Faceless Nuns on Surfboards

Faceless Nuns on Surfboards


I have struggled

mandated masks

do not protect us

from atomic nightsticks

dark-skin seeking missiles

or rabid Qanon sleepwalkers

dreaming Gilead

into being.


And then

and then

the shadows of my

ADD leitmotif drift

down the alleys

of my subconscious

and bounce me off the

padded walls of

my happy place.


I remember the

Kindergarten nun named

Sister “I-will-crunch-your-bones-into-my-soup”

wrote beneath a page

of my attempt at coloring

in a sanctified coloring book,

“Richard does not follow directions”.

Fuckin’ aye I didn’t.


I am better though

sort of.

I can integrate my

working life

writing life

husband life

son life

godfather life

uncle life

friend life


into a functional illusion.


I rollerblade through

meditations on trees

guitar chords

and the billions of

words and images

that keep me company

when I’m working

from home.



I mean

remember when the Founding Fathers

demanded equal rights for everyone,

meaning everyone including Africans,

Indigenous, and all women?


Yeah, me neither.


And then there are

the faceless nuns on surfboards

hanging ten, waving pointers

in the air as they ride

the rising waves.

Cowabunga penguins

appear at the damnedest times.

First in a dream

and then into

another poem.


In the meantime

new phrases

are in heavy rotation

between my ears.

This is not who we are.

This is our house.

This is not who we are.

This is our house.

This is not who we are.

This is our house.


This is

The United States

Of Endless Consumption

And the Republic of

I got mine

for a while.




who we are…




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