calvero poetry

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


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.

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.

finding out your mom has cancer

i. murder, he wrote

You and your dad
are driving to the hospital
to visit your mom.

“Ya know
    what’s funny?”
your dad goes
after fifteen minutes
of silence.
“There were thousands
of times
when I woulda paid
to kill your mother…”

You just kinda

You don’t tell him
there were thousands of times
you woulda done it
for free.

ii. diabolical plans

After sitting around
in her hospital room
with your dad
and sister
and brother-in-law
for a few hours,
you decide to go down
to the cafe
in the lobby of
the hospital.

You buy
a corn muffin
and an iced coffee
from a lady
    nearing 40
who looks like she fought
a tanning bed
in the back alley
of some sketchy-ass
    and lost.

You go back up
to the 6th floor.

Room 623.

As soon as you open
the door,
you see your mom’s doctor
standing in the center
of the room.

The doctor
doesn’t even acknowledge
walking in.

You’ve arrived
just in time
to hear him say
the word “cancer”

The air seems
to get sucked outta
the room.

You’re too scared
to look at your family’s
facial expressions
so you stare down
at your iced coffee
which is balanced on the gray,
cardboard container
holding your corn muffin.

You suddenly become
painfully aware
you are the only person
in the room
holding an iced coffee
and corn muffin.

You feel

You feel

You hear
your inner fat kid
laughing his ass off
at you.

But fuck him.

You don’t want
your corn muffin

Your appetite
is gone.

It’s okay

Your corn muffin
won’t go
to waste.

You have plans
for your corn muffin.

Diabolical plans.


iii. death flowers

Some complimentary
two minutes after
your mom’s doctor
has left the room.

You are the one
who takes the flowers
from the hands
of the hospital volunteer
who’s delivering them.

You place them
on a small bedside table
next to your mom
but she doesn’t look
at them.

You look at them
because you don’t want
the flowers to think
they’re ugly
    as you look at them,
you realize the flowers
don’t look like
to you.

They look like something else
but you have no idea

You can’t put
your finger on it

    even years from now,
you know
you still won’t be able

iv. empty

Your dad
takes your mom
for a walk around
the 6th floor

You stay in her room
with your sister
and brother-in-law.

Your sister suddenly
brings her hands up
to her face
and begins crying
into them.

You walk over to your sister
and hug her,
    resting your head
on her shoulder
with your face
looking away from her.

You don’t

You stare at your mom’s
empty chair.

The chair
she was sitting in
when the doctor came in
and told her
she had cancer.

When she returns
from her walk
with your dad
she will sit back down
in her chair
    even with her in it,
you think it will still look
just as empty
as it does now.

v. fuck Her until she dies from it

You sit in the hospital room
with your mom
and dad
and sister
and brother-in-law.

Two of your favorite
have arrived too.

They are all talking
but you are not

You are by

You can’t get over
how scared
you feel.

You can’t get over
how alone
you feel.

All you keep thinking
is how badly
you wanna text

All you wanna do
is hear from Her
because she is the only
on the planet
who makes you     not
scared and alone.

But you can’t
text Her,

can’t call

can’t hear from Her
in any way.

And so you hate

You hate Her
more than you’ve ever
hated anything/anyone
in your entire life.

You hate Her
because it wasn’t
supposed to be
this way,

because it coulda been
so easy
if only She had let it been
as easy
as it coulda been.

You sit there
in a room filled
with your family
and you need to fight back
because you are so angry
at Her
that you could just
kill Her.

You sip iced coffee
in self defense.

Every time you feel like
you’re gonna begin crying
because of how much
you hate Her
because She should be here
for you
right now
    but isn’t
you take a sip
of iced coffee.

You imagine
the you and Her
holding hands
and going for a walk
in your park.

You imagine grabbing Her
by the back of Her head
and slamming Her head
into the stream
you once watched Her
walk through
in nothing but her t-shirt
and panties,
    holding Her head
until seconds before she drowns
when you finally
pull it back up.

