calvero poetry

Sometimes I become sad, almost depressed even, because I know I’m eventually going to forget certain things I never wanna forget. Like the extra friendly way the cashier smiled at me in Dunkin Donuts one morning. Or that time I sat alone and watched a fly that had landed in front of me mischievously rub it’s front legs together like a super villain plotting the end of the world. And then I think of the millions of small wonderful things I’ve already seen and forgotten and feel this insane amount of loss. And the only thing that ever brings me outta the sadness I feel, of knowing how much I’ve lost and forgotten, is knowing that I have a million more moments of small but perfect happinesses ahead of me. And that all I have to do in order to see them is keep living and keep my eyes open.

And I think I can do that.

I really don’t think that sounds too hard.

play dead

On those days when your smile looks like a hammered bluebird,

play dead.

When life becomes nothing more than a game of Hungry Hungry Hippos where there are no white plastic balls bouncing around for the hippos to eat,

play dead.

When someone tells you to follow them on Twitter or Instagram or Twittergram or Instatwat or whatever the next big, insanely narcissistic form of social media is,

play dead.

When you feel The Grim Reaper picking through the garbage can of your heart, looking for bottles and cans,

play dead.

After someone utters the oil spill “I love you,”

play dead.

When you’ve forgotten who you are, or what you’re doing, or how to love yourself,

go for a walk.

Continue on the walk until you find a dead animal flattened in the middle of the street.

Observe it. Study it while ignoring the static of flies.

Notice how the dead animal doesn’t look at anything/anyone.

This is important.

Curl up in a ball on the side of the road and practice this. Perfect this.

Now notice how beautiful the dead animal is. And the dead animal is beautiful because it is alone, because it is not letting anything/anyone inside it.

Aloneness is the key.

Aloneness is the secret sauce on the cheeseburger of your life.

Cover yourself in secret sauce and play dead.

And just when you think you can’t play dead anymore, play dead'er, because the further you remove yourself from people the easier it is to learn to love yourself again.

Isolate yourself from the dead boys and dead girls, from these creatures compiled of nothing more than pop culture crumbs, masquerading as the alive.

Because they aren’t alive.

No matter how big they smile, no matter how loud they laugh, no matter how many rooftop parties they go to, they are all the same, boring mannequin-person.

They have all spent years/lifetimes murdering their eccentricities.

Run away from them.

Drink from the Kool-Aid flavored water fountain of yourself and taste how delicious you are alone without any added flavoring of people.

Remember who you are.

Remember what makes you unique.

If you ever want to feel alive, and if you ever want to make it out of this alive, and you can, then play dead.

Play dead, play dead,

play dead.


A girl smiled at me today.

Her smile was very pretty.

Her smile looked like the time I went to Taco Bell and they accidentally gave me an extra soft taco for free which made me happy for the rest of the day.

Her smile reminded me that good things were still capable of happening to me.

Even if it’s just a free taco.

Or even if it’s just seeing a stranger whose smile looks like a free taco.

defibrillating the dead child inside you

I pulled into the gas station.

When I got out of my car, I saw a white plastic spoon on the gas pump.

It was a windy day and the wind was making the spoon shake.

But the way the spoon moved it didn’t look like it was shaking.

It looked more like it was shivering.

Like it was cold despite it being a swamp ass-warm summery day.

“Grab it and put it in your car so it won’t be cold,” an old, half dead piece of my brain told me. A piece I don’t hear too much from anymore.

“Okay,” I said to my brain.

But then as I reached for the spoon I stopped myself.

I was scared someone was going to see me and be like, “What’s with the weird guy grabbing garbage and throwing it into his car?”

So instead of saving the spoon I just paid for some gas and began filling up my tank.

As I filled up, I watched the spoon helplessly shiver.

I imagined it as Tiny Tim.

As a Tiny Tim spoon. With a old ratty scarf and hat and crutch, coughing over and over.

“Fuck it,” I thought and, when I was done filling up my car, I grabbed the spoon and threw it in my bag on the front seat and quickly drive off as if I had just done something wrong.

I arrived home, took the spoon out of my bag and stared at it.

It wasn’t shivering anymore and this made me happy. Like I had done the right thing by grabbing it and taking it with me.

I went into the kitchen, found a permanent marker and drew a face on the spoon - two x’s for eyes and a smile that looked like it was sewn on.

Then I stared at him for a bit again.

