go fighting irish
you were crazy last night
you were falling all over the place, and then when I
fell into you
no, it was that second place we were at
you were so gone
not that I wasn’t
we should do a cleanse
I said we should do a cleanse
detox all the alcohol
ladies and gentlemen
it’s a beautiful day today
I want to share with you my purpose from god
no, it’s bad to have all of that sit
in your liver
a cleanse would just make us
free of all the
rachel was talking a lot of stupid shit last night
oh my god
what a bitch
I had a mom who wasn’t there
and not because she couldn’t
but the way we was doing things weren’t all right
I’m going to do better
I’m going to make some revenues with entertainment
not sell drugs
you see people
I’ve been to jail
but I’m on the comeup now baby
this is it
you know a lot of people don’t know god
god told me that I was an entertainer
so that’s what I’m going to give you blessed people
no she didn’t
oh my god
well you heard that thing she did with Brian
no it’s some guy
he just got on the subway
I don’t know
everybodys got a purpose
you feel me
and my purpose is to be in the entertainment business
god has a plan for me
my gifts will bring huge
let me start-it-off for you here…
that’s just how rachel is
she’s always like that
her parents give her everything
and she still complains about working
two days a week
I know right
because when I say something about it
she’s gotta be all…
started with noth’en
ain’t got mon
but now I entertain
cuz god told
I’m gunna be famous
ain’t gunna be
mak’en that money
ain’t sling’en no
are you going to that thing tonight at rachel’s
cuz god gave me a
her parents are like out of town and…
yeah she’s a bitch
I’m still going…
he’s like crazy or something
he’s banging on the windows…
and now I’ma righteous
people are trying to
some people just don’t care
there’s some messed up people in this world
The city is
A person forest.
The city park
A person for est.
The city is
People concentrate hard
The city washes blood
Red hands of
White collar crimes on
Blue collar backs.
Evokes in me
Which is itself
The city is
The common man –
Home from work,
Covered in filth,
Pours a drink,
Sits down to unwind:
At the filth
(*Driving to Wednesday work
Following a marineairforcearmynavy
Semper fidelis veteran:
I hate his truck,
And bumper labels
And I think all American veterans
Because any child
Born under the sun
With a magnifying glass
Can burn ants.
I hate him as he
Left tombstones shadowed.
Living domestic partnerships
With drugstore flags,
The tombstones told tales
Of domestic abuse.
I hate myself
For hating him.
I hate people
That I barely know.
I hate myself
For writing poetry,
And for thinking
Poetry is art,
And for thinking I’m an artist
Because I say Poetry
And for thinking I’m making
An artistic statement
By saying I hate myself
For thinking I’m an artist
Based on my realization
Of thinking I’m an artist
For claiming poetry
Is not art
In a poem,
And so on.
But I don’t hate hate.
Is the (square) root
Of all hate.
Is the product of multiplying
Love against itself,
And fear is a factorial!)
1. Sometimes I happen upon ideas within my head that I think are marvelous, and I instantly sit down to work these ideas out into art, or craftsmanship, or utility, or for no reason but compulsion. But as I get through the work, I realize that the whole idea was fleeting and broken into pieces not fully materialized.
The meat of the work comes out instantly, because it was given to me in insight, in epiphany, and the completion of the rest will rely on a substantial amount of personal energy and commitment. So now the work gets abandoned, neglected, and every return meets me with another layer of dust, until the idea is unrecognizable. I might come back and try to complete it, but it won’t measure up to my original vision.
I don’t know… these are no more than just pixels on a screen, right?
And oh ya: Sartre something or other, blah blah, because hell is…
It wasn’t Randy’s short stature that made him an interesting man, nor was it his dirty, unruly moustache or his pathetic demeanor. It wasn’t even his livercidal drinking tendencies. Rather, It was his ability to appear outwardly happy – despite circumstances – using the blank smile and the “how ya do’en chief?” that keep his perpetual pessimism under bondage. How could anyone who is forced to work on a janitor’s salary be happy, ever? They all knew it, and they all felt sorry for him, because they are us, and how would we feel for a man in such circumstances? Pity.
