How I Kung Fu

By Charly Fasano

Illustration by Charly Fasano


Block by block karate
this is how I kung fu
sleeper hold ghost ride behind black eyes
hide my vacancy as I shuffle down South Broadway.

Hitch in my giddy-up.
Grimace at the speed of crosswalk green.
A turtle neck sweater cowboy herding traffic with an 8 dollar cane
Go on yellow at my own risk.
Dangerous curb to curb dream about dancing.

Word heavy pill free
wish mumbler
miser survivor
coupon clipper
I’ve collected enough soap chips
to take an extra shower this month.

Can’t read without moving my lips.
Whisper scream news headlines’ cheese grater prose.
Huff Fuck Yous like I invented air.
Knuckles bleed down to my last middle finger.
Goosebumps and rashes get the same scratch.

I want to be the Lee Van Cleef of poetry.
Cracked not tan
pen instead of revolver
bus fair instead of a horse.

Undress public address.
Writer liar ease dropper.
Idiom catching cursive walker.
I memorize the unrecognized.
I steal stories more than people watch.

My race of mistakes since I lost my virginity.
A quantum Monday night
might be the elevation or the faint smell of gas everywhere I go.

On the edge of older
this is my after 40.
Dry cleaned pajamas and slip on shoes
my high fidelity half beer years.
Porned by everything
a different kind of sloppy bored.

Added up all my daylight in the dark.
I want my bright back.
Built a reputation out of a reputation.
Thousands of hours I wasted trying to act
like an artist instead of being one.

Go toward sleep every night
ride AM radio waves
conspiracy talk shows
and used car commercials.

Sports talk on 7 stations argue into one sludge dressed static.
The anything of everything seems to make some sense
like tomorrow isn’t going anywhere.
Another day trying to make maybe the answer to everything.



Charly Fasano is a poet, performer, filmmaker and block printer, as well as a Westword-voted Colorado Creative. Fasano has read his poems with and shared the stage with bands like Lucero, Drag the River, Crime in Stereo, Madson Jones, Land Lines and The Queers. He is the founder of Fast Geek Press, Pretend You Can Reab audio zine, and As Well As Magazine. Fasano’s poems have appeared in Yellow Rake, Lubricated Magazine, Syntax Magazine, and Growing Strange Magazine. His book of poems, Next Analog Broadcast (2011) was published by Sunnyoutside Press, and was followed by a multimedia book and 7 inch called RETROSPECT/ED featuring the music of Lucero, released on Fast Geek Press in 2014.


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