He was smiling.

I was smiling.

Both of us smiling.

I named him Forky the spoon, then put him back in my bag.

I see Forky just about every day now when I rummage through my bag for a tissue or my headphones or a piece of gum. And whenever I do see him, he isn’t shivering.

He’s just smiling.

And his smile makes me inwardly smile too.

Essentially over nothing.

But still, it feels good.

It feels really good smiling over nothing.

Especially when you have no reason to smile over anything.

And sometimes I think about how I woulda missed out on all those inward smiles, those moments of feeling good for no reason, if I had ignored that half dead piece of my brain that spoke to me. And I also think about how it’s not dead yet, that piece of my brain. That it’s just buried under 30 years of bullshit. And, if I ever wanna be truly happy again, that I need to start listening to it more often.

Much, much, much more often.

we are all doomed creatures

For Jessica Lynn,
    aka Jess,
          aka Jessy

last night i stood

on a rooftop
overlooking NYC

and talked with my friend 

about life

i told him

life was pain 

and that’s all life


i told him

i could prove it

he said how

i said because 

every human being 

ever born 

is a doomed creature

doomed to feel pain

and doomed to feel 

mass amounts
of pain

and that from the beginning

of time 

there hasn’t been one person

who has escaped pain

and not only pain

    but mass amounts
of pain

he asked me what about love?

what about laughter?

i told him love and laughter 

were not life

    only reprises from life

i told him love and laughter 

never last

but pain is always there

    in ambiance

because even as we are
loving and laughing

pain is hiding underneath
it all



because we are put here
to suffer 

and love and laughter
are just these things

to make sure we don’t


love and laughter
are those cups of gatorade
they hold out to joggers
at marathons

that’s all
love and laughter

they are not why
we’re here

we are not here
to love and laugh

we are here to try
and then fuck up

and then we’re supposed to learn
from our fuck ups

and we’re supposed to keep going
and all for some reason
i’ll never care
to understand

we are here
to hurt
i told him

we are here
to cope with the fact
that breathing air feels like
being a walking, talking
open wound
that someone is sticking
their hands inside of
and then stretching apart
while humming an old timey
popular song from the 30’s
and that there’s no
cool Batman band-aid
big enough
to cover it
and “make it all better.”

we are doomed creatures
I told him.

every last one of us

beautifully doomed from the water slide
out of our mother’s vaginas
to when death knocks
on our front door
like a cop busting up
a house party

and the people
who hurt the most
are the people
who know this truth

because pain
is the truth
in its birthday suit

and i wanted to be like
     “If you don’t believe me
just ask
Robin Williams
or Richard Brautigan
or Ernest Hemingway
or Kurt Cobain
or Sylvia Plath
     or even Chris Farley
     or John Belushi
or any of the other
millions of people
who have seen the truth
in its birthday suit
far too often.”

i thought about throwing myself
off of the rooftop
numerous times
during our discussion

not because
the topic matter
was so heavy
     but because i’ll never be able
to see a building
or look off of one
without picturing myself
swan diving off it

the pain is always

i always
feel it

     even on my best days
i always feel it

i don’t think
my friend does though

even though
he’s a doomed creature
i can guarantee my friend
didn’t think about
leaping off the building
as we talked

not once

i fuckin’ love the kid
but sometimes i’m really amazed
we’re best friends

© Calvero 2014

i miss licking her asshole

I loved licking
her asshole.

The reasons for me loving
to lick her asshole
were twofold

1) Her asshole tasted just like
a really, really good
chocolate milkshake/
the scene from the movie “Titanic”
where Jack draws Rose
wearing nothing but the
“Heart of the Ocean” necklace.

2) Whenever I licked her asshole
I felt at home.
    Or, like, my tongue
felt at home.

Like my tongue woulda received
all of its mail

Like my tongue woulda moved in
with its wife
and then had kids
and then raised its family

Like two Jehovah’s Witnesses
woulda knocked on the door
of her asshole
    at, like, 8 A.M.
one Sunday morning
and then my tongue woulda answered the door
and began screaming,
    “Are you serious?
        Are you fuckin’ serious?
Knocking on my door
and waking me up at 8 in the morning
on a weekend?
I work all week,
    God dammit,
and when the weekend finally comes
I wanna be able to sleep in!
    Get outta here!
        Get the shit outta here!”

But my tongue
doesn’t lick her her asshole

My tongue
is homeless.

