the holyfuck is this / Remember: Jordan didn’t allow himself to be used
in video games / Remember: I’ve never played as him in my life / Remember: no child
from my generation knows what it’s like to control the best basketball player on simulated
courts / Recall: NBA Jam NBA Hangtime NBA Live NBA2K NBA Courtside, many more games
he denied / Because MJ bought and owned the rights to his own character / Because this legally prevented any digital resemblances of himself / So the closest thing I’d ever come to playing as His Airness was in bootleg games / I can’t even remember / They featured white players on the Chicago Bulls with no names / A #23 with generic attributes / And I’m sure companies were sued for this / But imagine the shit-storm I felt when I first learned about this Jordan-approved Gatorade-endorsed video game from the 90s / And know that I’m a grown man as I write this / And know that in this game you can play as Jordan himself running around a haunted warehouse as he throws basketballs at robots with pink mohawks / And know that he high-jumps over booby traps / And he can even slam dunk on randomly placed hoops scattered across floating platforms throughout / It’s like a twisted Super Mario Bros. but with Jordan and pools of green acid you have to sky over / And the whole time he’s dribbling a ball and there are other NBA players who are somehow trapped behind automated doors / And it’s your job to save them / And to do this you select purple basketballs from your arsenal and throw them at different targets / And the purple basketballs explode into more purple basketballs / And when each level ends there is a bootleg Jump Man logo that emerges from center screen and grows bigger / And I’m not sure if I’m better off having never played this or if FOMO can settle in decades after something real has happened / Here’s my truth: the internet fucks me up / It lets me know everything I’ve missed and always wanted / Like a severe post-disorder / It gives me conclusions I don’t need: / 1) I really want to play trash games / 2) Jordan was and still is a Hall of Fame Douchebag who deserves to be dropped inside an actual haunted house full of acid pools and zombies / 3) I didn’t watch the full YouTube video but some online trolls did and left entertaining comments / 4) Search this game along with Shaq Fu, Bill Lambeer’s Combat Basketball, and Barkley’s Shut Up and Jam Gaiden / 5) Everything is becoming something else these days but I don’t know why
or how or when I will unbloom and leave this all behind.