Monthly Archives: February 2012
Here is a poem I wrote yesterday after getting home from work. If you work in customer service for a while you start to get a pretty good grasp of the human condition. It smells funny. And I am starting to see the stench of my own doings in the fumes of those around me. I am part of the Promentalshitbackwashpsychosisenemasquad. You know, the doodoo chasers. I dedicate this poem to George Clinton.
An Overexposed Self-Portrait
Through the Lens
Of Another’s Life
I toil at a drug store
A woman bought ex-lax
Went into the bathroom,
Sprayed a shit slaughter
All over wall and stall.
Smell swept down
The coat pegged hall
To the table,
Where I devoured delicacies
Prepared by Chef Mike
She was a poopetrator of Pollocklike proportions.
She can’t read,
Like the rest of us can;
Like “US NORMAL FOLK.”
“You help me? I need medicine, and I can’t read good.”
“Sure, what are you looking for?”
She’s on the cigarettes and beer diet / Basic Lights and Milwaukee’s Best.
Basically the best
For those looking to alleviate ailments of an aging anatomy.
She loathes most folks
They give her shit.
In a sense
She’s a bit
This is an older poem. It fell into my head after listening to an episode of NPR’s “Radiolab” that talked about the origins of the muse. In it, there was a short monologue by a man who would definitely fall into my list of top ten human beings, Tom Waits. He said that he approaches each of his songs as if they were living creatures. He talks to them; tries to understand their habits; their inner workings. Almost like spirits that wrestle his attention until he gives in and turns them into music. Sometimes though, Waits said, they show up unexpectedly at the wrong moments and then never return. I think anyone who attempts to harness their own creative energy as a means to live without personal insanity, which I believe is a large sum of people, including EVERYONE who blogs, can relate to that.
Literary Cannibalism Can Lead to
No use in searching for a poem –
It will find you and make itself known.
Unannounced, unintended, untimely, unexpected
It crudely intrudes while you’re uncollected.
It finds you soaking, standing in the shower,
Or far from freedom, frozen in rush-hour;
When you’re without aid of paper or pen
You shout, “Leave me alone, but come back again!”
Yet only the former request is respected,
And the poem again becomes undetected.
This could be a poem, or an essay, or maybe just stream-of-consciousness psychobabble, but most importantly it is words that have been collected in order to communicate a particular message. Yet, don’t focus so much on the words, but focus more on my body language in the telling of them.
Weather or Not
We collect in pockets of binary energy
Grouped like spots on a cow.
Energy dictated by weather
Climate conformation – a secular happening
We are to the climate (and other things, like culture, habits, beliefs… But the topic of today is climate, so we shall not digress) as puddles are to conforming the curves of the earth.
Winter weakens willingness to work.
Summer sets a synergistic stage of situations summoned by the sun.
Simultaneously: Melancholy Maine rain
Burning Texas rage.
So maybe the blame should be put,
When one does not ‘behave’,
Not on the cast of characters
But on that which sets the stage:
Which is environment. We have focused on climate, but this is all really about environment, and as Marshall McLuhan says, “Environments are invisible. Their ground-rules, pervasive structure, and overall patterns elude easy perception.”
Environments are as multifaceted as the organisms that must live in them, and both co-depend on each other for meaning. To break it down simply: if someone appears to be acting a son-of-a-bitch, maybe there are other environmental phenomena factoring into their behavior; or even clouding your perception of their actions…
Kurt Vonnegut’s description of nearly every story ever written is quite accurate. The circumstances of the protagonist will turn for the worse, if they haven’t started there, but will eventually resolve into happiness, bliss, good fortune, etc. I finished a poem today that I’ve been piecing together for about a month. Its story involves a protagonist that only experiences good, happy things. This is boring. To spare you of the dull, drab plot details I’ve started the poem at the end of the story. Its theme is slightly more biologically-instinctive-cravings-to-meet-needs-of-reproductive-system-oriented than what I’m used to writing, but so it goes.
Commence with the climax:
Slowly growing limp,
Bed-backed and blissful,
Woven wicker legs t r a d e t o e s ,
Fingertips slide in sync,
Skin-skating over icewhite rink,
Emboss cryptic codes across chest.
What was antic, yet romantic,
Stripped our sayings of semantics;
Mouths become momentum
For no reason but rhythm.
Sweatdamp cheeks caressed
By salty touch of breath,
Gently tugs reins of awareness –
From gallop, to prance, to stride, to graze…
open pastures of
neck-up. Peck up
lost in lea
the languid night grips language in throats –
and burning bedside candles
The past two months I had the pleasure of interning with American Greetings. During that time they let me take the writing test for the department that creates the humor cards. Basically the test asked me to come up with 12 humorous cards that could fit a specific occasion. What I came up with probably falls short of pants wetting and won’t make it to the shelves, but some of the card ideas might pull out a snicker or chortle here on the internet…
(outside) – Is there a limit to the number of ways I can wish you happy birthday in German?
(inside) – Nein
(outside) – A birthday is like a swirly…
(inside) – So get shit-faced!
- Older Birthday:
(outside) – You know you’re getting older when…
(inside) – People give you cards that start with “you know you’re getting older when…”
- Anniversary card from wife who would like to remind her sports-obsessed husband that she’s still glad she married him:
(outside) – For a man who lives his sporting life glued to the television set…
(inside) – You still got game!
- Boyfriend to girlfriend/girlfriend to boyfriend:
(outside) – A good friend is like good sex…
(inside) – But good sex with a good friend is always best!
- Romantic card for a person in a new relationship, who doesn’t want to use the “L” word:
(outside) – The time we’ve spent together has been so terrific…
(inside) – That I think I’m falling in like with you!
- Older birthday:
(outside) – Another year older, it could be worse…
(inside) – You could be two years older.
- Older birthday:
(outside) – You look terrific for your age!
(inside) – But at your age that doesn’t really say much.
Happy Birthday, you Rolex of dime-store watches!
- Birthday card for a wild, younger brother:
(outside) – Little bro, you were born to be wild…
(inside) – To a different family.
Happy Birthday! (We’ll talk about this all later)
- Thank you card to a boss or leader:
(inside) – For all the positive leadership.
- Smart birthday:
(outside) – A birthday is like a tautology…
(inside) – Because tautologies are so similar to birthdays!
- Political humor birthday:
(outside) – It’s your birthday –
So I’m throwing you a communist party!
(inside) – Yay, everyone gets gifts!
The keys for our words
Uncover some keys to our words,
And upon close inspection
It seems quite absurd
That we choose to slash sayings
Over asking a question,
Or that the quality of our quotations
Is valued less than possession.
Percentages and money
Wane in utilization
Who are used even more than exclamation!
We equal things out
More than add things together,
And the space between symbols
Has the longest space by measure.
The pointer on our right hand gets an eight-pointer in Scrabble
Yet, the middle of the left hand must jump up to tackle
An e-mazingly much used vowel, pushed up and afar,
And with the illogic of this layout, most vowels are.
In the past it kept letters from jamming together,
but technology has changed, so can the QWERTY be better?