New Year, Same World

New Year, Same World
by Dan Raphael

I keep a motorcycle in the trunk and a skateboard in the saddlebag

a jacket with built-in parachute/tent, waterproof shoes, a hat w/ GPS.


When my country changed its name i bought two more passports

I never live in the same country as my money: banks are just smugglers

who never go through customs, not that metal detectors pose a problem,

no dogs trained to sniff out illegal transfers. As long as money’s coming in

Who cares what goes out—you wanta frisk the ocean?


It’s the magic of a penny multiplied a billion times a second without digging more copper.

once you’re a celebrity you get free entry, food, drugs;

when you’re poor everything nearby costs more,

as if the other side of the tracks  is a country we don’t bother to name.


I can never step in the same turd twice; once the filter starts to char

i need to find another butt. If i stick my thumb out someone might picture it,

identify me and collect the reward. i owe too much from my last lock-up

to be readmitted—too indebted to be profitable, i curl in a doorway

hoping to get so thin i’ll be like a window—no one looks to avoid their reflection


Some car trunks no longer have key holes but do have handles on the inside for escape.

some cars don’t need ignition keys but will start when they smell their owner

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