It lives in a cardboard box
inside my mouth
and sometimes people open my mouth
and cram change inside of it
and then they go,
    “Promise me
you’re only gonna buy food
with this…”
and my tongue goes,
    “Yes, I promise you
I’m only gonna buy food
with this.”

But my tongue
never does.

It just buys booze.

and more booze.

I miss licking
her asshole.

I miss my tongue
not being homeless.

I miss how even the dirtiest/
most “disgusting” parts of her
felt like home
to me.

And they say
is where the heart

    if that’s true,
a large part of me
is still inside her asshole

where it belongs

    and where it will stay

until she decides
to shit me

© Calvero 2014

you’re welcome for the shit-war paint i will slap onto your face. and, in case you were wondering, i will be accepting advanced thank yous in the form of muffin baskets, barnes and noble gift cards and microsoft points. (straight fuckin’ through the loneliness)

I’m gonna do you
a favor.

I’m gonna smear shit
on my hand,

    alllllllll fuckin’ over
    my hand,

in which case I will proceed
in slapping you
across your face
with my shit-covered

And the shit I smack
onto your face
will be the greatest thing
that ever happened
to you.

It will feel like
a spiritual raise.

A spiritual raise
made outta shit
slapped across your face.

And the fresh shit
slapped across your face
will be the war paint
you will wear
in the much needed
and long overdue process
of you
finally un-murdering
after, unknowingly,
having spent your whole life
silently murdering
your most beautiful impulses,
    slaughtering them
    like spiritual calves,
in order to fit in
with groups of mass peoples.

The shit-war paint
will intimidate and scare
every person
you meet.

It will silently
scream war cries like,
because you will be
at war.

At war
with the world.

At war
with your murdered

will walk past you
on the streets
and have thoughts like,
    What… the… fuck?

Does that dude really have
shit-war paint
on his face?

I better leave him

If he’s crazy enough
to wear shit-war paint
on his face
who knows what other
kinda crazy shit
he’s capable of…

And the world    will
leave you alone
because it will be scared
of you,

because it will not understand
and your shit-war painted

It will not understand
your war.

And the shit-war painted
induced loneliness
will hurt
at first
it will be the best thing
that ever happened
to you.

Because the only way
to begin the long,
overdue process
of learning how
to un-murder yourself
is through

Not over it.
Not under it.
Not around it.

Through it.

the loneliness.

And so you’ll do
all the lonely things
that lonely people do
while in the process of going
the loneliness.

You’ll count
the empty jugs of wine
all around you
in the voice of The Count
from Sesame Street
inside your head…

    Vun empty jug
    of vine!
    TWOOOOOOOO empty jugs
    of vine!

You will begin watching
weird-ass fetish porn
in order to spice up
your masturbating
as you feel Her
combing her hair
2,000 light years away
from you.

You will sit in McDonald’s
all alone
for a six hour period
of time and,
    around the fourth hour
    or so
    of sitting in McDonald’s
    all alone,
you’ll begin swinging
an imaginary trident
at some hipster-looking guy’s head
as he eats his McDonald’s
You’ll make
    WHOOSH! noises
each time the trident
swings by his face
always coming up just centimeters short
of smashing off
the hipster-looking guy’s

    This dude has no idea
how close he just came
to having his nose
smashed right off his face
by a fuckin’ trident,
    you’ll say to yourself.
He doesn’t even know.
    He doesn’t… even… know!
And then, one day,
    after having done
all these lonely,
                 lonely things,
you’ll wake up and be all like,

    No shit…

        I’m through…

and you will be
on the other side
of the loneliness.

And you’ll roll outta bed
and finally look at your warrior-self
in the mirror,
    with your shit-war paint
    still smeared all across
    your face,
        dried up and crusted
        and gross
        and slowly eating itself
        into your skin,
            making itself a physical part
            of you,
and you’ll think
in a really gruff and macho
tone of voice,
    I’m just glad
    s/he’s on our side…

You will finally be
on your own

Your own side

and not

You will have
your true self.

From here on out
you will progressively regress
into a childlike state
of living
where you do things
simply because you enjoy
doing them
and where you don’t worry about
what other people think
about you
when you do these things.

You will do these things
simply because doing them
makes you happy
and because you are a lonely adult
with shit-war paint
on your face
that the world doesn’t understand,
    or wanna understand,
        you might as well do
whatever it is
that makes you happy.

