Blog Archives

Beat Down

How fitting
That the printer
Beats
To a time of 5/4;
The most savage
Of rhythms.

Excuses

So, over the past month I have graduated college, accepted a fulltime job doing marketing for a software company, bought a new car, and my girlfriend has moved in with me. Despite these time-sucking life changes I am still trying to find time to write for myself. One of the hardest things in growing up is finding accommodation for your passions under the ever-growing weight of responsibilities. My dwindling time spent on poetry, skateboarding, guitar, etc. is what some would call a bummer, but so it goes.

My blog posts have been infrequent and short over the past month, but I haven’t lost all hope. On the rare occasion I get personal inspiration, I’m doing my best to mold it into verse or prose. But for now, I’m going to lazily repost an old poem I wrote that deals with my thoughts before I got into this (actually quite wonderful) mess:

I’m at the comma splice in

Life’s

Run-on-sentence:

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

Every five,

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.

(note: the forth-to-last line should read “6 o’clock seizures”)

I am Happy

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.

People

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
For money.
A woman bought ex-lax
Today,
Went into the bathroom,
And
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
rowave.
She was a poopetrator of Pollocklike proportions.

The woman:
She can’t read,
Or count,
Or communicate
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?”
“Vitamin E
“Oh”

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
Because
They give her shit.
See,
In a sense
She’s a bit
Like me.

 

 

I’m at the Comma Splice

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

Life’s

Run-on-sentence:

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

Every five,

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.