Monthly Archives: January 2012
I started this poem yesterday and finished it this morning. It’s about finishing college and preparing to enter the working world. It goes something like this:
I’m at the comma splice in
Falling from textbooks and chalk,
Crawling toward goodlooks and talk,
Through society’s leatherdark parking lot,
A field of tar,
I yield in car,
Checking dashboard digital
Awaiting the ‘open for business,’
Ready for 10,000 tomorrows
Of cell phones
Erupting 7 o’clock seizures
On my magazine massacred bedside,
I fear the predictably punctual
With open arms.
I would like to share with you an occurrence that happened to me last week. Something mundane enough to probably happen in any given store, on any day, yet interesting enough to take note and question. The setting is a Giant Eagle grocery store. Let’s begin:
There’s about ten lines open and about five people in every line. Somehow, around 50 people decided to come to the grocery store, make their selections in amounts of time that could all be seemingly unrelated, but end up at the front registers all at the same moment. The lines were practically empty when we walked in, and now they’re all full. The workings of the universe never seem to favor an even distribution, as our statistical bell curves like to fantasize. Instead, the supreme forces like to take long pauses from their work – perhaps they’re napping or eating or something; I’m sure forces can afford to work at their own pace – then they compile all doings into a single instant, making it sometimes hard to navigate life around, or through, their dog-piling of occurrences.
Because it’s 6:30 on a Friday, everyone is just coming off work, stopping at the grocery store for a few of the weekend’s items, and then fleeing home to unwind. But now, in this small insignificant, unmemorable moment of their lives, they are impatiently locked into ten relatively even lines, afraid to move their place, yet constantly on the lookout for a row of persons that could be shorter. But there is no such row. I watch as new fish from the ocean of frozen food and toilet paper swim upstream into the creeks of their choosing. Most glide back and forth across the creeks until they realize that one isn’t any better than the next.
I place my more-than-full basket on the ground in front of me and kick it along with the edge of my foot as those ahead finish up and make their escape, while my girlfriend dips back into the ocean to grab “one more thing.” She gets back up by the time we’re the penultimate to ring out at the self-checkout. The consumer ahead of us is a fat, black woman, wearing a beige, coffee stained, one-piece dress that hangs slightly off the left shoulder. She idly lifts items from her cart and fumbles with scanning them onto the conveyor-belt.
“Is she gunna fucken take all day,” says, in an audibly loud voice, the restless, 20-something, fat white girl behind us, “Does she not fucken realize that there’s a line here?”
I looked back at the foul-mouthed fatty and then up at the woman ahead, seeing if she appeared to hear. If she would have looked back and showed any sign that she did hear, I was going to shrug my shoulders at her and audaciously exclaim, “Dumb white bitches,” with a sympathetic shake of my head. But she never did.
“You know she can probably hear you,” said my girlfriend, turning behind. Her method of retort was direct and aimed at the core. My method would not have been so forthright. “So. I don’t care. Maybe it’ll make her move faster,” said the gutter-jaw, standing next to what appeared to be her more mum mother. “Are you ladies in a hurry?” I butted in. “Yah, we actually are,” she said. “Oh, damn, well… we’re not. So get comfortable,” I said, with a cheerful smile. She made some sort of huffy noise, and her mom finally spoke up and told her to take it easy.
I spent a good minute or so mentally trashing the woman behind us. How could she be so inconsiderate? I realize that she might be in a hurry, but that doesn’t call for being disrespectful. Initially, I planned on making the girl wait a good long time, as I slowly punched in each barcode manually. But then, as if a higher ethical being grabbed hold of my words, I said something completely contrary to the arsenal of attacks I was previously stewing over.
“Would you ladies like to go ahead of us?” I asked, “You only have a few things.”
“No. We can wait,” said the girl.
By this time the woman ahead was getting ready to pay. My girlfriend, also moved by some act of divine morality, took the liberty of helping her bag her goods, in order to get the line moving quickly.
Why would we do this? Why would we give this brat the satisfaction of bullying her way through the line, when instead we could have made her sweat it out a little longer? The answer to this I’m not entirely sure, and frankly I don’t think it really matters. Although, what was most amazing was the girl’s response to my invitation of granted passage: “No. We can wait.” As if all the bickering about being in a hurry never even happened.
I’m not very well versed in either the behavioral or social sciences, but I would like to speculate that the girl was slightly embarrassed over her outcry. Personally, I don’t think that she was in a hurry at all, but rather, I think she frequently has inclinations to complain about situations in her life for no other reason but habit. It’s been said that at a certain age, people generally get stuck with the face they deserve, and this portly precious looked like a pig that spent its whole life dissatisfied with the quality of her mud. At least pigs have the satisfaction of enjoying orgasms for 30 minutes; I doubt this girl’s ability to enjoy anything for 30 minutes without blurting, “Is this gunna fucken take all day?”
Anyway, dear reader, and I probably say that in a singular sense, what are your thoughts? Why do people publicly display rudeness to others, only to bite their tongue as if they could care less when their demands are given in to? I don’t know, maybe I’m the asshole in this situation. After all, I’m the one with the long-winded cynicism.
I usually don’t have a complete lack of maturity, but today is not usual. Today I’m acting a fool… for the stool.
My Shitty Poem
Ode to the commode
That carries my poo
And keeps me from disease,
Parasites and the flu.
Ode to this seat
Where I do so much reading.
The brown bombs of bowel movements
Are the effects of my eating.
The commode, it gleams
With stinky sediment steam,
Yet I can’t do without it
It would very much seem.
I wish I could shit
In the yard like a dog;
No worry of overflow,
No worry of clog.
But the commode is now broken
And will not flush my pee,
So now this ode
Will be an elegy.
In celebration of having this blog for two days, I had the bright idea to throw up two poems. And, speaking of “bright” ideas, both of these sorta kinda have to do with the concept of brightness. Well, one is about light and the other dark; not to draw metaphor to any good/evil dichotomy. Anyway, here they be – separated by a fittingly cliché picture of a sunset I took – Enjoy:
I stare at the light
Until it obstructs my sight,
And I gaze at things with their new,
I space-out at the spiral coil of a bulb
While my space starts to spiral and dissolve.
I become the self-appointed king of esoteric geometry,
As celestial circles weave wildly on the white wall.
There’s aesthetic beauty in relinquished reality.
Yet, the spineless demise of blindness will arise,
To those who give light a lengthy looking of the eyes.
Wax Wings Waxed under the Waxing Gibbous
I, like Icarus,
Reach great height.
Though I’m aware
His fallacy of flight.
He flew too high
With sun in sight.
When I fly high
I wait ‘til night.
The rubber rotates,
With the yoke of the spokes.
Two to roll together, as
My toes make’em
Down – Down:
My left knee and my right.
Wish the wind would wind down;
Only one will win this fight.
And it greatly grinds my gears,
And it’s such a sorry sight,
When the potholes and the puddles
Provide more problems to my plight.
My ride reflects the lights from the cars,
I reflect on how soon and how far,
Till I get to where I’m going – flowing forward in the face
Of scenes not yet showing
Within this placeless race.