As She’s gasping
for air,
you take off your t-shirt
and proceed to wipe away Her makeup
that’s running down
Her face
and then you use your t-shirt
to dry Her hair.

She stares at you
with fragile eyes
that say,
    “I’m sorry…”
and you lean in
and kiss Her on the forehead
just like you used to,
    your forehead kiss saying
to Her,
    “I’m sorry too…”

You feel like crying
but you’ve run outta
iced coffee
to sip on.

You are defenseless
against it
so you stand up
from your chair
and walk into
your mom’s bathroom.

    While trying to compose
you drop your pants,
sit down
on the crapper
and begin shitting.

Your shit
is all watery.

You haven’t had
a good, solid shit
in days.

You feel like your asshole
has become a soda fountain
where all of the soda flavors
on tap
are “Diarrhea.”

You finally begin
as you shit
diarrhea soda

but it’s not over
your mom.

It’s more selfish
than that.

It’s over the fact
that you have to
go through this
all alone

because your dad
doesn’t count,

your sister
doesn’t count,

your brother-in-law
doesn’t count,

your aunts
don’t count,

your friends
don’t even count.

Only    She

and She
isn’t here
for you

and She never
will be

and so
you are alone.

Fuck you,
    you think
in regards
to Her.

Fuck you
until you die
from it.

vi. everyone copes differently (BOOMSHAKALAKA!!!)

You are sitting in
your mom’s room.

It’s only you,
your mom
and your dad.

Your dad is asleep
in a chair
and your mom is asleep
in bed.

Your mom’s mouth
is wide open
and she is making sounds
that almost sound like

You are awake
and playing with the crumpled up
straw wrapper
from your iced coffee
with your hands.

You imagine yourself
ripping up the straw wrapper
into small pieces
and taking shots
at your mom’s wide open mouth
with the small, ripped up pieces
of straw wrappers.

You imagine the announcer
from NBA Jam
giving the play
by play
as you take your
first shot
from across the room…

“From his mother-in-law’s

An imaginary piece
of crumpled up
straw wrapper
soars across the room
and into your mom’s


A second piece of imaginary,
crumpled up, straw paper
arcs across the room
    just beautiful,
notin’ but mouth!

“He’s heating up…”

A third piece of imaginary,
crumpled up, straw paper
leaves your hands.
It just feels good
rolling off your fingers
    just as your fingers
it lands right inside
your mom’s mouth.

“He’s on fire!!!!!”

    Now with an imaginary, flaming piece
    of crumpled up straw wrapper
    in your hand,
you leap up outta your chair,
crash through the ceiling,
soar into the air
of some poor, sick old lady’s
room on the 7th floor
while doing numerous,
fast and crazy front flips,
and come barreling back down
through the floor
into your mom’s room,
    slam dunking the imaginary,
flaming piece
of crumpled up straw wrapper
into her mouth
without even waking her

    the announcer screams.

Your dad wakes up
for a second.

You wonder
if the imaginary
NBA Jam announcer
was too loud
and woke him up
but then, just like that,
your dad falls back

You just sit there,
    silently playing
with the crumpled up ball
of straw wrapper
in your hands.

You kinda feel like a dick
for imagining yourself
being on fire
and slam dunking a piece
of crumpled up, straw wrapper
into your mom’s
sleeping mouth.

Everyone copes
    you say to yourself,

trying to make yourself
feel better.

vii. a corn muffin sleeping with da fishes

Your dad
stays with your mom
in the hospital
and you sister
gives you a ride

Right after she
drops you off,
you get into your car
and drive to the park
that you and Her
used to go to

You park your car
and walk to the stream
that you and Her
used to lay by
on nice, warm days.

You have your
corn muffin
with you.

The one you bought
at the hospital
but never ate.

Your take your hospital
I.D. sticker
off of your jacket
and tape it over
the corn muffin.