Every day, Randy would stop by the convenient store on his clockwork-car ride from work to pick up beer and smokes. I see him a few times a week while on my lunch break from my good, college-earned job. I’m on break, and he’s just getting off. Those kinds of people always work lousy shifts. I go to the store to pick up some family staples and our paths are aligned to where he is always a person or two in front of me at checkout. I also see him at the mall on weekends. He sweeps floors and cleans bathrooms. Poor guy. His name is Randy. That is what his crooked nametag says: RANDY. He probably never graduated high school, so he doesn’t understand the correlation between appearance and professionalism. That’s why he’s a janitor. No aspirations in life. Poor guy. I feel bad for him; I really do.
With my toilet paper, Kleenex and paper towels in hand, I look ahead at Randy’s inventory he lays on the counter: Four tall-boys of Milwaukie’s and a pack of L&M menthol. Every day. He is an odd one. You know what’s really weird? Whenever he buys his daily pack of L&M menthols, he also purchases a lighter. Every time.
“What does he do with all those lighters?” we think, “He must be either losing them in drunken folly or using them up real quick. He might even be freebasing the nasties. I hear that requires a long flame to lick a bent spoon for a good while, and he’s probably into that stuff too. Or maybe he has obsessive compulsive habits that make him feel the need for new lighters with new cigs. These kinds of people usually have some mental abnormalities.”
He always laughs when he asks for the lighter, because we know he’s going to ask, and he knows that we know he’s going to ask, and this makes him uncomfortable (laughing is rarely a comfortable act). “Yes, yes. A lighter again today Chief. Thank you,” he says. We want to ask what happened to the lighter from the day before, but it isn’t any of our business, because he isn’t any of our business.
He smiles and carries on, repeating the same jokes and phrases every day. He must program his mind to only think on one track, because if his mind wanders to the point of analyzing his situation, he might just kill himself. He must be so miserable, wearing smiles as disguises. We know how he really must feel. Must feel. Must. If people could be happy working as janitors, everyone would do it. Not me – I have a good job – I am happy. I don’t drink and smoke every day. Poor guy. I feel bad for him. He’s been wearing the same clothes for years too. That faded, green jacket. Why doesn’t he just get some new clothes ? Doesn’t he care what people think of him? Where is his self respect?
I feel bad for him.
I am happy.
Chemistry is everything, nothing isn’t chemistry,
Bonds bounce through our brain.
Making us laugh, sniffle, sigh, cry, fuck, eat, wonder, act, react, this, that, on, and on
Making us go insane.
Chemicals are everywhere, housed in matter,
But it doesn’t matter.
No matter what we know,
All is the same.
We know only of making things
As means to know more about making more things.
There are no ends, only means.
Everything is mean!
An eventual regression to the mean.
“I thought she was a great person… until we hung out more.
I then realized that she was a waste of time.”
That’s because you didn’t collect enough samples at the beginning.
You needed more data.
Only then could all her qualities collapse into average.
Everything is average.
Outliers are only there to make you question:
But in the mean-time, ordinarily, I’m usually typically average,
The Mart hung in the distance like an obsolete super-computer
Overcompensating for its faulty wiring,
While nervously waiting for the next big thing.
In a field, I stood in the epicenter, across from this epiccenter,
On an uneven ground of weeds, dirt, gnats, puddles, trash.
In the limits of vision, I saw the par-king lot
Balancing its inputs with its outputs
Into the super-computer.
-> In went bleak, gray, hungry bits of code
Out came obnoxious, colorful, fat bits of code <-.
I – usually bleak, gray, hungry – approached the Mart,
Pulled from the dirt-tangled field
By the electromagnetism of the straight angles ahead.
As I closed closer,
There emerged a binary to these bits.
And the Mart proclaimed, “Let this be man and woman,
And let their sacrificial computations be predictable, timely, and manipulateable,
And above all, let the 1 of woman and the 2 of man serve separate functions
To my Consumption Processing Unit.”
The Mart looked over all that it had made, and behold, it was very good…
My heel hit the hard of pavement and rolled up to my toe;
And as this became a recurring action,
My feet dealt distance with subtraction,
And the bits of code, post-transaction,
Grabbed my eyes with curious attraction.
These ostentatious outputs carried colorful cases,
Walked with manufactured importance,
Slapped smaller outputs and told them, “When I say stop, that means stop!”
Sputtered and spat at the ground,
Rolled toward their steel boxes like medicine balls in the wind,
Held the reins of their belt-buckle stallions, bucking for a fight,
Or yanking their buckles over their bulbous bellies,
With crooked smiles, crooked laughs,
Crooked plans, but straight paths.