You will understand
that in order to fit in
with large masses of people
you need to degrade yourself
into a lower, generic
form of yourself.
That you need to think on
the same level
that the group does.
    Talk about the same
    stupid shit
    that they do.
That you have to surrender
your free mind
to a group way of thinking
    if you think too far
    outside of the group
    too often,
then you will remove yourself
from the group.

The shit-war paint
will grow hands and undress you
from the cleaned-up
you murdered yourself
into being
and allow you to finally
run around bare-ass naked
like the little kid
you used to be.

You will see the world
through the unbiased,
truth-seeking eyes
of a child.

You will hear the silence
that comes along
with having gone
the loneliness
and, because of this silence,
you will hear the violence
rioting in the streets
of your heart.

    (They have violence
rioting in the streets
of their hearts
but they’re incapable
of hearing it
because they’re too busy watching/
talking about Teen Mom
and 16 & Pregnant
and Duck Dynasty
and The Super Bowl
in order to hear it.)

You will be
an individual.

You will be

And “you”
is who you need
to be.

and not “everyone

It’s no wonder
I feel so alone
all the time.

I’ve been looking at
these murdered faces
for wayyyyy too long now
and some days
I don’t know whether to hike up
my skinny jeans
and go on
or to just throw myself in front of a speeding bus
because these people
with murdered faces
are not my people

and the older I get
the more I only prove
to myself
that there’s nothing here
    for me
on this planet,

    nothing but this one, exact, same
universal person
I’m supposed to love

but can’t

and who I don’t

And I’m just
so tired
of it…

…I’m so tired of looking at
all of these murdered faces
without shit war paint
on them.

I’m so tired
of feeling alone
because the rest of the world
is so terrorized
by the idea
of being alone.

© Calvero 2014

that feeling when your heart is beating somewhere else, like somewhere totally outside of your body

The first time
she and I had sex
she told me to put something romantic
on TV
and turn it up loud
so my parents wouldn’t hear us
having sex
because having your parents hear you
having sex
isn’t very romantic.

At least
I don’t think so.

Having your parents hear you
having sex
isn’t like lighting candles
or her wearing lacy lingerie
or sultry music playing in the background
so, in a hurry,
I flipped through some channels
and found some gardening show.
I left it on,
    thinking it was a little bit romantic,
and then she said,
    “This isn’t romantic,”
and so she took the remote control from me
like some kinda really weird,
yet really pretty bird
and then she flipped through the channels
and found Batman Returns
and, upon finding Batman Returns
        on TV,
she smiled and said,
    “Oh, this is lovely.
        This is perfect.
    How romantic…”

We sacrificed a rose
and scattered its rose corpse
over my bed.


She sucked on my cock
for almost half an hour
and then we made love
all over the scattered rose corpse (romantic)
which had,
    unbeknownst to us,
turned my bed
into a graveyard.

We could hear
the bones buried beneath us
rooting for us,

    cheering us on,

        wanting to be us,

            or, at the very least,
                if not able to be us,
            really wanting to be the bones
            inside our bodies,

but, for once,
the people on this planet,
the emptiness I’m always aware of
but can’t learn to love
or even accept,
the mounting failures,
the chemical imbalance
inside of me,
    all of these things
that always seemed to forbid
any real chance of happiness
ninja vanished from inside of me
and, for once,
I wanted to keep my bones
where they were.

I wanted to keep my bones
inside me.

Total mind fuck,

You have no

As she began cumming,
I looked into her eyes

She had teeth
in her eyes.

The teeth in her eyes
were green and yellow
and blue
and they were these colors
but altogether too.

(Total mind fuck,

As I looked into her eyes,
    and as she looked into mine,
her eye-teeth took two big bites
outta something inside me
and then devoured that part of me

Now I am being digested
inside of her
while totally and physically
outside of her.

    I don’t know
    if you’ve ever been digested before,
but being digested
feels a lot like dying,
    except you feel it happening
at a much slower pace
and you’re also exponentially
more aware of the fact
that you’re dying

Like always aware,

    always conscious all the time
        of the fact you’re dying.

I am dying right now
and so are you
but I am more aware of it than you are
because I am being
and you are not.

    I win…

Not romantic.

