Joseph Farley

by Horror Sleaze Trash on July 24, 2013

Joseph Farley edited Axe Factory from 1986 to 2010. His books and chapbooks include Suckers, For the Birds, Wolf Poems, The True Color of You, Longing for the Mother Tongue, Waltz of the Meatballs, Her Eyes, and Crow of Night.
Country Flower
in the village where you dwell
the poor know only how to be poor
rain dances on tin roofs
dripping through the cracks
onto heads listening
the summer heat may seem unbearable
but bear it they do
even strangers get use to it
after a few years
content to shed extra clothes
and let the air cook bare skin
children play in all weather
but they grow up soon
money is earned in the city
sister and cousins
have gone there
and send home bhat
to buy rice
you will follow them
if someone can take you
or you can find the money
for a bus ticket
to sell the pearl of your body
and dance for drinks
and cash to send home
I keep waiting for the robots,
the ones in the cartoons,
to rise up from Tokyo
like metal balloons,
and float from imagination
to the corner store,
where they will bag my groceries
or stomp upon my car.

We are all rats at heart,
sharing the same basic mammal genes
traced back to our rodent ancestors,
but some are better at getting in touch
with their inner rat nature than others.
They scurry across the floors
of board rooms and city halls.
They lurk in alleys selling drugs,
or finger witnesses for drive by shootings.
They are everywhere at every level of society,
gnawing on wires and gambling with your savings.
There seems no way to stop them.
Inside each of us is the potential
to sprout a tail and whiskers
and run inside the walls
should we get elected
or earn a JD or MBA.
All we can do is watch the mirror
and pray we don’t transform,
or that evolution will change us all
into more charming furballs.
Snap Out Of It
There’s no time
to ponder
the obvious
must move on
to matters
less clear
don’t let the mind
get stuck in a rut
repeating the same
worn out logic puzzles
have a good day
break a window
hit the bottle
just move on
Thieves’ World
The criminals have gotten smarter
than the honest fools
who work to pay their bills.
Thieves can sit at homes and watch
all you do from their beds,
and steal all you own,
baby pictures included,
with the help of a computer,
the internet, shared software
and the patience of a fisherman
trolling the water for trout.
Why work and keep paying
fees to the robber barons
that control our economy.
Might as well take off permanently
before the boss kicks you out
and learn to phish;
start building your own empire,
one sucker at a time.
still ain’t
worth shit,
after all
these years,
a thimble full
of piss.
The Internal Police of the Corporate World
Demon feet run between the walls.
Demon eyes peer between the stalls.
Demons tape and type and record
Every motion, every word.
All is criminal; all felons.
Watch, wait, salivate. Setting traps
They know will catch the old, the weak,
The sick at best. Find them. Fuck them.
Throw them away.
Destroy all under your gaze,
But know this little men
with your little pads and pens..
you will be old and infirm in your turn,
and there will be devils on your tail
before you are cast out cold and broke,
and sent beyond the pale.
Becoming One With The Edifice
Gnaw at the edges
And batter at the door.
Be persistent and annoying
Until they open it up enough
To skewer you,
And carry your dripping blood
Glistening on their knives.
Negotiating Towards Yes
Never can be eroded.
It may not take
A million years.
Just keep stacking
Bills on the table
Until her jaw drops
A little
And her eyes flash
The Beatings Will Continue Until Morale Improves
The back hurts with the beatings,
Skin blisters again in sun.
Each day the lash and tongue.
Which hurts worse, leather or words?
Continue on one day more,
Put feet down one after other
Until the day you step out,
And your sole lands on nothing.
Pulling the Strings
While you rest or look away,
The phantom rulers sneak in
And push needles through your skin,
Attaching metal threads to mouth and limbs.
The first tug on the wires is gentle
And goes almost unnoticed,
But the force increases as you jump and jerk,
Transformed into a marionette,
Who walks and talks and bows low,
And otherwise does as he is told
As your new masters in shadows
Hide and grin and yank again
At invisible lines of power and control.

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