Your pretend the hospital
I.D. sticker
is duct tape
and that you are taping over
the corn muffin’s mouth
so no one can hear it scream
and so it has trouble
breathing too.

You throw the corn muffin
into the center of
the stream
as hard as you
fucking can.

A big, satisfying, watery
rises outta the water
where the corn muffin
hit it
and then,
    almost immediately,
the watery erection
goes limp
and drops back down into
the water.

You look for
the corn muffin
at the bottom
of the shallow stream
but it’s too dark out
to see it.

“You’re sleeping
with da fishes now…”
    you say to the corn muffin
even though you know
the corn muffin
can’t hear you
and so,
you’re speaking to

You almost laugh
to yourself
after saying this.

You almost feel

Or maybe not

but satisfied

and powerful,

and in control

You walk back
to your car
in the dark.

It’s been a long day

and your cats
are waiting for you

and you
are waiting for them.

© Calvero 2015


“i know a great place where you can rent a bear costume for pretty cheap”

This is for Alyssa. 

Please hang in there, love. I’m thinking good, warm, fuzzy thoughts for you.

Good, warm and fuzzy. Like cats.

I’m thinking “cats” for you.

if i moved to Paris then i’d finally become a famous writer

If I moved
to Paris
then I’d finally become
a famous writer.

I’d sit in cafes
and eat croissants
and drink fine wines
and the city’s romanticism
would rub off on me
and I’d stop writing stuff

“After having shaved
my cock and balls
for you
my pubes are finally
to grow back.

It is springtime
on my penis

and my crotch just looks
so much more beautiful
this time of year
without your whorish mouth
nowhere to be seen
around it,”

and I’d start writing
more generically
romantic lines
like this…

“When we sleep
    no matter
    how far away,
we sleep together.

Our love spans

My heart is always
close to you
even when you
are far,
    my love,
        my dear,”

and women would love

Women would love
that generic, overly sappy
and sentimental
Hallmark shit.

Women would eat
that shit up
the same way I
eat up burritos
    and I eat burritos up
like a mother fucker,
    lemme tell ya.

And finally
I would sell books

and finally
I would become famous

and finally
women would throw
their vaginas
at me
and I’d be standing there
with a catcher’s mitt
catching all of the vaginas
thrown at me
and then putting them
in a bag,
    saving them for later.

But I’d still
play it cool.

I’d still be very romantic
and suave
and further win
these women over
with very sultry
and alluring
French phrases.

Stuff like,
    “Taire vous
tête de fromage!”
and the women would
all be like,
    “Ohhhhh, Calvero!”
my smooth talking having made
all of their pussies
wetter than a water park
on a rainy day

and then we’d all proceed
to make love
on a race car bed
covered in stacks
and stacks
and stacks
of Monopoly

Monopoly money
    even though I’m now
I don’t want to use
real money
and then have my French groupies
stuffing their purses
full of my francs
after I’ve passed out
from all of our beautiful

And finally,
I’d be rich
and happy
and swimming
in poon,

doing laps
in poon,

doing the breast stroke
in poon,

fuckin’ doggie paddling
through all of
the poon,

    my work
sharing the one, same,
exact literary voice
as everyone else,

writing poems
that people love
and poems that sell
and get published
but poems that also could’ve been written
by at least one-thousand other
similar writers
with nearly identical voices

because that’s what poetry
and literature
has become;
    the same soft lives
creating the same soft minds,
and the same soft minds
creating the same soft
and the same soft voices
writing the same soft

never saying anything
    or in a new way,

never taking a stand
against anything

and just doing the same
romanticized bullshit
as everyone else,

just giving the people
want they want.

And me?

Well I keep coming up
with shit like this…

I was in the Wendy’s
across from The Empire State Building
and a girl who could’ve been
a crystal candy dish
in a past life of hers
looked at me as if
I were gross, clogged

A few seconds later
a real Brooklyn-looking
construction worker
walked inside the Wendy’s,
opened me up,
stepped inside me,
closed me,
dropped his pants
and began shitting
in me.