The par-king lot carried the code
The best that pavement could.
Should cement lament it would.
I tried to think up a better system:
-Maybe a cloud based application (?)-
But my thoughts were sparse,
So, instead, I joined the cement sojourners,
Rolling toward my own steel box,
And together we awaited the next big thing.
Could you please eradicate all the poverty and starvation in the world? I’m sick being guilted into donating to the food bank at the grocery store checkout. While you’re at it, would you mind protecting the rainforest, saving the endangered animals, and abolishing war? You see… I’m very busy with my own petty problems and can’t seem to find the time for such things. I have to manage school and a job, pay bills, take care of my living, and still find time for fun. Although, I guess if I stopped having fun I might be able to find time to help with one of these things. Unfortunately God, the bigger problem is that I’m very lazy. It’s not my fault. This is how you made me – it’s your fault!
I’m sorry God, sometimes my human gets to me. You understand.
Do I understand? God, if you helped the poor, starving people, who will make my clothes, and where will American corporations outsource labor to cut costs and save their CEOs more money? If you protect the forests, where would I build my house; and what about the houses of generations to come? You and I both know the human population is expanding, and we need tropical resorts to escape to from our meaningless jobs as general contractors, or whatever we do.
God, why did you make the earth so small; or us so big?
God, this is serious stuff! Are you listening? Are you even there?
On second thought… maybe I am God. I’m talking to myself again. Do I actually want these problems fixed, or am I just repeating the generic altruism of others around me? Now I’m confused. If I fixed these problems, wouldn’t it only create problems for myself and others in my rich, affluent society? I guess this is the price we would have to pay.
But I’m comfortable where I’m at in the world. Why don’t people just take care of their own problems instead of sitting on their asses all day collecting welfare checks? COMMUNISTS! Sucking at the government’s tits… raising my taxes… just for a free ride. After all it’s them with the problem, not me, God damn it!
I really shouldn’t blasphemy myself like that. After all, maybe I’m being too hard on the rest of the world. It’s not their fault. Whose fault is it? Mine? Is it anyone’s fault at all?
This is all quite unsettling. If I want to solve the world’s vexing problems, I must create some problems of my own. Or, I can bask in my comfort, and acknowledge that I don’t care enough about these injustices to do anything about them. So far I’m not satisfied with either option.
Yesterday I was at the mall. I’m usually not very cynical, but the mall always seems to transform me into a hater of everything within its walls. Everything is made of fake, worthless, plastic and everyone’s a crook trying to con me out of money. I guess this generalization would include me, because I’m at the mall, but I’m there to purchase something necessary; just like everyone else (?).
I’m sitting at a table by the food court, enjoying a slice of pumpkin bread and a cup of coffee (no room for cream. thanks), when these two women behind me beat up a conversation. And they REALLY beat it up. I sat through the violence trying not to wince. Verbal carnage involving something about a performance and cake and some program and clothing and a new car. I couldn’t stand it any longer. I got up and walked.
Passing a small kiosk in the center of the walkway, two guys tried to sell me perfume. They were both sporting greasy spiked hair and popped collars.
“You want to impress your woman and get her some perfume?” asked the taller one.
“You want to impress me?” I asked as seriously as I could.
“Um… Sure.” he said, a little nervous crack in his voice.
I held eye contact with him and didn’t blink. He gave me a blank expression, signaling that he had no idea what to say to me anymore. My inverted questioning broke his character and left him speechless. I let out a loud belch. The corners of his mouth rose into a smile and then immediately dropped when he realized that the corners of mine didn’t budge.
“Is something funny?” I asked him.
“No. Sorry. I just thought I heard you…”
“Burp?” I finished for him.
I held eye contact and kept a straight face. The smaller guy jumped in front, cutting off my stare, and said something about perfume again.
I changed my persona, “Oh, perfume you say? In that case I’ll take three bottles of your finest.”
The taller one got excited and began blurring his words into a mesh of automated salesmanship, “Well-all-of-these-are-equally-fine-and-we-have-quite-an-excellent-collection-and…”
“Than I’ll take three of your most expensive.” I cut in, saving him breath.
“Yes sir, as you wish,” the confidence returned to his voice. It was obvious that he had just made his sales quota, and the corners of his mouth returned to the upright position along with his hair and collar.
“Box’um up fellas. I’ll be right back. Just need to hit an ATM.” I said.