It’s been awhile
but I can remember her face
and I can still hear her voice,
    but as she slowly digests
    a big part of me
    I’ll never get back,
the more I begin to feel like
the whole thing never really happened
to begin with…

(Total mind fuck,

Every night I fall asleep
watching reruns of “Friends”
on Nick At Nite.

Sometimes I think of how nice
it would be
if I could fall asleep to reruns of a sitcom
where in every episode
she gets her head cut off
and then there’s a laugh track
and then that’s it.

The episode’s over.

I feel like I could fall asleep
to that
even easier
than I fall asleep
to Friends.

Which isn’t so easy.

At least not

It’s hard/scary
falling asleep in graveyard
all alone.

Not romantic.

© Calvero 2014

i shaved my balls for another girl yesterday. another girl who wasn’t you. it made me really sad.

I shaved my balls
for another girl

Another girl
who wasn’t

It made me
really sad.

I didn’t even wanna
be doing it.

I just felt
forced to
for some reason.

It felt a lot
like homework
in that way.

Shaving my balls
for another girl
who wasn’t you
felt a lot like homework
and I never, ever
gave a shit
about homework.

The overall
ball-shaving job
I did on my nutsack
looked like I had
copied all the answers
from my best friend
in the hallway
two minutes before

My overall
ball-shaving job
when I shaved them
for you
never looked like

More like
I had been up all night
looking through my text books
for all the right

Check ++
kinda work.

at least
that was the way
I hoped my ball-shaving
looked for you.

I remember yesterday
as I hovered and squatted
over the toilet
and solemnly ran
the electric razor
over my nutsack
like a sad Hank Williams
that all I could think
    I should be shaving
my balls for her
right now.
    Not someone else.
I should be manscaping
for her.
    Why aren’t I
for her?

This is bullshit…

All I want
is her.

    I don’t ever want
anyone else
around my cock and balls
but her…

It just didn’t
make sense.

It still doesn’t
make sense.

Your lips and tongue
shoulda been kissing
my balls
until they were so old
and wrinkly
that they dangled down
to my knees.

And I shoulda been
kissing your boobs
until they were so old
and saggy
that they drooped down
to your knees.

You kissing
my old, wrinkly

    Me kissing
    your old, saggy

That’s the way
it coulda ended up.

We coulda had

And that’s the kinda love
you carve
into an old-ass
oak tree
with a heart
around it.

You kissing
my old, wrinkly
and me kissing
your old, saggy
carved into an old-ass
oak tree
with a heart
around it.

    Fuck yeah,


That was what
I wanted.

My biggest fear
used to be dying alone
but now it’s become
kissing some other girl’s
and secretly wishing
during the entirety
of our 30 years of marriage
that her knee-boobs
were always your

This makes me
shit my pants
because of how totally
it seems.

    Whatever you were,
you affected me
so profoundly
I can’t ever imagine
anyone else moving me
in the simple/complicated/unexplainable
that you did.

I know so
because I heard poetry
and punk rock
in everything
you did.

The way
you ran your fingers
through your
after we had
had sex.

The way
you whispered “Ninja…”
to yourself
before stealthily
running bare-ass naked
from your bedroom
to the bathroom
hoping your parents
or brother
wouldn’t see you.

It was all

It was all
so, so

Like those desserts
we used to get
at The Olive Garden
but made outta
a human.

Made outta

When I was finished
doing my half-assed
ball-shaving job
I stared down
at my pubes
sitting on the surface
of the toilet water
like little, black
pubey ducks.

I couldn’t
bring myself
to flush them.
    In a weird way
they belonged
to you.

I went into the kitchen
and grabbed a loaf
of white bread.

I walked back
to the bathroom
and tore up
the slices of bread
and fed the pieces
to your little, black
pubey ducks.

They weren’t hungry
    your little, black
pubey ducks.

I looked down
at them
peacefully co-existing
with the torn up
pieces of bread.

I wanted
to cry.

What killed me
was that it coulda been

That I didn’t
have to be standing there
looking at my shaven pubes
that I had shaved
for another girl,
    and not you,
awkwardly floating
next to bread crumbs.

It coulda
all been different.

If only
you had said
to me…


© Calvero 2014

“Do you ever close your eyes and feel the corpse of the child you used to be floating face down in the ice-cold, murky lake behind your eyes?

I do.

And I don’t know how to let go of him.

Too many dictators on the dance floor, you guys.


Too many dictators on the dance floor.”

Excerpt from Calvero’s Too Many Dictators on the Dance Floor