‘I’m not a porto-potty!’
I told him.

‘Well, you are now,’
    he replied.”

It is not beautiful
but this is all
I have to offer
because I will never become
a famous writer
because I will never move
to a Paris.

Fuck Paris.

And this way,
    at the very least,
I will never be
“one of them.”

One of these poets
who fling their stupid,
generic shit
up against the wall
    before even giving it
    a chance
    to see whether it sticks or not,
they walk up to their shit
and punch it into
the wall,
    smushing it
and smearing it in
just to make sure
it doesn’t fall off
so this way they can call it

Go move
to Paris,
    all of you.

And take your spotlights
and your shitty poems
with you.

At least this way
I never have to read
or hear
or see
or stumble across
any of them
ever again.

© Calvero 2015

corpse kisses

I found hundreds
of old pictures
of yours
on my computer

In a lot of pictures
you were holding
our cat
and those pictures
made me smile
but then
I got mad
at myself
for smiling.

I got mad
at myself
and I got mad
at my smile
so I ripped
my smile off
of my face
and I threw it up
against the wall
and it made a wet,
and then it
slowly began
sliding down the wall
and I felt like
I was watching
a pickle race
but one
made of lips
    and only one pair
of lips
so I’ve gotta say
it wasn’t very much
of an exciting

I looked at
your face
over and over
on my computer
and I wanted to enlarge
each and every
single picture of you
and kiss your virtual lips
on the screen.

I tried it once
but it didn’t taste
like you.

It tasted like
computer screen
and you never tasted
like computer screen.
    In fact
you tasted
much better
than computer screen.

I bet
that’s the most
romantic thing
a guy’s ever told
you, huh?
    That you taste
much better
than computer screen?

Does your new guy
ever tell you
you taste much better
than computer screen?

I bet
he doesn’t.

I bet
he’s gay.

I bet
he sucks
a lot of dick.

There’s nothing wrong
with a gay guy
who sucks a lot
of dick
but do you really
wanna be dating
a gay guy?

Just sayin’.

I’m just sayin’
cause I wanna see you

I wanna see you
and break your heart
so bad
it kills you.

at your funeral
I’ll throw myself
on your coffin
and cry hysterically
and kiss your cold
corpse lips
while softly muttering
    “Corpse kisses,
    corpse kisses,
    corpse kisses…”
over and over
to myself.

I’ll kiss
your cold
corpse lips
and feel
the freezing,
unrequited love
course through
my veins
and it will be
so cold
that the corpse kisses
will give me
an icy boner
and then a gaggle
of your family members
will run over
and tear me off
of you
and throw me
onto the ground
and then
one of them will scream,
    “EW! OH MY GOD!
    but I can’t
help it.
    I can’t
help it
if your corpse kisses
give me a boner.

I stare at
my smiling lips
as they slowly
slide down
the wall
in front of me
and think
about how
those lips of mine
used to kiss you
all the time.

They would
kiss you
and they would
you were,

you weren’t,

you wanted to be.

Three years later
I can still taste
but I’ll never find
what you were,
what you weren’t,
what you wanted to be
inside of
anyone else
    but you.

Someday I’ll be
an eighty year old man
my wrinkly, old,
decrepit wiener
to memories
of you
and I don’t know
I should feel
sad and pathetic
lucky and grateful
for once
having had love
    so perfect,
        so tangible,
that I’ll never be able
to let go
of it,
that I’ll still be
whacking it
to you
fifty-three years
from now.

I think lucky
and grateful
because most people
never even get
that far.

If I ever live
to be eighty
I’m gonna stop caring
and have bacon
for every meal
and whack off
to memories of you
after every meal
with the most
reckless love
that’s ever

My smiling lips
are nearing
the bottom
of the wall
but they don’t look like
they’re smiling

I’ll pick them up
and put them
back on
start batting
at them.

© Calvero 2012