“There’s one on the first floor of the Dillard’s, but we’re closing in five minutes, so be quick.” the shorter chimed in again.
“Thanks’. Give me a minute, I’ll be right back.” I said, fleeing the scene in the opposite way of the Dillard’s.
People are easy to mess with when they’re trying to sell something. They laps into autopilot, and catching them off guard is a simple task. As long as you act serious they will cater to your every whim.
Why am I at the mall again? Oh yah, dress shoes for Thanksgiving. I need to go to Dillard’s for that – Damn it! I pretend to be interested in some advertisement on the wall in order to make my smooth transition into the opposite direction. Can’t look like I don’t know where I’m going. I pass the perfume stand again and give a polite smile and wave.
“Wrong way.” I say with a shrug, trying not to break from my character.
They smile back and hold up the package that I’m expected to buy: Reminding me that I promised to spend my money on their useless commodity; an act which will subsequently help secure a reason for their job’s existence.
I enter the Dillard’s, purposely avoiding walking under the flower laden arch they have set at the entrance. Shit, more perfume. Entire glass counters of it. Women sit in director-style chairs while employees in blue aprons splash them in these liquid fragrances: Cover them in it: And then make them gargle before swallowing it. I rush past, trying not to breathe-in any air, and walk down the escalator passing the ATM to where the shoes are.
“What can I help you with?” asks a short, pale balding woman. She’s dressed in the official uniform of the Dillard’s militia.
“Nothing. Just looking. Thanks.” I say.
“Ok. Let me know when you need help.” She said. The use of the word “when” made me uncomfortable.
All the shoes looked very stylish – something I’ve grown to hate in clothing. Not only that, but many of them had big brand names and logos on the side. KENNETH COLE – ROCKPORT – SPERRY. Fashion companies make you pay them to become their walking billboards. Most people don’t find a problem with this; which is why I find a problem with most people.
“Are you finding everything alright? Can I help you with what you’re looking for?” It’s the short bald woman again. The combination of bad lighting, monotonous labor, and the smell of leather had obviously affected her short term memory.
“Yah. I’d like to try on this one, this one, this one, and this one in sizes 10 ½, 13 and 8.” I told her, “Shopping for the family. You understand.”
She was busy just long enough for me to finally find the plainest, most bland shoe I could. I grabbed a 10 ½; figuring it would fit. When she came out carrying a stack of 12 boxes, her face getting cut off around the seventh, I told her thanks anyway for the help and I proceeded to the checkout.
Finally, I had what I came for: a pair of shoes for Thanksgiving dinner. Thanksgiving is the time of year that we can all be thankful for what we have – and then flaunt it by eating and throwing away more food than we would on any other day. This is good prep for Christmas. If we weren’t thankful on Thanksgiving than we might have a lot of consumer’s guilt come Christmas. Being thankful for what you have makes room for more stuff. Corporations know this, exploit it, and have plenty of clever ways to make you think it’s not obsessively compulsive to mindlessly buy at certain times of the year – but I digress.
I made it safely through the checkout and left the store. Outside I take a breath of fresh air as if my head was held under water for several minutes. Walking to my car I spot an alley between two parts of the mall and remember that I have to piss. I walk over and look around to make sure no one can see me, place down my bag, and I water the wall. As I shake off and zip up I hear two voices behind me:
“Hey look. It’s the piece-a-shit from earlier”
“Yah. Looks like he took his business elsewhere.”
“Well I ain’t stay’en half-hour past my shift for noth’en”
“I hear that. Best make this worth our wait”
I felt a blow to the head and dropped to the ground. I tried to pick myself up, but a kick to the stomach put me on the pavement again.
“You think you were pretty funny with that burp gimmick, huh?”
Another kick sent my head into the wall and down into the piss.
“Yah. Think you’re funny?”
I felt another kick in the stomach; this one with less force.
“Next time you think you can take advantage of people do’en their job, next time you think you’re any better, you remember this.”
One last kick put me down into my own piss again. I raised my head and regained focus just long enough to see two guys with spiked hair and popped collars walk away with a bag. My bag.
I wish I could tell people
Is the product of
That I am conducting,
And they, participating in.
That my actions are all
Calculated and with
That their reaction to my,
To say the least,
But I will have to bring it under
But in actuality,
I’m just strange,
Without deeper intentions
Thanks to the puter-upers
With the decency
to just shrug
And continue on
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